How many Republicans voted for the Obama economic stimulus package? As Dean Vernon Wormer (Animal House) would have said...."zero point zero". Not a single one. Since I'm not really an avid follower of politics, and certainly not a fan, it's hard to think anything has changed up there in D.C. No real surprise.
One thing which did surprise me, though, was that a politician from just south of Madison, Janesville's Paul Ryan, was dumb enough to join the Republican lockstep in voting against the package. I do follow Wisconsin news. Our state has lost SIXTY THOUSAND jobs in the past year. And perhaps no city was hit harder than Janesville, which shed thousands of jobs when General Motors closed the Assembly Plant there. Lots of good 'sconnies made lots of good Suburbans and Tahoes there, and the company made a lot of money off those big honkin' SUV's, but I guess selling black ones with dark-tinted windows to government agencies wasn't enough to keep the plant open, once gas hit four bucks a gallon.
When the GM plant shut down, it took with it a lot of other jobs at companies that supplied parts, services, and sub-assemblies to the GM plant. A lot of southern Wisconsin families proudly boasted three generations who've worked at the Janesville assembly plant. It consistently scored at the top of the metrics for quality. They built big trucks and they built them well. Like the paper industry in the Fox Valley, where sometimes four generations of 'sconnies worked for Thilmany or Kimberly-Clark, it was a place where you could invest in a lunch-bucket and go to work after high school, and earn enough to support a family, put a kid or two through college (boy, are THOSE days gone...), and even finance a boat or snowmobile.
Some folks said Paul Ryan is a real up-and-comer in the political world. Smart kid. Lots of political savvy. Once Scooter Jensen fell from grace (is he EVER going to actually go to trial?), insiders said Ryan was the great Republican hope; maybe even the next Republican Governor. But Ryan is giving quotes to the media today about how the Obama economic stimulus plan is "just more Democrat spending". Some say the Democratic leadership deliberately made the plan unpalatable to the Republicans. I wonder what the folks in the coffee shops in Janesville are saying about their hometown boy Paul Ryan today. He chose.......poorly, I think.