I appreciate Senators Graham and Cassidy continuing to work on a plan to pass the Senate. I’ll take federalism over Obamacare any day.Pair that with the mumbled incoherence of our equally superficial senior US Senator, and we've got a problem, Bucky.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
No one in Wisconsin will be surprised by the disclosure that right-wing WI GOP Governor Scott ("John Doe") Walker is at the helm of the Republican Governors Association that established this summer a propaganda website that slams Democrats but is designed to look like an Internet-based news operation.
It may look and feel like a standard conservative news source — with the headlines, name and features to match — but The Free Telegraph is anything but. It’s actually a publication funded by the Republican Governors Association.Props to the AP for outing the fakers and noting that Walker ditched its request for more information.
Only after The Associated Press inquired about the site last week was a disclosure added to The Free Telegraph’s pages identifying the publication’s partisan source...
“It’s propaganda for sure, even if they have objective standards and all the reporting is 100 percent accurate,” said Republican communications veteran Rick Tyler, whose resume includes Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign.
RGA Chairman Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, deferred questions through a spokesman to the group’s national staff. At RGA, spokesman Jon Thompson said the site is “just another outlet to share those positive results” of the GOP’s 34 Republican governors.This is the same RGA that has been distorting Foxconn for Walker's benefit - - and this is the same Walker who ran for Governor pledging loyalty to transparency:
When he says he believes in government transparency, it's not just a campaign slogan, Walker said.
"I don't just say that, I've lived it," he said.
Posted by James Rowen at 3:18 PM
"Midwestern nice [Sic]" WI GOP Gov. Scott Walker included in the budget he will sign today a politically punitive and environmentally-perverse approach to road funding [Sic] which makes it twice as expensive annually ($150) to register in Wisconsin a 3,000 pound Toyota Prius hybrid
than to register at $75 a conventionally-powered Toyota Sequoia SUV like this one
that can weigh 6,000 pounds, or twice what the Prius weighs.
Again, more picking winners and losers by politicians who deny they'd do such a thing.
Posted by James Rowen at 10:41 AM
Not an outsider anymore is he.
I'm not a "Morning Joe" fan, but I turned it on a few minutes ago for Hurricane Maria news and there was RoJo, mumbling and mushing together sentence fragments, as is his won't, about the rushed-wreck-Obamacare bill he's co-sponsoring.
Panelists were looking for assurances about whether people would not lose coverage; Johnson pivoted to attacking Obamacare, tossed out a blizzard of disconnected numbers and claims, but still could not get past saying "people don't like change" to explain why there was so much resistance to his bill.
After RoJo used his parochialism-is-good card by saying said the bill would be good for Wisconsin - - and, by the way, there go Republicans again playing the winners-and-losers game - - Mike Barnicle posed a simple question - - "begging" for an answer, he said, and which Johnson interrupted with the criticism that these were complex issues not suited to simple questions: would a hypothetical family somewhere in Wisconsin with a nine or ten-yer-old child with Cystic Fibrosis be guaranteed under the Johnson bill that their insurance costs would not go up.
To which Johnson said, "they [the costs] shouldn't."
The panel's conclusion: the bill's supporters can't be honest with the American people, which is why they will be unhappy with surprise cost increases should Johnson's bill pass.
Posted by James Rowen at 8:17 AM
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
And occupy the field he did with a vindictive move against a fellow Republican right out of the Donald Trump-clobbers-Jeff Session-playbook.
You may remember that during the stalled summer budget process - - which was an embarrassment to Walker who, after all, has a leadership image to project and a re-election campaign schedule to keep - - Assembly Republicans led by Speaker Robin Vos were harder to satisfy over major funding issues than were State Senate Republicans.
Walker rewarded Senators with unusual, last-minute veto promises to get a budget finally produced, and that display of favoritism further irked Vos who was already in high peevitude.
Vos even complained out loud that Walker's Senate allies were holding the Assembly and the process hostage, and Vos decided to show everyone that two could play the hostage-taking game by taking a personal day this week in his Racine-area popcorn factory rather than staying at the Capitol and affixing his signature to the final budget document so it could be moved to Walker's office for signing.
So Walker struck back by including in his line-item budget veto package the elimination of one of the Assembly's prized initiatives - - a method for low-spending school districts to raise additional funding - - leaving Team Vos to explain to their constituents just why Assembly Republicans couldn't protect them from Walker's pointed stick.
Walker says he made the move to help keep down local taxes, putting Vos and his Assembly cohorts in the position of, what, saying they were in favor of higher taxes. Heresy!
Vos could try and override the veto, but none of Walker's veto have been overridden since he took office, and I'd be surprised if Vos has the votes, the nerve to try, or the energy to go for it, since going from a whining hostage to injured party with his knees cut out from under can take its toll.
Posted by James Rowen at 5:29 PM
* Oh, those Foxconn obstacles
* $3 billion bet on his re-election campaign. Then on jobs.
* Walker-led GOP group whitewashes his past, Foxconn future
* Really painful, stupefying irony alert
* Walker, Foxconn and the "s" word
* Foxconn deal underscores Walker's 'chamber of commerce mentality 'governance
* Oh, and about that little overlooked Foxconn item - - a Lake MI diversion
* Viewing Foxconn through Walker's discarded ethics lens
* Foxconn is Walker's biggest use of gov't to pick winners and losers, yet...
* WI Senate joins the Foxconn parade
* Not this special favor for Foxconn, this one!
* Foxconn settles on Racine County, despite flooding history there
* Foxconn might feel it's the one which got conned
* Along with tax breaks, free highway work - - special Supreme Court access
* One potential Foxconn locale is struggling with the opportunity
* Out-going DNR Secretary Stepp spills the beans
* Holding Foxconn to the Walker/Trump environmental (will-wink) 'standards'
'No-tax-increase Walker' might just raise local taxes
* WI may find Foxconn draining education funding
* Latest news: Foxconn's billion-dollar 'strain' on state budgets, or "D'uh!"
* At least this time he didn't call you an ISIS fighter.
* A rushed project would not need so many corrections.
* GOP leaders Walker/Vos/Stepp have long failed job creation, environmental protection pledges.
* 13,000 jobs? No accident that the Assembly and public didn't have all the facts
* Robin Vos, reckless and feckless.
* Dispensing with clean blue water, green legacy.
* And the next shoe drops.
* Walker, GOP laid Foxconn groundwork years ago.
* Walker evades leadership from #Foxconn to #Charlottesville.
* Reality, troubling numbers, no state budget mean nothing to GOP legislature.
* New Foxconn bill version, same environmental rollbacks, records show.
* Changing the rules to fit the players.
*WI will subsidize Foxconn jobs paying nowhere near family-supporting wages.
* Now they're just wishing and hoping.
* The Chicago Sun-Times 'thanks' Walker for pro-Illinois Foxconn plan
* Now we look for solace to Scott Fitzgerald (!) as Foxconn gets horrible reviews.
* Foxconn is to get a pass from normal DNR reviews, which is fine with the DNR.
* Walker told his Foxconn critics to 'go suck lemons.' Then...
* Walker's fake-news Foxconn projects are collapsing.
* No surprise that major WI polluting industry. wants env. exemptions.
Who's to say that Foxconn privileges won't be applied statewide?
* Does Michigan have better deal-makers than Wisconsin?
* Water law expert says Foxconn environmental rollback endangers the deal.
* The Walker/WMC tag team.
* Big business laughs off Foxconn project environmental concerns.
* Walker never saw a wetland he didn't want filled.
* Zoo Interchange completion $$ rerouted to another project for Foxconn.
* Foxconn process 'open,' says Walker after closed door briefing for GOP caucuses.
* Walker, Ryan producing Foxconn political ads.
* Walker would allow Foxconn 19th century 'environmental' practices.
* The Legislature pushed to re-create Wisconsin as Wisconsin, Inc.
* SE WI communities should worry about what Walker wants to do with their budgets, tax collections:
* Walker, AG and legislature could give away what's not theirs:
* GOP Wi Attorney General Brad Schimel weighs in, pre-emptively and rhetorically.
* Walker to convert Wisconsin to Wisconn without a constitutional convention, and if you don't like it, 'go suck lemons."
* The cynical pot has his say.
* Walker already has '18 campaign in Foxconn frame:
* In Walker's Wisconsin, some blue-collar jobs are more important than others:
* Walker, Trump should become the new champions of Great Lakes preservation and climate change science:
* About jobs:
* Are HB-5 $$-for-visas in the deal:
* Public dollars needed:
* When Foxconn stiffed another state:
* Vos blocked transit Foxconn workers could have used:
* Walker killed Amtrak service Foxconn might have loved:
Posted by James Rowen at 3:51 PM
Instead let Walker and the state use their emergency annexation powers and annex the site to Wisconn which Walker continually references.
As we know, Wisconn isn't yet officially on the map, but it abuts this land:
Posted by James Rowen at 12:31 PM
The Question: Why is Walker promoting a possible spring Foxconn ground-breaking when it has been reported; a) the eventual project site will need "around twelve months" for the drafting and approval of an application to obtain diverted water from Lake Michigan, and b) it has been reported that the project faces significant environmental, legal and constitutional challenges?
Further question: Will someone pass him the lemons should the deal really sour?
Shorter question: Does the Governor's Mansion do self-serve lemonade?
Posted by James Rowen at 11:44 AM
I'm not a "Morning Joe" fan, but I turned it on a few minutes ago Thursday morning for Hurricane Maria news and there was RoJo, mumbling and mushing together sentence fragments, as is his won't, about the rushed-wreck-Obamacare bill he's co-sponsoring.
--------------------------------------Advice, by example, from RoJo should he blow up your health care and wallet:
As I've been noting, WI GOP Tea Party Senator Ron Johnson is among the far-right Senate business bellhop caucus which is hell-bent with the pledged help of Paul Ryan's equally callous and deologically-run House of Representatives to strip life-preserving health care coverages from millions of vulnerable Americans.
And also to further strip away for purely partisan reasons Pres. Barack Obama's legacy achievements.
I can't remember a more despicable inside power move by millionaires like Johnson and Paul Ryan against at-risk people - - especially kids with birth defects or disease contracted through no fault of their own, and who need medicine and treatments to live, grow, participate in society and succeed.
A move against people who weren't catapulted into the upper 1% by marrying into money. As did Johnson, an eventual company executive.
With this twist, as PolitiFact explains.
Announcing a statewide tour in his campaign for reelection, a Johnson news release said Johnson "started" the Pacur plastics manufacturing company he owns.
The claim contradicts Pacur’s own company history and Johnson’s prior statements, which make it clear he helped start Pacur with his brother-in-law, who was more involved in the founding. Johnson didn't do it alone.As for Ryan.
Here's the latest from the Associated Press.
Posted by James Rowen at 10:46 AM
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Here's the Times' piece headline:
Before Wisconsin, Foxconn Vowed Big Spending in Brazil. Few Jobs Have Come.My point: all Walker wants out of the deal on our record-breaking dime is a groundbreaking photo before the Nov. 6, 2018 election.
The subsidies for Foxconn re-branded Madison Avenue-style as "incentives," and approved for Foxconn together with unique and special judicial and environmental privileges, provides the talking point magic he needs to distract from seven years of ugly, data-proven failure he always blamed on others, and note that Wisconsin growth is firmly in the lower-half of states across the country, and new employment consistently trails national numbers:
Walker's failure to keep his 250,000 new-jobs-pledge has been well-documented, his job growth record for 2016 was his worst annual performance, ever, and there was yet another drop just last month in key jobs in Wisconsin, as noted in his administration's news release on employment data last week:
...a preliminary one-month decrease of 8,800 total non-farm and 5,200 private sector jobs from July to August 2017.Walker will wrap Foxconn around his campaign - - sticking the people with a $3 billion unreported donation sure to be re-packaged and perfumed into political ads to lull voters and media more interested in horse race polling into forgetting that despite heavily-pitched and propagandized tax cuts serving his cadre of right-wing donors, millions of taxpayer dollars spent recklessly, unprofessionally and repeatedly by the job-creating/state planning agency WEDC Walker arranged and chaired, and years of one-party, pro-business GOP rule, job creation in Wisconsin never took off like that promised rocket.
Now we have Foxconn delivered by Walker with record-breaking, budget-draining annual public subsidies tailored to preserve one job: his.
That's the con in Foxconn.
Posted by James Rowen at 11:47 PM
which the City of Sheboygan and Kohler interests used to steer a controversial golf course project away from opponents in the neighboring Town of Wilson now comes with a side dish of litigation.
Details from Friends of the Black River Forest's Facebook page:
“Everything Kohler does is first class” is a frequently heard statement. Start up a conversation with a local and you will hear eventually, “Herbie gets what Herbie wants.” The locals, sometimes with a chuckle and shake of the head, speak of payoffs, perks and back door political deals as sureties, but it’s accepted because what can you do? Herbie doesn’t have to follow the rules.
Wilson requires a developer to pay for independent consultants to determine the environmental impacts on adjacent permitted property owners and the community. Kohler didn’t want to do that. He secretly arranged a non-unanimous annexation plan to create a contrived route from his land to the city requiring only 3 of 6 affected residents to sign the petition. 4 of the residents were renters placed into homes Kohler had recently purchased.
Friends of the Black River Forest obtained documents showing Kohler attorneys asking Scott Walker for help with the annexation. Walker sent the Department of Administration Secretary (DOA), Scott Neitzel, to a private meeting with Kohler attorneys, DOA staff and City Administrator, Darrell Haflund. The Town of Wilson was not invited. The DOA staff would write an opinion on whether the annexation was in the best interest of the public.
It determined it was, based on the contention that the Park lands and Wilson residences to be annexed were more homogeneous with the urban nature of the city than the rural Town of Wilson. Records show Kohler attorneys running the annexation process for the City. In one instance, a Kohler attorney wrote a letter to the Department of Adminstration which Charles Adams, City attorney, signed.
The permit has not yet been studied by the DNR. We also believe there should be an audit of 7 years of DNR work for Kohler totaling thousands of hours.
FBRF continues to monitor the activities of all the agencies involved in the Kohler proposed golf course. Help us continue the fight. https://www.gofundme.com/cfxtx4
Posted by James Rowen at 6:12 PM
In an interview Tuesday, Vos said he's working in his popcorn factory Tuesday and will return to the Capitol Wednesday to sign the budget and get it sent to Walker.Vos also aimed on AM 6210 WTMJ radio this afternoon a continuing hissy fit at State Senators who negotiated last-minute budget changes directly with Walker, calling them weak and ineffective, because Senate leaders couldn't control their own caucus.
Hey, Walker, Vos is saying two can hold hostages.
Call it inside Whiffle ball.
By the way, the name of Vos' business is RoJo's, closing a link with the other Wisconsin RoJo:
Posted by James Rowen at 12:45 PM