Lazy bums living off unemployment instead of getting jobs?

You know it would be a wanton waste of money if the federal government once again extended unemployment benefits for what are now becoming the hard core unemployed. It just encourages them to be lazy and live off their unemployment benefits instead of looking for jobs. [sarcasm]

Well just last month Costco opened their Wisconsin location in Pewaukee and created 190 new jobs. Now 50 of those jobs were already filled (I am assuming by Costco employees transferred in to get the place rolling). But according the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 140 new hires came from our area…140 new hires…selected for 4,000 applicants!

Two things to take away from this…the unemployed in Wisconsin still retain their work ethic and are willing to work if given the opportunity…and if 4,000 people are applying for 140 retail jobs…that laser focus on jobs in Madison is NOT working!

Government Creates Jobs

We keep hearing the echo that government can’t create jobs…well most of us have the common sense to realize that when government spends money…well dagummit…it creates jobs! Two of the biggest most apparent and most applauded signs of job growth in the State of Wisconsin over the past 4 or 5 years is Oshkosh Trucks and Marinette Marine.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently published an article extolling the positive effects of building littoral ships for the Navy is having on Marinette Marine and the surrounding communities.

The shipyard has been rapidly expanding to meet demand for the new littoral ships that is is building:

Marinette Marine employs about 700 hourly paid workers and expects to double that in the next two years. Including administrative jobs, the company has been hiring 50 people a month.

Marinette Marine has favored local suppliers for their raw materials which has created something of a boomlet in the local economy.

About half of the combat ship supply chain is within 60 miles of Marinette, said Jerry Murphy, executive director of New North Inc., a regional economic development group in De Pere.

And it looks like they’ve created something of a local labor shortage:

To cash in on Marinette’s shipbuilding and work at other area boat builders, businesses have formed the North Coast Marine Manufacturing Alliance.

The group traveled to Racine recently to recruit skilled workers for shipyards and their suppliers.

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College is building a maritime industry training center so that companies aren’t stealing employees from one another. Several high schools also are training people for welding jobs

So the next time someone smugly denies that government creates jobs…just point to Marinette Marine and say, well yes they do. This bright spot in the economy wouldn’t exist without government investment and defense contracts.

The Office of Fuzzy Math and Fuzzier Logic

In the latest Walker administration attack on the Affordable Care Act, the weirdly named Office of Free Market Health Care issued a press release containing the following statement made by  Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel

” it is our competitve market that is directly responsible for 95% of Wisconsinites having access to affordable health insurance coverage”


One in five Wisconsinites, 20% of the population,  is on Badgercare/Medicaid.  According to 2010 Census numbers 13.7% of Wisconsinites are age 65 or older, which means they’re  on Medicare.  That’s almost 34% of Wisconsinites on public health insurance programs. How does  Nickel conclude that our competitive health insurance market is directly responsible for the 95% figure?

Moreover, Todd Berry, president of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, says that in 1998 only one in 13 Wisconsinites were on Medicaid , roughly 8% of our population . Thirteen years later the figure is at 20%.

So, was it a competitive health insurance  market that made coverage affordable to a greater percentage of Wisconsinites, or was it the creation and expansion of public health insurance programs under the Thompson and Doyle administrations?

Could Ted Nickel be talking out of his arse? If so, can he be cured and will his health insurance cover the costs of treatment?


Jack Abramoff

Abramoff was the subject of a 60 minutes story where he proclaims “the whole system is corrupt”… leslie stahl even fakes surprise when Abramoff comes clean about some of the stuff he has done. He even “shows” some remorse.

Personally i find nothing but disgust for those people who mess with our democracy(yes I am talking to you Scooter Jensen), and think the penalties are far too light. I do not think 4 years is enough time for him to have served, unless he turned states evidence and actually gave up some real crooks(and old friends) in Congress(yes I mean you Paul Ryan). Since he did not really do that(only Bob Ney went was punished), I will take his apologies and “disgust”with what he did with a grain of salt. They all while talking about it tend to have a little laugh, maybe because they lived so high on the Hog for so long. I am in awe though how Abramoff has any money left, since all of the money he got appeared to be dirty!

If there is a better poster child for #OCCUPY than Abramoff, I do not know who it would be. If he truly is sorry and truly helps bring about change that is so badly needed in our political structure today, then I will be satisfied that he has truly repented.

PS: here are a couple of things i would like to see researched by someone who has more time and resources than myself.

1. Who exactly, from what congressional member’s staff, did Abramoff hire his workers?

2. How much money did each politician, (especially Paul Ryan) spend eating dinner at “Signatures”?

Tonight’s the Night!

Tonight is the first ever edition of Drinking Liberally Waukesha!  I hope you will be able to join us at Sprizzo Caffe for drinks and conversation with other liberal and progressive folks from the Waukesha area. John “Sly” Sylvester fromWTDY in Madison will join us to talk about the ongoing fight for Wisconsin’s working families and the impending recall of Governor Walker.

Our very own Zach W., the managing editor of Blogging Blue will also be joining us. He’ll be available to talk about the history of liberal blogging in Wisconsin and how to get involved in holding the GOP accountable.

We’ll have copies of the latest Isthmus with Scott Wittkopf’s cover story Blame Waukesha. Scott will be joining us for a special edition of Drinking Liberally Waukesha on Saturday, November 12th at Sprizzo Caffe.

We’ll see you all tonight at Sprizzo Caffe at 6:30pm in “downtown” Waukesha!

Chez Ordonez reception/fundraiser November 8

Here’s the details of a campaign reception/fundraiser being held on behalf of Milwaukee aldermanic candidate Chez Ordonez, who’s challenging incumbent Ald. Bob Donovan:

Reception in honor of Chez Ordonez hosted by Andy Nunemaker at his home 2239 N Terrace Avenue in Milwaukee


Suggested contribution is $75

Refreshments will be available.

What have Wisconsin’s Republicans been doing during their special “jobs” session?

During an appearance this weekend on “Up Front” with Mike Gousha, Republican State Sen. Mary Lazich of New Berlin said lawmakers still have a “laser” focus on jobs, but Democratic State Sen. Chris Larson of Milwaukee rightly pointed out that Republicans in the legislature pursued social issues at the expense of jobs legislation.

So let’s take a look at just some of the bill passed by the Republican-controlled State Senate during their special “jobs” session.

  • Passed AB 69, a bill implementing the “Castle Doctrine” providing immunity to property owners using lethal force against an intruder.
  • Passed SB 237, a bill allowing school districts to teach abstinence-only sex education instead of a more comprehensive sex education program.
  • Passed a bill creating an elected comptroller office in Milwaukee County.
  • Passed a bill that would stipulate that property owners are not liable for trespassers on their property.
  • Passed SB 45, changing the definition of a school nurse and relating to regulations of administration of medication to pupils.
  • Passed SB 49, which would add viewing of pornography at public schools as “immoral conduct” grounds for revocation of a Dept. of Public Instruction license.
  • Passed a bill allowing landlords to discriminate against renting to individuals based on their conviction record or income.
  • Passed a bill allowing schools to fire or refuse to hire convicted felons.
  • Passed SB 12, which would limit attorneys’ fees to three times the amount of compensatory damages.

I don’t know about you, but as I look at that list, I’m not seeing a “laser” focus on jobs. I’m seeing a lot of legislating of social issues, but not a lot of legislating on issues relating to job creation.

Then again, considering Republicans “job creation” efforts have led to three consecutive months of private sector job losses here in Wisconsin, perhaps we should all be thankful Republicans have abandoned their job search efforts, because they’ve clearly done more harm than good.

Blogging Blue interviews Tammy Baldwin

Image courtesy Baldwin for Senate
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve no doubt heard that Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl will not be seeking reelection to the United States Senate in 2012, leaving his seat up for grabs. There are already three announced Republican candidates for the seat currently held by Sen. Kohl, while Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Madison is the only Democrat in the race thus far.

Our conversation started with the first question candidates are typically asked when they decide to run for office, that being why she decided to run for office. When I asked Rep. Baldwin how she came to make her decision to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Herb Kohl, Rep. Baldwin said her decision came out of a frustration she had – and still has – with the disconnect between Washington D.C. and the struggles Wisconsin families are facing. Rep. Baldwin rightly noted that the middle class is shrinking, and she said her frustration fueled her decision to run. Baldwin was also quick to note that she was also inspired by the many average Wisconsinites who have been voicing their opinions about what’s wrong in our state and our nation, and she added that she’s one public servant who’s been listening to what those average Wisconsinites have been saying. “I couldn’t stand to see Senator Kohl’s seat go to someone who’s not listening,” Rep. Baldwin added, a clear reference to the Republicans vying for Sen. Kohl’s seat.

As our conversation continued, I asked Rep. Baldwin how she planned to combat the inevitable conservative talking points attacking her as a “Madison liberal” who’s out of touch with average Wisconsinites, and Baldwin responded by expressing confidence that as she travels the state during her U.S. Senate campaign Wisconsinites will come to find out how much they have in common while focusing less on what may divide them. Rep. Baldwin added that as she traveled across Wisconsin helping with the various recall efforts, she heard a lot of commonality about how mightily Wisconsinites are struggling.

Rep. Baldwin also noted that her Senate campaign will be based out of Milwaukee, not Madison, stating that her campaign is not about one city or one particular part of the state. Finally, Rep. Baldwin pointed out that she succeeded a Republican Congressman in a district that at the time was less liberal-leaning than it is today, being 1/3 urban, 1/3 rural, and 1/3 suburban at the time.

Asked about her U.S. Senate campaign gaining the endorsement of former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold, Rep. Baldwin said she was “so honored” to have Sen. Feingold’s endorsement, adding that she believes the endorsement will be a huge boost to her campaign. Rep. Baldwin added that part of the appeal of Sen. Feingold’s endorsement is the fact that he and Rep. Baldwin share a common ideology on a number of issues, with their opposition to the Iraq War and their shared opposition to the repeal of provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act being two of those issues. Both Feingold and Baldwin support the restoration of the separation between investment banking which issued securities and commercial banks which accepted deposits, a separation that was repealed in 1999.

As our interview drew to a close, I asked Rep. Baldwin if she expected any other Democrats to jump into the race to succeed Sen. Kohl in the U.S. Senate, and she quickly noted there’s no way of predicting whether other Democrats will jump into the race. Rep. Baldwin did note that with each passing day her campaign is more and more organized, her endorsement list grows longer, and her fundraising continues to get stronger. “As the campaign comes together, it’s less and less likely that another Democratic candidate will emerge,” said Baldwin.

Given the importance Democrats have placed on retaining the Senate seat currently held by Herb Kohl, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Rep. Baldwin found herself as the only Democratic candidate. While I’m ordinarily not a fan of uncontested primaries for open seats, in the case of the seat currently held by Sen. Kohl an uncontested Democratic primary would give Rep. Baldwin the chance to raise money and her statewide profile while the Republican U.S. Senate candidates tear each other down and burn through their campaign coffers.