Thursday, December 18, 2014

Walker's opposition to new EPA smog standards will lead to more children with Autism.

Not only do Republicans want to roll back the new EPA standards that would reduce the particulate pollution contained in localized smog, but they want to get rid of the agency altogether. Yet they might want to rethink that position, since this same pollution is now tied to autism. Yea, right.

Until then, they intend to slow walk changes until they take control, when all of this will just magically goes away. Even if it means peoples lives will be at risk, including developing 3rd trimester fetuses.

Here's what we know about Wisconsin foot dragging:
Nearly five years after the federal government set new standards designed to protect public health from short, sharp spikes in air pollution levels, Wisconsin hasn't made the rules mandatory for all polluters. “The Department (DNR) has not met its statutory obligation to promulgate standards ... consistent with the federal standard,” the Midwest Environmental Defense Center and Clean Wisconsin said in their suit.

The lawsuit comes on the heels of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “finding of failure” issued to the DNR in August for missing a 2012 deadline for new state rules on “incremental” increases in particles from smokestacks. Rewriting state rules ... should not have been complicated because it would require inserting new numbers into existing rules.
Now, new research has more than substantiated what was already assumed about particulate pollution and autism:
Pregnant women may nearly double their risk of giving birth to a child with autism by inhaling smog spewed by vehicles or smoke stacks, according to a new Harvard study that could help unlock the deepest autism mysteries … fortifies previous scientific findings that linked air pollution to autism. And it offers fresh insights by showing women in their third trimesters seem most vulnerable if they breathe in elevated levels of tiny airborne particles emitted by power plants, fires and automobiles said Marc Weisskopf, the report's senior author and associate professor of environmental and occupational epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. The higher the exposure rate, the greater the risk, he found.

Will someone ask Scott Walker to give "a reason" and justify why we continued the Cold War policy toward Cuba. Anyone?

The completely meaningless talking point about Cuba, spouted by far right politicians including Scott Walker, is getting a lot of press without any blowback.

Gee, the way Republicans are acting now, discussions with Red China would have been impossible. The same goes for Vietnam. Anyone? How about Marco Rubio:
“This notion that somehow being able to travel more to Cuba, to sell more consumer products, the idea that’s going to lead to some democratic opening is absurd,” Rubio said.
Crazy notion, hey? And we're still waiting for some "democratic opening" to appear in China...guess we better give up on that one too. Do these people think before they talk?

Republican continue to be in "all or nothing" mode, thanks to the antics of the cowering Democratic Party, demanding Cuba flip the switch and instantly become a democratic republic with voting rights, political party's, etc.

Repeating this all-or-nothing word salad? Scott Walker:
Gov. Scott Walker says that he thinks normalizing relations with Cuba is a "bad idea." Walker said he thinks "there's a reason" the restrictions were put in place and doesn't think there have been enough changes in Cuba that show it's committed to becoming a more free and prosperous country.

Walker ... said he thinks the move opens the door to problems. "I don't think there's been any noticeable change towards making that a more free and prosperous country ... There's a reason we had the policy in the first place."
And that reason is...? Well lets see, slavery was there in the constitution for a reason, right? There's a reason women couldn't vote too? You'd have to look as far back as the late 50's and early 60's, for the reason we had our Cuban policy; the Cold War.

I guess making small and incremental steps with Cuba isn't worth ending a half century of failed Cold War policy. Nuke missiles anyone?

Rubio wasn't done either, when he suddenly started taking verbal pot shots at the Pope:
U.S. officials said Pope Francis was personally engaged in the process as well and sent separate letters to Obama and Castro this summer urging them to restart relations." 

"My understanding is that the influence that His Holiness had was on the release of Mr. [Alan] Gross, which I've not criticized. As I said, I'm happy that he's with the Cuban people [sic]. I would also ask His Holiness to take up the cause of freedom and democracy, which is critical for a free people — for a people to truly be free. I think the people of Cuba deserve the same chances to have democracy as the people of Argentina have had, where he comes from."

Stop placating the Angry, Incoherent Far Right!!!

It’s time we stop acting like a bunch of complete dupes. Are we really so dumb that we think Republicans won’t pass right-to-work, disband the GAB, expand vouchers, give Wisconsin up to mining, regulate and complicate voting, pretend Walker isn't running for president, won't dump women’s health care, reject the casino, and bounce the Supreme Court’s chief justice out the door? Seriously?

“Boots and Sabers” blogger Owen Robinson is another conservative space cadet the media swoons over, like the mind numbing recycled nonsense from Christian Schneider. Robinson put it all out there yesterday, proving to everyone these people are bat crazy and should not be sitting across the table from educated professionals.

Name calling? Well, have you seen Robinson’s list of “solutions?”

Any intelligent adult who knows anything about life, and governments roll managing the state, taxes and services, will be appalled at the following deconstruction of our state. It appears freeloading and handing the bill to our kids is the party platform now.

Lifted from a 70's bumper sticker reading “We live in a state that taxes, regulates and spends too much,” Robinson goes for the throat of everything that’s left to slash, leaving behind a wasteland of dangerous products and services in communities that don’t have safe drinking water, paved roads to drive on, fewer schools to teach, and more ozone to breath. Oh, and lets defund the UW:
But if the Republicans really want to move the needle … they need to advance some fundamental and seismic reforms. The state should:
 freeze property taxes and take a chainsaw to the regulatory structure that shackles Wisconsinites; match massive tax cuts with massive spending cuts; abolish shared revenue as Gov. Scott McCallum wisely advocated years ago; cut funding for transportation; reform the criminal code and cut prison funding; cut the lavish funding for the University of Wisconsin; and continue to reform and cut spending on K-12 education.
"Lavish funding," for the UW? If you say so Owen...
According to the Postsecondary Education Opportunity report, Wisconsin’s investment efforts since 1980 have fallen by 54.3 percent, putting it in the top 10 worst in the country. Significant hikes in tuition have been a natural response at schools around the country.
 Sorry, now I'm debating this mindless time wasting lunacy.

Far Right GOP believers ready to toss health care overboard. Voters in Arkansas now worried.

As the wealth gap continues to expand, so will the “health gap,” where the unworthy are being told to find somebody else’s pocket to pick if they want to stay alive. The recent wave of Republican wins nationwide is proof the American public has move on, and wants to focus their attention on the least problematic elements of society; the rich, and what we do for them. This poor and middle class thing is getting tiresome, and people need to get over it. 

We all remember Diane Hendricks? Her actual Wikipedia page describes her this way:
Diane Hendricks owns the Hendricks Holding Company and she serves as chairperson of ABC Supply Co., Inc. She is worth $4.8 billion, making her the richest woman in Wisconsin. 
Watch the plea for more power from the most identifiable face of greed, Diane Hendricks:  

Think about it; why would a unhappy billionaire, who's done extremely well within our current supposedly over-regulated job killing system, complain that we're not "red" enough as a state? What more could she want? Total domination of our political system? A state where people may vote, but business interests end up wining elections. 
The Most Surreal Target of all: Health Care: How is it possible a political party can get away with trying to take health care away from Americans? They're doing it, and Republicans are now so extreme, that even conservative solutions aren't cutting it anymore:
Arkansas could be on the brink of another distinction: becoming the first to abandon its Medicaid expansion after giving coverage to thousands of people. A wave of newly elected Republican lawmakers who ran on vows to fight so-called "Obamacare" — including the state's "private option" Medicaid expansion — has raised doubts about the future of a leading model for conservative states.

Senate President Jonathan Dismang, one of several Republicans who helped craft the program and is pushing for its continuation said, "I think there's one thing that's clear and that's the private option is not going to exist in its current form."
The human toll, in this case 213,000 people, isn't even a blip on the GOP’s radar, as they threaten the financial security of every individual and family dependent on their health care coverage:
The prospect of losing their new insurance is already causing anxiety among some of the 213,000 people in Arkansas who got coverage. The program uses money that would otherwise go to expanding Medicaid to purchase the private insurance for the newly eligible. Arkansas, which has a high poverty rate, experienced the largest drop in uninsured in the country — from 22.5 percent in 2013, to 12.4 percent, according to a Gallup survey released in August.
It’s a cruel and unusual torture foisted off onto the American public. Yet they will continues to vote against their own health interests.  

The Truth, and nothing but the Truth, from Dale Schultz.

Why does it always take a Republican to come right out with the brutal truth? Ever notice how Democrats are always softening the message and try to mediate the political disagreements they know they're not going to win?

From the Devil's Advocates show, soon to be former Republican State Sen. Dale Schultz absolutely trashed Rep. Robin Vos, the defunding of the UW, letting our roads go to hell, cut taxes while public education withers away in rural areas...everything is here. It's a myth busting 9 minutes of reality...from a Republican:

The Cap Times' Steve Elbow has transcribed a number of Schultz's comments.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bears fan sings the Christmas-like Chicago Blues...

Despite taking numerous shots at Illinois and Chicago in my previous life as a radio DJ, I now love the windy city and the people there. I can also identify with frustrated Bears fans, remembering the decades long struggle by our own Green Bay Packers. The Bears were a formidable opponent.

From their seasonal frustration sprung this creative and fun venting by one badly dressed fan:

I found this Christmas take on the Browns...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Republicans "resent" city folk, liberals and public jobs, but love handouts to "hard working" rural conservative voters.

The incredibly spot on look at politics now needs no further comment. From the Cap Times:
Paul Fanlund: No end in sight to Wisconsin’s politics of resentment: Kathy Cramer, a youthful and charismatic political scientist from the University of Wisconsin, struck up conversations that uncovered a pattern of simmering resentment toward those of us in Madison and Milwaukee. What she heard then and we see clearly now is that across Wisconsin, they really, really don’t like many of us very much, and appear unlikely to like us more any time soon.

My conclusion is that Walker’s three victories were in part about him and his personal brand, but the much bigger factor was the anti-government tide that has swept the country, Wisconsin included.

First, that people have been inundated by anti-government messages for decades, especially since the Reagan presidency. Those resentments calcified during the great recession and in the years since, even as wealthy people grew much wealthier and the middle class lost ground.

Second, because those with the most education are doing better (and Madison is jammed with academic elites) we are seen as not suffering as much, and that is noticed and resented.

Third, many outside Madison and Milwaukee see public employees with a level of retirement and health insurance benefits they no longer enjoy or never did.

Fourth, there is a ubiquitous message that government programs are skewed to help those who do not help themselves … the racial subtext is always there. Many in outlying Wisconsin see themselves as hard-working and self-reliant and getting no government help. They do not perceive their own public schools, Medicare, Social Security, highway infrastructure and so forth as the “handouts” they think flow to others.

How, some may ask, do (Walker) and fellow Republicans win even though they oppose such proposals as an increase in the minimum wage, widely supported in exit polls? … the minimum wage does not directly affect most voters, just as the GOP’s opposition to reproductive rights and same-sex marriage does not. Only the economy matters, and while Walker’s record is mediocre at best, he’s fully aligned against the perceived “takers:” the poor and the whiny public employees with their garish protests in Madison.

63 percent in that national poll said the economic system favors the wealthy. In a similar vein, a recent New York Times op-ed was headlined: “Inequality, Unbelievably, Gets Worse.” The analysis said that our taxes, while progressive, are low by international standards and that our social welfare programs are consequently less generous.

Yet any significant populist movement against wealth inequality seems hampered because — in the minds of many — that’s how capitalism is supposed to work. It is tolerable that a CEO makes 100 times what his workers make and pays taxes at lower rates.

Attitudes seemed to grow more visceral during the financial meltdown, which, ironically, occurred under the presidential leadership of a Republican, George W. Bush.

“Resentment” is the perfect one-word brand for the current political culture. In fact, Cramer, the traveling professor, is writing a book whose working title is: “Understanding the Politics of Resentment.”

She adds: “My sense is that his success in the suburbs is a little different than it is in the rural areas. In both cases, you could say there’s individualism going on, where much of what I heard was about hard work and who’s deserving. And their notion of the people who are deserving are those who work really hard ‘like I do’ and ‘pull themselves up by the bootstraps’ and that whole thing. You hear that kind of tone in suburbs as well as in the rural areas.

“But in the rural areas, the support I found was people not necessarily identifying with a Republican platform, but instead saying, ‘We’re going to support somebody who’s coming along and saying I’m going to decrease your taxes and I’m going to cut back government.’ ”

Barry Burden, a UW-Madison political scientist and expert on U.S. politics, agrees with Cramer on the topic of rural individualism. “People often feel like they’re hanging out by themselves,” he says. “You don’t feel like you’re getting much from the taxes you do pay. So you would jump at the chance at a tax cut.”

Cramer mentions race. “When you respect people, it’s very difficult to see racism in what they’re saying or doing. Race has often been used to argue against redistribution and wealth equality in American history. I think in the way that our country has argued about redistribution, it’s always been at some level about race.

Such lashing out at privilege does not extend to business elites, she says. “Why do you think the big battle is between public workers and private workers, for example, rather than CEOs and their workers or the rich and the relatively low-income?’ — the answer I almost always got was they’re supposed to make money. They’re in business. That’s what they are supposed to do. There’s just this huge separation between the … political world and the economic world. People’s sense of what’s just, that ‘massive inequality in the private sector is OK because that’s how it’s designed.’

Burden says he believes many residents have a misunderstanding about government spending. Small-town and rural residents “seem to perceive people living in Madison in particular, but also Milwaukee, as having these government jobs with excessively generous benefits and salary, whereas they were working hard and didn’t have access to those kinds of goodies. So, when a Republican goes into a smaller community and says — ‘I want to give back some of your money to you, put it in your pocket and let you make decisions about how to spend it. You’re better at doing that than some legislator in Madison or Washington’ — that’s a really appealing, intuitive logic.”

Burden adds that many seem to believe that most state money goes to the big cities. “But the truth is that on a per-capita basis the cities actually get less than smaller communities. That’s actually true nationwide. The rural red states get more than their share of tax money back from the federal government, whereas the more industrial blue states, like New York and Massachusetts, don’t get back as much as they pay in.”

Perhaps no truly path-altering solutions exist, and that is saddest of all. So the resentment simmers, and, here in Wisconsin, only conservatives have figured out how to fully exploit it.

60% of the Unemployed couldn't get through for benefits. Any Republican Outrage?

Remember this outrageous earth shaking event that brought the hammer down by Republicans. jsonline:
report of the state's ethics and elections agency released Friday found officials waited years in some cases to review whether felons had voted and did not promptly audit electronic voting equipment. Republicans who control the Legislature pounced on the report by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau, saying it provided evidence the accountability board needs to be dismantled.
Think we’ll see anything like that from this report. jsonline-Jason Stein:
Highlighting a recurring problem for out of work Wisconsin residents (dates back at least to 2009), a new audit found that jobless workers had 60% of their phone calls for help blocked last year when they sought unemployment benefits. Auditors found that almost 1.7 million phone calls to state centers by jobless workers were blocked last fiscal year because there was no one to answer the calls and not enough phone lines available to put the workers on hold ... the state has often been unable to handle the rush of calls.

Those workers included Ron Youngbluth of Pewaukee … He estimated he called up to two dozen times over the next month, sometimes several times a day. He got through to the automated system, but never to a person. "I called them the past at least three weeks, I don't know how many times. I couldn't get ahold of anyone," he told the Public Investigator.  
I’m wondering if the number of blocked calls had any effect on the unemployment numbers that made Walker look so good?

The usual conservative comments popped up:
Mr Iguanna: If they weren't losers, they wouldn't be unemployed.

Pokerface: Did they have have to call back? oh the horror!!!
But I thought this was the best response:
Swift: 86% failure rate. Where's the outrage from our GOP legislators? Nonexistent, because they don't care what happens to the unemployed and the poor. 

The new system will have a recorded message while you are waiting to talk to a state representative that says "Please hold for the next available representative, if you would rather die then you had better do it and decrease the surplus population".

The sickening devotion and unquestioning love affair Republicans have with their leader, Scott Walker.

I couldn't resist posting this outrageously ironic conversation on the Devil's Advocates show, from Tom the caller.

Tom, like all Republicans, can't stop talking about voter fraud and restoring confidence in elections. Protecting the integrity of elections is big with these guys...except when they're the ones winning. Now suddenly, electoral fraud, whether at the ballot box or manipulated through voting machine software, is non-existent.

Tom the caller is reacting to an article questioning whether Scott Walker beat Mary Burke.

Tom the caller said we've got to get over it, Walker won, it's just sour grapes and whining now. He even said we had to get over Bush, ironically forgetting how Scott Walker continued to blame former Gov. Jim Doyle for everything, not even mentioning Mary Burke's name in the campaign.

Tom the caller then went on to list everything that's really important to a functioning society, telling the hosts:
Tom the caller: "You lost because people are sick and tired of the talk about the war on women, the war on the elderly, the war on big PHARMA, the war on middle class gotta get over it. It's just out of hand now...nobody...everybody sees through it. You're fooling nobody." 
I heard this same rap from my former conservative friend in Milwaukee, who now gets his news from every fringe right wing phony news site.

Hilarity ensued as Tom the caller claimed we had "less debt" than when Gov. Doyle left office.

Wrong, but you couldn't tell Tom the caller that, who claimed anyone could "find figures that go in anyone's favor." Ah, guess so "ironic" Tom. Surreal stuff and another example of the intractable belief system conservatives strictly adhere too.

Partisan Republican Electoral Decisions to add extra layer of "Integrity?"

“So if we can create a system that has partisan makeup where decisions can be made, of course I'm open to that.” - Rep. Robin Vos
Is this the most amazing comment...confession? The real, authoritarian, big government Republican Party is now out there for everyone to see. Let's find out if "small government," freedom and liberty loving conservative voters will stand by their principles, or grovel at the feet of their all controlling leaders. From WPR audio:

Elections over, so is Ebola threat!!!

For purely political reasons, which was obvious to any sane individual, the Ebola threat has now faded into the vapor. Sigh, it's not the end of the potential threats used to pass ridiculous fear laden legislation, but the most recent identifiable scam. It's the top lie of the year:

Monday, December 15, 2014

Reaganomics started Supply Side Slide, killing the Middle Class, and Republicans are about to shift that into overdrive.

In the last few years of the Clinton administration, incomes peaked for most Wisconsinites. But according to the chart below, Milwaukee County peaked in 1969, and Racine County, 1979.

A recent Washington Post piece laid it out before us. You'll notice that before Ronald Reagan, things were normal and predictable:
From the Great Depression through the 1980s, American recessions and recoveries followed a pattern: Employers shed jobs when the economy turned south but added them back quickly once it recovered.
Adding jobs back is longer happening. Companies have a new model; employing just enough full timers, and bring in part time help when demand rises.

With the new Republican majority in D.C., and GOP dominance in 30 states, the anger and unhappiness of the American lower and middle class is bound to increase. But oddly, during uncertain times, people look to the more conservative party for help. Good luck with that:
The middle class took America to the moon. Then something went horribly wrong.

Yes, the stock market is soaring, the unemployment rate is finally retreating after the Great Recession and the economy added 321,000 jobs last month. But all that growth has done nothing to boost pay for the typical American worker ... over the past 25 years, the economy has grown 83 percent, after adjusting for inflation — and the typical family’s income hasn't budged. 

In that time, corporate profits doubled as a share of the economy. Workers today produce nearly twice as many goods and services per hour on the job as they did in 1989, but as a group, they get less of the nation’s economic pie. 

In 81 percent of America’s counties, the median income is lower today than it was 15 years ago. 

Even before the 2008 crisis, the 2000's were on track to be the weakest decade for job creation since the Labor Department started tracking the statistics.

It’s the reason why tax cuts, stimulus spending and rock-bottom interest rates haven’t jolted the middle class back to its postwar prosperity.
If you read anything this week, check out the following, before I post a highly edited summary:
Paul Fanlund: No end in sight to Wisconsin’s politics of resentment

Mining cost shifted to Wisconsinites, thanks to our Republican guardians of taxpayer money.

There is a direct cause and effect that can no longer be “debated.” We don’t need to dance around the subject anymore. The press can ask very specific questions about the mining industries campaign contributions and the level of their taxpayer handout. Why play stupid? jsonline-Patrick Marley:
To oversee a proposed iron mine in northern Wisconsin, the state has spent nearly $260,000 that it will not recover from the mining firm — an arrangement drawing questions and criticism from opponents. That figure will continue to grow because of how the Department of Natural Resources is interpreting a law … Gogebic Taconite, was getting special treatment because it gave $700,000 to a group that helped Republicans survive recall elections in 2011 and 2012. The legislation lowered how much mining companies have to pay the state for the environmental review of their plans, a process that takes years. To cover those costs, the DNR used taxpayer money and revenue from funds that are made up of landfill tipping fees and hunting and fishing license fees.
Gee, it must be our partisan imaginations running away on us. It looks like a pay-to-play kinda thing. But if Tom Tiffany’s comment is any indication, we should have known this would happen:
Sen. Tom Tiffany, lobbyist?
Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst), a sponsor of the mining legislation, said costs the state is absorbing are in line with what he expected.

"As a taxpayer and someone that buys hunting and fishing licenses, it's truly unfair," said George Meyer, executive director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation and a former DNR secretary.
How did this happen? Well…I can’t be sure…just speculating…don’t quote me on this but…:
Those records showed Gogebic gave $700,000 to the club around the time of the recalls. Walker has said he did not know about that contribution at the time. The Wisconsin Club for Growth spent more than $900,000 on the 2012 race that saw Republican Rick Gudex of Fond du Lac defeat then-Sen. Jessica King (D-Oshkosh). That win gave Republicans the 18-15 majority they needed to pass the mining bill in early 2013.
Ya think? Oh, how much did Walker save taxpayers? Duped again.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

It looks like Concealed Carry is Killing Us.

Are we safer since concealed carry? We're supposed to be, according to Scott Walker. 

If the following graph took a look at how effective ObamaCare was at decreasing the number of people without insurance, it would be rightfully called a major disaster. But the increase below shows how many more people were killed by guns, not saved by them. Thanks to Political Heat for pointing out the gun death trend lines since concealed carry: 
The number of murders in the state related to gun deaths also reflects this conclusion. Estimates from 2014 (from Wisconsin Public Radio, which has been tracking gun homicides from media reports over the year) suggest that this current year is also going to be high in terms of the number of murders committed, especially when looking at gun homicides alone. These increases in murders and violent crime should cause concerns for the governor and state legislators. The stats are contradictory to the statement that Walker made when he signed the concealed carry bill into law -- that “we are making Wisconsin safer.” 

Republicans are...filthy...disgusting...

Who would think to make the following comment, really, from the picture below?

I found this tweet on Wyatt's page...

Saturday, December 13, 2014

CERN upgraded. Do we need to put the world at risk with an even more powerful Particle Accelerator?

 The Hadron Collider had its skeptics. Even I worried just a little about the rumors that it might just destroy the earth. It didn't. But that was then, this is now:
Tech Times: The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) will soon go back online, conducting experiments at higher energies than was possible prior to recent upgrades. "With this new energy level, the LHC will open new horizons for physics and for future discoveries. I'm looking forward to seeing what nature has in store for us," Rolf Heuer, director general of CERN, said.
That’s not good, if you’re worried about the creation of a black hole, sucking us all into oblivion:

DC's super speedster the Flash got his power when a particle accelerator blew up. But if the CERN atom smasher doesn't destroy us, or turn us into Yellow or Reverse Flash's, perhaps someday we can all go out and get our own tabletop home version:
GizMag: Berkeley lab builds world record tabletop-size particle accelerator: Before committing to such high energy experiments with the chance that even the smallest miscalculation could result in disaster, the researchers sought methods to model various parameters and test their theories beforehand to see how they may affect the overall outcome...
...ya think? Or get one for the kids:

Walker inserts Chinese proverb into scripture, because "it's in his reading of the Bible."

I'll bet Sheldon Adelson is still laughing about Scott Walker's Molotov gaffe. 

What's becoming very clear is just how shallow Scott Walker really is. It takes a real genius to get his own super majority party to vote his does he do it? Throw in a little of that phony leadership and you've got Scott Walker, the memorizer-n-chief. Will he ever stop nodding his head during interviews? 

So let's finally see some real outrage at another Walker gaffe. jsonline-Dan Bice:
President Barack Obama recently quoted a nonexistent Bible verse ("The Good Book says, don't throw stones in glass houses") to help sell his executive action on immigration, earning the scorn of his conservative foes

But it appears that Gov. Scott Walker -- whose father was a Baptist minister -- made a similar mistake when talking to the Wall Street Journal last month about Obamacare and Medicaid.
“It’s probably not fair to ask the son of a preacher to use biblical metaphors. My reading of the Bible finds plenty of reminders that it’s better to teach someone to fish than to give them fish if they’re able. . . . Caring for the poor isn't the same as taking money from the federal government to lock more people into Medicaid.”
The recently re-elected Republican governor is actually referencing an old Chinese proverb:
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
But even this obvious mistake is really no mistake at all. In this Republican bubble world reality, there are no Walker mistakes. He even gets to rewrite the Bible:
Team Walker disagrees. "The governor specifically says it’s in his reading of the Bible," said Laurel Patrick, press secretary for Walker. "He’s not quoting scripture."

"It's technically true that Medicaid funding isn't in the bible, but the Chinese proverb Gov. Walker references isn't there either," said Scot Ross, head of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now.
Add to it Walker’s numbskull attempt at Yiddish, "Thank you again, and Molotov" in a letter to a Jewish lawyer, and you've got a walking word salad disaster. A typo, really?

The Affordable Care Act's Marketplaces covering more Wisconsinites, and Republicans don't like it one bit.

With Republican politicians and their voters salivating over the thought of the Supreme Court taking away federally setup exchange tax credits, it’s important to point out who in Wisconsin is getting the benefit:
Post Crescent: In 2014, 91 percent of Wisconsin consumers who obtained a marketplace plan received aid, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Even if clients are able to find manageable premiums, they're often stymied by high deductibles and co-pays. "That sometimes causes them not to obtain insurance, or to later drop it."
The high deductibles and copays, the ones Republicans hate so much now, is a product of the individual "free market" insurance system. It was setup this way to discourage people from overusing medical services. Surprise, the biggest backers of high copays and deductibles; those same angry Republicans. Health savings accounts are also meant to discourage access.  
jsonline-Guy Boulton: In a 2010 essay, Stephen Parente, a health economist at the University of Minnesota and a former adviser to Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, noted the plans in the marketplaces overall also have high deductibles, which many health economists support because the deductibles encourage people to be better consumers of health care. "That's sort of the dirty little secret in the room," Parente said.

(Parente also said) that "the roots of the law lie far more with Republican market-based health reform solutions than the single-payer and Medicare-for-all national health insurance programs proposed by Democrats since the end of World War II." Parente said the law has similarities to McCain's proposal in his campaign, such as using refundable tax credits to enable people to buy their own health plans. "Last I checked, that's what this is" … believes the marketplaces could lead to more competition and more options in the insurance market over time.
The Affordable Care Act is based on Republican values, which are now suddenly being abandoned for something not yet defined by the party (hint: it looks a lot like the ACA...doh!).
The law ... partially relies on commercial health plans and enables people to shop online for a plan of their choice — all concepts championed by conservatives. It also puts an emphasis on personal responsibility, a conservative mantra, in requiring most people to buy plans with high deductibles as well as in requiring people to have health insurance. "The huge irony is that Democrats are trying essentially the Republican idea," said James Morone, a political science professor at Brown University who has written extensively about the politics of health care reform.

The law is not projected to increase the federal budget deficit … "This is not about spending," Morone said. "And anybody who thinks this is about spending just hasn't looked at the numbers and is just not going to understand what's going on."
The overreaction to the ACA is also kind of weird, because so few people get to use it:
The law affects a small piece of the health insurance market: the market for people who don't get health benefits from an employer. It is a market that many health economists consider dysfunctional. An estimated 19.4 million people get coverage through the so-called individual market. That includes roughly 180,000 people in Wisconsin, a state with a population of 5.7 million people.

In contrast, 156 million people were covered through an employer in 2012.

So what’s the big deal? I just posted a piece on that here

Republicans hate ObamaCare (and saving peoples lives), because it's not the Proper Role of Government.

I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: My now former conservative friend in Milwaukee (who’s currently on BadgerCare) is against the Affordable Care Act because he’s against the governments roll in it. We already know, government was meant to be small, no matter how it negatively affects Americans. The Constitution itself doesn't really say how big or small, but it does leave that up to the people, who in this case are made up of bully conservatives.
Pulled from the same article that highlights all the conservative elements contained in the Affordable Care Act, I though the final section deserved its own blog post, because this is what the whole right wing panic attack is all about. Keep in mind, the GOP’s proposed health care reforms – ending employer coverage, tax credits and a Medicare marketplace like the ACA’s – all rely on “big government” control too. They just want it to be their idea, all the while enriching their thug-like corporate campaign donors.   
What's fight really about? The ongoing controversy over the law, James Morone, a political science professor at Brown University said, is almost unprecedented, with the exception of Prohibition.

But Len Nichols, a health economist at George Mason University, said the debate "has precious little to do with delivering care and coverage to low-wage workers and everything to do with the proper role of government."

That, too, is how Morone sees it. To him, the fight is over two things. "One is which party is going to be dominant," he said. "Republicans fear that should this program be a success, it would be a real legacy for Obama.

"Secondly, and this is another reason it is so fierce: We really are fighting about the Reagan legacy. Republicans fear, and with some justification, that Obama is challenging the philosophic premise that has dominated American politics since Ronald Reagan — which is government is not the solution to our problems."

Republicans don't want to hear that government could be a solution to an important problem, he said. And Democrats want to believe that it can be.

"If you think the fight is about that, then it really is about all the marbles," Morone said. "Don't look at the money. Look at the philosophy."

Friday, December 12, 2014

GOP: Environmental protections saving lives takes time, but turning the GAB into partisan GOP yes men for corrupt elections, fast tracked.

Take a look at two similar stories that oddly got two different kinds of reactions from our Republican overseers. It proves we're not a "republic" after all, because Republican don't represent their voters, they represent their party. That's not how the constitution set things up?  

Talk about dragging its feet, Scott Walker's crony filled DNR has taken nearly 5 years to put newer EPA standards in place, still needing more time:
Nearly five years after the federal government set new standards designed to protect public health from short, sharp spikes in air pollution levels, Wisconsin hasn't made the rules mandatory for all polluters. “Despite finding sufficient time and resources to adopt numerous other regulations at the behest of polluters since 2011 that allow more pollution without regulations or oversight, the Department has not met its statutory obligation to promulgate standards ... consistent with the federal standard,” the Midwest Environmental Defense Center and Clean Wisconsin said in their suit.

The lawsuit comes on the heels of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “finding of failure” issued to the DNR in August for missing a 2012 deadline for new state rules on “incremental” increases in particles from smokestacks. Rewriting state rules ... should not have been complicated because it would require inserting new numbers into existing rules.
That's all? Sure, and that’s outrageous, right? Not to Republicans who say it's just too complicated.

But coincidentally a new audit of the GAB put Republicans in phony outrage mode over...delays, but this time prompting calls to throw the bums out. Huh?
The state’s nonpartisan elections board needs to improve its handling of campaign finance laws, complaints, lobbying and ethics laws … Staff members were late in conducting 16 reviews required by law to identify felons who may have voted illegally. Auditors said it wasn’t until summer 2014 that they had completed reviews from 16 elections between February 2010 and April 2014.

Republican leaders pounced on the news as evidence that major changes are needed. A spokeswoman for Gov. Scott Walker, for example, said the audit proves the agency is “ripe for reform.” “This audit proves what Republicans have been saying for years: The GAB isn’t doing its job,” said Sen. Alberta Darling.
In summary, cleaning up the environment to save lives and improve the health of state citizens takes lots of time, but turning the GAB into a right wing partisan rubber stamp for corrupting our elections? Fast tracked..