Back to the (Dystopian) Future: Scott Walker’s CV Explains a Lot

BTF WTFIs Scott Walker’s latest stunt in Wisconsin just an attempt at revenge for his own mediocre academic career?  Let’s take a look at the facts.

Been busy days out here in Wisconsin, what with all the turmoil wrought by “Boy Wonder” Scott Walker’s genius pre-emptory activation of the armed forces.  Clearly the man missed his calling as an FBI hostage negotiator.

As of the time of this writing, the basic facts of the matter remain as they have for nearly a week now:  Scott Walker has called for, and the public employees unions have agreed to, major financial concessions.  Which raises the question as to why there remains so much upset a week into the farrago.  I mean, if this were really about saving $ and ¢, why would Walker have bothered to call in the national guard, starting the meter running on their active-duty pay [1] when unions have caved on the only issue?  Why does Walker still refuse even to negotiate non-financial issues?

Well, the answer, of course, is that the budget is NOT the only issue–or even the main issue.  Clearly, if the budget were the real issue Walker would have been content with the union concessions.  Clearly, if the budget were the real issue Walker wouldn’t have thrown away $117.2 million in revenue. [2]  Not when the amount that he sought (and succeeded) in hi-jacking from union workers is only about $27.9 million annually [3].  That’s less than half of the amount he’s feely pissed away in corp tax handouts, and Walker seems willing to throw away $147k in national guard costs daily on top of it.

No, the real issue here is caudillo Walker’s blind insistance that the public employees unions surrender their constitutional rights to freedom of association and contracting.  You know, that pinko commie shit guys like Thomas Jefferson and George Mason were trying to slip through the backdoor in the so-called Bill of Rights. [4]

But why, oh why would such an intellectual giant and economic genius as Scott Walker feel compelled to behave this way?  Simple:  Because Scott Walker is far from an intellectual giant or an economic genius.  In fact, a quick perusal of his CV will demonstrate that Scott Walker is far from even adequate in either of these respects.  Two salient facts:

1.  Scott Walker’s “professional” career was in sales–not economics, not accounting, not finance.  Well, no surprises there.

2.  Scott Walker failed even to graduate from school.  A mediocre “C-ish” student, he dropped out without a degree.

So that’s the picture we’ve got here:  A college dropout who couldn’t acheive a GP of better than a 2.59 is demanding that the state teacher’s union surrender their constitutional rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining, all in the name of a “fiscal responsibility” plan that is on balance about $30.7 million WORSE annually than doing nothing.  Oh yeah, and he’s willing to gin up about $147,000 in national guard deployment costs PER DAY1 in order to enforce it.

Sounds almost like the plot to a bad 1980’s teen comedy:  Scott Walker goes ‘Back to the Future’–and it’s payback time for some very unhappy teachers . . . .

Footnotes
1  My guess is that Scott Walker is forcing us to pay about $147k per day in order to surrender our civil rights.  Not being privvy to inside information such as the exact # of Wisconsin Army National Guard personnel who have been made active, or precisely how many of which grade are deployed at specific locations at any given time, the public is only left to guess.  But it sure ain’t free, so this is only one rough estimate to start the discussion.  Details here.  I am more than happy to entertain other informed guesses.

2  Yeah, it’s true.  $117.2 million is the net cost through 2013 associated with only 3 of the Boy Wonder’s pet corporate giveaways:  $55.2 million YE 2012 and $62.0 million YE 2013.  See page 11 of the report of the Wisconsin Legislative Bureau (“WLB”)  here.  The WLB is a non-partisan body of economists tasked with the estimation of financial impact of legislation, similar to the Congressional Budget Office’s role on the federal level.

3 See the WLB’s estimate of $27,891,400 for fiscal 2012 on page 2 and detailed discussion on begining on page 29 of the WLB report here.

4  Just how, pray tell, could the right to collectively bargain through a union be qualitatively different than the right of individual entrepreneur to contract on behalf of his wholly owned business?  Do individual employees somehow have LESS right to determine the disposition and compensation of their OWN personal labor than an entrepreur does to contract for his business?  Is that the new Tea Party line of talk–that the state is entirely able to disregard the God-given civil liberties the Founding Fathers fought and died for?

À la Dystopia Diaries

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  • mrtastycakes

    Clearly what’s going on is extraordinarily stupid and wasteful. But I still don’t think states need legislation forcing collective bargaining. My own state has never recognized that right and 10 other states are the same way, including union strongholds like WV. Our teachers are still better compensated than they are in Wisconsin.

    Now, I’d personally prefer that they did have that right (in the form of corporatism) to keep things running smoothly, but unions have historically done a good job forcing negotiation by relying on the organization of the workers and their sympathizers rather than on the organization of the state.

  • mrtastycakes

    Clearly what’s going on is extraordinarily stupid and wasteful. But I still don’t think states need legislation forcing collective bargaining. My own state has never recognized that right and 10 other states are the same way, including union strongholds like WV. Our teachers are still better compensated than they are in Wisconsin.

    Now, I’d personally prefer that they did have that right (in the form of corporatism) to keep things running smoothly, but unions have historically done a good job forcing negotiation by relying on the organization of the workers and their sympathizers rather than on the organization of the state.

  • Ekova

    This is about who gets the money in the end and from here on out, who will stand a MUCH greater chance to win elections because of their ability to raise enormous funds: Democrats or Republicans. This issue is definitely not about money in the sense of Wisconsin being broke, you got that part right. This whole fiasco is to topple the only entity left which stands in the way of the super rich corporations, hell bent on dominating all political party votes in favor of conservative republican values. In other words they want to dismantle the unions in order to snub the only competition left in our country. The unions who can muster voters in really amazing ways, most whom vote democratically. It’s just like when they attacked ACORN, which also was able to ingeniously wake enough poor and disenfranchised souls long enough to affect voter turn out in key elections. Wisconsin actually had a surplus of over 100 million this coming year, but yeah, that amazing new governor gave most of that away to his corporate buddies who helped fling him into office. So that’s his fault. If they can bust Unions in Wisconsin, the biggest state of them all when it comes to the freedoms and labor laws we enjoy today, they can start dismantling them across the nation. Then we will all be in the same boat. Except those with money. Lots of money.

  • Ekova

    This is about who gets the money in the end and from here on out, who will stand a MUCH greater chance to win elections because of their ability to raise enormous funds: Democrats or Republicans. This issue is definitely not about money in the sense of Wisconsin being broke, you got that part right. This whole fiasco is to topple the only entity left which stands in the way of the super rich corporations, hell bent on dominating all political party votes in favor of conservative republican values. In other words they want to dismantle the unions in order to snub the only competition left in our country. The unions who can muster voters in really amazing ways, most whom vote democratically. It’s just like when they attacked ACORN, which also was able to ingeniously wake enough poor and disenfranchised souls long enough to affect voter turn out in key elections. Wisconsin actually had a surplus of over 100 million this coming year, but yeah, that amazing new governor gave most of that away to his corporate buddies who helped fling him into office. So that’s his fault. If they can bust Unions in Wisconsin, the biggest state of them all when it comes to the freedoms and labor laws we enjoy today, they can start dismantling them across the nation. Then we will all be in the same boat. Except those with money. Lots of money.

  • 5by5

    Walker’s just doing the bidding of his real masters — the billionaire Koch Brothers who slathered him in campaign donations.

    The Bros. much prefer slave labor.

  • 5by5

    Walker’s just doing the bidding of his real masters — the billionaire Koch Brothers who slathered him in campaign donations.

    The Bros. much prefer slave labor.

  • quartz99

    Well, I have to stick up for people without college degrees here. I reached the end of my financial aid before I finished college and it took me a decade (almost to the day) of saving money before I could go back to finish my double bachelors. And what I learned in college doesn’t mean crap in my job. There was a lot of life experience and a lot of scholarly learning that I heartily value and I definitely recommend college to anyone who can manage it, but it did not in any sense prepare me for work or make me good at my job. In fact, some of what people are taught in school in my field is outright wrong once you’re out in the workplace. Unless you’re going into a highly specialized field that requires highly specialized knowledge (you know, medicine, engineering, that kind of thing), how much college you’ve had really makes no difference in how prepared you are to do any kind of job. Overall experience does. Which he still lacks, mind you, but in general I would take someone with experience and no degree over someone with a degree and no experience, any day of the week.

    On a related note, follow the money:
    http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/116633848.html
    http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_7e8aa25a-3ec0-11e0-9923-001cc4c03286.html

    When in doubt, always follow the money.

    • Audio7

      But, in this case, Scott has neither a degree nor the experience.

      • quartz99

        Well sadly, he does have the experience, broadly speaking. He was county exec for several years. Moving up to an exec job at state level is the next logical step. The problem with him is what he did during that experience. Please don’t mistake this for being any kind of support for him at all. I think he lacks experience with having to compromise. He often just overrode what the county board told him in Milwaukee and got away with it.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      Quartz,

      I owe you a big debt of gratitude. You ALWAYS come through w/ the goods! Those stories were golden! So much so that I had to stop for a moment to catch my breath.

      You see, until late yesterday I was in complete agreement with some recent comments made by Jon Stewart about some of the Madison protest being overhyped. I’ve become REALLY, REALLY jaded in the last few months. Sure, I lived my whole life in Bumfuck, WI, surrounded by the most stupidly self-destructive reactionaries possible, and having been sorely disappointed by limp-dick phonies like Obama, I was highly reluctant to get too worked up about any ‘change-a-comin’ any time soon. I’ve seen the most elementary, common sense policies defeated by a type of self-loathing militant idiocy that I was only able to keep going on in the most desultory, half-assed fashion.

      As observers of my blog will have noted, contempt for stupidity has been its core them from the beginning, and over time my primary refnement has been to simplify the charges so that even the most pig ignorant goatfucker should be able to understand what I was getting at.

      Yes, I’ve made some big leaps in the appreciation of morality in good policy, but I admit I’m no saint, and will never be mistaken for one. I dearly regret having underplayed the evils of civil rights, environmental and military policy–I see now that by focusing exclusively on financial policy I effectively sold out the people who should have been my closest allies. I guess I can’t offer an excuse, only the explanation that I though economic policies have more immediate and personal consequences, and therefore should be the most easy to communicate in an effective, visceral way.

      In that light, I have to admit this gaff of mine here was really a puff piece. I selected just one of the simplest examples of Republican’t idiocy and harped on it seemingly endlessly just to make a point that really has been made literally thousands of times elsewhere. I thought it was worth doing, however, because Maddow, as well intentioned as she may be, kind of overreached herself in misstating some basic budget facts in WI, and also because I myself frankly needed the exercise in better writing. Beyond those two very marginal points, this post really added nothing.

      But your links, even from EXTREMELY mainstream media, or maybe precisely BECAUSE they’re from extremely mainstream media show me I”ve been asleep at the wheel a little bit here. Those stories about the power plant were a couple hours or even a day old, and just whizzed by my head until you brought them to my attention.

      In fact, I’d been shown a similar story on Facebook just an hour or so before you posted this, and I dismissed it entirely. Not because I doubted the Koch brothers had such a scheme to rape the taxpayers through a below-market sale, but simply because I’d become so fucking jaded that I didn’t bother to READ THE GODDAMNED ARTICLE. I just scanned it, and totally missed the operative fact: That Walker was such a fucking brazenly stupid whore that he would spend a WEEK calling the media’s attention to this bill while he could simply have made a strategic retreat, conceded to the union’s demand and slit their throats later in another session, under the pressure of Walker’s own continued failed fiscal policy. So I have to profusely thank you for sending these well-written dissections my way. MY head is still spinning.

      So yes, there are things more important than college degrees. There’s a thing called staying in fucking touch with your environment, and for that I have to be eternally grateful to you. Point well taken.

      But before I get all kumbayaa over here, another admission: I will never play with Nerf(tm) products. I mean to be offensive and disdain no tactic that I think can effectively undercut the pretentions of the stupid, the greedy or the cowardly. I wouldn’t stoop to the shitty half-arsed exaggeration of Maddow (though I believe her to be well intentioned). But for an asshole like Scott Walker who claims to have some type of business savvy, or at least some type of savvy, I still think it’s entirely legitimate to call attention to the fact that he had neither the brains nor the guts to obtain a simple college degree. So my intention is to undercut his pretensions, not to claim that a college degree was necessary for him to understand that $27 million is less than $60 million, or berate people, who because of shitty Republican education policies, struggle to complete degrees.

      I hope you accept this, although I will understand if you don’t. But I don’t see the difficulties you had in finishing your degree in the same light as Walker’s failure at all. After all, you actually DID finish your degree–and apparently had to haul ass to scrape the $ together to do so, unlike our supposed genius, well-connected friend in the governor’s mansion.

      Again, thanks for sending these links to me. Proof that what is important is staying connected. And proof once again of Walker’s bottomless capacity to call the world’s attention to his amoral bufoonery.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I have to stick up for people without college degrees here. I reached the end of my financial aid before I finished college and it took me a decade (almost to the day) of saving money before I could go back to finish my double bachelors. And what I learned in college doesn’t mean crap in my job. There was a lot of life experience and a lot of scholarly learning that I heartily value and I definitely recommend college to anyone who can manage it, but it did not in any sense prepare me for work or make me good at my job. In fact, some of what people are taught in school in my field is outright wrong once you’re out in the workplace. Unless you’re going into a highly specialized field that requires highly specialized knowledge (you know, medicine, engineering, that kind of thing), how much college you’ve had really makes no difference in how prepared you are to do any kind of job. Overall experience does. Which he still lacks, mind you, but in general I would take someone with experience and no degree over someone with a degree and no experience, any day of the week.

    On a related note, follow the money:
    http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/116633848.html
    http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_7e8aa25a-3ec0-11e0-9923-001cc4c03286.html

    When in doubt, always follow the money.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I have to stick up for people without college degrees here. I reached the end of my financial aid before I finished college and it took me a decade (almost to the day) of saving money before I could go back to finish my double bachelors. And what I learned in college doesn’t mean crap in my job. There was a lot of life experience and a lot of scholarly learning that I heartily value and I definitely recommend college to anyone who can manage it, but it did not in any sense prepare me for work or make me good at my job. In fact, some of what people are taught in school in my field is outright wrong once you’re out in the workplace. Unless you’re going into a highly specialized field that requires highly specialized knowledge (you know, medicine, engineering, that kind of thing), how much college you’ve had really makes no difference in how prepared you are to do any kind of job. Overall experience does. Which he still lacks, mind you, but in general I would take someone with experience and no degree over someone with a degree and no experience, any day of the week.

    On a related note, follow the money:
    http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/116633848.html
    http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_7e8aa25a-3ec0-11e0-9923-001cc4c03286.html

    When in doubt, always follow the money.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    We’re in the days of the final putsch…where they lay it on the line and go for broke before decommissioning unions altogether. Since Reagan and the air traffic controllers this has been brewing for 30 years…the reversals suffered by opening global trade and weakening the bargaining position of all Americans have all been about these moves we see today. The sea change where the conversation thread shifts from “You may have the right to bargain as a group…so lets negotiate.” to “You don’t have the right to bargain as a group…period.” Its all been for this…the mauling of America’s educational system to enshrine failure and shift the dollars and decisions into private markets…the butchery of industry and its offshoring…the endless attacks on ‘government’ as an entity…all of it has been a lengthy ideological/political attack on workers with contracts…

    …and for those who consider that ideology a good thing…the ‘victories’ of the last 30 years have left us a nation floundering in private debt bailed out with public dollars, no longer the world leader in production, science, medicine, etc…a rogue state with a runaway military procurement system that even outsources the manufacture of the gear we use to intimidate people into letting us cling to power a little longer…and we can’t sustain it because we fired the customer who made it possible…the average American and his or her American dream.

    The free market claims that the invisible hand will govern the ebb and flow of the marketplace for the betterment of all…

    …but this train needs real hands in the conductors booth…not invisible ones…because the cliff is up ahead and we’re doing 200mph with no one near the brakes.

    For anyone who holds communism in contempt…and I fall into that category…you should at least have the brain juice left to notice that communism has only ever had one friend that has enabled it to look good and market itself and find a home in this world…and that friend is unchecked capitalism. Somewhere in the middle ground between the two extremes is a happy place where things work out pretty well…but those two worst extremes feed each other like yin and yang…too much of either is disaster…and America is a bloated whale corpse on the beach of reality, waking after the binge of capitalism without reins, heart fluttering from the OD thats imminent…finally about to pay the dues for the party we held…

    …and Scott Walker ain’t holding a crash cart and an IV of saline…he’s packing skinning knives and planning to feast on the wreckage. Wisconsin has the right idea…stand up, fight back, draw a line in the sand and don’t let them cross it without a world of pain. Its time not just to salvage whats left…its time to rebuild the conditions that promoted prosperity in the first place. The right to expect a contract you can survive with and expect to be honored is only a start…so its gonna be a long and bumpy road….but the other option is the train, the cliff, and the absence of brakes and all accompanying tragedy.

    • quartz99

      The real problem with communism is that when put into practice by real people, it devolves into unregulated capitalism minus the corporatism we usually associate with capitalism. Getting a greater share of the pie isn’t possible legally so people will take bribes or do illegal things to get just a little more than their neighbor, and all things, food, medicines, medical care, legal ID, schooling… everything goes to the highest bidder and only and ever to the highest bidder without exception. It’s just as fast a route to disparity between rich and poor as corporatism is.

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        Amen…any extreme system that disposes of checks and balances (they are inconvenient and time consuming and frustrating…but they beat the alternative)…inevitably spirals into gangsterism. Be it ultimate free markets or ultimate state control…it always leads to horror…its the checks and balances in between the two that offer a prosperous middle ground and the only hope the world has ever seen for anything better than barbarism…

        …and its ironically the only place you can’t get people to stay in…if the last five decades have been any indication.

        • Liam_McGonagle

          Vox, your and Quartz’s comments reinforce to me that the central problem is immorality and low standards. The specifics of the system are, by comparison, just window dressing.

          I’ve been a little slow on the uptake vis-a-vis this point. I know it’s one that a bunch of people on this site have made ad nauseam–Hadrian666 and Andrew come to mind as well as yourselves. I admit I fucking sold out the team when I gave Obama a free pass on Afghanistan and the Patriot Act, in the illusory dream that the “genius” had a long game strategy to turn things around. So now I find myself struggling to close the morality and policy gap, doing whatever pathetically little a blogger can to encourage a healthier social environment.

          Odds are there is no one media ‘silver bullet’ strategy to get America’s dumbass back on the right track. Clearly it’s not gonna be narrowly partisan cheap-shots or utopian fantasies that it’s possible to find a fail-safe system to completely override humanity’s deep love affair with the stupid.

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            I wouldn’t even say immorality per se…but rather that human beings hover back and forth between furious impatience and frustrated outrage…they respect action, swift and decisive…even while they hate it…because it is more admirable than slow and complicated gridlock. Thus, even brutal dictators have the sweet sales pitch that comes with being able to do things quickly and cleanly…unfortunately that includes kidnapping, murder, propaganda and even genocide. And thus we see systems that entrench safety valves like checks and balances slowly slide into neglect, pecking away at the restrictions until one side or another swamps in during victory and takes steps to secure its position permanently. I fear our fascination with swift action and instant gratification will yet be the doom of us all.

          • Liam_McGonagle

            Well, in my mind’s eye, considerate restraint is the ESSENCE of morality. Not the bronze-age list of bizarre dietary and sexual prohibitions that certain reductivist Right Wingers have led the nation to believe.

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            Considerate restraint as a true expression of real morality…I like that. If you were a televangelist and that were your message…dude…I’d be mailing my retirement checks right now :-)

          • Liam_McGonagle

            LOL! But of course, the very act of asking for your retirement check should be the tip-off that the person asking is a dissembling bag of purulent lies!

            Too bad our traditional religious traditions have dropped the moral education ball so badly that very few are capable of recognizing that these days . . .

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi
          • quartz99

            I can’t believe his office confirmed it was real right off the bat. There’s several groups now looking into pursuing investigations for ethics violations over what he said in the call.

          • Liam_McGonagle

            Again, Quartz, you beat me to the punch! Just now posted a discussion (incl. statute and web cite) of this point under a reply to “Honu” at another Disinfo article.

            http://www.disinfo.com/2011/02/caller-posing-as-major-gop-contributor-dupes-wisconsin-gov-scott-walker/

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    We’re in the days of the final putsch…where they lay it on the line and go for broke before decommissioning unions altogether. Since Reagan and the air traffic controllers this has been brewing for 30 years…the reversals suffered by opening global trade and weakening the bargaining position of all Americans have all been about these moves we see today. The sea change where the conversation thread shifts from “You may have the right to bargain as a group…so lets negotiate.” to “You don’t have the right to bargain as a group…period.” Its all been for this…the mauling of America’s educational system to enshrine failure and shift the dollars and decisions into private markets…the butchery of industry and its offshoring…the endless attacks on ‘government’ as an entity…all of it has been a lengthy ideological/political attack on workers with contracts…

    …and for those who consider that ideology a good thing…the ‘victories’ of the last 30 years have left us a nation floundering in private debt bailed out with public dollars, no longer the world leader in production, science, medicine, etc…a rogue state with a runaway military procurement system that even outsources the manufacture of the gear we use to intimidate people into letting us cling to power a little longer…and we can’t sustain it because we fired the customer who made it possible…the average American and his or her American dream.

    The free market claims that the invisible hand will govern the ebb and flow of the marketplace for the betterment of all…

    …but this train needs real hands in the conductors booth…not invisible ones…because the cliff is up ahead and we’re doing 200mph with no one near the brakes.

    For anyone who holds communism in contempt…and I fall into that category…you should at least have the brain juice left to notice that communism has only ever had one friend that has enabled it to look good and market itself and find a home in this world…and that friend is unchecked capitalism. Somewhere in the middle ground between the two extremes is a happy place where things work out pretty well…but those two worst extremes feed each other like yin and yang…too much of either is disaster…and America is a bloated whale corpse on the beach of reality, waking after the binge of capitalism without reins, heart fluttering from the OD thats imminent…finally about to pay the dues for the party we held…

    …and Scott Walker ain’t holding a crash cart and an IV of saline…he’s packing skinning knives and planning to feast on the wreckage. Wisconsin has the right idea…stand up, fight back, draw a line in the sand and don’t let them cross it without a world of pain. Its time not just to salvage whats left…its time to rebuild the conditions that promoted prosperity in the first place. The right to expect a contract you can survive with and expect to be honored is only a start…so its gonna be a long and bumpy road….but the other option is the train, the cliff, and the absence of brakes and all accompanying tragedy.

  • Anonymous

    The real problem with communism is that when put into practice by real people, it devolves into unregulated capitalism minus the corporatism we usually associate with capitalism. Getting a greater share of the pie isn’t possible legally so people will take bribes or do illegal things to get just a little more than their neighbor, and all things, food, medicines, medical care, legal ID, schooling… everything goes to the highest bidder and only and ever to the highest bidder without exception. It’s just as fast a route to disparity between rich and poor as corporatism is.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Amen…any extreme system that disposes of checks and balances (they are inconvenient and time consuming and frustrating…but they beat the alternative)…inevitably spirals into gangsterism. Be it ultimate free markets or ultimate state control…it always leads to horror…its the checks and balances in between the two that offer a prosperous middle ground and the only hope the world has ever seen for anything better than barbarism…

    …and its ironically the only place you can’t get people to stay in…if the last five decades have been any indication.

  • Audio7

    In one of his many pressers, Scott mentioned in passing that many of those demonstrating in Wisconsin were brought in from out of state; i.e. “outside agitators”, a common phrase used by megalomaniacs throughout history to downplay the opposition.

    Be that as it may, he had no problem with the “outside” money he received from the Koch brothers during his campaign.

  • Anonymous

    In one of his many pressers, Scott mentioned in passing that many of those demonstrating in Wisconsin were brought in from out of state; i.e. “outside agitators”, a common phrase used by megalomaniacs throughout history to downplay the opposition.

    Be that as it may, he had no problem with the “outside” money he received from the Koch brothers during his campaign.

  • Anonymous

    But, in this case, Scott has neither a degree nor the experience.

  • Anonymous

    Quartz,

    I owe you a big debt of gratitude. You ALWAYS come through w/ the goods! Those stories were golden! So much so that I had to stop for a moment to catch my breath.

    You see, until late yesterday I was in complete agreement with some recent comments made by Jon Stewart about some of the Madison protest being overhyped. I’ve become REALLY, REALLY jaded in the last few months. Sure, I lived my whole life in Bumfuck, WI, surrounded by the most stupidly self-destructive reactionaries possible, and having been sorely disappointed by limp-dick phonies like Obama, I was highly reluctant to get too worked up about any ‘change-a-comin’ any time soon. I’ve seen the most elementary, common sense policies defeated by a type of self-loathing militant idiocy that I was only able to keep going on in the most desultory, half-assed fashion.

    As observers of my blog will have noted, contempt for stupidity has been its core them from the beginning, and over time my primary refnement has been to simplify the charges so that even the most pig ignorant goatfucker should be able to understand what I was getting at.

    Yes, I’ve made some big leaps in the appreciation of morality in good policy, but I admit I’m no saint, and will never be mistaken for one. I dearly regret having underplayed the evils of civil rights, environmental and military policy–I see now that by focusing exclusively on financial policy I effectively sold out the people who should have been my closest allies. I guess I can’t offer an excuse, only the explanation that I though economic policies have more immediate and personal consequences, and therefore should be the most easy to communicate in an effective, visceral way.

    In that light, I have to admit this gaff of mine here was really a puff piece. I selected just one of the simplest examples of Republican’t idiocy and harped on it seemingly endlessly just to make a point that really has been made literally thousands of times elsewhere. I thought it was worth doing, however, because Maddow, as well intentioned as she may be, kind of overreached herself in misstating some basic budget facts in WI, and also because I myself frankly needed the exercise in better writing. Beyond those two very marginal points, this post really added nothing.

    But your links, even from EXTREMELY mainstream media, or maybe precisely BECAUSE they’re from extremely mainstream media show me I”ve been asleep at the wheel a little bit here. Those stories about the power plant were a couple hours or even a day old, and just whizzed by my head until you brought them to my attention.

    In fact, I’d been shown a similar story on Facebook just an hour or so before you posted this, and I dismissed it entirely. Not because I doubted the Koch brothers had such a scheme to rape the taxpayers through a below-market sale, but simply because I’d become so fucking jaded that I didn’t bother to READ THE GODDAMNED ARTICLE. I just scanned it, and totally missed the operative fact: That Walker was such a fucking brazenly stupid whore that he would spend a WEEK calling the media’s attention to this bill while he could simply have made a strategic retreat, conceded to the union’s demand and slit their throats later in another session, under the pressure of Walker’s own continued failed fiscal policy. So I have to profusely thank you for sending these well-written dissections my way. MY head is still spinning.

    So yes, there are things more important than college degrees. There’s a thing called staying in fucking touch with your environment, and for that I have to be eternally grateful to you. Point well taken.

    But before I get all kumbayaa over here, another admission: I will never play with Nerf(tm) products. I mean to be offensive and disdain no tactic that I think can effectively undercut the pretentions of the stupid, the greedy or the cowardly. I wouldn’t stoop to the shitty half-arsed exaggeration of Maddow (though I believe her to be well intentioned). But for an asshole like Scott Walker who claims to have some type of business savvy, or at least some type of savvy, I still think it’s entirely legitimate to call attention to the fact that he had neither the brains nor the guts to obtain a simple college degree. So my intention is to undercut his pretensions, not to claim that a college degree was necessary for him to understand that $27 million is less than $60 million, or berate people, who because of shitty Republican education policies, struggle to complete degrees.

    I hope you accept this, although I will understand if you don’t. But I don’t see the difficulties you had in finishing your degree in the same light as Walker’s failure at all. After all, you actually DID finish your degree–and apparently had to haul ass to scrape the $ together to do so, unlike our supposed genius, well-connected friend in the governor’s mansion.

    Again, thanks for sending these links to me. Proof that what is important is staying connected. And proof once again of Walker’s bottomless capacity to call the world’s attention to his amoral bufoonery.

  • Anonymous

    Vox, your and Quartz’s comments reinforce to me that the central problem is immorality and low standards. The specifics of the system are, by comparison, just window dressing.

    I’ve been a little slow on the uptake vis-a-vis this point. I know it’s one that a bunch of people on this site have made ad nauseam–Hadrian666 and Andrew come to mind as well as yourselves. I admit I fucking sold out the team when I gave Obama a free pass on Afghanistan and the Patriot Act, in the illusory dream that the “genius” had a long game strategy to turn things around. So now I find myself struggling to close the morality and policy gap, doing whatever pathetically little a blogger can to encourage a healthier social environment.

    Odds are there is no one media ‘silver bullet’ strategy to get America’s dumbass back on the right track. Clearly it’s not gonna be narrowly partisan cheap-shots or utopian fantasies that it’s possible to find a fail-safe system to completely override humanity’s deep love affair with the stupid.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I wouldn’t even say immorality per se…but rather that human beings hover back and forth between furious impatience and frustrated outrage…they respect action, swift and decisive…even while they hate it…because it is more admirable than slow and complicated gridlock. Thus, even brutal dictators have the sweet sales pitch that comes with being able to do things quickly and cleanly…unfortunately that includes kidnapping, murder, propaganda and even genocide. And thus we see systems that entrench safety valves like checks and balances slowly slide into neglect, pecking away at the restrictions until one side or another swamps in during victory and takes steps to secure its position permanently. I fear our fascination with swift action and instant gratification will yet be the doom of us all.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Well, in my mind’s eye, considerate restraint is the ESSENCE of morality. Not the bronze-age list of bizarre dietary and sexual prohibitions that certain reductivist Right Wingers have led the nation to believe.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Considerate restraint as a true expression of real morality…I like that. If you were a televangelist and that were your message…dude…I’d be mailing my retirement checks right now :-)

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Considerate restraint as a true expression of real morality…I like that. If you were a televangelist and that were your message…dude…I’d be mailing my retirement checks right now :-)

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Considerate restraint as a true expression of real morality…I like that. If you were a televangelist and that were your message…dude…I’d be mailing my retirement checks right now :-)

  • Liam_McGonagle

    LOL! But of course, the very act of asking for your retirement check should be the tip-off that the person asking is a dissembling bag of purulent lies!

    Too bad our traditional religious traditions have dropped the moral education ball so badly that very few are capable of recognizing that these days . . .

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi
  • Anonymous

    Well sadly, he does have the experience, broadly speaking. He was county exec for several years. Moving up to an exec job at state level is the next logical step. The problem with him is what he did during that experience. Please don’t mistake this for being any kind of support for him at all. I think he lacks experience with having to compromise. He often just overrode what the county board told him in Milwaukee and got away with it.

  • Anonymous

    No worries. I know exactly where you were coming from. :) I’ll have more response later when I have time, but I wanted to say, oh, it gets worse.

    Here’s another story, this one another Maddow clip, connecting something he did unilaterally as Milwaukee exec to what he’s doing now:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7e4bj5rrd8

  • Anonymous

    I can’t believe his office confirmed it was real right off the bat. There’s several groups now looking into pursuing investigations for ethics violations over what he said in the call.

  • Anonymous

    Politifact rates his statement, btw, as false (not that any of us here are surprised by that, I know).

    http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/feb/23/scott-walker/wisconsin-gov-scott-walker-says-out-staters-accoun/

  • Anonymous

    It gets worse, but then it gets better…

    Hope you can make it on Saturday:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/van-jones/american-dream-movement_b_826477.html
    http://oursilverribbon.org/blog/?p=95
    http://pol.moveon.org/callforaction/
    http://www.facebook.com/RebuildTheDream?sk=wall#!/RebuildTheDream?sk=wall

    “We call for emergency rallies in front of every statehouse this Saturday at noon to stand in solidarity with the people of Wisconsin. Demand an end to the attacks on workers’ rights and public services across the country. Demand investment, to create decent jobs for the millions of people who desperately want to work. And demand that the rich and powerful pay their fair share.

    We are all Wisconsin.

    We are all Americans. ”

  • Anonymous

    Again, Quartz, you beat me to the punch! Just now posted a discussion (incl. statute and web cite) of this point under a reply to “Honu” at another Disinfo article.

    http://disinfo.com/2011/02/caller-posing-as-major-gop-contributor-dupes-wisconsin-gov-scott-walker/

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