Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sociopathic Republicans want to require "work" for Health Care, say "People should prove they are worth the investment."

The public’s eye’s glaze over when republican politicians talk about turning federal dollars into “block grants.” Republicans are counting on it. Block grants cut the federal strings that protect programs from restrictive rules and complicated nanny state requirements.

Below is an example of a nanny state republican road block. As it turns out, republican controlled states are revealing their extreme nanny state objectives, rolling out incredibly invasive, many times unconstitutional rules and regulations directed at our social safety nets. It's also a simpler way to cover up for their inability to increase job growth slowed by supply side voodoo economics.  

Digging deeper, here's how they use repetition and a common theme to create the illusion of fraud:

Using "voter fraud" as the template for everything else, here's the GOP standard talking point: "When it comes to "voter fraud," we've got a solution that would save money and return “confidence” and “integrity” to the system." Sounds familiar, doesn't it. That's because it now oddly applies to everything republicans want to do.

Substitute “voter fraud” in the previous sentence with “food stamps” or “unemployment.” See? This whole smoke screen became clear to me after republicans said the same thing about requiring a photo ID when using food stamps. Repetition that plays on the known conservative fear someone is getting something they're not.

Believe it or Not: A Work requirement for Medicaid? Using the same twisted logic, republicans nationally are hoping to provide health care for only those they feel have worked for it. Forget all those years of employment or possible job creation as a business owner, what have you done for us lately. According to Politico
In nearly a dozen Republican-dominated states, either the governor or conservative legislators are seeking to add work requirements to Obamacare Medicaid expansion, much like an earlier generation pushed for welfare to work.

The move presents a politically acceptable way for conservative states to accept the billions of federal dollars available under Obamacare. The Health and Human Services Department has rejected all requests by states to tie Medicaid to work.

Most potential Medicaid recipients already work – about 57 percent, according to a 2014 Kaiser Family Foundation study. Of those who don’t work, about a third said they were taking care of a home or family member, 20 percent were looking for work, and 17 percent were mentally ill or disabled. That‘s not much lower than the national labor force participation rate of nearly 63 percent as of February 2015. 
Republican Gov. Gary Herbert of Utah put it this way:
Despotic leaders use kids at props!
“I wanted to be able to say, ‘If you want the taxpayers to fund your health care, then you need to go out and be involved in a work program, no ifs, ands or buts.’ I've been accused by the Obama administration: ‘Well, you’re trying to turn this health care program into a work program.’ And I've said, ‘You’re right.’”

But the administration and its allies counter adding job requirements, time limits or other conditions subverts the health law’s goal of providing affordable and accessible care to the people who need it. It’s wrong to subsidize health insurance for middle-class people in exchanges while picking and choosing who among the poor deserves Medicaid assistance.
But the most grotesque way of looking at human suffering came from the most unlikely source:
Rev. Donnie Copeland, a pastor and rookie state lawmaker, who defeated an incumbent last year on an anti-Medicaid message. “We give them some money, that’ll get them by for the day. But it’s really not helping them long-term.” Medicaid is the same, in his view. "People should prove they are worth the investment."
Stunning.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Here we go again, Walker looking for student regent applicants....



Will Scott Walker's Recall Blacklist block another applicant? Press release didn't mention Walker's one party screening method...:



Ryan issues condescending Baltimore nonsense!!!

Will voters finally see this phony for what he really is? Hint, he's no genius:


Kansas' supply side disaster for K-12 warning to voters in 2016.

The $126 million cuts to K-12 continues the school funding slide in Wisconsin, with more to come if republicans have their way. But check out what happened in Kansas when the state cut $51 million a little over a month ago in March for the current school year (on top of their past cuts):
Kansas shows us what could happen if Republicans win in 2016: At least 8 Kansas school districts recently announced that they’re starting summer break early this year … It’s because these schools ran out of money, thanks to state leaders’ decision to ax education spending midyear to plug an ever-widening hole in their budget. Kansas politicians ... may also be doing the rest of the country a favor, by giving us a preview of what might happen if Republicans control the White House and Congress after the 2016 ­election.
Supply Side Infallibility…as long as you continue to cut taxes and public services:
The consequences in Kansas, after all, are a result of fulfilling the great Laffer Curve dream that has Republican presidential hopefuls such as Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and Chris Christie all salivating: dramatic tax cuts, concentrated among those at the top, coupled with the promise that such action will, through trickle-down voodoo, increase tax revenue and boost economic growth.
Unconstitutional, but Appeal gives way to more Educational cuts:
Kansas’s elected officals have a decades-long history of shortchanging students, and the state has been subjected to multiple lawsuits over whether its funding levels violated the state constitution’s requirements for adequate and equitable public education spending. The most recent major case was filed in 2010 before Brownback took office. The state’s Supreme Court found school funding levels indeed to be unconstitutional ... the state appealed the decision and has since cut funding further. 
The results conservatives seem quite happy with?
For districts, that has meant permanently closing a school here, expanding class sizes there, eliminating a math and science teacher here, maybe instituting pay-to-play athletics there. Teachers in the schools that are closing early are hustling to revamp their curricula so they can still cover all the material the state requires. Students are feeling the heat, too. 

Republicans try to take “Cheddar” off Dairy State Tables!

Republican Rep. Rob Brooks has apparently never shopped for cheddar cheese. I have, and it's clear he's clueless. He would know that “sharp” cheddar cheese IS the real thing, and the most flavorful authentic choice for the smart shopper. He would also know that many times, “sharp” isn't always that sharp, despite its label. But it beats out the buttery mild and medium cheddar options. 

So Brooks is really gutting the true flavor and essence of our state symbol for a 20 to 30 cents per pound savings in FoodShare.

Brooks' bill is as bad as Republican State Rep. Dale Kooyenga’s brilliant bill to repeal the law that guarantees butter on every restaurant table in the dairy state. Yes, he really did attack Wisconsin butter. 

Farmers and dairy industry supporters of the GOP were also appalled at this nanny state madness from our Big Government Republicans. Let’s face it, the tired old “stop abuse” “restore integrity” and “get back to the original purpose” excuses just don't cut it anymore.

Just as bad, Brooks is basing his bill on hearsay and anecdotal tales from the checkout line. Those tired old mythical stories where the extravagant poor buy “crab, lobster, shrimp or any other variety of shellfish.” Cap Times:
Rep. Rob Brooks, R-Saukville, cited "anecdotal and perceived abuses," adding that his bill is designed to target abuse, not fraud. "My intent is not to stigmatize, not to shame anyone."
Not fooling anyone, Democrats pointed out the absurdity of this bill:
Rep. Evan Goyke, D-Milwaukee, held a platter of four Wisconsin cheeses. All four were cheddar. One was shredded and three were in block form. Three displayed flags that said "GOP Prohibited." One flag said "GOP Approved." The approved cheese was a block of mild cheddar. Two sharp cheddars — one shredded and one block — were not approved. One mild cheddar was not approved because it was too large, Goyke said.
Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, couldn't help but point out the obvious:
"When you look at something like this cheese plate, there's no evidence of sharp cheddar fraud. People are not buying sharp cheddar in order to defraud FoodShare, and there's no nutritional difference. So if those are the stated goals, the bill is not accomplishing either."
Republicans were also quick to turn on their deep pocketed business supporters to stoke fear and envy in low information conservative votes:
A memo to lawmakers from groups including the Wisconsin Cheesemakers Association, Wisconsin Agri-Business Association, Grocery Manufacturers Association, Kwik Trip, Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers and Wisconsin State Cranberry Association says the bill would harm their businesses, "dramatically increase government power" and place checkout clerks in a difficult position.
Job killing legislation? No, really?
"Though well-intentioned, Assembly Bill 177 is a threat to both job creation in our state and our right to decide for ourselves what to put in our grocery carts," the memo reads. "…the unintended consequences of the proposal will do far more harm than good."
Republicans had no explanation for their lunacy:
"Why in the world would you bar someone from buying shredded cheese vs. a block of cheese?" Goyke asked. "Don't blame the federal government. You wrote a bill that makes a difference between shredded and non-shredded cheese, and then you come to Madison and say, 'Let's let common sense prevail.' How in the world does that make sense?"
This is all symbolic clap trap anyway, but it is a reminder why "block grants," with no federal strings, is on the republican agenda. This is what they want to do on state-by-state level:
No state has received such a waiver … to impose restrictions on food purchases.
I thought this post summed it up well at the Political Environment:
About new WI GOP rules for food stamp recipients: Let's have legislators be drug-tested before they can receive their $44-$88 tax-free daily meal, lodging and housing payments and make sure they are only buying healthy meals with public, entitlement payments.
I put together just a few pages of the complicated upside down nanny state regulations no one in their right mind could keep track of. I mean really, no ketchup?



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Conservative Activist Supreme Court Justices quickly oust Chief Justice Abrahamson!!!

Every branch of government is now marching in lockstep to one party authoritarian control. Where are the new sedition maps...?
Time for an update?
jsonline: State high court quickly ousts Shirley Abrahamson as chief justice: Conservatives on the Wisconsin Supreme Court picked Justice Patience Roggensack as their new leader Wednesday, dumping longtime Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.

Four justices on the seven-member court voted to put Roggensack in charge just hours after state election officials certified the April 7 referendum results,


Republicans loyal to Banks, ditch Veterans.

I remember when the Bush administration sent out orders to keep veterans from accessing their benefits by simply not telling them what they needed. Nice thing to do to our returning soldiers.

Republicans even want to privatize veterans health care, putting them at the mercy of insurers hoping to make a profit. And still veterans are overwhelmingly conservative.

Well, let's see how this will go over with our vets:
House Republicans are pushing legislation to block predatory lending protections for American soldiers, under pressure from the banking lobby.

GOP lawmakers tucked the deregulation item into the National Defense Authorization Act -- a major bill setting the military's funding ... If the banking item is enacted, it would impose a one-year delay on new Department of Defense rules meant to shield military families from abusive terms on payday loans and other forms of high-interest credit. The military has been struggling with the financial impact of predatory lending on service members for years. 

A 2014 report issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau documents a host of abuses targeting troops.
Big bank Republicans know exactly what's going on too:
Big banks have had an ugly relationship with American soldiers lately. Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup pursued hundreds of illegal foreclosures against active-duty members of the military, ultimately reaching multiple settlements with the Department of Justice over such practices. As a result, they have embarked on extensive public relations campaigns to repair their image.
Despite efforts by the Democrats, veterans still don't know who's really on there side:
Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), an Iraq War veteran, will introduce an amendment to the NDAA bill that would strip out the Republican language delaying predatory lending protections. Duckworth told HuffPost the GOP bill would "waste resources undertaking redundant studies and postpone the implementation of valuable protections," adding, "Further delay will put more service members and their families in harm’s way."

Jobs lost...Damn that ObamaCare?

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act will no doubt start trashing Obama for destroying jobs, now that Assurant Health insurance is shutting down in Milwaukee:
jsonline-Guy Boulton: The parent company of Assurant Health said Tuesday that it will sell or shut down the Milwaukee health insurer — which employs 1,200 people in the area — by the end of next year. Assurant Health has struggled to adjust to changes in the health insurance market imposed by the Affordable Care Act … The company specializes in health insurance for small employers and individuals, the two market segments that have faced the most changes from the Affordable Care Act. "They are a casualty of the ACA," said Steven Schwartz, an analyst with Raymond James & Associates.
Oh, the horror. But wait, the ugly truth is even more grotesque. Here's how Assurant Health stayed in business:
The Affordable Care Act barred health insurers from turning away customers because of pre-existing health conditions. That new regulation negated one of Assurant Health's strengths: underwriting, or determining which potential customers were the best risks. "That went away," said Schwartz of Raymond James.
Poor babies, not being able to turn away sick people is so unprofitable. 

What about the free market dream to compare and shop around, lowering prices? ObamaCare does that too:
Assurant Health's losses suggest that any buyer would have to raise the cost of its health plans next year. At the same time, the online marketplaces set up under the Affordable Care Act have made it easier for people to compare prices and move to different health plans each year.

In an interview in 2012, Adam Lamnin, president and chief executive of Assurant Health, acknowledged the challenges the company faced. "Health care reform," he said, "was a watershed event for us."
Funny thing, Assurant had a different story when the ACA started up, which proved to be a big, big mistake:
Assurant Health declined to sell insurance on the Affordable Care Act online marketplace in 2013, and executives with parent company Assurant Inc. say the company gained market share because of the strategy. The higher sales were driven by “significant activity” due to the first open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act that started Oct. 1, 2013, Assurant Health’s major-medical insurance products for individuals include essential health benefits required by the ACA … In other words, prospective customers could meet ACA's individual mandate by buying Assurant products.
 Thanks to the tweet from Gnarlytrombone.

Walker falsely whines Democrats controlled everything for years!

Even after 4 years of failed policies, Scott Walker is still blaming everyone else for today's problems.

Of course he's lying:


Yes, former Governor Jim Doyle created the Great Recession, and Democrats controlled government "for many years."
Doyle only had a Legislature under total Democratic control for his last two years, 2009 and 2010.

In fact, Republicans controlled the Assembly and Senate for Doyle’s first four years. Control then was split for two years before Democrats enjoyed their brief unfettered reign.

Going back further, to 1995, Republicans in Wisconsin controlled at least one of the three power spots every year until 2009.

The kind of single-party dominance that Walker claimed Democrats have enjoyed for many years is rare in recent Wisconsin history.

Walker, though, is now in year five with Republicans gripping all three levers of authority at the Capitol.

The Republicans have had that status more than twice as long as the "many years" Walker said Democrats did.

We rate the claim False.
You gotta ask yourself, what else is he lying about? Here are similar thoughts from the Wisconsin Gazette.

The GOP Unemployment Ruse; It's another Taxpayer Bailout of Business.

State Republicans are hoping no one sees what they're really doing to unemployment insurance. Since it's a business expense and has nothing to do with taxpayers, republicans have been tasked by lobbyists to cut the draw on those trust funds. And they've been doing just that by cutting benefit weeks, decreasing the number of behavioral exemptions, and requiring 4 job searches a week.

Unemployment benefits are funded by a state and federal tax on employers. And during times of high unemployment, like the Great Recession (caused by GOP economic failures), the money in those funds wasn't enough to cover everyone.

Important to Remember: Unemployment does not cost taxpayers any money: Walker republicans have been trying to drop as many of the unemployed as possible, by instituting a number of degrading hoops to jump through listed above, including a move to drug test. Remember, these are people who have just lost their jobs, not people supposedly on drugs applying for work in an hallucinogenic state. So spinning it as a way to help people find work is ridiculous.

Business Welfare Again: Republican aren't "taxpayer watchdogs," they're robbing us. They're
using our tax dollars to save businesses money. Think I'm making this up. The DWD website has fessed up to the con:
Like many other states, Wisconsin’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Reserve Fund had to rely on federal loans to help fund unemployment benefits paid to record numbers of claimants during and following the deep national recession of 2007-09.The 2013-15 budget included a provision which allocated $30 million of state general purpose revenues to pay interest due on UI Trust Fund loans from the federal government during the 2013-15 biennium. The $19 million in interest due September 30, 2013 was paid using these state funds. The $7 million estimated interest due in September of 2014, will also be paid using these funds. 
And here's the clincher, thanks to taxpayers:
This means employers will not be assessed for this interest due the federal government on Wisconsin’s outstanding unemployment loans.
All the above interest paid by taxpayers to bail out businesses, would never have happened if D.C. republicans didn't stop Obama from helping states.
President Obama, in his 2012 budget … prevents a tax increase on business and helps cash-strapped states. Republicans call it a "job-destroying” tax hike on business and a bailout for states that are overly generous with their jobless benefits.  
Obama would have forgiven that interest payment (paid by only those states that had to borrow money - like Wisconsin), if they simply raised the tax temporarily on the base income level to replenish their trust funds. States would not only save the interest payment, but they could lower the business tax once the trust funds were balanced. Republicans in congress rejected it, costing taxpayers and businesses money.

Walker used the taxpayer bailout to Fool the Federal Government so they could save businesses money:
jsonline: Additionally, the committee proposal would allow the state Department of Administration to lend up to $50 million in taxpayer money to the unemployment insurance fund. That loan would help the state ensure that the unemployment fund has a positive balance in 2014, which in turn would keep the federal government from raising taxes on employers by $191 million in 2015.
I think the knucklehead "fellows" at the MacIver Institute summed it up best:
The new law reduces their UI taxes to pre-loan levels by shifting the fiscal burden for the interest payments to the general budget.
Unemployment is not a taxpayer problem, or it wasn't until Walker decided to use our money. So don't let them lie about it. As an example, here's Rep. Chris Kapenga, another one of those wacky supply side "certified public accountants," misleading or just plain lying about unemployment. Again I ask, who created the tight budget with unsustainable tax cuts?



There's more HERE.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Walker's Right-to-Work Hail Mary Miserable Failure, as Corporation with $22 billion in sales moves 93 more jobs to Mexico.

I know this has been said many times before, but really, if the following happened under a Democratic administration, they would be tared and feathered for life and we'd never hear the end of it.

But this is all about Scott Walker, and it never matters one bit if Walker, the chairman of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), allows jobs here to move to Mexico.

Hand it to WKOW's Greg Neumann for sticking with this story for so long. We're now seeing how important it was to pass right-to-work:
A global power systems management corporation that has received nearly $370,000 in tax incentives from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) since 2012 is shipping jobs from Wisconsin to Mexico for the second time in three years ... the elimination of 93 employees there ... laying off 163 employees at its Cooper Power Systems plant in Pewaukee in April 2013.  The company moved those jobs to Mexico as well. Eaton Corp. had $22.6 billion in sales in 2014. 
So it's not like they couldn't afford to keep the jobs in Wisconsin out of the goodness of their heart (supply side reasoning):



Today, this depressing job loss outlook finally got some press:
Wisconsin employers have already notified the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) of 3,543 layoffs that will happen in 2015, putting the state on pace to eclipse 10,000 for the year.
Surprisingly, the Walker administration doesn't seem too concerned. The only number Walker can't stop talking about is the 4.6% unemployment stat. Why republicans don't want to count those not participating in the search for jobs is anybodies guess, since it's always an issue when Obama's numbers are released.

Here's how the shocking headline story looked online:


Admit it: Republican Budget Failures forcing state to cut UW, Parks, and K-12.

Stop cutting taxes!!! 

Haven't we had it up to here yet, with this civil discussion over our self-destructive budgeting process. It's gotten so bad that two rural Republican legislators, apparently worried about keeping their jobs, want to save their own districts two year UW campuses from...their own budget cuts. Shameless:  
Two Republican state representatives are proposing to exempt the University of Wisconsin System’s 2-year campuses and the UW-Extension from a proposed $300 million budget cut. They argue that both institutions are operating as efficiently as possible, and provide valuable services to rural communities.
Another Budget Shortfall, welcome Disaster Capitalism: Environmental bulldozer Sen. Tom Tiffany’s latest bullshit:
Thirty-five sites in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest will be closed or see reduced services this summer due to a roughly $300,000 shortfall. State Sen. Tom Tiffany, however, said there's a way to keep them open. "If they allowed us to manage the forest land on the Chequamegon-Nicolet here in the state of Wisconsin, we could keep all of those recreational facilities open also," said Tiffany. Tiffany said that could be done with money from additional timber sales.
Are we out of our minds? If cutting taxes makes it impossible to pay our bills and maintain our roads, the UW, K-12, and our parks system, why do we keep doing it? Wouldn't we have the revenue if we just stop cutting taxes? 

Walker and his plundering republican pirates say we have no choice but to abandon decades of taxpayer investments in our state infrastructure and services. No, that's crazy talk.

Republican tax cuts are killing our state. Isn't it obvious by now conservatives will never be happy with any level of taxation? I call them plundering pirates for a reason; they take what they've been given (safe society, cleaner environment, public education), guilt free, and giving nothing back. My god these people are shameless. 

Wisconsin Watchdog Scott Walker's lapdog!

Wisconsin Watchdog, once known as Wisconsin Reporter (only minus the reporting), is playing up to the ignorance of it intended readers, with the piece I screen captured below. This online rag is implying the Milwaukee DA is telling Scott Walker to keep his mouth shut about the John Doe investigation. In reality, DA John Chisholm warned Walker that  making defamatory false statements is a chargeable offense.

Keep in mind, a John Doe judge ordered secrecy for all the parties involved. Even Walker made that clear hundreds of times. Of course republican special interests defied the order...so much for the rule of law.
Walker gave this response to WISN’s Mike Gousha: "As you know, as I've pointed out many times in the past when we've talked about this, the law's pretty clear in this state," Walker said. "Anyone who knows anything about a John Doe can't talk about it. Anyone who doesn't know anything about it shouldn't talk about it. So, I've not commented on the Doe itself because I've abided by the law."
Mr. Unintimidated was told to shut up? But conservative activist Eric O'Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth played the victim, and opened their trap.
A director of the Wisconsin Club for Growth told Fox News he was defying a secrecy order in a probe of his group and the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker. O’Keefe said: “Yes. An unconstitutional secrecy order. And I'm defying the secrecy order.”
Of course he knows it's unconstitutional, who needs the courts. Ironically, some of their secret emails were released exposing their nefarious plans.

The article makes the case that Walker can lie if he wants about the DA, even defame his character; it's "political" free speech, a 1st Amendment right. Walker also claimed a raid to collect evidence was pure intimidation:
...criticism that they had ordered aggressive raids on the homes of targets...
But it wasn't that at all:
Chisholm: "Look at the use of the word ‘raid’ for example. Sounds scintillating. But lawfully executed, judicially approved search warrants are not ‘raids.’ I have not trained for or participated in a ‘raid’ since leaving the Army, where it has a very real technical definition.”
Walker could also prove his allegation by releasing some of the secret information, but...

Watchdog's one-sided story skipped the DA's response completely, which would have changed the story and cleared them:
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm suggesting Walker could be criminally charged for lying, “As to defamatory remarks, I strongly suspect the Iowa criminal code, like Wisconsin’s, has provisions for intentionally making false statements intended to harm the reputation of others.”

Special prosecutor Francis Schmitz, a self-described Republican, said “I invite the governor to join me in seeking judicial approval to lawfully release information now under seal … Such information will show that these recent allegations are patently false." Chisholm said he agreed … "Stripped of niceties, Mr. Schmitz is saying the governor is deliberately not telling the truth."
But Watchdog M.D. Kittle didn't write the column to defend the 1st Amendment, he wrote it to character assassinate the Milwaukee DA, who just happens to be a Democratic enemy of the state. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Authoritarian Party leader Scott Walker tells Obama "to back off" Iran deal.

Remember when Scott "lil' Putin" Walker told then Governor Jim Doyle to back off the high speed train deal during his campaign?

Well, Walker’s back at it again, only this time, it’s a year and a half away from another election and he’s giving his orders to President Obama:
The Hill: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Saturday urged President Obama to abandon his tentative pact with Iran over its nuclear arms research. 

“We need to tell the president to back off from a bad deal,” Walker said at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition summit in Waukee, Iowa. Walker claimed Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, has despised the U.S. for decades. The foreign leader’s change of heart, he argued, was thus probably insincere.

Devoid of any historical reference point, Walker would rather ignore what the U.S. did to Iran for oil, and why they don't like us; the U.S. installed the Shah - a brutal dictator who killed and tortured thousands of citizens; the Shah "returned 80 percent of Iran’s oil reserves to the Americans and the British;" which resulted in Iranians turning to the radical cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini - yes, our fault; all of which brought about the hostage crisis secretly used to make Reagan look good, and Carter look bad. That's all.

And yet, Iran hasn't changed since then. Big surprise. 
“They have not changed much since then,” Walker said, recalling the Iran hostage crisis that kept 66 Americans in captivity between 1979 and 1981. “Their approach is still the same.”

“I get so frustrated with this president because he drew a line in the sand and then let people cross it,” he said. 

Walker puts Wisconsin near top of the list for Worst Roads in the Nation.

If you’re going crazy figuring out how to spend your $5 property tax savings bestowed upon us by Scott Walker, I've got an idea. Fix your car.

It’s the old, “save a little, spend a lot/penny wise, pound foolish" dilemma republicans gave into long ago. It's not just unworkable, but it's also an inconvenience they're not willing to reconcile. Wisconsin Rapids Tribune
Wisconsin's roads are the third-worst in the nation and the potholes and other problems that plague them cost drivers in some cities almost twice the national average in repairs and associated costs, according to a new study of the state's highway system.
To make matters worse, republicans can’t increase taxes because they've taken a pledge to uphold an idea created by a 12 year old many years ago. Sadly, that 12 year old never grownup, but he is older. He's Grover Norquist.

The party of big business has some explaining to do:
The study found that if the state's roads aren't brought back into good condition, it could harm Wisconsin's struggling economy, which is rebounding from the Great Recession more slowly than other states in the Midwest. Companies that are considering moving to Wisconsin could choose to relocate in states with better infrastructure that doesn't cost them as much in annual repairs.

Currently, the state is budgeting 27 percent of the transportation funds … In 1993, the state dedicated 36.2 percent of road revenue for local governments.
Of course, we could also pretend things could be worse, and save lots of money by putting off unpopular ideologically tough decisions:
State Sen. Jerry Petrowski, R-Marathon, is chairman of the Committee on Transportation and he thinks Wisconsin's roads still are in better condition than those of its neighbors.
I thought this tweet said it all:


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Walker runs from anti-war and pro-gay marriage church, uses kids as an excuse.

If Scott Walker had his way, he’d have you believe his support for the preemptive war in Iraq and gay marriage ban had nothing to do with changing churches. He said it was really about getting his right wing sons a few playmates in spirit and thought, you know, where parents are more receptive to preemptive wars and hating gays.

Hey, is this guy transparent or what?
Walker affirmed that he changed churches about a decade ago so his school-age sons could participate in activities with children their age. He said it was not because his previous church was more welcoming to gays and lesbians. Walker transferred his membership from Underwood Memorial Baptist Church to Meadowbrook Church about 10 years ago, soon after Underwood took a turn to the left with the arrival of the Rev. Jamie Washam, who spoke out against the war in Iraq and Wisconsin's gay marriage ban. Both churches are in Walker's hometown of Wauwatosa.
Instead of taking a stand on these issues, Walker creatively blamed the church and used his kids as an excuse. Yeah, right, has not having enough kids at a church been a real problem. Ridiculous. 
"It was really about the kids. For us, ultimately, we wanted to go to a place where our kids had the ability to interact with other kids." Walker said his sons, Matt and Alex, were about 10 and 9 at the time, and few other children that age attended Underwood. The family tried out Meadowbrook after an associate pastor's wife suggested it to Walker's wife, Tonette. Moving to Meadowbrook allowed one of his sons to later go on a mission trip to Belize, a chance he never would have had at Underwood, Walker said.
What's Meadowbrook like?
Meadowbrook's services, like the church leaders, are casual and upbeat; sermons are infused with a conservative theology focused on making the Bible relevant today.
So Walker wants us to believe he knew Underwood was a sure ticket out of the country to Belize for his kid? 

Walker now talking John Doe details, oozing confidence Activist Supreme Court will apparently let him off.

We can't solve crimes without conducting an investigation, right? 

So, a couple of John Doe investigation took place as a way to determine whether Scott Walker's campaign did anything illegal. Six convictions resulted in the first one, so...

...to hear Scott Walker describe the John Doe's, it was a witch hunt and another way to “intimidate” other conservatives into silence:  

Des Moines radio station WHO-AM - Walker: “I said even if you’re a liberal Democrat, you should look at (the raids) and be frightened to think that if the government can do that against people of one political persuasion, they can do it against anybody, and more often than not we need protection against the government itself. As (the National Review) pointed out, there were real questions about the constitutionality of much of what they did, but it was really about people trying to intimidate people ... They were looking for just about anything. As I pointed out at the time, it was largely a political witch hunt."
My conservative friend in Milwaukee sent me this clip from The Blaze, where poor defenseless conservative victims of liberal witch hunts come to bare their souls and cry like little babies. To be honest, you won't even believe the bullshit here, which is why I had to post it:



While conservative talk hosts believe everything Republican politicians say, with no follow-up questions ever, Milwaukee DA John Chisholm looked at it differently, and had an even stronger message, minus whining:
jsonline-Patrick Marley: Prosecutors fired back by calling Walker's comments inaccurate, offensive and defamatory — with Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm suggesting Walker could be criminally charged for lying. They said Walker should call for the release of sealed court records so the public could know more about the investigation and raids on people's homes.“As to defamatory remarks, I strongly suspect the Iowa criminal code, like Wisconsin’s, has provisions for intentionally making false statements intended to harm the reputation of others.”
But let's hear from a conservative too...
Special prosecutor Francis Schmitz, a self-described Republican. said he was surprised Walker would "speak publicly about specific issues which are now before the Wisconsin Supreme Court for a decision. His description of the investigation as a 'political witch hunt' is offensive when he knows that the investigation was authorized by a bipartisan group of judges and is directed by a Republican special prosecutor appointed at the request of a bipartisan group of district attorneys ... I invite the governor to join me in seeking judicial approval to lawfully release information now under seal which would be responsive to the allegations that have been made. Such information, when lawfully released, will show that these recent allegations are patently false."
Walker's openness about discussing the issues may indicate his confidence in the decision he knows is coming from our activist conservative state supreme court: 
Chisholm said he agreed with Schmitz's statement. "Stripped of niceties, Mr. Schmitz is saying the governor is deliberately not telling the truth."
But Walker won't open up the records, and let everybody read the truth for themselves: 
Walker on Saturday essentially dismissed the idea of releasing more court documents, though he did not directly answer whether they should be unsealed. The investigation, known as a John Doe probe, was conducted in secret. Many details have come out, including showing Walker's campaign worked closely with purportedly independent groups, but others have remained sealed in court records.

Walker's bloody trail of savaged Democratic Wisconsinites endears him to conservative voters everywhere, distracts from failed governorship.

So how has Scott Walker moved Wisconsin forward?

For “stand with Walker” drones, it’s not what he’s accomplished, it’s how he’s successfully attacked Democrats and punished them. 

You’ll notice from the tweets here, echoed by my conservative friend in Milwaukee, that the right wing base doesn't care about the deficit producing bad budgets and unemployment rates that don’t include low participation rates for job seekers.

Walker's "superb record in office" is based on making "unions cry," and pushing back against the "vicious opposition" exercising their 1st Amendment right to redress their government. Walker put in place regulations and fines for protesters, deemed later to be unconstitutional in a court of law for gods sake. Even worse, Walker wrote a book about how he thought protesters were trying to intimidate him:


But Walker's "accomplishments" have little to do with moving us forward or solving problems relating to wage growth, health care certainty, and actual job creation (not corporate welfare). Cap Times:
The biggest applause came in response to comments about defunding Planned Parenthood and passing castle doctrine, concealed carry and voter ID legislation.
Walker even took credit for an already healthy state pension system. I guess we should give him Brownie points for not screwing that up...yet.
Touting his record in Wisconsin, Walker boasted of the state's pension system, its 4.6 percent unemployment rate. 

Absent were any mentions of Wisconsin's job growth, which earned him criticism from his detractors during a recent trip to Minnesota. The state ranks at 40th in the nation for job growth and 42nd for wage growth, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the state's job growth has lagged the national average since six months into Walker's first term.
But he sure showed those union loving liberal Democrats. 

God puts Walker in charge, to rewrite the Constitution and leave states to decide who's created more equal than others.

We’re all created equal, right? So the argument surrounding the legality of same sex marriage should be focused on equality, and not a historical or religious based idea that is forever changing, right?

None of this seems to matter in the media, even to some attorney pundits, who keep talking about how the constitution protects or doesn't protect gay marriage. Equality under the law trumps all of it. Even vacuous Republicans like Paul Ryan, who want to bypass the constitution by saying our God given rights come first, can’t argue that even God made us all equal.

So when Republicans like Scott Walker want to carve out an exception to those God given rights, and turn them over to the states to politically micromanage for our creator, why isn't anyone asking him how that’s Biblically possible?

The Republicans blatant politicization and manipulation of the Christian religion was front and center as GOP candidates gathered in front of 1,000 people at the evangelical Point of Grace Church. Come on, really? I’m assuming the church is not taking advantage of the standard tax exemption most houses of worship take? Cap Times:
Walker told reporters he's holding out hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will rule that states can bar same-sex marriages. But if that's not the case, he suggested that voters should seek a constitutional amendment to allow state-level bans.
Remember, it’s not the definition of marriage, it an issue of equality:
"I think the appropriate route is … to pursue a constitutional amendment allowing the states to determine what the definition is," Walker told reporters.
Walker knows it’s not about jobs, a lesson he learned after Wisconsin voters gave him a pass on his disastrous jobs creation record, a failed promise his voters just laughed at as though it were an inside joke.
But the crowd wasn't gathered at the church to talk about the economy. Most attendees said they were most concerned with where candidates stood on social issues and national security. Troy McGill, of Ankeny, said he'd like to see a governor run for president, but more than that, he wants a candidate who will say what he or she means and stick to it.
Conservatives love authoritarian leaders willing to go against the public and “stick to it,” doing the “right thing:”
Walker said, "The best way to minister is to accept God's calling when you least expect it," Walker said. "We felt it was a calling to get in that election. We felt we were called to do the right thing..."

Friday, April 24, 2015

Wisconsin Idea still stumps Republicans hell bent on killing UW.

This morning former Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager laid out the difference between universities and tech schools. For instance, tech school train you for one job. But as we've seen over the years, occupations come and go, whether through technology or trade policies that offshore jobs. Scott Walker and his plundering Republican pirates in the legislature either don't care or don't know about the long range problem some Americans will face when their profession disappears.

In March the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report that took a look at how many jobs younger baby boomers held between ages 18 to 48. They averaged 11.7 jobs. Although the term "jobs" doesn't necessarily mean a career change, common sense and life experience shows that that's a likely possibility.

Former republican Representative Michelle Litjens' disdain for what she perceives as "liberal indoctrination" is typical of conservatives who really don't get the Wisconsin Idea at all. Thus Walker's cavalier attempt to change it:
Litjens: "The UW Oshkosh for instance, as a freshmen, you take 4 different classes on recycling, and um sensitivity and religion and women's studies. And you know, as a parent who is going to be contributing towards education, are these classes that we want to either borrow money or pay for that are going help my child get a job in the future? There are stories like that uh that you hear as parents or you know of because your children are in the system, and you wonder if you're getting the best bang for your buck as a parent."
Here's Peg's great response on WPR's Joy Cardin Show (audio):