Thursday, October 8, 2015

Republicans don't care about the mentally ill or gun background checks.

The idea that we can reduce gun deaths by pursuing everyone that might be mentally ill is crazy all by itself. It can't be done.

But imagine if we took the right to bear arms away from those we do know suffer from some kind of mental illness:
In 2013, there were an estimated 10 million adults aged 18 or older in the U.S. with Serious Mental Illness in the past year. This represented 4.2 percent of all U.S. adults.

In 2013, there were an estimated 43.8 million adults aged 18 or older in the U.S. with Any Mental Illness in the past year. This represented 18.5 percent of all U.S. adults.

About 53 million Americans, nearly a quarter of all adults in the U.S., disarmed.

The weird cruel joke about not expanding background checks? Gun purchases still won't be using the greatly expanded data base. So what's the point?

Republicans like Scott Walker love to repeat the NRA talking point, but it doesn't make any sense. Walker can double down...heck triple down on documenting the mentally ill, but it won't matter. That's why the following is mindless rhetoric:
Walker is steering away from the idea of stiffer gun policies, focusing instead on the issue of mental health treatment.

“The one thing you see commonly, unfortunately in almost every one of these instances is someone who’s fallen through the cracks when it comes to mental health services."

Walker says he's boosted state funding for mental health treatment and invested more money than any other governor in the past 25 years but says it will take more than money to address the root of the problem.

“The best thing we can do, more than just money, is try to break the stigma,” said Walker. “I think the more we break that stigma the better off we're going to be because then people aren't going to be afraid to get the help they need.”

Lawmaker's backhanded comment about Law Enforcement opens Criminal Justice Meeting....

Small government is one thing, but the childish lawlessness of reckless politicians is another....

Wisconsin Layoffs for first 9 months of 2015 8,600!!! Moving Wisconsin Forward?

Distraction, distractions. Remember when Republicans talked about "jobs" all the time. Funny thing, now that we've seen how their pro-business policies have failed, that whole jobs thing never comes up anymore.

In fact, were losing jobs by the boat load to other countries. I thought business just loved it here?
"For the first 9 months of 2015, Wisconsin companies have notified state of more than 8600 layoffs. That's more than 2,000 more than the year end totals of the last 3 years."
Welcome home Scott Walker. Why not make head out to Lake Mills, see how that big bold record of yours will go over.

Below, Rep. Paul Ryan is still desperately trying to make his case for lower corporate taxes, by ignoring the real reason the employer said they were leaving Wisconsin; labor costs. Here's WKOW's Greg Neumann:

Walker, Republicans push for Partisan...NonPartisan Elections Board with oversight gridlock guaranteed.

Remember that "so called caucus scandal?"

"So called," as Sen. Scott Fitzgerald said off hand. And from that "so called scandal" legislators created the nonpartisan Government Accountability Board. 

Fitzgerald now thinks the GAB was pretty much a knee jerk reaction:
Fitzgerald: "It was thrown out because of a knee jerk reaction to the so called caucus scandals..."
From Upfront with Mike Gousha:

And because Fitzgerald and other Republicans once voted to put the GAB in place, they've have to find hot button excuses to satisfy their base, all the while not looking like hypocritical idiots. Yes, they failed miserably.

Just Making Things Up: The most outrageous example of BS spewed from the mouth of a very uncomfortable looking State Sen. Devin LeMehieu. Loaded up with ad-libbed contradictions, you can't help but feel sorry for this loser:
LeMehieu: "I think the best way to do that is with partisan appointments...almost every other state has partisans involved with their board makeup...their has been a partisan bent with this board (GAB) so by making it nonpartisan, the facade that it's nonpartisan hasn't actually proved to be effective..."

Did LeMahieu say anything that was true? Nope. Here's a clip from 92.1 FM's Devil's Advocates Show where they interviewed former Assembly Republican, Judge and GAB chairman David G. Deininger, who said the accusations were nonsense. That's followed by a similar disclaimer from GAB director Kevin Kennedy:

On WPR's morning show, Republican Rep. Dean Knutson was revved up, trashing the GAB. What did the listeners think of the Knutson's pot shots? Not much:

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Welcome to Walker's Crony Capitol!!!

Cronyism continues to expand in the Walker administration, on the heels of gutting civil, this time at the DNR. Never looking farther than arms length, all we need is another "land use" manager from Scott Walker doing the Wisconsin Realtors work for them:

The state Department of Natural Resources has tapped a former aide to Gov. Scott Walker to fill its No. 3 position at the agency … Ed Eberle has been named the deputy assistant secretary … has been the administrator of the division of intergovernmental relations at the Department of Administration … previously worked on the staff of a state Assembly committee and on the staff of the Joint Finance Committee … also was deputy chief of staff for Gov. Scott Walker when Walker was Milwaukee County executive.

Paul Ryan "thinks" we shouldn't blame him for all the lost Jobs after he defunded the Export Import Bank. "Think" again Paul.

Here’s a little Paul Ryan “thinking” game, because thinking beats the hell out of reality.

I’m thinking there’s a reason Republicans love policy wonk Paul Ryan's corporate shilling; he's really good at it.

When GE announce the loss of 350 jobs in their Waukesha plant, they gave a very specific reason:
The company blamed Congress for its failure to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank, an institution that finances sales of U.S. industrial equipment to overseas customers.
Now I'm "thinking” we lost those jobs because Republicans defunded the EXIM Bank.

Well, here’s what Paul Ryan thinks:
Rep. Paul Ryan said Monday he doesn't think the shuttering of the Export-Import Bank was the only reason General Electric Co. says it will stop manufacturing engines in Waukesha and move that work to Canada.
So forget what GE said, Ryan "thinks" there's another reason that coincidentally relates to something he’s working on: cutting the corporate tax rate. In fact, Ryan “can’t help but think” out loud while tearing up over the job losses corporate tax rates. WKOW:

"I think it's horrible that these workers are being laid off at GE and I can't help but think that there have to be other reasons. Canada has a 15% tax rate and we have a 35% tax rate to name one reason," 
And Canada has its own version of the EXIM Bank too, but "I can’t help but think” Ryan wants us to think otherwise.

Think he’s using the threat of job losses via EXIM to get a corporate tax cut pushed through?  

Monday, October 5, 2015

Ryan: Call to stop Mass Shootings a Knee Jerk Reaction!

Republicans have the meme down pat: Tighter gun controls laws? It's just a knee jerk reaction.

It's a knee jerk reaction when there have been 142 shootings at schools since Sandy Hook, December 14, 2012, the 45th shooting at a school in 2015, and the 94th shooting in the last two years? Really, knee jerk? 

Not a lot of though went into this now popular GOP talking point, which shows their brutal disregard families who are forever effected by these horrific events:
Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Janesville, speaking after a Milton listening session Friday, said he didn't think the nation should be numb to the shootings. Ryan said instead it was "high time" for Congress to consider legislation offered to overhaul the nation's mental health system.

"What I don’t think the right thing to do is to knee-jerk and pass new gun laws as if that was going to stop this or restrict the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens."
Knee Jerk...?

Scott Walker's "False Choice" Agenda, where nothing ever changes.

Will there ever be a moment when Republican voters realize they're being played? Didn't think so.

Scott Walker is the king of con, the "Obfuscator!" He's got nothing, and his low polling numbers prove it.

What he does have though are big bold "false choices" that don't amount to a hill of beans. The following three ideas fell into place today for me, what I would call a clarifying moment.

Ending Mass Murders: We can solve mass murders by treating the mentally ill? This is one of the weirdest false choices. I can't tell you how angry I get every time I hear a Republican throw this one out. Think of it more as somebody trying to change the subject. Enter Scott Walker...
Walker shifted the focus on Friday from gun control to mental health, saying that such incidents in Wisconsin have frequently been linked to mental health problems.
"Historically, the one constant thread has been people suffering from some degree of mental illness. In many of these cases, someone has fallen through the cracks without getting the appropriate treatment for mental health issues."
Walker's record as County Executive, pictured here, negates any changes the legislature force him to make as governor. 

The False Choice of Saving the Fetus...: Caught in the most unforgivable line of bullshit, Walker's inner sociopath came through, as he came out strongly against the life of the mother:
Gov. Scott Walker says choosing between the life of a pregnant woman and her fetus is a "false choice," adding that he believes better options are always available. "It's a false choice. There is always a better option out there. I've said for years, medically there's always a better choice than choosing between the life of an unborn baby and the life of the mother. Medically that's just a nonissue."

When asked what better medical options are available — and whether Walker believes there are no instances in which a family and doctors have to choose between the life of the pregnant woman and the life of her fetus — his campaign spokeswoman AshLee Strong repeated late Friday that he is "100% pro-life. He acknowledges what science says, and that is that an unborn child is that — a child, and deserving of protection."
Job Killing opposition to the EXIM Bank, There are "other" False Choices: My conservative friend in Milwaukee got so angry about this he called me to complain. He knew the EXIM Bank didn't cost taxpayers anything, and couldn't believe Republicans were blocking it, killing 350 jobs in Waukesha. A day later, Walker came out against the Export-Import Bank:
"I've said before as a candidate and still say so now, I do not think that the federal government should be renewing that. But I think there are other ways that we can help manufacturers like that in Waukesha and others across the state be competitive."
What does that mean? Who knows.

Aaron Rodgers airborne epidemic....

Check it out...

Dems wrong; Scott Walker's WEDC isn't broken, it's doing just what it was designed to do

Can you imagine the phony outrage staged by Republicans if GE had killed 350 jobs in Waukesha because of Democratic attempts to eliminate the Export Import Bank?

Now that the Republicans are pushing job killing policy, surprise, they don't seem to mind at all:

Walker spoke against reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.
"I've said before as a candidate and still say so now, I do not think that the federal government should be renewing that. But I think there are other ways that we can help manufacturers like that in Waukesha and others across the state be competitive."
The 350 jobs are going to Canada, how has Walker helped in "other ways?" What are these "other ways?" Walker's bigger and bolder empty rhetoric is still working on "Stand with Walker" voters, who are perfectly happy to hear that he has a teleprompter free response.

What Democrats are calling a failure, Republicans are quietly calling a Success: 
Anyone think it's a little odd that despite getting caught over and over again, WEDC hasn't changed a thing about lost or unjustified loans, outsourcing and their failure to create jobs?

By Republican standards, WEDC is a rip roaring success. Out of all the proposed changes; to the GAB, civil service, John Doe investigations, opens records, and the Legislative Audit Bureau, the only agency exempt from change...WEDC. 

That's because they're doing just what they were supposed to do. And as we've seen, the corporate board members are simply there as a firewall to take the incoming volley of criticism:

WEDC board puts off outsourcing issue for a month: The head of the state's job-creation agency is putting off Democrats who want its board to discuss outsourcing and its process for conducting background checks, saying it can't take up the issue until October ... agency officials said they couldn't address the matter then because it wasn't on the board's agenda.
Here's a list of past "successes:" 
At least two companies that received financial awards from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) later outsourced jobs to foreign countries, with one of those companies receiving a second WEDC award after the fact.

Today the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau released a financial audit of the WEDC that ... shows the agency had top-heavy administrative and salary costs, stalled in its job creation programs, and dealt with overdue loans by writing them off. The audit revealed that WEDC has made only meager increases to its loan activities...

The WEDC board, which is led by Gov. Scott Walker, OK'd Ashley Furniture getting $6 million tax credit, cutting 1,900 jobs … with a condition allowing the company to eliminate half of its state workforce...
And then prior to Walker's 2014 reelection bid, this act of donor protection. Notice the "wreak havoc" reference, you know, when it was still a bad thing:
According to the governor's legal counsel, Walker’s office is no longer disclosing the names and phone numbers of companies that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is working with on economic incentive packages. The … legal counsel determined releasing the information could “wreak havoc” with WEDC’s mission of retaining and creating quality jobs in the state. According to the governor's legal counsel “Because there may come a time when it will no longer harm these discussions if the businesses names are revealed, it may be possible that we will be able to release the names of these businesses at a later date,”

A report released today by One Wisconsin Now raises serious questions about who is really benefiting ... found that owners or employees of 30 percent of businesses receiving WEDC assistance contributed to Gov. Walker's campaign or the Republican Governors Association (RGA). Meanwhile these same businesses received almost 60 percent of WEDC economic development funds - $570 million in total.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Republican anecdotal "stories" guide Civil Service reform: Beware of cooks who do their own accounting!!!

What do Republicans have against short order cooks, or even for that matter, upward mobility?
State Sen. Roger Roth on applicants for an accounting position: "The number highest scored exam for an account position turned out to be a short order cook with no accounting experience..." 
Luckily, having short order cook on my resume didn't keep me from getting my two third shift jobs in the 70's at W.A. Krueger as a fork lift driver, and another at RTE in Waukesha lifting and cleaning transformer containers for painting. I mean, what we're they thinking hiring a former cook?

It's another one of those anecdotal stories Republican policies are always based on now. So the state couldn't just move on to the next highest applicant with accounting experience, instead of changing system into something that invites cronyism and partisan politics? Maybe the cook does all his own bookkeeping and is a genius with numbers.

Who knows where these anecdotal myths are coming from too. Like this one....
Sen. Roth: "We have stories of individuals filling out this exam, and they write 'see my resume' on the exam, not knowing that gets them a zero, that doesn't count for anything." 
Ah, the "stories." Who could argue with those? WKOW's Greg Neumann:

Walker won't blame Republicans and Rep. James Sensenbrenner for killing 350 jobs at GE.

Democrats and many Republicans in Washington support the Export Import Bank. But the tea party wing of the GOP is hoping to kill the bank completely, oddly claiming now that business handouts are a form of corporate welfare. It's like they don't see what's happening in their own red state legislatures.

For example, Scott Walker was a miserable failure as CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). So much so they had to fire him. And while loans were forgiven and lost forever, all the while many jobs were never created or outsourced, that was okay. Yet Republicans in D.C. are claiming to oppose corporate welfare? No wonder conservative voters are all over the map trying to defend their politicians.

Scott Walker was asked about General Electric's plan to kill 350 jobs in the Republican stronghold of Waukesha, moving them to Canada because they have their own EXIM Bank. Not once did Walker mention his party's opposition to EXIM, or how Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner had a major role in killing jobs in his own district with no blowback:

Huffington Post
Big companies like GE and the many small businesses that are served by the EXIM Bank, to underwrite the sale and purchase of their products considered to "risking" by establishment banks, are pawns of extremist Republican politicians who want to kill the bank in exchange for lower corporate tax rates. Until then, tough luck folks.

That "larger political battle out in Washington" is a Republican game of chicken being played out against American labor for lower corporate tax rates. And as we've seen in GE's Waukesha plant, the family supporting American worker is losing.

On Upfront with Mike Gousha, BizTimes Milwaukee editor Andrew Weiland explained: Almost 200 businesses over the last decade have benefited from the EXIM Bank, accounting for $4 billion of export business activity:

Republicans will never solve Transportation Funding Problem: Can't raise taxes, can't stop cutting taxes.

You know, maybe we should study the problems created by Republican lawmakers who've delayed road building projects around the state, resulting in much higher costs to taxpayers later on. Studying is good, because we've seen how well that's worked solving our algae bloom problem in Green Bay, not to mention our rivers and lakes. Study, study, study. 

Republicans will never solve these problems, period. They can't raise taxes, and they can't stop cutting taxes. End of story. It's just a matter of the public catching on sooner rather than later.

Democrats aren't afraid to tell taxpayers that something has to be done, noting the consequences for inaction. And yes, a new taxing formula is inevitable. Rep. Dianne Hesselbein, D-Middleton, clearly gets it, while Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna, has no intention of committing political suicide raising taxes or ending tax cuts. So who's the grownup? Who's the leader?

Steineke doesn't even see how the state would have $300 million more to spend on transportation if they just took the Medicaid expansion deal. I have to admit, that pretty much said it all.

Upfront with Mike Gousha:

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Republican caught lying again: Fiorina's video deception, and Chaffetz's Planned Parenthood Fiasco!

Now that the whole Planned Parenthood abortion video story is out there, it's time to look back. I've compiled the bizarre antics to this point. Imagine a Republican administration running the country from the alternative reality they've created just around this one issue.  

The latest news should make every sucker who fell for Fiorina's big debate moment, question their party's deceptive tactics:
Ring of Fire: The video was released by anti-abortion activist (from) the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, Gregg Cunningham.  Fellow activists, David Daleiden, had taken the raw footage, then used a voice-over from an entirely different procedure in which fetal tissue was being harvested for medical research. That voice-over had nothing to do with the events in the video clip, which by now, is known to be of a miscarriage – not an abortion.

Daleiden admitted that it was a miscarriage – but told CNN that it “didn’t matter” – as long as it proves his point. Egregiously, Daleiden did not have the distraught mother’s permission to film the event or use it. “We used it to illustrate exactly the kind of late-second trimester baby…fetus that we’re talking about in these cases of organ harvesting.”

In other words, Daleiden, Cunningham and the rest are perfectly willing to present blatant fabrications in order to advance their agenda. Furthermore, Fiorina knew that the video was misleading and depicted a miscarriage rather than an abortion. 
In an amazing example of projection - pot calling the kettle black - Fiorina flipped GOP tactics upside down, blaming Democrats and the media for attacking her:
Fiorina accused the women's health organization of pushing "propaganda" against her while being "aided and abetted by the media."
Ah, shame on the media for covering the story, a story that made Fiorina a top Republican candidate for president? Wouldn't you know it, Fiorina is now poking at the media with an ad that keeps this story front and center:
Fiorina's campaign released an online ad that again includes the image, with the claim that "Carly Fiorina won the debate. Now come the false attacks." This, despite the fact that the baby was miscarried, not aborted, and that the image comes from a hospital procedure unconnected with Planned Parenthood. Pew Research Center found in a Sept. 22-27 poll that 60 percent of adults in the U.S. wanted a budget deal to maintain funding for Planned Parenthood. But among Republicans, 66 percent said any budget deal must eliminate the money — 78 percent among those who identify as "conservative Republicans."
The House Embarrassment Hearing: In one clarifying moment, Americans saw up close how Republicans can work the bullshit, as described by the Washington Post's Dana Milbank, and shown in a compilation of clips that will never be forgotten:

At this point Republicans may wish to consider aborting to protect the health of the party. Chairman Jason Chaffetz (Utah) made the startling confession that “without the videos, we can’t have a good discussion about them.” But we can shut down the federal government over them?

Chaffetz flashed a chart showing that since 2010, the number of abortions at Planned Parenthood has surpassed the number of its “cancer screenings and prevention services.” But no such shift occurred. The fine print on the chart showed that the number of abortions (327,000 in 2013) never came close to reaching the number of cancer screenings (935,573 in 2013) at any point.

Richards said the chart “absolutely does not reflect what’s happening.”

“I pulled those numbers directly out of your corporate reports,” the chairman said.

In fact, the chart said the source was the antiabortion group Americans United for Life — which Richards pointed out to Chaffetz.

“Then we will get to the bottom of the truth of that,” the chairman said. 
Chaffetz is following the radicalized GOP tactic of doubling down on the lie, despite good questions by CNN's Wolf Blitzer:

Walker gets Media Cover again for Civil Service Lie.

Wisconsin media is at it again!!! Here's State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, who like me, must have fallen hook-line-and-sinker for another Scott Walker word salad lie:

Thank you PolitiFact Wisconsin for giving Scott Walker cover for something he all but etched into stone about our untouchable civil service law, which he is now going back on. When Walker "led some to believe" he wouldn't change civil service, that was actually his intention and lie:
On "Fox News Sunday," Walker said: "There is no state that has a better civil service system in terms of protections. That does not change in this. Worker rights will be maintained even after our bill passes."

...his "fireside chat," the governor said: "It’s important to remember that many of the rights we’re talking about don’t come directly from collective bargaining. They come from the civil service system here in Wisconsin. That law was passed in 1905, long before collective bargaining, and it will continue long after our plan is approved."  

Walker repeatedly cited the strength of employee protections in Wisconsin’s civil service system, and said his 2011 law wouldn’t change the protections. That led some to believe Walker wouldn’t try to change the civil service system. But we found no evidence that Walker made such a pledge, and there have been indications in the past year that he might seek changes.
PolitiFact even disproved their own point when they wrote the following, which also contained statements by the Walker administration there would be no changes:
In June 2014, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that in recent months, Walker administration officials had said multiple times they weren't looking to change the civil service system ... And a spokeswoman for Walker's Department of Administration said at the time that Walker had no interest in changing civil servants’ protections.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Republican are saying America can't stop the Mass Shootings!!!

It's unsettling to know the truth now about the Republican Party's disinterest in trying to stop the gun carnage sweeping the U.S.. The community college in Roseburg, Oregon is just the latest.

click to enlarge
Their outrageously ridiculous, but widely accepted solution - getting tough on mental illness - never materialized. Now, they're not even bothering to offer any hope at all.

In the WPR Joy Cardin radio interview below, Steve Prestegard, conservative editor of the Platteville Journal, said outright there is nothing we can do to stop these mass shootings, so why try. This echoes Carly Fiorina's throw-in-the-towel attitude about climate change. Majority Republicans no longer have to struggle for excuses, or even feign concerned anymore.

That's American exceptionalism? That's that can-do attitude from the worlds superpower?

John Nichols counters Prestegard's shocking surrender with hope and determination that something can be done. Nothing exemplifies Republican politics today like the sharp contrasting discussion below:

UPDATE: This is now a national Republican trend. The days of pretending to help the public are over. Let's start with my favorite "solution" from Scott Walker:

Huffington Post: According to Everytown for Gun Safety, a group pushing for reforms to reduce gun violence, (said) it was the 45th shooting at a school in 2015. Everytown was formed in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary ... There have been 142 shootings at schools since December 14, 2012, the date of that incident.

Republicans are not only content to let the gun carnage continue, but they are already letting people die by taking away their health care: 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Suddenly, Republicans don't like those greatly expanded Bush "free speech zones" when it effects them.

The idea that Republicans have principles is laughable. This newer, more radicalized party's one goal now, is to win their politically motivated game. Nothing else. Forget public policy. Principles, what principles?

Which brings me to those old George W. Bush "free speech zones" they loved so much. And it makes sense too, because conservatives have hated the right to protest for years. It's an ongoing battle to finally "win" the 60's anti-war/civil rights protests.
Many universities created on-campus free speech zones during the 1960s and 1970s, during which protests on-campus (especially against the Vietnam War) were common

It was during Bush's presidency that their scope was greatly expanded. The Bush administration has been criticized by columnist James Bovard of The American Conservative for requiring protesters to stay within a designated area, while allowing supporters access to more areas.

The American Civil Liberties Union has asked a federal court in Washington D.C. to prevent the Secret Service from keeping anti-Bush protesters distant from presidential appearances while allowing supporters to display their messages up close, where they are likely to be seen by the news media. 
Now that "free speech zones" appear to be blowing back on libertarian/conservative protesters, the right wing outrage has this from radio bullshit artist Vicki McKenna, in her "you've got to be kidding me" Facebook moment:
Right wing propagandist, The Blaze, abandoning principles?

Daily Show in Madison for "Are all cops Racist?"

Loved this bit on the Daily Show, especially the idea of a "black Twitter."
In a segment "Are All Cops Racist," Madison Police Chief Mike Koval is interviewed on Comedy Central. The portion with Koval begins at about the 4:40 mark.

Leon Varjian will be missed....

A Madison legend, and one of the funniest and innovative guys around, Leon Varjian died of a heart attack. WSJ's George Hesselberg:
Leon Varjian, a jester with a rubber face and keen insight into what tickles Madison’s funny bone, was found dead of a suspected heart attack Tuesday at his residence in Wood-Ridge, New Jersey. He was 64. Varjian was a longtime mathematics teacher at Midland Park High School in New Jersey, where he was once named math teacher of the year.

Whether it was the placement of 1,008 pink plastic flamingos on Bascom Hill, an amazingly realistic copy of the Statue of Liberty (head, arm and torch) on Lake Mendota, or hosting a Halloween toga party for 10,000 people, the enduring quality was a willingness to go overboard. He adopted the Madison Muskies baseball team as a cheerleader, and with Mallon introduced, in falsetto, the talking mice of the “Vern and Evelyn Show.”
 Here's a clip from that their show:

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Walker, Republican no tax pledge sinks existing road work for a total of 5 years.

Like I’ve always said, spending cuts will never be a substitute for budgeting. And now we’re about to pay dearly, wiping out any savings. Brilliant.

You see that road work up ahead, well it might be there for the next 6 years, along with the traffic tie ups and detours. I can’t imagine what they’re going to do with the snow at some of those sites.

Scott Walker wanted to borrow big time for transportation, which was bad enough, but “no tax” pledge Republican legislators ran out of money thanks to past and present tax cuts. Now many of the existing road construction sites will be delayed till 2021, believe it or not. jsonline:
The state Department of Transportation is delaying five major road projects because it doesn't have the money for the work under the state budget crafted by Gov. Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans in the Legislature.

The delays — including on some stretches that already have orange barrels on the road — could end up being longer because legislators for years have been unable to come up with ways to find new revenue for highways … will likely have a cascading effect that will push off work on future projects.
Tightwad Republicans will now run up the costs for taxpayers who though they could freeload for awhile.
The delays will cause the cost of the projects to rise because of inflation. Estimates of the added costs are expected in February. Work on the projects won't stop, but it will slow down.
The guy pushing a bill attacking civil service protections for Walker isn't to happy:
The delays surprised Sen. Roger Roth (R-Appleton), who told WHBY-AM this month he did not expect any delays on Highway 10/441 in the Fox Valley. The highway is being expanded and reconstructed between Highway 41 and Highway 47.

But the $482 million project is one of those the DOT is pushing back, putting off its completion until 2021. Construction began last year, so drivers will have to put up with road work on that stretch for at least seven years under the revised schedule.