Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Republicans shape "facts" around desired outcome: Eliminating Professional Licensing? Have confidence in your Barber, hiring a "plumber," or "electrician?"

Who would fit "facts" around their desired outcome? Walker Republicans of course.

Just like "push polling," which is defined as "attempting to manipulate or alter prospective voters' views/beliefs under the guise of conducting an opinion poll," the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) is also gently "altering" how professionals should answer a survey blatantly encouraging them to "eliminate" occupational licenses.

DSPS is now completing a "comprehensive study" and "report" of Wisconsin's occupational licenses. Believe it or not, right there in the DSPS email to credentialed professional license holder in the state, they actually came out and said what their desired outcome would be: 
"The report from the DSPS must include the department's recommendations for the elimination of occupational licenses based on the following..."
Gulp! Below is the exact wording to "alter" and "manipulate" the license holders views, which I've highlighted. So is this shaping the facts around the Republicans desired outcome? Ya think?
- The department's evaluation of whether the unregulated practice of the profession, occupation, or trade can clearly harm or endanger the health, safety, or welfare of the public, and whether the potential for the harm is recognizable and not remote or speculative. 

- The department's evaluation of whether the public reasonably benefits from the occupational license requirement. 

- The department's evaluation of whether the public can be effectively protected by any means other than requiring an occupational license. 

- The department's analysis of whether licensure requirements for the regulated profession, occupation, or trade exist in other states. 

- The department's estimate of the number of individuals or entities that are affected by the occupational license requirement. 

- The department's estimate of the total financial burden imposed on individual or entities as a result of the occupational licensure requirement, including education or training costs, examination fees, private credential fees, occupational license fees imposed by the state, and other costs individuals or entities incur in order to obtain the required occupational license. 

- The department's evaluation of the tangible or intangible barriers people may face in obtaining an occupational license. 
Eliminating Licensing Completely? Yes: You say it can't happen? Remember this:
Rep. Mary Czaja (R-Irma) came up with the (following) measure.

"Anyone with a bachelor's degree could be hired and licensed to teach sixth- through 12th-grade English, math, social studies or science in Wisconsin And any person with relevant experience — even a high school dropout — could be licensed to teach in any other non-core academic subject in those grades." 
Bottom Line? 
According to The Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance: "This totally destroys any licensure requirements that we have in Wisconsin. It's very concerning."

Tim Slekar, dean of the School of Education at Edgewood College in Madison, said:“Softening teacher license policies or doing away with the license altogether will kill the profession and turn teaching into a low-wage service sector.”
Deregulation Insanity. You can bet this won't happen under the Evers Administration thank god. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Wisconsin can thank Walker/Republican Voters for unaccountable Brazen Power Grab!

While many of us marvel at the outrageous behavior of Scott Walker and his band of Republican pirates plundering what's left of Wisconsin, we shouldn't lose sight of their real enablers...conservative voters. 

Conservative voters automatically elect Republicans, even when the destructive things below happens over and over again. What are we talking about? These now empty and meaningless phrases; "will of the people" and "deficits matter."

Scott Walker/Vos/Fitzgerald Power Grab Embarrassing but Necessary: Republicans have a higher calling so they can do almost anything they want because they're saving the country from those radical, traitorous, liberal leftists, right?

Chuck Todd says of Wisconsin GOP's legislative coup: "Democrats have done this in the past to Republican governors in lame duck sessions in other states." This is objectively, provably false.
Nope. Democrats haven't done this in other states. In fact, it's just the opposite, as PolitiFact Wisconsin pointed out below. Scott Walker actually wanted to limit the power of outgoing Governor Doyle, even before he took office:

On Nov. 10, 2010, Walker delivered a letter to Doyle’s administration with five requests:
1. Delay implementation of the new Affordable Care Act in light of Walker’s plans to challenge it in court

2. Suspend negotiations with the state employee unions so they could be considered in the context of the upcoming budget

3. Don’t finalize any permanent civil service personnel because these appointees "should be required to go through the same application process as any other civil servants."

4. Pursue shifting a power plant’s fuel from bio-fuel to natural gas

5. Delay implementing any new administrative rules — Walker added, "I feel strongly that if new or updated rules were urgently needed, they would have been completed prior to now."
Not a problem for Republican voters. It all makes perfect sense to limit the radical "left-wing" agenda that won over Wisconsinites and made Tony Evers our next governor. Go ahead Scott Walker, sign the GOP bills, who's gonna remember 2 years from now anyway?

Higher Deficits and Lower Taxes, Paul Ryan's Voodoo Economic Spell over Voters:  Wisconsin's own notoriously brutal Paul Ryan conned voters by selling himself as an economic genius, spouting numbers and theories that made voodoo supply side economics seem like magic. Well, Voxdotcom has big news for his loyal voters who just elected Ryan clone Bryan Steil, who astonishingly won his last-minute campaign not having to know anything about the issues. Steil redefined "generic," and added new meaning to "robotic." But I digress...

$343 billion. That’s the increase between the deficit for fiscal year 2015 and fiscal year 2018— that is, the difference between the fiscal year before Ryan became speaker of the House and the fiscal year in which he retired. If the economy had fallen into recession between 2015 and 2018, Ryan’s record would be understandable. But it didn’t. In fact, growth quickened and the labor market tightened — which means deficits should’ve fallen. Indeed, that’s exactly what happened in each of the five years preceding Ryan’s speakership; from 2011 to 2015, annual deficits fell each year.

As he prepares to leave office, Ryan says that debt reduction is one of those things “I wish we could have gotten done.” Ryan, the man with the single most power over the federal budget in recent years, sounds like a bystander, as if he watched laws happen rather than made them happen. To understand the irony and duplicity of that statement, you need to understand Ryan’s career.

“It’s time politicians in Washington stopped patronizing the American people as if they were children,” he wrote. “It’s time we stop deferring tough decisions and promising fiscal fantasies.”
Those tough decisions would negatively impact the economic and physical health of every American, but not the corporate or the rich. 

Best for Last; The Elusive Democratic Argument for everything, especially Universal Health Care:  Incoming Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got right to the heart of our upside down political system. What's striking is her lack of hesitation and her ability to ask the basic question voters have been craving for years;
Cortez: "...we write unlimited blank checks for war, we just wrote a $2 trillion check for that tax cut, the GOP tax cut, and nobody asked those folks how are they going to pay for it.

So my question is why is it our pockets are only empty when it comes to education and health care for our kids. Why are our pockets empty when we talk about 100 percent renewable energy that's going to save this planet and allow our children to thrive. We only have empty pockets when it comes to the morally right things to do. But when it comes to tax cuts for billionaires and when it comes to unlimited war, we seem to be able to invent that money very easily. And to me, it belies a lack of moral priorities that people have right now, especially the Republican Party."

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Behold the Republicans Scorched State Tantrum!!!

My Trumpian conservative friend in Milwaukee said he wasn't buying what Republican Rep. Robin Vos and Sen. Scott Fitzgerald were saying about their outrageous power grab against incoming governor Tony Evers and AG Josh Kaul. He's as outraged as Democrats. 

The only saving grace is the fact that Republicans have definitely overstepped their legislative powers, which seems to be the only way out of this mess. 

Here's Tony Evers CNN interview:

Biggest Issue in Governor and AG Race, GONE: Republicans will apparently win this by any means possible. Later they'll say Evers failed to fulfill a campaign promise. Onion too:

JSThe legislation would hamper Evers and Kaul from withdrawing the state from a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act and the protections it provides for coverage of pre-existing conditions ... a central (issue) in both their races as Democrats hammered Republicans over the state's participation in the lawsuit that Walker authorized. Puts lawmakers in charge of litigation, allowing them to keep alive a lawsuit.
Kill ObamaCare and Coverage for Preexisting Conditions: And who was surprised by this...Republicans voted against their only ballyhooed solution to protecting preexisting conditions... high-risk pools? Yes, they did:
2. State senators failed to deliver on a campaign promise from Walker to approve legislation that protecting health insurance coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. All Democrats and two Republicans voted against that legislation ... The Republican caucus refused to support revisions to the bill from Craig and Kapenga that would have created a high risk-sharing insurance pool. Democratic senators voted against the bill because the legislation allowed insurers to impose lifetime caps on coverage.

Who cares about the Environment and Low Wages? Not Republicans
: Killing transportation funding for smaller highway projects isn't just a job killer, but will probably kill smaller construction companies depending on federal funding. Thank the bald bizarro Sen. Duey Stroebel for this piece of genius legislation:  
Legislation to concentrate federal money into a smaller number of road projects so that other projects could avoid having to comply with federal environmental and wage laws. Another provision slightly decreased income tax rates.
Much Needed Internet Sale Tax Revenue Thrown Out: Will we ever start spending state revenue on the backlog of desperately needed repairs and updating?
Modestly lowers the state’s income tax rates next year to offset about $60 million in online sales taxes from out-of-state retailers that Wisconsin recently began collecting.
The following are HUGE changes as well and not secondary to everything listed above. This is the overreach that will hopefully win a court challenge by the new administration: 

1. Bars judges from giving deference to state agencies’ interpretations of laws when they are challenged in court. That could make it easier to win lawsuits challenging how environmental regulations and other laws are being enforced.

2. Broadens lawmakers' powers to block rules written by the Evers administration to implement state laws.

3. Requires the Evers administration to report if the governor pardons anyone or his aides release anyone from prison early.

4. Forces Evers to get permission from the Legislature before asking the federal government to make any changes to programs that are run jointly by the state and federal governments. That would limit the governor's flexibility in how he runs public benefits programs. If the Legislature’s budget committee determined the administration was not implementing recent changes to those programs, it could reduce funding and staffing for state agencies.

5. Gives lawmakers — instead of the attorney general — control over how court settlements are spent.

6. Makes it easier for lawmakers to hire private attorneys at taxpayer expense when they are accused of violating the open records law or other statutes.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Wisconsin Republicans decide to Eliminate Governors Office? Sure...

Poof!!! So much for the con "elections have consequences" argument pushed by Republicans.

Republicans are eliminating the Governor's office! Would I kid? 

In what will probably be challenged to the Wisconsin State Supreme Court, like the GOP's losing attempt to limit the State Superintendent, Republicans want to not just limit the governor's powers, but the Attorney Generals as well. Will Republican voters go along with this blatant government overreach or gaming the system? Are you kidding? I can hear them shouting now, "In your face libtards!!!"

Like not having a Governor at all: What Republicans Scott Fitzgerald and Robin Vos are attempting to do right now is make the governor's office mostly ceremonial. No, they really are...Journal Sentinal:
1. The sweeping plan would remove Gov.-elect Tony Evers' power to approve major actions by Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul and give that authority to Republican lawmakers. 

2. That could mean the campaign promise made by Evers and Kaul to immediately withdraw Wisconsin from a federal lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act would likely be blocked. Evers' agencies would have less freedom to run their programs.

3. Compel Evers to implement a work requirement for some in the BadgerCare Plus health care program. 

4. Make it tougher for Evers to alter a new program to keep premiums down for people who get insurance through Obamacare’s marketplace for individuals.

5. The governor also would no longer be able to choose who leads the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., which oversees taxpayer-funded incentive packages provided to businesses in exchange for job creation. Lawmakers would have more control over the jobs agency, which Evers has promised to disband and replace with a state Commerce Department. The WEDC board would choose the agency's leader instead of the governor. 
Seems like overreach? Ya think? Republican Sen. Scott Fitzgerald thinks resentful sore loser conservatives won't even notice all that confusing "inside baseball kind of legislative stuff:" 
The 141-page plan goes further than what Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos suggested lawmakers would take up during the so-called lame-duck legislative session before Evers takes office. "It’s real kind of inside baseball, kind of legislative stuff that it’s hard for me to believe people will get too excited about," Fitzgerald said three days before the plan was released.
Some of that "legislative stuff" wipes out "the will of voters"...
1. Restrict early voting to two weeks before an election. Currently, some communities provide as many as six weeks of early voting. The plan would be all but certain to draw a legal challenge given that a federal judge in 2016 struck down a similar law limiting early voting that he found "intentionally discriminates on the basis of race."

2. The measures would strip many powers from Kaul and eliminate a powerful office within the Department of Justice that was created in 2015 under Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel and handles high-profile cases on appeal. The Legislature — not the attorney general — would have control of how to spend money from court settlements. Legislators would gain the power to intervene in any litigation when a state law is challenged, and they would have the ability to appoint their own private attorneys — at taxpayer expense — to handle the case instead of the attorney general. Legislators would also have the ability to sign off on court settlements.

3. Separating the 2020 presidential primary election from an April spring election to reduce voter turnout in an effort to boost the election chances of a conservative Supreme Court justice. 

And while putting infrastructure, education, and energy advances on hold for another decade or so due to lack of funding...
4. Lawmakers will consider using new revenue from online sales taxes to slightly reduce the individual income tax rate.
Evers and Kaul Push Back: Even the Mr. Rogers of Governors Tony Evers could not hold back his frustration:
Evers and Kaul said Republicans were ignoring the voters who elected them just three weeks ago. "I’ve said all along I’m committed to working across the aisle, but I will not tolerate attempts to violate our constitutional checks and balances and separation of powers by people who are desperate to cling to control. Enough is enough," Evers said in a statement.
Here's Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes reaction, which pretty simply sums it up:

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Updated: Our Dairy Farmer National Crisis ignored by Republicans!

UPDATE: 12/1- Since this post covers a lot of ground proving Republicans aren't really "farmer-friendly," I had to include this additional big government regulation job killer:

Earlier this week, outgoing Attorney General Brad Schimel suggested in a legal analysis that barns rented for events are subject to the state’s liquor laws. His analysis came at the request of Rep. Rob Swearingen, a Republican from Rhinelander. On Wednesday, a state legislative committee tasked with examining the state's alcohol laws echoed Schimel, saying it interprets current laws to require venues like barns to obtain licenses to serve alcohol.
Guess what, Rep. Swearingen stands to profit personally...go figure:

The thrust of Wednesday's committee discussion was that such new legislation actually isn't needed; the requirement exists in current law and should be enforced immediately.

It's also worth noting that Swearingen chairs the legislative committee. He is a former president of the Tavern League and the owner of a supper club — exactly the kind of business that would see wedding barns as competition, and unlicensed wedding barns serving alcohol as unfair competition.
Will rural voters continue to get behind Republicans, who might have eliminated a few environmental regulations, all the while they're being crushed and ignored by their party? Time will tell.

There's one big difference between the parties; Republicans never think to fix huge problems smacking them in the face, and Democrats do. It's that simple. Guns, pollution, health care costs, climate change...big problems that never move the needle for Republicans.

Dairy farmers are seeing this first hand, and if nothing is done, we'll have even more and bigger problems in the future...that Republicans won't want to fix.

And you can blame the cult-like tribal Republican Party loyalty under Trump for making this worse. What else could explain voting for a disconnected millionaire who's doing everything he can to make farmers lives miserable?

Not only are dairy farmer losing sales and established business relationships, but he's going after their workforce with ICE raids:

In September U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted a four-day operation in Wisconsin. They visited 14 Wisconsin counties and arrested 83 people they referred to as "immigration violators" and "criminal illegal aliens."

John Rosenow is a dairy farmer in Buffalo County. He hires immigrant workers to do everything, from driving and fixing tractors to milking and delivering cows. He said without their help, he would go out of business. "I would no longer be able to milk cows. It would destroy my life," he said.
Trump is actually getting further away from actual immigration policy, now that he's threatening to close off the border completely, making all this devasting:
According to the American Immigration Council, nearly 5 percent of Wisconsin residents are immigrants, and 22 percent are working in the farming and fishing industry.
Don't worry, Trump's got the farmers back again. Heck he's passing out other peoples hard earned tax dollars to his rural voting base for votes, but forgot to tell them it wasn't going to be much;
Just $838 million has been paid out to farmers since the first $6 billion pot of money was made available in September.
And tariffs aren't hurting Trump one bit either! But if you're a dairy farmer, he's killing you and he's probably already forgotten how important you are to the economy:

The program’s limitations are beginning to test farmers’ patience. The trade war shows no signs of easing,

The milk federation expects dairy farmers to lose $1.5 billion from the tariffs in the second half of this year and it has received only $127 million in aid.

“This was supposed to make sure farmers were not the victims of this trade policy,” said Jim Mulhern, president of the National Milk Producers Federation. “I think most agriculture producers feel that the payments have not come close to making up for the damage for the tariffs.”
And without a national plan to save the dairy industry, like Canada, generations of farmers will be gone leaving corporate farms with a lock on an entire industry.
The most recent downturn in dairy farming – now in its fourth year — was one of the worst he'd seen. For many farmers, the price they've received for their milk hasn't covered their expenses. Some have lost thousands of dollars a month, and there’s not much relief in sight as the marketplace is flooded with the commodity they produce.
As of Nov. 1, the dairy state had lost 660 cow herds from a year earlier, and the number of herds was down nearly 49 percent from 15 years ago — nearly half the size it was just 14 years ago. Meanwhile, the number of dairy cows has increased 2.6%. That’s because the remaining dairy operations are, in many cases, much bigger. But even some of the bigger farms have not survived.
And Rural Life continues to Change for the Worse:
Entire communities are falling apart as small farms go under, said John Peck, executive director of Family Farm Defenders, a Madison based advocacy group.

Grain mills, car dealerships and hardware stores suffer. The local tax base erodes. Churches and schools struggle or close.

“The multiplier effect on the rural economy is huge. It’s why you are seeing all these boarded-up small towns,” Peck said.Wisconsin is on track to lose more dairy farms this year than in any year since at least 2003, according to state Agriculture Department figures for dairy producer licenses.
Like the sad pleas by families for Health Care support, Farmers are now reaching out with Go Fund Me:
There are now more than 2,500 U.S. dairy farms on the website, with some farmers urgently appealing for help after their finances were ruined by three years of low milk prices.

“I have never asked for a handout, but I can’t keep borrowing money to pay for things,” one Wisconsin farmer wrote. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for even considering helping us continue our journey.”
California Dairy Struggling Too:
Dairy producers feel like collateral damage in a war they had nothing to do with. Wisconsin may bill itself as “America’s Dairyland,” but California is the leading dairy state in the union, with the most cows and highest production. California dairies had made great strides in opening new foreign markets, in part by exploiting the benefits of NAFTA and by focused approaches to China and other Asian markets. “These are markets we’ve been working on for years,” says Annie AcMoody, chief economist for the trade group Western United Dairymen. Dairy producers fear that while they’re shut out of the markets, competitors from Europe, Australia and New Zealand will take the opportunity to strengthen their foothold. “Once you lose a market, it takes time to get it back,” she says.

The number of California dairies has shrunk to 1,331 at the end of 2017 from nearly 1,600 as recently as 2012. Expectations are that by the end of this year the number will fall below 1,300.
Here are a few other images I've featured in the past:

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Health Insurance Companies think we're Stupid, and maybe they're right?

Medicare sign up time is now, and so I attended a seminar by one of the big insurers.

What was clear? Our U.S. health care system is really really bad, because it's designed by for-profit insurance companies and hospitals. I learned this at that recent "seminar." The insurance company representative stood in front of us describing a Rube Goldberg process of different copays and deductibles, procedures and limits, that no one in their right mind could begin to understand, and he knew it. That's why we needed their companies to help.

Even though I wasn't buying the sales pitch, the crowd of Medicare insurance buyers surprisingly just assumed this was all normal. Really?

I interrupted and pointed out that what he just described was the best argument yet for universal health care, where every doctor and hospital is your doctor and hospital with no copays or deductibles or surprise bills in the mail months later.

The crowd turned on me. Yes, believe it or not.

Arguing for Bad complicated Insurance? You bet: The current bad system has been around so long that everyone thinks what we have now is normal. In the end, one person asked why I was complaining, when Medicare itself was the ultimate government-run system? A good but ridiculous question.

I said Medicare is designed to force people to buy private "supplemental" insurance or Medicare Advantage policies run by private insurers, requiring another "extra premium" taken out of our shrinking Social Security check every month. That's after having already paid into Medicare all our lives. Crazy?

Takeaway? We like a complicated health care insurance system because we're used to it, and it gives us a sense of control, that we're making decisions and that it's our fault if things don't work out.

We've never had the discussion about wiping the slate clean. Imagining a society where employer-based insurance, individual market insurance, group-based insurance coops, Medicare, Medicaid, and self-insurance would just...disappear. No bills, no surprises, no medical bankruptcies, and no networks. Just lots of time to live our lives to their fullest and concentrating on what really matters, our families, whether children or aging parents.

The Challenge: Everybody gets mailers inviting them to insurance presentations and even a free meal. Go sometime and watch in stunned amazement how convoluted and insane their rules and regulations are, policies they say we need. You'll quickly understand how corporate numbers crunchers and ghoulish CEO's have covered every inch of greed and profit from the sick or dying. The question you have to ask yourself; do you have the stomach for it?

Vacation ending....

Had to take a break from posting, recharge, and distance myself.

But now, it's back to work...

Friday, November 16, 2018

Oh, did you know Congress is Broken? WI Republican Gallagher just noticed as Dems take power...

Like state Republicans trying to "reform" an all too powerful governor as Democrat Tony Evers takes over, now a "both-sides" Republican is blaming Congressional dysfunction on "theater used by both parties..." now that Democrats are about to control the House. Nope. Not buying it. 

So let's just talk about reforming the system instead of governing and setting the Democratic agenda so voters know what Democrats stand for. Oh, and it doesn't matter if Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher wrote this just before the election because let's face it, they knew they were getting blown out by the "blue wave." 

Let's just call it what it is, insulting:

Congress is a toothless, dysfunctional body that has evolved into a “theater used by both parties to stoke the outrage of their base.”
That damning verdict doesn’t come from a pundit or political scientist, but a sitting member of the Republican majority in the U.S. House, freshman Mike Gallagher of Green Bay. In a colorful and scathing critique for The Atlantic magazine, Gallagher argues that the House, which will be led by Democrats next year, is ripe for reform.

“If you are among the 11 percent of Americans who believe that everything in Congress is going swimmingly, then save some time and stop reading right now. (But first, please share whatever experimental drugs you are on). But if you are among the 87 percent of people who are concerned about what is going on in Congress, then I have an important message for you: It’s much worse than you think,” writes Gallagher, who also floated some proposals for making the place work better, including sending some of the power so tightly held by House leadership back to members.
And with Republicans groveling at the feet of Trump granting his every mindless request, let's talk about "genuine intellectual combat?" You can't make this up:
“I want to be able to walk into the House floor and have a sense (that) this is like a genuine arena of intellectual combat, right? I don’t want it to all just be us throwing bombs on cable news.”
Because that's what Democrats are doing?  

Walker took control before becoming governor, now wants control after being governor!

Elections have consequences, so we heard Republicans say over and over when they took power to its maximum limit and beyond. Now...not so much. In fact, they don't really lose elections when more people vote. No, really.

It's all crazy. When Trump lost the popular vote by millions and not even close to a mandate, Republicans declared "we won, now shut up."

Now in Wisconsin, Walker didn't really lose, he was the victim of a record number of people voting for Tony Evers...huh, what? 

The taxpayer-funded freeload family
“In no way did I see it as a rejection, but rather just a larger electorate than we’ve ever seen in the past,” Walker said.
Walker even said he got more votes than he did in any previous election, so proportionally, there's nothing to see here, blowing up his "larger electorate" fantasy. Guess they're also admitting how much they dislike voting and how they would have won without larger turnout...kinda already knew that though. 

Walker Authority...gets the Axe? Walker wielded power even before he became governor. 
Gov. Doyle declined to criticize the aggressive transition initiatives of Walker, who has called for the halt to construction of the train and holding off on finalizing labor contracts with selected state employee unions. In late 2002, Doyle’s predecessor, Republican Gov. Scott McCallum, negotiated a deal with a big state labor union right before leaving office.
But now that Democrat Tony Evers is taking over, Republicans are thinking, darn, maybe they should have reined in that power 7 or 8 years ago. Like Republican Rep. Robin Vos said:
"Geez — have we made mistakes where we granted too much power to the executive,' I'd be open to taking a look to say what can we do to change that to try to re-balance it. Maybe we made some mistakes giving too much power to Gov. (Scott) Walker."
Gov. Scott Walker said he’s looking at possible changes in a year-end lame-duck session that could curtail certain executive powers before Evers takes office … give lawmakers more appointees to boards for the state Building Commission and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. which would dilute the influence of the governor’s appointees to those boards.

 In fact, while I was typing this, AP's Scott Bauer wrote this:
AP: Gov. Scott Walker is leaving office just like he came in — with a flourish. Walker killed high-speed rail in Wisconsin days after his election win in 2010 and unveiled his anti-union Act 10 proposal within weeks of actually taking office, sparking massive protests, vaulting him onto the national political stage and eventually setting up his 2015 run for president. Now, as Walker prepares to leave office Jan. 7, he's signaling his support for an array of Republican proposals designed to weaken Democrats and Tony Evers, who narrowly defeated him on Election Day.

Evers' spokeswoman Lynch said no more taxpayer money should be spent on the (repeal of the ACA) Evers has promised to drop on his first day in office. But Evers doesn't plan on sending Walker a demand that he drop it.

The Not-so-Graceful Exit, Walker Exposed!!! He Lost because of Too Many Votes for Opponent?, "Reformed Myself out of a Job," and constructively said Baraboo kids are "idiots?"

Scott Walker has reached a new level of laughable arrogance. His Suessian reasoning bends reality to its breaking point. On the very simple concept of winning or losing an election based on who get more votes, by an electorate seeking a change of direction...:

"It was without a doubt a big election — bigger turnout than ever before — but the numbers we received a week ago Tuesday would have won the election four years ago, would have won the election eight years ago. In no way do I see it as a rejection, but rather just a larger electorate than we've ever seen in the past."
Hold on there. Walker's crazy contradiction is a head spinner: All vote totals went up (even for Walker), so Walker can't dismiss his loss to Evers because of a "larger electorate." Seriously, winning and losing is always based on a "larger" electorate voting for the winner? My head is hurting. Walker's own self-deception is just another red flag:
Walker says his narrow re-election loss to Democrat Tony Evers was not a rejection, but a factor of higher voter turnout going against him.
Walker's Successful 8 Years? Two things; Walker's success was handed to him because of a national economic recovery that helped all states look good; and Walker's often repeated lie that Democrats (especially former Gov. Jim Doyle) were responsible for the global Great Recession and the resulting high unemployment numbers. The media took a pass on correcting him, and voters lazily accepted the dumbest lie of Walker's last 8 years:
“We’re not going to retreat.. the state of Wisconsin is not going to go backwards.”
Nope, even under new Democratic Gov.  Tony Evers, Walker says Republicans won't let Wisconsin going back to the Republican-caused Great Recession.

Riding the national economic recovery...that by itself didn't provide Walker cover for not coming close to fulfilling his promise of 250,000 jobs in his first 4 years, a delusional Walker spun on...

"What have we not done? We’ve been such a reformer, I may have reformed myself out of a job."
Yup, look what he's done; reforms like the largest cuts to education in the nation, the largest corporate handout in the nation (Foxconn), cut public funding to state parks, science out-businesses in at the DNR, abandoned road repairs...a real "reformer."

Walker called Baraboo Students "Idiots," kids who probably reflected Trump/Walker Parents: Did Walker just call your junior high school student an idiot? Not a real mature way of dealing with a much deeper and symptomatic problem. Not "complicated?" Think he'd say something like that before an election? From our uncommitted, no-answer, nasty name-calling governor...

AP: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says high school students who appear to be giving a Nazi salute in a photo are “a bunch of idiots. I think they’re just stupid. I think they’re idiots. It’s as simple as that. I don’t know that it’s any more complicated than that, they’re just a bunch of idiots.”

Friday, November 9, 2018

Eight Years wasn't enough for Walker Republicans! After holding Wisconsin back, they'll do the same to limit Gov. Evers now too.

Republican plans to limit Governor elect Tony Evers powers to something a lot less than Scott Walker's is their way of setting old now failing policies in amber:

Now suddenly elections actually don't matter. And that old "will of the people" thing MAGA sore winners kept waving in our face, well that only applies to "make America great again"...againers. It seems the same rules don't apply to Democratic administrations...

And no, Evers hasn't already managed to pick a fight with Republicans. It's the other way around, and not a "both sides do it" meme:

This was not an Evers creation. But he's also not going to let the legislature define the agenda voters seemed to want to set in motion:

And now we're finding out Evers state government doesn't have enough revenue to just keep the state running? Remember, we're not in a recession, the economy is humming with incredibly low unemployment numbers. This shouldn't be happening. And by the way, what's the deal waiting until after the election to release this report?:

In a report released Friday, the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum found the state would need an additional $2.2 billion over two years to continue its existing programs. State revenue is unlikely to increase by that much, so Evers and legislators would probably have to make cuts or raise taxes to make ends meet.

"Our broad review indicates that, absent strong growth in revenues, the next state budget may have difficulty accommodating campaign promises and rising costs in ongoing programs without a tax increase," the report noted.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Walker Republicans to Limit Governor Evers powers..."Geez, have we made mistakes giving too much power to Gov. Walker...?"

When you've got nothing else to lose, and a compliant voter base that doesn't care, you get this:

It's odd how "the people

Funny, now Assembly smirker Robin Vos is thinking, "Geez" maybe they gave too much power to Walker? You can't make this stuff up:
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) ... Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau). FItzgerald is open to the idea.

"If there are areas where we could look and say, 'Geez — have we made mistakes where we granted too much power to the executive,' I'd be open to taking a look to say what can we do to change that to try to re-balance it. Maybe we made some mistakes giving too much power to Gov. (Scott) Walker and I'd be open to looking at that to see if there are areas we should change that, but it's far too early to do that before I talk to Scott Fitzgerald."
Still more:

Still more...on Medicaid expansion...
Vos said last month he would never go along with such a plan. "Not going to happen. No way. Never. Medicaid right now does not pay the cost of your provider. So the more people we put into Medicaid, the more the private sector will have to pay to subsidize those who are on Medicaid. So all it does is make the private system less stable."
Still more on education spending...
Vos underscored that Wednesday by pouring cold water on plans Evers' campaigned on, including adding $1.4 billion in new funding for schools over two years.
"That's not possible unless you have a massive tax increase. It literally cannot be accomplished without either taking from some to give to another or a massive tax increase."

Vos also said he wouldn't support "putting a bunch of money into empty buses," referring to mass transit solutions to transportation woes, but would consider a plan that puts money into fixing roads and bridges.
The response?

Evers spokeswoman Britt Cudaback said it's "unfortunate Vos is doubling down on division" after Evers asked to set aside differences and work together.
"These are the same desperate antics of politicians hell-bent on staying in power after eight year. The people of Wisconsin deserve better from our government, and that’s why they voted for a change yesterday.”

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Walker's record on Preexisting Conditions...who could afford it or keep coverage?

From the Chicago Tribune...

Part of the (Trump/GOP) bill would allow states to seek waivers exempting insurers from Obama's prohibition on higher premiums for people with pre-existing problems. States could then use federal dollars to fund government-operated insurance programs for pools of expensive patients.
Like Dumb Ron Johnson said, health care is a "privilege:
The state's high-risk pool covered about 21,000 people as of June 2012, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. Premiums in 2013 were as high as $1,500 per month for a 60-plus-year-old man with a $1,000 deductible, according to the bureau. The pool ended in 2014 when the health care exchanges began under Obama's law. According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that tracks national health issues, about 852,000 non-elderly Wisconsin residents had pre-existing conditions in 2015. That's a quarter of the state's non-elderly population.

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Voting Privilege separates have and have-nots!

If I didn't think there were more important economic and health care issues to deal with, I would be out there making access to voting much harder for rural conservatives. Wasn't it Trump Party conservatives hero Brett Kavanaugh who said, "what goes around comes around"?

Wouldn't it be fun to consolidate rural places to vote, institute shorter hours...you know, save money and lower taxes, right?

Why am I bring this up? Here's why...

I heard a report state how Republicans in states purging voter rolls and limiting polling places believe voting is a privilege and not a right. Really? It seems those rights are spelled out a number of times in the Constitution:
Voting rights cannot be denied or abridged based on the following: "Race, color, or previous condition of servitude" (15th Amendment, 1870) … 1913: Direct election of Senators, established by the Seventeenth Amendment gave voters rather than state legislatures the right to elect senators. 1920: Women are guaranteed the right to vote by the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Amendment XV - Rights Not to Be Denied on Account of Race (1870) ...Amendment XVII - Election of Senators (1913) ...Amendment XIX - Women's Right to Vote (1920) ...Amendment XXIII - Presidential Vote in D.C. (1961) ...Amendment XXIV - Poll Tax (1964) ...Amendment XXVI - Right to Vote at Age 18 (1971) ... 
Authoritarian Leaders like Trump call all the shots: Privilege. Every Trumpian drooler is proof:
Conservative Republicans stand out for their opposition to allowing people to register vote at the polls on Election Day and automatically registering all citizens to vote. Fewer than half of conservative Republicans support these steps (35% for Election Day registration, 45% for automatic registration) ... Conservative Republicans are also the only partisan-ideological group in which a majority (60%) favors removing people from registration lists if they have not voted recently or confirmed their registration.
Here's one example we saw in Wisconsin, when Republican Rep. Duey Stroebel proposed this whacko idea:
The measure proposed by Rep. Duey Stroebel, R-Saukville, would prohibit clerks from opening early, late or on weekends to accommodate voters wishing to cast their ballots before Election Day … the bill aims to give residents of smaller communities the same access to absentee voting as those in larger communities that can afford to hold extended balloting ... people in rural areas don't have the opportunity to vote on weekends or evenings. 
Not True. Rural Communities Opposed idea: Exposing Stroebel's completely fabricated scheme were rural town clerks:
The proposal could be even more vexing for clerks in small towns, who often work part-time and at the convenience of local residents, said Richard Stadelman, executive director of the Wisconsin Towns Association … it's not unusual for small-town clerks to open their offices on nights and weekends to accommodate in-person absentee voting. He said his group opposes the bill as written.
Don’t laugh...but Stroebel then reversed his own attempt bringing equality to the system:
Stroebel plans to amend the bill to add flexibility for small communities.
Purging Voters Big Success Too: Defying human nature, the conservative activist Supreme Court allowed postcard address confirmations to stand. So people don't throw stuff like that away or say it's nobodies business where they live?
The Supreme Court on Monday upheld Ohio’s aggressive efforts to purge its voting rolls, siding with Republicans in the latest partisan battle over how far states can go in imposing restrictions on voting.

The court ruled that states may kick people off the rolls if they skip a few elections and fail to respond to a notice from election officials. The vote was 5 to 4, with the more conservative justices in the majority.  

Justice Breyer wrote, In 2012 Ohio sent out 1.5 million notices, to roughly 20 percent of the state’s registered voters. But only 4 percent of Americans move outside their county each year, he wrote.
“Ohio only received back about 60,000 return cards (or 4 percent) which said, in effect: ‘You are right, Ohio. I have, in fact, moved. In addition, Ohio received back about 235,000 return cards which said, in effect, ‘You are wrong, Ohio, I have not moved.’”
And then there's this amazing suppression story:
U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree said forcing Ford County Clerk Debbie Cox to open an additional polling location in Dodge City so close to the Nov. 6 election would not be in the public’s interest. But Crabtree said he is troubled by Cox’s reaction to an American Civil Liberties Union letter, which Cox forwarded last week to a state official with the comment “LOL.”

Cox moved the city’s only polling place from a central location in town, the Civic Center, to the Expo Center half a mile outside the city limits this fall. The new location is not accessible via sidewalk and there is no regular public transportation there, though the city has said it will provide rides to voters.
Or this intimidation and suppression effort in Georgia:
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the chief elections official in the state, is a pioneer of present-day voter suppression. Mr. Kemp has a record of making it harder for people to register to vote, and more difficult for those voters to remain on the rolls. Since 2012, his office has canceled more than 1.4 million voter registrations. In July 2017, over half a million people — 8 percent of the state’s registered voters — were purged in a single day. As of earlier this month, over 50,000 people’s registrations, filed before the deadline to vote in the coming midterm election, were listed as on hold. Seventy percent had been filed by black applicants.

Since 2012, his office has canceled more than 1.4 million voter registrations. In July 2017, over half a million people — 8 percent of the state’s registered voters — were purged in a single day. As of earlier this month, over 50,000 people’s registrations, filed before the deadline to vote in the coming midterm election, were listed as on hold. Seventy percent had been filed by black applicants.

Olivia Pearson, a grandmother and lifelong resident of Coffee County, Ga., found herself on trial this year oncharges of felony voter fraud. It began six years ago, on the first day of early voting in Georgia, when a black woman named Diewanna Robinson went to cast her ballot. She asked Ms. Pearson, more than 30 years her senior, for help. Ms. Robinson would later testify that Ms. Pearson informed her where the card went in the machine and told her to “just go through and make my own selections on who I wanted to vote for.” Ms. Pearson walked away before Ms. Robinson started voting.

Almost four years later, Ms. Pearson received a letter from District Attorney George Barnhill’s office, informing her that she was facing felony charges for improperly assisting Ms. Robinson. because Ms. Robinson was not illiterate or disabled, she had not been entitled to even minimal verbal assistance.

Over the next two years, Ms. Pearson navigated two trials, two defense counsels, three dropped charges and one hung jury. Finally, in late February, after a 20-minute jury deliberation, she was acquitted of all charges. Six years after her brief interaction with Ms. Robinson, she was finally free.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Wisconsin Republicans to Voters; "We're tired of seeing that MOB and the PROTESTERS everywhere."

Liberal mobs?

The way I see it, Republicans have always hated getting out of their easy chairs to protest. That's why they hated the 60's war protests so much. In fact, it got so bad in 2011 that the Koch brothers Americans for Prosperity used buses to transport whoever they could find from around the state to
protest in Madison (there weren't many), where a thuggish "mob" of liberal teachers, firefighters, law enforcement, students, families, and children turned out by the millions to protest Scott Walker's union-busting Act 10.

Liberal protests weren't always considered "mobs." Republicans struggled at first to make the First Amendments "right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" an unthinkable and grotesque assault on American values.

Scott Walker himself tried denying that he’d compared Wisconsin protesters to ISIS.  

“You all will misconstrue things the way you see fit. But I think it’s pretty clear, that’s the closest thing I have in terms of handling a difficult situation, not that there’s any parallel between the two.” 
Walker: “If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world."
Walker's image of being "unintimidated" was just exposed as BS by a former Walker secretary speaking out against his reelection. Peter Bildsten, Former secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions:
When Walker titled his 2013 book Unintimidated and bragged about how he “stood up to union thugs and protesters,” I thought back to how he had regularly ducked in and out of the capitol via a tunnel, always escorted by a heavy security detail. Unintimidated is not exactly the word that comes to mind, but Republicans in Washington accepted Walker’s self-image and talked him up as a strong presidential contender.
Trump's Reality Show "Mob" Mentality: Trump took the simple act of protesting and made it seem un-American.

Trump's Kavanaugh gave us today's liberal "mobs:" Watch former legislator and now soulmate of Assembly Speaker Rep. Robin Vos, Michelle Litjens, ever so casually talk about liberal mods like it's some kind of generally accepted fact. From Upfront with Mike Gousha:
MICHELLE: "The other thing is the Kavanaugh effect. I think it comes down to that MOB MENTALITY that we went through in 2011-2012. We had people come out and vote for Scott Walker during that recall who did not support what he did in Act 10, but they we're tired of  seeing that MOB AND THE PROTESTERS everywhere. We are hearing that candidates are hearing it at the doors and hearing it at the polls as well, that people are tired of that MOB mentality, and they feel that the Kavanaugh family was treated poorly. They don't want to see that anymore. They want that to be done. They want people to get along. And I think the Democrats are going to be punished for that." 

MIKE: "I will give John a chance, because I'm sure the mob thing for you, knowing what you have written in the past, it probably does not sit well with you...'' 

JOHN: "I do not think my mom, her other friends from Burlington who came up to defend public education with nurse and teachers, were a mob. There are things to say about the tea party folks too. And you know, this notion of trying to make the other side into somet sort of an evil force..."

Mobs are Enemies in "life and death battle for the future." Awhile back Republicans were talking like James Buchal, a Portland-area GOP Chairman, who really did want to hire militia groups as political security. Imagine how much worse things are now with roving liberal "mobs" endangering the survival of our country. It's impossible for me to wrap my mind around people who think like this:
The top Republican in the city said he is considering using militia groups as security for public events. James Buchal said: “Yeah. We’re thinking about that. Because there are now belligerent, unstable people who are convinced that Republicans are like Nazis.”

He says of the President, “His enemies are my enemies and his enemies are all our enemies. Our enemies are more dangerous than ever. We are really in a life and death battle for the future of our society. And these globalist people are not going to give up. If we don’t tell out fellow citizens that there are these dark forces in the government, like the CIA and the shadow government, who are trying to take Trump down with lies, who is going to tell them?”