Ohio gets sanity ball rolling, Walker next to ‘bounce’

In The News

Ohio gets sanity ball rolling, Walker next to ‘bounce’

Helping the victory in Ohio were Wisconsin AFL-CIO leaders Phil Neuenfeldt and Stephanie Bloomingdale, here with National AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

By Dominique Paul Noth
Editor, Labor Press
Posted Nov. 0

The United States’ first step back to sanity took place November 8 — most prominently in Ohio but also from Maine to Mississippi. Citizens left and right have clearly had it with seeing their families served up as piñatas to extremist attacks on the middle class, so they are moving to wipe away the gains of a rabid minority in 2010 and exercise the powers of intelligence and common sense.

The next target on the road toward balance is the recall of Wisconsin …

Continue reading at Labor Press

Obama talks bridges and jobs. Walker? Same old same old. Lies.

Obama will deliver a jobs speech tomorrow from a rundown bridge in Ohio while people rally in support of him in Milwaukee. Meanwhile Walker will just lie in LaCrosse.

According to the La Crosse County Democratic Party, “Scott Walker will be at Main Street Ingredients tomorrow the 22nd at 12:45pm to promote his failed WalkerNomics. The
address is 2340 Enterprise Lane, La Crosse Wisconsin[MAP]. Please meet us at 12:15 to rally outside for good jobs. We will have signs for you to wave.”

I’m getting the feeling that some of those signs will mention this here lie from Walker:

“Nearly one-in-five of the jobs listed on a state website touted by Gov. Scott Walker as a resource for unemployed Wisconsin residents are actually located in neighboring states, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. More than 32,000 job openings were posted on the Job Center, but about 18 percent of them were in Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa and Michigan. It was unclear how many of those roughly 6,000 jobs could be filled through telecommuting, though many appeared to require on-site work.” – source postcrescent and hat tip to Democurmudgeon

And from Obama….
If you think what President Obama has to say about jobs holds more water than Walker (yeah I know – Walker is setting the bar pretty low) there’s an event in support of Obama’s Jobs Act 9/22 tomorrow on the North Avenue bridge at noon where it crosses over I-43 in Milwaukee.

From facebook: “Meet us at the McDonalds located at 920 W. North Ave, Milwaukee. at 10:45am We will walk to the North Avenue – Hwy. 43 overpass. We will have signs and banners available.”

Meanwhile President Obama will stand on the Brent Spence Bridge near Cincinnati, Ohio. Stephen Koff of Plain Dealer says in this nice summary the only thing Dems and the GOP can agree on in Obama’s plan is that the Brent Spence Bridge needs to be replaced. (the plan also is supposed to pay for school repairs, money for teachers and cops, tax cuts for businesses and individuals)

It’s a symbolic location: in the territory of Republican U.S. Reps. Steve Chabot and Jean Schmidt, not to mention the hometown of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman. This is even in the district of the man in orange, John Boehner. The locals really want it to be fixed and have wanted that for a while. Stands to reason: it carries twice the capacity it was designed for, it is deemed unsafe, “4 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product every year and a rehabilitation project would bring tens of thousands of jobs. ..the cost of the needed overhaul has been estimated at $2.4 billion, and funding commitments are still lacking after years of discussion”.-from thetrucker

But it looks like America’s mayors are on board. And Krugman says Obama’s plan does not suck too bad [not in those exact words].

You can read it in full HERE.

[So far I can’t find out exactly when Obama is delivering his speech. Let me know if you find that.]

This is Ohio Today. Over 8,000 protesters at the Statehouse.

From the Ohio AFL-CIO blog “The rally comes after a major turnout last week at the Statehouse, where thousands of workers, students, faith leaders and community members were locked out of the Statehouse. Rallies and events against Senate Bill 5 and Gov. Kasich’s broader assault on the middle class occurred throughout the week and into the weekend.”

An article on the Columbus, Ohio scene today from NewsNet5.

From the Stand up for Ohio facebook page: “The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board is estimating the crowd at 8,500.”  Reuters puts the # of Ohio Protesters at 5,000
Source: Charles Brace from the First Draft Blog. Image by Matt Bruning.


Keith Olbermann says Scott Walker cut off his nose to spite his face: Wisconsin high-speed rail rejection

Wisconsinites already know too, too much about this story. It’s not a fun video to watch. Seeing Keith Olbermann laughing about our Tea Party Governor-Elect Scott Walker confirms that I live in a laughingstock red state.

He shows footage of Ohio Governor-Elect Kasich boldy fabricating, saying the train in Ohio would run at 39 mph. Olbermann mentions that Ohio’s outgoing Governor Ted Strickland begged Kasich to reconsider. He marvels that Walker said his decision to reject the train was a “win” done because the “right kind of jobs” would not be created, because they would be created under a “subsidy”.

Olbermann talks with Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post A roughly paraphrased conversation follows:

Olbermann:We really have a couple of governors who have cut off their noses to spite their faces?

Robinson: [Laughter] It’s amazing, but we keep on saying elections have consequences… There is an active discussion – a lot of voices are saying fiscal restraint is one thing, but hey we have this here, we have a Spanish company- Talgo –  set up here to build these train cars in Wisconsin, then Walker kills the train, so they say if there’s no rail here, we’re not staying here. How can that be good for the state?

Olbermann: The Koch Brothers-funded Cato institute weighed in to say that:

“The federal government is like a crack dealer, and he’s giving states a free hit of crack to get them hooked and then of course, in the long run, the cost of the crack gets worse. In the long run, you are going to wind up losing out.”

– Daniel Mitchell, Senior Fellow, CATO Institute

Olbermann: Would the Eisenhower Interstate system have been developed if we had this mindset?

Robinson: Anybody who has ever travelled abroad knows that the American infrastructure is way behind everybody in rail. Go to China, France… The idea that we could ever do something as grand and as productive as the interstate highway system now with these Tea Party governors seems so grand. Like a fairy tale.


Clock runs out on Wisconsin high-speed rail money.

[When done reading, stop here & joing today’s open rant]

Just this morning I learned that Gary Grunau was pulling together Milwaukee businesses to fight for Wisconsin’s train by December 15th. I thought, “About time!”

Apparently “about time” was not in time. Today first an AP leak came out and then the formal announcement: Wisconsin’s and Ohio’s combined 1.2 billion dollars in high-speed rail money would be doled out to 13 states.

A tiny bit of good news: the federal government is not demanding that Wisconsin pay back the money used to plan this project. However, Wisconsin was also to get money to upgrade rail that currently slows down freight to 10 miles per hour between Milwaukee to Madison. And previously we had $82 million in the project to upgrade the Hiawatha line Chicago to Milwaukee. Now we are left with a sliver of that sum: $2 million.

For others, our Red State Gov-Elect’s stubborn position yields riches. Ray LaHood, our nation’s DOT Secretary, said on his blog, “Because Wisconsin and Ohio are not moving forward on high-speed rail projects, more money is available for other states…” While the governors of California, New York, and Illinois were most publicly clamoring for Wisconsin’s rail money, demand for it came from all quarters:

“For that first $8 billion investment, we received more than $55 billion in requests. We were similarly oversubscribed for the second round of awards–we received $8.8 billion worth of requests for only $2.4 billion in available funding.”

Ironically, just as Wisconsin has come to a halt on its passenger rail plans, Minnesota is otherwise perfectly poised to move forward. Their new pro-high-speed rail Governor-Elect Dayton just won by 9,000 votes in a recount. Minnesota DOT officials informed about 650 people in a packed ballroom Tuesday night in Madison that the intercity passenger rail plans favor connection of the largest population centers. But now that Wisconsin is out of the picture, will Minnesota and DOT push for a passenger line to run from Chicago to Dubuque and then North to Minneapolis – right around Wisconsin?

A sensible answer might be: “No. Minnesota and the federal government will wait until a more transit-friendly governor is elected in Wisconsin”. But in these times, it might make a perfect statement and a taunt for generations to install millions of dollars of business and infrastructure just out of reach but always within view of the Wisconsin border.


Political impact in 2012 to Obama is a positive, not a negative according to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs: “You can ask governors-elect whether they decided not to put people in their own state to work just because Barack Obama proposed it as a project,” he said. “My hunch is that there are people sitting around their kitchen tables in Ohio and Wisconsin who are wondering why they’re not at work because [of] a partisan political food-fight by a governor-elect.”

Ohio’s current governor Ted Strickland says “Today is one of the saddest days during my four years as governor,”

Steve Vance shows how 1.2 billion will be distributed to 13 states.

Looking back a bit:

The relocation of Madison station to downtown from airport actually increased projected ridership by about 30%.

Here’s that Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article that buried the November 20th news about 6 statewide “Save the Train” rallies below a sea of numbers [something I found galling].