Saturday, December 30, 2017

Where did our tax cut savings go...?

2018 resolution? Stop trying to change Trump Voters Minds, assuming they have one.

I've finally turned the page; Trump worshipers won't budge, so why try to reason with em!  

My conservative friend in Milwaukee is a living breathing Trump playback machine, sending carefully crafted slogans and message pictures via text and tweets. It's an easy way to not have to think. I sent him Trump's contradictory statements, but he just dug in deeper, saying I was wasting my time, he wasn't going to change his mind.

He's right. We can't change Trumplovian in-the-tankers. That's one major effort I'm giving up for 2018 (I won't stop documenting this historic disaster though).

The Washington Post piece below makes the case beautifully. And no, there's no real way to fight it. While the article suggests the best defense is letting Trumpsters know you care, I say don't even try.

Here are some highlights that perfectly describes a Trumpster. Warning, it's really depressing:
Everything he’s done in the White House is more of the same: An enemy (the unpatriotic minorities, the lying liberal media, anyone not part of his Manichaean vision) is being cartooned, blamed for all of society’s evils and offered in sacrifice as a scapegoat to the United States’ problems. The purported solution is still simple: Shame them, silence them, build a wall around them. The basic premise that the restoration of the country lies in the destruction of its enemies remains.

His supporters are convinced that you are to blame. Until you can convince them otherwise, they will cheer him on. The name of the game is polarization, and the rookie mistake is to forget you are the enemy. like all populists, Trump offers a much different deal — “Vote for me: I will destroy your enemies. They are the reason you are not rich/have less rights/America is not great anymore.” 

Scandal is the populist’s natural element for the same reason that demolishing buildings makes more noise than constructing them. His supporters didn’t vote for silence. They voted for a bang. When Trump’s aides are indicted, but Hillary Clinton isn’t, the probe serves as proof that the system is corrupt. Or when the Muslim travel ban is not enforced, it means the “Deep State” is plotting some sort of coup.

That’s how populism works. As long as Trump is still swinging back, scandals help him to polarize the country further. The scorn of his adversaries, in the eyes of his supporters, proves that he’s doing exactly what they voted him for to do: dismantling a rigged system that they believe destroyed their hopes.

What did you ever do to these people to deserve their hate? What can possibly be going on? How can they, for example, make sense of so many former Goldman Sachs men in the Trump Cabinet? Weren’t the bankers supposed to be the enemy? Not to mention Russia? Sheer outrage at the president’s scandals is pointless. 

When directed at Trump, your anger gives him rhetorical ammunition to point toward his besiegers (“We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me)”) or to bolster his claims to be fighting for his base (“Drain the Swamp should be changed to Drain the Sewer — it’s actually much worse than anyone ever thought, and it begins with the Fake News!”). But worse still is directing your anger at his supporters. 
I disagree with the last line, but like guitarist Joe Walsh said once, "You can't argue with a sick mind." I'm done trying.

Republicans believe no one really deserves the safety nets, and life saving health care.

Scott Walker, like all the other hardcore conservative believers, insists the safety net programs will always be there for those who truly need them. Not true, yet they've been allowed to peddle that myth. Not anymore, now that we know there's no excuse for take money from other hard-working Americans.

Trump's icy budget director Mick Mulvaney finally made it clear that Republicans don't really see anyone as truly needy:
Tea Party tightwad who voted
for Deficit Busting Tax Cuts
White House says diabetics don’t deserve health insurance: (Mulvaney) specifically called out people suffering from diabetes as a group of Americans who do not deserve the protection of health insurance. 

He was asked if families should be denied medical care because they can’t afford it, a standard Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) had termed “the Jimmy Kimmel test.” Mulvaney said he believed in helping to provide “a safety net so that if you get cancer you don’t end up broke. That doesn’t mean we should take care of the person who sits at home, eats poorly and gets diabetes."

As of 2014, 29.1 million Americans suffer from diabetes, which is about 9.3 percent of the population.

Under Mulvaney’s standard, an examination of their eating habits and how their disease was triggered would have to be undertaken before it could be determined whether they are deserving of health insurance or not. In the meantime, people will suffer and possibly die from their illness. The system championed by Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and the Republican Party would upend that safety net in order to justify their sanctimonious attitude.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Republicans intentionally increased Uninsured to pay for Tax Cuts!!!

Humpty Dumptyism: The act or practice of misusing or misinterpreting a word, phrase, or article of text to suit one's own meaning or purpose.

And so it is with the Republicans repeal of the ACA mandate, which provides the needed cash to help provide massive cuts to the wealthy and corporate "persons." Take a look at the size of what could have been added to the nation's debt over 10 years before the $1.5 trillion compromise:
Sen. Patrick J. Toomey’s (R-Pa.) handout ... added up to more than $2.5 trillion over a decade. (Repealing the ACA mandate) would generate revenue that would solve major budgetary issues … the Joint Committee on Taxation implied that low-income Americans would be subject to drastic tax increases
Here's where Toomey’s Humpty Dumptyism springs into action…it’s not a tax increase if Americans decide not to have health insurance. What a choice, and what an effort to increase the number of uninsured:
Toomey: “This is absolutely not a tax increase, and you guys know that,” he bellowed at Democrats. “It is not a tax increase if a person decides they don’t want to buy an Obamacare plan and, as a result, we don’t send a payment to an insurance company.”
NOTE: I thought this also exemplified the GOP's irresponsible tax cut behavior beyond a reasonable doubt:
GOP played a strong game of kick the can: Republicans avoided the most pressing problems by repeated can-kicking.
1. They failed to fund the governmen, punting a decision into January.

2. They let the vital, popular and bipartisan-supported children’s health-care program known as CHIP lapse, promising to take that up next year as well.

3. Republicans delayed an agreement to raise the nation’s debt limit until early spring.

4. Republicans also kicked the can when they failed to make individual tax cuts permanent. Instead, benefits to the middle class will expire in 2025, letting a future Congress handle that issue.

5. By reforming taxes in a way that increased the deficit, Republicans put future Congresses in a difficult position if an economic downturn requires new fiscal stimulus. Increasing debt levels and interest rates complicate an inevitable reckoning over national finances.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

GOP's Old Reaganesque Tax Cut Economy Fading Away...

While Republicans celebrate the passage of their creeky old 80's Reaganesque agenda that's leaving everyone behind, the new internet/high tech economy is moving past their "forgotten" voting base. The following story is subscription only, but you can get the idea...:

ROXOBEL, N.C.—Danielle Baker wanted a $324,000 loan last year to expand the peanut-processing business she ran from the family farm. She had a longstanding relationship with the Roxobel branch of Southern Bank, and she thought Southern would help fund the peanut operation she had spun off, too. But that branch—the town’s only bank—closed in 2014. A Southern banker based in Ahoskie, 19 miles away, said Bakers’ Southern Traditions Peanuts Inc. was too small and specialized. A PNC bank branch also turned her down.
Instead of bringing high-speed broadband to every nook and cranny of the US, funding debt-free colleges, and taking the expensive health insurance burden off American employers, Republicans can't get past their simple tax cut madness. We can't take care of a simple thing like helping Wisconsinites live longer:

Anyone else getting a little war-on-drugs deja vu over the opioid epidemic?

Bonus Ploy: After the GOP's tax cut made the richest companies even richer, we were treated to stories about year-end bonuses of $1000. But wait, this one-time smokescreen simply hid the old economies job losses, pushed by the GOP's tax cut:
1. AT&T will layoff and fire more than a thousand workers starting early next year ... Across the Midwest, an estimated 600 workers were notified they were being laid off by the company on December 16, a week before the company announced it was doling out $1,000 bonuses to 200,000 of its employees in celebration of the Republican Party’s tax overhaul. 

2. The announcement comes days after the New York Post reported that the company "pink-slipped more than 700 DirecTV home installers." 

3. On Friday, the Post also reported that AT&T has recently laid off "215 high-skilled technician jobs in nine Southern states" and plans to fire nearly 700 workers in Texas and Missouri beginning in February.

4. Last year, senior executives at AT&T told The New York Times that "shrinking the [company's] workforce by 30 percent is not out of the question." The Justice Department sued AT&T in November in an attempt to block its acquisition of Time Warner. Soon after the company announced it would give $200 million worth of bonuses, President Donald Trump praised the move as an indicator of how the tax bill could benefit American workers.
Companies Expanding Too, Thanks to Taxpayers?: It's great to see new jobs cropping up throughout Wisconsin as well, but with the help of working Wisconsin taxpayers. Again, this is what passes for the "free market." Yet Wisconsin in last for the 3rd year in a row in job-creating new startup companies...that's the new economy ignored by Walker:

JS: Global sales of cheese, sausage, gummy bears, generators and factory equipment are some of the drivers behind the latest Wisconsin business expansions, new data from the state's economic development agency shows. Fifty projects eligible for state tax credits in 2017 represent $11.7 billion in investments and thousands of new jobs, according to Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. But one big project — the Foxconn Technology Group factory planned for Mount Pleasant — makes up $10 billion of that amount. 

Foxconn aside, what's left are $1.7 billion in expansion projects and about $114 million in WEDC tax credits.
Click to enlarge the list, to see how much WEDC is giving away or loaning. Again, not all funding is bad, but still, some of it's out of control. Where's the magic of this mythical free market we hear so much about? Notice how some companies are simply "retaining" jobs here.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Wisconsin's new slogan?

Just a year ending big thanks to Brian Strassburg, after gracing the pages of Isthmus for years with his cartoon commentary, for stepping back into the political arena and for designing that new blog picture you might have noticed. I've gotta also thank every Wisconsin blogger who's tried to make a difference.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Trump Americans shred Constitution with NFL Boycott! Not Racist?

Here are a few things we found out about Republicans during the Trump Error: They stand for nothing: 
1. Not free markets = Foxconn.
2. Not Pro-Life = Kill Health Care/Support Death Penalty/Guns.
3. Not Family Values/Religion = Voted for a Bible Thumping Sexual Predator.
4. Not Constitution = Against First Amendment Protests.
The Republican Party of Feel Good Anecdotal Values: That last point is defined below. Yes, conservatives are still obsessed with trashing NFL players protesting police violence against black Americans.

You won't believe the nationalism, the racism, the arrogant authoritarianism in Louisiana, for something that takes about one minute...before the game even starts for gods sake. NPR: 

In Louisiana, NFL Anthem Protests Threaten Saints' Tax Breaks: Manager Tony Melara, of Sarita's Grill in Denham Springs, La., said:  “We respect the flag. We stand. And we pledge allegiance. They make a lot more money than we do. Like, why do it then? They're going at it the wrong way. That's all." 

Republican State Representative Kenny Havard of St. Francisville is proposing an amendment to strip any state funding that benefits the Saints, including free rental of the venue where they play, the Superdome. 

Rep. Havar: “We're paying the Saints a lot of money to entertain us, not to get off in the weeds of political discourse. Now, they can do that, but do it on their own time. When I see a lady coming, I open the door. When I, you know, sit at the table, I take my hat off. When the national anthem plays, I stand. And those are things that are taught to you by family and parents. And that's the real issue, is the breakdown of the family unit because there's no dad in the home to pop them upside the head - son, you stand up when the national anthem - and pull your pants up. I'm sorry if it hurts people's feelings, but that's just the way it is.

Reporter: “There will be people who hear you say that and think that that's racist.”

Havard: “Well, it's not. And I'm not trying to be racist. It's not for me. It really isn't. It's about having the conversation. And somebody needs to start having the conversation.”
The issue is also now in the courts. Just last week, a Saints season ticket holder sued the team for a refund, claiming he's been damaged by players using football games as a platform for protest. Debbie Elliott, NPR News, Baton Rouge.

Slanderous Republicans seek out Enemies...

The juvenile caucus of the Republican authority at the state Capitol are now playing "monkey-see-monkey-do." These guys are now desperately trying to investigate (just like Republicans in DC are trying to smear the special counsel and reopening the Clinton emails) the GAB for their John Doe probes. Flat out political retaliation to hopefully silence critics now and in the future! Grow the f**k up:
GOP leaders of the state Senate approved broadening an investigation into the activities of a state ethics board that they disbanded because they believed it was biased against Republicans ... authorize GOP Attorney General Brad Schimel to look into the activities of the Government Accountability Board, including wide-ranging probes it conducted with prosecutors of Gov. Scott Walker and other Republicans. Schimel has said he welcomes the opportunity to further investigate the agency and the John Doe probes of Republicans. Rep. Robin Vos said, “The idea that individuals who potentially are on the short list of having committed a crime are now going to be in charge of running ethics and elections seems preposterous to me.”
Botched Partisan, Arrogant Decision by Judge Hue: Those horses have left the barn...
A judge said Monday that he shouldn't have authorized the release of some details included in Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel's report ... Jefferson County Circuit Judge William Hue said he should have blacked out some names because prosecutors and other officials did not pursue ethics charges against aides for campaigning on state time. “I dropped the ball in telling (Schimel) he could release it,” Hue said.

State law prohibits prosecutors and investigators from releasing information from a closed ethics investigation that didn’t result in charges. Those who violate the law can be subject to up to nine months in jail and a $10,000 fine. Hue said if he faced charges related to the release of the ethics investigation details, “I would have to plead guilty.” It’s unclear whether the law would apply to a judge.
After all the outraged GOP whining about a few partisan FBI texts that took shots at both Trump and Clinton, why aren't Republicans here just as offended at Judge Hue, the guy Schimel chose to launch his partisan attack on former GAB members:
Last year, (Judge) Hue posted a message on Twitter in response to a Journal Sentinel story about campaigns working with outside groups.

“Both sides do it but John Doe II only went after Republicans HARD. Imagine if the investigation fairly targeted BOTH parties," he wrote.
When the state Supreme Court in December 2015 ruled the special prosecutor leading the probe of Walker's campaign had been improperly appointed, Hue tweeted

"This happens when 'clever' lawyers outsmart themselves. It goes boom. Just play it down the middle. Just a wasteful shame."
Time to Sue for Defamation? Ya think...Elections Commission Administrator Michael Haas lets the hammer fall:
The head of the state Elections Commission is calling on Republican lawmakers to stop implying staff at the former Government Accountability Board acted criminally while carrying out a now closed John Doe investigation. In a letter to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), Elections Commission interim administrator Michael Haas argues that recent comments by both have “no factual or legal basis,” and that he believes they may be slanderous

“I am respectfully requesting an immediate public apology and correction. Again, there is absolutely no basis for alleging that Mr. Bell or I are potentially on any short list of having committed any crime, much less have committed any crimes ... neither the Attorney General nor any elected official has articulated either to me or in public what I supposedly did wrong as a member of the G.A.B. staff or related to its investigations.”

“Your statements implying that I have been involved in criminal activity are verifiably false, and you have not offered the least bit of evidence to support those claims. You are aware that those statements are untrue and yet you made them with the intent that they would be made public and reported by the media. In short, I am requesting that you stop trashing my name and reputation.”

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Supply Side Rich to Trickle their Golden Shower down upon us!!!

What can you say about the Republican Party that brutally does this to their voters?

KILLING HEALTH CARE & JACKING PRICES: If redistributing wealth to the wealthy wasn't enough, Republicans showed contempt for their loyal sniveling voters by taking away their health care. Cold, really cold:
Republican Sen. John Cornyn on the individual mandate: “Arguably, doing away with the individual mandate makes the Affordable Care Act unworkable ― not that it was particularly great beforehand,” Cornyn said.
This was a conscious decision by Republicans. Period.

KILLING HEALTH CARE FOR KIDS-CHIP: It's true. Maybe Walker can require these kids to work for their benefits...?

FADING TAX CUTS for the MIDDLE CLASS: You'd have to be sick to be this deceptively:


Republicans are against deficits caused by spending, true, but are okay deficits caused by tax cuts. And reduced spending equals smaller government. Still, Republicans can't wait to
see the nation's debt skyrocket:

Including macroeconomic effects and interest costs, the legislation is projected to increase debt as a share of GDP over 5 percentage points in 2027 to 97 percent of GDP, and almost 4 percentage points in 2037 to 117 percent of GDP.
Those are scary projections. But that's why Paul Ryan is so happy, there are no downsides; a little social unrest and resentment; and a reason to cut social safety nets. But it also supports the GOP's anti-government agenda and increases their voter turnout.

Check out these Republican shills for big money, and their insane excuses for tax cuts:

Democrats no longer need to fear deficits: And if they wanted to, they can raise taxes on the wealthy. It's a popular solution polling where Democratic and Republican voters have given this idea a big thumbs up:
It could mollify future Democratic leaders’ fear of deficits, thereby removing a contrast on progressive policy. The spectacle of the GOP adding $1.5 trillion to the deficit over a decade — to finance a supply-side stimulus in the middle of an economic expansion — should prevent future Democrats from replicating Obama’s mistake … budget reconciliation puts no limit on how much a given bill can add to the debt in the first decade after it’s passed. The next time a Democratic president needs to choose between the better policy — or the less eye-popping price tag — chances are, he or she will pick the former.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Taxes Rise, despite Walker's 100% property tax cut!

My conservative, in-the-tank "Trumpian" friend in Milwaukee, isn't paying any attention to state politics. He's like many Wisconsin voters who have pretty much given up trying to understand what Republicans are doing based on the chaotic messaging put out by Scott Walker and Paul Ryan.

Like this Scott Walker campaign talking point:

Scott Walker's 100% Property Tax Savings: Gee, it sounds good...but:

BUT: As you can see below, that savings is...well, nowhere to be found on my property tax bill. Like a lot of Wisconsinites, their bills may have increased, meaning the price of GOP loyalty comes pretty cheap:

It's a shell game pure and simple. There's no free lunch they say, but you'd never know that listening to Republican legislators and Scott Walker.  It's just another attempt to try and sell that free lunch in a new and improved shining tax cut package. 

Walker is running again on failed supply side record, a campaign that fosters rural resentment, claiming the government is too big, which really means he's willing to squander a century's worth of public investments for a few dollars worth of tax cuts.

GOP Tax Cut effect on Wisconsin? Here's the latest indefensible truth:
In 2019, large corporations and other businesses in Wisconsin would receive 46 cents out of every dollar delivered into the state by the federal GOP tax cut bill, according to a new analysis. $2.5 billion in 2019, or a bit less than the $2.8 billion delivered to individuals and families in the state. But because the bill's tax cuts for individuals are set to expire in 2025, the tax cuts for corporations would easily outweigh them by 2027.

In that year, individual taxpayers would pay $384 million more while large corporations in Wisconsin would still see a tax cut of just under $1 billion.
I think Sen. Tammy Baldwin nailed it for Wisconsin voters:

Monday, December 18, 2017

Smog...what you don't know helps businesses pollute, expand and "create jobs."

So what you don't know about smog levels will hurt and maybe even kill you eventually...but try and prove it. You can't. That's free market magic Republicans are now shamelessly pushing
As Sheboygan County is trying to become the last full county in Wisconsin to meet federal standards on ozone pollution ... a bill to block the use of an air quality monitor in Kohler-Andrae State Park ... wound ban state funding of the air monitor and ask the EPA to stop using readings that show Sheboygan County exceeding federal ozone limits.
Uh, like it really matters where the pollution is coming from?
The pollution that's registered is from Chicago, Milwaukee, Gary, Indiana, and other southern Lake Michigan cities due to lakeshore winds that often blow from the south or southeast.
Unfair? Polluted air and smog is still bad...right? Republicans are now saying local businesses that pollute should be allowed to add to the rest of the blown in pollution because...that's only fair, right?  
Being over the limit ... Local companies say that's unfair, because most of the ozone pollution registering on the regional monitor is blowing north from Chicago. Dave Gass of the Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce says federal law makes it tough for local firms that emit pollutants that form harmful ozone to expand. "I know businesses that have moved operations out of the state..."
Polluters threaten to Move? The Upside Down world of what's Unfair: So it's fair to harm Americans, allowing preventable deaths to occur, so businesses can expand? But how about this:
According to environmental groups, data from the monitor provides evidence for the EPA to go after large polluters from the southern Lake Michigan region.the monitor at Kohler-Andrae helps show when the air is too harmful to breathe.
Republicans "As Is" Consumerism in a Buyer Beware Economy: Besides everything I wrote in my blog post, "Walker's Wisconsin, no longer safe for people...," Republicans have added the word "jobs" to every ridiculous "free market" idea.

Climate Denial and's a Republican thingSmog; Good for Jobs, Good for Children: 
Exhibit A: Pruitt announced Michael Honeycutt as the new head of the Science Advisory Board. Honeycutt has suggested that the health risks associated with smog are overstated.

Exhibit B: Robert Phalen, a smog researcher once famously said that modern air is “a little too clean for optimum health.” He claims children’s lungs need a few irritants to grow hearty, and that pollutants like coal are good for lung defenses. 
Speaking of coal and lungs, this was just reported:
(Trump) "federal mining regulators indicated that they are reconsidering rules meant to protect underground miners from breathing coal and rock dust - the cause of black lung - and diesel exhaust, which can cause cancer."
For the record, Republicans say they're pro-life, yet have policies that kill people (lack of health care, the death penalty, unrestricted gun ownership). Self awareness is not a conservative characteristic:
Air pollution is killing one in six people around the world, and it's more deadly than smoking, wars, malnutrition or obesity.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Republican Tax Cuts Focused on the "Great Again" fight, shortchanging the Internet Economy and Millennials.

I know I'm not the only one who thinks those damn greedy baby boomers are doing everything they can to freeload off the country, all the while sticking their kids with the skyrocketing bill. It sickens me to watch my generation shred every hard-fought value they stood for in the 60's; women's liberation; civil rights; sexual freedom, so they could screw Gen X'ers and Millennials...and beyond.

It's almost shocking to see Republicans cutting taxes for every well established major corporation, when the emerging new world economy is blooming on the internet.

Republicans are fighting the be "great again" fight, an unapologetic leap backward, at a time when everything in the economy has changed. Thanks to internet commerce, broadband connectivity, green energy...heck, everything, the big guys aren't the ones that need the cash. And the internet hasn't even expanded into every nook and cranny of our country. How will the world look in 10 to 20 years, the kind of jobs and businesses that we can't even imagine now? Republicans are stuck:
For example, Republican Gov. Scott Walker mindlessly turned down high-speed rail, that SURPRISE, now would have made commuting to tech giant Foxconn from Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago a breeze. Walker once focused on old manufacturing jobs like welding, purged scientists at the DNR over climate science witchcraft, and continues to defunded the great university system. Now that Foxconn is coming, we've got to teach tech, tech, tech all the way. 
Millennials should be Afraid: Before we get to how Republicans are screwing over Millennials, lets define who they are. Here's a generational video description from Esquire:

Check out the following screen captures from a great piece of writing from the Huffington Post:

Friday, December 15, 2017

My stack of must read Stories...

As I try to keep up with the  Republicans unfolding political disaster, here are the stories the I never got a chance to explore. I may add to them in the future, but regardless, important must reads...

While Madison gets ripped for its liberal bias, it also leads the state in jobs, tech and everything else:

Without liberal Dane County, Scott Walker's jobs record would look pathetic. 
Student loan debt is ridiculous, so how are some students making it all work...thank you Republicans for defunding universities:

The myth that public university students who are conservative have to hide in the shadows, fearful speaking their minds busted:

Basic Income idea is taking off, and Republicans are missing it. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have found success doling out a basic income from their casino earnings: 

GOP Final Tax Cut plan....

Just a few of the details....

The final tax rate cuts expire...?
Here's the report from CNN:

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai wants to Laugh in your Face!!!

So what does repealing net neutrality mean to Americans? That's simple, ISP's can now do what they couldn't do, with no restrictions until of course they get caught. That's why we have regulations, protections, that prevent bad things from happening:
Those rules prevented internet providers from blocking and throttling traffic and offering paid fast lanes. 
If you thought your internet phone connection was your lifeline to help, it isn't anymore, thanks to FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai's repeal of Title II. Soon you may not be able to afford it:
They also classified internet providers as Title II common carriers.
After Ajit Pai slam dunked the repeal of net neutrality, he taunted the losers with an in your face condescending Christmas message. He even used the ultra right wing's fake news propaganda network The Daily Caller. PC Gamer:

Smirking FCC chairman posts video mocking net neutrality supporters.

Pai's bad judgement didn't stop with the video. He also didn't mind appearing next to a conspiracy drenched "alt-righter:"
One of the people who appears in the video, during the "You Can Still Ruin Memes" bit, is Martina Markota, a video producer for The Daily Caller. Markota's website includes links to a video called "Come to Pepe," the alt-right frog mascot, and another on Pizzagate, the infamous conspiracy theory about a child sex ring run by the Democratic Party out of the basement of a Washington DC pizzeria. That video has since been removed...
...that's not entirely true:

Another Republican fiasco...:
Moments before the FCC voted to overturn net-neutrality regulations, the hearing room was briefly evacuated over a potential security threat ... a security team scanning the empty room with bomb-sniffing dogs. “On advice of security, we need to take a brief recess,” Chairman Ajit Pai told the room before the evacuation. Security advised those in their room to leave their belongings behind; reporters waited in the hallway until the room was cleared for re-entry. The commission eventually voted 3-2 to end the Obama-era rules.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Paul Ryan to Retire, tells Americans to have "People" (babies), missed the Rise of Robots and a Basic Income!!!

As the story goes, Ryan wants to raise campaign money for other candidates, win reelection, and then step down. That assumes voters are that dumb? He's denied the story, but in the weakest way.

People should have...People (babies): Paul Ryan's latest stunning condescending statement about labor? He foresees a shortage of "people," and because we're all dumb as boards and can't make these decisions on our own, he's got some advice; give birth to "people."

Funny thing about having more people...they're going to need jobs. Paul Ryan assumes we're going to see future labor shortages...behind the times Paul. Robotics, automation...:
"Artificial intelligence and automation is going to have a lot of impact on the workforce," said Steve Jahn, executive director of Momentum West, an economic development group in northwestern Wisconsin. "There is forced automation because of forced challenges with workforce."

The implications extend from farming and manufacturing to fast food servers being replaced by kiosks, or taxi drivers and truck drivers being replaced by self-driving vehicles.

Loan officers, financial advisers, retail clerks and workers in dozens of professions face likely replacement due to automation, according to a 2013 Oxford University studyThe Oxford University study found such jobs as lawyers, journalists and teachers to be least likely to be replaced by automation.

"It's getting very competitive out there," GEA regional equipment sales representative Rudy Sennhenn said. "It means he either pays up now (to automate) or he's going to lose a good employee to another farmer or he's going to end up paying (the worker) more."

The loss of low-skilled, manual jobs to automation is a well-worn tale, especially in a state like Wisconsin with its concentration of agriculture and manufacturing.

Wisconsin has 2.5 robots per thousand workers, the 10th highest concentration among the 50 states, according to an analysis of Moody's Analytics data by the Brookings Institution. Between 2010 and 2015, the number of industrial robots grew 124 percent in Wisconsin, only 36th highest in the country.

Demand for robots is expected to accelerate as a result of the state's growing worker shortage. In the past few years, (many companies) raised hourly wages from $8 to $10 an hour, but workers are asking for as much as $14 an hour now, a sign of the tight labor market and the economic reality of how difficult it is to live on less.
Basic Income Coming: Which brings us back to the oncoming debate over a "basic income." Heck, even Nixon wanted to provide a subsidized income once:
The idea is not exactly new—Thomas Paine proposed a form of basic income back in 1797—but in this country, aside from Social Security and Medicare, most government payouts are based on individual need rather than simply citizenship. Lately, however, tech leaders, including Facebook founders Mark Zuckerberg and Chris Hughes, Tesla’s Elon Musk, and Y Combinator president Sam Altman, have begun pushing the concept as a potential solution to the economic anxiety brought on by automation and globalization—anxiety the tech industry has played its own role in creating.

If robots and offshoring take all the jobs, or at the very least displace the low-skilled ones, the thinking goes, there may come a time when there simply aren’t enough jobs to go around. What then? In "What Happened," Hillary Clinton writes that she considered rolling out a basic income policy during her 2016 campaign. In September, Silicon Valley congressperson Ro Khanna introduced a bill calling for a $1.4 trillion expansion of the earned income tax credit, which would effectively create a small basic income for low-income working people via tax credits. And the mayor of Stockton, California, recently announced that beginning in August 2018, the city plans to give some of its 300,000 citizens $500 a month, an experiment being funded by Hughes’s organization, the Economic Security Project.
And maybe what Republicans keep referring to as "bad public schools" would do much better if poverty didn't hammer kids down and set them down the wrong path. A basic income solves the crime problem as well:

In two studies, one published in 2003 and a follow-up in 2010, Jane Costello, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, compared children who were lifted out of poverty after the casino opened to those who had never been poor. She scored them based on the presence of emotional disorders, as well as behavioral disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Before the casino opened, Costello found that poor children scored twice as high as those who were not poor for symptoms of psychiatric disorders. But after the casino opened, the children whose families’ income rose (casino payments) above the poverty rate showed a 40 percent decrease in behavioral problems. She found something else: The younger the Cherokee children were when the casino opened, the better they fared compared to the older Cherokee children and to rural whites. This was true for emotional and behavioral problems as well as drug and alcohol addiction.

One fear about basic income is that people will be content living on their subsidies and stop working. But a 2010 analysis of the data, led by Randall Akee, who researches public policy at UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs, found no impact on overall labor participation.

Akee also looked at the effects of the money on education and found that more money in the household meant children stayed in school longer. The impact on crime was just as profound: A $4,000 increase in household income reduced the poorest kids’ chances of committing a minor crime by 22 percent.

All of this amounted to substantial financial benefits for the community as a whole. “This translates to fewer kids in jail, fewer kids in in-patient care,” Costello says. “Then there are the other costs you can’t calculate. The cost of people not killing themselves? That’s a hard one.”

One fear about basic income is that people will be content living on their subsidies and stop working. But a 2010 analysis of the data, led by Randall Akee, who researches public policy at UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs, found no impact on overall labor participation.

Akee also looked at the effects of the money on education and found that more money in the household meant children stayed in school longer. The impact on crime was just as profound: A $4,000 increase in household income reduced the poorest kids’ chances of committing a minor crime by 22 percent.

All of this amounted to substantial financial benefits for the community as a whole. “This translates to fewer kids in jail, fewer kids in in-patient care,” Costello says. “Then there are the other costs you can’t calculate. The cost of people not killing themselves? That’s a hard one.”
Note: Spell correct nailed me on "Stash," which should have been "Stache." Heck, just elect Randy  Bryce.

Local Control Gone!!! These are Walker's Values and "Principles, and they are good."

Freedom, liberty, and free markets are supposed to be dangerous to the consuming public.

Stone Cold Brutal treatment of Americans: Remember Sandy Hook, remember the Las Vegas shooting...Republicans did nothing. Republicans chilling indifference was stunning.

How about the Republicans "free market" health care plan that would drop 30 million from coverage. Preventable deaths will increase again dramatically, people will suffer, problem.

Local Control Myth...GONE!!!: So lets scratch another GOP lie off the list, along with "free markets" (Foxconn) and Corporate Tax Cuts (lousy jobs numbers).

Remember the posted list documenting the massive attack on local control by Scott Walker Republicans by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau? Here's my own detailed jaw-dropping list. 

One of the worst attacks seemed to come out of nowhere. Walker wanted to let new apartment buildings be built without putting fire sprinklers in. It had a strained ridiculousness about it, until you found out it was a gift to the Wisconsin Builders Association;

So from the party of bankrupt values, that endorsed Roy Moore and sexual assaulter Donald Trump, here's the overriding principle behind killing local control:
Rep. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield: “There are certain values that the state upholds. If the values aren’t consistent at the local level, there is an opportunity for the state to come in and say these are our principles and they are good.
More Dangerous Reckless Deregulation: George Lakoff said once, regulations are "protections." Get rid of the protections, and the risk levels skyrocket. "As is" consumerism basically. Caveat Emptor, "buyer beware." The end of local control is upon us... "these are our principles and they are good." Check out this extremely detailed example, a list from the Oshkosh city manager.
Two bills sponsored by Republicans Sen. Frank Lasee and Rep. Rob Brooks focus on tenant-landlord rights and development. They would also require:
1. Mail notice to landlords before charging for ordinances related to maintaining a property ... a city couldn’t clear icy sidewalks before providing mailed notices to property owners.

2. Prohibit systematic building inspections for rental properties and make such inspections complaint-based. Currently, Madison does rotating, systematic building inspections of high-density rental areas with each area inspected every seven to 10 years, building inspector George Hank and others said. Inspectors check the exteriors of all buildings in the area, and the interiors of residential rental properties. “It’s the broken window thing,” Hank said, noting that wooden porches or foundations in older properties can badly deteriorate without maintenance. “When one property starts to go bad, it can start a race to the bottom. It’s to preserve neighborhood values.” Curt Witynski, deputy executive director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, said, “This change in the law protects irresponsible landlords while jeopardizing the health and safety of students, families, and other vulnerable individuals living in potentially dangerous conditions who decline to file complaints to avoid being evicted.”

3. Require municipalities to let private property owners use materials that have a “substantial similar appearance” to original material when making repairs or replacements to landmarks or properties in historic districts.

4. Prohibit municipalities from creating or enforcing ordinances related to storm water management unless in strict conformance to uniform statewide standards.Limit rental inspection fees to the actual and direct cost of performing the inspection.

5. Prohibit municipalities from regulating the aesthetics of the interiors of homes.

6. Limit rental inspection fees to the actual and direct cost of performing the inspection.

7. Exempt properties that retain at least 90 percent of stormwater from any new or additional stormwater service charges.

8. Prohibit municipalities from stopping people from working on private construction projects on weekends.

9. Impose new, unfunded reporting mandates.

10. The bill “seeks to lower the cost of new development at the local level by further restricting the use of impact and park fees, requiring housing affordability audits, incentivising higher density and more affordable housing,” Lasee and Brooks said in a memo.

The League of Wisconsin Municipalities opposes both bills. In the past six years, landlord-friendly changes to state laws have given Wisconsin housing providers more power to reject prospective tenants and easier ways to oust current ones.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Narcissist Prayer.

Trump Economic all time highs...BS!

Like Scott Walker, Trump likes to brag endlessly (I wish Obama had done this) about how certain parts of the economy are growing. Trump's numbers are just a continuation of growth that started under Obama, nothing more and nothing less. 

But when I saw this...well, I had to set the record straight. 

What's missed in all this are the massive jobs losses and business closings. 

Donald Trump has presided over massive job losses due to outsourcing and plant closings, despite promising to keep jobs stateside, after years of job growth under President Obama: Donald Trump has presided over job growth (that) has dropped to a six-year low. Since January of this year, 243,108 employees have received notices of plant closings and layoffs.

-12,241 notices about plant closing and layoffs were handed out in Florida. 10,396 workers got the bad news in Ohio. 6,564 notices went out in Michigan.

-In Indiana, 8,313 Americans received the bad news from their employers about losing their positions. Many of those people were employees at Carrier, where Trump made grandiose promises about keeping jobs slated to be outsourced in America ... jobs being sent overseas have reached the highest rate in five years.

-At the same time, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics revealed that job growth is down. America experienced job growth of 250,000 per month in 2014, 226,000 per month in 2015, and 187,000 per month in 2016 — but that measure is down to 163,000 a month under Trump.
Check out for even more.

"Dumb" rule for Airlines to tell customers about baggage fee when booking flight dumped by Trump!

Caveat Emptor, "Buyer Beware," is back with a vengeance. The concept is irrational, unsettling and destructive because someone is going to get hurt, but hey, at least you were warned.

Sold "As Is?" Apparently, Republicans want to make America great again by creating a market system that sells things "as is." Gulp. Think of it as an almost unimaginable low bar, that can only get lower.

Trump's vengeful repeal of anything Obama continues...
DOT Suspends Proposed Rule That Would Force Airlines To Show Baggage Fee At Booking
The department said in a notice posted online ... the rules would have been “of limited public benefit.” The DOT also withdrew a rulemaking to require airlines disclose profits on ancillary fees.
The Republican vision of a deregulated American future is here now...
Airlines are already exempt from all state and local consumer protection, much antitrust law, most other federal regulations and tort law. The DOT is their sole regulator. If the DOT refuses to correct abuses or enforce existing regulations, and repeals existing regulations, airlines will be the first US industry to have stripped the public of all economic protections from unfair predatory practices. 
 The right wing is loving it, providing this insightful back-to-basics observation...
Gary Leff of website View from the Wing wrote this as part of his explanation as to why the department formally dropped the proposed regulation: "Because it was dumb."

Sunday, December 10, 2017

"Farmers Shocked by Proposed AG Cuts" by their own Republican politicians.

The biggest enemy against Wisconsin's 4 major economic driving forces; parks, clean drinking water, recreational camping, and hunting, is Republican Rep. Tom Tiffany, who said recently that his constituents in rural areas are always complaining to him about big government job-killing regulations.

Well, Tiffany's recent answer to that is to prevent those same constituents from having any say on the impact of local mining on their quality of life and local infrastructure.

Republicans Back Stab Rural Towns and Farmers: Rural conservative Republican voters are now on the receiving end of small they didn't think they were next on the chopping block:
Congress and Farmers Are Shocked By Proposed USDA Cuts: The U.S. Department of Agriculture didn't even try to act enthusiastic as they unveiled details of their agency's proposed 2018 20 percent cut in the USDA's discretionary budget. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. "It's my job to implement that plan."
Trump/Republican Anti-Jobs Plan: Ironic isn't it?
The Trump administration wants to cut: agricultural research, food aid for the poor, and programs that benefit small rural communities ... also includes a surprise that's particularly unwelcome to big Midwestern farmers ... new restrictions on government-subsidized crop insurance, a program that is a particular favorite of grain farmers. 
Alligator Tears!!! Really, it was okay to go after liberal big cities and states, but now it ain't okay to be on the receiving end?
The American Farm Bureau Federation said that "this budget fails agriculture and rural America." Similar criticism came from the American Soybean Association and the National Corn Growers Association. 
Of course, conniving Republicans want you to believe just the opposite, an easy sell job to their true believer voter base:
The Republican chairmen of the agricultural committees ... promised to "fight to ensure farmers have a strong safety net."

1. Reduces funding for the Agricultural Research Service by $360 million, or 26 percent. This would mean closing the doors at 17 research centers.

2. Limit the ability of large farmers to take advantage of those programs and cut government subsidies by more than $2.5 billion each year.

2. Completely eliminates the country's flagship program of international food aid, called Food For Peace. The current USDA budget includes $1.7 billion for that program.
Liberal U.S. enemies of the state, you know - Democrats, had the nerve to suggest...:
Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN) said in a statement that "this budget is going nowhere on Capitol Hill but it is still a statement of priorities and should be of concern to all rural Americans." Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) called it "harsh and short-sighted."
Get back to work you lazy kids, seniors and disabled? Yes, that's what Republicans are saying:

Cut SNAP spending by $4.6 billion in 2018, increasing to more than $20 billion annually by 2022. Ag. Sec. Sonny Perdue said "We want to provide the nutrition people need, but we also want to help them transition from government programs, back to work, and into lives of independence.

Nearly two-thirds were under 18, over 60 or disabledaccording to the USDAAbout 44 million people participated in SNAP each month in 2016, at a cost of $70.9 billion. 
Wait a minute, I thought Republicans wanted food stamp "free loaders" to only buy healthy foods: "Healthy" is a relative term, apparently, since Republicans trashed healthy school lunch guidelines for the more traditional "American," salty, starch laden junk foods we loved 50 years ago. Remember, this is now the Food and Nutrition Service run by Republicans, who include this caveat: "...respond to the changing economic conditions while ensuring we remain vigilant stewards of taxpayer dollars:"
Perdue would, among other things, eliminate the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, which establishes dietary guidelines and studies what it costs to follow them. That work instead would fall under the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service.