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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Democratic Candidates must use these Powerful Political Frames Over and Over....

Democrats are horrible at framing issues. That's why the following two great frames should be a part of every interview, and every campaign.

Get the Koch Brothers nose out of out state: North Carolina's Kay Hagan nails it, framing the Koch brothers as out-of-state and out-of-touch meddlers, who oppose policies that negatively effect her constituents. An essential frame for Mary Burke:



Joe Biden framed what should have been a strong Democratic agenda for the last decade. It should be now and forever, repeated often and slipped into conversations and interviews leaving the listener with no doubt about where you stand:

Jordan Davis's Murder...ends in Mistrial!

This is how stand your ground has changed our view of shooting someone, and the lower value we've put on life, especially black teenagers:
USA TodayCircuit Judge Russell Healey declared a mistrial on the first-degree murder count. A Florida jury found a software engineer guilty of attempted murder and shooting into a car full of teenagers, but they could not agree on first-degree murder in the death of one of the teenaged boys.
You could see that shocking verdict in the face CNN's Don Lemon, and the guests that followed:



Here's what a very shaken legal reporter Sonny Hosten had to say, while people in cars circle the court house shouting "Not guilty," and the Jordan family's reaction:




Billionaires finally put us in our place!!!

I've been collecting billionaire comments for weeks, and now it's time to share their wisdom with everyone else.

Here's a short collection tied in with idea there should be no minimum wage:



AOL CEO Tim Armstrong accidentally revealed corporate thinking that most people found outrageous:



Here's Kevin O'Leary praising the wealth gap...hey, it's an incentive for everyone to want to be a billionaire too. From Ed Schultz:



The now infamous Sam Zell on our problem with billionaire envy:



Tom Perkins and Grover Norquist on the same Nazi page. Chris Hayes:



And finally, Nicole Miller CEO Bud Konheim on the incredibly wealthy American poor who should go to India to see real poverty. Chris Hayes interviews billionaire Nick Hanauer who tears apart their egomaniacal whining:



Read the Root River Siren's take on Tom Perkin's and his monetary support of Scott Walker.

No Union at VW Plant in Tennessee!!!

Tennessee VW workers sent a clear message to union organizers; "we're southerners and we always vote against our best interest, like before."

Apparently those tough negotiations between management and labor is too nerve-racking for Tennesseans to justify better wages and benefits, especially at a union friendly company? These people are really scary.

















From the Wall Street Journal: The vote was held amid public campaigning against the union by Republican politicians, including Gov. Bill Haslam, and conservative activist groups. Conservative political groups, including one backed by antitax activist Grover Norquist, put up anti-union billboards around Chattanooga. A small but determined group of workers who oppose the UAW also worked to tilt their colleagues against the union, an effort that ultimately proved successful. But more workers were persuaded to vote against the union by the UAW's past of bitter battles with management, costly labor contracts and complex work rules. "If the union comes in, we'll have a divided work force," said Cheryl Hawkins, 44, an assembly line worker with three sons. "It will ruin what we have."

Other UAW opponents said they dislike the union's support of politicians who back causes like abortion rights and gun control that rub against the conservative bent of Southern states like Tennessee. Still others objected to paying dues to a union from Detroit that is aligned with Volkswagen competitors like GM and Ford. "I just don't trust them," said Danielle Brunner, 23, who has worked at the plant for nearly three years and makes about $20 an hour—about $5 an hour more than new hires at GM, Ford and Chrysler plants.
Here's Rachel Maddow's take, starting off with the Scott Walker attack on unions;



It's important to see how Tennessee state GOP politicians threatened a private business like VW. Chris Hayes interviews John Nichols:



CBS is the new Fox News, after blaming ObamaCare for Out of Network Hospital.

This CBS story is so wrong it's no wonder the RNC picked up on it.

After a couple signed up for insurance on the health care exchange, their child needed treatment at a local children's hospital that wasn't considered an in-network facility by the insurer.

Really, research?
The reporter blamed ObamaCare for some reason when we know the marketplace only provides access to insurers, not individual doctors or hospitals. The parents in this piece should have looked a lot closer at their policy choices first. But CBS should have known better:

Before watching this hack job, keep these facts in mind:

1. Insurers always have their own in-network doctors and hospitals, where they've negotiated terms of payment. Being excluded from other insurers is not "unprecedented" as one doctor describes it. 

2. Two other insurers in the Marketplace to include Seattle's Children's Hospital. 

3. Dr. Sandy Meltzer is either ignorant or a crazy ObamaCare opponent.

4. The reporter presents two false premises: that the Affordable Care Act was to provide a wider network of doctors and lower premiums. Actually, no one knew, but hoped this would happen. Yet reform changed that model, and premiums have seen historically slower growth.


GOP to Impose Huge Tax Increase in their Health Care Reform Plan

Want to know how to argue against Republican opposition to the Affordable Care Act? Turn the tables on them with their own incredibly costly plan that includes shifting the burden to labor...you and me. Another gift to business.

After reading through a number of conservative articles critiquing their own parties plans, something Democrats better start doing, I found it a treasure trove of talking points that would kill them in political ads this midterm.

Simply, their plan in some ways repackages ObamaCare, while putting in place everything that made the individual market deadly and unaffordable. And they need one thing to happen; free market competition must lower costs. Anyone want to roll the dice on that pipe dream?
Forbes: There has been a kind of intellectual laziness, a belief that there’s no need for critics to come up with better reforms, because Obamacare will “collapse under its own weight,” relieving them of that responsibility ... it’s not going to collapse. And that makes the development of a credible, market-oriented health-reform agenda more urgent than ever.

The Republican Study Committee put out a plan last fall that would replace Obamacare by capping the employer tax exclusion, and making a standard deduction for health coverage available to everyone. A similar plan proposed by George W. Bush in 2007 would have expanded coverage by 11 million ... Obamacare aims to expand coverage by 30 million, not 11 million. And so a replace plan in 2017 will have to contend with the fact that it is likely to throw people off of their existing, ACA insurance. 
The following includes what we have now; keeping your insurance alive to avoid getting rejected for pre-existing conditions and "high risk pools" paid for by taxpayers so insurers can make higher profits. And instead reducing medical errors, the GOP would reduce malpractice settlements to victims. Oh yea, it's grows the deficit and spends more:
The new Coburn-Burr-Hatch proposal, called the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment Act (“Patient CARE Act”) wouldn't maintain ObamaCare’s individual mandate, nor its requirement that insurers offer coverage to everyone regardless of pre-existing health conditions. This structure ... described as a “repeal and replace” ... is remarkably similar to the one that Obamacare uses. What are the key differences? The CBH plan would grow its subsidies and tax exclusion cap at a higher rate than Obamacare does—CPI+1% vs. CPI+0% for Obamacare ... the CBH plan would spend more on subsidies, and recoup less in revenues, than Obamacare does. It won’t satisfy the purest Obamacare haters ... And it won’t drastically shrink the scale and scope of federal spending on health care, at least in the near term.
Here comes deregulation, and the fantasy that health care is a consumer product:
Deregulate ... a process that is likely to make health insurance less costly over timeIf health insurance is less costly, then federal spending on health insurance can shrink alongside.
BIG GOP TAX INCREASE:
Except the Coburn-Burr-Hatch plan (read it here) amounts to a big tax increase. The main way that it remains budget neutral is by making employer provided health insurance plans, which are currently not taxed, partially taxable as income. In fact, this income replaces income that, under ObamaCare, comes from taxing companies, including the tax on medical device companies paid by firms likeMedtronic MDT -0.62% and Stryker SYK +0.15%. This fact has not escaped the notice of some prominent health reform allies. 

“It is a huge tax increase on workers without any confidence that they will be able to afford health insurance in the future,” says Bob Kocher, a partner at venture capital firm Venrock who previously worked in the Obama administration.

It is “essentially a very large Republican tax increase,” says Ezekiel Emanuel, the Diane V.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policyat the University of Pennsylvania and another former Obama advisor. “It’s quite clear the plan is to put a bigger burden on middle class Americans.”

How big a tax might this be for an average American family? Ezekiel has some numbers. 
The average employer health plan for a family of four costs $16,351, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the employer covers 72% of that, or $11,772. Thirty-five percent of $11,772 is $4,120.35. The employee’s share of the Social Security and Medicare payroll tax is 7.65%, or $315.21. Assuming this family of four is in the 25% marginal income tax bracket, that would add another $1,030.09, for a total tax increase of $1,345. (For more from Emanuel, see this Times piece.
Removing a bunch of corporate taxes so that the middle class can pay more seems like a political non-starter, even given the public backlash against Obamacare. This plan would likely mean that more people would lose insurance, or be forced to go to smaller networks of doctors. Those are the same criticisms levied against the Affordable Care Act.

What the plan does emphasize is the degree to which any plan to reform the insurance system can seem like a zero-sum game – the money has to come from somewhere. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, Dumb Ron Johnson put "health of state" over "well-being of people." It's that simple, and wrong.

If you’re like me, the purely ideological obsession to “balance the budget” and cut government down to size, no matter what, never sounded right.

What makes cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and other safety net programs created to solve societal problems suddenly okay, when the problems still persist?  

It just didn't seem right.

The following may be that ah-ha moment for you. It was for me.  
The American Spectator ran an article called “Wisconsin Thrives Under Scott Walker“ … the state is boasting a $911 million surplus, credited to “good stewardship of the taxpayers’ money.” I find these articles revealing because they show how the Tea Party mindset has affected the definition of success in Republican circles generally. Why has Scott Walker been a success in their view?

Because Wisconsin’s state government is financially healthy.

The actual people of Wisconsin take a back seat to that. A friend of mine in Indiana summed up the mindset when she noted that many people today equate the financial health of government with the well-being of the people in the state. This I think is the Tea Party mindset writ large.

As I’ve noted before, under Tea Party influence, Republicans have come to see government as purely a fiscal machine in which nearly the entirety of good policy consists in reducing the amount of money flowing through it. This is rooted in a single factor determinism view of economics. The fiscal health of government is no doubt important. But to determine if Wisconsin is actually “thriving” you need to look at statistics that actually affect people. So let’s do that. Scott Walker took office in January 2011. So above is the percentage change in jobs in Midwest states between December 2010 and December 2013 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I actually support many of Scott Walker’s reforms. What I object to is declaring victory when the budget is balanced. Big deal. You’re supposed to balance the budget. That’s just doing your job. 

Tennessee Republicans threaten Private Business with Government Obstruction if they Unionize!!! Sen. Corker Interfers First Day of voting!!!

Republicans in Tennessee are threatening to use their big government majority to retaliate against a private company like German auto maker VW, if it unionizes.

Yea, that's small government alright. We should be thankful for the big reveal, because now we know how they'll react to something as basic as free market unionization. Sen. Corker made a statement about VW that directly conflicts with VW previous statements, that may be complete fiction: 
Reuters: U.S. senator drops bombshell during VW plant union vote - U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee said on Wednesday he has been "assured" that if workers at the Volkswagen AG plant in his hometown of Chattanooga reject United Auto Worker representation, the company will reward the plant with a new product to build.

Corker's bombshell, which runs counter to public statements by Volkswagen, was dropped on the first of a three-day secret ballot election of blue-collar workers at the Chattanooga plant whether to allow the UAW to represent them.
VW had been saying something else:
In the past few weeks, Volkswagen officials have made several statements that the vote will have no bearing on whether the SUV will be made at the Chattanooga plant or at a plant in Puebla, Mexico.
Not only are we seeing corporate obstruction, but now outright political interference, that could be illegal:
National Labor Relations Board expert Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt, who is professor of labor at the University of Indiana-Bloomington, said Corker was trying to intimidate workers into voting against the union.

"I'm really kind of shocked at Corker's statement," said Dau-Schmidt. "It's so inconsistent with what VW has been saying and VW's labor relations policy in general." The Indiana professor also said Corker's comments "would be grounds to set the election aside and have to run it all over again at a later date" because it could be ruled to be interfering to the point that it is against federal labor law.
Here's earlier coverage where state politicians threatened economic obstruction:
As workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., prepare to vote this week on whether to join the United Automobile Workers, they are facing unusual pressure from the state’s Republican legislators to reject the union.

State Senator Bo Watson, who represents a suburb of Chattanooga, warned on Monday that if VW’s workers voted to embrace the U.A.W., the Republican-controlled Legislature might vote against approving future incentives to help the plant expand. “The members of the Tennessee Senate will not view unionization as in the best interest of Tennessee,” Mr. Watson said at a news conference. He added that a pro-U.A.W. vote would make it “exponentially more challenging” for the legislature to approve future subsidies. A loss of such incentives, industry analysts say, could persuade Volkswagen to award production of a new S.U.V. to its plant in Mexico instead of to the Chattanooga plant, which currently assembles the Passat.

Paul Ryan's Amazing Con Game: Voted No on Debt Limit, defunding his own Budget Deal.

This is so intentionally deceptive, that it's almost too much to believe:
HuffintonPost: Ryan's vote is in line with the majority of his Republican colleagues, and is unsurprising given the likelihood he will run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016. However, by opposing the bill, he voted against spending needed for thebudget deal he coauthored with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), which President Barack Obama signed into law late last year. 

GOP Politician and CEO Chris Kapenga writes law to protect his business from Wage Increase, lowering wages Statewide.

Republicans not only oppose raising the minimum wage, they’re now reducing wages in Wisconsin.

Maybe business interests will rush into the state knowing wages in Wisconsin are heading downward. 

Who’s to say what other GOP gimmick will cut wages and benefits even more. That’ll put money back into our wallet?

While Scott Walker bribes voters with a small tax cut, the legislature is taking twice as much away, hoping knowing one will notice. They did notice, big time:  
WKOW: A bill that would abolish local living wage ordinances for state and federally-funded projects drew a large, irate crowd to the Assembly Committee on Labor Wednesday morning, barely 24 hours after it was introduced. Rep. Kapenga introduced AB 750 on Tuesday, had it scheduled for a public hearing Wednesday and will have it voted on by the Committee on Labor Thursday morning.


Self-serving Political Overreach-It Pays to write your Own Laws: Can this conflict of interest be legal? This is literally a CEO of a company writing a law that will reduces wages statewide just so his business isn't affected. What an asshole:
"My company is in Milwaukee and the second I saw the news story come out that there may be an ordinance put in place, I started working on this," said Rep. Kapenga, who owns a computer software business.

Both the City of Madison and Dane County require their own employees and the employees of their contractors to be paid a living wage, which amounts to $11.33/hour for the county and $12.45/hour for the city. 

While AB 750 wouldn't allow living wages for work that is paid for in any part by state or federal dollars. 

"I think the bill is very hateful, spiteful bill that is aimed at low-income families," testified Michael Wilder with Wisconsin Jobs Now, a Milwaukee non-profit organization that fights for higher wages. 
Uppity Wisconsin has this coverage.

Media Noticed: Journal Sentinel now disputing Walker's ridiculous Doyle/Burke jobs loss claim. It really was the Great Recession.

Scott Walker actually ran on the lie that tied Gov. Jim Doyle to the job losses during the Republican Great Recession. No one corrected him, and it's been a pet peeve of mine for years.

That lie is starting to get media exposure, finally:
jsonline: The Republican Governors Association tells the Washington Post it plans to spend six figures on an attack ad against Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke ... hit Burke's tenure as state commerce secretary under Walker’s predecessor, Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle. 

"Burke’s campaign for governor has been based on her experience as a senior member of a job-killing, budget-busting, big government administration,” an RGA official said. Walker himself has tied Burke to Doyle ... said Burke implemented Doyle policies that, in Doyle's second term, "saw the state lose more than 133,000 jobs." 

PolitiFact Wisconsin rated Walker's statement Mostly False.
Experts agreed that Wisconsin’s economy was caught in the same economic crash that crippled the entire country -- the recession was deeper and more severe than any single state’s policies, including those of Doyle.
By the way, the Governors Association's statement on "big government administration" is laughable when you look at what Walker has done for local control, from taxes to cell towers to sand mining to wind farms to sick leave to possibly minimum wages to vouchers to voting times to...

The Billionaire takeover of Wisconsin!!! Thank You Scott Walker.

Remember the WISGOP outrage over "millionaire" Mary Burke's entry into the race for governor?

They advertised heavily, like the internet ad to the right. She's so out of touch...right? Wait a minute, suddenly middle class families work harder than millionaires? They're so confused.

And yet this same Republican Party has decided to hinge their entire political existence on "sugar daddy" billionaire donors without feeling just a little hypocritical. 

Sadly, Mary Burke is only a millionaire. The GOP has moved beyond that riffraff...where are the billionaires? 

In 2013, Wisconsinites didn't notice that all of that out-of-place Scott Walker praise came from out-of-state billionaire supporters. Despite a stagnating economy and trailing jobs growth, things never looked better for some reason. Thank you Scott Walker? 

Our groveling governor never even pressed these same corporate CEO's to help him out a little with actual job creation. That's because "demand" creates jobs, not tax cuts.

Walker's pursuit of, and sellout to, billionaire donors is jaw dropping. But it's a party strategy detailed here in the National Journal article. I highlighted our states political beggars:  
1. The race for a 2016 super-PAC sugar daddy is on. Harlan Crow, the real estate magnate and conservative financier who calls the city home, arrived there fresh from watching the Super Bowl in New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's private box. On Tuesday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker flew into town for a reelection fundraiser at Crow's $24 million mansion.  

2. Mega-donors Sheldon Adelson and Foster Friess propped up the candidacies of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. GOP political fundraisers and strategists said that Walker, Cruz, Paul, and Christie have been among the most active and consistently aggressive in nationwide donor outreach in the last year. 

3. The Ricketts family—including Joe Ricketts, founder of TD Ameritrade, and his politically active son, Todd—is in that universe. Among those GOP politicians who have found time to meet with the Ricketts family in the last year, according to a person close to the family: Christie, Cruz, Paul, Walker, 2012 vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. 

4. One event that is penciled into many 2016 aspirants' calendars is the March leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition, a gathering of some of the wealthiest GOP donors in the nation.  The gathering is held at The Venetian, Adelson's Las Vegas hotel. Among the expected attendees: Bush, Christie, Walker, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. 

5. New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, one of Romney's biggest financial backers, opened up his home for a Republican National Committee fundraiser last fall, a huge portion of the potential 2016 field—Christie, Ryan, Paul, Walker, and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, among them—made sure to show up to schmooze. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Scott Walker sees himself in Chris Christie!

The disaster that is the Bridge Gate Chris Christie debacle still isn't enough for diehard Republicans like Scott Walker to steer clear of. When Walker looks at Christie, his sees himself. Lawrence O'Donnell may not be aware of the two John Doe investigations and the arrests of similar rogue aides. Birds of a feather...

Lawless Obama won't enforce laws? And those Six Republican States that say they won't enforce ObamaCare?

So Republicans are now worried (dog whistle) our president (not legitimate) won't enforce the nations laws:
Wonkblog: The Obama administration has made numerous adjustments and tweaks to the Affordable Care Act … Two recent decisions – one to delay enforcement of the employer mandate until 2015, and another to allow Congress to continue paying for health benefits – have raised questions about how far that discretion should go, whether the White House has overstepped its executive authority.
Republican strategists took advantage of the delays by shifting their own ineptitude as a party to Obama, who they now claim won’t enforce any new immigration laws either.
Paul Ryan: “If the president isn't even willing to enforce a law he and his party wrote, like health care, what’s to think he’ll enforce a law that we get him to sign like immigration reform, like border security.
Feigning concern, Ryan and his Republican fakers don’t want Obama to ignore the law, because...Oops, in the same article was this amazing hypocrisy:
Texas won't enforce Obamacare's insurance reforms. "Texas, Arizona, Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wyoming have all notified the federal government that they will not be policing the health law. Becca Aaronson in the Texas Tribune
Like Paul Ryan, Republicans believe they've got the higher ground on issues, and therefore are justified in their irresponsible tantrums that take them off the legal hook.

Which is why a despotic takeover of our constitution and government is really just a simple majority party away. They will flip the country like they've flipped so many states, despite the massive public protests we've seen already . Father figure Republicans know what’s best for us:
Ryan: “Leaders have to take positions that may not be popular sometimes if they think they're doing the right thing.”

Incidental Governor Walker says Anti-Minimum Wage Bill not his idea, aw shucks.

Those big government social engineers in the Republican Party are big bullies, forcing Gov. Walker to sign their stuff into law, or else? That's what Scott Walker, future possible candidate for president, wants you to think. Hey, he doesn't talk about such things.

So our incidental governor is at it again with this whopper;
And will the clueless press begin to understand what Scott Walker  is doing?
While Walker says the bill is not a part of his agenda, he also didn't say whether that means he would sign or veto it should it pass.
Will the public now realize their mild mannered "jobs focused" politician is responsible for helping this "agenda" become law?

Good chance GOP takes Senate? Why, because of their austere anti-everything ideas?

The prevailing wisdom in the press is seen in their recent spate of headlines:

Kurtz is a dick anyway, but so are almost all the other clueless reporters looking for an easy headline.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't the Republicans threatening to take the Senate last time when the Democrats picked up two additional seats? But Howard "both sides do it" Kurtz is under deadline so he cranked out this mess:
Fox News: Republicans have the advantage in the upcoming midterms. But along comes the American Conservative to declare that Obama shouldn’t fear a GOP Senate. Suddenly the imperative to obstruct the Obama agenda begins to recede. A different incentive structure will take shape: the party will have to govern, or at least appear as though it’s trying.” 

If they control the Senate machinery, Republicans will be able to launch twice as many investigations as they can now by holding just the House. They will be able to block Obama nominees, creating a sense of dysfunction. They will be able to bring bills to the floor, while Harry Reid watches helplessly, solely for the purpose of forcing Democrats to cast politically dangerous votes that can be used in attack ads. 
Still not noticed by the pundits: Scott Walker has suggested will run for president if he can “rule” the country under one party, like his administrative cake walk in Wisconsin. No one ever said being governor or president had to be hard work, especially when it comes to freeloading Republican career politicians like Walker, who can't get enough of being on the public dole.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Remember when Scott Walker released his "Serious" Jobs Plan in Big Type?

I was wondering if you got as tired of seeing this message from the Walker brownshirts at WISGOP as I was:

Serious stuff right?

On WPR this morning, reporter Shawn Johnson reminded me just how "serious" Scott Walker was  about his almost nonexistent jobs plan during his campaigned for governor. Clue: Large Type.



Here's Keith Olbermann with that very story:



Oh, and that tacky boxing glove ad that made fun of Mayor Barrett's injured hands, when he stepped in and defended a woman and her child?

Life Saving New Born Test won't be Mandated by Legislature.

From the party that believes a fertilized egg has the same rights as a fully grown adult, comes this total disregard for life. 

National Treasurer of ALEC, State Sen. Leah Vukmir did everything she could to muck up newborn testing for congenital heart disease. And the ghouls at the Wisconsin Hospital Association were behind her obstruction. These bottom line, bottom feeding lobbyists don’t give a rats ass about babies.

Here convoluted thinking on this important lifesaving bill went something like this:
jsonline: She believes decisions about newborn screening should be made by an existing committee of medical professionals, not state lawmakers. But the expert committee ... "strongly" recommended screening all infants in Wisconsin for critical congenital heart disease, two years ago … although Vukmir thinks Wisconsin law does not allow this committee to recommend tests completed at the hospital.

Now, the senator says she is preparing a new measure to ensure that the heart disease test is decided in the same manner as other newborn screening tests. But that process still leaves final approval to the group Vukmir believes ill-equipped to decide such questions: the state Legislature.
Vukmir’s highly irresponsible and ideologically driven thinking is playing games with a new born baby’s life for god’s sake. She was fine allowing over a dozen hospitals to skip the lifesaving test.

So Vukmir decided to remove all newborn requirements, allowing DHS to write in whatever the hospital lobby wants, in whatever time frame they see fit.
jsonline: A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation in December found a 2010 study found that nine newborns in the state died at home or in the emergency room over a five-year period because the heart disease went undetected.

The bill won't mandate the $4 test, but would give the go-ahead to the state Department of Health Services to begin writing rules requiring hospitals to add the test as part of its newborn screening program.

The chairs of the Assembly and Senate committees with responsibility over the proposed requirement had said the bill wasn't necessary, because most hospitals were doing it on their own. Tuesday's bill, sponsored by Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa), has the backing of the Wisconsin Hospital Association.
So now you've got to ask yourself, “do you feel lucky, punk?” After all, Tuesday's bill has the backing of the Wisconsin Hospital Association. Why is that? 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Walker's earliest memory of committing voter fraud?

Looks like Wisconsin's own, The Political Environment, received national attention…kinda, for noticing a major inconsistency in a Scott Walker story recently:
I took another look at this quote from Scott Walker I'd recently posted taken from a right-wing website's interview with our Governor…
I remember, I was a teenager, had just become a teenager and voted for Ronald Reagan — limited government, you know, smaller government, lower taxes, strong national defense. You knew what you were getting. You knew how a Reagan administration, a Reagan presidency was going to be better for you.
While The Political Environment pointed out a big lie in Walker's comment (or caught him for committing voter fraud), another media outlet brought it to the nation in a backhanded sorta way. 

You’ll notice the Huffington Post didn't even bother to mention the blogs name. Would it have somehow "legitimized" the blogging community by giving attribution? I’m thinking yes:

As one blogger notes, Walker, who was born in 1967, would have been 13 when Reagan first ran for president and only 17 when Reagan was reelected.

GOP will repeal the Affordable Care Act, like Arkansas is doing with Medicaid Expansion.

Prediction: If Republicans take the Senate, they blow up the filibuster on everything and ram their agenda down our throats.

Prediction: Everybody thinks that after two years, it will be impossible for Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They would be wrong, and we will see it repealed.

Do Democrats and independents really think they'll back down? Republicans will do anything now:
Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) cracked a joke on Monday about destroying Obamacare with a nuclear bomb. "Can't you just tweak Obamacare? Yeah, with a nuclear bomb," he said during a conservative policy summit at the Heritage Foundation. "We have to repeal it," he said.
They still want to repeal it outright. Is that too unclear. 

For proof, look no further than thil little known story coming out of Arkansas. Republicans there trying to “un-expand” Medicaid, taking away care and the same family doctors Republicans just criticized ObamaCare for doing. So, this time it's justified? As reported by Chris Hayes:

A decision to halt the program in Arkansas could leave as many as 200,000 people who are believed eligible for the program without coverage and have a chilling effect on other states weighing similar efforts.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Let’s be Honest: Republicans Hate really Freedom and Liberty!

The CBO’s latest report on ObamaCare said people will be better off getting health care, all the while allowing over 2 million people the ability to leave the workforce for any number of good reasons.
The horror. That prompted this flip flop from Paul Ryan:
Ryan: “It's adding insult to injury…As the welfare state expands, the incentive to work declines. Meaning, grow the government, you shrink the economy.” – Rep. Paul Ryan
But on May of 2009, Paul Ryan had a different idea (he wanted to end employer based insurance and provide employees with a subsidy instead):
Ryan: “The key question that oughta be addressed in any health care reform legislation, is are we going to continue “job lock,” or are going to allow individuals more choice and portability to fit the 21st century workforce?”
Travis Rowley wrote in GoLocalProv this common right wing refrain:
Democrats continued to characterize socialism as an economic driver … as they celebrated a utopian world of guarantees, and self-indulgence over labor.
Yes, liberals are ridiculously in love with labor. But Rowley wasn't done bashing freedom and liberty:
Rep. Gwen Moore (D) argued that “people are going to have freedom and choice…Liberty! Something we thought Republicans were for…They’ll be able to be entrepreneurs, because they won’t be stuck in job-lock.” Nancy Pelosi (said the) legislation “captures the spirit of our Founders” by enabling people to pursue “a healthier life and the liberty to pursue a person’s happiness, to be free of constraint, be job-locked because they’re policy-locked…So if you wanted to be a cameraman, a writer, you want to be self-employed, if you want to be, start a business, if you want to change jobs, whatever it is you want to do, you are free, you have the liberty to do.”
That’s the entrepreneur spirit…or is it? Despite the GOP plans to provide subsidies (that’s other people’s money too, folks), that same money via the Affordable Care Act is all wrong.
Pelosi forgot to mention “stay in bed” in her list of people’s potential activities. 

Welcome to the modern Democratic Party – where dependence on others is actually “health independence;” and forcing others to pay for your healthcare is referred to as “liberty.”
I thought the following ironic statement from our Republican school yard bully seemed odd:
Welcome to the modern Democratic Party – where everyone gets to act like a college sophomore for the rest of their lives!

Greg Spotts' documentary "American Jobs" tells us what we need to know about TPP.

Greg Spotts directed what is still a relevant must see documentary, "American Jobs." With the Trans-Pacific Partnership threatening even more jobs in the U.S., it's time we look back at all warning signs.

Why do we have long term unemployment, declining wages and more people living in poverty? Well, we instinctively know the answer, trade deals that exported jobs, but political and corporate interests have done everything they can to obscure the truth. Research has shown "free trade" has hurt labor in the U.S., and diminished the middle class. From the myth of a "skills shortage," to guest worker Visa's for supposed labor shortages, something has to change.



See more here, from the dearly missed PBS show NOW:


Paul Ryan's Moral Leadership may not be Popular, but it's "the right thing."

History is littered with despots who claimed they knew more than the people that elected them.

Rep. Paul Ryan is just that kind of "leader."

Upfront's Mike Gousha asked Ryan about all the polls that directly contradicted Ryan's positions on the minimum wage, extending unemployment etc. Ryan just laughed.

I purposely included Ryan's jaw dropping corporate focused agenda that exemplifies the failure of trickle down economics-it hasn't worked so far, so business needs even more help. Where in Ryan's to-do-list is there something that has to do with people directly?

But what Ryan said next...including his Freudian slip:
"It sounds simple...but if I believe this is counter productive for the very people we're trying to hurt...to help...and will hurt them by doing this, but it's politically popular, what does that say about you as a moral person...leaders have to take positions that may not be popular sometimes if they think they're doing the right thing."


It's a message Republicans haven't been shy about saying, with absolutly no blow back from the media. Scott Walker has made a run for president contingent on the Senate turning Republican, because he too wants to do the unpopular "moral" "right thing." Divided government would just get in the way.

One more thing, Ryan flip flopped on employee mobility, a benefit he liked under his reform plan:
Ryan said "Washington is making the poverty trap that much worse" by creating disincentives for people to enter the workforce and escape poverty. “The effect will be severe — as if 2.5 million people had stopped working full time by 2024. ” By choosing to stay at home or cut back their hours, low-income workers will not get on the "ladder" to economic success and will be stuck in a cycle of poverty, argued Ryan.
From the Daily Kos came this interesting point:
Remember the whole kerfuffle over Ann Romney, and her choice to be a stay-at-home mom? Do you remember any Republicans saying that Mitt Romney's wealth created a "disincentive" for his wife to go out and work, and that this was somehow a bad thing? Of course not … regular people need that whole dignity of work thing.