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Posts tagged with “Kagen”

Appleton College Kids Balk on Mandatory Health Insurance

Actually, I should be more precise there.  They aren’t balking at mandatory health insurance, they’re balking at the fact they (under the Baucus bill just passed out of the Senate Finance Committee) would be forced to buy health insurance under a mandatory provision of the law instead of it just being handed to them all ‘free-like.’

(Sorry kiddies.  You’re being pwned as you get told to bend over and pay for your parents and grandparents health care.  Ain’t generational wealth transfers great when they’re sold to us as a feel-good entitlement program?)

Check out this 2-minute plus report from Green Bay’s WFRV 5.  A reporter went out to Lawrence University and asked a number of students about the “Buy Insurance or Be Fined” provision of the bill.  The answer is pretty much not what most of us are being told by the national media.

Mind you, this is Green Bay TV, a market notorious for not just being oblivious to ‘big issue stories.’ So for me, this both a real shocker to see such a piece like this done at all, and then done in the tone it was. (Also love how Kagen makes himself look like a total knob about the bill in his soundbite.)

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Organic Food No Healthier Says Study

Yet, the scam continues.

Especially at Whole Foods.

Organic food has no nutritional or health benefits over ordinary food, according to a major study published Wednesday.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said consumers were paying higher prices for organic food because of its perceived health benefits, creating a global organic market worth an estimated $48 billion in 2007.

A systematic review of 162 scientific papers published in the scientific literature over the last 50 years, however, found there was no significant difference.

“A small number of differences in nutrient content were found to exist between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs, but these are unlikely to be of any public health relevance,” said Alan Dangour, one of the report’s authors.

“Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority.”

Yet, even with nearly now 50 years of data, studies, and so on, this will someday get out of the House Agriculture Committee.

House Resolution 458 — Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the Federal Government should encourage organic farming, gardening, local food production, and farmers’ markets.

The resolution’s chief author is Nebraska Republican Jeff Fortenberry, who wrote it on May 19th of this year.  Here are the 8 co-sponosors, in alphabetical order.

Rep Blumenauer, Earl [OR-3] – 6/26/2009
Rep Bordallo, Madeleine Z. [GU] – 6/18/2009
Rep Courtney, Joe [CT-2] – 6/18/2009
Rep Edwards, Donna F. [MD-4] – 7/14/2009
Rep Gordon, Bart [TN-6] – 6/26/2009
Rep Kagen, Steve [WI-8] – 5/19/2009
Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8] – 7/14/2009
Rep Terry, Lee [NE-2] – 7/14/2009

GU is the delegate from Guam.

Wisconsin’s own Cong. Steve Kagen didn’t just sign on to the resolution, he signed on to it the day it was authored.

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Kagen’s Strange Economic Thinking

An actual press release from the office of Cong. Steve Kagen (D-Appleton), which they no doubt are hoping the Appleton Post-Crescent runs with and turns into a story.

Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. heralded the Tri-County Single-Stream Recycling facility as “forward thinking”. The Congressman attended the grand opening of the new plant in Appleton today and spoke about the how working towards an energy independent future can stimulate our economy in the present.

“The Tri-County Single-Stream Recycling facility reflects our traditional Wisconsin values of being responsible and saving for the future. It creates jobs. It stimulates our local economy and demonstrates how by working together as a community we will build a better future for all of us in Northeast Wisconsin,” said Kagen.

According to figures released by the facility, the $9.9 million facility will serve over 60 communities and 200,000 households. Initially, the site will process 50,000 tons of recyclables a year, but it has the capacity to process 80,000 tons a year. The plant will employ 25 people and will be run by Outagamie County.

“New jobs, a clean environment and economic security are tied together and the Tri-County Single-Stream Recycling facility is a perfect example of that. This is the kind of forward thinking I believe is necessary to bring about the changes we need,” said Kagen.

25 jobs…in a facility run by the local county government (thus paid for by taxpayer dollars) is ‘economic growth.’

Yeah, I guess…for Soviet Russia.

Mind you, I have nothing against recycling centers, either new or existing.  They serve a vital purpose in society, especially in ensuring a clean environment.  But as a source of job growth, consistent, new-age job growth?  Come on!

For those keeping track, this nearly $10 million facility will only employ 25 people.  By my math, taxpayers in the over 60 communities using the recycling center forked out nearly $400,000 for each new job the facility will create.  They’ll then fork out even more as they pay for the operating costs and human capital (employees) working at the place.

Somewhere along the way, there’s got to be some sort of private sector equivilent which actually has to pay for all of this.  So far, NONE of Kagen’s high-rhetoric press releases deal with any job growth in the private sector at all.  I don’t know about you and me, but eventually, there has to be some sign of growth in Northeast Wisconsin’s private sector.

I can’t be the only one noticing these are all government jobs…

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Meanwhile in WI-08…

Just want to point out two back-to-back stories in WisPolitics’ “DC Wrap” section today which highlight the upcoming 2010 Congressional race.

First, a tale of challengers past.

Former Assembly Speaker John Gard and his wife Cate Zeuske, the former Revenue secretary, have purchased Wisconsin Independent Businesses and Explore Wisconsin.

Gard, who made unsuccessful bids for the 8th CD in 2006 and 2008, said the purchase of both entities from owners Tom and Nancy Dohn takes him out of the running for 2010.

Gard took some time after the ’08 campaign to decide what he wanted to do next when this opportunity presented itself. The sale was expected to be finalized today.

Best of luck there John and Cate.  I’m sure you two will be great ambassadors for Wisconsin’s Small Business and Tourism communities.

Secondly, a tale of challengers future.

Roofing company owner Reid Ribble tells WisPolitics he plans to file nomination papers later this week to officially get into the GOP primary to take on Dem U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen next year in the 8th CD.

Ribble, whose group owns two roofing companies and a gutter protection company, said he was in Washington, D.C., this month to meet with the NRCC, some members of Congress, national trade groups and consultants. But he said it was his conscience that persuaded him to get into the race.

“My passions in the early stages are just the runaway spending and the national debt,” Ribble said. “I think Americans are getting very concerned. I know that I’m getting concerned with an $11.5 trillion national debt. With socialized medicine coming down the pipe, cap-and-trade, it’s all going to cost this country and economy jobs and money.”

Ribble joins Door Co. Super. Marc Savard and Brown Co. Super. Andy Williams as Republicans who have already announced they’re running, With others considering a bid as well, Ribble said he expects to stand apart from the crowd because he’s not a “career politician” and his background in the business world.

“I understand what it takes to create jobs and sustain a business,” said Ribble, who has never run for public office before.

I don’t personally know any of the three announced GOP challengers to Kagen for this cycle, so I wish the best of luck to the three of them and a spirited, fair, and honest primary among the three.  Of the three, I’d say Ribble is sort of “The Anti-Kagen.”  Like “the good Doctor,” Ribble will likely have enough money to finance himself during the primary, and he’s enough of known name that he could be in the small business community to parry with Kagen especially on small business issues.  He also can claim – like Kagen has in past campaigns – to not be a professional politician (that’s now Kagen) and knows how to make a payroll as well as many issues facing small businesses.

Should be an interesting race in a growing field.

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Um, Not All Farmers Agree Dr. Kagen

Have to laugh every time I see a press release from Cong. Steve Kagen, MD (D-Appleton) which quotes the “Wisconsin Farmers Union.” The WFU is a joke of an agricultural entity which was concocted by a bunch of liberals and “progressive” Democrats to battle the Wisconsin Farm Bureau in the 1930s.  Hell, on good years they may have only one-twentieth the membership of the Farm Bureau.

Say what you want about the Farm Bureau and its demands over the years – especially over land use property tax exemptions – but these are the guys who represent the bulk of farmers in the State of Wisconsin, not the Farmers Union.

They never have, they never will; and I speak that as the grandson of one of their most honored members.

So while Kagen can try to cover his backside with this…

Congressman Kagen has been working closely with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Colin Peterson to ensure that Wisconsin’s family farms are rewarded for their efforts to operate self-sustaining farms. Furthermore, this legislation will grow our economy and expand the market for biofuels and renewable energy by reclassifying all trees as agricultural products and all tree byproducts as renewable energy sources. Farmers and forest owners will benefit as well from the creation of a market-based carbon offset program run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“We have kept the EPA off our farms,” said Kagen.


“This forward-thinking legislation would not be possible without the hard work and support of Rep. Steve Kagen,” said Sue Breitlich, President of the Wisconsin Farmers Union. “He consistently puts Wisconsin’s family farmers at the forefront of his decisions, and his vote in favor of ACES is yet another example of his commitment to agriculture.”

The Farm Bureau had another take on Cap and Trade.

The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging all members of the House to vote “no” on a sweeping climate change bill that is scheduled for a floor vote on Friday and is asking them to vote “yes” on an amendment authored by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.).

In a letter sent today to all 435 members of the House, AFBF President Bob Stallman said H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, will “unquestionably impose enormous costs on the American economy, including agriculture.”

An AFBF economic analysis shows that at a minimum, net farm income will decline by $5 billion annually by the year 2020, if H.R. 2454 is passed.

“The $5 billion impact is under the most optimistic set of assumptions,” Stallman said. “Those estimates do not begin to tell the story of what will happen when the program mandated by this legislation fully takes hold.”

The Farm Bureau also released a study earlier this week (highlighted in the Invested Business Weekly) showing the per cow damage ACES would do.  Pity the ‘high-minded, ex-journalists’ on Kagen’s staff didn’t see it.

Farmers hope the USDA will be less intrusive. The EPA has been tasked by a Supreme Court ruling to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from your nostrils to your lawn mower. This even covers the emissions of barnyard animals, including the methane from cows.

The American Farm Bureau warns that cap and trade would cost the average farmer $175 on every dairy cow and $80 for beef cattle. So farm-state politics trumped climate change.

Emphasis mine.

So while Kagen will think he’s got “the best interest of farmers” in mind, the reality is he’s got a very small portion of radical, left-wing farmers (St. Senator Vinehout used to be their payroll.) who don’t represent anywhere near the number of farmers, or the interests of the Farm Bureau does.  Last time I checked, no one cowers in fear in Madison (or Washington, DC for that matter) at when the “Farmers Union” is upset; they do when it’s the Farm Bureau.

I highly doubt Kagen has received the endorsement of the Farm Bureau in his two previous runs for Congress, and I’m doubtful he’ll get it for his third.

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What, No Press Release?

Steve Kagen, earlier this month while at an event at the KI Center in downtown Green Bay with Fond du Lac Republican Tom Petri, when talking about global trade and how it effects the Green Bay area.

Prior to the educational sessions, Reps. Steve Kagen, D-Appleton, and Thomas Petri, R-Fond du Lac, conducted a town hall meeting.

The congressmen disagreed on the benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement, but they concurred that companies should not be so large they can’t be allowed to fail.

Kagen said the United States should renegotiate trade agreement with a goal of getting balanced trade with other countries.

Petri said NAFTA is responsible for increased trade between the United States, Canada and Mexico and that a lot of job losses blamed on the agreement are due to automation and restructuring.

Petri said that because finance has gone global, too, countries must cooperate in “setting rules for the road.”

“Just putting them out of business isn’t the answer. The world has changed, the cat is out of the bag,” he said.

Kagen said the United States should get other countries to adapt its values in regard to such things as labor laws and environmental protection, so all are playing by the same rules.

Monday, in news not well-highlighted unless you’re either a political or news junkie, or in the trade area.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday he is “delighted” the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has closed the door to reopening the North American Free Trade Agreement.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk told reporters in a conference call on Monday that it is not necessary to renegotiate NAFTA to honour Obama’s campaign promise to add stronger labour and environmental provisions.

“The president has said we will look at all options,”Kirk said. “But I think they can be addressed without having to reopen the agreement.”

Harper also noted Obama had been moving away from any anti-NAFTA rhetoric over the course of last year’s presidential primaries, but he still welcomed Kirk’s statement.

“We’re obviously very delighted with this decision from the Americans,” Harper said as he wrapped his up a three-day working visit to Jamaica.

“As you know, President Obama has been moving this way really since the primary campaign.”

Harper said both he and President Felipe Calderon of Mexico have spoken to Obama about preserving NAFTA.

For much of his political career, Steve Kagen has been roaring – often in front of union audiences in Northeast Wisconsin – about trade agreements, NAFTA, and their ‘unfairness’ to the American worker.  Frankly, I think that’s all a bunch of B.S., but where was the press release from the Kagen Press Office and Kagen Press Secretary Jake “The Snake” Rubin highlighting their anger at President Obama for not just abandoning their cause, but for turning his back on what appeared to be a campaign promise to ‘the hard-working laborers of America?”

They wouldn’t be scared of getting on a bad side of a President of their own party in the White House, would they?  Nah, couldn’t be that.  Kagen was the one who campaigned both times about being a tireless independent, and not some flunky for the White House.

So…when do I get to start calling the good doctor “Rubber Stamp?”

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