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Hero of the Week: MPS Board President Peter Blewett

Plus Jerk and Blog of the Week

Dec. 31, 2008
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Hero of the Week

MPS Board President Peter Blewett

Finally! MPS Board President Peter Blewett stood up for public education and democracy in the pages of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel with his Dec. 28 op-ed titled "Cheap Advice from a Newspaper that Supports Failed Experiments." Blewett recounted the many floundering reforms the JS's editors have supported at taxpayers' expense-such as the Neighborhood Schools Initiative and the voucher program. Blewett also called out the JS's accomplices-such as the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC)-in their misguided attempt to disband the elected board and handpick a new one. Blewett also could have called out the mayor, who has feuded with Blewett over school funding instead of working toward a solution.

Jerk of the Week

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker

Walker is taking his hard-right ideology too seriously for Milwaukee County's good. While other states, counties and cities are preparing to upgrade their infrastructures with President-elect Barack Obama's proposed stimulus package, Walker is dooming Milwaukee County by not asking for federal dollars for infrastructure projects. Walker claims that lower taxes and reduced spending will get us out of our financial mess. But will that put people to work, improve our infrastructure and revitalize needed services? Nope! Even conservative Alan Greenspan has concluded that that approach won't get us out of this mess. But Walker doesn't care, as long as he can play politics with Milwaukee's future and become the conservative standard-bearer in the 2010 gubernatorial race. Thanks for nothing, Scott.

Blog of the Week

Jay Bullock, Folkbum's Rambles and Rants

www.folkbum.blogspot.com

Yet Republicans Blame Fannie and Freddy

One of the most amazing aspects of watching the present financial crisis unfold, for me, is the degree to which conservatives and Republicans refuse to place any share of the blame for the calamity on the people who actually caused it. The private sector is holy, and the saintly CEOs are mere victims of a grand scam perpetrated by the people who are now living in homeless shelters or cardboard boxes. Privately held banks and mortgage brokers were mere rubes in a fantastical scheme concocted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (who were not even making subprime loans for most of the boom time) via Jimmy Carter and the [Community Reinvestment Act]. Truth is, there was big money to be made, personally and institutionally, by aggressively pursuing risky loans and securitizing them. The private sector followed that trail of money with abandon, and now, with tight credit throughout all markets, we are seeing the results.

I do not understand Republicans' refusal to recognize reality. I suppose that is one of the long-running themes of this blog, though.

Quote of the Week

"I think it is the responsibility of a citizen of any country to say what he thinks." -Nobel Prize-winning dramatist and political activist Harold Pinter (Oct. 10, 1930-Dec. 24, 2008)

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