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Saturday, October 4, 2014

"DEATHS FROM MEDICAL ERRORS ARE EQUIVALENT TO 10 JUMBO JETS CRASHING EACH WEEK" Yet GOP wants Tort Reform.

The title is a line out of story analysis at Voxdotcom about our current state of health care. Obviously, it's not good.

It demonstrated to me how ridiculous the Republican "solution" is, tort reform, because it seeks to reign in malpractice lawsuit settlements instead of eliminating the problem at the front end. Fewer errors, fewer injuries and fewer deaths, a much healthier way to solve the problem than vilifying people killed or injured by a faulty system.
DEATHS FROM MEDICAL ERRORS ARE EQUIVALENT TO 10 JUMBO JETS CRASHING EACH WEEK: We don't know exactly how many Americans are killed in hospitals each year, but we do know that it is a lot.

In 1999, the Institute of Medicine published a seminal report titled To Err is Human, which estimated that at least 44,000 patients — and as many as 98,000 — die in hospitals each year as results of medical errors.

Even using the lower-bound figure, that would mean medical errors in hospitals kill more people annually than "such feared threats as motor-vehicle wrecks, breast cancer, and AIDS."

follow-up study published in 2013 argued that the IOM numbers were a vast underestimate, and that medical errors contribute to the deaths of between 210,000 and 440,000 patients. At the lower bound, that's the equivalent of nearly 10 jumbo jets crashing every week — or the entire population of Birmingham, Alabama dying every year.
 And hospitals don't really care:
Commonwealth Fund's Blumenthal argues that the problem with hospital errors has much to do with medical culture, in which doctors rarely discuss their mistakes. Blumenthal remembers, shortly after the landmark IOM report came out, trying to start up a consulting business that would teach hospitals how to reduce errors. "I thought it was this great little consulting opportunity," he says. "But there was just no interest. It was sobering, and it made clear that abstract data was not going to change the behavior of complicated health care institutions."
Shifting health care from an accountable government to the individual is one way to hide each and every problem. What we don't know about, won't hurt us right?
And on their own, patient deaths are small events that often happen with little notice or fanfare, making them less noticeable than other events. "Even here in Houston, if a small plane crashes by the airport, that makes the evening news," says John T. James, founder of Patient Safety America, who authored the 2013 report. "But people dying in hospitals are happening one at a time and in insolation, and we pay less attention."

James has argued that the United States should have something akin to the National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates every plane crash in the United States, except for patient deaths from medical errors. Even if it couldn't get to each and every case (there are thousands more patient deaths than airplane accidents), it would create some federal oversight that, right now, does not exist.

Scott Walker; friendly Dictator. Hey folks, give it a try. "If you don't like it, put another party in."

Here’s a definition that should send chills up the spines of most Americans, especially if they find out one particular would be presidential candidates is talking about it as his plan for the country:
“A dictatorship is a form of government where political authority is monopolized by a single person or political entity, and exercised through various oppressive mechanisms.”
That's our Scott Walker, and we've already seen him in action. As reported by NBC News yesterday, they're reminding us when Scott Walker nonchalantly presented this bold dictatorial vision last year as the solution to partisan gridlock in congress. Which by the way was created by his own divisive party.
He seems to embrace partisanship, unlike most politicians, who try to avoid describing themselves as tightly tied to their party. Walker has been able to enact such a conservative agenda in Wisconsin because his fellow Republicans control both houses of the legislature, and he thinks that’s a model for the country.

“Conventional wisdom in Washington for years has been that divided government is good because of a check and a balance. What I believe happens all too often, regardless of which party — because the same sorts of things happened to George Bush when — at the end of his term, when Democrats were in charge of the House and the Senate — is there’s gridlock. And I think the better argument is give one party a chance, give them a chance with a House and a Senate and a president. Give them a few years to see what they can do. And if you don’t like it, put another party in.”
That supposes our one party dictatorship doesn't make the system impossible to change back. Gerrymandering and voter suppression are already early indicators of where they're heading.


Friday, October 3, 2014

GOP Free Market health care model sacrifices people for profits, and ObamaCare repeal is a first big step in that direction.

The irrational Republican hatred toward the Affordable Care Act is a window into what really makes the conservative party click. Can they really be “fiscally conservative” and still oppose cost cutting efforts? Of course. 

For profit health care isn't patient centric, its money centric, and very costly. Free market advocates don't have a problem with that. And Republicans are bashing any efforts to rein in rising costs, all the while complaining about it. It's a ruthless calculation. 

For example:
NPR: Medicare this week began docking a record number of hospitals for having too many readmissions. Over the next year, 2,610 hospitals will lose some of their payments for each Medicare patient they admit. 
Readmission are bad right? Nope. GOP efforts to repeal ObamaCare would dump this and any other “regulatory” effort to save money. Their plan shifts the costs from the government to the individual, which accountability wise, makes the problem magically disappear.

A free market health care system that sacrifices American lives for money is the darkest side of capitalism:  
Some hospitals may not be trying too hard, because readmissions are good for the bottom line even if they're bad for patients. "It's a quagmire," an anonymous hospital official was quoted as saying in a study published this month in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. "If you affect the population correctly, you will reduce both readmissions and overall admissions, which is good for the patient but financially bad for the hospital."
That’s the free market model you’ll be hearing so much about if Republicans have their way in congress. And the clueless press won’t know enough about this topic to ask why.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Republicans hold up ad telling voters they'll need an ID at the polls. Yawn, Can't find the time...

No big hurry, we'll get to it. What's the rush?

You would think the protectors of voter integrity would be rushing out, trying to get as many people to vote with a valid photo ID because that would be the right thing to do? Ah, guess not... 
At a turtles pace, voter ID ad waits for GOP approval!
jsonline: State election officials are asking the Legislature's budget committee to provide more than $460,000 to run an ad campaign tell voters they will need a photo ID at the polls Nov. 4. The accountability board on Monday asked that the money be passed onto the agency so it could run the ads.
Unlike the legal rush to push the courts for an immediate decision, Republicans Sen. Alberta Darling and Rep. John Nygren are taking their ever lovin’ time informing the voters about how they can get their ID’s and navigate around the new rules. 

In fact, they're going to throw away two weeks and possibly thousands of potential votes playing their waiting game:
AP: The Legislature's budget committee plans to meet Tuesday to consider a request to spend about $461,000 to educate voters about the voter identification law before the Nov. 4 election.
Anyone else even just a little shocked?  

The College Republicans target women with stylish "Tim Scott" dress, made from new ideas!!!

The following surreal College Republican ad campaign inadvertently plays off the current controversy over the supposed plagiarized elements of Democratic governor candidate Mary Burke. It touts all the "new ideas" pouring out of the GOP governors nationwide. The GOP would never think of using the same add everywhere. Oops...see pic to right.

You might say they're "dressing up" an aging agenda that isn't working. It's a humorous attempt to save endangered GOP governors who've failed miserably with their "new ideas," like Scott Walker.
It appears there was a "Yes to the Dress"-themed ad planned for Gov. Scott Walker, but the public may not get to see it.
Ironic too is the fact that no one has asked Scott Walker to point out the new ideas he's brought to the table that won't break the budget and will create jobs and new businesses. 

Gov. Sam Brownback was asked that very question. You'll be shocked at his honesty and fairly redundant answer:


This is jaw dropping fantasy that more than anything challenges the media to ask Republican candidates what unique new ideas are in their plans. Trolls, any help? We'll be fact checking:
jsonline: The College Republican National Committee cut ads for a number of GOP candidates for governor that plays off the TLC reality show. In the ads — which some critics have panned as bizarre and sexist — a young woman tries on a dress that has the same name as a GOP candidate, saying it is perfect because the candidate "has new ideas that don't break your budget."

Ryan's free market "patient centered" health care plan is anything but. Here's the breakdown...

Your everyday newspaper, TV and radio reporters don’t know squat about health care. That means a lying politician can spout pure drivel and never get called on it.

Take Paul Ryan for instance. In today's 1st District profile of the candidates, Ryan repeated his call to end ObamaCare and move to his “patient centered” reform plan...a free market experiment. It’s a plan dummy reporters have allowed to gain traction by never pointing out how ridiculous and
contradictory it was. Let's do a little pointing.

Big Example #1: Ryan makes free market privatization sound like single payer health care:
“Obamacare should be replaced with patient-centered reforms that empower individuals and their doctors, not bureaucrats and insurance companies.
What, insurers can't get in the way...of their own plans? That’s pretty hard to do when you get your doctor through your insurer. Not to mention the small, legalese that keeps your doctor on a tight leash. So Ryan is lying about his plan. It can't do what he says it will do. But it sounds great.

Big Example #2: Losing your doctor is nothing new if you've been buying your insurance on the individual market. ObamaCare is marketplace reform. 
"Wisconsinites have experienced the painful consequences of Obamacare: losing their doctors"
Doctor retirements and insurer rate increases were forcing people like me to change insurers all the time before ObamaCare, something the press didn't know. And many times that meant a change in doctors too. 

Big Example #3: Part time jobs are not replacing full time jobs because of the individual marketplace.
"...full-time jobs cut to part time..."
The Small Group Marketplace is about to go online, but even in preparation for that, smaller companies are not contorting themselves around a part time work force. The graph to the right shows that. Again, Ryan is lying about the consequences of the Affordable Care Act. The Great Recession (free market failure) did more to reduce full time work, since big businesses reduced full time employment by bringing in part time workers during peak periods of demand.     

Big Example #4: Increases have slowed dramatically: The ACA has kept rate increases historically low, and Ryan's reference to "expanding access" simply means health care is there...if you can afford it. And "affordable" means his plan allows you to buy only what you can pay for, leaving you with a junk policy that doesn't cover what you don't buy: 
“…and paying more for coverage. We deserve better. That’s why I will continue to offer solutions that expand access to affordable, quality health care.
One caveat about future cost increases: Because we're dealing with the private sector, insurers are finding ways to game the system, charging more, separating out drugs, and weeding out high risk patients again. This has nothing to do with the ACA, and everything to do with the private sector, where Ryan wants us all to be. 

High copays and outrageously high deductibles were created for the individual market and encouraged by Republicans as a way to make sure patients had a little skin in the game (health savings accounts). The sick had to shell out more money so they didn't overuse their health care benefits. Now Republicans are pretending to whine about ObamaCare's copays and high deductibles. More phony baloney the media failed to recognize.

Replace Ryan with Democratic candidate Rob Zerban (zer-bon).
"The ACA was an important first step toward universal health care. But I think we should work toward a fairer, cheaper and more efficient system: Medicare for all. We need to ensure coverage for all Americans so that we can control costs, improve quality and give American companies a competitive advantage internationally by reducing their health care costs."

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Did anyone think to ask Scott Walker what part of his jobs and business plan is his own "Unique Idea?"

We know there isn't anything he contributed that was his.

Reporters? Ask.

Walker blocks conservative rural voters from getting voter ID's.

I like it; a little Democratic reverse psychology working against Scott Walker. Yes!!! And Scott Walker is saying no, as usual, to keeping the rural DMV's open longer for voter ID's.

If I had my way, I would let the rural areas suffer and drift away under the voter suppression efforts put in place by Walker and his band of pirates. Walker has short changed rural families and farmers (except for a major tax cut) since he became governor.

Since Democrats would like longer DMV hours, Walker is blocking that, saying it’s a solution looking for a problem. Yea, like voter fraud? I digress.

But unlike the Democrats, I say leave these predominantly Republican voters alone. After all, they think only Democrats are the targets. Fine with me. From WKOW's Greg Neumann:



Are the Democrats using reverse psychology knowing Walker would instinctively say no way? I’m hoping.
35 Democratic lawmakers say people who live in the country won't have the same opportunity to get a photo ID by November 4th as people living in more populated areas, and they're asking the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to fix that.

In Jefferson County, there are two Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices.  The office in Watertown is open two days a week, while the one in Fort Atkinson is open just two days a month. "Right now, under these conditions, I'm sure there are going to be a lot of people who aren't gonna acquire that ID and aren't gonna be able to vote.  And that's just wrong," said Rep. Andy Jorgensen (D-Milton).

More than 40 counties have DMV centers that are open two days a week or less. 

Rep. Jorgensen said,  "Let's do some mobile DMV centers to places we know that we need to get to because there are people that need our help." 
Here’s the interesting thing; our incidental governor is keenly aware of how many people are turning out to get voter ID’s. How would he know that, and why? We know why, don’t we:
But Gov. Scott Walker says that's a solution in search of a problem. "I think you're gonna hear a lot of talk about it, but in the end, we've actually seen fewer people seeking free ID's recently than we've seen in the past couple years. There's no barrier.  That's a lot of hype and hysteria by some on the left."
Think the governor is counting on "fewer people seeking free ID's?" And who's “the left?” “The left,” as a pejorative, is how Walker views his enemies. 

Still, I'm with Walker. Don't keep those DMV's open any longer than a few days a week.

Marquette Poll results show Walker leading Burke. Happ also trails mind numbing Schimel.

It looks like Scott Walker is pulling ahead of Mary Burke in a number of areas, according to the Marquette University Poll. Walker leads:
-support from men (62%) to Burke's support from women (54%),  

-voter ID approval (63%)

-Walker leads among voters with incomes over $40,000.

- Burke leads in the city of Milwaukee 69-24 percent and in the Madison media market 66-31 percent. Walker leads in the Milwaukee market outside the city by 62-32 and in the Green Bay market 52‑43. In the rest of the state, Walker leads 58-39 percent.
Why Democrats don't bring up the fact that Walker gave Medicaid the ability to go after family farms to recover money owed by deceased owners is anybody's guess. That wasn't part of any federal requirement, that was a gift to the expanding corporate farm industry.

And shame on the Democrats for the following results regarding drug testing for assistance...my god it's a rudderless party:
56% of registered voters support drug testing for recipients of unemployment benefits and food stamps, while 41% think such testing would “be a waste of money with little impact.” 

Support for testing is strongest among Republican voters by a 78-20 percent margin, while independents support testing by 50-46 percent and a majority of Democrats oppose testing (40 percent in support and 55 percent in opposition).
And on jobs:
-18% say that the Burke jobs plan story makes them less likely to vote for her, while 73% say that it makes no difference and 7% say that it makes them more likely to support her. 

-For the story on ranking in jobs growth, 26% say that this makes them less likely to vote for Walker, 65% say that it makes no difference and 8% say that it makes them more likely to vote for him.
The Susan Happ and Brad Schimel AG race:
Among likely voters, Republican Brad Schimel receives support from 41% and Democrat Susan Happ from 39 percent, with 19% saying that they are undecided or don’t know for whom they will vote. Among registered voters, Schimel receives 37% and Happ 37%, with 22% yet to choose a candidate.

Judges say you're not a serious American if you "haven't taken the necessary time" to get an ID and vote. Hey, who said life was easy?

The majority of state constitutions, including Wisconsin's, must say something like this about voting: "Voting is a complicated, difficult maze-like right we should all spend lots of time doing." Well, that's how our judicial branch is interpreting the law.

Conservative judges and justices majority opinions are telling us an awful lot about their warped politicized vision of this country, and the resentment they have toward thevoting public they serve. 

From the activists conservative Supreme Court to similar right wing judges nationwide, there's no real limit to the hoops Americans will have to jump through to exercise their constitutional right to vote. There's nothing to complicated or inconvenient, if you're serious about being a real patriot. 

All you have to do is get a photo ID, find a distant polling place before you get off of work, and stand in line for hours like the dog these judges believe you to be. If you "haven't taken the necessary time," they say, then you're not disenfranchised. 

An amazing leap of illogic? That's what makes the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals majority opinion so mindbogglingly bad. Judges are greasing the skids for their fellow Republicans lawmakers in the legislative branch, and they're not hiding their collusion one bit:  
WISC: The written decision by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Frank Easterbrook, Diane Sykes and John Tinder; "the public is interested in using laws enacted through the democratic process, until the laws' validity has been finally determined. If seven weeks is too short, then state officials need not make any change and nothing has been 'imposed' on them," the judges wrote. The three judges said they did not believe some 300,000 registered voters estimated not to have a qualifying photo ID would be disenfranchised
 "The number of registered voters without a qualifying photo ID thus appears to reflect how many persons have not taken the necessary time, rather than a number of persons who have been disenfranchised," the panel said. "We do not apply the label 'disenfranchised' to someone who has not elected to register." 
A breathtakingly arrogant backhand to us voters, who they accuse of not being willing to work a little harder to cast a constitutionally guaranteed ballot. Odd, the right to bare arms has a whole different set of standards. You'll notice the logic of the dissenting judges below no longer has a place in society these days:
In a strongly-worded dissent, Judge Ann Claire Williams writes that the panel "should not have altered the status quo in Wisconsin so soon before its elections. And that is true whatever one's view on the merits of the case." Williams said the court "brazenly" said that "more than 90 percent of Wisconsin's registered voters already have a qualifying ID" and it would have little impact on the majority of voters.

"But the right to vote is not the province of just the majority," Williams wrote. "It simply cannot be the answer to say that 90 percent of registered voters can still vote. To say that is to accept the disenfranchisement of 10 percent of a state's registered voters; for the state to take this position is shocking."

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Scott Walker and Brad Schimel offer to protect Women in Latest Ads, from abuse and sex offenders.

With forced ultrasound tests, closed Planned Parenthood clinics around the state, the removal of punitive damages in local courts for pay equity lawsuits...among others, Republicans have a "war on women" problem.

So what does the GOP and Walker campaign do? Put out fear mongering, desperate, grotesque over-the-top ads that try make the party of women's rights look like psychos plucked out of TV's Criminal Minds.

This old soft on crime tactic has reemerged as "R" rated ads revealing their world view; where scary predator filth are stalking women. Thank god men like Scott Walker and DA Brad Schimel have dedicated themselves to protect women.

Nothing says war on women like two men, Walker and Schimel, telling us we can't trust two women candidates to advance women's rights or offer legal protections from abusers and employer discrimination. My head is hurting again. Starting with Walker's latest, here are the two ads together. They are soooooo desperate:



Suddenly a month out, Walker cares, and he's right on message:



Even Michelle Obama became a target of the "phony outrage brigade" with this transparent attempt to limit the damage:
AP: Republicans on Tuesday accused Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke of showing a "cavalier attitude" toward domestic violence in using a song by pop star Chris Brown before an appearance with first lady Michelle Obama. But Burke's campaign said the song was an unauthorized addition to its playlist and won't be used again.

Paranoid Christie says Unions want to make example of Walker in bid to takeover state!

Republicans constituents know and love their rich sugar daddy leaders, and embrace the idea of following those leaders no matter how bad they fail, because it’s always someone else’s fault anyway. As one average Republican voter said about Chris Christie on a campaign stop for Gov. Scott Walker:
Phillydotcom: Richard Johnson, 73, of North Hudson, said … "Some think he's a little too liberal,” referring to Christie as "arm-in-arm" with President Obama after Hurricane Sandy. But Johnson didn't blame Christie, who, at the time, praised Obama. "You know where the money is, so you might as well butter up with it," Johnson said.
Says it all doesn't it?

The easily led Republican “stand with Walker” voters are comfortably numb to Walker’s broken jobs promise and near last place national rankings for jobs and business start-ups. Relieved of the responsibility to think, Walker’s rabid Borg-like followers have settled on the simple minded gotcha, “cut and paste” Mary Burke. 

The Union Bogeyman: Republicans seem to think liberals, progressives and Democrats follow leaders in lockstep like they do. Since when do unions consume my every waking moment? Wrong. It's mentally lazy to settle for that cliché. But it's an effective fan favorite that was used yesterday by Chris Christie to distract from his and Walker’s policy failures. Christie's collected 7 credit downgrades so far for N.J. 

From Walker and Christie's rhetoric, this is a national campaign! But for voters, like us, we’re just damn concerned about what’s happening to Wisconsin:
Addressing Walker supporters, Christie said the "big government unions" that "tried to come into this state and take this state over in 2012" want to "make an example of [Walker] to other governors around this country who want to do tough things to put the taxpayers first."
Yea, we're sending a message to every GOP governor, you're next. Republicans think in terms of “state takeovers” and “making examples of,” a governing style we're seeing play out under Walker with black lists and rammed through right wing policy. 

You'll notice I had to quote from a Philly newspaper. The media here is still stuck on the phony plagiarism brouhaha.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

Burke Tweets Jobs Plan Response...

"Stand with Walker" trolls apparently don't care about getting results, like jobs, or they would be all over Scott Walker's failed 4 page plan lifted right from the GOP platform.

Instead, they're attempting to redefine the word plagiarism, ignoring the jobs plan that might get Wisconsin's economy going again. Power not jobs, that's what this is about.

Here's Mary Burke's simple tweet:

Burke is "unintimidated" by the right wing harassment, standing behind her better ideas:



UPDATE: Not many Unique Ideas, Sorry: Beside the right wing obsession (weird huh?) with "copy and paste" Burke, they're also chiding her for not pointing out a "unique idea" in her plan. It was an odd question from WISC's Jessica Arp, because there's nothing new under the sun regarding state level job and business creation. It's a combination of "best practices" a person chooses, guided by their ideology, that leads them to success or failure. 

Walker drones demand "unique ideas" from Democrats, but not from Republicans. Proof?

Just by coincidence, right wing Gov. Sam Brownback bragged his plagiarized Kansas "Comeback" relied on what he described as "not anything new," "nothing we're doing is new," "nothing that we're doing is different from what we've done before." I smiled when I saw this:


His honest "nothing we're doing is new" economic plan has had surprising results. Results that other governors who are bragging about their plagiarized state "comebacks," should be a little worried about:


Activist Supreme Court Conservatives come out swinging, allow Voter Suppression in Ohio.

The activist justices on the Supreme Court decided, to hell with it, and went to work for Republicans. Heck, why hide it right? If flooding the GOP candidates with money didn't work, why not desperately take out the elections.
"Try and stop us!!!"
We no longer need to debate whether the court is activist. In fact, we’re now looking at what is basically a hostile takeover:
The Supreme Court delayed the start of early voting in Ohio Monday, a day before it was scheduled to begin, temporarily blocking a victory won by voting rights groups in lower courts. Ohio's was the first case to reach the high court, and the conservative majority blocked lower court rulings that would have jump-started early voting Tuesday.

The decision has potential implications for other states, including Wisconsin, North Carolina, Texas and Arkansas.
Here’s what the activist conservative justices allowed to suppress the vote:
Their action, opposed by the court's four liberal justices, reversed a federal appeals court decision that had blocked the state from reducing early voting from 35 to 28 days. The lower court also had ordered the state to restore some evening and Sunday voting that the Legislature had eliminated.

Since the 2010 elections, 22 states have enacted restrictions on voting. In 15 states, the upcoming federal elections will be the first to test their impact.
Ohio Republicans didn't just say it was about voter fraud, like everybody else, but they also claimed they were trying to save money. I’m not kidding. If you didn't get the message before, when the activist court struck down parts of the voting rights act, you got it now. Any questions? 
Today’s decision is harmful to Ohio voters,” State Senator Nina Turner said in a statement, adding, “The same divided court that struck down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act has now made it immeasurably more difficult for working Ohioans, African Americans, and low income and homeless voters to cast their ballot.”
As for Secretary of State Jon Husted's more restrictive cuts to voting hours? You know how people cheat in the dark of night:
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said Monday evening he will implement the schedule he set in June, which eliminates one Sunday and extra weeknight evening hours from the statewide schedule he set on Sept. 12.

Walker halts safety and energy saving building code standards in quest for smaller government.

More is at stake in November than you might have imagined. Homes and commercial business construction being built now using outdated standards could cost residents lots of money in the future and be dangerous.

Thank you Scott Walker. According to the Wisconsin Centerfor Investigative Journalism’s Bill Lueders:  
Under Scott Walker, Wisconsin slows updates of building and safety codes: Critics say anti-regulatory bent is driving state’s failure to address potential hazards and adopt money-saving advances.

Regulatory lag: Construction of commercial and multi-family buildings in Wisconsin is subject to 2009 national model code standards, adopted by the state in 2011. The next three-year model standards, for 2012, were never adopted in Wisconsin and likely will not be, given that the 2015 standards have already been released. 
Small government and deregulation can be very costly and hazardous to life and health:
In November 2011, industry consultant Robert DuPont, a lobbyist representing the Alliance for Regulatory Coordination, warned that failure to do so “can negatively impact both public safety and the economy in Wisconsin.” Three-quarters of the state’s code councils dealing with buildings and safety have not met in years.

In two instances, Wisconsin appears to be violating state laws … Critics say this failure also means lost savings for homeowners and taxpayers, reduced accessibility for people with disabilities and increased dangers for building occupants. “The codes address hazards and problems that we’ve learned about through tragedies,” said Madison Fire Marshal Ed Ruckriegel … 24 of the state’s 32 code councils had not met since 2011.  
But don't take Lueders or my word for it:
Joe Jameson, electrical and building inspector for the city of Middleton said he does not know whether DSPS lacks staff or resources, or just doesn’t care: “They have a job to do and they’re not doing it.” 

Jean MacCubbin, DSPS’s former administrative rules coordinator, said chalks it up to anti-regulatory bias and, in her view, general incompetence. “Their idea is to get rid of people who write codes, because that’s regulation,” 

Joe Hertel, formerly the state’s chief electrical inspector, left the agency in mid-2012 after it called for eliminating requirements to add safety devices including arc and ground fault circuit interrupters in new homes. This decision, made at the urging of the Wisconsin Builders Association, an industry trade group, was rescinded amid intense opposition. “When you have to do things that go against your better judgment, your morals and your ethics, it’s time to do something else,” Hertel said. 
Need a frightening example? Lueders found this:
And Jeffrey M. Hugo, manager of codes for the National Fire Sprinkler Association, noted that the 2012 code, which 21 states have adopted but Wisconsin has not, mandated that automatic sprinklers be installed on building floors that contain ambulatory health care facilities like surgery centers and dentist offices as well as on all lower floors. “If the construction boom in this area ends before (Wisconsin adopts) the 2012 code,” Hugo said, “we’ll have a whole bunch of these health care facilities that do not have sprinklers throughout the building.”

ISIS Beheading Success at Frightening Conservatives gives home grown Killers Ideas.

It's no coincidence that following the ISIS beheadings and the call for all out war by frightened conservatives like the easily manipulated Sen. Lindsey Graham, criminals got a crazy idea.

The paranoid right wing press is filled with this stuff for the most exploitative reasons:















The unintended consequence of their full out panic attack has resulted in a copycat beheading and threats by homegrown killers looking of headlines. Yet Republican talk show hosts who are part of this fear mongering campaign to discredit Obama are surprised the idea is catching on:





This is on right wingers. Nice going guys.

Walker cut Tech School Funding during Recession and Peak Enrollment. Restored Funding is up now and enrollment is down.

While a few areas of our state are blessed with low unemployment numbers, others aren't so lucky, and fading tech school enrollment is a sign many are just giving up. Wisconsin’s thriving manufacturing climate is now part of a bygone age, replaced by supposed “free market” global trade agreements, offshoring and an expansion of the new low wage service economy.

Who can take Republicans like Scott Walker and Paul Ryan seriously when they talk about lazy low wage people in poverty not trying, while strongly supporting businesses that wouldn't have it any other way; low wage labor dependent on taxpayer funded social safety nets. That’s what makes the next wave of safety net cuts so cruel. Ryan’s “everybody can be rich, everybody should be a business owner” delusion is nurtured by an unquestioning media willing to treat bad ideas like real alternatives.

Declining tech school enrollment might be expected after it peaked during the Great Recession (our brainy governor cut tech school funding at the worst time), but it also might be a sign a skeptical public isn't willing to invest in retraining when jobs have become so disposable. The WPR news headline tells that story:
Wisconsin Technical Schools See 2-Year Decline In Enrollment: Drop Comes As Schools Try To Increase Number Of Students In Technical, Vocational Training - Census data shows that enrollment at technical schools around the country declined for the second year in a row.

Conor Smyth, the director of strategic partnerships for the Wisconsin Technical College System, said … over a two-year period starting in 2008 the number of full time students jumped 16 percent. As the economy improved, however, enrollment dropped by 5 percent in 2011 and a little less in 2012.
Admit it, we’re in a Service Economy Now: While Scott Walker echoes his party’s resistance to minimum wage hikes, even floating ideas to get rid of the floor completely, the low wage service sector is now a dominant part of our economy. And demand is down because people don’t have any discretionary cash.

Guess who isn't rushing into low wage service industry jobs? The surprising news out of all of this is that hard working Americans have decided to steer clear of service industry jobs. Serves these bottom feeders right:
Recently, Smyth said he met with businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector and heard similar concerns. “We have employer partners coming to us saying, ‘We need twice the number of graduates.’ In some cases, the colleges simply can't find students who are interested in getting into that program area,” said Smyth.
Here's a Journal Sentinel graph that proves my point. You'll also notice in the map to the right how two GOP targets for cuts, health care and social assistance, are the biggest growth areas. That can't be good:

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Republican runs to restore office destroyed by Republicans. Dizzy yet?

Republicans hate the office of the Secretary of State so much they stripped it of almost every duty, without going through the trouble of changing the state constitution.
The remaining duties include publishing bills into law and keeping the state seal. Democratic Secretary of State Doug La Follette has served as secretary of state since 1975.
GOP candidate Julian Bradley is all about taking back the office his party spent so much time destroying, mostly because a Democrat has held it so long. Bradley also went on a "Shattering Stereotypes Tour" to prove Republicans aren't the maniacal closeted racists most people think they are because well, he's black. Wow, I'm convinced now. It looks like he caught on to the old liberal trick; we leave racist signs on the ground, and when a conservative picks one up, we take a picture of them waving it around proudly. It works all the time too.

Bradley also wants to pull the GAB under his wing, kind of politicizing it a just little, because that's what other states do. Hey, is that plagiarism (hot word now)? Those independent retired judges need a guy like Bradley to keep them in line with the party philosophy.

Bradley wants to "rebuild" the bridges La Follette burned with Republicans.  Mike Gousha asked Bradley if that didn't just make government bigger again, by adding more duties to the office. Bradley's said his new powers would make the office more efficient. That makes perfect sense.

This whole interview is surreal and an amazing example of having it both ways, but only if you're a Republican. From Upfront with Mike Gousha, this slide show (not a video clip):



Note: Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett also floated plans to retire the office, but not out of retaliation for delaying the publication of Act 10.

Walker selling another 4 year Trip into Fantasy Land!

It looks like Scott Walker might just get away with silly answers to serious questions. But will reporters ever notice?

The following Walker clip featuring a couple of quotes about the minimum wage are so far down the rabbit hole your head will hurt.
Walker: "My goal all along was to find jobs that pay two or three times the minimum wage." 
That's like asking Walker about health care for everyone and being told that his goal all along was to wipe out disease so no one would ever gets sick again. Health care problem gone, but until then...



As far as his last idea...:
Walker: "People can have tactics that try and figure out how we're going to argue about what the floor is...I wanna argue about how high we can push the ceiling to get higher pay." 
Forget about raising wages of those already in our massive service economy, Walker is pondering the more esoteric concept of no income ceiling. Wait, what income ceiling? He's far more advance than the rest of us.  

Unemployed Participation rate never used for Scott Walker. Many have given up looking or were booted.

Scott Walker is such a dismal failure creating jobs, that even the number of those looking for work is much higher than it was way before the Republican Great Recession.
WSJ: Over the 12-month averages from the years leading up to the Great Recession (about 145,000 in 2006 and 148,000 in 2007) ... the June estimate was that there were 174,872 people classified as unemployed — that is, people without a job but still actively searching for work. That's still elevated...
So not only have we not made up the job losses from the Great Recession, but those actively looking for work are worse now, and that doesn't include the non-participation rate for those who gave up. Yet the unemployment rate is Walker's one big bragging point in this election season, sitting at 5.6%. Maybe a few aren't looking anymore?

From my blog post “Republicans give up on Job Creation, Cut Unemployment Benefits Instead. Bizarro World Continues...” here's how Walker and his Republican pirates did it. jsonline
-Repeal a program that allows claimants to receive an additional 26 weeks of benefits if they are enrolled in training.

-Bar inmates in work-release programs from receiving unemployment benefits.

-Tighten the definition of workplace misconduct so that fewer people would qualify for benefits.

-Eliminate nine instances in which a worker can quit a job and still claim benefits.

-Requirement for job hunters to come up with an impossible 4 job applications a week.
Job creator or ruthless magician for the gullible base? And why doesn't the media ever asks about the participation rate of the unemployed? It's always a big issue with Obama's numbers, but not Walker's. Why is that? 

Walker Troll disproves Burke's Plagiarism, inadvertently points out Walker's own implementation failure.

Thanks to one conservative troll, I was able to finally shoo her back into her cave-like "stand with Walker" bubble.

The pictured tweets from LizSchmidt3 attempts to make the ridiculous claim Mary Burke said she wrote the whole thing. And to prove her point, she gave me a link to a Marquette University interview Burke had with Mike Gousha.

Apparently LizSchmidt3 didn't watch even the first 5 minutes, because Burke not only didn't say she wrote the plan herself, but time after time gave credit to all the people that contributed ideas to the plan. It doesn't just prove the plan wasn't plagiarized, but it shows Burke justifying the use of so many other great ideas.
Burke: "You know I don't believe that just because someone else or another group did a report that I need to start from scratch, and not build on some of the good ideas that have already been developed.


Burke also owns the plan, since she paid individuals for their contributions. But like my conservative friend in Milwaukee, LizSchmidt3 can't mentally get past the easy but phony disproven talking point.

EVEN BIGGER: Burke also criticized Walker for his failed implementation, an idea we just saw repeated in the Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States list, where they wrote this about Wisconsin's dismal 46th place ranking:
We generally find a governor with a significant lack of concern, business knowledge, or an inability to manage their economic development efforts. Rhetoric alone does not make a governor pro-business and pro-jobs. Among these bottom-ranked states are some that have such weak or non-existent programs, or are so inept in their procedures that they are pushing jobs out of their states.
Scott Walker set the divisive condescending tone even before he was governor. Think about it; if you had a decent economic plan, would you turn it into a massively unfunny joke to bash your opponent DPW wrote: 
Scott Walker’s (4 page)“job plan” was a 68-page joke written in 100-point font, meant to mock Tom Barrett’s very serious and very thoughtful plan to restore economic security to working Wisconsin families. 
I looked through the "plan." See if you can spot any thoughtful, original idea’s here that aren't part of the party platform and are not already enacted in other Republican states. I couldn't. I've added my comments in quotes:
Six things we must do to make Wisconsin economically competitive with other states: Lower Taxes (Repealing job-killing tax increases-GOP platform-plagiarized)   …   Eliminate Red Tape (streamline the permitting process-plagiarized)   …   End Frivolous Lawsuits That Kill Jobs (cliché much-plagiarized)   …   Improve the Education of Tomorrow’s Workforce-(plagiarized)   …   Make Health Care Affordable-(privatization-plagiarized) … Invest in Infrastructure-(a common GOP lie-plagiarized)   …   Lift Wisconsin’s nuclear moratorium-(failed, prohibitively expensive and a plant closed down due to no interested buyers-still pushing bad plagiarized nuke idea).
That’s it folks. It’s a plagiarized 4 pager taken from the party platform written by other people presented as the state economic plan 4 pages long that Walker expanded into 68 pages...as a joke. You can't make this stuff up?

By the way, I watched Upfront with Mike Gousha and didn't hear John Nichols say what Burke did wasn't plagiarism, a simple message Democrats are so bad at delivering.

In reaction to this story, the troll trash hit the twittersphere with what they oddly refer to as "debate?" Never once do they address the issues presented here, and never once do they show us they have a clue about business strategies and owning what you pay for, like advice that beats the pants of Walker's partisan political ramblings: