Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Wisconsin's eight-year death trip is ending, partisan taxidermy is not

I can't put my hands on my copy of Michael Lesy's classic photography-rich non-fiction classic Wisconsin Death Trip, but you could say the Walker years now drawing to a close are Wisconsin Death Trip 2.0.

Oh, too harsh, you say?

* I think the death of 50 dairy farms month-after-month isn't much of a legacy to brag about.

* Along with doubling the number of Wisconsin 'impaired' waterways.

Dead brookie in The Litter Plover River, with water-sucking big ag operations nearby. River Alliance of Wisconsin photo.

* Not to mention seeing Wisconsin for a second-straight year in 2018 placing a state waterway on a national top-ten "endangered rivers" list.

* And having The New York Times come to Wisconsin to get a closer look at "polluted water too dangerous to drink."

* While there's been a relentless spread of deer chronic wasting disease, with even Walker's DNR saying 55 of 72 Wisconsin counties meet the agency's "affected" criteria.

* Or the persistence of a large, and persistent "dead zones" in the waters of Green Bay linked, by the way, to the expansion of the larger dairy cattle feeding operations, (CAFOs) which are killing the smaller ones, and phosphorous discharges from CAFOs and other big ag operations enabled by pollution rules Team Walker had eased.

* And deaths in state flooding in 2016, and in Sawyer County and Dane County in 2018 - - violent storms which are projected to worsen in the changing climate Walker has steadfastly refused to acknowledge or address.

* And tracking opioid abuse cases which put the state in this March spotlight:

Emergency room visits for suspected opioid overdoses increased 109 percent in Wisconsin from July 2016 to September 2017, the highest spike among 16 states closely tracked, federal health officials said Tuesday.  
The ER data show trends in the opioid abuse epidemic before deaths do, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducted the study.
* Combined with the documented tens of thousands of Wisconsinites who lost their health insurance under Walker's 'refs-the-federal-funding' plan.

I'd say "death trip" is a fair descriptor, and once Evers becomes Governor the mist will begin to lift.

Though some of the political diehards are trying to work their self-defeating taxidermological magic:

...before Democrat Tony Evers is sworn in as Governor and replaces the Republican incumbent whom the electorate unambiguously rejected, a defeated Scott Walker and his lead legislative hench-people will have codified some 11th-hour changes to Wisconsin traditional law and tradition through which they will desperately try to make their beloved FitzWalkerStan permanent.
You'd think Republicans would have learned something about clever legislating and unintended consequences after tightening up the state's recount law in 2016, only to have restrictions they pushed through make it harder and costly for Walker to obtain one following his 2018 defeat.
Literature and language are replete with this lesson. 
Google the phrases "of mice and men," or "the best laid plans." Or "be careful of what you wish for," "payback's a bitch," or "vengeance is a dish best served cold." 
You get the picture. 
Label GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos defiantly clueless, though he seems to get the metaphor
"We are not going to roll over and play dead like they assume we probably should," Vos said."

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