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"Mr. Smalley & me"

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"Mr. Smalley & me"

Postby jonnygothispen » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:10 pm

I give up. I've tried to provoke WSJ into publishing Wisconsin's actual increased debt since Walker took office, and his $558 million loan from 2011, but to no avail. I do respect that Mr. Smalley (WSJ's editor) replied numerous times in a positive way, however it seems to have withered.

So in honor of Michael Moore's style... (I'll be blue, and Mr. Smalley red)


Hi John,

I just meant that she votes or proposes independently of what the democratic leadership wants on major issues, re: single payer, patriot act language in a 9-11 bill, etc. The Democrats, in my opinion, are also sold out to corporate interests, whereas Tammy is fairly independent of that in key ways (I like Nader's phrase: The only difference between Democrats and Republicans is the speed at which they drop to their knees when corporations call) Interestingly enough though, she is now considered more mainstream by Wisconsin voters than Tommy. But calling her "too Partisan" over a guy like Chad Lee, or never noting the more solidly partisan positions of Ron Johnson or Scott Walker- which is maybe best called "corporatism" for Scott...

Thanks again.

Jon



--- On Fri, 11/9/12, John Smalley <JSmalley@madison.com> wrote:

From: John Smalley <JSmalley@madison.com>
Subject: RE: ...sans the hype
To: jonnygothispen
Date: Friday, November 9, 2012, 10:59 AM

Thanks, Jon, for the feedback. I will keep it in mind as we move ahead. I'm sure we would quibble on various points of your note but I do appreciate being data and facts to a discussion, as opposed to pure opinion.

Speaking of which, the only thing I have to respond to is this: calling Tammy independent is pure revisionist history. If her voting record is the standard for independence and bipartisanship, well, then we can rest assured nothing will ever get done in the Senate. I find Tammy to be a smart, warm, thoughtful person. But independent and/or bipartisan? Ah, no. The record will not come close to supporting that conclusion.

Take care for now.

-- John



From: jonnygothispen
Sent: Friday, November 09, 2012 10:37 AM
To: John Smalley
Subject: ...sans the hype

Hi John,

I thought yours was an interesting editorial. I have to agree with one aspect of it: when compared to blatantly partisan media, WSJ is a better choice. But unbiased? That requires a deeper look. I've always said WSJ's views are more subtle, but pretty consistent, and sometimes even moderate. But when you're extreme, you're extreme right. A feature editorial for How to criticize Bush, for example, in regards to what Republicans will accept. Or labeling Tammy Baldwin as "too partisan" when she's independent in key ways to today's democratic party, while an extreme party-line voter like Ron Johnson doesn't receive a glance. Or we could look at WSJ's endorsement of Mitt Romney (one of your more even handed endorsements for sure, but...) whose key economic policy of wealth redistribution to the top, the very policies that created this recession, were completely over looked. While at the same time ignoring that Obama is the most fiscally conservative President we've had since Eisenhower, if the Wall Street Journal is to be believed: http://articles.marketwatch.com/2012-05 ... ken-sailor

"Although there was a big stimulus bill under Obama, federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s."

Never mind that a stimulus had to happen no matter who became President.

Income inequality the biggest issue of our time (charts from various source of the income disparity since 1979) : http://www.motherjones.com/politics/201 ... hart-graph

Income inequality and deregulation, that which a Romney administration would expand on, created the Great Depression, the Recession of 1991, The Great Recession, and stagnates economies all over the world whenever it's implemented.

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3849

... By themselves, in fact, the Bush tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will account for almost half of the $18 trillion in debt that, under current policies, the nation will owe by 2019. The stimulus measures and financial rescues will account for less than 10 percent of the debt at that time.


I understand that Romney could become moderate again, but there's also a risk (more likely a partial guarantee at the least) that he would also appease extremists again once elected. Proof of that is in his pick of an extremist like Ryan whose budget proposal is extremely out of the main stream, can't possibly work, and also exacerbates the major cause of this recession.

Not to mention the lack of coverage in regards to Scott Walker['s extremism and the special interest groups behind him while relentlessly focusing on or attacking unions. Also, sitting on major lies: Claiming that Walker balancing the budget when he increased Wisconsin's actual debt by $320 million to $700 million in the long term; lying by stating that Walker didn't use one time finding gimmicks when he borrowed $558 million, and took $25 million from the mortgage relief fund to make the false claim of a balanced budget. Implying that he balanced the budget as if it was special when in fact it's required by law. And misleading about the jobs gained by never showing under whose budget they were gained or the when and how they were lost, kind of exposes your paper as being dishonest with it's readers. The budget and jobs were the two major issues at the time and WSJ chose to mislead or simply lie about them.

For me personally, I see WSJ swinging both ways, but often exposing it's hand as mostly conservative. So I agree that your (WSJ's) brand of journalism looks moderate when compared to radical media, but it's still obviously right of center. I think you can call it a more subtle and moderate version of bias. Thanks...

Jon
I thought this was interesting because Mr. Smalley's reply only noted his opinion of Tammy Baldwin despite numerous other issues brought up that I would argue are quite a bit more important as to their effects. I sent a large 3 page collage from "WSJ's misleading headlines" ( viewtopic.php?t=51943 ) mentioning numerous different issues and WSJ's coverage of them just prior to this, and no mention of any of those issues from that either except that they aren't in bed with Scott Walker.
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Re: "Mr. Smalley & me"

Postby jonnygothispen » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:16 pm

And everything else will be green..

John,
Hmm... Interesting. I'm using the official GAAP figures from the LFB, also from an official letter from Mike Huebsch to Kathy Sebelius dated December 29, 2011. I think you're familiar with that. And as you know, the GAAP figures are the actual debt/deficit figures, not the gimmick cash-accounting figures you're using. So are you saying Mike Huebsch lied to the Feds when he used the GAAP accounting methods showing a $2.99 billion debt for 2011/2012 an $3.02 billion debt for 2012/13, up from $2.7 billion when Walker took office? Or do you mean Walker /WSJ lied to Wisconsin by stating Walker "balanced the budget?"

From the LFB: http://www.wha.org/Data/Sites/1/medicai ... -11-12.pdf

In the Budget in Brief that accompanied the Governor's 2011-13 budget message the administration projected that the GAAP deficit for the state would be $2.99 billion in 2011-12 and $3.02 billion in 2012-13.

The fact is that Wisconsin is now deeper in debt because it ran an actual deficit since Walker took office, and that the cash accounting method is specifically a gimmick. Likewise, you're perfectly aware of the $558 million loan the Walker Admin. took out last year. From the LFB again: http://bdgrdemocracy.files.wordpress.co ... nehout.pdf

the LFB runs down the costs that taxpayers will now bear in future years as a result of Walker's credit card spree.

2011-12- $9.824 million
2012-13- $44.913 million
2013-14- $98.431 million
2014-15- $98.426 million
2015-16- $83.630 million
2016-17- $83.619 million

News reporters used to specialize in calling out the use of dishonest figures.

The Badger Herald writer probably doesn't know about it at all. Are you really saying you didn't know about this at all?

Jon

"As a candidate for governor in 2010, Walker pledged to balance every budget state budget using GAAP—a promise he broke. Likewise, in his failed bid for governor in 2006, Walker called then-Gov. Jim Doyle a “world champion liar” for saying his budget was balanced, when by GAAP standards it was not."
--- On Sat, 11/24/12, John Smalley <JSmalley@madison.com> wrote:

From: John Smalley <JSmalley@madison.com>
Subject: Re: Some people say...issed
To: jonnygothispen
Date: Saturday, November 24, 2012, 1:59 PM

We haven't skipped out on being honest about anything. Your opinions overwhelm the facts, it seems. There are many ways to slice and dice budget numbers, and your budget conspiracy theory -- whereby every media outlet in the state is in cahoots to somehow protect the governor -- doesn't really hold up.


Sent from my iPad

On Nov 24, 2012, at 11:16 AM, jonnygothispen wrote:

Oops! I missed that. The WSJ article I saw was very vague. Yes, I usually read the print edition almost everyday. But generally find more important informatiom from other sources, such as Wisconins actual increased debt because of Walker from his corporate welfare proams that resulted in the . $558 loan he took out last year to deceive people into believing the budget is balanced. That major deception is something WSJ is still sitting on. Or the spcial interests behind Scott's agenda and their adverse effects. Even the Badger Herald in it's current edition has better reporting in regards to income inequailty. Although in the same edition, on the same page even, they didn't dig deep enough to find that our debt is higher now. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.
It's not a small thing that WSJ has skipped out on being honest over the actual deficit and debt, and over the larger issue of income inequality and it's overall effect on the economy. Thanks again for your reply.
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Re: "Mr. Smalley & me"

Postby jonnygothispen » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:26 pm

Hi John,
As far as the GAAP figures, I emailed Clay Barbour about that quite awhile ago, and told a friend that I did. Unbeknownst to me, my friend also emailed Clay and Clay replied. "This is the second letter I've got about this... you must've got your figures from some left wing blogger" when he already had the same links I just sent you. One just assumes since he showed no intrigue or interest in the actual figures. In his reply to me, he acted as if was too complicated for most people to understand, and that's not the way we do it, or something like that. It was kind of weird, lol.

I emailed Clay because WSJ published a feature article he wrote the Sunday before the recall election that quoted the Walker administration's cash accounting surplus claims "without using one time funds (quoting Clay's article-some of his printed article-literally, the gray areas- isn't in the online edition)" that ignored the $558 million loan and $25 million taken from the mortgage relief fund, and also used the unofficial Walker administration jobs figures-which apparently were not confirmed by the BLS:

http://www.politiscoop.com/us-politics/ ... ation.html

The BLS said "The Bureau can not comment on the fourth quarter numbers because they haven't been released. I can say that we would not have confirmed the numbers yet, but would only have confirmed the methods used."

We also asked about the historical numbers and how much or how little they were adjusted at year end and if any previous adjustments came close to the error Scott Walker claims they have made. From 2006-2011 the margin of error was a mere -.9%, which means that the BLS claimed Wisconsin created slightly less jobs than originally reported, not the inverse of which is what Walker claims. The BLS will be releasing quarterly statistics on June 28th, 2012 and that is when we will know the true set of numbers.

I also thought the Sunday editorial on Walker's problems with campaigning on company time was nice (Thanks!), but that too could've been written before the recall when already 12 of his staff were granted immunity, and I think 5 indicted by then. You guys were focused the unions though. I also think it's slightly misleading to say there is a "gray area," which would apply to a few dozen or so emails, or a few phone calls, not a coordinated system that was deliberately hidden (because they obviously knew what they were doing was illegal), and in which thousands of emails were sent. Nor is that system the result of "sloppiness" in my opinion. But anyway, you know me :)

Jon

Hi John,
My hope is just that you will publish the actual GAAP deficit and GAAP increased debt figures. It would be nice to see the $558 million loan and it's subsequent future payments also published in a feature article on a Sunday, of course.

Likewise, it would be interesting to see a synapsis of of job creation with a timeline in regards to wen certain "jobs" policies kicked in, either for or against, with it noted that the Walker budget became law on July 1st, 2011.

I often run into these people who argue from ignorance, and it's just frustrating because the actual debt, loan, and jobs figures timeline should be common knowledge. Maybe there's a point to be made that State government had to tighten up the ship, or whatever, but when it's argued using false statements or figures we never get to that point at all. That lack of knowledge takes away from productive dialogue and turns it into a he said, she said thing when it's actually not.
I can't think of any better way to get this out except to inform media outlets who might be interested in publishing it. I think it's important since most people I know, even the most staunch liberals, have no idea about Walker increasing the debt and his $558 million loan, and the #1 reason for voting for Walker was "Well, he balanced the budget."

There is perhaps nothing very revealing about this exchange except that WSJ has been, and is fully aware of the actual debt/deficit/loan figures, and numerous other important issues. But they still choose to ignore them completely and are sticking with the false budget and jobs numbers that are favorable to Walker that they've repeatedly published, primarily before the recall.

Wisconsin's "independent" voice? Geesh!
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Re: "Mr. Smalley & me"

Postby Stu Levitan » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:52 am

When I commented in a Twitter conversation that WSJ had a generally conservative editorial page, Scott Milfred tweeted that I must live "in a lefty bunker." Sensitive, much?
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Re: "Mr. Smalley & me"

Postby Mad Howler » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:32 am

Wow. Interesting insights into how free pressy our paper of record seems to be not, but hell that's just my "opinion".
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Re: "Mr. Smalley & me"

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:38 am

Mad Howler wrote:Wow. Interesting insights into how free pressy our paper of record seems to be not, but hell that's just my "opinion".


I'm not sure you understand the meaning of the phrase, that you seem to have just made up.

A press that is free isn't automatically an unbiased press just unhindered from printing what they think is appropriate.

WSJ is probably moderately to the right. Definitely more balanced then Cap times, but not as moderate as say the JS.
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Re: "Mr. Smalley & me"

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:48 am

Francis Di Domizio wrote:WSJ is probably moderately to the right.

When I read their Sunday opinion page, I find their positions to be a little farther to the right than you do (especially the editorial cartoons).
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Re: "Mr. Smalley & me"

Postby talagaster » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:08 am

Henry Vilas wrote:When I read their Sunday opinion page, I find their positions to be a little farther to the right than you do (especially the editorial cartoons).


I find that the WSJ writers tend to be socially liberal (gay marriage, pro-science, today's editorial on women in combat positions) but fiscally conservative. This split is what they always trumpet when they say "we're not one or the other!" However, this balance is somewhat illusory. The fiscal tends to trump social in their hierarchy. Their endorsements regularly back this up, they endorsed Walker and Romney knowing both would work against many of their social goals. It's neat knowing they are in favor of gay marriage but, if a tax cut takes priority, that stance doesn't mean a whole lot.

They also have the problem that their most visible opinion writers all share basically the same views. Scott Milfred, Chris Rickert and Phil Hands all come in at about the same point of the political spectrum. So when they all weigh in on one issue, it feels like the paper is ganging up on a group of people (let's say teachers). Each one is fairly moderate on their own, it's the stacking that makes it feel much more partisan.
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Re: "Mr. Smalley & me"

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:10 am

Henry Vilas wrote:
Francis Di Domizio wrote:WSJ is probably moderately to the right.

When I read their Sunday opinion page, I find their positions to be a little farther to the right than you do (especially the editorial cartoons).


It's a subjective judgement on both our parts (and to be fair I haven't regularly read WSJ since they put up the pay wall, and I've only every read the online version). Where would you put Cap Times?
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Re: "Mr. Smalley & me"

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:24 am

Francis Di Domizio wrote:Where would you put Cap Times?

They state upfront that they are a progressive voice. But that has nothing to do with this discussion.
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Re: "Mr. Smalley & me"

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:28 am

Nothing at all, I'm just trying to find a second common unit of comparison. You think WSJ is a little farther than moderately to the right where as I put them at moderately right. I'm curious where you personally would judge Cap Times on the political spectrum to get a better idea of our perspectives. I personally find them to be quite a bit further to the left than WSJ is to the right.
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Re: "Mr. Smalley & me"

Postby Stebben84 » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:33 am

Francis Di Domizio wrote:I'm curious where you personally would judge Cap Times on the political spectrum to get a better idea of our perspectives. I personally find them to be quite a bit further to the left than WSJ is to the right.


I find the editorial/opinion pieces of the cap times to go further left, but I find the reporting on the WSJ's part to go farther right.
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Re: "Mr. Smalley & me"

Postby bensmomjo » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:27 pm

Thanks for posting this interesting correspondence. My husband has also on occasion corresponded with Mr. Smalley about various topics, to little avail. Very frustrating.

I find someone who is really knowledgeable and up-to-date with his posting about budget topics is the blogger "Jake" who writes Jake's Economic TA Funhouse, at http://jakehasablog.blogspot.com. I try to follow him and the Wheeler Report to keep up with the reports coming out of the Capitol. My own efforts involve providing this information to the readers of JS Online (now by using incognito windows or private browsing) again and again. Sometimes other readers pick it up and look at the information themselves.

I've also tried to provide the information to other newspapers around the state, but it's getting more difficult because of paywalls and the dearth of articles dealing with state topics. (The Green Bay Press Gazette is particularly lousy -- but great with Packers coverage, even now when the season is over.)

Correcting misinformation could easily be a full time job. Thanks for taking it up with John Smalley.
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Re: "Mr. Smalley & me"

Postby Mad Howler » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:33 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:
Mad Howler wrote:Wow. Interesting insights into how free pressy our paper of record seems to be not, but hell that's just my "opinion".


I'm not sure you understand the meaning of the phrase, that you seem to have just made up.


No, sadly, I do.
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Re: "Mr. Smalley & me"

Postby jonnygothispen » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:07 pm

bensmomjo wrote: ... I find someone who is really knowledgeable and up-to-date with his posting about budget topics is the blogger "Jake" who writes Jake's Economic TA Funhouse, at http://jakehasablog.blogspot.com. I try to follow him and the Wheeler Report to keep up with the reports coming out of the Capitol. My own efforts involve providing this information to the readers of JS Online (now by using incognito windows or private browsing) again and again. Sometimes other readers pick it up and look at the information themselves...


Jake nails it! Thanks!
http://jakehasablog.blogspot.com/2012/0 ... o-new.html
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