The Beloit Daily News has favored reforming our country's complicated tax code for years, but the paper questions whether the bills going through Congress can be called reform. The process has been terrible — the bills were written in secret with the public and members of the minority party kept in the dark. It's not only a shame, the paper says, "it's a direct insult to the people." 

Emily Mills, in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, agrees that the tax bills are bad and gets right to the point: "The Republican tax plan is a con, and, if passed, will have disastrous results for decades." She points out that the vast majority of economists believe the bills are giveaways to the rich and corporations.

Noting that there are about 11,000 registered lobbyists in Washington — roughly 19 lobbyists for every member of Congress — and about half of them worked on the tax bills that are making their way through Congress, the Racine Journal Times comes to what may not be a surprising conclusion: "We’re starting to suspect that lobbyists might be the problem in Washington."

Political Environment blogger James Rowen says readers have been asking for a link to the Foxconn contract, which he has now posted. He also laments yet again Gov. Scott Walker's stupidity on trains — rejecting federal money to upgrade trains in Wisconsin, which would have provided a way for people to get to Foxconn jobs.

Look for Sen. Al Franken to resign soon, predicts blogger David Blaska, as the Democrats clear the deck to use the sex harassment/sex assault issue against the GOP in the 2018 midterm election. He says Republicans have soiled their brand immeasurably by going all-in for Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race, and notes a likely scenario is that "the Senate could expel Moore, once seated, and Alabama’s Republican governor could then name a replacement."

Despite claims to the contrary, NFL players have little regard for their own safety or that of other competitors, Jonathan Krause contends in his blog, citing several particularly vicious plays in recent games. If players try to sue the league claiming they were not adequately informed of health risks, Krause figures the league should respond with tapes of the plays in question to show the players don't give "a rat's behind about their own safety."

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Back in 1964, Republican Nelson Rockefeller, who was divorced, married a woman who had been divorced — and as a result Rockefeller lost any chance to win the GOP nomination for president. Fast forward five decades, and today that same GOP is working hard to send an alleged pedophile to the U.S. Senate. It just goes to show, remarks blogger Gregory Humphrey, how what passes for acceptable in politics "has taken a very wide swing."

There is "an aura of malice, even vindictiveness" to the GOP tax bills, writes Carthage College professor Arthur I. Cyr in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel column. He cites removing the individual mandate to buy health insurance, which would result in higher premiums for many people relying on Obamacare, plus provisions to tax student scholarships and tuition waivers and to end deductions for student loan interest. Cyr laments the GOP's astounding fiscal irresponsibility in passing bills that would significantly increase our national debt and writes that "regular people are being conned."