Sunday, April 27, 2014

Two examples on how the Walker administration touts doubtful jobs/economic numbers

Revised Philly Fed numbers show we weren't doing as well as Walker previously said; and the administration moves towards using a job measurement it previously criticized

Two items from this weekend are worth talking about, showcasing how the Walker administration is trying to pull the wool over your eyes with dubious numbers. Hat tips to John Peterson and Jud Lounsbury for bringing these up.

John Peterson from Democurmudgeon points out that the Walker administration is once again using numbers from the month-to-month estimates put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, despite previously being critical of those numbers before the recall.

Jud Lousbury from Uppity Wisconsin notes that the Philadelphia Fed numbers that Walker touted last year have been revised, changing our ranking from second-best economy in the nation to below the national average.

For my take on both matters, click the link below.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Tea Party has called the president a Nazi, a Muslim, and the Antichrist. But remember: calling them "zombies" is offensive

Columnist offended by Tea Party-zombie comparison, forgets five years of history of greater atrocities in the Tea Party

The right-wing in Wisconsin is just so-darn-golly-gee upset that Janesville filmmaker, Adam Shabow, plans to make a movie depicting Tea Party protesters as zombies.

From the Cap Times:
“It is of course a free country and Mr. Schabow can create whatever movie, with whatever message, he wants,” Collin Roth wrote for the Right Wisconsin blog. “But there is something a bit gross and unsettling about a man with Schabow's assumptions and prejudices making a movie that depicts a popular American political movement (one which includes tens of thousands of Wisconsinites) as bloodthirsty, brain-dead, killers.”
Hmm. Collin Roth has a point: derogatory and inflammatory rhetoric, even in the form of an independent horror film, is quite concerning.

So Roth, in his article, lambasts the many, many, MANY examples of Tea Party extremism as well...right???

Not so much. So until Roth writes an article denouncing Tea Party racism, or of Tea Partiers calling the president a Muslim, a terrorist, a foreign-born Kenyan, the Antichrist, or a Nazi, it would behoove the author at Right Wisconsin to perhaps tone down his own opinions on what constitutes decent political behavior, on the right or the left.

Until that time -- and I’m not holding my breath -- Roth and other conservatives like him don’t have much room to stand on when it comes to criticizing filmmakers like Shabow. After all, a comical and clearly satirical depiction of the Tea Party PALES in comparison to the things that very movement has stood for over the past five years.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

PPP poll shows Burke is a contender in gubernatorial election

Burke trails Walker by 3 percent, but neither candidate holds a clear majority

The latest Public Policy Polling (PPP) poll for the statewide gubernatorial contest (PDF) shows that the election should be a close one.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker still leads Democratic Party challenger Mary Burke, but the margins between them have thinned. Walker leads with 48 percent of respondents supporting him, while Burke is close behind with 45 percent. With a 2.9 percent margin of error, and 7 percent still unsure of who they support, this makes the race a competitive one.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Wisconsin letter writer has it wrong: Mary Burke is what we need to get Wisconsin back on track

A detailed rebuttal against a Post-Crescent letter to the editor

Over the Easter weekend, I had the opportunity to read the opinion pages of the Appleton Post Crescent.

One letter to the editor, by a man from Menasha, Wisconsin, caught my attention:
Mary Burke, Democratic candidate for governor, appears to be everything liberal Democrats claim they loathe. She made millions in the private sector, making her a member of the evil “1 percent,” and, as a Trek Bicycle executive, was involved in sending good-paying American jobs overseas.

Is the Democratic Party so desperate to find a candidate to oppose Gov. Scott Walker that even Mary Burke will suffice?
This opinion of Burke is likely to come up again in the coming months of the campaign season, so it would do some good to take a look at it, and challenge it head on.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Consumer empowerment drives job creation

Corporate tax breaks, on their own, won't drive demand -- the key ingredient in job creation

There’s a commonly held belief that needs to be disarmed of its legitimacy.

Giving tax breaks to companies doesn’t create jobs. Sure, there may be reasons to lower corporate taxes -- perhaps they’re too high, perhaps lowering them in conjunction to removing tax loopholes is prudent, etc. -- but as far as a jobs proposal goes, lowering taxes isn’t going to do much.

So what does create jobs? The idea behind that motivates lowering corporate taxes -- namely that corporations are supposed “job creators” and we need to bend to their wills whenever possible -- needs to be reversed. Instead of understanding corporations to be the creator of jobs for workers, we need to start recognizing that workers themselves are actually the creators of jobs.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Walker implies jobs pledge can be achieved ANY time in 2015, not just the end of his term

Facing insurmountable odds, Gov. Walker again changes the rules on his jobs promise from 2010

He’s dodged the question, revised it, and called it a “goal.” Now, Gov. Scott Walker is trying to change the time parameters under which his 250,000 jobs pledge can be completed by.

In comments with reporters, Walker recently said that that the goal was to reach 250,000 jobs by 2015 -- and in his words, “whether that’s the first day or not” of that year.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wait, should Scott Walker resign? Past comments are reminiscent of the Mike Ellis scandal

Mike Ellis quits the legislature over comments that suggested he’d partake in illegal campaign activities. In 2011, Scott Walker did something similar.

With recent undercover video showing Sen. President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) making comments suggesting he would conduct illegal campaigning activity in the upcoming elections, many have welcomed his resignation as the right move to make.

Even some conservatives, who have said that Ellis’s behavior is a hypocritical example of lawmaking in state government, are celebrating the decision, although many are happy because of Ellis’s previous skepticism on expanding school vouchers.

Nevertheless, it’s interesting to ask: would the state’s conservative base request a different high-ranking official to resign if he/she had similarly expressed an interest in violating other campaign laws? We don’t have to look far for an answer.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Walker administration brags about unemployment ranking that shows we’re actually doing worse nationally

DWD issues press release that says we have 20th lowest unemployment rate in the nation; previous ranking under former Gov. Doyle was 16th

Earlier this month, a relatively unnoticed press release was issued by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (PDF). In it, the DWD looked at Wisconsin’s unemployment rate as compared to other parts of the country, noting that Wisconsin was ranked in the better half when placed in order (from lowest rate to highest).

Friday, April 11, 2014

Could recent GOP behavior lead to a transformative election year for Democrats?

Several Republican lawmakers have involved themselves in inappropriate conduct, including suggesting of illegal campaign activities and sexual harassment

There’s a strong chance that the recent actions by Republican leadership in the state of Wisconsin could have serious consequences. These actions should be enough for the average Wisconsinite to have serious hesitation when it comes to voting for anyone associated with the GOP.

They cannot be readily ignored, pushed aside, or considered just a “few bad apples.” These types of behaviors have been prevalent throughout the Republican Party, and represent a true problem in the state’s present political climate.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Why I’m not too concerned about the latest Marquette Poll

Results indicate that Burke remains relatively unknown, and could still be a strong challenger to Scott Walker...who is losing his base support

Fast facts:
  • If more “unsure” liberals express a willingness to vote for Mary Burke, poll results become much closer (44 percent for Burke to Scott Walker’s 48 percent, if going by the rate of the recall election).
  • A substantial size of Walker’s core base is showing support for Mary Burke -- nearly 30 percent of conservatives say they would vote for the Democratic challenger.

Recent polling from the Marquette Law School shows that Mary Burke is still behind Scott Walker in the governor’s race. Burke trails Walker by 41 percent to 48 percent, respectively, in polling that was conducted late last month.

With seven months until the actual election, some on the left are sounding the alarms, while many on the right are ringing bells of victory. Those celebrations by the right are premature, however, because Burke remains a relatively unknown name.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Tax cuts to private school families hurt public school investments

$30 million in "tax cuts" really $30 million more in cuts to public schools

Public schools are considerably important in Wisconsin. For many generations in our state, our public schools have educated and prepared our students for jobs and life in general so that they could become proper citizens within our country, state, and local communities.

When families choose to go a different route, to educate their children in a private school setting, that is also a fine choice to make. It is their right as parents to determine, whether on religious grounds or otherwise, what their children’s education should look like.