Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Ironic, Trump defends Electoral College that was created to keep him from being President.

Trump's "rigged election" threat and criticism of the Jill Stein recount have sent a chill into the entire electoral process. It will probably result in Trump becoming president.

The electoral college was designed to specifically keep guys like Trump out. But with Trump's backing, and endless threats against anyone calling into question his electoral college win, will the electoral college be afraid to do its job? You bet.

Vox had a great piece on this, with the featured section below that spelled out why the electoral college should reject Trump outright. Compare the reasons why the founding fathers created the electoral college, and the three ploys used by Trump that require the college stop him:
Constitutional history makes clear that the founders had three main purposes in designing the Electoral College.
The first was to stop a demagogue from becoming president. At the Constitutional Convention, arguing in support of the Electoral College, Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts said he was “against a popular election” for president because the people would be “misled by a few designing men.” In Federalist No. 68, Alexander Hamilton wrote that the electors would prevent those with “Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity” from becoming president. They would also stop anyone who would “convulse the community with any extraordinary or violent movements.

The second goal was to stop foreign interference in election. In the founding period, the framers were extremely concerned about infiltration by rivals including Great Britain. In Federalist No. 68, Hamilton wrote that one major purpose of the Electoral College was to stop the “desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.” He said that the college would “Guard against all danger of this sort … with the most provident and judicious attention” from the electors.

The third goal was to prevent poor administration of government. This is a less well-known purpose of the Electoral College, but it is again expressly discussed in Federalist No. 68. Hamilton wrote that “the true test of a good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration,” and for that reason, he said, the electors should be “able to estimate the share which the executive in every government must necessarily have in its good or ill administration.”
This election has three aspects that have brought the Electoral College back to relevance.
First, Donald Trump is the first unquestioned demagogue to become a major-party nominee in our country’s history. On his quest to the general election, he stoked prejudices and passions to flout fundamental constitutional norms, such as our freedoms of the press, religion, and peaceful assembly. 

Second, there’s incontrovertible evidence that Russia interfered in the campaign, by hacking the email accounts of top Democratic officials and cooperating with WikiLeaks’ parallel campaign to undermine Hillary Clinton campaign. Meanwhile, Trump has business entanglements in Russia and other foreign countries, the extent to which are unknown because Trump has not released his tax returns.

And third, his opponent, Hillary Clinton, is on track to win the popular vote now by over 2 million votes — over four times Al Gore’s narrow margin over George W. Bush in 2000 — a factor electors ought to be able to weigh, whether or not they think it is conclusive.
The Electoral College was designed precisely for such extraordinary instances. As Jeffrey Tulis, Sanford Levinson, and Jeremi Suri (respectively professors of political science, law, and history) recently argued in the New York Daily News, “Our Founding Fathers created what we now call the Electoral College to protect our country against the precise danger we now face: a demagogue who has manipulated and bullied voters, exploited fears and now threatens the very foundation of our republic.”

Mindless Trump Tweets for Real, or an intentional Political Distraction?

So many of Trump's Tweets treat old issues like fresh disagreements that must be regulated, like flag burning.

Yesterday, Trump tried to discredit Clinton's popular vote win and election integrity recounts, even though he promised to do the same thing if he lost. Seriously, you don't risk looking this dumb unless it's part of a more nefarious scheme, right?

Just had to include this Tweet by David Frum:

Are you ready for a Supply-Side-Voodoo-Trickle-Down Economy, without health care, environmental and Wall Street regulations?

Warning!!! Trump and the Republican House and Senate are about to usher in a full scale switch to supple side economics. 

Supply side-voodoo-trickle down economics is the Republican Party. Fortunately for us, this failed policy is now out there for everybody to see, thanks to a number of troubling red state examples.

Kansas Comeback Kid Gov. Sam Brownback took trickle-down to its illogical limit and failed. Apparently, this is what the angry, frustrated, ignored, left behind American voters wanted, and will get in January. Guess they showed us..."We won:"  
Kansas: In February 2015, three years into the supply-side economics experiment that

would upend a once steady Midwestern economy, a budget hole appeared in Kansas’ finances.
To fill it, Gov. Brownback took $45 million in public education funding ... took highway money to plug it ... state money for Medicaid coverage went into the hole, but the gap continued to grow.

Today, the state’s budget hole is $345 million and threatens the foundation of this state, which was supposed to be the setting for a grand economic expansion ... The yawning deficits were caused by huge tax cuts that were supposed to set the economy roaring. They didn’t. The budget shortfalls have been felt across the state, particularly by public schools ... Brownback has repeatedly pledged his faith in the free market. “We’re going to continue to grow the economy.”

A stern lesson in theory versus reality to other states contemplating the same free-market ideas. After five years of an economic crusade that has left its originator, Brownback, as the least popular governor in the nation.
You've heard all of these theories and empty promises before:
The state would thrive, he pledged, because the tax cuts would help keep businesses and smart, young Kansans in the state. It will pave the way to the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs, bring tens of thousands of people to Kansas, and help make our state the best place in America to start and grow a small business,” Brownback wrote in 2012. “It will leave more than a billion dollars in the hands of Kansans. An expanding economy and growing population will directly benefit our schools and local governments.”
Nope, didn't happen.
Revenue from income tax collections plummeted 22 percent. A separate repeal of taxes on partnerships and limited liability companies meant the surrender of 30 percent of state revenue. State revenue estimators project receipts ... down 7.4 percent from this year’s estimate ... the state did increase the sales tax ... the second-highest sales tax in the nation ... (but) Deflation is dropping the prices of goods and the taxes the state collects on them.
The Brownback solution, kill the messenger. Its what you don't know that will hurt you. And yet, this is what government looks like under Republican control:
Tired of the bleating horn of bad news, in September Brownback silenced a quarterly economic evaluation of the state that counted employment, unemployment, personal income and energy production, and consistently illustrated the state’s plunging revenues. He had done so before, in August 2015, when he ordered a halt to a semiannual economic report. “A lot of people were confused” by the reports, said Nicole Randall, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Commerce.
Cutting the people out of knowing what was really happening economically in Kansas was only a start. Purging State Supreme Court Justices for defending the language of state Constitution was also a weapon Republicans have no problem using:  
Conservative groups supporting Brownback responded by pushing five Supreme Court justices into brutal, expensive retention races to keep their seats. The targeted justices were retained by voters and are expected to rule this month on the adequacy and fairness of the public education system in a landmark case, Gannon v. Kansas, filed by four of the state’s poorest school districts.
Supply-Side Here we Come: Voters took a chance on Trump's promise to change things, essentially draining the swamp of just Democrats. Now the hardships are about to get dramatically worse, while the nation preoccupies itself debating the latest outrageous Trump tweet. Thank you America.  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Network News Headlines spread Trump trash talk, again!!!

Sometimes a headline is all some people read.

Believer it or not, an entertainment magazine ended up writing the more accurate headline:

Entitled Trump has Twitter Tantrum: Tries to Discredit his Loss of Popular Vote to Clinton.

Narcissism is a disorder that seems to be consuming every waking moment of Trump's life.

He can't and won't lose, even if he does. I'm still trying to figure this out; if Trump had lost, that would prove the election was rigged, but if he won...it wasn't rigged. Then again, if Hillary wins the popular vote...it's rigged again, even though Trump won. Throw in Green Party candidate Jill Stein and a recount, and Trump's legitimacy fades and he loses the "mandate." Not going to happen.

Imagine Trump dealing with a major world problem requiring a quick reaction.

It's twitter time, using the ultimate troll weapon, capital letters:

There is a slim hope the electoral college could stop Trump cold. The Guardian:
Some legal experts argue that the electoral college cannot approve a candidate like Trump, who does not fulfil the basic legal requirements to be president.

Harvard constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe said in an email that the “electors who are to cast their votes for president on 19 December not as automatons but in light of constitutional constraints and principles cannot in good conscience vote for Donald Trump as president of the United States unless he fully divests himself of economic interests dependent on the fortunes, for good or ill, of the private Trump empire”.

That view is not restricted to academics and Democrats. Richard Painter, George W Bush’s chief ethics counsel, agrees that without a major reconfiguration of the Trump Organization, the president-elect is heading for a constitutional collision with the electoral college.

“The important thing for the electoral college is to ensure that he technically complies with the constitution,” Painter told the Observer. “This is just as important as the birth certificate. He should not be currently on the payroll of foreign governments.

“So he’ll have to provide assurance to the electoral college that he’s not himself going to be getting money from foreign governments that would violate the emoluments clause.”

Eisen and Painter called on the Trump transition team to take urgent steps to address the problem, before it triggers a constitutional crisis. They recommended he sell all his business holdings and put the proceeds in a blind trust, the composition of which would remain unknown to him, as his predecessors have done for the past four decades. Painter offered his advice to the Trump circle as a fellow Republican, but has not received any response. 
It's wonderfully ironic that Trump ran on calling Hillary crooked for the appearance of political influence from Clinton Foundation donors, when in fact, that's exactly what he was planning to do all along. The only difference? You can trust a Republicans:
“His view is that the voters know about this and and they are OK with it,” said Robert Weissman, president of the Public Citizen watchdog group.

“But it is absolutely contradictory to his core message he was going to sweep away the corruption in Washington and all the deal-making.”

Trump Sore Winners feel Entitled.

We should have thought, "this can't be good."
WPR: Loyalists of the self-described white nationalist, alt-right movement from around the country gathered in D.C., enthused by the election of Donald Trump and optimistic that their controversial, offensive views such as calling for a white, ethnocentric state were on the rise throughout the country. "The alt-right is here, the alt-right is not going anywhere, the alt-right is going to change the world," Richard Spencer, head of the white nationalist think tank the National Policy Institute (NPI) promised. Spencer called Trump's campaign "the first step towards identity politics in the United States."

Matt Forney of Chicago said there was now an "infusion of new energy. Now, it's like we're the vanguard of a new movement. People are happy and ready to change the world."

Evan Thomas of Michigan said "He's got to act very tough, very quickly to reverse the demographic decline of European-Americans very swiftly." 
The Trumpian "we won" sore winners are hitting the streets now. Remember how Republicans whined endlessly about having to hide their conservatism in public? Even though that really wasn't true, the Trump bullies are more insufferable than anyone could have imagined, even deadly.

The latest video making the rounds was this "we won" Trump supporters at a Michael's, insulted by a black store clerk. Who feels this kind of white "entitlement?" RawStory:

The video is the latest in a series of white people justifying their obnoxious behavior and demanding special treatment because they voted for Trump. “I voted for Trump — so there,” the woman shouted. “You want to kick me out for that? And look who won.”

“I don’t know what you think you’re videoing, lady. I was just discriminated against by two black women, and you being a white woman, you’re literally thinking that that’s okay? You standing there with your baby thinking that’s okay.”

The angry shopper accuses the other woman’s 2-year-old child of stealing and her husband of cheating.
White Fear of black cheese lovers...where did that come from?
Late night trip to a local CVS store by two black men to buy some sliced cheese turned into a run-in with police after panicked store employees hid in a locked backroom and called the cops, reports WATE in Carytown, Virginia.
According to Ricky Berry, he and his roommate Philip Blackwell stated that a police officer showed up and helped them search the store only to discover the employees huddled in a back room behind locked doors.

“He was laughing with us because, like, this is how weird, apocalyptic movies start,” Berry said, before adding that the officer made a few calls after which he told them they’d have to leave.

“We’re being kicked out because they were scared of us and hiding,” Berry said, “He just told us that we need to leave premises or else we would be arrested for trespassing and that flipped the script on all of us. We had no idea what was going on.”
Deadly Trump Entitlement: There are no words....

William Ronald Pulliam, 62, was arrested and charged with gunning down 15-year-old James Means whom he later referred to as a “piece of trash” ... he expressed no remorse whatsoever for killing the teen, but simply said, "The way I look at it, that's another piece of trash off the street."

Witnesses claim that what set Pulliam off was that Means accidentally bumped into him while entering the store. After Pulliam left the store, the two exchanged words a second time, and Pulliam shot the teen twice in the abdomen, leaving him to die, then proceeded to go home, eat dinner, then go hang out at a friend's house, according to a criminal complaint.
Note: Because I don't want make this a Trump news site, heck there's so much sh** hitting the fan, I thought I'd try putting some of the additional  stories on my new blog page, Trumploid News. I put it on a tab for easy access.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Rural Voters blamed Obama for Walker's Lousy high unemployment rate and economic Stagnation.

Before you read the following, understand this; Republicans have had complete super majority control of the entire state for 6 years. I know, I know, Democrats forgot to mention that during the last election, but what do you expect, a fight? 

The pain Wisconsinites are feeling can be directly blamed on the Republicans, and it's going to get much worse in coordination with the Trump administration. WSJ:
Supporters in Adams County described a local electorate that was overwhelmingly angry — and ready to break from the status quo, even if the direction of change is unclear. Now local residents say they're eyeing a Trump presidency with long-odds hope, deep anxiety or both.
Again, Republicans have been in charge for six years. Obama isn't responsible for resentment in rural Wisconsin. Walker is. Take the desperately needed rural broadband rollout that had too many strings attached when Obama offered it:
One of the governor’s first acts back in 2012 was to turn away nearly $23 million in grant funding that would have allowed the state to expand fiber optic broadband networks to 82 schools and 385 library facilities. We lost 150 full-time jobs that could have been created by this project.

State taxpayers would have been on the hook for the entire amount if the state could not meet the grant's precise requirements, Mike Huebsch said. "This is simply not an acceptable risk." 
Today...federal FCC strings are okay, 4 years too late:
About 40 percent of the money must be spent by the end of 2017 and 20 percent per year must be put to work in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Republicans successfully sold the idea that Obama's jobs record was a disaster, never thinking it was Walker all along who gave us job stagnation. 
State Rep. Joan Ballweg, a Markesan Republican described Adams County as home to many people who "have been hit harder by the stagnant economy. A lot of those folks feel like Mr. Trump talked like them and felt like them."
Amazing isn't it, a millionaire nacissist "talked like them and felt like them?" The world has gone mad.

Despite reality:
The economy created 11 million jobs under President Obama ... jobs created under President George W. Bush, was about 400,000 below zero. The economy has now added jobs for 73 consecutive months, a record.
Trump said he had to save America, a simple message, asking "what have you got to lose:"
Local Republicans hailed Trump's win as a "last-ditch effort" to save their country.
The following line stood out, because nothing below has anything to do with the federal government. It was all on Walker, yet he got off "Scott" free: 
The local economy, rooted in agriculture, tourism and logging, has failed for decades to yield enough good jobs, residents said. Its unemployment rate was among the highest of any Wisconsin county in 2015.
Heath Care, Health Care, Health Care: Democrats have been given a gift that will keep on giving. Please my god take this and run with it. 

One of Trump's biggest promises, just like Obama's "you can keep your old insurance," was to lower premium prices by repealing ObamaCare. Folks, I guarantee that's never gonna happen, so make this the number one talking point for the next 2 years: 
Mark Beda of rural Adams, backed Obama four years ago and Trump this time. A self-described moderate, Beda, a 47-year-old IT worker, said Obama's signature law has not made care more affordable and accessible for most people he knows. Part-way through Obama's second term, Beda said he felt it was likely he would vote for the Republican nominee in 2016.

Trump repeatedly pledged during the campaign to repeal Obama's health care law. But Beda said Trump instead should "fix" the law "to make it something that people can use ... something that is affordable. I think that would just be detrimental. You're not going to take it away. You just can't do that."
Health care costs under Trump and Paul Ryan will skyrocket, dropping tens of millions of Americans, guaranteed. Republicans will ask for more time, that free market competition will eventually lower prices. But people who need treatment and family coverage don't have time. And Republicans didn't give the Affordable Care Act any time to work.

Walker Guts the DNR like a deer.

Trump promises to do on a national level what Scott Walker is doing in Wisconsin. With little fanfare and no debate over the corporate plundering of OUR natural resources, anyone who believes in small government has given in to the inevitable. Rural Republican voters seem to think contaminated wells, crumbling roads and vanishing schools must be the normal, part of the changing landscape they can't control.

After 6 years of total Republican dominance in the state, no one seems to seems to think the anger, frustration, and resentment they feel toward government might be coming from their own party.

But don't worry, Scott Walker is just restoring the "balance" between jobs and the environment. Welcome the new DNR:
WSJ: On Wednesday, the department will announce a reorganization that was demanded by conservatives who control state government. Republican elected officials have already buffeted the department with loosened environmental regulations and budget cuts targeting scientists because they researched climate change, mine pollution and deer herd management measures that were sometimes unpopular.
 DNR shortcomings in hiring and training new workers came to light in June when a state audit linked them to flaws in DNR enforcement of laws aimed at preventing pollution of lakes, streams and drinking water.

Respected top manager, chief state forester Paul DeLong, announced in September that he was leaving. At least eight other DNR bureau- and division-level managers retired or took other jobs over the last two year ... They include fisheries bureau chief Ron Bruch, facilities and land bureau director Steven Miller, chief legal counsel Tim Andryk, state parks and recreation director Dan Schuller, drinking water and ground water chief Jill Jonas, and deputy administrator for environmental management Eric Ebersberger. None of them commented publicly.
 Retired longtime wildlife management bureau chief Tom Hauge, 63, said he had seen enough of the proposals for his bureau to believe there would be major changes in managing deer and other wildlife.

Anyone looking for reasons DNR employees are retiring could also view a videotaped talk Stepp gave at a 2015 management seminar in Florida, Hauge said. Stepp told the group she had wanted to crawl in a hole after Walker appointed her in 2011 and she realized DNR employees were burned out, steeped in Earth Day values “and frankly weren’t real politically aligned with our new administration, most of them.”

Citified Madison Republican Politicians Mismanage, Destroy Wisconsin's Hunting Tradition.

I don’t hunt, so it’s kind of odd that I continue to cover the Republican mess created around Wisconsin’s deer hunting tradition. Here's a link to all my coverage.

Our throwback Republicans seem to think we’re on the cusp of a deer hunting renaissance. These are the same guys who feel that way about coal, which should put things in perspective for you.

Registering deer online was inevitable, you can’t fight progress. But Republican voters with businesses directly affected, small town bars and convenience stores that continue to manually register deer, got the shaft again by their own party. Business is down again. Pair that with Wisconsin’s fading hunting tradition, and you’ve got another reason to resent the government, but still reelect the same bumbling losers.
1. “We’ve lost thousands of dollars in food and liquor sales,” said Lisa Wynn, a cook at Harryz Boondocks in the Jefferson County hamlet of Hubbleton, just off of Highway 19 midway between Waterloo and Watertown. “We don’t have as many hunters coming in or people coming in to just look at the deer. Now, they shoot a deer and go home and mow the lawn or something.”

2. At the Schellter Bar & Grill in Leland, a farming community near Natural Bridge State Park and about 14 miles west of Prairie du Sac, LeRoy and Connie Schell (saw it this way), “I don’t like the fact that they messed with the tradition of the nine-day hunt and the registration but we still have people coming in and showing their deers off, even if they’re not in the contest.”

3. Mike Meixelsperger of Plain who works in information technology, said he understands why the registration change was made but says the system is still more difficult than in-person registration. “It was easy just to come in and the guys here would come out, check everything out for you and you were done,” Meixelsperger said. “It has totally wrecked the experience.”

4. Emil Diehl, who has owned the bar for 38 years, said “I’d say our business is down 40 percent.”

It also didn’t help downplaying science and playing up those anecdotal wish lists by the zaniest of avid hunters. Is the move to game farming just around the corner? Throw in the updated list of convoluted regulations from our small government Republicans, is anyone surprised to see our hunting tradition fade from the landscape? DNR Sec. Cathy Stepp tried to sell hunting reform in 2014 while everyone wore game farm vests, hats and stuff. The game farm ad is oddly included. Hint, hint:

In the DNR’s words, the new rules change the “season framework, management units and antlerless deer hunting permits.” Gone are “management zones” setting deer overwinter population goals. Gone are free tags & $2 tags in highly populated or CWD areas; gone are landowner deer tags ... gone is registering your deer at the local bar or convenience store. Tags are more expensive (6 times more expensive), limited, and depend on whether you hunt a private or public area.

Steve Hanson: "I'm not a hunter, but I own property on which others hunt. I have to admit to being TOTALLY bamboozled by how complex the new rules are. And the folks hunting here are just as bewildered."
With CWD on the rise and scientists now thinking it’s possible for human infection, Republicans have decided to go back and “study” the problem. In other words, see ya later suckers. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Americans like Medicare the way it is, but that won't stop Paul Ryan from killing it.

We can’t talk about Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plans without first pointing out how he brought up “saving” the program; with a lie. That should be a serious warning. Ryan’s plan must be pretty bad if he has to manufacture an even worse scenario to sell it:  
Ryan said he wanted to address Medicare’s “serious problems” … argued that Medicare’s financial problems were caused by the healthcare reform law—though actually the ACA extended the projected solvency of Medicare’s Part A Hospital trust fund.
That lie is so big even the media is bringing it up all the time.

Premium-Support: It’s important to know that regular old Medicare pays a fixed amount, and that amount determines what the GOP’s more privatized alternative, Medicare Advantage charges. Without that fixed price, Medicare Advantage would be open to dramatic price increases by doctors and hospitals, where skies the limit.
Republicans have already hit one road block, but like everything they do, they’ll plow through that too:
Modern Health Care: A Health Affairs study last year found that Medicare Advantage plans keep their provider payment rates down by pegging them to traditional Medicare rates … plans benefit from Medicare’s rule that out-of-network providers cannot charge more than Medicare rates. “The only way Medicare Advantage plans are competitive with traditional Medicare is that there is a public option and there is price regulation that limits balance billing by non-network providers,” said Dr. Robert Berenson, a co-author of the Health Affairs study and former member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.
Remember how Republicans blew a gasket over the Democrats supposedly ramming ObamaCare down our throats in just one year, and without a Republican vote? Well, I think they changed their minds on that…
Dr. Tom Price—a top contender to become HHS secretary—said that congressional Republicans will push ahead with a Medicare overhaul within the first six to eight months of 2017, and that the Senate will pass it through an expedited budget reconciliation process that avoids a likely Democratic filibuster.  
Authoritarian know-it-alls: Sure the public is against fundamentally doing away with Medicare, but as we’ve seen in Wisconsin, ideology and arrogant power “Trumps” what the public actually wants:
According to a mid-2015 Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 70% of Americans support keeping Medicare as it is today, with only 26% supporting a shift to premium support. Those percentages were similar among Democrats and Republicans. Just 18% of seniors supported turning Medicare into a premium-support program.

While some observers expressed surprise that Republicans want to leap into the perilous politics of Medicare reform after Trump’s narrow election victory, Tom Scully, who served as CMS administrator under President George W. Bush, was enthusiastic. “If they’re going to reform the ACA and Medicaid, absolutely they’ll do premium support, and they should, it’s the right thing to do,” he said. “They might get killed, but I don’t think they’re going to find it that politically difficult.”
NOTE: I'm still waiting for the first reporter to ask Paul Ryan how he expects seniors with diminishing mental capacity to shop for insurance and navigate new policies yearly. It happens to all of us, and for Ryan to ignore that flaw is irresponsible.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ryan's Economic Cleansing will begin under Trump!

I’ve been focusing on health care lately because I think it’s the moral and ethical barometer of our nation. The fact that we’d rather make a profit on sick people than do everything we can to cure them has been the hardest thing for me to accept.

My now distant conservative Trump nationalist once admitted that his no paper work, in and out experience with BadgerCare convinced him a single payer system was the way to go.
Screwing up our safety net programs does one thing; it makes people less likely to use them. They know the system is working against them, so they don’t bother. That’s why so many people feel resentful, and why so many people voted to “make America great again.” 
That will turn out to be a huge mistake:
Voxdotcom: Robert Greenstein, the founder and president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Washington’s leading advocate for poor and low-income Americans, says. “This is by far the gravest threat to the safety net, and to low-income people, that I’ve seen in my close to half a century of working on these issues.”

The 1996 welfare reform law effectively rendered welfare dead, according to sociologists of poverty, particularly in the eyes of the extreme poor, who ceased to see it as a program that can help them at all. If Ryan’s policies are enacted, that same fate could await food and medical assistance for the poor.

Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation and health reform expert, says the repeal bill Congress is likely to take up would deny 22 million people insurance and, even if accompanied with a promise of a replacement bill later on … could rather quickly throw the entire insurance market into disarray. “With a highly uncertain future, I would expect insurers to exit the ACA marketplaces and the individual market in droves. The individual insurance market would be in chaos. This would affect not only low-income people receiving ACA subsidies, but also people like the self-employed, farmers, and small-business owners buying their own insurance.
Paul Ryan’s “buy what you can afford” junk insurance plan, with a refundable tax credit, will cause huge problems:
Levitt explained: "Would people at least buy something, even if it’s skimpy, since they’d otherwise be forgoing the tax credit? Or would many decide that the skimpy insurance is so lousy it’s not worth the trouble? We don’t know for sure how people would respond. It is a safe bet, though, that the insurance people would get would cover less than what they get under the ACA."
As I've mentioned in a previous post, voters will have invested so much of themselves in Trump or their political party, that they'll do everything they can do deny its failures. And there will be many Americans who will be profoundly harmed:
One of the biggest policy areas where Trump and Ryan are in agreement is Medicaid block granting. They want to cut the program’s budget by about a third and hand the remaining money back to the states. Ari Ne’eman, a former member of Obama’s National Council on Disability, writes, “Under a block grant, disabled Americans might effectively lack any rights to support services under federal law.”
The human toll here could be immense. The Urban Institute's analysis of the fiscal year 2013 House budget — one prepared by Ryan and closely resembling subsequent budgets — found that its cuts and block granting would kick 14 million to 20 million people off the Medicaid rolls. That’s in addition to the 20 million who’d lose coverage through ACA repeal.
And with the sharp political divide in place now, bringing back any of these hard fought for policies would be impossible. Then what?

A Future look at the Trump/Ryan America.

So far the Trump media coverage has been filled with pundit warnings tempered by the hope that things will get better...that Trump didn't mean half of the things he said during the campaign.

It reminds me so much of what we here in Wisconsin went through with Scott Walker, just before everything got so much worse than we ever could have imagined. The sad fact is, voters invested so much of themselves in Scott Walker, they're now doing everything they can do deny he's failed. That Walker has set in place long term damage.  

The same is now true of faithful Trump supporters, betting on a narcissist/white nationalist business man turning D.C. upside down, hoping for better results than Obama's intentionally obscured successes kept secret by his own insipid party.

Paul Ryan won too.

In a past interview, Ryan's authoritarian personality jumped off the small screen. Here are 4 statements from our arrogant egotist (audio slideshow):

- "This is what requires leadership."

- "It is hard to lead when your saying things people may not want to hear, but leaders nevertheless if they see a threat to their country need to do something about it."

- "...so we can win ... to get the moral authority and mandate to fix this countries problems on our own terms as nation before it's too late."

- "What I'm trying to do here is to build a majoritarian movement to fix America's problems..."
Here's a preview of Ryan's agenda, culled from past Roll Calls, you may have missed but will soon see Trump's signature on. I've only scratched the surface, click here for the complete list:
Wisconsin House Republicans didn't just pass the Keystone XL Pipeline, they exempted Big Oil from paying for the Cost of Cleanup!!!

House Republican GOP to turn special interest research and hearsay into "the best available science."

Republicans to delay Reduction in ground level Ozone Emissions, "Balance" Jobs and Affordability over Lung Disease. PUBLIC HEALTH, THE ENVIRONMENT: The House defeated an amendment that would undercut HR 4775 (above) by nullifying any provisions that would inflict harm on public health or the environment.

Ryan votes to cut Minimum Wage from $7.25 to $4.25 in Puerto Rico. Could it soon be part of his plan to fight poverty? Backers said this would help businesses regain profitability, while foes said it would prompt young workers to flee their homeland.

Dumb Ron Johnson doesn't want professional financial advisers WE HIRE to put our interests ahead of their own. STANDARDS FOR FINANCIAL ADVISERS: The Senate passed a measure (HJ Res 88) that would kill a new Department of Labor rule requiring those who provide professional advice to retirement and pension plans to adhere to fiduciary standards obligating them to put clients’ financial interests ahead of their own.

IRS STAFF WITH TAX PROBLEMS: The House passed a GOP-drafted bill (HR 1206) that would prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from adding staff until it either (a) vouches that none of its 80,000 employees have a “serious” tax-delinquency not being resolved or (b) reports to Congress on why it cannot provide such a certification. Republicans said it was “hypocrisy” for IRS employees to have their own tax problems.

HUNTING, FISHING ON FEDERAL LAND: The House passed (HR 2406) that would authorize federally funded shooting ranges on state and federal lands, limit Environmental Protection Agency regulation of ammunition and fishing lures as toxic substances and open all National Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service land to hunting, fishing and other public recreation.

Wisconsin's Republican Science deniers in House pass bill disavowing the social cost of carbon emissions, block Democratic attempts to keep it...allows agencies to accept secondary rather than original analyses of environmental impacts.

Lunacy # 3: Wisconsin House GOP would prevent EPA from protecting Americans from Ebola, nuclear, biological and terrorist attacks. I'm not kidding. EBOLA DISINFECTANTS: The House defeated a Democratic bid to exempt from HR 4012 (above) any EPA actions to approve Ebola disinfectants or protect communities against nuclear, biological or terrorist attacks or chemical spills into drinking-water supplies.

Lunacy # 2: Wisconsin House GOP dismantle EPA Science Advisory Board by replacing Academic’s with corporate special interests!!! What a good idea? The board provides independent evaluations of the scientific analyses upon which the EPA bases its regulations. This bill would diminish academic representation on the board while expanding corporate membership; permit experts with financial ties to EPA-regulated industries to serve.

Lunacy # 1: Wisconsin House Republicans start to dismantle EPA, by requiring confidential health information be made public...any confidential health information about participants -- has been made publicly available so that the studies can be independently replicated. Democrats said the bill's main targets are studies by the American Cancer Society and Harvard University that link air pollution with ill health and underpin the EPA's administration of the Clean Air Act.

The House approved 15 jobs bills that previously passed the House as individual measures, and then died in the Democratic-led Senate. In part, the bills would expedite logging in national forests, scale back the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-regulation law, make bonus depreciation and certain charitable contributions by businesses a permanent part of the U.S. tax code, ease certain environmental rules to promote job creation and give Congress veto power over federal regulations having at least a $100 million annual impact on the economy. defeated a motion by Democrats to amend HR 4 (above) in a way that would deny federal tax breaks to companies that shift U.S. jobs overseas or which reincorporate abroad to avoid U.S. taxation, a process known as “inversion.”

Wisconsin Congressmen vote to sell Natural Gas and Oil to Terrorists, and raise our prices by depleting our surplus energy supplies...the bills would expand offshore drilling for oil and natural gas, require speedy administration approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, expedite Department of Energy approvals of applications for exporting liquefied natural gas and prohibit federal regulation on federal and tribal lands of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking … defeated a Democratic motion that would “prohibit U.S. oil exports to any country, company or individual that supports or harbors terrorist organizations, including ISIS or al Qaeda.”

Wisconsin Congressmen vote to Discharge Pesticides into Navigable Waters:

BONUS DEPRECIATION MADE PERMANENT: The House passed a “bonus depreciation” for businesses a permanent feature of the Internal Revenue Code. This would add $287 billion to federal deficits between fiscal 2014 and 2024 … allows businesses to deduct 50 percent of the cost of qualified property in the year in which the item was bought.

TheEnergy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. House Slashes funding for renewable energy programs in the Department of Energy by more than $100 million, while boosting funding for coal and other fossil fuels. Slashes funding for swapping low-efficiency toilets for higher-efficiency models … axing what was dubbed the "Cash for Crappers" program.

Wisconsin Congressmen vote to Repeat Great Recession with deregulation!!! … renew the Commodity Futures Trading Commission through fiscal 2018, curb its regulatory powers, add investor protections and increase the national debt by $948 million over five years … In part, this bill would subject new CFTC rules to time-consuming cost-benefit analyses and exempt derivatives trading by overseas subsidiaries of U.S. financial institutions from direct CFTC supervision.

Reckless Wisconsin Republican Congressmen vote to pollute inland Aquifers and...the Great Lakes!!! I'm not exaggerating. CROSS-BORDER PIPELINE APPROVALS: The House weakened environmental reviews of cross-border pipeline projects between the U.S. and Canada or Mexico … would allow any rejected Keystone application to be resubmitted under relaxed environmental standards … limit reviews … thus exempting long stretches of pipelines over aquifers and through interior terrain from National Environmental Policy Act standards … refused to bar approvals of oil pipelines under HR 3301 (above) that could rupture and spill toxic chemicals into the Great Lakes or the Ogallala Aquifer beneath South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.

CORPORATE TAX BREAKS, LARGER DEFICITS: The House passed lower tax liabilities in certain instances when companies convert from “C corporation” to “S corporation” status. Because the bill is not paid for, it would add $1.5 billion to federal deficits between fiscal 2014-2024. DEPRECIATION TAX BREAKS, LARGER DEFICITS: The House passed permanent depreciation tax breaks to medium-size and small businesses … the bill is not paid for, it would add $73 billion to federal deficits between fiscal 2014-2024.

Big Government Authoritarians Ryan, Senesenbrenner and Duffy vote to federally prosecute anyone carrying out state medical marijuana laws in 26 states. Voting no against a nationwide movement of marijuana acceptance and to make medical decisions for Americans by Washington bureaucrats? Those bureaucrats are…Paul Ryan, James Sensenbrenner, Sean Duffy.

LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION: The House defeated an amendment to abolish the Legal Services Corporation … A yes vote was to eliminate the Legal Services Corporation: Paul Ryan, James Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri, Sean Duffy, and Reid Ribble.

INDEFINITE MILITARY DETENTION IN THE U.S.: The House defeated an amendment to the military budget (HR 4435) that would repeal the authority presidents were granted after 9/11 to indefinitely detain suspected members of terrorist organizations in U.S. military custody without charges rather than assign them to America’s civilian criminal justice system.

GOP adopts their own Amendment to HR 4435...that would bar the Department of Defense from spending funds in its fiscal 2015 budget on programs that address climate change. A yes vote was to prohibit military spending to deal with climate change.

Health Care CEO's worried Republicans will throw insurance markets into Chaos over Lawsuit and Repeal.

Like I've said over and over, Republican politicians don't have a clue about health care, or how it works in the real world. Want proof? Apparently, Republicans never thought there was a health care problem in the first place: 
“People have crappy insurance,” Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) told Politico last week. “This fear that they’re going to lose something that they don’t think they have anyway is crazy.”
George W. Bush once said we already had a national health care system, emergency rooms.

But health care is about to get a whole lot worse if Trump and Paul Ryan have their way, and there's nothing to stop them...unless....

...let's see if corporate CEO's opposition to repealing ObamaCare carries as much weight as their support for Walker's changes to Wisconsin's business climate, which we're never allowed to forget:

Modern HealthCare: Healthcare CEOs are willing to consider Trump's healthcare reform ideas. But they have strong concerns about whether his plan would match the ACA's performance in expanding coverage and slashing the uninsured rate to less than 9%, according to Modern Healthcare's post-election Power Panel survey.

Beyond the ACA, the CEOs surveyed stressed the need for action to curb the growth of prescription drug prices, with 60% saying that should be a top priority for the new administration and Congress.

86% of the CEOs responding to the survey either strongly or somewhat agreed that repeal should not proceed without a replacement plan that provides affordable health insurance for all Americans who lack employer-based coverage.
GOP ObamaCare Lawsuit could Crash Insurance Market: Republicans are now worried their lawsuit to repeal the insurance company safety net payments in ObamaCare may just crash the industry:
House Republicans have asked a federal appellate court to delay (an) appeal in a case that could end some payments to health plans and throw the individual insurance market into chaos.

If those cost-sharing reduction payments were eliminated, as House Republicans have sought, insurers either would have to sharply raise premiums or exit the ACA exchange markets. 

But some Republicans and health policy experts fear that any hasty, drastic moves would crash the individual insurance markets. They warn that ending the cost-sharing reductions without any replacement system might panic insurers by causing them to lose lots of money.
CEO's warn:
CEOs participating in the new survey worried that Republicans will put even more reliance on high-deductible health plans, which they believe are discouraging patients from seeking needed care. They also were wary of GOP proposals to restructure Medicare and Medicaid.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Walker's reliance on Coal hurts Rural Farmers, their Income and Job Creation.

Wind energy is a great rural job creator across the country, but not in Walker's Wisconsin. I'm just hoping a few Democrats will read this and decide to ride the wind wave into rural voter support. Unlike most GOP rhetoric, this is a real issue they can get behind.

Hate to bring it up, but it looks like Minnesota is at it again. Midwest Energy News:
new report says proposed renewable energy investments in Minnesota could create
From 1923...Wisconsin's not there yet...

more than 5,000 construction jobs and $7 billion in economic activity, largely in conservative, rural parts of the state.

“We are clearly seeing a bigger (political) divide in Minnesota and clean energy is a way to bridge that divide,” said Chris Kunkle, Wind on the Wires regional policy manager for Minnesota. “You’re talking about advancing policies and investments from the Twin Cities that benefit rural Minnesota and create new jobs and tax revenue. These are in really red areas, this is rural America."
And just like Wisconsin, rural voters in Minnesota "wanted to try something different:" 
President-elect Donald Trump — who has called climate change a hoax and whose senior advisor, Steve Bannon, holds radical anti-climate views — won in most rural Minnesota counties.
You'd never know it by anything Republicans say in Wisconsin, but wind technology has dramatically changed: 
The reason for newly proposed projects in those counties stems from improved turbine technology that allows for greater production out of less wind, policy manager Chris Kunkle said.

The report shows that more than 3,300 megawatts (MW) of wind projects could create 12,573 jobs, including those in construction, while paying property owners $9 million annually in lease payments and local governments in excess of $9 million in taxes.
But if Republicans finally get their way, failed bills from the past will pass and dramatically change everything, at their own peril:
Michael Webber, deputy director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas, believes perils exist for any move by Trump to push for the removal of tax credits. 
“All those rural districts in America’s wind corridor might not be thrilled if their preferred candidate seeks to undermine one of their most important sources of economic growth,” he wrote recently in the New York Times.

Biodigesting Walker's Plan for more Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO's)!!!

Under the guise of "protecting" drinking water in rural Kewaunee County, or just about anywhere in the state for that matter, Scott Walker handed corporate farming special interests a Christmas gift that will keep on giving for decades.

Walker is proposing a biodigester, not to clean up the Kewaunee Counties ground water, but to build more concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Looks like rural voters can keep on hating government, while voting in their "small" government Republican abusers.
The state will take proposals to build a centralized plant that would convert manure into energy. Locals in Kewaunee County, such as Lynn Utesch, a small farmer and activist with the group Kewaunee Cares said, "This is not a 'win-win' for Kewaunee County. This is a win for the industry that wants to make it look like this is a solution when in reality all it is a way to consolidate and expand the industry."

With the possible dismantling of the EPA under Trumpian Republicans, governors like Walker can freely experiment on a statewide level, "balancing" business interests against clean drinking water...which is an absurd idea.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Walker Redistricting Maps Unconstitutional...until Trump's Activist Supreme Court is in place.

Better hope the Supreme Court stays 4-4 for this one...JS-Jason Stein and Patrick Marley:
Two weeks after a stunning election defeat a federal court struck down legislative maps drawn by Republicans in 2011 ... judges ruled 2-1 that the redistricting maps were "intended to burden the representational rights of Democratic voters throughout the (10-year) period by impeding their ability to translate their votes into legislative seats." Depending on the outcome of a likely appeal, the case could have national implications since it includes a new method of determining whether legislative maps amount to discrimination against voters of a particular party.

"We find that the discriminatory effect is not explained by the political geography of Wisconsin nor is it justified by a legitimate state interest. Consequently, Act 43 constitutes an unconstitutional political gerrymander," the decision reads.

The ruling found the maps drawn for state Assembly districts are unconstitutional, but the decision would alter state Senate maps as well ... The ruling does not affect congressional maps, which were also redrawn in 2011. The decision also did not include immediate remedies

"We find that the discriminatory effect is not explained by the political geography of Wisconsin nor is it justified by a legitimate state interest. Consequently, Act 43 constitutes an unconstitutional political gerrymander," the decision reads.

The ruling found the maps drawn for state Assembly districts are unconstitutional, but the decision would alter state Senate maps as well ... The ruling does not affect congressional maps, which were also redrawn in 2011. The decision also did not include immediate remedies

Finding the maps unconstitutional were Kenneth Ripple, a senior judge with the Chicago-based 7th Circuit Court of Appeals (Reagan), and U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb of Wisconsin's Western District (Carter). U.S. District Judge William Griesbach of the state's Eastern District dissented (W. Bush). Appeals go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court, without making a stop at an appeals court.

The lawsuit represents the last, best chance of Democrats to regain hope of capturing a majority in the statehouse in the coming years. The maps drawn by Republicans have made it difficult to do so, particularly in the state Senate.
The 2012 and 2014 elections showed that the maps for the Wisconsin Assembly are some of the most heavily skewed maps in the country going back more than 40 years, the plaintiffs showed. State attorneys acknowledged that point in court filings.

No Trump Voter Outrage; Supposed Clinton State Dept/Foundation conflicts blown out of water by Huckster Trump!!!

It's an absolutely breathtaking double standard: Not a peep out of the same Trump voters who had a tantrum over the profiteering and supposed Clinton Foundation conflicts of interest when Hillary was at the State Department. Here's a Breitbart example:
A majority of Americans believe that Bill and Hillary Clinton failed to avoid conflicts of interest as millions of dollars flowed into their corrupt family foundation, according to a new national Suffolk University/USA Today poll. Allegations of pay-to-play at the Clinton’s troubled charity have also led to a flood of calls ... to shut down their multibillion-dollar charity. About 75 percent of Republican voters said the Clintons should have done more to avoid conflicts of interest with foreign donations to their foundation.
It seems the majority of Trump voters and white nationalist are quite content to watch their own leader's in-your-face profiteering as president elect:

Friday evening, the Washington Post reported that about 100 foreign diplomats gathered at President-elect Donald Trump’s hotel in Washington, DC to “to sip Trump-branded champagne, dine on sliders and hear a sales pitch about the U.S. president-elect’s newest hotel.” The tour included a look at the hotel’s $20,000 a night “town house” suite. The Post also quoted some of the diplomats saying they intended to stay at the hotel in order to ingratiate themselves to the incoming president.

The incoming president, in other words, is actively soliciting business from agents of foreign governments. Many of these agents, in turn, said that they will accept the president-elect’s offer to do business because they want to win favor with the new leader of the United States.

The Constitution’s “Emoluments Clause,” provides that “no person holding any office of profit or trust under” the United States “shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state. The diplomats’ efforts in seek Trump’s favor by staying in his hotel “looks like a gift...

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Victimized Trump "we won" thugs pushing around Starbucks employees with "Trumpcup" Protest.

The bizarre nationwide in-your-face Starbucks "Trumpcup" protest isn't just petty, but it's another mindless distraction that tells you all you need to know about Trump supporters and the conservative movement in general.

I also recognized this one during the campaign; Republicans wanted Trump to win so they could shove it in our faces. Period. These bad winners are everywhere; from standing on top of school lunch room tables declaring "we won" (my kids school), to calling up their life long friends saying Trump won and that they don't count anymore (that's what happened to me).

Watch the Starbucks "Trumpcup" campaign in action below, instigated by some of the biggest "victimized" as**oles the world will ever see:

Just hearing these Trumpian "victims" demand the names of Starbucks employees and managers like they would be added to some kind of database is frightening enough, but the fact that Trump himself has done nothing to tamp down these attacks is par for the course.

Here's one of the Starbucks "Trumpcup" instigators from Twitter, victimized "Baked Alaska," promoting the maniacal plan that includes posting more breathtakingly stupid videos like the ones above.
Baked Alaska: "They're going to freak out. They can't even write the name Trump on a Starbucks cup. How insane is this? Fascist scum, exactly. What's up fam."

Baked Alaska: "Come on, we have to stand up. The more people that do this, you know the more it normalizes people supporting Trump." 
Gee, I hope we can normalize those people supporting Trump.

Baked Alaska got a few things wrong. Trump won the election (we know, we know) but not the popular vote and did not win in a landslide:
Hillary Clinton’s popular vote lead over president-elect Donald Trump has grown to more than 1.67 million votes, and it’s smashing records ... number 3 in all-time presidential popular vote totals in United States history, and her tally is still growing...
"Over half of the population?" That's if everybody old enough in America voted, which has never happened:

Baked Alaska said "They keep trying to call us white supremacists...!" Here's the picture on his Twitter page featuring the Alaskan landscape and...oh, look there's Pepe the Frog....:

Baked Alaska said "they have to write Trump on the cup." Nope:
Starbucks has responded to the protest by clarifying that it doesn't require its partners to write or call out names. "Over the years, writing customer names on cups and calling out their names has been a fun ritual in our stores," a Starbucks spokesperson said. "Rarely has it been abused or taken advantage of. We hope and trust that our customers will continue to honor that tradition."
 And what is it about Starbucks cups anyway? 

This all comes after the controversy that plagued Starbucks last year as it introduced a plain red holiday cup that was markedly different from Christmas cups in the past. Joshua Feuerstein, a former pastor, called the new cups a "war on Christmas" in a video posted to Facebook.
And this goes without saying:
Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz was a vocal supporter of Hillary Clinton, but the #TrumpCup campaign against Starbucks is unusual in that it requires Trump supporters to go into the establishment they are protesting—and make a purchase.
Conservatives apparently found their voice in the "Trumpcup" protest, after unsuccessfully stirring up outrage over the green unity cup celebrating diversity: