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Magical Politics

Fancy data, contrasting numbers, questionable tactics...welcome to the new world of Wisconsin politics.

As I write this, there are merely 18 short days before the long awaited recall election. Our television and radio waves have been inundated with endless political ads. All of the mailings we receive daily likely destroyed some pretty forest somewhere. And the tension between co-workers, family members, friends and online commenters could not be any more impenetrable. The day so many of us have been waiting for is almost here and I, for one, could not be more impatient.

Facebook, radio, television, blogs, newspapers, websites, Twitter…there is a buttload of information out there and for some reason – it seems to make things all the more confusing. For every pro-Walker piece, there is a disputing pro-Barrett piece. And vice versa. For the average citizen, this has become a maze of hopeful guesses and frustrating bewilderment.

Employment: Smoke, Mirrors and Other Fancy Tricks

Job numbers have turned into this magical estimation of how viable we are as a state and country. Our worth is determined by surveys, economist theories and once in a while, if we’re lucky, cold hard data.

The continuing eye rolling and forehead smacking is largely due to this contradicting idea on who is to blame or praise for these statistics. When U.S. employment improves, the GOP cannot poo-poo it fast enough; telling us that the President has nothing to do with job creation. But if there are 50 new jobs in this state, Walker is beating his chest like some Tarzan wannabe.

Earlier this week, Walker made an unprecedented move to release unverified numbers which makes it appear that the employment landscape has improved under his watchful eye. And while many experts state that BLS surveys are highly unreliable; Walker, Van Wanggaard and their posse are using these surveys to bolster their annoying claim that “It’s working.”

A few days ago on WRJN, Wanggaard admitted that the conflicting numbers were confusing and he didn’t quite understand how or why they could be so different. But in his next breath, he congratulated himself and his party for making all the boo-boos go bye-bye.

Sadly, a new set of numbers were released yesterday that seem to tell a . According to the Department of Workforce Development, there was an estimated loss of 6,200 jobs in April. It stated that state government added 500 jobs but that counties and cities continued to lose. There must not be enough room with all those shiny new tools. Ya see, it’s easy to balance your budget when you take money from others and screw up their budgets. In fact, my bills are piling up lately. I think I will raid the kids’ college funds, start stealing toilet paper from public restrooms and grab from my neighbor’s rainy day change jar.

Honestly, the only thing that is “working” is the Advil I have to take when I learn about the latest inconsistency.

Divide et Impera

Julius Caesar is said to be the first in history to use this phrase and strategy. But let us remember his fate. Beware the Nones of June, Mr. Walker; a recall may just indeed cut as deep as a dagger.

This week, a very interesting clip was released demonstrating Walker’s true intentions and lack of respect for the people in this state. Everyone should watch this video prior to voting – if you don’t like the particular link I shared, feel free to Google it – it is all over the vast interweb land by now.

I will tell ya though, that is one thing for which he can truly pat himself on the back. His sneaky little swindles and schemes have definitely divided our state. On the day of the primary, a woman ran over her husband when he tried to stop her from going to the polls due to their opposing views. I have not been able to have a completely forthcoming conversation about my views with my parents in well over a year. Friends have been lost, fights have been started, and threats have been made.

As a refreshing contrast, Tom Barrett gathered with his primary opponents immediately after his win as an illustration of unity and cooperation for a common goal. Kathleen Falk was quoted as saying, “I am proud to stand up and support Tom.”

And Barrett said it perfectly when he stated, “We have to end the schism that we have in this state: where neighbors can’t talk to neighbors, office workers can’t talk to office workers, where family members can’t talk to family members.”

So much power our Governor has been given and with it, he and his buds have certainly accomplished half of what he proposed in that video – division. Conquer? I suppose we will have to anxiously wait and see. But let’s do our best to not let that happen, okay? Vote for Barrett, Mitchell and Lehman on June 5.

Ron Clone May 19, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Well said Heather. Now, prepare for the usual backlash and resist the temptation. (You know what I mean - the ol' pissin' match with a skunk thing...) I'll do the same. Let's be each others' support and FB each other when we feel the urge to hit the keyboard!
Carnifex May 20, 2012 at 10:11 AM
No, it wasn't "well said," Ron. Matter of fact, it couldn't have been said any less professionally nor any more fallaciously than how she said it. In fact, the "article" is outright embarrassing and I'm astonished that The Patch didn't bother -- if only out of courtesy -- to inform Rayne-Geyer of the enormity of her errors only about half as much as I'm shocked The Patch permitted Rayne-Geyer a forum by which she could spew her propaganda in a deliberate attempt to mislead and disrespect Patch readers. Let's break it down: First off, it is worth noting that Ms. Rayne-Geyer has previously admitted to being a volunteer for the Democratic Party and the recall effort (see http://caledonia.patch.com/articles/woman-collecting-recall-signtures-told-she-can-t-do-it-on-school-property#comments_list). Why I mention this beyond the obvious reasons is because it has particular pertinence in the context of her article.(Cont'd....)
Carnifex May 20, 2012 at 10:49 AM
(Cont'd from 5:11) Like Rayne-Geyer, I too signed-up to receive emails from the Tom Barrett campaign; unlike Rayne-Geyer though, I did so in hopes of being entertained. Because of this, since the morning of 5/11 I have been receiving an email every day from Tom Barrett's Deputy Campaign Manager Phil Walzak imploring me to share with others the very video which Rayne-Geyer is now shilling here in her article. To quote Walzak verbatim: "Help Tom get this video out. Watch the never-before-seen footage uncovered by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and forward the YouTube video to your friends." (It, of course, was not "uncovered" by the Journal Sentinel; it was given to them by filmmaker Brad Lichtenstein, whose editing of the footage prompted the newspaper to track down the entire video). To me, the video even in its edited form (see http://althouse.blogspot.com/2012/05/barrett-supporting-filmmaker-releases.html) -- which just happens to be the very form Rayne-Geyer is referring everyone to -- reveals nothing that everybody didn't already know. Therefore, its "impact" is the equivalent to a bottle rocket which fizzes out before it even lights up. It fails to resonate because the majority of people want the greedy public unions reined in -- that is, after all, the very reason why Barrett refuses to be seen at union rallies and altogether runs from the issue.... (Cont'd)
Carnifex May 20, 2012 at 11:20 AM
As well, people who don't feel the need to feign outrage over something so innocuous, realize that the governor's choice of phraseology in this regard is actually a polite version of what you do to a group of unscrupulous miscreants who threaten a young female teacher until she contemplates quitting her job and needs a security escort to and from her car and, as well, poison family pets of those they disagree with (see http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/high-noon-wisconsin_645176.html). On the other hand, it is nice to know that there is actually someone other than myself who bothers to read Phil Walzak's emails... albeit it is evident only Rayne-Geyer takes them seriously enough as to use The Patch to carry out his instructions. As for Rayne-Geyer's comments concerning job numbers, there is no better evidence proffered than that of herself to buttress her claim that things have been made "all the more confusing." Just look at her statement that "while many experts state that BLS surveys are highly unreliable; Walker, Van Wanggaard... are using these surveys to bolster their annoying claim that 'It’s working.'" Well, on the one hand it's refreshingly nice to see a devoted liberal like Rayne-Geyer admit that BLS surveys are "highly unreliable;" but, on the other hand, the rest of her statement is factually incorrect and amateurishly propounded.... (Cont'd)
Carnifex May 20, 2012 at 11:59 AM
The "highly unreliable" BLS surveys -- i.e., the Current Employment Survey released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics -- is actually what TOM BARRETT AND THE DEMOCRATS are relying on in a feeble attempt to discredit the governor's job numbers! In noting a gain of 23,000 jobs, Walker and Van Wangaard are actually relying on the much more precise Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. Since the BLS survey is based on a sample of 3.5% of the state's employers, whereas the Quarterly Census is collected from 95% of the state's private and public sector employers, the QCEW -- which, again, is the one Walker is using -- is deemed the most reliable by economists (see http://www.jsonline.com/business/jobs-number-dispute-really-more-about-states-economic-direction-om57djk-152157345.html). Moreover, the estimated 6,200 job loss in April Rayne-Geyer cites is again based on the BLS and contradicted by the QCEW. In fact, unlike Rayne-Geyer, the Democrats aren't even disputing the governor's numbers. As the above-cited JS article explains, "The political dispute is not so much over which method is more precise - a hard count that covers virtually all employers is obviously more accurate than a survey that samples only a few employers - but over timing." Apparently, for Democrats, the release of undisputed statistics and facts should conform to THEIR schedule. So, once again, it is proven that liberal ideology is based more than anything else on naivety... and thuggery! (Cont'd)
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) May 20, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Here's the deal and please don't make me repeat this or I'll just shut down the comments. LEAVE THE CCAP STUFF ALONE! We've been over this time and again and Heather herself has come out and talked frankly about what happened. Discuss all you want the differences of opinion, but anything else comes out that is personal and we're done.
Keith Best May 20, 2012 at 05:29 PM
All you need to know is Van Wanggaard is doing a great job as State Senator and deserves to win against previous loser Lehman in the June 5th election.
JW May 20, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Obviously nobody cares about your comment section. Do not flatter yourself...you have like six readers.
GearHead May 21, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Looks like HRG wiffs again. In case she hasn't noticed, divide and conquer has been the basic Democrat fare for over 50 years. Pitting whites vs blacks, straight vs gay, women against men, Jews against Christians, renters vs landlords... the list goes on forever. If there can be an advesarial relationship, count on the Democrats to drive that wedge. Perhaps we've learned from the best, eh? As for Barrett, his city is falling apart. Besides, he doesn't really have the fire in the belly to fix his own city, let alone make the tough no-nonsense decisions needed to best postion Wisconsin forward. Do you really want to export that kind of "success" across the rest of Wisconsin? A real potted plant is at least pretty to look at.
upset father May 22, 2012 at 06:22 PM
This just proves heather is a bigger idiot then I first belived her to be . Just another union puppet . Worst part its her husbands union . Belive everything you hear and see . Don't check into things like a real journalist . Funny how he called for the investigation . Why don't you report about Jane doe-barret . I forgot you need the story to be done already for you .
Racine Progressive May 23, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Typical hateful comments from the Walkerites. Heather will have the last laugh on June 6th. Can't wait to hear all the right wing whining after Walker and Wanggaard get recalled.
GearHead May 23, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Where is your proof of that?

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