All I know is what I read in the papers

OK, you followed the news today. What's Wisconsin's unemployment rate?

Unemployment rate continues downward trend, reaches lowest point in over a year

MADISON – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman announced today that Wisconsin’s May unemployment rate dropped significantly to 7.7 percent, its lowest level since early 2009, and that Wisconsin added over 40,000 jobs in May, demonstrating its continued economic recovery. -- Dept. of Workforce Development.

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate continues to drop

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent in May, its lowest level since early 2009, as more than 40,000 new jobs were added during the month, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced today. --

State jobless rate fell to 8.2% in May

Wisconsin's economy lost 7,900 private-sector jobs in May but federal, state and local governments hired enough workers to offset the private-sector declines, according to the state's latest employment report, released Thursday. Adjusting for seasonal factors, the state unemployment rate fell

WI: Group says high-speed rail will add 9,000 jobs in Wisconsin

WI: Group says high-speed rail will add 9,000 jobs in Wisconsin - ASHWAUBENON, Wisc. — An advocacy group said Wednesday that the high-speed rail system that will connect several Midwest cities will benefit the environment and provide more than 9,000 jobs in Wisconsin. [ Wisconsin News]

Alert: Noxious fumes in Milwaukee courthouse

Maybe it's the fumes from the toilets that don't get cleaned since Scott Walker downsized and outsourced cleanup.

But the Milwaukee County courthouse, a gloomy, depressing place under the best of circumstances, seems more off kilter than usual this week, with the County Board trying to silence one of its members and the DA overreacting to a frivolous complaint. What the two incidents have in common is that they are both trying to silence critics of county government as run by Scott Walker.

First there's the attempt to censure Supervisor Lynne DeBruin for blowing the whistle on the shameful operation of the county's mental health complex.  Some board members want DeBruin spanked for revealing what was discussed at a closed (that means secret) meeting.

Quote, unquote

The Tea Baggers have been looking for candidates with no experience in government and no knowlege of how it works. Now they get one and still complain.

 -- "AprilComma", an anonymous commenter in the Journal Sentinel, on the news that Ron Johnson isn't even ready to be vetted by the Tea Party, let alone the news media.

On Prioritizing, Or, Senate Democrats: Regulating Climate Change, Or Not So Much?

Netroots Nation will be in Las Vegas in just a few weeks; with that in mind we are going to play “piano bar” and fulfill a couple of requests, one today and one tomorrow, from folks who would like to bring a couple of things to your attention.

Today’s topic: climate change.

As you know, there is a lot of legislation floating around Capitol Hill that would begin to use some sort of market-based mechanism to reduce the amount of carbon we emit. None of it will move unless it moves through the Senate, and today, that’s what we’ll be talking about.

Matter of fact, they will be too.

Klauser's new sweet and gentle GOP

Joel McNally writes in the Shepherd Express on the new, improved Republican Party, which apparently has disavowed any negativity. Its new motto, ala Jiminy Cricket, is "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all."

McNally is rightly amused by Jim Klauser's horror at Mark Neumann saying something negative about fellow Repub Scott Walker:

Klauser’s surprise at learning Neumann would run a negative campaign ranks right up there with Casablanca Police Captain Renault’s famous quote about being “shocked, shocked” to learn gambling was going on in Rick’s Cafe.

Even worse, Neumann negatively points out that although Walker makes a show of submitting a no-tax-increase budget every year, taxes have continued to go up every year but one since he’s been county executive.

That’s pretty mild when it comes to negative Republican campaigning. It doesn’t even include any lying or name-calling or signs with Walker made up to resemble Adolf Hitler.

But this fall we’re all looking forward to the brand-new, positive Republican Party that doesn’t try to mislead voters or knock down the other fellow.

Good stuff.

Johnson, Angle, Paul all hiding from media

Think of it as the Rand-Johnson-Angle Triangle. Or, as Russ Feingold prefers, "tripartition."

Talking Points Memo on the Republicans hiding Rand Paul and Sharron Angle from the media:

According to Think Progress, Paul (R-KY) has taken to demanding reporters submit questions in writing. He's keeping to Fox News and other friendly media outlets. Asked about Medicare reimbursement rates at a local event recently, Paul told a reporter to submit the questions "and we'll look at them." He said his goal was to campaign around Kentucky.

Neumann is a double booger and poophead

I’ve even heard Republicans say that they would vote for (Democrat) Tom Barrett before Mark Neumann. Why? Because at least Barrett isn’t a lying crap weasel." -- Owen Robinson of Boots and Sabers, a conservative suburban blog.

Wow! A lying crap weasel? If Neumann can survive that kind of vicious attack and stay in the race, he's a man of steel.  Bet Jim Klauser wishes he would have thought of that one.

Quote courtesy of Milwaukee Biz Blog

On Poor Management, Or, Did You Know There Was Another Deepwater?

It is by now obvious that even after we stop the gentle trickle of oil that’s currently expressing itself into the Gulf of Mexico (thank you so much, BP) we are not going to be able to get that oil out of the water for some considerable length of time--and if you think it could take years, I wouldn’t bet against you.

While BP is the legally responsible party, out on the water it will be up to the Coast Guard to manage the Federal response, and to determine that BP is running things in a way that gets the work done not only correctly and safely, but, in a world of limited resources, efficiently.

Which brings us to the obvious question: can the Coast Guard manage such a complex undertaking?

While we hope they can, you need to know that the Coast Guard has been trying to manage the replacement of their fleet of ships and aircraft for about a decade now...and the results have been so stunningly bad that you and I are now the proud owners of a small flotilla of ships that can never be used, because if they go to sea, they might literally break into pieces.

It’s an awful story, and before we’re done you’ll understand why Deepwater was already an ugly word around Headquarters, years before that oil rig blew up.

Feingold, Barrett invited to the Tea Party

At first blush, the idea sounds ridiculous.  Why would Democrats Tom Barrett and Russ Feingold even consider attending a Tea Party debate?  WisPolitics reports, deadpan:

Tim Dake, of the Milwaukee-based Tea Party group GrandSons of Liberty, said the gubernatorial debate is set for 4 p.m. on Aug. 29 at Olympia Resort in Oconomowoc. Republican candidates Scott Walker and Mark Neumann have accepted the invitation, though Dem Tom Barrett has not committed to it, Dake said. ..

Dake said the group is trying to iron out a date for a U.S. Senate debate. Republicans Dave Westlake and Ron Johnson have accepted, but Dem U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold hasn't committed, Dake said.

For Barrett, it just might be a chance to steal the limelight and again draw the contrast between himself and two guys who, at that stage, will be crawling farther and farther out on the right-wing limb to try to get Tea Party support in their primary. Barrett just might emerge -- in a televised debate -- as the only reasonable voice in the room, with some actual ideas rather than just rhetoric.

That doesn't mean he'd get the TP endorsement, but he might score some points with Wisconsin voters, which in the end is what really matters.

Then there's the Senate campaign, where Ron Johnson, who either is or is not a Tea Party candidate, depending upon whether the moon is waxing or waning, is giving the TPers fits.

John Kraus, Russ Feingold's senior strategist, told the Journal Sentinel:

...Feingold has cast votes against bank bailouts and the Patriot Act that match up with tea party views. "We're going to fight for every voter in the state," said John Kraus, Feingold's senior campaign strategist. "We have a good record on many of the issues these folks care about."

Ann Althouse, Wisconsin's uber blogger, is intrigued:


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