The Sleaze Agenda: 10 Things Scott Walker Doesn’t Want You to Know

As Anonymous moves to attack Koch Industries and their front Americans for Prosperity in #OPwisconsin more news about Scott Walkers agenda hits progressive blogs.

Think Progress reported on Saturday 10 more slimy things that the “budget” bill does:

1. ELIMINATING MEDICAID: The Budget Repair Bill includes a little-known provision that would put complete control of the state’s Medicaid program, known as BadgerCare, in the hands of the state’sultra-conservative Health and Human Services Secretary Dennis Smith. Smith would have the authority to “to override state Medicaid laws as [he] sees fit and institute sweeping changes” including reducing benefits and limiting eligibility. Ironically, during the 1990s it was Republicans, especially former Gov. and Bush HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, who helped develop BadgerCare into one of the country’s most innovative and generous Medicaid programs. A decade later, a new generation of radical Republicans is hoping to destroy one of Wisconsin’s “success stories.”

2. POWER PLANT PRIVATIZATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL NEGLECT: The same budget bill calls for a rapid no-bid “firesale” of all state-owned power plants. One progressive blogger called the proposal “a highlight reel of all of the tomahawk dunks of neo-Gilded Age corporatism: privatization, no-bid contracts, deregulation, and naked cronyism” and suggested that the provision will open the way for large, politically connected corporations to buy up the state’s power plants on the cheap. While it’s unclear whether corporations would be interested in buying the plants, a similar proposal was vetoed six years ago by Gov. Jim Doyle (D), who called the plan fiscally and environmentally irresponsible. Many of Wisconsin’s power plants are in violation of federal clean air regulations and desperately need to be upgraded and cleaned up — not dumped into the private sector.

3. DANGEROUS DRINKING WATER: Republican lawmakers have introduced bills in both the Senate and the House which would repeal a rule requiring municipal governments to disinfect their water. Conservatives have said that the clean water rule — which went into effect in December — is simply too expensive. Yet the rule only affects 12 percent of municipalities and the price may be worth it. In 1993, 104 people died and 400,000 fell sick when the Milwaukee water supply became infected. Even two decades later, the Environmental Protection Agency Advisory Board notes that 13 percent of acute gastro-intestinal illnesses in municipalities that don’t disinfect their water supplies are the result of dirty water. Municipalities can keep their water clean for as low as $10,000 per well — but apparently for the Wisconsin GOP that is too high a price to pay to keep citizens safe from deadly microorganisms.

4. DESTROYING WETLANDS: In January, Walker’s proposed regulatory reform bill exempted a parcel of wetland owned by a Republican donor from water quality standards. But the exemption was more than just an embarrassing giveaway to a GOP ally: environmental groups believe the bill’s special provision would actually affect the entire county, eliminating public hearings on proposed wetland development, short-circuiting approval of development projects, and disrupting the region’s water system.

5. FISCAL IRRESPONSIBILITY: Walker signed a bill this week requiring a 2/3 supermajority in the legislature to pass any tax increase. Republican lawmakers are now reportedly considering a constitutional amendment that would make the rule permanent. A similar constitutional amendment in California has been called the “source of misery” of that state’s crippling budget crisis and has forced lawmakers to “gut public education, slash social services and health care programs, close prisons, and lay off record numbers of public employees.” While claiming to “make a commitment to the future instead of [choosing] dire consequences for our children” Walker and GOP lawmakers are instead putting generations of Wisconsinites in a “fiscal strait-jacket.”

6. DISENFRANCHISING VOTERS: This week, Republican lawmakers moved forward on a bill that would require voters to present a photo ID from the DMV at the polls, making it significantly more difficult for the elderly, the disabled, college students, and rural residents to participate in elections. While Republican lawmakers insist the bill is necessary to prevent voter fraud, there have been almost no documented cases of fraudulent voting in the state. Instead, the Wisconsin State Journal writes, the GOP bill is going “overboard in limiting ballot access in a state proud of its long history of high participation in elections.”

7. CUTTING JOBS, LOSING THE FUTURE: Last fall, Walker killed an $810 billion federally funded high-speed rail project, forcing the Transportation Department to pull its funding. Walker’s decision killed 130,000 expected jobs and forced the Spanish company Talgo to close its Milwaukee factory and layoff its 40 person staff. A spokeswoman for the company told The Daily Reporter that “the state’s decision to back away from the high-speed rail project sends a terrible message to businesses considering locating in the state.”

8. STIFLING INNOVATION: In late January, Walker introduced a bill that would ban wind-powered energy from Wisconsin and exacerbate the state’s dependence on out-of-state coal. If passed, it’s estimated that the law would immediately eliminate $1.8 billion in new wind power investments and jeopardize eleven currently proposed wind projects. After a public outcry earlier this month, Walker’s bill is (for now) dead.

9. “NAKED POWER GRAB”: Earlier this month in a party-line vote, the legislature ceded “extraordinary control” of the state’s rule-making oversight process to the governor. Walker now has complete power to draft agency rules which the legislature must then either approve or reject. The law gives Walker the power to write rules for formerly independent state agencies like the state Departments of Justice and Education — and most ominously the Government Accountability Board, the state’s ethics watchdog.

10. POLITICIZING STATE AGENCIES: A provision in Walker’s budget repair bill would convert thirty-seven state employees from civil servants to political appointees — consolidating his power over state government and expanding his power to “hire, fire and move key employees to carry out his agenda.”

It is really interesting how little regard for human life the right wing has. I can’t even begin to pick the worst of these and to me it seems that Walker is more interested in being a dictator than he is a servant of the public. He is, in every way, a puppet to industry and this is social Darwinism at it’s finest. Welcome to the true “Third World, America” brought to you by the GOP and Koch Industries.

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No Shut Down Talk from the GOP? Think Again.

Official photo of Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN).

Image via Wikipedia

Tim Pawlenty says he supports government shut down while my House crybaby Boehner and his clueless butt buddy Eric Cantor are repeatedly stating that there is no talk of shut down coming from the right. Aww, isn’t that cute!?

In all seriousness though this is just another case of if we keep on saying it, maybe people will believe it more than that it is a political game.

According to Think Progress, Pawlently advocates for a shut down stating that it will “draw a line in the sand” because it will “force congress to make tough decisions”.

Before we go any further  lets look at proposed cuts in HR1:

  • Eliminates funding for Planned Parenthood.
  • Prohibits the EPA from regulating greenhouse gasses.
  • Bans financing for HCR.
  • Reduces financing to the National Endowment of Arts.
  • Eliminates Green Capitol Funding.
  • Reduces financing to the Institute of Peace.
  • Prohibits financing of Net Neutrality.
  • Eliminates funding for regulation of pollution created by cement plants.
  • Defunds “czars”.
  • Cancels the F-35 Jet Program.
  • Eliminates financing for Firefighter Grants.
  • Reduces EPA Financing by 8.5 million.
  • Defunds PBS, NPR and other public broadcasting.

Now for items they voted to keep:

  • Funding for Army’s NASCAR sponsor ship.
  • Money for war.
  • Deep cuts to heating programs for the poor (HEAP).
  • Afghan Infrastructure Fund.
  • Financing for Iraq.
  • Cuts in funding for Organic Farms.
  • 19 million for defense.
  • V-22 Osprey Aircraft.
  • Research financing for the Defense Department.

This is, in all honesty, the most ridiculous budget proposal ever. Even if we eliminate all of these things that the republicans hate; like health care for women, with out cutting the budget to defense we are still going to be overwhelmed and consumed with debt.

Furthermore, this illustrates the fact that this isn’t really about the debt; it is about pushing a radical right wing agenda that attacks women, health care, minorities, people in poverty, clean air, and non-corporate news and medias.

Lastly, this whole talk of shut down is and attempt to force the left to vote this agenda through congress because if they don’t the right will then blame shut down on the left.

Want to talk about “ramming bills through”, republicans? Look at your actions first. Want to see where that “line in the sand is”? Look at the numerous protests and walks that took place this weekend. It hasn’t moved from where it was the last time you have tried this nonsense and you’ve crossed it.

 

 

Turn Up That Rhetoric, Bro!: Huckabee Realizes He has Nothing, Promptly Reminds Us All He’s a Buttface

Former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee, speak...

Image via Wikipedia

So I said yesterday that Huckabee has nothing and he still doesn’t; just the same old hate filled rhetoric that failed him in 2008. It’s not going to be any different this time, because he is really only trying to keep his name in headlines and doesn’t really have any new ideas aside from the same old empty brained GOP talking points.

If you guys really want some one to make it; you really really really need to find some one who is capable of thinking instead of resorting to the same old 9/11 terrorist rhetoric combined with the same traditional attacks on liberals, feminists, women, Mexicans, Muslims and gay people. Rational people like candidates who don’t show fear of every little thing; they also prefer candidates who aren’t blatant racists. Need proof? Please see Huckabees failed 2008 campaign. Oh, and John McSames too.

From Think Progress on Union Busting:

HUCKABEE: They may not want to say it. But the harsh reality is if they are union busting it is because the unions have broken the bank. And they’re putting them in a position where they can’t afford to continue to go on. They’re going to lay a bunch of people off. Public employee unions are different than private sector. Private sector unions have a right to exist and have actually provided some decent check and balance to jobs and businesses.

Mother Jones has an article that details Huck’s typical anti-gay anti-family agenda where he also takes the time to attack single mothers! What a stand up guy, right? Knee-jerk generalizing of people really tends to make you look like an ass, Mike. Additionally, it is offensive to senses and well, to put it simply, sexist. You’re wife must be so proud of the way that you demonize women.

Moreover, what are you exactly? Oh, yeah a washed up governor who peddles poorly written barely selling books and does appearances on Fox News. Right, right? So its a fair assumption that you are really nothing more than a man who’s sole function is to say what ever it is Murdoch wants you to say.  These are not the qualities of a good POTUS, they just aren’t.

Election 2012: Huckyuckels and The Donald

Crowd in Willis Street, Wellington, awaiting t...

Image by National Library NZ on The Commons via Flickr

I am getting tired of writing about Scotty Koch, so we are gonna talk about something different here for a bit; election stuffs or rather what in the name of FSM are you people thinking!

First up is Mike Huckabee who says he is “seriously contemplating running”. Great good, serious potentials are nice and that means I can pay more attention to you rather than say, Haley Barbour, who just isn’t serious at all. Except, Mike, it appears that you don’t even have the beginning of a platform; you have literally “I don’t know“? -head desk-

I can see the slogan now:  Huckabee for an Uncertain Future! Who Needs “Hope” When You Have “I Don’t Know”?

Save us the trouble and just give up now. It’s clear that you are one of those in your party who just has no ideas, no agenda and nothing at all to offer the American people. Any one who is thinking about running for POTUS should at least have that.

The Hill and every one else that is encouraging you is setting you up for a humiliating, yet comedic, slap in the face and frankly, I do not understand why they are still even pretending that you have a chance.

It’s like they have just stopped paying attention, or maybe they just really really want to fail.

Donald Trump. He tied with Obama in what must be a poll that targeted the most politically ignorant people in the world… who also happen to watch nothing but “reality” TV.

I’ve been reading comments on this one for the past few hours. The mind reels… and apparently a lot of republicans share the “WTF? NO!” reaction to this revelation.

He says he isn’t going to “decide until June”, but I will say he at least has a one up on Mike. He at least has some ideas and rudimentary platform. Still this is a bad stupid idea, and Donald, you aren’t hired yet, so don’t get your ego overinflated any more than it already is.

Koch and Dagger: Koch PR Team Says “No Gain from Bill”

You need a better PR team, Koch Bros.

First of all, if one didn’t have a vested interest in the bill then why may I ask was there a need to bombard the Wisconsin airwaves with the message of “Support Walker”; an added that was created by your front group?

People who have nothing to gain/lose from a bill typically don’t go out and buy up air time to try to get it passed. That would not be very business savvy, but this is just one bill no?

Via Politico:

A lesser-known provision of Wisconsin’s budget-repair bill would allow the state to sell off publicly owned power plants in no-bid deals – prompting a flurry of speculation by liberal bloggers who allege that Gov. Scott Walker is attempting a giveaway to energy conglomerate Koch Industries.

The bill includes language saying the Wisconsin Department of Administration “may sell any state-owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state.”

Hey wait! There is more! Via Cap Times:
The billionaire brothers whose political action committee gave Gov. Scott Walker $43,000 and helped fund a multi-million dollar attack ad campaign against his opponent during the 2010 gubernatorial election have quietly opened a lobbying office in Madison just off the Capitol Square.
I may be being crass in my assumptions, but people who do not have a vested interest in said agendas don’t normally throw money at candidates all willynilly like. You know this is pretty much common sense no matter how much you and your PR team try to make it not so. It is the actual point of lobbying; to give money to those who serve your agenda and offer some kind of lucrative payoff.
So I am really confused why the denial. You have to have a the chance at a lucrative gain somewhere along this agenda and I am willing to bet that it has a lot to do with these plants as well as the union busting.
Of course, if these bills pass, all of this wheeling and dealing will be done quietly under the name of front groups to keep the appearance of  your denial.