Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Trump's COVID Easy Pass Tour heads to hotspots La Crosse, Green Bay

While Trump's dictator behavior at Tuesday's 'debate' is fresh in swing-state Wisconsin's collective consciousness, another threatening round of his dangerous self-centeredness is headed our way:

Trump has scheduled rallies for Saturday in La Crosse and Green Bay...which are COVID-19 hotspot population counties wracked by the a state near the top of the list nationally for surging COVID-19 caseloads...driven by reckless personal choices enabled by right-wing Wisconsin Republicans and elected officials who for months have given the virus an easy pass statewide in all directions.

Social distancing and mask wearing are simple, low-cost and effective ways to stem the pandemic, but doing the opposite at Trump rallies is one way some of backers visually validate his contempt for the experts, as was seen when Trump rallied his supporters recently in Marathon County:

So, coming right at you, La Crosse and Green Bay, because the virus is Trump.

I would also point out that the Packers play a home game in Green Bay Monday night.  

Given the psychological and historical importance of the team in the city and state, you'd think that nothing would be more vital right now in Green Bay than smart, teachable pandemic prevention because many players and team employees live there.

But Trump and his enablers have other priorities, so apparently not. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

WI COVID data, deaths keep destroying Vos's "incredibly safe" stupidity

We have freshly relevant reasons to dismiss WI GOP disease enabler and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos's ridiculous April election-day pronouncement that it was "incredibly safe' to go outside with a deadly pandemic spreading suffering statewide. 

It was b.s. then and the stench is stronger now.

When The Trump Robot from Burlington 

made his reckless remark on April 7th, Wisconsin's COVID-19 death toll had risen by a stunning 15 - from the previous day's 77-to 92, Wisconsin's official data showed. (See continuously updated graph and chart).

That was a sad and serious number in the early days of the virus which was far less-well understood than it is today. 

So you'd have thought life-saving caution would have guided the GOP-led Legislature and their allies in COVID-times since then, and certainly now with months of matured understanding available to public officials across the board, but Vos and his allies continue to evade accountability have done the precise pandemic-pandering opposite.

Which is why Wisconsin reported today 17 new COVID-19 deaths as the state's overall exploding COVID fatality toll has hit 1,300.

The same official data show that COVID-19 cases grew daily by 175 in the week prior to Vos's dopey denial, but fresh data in the same chart shows daily average has now zoomed by a factor of nearly 13 to 2,255. 

Which is why Wisconsin officials, having now grappled with just under 120,000 COVID-19 cases and a death toll equal to a small town population are now using words like "crisis" and "devastating" and "going to get much worse before it gets better," and not Vos's signature "incredibly safe" dishonest stupidity.

Because it's not incredibly safe out there: it's incredibly dangerous, and worsening. as all the progress made during periods of quarantine and sacrifice have been thrown away by GOP partisan propagandizing, reckless personal bad behavior and a bizarre disregard by too many people and rightwing politicians unwilling to keep fellow state residents healthy, safe and alive.

Because the Rightwing/Vos COVID EnablingTeam is still litigating and undermining mask-wearing to score political points against Governor Evers whose authority Republicans and right-wingers keep undermining while tens of thousands of jobs, a generation's schooling and 1,300 lives (and counting) have been lost.

Waukesha County, a GOP/Trump safe haven, shaming itself

As they say these days, be better.

Let's add 'do better.'

Which is why I hope the growing number of fresh stories earning Waukesha County horrible publicity, here -
[A yard sign] mimicked the design of presidential candidate Joe Biden's signs, but with a play on words: "Just say no: Sleepy Joe and the Hoe," an apparent reference to his female running mate, Harris.
and here - 

Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old charged with fatally shooting two people and injuring a third during unrest last month in Kenosha, has become a cause célèbre among conservatives and some gun-rights groups.

On Thursday night, his mother and lawyer got a standing ovation at a Waukesha County Republican event after their introduction by conservative commentator Michelle Malkin. 

Standing ovation from Waukesha County GOP women for my special guests, & Wendy Rittenhouse, Kyle’s mom. Huge shoutout sent from all of us in WI to warrior . I was able to talk to Kyle by phone & THANK HIM for his courage! #fightback Fightback.Law
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- motivate a huge Nov. 3rd turnout by the county's progressive and fair-minded residents.

Along with some serious introspection by Waukesha County political and community leaders about the view people on the outside are getting looking in.

Change is sweeping the country, so why not in Waukesha County, too?

Monday, September 28, 2020

WI COVID cases keep spiking, GOP responds with its herd impunity

There have been two brutal constants since the COVID-19 pandemic came to Wisconsin several months ago: 

1. Cases continue to explode with all the numbers and trends repeatedly headed in the wrong direction. 

2. Though holding big majorities in the Legislature, Republicans continue to substitute dereliction of duty for any participation in comprehensive pandemic planning or policy implementation.

So there's no other way to say it: having last met in session (and again to do nothing COVID-related) 166 days ago - day #100 was July 26Wisconsin's vacuous, vacationing, paycheck-collecting and disease-enabling GOP legislators and their litigious ideological litigants now should be made to own and absorb accountability at the polls for the state's nationally-acknowledged and Badger Land-contaminationg COVID-19 caseload.

A responsibility which should be shared by the GOP-allied Supreme Court majority which was quick to do the Republicans' partisan, pandemic-enabling bidding early on while endangering even the state's 'regular folks.'

So while Wisconsin's ugly COVID-19 situation is receiving national notice here - 

Wisconsin Is on the Brink of a Major Outbreak

At least 2,249 new cases were reported in Wisconsin on Sept. 27. Over the past week, there have been an average of 2,165 cases per day, an increase of 82 percent from the average two weeks earlier.

- despite state media saying similar things for months, such as this July piece:

Wisconsin hits record in virus cases as spike continues 

- none of that will save lives and businesses succumbing in Wisconsin to the virus's spread.

Only November 3rd voters can do that - by electing as many Democrats as possible up and down the ballot because WI GOP 'leaders' who are have since spring inflicted their COVID-19 impunity statewide just last week continue to undermine basic, proven pandemic prevention with cheap partisan game-playing:

Speaker Vos calls mask order 'illegal

In a statement on Tuesday, Vos (R-Rochester) called Evers a "lawless governor" and said the latest order is "obviously illegal...." 

Save lives. Vote them out - especially true in Wisconsin where just a few more seats and the GOP gets veto-proof majorities and control over budgets, redistricting and CI=OVID-19 policy.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

COVID rages in rural red counties as WI GOP trashes state mask orders

How far down Crazy Lane has the WI Republican party driven itself Operating While Politically Impaired?

While their party leaders are keeping the Legislature on paid, campaign season holiday, and continue opposing statewide masking orders which offer proven COVID-19 control, fresh data In The New York Times show the rural pandemic surging across red, rural Wisconsin counties

Look at these counties ranked 1-10 for case growth during the last seven days; all except for #9 Menominee went for Trump in 2016:

Kewaunee, Florence, Forest, Shawano, Oconto, Winnebago, Brown, Calumet, Menominee and Marquette.

Republicans politicians in Wisconsin are so blinded by their loyalty to Trump and his contempt for common science science that they are helping sicken and kill their neighbors and constituents while the virus keeps setting records

Despite the position of this leading Covidiot and Congressman-to-be, save your life - and your neighbor's - and wear a mask!

Saturday, September 26, 2020

New hero helps WI GOP avoid pandemic torpor

WI Republicans do love Trump, but some politicking Wisconsin Republicans in the middle of the pandemic they've helped propel to record numbers have a new distraction and hero to cheer - with enthusiasm

Kyle Rittenhouse makes first court appearance the day after his mother, lawyer got standing ovation at Waukesha County GOP event

Sure would like to know if any of Wisconsin's do-nothing-by-design GOP state legislators who have refused to convene for five months on COVID matters, gun violence, judicial and policing reforms were in the cheering crowd?

The WI GOP-run legislature only meets when it serves its members' partisan agendas, like its 2018 lame-duck session when it grabbed power from incoming Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. GOP leaders haven't convened their chambers for months and while collecting regular paychecks. 



Bidding in Lake Park Friends auction ends at 8 p.m. Saturday

Lake Park Friends annual auction is an on-line affair this year. A special goal is to raise money to replace trees lost to the Emerald Ash borer. There are more than 50 great food, beverage, artistic and park-centered items available through 8:00 p.m. Saturday, including two different sets of 10 photo cards I created. Here's a look at one set.

Brown County COVID infection probably hit Roggensack's 'regular folks'

Before writing the decision that killed Gov. Evers' virus-controlling "Safer-at-Home" order extension, right-wing Wisconsin State Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Roggensack had opined during case argument

that the spread of COVID-19 in hot-spot and populous Brown County was not a problem for the area's "regular folks.

"It's elitist, and it's racist," said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of the immigrant advocacy group Voces de la Frontera, noting that a high percentage of workers at meatpacking plants are minorities and immigrants. 

It was fashionable at the time among state right-wing 'leaders,' like Wisconsin GOP Assembly Speaker-and do-nothing-power-grabbing Robin Vos that immigrants without regular 'ole American cultural standards - and not their low-wage-front-line working conditions - had brought on their own COVID-19 suffering.

So "R" these days in Wisconsin is shorthand for Republican and regular, and "D" stands for Democratic, and disposable, too.

But what of all that deplorable rightist disease dismissiveness now, since it's probably safe to say some of Roggensack's regular folks in Brown County and elsewhere across Wisconsin are caught up in Wisconsin's nationally-significant COVID-19 spike which is third most-intense among the 50 states, data show.

Brown County last week had the state's highest case rate increase of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents data show, and more than 8,600 cases in all.

This area media Friday and story and headline said it all:

Brown County hospitals nearly overwhelmed as leaders warn people not to 'throw in the towel' on COVID-19 safety

Anybody who thinks Brown County, which includes Green Bay, has a handle on the virus spread there is living in a state of denial.

But that is the very state in which Vos and his Republican legislative allies like anti-masker Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald actually live - 

I just said I think it’s  a mistake,” Fitzgerald said [last month] of the mask order. “I think things are going well right now. People are complying if they want to.”

-  since they continue to refuse to take any positive COVID-19 action, or even convene to address other serious matters, like justice and policing reform or gun violence.

Here's a fact and story from July 26 exactly two months ago which awards Republicans a third "R" designation - reprehensible - 

It’s been 100 days since the Legislature met in session and passed an initial response to COVID-19.

- while they enjoy something else hundreds of thousands of regular Wisconsin folks haven't seen spring -  months of unbroken state-provided salaries and benefits amounting to quite the paid pandemic vacation.

More Brown County data, here:

Friday, September 25, 2020

RoJo obliterates Trump-GOP 'message' on jobs

Trump was in Wisconsin last week and threw fact-free dirt on Joe Biden for having enabled the outsourcing of American jobs

"Joe Biden devoted his career to outsourcing Wisconsin jobs," Trump told a crowd of thousands at the Central Wisconsin Airport. "Biden surrendered your jobs to China. You all know that." 

And then...a few days later and speaking of dirt...Wisconsin's retired plastics magnate and disgruntled witch-hunting senior 

Senator Ron Johnson - usually the most reliable Trump water-carrier on earth - blew up Trump's partisan b.s and his party's fake appeals to working-class voters by telling a Wisconsin corporate organization that the United States should be sending more US manufacturing jobs overseas.

You read that right, according to Journal Sentinel reporter Patrick Marley:

Sen. Ron Johnson backs outsourcing, says it's better to have products made 'dirt cheap' overseas Sen. Ron Johnson backs outsourcing, says it's better to have products made 'dirt cheap' overseas.

However, credit Johnson with the correct assessment of Republican 'values' by so effortlessly dropping "dirt cheap" into the conversation and reducing his party's America-first blather to its essential partisan, grubby and xenophobic core.

Lincoln Project: Do your thing.

Ditto, Biden-Harris.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Wisconsin's COVID data are grimmer than Canada's

Here are some stunning measures of how poorly Wisconsin is controlling the COVID-19 pandemic:

Canada - a country closer to Wisconsin than, say, Kansas or Idaho or Virginia or Tennessee - has a population of 37.8 million people that is more than six times Wisconsin's population of 5.85 million.

Yet Canada reports 92 COVID-19 patients currently in intensive care units there, while Wisconsin exceeds that number by more than 50% with 140

Call it the tip of the iceberg, as COVID-19 data bases compiled by The New York Times for Wisconsin and Canada reveal more shocking disparities not in Wisconsin's favor

Wisconsin reported 10 COVID-19 deaths on September 23rd while all of Canada reported nine, and Wisconsin had close to 80% more new positive COVID-19 cases on September 23rd, at 1,883, than did Canada on the same day with 1,090.

I don't see the Wisconsin-Canadian COVID-19 caseload imbalance flipping, as the Republican/far-right in Wisconsin is dumping on Gov. Tony Evers' mask-wearing emergency extension and already convinced the State Supreme Court to kill his effort to extend his earlier 'Safer-at-Home' policy.

And unlike Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been wearing a mask in public or when working in close proximity to other people since May. 

That's the way a normal leader would educate the public and help reduce a pandemic's impact, while an abnormal leader who undermines science, won't wear a mask and gathers people together in crowded, raucous rallies has helped push the US COVID-19 death toll past an unimaginable 200,000

300,000 by December 31 isn't out of the question - even more if seasonal flu weakens more Americans' immunities - so Wisconsin's COVID-19 case load and death toll are sure to keep growing.

And the New Year will in all likelihood bring WI GOP State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald to the Congress where he can peddle his dumb 'masks-optional' ''philosophy' to fellow science-disbelieving House Republicans whose minority status at the Capitol we hope spreads to the Senate and White House.