I’m supposed to be writing about water. I’ve been researching the problem of water mining in the US and elsewhere by big ag, monster chemical, and foolish industry, but I can’t concentrate because of the huge potential for wildfires in the Upper Midwest.
No I’m not talking about the protesters. I’m talking about the Repugnicants. I’ve been trying not to use that word in the spirit of polite discourse, but now I think it is essential to use that word to separate the good, honest Republicans, from the festering abscess in their party, of politicians who will resort to anything, including illegal, unconstitutional actions to do the bidding of their big money bosses.
Can you even believe the extant they will go to to get their way? Thank goodness for timely, news videos. If someone had simply told me about the shenanigans… No, time to stop using down homey words to describe criminal actions against the people, and our country. If someone had told me that a state legislature voted to allow a person, one person, a single partisan person, to dismantle a town, or a school district, and fire the elected officials, or that a state used an illegal action, with full knowledge that the state’s Attorney General had declared it illegal, to strip people of their union rights, I would have thought they were quoting the National Inquirer. Or maybe even the Onion ( a fake satirical “news” paper). I feel like I’ve woken up into a nightmare. Did Mubarak move here?
If you are angry that union folks get better pay or benefits than you do. If your angry at the unions for that. Your anger is directed in the wrong direction. The problem is not that unions have the power to get a group of people better wages, terms of employment or benefits. The problem is that more of us are no longer represented by unions. Unions raise the standards for everyone, but there have to be enough jobs represented by unions to reach that tipping point.
The Repugnicants want all, ALL, the power. They want to be able to dissolve your democratically elected town government or school board. They want to not have to bother negotiating contracts.
Quite a stance from people who vote their own pay raises.
The problem is not the unions. IF, and I do mean IF, the problem is that contract employees are paid too well or have too many benefits, the problem is NOT the union. The problem is that the negotiators for the state didn’t do a good enough job. And in WI that was not true as the unions had already agreed to the financial cutbacks the state wanted. WI repugnicants just don’t want to have to put in any effort to get concessions. They want to rule by fiat, and so does MI.
I’ve been on both sides of the union within the same company. I know unions aren’t perfect. I know that to try to make things better for full time employees they often end up stepping on part time employees. I know there is corruption within unions. I also know how an industry craps on the workers who aren’t represented by the union, including the management staff. We need unions.
I’ve also worked non-union. For the average worker, you don’t get to negotiate. If you want a job, and need that job, you take what you’re offered, cause there are bills to pay. The overwhelming majority of us are in that position, college degree or no. I’ve worked where I’ve been told, the owner knows that what he’s asking is illegal, and if you complain, you will be fired.
What’s going on in MI and WI and elsewhere, is and should be, met with an overwhelming deluge of protestors on those state houses. Those are the people’s houses and the Repugnicants (those Republicans who are committing these crimes against their citizenry) should be dragged out and sent packing.
And if you are a Republican who has your head on straight, who knows this is wrong. You need to stand up and defend your people loud and clear. If you want your party to have any kind of legitimacy,
you need to STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT and DEFEND THE LAW.
Even if you want some of the measures that are being proposed, but you KNOW THE PROCESS has been ILLEGAL, STAND UP AND SAY SO!
It’s time for honest Republicans to acknowledge the rotting abcess and lance it.
The American people are being steamrolled by a few VERY wealthy sociopaths, via their purse strings tied to unscrupulous politicians. It’s time for those public representatives with a conscience to find their voice.
Here’s an easy way to start – go downstairs and
OPEN THE DOORS!
Honestly? I am glad it happened — for a couple of reasons.
I know what I am about to say is going to be hurtful, but sometimes things like this call for tough love measures.
I listened to Mike Malloy last night just to hear him scream. And he did, he did not disappoint.
“WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE,” he shouted. “WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NOW,” he ranted. “WHERE ARE YOU MISTER OBAMA,” he screamed.
The people of Wisconsin got exactly what they deserved. Don’t blame Obama for this — he made six trips to Wisconsin during the last election cycle and begged those people to come to the polls and vote Democrat. He warned them that by staying home and being complacent would have disastrous results.
But people were mad at Obama because he didn’t give them everything they wanted along with that pretty pony. So they were going to “teach” the Democrats a lesson.
Well, surprise! The only lesson being learned is the one where you get to learn what a consequence is.
None of this should have come to anyone by surprise. Republicans were hardly being shy about what they were going to do. I knew three weeks ago that Republicans were eventually going to strip out the collective bargaining provision of the fiscal bill and vote on it separately. None of this has been about the budget anyways. They could care less if they are deeper in the hole.
If anyone thought that elections don’t have consequences, then this should be a harsh wake up for them.
The other reason I am glad to see this happen is that now the people should be fully awake — and pissed off. Nothing that has happened can’t be reversed in the next election. But this should be the catalyst to wipe out the Republicans once and for all.
I agree with most of what you say, DJ, with two exceptions.
1. Mike Malloy is off-base here. The best thing Obama can do is stay out of this fight — as Thom Hartmann said recently, if Obama shows up in Madison to walk with the marchers, or if he makes an impassioned speech supporting the public employees unions, the media and the GOP will make it all about Obama and what the Repugs are really doing in WI and elsewhere will be lost in the fog.
2. I just heard today that the head of a large teacher’s union in WI received a promise from GOP state Rep. Ed Brooks that he would not support any attempt at eliminating collective bargaining or cutting union wages and benefits. That union then made the mistake of endorsing Brooks. He lied through his teeth, voting for Walker’s anti-union ‘package’ and then telling the union the bill was going to pass anyway, so why should he risk his standing in his party by opposing it? Also, it’s been confirmed by various fact-checking groups that Walker never even mentioned going after unions or tampering with collective bargaining when he was campaigning – his message was all ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ even those he was vague about how he would create them except to ‘balance the budget’ and make Wisconsin ‘business-friendly.’ Now, Walker’s making the claim that he’ll create 250,000 jobs from his tax cuts for the rich and corporations that caused the budget deficit in the first place. Unfortunately, no one in the MSM I’ve heard is challenging that ridiculous claim but, even if Walker miraculously produced those jobs, what kind of jobs would they be? Minimum-wage, non-union (of course), with no fringe benefits they wouldn’t generate much revenue for the state, and the workers would have a ‘bare existence’ standard of living. Gov. Scotty would be the Czar of the Cheesehead Peasants — maybe he can start juct running them over in his state limousine and putting an end to their misery. I’ll bet he dreams about that.
I understand what you’re saying DJ, and I often think this country needs a crisis to focus our attention on the important stuff. I admit i didn’t follow WI politics, so I didn’t see this coming, but the audacity of it has me shocked. I had no idea politicians would be this brazen, and would keep at it for so long when even many in their base have turned against them.
Heck – when you raise the ire of the police and firefighters, you’ve got troubles.
I saw it coming because I spend a lot of time on Right-wing websites and the strategy was all they talked about for three weeks. (know thy enemy…)
The collective bargaining thing in Wisconsin is just a smoke screen. It has held your attention for three weeks, giving cover to other places such as Michigan to pass even more egregious legislation under the public radar.
This is a concerted effort on the part of the GOP to systematically shut down any and all progressive programs before they are run out of office on a rail. They know that they can’t survive the anger of the voters. But they know if they dismantle programs and sell off assets to private corporations between now and when they are forced out of office, that it will be almost impossible to go backwards.
DJ- Can I use those last two paragraphs as a quote on my Facebook page? Either anonymous or credit given.
DJ, I just heard on Thom Hartmann this afternoon that the protests in Michigan are receiving no coverage in the state and local media, and MI Gov. Rick Snyder is even more of a despot than Walker, if that’s possible — he wants to cancel out the results of county and municipal elections and have someone appointed by the governor run the show. Are the ‘freedom-loving’ conservatives on those right-wing websites you visit — the same ones who constantly piss and moan about Obama’s ‘tyranny’ — okay with a governor who wants to overrule the will of the people?
BTW, thanks for the insight on what’s going on on the other side of the Inner-Tubes.
I’ve heard that about Michigan too. Their was a caller to the Randi Rhodes show asking her to keep putting the word out, and Democracy now had a piece about it.
Dozens Protest Emergency Management Bill in Detroit
Protests are also ongoing in Michigan, where state Republicans have approved one of the most extreme measures targeting the public sector so far. Under the bill, emergency financial managers would be allowed to break union contracts, dismiss elected officials, and even dis-incorporate entire municipalities. On Thursday, dozens of people rallied against the bill in Detroit following major protests in the state capitol of Lansing.
Labor protests are continuing across the country. In South Carolina, thousands of teachers, religious leaders and state workers gathered at the capitol building on Sunday in opposition to cuts targeted at education, healthcare and other state services. In Austin, Texas, more than 10,000 protesters swarmed the grounds of the capitol Saturday to denounce Gov. Rick Perryâ€™s proposal to fire educators, increase class sizes and cut programs. On Friday, protesters in Maine filled the capitol building to take a stand against Gov. Paul LePageâ€™s plan to strip $18 million from the stateâ€™s Fund for a Healthy Maine. Also on Friday, concerned parents and citizens in Marylandâ€™s Prince Georgeâ€™s County gathered at a local school to protest budget cuts that could leave hundreds of low-income, magnet high school students without school buses. Meanwhile, protests in response to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyderâ€™s plan to tax the public and private pensions of senior citizens are scheduled for Tuesday in Lansing.
Michigan bill would impose “financial martial law”
And I read Der Fuhrer Snyder is going to cut taxes on the rich by 86 percent and increase them on the working class by 36 percent, while slashing programs for the poor and unemployed. LePage is Maine is also a piece of work. Do these people really come from America? I don’t remember learning this growing up in the Midwest. I wonder what zig went zag in their lives that they act this way, or were they just born a-holes? We know Little Bush was a bully and animal torturer when he was young; maybe that’s the same story for Walker, Snyder and the other Republican prize packages.
There can be no doubt this was planned far in advance. The public should have known better, although there is is a caveat. If the Left had been so openly planning something like that you know FOX and the echo chamber would have it would there on damn near every news program. Hell the Republican hacked into Dem servers during 04 and squat was done about that. Anyone wanna bet Dems doing such would still be in jail and Barack refusing to let them out?
I know this the following at least a tad off topic, but maybe not that much. I agree that Barack went there and the voters got what they deserved, to a certain extent. The voters simply didn’t come out. But I am bothered by the meme’ that it’s all the voter’s fault and Barack is simply doing the best he can. In some cases he’s doing the worst he can. For instance: Manning. I understand releasing classified info is something no president can tolerate, although Barack certainly seems to have plenty of toleration when when comes to the Plame case.
The treatment of Manning is exactly what he ran against. Some supporters like to paint it all as Barack promised us a pony and he hasn’t given us a pony due to the way things are right now and those who complain are being unrealistic whiners who don’t see the big picture.
But I do see the big picture. If we must use that analogy Barack promised us not only a pony, but to stop making us watch pony after pony being shot while we stand by helpless like Mom’s last boyfriend did. The Manning case, what they are putting him through right now, is exactly 180 degrees. Barack has decided we must continue to shoot ponies while letting those who did off the hook.
Like the analogy, or not, one thing is clear: you don’t get election results by belittling your base’s perceptions of such things. You’re not going to humiliate them into voting the way you want: you’re only making damn sure even you might lose.
This isn’t the only situation of this type. And when your base complains you had better be ready to gently help them through it with understand and compassion. Frankly all I see is him having compassion for the Right and telling us to piss off.
Right, or wrong, that’s only a super highway headed to defeat.
In the Manning case, no only did Obama sign an executive order banning torture shortly after he took office, but he has the power, as Commander-in-Chief or the Armed Forces, to order the military to stop the various forms of torture — sleep deprivation, complete isolation, various indignities — on a man who has not been convicted of anything. Is Obama that afraid of assassination that he won’t exercise that power? Maybe he is.
You’re right: Obama’s constant concessions to the right are not going to get him reelected in 2012, unless Sarah Palin is the GOP candidate.