Thursday, February 22, 2018

What is Ryan Thinking...?

I'm accumulating videos documenting the nationwide movement by students to end the mass shootings at schools and anywhere else. I'm going to start with Brian Strassburg's latest cartoon, taking aim at Paul Ryan's total lack of concern.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

After Florida's Mass Shooting, High School Students Repulsed by Republican Reaction!!!

Maybe the mass shooting issue will finally focus the nations attention on just how inhumane the Republican Party has become, and how sold out it is to NRA business interests. Hell, what percentage of the economy is dependent on firearms manufacturing anyway?

One irony: Republicans who pushed that mindless "civics test" to graduate, who also didn't know ours schools already have detailed U.S. history courses, may be getting activist teenage blow-back from a very educated electorate. How about that! 

Porn vs Assault Weapons...Porn bigger problem: This is that epiphanic moment if there ever was one...Keep in mind this. Porn Viewing Stat: Florida Number 21, 127 page views per capita:
Less than a week after a shooter killed 17 people at a school in Florida, the state's House of Representatives voted not to discuss a ban on assault weapons after earlier declaring pornography a health risk, angering people on social media.

A high school students response to the "adults" in the Florida legislature?

A similar resulted happened right here in Madison:

Trump White House Considered Florida Shooting a Reprieve from Critics: Here's Chris Hayes with the ugly details and other repugnant Republican reactions:

Make Paul Ryan Go Away...Please: After plunging the nation into deeper debt with his dream tax cuts, he's not going to bother with trying to end mass school shootings with common sense, bi partisan gun control that polls see big support for:
Last October, Politico/Morning Consult found that 64 percent of Americans and 55 percent of gun owners believe gun laws should be stricter. Furthermore, 84 percent support universal background checks, 76 percent support a mandatory 3-day waiting period, and 72 percent support a ban on assault weapons.

House Speaker Paul Ryan called the shooting “horrific,” but said Congress shouldn’t do anything until it has “all the facts and data.” There’s just one problem with that: The GOP, at the behest of the National Rifle Association (NRA), is blocking scientists from producing the “facts and data” on gun violence.

Thanks to the Dickey Amendment — a 23-word rider attached to a spending bill in 1996 and enacted in 1997 — research on gun violence has been frozen for two decades. As a result, gun violence was the least-researched cause of death in the U.S. over the past decade, and the answers to even the most basic questions about gun violence prevention remain elusive.

Fox News' Shep Smith railed against the idiocy of the amendment.
“Forget your political arguments. Why can’t we come together as a society and say ‘No, we’re going to study this, we’re going to research this, we’re going to bring our best and brightest together and put them in a room and give them whatever they need to figure out why are our children killing each other more in the United States than anywhere else in the world?' We change the course of human events around the world. We put a man on the moon 50 years ago and we can’t figure out why only our children are running around in their schools killing each other. It doesn’t happen everywhere else. It happens here. Why can’t they put the best and the brightest together to research it, to figure it out, and help us stop it? We’re failing our children."
MSNBC's Nichole Wallace and Steve Schmidt called it like it is; a big GOP problem:

MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace has had enough of Republicans feigning concern about gun violence and doing nothing ... students and parents are holding Republican politicians accountable for inaction ... Republicans are not just refusing to help, they are responsible for the bloodshed. And as a “non-practicing” Republican, Wallace said, she shares the “culpability of a party being held hostage by the NRA.”

“The NRA is a gun lobby out of step with the vast majority of its members that support more common-sense gun measures. Most gun owners are for things like gun locks and gun safes. Most gun owners are for background checks. Democrats who are for gun control are fine with doing more for the mentally ill, but Republicans who are for doing more for the mentally ill never, ever, ever, ever want to have gun control. When is the Republican Party going wake up and realize it has blood on its hands?”

Manufacturers answer to Walker's Job Training, Drug Testing, Minimum Hours Labor Scam? Automation Push!

There’s nothing wrong with automation. It’s inevitable. Which is why so many economists are kicking around the idea of a “basic income” for the possible under and unemployed labor force of the future. No one is sure what the tech and information economy will bring, or how many good paying jobs will be created, so a backup program like a “basic income” is getting some attention now. 

Which makes Scott Walker's plan; drug testing/minimum hourly requirement/job training such a blatantly cruel scam and business knows it.

Check out what's really going on behind the scenes and just how seriously business is taking Walker's "reforms:" 

A concerted effort to boost manufacturing productivity in Wisconsin is gaining momentum … The Transformational Productivity Initiative (TPI) consists of a diagnostic assessment and strategy implementation … to boost their productivity, in large part, because of ongoing labor pool issues.

Job Training, or Dropping People from Food Stamps and Health Care? It’s a way to dump Wisconsinites from safety net programs, saving money that Republicans can hand out to keep companies in our state, real "free market-like."

While we know the malarkey over the “skills gap” was a business con to import cheap foreign labor, it’s now morphing into an corporate image saving conversions to automation. Nice to know Walker’s effort to job train isn’t being taken seriously by big business in Wisconsin. So how do manufacturers see us, family supporting real human beings?

Kelly Armstrong, director of sector strategy development for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (said) “TPI is a long-term solution, and being more productive and efficient is part of the solution to the talent gap, the body gap and the skills gap,”

Randy Bertram, director of sustainability and operational excellence at the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, said “There are workforce issues that aren’t going to change any time soon and this will at least partially offset a decline in workforce participation. Companies are making fairly significant investments in automation technology.” Productivity depends in part on the efficiency of workers, but a larger influence is technological advancement.
With Industry 4.0, also called the fourth industrial revolution, companies are utilizing sensors and “smart” machinery to make their manufacturing processes ever more efficient ... TPI is working with Wisconsin manufacturers to implement the groundbreaking productivity-boosting practices. 
Productivity Flat in Walker's Wisconsin, who knew: And the truth continues to dribble out:
“Productivity equals prosperity,” said Lee Swindall, vice president of sector strategy development with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). “But we’ve been literally flat in manufacturing productivity since 2004. I was flummoxed. We have a major productivity problem.”
Despite wage growth being almost nonexistent in Wisconsin, we're being told...
What’s more, the combination of rising real wages and declining productivity is a recipe for inflation.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Madison High School Students get more guns in school instead of sane gun laws!

Public opinion never did matter much to Republicans dead set on rolling out their deadly firearms agenda, and now it's showing, vividly.

Instead of keeping guns from getting in the hands of the next mass killer, Republicans turned background checks upside down, and into...more guns in schools. Funny, I'm beginning to think Republicans are the mentally unstable folks who definitely shouldn't have guns.

Oh, and a real lesson for soon-to-be voting age high schoolers who live at home and won't have any problem at all registering to vote:
WPR: Republican state lawmakers on Tuesday blocked their Democratic colleagues' attempt to take up a bill that would institute universal background checks for gun purchases in Wisconsin ... GOP lawmakers used procedural moves to replace the measure with a proposal to fund grants for schools to provide firearms to safety officers.

Madison high school students joined Democratic lawmakers in the Capitol on Tuesday morning to call for strengthening Wisconsin’s gun laws in the wake of another deadly school shooting. "We have an obligation to these kids, to the people of the state who want us to act on background checks," said Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, during the floor debate. "This is the bare minimum we should be doing."
What did Republicans find so unreasonable that they had to put everyday Wisconsinites lives at risk? Something is very very wrong when the following is called "all politics all the time:"
...proposal to institute universal background checks, and bills that would prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence from buying firearms and outlaw the sale of bump stocks, which make weapons more deadly.
Sound like politics, not reasonable gun legislation? Don't forget that Republican Rep. Robin Vos said that after another mass school shooting and 17 dead teenagers. What's to fear:
 "It's all politics, all the time. And I think it's really sad, and it's really cynical, because they are preying on the fears of some Wisconsinites and using it for their own political purposes."
And again, the evil Democratic terrorists are leading the charge, and this time with the next generation of voters fed up with ruthless killing and Republican inaction:
Madison East High School senior Carlos Vanhook said current gun laws are doing the opposite of helping prevent violence. "There’s a system in this country that’s entitling some people to violence."
"Law-abiding gun owners don’t go out and shoot up schools."
Some gun rights advocates have pushed for arming teachers in response to the violence. Students pushed back on that idea. "I think the question we should be asking is what if we did something to prevent the action from happening in the first place?" said Caitlin King, a student a Memorial High School in Madison.
Prevention, Republicans ask? What's that? Student get it...heck, everyone gets it except for our Republican NRA lackeys. They either know or are just plain stupid. It should be embarrassing. WISC:

Democratic Minority Leader Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, said Democratic lawmakers have been pushing gun legislation "for years," but it "hasn’t been a priority" for GOP lawmakers in power. "We have reached the point where enough is enough," Hintz said. "The silence has been deafening for too long in this state."
Despite the mass shootings, Republicans are stuck in some kind of Bizarro World 1950's time bubble where none of this is really happening:
Republicans had proposed a bill, supported by the National Rifle Association and other firearms advocates, that would have allowed individuals to carry concealed guns without getting training or state permits, and in some cases bring them onto school grounds. Also, on Monday, Rep. Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) began circulating for signatures an 11th-hour bill that would allow the carrying of concealed weapons in private schools and reducing the penalty for carrying a weapon on public school grounds to a Class B forfeiture.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Wisconsin GOP's Pretzel Logic Health Care Maze!

Isn't anyone else as freaked out as I am over the massive regulatory mess being created by Soctt Walker and his band of plundering Republican pirates? I had no idea "small" government could get this big.

Republicans Solve Another of their Problems? Republicans finally cut taxes for those poor disadvantaged U.S. corporations so they could compete in the global economy, but forgot to do away with that other big drag on U.S. business, health care.

The contortions Republicans have gone through to make health care as expensive as hell treating the sick and the dying may be ghoulish and ethically reprehensible, but it's a winner for their base. Here's the latest Rube Golberg contraption Republicans think business has all the time and money in the world to create:

A bill scheduled to be taken up by the state Assembly this week would allow small businesses to band together to offer a new type of insurance plan to employees … businesses could pool their money to "self-fund" employee health benefits.
Well, that doesn't sound time consuming and costly.

While a national health care plan would free up business to what they do know, business, Republicans just can't go there. Instead, why not make small businesses form groups, keep records, may payments, disperse care...?
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Shannon Zimmerman, R-River Falls, said the costs of health care are a major concern for small businesses across the state. "These little guys in Wisconsin, they're fantastic businesses, they simply don't have the economies of scale to purchase cost effectively," he said.
Oops, Zimmerman forgot complying with State Law for Required Services: Hey, it was just a first draft, right?
But, as the proposal is currently written, these "employer groups" would not have to comply with state laws for health insurance, which include requirements for coverage of certain procedures and treatments. Rep. Debra Kolste, D-Janesville, says consumers depend on those insurance laws to ensure they're covered for the things they need. "The essential benefits of health care would be gone. Colorectal cancer screening gone, copayment equality for chemotherapy that we worked on hard a couple sessions ago, gone."
Rep. Zimmerman says he is open to changing the proposal to include those coverage requirements.