Friday, November 16, 2018

Oh, did you know Congress is Broken? WI Republican Gallagher just noticed as Dems take power...

Like state Republicans trying to "reform" an all too powerful governor as Democrat Tony Evers takes over, now a "both-sides" Republican is blaming Congressional dysfunction on "theater used by both parties..." now that Democrats are about to control the House. Nope. Not buying it. 

So let's just talk about reforming the system instead of governing and setting the Democratic agenda so voters know what Democrats stand for. Oh, and it doesn't matter if Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher wrote this just before the election because let's face it, they knew they were getting blown out by the "blue wave." 

Let's just call it what it is, insulting:

Congress is a toothless, dysfunctional body that has evolved into a “theater used by both parties to stoke the outrage of their base.”
That damning verdict doesn’t come from a pundit or political scientist, but a sitting member of the Republican majority in the U.S. House, freshman Mike Gallagher of Green Bay. In a colorful and scathing critique for The Atlantic magazine, Gallagher argues that the House, which will be led by Democrats next year, is ripe for reform.

“If you are among the 11 percent of Americans who believe that everything in Congress is going swimmingly, then save some time and stop reading right now. (But first, please share whatever experimental drugs you are on). But if you are among the 87 percent of people who are concerned about what is going on in Congress, then I have an important message for you: It’s much worse than you think,” writes Gallagher, who also floated some proposals for making the place work better, including sending some of the power so tightly held by House leadership back to members.
And with Republicans groveling at the feet of Trump granting his every mindless request, let's talk about "genuine intellectual combat?" You can't make this up:
“I want to be able to walk into the House floor and have a sense (that) this is like a genuine arena of intellectual combat, right? I don’t want it to all just be us throwing bombs on cable news.”
Because that's what Democrats are doing?  

Walker took control before becoming governor, now wants control after being governor!

Elections have consequences, so we heard Republicans say over and over when they took power to its maximum limit and beyond. Now...not so much. In fact, they don't really lose elections when more people vote. No, really.

It's all crazy. When Trump lost the popular vote by millions and not even close to a mandate, Republicans declared "we won, now shut up."

Now in Wisconsin, Walker didn't really lose, he was the victim of a record number of people voting for Tony Evers...huh, what? 

The taxpayer-funded freeload family
“In no way did I see it as a rejection, but rather just a larger electorate than we’ve ever seen in the past,” Walker said.
Walker even said he got more votes than he did in any previous election, so proportionally, there's nothing to see here, blowing up his "larger electorate" fantasy. Guess they're also admitting how much they dislike voting and how they would have won without larger turnout...kinda already knew that though. 

Walker Authority...gets the Axe? Walker wielded power even before he became governor. 
Gov. Doyle declined to criticize the aggressive transition initiatives of Walker, who has called for the halt to construction of the train and holding off on finalizing labor contracts with selected state employee unions. In late 2002, Doyle’s predecessor, Republican Gov. Scott McCallum, negotiated a deal with a big state labor union right before leaving office.
But now that Democrat Tony Evers is taking over, Republicans are thinking, darn, maybe they should have reined in that power 7 or 8 years ago. Like Republican Rep. Robin Vos said:
"Geez — have we made mistakes where we granted too much power to the executive,' I'd be open to taking a look to say what can we do to change that to try to re-balance it. Maybe we made some mistakes giving too much power to Gov. (Scott) Walker."
Gov. Scott Walker said he’s looking at possible changes in a year-end lame-duck session that could curtail certain executive powers before Evers takes office … give lawmakers more appointees to boards for the state Building Commission and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. which would dilute the influence of the governor’s appointees to those boards.

 In fact, while I was typing this, AP's Scott Bauer wrote this:
AP: Gov. Scott Walker is leaving office just like he came in — with a flourish. Walker killed high-speed rail in Wisconsin days after his election win in 2010 and unveiled his anti-union Act 10 proposal within weeks of actually taking office, sparking massive protests, vaulting him onto the national political stage and eventually setting up his 2015 run for president. Now, as Walker prepares to leave office Jan. 7, he's signaling his support for an array of Republican proposals designed to weaken Democrats and Tony Evers, who narrowly defeated him on Election Day.

Evers' spokeswoman Lynch said no more taxpayer money should be spent on the (repeal of the ACA) Evers has promised to drop on his first day in office. But Evers doesn't plan on sending Walker a demand that he drop it.

The Not-so-Graceful Exit, Walker Exposed!!! He Lost because of Too Many Votes for Opponent?, "Reformed Myself out of a Job," and constructively said Baraboo kids are "idiots?"

Scott Walker has reached a new level of laughable arrogance. His Suessian reasoning bends reality to its breaking point. On the very simple concept of winning or losing an election based on who get more votes, by an electorate seeking a change of direction...:

"It was without a doubt a big election — bigger turnout than ever before — but the numbers we received a week ago Tuesday would have won the election four years ago, would have won the election eight years ago. In no way do I see it as a rejection, but rather just a larger electorate than we've ever seen in the past."
Hold on there. Walker's crazy contradiction is a head spinner: All vote totals went up (even for Walker), so Walker can't dismiss his loss to Evers because of a "larger electorate." Seriously, winning and losing is always based on a "larger" electorate voting for the winner? My head is hurting. Walker's own self-deception is just another red flag:
Walker says his narrow re-election loss to Democrat Tony Evers was not a rejection, but a factor of higher voter turnout going against him.
Walker's Successful 8 Years? Two things; Walker's success was handed to him because of a national economic recovery that helped all states look good; and Walker's often repeated lie that Democrats (especially former Gov. Jim Doyle) were responsible for the global Great Recession and the resulting high unemployment numbers. The media took a pass on correcting him, and voters lazily accepted the dumbest lie of Walker's last 8 years:
“We’re not going to retreat.. the state of Wisconsin is not going to go backwards.”
Nope, even under new Democratic Gov.  Tony Evers, Walker says Republicans won't let Wisconsin going back to the Republican-caused Great Recession.

Riding the national economic recovery...that by itself didn't provide Walker cover for not coming close to fulfilling his promise of 250,000 jobs in his first 4 years, a delusional Walker spun on...

"What have we not done? We’ve been such a reformer, I may have reformed myself out of a job."
Yup, look what he's done; reforms like the largest cuts to education in the nation, the largest corporate handout in the nation (Foxconn), cut public funding to state parks, science out-businesses in at the DNR, abandoned road repairs...a real "reformer."

Walker called Baraboo Students "Idiots," kids who probably reflected Trump/Walker Parents: Did Walker just call your junior high school student an idiot? Not a real mature way of dealing with a much deeper and symptomatic problem. Not "complicated?" Think he'd say something like that before an election? From our uncommitted, no-answer, nasty name-calling governor...

AP: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says high school students who appear to be giving a Nazi salute in a photo are “a bunch of idiots. I think they’re just stupid. I think they’re idiots. It’s as simple as that. I don’t know that it’s any more complicated than that, they’re just a bunch of idiots.”

Friday, November 9, 2018

Eight Years wasn't enough for Walker Republicans! After holding Wisconsin back, they'll do the same to limit Gov. Evers now too.

Republican plans to limit Governor elect Tony Evers powers to something a lot less than Scott Walker's is their way of setting old now failing policies in amber:

Now suddenly elections actually don't matter. And that old "will of the people" thing MAGA sore winners kept waving in our face, well that only applies to "make America great again"...againers. It seems the same rules don't apply to Democratic administrations...

And no, Evers hasn't already managed to pick a fight with Republicans. It's the other way around, and not a "both sides do it" meme:

This was not an Evers creation. But he's also not going to let the legislature define the agenda voters seemed to want to set in motion:

And now we're finding out Evers state government doesn't have enough revenue to just keep the state running? Remember, we're not in a recession, the economy is humming with incredibly low unemployment numbers. This shouldn't be happening. And by the way, what's the deal waiting until after the election to release this report?:

In a report released Friday, the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum found the state would need an additional $2.2 billion over two years to continue its existing programs. State revenue is unlikely to increase by that much, so Evers and legislators would probably have to make cuts or raise taxes to make ends meet.

"Our broad review indicates that, absent strong growth in revenues, the next state budget may have difficulty accommodating campaign promises and rising costs in ongoing programs without a tax increase," the report noted.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Walker Republicans to Limit Governor Evers powers..."Geez, have we made mistakes giving too much power to Gov. Walker...?"

When you've got nothing else to lose, and a compliant voter base that doesn't care, you get this:

It's odd how "the people

Funny, now Assembly smirker Robin Vos is thinking, "Geez" maybe they gave too much power to Walker? You can't make this stuff up:
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) ... Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau). FItzgerald is open to the idea.

"If there are areas where we could look and say, 'Geez — have we made mistakes where we granted too much power to the executive,' I'd be open to taking a look to say what can we do to change that to try to re-balance it. Maybe we made some mistakes giving too much power to Gov. (Scott) Walker and I'd be open to looking at that to see if there are areas we should change that, but it's far too early to do that before I talk to Scott Fitzgerald."
Still more:

Still more...on Medicaid expansion...
Vos said last month he would never go along with such a plan. "Not going to happen. No way. Never. Medicaid right now does not pay the cost of your provider. So the more people we put into Medicaid, the more the private sector will have to pay to subsidize those who are on Medicaid. So all it does is make the private system less stable."
Still more on education spending...
Vos underscored that Wednesday by pouring cold water on plans Evers' campaigned on, including adding $1.4 billion in new funding for schools over two years.
"That's not possible unless you have a massive tax increase. It literally cannot be accomplished without either taking from some to give to another or a massive tax increase."

Vos also said he wouldn't support "putting a bunch of money into empty buses," referring to mass transit solutions to transportation woes, but would consider a plan that puts money into fixing roads and bridges.
The response?

Evers spokeswoman Britt Cudaback said it's "unfortunate Vos is doubling down on division" after Evers asked to set aside differences and work together.
"These are the same desperate antics of politicians hell-bent on staying in power after eight year. The people of Wisconsin deserve better from our government, and that’s why they voted for a change yesterday.”

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Walker's record on Preexisting Conditions...who could afford it or keep coverage?

From the Chicago Tribune...

Part of the (Trump/GOP) bill would allow states to seek waivers exempting insurers from Obama's prohibition on higher premiums for people with pre-existing problems. States could then use federal dollars to fund government-operated insurance programs for pools of expensive patients.
Like Dumb Ron Johnson said, health care is a "privilege:
The state's high-risk pool covered about 21,000 people as of June 2012, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. Premiums in 2013 were as high as $1,500 per month for a 60-plus-year-old man with a $1,000 deductible, according to the bureau. The pool ended in 2014 when the health care exchanges began under Obama's law. According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that tracks national health issues, about 852,000 non-elderly Wisconsin residents had pre-existing conditions in 2015. That's a quarter of the state's non-elderly population.

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Voting Privilege separates have and have-nots!

If I didn't think there were more important economic and health care issues to deal with, I would be out there making access to voting much harder for rural conservatives. Wasn't it Trump Party conservatives hero Brett Kavanaugh who said, "what goes around comes around"?

Wouldn't it be fun to consolidate rural places to vote, institute shorter know, save money and lower taxes, right?

Why am I bring this up? Here's why...

I heard a report state how Republicans in states purging voter rolls and limiting polling places believe voting is a privilege and not a right. Really? It seems those rights are spelled out a number of times in the Constitution:
Voting rights cannot be denied or abridged based on the following: "Race, color, or previous condition of servitude" (15th Amendment, 1870) … 1913: Direct election of Senators, established by the Seventeenth Amendment gave voters rather than state legislatures the right to elect senators. 1920: Women are guaranteed the right to vote by the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Amendment XV - Rights Not to Be Denied on Account of Race (1870) ...Amendment XVII - Election of Senators (1913) ...Amendment XIX - Women's Right to Vote (1920) ...Amendment XXIII - Presidential Vote in D.C. (1961) ...Amendment XXIV - Poll Tax (1964) ...Amendment XXVI - Right to Vote at Age 18 (1971) ... 
Authoritarian Leaders like Trump call all the shots: Privilege. Every Trumpian drooler is proof:
Conservative Republicans stand out for their opposition to allowing people to register vote at the polls on Election Day and automatically registering all citizens to vote. Fewer than half of conservative Republicans support these steps (35% for Election Day registration, 45% for automatic registration) ... Conservative Republicans are also the only partisan-ideological group in which a majority (60%) favors removing people from registration lists if they have not voted recently or confirmed their registration.
Here's one example we saw in Wisconsin, when Republican Rep. Duey Stroebel proposed this whacko idea:
The measure proposed by Rep. Duey Stroebel, R-Saukville, would prohibit clerks from opening early, late or on weekends to accommodate voters wishing to cast their ballots before Election Day … the bill aims to give residents of smaller communities the same access to absentee voting as those in larger communities that can afford to hold extended balloting ... people in rural areas don't have the opportunity to vote on weekends or evenings. 
Not True. Rural Communities Opposed idea: Exposing Stroebel's completely fabricated scheme were rural town clerks:
The proposal could be even more vexing for clerks in small towns, who often work part-time and at the convenience of local residents, said Richard Stadelman, executive director of the Wisconsin Towns Association … it's not unusual for small-town clerks to open their offices on nights and weekends to accommodate in-person absentee voting. He said his group opposes the bill as written.
Don’t laugh...but Stroebel then reversed his own attempt bringing equality to the system:
Stroebel plans to amend the bill to add flexibility for small communities.
Purging Voters Big Success Too: Defying human nature, the conservative activist Supreme Court allowed postcard address confirmations to stand. So people don't throw stuff like that away or say it's nobodies business where they live?
The Supreme Court on Monday upheld Ohio’s aggressive efforts to purge its voting rolls, siding with Republicans in the latest partisan battle over how far states can go in imposing restrictions on voting.

The court ruled that states may kick people off the rolls if they skip a few elections and fail to respond to a notice from election officials. The vote was 5 to 4, with the more conservative justices in the majority.  

Justice Breyer wrote, In 2012 Ohio sent out 1.5 million notices, to roughly 20 percent of the state’s registered voters. But only 4 percent of Americans move outside their county each year, he wrote.
“Ohio only received back about 60,000 return cards (or 4 percent) which said, in effect: ‘You are right, Ohio. I have, in fact, moved. In addition, Ohio received back about 235,000 return cards which said, in effect, ‘You are wrong, Ohio, I have not moved.’”
And then there's this amazing suppression story:
U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree said forcing Ford County Clerk Debbie Cox to open an additional polling location in Dodge City so close to the Nov. 6 election would not be in the public’s interest. But Crabtree said he is troubled by Cox’s reaction to an American Civil Liberties Union letter, which Cox forwarded last week to a state official with the comment “LOL.”

Cox moved the city’s only polling place from a central location in town, the Civic Center, to the Expo Center half a mile outside the city limits this fall. The new location is not accessible via sidewalk and there is no regular public transportation there, though the city has said it will provide rides to voters.
Or this intimidation and suppression effort in Georgia:
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the chief elections official in the state, is a pioneer of present-day voter suppression. Mr. Kemp has a record of making it harder for people to register to vote, and more difficult for those voters to remain on the rolls. Since 2012, his office has canceled more than 1.4 million voter registrations. In July 2017, over half a million people — 8 percent of the state’s registered voters — were purged in a single day. As of earlier this month, over 50,000 people’s registrations, filed before the deadline to vote in the coming midterm election, were listed as on hold. Seventy percent had been filed by black applicants.

Since 2012, his office has canceled more than 1.4 million voter registrations. In July 2017, over half a million people — 8 percent of the state’s registered voters — were purged in a single day. As of earlier this month, over 50,000 people’s registrations, filed before the deadline to vote in the coming midterm election, were listed as on hold. Seventy percent had been filed by black applicants.

Olivia Pearson, a grandmother and lifelong resident of Coffee County, Ga., found herself on trial this year oncharges of felony voter fraud. It began six years ago, on the first day of early voting in Georgia, when a black woman named Diewanna Robinson went to cast her ballot. She asked Ms. Pearson, more than 30 years her senior, for help. Ms. Robinson would later testify that Ms. Pearson informed her where the card went in the machine and told her to “just go through and make my own selections on who I wanted to vote for.” Ms. Pearson walked away before Ms. Robinson started voting.

Almost four years later, Ms. Pearson received a letter from District Attorney George Barnhill’s office, informing her that she was facing felony charges for improperly assisting Ms. Robinson. because Ms. Robinson was not illiterate or disabled, she had not been entitled to even minimal verbal assistance.

Over the next two years, Ms. Pearson navigated two trials, two defense counsels, three dropped charges and one hung jury. Finally, in late February, after a 20-minute jury deliberation, she was acquitted of all charges. Six years after her brief interaction with Ms. Robinson, she was finally free.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Wisconsin Republicans to Voters; "We're tired of seeing that MOB and the PROTESTERS everywhere."

Liberal mobs?

The way I see it, Republicans have always hated getting out of their easy chairs to protest. That's why they hated the 60's war protests so much. In fact, it got so bad in 2011 that the Koch brothers Americans for Prosperity used buses to transport whoever they could find from around the state to
protest in Madison (there weren't many), where a thuggish "mob" of liberal teachers, firefighters, law enforcement, students, families, and children turned out by the millions to protest Scott Walker's union-busting Act 10.

Liberal protests weren't always considered "mobs." Republicans struggled at first to make the First Amendments "right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" an unthinkable and grotesque assault on American values.

Scott Walker himself tried denying that he’d compared Wisconsin protesters to ISIS.  

“You all will misconstrue things the way you see fit. But I think it’s pretty clear, that’s the closest thing I have in terms of handling a difficult situation, not that there’s any parallel between the two.” 
Walker: “If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world."
Walker's image of being "unintimidated" was just exposed as BS by a former Walker secretary speaking out against his reelection. Peter Bildsten, Former secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions:
When Walker titled his 2013 book Unintimidated and bragged about how he “stood up to union thugs and protesters,” I thought back to how he had regularly ducked in and out of the capitol via a tunnel, always escorted by a heavy security detail. Unintimidated is not exactly the word that comes to mind, but Republicans in Washington accepted Walker’s self-image and talked him up as a strong presidential contender.
Trump's Reality Show "Mob" Mentality: Trump took the simple act of protesting and made it seem un-American.

Trump's Kavanaugh gave us today's liberal "mobs:" Watch former legislator and now soulmate of Assembly Speaker Rep. Robin Vos, Michelle Litjens, ever so casually talk about liberal mods like it's some kind of generally accepted fact. From Upfront with Mike Gousha:
MICHELLE: "The other thing is the Kavanaugh effect. I think it comes down to that MOB MENTALITY that we went through in 2011-2012. We had people come out and vote for Scott Walker during that recall who did not support what he did in Act 10, but they we're tired of  seeing that MOB AND THE PROTESTERS everywhere. We are hearing that candidates are hearing it at the doors and hearing it at the polls as well, that people are tired of that MOB mentality, and they feel that the Kavanaugh family was treated poorly. They don't want to see that anymore. They want that to be done. They want people to get along. And I think the Democrats are going to be punished for that." 

MIKE: "I will give John a chance, because I'm sure the mob thing for you, knowing what you have written in the past, it probably does not sit well with you...'' 

JOHN: "I do not think my mom, her other friends from Burlington who came up to defend public education with nurse and teachers, were a mob. There are things to say about the tea party folks too. And you know, this notion of trying to make the other side into somet sort of an evil force..."

Mobs are Enemies in "life and death battle for the future." Awhile back Republicans were talking like James Buchal, a Portland-area GOP Chairman, who really did want to hire militia groups as political security. Imagine how much worse things are now with roving liberal "mobs" endangering the survival of our country. It's impossible for me to wrap my mind around people who think like this:
The top Republican in the city said he is considering using militia groups as security for public events. James Buchal said: “Yeah. We’re thinking about that. Because there are now belligerent, unstable people who are convinced that Republicans are like Nazis.”

He says of the President, “His enemies are my enemies and his enemies are all our enemies. Our enemies are more dangerous than ever. We are really in a life and death battle for the future of our society. And these globalist people are not going to give up. If we don’t tell out fellow citizens that there are these dark forces in the government, like the CIA and the shadow government, who are trying to take Trump down with lies, who is going to tell them?”

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Trump's Voodoo Economic Spell over his desperately faithful orange god worshipers!!!

It's almost like a magical spell cast across America that has put people into a Trumpian trance.

It seemed so unreal when my Trumpian friend in Milwaukee used to accuse Democrats of being in the tank for Obama, which for "the herding cats party" is crazy talk. It's obvious now that it was more wishful thinking on his part.

Trump? We're talking about an east coast big city fat cat rich guy who used power to exploit business contractors and women. Struggling middle-class Americans grabbed onto his ludicrously impossible empty promises based on an often repeated GOP's myth that Obama's economy was a slow-moving failure bordering on financial bankruptcy. Big bad regulations hurt business and increased consumer prices, dragging the economy down even further.

Now, we've got skyrocketing deficits, no change in wage growth, tariffs that are moving jobs overseas and increasing prices, and promises to repeal the ACA leaving 20 to 30 million more Americans without insurance. But that's okay. Trump devotees are still loyal to a fault, willing to give him the benefits of the doubt, willing to pay more, willing to take a chance on their jobs, and will to give him time to work his magic as only a business genius like Trump can.

Again, this unexplainable adoration will not be broken by even family devasting job losses at a nail manufacturing plant in Missouri. It's enough to take your breath away and kill any hope this nightmare will end...ever:

NPR: America's largest nail manufacturer is feeling pretty small these days. Many of the factory machines at Mid Continent Nail have fallen silent, and more than a quarter of its workforce has been laid off. The company fears it may soon be a casualty of President Trump's trade wars.

The Missouri-based company used to get most of its steel from Mexico, so Trump's 25 percent tariff hit it hard. To stay afloat, Mid Continent Nail raised prices and consequently lost a lot of customers. Despite facing an uncertain future brought on by Trump's tariffs, many of the remaining workers at Mid Continent Nail who voted for him in 2016 still support him.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Rebecca Kleefisch offended by Lingerie Parties, but not Trump, Kavanaugh, Moore...

Lingerie parties have been going on for decades. So it would be crazy for WISGOP and Rebecca Kleefisch to continue to vilify Lt. Gov candidate Mandela Barnes as equal to or worse than admitted sexual assaulter Trump and a half-dozen other Republican candidates and pedophiles.

Well, from the party of adorable and proud Trump pussy grabbers, Lt. Gov/and protective mother of two daughters Rebecca Kleefisch has had enough of those sexually suggestive lingerie parties and showers. Upfront with Mike Gousha:
Kleefisch: "Mandela Barnes was the host of this crazy lingerie party years ago, I think why is no one talking to him how that's kinda demeaning to women, and how are women like me raising two girls supposed to talk about the state of politics in America today when someone like that is running against their mom."

Again, everyday lingerie party's have a long history...

Yet the "boys will be boys" Trumpsterites like Rebecca Kleefisch can't help but remind us how she and others in her party have normalized "locker room talk" and inappropriate aggressive behavior...
The Wisconsin Republican Party has not condemned Trump after he's made numerous derogatory comments about women, including when he referred to porn actress Stormy Daniels as "Horseface.""I won't take lectures from a Republican Party whose standard bearer today called a woman 'Horseface,'" Barnes said. Evers has been critical of Walker for supporting Brett Kavanaugh's appointment to the Supreme Court, saying he believed the woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault decades ago.

When a top Fox News executive was drummed out for having covered up so many sexual harassment charges that his ongoing employment was a huge legal liability, the White House snapped him up.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Kleefisch says it's Dangerous to trust Evers on Gas Tax Promise till after election, but says Trust Us on Preexisting Condition Coverage after the election?

Sometimes, it's hard knowing where to start.

Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch are running on the promise they will pay for and cover preexisting conditions with some kind high-risk pool that would require notoriously high premium costs, deductibles, and lifetime limits. It passed the state Assembly. There is this one big problem though...
To keep things the same, the state would have to spend (state) tax dollars on pre-existing conditions because federal subsidies would be gone.
Now for the kicker: Walker says, trust him...the details and costs will be hammered out after the problem right?

Dangerous if Evers doesn't provide Gas Tax Details: In what I would call a jaw-dropping moment of hypocrisy and a revealing bit of projection, Kleefisch made an unusual demand of Tony Evers on the gas tax; give us a dollar amount. Then Kleefisch successfully slipped in the name 'Nancy Pelosi" while ironically bringing up the ACA health care bill to make my followup point:
Kleefisch: "He says he's not going to be specific until after the inauguration. That's basically like Nancy Pelosi's well you can read it after it's been passed. I think that's really dangerous that we're supposed to elect someone and then we'll find out his policy view later."

Dangerous if Walker doesn't provide Preexisting Condition Details? NOPE. Kleefisch not only doesn't provide the Walker administrations "policy views" on preexisting conditions but when asked by Mike Gousha if insurance companies would have to cover prescription drugs, she doesn't even know what's in the Assembly bill that passed. Again, you can't make this stuff up, and Republican voters don't care:

Kleefisch: "I would have to look at the bill language that is going to be passed...I can't guarantee what the Senate will pass and the Assembly will pass when he calls the extra session is going to be identical..." 
Beautiful. It's time again for Walker to put Kleefisch in hiding till after the election.

AG Brad Schimel defense of joining Exxon lawsuit "one of the loonier things I’ve heard,” says fellow attorney.

Just a quick reason why AG Brad Schimel is all politics and partisan arm of Scott Walker's political agenda:

JS: The cases, and others, have raised questions by critics who say such legal forays by the Department of Justice have little or no connection to Wisconsin and are chiefly designed to further Republican causes.

The briefs range from opposing efforts in Maryland to remove a cross-shaped monument on public land to taking on the Democratic attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts, who claim oil giant ExxonMobil defrauded shareholders by downplaying risks of climate change regulation.

With ExxonMobil, Wisconsin joined with Texas and 10 other states in a brief this year, they accused New York and Massachusetts of “unrestrained investigative excursions” of the oil company, and promoting only “one side of an international policy debate.” Wisconsin and the other states argued that “scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind, as do many others.”
I hope you're sitting down. Even a D.C. attorney on Schimel's side had to laugh:

Schimel said he worries if Exxon Mobil is found liable for climate change damages, states like Wisconsin could be next. “We provided the infrastructure for all of these vehicles that travel around,” Schimel said. “That liability is too much of a live wire. It’s too unpredictable.”

Several attorneys who have handled climate-related litigation said ...“Wow,” Megan Brown, a Washington, D.C. lawyer who, like Schimel, filed a brief in support of Exxon Mobil. “That’s one of the loonier things I’ve heard.” Road-building involves so many public and private entities, it would be next to impossible to prove global warming was caused by a state, said Brown,

Gov. Scott Walker signed off on Schimel’s brief. Walker didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Of course, Walker wouldn't answer any questions about Schimel's ridiculous reason for joining a lawsuit.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Walker economy bonus?

Trump blamed others, encouraging the next mass bombings of his enemies.

Trump took no blame for the attempted mass assassination mailings yesterday against HIS political opponents. He instead blamed everyone, including the enemies in the press, for everything.

In an apparent swipe at Democrats, Trump denounced those who “carelessly compare political opponents to historical villains” and who “mob people in public places or destroy public property.”  

Trump: "There is one way to settle our disagreements. It’s called, “peacefully, at the ballot box.” As part of a larger national effort to bridge our divides and bring people together, the media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks. … What we cannot do is let our differences about policy tear us apart as a country, can’t do that. We must accept the verdicts of elections.
Oh sure, just like when Republicans accepted electing Barack Obama, and had a secret meeting to stop the president's re-election by opposing his entire agenda...remember Merrick Garland?

Leave it to conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin to clearly define the situation; this was "a coordinated attempt at mass assassination." The video first features Trump's inciting his mob:

The media’s false equivalence ignores reality — a president and one party have adopted thuggishness, threats, bigotry and admiration for violence as mainstays of their rhetoric. It’s not both sides that have taken to encouraging violence; it’s the Republican Party. It’s not both parties that treat the media as a threat to the United States; it’s only the Republicans. It’s not both sides of the aisle that call to lock up their opponents; only Trump does that.

In the wake of the attempted assassinations — isn’t that what you call sending explosive devices to public figures? — of former president Barack Obama, former vice president Joe Biden, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, former attorney general Eric Holder, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) (whom President Trump casts as the embodiment of the Democratic Party) and George Soros, a Jewish billionaire and progressive donor whom Trump recently accused of paying women to protest against Brett Kavanaugh, as well as the attempted bombing of CNN offices in New York, we need to speak clearly and unequivocally, starting with words such as “attempted assassination” and “domestic terrorism.”

Trump, Walker, Viewk-marrrr...and there's no way Republicans will fund coverage for preexisting conditions.

Trump hit the stump in Wisconsin yesterday for Scott Walker, Leah Viewk-Mar (as Trump would say), and messed it up beautifully, really beautifully, you know what I'm talking, it's a great thing. Right? (lets have a talk like Trump day?)

Trump dragged Walker and Viewk-marrrr up to the mic and each one promised to cover preexisting conditions, with Viewk-marrrr saying she would fall in front of a truck before she let people go without coverage.

Well, we all might have to watch her public suicide, especially when things grind to halt after Republicans refuse to pay for such a costly "entitlement." We'll hang their words around their necks, and that's a promise:
Walker: "I want to reinforce it to everyone here in this state and across the country, we will always cover people like my wife with preexisting medical conditions, don't believe the lies...don't believe the lies, we will cover people with preexisting conditions." 

Viewk-marrrr: "The big lie that Scott Walker talked about, Tammy Baldwin is saying that same lie over and over and over again. We support taking care of people with preexisting conditions. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'll fall in front of a truck before I let people go without coverage for preexisting conditions." 
My favorite part, besides talking like a pirate, arrrr, was Trump's imagined "conversation" if Walker lost the election:
Trump: "He'll call up if he doesn't make it. "Hello, is the president there?" "Oh, who's calling?" "Scott Walker." "Didn't he lose? Yea, I'll talk to him in a few months."

Republicans were so opposed to the ACA that they didn't bother to learn one thing about health care and the major issue writing ObamaCare; covering preexisting conditions. Obama settled on the actual insurance model of spreading the risk by pooling everyone together into the largest group possible.

If Republicans require insurance coverage, with no rate increase, insurance companies will go bankrupt. MSNBC's Business Insider Josh Barro summed it up this way about what we'd have to do for mandated coverage; require a whole list of other safeguards to prevent insurer bankruptcy:
Barro: " you have to impose all these other rules, layer them on top of each other, and when you've done it, you've basically rebuilt ObamaCare...if you want the preexisting condition protections, you have to take a lot of the other big government stuff the Republican hate." 

Trump's Canadian Dairy agreement of "little use...too small and too far in the future to help." GOP doing nothing about Rural Broadband!!!

It turns out, Trump is gaslighting farmers for their vote and sending them a $12 billion bride for good measure. But will rural communities and dairy farmers let some city huckster con them?

Trump's trumped-up NAFTA renegotiation is a major swing and a miss, doing almost nothing, and get this, the tariffs Mexico and Canada slapped on ag, pork, and dairy products are still in place because of Trump's steel tariffs.

Trump's Smoke and Mirrors meant to deceive Dairy/AG Farmers Exposed: Why rural voters keep coming back to the Republicans for a few relaxed regulations, bad roads, and lousy broadband coverage is a mystery to me:
1. The renegotiated trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada is of little use to the dairy farmers Trump insisted on helping, Federal Reserve banks in the Midwest are reporting.

2. Gains from the new agreement are seen as “too small and too far in the future to help dairy farmers,” the Chicago Fed reported in the central bank’s periodic report on economic conditions across its 12 districts.

3. The Chicago Fed reports “dairy farmers continued to struggle,” and Canada and Mexico kept their tariffs on pork, dairy and other agricultural products that they imposed in retaliation for Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum products imported to the U.S.

4. The Minneapolis Fed reported that “a substantial number of dairy operations have exited the business since the beginning of the year.”
Broken Rural Broadband Promise makes things Worse...thank you Republicans: At the same time Trump put farmers on the frontline in his trade war, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is putting off broadband rollout until he can put together perfect rural broadband maps that accurately show how bad the problem really is...I wish I were kidding: 

The FCC's current broadband maps grossly misstate where internet or wireless service exists and where it doesn't. One of the major reasons: The FCC has relied on wireless and broadband companies to report … but the agency doesn't check the data … providers only need to report advertised maximum speeds and not actual speeds.
 Pai blames the previous Democrat-led administration for creating the problem and says his administration has been left to clean up the mess. But he says this process will take some time to play out. "The maps as they currently stand aren't perfect," Pai said. "But our goal is to make sure with respect to wireless connectivity that we have a clear-cut idea about where those connections are and where they aren't."
 Republicans aren't that into you (rural voters) either:
The Trump ... infrastructure proposal called for $50 billion in rural spending, including on broadband, but so far neither his budget nor the Republican Congress have allocated additional funds for rural broadband deployment.

At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in early October, Democrats and Republicans were critical of cuts the FCC has made to a program funded through its Universal Service Fund, which reimburses some of the costs for phone companies offering broadband in rural communities. Committee Chairman John Thune said Pai had committed to conducting a "thorough economic analysis on funding cuts" ... But no analysis has occurred and that cuts had increased by almost 25 percent.
Pai believes the "trickle-down theory" for rural high-speed broadband could work? Imagine what a smaller corporate tax cut and more revenue money going to total broadband coverage in the U.S.:
Pai argues that if the FCC limits the fees that big cities can charge wireless companies to deploy their 5G infrastructure, these carriers will be more willing to plow that money into rural broadband. But critics called this a false premise and does nothing more than strip local communities of negotiating power. "Saving money in New York of Los Angeles has zero impact on investment in Montana."

But pushing fiber closer to customers or directly to their door is expensive. An FCC report estimated it would take $40 billion to expand internet access to cover 98 percent of Americans and another $40 billion to deliver broadband to 100 percent of the US population. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Trump a Nationalist, Environmentalist...babbles on and on and Texas Mob Cheers!!!

Have you noticed how Trump's daily disasters, one breathless moment after another, has allowed Congress to do absolutely nothing policy-wise? This occurred to me when I was reading...

From the environment to energy to immigration to trade to health care...these are all controversial Trump edicts and department policy changes affecting the country and our way of life, conveniently bypassing Congress on everything.

And Trump voters don't give a rats ass:
Trump Losers: "I love everything that comes out of his mouth...."It doesn't matter what he says, we'll support it"... "I'm a Trumpett, I'll support anything, yes." 

They'll love the following then...

1. Air Pollution? You can thank Trump who says "I am truly an environmentalist:"
MSNBC: Donald Trump has been alarmingly aggressive in going after environmental safeguards, relaxing pollution rules in the name of economic progress. The New York Times reported the Republican’s EPA “predicts its plan will see between 470 and 1,400 premature deaths annually by 2030.” Trump promoted a photoshopped global map that offered proof that the United States, “by far,” has the “Cleanest Air in the World.” Is this true? Alas, no. For one thing, the map pointed to air quality in 2016, which meant Trump was actually bragging about Obama-era air.

It’s against this backdrop that the president wants to be seen as, as Trump puts it, “an environmentalist. 
"When you talk about environmental, I am truly an environmentalist. A lot of people smile when they hear that. But I have the cleanest air, and I’m going to have the cleanest air.” 
2. Environmentalist Trump? Then who needs EPA's Science Advisor?
NPR: Under Administrator Pruitt, the EPA restricted the types of scientific studies it recognizes. And Pruitt also appointed several scientists who work for industries the EPA regulates.

3. Trump "takes" Time: This is a weird thing to go after, but heck, while Trump is tearing everything else apart, why not?

Marketplace: Meteorologists use the signals to track weather systems, utility companies rely on them to keep the electrical grid in sync, and medical institutions and broadcasters use them to keep their clocks accurate to within less than a second. Ham radio hobbyists use the stations to calibrate their equipment. One of them has started a petition to protect the stations from cuts.

They also worry that the cuts will lead to the elimination of a third station that keeps clocks in sync. WWVB is used to automatically synchronize millions of wall clocks and watches in schools, hospitals, and homes nationwide.  Allan McCormick’s company, LaCrosse Technology, manufactures and sells those devices. He says if all three government time signals were eliminated, his company's products would go haywire. 
4. Trump Borrowing pays for Tax Cuts: Don't say we didn't warn you...
5. Trump tells Drooling Mob he's a Nationalists!!! This isn't a surprise and predictably a moment for the proud white despicables to cheer. When this ride is over, I will personally show them no mercy:
“A globalist is a person who wants the globe to do well — frankly, not caring about our country so much,” Trump told the Texans, reaching for a word that’s long been a favorite of those who believe there’s an international conspiracy led by Jews. “And you know what, we can’t have that. … You know what I am? I’m a nationalist. Use that word.” Thousands of dangerous extreme right-wingers, from Nuremberg to Charlottesville, have flown the banner of “nationalism” — but never before with a presidential seal of approval. And the crowd went wild, chanting, “USA! USA!”

7 years later, Scott Walker can't stop talking about, and still blames Gov. Doyle for Republican Great Recession, Job Losses, and State Deficit...Part 2!

Here we go again.

Yes, Scott Walker is once again blaming the Great Recession on the Democrats, and this time he's throwing in higher taxes for the heck of it. From WISC TV:
Walker: "Tony's taxes would be a recipe for a RETURN TO RECESSION. We can't have that mistake. We saw in this county when I was running 8 years ago, unemployment was over 11 percent..."

Walker has been blaming the Democrats for the Republicans Great Recession for years, something I've been documenting right here time and time again, with little or no effect. The news media doesn't think it's important to correct him, so he just keeps repeating the lie. Here's what Walker said last year:

It's surreal watching Walker try to brand the greatest deregulatory-"free market"-economic-global collapse since the Great Depression all on the Democrats.

Politifact set the record straight back in March of 2014 when Walker lied about it, and then blamed the GOP's Great Recession job losses on Gov. Doyle/Mary Burke:
Did Burke, as state Commerce secretary under Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, throw Wisconsin for a six-digit jobs loss?

A September 2013 item from PolitiFact Wisconsin, we rated Mostly False a Walker claim that Doyle’s policies cost the state 133,000 jobs in his second term, from 2007 through 2010. Walker, we noted, got the number right. But experts said the national economic crash had far more to do with Wisconsin’s job losses during that period than any state policies. Indeed, Wisconsin actually fared somewhat better than the rest of the country.
Scott Walker hasn't deviated one bit from the same policies that brought us the Great Recession. Even a shaken Alan Greenspan realized his ideological principles failed miserably. Here's that moment of sanity I'm still clinging to:

For Walker, it's more tax cuts and borrowing, all the while the public lets another service or social benefit slip away. This is what energizes their base. But one Republican and vocal opponent of these policies said it best below. Bruce Bartlett explains how the Clinton tax increase would have wiped out our debt by now:

AG Schimel bumbling, Delays DNA testing...again!!!

Even before he had a chance to get reelected, and after downplaying how badly he botched the backlog of rape kits to be tested, AG Brad Schimel is again falling way behind testing DNA crime evidence, delaying those cases and impeding investigations. So are Republican voters paying attention? JS
A backlog of months-old DNA evidence has continued to grow to nearly 800 cases. Attorney General Brad Schimel, who oversees the state crime labs, released new figures Friday about the tests, about four weeks after USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin requested them under open records laws.

Schimel faced criticism from his opponent, Democrat Josh Kaul, over crime lab delays. 

When the Republican entered office in 2015, DNA evidence rarely took more than two months to test. Now, about half of all DNA tests take at least two months and hundreds of cases typically take more than three months — potentially slowing police investigations or court cases that rely on DNA.
Here's an interactive graph tracking Schimel bumbling:

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Con Man TrumpCare plan blasts off....feeling lucky? You'll need lots of it.

Officially, TrumpCare is here, ready fix what it has already broken:
New State Relief and Empowerment Waiver Guidance Gives States Tools to Help Fix Broken Health Insurance Markets-Clear vision from President Trump: Make health insurance more affordable and accessible by expanding choice, reviving competition, and deregulating and devolving to the states the authority and flexibility ... and promote consumer-driven healthcare.
This plays on the theme that people are biologically different once you step over the state line. As I recently posted regarding "States should tailor their own plans:" Nothing could sound dumber. Is cancer in Iowa different from cancer in Wisconsin or Texas. That's because it's laughably ridiculous.

48 Million Uninsured before the ACA/ObamaCare: The ACA knocked that down to 28.5 million. Trump's CMS claimed, "a one-size-fits-all set of federal regulations put a straightjacket on state innovation," what that meant was instituting costly high-risk pools, stripped down junk insurance policies, lifetime caps, and a whole maze of exceptions and requirements you'll only learn about once you get sick or turn in a claim. And "innovation" has nothing to do with curing diseases, they were talking about making money on the sick and dying.

Here's the breathtaking step back to a time when 48 million didn't have health insurance and millions more would be added each year. I will provide the "result:"
1. The new guidance implements an access standard requiring states to provide access to the same level of coverage. Thus, if someone freely opts for coverage with a lower premium, the guardrails remain satisfied even though the chosen coverage might be less comprehensive.
Result: The Grand Illusion...a person with barely any coverage counts as a person with health care insurance, skewing the numbers so that it looks like a greater percentage of the population has insurance.
2. The Departments will judge a waiver for how it impacts the population as a whole, which will free states from the impractical, virtually unattainable standards on covering specific populations the previous guidance required.
Result: Segregating the sick and dying from the healthier pool of Americans.
3.  The new guidance continues to require that a comparable number of people remain covered, but the guidance broadens the definition of coverage to include more types of coverage, such as more affordable, short-term plans.
Result: IMPORTANT: This rule eliminates coverage for preexisting conditions. Again, you're considered covered even with a temp or stripped down version of insurance. Trump will be able to manufacture the illusion that more people have insurance.
4. States can now consider options to create and implement a new subsidy structure that changes the distribution of subsidy funds compared to the current federal Premium Tax Credit (PTC) structure. A state may design a subsidy structure that meets the unique needs of its population in order to provide more affordable healthcare options for a wider range of individuals and address structural issues that create perverse incentives, such as the “subsidy cliff.”
Result: The tax credit your getting may be changed. It could get a lot smaller for those with lower incomes spreading the credits out to higher incomes, which would make tax credits inconsequential for all premiums while including higher incomes.
5. More affordable health insurance is, of course, more accessible health insurance, which should help drive down the number of people that continue to go uninsured.
Result: This upside-down nonsense passes for policy? Sounds more like a line from Humpty Dumpty in Alice through the Looking Glass. Sadly, voters will only gasp in panic when it's already too late to change what they didn't understand the first time.