Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Not about "Protecting Kids." Republicans alone want to Own the Youth and Gain the Future!

Who knew Hitler was right all along? MAGA Republicans seem to think so, using Hitler's genius to reform and weed out "woke" public education. 

The Walker Youth Movement, Pre-DeSantis. Goin after the kids: When voters kicked Scott Walker out as governor, he took aim at America's youth, becoming the president of the Young America's Foundation (YAF). Playing off the "liberal indoctrination" myth, he was pretty clear...
Walker said another priority of his, both at the high school and university level, would be to promote more objective teaching of American history, global history, economics, and simple financial literacy: “If you just give people the facts, if you don’t put your spin on it, the facts will overwhelmingly lead people to be more aligned with our point of view.” He added that because of progressive professors and liberal politicians, “this generation just doesn’t believe what the facts show to be true.”

“YAF has been great – but we have to multiply it a thousand times over and reach more students and more campuses and earlier. Not just in college and high school, but teens and pre-teens, to find more ways to expose people to the truth, he said he told the board.

White Religious Nationalism Indoctrination Okay? You would have thought some of the $3.5 billion proposed tax cut could have gone instead to our public schools and the UW Engineering Department, but no. Rep. Robin Vos bravely doubles down the imagined enemy of public education, liberal indoctrination:

“They tell me we don’t have enough people to be in engineering. We don’t have enough folks who are teaching an awful lot of careers. But. boy are they able to find millions of dollars to put into a curriculum and an ideology,” Vos added. “So, if they have extra money then I think it should be taken back, and the taxpayers of Wisconsin will have a chance to use it for something better than indoctrinating kids with left-wing ideology. It should not be indoctrination, where you’re only allowed to have one point of view.”

Then there's the idea that students aren't allowed to present a different opinion in class. Not true. It turns out conservative students know their view might be unpopular, so they self-censor. No one is shutting them down. From a YAF poll, mirroring a similar recent result from a UW poll:

46 percent admit they "have stopped myself from sharing my ideas or opinions in class discussions." As for why these students refrained, it appears that peer pressure is the dominating factor as 50 percent said they held back their opinions because they "thought my classmates would judge me."

That's not on the instructor or the other students. 

GOP's Religious Nationalism and Hitler's Comeback: The following clips may be from around the country, but they clearly represent Wisconsin's gerrymandered Republican majority. Saying the quiet parts outload now, proving "liberal indoctrination" never did work if it ever did exist, here are a few amazing examples: First, openly admit what you're doing...

...and pointing out who inspired you...

...doubling down via Moms for Liberty, who hope to "own the youth," which in someway "empowers parents?" a history loving 20 year old school board candidate casually quoting Hitler to make his case to voters:

Not going to take it anymore: What more can be said, it's all here...

NOTE: I thought this is something we should get an update on; the health of democracy in Wisconsin: 

 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.


Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Stopping the Red State Grift taking Blue State tax dollars.

Is it intentionally ironic how Republicans are demanding we not use public tax dollars to fund DEI programs because they're part of a "WOKE" left wing agenda, while at the same time blatantly accept Blue State tax dollars to fund authoritarian one-party rule and tax breaks in Red States? 

While I would have like to have seen the House Republican's cut all wasteful "spending" first in red states, just to test out their theory of austerity, I think Thom Hartmann's suggestion below should be taken very seriously. 

The idea below really does hold Republican states feet to the fire:

When the Biden administration tried to just slightly slow down the Red state gravy train, specifying in the American Rescue Plan could not be misappropriated and redirected to tax cuts for local billionaires, their politicians — dancing to the tune of their in-state oligarchs — went ballistic. As Forbes documented:
“In a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, 21 Republican state attorneys general described it as ‘the greatest attempted invasion of state sovereignty by Congress in the history of our Republic.’”
Federal policy fails to equalize revenue flowing to Red states against the tax money they send Washington DC. This loophole in US tax law is driving this bizarre process where citizens in Blue states are forced by law to pay for all-white “Christian” academies, enforcement of abortion restrictions, persecution of asylum seekers and immigrants, and political attacks on queer people.

Red state “welfare queen” governors and legislatures are going to happily continue this grift as long as we let them get away with it. Congress should pass legislation mandating that Red state revenues to DC must at least match 90 percent of the money they get back; 100 percent would be better, and help hugely with our nation’s budget deficit.

It’s time to end Red state welfare!

Here's an example:

Cartoonist found Alive!


Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Vos Republicans plan to punish UW, again! Adopt fabricated MAGA policies attacking Equity and Diversity or lose funding.

Apparently, Republicans denying state funding for the expansion of the job creating engineering department due to high demand, wasn't enough of an economic killer for the state

The UW-Madison College of Engineering receives some 8,000 applicants annually but only has the space and teaching resources to accept about 1,200. The $347 million building would allow the state flagship to graduate at least 1,000 more undergraduate engineers annually, as well as hire more faculty and expand research. “Today is certainly a sad day for UW–Madison, but the real tragedy is for the state of Wisconsin,” Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin said in a statement. "This building would promote the state’s economic development. It would create significant workforce opportunities. It would propel innovation. And without it, we harm businesses all across Wisconsin."
Where's Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), who were big supporters of the expansion? Business was also shocked:
CEOs were "terrified" and confused as to why Wisconsin wouldn't fund the project, which would make it even more difficult for businesses to hire engineers ... some companies are offering jobs to students two years before graduation.

This isn't really an Issue: Now the ridiculously gerrymandered Republican majority wants to spew their party's racism and bigotry into the UW System by banning equity and inclusion. It's still surreal to think anyone would be against equity and inclusion, but hey, their MAGA voters will buy into anything. So, bring out the torches and pitchforks for their latest fabricated outrage.

Keep in mind, Republicans have always found some way to punish the UW System, the state's economic engine, for its liberal reputation. So, why the labor shortage? Gee, I don't know...  

The fight this year centers on issues of free speech and UW's work to advance diversity and racial equity. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said he wants to cut all funding the university system would use for diversity initiatives. 

“I want the university to grow and succeed, but if they are obsessed with spending all the scarce dollars that they have on programs that are clearly divisive and offer little public good, I don’t know why we’d want to support that." Republican lawmakers this year have proposed more than 30 bills in 12 states to limit diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in higher education. 
The horror, right? Maybe we should limit all those "diverse" right-wing speakers and topics at the UW? Cuts both ways.
Democratic Sen. Kelda Roys said. "The UW is the economic engine of the state. Making any cuts to the UW, especially politically motivated ones, is just going to harm every person in this state.”
How bad can it get, and who will eventually pay for this? Parents and students. Sweet. "Come to Wisconsin?" Dream on.
UW regents asked the Legislature for a total spending increase of nearly $436 million in state money over the next two years, citing low revenue from a decade long tuition freeze and rising costs due to inflation. Vos said the budget committee plans to reject that request. Tuesday's vote could leave the UW System nearly half a billion dollars short of what school officials say they need.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Wisconsin, we're going Nowhere Fast...

The shocking lack of progress in Wisconsin has now become glaringly obvious. Anti-job legislation doesn't even get a passing glance by Republican voters anymore. Hey, it's just the way it is. Trapped in amber;

1. "Strip out All of the Milwaukee things!" Republicans have been trashing Milwaukee for decades, so guess what? Despite being one of the top economic engines statewide...

After credit downgrade, Vos smells blood in the water, and threatens to strip Milwaukee provisions from government funding bill...
WPR: "If we do not get a deal this week, I think we should strip out all of the Milwaukee things," Vos told reporters Wednesday. "And we will just focus on the balance of the bill, which is repealing the personal property tax and making sure that every community around the state is not held hostage by Milwaukee's problems."
So why aren't Milwaukee's problems the state's problem? After Milwaukee's credit rating was downgraded due to inadequate funding by Republican over the last decade, now it's Gov. Evers responsibility? 
If an agreement is not reached, Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said the Senate would pursue a shared revenue bill that does not include a sales tax option for Milwaukee. "The governor has a chance to save Wisconsin's largest city and most populous county from bankruptcy. We hope he takes it."

2. WI Republicans denounce progress by protecting gas guzzling machines and power equipment. TMJ4:

The Environmental group Wisconsin Conservation Voters told lawmakers last month that the measure “is at best a solution in search of a problem” given that no community in Wisconsin or the state itself is attempting to ban any type of fuel.
3. Public Health is Tyranny: This is an issue? WI Republicans decided meningitis isn't a real danger after all, forget about protecting the children. But drag shows...yup, just more WOKE tyranny:

This is what we get for trying to stop the COVID pandemic...

The state Assembly and state Senate voted to bar Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' administration from implementing a new rule that would have required seventh graders to get vaccinated against meningitis and mandated parents to show proof their children were infected with chickenpox before obtaining a waiver from the state's chickenpox vaccination requirement...voted in March to block the rule after a GOP members questioned the decision-making of state health officials, largely because they disagreed with their orders to shutter businesses in the weeks after Evers declared a health emergency over COVID-19 and to wear masks during the most threatening periods of the coronavirus pandemic.
4. Forget Job Creation, Republicans Punish UW System...Again, by Rejecting Engineering Expansion: With one third already funded, all the state had to do was contribute the rest, with a massive budget surplus as a cushion. Nope. 
UW-Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin in February called it a “critical project” that would help boost economic development in the state. "Investing in this facility will help address a crucial workforce shortage in the state as well as enhance the world-class research that draws talent into our state and drives economic vibrancy. We will continue to champion this vital project.” JSONLINE: The UW-Madison College of Engineering receives some 8,000 applicants annually but only has the space and teaching resources to accept about 1,200. The $347 million building would allow the state flagship to graduate at least 1,000 more undergraduate engineers annually, as well as hire more faculty and expand research.
Sen. Kelda Roys (D-Madison) said defunding the UW engineering building “makes no economic sense” and blamed it, and other UW-related funding cancellations, on hostility toward the university by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. “It only make sense if you think about it as political retribution,” Roys said.
Around $100 million in private donations for a planned engineering building at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are at risk after Republican lawmakers pulled the $347 million project from the state's capital budget.

It was first included in Gov. Tony Evers' 2021-23 capital budget recommendations. Evers included the project again in his current $3.8 billion capital budget proposal.

But the engineering building — singled out as the top priority both for the university and for the UW System — was axed. Rep. Mark Born, R-Beaver Dam, said "it shouldn't be surprising" that Republicans trimmed down Evers' original request. Born said Evers' capital budget "was unrealistic and spent beyond the state's means."
5. WI Republicans Kill High Speed Broadband Rollout, AGAIN: This affects rural Republican voters most, but they're watching distraction TV and reading alt-right media instead. 

The GOP lawmakers who hold three out of four seats on the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) rejected Evers’ proposal to put $750 million in state funds into broadband internet service expansion, saying that pending federal infrastructure money would be more than enough for that purpose through the 2023-25 budget cycle. According to a Legislative Fiscal Bureau report, the state will receive $700 million to $1.1 billion in federal broadband funds starting by July 1 from the bipartisan infrastructure law enacted in late 2021.
6. WI Republicans may turn down Federal Money for EV Charging stations: Republicans don't quite fit in to the 21st century, you know. 

WPR: The Wisconsin Department of Transportation hopes to nearly double the number of publicly-available electric vehicle charging stations around the state with an infusion of federal dollars — but an outdated state law stands in the way. But federal requirements stipulate those stations need to charge customers by the amount of electricity used, also known as kilowatt-hour. In Wisconsin, only regulated utilities are allowed to charge per kilowatt-hour.

Recent attempts to change the law have failed. A bill was introduced in the state Legislature last session, but died in the Assembly after being approved by the Senate. The language change was included in Gov. Tony Evers' budget, but was removed earlier this year by the Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee.
7. ...and finally, illegal recreational Marijuana, WI is the island in the Midwest:

MAGAs at War with Everything, Everywhere all at Once.

No matter what you say or do, even with pictures, you'll never change the mind of MAGA. I sent these Biden success stories to my MAGA friend:

He texted back...

I know, it's hard to imagine such breathless, panting, love sick adulation. But he will believe anything Trump lie to make himself feel better. 

John Pavlovitz recently blogged this perfect description of these proudly deplorable MAGAs:

And now we find America brutalized by a group of people who are fiercely and unrelentingly at war—with everything.

They rage against the LGBTQ community,
people of color,
against the rights of women,
against immigrants, and Muslims and Jewish people.

They go to battle with scientists,
with medical professionals,
with Atheists,
with the FBI.

They crusade against election results,
against Liberals,
against the Media,
against the Constitution.

They mount their incessant brutal assaults upon athletes and entertainers,
upon librarians and school teachers,
upon theme parks and drag queens,
upon beer companies and participation trophies.

To hell with the sick and the poor; with the evaporating natural resources and the rapidly-warming planet; with the unemployed, underserved, and underfed; with the daily mass assassinations at schools and shopping malls. To hell with sorrow and need and loneliness. Those inconveniences merit no urgency, garner no grieving, elicit no such passion. War, after all, is hell—even if it means putting others through it.

 A simple protest supporting LGBTQ rights at a school board meeting turned into a riot? You won't hear any MAGAs criticizing this brawl because this is how they see the future, and they're not afraid of it: