from the email inbox this afternoon. (btw: the Russkies found the Blogging Blue email that I use to get the GOP stuff…how do I know? Email address ends in .ru and half the text was in Russian…I wonder how that happened.)

Earlier today I used an article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the communications brouhaha between the Democratic governor and the leadership of the GOP controlled legislature. The term sexism got tossed around in the halls in the Capitol. And then this happened:


Responded Fitzgerald in a statement: “That is completely asinine. The most powerful senator on the budget committee is a woman, and perhaps they’d know that if someone from the governor’s team was actually engaged in budget negotiations.”


Fitzgerald was referring to Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills, the longtime co-chairwoman of the Joint Finance Committee.

Notice anything odd here? Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald only mentioned ONE Republican woman. Just one…but perhaps if he was…you know…engaged with the Senate…he’d know that the GOP has TWO Republican women in the Senate. The other is Kathleen Bernier who happens to chair the Committee on Elections, Ethics, and Rural Issues. How could he have forgotten?

BTW: there are (if I counted right) SIX women on the Democratic side of the state senate. Still not enough…but…just sayin’

BTW II: Wisconsin has a total of 33 state senators for those of you wondering.

 

A recent article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel discusses the latest row between Governor Tony Evers office and the GOP legislative leadership, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. Here is the link, but I am not sure everyone can see it since MJS tightened their paywall last week.

This petty bickering over communication issues needs to stop and stop now…but it brings me to another item from the article…and it relates to a quote from Speaker Vos:


One of their primary disputes is over BadgerCare Plus, the state’s Medicaid program that Evers wants to expand using funds available under the Affordable Care Act. His plan would provide BadgerCare Plus coverage to 82,000 more people and free up $324 million in state money for other purposes. 


Republicans have thrown out Evers’ plan. Vos said they would never go along with it because they believe it will drive up health care costs for people who get insurance coverage through the private sector. 


“As Gov. Evers is out there saying, ‘Take the money,’ I want to promise you it will be over our dead bodies,” Vos said. 

emphasis mine

So were are talking about expanding health care to needy Wisconsinites and Robin Vos says “over our dead bodies”? Whose dead bodies, Rep. Vos?

Since lack of health care can actually kill people…how fucking insensitive can the GOP in Madison get before someone on their side says enough??

Consider me underwhelmed…

After an expensive 2016 re-election fight, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele is launching his campaign for a third full four-year term and, at least so far, is heading into 2020 unopposed.

He kicked off his campaign Tuesday at Gee’s Clippers on King Drive.

“Everybody who lives in this community knows we are never going to be the community we can be until everybody — every human being — has the same access to opportunity, health care and the same rights and protections that everybody has,” Abele said at the announcement. “That’s true of this country, it’s gotta be true for the county, and that is why I’m running.”

While Chris Abele may in fact be liberal on some social issues, he’s shown time and time again that when it comes to issues like labor unions and respecting workers he’s not much better than most Republicans.

Unfortunately because Chris Abele can pour millions of his own dollars into his campaign (he self-funded to the tune of $4 million in his last race) it’s unlikely he’ll have a strong opponent, which means Milwaukee County will be stuck with four more years of milquetoast Chris Abele.

Tagged with:
 

I’ve always been fascinated by Republican claims to support less government intrusion into the lives of citizens…..except when it comes to issues like same-sex relationships and women’s rights.

Here in Wisconsin we’re seeing that first-hand as Republicans in the Legislature have passed a series of bills aimed at allowing government to intrude into the lives of women when it comes to their right to make decisions regarding their own bodies and reproductive health.

Republicans on Wednesday also passed a separate bill that would eliminate the last bit of public funding available to Planned Parenthood, an abortion provider that also provides contraceptives and health care for women.

[…]

The measure, Assembly Bill 179, would require doctors and nurses present during a failed abortion attempt to provide hospital care to the child. Intentionally causing the child’s death could result in life in prison.

[…]

Another measure, Assembly Bill 180, would require doctors to inform women that they could continue their pregnancy if they act quickly after taking the first dose of a two-drug regimen that causes abortion. That bill would also require the state to make public the names of hospitals and clinics where abortions had been provided.

[…]

Another measure Republicans passed Wednesday, Assembly Bill 182, would ban women from seeking an abortion because of the race, sex or disability of a fetus, as long as the disability is considered compatible with life.

It’s clear Republicans in Wisconsin are hell-bent on continuing the larger Republican war on women, but I can’t help but wonder at what point Wisconsin voters will push back against the attempts by Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald to turn Wisconsin into the Alabama of the midwest.

Tagged with:
 

As Georgia and Alabama and Missouri passed their restrictive anti-abortion laws…much has been written about the exception written into the laws…and more pointedly those left out.

Most commonly included are clauses permitting abortion to save the life of the mother. But this isn’t always a given. There was literal screaming in the Alabama legislature…before they agreed to add such language to their extremely restrictive and obviously unconstitutional legislation.

And I don’t think any of the bills included exceptions for rape or incest…although discussed a number of times. But the media always makes a point to mention that these bills don’t include such exceptions.

Well…let’s stop talking about exceptions. We don’t want exceptions. It is no longer acceptable to have any conversation that implies that there are possible compromises around abortion anymore. Clearly the ‘pro-life’ team doesn’t believe that there is.

So let’s drop the topic and accept nothing less than the constitutional protections for abortion under Roe v. Wade at minimum. No exceptions! Women have a right to control their own bodies. Women have a right to make their own choices. Exceptions are no longer an option.

Tagged with:
 

I’ll admit that I hadn’t heard that term until this morning. And it was being used in relation to the groups and people who are responsible for pushing through the onerous anti-abortion laws in many of the Republican states…including Wisconsin. In that context it made a lot of sense to me.

Obviously when I googled the term a lot of weird stuff popped up. So the articles about Vice President Mike Pence being called a Christian Supremacist were also a surprise. And from my observation of his, what should we say, co-existence with the president, I can understand that label. Of course the vice president defended himself…similarly to Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh and State Supreme Court Justice-elect Hagedorn…he accused people of attacking his faith. He defended his Christianity. But I don’t think anyone was attacking his Christianity. It’s that second term…the Supremacist thing…and I didn’t see any mention of that by the vice president. I don’t sense any denial there.

“Any time I’m criticized for my belief in Jesus Christ, I just breath a prayer of praise.”

“This is a nation of faith,” Pence said. “We’ll continue to stand for the things that we believe in.” 

If Christian Supremacy is a thing…it becomes easier to understand the general lack of societal anger around the anti-Muslim policies that continue to come out of the White House, the limited concern around the increasing anti-Semitic attacks around the nation, the twisting of legitimate concerns about the actions of Israel, and our moves to legitimize Israel’s continued occupation of captured territories. And isn’t the continued pressure to institutionalize the tenets in the Bible into US law, a Christian version of Sharia??

Can we allow ourselves to become a nation where we will support the First Amendment Rights around Freedom of Religion as long as it’s ‘our religion’?

And doesn’t it seem odd that all of this is happening during the term of an obviously amoral, irreligious president?

and just a btw: when you google Christian Supremacy…it seems inextricably tied to White Supremacy in most articles…so really…where does the Christian part actually come in?

Tagged with:
 

The GOP dominated Wisconsin legislature passed a number of bills this past week that tightened the availability of abortions in the state. Nothing as restrictive as those in Georgia or Alabama but obviously moving in that direction.

But if you are already among the living in Wisconsin and in need…well no Medicaid Expansion for you!

Apparently the Trump Regime and the Pentagon are comfortable sharing military intelligence with Congress…and not screaming bloody murder when they release it to the media. But they can’t be trusted with the unredacted Mueller report? Really? Which one is more immediately dangerous to the health and well being of Americans?


“To the extent I can discuss it, it was human intelligence,” Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told USA TODAY on Friday. He was referring to intelligence information that prompted the Pentagon to deploy an aircraft carrier, along with B-52 bombers and other military forces, to the Middle East.


Trump administration officials said the move was made to counter what they described as credible threats from Iran to U.S. forces in region. 


McCaul said U.S. intelligence officials learned that the head of Iran’s Quds Force, a unit of Iran’s military force, met with Iran’s proxy militias and said: “We are getting ready to have a proxy war and target Americans.” 


He said the same message was delivered to a Hezbollah proxy group. Hezbollah is an Iranian-sponsored terrorist group. 

But we can’t see a report that confirmed No Collusion…No Obstruction? I would much rather have military intelligence threats be kept quiet…I mean isn’t the Mueller report redacted so the ‘enemy’ isn’t aware of how we gathered our information?

As Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Highway would say…this is a cluster fuck, sir.

Tagged with:
 

With the economy booming:

The state is expected to take in $753 million more through the summer of 2021 than earlier estimated, giving lawmakers a small windfall as they work on the state budget.

Well…first of all…these are always estimates based on current trends. So really…there is no guarantee this will actually happen between now and 2021. But given the current environment in Madison…no one wants to agree on what to do with this windfall should it occur.


Gov. Tony Evers said Wednesday he would use $56 million of the additional money to immediately pay off debt, which he said would save millions  in the long run.


The Democratic governor said he wanted to spend $33 million of the remainder on technical colleges and worker training and put what’s left into the state’s rainy-day fund. Under that plan, the state would likely set aside more than $650 million that it could tap into during the next downturn.

This is surprisingly conservative for a Democratic governor…but I will agree with him. Paying down state debt and building the rainy day fund makes a ton of sense. We have been in an unprecedented economic boom period with no certainly that it will last much longer.

But who can let a surplus amass without screaming tax cuts?!?

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos of Rochester and Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke of Kaukauna said their caucus would also consider using the funds to reduce taxes.

But it gets even more interesting on the GOP side of the aisle…some want all of the money in the rainy day fund and some none of it…my oh my.


Under existing law, $291 million of the additional money would automatically go into the state’s rainy-day fund. 


But Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau said he wants to pass a bill that would prevent that sum from going into the rainy-day fund.

But GOP Rep. John Nygren of Marinette, the co-chairman of the Legislature’s budget committee, said he wants to put all of the additional revenue in the rainy-day fund. 

My vote? A version of Governor Evers’ plan or Rep. Nygren’s plan. Not knowing when the next recession is going to hit, it isn’t unreasonable to set aside unanticipated tax revenues. It will certainly be a lot easier to deal with unanticipated tax shortages sometime in the future.

But apparently, nothing is going to come easy in present day Madison.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.