Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Sure, Grothman's "getting complaints" about Cardi B.


Grow-up Glenn; you still don't know who to listen to, and who not to listen to? Or, it appears that old "I've been getting complaints in my office" excuse is nothing but phony baloney, just to push Grothman's own idiotic point of view and frigidity, as if it's someone else's.

Of course, Cardi B is somehow connected to VP Kamala Harris, a Democrat who is "contributing to the utter decline of America," as Grothman puts it, and not himself and QAnon insurrectionist Trump inflamed supremist militia's. It's hard to believe we're already 21 years into the 21st century:


Monday, April 26, 2021

"Plant Based Beer" disappointing for Meat Drinking Crowd!

Wisconsin's micro brewers were shocked to find out that soon, because of the Green New Deal, they
will have no choice but to brew beer without...meat. Meat? 

Clueless financial news host Larry Kudlow, who was once Trump's economic advisor, shocked the brewing industry with this revelation:

Kudlow wants the nation to know that President Joe Biden is plotting to force Americans to drink “plant-based beer.” 
He didn't just say it once, he said it three times:
“Speaking of stupid. America has to, get this, America has to stop eating meat, stop eating poultry and fish, seafood, eggs, dairy and animal-based fats. OK, got that? No burgers on July Fourth. No steaks on the barbecue … So get ready. You can throw back a plant-based beer with your grilled Brussels sprouts and wave your American flag.”
Egads. Apparently the man who declared COVID-19 “contained close to airtight” before more than 570,000 Americans died is not talking about the beer everyone drinks now. That’s typically made from grains, hops and yeastand not an ounce of steak.
The reaction? Priceless:

NO BURGERS on the 4TH OF JULY? Uh, yea, about that, Kudlow was wrong again. 
Biden’s lack of specifics led the Daily Mail to write about what “what life could look like” under the plan, citing a University of Michigan study on the impact of limiting meat consumption — including an extreme scenario examining the impact of Americans eating just four pounds of red meat per person annually. Without evidence, the Daily Mail published a graphic implying a four-pound meat restriction would be “required” to meet Biden’s climate goals.

Fox News later aired a graphic titled “Up In Your Grill: Biden’s Climate Requirements” that listed bullet points including “cut 90% of red meet from diet” and “one burger per month,” citing the same study that has no link to the president’s plan.

Vos believes COVID no match for our "immune system," and Dumb Ron Johnson wouldn't encourage vaccine for everyone. This is governing?

Safely gerrymandered Assembly leader Robin Vos can get away with anything now...

WI Republicans really don't want the Economy Roaring back: Vos-Republicans are true supply siders, demanding businesses reopen, but never considering how CONSUMERS (70 percent of our economy) are staying home. Dumb Ron Johnson would have wanted to prolong the lagging economy by not vaccinating everyone...this is how crazy bad GQP'ers are governing. Here's a great summary of Johnson's now infamous "genius" on full display from Chris Hayes:

That said, you gotta wonder if conservative voters aren't curious as to why Vos is getting vaccinated but is still making fun of anyone else who does? He irresponsibly played up our bodies immune system, sure, but he left out how "your body produces an overactive immune response which can lead to increased inflammation throughout the body." 

Which leads to this dangerous response:

…and leads to this odd reaction:

…that leads to this tasteless QAnon "real American" response dredging up Nazi Germany:

The Auschwitz Memorial blasted the anti-vaxx activists: "Instrumentalization of the tragedy of Jews who suffered, were humiliated, marked with a yellow star, and finally isolated in ghettos and murdered during the Holocaust, in order to argue against vaccination that saves human lives is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decline," the museum wrote.
And this...
And Republican lawmakers have made so-called “vaccine passports” their latest cause, with some even invoking the Holocaust to rail against any vaccine requirements. Freshman Rep. Madison Cawthorn told Fox News in March. 
“Proposals like these smack of 1940s Nazi Germany. We must make every effort to keep America from becoming a ‘show your papers’ society. The Constitution and our founding principles decry this type of totalitarianism.”

An unconcerned Mike Pence didn't care, costing taxpayers a lot: 

As a final note, "America First" was weaponized into this sociopathic monstrous way, by Trump. We're talking surplus doses here:

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Ending Democracy #2: Shut Down Protesting...I mean "rioting."

Scott Walker's Act 10 union busting plans were met with huge statewide protests. Walker couldn't even go out fishing without being confronted with a conga line of protest boaters paddling by. Despite a 100,000 protesters and tens of thousands marching daily around the Capitol, Walker didn't bother to agree to even one concession, saying this...

Hand it to Scott Walker for doing what is now spreading from Florida to every other red state, shredding the First Amendment and protesting, like when people were ticketed for protest signs and t-shirts:

On September 5, 2012 the Wisconsin Capitol Police arrest 8 people and charge them with "Unlawful display of sign" 

Shit Scott Walker Is Doing To My State: "Two of the “signs” were actually t-shirts being distributed by the organization "Muslims for Life" that helped to promote the American Red Cross blood drive taking place on the first floor. Another sign said, “We ♥Blood Donors,” and yet another was a copy of Article I, Section 4, of the Wisconsin Constitution, which reads: “The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government or any department thereof shall never be abridged.” 

Madison's peaceful protests at the time were described by right-wingers as...insurrectionists. Yup, is was bad then:

Cornell University law professor William Jacobson wrote on his blog, Legal Insurrection ... The appearance of a bullhorn-toting protester on Feb. 27 in a "COPS FOR LABOR" T-shirt showed that "the police union members involved have actively advocated and offered to participate in insurrection against the legal authority in Wisconsin."

Walker then directed the Capitol police to crack down. From Friday, Dec. 2, 2011:

This DOA policy change is aimed at cracking down on freedoms in the Capitol building ... 22 page DOA policy … effect(ive) January 1st, 2012 after a “two week education period”. Starting with most WTF policy point first:
*No civil legal recourse is available for death, injury, damage or theft of property that a Wisconsin citizen may experience in a state facility. The state and its departments, employees, agents, are “held harmless” for all suits, damages, claims, or other liabilities related to death, injury, damage, or theft of property.

*Helium balloons are not allowed in the Capitol.

*Where a “public area” is can change at any time and the only areas deemed public are the ground and 1st floors of the Capitol.

*All “events” must have a permit but for “spontaneous” events and spontaneous events must occur in response to a “triggering” event which occurred in the previous week or is occurring. Events that are advertised by social media and other means 7 or more days before the event are not “spontaneous”.  

Fast forward 10 years...Republicans are now cracking down on Protesters with felony violations. Why?: In any of the Republican dominated state governments, guess who would most likely be protesting, getting arrested, and then lose their right to vote because they committed a felony? NOTE: Rachel Maddow brought up the fact that Al Qaida once planned to use cars as deadly weapons in the US.! Republicans were listening...and instead of dealing with actual racial injustice in America…

NYTimes: A wave of new anti-protest legislation, sponsored and supported by Republicans, have happened in the 11 months since Black Lives Matter protests swept the country following the death of George Floyd. Some, like Mr. DeSantis, are labeling them “anti-riot” bills, conflating the right to peaceful protest with the rioting and looting that sometimes resulted from such protests.

“This is consistent with the general trend of legislators’ responding to powerful and persuasive protests by seeking to silence them rather than engaging with the message of the protests,” said Vera Eidelman, a lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union. 

Republican legislators in Oklahoma and Iowa have passed bills granting immunity to drivers whose vehicles strike and injure protesters in public streets.

A Republican proposal in Indiana would bar anyone convicted of unlawful assembly from holding state employment, including elected office. 

A Minnesota bill would prohibit those convicted of unlawful protesting from receiving student loans, unemployment benefits or housing assistance.

In Kentucky, where protests following the police killing of Breonna Taylor lasted for months last year, the State Senate passed a bill that would make it a crime to insult or taunt a police officer with “offensive or derisive” words or gestures that would have “a direct tendency to provoke a violent response.” The measure would have required that those arrested on such a charge be held in jail for at least 48 hours — a provision that does not automatically apply to those arrested on murder, rape or arson charges in Kentucky. State Senator Danny Carroll, a Republican who is a retired police officer, said his bill was needed to ensure community safety and protect law enforcement personnel. “They are under attack constantly,” he said, noting that police officers decades ago could “arrest someone for cussing them out,” until court rulings curtailed such police powers.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed sweeping legislation.

The overwhelming majority of last summer’s nationwide Black Lives Matter protests were peaceful — more than 96 percent involved no property damage or police injuries, according to The Washington Post, which also found that police officers or counterprotesters often instigated violence.

There's more...

Rolling Stone: Governor Ron DeSantis declared, “We are taking an unapologetic stand for the rule of law and public safety.” But the Republican, and close Trump ally, also made it plain that the true legislative intent was to criminalizing the protest tactics of those he denounced as “the radical left.” “Let’s be clear: this is not an anti-riot bill,” said Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU of Florida. “It is a bill that criminalizes peaceful protest,” he said.

1, It lowers the threshold of a “riot” to include as few as three people engaging in “violent and disorderly conduct.” This could subject anyone at an otherwise peaceful event where such a disturbance occurs to third-degree felony charges, punishable by up to five years in prison and the loss of the right to vote. 

2, It creates a new second-degree felony of “aggravated rioting” for any large group action that, among other not-clearly-harmful and vaguely-described impacts, “endangers the safe movement of a vehicle traveling on a public street, highway, or road.”

3, The law creates a new, hazy, misdemeanor charge of “mob intimidation” that requires anyone so charged to be held until their first bail hearing — effectively giving cops carte blanche to lock up protesters overnight.

4, The bill also shields Floridians from civil liability if they happen to injure or kill a protester involved in a demonstration the authorities label a “riot.” According to testimony by the state ACLU: “A white supremacist who maliciously drove his car into protesters… like the one in Charlottesville that killed Heather Heyer, would be able to assert an affirmative defense under this bill.”

5, The new law in Florida also heightens punishment for protesters who damage or deface public monuments or flags, subjecting them to felony charges and forcing them to pay restitution for any damages.

6, The law enhances the power of the state government at the expense of local jurisdictions, taking aim at progressive politicians who attempt to rein in aggressive police tactics or bloated police budgets. Specifically, the law exposes local governments to financial liability for damages to property if they are found not to have responded aggressively enough to a riot or and “unlawful assembly.” The law also grants the state government power to review and reverse cuts made by local elected officials to their law-enforcement budgets.

For his part DeSantis mugged for the cameras and played to a national audience of FoxNews watchers. “If you riot, loot, harm others, particularly law enforcement, you’re going to jail,” he said. “We’re not going to end up like Portland.”

even more...

Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, said in a statement. "It is no coincidence," that HB1 and its companion bill, Senate Bill 484, "were introduced by politicians who harshly criticized" millions of Floridians and Americans for demanding "racial justice and police accountability."  

The ACLU of Florida explained the full ramifications of the legislation:

By redefining "rioting," the bill grants police officers broad discretion in deciding who could be arrested and charged with a third-degree felony at a protest and fails to provide protection for people who have not engaged in any disorderly and violent conduct. In Florida, a felony charge strips people of their voting rights.

This bill would also hinder local governments from determining how to allocate law enforcement resources to address critical needs in their local communities. It allows the Governor, with the Cabinet, to usurp control of a city budget and amend it to their liking at the appeal of any county commissioner or state attorney, regardless of whether local elected officials approve of changes made in the budget. It would also shield violent counter-protesters from civil liability for killing a peaceful protester or demonstrator with their vehicle, and make pulling down a Confederate flag a punishable offense for up to 15 years in prison.

Since the right-wing insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, "at least 13 states have taken up legislation to crack down on protests," NBC News reported Thursday. "In addition to Florida, legislators in Arizona, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington" have introduced bills that critics say use the violence at the Capitol to justify the repression of Black Lives Matter and other social justice demonstrations.

(They are) taking advantage of outrage over the far-right coup attempt to undermine demonstrations for progressive causes.

Florida's anti-protest bill remains highly unpopular. According to a poll conducted last month by Florida Politics, 63% of the state's voters view the legislation unfavorably.

More than 100 law professors throughout the country denounced the proposal, characterizing it as unconstitutional and "morally unconscionable."

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Ending Democracy #1; Scott Walker targets Kids to Resent others for being unfair and unjust, as counter to Liberal Indoctrination Myth.

Democrats have an amazing talent for not recognizing critical threats to U.S. policy. Example: When Scott Walker was elected governor and Republicans took over the majority in the legislature, lame duck Democrats had a chance to prevent the total destruction of public unions collective bargaining rights by simply approving an agreement before leaving office. But...

Democrats quietly ended a messy lame duck session to approve state contracts Thursday, hours after one of their key leaders (Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker) unexpectedly turned on them and voted the deals down. Decker offered no explanation why.
Public and private unions were stripped of power, right-to-work passed, and Scott Walker became a right-wing template for the grifting conman politician weaponizing victimhood and resentment.  

Fast forward to todays QAnon-Patriot Party-America First-Anglo-Saxon traditionalists, who wouldn't know one policy detail beyond the words "freedom" and "liberty." 

Without any sense of urgency, Senator's Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin are blissfully protecting the filibuster like nothing has changed in the Republican Party. Hello, what about voter suppression, state bans on protesting, government threats of censorship, protecting a police state, and rising white nationalist talk of overthrowing elections and the government. My god, what would it take?

Target America's Youth with QAnon slanted Indoctrination: Scott Walker's YAF, Young America's Foundation, is not just going after kids and college students with authoritarian messaging in what Walker calls "The Long Game," but they are trying to eliminate liberal organizations through intimidation and lawsuits. Most universities have not caught onto this scheme:

First, the "liberal indoctrination myth," where facts and reality are always liberal:

A new poll conducted by Echelon Insights at the behest of Young America’s Foundation (YAF) suggests youths are always more progressive, more taken by the newest social fads, and convinced that they have more to remedy than to be grateful for. Time spent on a campus — being governed by progressive administrators, being taught by progressive faculty, and most important, living amongst progressive peers — tends to turn you into a much more progressive person. YAF’s “Long Game” initiative shows promise. So does Florida governor Ron DeSantis’s attempt to banish divisive, falsehood-laden racial theories from public schools.
Cancel Racial History: DeSanti actually wants a Republican created "Seal of Excellence" credential for teachers pushing right-wing propaganda with a $3,000 sweetener: 
DeSantis suggested a civics education should turn down the heat in the U.S., “There is no room in classrooms for things like critical race theory.” Critical race theory “presupposes that racism is embedded within society and institutions.” He would create the Florida Civic Seal of Excellence, a new professional endorsement for civics education. The proposal includes a $3,000 bonus for teachers who get credentialed in teaching civics.
Gin Up Student RESENTMENT: As for Scott Walker, his push polling YAF scheme isn't fooling anyone, it's still all about divide and conquer: 
Nearly 7 in 10 college students want taxpayers to eat their loans. But when @yaf told them non-college types would have to pay, support dropped nearly 20 points. 'Progressive ideas are — at their core — unfair and unjust."
The answer-as tweeted by Jake's Wisconsin Funhouse:
YAF is flat-out LYING. Why would non-college types pay a dime when loans are written off? There's nothing paid out from anyone. And it frees up money from ex-borrowers to let them spend on goods/services, which help "non-college types" (and everyone else)
What's hilarious about Walker's scheme is that it's based on disproved Republican talking points that have "factual" sounding answers that keep alive long held GOP myths. For example, who doesn't hate higher wages...?:
Forcing some nameless corporate leader to pay higher wages sounds good to some, but seeing people lose their jobs over it isn’t fair. In my book “Unintimidated,” I argued that conservatives need to take up the fairness argument.
Fairness = Resentment, Walker style: Scott Walker is the ideal emotionless face of division and resentment. 

And what feels like cold hard facts, aren't really. Instead, they are deceptively repackaged problems ignored by lazy Republican politicians who claim doing nothing is what "small government" is all about:
"There's this sense that people in those communities are not getting their fair share compared to people in the cities," said Katherine Cramer, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin who studied how Gov. Scott Walker appealed to rural voters. "They feel like their communities are dying, and they perceive that all that stuff — the young people, the money, the livelihood — is going somewhere, and it's going to the cities," she said. Cramer has labeled these intense, negative feelings against people in the cities "rural resentment." For example toward government (much of which is focused in large cities), as well as liberal, city-dwelling professionals.

So how does a politician harness this rural resentment? In an April column, Cramer pointed to how Walker appealed to rural voters by talking about getting their roads fixed, as opposed to spending on high-speed rail between big cities. Walker also ran against government and public employees in Wisconsin. Those workers often were higher-income than their peers, and with more generous benefits, so for non-public sector workers in rural communities, that was another source of resentment.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Gov. Evers saves Taxpayer money with Foxconn, Vos/Walker still losing money from reneged Talgo Train car debacle.

I was surprised by the announcement this morning that Gov. Evers and Foxconn came to a new contractual agreement, requiring fewer taxpayer dollars and allowing greater flexibility to Foxconn's shifting market plans:  

State Journal: Gov. Tony Evers said the new agreement "works for Wisconsin taxpayers while providing the support Foxconn needs to be successful here in our state."

“In response to unforeseeable economic conditions, Foxconn began formal negotiations with a desire to lower taxpayer liability in exchange for the flexibility to pursue business opportunities that meet market demand,” Jay Lee, Foxconn board member and vice chairman, said in a statement. Foxconn's original contract is unique in that it specifies exactly what the company needs to build in order to receive state tax credits.
And Foxconn didn't build it, soooooo new contract time. 

Can Robin Vos allow Gov. Evers this Victory? Vos just made it clear he didn't want a new deal, and as a new WEDC board member, cosplay-governor Robin Vos blasted Evers for "reneging" on the original Walker agreement. Vos believes Foxconn is currently a "success" because...

Vos: "...anyone who drives by Foxconn and sees huge buildings that are going up...," 

Yup, a sure sign of success, "huge buildings." 

Shockingly, this is what "fiscally conservative" Vos is defending (take notice voters):

There's more too... From Upfront:

Vos will say Foxconn is only saying nice things now because they have no choice and have to work with Gov. Evers. Note: WEDC might want to keep Vos out of any negotiations in the future:

Vos: "And Foxconn is making concessions, uh, because they are having their back up against the wall, even though they were meeting the goals that were set." 

Again, straight from Foxconn's Jay Lee on the renegotiated agreement: 

"...a desire to lower taxpayer liability in exchange for the flexibility to pursue business opportunities that meet market demand." 

2011-Remember when Vos/Walker Reneged on Talgo Trains? You can't get how hypocritical Vos-Republicans are, and reckless with taxpayer money. This Vos comment above stood out:

Vos on new Foxconn agreement: "I think it's sad, that when a company cuts a deal, with any entity like the state, that a new elected official comes in and tries to change it. It doesn't seem right." 

Vos and Scott Walker actually did just that, for real though; 

WSJ-November 2012: The state of Wisconsin has defaulted on an agreement to buy two sets of passenger rail cars from Talgo in Milwaukee … the state has instead decided to breach its contract with Talgo. Talgo CEO Antonio Perez said that the company invested in Wisconsin and created manufacturing jobs but "I don't see how any company in the future would choose to do business with the state of Wisconsin when the state has shown that it cannot be trusted to honor contracts that it has signed."
Even worse? In Nov. 2019, Wisconsin still had to buy new train cars with taxpayer money. Tossing taxpayer dollars away is a serious Republican problem:
JSOnline: Wisconsin taxpayers are spending $13 million on new Amtrak train cars even though they've already paid $60 million on a different set of train cars they will never get to use. In a 2015 settlement with Talgo, the Walker administration agreed to give Talgo more money — and let the company keep the trains.

Most of that money was borrowed and the state will pay $20.5 million in interest over 20 years. That will bring the total cost to $80.5 million.

Taxpayers will be paying off the debt on the trains the state will never use until 2036.
Back in Dec. 2011, Vos outright lied and couldn't stop whining about the Talgo train JOBS coming to the city of Milwaukee. He's a business and job killer: From Upfront Dec 2011:

As for Foxconn's ability to adapt to market forces, here's a recent video about possible EV's being produced in Wisconsin. Note; they're also considering Mexico:

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Reality Check: Vos-Republican Corporate Tax Cuts have Failed, but Rewarded CEO's, not Blue Collar workers.

When tax cut policy continues to fail, it would seem logical not to keep making those same tax cut mistakes over and over again? Not for Republicans, or their blissful low information voters. 

Tax Cut Obsession got old in the 1900's, But can it possibly get lower still? Is there a bottom limit?

Let's deep-six this 1900's way of thinking forever. You can only cut taxes just so much before our civilized society can't support itself anymore, can't progress, and can't pay forward money needed to help upcoming generations. Also interesting and true:

"The link between taxes and economic growth and development, however, has been widely challenged by economists. Historically, the states with the highest taxes also tend to be the highest income, while states with the lowest taxes also tend to be the poorest." - UW Extension 

List of Walker/Vos-Republican Failures...

1. Manufacturing Tax Credit: No jobs requirements or pay increases...  

Tax savings to business owners of the manufacturing and agriculture tax credit has totaled $1.4 billion since 2011, and in 2019 alone totaled $334 million, meaning other taxpayers must make up that amount to help pay for services such as education, health care, public safety, and road repairs. Figures from September 2019 show state manufacturers employed 6,800 fewer workers in that month compared to one year earlier, continuing a trend of losses in that sector.

The "fiscal conservative" estimates were just more Vos-Republican gaslighting, costing the state massive revenue losses...oh well:

2. Kimberly Clark Corporation: Scott Walker's myth about Wisconsin's business tax cuts hurting Illinois? Guess what, Illinois has similar corporate tax cuts, but with one big advantage, the tech industry, that same industry Vos-Republicans have totally ignored through lack of funding at the UW and Dane County level:

The relocation will help K-C work more with marketing, digital, and technology businesses in the Chicago area.

Kimberly-Clark also got a major tax break from the recent Piece of Shit tax bill that was jammed through by Republicans in Washington DC. In fact, Kimberly-Clark cited those tax cuts as a reason for the layoffs, because it allowed to begin a wide-scale restructuring in 2018, letting them reap the benefits of the "cost-cuts" by being taxed less.

This prompted Wisconsin US Senator Tammy Baldwin to ask why state and federal governments was giving so many breaks to a company that would cut so many Wisconsin jobs.

3. Foxconn: "Capitalism" and a $2.8 BILLION Taxpayer sweetened Scott Walker Debacle, endorsed by who else, grifter Trump: 

Foxconn Technology Group is in breach of contract for failing to construct a high-tech screen plant in Mount Pleasant, while local governments spent hundreds of millions of dollars to prepare for the project, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday by a real estate development company … the state agreed to provide up to $2.85 billion of tax incentives if Foxconn met certain hiring and capital investment thresholds. The state has yet to award the company tax credits for those purposes; however, millions of taxpayer dollars have gone toward infrastructure upgrades.
4. Summer Sales Tax Holiday shortchanges local Governments: It's a nice idea, but; Vos-Republicans are generous with business tax cuts, but won't replace lost local tax revenue with state backed money. Similar to this was the UW tuition freeze that should have been replaced with additional state funding to our state colleges. The Department of Revenue said the push would decrease state sales tax collections by an anticipated $159 million and county sales tax revenue by $13.3 million. But it wouldn't allocate money to counties or the state make up for the anticipated loss of dollars — a point some Democratic critics homed in on as they floated an amendment to backfill local governments (it was dismissed as not germane to the bill).
In other words, the results aren't accidental when you consider who funds Republican candidates:

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Walker engineered Dramatic Loss of Democracy in Wisconsin!

Deep down we always knew Scott Walker cared only about loyalists to his authoritarian rule. Now, if you disagree with Walker, you will be blamed for America being "under siege:" 

Walker, as president of Young America's Foundation (YAF), is now going after what his party has angrily called naïve liberal students. Figuring they're still impressionable and "young," Walker thinks his brand of extreme propaganda could radicalize America's youth. In fact, if you're not conservative at a college level, you're "lost:"  

YAF isn't filled with open minded collegians either:

Walker has enlisted Christians too...uh, not that everyone is a Christian:

Walker's all-or-nothing attack has been going on in Wisconsin for over 10 years, thanks to Walker's leadership as governor and his gerrymandered band of plundering Republican pirates in the legislature. 

But under Walker, his tax cut driven austerity came at a huge cost. VOX

 Here's what happened to democracy in Wisconsin. Surprise, it's not all "freedom and liberty:"

The conclusions were clear: The GOP is the problem. “Results suggest a minimal role for all factors except Republican control of state government, which dramatically reduces states’ democratic performance during this period,” he writes. While many researchers have attempted to quantify the health of democracy in different countries around the world, Grumbach’s paper is the first effort to develop some kind of ranking system for US states. And it’s yet another piece of evidence that the Republican Party has become an anti-democratic political faction.
But one of the biggest abuses hasn't been figured into this research yet:
One of the worst abuses by NC's Republican legislature — stripping Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper of key powers after his 2016 victory — doesn’t factor into the state’s score, as Grumbach hasn’t decided on a satisfactory way to quantify it. A similar maneuver performed by the Wisconsin state legislature after Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’s victory in 2018 also doesn’t count against the state’s already dismal SDI score.)

And Gerrymandering? Yes, really Bad for Democracy: 

Gerrymandering is not a “both sides” problem. It uses 16 different measurements of gerrymandering; Republican legislators abuse gerrymandering in a way that Democrats simply do not. North Carolina’s SDI score over time — it starts to plunge shortly after Republicans drew new maps in 2011, ones that allowed them to win 77 percent of the state’s House seats in 2018 with just under 50 percent of the state vote.
Voter Suppression is Real, but not for Republicans: Scott Walker can't resist this bizarre "Colorado is worse than Georgia" fantasy:

Georgia’s law, for example, is more worrying than even voter ID laws. It gives Republicans more direct control over election administration, allowing them to bend the rules in their favor: enforcing strict standards for ballot disqualification in Democratic-leaning precincts and lax ones in Republican-leaning ones, for example.
But left out are a few HUGE facts Facebook QAnon'ers always leave out, or most likely just don't know about:

New Tourism moto...

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Party of Political Punishers; Vos punishes DPI and Voters for Electing Dem as State Superintendent!!!

It's another Robin Vos temper tantrum, thinking he can get away with punishing voters for not electing a "Republican" State Superintendent, to what is supposed to be a nonpartisan office:

Vos just "canceled" DPI funding. Will this ass-wipe ever grow up? 

The big lie, that teachers are controlled and owned by union bosses, "cancels" out the hard work and dedication of every teacher. Didn't this get old during the Act 10 protests? 

Yet Vos led the charge to get kids back into those dangerously confined liberal indoctrination centers, also known as classrooms, with those same teachers...especially during a global pandemic he never took seriously. I'm now thinking that was meant as a punishment for teachers.

Still ridiculously authoritarian, Vos spewed what should be a career ending diatribe that may have made a few parents angry:

"... the teachers union owns the DPI; not the parents or the students or the taxpayers. Count me as someone who isn't going to support putting another nickel into this unaccountable state bureaucracy," Vos tweeted on Tuesday, an hour after the Associated Press called the race for Underly over former Brown Deer School District Superintendent Deb Kerr.
Not surprisingly, the public stated again they didn't want private schools. Profiteering privateers are okay, but unions aren't - even after losing almost all their negotiating power due to Act 10? Yup:
Kerr was largely backed by conservative groups who support the expansion of private school vouchers and Wisconsin Republicans. American Federation for Children, a pro-voucher group founded by former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that generally backs Republicans, spent $209,000 in the race on behalf of Kerr.
Yet voters statewide made their intentions clear when they elected Evers:
Evers was elected governor on a platform of increasing funding for schools and following polling that showed broad support for more spending on schools.
Here are a few interesting tweets:

Vos-Republicans cynically hold Wisconsin's economy and jobs back to deny Gov. Evers a win.

The 20th century Republican mindset that Medicaid is "welfare" is the cruelest form of denial, and a ridiculous simplification devoid of supporting details. Yes, I've blogged on this topic before using just Wisconsin's Vos-Republican talking points.

A new study points out how deadly, misinformed, purely partisan, fiscally wasteful, and irresponsible Republicans have been just giving people life saving health care. 

First, the overwhelming number of studies supporting Medicaid expansion, proving Republicans wrong (in green), while a few studies simply show little change (blue):

The Kaiser Family Foundation report shows how mindbogglingly bad Republicans govern our money and punish the people they don't think worthy. The freeloaders, the jobless, business creation, the rural-urban divide, unmotivated unemployed, the opioid epidemic, poverty, etc. collapse under expanded Medicaid. It's even kind of ridiculous. NOTE: Imagine if this were a national universal health plan, and not just Medicaid, and the increased benefits that would transform this nation:

1. Medicaid expansion states experienced large reductions in uninsured rates that significantly exceed those in non-expansion states.

2. Medicaid expansion reduced or eliminated disparities in coverage between adults living in rural vs. urban areas.

3. State-specific studies have documented significant job growth resulting from expansion. Louisiana found that in 2017, expansion funds created and supported 19,195 jobs (while creating and supporting personal earnings of $1.12 billion); in 2018, healthcare spending supported 14,263 jobs and $889.0 million in personal earnings. A study in Colorado found that the state supported 31,074 additional jobs due to Medicaid expansion as of  2015-2016.

4. Some studies found expansion was linked to increased employment.

5. Multiple studies showed that expansion supported enrollees’ ability to work, seek work, or volunteer.

6. Medicaid expansion may have significant effects on measures related to individuals’ political activity and views. Specifically, studies show associations between Medicaid expansion and increases in voter registration, ACA favorability, and gubernatorial approval.
7. Medicaid expansion has helped to reduce disparities in coverage by income, age, marital status, disability status, and, in some studies, race/ethnicity.

8. Effects of expansion on multiple state economic outcomes, including budget savings, revenue gains, and overall economic growth. There were no significant increases in spending from state funds as a result of Medicaid expansion. A study in Montana found positive financial effects for businesses due to infusion of federal dollars to fund health coverage for workers.

9. Expansion resulted in state savings by offsetting state costs in other areas, including state costs related to behavioral health services and crime and the criminal justice system.

10. Medicaid expansion supports the ACA Marketplaces and may help to lower Marketplace premiums. Two national studies showed that Marketplace premiums were significantly lower in expansion compared to non-expansion states, with estimates ranging from 7% lower in 2015 to 11-12% lower

11. Expansion resulted in reductions in uninsured hospital, clinic, or other provider visits and uncompensated care costs. Medicaid expansion cut every dollar that a hospital in an expansion state spent on uncompensated care by 41 cents between 2013 and 2015,

12. Medicaid expansion has significantly improved operating margins and financial performances for hospitals, other providers, and managed care organizations.

13. No evidence of Medicaid expansion coverage substituting for private coverage including employer-sponsored insurance … may also reflect people above 100% FPL transitioning from subsidized Marketplace coverage to Medicaid after their state adopts the expansion.

14. Medicaid expansion improves access to care among the low-income population … decreased cigarette and other nicotine product purchases and access to evidence-based smoking cessation medications post-expansion leading to a 24% increase in new use of smoking cessation medication … expansion is associated with increases in overall spending on medications to treat opioid use disorder and opioid overdose.

15. Confusion among beneficiaries, providers, and advocates in expansion waiver states around requirements for participation, as well as barriers to internet access and transportation barriers. These challenges have resulted in increased costs to beneficiaries, beneficiaries being transitioned to more limited benefit packages, low program participation, or programs not operating as intended in other ways.

16. Improvements in health outcomes in cardiac surgery patients and acute appendicitis. Significant improvements in relative disparities for black infants compared with white infants, decline in annual mortality among near-elderly adults, that translates to about 19,200 deaths that were averted during the first four years of expansion. A 6% lower rate of opioid overdose deaths; may have contributed to infant mortality rate reductions (this effect was particularly pronounced among the African-American population). 

17. Providers are meeting increased demands for care. Expansion results in significant reductions in out-of-pocket medical spending, and multiple studies found larger declines in trouble paying as well as worry about paying future medical bills

18. A 2.2 percentage point decrease in very low food security among low-income childless adults. Two 2019 national studies found expansion was associated with a reduction in the rate of poverty by just under 1 percentage point (or an estimated 690,000 fewer Americans living in poverty).

19. Expansion significantly reduced the average number of collections, improved credit scores, reduced over limit credit card spending, reduced public records (such as evictions, bankruptcies, or wage garnishments), and reduced the probability of a new bankruptcy filing, among other improvements in measures of financial security. One 2019 study found that Medicaid expansion was associated with a 1.15 reduction in the rate of evictions per 1000 renter-occupied households and a 1.59 reduction in the rate of eviction filings

Friday, April 2, 2021

WI Vos-Republicans ban Vaccine Passports, Mark of the Beast! On message with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

We know that the pandemic crashed the economy. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is the first time in history that closing entire economies has been used as a medical tool, simultaneously and worldwide. The early months of the coronavirus pandemic saw the U.S. economy plunge at its fastest rate in history. Over a two-month period, the jobless rate shot up from 3.5% in February 2020 to 14.7% in April—its highest level since 1940.

Without doing any of the heavy lifting to fight the virus, Republicans just wanted to open businesses and schools up by fighting masks and emergency rules. 

Did they take COVID-19 seriously? They made their position clear with one word..."panic?" Hey, Trump said it would fade away too...

"When the panic over COVID-19 fades away, people are going to begin to return to normal life. As a way to make their patrons feel 'safe,' some businesses will begin to discriminate against those who have not or cannot be vaccinated by requiring proof of vaccination," Republican Rep. Gae Magnafici said in a separate memo.
Discrimination? Are COVID deniers a protected class now? Victims again.
One draft targets businesses more broadly. It would bar individuals, firms, partnerships, corporations, associations and legal entities operating in the state from compelling a person to show they’ve been vaccinated as a condition of receiving services, doing business, accessing buildings or participating in non-private functions.

Vaccine Passports Mark of Satan: Now, some businesses want try using "vaccine passports" as a creative way to open up safely, but Scott Walker and WI Republicans want to tell businesses what to do. So much for free markets and getting government out of the way: 

The legislation, with 3 slightly different versions, baring businesses from using vaccine passports was bad enough, but look at the highlighted comment below in red. You can't make this stuff up:
Republican Sen. Rob Stafsholt wrote in a memo to colleagues on Thursday seeking support for the (government) legislation. "This legislation is about preventing government overreach."

Mark of the Beast? Nice to know you're on the same side as Rep. Greene, otherwise known as QAnon Congresswoman:

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) spun a new conspiracy theory this week that combines capitalism, communism, fascism, corporations, the coronavirus vaccine, the biblical apocalypse and President Joe Biden in one extremely hard-to-follow narrative.

“It’s still fascism. Or communism. Whatever you want to call it, but it’s coming from private companies. I have a term for that, I call it ‘corporate communism.’”

She said companies thrive on capitalism but are also “adapting these communist policies just like the Democrats are and they are pushing them on us through their private companies.”
Legislation that's real "free market" like...need more proof Republicans never took the COVID pandemic seriously at all, ever?

It also prohibits private companies in Florida from requiring any type of document from their customers certifying their vaccination, or immunity after they have recovered from the coronavirus.