May we stop living in interesting times

Life in the US is never boring.  Life in Wisconsin appears to bring with it the worst of the national picture with a particularly cheese-y slant. I have been finding it really difficult as of late to keep up with the many bad ideas being implemented all around me. Consider this a roundup. Also - This T-shirt somehow expresses what I think is going on.

Legislation is always difficult, but we are clearly now in the mode of custom-ordered laws. The U. S. Senate is poised to pass a tax break that will give a whollop of cash to the already-rich, and take away from most of the folk who are struggling to get by. Though it will take some finagling to get the House and Senate to agree on exactly how they are going to gut the treasury and saddle us with a huge deficit, all the while making it much harder to get health care and other basic services, they probably will succeed.  And nothing we, their constituents, say will make a difference because their big campaign contributors have put the word out that the spigot of cash will be turned off if they don't pass this. Politicians find it very hard to look past the next election cycle in our current money-fueled political life. The irony to me is that I am just about to start on Medicare, so somehow they have figured this out so that the reliable source of care for seniors is going to be immediately threatened. 

Meanwhile, it appears that Michael Flynn has rolled over and is cooperating with the Russia investigation, probably in return for the comparatively small charges filed against him this morning.  Look for a lot of wildly-interesting but depressing revelations in the next month, particularly with the recent admissions that Trump has been trying mightily to get this investigation ended ASAP. As always, all of these revelations are Obama's fault. Their story is becoming tiresome.

I won't even mention the ever-looming threat of world war being fueled by the President's belief that you must talk loudly, carry a big stick, then tweet.  Over and over.

Back in Wisconsin things are ever sliding down the slippery slope. The legislature continues to find every opportunity to degrade the environment in the state, particularly where water is concerned. No, wait - this just in - the air too. Perhaps we should just finally admit what is going on and put WMC in charge of the DNR.

This morning we are greeted with the news that our legislators are pushing toward "making employment certain" in the state by removing all local controls over employment law and discrimination. This is just part of the trend to make sure that no local government can try to be better stewards than the state. And that's an increasingly low bar. Worse, the state also seems to be working to make sure that the state cannot protect anything to a higher standard than the EPA demands - so the bar has now essentially landed on the floor with the new "know-nothing" head of the EPA. In the meantime, we're now working really hard to get people to come from out of the state to take up those clean-water-free jobs at Foxconn because apparently the governor has no faith in the ability of Wisconsinites to fill the jobs. 

The phrase (or curse) "May you live in interesting times" comes to mind.  I can only hope life becomes less interesting soon, and more rational. In the meantime I know of no solution but to pressure our current representatives at all levels of government to start listening to their constituents (I'm old-fashioned that way), to work for candidates who will listen, and to try to be kind to those around me. I encourage you to do the same, particularly as we approach the holiday season. Love one another, but be strong.

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Published on

December 1, 2017

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