Sunday, December 29, 2019

Americans credit Trump for Great Economy? Reality paints entirely different picture!

So far, Trump cultists and former Democratic voters are happy with Trump's great economy, the same economy the media and GOP mislabeled as stagnant. They're still saying it, Fox News Dec. 28, 2019:

Great Recession denier Walker went on to blame the recessions high unemployment numbers on Obama and his predecessor Democratic Gov. Doyle. Yup, the media let him get away with it.

It's time to take a closer look, with facts that completely contradict Trump's ridiculous lies and tweets he repeats constantly at rallies.

1. President Trump's tariffs on imports ultimately led to 62,000 job losses and $7.1 billion in higher prices for consumers and business, a new study from the Federal Reserve has found:

2. Fewer Jobs Created than Obama, so not the best after all: Trump’s job growth falls short of Obama’s last three years

3. Corporate Welfare thanks to Trump Tax Cuts...still like his economy?
379 corporations paid effective fed tax rate of 11.3 percent. In total, 379 corporations enjoyed $73.9 billion dollars in corporate welfare ... ITEP says that 25 of the largest corporations made up half—$37.1 billion—of those pocketed tax dollars.
4. Trump Economy and Tax Cut Never helped "forgotten" Middle Class: 

5. Americans happy with Science Free Economic Future: Read below and you'll notice farming, mostly dairy farming, will ironically suffer most: Like journalist Jay Rosen tweeted, this is just one of many issues: 
"The refusal to be briefed, the attacks on the intelligence agencies, the put down of the diplomatic corps, the sidelining of science, the rejection of professionalism and expertise across government, the culture war against the press. It's all one thing."
"...relocated two key research agencies to Kansas City from Washington: The National Institute of Food and Agriculture, funds university research on topics like how to breed cattle and corn that can better tolerate drought conditions, and the Economic Research Service, whose economists produce studies for policymakers on farming trends, trade and rural America.

Nearly 600 employees had less than four months to decide whether to uproot and move. Most couldn’t or wouldn’t, and two-thirds of those facing transfer left their jobs.

Mick Mulvaney appeared to celebrate the departures. “It’s nearly impossible to fire a federal worker,” he said in videotaped remarks. “But by simply saying to people, ‘You know what, we’re going to take you outside the bubble, outside the Beltway, outside this liberal haven of Washington, D.C., and move you out in the real part of the country,’ and they quit. What a wonderful way to sort of streamline government..."

At the Economic Research Service, dozens of planned studies into topics like dairy industry consolidation and pesticide use have been delayed or disrupted.
6. Like Paul Ryan, Trump knows more than the Pope and is a better "Christian:"

6. Trump wasted "Best economy Ever" and never invested in Future
The nation wasted the major economic recovery, according to a new report by Harvard Business School on U.S. competitiveness.
“We had this wonderful recovery. It could have given us the chance to take some significant resources and devote them to some of our well-known challenges, like infrastructure or health care...none of that happened. Instead, we squandered a major economic recovery and didn’t use it to make things better,” said Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter, a co-author of the study.

The overwhelming majority of business leaders surveyed in the report said lobbying primarily advanced company interests, sometimes at the expense of the public interest. More than half (56%) of the general public agreed. Corporations spent an estimated $2.8 billion on federal elections in 2018, according to OpenSecrets; 71% of business leaders surveyed in the report believe the overall business community’s election spending distorted the democratic process, while 60% of the public agreed, according to HBS.

“Employees are getting dragged into this game,” he said, adding: “We don’t see that as democratic principles. We think that’s not democracy where your employer is telling you how to vote and telling you where to give money.”

While unemployment is at a record low and stocks are at record highs, wealth inequality persists. In fact, 65% of HBS alumni ages 18-44 said the U.S. should use the tax system to undertake more redistribution toward lower-income individuals.

“There’s lots of areas where the narrative isn’t exactly right,” Porter said. “For example, we have a lot of people employed, but there’s a lot of data that shows that the people employed are often not getting a living wage, or they’re not being paid for their qualifications. A lot of college graduates in jobs that don’t really compensate them for what they know.”

Porter said the real unemployment rate is closer to 10%

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Government can't reduce Mass Shootings and Gun Violence, "that human beings have to fix"?

To avoid effective gun regulation, Republicans have focused all their energy on mental health treatment. Or so they wanted us to think. That ended abruptly when Republicans were asked to prove their case.

Note: Republicans want to make it perfectly clear they are not proposing mental health solutions for gun violence AFTER a mass shootings. Got that? It's always good to wait...
Rep. Paul Tittl, chairman of the Assembly’s mental health committee ... said a package of mental health bills that he and other Republican lawmakers and advocates unveiled was part of a years long push to improve mental health services and not a response to the shootings this month in Texas and Ohio that left 31 people dead.

“We have cared all along about mental health,” Tittl said. “This is not a reaction at all to any of the shootings. This is basically a reaction to what we’re working on.” 
Lie finally Revealed at fake stall tactic to do nothing at all: I could have searched out so many more past comments but you get the idea. Republicans latched onto this excuse because the press never confronted them about how phony their argument was; only 3 to 5 percent of gun violence has anything to do with mental health. Even worse, Republicans were making getting health insurance more difficult and unaffordable.

The Truth; Republicans were lying, again: Suddenly, Republicans realized they were already "throwing more money at the problem," so it's time to move on I guess:
WPR: The Republican leader of the state Assembly said Thursday GOP lawmakers won't vote to increase state mental health funding as a means of combating gun violence in Wisconsin ... GOP lawmakers have for months countered Democratic arguments for expanding background checks and instating a red-flag law with the possibility of increasing state mental health resources and programs. They have argued that mental health crises are often the root cause of shootings.
"We have already done a lot on mental health. I think there’s a lot of things that play into what’s happening. It isn’t as simple as snapping our fingers and putting more money into a problem." - Republican Speaker Robin Vos
After the fact Punishment, No Prevention. Get this...Robin Vos thinks government is not controlled by "human beings."
"An awful lot of these (shootings) come from a young person who’s in an incredibly bad place, either suicidal, lonely, disconnected ... ...those are things that human beings have to fix, governments not going to do it." 

Rest Easy, Republicans have a Plan: Vos admits, people will die, but those who commit crimes will be appropriately punished.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Trump Cultist challenge: Read the Transcript!

If Trump does win reelection, it should be comforting to know these brilliant "real American" Trump cultists are now in charge of our country. There may come a time when we won't think this is weird anymore!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Ryan admits, Gerrymandering games elections, makes voting pointless, and forces "conservative principles" on everyone! Real freedom!

Republicans are convinced voters can't pick their politicians, so they're picking them instead. There's a danger in un-gerrymandered districts that could put families in danger from the sinister schemes spread by liberalism. Whatever happened to having better ideas that appeal to most voters?  
WSJ: Paul Ryan ... should support a nonpartisan process for drawing fair voting districts, such as Iowa’s good-government model. Instead, the former speaker of the House is doubling down on gerrymandering ... He’s joining the Republican State Leadership Committee’s fight to defend “RighLines 2020” initiative (with John Boehner and Newt Gingrich). Ryan will help raise millions of dollars “to protect Republican legislative majorities ahead of the decennial redrawing of federal and state district maps.” Seven states are being targeted, including Wisconsin.
Let's break Ryan's comments down...
“The threat this poses to the conservative principles that guide our country"

Those are OUR guiding principles? What were those again...and who thinks that?
"...and the policies that keep our families safe..."

Thoughts and prayers, because it works? It does? Like doing nothing about 40,000 gun deaths a year, refusing to discuss common sense gun laws, and heck, who doesn't love those active shooter drills in our schools? 
"...(keep our families) healthy..."
Like declaring the ACA unconstitutional, like trying to require work for Medicaid coverage, doing nothing about drug prices, allowing co-pays and deductibles to skyrocket, and adding to the confusing maze of programs no one in their right mind would understand much less utilize. 
...(and keep our families) working cannot be overstated." 

Like our dairy and ag farmers, factory workers, who are all threatened by tariffs, low pay and no benefits...not to mention doing nothing about a dramatically changing workplace tech driven economy? 

Ryan wants to protect states from.."liberal gerrymandering...” because liberal Americans are bad, should be silenced, marginalized, and never have a chance to be elected? And this sounds right to conservative voters. Ryan wants to make gerrymandering normal:
In the 2012 election, a majority of Americans voted for Democratic congressional candidates. But with the help of Republican gerrymanders in states in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and other states Obama carried, the GOP won the overwhelming majority of those House districts and kept its majority. 

One estimate found that Democrats would have needed to win the popular vote by more than 7 points to gain a House majority. The RSLC bragged openly that its 2010 efforts made that happen. 

Boehner warned that "President Obama and Eric Holder failed to transform America into a socialist utopia when they were in office, but they’ve clearly not given up just yet. They’ve recruited liberal billionaires, labor unions, and left-wing activist groups to join them in a coordinated program to rig our nation’s legislative boundaries in favor of Democrats."

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Trump's Booming Jobs Numbers are fake, a lie, unbelievable, total nonsense?

We all saw the headlines...

The economy seems to be chugging along without any threatening tech or housing bubble. Even Trump's mindless tariff debacles don't seem to be moving the needle much either.

But then something jogged my memory...

I completely forgot the following Trump claim that Obama's job creation numbers were made up, phony, and just more fake news. All in with Chris Hayes did an entire piece on this Friday night.

Here's candidate Trump's lies about Obama's phony jobs numbers. Also remember Sean Spicer was asked about Trump's lies at a press conference, which he was ready for with this quoted supplied by Trump: "They may have been phony in the past, but it's very real now." Ha, ha? Yes, the truth seeking press core just laughed it off.

The video proof...still believed today:

So I thought, what if I confronted my Trump cultist friend in Milwaukee with the same rhetoric? What would he say. Here's our text conversation, with my comments in blue...:

And yes, I will continue this line of bullshit until he catches on, or even maybe reads my blog. Try it out on someone you know too, it's fun.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Republicans think U.S. Health Care is Normal and should be Profitable?

While my Trump cultist friend in Milwaukee is as happy to see Wall Street and black employment up "like never before," he's one of millions being told; be happy, this is normal and will be protected by Republicans only if we do nothing.

The U.S. Health Care Horror: The surreal idea Republicans have for our private health care system: It's good now but could be better if free market competition and profits were allowed to flourish. It's supposedly normal to have only one month to shop for insurance, pay higher monthly premiums, co-pays and deductibles, all the while trying to decide if you can afford to use your insurance when you finally need it. Does that make sense, seriously?

Here's a great summary from an actual doctor and medical journalist, Elisabeth Rosenthal, from Kaiser Health:
There’s one issue that nearly every American can agree on: Our health care system is a mess and in need of dramatic overhaul. That’s not just because it is absurdly expensive compared with the systems of other developed countries. It’s also because it is so dauntingly complex ... driven significantly by profit, rather than by measures of health. Countless providers, companies, consultants and intermediaries are trying to get their piece of the $3.5 trillion pie that is U.S. health care. That has led to a maze-like system — with twists and turns and barriers and blind alleys and incomprehensible signposts — that ordinary people are expected to navigate. We say ... our system gives consumers choices. We tell people that to benefit they just need to be smarter shoppers. What we are really telling them is to perform the impossible.
Any adult whose seen a doctor, whether for themselves or their kids, has experienced much or all of the following "choices:"
"Choose an insurance policy; endless permutations involving personal budget calculations and modeling that would defy a post-doc in economics; in-network deductible and an out-of-network deductible; copays and coinsurance (yes, they’re different); as well as an annual maximum personal out-of-pocket outlay; choose between a PPO and an HMO; a tax-advantaged flexible spending account or health savings account; rigged against patients thanks largely to its opacity and complexity; Insurance plans can refuse to pre-certify a prescribed treatment or decide it was not medically necessary and deny coverage after the fact; complexity grew out of financial considerations; All the players are effectively licensed to reach into our wallets when they can’t get the money they want from one another."
A few more important final thoughts: 
"We’ve turned somersaults not to do what almost every other developed country has done; restrain charges by setting prices or by large-scale national negotiations. “Innovation” in our profit-oriented system is not just about developing lifesaving treatments, but also about inventing new ways to bill and new charges that don’t exist elsewhere.

Americans trying to be smart shoppers are understandably confused about navigating the open enrollment season, as they are doing currently. And just when they have figured it out for one year, they have to do it all over again. The odds of success are small."

The reason the Deer kill is down again...

Vos' petty Holiday Wishes...

Ain't room enough for the two of them...

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Trump critics "no angels..."

Eat diseased deer, because fear mongering "individuals with political and social agendas are using this situation to their benefit"?

The Trump age of living dangerously is here! It would be oddly comical if it weren't so absurdly reckless.

The right-wing "in-your-face" fusion of defiance and fantasy world nonsense is replacing actual science and common sense with the more intangible "gut feeling."

Take a look at what we're now being told are "fake" CWD warnings that run counter to what most people think:
A Poll shows that of the people who have heard of CWD, 64% feel it represents a threat to the future of deer hunting in Wisconsin.
The poll reflects the declining deer kill and hunter participation we've seen in Wisconsin.

Scott Walker's Anecdotal policy using Hunter anger to abandon CWD control! Chronic wasting disease kills deer...or does it? If a deer dies in the woods, will anybody know? Apparently not. Maloney's Baloney meat locker wasn't going to let scary science deter the Trumpian urge to eat diseased animals:
The owners of a Durand meat locker are taking a stand against what they view as misleading hype about chronic wasting disease ... Maloney’s Baloney posted on its Facebook site recently that the shop “will NOT process your whole deer if you choose to or are FORCED by the DNR to test your deer for CWD.”

"Those benefiting from such programs," like those "wealthy" DNR scientists combating the spread of CWD? This is the same tactic right-wingers have been using against green energy supporters, claiming a global conspiracy to bankrupt big oils billionaire CEO's. Welcome the new era of stupid:
Dawn Endle, who has co-owned the processor for 21 years with her husband, Jeff, said they don’t believe the neurological disease is harming Wisconsin’s deer herd or that it has the potential to harm humans who consume venison from an infected animal.

“There’s no reason to do this hysteria thing and scare people away from eating the healthiest meat in the world,” Dawn Endle said.

That opinion runs counter to the advice espoused by health officials, even though there has never been a documented case of a human contracting CWD ... she believes all of the taxpayer money being spent on CWD testing and research is a waste because it doesn’t matter how widespread the disease is if it doesn’t threaten humans or appear to be killing wild deer.
CWD doesn't appear to be killing wild deer??? Science based warnings and the idea of eating diseased meat is unfairly "ruining a great Wisconsin tradition?"
“We are not scared of CWD whatsoever,” she said. “We are sick of bureaucrats scaring people and ruining a great Wisconsin tradition.”
The disease is now out of control thanks to Scott Walker. The video below even shows that. Here's a clip from WPT's Here and Now:

Friday, November 22, 2019

It could be a Wonderful Life...

To survive, Trump voters in small Florida town turn to socialism, and it's working. It's okay this time.

Nothing is more convenient than conservative hypocrisy. But remember, they're the real Americans with a much higher calling than their "liberal" enemies.  

Let's go to Baldwin, Fla. where Mayor Sean Lynch gave town residents a taste of socialism in their government owned grocery store. What-a-ya know. 

Now, all of a sudden, their idea of socialism isn't really that kind of socialism, not if they can save time and help their town survive. 

Good ol' capitalism decided there wasn't enough money to be made in rural Baldwin, so see ya later, time for them to wither away and die. Best system in the world, right?

You really can't make this stuff up:

WaPo: People in Baldwin, Fla., (saw) the only grocery store in town shut down. Abandoned by mainstream supermarkets whose business models don’t have room for low profit margins, Baldwin is trying something different. At the Baldwin Market, all of the employees are on the municipal payroll, from the butcher to the cashiers.

In many rural, conservative communities struggling to hang on to their remaining residents, ideological arguments about the role of government tend to be cast aside as grocery stores shutter because of population decline and competition from superstores.
By definition, a collectively owned, government-run enterprise like the Baldwin Market is inherently socialist. 
Oh, but these rabid Trump voters have a good excuse and higher calling, so it's alright...
But Lynch, who governs a town where 68 percent of residents voted for Donald Trump in 2016, doesn’t see it that way. From his point of view, the town is just doing what it’s supposed to do: providing services to residents who already pay enough in taxes.

“We take the water out of the ground, and we pump it to your house and charge you,” he told The Post. “So what’s the difference with a grocery store?”
But socialism is a disaster and a failure where ever it's been tried?
So far, though, the experiment has been a success. The town council had hoped to take in $3,500 a day, and sales have routinely exceeded that, Lynch says. “Fundamentally, what you have is people that have lived in these rural communities all their lives, and they want these rural communities to survive,” Procter said. “And they realize that without access to food, they’re not going to survive.”
You can say the same for health care? But socialism this time is okay. Got it.
Matt Bruenig, the founder of the People’s Policy Project, a socialist think tank, likens it to having a “public option” for health care. “The idea that a municipality should have to beg private companies to provide basic goods and services to its people is absurd. And being able to say ‘we will just do it ourselves’ is very powerful.”

Friday, November 15, 2019

...little noticed Wisconsin Republican rules for Gov. Evers, leaked.

Second Amendment Sanctuaries? There really is nothing that can embarrass Wisconsin Republicans?

Trump has made "bold" and "telling it like it is" a lawless centerpiece of the new juvenile lurch even further right for conservatives bullies in Wisconsin.

While sanctuary cities never violated any actual  laws, making cities-towns-villages "Second Amendment sanctuaries" is not just illegal, but claims they can bypass the judicial system to say whether guns laws are "constitutional" or not.

This is a new phase of lunacy that will only get worse:
The Florence County Board unanimously approved a resolution that "affirms its support of the Sheriff to exercise sound discretion to not enforce against any citizens an unconstitutional firearms law."

The resolution state’s any state legislation restricting the possession and use of firearms, magazines, ammunition or body armor would be infringing on citizens’ Second Amendment rights. It also cites requirements of firearms owner identification cards or firearms or ammunition taxes as examples of laws that the county Sheriff could choose not to enforce."
Really, the Constitution guarantees a right to magazines, ammo, and body armor? Yup, exactly how the 2nd Amendment reads. It only took Wisconsin 8 years to resemble far right-wing southern states:

...received interest from a local government official in Arkansas.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Late-Stage Capitalism, twists our thinking, and gives us the right to hurt others

If you've noticed, I haven't been blogging much lately. I've been distracted by bigger societal concepts that I'm finding aren't easily explained. But as a lifelong Wisconsinite, one issue does hit closer to home.

The bottom line is this: The fight to change Wisconsin is nearly impossible now, not that anyone should stop trying. Real change is at least 10 to 20 years off, so if you're already over 50, what we have now isn't going to change much.

Scott Walker's Wisconsin has always been ahead of Trump's dystopian authoritarian movement nationwide. The state is now sealed up tight by confident gerrymandered Republicans who can spitefully and arrogantly block every move by elected Democrats. And right-wing voters won't vote against their own party, ever. 

Lost Decade and More...: Wisconsin's "real Americans" have made it perfectly clear; if we don't like it here we should leave. In other words, "liberals" should give up on over 50 years of investment in our families and homes, all treasured values made as irrelevant and worthless as downloadable music. The "radical liberal" agenda has been stopped, so we can preserve our amazingly perfect state.

Enter...The Thinking made possible by Late-Stage Capitalism: The effect on all of us emotionally is a weapon used by Republicans to create fear, division, and mistrust. The following is normalized:
“How is it so many of the poor vote against their economic interests by putting robber baron Republicans into power?” The benefit these Republican voters are getting is a visceral one ... Better a stable world that’s familiar, in which I’m doing pretty poorly, than dealing with all the ambiguity of a changing world. It is catharsis. You get someone who’s good at manipulating those emotions and what they do is to raise every terrifying prospect one could imagine: “We’re being invaded by hordes of rapists and drug dealers, etc. The whole world is laughing at us, but here’s the solution. The solution is me.”
This is the stress that pushes people towards parochialism and banding together with comfortingly similar faces. This type of stress pushes people towards being less empathetic. It pushes towards the worst kinds of stress management, which is scapegoating.
Capitalisms Worst: Welcome to Fitzgerald/Vos's World: How we got here is explained to some degree, and it makes you wonder how we're ever going to pull ourselves out of this deepening resentful morass: 
How capitalism created the post-truth society — and brought about its own undoing: When historians are studying the rise and fall of capitalism, they might look back at Glenn Beck’s 2010 Earth Day meltdown as a seminal moment.

8 years ago Glenn Beck essentially prophesied the brand of spite politics that animates much of the right today. Beck gleefully … turn on as many lights as possible in his home during Earth Hour, and to intentionally pollute as much as possible on Earth Day. “I’m going to burn garbage in my backyard with Styrofoam.” Beck told a caller on his April 22, 2010 radio program, “Have you cut down your Earth Day tree yet and put it in your living room? It’s great.”

Beck seems to believe it is his individual choice — his individual freedom, he believes (or is told to believe), and that burning Styrofoam is somehow as American as apple pie. Beck, of course, doesn’t own the atmosphere. We all have to breathe the same one.

 Yet capitalism begat this culture, this notion that we alone have the individual right to do whatever we want with our time, money, or our lighters — even (or especially) if it hurts others. Capitalism, to function, requires us to collectively deny the sheer idea of the collective good. The ideological core of late capitalism is the supremacy of the belief in one’s individual beliefs and actions — regardless of how they make others suffer, or are morally or factually wrong.

Neoliberal capitalism requires us to have the maximum degree of consumer freedom, yet almost no economic or political freedom. One might come to believe that we have the right to believe whatever we want to — even if those beliefs are immediately provably untrue. Freedom to believe in one’s own, individual universe; freedom to pick and choose facts, and discard those that are disagreeable. My slightly shocking proposition, then, is this: what if capitalism, ultimately, has created its own undoing by normalizing a post-truth society? 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Medicare-for-All new tax a lot less than Health Insurance premiums and other costs now!!

Medicare-for-All already clearly tells us how it will be paid for, so it's was disappointing to see the Democratic presidential contenders ganging up on Elizabeth Warren over how we're going to pay for it when it's already obvious. Some of it will be in the payroll tax, FICA.

What Warren's opponents were suggesting was free health insurance, a pathetic and misleading path to take.

Democrats were saying, especially Beto O'Rourke, that a tax would hurt the lower and middle class.
O’Rourke’s campaign took another swipe at Warren. “Beto has been very clear that he will not raise taxes on those who make less than $250,000 a year.
Uh, everyone who earns an income is already paying a tax for Medicare, and the amount being taxed is dependent on income, so the working poor will not be disproportionally hurt.

But even this doesn't preclude exempting - or even including a progressive fractional percentage - to the lower portion of someone's income.

But to suggest it should be free, with no tax increase, is playing right into the "no tax" ridiculousness of Republican politics. Democrats should be better than this.

Some kind of progressive increase to everyone's FICA tax is a whole lot better and dramatically less costly than...

1. Yearly premium increases.

2. Shopping for insurance.

3. Co-Pays and huge Deductibles.

4. Surprise medical bills.

5. Unaffordable drug prices.

6. Denial of coverage.

7. Increasing employee health care premiums.

8. Forming associations to buy group insurance.

9. Union employees renegotiating insurance coverage.

10. Health care Bankruptcy.

11. The growing number of preventable deaths.

12. Out-of-network costs.

13. Drug Testing.

14. Work Requirements.

15. Continuing to support a horribly broken system.

Plus standardizing the cost of every medical procedure nationwide will go a long way to reform the disproportionate price differences we're now seeing, resulting in medical vacations out of the U.S. and hospital consolidation.

PolitiFact also included this rating:

"For people making between $50,000 and $75,000 a year, their taxes are going up about $5,000 because the fact is, they will pay more in new taxes" for Medicare for All. — Former vice president Joe Biden

This is Mostly False. Biden used an unusual level of specificity ... families making between $50,000 and $75,000 per year ... impact of a 4% income tax, plus a 7.5% payroll tax ... This math is problematic on many levels. For one thing, Sanders’ bill 
doesn’t include any financing mechanism at all.

Another problem is that highlighting the potential tax burden of Medicare for All without discussing overall costs is misleading.

NEW STUDY: Medicare-for-All to cost $32 trillion Saving $900 billion Insuring everyone, 32.2 million more people:

The study from the Urban Institute and the Commonwealth Fund found $32.01 trillion in new federal revenue would be needed similar to the one put forward by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and backed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). 

The flip side is that the study finds the plan would provide large savings to American households, who would no longer have to pay premiums or deductibles for their care, resulting in $886 billion in savings for people over 10 years. The plan would also provide insurance to everyone, reducing the number of uninsured from 32.2 million people to zero, the study found. Proponents like Warren argue that the elimination of premiums and deductibles could balance out the higher taxes.
A few other plans were also studied. Keep in mind, these halfway plans can be made worse by any party opposing universal insurance;
1. A plan that provides a government-run option plus generous government subsidies to help people buy insurance, along the lines of the Biden and Buttigieg plans, would cost $1.3 trillion over 10 years, much less than full-scale Medicare for All. The proposal would reduce the number of uninsured from 32.2 million to 6.6 million people. That proposal would not eliminate premiums and deductibles, though.

2. The study also examined a single-payer “lite” proposal, that would provide less benefits and require some out-of-pocket costs from enrollees, while also not covering people in the country illegally. That scaled-back plan would cost $15.6 trillion over 10 years, about half of the full-scale plan, while providing insurance to everyone in the country legally.
The “lite” proposal would also reduce total U.S. spending on health care by about 6 percent, thanks to lower payments to doctors and hospitals, while the full-scale single-payer proposal would increase total U.S. health care spending by about 20 percent, due in large part to more people gaining coverage and using health care.

Trump's "Winning?" No Coincidence, State Voter Purges used to ensure "Win."

I couldn't help but notice an incredible similarity between these two stories. 

First, from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as many as 234,000 voters could be purged next month in Wisconsin if GOP lawsuit mill Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty get their way:

A conservative group (WILL) is seeking to quickly remove thousands of people from the voting rolls who election officials believe have moved. If the voters do not act, their voter registrations will be suspended after April 2021

Three Wisconsin residents represented by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty filed a complaint with Wis. Election Commission Wednesday demanding that the commission suspend the registrations of voters who do not respond to the letters by next month.

The question over how to treat as many as 234,000 voters comes as Wisconsin emerges as one of the most heavily contested states in next year's presidential election.
 Second, from the NYT, a similar number of voters, 235,000, being purged in Ohio...:
The state of Ohio had released names of 235,000 voters it planned to purge from voter rolls in September. Ms. Miller, director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, believed thousands of voters were about to be wrongly removed. She went online and discovered that her name had also been flagged as an inactive voter.“I voted three times last year,” said Ms. Miller. “I don’t think we have any idea how many other individuals this has happened to.”

The groups said they found the list was riddled with errors. The result: Around 40,000 people, nearly one in five names on the list, shouldn’t have been on it, the state determined.

And voting rights groups found — around 20,000 people — who had been marked to be purged because of inactivity in future election cycles, but were actually active voters in previous Ohio elections. These voters were in Franklin County, a Democratic stronghold in the state.
Ohio's sec. of state Frank LaRose doesn't see a problem with inactive voters...
Mr. LaRose. the state’s top election official, has found himself at odds with Republican colleagues in acknowledging there is no evidence that voter fraud has ever been widespread.
GOP Voter Suppression efforts strike Fear into Voters Confidence in Elections: Here's what Republicans hope will happen:
The experience (Ohio purge attempt) has left some voters like Jennifer Kulina-Lanese, a former veterinary professional, shaken. She got a call from the League of Women Voters shortly after it received the list, informing her that the county where she had voted just last year had started the process for her to be purged.

“I still don’t know why, and that’s what’s scary,” said Ms. Kulina-Lanese, who is 45. “The idea that Franklin County was starting a process to remove me was terrifying. I would have shown up to vote, and I don’t know if I would have been denied.”

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Down the Scott Hole Pt 1: Walker's Memory loss on China...

I took a well-deserved break from the Fitzgerald/Vos/Walker/Trump madness, but...found out there's no escape and they never take a break.

Catching up: Here's an older story I forgot to post but is still relevant to Scott Walker's legacy, after making new comments about empty food shelves and socialism that are embarrassing every Wisconsinite:

Scott Walker has revealed who he really is on twitter over and over again; a political hack lacking any self-awareness. At one time, we didn't know for sure, because Walker's handlers shaped a more ambiguous public response to questions. What we've seen from him on Twitter has been shocking and embarrassing for Wisconsin.

Walker's biggest talking point at "WALKERGROUP" relayed this wishful thinking; "Wisconsin had become a beacon for private sector investment that led to prosperity for hard-working families." Seriously? And yet, those same "hard-working families" are still feel left behind, resentful, angry, while still making a minimum wage that hasn't gone up in over 10 years losing 16 percent of their buying power.

So I couldn't let the following twitter thread disappear without documenting it below. Here's the jaw-dropping tweet from a very forgetful Walker, who's not all that smart:

Here's reporter Jud Loundsbury's response:

Here's what real oppression looks like beyond Walker's ironic inability to recognize how "capitalism," and the NBA, took sides with the China for the love of money, and not Hong Kong's protests to protect civil liberties. It gets messy when reality meets up with meaningless GOP talking points...women held in a cell at the U.S. border...: 

But Scott Walker loves China really:

Walker brushed off his party’s concerns about trade with China, downplayed citizens’ worries about outsourcing, and called the country’s trade practices “good and fair.” That governor was Scott Walker—the same governor who, on Tuesday, confused just about everyone by saying Obama should make the Chinese president cancel his upcoming state visit. Same guy.

According to one analysis, the Badger State lost more than 60,000 jobs during his tenure because of the growing Chinese trade deficit and the country’s currency manipulation.

Walker’s 2013-2015 biennial budget proposal included a provision that would have foreign individuals and corporations own unlimited amounts of land in the state, even if they didn’t live there. “[T]here's no question that this would allow the Chinese government to buy a big chunk of land in northwest Wisconsin if it wanted to,” said Republican then-state Senator Dale Schultz at the time, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
Walker's AOC dig Gets Surreal: It's looks like Walker has never had to worry about paying for Tonette's hair salon bill. For some reason, Walker pounced on this...

Conservatives will take any opportunity they can get to rag on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) for being a normal human being. For example, many expressed outrage upon learning that she spent $300 (plus tip) on a haircut and color. The fact that she paid someone a fairly average amount of money for a necessary service sparked fake outrage amongst her haters, who apparently think her criticisms of the rich mean she should not pay skilled workers for their time and talents. One critic, in particular, former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R), took aim at Ocasio-Cortez Saturday.

Monday, October 7, 2019

NMN's Anti-aging magic or science?

Age slowly and silently creeps up on all of us until we start looking and feeling older, but by then, it may be too late...or is it?

I found this fascinating story on NPR and thought a few of us might be willing to at least try reversing the aging process. It can be expensive, meaning it may help wealthy people live longer than the rest of us. But maybe for a few months, we can steal back a few years of our youth:

In short: Better understanding the mechanisms of aging has led to promising treatments to slow, stop and even reverse the symptoms of growing old. And turning back the clock this way isn't just about a longer life span; it's about extending healthy, vital years. Could pills that mimic the positive benefits of exercise, at least in mice, be effective for humans? And what does this portend for the future, if we will all live decades longer? This season of Future You is dedicated to the human body and what capabilities we will have in the coming decades. You can find the latest episodes on YouTube or at

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Ron Johnson gushes Conspiracy Theories, doesn't Trust FBI and CIA, before and now after.

Ron Johnson became Wisconsin's Senator because he didn't understand the Affordable Care Act, and hated a program offering more people access to affordable health insurance. He even said...

And it only got worse from there. In Washington, Johnson's blathering idiocy became the talk of the town:

And then he got reelected...true!

Johnson plays Trump as Victim, says he's "...never seen a president, administration, be sabotaged from the day after the election: Amazing. Let's remind our clueless Dumb Ron Johnson why that's not true either:
1. Here’s John Boehner offering his plans for Obama’s agenda: “We're going to do everything — and I mean everything we can do — to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can.”

2. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell summed up his plan to National Journal: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

3. Mike Pence, underscored the point with a clip from Patton, showing the general rallying his troops for war against their Nazi enemy: “We’re going to kick the hell out of him all the time! We’re going to go through him like crap through a goose!”

4. Even though the economy was in free fall, not one House Republican had voted for the effort to revive it, prompting a wave of punditry about a failed party refusing to help clean up its own mess and dooming itself to irrelevance.

5. Have we forgotten that right when President Obama took office in 2009, the Republican leadership in Congress planned a no-honeymoon strategy of all-out resistance to Obama, even though the country was in an economic meltdown? Then-Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) said that “if [Obama] was for it, we had to be against it.”
So it's mind-bending to hear Dumb Ron Johnson whine about the supposed "attacks" on the grifting Trump family presidency:
Johnson: "I have never in my lifetime seen a president after being elected, not having some measure of well wishes from his opponents; I've never seen a president, administration, be sabotaged from the day after the election; I've never seen no measure of a honeymoon what-so-ever." 
Johnson, chairman of the Senate's Homeland Security committee, rambled from one conspiracy theory to another (just like every Trump cultist), and admitted he doesn't trust the CIA or the FBI.
Johnson: "No, I don't — absolutely not. No, and I didn't trust them back then."

So, Nothing like this ever happened under Obama? Trump Investigations plays into GOP Victim-Hood: Here's just a quick reminder below. Note: Remember Trump's own attempts to seek out Obama's birth certificate to prove he was not a U.S. citizen and a secret Muslin:
MSNBC: Republicans made aggressive use of their investigative powers ... matters involving Hillary Clinton, her use of email as secretary of state, her conduct of foreign policy and the Clinton Foundation ... House Republicans unleashed a barrage of subpoenas ... a half dozen GOP-led House committees conducted protracted investigations of the 2012 attacks on U.S. diplomats in Benghazi, Libya ... investigations of the 2009-2011 Operation Fast and Furious episode – a botched initiative against drug cartels that ended up putting guns in the hands of murderers ... investigations into the IRS's treatment of conservatives, and his administration’s loan guarantee to the failed solar-panel startup, Solyndra. And much more.
Who can forget Johnson's imagined "secret society?" 

Or this Johnson gem:

Ron Johnson now has his eye on the governorship in Wisconsin. Just a little advice to anyone thinking about moving to a state who's economy is held hostage by the gerrymandered Republican Party determined to not change a thing because after 8 years of control, everything is perfect now; DON'T.