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Monday, December 16, 2013

The Janesville Gazette Doubles Down on Itself

Did you happen to see Sunday's (Dec.15) Janesville Gazette? The entire local section was probably one their greatest pieces of right-wing social engineering combined with some GOP propaganda that I have seen in almost 10 years. I'm not kidding.

From the front-page headlines and articles implying that Janesville was practically caught off-guard by the GM Plant closing ...pssst, it wasn't ... to labeling the notorious "divide and conquer" group, Rock County 5.0, as the area's "movers and shakers" collaborating magic to turn the economy around, to the editorial stating, "(Paul) Ryan has never made his political future his top priority, that he does what's best for the country." Remember, this is Ryan's hometown newspaper speaking. The entire local section was truly mind-numbing.

Of added interest in their Ryan editorial is this ..."Liberals might have to rethink the notion that Ryan is in the Tea Party's pocket."

OR, perhaps and more importantly ...the Tea Party might have to finally realize that Paul Ryan is not on their side. Never was. Ryan co-opted them just like his media enablers are trying to change minds and co-opt liberals for his political benefit right now.

The Gazette also dedicated an article in what appears to be a bizarre attempt to shift the damage done to Janesville's image by the area's well-documented new normal of "divide and conquer" business politics and race-to-the-bottom economics onto the army of national reporters that came into town following the GM closure. In this article, they gave special mention in their wildly off-based claims to unload some of the blame onto Charlie LeDuff and Mother Jones magazine.

Of course we shouldn't ignore the newspaper's anonymous twice-weekly "Sound Off" column that regularly carries personal cheapshots and partisan attacks against the enemy of the moment. This Sunday's Sound Off was no different.

Finally, this was all topped off by the managing editor's personal "view" describing his frustration toward folks who continue to criticize the newspaper and its editorial positions. He admits that he doesn't "get it." For once I agree with him.


RNR - Newspaper Sells Local Divide and Conquer Group As Community Leaders (Oct. 15, 2013)

RNR - Paradox? Local Conservatives Demand Large Government Role For Economic Growth (Sept. 19, 2013)

RNR - Local Business Group Denies Red State Politics. Pretend Like Nothing Happened (May 18, 2012)

RNR - Government Plays Huge Role In Janesville's Comeback (Aug.17, 2012)


Unknown said...

I was contacted last week to do an on camera interview with WISC-TV. I don't live in WI any more but I did write a statement for them which they will never use, both to the person who contacted me, and in the comment section of one of the segments they aired:

Unknown said...



I was hired in GM originally in 1985 as summer help and I was rehired in May 1986 as a temporary permanent (it was supposed to be about a 15 month gig at the time due to the plant being scheduled to close) in the plant at that time, and I and everyone else hired at that time was supposed to leave in 1987.
When most of the plant shut down in 2008, I was given the opportunity to transfer to the Fairfax plant in Kansas City KS. Due to my mobility issues, (some of which are work related injuries) the plant DR in Fairfax put me out on a disability retirement (i get a pension only for as long as I worked there and then I get cut off). I have gone from living in a really nice house (about 2500 sq ft of livable space on .8 acres) north of Janesville into a 550 sq ft drafty, trailer that is older than I am (my pipes froze up last week due to a severe cold snap and I just got them thawed out and working again 3 days ago).

I moved to WA state because my dad was/is having some health issues, and I wanted to be closer to him. I live in what I consider to be a beautiful area in S.E. WA state.

I am better off than many in this country who are still struggling with joblessness, under-employment, homelessness, food and shelter insecurities, and a lack of health services (I took about a 40-50% drop in income). There are too many homeless seniors and others on the street and there isn't enough section 8 housing to go around even though there are about 7 empty houses for every homeless person in the country. Congress keeps slashing SNAP benefits when they really should be increased due to higher food costs. Now congress is planning to not extend unemployment benefits even though there are actually at least 3 applicants for every job opening and that doesn't even include those who have become too discouraged to even try to find a job any more. Government estimates on unemployment numbers are way off. There are actually 21 million unemployed adults right now and those figures keep getting worse with every passing month as job creation isn't keeping up with the normal increase in new people entering the work force.

Unknown said...

Congress (i.e. the GOP and OBAMA) are also trying to put together a plan where seniors will have reduced benefits because they want chained CPI put in place. The current CPI formula already doesn't reflect true increases in costs for seniors and they lose more buying power for every year that they are alive. The current estimate is a 1.5% increase in the CPI this year even though the things seniors use like medicine, medical care and fuel costs went up, way up in recent years. The increase they will get in their medicare bill will likely be far greater than the increase in Social Security benefits. The idea is that if something becomes unaffordable, you will find some other food or cheaper medicine to replace it with. There are already seniors who are making tough decisions on whether to eat, have shelter, or to take medicines this month. The costs associated with nursing home care are attainable only by the top 5% of earners. Last estimate that I saw 2 years ago, put the homeless senior population at 57,000 and this time of year is especially hard on that population. How many died due to exposure during the last cold snap? No one knows as anyone who is homeless is considered worthless in this country, despite being someones mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, son or daughter.

The "me first" attitudes in this country are disturbing to say the least. When did nearly half the population become sociopaths who are only out for their own interests and to hell with everyone else? What ever happened to loving and helping your neighbor in their time of need? Why is greed and the accumulation of MORE money, and MORE stuff such a sought after and admired trait in our populace?

Things need to change. We need more jobs. We need companies to quit hidding profits overseas and not paying taxes to maintain and improve the commons (roads, bridges, ports, military, electrical grid, water, sewer, education, etc.) even though they benefit more from the commons than most and refuse to pay their share of their use of them. They should pay at least the same or greater income rates than their employees have to pay, and no more subsidies for companies that already make billions every year. We need our infrastructure fixed and improved. We have a revenue problem in the USA, not a spending problem. They best way to fix it is to put more people back to work and go back to the tax rates of the 1950's and 1960's. That is when the middle class was growing and not shrinking like it currently is, and it would allow the USA to become leaders once again in education and innovation. We need that again.
Reply · 2 · Like · Unfollow Post · Edited · December 13 at 11:37am

Linda Meyer · Top Commenter · Milton High
It would cost billions to clean up the old plant site of all the lead, tolulene, benzene, paint, other solvents, asbestos, other toxic substances, and radio active materials. From what I understand of how you might clean up a site that has been using toxic chemicals for years, would be to dig out the toxic soil, and put it in barrels encased in cement and buried. No one wants to pay for that including GM.
Reply · 1 · Like · Unfollow Post · Edited · December 13 at 3:38am

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