Category Archives: Politics – Wisconsin

Assembly Republicans Agree to Waste Slightly Less Money than Evers

Ugh. Remember that throwing more tax dollars into the government school system isn’t about improving education. It’s about appeasing politicians’ egos.

Assembly Republicans say they support an education budget that would spend an additional $500 million on schools, an amount about $900 million less than Gov. Tony Evers proposed.

Evers called for a $1.4 billion increase in state spending on K-12 education, driven in large part by a $606 million increase in special education funding.

The budget unveiled Wednesday by Assembly Republicans would spend considerably less, setting aside an additional $50 million for special education over the next two years.

Republicans said that was still substantial, noting the state had not increased special education funding for more than a decade.

They also said under the Assembly GOP plan, the state would fund two-thirds of the cost of K-12 education statewide, a benchmark that was written into law in the 1990s but repealed in the 2000s.

Downsizing

Mark Belling has a good column today about the generational decline in the birth rate and its impact on schools.

Downsizing a school district shouldn’t be difficult. You just reduce administrators, teachers and buildings in the same proportion as your enrollment declines. The problems are: The administrators don’t want to downsize themselves, the teachers are overly specialized and parents go ballistic when somebody proposes to close their kids’ school. One local district even decided to keep an elementary school open for one more year even though its enrollment is down to 50 (for the entire school!).

Districts got overbuilt when my generation’s parents were spitting out kids like rabbits (thus, the baby “boom”). Then my huge generation and the Gen Xers decided to sprawl out to the suburbs, creating need for more buildings in the Brookfields, Mequons and Burlingtons of the world. Along came the millennials and all of their idiosyncrasies, including an evident dislike of large families (or any families). What we have are massively overbuilt school systems with ridiculously bloated staffs of specialists, counselors, directors of this, that and the other thing, and in-house custodians, groundskeepers and nurses.

The only way out of this mess is to: a.) force the millennials to have kids (you can’t do that); b.) hope the incoming Generation Z kids revert back to wanting kids (unlikely); or c.) downsizing. The worst option of all is to borrow globs of money, increase your spending and put up even more buildings. That disastrous option is exactly the one most Wisconsin districts are taking.

Public information should be made public

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News yesterday.

One of the great things about federalism is that each state can experiment with various policy choices allowing the best and most successful ideas to be copied by other states. The state of Michigan has an excellent government transparency policy that Wisconsin should adopt forthwith.

Having just finished a lengthy public debate regarding a school referendum in the West Bend School District, one of the infuriating aspects of the debate was the incomplete, misconstrued, or missing information. The district’s officials distributed a lot of information, carefully curated and parsed, specific to the referendum, but finding general information about the district remains difficult.

Since the School Board and district were asking for gobs of additional money to spend, many voters began asking reasonable questions about the district’s finances. After all, how can a voter reasonably vote to give a government more money to spend unless they are confident that the government officials are being a good stewards of the money they already have?

For example, how much does the district spend on employee benefits? How much do they spend on maintenance for facilities? How much is spent on outof- state travel? What is actually in the teachers’ contract negotiated with the union? What is the compensation plan for teachers, staff, and administrators? How much debt is the district carrying and how are they paying it off ?

The answers to these questions and many more are available for the asking, but it takes tracking down an administrator, filing an open records request, or both. Wisconsin law requires that governments give the public information when they ask for it, but it does not require that the government make it easy. Especially with the dearth of local news outlets in many communities, this information rarely gets out.

This lack of transparency is not unique to the West Bend School District. The vast majority of Wisconsin’s local governments do a terrible job of making information readily available to the public despite the ease of modern technology that should make it easy to do so. There is nothing preventing local governments from being more transparent. It is a policy choice of each elected government body.

There are exceptions. The city of West Bend, for example, does a terrific job by posting their entire detailed budget online. They also post a detailed spending report, sorted by department, amount, and vendor, that shows everything from a $157,883.83 purchase of road salt to a $35.07 purchase for hand soap. The information is there for anybody to parse, analyze, and form judgments.

This is where Michigan comes in. For reasons not germane to this column, I recently followed the debate for a school bonding proposal (what Wisconsinites would call a school referendum) in Ludington, Mich. They were voting on whether or not to borrow and spend $101 million in a district with a $21 million annual budget. Much of the debate would have been very familiar to Wisconsinites who have been considering referendums, but in researching the district, one can go to the Ludington Area Schools’ website and find a wealth of information.

Right on their website, the school district publishes the complete operating budget, various charts showing how money is spent, each of the full collective bargaining agreements, the health care benefits plan, fiscal audits, compensation packages for employees earning over $100,000, association dues paid by the district, employee reimbursements, amounts spent on lobbying, their deficit reduction plan, the credit card policy, expenses for out-of-state travel for administrators, and other required notices. All of this information is current, detailed, and gives the public a clear view of how the district is managed.

Of course, Ludington is not unique. One can find this information on the website of any school district in Michigan because it is required by state law. Specifically, Section 18 (2) of the Public Act 94 of 1979 requires that school districts publish this information for the public to see.

Wisconsin should follow Michigan’s lead and require that local units of government publish this kind of relevant information on their websites. All of this information already exists in a digital format that could easily be distributed to the public for virtually no cost and minimal effort. This is the kind of information that voters need to be able to make rational, informed decisions about the functioning of their local governments. Come to think of it, state lawmakers should include state government in making this kind of information readily available.

An informed citizenry is required for true self-governance and transparency in government is an issue that transcends all political affiliations. State lawmakers from both political parties should support making sure that every citizen has access to as much information as possible about their governments.

Public information should be made public

My column is online and in print in the Washington County Daily News. Here’s a part of it:

This is where Michigan comes in. For reasons not germane to this column, I recently followed the debate for a school bonding proposal (what Wisconsinites would call a school referendum) in Ludington, Mich. They were voting on whether or not to borrow and spend $101 million in a district with a $21 million annual budget. Much of the debate would have been very familiar to Wisconsinites who have been considering referendums, but in researching the district, one can go to the Ludington Area Schools’ website and find a wealth of information.

Right on their website, the school district publishes the complete operating budget, various charts showing how money is spent, each of the full collective bargaining agreements, the health care benefits plan, fiscal audits, compensation packages for employees earning over $100,000, association dues paid by the district, employee reimbursements, amounts spent on lobbying, their deficit reduction plan, the credit card policy, expenses for out-of-state travel for administrators, and other required notices. All of this information is current, detailed, and gives the public a clear view of how the district is managed.

Of course, Ludington is not unique. One can find this information on the website of any school district in Michigan because it is required by state law. Specifically, Section 18 (2) of the Public Act 94 of 1979 requires that school districts publish this information for the public to see.

Wisconsin should follow Michigan’s lead and require that local units of government publish this kind of relevant information on their websites. All of this information already exists in a digital format that could easily be distributed to the public for virtually no cost and minimal effort. This is the kind of information that voters need to be able to make rational, informed decisions about the functioning of their local governments. Come to think of it, state lawmakers should include state government in making this kind of information readily available.

Evers Stokes Division with Legislature

What a stupid and easily-disprovable accusation for Evers’ mouthpiece to throw out.

BY SCOTT BAUER, Associated Press

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ spokeswoman accused Republican legislative leaders Saturday of refusing to work with the governor’s chief of staff because she is a woman, leading the GOP lawmakers to call the charge “asinine” and “clueless.”

The back and forth came after Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald detailed at the Wisconsin Republican Party convention what they said was a strained relationship with the new governor, who is in his fifth month in office. Vos called Evers “out of touch” and Fitzgerald said his office hasn’t figured out how to work with lawmakers.

“There’s a real disconnect on all different levels with this governor,” Fitzgerald said. Fitzgerald said he and Vos have only met with Evers twice for five minutes since January.

Evers “has communicated repeatedly to GOP leadership that they should work with his chief of staff, just like they did under the previous governor,” said his spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff. “That directive wasn’t confusing to them when the chief of staff was a man.”

Everyone who served as chief of staff under former Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, was a man. Evers’ chief of staff is Maggie Gau, who ran his campaign and previously worked for Democrats in the Legislature.

“Vos and Fitzgerald are clearly uncomfortable or simply unwilling to work with a leadership team made up entirely of women,” Baldauff said.

Fitzgerald, in a statement, called the accusation “completely asinine.”

“The most powerful senator on the budget committee is a woman, and perhaps they’d know that if someone from the governor’s team was actually engaged in budget negotiations,” Fitzgerald said, referring to Republican state Sen. Alberta Darling.

Vos, in a tweet, pointed out that his chief of staff, communications director and policy director are all women.

“Evers staff – Clueless,” Vos tweeted.

Newburg in Chaos

Small town drama is the best drama.

NEWBURG — Two of the village’s top unelected officials here resigned abruptly on Thursday.

Rick Goeckner, Newburg’s administrator and clerk, and Chrissie Brynwood, the treasurer and deputy clerk, stepped down this week, leaving Village Board members here trying to fill a pair of key government posts as quickly as possible.

“It has become apparent that my ideas as to the future of Newburg do not align with the current Village Board leadership,” Goeckner wrote in a letter addressed to board members and read aloud at an impromptu board meeting Thursday night. “It has been my true pleasure serving Newburg these past six years. With that said, I am giving notice of my resignation, effective immediately. I wish every one of the residents of Newburg well.”

“It is with a heavy heart that I, Christin Brynwood, ask you to accept my letter of resignation as of this May 16, 2019,” Brynwood wrote to the board in her own letter, which was also read publicly.

A sign on the Village Hall’s front door Thursday said Newburg’s government center was closed “until further notice,” and board members gathered on short notice to discuss filling the two jobs.

[…]

The resignations follow months of upheaval in Newburg. Rena Chesak, Newburg’s recently installed village president, was censured by a local ethics commission last month after she’d been accused of violating village policy while serving as a village trustee last year.

Specifically, she’d been accused of taking part in discussions regarding a contract renewal with the local fire department where her husband is chief. Chesak has said she never voted on the matter, but Newburg ethics officials agreed she’d gone too far by even discussing it.

Massive State Surplus

How about y’all give it back instead of spending it?

MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) — $753 million more than anticipated: that’s what Wisconsin’s legislative fiscal bureau announced Wednesday as extra funding for the next biannual budget.

But Wisconsin’s Department of Revenue (DOR) Secretary Peter Barca tells NewsChannel 7 that extra money may not be quite what it seems.

On Tuesday, the Department of Revenue released a statement showing a sharp increase of revenue coming in from corporate tax collections compared to 2018, which Barca says largely contributed to that extra $753 million.

Republican Introduces Bill to Prevent Lunch Responsibility

No.

MADISON, Wis. – A state lawmaker says his new proposal aims to cut down on what’s being called “lunch shaming.”

Rep. Gary Tauchen introduced a bipartisan bill that would require schools to provide a school lunch or breakfast to a student who requests a meal and would prohibit schools from taking certain actions against students who are unable to pay for meals.

“If you’re hungry, you’re just not in the mood to learn. You’re just wondering where your next meal is coming from,” said Tauchen, a Republican from Bonduel.

Lunch shaming is a practice making news around the country, where there have been instances of schools taking away lunch trays from students or providing them with less nutritious alternative meals if their meal accounts have negative balance.

1. This is not a state issue

2. It is the responsibility of parents or guardians to make sure their kids are fed. There are abundant government programs and charities to help them if they can’t afford it. All this will do is encourage more deadbeats because there won’t be any consequences for not paying.

3. Perhaps if a kid felt a little shame for eating on their neighbor’s dime, they might use that shame to better themselves so that they don’t have to accept handouts to feed their own kids. Shame is a powerful motivator for successful people.

Barnes’ Insecurity

Just think of all of the venom, threats, and hate that Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch went through and she still used a tiny fraction of the security Barnes is using. Looks like good ol’ Becky is much tougher than Barnes.

On one day in February, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes drove to Kenosha, attended a Black History Month event at a school and had lunch in Racine before heading back to Milwaukee, where he started the day.

There, he had a call with the president of the Milwaukee Area Labor Council and by 5 p.m. was headed to dinner at the Mexican restaurant Cielito Lindo.

That day, taxpayers also picked up the tab for the State Patrol to put in 36 hours protecting him — the equivalent of three officers each working 12-hour shifts, according to a WisPolitics.com review.

It was part of a pattern for Barnes over just his first two months in office. The review found the state’s Dignitary Protection Unit put in nine times as many hours providing him protection as it did his predecessor during her final full year on the job.

Wisconsin’s Legislature begins serious budget work

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News yesterday.

When Gov. Tony Evers released his executive budget proposal at the beginning of March, Republican leaders in the Legislature immediately dismissed it as an unserious liberal manifesto — which is precisely what it is. Last week, the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee began the serious work of crafting a budget for Wisconsin. Their first step was to toss most of Evers’ silly budget in the trash and start from scratch. Despite Evers’ bravado, the Republicans have a strong hand to play and are on the right side of public opinion.

In a time of divided government, it is worth remembering the relevant powers of each branch of government. The legislative branch has the power to create legislation and the power over where to spend tax dollars. The executive branch has the power over administrative rules (filling in the gaps to execute laws) and the power to veto legislation which the governor disapproves.

Governor Evers has already shown that he is not shy about using his veto power. In fact, he vetoed the middle-class tax cut, which was the very first bill to reach his desk. But while Evers can veto things he does not like, he does not have the power to create laws that he wants. To get a law that he wants to his desk, Evers must be willing to negotiate and compromise with Republicans, but Evers has shown that he has little aptitude or appetite to deal.

This delineation of powers is relevant to the actions taken by the JFC last week. The committee scrapped almost all of Evers’ non-budgetary policy initiatives including expanding Medicaid, legalizing medical marijuana, capping school choice, increasing the minimum wage, granting driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, repealing right-to-work, closing the dark store loophole, ending the property tax levy freeze for counties and municipalities, and dozens of additional initiatives that never belonged in the budget.

What is left are mostly just the nuts and bolts of funding Wisconsin’s state government, which what the budget is supposed to do. As the legislative Republicans go about assembling those nuts and bolts, recent polls show that a majority of Wisconsinites support conservative legislative goals.

For example, in a recent poll of likely voters conducted for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, a state business group, found that 60% of likely voters oppose raising property taxes on businesses and 53% oppose raising the gas tax. Some 77% oppose raising taxes on manufacturing, And 69% oppose eliminating the property tax levy freeze, and 77% oppose raising energy taxes. Up to 83% oppose indexing gas taxes and 63% oppose eliminating drug testing for welfare recipients.

All of those things that Wisconsinites oppose were things that Governor Evers included in his budget proposal and the Republican threw out — except for the gas tax increase. Republicans should take note of that. They are on the right side of these issues except for some of the Republican leadership’s maddening affection for raising the gas tax.

Over the next few weeks, the Republican-led Legislature is going to hash out a budget and send it to Governor Evers for his signature. Governor Evers has arguably the most sweeping veto power in the nation with the ability to strike out words and sentences to make the budget more to his liking, or he could veto the whole thing. What he cannot do is write new language into the law. That is the exclusive prerogative of the Legislature.

What Governor Evers decides to do with the budget will determine how likely he is going to be able to get any of his agenda done for the rest of his term. If he uses his veto pen to strike out every Republican initiative he can, then those same Republicans are unlikely to every put a bill that Evers wants on his desk. If he accepts some compromise, then some of the ideas stricken from his budget proposal may see life again in a separate bill.

In the end, the Legislature holds an ace. Wisconsin will not shut down if Evers vetoes the entire budget and the state enters the new fiscal year without a new budget. By law, the old budget that was passed by many of the same legislative Republicans and signed by Gov. Scott Walker will continue in force. From a conservative perspective, a new fiscal year with no spending increases and no tax increases sounds pretty great.

Wisconsin’s Legislature begins serious budget work

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a sample:

Over the next few weeks, the Republican-led Legislature is going to hash out a budget and send it to Governor Evers for his signature. Governor Evers has arguably the most sweeping veto power in the nation with the ability to strike out words and sentences to make the budget more to his liking, or he could veto the whole thing. What he cannot do is write new language into the law. That is the exclusive prerogative of the Legislature.

What Governor Evers decides to do with the budget will determine how likely he is going to be able to get any of his agenda done for the rest of his term. If he uses his veto pen to strike out every Republican initiative he can, then those same Republicans are unlikely to every put a bill that Evers wants on his desk. If he accepts some compromise, then some of the ideas stricken from his budget proposal may see life again in a separate bill.

In the end, the Legislature holds an ace. Wisconsin will not shut down if Evers vetoes the entire budget and the state enters the new fiscal year without a new budget. By law, the old budget that was passed by many of the same legislative Republicans and signed by Gov. Scott Walker will continue in force. From a conservative perspective, a new fiscal year with no spending increases and no tax increases sounds pretty great.

Classy Union Protester Accosts GOP Senator in Bathroom

Keepin’ it classy…

Denver Harshes on Shrooms

Interesting.

Voters on Tuesday appeared to reject an attempt to make Denver the first US city to decriminalize psilocybin – the psychoactive substance in “magic mushrooms” – and add a new chapter to the city’s role in shaping wider drug policy.

The citizen initiative on the ballot followed the same tack taken by marijuana activists to decriminalize pot possession in 2005 in the city. That move was followed by statewide legalization in 2012. A number of other states have since broadly allowed marijuana sales and use by adults.

With all precincts reporting late Tuesday night, the no votes for the initiative held a substantial lead over the yes votes, according to unofficial returns.

Late results showed nearly 55% of voters had rejected the proposed ordinance.

The arguments for legalizing (or decriminalizing) mushrooms are identical to those regarding marijuana. The fact that this didn’t pass is because there are fewer people taking mushrooms than smoking pot. It just shows that those arguments are, and always were, insincere. People want to legalize pot because they want to smoke pot. It’s as simple as that.

UPDATE: Well, well… it passed after all. Is the vote legitimate if half of the voters were high? lol

Water Before Trollies

When they have a point, they have a point.

MILWAUKEE — The Black Panthers and Freshwater for Life Action Coalition joined forces to demand lead laterals be removed from homes in Milwaukee. The activists stormed into City Hall with a jug of water on Tuesday, May 7 for the first of what they promised would be many protests in front of a much larger audience.

“I brought a gallon of water here for you,” said Robert Miranda, Freshwater for Life Action Coalition spokesman. “Milwaukee unfiltered fresh H2O.”

The group interrupted a Milwaukee Common Council meeting to ask city leaders to take a sip.

“Fresh and clean out of the tap that has a lead lateral. We’d like you to come forward and have a drink of this water if you don’t mind,” said Miranda.

The group demanded all lead laterals be quickly removed from homes in the city. They believe those lead laterals are responsible for elevated lead levels in children.

“You’ve got billions of dollars in construction on the upper east side and downtown Milwaukee, but what do you have in the black and brown communities? You have crumbs, and we’re going to sit here and tolerate that?! No. We are not going to tolerate that any longer,” said King Rick, Black Panthers.

Babies deserve society’s protection

Here is my full column that ran yesterday in the Washington County Daily News

The debate over abortion has taken a gruesome turn and Gov. Tony Evers is in the vanguard of a radical new front in the war on babies.

The dispute about when and if abortion should be allowed in our nation has generally come down to one’s opinion of when life begins, or, to put it another way, when a person becomes a person. Ardent pro-lifers, like myself, believe that life begins at conception.

From a religious point of view, most of the major religions teach that life begins at conception. From a scientific point of view, the moment of conception is when the parents’ DNA commingles to create a new, unique DNA. It is generally accepted that each person has unique DNA and it is a distinguishing characteristic of personhood.

When discussing when it should be allowed to kill a conceived child, those who do not believe that life begins at conception generally try to figure out a point upon the developmental trajectory when the child (or growth, or clump of cells, or whatever) becomes “viable.” Given that human children are unable to survive on their own without the aid of adults until several years after birth, the distinction of when a child is “viable” is utterly arbitrary. But virtually every pro-abortionist puts the point of viability before birth.

Some pro-abortionists put the viability demarcation at the point of pregnancy when the baby could survive outside of the womb with medical help. Some put it at when there is heart and/or brain function. Some put it at when the baby can feel pain. Some put it right up until the moment of birth. These arguments are old and well-worn.

At the root of the debate, however, was the notion of morality and human rights that we do not just kill people. We used to be able to agree that killing humans without the due process of law or an act of war was immoral and barbaric. This was especially the view when it came to killing babies. Pro-abortionists had always argued that abortion is not murder because it does not kill an actual human. Such a stance was a tacit acknowledgment that killing actual humans is wrong. Even the most pro-abortion people who support abortion up until birth would argue that an unborn child is still not an actual human deserving of rights and protections of law and society.

Not anymore.

In response to a wave of pro-abortion legislation being passed in states like New York and Vermont which would dramatically expand when and how abortions are allowed, Wisconsin’s legislative Republicans announced a bill that would protect babies who are born alive after a

botched abortion. Since medical professionals are already morally and legally obligated to protect life and even most pro-abortion people oppose killing babies once they are born, the Republican bill is just common sense.

In an earlier age, the Republican bill would have had broad bipartisan support. All it says is that if a baby is lucky to escape the womb alive during an abortion attempt, the medical personnel would be obligated to provide lifesaving care to the child. After all, once the baby is outside of the womb, we used to all agree that it was a child deserving of protection.

Immediately after the Republicans announced their Born Alive Abortions Survivors bill, Governor Evers rushed to tell anyone who would listen that he will veto the bill. Not wanting to admit that he supports killing babies, or at least letting babies die by withholding medical care, Evers has offered a couple of nonsensical excuses. He has claimed that the law is redundant and not necessary. If so, so what? It takes just as much effort to sign it as it does to veto it. Evers has also said that the law is not necessary because babies never survive abortions. The people who are alive today after botched abortions would take issue with Evers’ assertion. There is no data collected on how many babies have survived an abortion only to be left to die by an ardent abortionist.

Evers gave away the game in his response to President Trump’s comments about the bill during his recent Wisconsin rally. In response to Trump, Evers said, “To say that doctors in the state of Wisconsin are executing babies is just a blasphemy.” What a telling use of the word “blasphemy.” To blaspheme is to speak or act against God or a religious tenet. Evers is so exercised by Trump’s comments because the president had the audacity to blaspheme against the liberal orthodoxy where abortion on demand stands as a pillar of faith.

Even people who believe that life does not begin until birth should support the Born Alive Abortions Survivors bill. Sadly, abortionists are very effective and it is rare for a baby to survive an abortion attempt, but when they do, the least we can do is provide them medical treatment and a chance to live.

Wolf Debate

First off, hats off to the Pierce County Herald for the headline. Second, the debate continues over whether to delist the gray wolf from the endangered species list.

Johnson spoke in support of a USFWS rule-change proposal to delist gray wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Wyoming. U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat, backs the effort, her spokeswoman said at the meeting, held at the Hudson House.

The fact that the gray wolf population has rebounded so much should be celebrated as a successful use of the Endangered Species Act. It worked. Wolves were endangered, we protected them, and now they are plentiful. They are so plentiful, in fact, that we need to manage to population to ensure the survival of other species and to protect the people and their economic interests. The root of the problem appears to be that the opponents of delisting don’t have confidence in our ability to manage a population without eradicating it again.

“I have no confidence in the state of Wisconsin … to manage wolf hunting,” Dobyns said.

And yet… somehow the DNR manages dozens of other species without a problem. This comment brought it home for me:

Douglas County Board Chairman Mark Liebaert, a Wisconsin Farmers Union board member, told the panel “I literally beg you” to delist the gray wolf. He took umbrage with a Sierra Club advocate’s comment that only a fraction of a percent of livestock deaths are attributable to wolf attacks.

“Great, if they’re not yours,” Liebaert said, adding how his farm has been stalked by wolf packs. “If they’re yours, it’s a lot more of a problem.”

It’s easy to advocate for an unlimited wolf population from the comfort of your home in Madison where the closest you ever get to one is on the Discovery Channel. For the people who live between packs of roaming wolves, it’s a completely different issue.

 

Babies deserve society’s protection

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. In it, I note the ghoulish shift in the abortion debate and our governor’s position as chief ghoul. Here’s a taste.

In response to a wave of pro-abortion legislation being passed in states like New York and Vermont which would dramatically expand when and how abortions are allowed, Wisconsin’s legislative Republicans announced a bill that would protect babies who are born alive after a

botched abortion. Since medical professionals are already morally and legally obligated to protect life and even most pro-abortion people oppose killing babies once they are born, the Republican bill is just common sense.

In an earlier age, the Republican bill would have had broad bipartisan support. All it says is that if a baby is lucky to escape the womb alive during an abortion attempt, the medical personnel would be obligated to provide lifesaving care to the child. After all, once the baby is outside of the womb, we used to all agree that it was a child deserving of protection.

Immediately after the Republicans announced their Born Alive Abortions Survivors bill, Governor Evers rushed to tell anyone who would listen that he will veto the bill. Not wanting to admit that he supports killing babies, or at least letting babies die by withholding medical care, Evers has offered a couple of nonsensical excuses. He has claimed that the law is redundant and not necessary. If so, so what? It takes just as much effort to sign it as it does to veto it. Evers has also said that the law is not necessary because babies never survive abortions. The people who are alive today after botched abortions would take issue with Evers’ assertion. There is no data collected on how many babies have survived an abortion only to be left to die by an ardent abortionist.

Evers gave away the game in his response to President Trump’s comments about the bill during his recent Wisconsin rally. In response to Trump, Evers said, “To say that doctors in the state of Wisconsin are executing babies is just a blasphemy.” What a telling use of the word “blasphemy.” To blaspheme is to speak or act against God or a religious tenet. Evers is so exercised by Trump’s comments because the president had the audacity to blaspheme against the liberal orthodoxy where abortion on demand stands as a pillar of faith.

College Enrollment is Declining

This is a trend larger than Wisconsin.

Wisconsin is one of 34 states where enrollment declined for nearly all types of higher education institutions last spring, in part due to the state’s declining birth rate and a better post-recession economy.

It’s interesting to see the different response from private vs. government universities. Knowing that they have to make themselves more attractive to continue to get a share of a shrinking pool, private universities are downsizing and/or transforming:

For instance, to help address Wisconsin’s shortage of pharmacists, Concordia University in Mequon started a program to train them. The Medical College of Wisconsin also started a program.

Another private institute, the Milwaukee School of Engineering, is expanding its computer science program with an emphasis on artificial intelligence.

Our government schools, knowing that they have a permanent source of revenue via taxpayers, continue to prop up old structures for the sake of keeping them alive:

Last month, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point dropped plans to scrap six majors to solve a budget deficit after backlash from students and staff.

 

 

Wisconsin’s Economy Had Strong Growth in 2018

So we fired our governor smh.

Wisconsin’s real gross domestic product grew 2.5% in 2018, the second largest increase in the Midwest and the state’s strongest year of economic growth since 2010.

The 2018 growth rate marks the first time Wisconsin’s real GDP has increased by more than 2% in a year since 2011. After two years of negative growth in 2008 and 2009, Wisconsin posted 3% growth in 2010 and 2.1% in 2011. From 2012 to 2017, the state averaged 1.3% annual growth.

Wisconsin now ranks 17th in the country last year for economic growth. The U.S. economy as a whole grew 2.9% last year while the Great Lakes region grew 2.2%, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The state of Washington had the strongest economic growth at 5.7%, followed by Utah, Idaho, Arizona and Florida.

Among nearby states, Michigan had the strongest growth at 2.7%. Wisconsin outpaced Minnesota, 2.2%, Iowa, 1.4%, Illinois, 2.1%, and Indiana, 1.9%.

And you’ll note that the overall growth would have been stronger and outpaced Michigan if we has not also been shrinking government, which is a good thing.

Government cut growth by 0.28 percentage points.

Court Reinstates Appointees Who Were Illegally Ousted by Evers

Good.

The 4-3 order handed down on Tuesday by the court’s conservative majority wasn’t the final say in the lame-duck lawsuit brought by the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin. But the court found that all of the former Gov. Scott Walker appointees – including those whose appointments that were rescinded by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers – can return to work while the appeal of the case proceeds.

“As we are only at the early stage of this appeal and in the context of a motion for temporary relief pending appeal, we express no position as to whether or not any of the Legislature’s arguments will ultimately prevail,” the court wrote. “We cannot say, however, that the Legislature’s arguments have ‘no likelihood of success on the merits,’ as the circuit court did.”