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Sunday, September 25, 2016

In the past year, Illinois added 40,300 jobs, Michigan added 32,300, Minnesota 22,700 and Iowa 11,900, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And Wisconsin? It had 6,800 fewer non-farm jobs in April 2013 than April 2012.

That Scott Walker’s economic policies continue to fail is an intolerable fact to the right-wing machine, which hopes to export the governor’s anti-union, pro-corporate, public-service-slashing ways to other purple and blue states, until all 50 “laboratories of democracy” resemble Mississippi.

So what do you do when the numbers show that your Golden Calf may not be worth praying to?

The Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which one-third of Wisconsin legislators belongs to, ranked the state 15th in private-sector job creation, even though official data shows it’s actually 44th.

Coming up with its own fudged numbers, the conservative MacIver Institute claims that Walker is more than halfway to his pledge of creating 250,000 jobs. “Wisconsin has 137,372 more private sector jobs than when Governor Scott Walker first took office in January 2011, according to the most recent data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics,” Institute president Brett Healy announced in April.

The Capital Times‘ Mike Ivey kindly calls that claim “statistically flawed.” How close is the Badger State to Walker’s pledge? Ivey reports that “Wisconsin has 64,500 more jobs in February 2013 than it did in January 2011.” Not even a quarter of the way to the promise, even though Walker has been in office for more than half of his term.

It’s impossible to hide the real data that shows the Wisconsin GOP’s economic plan just isn’t working. It’s in the bottom 10 percent in wage growth and last month it was 49th in job creation. But austerity isn’t the only destructive conservative policy that Walker’s Wisconsin is illuminating for the rest of America.

The state has become a petri dish where we can examine exactly how the right is perverting democracy on the state level to create a society where corporations write their own laws that keep workers isolated and dependent on the whims of their employers. The dangers of dark money groups, conservative manipulation of the media and gerrymandering should all be put under the microscope after the disaster for workers in Wisconsin.

Much is made of Scott Walker being able to easily defeat a recall despite directly assaulting the labor movement. However, his victory didn’t show the popularity of his policies, but instead the unpopularity of recalls and the power of out-of-state money funneled into the state by dark money “social welfare” non-profits like the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity (AFP). The “non-political” group spent $700,000 supporting Walker.

  • dtgraham

    I imagine it’s going to be awfully difficult for the Wisconsin Democrats to keep themselves motivated over the next several years when you know that the situation is damn near hopeless. 174,000 more votes and they still get wiped out in the State Assembly? I think they have to wait until the next census to fix their little problem but I may be wrong about that. I hope I am.

    If every single Independent voted Democrat, along with a handful of moderate Republicans crossing over, that likely wouldn’t be enough. Looks like it would probably take a landslide of almost unimaginable proportions just to squeak it out.

    I keep reading in the Memo about these areas of the country where the voters say one thing but the electoral results say something very different. It must be a real psychological thing for the gerrymandered “victims” to keep their head in the game. When the call comes to fire up the election machinery, man the phone banks, and get the vote out—–there has to be a certain number of that party’s workers and voters saying to themselves…what the hell’s the point?

    • dtgraham

      Not sure how my name appears in the arrow up list. I must have clicked over it accidentally. I’m not quite that much of a narcissist.

      • MVH1

        It’s new. You can up-vote yourself but you can also click again and take it off. I’ve done that several times lately.

        • dtgraham

          I just took it off. Thanks.

          • MVH1

            Frustrating. But it’s fun seeing you gave you an up, seeing who agrees with you.

    • plc97477

      I would think there is a point that is even too far for repugs. The lack of jobs, the busting of unions, the mess the repugs have made of their states. I hope at some point even gerrymandering will not be enough.

    • pbrower2a

      Scott Walker is a dictator. He uses methods to grossly distort the consequences of public sentiment on behalf of interests that win the election that counts — monetary control of the electoral process.

      Wisconsin will need a constitutional convention to undo the damage that Walker has done. Of course Walker and his successors will find ways in which to stop such from happening.

      Much the same happens in Michigan.

      • sigrid28

        Is it possible that Republicans who claim they do not believe in climate change really DO and are grabbing up these beautiful northern resort states for themselves, because the Red states to the south will eventually be uninhabitable? Making Wisconsin and Michigan like gated outposts for the 2% is a pretty good long-term plan–for them–don’t you think?

  • charleo1

    It seems the most important question that must be answered in predicting any resurgence of the Democratic Party in States, like Wisconsin, Is how bad must
    the economy get, before voters revolt, and send these corporate backed lackeys,
    such as Scott Walker packing? Time will tell. Because, one thing we do know, is
    these policies they are enacting into law now. Will produce no, or low growth
    economies. And, that will eventually impact every income level, below the top 1%. Just as this recent data shows for Wisconsin. The data has been consistent in other
    States, where the goal has been to increase profits at the top. Leaving, the burden
    on the middle income earners, too high. This erodes the demand factor. And,
    that impediment, caused by protecting the wealthy. Deterrers growth, and proves
    to be the eventual undoing of these trickle down types of economic policy. In fact,
    they have very little to do with any actual economic theory, in the first place.
    So, if it’s bad for the middle income earners. At the lower end, it’s a disaster.
    Long term unemployment becomes chronic. Because, the hospitality, and service sectors, that are most the most reliant on customers having the money to eat out, travel, visit shopping centers, and malls, etc. Are always the first to feel the effects of this, have you met my Boss? He’s a billionaire, approach to all maters economic. That always takes care of first, those who are in the least need, of being taken care of at all.. So how bad will it get? History says, maybe very bad. Before workers,
    at the turn of last century, mobilized, unionized, and demanded higher wages,
    and, safer working conditions, things were horrible. Ironically, if the ideologues such as Scott Walker did manage to cut the lifeline of the poor, and unemployed.
    As they are threatening to do. Then, things get real bad, very, very quickly.

    • sigrid28

      Scott Walker and his Koch brother owners have their way, Wisconsin will become a gated high-end resort community, as big as a state, populated only by those who do the Koch brothers’ bidding and are rich enough to live there. Of course, some like-minded Koch brothers sympathizers will also keep lavish second or third homes there, alongside the wealthy criminal class, which is also well established there (which is no surprise to anyone). Think Lake Geneva and Door County on steroids, with the Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin’s own Disneyland, as its one concession to the middle and working classes, as long as it keeps making money. Then we shall see how this social experiment plays out. The model for this transition is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.” As E. J. Dionne discusses elsewhere in today’s National Memo, It is a cautionary tale, set in the 1920s, the world to which Scott Walker and his kind would take us, full circle–and as you say, with reason, very, very quickly.

      • plc97477

        Don’t they wonder who will clean their dirty clothes and mow their lawns?

        • pbrower2a

          Gotta repeal that pesky 13th Amendment.

      • NorthernStar

        I doubt it. Too many of us live in beautiful rural areas, and we’re not leaving. Some of us are organizers, so we will see who will win this battle. Don’t write us off yet.

        • sigrid28

          Dear Northern Star, I too know the magic of life in the beautiful rural areas of Wisconsin, especially the lake regions. The state is a national treasure, much of it protected by the DNR, which is why the rich backers of state legislators who are destroying life in Wisconsin for all but the 2% want to steal the state from you, whole cloth.

          I hope you can organize and win, but it will be very difficult. You cannot do so against this Republican robber baron crowd just by organizing locally–especially if your local Democratic Committee is by invitation only and as xenophobic as ours here in Iowa, where outsiders no matter how motivated are simply not welcome.

          I hope your organizers will join with the national Democratic party and its formidable grassroots organization, already in place, with a huge database and many volunteers like myself willing to man–and woman–its phone bank. Against the gerrymandering put in place by Scott Walker and his like, covert NRA money and ads in their support, and a backwoods mentality that keeps the rural voters you need away from the polls, you will need not only your local Democrats but urban voters, other minorities in the state (like the Hmong and Native Americans), students attending college at the time of elections, and women. The outcome of the Scott Walker recall election astonished those who love Wisconsin who now live outside its borders. It looks like good intentions will not be enough to oust Scott Walker and his crowd.

  • Bunny Belinda Balk Miller

    I have discovered too many people don’t do their homework. Most sit back and read the paper in shock only to blame “those at the Capital” for their dismay. People..please get involved. Don’t let them speak for you if you haven’t researched the issue. Contact your Representatives and Senators about your concerns, speak at Assembly and Senate committees in opposition of a bill but what ever you do, don’t sit back and complain when you know you could have changed the outcome if you only got involved.

    • John Pigg

      You mean, try to support responsible government ourselves? But its far easier to sit back and complain…..

    • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

      It is “We the People” who keep putting these people in office because they claim to share their ideology. Look deep people, when they allow people like the Koch Brothers, Diane Hendricks and Adelson to buy them they will never be for the working people.

      In the video, Hendricks — the state’s richest woman, worth $2.8 billion — asks if Walker can turn Wisconsin into a “completely red state”, and “work on these unions”. Walker responds: “Oh yeah,” then adds: “The first step is, we’re going to deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions, use divide and conquer.”

      Hendricks owns a roofing company – I bet she would like unions to go away. She could pay workers less, less benefits and less safety codes allowing her to make more money. She also believes strongly in giving tax breaks to the “Job Creators” that had those big tax breaks for almost 10 years – where are the jobs?

      • Deborah Hans

        Did you see the sleazy video of her and Walker sharing a close embrace and kissing on the lips. How disgusting and inappropriate. And the next day she gave him half a million dollars. I despair for my beautiful state.

      • Robert P. Robertson

        You’re perfectly correct, dfyg, the dignity, safety, and security of workers is not a top priority with these Republicunt/neo-Confederate Tea Bags. The bottom-line is their only concern. Look at the three explosions at plants in Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley”. Booby Jindal has dismantled the unions in schools, industries, and corporations, and has given them free rein over their operations and employees. Even in India, their greed has caused labor unions to organize because of the indignity, danger, and insecurity of the sweat shops there. With the unions being crushed in America, industry and corporations are bubbling back to America, and we will hear more horror stories about catastrophies and environmental disasters to come. We heard these neo-confederates yell, “We want our country back!” Real Americans should be yelling “We want our America back!” when America produced, created, and built things other countries are trying to emulate, when America was competitive in the global market. we need to get rid of the obstructionists who are holding America hostage.

    • stcroixcarp

      Just a darn minute! When Act 10, the act that stripped unions of their power and punished public employees and teachers we DID do something. More than 10,000 people demonstrated their displeasure at the state capitol protests. Many people repeatedly called, wrote and emailed our senators and assemblymen.(I helped organize a call in campaign) I called the governor. The first time a sweet young thing answered the phone. After that the calls went directly into a filled voice mail. The same happened when I called my state senator, Sheila Harsdorf and my assembleyman, Erik Severson. These people refused to listen or talk to us! The republicans are a mob of self-serving weasels who have no respect for their constituents.

      • NorthernStar

        Reports about the protests mentioned tens of thousands, so I think your number is a little low. But I agree with you about not listening. When Walker said he had no emails opposing his anti-unionism, I sent him one. I kept a copy of the response I received months later: “Deleted without reading.”

  • Dominick Vila

    Facts, facts, facts. Those irksome impediments to the spread of Goebellian propaganda the Tea Party loves to advertise, even when doing so makes them look like fools. When are people going to understand that in the make-believe world of the Tea Party life is wonderful in states such as Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee where the use of ER freebies, MEDICAID, WIC, food stamps and others are regarded as “capitalist” programs, while people in blue states are socialists who pay their taxes and work are considered members of an imaginary 47% of Americans on welfare.
    If you believe people in red states are going to be disturbed by statistics like this, you are dreaming. They will blame the whole thing on Obama, the unions, and the illegals, and will continue to support the failed ideology that almost destroyed our economy and our way of life.

    • JDavidS

      Well put,sir. Have you ever noticed that facts seem to have a liberal bias? Really seems to piss off the right-wing…

      • Facts, as does reality, has always had a bit of a liberal bias, which is why Republicans and Conservatives so adamantly ignore it.

      • Irishgrammy

        I have always believed the TRUTH has a liberal bias! You cannot “color” the truth with “ideology” and have it be the truth, and as you have well put it, really pisses off the right wing. At this moment in history, the Conservative ideology is “opinion” and their desire to control and manage the rest of us they find so detestable. It will not work. What Walker is doing in Wisconsin is nigh on to being criminal, and I cannot believe the people will tolerate it much longer. Best thing that could happen is Walker loosing his re-election bid and being sent into oblivion.

        • plc97477

          Along with a large majority of repugs on the federal level and in the states also.

          • Irishgrammy

            Hope springs eternal, and I hope and pray you are right plc97477! But only if we all get out and VOTE! As we all know mid-terms tend to only get the rabid conservatives out to vote their ideological agenda as we all, unfortunately for the country, found out in 2010…….THIS TIME, we all, Liberals, Independents and moderate Republicans, need to get “rabid” as well, and VOTE in 2014 and toss these crazies out once and for all and at the same time send a clear message to the GOPTP, “Get some SERIOUS THERAPY!”

  • charleo1

    Scott Walker was elected, along with 10 other Republican Governors,
    in 2010. All singing from the same hymnal,” jobs.” Candidates used
    the one size fits all number of 250,000, as the number of new jobs
    they were guaranteeing by the end of their first term. None, as far
    as I can tell, are anywhere close to that number. And already in the
    third year of their terms. In 2011, with budget shortfalls nearing
    crisis levels. Rick Scott, and his Legislature, just as in Wisconsin,
    could not be stopped. They handed out over 600 million dollars to
    corporations that year. As 200,00 teachers were set to be laid off.
    Only the stimulus money from Washington, saved their jobs.
    So, as the economy continues to slowly improve. We must come to see
    this top down strategy, around since Reagan, for exactly what it is. A lie.
    As phony as any Nigerian con game. And structured in much the same way.
    The payoff, the mark is told, is just one more sacrifice away. And it’s not
    even a sacrifice. Just cut corporate taxes, and reduce regulations. And the
    prosperity that will come, by getting the Government out of the way, will be
    great for everyone! Done? Done! Wonderful! Prosperity is now on it’s way.
    And just think, Liberty for all. But first, this very small thing we must take care
    of, before the riches God wants you to have, will be yours!

    • pbrower2a

      Jobs — but with no pay attached.

      These people would make America the sort of country in which one gets some rudimentary skills, saves a little money, and emigrates from.

      • charleo1

        Yes, I think that’s right. At the core of their policies, is a regressive
        agenda. When a system is aggressively pursued that places the
        wealth of a Nation, primarily in the hands of a small elite group.
        Then all the other citizens of that Nation are disenfranchised, by
        the very existence of that inequity. That is by definition, tyranny.

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    You just gotta love ALEC. Of course they were going to invent their own facts when reality proved inconvenient to them.

    • idamag

      Love the viper that is destroying our democracy.

    • NorthernStar

      Sorry, I don’t love ALEC. They are a greedy, selfish bunch that hates democracy, voters, women, and anyone with a darker skin color than theirs.

  • Robert P. Robertson

    The devil has no legs. He whines and sings and moans to get our attention, begs us to carry it some place, and when we pick it up, it takes over. I said that to say that Walker was “elected” to office. The same as in Louisiana with Booby Jindal. The people elected them into office. Though many people did not vote for Walker, those who did are suffering the same fate as those who did not. That should speak volumes of the Republicunt/neo-Confederate Tea Bag agenda: they don’t represent “the people”. They represent the lobbies who represent the rich. Their constituency are considered collateral damage. They pick up the demon and takes it where it wants to be, then all hell breaks loose. The only thing they can do is endure it, take a lesson from it, and remove that demon from their backs. They should never, ever forget.

  • irishtap

    Having a college drop out (actually kicked out for stuffing his ballot box) for a governor – should never have happened. He shouldn’t have become Milwaukee County executive – but he did. He was ‘low brow and deficient in character’ as a young man, and I would bet a thousand dollars he makes his wife call him “Mr. President during sex”. This is what happens when Democrats are constantly playing defense against a corrupt, highly organized and well funded sect, determined to trample democratic principles for governing, into an unrecognizable mess. Collective ignorance; brought to us by FOX/Limbaugh and crew, and Citizen’s United, quickly sent arguably the most forward thinking state in the union – reeling. Wisconsin – once admired for having the most honest state government in the country now only progressively marches toward putrescence. Now the ‘kicked out drop out’ has determined one of the best public school systems in the country – should become a casualty to privatization. “In the best interest of our kids – of course”. How many millionaire CEO’s would be willing to lay down their lives for your kid when the gunman cometh? Working citizens are to become corporate chattel – rights get in the way of profits..you know – for the important people. Stop whining you overworked and underpaid peasants! – at least you have a job! For now, anyway. Walker and his loyal flowage of pathogens rejected Federal dollars for health care expansion, throwing ten’s of thousands into the merciless over priced health care wilderness and left to ask : Do we pay rent on time, or do I finally see someone about this scary growth on my neck? Walker determined that long standing environmental law and regulation only hinder economic development – so don’t rely on government to keep your air and water quality up to reasonable standards. You may want to think twice about eating the fish you caught.

    Don’t live in Wisconsin? Think we must be idiots? First of all don’t judge. What is happening here is being planned for your state as well – I promise you. I implore you all – to get active and become vociferous with your intelligent criticism of this undeclared war against representative government. This is “REAL”, they’re playing for keeps and without a shred of respect for your rights as you’ve known them. I make a plea for all of you to send letters to the editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. It can only help our cause when the largest paper in the state receives a high amount of correspondence regarding the outrage over Walker policies devastating affects on the citizens of Wisconsin. It’s going to take an overwhelming populist movement to send these cockroaches scurrying for cover, but ‘democracy’ is really designed for this monumental effort – because the principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community require all citizens, doing the work necessary to keep it. Please do your part.

    • dtgraham

      I was going to make some flippant remark about ‘telling us how you really feel’ but couldn’t. It deserved a better reply than that. Man that was well said. Brutal and so well said.

      • irishtap

        Thanks dtgraham, I only wish none of it were true. Please be vigilant and get involved. – God Bless

    • plc97477

      I would think he would have to be a self made man. I can’t think of any self respecting female that would be in the same room with him during sex.

      • irishtap

        I concur plc97477 but, think Sarah Palin.

    • pbrower2a

      College dropouts in politics are often resentful anti-intellectuals (as if college grads can’t be if they sell out to the Right) who hate middle-class people proud of their degrees — like teachers.

      • irishtap

        You’re right, they seem to be automatically suspicious of anyone with a shred of intellectual capacity.

    • pbrower2a

      It has been happening in Michigan.

      I may eventually send people postcards from “Free Toronto”.

  • Gary Bdangerous

    Somewhere in those job facts is there anywhere on how many people went from 25 bucks and hour to 12 just to keep some income coming in???

  • One would think that after all the evidence which proves how the Koch brothers rule the Republican party, people would vote accordingly. Instead they keep voting in these people who do not give a rat’s behind about them.

  • rustacus21

    W/WI being in 49th place in creating an atmosphere where WI residents are getting NOTHING for their tax dollars, contradicts T-bagger refrains such “No taxation w/out representation”… & “…Don’t tread on me…”, one then must wonder about the emotional/mental stability of American’s who can read, hypothetically ‘understanding’ the words, meanings, outcomes, but treat these realities as non-existent. We are in a very dangerous place in America when the Constitution orders elected & appointed Executive, Legislative & Judicial officials to obey mandates as the “…promoting the general welfare…” (Constitutions’ opening paragraph), “… promote the sciences …” (Article Article I, Section 8) &/or, that “… the U.S. shall guarantee to every state a ‘Republican’ form of government… & shall protect each of them… against domestic violence…” & resulting in the peoples eventually determining these imperatives have no meaning. W/the developments in Congress & in the states, we are, by extension, confronted w/the resultant crisis that, as articulated in Federalist 39, that the interwoven necessity of our governments’ dual nature in it’s “Federal” AND “National” formulations, that the ultimate power being anchored in a “… government which derives ‘ALL’ its powers ‘DIRECTLY’ or ‘INDIRECTLY’ from the great body of the people…” is a totally INSIGNIFICANT concept to people voting against themselves, as in WI. It is here we see a state majority decide opportunity to expand their prosperity, increase their (economic) mobility & security, will be stunted, even revoked, by their own votes! As Walker tells Wisconsinites the rich are ‘better’ than U, the unrich & the unrich agreeing, voting to further impoverish themselves by returning Walker to office following recall actions, tells us that American’s increasingly dispise the very same Democracy that makes them free & are ready to dismantle it, in favor of the primativistic monarchy we had a Revolution & a Civil War to rid ourselves of. Fools? Idiots? Intellectual incompetents? I keep going back to the move in 1970 by Nixon, in phasing out Civic’s Education in our H.S.’s & how we see the results of the corporatization of Democracy coming now to full fruition. Liberal Progressives can feign helplessness, but Democracy was the invention of brave, courageous & ‘intelligent’ enuff citizens knowing the difference between oppression & liberty…

    • sigrid28

      Federalist 39. Exactly.

  • NorthernStar

    However, today we can celebrate a Supreme Court decision that makes Walker’s voter ID law unconstitutional. I never thought I would thank Scalia, but I have a smile for him today!

    • Deborah Hans

      A major victory for democracy!

  • Budjob

    This message is for the decent electorate of Wisconsin.Remember Senator “Tailgunner”Joe McCarthy??Well,you have another fascist on your hands and,his name is Scott Walker.Please for the good of Wisconsin and the United States of America endeavor to educate the rest of the populace of Wisconsin and all the evilness associated with McCarthy and Scott Walker!

    • pbrower2a

      It is hard to believe that any Wisconsin pol could outdo Tailgunner Joe in villainy. Then came Scott Walker, who has done more harm to more people.

      Scott Walker — making America’s Dairlyland America’s Siberia.

  • ManMKE

    One reason Walker is so unusually circumspect about the reason he pulled Inglett’s nomination to the university board of regents is because it violates the appointment criteria of the regional educational accreditation agency.. Admitting he was annoyed (probably more than annoyed) by Inglett’s signing of the Walker recall petition would have been tantamount to admitting a violation of that criteria. After which, we’d have reason not just to recall Walker, but perhaps to impeach him. So Walker simply stonewalls, instead. But his reasons remain obvious.