Monday, January 16, 2017

Where were these headlines Before the Election???

Walker's Wisconsin, dumping ground for cut rate companies?

Wages in Wisconsin have headed downward. Scott Walker's policies have taken it's toll on labor.

And yet, Walker would have you dream of better days ahead..."careers that pay more than the minimum wage:"
Scott Walker: "The left claims that they're for American workers and they've just got really lame ideas — things like the minimum wage. Instead of focusing on that, we need to talk about how we get people ... the careers that pay far more than the minimum wage."
Minimum wage? Don't be ridiculous.

And yet the state he's created and is selling to employers in other states is just the opposite of careers that pay more, or may someday offer more. Twin Cities:
Diversified Manufacturing Corp. will be leaving Newport for Wisconsin in June, taking about 120 jobs with it.

But why leave its Minnesota roots for Wisconsin?
The reason why may haunt Wisconsin for some time. We may become a magnet for cheap cut rate companies that aren't labor friendly:
Company owner Rishikesh “Ram” Motilall said he was drawn to Wisconsin because he finds the cost of business to be lower there. And he worries about the business impact should efforts in the Twin Cities to raise the minimum wage and increase sick time expand statewide.
We would hate to see higher minimum wages and expanded sick time. But Scott Walker believes in a dynamic "free market" wonderland businesses keeps demanding:
Diversified Manufacturing received about 15 acres of free land, tax increment financing, and assistance with setting up the site from the city, Prescott’s Mayor David Hovel said,
By the way, I ran across this minimum wage tidbit that sounded very very familiar. Republicans are using this Frank Luntz ploy to death:
The survey of 1,000 business executives across the country was conducted by LuntzGlobal, the firm run by Republican pollster Frank Luntz, and obtained by a liberal watchdog group called the Center for Media and Democracy. (The slide deck is here, and the full questionnaire is here.) Among the most interesting findings: 80 percent of respondents said they supported raising their state's minimum wage, while only eight percent opposed it. "That’s where it’s undeniable that they support the increase,” Luntz told state chamber executives in a webinar describing the results,
Walker used Frank Luntz's messaging scheme to its fullest, more familiar BS:
Luntz then provided some tips on how to defuse that support, such as suggesting other poverty-reduction methods like the Earned Income Tax Credit. “Where you might find some comfort if you are opposing it in your state is, 'how big of a priority is it against other priorities?'” he said. "Most folks think there are bigger priorities ... So when you put it up against other issues, you can find other alternatives and other things to focus on. But in isolation, and you ask about the minimum wage, it's definitely a winner.

Ryan's ACA Replacement Plan isn't about Health Care, it's about the Health of the Insurance Industry: Part 2

A few thoughts on repealing ObamaCare, otherwise known as the ACA (so many people thought they were two totally different plans).

When I saw actual side-by-side "competition" between insurers force some off the exchanges, it was my epiphanic moment. Insurers not only don't like competition, it would actually kill them.

So the ridiculous idea that insurers would lower their premiums once they had to compete across state lines didn't make sense anymore:

1. They'd take a huge hit on Wall Street.

2. We already saw what would happen if insurer premiums simply grew too slowly, like they did on the exchanges; insurers gave up and left the exchanges.

3. If prices do decline or rise too slowly, small insurers won't survive, and only the strongest and largest insurers will be left. Again, this creates large closed noncompetitive monopolistic networks, the ones Paul Ryan claimed destroyed ObamaCare and raised premiums.

4. Insurer "competition" doesn't have anything to do with the actual prices charged by doctors and hospitals. The repeal/replace plan is all about the insurance industry. What part of this reigns in the rising cost of health care?

Then I saw this analysis. It confirmed what I was already thinking:

Republicans have sucked so much of the air out of the room, just debating repeal and replace, that what I've listed above is not getting any attention. It's even more difficult to deal with 2 or 3 years from now.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Can't Believe a thing Trump says...part 2,001....

Fake news artist Trump wants you to believe what he believes....
The president-elect said Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called him to denounce the reports about the unverified dossier on Trump which recently leaked. But that is at odds with Clapper's own words in an earlier statement about their call.

Republican alternative to the UW's class "The Men's Project!"

Rep. Robin Vos' main squeeze Michelle Litjens said something amazing this morning on WPR's Joy Cardin Show, about "The Men’s Project, a six-week voluntary discussion program that “aims to explore masculinity and the problems accompanied by simplified definitions of it,” according to a UW Health Service news release.
Litjens: "I think our students need to be offered both sides...they're offering a class about how not to be strong men anymore...but they also should be offering a class on, "If You Want to be a Strong Man, Here's How to Do It." You know we need to be offering both sides to our students..."
Priceless and fair.

Ryan's ACA Replacement Plan isn't about Health Care, it's about the Health of the Insurance Industry.

Paul Ryan's entire health care reform plan is all about shopping for insurance and insurance company healthy profits subsidized by the American taxpayer.

Paul Ryan's CNN town hall meeting with one conservative voter did not go well. The lesson here is that unless Republicans are personally affected, they don't give a rats ass.

Not only did Ryan meet up with a former ObamaCare hating small business owner who now praises the ACA, he had no specific comeback that his plan would have been any better. Ryan instead wants to bring back those failed and expensive taxpayer supported state run high risk pools, so insurers have only healthy people sending them a check every month. Real free market like...?

Remember: Below, Trump promised "far less expensive and far better" coverage than the ACA exchanges. NOTE: Trump bashed the ObamaCare deductibles for being "so high, that after people go care can't even be used by them because their deductibles are so high." The right wing talking point is "deductibles are so high it's like not having insurance." And yet, the Republican plan is centered on HSA's, health savings accounts, which are high deductible insurance plans.

It's driving me crazy Democrats aren't pointing this out every minute of every day:

...more of Trump's promise.....remember, "better" can't include less coverage:

What the Public Wants vs What the Republicans don't Want: Democrats forced Republicans go on record during the vote to repeal the ACA opposing the most popular publically supported elements of ObamaCare:

It's odd how we're just now having the discussion about what it would be like repealing the ACA for 22 million insured Americans who could lose their coverage.

You'll notice that 77% of those who want to repeal ObamaCare (who whined loudly about not being able to keep their old insurance or doctors), are okay with 20 million people losing their insurance and doctors. The power of resentment is mind blowing.

But the recent large increases in premiums on the exchanges might have been a one time marketplace correction for the initial lower premiums when ObamaCare began. Also, the Urban Institute Report predicted that 82% of the 30 million people losing their coverage would be from working families. Sorry "real Americans." And repealing the taxes that support the ACA now would make paying for their own plan impossible, since they've taken a no tax pledge:

After watching Ryan scramble to defend his massively flawed plan, by a clueless media, I have a few observations:
1. My very well off brother complained he didn't get any help paying for his health insurance, like the ACA subsidy, and thought that was unfair. Under Ryan's plan, the well off who can already deduct their expensive Cadillac health care plans, will get Ryan's tax break as well with an across the board "refundable tax credit." The rich and poor will get the same amount no matter what income level. Oddly, they want to means test Medicare patients.

2. How can out-of-state insurers offer less expensive plans from when they have to set up networks in those other states?

3. Before ObamaCare, doctors and hospitals complained about the maze of insurer paperwork and contractual guidelines. With the influx of outside insurers setting up shop, doesn't that make keeping track of each individual insurer a nightmare?

4. Some of the people asking questions at Ryan's town hall didn't really have a grasp of what really happens in health care, blindly accepting Ryan's bizarre concept of health care. 
Watch the whole thing here:

Thursday, January 12, 2017

"We Won" Trump supporter thinks ObamaCare and the ACA aren't the same!!! Part 2

It's an amazing revelation: Republicans thought "ObamaCare" had nothing to do with the ACA - the Affordable Care Act.  I posted a similar story the other day. 

Here's the latest string of Tweets from another Trump voter cluelessly hoping ObamaCare gets repealed (click image for clarity):

Always remember this promise from Traitor Trump as health care in the country as the cost goes through the roof with worthless high deductible junk policies:

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Trump's Golden Shower Bombshell...or is this Nazi German? Neither? This is Trump!

The question should be, did anyone worry about leaked "fake news," or even irrelevant news about Hillary Clinton or John Podesta? Why is this different, especially when you consider Trump's penchant for flagrant lying?

Press Conference Circus: Trump's version of Goebbels, double speak press secretary and media mangler Sean Spicer came out first to diffuse the unsubstantiated Buzzfeed story about Trump's "golden shower" Russian hotel romp, but his push back appeared desperate and preemptive.

This may or may not be fake news, but still, why did Trump trolls try to cover Trump's ass right away? Just in case?:
Trump supporters started a misinformation campaign about the dossier, circulating images on 4chan and Reddit that include passages not contained in the original document. They claim the entire dossier is made up and that it was sent to a Republican strategist, Rick Wilson, last year. Wilson denied being the source of the leak. He has been involved in a long-running battle with Internet trolls after he called Trump supporters “childless single men who masturbate to anime” last January.
Trump again took it out on a CNN reporter, calling the network fake news:

But Trump loves fake news, as explained here:

MSNBC's correspondent in Moscow gives us their reaction:

Of course Trump calling out those in the intelligence community Nazi's was a first by an American president, as Andrea Mitchell pointed out:

Trump's attorney came out with their reinterpretation of the Constitution and ridiculous and tortured workaround's so Trump would continue to make money:

For those unfamiliar with the  story, as I was until I decided to post this....
CNN reported only that a two-page summary of the report “was presented last week to President Barack Obama and President-elect Trump [and] included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump.” The story began making the rounds at Washington dinner parties late last summer: Donald Trump had been caught in a compromising sexual position by Russian intelligence agents during a business trip to Moscow.

According to one version, told by a high-ranking Obama administration diplomat, Russian intelligence services, acting on Trump’s well-known obsession with sex, had arranged an evening for him with a bevy of hookers, with hidden cameras and microphones recording all the action. The jaw-dropping detail that topped the story? Trump had somehow engaged in “golden showers,” sex acts involving urine. Russian security agents watched Trump engaging in “perverted sexual acts” that were “arranged/monitored by the FSB,” the Kremlin’s leading spy agency. The FSB, it said, “employed a number of prostitutes to perform a golden showers (urination) show in front of him.” The veracity of the report and its sourcing have not been verified.

The report also detailed Moscow’s interest in the Clintons. Reports on Hillary Clinton were “collated” by Directorate K of the FSB spy agency “for many years,” it said, “dating back to her husband Bill's presidency.” But not much was found by bugging Clinton’s hotel rooms, the sources said: The spies recorded no “golden showers” or “unorthodox or embarrassing behavior” from countless hours of eavesdropping on Clinton and her retinue. The best they could come up with was ”things she had said which contradicted her current position on various issues.”

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Republicans attack "Empathy" again ripping into Streep.

Meryl Streep talked about "empathy," and got trashed by the Trumpian "we won" bullies.

As Streep summed up at the end, it's all about empathy. Which is why Meghan McCain's comments were so bizarre:
Conservative commentator Meghan McCain on Sunday criticized actress Meryl Streep's Golden Globes dig at Donald Trump, saying it shows that Hollywood doesn't understand the forces behind Trump's victory.

Having empathy will get Trump elected again? Republicans have turned empathy an epithet.

For the always scrambling Kellyanne Conway, Streep is inciting Trump voters worst instincts, like having a little empathy:

Remember the vilification of "empathy?" Republicans hated the word and made that clear a while back. Oddly, on the same day Sen. Jeff Session had his hearing on becoming the nations attorney general, I found this story from June 2009 when he attacked the idea of "empathy:"
USA Today: The top Republican on the Senate committee, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., reviewing Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court said Monday that he is concerned President Obama is driving federal courts "far to the left" by choosing "activist" judges for the bench.

(Sessions) raised questions about what role a judge's background should play in deciding cases. “When he talks about wanting a judge to show empathy, that's very troubling to me."
Empathy attacked again:
(President) Obama set forth his criteria for a (Supreme Court Justice) replacement by declaring that he viewed “that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people’s hopes and struggles, as an essential ingredient.” But now that conservatives have hijacked empathy and turned it into an epithet — “a code word for an activist judge,” as Senator Orrin Hatch said recently on ABC. 

Trump and Paul Ryan slap together 3 week repeal and TrumpCare replacement plan...what could go wrong?

Remember when Republicans complained the Democrats hastily put together the Affordable Care Act in  just one year? 

Well, they’re about to pass their own plan in a few weeks.
AP: President-elect Donald Trump pushed Congress Tuesday for speed and coordination, to act swiftly to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law, and follow up quickly with a replacement. House Speaker Paul Ryan, after talking with Trump, announced that the House would aim to take both steps "concurrently. We're going to use every tool at our disposal, through legislation, through regulation, to bring replace concurrent along with repeal, so that we can save people from this mess."
Actually the Affordable Care Act was a Democratic plan that was a century in the making. 

Guess you can't say that about the TrumpCare plan:
Trum (told) the Times that the repeal should be "probably sometime next week," and "the replace will be very quickly or simultaneously, very shortly thereafter."
Always remember what Paul Ryan promised:

I can't wait to see this crumble. Here's Huffington Post's Jeffrey Young on what repeal will mean.

"We Won" Trump supporter thinks ObamaCare and the ACA aren't the same!!! They're in control now....

Since health care is one of the most important issues facing our country and the budget, I did more than my share of homework trying to understand what was at stake.

For Trumpian followers, the mind numbing chant "repeal ObamaCare" was all they ever really needed to know, which is turning out to be very very embarrassing.

All it took was the following couple of Tweets to get things started:

You read that right, ObamaCare is not the ACA? These are the people in charge now, salivating over its repeal, and looking forward to lower cost insurance and better coverage.

It then got interesting with a flood of tweets trashing American Patriot:

American Patriot, who's cluelessness will result in 20 million people losing their doctors and insurance, doubled down. You'll love this...:

What a hero.

Fringe "Reporter" pushed DNR to magically eliminate looming Climate Change!

My head is hurting after reading what appeared to be a fairly boring story about the DNR scrubbing their website of climate change information. It was crazy enough to disappear climate change, but even crazier to pretend climate change doesn't exist. Now we're finding out the DNR made the change at the request of a reporter at the Lakeland Times. That's all it took. You won't believe this...

It turned out the relevant and outrageous details of this national news story were oddly buried at the end of a JS story reported yesterday. So let’s start there:
Richard Moore: Climate Denier
In an interview on Dec. 19, Richard Moore, investigative reporter for the Lakeland Times, asked Stepp and Deputy Secretary Kurt Thiede that since “DNR officials have been publicly stating for at least three years that the causes of climate change are debatable … why the climate page was never changed,” the newspaper reported.

"Stepp said she did not know what we were referring to but said what we were telling her was concerning and she would check out the climate-change page to make sure she was getting the right information," the Minocqua-based newspaper reported.

"If there is something on our website that I'm not familiar was on our website, I thank you for bringing that to my attention," Stepp said.
Oh, and by the way, the “investigative reporter” is a right wing paranoid denier, a fact that again, was buried at the end of the JS story:
Moore is the author of "The New Bossism of the American Left," and "How the DNR Stole Wisconsin."
I want to make this perfectly clear, fake news instigators, authors and now right wing propagandist “reporters” are giving policy guidance our state government. And the Walker administration took the bait.

Cleverly Duping the DNR Again?: Hand it to the JS for craftily setting up what might be the next major deletion on the DNR’s website:
The Journal Sentinel asked the DNR whether the agency planned to scrub other language related to human factors in climate change on the website, such as a web page devoted waste management. The page says, "We now have a clearer understanding of the role waste and materials management plays in global climate change and, most importantly, the opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the waste and materials management sphere."

Dick, the DNR spokesman, responded in an email: "Thank you for bringing that landfill page to our attention. Now that you have, we’ll take a look at it and see if it needs updating."
If you take a quick look at Richard Moore's "How the DNR stole Wisconsin, Part 2," you'll see why Cathy Stepp made those DNR changes so quickly:
How the DNR Stole Wisconsin: These bureaucracies are filled with partisan, protected activists who care not about the will of the people. They peddle leftist and globalist agendas, and they have the authority through administrative rules to enact them. They lust after power and absolute power, and no lawmaker has the guts to take them on. in 2008. Here’s what I said about the agency then (2008): “The DNR runs roughshod over anyone who dares to question it. It uses intimidation, often hangs its hat on questionable science, makes up its own laws on the spot, enforces arbitrary, one-size-fits-all rules with often-absurd consequences, and lies and covers up when it has to.” 

The Times asked the DNR specific questions about its climate-change activities because we wondered whether the agency might rethink its policy assumptions given new information. We wondered why the agency presented only one point of view on its web pages, and why it distributed one-sided propaganda to school teachers. DNR spokesperson Mr. Cosh’s assurance in 2011 that a climate-change handbook for teachers had been discontinued, when in fact it is still distributed. The agency needs to perform a mea culpa and apologize for its dishonesty. 

The goal of those the DNR partners with is to work globally and locally to destroy the American economy and to shift power and wealth to nondemocratic Third World countries.
I checked out Richard Moore's other book, to get his perspective on the "American Left." I especially liked the bizarre assumption that anyone on the left "seeks to control every aspect of our lives." Not one progressive, liberal or Democrat I've ever met has made that claim, but it beautifully stokes and manipulates the paranoid rights fears perfectly:
The New Bossism of the American Left … Richard Moore exposes the inner workings of this increasingly all-powerful political machine: a collectivist bureaucracy … and a liberal state-run media. Together, they seek to control every aspect of our lives: what we eat, where we live, what we read, how long we will be in the shower. They want to control all the waters of the United States, and the dust on the nation’s farms … and continue to talk as if we are a free people. To restore the constitutional integrity that allows a free people to freely decide their fate demands that the true inner workings of the New Bosses be revealed, so its machinery can be dismantled.
"Liberal state run media?" It should be noted Moore is the former editor of the Lakeland Times...part of the liberal state-run media? I'd be curious to see how many other newspaper editors have similar books that are so politically radical on their resumes.

A one star reviewer pretty much summed up my feelings...
Propaganda – by MilwaukeeMax, January 9, 2017: This guy calls himself a journalist but is a disgrace to the profession and a complete hack. He ignores facts and spins his agenda into all his "investigative" writing, which only spews out his vitriolic rhetoric that is intended to confuse and create fear.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Trump's Tweet Tantrum on Streep, and juvenile "We Won" tour can't wipe out illegitimate win and serial lying.

Trump's tweet-tantrum about Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes should cement in peoples minds that this guy is a stark raving megalomaniac (a delusional mental disorder that is marked by feelings of personal omnipotence and grandeur), with a narcissistic personality disorder (extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one's own talents and a craving for admiration).

Oddly, you won't see the press writing about Trump's serious personality disorders. Left untreated, he could plunge the country into utter chaos.

So far, Trump has spent all his time defending the legitimacy of the election...his legitimacy, because the evidence against him is overwhelming. 1) Russian hacking to elect Trump, 2) Trump lost popular vote by 3 million, 3) The House and Senate lost Republicans, 4) Trump's record breaking lies fooled some of the people most of the time.

Blames DNC for Russian hacking, that he claims didn't affect election...: Technically speaking, Trump will always have the cloud of illegitimacy hovering over his presidency, no matter what he says based on the evidence:
A Russian covert operation designed to undermine American democracy evolved into an attempt to help Donald Trump win ... Office of National Intelligence: "Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump."

I think Trump's New Year's greeting says it all, as captured by Mark Hamill's "Joker:"

Trump, the Media TV Star: Try as he may, trashing Hollywood and the media rings a bit hollow now, since his runaway hit TV show. But Trump's narcissism won't allow criticism. Meryl Streep, over-rated, really? She is now pay the Trump price via name calling...real presidential like:

It wasn't just Streep who commented. 
Night Manager star Hugh Laurie began his acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series (by saying)..
“I can say I won this at the last-ever Golden Globes. I mean, it has the words ‘Hollywood,’ ‘Foreign,’ and ‘Press’ in it,” the “I also think to some Republicans, even the word ‘Association’ is sketchy. I accept this award on behalf of psychopathic billionaires everywhere.”
A few of my wife's fellow authors had their Facebook pages filled with Trumpian lunacy. Just to be clear, I don't know one liberal, progressive or Democrat that is in the tank this much for any politician...including Bernie Sanders. It would scare me. 

But Trump dupes are so personally invested in Trump, basically living vicariously through his massive unforgiving ego, that they trashed their favorite authors for agreeing with Streep. The following is a random sample of comments:
Randy: How beautiful it is not to care at all what the liberals in Hollywood say. We won, get over it!!

S Hortman: Amen Randy. They big spoiled brats who want sidewalks so the illegals and terrorist can freely come over. They need psychiatric care. They didnt hd hillary or obama accountable. Nothing but babies liars and spoiled bullies. My attitude about demos have changed. What creepy haters of God men and country. Doubleminded.

S Angel: STreep is a DISGUSTING FEMALE who say things at random without fact- checking it first. I hope she will get her karma when it strikes back at her. Her speech was classless and pointless and a total lie that had been ORIGINATED by the CNN!! This is going to be her LAST award. She will be going downhill from here on.

S Hortman: Well You get hateful call people racist and bigots then we respond and you start bawling. We arent pretenders and after recount shut up. You lost your asses lost move on.

S Angel: STreep is a DISGUSTING FEMALE who say things at random without fact- checking it first. I hope she will get her karma when it strikes back at her. Her speech was classless and pointless and a total lie that had been ORIGINATED by the CNN!! This is going to be her LAST award. She will be going downhill from here on.

S Hortman: We have been loosing for eight years. Trump won. Ha. Now say the Pledge of Allegiance so you understand you arent the only one that matters. Ugh.
On a lighter note: Catholics 4 Trump, I kid you not, claim he didn't really mock the reporter, since the reporter does not flail his arms around. And yet Trump did say, "you ought-a see this guy." Now if Trump wasn't famous for over hyping everything...maybe:

One CNN reporter explained, while displaying a still photo of him, that Kovaleski, “suffers from a chronic condition that impairs movement of his arms.” Again, the implication is that Kovaleski can’t control his arms from moving. To the contrary, Kovaleski appears perfectly calm when giving interviews. Thus, if Trump truly wanted to mock Kovaleski’s disability, he would have had to stand perfectly still with a flexed right hand and not flail his arms.

Trump increases Pentagon spending despite hidden waste of $125 billion, and past unaccounted for $2.3 Trillion.

Republicans are dead set on increasing defense spending, while cutting every social safety net program we have. Peace through strength they say. But if Republicans were serious about weeding out fraud and government waste, well, they could start and end with defense spending.

Defense spending just went up to $619 billion, while programs benefiting Americans are being targeted for major reductions. The chart here is from 2015. Note: Self funded programs are included:

Mind Blowing Pentagon Waste Ignored: I've found two reports that Republicans don't want you to remember. First, the most recent report of Pentagon waste from December 2016, acknowledged by Trump in this "official" pre-presidential Tweet:

Here's the Fox News report:

Business Insider: Barely one week after a blockbuster Washington Post investigation revealed that the Pentagon had suppressed a report identifying $125 billion in wasteful spending, Congress has passed the new National Defense Authorization Act, directing a fresh $619 billion to the Department of Defense. 

Last summer, an examination of the finances of the U.S. Army alone found misstatements and errors than ran into the trillions of dollars. A push by Congress to force the Pentagon into “audit readiness” by the end of fiscal year 2017 is widely regarded as doomed to failure.

The bill (had) several controversial measures removed … a proposal to allow defense contractors to exercise their “religious freedom” by discriminating against employees on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation … would have required women to register for the draft.
Pentagon Couldn't Find $2.3 Trillion...Lost: The above report pales in comparison to the archival CBS footage I saved from way back around 2001, when we were talking about the pentagon losing track of $2.3 trillion...not kidding. The Pentagon wrote off the losses like they always do, according to Dept. of Defense Analyst Franklin Spinney:

So, still want to spend more on the military, while trying to squeeze out that negligible amount of fraud in the food stamp program? It was never about saving money or small government, it was always about taking power.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Trump declares Russian hacking a "witch hunt," while ordering "witch hunt" to investigate leak to NBC.

You can predict Trump's reaction to everything if you just understand he has narcissistic personality disorder. It's real, and it's a serious disorder.

I thought this was another odd comment from Trump, who's narcissistic personality disorder continues to downplay the Russian hacks that influenced a presidential election....
Trump: "China, relatively recently, hacked 20 million government names. How come nobody even talks about that? This is a political witch hunt."
...when Trump just ordered the following witch hunt, knowing that "nobody even talked about" so many other government leaks....

 This strongman is now going after his "enemies."

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Trump a "Strongman" dictator, consolidating power, delegitimizing institutions, pushing "fake news."

It's almost crazy the way the "right" is trying to steal away and use "fake news" as a weapon against the opposition party. Used to describe outlets like Breitbart, Townhall, Red State, and the MacIver Institute, fake news is now being used broadly against the real news media.

MSNBC's Ari Melber took a look at how quickly Republicans have latched onto fake news, as a sledge hammer against the media, and now as a "legitimate" source supporting their purely ideological fake world vision. In the video below, watch former Senator and leader of the Heritage Foundation Jim DeMint laugh and call estimates by the Congressional Budget Office fake news.

The Washington Post's Paul Farhi made a few great points as well:
Farhi: "The term has now been weaponized, it's been politicized...If we can't in a society, at least agree on some facts, we've got nothing to talk about. You're talking about chaos." 

NYU Journalism professor Jay Rosen has written a paper on how the press must now change the way they cover the news under Trump, the king of fake news.
Rosen: "A man in power untroubled by contradictions and comfortable in the confusion he creates cannot be held accountable by normal means...a Trump presidency is likely to be constructed on a propaganda model in which fomenting confusion is not a drag on the Administration's agenda, but a sign that it's working." 

The most troubling development is Trump's plan to reform and pare down the US intelligence agency, after trashing it and saying that it's bloated and politicized. When the incoming president has more faith in intelligence pushed by Putin and Julian Assange, well you get the picture.

Here's Ari with former independent candidate Evan McMullin, and Wisconsin's Charlie Sykes:
McMullin: "It is absolutely textbook for a "strongman" to come in and attack not only the media, they do that, but also intelligence and security services. Try to weaken them, try to consolidate power within them...I mean it's absolutely textbook and I have to say as a former intelligence officer myself, seeing his attacks on the press and in reading this report tonight really has me greatly concerned, perhaps more concerned than I been all along."

Sykes: "I see the pattern here of Donald Trump trying to delegitimize any institution that might be a check on him, whether it is the news media or intelligence community...he does not want these independent agencies who might actually be a truth detector on his administration." 

And these latest developments only add to the urgency:
Daily Beast: Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Thursday that Russia cyberattacking campaigns are “multi-faceted” and also include fake news. “This was a multi-faceted campaign,” Clapper said at a Senate hearing on Thursday morning. “So the hacking was only one part of it, and it also entailed classical propaganda, disinformation, fake news.” Clapper’s testimony confirms suspicions that, in addition to hacking into U.S. political institutions like the Democratic National Committee, Russia helped propagate and spread fake news online as part of its purported goal of helping to elect Donald Trump. Asked whether Russia’s campaign is continuing, Clapper said simply: “Yes.”
 Daily Beast: Russians Who Hit DNC Are Using Fake News to Hack U.S.: Some of the Russian hackers blamed for infiltrating the DNC are using bogus news to get inside the networks of the unsuspecting. James Scott, a senior fellow at the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, told The Daily Beast in an email. “News or Fake News are both effective lures because the targets feel compelled to open the email or link in order to be informed [or] to be vindicated.”

"Routine Jobs" Disappearing along with Middle Class, raising Non-Participation Rates!

Here's another examination of that all important "non-participation rate" Republicans like to bring up trying to discredit Obama's low unemployment numbers.

As it turns out, Republicans have been unknowingly pointing out a major shift in the U.S. economy and jobs market. It's a trend that accelerated after the Great Recession, another Republican gift to a more deregulated world.  It wasn't just the loss of thousands of major manufacturing businesses nationwide, but a dramatic shift to that service economy we've all been warned about for decades (Perot vs Gore "sucking sound" debates):

The Wall Street Journal- ‘Routine’ Jobs Are Disappearing: One of the most worrying economic trends over the past few decades has been the decline of middle-class jobs in the U.S.

As “routine” jobs—often middle-class work based on a relatively narrow set of repeated tasks, such as welding-machine operators or bank tellers—disappear, many workers who would typically have held them have taken on lower-paying low-skill manual work or simply dropped out of the labor force, according to new research from a trio of economists.

The paper, called “Disappearing Routine Jobs,” provides more evidence that the transformation of work in the U.S.—from an industrial economy to a digital one where routine work is automated or outsourced and the remaining jobs are concentrated in low-paid service work or high-skilled knowledge work—is contributing to the shrinking labor-force participation rate. “Routine jobs are disappearing and more and more prime-age Americans aren’t working,” said co-author Henry Siu, a professor at the University of British Columbia. “These groups who have been caught in the transition are not better off,” said Mr. Siu. 

The share of Americans working in routine jobs has fallen from 40.5% in 1979 to 31.2% in 2014. The federal government’s official measure of Americans age 16 and over who are working or seeking work has fallen from a recent high of 67.3% in 2000 to 62.7% in November 2016.

The authors also found that the impact of the loss of routine jobs fell mostly on male high-school dropouts of all ages as well as men under age 50 with high-school diplomas. These groups have failed to move into high-paying, nonroutine jobs that require skills in areas like critical thinking and problem-solving. Instead, they have to a great extent stopped working at all, as many studies have documented.

To counter these trends, the U.S. must invest in raising the skills of the workers most likely to be affected by the disappearance of routine jobs, labor-market experts say.

Which may mean for Wisconsin legislators a need to specifically target non-college students who need technical training, than going after college students or turning universities into trade schools like Scott Walker is suggesting.
People over age 16 who are no longer working or even looking for work, for whatever reason (retirement, school, personal preference, or gave up), are counted as not participating in the labor force.

Sen. Steve Nass is no "Pajama Boy," bashes UW "Men's Project," as "War on Men."

Ouch, what’s so wrong about “toxic masculinity?” Alcohol induced abuses, condescending female references and anti-feminist bullies are the targets of UW Madison's liberal social engineers again. They're trying to stop the violence…and people like Sen. Steve Nass?

No one needs this course more than Nass, which is why he's so afraid of it.

Nass has for years bullied the UW with threats of government censorship through defunding over voluntary UW courses he doesn’t like. Drop them or be punished…censored.
This is the guy who successfully passed legislation repealing a ban on racist school mascots throughout Wisconsin. That’s not crazy, is it?  Or when he “blasted an African Studies course set to begin later this month called The Problem of Whiteness.” The 11th District must be so proud. It's a miracle they haven't leveled the UW Whitewater campus yet.

Making his empty case for more UW funding cuts, Nass picked a doozy
(Nass’) target is the Men’s Project, a six-week voluntary discussion program that “aims to explore masculinity and the problems accompanied by simplified definitions of it,” according to a UW Health Service news release. Cultural influences distorting ideas of masculinity include “media, hook up culture, alcohol, violence, and pop culture,” said another promotional piece. “Understanding the connections between our experiences and experiences of masculinity and issues in our society can help build stronger communities."
Never one to build strong communities free of domestic violence and public brawling, Nass sees a self-awareness course as the UW's “war on men.” Despite all the shootings, violent crimes and robberies, Nass thinks “mothers and fathers” have done a perfect job raising their sons:
“Our friends at UW-Madison not happy enough with labeling 'whiteness' as a societal problem, now are attacking another societal ill…, Men and their masculinity. UW-Madison has become part of a national liberal effort to rid male students of their 'toxic masculinity … believe that Wisconsin mothers and fathers have done a poor job of raising their boys by trying to instill in them the values and characteristics necessary in becoming a Man.”
The conservative media’s bubble world paranoia is apparently the source of Nass’ pent up rage. You’ll notice the Cap Times story did not include the word “conservative” to describe The College Fix, referenced by Nass, even though the site itself states “…Your Daily Dose of Right-Minded News and Commentary…”
The term “toxic masculinity” was sounded in a post a day earlier by The College Fix, which noted that UW-Madison is among many colleges with offerings that “seek to purge male students of their so-called toxic masculinity.”
No “pajama boy” Nass oddly projects his own predatory scheming to meet women, onto feminists, by including a link to an article that claims “guys who embrace the feminist project (truthfully in part to hook up with feminist women)…” Ah, don’t think so. You’ll also notice below the term “absent fathers,” a racist reference if there ever was one.
An essay at the National Review bemoaning the spread of feminist ideas that Nass linked to in his email to colleagues; “Feminism has infected child-rearing and modern education so thoroughly that legions of parents and teachers are adrift and clueless. They have no idea what to do with their sons, and absent fathers compound the confusion and create yawning cultural voids. Yes, there are some pajama boys out there, the guys who embrace the feminist project (truthfully in part to hook up with feminist women), but there are countless others who reject feminism’s version of a 'man box' and are instead adrift in purposeless masculinity,” wrote staff writer David French.

Another site referred to the program as a continued “jihad against what it means to be a man.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Walker's Hunting, Fishing, Parks Tourism Mess!!!

In a way, I'm loving this. It looks like Wisconsin sportsmen may have to spend more of their hard earned money just to enjoy fishing, hunting and playing with their non-motorized watercraft such as canoes and kayaks.

State Parks: Never-mind the other growing deficit, our state parks system, a Scott Walker created disaster as well. Odder still is how Republicans brag about park attendance being up, despite higher fees. I'm just guessing, but that means the problem is even worse than we thought:
Republicans removed all state support for Wisconsin’s parks in the 2015 budget, leaving the parks to survive on fees alone. They raised admission and camping fees ... but the DNR still projects the lack of state support will leave a $1.4 million annual deficit in the agency’s parks account.
Hunting and Fishing: Now, after Scott Walker dramatically cut the size of the DNR, they're facing a $5 million budget shortfall.
A $5 million budget shortfall could be fixed temporarily through higher prices for hunting and fishing licenses, new admission charges for non-hunters using natural areas, new registration fees for paddlers, and a smaller annual boosts tied to inflation.
Yup, one of the states biggest bragging points, tourism and outdoor sports, could soon be priced out reach for your average Wisconsinite. And this is only the beginning of the problem. These shortfalls will only keep growing as the state moves from a state supported funding system to an individual user fee, which as anybody can tell you, is much more expensive.  
Scientifically conducted household surveys in 2016 found that a majority of the public would support having everyone pay something for fish and wildlife management, the report said ... others collect sales tax or lottery revenue dedicated to wildlife management, the report said. 
You may want to get your owned framed copy of the following policy statement so often reported in the media, because to tightwad Republicans its an oldie but a goodie: 
The Legislature has resisted requests from the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation for higher fees, and Walker has opposed tax or fee increases unless they are paired with decreases in other budget lines.
Walker's Deer Hunting Debacle: I've been covering this for awhile now, and ever since Walker brought in a Texas "deer czar" pushing game farms, and not science, deer hunting has hit the skids. Nothings working guys, hunting near schools, in local parks, getting rid of the minimum age to hunt, blaze pink clothing, nothing. Funnier still, the DNR blamed the "cold" and "wind" for the low turnout of our rugged outdoors-men: 
Notably, hunter participation also was down. The agency sold 598,867 gun licenses, a 40-year low and the first time the number has dipped below 600,000 since 1976. Hunters registered 196,785 deer during the 2016 Wisconsin gun deer season, the lowest total in 34 years.

What can be done?
A longer term solution may involve looking beyond user fees ... (fees have the) potential to harm state efforts aimed at reversing a decline in hunting ... The DNR outlined other alternatives that include cuts to wildlife and fish-stocking programs and new efforts to attract more people to hunting and fishing.
Cuts to wildlife and fish-stocking seems counter-intuitive, ya think. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Trumps takes credit for jobs created before he was president. Weak!

Trump has been getting a lot press taking credit for all the jobs he says he's supposedly creating, jobs that were already planned for and jobs that were retained with taxpayer handouts.

Now corporate PR departments are using Trump to get some free "job creation" press, and maybe a few political favors. Ford stroked Trump;s ego claiming his tax promises may result in 700 auto manufacturing jobs.

Contrast Trump's manipulation of the media over his phony jobs numbers and Obama's less than celebrated jobs record. Here's one Chicago Tribune headline that is making my point:

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said this about manufacturing jobs alone:
"I know that the president-elect has indicated that he deserves credit for -- for that announcement, and I guess what I would observe is that if he is successful in doing that 804 more times, then he will meet the record of manufacturing jobs that were created in the United States while President Obama was in office. There were 805,000 manufacturing jobs that weren't just protected or saved, but actually created while President Obama was in office.

"So President Obama has set a high standard. He also noted that where Trump is "talking about protecting jobs," Earnest is talking about "actually creating jobs."

As of Nov. 4, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its October jobs report, just 298,000 manufacturing jobs had been created since Obama's second term began
So leave it to the twisted minds at the NYPost to twist the numbers around, mixing apples (manufacturing jobs) and oranges (parttime work). If the article says anything, it tells you how important it is to raise the minimum wage on the growing service sector parttime jobs market, where benefits are few:
These are real jobs with real benefits. But wait, the naysayers scream. President Obama created 180,000 jobs a month. He did.

But 94 percent of those jobs weren’t full-time jobs with benefits. They were typically part-time, lower-paying jobs, mostly without benefits. People have to take two or three of those kinds of jobs just to make ends meet. That’s not my opinion but the word from Alan Bennett Krueger and Lawrence Katz, whose meticulously researched paper, “The Rise and Nature of Alternative Work Arrangements in the United States 1995-2015,” was published last March.