Sunday, May 19, 2019

Cruisin' with the Walker's, Dairy Farmers losing under Trump's Tariffs, Low GOP State Revenues, Student Debt, and European Socialism.

If you haven't noticed, it's sometimes taken me a week to eventually crank out a few blog posts. There are so many bad things going on, so many problems, and so much gas lighting that it's now almost impossible to focus on just one thing.  

If anything, Scott Walker gave bloggers here in Wisconsin a head start on what the real Republican agenda was all about; in your face raw naked power. Surprisingly, we found out Republicans never wanted to solve our growing local and national problems, they simply wanted to roll out their alternative vision of reality, where unproven theories solve everything.

The "Scott Walker" name is now a brand that he's marketing like Trump, pushing the same cliche'd horrors and fallacies their cult like voters lazily accept as gospel. Think Walker's cruise is another free-be for him and his family?

Digging through the avalanche of stories, here are a few that need so much more attention...

1. Dairy Farmers: I've been harping on this for years, wondering why rural voters supported Republicans when they got nothing back and no support under the excuse of "small government." Walker, who had no clue about dairy farming, even advanced laws that exacerbated the over supply of milk now, allowing larger corporate farms (CAFO's) that disadvantaged small dairy, record bankruptcies, suicides, and no solutions in of all places, "America's Dairyland." This borders on criminal.

Here's another story...:

Or the idea that farmers care more about
securing corporate intellectual property than their own family businesses and generational farms...seriously? These red state governors in Nebraska, and Missouri are gas-lighting their constituents and should pay the penalty: 

2. Walker/GOP Economic Hype: Sure, if you think making one of the countries largest cuts to education is a good idea, trashing environmental regulation including banning references to climate change, and letting our transportation infrastructure go to hell, well then Republicans saved some money. Of course voters taxed themselves just to keep schools open, but go ahead, ignore that tax increase:

3. Student Debt Relief, Finally? Let's hope the following story isn't being too optimistic:

4. Justice and Liberty: Only in the alternative world of conservative politics can this be a dangerous piece of legislation:
AP- Democrats in the House approved sweeping anti-discrimination legislation, the Equality Act, Friday that would extend civil rights protections to LGBT people by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The protections would extend to employment, housing, loan applications, education, public accommodations and other areas. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said it will bring the nation "closer to equal liberty and justice for all."

Sexual orientation and gender identity "deserve full civil rights protections - in the workplace and in every place, education, housing, credit, jury service, public accommodations," Pelosi said.

Sexual orientation and gender identity "deserve full civil rights protections - in the workplace and in every place, education, housing, credit, jury service, public accommodations," Pelosi said.
What denies religious freedom or "requires acceptance"? Individuals can always think what they want, but can't infringe on others, right? Of course, it's the end of the world according to the upside down thinking of one Republicans:

Republicans said the bill would jeopardize religious freedom by requiring acceptance of a particular ideology about sexuality and sexual identity.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., called the legislation "grossly misnamed" and said it is "anything but equalizing." The bill "hijacks" the 1964 Civil Rights Act to create "a brave new world of 'discrimination' based on undefined terms of sexual orientation and gender identity," Hartzler said. The legislation threatens women's sports, shelters and schools, and could silence female athletes, domestic abuse survivors and other women, she said.
5. Trump/GOP war on Health Care: Rural Towns and Farmers Lose Hospitals: The greatest health care system in the world? Guess what...this is happening to conservative Trump voters. And who saw this problem coming, Democrats. It was requested in 2017 by then-Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and then-Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn:

"Babies are going to be dying," said longtime resident Darlene Doherty, who was at the coffee gathering. "This is a disaster." 

James Cosgrove, who directed a U.S. Government Accountability Office study about rural hospital closures, said the nation needs a better understanding of what the closures mean to the health of people in rural America, where the burden of disease — from diabetes to cancer — is often greater than in urban areas ... a follow-up study later this year on the fallout from rural hospital closures.

In 2002 when Mercy decided to build a new hospital, residents raised $1 million for construction. Another $1 million was given by residents to the hospital's foundation to upgrade and replace hospital equipment. But today, Mercy is a major health care conglomerate with more than 40 acute care and specialty hospitals ... Fort Scott's hospital is the second one in Kansas that Mercy has closed.

The GAO report found states that had expanded Medicaid had fewer of them. The GAO report also found that residents of rural areas generally have lower household incomes than their counterparts in bigger cities and are more likely to have chronic health conditions — such as high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity — that affect their daily activities. The county's premature birth rate is also higher than the 9.9% nationwide.
6. Rural Areas "Under-performing" thanks to lack of Broadband and Tariff affected Farmers:
Data revealed Thursday at MadREP’s “State of the Madison Region Economy” The findings included lessons that shouldn’t be lost on the rest of Wisconsin: “Our rural areas are significantly under-performing compared to Dane County,” said MadREP President Paul Jadin, who presented the region’s next five-year economic development strategy.

There are many reasons for that, not the least of which is the lack of robust broadband connections in parts of those counties, a farm economy that is suffering in some sectors – and a mix of opportunity and social factors that have contributed to rural out-migration in America for a century or more.
Democratic Socialism, the real Story: I've been meaning to post this story for a long time, so here's the link. Some of the concepts and individual parts could work in the US, benefiting Americans first, not just business. Some I like, some seem problematic knowing our system. Again, these are ideas...:

First, the Northern Europeans are focused on building strong national and local institutions that can make markets and drive societal benefits, not just change policy. Cities like Copenhagen and Hamburg, for example, have created public asset corporations that dispose of publicly owned lands and buildings in ways that spur large-scale urban transformation, particularly around historic harbors and downtowns. The revenue from such regeneration is then used to fund infrastructure, affordable housing, and other societal benefits. These regeneration efforts show a mature balance between public- and private-sector interests—a stark contrast to the tax-break scramble over landing Amazon’s HQ2, or New York City’s Hudson Yards private megaproject.

Denmark and Germany have pioneered publicly owned and professionally managed corporations that are self-governed and self-financed and act in the interest of the broader public rather than a small group of private shareholders. 

The Northern Europeans ... use the nation-state to provide a platform for local market realities, political priorities, and social needs. The knowledge and decision-making capacity of the public sector is robust, with a steady supply of highly educated public servants across technical, environmental, social, and business fields. The supply stems from the free tuition public sector educational system (which also greatly benefits the private sector).

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