Congratulations, Jill Bader!

I’d like to congratulate Jill Bader, the Communications Director for Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker, who was named “The Worst Person in the World” on tonight’s “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” for a tweet she made earlier today which linked to President Barack Obama’s purported response to an anti-high speed rail website set up by Walker’s campaign. Here’s the tweet in question:

Interestingly enough, the link in Bader’s tweet didn’t send readers to to read some pithy critique of the plan to build a high speed rail line between Milwaukee and Madison, but instead it linked to a video of a group of largely African-American dancers dancing to “C’mon’n Ride It (The Train)” by the Quad City DJ’s. Shortly after Bader’s tweet, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin issued a press release attacking the racial undertones of the tweet, and not surprisingly, Bader offered an “explanation” for her tweet, chalking it up to a case of mistaken linking.

However, thanks to her tweet, Jill Bader can add being named one of the “Worst Persons in the World” by Keith Olbermann to her resume, as she was given that honor during tonight’s broadcast of “Countdown.” Considering Jill Bader’s in charge of Scott Walker’s campaign communications, she should try to do a better job of communicating without making a complete horse’s hind-end of herself.

Why are some gulf coast jobs worth more than others?

Since the BP oil spill and the announcment of the administration’s moratorium on drilling in the gulf, there has been a lot of talk about the effect of the moratorium on oil production jobs in the gulf area.

But why are oil jobs more important than the jobs portrayed in the cartoon? Why can we just slough off the losses of jobs related to the commercial fishing industries, sport fishing and recreational boating, the tourist business or any of supporting businesses in the gulf and get all out of shape over the oil jobs? Is it because oil jobs pay more? That should be the last measurement when comparing jobs. Is it because the oil industry contributes far more generously to political campaigns or hires more effective lobbyists? This might not be too far from the truth, but isn’t a qualified reason either. Are there MORE oil jobs than these local jobs? I find that unlikely but it still doesn’t make one type of work more important than another.

Aren’t the shrimpers, oystermen, charter owners, innkeepers and restaurateurs just the types of small businesses that the politicians, economists, and pundits adore as the prime generators of jobs? So why are we blowing them off in favor of drill baby drill? If these are viable generational supporting jobs aren’t they at least as important as jobs in the oil industry?

I would like to see a real count on the number of oil jobs that might actually be impacted by the moratorium. I have seen news reports from 97,000 to 300,000. But I suspect those are the total number of jobs in the gulf oil industry and include the current productive wells and their support personnel. These production jobs aren’t going away because of the moratorium. The ones at risk are the transient well drilling jobs. And if you don’t believe they are transient jobs, the threats to move them and in fact some cases where they are supposedly being moved already is proof enough of that fact. But they have always been at risk dependent on the costs of oil exploration. The minute a large oil field is discovered that is cheaper to harvest or when another country decides to lower tariffs or production restrictions, they’re gone. I don’t mean to suggest that these jobs are unimportant or shouldn’t be supported…but the fact that they can move away at any time shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. And they will just as easily come back as the moratorium ends or the economics of oil production on the world stage changes.

Two quick hits on various job numbers: State tourism officials in Mississippi claim the oil spill may cost the state over 56,000 tourist jobs. And Governor Jindal of Louisiana says the moratorium could cost his state as many as 20,000 jobs.

At this point the oil companies, the states and the federal government have to develop rules and regulations that can be effective in preventing another oil spill. And then develop a functional disaster response plan and a trained recovery team to handle the environmental issues of another spill. The planning should have started already and none of the participants should impede planning and implementation of the necessary changes, but it certainly isn’t unreasonable to impose the moratorium until everything is decided and starting to be put in place.

We need fiscal conservatives….

Yes we need fiscal conservatives in Washington to run our government for us. Obviously, President Obama can’t do it, his wife went on vacation.

So we need a fundamental change government, so that we can have fiscal conservatives like Linda McMahon, who spent $24 million dollars in a PRIMARY for a $174,000/yr Senate job.

Here in Wisconsin we have three big spenders, trying to win a job that pays about $140,000/yr.

Lets also give a special mention to that Republican poster boy Ron Johnson who some say could spend as much as $20 million of is in laws money to buy his Senate seat.

I am sure this is just the tip of the iceberg. That there are these stories in every national, state and local election there is.

I just find it ironic!

Who’s to blame for all those job losses?

And here’s an explanation of the chart (emphasis mine):

From December 2007 to July 2009 – the last year of the Bush second term and the first six months of the Obama presidency, before his policies could affect the economy – private sector employment crashed from 115,574,000 jobs to 107,778,000 jobs. Employment continued to fall, however, for the next six months, reaching a low of 107,107,000 jobs in December of 2009. So, out of 8,467,000 private sector jobs lost in this dismal cycle, 7,796,000 of those jobs or 92 percent were lost on the Republicans’ watch or under the sway of their policies. Some 671,000 additional jobs were lost as the stimulus and other moves by the administration kicked in, but 630,000 jobs then came back in the following six months. The tally, to date: Mr. Obama can be held accountable for the net loss of 41,000 jobs (671,000 – 630,000), while the Republicans should be held responsible for the net losses of 7,796,000 jobs.

Chart courtesy of Ezra Klein.

The truth about Ron Johnson and PACUR

Courtesy of Jud Lounsbury comes this little gem about Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson:

PACUR was actually a spin-off company of another plastics company called Curwood, which was co-founded by Howard Curler (Ron Johnson’s father-in-law) in 1958.

Howard Curler was a giant in the plastics industry. In the late 1960s, he led a merger with the huge multinational corporation, the Bemis Company, but stayed on as president of Curwood. From 1978 to the early 1990s, Howard Curler would be CEO of Bemis. (Today, Howard Curler’s son, Jeffrey Curler is president and CEO of the Bemis Company.)

Howard Curler’s other son, Pat Curler, headed-up the spin-off company, which started in 1977 and was named PACUR, as a shortening of Pat Curler’s name. For many years PACUR’s only “client” was “selling” plastic products to parent company, Curwood.

In 1979, when Ron Johnson was 24, he accepted an offer to join his wife’s family’s plastic business, moved to Wisconsin, and worked in the PACUR company under his brother-in-law, Pat Curler.

This is exactly how it happened, but if you just learned about Johnson from media coverage and Johnson’s campaign, you would be led to believe (as I was) that an entreprenurial Johnson was a “self-made man” that started a plastics company in Oshkosh.

For example, the NRSC likes to refer to Johnson as an “entrepreneur” and a on a recent campaign trip to LaCrosse, GOP State Rep. Mike Huebsch introduced Johnson as someone that “built a successful manufacturing company from scratch.”

This is simply not true.

The reality is that Ron Johnson lucked-out by marrying Howard Curler’s daughter, but that doesn’t make him an entrepreneur and a business-dynamo, that makes him lucky.

So here’s two incontrovertible facts about Ron Johnson and PACUR:

  • PACUR was founded in 1977 in Wisconsin by Pat Curley
  • Ron Johnson and his wife (Pat Curley’s sister) didn’t move to Wisconsin until 1979

So if PACUR was founded in 1977 in Wisconsin and Ron Johnson didn’t move to Wisconsin until 1979, how could Ron Johnson have “founded” PACUR, as his official bio indicates?

I’d love to hear someone explain how Ron Johnson could have founded a company in a state he didn’t move to until two years after the company was supposedly founded by a completely different person.