Monday, January 15, 2018

Republicans to allow Businesses to hire based on your Politics, Non-Religion, Prior Wage History...etc!!!

Scott Walker's recent ad campaign asking out-of-state young people to move to Wisconsin for jobs

"Don't Live in Wisconsin" ads? Since Democrats are in the minority, it's time the "left" fought back. We should have a well-funded group to run ads counter to the deceptive ones like Walker's. Yes, an anti-Wisconsin ad, where minimum wages are forced, benefits laughed at, mass transit discouraged, and protected class status wiped completely out so employers can mistreat and take advantage of your situation. Basically, tell the truth about the market here, and see how their policies help or hurt their state's economy.

Insulting "Equal Employment Standardization Act" does the Opposite:" I have to add to a previous blog post. Digging deeper in Rep. Chris Kapenga's big government Republican plan to establish a one-size-fits-all labor standard, it looks like employers will have the opportunity to bring back the kind of coercive serfdom they've been craving for decades.

...prohibit local municipalities from establishing and enforcing their own employment discrimination laws.The protected classes that would be eliminated include gender identity, non-religion, homelessness, source of income, lack of a social security number, physical appearance, political beliefs, student status, domestic partners, citizenship, unemployment status and credit history.
"Political beliefs?" Wow, I didn't expect that one, but then again, it does fit in with policies that only allow businesses in Wisconsin that fit into their narrow corporate agenda. Nothing overtly fascistic here.

Here again is a video showing a stumbling bumbling Kapenga struggle to explain his earlier purely ideological bill in Feb. 2014 to Dane County Executive Joe Parisi.


Remember, Republicans recently repealed and then rewrote a regulation that now allows 16 and 17-year-olds to work without a parents permission, while they're still in school.
Eliminated restrictions on 16- and 17-year-olds working more than 26 hours during a school week and more than 50 hours a week during vacations ... but they will not be permitted to join a union without a signed parental consent.

Democrats maintain the bill would allow children to make important life decisions that could adversely affect their educations — against their parents’ wishes.
And remember this:
Seven-day workweeks (are now) allowed and provisions for a "living wage" (were) struck from state statutes.  
Note, you this will also spread into Wisconsin someday, maybe tied in with work requirements for food stamps, BadgerCare, and unemployment:
" Georgia, thousands of unemployed people are working without a salary in “auditions” for paying gigs."
Getting back to the current bill...:
The city could not enforce employment discrimination in Madison. Between 70 and 80 percent of all cases the civil rights department receives are related to employment. By removing the city’s enforcement ability ... the state would need to absorb over 100 cases, which would likely take longer to investigate.
This is the GOP's plan to end American progress, terminating social and economic ideas that always start at the local level:
1. Create uniform regulations across the state for employment hours and benefits.

2. Give employers the right to ask for prospective employees’ salary histories.

3. Prohibit municipalities from setting a higher minimum wage than the state for contracted employees.

4. Set a statewide standard and prohibit local ordinances regarding wage claims.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Scott Walker: Unemployed are Worthless Human Beings, won't get Health Care without Work.

Why aren't the Democrats pummeling Scott Walker and Trump over their plan to make unemployed Americans work so they can get medical treatment under Medicaid? Media reports have never even brought up how absurd and cruel withholding health care is for any anyone including the unemployed.

What am I missing here? What part of the following upside down comment makes any sense?
Seema Verma, head of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (said), “Medicaid needs to be more flexible so that states can best address the needs of this population. Our fundamental goal is to make a positive and lasting difference in the health and wellness of our beneficiaries."
1. Health care is Not a Consumer Product, a Free Market Privilege: Republicans are absurdly saying you have to work for health care, which firmly establishes it in law as a reward for the deserving, and affirms it as a thing we can give or take away. Ever other industrialized country in the world believes that's just morally and ethically bankrupt, especially making a profit from the sick.

2. Opposite Day Everyday-a "Positive Difference in Wellness?" How can withholding treatment from someone not working, whose health took a bad turn, be a "positive goal" that "addresses the needs of this population?"

3. Not-so-Civilized Society: It means we've lost our humanity, and abandons once and for all our sense of responsibility to treat the sick.

4. Convoluted Big Government Bureaucratic Regulation: Imagine the paperwork, off and online application, uploading or mailing requirements, especially for those ill-equipped to deal with all or part of the complicated process. 

It's not about Saving Money, getting People Back to Work: As demonstrated by the Republican tax cut adding $2 trillion to the deficit, it's only about their cruel ideological agenda:
Critics say these moves will cost taxpayers more than they save, trigger costly lawsuits and fail to boost the state’s economy the way other investments might.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Big Government Republicans to wipe out Local control over Labor Standards, praising One-Size-Fits-All "consistency" and "stability."

Would you far, Republican voters believe, and they're willing to give up local control of their own communities for the ridiculous excuse that it offers "consistency" and "stability" to employee hours, benefits, wage and discrimination claims. What, you didn't know this was a big problem?
AP: A Republican bill would prevent local governments in Wisconsin from enacting a variety of ordinances pertaining to employment matters, including limits on working hours, overtime, benefits, and discrimination and wage claims ... the measure is needed to create statewide employment standards to provide consistency and stability both for employers and employees. 
Even though "Democrats and labor unions" oppose the one-size-fits-all attack on labor, this is really a slap at every working stiff in the state, and every employer trying to compete statewide and nationally.  

Republicans aren't hiding anything anymore; it's feel-good anti-worker conservativism, with the added benefit of killing off local control:
(Part of) a movement championed by Walker, who has built his reputation by effectively ending collective bargaining and enacting a right to work law. Since 2016, at least 15 states passed 28 such laws covering everything from barring higher local minimum wages to blocking more generous paid leave provisions, based on an August report from the Economic Policy Institute.
Walker's Ad Touting Work in Wisconsin...a Lie: Have you seen that Scott Walker ad campaign telling workers in other states how much different and better Wisconsin is? Nope, Wisconsin wants to be like every other low wage state. That's not all, Republicans think workers aren't too smart and are easily confused by the different local standards. And you won't believe the line of ideological word salad bullshit from the bill's lead sponsor State Sen. Chris Kapenga:
Kapenga said the restrictions were needed in the face of cities in other states enacting ordinances covering such things as wages, benefits and other issues that result in a patchwork of requirements creating confusion. Having a variety of different local requirements would make Wisconsin a less competitive and more costly state to do business, he said.

"We're talking about doing what's right for Wisconsin knowing what's happening around the country," Kapenga said.
Doing What's Right? Kapenga isn't the only self-righteous Republican:
Rep. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield: “There are certain values that the state upholds. If the values aren’t consistent at the local level, there is an opportunity for the state to come in and say these are our principles and they are good."
Put another, better way...: 
Stephanie Bloomingdale, secretary-treasurer for the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO: "This bill is about power, the power to overreach and tell citizens in their own communities that they don't know what's best for them."
MUST SEE VIDEO: Check out this debate between Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and Chis Kapenga from Feb. 21, 2014, when Kapenga first came up with this statewide idea after the Milwaukee County Board brought up a living wage ordinance.  One guy is intellectually honest, the other struggles to make any sense. From WKOW:

Blatant Kapenga Conflict of Interest? Get this, Rep. Chris Kapenga is CEO of Integrated Time Systems, and originally wrote a similar law to protect his own company in Brookfield:
"My company is in Milwaukee and the second I saw the news story come out that there may be an ordinance put in place, I started working on this," said Rep. Kapenga, who owns a computer software business.
Here's what this amazing Republican bill does, supported by the usual list of big monied special interests, like Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce ... the conservative group Americans for Prosperity, and groups representing independent businesses, restaurants, the tourism industry, hotels and staffing services:
1. Prohibit local governments from setting higher wages in deals with contractors.

2. Prohibit labor peace agreements, which are deals in which employers agree not to resist a union's organizing attempts

3. Bar the enforcement of licensing regulations that are stricter than state's standard

4. Forbid the enactment or enforcement of employment discrimination standards.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Scott Walker's Paul Soglin Panic Attack!!!

Scott Walker's lack of ammunition against his Democratic opponents for governor is the real shocker.

As Madison Mayor Paul Soglin inched closer to making his announcement to run, Walker spewed an almost laughable and desperate tweet storm Jan. 4th (6 days ago Politifact):

And just today, Walker bashed Madison all the while promoting it: 

Soglin's successful management of Madison, it's incredibly low unemployment rate, the fact that it's always on the lists of best cities stand in stark contrast to Walker's reign as Milwaukee County Executive. He nearly bankrupted and broke up the county government. Here's what I wrote in a post from 2015...

...In 2009, when Walker decided to run for governor, he claimed the problems in Milwaukee were caused by "poor policies" from...guess who, Democratic Governor Jim Doyle. But now as governor, it can't be Walker's fault? Check out this video from Upfront with Mike Gousha, that also includes his push for "shrinking" wages. You read that right:
Walker: (On doing away with more state jobs) "Yes...we're going to have to look at shrinking the size of government, we're going to have to look at shrinking more importantly, the size of wages and benefits..."

Oh, it gets worse...:

Remember, this all happened under Walker's watch back in May, 2009. Even then nothing was ever his fault:
Mike Gousha: "There are going to be people who say look, Milwaukee county has the highest poverty rate in the state, we're losing jobs in the city of Milwaukee, your largest municipality at a rate almost unmatched by any other big city. Do you share any responsibility for that?"

Walker: "Everybody does, but the state of Wisconsin has done specific things, policy wise, that have effected jobs here...if you look at the tax increases of $1.2 billion of new taxes..."

Mike Gousha"Do you think you bare any of the responsibility for the numbers I just mentioned for the poverty rate, for the lack of employment right now in this community?"

Walker: "No, for us that's been an issue for years...politicians don't create jobs or eliminate jobs...!"
Walker never made the situation better in Milwaukee as governor. Walker as county executive actually agreed to dissolve the county, admitting that it was essentially bankrupt. From the Journal Sentinel's Dan Bice:
jsonline: Milwaukee County government is in such dire financial shape that state lawmakers should push through legislation that would allow it and other local governments to file for bankruptcy … the powerful Greater Milwaukee Committee is looking to recommend doing away with the elected county executive's post, slicing county worker benefits and spinning off the zoo, the bus system, the parks and much else under separate commissions.

(The Greater Milwaukee Committee tried to hide their report, saying) "We don't want this to become some sort of political football during the fall election campaigns ... If these dramatic steps - or something like them - aren't taken county government will collapse," the draft report suggests.
With Walker in charge....
The report also puts it this way: "If we don't make changes today … Parks will close, bus routes will end and families in distress will not get the help they need. Our Milwaukee will grow smaller and smaller as people and companies leave."
Here's one of my favorite cartoons that should have been taken more seriously:

Kinda liked these too...

Wisconsin Republicans want to eliminate all of Wisconsin’s state air pollution regulations! They really do!!!

Seriously, I nearly spit out my coffee this morning when I heard the WPR headline below...

Under the proposal, the state Department of Natural Resources would have the option to reintroduce those regulations.
Optional? What's the big deal? One of the Senates most backward and clueless Republican legislators ever, Sen. Duey Stroebel, said this in the most nonchalant way...
"All we're asking is that our scientists at the DNR just take a look at all the things that they regulate above and beyond the EPA, and make sure that it still makes sense," said Sen. Duey Stroebel, R-Saukville, one of the bill’s sponsors. "If it does, we'll regulate it. If it doesn't, based upon what the scientists say, we won't." Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute support the bill.
So what's not to like? Yup, it'll be just that easy to reinstate a regulation if our anti-science Republican legislature and depleted DNR staff think we've made a balanced decision weighing the unfair cost to business against the remotely possible environmental benefits. What's the beef?

At least we'll always have the EPA standards as a backup...?

Republicans Roll Back Environmental Protections in Wisconsin at the same time EPA Rolling Back Everything Else: Just by coincidence, this coal industry story hit the fan:
EPA's Rick Perry and Murray Hug!
The Trump administration is rolling back regulations on coal-fired power plants.

A memo written by Robert E. Murray, a longtime Trump supporter who donated $300,000 to the president’s inauguration (and) the head of Murray Energy, presented Mr. Trump with a wish list of environmental rollbacks just weeks after the inauguration ... the White House has completed or are on track to fulfill most of the 14 detailed requests:
1. Ending regulations on greenhouse gas emissions and ozone and mine safety

2. Cutting the staff of the Environmental Protection Agency “at least in half.” 

3. Overhauling the Labor Department’s office of mine safety.
Here's a look at Murray's list to Trump:

Republicans are in Charge, but not Control (of themselves): None of this is new, as you can see at this link where Paul Ryan has been passing this kind of environmental trash out of the House for years. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Scott Walker's Rural Schools Bribe...and Tax Increase.

There's something very odd about Scott Walker's sudden change of heart about funding many of Wisconsin's troubled rural school districts. For instance, how easy would it be for Scott Walker to simply bribe rural voters with more school funding?

Walker Rescues Rural Public Schools from Himself: Afterall, it was Walker's policies in the first place that hurt rural schools. Now it requires Walker's phony act of heroics during an election year to save them? Prior to this, Walker had a national reputation:

Or this from 2012...

Analysis here!
And Walker still thinks you won't remember;

Walker's Rural Hail Mary: Scott Walker's desperate attempt to steal away a Democratic idea that was oddly supported by a majority of Republicans still doesn't change the fact that he vetoed the same idea in the last budget. Walker's new con pares down the chances that some districts can use it for years...:
The governor vetoed a provision of the state budget that would have allowed low-spending districts to raise property taxes without a referendum vote. The bill would allow revenue-limit increase if there hasn't been a failed referendum vote within the past three years.
Rep. John Nygren made it clear that those big spending responsible school districts who made education their top priority weren't "frugal," like all those other tightwad districts that didn't care or make the effort. Nygren tipped his hand-press release:
"Historically, these districts are frugal, low-spending districts who have been locked into spending limits for over 20 years ... these districts must play on an unlevel playing field, competing with higher spending districts."
Cry me a river. So now that Walker has put Wisconsin taxpayers on the hook for Foxconn, he's furiously trying to undo years of cuts. The following analysis got Walker's backhand as nothing but partisan whining...not so much anymore:
Wisconsin does poorly on all measures:
  • Wisconsin spent 11.9 percent less per student in the 2011 fiscal year than in the pre-recession 2008 fiscal year. That ranks eighth worst. South Carolina, Arizona, and California were the three worst.
  • Per-student spending for 2012 is $776 less than in pre-recession 2008, ranking us fourth worst.
  • Wisconsin cut per-student spending by 10 percent -- third worst -- from fiscal year 2011 to fiscal year 2012. Only Illinois and Texas are worse.
This isn't OK for kids because it translates into:
When we should be talking about the educational opportunities needed to succeed, we are instead locked into destructive and ineffective arguments about short-term budget fixes and divisive political battles that are hurting our kids, their schools, and their communities.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Scott Walker's localized version of Disaster-like Capitalism continues to payoff.

This is just a quick post about something I'm still trying to sort through... 

Writer Naomi Klien calls it "disaster capitalism," the free market exploitation of a disaster or problem. Trump and Scott Walker are relentlessly pushing this idea in big ways. Here's a past example under Bush:
Hurricane Katrina and other catastrophic events: The exploitation of crises for corporate gain, often under the guise of relief or reconstruction efforts. A list of "Pro-Free-Market Ideas for Responding to Hurricane Katrina and High Gas Prices," by Vice President Mike Pence; "make the entire affected area a flat tax free-enterprise zone," "give school-choice vouchers for displaced children," and "make the entire region an economic competitiveness zone (comprehensive tax incentives and waiving of regulations)."
Public Education Disaster? Scott Walker's use of disaster capitalism plays off his own major ideologically driven policy disasters, like education. Walker first drummed up support by making things worse with Act 10...vilifying teachers as union thugs who indoctrinate kids with their liberal agendas:
Walker cut $782 million from public schools.  
Even though Wisconsin is in the top 12 for overall state grades and 9th in K-12 Achievement, Republicans have convinced their voting base our public schools have been a failure. Walker purged the system of costly experienced teachers, introduced free-market bidding wars for instructors, ignored school funding reform, expanded voucher and charter schools, and forced school districts to pass funding referendums. Running again for governor, he's now increased spending on schools, after creating educational shortfalls:
...state aid is the highest ever in raw dollars, but adjusted for inflation remains below levels more than a decade ago. 
State Parks Funding Disaster: Walker did the same to our state parks, by first cutting taxpayer funding, and then coming to the rescue with free-market user fees that aren't keeping up with maintenance, pricing lower to middle income Wisconsinites out. And fees are going up. Trump is doing the same thing with our national parks with even bigger increases. Can you afford to see and enjoy your own country? Now that's freedom:
In the 10 months since Ryan Zinke took the reins at the U.S. Department of Interior, he has proposed more than doubling summer entrance fees at Yellowstone, Glacier and other popular national parks to $70 per carload. Lest the thrifty or those on a tight budget try to plan around such a price increase, under Zinke’s leadership, the National Park Service reduced the number of free park admission days to four for 2018 — down from 16 free days in 2016 and 10 in 2017.
Lincoln Hills Disaster: Walker decided to close the states budget deficit by consolidating the juvenile prison system, cutting 292 full-time jobs.
Then-Racine County Circuit Judge Richard Kreul sent a memo directly to Walker on Feb. 10, 2012, said he had been shocked when the state closed a separate youth facility, Ethan Allen School in Wales, in 2011 and instead sent all young offenders to a single institution, Lincoln Hills. "My experience with the administration at Wales was 100% better than my experience with the administration at Lincoln Hills," he said. 
We have yet to see how Walker will turn this into another money making opportunity. Still, what Walker is proposing is just another hail mary his legislature most likely won't approve of or have the money for. It's just an idea that may not panned out:

Walker unveiled an $80 million plan to turn Lincoln Hills School for Boys in northern Wisconsin into an adult facility and transfer the population at the embattled detention center to five regional teen prisons, three in southeastern Wisconsin, in 2019. But it will still take years — and political skill — to pass the legislation, acquire the land, build these new prisons and create programming for them that gets better results for inmates and the public. In the meantime, Walker will still face questions about past problems at Lincoln Hills — and potentially new ones that might develop in the meantime.

State Rep. Cindi Duchow has said Ethan Allen, the 140-acre former correctional facility, off Highway 83 just north of Wales, is so contaminated with asbestos, lead paint and mold that it is unsafe and cannot be economically repaired.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Wisconsin in top 10! For those Moving Out.

I couldn't pass up a chance to embed the following map showing population outbound and inbound states (according to United Van Lines):

It really was about a National Voter Photo ID!!!

Was Trump trying to justify a nationwide requirement for photo ID? Was that the point of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Election Integrity? Of course it was, and Kansas' Secretary of State and Vice-chairman Kris Kobach the best man to make it happen. Real "states rights" and "small government-like," right? 

But when Trump dissolved the committee, he and Kobach spewed completely different answers. Why did they lie, and what are they trying to hide?

It's NOT about Photo ID? Well, that's what Kris Kobach told NPR's Robert Siegel:
SIEGEL: Do you think that's entirely about stubbornness on the Democratic - on the left side of this? There are people who think that the right to vote is so vitally important that requiring somebody to have a state, you know, photo ID or something is compromising one of the most basic democratic right. They have a different point of view. You couldn't reach some kind of compromise with them about these things?

KOBACH: Well, the commission wasn't even opining on the subject of photo ID. So that wasn't even on the - that wasn't even a topic of discussion at any of the meetings.

SIEGEL: I think your critics felt it was all leading in that direction, and that you've characterized...

KOBACH: Well...

SIEGEL: ...What should be the outcome (unintelligible).

KOBACH: The critics were making a bizarre and frankly idiotic argument. They were claiming that by looking at the issue of voter fraud, that was going to cause state legislatures to pass laws that would, in their view, make voting more difficult. And in their view, that would include photo ID. Well, that's ridiculous.
Trump says it was about Photo ID!!! Now here's what Trump officially said twice, in two consecutive tweets, contradicting Kobach:

Again, the simple truth behind Republican efforts to put as many hurdles in front of voters as they possibly can, like union membership, food stamps and unemployment, is to suppress voter participation: Here's a quick summary:

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Walker and WMC backs increased Ozone Pollution, so Businesses can grow.

Ozone is bad for your health. There's a chance of premature deaths due to cancer and respiratory disease, Alzheimer's, the risk of certain birth defects, and low birth weights. But so what, say Republicans and Wisconsin Manufacturing and Commerce, who put more value on brick and mortar businesses. You and me, we won't be missed for long.

As Republicans erase all evidence Obama was ever president, there is still one EPA regulation that won't be tolerated:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to put more Wisconsin counties under tighter emission limits for ozone pollution. Bill Davis, of the Madison-based John Muir Chapter of the Sierra Club, "We've been tracking ozone for a long time ... it actually has more significant health impacts than we had first thought."

The state's largest business group, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, contends the EPA plan would "imperil" manufacturing growth.
WMC is worried about imperiling manufacturing growth, and not imperiling human growth?
WMC's general counsel and director of environmental and energy policy, Lucas Vebber, released the following statement: 
"What we are seeing here is the failed regulatory agenda of the Obama-era EPA continuing to attack Wisconsin businesses. At a time when Wisconsin's air quality is the cleanest it has been in decades, EPA is seeking to hold Wisconsin residents and businesses accountable for polluters in other states and even other countries. Business growth in east and southeast Wisconsin will be greatly impacted by this decision. We need our federal representatives to step up and fight back against this Zombie Obama-EPA regulatory agenda and restore common sense to air permitting."
Zombie Obama-EPA Regulations fly in the face of "common sense?" Business growth? Attack on business? Again, what about us, we the people and our government, protecting us?
Ground-level ozonesulfur dioxidenitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide are especially harmful for senior citizens, children, and people with heart and lung conditions such as emphysemabronchitis, and asthma. It can inflame breathing passages, decrease the lungs' working capacity, cause shortness of breath, pain when inhaling deeply, wheezing, and coughing. It can cause eye and nose irritation and it dries out the protective membranes of the nose and throat and interferes with the body's ability to fight infection, increasing susceptibility to illness. Hospital admissions and respiratory deaths often increase during periods when ozone levels are high.
Any question who the current Republican "government" is protecting? Sure ain't the voters. 

To Save Reelection, Walker closes Lincoln Hills after ignoring Problem for Years. Plan Oddly Similar to Dems.

Scott Walker's closing of the Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls (finally turning it into a prison for adults), does not suddenly make the horror of the facility disappear from our memories or wipe away his total failure to act during non-election years.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Walker's been planning this for "about a year?" Wow, not one word to anyone about it, no leaks, but continued fumbling of the Lincoln Hills ball? What a secret. Oh, but only if he's reelected, and only if he can get funding for it in the next budget two years from now?
If Walker wins re-election, he plans to include in the next state budget at least $80 million for the construction of six new juvenile correctional facilities for up to three dozen inmates each. Lawmakers would need to approve the plan.
From October 30, 2017:

Democrats Have Plan...and still do, after many years!!! Here's their surprised reaction:

Walker's Labor Shortage Incentive Panic Attack!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Former Corrections Sec. Wall on Walker: "Suddenly there was a bravado...this feeling of entitlement and it felt almost like revenge."

I think former Corrections Secretary Ed Wall said it best about Scott Walker and his band of plundering Republican pirates when they overthrew the government. WKOW-TV:
Wall: "Suddenly there was a bravado amongst people, and this feeling of entitlement,  and it almost felt like revenge. And they were going to make big bold changes and they didn't care if anyone agreed.

Revenge-Entitlement: So it's not hard to imagine Republicans ignoring 100,000 Wisconsinites protesting and the more than 1 million signatures to recall Scott Walker. The Republican majority was hell-bent on pushing through their no-compromise ideologically driven policies, so it was pretty damn obvious "entitlement" ruled the day.

Ed Wall is now putting the finishing touches on a book dealing with his experience as Secretary of Corrections, and it confirms everything we ever thought about Walker's handling of it, and just how bad his bumbling lackey in the AG office is, Brad Schimel:

Gov. Scott Walker’s former corrections secretary said the attorney general had “completely botched” a probe into abuses at Wisconsin’s teen prison by failing to review incident reports or check medical records after months of investigation. Former Corrections Secretary Ed Wall said Attorney General Brad Schimel passed off the investigation to the FBI a year after it began as a “Hail Mary pass” to “get it out of their lap.” Wall also contended Walker had not taken problems at Lincoln Hills School for Boys seriously enough, saying the matter had been “shuffled off by the governor’s office.”
Retaliation? Isn't it funny how all criticism aimed at Republicans, from Scott Walker, Brad Schimel, to's all just sour grapes and retaliation? Who knew Republicans were infallible?
A spokesman for the GOP attorney general on Tuesday contended Wall was attempting to "retaliate" against Schimel with "misinformation" but did not answer whether Wall's claims that investigators failed to review medical records were true.
AG Schimel's only talent is kissing up to Walker, and he's really good at that, but he sure doesn't know how to do an investigation or solve important legal problems:
Wall said he found out in November 2015 that Department of Justice investigators had not gathered medical records or prison reports about incidents in which teen inmates said their arms had been broken by staff. Wall expressed alarm that investigators had not taken those basic steps to try to verify the claims."What’s more important than (investigating) hurting kids?" Wall said during his WKOW interview.
It's all Wall's fault: Isn't it always someone else's fault, the "other," the immigrant, the Democrats, those liberals, minorities...never a whiny Republicans fault. But wait, Lincoln Hills is still a Wall is still at fault too?
Schimel spokesman Johnny Koremenos (said) "Unfortunately, in a sad attempt to retaliate, Wall is peddling misinformation to distract from his failure as secretary of the Department of Corrections..."
...and I loved this:
"...the fact that law enforcement needed to be brought in to conduct a criminal investigation into the institutions that he was responsible to oversee," Koremenos said in his statement.
Remember when Wall said "Schimel passed off the investigation to the FBI a year after it began as a 'Hail Mary pass' to 'get it out of their lap.'” Why did Schimel end the investigation? Scott Walker conveniently and deliberately eliminated it, and has since not paid a price for Lincoln Hills:
The state John Doe probe of Wisconsin's juvenile prison ended Monday under a law Gov. Scott Walker signed last year limiting how such investigations can be conducted. The John Doe probe of Lincoln Hills would hit the six-month mark on Friday. Attorney General Brad Schimel and Lincoln County District Attorney Don Dunphy did not seek an extension, and Russell closed the John Doe probe, saying the state had asked to end it.
You can't make this stuff up. Here's the full interview:

Wall still might have to explain this...
CCI staff have often said that when concerns about safety and security are brought up to management, the response from Warden Mike Dittman and DOC Secretary Edward Wall is “there are 1,000 people in line to take your job.” In one meeting with legislators in October, Wall reportedly responded to a comment that more staff would be leaving in the next year by saying, “I don’t care. Let them go.”
Jakes Economic TA Funhouse posted a story about how Walker's Act 10 brought about the problems at Lincoln Hills, which is another reason why Walker's steered clear of whole mess. First...:

Lincoln Hills- even worse than you thought. And definitely a Walker failure. Nov. 12, 2017 (6,570 pageviews).

Walker's Foxconn Debacle Good, Dem. Gov. Cooper's North Carolina Triangle Tyre Deal Bad?

How deep is the bullshit Scott Walker and the Republicans have been spreading in the media about their "once-in-a-lifetime" Foxconn deal? Neck deep, and we can thank North Carolina Republicans for exposing the lie.

Let's get a few things straight: Democrats have never been against a few job-creating corporate handouts. But nothing can compare to Scott Walker's "eggs in one basket" Foxconn debacle. It's also true Democrats don't like outright giveaways, like corporate tax cuts, with no promise of jobs.

Opposite Day, Everyday in North Carolina: This is the scenario playing out right now in North Carolina that's strangely the reverse of Wisconsin's Foxconn deal:
“The Jobs Governor” Roy Cooper ended his first year in office with a flurry of job announcements in December that featured at least 10 projects, including what he touted as the largest investment by a manufacturer ever in rural North Carolina ... corporate incentives in exchange for those promised jobs. No company gets tax credits if it doesn’t meet specific criteria.

He faces criticism from Republicans (who) say the jobs created in recent years are a result of lowering the tax rate on businesses ... criticize Cooper as a hypocrite for decrying cuts to business taxes as “corporate giveaways” while offering incentives to select companies that move here.
Republican Gov. Walker Good, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper Bad: Benchmarked job creating "corporate giveaway" vs Foxconn sellout + Republican-backed freeloading tax cuts.
Gov. Cooper said, “We can make targeted, accountable incentives for the creation of jobs. This makes sure that the incentives that you give to companies directly result in good-paying jobs for our people. And that’s a lot different than just across-the-board giveaways to corporations and the wealthy at the expense of education and tax cuts for the middle class, particularly with no guarantee that they’ll bring good-paying jobs to our state.”
But wait, they're criticizing a "corporate giveaway" offering incentives in North Carolina to Triangle Tyre while Scott Walker in Wisconsin is praised up and down for handing out "the biggest incentive packages ever promised a company to locate a plant in the United States." Oddly, Americans for Prosperity has decided to bash the Democratic governor of North Carolina for handing out a dramatically smaller amount of incentives than their favorite ass kisser in Wisconsin, Scott Walker. Hypocrites much? 
Americans for Prosperity and its branch aimed at young people, Generation Opportunity, launched digital media campaign “Reverse Robin Hood Cooper, that slam Cooper for offering “corporate welfare,” saying the state should stop offering incentives altogether because it’s an unfair use of taxpayer dollars. The organizations, which have received funding from groups linked to the Koch brothers.
It stuns the senses, doesn't it? Why no ads bashing Scott Walker? Even more bizarre, Republicans have the balls to repeat what Democrats have been saying for years, without any irony:
SpokeswomanAnna Beavon Gravely said, “We (millennials) are a generation very concerned with fairness and equality, and that same feeling applies to incentives. Corporate welfare is taxpayer money being given to rich businesses which takes away from people who are struggling to make it.
BAD NEWS for Walker's Foxconn mess: Looking back, how did similar "corporate giveaways" work out before in North Carolina?
Do incentives work? A 2015 review of incentives by WRAL found that for incentive projects announced from 2009 to 2012 (when Democrat Bev Perdue was governor) most of the jobs had failed to materialize.

Josh Bivens, Economic Policy Institute’s research director said the costs of corporate taxes pale in comparison to many other location-specific factors such as qualified workers, proximity to customers, and quality public services. “States would be better-served spending the money they use ‘smokestack chasing’ to making public investments – particularly investments in early childhood education.”
Which makes the outrageously costly Foxconn deal even worse than imagined, regardless of the amount of promised jobs:
1. The $3 billion incentive package used to lure Foxconn to Wisconsin to build a giant factory was only the beginning.

2. An additional cost is a $6.8 million advertising campaign to woo workers from out of state to work in Wisconsin, including at the new plant.

3. The Village of Mount Pleasant and Racine County have also agreed to provide $764 million in tax incentives to help get the facility constructed, including buying the land and giving it to Foxconn for free. The measure also commits the state to paying 40 percent of local governments’ expenses for the plant “if ever called upon to do so.”

4. The state expects to spend about $400 million on road improvements, including adding two lanes to the nearby Interstate 94. And it's seeking $246 million more in federal money to help pay for the interstate expansion.

5. In addition, the local electric utility is upgrading its lines and adding substations to provide the necessary power that will be used by the plant, at a cost of $140 million. The cost of those projects will be paid by 5 million customers in the area.

6. While the state touts Foxconn's plans for 13,000 workers, the company has only committed to hiring 3,000 at this point.

7. And, according to Wisconsin's estimates, it will take until at least 2043 for the state to recoup that lost tax revenue ... the total cost is nearly $4.1 billion, to get a $9 billion plant. That’s astounding: a cost of $1,774 per household in Wisconsin.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Where did our tax cut savings go...?

2018 resolution? Stop trying to change Trump Voters Minds, assuming they have one.

I've finally turned the page; Trump worshipers won't budge, so why try to reason with em!  

My conservative friend in Milwaukee is a living breathing Trump playback machine, sending carefully crafted slogans and message pictures via text and tweets. It's an easy way to not have to think. I sent him Trump's contradictory statements, but he just dug in deeper, saying I was wasting my time, he wasn't going to change his mind.

He's right. We can't change Trumplovian in-the-tankers. That's one major effort I'm giving up for 2018 (I won't stop documenting this historic disaster though).

The Washington Post piece below makes the case beautifully. And no, there's no real way to fight it. While the article suggests the best defense is letting Trumpsters know you care, I say don't even try.

Here are some highlights that perfectly describes a Trumpster. Warning, it's really depressing:
Everything he’s done in the White House is more of the same: An enemy (the unpatriotic minorities, the lying liberal media, anyone not part of his Manichaean vision) is being cartooned, blamed for all of society’s evils and offered in sacrifice as a scapegoat to the United States’ problems. The purported solution is still simple: Shame them, silence them, build a wall around them. The basic premise that the restoration of the country lies in the destruction of its enemies remains.

His supporters are convinced that you are to blame. Until you can convince them otherwise, they will cheer him on. The name of the game is polarization, and the rookie mistake is to forget you are the enemy. like all populists, Trump offers a much different deal — “Vote for me: I will destroy your enemies. They are the reason you are not rich/have less rights/America is not great anymore.” 

Scandal is the populist’s natural element for the same reason that demolishing buildings makes more noise than constructing them. His supporters didn’t vote for silence. They voted for a bang. When Trump’s aides are indicted, but Hillary Clinton isn’t, the probe serves as proof that the system is corrupt. Or when the Muslim travel ban is not enforced, it means the “Deep State” is plotting some sort of coup.

That’s how populism works. As long as Trump is still swinging back, scandals help him to polarize the country further. The scorn of his adversaries, in the eyes of his supporters, proves that he’s doing exactly what they voted him for to do: dismantling a rigged system that they believe destroyed their hopes.

What did you ever do to these people to deserve their hate? What can possibly be going on? How can they, for example, make sense of so many former Goldman Sachs men in the Trump Cabinet? Weren’t the bankers supposed to be the enemy? Not to mention Russia? Sheer outrage at the president’s scandals is pointless. 

When directed at Trump, your anger gives him rhetorical ammunition to point toward his besiegers (“We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me)”) or to bolster his claims to be fighting for his base (“Drain the Swamp should be changed to Drain the Sewer — it’s actually much worse than anyone ever thought, and it begins with the Fake News!”). But worse still is directing your anger at his supporters. 
I disagree with the last line, but like guitarist Joe Walsh said once, "You can't argue with a sick mind." I'm done trying.

Republicans believe no one really deserves the safety nets, and life saving health care.

Scott Walker, like all the other hardcore conservative believers, insists the safety net programs will always be there for those who truly need them. Not true, yet they've been allowed to peddle that myth. Not anymore, now that we know there's no excuse for take money from other hard-working Americans.

Trump's icy budget director Mick Mulvaney finally made it clear that Republicans don't really see anyone as truly needy:
Tea Party tightwad who voted
for Deficit Busting Tax Cuts
White House says diabetics don’t deserve health insurance: (Mulvaney) specifically called out people suffering from diabetes as a group of Americans who do not deserve the protection of health insurance. 

He was asked if families should be denied medical care because they can’t afford it, a standard Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) had termed “the Jimmy Kimmel test.” Mulvaney said he believed in helping to provide “a safety net so that if you get cancer you don’t end up broke. That doesn’t mean we should take care of the person who sits at home, eats poorly and gets diabetes."

As of 2014, 29.1 million Americans suffer from diabetes, which is about 9.3 percent of the population.

Under Mulvaney’s standard, an examination of their eating habits and how their disease was triggered would have to be undertaken before it could be determined whether they are deserving of health insurance or not. In the meantime, people will suffer and possibly die from their illness. The system championed by Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and the Republican Party would upend that safety net in order to justify their sanctimonious attitude.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Republicans intentionally increased Uninsured to pay for Tax Cuts!!!

Humpty Dumptyism: The act or practice of misusing or misinterpreting a word, phrase, or article of text to suit one's own meaning or purpose.

And so it is with the Republicans repeal of the ACA mandate, which provides the needed cash to help provide massive cuts to the wealthy and corporate "persons." Take a look at the size of what could have been added to the nation's debt over 10 years before the $1.5 trillion compromise:
Sen. Patrick J. Toomey’s (R-Pa.) handout ... added up to more than $2.5 trillion over a decade. (Repealing the ACA mandate) would generate revenue that would solve major budgetary issues … the Joint Committee on Taxation implied that low-income Americans would be subject to drastic tax increases
Here's where Toomey’s Humpty Dumptyism springs into action…it’s not a tax increase if Americans decide not to have health insurance. What a choice, and what an effort to increase the number of uninsured:
Toomey: “This is absolutely not a tax increase, and you guys know that,” he bellowed at Democrats. “It is not a tax increase if a person decides they don’t want to buy an Obamacare plan and, as a result, we don’t send a payment to an insurance company.”
NOTE: I thought this also exemplified the GOP's irresponsible tax cut behavior beyond a reasonable doubt:
GOP played a strong game of kick the can: Republicans avoided the most pressing problems by repeated can-kicking.
1. They failed to fund the governmen, punting a decision into January.

2. They let the vital, popular and bipartisan-supported children’s health-care program known as CHIP lapse, promising to take that up next year as well.

3. Republicans delayed an agreement to raise the nation’s debt limit until early spring.

4. Republicans also kicked the can when they failed to make individual tax cuts permanent. Instead, benefits to the middle class will expire in 2025, letting a future Congress handle that issue.

5. By reforming taxes in a way that increased the deficit, Republicans put future Congresses in a difficult position if an economic downturn requires new fiscal stimulus. Increasing debt levels and interest rates complicate an inevitable reckoning over national finances.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

GOP's Old Reaganesque Tax Cut Economy Fading Away...

While Republicans celebrate the passage of their creeky old 80's Reaganesque agenda that's leaving everyone behind, the new internet/high tech economy is moving past their "forgotten" voting base. The following story is subscription only, but you can get the idea...:

ROXOBEL, N.C.—Danielle Baker wanted a $324,000 loan last year to expand the peanut-processing business she ran from the family farm. She had a longstanding relationship with the Roxobel branch of Southern Bank, and she thought Southern would help fund the peanut operation she had spun off, too. But that branch—the town’s only bank—closed in 2014. A Southern banker based in Ahoskie, 19 miles away, said Bakers’ Southern Traditions Peanuts Inc. was too small and specialized. A PNC bank branch also turned her down.
Instead of bringing high-speed broadband to every nook and cranny of the US, funding debt-free colleges, and taking the expensive health insurance burden off American employers, Republicans can't get past their simple tax cut madness. We can't take care of a simple thing like helping Wisconsinites live longer:

Anyone else getting a little war-on-drugs deja vu over the opioid epidemic?

Bonus Ploy: After the GOP's tax cut made the richest companies even richer, we were treated to stories about year-end bonuses of $1000. But wait, this one-time smokescreen simply hid the old economies job losses, pushed by the GOP's tax cut:
1. AT&T will layoff and fire more than a thousand workers starting early next year ... Across the Midwest, an estimated 600 workers were notified they were being laid off by the company on December 16, a week before the company announced it was doling out $1,000 bonuses to 200,000 of its employees in celebration of the Republican Party’s tax overhaul. 

2. The announcement comes days after the New York Post reported that the company "pink-slipped more than 700 DirecTV home installers." 

3. On Friday, the Post also reported that AT&T has recently laid off "215 high-skilled technician jobs in nine Southern states" and plans to fire nearly 700 workers in Texas and Missouri beginning in February.

4. Last year, senior executives at AT&T told The New York Times that "shrinking the [company's] workforce by 30 percent is not out of the question." The Justice Department sued AT&T in November in an attempt to block its acquisition of Time Warner. Soon after the company announced it would give $200 million worth of bonuses, President Donald Trump praised the move as an indicator of how the tax bill could benefit American workers.
Companies Expanding Too, Thanks to Taxpayers?: It's great to see new jobs cropping up throughout Wisconsin as well, but with the help of working Wisconsin taxpayers. Again, this is what passes for the "free market." Yet Wisconsin in last for the 3rd year in a row in job-creating new startup companies...that's the new economy ignored by Walker:

JS: Global sales of cheese, sausage, gummy bears, generators and factory equipment are some of the drivers behind the latest Wisconsin business expansions, new data from the state's economic development agency shows. Fifty projects eligible for state tax credits in 2017 represent $11.7 billion in investments and thousands of new jobs, according to Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. But one big project — the Foxconn Technology Group factory planned for Mount Pleasant — makes up $10 billion of that amount. 

Foxconn aside, what's left are $1.7 billion in expansion projects and about $114 million in WEDC tax credits.
Click to enlarge the list, to see how much WEDC is giving away or loaning. Again, not all funding is bad, but still, some of it's out of control. Where's the magic of this mythical free market we hear so much about? Notice how some companies are simply "retaining" jobs here.