Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Bucky's little Trump and 10 things they share

[Updated, so we're up to about 15 now] 

There's a lot of Trump in Walker. Vice versa, too. Here's a quick 10:

1. Trump shut down the government, Walker shut down key executive powers for the incoming governor. Both are authoritarian overreaches.

2. Trump fired his Attorney General, Walker hamstrung the next state Attorney General through the same lame-duck bill - - now law - - that weakens Democratic Governor-elect Tony Evers.

3. Trump is blindly enabled by GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, while Walker has been similarly enabled by GOP State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.

4. Trump had Ryan Zinke torch the environment at the Department of the Interior and Scott Pruitt do the same at the US EPA  - - and continued by equally compliant, pro-industry fill-ins. Walker had former home builder Cathy Stepp and a clutch of water-carrying senior staffers and replacements to implement similar, pro-polluter agendas. Close that loop with Stepp's appointment by Trump to oversee the EPA's Great Lakes regional office.

5. Trump is withdrawing federal protections for waterways - - and the environment, broadly.

While Walker rolled back phosphorous discharge rules and manure runoff enforcement. And Walker also signed legislation releasing 100,000 wetland acres from state protections, exempted Foxconn from routine wetland, legal and environmental procedures - - all part of his broad attack on the environment, summarized here
Hence this 21-part series"Walker's 8-year war on the Wisconsin environment" -  covering clean water, fresh air, critical wetlands, public trust wildlife, science, information, expertise, budgets and basic transparent fairness - - will close out today, a week before voters decide whether Walker's war on the environment ends after eight years, or runs to an even dozen.
6. Trump is weakening clean air rules and boosting coal-fired electrical generation, while Walker joined litigation against federal clean air initiatives and got Pruitt to exempt enough of SE Wisconsin from toughened air quality rules so Foxconn could emit extra thousands of tons of air pollution annually: 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has sided with Wisconsin officials by sharply limiting areas that will come under stricter federal ozone regulations to small strips of land along Lake Michigan.
7. Trump's cabinet secretaries have deleted climate change from official websites and plans, as did Walker's DNR, to serve special interests.

Both men have watched passively while major cities flooded repeatedly as the climate warms and storms intensify. - - just as state and federal experts have been warning for years.
As rainfall intensifies, cities prepare for more stormwater
Between the afternoon of August 20, 2018, and the next morning, 14.7 inches of rain fell on Cross Plains. Homes, businesses, bridges and parks were washed out along streets, rivers and ponds. It took six days for the main highway out of town to reopen.
The August 20 event in Cross Plains and western Dane County was deemed a 1-in-1,000-year event, which means that a rainstorm of that magnitude historically has a 0.1 percent chance of occurring in a given year.
But we didn’t get a break anytime soon. Unrelenting storms rolled through southern Wisconsin for three weeks...
Wisconsin isn’t the only place getting wetter
Intensifying rainfall is a well-documented climate change trend. Across the country, local governments are making infrastructure investments in the hopes of preparing for more water.
But planning for stormwater is challenging when the rainfall probabilities that planners and engineers once relied on to design infrastructure are no longer accurate. Wisconsin, for example, experienced historic flooding in 20082013, and 2016, in addition to 2018. Probabilities based on long-term averages don’t necessarily capture what can be expected from future – or even current – storms.
* On June 8, 2008, in the early months of this blog, I posted this:
In 2003, EPA predicted heavier rain events 
8. Trump never had his infrastructure week, day, month, year or nanosecond, and Walker is leaving behind state roads pockmarked with 'Scottholes' and a transportation budget soaked in debt.
Walker and Trump have been busy digging their own holes, too.

9. Trump pledged to go around the just-passed farm bill and order food stamp cutoffs to some low-income recipients, while Walker got Trump to grant him that same authority - - which Walker's enabling little men in the Legislature just made law through their lame-duck power grabbing bill.

10 Trump is pledged to destroy Obamacare, while Walker gave the Attorney General unenthusiastic permission to join the lawsuit aimed at overturning Obamacare - - which a federal judge just just did, so a win-win for both Trump and Walker.

Omitted for space considerations: hostility to Planned Parenthood, addiction to NRA money, predilection for NRA money with Russian attachments, and, of course, comfort in the Greater Palm Beach/Mar-a-Lago area, where the Walker donors also hang out, etc.
Walker raises $200,000 for recall at Palm Beach event
And here's a bonus, summary similarlity. 

Walker may have escaped the reach of prosecutors, and Trump and his inner circle are already not that lucky - - but each put themselves there through bad decisions and weak character.

For the record, some earlier iterations on this post, here and all the way back to January, 2017, here:
The dirty air trail pumped out of Trump Tower and soon from a ruined US Environmental Protection [Sic] Agency long ago settled over Scott Walker's "chamber of commerce mentality" state government in Wisconsin.

So media covering the nomination hearing of climate change denier and right-wing GOP Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as administrator of the EPA should take a look at the formerly progressive state of Wisconsin, and Earth Day founder and former Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Gaylord Nelson.

That's where right-wing GOP Governor, ALEC captive and Koch brothers' darling Walker has created the kind of corporately-slavish, de-regulated anti-science state which incoming President Donald Trump is embracing.
Trump at lectern before backdrop with elements of logo "TRUMP"

Walker has installed dedicated climate change deniers atop both the Department of Natural Resources - - where clean air and water are supposed to be protected - - and at the Public Service Commission - - where energy policies are implemented.

At the DNR, the cave-in on climate science is a mixture of willful ignorance and Walker mission creep, while the PSC is chaired at Walker's behest by utility-friendly Phil Montgomery, a right-wing former state lawmaker once named the ALEC "Legislator of the Year."

That Koch brothers/fossil fuels addicted circle in Wisconsin is closed by right-wing GOP Attorney General Brad Schimel, who joined with Walker's approval with both the Wisconsin PSC and DNR to sue the EPA over clean air rules, joining litigation initiated by Pruitt.


Minnesconsin Tom said...

So what you’re saying, in a nutshell, is that both Trump and Walker are Republicans.

Peter Felknor said...

They're probably going to Hell too, but too late to do the rest of us any good.