Kochs and Popes

Kochs and Pope
What would you think about a history book on Lincoln's presidency that neglected to mention the civil war? Or what about a book on Lyndon Johnson's White House years without mention of the Vietnam War? Which leads me to a question regarding recent Wisconsin history: what would you think about a book on Scott Walker’s gubernatorial reign containing no mention of the Koch Brothers and Art Pope? Things such as Walker's assault on public education and public educators, the shameful redistricting of state and national legislative districts, the environment...

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Limiting Local Control to Our Detriment

Sand Mine
Senator Tom Tiffany has introduced yet another bill, Senate Bill (SB) 632, to limit local government control over nonmetallic mining.In a press release dated 2/26/14, Senator Tiffany included a quote from the Wisconsin Towns Association (WTA) Executive Director stating that the WTA did not oppose SB 632 and its Assembly companion bill, AB 816. This was a critical statement for Senator Tiffany because the WTA had strongly opposed his earlier version of the bill, SB 349, introduced in Fall 2013. In typical fashion, Senator Tiffany scheduled an immediate public hearing ...

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As a Conservative

United States Face
A version of this article was previously published in the Wausau Daily Herald.It is a measure of the extremism sweeping America when, after many decades of being a liberal, I find I must join with other conservatives to fight the radical changes destroying my nation. The definition of conservative is: believing in the value of established and traditional practices in politics and society. I fit this definition perfectly.As a conservative, I wish to preserve the traditional government established by my ancestors. I oppose the radical use of a business model in ...

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How Can It Be

U.S. Poverty
“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?” asked Pope Francis in a speech in November when he attacked “trickle-down economics” and sharply criticized “growing inequality and unfettered markets.” Yet this is but one injustice. There are many more.How can it be that:• Millions of children go hungry in the “richest country” in the world, and yet Congress passed a farm bill cutting $800 million dollars a year from the Supplemental Nutrition ...

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General Electric and the Effective Corporate Tax Rate

Tax Rate
During NBC's 2014 Olympics coverage, General Electric commercials show a cute kid proudly talking about what her mom does at GE. These slick public relations ads give one a warm, fuzzy, positive feeling about GE and their corporate slogan, "Imagination at Work," confirming that GE symbolizes everything that makes America great.Here are some facts GE may not want viewers to know:• From 2006 to 2011, GE's net federal income taxes were negative $3.1 billion, despite $38.2 billion inpretax US profits over those six years.• From 2002 to 2011, GE's effective ...

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A Thank You Note to the Republicans

Thank You
I wish to personally thank Republican state Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, and state Rep. Mark Born, R-Beaver Dam, for joining with Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce to introduce Assembly Bill 667 allowing a 7 day work week. My grandparents and their union buddies were totally out of line when they fought for a day off each week.Thankfully, Grothman also authored Assembly Bill 611 which will get rid of overtime pay for working over 40 hours per week. Lazy socialists like my parents had no right to force decent corporations into these profit killing ideas.Best ...

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Impending Tsunami: Boomers Turning 65

In a recent meeting with Fourth Street Forum host Marcus White, V.P. of Community Partnerships, Carol Wessels, Elder Care Attorney and former chair of the State Bar of Wisconsin's Elder Law Section, Nino Amato, President of the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups, and Sharon Adams, Director and Co-Founder of Walnut Way Conservation Corporation, discussed the future of Baby Boomers turning 65.The forum addressed the concern that over 76 million “boomers” born from 1945 to 1965 in the U.S. are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day. They are not prepared to retire due to ...

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Taxpayer Funded Private Schools

Private Schools
Once again the expansion of taxpayer-funded private schools in Wisconsin is in the headlines.In February, private/religious schools will begin the application process to join over 120 other private/religious schools that are now subsidized by taxpayers.On December 12, 2013, Life Skills Academy (LSA), a Christian, taxpayer-funded voucher school in Milwaukee, closed its doors without notifying anyone and moved to Florida to set up another taxpayer-funded private school.One out of 66 students at LSA tested proficient in reading or math. Sixty-six students had ...

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2013 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures

Alzheimer's
• Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the US.• More than 5 million Americans are living with the disease.• 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer's or dementia.• In 2012, 15.4 million caregivers provided more than 17.5 billion hours of unpaid care valued at $216 billion.• In 2013, Alzheimer's cost the US $203 billion.• Average per-person Medicare costs for those with Alzheimer's and other dementias are threetimes higher than for those without these conditions.• In 2050, Alzheimer's is projected to cost the US $1.2 trillion ...

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Legislation for the Rich

Legislation for the Rich
It is time that the citizens of Wisconsin become more aware of legislation favoring the wealthy enacted by the Republican controlled legislature and signed into law by Governor Walker.Most of the legislation passed from 2011 through 2013 was written with “help” from special interests.Three examples:1. Republican Representative Joel Kleefisch introduced legislation written especially for a campaign donor, Michael Eisenga. Eisenga, a millionaire, along with his attorney directed Kleefisch’s office to design legislation that would reduce the amount of money ...

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