Sunday, August 11, 2019

Privatizing The Profits, Socializing The Loses

There the "free" marketeers go again. Milwaukee real estate execs question Housing Authority's high-rise plan.

So, the City is booming. Development, jobs, tourism, new businesses...things are looking up.

As usual, when things start to gentrify, certain people are priced out of the market...yet those workers are still necessary for the booming economy to exist.

Enter affordable housing. Another policy answer to a society that doesn't pay a living-wage. If you're not going to pay a downtown-wage for a downtown-worker, public policy steps in to subsidize and correct the market.

It's as much a subsidy to the employer as it is to the worker. By subsidizing the housing of these workers, the government is allowing the employer to pay below-market wages.

Also, as usual, and wanting to have it both ways, local developers are complaining when the government steps in to correct the market. The Milwaukee Business Journal reported, "The Housing Authority in April introduced its plan, which calls for spending up to $150 million on a high-rise tower with 350 apartments, a mix of market-rate and affordable units."

Tim Gokhman, director of New Land Enterprises, told the Business Journal:
He said if the city has figured out how to generate a profit from a high-rise to subsidize affordable units, “teach the rest of the market how those profits can be attained.”
Because the profits aren't high enough for private developers, because the returns on investment aren't elevated enough, because the government won't just give them the money to do it, private developers are complaining when the government enters the market to provide needed housing for citizens. (Privateers complain when the government does any of the many things the magic "free" market won't do.)

Developers can't have it both ways. They can't claim they're the experts - the "free" market and the private actors have all the answers and will provide as long as the government stays out of the way. But then, in the very next breath, they come to the public for giveaways, tax breaks and other hand-outs they claim the need for their projects.

If the public has to give tax cuts, subsidies and incentives to private actors to get them to do something, why shouldn't the public entity just complete the project?

The private sector does some things well. But it's time we re-realize the same can be said for the public sector.

Sunday Reading

LBOs Make (More) Companies Go Bankrupt, Research Shows
It's Time For The Suburbs To Talk About Race
El Paso, Dayton Make 251 Mass Shootings In The US In 216 Days, More Shootings Than Days In The Year
Tent City Is A Result Of Public Policy
Shining A Light On The Dark-Store Tax Dodge
Trump May Have Made Himself The Recession's Scapegoat
Foxconn Jobs Not Worth The Costs
Costs And Benefits Of A Revised Foxconn Project
The Long Road To Recovery After Years Of Severe Budget Cuts
Lake Michigan Has Swallowed Up 2 Chicago Beaches This Summer. Experts Say The Worst Could Still Be On The Way.
Trumps Says Cities Are 'A Mess.' They're Actually Enjoying A Golden Age.
How 'Developer' Became Such A Dirty Word
How Economists' Faith In Markets Broke America

Problem Solved

Walmart Removes Violent Video Game Displays After Shootings, Still Sells Guns

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Wisconsin Reading

When Socialists Swept Milwaukee
Why GOP Opposes Federal Medicaid Funds
The Incredible Shrinking Foxconn Plant
House passes $5M for Great Lakes Hyperloop that slots Milwaukee for Phase 2
Regrets, He Has A Few: Robin Vos Wanted To Do Even More For Wealthy In Wisconsin
Wisconsin's GOP Speaker Says He Wants To Consider Legalizing Medical Marijuana, Just After Rejecting Governor's Plan
State's Loss on Federal ACA is $1.3 Billion
Supreme Court's Gerrymandering Decision Fails Wisconsin

Weekend Reading: Economics Edition

Society-Wide Benefits of Raising The Minimum Wage
The Puzzle In The Labor Data
The Trump Tax Reform, As Seen In The U.S. Balance Of Payments Data
Why The 'Free-Market' Economy Is A Myth And How To Rebuild Public Power
The Failures of Neoliberalism Are Bigger Than Politics
What Kansas's Rebounding Economy Tells Us About The Farce of Republican Tax Cuts
How The Federal Government Rigs The Game Against Small Businesses
Make Corporations Pay For The Green New Deal
Rich Get Richer, Everyone Else Not So Much In Record U.S. Expansion
Unions Did Great Things For The Working Class

Weekend Reading

The Deepening Crisis In Evangelical Christianity
USA's formidable women's soccer team is no accident. It's a product of public policy
What You Need To Know About The Citizenship Question And The Census
Are Beyond Meat And Impossible Burgers Better For You? Nutritionists Weigh In.
The Tool That Local Economic Developers Should Rely On
Wanted: Public Employees Who Live Where They Work

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Republicans: The Real Hypocritical, Crybaby Snowflakes

Republicans Seek to Limit Governor’s Veto
McConnell Would Fill Potential Supreme Court Vacancy In 2020, Reversal Of 2016 Stance
Republicans who held 33 hearings on Benghazi complain that Cohen’s testimony was a waste of time
Republican Leaders Vow to Obstruct State Budget, Then Complain About Lack of Negotiations
To GOP, Obama’s immigration orders were ‘executive overreach.’ What is it when Trump does it?
Sparks fly on Fox News as liberal nails Republican hypocrisy on outside questioning of Barr: ‘Like they did with Kavanaugh?’
Why are Republicans so cruel to the poor? Paul Ryan's profound hypocrisy stands for a deeper problem
The Republican hypocrisy over Ilhan Omar's comment
More Republican Hypocrisy On Separation Of Powers
The Appalling Hypocrisy Of The Republican Party Exposed In Three Simple Charts

Getting to Know Elizabeth Warren

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Wisconsin Reading

City Will Borrow For Police Settlement
Six Reasons To Eliminate Wisconsin's Costly, Ineffective Manufacturing Tax Credit
Latest WEDC Audit Finds Gap Between Jobs Pledged And Jobs Produced
$5 Million Proposed For Milwaukee Streetcar Plaza Near Convention Center
River Falls Plans To Remove Dams And Restore It Rapids. Will Minneapolis And St. Paul Be Next?
Stung By Trump's Trade Wars, Wisconsin's Milk Farmers Face Extinction
Wisconsin's Economic Development Corporation Gave Taxpayer Funds To Businesses That Created Jobs In Other States, Audit Finds

Sunday Reading

Lobbyists Working To Undermine Medicare For All Host Congressional Staff At Luxury Resort
Donald Trump Proves Tax Code Spawns Risk, Debt & Speculation For Which Everybody Else Pays The Price
The "We're Overstating Inflation!" Story Is Back
Traditional Measures Of Unemployment Are Missing The Mark
The World's Biggest Electric Vehicle Company Looks Nothing Like Tesla
As World's Scientist Raise Extinction Alarms, Trump Guts Endangered Species Act
Warren Earned Her Wonk Reputation
What Does CBD Do? Mostly, It's Just Expensive
The Disappearance Of The Ruffed Grouse
How Volkswagen Has Gotten Away With Union-Busting
Our First Instinct Is Far Too Often Wrong

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Weekend Reading

From Gentrification To Decline: How Neighborhoods Really Change
The California Economy Isn't Just A U.S. Powerhouse
The US Government Is The World's Largest Purchaser Of Consumer Goods. Amazon Wants A Piece
Stephen Moore Wants People To Pay More Attention To His Economic Policies. Challenge Accepted.
Rich Guys Are Most Likely To Have No Idea What They're Talking About
Chinese Billionaire Jack Ma Says The US Wasted Billions On Warfare Instead Of Investing In Infrastructure
'I'm Fucked,' And Other Damning Revelations From The Mueller Report
Sanctioned Russian Oligarch's Company To Invest Millions In New Aluminum Plant In Mitch McConnell's State

Wisconsin Reading

City May Extend Residency Incentives
Democrats Just Blew It In Wisconsin: Elections Likely To Stay Rigged In Favor Of GOP
Appeals Court Expands Legal Searches
These Republican Maps Are So Psychedelically Gerrymandered The Supreme Court Might Finally Have To Step In
Scott Walker's Foxconn Deal Is On Its Way To Becoming A World-Historical Debate
Foxconn Promised A Correction About Empty Buildings In Wisconsin Two Weeks Ago, And It Hasn't Said A Word Since
Foxconn Wants To Alter The Wisconsin Deal
Foxconn Tore Up A Small Town To Build A Factory, Then Retreated

Things You Don't Say When You're Innocent

On May 17, 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions personally broke the news to Trump that Sessions’ deputy, Rod Rosenstein, had appointed a special counsel to take over the investigation into Russian interference in the election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. According to notes from Sessions’ then-chief of staff, Jody Hunt, Trump slumped in his chair and said, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m fucked.” [source]


Ministry April 15, 2019 Music Hall Of Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY

The Missing
Jesus Built My Hotrod
Just One Fix
Burning Inside
So What
No Devotion
The Land of Rape and Honey
(Everyday Is) Halloween

Friday, April 26, 2019

Dinosaurs Roaming Amongst Us

Wisconsin Republicans continue to keep this state behind almost every other state in the country with their antiquated and illogical mindset.

GOP Legislators Kill Medical Pot

The Bourbon Family Tree

Saturday, April 20, 2019

From Total Exoneration To Total Bullshit

The Mueller Report Went from 'COMPLETE EXONERATION!' to 'Total Bullshit!' as Soon as It Was Actually Released

When AG Barr was able to "summarize" the report, as he saw fit, it supposedly exonerated the orange idiot, Trump.  Republicans then did everything they could to stop the release of the report.  Some would even say these enablers went out of their way to obstruct Congress and the public from seeing the full report.  ("The report proves the president is innocent, but we're not going to let you see it.")

At this point, Republicans that are still involved in hiding, covering up, obstructing, delaying and/or any other form of chicanery involving Donald Trump and his administration, should be charged as co-conspirators.  If you're doing anything other than trying to get to the truth, you're part of the problem and are now part of a criminal conspiracy.

Republicans have shown that power and party are much more important to them than country. They are not patriots.  They are treasonous traitors and should be treated and charged as such.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Weekend Reading

Why And How Capitalism Needs To Be Reformed
The IRS Tried To Take On The Ultrawealthy. It Didn't Go Well.
The Tax Law's Big Winner Is The Millionaire CEO
Bernie Sanders's Fox News Town Hall Wasn't A Debate. Bernie Won Anyway.
Warren Has A Good Beginning For Ending Corporate Tax Avoidance
The Truth About U.S. Taxes Is That They Aren't High Enough
Yes, Graceland Actually Threatened To Move To Japan To Get $194 Million In Subsidies From Memphis
Ending The Economic War Among The States: A Strategic Proposal
Amazon's Next Frontier: Your City's Purchasing
The Undemocratic Making Of Indianapolis
The Future Of Unions Is White-Collar
Fun Fictions In Economics

Wisconsin Reading

Taxpayers Make Bucks, Brewers Rich
Gov. Tony Evers Wants To Renegotiate Foxconn Deal
Wisconsin Republicans Are Yucking It Up About AOC's Green New Deal While Trade Wars Crush Dairy Farmers
7 Numbers That Explain The Election
Committee Questions Grand Avenue Deal
Canadian National Investing $120 Million In Wisconsin Rail Infrastructure
True Colors Show In State Capitol

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

Myths About Raising Taxes On The Rich

Go Big Or Go Home

Really sad when the times pass certain politicians by.  Nancy Pelosi has been one of the most consequential legislators the Democrats have had.  Yet, in what can only be seen as an attempt to protect the status quo of the Democratic Party, Nancy Pelosi Takes a Swipe at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Again.
Nancy Pelosi: "By and large whatever orientation they came to Congress with, they know we have to hold the center. We have to go down the mainstream." 
60 Minutes: "You have these wings. @AOC and her group on one side..." 
Pelosi: "That's like five people."
Pelosi is delusional if she believes the "mainstream" is the political "center".  The majority of this country is liberal and supports liberal policies.  The only reason we've moved rightward in our policies over the past few decades is because of Democratic spinelessness and Republican cheating.  Republicans are only getting 30-40% of the votes, yet they are controlling 55-60% of the seats.  And, it was, partially, the willingness of Bill Clinton to goosestep along in "compromise" with the Republican agenda that we have this illusion that this triangulation somehow represents the mainstream of the population.

The majority of Americans support Medicare, Social Security, minimum wage, public schools, public transportation, unemployment insurance, the police and fire departments, 8-hour work days, sick leave, FMLA, overtime pay, labor laws, holiday pay, maternal leave and the many other liberal policies that were pushed through by left-wingers and unions over the last 100 years.

Now, this isn't to say Democrats should go balls to the wall attempting to implement any and all ideas that we can think of.  But many of the ideas (such as the Green New Deal) of the New Democrats are ideas the majority of the country supports - improving public transportation, strengthening and growing renewable energy, greening buildings, getting away from fossil fuels, reinvesting in our educational system, upgrading our water and sewer systems and increasing the minimum wage.  These are all policies that, when implemented, benefit all Americans.  Broad-based public goods that each and every citizen can use.

Pelosi can couch her elitism as learned pragmatism, but it's really just the old guard holding onto the levers of power.  Working at the margins is a necessary part of the political process.  But if this is all you've got, you're in a rudderless ship moving in circles within a very limited space.  Barack Obama was right when he said we shouldn't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  But we also can't become a nation of small ideas and nostalgia.

The majority of our infrastructure has a D grade according to the American Society of Civil Engineers.  We've fallen behind other advanced industrialized nations in renewable energy and public transportation.

Maybe Pelosi would do better to incorporate the New Democrats' ideas into the Democratic Party platform, rather than to play into the hands of the right-wing, pretending these are pie-in-the-sky wishes that have no place in sensible discourse.  In reality, these are the policies and projects the majority of Americans would like to see and have in their cities and states.  Not to mention the jobs and prosperity it would create.

Maybe, one of these years, Democrats will learn that ideas and principles matter.  Everything can't be negotiable.  We have to continue to make sure the mundane day-to-day bureaucratic objectives are performed.  But we must not concede BIG IDEAS as being out of the question, too expensive or use some other excuse for inaction.  America, itself, was a BIG IDEA.  And if we don't start fixing, rebuilding and modernizing America and its workers, our standard of living and our place in the world will only continue to diminish.

Time is of the essence. Go big or go home.   

For Further Reading:
It's Time For Nancy Pelosi To Go 
Why 63 House Democrats Voted To Oust Nancy Pelosi
After Democrats’ Losses, Nancy Pelosi Becomes a Symbol of What Went Wrong

Corporate Profits, CEO Pay & America's Rigged System

Friday, April 12, 2019

60 Profitable Fortune 500 Companies Avoided All Federal Income Taxes in 2018

60 Profitable Fortune 500 Companies Avoided All Federal Income Taxes in 2018
For decades, profitable Fortune 500 companies have manipulated the tax system to avoid paying even a dime in tax on billions of dollars in U.S. profits. This ITEP report provides the first comprehensive look at how corporate tax changes under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affect the scale of corporate tax avoidance. The report finds that in 2018, 60 of America’s biggest corporations zeroed out their federal income taxes on $79 billion in U.S. pretax income. Instead of paying $16.4 billion in taxes at the 21 percent statutory corporate tax rate, these companies enjoyed a net corporate tax rebate of $4.3 billion.

Saturday, March 30, 2019


Republican Cover-Up Reading

Has "Cover-Up General" William Barr Struck Again?
Why Trump's "No Collusion" Victory Lap Is Premature
Comey: 'It Doesn't Make Sense' That Mueller Didn't Rule On Obstruction Of Justice
Mueller Report Exceeds 300 Pages, Raising Questions About Four-Page Summary

Wisconsin Reading

GOP Redistricting Edge Moderated Democrats' 2018 Gains
WEDC Awards $7.5 Million In Tax Credits To Amazon For Wisconsin Projects
The Arrogance Of Robin Vos
Scott Walker Has A New Job
Scott Walker To Head 'Slow Moving Coup' To Repeal-And-Replace U.S. Constitution
Great Lakes States Are Warming Faster Than The Rest Of The Country, More Flooding Is In Store

Where's The Report?

If the Mueller report exonerates Donald Trump, why isn't William Barr releasing it in it's entirety?  What's with the delay?  You can't really say the report clears Donald Trump of any wrongdoing and then keep the report hidden. If the report clears Trump, why would you redact anything from it unless you're trying to hide something.

So shameless that the supposed party of law, order and values has such malleable principles.  Or should I say no principles at all.  What an embarrassment.

Weekend Reading

Do Corporate Tax Incentives Work? 20 States, And Most Cities, Don't Know
Trump Nominates Famous Idiot Stephen Moore To Federal Reserve Board
Neil Gorsuch's Bad-Faith Ploy To Save Partisan Gerrymandering And Doom American Democracy
Fossil Fuel Industry Gave $2,371,680 To Senate Democrats Who Blocked Green New Deal
Putting Number In Context: A Winnable Battle Our Side Doesn't Want To Fight
The 4 Arguments In Defense Of The Electoral College Are Wrong
Why You Shouldn't Listen To Self-Serving Optimists Like Hans Rosling And Steven Pinker

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Corruption & Dismantling Of Our Democracy Continues

Investigations into extra-marital blow jobs have to be made public, but the investigations that have led to 34 indictments involving campaign shenanigans and collusion/acquiescence with foreign government interference, that information can only be slowly disseminated, if at all.  Kenneth Starr's report, concerning the Clinton affair, was delivered directly to Congress to do with as they saw fit.  Why are we allowing William Barr to decide and summarize what should be made available to Congress and the public?

Monica Lewinsky's reaction to the Mueller report 'just won tweet of 2019'
The former White House intern was herself the subject of an investigation by an independent counsel, Kenneth Starr, for her affair with then-President Bill Clinton. She was a central figure in Clinton’s 1998 impeachment hearing. 
While Clinton was ultimately acquitted by the Senate, many have drawn comparisons between Starr’s rigorous pursuit and how the Mueller report findings — which many Democrats are demanding to be made public — has been handled. 
When USC law professor Orin Kerr noted that President Trump has had the privilege of so far keeping the full report under wraps, whereas every last dirty detail of the Starr Report was up for grabs, Lewinsky couldn’t help but weigh in.
Mueller’s report must show ‘something pretty damning’ about Trump
Barr’s letter revealed something unexpected about the obstruction issue: that Mueller said that his “report does not conclude that the President committed a crime” but that “it also does not exonerate him.” The report does not exonerate the president? That’s a stunning thing for a prosecutor to say. Mueller didn’t have to say that.

If his report doesn’t exonerate the president, there must be something pretty damning in it about him, even if it might not suffice to prove a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. And in saying that the report “catalogued the President’s actions, many of which took place in public view,” Barr’s letter makes clear that the report also catalogues actions taken privately that shed light on possible obstruction, actions that the American people and Congress yet know nothing about.
And, as Andrew Prokop notes:
Barr’s summary mentions nothing about ... well, many, many other topics related to the Trump team and Russia that we know Mueller has investigated. These include: 
Barr’s summary tells us nothing of what became of Mueller’s inquiries into all these matters.
There's plenty of illegality we still need to get to the bottom of with Donald Trump and his enablers.

For Further Reading:
Rudy Giuliani goes off script and reveals on CNN that the Mueller report hardly vindicates Trump
Why Trump’s “no collusion” victory lap is premature

Tuesday, March 26, 2019


Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Indictments And Convictions

Enough of the right-wing's congratulatory bellowing about the supposed exoneration conclusion of the Mueller report. Not even close.

As Nicole Hemmer wrote:
Over the past two years, Mueller sorted through the complex story of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Not only did he conclude that a foreign power indeed interfered in the race, Mueller also secured indictments against 34 people, including six members of the Trump campaign in both financial and election-related cases, with charges ranging from conspiracy to obstruction to making false statements to witness tampering. Everyone within U.S. jurisdiction who was indicted by Mueller has been found guilty or has pleaded guilty except for Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone, who is awaiting trial. (Mueller also charged 26 Russians in crimes including conspiracy to defraud the United States and aggravated identity theft; they remain at large.)
As Bloomberg reported, "The Special Counsel states that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him. Unlike the collusion finding, this conclusion—or lack of it—could pose problems for Trump going forward. Democrats in Congress are likely to address the obstruction issue on their own."

For Further Reading:
Indictments and convictions
Mueller's investigation is done. Here are the 34 people he indicted along the way

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Amazon & Dead Zones

Weekend Reading

Shopko Creditors: $117 Million In Dividends Paid To Owners 'Fraudulent,' 'Illegal'
401(K)s Versus 403(B)s
Sigh....No, Tax Cuts Won't Boost Growth
Supreme Court Sides With Union Giving Milwaukee County Employees $6.8 Million Pension Benefit
Make Corporations Pay For Green New Deal
The Rapid Decline Of The Natural World Is A Crisis Even Bigger Than Climate Change
Study Finds Racial Gap Between Who Causes Air Pollution And Who Breathes It
Here's What Republicans And Billionaires Really Mean When They Talk About 'Freedom'
Wisconsin Judge Blocks Republicans' Lame-Duck Power Grab
Study Cited In Wisconsin Debate On Expanding Medicaid And Taking Federal Money Called 'Garbage'
Make America Great Again By Raising The Minimum Wage

Taking Real Action Against Gun Violence

'What Real Action to Stop Gun Violence Looks Like': New Zealand PM Announces Ban on Assault Rifles After Christchurch Massacre
Just six days after a white supremacist gunman killed 50 people and injured dozens more at two mosques in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Thursday that the country will ban all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles, and high-capacity magazines.
WOW!  Acting expeditiously with common sense, a government actually getting something done, in the interest of the people.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Not All Conservatives Are Filled With Rage, But Most Of Those Filled With Rage Are Conservative

The Power of Petty Personal Rage
The point is that demented anger is a significant factor in modern American political life — and overwhelmingly on one side. All that talk about liberal “snowflakes” is projection; if you really want to see people driven wild by tiny perceived slights and insults, you’ll generally find them on the right. Nor is it just about racism and misogyny. Although these are big components of the phenomenon, I don’t see the obvious connection to hamburger paranoia. 
Just to be clear: To paraphrase John Stuart Mill, I’m not saying that most conservatives are filled with rage over petty things. What I’m saying instead is that most of those filled with such rage are conservatives, and they supply much of the movement’s energy. Not to put too fine a point on it, pathological pettiness almost surely put Donald Trump over the top in the 2016 election.

Bucking Convention

Sorry to rain on the parade.

Milwaukee should be leery, careful and realistic with their assumptions and expectations regarding hosting the Democratic National Convention.

In general, events like this are a boom for some and a bust for others. And, if you're lucky, you'll break even. Yet, hosting these events is far from a no-brainer, win-win for everyone.

As U.S News reported:
According to economists Robert Baade, Robert Baumann and Victor Matheson – who looked at the effect of every national political convention between 1970 and 2005 – such events "have a negligible impact on local economies." They found that "neither the presence of the Republican nor the Democratic National Convention has a discernable impact on employment, personal income, or personal income per capita in the cities where the events were held."
As another researcher put it:
By focusing on the 'bright, shiny object' of a political convention, we might be losing focus on the real economic fundamentals that could bring long-term prosperity.
Milwaukee has already been transforming itself and the region - without an expanded convention center, without a political convention, etc.  The Democratic National Convention might be fun and lucrative for some, but don't expect long-term gains from this political circus.  At best, Milwaukeans should hope for infrastructure improvements coinciding with the convention - roads, rail, water, electric, etc. - that will also benefit the city as a whole.

For Further Reading:
Rejecting “Conventional” Wisdom: Estimating the Economic Impact of National Political Conventions 
American Cities and the Politics of Party Conventions

Tucker Carlson Is A Creep

Tucker Carlson is called out for being misogynistic, racist and homophobic.  Rather than apologizing or trying to move forward, instead he belittles other media figures, media organizations, etc.  He claims he is being persecuted by do-gooders looking for attention.  It has nothing to do with his behavior; which he describes as simply out of the mainstream and just a different point of view.  [Listen to the recordings.  Anyone with a brain would not claim this is just a point-of-view difference.  Carlson is clearly misogynistic, racist and homophobic.]

It's well-known Fox has been normalizing racism, hatred, cronyism, white nationalism and pretty much every other negative behavior...and then blaming everyone else when negative outcomes occur.

But, somehow, this is all Media Matters' fault.  Yes, you're the bad guy when you point out someone else's bad behavior.

Carlson also had the gall to claim Media Matters aligned with a political party and whined about how unsavory that is.  It's illegal for a media organization to align with one political party.  Um, hey Fox News guy, project much?

So ... much ... delusion.

Any Democrat Will Do 2020

So many good candidates and good ideas.  Hopefully the Democratic Party can coalesce into a strong, coherent platform with unwavering candidates for President and Vice President.

Elizabeth Warren wants to break up Apple too
The Democratic Party Wants to Make Climate Policy Exciting
Cory Booker’s plan to fight wealth inequality: give poor kids money
Sen. Sanders’ College for All Act
Bernie Sanders's new Medicare-for-all plan, explained
Warren Proposes Universal Child Care Plan Funded by Wealth Tax

End Welfare...Unless It's For Me

The conservative, free market, anti-socialism boosters sure do love welfare and market-intervention when it benefits them.

Amount of cash provided to developers by Wisconsin communities limited by Evers' budget proposal.
Evers' budget plan includes a provision targeting communities which provide financing help for commercial developments through tax incremental financing districts...

The governor's 2019-'21 budget proposal, released Thursday night, would limit cash grants for developers to 20 percent of a tax financing district's project costs.
One of the private sector shills whined,
It "would undo years of bipartisan work to create the most important, and really the only tool Wisconsin municipalities have to spur economic development and create jobs," said Jim Villa, chief executive officer of the Wisconsin chapter of NAIOP, formerly known as the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties.
As I wrote in a previous post, “Another much touted, yet becoming ever more so destructive, policy tool is tax incremental financing (TIF). These were initially established to bring investment to blighted, low-income areas. But nowadays, more states are loosening their eligibility requirements and allowing affluent areas to reap the benefits. TIFs allow a municipality to issue a bond to pay for part of the costs of the new development. The property tax revenue generated by the development is then used to pay off the bonds. Some municipalities also allow sales tax increments, where the sales tax generated by the new development can be diverted to redevelopment costs.”

In essence, using taxpayer money (cheap credit from a municipality) to finance speculative development where the rewards benefit the usual cast of characters at the expense of the community at large.

And, to claim this is the only tool municipalities have to spur economic development and create jobs, is complete horseshit.  By providing good public transportation options, broadband access, modern water and electrical infrastructure, and adequately funding public education, the public sector can spur economic development and create jobs. 

This is just the gravy train crying because someone is trying to cut off some of their corporate welfare.  

Governor Tony Evers merely wants to bring back some of the original intent and more accountability to tax incremental financing.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Cows Are (Part Of) The Problem

Kansas rancher sends letter to Ocasio-Cortez fact-checking the Green New Deal

Big surprise a cattle rancher wouldn't admit to methane being part of the problem.  [Just as oil companies don't admit fossil fuels pollute.]

Yes, they provide food.  But they also pollute. 

As one article noted, "What remains undisputed is that animal husbandry does generate harmful emissions.  Firstly, the animals themselves release emissions — cows, for example, produce methane gas in the digestion process. In addition, the entire industry contributes to the greenhouse gas effect, from the fertilizer on the fields to the transport of feed for the animals and the use of milking machines."

Another article explains, "Livestock are responsible for about 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).  According to calculations by some experts, this puts the livestock sector on par with transport. The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says transport is responsible for 14 percent of emissions.  Ruminants such as cattle, buffalo, sheep and goats produce nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and methane, which is the most emitted gas and is released through belching."

As The New York Times put it, "The impact of agriculture, a category that includes everything from growing lettuce to raising livestock, is tricky to express because the gasses produced — mostly methane and nitrous oxide — have much more warming potential than carbon dioxide but also dissipate more quickly. According to the latest thinking, though, farming is responsible for the equivalent of 574 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States each year and 56 million metric tons in Canada.  That’s about 8 percent of each country’s total greenhouse gas emissions...Worldwide, livestock accounts for between 14.5 percent and 18 percent of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions."

NPR wrote, "Livestock is a major source of greenhouse gases worldwide. About quarter of the methane emissions due to human activity in the U.S. can be chalked up to gas released from these animals, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."

Again, the Green New Deal isn't about getting rid of cows, planes and everything else we've come to know.  It's about recognizing the impact of our many different lifestyle choices and working to modify our behaviors so we make less of negative influence on the planet.  It's really all about ensuring our own survival and the survival of the planet.

So, sorry ranchers, coal miners and fossil fuelers, we need to make some changes in the way we live. These aren't the first industries in the history of mankind that have had to adjust to environmental or other factors.  And, they won't be the last.  But to keep arguing against what the science is clearly telling us ... we're only hurting ourselves and the planet.

For Further Reading:
Methane isn’t just cow farts

Tired Of Winning Yet?

Daily Show Reminds Us How Bat Shit Crazy The Right-Wing Has Been

Tagalongs: The Story Of The Thin Skin Mints

Let's take a trip down the path of conservative (il)logic:  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was a Girl Scout.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is an evil communist.  Therefore, you must stop buying Girl Scout cookies.

This is the current Republican party.

This is where their priorities are at today.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez expertly shuts down conservatives calling for boycott after learning she was a Girl Scout

Just when I think the conservatives can't stoop any lower ... I realize there is no limit to the depths the Republicans will descend.

Take that Girl Scouts!!!

Saturday, February 23, 2019


Weekend Reading

The Tax-The-Rich Movement Keeps Growing
The Hypocrisy Of Trump's Job Claims
California High-Speed Rail And The American Infrastructure Tragedy, Explained
The Global Con Hidden In Trump's Tax Reform Law, Revealed
Lots Of Presidential Candidates Talk A Good Talk. Look At Their Records Instead.
Bill And Melinda Gates And The Problem Of The "Good Billionaire"
How Republicans Bought Their Own Tax Cut Snake Oil
Trump's War On California
The CIA's Masterful Use Of Fake News

Wisconsin Taxes

Donald Trump & The Republican Party: The True Enemy Of The People

Wisconsin Reading

Inside Wisconsin's Disastrous $4.5 Billion Deal With Foxconn
Wisconsin's High-Subsidy Foxconn Project Seen As 'Pawn' In U.S.-China Trade War
Robin Vos And Scott Fitzgerald Are Contemptible Liars
MMSD Plans $1.4 Billion Of Improvements
A Data Portrait Of The Walker Years
The Big Giveaway Is Getting Bigger
Let's Curb The Manufacturing Tax Credit
Six Reasons To Eliminate Wisconsin's Costly, Ineffective Manufacturing Tax Credit

Weekend Reading: Amazon Edition

The Backers Of New York's Giveaway To Amazon Still Don't Understand Why It Was Wrong
End The Subsidy Wars: Amazon Took Advantage Of A System That's Baked Into America's Economy. We Must Finally Fix It.
Amazon's Pullout From New York Shows That It Misplayed A Bad, And Expensive, Hand
New York Did Us All A Favor By Standing Up To Amazon
Amazon HQ2 Was An 'Unfortunate Distraction' From 'Needy Communities'
Amazon's Decision To Pull Out Of NYC Is A Massive Blow To Corporate Welfare
Amazon And The End Of The Growth Machine
Amazon Got Exactly What It Deserved - And So Did New York
How Amazon's Booming NYC Neighborhood Got Tax Perks Meant For The Poor