Saturday, June 14, 2014

Fox News most Trusted network with least informed viewers, while Democrats split their trust with 4 different networks.

I think it’s sad that Fox News is supposedly the most trusted network for news. Anyone with a nose for news knows that’s completely absurd, but you’ll never convince the echo chamber of bobbleheads.

What it really says is this; a campaign driven by a massive network of conservative radio talkers, coupled with the tabloid delivery of clueless male anchors and panicky pretty blond faces, works like magic. Conservative media knows how to tap into a very receptive paranoid public. Fear, envy and breathlessly delivered propaganda is a time tested historical winner.

A recent Tweet alerted me to the latest churning's on the far right; Fox News is the most trusted network, and MSNBC/Daily Show are the least trusted. An absurd but logical result of right wing media dominance.

But there’s a flip side and a not so startling reason for this not so shocking survey result: The Brookings survey receiving so much conservative attention also shows how misinformed these Fox News heads are. They trust a lot of very inaccurate information. That’s a big drawback, right?
Brookings: Only 42% of Republicans who most trust Fox News to provide accurate information about politics and current events support a path to citizenship, compared to 60% of Republicans who most trust other news sources.
More importantly, it turns out Democrats aren't putting all their trust into just one network like Fox News viewers, instead they're spreading their trust out to 4 or 5 different networks,  which ends up lowering MSNBC’s trust numbers. That’s true for both a January PPP poll and the new Brookings survey. Here's sample I know this blogs trolls are not going to believe:
Brookings: “There is no dominate trusted news source among Democrats or liberals. Four different sources are in double digits among Democrats…
And the right wing hates MSNBC so much that it also skews the numbers downward more so than disinterested liberals:
PPP's 5th annual poll (Jan. 2014) about trust in TV news continues to find what it does every year: Fox News is both the most trusted and least trusted name in news. It leads the way because of its continuing near total support among Republicans as the place to go for news- 69% of Republicans say it's their most trusted source with nothing else polling above 7%. Meanwhile Democrats are split between a lot of different outlets when it comes to who they have the most faith in- PBS at 21%, CNN and ABC at 18%, and CBS and MSNBC at 12% all poll in double digits. Fox News also leads the 'least trusted' list in our annual poll. 33% give it that designation to 19% for MSNBC, 14% for Comedy Central.
WARNING: Democrats risk losing it all if they continue to sit out midterm elections, when tea party Republicans are most ginned up to vote. It's a politically deadly trend:
Republican voters are much more likely than Democratic voters to report that they will vote this year (78% vs. 57%). Among Tea Party voters, 86% say they will definitely vote.

Let's Increase Deficits say Wisconsin Republican Congressmen; More Unpaid for Corporate Tax Cuts.

Remember, increasing the deficit is actually good if corporations can keep more of their money. And because money is speech, corporate freedom is bigger and better than ever.

Voters should be happy business is so actively trying to help Americans understand the issues that affect corporate profits and business liberty to fund campaigns. 

It's true Republicans are screaming bloody murder over the nations problem with deficits, but that has more to do with giving money away to lazy freeloaders than dumping more cash into the pockets of big business. 

Unpaid for Tax Cuts, Again: Still in drunken sailor mode, Republicans are still cutting taxes for businesses without offsetting increases somewhere else, while Democrats push for fiscal sanity. Roll Call: 
CORPORATE TAX BREAKS, LARGER DEFICITS: The House passed a Republican-drafted bill (HR 4453) that would lower tax liabilities in certain instances when companies convert from “C corporation” to “S corporation” status. Because the bill is not paid for, it would add $1.5 billion to federal deficits between fiscal 2014-2024, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.  A yes vote was to pass a bill providing corporate tax relief while raising annual deficits.
Oh, look, deficit slashing Paul Ryan, Jim Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri, and Reid Ribble voted to increase deficits. That's not what they're saying at public listening sessions.

Supposed "tax and spend Democrats" like Mark Pocan, Ron Kind, and Gwen Moore voted to cut the deficit.

Even Bigger Deficits: Big business is apparently struggling right now, and needs this budget buster:
DEPRECIATION TAX BREAKS, LARGER DEFICITS: The House passed a Republican-drafted bill (HR 4457) that would permanently grant depreciation tax breaks to medium-size and small businesses. Such breaks now are temporary but are routinely renewed on an annual basis. Because the bill is not paid for, it would add $73 billion to federal deficits between fiscal 2014-2024, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. In part, the bill would permanently raise to $500,000 the annual cost of qualified property that businesses can deduct from taxable income immediately rather than over many years.

A yes vote to depreciation tax breaks while raising annual deficits: Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Petri, Duffy, Ribble
Voting to reduce the deficit, Pocan, Kind, Moore.

Friday, June 13, 2014

South Carolina Republican government overreach, design curriculum their way for schools.

While Republicans whine and complain about liberal indoctrination in our public schools and government overreach with Common Core, they’re busy at work dictating and politicizing what and what can’t be taught in our South Carolina anyway. 

Republican “local control” of education means shaping curriculum to their world view. Check out this outrageous set of events now getting national attention:  
Fox News: The South Carolina legislature has rankled liberal groups after requiring that a pair of public schools use state funds to teach the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Federalist Papers, including the study of and devotion to American institutions and ideals." State House lawmakers previously had cut funds from two public universities in retaliation for required-reading material containing homosexual themes. A revised budget passed restored the money but dictated that exact amount be spent "for instruction in the provisions and principles of the United States Constitution.
Breathtaking. That’s not all. Republicans also insist on offering “opposing” courses for those who object to what might be considered a liberal agenda. 
The legislation also says that any school that conducts a mandatory reading program must provide an alternative in case the chosen book conflicts with any students’ moral or religious beliefs. 
WTF Moment: Gov. Nikki Haley didn't like the GOP manipulating public education, but said, oh, what the heck:
Gov. Nikki Haley went along with the Constitution requirement on Thursday, saying she did not agree with it but kept it in because lawmakers spent so much time on the bill. She said her office "didn't want to interject ourselves into that." "I don't believe legislators should micromanage our boards," she said, according to The Associated Press. "They elect board members, so if they want to beat up on them, go for it... but to go in there and micromanage books being read, I think that's out of our purview."
The saner side of the debate:
The National Coalition Against Censorship, ACLU of South Carolina and other groups said “It represents unwarranted political interference with academic freedom and undermines the integrity of the higher education system in South Carolina,” the groups said.
Here’s the conservative idiot at the center of this fiasco. His objective is to prevent people from learning about other different people in required reading assignments:

Republican state Rep. Garry Smith, who introduced the cuts in the House, told in March he received complaints from constituents who have children at both schools. He said when they or their students objected to the books' content, they were told they could not read an alternative book. “I appreciate the issue of freedom and academic freedom and very much support that, but in this case it was very irresponsibly exercised,” he said.
But he really doesn't.

Walker confirms; He's will "deny to any person ... the equal protection of the laws” regarding Same Sex Marriage. That's just the beginning...

Scott Walker may want to avoid answering matter-of-factly how he now feels about gay marriage to save every vote possible, but the truth is, he has and still does support an unconstitutional law. He wants that in a "leader?"

Incidental governor
strikes again...
That's the take-away we should all have after hearing Walker's recent comments to Journal Sentinel's
Dan Bice. But it doesn't matter what Walker says now, because his first inclination was to violate the Constitutions Fourteenth Amendment, and give up other peoples rights to a majority vote. Even just as telling is the Republican desire to leave it up to what amounts to a "sure bet" in the conservative activists Supreme Court.

Walker made it clear that whatever really happens in all of this, Dan Bice will report "whatever you want" anyway, suggesting something less than the truth. You know how that "liberal media" is, it's never quite as trustworthy as right wing radio hosts like Sykes and Limbaugh, or cable's truth tellers like Hannity and Beck.

Check out this nasty little man's contemptible response to questioning:

This is the "Walker" Scotty tries so hard to conceal with his well rehearsed memorized statements.

DNR uses legal trick to cut public comment out, ok's Tripling Tar Sand Crude Pipeline Capacity

No public input and no concerns whatsoever over possible oil spills? It’s heaven living in such a perfect state.

The DNR decide it didn’t need have to listen to us:
jsonline: The public was "completely cut out of the process" when the DNR decided not to conduct a complete environmental review, and instead considered only an air permit.
What’s so unsettling about the DNR’s okay to triple the capacity of tar sand crude through Wisconsin is a law that doesn’t consider past environmental problems by the Enbridge Energy.
The increase would send more oil from Canada and North Dakota across Wisconsin than the proposed Keystone XL pipeline linking western Canada to the Gulf Coast. In July 2010, an Enbridge line ruptured in Michigan, sending 834,000 barrels of oil into the Kalamazoo River. The company also paid $1.1 million to settle claims by the Wisconsin DNR and the state Department of Justice that the company violated environmental laws during the initial phase of the pipeline project in 2007 and 2008. DNR officials also said state law doesn't allow officials to use a company's past operating record when reviewing environmental permits.
What a nice convenient law. Do people get these same legal benefits as companies?

The Nightmare of Big Government nothing more than a Right Wing Dream, not Reality. Like ObamaCare.

It should be noted whenever possible the absolute failure of Republicans to predict the failures of ObamaCare!

They never correct their miscalculations, they just forget them. They get the mileage they want by predicting their false realities, and move on. With new predictions of an Obama imperial presidency and the government takeover of our school lunches, their breathless panicky voters will never no the truth. So here's another truth emerging from the fog of right wing talk:
One of the many, many, many predictions of Obamacare failure made by conservatives is that insurance companies would systematically drop out of the exchanges. They made this prediction manymanymanymany,many times. The data is starting to come in and, guess what, insurance companies are joining the exchanges. Dan Diamond reports that, in every state that has reported information so far, the number of insurance companies competing in the exchanges will expand in year two. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Van Hollen ready to arrest County Clerks over Gay and Lesbian Marriage Licenses. Police state not far behind....

Is it just a frustrated J.B. Van Hollen throwing out empty threats, or is he setting up his tea party credits to run for office?  If anything, it's one hell of a way to defend the constitution...lock 'em up?
jsonline: Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said Thursday that same-sex couples who have wed in recent days are not married in the eyes of the law and that county clerks issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples could be prosecuted.

"You do have many people in Wisconsin basically taking the law into their own hands and there can be legal repercussions for that.  So, depending on who believes they're married under the law and who doesn't believe they're married under the law may cause them to get themselves in some legal problems that I think are going to take years for them and the courts to work out."

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell called Van Hollen's claim of possible charges ridiculous. "He needs to call off the dogs and turn off the fire hoses," he said … County clerks can be jailed for up to nine months and fined up to $10,000 for issuing marriage licenses that aren't allowed, under state law.
That's a lot of jail time…
Sixty-three of Wisconsin's 72 counties are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, according to a tally by The Associated Press.
My favorite AG candidate DA Susan Happ was on top of this:
Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ released a statement calling the idea of charging clerks "offensive." "Attorney General Van Hollen's choice of action is through the appellate process, not threatening criminal prosecution of the clerks who are doing their jobs," her statement said.
WKOW's Greg Neumann hit this story from a number of different angles, including how Republicans are using their silence on the issue as deceptive way to straddle the middle:

As Advertised by GOP, Public Hates ObamaCare, but Loves Health Care Reform. Who cares, Republicans will repeal it anyway.

I’m fascinated by the debate over repealing ObamaCare. It’s a phony argument that intentionally ignores the power of advertising.

The Republican media machine is great at marketing opposition to anything they target, like ObamaCare, and use that ginned up anger as a way to prove they’re right. All it shows is that advertising works.

But public support for the elements of ObamaCare, and the high approval ratings of state exchanges not called “ObamaCare,” prove Democrats have the high ground on health care.

Republicans will still repeal the Affordable Care Act, despite all this, because they think they hold the "moral high ground" and know better than the rabble. Our freedom and liberty only goes so far.

So the debate over the repeal of ObamaCare is really just a marketing campaign to justify their eventual actions.

Waste of time but what the heck: The following poll backs me up, but really in the big picture, so what:
WaPo-Greg Sargent: …foes like to claim polls (that support ObamaCare) are problematic because they offer a choice between “fixing” and “repealing” the law. This, they say, biases responses in favor of “fix,” because people like fixing things, and at any rate, Obamacare can’t be fixed by definition. So this new Bloomberg News poll will pose an additional problem to those who simply refuse to accept … reality. 

What is your opinion of the health care law?It should be repealed: 32%

It may need small modifications, but we should see how it works: 56%

It should be left alone: 10%
Again, so what:
66% support giving the law a chance to work with possible small modifications or leaving it alone. The poll also finds that 39 percent support the law, while 11 percent oppose it because it did not go far enough … a total of 50% versus 42 percent who oppose the law because it went too far.
It doesn't matter because Republicans will repeal ObamaCare anyway, which they've been very upfront about that, but it's still good to know these things as a historical side note after the collapse.

I’m just posting this now so I can say later on; I told you so. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Tea Party's unapologetic Racism marches on....

This is just astonishing from Texas:
Despite an ongoing investigation and calls for her resignation, a two-term La Marque City Council member remains unfazed by the fury over her comments. Monday was the first time members of the public were given the chance to address city council since Connie Trube's recorded comments were released.

"It's not going to get any better until you get those blacks off the school board. She really turned black. She got on the school board with the rest of the blacks and they all just ganged up and that's why the school system has gone to hell."
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Asked to respond:
"What is on the tape is nothing more than me stating my honest opinion and I don't back down from that," said Trube. "I never denied what was on the tape."

Presidential hopeful Paul Ryan wants to rule the World under Military Iron Fist.

What, no lessons learned from the Bush administrations aggressive military interventionist preemption policy? Not for Paul Ryan. Perpetual war is a political ploy to keep the public in line.

If this growing authoritarian shift in U.S. foreign policy and the world wide GOP announcement to our enemies President Obama is weak doesn't trouble you…
jsonline: "Our friends think we're adrift, our rivals think we're sinking, our credibility is at risk, and so with it, our security. We can't withdraw from the world. We have to stay engaged." Accusing President Barack Obama of weakness on the world stage, Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan argued Wednesday for a military buildup, for a more vigorous foreign policy vision, and against a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan "before we finish the job." "When Russia invaded Ukraine, the president spoke with all the moral outrage of an instruction manual." The world isn't perfect, and we shouldn't try to make it so. To say we're the leader is not to say we're always the enforcer. Instead, we're the chief advocate — for our interests and our principles — because a lot of people in the world share our principles."
Ryan is hoping to expand the Military Congressional Industrial Complex to stabilize the economy enough to ease the pain of what he knows would be a highly unpopular agenda.
"We have to develop our military. But we shouldn't be quick to use it. We prepare for war so we can keep the peace."
That sounds like peace? Phony peace.

And in yet another breathtaking example of projection, Ryan had the balls to bashed China for mirroring the GOP world corporate takeover.
Ryan had sharp words for China in the speech: "With its new power, China isn't trying to bend the rules — in many ways it's trying to rewrite them altogether … It's attacking our companies. It's promoting crony capitalism. In a narrow-minded pursuit of its narrow self-interest, China isn't trying to uphold market principles but in many respects, it's trying to upend them."
Ryan has always pretended he was against crony capitalism, when in fact, the GOP platform would collapse work without it. 

Pay-to-Play campaign funding OK’d by Republicans AG Candidate Brad Schimel

In an amazing pre-election misstep, GOP AG candidate Brad Schimel has decided outright pay-to-play money is now the normal way of doing government business. That’s not good news for those less fortunate voters short on disposable “free speech” cash.

He really said that:
jsonline-Dan Bice: Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel has brushed aside a request to investigate state Rep. Joel Kleefisch for introducing a bill that could have cut the child support paid by a major Republican donor.

"Why can't a legislator press for legislation that benefits a person who has contributed to their campaign?" Schimel asked in an email to the liberal group One Wisconsin Now. "Isn't that the essence of representative government?"
This all stems from a hideous attempt by a cheap millionaire to cap calculations for child support on the first $150,000. And Kleefisch's reaction to the public outrage was quite revealing:
Kleefisch spiked the bill shortly after the news stories ran in January.

Scot Ross, head of One Wisconsin Now, criticized Schimel's comments in the email. "Brad Schimel has come right out and said it," Ross said. "He has no problem with economic elites buying influence and politicians selling it in the state of Wisconsin."
This final word from Kleefisch should end any speculation of wrong doing. This piece of work will actually bring his mean spirited bill back:
Kleefisch said Wednesday there was nothing to investigate. "Sometimes the constituents' advice or research lends itself to drafting of legislation." Kleefisch said he intends to reintroduce the bill next session.
Good enough for Schimel.

Good Guys with Guns Killed by Bad Guys with Guns.

The title is a twist on the NRA's idiot one liner, "Only Way To Stop A Bad Guy With A Gun Is With A Good Guy With A Gun," that only the most gullible fools found to be profound.

But as Chris Hayes revealed last night, that was an outright false premise...a lie. Why the press didn't shine a spotlight on this little known fact is even more unsettling.

The National Memo's Gene Lyons wrote this insightful analysis of our current national condition, shortened:
So the Bonnie and Clyde of the great Bundy ranch standoff thought they could start a national uprising by murdering two cops in a Las Vegas pizza joint. After executing Officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo in the most cowardly way possible, would-be freedom fighters Jerad and Amanda Miller draped the officers’ bodies with a Nazi flag and the “Don’t Tread on Me” banner flown at Tea Party rallies, and left a note proclaiming a new American Revolution.

The duo then proceeded to Walmart, where they also died in the most cowardly way possible — a murder-suicide.

Along the way the pair encountered the proverbial “good guy with a gun,” Joseph Robert Wilcox. They killed him too. Wilcox’s mistake was to pull his own concealed handgun without firing. It’s something combat instructors say one should never do, although it’s a decent human being’s first instinct — one good reason ordinary citizens shouldn't carry.

We’d been talking about those “open carry” geeks parading around in Fort Worth restaurants; also the self-appointed Texas posse that vowed to forcibly prevent Bowe Bergdhal’s Idaho hometown from throwing a welcome-home celebration for the recently released POW.

Fox News and CNN succeeded in raising an electronic lynch mob. In essence, these jokers pronounced themselves willing to kill or die to prevent President Obama from getting a bump in opinion polls — the proximate cause of the sickening right-wing media freakout over Bergdhal’s release.

To the nutball right, ordinary Democratic voters have become the main enemy. Their apocalyptic theology requires a Satanic enemy, and it’s the majority. Some won’t rest until they get the violent confrontation they think they want. Then look for the professionals to take down the amateurs, with prejudice. It’s the American way.

What's next for the Tea Party, stoning gays?

The tea party is so likable, aren't they? 
Scott Esk reportedly said in a Facebook conversation, “I think we would be totally in the right” to stone gay people to death. He also quoted the bible — including Leviticus 20:13 — and added, “ignoring as a nation things that are worthy of death is very remiss.”

The Facebook conversation was ignited by a posting of Pope Francis’ “Who am I to judge?” comments last year. Esk apparently believes he is capable.

In another Facebook conversation, Esk said, “I never said I would author legislation to put homosexuals to death, but I didn’t have a problem with it."
This is the conservative state of mind. Any questions?

The Ayn Randian Mind behind the Tea Party "Brat."

So who is this tea party guy who defeated the arrogant Rep. Eric Cantor? It's Dave Brat, another Ayn Rand clone who also thinks we should all be Christian capitalists!!! Brat's actual impact in the House will be small, but I thought the rise of the new right's policies should be the focus. As described at Alternet:
Brat, you’ll be delighted to hear, is an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College who counts the fantastically nutty Ayn Rand as his intellectual hero. As Samantha Lachman reported, the Professor gets dough from the banking sector to push Rand’s libertarian nonsense on college students: 
“Brat has taught classes for a program sponsored by BB&T bank that aims to spread Ayn Rand's principles to college students. Brat got a $500,000 grant from the bank to bring the program to Randolph-Macon College and co-authored a paper titled ‘An Analysis of the Moral Foundations in Ayn Rand.’”
As the Wall Street Journal reportsBrat has also mused on the need for a church model that fully supports capitalism, warning that if we don't get on that, a new Hitler will surely rise. s John Allison, former chairman of BB&T’s board and champion of education privatization, helpfully explains:
“About twelve years ago we re-examined our charitable giving and realized that our contributions to universities were not typically being used in our shareholders’ best interest. At the same time, we were studying the question of why the United States had moved from the land of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” to the “redistributive state.” We became convinced that the reason for this transformation was that the Left had taken over the universities and educated future leaders, including teachers, in statist/collectivist ideas." 
Yea, who cares about that whole empty preamble to the Constitution, when you've got fictional writer Ayn Rand for guidance.

So here's Dave Brat's free market Randian wish list, as presented on his campaign site:
Obamacare: Obamacare has proven to be an economically disastrous law and an unconstitutional power grab by our Federal Government. I support a plan to defund the law and replace it with free-market solutions that lower costs, improve quality, and increase access to care.

Fiscal Responsibility: I will support a balanced budget amendment which will force Congress to reign in the out of control federal spending and to restore confidence in the American economy.

2nd Amendment: I will oppose any efforts to undermine or limit the Constitutional right to bear arms. I will oppose any back door attempts to confiscate guns or create a national gun registry. Our founding documents make it clear that our inalienable rights come from God and that the job of the government is to ensure and protect those God given rights. I intend to keep it that way.
Security/Foreign Policy: Ronald Reagan said it best: “Peace through strength.” I support a full investigation into the Benghazi attacks.

Energy: I support a broad-spectrum energy approach that relies on the free market.  The private sector must be set free to invest in natural gas, wind, solar, oil, nuclear, and other forms of energy as we move forward. 

Uphold Human Life: Our fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness precede the existence of government and come from God, the Author of Nature. These core constitutional rights have been usurped by the Judicial and Executive Branches and must be returned to the people and their representatives.
Never mind that no industrialized country has ever bought into the Randian free market system. Are they just afraid?

Anybody but Cantor? Cantor didn’t lose to a guy with better ideas, or because of immigration, he lost because he was disliked by voters who decided not to go to the polls.
Vox: About 72 percent of registered voters in Cantor's district polled on Tuesday said they either "strongly" or "somewhat" support immigration reform that would secure the borders, block employers from hiring those here illegally, and allow undocumented residents without criminal backgrounds to gain legal status - three key tenets of an overhaul[...]

63 percent of all registered voters disapproved of his job performance, and his net approval among registered Republicans was -6 percentage points.

A look back: Bush economic policies that got us here. Republicans are promising to bring it all back too...

Rummaging through past blog posts, I found this potpourri of stories dissecting the Bush economic disaster that got us to this point. It's laced with warnings and bullheaded Republican economic theories that in retrospect should have been stopped in its tracks.

We were warned at the time. And despite the administrations support for off shoring (yes, they knew it would cost jobs), anyone with a half a brain knew that wasn't going to work well. But Bush and the Republicans said the pain would be short lived. Guess not.

Sadly, at the time, I didn't save the links to these stories (links that would probably be dead today anyway). I think you'll be amazed at all the information Americans ignored:
Aug. 2003: What caused a projected surplus of $5.6 trillion to become a projected deficit of $4.4 trillion? Of this extraordinary $10 trillion deterioration, approximately 36 percent comes from enacted or expected tax cuts, 31 percent from budget increases, especially for defense and homeland security … President Bush's tax cuts since 2001 have shifted more of the tax burden from the nation's rich to middle-class families, according to the Congressional Budget Office

Feb 2004: According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the single biggest cause of the deficit is the president's massive tax cuts for the wealthy -- which he conveniently did not mention. Specifically, 36% of the deficit comes from the tax cuts, while only 31% comes from defense/war related spending increases, And as the president starves veterans health care, low-income housing, and health care programs of funding, he is pushing more than $1 trillion in new tax cuts, primarily for the wealthy. 

2004: What we have here is a form of looting." So says George Akerlof, a Nobel laureate in economics of the Bush administration's budget policies. The government is simply borrowing to make up for the loss of revenue. In 2004, the typical family will pay about $700 less in taxes than it would have --- but meanwhile, the government will run up about $1500 in debt on that family's behalf. 

February 10, 2004 NY Times: The movement of American factory jobs and white-collar work to other countries is part of a positive transformation that will enrich the U.S. economy over time, even if it causes short-term pain and dislocation, the Bush administration said … in the president's annual report to Congress on the health of the economy. "Outsourcing is just a new way of doing international trade," said N. Gregory Mankiw, chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisors. "More things are tradable than were tradable in the past. And that's a good thing." His advisors acknowledge that international trade and foreign outsourcing have contributed to the job slump. Although trade expansion inevitably hurts some domestic workers, the benefits eventually will outweigh the costs as Americans are able to buy cheaper goods and services and as new jobs are created in growing sectors of the economy, the report said. "Maybe we will outsource a few radiologists," Mankiw told reporters. "What does that mean? Well, maybe the next generation of doctors will train fewer radiologists and will train more general practitioners or surgeons…. Maybe we've learned that we don't have a comparative advantage in radiologists. Mankiw said, "The market is the best determinant of where the jobs should be," he said. 

September 24, 2004: Responding to an election­ season request by Demo­crats, the Congressional Bud­get Office estimated that some of Presi­dent Bush's budget policies, plus other costs would add $1.3 trillion to federal deficits over the next decade.
And finally, this amazingly futuristic and optimistic Salvador Dali plan for Social Security that will stun the senses:

Social Security also must be restructured to let workers put part of their retirement funds in private accounts, the report argues. Doing so could add nearly $5 trillion to the national debt by 2036, the president's advisors note, but the additional borrowing would be repaid 20 years later and the program's long-term health would be more secure. 

Obama weak? What about the Bush/Cheney hard line policy against our enemies and terrorist? A myth.

As commander and chief, Obama had every right to make the decision to swap Taliban prisoners for an American prisoner. Sure he could have told congress, but he didn't. That makes authoritarians very angry.

At times Obama is a weak leader for using "soft diplomacy," at other times he's the imperial president for taking swift action. 

Republicans have a sick obsession about telling the world the U.S. is weak, and the president is a failure. Message sent, thank you very much. For future reference, that'll help boost the standing of U.S. presidents to come who are called on to help solve another humanitarian or political crisis? 

Researching my past blog posts on the Bush/Cheney no compromise hard line positions in foreign policy, I came across this May 2008 revealing contradiction to the GOP's blustery statements today: 
Weak and hypocritical are the end results of the Bush administrations tough impossible stances with America’s perceived and real enemies. While the rest of the world looks on in disbelief, the administrations reversals and contradictions are viewed by the White House as having been part of the plan, or a misunderstood position.

The Washington Posts story, “Despite stance on negotiating with tyrants, U.S. lends Bashir an ear” highlights their “aw shucks, did we say that” attitude toward foreign policy.

Hypocrisy 101:
“It has at least provoked charges of hypocrisy, because Bush recently accused those advocating talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other radical figures of "appeasement…underscoring how White House policy has departed from his pointed public call to shun talks with radical tyrants and
Appeasement #1:
“A special envoy of President Bush plans to meet with Sudanese President
Omar Hassan al-Bashir, whose government sheltered Osama bin Laden and pursued a scorched-earth policy in southern Sudan that resulted in more than 2 million deaths… spoken to or exchanged letters with Bashir on numerous occasions…reportedly offered the regime major concessions in exchange
for minor steps and rolled out the red carpet for some of its most reprehensible officials,
" said Susan Rice, who handled Africa policy in the Clinton administration and is a top adviser to the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).”
So Bush has offered letters, personal meetings and major concessions with a tyrant and mass murderer. That is the true definition of appeasement; giving something away in order to get something back. It’s interesting to note just who might have been tougher pursuing and punishing state sponsors of terrorism. “The Clinton administration…tried to isolate Sudan because of its ties to Osama bin Laden, imposed stiff sanctions against the government and placed it on the official list of state sponsors of terrorism.”

Appeasement #2, #3, #4, #5, #6:
His appointees have also pursued aggressive diplomacy with North Korea and
Libya and have even conducted limited business with Cuba, Syria and Iran.
I personally think the White House is really trying to desensitize us so we generally accept a certain level of “minor” corruption and incompetence. The more egregious misconduct in office charges have been successfully thwarted by simply not cooperating.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mothers seeking Walker Pardon to get teaching job, for crime when she was 17, out of luck he says!

What's sociopathic? Scott Walker's refusal to pardon hard working people who deserve a break.

"Where do you draw the line" he said about those who may deserve a pardon but still won't get one as long as he's  governor. After all, we've all seen how some pardons have negatively affected political careers, and as we all know, Walker can't take any chances if he's running for president.

So people who want live out their dream career, can't. WISC Channel3000:

A young woman whose criminal past (when she was 17) now haunts her job search said she wants the governor to reconsider whether to offer pardons. Gov. Scott Walker shut down the program indefinitely after taking office ... Criminals who have served their time typically can apply for a pardon, which is an official act of forgiveness by the governor that also can restore rights of a felon. 
Republicans like Walker aren't into forgiveness, they're into punishment and teaching Americans hard lessons. Walker's okay with sending dedicated people into lousy jobs:
Walker has said he won't exercise that power, and some felons said that is preventing them from getting a job or moving on with their lives. The move has even gotten recent attention in The New York Times, which profiled Madison resident and veteran Eric Pizer, whose 2004 felony battery conviction is preventing him from getting a job as a police officer because he can't carry a firearm.

News 3 asked if it was a job creation issue, given that both of these cases involved people who can't pursue their careers. "No, they can get jobs, they just can't get jobs in an area that prevents them access because of their felony conviction," Walker said. "But they are not limited in other ways."
And like every job the GOP is focusing on creating, low wage no benefit work, Walker is determined to add many more fast food workers:
Jessica Cranfield of Chippewa Falls is now married with children and in school working toward a bachelor's degree in education, but said she's unlikely to get her desired job as a teacher. Cranfield said the felony conviction hasn't cost her low-level jobs. "I can get a job at McDonald's, but I don't see why what I did when I was 17 should limit me to that," Cranfield said. 

We Can Thank Right Wing Media and Politicians for Domestic Terrorist Attack in Vegas.

Domestic terrorism…get used to the term, we’re going to be using often. And the radical right wing media, Fox News and in conservative talk radio, keep pushing their anti-government message to frenzied believers. They are to blame. They will of course deny the obvious, but we're smarter than that. Remember, since the sixties protests and bombings have been blamed on the ideas people get from liberal schools and colleges. So why aren't these blatant cases of domestic terrorism the offshoot of conservative media? 

If individuals or groups declare it's a revolution and try to overthrow of our government by killing people, what would you call it? We know what John Boehner's not going to call it:
TPM: Speaker John Boehner was asked if he considers the Las Vegas shootings on Sunday to be "an act of domestic terrorism."

"I -- I'm not sure how I'd describe it," he responded. "But clearly we had a couple of sick individuals who engaged in a horrific crime.”

Jerad Miller appears to have harbored extreme animosity toward the federal government, mixing Second Amendment advocacy with violent rhetoric and open calls for armed revolution. 
The Las Vegas shooting was plainly encouraged by Fox News' Sean Hannity, who made tax deadbeat Cliven Bundy a hero. Racist killer Jerad Miller was one of the armed militia that turned out at the ranch:
Neighbors of the couple who ambushed two police officers Sunday in Las Vegas told local newspapers the pair had bragged about spending time at Cliven Bundy’s ranch during the standoff with the federal government earlier this year. Neighbors in an apartment complex where the two suspects lived said they “had a reputation for spouting racist, anti-government views” and boasted about their gun collection, according to the Las Vegas Sun. "They were handing out white-power propaganda and were talking about doing the next Columbine," he said.
These were your typical tea party right wingers, spouting their typical right wing anti-government cliches waving guns around:
Fox News: The attack at a CiCi's Pizza restaurant on Sunday killed Officers Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31, who are both husbands and fathers. One of the shooters yelled, "This is a revolution!" The Review-Journal reported that the pair covered the officers with a cloth that featured the Gadsden flag, which features a coiled snake with the words "Don't Tread on Me."

Wisconsin Cheese gets Democratic Action from Baldwin and Kind, but nothing from Republican Congressmen Ryan, Duffy, Sensenbrenner, Ribble, and Petri!!!

A farmers best friend? Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin and Rep. Ron Kind.

In yet another example of getting stiffed by the GOP. Farmers who typically vote Republican aren’t getting any help from their rural lawmakers in D.C. over the future of aged cheeses in their state and from around the world. It’s no surprise though, since my conservative friend in Milwaukee is absolutely beside himself over the imperial presidency, Benghazi, Bergdahl and ObamaCare. Those are real issues Americans are more concerned with.

Cheese Aged on Wood needs defending. And missing in action is Dumb Ron Johnson, Rep. Ryan, Ribble, Sensenbrenner, Duffy, and Petri. What do rural farmers see in these farm bill delaying freeloaders?

The Cheese/Wood FDA Threat, WSJ
Wooden boards, which have been an integral part of aging cheeses, were called unsanitary by an FDA official. The future of many cheese operations in Wisconsin and elsewhere and the unique tastes of popular cheeses like aged cheddar and Parmesan are hanging in the balance.
One problem; "Cheese-making is a long and involved process that makes use of bacteria, enzymes and naturally formed acids to solidify milk proteins and fat and preserve ..."
Marianne Smukowski of the UW-Madison Center of Dairy Research. “And none have been traced back to aging cheese on wood boards.” 
Baldwin and Kind: Democrats continue to pay attention to the job of governing and problem solving: 
According to John Umhoefer, the executive director of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. “This is not a fad. This is the way that it’s done,” he said. He added that U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, R-La Crosse, already has contacted him to express his concern and support for the cheese producers. Umhoefer said cheese producers from around the world are concerned because the FDA ruling also will limit all cheese imported into the United States.

Chris Roelli, owner of the Roelli Cheese Haus in Shullsburg said that representatives from the office of Sen. Tammy Baldwin contacted him ... (he) uses wooden boards to age 85 percent of its cheeses. Roelli said. “The political powers should get behind us because it’s so important to the state’s dairy industry, which is a very powerful industry in this state with the jobs and the economic impact it has. This is very serious stuff.”

Michelle Malkin is hideous, petty, and loving it...

Still struggling to usurp Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin's over-the-top trash heap of outrageous writings never quite hits its mark.  Although she tries and tries:

As I've mentioned before, healthy lunches for our kids is "control freak" outrageous and just more big government liberalism, but GOP healthy food stamp requirements and drug testing? Make up your confused conservative minds.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Walker Mess Explained....

Not much I can add to the following:
Paul Fanlund: Under scrutiny, Scott Walker’s fiscal record is a jumble: Walker’s foes seem to let the Republican governor get away with playing the fiscal hero even while he is recreating the “kick-the-can” budget future he complains about, a structural deficit that will likely yield a manufactured “fiscal crisis” after November’s election. (Republicans, of course, adore a good budget crisis because it lubricates attacks on government, including on public education.)

But a deeper look based on interviews with budget experts reveals how little Walker has really accomplished.

Since his January 2011 inauguration, Walker has signed 15 bills into law providing tax breaks to businesses … at least 37 discrete business tax breaks ... ranged from lowering corporate income taxes through credits and deductions, to the creation of nine new sales tax exemptions, to putting more state money into property tax relief, about a third of which goes to commercial, manufacturing and agricultural property.

The cuts ... estimated $740 million in general purpose revenue over this four-year period, an amount that’s expected to grow by at least $130 million during the 2015-17 budget alone, since some are not yet fully phased in. Yet Wisconsin still lags behind most states, including our neighbors, in private-sector jobs created since Walker took office.

I asked experts … Here is what they say: First, several new tax breaks, such as the manufacturing and agriculture credit, don’t have a specific job-creation requirement. Rather, they provide a no-questions-asked benefit to businesses with the mere hope of job creation.

some breaks are geared toward manufacturing activities ... it is not expected to be a significant source of new jobs — now or ever — compared to the tech, service and health care industries,

Part of the problem, one expert tells me, is that in Walker’s zeal to lower taxes whenever there is a state dollar burning a hole in his pocket, he has dribbled out money at intervals and hasn’t taken any long-term perspective on how the tax code really should look.

Walker’s politics precluded Wisconsin from receiving $810 million in federal stimulus money for a high-speed rail line in Wisconsin. The Spanish train company Talgo is currently suing the state for breach of contract. Walker’s politics precluded Wisconsin from receiving $810 million in federal stimulus money for a high-speed rail line in Wisconsin. The Spanish train company Talgo is currently suing the state for breach of contract.
 Wisconsin also turned down millions in federal funds that would have helped pay for those on medical assistance as well as the $38 million available for implementing a state health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

So, Walker passed on several opportunities for Wisconsin to increase its relative share of federal dollars to increase employment.

Dumb Ron Johnson must think picking a career is like buying a car; can you afford it?

You've always wanted to be a school teacher, so you studied hard and decided to go college to fulfill that dream. Wait a minute big spender, not so fast. Can you afford that?
That’s what Dumb Ron Johnson is asking now in a piece that defies logic:
No one told the aspiring teacher to look before borrowing: One of the worse unintended consequences of good intentions in government is the way Washington has eagerly helped young Americans accumulate huge piles of student debt. Since 2010, the federal government has simply run most student lending, so this mess is Washington’s handiwork.
It’s not a mess at all. High tuition is a result of GOP cuts to public colleges, not student borrowing.

But here’s the most insulting part of Johnson’s twisted thinking; he’s saying it’s harder to be a teacher now because their pay isn't very high, making it harder to pay off your loan debt. Thank you GOP?
You can see the result in the testimony of a young woman, Brittany Jones, who wanted to be a schoolteacher. It’s honorable work that pays reasonably well, but it is not known for paying high salaries right out of collegeJones went to a four-year state college and graduated with “well over $70,000” in student debt … I asked her whether any high school or college counselors ever went through the calculation of how much debt was appropriate and whether she would be able to repay it, based on the profession she was planning.

She answered: “They did not. Actually, when we started the conversations about college, they simply, you know, let us know you can apply for millions of dollars in scholarships and grants. They're available, you just have to apply for them."

Did her conversation with that counselor ever touch upon the ability to repay?“Not in the initial stages. They simply were saying you have this much of a balance, you can pay with it using this financial-aid package of your subsidized or unsubsidized loan. And you can take them if you want, or you can borrow from your family.”

...student aid was meant to make college more affordable. It’s fair to ask whether it had the unintended and exactly opposite effect.

Conservative Extremists Criticize Democratic Platform that serves the People.

Who ever heard of the Wisconsin Daily Independent? Yea, another nonsensical right wing “news” site.

After paging through the Democratic Party Platform at the convention, I thought, how could anyone be against lower college debt, a living wage, a transition from depending on military spending, promote alternative energy etc.

WDI is not only against jobs and a better Wisconsin economy, they supplied the most moronic answers supporting their upside down thinking. Like their mind bending solution to student debt that makes an obscure reference to “stopping skyrocketing tuition,” ...which is a direct result of GOP funding cuts to public colleges:
Reducing student debt: Instead of finding a way from stopping the skyrocketing tuition over the years, instead of proposing a freeze like Governor Walker did, they just want to give better interest rates. Student debt going up is ok, as long as it’s at a good interest rate.
Yes, that lowers the eventual total cost of a student’s debt. Did I miss something?

Or the following amazing argument against accountable standards, teacher licensing and trying to stop fraud and exploitation for profit. Wow, that's a bad idea?
They want to cut off vouchers because “voucher schools are not held to the same standards, or teacher licensing, creating deregulated, unsupervised, and unaccountable schools with profiteers drawing from public coffers, committing fraud and exploitation,”. What they’re saying here is if you don’t like public schools and you’re poor, too bad. You’ll take the one size fits all education and like it.
And the frack sand mining boon that spread around this state without the thought of regulation or insuring the safety of those who live near mining operations, including schools and neighborhoods that are getting blanketed with silica dust:
They want to literally kill 100′s of jobs by “a temporary moratorium on further permitting of silica sand mines or handling facilities while a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS)”. This has been a boom for parts of Wisconsin and is has very little environmental impact if any.
Killing people though...not so bad. Save the jobs. Bragging that it’s a “boon” supposedly makes it safer?

My favorite is this little bit of word play, intentional or not:
Single payer healthcare. Need more be said about this one? In every industry that is government only run the quality goes down as the price goes up historically.
Get that? “In every industry"…instead of “in every country” where the quality is as good or better than in the U.S., and at half the price. Technically, the cost of care is a worldwide problem regardless of the system of insurance. 

Really? A "makeshift" Shooting Range?

I know gun laws are almost nonexistent, but who can just set up a makeshift gun range?
On Wednesday the Department of Natural Resources shut down a makeshift gun range. The unofficial range at the Swan Lake Wildlife Area has generated neighbor complaints of noise and fear of stray bullets. 
And it's legal too:
While it’s legal on state land, DNR officials said the activity has been concerning for too long. “...we’ve gotten complaints and the litter has been constant over that time,” DNR representative Bob Manwell said ... people have brought everything from old television sets to bottles, cans and produce for targets.
So it's legal to start a makeshift gun range, but an official gun range has "regulatory hurdles?"
Despite the closure, the DNR plans to open a new range for the public about 6 miles away at the Mud Lake Wildlife Area. It could open in the fall of 2015, but it has to clear a couple regulatory hurdles first. "We’re trying to provide safe and well-designed facilities for everyone to enjoy the shooting sport," Manwell said.
Here's WISC Channel3000 and WKOW with a whole range of bizarre details: