Saturday, May 24, 2014

Benghazi, Benghazi, Baby...huh?

I was curious as to why Duffy missed most of his congressional votes last week and this, so I went to his Facebook page. Believe it or not, the birth of his daughter is mentioned last after Benghazi and school choice. Stunning:

And Duffy once complained he had a hard time making ends meet on his Congressional salary.

Suppose Duffy loses his job in November to Democratic challenger Kelly Westlund (she's so much better)? Can you say BadgerCare, food stamps, free school lunches?

Check out this ironic Twitter response:

Freedom and Liberty Republicans Ryan & Sensenbrenner vote to continue imperial presidency by allowing indefinite detentions.

The party of freedom and liberty is conflicted. 

A few Republicans, like Rep. Paul Ryan and James Sensenbrenner, don't really mind a president with the powers to indefinitely detain people without a trial. Roll Call
Ryan and Sensenbrenner joining Obama?
INDEFINITE MILITARY DETENTION IN THE U.S.: The House defeated an amendment to the military budget (HR 4435) that would repeal the authority presidents were granted after 9/11 to indefinitely detain suspected members of terrorist organizations in U.S. military custody without charges rather than assign them to America’s civilian criminal justice system. A yes vote was to repeal presidential powers to order indefinite detention. 
Voting to take that power away from the president: Mark Pocan, Ron Kind, Gwen Moore, Tom Petri, Reid Ribble

Voting no...yea, the same guys who say Obama is the imperial president, Paul Ryan and James Sensenbrenner. These two also voted keep Guantanamo Bay open. I smell a plot to lock up all liberals in FEMA prisons.

Wisconsin Congressional Boys Club who Blocked Funding the VA and wanted to kill ObamaCare, now Loves Veterans Socialized Medicine with no Cost Controls.

The Roll Call feature in the Wisconsin State Journal is a revealing window into the kind of world envisioned by Republicans. This is how they're really voting, minus rhetorical spin and distractions. 

Their no compromise agenda is all but ignored by the media, who oddly still finds the time to beat up on Sen. Harry Reid for not compromising as much as he should. 

Below, you'll see how health care for veterans is somehow different from health care for the voting public:
FISCAL 2015 MILITARY BUDGET: The House authorized a $600.7 billion military budget (HR 4435) for fiscal 2015, including … nearly $60 billion for active-duty and retiree healthcare …. The bill bars higher co-payments or enrollment fees in the military healthcare system.
It got a big thumbs up from Paul Ryan, James Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri, and Reid Ribble. Sean Duffy was busy expanding his family to 9.

You’ll notice the incredible hypocrisy; while the GOP pushed high deductible health saving accounts for the past 2 decades, they now hate them. So what did they do that would cost taxpayers even more? They barred co-pay and deductible increases for veterans. Why not do the same for your constituents in ObamaCare guys?

GOP Rejects Democratic motion to HR 4435... prohibit the awarding of contracts under HR 4435 (above) to companies that fail to pay a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour or provide pay equity between male and female employees.
GOP adopts their own Amendment to HR 4435...; 
...that would bar the Department of Defense from spending funds in its fiscal 2015 budget on programs that address climate change. A yes vote was to prohibit military spending to deal with climate change.
Voting to not hedge their bets climate change is real? Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Petri, Ribble. 

A Toll in and out of the state part of the answer!!!

As I've said before, Wisconsin should have a state “entry/exit” toll on our interstate highways. It’s that simple. The toll would be a small one, but significant enough to help bailout the transportation shortfall.
The Marquette poll also showed public support for introducing toll roads in Wisconsin … The poll asked whether the public would be willing or unwilling to fund roads by raising the gas tax, borrowing more, using funds earmarked for other services or tolling. Between 57 percent and 65 percent of respondents said they were unwilling to do the first three, but 55.5 percent of respondents said they would be willing to pay for roads with tolls.
The biggest road block is congress, who has been putting off a decision to allow a minimal toll to help maintain the nations roads. Infrastructure jobs? That’s big government socialism I guess.

Tax Pledge Straitjacket: Almost every Republican at the Capitol took the Grover Norquist “no tax” pledge, so reforming transportation funding is completely out of the question.

In fact, I’m finding it incredibly entertaining watching former republican legislator and now Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb beg for mercy from his fellow lawmakers to make an exception. Pretty please? I'm loving it.

Walker's “Fiscal Conservatives” spend money they don’t have, as tax revenues fall.

Never wasting an opportunity to “win” the next election or ram their agenda down our throats, state Republicans cut taxes on the whim higher revenue estimates were a sure thing. Funny, nationally they feel just the opposite about CBO predictions. Go figure.

Expecting to see revenues grow 1% this year, Republicans are now surprised revenue fell.
College dropout guides state...
jsonline: State tax collections are lagging both last year's figures and expectations … the state has collected $10.53 billion since July 1, down 0.2% from the same period in the previous year. The state budget has built in 1% growth for this year.

Falling short of that budget target could bring pain for the state … the state was already projected to spend $559 million more out of its main account next year than it has budgeted to take in. Gov. Scott Walker and GOP lawmakers passed a more than $500 million tax cut bill in March.
Democratic advice ignored by the media again: Despite Democratic arguments against increasing the deficit with another “tax cut,” the media continues to ignore the warnings. After all, the public falsely trusts Republicans with the economy. If it wasn't for the gubernatorial race, even this little mention from the Democratic candidate would have been ignored:  
Mary Burke said that the latest numbers showed that Walker should have left the state with more of a financial cushion … the figures were being released before Memorial Day to avoid drawing attention to them. Walker's election-year spending spree based on rosy assumptions was irresponsible."
What, me Worry? The unshakable incidental governor, when not touring the U.S., isn't the least bit concerned. In fact, now all of a sudden he’s a big believer in consumer spending, something he should have thought about when he cut government wages and rejected a raise in the minimum wage:
Walker said the tax cuts could help to stimulate the economy … consumers will use more of that to make purchases to help fuel the economy..."
GOP knew this going in:
The 2015-'17 budget imbalance between the state's expected tax revenue and its budgeted spending has a projected shortfall (of) $642 million. That's an increase from the earlier figure of $559 million. 
As I often do, I always check out the comments section. I think we can all agree with this thoughtful gem:
Oh - This is just too rich. An incredibly "bad news" press release dumped to the media the Friday before a long holiday weekend.

Beautiful Scotty - You are ALL-PRO! It looks like the management of the WI Department of Revenue has been turned over to the Committee to Re-Elect Scott Walker.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Under Walker's Act 10, Joe Schmo school board dictators push profession teachers around.

After watching the Racine Unified School District meeting featuring a few fed up teachers, it's becoming very clear where public education is headed.

And we can thank Act 10.

By keeping teachers out of the process (you know, the ones in the classroom teaching our kids), we're left with a group of elected citizens whose memory of education is 20 to 30 years behind the times. Some want to get even, some want to get government out, and some simply think there's money to be made off our commodified kids.

This is a shocking peek at how quickly the wheels are coming off our educational system, thanks to Act 10 and the end of collective bargaining.  This isn't liberal or union mumbo jumbo, this is real and dripping from every story below. An elected board of pedestrians are now in charge of teaching our kids. I've edited and compiled the more important points:

Denise Lockwood: In front of a packed room Monday night, Racine Education Association members called on district administrators to collaborate more with teachers.

Union members brought up issues of district administrators substitute teaching under false names, not enforcing blue slips, becoming lax on discipline policies, and asking teachers to pay for the cost of substitute teachers out of their own pocket.

One teacher also told the Board that three teachers were walked out the door because of allegations of misconduct without due process, which turned out to be unfounded.

All of this was brought up in the midst of a complaint involving Racine Unified Superintendent Lolli Haws, who is under investigation by the Kenosha County Human Services Department’s Division of Children and Family Services.
Thanks to the RootRiverSiren for the heads up.

GOP takes hit on both Climate Change and VA funding problem!!!

With the overwhelming evidence supporting climate change, you would think even a skeptic might at least hedge their bet a little and go along with it, right? You know, just play it safe. How hard is that? It's a question no reporter has asked to my knowledge:
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson debunked this suggestion in an episode of FOX Broadcasting Network'sCosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

The VA scandal, but isn't everything a scandal if they can target Obama, is exposed as something made worse by Republicans. Big surprise. Shouldn't the networks have made this case? The Daily Show:

The Drunken Disorderly Fox News Anchor Problem!

If the following happened to an MSNBC anchor, what do you think would have happened?

And how does a guy transition so dramatically from his mug shot to his smug on air persona?

Will the real Fox News anchorman please step forward:
Breaking911: An airport spokesman says police arrested FOX News Channel’s Gregg Jarrett. Police were called to Northern Lights Grill in Terminal One on Wednesday.

When they got there, they say Jarrett appeared to be drunk and wouldn’t obey orders. They took him to the Hennepin County Jail. He’s charged with interfering with a peace officer, which is a misdemeanor.

Wisconsin Business Owner who opposes Work Place Safety Regulations sees 8 employees injured in catastrophic accident.

We need to get Obama out of the way and unlock the shackles of regulation so businesses can grown and "create jobs."

That was the mantra of one big mouth conservative business owner in Wisconsin who may now have to spend a lot more money on increased liability insurance premiums and attorney's fees defending himself in court over a number of injured employees. Still believe these guys are "fiscal conservatives?"
HuffingtonPost: Lance Johnson, president of Johnson Brass & Machine Foundry Inc., in Saukville, Wisconsin, told The Wall Street Journal in a Nov. 2, 2012, campaign story (that) President Barack Obama's workplace safety inspectors were burdening him and killing jobs with too much red tape.

On Monday, Johnson's foundry was the site of a horrifying industrial accident. As reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a "catastrophic failure" of machinery sprayed molten metal on workers, injuring eight and sending four of them to the hospital. According to a statement from Johnson issued Tuesday, the molten metal hit workers on their legs and backs. According to OSHA records, Johnson's company was hit with proposed penalties of $9,638 for exposing workers to apparent hazards in 2011.

Through a spokesman, The Huffington Post asked Johnson if he still believed OSHA regulation was too burdensome. He had no immediate response.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Dumb Ron Johnson...Victim, and still a Wisconsin Embarrassment

Let's be honest, Dumb Ron Johnson has been fighting ObamaCare for absolutely no good reason since he ran for office. Because the media never thought to question his hyperbolic misconceptions during his entire campaign, he now believes he's mister know-it-all on health care.

When Sen. Jay Rockefeller honestly observed many in his party oppose ObamaCare simply because the presidents is the "wrong color," Johnson took it personally, if just to prove he can play the victim like no one else. The poor married-into-money millionaire.

The funniest part for me was not just watching Johnson's impromptu tantrum, but how he responded to Rockefeller's correct assumption that Johnson wanted to go back the old failed health care system, which he denied over and over. And yet Johnson admitted that was exactly his plan moments later:
Johnson: "As the matter of fact, I'm the one pushing a bill...(stutter) 'If You Like your Health Care Plan you can Keep It Act' ... I'm also working with Republican colleagues on 'Preserving Freedom and Choice on Health Care.' To preserve freedom and choice on health care. What a concept Huh? So please don't assume...don't make implications of what I'm thinking, and what I'd really support. You have no idea."

Rockefeller: "Actually I do....and ah I.........God help you."
...because he's that stupid.

Rockefeller: “It’s very important to take a long view at what’s going on here. And I’ll be able to dig up some emails that make part of the Affordable Care Act that doesn’t look good, especially from people who have made up their mind that they don’t want it to work. Because they don’t like the president, maybe he’s of the wrong color. Something of that sort. I’ve seen a lot of that and I know a lot of that to be true. It’s not something you’re meant to talk about in public, but it’s something I’m talking about in public because that is very true.”

Republican Representative praises Duct Tape and Garbage Bag repair to leaking Oil Tank. "The innovation of what America is."

This has just got to be seen to be believed. Louisiana Rep. Vance McAllister thinks he's making a great case for American innovation, by actually supporting the crudest form of repair to a leaking oil tank. It's not only laughable, but scary. This is American exceptionalism. This is pride in America. This is America the beautiful.

It's one thing; an amazingly low expectation level of environmental protection.

RawStory: A Republican congressman from Louisiana this week blasted an environmental activist who submitted photos of leaking oil pipes that had been repaired with garbage bags and duct tape. At a Tuesday hearing of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs, Noah Matson, vice president of Defenders of Wildlife, said that existing one-paragraph regulations were inadequate for protecting the National Wildlife Refuge System. Louisiana Rep. Vance McAllister (R) accused Matson of throwing a “fit” just because “some guy took initiative.”

McAllister: “You took a picture of someone who was innovative, and rather than leaving the fluid to drip on the ground, repaired it with duct tape and a garbage bag, and yet you seem to be very upset about that. We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t. We take a garbage bag and fix it and keep it from leaking and yet you’re still not happy, and come to Washington and testify before Congress and want to throw fits because some guy took initiative.”

Matson pointed out that he had photos that showed a garbage bag repair from a year earlier, and no one had ever come back to complete the repair.

Matson: “Anybody can come there, a storm can come, it can puncture the garbage bag, and there’s a spill. Done.”

McAllister: “Could have, should have, would have. It didn’t. I understand you’re wanting to protect wildlife, and look, I love the great outdoors, and I live in Louisiana, a sportsman’s paradise, and I love it too. But I’m not for giving ducks and deer weapons to shoot back at me. But it just aggravates me that the body of Congress would be wasted with someone coming up and taking picture of something that shows that is is fixed. It may not be fixed the way you want it. It may not be used by these high-dollar couplings and aluminum-brass thread — whatever you want put on them. But it’s fixed. And it’s not leaking. And that’s what you want to turn your testimony into is some pictures portraying the innovation of what America is.”

Understanding and Fixing the VA problem not the point of GOP criticism.

Republicans are always looking for the next hammer to pummel the administration with. So the recently reported VA deaths was a ripe area to exploit. While many are quick to blame Obama for everything, isn't it better to wait for the facts, and then decide what might be done to reform the system. We might even be able to rightfully blame someone.

That may seem like a stall, but it isn't really once you think about many of the reasons why this could have happened; VA's overwhelmed with patients, fewer doctors available, hiding actual wait times to impress the brass, and lack of funding due to Republican insistence that it be offset in the budget.

It's even more ironic for many Republicans, who want to turn VA care into a privatized voucher system, which would basically make it resemble ObamaCare. Didn't that supposedly failed?

Here's Chris Hayes and Bernie Sanders raising a few of these points in this edited segment:

Digby said it this way:
“I was forced to watch Fox for a while yesterday and realized that the burgeoning VA scandal is really about Obamacare, which seems odd, but makes sense when you remember they lie constantly about everything. The argument rested on the idea that the VA is a government program and so is Obamacare, and that automatically makes them useless. Now, when it was pointed out that they were very different programs and that Obamacare is basically just a bunch of vouchers to buy healthcare rather than a real government program like say Medicare…”
It’s worth remembering that some of the problems veterans are having right now have very little to do with the VA and a whole lot to do with American health care. As Phil Longman, author of Best Care Anywhere, noted in his own congressional testimony last week, long waits for services are actually pretty common in the U.S.—even for people with serious medical conditions—because the demand for services exceeds the supply of physicians. (“It took me two-and-a-half years to find a primary care physician in Northwest Washington who was still taking patients,” he noted.) The difference is that the VA actually set guidelines for waiting times and monitors compliance, however poorly. That doesn’t happen in the private sector. The victims of those waits suffer, too. They just don’t get the same attention.

Walker's Wisconsin Trailing Midwest in Jobs...still!

If moving forward, but slower than everyone else, is progress than Scott Walker has something to brag about. But for most of us, he gets a big fat "F" for supply side failure. How much more do we have to give away to big business before the "job creators" decide to start "charitably" hiring again. Oh yea, consumer demand creates jobs. WSJ:
The coincident index combines four components of economic growth — nonfarm employment, average manufacturing hours worked, unemployment rate, and real wages — into a single measure of broad economic activity.

Even this by-the-numbers approach doesn't pass the smell test for stand-with-Walker brainiac's. Republican voters are so invested in their conservative ideology that to admit they're wrong would be to admit they don't know what's best for all of us:

This is the Republican Party today....

Is Gary Kiehne, a hotel owner and Arizona candidate for congress, just another outlier? Hardly:

Paul Ryan will only feed rural kids in summer lunch test program, cutting off urban children!!! Racist partisan move toward disenfranchisement?

The abandonment of government funding to typically Democratic voting areas was bound to happen sooner or later.

This grossly partisan move is sadly led by Wisconsin’s own Paul Ryan, whose dystopian political agenda is as historically disturbing as Joe McCarthy’s black mark on the state. He’s set in motion a plan for the disenfranchisement of his political opponents. Call it a test case for a test lunch program to feed children in the summer. As reported by TPM:
House Republicans are pushing to restrict a low-income food aid program to children in "rural" areas … the proposal scales back an anti-hunger school lunch demonstration program set up in 2010 to feed "children in urban and rural areas" during the summer months when they're on break.

As first reported by Politico's David Rogers, the GOP bill brings down the $85 million in funding to $27 million and limits the program to only rural kids in Appalachian counties.

"Excluding children from urban areas … is also mean-spirited. Hunger isn't bound by per capita population data, and children in urban areas shouldn't be penalized because of where they live," House Appropriations Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) said. 

Said a House Democratic aide: "It's not clear to me if this was a fuck-up or if it was plainly mean-spirited or what happened. But we're going to work to change it."
Here’s hoping Ryan’s Democratic opponent Rob Zerban gets the word out that the growing and dangerous political divide in the country is about to get even worse, if that was even possible.

Hat tip to Cognitive Dissidence's Jeff Simpson for finding this story. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wisconsin Club for Growth hated secrecy, before they were for it in John Doe 2.

The Center for Media and Democracy hit the nail on the head with an observation that clarifies everything. The length of John Doe 2 has allowed the probes targets to redefine who the bad guys are. Yes, it’s crazy and laid out perfectly here:
prwatch: The purpose of secrecy in John Doe proceedings is to protect the identities of those under investigation before charges are filed. And in fact, the identities of Eric O'Keefe, Wisconsin Club For Growth, and the other groups under investigation were not revealed until last November, when O'Keefe chose to violate the John Doe secrecy order and to give the Wall Street Journal editorial board his version of events and reveal that he had been subpoenaed.

Ever since, the probe's secrecy has been a rallying cry for O'Keefe and his right-wing media supporters"This secret investigation and gag order on conservative activists is intended to stop their political successes in Wisconsin," O'Keefe said in January, when it filed the federal suit. "The state cannot be allowed to silence political speech it does not like."

Yet now it is WCFG seeking to suppress the information that might allow the public to decide for themselves whether the John Doe was warranted. WCFG and O'Keefe "are asking the court to unseal every document except those documents that support the investigation and the defendants' legal defenses in this lawsuit," wrote Nickel's attorney.

The John Doe's secrecy has been exploited by targets of the investigation, who have filled an information vacuum through a series of strategic leaks, and have exploited this one-sided information flow to recast the probe as "an abuse of prosecutorial powers" led by malevolent prosecutors.
The lying liars Club for Growth: Check out this ridiculous comment about Judge Adelman’s decision that voter ID was unconstitutional at the Club's website:
To think ACORN-like election fraud won’t be attempted is beyond idiotic. Wisconsin’s continuing defenselessness in the face of this escalating threat is due to last week’s ruling by Lynn Adelman, a federal judge whose immediate prior employment was as a 20-year member of the Democratic Caucus in the Wisconsin State Senate. Adelman ruled, preposterously, that Wisconsin’s Voter ID law is unconstitutional.
Club for Hypocrites: I wonder how the Wisconsin Club for Growth can tolerate their own Supreme Court Justice David Prosser’s 17 years as a Republican leader in the state assembly:
Prosser represented the Appleton area in the Wisconsin State Assembly as a Republican from 1979 through 1996 … he served six years as Minority leader and two years as Speaker.
Pretty partisan. But was Justice Prosser a right wing zealot back then, unlike Adelman's tenure?
In 1981, he opposed removing criminal penalties on sexual activity and cohabitation between unmarried, consulting adults, though he did express a willingness to repeal the jail terms. He stated that legalizing sex outside of marriage would increase divorce rates, the number of children born outside of wedlock, welfare payments, sexually transmitted diseases, and abortions.

Republicans deny Deception, happy to usher in Pay-to-Play Government!

Folks, it can happen here. We've been sold down the river:
jsonline-Patrick Marley: State election officials cleared the way Wednesday for lobbyists to deliver campaign checks from their clients and political action committees at any time, including while lawmakers deliberate the state budget and other major legislation … the state Government Accountability Board unanimously ruled that a law approved in March eliminated that prohibition … to hand off big campaign checks from special interest groups as legislators decide whether to tighten or loosen regulations affecting them.
Nice clean transparent government? I know, a few years after the Walker administration, under a Democratic governor, Republicans will say they never did agreed with allowing something so corrupting.

Public outrage over the obvious pay to play proposal forced the Republicans to promised to pull that part of campaign reform. But they tricked us:
…after introducing the bill, senators said they were backing off from that position, moving up the date only … But in recent weeks, officials (the GAB) determined the law said something other than what legislators claimed they intended.
It’s the old Republican bait and switch, and they pulled in on their own constituents too. a letter this week to the accountability board, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) urged the board to adopt the latest (pay-to-play) position of the Legislative Council.
Under the threat of being disbanded and replaced with a more partisan group overseeing elections, the GAB made the only decision they could:
WSJ: Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, accused lawmakers of ... bullying the GAB into agreeing with their interpretation of the law, despite a drafting error made in crafting the measure … the GAB originally said a drafting error in the legislation banned lobbyists from ever passing along others’ contributions to candidates.

But that interpretation drew criticism from Republican leaders in the Legislature and others … Vos and Fitzgerald argued that the language of the measure allows lobbyists to make most campaign contributions at any time … “We believe that this is the only logical interpretation of the statute, and fear that other interpretations could lead to confusion, inadvertent non-compliance, and costly litigation against the state,” Vos and Fitzgerald wrote.

That interpretation is different than how lawmakers described the measure as it was passing the Legislature and being signed into law. At the time, they said it was widening the time window for lobbyists’ contributions but leaving other rules the same.
They lied, and have found a new way to deceptively pass laws with no political blowback from voters.  

Burke tied with Walker again!!!

It's a dead heat:
jsonline: Democrat Mary Burke (is) drawing closer to Republican incumbent Scott Walker in the latest Marquette University Law School Poll.

Among all registered voters, including those currently seen as less likely to vote in November, the two candidates were tied at 46%. In the last poll, on March 26, Walker held a 48% to 41% lead over Burke among registered voters. Charles Franklin, director of the poll, said the results were a "noticeable shift" in favor of Burke.
 Among likely voters — an important measure in a lower-turnout midterm election — Walker leads 48-45.

Sure Walker benefiting from the national recovery, and using it to get reelected, that's the irony. But the "jobless" message is getting traction finally, and voters we hope are suspicious. Maybe this career politician really doesn't know how to attract business and jump start consumer demand after all:
Burke is seen by those polled as more likely to care about people like themselves and also has an edge in that more people feel Wisconsin is lagging other states in job creation rather than leading them. She has experience in a private business, something that voters in the poll said was important to them. 

Burke's gain was largely influenced by women and younger voters moving in her direction, according to Franklin.
 The strong right wing repetitive messaging has made the truth a thing of the past when it comes to voter fraud:
(Of) those surveyed 20% said that fraud, in the form of people claiming to be someone else at a polling site, happens a "few thousand times" or more each election statewide, while 23% said it happens a "few hundred times" for each election. 21% said it happened a "few dozen times" and 26% said that it happens "less than a dozen times" in each election. Nonpartisan election officials say that voter fraud is more isolated.
Fraud is basically non-existent if you don't count felon voting. And when you have Republican politicians running things, our faith in government falls. Big surprise:
There is considerable distrust of government: Among voters, 67% agree or strongly agree that "you really can't trust the government to do the right thing." Twenty-nine percent disagreed or strongly disagreed.
Walker and the GOP majority have taken pledges never to raise taxes, so naturally that means they can't deal with the lack of transportation department funding:
There is public reluctance to pay more for highway improvements: 40% are willing to raise gas taxes and vehicle registration fees for highway projects, but 58% are unwilling to raise fees from those sources.
And finally, from the numbers here, Wisconsinites don't like the idea of either Paul Ryan or Walker running for president. Take hint nation:
More people would rather see Rep. Paul Ryan run for the president in 2016 than Walker: Ryan: 38% want to see him run; 51% don't. Walker: 27% favor a run; 67% don't.

Switcheroo: Walker test coming…how many of the dropped BadgerCare Adults signed up for ObamaCare?

Scott Walker would be sweating the numbers if he wasn't such a sociopath. 

Our genius con man of a governor must report real numbers to show how many BadgerCare adults he kicked off of BadgerCare transitioned into the marketplace.

But will the people dumped from BadgerCare sign up in the exchanges knowing they can’t afford the co-pays and deductibles? And if they did signup, how many were doing it as a gamble, knowing they’d never be able to cover the costs?

That was my thinking when I bought a Health Savings Account. I never had any money in the savings account, and gambled I would never need it. I got lucky. Walker is putting thousands of adults in this unnerving state of uncertainty.

Little Known Factoid Boosting Walker’s BadgerCare Numbers: If a family’s income is below 300% of poverty, the adults will be in the marketplace, but their kids will be separated out into BadgerCare. Crazy right? True, because it happened to me.

So with a little smoke and mirrors, Walker can talk bigger numbers for BadgerCare, while still getting help from the exchanges. 

The conservative Wisconsin State Journal editorial staff decided to hold Walker’s feet to the fire on this one:
The math, for now, works like this: 81,731 adults added to BadgerCare minus 62,776 adults dropped from the program equals a net gain of nearly 19,000 people. That suggests some progress … but how many of those adults who lost BadgerCare because they earn more than poverty wages have successfully transitioned to Obamacare?

The Walker administration says that number won’t be available until June. But voters shouldn't have to wait longer than that. Walker’s path can work for Wisconsin if his administration meets its goal of moving “at least 90 percent” of the adults dropped from BadgerCare to ObamaCare. Yet one number won’t lie: The number of people who have health insurance in Wisconsin.
Big Lie #1: Turning down the federal money was riskier for Wisconsin ... because the immediate funding from Washington was real, while the cuts Walker fears in the future are speculation.

Walker often mentions how the state’s federal allocation of Medicaid money was cut, allowing him to say the federal government will go back on their promise to pay 90% of Medicaid. That's a lie. What no one is reporting that Medicaid payments are adjusted each year, up or down, causing a fluctuation Walker wants you to think is a cut.  

Big Lie #2: Health care premiums should decrease! Nope. The rising cost of health care is a problem worldwide, under every kind of system. We can slow it down, but cut costs? No. The only way to reduce premiums is to go to a single payer system, spreading out the costs, and lessening the impact of provider increases. Take the insurance middle man out. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

By 2050, China hopes to get 80 percent of energy from Wind, Solar and Water. The U.S.?

China still gets 65% of its energy from coal, but that percentage will diminish greatly by 2050.

The U.S. has no plan in place to do the same, thanks to a lack of Republican foresight. Democrats want renewable energy, but can’t move the nation forward due to conspiracy theories and demonetization.

So China is left to dominate the wind and solar market. Now that’s what I call American exceptionalism and the power of Koch brothers influence. 

But there's a downside: China's government is also brutal over its pursuit of hydro-energy, booting a million people from their homes. Odd thing about the article; it doesn't mention how many jobs were created in the wind and solar industries: 
jsonline: A wind plant for China Guodian, a state-owned power company (has) during the past decade been at the forefront of a massive expansion of renewable energy in China.

China is now the world's biggest wind-power generator and largest market for solar panels. With the completion of the controversial Three Gorges Dam, which displaced 1.2 million people along the Yangtze River, China is now the world's top hydro-energy producer.

William Chandler, co-author of an Energy Transition Research Institute study that outlines a road map for China generating 80% of its electricity from renewables by 2050. solar and wind power still meet less than 3% of the nation's energy needs. And China's grid hasn't expanded fast enough to deliver all the power that these projects can generate.

Wind-power developers often wait months to have their projects connected to the state-owned grid.

Many Chinese manufacturers got their start in partnerships with U.S. and European companies that helped pioneer the modern wind industry and shared technology as they sought to gain footholds in China. By 2020, the Chinese government hopes to double wind-power capacity. Solar energy is supposed to grow at an even faster rate. Just last year, China invested $56 billion in renewable energy — more than all of Europe, according to a United Nations report. The government also has called for easing the strains on the long-distance power grid by building more renewable-energy projects close to big cities. China's National Energy Administration, announced that by 2015, two-thirds of China's solar power should come from these close-to-source projects.

Talgo Train Inc. CEO: "I don't see how any company in the future would choose to do business in the state of Wisconsin."

We’re not just seeing red state Republicans flex their social engineering skills, but they’re also interested in supporting just their own donor class of businesses. 

We've seen it in Wisconsin ever since Scott Walker became governor. Good-bye wind and solar
Deception, denial and bad faith...?
energy development, and the promise of high speed rail that not only would have joined businesses together regionally, but expand tourism like never before.

When Republicans Attack: If you’re an out-of-state business, be warned, our red state legislators don’t take kindly to strangers not already on their donor list.

Flash back to this incredible statement from a Spanish manufacturer who made the mistake of setting up shop in Milwaukee:
WSJ-November 2012: The state of Wisconsin has defaulted on an agreement to buy two sets of passenger rail cars from Talgo in Milwaukee … Talgo CEO Antonio Perez said in a statement that the company invested in Wisconsin and created manufacturing jobs but the state has instead decided to breach its contract with Talgo. "I don't see how any company in the future would choose to do business with the state of Wisconsin when the state has shown that it cannot be trusted to honor contracts that it has signed," Perez said.
Well, that was then, this is now:
AP: The state claims board on Monday rejected a $66 million claim by train-maker Talgo Inc. against Wisconsin, saying the issue is best resolved in court. The DOT argues that Talgo never satisfied terms of the deal and "has acted in bad faith since the start of the project in 2OO9, engaging in a pattern of omission, deception and denial," according to a summary of its argument by the claims board.
To all of those out-of-state businesses reading this; do you feel lucky? Well do ya?

Home Sales Drop in Wisconsin...Blame Obama?

Who could miss this headline:
State home sales down 11.6% in April as weak spring market continues
And wouldn't you know it, our in-the-tank for Scott Walker Wisconsin Realtors Association blamed the problem on Obama:
WSJ: ...continuing poor weather and a stagnant national economy helped to keep sales down, the Wisconsin Realtors Association said. 
It's not Scott Walker's own lousy red state Wisconsin economic road map that's to blame? It's Obama. Why not just blame the Capitol protests and the recall election while your at it? 

The Blame Obama Bunch: Who could have predicted that cutting the pay of public workers and outright opposition to raising the minimum wage would decrease consumer demand for homes? 

And with the spread of voucher schools, that have the unintended consequences of watering down and breaking up neighborhoods with highly rated school systems, home buyers are less motivated and home owners are losing one of their biggest selling points:
Sales were down year-over-year in every region of the state in April. The trend of higher home prices and higher interest rates on mortgages also put a rebound in home sales further into the future, at best.
It's the "Blame Obama Bunch" again.

Janesville Embarrassment!! Giving bigots a voice in our classrooms the real controversy.

At the same time states are having their bigoted gay marriage bans overturned for being unconstitutional, the Janesville School District is apologizing for not giving bigots a voice in their classrooms. In an indirect way, they did just that:
WSJ: The Janesville School District superintendent issued a public apology Tuesday for the showing of a video that she describes as pro-gay marriage and in violation of district policies requiring the presentation of all sides of “controversial” or “political” topics.
It’s only controversial to bigots, who found a way to inject their sick politics into the mix. It’s a constitutional protection for the rest of us. Apologize...? Nice lesson to teach our kids.

What got little attention was this important detail; the students chose the video, a positive message of equal rights and a look at the LGBT struggle in the words of our kids. So this is what conservative are talking about when they want to develop their own "local" curriculum?
…16-minute video of children reacting to marriage proposals between same-sex couples and sharing their thoughts on issues like gay marriage bans or whether they would stay friends with someone who told them they were gay. Bits of text flashed during the video offering viewers information about the history and status of gay marriage in the United States or about discrimination and hate crimes, among other things.

That struggle presented “both sides.” But Janesville felt obligated to apologize to just a few bigoted parents hell bent on holding onto their prejudices and politicizing the whole event as "propaganda."
...two parents and a grandparent who had contacted the principal upset about the video. A grandparent contacted the School Board because she felt a public apology for what happened in April was warranted … “I found the video to be inappropriate and propaganda laden in addition to the left-wing political view,” grandparent Jo Yungerman wrote to the principal.
So Yungerman thinks its a “left-wing political view.” Who injected politics into the Janesville classroom? 

Imagine inviting a guest like Yungerman to discussion the evils of gay marriage. Or imagine this; presenting an opposing opinion over interracial marriage or opposition to ending school segregation back in the 60's?  
…it did not offer a similar look at views in support of keeping marriage between men and women. The policy requires classroom discussions to include all sides of a political matter. She said she felt “that the concept of gay marriage would fall under political action and/or legislation” because cases are being argued for and against it in courts across the country. The video was played on April 11 to recognize the Day of Silence, a national event to bring “attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools,” according to the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network. “School staff should encourage, not condemn, the brave efforts of youth in Gay-Straight Alliance clubs to make their schools safer for all students.”

Video creators Benny and Rafi Fine said in an email that they do not consider the video to be biased, and consider “raw opinions of children to be incredibly valuable insight on our current society.” They also said they were surprised to see any need for a public apology over the video.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Shocker: Tea Party "American Spring" Failed to overthrow Obama Administration.

It was just a few years ago tea party losers were disrupting town halls, preventing our elected officials from addressing a multitude of issues. Today, they want to throw the bums out, the ones that don't think like them.

The way I see it, the tea party movement is just getting started, working out the kinks. Perhaps their overblown expectations of leading their own "American spring" will jolt them into reality. Are you kidding. Those poor will they ever explain this one.

Dealing with the delusional, reporter Jon Ralston summed this movement, from Cliven Bundy to the American spring with Rachel Maddow:

See the pictures of this debacle. You know I won't let them forget this one:
Click to enlarge
Wonkette: America, your long national nightmare is almost over! As predicted, tens of millions of protesters have flooded into Washington DC, bringing the city to a halt and trapping the illegal so-called “leaders” of the illegitimate, unconstitutional “government” inside the walls of their marble fortresses — but only temporarily, as they will surely hear the call of We The People and step down in disgrace.

That’s what WND’s lede would have read if more than a few hundred teabagger loons had shown up for the big Depose Obama Rally scheduled for Friday. As it was, the brave coup leaders stood around and got rained on for a while before the weather cleared and they marched around some. But Obama still might resign in disgrace, just as soon as the other ten million or so demonstrators arrive later this weekend.

So far, we haven’t seen any definitive reports, but Wonkette Operative Princess Sparkle Pony sent along the above photo of a group of demonstrators filling not quite filling the National Mall in front of the Air and Space Museum, which seems like a pretty smart location to protect from drone attacks, since it’s a pretty good bet the Out Of Control Federal Government wouldn’t risk accidentally blowing up the Wright Flyer. There’s also this screengrab of a video from Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children (get it? USMC? So EDGY! So fetch!), showing an indeterminate number of people — we’re guessing between 3 and 17 million, it’s hard to say — milling around the Washington Monument.

RightWingWatch blogger Bryan Tashman has been tweeting some other images of the throngs.