Friday April 3, 2020

Forward with Education & Reason

FacebookTwitterYoutube
Newsletter
News Feeds:

Progressive Thinking

Discussion with education and reason.

Subscribe to feed Latest Entries

Scott Walker Says No to State Role in Health Care Reform

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Monday, 19 November 2012
in Our View

scott_walker-fakesmileMADISON - Wisconsin won't create a health insurance exchange, Gov. Scott Walker (R) announced Friday, joining several other Republican governors to reject a key component of President Barack Obama's health care reform law.

Wisconsin was one of the few remaining holdouts until Friday, the original deadline for states to declare whether they would run a health insurance exchange, before the Federal government gave stalling States an extension to Dec. 14. The exchanges are online marketplaces where uninsured people and small business will shop for coverage and find out if they qualify for financial assistance or Medicaid benefits beginning in 2014.

Many other states have declared they would leave the operation of the exchanges to the federal government, or partner with federal authorities rather than take charge themselves, as the law intended.

Walker decided to turn the health insurance exchange in Wisconsin over to the federal government rather than do the job himself, citing in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius his opposition to Obamacare and his belief that states like Wisconsin still wouldn't have enough say over their health care markets even if they manage their own exchanges under federal guidelines.

"No matter which option is chosen, Wisconsin taxpayers will not have meaningful control over the health care policies and services sold to Wisconsin residents," Walker wrote. "If the state option is chosen, however, Wisconsinites face risk from a federal mandate lacking long-term guaranteed funding."

Walker had previously rejected a $38 million dollar Federal government grant to establish the exchange, and joining the effort at this late date would have been time consuming and expensive. States also have the option of taking over the exchanges after the feds do the heavy lifting, further reducing the incentive for Walker to get involved. From his own political point of view, Walker has little to gain and much to lose from the successful implementation of an exchange in Wisconsin.

Local control of the exchange establishment would have allowed Wisconsin officials to tailor the program to the particular needs of its citizens and given smaller local health care vendors greater access to the bidding process. By dealing only with the larger vendors on a national basis, the Federal government may have less leverage in negotiating the best prices for Wisconsin citizens.

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

Today Is Election Day, So VOTE!!

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 06 November 2012
in Our View

voteGREEN BAY - Election Day is today, Tuesday, November 6, 2012, so make sure you vote. As long as you’re in line when the polls close tonight, your vote will be counted. We can’t afford to let Romney bring back the same bad ideas that crashed our economy. We need to move forward with President Obama.

Yesterday was President Obama’s last day on the campaign trail, and it was a nonstop sprint to the finish. Obama supporters aren’t resting and neither was the President. He crisscrossed the country asking for every American’s vote.

Bruce Springsteen joined him in Madison, Wisconsin, and Columbus, Ohio, where Jay-Z also joined in. Then, the President and the First Lady returned to Iowa, where it all began in the winter of 2007, for one final grassroots rally in Des Moines.

Must Watch: The President’s grassroots events in Ohio and Iowa will be streamed live at www.barackobama.com/live.

It’s more important than ever to vote today and make your voice heard in this election. The 2000 election was decided by just 537 votes, and this year could be even closer and the stakes are higher than ever before. So make sure you vote, and that everyone you know does too. Go to vote.BarackObama.com to find out when, where and how to vote. Remember, as long as you’re in line when the polls close, your vote will be counted.

We have come a long way in a few short years. We’re out of Iraq, we brought Osama bin Laden to justice, the auto industry is back, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is over, we’re less dependent on foreign oil and we’ve created nearly 5.5 million new jobs in the last 32 months. We have more to do, but we’re on the right track.

President Obama has a clear, specific plan to build on that progress over the next four years. It’ll help create jobs, develop American energy, train the best workforce in the world, reduce the deficit in a balanced way and do some nation-building here at home. It’s a plan that moves us forward, not back.

When you vote, think about which candidate you trust. We can’t trust Mitt Romney. He’d take us back to the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, like fewer rules for big banks and more huge tax cuts for the wealthy. And he’s written off 47 percent of the country. President Obama fights for the entire country.

Voting for Barack Obama is a vote for all Americans, not just a lucky few. He’s always had our backs, and now its time to have his and help finish what we started in 2008. We can’t afford to go back, and you can't afford to stay home. Vote today. It’s the most American thing you can do, and it’s how we keep moving forward.

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

President Obama Will Win Re-election Tomorrow

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Monday, 05 November 2012
in Our View

obamaGREEN BAY – We here at the Green Bay Progressive are making a prediction on the result of tomorrow’s Presidential election. President Barack Obama will win.

We don’t generally make endorsements any more. Nobody listens to those anyway. But we have been watching the polls closely. It is easy to get lost in all the numbers, but truth generally lies in the simplest conclusions.

First, all the polls, right and left, generally concede that the result in 42 of the 50 States is basically decided. That leaves the election at 234 votes for President Obama and 209 for Mitt Romney. Only eight “swing” States, Florida, Virginia, Ohio, New Hampshire, Colorado, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nevada will decide the election. And it leaves Obama much closer to the 270 votes needed for a win.

Of the swing States, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nevada may be within the margin of error, but most of the polls consistently give the President a decided advantage in each of them. If Obama wins these States as predicted, even if you give Romney Florida and Virginia, the President has a win with 274 Electoral College votes. And we are not even counting Colorado and New Hampshire.

There are few scenarios under which Mitt Romney can win, and all of them will require upsets in States where Obama holds a 2 or 3 to 1 advantage in positive poll leads. While campaign enthusiasts often talk of enthusiasm and “closing the gap” in the final days of a campaign, it is generally more wishful thinking than reality.

All of this requires that everyone will get out to vote as predicted. Storm damage out east could suppress the vote there, and everyone is worried about Ohio, where local Republican officials have tampered with the election process and absentee voting to such an extent that all the votes may not be counted for weeks.

But lacking some major surprise, Romney will appear to lead in the beginning, with President Obama not sealing the deal until after the west coast and Hawaii come in at 10:00 PM central. Then, we predict an Obama-Biden victory. The numbers say so.

Nobody loses their job for saying the election is too close to call, but we want to be different and stick out our neck. We hope tomorrow proves us right.

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

President Obama Has Offered a Specific Plan for A New Economic Patriotism in Second Term

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 25 October 2012
in Our View

barack-obama-explainsWASHINGTON - President Barack Obama has offered a concrete and specific second-term plan that will help create jobs, develop American energy, train the best workforce in the world, reduce the deficit in a balanced way and do some nation-building here at home.

The President's plan would continue to restore economic security to the middle class and avoid returning to the same policies that crashed the economy. He laid it out in his State of the Union and set specific goals at the Convention, he’s been talking about it every day with Americans across the country, and millions have visited barackobama.com/plans to read about it.

Unlike Mitt Romney, the President has been consistent and clear about his vision and values because he knows his plan will actually create jobs and strengthen the middle class. Recent history teaches us the right way to grow the economy is from the middle out, not the top down.

Here is the clear, achievable plan the President has been talking about this year – a plan that will continue creating jobs and building middle-class security over the next four years:

  1. First, creating jobs: He’ll help create a million new manufacturing jobs and double our exports so manufacturers can stamp “Made in America” on more products and sell them around the world.
  2. Second, developing homegrown energy: We’ll cut our oil imports in half and produce more American-made energy – like oil, clean coal, natural gas, and new resources like wind, solar and biofuels – creating 600,000 jobs in natural gas alone, all while doubling the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks.
  3. Third, training the best workforce in the world: We’ll recruit and prepare 100,000 math and science teachers so Americans graduate prepared to compete for the jobs of the future, train 2 million Americans at our community colleges with the job skills they need, and cut the growth of tuition in half over the next decade and expand student aid so more students can afford college.
  4. Fourth, reducing our deficit in a balanced way: The President put a plan on the table to cut the deficit by more than $4 trillion in the next decade. On top of the $1 trillion in spending we’ve already cut, we’ll ask the wealthy to pay a little more and cut spending we don’t need throughout the budget.
  5. Fifth, do some nation-building here at home: we’ll use half the savings from ending the war in Afghanistan to help pay down our debt and invest the rest in fixing our roads, runways, bridges and schools.
Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

The President Stands Firm in Final Debate

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 23 October 2012
in Our View

obama-romney-debateBOCA RATON, FL – When President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney ended their debate Monday night on foreign policy, it was clear one man was the veteran of four years in the role of Commander-in-Chief and one was new and awkward trying to play in the big boys league.

On point after point, President Obama dominated the debate as he displayed a clear vision of what it really takes to make America safe and maintain our country’s leadership in the world. It was simply no contest.

Mitt Romney tried talk his way around a lack of specific new ideas, throwing words like “weak” and “retreat” at the President carelessly, but in the end he could only agreed with what the President was already doing in each situation. Romney could offer nothing he would do differently on Iraq, Afghanistan, bin Laden, al Qaeda. Syria, Russia and defense spending.

Anyone who has spend some time in the military will tell you that a good commander must be clear and consistent in giving orders. Confusion costs lives, on the battlefield and in world affairs. Obama demonstrated that he knows a President has only one chance to get it right, that he understands the complexities of the real world, that he knows from experience what it means to send troops into battle, and he cited his achievements in foreign policy to prove it.

Mr. Romney liked to speculate on the motivations of world leaders, saying several times “what would … think” in discussing their reactions to Obama's foreign policy as justifications for his charges. But Mitt Romney himself failed the Commander-in-Chief test, because he had no clear and consistent policy alternatives to offer.

In perhaps the high point of the debate, Romney tried to claim our current Navy was weak because it had less ships than the Navy of years ago. President Obama quickly pointed out that the United States had less horses and bayonets than it had in World War I too, but that didn't make it any weaker. The modern military uses different tools in more refined ways to meet the needs of the twenty first century.

As President Obama said, Mitt Romney would take us back to the foreign policy of the 1980s, social policy of the 1950s, and economic policy of the 1920s. President Obama’s policies would build on the progress of the last four years, honor our veterans, do some nation building here at home, and move us forward, not back. Mitt Romney had no come back.

Round three to Obama.

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

President Obama Comes Through In Second Debate

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 18 October 2012
in Our View

debate_prez_2HEMPSTEAD, NY - When President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney met Tuesday night in their second debate, it was almost as if the Obama Campaign had taken a page directly out of TV’s “West Wing”, as they implemented the strategy of “Let Obama be Obama” to perfection.

In this debate, the President was fully direct and quick on his feet. He challenged Mitt Romney's assertions from the beginning. He scored points and clearly left Romney reeling on the defensive.

The President started out hard, listing the many accomplishments and kept promises of his first four years in office. He was strong, steady and decisive and offered an affirmative vision to move this country forward and build the economy from the middle out, not the top down. When Romney tried to change the discussion to his view of the state of the economy, the President forced him to defend himself instead.

"Governor Romney doesn't have a five-point plan. He has a one-point plan, and that plan is to make sure folks at the top play by a different set of rules," Obama said. "That's been his philosophy in the private sector, that's been his philosophy as governor, that's been his philosophy as a presidential candidate."

Pacing back and forth on a stage at Long Island's Hofstra University in New York, Obama and Romney talked over each other at times and quarreled periodically over whose turn it was to speak and how much time they had coming.

"I want to make sure our timekeepers are working here," Obama said at one point.

At another, Romney condescendingly told the President, "You'll get your chance in a minute. I'm still speaking."

Both men played their part in a hard-hitting, contentious debate that touched on taxes, jobs, health care, equal pay, energy, immigration and other issues. Moderator Candy Crowley tried to manage the give-and-take. Over a roughly 90-minute debate, it appeared that President Obama wound up with about 4 more minutes of speaking time than Romney did.

This reporter watched the debate on CNN, which featured a running reaction graph from men and women as the debate proceeded. The dancing line appeared to jump higher and more often toward positive feelings when the President spoke.

Asked by a member of the audience how he would differ from President George W. Bush, Romney clearly dodged the question. He would only say, "President Bush and I are different people and these are different times."

Perhaps the two high points of the debate came in the discussions on foreign policy and the role of women in the economy.

In one sharp exchange, Romney criticized President Obama's handling of the aftermath of the assault on U.S. diplomats in Libya, chiding him for traveling to campaign fundraisers, suggesting his administration was too slow to explain what happened because it feared the election fallout.

Obama said Romney was trying to politicize the event.

"The suggestion that anybody on my team, the secretary of state, the U.N. ambassador, would play politics . . . when we lost four of our own, governor, is offensive. That's not what we do. That's not what I do as president," said Obama.

When Romney continued to try press a claim often stated from inside the conservative media bubble by insisting the President had not called the assault on U.S. diplomats in Libya an act of terrorism, Moderator Crowley had to interrupt Romney to tell him he was mistaken.

When asked about equal pay for equal work, the President talked about women as breadwinners for American families. Romney refused to answer the question. Instead he talked about women as resumes in “binders.” He didn’t seem to understand the challenges women face or believe in helping them fight for equal pay.

President Obama knew that when women make less than men for the same work, it threatens the economic security of entire families. That’s why the first bill he signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which helps women fight for the equal pay they earned.

Romney’s plan would turn women’s health decisions over to their bosses and politicians in Washington. President Obama believed women and their doctors should make women’s health decisions.

President Obama closed the debate by reminding voters of Romney's 47% comment.

"I believe Governor Romney is a good man. Loves his family, cares about his faith. But I also believe that when he said behind closed doors that 47% of the country considered themselves victims who refuse personal responsibility, think about who he was talking about," said Obama, referring to retirees, veterans, students and low-wage workers. "I want to fight for them. That's what I've been doing for the last four years."

The election is three weeks away. The third and final debate is Monday in Boca Raton, Fla.

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

President Obama Needs To Be Candid Tonight, Holding Romney Accountable

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 16 October 2012
in Our View

the PresidentHEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - When the President and former Governor Mitt Romney meet tonight to debate in Hempstead, New York, President Barack Obama needs to speak candidly about his vision and plan for moving America forward. He can't let Mitt Romney get away with dishonestly he was hiding in the last debate.

In the first debate, Romney offered a "new moderate Mitt" that had very different ideas from the “severely conservative” positions he has been stating repeatedly during the last two years. The President, the moderator, and the people in the town hall need need to hold the newly “moderate Mitt” accountable tonight.

President Obama can use tonight’s debate as an opportunity to speak directly with the American people about his plans to move our country forward. He needs to be candid about his vision for an economy built to last from the middle out, not the top down, and his concrete and specific plans to get us there. The real Mitt Romney would take us back to the same failed policies that got us into this mess.

As we learned at the first presidential debate, Romney will say anything to win even if it’s not consistent with his often stated policies or web site. Ahead of the second debate, he is probably practicing more ways to hide the “severely conservative” positions that the real Romney has run on for more than a year.

Everyone can remember what the real Mitt Romney said during the many town hall meetings he held during the GOP primary. His comments reveal his real, extreme positions, the same ones he has been trying to hide during the last weeks before Election Day.

  • He said he would “like to see” Roe vs. Wade overturned.
  • He promised to “cut off funding to Planned Parenthood.”
  • He said he would veto the DREAM Act.
  • He called it “tragic” when President Obama brought our troops home from Iraq.
  • He told students to “shop around” and “borrow money from their parents if they’re worried about college tuition.

The American people should not be fooled by Romney. With a little research, they can compare his real positions to the ones he claims to support in the final weeks of the campaign. As one ordinary American put it, “Instead of really saying what he’s going to do, he’s saying what people want to hear.”

 

Must Watch: This new OFA video on Romney’s dishonesty, “Don’t Be Fooled.”Must Watch: This new OFA video on what the real Romney told voters in some of the many town hall meetings he held during the Republican primary.

Must Read: To help voters and the media interpret the deceptive answers Romney will likely give at the second debate, OFA released a new memo from Campaign Manager Jim Messina translating Romney’s dishonesty into his real positions. To read it, click HERE for a link.

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

Lively Biden Takes It To Ryan in Debate

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Friday, 12 October 2012
in Our View

debate_stageDANVILLE, KY - The “Thriller in Manila”  it was not, but when Janesville Congressman Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden met across the table in a lively, combative debate Thursday, the VP was not about to let Ryan get away with any of the “malarkey” the Republican had been spreading about his President.

Biden, 69, took after the Republicans with far more aggression than President Barack Obama had displayed in his Denver debate, questioning and challenging the other party's ideas and opinions. Ryan, 42, was far more methodical and less demonstrative than Biden. Ryan spent part of the debate on the attack, but mostly he was on the defensive.

It was the sort of debate in which both candidates likely gratified their own supporters and left the other side shouting "liar" at the TV screen. Biden presented a relentless populist critique of GOP policies, while Ryan tried to shift the debate to an indictment of the Obama administration on the economy and foreign policy. The outcome was probably in the eye of the beholder, with activists on both sides hearing what they wanted to hear.

But there is no doubt Biden succeeded in energizing the Democratic base, a factor that was missing after the Denver debate and will become critical in the final weeks of this close campaign. A snap CNN-ORC International poll showed voters who watched Thursday's debate saw it as basically a statistical draw, while a similar poll had given GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney a clear debate victory in Denver.

The 90-minute debate moderated by Martha Raddatz of ABC News was divided between domestic and foreign policy issues. The moderator and candidates sat a few feet apart, a more intimate format that encouraged informality and interaction that often gave way to rapid-fire interruptions, especially on Biden's part.

On defense and security, Ryan talked in generalities, "We should always stand up for peace, for democracy and individual rights. And we should not be imposing these devastating defense cuts."

Biden responded: "With all due respect that's a bunch of malarkey. Not a single thing he said is accurate."

While Ryan characterized the Obama foreign policy as passive and "unraveling," Biden suggested the Republican ticket was too ready to go to war.

"The last thing America needs is to get into another ground war in the Middle East," Biden said.

Ryan seemed on the defensive over gaps in the details of the Romney tax plan and accusations it would help the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. At one point, Biden ridiculed him for attacking the stimulus plan while writing letters of support for constituents seeking stimulus funding.

Biden said Republicans would end Medicare as we know it. Ryan said they would save it from going bankrupt with market-based payout to the insurance companies.

At one point, Raddatz asked both Biden and Ryan how being Catholic would guide them in the job of Vice President. Ryan said his Catholic views would guide him on making abortion illegal for everyone, regardless of their religion, through the legislative process.  Biden felt his religious views should guide him in his own life, but he did not feel his job in government gave him the right to impose them on others.

In the end, it came down to an issue of trust, with Vice President Biden looking straight into the camera and offering a career record standing up for people and middle class values as evidence of where he stands. He contrasted his record with the Republicans, who just seemed to discover 100 per cent of the people in the last few weeks of the campaign. Ryan’s closing was more prepared, a restatement of the points he had been making throughout the campaign.

Both men will be in Wisconsin in the days following the debate. Biden has a campaign event planned in La Crosse Friday, his first post-debate event. Ryan goes to Ohio Friday, but will headline a fundraiser for Senate candidate Tommy Thompson Sunday, and hold a town-hall meeting Monday morning at Carroll University in Waukesha.

The next presidential debate is Tuesday at Hofstra University in New York.

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

Where Has the New Moderate Mitt Been these Past Years?

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 10 October 2012
in Our View

mitt_romneyGREEN BAY – It seems that Mitt Romney is constantly trying to refocus his campaign, yesterday it was on foreign policy, and today it’s on agriculture. It is all a continuation of the NEW “Moderate Mitt” that appeared in last week’s debate. But he still hasn’t offered any specific ideas to fill out his new positions.

For the past two years, Mitt Romney has reset his campaign over and over again, apparently to appeal to different voters as he goes along. Yesterday he tried out a new stand on foreign policy, and today he’s moving to agriculture, but neither speech offered any specific plans.

In trying to outline his agriculture policy, Romney dodged the details because he knows his plans would hurt rural Americans.

  1. He didn’t mention the wind production tax credit he opposes, risking thousands of jobs in Iowa and Colorado.
  2. He barely mentioned the Farm Bill, failing to say what should be in it or call on Republicans in Congress to pass it. That’s probably because his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, and their allies in Congress keep blocking it.

Earlier, Romney gave his seventh foreign policy speech, each one less specific than the last. He said he would go back to the same policies that weakened our standing in the world and drove us billions of dollars into debt under the Bush Administration.

  1. His speech was widely panned for lacking policy details and ignoring facts.
  2. Romney doubled down on an indefinite troop presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Romney’s constantly changing stands are just as dishonest as his debate performance, where the “New Mitt” appeared after nearly two years of the “Severely Conservative Mitt”  used to sell his candidacy to the Republican conservative base.

  1. He was dishonest about the size of his tax breaks for the wealthiest because they’re so big, he’d have to raise taxes on middle-class families to pay for them.
  1. He was dishonest about his health care plan because it would leave millions with preexisting conditions uninsured when they need coverage the most.
  2. He was dishonest about his Medicare plan because it would take away seniors’ guaranteed benefits and raise their health costs by thousands of dollars.
  3. He didn’t honestly lay out a specific plan for dealing with the deficit. Instead he said we should cut funding for Sesame Street.

It all makes one wonder “which Mitt” they would be voting for in November. When a candidate will not give you specifics, and keeps changing his beliefs to satisfy this voter block and that, can you trust them to be our President?

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

More Facts Needed about Seniors and Obamacare

Posted by Nate Myszka
Nate Myszka
Nate Myszka has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 02 September 2012
in Wisconsin

There are lots of rumors about Obamacare. Many are aimed at scaring seniors, and it’s election time so we’re hearing even more. So what’s true?

Will “unelected bureaucrats” at the Independent Patient Advisory Board (IPAB) “ration” my care? No – Politifact, a Pulitzer Prize winning fact-checker, says “The IPAB is forbidden from submitting ‘any recommendation to ration health care,’ as Section 3403 of the health care law states. It may not raise premiums for Medicare beneficiaries or increase deductibles, coinsurance or co-payments.” Instead, it makes recommendations to bring costs under control when spending increases too much. Our elected Congress can overrule them anytime.

Is Obamacare doubling premiums, cutting Medicare, and reducing benefits? Again the answer is no, but you can check your own premium and benefits. Medicare’s actuary predicts premiums will rise only slightly in coming years, to $112.10 in 2014. And under Obamacare, Medicare’s budget still increases, but not as much as previously forecast. It does so by making Medicare more efficient and has actually extended Medicare’s life.

At the same time, Obamacare has added benefits to Medicare. Many preventive services are now available without co-pay or deductible so we can catch things early or prevent them altogether, saving money and lives. Seniors hitting the “donut hole” now get a 50% discount on brand name prescription drugs.

We know it’s an election year, but seniors have paid into Medicare and they’ve earned the truth. If you come across more rumors, please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 414-771-9511.

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

Recall is the “Wisconsin Way”

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 30 May 2012
in Our View

vote-buttonGREEN BAY - I see even Scott Walker is running ads to “stop the recall madness”, saying there is a “right way and a wrong way” to do it and the current effort to recall him is not the “Wisconsin Way”. The ads appeal to the basic fairness of the people of Wisconsin.

Funny that I remember the same plea, “stop the recall madness”, being made against Scott Walker and his pals in the Citizens for Responsible Government (CRG), as they pushed the recall “madness” to new heights down in Milwaukee County in 2002. Scott Walker got the job of Milwaukee County Executive and, eventually, Governor because of the “recall madness” and Walker's pals liked the act so well that they spread it throughout the county and state, ending the careers of many politicians along the way.

I helped in the recall movement, first lending aid to six Milwaukee County Supervisors who were the targets of recalls and then helping the Citizens for Responsible Leadership in the City of Franklin, a splinter group, replace five of the city's six aldermen and eventually its mayor. Those were heady times.

I have told many people over the the years that the current recall movement is a “dangerous thing”, and that “once you take it out of the box, it's pretty hard to put it back in”. Maybe it's run full circle now, coming back around to bite Scott Walker and his pals, who helped start it.

There is nothing wrong with the recall, and it is the essence of the “Wisconsin Way”. It is not impeachment, like the one against President Clinton, that most people are familiar with. Wisconsin's Constitution does not offer that option.

A recall is like a grand jury indictment, with the largest grand jury of all, all the people, getting to sign a petition to call a special election. The election itself is like the trial, with the largest jury of all, all the voters, getting to decide whether to remove the politician from office. It is the ultimate expression of “popular democracy”, with every citizen who shows up to vote getting an equal voice in the outcome, regardless of wealth or station.

The election next Tuesday, June 5th, is about Scott Walker and how he has chosen to represent us, nothing else. Don't let all the big money ads from his out of state donors confuse the issue. Scott Walker has been called to stand before all of us, down in the figurative city square, to be judged on his actions. We all get one vote in the verdict.

The only thing that is not the “Wisconsin Way”, is not to vote.

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

Republicans Pull Out Big Guns And Dems Falter

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 22 May 2012
in Our View

GREEN BAY - You can  feel it in the air. You go on FaceBook and all your progressive friends are posting about their vacation plans, or new babies, or whatever. Except for a few “super activists”, you would think there was nothing special coming up in two weeks. Certainly not the election to finally oust Scott Walker from the Governor’s office, after a year and a half of shouting and crying, picketing and passing around recall petitions.

The Republicans, like the British in our first revolution,  pulled out their “big guns” last week and the colonists took to the hills. Scott Walker got his DWD Secretary to fish around for some report with positive job numbers on it, unverified or not, and used some of his $25 million in out of state cash to fill the air waves with TV and radio ads boasting that his first year in office was really a success after all. His allies, the local Chambers of Commerce, piped in with new ads of their own to cross verify his fiction. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who started the whole Wisconsin recall resurgence in 2002 by going after F. Thomas Ament and putting Scott Walker into office as Milwaukee County Executive, kicks in that they now oppose recalls, especially of Walker, unless a felony is proven.  Bang, the “polls” of  “likely voters” show Walker ahead with a 49% to 42% lead.

In one short week the progressive and democratic grassroots effort to recall Walker has been seemingly driven into disarray. Did everyone believe that the power structure would let go of the office of governor that easily, especially after they put all that money into putting their hand picked guy there in 2010.

The time has come to take a deep breath and remember what this recall is about. Walker and his high paid ad men pulled the oldest trick in the book. Throw out some numbers and divert the issue. Doesn’t matter that they can’t be verified, by the time they are the election will be over. Now we are talking about whose numbers are correct, not about why Walker needs to be recalled. I can hear them now, “a win-win“,  I’ve been in those meetings.

Democrats and progressives need to get back on the real issue if they are going to defeat Walker and the big money machine on June 5.  The power to recall was put into Wisconsin law to allow the people to directly oust any politician they want to. The politicians don’t like it, but it’s not impeachment. No high crimes or misdemeanors are required. It is the true test of a democracy, giving all of us collectively, the  power to hold a politician accountable.

Scott Walker got himself elected on false pretenses, like a job applicant who lies on his resume. Had he divulged his true plan for the office, the “bomb” he dropped in January 2011, or how he planned to accomplish it, prior to his election, he never could have won.  He knew that. So he talked about 250,000 jobs and cutting your taxes, and glossed over everything else.

Now we have seen what he has done with the office and it is time to give him the boot, just like that job applicant that sounded good on his fake resume but didn’t work out. Scott Walker has torn our little office apart and will say anything to keep his job. But his job was to represent all of us, and he has failed.

The recall is about Walker, and we can’t forget that. So Democrats and progressives need to get out of our little funk and get back in the fight. There are only two weeks left.

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

Scott Walker Just Didn't Pass Probation

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 15 May 2012
in Our View

GREEN BAY - Have you ever hired someone? It's a lot of fun. You get to make that call, tell them they got the job. Ask if they can start next Monday. They are all happy and thankful. To me, it was the best part of being a manager.

scott-walkerUnfortunately, that's not always the end of the employe selection process. Sometimes, a lot of the claims the new employe made in the interview just don't pan out. Sometimes they lied, and job applicants almost always exaggerate. After a few weeks watching them on the job, you realize that you have made a mistake.

That's why the State of Wisconsin, as an employer, puts all new hires on a six month probationary period that each must pass before they are granted permanent status as an employe. Most employers, public and private, have similar policies. It's a pretty standard practice in the world of human resources.

We do not have a comparable practice for the political leaders we elect. We seem to forget that people running for mayor, senator, or Governor are just job applicants. We are the electors, and the job is to represent all of us as the managers of our government.

If we had a six month probationary period for Governor of Wisconsin, like other jobs, I would maintain that Scott Walker just did not pass it. Unlike the world of TV, however, we just don't have a Donald Trump that can say “you're fired”. Our process for this job is to wait a year after hire, gather nearly a million signatures to call a recall election, and then give the applicant a second chance to tell us why they should have the job.

The good part is that we now have Scott Walker's record on the job to consider as we remake our employe selection decision. Did Scott Walker represent all of us, or at least most of us, and effectively manage our government? I think that the answer is most certainly “No”!

Almost immediately after his hire, Scott Walker chose to promote his own visibility on the National Republican stage by implementing a whole score of divisive partisan policies that have torn Wisconsin apart. Rather than do the job he was elected to do, he has spent his time traveling around the country gathering funds for his own re-election and promoting his career as a “rock star” on Fox TV.

While he has been promoting himself in his “national reality show”, Wisconsin's economy has been the most stagnant in the nation. He has not paid nearly a billion dollars in previously promised support to our schools. He has “managed” his employes by blaming them for the state's problems and ignored the contractual promises made to them by his predecessors.

If you were his supervisor, what argument could you honestly make for keeping him on? Has he done his job? Has he told us how he would do better?

 

(Bob Kiefert is the former Assistant Director of Human Resources for Milwaukee County and served in that capacity from 2002-2005 when Scott Walker was Milwaukee County Executive.)

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

One Reason Why Walker Economics Does Not Work for Wisconsin

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 01 May 2012
in Our View

GREEN BAY - I sometimes wonder about some of my neighbors.

I see that down by the corner one of them has erected a “I Stand With Walker” sign. I guess they think they are making some sort of last stand, like the Texans at the Alamo.

Maybe they think Walker’s Republican agenda is better for business and they like to fantasize that they are the “rich people” who will benefit from it. By New York standards of course, there are maybe ten real “rich” people in the whole state. Come on, they would never even let you join their country club, if you could come up with the money, much less let your son date their daughter.

walker open for businessJust as President George W. Bush and his cronies led a raid on the National Treasury, Scott Walker has a plan to rob from the people here in Wisconsin and give to the out of state rich in multi-national corporations. Wisconsin is “Open for Business”, Walker says. Well, at least our wallets. Why do you think they are giving him all that money?

Here is why Walker’s economic plan cannot work. You can't cut the salaries of thousands of public employees who work for the State's largest employer and lay off thousands more and not take a huge hit on the local economy. I don't know why people can't seem to understand this. It's basic economics and the real reason why Walker has turned Wisconsin into the country's biggest job loser.

But then, I have yet to understand why some people seem to hate the government for trying to help them get a fair deal on health insurance.

Sometimes I wonder about my neighbors.

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

Who Do You Trust in Republican Ad Blitz?

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 29 March 2012
in Our View

Wisconsin is really in silly season this week. What’s up with our right wing friends and neighbors?

The mail and TV ads around my house this week are full of charges made by Republicans against other Republicans as the April 3rd Presidential Primary approaches. Most of them seem to be coming from something called Restore Our Future. I didn’t know we had lost it, but these people evidently think so.

Restore Our Future thinks Rick Santorum is a “Washington Insider” who “joined with Hillary Clinton” to waste money and do other dubious liberal things.  I didn’t know Rick and Hillary where such pals. “Rick Santorum thinks letting felons vote is a good idea” , the ad goes on to say. Rick Santorum must be a scary guy.

I looked up www.restoreourfuture.com on the internet and found out they are a rather obvious front for Mitt Romney. Now, the ads on TV tell me that you cannot trust Mitt Romney.  He invented “RomneyCare”, whatever that is, and drove Massachusetts into “billions” of dollars of debt. Debt it seems is going to end the world as we know it. It certainly isn’t going to Restore Our Future.

Funny, as I remember, running up the government debt was a central theme of “Supply Side Economics” promoted by then Republican President Ronald Reagan in the eighties.  Both Republican Presidents Bush kept it up, and only Democratic President Bill Clinton did anything to reverse the trend in the late nineties. I guess those Republicans didn’t want to restore our future either.

On top of that, today’s news tells me that our right wing friends are hoping that the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Health Care Act, and that the Wisconsin Supreme Court will uphold the State’s new voter ID bill, fast. I thought they were against “activist judges”.  Maybe it is different now that they have a Republican majority in both courts?

If the Republicans don’t trust each other, why should the rest of us trust any of them? Maybe there isn’t a real Republican Party any more, just a bunch of special interest groups fighting it out for what’s left. The Christians pulling one way, big business another.  The only thing they seem to have in common is hate towards President Obama.

I would not call any of them Conservatives. Bob Taft from Ohio was a Conservative, and so was Barry Goldwater. They were honorable men. But where is the honor among these guys?

And I’m not even going to get started on Scott Walker. 

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

Wisconsin is Number One in Job Loss Under Walker and the Republicans

Posted by Assembly Democrats
Assembly Democrats
Assembly Democrats has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 15 March 2012
in Wisconsin

This legislative session has been defined by lost opportunities, bad choices and an agenda that has hurt working families across Wisconsin. The most important issue by far is jobs for struggling families. Unfortunately, this has been Gov. Walker’s biggest shortcoming.

The United States has added jobs every month for 17 months now. All but six states added jobs last year. All Wisconsin’s neighboring states gained jobs during that time. This is all good news for our country and region.

However, we cannot share in that celebration here. Wisconsin lost 12,500 jobs. And not only was our state one of six that lost jobs – Wisconsin lost three times more jobs than Missouri, which had the second-highest job loss.

This is terrible news for our state and our struggling families. And an appropriate reaction would be to spend this last week while the legislature is still in session focusing like a laser on job creation.

Instead, the Republicans have chosen to focus on bills that are socially extreme, hurt public education and harm women’s health care. Democratic attempts to bring jobs bills promoting manufacturing, angel investment and technical college job training were shot down.

Gov. Walker pledged last fall to work in a bipartisan fashion on job creation. He said his top two priorities were venture capital and mining, and he failed on both accounts. Now he is blaming others for his failure to roll up his sleeves, work together and get the job done.

The legislative session is nearly over, and Republicans have shown no desire to devote any serious focus to job creation. In the strongest possible terms, I renew my call for a bipartisan process to select bills that will help put people back to work quickly.

It is never too late to work together with a laser focus on job creation, as we have wanted to do for the past year. We owe it to Wisconsin’s struggling families and small businesses to help them recover and give them long-term economic security.

By: Rep. Peter Barca

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

There Is No Reason to Delay the Walker Recall Election

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Friday, 09 March 2012
in Our View

scott-walkerMADISON - On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB), which oversees elections in the state, sent a letter to local election clerks around the state, to determine the most administratively convenient times for the recall elections targeting Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

The GAB was asking clerks to respond in time for the board’s upcoming meeting this Monday.

We need to go ahead with this recall election as soon as possible. There is no reason for any further delay.

Recall organizers collected nearly one million signatures of Wisconsin citizens demanding a recall election to remove Scott Walker from office. They waited for nearly two weeks after the first legal date to begin collecting them, and did so easily within the 60 days allowed by Wisconsin law. They filed their petitions at the appropriate place and in a timely manner.

Normally, and in any other recall around our State, the elected official targeted by a recall has 30 days to challenge the validity of the signatures. After all, you want to give the accused party the right to look at the petitions and challenge the validity of the names on it. That's only fair.

Walker, however, got his 30 days and did not challenge even one name. On top of that, he shopped around for a sympathetic judge in Waukesha County to issue an order that the GAB had to redo Walker's work for him. The GAB was to spend thousands, if not more, of our tax dollars to verify the validity of every name.

Walker's people did not identity one invalid signature. Is there any reason to believe that the GAB will find, after all the work, nearly 500,000 of them? If at least 541,000 of the one million signatures submitted, or 54%, are valid, then the recall election must go ahead anyway. Even Walker's most ardent supporters are not claiming evidence of a 46% rejection rate.

Justice delayed is justice denied. Walker and his cronies have been given nearly a year and a half to trample all over the Wisconsin Constitution, hold closed meetings, gerrymander the State, and pass election laws which deny thousands of citizens their right to vote. All the while, the citizens of this State have been waiting to exercise their right to throw him out of office.

It is time to stop the circus and have the election. There can be nothing to gain from further delay, except to feed Walker's apparent belief that the Koch Brother's money has placed him above the law and the people.

What's next? Maybe some legal maneuver to find a judge to rule that governors cannot be recalled after all?

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

Get Rush Limbaugh Off Wisconsin Radio

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 07 March 2012
in Our View

rush-limbaugh-radio-showGREEN BAY – Conservative talking head Rush Limbaugh spent much of last week making ugly comments about college student Sandra Fluke, calling her a “slut” and a “prostitute”, for having the guts to want to testify before Congress. Besides the ugly language, it did not seem to bother him that he did not know what he, or she, was talking about. He just seemed to want to bully a woman, a private citizen at that, to run up his ratings.

Rush Limbaugh makes a living making outrageous comments on the public airwaves. Normally, the rest of us don’t care what he says. He’s just trying to get attention, and to pay attention is to play into his hand. He is playing to a small group of people who want to listen to someone say on the air the ugly things they are too afraid to say themselves.

But this time he went too far, way over the line. Because this is the kind of thing that Joe McCarthy did, and you have to stand up to a bully right away or they will just keep coming.

You should not have to be a woman to be outraged. Women have been bullied by the s-word and “your parents would be ashamed” line for years and are especially sensitive to what Rush was doing. But the rest of us, who have wives and daughters and granddaughters should be equally upset. I want every woman in my life to feel free to speak their mind and not fear bullies like Rush Limbaugh.

Which gets us to the final point. I would not presume to tell anyone what to say, but below is a list of the radio stations that carry Rush Limbaugh’s show in Wisconsin. I urge everyone who shares my outrage to contact the one or two nearest you and tell them, in your own words, that you would not listen to their station or advertisements so long as they carry Rush Limbaugh’s show.

They use your public airwaves, and you have the right to let them know when you think someone goes way over the line.

Market Station Freq Air Time

Ashland            WATW-AM 1400            MoFr 11a2p

Eagle River            WERL-AM    950            MoFr 11a2p

Green Bay            WTAQ-FM     97.5            MoFr 11a2p

Green Bay            WTAQ-AM 1360            M-F 11a-2p

La Crosse            WIZM-AM 1410            M-F 11a-2p

Madison            WIBA-AM 1310            M-F 11a-2p

Menomonie            WMEQ-AM 880            MoFr 11a2p

Milwaukee            WISN-AM 1130            M-F 11a-2p

Oshkosh            WOSH-AM    1490            M-F 11a-2p

Park Falls            WPFP-AM      980            M-F 11a-2p

Rudolph            WSAU-FM 99.9            M-F 11a-2p

Sheboygan            WHBL-AM 1330            M-F 12p-3p

Shell Lake            WCSW-AM 940            MoFr 11a2p

Superior            WDSM-AM 710            M-F 11a-2p

Wausau            WSAU-AM 550            M-F 11a-2p

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry

Fight back against attacks on the Wisconsin Retirement System

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 09 February 2012
in Our View

I am, among other things, a member of the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS). As a former state employee, I receive a pension from the same system as our educators and most county employees. It was no gift, we paid for it out of our salaries.

It follows then that I join with the WEAC to urge legislators to oppose a first strike on the WRS.

Urge your legislators to oppose AB 539, giving the UW System authority to create an optional retirement plan for new hires as an alternative to the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), a proposal authored 15 years ago by former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen.

This legislation is a first strike in what many fear will devolve into an all-out assault on our state’s nationally recognized pension plan that provides more than 572,000 of Wisconsin’s active and retired educators, police officers, firefighters and other public workers with modest financial security in their retirement years.

Legislation like AB 539 will slowly weaken the financial security of the state’s retirement fund, destabilize the retirement funds of active employees and current retirees, and could lead to increased contribution rates for employees and employers over time.

E-mail your legislators today and urge them to stand up for working families and their futures by opposing AB 539.

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

Proud of Wisconsin Democracy

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 18 January 2012
in Our View

Yesterday, a grass roots coalition of Wisconsinites delivered recall petitions signed by over 1,900,000 Wisconsin citizens to recall Scott Walker, Rebecca Kleefisch, and their right-wing cronies in the state legislature. Included in the total was over one million to recall Walker alone.

Mike Tate, Chairperson of the State Democratic Party said “In Wisconsin, you have made a historic stand.”

We say it was more than that. It was truly a demonstration of what democracy looks like.

The signatures, on over a ton of paper, were delivered to the Government Accountability Board (GAB) in Madison and should be easily sufficient to force a recall election this summer. Only a little over 540,000 signatures each are required to recall Walker and Kleefisch. Petitions sufficient to cause a recall of four other Republicans, including State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, were also delivered.

Walker and his cronies in Madison can be expected to exhaust every opportunity, legal and otherwise, to delay the recall election itself. They will argue that the unions were behind it, that a recall costs too much, is unneeded, that we should wait till the next election. They will run their countless TV ads saying their “reforms are working” and trying to scapegoat teachers and other government workers for the “budget deficit” they created on paper.

Ever since the Citizens United decision, big corporate money has flowed into our elections seeking to buy our votes. To imply some equivalency between this money and that provided by union sources is a joke. They create a false reality with their big money media and offer their prepaid candidates as a solution.

It is the greatest threat to democracy in our lifetime, and the recall effort provides a template on how to beat it.

Thousands of citizen volunteers, and I personally know a lot of them, got out and did the hard leg work to gather these signatures. They did not ask for anything for themselves except the knowledge that they would not go down quietly, that they would be heard.

This is what democracy looks like. That every citizen has an equal voice and an equal vote at the town hall meeting. That governments are created by the people to represent their interests and can be changed if they don't.

This is also the Wisconsin tradition of democracy. Scott Walker forgot this tradition at his own peril. And it makes us proud to be in Wisconsin this fine sunny morning.

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
Copyright © 2020. Green Bay Progressive. Designed by Shape5.com