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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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