Friday, May 25, 2018

Make sure WI GOP electeds own their full Trump credit

Former US national intelligence director James Clapper says Russia swung the 2016 election for Trump.

But while American constitutional norms are disappearing as fast as clean air , federal land protections and nuclear summit meetings, let's not forget that Trump had a powerful supporting cast in our key swing state who rightly get a share of the Trump installation credit, including:

* Ron Johnson, who endorsed Trump at the 2016 GOP National Convention.

* As did Walker. From the podium. In a televised slot he negotiated.

* And then there is the failing, self-diminishing House Speaker Paul Ryan, who, like the rest of the WI GOP congressional delegation, excused and otherwise served as reliable Trump valets before and after his Day One.

The Swamp overfloweth and the country is in crises, snd what of our home state enablers? 

Self-declared lame duck Johnson is beyond consequence. He'll have a second act on the lecture circuit telling anyone who'll listen that he hated his taxpayer-paid junket to DC cuz he didn' 'peal 'Bamacare.

Trump? Not RoJo's problem.

Walker is Foxconning and handing out pre-election $100 tax rebate checks like double-bonus Kohl's cash. Trump? Meh. Doesn't need him, Walker says.

And Ryan is running out the clock on a remarkably short and ineffective Speakership halfway through a Trump term, leaving the country holding the bag. 

Leadership.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, suit


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Pipeline win reported by Dane County activists

Good for Madison350.org
Click image for information about our Anti Tar Sands initiative
persistent champions of a clean environment.

For immediate release — May 24, 2018

Court of Appeals decision rebukes Enbridge’s bullying
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals today unanimously reversed a 2016 circuit court decision in the case of Enbridge v. Dane County

Circuit Court Judge Peter C. Anderson had overturned the requirement in Dane County’s conditional use permit that Enbridge purchase cleanup insurance before tripling the volume of dangerous tar sands oil flowing through Line 61, which runs near Marshall. Attorney Patricia Hammel, who led 350 Madison’s legal team together with Attorney Thomas Burney, credited the court with taking landowners’ concerns seriously, saying, “Our clients look forward to having insurance protection against a devastating tar sands spill and proof that Enbridge continues to have such insurance in force. We must protect people living by pipelines until we can stop relying on fossil fuels.”
Enbridge is a $130 billion foreign pipeline company, headquartered in Canada, that is seeking to massively expand pipeline capacity to ship tar sands oil from Alberta through the Midwest, just as TransCanada is seeking to do through the Great Plains with its Keystone XL pipeline. 
Tar sands oil is an especially dangerous type of oil for a number of reasons, according to 350 Madison’s Tar Sands Leader Mary Beth Elliott. First, it is abrasive and corrosive and thus more likely to cause leaks in a pipeline. Second, when it does leak, it is much more hazardous and essentially impossible to clean up because it sinks instead of floats in water. Third, because of its tar-like consistency, its extraction releases three times more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional crude oil. But added to these dangers, Elliott pointed out, is Enbridge’s terrible safety record: The company was responsible for more than 800 spills between 1999 and 2010, including the largest inland oil pipeline spill in U.S. history—the 2010 Kalamazoo River disaster, which cost $1.2 billion to only partially clean up.
350 Madison spokesperson Peter N. Anderson (no relation to the circuit court judge) applauded the Appeals Court decision as vindication of the group’s four-year campaign to protect the citizens of Wisconsin from liability for cleanup costs in the event of an Enbridge spill. It was 350 Madison that first pointed out that Enbridge needed to get a conditional use permit and that cleanup insurance should be a key condition.
Anderson added that the citizens of Dane County owe a huge debt to the members of the Dane County Zoning and Land Regulation Committee (including former and current Chairs Patrick Miles and Mary Kolar), who immediately understood the critical importance of requiring cleanup insurance to protect the county and committed the resources to getting it done. 
According to Anderson, the county resisted Enbridge’s pressure to take its word for it that the general liability policy it carried provided adequate protection. The committee understood the grossly inadequate nature of such policies and demanded a specific policy intended for environmental cleanups, called environmental impairment liability insurance. 
The Appeals Court decision sends the case back to the Zoning Committee for further proceedings. On remand, the committee is to determine whether Enbridge can make a showing that the insurance it carries meets the specific conditions created by an 11th-hour anonymous amendment to the 2015 State Budget—an amendment Enbridge claims it had nothing to with, even though it exclusively benefits the company. If Enbridge’s insurance meets those conditions, the amendment would void the insurance requirement, but the court’s recitation of the facts makes clear that there is little chance that it does. 
The decision is, in Anderson’s words, “a stunning victory for citizen activism, for an outstanding legal team, and a courageous County Board.” 
Questions? Looking for an interview? Contact: Peter Anderson (608) 231-1100
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The 350 Madison Climate Action Team is dedicated to achieving a just transition to a reduction in atmospheric CO2 below 350 parts per million (ppm) by working locally in concert with a powerful global movement.

Corporate raiders hit another unionized plant in Walker's WI

Walker can tweet all day long about the state's falling jobless rate, but the reality is that wages are down here, employment growth in Wisconsin lags the country's rate and is clustered in low-earning sectors while long-time employer-after-employer closes up here.

This just in:

The profiteers who run so-called private equity firms which have closed down WI paper mills and other firms just wiped out a long-time Watertown plant where 90% of the workers had union jobs.
Western Industries plant in Watertown to close, eliminating 85 jobs
About 70 hourly production and maintenance employees at the Watertown plant are represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District Lodge No. 10 in Milwaukee. 
Meanwhile, Minnesota'e economy is putting Wisconsin's to shame, this recent non-partisan report shows:
As Wisconsin’s and Minnesota’s lawmakers took divergent paths, so did their economies 
Since 2010, Minnesota’s economy has performed far better for working families than Wisconsin’s

 

Paul Ryan's wasted, corrosive House Speakership

[Updated from 5/23/18]: As Paul Ryan skips the DOJ briefings which Trump has manufactured for his own benefit, these from the Twitter feeds of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and NBC Capitol Hill reporter Kasie Hunt:
4 hours ago

By choosing not to attend the Gang of 8 meeting today, has abdicated his responsibility to the House & the American people.
    @Kasie 
I asked if he has any concerns at all that is doing lasting damage to FBI or DOJ. No, he said,



4 hours ago



----------------------------------------

If I hear one more cable TV news pundit throw Paul Ryan a 'he's-in-a-tough-spot' lifeline, I might call my satellite dish provider and have them come collect its equipment

He's not in a tough spot: we're in a tough spot.

Ryan is holding a treasured, historic, taxpayer-paid, perk-laden post with a super-sized staff, security detail and Constitutionally-defined authority as Speaker of the House of Representatives - - which puts him second in the line of succession to the Presidency.

It's a plum post with what is said to be the best view of the Nation's Capitol monuments that only a few dozen people in American history have ever held.

That's a tough spot? Please.

Being in a tough spot is trying to make ends meet when people like Ryan and his serve-the-rich, bigoted, nativist and callous caucus want to strip you of food assistance, health insurance, Medicare or voting rights. 

Or have made their number one priority The Saving of a Dangerous Presidency.

And the position Ryan disrespects by abandoning it and from which he may be bounced even more prematurely than he wants comes with so much political and budgetary power that all he needs to do is text any office holder or any reporter or any TV news anchor in DC or any lobbyist or CEO in town and they'll be in his office in a matter of minutes, hanging on his every word, buying what he's selling and anxious to remain in his Rolodex.

But there he sits, inert, unable or unwilling to do the basics and manage his solid House majority.

And uphold his oath of office by standing firm against renegade House Oversight and Intelligence committee chairs of his own appointment, and being a brave bulwark against a President openly flouting truth-telling and the Constitution on a daily basis.

A President with dictatorial impulses and dreams who is undermining right in front of Speaker Ryan the independence of the Justice Department and, for example, the public health and safety mission of the US EPA.

Where press freedom took a big hit yesterday, an agency where every official and employee draws a paycheck from a budget Ryan moved out of the House.

An agency where Ryan is fine with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's pro-pollution preferences, and where Ryan will do nothing to help make sure Pruitt does no further damage to the First Amendment.

And speaking of the Constitution, Speaker Ryan stands with the NRA and its distortion of the Second Amendment while blood-letting gun violence aimed at America's school children has become routine.

So Ryan has made himself into a lame duck.

But first, The Once and Former Deficit Hawk made sure to deliver the Koch brothers their tax cuts - - then announced his early retirement somehow comfortable with massive new deficits of his own creation.

Now it seems as if the Gohmerites whom he's coddled and caved to want him replaced with someone possessed of even fewer scruples than what Janesville's leading Ayn Randian and former leading GOP It Guy was said to possess.

The country would be better off if Ryan gave the poorly, paradoxically-named Freedom Caucus its wish and left early, thereby reducing by one the country's surplus of spineless clerks with little to do except picking up a check and watching a pension grow fatter.

GOP donor-boosted Northwoods bridge project underway

You may remember the efforts by a major Walker and GOP donor to acquire state-owned river frontage up north.

The DNR and Natural Resources Board more recently approved a paved trail, and new bridge a couple of hundred yards from an existing bridge over the Manitowish River
An area resident stopped by with a camera for a look-see
also backed by the donor, Elizabeth Uihlein.

As with state agencies ready compliance with the land-swapping, permit-granting wishes of another key Walker donor for a separate golf course project, ask yourself whether everyday Wisconsin citizens routinely get this kind of service from those charged with overseeing public land and waters. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

What's worse: dumped sludge, or sludge spun out about it?

I written Monday about massive water discoloration after a sand mining bulldozer sank in a retention pond near the Trempealeau River.

Turns out that 10 million gallons of yellow sludge has flowed into nearby waters and fields, but the company says there are no health issues.
10 million gallons of mine sludge turns Trempealeau River orange; officials investigating spill after dramatic rescue
The contents of the pond were primarily “water, silt, clay and sand,” though Hi-Crush environmental compliance manager Jeff Johnson said it could contain “trace elements” of a polyacrylamide, a chemical used to remove silt from the water, which is used to process the sand for use in natural gas and oil wells. 
Preston said regular tests of water released from the mine site “show no indication of substances that are harmful to wildlife, humans or the environment.” 
I don't think anyone would want that chemical in their drinking water or river fish dinner. 

Foxconn wobble

Is Walker's Foxconn Fever becoming Walker's Folly?

Does it really need all that Lake Michigan water, huge air pollution permits and 3,000 acres from which some people might be moved through eminent domain/ land seizure?

So Walker might want to slow down the Foxconn bulldozers and tamp down his campaign-style photo op touring as the company deals with an industry report that it will alter what's to be made at the Wisconsin plant because of supplier obstacles:
Officials with Taiwanese electronics maker Foxconn are disputing a report from a top Asian news outlet that the company is changing its plans for a display-screen manufacturing campus in southeast Wisconsin.
The report by Nikkei Asian Review is sourced to industry analysts and others "familiar with the matter." It says Foxconn "is considering producing small to medium-size displays for Apple, carmakers and others to lower initial costs" -- a shift from its previously stated plans for the Wisconsin facility to make large-size liquid crystal display screens for TVs and other applications. 
Could Foxconn shift its WI production to smaller phone and dashboard display, requiring a less expansive and expensive factory? Stay tuned.
The Journal Sentinel reports that shifting production to smaller items would reduced the need for a plant as originally pitched, thus lowering its cost.
Nikkei Asian Review cited sources who suggested that problems establishing a local supply chain for production of large panels had prompted Foxconn to turn its focus to smaller displays such as those used in computers, mobile devices and cars.
A shift to smaller displays would lower the company’s initial costs at the factory, Nikkei said.
This is the headline on the Journal Sentinel's updated story, with Walker's office in damage-control mode referring questioners to the company's statement:
Foxconn denies report that it will cut back initial investment in Wisconsin
You may remember that Corning, a manufacturer of large sheets of high-tech screen materials, wanted a Foxconn-like subsidy deal to build alongside the Mount Pleasant project, and Walker, fresh out of giveaways that size, said 'no.'

So is the next slogan, "Corning, or bust?" Can you say that about a maker of large, breakable liquid display screens?

I'd written earlier that Walker didn't do a good job explaining Wisconsin's environmental ethic to Foxconn officials who said they were baffled by, shall we say, their sprawling, sprawl-inducing big project's mixed reception.

So maybe both Foxconn and Walker's oft-inept WEDC didn't do a good job prepping him about the realities of big-screen LCD assembly, and supplier availability - - and no doubt, next up, worker and expert shortages here.

And maybe just maybe, everyone went rushing into the deal because there was a merger of Walker's political needs and Foxconn's land and water perquisites, and neither side needed to really do a deep, dude diligence dive.

Building a less-expensive plant could lower the size of the state subsidies and trip off other changes, so as Trump would say, 'we'll see what happens.' 

Governor Pothole assigned "Scottholes" by Cap Times

The Cap Times editorially addresses Wisconsin's crumbing roads and insightfully inserts "Scottholes" into the political language.

"Scottholes" has a nice ring to it, so fill media and the airwaves with it.
Editorial: A fix-the-roads Republican should mount an anti-Scottholes challenge to Walker
I've been assigning responsibility to Walker as "Governor Pothole" for some time - - and noting that our pothole governor has actually made things worse by transferring millions in statewide road money to Foxconn - - thus accelerating the distortion in state policy-making and major highway expansion that he set in motion by supporting unfunded SE WI freeway expansion as far back as 2003.

And to connect Walker's road and budgeting damage to his equal-ideologically, special-interest driven and carelessly indifferent assault on the environment, how about:
"Fill potholes, not wetlands"

Or better yet"
"Fill Scottholes, not wetlands" 
  

A Foxconn Fever primer

[Updated continuously from July, 2017] This frequently-updated archive follows Wisconsin's award of $4.5 billion in state and local funds, plus waivers of routine judicial and environmental reviews, for a promised Foxconn factory development using a massive daily diversion of Lake Michigan water on Racine County open space, farmlands and wetlands.
-------------------------------------------------------
* So soon? An Asian industry media report claims Foxconn may not need the huge plant envisioned in Wisconsin because supplier difficulties may rule out, at least initially, the assembly of large-screen TVs there. Are we moving into Walker Folly territory yet? 
Foxconn wobble
* You can add fears in Illinois about downstream flooding off the Foxconn site in a shared, two-state watershed to concerns to Illinois about Foxconn-related air pollution and a Great Lakes water diversion.
Foxconn's environmental downsides of growing concern in Illinois
* No surprise!
Major Walker backer gets major Foxconn contract
* Walker keeps failing to convince people statewide that Foxconn is to their benefit. Latest example north of the Foxconn site.
Manitowoc writer not buying the Foxconn story Walker's selling
* Walker says Foxconn is confused by its critics. Guess who didn't lay out to the company the inconvenient truths? 
Walker gets the blame for poorly-prepping Foxconn
* Noted financial academics say Foxconn subsidies are counter-productive. Plus, think of the environmental benefits if the clean air and water impacts were averted.
Experts say Foxconn subsidies are lost-opportunity job killers.
* Walker's campaign is open for business.
OWN tracking lead Foxconn contractor Walker donations
* A business publication helps get a bad actor removed from Foxconn work, but the episode shows the need for better communication between state and local officials.
Why one Foxconn contractor is already off the job
* Many Foxconn jobs will pay less than the $57,000 annually promised as the average by the company, and many of the jobs are not going to be family-supporting.
Foxconn pays between $9.22/hr-$64,000+
* A fresh taxpayer-paid Foxconn p.r. event for Walker today. But no unpleasant questions at this carefully-controlled event, please, so here are some reminders.
Walker-Foxconn-campaign strategy clarified today
* It's less newsy that Foxconn intends to hire thousands of people for lower-skilled-and-wage jobs and more important to understand that the factory's site is right where its own state rep., Robin Vos, made sure there are no coordinated transit services crucial for lower-income workers less likely to have or afford to operate cars.
Foxconn always planned WI site as low-wage hub
* WI AG Brad Schimel, GOP ally of Scott Walker and his 'chamber of commerce mentality'-driven DNR, will not protect SE Wisconsin from already-dirty air soon to be laden with another 796 tons of airborne pollutants from Foxconn - - so IL AG Lisa Madigan is stepping in with a federal lawsuit to do Schimel's work for him. And for us.
Foxconn-friendly EPA air regs for SE WI get IL lawsuit
* Michigan legal activists urge Great Lakes states to take over review of Lake Michigan diversion for Foxconn which Walker's DNR hurriedly-approved. This is an effort to invoke the Great Lakes Compact. To save it.
MI group raises alarm about Foxconn diversion, seeks broader review by other states
* Walker may not know or care that he's earned a spot at an historic climate change crossroads, so here's the story.
Walker's Grey Skies win is one for record books' material
* Walker needs Foxconn to distract voters from his still-failed 250,000 new jobs promise. And if that means sacrificing clean air, clean Lake Michigan water, the integrity of the Great Lakes Compact, Racine-area wetlands and billions in public subsidies, so be it.
Walker wants Foxconn as distraction from his failed 250,000 new jobs promise
* Trump, Walker, DNR and US EPA coordinate to ensure that SE WI will not have strongest air quality standards, rule, enforcement. #MWSA.
Making Wisconsin smoggier again
*  US EPA exempts SE WI and thus Foxconn site, environs from stronger clean air rules. Big win for Walker, Foxconn, but not children, seniors, joggers, asthmatics, COPD sufferers, etc.
Pharmacies, RR/ICUs big winners in latest Walker Grey Skies push 
*   Corning said it wanted Foxconn-like subsidies to build glass sheeting plant near the Foxconn site, but Team Walker squelched that before backlash could reach DEF CON 5.
Walker nixes Foxconn-style-state payments to Corning, but... 
* Multiple review and permit exemptions, easy air pollution approvals and a questionable Lake Michigan diversion hurriedly greenly by the DNR for the Foxconn project are part of the larger environmental damage Walker and the GOP have wrought statewide.
Walker's lazy, loose 'policy-making' is fouling Wisconsin land, air and water
* The other seven Great Lakes states have the right under the Compact to review the WI DNR's approval of a diversion for Foxconn. And history shows that other diversion approvals given additional reviews are improved.
The other Great Lakes states could review the Foxconn diversion
* Wisconsin's DNR needs an updated, reality-based mission statement, given its obeisance to Foxconn and other special interests it reflexively serves through Scott Walker's 'chamber of commerce mentality.'
Walker's 'chamber of commerce mentality DNR needs a new mission statement
* Walker goosed along a quick Lake Michigan water diversion approval for Foxconn, but he may run into opposition from other Great Lakes states and supporters of the Wisconsin Constitution, Article IX.
The WI DNR adds quick approval of Foxconn diversion to quick approval of air pollution permits 
 * Yeah, says the DNR, no need to worry about Foxconn's intention to spew more than 700 tons of pollutants a year over Racine County. Next up: all that Lake Michigan water Foxconn wants, and says it will clean.
Foxconn's 4 air emission permits get quick WI DNR speed-dating 
*  Former Gov. Tommy Thompson's sort of mea culpa about his history of harsh sentencing and Super Max imprisonment 'reforms' becomes a suggestion that a "select group of future parolees" could be tracked into Foxconn jobs.
Gov. Super Max finds new uses for prisoners
*  Small City of Milwaukee research agency again unearths facts about a Lake Michigan diversion.
Milwaukee report exposes state's pathetic Foxconn diversion 'due diligence  
 * A blog reader suggests converting the 7-million-gallon-per-day Lake Michigan diversion for Foxconn and Mount Pleasant into daily tanker truckloads. It's a big, long line. 
Foxconn Lake Michigan diversion = 1,100 tanker trucks everyday in a 14-mile long line. 
 *  Illinois and New York are raising the same kind of questions which Wisconsin water activists aired at a recent hearing about the legality of Foxconn's bid for a Great Lakes diversion being pushed by Gov. Walker. His DNR gets to review and can approve the application - - unless the other Great Lakes states mount  substantial resistance.
Illinois, New York raise questions about Foxconn's bid for Lake Michigan water
*  Wisconsin pushed through the Great Lakes regional body a controversial Lake Michigan diversion for Waukesha, but the other states attached conditions due to Wisconsin's checkered environmental stewardship under Walker which could come back and bit the Foxconn diversion.
Awareness of Walker's poor water stewardship spreads to other Great Lakes states
* Foxconn's likely acquisition of site land via condemnation is controversial so naturally Paul Ryan - - with a history of of opposing such practices - - is ducking that issue. He has a long record of duck-like behavior, easily tracked.
Paul Ryan, like a duck...
 Walker signed the deal six months ago and road work at the Racine County site began in January. Could it be that a spate of negative stories about possible property seizures, air pollution and Lake Michigan water quality are making boosters nervous in this election year?
Boosters still touting Foxconn benefit to WI. Why now?
*  This is what you get when you let a Governor unleash his 'chamber of commerce mentality' onto the DNR and across state government: air pollution, CAFO-contamined drinking water, filled wetlands, state park land conveyed to private developers, etc.
From Mount Pleasant to Sheboygan, and beyond, beware developer-politician collusion
 * Racine County, nearby Lake Michigan and plenty of area codes far and wide will be dealing with levels of air pollutants equivalent to what is spewed by a major paper mill should the WI DNR gives Foxconn the emission permits it wants.
Wi DNR sets hearings on Foxconn's whopping air pollution ask
*  Remember when Kenosha decided that 'winning' Foxconn was too pricey and consequential? The Kenosha Mayor is happy with his decision, while neighboring Racine communities will pay a heavy cost in dollars, land, water, congestion, , etc.
Kenosha happy with no-risk Foxconn proximity
* Walker and his GOP/business-obeisant caucus exempted Foxconn from environmental wetland permits and didn't even require a basic DNR oversight in the form of environmental impact statement for the site. But regional planners a few years wrote a comprehensive land use plan for all of Racine County that laid out the negative consequences of losing ag lands, habitat, open space, wetlands and other environmentally-significant resources. A sample:
Because of the many interacting relationships existing between living organisms and their environment, the destruction or deterioration of one important element of the total environment may lead to a chain reaction of deterioration and destruction of other elements. The drainage of wetlands, for example, may destroy fish spawning areas, wildlife habitat, groundwater recharge areas, and natural filtration and floodwater storage areas of interconnecting stream systems."
Anybody else read this comprehensive report? Anybody care? 
Regional planners have catalogued resources on 'WisConn' site
* And, of course, enabling more allowable air pollution in SE Wisconsin has nothing to do with Foxconn. What's next for our 'chamber of commerce mentality' state under Walker? More lawn darts in the elementary schools? An end to state-sponsored cigarette cessation programs?
Walker adds dirty air to GOP's WI pollution portfolio
* Wisconsin has been grabbing Great Lakes water since 1986
Foxconn diversion is 5th Great Lakes grab by imperious, outlier Wisconsin
* Walker's DNR has sole approval role in Foxconn's water diversion bid. Given what Walker's done to the DNR, who think's the review will be science-based, open-minded and fair?
Walker has debased WI agency reviewing Foxconn water diversion bid
* Bruce Murphy, Urban Milwaukee tracks the money.
Foxconn deal gets even worse
* Foxconn says it will be a good environmental citizen and abide by all applicable rules - - which is a hollow pledge after Walker and the GOP legislature basically exempted Foxconn from routine environmental review and permit procedures that protect wetlands, streams, and lakes. 
At Foxconn diversion hearing, citizen clarity, special interest chaff
* At the Wednesday, 3/7 Foxconn water diversion hearing in Racine, let's get rock-solid guarantees about the return to the lake of clean wastewater - - unlike what's been reported flowing from Foxconn facilities in China.
To Walker, Foxconn: Lake Michigan is blue, not 'black-green-sudsy' 
* Consider where Foxconn wants to draw its daily millions of gallons of fresh water, use in its heavily absorbing and chemical-laden manufacturing processes - - and where it intends to redeposit - - treated - - about two-thirds of the draw.
Photo montage of Foxconn's water supply and discharge receptacle
* Only in Wisconsin could you have the DNR urge government help in stemming habitat loss for the endangered Monarch butterfly, then a few months later approve road-building through known Monarch habitat. Because, you know, Foxconn.
DNR approves 'incidental' taking of Monarch habitat for Foxconn-roadwork
* Intentional or not, there's a big omission from application filed by Racine County for a major diversion of Lake Michigan water. The application gets its one and only hearing on March 7th.
1 question about what's missing from Lake Michigan diversion plan 3/7 hearing
* Idiocracy on full display as Walker strips another $90 million from the budget to fix what are the second-worst roads in America:
Walker's Foxconn Fever infects state road repair budget
* The WI DNR will hold a March 7th hearing on the application to a body of Great Lakes governors under terms of a 2008 multi-state/US-Canada compact for a Foxconn Lake Michigan water diversion. That Compact set a high bar for diversions in exceptional cases to address water shortages or health issues, not to guaranty the well-being of a business that, in turn, would give one state an economic advantage by tapping into this shared, finite resource.
Foxconn diversion undermines Great Lakes Compact. Hearing 3/7.
* The Village of Mount Pleasant begins blight-designation processes for Foxconn farmland and other properties for their faster acquisition to serve both the company and the state Department of road-building Transportation. My take: the real blight began with Walker, spread to the Legislature and infected the local governments there and now it's a full-on outbreak of Foxconn Fever.
Blighted tag could get Foxconn rural land more quickly 
* To pay for expensive road projects like those he's promised to Foxconn, Walker would raise the gas tax, institute toll roads and even take federal infrastructure funding he once sneeringly called 'free,' even if comes with increased state matches.
Nothing matches Walker's flips on federal matching federal $$
* The GOP says it likes choice, except when it comes to transportation.
How Walker sunk Amtrak funding, boosted I-94 work in Southern WI
*  Road tolling used to be a third rail issue in Wisconsin. Now the WI GOP is talking it up, and the need for hundreds of millions of dollars for Foxconn road-building is driving the issue.
WI road-tolling? Costly - - and no quick fix.
* The report says all Foxconn plants, including Wisconsin's, could be fully automated, though it's more likely that some workers would be retained for certain tasks. 
WI Foxconn plant could be robotized: report
*  Billions for Foxconn, millions for Kimberly-Clark all tied to Walker's failed 250-000 new jobs pledge.
Walker's famous FUBAR 250,000 new jobs pledge bites him again
*  Boxed in by election-year pressures and the precedent he invented, Walker is offering Foxconn-level job-retention subsidies to Kimberly-Clark (and even more widely, he says). K-C has said it is funding plant closings in Wisconsin and elsewhere with Trump-Ryan tax cut dollars. Subsidy on top of subsidy.
Desperate Walker forced to offer another company Foxconn-level subsidies
*  Add in the cost of marketing jobs to out-of-staters, then consider the losses to Wisconsin workers and communities if Chicagoans commute in for jobs paid for by Wisconsin taxpayers, and the true cost to Wisconsin of the Foxconn-per-job subsidy keeps rising.
Why the per-Foxconn-job subsidy is actually more than $200,000
*  Never has so much public money been thrown away by a Wisconsin politician. 
Walker's lavish public spending on Foxconn explained
*  This data-driven report shows how little of Wisconsin's $4.5 billions in subsidies to Foxconn is actually directly related to job creation and sets a new standard for reporting about an unprecedented Badger State boondoggle.
Wisconsin Budget Project's invaluable Foxconn report
*  The Wisconsin DNR can move really fast if Foxconn has a need.
Fast-tracked 3/7 Great Lakes water diversion hearing for Foxconn
*  Foxconn wants huge water Lake Michigan diversion, so a lot to clean before returning it.
Foxconn's Lake Michigan diversion will exceed Waukesha's initial draw
*  Add air pollution to the Foxconn impact.
Foxconn will be major emitter of air pollutants
*  Walker figures the utility customers in WI and three more states picking up a $117 million tab for Foxconn will be too busy or curious to notice it among billions more. 
Ratepayers regionally to pay for Foxconn utilities' expansion
*  Yorkville, in Foxconn project zone, saying "no" to water, land use changes.
Foxconn-area town balks at project's sprawl demands
*  Walker's new Wisconsin Idea involves sending business elsewhere.
Foxconn general contractors based in Rhode Island, Germany
*  Walker and the GOP legislature gave Foxconn a special fast-track route to the State Supreme Court for litigation arising in state courts. But as I predicted in November, there could be lawsuits over property seizure, and sure enough there is now a federal lawsuit on that very point which will not go on the Walker/Foxconn special state court fast-track.
Federal lawsuit detours around sweetheart WI/Foxconn fast-track
*  The company can quickly bulldoze the land, so why not tenants living there?
Media inquiries slow the Foxconn eviction machine
* Foxconn wetlands filling begins. More to come, perhaps statewide, as what's good for Foxconn is good for every other small wetland owner in Wisconsin, GOP boosters say.
First Foxconn wetlands fill is big; more to come
* Because every dollar for Foxconn roadwork is a dollar not spent filling potholes and repairing roads across the state which rank second-worst for repairs nationally.
Why no Walker ribbon-cutting on first Foxconn roadwork
*  Ah, what's eleven grand these days?
The $11,508 Foxconn question of the day
*  While potholes grow like mushrooms, Walker wants even more taxpayer transportation $$ for Foxconn.
Governor Pothole and his Foxconn infatuation
*  Walker after federal funds for Foxconn. 
Walker's tightening Big Government embrace
*  Yeah, just skip that huge payment.
Try this Foxconn payment-skipping maneuver with YOUR bank
*  Walker starves roads statewide, finds $30 million for new road for Foxconn.
Expect Walker to deny, distract over new $30 mil. Foxconn road
*  Walker wants to lure environmentally-tuned in millennials to the GOP's \environmentally-degraded WI.
Walker train ad stupidity and hypocrisy, part three 
*  Right-wing lawyers threaten local Foxconn funding.
In Wisconsin, the right is at war with itself
*  Leading environmental public interest law firm Midwest Environmental Advocates now following Foxconn issues.
Midwest Environmental Advocates posts Foxconn issues page
*  Here is the actual, 29-pagel Foxconn contract, as signed.
Here is the signed Foxconn contract
*  The ad features a trail biker. In WI, where Walker freshly blocked funding bike trail & sidewalk funding.
Walker's train ad stupidity and hypocrisy alert, part two 
*  Give Walker an award for shortsightedness, hypocrisy and audacity: After killing an Amtrak extension from Madison that could have moved high-tech employees right to the heart of his so-called 'Wisconn Valley,' and reliably blocking commuter rail right through SE Wisconsin and any rail initiative in the state, Walker now wants millions from state taxpayers for ads on Illinois trains and other pitches urging Chicagoans to move here or take am Illinois train to a Foxconn job. When did he become Governor of Illinois?
Stupidity alert: Anti-train Walker now pitching WI through ads on IL trains 
*  Basically, every woman, man, and child in Mount Pleasant just got a sprawl-inducing second mortgage. 
A campaigning Walker assigns small village debt, sprawl
*  Again, we ask: does Foxconn need to apply for a Great Lakes diversion, as reported? Can Racine, or Mount Pleasant handle the water supply and wastewater treatment demands, and by the way, exactly what's in that discharge, anyway?
Undercovered Foxconn questions demand answers. Again.
*  Prediction: illegal work shifts won't be the only ugly story you read about Foxconn practices in the coming months and years.
Foxconn boosterism looking a little icky today
* Summary post about the WI GOP war on the environment includes an explanation of Foxconn's coming collision with state wetland and water law.
Insiders, experts explain WI GOP's damage to the environment  
*  Foxconn part of great WI water giveaway.
Walker, GOP officials worsen WI water, wildlife crises. Part two.
*  WI experts, advocates add Foxconn project the environmental dangers' list.
Walker, GOP officials worsen WI water, wildlife crises. Part one.
*  Foxconn is a big one, but not the first. 
The con on protecting WI air, water extends far beyond Foxconn
*  Look past the gee-whiz promises to see who's already getting paid.
Foxconn offers gravy train, adds pie-in-the-sky
*  Watch Walker during 2018 spin 260 jobs into 250,000
At public expense, Foxconn gets low bar, Walker high praise
*  Foxconn fiscal fakery isn't Scott Walker's first foray into phony data.
Scott Walker's numbers games; the legend grows
*  Walker inflates Foxconn investment pledge by $! billion.
Walker hails $10 bil. Foxconn pledge; MJS says it's $9 bil.
*  When the hoopla ends, the hard work and choices begin
After WalkerFoxconnFest, the real meetings
*  Hubris alert.
Walker and Stepp were ready for Foxconn. Just ask them.
*  A billion here, and billion there...
Is Foxconn pledging a $10 billion investment...or is it $9 billion?
*  WEDC board doesn't get to see the contract after all
Slippery process: WEDC board approves Foxconn contract summary, not the actual contract
*   Who's on that WEDC board voting on Foxconnn in secret?
Private-sector dominated WEDC board dealing with Foxconn deal in secret 
*  File under "not reassuring." or "Duh!"
Vos praises WEDC...for doing its job
*  The Nov. 6 secret Foxconn review session WEDC deigned to hold is a sham.
Rolling dice for Foxconn, in secret, with our money
* A ray of sunshine forced on Foxconn contract.
Tim Carpenter wins a Foxconn round for the people
* Props to Madison writer Lawrence Tabak.
Tremendous addition to our Foxconn awareness
*  In perspective: the con began long before Foxconn.
How Walker is privatizing and selling off Wisconsin
*  Exhibit "A" - - Walker's gift or public waters to Foxconn.
Walker will float campaign on our water
* Loopholes shield Foxconn FUBAR contract from public view.
Foxconn's banker WEDC subject to open records. Or not  
* Walker's WEDC: Foxconn contract, history withheld from public.
Walker's Foxconn cover-up gets worse
* More proof that Foxconn's environmental exemptions are the proverbial camel's nose in the people's water tent.
Wisconsin water grabbers are at it. Again.
* Vos got Foxconn, big highway deal, still griping.
Why Robin Vos' losing hit on fellow Republicans is so irrational
* Foxconn giveaways targeted to SE WI, now mysteriously delayed.
Walker's '18 campaign baggage getting heavier
* Fixing FUBAR Foxconn contract w/out saying "drafting error." And more.
Scott Walker: Clean up on aisle '18
* The Foxconn contract FUBAR is being covered up.
Walker's Foxconn coverup clock is running
* Foxconn deal delayed.
What? Foxconn deal isn't ready at WEDC? 
* Foxconn now driving the WI highway budget & away from everyday needs.
Hurried $252 Foxconn million for I-94 N/S is both outrage and chicken feed
* Villages take more time to ponder building a schoo.l
Locals pushed to hand Foxconn $764 million
* Will Racine area cabbage fields sprout lemons?
Foxconn's $764 million local shares get aired this week
* Saying 'trust the company' overlooks reality and the record.
Booster discharges murky Foxconn spin
* Yipes! Local taxpayers will pony up $764 million local dollars For Foxconn.
$764 million cost of Foxconn 'win' for WI local government
* Rush in WI to legislate broad environmental rollbacks statewide, Foxconn-style.
In post-Foxconn WI, GOP is done w/air, wetlands law 
* The Foxconn measuring stick.
Foxconn gets swift [WI AG] Schimel boost, rape kits get indolence
* About Walker overpaying for Foxconn by a factor of five.
So Scott Walker walks into an auction...
* Major fox in the Foxconn chicken coop.
Walker names Great Lakes Compact foe as key Foxconn aide 
* Oh, those Foxconn obstacles.
Fast-tracked Foxconn mix could sour
* $3 billion bet on his re-election campaign. Then on jobs.
Note to NY Times: Foxconn is about Walker re-election. Then jobs.
* Walker-led GOP group whitewashes his past, Foxconn future.
Walker shills rewrite his job creation record, Foxconn outlook
* Really painful, stupefying irony alert.
Foxconn bill signing to spotlight Walker/Vos transportation incompetence
* Walker, Foxconn and the "s" word.
Scott Walker's missing Foxconn word
* Foxconn deal underscores Walker's 'chamber of commerce mentality 'governance.
Walker's WI is model hard-right "chamber of commerce" state 
* Oh, and about that little overlooked Foxconn item - - a Lake MI diversion.
Foxconn water diversion story needed more attention 
* Viewing Foxconn through Walker's discarded ethics lens.
Walker's deleted ethics code could have skewed Foxconn giving, lobbying
* Foxconn is Walker's biggest use of gov't to pick winners and losers, yet...
Despite denials, Walker uses gov't. to pick winners & losers
* WI Senate joins the Foxconn parade
Wis conned. GOP-led State Senate gives OK to unprecedented giveaways.
* Not this special favor for Foxconn, this one!
WI GOP Senate Leader adds phantom judicial 'restriction' to Foxconn deal
* Foxconn settles on Racine County, despite flooding history there.
Foxconn headed for flood-prone Racine County
* Foxconn might feel it's the one which got conned.
For new WI mines, more env. giveaways than Foxconn got
* Along with tax breaks, free highway work - - special Supreme Court access.
WI GOP lawmakers hand Foxconn newer, bigger favor
* One potential Foxconn locale is struggling with the opportunity.
With Foxconn looming, Mount Pleasant had a meltdown
* Out-going DNR Secretary Stepp spills the beans.
DNR's Stepp says a Foxconn was the plan all along
* Holding Foxconn to the Walker/Trump environmental (will-wink) 'standards.'
Exposing Walker's environmental Foxconn con
* 'No-tax-increase Walker' might just raise local taxes.
Add local taxpayers to school on cusp of Foxconning
* WI may find Foxconn draining education funding.
WI legislators, on educ. funding today, could show Foxconn effect 
* Latest news: Foxconn's billion-dollar 'strain' on state budgets, or "D'uh!"
Go suck on $1 billion worth of lemons, Bucky
* At least this time he didn't call you an ISIS fighter.
Vintage Walker uses Foxconn to flip off the people
* A rushed project would not need so many corrections.
Another day, another Foxconn data correction.
* GOP leaders Walker/Vos/Stepp have long failed job creation, environmental protection pledges.
On Foxconn assurances, consider the sources and histories
* 13,000 jobs? No accident that the Assembly and public didn't have all the facts.
Put Foxconn on hold until Walker explains data suppression
* Robin Vos, reckless and feckless.
Robin Vos trivialized $3 billion, ignored shocking jobs info
* Dispensing with clean blue water, green legacy. 
Green? WI GOP likes brown, orange, perhaps blackish and 'sudsy'
* And the next shoe drops. 
Seeing Foxconn 'win, WI GOP env. wrecking crew eyes mining favors 
* Walker, GOP laid Foxconn groundwork years ago.
Foxconn favors are basic to Walker, GOP's sloppy playbook
* Walker evades leadership from #Foxconn to #Charlottesville.
On jobs, moral leadership, persistent Walker con
* Reality, troubling numbers, no state budget mean nothing to GOP legislature.
GOP Foxconn votes proceed robotically as jobs, revenue estimates fall
* New Foxconn bill version, same environmental rollbacks, records show.
Amended Foxconn bill retains env. waivers, special privileges
* Changing the rules to fit the players.

As WI, GOP change the rules for Foxconn, a reminder
* WI will subsidize Foxconn jobs paying nowhere near family-supporting wages.
WI now talking about <$15-per-hour Foxconn jobs
* Now they're just wishing and hoping.
Witless Walker's farcical Foxconn fix
* The Chicago Sun-Times 'thanks' Walker for pro-Illinois Foxconn plan.
Another bad review for Walker's Foxconn deal
* Now we look for solace to Scott Fitzgerald (!) as Foxconn gets horrible reviews.
Foxconn doubters turn their lonely eyes to...Scott Fitzgerald!
* Foxconn is to get a pass from normal DNR reviews, which is fine with the DNR.
Stepp puts the DNR in on Foxconn env. evasion
* Walker told his Foxconn critics to 'go suck lemons.' Then...
Sucking lemons - - or absorbing buyer's remorse - - for 26 sucking years
* Walker's fake-news Foxconn projects are collapsing.
Foxconn taxpayer projections zoom, payroll benefits plunge
* No surprise that major WI polluting industry. wants env. exemptions.
If Foxconn is exempted from env. oversight, why not CAFOs?
* Who's to say that Foxconn privileges won't be applied statewide?
And if environmental rules and laws are waived for Foxconn...  
* Does Michigan have better deal-makers than Wisconsin? 
Foxconn eyes Michigan for high tech development site
* Water law expert says Foxconn environmental rollback endangers the deal.

Noted water law expert predicts WI officials' Foxconn 'bungle'
* The Walker/WMC tag team.
Foxconn to locate at intersection of Walker and WMC avenues
* Big business laughs off Foxconn project environmental concerns.
Wisconsin Biz lobby sneers at routine Wisconsin conservation guarantee
* Walker never saw a wetland he didn't want filled.
Walker's giveaway Foxconn bill extends his war on wetlands
* Zoo Interchange completion $$ rerouted to another project for Foxconn.
Because the I-94 Vos/Foxconn exit isn't in the Zoo Interchange
* Foxconn process 'open,' says Walker after closed door briefing for GOP caucuses.
Walker opens 'open' Foxconn FavorFest behind closed doors
* Walker, Ryan producing Foxconn political ads.
Walker giveth to Foxconn, taketh for his re-election
* Walker would allow Foxconn 19th century 'environmental' practices.
'Wisconsin Valley' or Wisconsin, Inc. dead zone?
* The Legislature pushed to re-create Wisconsin as Wisconsin, Inc.
Rushed Foxconn special session set for 11 a.m. August 1
* SE WI communities should worry about what Walker wants to do with their budgets, tax collections:
For Foxconn, Walker bets your farm, breaks the bank(s)
* Walker, AG and legislature could give away what's not theirs:
Foxconn favors face WI Constitutional barrier
* GOP Wi Attorney General Brad Schimel weighs in, pre-emptively and rhetorically.
Greenlight for Foxconn in WI AG's Tweet, rhetoric
* Walker to convert Wisconsin to Wisconn without a constitutional convention, and if you don't like it, 'go suck lemons."
Walker to sacrifice DNR, PSC and WisDot integrity for 'Wisconn'
* The cynical pot has his say.
Walker - - Gov. Cynicism - - decries Foxconn 'cynics'
* Walker already has '18 campaign in Foxconn frame.
About Walker's '18 election Foxconn over-under
* In Walker's Wisconsin, some blue-collar jobs are more important than others.
Walker touts Foxconn construction jobs, threw away Amtrak's
* Walker, Trump should become the new champions of Great Lakes preservation and climate change science. 
Great Lakes water lifts Foxconn deal
* About jobs.
3,000 Foxconn jobs would not = 3,776 WI mfg. jobs lost in '16
* Are HB-5 $$-for-visas in the deal?
Are green cards for investment in a Foxconn-WI deal?
* Public dollars needed.
How many WI dollars will Walker give super-wealthy Foxconn?
* When Foxconn stiffed another state.
If you've got Foxconn fever, remember Pennsylvania's hangover
* Vos blocked transit Foxconn workers could have used.
Vos' long transit blockade does not help Racine's Foxconn future
* Walker killed Amtrak service Foxconn might have loved. 
Amtrak line killed by Walker could have fed Foxconn
* Vos has a budget power move.
Vos plays Foxconn card in WI budget fight
*  For quick Japan trip, Walker kept Foxconn secret 
Desperate Walker on 48-hour jobs mission - - to Japan