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 very different story. 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.