Sunday, October 24, 2010

MJS Endorses Charlie Brown For Brewers' New Manager

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Editorial Board has endorsed Charlie Brown to be the next manager for the Milwaukee Brewers. Here is an excerpt from their endorsement:
Oh, sure, we know that Charlie Brown is a cartoon character who has never won a baseball game in his life, either as a player or a manager. Yes, it's true that he is often found in the infield, dazed and half-dressed. It's also true that he allows his outfielders to daydream when they are not wandering around and his star infielder is his dog. And yes, he can't even fly a kite without getting into a jam he needs help, usually from an adult, to get out of.

Oh, sure, the Brewers could always go for a Tony LaRussa who has a proven track record and has won more games than almost anyone, but we are still supporting Brown.

The reason is simply this: Brown has the experience.

The Brewers are coming off a tough year where they lost more games than they won, and need a real leader to get them winning again. Next year looks like it could be rough too, and they are sure to lose some key players which will make things harder. Brown has faced similar situations, and even though he showed that he was not up to meeting the challenge, he's our guy.

Besides, Patrick McIlheran has a shirt just like his.
Do you think the above satirical piece was silly? Overly exaggerated? Nonsensical? Full of self-contradictions? That no one would ever write something that inane?

Well, dear reader, you obviously didn't read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's endorsement of Scott Walker.

They list this as their reason for their endorsement:

Walker was elected Milwaukee's County executive in 2002 amid a pension scandal that drove his predecessor and others from office, and he manages an institution with financial travails and other dynamics that mirror the state's:

• Structural deficits promising future implosion.

• A constant tension between what is necessary and what is affordable.

• The need to exact concessions from public employee unions.

• An intransigent legislative body, in many ways in thrall to these interests.

This is the Milwaukee County that Walker inherited. But it is also an apt description of the state he seeks to lead.

There can be no more kicking the can down the Wisconsin road. If there is one thing Walker has shown in his tenure as county executive, it is an abiding intolerance for the failures of business as usual.

What they are not willing to admit, at least publicly, is that Walker has failed in all of these areas.

Milwaukee County's structural deficits are worse than they were eight years ago, not better. In fact, Walker has driven the county to the verge of bankruptcy directly related to his ineptitude.

Walker has no clue to what is necessary, as evidenced by the O'Donnell Park tragedy or the total failure at the mental health complex. Both of these are directly spawned from Walker's refusal to adequately fund or staff vital programs like public works and social services.

Walker has gotten very little from the unions. The last contract signed was four years ago, after he was forced out of his last run for governor. The settlement had to be arranged by his former political rival, David Riemer, and was pretty much what the unions had originally proposed, with the addition of a signing bonus. For the last two years, Walker has been illegally negotiating through the media, accomplishing nothing but wasting tax payer money due to lost savings.

And if there is one phrase that best describes Walker's tenure, it would be "kicking the can down the road."

It was Walker that has created hundreds of millions of dollars of deferred maintenance and repairs. It was Walker that pushed for a $400 million pension obligation bond, guaranteeing that Milwaukee County tax payers will be paying for his political posturing for generations to come. It was Walker who created a projected $7 million deficit for this year and proposed a budget for next year that has a hole worth tens of millions of dollars.

Walker has abdicated his responsibilities as county executive for years, pawning off the House of Corrections on the Sheriff's Office when he couldn't run it worth a damn, and having the state have to take over the Income Maintenance Program because he wasn't up to the job.

And these are his supposed strengths.

The rest of their endorsements is a list of reasons why his singularly unfit to be county executive, much less governor.

So, if Walker is such a failure that even his strengths are failures, just why did the paper endorse him. Perhaps it's for the reason they did not disclose.

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