And take a moment to think about the origins of “Labor Day”. It was originally envisioned as street parade to show to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations”, and was to be followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families.
If there’s one thing Scott Walker and his campaign staff have been good at over the years, it’s been to advance the perception that he’s some sort of unbeatable juggernaut when it comes to Milwaukee County politics.
While he does enjoy solid support in the Western suburbs, it’s not anywhere near the kind of overwhelming or unbeatable numbers that many people would have you believe. In fact, in the 2004 election, between 30-40% of people voted against him in Milwaukee suburbs. Strong numbers? Yes. Unbeatable? Hardly.
So it’s no surprise to see the folks over at Progressive Majority release the findings of a poll that show just how much Milwaukee County residents have soured to Walker over the last four years.
After years of service cuts, continuing scandals, and passing the buck, the honeymoon appears to be over. Some interesting findings from the poll:
Just 43% of county residents said they were likely to vote for Walker in next springs election. That’s down from 64% in January 2004 and well under the “magic 50%” mark an incumbent should be at before a re-election campaign.
Only 23% said they believe Milwaukee County is headed in the right direction, compared with 58% who said they think it is on the wrong track. That reflects poorly both on Scott Walker and other elected leaders of the County as well.
Hopefully this kind of information will give prospective candidates the kick in the pants they need to consider giving Scott Walker a run for his money in next springs election.
Interesting the right-wing hate machine in Wisconsin has no problem just laying into teenage girls on TV who flub answers about US geography and such. Apparently it’s a reflection on how bad the US educational system is or something. Maybe she’s not the brightest 18 year old in the world, or maybe she was just nervous as hell about being on national television. But seriously, who knows and who cares for that matter?
It’s interesting that when the President of the United States on the other hand, leader of the free world, beneficiary of the best schools in America and a graduate of Yale & Harvard, who can’t put together a coherent sentence to save his life, it’s no big deal to these people.
Just to recap, an 18 year old girl saying,
I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our nation donâ€™t have maps, and, uh, I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq everywhere like, such as and I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., er, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future for our children
…is, in the words of Charlie Sykes, a “poster-babe” who’s a result of “DUMBING DOWN AMERICA” while:
“There’s an old saying in Tennessee â€” I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee â€” that says, fool me once, shame on â€” shame on you. Fool me â€” you can’t get fooled again.”
“Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods.”
“The California crunch really is the result of not enough power-generating plants and then not enough power to power the power of generating plants.”
…are the words of a brilliant man and a strong leader.
Maybe the tough guys and gals on the right in Wisconsin can find someone else to pick on besides teenage girls? Maybe not.
Scott Walker, Milwaukee County Executive, today vetoed the opportunity for residents of Milwaukee County to voice their opinion on a proposed 1% sales tax that would fund parks, public transit, and lower property taxes.
Note that he didn’t veto a raise in the sales tax itself. He vetoed the chance for a referendum question on the ballot during next years spring election cycle.
Why doesn’t Scott Walker want his constituents to exercise their basic democratic rights on this issue and to once and for all end the guessing about what people in this County really want?
Walker’s veto suggests two things to me. One, that he’s afraid the people of Milwaukee County might just decide to approve the increase, and two, that an as yet undeclared opponent to him for County Executive could use the issue to turn out votes in a possible election battle next spring.
The question now is will the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors override his veto and let the people who use Milwaukee’s parks, ride it’s buses, and own property within the County make their own decision about raising the sales tax in the County by a penny per dollar.
When the County Board passed the measure last month, the vote was 10-6 in favor with two Supervisors absent and one seat vacant. Thos Supervisors in favor were Gerry Broderick, Toni Clark, Elizabeth Coggs-Jones, Marina Dimitrijevic, Lee Holloway, Willie Johnson Jr., Michael Mayo Sr., John Weishan Jr., Peggy West and James White.
Those against the referendum were Supervisors Mark Borkowski, Lynne De Bruin, Dan Devine, Richard Nyklewicz Jr., Joseph Rice and Jim Schmitt.
Recently elected Supervisor Jursik, who won a special election earlier this month, has indicated she would be in favor of the referendum which would put an override vote at 11-6, which would leave Supervisors Roger Quindel and Paul Cesarz with the deciding votes (assuming no one changes their vote). One of them would have to vote in favor of overriding Walker’s veto for the referendum to appear on the ballot next spring.
We’ll have to wait till late September when the County Board reconvenes to find out if the residents of Milwaukee County will get to have their say on this important issue.
“Win” in Iraq in six months or it’s Vietnam all over again?
An elite team of officers advising US commander General David Petraeus in Baghdad has concluded the US has six months to win the war in Iraq – or face a Vietnam-style collapse in political and public support that could force the military into a hasty retreat.
The officers – combat veterans who are leading experts in counter-insurgency – are charged with implementing the “new way forward” strategy announced by president George Bush on January 10. The plan includes a controversial “surge” of 21,500 additional American troops to establish security in the Iraqi capital and Anbar province. – Guardian
Oh yeah, that was written six months ago today, February 28th 2007.
In a major blow to cronyism and incompetence within the Bush administration, US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has resigned. Good riddance.
Hopefully the Department of Justice can get a functional and qualified leader and get back to work serving the American people, because the Attorney General isn’t the President’s personal lawyer.
I find this blurb about former Waukesha County DA and failed Attorney General candidate Paul Bucher in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel interesting:
Former Waukesha County District Attorney Paul Bucher said today he is contemplating running for the state Supreme Court in April.
Justice Louis Butler is up for election for the first time in April, after Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle appointed him to the court in 2004.
“There’s only one item that’s worth focusing on in this race, and that is judicial philosophy,” Bucher said. “He’s an activist and he’s proud of it.”
Bucher said he was consulting with advisers about the race and had no timeline for making a decision. But, he added, “The sooner the better.”
This is transparent and completely unoriginal, one of his criticisms, on Bucher’s part. At the same time you’re claiming you haven’t made up your mind regarding the race, start trying to label your opponent as an “activist”.
While the Democratic mascot may be the donkey, Republicans truly are a one trick pony when it comes to labelling judges they don’t agree with as “activists”. Yawn.
Of course, the MJS would love nothing better than having Bucher enter the race. They could write glowing pieces on him and his “tough stances” on the “issues” while continuing to display their boy crush mentality on yet another politician from the suburbs who badmouths the community the MJS is supposed to represent.
If anything, it’ll give vast amounts of daily fodder for these guys.
I wondered the same thing as Ken Mobile did when I got a postcard in the mail this week asking for my opinion on a matter that’s already been voted on.
This of course from the same Supervisor who complained about having to vote on a tough issue like the 1% sales tax increase because she’d be too busy with her re-election campaign. This from someone who’s run unopposed the last two election cycles. Too busy doing what exactly?
Not that this is the first time the Bush administration would choose to use the events and the memories of 9/11 for political purposes, but it’s got to be one of the most brazen:
U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, will likely testify to Congress about progress in the war on September 11 or September 12, the White House said on Monday.
White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe, speaking on Air Force One headed with President George W. Bush to a summit in Canada, said the hearing date was not related to the anniversary of the 2001 attacks. – Reuters
Pitiful. Choosing to give the administrations “status report” on how great everything is going in Iraq on the anniversary of the day that our nation was attacked by people who had no connection to Iraq.
How’s this for writing for the community you’re supposed to serve? Patrick McIlheran finally comes out and says what many conservatives have been implying for years: “Flee” from Milwaukee County and run to Waukesha County where rainbows abound and the rivers run with honey.
What is an individual to do? This lies at the nexus of so many arguments. The conventional, liberal prescription is that people are swine for living in suburbs: They’re just trying to escape paying for public goods via taxes. They should instead live next to and ride a trolley with lots of poor people so they develop sympathy and grow willing to pay for do-gooder plans.
If you don’t buy the premises – the taxes are well spent, proximity yields harmony, the do-gooders know what they’re doing – then another course would make sense: Flee. Obey the law yourself and seek a community where the crime stats say that others do, too. MJS
McIlheran has always tried to claim some sort of moral authority on issues regarding Milwaukee County by constantly pointing out that not only does he live in Milwaukee County, he rides the bus to work! In his mind, that means he’s got the green light to constantly compare our county with those that represent the suburbs, and the quote above is just the next logical step in his flawed logic.
It seems that he’s finally given into the people who he really writes his column for – those in mostly conservative communities outside of Milwaukee – and is now advocating a full out retreat of “decent” people to the suburbs. Flee to Waukesha! There’s no crime there, and it’s a conservative wonderland where no one pays taxes!
The premise is ridiculous of course as is McIlherans rallying cry of: Retreat!
One quick side note. It’s interesting how McIlheran labels anyone as a coward who wants U.S. troops to leave Iraq, but anyone who wants to abandon their community in Milwaukee County is making the logical choice. I guess that makes him part of the “Flee first crowd”?
I don’t buy this argument for a number of reasons, the most important of which is that his logic, as always, is fundamentally flawed. Crime exists in every County, as do taxes. If you’re entire quality of life is based on how much in taxes you pay, that doesn’t make sense to me.
Nor does advocating an attitude of abandonment because of the challenges we face as a community. Instead, we need dedicated people in this County – and State for that matter – who will stay and fight to make our community a better place. We only stand to lose Wisconsin’s largest County to the very people McIlheran and conservatives like him are afraid of if we do in fact abandon our community.
It’s interesting to note that the only plan the “Flee-first crowd” have ever advocated to help Milwaukee County, or any County for that matters, is to run. They may be great at criticizing and pointing out flaws and picking and choosing the examples they use as evidence in their arguments for abandonment, but they have never been able to put forward a positive message or plan for how to get things done.
As for myself, I love living in Milwaukee County and am one of the many many people who are committed to not only holding down the fort, but working together to effect positive change in the community we love.
It’s been a crazy week, but a few people have been asking how things are going with our new scooter/moped (more here) lately. After driving it for about three weeks now and racking up over 125 miles on the odometer, it looks like we’re going to need to fill up the tank again.
All 1 gallon of it.
So that means we’re getting about 125 miles per gallon with our scooter, which we’re obviously pretty pleased with, and on top of the fact that it costs us about $2.95 to drive that 125 miles, it feels good to know we’re cutting down on the amount of pollution and greenhouse gases we produce.