Friday, March 31, 2017

Newly-planned, even deeper EPA cuts will further boost Walker, et al

The Washington Post has obtained Donald Trump's even more jaw-dropping plan to slash US EPA funding, programs and staff which goes far, far beyond what had surfaced a few weeks ago:
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a new, more detailed plan for laying off 25 percent of its employees and scrapping 56 programs including pesticide safety, water runoff control, and environmental cooperation with Mexico and Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Smoke stacks from a factory.
The damage that this disastrously-unprepared, deeply-unpopular and corporately self-interested President will be compounded because the plan envisions turning over basic EPA responsibilities to states like Wisconsin, where right-wing GOP Gov. and states-rightist devotee Scott Walker, already in the bag for the Koch brothers fossil fuel agenda has systematically reduced clean water and air programs to please donors and special interests at the public's expense by installing a "chamber of commerce mentality" and agendas atop the state's Department of Natural Resources:
Walker has reduced DNR budgets, pared its long-standing, bi-partisan land acquisition program, slashed science and other staffs, enabled reduced pollution inspections and enforcement actions  - - read this 2012 enforcement summation and a 2016 followup - - and wants to turn over agency permit drafting to 'regulated' applicants already enjoying eased permit reviews. 
And throw in a 5-4 pro-corporate, GOP-installed US Supreme Court majority 'refereeing' disputes, and Houston, we have a helluva problem. 

If you're scoring Scott Walker's job creating record...

Deduct more, as Northwestern Mutual confirms it's moving forward with "a process" that will cost hundreds of jobs throughout year:
The company has said it expects to lay off “hundreds” of employees in 2017, but has declined to say the total number being eliminated.
Last week, it was La Crosse's turn, noted on this blog, as right-wing WI Governor and failed workplace prognosticator Scott Walker is still tens of thousands of jobs short in year six of the 250,000 new jobs he promised to create after four years as Governor. 

Two things about the US EPA's Scientific Integrity staff

1. Props to these brave souls:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's scientific integrity watchdog is reviewing whether EPA chief Scott Pruitt violated the agency's policies when he said in a television interview he does not believe carbon dioxide is driving global climate change, according to an email seen by Reuters on Friday.

Smoke stacks from a factory.
2. It's too bad the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources doesn't have a similar office to review Secretary Cathy Stepp's scrub of climate change information from official DNR web pages and her belief in the face of reams of vetted science that there is significant scientific disagreement about causes of climate change:
The head of Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources says people have overreacted to the department’s removal of language from its public website describing the scientific consensus that human activity is the main cause of climate change.
In an interview with the Wisconsin State Journal, DNR secretary Cathy Stepp said she believes there is substantial scientific disagreement on the cause of climate change, and that it “doesn’t matter” if her view contradicts the vast majority of scientists in that field.

A Wisconsin reality check, should Trump be forced out

Because I see speculation on social media about Trump's possible ouster or resignation, I want to repost for your political consideration a few grafs I wrote six weeks ago now that multiple investigations threaten the Trump presidency and begin to raise questions of Presidential succession:
[Wisconsinites] Ryan and Priebus no doubt prefer Vice-President Mike Pence as a more reliably conservative Republican incumbent President through at least 2020.
And if Trump is persuaded to leave, as was Richard Nixon, Ryan and Priebus are perfectly positioned to pitch Pence best friend Scott Walker as the appointed Veep to replace the elevated Pence.
Remember that Pence is Righter than right for Republicans on the issues dear to their deeply reactionary hearts, and donors:
Bashing unions, rewarding private choice schools, defunding Planned Parenthood, overturning Roe V. Wade, deregulating Wall Street, adding tax cuts for the rich, and on and on and on.
To which I would add, ditto for Walker - -  current GOP Governors' Association chairman and Pence's trusted 2016 debate coach - - who's right there in line with the right's big issues and donors, too.

Just sayin.' 

Officials held news of Milwaukee River pollution

It's a big story: The US EPA and Wisconsin DNR last fall had discovered new toxic "hot spots" in a popular city stretch of the Milwaukee River, the Journal Sentinel reports today
State and federal authorities said Thursday they have identified new areas of toxic contamination in a section of the Milwaukee River that runs from E. North Ave. to the Estabrook Dam.
The polluted areas were found in the river and along the shoreline in a 4-mile stretch that has become increasingly popular as development had grown and other measures of water quality are showing signs of improvement, according to a 2014 Journal Sentinel series of stories Rivers Reborn.
It is regrettable that officials embargoed the release of this information until today - - one day after Wisconsin legislators completed a budget review discussion with DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp in front of the Joint Finance Committee and could have raised the story's issues and profile for the public by questioning Stepp and staff about it.

Here is the release which aired the news:


March 31, 2017
Community meeting set to discuss Milwaukee River floodplain soil and sediment sample results

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Milwaukee Riverfront property owners, community members and stakeholder groups are encouraged to attend a public meeting set for April 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Gordon Park Pavilion to discuss results from recent soil and sediment testing in the floodplain of the river.

Following sampling conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in late 2016 at the request of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, preliminary results indicate the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs in some areas between Estabrook Dam and the former North Avenue Dam. The sampling area covers approximately 4 river miles.

In recent years, DNR and EPA have been working to assess and clean up residual PCBs in key segments of the Milwaukee River. PCBs were used as industrial coolants and lubricants for many years until being banned in the late 1970s.

While the PCB initial findings were not unexpected, officials from EPA, DNR, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Milwaukee County and the city of Milwaukee are working together to ensure public health is protected and provide a forum to answer questions from neighbors and others who visit the area. The floodplain is largely open to the public and contains walking trails as part of the Milwaukee River Greenway.

The amount of PCBs in this section of floodplain soil and sediment is generally low, so touching the contaminated material will not make people or pets sick, according to DHS. However, since small amounts of PCBs from food and other places can build up in the human body over time, common sense is recommended to avoid coming in contact with, or consuming PCBs when possible.

Preliminary data show PCB concentrations ranging from less than 1 part per million to approximately 24 parts per million in surface soil samples in this section of floodplain. By comparison, PCB concentrations were higher in Milwaukee River sediments upstream from the Estabrook Park Dam in the area including Lincoln Park. Concentrations there ranged from less than 1 part per million to greater than 100 parts per million and the area has been successfully remediated with work completed in 2015. Sampling in the current segment represents the next step identified as part of long-term cleanup goals for the river. 

For those who regularly visit the Greenway in the current sampling area, common sense steps to minimize exposure to PCBs include avoiding skin contact with the soil, removing shoes when returning home after a visit, washing hands with soap and water and cleaning pets, bikes and tools. Anglers are encouraged to continue following posted fish consumption advisories, which can be found by visiting dnr.wi.govand searching “fish consumption.”

“The risk here is very low, but with warmer weather approaching we wanted to provide information in a timely way so people can make wise choices as they recreate in the Greenway,” said Rob Thiboldeaux, senior toxicologist with DHS. “The sampling was conducted here as part of a Great Lakes Legacy Act project which is providing assistance to the state for the Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern. Working with DNR, other partner agencies, community residents and stakeholders, we intend to use the upcoming public meeting to listen, share information and lay the groundwork for appropriate next steps in the area.”   

The public meeting will be held April 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Gordon Park Pavilion, 2828 N. Humboldt Boulevard, Milwaukee, Wis., 53212. In addition to a short presentation on the sample results and an overview of recent Milwaukee River cleanup efforts, officials from DHS, city of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, EPA, DNR and various stakeholder groups will be on hand to answer questions.

In addition to the public meeting, local, state and federal officials are notifying local property owners and stakeholders directly. Additional outreach is expected to include signage and other information materials. More information about PCBs can be found by visiting and searching “PCBs.”

Fresh backing to retain WI DNR magazine

People are subscribing in droves to the Wisconsin DNR's self-supporting and popular magazine that turns 100 next year - - the same year Scott Walker and DNR Secretary/"chamber of commerce mentality" robot Cathy Steps plan to kill it - - so it was gratifying to see that legislators are urging the magazine be retained
Republican and Democratic lawmakers say they are fielding an onslaught of complaints about plans by the Department of Natural Resources to pull the plug on its venerable natural resources magazine.
Legislators on the budget committee told DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp Thursday they believed the decision to cease publication of the magazine was shortsighted Republican and Democratic lawmakers say they are fielding an onslaught of complaints about plans by the Department of Natural Resources to pull the plug on its venerable natural resources magazine.
Wisconsin DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp proudly shows off her first deer, taken opening weekend last year. In the upcoming TV Special "Deer Hunt Wisconsin 2012, Stepp urges male hunters to take more girls and women hunting. "The secret's out," she says. "Hunting is a lot of fun, so don't keep it to yourselves."  photo courtesy of Wisconsin DNR
Keep those letters, calls and magazine orders coming. 

Does the government belong to the people, or to Walker's chop-and-delete-it gang?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Walker's gas tax veto threat is all about the '18 election

[Updated at 3:30 p.m. with Walker campaign news

When right-wing WI Gov. Scott Walker tweeted this threat last night Trump-style:
Let's be clear. I don't support spending less on K-12 education than what's in my budget and I will veto a gas tax increase.
it had less to do with his budget and everything to do with his 2018 election bid during which he will cling to his hard-right, Grover Norquist-inspired 'no tax increases, ever' talking point pledge - - though let's not forget Walker has already violated it, according to the Journal Sentinel and non-partisan Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau:
But what about his 2011-"13 budget?
It included some tax cuts, but also tax increases.
That"s according to the nonpartisan state Legislative Fiscal Bureau, which both parties have long cited as a neutral scorekeeper on budget matters.
The bureau determined that Walker included three tax increases in the budget totaling $49.4 million over the two-year period.
In other words, Walker's self-serving campaign needs outweigh fixing Wisconsin's horribly-decrepit roads, ranked second-worst nationally. 

And if you needed any more proof that Walker's moves are guided by his perpetual campaign schedule, he told his donors today 'I'm ready.'

Controversial WI DNR Sec. Stepp boosted by strong supporter - - herself

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary and "chamber of commerce mentality" operative Cathy Stepp told state legislators today that when it comes to deleting climate change information agreed upon by a consensus of experts worldwide, terminating the department's popular, subscriber-supported magazine and enabling diminished pollution inspections, Cathy Stepp
Wisconsin DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp proudly shows off her first deer, taken opening weekend last year. In the upcoming TV Special "Deer Hunt Wisconsin 2012, Stepp urges male hunters to take more girls and women hunting. "The secret's out," she says. "Hunting is a lot of fun, so don't keep it to yourselves."  photo courtesy of Wisconsin DNR
has done no wrong:
DNR's Cathy Stepp defends her record on climate change and pollution
By the way, this isn't the first time Stepp has been her own best defender.

Here's a more detailed, frequently-updated account of her record and its consequences inside and outside the agency:
The DNR, once a nationally-regarded science-based resource protection agency, has been disregarded, defunded and degraded by management "deliberately and proudly uninformed," according to one first-hand observer among several whom I surveyed over the course of ten days.
Wisconsin's far-right Governor Scott Walker set the DNR's downfall in motion when he appointed at the beginning of his tenure Racine developer and unabashed DNR-trasher Cathy Stepp - - read her anti-DNR-staff-and-program rant while a revealing Stepp video has been taken off-line - - to oversee the DNR as Secretary with what Walker called "a chamber of commerce mentality..." 
A current employe on personal time echoed many of the lobbyists and former staffers' observations:
Under Walker and Stepp, science is not a priority. Scientific knowledge is ever-changing but in Wisconsin our staff are being left behind. We no longer have a statistician to help interpret data, a library to provide journals or books, or researchers that monitor fish counts, wildlife health, air quality, water quality and etc….employee scientific knowledge and data specific to WI is stagnant...we cannot do the best job possible for our state. 
The DNR is currently run by people who understand public relations spin but not the complexity of the natural resources they are responsible for...Communications staff, generally not trained specifically in resource communication, answer questions with talking points..usually developed by upper management - political appointees - and legal staff. The information provided is biased and superficial.
Act 10 and the pay cuts related to that have been hard on a lot of staff...we can no longer hire and/or keep the best and brightest and that is sad. Especially looking back at some of the really ground-breaking research and resulting policy work done here 20-30 years ago. We now do the minimum to protect resources...
We have 2,500 full time staff (down from 3,100) and about 1,500 Limited Term Employees. That is an extremely high number of temporary employees who can and have been fired without any notice. After Civil Service "reforms" which go into effect in July, we will all be subject to that uncertainty. Under these circumstances, collective institutional memory can be lost very quickly...Reinventing the wheel is wasteful... 
Also happening in July is our "Alignment," the new term for reorganization. Anyone not performing a "core function" will be moved to a new job [but] there has been no information provided to staff on just what the core functions are….
I do believe that all the natural resources of Wisconsin belong to the people of Wisconsin...I don't understand why people who live in one of the most beautiful and environmentally diverse places in the world voted for environmental degradation. 

Sign Wisdom Transit Day petition

Advocates are in Madison promoting transit: you can help by signing this petition.
More information, below:

Need help?  See three attached beautiful handouts - these are voices from all over Wisconsin demanding a return to public transportation policies.
It is Wisdom to gather together in one place. Today is Wisdom Day; be a party.

Pick any one point:

  • Sufficient and dedicated funding for transportation budgets all over the state is ...
  • Transportation to jobs ...
  • Transportation to schools ...
  • Transportation to groceries ...
  • Transportation for social life: friends, concerts, movies, community meetings ...
  • Safe, economical, and convenient transit serves everyone ...
  • Twenty percent of our population cannot or should not drive.  They are being left at bus stops by Madison priorities ...
  • Moving people where they need to go ...
  • Local roads, repaired, over wider highways ...
  • Buses to make our state economy work for everyone ...
  • Restaurants depend on transit ...
  • Not frills, but basics ...
  • Schools, getting kids to their classrooms ...
  • Work, getting workers to their family-supporting jobs ...

... and write up that first and only question.  
Consider your reader: elected officials. They need your contact information to make this a public record.

Today we will change the debate.

Who is WISDOM?

The effort is sponsored by dozens of state-wide organizations. This campaign is huge. Check out the beautiful handouts, attached.

Thursday March 30 WISDOM Day, busloads of advocates will fill the corridors of the State Capitol to lobby for basic transportation needs.  

I need you.  Please Be "There,"  virtually. Sign this petition. Support our "troops"

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

If you're scoring Scott Walker job creating record...

Deduct another 137:
137 jobs lost with closing of former APAC call center in La Crosse
APAC TeleServices opened the call center in 1997 at 3201 Hwy 16 in a former Kmart. 
Here's the bigger picture:

Noted the other day:

You could have often read or written this fresh story and headline about Wisconsin's sluggish, stalled, low-wage and dismal economy - - and Walker's broken first-term, 250,000 new jobs-promise - - since Walker was sworn in.  
Wisconsin drops to 33rd in job growth
And the fraudulent, Open Bad for Business Governor's six-year fail is validated again at jsonline. com today, despite this unnecessarily generous headline: 
Gov. Scott Walker's promise to create 250,000 jobs in Wisconsin remains elusive
The latest report showed that the state lost 4,000 jobs in December..
For all of 2016, state reports show that employers added 17,200 jobs, by far the lowest annual tally since Walker took office in January 2011. 
The total number of jobs created since Walker took office is 185,208, or 64,792 short of Walker's goal of 250,000.

More media noticing Ryan's empty suit, often featured here

After GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan failed at repealing Obamacare, I wrote about his over-hyped reputation:
Paul Ryan and his failed Wonkology
Paul Ryan's official Speaker photo. In the background is the American Flag.
Today The Washington Post weighs in with 
Is Paul Ryan a policy guy, or does he just play one on TV?
The Post's writer lets others, including its competition The New York Times hammer home the answer:
It’s hard to make a case that his efforts have been all that serious,” said Jared Bernstein, who was chief economist to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. “His numbers never add up.”
The New York Times editorial board this week wrote an even harsher assessment of the House speaker: “If he is the policy wonk of the Republican Party, then the Republican Party has no policy.”
For the record, this blog has been tracking the Janesville phony's double-standards, flubs and fails for some time.

This was one of my earlier favorites: 

2012: Ryan sought Obamacare funding for hometown projects

How many strikes does Paul Ryan get in the hypocrisy game before he's called out?
The Nation, a left-of-center magazine, reports on Wednesday that Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2010 to recommend a grant application for the Kenosha Community Health Center Inc., to develop a new facility in Racine.
The request is significant because Ryan sought money under the New Access Points funding program, which is funded by the Affordable Care Act. That is the law Ryan has vowed to repeal and replace in Congress.
* And I liked this one also from 2012:

Ryan caught using performance-enhancing rhetoric

Here are a few others:


* From earlier 2017:

Allegedly smartest GOP Leader Ryan flunks Insurance 101

If this is the smartest player on the GOP team......we're in more trouble than we imagined:
Paul Ryan said that insurance cannot work if healthy people have to pay more to subsidize the sick.
* 2016: 'Smartest' guy' Paul Ryan displays his nasty & dumb side
You couldn't say anything more insensitive, more openly disrespectful of the iconic civil rights leader, sit-in veteran/protest beating survivor and Congressman John Lewis, and more dismissive of mass gun murders in America than US House Speaker Paul Ryan this afternoon calling the unprecedented House floor sit-in led by Lewis over the NRA's blockade of laws to close gun-buying loopholes "a publicity stunt."
* 2014Paul Ryan goes from smartest to meanest guy in the room
Paul Ryan has decided to run over poor school children, unemployed workers and other low-income Americans on a path to the 2016 GOP presidential nomination...
* 2013: The Paul Ryan countdown clock is ticking
Which House members will vote to kill the Senate's compromise 'avoid-the-cliff' bill and permanently label themselves irretrievably hostile to bi-partisanship while wedded to the farthest, Tea Partied right-wing fringe and its deep-pocketed financiers?

Paul Ryan is absolutely finished as a credible national political figure/Capitol Hill budget-and-policy wonk if he casts an ideologically-spurred "No" vote - - which would actually be a "Yes" vote for middle-class tax increases, for another economy-crashing recession and for a dagger to the dairy industry, to boot...
Today Ryan comes face-to-face with the perils of ideology and rigidity.
* 2012:  Paul Ryan called out - - by nuns

*  2012 Budget Genius Ryan forgets about his multi-million-dollar family trust

*  2012:  Ryan won stimulus funds, earmarks, for programs right-wing talk show hated

* 2012:  Embracing the radio-active Paul Ryan, GOP hand safe seat to Dems

Voters in upstate New York hand a safe Republican seat to a long-shot Democrat who beat her opponent with a blunt instrument: Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan's politically-tone-deaf 'plan' to trash Medicare and hand billions, trillions in public-dollar Medicare voucher payments to private insurers... 
This is what the politics of overreach, ideological blindness and extreme Ryan Worship are bringing on to the GOP.

It will be interesting to watch Republicans in the Senate run from what is becoming Ryan's Distress; GOP leaders and talk show hosts from Rush Limbaugh to Charlie Sykes in Milwaukee were so heavily-invested in Ryan's now-fading persona as The Smartest Guy In Congress that they will have to spin their way around the NY results and also from Ryan...
* 2011:  Business Founded By Ryan's Dinner/Wine Party Associate Is Source Of Major Ryan Donations

Nunes abandons 2015 pledge to combat cyber-attacks

California Republican Congressman and former Trump campaign transition national security point person Devin Nunes 
Devin nunes.jpg
is unabashedly derailing an investigation assigned to the House Intel oversight committee he chairs into Russian interference, including cyber attacks against Democrats, during the 2016 election.

So it's instructive to see how far he's moved from the commitment he made to fight "unprecedented global threats" including "debilitating cyber-attacks" - - his words - - when Speaker Paul Ryan reappointed Nunes to the Intel committee chairman post in 2015, the record shows:


Nunes to Remain as Intel Committee Chairman

Washington, October 29, 2015 
Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22) today issued the following statement announcing his intention to remain Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence:  
“I am honored to have been asked by the new Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, to continue serving as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Our nation faces unprecedented global threats ranging from the growing risk of deadly terrorism to debilitating cyber-attacks, and the Intelligence Community’s response to these threats requires diligent Congressional oversight. After careful reflection and in light of the Speaker’s wish for me to continue this important role, I have decided to remain Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. As we move forward under the leadership of Speaker Ryan, it will be important to complete the good work we have done on an intelligence authorization bill and to get cybersecurity legislation passed to the President’s desk.” 
Speaker Ryan said, “The world has gotten only more dangerous, and serious times call for serious leaders. That’s why I’ve asked Rep. Devin Nunes to stay on as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee... 

As I wrote last week:

Nunes was the Trump transition team national security liaison. No wonder he is sabotaging the Intel committee's investigation, especially after chairing Monday's hearing - - a debacle for the GOP - - where the FBI confirmed the agency's criminal and counter-intelligence investigations into Team Trump.
Looks to me like the White House and GOP are circling the wagons and are making sure Nunes' committee doesn't hold anymore open hearings like Monday's embarrassment where FBI Director James Comey told the world that his agency had been running criminal and counter-intelligence investigations into Team Trump.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Walker again opts for humiliation, punishment as anti-poverty tools

Right-wing WI Gov. and never-compassionate-conservative Scott Walker continues to try and obtain more state power over life-preserving public services to humiliate, punish and otherwise strong arm lower-income people into the workforce he has not expanded through mandatory drug-testing and other coercive measures.

A sample as reported by the Journal Sentinel:

Screen these Medicaid applicants [some single adults, 18-49] with questions about illegal drug use and actually test some of them for it. Refusing the test will mean the applicants go at least six months without state coverage. If they test positive, the individuals could receive treatment.
And then extend these practices and others to food stamp recipients - - despite known proof of their costly failure - - along with lifetime benefit limits reduced to adults four years - - all aimed at getting people off public assistance in Wisconsin job markets that have been stalled during Walker's tenure and are principally creating work at the lowest end of the wage scale.

A closed loop which Walker is clueless about genuinely breaking, except as the verbiage might help his 2018 re-election campaign with core supporters and ultra-right donors.

We know Walker has has no real interest in or connection to poor or victimized Wisconsin citizens - - such complex matters go far beyond the simplistic, bumper-sticker level politics that Walker has practiced for an entire career - - whom he has nickel-and-dimed deeper into poverty by slicing benefits and enforcing a starvation-level minimum wage he also billed as "lame" during six+ years of failed job creation as Governor.

His new push to further threaten and beat the poor into behavioral submission flies in the face of cause-and-effect evidence in the most widely-read book about these issues which is now also a teaching aid for those more motivated to solve problems than is Walker, and is also upended by facts in this compelling Journal Sentinel piece Sunday about poverty and work:

Public health experts in Milwaukee and around the nation now see a direct link between childhood trauma and an incapacitated workforce. Improving the latter is impossible without addressing the former. Children exposed to abuse, violence and neglect may not be able to concentrate in school, much less job training programs. They often grow up without the temperament to coordinate with customers and co-workers. They struggle with sleep disorders and register high levels of absenteeism.
Adding good new jobs won’t heal post-traumatic stress, says Laurie Lambach, chief executive of SET Ministry Inc., a Milwaukee health care nonprofit. “The workforce is not ready.”
And there is more in a related, compelling Journal Sentinel report today about the lives of the poor whom Walker stubbornly avoids and dismisses.

Walker's fresh appeal to an equally uninformed and heartless Donald Trump for federal permission to drug test public aid recipients is another Walker pre-election dog whistle to the base GOP constituency he motivated during the 2014 election with a crude metaphor about laziness, and to which he also whistled shouted clear as a bell to upper-income suburbanites in an earlier gubernatorial campaign about preventing Wisconsin from becoming another Milwaukee.

This is what happens when ideology and ignorance brew up a craven, textbook GOP political stew that is served again and again by a Governor motivated by political power and partisan advantage, but without a moral compass.