Friday, September 13, 2019

Terrible-Toxic Tom Tiffany in Congress? Wow, you'd have to be crazy as he is...

State Sen. Tom Tiffany wants to destroy the US environment from DC as our next Congressman, and die hard Republican voters appreciate his work. Let's take a look at his extraordinary past Trump-like idiocy:


1. June 4th, 2019: It's best to believe Sen. Tom Tiffany, who found a magical way to "balance" business interests with the environment. (Hint, it can't be done.)  Yet Gov. Tony Evers' attempt to resume climate research didn't sit well with Tiffany, who said this amazing thing:
Tiffany says, "That was certainly one of the red flags for me. Trying to re-establish the science bureau is certainly a red flag for me, too.” 
Republicans...friends of the farmers, sportsmen, and tourism? If you like wading in contaminated water and mud, maybe. Let's just look at the water problem...
Tiffany was a driving force behind the 2015 cuts and the subsequent elimination of the science bureau. He opposes environmental regulation he sees as needlessly hindering businesses.
Tiffany even wrote the mining law to allow pollution, intentionally...would I kid you?
If the law is challenged and ends up in court, the judge needs to know it was the Legislature’s intent to allow adverse (environmental) impacts. That way, a judge can’t find fault if the environment is impacted.”

2. October, 2013: 
Tiffany said he worked on the bill with frac sand industry representatives and quarry operators who are worried about possible over-regulation.
Here's what Tiffany considers "over-regulation." Take a deep breath, because you won’t believe this mining sellout. Stunning. Chippewa Herald:
Tiffany and Rep. Joan Ballweg, R-Markesan, want a law that would limit the ability of towns to use health and safety ordinances to regulate mining.
• Prohibit a local zoning ordinance from restricting an existing mine from continuing or expanding on contiguous land.

• Repeal county authority to set water quality or air pollution standards for rock and sand mining and blasting.

• Limit liability for companies whose trucks damage roads, and prevent local governments from forcing mining companies to pay to improve roads it wants to use to haul sand. But officials could require mining companies to guarantee that they would repair damage.

• Roll back counties' ability to require repair of land damaged by a mine. Mining companies could not be required by counties to monitor air or water quality, and counties could no longer set standards higher than state standards.

• Ends most regulation of blasting from local governments and places it in the hands of the state Department of Safety and Professional Services.

• Prohibits local ordinances -- including zoning laws -- from regulating the borrowing or disposal of soil used in state highway projects


3. Feb. 15, 2015: I have a video of Tiffany say this at the linked story...really:
Tiffany: "If you talk to my constituents here in northern Wisconsin, there's probably not one in a thousand that know what the Bureau of Science Services does, and doesn't bring value to the taxpayers."

 4. June 2015: Tiffany thinks having a "wildlife management agenda" is bad!!!
Walker’s proposal to shrink the DNR’s scientific capacity appears to have been the brainchild of Tom Tiffany, a GOP state senator who is a longtime critic of the DNR’s science bureau. Tiffany said he thinks the agency’s scientists have a wildlife management “agenda” that has driven the agency to mismanage the deer herd, curtailing sportsmen’s hunting opportunities. He has also said he believes the agency’s scientists spend too much time on controversial subjects like climate change, which he views as “theoretical.”

5. March 4, 2018Here a look at 8 years worth of Walker's environmental teardown: Pretty much under the direction of the Assemblies environmental wrecking ball, Tom Tiffany. Keep in mind, this list is from October 2015:
(1.) Make it easier to destroy wetlands(2.) Block homeowners’ ability to challenge large farms and frac sand mines when they believe a cluster of their high-capacity wells is drying up lakes, streams or drinking water. (3) Seek federal approval to extend by up to 20 years the deadlines for full compliance with limits on phosphorus discharges that promote weed and algae growth in lakes and streams. (4) Slow purchases of conservation lands while mandating land sales and banning local zoning rules that are more limiting than state standards for shoreline development(5) Insisted it can’t legally limit the expansion of mega farms despite an order to do so from a judge who said ”massive regulatory failure” had tainted Kewaunee County drinking water. (6) Reduced the number of pollution violations it sends to state lawyers for court action and the number of wildlife citations it issues. (7) Delayed for years studying how small dust particles from the frac sand industry affect the health of neighboring residents. (8) Written emergency rules to decrease analysis of potential environmental harm and public hearings on sources of pollution when reviews of similar projects have been done. (9) Received warnings from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that air and water quality protections are inadequate or out of date.

Wisconsin Private Choice Schools Score Half as Proficient as Public Schools!!!

Are we trying to give Republicans, including Scott Walker, a pass on their public education legacy following Act 10? I think yes?

My head is exploding over the recently released 2019 Student Assessment Scores and the coverage.

Republicans Attack Teachers and Slash School Funding: Let's start with the first obvious story that should point voters to the guilty party: Republicans and the 8 years of trashing teachers and public education.

WSJ: Wisconsin has had the second deepest slash in per-student spending in the nation since 2008 — second only to Alabama — according to a study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Alabama and Wisconsin led the list of at least 35 states providing less funding per student than they did before the recession hit.
Surprise, Teacher Exodus and Vilification took Toll: Scott Walker and the gerrymandered Majority Republicans started the ball rolling with Act 10. And they were warned, but...

CapTimes: Tim Slekar, the dean of Edgewood College’s School of Education, regularly meets with about a dozen prospective students each semester. “I’ve sat here and done it more than once where an interested student and their parents come in, and the parents say, ‘Yeah, she wants to be a teacher but we told her we’re not supportive of that decision.’”

...students see experienced educators leave the profession earlier than anticipated. Of those who leave teaching before retirement age, many cite a lack of support from school administrators as well as high stress and low morale.
Take notice conservative voters, Republican Rep. Robin Vos is once again trying to pass blame, to distract you by feigning outrage over something he was responsible for:

JS: Less than half of Wisconsin students again this year are considered to be proficient in reading and math — a trend Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on Thursday called "disturbing." "Wisconsin students deserve an excellent education no matter where they attend school ... taxpayers deserve to know why we’re not seeing better results.”
Hey, Look at the Voucher School Scores!!! I didn't even know "choice" voucher schools were included in the state average until I read this in Molly Beck's JS coverage:
The release included scores from students at private voucher schools, which Republicans have backed expanding in three consecutive state budgets since 2011. Among students in private voucher schools, 22% were considered proficient or advanced in reading and 18% in math.
Much of the coverage I read failed to mention or even compare the public school scores with the voucher choice debacle. So I went to the Department of Public Instruction website. Take a look at the voucher school scores funneling money away from public education. If this were a Democratic program, Republicans would be having a tantrum, and yet Vos is taking aim at public school scores?:

Who Knew Online "Virtual Academy," was the Biggest Waste of Money? We did: Virtual schools nationwide are a disaster, but they are still allowed under the privatization banner to exist and drain even more taxpayer money. McFarland knew this but backed the idea anyway. McFarland even managed to keep Wisconsin Virtual Academy's scores from being averaged into the districts public school results. That should tell you something:

One question remains; where are the Democrats hiding? Why hasn't Gov. Evers come out with a statement? 

Monday, September 9, 2019

Do we need Universal Health Care/Medicare-for-All? Check out these horror stories...

The private health care system we have now is focused on profits, not people, and that includes "non-profit" providers as well. The US system is so bad that the following horror stories represent just one report from one health system in Virginia. Imagine all the other hospitals in every state going after Americans who had an unfortunate health event and were left with hefty bills to pay, or else. 

You'd have to be a sociopath to argue against universal health care after this:
University of Virginia Health System (UVA) has ruined us’: Health system sues thousands of patients, seizing paychecks and putting liens on homes.

Over six years ending in June 2018, the health system and its doctors sued former patients more than 36,000 times for over $106 million, seizing wages and bank accounts, putting liens on property and homes and forcing families into bankruptcy, a Kaiser Health News analysis has found…Unpaid medical bills are a leading cause of personal debt and bankruptcy.

UVA dunned some former patients an additional 15 percent for legal costs, plus 6 percent interest on their unpaid bills, which over the course of years can add up to more than the original bill. The hospital ranked No. 1 in Virginia by U.S. News & World Report is taxpayer supported and state-funded, not a company with profit motives and shareholder demands, it pays no federal, state or local taxes on the presumption it offers charity care and other community benefits. CEO Sutton-Wallace makes $750,000, with bonus incentives that could push her annual pay close to $1 million. NOTE: Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore has sued roughly 240 patients a year on average since 2009. UVA, by comparison, often sues that many former patients in a week, and averages more than 6,000 cases a year, court data show.
1. Heather Waldron and John Hawley are losing their four-bedroom house. Financial disaster, they say, contributed to their divorce, finalized in April. Their money problems began when the University of Virginia Health System pursued the couple with a lawsuit and a lien on their home to recoup $164,000 in charges for Waldron’s emergency surgery in 2017. The $164,000 billed to Waldron for intestinal surgery was more than twice what a commercial insurer would have paid for her care … Charges on her bill included $2,000 for a $20 feeding tube. For Heather Waldron, the path from “having everything and being able to buy things and feeling pretty good” to “devastation” began when she learned after her UVA hospitalization that a computer error involving a policy bought on had led her insurance to lapse. She is now on food stamps and talking to bankruptcy lawyers. A bank began foreclosure proceedings in August on the house she shared with her family. The home will be sold to pay off the mortgage. She expects UVA to take whatever is left.

2. Zann Nelson, sued by UVA for $23,849 a few years ago fought back. The now 70-year-old Reva resident was admitted with newly diagnosed uterine cancer, bleeding and in pain when she signed an open-ended payment agreement. The judge said that Nelson had “the ability to decline the surgery” if she didn’t like the terms of the deal. 

3.  Carolyn Davis, 55 … $7,448 to pay about twice as much as what a commercial insurer for nerve injections to treat back pain that she hadn’t realized would be out of network. Her husband is a cook at Hardee’s … UVA refused their application for financial assistance because his Hardee’s 401(k) balance of $6,000 makes them too well off, she said. The hospital insisted on a monthly payment of $75. She was meeting it by charging it to her credit card at 22 percent interest.

4.  When Jesse Lynn, 42, didn’t realize their plan considered Jesse’s old back problems a preexisting illness … After back surgery at Culpeper Medical Center, a UVA affiliate, he came out with a bill for about $230,000, Renee Lynn said. The surgeon reduced his portion … asked for a similar break or a payment delay from UVA. “We are not a lending institution,” the billing office told her, she said.
Property liens do give UVA a claim on the equity in patients’ homes. “We see a lot of them,” said Tina Merritt, a partner with True North Title in Blacksburg. “And a lot of people don’t even know until they go to sell the property.”
5. It took Priti Chati, 62, six years to pay a $44,000 UVA bill for brain surgery and have a home lien removed last year … The health system seized bank funds intended for her daughters’ college costs, she said.

6. Paul Baker, 41, ran a small lawn service and with his wife, owes more than $500,000 for treatment after their truck rolled over. He is grateful to UVA “for saving my life,” he says. But he is “frustrated they are ultimately taking my farm” when he sells or dies, as a result of UVA’s lawsuit.

7. Nacy Sexton, who is in his 30’s, hoped he might get a break on his medical bills as a student enrolled at the University of Virginia. He was close to finishing a bachelor’s degree in 2015 when he was hospitalized for lupus. When he was unable to cover the reduced bill offered by the hospital, the university blocked his enrollment. “The university places enrollment holds on student accounts for unpaid tuition and medical bills … “When you get sick, why should it affect your education?” he asked.

8. Shirley Perry, once a registered nurse at UVA, became chronically ill, lost her job and insurance, and then needed treatment from her former employer. UVA sued her for $218,730 plus $32,809 in legal fees. She died last year at age 51, with a UVA lien on her townhouse. It was auctioned off on Aug. 7 at the Albemarle County Courthouse.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Why have primaries when you have Trump?

Funny how some things never change...

Another Trump Sharpie pen mistake...?

The "Freeloading Off Taxpayer" Walker Tradition is God's Will...

Scott Walker's AOC obsession and shocking political insecurities continue to rise to the surface as he tries to deal with voter rejection and his failed reelection. Maybe now he can live vicariously through his son Matt's run for Congress? For Matt, I guess it's hard to resist freeloading off the taxpayers like his dad did, taking credit for a national recovery, and injecting political spin that just repeats tired old policies.

God's  Blessing??? The GOP continues to use God as the overriding reason Republicans have a "higher calling" to govern over everyone, especially those "far-left" radical young people like AOC. Below, Scott Walker suggests to voters that God might eventually bless Matt Walker to be their youthful voice...:
Scott Walker said Matt Walker, who is a partner and co-founder of Platform Digital, has asked his opinion in recent days about a potential bid.
“Well, personally, when he asked me about it the other day I gave him the advice you might not think of necessarily politically. I said one, you need to pray about it. If it’s God’s will to get in or not get in you’ll figure that out first and foremost. I think this district will be blessed. The state will be blessed because it’s not just for the 5th. It’s having a good delegation from Wisconsin...”
...and God himself, right?

Matt Walker saw how easily his dad steered clear of difficult to solve problems that might be seen as possible failures, while submerging himself in Ayn Randian theory as a congressional intern for Paul Ryan, quickly abandon his hometown of Janesville.

Matt Walker vs AOC; who reflects their generation? It's funny how Scott Walker seems to think Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez does not speak for millennial's. Despite polling that overwhelmingly supports supposed "radical" left ideas, Walker clone Matt better have a convincing argument. In today Wisconsin State Journal email...:
  • The Marquette Law School Poll found Wisconsin voters say tariffs hurt the economy, support background checks for gun sales, back banning assault weapons and like diversity. Reminder to Republicans: 2020 = inflection point.
Still, Scott Walker may think with a new face like Matt Walker's, that will energize a strictly political agenda devoid of social problem solving:

From Upfront's "blessed" Scott Walker's weekend interview...

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Trump's Space Force Mission...?

Let's pretend Republicans are no longer in the room. Stop listening to them. We don't have time for this!

Republicans always tell us just what their next scheme is but never seem to get called out for their mindless games. And, according to the latest Marquette poll, their game plan is working. People are so busy they've been lulled into thinking this is the way life is now, filled with unnecessary struggles with mounting problems we can't afford to solve. 

After 8 years of Scott Walker and the GOP Lame Duck power grab, it's astonishing that most people still don't know enough about Sen. Fitzgerald and Rep. Vos to give an opinion about them. 

Who's Gov. Evers? The biggest and most obvious scheme was to reject Gov. Evers budget so they could rewrite it, pare it down, pass it, and take credit for what was the administration's Democratic agenda. Seriously, this works?

Republican Scam: Having "Discussions" and promising to "have a conversation:" We already know whatever the issue, these manufactured and nonexistent "discussions" and "conversations" won't make a damn bit of difference. Yet reporters never ask them about it.

We should just walk away, stop listening to their failed and ridiculous ideas. It just takes time away from getting our own message out, real solutions. For once, have them catch up to us, instead of us reacting to their lunacy.

The Walker/Republicans Failed "Free market" Expansion of Rural Broadband: As predicted, broadband providers didn't see enough money in rural broadband expansion, so we're still having a "conversation" about it. That means turning away our own federal tax dollars to help pay for rural high-speed broadband and all the new jobs, educational training, and businesses it would create:

“I think this is an opportunity for rural areas,” said Tessa Conroy of UW Extension in a 2018 interview. “More and more people can work remotely” in rural Wisconsin if broadband access is available, and other “natural amenities” often make it a good place to live.
Surprise, after 8 Years, Rural Farmers suddenly get Help: Thank god we don't have to listen to Scott Walker's fairytale stories about the utopian paradise he created with tax cuts and special interest handouts to big business.

Walker ignored every problem that made him look bad, and never once tried to solve the state's biggest problems, like struggling rural community schools and hospitals, farm bankruptcies, disappearing family dairy farms, escalating rural suicides, and mental health issues.

Republicans hate criticism: Republican "leaders" threw a tantrum when someone rightfully accused them of leaving farmers behind. It took a while, but they finally signed on to a Democratic plan to help struggling farmers. 

The (GOP) Joint Finance Committee in July declined to release ($200,000) to the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection after Democrats requested the committee do so. The Republican members then sought additional information...

The decision sparked a spat between Gov. Tony Evers' pick to lead DATCP, Brad Pfaff, and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. Pfaff at the time argued in a press release that GOP lawmakers "have chosen to leave farmers behind." But Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, countered the remarks were "offensive and unproductive." Committee Co-chair John Nygren, referencing Pfaff's earlier statement, said that rhetoric "didn't match the man" he had been dealing with. He suggested the language may have been driven by the Evers administration. "I do believe somebody was playing politics with farmers, and that’s really unfortunate," the Marinette Republican said.
 The way I see it, juvenile Republican responses like Nygren's will just delay the future for all of us. Maybe 10 years, maybe 30? What they are doing is stealing away the future I thought was easily attainable for my kids.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

AOC Obsession: Scott Walker is a dupe for right-wing spin and propaganda!

You'd think by now projection and the juvenile comment "I know you are but what am I" might appear more silly and manipulative as time goes on, right? Wishful thinking.

The right-wing propaganda tool Red State took Trump's biggest personality disorder, malignant narcissism, and tried to tag AOC with the problem:
As Bonchie wrote earlier this week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is back in full force ... The results so far have been no less than what we typically expect out of the most narcissistic (and arguably the most hypocritical) Congresswoman in Washington, DC.
Piling on, Scott Walker tweeted that AOC "suggested" Millennial's have now become the "greatest generation." She never did of course, but more embarrassingly, Walker was easily manipulated into believing the spin made by the New York Post and Washington Times. Sucker...see if you can spot where she "suggested" as Walker claims, that Millennial's are the greatest generation:

AOC did just that, acting as though young people pioneered the concept of political activism — and apparently forgetting the ... WWII generation that saved the world from authoritarian rule and dubbed ...“The Greatest Generation.”“I think this new generation is very profound and very strong and very brave, because they’re actually willing to go to the streets. How ’bout that?
Nope, don't see that "greatest generation" claim. But right-wing historian Scott Walker somehow did...maybe he didn't read the article?

The reaction was swift, honest, and never more accurate...

Friday, August 30, 2019

Walker Lame Duck Legacy costing taxpayers, twisting Government into one party pretzel!

So, this is "fiscally conservative" policy GOP voters just can't get enough of...really?

"Small government" conservatives, including business owners, rural farmers, and think tank freeloaders, actually love the convoluted multi-tentacled regulations Scott Walker, Robin Vos, and Scott Fitzgerald created stripping the Attorney Generals office of their power. It will now cost taxpayer money to maneuver through a politically motivated maze creating more litigation.
JS: The episode is the latest in a saga of confusion for lawmakers as they try to navigate new laws that give the Legislature more power over litigation handled by AG Josh Kaul. Lawmakers and Kaul can't agree on how to share sensitive legal information, and more than a dozen lawsuits involving millions of dollars languish as the dispute continues. 
With the likely loss of Wisconsin settlement money from ongoing lawsuits, costing the state millions, where are all those "fiscally conservative" voters now? 

Here's what "streamlining" government bureaucracy looks like, according to Wisconsin Republican politicians, point by mind-boggling point. Remember, this was once the AG's job, resulting in no news headlines, no controversy:
1. Republican leaders of the Legislature's finance committee hired an attorney at taxpayer expense, $290 an hour, Thursday to sign a secrecy agreement in an effort to end a standoff with Attorney General Josh Kaul ... (to) resolve the dispute triggered by new laws requiring the Democratic attorney general to get legislators' permission to settle lawsuits. 
2. Legal analysis by the head of the Legislature's research bureau suggested only a new law could require lawmakers to keep such information private. And the nondisclosure agreement proposed by the GOP leaders wouldn't apply to any of the committee's members anyway because none of them signed it individually. 

3. Lawmakers this week refused to sign such agreements requested by Kaul, who said he needed assurances of confidentiality to avoid consequences for taxpayers as he seeks to resolve litigation involving the state. 

4. Darling and Nygren signed a contract with Andrew Phillips of the Milwaukee law firm von Briesen that says the nondisclosure agreement binds the committee and its members, even though Phillips is the only person who signed it
5. "They can't do that," said Democratic Sen. Jon Erpenbach. "This attorney they've hired does not represent the views of us.""This is the first I'm hearing about it," Democratic Rep. Evan Goyke said. They said they were baffled by the notion that an attorney they didn't know they had could contend he had the power to limit what they could tell the public. 
6. Rick Champagne, the director of the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau, wrote in a memo that a confidentiality agreement signed by an attorney did not apply to individual lawmakers.
"I cannot find any authority that would require a member of the Legislature who serves on a committee to keep confidential any information delivered in closed session unless the information was required by state or federal law to be kept confidential or was information that the member had agreed to keep confidential under a confidentiality agreement signed by the member."  
Hanging in the balance; millions of dollars the state could use, especially against the opioid crisis affecting a lot of rural area Republican voters:
The action comes a day after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported more than a dozen lawsuits involving state taxpayers are languishing because the Wisconsin politicians can't agree on how to resolve them under the new Republican law that curbs the power of the Democratic attorney general. The impasse comes as billions of dollars are on the table for states — including Wisconsin — suing over the opioid crisis.

A proposed deal to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits against OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma over the company's role in the nation's opioid crisis was pushed back Thursday just as Kaul told lawmakers the tight timeline to resolve the latest dispute was no longer in place. Purdue Pharma is facing pushback from some attorneys general who say the proposed settlement of up to $12 billion isn't enough, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Who can forget this taxpayer paid for fiasco...actual government censorship. Who's silencing political speech again?

Attorneys for a liberal group will be paid $200,000 by taxpayers because Republican lawmakers blocked the group on Twitter. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that state officials agreed Thursday to pay the legal bills for One Wisconsin Now's attorneys. A federal judge ruled in January that Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Rep. John Nygren, both Republicans, had infringed on the group's First Amendment rights. U.S. District Judge William Conley concluded the three lawmakers had acted unconstitutionally by blocking the group on Twitter "because of its prior speech or identity."

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Campus Censorship campaign headed up by Scott Walker!!!

Conservatives are trying to not just influence academic speech, but also turn public schools and colleges into right-wing political indoctrination centers. And they're not being subtle about it either, especially after putting Scott Walker in charge of Young America's Foundation: 

Walker recently tweeted the following story detailing Young America's Foundation's new poll:

There is no attempt to cover up YAF's prime objective; to redefine and paint "socialism" as the villain again. So why isn't this Townhall article the lead topic the UW's Board of Regents latest discussions?

Conservatives want a free, publicly supported platform that Republican legislatures can openly censor debate and liberal dissenters, under their supposed campus free speech regulations, and play the repressed victims of liberalism.

Gerrymandering districts and turning our judicial branch into conservative judge legislators for right-wing politics wasn't enough. Now they're going after the public education system, the last remaining area of infiltration, pitting students and their parents against other students and parents, the old divide and conquer agenda Walker perfected.

The fact that this whole issue is a totally manufactured solution to a non-existent problem seems to have gotten lost along the way:
As the 2019-2020 school year begins this fall ... students will be heading into an academic environment rife with politicization and heated classroom discussions. But, how do students truly feel about issues such as socialism, free speech, health care, and illegal immigration? (Does) Gen Z feel comfortable sharing their true opinions? Do they even know the basic concepts of what they are discussing?
Remember when Republicans questioned whether naive liberal-leaning students should even be allowed to vote? Well, if Young America's Foundation can convert students into naive right-wingers, that could change.
To find out, Young America's Foundation, "the nation’s premier organization for inspiring students on high school and college campuses with conservative ideas," teamed up with Echelon Insights for a poll given exclusively to Townhall to gain a better understanding of America's youth.
Notice YAF's poll actually proves how ridiculous and phony this whole subject is. They're actually arguing against simple human nature. When it comes to free speech in the classroom:
1. Students generally believe their teachers are receptive of open debate: 74 percent of Gen Z'ers say they "feel like my teachers generally encourage students of a variety of points of view to participate in class discussions about government and economics."
YAF then deceptively drills down into the smaller percentages by making them seem larger than they are:
2. However, 46 percent admit they "have stopped myself from sharing my ideas or opinions in class discussions." As for why these students refrained, it appears that peer pressure is the dominating factor as 50 percent said they held back their opinions because they "thought my classmates would judge me."
Human nature...not intimidation, that's what's behind this manufactured speech crisis. YAF's war on human nature continues to get their spin:
This poll also indicates that classroom conversation is hampered since some opinions are withheld. This means this self-censorship potentially prevents students from gaining a fuller, broader understanding of topics like socialism and capitalism. For example, The polling indicates that 80 percent of Gen Z have a favorable view of small business, 73 percent have a favorable view of entrepreneurs, and 61 percent have a favorable view of free markets. However, despite the majority of these students finding these aspects of the economy "favorable," just 40 percent have a favorable opinion of capitalism. Furthermore, 40 percent of college-aged students had a positive view of socialism. Yet, when asked to define socialism, 10 percent of these students answered it simply meant "free stuff" and 27 percent said they were "don't know/unsure."
This is where YAF and Scott Walker come in, by repeatedly redefining socialism as the villain in their twisted vision of what that would mean:
YAF spokesperson Spencer Brown told Townhall that this poll highlights why his organization is so necessary for high school and college campuses ... groups like YAF are needed to fill in educational gaps and truly explain conservative ideas and values. Brown said. "Today’s students are hungry for ideas and keyed into the issues of the day but are frequently denied venues for free and open dialogue.”
No, it's just peer pressure and being unsure about ideas they're still trying to work out:
The poll also shows that very few friends discuss free market concepts with their peers. However ... they do discuss and learn more about issues like economic inequality.

The poll found that the more informed somebody was on socialism, the less likely it was they thought it would benefit the country ... on a scale of 1-10, do you think some form of socialism would be good or bad for the United States? At first, the initial average mean response was 4.18. When given more information, that average mean decreased to 3.84.  
Repeating again, this is a manufactured crisis:
Brown said, "America’s educational institutions are failing to provide the next generation with venues where the free and open exchange of ideas can flourish. "This is where bold Young Americans for Freedom's iconic campus activism projects and host leading conservatives through YAF’s campus lecture program are filling a significant gap in education."
Check out my long list of covered examples of GOP censorship (yes, government censorship) HERE.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Vos' power grab dream of veto-proof control over Democratic Governor...

Republicans have successfully convinced fellow conservative voter's that this miserable, troubled, complicated, frustrating, and convoluted life they've constructed is normal, and if you're a real American, you'll tough it out. 

Republican projection has revealed their dystopian endgame. Liberals aren't the ones who think government has all the answers, it's fascist thinking Republicans and their cultist Trump followers. Using time-consuming mazes like our health care system and paycheck-to-paycheck middle-class frustration, struggles, and resentment, they want to keep the masses just too busy and distracted to hold politicians accountable.

The GOP is now teaming up with the lawsuit mill The Institute of Law and Liberty to challenge everything Gov. Evers and AG Josh Kaul try to do by taking them to the conservative activist State Supreme Court, to cancel out any possible change in their agenda.

Which naturally brings me to Republican Rep. Robin Vos.

My Trumpian friend in Milwaukee called me the other day and said he thought Vos went too far when he said he wanted a veto-proof majority. It's got to be bad when a big Walker/Trump supporter says he's had enough of this arrogant bullshit. Note: My friend thought Vos was pushing "legislation" that would give Republicans a veto-proof majority. Would I kid you?:

Vos said at a forum organized by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce that his goal is to grow the number of Republicans from the current 63 to 67. That would be enough to override vetoes by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.
Were Republican voters demanding a veto-proof supermajority and total control of the state, or unlike Vos, were they more concerned with...:

-the shocking number of contaminated wells in the state?

-our crumbling roads?

-the outrageous cost of health care?

-turning away hundreds of millions of our federal dollars for Medicaid?

-underfunding schools and the UW?

-a serious lack of rural broadband internet?

-the dramatic loss of family dairy farms?

-the loss of local government control?

-tax cuts for already multi-million dollar corporations instead of startups?

-the Walker Foxconn handout that is now estimated to cost taxpayers $290,000 per job?

-all the other stuff I didn't include?

These are all problems that oddly, Scott Walker and the Republicans ignored over the last 8 years. I'm hoping Vos' arrogance will finally change some minds, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Walker hates UW Campus Liberals! "Censorship Exposed!!!"

As I continue to read Scott Walker's fantasy world tweets, it sends a shudder through me knowing he was in charge of this state once. His lack of public access and sparse commentary hid just how completely incompetent this caricature of a right-wing zealot was. If we all knew then what we are seeing now, especially after seeing his ripped off Trump-like tweets, we'd all be nervous wrecks by now.

Like this tweet about a totally fabricated "problem:"

Thank you Scott Walker, for opening this can of worms. You only have to look at Walker's own "censorship exposed," when he discriminated against and silenced a conservative UW student not in his cult of worship:

A University of Wisconsin-Platteville engineering student Joshua Inglett, anticipating a new seat on the UW System's Board of Regents, was renounced at the eleventh hour by Gov. Scott Walker, who withdrew the young man's appointment after finding out he had signed a petition as an 18-year-old freshman calling for the governor's recall ... an aide to Walker asked him whether he had signed the recall petition. He told him he had, and within hours another Walker aide left him a voice mail that made it clear to Inglett he wouldn't get the position.

"I felt like my character had been attacked," he said. Asked whether Inglett's characterization of what happened was accurate, Walker said, "I wasn't involved in that directly."
Oddly, Walker is somehow never involved. These original snowflakes and conservative victims of liberal silencing on campus, didn't stop there either:

You may remember the case of Joshua Inglett ... We mention this now because the story has resurfaced again, and in a big way. "This American Life," a nationally syndicated public radio show that is akin to "60 MInutes" on TV, has just broadcast a piece on Inglett's 15 minutes of fame.

Producer Ben Calhoun describes how Inglett, a Republican from Portage, was everything you could hope for in a UW regent, even if you were Scott Walker. But Inglett ran afoul of the searchable online black list that conservative groups made out of the petition papers. The report tells the story of how Team Walker shot itself in the foot by withdrawing Inglett's name, especially after Walker praised him effusively.

And there's more in the piece about how the conservative black-listing of recall petition signers has ended up with Wisconsin Republicans recklessly going after some of their own, apparently in the name of total political correctness.

You can listen to the 28-minute installment
So remember this tweet and how ridiculous it is in comparison to the blacklist and silencing descent on campus:

Blow Your Mind with this.....

Walker sat down with the Young America's Foundation board earlier this year (and) told the board he was their guy if they wanted “someone who can elevate this at a time when I think we need it more than ever, when free speech is under constant threat, particularly on college campuses.”
Indoctrination: Again, there's no threat from this phony conspiratorial fear of being silenced, but Walker does see the threat of not being patriotic enough. He blames those not so pleasant but accurate accounts of U.S. history. Walker isn't shy about demanding actual indoctrination with HIS "truth," with HIS conservative "our point of view" aimed at "teens and pre-teens." Walker's mind-numbing political poison is right there for all to see. 

He noted it is now a time when “nearly 60 percent of adults under 30 think that socialism is acceptable, and when, sadly, less than one-quarter of that age group are exceptionally proud to be Americans.”

Walker said another priority of his, both at the high school and university level, would be to promote more objective teaching of American history, global history, economics, and simple financial literacy: “If you just give people the facts, if you don’t put your spin on it, the facts will overwhelmingly lead people to be more aligned with our point of view.” 

He added that because of progressive professors and liberal politicians, “this generation just doesn’t believe what the facts show to be true.”

“YAF has been great – but we have to multiply it a thousand times over and reach more students and more campuses and earlier. Not just in college and high school, but teens and pre-teens, to find more ways to expose people to the truth, he said he told the board.
Check out Walker's attack on the UW and public education that includes blacklisting and liberal bans:

Trump's Republican Russian backers...

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Trump eyeing Internet Censorship on his way to fascist state!

Republicans have always portrayed themselves as victims of censorship, silenced at colleges and in public gatherings, and fearful of being attacked physically by threatening fire-breathing liberals who brandish...a better argument.
President Trump frequently attacks … social media companies over an alleged but unproven systemic bias against conservatives by technology platforms
Anyone surprised Trump's twisted way of thinking would result in this, censorship by unelected bureaucrats ?

A leaked draft of a Trump administration edict—dubbed by critics as a "Censor the Internet" executive order, that would give powerful federal agencies far-reaching powers to pick and choose which kind of Internet material is and is not acceptable.
Meant to do what campus free speech rights were designed to do, protect radical right-wing nationalism, fascism, and racism, our "small government' Republicans want to call the free speech shots. Read it and weep: 
According to CNN, the new rule "calls for the FCC to develop new regulations clarifying how and when the law protects social media websites when they decide to remove or suppress content on their platforms ... also calls for the Federal Trade Commission to take those new policies into account when it investigates or files lawsuits against misbehaving companies." 

PEN America warned that any executive order based on this draft rule would be an unconstitutional "anti-American edict. 

"It's hard to put into words how mind bogglingly absurd this executive order is," said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, in a tweet. "In the name of defending free speech it would allow mass government censorship of online content. In practice, it means whichever party is in power can decide what speech is allowed on the internet." 
Action alert: [The] leaked documents ... give these bureaucratic government agencies unprecedented control over how Internet platforms ... whichever political party is in power could dictate what speech is allowed on the Internet. If the government doesn't like the way a private company is moderating content, they can shut their entire website down.
GOP's Trumpian Paranoia: So just make up a conspiracy around political bias against poor socially conservative rejects: 
Public Knowledge's Lewis said "Political bias by digital platforms remains unproven. In fact, an independent study by The Economist points towards search platforms having a bias towards virality and attention, not political ideology," said Lewis. "This matches reports from books like Tim Wu's "The Attention Merchants" and others that study social media addiction. It is this sort of algorithmic bias towards virality that foreign adversaries use to sow disinformation and mistrust in our country."
Social Media Regulations to Protect Right-Wing Nationalism: Check out this followup story here:
NPR: A new legislative proposal by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., would ban elements of social media he views as addictive ... (in) social media apps like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Concerns with technological addiction are merging with rising political anger against Big Tech. Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, a champion of free markets, seems at least open to it. "Nobody wants to see a federal speech police. But at the same time allowing a handful of Silicon Valley billionaires to be the censors of all political speech in America is a terrible outcome. And so I think Sen. Hawley's bill is a positive step in the right direction," Cruz said.

Nanny State Republicans are really Social Media Engineers who think Government is the answer?

Republican warrior against social engineering and small government, Sen. Josh Hawley, has exposed himself as the political hypocrite and liar.we thought he was.

When it comes to almost everything, including guns, Republicans are quick to put all the responsibility on the users best judgement, you know, to avoid regulation. They say the government isn't the answer to everything, and certainly shouldn't be telling people what to do in their personal lives...except maybe social media?

This nanny state Republican Senator doesn't just want to ban things, but he also doesn't care how his legislation would derail the way these social media companies pay for themselves. And if they can't make money, you guessed it, we as consumers will start paying monthly premiums. Not a good idea, and it would also price out many more low income users:

NPR: A new legislative proposal by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., would ban elements of social media he views as addictive ... (in) social media apps like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Concerns with technological addiction are merging with rising political anger against Big Tech.
That concern is huge in China, which already controls what their citizens see on the internet, so we want to be like a communist country? Do we want to go there?
Hawley's proposal strikes at the heart of how social media companies make money. "Their business model is based on user engagement and time spent on the platform. ... Certainly they're using sophisticated psychological measures like the auto-play feature and others to keep people on the platform," said Lindsay Gorman, a fellow for emerging technologies at the German Marshall Fund, explaining just how crucial these sorts of features are to the big tech companies.
Hawley assumes Americans can't think for themselves:
"Their business model is increasingly exploitative in nature and I think that these are companies that are trying to evade accountability." The freshman Missouri senator drafted a bill that would: 
1. Require social media companies to tell users every 30 minutes how long they've been on a platform each day.

2. Make illegal the concept of "infinite scroll," which endlessly populates apps with additional content. 

3. It would also prohibit the auto-play of video and audio.
Sorry, auto play is something every user can set up for themselves. It also appears Hawley just woke up to the fact that social media has been using our media habits to make money. Outrageous?
"The big tech platforms have adopted a business model that takes our private information without telling us, sells it without our consent, and then it tries to use exploitative and addictive practices in order to get us to spend more time on their platform, so they can take more stuff from us," he said. Hawley's legislation isn't likely to pass.
Give Racist Nationalism a Platform? Or is this just another effort to stop private companies from blocking what they want, according to their own business model and social media identity? No surprise, this is really all about letting white nationalism, racism, fascism and right-wing political content continue to have a platform: 
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, a champion of free markets, seems at least open to it. "Nobody wants to see a federal speech police. But at the same time allowing a handful of Silicon Valley billionaires to be the censors of all political speech in America is a terrible outcome. And so I think Sen. Hawley's bill is a positive step in the right direction," Cruz said.

Another reason Health Care-for-All is the solution to problems below...

The stories about health care on spinning out fast and furious, so it's hard to cover every nightmarish situation that screams for universal health care, now.

Trump's Junk Insurance Plan Wastes Money, Doesn't Pay for Health Care: Here's one thing almost everyone said would happen...except Trump and his drooling mod of deplorable's:
BREAKING: Trump’s junk insurance plans are spending an average of 39% of your premium on actual medical care. ACA requires 75% minimum. Short-term health plans spend little on medical care.
No, really? This is what happened before the ACA became law, and why the ACA was so desperately needed.

Uninsured Rise, Again: Excluding Trump and his panting cult, almost everyone predicted an increase in the uninsured rate thanks to Trump's attack on Obama's one big political and social success:
ModernHealthcare: The Obamacare exchanges last year lost 1.2 million of its unsubsidized enrollment last year, the CMS found in a report released Monday.

From 2016 to 2018, 2.5 million people who were paying their entire Affordable Care Act premiums dropped out of the individual market.

The Trump administration's latest enrollment snapshot doesn't bring many surprises given the high price tag for premiums, but the numbers are stark. The exchanges saw a 40% drop in unsubsidized enrollment from 2016 to 2018, and the declines hit almost every state.
Check out this down-the-rabbit-hole perspective:
In a statement, CMS Administrator Seema Verma characterized the report as another sign that the ACA isn't working. "The ongoing exodus of the unsubsidized population from the market proves that Obamacare's sky-high premiums are unaffordable."
Uh, that "unaffordable" and "unsubsidized" market Verma is talking about is...the existing insurance market without government subsidies, which is what Republicans call the free market and want to return to. Doh?
The high premiums (are) attributed to "sabotage" by the Trump administration and GOP lawmakers in Congress.
Medicare-for-All includes all coverage, all doctors, and all hospitals!!! Democrats continue to repeat absolute nonsensical talking points pushed by Republicans:
Joe Biden and other moderate Democratic candidates opposed to “Medicare for All” have cast the plan as anti-labor, arguing that it would leave union members worse off by stripping them of the health care benefits they painstakingly negotiated. But not all labor unions agree. Many others unions remain undecided. 

Some of the biggest labor groups in the country have embraced the plan. Those supporting Medicare for All say health care increasingly dominates contract battles, consuming bargaining power that could instead be directed toward raising wages and improving working conditions.
Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants: “When we’re able to hang on to the health plan we have, that’s considered a massive win. But it’s a huge drag on our bargaining. So our message is: Get it off the table.”
It's true that union workers are wary of giving up hard-won benefits, even when promised a plan that covers more services for less money.
Eliminate International Medical Vacations: Lower Hospital Costs Dramatically, Pay Doctors Well Instead in Medicare-for-All: Bet you didn't know a major Wisconsin manufacturer is saving huge amounts of medical payouts with this in foreign countries: 
Donna Ferguson awoke in the resort city of Cancun. She walked down a short hallway from her Sheraton hotel and into Galenia Hospital. A surgeon, Dr. Thomas Parisi, who had flown in from Wisconsin the day before, stood by Ferguson’s hospital bed and used a black marker to note which knee needed repair. For this surgery, she would not only receive free care but would receive a check when she got home.

The hospital costs of the American medical system are so high that it made financial sense for both a highly trained orthopedist from Milwaukee and a patient from Mississippi to leave the country and meet at an upscale private Mexican hospital for the surgery.

Ferguson gets her health coverage through her husband’s employer, Ashley Furniture Industries. The cost to Ashley was less than half of what a knee replacement in the United States would have been. That’s why its employees and dependents who use this option have no out-of-pocket copayments or deductibles for the procedure; in fact, they receive a $5,000 payment from the company, and all their travel costs are covered. Parisi, who spent less than 24 hours in Cancun, was paid $2,700, or three times what he would get from Medicare, the largest single payer of hospital costs in the United States. Private health plans and hospitals often negotiate payment schedules using the Medicare reimbursement rate as a floor.

The high prices charged at American hospitals make it relatively easy to offer surgical bargains in Mexico: In the United States, knee replacement surgery costs an average of about $30,000 — sometimes double or triple that — but at Galenia, it is only $12,000, said Dr. Gabriela Flores Teón, medical director of the facility.

The standard charge for a night in the hospital is $300 at Galenia, Flores said, compared with $2,000 on average at hospitals in the United States. The other big savings is the cost of the medical device — made by a subsidiary of the New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson — used in Ferguson’s knee replacement surgery. The very same implant she would have received at home costs $3,500 at Galenia, compared with nearly $8,000 in the United States, Flores said.
Medicare Needs Major Changes Too: Here's a story I personally experienced with own mom that ended up costing our family a lot of needless out-of-pocket spending.

NOTE: Every bad thing in the blog post would not be an issue with universal health care. Think about that: 
Medicare paid for Betty Gordon’s knee replacement surgery in March, but the 72-year-old former high school teacher needed a nursing home stay and care at home to recover.

Yet Medicare wouldn’t pay for that. So Gordon is stuck with a $7,000 bill she can’t afford — and, as if that were not bad enough, she can’t appeal. The reasons Medicare won’t pay have frustrated the Rhode Island woman and many others trapped in the maze of regulations surrounding something called “observation care.”

Patients, like Gordon, receive observation care in the hospital when their doctors think they are too sick to go home but not sick enough to be admitted. They stay overnight or longer, usually in regular hospital rooms, getting some of the same services and treatment (often for the same problems) as an admitted patient — intravenous fluids, medications and other treatment, diagnostic tests and round-the-clock care they can get only in a hospital.

But observation care is considered an outpatient service under Medicare rules, like a doctor’s appointment or a lab test. Observation patients may have to pay a larger share of the hospital bill than if they were officially admitted to the hospital. Plus, they have to pick up the tab for any nursing home care. Medicare’s nursing home benefit is available only to those admitted to the hospital for three consecutive days. Gordon spent three days in the hospital after her surgery, but because she was getting observation care, that time didn’t count.

There’s another twist: Patients might want to file an appeal, as they can with many other Medicare decisions. But that is not allowed if the dispute involves observation care.

Monday, a trial begins in federal court in Hartford, Conn., where patients who were denied Medicare’s nursing home benefit are hoping to force the government to eliminate that exception. A victory would clear the way for appeals from hundreds of thousands of people. The class-action lawsuit was filed in 2011 by seven Medicare observation patients and their families against the Department of Health and Human Services. Seven more plaintiffs later joined the case.

“This is about whether the government can take away health care coverage you may be entitled to and leave you no opportunity to fight for it,” said Alice Bers, litigation director at the Center for Medicare Advocacy, one of the groups representing the plaintiffs. If they win, people with traditional Medicare who received observation care services for three days or longer since Jan. 1, 2009, could file appeals seeking reimbursement for bills Medicare would have paid had they been admitted to the hospital. More than 1.3 million observation claims meet these criteria for the 10-year period through 2017, according to the most recently available government data.