Friday, September 23, 2016

Trump supporters claim Obama made them look like racists.

GQ's Keith Olbermann had this to say about...
Trump Ohio County Campaign Chair Kathy Miller said there wasn’t any racism before Barack Obama became president. Really.


Clinton Health Care Plan adds 9.1 Million, Trump cuts 20 Million People off, meaning they can't keep their Insurance or Doctor.

The following story isn't that surprising, because other reports have said pretty much the same thing, but it does add to the growing list of reasons why Trump's health care and tax plan would destroy the country. 

While other articles put Trump’s disastrous health care plan first - because it is that horrific - I'm going to focused on Clinton’s better plan, right out of the gate. NBC News:  
The Clinton proposal includes a new tax credit for deductibles and copayments not covered by insurance, a richer formula for health law subsidies, a fix for the law's "family glitch" that can deny subsidies to some dependents, and a new government-sponsored "public option" health plan.

Taken together, the analysis estimated that Clinton's proposals would reduce the number of uninsured people in 2018 to 15.8 million, which translates to a gain of 9.1 million people with coverage. Not included were Clinton's idea for allowing middle-aged adults to buy into Medicare and her plan to convince more states to expand Medicaid.
Great plan. Now let’s look at Trump’s decidedly free market model that’ll drop 20 million people from coverage…I guess that would mean a lot of Americans wouldn’t be able to keep their insurance plans or doctor, right? 
According to the Commonwealth Fund study released Friday, Donald Trump would cause about 20 million to lose coverage while Clinton would provide an additional 9 million people.

One worrisome finding is that the number of uninsured people in fair or poor health could triple under Trump. When uninsured people wind up in the hospital, the cost of their treatment gets shifted to others, including state and federal taxpayers.

The study panned one of Trump's main ideas: allowing insurers to sell private policies across state lines. Insurers would cherry-pick the healthiest customers and steer them to skimpy plans … the overall conclusion seems to be on target ... "You could quibble about some of the modeling, but directionally I think it's right," said economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, a center-right public policy center.

The study estimated that Trump's repeal of "Obamacare" would increase the number of uninsured people from 24.9 million to 44.6 million in 2018. The tax deduction and interstate health insurance sales would help some stay covered, but the Medicaid block grant would make even more people uninsured. The result would be an estimated 45.1 million uninsured people in 2018 under Trump - an increase of 20.2 million, reversing the coverage gains under Obama.
Trump Tax Plan adds Trillions to Debt: And for those who like Trump because he'll shake things up politically in Washington:
Recent analysis that delved into the candidates' tax proposals, by the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, found that Trump's latest tax proposals would increase federal debt by $5.3 trillion over the next decade, compared with $200 billion if Clinton's ideas were enacted. 
Imagine how that’ll shake things up, debating what to cut next. 

Republican Refusal to Fund Flint Water disaster put the "squeeze" on the Democrats?

It's not just a media setting a low bar for Trump, how about the Republicans? 

Here's the latest ghoulish, politically motivated scheme, supposedly designed to embarrass and blame the Democrats for a government shutdown. They're now heroes for stripping out poison pill riders:

Republicans on Thursday presented what they said was a clean bill stripped of conservative policy riders ... provide $500 million in relief to flood victims in Louisiana, West Virginia and Maryland, fund the battle against the Zika virus and provide aid to communities dealing with opioid addition ... But it does not include aid for the community of Flint, where residents can’t drink the tap water due to high levels of lead.
Let me get this straight; that's supposed to squeeze the Democrats and make the Republicans look good? Blatantly ignoring and politicizing the water disaster in Flint Michigan? Am I in Bizarro World now? Heck, The Hill story even points out this was their gruesome intention:
Republicans think if Democrats try to block the funding bill, they’ll get blamed for derailing legislation to keep the government operating, fight Zika and help thousands of displaced people in Louisiana.
For gods sake, why are we letting Republicans play politics with natural disasters, disease and lead laced drinking water. What does it take for the media to finally remove the kid gloves they put on long ago to appear "fair and balanced?"

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Here are the real Trump voters. Funny the news networks somehow missed this...

Republicans Deep-Seated hatred for Wisconsin Grows!!!

Republicans are hard at work making their "in-the-bag" rural voters, and a few city dwellers, even more angry about government, securing their support while sticking it to them in the next budget.

No matter what the final Republican budget looks like, it’s the original draft proposals and ideas that will tell you all you need to know about the party’s soulless lack of humanity and vision.

Proving once again the state can’t afford the tax cuts already in place, and the future tax cuts promised to campaign donors, Wisconsinites could see…WSJ:
I keep going back to this prophetic cartoon.
1. A decrease of nearly 27 state prosecutor positions to help save $2.4 million.

2. Millions less in state funding for schools.

3. The elimination of the state’s grain inspection program.

4. Fewer course offerings at UW System universities in order to save $195.3 million over two years. 

5. Emergency management would stop stockpiling sandbags for communities to fend off floods. 

6. Counties would pay for state parole services.
It’s interesting to note the thinking behind these cuts and cost shifts to local governments; forget about 25 years of progress, population growth, inflation, and the negative consequences of meat cleaver tax cuts:
Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, said … the law was an important step to “right-size” state government. He noted that the state budget has grown from $26.6 billion in 1991 to $73 billion.
There's a "right-size" to state government?

These now required 5% hypothetical budget cuts submitted under protest by some agencies may not happen, but it does provide an excuse to bring them back later...and they will.

Oh, and Republicans talk big about protecting the integrity of elections and eliminating supposed voter fraud, but get a load of this cut:
The Elections Commission would cut $205,400 by eliminating investigations; reduce voter ID training.
Truth be told, I kinda saw that coming a mile away.


And I'll bet you never gave these a second thought:
1. Allowing just the rear plate.

2. Reducing the amount of salt the department buys for roads.

3. Eliminating the annual notice vehicle owners receive to renew their registration.

4. Eliminate striping on 1,150 miles of roadway.

5. Repurpose or close seven rest stops. 

6. Jettison about $8.5 million in maintenance, such as crack filling and road sealing.
Anyone need to know where the road is late at night thanks to that costly white striping? Or how about road crack filling and sealing so frozen water doesn’t disintegrate road surfaces? That's alright, local governments will be paying for that later.

I don’t know about you, but getting rid of rest stops for travelers is a big one. I actually grade the states I drive through by how much pride they take in their highway system, and how they accommodate visiting motorists who might need to stop for water, rest or use the restrooms. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"Temporary" end to ObamaCare offered up by Dumb Ron Johnson...gee, thanks?

Dumb Ron Johnson must think we're dumb too.

In what appears to be a "we're not kidding" effort by Republicans reacting to reduced ACA Marketplace insurer participation, their plan is to completely dismantle ObamaCare...I mean introduce competitors not on the exchanges.

I just had to shred this one. Lets take a look at the State Flexibility to Provide Affordable Health Options Act...
STATE COULD ALLOW WISCONSINITES RECEIVING SUBSIDIES TO BUY INDIVIDUAL INSURANCE POLICIES NOT OFFERED ON OBAMACARE EXCHANGES, WITH NO PENALTY ON INDIVIDUALS WHO CANNOT FIND A GOOD PLAN.
Let's see, reward taxpayer subsidies to insurance companies who decided not to be on the exchanges, offering fewer health services for the same price, but also allow people to go without any coverage at all. Wow, that sounds like a world without ObamaCare.

Maybe I've got something wrong...one more time...

  • Give states with a failing Obamacare exchange the authority to allow residents to use their Obamacare subsidy to purchase any health plan of their choice, even those off the exchange, for the 2017 plan year.
  • If the state chooses to use this authority to allow residents to use subsidies outside of the exchange, the legislation will waive the Obamacare law’s requirement that you must buy a specific health care plan or pay a fine of as much as $2,000 for a family of four next year. 
But wait, wouldn't that drain the exchanges and hurt insurers, collapsing the whole ACA while increasing the uninsured and filling emergency rooms with unreimbursed health care?

That's our Dumb Ron Johnson.
A summary of the State Flexibility to Provide Affordable Health Options Act is available online HERE

Health Care Costs Increase, but not because of the Affordable Care Act!

Even during the run-up to the Affordable Care Act, the media and health care pundits never brought up the deplorable state of our private insurance based system.

I remember it well as a small business owner because I had to shop in the individual market every year after receiving huge premium increases to re-up. While the media claimed increases somewhere around 10%, mine were 20 to 30%. Looks like I was right. LA Times:
Family premiums have increased 20% over the last five years, which is a lot but a darn sight better than the 31% hike over the previous five years, and a huge improvement over the staggering 63% growth in the five years before that.
A look at the latest stats will probably prompt Republicans to blame ObamaCare for increased health care costs, but that would be a lie. Here's the headline:
Sick: The biggest increase in healthcare costs in 32 years: The U.S. Labor Department reported Friday that spending on healthcare rose last month by the biggest amount (1%) in more than three decades.
But it’s wasn't ObamaCare's fault, or even insurance companies jacking up premiums; blame hospital costs and drug prices. This is very important to understand;
The overall price of medical treatment increased by 1% in August … the largest monthly gain since 1984 … The cost of hospital services climbed 1.7% in August, the biggest gain since October 2015, while the average price of prescription meds jumped 1.3%. That means average drug prices are up 6.3% over the last 12 months, the largest such increase in two years.
Health care is NOT a Consumer Product: The most egregious mistake Republicans like Paul Ryan make is treating health care like a consumable product. We don't "shop" for care, but receive it when we are least able to do anything but get immediate medical help.

Ghoulish Health Care Profits: Republicans must think buying health insurance makes this a consumer product, but ridiculous. In other industrialized countries, there are strict laws barring anyone from profiting off of the sick and dying. Makes sense, right? And that should be a dilemma for Republicans, but isn't because...
This country already spends $3 trillion annually on healthcare. That represents about 17% of total economic activity. The average for all nations within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is 9%.

It’s deeply worrying that one of our most robust and reliable engines of economic growth is the business of sick people. Unless, that is, having the biggest hospital and drugstore bills is a point of pride.
It's a nasty revelation that I hope a few conservatives might start thinking about.

The other big topic I’ve been shouting about for years; Workplace Employee Deductibles and Health Savings Accounts, a Republican idea that brings about self rationing and bankruptcy so sick people have "skin in the game," like they don't already have a lot to lose:
Many Americans are paying more out of pocket for healthcare as they try to keep a lid on monthly premiums by accepting higher insurance deductibles … annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health plans are up an average 3% to $18,142 ... high-deductible plans shifting a greater share of the spending burden to patients … insurers keeping costs down by providing less-comprehensive coverage. Twenty-nine percent of all U.S. workers are now in high-deductible plans, up from 20% two years ago, according to Kaiser.
And what about drug prices?
recent report from the Government Accountability Office found that while the average price of generics has come down in recent years, more than 300 generic meds have experienced “at least one extraordinary price increase of 100% or more.” Investigators found 15 generic meds that have seen price hikes of more than 1,000%.

Obama Delegitimatized to Millions of Americans, Trump says, never-mind.

Really, the media is still trying to differentiate between the "good" Trump and the "bad" Trump?
The Hill - 09/17/16: After several weeks of positive news cycles and polling gains brought about by a more disciplined campaign, Donald Trump has committed a series of stumbles in recent days that experts see as a return to “bad Trump.”
I'm hoping the media has finally turned the corner on this nonsense after getting conned over his ridiculous, politically motivated take back, of his oddly successful birther movement. Great summary from All in with Chris Hayes:



In the strongest push back yet, the following Washington Post article should be a media call to arms, before they single handedly hand the country over to a raving lunatic:
It’s time for TV news to stop playing the stooge for Donald Trump: Donald Trump said “Jump,” and TV news said “How high?” It happened again Friday morning when the Republican presidential candidate held the media hostage for nearly an hour after promising a major news announcement.

“Breaking News: Trump To Make ‘Big Announcement’ on Birther Issue,” said the banner on MSNBC. “Soon: Trump To Address Birther Issue,” said CNN’s banner. Fox News was, of course, along for the ride. While they waited, and waited, Trump provided what amounted to a campaign infomercial and shamelessly promoted his new Trump International Hotel in downtown Washington. When it was over, and he had said the absurdly obvious — that he now accepts that President Obama was born in the United States.

“We got played again,” CNN’s John King said on the air. And that was as obvious as the announcement itself.

Trump as recently as Thursday night had declined to put to rest his long history of promoting the false idea that the country’s first African American president was not born here. Based on implausible conspiracy theories, that idea was never more than a thinly veiled appeal to racism, intended to delegitimize Obama’s right to hold the highest office. And yet, reporters turned out in droves, live cameras at the ready.

Dan Gillmor, a media scholar at Arizona State University, on Twitter called this episode “universal sewer dwelling” for cable news ... no journalist with a shred of integrity would have covered it.” Saying the press got played, he said, is an understatement. “This is a campaign and a candidate that completely understands how the press works — or doesn’t work — and exploits the blatant weaknesses of political journalism.”

“CNN and others were pulled into the whole three-ring circus — I’ve never seen anything as crass and disingenuous ... breathtaking." said Frank Sesno, a former CNN Washington bureau chief who is now the director of the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs. 

“President Obama was born in the United States. Period,” Trump got in his shots at his rival, falsely alleging that Hillary Clinton had started the birther controversy. Fact checkers, including The Washington Post’s, have repeatedly disproved this claim.

Voters may question Trump's qualifications, but project his own massive fraud and criminal allegations onto Clinton.

After 25 years of relentless attacks by Republicans, is it any wonder Hillary Clinton has a “trust” issue?

It’s paying dividends now for Republican and their blindly dedicated voters. Sadly, it also plays to the more gullible Democrats who are used to adopting conservative talking points and memes, instead of working on their own. 

One political scientist observed the following dangerous trend, without even considering the deep seeded gender bias on the right: WPR:
Lilly Goren, professor of political science at Carroll University, said the controversy surrounding how both leading presidential candidates managed their respective charitable foundations will most likely be more damaging to Hillary Clinton because it speaks to the Democratic nominee's biggest weakness — trust … wondering if she's obfuscating the truth and not being completely transparent.
Goren points out voters are more concerned about whether Trump even qualifies as a candidate for president than the more egregious fraud allegations against him:
Goren said investigations into the Donald J. Trump Foundation found more egregious incidents of mismanagement, even illegal activity, particularly a case involving a fundraiser for the Florida attorney general who decided not to investigate fraud allegations against Trump University.  

However, Goren said the backlash will likely hit Republican nominee Donald Trump with far less force because voters are primarily concerned with his ability to serve as president, not his trustworthiness. 
 "Generally, the poll numbers have indicated (voters') skepticism with regard to Trump is whether or not he is fit to be president ... And so the Trump Foundation narrative and the investigation into it doesn't directly lean into that narrative.
Unlike most political candidates, Trump decided not to get past these damaging allegation early on. It’s possible any number of lawsuits, federal investigations and fraud allegations might just dominate these last few weeks of his campaign. Maybe even kill his polling numbers.


In my dreams.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Walker's "small government" gets BIGGER!!! 3 ID's; less Secure Voter Photo ID, Photo ID for voting and check cashing, and a Drivers license. People who don't drive pay for Roads!

Let me see, a photo id card for voting, issued by the state, makes it legally clear you are who you say you are. After forking over a birth certificate, social security card and other forms of ID, Wisconsin knows it’s you, so vote. Again, the card codifies for legal purposes, you are who you say you are…with a picture to boot.

Not anymore, in our madcap upside down bubble world of Scott Walker. This Walker scheme is truly unbelievable, and would give Wisconsin 3 separate forms of ID. My head is hurting. That’s small, deregulated government? JS
Gov. Scott Walker’s administration wants to stamp “voting purposes only” on the free
IDs the state makes available, making it harder for people to use them to open bank accounts or prove their identity when they pick up their children from day care.
Walker’s not done dragging everybody down the rabbit hole: 
The Division of Motor Vehicles also is proposing having the state produce cheaper, lower-quality IDs that have fewer fraud protections.
Huh, FEWER fraud protections. Kinda the opposite of what Republicans said they wanted to with voter photo ID?

And it doesn’t stop there either. This is Walker’s way of funding the transportation department. Those cheaper low quality ID’s will force the poor and elderly who don't drive to spend money on the better photo ID, which should be free.
State officials believe the changes would increasing transportation funding by nearly $1 million over two years.

Jon Peacock, research director for the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families said, “I don’t think the elderly and low-income people who don’t drive should be the state’s target for boosting revenue for transportation spending.”
Ya think? These are the people that most likely don’t drive, paying to build the highways? My god.
Peacock said the proposal would create confusion because the state would begin issuing two types of IDs – ones that could be used only for voting and ones that could be used more broadly – as well as driver’s licenses. “Do state lawmakers want a pharmacist to tell my 80-year-old uncle that he can’t get his heart medication because he has the wrong kind of ID?” Peacock asked.
Walker’s Republicans promised those who didn’t have an ID could get a free one, avoiding the whole constitutional problem…until they realized it costs the state money.
The voter ID law made state IDs free to those who said they needed them for voting purposes. The result: Very few people pay the $28 fee for state IDs these days, according to budget documents.

In fiscal 2015, the state took in $437,000 from ID sales – 86% less than the $3.2 million it received in fiscal 2010.
In a comment only Republicans lacking a conscience would say or even think:
In the DMV budget request filed last week, officials noted the free ID cards have value beyond their ability to be used for voting. “If free ID cards were marked for ‘Voting Purposes Only’ this may discourage people from obtaining a free ID for purposes in addition to voting.” 30% of those seeking IDs would begin paying for them if the free ones were eligible for voting only.
There's a reason Walker refused to raise user fees -taxes- to fund transportation:
That would generate $970,000 over two years. However, some of that new money would be offset by $164,000 in costs because the state would have to alter its computer systems to accommodate the new type of IDs.

Trump? Surely he Jests.

Listening to radio announcers and TV pundits analyze the content of Hillary Clinton’s speeches and policy details ignores the fact that we’re comparing something…to nothing.

We think we’re so smart discussing the issues, like there are two sides to compare. 

Instead, what we have is an actual political candidate standing next to...a court jester. And we seem oblivious to just how absurd this whole thing really is.

In what’s turning out to be a real life version of the movie “Idiocacy,” for gods sake, Trump the "candidate" spews nothing but shear lunacy:
Trump’s Politifact Score: 4% true / Clinton Score: 23% true.

Trump’s Politifact Score: 35% False and 18% Pants on Fire / Clinton Score: 11% False and 2% Pants on Fire.
Trump had a combined 53% False rating, and we're not even including Mostly False. Wow, and Hillary's the "liar."

An article onCNBC I think revealed what’s really behind Trump's success; Sales Puffery. Jake Novak, CNBC.com senior columnist wrote this:
It's called "puffing," and that is the official term that legally protects salespeople and businesses from making boastful claims about their products and services that no one really expects to be provable by empirical facts …(like) Budweiser calling itself the "king of beers." Trump's natural state is building up his brand and properties in a way that would make a used car salesman blush. The public is used to it and accepts it just as we accept that used car salesman boasting about the 2005 SUV he's pushing. 

And Trump is helping achieve this result by making sure he maintains his salesman's image for as long as possible. Every time Trump mixes his salesman persona into the political arena he immediately puts himself into that less scrutinized salesman's role. It's why he gave the news conference at his new golf course in Scotland, it's why he talks so much about how he's still running his businesses, and it's why he launched his campaign from Trump Tower.

Hillary Clinton's one and only image in the public mind is that of a politician. We don't look at her in any other context. Not only are politicians held to a higher truth-telling standard than salespeople, we don't even focus on their policies all that much to balance what they say. For the most part, politicians are what they say and salespeople are what they sell. It's the best way to understand why Trump gets away with some much of what he says. Ultimately, that's not his product.

Compared to the tough scrutiny his fellow Republican candidates and Clinton endure, the salesman standard is better. And that's why people like John King are getting played and they don't even know how much they've been played. Political reporters are not like financial journalists or consumer watchdogs, and they're certainly not experts in psychological warfare. This is why they not only don't understand Trump's appeal, it's why all their efforts to scrutinize and fact check him out of the race have failed.

You have to check out the TV series "BrainDead," with reruns on Amazon Prime and OnDemand. The show plays on today's politics, featuring clips of both Clinton and Trump, along with ant-like aliens that destroys peoples brains turning them into stark raving Republicans.



Monday, September 19, 2016

Something is Wrong: Wisconsinites vote to spend more for schools, Walker spends less?

It’s beginning to sink in; Ideological management of public education does not work in the real world.

Think about it; While 80% of state school districts voted to raise taxes, we're still applauding Walker's Republicans for cutting taxes. What's wrong with this picture?

Since I was a kid in the mid 60’s, Republicans attacked public education for its top heavy administrations. That continued until the 90’s, when Republicans decided “cutting to the bone” was the only way to solve the supposed spending problem in our schools.

In 2011, under Scott Walker, Republicans abandoned the idea of public education altogether, cutting spending and giving what was left to private businesses.

Discrediting teachers for their summers off, union backing and professional salaries played well to envious conservatives who wanted public employees to get kicked around like they did in their private workplace. 
     
So pure ideology usurped the real world needs and expectations of Wisconsinites who loved their public schools. What made us uniquely Wisconsin, paid for with higher taxes, didn’t make sense to Republicans anymore.
 
But in an odd twist, most voters didn’t hate their local public schools. In many ways, schools in those smaller districts made communities come together.
    
That was never more evident than when I learned this from State Public Schools Superintendent Tony Evers:
"Today, almost 80 percent of school districts approve referenda. Citizens are voting to tax themselves because the state ain't pulling its weight."
80% is huge, and a clear signal Republican are ideologically disconnected from their constituents on public education. Evers also said…
WPR: The negative rhetoric about the teaching profession needs to end if the state is going to solve what he called "critical staffing shortages." The public already supports increased spending for education ... But one strategy is free and we can do it today. We need to end the negative rhetoric surrounding the teaching profession. Teachers teach because they care about kids. We ought to treat them with respect and pay them as professionals.”
Check out the nice piece at Jake's Economic TA Funhouse, where he has a Lewis Black video:
Lewis Black: "If you didn't give the teachers summer off you fuckin' moron ... we'd have to be building insane asylums to the sky." 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Lawyers helping Families hurt by Lead Paint - BAD; Republicans protecting a lead Paint Company from taking responsibility - GOOD.

Duck, here comes another false equivalency.

First, Journal Sentinel blogger Christian Schneider complained The Guardian article about Scott Walker's John Doe investigation and apparent pay-to-play involving lead based paint, didn't focus on the trial lawyers contributions to the Democrats like it did the lead paint industry donor.

Well, maybe it was because there wasn't illegal campaign coordination...just guessing of course.

But second and most importantly; how are lawyers representing families devastated by the effects of lead based paint (from an industry that dragged its feet while other industrialized countries took it out), equal to conniving Republicans trying to exempt the lead paint industry from ever paying damages?

Stunning disconnect. From Upfront with Mike Gousha:


The lead paint law was a top priority for the state’s business lobby, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, after a 2005 Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling exposed lead paint manufacturers to liability for damages in lead poisoning lawsuits. The lead author was Democratic appointee Justice Louis Butler, who Gableman defeated in 2008.

Hey Wisconsin Republican Voters, feeling manipulated and played for suckers yet?

While illegally obtained information leaked to the public about Democrats makes sense to Republicans, they’re quick to discount equally damaging disclosures leaked about their own deceptive tactics to trick their own voters…because they can without blowback?

No hear this: Republicans were caught, plain and simple, lying about election fraud as a defensive tactic to piss off their base, sending them into a blind rage. As a side note and former radio talk host, I can't imagine duped right wing talkers are too happy knowing they got played:
Jensen
JS-Dan Bice: Republican insiders discussed ginning up concerns over voter fraud in the days after then-Supreme Court Justice David Prosser narrowly defeated challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg in April 2011.

"Do we need to start messaging 'widespread reports of election fraud' so we are positively set up for the recount regardless of the final number? I obviously think we should," wrote Steve Baas, a senior vice president with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, to a group of conservative operatives on April 6, 2011, a day after the Prosser-Kloppenburg contest.

"Yes. Anything fishy should be highlighted," wrote former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, a Republican. "Stories should be solicited by talk show hosts."

Asked to clarify his email, Jensen said on Wednesday, "The British newspapers are world famous for printing illegally obtained information. I am disappointed that is now the standard at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel."
“Guilty as charged” is the phrase I think Scott Jensen was looking for in that word salad about the British media.

Election Fraud Bullshit: Let the above comments be exhibit A in the court arguments against the long list of voter suppression laws based on outright lies:

Rick Hasen, a national election law expert, said on his blog on Wednesday that the email exchange suggests that much of the talk about voter fraud is "all about manipulating Republican public opinion." He added, "This cynical 'messaging' is sadly validating of what many of us have said."
Caught, but Deny, Deny, Deny: When asked about the John Doe emails trying to gin up fears over voter fraud just in case the supreme court election didn't go their way, Republican Rep. Robin Vos skipped right over the apparent ploy, and quickly blamed angry liberal Wisconsinites committing fraud and "doing all kinds of different things, to try to gin up the amount of voters." Gee, wouldn't want more voters.

This grotesque example of projection tells us a lot about what Republicans would do themselves, and definitely have:
Vos: "...the election worked out just fine....it's the reality of what we worry about in every election with the "left." Where they're willing to do whatever it takes to win, even if it means things like "smokes for votes," and all the things that we've seen in the past. It was wide spread. And now with voter ID we have a lot less concern."
First, "smokes for votes" involved bribing the homeless with cigarettes to vote, so voter ID would have not have had an impacted...and the millionaire responsible got caught and paid a fine. Gee, the election laws on the books worked. But "all the things we've seen?" Searching my blog...:
Bradblog: All eight (Republican) defendants in Clay County, Kentucky's election fraud trial have been found guilty today by a federal jury. Six of those eight were high-ranking election officials, including the county clerk, a circuit judge and the school superintendent.
The community organization ACORN has never been charged with, or found guilty of aiding in the illegal casting of a single vote. Ever. Anywhere. No actual evidence has ever been presented in support of such a charge either

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Trump turns back on Birther voters, and they let him get away with it.

So Trump is now convinced Obama was born in the U.S., less than two months away from the election. Seems oddly convenient. 

What's worse was Trump throwing 60 percent or more of his supporters under the bus, losers who stood behind the birther movement Trump spearheaded. 

There's a real chance Trump followers are so personally invested in their candidate that they're not about to question their own bad judgement, or that they were duped by the birther movement.
"Suckers..."
WaPo: A few hours after Donald Trump's announcement that he had renounced "birtherism," Andy Martin was pleased with how it went.

"He handled it as well as he could," said Martin, a lawyer, writer and frequent candidate who began asking questions about Barack Obama's birth certificate in 2004. "His supporters don't really care about the issue any more, but the Democrats — did you see the Congressional Black Caucus press conference today? The Democrats are losing their minds. This may be a case where Trump profits off the backlash."

Orly Taitz, a dentist and lawyer who long ago surpassed Martin as the face of birtherism, took a similar position on Trump's reversal.: "let Trump win the election. There are only 8 weeks left. Now is not the time to talk about Obama, he is not running for president, Clinton is."

Jerome Corsi, the author of "Where's the Birth Certificate?," gruffly told a radio interviewer that he was "not getting into it" and "not weighing in." But most Trump's defenders are on board for the new story line — that birtherism does not matter anymore, and that to the extent it does, it is Clinton's fault.

"Hillary was the first birther," Corsi insisted Friday.

Walker Ignores VA problems, while Dumb Ron Johnson schemes to privatize Veterans Health Care.

Let’s get something straight, we haven’t heard squat from Scott Walker about what he’s doing specifically to solve a number of major state disasters under his watch; VA neglect and staffing, road construction funding, and reform of the juvenile prison system?
  
Hate Government, Hate Governing: It’s becoming painfully obvious Republicans can’t and won't govern, and instead wait, study, discuss, debate, wait again, seek advice, pass a tax cut or two, debate, wait again, and then look "more deeply" into the worsening problem.

Where’s Walker? Let's take a look: There have been no “big, bold” moves to quickly reform the juvenile prison problem fraught with sexual abuse, retaliation, excessive force, and child neglect. No rush?

He’s done nothing to fund transportation by suggesting budget cuts that might be used to finish all the current road work. Where are the “big, bold” unintimidated decisions that must be made? Outrageous multiyear delays don’t sound like solutions to me.

And the point of my post: Walker has done nothing "big and bold" to help rescue the troubled Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. Neglected housing, turning away veterans seeking help, and over prescriptions...seriously, let's wait and see?

Dumb Ron Johnson to the Rescue?: Ron Johnson is in direct competition with Scott Walker for being the most irresponsible big talker of them all. Why are U.S. Senators and Congress people getting involved anyway when this should be Gov. Walker's responsibility?

As usual, Johnson was too busy to attend another "listening session," so me made his staff do the busy work for him:
Officials at the Tomah VA Medical Center provided a briefing Friday to the staff of Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson over the care a U.S. Army veterans at the facility before his apparent suicide. In his statement, Johnson said: 
“I appreciate that the VA provided a briefing to my staff about Brian Rossell’s care at the Tomah VA Medical Center. I remain very concerned about the circumstances surrounding Mr. Rossell’s death, and I will continue to seek information from the VA. As chairman of the chief oversight committee of the Senate, I have worked to hold the VA accountable to honor the promises to the finest among us, our nation’s veterans. America’s and Wisconsin’s veterans deserve no less."
Johnson has worked...toward what? Johnson's real goal and passion has been to privatize health care, and just by coincidence, his party wants to do just that to VA health care services. What Johnson might be doing is gathering health care horror stories to make his case that includes a Republican "commission" to make the VA go private;
The 15-member Commission on Care has just concluded a damning report, finding that "many profound deficiencies" at the troubled agency "require urgent reform. America's veterans deserve a better organized, high-performing health care system" … flawed governance, insufficient staffing, inadequate facilities, antiquated IT systems and inefficient use of employees.
Oddly, this last spring a small group of special interest privateers on the commission…
…met in secret and unilaterally expanded the Commission's mandate, preparing a 20-year comprehensive plan to dismantle the VA. 

The 15 member Commission of Care” is dominated by private health care industry executives, and veterans themselves have no voice on the commission. Indeed, not even one of the nation's veterans' service organizations is represented. A Koch Brothers lobby group Concerned Veterans "advocates for policies that will preserve the freedom and prosperity. In the name of decreasing the budget deficit, Concerned Veterans also lobbies for tightening restrictions on veteran access to VA benefits and other "cost-cutting" measures. "They have these people out there saying, 'We're giving VA too much.'
The test move to privatize VA services is failing too. Not surprisingly, the "commission" wants to expand on that failure:
In 2015, the Veterans Choice Program was created with the goal of giving veterans greater access to health care in their communities through private care. Since its launch, however, veterans seeking to use the Choice Program have been met with longer wait times, worse service, and harassment from the private medical providers seeking payment ... the Commission is now recommending that the privatization program be expanded. Health care columnist Suzanne Gordon warned in her blog at the American Prospect, "As funding for costly private sector care eats up more of the VHA's annual budget, there will be hospital and clinic closings, along with VHA staff layoffs."
The terminology:
The terms "community service provider" and "community choice" may sound welcoming, but the terms are often "a cover for private for-profit health care companies to take over services ... "the dollars follow the patients," is just a euphemism for vouchers. So who cares what veterans want?
The veterans' groups March statement opposing privatization cited an independent assessment that concluded that "VA performed significantly better on almost all 16 outpatient measures when compared with commercial, Medicare and Medicaid HMO's.
"Eighty percent did not want private vouchers to replace fully-covered health care. "What is most unsettling ... is the utter lack of consideration that veterans would want to improve and expand the VA health care system,"
One more thing:
The privatization proposal could also have a devastating impact on the 113,000 veterans who work in the VA, who make up one third of its workforce. The VA's work force is made up of 59 percent women and 40 percent minorities

Friday, September 16, 2016

Walker's Road Delay Disaster proves Republicans can't govern!!!

If you thought the Verona Road interchange was a nightmare, just wait till snow plows try to find a place to put the white stuff piling up between the cement barriers. I gotta say it; this is friggin' crazy. Scott Walker's "no tax" pledge to Grover Norquist was fun to watch for awhile, but now?

My god the balls:


Yes, strengthen is the word I was looking for.

Not so much. WKOW:



You’ll notice Walker’s planned delays push our biggest and most expensive road projects off into another gubernatorial term, where this becomes someone else’s problem…very likely a Democratic governor.

Kicking the can down the gravel road, I guess this is what Walker meant when he talked about his "bold" agenda, borrowing $500 million more. JSonline:
Gov. Scott Walker’s transportation budget proposal: cut $447.4 million from state highway programs; provide nearly $70 million more for maintenance; $65 million more for local governments; authorize $500 million in new borrowing; significant delays for some major projects including Milwaukee's Zoo Interchange and reconstructing Interstate 94 south of Milwaukee. Significant delays for major projects:
1. 2 year delay completing work on the Zoo Interchange in Milwaukee, extending the work until 2022.

2. No funding for $1.6 billion plan to reconstruct the leg of I-94 south of Milwaukee … a new set of delays for a project that has already been relegated to the back burner.

3. Work on Highways 18 and 151 on Madison’s south side would be delayed for two more years, with completion pushed off from 2019 to 2021.

4. Highway 15 in the Fox Valley would face a one-year delay, meaning it would not be finished until 2022.

5. Highway 23 between Fond du Lac and Plymouth would be delayed for three more years. That project is already on hold because of litigation.

Clinton's year old plan trumps Trump's insulting Child Care handout to the Wealthy.

Hey, we're getting a momentary break from another Trump word salad disaster that would have killed any other campaign instantly. Childcare: 

Donald Trump is scrambling to win over women voters with a child care plan.
Funny thing about Trumps plan; Republicans have always hated the idea, and won’t touch it, while Democrats have been trying to solve this “newly discovered” problem for decades, literally.
Hillary Clinton released her plan – which has been publicly available for a year prioritizes improving childcare quality with a plan to address chronically low wages and training for childcare providers.
Trump's same old “trickle down” idea

Trump has put a new coat of paint on the same tired policies that prioritize wealthy people like himself at the expense of working families. Trump’s plan is mainly a tax deduction, which would allow parents to deduct the average price of child care from their taxes.
That sucks. But a tax credit deducts the child care costs right off your income, dollar for dollar, a UUUGh savings. It appears the Trump's missed the '70's and '80's:
As many have pointed out, the value of a tax deduction is directly linked to the tax rate you pay. Under Trump’s plan, wealthy families making $500,000 would get a child care tax break of about $40 for every $100 they pay for child care. Meanwhile, families making $60,000 would only get $15 for every $100 spent on child care.

Many low-income families don’t owe anything because they make too little and don’t qualify for credits that reduce or erase their burdens. 

“We had a tax deduction until the late 70s,” Helen Blank, director of childcare and early learning at the National Women’s Law Center Blank said. “The deduction was made into a credit because a credit is more equitable. A low-income family can take advantage of a credit, especially if it’s refundable, which allows it to get money back at tax time even if it doesn’t have a tax liability” … wages and training for childcare providers. 
In the United States, the average cost of center-based child care for the typical working family with an infant and preschooler is about $18,000, a steep price for families to cover. If a family cannot afford child care, a tax deduction is irrelevant – a family can’t deduct something that they can’t pay for to begin with. The same flaw applies to the $1,200 rebate … A credit of $1,200 would be perfect if the goal was to help families afford childcare for a month, not a year.

Hillary Clinton zeros in on the issue of affordability. Clinton’s plan aims to ease the financial strain of childcare for all families by capping costs at 10% of household income, while also increasing wages for childcare providers.  
And we haven't even gotten into the family leave debate, which isn't a big Republican favorite either.

Guardian Leaked Walker Emails "Exposes Democrats' Contempt for the Law?"

Brazen arrogance?

When I read the Federalist story summarized below, "Wisconsin John Doe Leak Exposes Democrats' Contempt for the Law," it immediately brought to mind the Club for Growth's Eric O'Keefe's leaked John Doe 2 information. Ah, it all seems incredibly hypocritical. As reported by The Progressive:
In November 2013, a little-known conservative activist named Eric O’Keefe brazenly disobeyed a court order and leaked information to The Wall Street Journal editorial page about a secret “John Doe” investigation involving campaign finance violations ...  O’Keefe launched a series of suits against the prosecutors leading the investigation, continued to leak information about the probe, and publicly denounced it as a “partisan” attack on free speech. 
Tables Turned: When you consider what O'Keefe did, and the shocking silence on the right about disobeying the rule of law, the phony outrage written below is that much more outrageous:  
Wisconsin John Doe Leak Exposes Democrats’ Contempt For The Law By Daniel Payne;
The John Doe squad’s evidence could reasonably be considered corrupted. But someone involved in the whole affair ignored the court order and leaked a set of sealed documents to The Guardian.

It is clear that someone involved in the John Doe investigation, incensed that a court had slapped down his or her gross abuse of state power, decided to disobey a court order and attempt one final time to destroy Walker’s political career … the leak is nonetheless troubling, chiefly because it underscores yet again the persistent lawlessness of much of American liberalism.

This is not an aberration. Much of modern American liberalism’s tactics rest upon a vicious set of double standards and abuses of government power. Breaking the law is clearly no impediment for liberals in this case. What matters is making the Right scared to assert itself in politics and contentious public debates.
UPDATE: 9/18/16: Rep. Robin Vos was asked on Upfront with Mike Gousha why no one called for special prosecutor when John Doe information  was leaked by the targets of the investigation. You'll laugh, you'll cry:


Trump will improve our already improved economy, well that was easy.

You can thank the media for never correcting the Republicans trash talk about the Obama economy. Republicans say were on the verge of collapse? GOP governors have no shame touting their jobs an roaring economies despite the similarities to the national economy, which oddly, is in utter shambles.

Well, just in time for the presidential elections, the truth came out. It won't change one Trumpian mind, but we can hope it will get a mention in some future history book...if they're not already burned. Point by point below proves Trump is a nonstop liar. Washington Post:
The numbers from the government's annual report on income, poverty and health insurance, complicate the economic narrative underpinning the 2016 presidential election. They were hailed by the Obama administration and by Hillary Clinton, but greeted with silence by Republican nominee Donald Trump, who frequently cites median income stagnation as a sign of American decline. Republicans discounted the improved outlook, saying the overall numbers remain weaker than they should be. 

The numbers appear to run counter to Trump's contention that America is in decline and working people's lives are getting worse.

1. Middle-class Americans and the poor enjoyed their best year of economic improvement in decades in 2015, Real median household income was $56,500 in 2015, up from $53,700 in 2014. 

2. That 5.2 percent increase was the largest, in percentage terms, recorded by the bureau since it began tracking median income statistics in the 1960s.

3. The poverty rate fell by 1.2 percentage points, the steepest decline since 1968.

4. There were 43.1 million Americans in poverty on the year, 3.5 million fewer than in 2014. 

5. The share of Americans who lack health insurance continued a years-long decline, falling 1.3 percentage points, to 9.1 percent.

6. A combination of forces, including an improving job market, low inflation and rising wages, particularly for low-earning workers who may have benefited from state and local initiatives to boost minimum wages.

7. Incomes increased for men and for women - the income gap between the two genders narrowing slightly - and across racial and ethnic groups.

8. Last week, the Agriculture Department released its annual data on hunger in the United States, showing that food insecurity declined substantially last year for the first time since the recession.

9. Indicators of economic confidence have risen this year, and with them, Obama's approval rating.
Still struggling and angry, rural conservative voters continue to fall victim to their own party’s lack of interest in their plight. Frustrated, they're lashing out with a vote for Trump. So don’t expect the following to change, because Republicans have their duped voters right where they want you:
1. Median incomes did not budge significantly in rural areas, while in cities, they grew by 7.3 percent.

2. The South saw significantly weaker income growth than the West.
And here we were told right to work increased wages.

Note: Family incomes are up, but does that relate more to minimum wage increases or families taking multiple jobs?