Monday, May 21, 2018

Wisconsin Dairy Farmers abandoned by our every Republican; Sensenbrenner, Duffy, Grothman, and Gallagher!!!

Remember this jerkwad Republican fiasco...

Republican Lobbyist wants to ditch "America's Dairyland" on our License Plate, a tradition since 1940 : Rural conservative farmers, are you getting it finally that your party has ditched you for Foxconn?

We've been America's Dairyland — at least on license plates — for 77 years. Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce President Kurt Bauer told a group Monday that it might be time to rethink the dairy-flavored license plate slogan. Bauer says that other slogans like 'Forward' might be more appropriate to modernize perceptions of the state's economy, rather than just focusing on agriculture.
Dairy Farm Labor Shortage Ignored by House Republicans Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Duffy, and Gallegher: Paul Ryan won't bring up the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, so many frustrated Republicans are trying to force a vote. Here are the GOP states on board:

Oh, did you notice every one of our dairy state Republicans in Wisconsin did nothing? Rural dairy farm voters, take note, they're not fighting for you.

Rogues Gallery
Michigan is seriously trying to help dairy farmers in stay in business:
Republican Rep. Fred Upton, for instance, represents a farm-heavy district in southwest Michigan where apple growers, asparagus harvesters and dairy farmers all rely on immigrant labor. Trips around the district routinely mean talking to farmers who fret over the potential loss of their workforce and constituents who are living in legal limbo.

Just this month, Upton said, he met a father of two who is married to an American and rides a bike to work because he doesn’t have a driver’s license. “He’s scared to death he is going to be picked up for whatever and sent someplace else, and it is frightening,” Upton said. “You sit down with these folks, and, I mean, people cry.”
Or New York Republican Chris Collins...
Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) stands apart from the other signers in many ways: He occupies a safe Republican seat and was among Trump’s earliest supporters in Congress. But his western New York district is home to hundreds of dairy farms that rely on immigrant labor.

“Right now, my dairy farmers are saying to Republicans: You’ve got the House, the Senate, the White House, and you’ve got to give us a legal workforce, and I agree with that,” he said. Collins, who favors a conservative immigration bill that would set up an agricultural guest worker program, acknowledged that the House may never be able to pass a bill. 
No effort at all by America's Dairyland representatives!!! They can't even muster up the effort to make it appear they're interested like Rep. Collins suggested:
“But then those of us can go home and say we did our best,” he added. “I fought for you and I’m willing to go against leadership to fight for you, and that’s all you can expect out of me.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Trump unleashes the real Republican agenda!

Wow, I would not have thought any of the following examples of extremism was possible, but I was wrong.

And oh yeh, they want our unconditional love and respect?

1. Not the Right Time, don't Politicize Mass Shootings? It's a common refrain you hear Republican say all the time, but where are the critics now, and why didn't this get any real coverage. This speaks volumes about the conservative mindset on guns:
CNN is reporting as many as eight people have been murdered at Sante Fe High School in Texas ... With students still being screened on the lawn of the high school, with eight of their peers and/or teachers deceased, at least one Trump supporter decided this was the time to put on his MAGA hat, grab his American flag, strap his open-carry pistol to his hip and head on down to the high school.

As Republicans push armed security and teachers as a diversion from actual gun regulation, the school board said the security policy and procedures at Sante Fe High School worked?:
“They believed they were a hardened target, part of what’s expected today of the American public high school in an age when school shootings occur with alarming frequency,” The Post writes.

The Post quoted the school board president as saying that the system worked, as only 10 were killed by a shooter using a shotgun and pistol he took from his father.

“My first indication is that our policies and procedures worked,” Rusty Norman told the paper. “Having said that, the way things are, if someone wants to get into a school to create havoc, they can do it.”
2. Just One Bozo on this Deportation Bus: The Trumpian age of Republican politics is upon us, as they redefine far-right. Conversely, this just makes moderates look like 98 lb liberal weaklings. With major declines in the labor market and with record low birth rates, the war on immigrant labor is another devastating economic misstep that will affect the U.S. for decades to come:

Daily Beast: Republican Michael Williams, a Georgia state senator and a long-time Trump supporter
running for governor of Georgia is bringing his racist “Deportation Bus Tour” to Cracker Barrel restaurants—and Cracker Barrel isn't having it. , is currently polling dead last in the state’s Republican primary ... Williams “Deportation Bus” (is) plastered with slogans like “FILL THIS BUS WITH ILLEGALS” and “DANGER! MURDERERS, RAPISTS, KIDNAPPERS, CHILD MOLESTORS [sic], AND OTHER CRIMINALS ON BOARD.” Williams said his bus tour was prevented from leaving Decatur and going to Athens by violent "Antifa and radical liberals" who blocked the bus from leaving.
3. GOP Gov. Candidate "suggests" Euthanasia as Solution to costly Disabled, Poor and Elderly: And I'm just scratching the surface here. Most notably, the candidate's site stands behind reported comments, whether real or supposedly "hacked;"
Oklahoma GOP governor candidate Christopher Barnett blames hackers for Facebook post proposing euthanasia for disabled people ... the administrator initially posted a poll about food stamp requirements — and then made comments claiming euthanasia is a solution to the “issue” of the poor and disabled. A user commented on the poll post. “Most receiving food stamps work, or are disabled.  Some are elderly.”

“The ones who are disabled and can’t work…why are we required to keep them?” the Chrisforgov account responded. “Sorry but euthanasia is cheaper and doesn’t make everyone a slave to the Government [sic].”

Defending his now-deleted comments, the account admin mused as to why American taxpayers should “have to keep up people who cannot contribute to society any longer? If they can take care of themselves without Government assistance, great,” the comment continued. “If not, let them starve and die. Easy as that.”

Though the comments have since been deleted, the account admin wrote that they “stand by” the remarks in the poll thread, and later that day wrote that the interaction had been “fun.”
Appealing to the base, Barnett then used the GOP tactic of "death threats" to jack up his far-right creds. Of course, he's unintimidated...oh, isn't that the title of Republican Gov. Scott Walker's book:
“There are people saying they want to shoot me, they are going to assassinate me, they are going to shoot me, they are going to blow us up,” Barnett claimed. “I’m in this election. I’m not dropping out. They’re not going to intimidate me.”

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Wisconsin Republicans embrace Walker's kind of "optimistic vision for the future?"

Scott Walker decided to present his "optimistic vision" of the state with a few recent tweets trashing policy criticisms on the "anger and hate" filled "liberal Far left:"

So let's take a look at the what Walker calls an "optimistic vision for the future," along with a few other examples that are anything but.

Vukmir's "Positively" Blatant Lies: When you can't find much in Sen. Tammy Baldwin's hate-and-anger filled record to criticize, State Sen. Leah Vukmir came up with this positive whopper:

...or this positive swing and a miss...

...or "outsider" and challenger Kevin Nicholson's positive view of Democratic veterans...:
The Democrat Party has wholesale rejected the Constitution and the values that it was founded upon. So I'll tell you what: Those veterans that are out there in the Democrat party, I question their, their cognitive thought process. Because the bottom line is, they're signing up to defend the Constitution that their party is continually dragging through the mud."
...or Wisconsin's own retiring Paul Ryan, whose vision of the future does not include tackling the problem of mass shootings in our schools:

Dumb Ron Johnson's Positive Vision of the Future sees "families, renewed faith" as the solution to mass shootings in schools: Hey, it might take awhile - a half-century or so - but cultural norms might "likely" change?

(On) gun control, in the wake of the high school shooting in Texas that left 10 dead and 10 injured ... Johnson said federal legislation is not the answer, because gun violence is a bigger cultural issue.

"Solutions that will have some impact are going to more likely come from families, renewed faith, communities, from states than anything the federal government's going to pass."

Friday, May 18, 2018

The (R) doesn't stand for Respect!!!

As much as I have tried to interpret my Trumpian conservative friend in Milwaukee's "all-over-the-map" conversations, I've mistakenly filtered my analysis through the lens of friendship and respect, giving him the benefit of the doubt. Big mistake.

No Respect? GOP says it's No Longer Something You Earn:  Rodney Dangerfield said it best...:

If only they cast off their snooty liberal elitism and show respect to people who voted for Donald Trump, Democrats can win them over and take back Congress and the White House. There’s almost nothing more foolish Democrats could do than follow that advice.

Kurt Schlicter, a columnist for the conservative, recently wrote "We want to be treated with respect and we will not tolerate anything less which is just unacceptable for this to continue. I'm tired of Hollywood spitting on us. I am tired of academia spitting on us. I'm tired of the news media spitting on us." 
It's a Disrespected Scott Walker Scheme Too: Like Trump, Walker's been weeping the "no respect" game for years. 

Talk about Respect...: The CapTimes' Paul Fanlund wrote this about the Trump voters hypocrisy about respect:
"That’s rich. I can’t help but note, after years of Republicans infamously claiming their primary goal was to prevent Obama from being re-elected."
The Washington Post article explains it this way...
It doesn’t come from the things Democratic politicians say. Where does it come from? An entire industry that’s devoted to convincing white people that liberal elitists look down on them. The right has a gigantic media apparatus that is devoted to convincing people that liberals disrespect them, plus a political party whose leaders all understand that that idea is key to their political project and so join in the chorus at every opportunity.

You’ll find that, again and again, you’re told stories of some excess of campus political correctness, some obscure liberal professor who said something offensive, some liberal celebrity who said something crude about rednecks or some Democratic politician who displayed a lack of knowledge of a conservative cultural marker. The message is pounded home over and over: They hate you and everything you stand for.

“I despise Barack Obama. I think primarily because I don’t think he thinks very much of people like me,” one Republican told The Post’s Dan Balz.

Put another way...
In the world Republicans have constructed, a Democrat who wants to give you health care and a higher wage is disrespectful, while a Republican who opposes those things but engages in a vigorous round of campaign race-baiting is respectful. The person who’s holding you back isn’t the politician who just voted to give a trillion-dollar tax break to the wealthy and corporations, it’s an East Coast college professor who said something condescending on Twitter.

Democrats bend over backward to show conservative white voters respect, only to see some remark taken out of context and their entire agenda characterized as stealing from hard-working white people to give undeserved benefits to shiftless minorities. And then pundits demand, “Why aren’t you showing those whites more respect?” Democrats are supposed to abandon their values and change their policies, despite the fact that many of those policies provide enormous help to the very people who say Democrats look down on them ... How many times have we seen Democrats try to show respect by going to a NASCAR event or on a hunting trip, only to be mocked for their insincerity?
That's not all either:
A recent 15,000-word opus by the Post’s Dan Balz ... central finding is reflected in its headlines: “Loyalty, unease in Trump’s Midwest. Voters gave Trump a chance. Some remain all in. Others have grown weary of the chaos.” Balz describes down-on-their-luck, small-town and rural residents who feel disrespected by educated urbanites, especially coastal elites. But what exceeds that resentment is a quiet desperation as their local economies have receded or collapsed.
This comment should blow your mind...
Wearing a John Deere hoodie ... Kurt Glazier is a state worker, a union member and serves as chairman of the Republican Party in Whiteside County. He also sits on the county board. “I think Trump brought out the fact that — I mean, as crude and callous as he was at times — so many people had been almost discriminated against because they were Republicans and not Democrats, that we felt inferior.” will this...
Republican Party chairman in Clinton County Dan Smicker recalled that many of those he encountered were mad, fed up with the state of things. “This is my observation, it is not necessarily my belief  … Number one, they said minority political people have been well taken care of. Small business and working people have been identified as the source of income to take care of those people.”
...there's more...
Republican Party chairman in Clinton County Dan Smicker recalled that many of those he encountered were mad, fed up with the state of things. “This is my observation, it is not necessarily my belief  … Number one, they said minority political people have been well taken care of. Small business and working people have been identified as the source of income to take care of those people.”
We No Longer Expect a Happier Better Life: Finally, the following story pretty much reflects what I see every day in my current job, and simply put, it scares me. Americans have accepted a lower expectation of life, of their country, their politicians, and are now settling for less:
Marsha Story, in charge of decorating cakes, described the life of a single mother struggling on $11 an hour. “We don’t have cable,” she said, explaining how she juggled her finances. “We don’t have the Internet.” She said she declined to go on Medicaid, although she was eligible to use it. “I’ve always paid my own way,” she said.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Walker Years: Ignoring Facts for Political Spin.

Like a slum landlord, Scott Walker is an absentee manager of our state, letting transportation infrastructure crumble. The same can be said for everything else we stopped spending money on; K12, the UW, state parks, the environment, disappearing dairy farmers, mass transit, rural broadband...and Walker wants another term? 

Walker governs to fulfill a certain ideological end, putting no effort into trying to solve the states real-world problems. How else can you explain why other Republican states have dramatically raised their gas taxes to meet their growing infrastructure needs but Walker's Foxconnsin hasn't?

But it's not just me saying this:
 Mark Gottlieb, 61, resigned as DOT secretary in December 2016 after a six-year tenure … He is frustrated by what he says is a disingenuous portrayal of the facts on transportation and troubled that the state is neglecting crucial road improvements. Walker wrote in the June 2016 letter. “Proposed spending on mega projects in Southeastern Wisconsin should be minimized.” Prescribing a specific cabinet agency’s budget request is atypical, Gottlieb and others familiar with the process say. “We got to a place where the facts were being ignored in favor of political spin,” Gottlieb said.
As Walker explained, and his spokespeople continue to reinforce, that...:
"Gov. Walker (said) he will never support a revenue increase for roads without an equal or greater decrease in taxes elsewhere.
It's taken years, but Cap Times reporter Katelyn Ferrel finally pointed out the obvious:

The tax cuts Walker has championed, including eliminating the state's portion of the property tax, the child tax rebate and sales tax holiday, have not triggered an increase in transportation spending.

Former Transportation Sec.Gottlieb said, “Don't they claim to have cut taxes by billions of dollars? Taxes have been cut but there has been no corresponding increase in transportation revenue.”
Walker's Charge Card "Spending" on Roads: Walker is once again setting Democrats up as "tax and spenders;" making them pay for road rebuilding through tax increases when they finally take back the reigns of government: 
Former Department of Administration official George Mitchell, also a school choice advocate and has donated more than $15,000 to Walker, said, “Whether it’s under Gov. Walker or under a different governor, the problem they faced last time is going to be there and worse. The state is now in a big fix because of the failure of a Republican-controlled government to honestly confront the problem and deal with it, and that goes to the executive branch in the east wing.”
Walker knows infrastructure is a Democratic Party priority. He also knows voters hate tax increases. It's a tactical thing, and conservative voters love it. So Democratic spending will get future Republicans elected:
...Walker fully repaid the $1.4 billion Gov. Jim Doyle transferred from the state transportation fund ... much of that through borrowing, according to figures from the LFB.

...Walker “has budgeted $3 billion more in actual dollars into transportation than his predecessor. Local road aids are the highest ever.” Much of Walker’s “actual” dollars were borrowed dollars, according to LFB figures. And although local road aids have increased, they have come at the expense of total state highway spending, which, according to LFB figures, is the lowest it has been in 10 years. Total highway funding has been on a steady decline during Walker’s tenure, from $3.11 billion in the 2013-15 budget to $2.79 billion in 2015-17 to $2.54 billion in 2017-19, according LFB reports. Money allocated for the highway improvement program is down 8.8 percent from the last two-year budget, according to the LFB.
Walker, like Trump, filling Departments with Cronies: Would private corporations hire unqualified people to manage their business? But Walker would:
In 2016, Walker replaced Gottlieb and his deputies with Ross and two deputies from the Public Service Commission. Gottlieb shook his head at the move. “Of these three people, they had a combined total of zero days experience in transportation. It is very a complex agency and to install a set of top leaders who have no experience in that industry I think was a mistake.”
From Walker's "what  you don't know won't hurt you" Department:
The agency has not updated a key spending report, “Transportation Budget Trends,” from its last two budgets. The reports have been produced for decades. Without them, “it’s essentially impossible now to do what used to be easy to track historical and current trends in terms of revenue and expenditure by category,” Mitchell said. The (next) report will be released in July.
HEAD EXPLODING BULLSHIT: One more thing that really pisses me off; Republicans love giving back surplus revenue tax dollars, but then complain we don't have enough revenue to fund programs. Arrrrrrrrr!!!!
Walker, speaking at the Republican Party state convention Saturday, did not emphasize transportation as a key part of his re-election platform ... directing state agencies to prepare spending plans for 2019-21 with no increases in revenue... 
The move is in contrast to what Republican legislative leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, have said: the state needs to raise more money to adequately address roads.
Some extra charts from 2013 about public spending, that has only increased since then...not in transportation:

Check out Jakes Wisconsin Funhouse for even more HERE.

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Tangled Web of Conservative Thinking...

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Craig Gilbert continues traveling around the state asking you and me how we really feel about politics.

I found these conservative comments revealing. First, that "you hate Trump" come back when you're just trying to offer a little political criticism of the government:
1. Mike Breininger of the Richland Center Fellowship, a conservative pastor … his contempt for an “established media” … he views as “corrupt and incapable of benefiting the American people. It’s the dishonesty. I don’t mind if they slant it, just be honest about it. Don’t pretend like you’re putting out the truth here. Just say, ‘This is my opinion. I hate Trump. I’m writing an article based on hating Trump, so here it is.’ I can take that! But to say, ‘I’m just a journalist reporting the way things are and Donald Trump is a slimy, no-good, lying dog who deserves to be impeached’ — oh, that sounds pretty impartial and journalistic to me,” he said sarcastically.

2. One local GOP official, who was not a big Trump fan, complained to me that network news is an “I-hate-Trump Fest for 30 minutes.” When I asked Tom Harder of Grafton what changes he’d like to see in the political culture, he replied, “Changes in you guys.”
This is one of my favorites because it asks that reporters stay in the middle when presenting absolute nonsense with the absolute there's a middle ground or something? 
3. Ryan Perrault of Milwaukee. “I feel in order to get an educated opinion you’ve got to listen to both sides … and then from there you formulate your own idea,” said Perrault. “If you listen to Tucker Carlson on Fox News, it’s like Trump’s the best guy ever, and then if you turn on CNN, it’s the very opposite end of the spectrum. … How do you get a media source that’s right down the middle, because nobody’s going to want to fund them.”
This next statement hit home and was an epiphanic moment for me. I've been complaining for years how mindboggling and unfair it was to pair an impartial reporter with a stark raving rightwing bomb thrower. Like the disadvantaged reporter could respond with a likewise line of total BS? Gilbert does a wonderful job of describing it. This is how Republicans set up the premise "liberals" and "the media" were one and the same:
The unintended consequences of always pairing right-wing pundits with reporters had the effect of making all reporters “liberal.”

Retiree Jerry Ruud took one look at me at his door and said, “You used to be on Charlie Sykes.” “You’re a liberal,” he said disapprovingly.

“I’m a reporter,” I said. On the Sykes show, I was often the only panelist who wasn’t a conservative commentator or Republican politician.

To Ruud, I was "the other side," as he put it.

U.S. 4th Graders take 6th place in International Reading!!!

Public education was never on its last leg, that's just what privateers wanted you to think. Oh, and there's that guilt trip about being a good parent, that instinctively know whats best for their kids in school. No educator is going to con you into Common Core.

So after conservative states and school districts renamed Common Core - but kept the basic standards in place - public education kept getting better, thanks to our underappreciated dedicated teachers that still don't get paid what they're worth. It's the "e-Progress in International Reading Literacy Study:"  
EdWeek: U.S. 4th Graders Surprise on New Exam of Online Reading ... International results leave some 'elated'

U.S. 4th graders performed surprisingly well on a new international test of online reading ability, outperforming their peers in 10 of the 15 other educational systems that participated.

"We were actually elated," said Peggy G. Carr, the associate commissioner for assessment at the National Center for Education Statistics, during a discussion of the results at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association, held here this month. "I think it's very clear that our students are more savvy than many of us have given them credit for," Carr said.

Walker's election year school funding makes years of district begging magically all right?

While public radio promotes Scott Walker's blue wave panic like it's the worst thing that could happen, Walker came right out and explained just how he's been duping his base on the issue of taxes. And I'll bet his voting base didn't even notice.

As Milwaukee County executive, Walker avoided raising taxes and taking the blame, by making the County Board raise those taxes by overriding his draconian budget vetos.

Again, Walker is committing to the same scheme with school funding. Sure he's cut taxes, just like he said on Upfront with Mike Gousha, but school funding isn't the responsibility of the state? Walker relishes the idea that local governments have to pass referendums to raise taxes because that takes Walker off the hook again. Wake up conservatives.

In the clip, he almost enjoys sticking it to the locals, when he says "it's theirs." Walker also pretends "all the money" he suddenly started spending in an election year is more than enough, and will make up for years of cuts, teacher shortages, lower standard for hiring, crumbling schools, bus transportation...etc. Nope:

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Anger and Hate Parade...

Walker's idea of "Anger and Hate"? "Being called and Idiot, being called a Moron, and "being Upset about Things"?

Scott Walker enjoys playing "opposite day" every day, not just on January 25th. Walker's campaign is faking the high road approach, cranking out anger and hate like there's no tomorrow. Upfront with Mike Gousha:

Like most authoritarians, Walker can't even take simple inoffensive criticism, like  "being an idiot" and "being a moron." To Walker, that's anger and hate. And worst of all, "being upset about things"? He's above criticism?

Was Walker directing his anger or hatred toward Democratic candidate Mayor Paul Soglin, which wasn't even true?

The "far-left" should be nice and put out positive messages like this one from Republican Leah Vukmir on terrorist Democrat Sen. Tammy Baldwin:

Walker again ignores Legalized Marijuana Job Creation and Economic Boost!!!

No this wasn't a scene out of Dragnet '67. This was Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the 21st-century spouting Sgt. Joe Friday commentary that has long since been disproved. Legalization in other states has proved otherwise. Upfront with Mike Gousha:

Here's Joe Friday's amazing and now classic rant. Note: I've watched many of those old shows and oddly, Dragnet offered up counter-arguments that turned out to be right. Anyway, isn't alcohol the real gateway drug?:

Just like hemp, Walker is again behind the curve. It wasn't long ago when the Republican legislature killed any attempt to allow hemp production, even as clothing and grocery store shelves filled up with hemp derived fashion and food products:
February 23, 2010 – Steps to legalize industrial hemp in Wisconsin are facing Republican oppositionAll Republicans on the Assembly Agriculture Committee recently voted against a measure passed by the Democratic majority, which would allow Wisconsin farmers to apply for permits to grow hemp.

State Representative Al Ott (R-Forest Junction) says there are worries about the drug connotation of hemp, which could tarnish Wisconsin’s image. He says there’s also no infrastructure to support a market for the product. Ott says he understands farmers are struggling in the tough economy, but he doesn’t feel it’s time to dilute the agriculture industry.
Gateway Drug to Homicides? In a state that has legalized marijuana, no one expected this...Scott Walker, you might wanna pick up on this:

NBC4i: The Southern Colorado Cannabis Council responded to May's comments with the statement: "Study after study has shown that there is no correlation between cannabis use and violent crime." The group is asking May to retract his statement or prove there's a connection between marijuana and homicides.
For me, the research I've conducted have led me to this; marijuana is the gateway drug to sleep. 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Paul Ryan raises $30 Million from "Extreme Billionaire Activist" pushing "rest of his far" right agenda!!!

We hear a lot about liberal traitor George Soros, because he's one of the few billionaires throwing money at the Democrats. He's bad, real bad.

Heroic conservative billionaires are smarter and real Americans. They've created a network of political front groups, think tanks, and "charities" that influence local races with lots of outside money.

Walker and Ryan's Shi* don't Stink Billionaire Con: Remember this about "outside special interests?"

...or this about those nasty extremist billionaires...

Paul Ryan's "Extreme Billionaire" Con + $30 Million: So Republican hate those extreme out-of-state billionaires? And yet Paul Ryan, caught by MSNBC, went out and cleverly raising $30 million from billionaire extremist Sheldon Adelson, in Nevada? Think any of that money will make it to Wisconsin? We'll be waiting for a Scott Walker apology... 

SHELDON ADELSON has cut a $30 MILLION CHECK to the House GOP-leadership aligned CONGRESSIONAL LEADERSHIP FUND (CLF), a massive cash infusion that top Republicans hope will alter the party’s electoral outlook

“The long-sought donation was sealed last week when, according to two senior Republicans, House Speaker Paul Ryan flew to Las Vegas to meet with the billionaire at his Venetian Hotel (with) Norm Coleman, the former Minnesota senator who chairs the Republican Jewish Coalition.

“As a federally elected official, Ryan is not permitted to solicit seven-figure political donations. When Ryan (R-Wis.) left the room, Coleman made the ask and secured the $30-million contribution." 

Food Stamp work requirement will Dramatically Hurt Farmers and Low-Income Households.

Here's what I don't get; instead of solving the root causes of social problems, Republicans go after the safety net programs put in place to help the victims of those problems. Remember "tort reform," it went after people injured or killed from medical mistakes, instead of trying to reduce those medical mistakes. The same is true of food stamps.

GOP Ideological Agenda different from Real World Problems: The lack of food and medical benefits for the poor, a problem in third world countries, is coming to the U.S.

In conjunction with the proposed $17 billion cuts to Snap in the Farm Bill, Republicans are getting waivers to institute draconian work requirements (30 hours a week in WI) that will drop many needy families.
"There is a proposal of a cut of about 17 billion to the SNAP or food stamp program over the next 10 years," said Zack Wilson, with the High Plains Food Bank. 
Work-for-Food another GOP created Problem: The GOP has been pushing this for a long time, and are now about to get their precious work requirements. But what got people on the food stamp program in the first place? Stagnant and dropping wages along with a ridiculously low minimum wage? The Great Recession that forced many big box stores and struggling manufacturers to go out of business? That was an outcome from the GOP's deregulation and voluntary regulation of Wall Street banks. So let's cut food stamps instead of tackling the reason why so many people need them:
USDA: “What would happen if funding for the Food Stamp Program were cut by $5 billion?” and “What would happen if food stamp benefits were converted from food vouchers to cash?” No matter which way the question is posed, changes in food assistance policy have effects on low-income households and the farm economy.
1. The $5 billion food stamp cut led to decreases in farm and food processing production ... approximately $1.3 billion and 7,500 jobs lost. The hardest hit farm sectors were livestock, feed crops, and fresh fruits and vegetables. 

2. The $18.5 billion food stamp cash-out led to decreases in farm and food processing production of approximately $3.5 billion and 18,500 jobs lost. Again, the hardest hit farm sectors were livestock, feed crops, and fresh fruits and vegetables. The production and job losses were distributed across the Nation.

3. The number of “working poor” increased as a result of the food stamp cut. Spurred by the reduction in food stamp benefits, low-income households sought more work hours, but, in aggregate, did not earn enough labor income to compensate for the drop in food stamp benefits. 

Milk Prices Double? Lack of Immigrant Farm worker Visa's will kill jobs, close 7,000 Dairy Farms!

Stopping all Immigrant Labor Bad for Dairy State Farmers: This ominous headline caught my attention and should do the same for Scott Walker and the Republican legislature, who will shamelessly go back to farmers asking for their vote in November. From what I hear, visa's are impossible to get now, for farming and the tourism industry:

Half of all workers on U.S. dairy farms are immigrants, and the damage from losing those workers would extend far beyond the farms, nearly doubling retail milk prices and costing the total U.S. economy more than $32 billion, according to a new report commissioned by the National Milk Producers Federation. One-third of all U.S. dairy farms employ foreign-born workers, and that those farms produce nearly 80 percent of the nation’s milk.

The survey results do not distinguish between documented and undocumented foreign-born workers ... 80 percent of dairy farms surveyed continue to hire immigrants. The report concluded that a total loss of immigrant labor would reduce the size of both the U.S. dairy herd and the nation’s milk production by nearly a quarter. More than 7,000 dairy farms would close, it added.

It concluded that a complete loss of immigrant labor could cause the loss of one-in-six dairy farms and cut U.S. economic output by $32.1 billion, resulting in 208,000 fewer jobs nationwide. Some 77,000 of the lost jobs would be on dairy farms.

Retail milk prices, the report said, would increase 90 percent if all immigrant labor was lost. That would drive the supermarket price of a gallon of milk, which averaged $3.37 in June, to approximately $6.40.

Researchers estimated that more than a third of the total economic damage from losing all immigrant labor on dairy farms would be from reduced farm milk sales. The rest would come from losses in employee compensation, reduced purchases by farm employees and lost sales to businesses that support dairy farms, such as feed and equipment dealers.

Likewise, milk sales support many more jobs beyond the farm than on the farm. As a result, while a total loss of immigrant labor on dairy farms would mean 76,968 fewer people working on farms, it would also mean the loss of 131,240 jobs outside the farm.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

AG Brad Schimel Love's Hate Group...for their vision of "better love in the world!!"

The days when Republicans can be a part of any hate group, militia or anti-American conservative think tank without any consequence are over. 

To start, AG Brad Schimel is a bumbling incompetent. Proof? Can you hate gay marriage but still want "better love in the world"? Schimel says yes:
Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel defended his appearance at a West Coast conference put on by the Alliance Defending Freedom, saying the conservative Christian law firm that opposes gay marriage is trying to build “better love in the world.”
Huh? To Schimel, this group might hate homosexuality and want to throw them all in prison...but if they love heterosexuals, what's the beef? 

Still, Schimel may try, but can't explain his way out of attending an "extremist organizations" conference. 
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights advocacy group, has classified ADF as an extremist organization that supports criminalizing homosexuality and believes a “homosexual agenda” seeks to undermine the family and Christianity. (In) a book ADF founder Alan Sears co-wrote and published in 2003 ... refers to the “homosexual agenda” as the principal threat to religious freedom. More recently, ADF helped write a Mississippi law that lets government workers and private business people cite religious beliefs to deny services to LGBT people.
To Schimel, his social experience at the conference meant more to him than anything this ugly bigotted group plans for the country. And despite the group's actual classification as a hate group, Schimel was filled with love...:
(Schimel told) WTMJ-AM radio that ADF isn’t a hate group. “I’ve never gone to a conference where there was frankly so much love. This is a Christian organization, kind of an alliance of Catholics and evangelicals, getting together to focus on issues about how we build better love in the world.”
Democrat Josh Kaul, Schimel’s opponent, said this about Schimel's wonderful conference experience.

Republican Leah Vukmir says Tammy Baldwin on "Team Terrorists" with 9/11 planner Khalid Shaikh Mohammed!!!

We thought it was crazy when GOP Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson said that serving in the military is "something conservative," and that the "battlefields in Iraq" prepared him for Main Street America. Well....

Surely the Republican base won't be duped by this jaw-dropping, bizarre, Onion-like graphic put out by State Sen. Leah Vukmir, declaring Democratic Americans like Tammy Baldwin are terrorists working with KSM?

That "safe place" for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed? The US vacation spot and prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Surprise...can you believe...?
The conservative outlet "Right Wisconsin" harshly criticized the image, calling the attack "an irresponsible campaign blunder."
I should mention that Vukmir's "Team America" is an insane film from the creators of South Park, made up of puppets (marionettes) (appropriate?) fighting terrorist to the memorable theme song linked here...(WARNING: explicit lyrics) The "F" mentioned below is part of the phrase, you guessed it, "F**k Yeah."

Vukmir's total embrace of Trump's America and the use of the war crime torture tells you just how far right and radicalized these uber-Republican candidates are now. As cartoon-like as they make themselves look, nothing is too extreme. Promising to be another Trump rubber stamp, Vukmir praised nuking the Obama Iran deal, ripping Tammy Baldwin, and indirectly France, Britain, and Germany;

Vukmir digs in...but don't all Republican blunderers?
Vukmir: “When the 9/11 mastermind — Khalid Sheikh Mohammed attacks Gina Haspel, an eminently qualified woman who would be an excellent and historic choice to lead our CIA, Senator Baldwin is nowhere to be found. If this is what it takes to get people talking about Tammy Baldwin’s liberal record and her tendency to disappear and not represent us then so be it."
Looks like Vukmir is the one who believes Sheikh Mohammed should be taken seriously, not Baldwin.

Obama's reaction? While Trump's move played to his "base" again (who are these people), Obama offered up these two remaining nightmarish possibilities:

Trump Republicans have basically erased everything America's first black president did:

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Trump Country Health Care Divide!!!

This is the big story this week for me. 

The Republican scam that states somehow know how to best manage their own constituents healthcare needs is coming to an end. Seriously, how different are people in Kansas, Texas, or California...ridiculous right? 

Every one of the options below will or would have killed people. Period. Wisconsin may be next...

3 Year Lifetime Cap on Medicaid, after that, you're on your Own: Destroying Medicaid and forcing the poor to wither away and die by withholding life-saving treatments...I know, it sounds insane, doesn't it? But that was the end game all along. Think I'm kidding? From my healthcare email:
The state of Kansas had proposed Medicaid beneficiaries be allowed to remain under the KanCare Medicaid program for a three-year (lifetime) maximum before being dropped, other states including Arizona, Utah and Maine have made similar requests.
Too much for even Republicans, for now anyway...but this is now part of their agenda:
CMS Administrator Verma announced yesterday the agency will reject Kansas’s request ... "We also understand that people’s circumstances change, and we must ensure that our programs are sustainable and available to them when they need and qualify for them."
But that wasn't the driving force to reject the 3 year lifetime all about money, not lives:
Several healthcare providers in Kansas this year urged the CMS to deny the state's proposed Medicaid benefits limit, claiming it would significantly increase hospitals' uncompensated-care costs.
"Are there No Workhouses?" Health Care Work-for-free Requirement: The new American value? People are useless and social dead weight if they don't's more Orwellian description; "improving the lives of Medicaid beneficiaries." 
The approval makes New Hampshire the fourth state to institute a Medicaid work requirement. six states with pending applications. “I congratulate Governor Sununu’s commitment to join me in improving the lives of Medicaid beneficiaries by creating a crucial link to work and community engagement,” Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement.
Michigan is pushing the same idea, and it's not to save money:
The bill's Senate sponsors admit that this proposal isn't about saving money; in fact, it'll cost about $30 million a year to administer the program. It's pitched, instead, as a firm-but-gentle hand to those who've become dependent on the teat of government dependency.
Rural Whites exempt from Work Requirements, as GOP finally Establishes U.S. Class System: We always knew urban minority communities were never the "real Americans," so under Republicans rule, the lines are literally being drawn:
In Michigan, people who live in counties with higher unemployment rates — above 8.5 percent — are exempted from the requirement ... rural whiter counties unemployment is higher, get a break while urban areas with a higher share of black residents would still be subjected to them. 
Notice how the Republican co-sponsor of the bill, who hasn't done anything to create jobs in his district, found a way to help - let 'em freeload:
Michigan Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City) represents Cheybogan County, where unemployment is high, around 20.9% ... also represents Chippewa County, where unemployment was about 10.5% ... the residents Schmidt represents are unlikely to be harmed by SB 897 ... This is what's called "political cover." It's also one of the ways legislators skillfully pit urban and rural Michiganders with common interests against each other.
The fact is, if SB 897 causes 20% of Medicaid recipients to lose their benefits as the bill's sponsor, Sen. Mike Shirkey (R-Clark Lake) projects, some of them will die. "Every one of these reasons to deny you healthcare kills people," Paul Propson, CEO of Covenant Community Care in Detroit.

Walker's CWD Hotline?

Friday, May 4, 2018

Nicholson explains: Serving country is "something conservative," "battlefields in Iraq" prepared him for Main Street America?

I never fully understood why "veterans" were the exclusive property of the Republican Party.

This is part of a debate I've had for years when I did talk radio. Some did not agree with my point of view.

Were veterans Republicans because they carried firearms or came across as extremely patriotic? And why do people always thank them for their service, but don't thank those truly hard-working Americans supporting our economy and raising families? The military is simply a career choice like anything else. It doesn't immediately make someone a hero. 

The Conservative Veteran Myth...Explodes: Let's give a big thank you to absolutist thinker and Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson for exposing the ugly thinking behind "veterans are always great Republicans." It continues the theme that Democrats are terrorists, enemies working within the country that must be stopped, whether you like GOP policies or not:
JS: Nicholson has made his U.S. Marine service a centerpiece in his (campaign) ... during a Steve Scaffidi of WTMJ-AM (620) radio interview Nicholson took a shot at military veterans who are Democrats, questioning their "cognitive thought process." Nicholson said...
"And just because some people that don't call themselves conservatives and don't always act conservative do something conservative, like, let's talk about John Kerry — and signed up to serve this country. That doesn't mean that that's not a conservative thing to fundamentally protect and defend the Constitution.

Because I'll tell you, the Democrat Party has wholesale rejected the Constitution and the values that it was founded upon. So I'll tell you what: Those veterans that are out there in the Democrat party, I question their, their cognitive thought process. Because the bottom line is, they're signing up to defend the Constitution that their party is continually dragging through the mud."
The blowback was immediate. Even Nicholson's slogan, "Send in the Marine" suggests it's time for military-like action to take back the country, stop those Democrats. Arrogance like this does have its plus side. But Republicans, believe it or not, have even politicized the backlash, proving they really don't mean it:
A defiant Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Wisconsin who is a former Marine refused to apologize Thursday amid a growing bipartisan backlash...Nine Republican veterans, all of whom support (his opponant) Vukmir, called on Kevin Nicholson to apologize ...

The Vukmir-supporting veterans ... said not even Democratic Sen. John Kerry, of Massachusetts, “used his military experience as an excuse for far-left positions on abortion, taxes, and immigration.”
Nicholson is now enjoying the backlash and free publicity:
  “I’ll never apologize for saying that, ever,” Nicholson said.
Yet Nicholson thinks his experiences "on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan" has readied him for battlefields in...Wisconsin?

Swing-and-a-miss response from Dumb Ron Johnson: The media decided to toss a softball question to Johnson over Nicholson's bizarre statements. Wow, hate to endanger a Senate seat:
Johnson said, “I’ll let the voters make their own judgment.”
Democratic Veterans Respond:
Crystal Banse, a Democrat, and attorney who served six years in the Wisconsin U.S. Army National Guard, including three years of active duty and rose to captain. said she was offended by Nicholson's remarks. 
"To me, the Constitution does not have a partisan slant. The military is a microcosm of our society. I served next to people of all genders, races, sexual orientations, conservatives, liberals, independents. Your role in the military is to defend people's ability to have different political views. It's all about freedom of speech and protecting our Constitution. Politics has no place in that."
Tom Palzewicz, a U.S. Navy veteran and Democrat from Brookfield seeking to challenge U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner in the fall, took issue with Nicholson's comment. 
"It’s simply un-American to suggest that patriotism is partisan. For almost every member of the Armed Forces, for veterans, for military families, country comes before party, but apparently not for Kevin Nicholson. He should be ashamed."

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Walker's $100 check to Wisconsin Kids, an Election year Bribe, getting national coverage..."It’s political catnip!"

Scott Walker's desperate and transparent attempt to pay off voters with a $100 check per child this summer is now getting national attention, and it's a head-scratcher for even conservative economists.

Washington Post: To (Walker's) critics, who note that Walker is a few months away from a tough reelection bid, it looks like campaign-year bribery of the up to 671,000 families who could receive checks.

And to independent economists, it's a mystifying piece of tax policy that has no clear long-term economic purpose and few, if any, recent comparable examples, given that tax breaks are traditionally incorporated for tax filing season — not in the months before an election.
1. “This is really weird. I have never heard of anything like this,” said Richard Auxier, who tracks state tax policy for the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank.

2. Scott Drenkard, a tax expert at the Tax Foundation, a right-leaning think tank, was also puzzled. “This is definitely odd and unique. I haven’t seen anything like it before," he said. "It’s political catnip, but it’s hard to see how it improves economic outcomes.”

3. “Claiming it midyear is a real departure from how we usually interact with the tax system,” said Elaine Maag, another tax expert at the Tax Policy Center. “It’s very difficult to understand the policy rationale here. There’s not some crisis in Wisconsin where people need cash today, as opposed to when they were filing their returns a few months ago.”
 Gee, there must be some other reason? More goodies too just to cinch the deal...
The legislation also created a “back to school” sales tax holiday, waiving the state's 5 percent sales tax for the first five days of August on some purchases of schools supplies, clothing and computers.
Summing it up...
Walker's tax break looks like a brazen publicity stunt by a vulnerable incumbent at a time when Democrats appear to have political momentum.“It's literally a guy saying, 'I'm Scott Walker running for reelection, have some money!' " said Mandela Barnes, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in Wisconsin. “Everyone I've talked to sees it as a blatant payoff.”
State Rep. Jason Fields (D), said he voted for the package. He said “Nobody will vote or not vote for the governor over $100.” 
And that my friends is the way some Democrats think, at least until they begin to wise up.