So what about that one trillion deficit?
May 15, 2013
If the current laws that govern federal taxes and spending do not change, the budget deficit will shrink this year to $642 billion, CBO estimates, the smallest shortfall since 2008. Relative to the size of the economy, the deficit this year—at 4.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)—will be less than half as large as the shortfall in 2009, which was 10.1 percent of GDP.
Link: CBO historical budget data - May 2013
Life in prison for stealing a $ 2.50 pair of socks
April 18, 2013.
Found this story in Rolling Stone. Proof that in the USA everything is possible.
Cruel and Unusual Punishment: The Shame of Three Strikes Laws - Rolling Stone
WISCONSIN’S RANKINGS UNDER DOYLE
Governor Walker said not that long ago that he already did
better in his first term than Doyle did in his second term. He did not mention
the great recession that started at the end of 2007.
In the year 2008, a meltdown of the financial sector took place that led to a free fall of the U.S economy.
Did he really want to blame Doyle for the enormous job losses in that period? That would be ridiculous. This was a national crisis, not a local (Wisconsin) one, and it started when the Republicans were in power in Washington. Yes, Walkers’ party.
On the other hand, this also means that we cannot blame Walker for the job growth in January 2012 because that was caused by a national economic recovery that was gaining steam.
Maybe we can give the governor some praise for his efforts if Wisconsin performs as good as or better, on average, than the other states
If we compare Doyles last year
in office with Walkers first year we might get a better picture of the truth.
According to the Milwaukee journal Doyle added 30,000 private sector jobs
during his last year in office! Let us extrapolate that growth in a
conservative way and assume that Doyle would have added another 30,000 private
sector jobs, if he had been governor in 2011. Then we would have had 40,000
private sector jobs more in 2011! Actually Walker should be grateful to Doyle,
because in his first year, before his own policy started to kick in, there was
still some jobs gain caused by governor Doyle. It was
Doyle who turned things around for the good in his last year, but then Walker
messed up again.
Jobs in Wisconsin.
April 7, 2013
(right-click to enlarge image or zoom in(IE)
January 12, 2013
"Flash mob" musicians play "here comes the sun" in an unemployment office in Spain.
And most job searchers highly appreciate this moral support.
Jobs:Wisconsin performed better in November
December 22, 2012.
Wisconsin created 10,600 jobs in November and did also better in November compared to most other states. This according to the monthly Current Employment Survey. These are the numbers that Governor Walker doesn't want to take into account, because according to him, they are too inaccurate.
When we look at the job growth over the last year (monthly current employment survey), the picture is still pretty bad. Wisconsin is ranked 40th.
(for larger picture right-click picture and choose view picture)
Guns don't kill people, but people with guns do.
December 20, 2012
The facts are the best argument for gun control. An interesting column about guns and homicides.
See : On Guns, America Stands Out
Voter suppression in Wisconsin (again and again)
December 10, 2012
How it works: the party that is in control of the state legislature at the moment that it is the time for redistricting again (every 10 years) can change the maps of the US House districts, the State Assembly districts and the State Senate districts.
The redistricting plan is a partisan project. It is often used to help the governing party to suppress the vote. In this year the Republican districting plan has taken away the voting power of many democratic voters.
If a district A has a big democratic voter bloc, you try to move a lot of those voters, by redrawing the district borders, to a district that already has a democratic majority (District B) to secure a Republican majority in district A. (District B was already going to the Democrats anyway!). This tactic is called Gerrymandering.
In Wisconsin the new redistricting plan has led to a map that gives the Republicans an big advantage in the elections in the next 10 years. It explains how it is possible that Obama won Wisconsin handily, while the Republican Party won a majority in the State Senate and the State Assembly.
You can find an interesting analysis of what happened in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Voter suppression in Wisconsin (again).
Photo Megan McCormick
Since the November 6 presidential election, there have been discussions within the Republican Party about the causes of the negative outcome for the party.
Some of the smarter politicians said that it might be a good idea to show more concern for the problems of the Latino's, the African-Americans, the poor, the working class and other social groups.
The Wisconsin Republicans prefer to double down on their strategy of voter suppression.
They want to end the same-day voter registration law, that exists in Wisconsin since 1976. This law allows voters to register at the polling place on election day.
Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker proposed this change of the law at a Republican meeting in Los Angeles. This time the reason for the proposal is not "voter fraud".
This time, the republicans are worried about the poll workers, who are not able "to handle the volume of people who come at the last moment".
Oh well, you can give whatever motive for this proposal, everybody knows that the real motive is voter suppression.
Really, every dirty trick in the voter suppression book is being used to prevent seniors, minorities, and young people to have a vote that counts.
Not that long ago the Republican congress passed a very strict voter ID law, that was struck down by a county judge before the presidential election.
Then the Gerrymandering trick was used.
And now this. Let's hope that it backfires, just like the voter ID law.
Wisconsin lost 7,500 jobs in October
November 15, 2012.
While the USA nationally gained 171,000 jobs Wisconsin lost 7,500.
Links: State lost 7,500 jobs in October - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
For people who want to do some research: Department of Workforce Development-Worknet
November 11, 2012.
Many conservative pundits had a big problem acknowledging that Obama won the election.
Karl Rove, for instance, first denied Obama's victory, then blamed it on super-storm Sandy and voter suppression.
It also seemed to be hard for them to admit that Nate Silver, the 538 blogger of the New York Times has given a correct prognosis of the election outcome.
Long before the election he predicted that Obama probably would win because of his advantage in the so-called swing states.
Mitt Romney gained momentum after the first debate but near the end of October, before Sandy hit the East Coast, his rebound was receding.
The conservative talking heads turned out to be sore losers.
It is all the voters' fault. They are biased, greedy and lazy.
George Will in the Washington Post
Read the comments of the Washington Post readers!
Media Matters - Fox's Cal Thomas Agrees That A Lot Of Obama Voters Are "Freeloaders" And "Moochers"
Karl Rove Causes Fox News Chaos By Challenging Obama Victory Projection
November 6, 2012.
1. Obama wins;
2. the Democrats win;
3. The Pundits who all said that it was a tossup lose;
4. Nate Silver (538 blog) proves again that he is always right.
The Onion on Twitter: "Election Results: Confused Wyoming residents have legalized sex with marijuana.
How Obama turned a freefall into a steady recovery.
November 4, 2012
Last Friday the latest monthly job numbers were published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In October 171,000 jobs were created.
Since February 2010 more than 4.5 million jobs were created, and over the last year (October 2011 - Oct 2012) more than 1.9 million jobs.
Last month's job growth isn't stellar, but it confirms, what some other developments in the national economy already were indicating.
The housing market has stabilized and it will probably make a comeback in the coming years. A surge in the housing market will lead to an increase in construction and construction jobs, which will have a very positive effect on consumer spending and investments.
We also saw consumer confidence rising. That certainly has to do with the steady job growth over the last couple of years.
Personal income is rising, real GDP was up (2% growth over the 3rd quarter), and retail sales are rising again.
The job growth numbers of September were revised upwards from 114,000 to 148,000.
Romney's statement that the economy is stagnating is nonsense. There is growth on all fronts.
Moody's Analytics expects a jobs growth over the next four years of 12 million jobs. Even if Romney does not become president, it is going to happen anyway.
As E.J. Dionne JR puts it in TIME: "Mitt Romney can promise 12 million more jobs in the coming four years because Obama's policies have already put us on track to produce them, courtesy of a revival of manufacturing, a rise in exports and a new wave of research and innovation."
Three recent events that are favorable for Obama.
November 01, 2012
First of all there was the praise of Governor Christie (New Jersey) for Obama's response to the super-storm Sandy. Especially when Christie answered a Fox talk-show host's question about touring through the disaster area with presidential hopeful Mister Romney.. He really didn't like the idea, and definitely preferred to work with the sitting president who has the power to shift a lot of federal resources to New Jersey and New York.
A lot of commentators assume that Christie is praising Obama because he wants to go for the presidency in 2016. I doubt that.
Maybe I am naive, but couldn't it be that the Governor was shocked and moved by the unfolding tragedy in his state, and just doesn't care at all about the presidential election at the moment?
Embracing Obama definitely doesn't help you if you want to win the Republican primaries in 2016.
Then came the endorsement of the other guy whose state was hit by Sandy. New York's mayor Bloomberg. They both need a big and strong Government now. Bloomberg told the press that he is endorsing Obama, because of Obama's plans to combat climate change, while a lot of Republican politicians are still denying the existence of global warming.
We already saw the endorsement by Colin Powell about a week ago.
Endorsements normally do not count that much. But two endorsements and praise from a guy like Christie in the last week before the election?
According to Factcheck.org the 4.3 million jobs, lost in 2009, were Obama's fault, not Bush's fault.
Checking the facts, without checking the context.
October 25, 2012
In a “fact-check” report about an Obama campaign ad, factcheck.org tells that Obama is falsely claiming that he created 5.2 million jobs. He didn’t, the report claims. He created only 325,000 jobs.
The report could have been written by the Romney campaign. The Republican party often tells the voters that Obama did not create jobs because they “believe” that Obama is responsible for the 4.3 million jobs lost during his first year in office.
It is understandable that the Republicans are still in a state of denial as far as it concerns their responsibility for the start of the great recession. It must be extremely hard for them to accept, that it is their ideology of total deregulation and laissez-faire capitalism, which caused enormous misery in millions of families in the USA and the rest of the world.
But fact-check.org undermines it’s own credibility by publishing a similar story.
This is the ad:
This is what the fact check report says:
"In the ad, the president says “over 5 million new jobs” while the figure “5.2 million” appears on screen. But that’s a doubly misleading figure.
Viewers would need to pay close attention to the on-screen graphic to know that the ad refers only to employment gains starting in March 2010, omitting the 4.3 million jobs that were lost in the first year of Obama’s term.
And there’s no way a viewer would know that the total counts only private-sector jobs, omitting continuing losses in government employment.
According to the most recent employment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy has eked out a net gain of 325,000 jobs since January 2009, when Obama took office. And that’s giving credit for roughly 386,000 jobs that the BLS has announced, on a preliminary basis, that it will be adding to this year's employment totals next year, as a result of its routine annual “benchmarking” analysis.
Looking only at private-sector jobs, it’s true that the total has risen just under 5.2 million since February 2010 — provided that credit is given for roughly 453,000 private-sector jobs to be added next year through the BLS benchmarking process. But over Obama’s entire term, those private-sector jobs have gone up only 967,000, even counting benchmarking additions."
So, according to factcheck.org the job losses in 2009 (4.3 million!) are Obama's fault and not Bush's fault? These job losses already started in February 2008!
Here we see what happens when "the facts" are presented, while leaving out the historical context.
To enlarge image: right-click picture and click view/open image.
When Obama took office, on January 20, 2009, hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost per month (!). The economy was falling off the cliff.
That free fall was not caused by president Obama. That free fall started on the watch of a Republican president, George W. Bush, who was in office for eight years. It was caused, among other things, by the Republican push for deregulation of the financial sector.
Now, it is also true that it is not all Bush's fault. There are a lot more people responsible for this terrible crisis, and the devastating deregulation process already started more than 30 years ago. But it was predominantly the GOP that was pushing for unfettered capitalism without rules.
Obama and the Democratic Party managed to stop this free fall within a few months. He saved capitalism.
After that he created 5.2 million jobs, starting in February 2010.
What this "fact-check" report is doing, is telling us that Obama should be held accountable for all the job losses during his first year in office, and that, of course, is ridiculous.
The only fact that this report unveils, is that some "fact-checkers" at the Annenberg foundation are sympathizing with the Romney campaign.
I think that most voters are too smart to vote the same wrecking crew back in office that caused the economic downfall and that is now blaming Obama for it.
Job numbers by state are here again.
October 20, 2012
Even though the monthly numbers are not as accurate as the quarterly numbers, they give a pretty good indication of where Wisconsin stands compared to other states. And that's how we should judge the Republican policy in Wisconsin. Are we doing better than the other states, or worse?
No it is not good. This table, which shows job growth by state from September 2011 to September 2012, tells it all.
(for larger picture right-click picture and choose view picture)
October 19, 2012.
Yesterday I walked to my mailbox to get the morning paper. From far away I could see a big fat headline.
What is that? A huge terrorist attack on American soil? Did the US invade Syria? Has Vladimir Putin resigned? Or…? No, the packers still have an entire season to go before they win the Super-bowl.
I grabbed the paper: TOSSUPS the headline said.
Below the headline a picture of Obama’s head and Romney’s head. On Obama’s forehead it says 49%, on Romney's forehead: 48%.
Oh my! Obama in a virtual tie with Romney! He lost most of his lead! How could that be? I thought he won the debate!?!
Marquette University conducted a survey of 870 likely voters and Obama had only 49% of the votes.
His lead is now only one percent! A far cry from the 8% lead he had after the Democratic convention. Guess who is going to win the elections!
But hey, what is this? Poll taken October 11-14. That is before the debate! And the results are published by the Journal Sentinel on Thursday the 18th. Isn’t that a little bit late?
And now that it is that late… why this super big heading? We are talking about a poll here. A poll! One of the many, many polls that are out there. The poll is outdated and the election is still two-and-a-half weeks away.
Then I get it. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is going to endorse Romney and his election has to be promoted.
Newspapers should not endorse any candidates at all. They have to present the news, and a diversity of opinions. That’s it.
How Paul Ryan repairs the damage of Romney's 47% remark
October 18, 2012
The second debate.
October 16, 2012
pic Romney cropped from photo by Gage Skidmore
It was hard for me to stay focused all the time.
The debate was heated and aggressive, but also kind of tiring. One-and-half hour is a little bit too much.
I did not expect that Obama would get THAT aggressive, but in hindsight it was the right thing to do.
Obama mentioned Romney’s remarks about the so-called 47% who do not want to take responsibility, after Romney told the public that he cares about everybody.
Romney also lied about the tax cuts he wants to give to the wealthy. Or is it memory loss?
Here is the text of the transcript:
Obama: “(…) So we just have a different theory. And when Governor Romney stands here, after a year of campaigning, when during a Republican primary he stood on stage and said "I'm going to give tax cuts" -- he didn't say tax rate cuts, he said "tax cuts to everybody," including the top 1 percent, you should believe him because that's been his history.”
“And that's exactly the kind of top-down economics that is not going to work if we want a strong middle class and an economy that's striving for everybody.”
CROWLEY: Governor Romney, I'm sure you've got a reply there.
(LAUGHTER) ROMNEY: “You're absolutely right. You heard what I said about my tax plan. The top 5 percent will continue to pay 60 percent, as they do today. I'm not looking to cut taxes for wealthy people. I am looking to cut taxes for middle-income people.”
Well… here is what Mitt Romney said in Arizona during the Republican primary debates:
Romney: “I said today that we’re going to cut taxes on everyone across the country by 20 percent, including the top 1 percent. So that’s number one.”
(Arizona republican presidential debate – February 22, 2012.)
Now this is what one of Romney’s aids called the Etch- a-sketch Romney.
Others talk about Romney the shape-shifter.
October 10, 2012
Mitt Romney debates himself. This video is from the Daily Kos.
Republicans have a change of mind: government can create many, many jobs!
October 10, 2012
According to Mitt Romney and his Republican friends, the government does not create jobs, and cutting government spending leads to job growth.
But sometimes everything is completely different...
Cantor admits spending cuts kill jobs – Thinkprogress
Romney and weaponized Keynesianism – NYT
Romney’s ads against defense cuts treat military spending as a jobs program
October 9, 2012
I haven’t written down anything about the first Obama-Romney debate yet. Maybe, because it was quite confusing.
Romney was giving a sales talk. He looked a little bit too energized, and he was interrupting Lehrer and Obama several times.
And Obama was way too tame. Qua substance it looked okay, but why didn’t he attack Romney? He would have had so many chances to tackle his opponent.
Take for instance Romney’s opening:
“This is obviously a very tender topic. I've had the occasion over the last couple of years of meeting people across the country. I was in Dayton, Ohio, and a woman grabbed my arm and she said, "I've been out of work since May. Can you help me?"
Ann yesterday was at a rally in Denver and a woman came up to her with a baby in her arms and said, "Ann, my husband has had four jobs in three years, part-time jobs. He's lost his most recent job and we've now just lost our home. Can you help us?" And the answer is, yes, we can help, (….).
This comes from the man who said that he didn’t care about the 47% who pay no income taxes!
If I had been in Romney’s shoes, I wouldn’t have been able to get these words over my lips.
Isn’t this the proverbial example of being a hypocrite? You really have to be extremely cynical to picture yourself as someone who identifies himself with the problems of the poor, after talking about them as losers who do not deserve any compassion.
When he talked about his wife and the woman with the baby in her arms, I thought: maybe she can give this woman one of her Cadillacs.
Yes, I know: it is not fair to say that, but that's what I thought, because he was definitely trying to picture himself as a man who feels compassion for the poor, while everybody knows, or should know by now, that he doesn’t care at all.
But why was Obama looking so uninspired? Did the Romney campaign put a tranquillizer in his drink?
Or was it John Kerry?
There is no voter fraud. The Republican voter ID laws are a fraud.
October 3, 2012.
Everybody in this country knows that the Republican party introduced the voter ID laws because these laws will make voting for the poor and disadvantaged more difficult.
The republicans hope that this means less votes for the democratic party.
Sorry guys! It won’t work. It might even backfire.
Link: Voter ID Rules Fail Court Tests Across Country - NYT
Employment growth in Wisconsin from March 2011 - March 2012 1.1 percent
Wisconsin is ranked 43th in job growth (private and government jobs).
(If you want to enlarge the table click VIEW AND THEN ZOOM in your browser menu.)
Romney sees the ER as a a primary care option for the uninsured.
Even republicans like Joe Scarborough were baffled by Romney's latest "solution" for the 50 million Americans who do not have a health care insurance.
After Romney said that he would repeal Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act), Scott Pelley of CBS 60 minutes asked him if the government has a responsibility to provide health care for the uninsured.
Romney tells Pelley that, among other things, the emergency room is an option for those who have no health care.
Romney: "Well, we do provide care for people who don't have insurance, people-- we-- if someone has a heart attack, they don't sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care."
After Pelley says that that is very expensive - the ER - Romney answers: "Different, again, different states have different ways of doing that. Some provide that care through clinics. Some provide the care through emergency rooms. In my state, we found a solution that worked for my state. But I wouldn't take what we did in Massachusetts and say to Texas, "You've got to take the Massachusetts model."
Now everybody who knows something about health care knows that a visit to the ER is extremely expensive. While a visit to your physician costs on average about $ 150, a visit to the ER costs at least about $1500 to $ 2000.
If an ambulance has to bring you it will be a lot more than that.
How can you expect poor people to pay those bills? A bill like that would be extreme for almost every American. In the end the hospital ends up with the unpaid bills and everybody loses: the hospital, the patient and the tax payer.
Wouldn't it be better for the patient if he has the option of primary care by a physician? The guy, who gets the heart attack, maybe wouldn't have had one, if he could have gone to a primary care physician.
I do remember that Sean Hannity used to say: "Nothing wrong with our health care system. Nobody is dying in the street."
I guess he still talks like that. I never watch his show anymore. But Romney???
Oops! Romney talks of Obama voters as freeloaders who pay no taxes
A private fund-raiser is very public in the age of internet. And what you say can be very damaging to your campaign. Especially if it shows what you really think.
This is what Romney really thinks of almost half of the American people, knowing that a lot of them work hard for a very low wage:
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. (…) These are people who pay no income tax. (…) My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
Link: Mother Jones
Oops! Judge strikes down Walker's anti-union law.
Now it probably will go the the state Supreme Court again. The majority in de Supreme Court is Republican (yes, that is how it works in the USA) so in the end the law will remain.
Link: Milwaukee Journal sentinel
Dutch election: Europe wins. Wilders is the biggest loser.
Stimulus boosted growth of GDP. Now it is time for a new stimulus.
Even the IMF criticizes British austerity
July 24, 2012
In Europe and in the USA governments are doing exactly the opposite of what they should do. The result: a stalling recovery. Spending cuts and lack of stimulus lead to a loss of productive capacity and high unemployment figures.
BBC News - IMF: UK should slow budget cuts if growth does not return
French and Greeks vote against austerity.
May 7th, 2012
The majority of the French and Greek voters have decided that they have suffered enough pain, and that all their sacrifices only have caused more misery.
It is also hard to digest, that the people who caused the economic depression, seem to be doing better than ever before, while the poor and the middle class are paying a high price.
If the government cuts spending during a depression, it is stimulating the depression, not stimulating a recovery. And that is exactly what France and Germany have been advocating over the last two years.
Something has to be done about the budget deficits and the national debts, but in the short run the only cure for an ailing economy is stimulating growth. The euro zone (at least countries like Germany, France and the Netherlands that can afford it) has to implement an anti-cyclical policy, which means more government spending, not less.
If a moderate inflation is the price that has to be paid to end the high unemployment in Europe and the USA then so be it. Inflation may be bad for the rentiers who have been lending money, but it will also help to bring down the debt.
How nice it would be to go back in time, and watch the European leaders listening to all those European and American economists who tried to convince them NOT to introduce one European currency: the Euro.
And have them decide to wait with introducing the Euro until Europe has become one country with one language: English.... oh sorry, French, or German... or.... Italian or Spanish? Maybe Dutch or Polish?
Today the stock markets are going to take a hit.
Milwaukee Mayor Barrett runs against Walker in Wisconsin recall election
March 31, 2012.
It took some time, but Walkers opponent in the last election for Governor of Wisconsin, Tom Barrett will be running against Scott Walker. This time he probably has a better chance. Last time Barrett lost the election (47%-52%). Walker will be able to finance his campaign with shiploads of money from outside the state, but Barrett probably has the support of the Unions, if he wins the primary.
Is the Affordable Care Act doomed?
March 28, 2012
After what I've heard and read about the justices' questions I thought: "yes, maybe." But on the other hand: these are just questions, not opinions or judgments. One question stood out. That was a question from Justice Kennedy.
JUSTICE KENNEDY: Could you help -- help me with this. Assume for the moment -- you may disagree. Assume for the moment that this is unprecedented, this is a step beyond what our cases have allowed, the affirmative duty to act to go into commerce. If that is so, do you not have a heavy burden of justification? I understand that we must presume laws are constitutional, but, even so, when you are changing the relation of the individual to the government in this, what we can stipulate is, I think, a unique way, do you not have a heavy burden of justification to show authorization under the Constitution?
It was a sharp question about the constutionality of the individual mandate. But again: it is a question, not an opinion.
After the Bush versus Gore ruling and the Citizens United ruling, everything is possible. The conservative justices (Scalia, Alito and Thomas) will vote against the individual mandate, that's for sure. Roberts? Hmmm.
Justice Kennedy is the person here who might vote for the individual mandate.
Still... even if the Affordable Care Act would survive here, then there is the possibility of the Republicans repealing the law.
If the Supreme Court upholds the law, the law will be an important topic in the presidential election this year. In itself that would be a good thing.
March 25, 2012
Lousiana primary results: Rick Santorum wins
New York Times
U.S. The Caucus: In Attack Mode, Santorum Leaves Himself Open
By RICHARD A. OPPEL JR.
Published: March 22, 2012
The Romney campaign seized on Rick Santorum's suggestion that the United States would do just as well with four more years of President Obama as it would by electing Mitt Romney in November.
March 21, 2012.
Illinois primary: Romney wins GOP contest
New York Times
Today the Illinois primary
March 20, 2012.
Wisconsin lost more jobs than any other state in 2011
Change in number of government and private sector jobs in 2011 in Wisconsin
Numbers x 1,000
|Gov + Private change 2011||4||5.4||4.3||-1.1||-1.9||-9||-3.7||-9.8||5||-2.8||-11.8||0.4||-21|
|Gov change over 2011||-1.1||2.9||-0.1||-0.6||-2.4||-9||8.6||-8||4.7||-2.5||-4.5||0.7||-11.3|
|Private jobs change 2011||5||2.5||4.4||-0.5||0.5||0||-12.3||-1.8||0.3||-0.3||-7.3||-0.3||-9.7|
Last updated: 3/18/2012 In 2011 Wisconsin lost 11,300 government jobs.
In 2011 Wisconsin lost 9,700 private sector jobs
In 2011 the total job loss in Wisconsin was 11,300 + 9,700 = 21,000 jobs
The Milwaukee Journal HERE states that over the last 13(!) months (January 2012 included)the public (government) jobs loss is 14,500.
This number is pretty much final because it is the GOP itself that has been cutting those jobs. The newspaper also states that the private sector added 6,000 jobs over the last 13(!) months.
So the total nonfarm job loss over the last 13 months is "only" 8,500.
(The January 2012 numbers were the best so far for Walker; private-sector jobs rose by 15,700).
That looks a lot better but the Bureau of Labor Statistics is very clear about the January 2012 numbers . They are preliminary. And we know from last year what that could mean.
But okay, let's give Walker the benefit of the doubt here.
Governor Walker said not that long ago that he already did better in his first term than Doyle did in his second term. He did not mention the great recession that started at the end of 2007.
In the year 2008, a meltdown of the financial sector took place that led to a free fall of the U.S economy.
Did he really want to blame Doyle for the enormous job losses in that period? That would be ridiculous.
On the other hand, this also means that we cannot blame Walker for the job growth in January 2012 because that is probably caused by a national economic recovery that is gaining steam.
Maybe we can give the governor some praise for his efforts if Wisconsin performs as good as or better, on average, than the other states.
If we compare Doyles last year in office with Walkers first year we might get a better picture of the truth. According to the Milwaukee journal Doyle added 30,000 private sector jobs during his last year in office! Let us extrapolate that growth in a conservative way and assume that Doyle would have added another 30,000 private sector jobs, if he had been governor in 2011. Then we would have had 40,000 private sector jobs more in 2011! Actually Walker should be grateful to Doyle, because in his first year, before his own policy started to kick in, there was still some jobs gain caused by governor Doyle.
Now what is the moral of this story. The moral is that cutting government spending with the objective to balance the budget is the worst thing you can do when the economy is still only slowly recovering from a severe recession.
And that is exactly what Walker did.
Republicans do not want to hear about it, but Keynes was right.
March 16, 2012.
Delegate count primaries
To become the Republican nominee, Romney has to win 1144 delegates (half of the total number of delegates).
Tomorrow (Saturday) Missouri (52 delegates), Sunday Puerto Rico (23 delegates - winner takes all) and Tuesday a big one: Illinois (69 delegates).
March 12, 2012.
Walker sets up legal-defense fund - Milwaukee JS
The governor of Wisconsin already faces a recall election. But now there is also legal trouble coming up. Several of his aides faced charges, because of corruption in the period that Walker was county executive of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. Oops!
See also: Walkergate
March 10, 2012
Plaintiff challenging healthcare law went bankrupt – with unpaid medical bills - LA Times
March 9, 2012
Oregon Emphasizes Choices At The End Of Life - National Public Radio
March 7, 2012
With No Knockout Punch, a Bruising Battle Plods On - NYT
February 29, 2012
Romney Claims Victory in Michigan and Arizona - NYT
February 27th, 2012.
Santorums' ludicrous statements about Euthanasia in the Netherlands.
A couple of weeks ago Santorum made some statements about euthanasia in the Netherlands.
He said that 10% of deaths in the Netherlands are caused by euthanasia and that half of all those patients are euthanized invuluntarily because they are older and sick.
Seniors in the Netherlands wear bracelets with the text: "do not euthanize me" he told his Republican supporters, who were shocked. Well, who would NOT be shocked, when hearing these stories?
In The Netherlands the public was shocked too. But the reason for that was a different one.
Though most Dutch who read the papers, watch TV and follow the news on the web, already were convinced that the majority of the candidates for the Republican nomination consists of idiots who are giving the USA extremely bad publicity abroad, they did not expect this.
The procedures and regulations for euthanasia in the Netherlands are very strict. The patient has to ask his doctor for euthanasia more than once, and he or she has to be in full control of his mental faculties. Another doctor has to give his written consent.
After the patients death a commission reviews the process to see to it that the proper procedures have been followed.
The story about the bracelets is bogus, and the rest of Santorums statistics too.
As a Dutch immigrant, I was quite shocked to find out that in this country (except for Oregon), you might have to suffer excruciating pains for weeks, or months, before you die of an incurable disease, knowing that all the suffering is completely unnecessary. Thanks to our "Christian" friends who impose their opinions and values onto others.
Now THAT is shocking.
Links: Euthanasia in the Netherlands: Rick Santorum’s bogus statistics - Washington Post
Rick Santorum and James Dobson Push 'Death Panels' Myth, Nostalgic for Time When Abortion was a Crime - Right Wing Watch
Majority of Massachusetts residents is happy with Romneycare.
February 16, 2012.
Most residents like Romneycare, and that is not a big surprise. They know what Romneycare is. A majority of 62% supports the 2006 law. This, according to a WBUR.org poll. WBUR is Boston's NPR news station.
Romneycare is very much like the Affordable Care Act (Most Republicans call it "Obamacare"). That is why most right-wing conservatives do not like Romney.
Link: WBUR Poll: Most Mass. Residents Support State Health Care Law
ALEC: a secretive conservative organization shaping state laws.
February 14, 2012.
ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) makes it possible for big corporations to sit at the policy table, and write many bills that state legislators introduce in state congress.
The first time I heard about ALEC was while I was listening to a Fresh Air story (National Public Radio) on July 21, 2011. Who's Really Writing States' Legislation?
The organization counts about 2000 legislative members, almost all Republican, who represent all 50 states, and about 300 corporate members.
Alec exposed - The Nation
The big money behind state laws
Secretive Corporate-Legislative Group ALEC Holds Annual Meeting to Rewrite State Laws
Best scenario for the Republicans.
February 5, 2012
The non-farm payroll employment rose with 234,000 jobs in January, while the unemployment rate went down to 8.3 %, the lowest rate in three years.
What is the best scenario for the Republicans?
First reaction: just say that Obama is responsible for the unemployment rate rising above 8% in the last three years. Do not mention the fact that a Republican president left the stage in January 2009 with the American economy in a free fall (job losses of more than 650,000 per month). Especially do not mention that Obama managed to reverse this trend, and that his stimulus plan played an important role in this trend reversal.
Now..., if the February employment numbers are not as good as the January numbers, you are good. Just keep saying that Obama owns this economy, and that he is the cause of the bad economy. Again: do not say anything about the Bush presidency. Blame everything on Freddy and Fanny and Big Government. Do not talk about the banks that were too big to fail, the almost total lack of regulation and lack of enforcement of rules by the SEC, the leverage of 33 to 1, and the big majority of bad subprime mortgages closed by the big private banks like Countrywide.
If you get the chance, put part of the blame on Democratic president Jimmy Carter and his Community Reinvestment Act.
Even though his presidency ended more than 30 years ago, this tactic still pays off.
Please, do not mention George W. Bushes ownership society and the American Dream for every American: home ownership.
Keep using the government deficit and the government debt as a smoke curtain, to hide the fact that you are blocking the presidents agenda. You certainly do not want the unemployment problem to be solved under HIS presidency!
Keep saying that you are against Big Government, and that the government is nothing but a big bureaucracy pushing papers.
Though we do know better of course (no not you Michele Bachmann, and Herman Cain) also keep saying that the government does not create jobs.
Do not use the word capitalism please! Just say "Free Enterprise". That makes people smile.
I will soon come up with more advice that might be useful in case the unemployment rate decreases to less than 8%. Let's hope that this does not happen, because then you might get into real trouble.
February 2, 2012
Schumer is criticizing the SuperPACs.
Schumer outraged by Rove's donation collections - Politico
Here we are again :)) Karl Rove.
February 2, 2012
Do you want to know where all the money for the SuperPACs is coming from?
Here is a very good start: Who’s Financing the ‘Super PACs’ - NYT
See also: Wesleyan Media Project
January 25, 2012
Many Americans think that their federal tax rate is too high and that they pay way too much for medicare, social security and public education. So the government should cut down on these expenditures. But... could it be... maybe, maybe.... that they might be wrong?
Why Taxes Aren’t as High as They Seem - By DAVID LEONHARDT - NYT
What are the Iowa caucuses?
January 3, 2011.
During the Iowa caucuses party members come together in schools, community centers etc. At those meetings delegates will be chosen for the "county convention." At the county convention delegates will be elected for the statewide conventions.
At the statewide convention delegates are ultimately selected for the National Convention.
At the meetings in the neighborhoods (Iowa counts almost 1800 precincts) there will be discussions and speeches.
The participating residents will try to persuade others to vote for their favorite candidate. "Grass roots politics" it is called in the USA, though this is not entirely true.
This year, for example, Romney has a much better organization than other candidates like Newt Gingrich. This means that in almost every precinct someone will hold a pro-Romney speech.
The campaigning and the discussions will be followed by a vote. The vote could for instance result in six delegates to the county convention for Mitt Romney, three for Rick Santorum and two for Ron Paul.
A caucus therefore requires a pretty intensive participation of the voters. Yet there are still some 100,000 people participating in the Iowa caucuses.
Link: Iowa Has Hogged First Place in Our Political Line Too Long - The Atlantic
Republican Primary Schedule
Republicans change their mind after heavy political pressure.
December 23, 2011
At last House Republican leaders gave in to the heavy political pressure from Democrats and leaders in their own party, and accepted a short-term pay roll tax cut. One of the leaders who pushed for a compromise was Republican senator Mitch McConnell. And rightly so. The rejection of the tax cut, thanks to the Tea Party representatives in the House, was the most stupid political move in years.
See: House G.O.P. Leaders Agree to Extension of Payroll Tax Cut - NYT
GOP shoots itself in the foot
December 21, 2011
Tea Party House members do not like the pay roll tax cut at all, so they say they want an extension for a year, not just for two months.
Yes we know, it sounds weird.
More than two million Americans are going to lose their unemployment benefits, and 160 million Americans their payroll tax cut. And then there is also a problem with Medicare. Even the Wall Street Journal is embarrassed, about the latest Republican move.
Everybody went home for christmas. And Obama is rising in the polls. Holy crap! What now?
Obama Gets a Lift From Tax Battle With Republicans - NYT
December 20, 2011
Republicans in House Reject Deal Extending Payroll Tax Cut - NYT
December 17, 2011 This week Crhristopher Hitchens died. An article about Hitchens from Vanity Fair was published on the YAHOO web site. A lot of the comments from readers give a pretty good idea of existing religious intolerance in the USA.
See: Christopher Hitchens, writer and Vanity Fair contributor, dies at 62
December 16, 2011
Fact check republican debate 12-15-NYT
The Caucus: Iowa Debate Fact Check
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
Published: December 16, 2011 New York Times reporters examined candidates' statements on Iran, immigration, the national debt and more, during the Republican presidential debate in Sioux City, Iowa.
December 15, 2011
Tonight last republican debate before the Iowa primary. Live stream at foxnews.com
And it will be all about Romney, Gingrich and Paul.
December 11, 2011
Watch the video of the IOWA republican debate here
November 27, 2011.
Norquist: Democrats are lying
picture: Gage Skidmore
According to Norquist the Democrats should not blame him for the budget gridlock in congress. And if they do they are lying. Norquist is a political lobbyist who wants to destroy the government. An infamous quote from him is: "My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."
He is forcing republican politicians to promise that they will not raise taxes. Those who do not want to sign "the pledge" not to raise taxes, or "break" the pledge, will be confronted in the primary elections with very strong "well-funded" opponents. Guess where all that money for these opponents is coming from.
He has never been elected by the people into a public office. He cannot be held accountable for what he is doing. He is a lobbyist. The existence of people like him is symptomatic for what is wrong with America.
LINKS: Norquist - CNN
No deal in sight, says super committee co-chair - CNN
November 25, 2011
Mitt Romney in his own words and by his own standards
November 22, 2011
Republican debate fact checks see: elections - New York Times
November 18, 2011
Herman Cain: Taliban in Libya
These Republican candidates are scary!
November 17, 2011
Millionaires want congress to raise their taxes - CNN Money
November 16, 2011
Oops! Now it is Herman Cain
Libya was front page news for almost a year, but Herman Cain knows less about the subject than a 5th grader.
He also seems to have missed the whole discussion about collective bargaining.
Palin, Bachmann, Perry, Cain.... The GOP has a huge problem. The only serious Republican candidate seems to be Mitt Romney.
See: Cain stumbles on Libya question - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Andy Rooney (January 14, 1919 – November 4, 2011)
November 6, 2011
Andy Rooney quotes:
“Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 40, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress. Ladies, I apologize. For all those men who say, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?", here's an update for you. Nowadays 80%of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage!” ― Andy Rooney
“I’m always on the lookout for something good about people; sometimes months go by.” - Andy Rooney
Accolades for Rooney, a Doubter of Accolades - NYT
Andy Rooney - Wikipedia
November 4, 2011.
Mitch McConnell; The pot calling the kettle black.
According to TIME and AP Mitch McConnel, the republican minority leader in the U.S. Senate said:
"The truth is, Democrats are more interested in building a campaign message than in rebuilding roads and bridges," ... "And frankly, the American people deserve a lot better than that."
He said this after the republicans blocked Obama's "Construction Bill" because of its tax surcharge on the wealthy and the spending totals that were too high, according to this report.
What did McConnell himself say last year?
"The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."
Psychologists call this phenomenon "projection" - a defense mechanism by which your own traits and emotions are attributed to someone else.
November 3, 2011.
I have presented this table before on this site. But because a lot of people in the USA are flatly denying the enormous income inequality in the USA, we do it again!
The number on the right is the Gini index.
Oh, and the inequality in wealth is even bigger.
Source: CIA World Fact Book
Go there if you want to see the complete list.
|35 Rwanda &nbrbsp;||46.80|
|36 Philippines 45.8||45.80|
|39 United States 45.0||45.00|
|40 Cameroon 44.6||44.60|
|41 Cote d'Ivoire 44.6||44.60|
|43 Malaysia 44.1||44.10|
By ROBERT PEAR
Published: October 25, 2011
A new report from the Congressional Budget Office is likely to figure prominently in the escalating political fight over the economy.
Republican debate 10-18-2011 highlights CNN
If you can sleep after reading this article, you are a very calm person (or very wealthy).
October 19, 2011
GOP: ‘Deregulate Wall Street!’ - Washington Post
9-9-9 a disaster for the middle class and the poor - WP
I watched the republican debate on TV. What I saw was a bunch of self-satisfied politicians without any plan for the economy. They have tried to block every effort to improve the economic situation of the unemployed and the people who are afraid to lose their job.
These are the politicians who only want to talk about spending cuts, tax cuts and the national debt, not about practical solutions for the unemployment problem. This is the political party that has been stalling unemployment benefit extensions, whenever possible.
They are blaming the bad economic situation on Obama, while he is actually the one who has been doing something about it. The Obama administration saved capitalism, after the republican party had been running the economy into the ground.
The only plan they have is 'deregulation of the financial system', while it was excessive deregulation that brought the system down.
A week ago Romney said that the occupy Wall Street movement was dangerous and that it was "class warfare". This week he told us that he does not worry about the 1% rich but that he worries about the other 99%.
Mr Cain said last week: "If you are not rich, blame yourself."
This is what he said about his statement during the debate:
MS. GOLDMAN: Mr. Cain -- (applause) -- you recently said, quoting you: Don't blame Wall Street, don't blame the big banks; if you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself.
So are you telling the 14 million unemployed Americans that it's their fault that they don't have a job?
MR. CAIN: No, the question was -- that response was directed at the people that are protesting on Wall Street, not that 14 million people who are out of work for no reason of their own other than that the economy is not growing, not the millions of people that are underemployed.
That statement was not directed at them. It was specifically directed at the people who were protesting on Wall Street. And I also said that they have basically targeted the wrong target. It should be against the failed policies of this administration, not Wall Street, is where they should be protesting.
During the same debate Mr. Cain was touting his ridiculous 9-9-9 plan. 9% income tax, 9% sales tax and 9% corporate tax. Translated correctly it means: abandon the progressivity of the U.S. tax system. Have the poor pay more taxes, and let the rich pay even less than they already do. Yes it will also raise the deficit, but who cares? Not Mr Cain.
Republicans vote down Obama's stimulus plan.
see: President’s Jobs Measure Is Turned Back in Key Senate Test - NYT
By ROBERT PEAR Published: October 11, 2011 The White House and Congressional Democrats are developing plans to revive elements of what had been portrayed as the centerpiece of Mr. Obama’s push to revive a listless economy.
A majority of the American people support Obama's stimulus plan
But a majority of the American people support the plan
Americans, unlike the Senate, approve of Obama’s jobs bill, poll says By Rachel Rose Hartman - Yahoo - The Ticket
Republican presidential debates: transcripts.
October 11, 2011
seventh debate 1-11-2011 - Washington Post
Watch the full debate video HERE.
Think Again: The Era of the 'One Percent'
This material [article] was published by the Center for American Progress
By Eric Alterman | October 6, 2011
Whether one agrees or disagrees with the tactics of the Occupy Wall Street movement, it’s easy to understand the inspiration for its anger as well as its impatience.
“Historical movements,” the historian Mary Jo Buhle rightly notes, “are rarely judged solely in the light they cast themselves.” In that sense it is a decidedly risky business to try to draw too many hard and fast conclusions about the present moment in history. Even so, I think the Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz was as accurate as anyone is likely to be when he pronounced our age—and our government—to be one “of the one percent, by the one percent, for the one percent.”
Think about it: In 1974 the top 0.1 percent of American families enjoyed 2.7 percent of all income in the country. By 2007 this same tiny slice of the population had increased its holdings to fully 12.3 percent—roughly five times as great a piece of the pie as it had enjoyed just three decades earlier. Half the U.S. population owns barely 2 percent of its wealth, putting the United States near Rwanda and Uganda and below such nations as pre-Arab Spring Tunisia and Egypt when measured by degrees of income inequality.
It is not the voters; the Republican Voter ID policy is a fraud.
October 4, 2011
The Republicans are against government regulation, except where it concerns creating hurdles for Democratic voters.
Gerrymandering alone doesn't seem to be enough. To win the elections, honest democratic voters must be discouraged to vote whenever possible.
New State Rules Raising Hurdles at Voting Booth - NYT
Republican crowd: "Let uninsured die."
Just a reminder. This is what happened three weeks ago during a republican debate.
I wonder what the crowd's reaction would have been if this would have been about a family that lost its insurance because the provider lost his job. After watching this... I really do not know ... Though Ron Paul denies it, it is also what his message implies.
This should be broadcasted again the day before the 2012 election.
Republican echo chamber keeps repeating the same false statement that one stimulus job costs $280,000. (2)
Sept 20, 2011
Here is George Will's contribution:
"For two years, there has been one constant: As events have refuted the Obama administration's certitudes, it has retained its insufferable knowingness. It knew that the stimulus would hold unemployment below 8%. Oops. Unemployment has been at least 9% in 26 of the 30 months since the stimulus was passed. Michael Boskin of Stanford says that even if one charitably accepts the administration's self-serving estimate of jobs "created or saved" by the stimulus, each job cost $280,000 - five times America's median pay."
See: Our floundering ‘federal family’ - Washington Post
George Will belongs to the Republican family. Michael Boskin is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.
"The Hoover Institution is influential in the American conservative and libertarian movements. The Institution has long been a place of scholarship for high-profile conservatives with government experience." - See: Wikipedia
See also: Politifact - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Obama presents Debt-reduction plan
Sept 19, 2011
Clinton blames Koch and blue-collar pain for NY9 loss - Politico
More bad special election news for Obama
Sep 15, 2011 Nevada election bodes ill for Democrats - Politico
Carville: Obama should panic.
Sep 15, 2011 Carville to Obama: Fire your staff - Washington Post
Democrats lose in NYC congressional race
Sep 14, 2011
Republican candidate Turner beats Democrat Weprin. This certainly is not good for the Democrats and Obama. But on the other hand: maybe it is not such a big deal.
This analysis puts everything in perspective.
FiveThirtyEight: A Guide to Cutting Through Special-Election Spin
Sep 11, 2011.
"Economic growth in the G7 economies excluding Japan will remain at an annualised rate of less than 1% in the second half of 2011. The debate over fiscal policy in the United States, the sovereign debt crisis in some countries of the euro area and the fact that governments have fewer options to boost growth are driving both business and consumer confidence downward. The extent of bank deleveraging, due to the impact of regulatory changes, may also have been underestimated. Earlier improvements in the labour market are now fading, hiring intentions are softening and there are greater risks that high unemployment could become entrenched.
On the upside, a number of OECD countries are taking serious fiscal and structural reform measures, which should boost confidence. President Obama's announcement later today is expected to provide a boost to job recovery in the United States.
Japanese growth is expected to be buoyed by the ongoing reconstruction efforts following the earthquake and tsunami. Inflation may have peaked in emerging markets, which will allow for some policy easing. Investment levels in many OECD countries remain well below historical averages, offering the possibility for renewed corporate spending in the coming months if uncertainty abates."
OECD press conference Sep 9, 2011.
This OECD-graph speaks for itself.
This is what we got after stimulus policies that were not big enough, and the recent policy in the major industrialized countries of cuts in public spending.
And more fiscal austerity is to be expected...