Friday, July 31, 2020

WI GOP 'little dictators' have bigger partisan dreams

I'd been calling GOP legislative leaders Fitzgerald and Vos Wisconsin's "little dictators" for their lame-duck, self-aggrandizing sneak attack on incoming Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and AG Josh Kaul's traditional powers.

But now the GOP power grabbing couple has broadened their ultra-partisan gaze: 

Fitzgerald, campaigning for a Congressional seat, wants to bow out of the State Senate by blowing up Evers' modest mask order which aims to stem COVID-19's deadly toll - an order similar to those issued by more than 30 governors who seem less pestered by simpletons masquerading as public officials who are dangerously disinterested in fair play or public health.

Vos, meanwhile has shared his regrets at an ALEC-sponsored seminar over failing to grab even more authority when he had the chance from the Governor after the November gubernatorial election - contests which Evers and Kaul won fair and square at the expense of GOP Gov. Walker and AG Brad Schimel (now a judge, thanks to a Walker 'taking-care-of-their-own' lame-duck appointment).

Read all about Vos's big dreams deferred, here, complete with his sad whimpering about feeling oh-so-disrespected by the incoming Governor whose biggest sin is apparently not enjoying the Vos-Fitzgerald sucker-punch. 

GOP 'leader' is now COVID-19's best WI friend

The facts and the science are clear.
The science is in: Masks save lives and can help us safely reopen our communities
But here's the thing: Masks won't make a big dent in new infections until the vast majority of us wear them.
"It takes 80-90 percent of the population to mask up in order to make any significant difference in slowing the spread of COVID-19," said  and engineering professor De Kai at Berkeley's International Computer Science Institute....
His research found that even when half the population regularly wears , the number of new infections continues to rise. You need nearly the whole community to wear masks for them to effectively slow the spread of the virus. 
But this horse farm owner, career politician and Congressional candidate pledged to back Donald Trump cares more about taking power from the Governor than saving lives in Wisconsin and the economy, too.

Other GOP elected officials in Wisconsin have also attacked Evers plan and want the Legislature to overturn it, come what may - and we know what's generally coming these days - hundreds of new COVID-19 cases, some of which are fatal.

Shameful isn't right word for Fitzgerald's partisanship. Reckless fits; dangerous is more accurate.

Absentee WI GOP leader's sudden action plan: kill Evers' life-saving mask order

Having spent the last few months on vacation while campaigning for Congress and drawing his full State Senate salary and perks, GOP majority leader and mask-dismissing Scott Fitzgerald wants to convene in extraordinary session to kill Evers' masked-while-indoors order - and thereby adding to his party's death cult agenda.

On a day with a big state spike in COVID-19 deaths, more than 800 new cases, and similarly dangerous and deadly daily national numbers.

His Twitter feed displayed Fitzgerald's very-recent-science-free/contempt-rich approach to the pandemic.

Foxconn deal approaches 3rd anniversary, company's follow-through negligible

We're closing in on the 3rd anniversary of the Scott Walker-engineered multi-billion giveaway to Foxconn.

Extensive archive and record, here.

For the record, the deal:

* Did not save Walker's incumbency, and probably helped build statewide momentum against his re-election.

From NBC Nightly News, 7/21/19

* Did plow under a lot of productive farmland and homesteads in Mt. Pleasant, and jacked up the village and Racine County's debt load-for decades.

* Did not produce the company's pledged $100 million gift to the UW-Madison, reports show, and there has been very little recent news of substance about it.

* Did goose along along with hundreds of millions of public dollars a rushed, calamitous, I-94 expansion that was designed to serve senior Foxconn enabler Robin Vos's district, and the company's Mt. Pleasant site - a site which still lacks production facilities for flat-screen televisions as promised.

* Has led to COVID-19 spurred face mask production in the company's completed large building in Mt. Pleasant, and ventilators are said to be scheduled there for assembly there later this year.

While the COVID-19 output is a good thing, it was of course nowhere in the original plan for which eligible per-worker state subsidies can be shelled out for decades at extremely generous rates, and for which the local governments took on heavy spending and debt to add amenities to the site plan.

All that public spending - out the door or pledged - is money which may not be available for crucial purposes at the pandemic trashes local budgets while taxpayers, families and small businesses lose everything.

And any politician who touts that serendipity as validating the Foxconn fiasco would sound like the lying-through-the-pain newlywed who still tells his buddies he wouldn't trade his Hawaii honeymoon for anything - even though his fiancé dumped him there before the plane ride home - because he'd found a pretty shell on the beach walking alone.

Ron Johnson brings partisan perversion to the public square

Like the warden calculating precisely how many calories a prisoner doing hard time needs to work, walk and sleep - 

Ron Johnson has been tapping away on his pocket calculator to find the lowest dollar amount - perhaps it's $200, but it sure ain't $600 - that will motivate lazy Americans to find jobs that don't exist:
Ron Johnson spearheads GOP proposal to extend pandemic unemployment while reducing its amount
Note the complete absence of humanity in Johnson's cold-accountants'/wonky-government-speak-calculus:
"The states have the option — if they can't handle the two-thirds plus-up, they can accept the $200 flat plus-up," [Johnson said....]
And then he got in one last dig at millions of out-of-work Americans who hadn't yet found that new opportunity since Ivanka Trump sent them on her heartfelt Easter egg hunt

Said Johnson:
On the Senate floor Thursday, he argued that the HEROES act was too expensive and that by continuing the $600 payment, "we are creating a very perverse incentive for people to remain unemployed when our economy is calling for more workers."
I'll tell you what's perverse: a millionaire US Senator who married into money and just got a massive windfall.

Yet who collects about $15,000 a month in public salary with no pay cut to equalize the suffering. And who routinely gets gobs of subsidized perks like free air fare home, the Senate dining room and gym, and a King's ransom of a pension plan.

Who is now nickel-and-diming millions of citizens who are out of work, out of income, out of health insurance and pretty much out of the middle and working classes for the foreseeable future in the worst economic collapse since The Great Depression.

In the middle of an insidious pandemic worsened by the 'President' whom Johnson has robotically protected for nearly four years that has already killed 150,000 Americans with no end in sight. 

Johnson's indifference is the very definition of perverse.

And what's really perverse is Johnson's coming up with yet another version of the boiler-plate GOP myth of the conniving, lazy, undeserving American and throwing it at citizens en masse out there without any data to back it up - during a debilitating, killer pandemic.

Worse, this sleazy stereotyping is routine partisan and political perversity by the Republican Party.

Ronald Reagan had his welfare queens.

* Scott Walker fabricated in exchange for votes a dog-whistled caricature of people he said would rather sit on the sofa playing video games than work as hard as he and fellow good small town lad Paul Ryan had done when they flipped burgers at separate Wisconsin McDonald's

And, yes, Ryan had his own, 'lazy inner-city men' version of Walker's coach potatoes and Johnson's shiftless - and unnamed, of course - gig-workers whom he believes prefer government checks to money they'd been earning in jobs with personal and societal value.

The underpinning of these disrespectful and unproven Republican tall tales is that only these GOP elites know work and its meaning.

Which is why they believe they are entitled to call the shots while steering the public sector which they and one-time rightwing guru Grover Norquist agreed should be starved, throttled and drowned in a bathtub.

Which for public officials managing the public sector with its public health and safety obligations for The People is about as perverse in a democracy as it can get.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

WI's in CDC COVID "red zone." WI GOP pols in mask hysteria zone.

Props to the Racine Journal Times for interviewing legislators pro-and-con about the Evers masking order which is aimed at tamping down runaway virus caseloads 

as school buildings are set to reopen.

A few nuggets of GOP crazy talk:

* "Dictator Gov. Evers...I am enraged...I am irate." State Rep. Cody Horlacher-Mukwonago

* "Illegal and unnecessary ...a political stunt." State Sen. Steve Nass- Whitewater.

* "Wisconsin should be touting that we are beating the virus...." State Sen. Chris Kapenga-Delafield. 

Wait, what?

We are beating the virus?

Wisconsin just reported it's second-highest daily positive case count since the pandemic struck.
Wisconsin officials reported more than 1,000 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, when Gov. Tony Evers announced that a statewide mask requirement will take effect this weekend.
Eight more state residents were killed by the disease, Department of Health officials said, bringing the overall toll to 919.
The increase of 1,059 positive tests is the second-most in a day since the pandemic began, behind the record of 1,117 on July 21. Confirmed cases now total 52,108.
Which is why Wisconsin is on the CDC's "red-zone" list of states with spiking cases.
Read the Latest Federal Report on States’ Response to the Virus 
Download the original document (pdf) 
Let's read more in a release from Kapenga's office which adds has fresh assertions, twists and bombast:
"This power grab should disturb Wisconsinites as our out of touch governor continues to try and force submission to the heavy hand of government...
"Even though positive tests are increasing, the number of people getting sick from the virus is minimal, and there is currently little threat to our hospital systems...
"Perhaps if we printed the Wisconsin Constitution on a facemask, the governor would finally understand the concept of separation of powers and actually attempt to work with the legislative branch.”
Image of Chris Kapenga
Rep. Chris Kapenga