Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Supreme Court Candidate Daley worried about Sharia Law?

I caught the following interesting call this morning on WPR's Joy Cardin Show, where "Mattie" in Waupaca said Judge James Daley claimed on VCY America - Christian Information Radio, that it's possible foreign laws will influence our legal system, including Sharia law.

Because Mattie said she recorded the comment, I would like to check it out myself. Anyone who might know Mattie, tell her I'd like to post it.

If what Mattie says is true, and I wouldn't doubt it from this ridiculously angry partisan judge, it would be important information for voters to have before they cast their ballot.

Indiana and Arkansas Republicans push Religious Freedom to bypass Constitution.

These supposed "religious freedom" laws, allowing discrimination against sexual orientation, are an offshoot of the Hobby Lobby decision.

Conservative states that don't have protections for gay individuals are now passing "religious freedom" laws, a slight twist on the long sought after Republican backed "conscience clause," where a person could use religion to deny others their guaranteed freedoms. This all plays a part in the religious rights goal of two separate nations, one living under the constitution, and another living under the Christian religion (taxpayer supported vouchers go overwhelmingly to religious schools, another slippery slope where government ends up endorsing religion legally by giving the money directly to parents and not the schools).

Despite the national outrage, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is about to sign a similar "religious freedom" law. Crazy right? Hutchinson is another Republican extremist who's even more obvious about his political intentions:
Sexual orientation and gender identity are not included in Arkansas' anti-discrimination protections. Last month, Hutchinson allowed a measure to go into law that prevented local governments from including such protections in their anti-discrimination ordinances.
Hutchinson has delayed the signing until supposedly some changes are made that won't discriminate. Bullshit. It will be entertaining to see what the changes will look like.

The natural follow-up:
AP: Arkansas legislators passed a similar measure, despite criticism that it is a thinly disguised attempt to permit discrimination against gays. The Arkansas proposal now goes to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who has said he will sign it.
Not even their paymasters, big business, have a say anymore, because this has been a core value of the Republican Party for decades.

Gov. Mike Pence was inadvertently as obvious about his intentions to discriminate against the LGBT community when he was asked that dangerous "follow-up" question by George Stephanopoulos:

Other's have also sent a strong message to Indiana:
Parks and Recreation actor Nick Offerman announced on Tuesday that he’s canceling the Indianapolis stop on his 2015 summer tour, but will perform on Wednesday at a scheduled show at Indiana University. (Offerman will donate his shows earning to) HRC, the Human Rights Campaign, one of the country’s most prominent LGBT rights groups. Check out Offerman here and here
The list continued to grow. Perhaps Arkansas will see a similar backlash?
Other organizations that are pulling their economic support from the state or boycotting travel to Indiana include Angie’s List — which halted work on a new operation in Indianapolis, the cloud computing company Salesforce, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which canceled its 2015 women’s convention in Indianapolis.

The Americana band Wilco announced that it is canceling its Indiana tour stops, as well.

Connecticut’s Gov. Dannel Malloy said that Pence can deny the law’s anti-LGBT thrust all he wants to. It is clear to anyone who is paying attention what the RFRA is about.
“The governor’s not a stupid man, but he’s done stupid things,” said Malloy to Mika Brzezinski, “and signing this law, and, quite frankly, promoting this law, knowing exactly what it was going to do, was an incredibly stupid thing for him to do.” Pence, Malloy said, “knew exactly what he was doing, and when you see a bigot, you have to call them on it. We cannot sit idly by and do nothing while laws are enacted that will turn back the clock,” Malloy said, saying that he “won’t allow any of our citizens in Connecticut to face discrimination in other states, at least without a fight.”
If you had any questions about the move to the religious right....
The hosts of Fox & Friends on Tuesday set up an interview with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) by noting that he was a follower of the “law of the Bible” Steve Doocy agreed. “The political left is in a frenzy over this right now. But they’re missing the point. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Dumb Ron Johnson pushes shopping for health care "products" and costly taxpayer supported high risk pools.

I've been blogging about health care lately because Republicans are trying to give the impression they have a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act if the supreme court knocks down the federal exchanges.

Their plan is the same old plan they've had for years, minus many of their previous positions now included in ObamaCare. While no civilized industrial country has a free market plan, and there’s a good reason for that, Republicans are ready to gamble our lives away proving their theory works.

Republicans have been pushing the false premise; Health care is a consumer product.

Dumb Ron Johnson made that very clear the other day:
Sen. Ron Johnson said this weekend that the best replacement for President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act is free market competition. “We've separated the consumer of the product from the cost of the product,” Johnson said. “We pay for insurance — we don’t pay for the products and services that insurance covers.” He claims that moving the funding of health care services to third party payers prevents free market price controls from working.
The other false premise is just as insulting: People just don’t understand how expensive health care is. That’s right, there just aren't enough car washes and bake sales to help save kids without insurance at your local elementary school, or that the majority of bankruptcies are due to medical event. And employees don’t really notice their checks getting smaller as they pay more for their employer coverage. The public just doesn't get it?

Johnson likes having it both ways; He’ll complain of ObamaCare high deductibles, but promote health savings accounts. Maybe he doesn't know that that's what a health savings account is; they are catastrophic high deductible plans! 

Even worse, they promote self-rationing, which is supposedly better than insurance or government rationing?
The senator pointed to health savings accounts as an example of how health care could be handled in a more free market-like system.
The public is wary of Johnson’s cluelessness:
When asked how he would handle people with pre-existing conditions, Johnson cited high risk pools as a solution. Johnson said the ACA effectively ended high-risk pool programs.
High risk pools cost people even more money than regular insurance. The pools pay for all the risk insurance companies don't want, with taxpayer support and higher premiums for anyone with insurance. So technically, we're all paying for it, while allowing insurers fatter bottom lines.

Here's the scoop on "high risk pools" that should make any conservative angry, because I know liberals are:
1 - Established by state governments to serve the medically "uninsurable" population … helping to keep the individual insurance markets viable for companies to continue to compete in. (me - seriously, dropping people to keep companies in business and profitable)

2 - Generally, the programs operate as a state-created nonprofit association. (as defined by Republicans, this is government run)

3 - All state risk pools inherently lose money and need to be subsidized. While the individuals in risk pools pay somewhat higher premiums, roughly 50 percent of overall operating costs need to be subsidized. Subsidy mechanisms also vary from state to state -- some states assess all insurance carriers; others provide an appropriation from state general tax revenue; some states share funding of loss subsidies with the insurance industry using an assessment of insurance carriers and providing them a tax credit for the assessment, or other states have a special funding source, such as a tobacco tax, or a hospital or health care provider surcharge. 
That's Dumb Ron Johnson's plan: High deductible insurance, government run high risk pools, and shopping for care "products" from your hospital bed.  

Monday, March 30, 2015

Paul Ryan says GOP Irresponsible if they don't come up with ObamaCare alternative. Hear that Scott Walker?

I'm still a little confused how the Obama administration struggled to defend the subsidies for federally established state exchanges. Nothing could be easier.

It was amazing to see just how activist our conservative supreme court justices were when they tried to say the government did not intend to give subsidies to the federal exchanges, because of one short line that contradicted the massive law.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the government gave out tax credits when the law went into effect immediately...because that was the intent of lawmakers. 

It would be another thing if Obama had added the credit later, then opponents would have an argument. This isn't brain surgery.

Having said that, Paul Ryan is now telling Republicans to have a detailed plan in place by June in case the court strikes down the federal exchanges tax credits. Don't stop there Paul, that should go for GOP Governors as well. Ryan is right for once; it would be irresponsible:
Washintgon Times: Administration officials say the law is fine as written, and there is no need to put a Plan B in place to deal with an adverse ruling. Mr. Ryan said Republicans cannot take a similar stance.

“We need to have an alternative. That is the responsible thing to do,” he said. The president is saying that he had no back-up plan. I just don’t think that’s responsible.”
Here's hoping Ryan demands Scott Walker come up with alternative plan, like a state exchange, in case the Congress drops the ball again. It the only responsible thing to do.

Ryan rips Seniors, says they don't understand high cost of health insurance...after 50 years of paying into it?

This will be my second post on Paul Ryan's not-so-original reform plan for Medicare. This is from an article he wrote for the Kenosha News.

First, Ryan insists on pounding the idea of privatization with his cutesy “patient-centered” lie, a meaningless term where patients are still handed over to insurance companies. Yea, but the patient is at the center, or something like that right?
“Our plan would start to move us to a patient-centered system.”
Ryan's next revelation is already a part of Medicare and the Affordable Care Act. Ryan is embarrassing himself and showing everyone how little he knows about ObamaCare. It’s obvious he’s never looked into the current system; it's already transitioning doctors and hospitals into managed care plans. What he's describing accurately below, is the Obama plan, not his.  
“Doctor payments would depend more and more on results. Our plan would set up one streamlined program that would reward doctors who met performance goals and improved seniors’ health. Over time, Medicare would reward quality over quantity, and seniors would get better care because of it.”
While Obamacare critics complain about deductibles, Ryan wants to create a whole new one for seniors. Because Medicare has co-pays and deductibles, they require everyone to have “supplemental” insurance (Medigap). Seniors on a fixed Social Security income will have to pay about $147 a month extra to insurers just to cover co-pays and deductibles (add to that the $105 monthly fee for Part B).

Ryan apparently doesn't think the price of supplemental insurance, $147 a month, is painful enough for seniors seeking care in our already costly U.S. health care system. He wants seniors to pay another fee of $147 per year so they shop more wisely. Ryan incorrectly assumes health care is a consumer product we shop for (and insurance isn't health care):
Our plan would discourage unnecessary doctor visits and give seniors an incentive to seek the most effective care. Many seniors have “Medigap” insurance — that is, a private plan that helps pay for costs Medicare doesn’t cover, like co-payments and deductibles. These plans insulate people from costs and, experts believe, encourage the overuse of healthcare. Beginning in 2020, this agreement would prohibit Medigap plans from covering the first $147 of out-of-pocket spending, so cost is once again a consideration in healthcare decisions.
That's right, seniors who've paid insurers for nearly 50 years don't understand the cost of insurance. Condescending comments like this should piss off every American. He's also not that smart either.

Really, Duke this desperate to find excited fans...

This is insane...
Wisconsin fan Kristen Yarows got a surprise when she saw a tweet from Microsoft search engine Bing predicting that Duke would defeat Gonzaga in the Elite 8 which featured the UW student in Duke colors.

Scott Walker brags Americans worried about Health Care, thanks to GOP attempts to take it away!!!

Voters need to wake up to the fact their deepest fears about health care were created by the Republican attempts to kill the Affordable Care Act. If the Supreme Court strikes down the federal exchanges tax credits, over 10 million Americans will not be able to afford health insurance.

So Scott Walker blatantly made my point with this campaign trick:

Keep in mind, the conservative activist justices will claim congress only wanted to give tax credits to  state exchanges, not all exchanges, like lawmakers did when the rolled out the law. Which proves what congress intended, right?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Affordable Care Act may soon give us lower drug prices.

There are many little known benefits packed into the Affordable Care Act that never get the attention they should. One major change that will again lower the health care cost increases will also save lives.

Drug prices are driving up the cost of health care. The profit margins are huge, and thanks to GOP efforts, they're protected from competition by laws meant to increase bottom lines but hurt Americans. Medicare Part D cannot negotiate prices, a gift from George W. Bush and the Republican majority.

Despite the GOP's inability to name one country that proves "free market" health care works by lowering prices, they're hell bent on experimenting nationwide on our most vulnerable Americans.  

Obama’s Affordable Care Act made changes that to some extent will lower the cost of drugs:
AARP applauds the FDA’s approval of the first biosimilar prescription drug product in the U.S. It is a welcome step toward a workable approval process that will provide consumers with much-needed access to safe, effective biosimilar drugs, as envisioned by the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act in the Affordable Care Act. Today’s announcement marks the beginning of what will be a robust market that will offer consumers access to lower-cost alternatives to very expensive biologic medicines. Biologic drugs are often used to treat health conditions that affect older populations – diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Derived from living organisms, biologics have an estimated average cost of $35,000 a year, which is far more than that of traditional, chemically derived drugs.
But Big Pharm has been out there lobbying on a statewide level to block cheaper drugs from cutting into their profits. They're doing it by oddly making the party of supposed smaller deregulated government, bigger and more regulated. Republicans are more than willing to embrace big everything if it coincides with increased donations:
New state legislation that would make substituting interchangeable biosimilars for brand-name biologics considerably more difficult (druggist/doctor approval). It is unclear, however, why extra precautions are needed for biosimilars when the FDA is already safely approving and regulating their brand-name counterparts.
Republicans are good at throwing everything against the wall, hoping most of it will stick, but that also helps distract Americans from noticing the smaller things.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Judge Daley: Justice Bradley the center...the key to the courts dysfunction. Forcing a man to choked her was the last straw.

What is it about the media in Wisconsin?

For months now supreme court challenger Judge James Daley has been blaming the victim, Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, for the abuse she suffered at the hands of Justice David Prosser. And no one outraged?

Personally, I found Daley's comments from tonight's debate breathtakingly misogynistic. If only women knew their place, and didn't provoke others with their opinions. This is insane behavior:

And the Journal Sentinel's Jason Stein said nothing.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bizarro World: Walker wants Government Run Health Care Plan for State Workers, with Big Price Increases.

Let me get this right:
A Walker administration proposal for self-insurance in 2013 was put on hold last year…
That would be a government run health care plan.
Walker's secret plan...

It was also surreal to read Walker would like state employees to pay more out-of-pocket cost, like higher co-pays and deductibles, the very thing Republicans hate about ObamaCare.

Now they want to increase the price of health care? Am I missing something?

Republicans also want free market competition from private insurers...but not this time?
Self-insurance — in which the state would pay benefits directly instead of buying insurance from 18 HMOs — could save $50 million to $70 million a year beginning in 2017, said a report from Atlanta-based Segal Consulting.
Consider flipping the following statement around; state workers will pay $42 million more, instead of the state. Republicans hate that:
Introducing deductibles for state workers, increasing out-of-pocket maximums, charging more for brand-name drugs and other changes that could save at least $42 million next year.
This is like Paul Ryan's "reform" plan for Medicare. You can check it out here. See if this sounds familiar; creates a marketplace to buy insurance and provides premium support help.

Walker promises nation a declining middle class, lagging job growth and the highest minority unemployment.

Remember when someone in the Bush administration bragged that reality is what they said it was? It was a shocking but clarifying insight into conservative thinking. It expands on the concept of Humpty-Dumptyisms:
'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.' -Through the Looking Glass
For example, if the middle class is said to be shrinking in Wisconsin, Scott Walker says that's a signal "we're headed in the right direction:"
WSJ: Despite a new report showing Wisconsin has the fastest-shrinking middle class in the U.S., the Gov. Scott Walker administration says the state is headed in the right direction. Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick noted Monday that the Pew report covers the period from 2000 through 2013 and includes only the first three years of the Republican’s first term.
This is all unsettling head-in-the-sand logic. Any report showing a decline in the middle class should warrant a deeper, more critical look. But Walker wants to brush it off as a distraction to more important presidential things. But a number of studies tell a different story, and back up the decline:
But UW-Madison economist Laura Dresser said income growth in the state for decades has been concentrated among the top 1 percent. She said that would explain the decline in the percentage of families considered “middle class” by federal standards, even if incomes have risen recently. Dresser’s report showed that in 2012, Wisconsin reached a milestone with a record share of income going to the top 1 percent.

The Pew Charitable Trusts report reflected those figures, showing that in 2000, 54.6 percent of Wisconsin families fell into the middle class category, but that has fallen to 48.9 percent in 2013. All other states showed some decline in middle class families but none as great as Wisconsin’s 5.7 percent decline since 2000.
That's not all. Walker is attempting to create a desperate minimum wage working class by taking away their ability to buy food unless they work for less. And forced labor disincentivizes employers from having to raise wages.
Wisconsin also continues to lag the nation in job growth, with the latest figures putting the state 40th on that key measure.
But we're heading in the right direction. Solutions to lagging job growth and a declining middle class are contained within the tax cuts for the wealthy. Another signal we're heading in the right direction?
Unemployment among African-Americans in Wisconsin last year was the highest of any of the 50 states, according to a study released Thursday by the center-left Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.

At 19.9% — or 1 in 5 working-age people — the black unemployment rate in Wisconsin is nearly three times higher than the highest state white unemployment rate (7% in Nevada) and significantly higher than the national black unemployment rate of 11%, the think tank found.

Dane County; a Growing threat against Red State Authority!

My original story title was, "Liberal Dane County Hell keeps Growing, attracting more people than the Conservative Utopias of Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee counties." A little long.
Big surprise, there’s something about clean, well run government and services that attracts the best people. Dane County smoked Waukesha County…
Dane County grew by the widest margin, gaining 6,257 people to reach a population of 516,284. Half of Dane County's population increase came from migration, and it's one of only two counties to have experienced significant positive migration for the past five years. In total, Dane has grown by 27,277 people since 2010 — a 5.6% increase.

Waukesha County grew by 1,178 to 395,118 people, and Washington and Ozaukee counties increased by 505 and 375 people, respectively.
Rural conservative strongholds are losing people too, although probably not enough to affect elections:
Nearly half of all Wisconsin counties declined in population from 2013 to 2014 … continued population decline in Wisconsin's rural counties. 

Walker cuts funding to cleanup rivers and lakes, and return them "to a healthy condition."

Is this just another case of a group of egg-headed scientists meddling in the affairs of hunters and fishermen who simply want to enjoy the great outdoors, algae blooms and all?

Scott Walker thinks so, and in a shocking move, is trying to defund them out of the budget picture. The key phrases in the WPR story below, “cleanup project” and “returning our waters” tells us we've got a problem now. These aren't predictions by a group of tree hugging alarmists:
A cleanup project for the western Wisconsin’s Red Cedar and St. Croix rivers could be in jeopardy due to a line item cut proposed in the state budget. Tainter-Menomin Lake Association President Ron Verdon told the Joint Finance Committee, "UW-Extension staff members play a critical role in providing support, knowledge, leadership and resources to address issues we face in returning our waters to a healthy condition." 
The idea of local control is a mirage Republican like to market under the banner of freedom...until they're in power. This is just one shining example of that. 

Do Republican voters believe as Walker does, that cleaning up our rivers and lakes is an option we just can't afford right now? 
In 2013, the University of Wisconsin-Extension, the Department of Natural Resources and counties formed a set of farmer-led councils aimed at reducing farm runoff into the Red Cedar and St. Croix Rivers that contributes to toxic algae blooms. However, the proposed state budget would cut $770,000 from that and other efforts in the state.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ryan Medicare reform says Seniors living on $1000 a month must pay more for health care, "so the cost is once again a consideration."

After extensive research into the workings of Medicare, I came away wondering why most people aren't just as outrage as I am. Here's what I posted a few weeks ago:
Seniors slipping into poverty: Seniors on Social Security average $1,305 a month; minus $105 a month fee just to have Medicare; minus $140 to $200 a month for supplemental insurance (Medigap) that pays for co-pays and deductibles charged seniors.
Many people don't know there are co-pays and deductibles in the Medicare program, or that they are forced to buy "optional" supplemental insurance to pay for all of the out-of-pocket costs.

That leaves most seniors with the below poverty level income of just $1,000 a month. 

Bad, but that's not horrific enough for Paul Ryan!!!

Ryan's concerned that many of these low income seniors have been "insulated" from the true cost of health care due to their costly supplemental insurance plans that prevent them from losing it all.

The following is so sick, so unmistakably cruel, that any criticism pales in comparison to the sinking feeling you'll have after reading his twisted logic:
Many seniors have "Medigap" insurance — that is, a private plan that helps pay for costs Medicare doesn't cover, like co-payments and deductibles. These plans insulate people from costs and, experts believe, encourage the overuse of healthcare. Beginning in 2020, this agreement would prohibit Medigap plans from covering the first $147 of out-of-pocket spending, so cost is once again a consideration in healthcare decisions. It would give seniors the security they deserve. And above all, it would be a firm step toward a patient-centered healthcare system."

Paul Ryan takes ObamaCare innovation and makes it his own? Not so fast.

I couldn't believe what I was reading. 

Paul Ryan’s not very original, and by my own estimates, not to smart either. In his recent editorial describing how he would privatize Medicare, he outright stole an ObamaCare feature. A feature he’s been trying to kill for years. Ryan even stole the failed marketplace idea and tax credits. And you thought Republicans hated ObamaCare?

And no one is calling him out on his hypocrisy, because politicians and the media don’t understand the Affordable Care Act. Ryan might have gotten away with it, but I’m here to expose this ghoulish phony. 

Ryan is taking credit for “managed care,” a reform idea that's now an integral part of ObamaCare, the marketplace, and Medicaid expansion. Yes, he's really trying to steal it, without ever saying "managed care:"
"Our plan would strengthen Medicare by encouraging better care and rewarding doctors for better results. Right now, Medicare pays doctors for every single treatment they perform … It rewards quantity, not quality, of care. We would … depend more and more on results. Our plan would … reward doctors who met performance goals and improved seniors' health. Over time, Medicare would reward quality over quantity, and seniors would get better care because of it … our plan would discourage unnecessary doctor visits and give seniors an incentive to seek the most effective care."
1. Wow, what an idea!!! If only the states tried doing this…
States are increasingly turning to Medicaid managed care as a key .... in many states under the Affordable Care Act. 
2. If only insurers began to adapt to all the changes in managed care... 
It’s important to understand that today, just about all health coverage plans are some type of “managed care” plan. Gone are the days of traditional “fee for service” … Under managed care plans pay doctors or hospitals directly … physicians may be paid a fixed annual per-member (“capitation”) rate, regardless of how many times the covered individual visits the physician. The health plan goal is to take away financial incentives to prescribe too much care.
3. If it sounds exactly like the Affordable Care Act...Ryan just loves to talk about "patient-centered health care," a tricky way to usher in privatization, and to say "you're on your own suckers," with no way for Americans to pay for their care. But the term means something completely different in the ACA:
TheAffordable Care Act is expected to impact access to care, change the way accountable care organizations are used. An ACO seeks to provide patient-centered treatment programs and manage the continuum of care across the healthcare delivery system, which includes everything from wellness to chronic disease.

Walker's tax cut for special interest Factories and Farms Guts Budget, will get worse....

It's policy stuff like this that'll make Scott Walker a great president.

The original Legislative Fiscal Bureau's estimated of one big tax cut was really really low, despite warnings by those who couldn't believe the numbers:
“Critics have called the manufacturing and ag tax credit little more than a straight giveaway to some of the wealthiest individuals in Wisconsin.”
Democrats were right, and they were attacked by Republicans as out of touch tax and spend liberals. That was the extent of the thought that went into the following tax cut monstrosity:
Cap Times: Factory owner tax cuts cost $275 million more — twiceoriginal projections: A measure tucked into Gov. Walker’s 2011 budget that effectively eliminated state income taxes on owners of factories and farms in Wisconsin is costing way more than predicted and contributing mightily to the current budget shortfalls.
Supply side geniuses don't believe demand creates jobs. They think if you give companies lots of money, those companies will hire people out of the goodness of their heart, even if they don’t need them:
The Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit was hailed at the time as a job-creating effort that would let businesses invest the savings in new hires and equipment.
Give credit to Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris, a policy and numbers wonk, who warned everybody when he ran for governor:
“I always believed that the credits would cost significantly more than the original projections.”

Harris also warned us when he appeared on Sly's afternoon radio show:

TWICE AS MUCH!!! HOLY COW: And for fun, take the top tax bracket and change it to zero:
But recent figures from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau show the credit will cost the state at least $275 million in additional lost tax collections over the next biennium, or more than double what was originally estimated. Top bracket taxpayers who qualify will see their state income tax rate fall from 7.75 percent to zero by 2016, when the credit fully kicks in.

Initial projections from Fiscal Bureau said the credits would amount to about $130 million in lost tax collections annually when fully implemented in 2016. But the Fiscal Bureau is now putting the cost at $224 million in 2015-16 and $284 million in 2016-17.
Give credit to Democratic Rep. Gordon Hintz for at least pointing out how the Walker administration’s “very poor choices” created the budget crisis. And Walker won’t budge, even if we have to give up the UW, parks and borrow for transportation:
Hintz asked Revenue Secretary Richard Chandler if the tax credit phase-in could be delayed by two years to restore some of the cuts in Walker’s budget … Chandler said Walker would not support a delay in the credit’s full implementation and defended borrowing in other areas like transportation to cover the cost of the tax cuts.

Scott Walker's right-to-work promise of jobs empty rhetorical nonsense! Tea Party platform not a business plan.

Right wing free market theories and supply side carrots used to attract and encourage businesses to Wisconsin may play well to the bubble world base, but doesn't do squat in reality. The ideologically driven pursuit of establishing a business nirvana with talking points has hit the brick wall of corporate self interest - money before people:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Walker Saves Big Money for Menard's.....

We're finding out again, that dark money had coincidentally changed environmental rules in Wisconsin, and the sad thing is, we completely unaware of it. If conservatives truly believe in open government, why aren't they questioning Scott Walker's intentions to hide money when he asked donors to contribute to the Club for Growth? It's being used for dark reasons.

Not only did John Menard Jr., the 75 year old billionaire owner of Menard's get WEDC tax credits for expansion, he got a pass from the DNR via weaker environmental regulations. That made Menard very happy:
George Meyer, a former secretary of natural resources under Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson, said the hardware baron made no secret of his views on environmental enforcement. “He told me he just didn’t believe in environmental regulations,” said Meyer. “He was upfront about it.” 
So why someone like Menard, a true supply side believer, want to remain anonymous in support of the governor? What does he think would happen if the public knew what he was up to?
John Menard Jr. ... found the perfect way to (donated to Walker) without attracting any attention: He wrote more than $1.5 million in checks to a pro-Walker political advocacy group, the Wisconsin Club for Growth, that pledged to keep its donors secret, three sources directly familiar with the transactions told Yahoo News … seem to have paid off for the businessman and his company. 

In the past two years, Menard’s company has been awarded up to $1.8 million in special tax credits from a state economic development corporation that Walker chairs ... Walker’s appointees have sharply scaled back enforcement actions by the state DNR, a top Menard priority. 
Menard is your typical trash the environment conservative billionaire, who's disregard for things, like drinking water, parks, rivers and lakes is actually legendary:
The DNR had repeatedly clashed with Menard and his company under previous governors over citations for violating state environmental laws and had levied a $1.7 million fine against Menard personally, as well as his company, for illegally dumping hazardous wastes.

George Meyer said he had intense confrontations with Menard during the late 1990s over state environmental laws. In one instance, he said, state officials caught the billionaire store owner on videotape personally dumping arsenic-laden hazardous waste ashes from one of his lumber plants in a state landfill.

“I swear to God, he would have his employees bag up [the ashes] in plastic bags, and he would take them home and put them in his personal garbage,” said Meyer, who is now executive director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation. “They were going to a regular landfill, not to a hazardous waste facility. We were trying to get the attorney general to file criminal charges. If it had been you or me, it would have happened, but it didn't to John Menard.” Instead, Menard and his company settled and agreed to pay the $1.7 million civil fine, then a record in Wisconsin. 
And despite being the chairman of WEDC, Walker had nothing to do with giving Menard taxpayer help:
Laurel Patrick, Walker’s press secretary, strongly denied that the governor had provided any special favors for Menard and said Walker was “not involved” in the decision to award his firm tax credits, approved by the WEDC (Walker is chairman).
Here's even more from Rachel Maddow, and her interview with Isikoff:

Guilty Walker aide described as "First Political Prisoner."

Now a real contender, Scott Walker's run for president has made defending his past authoritarian misdeeds an almost surreal experience, even downright breathtaking. 

The Wisconsin Reporter may be the most outrageous attempt to date, with the sad story of lawless Walker aide, Kelly Rindfliesch. "Reporter" M.D. Kittle goes for broke defending illegal campaign emails by Rindfliesch. 

Kittle's Onion-esque title is pictured here, with a Tweet of support from another victim of liberal harassment, right wing radio host Vicki McKenna. 

Jaw dropping and ridiculous, Kittle is trying to make the case that conservatives should not be prosecuted by liberal DA's, even if they're caught breaking the law...just a little bit. 

Described as a "secret war on conservatives," Rindfliesch is laughably portrayed as "the first political prisoner." You really can't make this up any better than these right wing spin-meisters. You'll notice in the article that the secret router used to illegally campaign is never mentioned. Just an oversight I'm sure: 
Fox News: Kelly Rindfliesch could become the first political prisoner in what many see as a Democrat-led secret war on conservatives. Rindfleisch, was convicted in 2012 on a nebulous charge of misconduct in public office for answering campaign emails while serving as an aide to Gov. Scott Walker ... The charge, like the prosecutors' sweeping search of Rindfleisch's computers and smartphones, appears to have been expansive and ill-fitting her "crimes." 

"This started with them (Milwaukee County District Attorney's office) trying to get something on Scott Walker while he was running for governor, and their aggressiveness increased with the passage of Act 10, and it was no holds barred," Rindfleisch said. "They were going to do whatever they had to do to get him, even if it destroyed other people." 
You gotta love this....
Her attorney, Frank Gimbel, tells Wisconsin Reporter he will file a habeas corpus petition with the United States District Court for the Eastern District in Milwaukee. It’s a rather unusual move.

“We are challenging the state official that will have custody of Kelly on the grounds of this has gotten to the point where her liberty was taken away from her. And because she was deprived of due process, we’re asking the federal court to release her,” Gimbel said.
Stunningly bad reporting and outrageous spin.

Monday, March 23, 2015

State Republicans to bring back 7 Day work week...completely voluntary?

Ed Schultz talked to John Nichols and Wisconsin Jobs Now's Jennifer Epps-Addison about the GOP's not so clever way to workaround raising the minimum wage, by allowing labor to give up their weekends for more pay.