Sunday, February 28, 2021

What's so "Free Market" about the Republicans failed fossil fueled Energy theories...

Republicans continue to ignore free market forces, and with no voter blowback. 

Major Automakers Promise Total EV Conversion: While I was watching an ad supported CW Channel app rerun of "Superman and Lois," I was stunned by the two competing auto ads, one by GM and the other Ford, that promised a 15 year changeover to all electric vehicles. 

GM’s announcement … to eliminate tailpipe emissions from all its new light-duty vehicles by 2035.  GM’s U-turn seems to be in part because the market has forced its hand. Two giant auto markets — China and California — have committed to 100 percent EV by 2035.

That's how the free market works. 

Utilities Go Green Too: All state utility companies are planning a near complete conversions to free fuel like wind and solar by 2050. 

Again, because it makes sense not to have to ship, store, and control fossil fuel waste, the free market sees wind and solar as an absolute no-brainer: 

All of Wisconsin's investor-owned utilities are aiming to reduce their carbon emissions 80% below 2005 levels by 2050, and are on track to reducing emissions 40% by 2026, according to the PSC's latest draft energy assessment … Along with the companies' carbon reduction goals, Alliant Energy is planning to build out 1,000 MW of solar by 2023. Additional projects from WEC Energy Group and Madison Gas & Electric "will, collectively, make WI one of the largest solar producers east of the Rockies."
Supply Siders don't care about Consumer Driven Markets: Republican ideologues love big oil so much, they will say and do anything. Case in point, the Democratic bill HR 803 protecting public lands in the West. Republican heads exploded. 

Sitting down? Amazingly, Republicans slipped in a mind boggling and embarrassing amendment that actually assumed there would not be "three decades" worth of future innovation and progress:
BLOCKING BIDEN ENERGY ORDERS: The House defeated a Republican bid to prevent HR 803 from becoming law until after President Biden has rescinded executive orders aimed at transforming the U.S. energy economy from one based on fossil fuels to clean energy over the next three decades. A yes vote was to adopt the amendment. Voting yes: Steil, Fitzgerald, Grothman, Tiffany, Gallagher.
Just to be clear; Wisconsin's Republican representatives wanted to impossibly preserve the U.S.'s fossil fuel dependence for the next 30 years

Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, Glenn Grothman, and Tom Tiffany were all once in the Wisconsin legislature pushing this same kind of job killing thinking for decades. As blogger James Rowen of Political Environment recently wrote:
Though how ironic would it be if the (EV Foxconn) project created the very type of energy-efficient vehicles which the previous Republican administration had discouraged with a $75 annual registration upcharge - a move that dovetailed with Walker's long and wider attack on renewable energy that undercut solar power development and delayed wind farms.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Jennifer Rubin: "How in the world do Republicans get elected? It is a serious question. They seem not to view the job of legislator or chief executive as that of being a problem-solver."

Guess what, all Republicans oppose the Democratic pandemic relief plan. No, really. 

Yet this isn't enough for just 2 Democratic Senators to change their position on the filibuster? Even after Trump Republicans filibustered everything to make Obama a one term president, packed the Supreme Court by actually blowing up the filibuster, tried to overturn the presidential election, defended the capitol insurrection, and did nothing about the pandemic? 

My god, don't Democrats have even a trace of survival instinct left in them? 

Scott Walker was one of the first Republicans to push the now off the rails "do-nothing" agenda, where societal problems are ignored for party purity and "owning the Dems." Like in Wisconsin, Republicans in Texas had their list of priorities:

Wisconsin Republicans are preoccupied with and fighting for...

"Some will tell you that our country is broken, and that our traditions no longer have purpose," State Republican Sen. Patrick Testin said. "I disagree. American symbols like the flag and our national anthem have the power to unite." The legislation comes in response to the decision by billionaire Mark Cuban to not play "The Star-Spangled Banner" during Dallas Mavericks games. 

"So refreshing to see the *checks notes* chair of the Senate Health Committee do everything in his power to help us get through this pandemic safely," state Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) wrote on Twitter.

Wisconsin Republicans are feeling so secure in their gerrymandered control of the state, that they can even get away with this, as reported on Right Wisconsin;

The Waukesha County Republican Party, once the proud engine that drove the state Republican Party, pandered again to its wacko-wing on Friday. The party sponsored a showing of a thoroughly debunked conspiracy-theory “documentary” regarding the 2020 Presidential election. The movie, “Absolute Proof,” is My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell’s version of what happened … has been thoroughly debunked by fact-checkers, is the subject of possible litigation, and has been removed from social media websites because of the false information. When the pro-Trump television network, OANN, aired the movie, the network ran a disclaimer rather than risk potential lawsuits.

Nonetheless, over eighty people viewed the movie at the party headquarters on Pearl Street according to a Facebook post by the Waukesha GOP’s “grassroots outreach director” Keith Best.

"Theft of an Election" was a Myth!: You can't...wait, you can make this up; Republicans are now going to solve a problem they manufactured. First, it's never too dangerous  to vote: "A pandemic or 'outbreak of a communicable disease' does not qualify voters as indefinitely confined," so you can't stay home and vote absentee:

A third bill in the package would set requirements for absentee ballot drop boxes, which were widely used across the state during the pandemic. Under the bill, the boxes would have to meet certain security standards and must be attached to the building where the municipal clerk’s office is located. Many places had numerous drop boxes located in different parts of their community in 2020, with an eye on increasing convenience for voters.
Limiting Drop Box locations restores "trust" and "confidence"?
Sen. Alberta Darling said far too many people have sincere concerns about our electoral system. These bills will help restore trust and make sure our elections are handled fairly for everyone." Sen. Duey Stroebel argued public confidence in election is "at a crisis point."
New Absentee Road Block Legislation because it's so Corrupted? But just a little while back:

Urban Milwaukee: Republicans like Scott Walker and Reince Priebus, each with robust histories of absentee voting, now oppose it in the name of “election integrity.” Their real concern seems to be that absentee ballots will increase Democratic Party votes at the expense of Republican.
Yes they did this...


Conservative columnist Jennifer "pro-reality" Rubin knows what she's talking about:

1. How in the world do Republicans get elected? It is a serious question. They seem not to view the job of legislator or chief executive as that of being a problem-solver. The results of their actions or inactions do not appear to concern them as long as they’ve got the “narrative” right, which invariably includes blaming left-wing socialists for their own mismanagement, trying to convince White voters they are victims and blabbering about “cancel culture” (a left-wing plot to hold them responsible for their conduct?). And voters put up with this because, well, why exactly? 

2. Republicans represented by these public officials do not seem to care about gross negligence or the reckless indifference to their own well-being. When elections roll around, Republicans run on negative messages decrying their opponents as wild socialists.

3. Republican voters have come to regard politics as a “fight” for their racial and cultural identity, not as lawmaking or problem-solving. We should not be surprised that they get rotten leadership and service as a result. Tens of millions of Republicans voted in 2020 for the now former, disgraced president despite an out-of-control pandemic and historic recession. He “owned the libs” and hated the mainstream media; that was what they wanted.

4. Demanding that politicians do their jobs, solve concrete problems and make voters’ lives better is the first step to electing rational politicians. At the very least, voters in red states and districts should decide they deserve more than entertainment from politicians. Their lives literally depend on it. 

 Communist Socialist Liberal won't be pretty:

Sunday, February 21, 2021

For Wisconsin Republicans, Marijuana is the new Hemp.

Finally, the nation is beginning to notice. Conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin nailed it recently with this:
"Republican voters have come to regard politics as a “fight” for their racial and cultural identity, not as lawmaking or problem-solving. We should not be surprised that they get rotten leadership and service as a result … they only want to "own the libs, and hate the mainstream media. That was what they wanted" 

Like I've said dozens of times, Republicans in Wisconsin don't solve problems.

Republicans brag about how they saved money destroying teacher unions and the teaching profession, that's enough now.

Remember the Hemp Debacle? While other countries, and U.S. states since 2014, grew the hemp industry, Wisconsin Republicans for the last 20 years left all that additional revenue and jobs behind, so they could trash hemp for the most ridiculous reasons:

February 23, 2010 – Steps to legalize industrial hemp in Wisconsin are facing Republican opposition. All Republicans on the Assembly Agriculture Committee recently voted against a measure passed by the Democratic majority, which would allow Wisconsin farmers to apply for permits to grow hemp.

State Representative Al Ott (R-Forest Junction) says there are worries about the drug connotation of hemp, which could tarnish Wisconsin’s image. He says there’s also no infrastructure to support a market for the product. Ott says he understands farmers are struggling in the tough economy, but he doesn’t feel it’s time to dilute the agriculture industry.
It's still happening today for a whole list of issues, for purely ideological reasons. It's already a ridiculous problem:
1. Lost $25 million delaying the elimination of the one week waiting period for unemployment.

2. Losing $1.3 million a week bringing back the one week waiting period.

3. Wisconsin passed on $1.1 billion of our own federal taxes to expand Medicaid since 2014, leaving 82,000 without health care. Yes we have great health care, but we don't have everyone covered by insurance.

4. Skipping $165 million in annual taxes legalizing recreational marijuana.

Ridiculous Reasons...Continued opposing Legal Marijuana: For Gov. Tony Evers, a former superintendent of public schools and moderate guy, said legalization is simple math, revenue, and social equalizer, especially since 29 states have some form of legal marijuana:

Evers said he was moving even further on the issue after seeing the revenue recreational marijuana has generated in border states.

"I'm particularly tired of seeing our tax dollars going across the border to northern Michigan or Illinois to go buy marijuana. I think the time has come. I hope the legislature will agree with us."

Nope. Here's the latest revenue and job killing "logic" put out by our do-nothing Republican "late to the party" legislators. Remember, people have been/and are still smoking marijuana, so the only thing that will change is the way we buy a safer and regulated product. Heck, Wisconsinites want pot:

An overwhelming majority of Wisconsin voters, 83 percent, supported legalizing marijuana according to a 2019 Marquette Law School poll.
Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu: "Recreationally, no, I'm not [in favor of legalization]. I've heard from local law enforcement, law enforcement around the state have all taken stands it's really dangerous to be legalizing marijuana recreationally at this point."

Scott Walker cranking out the same "law enforcement is against it" excuse. We saw how sincere Republicans are about respecting law enforcement, especially after the Capitol insurrection:

Or this bizarre comment:

Just look at Colorado...
But as the industry expands, some of marijuana’s earliest supporters and first entrepreneurs have raised concerns about being left out as pot companies in the United States and Canada chase billion-dollar valuations and hire powerful politicians like John Boehner, the Republican former House speaker. As marijuana starts to look like the next Silicon Valley, early advocates such as Wanda James, the first African-American woman in Colorado to own a dispensary, now worry that small businesses, women, and people of color — who were disproportionately hurt by harsh marijuana laws — are now getting left on the sidelines.
Here's Dragnet's Joe Friday losing an argument with a pot smoker. Turns out the guy was right. (Jack Webb actually wrote a lot of the dialog for the show, so was he a secret supporter?)

The inspiration to post this? It was a comment from Willie Nelson in today's Parade section where he answered the question, Why have you always been such an advocate for pot?:
Willie Nelson: "Well, it's kept me from doing a lot of crazy  things. I used to say, jokingly, it kept me from killing people. And I've never killed nobody, so it's working." 


Thursday, February 18, 2021

Vos actually wants Rush honored in Wisconsin?

Rush Limbaugh was not an admired public figure the last time I looked. He did bring about an open homophobic and racist "normal" for conservatives to embrace under the guise of "free speech." 

And who can forget, or try not to remember...

Assembly speaker and cosplay governor Robin Vos sent the following letter to the governor. A statewide lowering of flags to honor...Rush? Sure, why not shove this crackpots career down everyone's throat? As Eric Boehlert of Press Run said:

"Rush Limbaugh, the 70-year-old broadcaster, who once compared Covid-19 to the "common cold," died from lung cancer.

The AP described his decades of hate programming as a "merry brand of malice," and left out the part where he was the proud voice of racism, homophobia, sexism, xenophobia, and lots of other brands of denigration that he spread around the AM dial." 

 Boehlert continues...

"A country club demagogue, he helped America’s right-wing normalize a distinct culture of bigotry and cruelty. 

He steered the Republican Party towards no longer caring about policy and governance in any way, and instead focused on 'owning liberals,’ trolling Democrats, and purposefully lying. And the press cheered.

"I know I have become the intellectual engine of the conservative movement," Limbaugh told the New York Times, pretending his programming of mockery and loathing was akin to serious debate. Before birtherism there was Rush. Before InfoWars and QAnon, there was Rush, purposefully polluting American minds for profit.

Limbaugh clearly did emerge as the Voice of American Conservatism, a proud emblem of mockery, race-baiting, and prejudice. That culture was soon perfected by Trump, where any topic and issue was best debated by lying about everything, at all times. Limbaugh "leaves behind a conservative movement no longer interested in truth," noted former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh.

A straight line today exists between the birth of Limbaugh's right-wing career and the murderous mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6. As one Twitter user put it yesterday, "Limbaugh is, and always has been, a very Proud Boy."

The Beltway press for decades glorified his career, only occasionally acknowledging it took place entirely in the gutter. This week, the press is presenting him as a hugely popular, powerful, and oh yes, sometimes controversial host.

It needed to be transparent about the endless litany of lies and heartless smears Limbaugh gleefully trafficked in for decades, as he stuffed his pockets with millions and wallowed in the misfortune of others.

Limbaugh was an awful, awful person."- Eric Boehlert


Cancun Cruz forced to return to Texas energy disaster do to "socialist travel restrictions?"

Cruz answers call with fund raising statement? 

You can't make this up: And while Obama's arrogant elitist vacations were criticized...

Ted Cruz has vacation support... 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Wisconsin Republicans say, it's NOT about you? PPP loans just to help Business? Yup.

Vos Republicans don't believe there's a legitimate opposition party with strongly held policies and beliefs. They think liberals, progressives, and Democrats are communists and Marxists, trying to destroy their own jobs, families, economy, and government. I get it, but it doesn't have to make sense to our QAnon neighbors anymore. 

Recently, cosplay governor Robin Vos said that Republicans will never "compromise their conservative ideals," dismissing liberal ideals entirely. Talk about "cancel culture."   

Pretending their Trump/Scott Walker "eggs-in-one-basket" Foxconn debacle never happened, the party of big business continues to ignore the real economic backbone of our state; local small businesses and privately owned farms and their employees.

Stimulus Downside for Republicans? PPP Loans forced Business to Keep Employees? Really, employers were "caught between a rock and the hard place" keeping employees? Gerrymandering made this brutal but free from voter accountability comment possible. Behold...

JSOnline: Republican Sen. Joan Ballweg of Markesan, who as a member of the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee voted in favor of the state tax cut (for PPP loans) on Wednesday.  

She said the program helped the tourism industry get through the pandemic but was flawed because of the rules requiring it to retain employees when business was down.

"They were caught between a rock and the hard place because their business crashed. But by trying to get into the PPP loan, they were mandated to keep on employees that they didn’t need. From the beginning, it was a noble effort. Was it done perfectly? By far and away not."
Do antigovernment Republicans act like they want "small" Government: Think about it; they run for a government job, then get paid with hard earned taxpayer dollars, do nothing to solve state-wide problems, then create gerrymandered safe districts to keep their cushy government jobs, all the while grabbing power away from localities and the Governor.

To coverup their lack of any kind of agenda, freeloading Vos Republicans are focused on accumulating power to stop progress that should INVEST taxpayer dollars in future upgrades. 

1. POWER!!! Vos Republican wrote this legislative power-grab opposed by Gov. Evers:
Give the Legislature oversight of the distribution of federal funds that are allocated to Wisconsin related to combating COVID-19...give Republicans in the Legislature authority over how to spend all future federal COVID-19 dollars that the state receives.
Heads up Governor Evers, Michigan Republicans are showing us why that's a bad idea...

Vos Republicans have control over just 10 percent of the federal COVID relief aid, so guess what they're doing? They're already using it to punish districts that canceled in-person classes because of the pandemic. COVID-19 remember is just a hoax, but wear the mask if you like...:
The budget committee approved a spending plan that will financially penalize some school districts for offering online instruction during the pandemic. Republicans praised the plan for rewarding school districts that have “done the right thing.”
…threatening some school districts too...

(The superintendents wrote back saying,) "Moving too quickly to in-person learning carries its own problems."
A few years back, Sen. Steve Nass accused districts of tricking referendum voters by making claims schools needed maintenance upgrades and building replacements, when they didn't need it. That never was true, not for West Allis or Wauwatosa:
The district operates buildings that are more than 70 years old. "We have and will continue to do everything we can to make our buildings safer during this time and that includes maximizing ventilation and air exchange rates. However, this is not easy in our older buildings," they wrote.
Do-nothing Vos Republicans, skipping the hard work spelled out by the CDC, just want to open schools without making them safer...:

Because Republicans want to kill any possibility of mask mandates statewide, the superintendents pointed out why that's another bad idea: 
Schools can operate more safely when community spread is seriously addressed. Help us with this," Lexmond and Ertl wrote.
Losing $1.3 Million Federal Funding for Allowing One Week Waiting Period to Resume: It wasn't so long ago Republicans threw away $25 Million...

Well, their baaaaackkkkk...throwing away more of our own federal tax money:

WKOW: The state's failure to pass a new COVID-19 response package is now costing Wisconsin more than $1 million every week in federal unemployment relief money.

Gov. Tony Evers vetoed a package approved by the GOP-led Assembly and Senate (over) controversial items added by the Assembly. In order to receive the federal relief, states cannot have a waiting period for people filing a claim for unemployment benefits: 

Vos Republicans poisoned a COVID-19 bill by try to steal the Governors powers, again. State Sen. Duey Stroebel predictably blamed Evers:

Monday, February 8, 2021

Best Play-by-Play ever...and...Best Cat Lawyer ever!