Monday, January 5, 2015

Twisted talk on tap today

If there's one thing you can count on today, Bucky, it's hearing self-serving spin from Scott Walker when he's sworn in as Governor and intentionally uses the resources of the state for personal, partisan self-promotion.

It will be the predictable new chapter in the story of a career politician who has made no secret of his ambition, even benefiting from a secret Internet communication system, secret campaign financing and coordination. secret illegal campaigning by staffers and secret defense fund donations to keep his ambitious path on track.

Tonight in his inauguration address he will twist, buff and otherwise camouflage his eerie blend of personal arrogance and policy mediocrity to tout - - :

*  a consistent job-creation ranking in the bottom third of the states for four years;

*   a jobs agency he conjured and chairs that has made more shaky loans, lost track of more money and suffered more top resignations than Lehman Brothers;

*  only about half the 250,000 jobs he promised during that time;

*  a multi-billion dollar projected budget shortfall;

- - and he will lipstick this dysfunctional mess as robotic GOP legislators and other acolytes bellow in unison into a 'big, bold' achievement available for sale to Tea Party voters by upscale consultants and their Fox TV allies who call word-smithed talking points and teleprompter propaganda 'news that's fair and balanced.'

Under Walker, Wisconsin has missed the full measure of the national recovery, in part because Walker from day one has been most dedicated to positioning himself as the anti-Obama regardless of the impact on people and jobs and quality of life in the state - - no increase in the minimum wage, no Amtrak rail-construction, equipment assembly and maintenance jobs and service extension, no state-sponsored Obamacare website, no expanded Medicaid funding, no added food stamp funding, no full unemployment compensation cushion, no functioning water quality program, diminished wind and solar power production and employment - - than in coordinating state, federal and business resources and best practices to clean the air, lift wages, expand health care, strengthen family stability and the cement the state's appeal as a relocation, employment, education or tourism destination.

Our job is educating the public and media about the pathological impact Walker has had on the state.

If we are successful, Walker will wilt in the sunlight, though we will have to absorb the full burden of his policies for four more years.


Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see what the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has to say tomorrow . . .

Anonymous said...

The JS editorial yesterday was laughable. It basically said, gee, we hope the Republicans will moderate their approach. Never mind the JS enables Walker and his band of goons to get absolute power. Never mind the GOP will pay zero attention to the paper's entreaty. Now they say, Oh, please, we beg of you, be nice. What a sick joke the JS has become.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it seems the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel should be demanding good policy from Scott Walker rather than "suggesting" or "hoping" for it as they have been.

It's interesting that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel hasn't been awarded a Pulitzer Prize since 2011.

James Rowen said...

Really: that's a silly criticism. They don't hand out Pulitzers like New Orleans bead strands.

Anonymous said...

Good point - but with all that's gone on in our state since Walker took office, it seems there were ample opportunities for Pulitzer-worthy stories.

Sue said...

James, I don't think it's a silly criticism. The recent Pulitzers (plural) for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel were for Investigative Reporting, as I recall. I have wondered for four years why there is so little interest in turning over a political rock or two. Heaven knows there's stuff out there worth deeper investigation.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

I don't wonder why, Sue. Check JournalComm's 4th Quarter earnings for more explanation.

James Rowen said...

The paper has done multiple investigations since 2011. Just because none rose to Pulitzer level is no way to judge reporters' commitment or output. Many other awards have been won. Few papers of the size of the Journal Sentinel have won three in a short period. When I was there '83-'96, we had a much bigger staff, and we did major investigations and couldn't even get into the finals. The competition is substantial.

Sue said...

I'm not criticizing the JS staff. I don't know who makes decisions on allocation of resources and personnel for individual stories but I'll bet it's not the boots on the ground. I'm saying there is much to choose from in that particular spectrum and it surprises me how often they barely skim the surface of stories that readers should know more about.
I say this as someone who started a subscription many years ago precisely because of their investigative reporting, and who has decided to let my subscription expire next month because of the lack of interest in looking into things that are going to affect Wisconsin for decades.