Monday, March 20, 2017

Trump dismisses rural citizens, following Walker's lead

[Updated from 3/20/17] The Sunday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel main front page story and headline sent a strong message to small town online readers, home delivery subscribers, grocery store shoppers and coffee shop customers today:
Rural Wisconsin takes hit in GOP health plan after backing Donald Trump
And Trump's cuts extend far beyond health insurance, as this story and lede explain:
The White House budget blueprint unveiled Thursday calls for a 21 percent cut to USDA discretionary spending, threatening to hit programs that invest in rural infrastructure, target rural public radio and demolish food-aid programs that buy up farmers and ranchers’ commodities. The proposed deep slashes to spending, among the largest of any federal agency aside from the EPA and the State Department, has prompted immediate criticism that President Donald Trump turned his back on the very voters who came out in droves to support his campaign, reports Pro Ag’s Jenny Hopkinson, Helena Bottemiller Evich and yours truly.
Let's not forget that after a few weeks in office, Walker similarly stuck it to his rural supporters when it came to Internet access: 
State giving back stimulus funds intended for broadband expansion
State officials are returning $23 million to the federal government, saying there were too many strings attached to stimulus money that was supposed to be for expanding high-speed Internet service in schools, libraries and government agencies.
The money was to have boosted broadband connections in 380 Wisconsin communities, including 385 libraries and 82 schools. It also could have been used to improve police, fire department and hospital communications in rural areas...
It was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which included about $7 billion in grants, loans and loan guarantees to extend broadband to underserved rural areas and was compatible with President Barack Obama's goal of making high-speed Internet available to 98% of Americans by 2016.
Walker's 2017-'19 re-election budget contains some funding boosts for his base rural constituencies, but along with adding broadband funding and restoring some across-the-board cuts he's got a lot of areas to repair and years of disregard to fix.

You can add rural roads to the list, as documented a few weeks ago by Wisconsin Public Radio:

In Small Wisconsin Towns, Paved Roads Return To Gravel
Communities Feel The Pinch Of Construction Costs And Budget Cuts
You might want to also put this 2015 item in your archive:
Walker's budget cuts the rural health programs he touted at the Iowa Ag Summit
Walker's 2015-17 budget deletes the rural physician residency assistance program, administered by the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health's Department of Family Medicine. The proposal calls for cutting a little more than $750,000 and 3.62 positions in 2016-17...
The budget also deletes two loan assistance programs — one specifically for physicians, and another for physicians, dentists and other health care providers. Through that program, practitioners who agree to work in an under-served community for at least three years are eligible to have some of their student loans repaid. 
And here's the big one:

Walker has long ignored the clean water and environmental needs of rural residents by cutting Department of Natural Resources staff and minimizing big feedlot, farm and sand mine pollution inspections and enforcement, with the not-surprising consequences I wrote about the other day:  

Don't look for Walker on manure spill inspection duty 
He won't be inspecting the latest Wisconsin manure spill - - 3.5 miles long until it hit a waterway - in the feedlot-besieged NE part of the state:
The Wisconsin DNR says nearly 100,000 gallons of manure spilled at a farm in Brown County Monday.
Officials say the spill occurred at the James Kroll Farm on Finger Road and County Road V in the Town of Humboldt, after a valve was left open by a farm employee.
The manure flowed 3.5 miles reaching the Luxemburg Road crossing and into School Creek.
A question - - Why did it take three days for neighbors to be notified?
...Action 2 News spoke with some residents, who didn't want to speak on camera, who don't feel the same way. They are upset they weren't notified about the spill until 3 days after it happened.
And apparently the farm in question is not one of the behemoths, but don't look for the state to tighten up its oversight, as Walker has sent the DNR in the other direction.
State audit finds DNR not following own rules on water pollution
History lesson - - I remember when the DNR fined an operator $464 for a million-gallon manure spill. This recent spill of 100,000 gallons wouldn't be worth the DNR's paperwork time to write up and collect a $46.40 citation.

Side note - - Do not wonder why Lake Michigan into which these manure-polluted creeks and rivers empty has a persistent dead zone?

Also - - Do not wonder why so many rural Wisconsin wells are contaminated:

Nitrates Polluting 1 In 5 Private Wells In Wisconsin
State Data Says 90K Wells Could Be Contaminated By Farm Runoff
Plus - - expect to read more about land and water pollution in rural Wisconsin if Team Walker gives the biggest users of groundwater permanent resource control combined with intentionally-weakened oversight.

Because that's the plan.

Coincidentally, I suggested here the other day that manure spills are part of the Walker iconography, as he and his allies in the Legislature, on the State Supreme Court and in the Attorney General's office, have enabled the explosive growth of animal feeding - - with more on the way - -  at the expense of the neighboring landscape, clean air and a sustainable water table. 

Surely the symbol below also from NE Wisconsin represents the consequences of Walker's tenure, writ regrettably large and pungent:
*  How about a plume of cow manure flowing like this one in Kewaunee County from one of the large animal feeding operations which Walker is deregulating, along with rule and legislative changes to give big well-water users easier and permanent access to the nearby groundwater through his ideologically-managed 'chamber of commerce mentality' Department of Natural Resources. 
Note that the DNR barely did any inspections of these big feeding operations or wrote up any violations, according to state auditors' records.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks like Walker's toilet overflowed. Must be from all of the ham sandwiches he's digested.

You know he is always trying to spread his spoiled shit around.