Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Walker hands Millionaires +, 77% of Tax Cuts, costing state an estimated $736 million over 5 years, up from low ball $360 million.

If you thought you were happy getting a whole $1-$10 tax cut this year, you won't believe how happy farm and manufacturing businesses are.

The whole point of Scott Walker's supply side statewide agenda is to make tax policy as unfair as possible, on purpose, while maintaining a steady stream of campaign money from business. And as money drains out of the general revenue fund without any offsets, Wisconsin becomes the Mexico of the Midwest. Just the way Republicans want it.

Thankfully, more and more people in the top 1% get to keep most of their money, while everyone else can't keep any of it living paycheck to paycheck:
And the Walker trolls are still happy!

11 taxpayers making more than $35 million to reap $21.5 million from tax credit: The report from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau comes on the heels of a similar report from the liberal Wisconsin Budget Project finding most of the state's Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit this past year went to 77 percent of the total individuals earning more than $1 million.

The tax credit is available to farming and manufacturing companies, but also to individuals who own a stake in companies set up S corporations.

The tax credit was introduced late in the 2011-13 budget process. It was initially projected to cost the state $360 million over the first five years, but the estimate has been revised to $736 million.
A slight miscalculation, but business is happy.

Walker's Republicans seek revenge for Supreme Court's repeal of Wisconsin's unconstitutional Abortion law.

Were Scott Walker's abortion laws created to protect women’s safety and health? Didn’t think so….

Not only that, Scott Walker and AG lapdog Brad Schimel got that whole constitutional rights to choose thing wrong:
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal from Wisconsin of a federal appeals court ruling that struck down the state’s law placing restrictions on abortion providers.

Watch the tantrum begin in the Republican legislature as they set out to prove how oppressive they can truly be when it comes to banning the constitutional right to choose. This is what we get for questioning their authority. WSJ:
1. State lawmakers pledged new abortion-related bills during the next legislative session.

2. State Attorney General Brad Schimel said said Monday’s ruling “is disappointing and undermines the respect due to policymakers.”

3. Walker on Tuesday tweeted, “We’re disappointed an activist court overturned common sense standards on abortion providers, (and) we will cont(inue) to protect sanctity of life.”

4. Heather Weininger, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life, said the anti-abortion group remains “undeterred in our efforts to protect women and unborn children from the abortion industry.”

5. Rep. Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum, said he plans to propose a bill next legislative session requiring doctors to inform patients of the ability to reverse medication-induced abortions. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists urged its members in 2015 to pressure Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to veto a similar bill on the grounds that the medical advice is unscientific and could be dangerous.

6. And Rep. Andre Jacque, R-De Pere, who authored the bill that included the abortion restrictions that Tuesday’s decision invalidated, said he plans to introduce again legislation that bans research using fetal tissue, which was unsuccessful last Legislative session.

7. Myranda Tanck, spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said in an email that Fitzgerald fully expects to see bills related to abortion next legislative session.

Take Sheriff Clarke's guns away before he kills more than sane public policy.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is a classic right wing authoritarian.

You can see that clearly in this recent PolitiFact takedown, where two issues stood out for me.

Clarke was basically making the claim that Americans have no right trying to tell an elected official like him what to do. Speaking to the New York Oath Keeperscitizens militia group of armed defenders of our God given right to own guns, Clarke said this:
I was not going to let somebody who had never done this job for one day in their life transform this profession. That would be akin to me trying to transform the medical community after a botched surgery when I know nothing about the medical community. I'm not educated in it, I'm not trained in it. By the way, did you know that doctors kill about 250,000 people a year in botched surgeries?
Here’s PolitiFacts conclusion, including Clarke’s arrogant response:
Clarke refused to provide us information to back up his claim, saying through a spokeswoman that he "gets his data from the same sources that the anti-gun bigots get their data from."
Very mature of Clarke, and we let him have a gun? 
But it seems likely his statement was based on news reports about a study on medical errors that was published several weeks earlier in The BMJ, formerly known as the British Medical Journal. Its major finding: An estimated 251,454 deaths per year, or 9.5 percent of all deaths in the United States, stem from a medical error … estimate was based on many types of medical errors, not just botched surgeries -- anything from bad doctors to communication breakdowns when patients are handed off from one department to another, to medicine dosage mistakes, diagnostic errors and more. We rate Clarke’s statement False.
One More thing on Medical Errors and Tort Reform: With an estimated 251,454 medical errors, why are conservatives pushing tort reform, cutting fines and settlements? That would only make things worse, right?

This all fits neatly together with the massive number of gun deaths per year. Throwing up your hands claiming there’s nothing anybody can do about medical errors and guns deaths is not just "normal," but brutally acceptable with Republicans. 

But for the rest of us, it should be alarming, and at the least, really bad public policy.

Zika Virus used by Republicans to limit conception, weaken pesticide restrictions, cut ObamaCare, defund Ebola research, lift ban on Confederate Flags.

To Republicans, life isn’t valuable unless you have a job and someone else is profiting from it. They made that obvious when they restricted unemployment benefits, drug tested food stamp recipients, limited Medicaid eligibility, etc.

Their total disregard for life and health wason full display with a bill to protect us from the Zika virus:
A federal spending bill … would have provided $1.1 billion to fight the mosquito-borne Zika virus … (but) Republicans had sabotaged the legislation with politically charged provisions.

Senate Republicans were using the must-pass legislation to (pass) provisions that would hinder access to contraception for women and weaken environmental restrictions on pesticide use.
In a jaw dropping attempt to turn the tables on the Democrats, and public disgust away from their own party’s blatant inhumanity, Republicans inadvertently admitted they were playing games with a major health problem:
Republicans, in turn, accused Democrats of manufacturing excuses for blocking the bill … “We have a public health crisis descending on our country,” Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader said after the vote. “Pregnant women all across America are looking at this with dismay, utter dismay, as we sit here in a partisan gridlock manufactured by the other side.”
You won't even believe this juvenile statement:
Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican, declared, “Our Democratic friends block it because they are sore losers.”
Remember when House Republicans forced a vote to cut Ebola?
…redirecting nearly $600 million previously approved to fight the Ebola virus. 
The Senate thought that wasn’t enough:
1. A further reallocation of money from Ebola programs. 

2. Restrict the role of Planned Parenthood and similar clinics in providing contraceptive services related to fighting the Zika virus, which can be transmitted sexually.

3. Inserted a provision cutting $540 million in financing from the Affordable Care Act.

4. Strip a House provision that would ban the flying of the Confederate battle flag in federal cemeteries.
After all that, the New York Times had the nerve to blame both sides...:
Whichever side is more to blame…
WTF? This is the kind of media response that only empowers and promotes political comments like this:
Senator Marco Rubio blamed Democrats’ political motives for sinking the bill. “It’s a talking point that they want to take into the July Fourth recess, unfortunately.”
Or this through the looking glass lunacy…
The debate was so sharp that Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, accused Democrats of favoring insects over people in their opposition to easing the pesticide restrictions.
“The Democrats are more focused on protecting the mosquito than they are protecting people,” he said.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Trump's a real Republican alright, will increase national debt $11.5 Trillion...but GOP will get their damn tax cuts.

I had to laugh at the title of this amazing "both sides" do article from The Hill: 
Analysis Trump, Clinton plans not in line with balancing national debt
That's not good, right? Well, five paragraphs into the story, I did the old "spit take" with my morning coffee:
The report directly compares the fiscal impact of Trump's and Clinton’s proposals, building off the previous non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) analyses that examined their proposals separately. The analysis also looks more deeply at the revenue and spending implications of the likely nominees’ policy proposals.
CRFB found that over a decade, Trump's plans would increase the debt by $11.5 trillion and Clinton's would raise it by $250 billion.
Ah, gulp. But you'd never know how far apart Clinton and Trump were if you just read the first couple of paragraphs. Call it media spin favoring Trump:
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton would both face challenges to put the national debt on a sustainable path under their current proposals but Trump would have to go to far more extreme measures to rein in debt if his policies were enacted.

Neither of the presumptive presidential nominees have put forth ideas to address the debt ... “Both candidates, at a time when our debt is already at record levels, would not put forth a plan that would put the debt on a sustainable path," CRFB President Maya MacGuineas said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. "But that said, the plan of Donald Trump would add much, much more to the debt than Hillary Clinton.” 
Here are some details 
Clinton’s tax plan would raise $1.25 trillion, while Trump’s tax plan would cost $9.25 trillion. And Clinton’s immigration policies would also produce savings, while Trump’s plan would have costs, the report found. 
This will blow your mind...and remember, Republicans will still vote for Trump:
If Trump wanted to put debt on a sustainable path after enacting his proposals, he would have to cut spending by 27 to 37 percent, raise tax rates by 17.5 to 20.5 percentage points, accelerate economic growth by 160 to 390 percent, or enact some combination of these options, according to the report. contrast....
In order for Clinton to put debt on a sustainable path, she would have to cut spending by 6 to 15 percent, increase all tax rates by 3.5 to 8.5 percentage points or increase economic growth by 35 to 125 percent. She could also could take a combination of these actions, the CRFB said.
To be perfectly honest, I would much rather have the following problem than anything Trump would unleash:
Clinton has promised not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000, but she would need to raise the top tax rate to 64 percent to stabilize the debt if she only raised taxes on high earners.
Bloomberg View posted a story that came to this not so surprising conclusion:
Paul Ryan's Tax Blueprint Looks a Lot Like Trump's: Ryan and Trump are often portrayed as uneasy allies on a number of political fronts. But when it comes to taxes and fiscal policy, they are kissin' cousins.

Paul Ryan blames ObamaCare for private sector's Waste, Fraud and Abuse to boost profits.

The Paul Ryan quote making the rounds now tells us how little he knows about the private health care system we finally left behind.

I'm blogging about this again, hoping Democrats use any one of these points as ammunition against Republicans. I haven't had any luck yet.

It’s almost dangerous to be this out-of-touch: Ryan didn’t know premiums were out of control before the ACA, that Republicans were the ones pushing high deductible plans to discourage health care “over use,” and the maze of tangled insurance restrictions, co-pays, exemptions, dropped coverage's and premium increases make government regulation pale in comparison. And his weird shot at “waste, fraud, and abuse?” Ah, that’s the private sector scamming the government Paul. So that’s what makes going private so counter-intuitive and ideologically driven.

Finally, Ryan’s plan will actually force tens of millions of people off “the plans they like.” Never fear, ObamaCare made Republicans do it:  
The article below dissects Ryan’s plan in a common sense, very simple way. You'll notice everything is profit driven, just the opposite of every other civilized industrial country in the world repulsed by the idea:
For starters, it contains the often popular Republican idea of tort reform. In short, this would limit how much compensation one could receive if a doctor makes a mistake and ends up hurting them or a family member during a procedure. Since doctors and other medical personnel have insurance for this sort of thing, tort reform would end up benefiting insurance companies more than the average person. You’ll notice that’s a theme with this new healthcare plan.

Another popular Republican proposal that has made its way into this plan is allowing people to buy insurance across state lines. This sounds like a good idea in theory, as it would give people more choices. But there is one major flaw that the Republicans haven’t addressed, which is the race to the bottom. Since each state has its own rules and regulations regarding health insurance, it’s very likely that insurance companies would simply set up shop in the state that had the least amount of regulation, resulting in less protection for consumers.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Republican healthcare plan without an attempt to attack Medicare. So let’s look at the latest Republican attack on one of the most popular programs in America. For starters, Ryan intends to raise the eligibility age to 67. Republicans also intend to phase out the current system and replace it with a “fully competitive market-based model—known as premium support.”
As I've mentioned before, aging diminishes our mental capacity to deal with complicated things like insurance policy small print and changes. To be unaware of this is to be horribly cruel.

I also stumbled across this tidy summary at the Business Insider:
1. Eliminate Obamacare. Kill it dead.

2. Allow Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines, so they can find cheap, catastrophic plans in states that allow companies to sell coverage with limited benefits.
3. Give Americans who don't get insurance through their employers, Medicaid, or Medicare a refundable tax credit-which is to say, a monthly subsidy-to help them purchase said catastrophic coverage.

4. Expand tax-exempt health savings accounts so that people with cheaper insurance can (maybe) afford to pay out of pocket for routine care, like check-ups.

5. Create special, state-subsidized "high-risk" pools to cover people with pre-existing conditions.
Which begs the question...
Last year, the average Obamacare insurance subsidy was $268 per month. If the ACA's subsidies are supposedly an unaffordable expense for the federal government, as Republicans generally seem to feel, it is difficult to imagine that they really plan to give people enough money to buy a "typical" pre-reform plan. What they actually intend is left to our imaginations.

The Republican health care plan, as it has been for years now, is to give Americans a small amount of money capable of helping them purchase cheap, not very comprehensive insurance.

Republicans wrong about Constitutionality of Abortion Restrictions...who knew?

Those high and mighty constitutional conservatives, like Scott Walker, knew they were passing unconstitutional restrictions on abortion providers according to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court on Monday struck down 5-3, restrictions on Texas abortion clinics and doctors … signaled that it would soon do the same in Wisconsin.
Walker's loyal lapdog and legal stooge AG Brad Schimel, who never saw a Republicans law that wasn't constitutional, is now waiting for the Wisconsin law shoe to drop, but....
Two federal courts have declared the law unconstitutional.
Justice Stephen Breyer directly cited the lawsuit over Wisconsin's law:
"We agree with the District Court that the surgical center requirement, like the admitting-privileges requirement, provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions, and constitutes an 'undue burden' on their constitutional right to do so. When directly asked at oral argument whether Texas knew of a single instance in which the new requirement would have helped even one woman obtain better treatment, Texas admitted that there was no evidence in the record of such a case. This answer is consistent with the findings of the other federal district courts that have considered the health benefits of other states' similar admitting-privileges laws."
Schimel is so politically invested in Walker’s agenda, he actually claimed the Republican legislature was virtually infallible:
"Today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a Texas abortion law is disappointing and undermines the respect due to policy-makers.
We should respect our policy makers…and ignore the judicial ramblings of Reagan appointee judge Richard Posner on the Wisconsin law:
Writing for the 7th Circuit majority, Judge Richard Posner added that the law was obviously designed to close down abortion clinics, had nothing to do with women’s health and was a “clear flouting of Roe vs. Wade” … "The legislature's intention to impose the two-day deadline ... is difficult to explain save as a method of preventing abortions that women have a constitutional right to obtain." 
And like Schimel, Wisconsin Family Action's Julaine Appling knows Republican lawmakers are the moral watchdogs of right wing socialism:
Appling (said) Judge Posner got it wrong. "I think it’s impertinent on his part to believe he knows the minds and motives of the people that are representing the majority of the people here in our state. The Republicans that passed that law had a solid majority, there was unanimity amongst them, to put that type of protective measure in there for women, and I think it’s wrong for the judges to presume they know better than the people and those that we elect to represent us as to why we’re doing what we’re doing."
The Texas law did have its supporters on the court. In a twisted piece of right wing logic, Justice Alito spewed this:

"When we decide cases on particularly controversial issues, we should take special care to apply settled procedural rules in a neutral manner," Alito wrote in his dissent. "The Court has not done that here."
Yea, that Texas law was a fine piece of neutrality. Crazy zealot Justice Thomas joined in the lunacy:
Thomas wrote that the decision "exemplifies the court's troubling tendency `to bend the rules when any effort to limit abortion, or even to speak in opposition to abortion, is at issue."'
Thomas actually said "any effort to limit abortion." Did he just admit the activists real intentions were okay with him?

Monday, June 27, 2016

British austerity, neoliberalism really behind Brexit.

While British voters are desperately trying to reverse their protest vote to leave the EU, the media is not quite explaining what was really behind Brexit; neoliberalism, which means a transfer of control of economic factors to the private sector from the public sector. 

Voters essentially voted against themselves and the politically conservative austere system that brought them to this point. That's not to say the detached and brutal way the EU handles economic policy isn't a problem too, but that's a whole different blog post. offered this greatly expanded definition, filled with examples:
Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling, a process that rewards merit and punishes inefficiency. It maintains that “the market” delivers benefits that could never be achieved by planning.

Attempts to limit competition are treated as inimical to liberty. Tax and regulation should be minimised, public services should be privatised. The organisation of labour and collective bargaining by trade unions are portrayed as market distortions, that impede the formation of a natural hierarchy of winners and losers. Inequality is recast as virtuous: a reward for utility and a generator of wealth, which trickles down to enrich everyone. Efforts to create a more equal society are both counter-productive and morally corrosive. The market ensures that everyone gets what they deserve.
All in with Chris Hayes has so far had the best discussion on the real reasons for Brexit:

The Myth we "Consume" more Health Care!!! It's not a Product.

I have "shopped" for health care INSURANCE in the individual market, but again, insurers don't provide health care. Insurance is a consumer product. But you can't tell Republicans that, because they mistakenly or intentionally mix insurance in with hospitals and doctors. 

Which brings me to Paul Ryan’s plan for overhauling health care.

A Forbes analysis of Ryan’s plan defies logic. Take for instance the untaxed employer based insurance, which I never liked and believe should be replaced with a single payer national plan.

The wording is important:
The exemption encourages people to seek overly generous health plans. As Ryan’s plan explains, that gives “employers and employees an incentive to select more extensive coverage than they otherwise would.” People then use those generous plans to consume more healthcare services than they would if they were paying for them directly. Employer health premiums have jumped by as much as 15 percent as result, according to the CBO.
“Consume more Healthcare?” Who “consumes” healthcare? We don’t consumer more heart surgeries, more cancer treatments, right?

Another words, we didn’t choose to get cancer or heart disease just so we could shop for the best treatment. No one's shopping in this “market.” 

"Overly Generous Health Plans?" Really? That suggests we're covering too many diseases, ailments and better lifestyle choices? There's nothing "generous" about treating all pain, trying to save all lives, and treat all diseases. 

Ryan's ridiculously low Subsidies: The WTF moment came when the Forbes article lied about how Ryan's subsidies would pay for most peoples premiums, deceptively suggesting any extra cash could go into a health savings account. 

This was an easy one to spot for me, having shopped for family plans for two decades. See if the numbers below make sense to you:
If lawmakers are smart, they’ll set the value of those credits at $1,200 for those aged 18 to 35, $2,100 for those 35 to 50, and $3,000 for anyone over 50. Families would get another $900 for each child.
So according to the numbers above, if you're a couple 35 and above with kids, you'll get a subsidy of $6,000.
Credits at those levels would cover most of the cost of a basic pre-Obamacare plan in most parts of the country, according to Dr. Jeffrey Anderson of the Hudson Institute. Anderson’s analysis is based on a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office .
But according to that GAO study, the screen capture below proves, depending on your state, how ridiculous "covering most of the cost" would be. Don't exclude super high deductibles and copays either. The small print explains how the graphs below don't reflect the actual price. Doh!

My own family premiums in 2011 looked like this: $675 mo/ $10,500 deductible, which isn't even close to the Wisconsin rates charted below. We were a healthy family, and were offered those "low" premiums in exchange for that sky high deductible.

But take a look at Alabama in the graph below Wisconsin. Needless to say, you won't be adding to your health savings account anytime soon, :

While the article blames ObamaCare for double digit premium increases in the individual market, the business premiums weren't much different. See any "spikes?"

The cost of growth also backs up my case that the ACA not only didn't double premiums....: 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

ALEC report rates Walker's Wisconsin high on ideology, bad to worse on Real World Results.

It’s now clear Republicans know their voters, because they know they can count on them never connecting the dots between real world facts and their bubble world lives in the echo chamber.

The American Legislative Exchange Council is all about "limited government, free markets and supply-side economics," and they love Scott Walker. 

Wisconsin business columnist and conservative Tom Still took a look at ALEC's new state by state report "The 2016 ALEC-Laffer State Competiveness Index, named in part for supply-side economist Arthur Laffer," and courageously told the truth; the more we're like ALEC, the worse our state output becomes. 
The results of a 50-state index ... put Wisconsin in a positive light for selected economic inputs. The economic output picture painted by ALEC, however, was a bit more restrained.
The positive economic input simply means the adoption of ALEC's pure ideological, supply side, free market political policy in the state. Before we get to that, ALEC first rated us by how much we bought into their mumbo jumbo:
ALEC ranked Wisconsin No. 9 among the 50 states based on 15 factors that included personal income, corporate, inheritance and sales taxes and debt service as a share of tax revenue ... conservative agenda items such public employees per 10,000 population; an overview of the state liability system; the state minimum wage; average workers’ compensation costs; “right to work” laws and tax expenditure limits baked into state law or the constitution.
ALEC then graded Walker's Wisconsin based on how well he adopted ALEC's agenda, described here as the input. You have to ask yourself, did Republicans ever have and original idea? 
The index ranked Wisconsin among the top 12 states for passing a right-to-work law, for keeping its minimum wage low, for not levying an inheritance tax, for passing tax expenditure limits and (perhaps surprising to some in-state critics) its low ratio of public employees per capita. While it wasn’t directly measured, ALEC spokesmen also praised Gov. Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Legislature for passage of the 2011 Act 10 legislation that crippled many public employee unions.
ALEC's Miserable OUTPUT - Cause and Effect: Proof is in the ALEC report, as Tom Still explains:
When it came to measuring economic performance, however, ALEC looked at “outputs” that placed Wisconsin where other rankings often do – toward the bottom of the 50-state class.

Wisconsin’s overall economic performance rank of 41st included a ranking of 35th for growth in state domestic product for the 10 years ending in 2014; 40th for non-farm payroll employment during the same cycle; and 38th in absolute domestic migration ... (which) measures how many people are leaving or entering the state, the so-called “brain drain” phenomenon. It showed a net loss of nearly 67,000 people over 10 years, with the peak coming in the recession year of 2010.

Economists on the political right and left ... generally believe there is a correlation between migration and economic prosperity. When people “vote with their feet,” it’s a sign they are not finding the jobs, wages and opportunities they want. Too many of the people who are being lost to Wisconsin are college-educated and earning higher incomes, which hurts the state’s ability to retain talented workers and to reinvest in itself.
Maybe that's why Republicans want to keep our kids out of college, because they quickly want to leave.

All of this must have pained Tom Still something awful, so to make up for it, he offered the typical Republican solution; tell "stories" "celebrating what's right about the state." You know, Scott Walker's one and only bragging point - the unemployment numbers - and good old American exceptionalism:
How can Wisconsin make itself more attractive to outsiders and natives alike? By building on existing assets; telling a compelling story about its people, companies and culture; and celebrating what’s right about the state – not fixating on partisan divides and what’s wrong.

Walker still handling the Pancakes...You're Fired!!!

Scott Walker's training as a pancake server is not going well. Sadly, since he's not showing any improvement, and we're going to have to let him go.

As I pointed out a little while back; Hands or tongs governor: The way I see it, a few practice attempts to pick up pancakes with a tongs was all that was needed to perfect the technique.

We now have new video, same as the old:

Trump's Golf Course/Brexit Fiasco Stuns Scotland, World.

Republicans love to show Obama golfing during a crisis, no matter what happens in the world, big and small. It's the ultimate in gotcha politics.

As inane and ridiculous as those moments have been, their presumptive candidate for president set a completely new standard in bad photo op moments.

Not only did Trump not think to consult his foreign policy advisers right after the Brexit vote, that was embarrassing enough...:
Trump: "Well I've been in touch with them, but there's nothing to talk about."
...then he got Scotland's position on that vote completely wrong. He even congratulated them for declaring their independence from the EU.

Not a forgivable moment by a guy trying to be presidential. So where are the Republicans now?

Rep. Sean Duffy Stumped!!! House could bypass Obama, and declare war on ISIS, but won't.

I hope Rep. Sean Duffy voters caught a glimpse of their congressman getting caught in a lie.

That's a big problem for Duffy, who doesn't seem quick enough to bullshit his way out of trouble.

CNN's Chris Cuomo highlighted another fabrication in an interview with Duffy, over Obama's supposed presidential overreach and king like power. Like taking on ISIS:
CNN host Chris Cuomo made the interesting comment that if Duffy and his colleagues are so frustrated with Obama’s handling of ISIS, they (the Congress) can declare war on the terrorist organization themselves. Cuomo called Duffy on his bluff after the congressman said that he was confident that taking out ISIS would be a quick and dirty operation if only Obama would put it into place.
Cuomo: “I don’t know what you’re asking for that isn’t done right now. The generals do say they can take out ISIS, but we know what they’re asking for: They’re asking for boots on the ground. You’re part of a Congress that won’t even have a vote on the authorization for use of military force against ISIS.”

Duffy tried to stutter his way out ... Cuomo replied, “If it matters so much, why not take control of it with the power that’s yours?” 
Watch Duffy squirm. Cuomo's simple question should be asked of every smarty pants Republican. Remember, Paul Ryan's mission is to subvert and limit the power of the executive branch by ceding more power to congress. Wouldn't taking on ISIS be the best way to accomplish that? But Republicans don't want to get their fingerprints on something that they know won't succeed:

Sean Duffy has no clothes...again:

Safer Concealed Carry Wisconsin now needs 600 Law Enforcement "boots on the ground" to save Milwaukee, says Sheriff Clarke.

The police state is right around the corner folks, if Sheriff David Clarke gets his way.

Our spend thrift party of punishment, Walker's Republican Authority, really has no concept of money.

Fake Democratic poser, right wing favorite Sheriff David Clarke, kind of made that obvious the other day when he called for the creation of an army of law enforcement officers to secure Milwaukee.

Clarke actually wants "enough boots on the ground," a military reference, to secure the states largest city. JS
Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. is calling on the city to hire 400 new police officers.Clarke also urged Milwaukee County to hire an additional 200 sheriff's deputies.
"I still maintain we don't have enough boots on the ground in this city and county to effectively deal — to effectively initiate strategies. I know that cops matter."
What, our armed civilian militia has ended up making our streets more dangerous to the point of needing 600 new cops? Of course underlying all of this is the cost, which for Clarke and other conservatives isn't a problem since there's so much extra money out still being spent on public services:
Clarke said there needs to be a comprehensive "action plan" to combat violence in Milwaukee. He also demanded an end to what he called "social engineering experiments" like electronic monitoring programs and deferred prosecution and warned that "hot-spot policing" works only on a limited basis because police need to have a constant visual presence in the community.
Ignoring the Constitution when it doesn't fit their desired outcome, tea party losers like Clarke don't seem to mind creating a POLICE STATE "lawfully." I'm not making the following up: 
He urged for "stop, question and frisk" policing, 100 searches per night of homes where those on parole are living and aggressive traffic stops targeting repeat offenders.
"We need to rain holy hell on these individuals — lawfully. We don't need to violate anybody's rights to do this."
Nobody could be this deep in denial and not be a danger to himself and everyone around him.

Getting back to what Clarke's insane plan would cost, he believes $40 million is do-able, but can't explain where he'll get it:
Ald. Terry Witkowski asked Clarke how the city would pay for 400 new officers, estimating it would cost Milwaukee about $40 million annually. Witkowski also noted that state officials have limited the city's ability to increase taxes.

The sheriff said it was the job of city leaders to prioritize spending and come up with funding for public safety. "Right now, I could drive around this city for two hours and never see a cop. They are understaffed and under siege, just keeping up with calls for service."

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn called Clarke "irrelevant to my work." "I'd love to have 400 more cops, if somebody could come up with a way to pay for them without breaking the backs of Milwaukee taxpayers," Flynn said. "There's no there there."
He suggested Clarke talk to "his good friend" Gov. Scott Walker about restoring money that's been cut from Milwaukee's shared revenue payments. "Just restore state aid and we'll have a discussion," Flynn said.
Perhaps the Public Safety Committee should have asked Clarke's how he's spending taxpayer dollars the Sheriffs Department. That must be an ugly mess of twisted priorities. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Intentionally Silent Voucher Privateers quietly taking larger taxpayer handouts from bought off Walker Republicans.

One thing that has frustrated me most about the voucher debate was the lack of coverage over the privateers end game; dramatically increased public funding. While most stories brag about the bargain price of voucher schools, privateers have been whining about the disparity, and demanding equal per pupil funding...and more.

Welcome to the real world Wisconsinites! According to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, vouchers have taken the lead under the Scott Walker Authority:
1. The amount of state money spent on each student using a private school voucher has increased $911: 14 percent since 2010 = $7,214, and $7,860 for high school students

2. The amount of money the state spends on each public school student has decreased $210: 4 percent since 2010 = $5,108.

3. The 2015-16 school year was the first year school districts experienced a loss in state aid to pay for students living in district boundaries who were attending private schools using a school voucher ... per pupil aid dipping below the national average for the first time in history. Previously, state general purpose revenue paid for vouchers. 

4. Voucher school operators are getting nearly $1000 more per student from state taxpayers than in 2011.”

5. In order to make up for state funding reductions, since 2011 Wisconsin communities have passed 667 referenda to increase local taxpayer funding of public schools.
So while Walker and his band of plundering legislative pirates can brag in their reelection ads they cut spending and taxes, individual communities statewide have had to do just the opposite:

Dumb Ron Johnson wants "originalist" Justices, prefers 8-0 decisions on all Supreme Court Decisions in future!!!

It was odd to hear Scott Walker, lackey AG Brad Schimel and Dumb Ron Johnson all declare “victory” over the Supreme Courts actual split 4-4 non-decision over Obama’s executive order on immigration. 

After all, the Republican blockade to nominate a new justice created the courts deadlock.

But the weirdest, most honest and detached from reality reaction was from Ron Johnson. Latching on to the dangerous notion that the Democratic left is an actual enemy of the state, hell bent on destroying American exceptionalism, Johnson laments not having a politically tilted conservative court with 8 “originalist” activist justices all deciding the same thing. 
I know, crazy isn't it. Johnson made the claim like it was just commonly accepted public sentiment:
Johnson Responds to Split Court Ruling Blocking Obama’s Executive Immigration Order“I’m pleased the lower court’s decision that effectively blocked the president’s executive action granting legal presence and immigration benefits for up to 4 million illegal immigrants has been upheld.  President Obama clearly exceeded his legal authority. 

The fact that this decision was split speaks to a larger, more depressing issue — the politicization of the Supreme Court.  
Here's Johnson's mind blowing authoritarian one-party illogic: 
If the court contained only judges instead of super-legislators, today’s ruling would have been 8-0. This split political decision demonstrates why the American people need to decide the direction of the court through their votes for president and Senate in November."
That's the new thinking; we're not talking about impartial justices anymore. Instead, we're supposed to be choosing the direction of the entire court...politically.

State Rep. Gannon, insurance agent, wants businesses to buy "Disarmed Citizen Compensation Act" liability insurance for Gun Free Zones.

Radio's Devil's Advocates Mike and Dom talked with blithering idiot State Rep. Bob Gannon about requiring gun liability insurance for businesses and other gun free zones for supposedly disarming and putting these unarmed people in harms way. WSJ:
Gannon’s proposal, dubbed the “Disarmed Citizen Compensation Act,” would go a step further in discouraging gun-free zones by allowing a victim of gun violence to sue businesses with such bans and recover triple the amount of damages without regard to who was at fault.
Not exactly getting government out of the way, is it, while heaping higher costs on businesses big and small. It's mob like extortion; "obtaining something, especially money (or guns), through force or threats."

Funny thing, the right to carry also means we have a constitutional right NOT TO CARRY. 

But Gannon not only wants to charge us for not having guns in our businesses, he wants to blame us for those possible gun deaths and injuries.

Even more stunning was Rep. Gannon's admitted conflict of interest. He stands to profit from his own bill:
Gannon: "Just so you know, my state business, my other job is selling property and liability insurance." 
Gannon also seems to think financial advisers, fast food restaurants, toy stores, clothing shops etc. now need to be screened by insurers to determine what they're doing to keep their customer safe.
Gannon said if businesses still want to post gun-free zone signs then they should consider adding metal detectors and armed security guards.
Yes, that's what this has come to, where no place is safe anymore. Like Gannon said sometime back:

“Wisconsin does not have a death penalty law, but with significant practice and careful aim, law-abiding citizens can help clean our society of these scumbags.”
Gannon verbally spit on "liberals," protesters, the Democratic House sit-in trying to stop the mass shooting carnage, you know, the kind of things contained in the 1st Amendment:
Mob like Extortion to allow Guns!!!
Gannon: "The reason I put this out today is because we're getting all this baloney with the Democrats singing along again. You see Democrats think they can deal with this violence by having sing-a-longs, and having big food buffets in the House of Representatives in Washington D.C....they do that in Milwaukee too you know, they march around, they sing, and then they stop and have lunch and they think that's dealing with violence...instead of babbling about it on the radio, or in your marching circles, in your sing-a-long at the state Capitol..."  
The Gannon interview will blow your mind, and make you wonder what voters ever saw in this barbaric savage. They should be embarrassed:

“If you’re going to allow somebody to come in and put a bullet in my brain, you should have some liability,” Gannon said.

Ladd Everitt, communications director for the national Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, called the proposal “utterly idiotic”

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Koch's Americans for Prosperity State Sen. Candidate Mark Elliott, unashamed Loyalty buys...?

Why even bother trying to hide it anymore....Mark Elliott on board with "Issue Education Campaign," whatever that (wink, wink) means. I don't think we need to know much more than this:

The Trump Effect....Make America White Again?

Republicans just needed a little practice under our very first black president, to perfect the rationalization, "I'm not a racist, but I am suffering from white-victimhood." 

Sure there's a few bad apples in the Republican Party, but not everyone is racist. The base, the more conservatives "independents" in love with Trump, are just as misunderstood. So what do we make of the picture on the right, is this "one" bad apple or just some poor picked on conservative white decide......
WRCBRick Tyler confirmed that he does not hate people of color, but does believe America "should go back to the 1960s." "(The) Leave it to Beaver time, when there were no break-ins; no violent crime; no mass immigration," he told the news station.
Wow, what a time it was in America. Tyler must have been reading the new "American Exceptionalism" curriculum rolling out in Tennessee schools. But wait, what about the 60's civil rights movement...?
Tyler also posted a billboard for his campaign that features part of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech superimposed on a drawing of the White House with Confederate flags around it, according to WRCB.

Some residents wrote in to the news station stating their desire to have the signs taken down. Tyler said that he respects their First Amendment rights but, "I respect their right to have an opinion. I believe the majority of the people in the county like it." The New York Daily News reported that the sign was taken down.

Who's the Extra Crispy Col. Sanders? Who else, George Hamilton.

If I could afford to eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken, I would, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate their mind bending ad campaign of never ending fake Col. Sanders hawking their food.

Things just got weirder. Welcome the "Extra Crispy" cousin of the Colonel, played by the sun drenched likes of extra crispy actor George Hamilton. Check out the extra crispy sun damaged face of a boy in the ad...surreal:
KFC just announced the fourth actor ... Unlike previous Colonels, George Hamilton won't actually replace his predecessor, the comedian Jim Gaffigan. Instead, the Golden Globe-nominated actor will take the mantle of the so-called "Extra Crispy Colonel," a bronze-skinned, beach-bum cousin of the avuncular Southern gentleman whom KFC dream't up specifically to sell its "extra crispy"-style chicken. The sun-baked doppelgänger will make his debut in a series of four commercials:

Kansas' Sec. of State Kobach will break Law, throw out tens of thousands of votes for local and state races, protecting "integrity" of elections.

Republicans are lying bull sh***ers when they say they want to protect the integrity of elections and make sure every vote counts. Don't they always say, one stolen vote is one too many. I guess they weren't talking specifically about just throwing votes away for the heck of it.

Welcome to Kansas, where Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach is about to steal away the vote of citizens who did everything right. Breathtakingly defiant of a court order, upwards of 50,000 voters could get their ballots tossed. ABC News:
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is planning (according to an email he sent out) to use provisional ballots during the upcoming elections and then throw out all of the votes for state and local races cast by the thousands of voters who register to vote at motor vehicle offices without providing proof of citizenship … in the wake of a federal court order requiring Kansas to allow these voters to cast ballots at least in the federal races. 

Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis found Kansas law does not allow Kobach to implement a bifurcated voter registration system … Kobach's planned response "flies in the face" of the decision, said ... the ACLU of Kansas.

Kobach (will) allow election officials to go back into those provisional ballots and throw out any votes cast in state and local races and count only votes cast for president and U.S. Senate and House … estimated to affect as many as 50,000 who registered to vote when they got their driver's licenses without providing the citizenship documentation.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson noted in her decision last month that the evidence shows only three instances in Kansas where noncitizens voted in a federal election between 1995 and 2013, and about 14 noncitizens confused about their eligibility who attempted to register during that period.
Party of law and order, freedom and liberty, defenders of the Constitution, who constantly remind us that it's a "republic" (power is explicitly vested in the people, who in turn exercise their power through elected representatives) but are always trying to take our votes away. Nice con if you're allowed to get away with it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

No, "both sides" aren't doing it....

No wonder voters are frustrated. Yet the media wants us to believe both sides are at fault.

Democratic Gun Protest Sit-In "like college kids taking over a campus." - C-Span Caller

Leave it to our sociopathic Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to calmly dismiss the call for common sense gun background checks and revised terrorist watch list, and call the Democratic outrage a "publicity stunt." Well, that's how his party would see and exploit the idea:

The Democratic sit-in was described this way by a caller on C-Span today:
Caller: "...and as to the Representatives taking...basically taking the House hostage....the peoples doesn't have a place on the floor of the House. They can't expect leadership to give into them, when they're basically holding Congress hostage. These are people paid to represent us, and to be there...this is more like college kids taking over a campus and saying, we're going to do this."

An NRA radio show came out with this gem describing Democratic efforts to pass reasonable and popular gun control:
"The NRA radio show considers participants and Rep. John Lewis' gun violence sit-in to criminals and terrorists." 

Our "freedom and liberty" party of cafeteria constitutionalists are starting to rationalize the sit-in this way:

One of the dumbest men alive, Louie Gohmert ignored all the other mass shooting and instead focused on "radical Islam." 

DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp wants department to be more like managing a McDonald's.

The big story to come out of the meeting between the DNR board and Walker's embarrassingly incompetent Sec. Cathy Stepp, is her oddly bizarre comparison to her oversight of Wisconsin's natural resources to her former job as a McDonald's manager.

Apparently, the state needs to pare down regulation to the level of a McDonald's responding to a sudden busload of dollar menu orders. WSJ:
Board member William Bruins said the department has known for five years that the cost in staff time of regulating concentrated animal feeding operations far exceeded the revenue the state budget allows it to keep from fees CAFO's pay. “So in the five years has there been any effort by the department to correct that?” 

Stepp recalled her days as McDonald's restaurant manager as she talked about how state employment rules have hobbled the DNR. Stepp said she could quickly mobilize her fast-food employees when a busload of customers arrived unexpectedly, but the DNR can't react that nimbly to retirements. 
Yea, why can't running the DNR be like McDonald's? My god I wish I were kidding. All of this is happening because Walker and Stepp decided they were no longer going to spend valuable taxpayer dollars on trying to stop the pollution of our lakes, streams and drinking water.
Hat tip to Paulsnewsline
A Legislative Audit Bureau report released this month showing that over the last 10 years the DNR failed 94 percent of the time to take enforcement action against private industries and municipal sewage plants that exceeded water pollution limits, violating its own internal policies. DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp said money and state work rules complicate things.
But funding cuts were intentional. But it's more shocking to hear the DNR is to "complicated" for Stepp. Only now, under fire for violating her own departments rules...
Stepp said she has discussed those challenges with her boss, Gov. Scott Walker, and it's possible she could request an increase in revenue this year. But Stepp said she is mindful that other state agencies ... are also need money. And the Legislature wants requests for more tax dollars only as a last resort, she said.
Letting polluting go unchecked isn't enough to be considered a last resort.
Some of the problems in regulating water quality stem from employee turnover and job vacancies at DNR, she said. It can take up to two years to train a new employee to work proficiently with complicated laws and rules governing pollution permits, said Patrick Stevens, the DNR's top administrator for regulation of industrial and municipal pollutants. 
Another intended consequence of Act 10:
The department fell far behind in permitting when a huge wave of retirements swept through state government, including the DNR, around the time Republicans took over state government and eliminated most public sector union rights in 2011.

House Republicans Censor Democratic Party Sit-In from Voters.

So much for the 1st Amendment down on the House floor, from out authoritarian dictatorial Republican majority. I guess Americans don't have to see how our government works, or how Democrats are fighting for their constituents. The Hill:
C-SPAN turned to Periscope and Facebook Live for Wednesday coverage of Democrats staging a sit-in on gun control on the House floor after GOP leadership cut off the chamber's cameras.

Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) began streaming the video from the floor after the cameras were shut off. House Republicans, who have control of the feed that streams from C-SPAN vowed to keep it off until the House was back in session. C-SPAN tweeted multiple times that they do not have control of the feed.

In order to circumvent the blackout, C-SPAN began streaming from Periscope, and have also switched to Facebook Live.
Here's a short video clip....