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?”