Tag Archives: Glenn Grothman

Friday Linkage 2/27/2015

February is almost in the books, but with about five inches of snow on the ground and more forecast over the next few days we should have good skiing into March. Just enough outdoor adventure to bridge until spring break.

On to the links…

Majority Of Republican Primary Voters Want To Violate The First Amendment—For people who tap little pocket copies of the Constitution every time they talk about President Obama, these clowns are pretty ignorant of the basic tenants of the document that they claim to hold so dear. Let me help them:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I do not think that the original intent of that amendment is very hard to interpret.  Even if your brain has been addled by countless hours of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

Noted Climate Contrarian in Hot Water—Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon, a noted climate change denier, has been completely “outed” as a shill for the fossil fuel industry as details of the big bucks funneled his way have come to light. Granted, truth and objectivity have never been traits the extreme right wing has looked for in its pundits.

Himalayan Ice Shows Chemicals Ban is Working—Stopping the distribution of these chemicals is a good thing. Science, the bugaboo of the right wing, works.

Wind Produced 10 Percent of Texas Electricity in 2014—Wow, 10% of Texas’—yes, Texas—electricity came from wind. Now, it’s a far cry from Iowa’s over 27% wind power percentage but we will cut them a little slack.

Wind Power Hits Record High In China’s Coal Hub—Usually when I comment about China it’s about dirty air or failed expectations, but this is good news. Shanxi is a polluted mess, but maybe things can be turned around with enough effort to deploy renewables.

India’s Air Pollution Is Cutting 3 Years Off The Lives Of Its Residents—Here is what is going to drive change in countries like India and China with regard to pollution. People will no longer accept ridiculous pollution as a prerequisite of development.

Diesel Braces For An Avalanche Of Solar Water Pumps—Solar is just awesome.

An Innovative Congestion Charge That Could Help Fix Our Crumbling Infrastructure—U.S. infrastructure is screwed right now. It’s in bad shape and national politicians have no plans to address the situation. At the state level things look a little better—heck, Iowa just passed a gas tax increase to address the shortfall in road repair revenue—but solutions are needed to bring in more revenue.

Despite Low Gas Prices, Car Buyers Still Want Higher-MPG Vehicles—People understand that today’s low gas prices will likely be gone by summer, but a vehicle is a choice you have to live with for years. No one should buy an SUV expecting sub-$2 gas for anything longer than a week or two.

Proterra’s New Electric Bus can go 180 Miles Between Charges—I do not know what the average daily mileage is for a city bus, but this is an interesting development.

Cow Manure to Ethanol Plant Switches On in California’s San Joaquin Valley—Why not? I would totally fill the tank with some ethanol from cow shit.

Is the Junk-Food Era Drawing to a Close?—The government is finally coming around to the evils of added sugar and people are voting with their wallets.

Pol: Spy On Food Stamp Users to Make Sure They’re Acting Poor Enough—Glenn Grothman is just the worst. The absolute worst this side of Steve King. Steve King is really the worst.

Could Hops Help Fight Cancer?—Maybe that dry-hopped IPA is more than just a palate wrecker on a Friday night. Maybe it’s medicine. Dig it.

Chickens Help Small Brewery Dispose of Used Grain—I have imbibed at Lion Bridge more than once, so I have helped to feed these chickens.

Sh*t the Candidates Say in Iowa: Debate Edition

This past Sunday evening Bruce Braley and Joni Ernst debated each other. The result can only be described as expected.

Braley attacked Ernst for being a tool of the Koch brothers and being in league with Ted Cruz when it comes to shutting down the government. Ernst accused Braley of suing his neighbors over errant chickens. When it comes to substance Joni Ernst does not bother with the policy stuff, she just accuses the other guy of being a lawyer. Remember, in the Republican worldview lawyers and judges are evil unless they are rendering judgments like the recent Supreme Court decision regarding Hobby Lobby’s bogus religious exemption.

The real moment of clarity for voters in Iowa should have been when Ernst would not be put on record about the right amount for a minimum wage. She believes that it should be solely up to the states to decide what is the right minimum wage for their particular circumstance—something a state can already do if it wishes to be higher than the insufficient federal minimum wage. This is right wing code speak for not really supporting a minimum wage. Here it is in full:

“I do believe that is something that needs to be set by the states, because our Iowa cost of living is very low. Currently it is at $7.25 an hour, and I’m someone that worked the minimum wage way back when, when it was much lower. But the way we can combat this and do better for Iowa families is by growing our economy.”

Never mind the logical fallacy of comparing the absolute minimum wage from prior years to today’s minimum wage without factoring inflation. These people believe that those making $7.25 per hour are living high on the hog. In Iowa a worker would need to work at least 73 hours per week to afford the average two-bedroom apartment. Wow, that’s only a near doubling of an average 40 hour workweek. Maybe we can help Iowa families by not asking them to spend even more time away from their children and loved ones because they cannot afford to survive. Just saying.

Climate change is the other issue that is now being discussed in right wing code speak.  Ernst’s own words pretty much define the new line of reasoning:

“I do believe our climate is changing. But again, I’m not sure what the impact of man is upon that climate change.”

Acknowledge that every scientific fact points to a warming planet and subsequently weird climate, but simultaneously deny the link to human activities.  You know, because burning fossil fuels at insane rates has nothing to do with a changing planet.

But, the tried and true defense is to play dumb:

“I don’t know the science behind climate change. I can’t say one way or another what is the direct impact, whether it’s man-made or not.”

Yep, these are the people who feel qualified to speak on issues like EPA regulation.  On one hand they are too ignorant of the science to make an informed argument, but on the other hand they feel strongly that the regulatory environment is too extreme.

At least Ernst is on record as supporting a woman’s right to access to contraception saying, “I do believe in a woman’s right to contraception.” Granted, she will probably find a way to walk that back when she gets in front of evangelicals.

It could actually be worse because I could live in northeastern Wisconsin and be worried that Glenn Grothman might be my next U.S. Representative. Check out what he has to say.