Sunday, November 30, 2014

WI DNR sets the stage for over-quota wolf killing beginning Monday

With only four legal wolf kills remaining under the current season's quota of 150, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources must close the season today or enable the intentional, quota-breaking overkilling of wolves beginning tomorrow after the gun-deer season has closed when hounders will be free to release their dogs against wolves and packs the hunter/trappers have tracked and located.

Noted on this blog, along with a senior DNR's hint that the quota might not be enforced.

The DNR gives wolf hunters 24 hours to register their kills - - see regulations - -  so many more than four could be killed and slowly reported before the DNR discovers the 2014 quota of 150 has been exceeded.
Wisconsin is killing its wolves
The DNR also gives legal wolf killers up to five days to present a wolf carcass for examination, meaning that evidence of illegal dog-wolf fighting could dissipate or be otherwise concealed.

To please some hunting and gun lobbies, conservative GOP legislators in 2012 made Wisconsin the only state in the US that permits dogs to participate in wolf hunting.

The wolf hunt set up quickly by GOP legislators in 2012 was and is so politicized that the DNR kicked the critics off its wolf advisory committee and gave the hunting and hounding interests inside control.

Wisconsin also allows the hounders to 'train' their hunting dogs against wolves year-round, regardless of the disruption to the wolves and anyone using the woods for hiking and other low-impact recreation.

Glenn Grothman lauds poverty lifestyle

Wisconsin Tea Party/Republican buffoon and Michele Bachmann stand-in Glenn Grothman thinks poor sinners in Wisconsin are living large because of government "bribes."
...a single parent with a couple kids can easily get $35,000 a year in total benefits between the health care and the earned income credit and the FoodShare and the low-income housing and what have you," Grothman said. "And that's after taxes. How many people make $35,000 a year after taxes? Most people don't.
Imagine what Grothman - -- whose annual salary as a US Congressman will balloon to $174,000 (plus lots of goodies, like free airplane tickets, a bigger pension, and what have you) from $49,943 as a Wisconsin State Senator - - will be saying when he's soon available full-time in Washington, DC to Fox cameras.

State Justice official made guns without license; Van Hollen bought two

The way I read this story by Dee Hall, the Wisconsin State Journal investigative reporter, the sensational claims made about a Department of Justice supervisor making guns without a license - - claims which led to the firing of a whistle-blowing DOJ investigator fired - - turn out to be accurate, as the supervisor has admitted making and selling such guns -- - two of which were bought by Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen.

I wonder if this played a role in Van Hollen's decision against running for re-election.

Hall had reported on the matter earlier:

More later, but props to Hall for her diligence.

Support new US EPA clean air rule; comments close 12/1

Talk radio and right-wing business groups are fighting the Obama administration's gradual and flexible plan to further reduce harmful air pollution. You have until late Monday to send in comments, so do it now. 

This looks like an easy route, as simply clicking on the link brings up the template.
More comment options, details, are below:

How to Comment on the Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule

Comments on the Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule must be received by December 1, 2014. Be sure to reference Docket ID:  


Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:
  • Federal eRulemaking portal: Follow the online instructions for submitting comments
    Internet Explorer 8 and above users: If you are experiencing issues linking directly to the docket in the eRulemaking portal, try one of these methods:
    • Right click on Federal eRulemaking portal and a menu will appear. To open the docket page in a new window, select "Open" or "Open in new window." To open the docket in a new tab, select "Open in new tab."
    • Copy and paste the link into the browser's address bar:!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602-0001
    • Try another browser - the link should work without issue using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox web browsers.
  • Email Include docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602 in the subject line of the message
  • Fax: Fax your comments to: 202-566-9744.
  • Mail: Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), Mailcode 28221T, Attention Docket ID No. OAR–2013-0602, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: Deliver your comments to: EPA Docket Center, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 20460.  Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket’s normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Understanding the Walker/GOP/road-builder complex spending binge

To fully appreciate Team Walker's recklessly wasteful 'plan' to beg, borrow and otherwise tax you for the fresh billions that make all the road-builders' dreams come true - - to the year 2032! - - imagine that your selfish, estate-plundering drunken uncle has just presented you with a holiday wish list and scheme to keep himself satisfied, solvent and soused for the foreseeable future by diverting the lion's share of the family's already-debt laden assets into a trust which he manages, and can spend, at will.

America's gun fetishism goes upscale

Forget open carry at Starbucks or Wal-Mart; we're talking exclusive gun ranges: 
“We’re trying to create an environment where the captains of industry are proud to bring their clients,” said Richard Abramson, 66, Centennial’s principal owner...
'[Another] club’s M.G.A.s — an insider’s acronym for “Machine Gun Adventures” — are a major selling point, allowing members to choose from at least 20 types of automatic firearms. “It’s almost like a grown man’s candy store,” said Walter Abrams, 39, a sales manager at the club. “There’s not much we don’t have.” 
After a few hours on the range, V.I.P. members can retire to the Titanium Lounge, which has comfortable couches and busy attendants. “We have a couple of M.L.B. guys that treat this place like ‘Cheers,’ ” said Mr. Abrams, referring to the club’s Major League Baseball contingent. Despite the crackle of gunfire, there is a restful atmosphere. “One of the biggest things is tranquillity,” he said. “It’s a privacy area.”

WI DNR official hints wolf quota isn't really a quota

I have been warning about the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources pattern of winking at wolf overkills beyond the quotas set by the state Natural Resources Board - - some previous posts at the end of this item - - but now we have a senior DNR official confirming that, in fact, another overkill this year might be allowed intentionally if Secretary Cathy Stepp gives the OK:
According to Dave MacFarland, the DNR’s large canine biologist, the DNR is aware of the possible overage. 
“The season is not necessarily closed when it gets to 150 wolves,” MacFarland said. “We are watching the season closely and taking everything into consideration, but the final word comes from the secretary’s (Stepp’s) office.”
The reason is the Department's capture by gun and bear-hunting lobbies, particularly the hounders who want what they feel is their entitled share of kills after the deer hunting season closes tomorrow.

All in all, this a disgraceful display of this DNR's continuing arrogant disregard for rules, law, science, environmental protections, commonsense - - a fresh example, here - - and now even their own published protocols are headed for the shredder.


WI DNR should close this season's wolf hunt now

Since the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board and Department of Natural Resources set this season's wolf kill quota at 150, and hunters and trappers have reported 146 wolves killed - - while the two previous years' kill was allowed by the DNR to exceeded the allowable quotas - - the agency should close the hunt now to prevent another overkill.
Wisconsin is killing its wolves


WI wolf hunt stalled; eight more legal kills allowed

In the two previous years of the politically-inspired and legal Wisconsin wolf harvesting killing, Department of Natural Resource officials have tolerated extra kills - - one above the agreed-upon quota in 2012 ,and six last year.
Gray Wolf Photo by Gary Kramer. Check the photos tab for additional photos.
The DNR says that's because it's impossible to hit the number precisely because hunters are allowed 24 hours to phone in their sniping, trapping and head-shot successes, and, to date, DNR officials have not closed out a season by erring on the side of caution.

It's more or less a 'sh** happens' scenario. A few extra wolves get killed, but DNR officials in charge of managing these commonly-owned animals figure nature will make more.

As DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp might put it, 'bend the rules to fit the players.'

And besides, the big boys with their dog packs and fancy GPS-wired ATV's get into the action when the gun-deer season ends in two week - - an only-in-Wisconsin cruelty sop to the conservative gun and bear hunting lobbies- - and the DNR wants to make sure those folks get their share of the family fun, too.

So we'll see when the wolf hunting season is declared closed, and the only wolves still being killed are  taken illegally ('shoot, shovel and shut up' kills), or in collisions with vehicles - - both substantial killers of Wisconsin wolves - - if the quota of 150 was enforced, or allowed to work its way higher.
Here are the current numbers:
ZoneQuotaHarvestZone Status


Dreams deferred - - few WI wolves legally available to hounders

Wolf hunters in Wisconsin hoping for the thrill of letting their packs of hound dogs chase down wolves in this fall's harvesthunt are going to be disappointed, because the dogs-in-the-hunt season begins after the November 12-20 deer hunt and the WI DNR reports that only 10 of the 150 wolves that can be legally killed this year are left. 
ZoneQuotaHarvestZone Status


WI wolf kill exceeds 130, heading for 150. Perhaps more

The Wisconsin DNR in the previous first two years of the state's wolf killing allowed the annual totals to exceed the quotas. With some zones already exceeding their quotas, look for the DNR to look the other way as the final tally runs past 150. Most of the kills are achieved with head shots to wolves caught in legal leg traps.

Here is the DNR's latest tally:

ZoneQuotaHarvestZone Status


For the record: WI wolf killing grinds on

An unsurprising update about your 'see-no-evil, hear-no-evil' Wrong-Way Walker Wisconsin DNR:

Last-minute smears by Walker allies and other events are dominating the news as October winds up, but in the state's rural areas, trappers and other 'sportsmen' continue to snag wolves with metal leg traps and finish them off with a bullet to the head, the DNR's obviously very loose 'quotas' shows:
ZoneQuotaHarvestZone Status

Boom-and-bust oil markets a lesson for NW WI iron mining

The oil cartel OPEC is cutting prices to drive US shale and fracking operations out of business.

So while temporary enjoying $2/gallon gasoline, ask yourself: Petro states and royal families vs. upstart drilling operators and across the US: who wins that race to the bottom?

Certainly not field worker families left holding the bag - - in the form of big mortgages on new McMansions or five-year notes on matching $45,000 pickup trucks.

Resource extraction has always followed boom-and-bust cycles, which is certainly on tap in NW Wisconsin where promised jobs mining low-grade iron ore (taconite) might never materialize, or could vanish in the blink of an eye if already-low prices fall further.

Imagine having the pristine Penokee Hills and the Bad River watershed blown apart and clear cut creating deep, ugly pits more than four miles long and nine football field fields wide, only to be left gathering a stew of snow melt and toxic mud close to Lake Superior because various capitalists and state planners decided they didn't need to ship in quite so much Wisconsin product.
Here's the October report by a major banking house about an iron ore glut, and falling prices:Iron ore production in China has probably been contracting since April and further mine shutdowns in the largest importer are forecast as a global seaborne glut expands, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. 
Monthly output from mines in the country may have dropped about 20 percent from a year earlier, analysts Christian Lelong and Amber Cai wrote in an e-mailed report, citing an implied figure from the bank’s in-house analysis. That estimate may overstate the actual drop, Lelong and Cai added. 
Iron ore tumbled 40 percent this year after companies including Rio Tinto Group (RIO) and Vale (VALE5) SA raised low-cost output in Australia and Brazil, spurring a global glut just as economic growth in China slowed. The market is in the midst of a transition without precedent in recent commodity history as supply jumps and higher-cost mines shut, according to Macquarie Group Ltd. HSBC Holdings Plc, which cut its price forecasts this week, sees a 30 percent slump in Chinese output next year. 
“The supply adjustment to a low-price environment continues; in particular, production in China has contracting even though domestic miners have not been fully exposed to $80 a ton seaborne iron ore yet,” Lelong and Cai said. “We expect further pressure on Chinese production.” 

With Walker, it's politics 24/7/365

Walker lives a completely politicized existence, playing the lead character in a calibrated, self-promoting show at his direction that will air even the most trivial of events, like getting a haircut,

Even pure gibberish - - this one to establish his foreign policy red:
In '08, I visited Prague to see the US Amb to the Czech Republic.He showed me where Havel had come to the Amb's home
It's as if he's on a 24-hour home shopping channel selling his own image and nothing else.

Walker's career on our dime has been marked by hidden agendas, secret communications and shadow organization - - intentional opacity, with only his ambition fully transparent.

I can't imagine anything emptier.

More Presidential-level communications from Scott Walker