Monday, June 29, 2015

Republicans make prevailing wage invisible!!!

Republicans have already come right out and said they want to lower wages and get rid of the prevailing wage law. That’s the GOP’s version of stimulating the state’s economy, cutting wages. 
jsonline: The state would roll back the minimum pay requirements for construction workers on three-fifths of the public works projects that now have them, under legislation unveiled by Assembly Republicans Monday.
But this upside down, inside out one party joke gets even more ridiculous, as Republicans once again twist themselves into a pretzel so they can stick it to the unions.
The bill would exempt certain information collected as part of the prevailing wage system from the state's open records law.
Why would Republicans hide such information? Living up to his reputation for being the legislatures biggest asshole, Rep. Robin Vos gleefully took the unions out:
Vos said that was an attempt to thwart unions who use that data to argue that contractors and local governments may not be correctly complying with the prevailing wage law.
Wow, a big win for Republicans, while no one really has to own up to what they are really paying.  

But just to make sure it's completely invisible, Vos included this outrageous “wink and a nod” and wave of his magic wand:
No longer require contractors to sign affidavits stating they had complied with the law.  

Justice Scalia sides with saving Big Energy Money, rules against bigger Savings protecting American Lives.

The Supreme Court ruling, by the conservative activist justices, struck down Obama’s new EPA clean air standards.

Let's start with the first problem: Republicans always weasel out of answering questions by refusing to address “hypothetical's.” In this case though, Justice Scalia turned the tables.

In another Salvador Dali moment of logic, Justice Scalia came up with a hypothetical that’ll blow your mind: What if wind and solar did more harm than burning coal? He really said that.
Scalia: "The government concedes that if the agency were to find that emissions from power plants do damage to human health, but that the technologies needed to eliminate these emissions do even more damage to human health, it would still deem regulation appropriate. No regulation is 'appropriate' if it does significantly more harm than good."
But it doesn’t? It was a wretched twist of reality.

It’s an argument that defies logic, and is never addressed by the press either. Republicans have always said environmental standards must balance the cost to business with the cost to human health and lives.

Not even close, right, who would not try to save lives by cleaning up energy production? The fact that most utility companies are already moving in the clean energy direction anyway makes this whole question a moot point.  But not to our clueless conservative jurists stuck in the 20th century.

The cost to energy company’s vs peoples worthless lives? That’s easy for Scalia. Saving lives…is unreasonable:
Just in case you didn't see this...
"We hold that EPA interpreted unreasonably when it deemed cost irrelevant to the decision to regulate power plants," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the court's majority opinionThe Obama administration argued that the costs were only a fraction of the industry's profits. The EPA eventually did (look at the costs) and determined that the benefits far outweighed the costs.

The new regulation could add almost $10 billion in annual costs. But the EPA countered that the economic benefits could reach as much as $90 billion per year, based on health benefits and saved lives. The plaintiffs countered that the maximum benefit could reach no higher than about $6 billion.
There was no mention of saving lives. And you wonder why the national debt keeps going up; Republicans won’t let it come down unless it has a tax cut tied to it.
In a fiery dissent, Justice Elena Kagan said the EPA acted "well within its authority" in imposing regulations that could save "many, many lives."
Saving many, many lives is such a "liberal" thing. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell flipped reality inside out about the actual cost of doing nothing:
"Middle-class families in Kentucky and across our country … are often the first to suffer." 
From Republican policy, yea. 

Reagan had a hand in mounting voter fraud and lack of confidence in elections....

Remember when Reagan undermined the confidence we all had in our elections?

Reagan worshiper Scott Walker must have forgotten the Gipper's many faults and missteps that prompted so much voter fraud.

Majority of Conservative Activist Justices okay with a few botched Death Penalty Executions, that doesn't prove anything.

The idea that Justice Antonin Scalia is a good practicing Roman Catholic who uses his faith to inform his judicial decisions is bullshit. Oh sure, that works for his argument against redefining marriage, but not the death penalty, right? Anyone else notice the contradiction?

And the very idea that those opposed to the death penalty overall, not just lethal injection, couldn't prove their case is also preposterous.
In a 5-4 decision, the court concluded that petitioners didn't adequately prove that midazolam violates Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment.
The graph to the right shows the percentage of botched executions across the board, whether it's lethal injections, gas chamber or electrocutions. 

After reading through Scalia's tantrum like dissents filled with nonsensical words that disrespects all professional norms, Scalia made it clear "the people should decide." You know, like the thoughtful rumblings of an angry mod fixin' for a lynchin.'

Scalia made the leap that our current government sanctioned death penalty is an offshoot of the Age of Enlightenment.  Or it could be holdover of those more brutal medieval times?

The two more liberal justices posed a more "enlightened" question based on the percentage of botched executions; is the death penalty itself unconstitutional:
Justice Stephen Breyer and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called on the Court to reassess whether the death penalty was constitutional at all, and said they had both come to believe that it "now likely constitutes a legally prohibited 'cruel and unusual punishment.'"
That's when "Scalia wrote a separate concurrence, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, which said not only that Breyer was wrong, but that he was rejecting the entire Enlightenment." This is what passes for conservative intellectualism:

Innocent People are being Executed:
At least 4 percent of people who receive death sentences in the United States are likely innocent, a 2014 study finds … (and they) would ultimately be exonerated if their cases were closely examined for the next 21 years.  

The false conviction rate of people sentenced to life in prison to begin with is probably higher than the false conviction rate in death-penalty cases — especially because jurors tell researchers that the biggest factor in deciding to give someone a life sentence rather than a death sentence is lingering doubt that the defendant is guilty at all.

Republicans in Kansas got caught violating the state constitution with cuts to school funding.

I know, they love the constitution…until they don’t. Then it’s time to change it or get around it.

They also don’t want to be on the hook if more kids go to school. No really, they said that.
AP: A district court panel in Kansas declared Friday that key parts of a new state law for funding public schools violate the state constitution and ordered an immediate increase in aid. Shawnee County District Court would force the state to provide between $46 million and $54 million in extra aid next week, distributing the money under an old formula that legislators junked.
But why did Kansas Gov. Brownback and GOP legislators hate the old formula? You won’t believe it…
The GOP-dominated Legislature disliked the old formula partly because it automatically left the state on the hook for additional spending if schools gained students, if more students had special needs or even if districts had major building projects.
In any other world people having families that send more kids to school would be a good thing. Not in Kansas. And ouch, more special needs kids.
"The opinion itself is, to put it as kindly as possible, utter nonsense," Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, a Nickerson Republican said. Top Republicans also described the decision as highly political.
Those are reasons?
John Robb, a Newton attorney representing four school districts said, "The Legislature continues to try to skirt the constitution and not fund schools."

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Jeb Bush takes aim at a solution for our Gun Problem, and misses. Also proposes high deductible GOP health care system.

Preventing Mass Killings: This really is the Republican plan to stop all the random mass killings plaguing the U.S..  You'll sleep easier now?

Jeb Bush is not pushing any of those highly popular common sense regulations that poll well. Just short of introducing a secret water filled pool of "precogs," Bush wants to set up a "precrime" system targeting people with "potential:"

AP: New gun control measures are not the way to prevent mass killings such as the shooting deaths of nine people in a South Carolina church ... Jeb Bush said Saturday identifying potentially violent people before they commit such crimes is a better approach than further restrictions on gun ownership.

"We as a society better figure out how we identify these folks long before they feel compelled to take up a gun and kill innocent people."
Yes, the plot behind the movie Minority Report is the answer. Like Ayn Rand's fictional plot line that envisions a free market system of government, Bush is borrowing from Philip Dick's popular science fiction book that uses precog mutants. 

Costly Health Care: While Republican whine and complain about costly high deductible plans on the health care exchanges, they're cluelessly pushing...I'm not kidding you, high deductible health care plans with no subsidies. Catastrophic insurance. Are they even listening to themselves talk?
Bush said he would repeal the health care law if elected, replacing it with high-deductible, low-premium catastrophic coverage. 
These plans start low but rise very quickly, I know, I had them for years. I saw increases of over 30% a year, making those premiums not so low. In fact, insurers gave you the alternative to lower your premium by increasing your deductible. Mine deductible climbed to over $11,000 before I got out.

Nice plan.

The Devil has left the Lake? Will Walker or E. coli be the first to kill the park?

Scott Walker did what no state has been able to do without big problems; defund our state parks.

Walker, hell bent on cutting government, oddly went after one of the states biggest money makers, the parks. Now taxpayers, off the hook thanks to Walker, won't have any "skin in the game," and can leave our parks trashed.

As Walker's loosely run DNR looks on, Devil's Lake State Park had to close the north beach for a few days for high levels of E-coli. Thankfully...
WKOW: The North Shore Beach at Devil's Lake is back open. Wednesday and Thursday's samples were back within the "safe" zone. Following heavy rains earlier in the week, samples from the north shore beach showed E. coli levels...indicates recent sewage or animal waste contamination inside.
This has happened in the past, so I started checking into it, and found this little tidbit from The Progressive: Scott Walker's visit in 2011 for the 100th anniversary of the states largest park.
An hour before Walker spoke, about 80 protesters gathered at the entrance of the park and walked in a procession. When the procession arrived at the lake, more protesters joined in. There were about 200 protesters surrounding the 100 people who were seated in front of a podium, with the lake as a backdrop.

But it wasn’t a great backdrop for Walker because there were 12 boats— kayaks, canoes, a couple motorboats, and a large sailboat—in the water with signs that read: “Walker Smells Fishy,” “Walker Jump in the Lake,” “Civil Consternation Board,” “Walker Crimes Against Nature.”

When he was introduced, he got a big round of boos from the protesters and applause from those in the seats. He spoke for about fifteen minutes, blathering on about his time as a Boy Scout at Devil’s Lake … But when he was through, he got more shouts of “Shame” and someone from out in the lake yelled, “Take a hike, Walker.” And as he sped away, a protester yelled: “The devil has left the lake.” 

Walker hates government protesters...that whole 1st Amendment thing!!!

Scott Walker's reaction is beyond words, and beyond his understanding of the Constitution.

Note: Walker always insisted protesters at the Capitol in the winter of 2011 were imported, out-of-state agitators. Now he's saying protesters in other states are imported from Wisconsin. Make up your mind Scottie (I'm with Laurna):

Even a 4th Grader understands Education more than elected School Board Members.

This is a must watch for those who still don't get it, kids love public schools and understand education better than their parents ever did. I'm so proud of kids today:
April 7, 2015: Sydney Smoot, a 9-year-old fourth grader in Hernando County, Fla., delivered a speech about Florida’s new standardized test, the Florida Standards Assessment, that drew loud applause from the audience. (Hernando County TV)

Scott Walker admits, he prefers conservative laws that are Unconstitutional.

Scott Walker admits he would set out to change the rights protected by the Constitution for same sex couples, by passing an amendment that takes away those rights. That's what Republicans call "small government," getting bureaucrats out of our way so we can enjoy our freedom and liberty. No social engineering there, no taking rights away to protect and endorse a religious definition.

The Supreme Court is the final word, say Republicans:

1. Guns: We were all supposed to believe we have unfettered gun rights, because the Supreme Court said so, because the first half of the 2nd Amendment didn't mean anything at all.

2. Corporate Speech: We were all supposed to believe corporations had free speech rights, because the Supreme Court said so. Ironically, anti-government Republicans gave our "people" rights to a government created entity, the corporation.

3. Corporate Religion: We were all supposed to believe corporations had religious rights, because the Supreme Court said so too. Go Hobby Lobby, having dominion over private individuals, their lives and their choices. They still have some freedom and liberty, for now.

4. Same Sex Marriage: We were all supposed to believe same sex couples could marry, because the Supreme Court said so. You know, an affirmation of the mumbo jumbo sighted in the 14th Amendment. What did it say....:
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Not So Fast: But now Scott Walker is leading the charge against the language above.
"The only alternative left for the American people is to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage."
Marriage itself sets in motion a complicated maze of state and federal rules and tax laws that cannot be separated out. Turning it into an exclusively religious act would end all that, never mind those who don't practice a religion. The implications are huge and way too complicated for guys like Scott Walker and Mike Huckabee:
Huckabee: "the Supreme Court tried to "unwrite the laws of nature and the laws of nature's God."
And that's the trick. Republicans have been saying this for some time now. Paul Ryan is big on "God's law" before our own man made Constitutional law. Their intentions are obvious, but never talked about: Gods law will provide the slippery slope to deviate from our founding document. Of course, that won't stop any of them from criticizing the infallible, and very "liberal" Pope Francis.

Stephen Colbert pretty much said it all for us:
Stephen Colbert manifested on YouTube to mock the dissenting Supremes: "It's hard to believe that gay Americans achieved full constitutional personhood just five years after corporations did," he said.

Song "Take Down Your Flag" spreading across America

A great catchy song with a message:
As of Friday morning, more than 60 musicians, from the Midwest to Great Britain, had posted videos of themselves covering Milwaukee singer-songwriter Peter Mulvey’s political protest song “Take Down Your Flag.”

Mulvey wrote the song last Friday in response to the still-raging debate surrounding the flying of a Confederate battle flag over the Capitol in South Carolina, the state where nine people were shot and killed on June 17 in a historic African-American church during a bible study. “I didn’t see any of this coming at all,” Mulvey said in an interview Friday. “I was really just writing the song to keep a nostril above water. I feel like I’ve just been yanked from wherever I was. A current swept this song out of my hands and took it out way beyond me.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Walker's Anecdotal Driven Vision of America; Fiction turns into state and U.S. policy.

Tone deaf much?  Scott Walker and his plundering legislative pirates didn't seem to care how bad it looked when they passed a deplorable gun law that specifically protects irresponsible and impatient owners, especially at a time when the nation mourned the victims in Charleston. Heck, back in 2013 "Assembly Republicans refused to consider a resolution honoring the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting." Yet time after time, I'm still surprised.

But the repealed 48-hour waiting period Republicans claimed had something to do with quicker background checks, was actually a distraction from the real reason; repealing the cooling off period based on an anecdotal lie.

And just in case Republicans were confronted with the issue of preventing impulsive heat of the moment gun purchases, they were ready with the NRA anecdotal story of Bonnie Elmasri. These GOP ghouls, even after being told the story was a lie, were unrepentant:
Cooling off  period ends proudly,
based on an NRA lie.
Daily Beast:  Scott Walker’s Gun Bill Is Based on a Lie ... the falsehood at its heart is even worse ... a decades-old fiction concerning another gun horror, this the 1991 killings of a Wisconsin woman named Bonnie Elmasri and her two children. In the aftermath of that triple homicide, pro-gun advocate James Fendry offered a remarkable tale. Fendry—who reportedly founded his Wisconsin Pro-Gun Movement in 1981 at the urging of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action—announced that a woman named Bonnie had called him a day or two before the tragedy, saying she was desperate to get a gun to protect herself from her estranged and abusive husband ... he had explained to the woman that Wisconsin had a waiting period. 

The local police were forthrightly dubious that Bonnie Elmasri had ever contacted Fendry or sought to obtain a gun. Her brother, Gary Greenberg ... denounce the tale as a fabrication ... “My sister would never buy a weapon ... Never ... I believe he (Fendry) is either making it up entirely or that somebody named Bonnie called him but that was not my sister.”
Upon learning of the renewed effort to use this twisted tale in violation of the victims’ right to the truth, Bonnie Elmasri’s brother had much the same reaction he had when it was used back in 1991. “That is a made-up story,” Greenberg told The Daily Beast. “That is a total fabrication.” 
Almost everything steering the Republican agenda is anecdotal, which makes it easy to never take responsibility for their actions once the truth comes out:
When Wanggaard’s office was informed ... a spokesman said the senator had gotten it “from the Congressional Record”—which in this instance is to say from the NRA and Fendry. The senator had not bothered to verify its authenticity. The bill passed and landed before Walker ... He may very well not be aware of the falsehood at the heart of the measure. The fact remains that he signed into law a gun de-control measure with that shameful falsehood at its core. Walker did it even as the families down in Charleston were preparing to bury their dead, even as most of us were despairing over the never ending gun violence.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Scott Walker wonders why we didn't elect all 9 Supreme Court Justices?

There are nine justices Scott Walker, and they're not elected. Or are they judges...?
Walker: “Five unelected judges have taken it upon themselves to redefine the institution of marriage, an institution that the author of this decision acknowledges ‘has been with us for millennia.’ ” 

Walker's Constitutional Amendment will Coerce Americans to Act in Opposition to their Conscience when it comes to Same Sex Marriage.

Scott Walker wants to turn the 14th Amendment inside out. He wants to give states the ability to ban same sex marriages, a coercive policy that would make gay Americans - in his words "act in opposition to their conscience!" How hard is it to grasp the meaning of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution:
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
But here's what Walker just wrote on Facebook that targets gay Americans specifically, and turns the meaning inside out:
"The only alternative left for the American people is to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage." 
Doing just the opposite of what Walker said he didn't want to do, Walker's Facebook tantrum turned the 14th Amendment into ashes:
"I call on the president and all governors to join me in reassuring millions of Americans that the government will not force them to participate in activities that violate their deeply held religious beliefs.
Actually, the courts decision doesn't force anyone, including churches, to violate their religious beliefs.

But here's where Walker's more dictatorial, authoritarian intentions shift into overdrive, "coercing people to act in opposition to their conscience," denying gay Americans the very essence of equal protection under the 14th Amendment. He actually said this:
"No one wants to live in a country where the government coerces people to act in opposition to their conscience.
Jaw dropping in his inability to understand, Walker doesn't see that his venomous vision would directly "coerce people."  Perhaps, like the 2011 protesters in Madison, he sees gay marriage as an attempt to "intimidate" him.

Framed in the intentionally deceptive way only low information voters would understand, Walker made this insulting and contradictory declaration:
"We will continue to fight for the freedoms of all Americans."

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Smashing the GOP's Fake "Patient Centered" Health Care Plan

Since the Supreme Court decision came out, I've been hearing a few ridiculous talking points about the mysterious Republican health care scheme.

Rand Paul laid each point clearing in a Fox News interview today. I'm pretty sure Paul's plan will be the official GOP position now through the presidential election. Each of the following issues were repeated over and over by all the Fox News pundits. Starting with the most bizarre:

1. Can't choose your own Doctor? (Full disclosure, I'm insured through the marketplace, so I have some working knowledge of process) I have no idea what Rand Paul is talking about. Paul claims we can't choose our own doctors. That's odd, because I have a giant insurance booklet with a huge choice of doctors. This is the most repeated talking too. If anyone reading this was not allowed to choose their doctor, let me know immediately in the comments section. Personally, it takes balls to say something this ridiculously untrue. I'm assuming Paul wants to reach people who get employer coverage, so they won't know how outrageous this lie is.

2. Buy Less Expensive Insurance Plan? Paul is pushing the old standby that allows Americans to buy what they can afford. No broad coverage and no economic security, especially if you get the one disease or broken bone you weren't insured for. You still pay a premium, a monster deductible, and receive a double digit increase in your premium the next year. But you have coverage...kinda. It's a junk policy. Oh, and health savings accounts not only have huge deductibles, but no one I know has ever had much money in their account. They gambled like me. Plus, there's a cap on what you can deduct on your taxes.What a deal, and what a rip off:

3. ObamaCare Deductibles are Too High, Subsidies Suck: Back to HSA's above. Rand Paul is making the case against subsidies, believe it or not. This is so incredibly insulting. The GOP came up with high deductible HSA plans so people had "skin in the game," and they wouldn't make unnecessary trips to the doctor or get too many tests. Now that it's a part of the exchanges, they hate high deductibles (you can choose a lower deductible on the exchange). Paul is saying the subsidy is too small anyway compared to what you might have to pay as your deductible. So get rid of the exchanges and subsidies.

Paul's own "reform" plan has high deductibles, so Paul either doesn't know what he's talking about, or he's flat out lying.

One more thing: If you don't use your insurance, the subsidy is a blessing. And you get free checkups, and depending on your plan, lab tests and x-rays:

Here's Fox News using Rand Paul's talking points. Once you understand what all this really means, it would be laughable if it weren't so stunning:
"Individuals, small business owners, we do not have a choice any longer. You have to buy into this, you have to accept the price they're gonna tell you you're going to pay, you have to accept the deductible, you can't choose your own doctor..."
None of that is true. It doesn't even sound like it could be true.

We Won - 3 Times - Get Over It!!!

The title is a direct reference to "stand with Walker" trolls, who are constantly telling me to shut-up because they won, not because they actually have a legitimate argument.

There's more to come here, as I dissect Rand Paul's criticism of the court ruling and his ridiculous plan for health care that no one with common sense would agree with.

This wasn't a "close" decision, it was 6-3, with the typical partisans voting as we knew they would. That predictability should not be possible.

ALERT: Fox News just stopped talking about the Affordable Care Act ruling, as big as it was, at 11:15 am, so they could talk about the IRS emails.

Here are some of the first reactions, pointing out how Republicans are now off the hook, not having to deal with angry voters who will lose their subsidies; and a pie chart of approve/disapprove of ACA,

For Fox News, this moment of sane analysis should be preserved in amber:

Our own right wing loon Rep. Glenn Grothman cast doubt on both the executive branch and the judicial branch of government. Scary stuff. You have to wonder what kind of government would make them happy:
“The uncertainty working families and employers throughout my district have suffered because of Obamacare is disappointing, to say the least,” said Congressman Grothman. “It is frustrating that once again the Supreme Court has disregarded Congressional intent. This ruling shows us that the rule of law is under attack by not only the Obama administration, but also the Supreme Court.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

GOP rejects CDC Gun Violence Prevention funding; "Prevent data collection that could...result in future policy." What we don't know...?

You would think that something as dangerous as a gun would prompt lawmakers to make sure the public is protected from their misuse.

Nope. In fact, Republican lawmakers made sure Americans will not be protected, secure or safe.

Mind boggling as this might seem, Republicans not only blocked gun research from happening, they blew everybody’s mind with this shocking conclusion. The Hill:
“The restriction is to prevent activity that would undertake activities (to include data collection) for current or future research, including under the title 'gun violence prevention,' that could be used in any manner to result in a future policy, guidelines, or recommendations to limit access to guns, ammunition, or to create a list of gun owners,” the report says.
WTF? As a parent and longtime adult, I’ve never seen anything this irresponsible.

What, ban “gun violence prevention” research because a person has right to own a gun? OWNING a gun does not preclude rules for safe use or making the public safer. 
“That convoluted argument is an insult to this committee,” Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) said. “It borders on the paranoid.”
It is paranoid. The proposal would have reversed a 20 year ban on funding the research written by former Rep. Jay Dickey back in 1996, who now supports the funding. Yes, he’s changed his mind, based on overwhelming evidence we need to find a way to stop the killing. 

No Bold Leadership or Solutions: Walker to let the Affordable Care Act crash and burn, taking Wisconsinites with it.

We've all seen movies where the captain of a ship, or the pilot of an airliner, gets knocked out right? That's when some courageous individual steps up and lands the plane or steers ship to safety. It's a lesson in human nature, and proof there are heroes born every day.

That does not describe Scott Walker, the guy who never lets us forget he's a bold leader. 184,000 Wisconsinites will lose their insurance if the Supreme Court eliminates the Affordable Care Acts tax subsidies. Walker won't be there to right that ship or land that plane safely.

Instead, Walker will stand by and watch the accident, and blame the victims in the wreckage for being on board.

In this revealing sick editorial posted at CNN, Walker's vindictive nature surfaces for everyone to see. To start, Walker might accuse Obama of having plenty of advance notice, but ironically, so did he points an accusatory finger:
We can't all be trolling millionaires!
Walker: "The Obama administration has had plenty of advance notice about the King v. Burwell decision and the potential outcomes, but it seems the President's only plan is to continue pointing his finger at the states for a problem he created. Just last week, Secretary Burwell was in Wisconsin. She could have used the opportunity to tell Wisconsin residents how the federal government is going to solve its Obamacare mess, but instead she promoted the use of 'free' Obamacare services." 
Walker clearly states his intention, and that is to kill "ObamaCare." But the idea it would put patients back in charge is ridiculous; it puts insurance companies back in charge, to do whatever they want, and you won't have the marketplace competition to lower prices. You also won't have the ability to compare prices in one place. 
Walker: "It's clear Obamacare must be repealed and replaced with a plan that puts patients and their families back in charge." 
Walker is fully aware of the possible carnage resulting from his decision. This monster won't lift a finger to prevent it. It's justifiable collateral damage to Walker. Point made:
Walker: "If the ruling goes against the Obama administration, roughly 6 million people nationwide, including 184,000 in my home state, could lose their health insurance without immediate action by the President to work with Congress. This is a big problem." 
It should be a big problem for Walker, who chose not to take any leadership. And the failed experiment of the for-profit, insurance based, health care industry?
Walker: "Will the President admit his failure, and prevent millions from losing health insurance by acting to repeal and replace his failed experiment?" 
This arrogant authoritarian coward doesn't begin to see his own penchant for finger pointing, which is already ridiculous:
Walker: "So far, the only answer Americans have had from the President is finger pointing." 
Summing it up, Walker states clearly the punishment for not following this countries strict conservative guideline:
Walker: "We will not bail out Obama at the expense of the American people.  We will not set up state exchanges under the rules of Obamacare. That plan should be to repeal and replace Obamacare and put patients back in charge of health care for themselves and their families."

Walker loses construction jobs at start of construction season, Wisconsin now in bottom half of job growth rankings.

It's funny, I never get "stand with Walker" troll comments with stories like big deal to them?
Cap Times: Wisconsin lost 6,100 private-sector jobs in May according to preliminary estimates, pushing the state into the bottom half of the country in job growth rankings … private-sector jobs in the 12-month period ending in May gave Wisconsin 1.57 percent growth, 33rd among the 50 states.

It's the lowest ranking for the state since September, when Wisconsin was 36th in year-over-year job growth in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' seasonally adjusted Current Employment Statistics figures.

Of the 6,100 jobs lost in the state between April and May, 4,000 were in construction, a job sector that has enjoyed fairly stable growth.
Of course Walker has also done the impossible; lost construction jobs in spring, at the beginning of the construction season.

Unemployment UP: But technically, if you include the non-participation rate of those not looking or who are barely employed...Trump said it best...(seriously though, it's usually about twice the reported rate):

Wisconsin's unemployment rate grew to 4.6 percent; it was at 4.4 percent in April.

Defending the Confederate Flag, Rush predicts American Flag next!!! This is not the Onion!!

Like Joseph Goebbels before him, Rush has fixated on one specific group, liberals, vilifying and branding them as anti-American fear mongers worried sick the American flag will turn citizens to the political right. I must have missed that email. 

Like an Onion parody, Rush takes reality and twists it into fun filled propaganda that low information conservative voter believe hook-line-and-sinker. Hat tip to my conservative friend in Milwaukee, who sent me this, writing in the subject line (shortened here):
"This is true I've said it 4 years. When the State Department has decided not to fly the American flag at embassies because it's afraid they might offend and when you can't wear an American flag t-shirt in a high school … it's already here hope you're proud."
Rush Limbaugh's prediction is humorous to me, but scary to those right wing hypocrites that can't stop talking about defending the 1st Amendment:
“The next flag that will come under assault, and it will not be long, is the American
flag. It is gonna happen. We are trending that way. It makes perfect sense. If you take a look at the timeline of progression of events, the speed and rapidity with which the left is conducting this assault on all of these American traditions and institutions, if you don’t think the American flag’s in their crosshairs down the road, you had better stop and reconsider.

The American flag is what? It’s the symbol of America. The left, what? Doesn’t like this country very much and never has and it’s getting angrier and angrier about it seemingly every day. The American flag stands for the United States of America and as such, everything that’s wrong with it. And you wait, it isn’t gonna be long before the American flag is gonna cause chills, fear, scary thoughts … [because] it’s a symbol of hate.”
Rush's thoughts are crazy, but the underlying premise is real; the repeated use of symbols denoting patriotism have not just given the U.S. Constitution to the GOP, but the flag as well. Troll tweeter LizzieFiles alerted me to this weird study. Wanna bet we're going to see an avalanche of flag display requirement laws throughout the nations Republican legislatures:
Shock Study: U.S. Flag Only Boosts GOP: Exposure to even a tiny American flag turns Democrats into Republicans.

Just a brief exposure to an image of the American flag shifts voters, even Democrats, to Republican beliefs, attitudes and voting behavior even though most don't believe it will impact their politics, according to a new two-year study just published in the scholarly Psychological Science.

What's more, according to three authors from the University Chicago, Cornell University and Hebrew University, the impact had staying power. "A single exposure to an American flag resulted in a significant increase in participants' Republican voting intentions, voting behavior, political beliefs, and implicit and explicit attitudes, with some effects lasting 8 months," the study found. "These results constitute the first evidence that nonconscious priming effects from exposure to a national flag can bias the citizenry toward one political party and can have considerable durability."

Another recent Harvard University professor's study that found that kids who attended a July 4th parade ended up leaning Republican when they grew up.

It's also sure to prompt GOP presidential candidates to add more U.S. flags at their events and speeches.
Democrats could learn a few things about marketing...I mean propaganda.

Walker's Reason to Oppose Equal Pay: It pits one group (women) against another (men)!!! He's serious.

It's hard to imagine conflating the fight for equal pay with "pit(ing) one group of Americans versus another."

But that's what Scott Walker did on a right wing Boston Herald Radio Show last week, conveniently "forgetting" how he did just that with public workers. You can actually see and hear him saying "divide and conquer" in the video below. So, does that "pit one group of Americans versus another?

Right Wing Watch: Gov. Scott Walker attacked Hillary Clinton for her advocacy for equal pay legislation, saying that she was trying to “pit one group of Americans versus another.”
“But I think even a bigger issue than that,” he said, “and this is sadly something that would make her consistent with the president, and that is I believe that the president and now Hillary Clinton tend to think that politically they do better if they pit one group of Americans versus another.”

He said that, in contrast, “Americans are hungry” for leaders who will “make every American’s life better” rather than those who want to “pit one group against another group out there.”
Did Scott Walker just talk himself out of a job? 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dumb as Bricks??? House Republicans do away with Medicare panel trying to save money, and kill disease prevention program.

The party of “fiscal conservatives” keep proving day by day how big a lie that is. Their ruthless mean spirited attacks on people seeking healthier lives is sick too.  

The Republican House hates the Affordable Care Act so much that they're willing to throw away $7 billion eliminating a panel that never had a chance to existed in the first place:
AP: The House voted Tuesday to kill a federal panel that is supposed to find ways to curb Medicare spending … Members of the Independent Payment Advisory Board have never been appointed, and the panel has never recommended savings from Medicare. Republicans have long targeted the board anyway, saying it would ration care … Sarah Palin said the law would create "death panels" that could decide the care seniors would receive.
And just as bad, they did away with the actual prevention program designed to save even more lives and money:
Democratic support for repealing the board evaporated when Republicans decided to pay the $7 billion, 10-year cost of eliminating it by cutting $8 billion from the health care law's prevention and public health fund, which the GOP says wastes money. Democrats call the prevention program a valuable part of that law.
A waste of money, preventing the pain and suffering that comes from untreated illnesses, not to mention the sadness and devastation of losing a loved one due to a preventable death.  

I don’t know why they're trying to make life even more difficult than it already is, any guesses?

Walker's Jobs Record: A Pictures worth a thousand jobs....and more.

Just out, Scott Walker's presidential ambitions circling down the drain...

I had to point out this wonderful "stand with Walker" troll tweet:

State Conservatives now say Democratic Party responsible for flying/protecting Confederate Battle Flag?

For years and years, Republicans have not just defended and made the Confederate Battle flag their own, but they've waved it proudly as a free speech right. Now, suddenly a few conservatives here are trying to say it's a Democratic flag.  They want us to forget how the parties flipped after the civil rights movement. Sorry, but this debate is going on now, not the mid 1800's.

They want us to forget....
It became a divisive and violent emblem of the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacist groups.
Forgetting would be the only way they can make their next loony tunes argument; they have always hated the Confederate flag.

Check out a "Stand with Walker" string of tweets to the right. Marvel at the disconnect. Clinton and Gore...Confederates?

Ever wonder why racism is now so pronounced and open? Since Obama became president, the Republican Party has worked hard to rationalize away their inner racist feelings, with distractions like his birth certificate, supposed Islamic faith, "imperial presidency," relationship to terrorists, weak foreign policy, etc.. The picture below says it all.

Here's one example of the spin:

The GOP wasn't involved? Only if all the black ministers and NAACP were Republican. Here's what really happened:
A 1994 nonbinding referendum placed on the GOP primary ballot found that three-in-four voters said the flag should keep flying. That same year, black ministers and the NAACP threatened a boycott of the state if the flag didn't come down, and business leaders sued to remove the flag.

But in 2000, a compromise was reached — the battle flag would be removed from atop the dome and a smaller, square version would be placed at a less-prominent place on the Statehouse grounds — on a 20-foot pole next to the 30-foot Confederate monument. But that didn't end the controversy, and many years of protests, criticism and boycotts followed.
How about that Southern "Democratic" stronghold Mississippi?
Many Southern states' current flags are inspired by the "Rebel flag." Mississippi's state flag remains the only one in the U.S. that still features the battle flag prominently. In 2001, Magnolia State voters decided to keep the current flag by a wide margin. The University of Mississippi, or "Ole Miss," has also faced controversy. In 1997, waving Confederate flags at football games was banned. "Colonel Reb," their Confederate soldier mascot, was retired in 2003 and, "From Dixie With Love" was dropped from the marching band set list.
Check out the brisk Neo-Confederate Party sales action at These are the hot items. Yea, we're so over that race thing...

NOTE: Amazon and other sites have already pull all Confederate products off their pages. That was quick.

Gov. Nathan Deal is sticking with the offending state license plate, like a good Democrat....I mean Republican would. 

Rick Perry doesn't see uninsured Texans, he "keeps score" by making health care "accessible," not affordable.

Did you ever have a bad transmission? Mechanics are accessible and ready to fix the problem.

Did you ever need immediate medical care? Doctors and hospitals are accessible and ready to help stop the pain, even save your life.

The latter example explains the simple Republican model for health care; "accessibility."

In one of the most stunning examples yet of tortured logic, Rick Perry says it's not about "forcing someone to buy insurance," it's about health care being "accessible." All that complicated stuff about paying insurance-deductibles-copays, that's not his problem, or how Republicans "keeps score."

It's the process, not the outcome. The party that once argued mandatory insurance to weed out freeloaders, is now saying just the opposite, and blissfully jacking the cost of premiums through the roof for everyone else. TPM:

"Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace on Sunday pressed former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on his decision not to embrace Obamacare. Wallace noted that Texas had the highest uninsured rate in the country.

"More than 1 in 5 Texans didn’t have health coverage. And yet, you refused to set up a state exchange under Obamacare, you refused to expand Medicaid. I mean, is that looking out for the little guy, when 21 percent of Texans didn’t have health insurance?"
Perry was unmoved, because it really came down to semantics, a word game about the process. Perry doesn't use saving lives as a way to "keep score."
Perry: "If how you keep score is how many people you force to buy insurance, well, then I would say that that’s how you keep score. We make access to health care the real issue, we passed the most sweeping tort reform in the nation. It’s not about whether you force somebody to buy insurance, it’s whether Texans have access to good health care."
Insurance, and buying it, isn't Perry's problem. He's rationalized away what makes for-profit health care accessible, money. The U.S. system forces responsible people to buy insurance, or suffer the consequences, like being turned away, going bankrupt or die:
Wallace: "I understand that, sir, but don’t you, as the governor for 14 years, don’t you feel some responsibility when 21 percent of the people in your state didn’t have health insurance?" 

Perry: "But that’s not how we keep score. I think it’s a fallacy to say access to health care is all about insurance. What we happen to say in the state of Texas is we’re going to try to make as accessible as we can good quality health care."
Accessibility that's just beyond the reach of 21 percent of the state's citizens.

Monday, June 22, 2015

State Republicans now trying to kill the enemy of big business, the Family Medical Leave Act. Why not?

State Republicans now want to kill Wisconsin's Family Medical Leave Act because they say, it just duplicates the federal law which was modeled after our own. But the thing is it doesn’t.

Yes, the attacks on hard working Wisconsinites is getting more brutal. What this sets up is a federal one party Republican government that will then kill medical leave on a national level, with no state backup law.

Deceptively, Republican Rep. John Nygren “says the proposal to repeal is not backed only by the GOP,” suggesting Democrats are on board. Nope, the Democratic party is no longer a factor, because they’ve been replaced by the League of Municipalities, Counties Association, other organizations and business groups.

Well then, what are we waiting for? From WSAW

Wisconsin's Family Medical Leave Act has been in place since 1988. It recognizes that our state's workers have dueling responsibilities - between their jobs, kids or taking care of an elderly parent or sick spouse.

"This is not just an issue that's something that Republicans are asking for - are supportive of basically federalizing our law," Nygren said.
But like most state and local laws, the state FMLA is stronger than the federal knockoff. Democratic Sen. Julie Lassa explained:
"The federal law requires you to work more hours a year than the state law does, it also limits the type of care that a worker or their family can take time off to receive, as well as, it makes it easier for employers to be able to deny the family medical leave." 

Under the federal law, employees cannot substitute types of paid leave, and could, instead, go unpaid. "Policies like this that Republicans are looking at adopting, will make it much more difficult for those middle-income families as well as low-income families to be able to make ends meet."

Really? Republicans praised for finally removing Confederate Flag?

It seems to me Democrats had been asking for the removal of the Confederate flag for decades. Now that 9 people were killed by a white racist with a gun and a Confederate flag, many Republicans are suddenly running for the exits trying not to look like the neo-confederates we know they really are inside.

These people aren't heroes. They aren't insightful. They aren't fooling anyone. They're not erasing their past rabid support of the Confederate battle flag, ever. They were forced into taking this position, and they should be embarrassed:

Sadly, there’s no Republican media filter…?

Circular Bubble World Thinking: Want to know why facts and linked news stories don't seem to impress, change minds, or ever pierce that impenetrable right wing bubble? The answer is contained in the short Vicki McKenna Facebook conversation pictured here. It brings to mind this interesting quote:
"All propaganda must be presented in a popular form and must fix its intellectual level so as not to be above the heads of the least intellectual of those to whom it is directed."
And that brings us to Vicki McKenna's radio ministry of propaganda, where all media news stories are said to pass through a liberal filter. Another example of projection as well:

Why would a Racist Group donate to a Republican Candidate for President?

CBS News for some reason only mentioned 3 GOP candidates who received money from the Council of Conservative Citizens.

I guess you can add Scott Walker to that list too.

Is there something these guys aren't telling us that donors have an inside track on?
Earl P. Holt III, the president of the Council of Conservative Citizens gave $3,500 to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker since 2011, state records show.-jsonline
I added our governors picture to the CBS graphic below. Still, it seems odd any news organization would not include all the candidates names, and not just Cruz, Santorum and Paul, right? 

Pope says People in Weapons Industry aren't Christians, including gun freak investors.

People who buy guns support the weapons industry, and therefore aren't Christian. So says Pope Francis:
Pope Francis suggests those in weapons industry can't call themselves Christian: People who manufacture weapons or invest in weapons industries are hypocrites if they call themselves Christian, Pope Francis said on Sunday.

Duplicity is the currency of today ... they say one thing and do another.

Francis issued his toughest condemnation to date of the weapons industry, “If you trust only men you have lost,” he told the young people in a long commentary about war, trust and politics, after putting aside his prepared address.

“It makes me think of ... people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit of distrust, doesn’t it?” he said to applause.

He also criticized those who invest in weapons industries, saying “duplicity is the currency of today ... they say one thing and do another.” 

Affordable Care Act subsidy challenged by liar, David King, who was not harmed and has VA Health Care.

The guy who may just take away the health care of millions of people is completely clueless, partisan as hell, and your typical right wing low information voter. On top of that, he's now admitting that the law doesn't affect him, which takes away his ability to prove harm.

This story made the rounds because it was so breathtaking. David King, of King vs Burwell, is blabbering away like a tea party loon. Just to document how sad our nation is right now, here are a few exerts:
NY Times: Millions of people are waiting anxiously for the Supreme Court to decide the
fate of the health insurance subsidies. But David M. King, a plaintiff in the case, is not among them. Mr. King, 64, said recently that he was reasonably confident he would prevail in his challenge to the subsidies, a central element of the Affordable Care Act. “We have a good chance of winning,” he said in an interview at his home here.
King has no standing, and cannot show harm. Yet the Justices decided to take the case? 
But Mr. King said that he was not really worried, because as a Vietnam veteran, he has access to medical care through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

When he sued the government in September 2013, Mr. King filed a declaration stating that he was not eligible for health insurance from the government or any employer. But in the last few months, he said in the interview, he went to an outpatient clinic for veterans in Fredericksburg and received a veteran identification card so he could qualify for discounts at Lowe’s stores. At the clinic, Mr. King said, he also received a physical examination. “I’m eligible for V.A. care,” he said.
King takes his shot at the "left."
If he wins, Mr. King said, “the left will blow it out of proportion and claim that eight million people will lose their health insurance.” But he said lawyers had assured him that “things are in play to take care of the problem.” Mr. King did not provide detail. Mr. King, a gruff but friendly man who likes to guard his privacy, expressed a generalized sense of grievance over the health care law and the way the administration had carried it out.
King even blamed Obama for giving the law his name, when it's just common knowledge Republicans came up with it:
The name often used for the program, Obamacare, is enough to upset anyone, Mr. King said, and suggests that the president is “a narcissist.” (The term was actually coined by opponents of the law, though Mr. Obama has sometimes used it.) 
Get the idea King doesn't like the "far left:"
“A lot of the Supreme Court seemed to be in our favor,” he said, and he offered contrasting impressions of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “I thought Roberts was supportive,” Mr. King said. “Ginsburg was not. She is far left.”
But again, King doesn't have standing, and he lied:
During the arguments, Justice Ginsburg asked whether the plaintiffs had established that they had standing to sue: “a concrete stake” in the outcome, not just an ideological interest.

Mr. King said he was aware of the legal issue, but he played down its significance. Regardless of whether he has standing, he said, other plaintiffs do. “This case is not about destroying health care. It’s about the law, the rule of law. You can’t have a pen and a phone and decide to change the world. I listen to everybody bitch and moan and cry about Obamacare,” Mr. King said. “We did something about it.