Saturday, December 6, 2014

Walker plagiarizes Gov. Rick Snyder's Right-to-Work "distraction" ploy.

After a massive campaign by outraged conservative voters to portray Scott Walker's challenger Mary Burke as a plagiarist, our clueless governor came out swinging with a wonderfully plagiarized talking point used by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. "Right-to-work is not a priority..." is even getting major media attention, an oddity to say the least. Pic from the WSJ.

Our incidental governor will probably sign a bill into law in a heartbeat out of shear frustration, just to get it off the table so he can continue to focus on jobs, jobs, and his job to become president.
And when you hear Sen. Scott Fitzgerald talk about how much he's asked about right-to-work from voters, like Diane Hendricks below, it's easy who he's rubbing shoulders with:

William Jones, a UW-Madison history professor, cited comments Walker made to Beloit billionaire Diane Hendricks, a prominent GOP donor, in January 2011. Hendricks had asked Walker whether lawmakers could make Wisconsin a “completely red state” and “become a right-to-work (state).” Walker replied that the “first step” was public employee unions, “because you use divide and conquer.”

“I think it’s clear that he supports this type of thing,” Jones said.
The MO is the same too, as GOP governors basically retaliate against their opponents when huge crowds of protesters turn out. A kind of "lesson" they're trying to teach us, the rabble and uninformed.
Gov. Snyder had repeatedly said right-to-work legislation was a divisive issue, wasn’t a priority for him, and was not on his agenda. Then he signed the Michigan bill in December 2012, the same day the measure passed in the GOP-controlled statehouse, which was filled with protesters.

Walker sponsored a right-to-work bill as a freshman Assembly member in 1993. But he has said in recent months, and repeated Friday, that he would prefer lawmakers focus on his priorities, such as cutting taxes, expanding school choice, and passing a state budget.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Right-to-Work gets fast tracked because voters are asking for it?

Republicans will take immediate action on right to work legislation early in the next session. It's basically an in your face taunt directed at the now even smaller Democratic minority. 

Republicans are free at last to expand government regulations without a peep coming from their small government voters. Hey, a new law is big government, or don't they get it?

Senator Scott Fitzgerald admitted he and many other lawmakers are constantly being asked when they're going to make Wisconsin a right to work state. Sure, that's tops on my list of concerns too.
"I think out on the campaign trail this summer many of the candidates and the senators that were reelected continued to hear the question, 'are you gonna do the right to work stuff and how are you gonna do it?" 

Democrats would be wise to add some form of accountability to the legislation, like yearly income updates so Wisconsinites could evaluate just how right to work is effecting their pay and benefits. With promises of bigger paychecks, that would seem like a fair and logical thing to track.

But I'm not afraid to suggest the following as well:
Dave Branson, executive director of the Building and Construction Trades Council of South Central Wisconsin says a repeat of the 2011 Act 10 protests could become a reality.

Sen. Fitzgerald says Gov. Walker has expressed similar concerns to him that such a scenario may discourage businesses from expanding or relocating to Wisconsin. "So that's a real concern," said Sen. Fitzgerald. "I mean, the converse of that would be hey, people think we're doing the right things and we're on the right track in Wisconsin and certainly I think proponents of right-to-work legislation would say, 'that's why it's time to take a look at this.'"
Unafraid and unfiltered, Fitzgerald made it clear only a few favored unions would be exempt:
Sen. Fitzgerald also believes some trade unions may be exempted from the legislation, specifically because they are involved in developing and providing technical college training in areas like plumbing, carpentry and steam fitting. He says legislators will have to sit down with officials from those unions before crafting a bill.
Because Republicans need that forced union money for campaigning.

Koch's oppose GOP Tax Break Extensions...that might benefit competitors.

This was a shocker:
"Kochs Lobby Against Tax Breaks for Koch Industries"
But there's a method to their madness. Below, you'll find out the tax breaks don't just help the Koch's, but it also helps those young, up and coming challengers to Koch's Industries. The Koch's are wealthy enough to ditch the tax cuts and keep newer companies, large and small, from getting even a little of their action with government help:
FreeBeacan: The company owned by billionaire philanthropists Charles and David Koch, as well as groups frequently associated with the fraternal libertarians, are pushing Congress to let 55 tax breaks expire, including several that provide billions in tax relief for corporations such as Koch Industries. “We oppose ALL subsidies, whether existing or proposed, including programs that benefit us, which are principally those that are embedded in our economy, such as mandates,” wrote Philip Ellender, president Koch’s government affairs division, in a Wednesday letter to members of Congress. The company sees federal tax preferences in general as economically harmful.
Here's the key reason why:
“They are wasteful and market distorting, and allow other firms to run businesses that aren’t making money any other way.”

Like Koch Industries, American for Prosperity said, “we oppose corporate cronyism of all forms.” AFP is encouraging lawmakers to vote against the full package of tax extenders.  

Have a Happy Homophobic Christmas: I wish I were kidding....

Conservatives are so openly homophobic that the scene below is a bragging point to the cackling conservative talker, Vicki McKenna:

Back in 2012, I wrote this:
Did you know that businesses have constitutional rights that gay Americans don't? It's true:
NY Times: "We heard about the protests against Chick-Fil-A, so we came over to support the rights of small business owners and the rights of business owners to say what they believe," said Keith Chillquist. "There's this thing called the Constitution, and Democrats try and take it and do whatever they want with it but we think that's wrong." 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Rolling in Budget Surpluses, Walker and Van Hollen throw taxpayer money away on a Lawsuit against Obama's Immigration policy.

For a party that so often complained about the court usurping the legislative will of the people, Republicans have amazingly change course, using the now politicized judicial branch to help get their way hook or by crook. In fact, I heard a caller on the radio the other day casually mention that it's okay to put an age cap on our state supreme court justices, because it's just a "political position." It is?

If the Republican objective is to sour the peoples interest in our government and its lawmakers, then they're doing a fantastic job of it. I hate everything about it.

Who cares about actual jobs and policy that would make our lives even better, Scott Walker's got a national image to create, and suing the president puts him right in the mix.
Wisconsin is among 17 states suing over President Barack Obama's administration's recently announced executive actions on immigration.
Don't think for one moment any of the lawsuits or limits that might be forced on Obama this time around will mean anything for a possible Republican ruler. 

Making sure his place in the White House will scare off any challenger with a bunch of seasoned court happy attorneys and think tanks, Walker stepped into the spotlight. jsonline:
Gov. Scott Walker said: "The immigration system is broken, but this is an issue that should be addressed through collaborative federal action, not unilateral action by the President. President Obama's actions represent a violation of his constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws and exceed the limits of his administrative powers. Because of our shared concerns, at my direction, Wisconsin joined with Governors and Attorneys General from 17 other states in a lawsuit seeking to block the President's unilateral action to change the law outside of the legislative process. To be clear, this lawsuit is not about immigration. It is about the rule of law and the legality of President Obama's actions."

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said: "It is clear that the president has exceeded his authority and that this important matter should be reviewed by the courts."
What forced Walker to draw more attention to himself?
The lawsuit raises three objections: that Obama violated the "Take Care Clause" of the U.S. Constitution that limits the scope of presidential power; that the federal government violated rulemaking procedures; and that the order will "exacerbate the humanitarian crisis along the southern border, which will affect increased state investment in law enforcement, health care and education."

With taxpayer money to burn, Walker's got good company:
The federal lawsuit involves the following states: Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Victims of GOP policies next big target for Rep. Robin Vos.

In a rambling piece of word salad ego-nomics, Rep. Robin Vos made this claim:
“Assembly Republicans also will work to limit the growth of government.” 
That's funny. He’s joking of course. Did you see what they did to regulate deer hunting?

Take a look at the following plan for “entitlements.” Tell me if this isn't a jumbled mess of regulatory hoops to jump through from our big government Republican overlords:

WSJ: Assembly Republicans released an agenda for the upcoming session, which included several entitlement reform ideas. They include drug-testing those receiving public benefits, discontinuing assistance for those who test positive and offering treatment options; having electronic cards with photos for all public benefit transactions and limiting the number of replacement cards; ensuring welfare payments reflect completed work and a portion of food stamps are used on nutritious food; and sending an annual statement of benefits to all public assistance recipients.
Yikes. Ready for this "stand with Walker" tightwads? Florida spent $500,000 conducting the tests, catching 20 out of nearly 33,000 applicants, and another $400,000 defending the program in court…which they lost.

All of this blustery bullshit to energize the base, or just reckless GOP spending? I wonder.

Believe It or Not: Big Business wants Right-to-Work so they can give us a raise?

Think about this one thing in the right to work “debate” just hitting the fan; Republicans want you to believe the Koch brothers, Americans for Prosperity, its offshoot clone Wisconsin Right to Work, along with big business and their corporate lobbyists, are desperately trying to pass right-to-work laws so they can pay their employees higher wages. Really, seriously?

The right to work myth depends on wishful unsupported conclusions that claim to be thoroughly researched. Rep. Chris Kapenga, part of the disgruntled “accountant class” in our legislature, will be pushing his outdated flawed data to fellow in-the-tank RTW Republicans who are supposedly still sitting on the fence (give us a break). Here's what he said on WPR's morning show, along with Rep. Cory Mason (audio). Check out what Kapenga says at around 3:38:

Mackinacdotorg: “According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, nominal personal income grew by 209.3 percent in right-to-work states and by 148.5 percent in non-right-to-work states from 1990 to 2011.”
What’s this “nominal personal income” stuff?: According to the Business Dictionary, it’s Income unadjusted for the effects of inflation or deflation, part of a salary or wage paid out not including benefits such as subsidized meals or transportation.

But who would not apply the above factors into income averages for employees? Someone selling RTW.

Imagine adopting the RTW idea 35 years ago: 
Income levels would be on the order of $3,000 per person higher today … For all states, the median income loss per capita is $3,278, or more than $13,000 for a family of four. Even if that conclusion seriously overstates the results of RTW laws, the true effect is still likely quite substantial.
There counting children too? Crazy stuff. 

Right to work lowers wages and benefits, it's that simple. Big business doesn't want to pay people more money for gods sake:
EPI: Elise Gould and Heidi Shierholz, researchers at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), studied what they called "the compensation penalty of 'right-to-work' laws" and concluded: "Right-to-work" laws are associated with significantly lower wages and reduced chances of receiving employer-sponsored health insurance and pensions -- are based on the most rigorous statistical analysis currently possible … workers in "right-to-work" states have lower compensation -- both union and nonunion workers alike.

McClatchy: workplace safety suffers in right-to-work states, where workers are less likely to secure job safety enhancements beyond federal and state regulations. McClatchy Newspapers, 2/16/12

Congressional Research Service: Workers In Right-To-Work States Make An Average Of $7,000 Less Than Those In Non-Right-To-Work States. Citing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Congressional Research Service reported that the average wage in a right-to-work state was $42,465, compared with $49,495 in "labor security" states. Congressional Research Service, 6/20/12

Economic Policy Institute: Wages for Union And Non-Union Workers Are Lower by "An Average of $1,500 a year." For every $1 million in wage cuts to workers, $850,000 less is spent in the economy, which translates into a loss of six jobs. Economic Policy Institute,9/16/11

Hofstra University's Lonnie Stevans: Wages and personal income are both lower in right-to-work states, yet proprietors' income is higher. As a result, while right-to-work states may maintain a somewhat better business environment relative to non-right-to-work states, these benefits do not necessarily translate into increased economic verve for the right-to-work states as a whole -- there appears to be little 'trickle-down' to the largely non-unionized workforce in these states. Review of Law & Economics, Volume 5, Issue 1, 2009
Researchers Find That "Right-To-Work" Laws Have "No Significant Positive Impact Whatsoever On Employment."  2/2/12
EPI: The most recent and most methodologically rigorous studies conclude that the policy has no statistically significant impact whatsoever. Economic Policy Institute, 3/16/11

AP: "The reason we don't have clear views (on right-to-work laws) is because it's always being debated at its extremes," said Gary Chaison, a professor of labor relations at Clark University in Massachusetts, who assigns his students to analyze the issue each year. In the end, when it comes to jobs and the law, "we don't know causation," he said. Associated Press, 1/28/12
MYTH: Right-To-Work Laws Protect Workers From Supporting Political Spending
FACT: Workers Can Opt Out Of Full Union Membership And Prevent Fees From Supporting Political Spending … employees who object to full union membership may continue as 'core' members and pay only that share of dues used directly for representation, such as collective bargaining and contract administration. Known as objectors, they are no longer full members but are still protected by the union contract. Unions are obligated to tell all covered employees about this option, which was created by a Supreme Court ruling and is known as the Beck right. National Labor Relations Board, accessed 12/11/12

CWA v. Beck: Unions Cannot Force Non-Members To Pay Dues For Political Action. , 6/29/88

Locke v. Karass: Non-Union Workers At Organized Work Places Cannot Be Forced To Pay For "Political, Public Relations, Or Lobbying" Activities By Unions.  1/21/09

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Republicans take up annoying Right to Work legislation they're not even interested in the incidental governor can sign.

Come on, it's not even on Scott Walker's radar. And no one wants to write the Right to Work legislation they're sure will pass, if and only if someone can "make the case" it's good for the economy, which doesn't necessarily mean it'll get to the governors desk for Walker to sign right away. 

Here are the speed bumps poor old right to work has to "overcome" first...don't laugh, they really think we're idiots. AP:
1.  Republican lawmaker has promised to introduce right-to-work legislation during the upcoming session. Rep. Chris Kapenga said he plans to introduce a bill but isn't sure when. 

2. He says he needs to make the case that the legislation would help the state's economy to the GOP caucus.

3. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said in July he didn't intend to pursue the issue in 2015 but on Monday issued a statement saying he looked forward to discussing the benefits of becoming a right-to-work state. 

4. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald's spokeswoman said Monday he's open to the idea but she had no immediate comment Tuesday, either.

5. Gov. Scott Walker has said right-to-work isn't a priority but hasn't said he wouldn't support a bill.

Walker Deer Czar Failure!!! Tough luck hunters...

Pretty much says it all....

Those fearless deer hunting trolls kept telling me they knew so much more than me, trashing my posts for criticizing the DNR's disastrous new maze of rules and unscientific approach to hunting. 

Welcome to anther Republican policy failure. It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of low information "stand with Walker" backers. It's about time they felt the devastating effects of their own incompetence.  

Republicans go after Liberal Justice on State Supreme Court!!!

There's no mistaking it at this point, Republicans are out to wipe clean any hint of liberalism, politically and judicially, in Wisconsin. They're not fooling around.

It's hard to imagine the Democratic Party ever doing something this authoritarian. Democrats are barely supportive of their own populist agenda, fumbling away golden opportunities when they're in the majority.

Think we'll hear cries of outrage over the Republican power play to purge the State Supreme Court of it's chief liberal justice? The idea that these big government lawmakers can instantly retire a justice without grandfathering in the current lineup, is mind blowing.

It appears legislators from as far back as 1977 were not fulfilling their constitutional responsibility, according to Rep. Dean Knudson. Hey, it's not about ousting out Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, someone they've been trying to demote for years. What would make you think that?

From WKOW:

But Rep. Knudson says the legislation isn't about getting Abrahamson … "She asked, could we construct something that would grandmother her, and my response was that this really isn't about any individual," said Rep. Knudson. 

Scott Walker keeps Wisconsin on Coal Power, complains Gas and Renewable Energy would cost too much.

There are consequences for not helping Wisconsin embrace a strong clean energy plan.

Instead of making our own energy, as opposed to importing it from out-of-state suppliers, Scott Walker has sent a clear message to wind and solar manufactures and installers that alternative energy is not welcome here. His crony filled PSC just raised rates on customers in a way that discourages the spread of solar and energy savings.

So now Walker is whining about the cost of sticking coal. Go figure. He’s not a smart man:
The Republican governor said the proposed rule would have a detrimental effect on Wisconsin’s manufacturing-based economy, as well as household ratepayers. Those ratepayers, however, already are seeing rate increases from the utilities under Walker's watch.  Walker said the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin said the proposed rule would cost the state … which recently approved a rate hike for Milwaukee area electricity customers.

He added Wisconsin obtains more than half its electricity from coal and shifting to natural gas will jeopardize reliability. An EPA spokeswoman issued a statement saying any small price increases would be dwarfed by huge benefits and it’s too early to make reliability claims since states haven’t developed implementation plans.
Too early is an understatement. By 2030 we’ll probably be phasing out solar and wind for the energy rich dilithium crystal.

Walker found himself lying again, claiming an increase in energy efficiency – that program went away – and increase renewable energy usage – he’s doing everything he can to kill that.   
Walker, in his statement, said, “Wisconsin has invested approximately $10.5 billion over the past 15 years to help reduce CO2 emissions, increase renewable energy usage and energy efficiency, and install air pollution control equipment."
Oh sure, Walker wants you to forget this:

Focus had suspended renewables incentives in 2011, for one year, after the PSC concluded it had been spending too much on renewables, which don't provide as strong a payback that energy-saving efficiency projects do. We Energies and Renew Wisconsin have been at odds since We Energies terminated a renewable energy development program that provided incentives for churches and nonprofit groups to add solar. Utilities are also opposing moves to allow companies to build and own the solar panels that are on customers' rooftops.

Monday, December 1, 2014

One Nation, under Guns.....

The holidays have kept me so busy I never got to write what Voxdotcom just did for me, in the post below. Surprisingly, no one else seems to be talking about the most important reason we're seeing so many innocent people shot dead by law enforcement. It's no coincidence this is happening, now that everyone is a possible gun carrying killer, even kids. Remember, it wasn't always like this.

I have a 12 year old who just happens to be playing around with air soft guns around the house, acting out what he's seen in movies and video games. Not much different that something I did when I was a kid...but with a cap gun. The thing is, he doesn't know better. He might make the wrong decision and go off on his own and repeat what we're seeing all over the country. 

Here's a silent video I edited together of Tamir Rice playing around, that's all, until it all came to an unexpectedly tragic end: 

Voxdotcom: The death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, reveals many things about America. One of them that has not yet received adequate attention is that there is a strong case for a form of gun control that is much stricter than anything that's remotely plausible in the context of American politics. In this case, the drawback is a straightforward consequence of America's approach to firearms. A well-armed citizenry required an even-better-armed constabulary. 

Widespread gun ownership creates a systematic climate of fear on the part of the police. The result is a quantity of police shootings that, regardless of the facts of any particular case, is just staggeringly high. Young black men, in particular, are paying the price for America's gun culture. 

A well-armed population leads to police shootings of the unarmed in two ways. One is that police officers have to be constantly vigilant about the possibility that they are facing a gun-wielding suspect. Cleveland police officers shot and killed a 12 year-old boy recently, because they not-entirely-unreasonably thought his toy gun was a real gun. The other, more relevant to the Michael Brown case, is that when civilians are well-armed, police have to be as well. That turns every encounter into a potentially lethal situation. 

The officer always has to worry that if he doesn't reach for and use his own gun, the suspect will. The basic reason American police departments are so much better-armed than their British counterparts is that Americans civilians are much better armed. There is about one gun per person in the United States, and the police legitimately need to be able to wield more force than the citizens they are policing. 

In America there are lots of guns, so the cops need lots of guns. Consequently, people get shot. Gun ownership is the huge, obvious difference between the United States and countries with drastically lower rates of police killing and nobody is talking about it. That's very unlikely to change any time soon. But it ought to. 

Walker PSC crony Ellen Nowak gets the job done, advised Utility Industry to raise Rates for Customers to discourage Solar Power.

The following statement by the solar industry is not hyperbolic when it comes to the recent decisions made by Wisconsin PSCregulator Ellen Nowak:
“Nowak should recuse herself before their rate decision becomes final,” Allicance for Solar Choice’s Bryan Miller said. “She’s behind the most expensive anti-solar ruling in the U.S. and we’re appealing it on both the substance and the process.”

A solar industry group appealing a decision to impose the most expensive solar fees in the U.S. said a Wisconsin regulator violated rules barring communication about pending cases.
The amazing example below is getting little attention in the state, and because of that, big energy here just might get away with the job killing base rate increase for solar customers that didn't succeed elsewhere. The shocking conflict of interest and professional advice given by the conservative PSC regulators appointed by Scott Walker, Ellen Nowak, is pretty much beyond words.

See for yourself if Ellen Nowak’s spokesman wasn't lying when she said straight faced Nowak didn't discuss the rate case at the conference with Klappa.    
Ellen Nowak, a regulator for the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, and Wisconsin Energy Corp. (WEC) Chief Executive Officer Gale Klappa participated in a panel together at a utility industry conference in June. Her discussions with Klappa at the conference should have disqualified her from voting on a pending rate case, said Bryan Miller, a co-chairman of the Alliance for Solar Choice.

Nowak told the audience June 10 at an Edison Electric Institute conference: “The traditional rate design will no longer work with the growth in the D.G. (distributed generation) environment … fixed fees so customers who produce their own power with rooftop solar systems continue to pay enough to cover the costs of maintaining the grid. We need to make more of the fixed costs more in line with fixed charges, particularly so those customers who don't participate in (distributed generation) are not paying for those who do."

Less than three weeks after the Edison Electric Institute event, the company submitted a detailed proposal that included a fixed fee for customers with solar power, sometimes called distributed generation or D.G..

Joel Rogers, a professor of administrative law at the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison, reviewed a transcript of her comments and said they could be seen as improperly offering advice. “Appearing on a panel together goes right up to the edge of impropriety, but giving advice goes beyond that,” Rogers said today in an interview. “She should have recused herself.”
Of course WE Energies had completely, more surreal take on the complaints over Nowak’s advice:
We Energies spokesman Barry McNulty said, "We're obviously very disappointed that the solar advocates would resort to these types of allegations after having lost on the merits." 
Yea, how desperate can the solar industry be for pointing out the obvious. But sadly this is only the beginning of future rate hikes:
This trend is set to continue in future rate cases as the current Wisconsin Public Service Commission chairman, Phil Montgomery, has stated that the only thing stopping him from approving even more drastic increases in fixed costs is "the principle of gradualism."
The attack on the green energy industry and the jobs that go with them, took off when Scott Walker became governor:
Focus had suspended renewables incentives in 2011, for one year, after the PSC concluded it had been spending too much on renewables, which don't provide as strong a payback that energy-saving efficiency projects do. We Energies and Renew Wisconsin have been at odds since We Energies terminated a renewable energy development program that provided incentives for churches and nonprofit groups to add solar. Utilities are also opposing moves to allow companies to build and own the solar panels that are on customers' rooftops. 

The Other Side of the Michael Brown Story...

The other side of the Michael Brown story, not reported by the media, is even more bizarre. Here's an example of one story that just keeps getting weirder. Alternet:
The online hacker collective Anonymous dumped a trove of personal information online belonging to alleged members of the Ku Klux Klan ... (Anonymous) claims to have  taken control this week of the @KuKluxKlanUSA Twitter account ... The group also threatened in a new video to shut down government websites in Missouri to protest the grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Here's the video:

Anonymous posted a tweet Tuesday evening contained names, addresses, Social Security numbers, phone numbers, social media account information, credit card and banking information, and other detailed personal data for Frank Ancona, grand wizard of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and his alleged associates. Ancona’s group distributed leaflets warning they would use “lethal force” against protesters after the grand jury decision, and Anonymous warned Klan members and police they would retaliate if protesters’ rights were violated.

Anonymous: “We find it disturbing that you, the grand jury, have chose this path as everyone will not choose to stand calm and let you choose to let him walk free. As you’ve seen all the riots and businesses, police cars, etc., being burned down while Anonymous shall target any Missouri government or bank sites now, so you better increase your security because we’re here and we’re not going to stand by and watch you let this man walk free.”

The pastor of a church where Michael Brown’s father was baptized said he believes white supremacists, not protesters, burned down Flood Christian Church overnight Monday.

Members of the Anonymous offshoot NOWsec claimed last week that a source within the St. Louis County Police Department had told them Ferguson-area law enforcement officers were affiliated with the “Ghoul Squad," which the activists described as supportive of the local KKK chapter. One of the activists claimed NOWsec had proof of a link but could not publish the evidence because it could endanger the life of their source.

The Small Government Lie behind Big Government Republicans.

The "stand with Walker" trolls and my conservative friend in Milwaukee have given me great insight into what "small government" really means to them. Here's what I've learned so far:

A. Despite policy failures, conservatives will never vote for a Democrat.

B. The founding fathers wanted to limit the size of government? The "size" isn't dictated in the constitution, and is in fact, left up to the "people:"
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Tenth Amendment
C. Big Government Republicans hate big government liberalism: It gets little attention, but have you noticed how red state Republicans have purged decades of progress as a way to fight against the evils of socialism? Liberal influences are erased. This is where "big" government Republicans replace everything with their own convoluted legislation:
1. Tort reform: "Injury" reform basically, that limits the peoples access to the courts and just compensation. This is big government at its worst, because it protects business and insurance companies from being accountable, at the expense of people. It doesn't just cut injury settlements artificially, but steps in and controls a private sector lawyers compensation. Again, it's government telling individuals what the can or cannot make. Big government Republicans. A free market would do away with all limits and open the courts up to everyone, even if it means the end of the offending business, costing hundreds or thousands of jobs.   

2. Health CareEvery other country in the world has a national plan, except for the U.S.. Everybody needs it. Imagine what we could do if we didn't have to think about finding an insurer, shopping every year for a new plan because of rising copays and deductibles. A national health care system would give people more time to deal with all of life's other curve balls and heartbreaks. That's real freedom. 

3. EnvironmentBig government Republicans want to "balance" the needs of business, with the need to keep citizens healthy. That's a hard one? Is there ever a time a business should be allowed to harm Americans? The EPA's news rules controlling smog, a local hazard that causes asthma, lung damage and other health problems, isn't something that belongs on the negotiating table. With the growth of wind, solar and electric vehicles, we now have the option to move from fossil fuels to cleaner energy, saving people health problems and premature death. Plus, states will have 20 years to comply to the new rules. 

4. Right Wind AuthoritarianismWithout going into greater detail, which I could do, let's just chalk it up to who's in "control;" one party dictatorial "leaders." Right now, leaders are allowed to do and say whatever they like. From the big government takeover of local communities fighting mining, allowing companies the freedom to locate cell towers and billboards anywhere they like, controlling the minimum wage statewide, a statewide sick leave ban, retaliating against educators and businesses that don't fall in line with Republican values, and using recall petitions as a blacklist to trash the political opposition. If the Walker Authority doesn't like what you're doing locally, they've got a big government fix for you, like it or not.
We can't forget the judicial branch of government, already politicized by Republican lawmakers who are promising to make the courts more conservative. After all, activist conservative courts rulings are wonderful, but liberal court rulings? Let's not even go there. For Republicans, the courts should be as predictable their party platform. No surprises.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Big Government Republicans to collect DNA samples of Wisconsinites for possible future use, but oppose DNA data for public health policy.

Any privacy concerns warranted under our big government Republican DNA screening process for supposed lawbreakers?

Yes, Republicans want to keep a DNA record of you, to be used for whatever reason in the future.
jsonline: The state Department of Justice has hired nearly 20 more workers … so that it will be able to handle … additional DNA samples when new collection requirements take effect next year … expects to receive 25,000 samples from felony arrests and 40,000 samples from misdemeanor convictions next year.

DNA samples from anyone convicted of a felony and certain sex-related misdemeanors. A Republican-backed law dramatically expands the grounds for collection … requires anyone convicted of any misdemeanor to submit a DNA sample. Civil rights advocates, though, contend the expanded collection is an invasion of privacy. 
Welcome to “small government” Republican values folks, and the invasive nature of their controlling “authority.”

The Upside Down World of Conservatism: So what could explain the objections to a similar collection of DNA samples used to treat newborns and guide public health policy?
jsonline: A major bill that supports newborn screening nationwide has stalled in Congress because some Republican senators have privacy concerns about genetic research funded by the legislation. Blood is collected on a card that is sent to state public health labs for testing, in order to identify conditions that are often easily treatable. The cards are often later used anonymously for research. It's unclear which specific research is causing concern, although the Senate committee has said research on DNA has allowed people to be re-identified, even though initially they were anonymous.
Is it the “less we know” Republican way of doing things?
Samples are used for quality assurance testing, to help refine cutoff levels for identifying specific disorders, as well as many other studies on various public health issues. 
So in this case, Republicans are worried about the future use of DNA samples? My head is hurting. Yet they’re not worried about the use of DNA samples of adults who commit a minor legal infraction?

No wonder conservatives don’t know which way is up anymore and just vote along party lines.