Monday, April 30, 2012

Walker on $11 million campaign funding advantage over challengers: "One offsets the other." Really?

Yeah, I guess it's pretty close....

Here's how Scott Walker explained in on Upfront:

UPDATE: 5/1/2012- This is a graphic from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, that shows Walker with $4.9 on hand, meaning he's spent a lot of it so far. Yet the race is close. Still, Walker holds a decisive edge in spending money; Walker's $4.9 million to Barrett's $475 thousand. And that doesn't take into consideration all the outside groups chomping at the bit to support their corporate takeover with ads of their own. 

But is Walker serving the taxpayers or…well, you fill in the rest:
BostonGlobe: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's fan list reads like a who's who of some of the richest people in America -- financial gurus, a Las Vegas casino president, even an NBA team owner. He spent nearly $11 million and had almost $4.9 million in the bank. His biggest donor was Diane M. Hendricks, founder of Beloit-based American Builders and Contractors Supply Co. Inc. Forbes estimates she's worth $2.8 billion. She gave the governor $500,000. The next two biggest donors were Sheldon Adelson, chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Sands casino, and Richard DeVos, owner of the Orlando Magicbasketball team and co-founder of the Amway Corp. The connections he's built have paid off -- none of his challengers' ledgers is even in the same galaxy. Monday's filings show Walker's opponent in the Republican primary, college-aged political protester Arthur Kohl-Riggs, raised just $2,045 and spent about $480 between Jan. 1 and April 23. He had $1,565 in the bank. 

Wage Discrimination a Left Wing Fantasy, Republican Women Happy with Less.

With the definitive look at pay inequality, this 14 minute segment from Rachel Maddow is all anyone needs to know on the subject.

Here's a short clip from a few weeks ago on Upfront with Mike Gousha, that like Maddow, was my moment of revelation. I honestly didn't believe women would say wage discrimination was a hoax too. Here's the amazingly clueless Rep. Michelle Litjens, who by the way, is not running again for office thank god:

Can Speaker John Boehner get away with saying that?

The first thing out of Boehner's mouth in the clip below should be in almost every ad this campaign season for Democrats. After this, is there really any question on whether Republicans are waging a war on women? Boehner even gets an applause from his fellow misogynistic gang members.

1930's 3D Pictures....

In the old days, 3D (stereographic pictures) had to be viewed through a contraption called a stereograph viewer. But creating animated GIF's can pretty much do the same thing. I've created a few here from the site, Stereogranimator.

GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

The Shadowy Walker Campaign Headquarters Secret.

Where is Scott Walker’s main campaign headquarters?

Like the 2010 elections, I guess the less people know, the better a Republican candidate does.

Even stranger is how frightened Walker appears to be of the public. What a way to lead the state. This story by Journal Sentinel Dan Bice says it all:
His staff is trying to keep that a secret. One veteran Republican handler explained the thinking behind the Walker team's unusual attempts to remain invisible in this already bizarre recall election.

"I don't know that I recall a campaign not publicizing their campaign offices," said GOP campaign strategist Mark Graul. "But based on some of the ridiculousness of the absurd protesters, it makes sense not to let those people know where they're at so they don't go over there and dump beer on their heads or any of the other stupid things those idiots do."
After pouring one beer over a snarky Republicans head (now a tradition whenever Robin Vos is spotted in public), suddenly our concealed carrying scaredy-cat lawmakers have decided to duck and cover? Where’s all that “courage” Walker talked about having, as he lords over everyone in the state? And what's with the authoritarian pronouncement that government protesters were “ridiculous” and “absurd.” Just what the founding fathers would have wanted?
But it's not like this is the only thing Walker's team wants to keep top secret. His state office does not post his schedule ahead of time, releasing a monthly calendar only to those who ask. And the campaign doesn't announce fundraisers and won't provide a list of previous out-of-state events.

But Barrett and Falk and the two other Dem candidates weren't targets of massive protests as Walker was after he proposed doing away with collective bargaining for most public employees.
Wait! Why aren’t the Democratic candidates being protested? Could it be Walker supporters are letting big money do the walking and talking for them with outlandish media buys? Where are all those “tea party” genius's without the aid of their Koch brothers buses.
Most of his campaign work takes place outside Wisconsin borders.

All we know about the main Walker campaign office is that it lists a P.O. Box in Middleton for campaign donations and other mail. The governor does give a street address on University Ave. in Middleton for his defense fund ... Is that where his super secret campaign office is also? "No," responded Walker campaign spokeswoman Ciara Matthews.

Romney, Republicans, belittle Obama for getting Bin Laden.

Did Barack Obama use the killing of Bin Laden improperly in his campaign material?

What many would consider a military and political bragging point in the war against "terrorism," the Republican strategy to turn a strength into a weakness seems transparently ludicrous on every level. 

Here's the setup: 
CNN: Team Obama released a video on Friday, partially narrated by former President Bill Clinton, that praised the president's decision to order the killing of the al Qaeda chief one year from Tuesday and questioned whether Romney would have made the same choice. Biden similarly questioned (Romney). The video quotes Romney in 2007 during his first White House bid, saying, "It's not worth moving heaven and earth, spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person." During his second White House bid, Romney has repeatedly praised the president for launching the raid on bin Laden.

Meanwhile, senior Romney adviser Ed Gillespie characterized the political steps a "bridge too far" ... utilizing the raid for political purposes is one of the reasons Obama has "become one of the most divisive presidents in American history. He took something that was a unifying event for all Americans, and he's managed to turn it into a divisive, partisan political attack," Gillespie said. "I think most Americans will see it as a sign of a desperate campaign."
"I know you are but what am I" would be a logical comeback. But instead of going Pee Wee Herman, here's former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, on this pathetic hypocrisy. Wilkerson is a conservative who  isn't afraid to speak the truth:

Walker Blames political unrest for job losses! Big business now repeating talking point.

To make any sense out of Scott Walker's theory about job creation, we first have to get rid of the notion that 70 percent of our economy has anything to do with consumer demand. Consumers are the real job creators, but forget all that.

Walker believes business certainty, something that never existed before and is impossible to obtain in a free market, is for real. He also believes that last winters protests stopped businesses from hiring workers because...they were worried that poor Scott Walker was in political trouble?

You'll notice that Walker is basing his economic plan on just what businesses are telling him about the political climate. Heck, the Milwaukee Business Journal and "other entities" pretty much said it was true, and they've got nothing to really gain from all this, except maybe a lot of power and money.

Mike Gousha didn't seem to want to mess around with Walker's well rehearsed answers. So he started by asking why in the last year of the Doyle administration, the state gained 30,000 jobs, and under his administration he lost 24,000 jobs? "How do you explain that?"

Gousha on Illinois jobs: "But they created 41,000 jobs in that time frame, the March to March time frame."

Walker: "Yeah, but they didn't have all the attention around the Capitol."
Not a good answer. Who created all that "attention?" Who's fault was it? This has got to be one of the dumbest excuses yet. It should be noted; because of the dramatic lack of jobs in Wisconsin, many of the unemployed aren't looking, which in turn has lowered the unemployment numbers. That fact, for some odd reason, is a bragging point for Walker.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Walker on the War of Women, "In the larger context, it's a bogus issue."

Revelation; Labor got in the way of Scott Walker's attack on unions, and women got in the way of Walker's attack on trial lawyers. All potential sources of campaign money used to back Democratic candidates.

Walker is on automatic when he tries to tie his agenda to the "taxpayer," an overused focus group tested word that only serves his purely political agenda. Even the partisan Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United that union and corporate money in campaigns represented free speech.

The War on Women is a bogus issue to Scott Walker.

In Walker's disastrous appearance on Upfront with Mike Gousha (goo-shay), Scotty smiles his way through what most women would consider a serious discussion over the issue of equal pay. His convoluted reasons why the law wasn't important pale in comparison to his drive to vilify and neuter private sector lawyers from contributing to Democratic campaigns.

Do women find Walker's flippant behavior insulting?

Walker got so carried away BSing, that he actually said the conservative Wisconsin State Journal was liberal and sided with him about how silly the war on women was. After all, everything in Dane County is liberal, so that means the WSJ is too.  

As Milwaukee County Executive, Walker responsible for jobs and business exodus, not Barrett.

On Upfront with Mike Gousha (goo-shay), Scott Walker was asked why he didn't share in the responsibility for job and business losses in the Milwaukee area when he was county executive. Surprise, he didn't really have an answer:

What we're seeing now in Wisconsin, is not a set up for some magical massive influx of jobs or a corporate Renascence, we're seeing what Walker does best. We were warned...big time back in Oct, 2010: 
jsonline-Daniel Bice: Milwaukee County government is in such dire financial shape that state lawmakers should push through legislation that would allow it and other local governments to file for bankruptcy … the powerful committee is looking to recommend doing away with the elected county executive's post, slicing county worker benefits and spinning off the zoo, the bus system, the parks and much else under separate commissions. If these dramatic steps - or something like them - aren't taken county government will collapse, the draft report suggests. "If we don't make changes today … Parks will close, bus routes will end and families in distress will not get the help they need. Our Milwaukee will grow smaller and smaller as people and companies leave."
So the Greater Milwaukee Committee released this unforgettable statement: 
"We don't want this to become some sort of political football during the fall election campaigns."
Voters didn't have a right to consider his history as county executive? What's written below happened on Oct 9, 2010. It could have been written yesterday. Deja vu?:
Not surprisingly, Barrett's campaign jumped at the chance to use the draft recommendations as "a stunning indictment" of Walker's eight years at the county's helm. Barrett spokesman Phil Walzak called on the committee to release the full report before the election, saying it could give a glimpse of what awaits the state if Walker becomes governor.
actual cartoon during Walker run for governor in 2010 
And guess who helped push for, and keep the report secret until after the election?
Michael Grebe, the head of the conservative Bradley Foundation, is chairman of both the Greater Milwaukee Committee and the campaign for Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker. Grebe said, "it would be more effective for us to release after the election."
History does repeat itself.

Environmental Violations down, thanks to business friendly Republicans.

Wisconsin’s pristine environment saw violators because it wasn't business friendly enough. But it is now under DNR Sec. Stepp and pollution is a thing of the past.

What, businesses are now complying with and towing the mark on possible environmental violations? The certainty that comes with an anti-EPA political party is making businesses pollute less?

That’s what DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp would have you believe:
WSJ: Environmental enforcement activity by the state Department of Natural Resources has dropped dramatically in the past two years … with the number of permit violation notices hitting a 12-year low in 2011. DNR officials say the decrease is partly caused by an enforcement staff that's been hit hard by budget cuts. But they also point to a philosophical shift ... "I don't apologize for that," said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp of her emphasis on customer service and a less-confrontational agency. (Businesses) know they have somebody they can come to and help them comply."
How reassuring. They know they have somebody they can depend on to look the other way, or at least, roll their eyes in agreement.
Critics, including current employees and recently retired agency officials, say they see tough regulation and enforcement being de-emphasized by politically appointed administrators, it is happening at the expense of the agency's traditional and legally mandated duties of oversight and environmental protection. Sue Miller, a conservation warden in Hayward … has been with the DNR for more than 30 years … “it seems like we're supposed to use a lot more caution … 'Use really good discretion in what might be controversial areas.' But the conclusion we come to is, 'Don't write the ticket.” "I've had seasoned guys who call me about blatant charges and say they are having second thoughts because the person says they'll call the governor's office or the secretary. You really end up talking guys through it. There is a lot of stress in making decisions where there wasn't before."

Gordon Stevenson, who retired in January from his job overseeing permits for industrial-sized farms called concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, described a gradual move in the past two years toward less enforcement and more influence within the agency by business interests, including business and farm lobbying groups. The push, he said, is to write permits rather than enforce them. "My conclusion is that there is not an emphasis on enforcement in the current administration. The attitude is 'We're in trouble economically so let's suspend the rules.' Is that a good idea? I don't think it is."
And right on cue, Stepp blamed…
Stepp said such a large staff always will have disgruntled employees.

The number of violation notices issued by the DNR in 2011 was far below the annual average for the past 12 years in several crucial areas.

George Meyer, executive director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, is a former DNR secretary described the decreases as "more than a dip." "The numbers are so dramatic, it is clear there is a different philosophy toward enforcement."

The authoritarian hand of the Catholic church, and its tyrannical Bishop Robert Morlino

The folks in Platteville never liked the “traditionalist” priests that took over their parish, and they made that very clear from the beginning. Bishop Morlino’s iron fisted control over his flock has now officially turned ugly. Simply put, Morlino prefers a Medieval approach to Catholicism.

Forget the First Amendment, we’re dealing with the ultimate authoritarian religion. And it's happening at a time when we seem to be witnessing a conservative authoritarian takeover of our government. You will not speak freely, and you will not protest!!!
WSJ: Madison Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino has moved to quell a backlash against a group of conservative priests in Platteville since June 2010 by warning parishioners they risk formal church censure unless they stop spreading "rumors and gossip."

The action by Morlino, which two Catholic scholars called highly unusual, appears to include the possibility of offenders being prohibited from taking part in church sacraments such as communion, confession and burial.
The Platteville community exercised their First Amendment rights by sending a profound monetary message:
Within months, church donations fell by more than half, and about 40 percent of the church’s 1,200 members signed a petition seeking the priests’ ouster. The church’s 77-year-old school is set to close June 1 (because of the changes).
The penalty in the land of the free?
The letter, in which Morlino raises the prospect of invoking the church’s Code of Canon Law against dissenters, has stunned many parishioners. "There’s almost shock and awe," said Myron Tranel, a member of the church’s finance council.

Where there are those who work to "incite hatred," there "may need to be more formal warning and action," Morlino wrote. An addendum cites many church laws, including one in which anyone who publicly incites animosities or hatred toward church authorities "is to be punished by an interdict or other just penalties."
The frightening followers who see nothing wrong with serving their declared authority, love the idea of punishment.
Others applaud the bishop’s move, saying decisive action was needed because criticism had gotten out of hand. "This is a warning shot across the bow — you either want to be a Catholic or you don’t," said Gregory Merrick, a member of the church’s pastoral council. 

And the targets of religious persecution (is this really happening in America)?
Terry Busch wonders if he’s a target of the bishop’s message. "There’s nothing I’ve ever said that isn’t true, but it sounds like if you say anything about the priests or the church, they’re coming after you," he said. "Now I don’t know exactly what that means. Do they send you to hell or take you to court?"

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Heather sighs; please come to Racine, Ed Schultz!!!

I smiled when I came across this Caledonia Patch article by Heather Rayne Geyer. It's a warm and genuine heartfelt plea to get Ed Schultz into Racine. Check out her article here, and petition here. I mean heck, how can you look into that face and say no....
Ed Schultz is planning a trip throughout Wisconsin before his final stop in Madison on the day of the recall election - June 5, 2012. We are urging Ed to stop in Racine, WI during his tour. Racine was instrumental in the recall with thousands of petition volunteers. We are a city which used to be a center for manufacturing. We have countless union members - both public and private - who are hard working Americans which have been vilified in the past year and a half.

We invite Ed to visit Racine, have a beer, some Kringle (of course) and maybe a fish fry!! Ed, you come and we will welcome you - blue carpet and all.

P.S. Racine TEA Party will be holding a rally June 2nd. I would LOVE to blow their numbers out of the water!!

Business is so close to taking it all, they can taste it with a $2 million ad buy.

The Face of Corporate Greed
Nothing says fascism, plutocracy, oligarchy than this recent effort to cinch the electoral prize of a Republican ruling class.
The RepublicWisconsin's leading business lobbying group says it has purchased $2 million worth of television air time to run a spot in support of Republican Gov. Scott Walker starting Monday. Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce vice president James Buchen says the spot running statewide is designed to make the case that Walker's policies are improving the state.

There is No Freedom without Government, in a Free Market System.

I thought this argument for public schools said so much more, especially about the role of government and the past cruelty of the free market system, so I had to pass it along to you:
By John Krull, director of Franklin College's Pulliam School of Journalism: The premise is that things will get easier for individuals if they are allowed to fend in the marketplace for themselves without government intervention. That would have been a fascinating notion for the people who lived a century ago.

Those folks, our ancestors, knew what an unchecked market could do to individuals – pretty much what the slaughterhouse did to cattle. The market, for example, not only allowed for but demanded that children work 14-hour days in factories. The market thought nothing of firing people without pay for being injured on the job – destroying families in the process. And the market didn't blink at the notion of shooting strikers for demanding better wages.

That is why people turned to government to shelter them from the worst excesses of market forces, because a free market – by definition – won't restrain itself. Government was the only thing big enough to stand up to emerging corporations.

(Some) folks see government and unions as the source of all problems. But it wasn't government or any union that pulled heavy industry out of many northern cities and turned them into ghost towns without vibrant and supportive neighborhoods. It wasn't government or a union that closed down factories and took away the tax base for many small towns across the country. And it isn't slow, stagnant government that routinely upends the economy in its search for more efficient ways to deliver goods and services.

No, market forces did all those things.

Politifact kinda says Scott Walker was lying when he said Trial Lawyers on employer discrimination “Gravy Train”.

Trial lawyers were on a gravy train suing businesses for workplace discrimination, don’t cha know.

But like voter fraud, Walker came up with a solution looking for a problem. I swear almost everything Republican do have something to do with disabling their opponents in whatever way possible.

Politifact’s latest Walker takedown proves that point beyond any doubt:
When Politifact Wisconsin first wrote about an attempt by Republicans to repeal a law that allowed discriminated workers to sue in state court, we found a surprising statistic: The law had been in effect for nearly three years, but no such lawsuits had been filed.

And yet a month later, days after signing a repeal of the law, GOP Gov. Scott Walker suggested the law had been a financial windfall for attorneys. "In the past, it was kind of a gravy train for the trial bar," the governor told the Wisconsin Radio Network on April 10, 2012. He added: "The only change (the repeal) really makes is it no longer includes the benefit that was in place before for lawyers." Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie acknowledged that no state court lawsuits were filed while the old law was in effect. So, clearly lawyers weren’t getting paid based on their clients winning discrimination cases in state court.

But Werwie argued that the law was still a "kind of a gravy train" for lawyers because they could extract settlements from employers by threatening to sue in state court. Wisconsin Restaurant Assc. lobbyist Pete Hanson said that shortly after the old law took effect, one restaurant agreed to pay a roughly $50,000 settlement on a claim that typically would have been settled for a fraction of that because of the potential cost of a lawsuit. However, when the law was passed, it said it could only be applied to future cases -- not those already in the pipeline.

Werwie cited 2009 testimony in support of the old law by Madison attorney Paul Kinne, who represented the Wisconsin Association for Justice, Kinne argued "Limited damages make it very difficult to bring discrimination cases. Attorneys turn down dozens of cases because damages are limited and most people cannot afford to pay hourly fees."

Like Werwie’s first point, this one does not provide hard evidence that the law was a financial boon for lawyers. Werwie noted that, of six organizations that lobbied for the 2009 law, one was the trial lawyers group and four were unions. But that, too, does not support the "gravy train" statement.
We rate Walker’s statement Mostly False.
But who knows, anything can still happen. 

Madison's Bishop Morlino bucks Church, Supports Ryan; "This is an issue where the congressman speaks well for himself."

It's one thing for Paul Ryan to know more about religious doctrine than the Catholic bishops, who have spoken out in unity against the inhumane policies of Ryan's "Path," but it's another thing for Bishop Robert Morlino, of the Madison Catholic Diocese, to continues to inject his partisan political brand of Catholicism into the mix in support of Ryan.

The story from WKOW states Morlino is staying completely out of the controversy, but that's just not true. Especially after seeing his statement on the Ryan controversy. Morlino is a Republican Party hack.

The Phony Taxpayer supported Campaign of Barack Obama.

How simple would it have been for the media to have initially reported, and continued to do so, the facts about the issue of presidential business and campaign stops? When you see the kind of outrage presented by John Boehner below, you know he's not being honest about the the whole thing.

Martin Bashir's short presentation of the facts here, is as easy as it gets.

Did Martin Bashir just say what I think he said about Mitt Romney? So true.

I really enjoy watching MSNBC's Martin Bashir. It's hard to predict who he'll pick on next with his biting, brutal commentary, and relentless quest for the simple truth.

In what I think is a funny clip below, Bashir stuns Ed Schultz with an amazing Mitt Romney comparison. Killer punchline.

The Castle Doctrine, and why it should be Repealed.

1670 WTDY's Sly in the Morning is gun crazy. He and I have been debating this for years. Sly tried his best a few weeks back to defend the states new Castle Doctrine, a law that's already claimed its first victim, Bo Morrison. Guest attorney John Walsh presents a simple and convincing case against it. But the small part of the brain that accepts the logic of gun ownership, is like a cerebral weed, spreading its toxic roots into every neuron and cranial cavity.

We should ban guns today and create testosterone release centers (regulated militia's), to keep these thuggish tendencies in check.

Federal Judge Refuses to lift his block on Parts of Act 10.

Gov. Scott Walker unconstitutional attempt to limit the free speech of public unions will not get a reprieve in the courts while the state challenges a federal judges order to block parts of Act 10.
WSJ: U.S. District Judge William Conley ruled that his order — which blocks mandatory annual recertification of employee unions and allows the collection of union dues from employee paychecks — will take effect while the state appeals his March 30 ruling.
Here's a great discussion of Judge Conley's decision from WTDY 1670's Sly in the Morning, and guest attorney Mike Riley (audio only). They take a well deserved shot at conservative radio talker Vicki McKenna and male clone Brian Schimming, who described Judge Conley as one of those typical liberal Dane County judges, when in fact, he's a federal judge. But hey, details, details. 

Here's the latest on Judge Conley's ruling:
Conley had ruled in March that portions of Act 10, as the law is known, are unconstitutional.

In an 11-page ruling, Conley wrote that he was not persuaded the state would prevail in its appeal. Conley wrote that it's "irrational" to impose annual recertification by a super majority on most unions while imposing fewer burdens on public safety unions that, by law, require membership and payment of dues.

Conley also added that the state continues "to ignore that their burden in justifying either an annual recertification requirement or the refusal to withhold voluntary dues is not met by posing thin reeds of rationality." Appearance matters, he wrote, "and it appears these were punitive measures intended to impinge directly on the associational and free speech rights of political opponents, while leaving mainly supportive unions alone."

Friday, April 27, 2012

Even Obamacare opponents get Insurance company rebate thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

When the Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act for strictly partisan reasons, and to protect against forcing Americans to buy cell phones, food and brocolli, remember what you're about to give up:
Post Crescent: Wisconsin businesses and consumers will get an estimated $16.8 million in rebates this year from health insurers that spent more on administrative expenses and profits than allowed under the 2010 health care overhaul, according to a report released Thursday. Insurers that have told the state they expect to owe rebates cover 365,395 Wisconsinites, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health policy research group.

"This study shows that asking insurance companies to put more of their premium dollar towards patient care rather than administration and profits is not only popular but also effective," Kaiser President and CEO Drew Altman said.

The advocacy group Health Care for America Now called the spending rule a victory for consumers and warned that it's in jeopardy if the Supreme Court overturns the 2010 law. "For far too long, health insurance companies have been ripping off consumers, and Obamacare finally put a stop to that," said Ethan Rome, executive director of Health Care for America Now.

The rebates, however, don't show the full impact of the new rule. Some insurance premiums haven't risen as fast as they could have, or have fallen, so insurers would not owe a rebate. The Kaiser Family Foundation said that probably produced more savings for consumers than the rebates themselves. Also helping keep premiums down is another new rule requiring a review of premiums that increase more than 10 percent.

Ron Johnson voted against Violence Against Women Act.

You’d think the Violence Against Women Act would have passed easily through congress. But the real war on women continues to play itself out, all the while Republicans are in denial…
Miami Herald: But some opponents are trying to block the legislation because they fear it would broaden American Indian tribal rights and has too many protections for gay and illegal immigrant victims of violence.

MinnPost: (It) helps gays and lesbians receive domestic-abuse protections, make more temporary visas available for battered women in the United States illegally, and offer native American women more protection … (but Republicans voted) against big government and inefficient spending," said Sen. Mike Lee (R) "and a vote in favor of state autonomy and local control." Republicans led by Reps. Sandy Adams of Florida said “I can assure you that the House is not opening up the bill in controversial ways like the Senate bill does."
Controversial protections, for those who are gay, native American or are in the country illegally? They should all be punished!
The Senate voted Thursday to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act 68-31, with Wisconsin's senators splitting on the measure. U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl voted in favor of the act.
But dumb Ron Johnson?
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson voted against the bill. The Oshkosh Republican criticized a number of GOP alternatives shot down by Dems and said in a statement that debate on the bill "was completely politicized by the Senate Democratic leadership."
Politicized? Johnson was so outraged the bill was an uncompromising, supposedly partisan piece of legislation, that he had to vote against it. What’s the matter Ron, haven’t seen how your party is running the Wisconsin state legislature under Scott Walker.  

Accretive Health Debt Collectors example of private health care at its sickest.

The worlds best health care system is right here in the U.S., thanks to the help of the best debt collectors money can buy. Here's a short summary from an earlier blog:
NY Times: Hospital patients waiting in an emergency room or convalescing after surgery are being confronted by an unexpected visitor: a debt collector at bedside. The tactics, like embedding debt collectors as employees in emergency rooms and demanding that patients pay before receiving treatment, were outlined in hundreds of company documents released by the attorney general. And they cast a spotlight on the increasingly desperate strategies among hospitals to recoup payments as their unpaid debts mount. 
Now here's an interview with the reporter who uncovered this heartwarming alternative to the Affordable Care Act:

Ryan Flops at Georgetown University pt 2

Ed Schultz did a great job of collecting and correcting many of the comments Paul Ryan made to the Georgetown University crowd the other day.

The first clip shows Ryan bragging that he brought his own plan so he could have a fact based conversation. It's nice when Ryan's "facts" are the only ones available, huh? He suggests that mere interpretations of his budget are not to be taken seriously.

Another sick moment shows Ryan snickering to the silent crowd when he jokingly brings up Obama's "social Darwinism" comment. Not exactly a laughing matter. Was the audience gasping?

Ryan also tried to dress up his bad judgement with this snake like justification:
"I feel it's important to discuss how, as a Catholic in public life, my own personal thinking on these issues has been guided by my understanding of the churches social teaching." 
Ryan is basically turning Catholic doctrine into just another point of view, that he doesn't necessarily agree with...except when it comes to the churches opposition to insurance coverage for contraception.

And finally, this outrageous comment:
Ryan: "...government safety net programs have been stretched to the breaking point in recent years." 
Maybe we should look at what caused that "stretching" first?

Did Walker really save the state $1 Billion? Not if your honest about it.

WISC-TV's Reality Check does a pretty good job of digging up the truth. In this case, Scott Walker is shown to be a liar when he says he saved the state $1 billion. That doesn't matter much now, because Walker got the dramatic headlines he wanted and mileage he knows will be repeated by conservative voters forever. They'll think any corrections will be just the liberal media attacking Walker with numbers manufactured by union bosses.

Instead of finding out whether Walker's claims were true, before plastering the front pages with his campaign fictions, we're now trying to set the record straight. Too late. Here's just a sample;
Channel3000: The first thing to note is that for all the local pension savings, the website cites a Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo from March 2011. It estimates pension contributions have saved around $464 million. But it's an estimate -- not actual savings.

Secondly, it's based on 2009 payroll numbers, and since the state lost thousands of public workers due to retirements since then, the savings are less.

Third, federal dollars are used to pay some local workers, and making them pay more for pensions doesn't save a municipality any money. Overall, it's safe to say the savings here are less than projected, but it's hard to put a number on how much that may be.

It's also important to note that the governor is taking credit for any savings reached in collective bargaining contracts negotiated before Act 10 was in effect. In Sheboygan, school district and county employees agreed to more concessions than were even proposed in Act 10, at about $10 million.

WISC-TV found at least 70 districts or communities that agreed to contracts before Act 10, for a total of at least $217 million in savings achieved through bargaining. Whether Walker should get credit for that is up to voters.
At Caffeinated Politics, there's even more....

Stand Your Ground Killer hits gun nut Jackpot, gets $204,000 in donations from homicidal shoot first Zealots.

It took George Zimmerman to show the world what the U.S. has become.

The unintended consequences of “stand your ground” laws and castle doctrines has turned America into something hideous.
CNN: George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer accused of wrongly killing Trayvon Martin, will not immediately have to turn over donations made to his website, a Florida judge said Friday. Zimmerman collected about $204,000 in donations through the website. (Zimmerman’s attorney’s) both said they are concerned about releasing the names of donors to Zimmerman … "My fear is they may well be targeted for reprisals or animosities or whatever."
What do they have to fear, they’re already armed?

Even Mexico jumping on supposedly "costly" Wind Energy.

The U.S. isn't even keeping up with cheap labor countries like Mexico:

But that's not all. Believe it or not, even without the influence of American socialist Democrats pushing their green agenda, Mexico decided on its own, to go green:

The Mexican Senate unanimously passed the General Climate Change Law last Thursday evening, 19th of April, making it the first developing country to pass a law with comprehensive long-term objectives for combating climate change.

Mexico’s General Climate Change Law outlines the following goals:

A reduction in carbon emissions by 50% by 2050.

35% of Mexico’s electricity comes from renewable energy sources by 2024.

The establishment of the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change, a research and development institution.

The creation of a foundation for raising and channeling public, private, national and international financial resources for carrying out relevant projects.

“We can no longer afford to postpone this national law,” said Senator Eva Sandoval Contreras.

From July 2010 to July 2011, 43,355 restoration activities from the damages of climate change took place in 570 municipalities, totaling over $2.2 billion USD. The senators used this example to show the economic implications of failing to implement measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Schools Districts may have the power to lower teacher wages 30%, beyond limiting raises.

As the story originally appeared in the Journal Sentinel, it looked like Scott Walker was attempting to change the base salary teacher raises could be calculated from.
jsonline: The rule change would not use an individual's actual salary as a "base salary" to calculate raises and would exclude factors such as a teacher's higher degree … lower inflation-based raises that public unions can negotiate by 30% or more for teachers in public schools and technical colleges. Walker ordered changes to the rules that would limit base wages to exclude pay given to workers such as teachers to reflect factors such as having a graduate degree.
But now the story has taken an even uglier turn; districts may be able to lower actual wages to the lower pre-education wages, separate from the issue of raises. If districts wanted too, they could lower a teacher’s wages by around 30%.

Check it out at Sly in the Morning:
The spin he's generated everywhere has effectively taken the spotlight off the assault, convincing even the state's largest newspaper, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, in to believing that the measure only affects pay increases.  Nothing could be further from the truth, and listen to the evidence from attorney Tim Hawks who's handling the situation on behalf of Wisconsin's teachers' unions.  
We now have 1500 fewer teachers than last year, do to Walker's tools, without any layoffs. This new wrinkle will do exactly what?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Reince Pushing "Campaigner and Chief" distraction from Student Loans, Ryan's Big Catholic Problem...

The whole "campaigning on the taxpayer dime" is such an obvious ploy, that even Reince Priebus had an unusually tougher time defending his phony position. He whined just enough to appeal to the inner conservative fear that someone is ripping them off, taking advantage of them and spending their hard earned money.

It was a tough interview that identified just how ridiculous this new inflated issue was.

Gov. Pat Quinn exposes Scott Walker as a fake, partisan hack.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn squashes Scott Walker like a bug in his appearance on the Ed Show last night.

Everything that needs to be said is right here:

Here's Ed with the follow-up story, and a look at Walker's fundraising brochure to a couple in New Rochelle, NY. Incredible stuff...Ed was channeling what I've been saying for months.

Ryan Flops at Georgetown University, insists his plan the only true religion. Pt. 1

This is a must see take down of Paul Ryan, who visited Georgetown University today and bombed trying to make his case. In the clip below, Ryan repeats to the crowd how this is "his" vision of his faith, and that its okay to debate the moral and ethical issues leveled at him. That he hopes will let him off the doesn't.  Catholics United James Salt and Sister Simone Richards are outstanding in their criticism. Rob Zerban, Ryan's congressional challenger, I hope you're taking notes.

Here's a great detailed primer on the issue from USA Today:
Paul Ryan visited Georgetown University, the flagship Jesuit school and decidedly hostile terrain for Ryan's strain of economic libertarianism, where he argued for his budget's priorities despite vocal and visible protests by faculty and students … sought to justify his budget priorities in terms of the Catholic principle known as "subsidiarity," but the evidence shows his platform and that principle just don't match up.

"Subsidiarity" since at least the 19th century, has been central to how the church envisions a just and equitable society functioning in a world dominated by big business and big government, both of which can dehumanize individuals and undermine the common good.

As theologian Meghan Clark noted, "is perhaps one of the most crucial and most misunderstood in Catholic social teaching." It's not just a matter of ever smaller government, or reflexively devolving responsibilities downward, but of making sure that key societal functions are provided for. "The principle of subsidiarity protects people from abuses by higher-level social authority and calls on these same authorities to help individuals and intermediate groups to fulfill their duties," says the Vatican's Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

In recent years, Catholic conservatives, and especially those like Ryan with a libertarian bent, have focused almost exclusively on the first part of the formula to present a kind of laissez-faire version of Catholic economics. In this reading, government-sponsored universal health care and social service programs, among other things, would violate Catholic teaching and infringe on the individual's freedom and duty to work hard and contribute to society.

University of Dayton theologian Vincent Miller called this interpretation the "careful lobotomization of subsidiarity," while the National Catholic Reporter's Michael Sean Winters memorably likened it to "mere subsidiarity run amok or, better to say, subsidiarity in drag."

Ryan doubled down on his version when he compared subsidiarity to "federalism," "meaning government closest to the people governs best." Even a number of Catholic conservatives were prompted to correct the House Budget Committee chairman on that score. Stephen P. White of the Ethics and Public Policy Center explained that "subsidiarity is not about exercising power at the lowest possible level so much as it is about locating social responsibility in its proper place…The goal or end of subsidiarity is the proper ordering of society for the common good."

Moreover, theologians and church leaders point out that subsidiarity without the corresponding principle of solidarity leaves people to fend for themselves, the weak falling prey to the powerful. "The right ordering of economic life cannot be left to a free competition of forces," Pope Pius XI wrote in the 1931 encyclical, "For from this source, as from a poisoned spring, have originated and spread all the errors of individualist economic teaching."

In his 1961 encyclical, Pope John XXIII articulated another element of subsidiarity, writing that, "In a system of taxation based on justice and equity, it is fundamental that the burdens be proportioned to the capacity of the people contributing."

UW Economist Predicted Walker Jobless Debacle, says it was easy.

When you take out of our state economy all the money that would have gone to teachers and public workers, something had to give. Heck, even I knew we were in for some trouble. But it's nice to see an actual economist say pretty much the same thing.
WSJ: Who could have predicted … Wisconsin would experience the nation's largest percentage decrease in employment over this 12-month period? Um ... actually, UW-Madison economist Steven Deller could have. And did. Last March, Deller, a professor of applied economics, studied the ripple effects of Gov. Scott Walker's budget-repair bill and two-year budget proposal.

Deller felt Walker's plans to balance the state's budget by cutting spending and public workers' take-home pay will slow the state's economic recovery … Deller estimated the state would lose more than 21,000 jobs as public agencies and workers were able to spend less in their communities. According to the most recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wisconsin lost 23,900 jobs from March 2011 to March 2012.

Deller said his prescient estimate was the result of simple economics. "It's really straightforward," he said. "You take billions out of the economy and their will be ripples, and those ripples are jobs."

Walker's war on out-of-state money and influence, gets out-of-state Chris Christie to influence campaign donations.

Keeping it "local" as usual, Scott Walker is bring in out-of-towner Gov. Chris Christie to help fundraise from those who like arrogant government bullies…I mean “leaders” with “courage.”

P. T. Barnum couldn’t have been more ridiculously hyperbolic and self-aggrandizing:
WSJ: The email calls Walker and Christie "two bold and courageous men" who have "taken on the status quo and have done more to put America back on track than anyone in a generation."
Courage, in the context of right wing authoritarians, means having the ability to disregard constituent outrage and protests.


Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett takes a shot at Scott Walker in his "Pow" ad:

The Northwestern: Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on Wednesday said he wants to end the "ideological civil war" that he said Gov. Scott Walker created in the state 15 months ago.

"I've never seen a situation where neighbors don't want to talk to neighbors, and coworkers don't feel they can talk to coworkers, and family members don't want to talk to family members about politics because it's too bitter, too divisive," Barrett said. "It has never been about creating jobs for Scott Walker. It's been about the ideological war. And Wisconsinites have suffered because of it." 

Hovde runs from newsletter headline, "Let Uncle Sam Pay for your Acquisition."

What’s worse than a millionaire giving advice to the poor and middle class? Eric Hovde distancing himself from his avarice. I can hear him saying now, 'Gee, I only made money buying companies that got bailed out, don’t blame me.'

Even worse is the point blank jaw dropping advice given in one of his companies newsletters:
Wisconsin Senate candidate Eric Hovde distanced himself … declaring that one of the companies he once headed made a “stupid-ass” move in a newsletter urging investors to profit off a shift in U.S. tax law ... published under Hovde company letterhead and advised clients to “Let Uncle Sam Pay for Your Acquisition.”
Hovde skips the moral and ethical vacuousness of the headline...
wispolitics: Hovde said he understands what the firm was getting at from a “technical” standpoint, but said that “doesn’t mean I was any less disappointed in how they phrased it … I just think it’s a stupid-ass way to phrase an industry update.”
Yeah, what a bad way to phrase…the truth.
The Treasury Department allowed firms to write off larger pre-acquisition losses of distressed companies they acquired. But the document seems at odds with Hovde’s image as a political candidate on a free-market, anti-bailout, anti-“crony capitalism” platform. One of Hove’s current firms, Hovde Capital, invested in companies that received millions of dollars in government bailout funds following the 2008 collapse of the financial sector.
Poor Hovde had to make money buying them.  
Hovde acknowledged that his company made those investments, but rejected the implication that it conflicts with his views on federal bailouts. Asked if Hovde Capital deliberately sought bailed-out banks to invest in, the Republican answered: “Quite to the contrary.”
Hovde expects you to believe that Hovde Captial, a firm that acquires distressed companies, didn’t seek out distressed bailed companies?
The AP reported in February that candidate Mark Neumann, who is running as a hard-core small-government conservative and has been endorsed by the Club for Growth, owned a solar-energy company that received many thousands of dollars in stimulus benefits.
I know what my conservative friend would say; “so what, everybody does it.”  

Briggs & Stratton reduces work force, moves some work to China.

The business climate in Wisconsin has changed, and Scott Walker’s well publicized reforms should have attracted the kind of corporations desperate to expand cheaply or start anew here. Right?

Wisconsin apparently hasn’t changed enough. Neither have all those right to work states. 
jsonline: Briggs & Stratton Co. plans to reduce its salaried workforce by about 10% this year … will affect approximately 210 employees globally. Also, the company said it was moving some engine production from Auburn, Alabama to China or elsewhere in Southeast Asia. The move will result in the loss of about 250 jobs.
Alabama is a right to work (for less) state, and is still losing jobs to China. Guess the states can’t stoop low enough. And get their reason for leaving…
Briggs blamed the cuts on market conditions.
Open for business...?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Conservative Activist Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices turn to secrecy, say openness slows things down.

Republicans love power, love secrecy, and love to run things a lot faster and smoother without a lot different ideas, dissent, debate and…democracy.

What should be a body of impartial justices, is anything but, and the conservative majority chose secrecy over sunlight. 
jsonline: Conservative Justice Roggensack wrote the rule change closing Supreme Court meetings, saying it would help the court get decisions out more quickly. The others who sided with her (all conservative activists), and boycotted the portion of Wednesday's meeting along with her, were Justices Michael Gableman, David Prosser and Annette Ziegler.

In dissent were Abrahamson and Justices Ann Walsh Bradley and N. Patrick Crooks.

"No good comes from secrecy in governmental affairs," their dissent said.

After Bishops Complained, and 80 Georgetown U. Faculty Spoke out, Ryan Shrugged.

More fallout for Paul Ryan, and hopefully, a lesson for voters.
The Hill: More than 80 Georgetown University faculty members and administrators signed a letter to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Tuesday, challenging his use of Catholic teaching in defending his budget proposal. Ryan is scheduled to speak at Georgetown on Thursday

“We would be remiss in our duty to you and our students if we did not challenge your continuing misuse of Catholic teaching to defend a budget plan that decimates food programs for struggling families, radically weakens protections for the elderly and sick, and gives more tax breaks to the wealthiest few.”

The Georgetown letter to Ryan also criticized cuts in his budget , and claimed that Ryan “profoundly” misreads the church doctrine of “subsidiarity.”

“In short, your budget appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” the letter continues. “Her call to selfishness and her antagonism toward religion are antithetical to the Gospel values of compassion and love.”

Walker's Tools for Schools Scraps System for "Anything Goes" in Oconomowoc.

I thought schools were doing great now? They are I guess, thanks to Scott Walker. They've been deregulated.

Public schools no longer consult with, or serve the public, parents are finding out. And teaching models have been swept in the trash bin for cost saving ideas that restructure public education in a way that holds the bottom line. And every year after, when budgets get even tighter, who knows what adventures await. So let’s experiment with the only 12 years our kids have in school. 12 years they can't repeat or get back.

The unintended consequence of losing the structural underpinnings of public education is not a good option. And as a parent, I'm really pissed.
jsonline: In a move sure to capture the attention of school districts across the state grappling with how to reallocate resources in a time of reduced funding, the Oconomowoc Area School District administration on Tuesday proposed a profound restructuring of its high school, cutting staff by 20% and demanding the remaining educators take on more teaching duties … the district would save $500,000 annually under the new plan. The kicker: Those remaining staffers would each get a $14,000 annual stipend, or bonus.

Oconomowoc's dramatic step reflects a district responding to reduced resources … without having to bargain with unions.

The high school's remaining teaching staff would shift from teaching three 90-minute blocks per day, with one block of planning time, to teaching four 90-minute blocks each day. It's unclear how or where planning time will fit in.

The average salary would increase from $57,000 annually to about $71,000. And a starting teacher in one of the core subjects would receive about $50,000 instead of the current starting salary of about $36,000. "My hope down the road is that this is a place where everyone wants to work because teachers are well paid," Joseph Moylan, Oconomowoc High School principal said.
The schools that used to serve the community heard from their bosses; parents that pay taxes.
At least 100 … An overflow crowd watched the meeting on a monitor in a room next door. Many were skeptical and denounced the plan for not including input from teachers or families and for putting extra pressure on remaining teachers at the school. "We believe these proposals are unsupported by research and ill-conceived," said Steven Cupery, the Lakewood Uni Serv director and a Brookfield resident. "These changes are a recipe for burnout, turnover and poor morale."
Here's a link to the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice and their conclusion about Milwaukee's School Choice program.

Walker's vision of Austerity in Wisconsin a disaster.

Now hear this...austerity measures don't work. That would explain Wisconsin's jobs problem.

Scott Walker and Paul Ryan, like many conservatives, want to bring the economy down to it's lowest point, to Great Recessionary levels. No spending and no new revenues. It's true and very odd. Instead of of bringing the economy back to normal, and making policy from that point, conservatives believe we should always be at our low point. The only way to go is up. It's kind of a sad "glass is empty" ideology.

So the following analysis compares the UK's austerity program, put together by a conservative Prime Minister, to Obama's stimulus plan.

Business Insider: The below chart was made by Reuters' Scotty Barber, and it shows economic growth in the US, the UK, and Europe.

Now the first thing to note is that the US has recovered WAY better than either the Eurozone or the UK. The UK was recovering on a fine trajectory right up until early 2010, at which point UK growth hit a brick wall. What happened in 2010? That's when conservative David Cameron came to power with an agenda of reigning in the debt. Sound familiar? Basically we have a life test of a country that wants to do what conservatives in the US want to do: reduce national deb
t. Doing so is a growth disaster. 

Here's what Thom Hartmann wrote in his daily newsletter:
The U.K. is officially in a second recession as the British economy shrank for the second straight quarter. Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron whose government has been pushing trickle-down austerity for nearly the last two years called the new economic numbers, "very, very disappointing." The U.K. joins the long list of other European nations that have pursued trickle-down austerity and watched their economies tank - like Greece, Italy, and Spain.

Meanwhile in France - Conservative President Nicholas Sarkozy is desperately trying to cling to his job against Socialist Francois Hollande who's running on an anti-austerity platform. Over the last year - we've seen the devastating consequences of trickle-down austerity - the job layoffs, the riots, and the suicides. And now - the politicians, banksters, and technocrats pushing trickle-down austerity in Europe are feeling the political backlash from their desperate populations.

Meanwhile - multi-millionaire Congressman Paul Ryan and the Republican Party here in the United States are pushing the same sort of trickle-down austerity - ignoring the economic consequences on full display across the Atlantic.

I couldn’t be happier for School Privatization in Louisiana. It ain’t us….

I can’t wait to see what happens in states that think unaccountable private schools can do a better job than public schools. Just the idea of a mishmash of private untested educational styles and concepts, what they proudly call “innovation,” is frightening. A large number of private schools can introduce an amazing amount of chaos into what should be a testable model that can be measured.

Keep in mind; European countries with nationalized voucher systems also have national curriculums and testing. It’s organized and provides a model for changes and improvements. We’re just the opposite:
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s school voucher bill has passed through Louisiana’s Senate and House of Representatives, but has been viewed in a critical light by several of Southeastern’s education majors … one flaw was pointed out: the lack of accountability if a student using a voucher fails to succeed in their new school. 
Hey parents, I hope the following doesn't hurt your kids too much?
“After about three years, if they had some problems, give the private school a warning,” said Barry Erwin, president of the Council for a Better Louisiana, in an interview with the Associated Press. “After four or five years, if they're still not doing well for those students, you just basically say that they can't accept any more voucher students.”
And the five years your child lost at a bad school? They'll just go back to a public school? Good luck:
The outlook for public schools looks much less fortunate, however. Instead of motivating public schools to raise their standards, the bill chooses to focus on how to spend more money on a private school education. 

Our Health Care System Thugs Victimize, Ration Care for Sick and Injured Americans

This is the best health care system in the world? So we’re told by Republicans, who do to laziness allowed by their voters, has tried to address the problem by getting rid of it. Leave it to the private sector. That takes it off their hands, and voila, no work. Republican freeloaders. Oh yeah, small government blah, blah, blah….

What you’re about to read is only the beginning if Republicans pass their own free market health care plan:
NY Times:Hospital patients waiting in an emergency room or convalescing after surgery are being confronted by an unexpected visitor: a debt collector at bedside. This and other aggressive tactics by one of the nation’s largest collectors of medical debts, Accretive Health, were revealed by the Minnesota attorney general, raising concerns that such practices have become common at hospitals across the country.

The tactics, like embedding debt collectors as employees in emergency rooms and demanding that patients pay before receiving treatment, were outlined … they cast a spotlight on the increasingly desperate strategies among hospitals to recoup payments as their unpaid debts mount.

To patients, the debt collectors may look indistinguishable from hospital employees, may demand they pay outstanding bills and may discourage them from seeking emergency care at all, even using scripts like those in collection boiler rooms, according to the documents and employees interviewed by The New York Times.

In some cases, the company’s workers had access to health information while persuading patients to pay overdue bills … Ms. Swanson did not bring action against the company.
And according to the Accretive, they’ve actually improved care:
An Accretive spokeswoman issued a brief statement, “We have a great track record of helping hospitals enhance their quality of care.”
Here's an interview with the Minn. AG Lori Swanson:

I hope you like these free market solutions:
To achieve promised savings, hospitals turn over the management of their front-line staffing — like patient registration and scheduling — and their back-office collection activities. Concerns are mounting that the cozy working relationships will undercut patient care and threaten privacy.
And here’s where the Affordable Care Act would have stopped all this:
The more than 5,000 community hospitals in the United States provided $39.3 billion in uncompensated care — predominately unpaid patient debts or charity care — in 2010, up 16 percent from 2007, the hospital association estimated.
Uncompensated care would be a thing of the past, instead of a $39 billion cost passed onto those with insurance, if the Affordable Care Act wasn't voted down by an activist conservative Supreme Court.
In July 2010, an Accretive manager told staff members at Fairview that they should “get cracking on labor and delivery,” since there is a “good chunk to be collected there,” according to company e-mails. Employees at Accretive’s client hospitals ask patients to make “point of service” payments before they receive treatment. In March 2011, doctors at Fairview complained that such strong-arm tactics were discouraging patients from seeking lifesaving treatments, but Accretive officials dismissed the complaints as “country club talk,” the documents show.