Jud Lounsbury's blog

Walker Says Wisconsin's Growing Trade Deficit is "Great News"

Wisconsin was once the flagship manufacturing state of a United States that exported far more than it imported. Milwaukee, in fact, was once known as the "Machine Shop of the World" because, you name it, it was made there.

Today, not so much: Milwaukee and the rest of Wisconsin's manufacturing is a shell of its former self. Wisconsin now actually imports more products from foreign countries than it exports. In 2014, Wisconsin imported $22.2 billion in manufactured products and exported only $20.2 billion worth. That's an imbalance of two billion dollars in a state that that should be leading the nation in trade surplus.

Overall, non-manufactured commodities (mostly agriculture) do help out Wisconsin's trade balance, but this category of exports offer a fraction of the jobs that manufactured commodities bring to the table. And even if you look at Wisconsin's total trade balance (manufactured commodities plus non manufactured commodities), Wisconsin still imports more than it exports, bringing its total trade deficit to about 100 million.

Scott Walker dodges evolution question: 'That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in'

Ron Johnson Quotes Lincoln to Convey Exact Opposite of What Lincoln was Saying

In July of 1858, Abraham Lincoln was giving a lengthy, anti-slavery speech in Chicago and one of the arguments he presented was that the actions of the framers of the Constitution demonstrated their intentions to phase-out slavery:

The adoption of the Constitution and its attendant history led the people to believe so; and that such was the belief of the framers of the Constitution itself. Why did those old men, about the time of the adoption of the Constitution, decree that Slavery should not go into the new territory, where it had not already gone? Why declare that within twenty years the African Slave Trade, by which slaves are supplied, might be cut off by Congress? Why were all these acts? I might enumerate more of these acts—but enough. What were they but a clear indication that the framers of the Constitution intended and expected the ultimate extinction of that institution. [Cheers.] And now, when I say, as I said in my speech that Judge Douglas has quoted from, when I say that I think the opponents of slavery will resist the farther spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest with the belief that it is in course of ultimate extinction, I only mean to say, that they will place it where the founders of this Government originally placed it.

Another "Drafting Error"? Walker Also Deleted "Fair and Peaceful" From Labor Relations Statutes

Long before Scott Walker dusted off the statutes and tried to put "search for truth" and the rest of the Wisconsin Idea in the 'ol wood chipper, he successfully obliterated something almost as big: he deleted "fair and peaceful" and the rest of the Declaration of Policy for labor peace from the State Employment Labor Relations Act (SELRA), which was a general mission statement for how Wisconsin should deal with its public servants.

I know this going to shock you, but Wisconsin hasn't always had peaceful labor relations. Strikes and other labor unrest were common and a huge inconvenience to the public. Historically speaking, Wisconsin was home to the Bayview Massacre, where seven unarmed workers were shot and killed by the Wisconsin National Guard during protests for a little bitty thing called the eight hour workday.

To ensure that labor conflicts were resolved peacefully, Wisconsin passed a wide variety of laws and developed "suitable machinery for fair and peaceful adjustment of whatever controversies may arise."

Breaking: Drafting Docs Clearly Verify Walker Camp Intended to Kill WI Idea

Just got these from the Legislative Reference Bureau.  

The first set of documents from the Walker administration, clearly requesting that the language for the Wisconsin Idea be removed.  The second set of documents is from the Walker administration, confirming, that they intended to delete the Wisconsin Idea from Wisconsin statutes.

Stay tuned:  More to follow. 

Letter from Walker Admin to Legislative Drafting by lounsburyjud

Smoking Gun Found: Scott Walker's Bag Man Paid for Hit on GOP Senator

In Walker's Wisconsin, it's never "agree to disagree"-- it's agree to agree with the Governor.

If you don't, you'll end up like former Republican State Senator Mike Ellis. Ellis was Wisconsin's longest serving Republican state senator and, although he historically had been considered a staunch conservative, after the Walker caliphate was installed in 2011, he came to be viewed more and more as a moderate because he dared to be something other than a yes man.

So, Walker had him whacked-- at least that was the rumor. No, no, no silly rabbit, not that kind of whacked-- he killed his political career by having the notorious political mercenary, James O'Keefe (of New Jersey) pay a visit to Wisconsin and bait Ellis into saying embarrassing things into a hidden camera. (So embarrassing, in fact, that Ellis decide not to seek re-election in 2014.)

At the time, everyone in Wisconsin was scratching their collective cheeseheads wondering why in the hell James O'Keefe would be interested in A) putting a hit on a fellow Republican and B) wasting his time with an obscure state Senator in Wisconsin. The only obvious answer: Scott Walker was tired of Ellis being only a 90% head-nodder and put out a hit on him. But like most rumors, there wasn't any proof tying Walker to O'Keefe and it faded into the political ether.

Ron Johnson Chooses Out-of-State Chain to "Showcase Local Businesses"

As his re-election looms, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson is making a desperate attempt to fix his image of being Senator Snipe-- the Senator who is rumored to exist, but who nobody ever actually sees.

So, his staff came whipped up the idea to do a "Supper Club Tour," which is described as a two-fer:  It gives his constituents the opportunity to verify that he is actually real and it gives Johnson the "opportunity to showcase local businesses."  After all, what says, "I am not the elite gazillionaire that married into ridiculous wealth" more than going out for a beer and burger at the local supper club?

You know what I'm talkin' about --some place like the Kall Inn near Hazel Green, that has been in the Kahle family since 1945.  It doesn't get any more local than that!

Yeah, well... that's not quite what Johnson had in mind.  

Myth Busting Walker's "Outstanding Teacher of the Year" Getting Fired Story

This past weekend in Iowa, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker rolled out one his favorite talking points:  The story of how Wisconsin's 2010 "outstanding teacher of the year" winner Megan Sampson got laid off days after receiving the award and how his "reforms" prevent that from ever happening again.

This would be a compelling true if it were true, but it’s mostly fiction. 

Yes, Sampson did get an award in 2010, but it wasn't for "outstanding teacher of the year" as Walker claims.  Sampson was awarded something called the Nancy Hoefs Memorial Award, which is given by a small group called the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English (WCTE) for "an outstanding first-year teacher of the English language arts." In order to be considered for the award, a first year English teacher must apply for it by writing a cover letter and including two letters of recommendation. 

Real David Koch Keeps "Fly You Out to Cali" Promise Made to Walker

I'll give Scott Walker this:  No one can accuse him of having deflated balls.  

Despite getting caught on tape accepting an illegal offer from someone he thought was billionaire David Koch to "fly you out to Cali and show you a good time" after Walker "crushed those bastards"-- and then later lying about the conversation under oath, saying, "I don't even know where Cali is"-- Walker now has the cajones to accept a real trip to the real California from the real David Koch... where he is sure to be shown a real good time. 

He  definitely knows where "Cali" is now. 

Former Walker Aide Flashes Big Smile as He's Released from Prison

Tim Russell is back, baby!

After two years in the slammer,* the mastermind behind the criminal scheme** to steal taxpayer dollars to fund Scott Walker's 2010 gubernatorial campaign is no longer prisoner #00597584.

And this isn't the old sourpuss who went into prison two years ago  No, this is Tim Russell version 2.0-- complete with a cocky smile that seems to be letting all the various players in Wisconsin politics know that he's ready to resume his place as Walker's Karl Rove.       

* A cushy minimum security facility on the shores of Lake Winnebago where he was able to leave during the day to go to work for a wealthy Walker donor. 

** Alleged mastermind.  Just because Scott Walker explicitly emailed Russell to ixnay ethay illegalyay ampaigncay orkway inyay ethay overnmentgay officesyay when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal started sniffing around doesn't prove anything. Zero. Zip. Nada!

Ron Johnson: A Working Single Mom Should "Find Someone to Support Her"

Oh, this is rich.

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, you know-- the guy who got rich by finding someone to support him, has a pearl of wisdom for all the working single moms out there:  If she wants to "increase her take-home pay” instead of having yet "another child out of wedlock" to increase her welfare windfall, she should instead "find someone to support her." (see video below)

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