Once Again, Republicans in the State Legislature Propose to Cut Off Access to Essential Health Care

September 2, 2015
Contact: Iris Riis
Once Again, Republicans in the State Legislature Propose to Cut Off Access to Essential Health Care
MADISON – Today, Republican leaders will hold a hearing on a pair of bills that are likely to be fast tracked to further defund Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI), making it harder for women across Wisconsin to access the essential health care they need. In 2011, Governor Scott Walker and the Republican controlled Legislature eliminated all state funding for patients accessing reproductive health care at Planned Parenthood in the Biennial State Budget. These cuts lead to the closure of five rural Planned Parenthood health centers and the loss of 18,848 health services for 3,104 women, men and families each year.  Since these closures, no other safety net provider has opened to provide coverage in these communities.
Despite those cuts, PPWI remains the largest community based reproductive health care provider in the state providing 60,000 individuals each year with breast and cervical cancer screenings, annual wellness exams, birth control, STD testing and treatment, education and referrals for prenatal care and mammograms. Through 22 health centers across Wisconsin, no one is turned away from health care because of their inability to pay. 

Teacher Shortage: Who Will Teach the Children?

Kathleen Vinehout

Senator Kathleen Vinehout

“Please sound the alarm,” Superintendent Mary Baier wrote to me. “We are not able to find people to fill positions in Wisconsin.” She needed a special education teacher and only one applicant had applied to her rural Plum City district.

When the school bells ring across Wisconsin, parents expect classrooms to be filled with qualified teachers. But a dramatic decline in education majors at university-based programs and an exodus of both newly minted and experienced teachers have left Wisconsin parents asking, “Who will teach our children?”

The “impending crisis” is here.

Scott Walker Meets The Press

Re: Scott Walker today on Meet The Press. It's always interesting to see how our gov descends into half-truths, waffling, and plain old prevarication when pressed. Are we really all looking for a President who will tell us what to do? Is the Mexican border really the biggest threat to the US?

And really - how can you continue to keep saying you are "unintimidated" when you can't tell the same story two weeks in a row?

Watch it yourself and judge if this is who you want leading the country.

Tech nerds are smart. But they can't seem to get their heads around politics.

An interesting post I read this morning from Vox - I'm not sure I completely agree with the details, but it presents a strong and interesting argument for why people, particularly those of us in the Nerd community (and I guess since I'm speaking at the Nerd Summit in a couple weeks I must be there) don't really get politics, or apply politics to our lives.

Wisconsin graded B- by small business

Wisconsin Open For Business

Wisconsin Earns a B- for Small Business Friendliness, A- for Licensing Regulations

Texas, New Hampshire, and Utah top rankings in Thumbtack annual Small Business Friendliness Survey; New York and California are among the least friendly states

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- August 25, 2015 -- Small business owners gave Wisconsin a B- for its business friendliness, approving of its licensing regulations but expressing difficulty hiring in the state, according to Thumbtack’s annual Small Business Friendliness Survey. Complete results for Wisconsin will be published at https://www.thumbtack.com/wi/.

Nearly 18,000 U.S. small business owners responded to the survey, including 219 in Wisconsin. The study asked respondents to rate their state and city governments across a broad range of policy factors. Thumbtack then evaluated states and cities against one another along more than a dozen metrics.

The Nuts Dynasty Grows

Scott Walker

Much has been said recently about the successful polling results for Deez Nuts - a mythical candidate for president who has been out-polling many actual human beings in the North Carolina primary.

What is less well known is that many of the other candidates are planning to climb on what has been described as the "Nuts bandwagon" after Deez Nuts polled at 9%. Rumors are flying that candidate John Kasich is considering a legal change of name to "Dem  Nuts" in an attempt to appear to be just as Nuts as Deez.

Likewise a story has also spread that Bobby Jindahl is attempting to increase his chances (which frankly do not seem very good) by changing his name to "Doze Nuts". Asked about this, one campaign spokesperson who wished to be un-named said "We figure he can't do any worse than he's doing now". 

Trump's political staff, on the other hand, responded that this was just crazy talk, and that Trump was not considering joining the Nuts juggernaut. One of his staff off-the-record said that "We think Donald is already more Nuts than all the other candidates put together - he doesn't need to change his name to prove it"

Meanwhile in Wisconsin candidate Scott Walker's team has been considering a change as well. The Walker team conducted a focus group of likely voters in the state, and is currently torn between the two highest ranking choices of Nuts names. At last word there was a heated debate going on between "Freakin'" and "Numb". Look forward to a lot of re-writing of campaign material.

Progressive Media Project op-ed writing workshop


Thursday, October 8, 2015 - 9:00am
The Progressive Media Project is delighted to invite you to our fourth and final Brico op-ed writing workshop of the year in Milwaukee on Thursday, October 8th. 
By participating in our workshop, activists learn how to effectively communicate their ideas as op-ed writers, will receive editorial and op-ed placement support from our editorial team, and join a movement of advocates committed to promoting peace, civil liberties, and progressive social justice values.
Our previous three workshops in Madison, Green Bay, and Eau Claire consist

Health still a top political issue

Kathleen Vinehout
August 26, 2015
Health Still a Top Political Issue
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
“ObamaCare must be repealed immediately,” begins Governor Walker’s health plan for America.
Recently the governor unveiled his health plan to eliminate the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He chose Minnesota as the backdrop - a state whose state-based marketplace offers health premiums to families that are over three hundred dollars less a month than Wisconsin’s federal marketplace according to research by the Commonwealth Fund.
In his new plan, the governor would give states the ability to create high-risk insurance pools – something Wisconsin had and Walker repealed in his 2013 budget. If we had kept this high-risk pool for a few more years, premiums in Wisconsin – for those who buy insurance on their own or as a small business – would have likely been lower.

Lack of Rural Broadband Frustrates Fairgoers

Kathleen Vinehout
August 19, 2014
Lack of Rural Broadband Frustrates Fairgoers
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
“It’s pedal to the metal on broadband policy—for both consumers and competitors,” said Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler at a recent address to the Brookings Institute as reported on a Brookings website.
Internet in rural Wisconsin is closer to Pony Express than “pedal to the metal.”
That’s the general consensus of folks at the Pierce County Fair.
“AT&T is the largest carrier in the world and they won’t come to my house,” Tammy Tollefson told me. AT&T provided phone service to her rural Pierce County residence but not broadband. “We are literally the last mile,” she said.


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