Click To Refresh and See Other Posts
Finger People - Universal Language - Honduras

Friday, June 16, 2017

Bad Choice > Michael Screnock Sauk County judge, Act 10 defender to seek Supreme Court seat

Just another Gableman ...

Wisconsin  State Journal -

Sauk County judge, Act 10 defender to seek Supreme Court seat

Sauk County Circuit Court judge Michael Screnock, who once worked on a team of lawyers to defend Gov. Scott Walker's collective bargaining law against lawsuits, is joining the 2018 race for a seat on the state Supreme Court.
Screnock, who was appointed to his judgeship in 2015 by Walker, announced his bid for the state's highest court Friday — a day after Justice Michael Gableman, whose first term on the court expires in 2018, said he would not be seeking re-election.

Walker Appoints Collective Bargaining, Redistricting Lawyers to Judgeships  Wisconsin Democracy Campaign

June 2, 2015
Republican Gov. Scott Walker has appointed two attorneys to circuit court judgeships who helped the Walker administration and legislative Republicans consolidate power. They defended laws that slashed public employee collective bargaining rights, redrew legislative districts that enabled Republicans to increase their control of the legislature, and require citizens to present a photo ID to vote.
Walker’s appointees are Middleton attorney James Troupis, who will replace a retiring judge on the Dane County bench, and Michael Screnock, a former Michael Best and Friedrich attorney, who will replace a retiring judge on the Sauk County bench.
Screnock has not made campaign contributions to any legislative or statewide candidates, including Walker. Troupis contributed about $27,000 between January 2000 and Oct. 20, 2014, to numerous Republican legislative and statewide candidates and officeholders, but not to Walker.
Both Troupis and Screnock were on a team of lawyers that successfully defended the governor’s effort to sharply cut public employee union bargaining rights before a state appeals court and the Wisconsin Supreme Court. They were also among the lawyers hired in 2011 by majority Republican lawmakers to successfully defend a plan that redrew legislative district boundaries to generally favor Republicans in elections through at least 2020. Troupis also helped successfully defend the state’s voter identification law sought by Walker and legislative Republicans.
A judge?! ... One of the "gerrymanderists" ... becomes a judge and now wants on our Supreme Court ..

WI 1848 Forward: Bad Choice > Michael #Screnock == #Gablemen Sauk County judge, Act 10 defender Supreme Court seat

WI 1848 Forward: Bad Choice > Michael " #Gerrymander " #Screnock Sauk Co judge, Act 10 defender Supreme Court seat

A Bad Idea: To Limit the National #Debt ... Better to Limit Individual #Wealth

What these Wisconsin Legislators want to do for a Constitutional Amendment to limit the national debt is just absurd ...

Imagine emergency spending for disasters ... one part of the country will be pitted against another.

WI 1848 Forward: A Bad Idea: To Limit the National #Debt ... Better to Limit Individual #Wealth

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Vos announces PayToPlay Center at UWMadison: Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership

Republicans Announce New Policy Center At UW-Madison
... Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and other top Republicans have announced a new leadership center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that Vos said will "offset some of the liberal thinking" on campus. 
The speaker’s remarks came as UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank pledged that the new Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership would promote nonpartisan research....

Gee sounds unilateral, ahem, mean non-partisan, to me ... hahaha!

PRESS RELEASE In Unprecedented Move, JFC Republicans Allot Millions to Establish Partisan, Conservative Think Tank at UW-Madison Plan allots $500,000 for speakers to appear on other UW Campuses By State Rep. Chris Taylor - May 26th, 2017

MADISON – Yesterday, the Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee allocated $3 million in state funds in an unprecedented move to use taxpayer money to fund a partisan, conservative think tank at UW-Madison called the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership. Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos stated in media accounts that this Center was designed to counter “left-leaning” research organizations and “liberal thinking” on campus.
This comes on the heels of a bill Vos is attempting to push through the legislature that unconstitutionally punishes students for exercising their First Amendment rights by the threat of expulsion.
The think tank will actually be controlled by a board dominated by exclusively Republican political appointees without a single Democratic appointment. According to press accounts, UW Political Science Professor Ryan Owens, a former staffer to Governor Thompson who has received funding from the conservative Bradley Foundation, is vying to lead the Center. A significant portion, $500,000, must be used to pay speakers for engagements at other UW campuses.

#WPR WI 1848 Forward: #Vos announces #PayToPlay Center at #UWMadison: Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership

Monday, May 15, 2017

Did you ever wonder how someone makes up their mind? Others and George Lakoff

Did you ever wonder how someone makes up their mind?  How they then become so resolute in what they "believe" to be the real truth or fact?

Over the past several years, especially since Scott Walker was elected governor of our state, I have been among the wandering wonderers.  Pragmatically people had beliefs, that although I felt were wrong, they held those beliefs nonetheless.  How does one go about affecting beliefs or changing a person's mind let alone a group?  So I kept the question in my mind and passively went about creating a record, in a blog, collecting facts over time and see if I could find "facts" that changed my mind or to say more accurately, refined my thoughts.

Along the way I collected so many stories from different people and disciplines that were independently interesting.  As I collected those stories it seemed they were only related to some small part of my question.

Many things were mulled over and then I encountered the following which I posted in January, 2012. My interest stemmed from curiosity about "Behavioral Economics".  The use of the word "moral" in the title also intrigued me since the politics of many to the right seem to believe they have "a better moral compass" than others.

TED : Dan Ariely - Our buggy moral code - explains ENRON, Politics

A month later I encountered from many sources, how at least one "social psychologist" had concluded from research that liberals did not like to see "animals or people harmed" but conservatives "ranked loyalty to the tribe" first among their values.  He added that these were tendencies and otherwise liberals and conservatives were not so different.  This was added to the blog in March, 2012.

MSNBC, CSPAN, TED, PBS - Moyers -How do Liberals & Conservatives View World - Haidt

Among other first collected stories another came from this TED talk and my subsequent reading of Kahneman's book Thinking, Fast and Slow.  He is a Nobel winner in Economics but professionally a psychologist. I learned we are neither rationale nor conscious, and rather easily biased by clever people. It slowly has sunk in and there were even a few guideposts about what clever people do to influence or at least get you to a point where you are more likely to listen and perhaps adopt or become more inflexible in your beliefs.  I put my blog entry out in September, 2012.

Think Politics - TED - Kahneman - Riddle: Experience vs Memory

The following blog entry was posted in December, 2013.  As a "sign-post" telling us where we were and where we are going. I have not encountered any story that better describe the differences in "political philosophy" between liberals and conservatives;  sort of whether they know it or not

Market Economy versus Market Society: Inequality and Civic Decisions - TED - Michael Sandel

September, 2015 - Two Hour Episode - PBS

A story of an optimistic man, biologist, originator of the field of "socialbiology"  and has changed our world view and the view of evolution and the human condition.  "We are a dysfunctional species.  ... [We have] Paleolithic emotions, we have medieval institutions, and on top of all that we have developed God like technology ... ... I have been a happy man in a terrible century."

E.O. Wilson of Ants and Men

October- November, 2015 - Six Episodes on PBS

David Eagleman (book and series) brings home conclusively how we are basically unconscious creatures.  Sad illustrations of how children deprived of nurture will never recover a normal life or intellect if the are deprived for the first 2-3 years of their life.

He also presents compelling insight as to how we are manipulated and genocide continues in our time.

The Brain - David Eagleman

This blog entry from January, 2016, is the product of a long study that began before 2011 by UW Professor Katherine Cramer.  The re-election of Scot Walker and the pending 2016 Presidential election brought the research into the fore.

Walker crafted messaging to exploit perceived differences that in reality did not exist.
“You’ve got a world driven by Madison, and a world driven by everybody else out across the majority of the rest of the state of Wisconsin,” said Walker on Wednesday at a capitol press conference. (April 7, 2011)
"The Politics of Resentment" = Scott Walker's political rise == rural resentment against the "liberal elite"

You need a toolkit and we often forget to be persuasive by listening and being creative ... from July, 2016 blog entry.
Psychology has a golden rule: If I am warm, you are usually warm. If I am hostile, you are too. But what happens if you flip the script and meet hostility with warmth? It's called "non-complementary behavior" — a mouthful, but a powerful concept, and very hard to execute. Alix and Hanna examine three attempts to pull it off: during a robbery, a terrorism crisis and a dating dry spell.
NPR: Invisibilia: Flip The Script > Dealing With Hostility, Anger, Confrontation - The Opposite

From the blog in March, 2017 about cognitive dissonance and why "you won't change your min
“A man with a conviction is a hard man to change,” Festinger, Henry Riecken, and Stanley Schacter wrote in When Prophecy Fails, their 1957 book about this study. “Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point … Suppose that he is presented with evidence, unequivocal and undeniable evidence, that his belief is wrong: what will happen? The individual will frequently emerge, not only unshaken, but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before.” ...
This Article Won’t Change Your Mind - The Atlantic

In May, 2017, I read this story and in many ways it motivated me to put this collection of stories together.  It will not be that "last story" by any means but it is rather like a capstone event.  In retrospect I feel many of the previous stories contained the same elements but like the "progressives" and the "conservatives" I could not see nor hear those elements.  Why could I not understand the points made by George Lakoff?  Perhaps I just had to "take the journey".

Perhaps his "clues" in how to operationalize your "hearing aid" was most important.  His message is not so seemingly obtuse as his field of study, Cognitive Science and Linguistics.

...Lakoff’s message is simple, but it is couched in the language of cognitive linguistics and neuroscience. The problem is that political candidates rely on pollsters and PR people, not linguists or neuroscientists. So when Lakoff repeatedly says that “voters don’t vote their self-interest, they vote their values,” progressive politicians continually ignore him. His ideas don’t fit in with their worldview, so they can’t hear him.
But a worldview is exactly what Lakoff is talking about. “Ideas don’t float in the air, they live in your neuro-circuitry,” Lakoff said. Each time ideas in our neural circuits are activated, they get stronger. And over time, complexes of neural circuits create a frame through which we view the world. “The problem is, that frame is unconscious,” Lakoff said. “You aren’t aware of it because you don’t have access to your neural circuits.” So what happens when you hear facts that don’t fit in your worldview is that you can’t process them: you might ignore them, or reject or attack them, or literally not hear them. 
... Our thoughts are chemical in nature, and occur within the confines of a physical body: we are not 100 percent rational beings.
So if you are going to craft a message that can reach people who disagree with you, you have to understand their subconscious worldview. Lakoff calls this worldview a “frame,” and claims that Republicans have done a much better job with framing over the past 30 or 40 years. Republicans understand the narrative that governs many people in this country, and they target their message directly to that worldview. Democrats, on the other hand, ignore the worldview and focus instead on rationality, facts and policies. 
... Lakoff gave a talk recently at the Center for Right-Wing Studies and pointed out that students who become Democratic operatives tend to study political studies and statistics and demographics in college. “Students who lean Republican study marketing. “And that’s his point,” Rosenthal said. “It’s a very different way of thinking.” 
The rest of the story, if you read it, will either be an "ah ha" moment or something you "just can't believe".

Berkeley author George Lakoff says, ‘Don’t underestimate Trump’

WI 1848 Forward: How someone makes up their mind?  Others & George Lakoff - Radical #Conservatives vs #Progressives

Friday, May 12, 2017

Voter Suppression > It begins anew with the Census - How GOP minority schemes to hold on.

Under count in the "blue areas" and over count in the "red areas" and then use "gerrymandering" to jigger the results more in favor of the minority GOP party. Toss in more difficult "voter id" laws and you have the GOP suppressing the majority.

Alternatively just do such a bad job that everybody ends up in court and the conservatives on the Supreme Court do the bidding of the "conservatives".

U.S. Census director resigns amid turmoil over funding of 2020 count By Tara Bahrampour

... The decennial count typically requires a massive ramp-up in spending in the years immediately preceding it, involving extensive testing, hiring and publicity. However, in late April Congress approved only $1.47 billion for the Census Bureau in the 2017 fiscal year, about 10 percent below what the Obama administration had requested. And experts say the White House’s proposed budget for 2018, $1.5 billion, falls far below what is needed. ...
Trump’s Commission on ‘Election Integrity’ Will Lead to Massive Voter Suppression It will be led by Mike Pence and Kris Kobach, who have a very long history of making it harder to vote. By Ari Berman, The Nation

Two days after firing FBI director James Comey and creating a full-blown constitutional crisis, Donald Trump signed an executive order today creating a presidential commission on “election integrity,” based on his debunked claims that millions voted illegally in 2016.

Vice President Mike Pence will be the chair and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will be the vice chair—two men with very long histories of making it harder to vote, especially Kobach. Given the lack of evidence of voter fraud, the commission seems designed for one purpose: to perpetuate the myth of fraud in order to lay the groundwork for enacting policies that suppress the vote.
Extreme Maps - Laura Royden, Michael Li 5/09/1717 - Brennan Ctr

Using data from the 2012, 2014, and 2016 election cycles, Extreme Maps finds that partisan bias resulting largely from the worst gerrymandering abuses in just a few battleground states provides Republicans a durable advantage of 16-17 seats in the current Congress, representing a significant portion of the 24 seats Democrats would need to gain control of the House in 2020. These "extreme maps" were all drawn in states under single-party control; the report finds that conversely, maps drawn by independent commissions, courts, or split-party state governments had significantly less partisan bias in their maps. 

Gerrymander in Wisconsin

#VoterSuppression > It begins anew with the #Census - How #GOP minority schemes to hold on.  2018 is #Dems crititcal

#Pence WI 1848 Forward: #VoterSuppression begins with the #Census - #GOP minority schemes 2018 is #Dems crititcal

WI 1848 Forward: #Gerrymander == #VoterSuppression begins with the #Census -radical #GOP minority

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Private & Corporate Greed vs Public Good & Neighbors - Why Regulation? Perfect Poster Child

Out-of-sight leads to "out-of-mind" irony!  How has this come to be?  Campaign money in their pocket and a tilted WI Legislature dominated by the GOP clothed in "all regulation (hence government)  is bad" - and bad for business.  As a significant agricultural state more analogies seem appropriate ... "We have had the GOP guarding the chicken coop" far too long.

I have an engineering friend who deals with zoning and regulation all the time.  He is glad to have some government "rules" or he would be building high rises without sprinkler systems - because the customer would want it that way in order to compete with other builders.

These "literal downstream consequences" are so easy to overlook until the stream becomes muddy or the trout disappear.

Perhaps even more ironic ... is the "groundwater" treated as a "free good" ... I only have to pay for the high-capacity well and electricity to operate it ... the water is free even it comes unwillingly from my neighbor. Remember water flows downhill even groundwater ... and campaign money is perhaps more important than the "public good".

 Assembly Lawmakers Debate High Capacity Wells 
"These are not our resources to give," says Representative Chris Taylor while speaking on the Assembly floor on the subject of high capacity wells. "They are our resources to protect for the people of our state and for their children and for their children." On May 2, 2017, author of the bill, Gary Tauchen, explains, "We need to recognize, too, that manufacturing and agriculture are the big job drivers in the state of Wisconsin."

As global groundwater disappears, rice, wheat and other international crops may start to vanish

... and in Wisconsin

State OKs pumping of 1 billion gallons from vulnerable aquifers

Since October, Wisconsin has approved requests from businesses for a billion gallons per month in new groundwater withdrawals from locations where the state’s own experts warned that higher pumping levels could be expected to harm vulnerable lakes, streams and drinking water supplies.
The increase was added by revising dozens of permits for high-capacity wells after regulations were relaxed in June at the urging of business groups and Republicans who control state government.
Meanwhile, the state Assembly is poised for a final vote on removing yet another layer of groundwater protection next month by ending the limited environmental reviews still allowed for certain existing wells. ...
"The Politics of Resentment" = Scott Walker's political rise == rural resentment against the "liberal elite"

WI 1848 Forward: Private & Corporate #Greed vs Public Good & Neighbors - Why #Regulation ? Perfect #GOP #PosterChild

WI 1848 Forward: #GroundWater #Greed vs Public Good & Neighbors - Why #Regulation ? Perfect #GOP #PosterChild

WI 1848 Forward: #GroundWater #Greed vs Public Good & Neighbors - Why #Regulation is needed Rep Chris Taylor - kids!

Sunday, April 2, 2017




IN 2014, TRACES of an unusual survey, connected to Facebook, began appearing on internet message boards. The boards were frequented by remote freelance workers who bid on “human intelligence tasks” in an online marketplace, called Mechanical Turk, controlled by Amazon. The “turkers,” as they’re known, tend to perform work that is rote and repetitive, like flagging pornographic images or digging through search engine results for email addresses. Most jobs pay between 1 and 15 cents. “Turking makes us our rent money and helps pay off debt,” one turker told The Intercept. Another turker has called the work “voluntary slave labor.”
The task posted by “Global Science Research” appeared ordinary, at least on the surface. The company offered turkers $1 or $2 to complete an online survey. But there were a couple of additional requirements as well. First, Global Science Research was only interested in American turkers. Second, the turkers had to download a Facebook app before they could collect payment. Global Science Research said the app would “download some information about you and your network … basic demographics and likes of categories, places, famous people, etc. from you and your friends.”
“Our terms of service clearly prohibit misuse,” said a spokesperson for Amazon Web Services, by email. “When we learned of this activity back in 2015, we suspended the requester for violating our terms of service.”
... read the whole thing ... 


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Counties and Healthcare -- What's the real truth!

The interesting numbers come at the end.  Did you know that 35 counties have 1000 or fewer people, 307 counties have a population under 5000 and that 709 counties have a population under 10000.

That is over 1000 counties.  I have heard the "1000 county" argument as evidence that ACA is collapsing.  No particulars provided to clarify which 1000 counties out of slightly over 3000.  ... derived from Census data.
981 counties have a population over 50,000; 
592 counties have a population over 100,000; 
137 counties have a population over 500,000; 
45 counties have a population over 1,000,000; 
and 14 counties have a population over 2,000,000. 
35 counties have a population under 1,000; 
307 counties have a population under 5,000; 
709 counties have a population under 10,000; 
and 1,492 counties have a population between 10,000 and 50,000.[30]

I have been waiting for "the media" to bring this fact out.  I suspect that it is next to impossible to provide onsite hospitals, doctors, healthcare professionals or even a dentist or chiropractor in those counties let alone an insurance company interested in developing a marketplace.  That does not mean you cannot have healthcare coverage -- just means you are going to have to go a long way to see a provider.

The 1492 counties in the middle are going have fewer options too!

Florence Cnty WI >Social Not Just Physical Infrastructure should be Dems Party Strategy

There are now 47 counties where no health plans want to sell Obamacare

Approximately 38,000 Obamacare enrollees now live in places where no health plans want to sell Obamacare coverage in 2018. This is a small fraction of Obamacare enrollees — about 0.3 percent — who mostly live in rural, sparsely populated areas.

WI 1848 Forward: #Counties and #Healthcare -- What's the real truth about #GOP #Trumpcare #Ryancare vs #ACA

WI 1848 Forward: Counties and Healthcare -- 1,492 counties have a pop between 10,000 and 50k ... hence few options

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

This Article Won’t Change Your Mind - The Atlantic

This Article Won’t Change Your Mind - The facts on why facts alone can’t fight false beliefs - The Atlantic JULIE BECK is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where she covers health and psychology.

From the article ... I have added emphasis here and there ...

The theory of cognitive dissonance—the extreme discomfort of simultaneously holding two thoughts that are in conflict—was developed by the social psychologist Leon Festinger in the 1950s. In a famous study, Festinger and his colleagues embedded themselves with a doomsday prophet named Dorothy Martin and her cult of followers who believed that spacemen called the Guardians were coming to collect them in flying saucers, to save them from a coming flood. Needless to say, no spacemen (and no flood) ever came, but Martin just kept revising her predictions. Sure, the spacemen didn’t show up today, but they were sure to come tomorrow, and so on. The researchers watched with fascination as the believers kept on believing, despite all the evidence that they were wrong.

“A man with a conviction is a hard man to change,” Festinger, Henry Riecken, and Stanley Schacter wrote in When Prophecy Fails, their 1957 book about this study. “Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point … Suppose that he is presented with evidence, unequivocal and undeniable evidence, that his belief is wrong: what will happen? The individual will frequently emerge, not only unshaken, but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before.” ... 
Seems like the above is the nicest thing you can say about President Donald Trump and his alter ego ... Sean Spicer (what an ironic last name).
This doubling down in the face of conflicting evidence is a way of reducing the discomfort of dissonance, and is part of a set of behaviors known in the psychology literature as “motivated reasoning.” Motivated reasoning is how people convince themselves or remain convinced of what they want to believe—they seek out agreeable information and learn it more easily; and they avoid, ignore, devalue, forget, or argue against information that contradicts their beliefs. ...

Again anyone count how many times President Donald Trump has been described as doubling down! WOW!

The sad truth about President Donald Trump ... or is it a fact ... it is circular ... he believes himself!

What are the manifestations/consequences ...

And in modern America, one of the groups that people have most intensely hitched their identities to is their political party. Americans are more politically polarized than they’ve been in decades, possibly ever. There isn’t public-opinion data going back to the Federalists and the Democratic Republicans, of course. But political scientists Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal look at the polarization in Congress. And the most recent data shows that 2015 had the highest rates of polarization since 1879, the earliest year for which there’s data. And that was even before well, you know.

Party Polarization, 1879-2015

See the graph ...

There is more to the article ... a very good read!  After you finish it try this...

NPR: Invisibilia: Flip The Script > Dealing With Hostility, Anger, Confrontation - The Opposite

WI 1848 Forward: This Article Won’t Change Your Mind - The #Atlantic #TheAtlantic #Trump #Facts #Fiction Skepticism

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Sen Tammy Baldwin vs Karl Rove vs == OneNation

This organization (as of 2/2017) is running cable television commercials (perhaps other markets) targeting Senator Baldwin.  You should know where they are coming from before you accept their message.

From ConservativeTransparency

One Nation is a nonprofit 501(c)4 addition to Karl Rove’s “constellation of Crossroads organizations.” The group “aims to advance well-constructed solutions to our country’s most urgent challenges: its plodding economy, massive debt, job-killing regulations and weakness in an increasingly dangerous world.”
In contrast to Crossroads GPS and American Crossroads, which plan to focus on the presidential race in 2016, One Nation is aimed solely at influencing Senate elections. And it’s wasting no time in getting to work: As of May 2015, One Nation had already purchased $2 million worth of radio, digital and print ads “touting” incumbent Republican senators facing tough reelections in 2016, including Sens. Kelly Ayotte, Mark Kirk, Richard Burr, Rob Portman, and Pat Toomey. The ads praise the senators for supporting trade-promotion authority and urge congressional action “to protect” Medicare and Medicare Advantage.  The spending included $325,000 on ads in New Hampshire in support of Ayotte, and $400,000 in Pennsylvania in support of Toomey. Its ads in Ohio praised Portman for “helping to lead the way” to consensus in Congress.
In October 2015, One Nation launched an ad buy in New Hampshire attempting to defend Sen. Ayotte on women’s health issues. They additionally purchased ads in Missouri defending Sen. Roy Blunt, which were supposedly focused on highlighting Sen. Blunt’s “ability to work across the aisle.”
Sen. Mitch McConnell’s former chief of staff, Steven Law, is the president of One Nation, along with its sister organizations American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS. Law is also executive chairman of the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC “devoted solely to retaining the Senate majority” that “aims to be the go-to destination for major Republican donors interested in Senate races.” Ian Prior is cited as a spokesman for the group; Prior previously served as communications director for Crossroads / Crossroads GPS and, prior to that, as National Press Secretary & Deputy Communications Director for the National Republican Congressional Committee. ...

Open Secrets has more!

Sen Tammy #Baldwin vs Karl #Rove vs == #OneNation

Friday, February 3, 2017

TED: Why we need Social Security and Pension Systems - NOT Numerate Pop!

Sort of a British talk but with International perspective!  Today Trump proposed that financial advisers do not have to take their clients interests into account when providing advice.

Considering financial markets let alone numbers are beyond most of us ... that is fraud waiting to happen.  Eliminating Social Security will create hundreds of millions of "suckers".

Think you're good at guessing stats? Guess again. Whether we consider ourselves math people or not, our ability to understand and work with numbers is terribly limited, says data visualization expert Alan Smith. In this delightful talk, Smith explores the mismatch between what we know and what we think we know.
In general most of us are not good with numbers let alone statistics.  See the Kahneman piece on Thinking, Fast and Slow.  It is another point on why we get things wrong just when it is critical that we get them right.

As an aside one has to wonder why the GOP and its leaders, like Ryan, are always trying to do in Social Security.  It is not bankrupt and projected to be solvent for years to come, and there are so many ways to adjust it without being unfair.  It comes down to the fact that corporations have to pay in a matching amount to your contribution.  Cutting that in any way amounts to big tax cut for businesses and shareholders.  So obvious it is easy to miss.

WI 1848 Forward #TED >Why we need #SocialSecurity and Pension Systems - We are mostly NOT Numerate people! #Kahneman

WI 1848 Forward: The real reason the #GOP , #Ryan wants to cut #SocialSecurity. Corporate #TaxBeak

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Social Infrastructure: Wisconsin Alternative Budget vs Divide and Conquer Walker

WATCH: Citizen Action of Wisconsin Presents Alternative State Budget

WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) -- Citizen Action of Wisconsin has been touring all over Wisconsin and presenting their alternative budget entitled "A Wisconsin Budget for All". Tuesday the group made a stop in Wausau. 
Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin, says they've found a way to improve to large issues in their alternative budget. 
He said, "The idea is to show them if we close some big tax loopholes that go mainly to well-connected corporations and a few wealthy people, that we could make major new investments. So, A Wisconsin Budget for All shows, for example, we could have a free tech college education, we could raise wages for low-income people substantially."
Kraig says the group was very surprised by some of the results of the research they did leading up to presenting the alternative budget. 
"Researchers actually went to coffee shops, bars, and restaurants and talked to people and what we found actually is that people would actually like to spend more on universities, more on schools, more on infrastructure, but they feel like if they send that money to Madison it'll basically be stolen there and go to special interests," Kraig said.
Kraig wants this alternative budget to get people talking.  ...

A Wisconsin Budget for All 
For too long, we’ve all been told that there’s not enough money in the budget to help our communities thrive. That is not true. Actually, there is enough. Making a budget is about making choices. Lawmakers can choose to help private special interests that rig the system, or lawmakers can choose to promote the common good.

Simply cleaning up the tax code by closing two loopholes that the well-connected have created for themselves can restore nearly $900 million to the budget to invest in crucial priorities that your community so desperately needs. After all, that should be what taxes are for. They’re not supposed to be for feathering the nests of those who manipulate the system. They’re supposed to be our joint investments for improving our lives and for bolstering the vitality of all of our communities across Wisconsin.

There are three core areas — work, education, and health — where this restored funding would make a huge difference for hard-working Wisconsin families like yours and for the life of your community.

Read the full proposal, “A Wisconsin Budget for All” and learn how we can push for a budget that will help all our communities thrive.
  • Supporters of A Wisconsin Budget for All: 9to5 Wisconsin • Citizen Action of Wisconsin • Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups • Community Advocates Public Policy Institute • League of Women Voters of Wisconsin • Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin • Madison-Area Urban Ministry • National Association of Social Workers, WI Chapter •  SEIU Wisconsin State Council • Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health • Wisconsin Council of Churches • Wisconsin Council on Children and Families • Wisconsin Democracy Campaign • Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) • Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice • Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals • Wisconsin Friends Action Network • WISDOM

WI 1848 Forward: #SocialInfrastructure : #Wisconsin > Responsible-Alternative #Budget vs #Divide&Conquer #Walker 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Atlantic : The Quiet GOP Campaign Against Government Regulation

2 mins

Perhaps we should end regulation altogether ... seems to be GOP and Republican strategy. Seems consistent with Paul Ryan's love of Ayn Rand.…/video-what-does-paulrya…

The House passed two laws that would profoundly change how federal rules are issued—and that hardly any non-lawyer knows about.

Paul Ryan reminds me of the demolition experts that claimed they could blow up the first floor without damaging the building and then were shocked when the building collapsed.  "OH! Look ACA, etc., is failing!"  Wonder why!

Trickle down Brownback, what Trump and what Ryan would do if they could!

JUN 7, 2017 12:40 PM - Sam Brownback’s trickle-down “experiment” has officially failed Kansas Republicans overturn Sam Brownback's tax cuts, reversing his signature policy proposal - SOPHIA TESFAYE

WI 1848 Forward: #Atlantic : The Quiet #GOP Campaign Against Government #Regulation ... twisted use of Cost/Benefit

WI 1848 Forward: #Atlantic : The Quiet #GOP Campaign Against Government #Regulation ... did an #ExecutiveOrder do it

Sunday, January 22, 2017

AP - How Trump's executive order impacts future of ACA - 'Obamacare' - no replacement in sight

Death By A 1000 Administrative Cuts:

Trump will later say ... it was just bad ... I didn't do anything ... it just failed on its own.

Jan. 21, 2017 2:48 PM ET How Trump's executive order impacts future of 'Obamacare' By JULIE PACE and RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press

 (AP) — President Donald Trump's first executive order targets the sweeping "Obamacare" law by giving federal agencies broad leeway to chip away at the measure. But Trump still needs Congress to do away with the law for good.
Trump signed the executive order in the Oval Office Friday, hours after being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.
The one-page directive gives agencies authority to grant waivers, exemptions and delays of provisions in the Affordable Care Act. But until it becomes clear what steps federal agencies take as a result, its full impact on Americans and their health insurance is uncertain.

JAN 21, 2017 AT 10:56 AM Trump’s Executive Order On Obamacare Means Everything And Does Nothing By Anna Maria Barry-Jester Filed under The Trump Administration 

There are other important signals in the short executive order. It says HHS should “encourage the development of a free and open market in interstate commerce” and “provide greater flexibility to States,” suggesting that Trump will push HHS to grant more flexibility to states in how they implement the law.
It was no secret before Trump signed the executive order that he wanted the Affordable Care Act repealed, and all of these changes were possible before it was signed. But now Trump has made his intentions clear, with one of his first acts as president: The Department of Health and Human Services, “to the maximum extent permitted by law,” should get to dismantling.

The strategy seems to be to destroy the "healthcare marketplace" ... how ironic for the GOP ... so much for their core values.

In the arguments being made (3/15/2017) giving people "choice" is going to make "health insurance" affordable and accessible.  Somehow doctors and other healthcare workers are going to be paid less and hospital stays are going to become less expensive so insurance costs will fall.  It is implicit that the "marketplace" will be transformed, perform more efficiently, etc.  How?

There are things that can be done to advance the goals of "affordable and accessible" -- choice is not one!

Consumer Reports: House Pulls GOP Health Insurance Bill, but Some Changes Already Are Underway Doing what it can, the Trump administration has started watering down the Affordable Care Act - Donna Rosato Last updated: March 24, 2017

... The changes could result in sharply higher premiums and less coverage for many. For example, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has said he wants to water down regulations requiring insurers to offer comprehensive coverage in 10 areas, including maternity care, prescription drugs and mental health services.
Consumers already are worried they could be priced out of the market. In a recent nationally representative CR Consumer Voices Survey, 55 percent said they’re not sure they or their loved ones could afford insurance to get quality healthcare. ...
...The mandate requires most people to buy insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS ($695 per adult and $347.50 per child under 18 but no more than 2.5 percent of your gross income). In February, the IRS followed Trump’s order when it announced it would no longer automatically reject the tax return of someone who didn’t check the box confirming health coverage or fill out the form to pay a penalty. People who don’t have insurance still owe the penalty— but the IRS isn’t going to hold up your return if you don’t provide the information.
Another executive action took aim at the ACA’s most recent open-enrollment period. Just five days before the January 31 signup deadline, the Trump administration directed Health and Human Services to halt TV ads encouraging people to sign up and ended other outreach efforts.  ...
#TrumpCare #RyanCare  Still Plan to Gut #ACA #Medicaid #Medicare (WI 1848 Forward) and blame it on #Obama

#AP -How #Trump 's #PresidentPriebus executive order impacts future of #ACA ' #Obamacare ' - no replacement in sight

WI 1848 Forward: #PresidentPriebus ExecutiveOrder-  #Obamacare Means Everything And Does Nothing - #ACA to be gutted

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Women's March ... small slice ... Madison WI 20170121 ... over 600 places worldwide and 50+ countries

WI 1848 Forward: #Women'sMarch < small slice > #Madison WI 20170121 ... over 600 places worldwide & 50+ countries

WI 1848 Forward: #Women'sMarch <small slice > Madison WI 100K 20170121 ...over 600 places worldwide & 50+ countries

WI 1848 Forward: #Women'sMarch < small slice > #Madison WI> going to happen every weekend? worldwide & 50+ countries

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Natural Resources policy needs bold change ... Sen. Tom Tiffany and Rep. Adam Jarchow.

This same story was published on the Opinion Page of the Wisconsin State Journal this Sunday January 8th, 2017.

It has all the gimmicks -- #DogWhistlePolitics --

  • Vague attempt at misdirection ... - Who?  Me? We are too, for air and water!
  • Claim air and water is cleaner?  [Proof?]
  • "Politics of Resentment" -- those folks in Madison -- those special interest lobbyists.  Last time around the GOP became ever more present even though more Democrats voted ... but maybe they mean the scientists or researchers -- not vote gerrymandering and supression.
  • Calling names themselves ... taking on the environmental left? Who is this "left" ?
  • Just don't want us to have jobs.
  • 100 jobs in small town, fracing sand, paper mill, mining -- I think towns and villages were stripped of regulating authority ... so much for local control!  Boom and bust jobs are just not desirable in the end with cleanup expenses..
  • "We both relish a good fight" ... we are "masculine men" ?
  • They eviscerated the DNR -- you might even say gagged them ... their website is now a joke.
Better policies would support local schools and the many university campuses; state money for local, county and state roads; small town infrastructure - water systems, web, libraries, state monies for healthcare.  These kind of policies would create sustainable local jobs, bring in the tourists, actually cause people to want to raise a family and stay to get their kids educated.

Florence Cnty WI >Social Not Just Physical Infrastructure should be Dems Party Strategy

Rural Wisconsin Counties Continue To Lose Population - Pop Lab Report

Whenever they think there is pay-to-play money as in the Koch's or Gogebic they take local control to the state level.

Programs that would sustain people in small towns, rural communities, such as increased access to Medicaid, SNAP are denigrated and avoided. 

Natural Resources policy needs bold change - Wisconsin State Farmer Published 12:40 p.m. CT Jan. 3, 2017 | Updated 12:41 p.m. CT Jan. 3, 2017 owned by Gannet (who owns Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

A commentary by Senator Tom Tiffany and Representative Adam Jarchow. 
Have you ever met someone who wants to destroy air and water? We haven’t.
Nevertheless, despite air and water quality getting better in Wisconsin, this is the attack consistently leveled against us. We even managed to make a special interest group's "dishonor roll" and have been labeled environmental lightning rods. Why?  Because we have the audacity to take on the environmental left. Perhaps it’s easier to engage in personal attacks than actually debate the issue at hand.
We both relish a good fight, but that's actually not why we engage in crafting environmental policy.  Deep down, the reason we get involved in these fights is because they are incredibly important to the people we represent in rural and northern Wisconsin. While we have an abundance of natural resources, job opportunities can be very limited.  Smart policies can have a dramatic impact on economic growth and job opportunities in northern Wisconsin.  Why?  It's a matter of scale.
Imagine if a new business opened in a suburban Milwaukee community and it provided 100 middle class jobs (loaded wage rates of $30 per hour). This would be great, but it would barely be a drop in the bucket in a vast urban metropolis.  On the other hand, where we live, many communities have less than 1,000 people.  Imagine if a paper mill or frac sand facility employing 100 people at that same wage rate opened in that community.  It'd be huge!
Just one good business can be the lifeblood of an entire community.  It’s not just the direct jobs, but it's the indirect jobs – truckers, electricians, plumbers, contractors, restaurant, and gas station owners, bankers, car dealers, realtors.  Again, it's a matter of scale.
The reality is that our rural communities live or die with decisions suburban legislators make in Madison.  An ill-suited, overly-restrictive rule can literally ruin a community. That's why we are so stridently opposed to Madison and Washington rules and regulations that kill job opportunities in farming, manufacturing, forestry, and tourism.
If you live downstate or in a more urban or suburban community, you may think these issues don't impact you.  They do.  If people in northern Wisconsin can't find family-sustaining jobs, they will be more dependent on government programs (which your tax dollars will fund) and there will also be a deficiency in our tax base, meaning you will also fund our schools. So, yes, the northern Wisconsin economy matters to you, even if you don't live there.
This session, we will continue to press for legislation that runs afoul of the dogmatic beliefs held by many so-called environmentalists.  We intend to further streamline some rules and regulations and repeal those that don't make sense. It's a matter of life and death for our communities. When the attacks come from the self-proclaimed environmentalists, we hope our friends and neighbors across the rest of the state will stand with us, because it matters to you too.

3 Billionaries Invade Tiny Iron Cnty, WI ( Koch Brothers, Cline , Gogebic)

Mining company, allies spent freely to get bill approved $700,000 political contributions

#DNR - Natural Resources policy needs bold change ... Sen. Tom #Tiffany and Rep. Adam #Jarchow

#DogWhistlePolitics > #DNR - Natural Resources policy needs bold change ... Sen. Tom #Tiffany and Rep. Adam #Jarchow

#Rhinelander  #DNR - Natural Resources policy needs bold change ... Sen. Tom #Tiffany and Rep. Adam #Jarchow