Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Hunters in WI throwing their dogs to the wolves. Again, & again...

It's happening again; five hunting dogs were injured, and one Plott hound was killed, in dog-wolf encounters and fights after hounds being trained to chase bears ran into the stronger, predatory-by-nature, pack-performing wolves, the WI DNR reports:
  • 7/22/18, two Walker trailing hounds injured in Douglas County, Town of Solon Springs
  • 7/28/18, Plott trailing hound injured in Douglas County, Town of Gordon
  • 7/29/18, Walker trailing hound injured in Burnett County, Town of Anderson
  • 7/29/18, Plott trailing hound killed in Sawyer County, Town of Winter
  • 7/29/18, Walker trailing hound injured in Oneida County, Town of Enterprise
More information and a caution-area maps are available on the gray wolf webpage.
Here's more information in a July story about the same bloody phenomenon.
All because there is an ugly bear hunting training method allowed in Wisconsin, complete with the only state-funded dog replacement program in the US, that also pays up to $2,500 per 'depredated' hound, regardless of whether the dog was let loose to run through known wolf rendezvous or denning areas, or was attracted by bear baits, or by a repeat payment collector, a scofflaw, etc.
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A Plott hound, fyi:

Bossplotthound.JPG

Any news of pre-Revolutionary War oak, others in Foxconn's way?

I wasn't able to get in touch with the property owners, and no doubt they, like their neighbors, have moved or been run off, so do any Racine County activists know about the fate of these important bur oaks?
The Creuziger family has one bur oak tree estimated to be 300 years old, along with several other trees estimated to be more than 150 years old. But the property won’t be in the hands of the Creuziger family much longer as the Foxconn Technology Group plans to build a massive manufacturing campus and their land is included in that project.
However, it appears the Village of Mount Pleasant is going to try to prevent the trees from being taken down.
I added this post to my continuing Foxconn archive, here.

And this is a photo of some bur oak acorns in a Milwaukee tree perhaps 15 years old, soon to be used to help maintain the species in this part of the state where long ago they dominated on massive savannas.

Trump vs. Kochs: 'I'm rubber, you're glue...' But...

So Trump is mad at the Koch brothers.

As his former campaign manager might say, Womp, womp.


Though Trump could put a little steel in his Tuesday, Steven Miller-inspired-or-scripted- tweet - - 

The globalist Koch Brothers, who have become a total joke in real Republican circles, are against Strong Borders and Powerful Trade. I never sought their support because I don’t need their money or bad ideas. They love my Tax & Regulation Cuts, Judicial picks & more. I made them richer. Their network is highly overrated, I have beaten them at every turn. They want to protect their companies outside the U.S. from being taxed, I’m for America First & the American Worker - a puppet for no one. Two nice guys with bad ideas. Make America Great Again!"
- - by having his hotels, golf clubs and the White House join those buying substitutes for Koch products.

Truth is, Trump would be nowhere without the Koch brothers Tea Party support, so who's the "total joke" now?
Donald Trump official portrait.jpg

"The Subsidy State" could come to license plates near you

In light of Walker's still-selling-Foxconn ad campaign, and the $12.5 million 'stay-in-Wisconsin' subsidy he cut for Fiserv, I'm looking for more winning innovations from him, like:

*   "Conning Wisconsin Greatly Again" hats for sale on his campaign website.

*   Legislation to give every person a check who agrees to keep their residence in Wisconsin. Bonus rebate if you still have a "We like it here" bumper sticker on your car.

*  An annual Walker-awarded Golden Hammock to a deserving, subsidized CEO.

*  A Walker campaign ad blitz guvsplaining to everyone in each quadrant of the state that the Fiserv subsidy is good for their local economy. 

*  And to honor his administration's support for Eaton Corp., Foxconn, Kestrel, Fiserv, Kimberly-Clark, BCI, Green Box LLC, and anyone who just saved money on a wetland-filling permit, Walker will designate "subsidy" the official 

state word.

Remember when the WMC wanted to scrub "America's Dairyland" off site license plates?


Since Walker and Trump are making that happen in the marketplace, wouldn't "America's Subsidized State" or "The Subsidy State" look good, and as the WMC was arguing Foxconningly, up-to-date? 




His Trump embrace means Walker owns the tariffs' damage

Scott Walker is already presiding over rising Wisconsin farm closures, and now The Tariff King - - a/k/a Scott Walker's BFF - - is sand-bagging Wisconsin's signature, already-suffering 
File:Confined-animal-feeding-operation.jpg
dairy sector.

Walker's 'responses,' such as they were, registered between weak and ridiculous.

Every voter needs to remember who's responsible for this come November.
Dairy Industry Loses $1.8 Billion Due To Tariffs, Aid May Not Help

WTMJ-AM Tuesday aired solid climate change discussion

I'd noted recently a dearth of mainstream reporting about climate change, so it was refreshing to hear the morning team at AM 620 WTMJ air an interview with an author and discuss climate change and its ramifications as facts.

Rising temperatures and sea levels, stronger storms

and wildfires, all of it.

Maybe there's really good karma coming Milwaukee's way.

Here is the interview.

Ad blitz confirms Foxconn's weight on wobbly Walker incumbency

Walker's identity as The Foxconn Pitchman is getting stronger.

You wouldn't be running four, polling-driven Foxconn campaign promos tailored geographically across Wisconsin unless you and everyone else knew the project and its record-breaking billions in big-government subsidies remained the most-damaging political Scotthole looming on the road to a third term.

Talk about a defensive, one-issue campaign - -  a one-legged stool.- - that is less a victory lap than late-in-the-game spin.

For those of you old enough to remember it, it would be like the company a year after it began bragging on it still trying to convince consumers that New Coke was a really good idea.

Full Foxconn archive, here.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Russia, if you're listening, Wisconsin is open for your hacking business

This is getting no remedial effort from the Walker administration
Voting systems in Wisconsin, a key swing state, can be hacked, security experts warn
because as voter-ID promoting, voting suppressing Scott Walker would put it, we're making it harder to vote and easier to cheat.

Or some b.s. like that.

Donald Trump, just like his old man

Woody Guthrie
Woody Guthrie 2.jpg
famously wrote in the song "Pretty Boy Floyd"
Some will rob you with a six-gun, 
And some with a fountain pen.
If he were writing that lyric mindful of today's Trump news, he might say
Some will rob you with their tax cut, 
And some with their offshore banks.
All of which would be karmic and righteous, given Guthrie's song "Old Man Trump," about Trump senior, his landlord.

Final thought: Some will rob you by giving your money to serve their own ends to those who already have more than they will ever be able to count.



Three polls' average has Evers +5.4% over Walker

RealClear Politics posts data from, and averages, three polls - - Marist, Emerson and Marquette Law - -  and shows Evers +5.4% 
Tony Evers (cropped).jpg
Root around the site: It rates Baldwin and Kind likely winners, the race for Ryan's House seat, District 1, a tossup.

"Previt" Scott Walker. Meeting Gov. Handout.

We've met Gov. Pothole Scotthole. And Brown, Blue-Green Water Walker

Today we say "Hello" in Russian, "Previt," to honor Governor Handout - - from his hand to yours using your money  - - a true, throwback Sovietski, just as a forlorn Ron Johnson might have put it. 

Hello, also to subsidies - - and, breaking news, here's a new one: $12.5 million for Fiserv which helped with their recent purchase of the Bucks' arena naming rights.

Yes, it's been that kind of year, when Republicans who have spent a fortune branding themselves as the party of 'a hand-up' have gone all in for 'hand outs.'
Walker has his hand out to the feds, they are handing him a fist full of dollars and Walker is passing some out Benjamins, too.

Walker let on the other day that while he didn't recall chatting up an accused Russian spy in Russian, as she remembers it, he had taken a Russian language class during his too few undergrad semesters at Marquette University.

Other recent events suggest that maybe he'd been channeling a different class, Glorious Highlights of The State-run Economy.

*  For instance, I think the $4.5 billion state and local handouts Walker has engineered for Foxconn have set the US record for taxpayer subsidies to a profitable, foreign firm.


*  And Walker wants to offer Foxconn-style handouts to Kimberly-Clark so it can keep open plants it says the market says are no longer viable.


Hey, market-schmarket: We're big government and we're here to help with, as Republicans traditionally call it, other people's money.

This is all entirely understandable, and justifiable, from Walker's point of view.


First of all, the $60 million proposed charge to taxpayers is chump change compared to the billions he's ticketed for Foxconn.

You may not hear much about it from Walker because he's busy campaigning around the state on the public's dime hawking another handout program - - those $100-per-kid checks for school supplies.

Something else he won't talk about when he's on check-handout tour: how the money may lessen the pocketbook pressure on teachers whose take home pay he permanently slashed through Act 10 but who still pay out of their own pockets for some children's supplies.

I have heard these accounts from teachers, and reporting backs it up, but he won't mention anything that undermines the disinformation that, all of a sudden he's, the education governor!

But back to his proposed transfer of taxpayer millions to Kimberly-Clark, its bottom line, and ultimately to its shareholders' benefit, 


For the company, it's practically a necessity, as you can see from its 2017 report that:
"Adjusted earnings per share in 2018 are expected to be $6.90 to $7.20, a year-on-year increase of approximately 11 to 16 percent...The company's Board of Directors has approved a 3.1 percent increase in the quarterly dividend for 2018, which is the 46th consecutive annual increase in the dividend."
And while we're on the subject of who's on the dole and who isn't, you have to be impressed overall with Walker's campaign-year, going all in for the free federal money, including:

*  $160 million in Federal taxpayer dollars for bigger, wider roads to serve the Foxconn site, while other roads statewide continue to crumble (see Scottholes, above). A full archive of Foxconn posts is here.


*  $166 million in Federal taxpayer dollars he just got from his BFF Donald Trump to lower some Wisconsin health care premiums, though it's only one-sixth of the roughly $1 billion federal health care dollars Walker turned down when Obama-era programs would have provided it - - and that taint flat out ruined it.


On that score, PolitiFact said

The upshot of the governor's decision is that the state, over a five year period, is spending about one billion dollars more on Medicaid than it would have if it took the extra federal money.
Same for the $23 million federal broadband and $810 million Amtrak expansion, train assembly and maintenance bucks he refused.

It's all situational, you see - - and for both Walker and Trump, the situation is ugly, polls say.


To both, we say "Dasvidaniya."


WI Central Sands the next Flint? Kewaunee County already soaks up that honor.

[Updated from 7/27/18 - note the website of the Friends of the Central Sands, read about its various actions, including against the Richfield CAFO, and understand why it is harder to see the CAFO big picture in Wisconsin. And may get even harder with a major Walker administrative move.]

Juneau County and Wisconsin's Central Sands covering parts of several other counties is now ground-zero for Big Ag groundwater contamination, and perhaps some long-overdue public agency action, I noted Tuesday.

A commenter left this observation on the post:

Is the Central Sands of Wisconsin the next Flint? That is question we need to ask ourselves. Are we willing to put economic gain by one of the largest corporations in WI above the needs of the families who live and work in the area and who have lived and worked in the area long before this corporation brought dairy to the area? 
So let's take a deeper dive into this Wisconsin-Flint-fouled pool, as I've made the Wisconsin-Flint comparison on this blog several times in the context of persistently contaminated water in Kewaunee County near big dairy operations which the state keeps enabling with weak inspections, lax enforcement, and special interest/driven permitting, including feedlot and animal “unit” expansions
Kewaunee County, in the northeastern part of the state and bordering Lake Michigan south of Green Bay, has so many dairy-related concentrated animal feeding operations, (CAFOs) which can pollute the groundwater that the DNR will supply bottled water to people who believe their wells have runoff contamination
So goodbye 'brown water events' downstream - - or at the kitchen tap - - 
Manure runoff in Kewaunee County
- - and Flint, Michigan, Hello!
* And, here, a year earlier, in 2017:
More, here:
WI ignores lessons of self-inflicted MI water crises.
...file under 'with governing comes responsibility.'
5 Michigan Officials Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter in Connection With Flint Water Crisis
I'm not saying there is perfect equivalency between what happened in Flint and what is going in Wisconsin's Kewaunee County, but the state has not moved aggressively against known, long-standing drinking water contamination - - 
Complete DNR fail: Massive fecal pollution in Kewaunee County wells
 - - and where lax pollution inspections and enforcement has been organized against by citizens and advocates, and documented:
State audit finds DNR ignoring own rules on water pollution
* Also in 2017, Midwest Environmental Advocates helped push the DNR to supply Kewaunee with state-provided bottled water, a la Flint:

DNR will provide emergency drinking water for
families with contaminated wells

Years of citizen pressure results in agency acting on existing power
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 9, 2017


* And in 2016:  
Some experts see Wisconsin as Flint 2.0 - - like former DNR official Gordon Stevenson:
"We're arriving at an important crossroads in Wisconsin. We have our own version of Flint, Michigan in Kewaunee County where citizens cannot drink the water and we have our own version of the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone. A dead zone now also exists in Green Bay that runs from the City of Green Bay all the way up to Marinette."
Walker literally helping spread more cattle manure on top of the water table in NE Wisconsin near residential wells - - not to mention the 26,000-hog CAFO his DNR might approve near pristine Lake Superior in NW Wisconsin - - could give Bucky that toxic designation.


Sunday, July 29, 2018

Again, John Kasich shows he's no Scott Walker

WI GOP Governor Walker is a waterway pollution enabler, but his GOP Ohio counterpart John Kasich has a different plan.

*  The first time we saw the difference in these GOP Great Lakes governors was in 2014, when Kasich slammed Walker for using poor people as his personal football.
Remember the other day when there was discussion on the conservative-leaning "Morning Joe" MSNBC program that Scott Walker was too immature to be President?
Sounds like that meme played out again when a reporter saw Walker shoot his mouth off at a GOP Governors meeting a few hours ago, only to have a more seasoned competitor, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, put Walker down:
BOCA RATON, Fla. — It was almost as if John Kasich wanted to reach out and pat Scott Walker on the head...
Kasich had suckered Walker into a discussion of a piece of political history in which the Wisconsin governor was not an expert by issuing a somewhat subtle reproach to Walker and perhaps Jindal — the two most provocative rhetorical bomb throwers on the stage — and pointing to his own role in the 1996 budget deal. 
“You gotta be careful with the rhetoric,” he said, “because you get too far out on that and people don’t want to deal.”
Ohio media took note of Kasich's more thoughtful moderation compared to Walker's right-wing talking points...
Governor John Kasich.jpg
*  The second time was just a few days ago, when Kasich took strong executive action to combat ag runoff that is polluting Ohio waterways - - something Walker has enabled in Wisconsin through multiple favors to big ag, eased expansions of CAFOs, kid-gloves inspections and rolled back phosphorous dumping rules - - all of which has led to big lake dead zones, blue-green algae contamination, brown water at rural taps and an explosion in state waterway impairment.

*  Which is why different parts of the state could be labeled The Next Flint if government inaction in the face of known water contamination is the measuring stick. 

The Kasich action, opposed to Walker's practice:
COLUMBUS — Frustrated by lawmakers’ refusal to consider a bill to get tougher on sources of agricultural pollution feeding Lake Erie’s chronic toxic algae problem, Gov. John Kasich on Wednesday took matters into his own hands with an executive order...
Under the order, his administration will ask the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission at its July 19 meeting to designate eight watersheds or portions of watersheds with high phosphorous levels within the Maumee River Basin as “distressed.”
That would trigger the writing of rules affecting all agricultural nutrient sources, including such things as storage, handling, and application of manure; erosion and sediment control from the land; and other agricultural practices. Civil penalties could apply for violations. 

Consider just this August, 2016 story when comparing Walker to Kasich:
After Walker's office alerts farm lobby, clean water regulations scaled back
Or this 2015 story:
Walker budget cuts $5.7 million from runoff pollution remedies
As worries grow about water pollution caused by runoff from streets, yards and farm fields, Gov. Scott Walker's next budget calls for nearly 16% in spending cuts in programs that attack the problem. 

About wildfires and climate change, we have been warned

[See update] I wrote this week that there was a dearth of linkages in some reporting about wildfires and climate change,
How long do we have to wait for TV news anchors and weather forecasters to incorporate basic, consensus science about climate change into their correspondents' coverage of increasingly devastating fires and floods in a demonstrably warmed and warming climate?
While many state officials and governors, like Scott Walker, have nothing to say about it, or worse, as documented repeatedly on this blog, herehere, or here, and elsewhere.
However, here's a report on 'the new normal' and a few examples of those earlier linkages posted on this blog:
---------------------------------------------------------------------
2007:
In the wake of California's devastating fires, scientists are reminding us that there were findings published last year indicating that forest fires have been on the increase in the US and Canada for many years, with a longer "fire season" due to persistently dry conditions

2012:
The Upper-Midwest had not been immune to US forest fires in what has been an early outbreak in 2012, as the Capital Times reported on May 31:

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources personnel and equipment have been dispatched to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to help fight a large forest fire in Luce County...

The Duck Lake fire has consumed more than 21,000 acres...

The fire runs from Lake Superior to the south for about 11 miles, to about 14 miles north of Newberry, with 40 miles of fire line.

Here's a bigger picture, according to The Washington Post:
Colorado and U.S. Forest Service firefighters are battling the state’s most destructive wildfires ever. Lightning and suspected arson ignited them four weeks ago, but scientists and federal officials say the table was set by a culprit that will probably contribute to bigger and more frequent wildfires for years to come: climate change...

“We’ve had record fires in 10 states in the last decade, most of them in the West,” said USDA Undersecretary Harris Sherman, who oversees the U.S. Forest Service. 
2015:

The Washington Post noted yesterday the continuing research which indicates massive tree die-off in the US Southwest due to a warming climate:
In a troubling new study just out in Nature Climate Change, a group of researchers says that a warming climate could trigger a “massive” dieoff of coniferous trees, such as junipers and piƱon pines, in the U.S. southwest sometime this century.
March, 2018:
The Union of Concerned Scientists sees a link between a warming climate and greater wildfire danger:
As the world warms, we can expect more wildfires
Wildfire seasons (seasons with higher wildfire potential) in the United States are projected to lengthen, with the southwest’s season of fire potential lengthening from seven months to all year long. Additionally, wildfires themselves are likely to be more severe.
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Update: From former NY Times environmental writer, and author Andrew Revkin, now at ProPublica, replying to my post.

Follow him on Twitter. 
@Revkin



The Rim Fire burned more than 250,000 acres (1,000 km2) of forest near Yosemite National Park, in 2013

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Let's map the state's skyrocketing polluted waterways

Which environmental, media outlet or political activist group is going to map and publicize Wisconsin's more than 800 officially-designated 'impaired' waterway segments, and color code them to indicate the year they made the list?

They are the watery equivalent of Scottholes, and need the same publicity to highlight and correct the neglect.

Because this much is known:
*  There has been a doubling under Walker of the number of polluted waterways in the state since his 2011 swearing-in.
*  And there have been more than eight times as many waterways - - 804 - - newly added to the official polluted lists...than the 96 waterways improved enough to be removed.  
And Walker's budget and staff cuts at the Wisconsin DNR are designed to reward polluters and more easily degrade the state's environmental legacy and obligations.

Walker keeps campaigning in Eau Claire. Any talk of what's in the water there?

No doubt, as I've noted before, that when Walker grubs for and tweets about votes in Eau Claire - - 
 2 hours agoMoreEnjoyed the Eau Claire Republican Party BBQ today! Good weather, great food and awesome people!
- - he doesn't bring up that the state just OKed this, as I recently noted: 

Did he mention that his polluter-friendly DNR just shrugged off 100 million gallons of raw sewage that been dumped into the rivers there since 2016, even though the DNR is supposed to guarantee clear water to all Wisconsin residents according to the agency and the state constitution...
Does Walker even know that Eau Claire, translated from the French, means "clear water," and that its water clarity preceded the French 
More data: The number of so-called impaired waterways has skyrocketed during Walker's reign, in part because he and his GOP legislative allies rolled back phosphorous-dumping controls at the behest of special interests, hence there is more choking algae growth in state waters, along with other pollution-enabling forfeitures of the public trust.