Friday, March 16, 2018

After school gun massacre, 0 gun references in Walker's 'response plan'

I thought people were exaggerating when they said the 'plan' Walker announced in the wake of the Florida school shooting massacre didn't mention guns.

Then I read his office's full statement which includes the entire plan, and there is literally no use of the word "gun," or "guns."

Read what he has to say about school safety - - and the statement includes an endorsement from AG Brad Schimel also free of the gun word - - and they might as well be referencing schools made unsafe by spoiled cafeteria food or dangerous playground equipment.

Even for Walker and Schimel, it's a new pandering low, while, no doubt, the NRA - - a major Walker campaign donor whom Walker has more than repaid with rolled-back laws - - is pleased.

Like I said, our Scott is no Florida Gov. Scott.


Kenosha happy with no-risk proximity to Foxconn, Racine

For some time I've been thinking that Kenosha authorities made the right move in September by balking at the local costs and impacts which came with inviting and siting Foxconn and letting Racine jurisdictions the the plunge: 
Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian wrote Gov. Scott Walker a letter dated Monday that pulled the city out of the running for a Foxconn manufacturing plant that is expected to employ as many as 13,000 people.
“Throughout this planning process, we have been consistent in our belief that without significant adjustments to specific current state laws impacting local municipalities, we would be unable to support and/or absorb the development of the project,” Antaramian wrote.
Kenosha jurisdictions won't lose control of so much land and water and landscape as will Racine County just next door
but, like Milwaukee and Northern Illinois, could reap plenty of location-location-location benefits without catching Walker's Foxconn Fever

Today I saw this story, and an observation to a recent meeting about Foxconn by Mayor Antaramian that hot the nail on the head:

Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian told the group of about 150 people he is “thrilled to have Foxconn in Racine.” 
“I think it works very well for us,” Antaramian said. “It’s 11 miles to the north, and I don’t have the risk that everyone else has to take.”
Time will tell, but I can see Kenosha gaining without having to give up anything.

Like the Village of Mount Pleasant, population 26,000, on the hook for $764 million. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Regional planners have catalogued resources in 'WisConn' territory

People and policy-makers following Foxconn's permit-free permission and plans to bulldoze wetlands, woodlands, lake beds, stream corridors, wildlife habitat, productive farmland

and open space - - full Foxconn archive, here - - on a 3,000-acre Racine County site assisted by $4.5 billion in state and local subsidies - - but without so much as a basic environmental inventory and review - - might want read through the regional planning commission's extensive "Comprehensive Plan" for Racine County to see what that missing environmental inventory and review failed to document.

Sections III 6-14, focusing on wetlands, environmentally significant lands, open space, water resources and other portions are very relevant, given that the Wisconsin DNR is likely to greenlight a diversion of Lake Michigan water to help upend Racine County as we know it.

I had earlier noted the commission's work on flooding in Racine County.

It's a long report, and no doubt there's something there for everyone, but few lines in section III, page12, speaks the volumes which Walker and his dor-driven wetland-fillers would have us overlook:
Because of the many interacting relationships existing between living organisms and their environment, the destruction or deterioration of one important element of the total environment may lead to a chain reaction of deterioration and destruction of other elements. The drainage of wetlands, for example, may destroy fish spawning areas, wildlife habitat, groundwater recharge areas, and natural filtration and floodwater storage areas of interconnecting stream systems. 
The resulting deterioration of surface-water quality may, in turn, lead to a deterioration of the quality of the groundwater which serves as a source of domestic, municipal, and industrial water supply, and upon which low flows of rivers and streams may depend. Similarly, destruction of ground cover may result in soil erosion, stream siltation, more rapid runoff, and increased flooding, as well as the destruction of wildlife habitat. 
Although the effect of any one of these environmental changes may not in and of itself be overwhelming, the combined effects may eventually lead to a serious deterioration of the underlying and sustaining natural resource base and of the overall quality of the environment for life. 
In addition to such environmental impacts, the intrusion of intensive urban land uses into such areas may result in the creation of serious and costly developmental problems, such as failing foundations for pavements and structures, wet basements, excessive operation of sump pumps, excessive clear-water infiltration into sanitary sewerage systems, and poor drainage.
That common sense statement of fact echos another statement of common sense fact announced by the Wisconsin Supreme Court when it upheld the state constitution's 'water belongs to everyone' 9th amendment - - a passage which I've posted many times and have left permanently up on the face page of my blog:
"A little fill here and there may seem to be nothing to become excited about. But one fill, though comparatively inconsequential, may lead to another, and another, and before long a great body may be eaten away until it may no longer exist. Our navigable waters are a precious natural heritage, once gone, they disappear forever," wrote the Wisconsin Supreme Court in its 1960 opinion resolving Hixon v. PSC and buttressing The Public Trust Doctrine.

Mueller probes collusion; Journal Sentinel scoop finds intrusion

Wonder what WI GOP pols, David Clarke, et al will say about these damn serious finding by the Journal Sentinel.and when Trump will get off his a** and protect our crumbling democracy
Vladimir Putin (2017-07-08).jpg
from attacks by his best friend: 
A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel review found that Russia-linked accounts — including one named in a recent federal indictment — sent more than 30 tweets to spread racial animus, blame Democrats for the chaos and amplify the voices of conservatives like former Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. who were commenting on Sherman Park...
In its review, the newspaper found that Twitter accounts linked to Russia sought to boost Trump’s chances in Wisconsin and spread fake news to help a primary challenger to U.S. Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville. Their efforts ranged from amplifying a statement by Kenosha native and former White House Chief of staff Reince Priebus to spreading a false claim that U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham had taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

WI pollution approvals, comment deadlines loom

A few reminders about key Wisconsin pollution issues and their deadlines:

*  The deadline for responding to the proposed approval diversion of Lake Michigan water to the Foxconn project - - which would also greenlight the return of about 60% of the daily diversion as treated wastewater - -  is March 21st. 

The application process - - from comment receipt to final review  - - is run by the DNR which Walker intentionally has redefined with his 'chamber of commerce mentality' ideology. A March 21st comment deadline has been established.

Here's how to send in your comment:

Hard copy comments can be sent to: 

DNR Drinking Water and Groundwater Program DG/5 Attn: Adam Freihoefer  PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921.
* You may remember that a special provision was added by a GOP legislator as the State Assembly adjourned last month to bypass a judicial hearing already scheduled so that a sand mining operation could more easily fill a substantial wetland and bulldoze a rare stand of trees in Monroe County.

The bill then went to the State Senate, and to a committee chaired by GOP Sen. Robert Cowles - - who said he had no intention of scheduling it for a vote which could pass it on to the floor for final approval, but also noted that there were other ways the plan could bypass him. 

I made sure to call Cowles' office to thank him for his position, and you can do the same. 1-608-266-0484, or toll-free, 1-800-334-1465.

*  The DNR on a webpage lists all site and comment deadline information about pending applications for new or continuing waste discharge permits sought by municipalities, corporations and industrial-scale animal feeding operations, (CAFOs). Here is the website and details of recent postings so you can get an idea of what's being sought, by whom and how you can weigh in:

PermitteePermit No.CountyNotice Publication DatePermit ActionPermit DraftVariance
Rib Lake, VillageWI0029017-10TaylorMarch 15reissuance/
Bell Sanitary District No.1WI0061336-7BayfieldMarch 15reissuance232KB352KB
Clover Sanitary DistrictWI0032069-7BayfieldMarch 15reissuance221KB641KB
Fifield Sanitary District No.1WI0060593-10PriceMarch 15reissuance235KB220KB
Eau Claire, CityWI0023850-9Eau ClaireMarch 15reissuance293KB216KB
Colonial House Laundromat LLCWI0056006-8OneidaMarch 14reissuance193KB275KB
Wisconsin Rapids, CityWI0025844-9WoodMarch 13reissuance/
Milltown, VillageWI0024741-10PolkMarch 13reissuance257KB146KB
Reedsburg, CityWI0020371-9SaukMarch 8reissuance/
Minong, VillageWI0035939-10WashburnMarch 8reissuance250KB879KB
Squires Farm Inc.WI0066192-1DunnFebruary 28issuance298KB148KB
Murph Ko Farms Inc.WI0062740-3Fond du LacFebruary 28reissuance298KB227KB
Zinke Dairy Farms LLCWI0066079-1Fond du LacFebruary 27issuance310KB143KB
Packaging Corporation of AmericaWI0002810-9LincolnFebruary 27reissuance/
Sharon, VillageWI0022608-9-1WalworthFebruary 23modification306KB208KB
Allenton Sanitary DistrictWI0028053-9-1WashingtonFebruary 23modification287KB192KB
Kimberly Clark Corp., MarinetteWI0000540-9MarinetteFebruary 23reissuance254KB388KB
Fremont Orihula Wolf River Joint Sewage CommissionWI0026158-9WaupacaFebruary 22reissuance254KB191KB
Silver Lake Sanitary DistrictWI0061301-6WausharaFebruary 22reissuance291KB264KB
Forest Junction Sanitary DistrictWI0032123-8CalumetFebruary 22reissuance263KB431KB
Sherwood, VillageWI0031127-9CalumetFebruary 21reissuance291KB399KB
WI DOC Kettle MoraineWI0060721-8SheboyganFebruary 21reissuance275KB747KB
FibrekWI0064921-2MarinetteFebruary 20reissuance227KB221KB
Central Sands Dairy LLCWI0063533-3JuneauFebruary 19reissuance/

For Walker, high wave warnings because...

[Updated - - I'd posted this before Walker introduced a 'plan' to control gun violence without controlling guns - - a half-measure at best that does not deal with AR-15 ubiquity and covers unsuccessfully for his rollback at the NRA's behest of the handgun purchase waiting period. 

As I reported as late as last Friday, along with more information about Walker's close ties to the NRA:
Let's hope it does not take a Florida-scale assault in Wisconsin to move GOP Governor and NRA bellhop Scott Walker towards a new Florida-style gun-related law that adds a three-day waiting period for most purchases of long guns, and;   
raises the minimum age for purchasing those weapons to 21, and bans the possession of bump stocks, devices that can make semi-automatic weapons fire like fully-automatic firearms.
You will remember that during his brief, costly and self-induced presidential fantasy, Walker was pleased to end Wisconsin's waiting period for handgun purchase possession. 
And he'd already signed a bill legalizing concealed carry at a ceremony witnessed by NRA mouthpiece Wayne LaPierre; Walker later also signing into law at an NRA conference another NRA priority - - regulation-free switchblade knife possession.

So, whither Walker & Co. on guns safety and the NRA which has lavished money on them this election year?]
Today's post:

1. He's benefited from more than $3.5 million in NRA support.

2. He endorsed Trump. At the GOP convention.

3. Then Trump helped Walker raise $1+ million at a Milwaukee fundraiser.

Birds of a feather.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, suit

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

MI wants mining firm to address dozens of issues

Michigan's environmental regulators want the owners of a proposed toxifying mine threatening Menominee nation water, land and legacy on the Michigan-Wisconsin border to respond - - and promptly - - to dozens of issues raised in more than 3,000 citizen comments on the mine, according to official records.

Walker and his environmental reformers pollution caucus leadership

Picture of Senator Thomas Tiffany
just passed legislation to bring the same kind of so-called sulfide rock mining to Wisconsin - - a push they began in 2012, as I wrote at the time, to:
Reward industry, at any cost to land and water resources which belong to all citizens, and to which Native Americans hold separate and inviolable treaty rights.
I'm glad to see Michigan authorities at least raising the right questions; at this time it's hard for me to see Wisconsin's Walker-controlled-and-corporately-focused-and-beaten-down DNR - - and always-compliant legislature - - having the freedom or the will or the curiosity or public interest commitment to do the same.

But props to the Michigan's environmental fighters.

Stay tuned.

Scottie and Robin play childish games while other youth suffer

Those bratty boys Scottie (Fitzgerald)
Wisc Sen. Scott Fitzgerald.jpg
and Robin (Vos) are fighting again for daddy's (a/k/a 'the other Scott' Walker's) approval and, long-term, to whom he'll will his estate.

This squabble began when Scottie made some side deals with daddy to get the State budget adopted which Robin had delayed last year because Robin wanted some friends (road builders) to automatically get a bigger allowance which they usually shared with Robin and everyone in their club.

It's complicated, since Scottie is in the club, too, and he wanted fund the bigger allowance by borrowing some money that other people would have to pay back.

Robin was miffed that daddy's side deals meant he sided with Scottie over who was right, then made it worse by throwing shade at daddy on Twitter like all the kids do, and daddy took him to the woodshed.

Now Scottie wants to show Robin that daddy was right by dissing a plan which Robin and some friends put together without asking Scottie for his opinion about how to close down a hell-hole youth prison which daddy and Robin and Scottie had all tolerated for years because it made them all look like tough guys.

Now it looks like Robin will have to come back from vacation and do more work on the prison reform plan and doing that would make it look like Scottie is the boss of Robin so he's said he's not cutting his vacation short. So there!

For Scottie, it's more important to mess with Robin's plan and his head, and to make Robin look impotent than it is to behave like a big boy and do the right thing than it is to perform in a way that is completely new to Scottie: being an adult.

To which Robin would say, I know you are but what am I?

But acting like a grown-up is not in Scottie's nature: remember when he wanted to throw other people in adult prison when he thought they were disrespecting him? 

And that he got really mad when Robin worked up the prison reform plan with rare bipartisanship input, but didn't send Scottie an engraved invitation to the meeting and some snowflakes' feelings were injured:

"Horrendous, he said. It didn't go thorough the proper channels and the right people were not "in the room."

Take that!

Because when incarcerated children are locked up hundreds of miles from home and suffering everything from beatings to repetitive tear-gassing on your watch, the important thing to remember is to invite the right people through the right channels into a discussion about how to put an end to the abuse. 

And to further stamp his foot, Scottie wants to write some new rules that will make it harder for cry-babies like Robin to ever again slow down another budget, so from Team Scottie to Team Robin, the message while kids are suffering in a state-sponsored Abuseorama is "HAHA."

Yes, this is all irrational and childish, but that's what you get when you turn over all branches of state government to game-players.

Absentee Schimel ducks opioid fight, counties step in

GOP WI AG Brad Schimel's 

appalling distance from the opioid crisis continues to be filled by the counties:  
Milwaukee County sued several pharmaceutical drug makers and distributors Wednesday in federal district court in Milwaukee for creating a public nuisance and violating federal racketeering laws while contributing to a local opioid epidemic of addiction and overdose deaths.  
Which is what you get with intentional, GOP-led, one-party-dominated 'chamber of commerce' governance.

How crazy is it that dozens of Wisconsin counties are separately filing lawsuits or teaming up with others while state corporate bellhops like Schimel and fellow Republican-and-electioneering Scott Walker won't use their powerful and effective legal tools to fight the opioid nightmare at its well-heeled, anything-for-profits source?

Our GOP Attorney General continues to give these horrible corporate actors a pass by refusing to sue or join other states' litigation - - hey, it's an election year, and he's probably distracted by having to dodge Trump and run for re-election posing as an independent.

Most professional boxers could do that much simultaneous bobbing, weaving and back-pedaling.

As One Wisconsin Now recently put it: 
Another Republican Attorney General Not Named Brad Schimel Goes to Court to Hold Opioid Manufacturer Accountable
But Schimel had no problem spending state money and staff time galore suing the Obama administration repeatedly to roll back clean air and water public health rules, or to uphold the state's blatant, pro-GOP gerrymandering, so Schimel can't say he has to be careful with his budget.

So remember this little timeline the next time Schimel feigns dedication to fighting crime and using his vast resources the way a state's 'top cop' indeed should.
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel reports progress on limiting access to opioids, says suing drug makers not as effective

Milwaukee (CBS 58)-In a live interview seen on the CBS 58 News at 4 Monday, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel is reporting positive action in fighting the opioid crisis which is claiming lives in record numbers.
Schimel acknowledged that the drugs on the streets are more potent than ever before, but says Wisconsin has been highly successful at limiting access and reducing the amount of pain killers that wind up on the streets.
Two months - - January 6, 2018  - - later,: How's that "highly successful" effort going? 
Wisconsin leads nation in increased opioid hospitalizations