Thursday, November 27, 2014

PSC kills Renewable Energy Jobs with MG&E base rate increase - a penalty- for solar users.

With two Scott Walker appointees, the Public Service Commission voted 2-1 to raise base rates for MG&E customers, especially renewable energy users.

Besides negatively effecting seniors and low income Wisconsinites, the rate increase will nearly kill any savings for those converting to green wind or solar energy.

And don't believe for a second this will be the last time we see a base rate increase, making any conversion to solar a really bad idea for customers.

The rate increase is part of a larger war against the movement to switch to renewable energy taking place in other states, where fossil fuel utilities are pushing back with billing penalties.

Worse for Wisconsin: Any chance we'll see wind and solar industries set up shop here is all but over. Ideologically, their just not welcome here. Subtract them from the small list of preferred business customers within the Republican Party that garners favor through campaign contributions. Job creation never was the real goal.

From WISC and WKOW:

Deer count down 20,000!!! DNR blames Fog, Rain, and maybe earlier start of Christmas Season too?

Gone are the rugged hunters heading out to conquer the elements so they can enjoy another traditional deer hunt. A little rain, a little morning fog...right up there with bitter cold temps and 6 feet of snow. Why can't it be just right?

I'm enjoying the mismanagement of recreational hunting by our Republican administration and right wing DNR. It couldn't happen to finer bunch of conservative "stand with Walker" gun toting believers. They now have a chance to ignore science, develop policy based on public opinion, and eventually move the state to a system of game farms with a plentiful stock of deer etc. for frustrated hunters.

They deserve it, after trashing everything else for you and me, with their one party know-it-all scorched earth approach to government. Here's the report from WISC and WKOW:

Republicans may not invite tyrant Obama to State-of-the-Union!

I'm not sure how long it will be before Democrats begin to notice that the Republicans are playing for keeps. They want a one party authoritarian system of government, with dictatorial leaders and a national religion. They will stop at nothing to do it, even refuse Obama's State-of-the-Union speech. 

This is a full frontal assault. Surprisingly, there are no plans to develop a Democratic offensive of their own. This whack job party of rugged small government individuals can't wait to install their own "leaders," ideologues promising to make unpopular decisions that may not represent the people's will, but what the heck, it's for their own good. If it sounds dictatorial, it is. Here's what they're "thinking:"
Bloomberg: A series of political commenters, led by the editor of the National Review, have a new idea for Speaker John Boehner: refuse to invite President Obama from the State of the Union address. 

The thinking behind this proposal is that it would aptly demonstrate the level of GOP discontentment with the president, in case he doesn’t already know. Rich Lowry, the editor of the National Review, told The New York Times Tuesday night that if he were John Boehner “I’d say to the president: ‘Send us your State of the Union in writing. You’re not welcome in our chamber.’”

Last week, the conservative website Breitbart suggested suggested Boehner do the same “so that the elected representatives of the people do not have to listen to, or applaud, a man who is violating his oath of office and governing as a tyrant.” Meanwhile, unnamed congressional Republicans are privately considering yanking the State of the Union welcome mat, according to Politico.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Schimel's Department of Business Justice!

The biggest story, completely ignored during the attorney generals race, was Brad Schimel’s open admission he would be a rubber stamp for the Republican legislature.

Schimel’s rubber stamp has new and bigger implications, now that's he's our next attorney general, after seeing who Schimel put in as his top aide. There’s no hiding what appears to be a big business takeover of our legal system. jsonline
A lobbyist for Walmart, the state's biggest business group and more than a dozen other businesses and organizations will serve as the top aide to incoming Attorney General Brad Schimel … appointed Andrew Cook to serve as his deputy secretary.
Besides being the president of the Madison chapter of the Federalist Society, a right wing group of activist conservative lawyers, what legislation has Cook’s stamp of approval?
Cook represented the Wisconsin Civil Justice Council, a group that successfully pushed legislation making it harder to bring civil lawsuits.
The corporate takeover of Wisconsin is complete with this astonishing list of clients:
Walmart; Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the state's largest business lobbying group; 3M; Aggregate Producers of Wisconsin; Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers; American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity; Association of Wisconsin Surgery Centers; the holding company for Enterprise Rent-A-Car; Lockridge Grindal Nauen, a law firm with offices in Minnesota and Washington, D.C.; Manitoba Hydro; Marathon Petroleum Company; Xcel Energy; Wisconsin Civil Justice Council, a group that successfully pushed legislation making it harder to bring civil lawsuits; Wisconsin Defense Counsel; and the Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association.
Here’s a sample of reader comments:
-There is not one citizen in 100 who approves of the influence of lobbyists. So what does Brad Schimel do immediately after getting elected? He appoints a full time lobbyist to serve as his deputy secretary!!

-Will the Federalist Society be moving it's headquarters to Wisconsin, too, as did the John Birch Society?

-Doesn't the attorney general also handle consumer protection issues in Wisconsin? If so, this appointment is a total disaster.

-Watch for Cook to bend empathetic ear to mining interests in the very near future. Through his work with the Great Lakes Legal Foundation, he has been a a go-to source for interests looking to "streamline" the process. BTW, Cook is seasoned ALEC adviser, and his firm is the WI lobbyist for Koch Industries. If the right wants us to quit bringing these groups up, quit making it so easy. Open For Business still sound like a good slogan?
 The Walker fascist movement is upon us, supported by the sycophants willing to replace "government" with anything, even something they don't understand:
Fascism is capitalism in decay. - Vladimir Lenin

Fascism is capitalism plus murder. - Upton Sinclair

Fascism is very much a mob movement. - P. J. O'Rourke

The Real Walker Deficit? A possible $4 billion Hole!!!

Do we have a $2.2 billion projected budget deficit or don’t we? Let’s cut the crap here. It could very realistically be more.

The most amazing mind to chime in on the issue is Winnebago County Executive and former Democratic candidate for the 6th Congressional District Mark Harris. Cap Times:
When Walker took office that year, the state faced a $2.5 billion shortfall. After about $1.1 billion of state agency funding requests were added in, that projected deficit amounted to $3.6 billion.

(Harris) voiced concerns that people might compare it with the $2.2 billion estimate from the DOA memo … pointed out a difference in the way the two figures were calculated.
Harris is pointing out how the new Walker estimates include “projected” new revenue, where under Doyle’s shortfall, no revenues were figured in. Big difference:
Think what I can do to the country!
The (Doyle) $3.6 billion number was based on the baseline biennial budget number — including neither increases in revenue nor increases in expenses — combined with agency budget requests, Harris said.

But the current DOA estimate includes $1.4 billion in new revenue. "If you back these revenue increases out of the $2.2 billion figure you will get $3.6 billion," Harris said in an email.

Harris also said "Revenues for the last eight months of this fiscal year would have to run more than 8 percent ahead of the same months of the prior fiscal year in order to reach the DOA projection," Harris said. "I believe that the shortfall measured on a similar basis with four years ago would be close to $4 billion."
If that weren't bad enough, Walker's recently proposed tax cuts will only make things worse:
The state expects revenues to fall $2.2 billion short of what state agencies have requested to operate in the 2015-17 budget.

But those agencies won't get everything they ask for. Plus, these calculations don't account for income and property tax cuts promised by Walker for the next budget. That means this estimate will change.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Did we really need this? Time to believe in the Democratic Party again.

I am so tired of these old wimpy Democratic losers who've abandoned their populist principles and have done nothing but empowered the most radical Republican Party ever. Yea, 40 million uninsured isn't that important:

UPDATE: Here's more of Schumer's ridiculous and un-Democratic policy lunacy that continues to kill the party in elections. And just what would Democrats stand for Chuck?
In a high-profile speech on Tuesday dissecting Democrats' losses in this month's midterm elections, Charles Schumer, the No. 3 Senate Democrat, listed "a cascade of issues" botched by the White House, the party lost because the White House messed up on "a cascade of issues," starting with the healthcare reform push in 2009, at a time when Americans were more preoccupied with the recession.

Also on Schumer's list of White House errors: the rollout of insurance marketplaces, fixing wait lists for veterans' hospitals, dealing with the first case of Ebola in the United States, and even security at the White House itself.

In some ways, Schumer's remarks were typical of the kind of "post-disaster syndrome" of finger-pointing common after election losses, said Ross Baker, political scientist at Rutgers University.

Top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi also rebuked Schumer, saying in a statement, "We come here to do a job, not keep a job." 

Gov. John Kasich trashes Scott Walker's lie about Common Core.

Scott Walker outright lied about Clinton's "friendly" relationship with Republicans back in the early 90's, taking a shot at Obama's supposed partisan use of executive orders. That much was made very clear by Gov. John Kasich.

But just as newsworthy was Kasich's take down of Walker's lie about Common Core, when Scottie portrayed it as a government takeover of our schools. Instead, it's a national standard that compares every state equally. Maybe Walker wasn't paying attention a little while back, when some state's under No Child Left Behind lowered their standards to look good and avoid penalties.

Ironically, Walker looked even more foolish when he bragged about Wisconsin's high test scores, high standards and high rankings...a direct result of Common Core, in place for the last 4 years. He's under the impression that it's a national curriculum, a conclusion he reached based on nothing more than GOP talking points. Even worse, Walker thinks Act 10's attack on collective bargaining made kids smarter.

As you'll see, Kasich grew more and more frustrated by the continued misrepresentations by the panel of governors, most notably Scott Walker. From the Republican Governors Association panel: 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Scott Walker's phony "Clinton worked with Republicans" story not going away...ever.

An interesting thing happened on last Friday's Week in Review, on WPR's morning show.

In response to Obama's use of executive orders, former Lt. Governor Margrett Farrow blurted out the same completely manufactured answer as Scott Walker, when he praised Bill Clinton for working with majority Republicans instead of going it alone as the imperial president. Coincidence? No, memorized. Here's the audio:

Farrow was also wrong about the Democrats not trying to move immigration "down the road" when they had control of the senate and house. Republicans never count their use of the filibuster:
DREAM Act: Perhaps the most consequential blocked bill in 2009 and 2010 was the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who were children when they immigrated, provided they serve in the military or go to college. It was blocked twice, once as an amendment to a defense appropriations bill that was paired with repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and once as part of the banal-sounding Removal Clarification Act of 2010. It had already passed the House, so if not for the filibuster, it would be law.
Check out that now infamous moment where fellow Republican, possible presidential candidate and former congressman Gov. John Kasich corrected Walker in no uncertain terms.  From the Republican Governors Association panel, a few clips of Kasich insisting on solutions, not division:

Walker's can't get out of "divide and conquer" mode.

Special thanks to WPR reporter Shawn Johnson. 

The Freeloader Class is in Charge of the State, as Roads Crumble and Highways look like S**t.

This will be so much fun to watch. Republicans are now going to have to show us how austerity and tax cuts will make our state prosperous again. Even more fun, watching penny pinching cookie cutter conservatives and tight wad business lobbyists whine about paying their fair share.

The truth is, with higher deficit projections, somethings got to give:
The agency budget requests, which generally followed the Governor’s instructions for just maintaining existing programs, exceed the anticipated General Purpose Revenue (GPR) by $2.2 billion during the 2015-15 biennium (assuming the state does carry over a $65 million balance). 
WMC’s business members are worried, and one GOP legislator thinks squeezing inefficiencies out the DOT will pretty much do the trick, like not making our roadways look good for visiting travelers.
Business Groups Issue Statement on Transportation Finance "Our respective groups acknowledge the need for revenue increases in the Transportation Fund to meet critical infrastructure improvements. However, we question whether the amount of the revenue increases proposed by the Department of Transportation are appropriate.  

We are also concerned about some of the proposed funding mechanisms, and the extent to which they may place Wisconsin employers at a competitive disadvantage.
Translation? Freeloaders, every one of them. They want a beautiful and well educated state without paying for it. Small government, small government, small government.....let's cut all the fat at the DOT:
The Department of Transportation wants to raise taxes and fees by about 750-million dollars to fund its projects. Northwoods Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) points out "Before I will vote for any tax for fee increases, you have to show us some efficiencies within your budget," Tiffany said. "I think the DOT budget is $4 or 5 billion, something like that. You need to show us that you're spending those dollars effectively and efficiently. I expect those things to happen first. The last thing we should do is raise taxes or fees." Tiffany suggested cutting back on projects that only improve the appearance of roadways.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Conservative Voter outrage over "Stupid" comment doesn't include same claims by O'Reilly or Hannity!!!

I have often called "stand with Walker" backers low information voters. They don't care about his failures, because they care more about how they can win or lose based on gotchas and character assassinations. My conservative friend in Milwaukee is more concerned about Obama than anything Walker has done. 

So are low information voters really stupid, as Jonathan Gruber personally believes? From Media Matters:
Gruber Referred To "The Stupidity Of The American Voter" While Discussing The Affordable Care Act in 2013.  “…call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass."
The Republican outrage machine went into overdrive, exploiting the moment for a little self denial that allowed them to wipe away all their past, really stupid comments. Nice try. 

Funny how stupid conservative voters never objected when their own "leaders" made the same claim. Here are some examples: 
O'Reilly: "Low Information Voters" "Don't Know Anything." On the October 24, 2013 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly said, "The President was not elected on performance. He was elected on personality and apathy. Low information voters don't -- who don't know anything and really couldn't care less about their country broke heavily for the President." [Fox News Channel,The O'Reilly Factor, 10/24/13, via Nexis]

O'Reilly: "Low Information Voters" Are "Not Interested In The Outside World," Unable "To Make Intelligent Decisions In Life." On the August 15, 2013, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly described "an American citizen" who "is not interested in the outside world that person will not be able to make intelligent decisions in life. Those are the so-called low information voters." [Fox News Channel, The O'Reilly Factor, 8/15/13, via Nexis]

Hannity: People With "Low Information Voter Syndrome" "May Cancel Out Your Well-Informed Vote." On October 29, 2013, Hannity complained about "low information voter syndrome" among people who didn't know that the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare were the same.

HANNITY: Oh, boy, low information voter syndrome. Our very own Ainsley Earhardt hit the streets of New York to see if people understand that the Affordable Care Act and "Obamacare" are actually one and the same. And as you just heard, the answers by people are downright scary. And by the way, they may cancel out your well-informed vote -- as we continue tonight here on "Hannity." [Fox News Channel, Hannity, 10/29/13, via Nexis]

Hannity: "Low Information Voters" Believe "Lying Campaign[s]." On the April 24, 2013, edition of Hannity, Hannity argued that "lying campaigns" that "demonize conservatives" work because of "low information" voters. From Hannity:
TUCKER CARLSON: The idea that any cuts to government will strand people with illnesses without a cure and if we pass this or that bill we will cure Parkinson's or AIDS. It is an insult to people with Parkinson's and AIDS because the truth is, it is not that simple. You don't flip a switch and these really complex diseases are cured. This is ludicrous and you have to wonder who sat down and wrote this and what the majority leader thought when he read it off the card. Does really he believe this? Is there a single person that buys this?

HANNITY: You know what, Tucker? I think this lying campaign they use it because they think it works. They demonize conservatives all the time.

CARLSON: Anybody who takes what he says value and is moved to vote on that basis should not be voting.

HANNITY: But they are in big numbers.

CARLSON: You are too dumb to vote if you buy that.

HANNITY: Rush calls them low information voters. There are a lot of them. [Fox News Channel, Hannity, 4/24/13, via Nexis]