Thursday, April 30, 2020

GOP legislators 'working on' Covid-19 plan: Don't forget Act 10, & '18 lame-duck 'plans'

Your warning lights should be flashing bright red, Bucky:

Because we're told that GOP leaders, along with WI's big-business-without-any-worker-representation' special interests are working on a plan to roll out should they when the State Supreme Court lets them wrest control of the government's emergency powers from Gov. Evers.

You can bet the plan is already sitting on secret servers within a keystroke of the leaders computers to further empower businesses to dismiss workers who resist a quick return to workplaces reopened even before Trump's corporately-obeisant White House says its safe.

Or that the sickness and death data trends justice, as Urban Milwaukee's Bruce Thompson demonstrates.

The GOP-run legislature already passed one bill that denied some EMT's an easy path to Covid-19 treatment and compensation after the heavyweight WMC got GOP legislator to add the anti-worker to a bill distributing emergency federal dollars.

Why not some additional restrictions, or new limitations on workers' comp?

You have to assume business interests and GOP ideologues are going to 'plan' for additional financial and managerial restrictions on public employees even if that steps on the Governor's prerogatives - - about which Fitzgerald and Vos could not care about any less.

Because they've been working to diminish, disrespect and otherwise undermine and ignore Evers since he had the temerity to oust Walker from the Governor-for-Life lock on the office which Republicans assumed was his by right.

We've seen what happens in Wisconsin when Walkerite corporatist tools get together privately and make 'plans.'

Remember when:

* Walker sprung Act 10, calling his secretly-drafted radical rewrite of public employee rights, wages, benefit funding and 50 years of state history and law merely "modest, modest requests."

* Ditto for the secretly-crafted GOP gerrymander that continues to overly-populate the Legislature with rightwing Republicans who are only too happy to pretend they are entitled to that representation with all the power it delivers.

* Not to mention the 2018 lame-duck package of bills Republicans had ready to roll out and over the incoming Democratic Governor and Attorney General Kaul.

We've seen this movie before. It only ends well for the GOP.

Nothing comes from quietly-crafted Republican legislative measures except fewer dollars and rights in the hands of working people and greater powers accumulated by GOP legislators to serve their donors and partisan advantages.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Trump will drive sales of meat & Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle." Also worker deaths.

Trump today invoked federal law to keep meat-processing facilities open even though plant workers by the hundreds nationwide have been catching the Covid-19 virus on jam-packed production lines.

Hundreds of meat-packing workers in Green Bay have tested positive for Covid-19 and at least one worker reportedly has died.

The number of positive cases tied to a massive Sioux Falls, SD hog-butchering operation now exceeds 1,000, and poultry facilities in Virginia have become Covid-19 hotspots:
Health officials on Virginia's Eastern Shore are increasingly worried that clusters of coronavirus tied to two poultry plants may overwhelm the one local hospital, even as the Trump administration insists such facilities remain open to keep the country fed during the crisis.
Trump says, restart production lines.

A reminder that Upton Sinclair blew the whistle on the meat-packing industry 114 years ago, so here we go again.

To gather information for the novel, Sinclair spent seven weeks undercover working in the meat packing plants of Chicago. These direct experiences exposed the horrific conditions in the U.S. meat packing industry, causing a public uproar that contributed in part to the passage a few months later of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. The Jungle has remained continuously in print since its initial publication.
By the way, Trump had already moved to cut back on in-plant meat inspections. Because, you know, science. 
Pork plants will have their products looked over in less time by fewer inspectors under a rule finalized Tuesday by the Department of Agriculture (USDA). 
The new rule reduces the number of inspectors required at pork plants and also removes a cap on the speed inspection lines can run, prompting concern from groups that the rule will hurt public health as well as worker safety.

An inveterate Robin Vos can't stop ego-tripping

WI GOP Assembly Speaker and ego-tripping Robin Vos is claiming he's the constitutional equivalent to the Governor he's spent close to 18 months undercutting:
Says as Assembly Speaker he is a "constitutional officer" of Wisconsin  
Politifact gave Vos a very generous "half-true" for this fantasy, as our real constitutional officers run statewide, while Vos, as one of 99 Assembly members, represents about one percent of the state's 5.8 million citizens, or just over 57,000 constituents in Southeastern Wisconsin.

In 2018, Vos was re-elected with 16,775 votes (Evers got over 1.3 million votes), and was selected as Speaker by his several dozen GOP colleagues, not voters statewide. 

In fact, Speaker of the Assembly is not one of the six constitutionally-created positions in Wisconsin, which include Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Secretary of State and Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Republicans are famous for demanding that judges follow the law as it's written and not create law when making rulings. And they said some of Evers' vetoes didn't precisely follow the law. 

Why does Vos get to create a gaudy new constitutional realm and reach with implicit broadened powers for himself? 

Because he's anticipating that the GOP-friendly, hard-right tilted State Supreme Court will continue Tuesday to chip away at Gov. Evers' powers by diminishing or removing his extended 'Safer-at-Home' emergency order which is aimed at saving lives threatened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A one-dimensional narcissist like Vos is blind to how transparently shallow and inappropriate is his behavior, and how in his clueless case, one publicity stunt seems to fuel the next.

But none of what would be crippllngly embarrassing to regular folk will deter a power-hungry politician like Vos because he operates in a small, inward-looking and self-justifying bubble in the State Capitol and knows only headline-chasing and partisan game-playing instead of principled, big-picture leadership.

Except that this time, lives hang in the balance and some could end up on Vos's permanent record.

Monday, April 27, 2020

White House says #1 US virus victim had hard weekend

Perhaps you missed the weekend's White House report about how the country's real Covid-19 victim is faring:
White House officials say Trump works so hard, he often misses lunch
Because this White House issues no information that Trump hasn't personally scribbled out onto his drawing tablet, I think it will take its place among other signature Presidential statements.

Alongside JFK's memorable inaugural selfless call to action, 'Ask not what your country can do for you; ask if the White House chef got my fries ready?'

Fries 2

Or when Lincoln spoke at the Gettysburg battleground about 'great task remaining before us - - whether the fries and my burger can be delivered as a single order?'

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Trump admin. to expand hunting in Horicon Marsh, other wildlife refuges

Adding eleven more species to what can be hunted in designed refuges like the Horicon Marsh National Refuge - - along with scores of expanded shooting and fishing privileges nationally - - kinda undermines the word "refuge," no?
Proposal seeks to expand hunting and fishing on federal refuges
Under the proposal, the Horicon refuge would be open to hunting for woodcock, moorhen, coyote, ruffed grouse, opossum, raccoon, fox, skunk, bobcat, snowshoe hare and black bear on acres already open to other hunting.... 
This year’s rule also takes a further step in proposing revisions that ensure whenever refuge regulations depart from state regulations, for safety or conservation compatibility reasons, these extra regulations are consistent across all refuges in a given state. 
The USFWS [US Fish and Wildlife Service] will seek comments from the public on the proposed rule through June 8. 
Seal of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.svg

I'd noted the development of similar expansions and rules announced in 2018. 

As always, H/T to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Outdoors Writer Paul Smith for his diligent reporting on such matters.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Crossed fingers - and others - point to pandemic's unnecessarily-expanding toll

I think we can put our finger on the problem:

The Washington Post says some Governors will 'cross their fingers' and hope they aren't moving too quickly to reopen their states' nail salons, restaurants and bowling alleys:
After shutting down much of American life in March and keeping people home throughout April, governors are preparing to lift restrictions as the calendar turns to May — and cross their fingers that the novel coronavirus doesn’t come roaring back.
Wisconsin is taking a related 'digital' approach.

Its Republican legislators flipped off science in a rush to win judicial permission to reopen the state, having asked the same State Supreme Court that already gave the finger to voters 
now turning up with Covid-19 after being forced by the high court to cast ballots when it wasn't safe. 
40 Coronavirus Cases In Milwaukee County Linked To Wisconsin Election, Health Official Says

Thursday, April 23, 2020

WI GOP leaders' stage crocodile tears-soaked tantrum

And it's all so needlessly tragic-comic, this ongoing Vos-Fitzgerald hypocrisy that is pathetically obvious.

In a pandemic. 

That in Wisconsin keeps infecting thousands, killing scores and endangering health-care workers and first-responders (more about them in a few grafs) and everyone else.

Shorter lede: To wit, GOP hypocrites... 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel enterprise reporting Thursday which is now behind its paywall discloses the last-second successful limitations pushed by corporate lobbying during the GOP-run Legislature's slow-walked acceptance late last week of federal Covid-19 assistance - - changes that that are sure to make it near-impossible for some first-responders to tap key virus medical treatments.

The bill's outcome, without the knowledge of the insiders' anti-worker, pro-business, was noted here last week:

They made sure to add a contemptible partisan flourish to what should have been bipartisan pandemic cooperation to again disrespect Governor Evers, because that, above all, is the WI GOP legislature's hyper-partisan #1 priority:
Assembly meets, in person and virtually, and passes legislation to help the unemployed, capture federal medical dollars
Now we know that the 'process by which the GOP's rotten, anti-worker language got added was not-transparent, and not-bi-partisan, certainly, but here's what makes it even more contemptible: 

The alligator-teary complaint by the same GOP Speaker Robin Vos to the GOP-friendly State Supreme Court that, with a straight face, alleges - - wait for it - - a lack of bi-partisan involvement and "transparency" in Gov. Evers' emergency orders.
Vos and Fitzgerald, however, said the decision amounted to "unprecedented administrative overreach" that left them with no choice but to "ask the Supreme Court to rein in this obvious abuse of power." 
"Wisconsinites deserve certainty, transparency, and a plan to end the constant stream of executive orders that are eroding both the economy and their liberty even as the state is clearly seeing a decline in COVID infections," they added. 
And, for the record, as I said earlier this week when looking at the data, the state is clearly not seeing a decline in Covid infections, as the Fitzgerald-Vos statement claimed:
4/22 Update: Wisconsin reports biggest one-day case increase.
Wisconsin health officials reported 225 more positive tests, the largest one-day increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases so far. 
The state now has 4,845 COVID-19 patients and 246 deaths, 4 more deaths than reported Tuesday. 
Wisconsin's first two deaths from Covid-19 were disclosed on March 19.
* On April 14 - - see official charts and related historical and cumulative data there were 3,555 confirmed cases and 125 deaths.
* Data for today, 4/21/2020 show 4,620 confirmed cases and 242 deaths - - an increase of 10 deaths and 153 confirmed cases from yesterday. Sixteen days ago there were 155 confirmed cases.
That doesn't sound like flat or lessened case numbers; it sounds like equivalent case numbers as the death toll continues to rise.
PolitiFact yesterday agreed, and data just released Thursday shows a fresh spike for the second-straight day of more than 200 new confirmed cases.

Meanwhile, what's the GOP's actual plan if they win in court?

Plan? What plan?

Plus, remember Vos is half the hyper-partisan GOP 'leadership duo which quietly-drafted 11th-hour lame duck legislative rollbacks of incoming Governor Evers's powers without, ahem, bi-partisan involvement or transparency...

And Fitzgerald and Vos, despite their new embrace of transparency and bi-artisanship, repeatedly balked at, or instantly blocked Evers'-called meetings or special legislative meetings on Covid-19 planning, homeless crises and gun safety measures without, further ahem, any bi-partisan involvement.

Cry me a river of crocodile tears.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

'Open-now' ignores power of virus tracked to WI from 1st west coast infection

Anyone urging that the Wisconsin be reopened despite continuing Covid-19 cases and deaths 
Brookfield, WI over the weekend
might want to read at least these lines in a detailed NY Times report and note that the first unintentional transmission of the virus in the US has spread to six countries and 14 US states, including Wisconsin.
But of all the branches that researchers have found, the strain from Washington State remains the earliest and one of the most potent.  
It has surfaced in Arizona, California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, and in six countries. 
And new cases are still surfacing.
That's how predictably virulent is this invisible and deadly disease.

And why Wisconsin's Covid-19 tally of more than 4,400 reported cases is rated as "widespread" by the CDC's tracking website.

Ginned-up rallies that disregard what we already know while putting people - - including bystanders, first-responders and hospital workers - - at risk are dangerous and irresponsible.

Politicians who would use this pandemic as yet another partisan power grab are underestimating the virus's greater power:
The 'leaders' of Wisconsin's GOP Legislature Death Cult - - Cap Times editor emeritus had called them "ghouls" - - asked the State Supreme Court Tuesday to reject Gov. Evers' extended emergency "Safer-at-Home' order in part because..."positive COVID cases decrease or remain flat."
Yeah, it's all about sanitized algorithms and bloodless numbers for one-dimensional political junkies to whom political power gaming is their always-on-taxpayer-paid ventilator.
As these GOP 'leaders' play their latest version of 'Tarnish Tony,' let's remember that there are thousands of Wisconsin names, faces, friends and families - - along with countless more thousands of front-line medical personnel and first responders - - who are suffering and in harm's way or grieving along side every positive and tragic Covid-19 case.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

WI GOP 'leaders' serve up crass Covid-19 calculus

4/22 Update: Wisconsin reports biggest one-day case increase.
Wisconsin health officials reported 225 more positive tests, the largest one-day increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases so far.
The state now has 4,845 COVID-19 patients and 246 deaths, 4 more deaths than reported Tuesday. 
The 'leaders' of Wisconsin's GOP Legislature Death Cult - - Cap Times editor emeritus had called them "ghouls" - - asked the State Supreme Court Tuesday to reject Gov. Evers' extended emergency "Safer-at-Home' order in part because..."positive COVID cases decrease or remain flat."

Yeah, it's all about sanitized algorithms and bloodless numbers for one-dimensional political junkies to whom political power gaming is their always-on-taxpayer-paid ventilator.

As these GOP 'leaders' play their latest version of 'Tarnish Tony,' let's remember that there are thousands of Wisconsin names, faces, friends and families - - along with countless more thousands of front-line medical personnel and first responders - - who are suffering and in harm's way or grieving along side every positive and tragic Covid-19 case: 

* Wisconsin's first two deaths from Covid-19 were disclosed on March 19.

* On April 14 - - see official charts and related historical and cumulative data there were 3,555 confirmed cases and 125 deaths.

* Data for today, 4/21/2020 show 4,620 confirmed cases and 242 deaths - - an increase of 10 deaths and 153 confirmed cases from yesterday. Sixteen days ago there were 155 confirmed cases.

That doesn't sound like flat or lessened case numbers; it sounds like equivalent case numbers as the death toll continues to rise.

* As predicted by a long-time Wisconsin physician, the GOP-led effort to push voters to the polls on April 7th has resulted in additional 19 positive cases.

By the way, remember that WI GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos who's pitching these numbers as rosy is the same guy who said it was perfectly safe to got out on election day, then showed up as a polling place official dressed like he was starring in the sci-fi thriller "Where's Ebola?"

Walker's unrestrained vetoes get review by GOP-friendly panel

Only the logic of Gov. Evers' Safer-at-Home order which GOP politicians have vowed to upend kept Monday's video-linked session of the Wisconsin State Supreme Court from being an in-person All in the Family Republican Rightwing Reunion.

It's a little complicated; this Wisconsin State Journal story is a big help:
Wisconsin Supreme Court hears cases that could limit gubernatorial powers
One case challenges Evers' use of the powerful Wisconsin gubernatorial veto which Republicans had happily let Walker use when it suited their righty righteousness.

Too strong for you? Consider some of what's involved in the separate case up for review which involves only Walker - - his outrageous line-item legal vandalism including killing a program for 1,000 years, as the State Journal story explains:
The second case objects to two vetoes former Republican Gov. Scott Walker issued that extended the effective date of one legislative program from 2018 to 2078, and another from 2018 to 3018 by deleting two digits and a comma.
Mind you this is all up for review by a Wisconsin Supreme Court whose 5-2 conservative majority includes Justice Brian Hagedorn, who worked in Walker's office as legal counsel, and the recently-defeated-but-serving-until July 31-Daniel Kelly who, when in private practice, had defended Walker initiatives and sat on the advisory board of the conservative law firm arguing the case against Evers' vetoes. 

Like I said, it's complicated, this return of our ex-bad penny Governor.

And I know you're not supposed to guess how judges and justices will rule, but the current Wisconsin Supreme Court majority is as solidly pro-GOP as a Green Bay Packers home crowd is for the Green-and Gold.

Will the Court toss out any vestige of fairness, let alone non-partisanship and rule against Evers' vetoes and also validate Walker's monkey-wrenching?

Don't say they wouldn't go that far: this is the court which, minus Kelly, just forced thousands of Wisconsinites to vote pandemic on April 7th, and we know of at least seven participants who lamentably can attest to the thoughtlessness of that dangerous precedent:
Wisconsin coronavirus infections linked to election day, health official says
Advocates say the spread was preventable and step up their push for mail-in voting.
But back to Walker's 1000-year-law-editing-deep freeze. Yes, it was a cavalier use of his official powers, but not surprising it you recall other games Walker played with words and laws.

* Remember when he changed state budgeting wording from "living wage" to a "minimum wage," thus further freezing the state's puny minimal wage for our state's neediest citizens at $7.25 an hour?

Scott Walker Strips Wisconsin Workers Of ‘Living Wage’ In New State Budget
* And don't forget how he tried to gut through budget language the truth-searching state principle known as the Wisconsin Idea, then claimed his ham-handed effort was a 'drafting error.'
Editorial: Scott Walker got caught attacking the Wisconsin Idea, lied about it and then got caught lying
* And he played a version of his truth-stuffing power game right to the very end.
Walker signs lame-duck bills, no line-item vetoes

Sunday, April 19, 2020

US Covid-19 death toll about to surpass American combat deaths in Vietnam War

4/24/2020 update from 4/19/2020:

In just five days, 10,000 more deaths and heading for the overall US death toll in Vietnam of 58,220:
US Coronavirus death toll passes 50,000
In just seven weeks, in America in 2020, more than 40,000 dead and probably undercounted, The Washington Post reports.
Because testing was slow to begin in the United States, health officials agree that the number of reported cases is much lower than the actual number of people who have the disease, and even the count of deaths is probably low because of differences in reporting by overwhelmed local jurisdictions.
That the US death count from Covid-19 now exceeds 40,000 means in the next several hours the virus's death toll reported just since February 29 will surpass the number of American soldiers killed in combat - 40,934 - during the years-long War in Vietnam.

And at the current rate, the Covid-19 death toll in the country will exceed in a few brutal weeks all US deaths from all causes - 58,220 - data show.

While Trump postures, preens, points fingers and demands praise for his failures. 

And promotes himself for a second term.

No one is out in the street protesting how Trump stalled and bungled and enabled the Covid-19 debacle because that would only accelerate the suffering and the dislocations and the terrible tally.

Though some of his supporters ginned up by Trump and pro-gun organizers as the bodies stack up are out in the streets 
Brookfield, WI
- - to protest the inconveniences they are enduring scheduling haircuts

Note also that Wisconsin's deaths and positive cases are continuing to climb, according to official data after courts refused to delay the April 7th election.

The increases are also published in Sunday's Journal Sentinel online.
As of 5 p.m. Sunday, [state officials] reported 4,346 cases and 220 deaths. Around a quarter of people testing positive have been hospitalized. 
Milwaukee County continued to be the epicenter of the outbreak with 2,150 cases and 125 deaths, according to [state] figures. 
Coincidence, bad luck or just the disease's relentless expansion.

Just 23 days ago, on March 27th, the Milwaukee County death toll was 9, so the increase in about three weeks is about 14-fold.

Will there be another surge in and around Waukesha County after Saturday's public, shoulder-to-shoulder social distancing-snubbing protest?

What epidemic, say Cheeseheads for Cheeseburgers?

Alternative headline:

So Wisconsin will have another viral election?

A revived Tea Party outbreak in conservative Wisconsin enclaves spurred by far-right organizations and an historically-craven President is heaping bad media on Wisconsin which no state should seek:
Hundreds gather in Brookfield to protest the extension of Wisconsin's safer-at-home order. One man hoisted two flags, one a Gadsden flag and the other a Confederate flag.
As if this wasn't enough less than two weeks ago:
Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, a Republican, wore a mask, gloves and other protective gear as he sought to assure voters it was "incredibly safe" to vote in person for Tuesday's election amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Saturday's flag-waving was a fresh extension of the anti-Obama fringe movement that put Ron Johnson and Scott ("I was the original Tea Party in Wisconsin" Walker in office.

Our state's motto used to be "Escape to Wisconsin." 

These days, it's 'Can We Escape' from the selfish disdain for social distancing which those darned experts continue to say are is the best defense right now against passing on, or passing away from, the worst pandemic in more than a century.

Not recommended: Standing Saturday shoulder-to-shoulder-while-on-a-public-sidewalk-with-several-hundred-of-your-now-closest-friends 

and yelling about the Governor 80 miles away who is only trying to keep people out of already-crowded hospital emergency rooms and Intensive Care Units.

There was a time when the state's signature Wisconsin Idea - and this was before Scott Walker was caught trying to hijack it, and also before he declared war on public employees like teachers and nurses (boy, has that aged badly during the Covid-19 pandemic, say nurses, their patients and home-schooling parents everywhere) - had aimed for decades to elevate public service so government would improve life in the entire state and serve people through education and selfless expertise.

But there's a new Wisconsin Bad Idea out there for all to see, and all of us to suffer, being engineered and nurtured by an assortment of ghoulish GOP legislators and non-partisan [sic] state Supreme Court Justices who earlier this month made Wisconsin famous or infamous by, for example, forcing statewide in-person voting. 

During a pandemic.

And because it says right there in the Constitution's Article Eleventy that your right to a sit-down, wait-staff served cheeseburger at, yes, obviously stressed small businesses trumps (sorry) other citizens' rights to stay off a ventilator or out of the morgue.

Wouldn't it be a better idea to go all-in for several more weeks on generous giving, continuous home-delivery or pick-up food ordering than to put business owners and workers needlessly at risk? As a pandemic silently spreads without known drug therapy or a preventative vaccine?

No one has all the answers to an unprecedented crisis, but disregarding the known best defenses to save lives can't be the best we've got.

And did you know that when the GOP run-legislature last week met in quick sessions to accept federal emergency, it did not appropriate one state dollar to set up or boost any assistance for hard-hit state business owners, school systems, hospitals, emergency services, etc.


Partisan politics, and a continuing effort by Republicans to marginalize the Governor who defeated Walker in 2018:

The bill does not include any appropriations, which likely means Evers cannot use his line-item veto authority. 
And yet same new Bad Idea caucus which already put Wisconsin through a risky election on April 7th has ensured that Wisconsin will hold on May 12 another election including in-person voting.

This election is in the very red northern Wisconsin congressional district where former Trumpian incumbent and fellow former reality TV personality Sean Duffy moved on last year to cable TV punditry and lobbying.

Given the district's heavy GOP tilt, Duffy's big-donor and corporate rubber-stamp replacement is likely to be GOP State Sen. Tom Tiffany, a reliable Walkerite who while in the State Assembly led the unsuccessful effort to level the pristine, wetland-and-trout-stream rich Penokee Hills.

And though Trump has blasted absentee voting, Tiffany's Twitter feed @TomTiffanyWI has tweets that both pledge loyalty to Trump while urging backers during the pandemic to get absentee ballots. 

No one said MAGA world runs on logic, consistency or the public interest.

The recent WI GOP State-Senate-to-Congress trail was blazed by the famous, or infamous fellow open-pit mining backer Glenn Grothman whose message to residents living close to the blasting zone was 'caulk your wells' should blasting during the mine's projected 35-year-life cause any cracking.

Yes, that was a few years ago, and no, the mine was never dug because the area was too saturated with groundwater, as the opponents had said for years.

It was less a win for the original Wisconsin Idea as it was vindication for grassroots organizing, tribal rights and Mother Nature.

But it's instructive to understand that the state is once again without immunity to the Wisconsin Idea snuffing-science-dismissing 'philosophy' which Walker brought with him to the Governor's office in January, 2011, and is alive and well from Brookfield to the northwoods.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Flying blind against Covid-19 worsened by dumb partisanship

Despite the obnoxious and dangerous WI mass rallies against 'Safer-at-Home' government orders, there is one fact which explains why 'reopening' the culture right now or in the near future carries huge danger:

Less than one-percent of Wisconsin's 5.8 million residents have been tested for the virus.
Total Positive Tests. 4,199. Total Negative Tests. 43,962. Total Tested. 48,161
Tested for an unseen, microscopically-small virus which can be and is carried and passed on by unsuspecting people to unsuspecting recipients.

Who can and will repeat this perilous cycle at potentially-fatal risk to themselves, family members, friends, neighbors, big-hearted delivery drivers, heroic medical workers and first-responders and total strangers on an elevator, front porch, sidewalk or just accidentally downwind of a sneeze.

One percent testing in Wisconsin - - a mere one percent which can't be much of a useful indicator - - would be 58,200. (WI population data, here), and it will be days at best before we hit that number,

And according to this extraordinary set of data, Wisconsin is among many states which statistically are likely to have many more actual cases than known cases.

There will be a range of 'reopening' plans that range from thoughtful to reckless to blatantly inflammatory for perceived political advantage:
From the Wisconsin Death Cult, regrettably, this is not a surprise.
MADISON - The Republican leader of the state Assembly said Friday he would likely sue Democratic Gov. Tony Evers over his authority to shut down the economy as the partisan divide widens over how to battle the coronavirus pandemic. 
"We’re angry, we’re frustrated and we’re trying to push back in every way that we can," Assembly Speaker Robin Vos of Rochester said on WISN-AM (1130).
But if we really want people and businesses to survive danger and dumb GOP-hatched politics in Wisconsin - - 

- - we need better Covid-19 testing data upon which to make life-and-death calls.

It these calls are made prematurely based on emotion or, worse, political calculation, we're in for for more waves of suffering loss and death.

Friday, April 17, 2020

More Death Cult behavior; GOP 'legislative 'leaders' aim to seize Evers' emergency powers

From the Wisconsin Death Cult, regrettably, this is not a surprise.
MADISON - The Republican leader of the state Assembly said Friday he would likely sue Democratic Gov. Tony Evers over his authority to shut down the economy as the partisan divide widens over how to battle the coronavirus pandemic. 
"We’re angry, we’re frustrated and we’re trying to push back in every way that we can," Assembly Speaker Robin Vos of Rochester said on WISN-AM (1130).
It's the extension of the GOP campaign against Evers' legitimacy that began with the lame-duck power grab after Evers beat Scott Walker for Governor fair-and-square.

And because Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald has refused to schedule a confirmation hearing for Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm - - and after already firing Evers pick for Ag Secretary for refusing to kiss Fitzgerald's ring - - these unprincipled GOP 'leaders' misfits are now further undermining Evers and Palm by openly talking about firing her - - in the middle of an unprecedented public health disaster.

Talk a win for the pandemic!

Vos even called her a "lackey." 

Look at her credentials.
Andrea Palm most recently served as Senior Counselor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under President Obama, where she oversaw the public health and human services agencies, encompassing more than 60,000 staff. She also served as the Chief of Staff for HHS from 2013-14. Her executive career spans more than two decades, with key leadership positions for the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Senator Hillary Clinton, and Congressman Robert Matsui. She was a Senior Advisor at the White House Domestic Policy Council during the implementation and rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Palm received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a graduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis.
Who, exactly, would Fitzgerald approve? I suppose former McDonald's restaurant manager and WI DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp is available. After all, she held a key science and public health position for years - - during which the state's waters got more polluted, DNR scientists and their agency bureau were dismissed, budgets were cut, clean air rules were waved and crucial information was scrubbed from the DNR web site.

Wisconsin has been able to test less than one percent of its citizens for signs of Covid-19, as I noted earlier today. 

We have no idea how far the disease has already spread, but we know that infected people car unwittingly transmit it, and that our first responders and frontline medical workers are already overwhelmed.

How on earth is this the time for a spiteful, partisan takeover of scientific and medical necessities when 200 are already dead in Wisconsin and all the projections show that this first surge is not over?

It's going to be a hollow 'win' for Wisconsin Republicans if what they inherit is measured in bigger body counts which could easily include some of their own constituents.