Saturday, May 23, 2015

Republicans sneak WEDC/WHEDA merger back in....?

Despite what appeared to be a republican rejection of the more draconian and bizarre cuts in Scott Walker's state budget, thanks to public opposition, it looks like many of these bad ideas were only put on the back burner for awhile.

After his fellow republicans fired Scott Walker as WEDC chair, and supposedly abandoned the merger of WEDC and WHEDA, there just might be a surprise twist to the story:

Nanny State Kansas Republicans limit Debit Card withdrawals on Poor.

I see, Republicans aren't punishing the poor, they're just trying to help.

Funny thing, you never see Republicans pushing for more accountability and results from CEO's and big business interests seeking tax cuts and state handouts. In fact just the opposite if they're getting money from Scott Walker's WEDC.

Pee in a cup drug tests, limits on the kind of food served while wining and dining corporate lobbyist and politicians for taxpayer money?

I'm mystified. Heck, we've already discovered companies are not the "job creators" they said they were, especially here in Wisconsin.

But republicans have a way of spreading their one-size-fits-all nanny state punishments on the poor, as you'll see below in another cruel hot new attack.

So if drug testing, public service work or nanny state junk food lists aren't enough to dump on struggling Americans, how about the following:
AP: People are outraged about a Kansas law that critics are calling a 'tax on the poor.' Kansas is taking a storm of criticism over its new policy strictly limiting ATM withdrawals for welfare recipients to $25 a day. Additionally, most ATMs do not carry $5 bills. This fact effectively changes the policy to a $20 limit and would potentially result in poor Kansans paying even more withdrawal fees to get the same amount of money.

The change was placed in stark reality by a Thursday article in The Washington Post titled "Kansas has found the ultimate way to punish the poor." As The Post notes, it would "force beneficiaries to make more frequent trips to the ATM to withdraw money … Since there's a fee for every withdrawal, the limit means that some families will get substantially less money." Elizabeth Lower-Basch, the director at Center for Law and Social Policy, or CLASP, said the law amounts to a "tax on the poor."
But it saves the state money, all the while teaching lazy no good American citizens a lesson in frugality:
Experts have suggested the welfare policy change could result in a $100 million cut in money Kansas receives from the federal government … the Social Security Act requires welfare recipients to "have adequate access to their cash assistance" while facing "minimal fees or charges."

Though Brownback and legislative leaders are quickly backpedaling in the face of the potential loss of federal funds, various observers have widely expressed outrage … People who read The Post article reacted with comments like "disturbing," "amazing," and expletives: Some of the state's leading editorial boards have previously blasted the ATM limit.

"Not only are many of the state’s new welfare regulations condescending, the limit on cash withdrawals may violate federal law — potentially endangering $102 million in federal funding. That’s what can happen when lawmakers ram through legislation without proper vetting, and based on ugly stereotypes," The Wichita Eagle opined Wednesday. "The best course is to revoke the entire law."

The Kansas City Star slammed the legislation on Monday as an "embarrassment" to the state. "If nothing else, Brownback’s staff should have observed that ATMs generally don’t allow withdrawals in $5 increments. The state law effectively imposes a $20 limit," the paper's editorial board wrote. "That rushed process, the sign of amateurs at work, has been happening a lot lately in Topeka. And — voila! — the result is bad legislation."
What's encouraging is that we're seeing any kind of blowback at all.

Marketplace Insurers Hiking Premiums through the Roof? Not so much...

My conservative friend in Milwaukee is moving into the health care exchange, since he no longer qualifies for BadgerCare. The state Medicaid program makes health care simple, with no or small co-pays and no paperwork. It's easy. Now my friend is heading into the insurance marketplace, where everything is just the opposite of simple. Insurance company profits come first, not your health.

The spin on the story below is mind-bending, because it deceptively starts with the extreme side of insurance company greed, making ObamaCare look bad, and ignoring the benefits of the exchange and lower cost insurers. Just as ridiculous, the rate hikes listed given below would never get state approval anyway. The manipulative language and extreme point of view is completely contradicted later in the article, when many may have already stopped reading. Fortune Magazine:
Got Obamacare? Your premiums are (probably) about to go way up: According to a report published Friday in the The Wall Street Journal, health insurers are requesting the right in many states to increase premiums by upwards of 50%. Health Care Service Corp.–the leading health insurer in New Mexico, has asked state regulators to allow it to increase its premiums on average by 51.6%, for instance. Customers of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield in Maryland may face an average premium increase of 30.4%.

Insurers will have to submit their premium-hike proposals to their state regulators, and potentially the federal government. Regulators will review the requests, and may deny the insurers requests if rising costs don’t justify premium increases. But big rate hikes could be necessary to prevent insurers from taking a loss. 
In some states like Wisconsin, where Republicans are doing everything to make the program look bad, the review process won't result in any denials, hiking premiums.

The next segments says it all about the quest for insurer profits over life saving health. Insurers are actually whining about taking care of sick enrollees. Maybe they shouldn't be in the business?:
According to the report: BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee . . . said it lost $141 million from exchange-sold plans, stemming largely from a small number of sick enrollees. “Our filing is planned to allow us to operate on at least a break-even basis for these plans, meaning that the rate would cover only medical services and expenses—with no profit margin for 2016,” said spokeswoman Mary Danielson.
Oh, here's the good news, saved for last of course. This is what you'll actually find, as insurers complete for your coverage:
It’s not all bad news, however. Obamacare insurers in some states–like Indiana, Connecticut and Maine–are asking for minimal or no increases to their premiums.

Democrats win over the American public. Now if they can just win elections.

This story demonstrates how completely incompetent Democrats are in energizing Americans around their popular ideas. After all, we've seen two midterm elections where Republicans have beaten Democrats bloody.

Republicans have successfully vilified everything under the empty rhetoric of "freedom and liberty," and selling the general idea that "big government" is bad. But if we dig a lot deeper, it's becomes obvious "bad" includes everything we like, and changes we hope to see.

Let's see if Democrats can now get a coherent message out to voters. Politico:
Social liberals equal conservatives for first time in Gallup poll: For the first time in the decade and a half that Gallup has been tracking Americans’ ideologies, the percentage of those identifying their views on social issues as liberal has equaled the percentage of those who call themselves socially conservative.

31 percent said they were socially liberal — and 31 percent said they were socially conservative.

In 2009, 42 percent of those surveyed called themselves very conservative or conservative on social issues, the highest percentage in the data set. 

Among Democrats and Democratic ideological leaners, 53 percent say they are socially liberal ... The 53 percent is the highest percentage since Gallup began tracking that number in 2001.

Among Republicans and Republican ideological leaners, 53 percent said they were socially conservative, the lowest percentage since the Gallup began asking that question. In 2009, 67 percent identified themselves as such.

Conservative State Supreme Court brings certainty to more Dysfunction and Infighting.

It's always just a little scary when our authoritarian "friends" on the right promise us harmony and togetherness with them in control. Gone would be all those nasty disagreements and "leftist" attempts to destroy the country. With Republicans in charge, we can now return confidence and certainty to our legal system.

And so it is with our State Supreme Court, often considered a beacon of justice and collegiality, or so we're being told by conservative Chief Justice Roggensack. Now that majority republican politicians managed to put their party in charge of the court, we'll finally have peace and civility. But as the headline pictured here demonstrates, nothing could be further from the truth, and things are only getting worse. jsonline:
"Creative Destruction?"
(Moderate) Justice Crooks says (Republican) Chief Justice Roggensack threatened to throw justices off cases: Days before three state Supreme Court justices skipped ceremonies to admit new lawyers to the bar, Justice N. Patrick Crooks accused newly elected Chief Justice Patience Roggensack of breaking court rules by threatening to throw him off a case without any authority. Crooks and another justice also contended Roggensack had violated court rules by scheduling a conference to discuss three cases without the permission of all seven justices, emails between the justices show.

That prompted a strongly worded reply from Crooks on May 17. "The closed conference that you have scheduled for May 18, 2015, is a violation of our rules, since it was not on the court's calendar, and the unanimous consent required has not been received," he wrote. "Despite that, you apparently have decided to proceed. I object.

"If we do not have your votes to consider at conference, the opinions will show any justice who does not send in his or her vote for consideration at decision conference as having withdrawn from the case," Roggensack wrote.

The exchanges are the latest sign of turmoil on a court that has drawn national attention for infighting. Their disputes have been on public display in recent weeks because of a fight over who should run the court.

Thankfully the courts liberal voices won't be able to disrupt the republican agenda anymore. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Walker's unfettered Cronyism.

Not much left to say...WISC-TV:
Walker announced Friday that he has appointed Mike M. Grebe, son of Michael W. Grebe, president and chief executive of the Bradley Foundation, to the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents.The foundation has backed a number of conservative public policy experiments, including welfare reform and, voucher schools. Michael W. Grebe also has served as chairman of Walker's campaign.

Charitable ALEC controls Republican Party!!!

For all those "stand with Walker" supporters who think liberals are just making stuff up about ALEC and the Koch brothers etc., this might get them to think a little about how empty "free and liberty" is going to sound in the future.

This is so amazing that I had to post it. In the past we've had great reports from Democratic ALEC members, but this is the ultimate look at what right wing fascism looks like. WXIA:

Walker's pettiness over Feingold's announced run for Senate, from supposedly California...Wrong!

Republicans love to make things up, but this really is ridiculous.

For whatever odd reason, the worst they could come up with was to say Russ Feingold announced his candidacy for senate from California. To WISGOP, that was the right amount of red meat-right wing hooey to get Dumb Ron Johnson supporters energized. Only they made it up, as PolitiFact discovered:
The National Republican Senatorial Committee said that Russ Feingold announced his campaign for Senate while in California. But tweets and other evidence shows he was in Wisconsin at the time.

We rate the claim Pants on Fire.

But that wasn't the end of it:
Republicans would continue to emphasize Feingold’s out of state job and have assigned a "tracker" to follow Feingold when he is in California. On May 21, 2015, they posted and tweeted videos of Feingold walking to his class.
If this mindless video is any indication, Republicans can't dig up anything on Feingold, except to say he's like Scott Walker and Paul Ryan, a career politician? Forget about his work as a college professor and envoy. I love the cameraman's questions:

Even Scott Walker, presidential candidate (unannouced), thought it was important to mention Feingold's announcement from California. What other bullshit will he swallow hook-line-and-sinker when he's deciding to take our country to war? This guy is so not ready. His comment is around :18 sec in. Like Walker said in the clip below, he's "fully engaged?"

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Scott Walker gets Pink Slip, booted as WEDC Chairman by GOP Legislature!

Call it bad optics, but Scott Walker just got fired by his own party in the legislature. He's out as the WEDC chairman, a dysfunctional agency that bumbled job and business creation. Not a great story for someone hoping to run the whole damn country. WKOW's Greg Neumann:

Walker's 4.4% Unemployment Rate Deceptive; doesn't include the non-participation rate of those who gave up.

Scott Walker's 4.4% unemployment figure may be the result of making it more difficult to get unemployment insurance, thanks to a maze of regulations that could easily frustrate anyone.

But the right wings obsession with the non-participation rate, those not seeking work, is a double edged sword. While Obama's non-participatory rate is a little higher nationwide, he's not responsible for an individual states economic numbers.
The state's labor force participation rate of 68 percent outpaced the national rate of 62.8 percent. 
Just to clarify. jsonline:
Brian Jacobsen, an economist in metro Milwaukee for Wells Fargo Funds Management, said the unemployment rate fell for reasons that are not entirely welcome. Some unemployed people, for instance, give up searching for a job out of discouragement or for other reasons, such as going back to school — and they disappear from the pool of jobless.

"The drop to 4.4% for the unemployment rate isn't necessarily something to celebrate, though it's couched in celebratory language," Jacobsen said. "It mainly dropped because the labor force shrank from March to April.

Not by much, and surprisingly, without the creation of jobs, jobs, jobs. Walker's first four years resulted in a meager 129,131, well short of his promised 250.000 jobs. WKOW:

Walker losses get worse; Wisconsinites missing out on $400 million Medicaid Expansion Savings.

“Fiscal conservatives” must see money management in an oddly different way from the rest of us. 

I guess holding onto a firmly held belief, makes losing money justifiable and something to be proud of?

So it goes with Medicaid expansion, a roaring success for tough love austerity fanatics proving we can all handle a little monetary disappointment and loss. Citizen Action of Wisconsin: 
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau in March tallied a net loss of $345 million to the next state budget as a consequence of Governor Walker’s decision to reject enhanced federal funding for BadgerCare … New data released this week by the Fiscal Bureau, and analyzed by Jon Peacock shows that the cost … for BadgerCare has gone up again, because roughly 6,800 additional childless adults will be in BadgerCare than previously projected. An additional $23 million, on top of the original $345 million.
Walker once said he wanted all of us to get high wage jobs, and drop all that talk about hiking the minimum wage.  “Stand with Walker” voters ate it up while real workers wished they'd gotten a wage hike:
One of the reasons for increasing BadgerCare enrollment is the number of poverty wage jobs being created in Wisconsin.
Even worse, these stewards of taxpayer money aren’t so frugal after all. For the second time they're wasting our hard earned money covering up for one of the biggest flaws in their decision to skip Medicaid Expansion; hospitals are taking a huge monetary hit treating people without health care now, so...:
In addition, Walker’s budget includes an additional $30 million (again) in state dollars for Disproportionate Share Hospital payments to partially make up for the financial impact on hospitals of turning down the enhanced BadgerCare money. This increased expenditure is only necessary because Wisconsin is turning down enhanced federal funding for BadgerCare.

Adding together the cost to the state  $398 million in the next two year state budget alone, more than enough to reverse most of the slashing cuts to education in the Governor’s budget.

Closing Observational Tower in State Park Ironically Symbolic for Shortsighted Republicans.

Scott Walker’s decision to cut all public funding for our state parks is already paying dividends for conservative voters everywhere who don’t want to pay for someone else’s vacation. And with the self-imposed deficit due to overzealous tax cuts, we’re just going to have to do without. Walker did the same thing when he was Milwaukee County executive. Let the neglect begin...:
The observation tower located in Peninsula State Park, known as Eagle Tower, will be closed immediately because of public safety concerns related to structural deficiency issues according to Kelli Bruns, park superintendent.

The 75-foot tall tower offers extraordinary views of Green Bay and even the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It stands 225 feet above the water. Considered Wisconsin's most complete park, Peninsula offers 468 campsites, three group camps, a summer theater, an 18-hole golf course, sand beach, bike trails, a lighthouse and 8 miles of Door County shoreline. 
From WBAY:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Republicans Blowup Public Education once and for all, for Freedom and Liberty!!!

The Joint Finance Committee literally ripped apart public education with a maze of big government regulations that hands taxpayer dollars over to parents, because they know what's best. Professional educators and researchers just got their pink slips. Rep. Dale Kooyenga's passionate plea for change centered on...wait for it, "freedom and liberty." Need I say more?

"Eliminate the Course Options program that allows college courses to be taught in high schools." (Kids would get) "high school and college credit." This would have saved families lots of money, and now penalizes advanced students.

"Students with disabilities would be eligible to apply for vouchers for the first time under a separate program." Private standards are so lax, this plan simply invites deception and corruption for profit.

Constitutionally possible? "Prohibits the state superintendent from promoting the Common Core State Standards, and from adopting new academic standards created by the Common Core State Standards Initiative, though there are none in the works."

Zero ability to compare schools: "The proposal allocates money to find up to five alternative tests for schools to choose from." 

Taxpayer money going out-of-state? To be honest, I don't even believe this one: "Allowing a student to attend a public school outside of the school district they live in, or outside of the state." 

Right Wing-nut Testing is here...freedom and liberty f**k yea: "Requiring students to pass a civics test to graduate from high school."

Allowing the failed virtual charter model to flourish by not holding host district responsible: "Prohibiting test scores from students attending virtual charter schools from being included in school accountability reports for the schools’ host school district if more than half of the virtual charter students don’t live there."

Lowering teacher standards: "Allowing DPI to grant teaching licenses to individuals who wish to teach technical courses and have a set amount of work experience and teacher training."

This isn't the complete list either. Republicans also took aim at Wisconsin's biggest cities, setting up the installation of an un-elected schools czar who can turn public to private on a whim. Oh, and two of those cities are predominantly Democratic. Coincidence?

And after all this and the outcry from voters, republicans are now desperately trying to spin their way out of trouble for their over-the-top legislation:
A chorus of voices — from the state superintendent to teachers unions, school administrators and parents — claimed the Republican-led amendments result in a wholesale reshaping of education policy.

Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), the chairman of the Senate Education Committee, acknowledged the budget "doesn't make it easier to run a school district." Olsen said there wasn't enough money to fund property tax cuts that Walker promised and also fund the public education system. "Something has to give and that's what gave," Olsen said Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Politics Guides Partisan Educational Policy in Wisconsin, the Ultimate Big Government/Corporate Takeover!!!

It started out in a not so innocent way when Republicans dropped this little bomb on Milwaukee:
County exec would oversee turnaround of MPS schools in GOP plan: The Milwaukee County executive would oversee the turnover of up to five struggling Milwaukee Public Schools per year to operators of successful public charter or private voucher schools. 
That's privatizing up to 5 schools a year. That seems dramatic and pretty much over the top, all the while ignoring the real reason some schools are failing; economic status and poverty.

And that's a big clue. How do you know republicans wrote the plan as part of their attempt to privatize the state’s largest population center (the rest of the state would be a piece of cake)?
Staff at the public schools run by new operators — or directly by the commissioner — would have to re-apply for their jobs and, if hired, would waive their right to be represented by a union. The "Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program" is a proposal by Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Rep. Dale Kooyenga (Brookfield). 
This is a plan to turn our brick and mortor schools, paid for by taxpayers, over to the for profit privateers. That didn't go over well with the superintendent, and she said so on Upfront with Mike Gousha:
Milwaukee Public Schools superintendent Darienne Driver said a proposal to pull the worst schools from the district and put them into a charter program would be devastating. She said that the state needs to realize high rates in poverty and crime are large factors in poor academic performance. She said that both public and private schools are struggling, and this proposal won’t fix issues in the classroom. 

"I think that having choice schools becoming the method of choice, when they're performing lower than MPS is currently, is a mistake," Driver said. 
So in a preemptive move, the school board got very creative:
jsonline: The Milwaukee School Board on Thursday will consider limiting its own authority and giving full power to Superintendent Darienne Driver to make the changes at up to three low-performing schools a year without board approval, according to a new proposal. "Our plan calls for less disruption," School Board President Michael Bonds said. 

The superintendent to have control over the facilities that house the low-performing schools getting alternate treatment. Under the GOP plan, MPS would likely lose that ability.

The superintendent to be able to reintegrate the low-performing schools back into MPS if they showed improvement. There was no plan for that under the plan from Republicans.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Americans no longer forced to work full time for Health care coverage, choose parttime jobs instead.

There were a lot of corporate threats thrown around about turning full-time workers into parttimers due to the Affordable Care Act. It didn't happen when corporate bosses had to deal with reality. Center for Economic and Policy Research:
The claims about low enrollment figures were shot down in April, when it came to light
that enrollment had surged during the previous month. It’s time that we shelved the critique about part-time work as well. 
click to enlarge
The graph to the right shows a huge drop in involuntary parttime work, the kind threatened by employers like Papa Johns, and an increase in people choosing to just work parttime: 
Specifically, there’s good reason to think the ACA could be leading to greater voluntary part-time employment. To explain: if an employee is working part-time and would like to work full-time, his or her status as part-time is a negative; that employee would like to work more, but hasn't been given the opportunity to do so. 

However, if an employee is voluntarily working part-time, it means that he or she is making an active decision to pursue part-time employment. Since health insurance was linked to a worker’s status as a full-time employee before the ACA went into effect, many Americans worked full-time simply to receive health insurance benefits; this was true even for workers who otherwise would have preferred to work part-time. Thanks to the ACA, workers no longer have to work full-time in order to receive insurance, meaning they can work fewer hours if they want to, assuming they can still pay the bills.

Do Republicans still wish we had fewer government regulations???

Funny thing about the free market and deregulation, we would no doubt see more of these stories...and conservatives would be okay with that. Hey, you want to work, then take what we give you:
Imperial Industries in Rothschild has been hit with $161,000 in proposed penalties by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration … cited with 12 serious safety violations and two willful violations after welders were allegedly exposed to hazardous fumes … a chemical called hexavalent chromium "that can cause lung cancer and respiratory, eye and skin damage."
If workers die, there'll be another one waiting to take their place. "Are there no workhouses?"
Scott Allen of the U.S. Department of Labor said it's a standard that's been around for a very long time, and there's simply no excuse for it," Workers were also allegedly endangered by amputation because machines lacked safety mechanisms. Imperial Industries has 15 days to respond. 

Vouchers Satisfy Parents, play to their Insecurities!

It's funny and deceptive the way Republicans like Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt, a former teacher, steer clear of the 25 year substandard private voucher school record, by touting how "satisfied" parents are with the program.

The old cliche "parents know what's best for their children," is getting a lot of mileage, and is patently ridiculous. Really, parents somehow have an innate insight into the latest teaching techniques and course work they feel is best for their kids?

From WPR audio this morning, Thiesfeldt did the old switcheroo, shifting from a callers question about private school accountability to the magical "satisfaction" levels of voucher parents. And he thought I wouldn't notice:

Republicans have always played on the fears and insecurities of parents who want to do what's right for their kids. Giving them "a choice" is nothing but manipulative pandering. Thiesfeldt pointed to studies of satisfied parents. I just happen to remember that study:
According to the University of Arkansas: Researchers with the School Choice Demonstration Project report that having a choice of where to send their children to school boosts their satisfaction with and involvement in schools (in Washington, D.C.). 
That’s right, parents are more satisfied simply because they got to choose. But are kids more educated? Three quarters of the voucher parents didn't care. Public schools aren't held to that same standard: 
Patrick Wolf, director of the School Choice Demonstration Project said, “Even D.C. parents whose children ended up returning to public schools tended to say that they were happy that they at least had a choice.” 
After decades of bashing, even laughing at the idea of smaller class sizes, Republican backed vouchers schools can't play it up enough, finding a very receptive audience of appreciative parents. Still, it's all about touchy feely stuff and not about better academic outcomes:
The factors these parents considered most important in making a choice included smaller class sizes, school safety, religious or values-based environment and rigorous academic curriculum ... Many parents placed greater emphasis on attitudes and behavior of their children, rather than test scores, as a basis for evaluating their progress. None of the parents polled considered standardized test scores when assessing their children’s progress.
President George W. Bush's NCLB's testing extravaganza emphasized testing as a way to fail most schools, so they could be turned into private religious schools. Testing went into overdrive and that's why we have what we have today. But for vouchers, testing isn't important:
Most parents measure their children’s progress almost exclusively by the level of enthusiasm the students express ... Actual grades and test scores are secondary concerns. By this standard, the vast majority of families reported that their children are succeeding or progressing in very important ways.
That same caller gave Thiesfeldt an example of how cutting education funding can actually hurting our kids. Of course, Thiesfeldt lamented the tight budget he and his band of plundering republican pirates have created.

Remember when everyone in the state paid taxes and supported education and infrastructure? Not anymore, since manufacturers and big ag got a $240 million tax cut and soon won't be paying any state tax at all. That's freeloading, sticking even conservative tightwad voters with the bill. And not a peep.  

Monday, May 18, 2015

Walker's Wisconsin loses 300 jobs as cookie plant closes in Ripon.

Odd thing, all the corporate tax cuts and favors don’t amount to a hill of beans when it comes to a companies own bottom line and changing market.

Scott Walker’s choice to focus all his effort on the states older and fading manufacturing economy isn't working.  His hostility toward the new economic engines; energy, technology and bio-science has made the loss of an established business that much harder:
WBAY: A ConAgra cookie plant in Ripon is closing, leaving more than 300 people without a job.Union leader Alex Gillis says the union was notified of the closing of the west plant at 8 a.m. Monday. The plant is expected to close by the end of the year, according to Gillis.

ConAgra released this statement to WBAY TV in Green Bay: "Following an extensive evaluation of our plant network, we have determined that we need to close the soft bake and enrobed cookies facility in Ripon, WI..
This is Walker's economy, what he calls a template for the rest of the nation.

Walker pushes Rationing to save Medicaid money at Federal Community Health Centers

Regulating and downsizing federal programs is the best way to get out the vote and to stir up the GOP based. As long as there's a Democrat in the White House, state restrictions are dead on arrival.

So I can only assume state republicans are hoping their voters won’t notice Scott Walker's attempt to ration health care. Yes, the party that whines about rationing now wants to ration health care. Rationing is used to argue against the Affordable Care Act.

Republican rationing, under the guise of “efficiency” and reducing the number of costly patients having access, may actually slip by the usually distracted conservative Wisconsin voter watching Fox News and listening to talk radio.

This is rationing, plain and simple. Conservative voters are being duped again by their own party. You know you're rationing when you cut health center reimbursements, putting them in jeopardy:  
WPRFederal community health centers that provide care to under-served groups in the state would see a change in Medicaid reimbursement under the governor’s budget. The centers are currently fully reimbursed for the cost to provide patient services under Medicaid. However, Wisconsin Department of Health Services Spokeswoman Stephanie Smiley said … "the current system isn't an efficient or economic way to provide care…to achieve positive health care outcomes..." said Smiley, noting that full reimbursements would incentivize providers to see more patients.
Huh? Full reimbursements would result in more patients? Just as crazy, we don't want to see every patients that needs medical care?

Just guessing, but maybe reducing preventive care will result in more costly medical attention later? See, ObamaCare is bad:
Lisa Olson, the association's policy director (for) the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association representing 17 community health centers, said the savings are artificial … "They don’t take into effect the additional cost of providing care in the last 15 years as health centers have added services in response to community need," said Olson.
Republicans are trying to ration health care, not the Democrats. Rep. Dianne Hesselbein wrote this in her latest press release:
On rural health, Walker has praised Wisconsin’s programs to audiences in Iowa, but in his budget he eliminates the Rural Physician Residency Assistance Program and deletes loan forgiveness programs for medics who agree to work in rural areas. He also cuts $25 million in Medicaid payments to most of the state’s 17 vital community health centers. 
Note: Republicans want to "block grant" Medicaid money so the federal strings (regulations) are cut forever, allowing states to make care almost impossible to get without drug tests, work requirements, reduced lifetime limits, and whatever hoop they can come up with next. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Dumb Ron Johnson describes Scott Walker…sorry, I meant Russ Feingold as a “career politician.” “He’s addicted to it,” and “simply run(s) for office to be somebody with a big title. We don’t need that.”

This isn't the first time Dumb Ron Johnson has bashed someone as a career politician, never grasping the idea that he could very well be describing Scott Walker. Seriously, see for yourself:
Johnson said it wasn't surprising Feingold had gotten into the race 18 months before the
"Russ Feingold is a career politician. He's addicted to it. He just can't stand being away from it, and so he's just got to announce."

"Russ Feingold ...what did he do? He built government. He built it larger and more intrusive. What we do not need are career politicians that simply run for office to be somebody with a big title. We don't need that."
Thank you Ron, we'll all keep that in mind about Scott Walker. Oddly, the description fails to come close to Feingold's time as senator, and away from office as a professor at Stanford University in California.

Dumb Ron Johnson unknowingly criticized Rep. Paul Ryan back in February, bashing Feingold's welcome support of the stimulus package. Ryan didn't just vote for a stimulus once, he spent taxpayer money like a drunken sailor:  
(Ryan) had voted for the Bush stimulus, along with the Bush tax cuts, the Bush wars, the Bush security spending binge, the Bush prescription drug benefit, the Bush highway bill that included the Bridge to Nowhere, and the Bush bank bailout. Fiscal conservatism!
So Johnson's shot at Feingold sounds hollow, dumb even. And Johnson is back to his old tricks of passing absolute nonsense along as fact. That's why I gave him his name:
“With Russ Feingold plotting his return to power, it’s worth remembering that when he voted for the failed $830 billion stimulus...”
Forward Progress corrected Johnson's recollection of the past:
Amazing isn't it? Here we are, coming off the best economic year this country has experienced since the Clinton presidency, and Republicans continue to try to claim that the 2009 stimulus package was a failure. Not to mention that the stimulus didn't just help create jobs, it also aided in saving millions of jobs that might have been lost.
Speaking of nonsense, WISGOP has reared its ugly head with coordinated support for Johnson: