Thursday, December 18, 2014

Second Quarter 2014 jobs report: Wisconsin is dead last in the Midwest

Walker's policies since 2011 have sunk Wisconsin's jobs rankings

Scott Walker has said in the past that the state is growing jobs faster because of policies he’s put in place.

Well, the election is behind us now, but we can still see that’s clearly not the case. The second quarter 2014 jobs report is out, and Wisconsin is still lagging behind other Midwestern states, remaining in the lower half of states in the nation overall.

While the U.S. as a whole saw a 2.3 percent growth in private sector jobs, Wisconsin’s rate was only 1.5 percent, ranking us as 32nd in the nation. Among the states deemed as part of the Midwest (defined during the past election), Wisconsin is dead last -- just like it was in the previous quarterly report.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Scott Walker's "Cuba-deal" comments make him look foolish

Walker lacks qualifications to make real commentary on international matters

Reacting to comments from President Barack Obama regarding a change towards normalizing relations between Cuba and the U.S., Gov. Scott Walker said it’s a “bad idea” to move towards more openness between the two nations.
I think it’s a bad idea,” Walker told reporters Wednesday. “I don’t think there’s been any noticeable change towards making that a more free and prosperous country. There’s a reason why we had the policy in the first place.”


“I think it opens up the doors to problems, and I think in a similar way changing relations with Cuba right now without them showing a noticeable change in terms of what kind of freedoms they’re going to put in place is a problem,” Walker said. “In the past, we’ve said if you want to have a more normal relationship with the United States, you need to show you’re committed to the same freedoms and rights that we have here in the United States.”
Emphases in bold added

But Gov. Walker’s record on dealing with countries that are hostile towards the U.S. or its own citizens is sketchy itself. If Walker is going to criticize the president, he'd better be ready to defend his own history in dealing with nations that have human rights problems, including seeking trade agreements with countries like China.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Baraboo school district rightly adopts WIAA policy for transgender student athletes

Granting students equal access to sports activities the right move to make; qualms against the policy are based on unwarranted fears

The Baraboo school district has agreed to adhere to Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) standards allowing transgender students to participate in sporting activities that correspond with their gender identities.

The move by the district to accept the policy standards (PDF) is the right one to make. Students deserve equal opportunity to participate in sporting events that public schools may offer. Preventing students from participating in sports that correspond to their gender identities would be a grave mistake, and one that would devalue or demoralize any student who may identify with a gender other than the one assigned to them at birth.

Parents in Baraboo (and across the nation) have been primarily concerned with students committing fraud through this policy (for example, boys who say they identify as females only to have advantages over other competitors). But that fear runs counter to the policy set up by WIAA, which requires evidence that these student athletes are indeed identifying with the gender they say they are.