Right-Wing Fantasists, National Media Edition:
Rupert Murdoch’s campaign to drag the rest of the once-proud Wall Street Journal down to the level of its editorial pages proceeds apace:
Today’s lead editorial, with its graph of “Obama’s Growing Payroll,” is a perfect example of how the WSJ misleads rather than informs. The gist of the editorial is that Obama is presiding over a massive increase of government, exemplified by the surge of civilian employees. The graph shows a striking rise of federal employment from around 1.875 million in 2008 to 2.1 million in 2011. (I reproduce this as Figure 1 below).
The Journal neglects the fact that today’s 2.1 million workers is actually identical to the number of Federal employees in 1981 at the start of the Reagan Administration, 1989 at the end of the Reagan Administration, and 1993 at the end of the Bush Sr. Administration. The numbers went down slightly after that (by around 200,000-300,000 workers as of the late 1990s) with a decline in Defense Department civilian employees, a decline that was probably offset by the rise of private defense contractors (not included in the OMB tables). There is no long-term trend at all. (I show this as Figure 2 below).
Go read the whole thing. It’s worth it.
Right-Wing Fantasists, Minnesota Neo-Birchers Edition:
Sally Jo Sorensen describes how, instead of trying to figure out the big financial issues facing the Gopher State, Allen Quist and his fellow conservative travelers at ALEC et al are off in their own paranoid neo-Bircher fantasyland version of 1959:
When Allen Quist isn’t scolding Tim Walz for communicating with his constituents, he’s off fighting the One World Conspiracy hiding under our local zoning boards.
Fresh off Saturday’s heavily-ALEC tilted education deform conference that borrowed a room at St. Cloud State, Quist is peeking Behind The Green Curtain, according to the Central Minnesota Tea Party blog (written by AJ Kern, one of the organizers of Saturday’s conference).
On behalf of the North Star Tea Party Patriots, Sue Bican has invited legislators and County Sheriffs (as opposed to the other sort of sheriffs) to learn about the movement toward Global Governance.
Mother Jones examined the Tea Party’s pouring out of the old fringe anti-UN staple in new cracked pottery in last Spring’s “We Don’t Need None of That Smart-Growth Communism.”
As Sorensen goes on to mention, about the only time the Minnesota Teeps duck their heads back into the real world is when they’re arguing for more real-world goodies to be thrown to their rich patrons:
But Minnesota’s Tea Party’s aren’t solely fiddling with ringnuttery while the stadium bills burn brightly in Mark Dayton and Julie Rosen’s eyes.
We must give some credit to the Rochester Tea Party Patriots for sticking with the agenda of the West Metro rich businessmen’s Freedom Club: “Employee Freedom,” the latest euphemism for the “right to work” euphemism. The RTPP post heartily endorsing Steve Drazkowski’s constitutional amendment notes:
“One of our basic rights is the right to work at a job without having to join a union.”
Somehow, we missed that part of the Bill of Rights. Or the notion of anti-unionism as a fundamental human right. And Bluestem isn’t alone, as this guy’s notions, like an earlier guy’s writing, suggest.