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September 24, 2021

Boots on the Ground – Scott Walker Cuts the Cheese

Wisconsin’s Walker Cuts the Cheese
A most powerful stench sponsored by Koch Industries, et al.
By ‘Anonymous Cheesehead’

On Friday, February 11 an e-mail from Governor Scott was sent to me and 382,780* State of Wisconsin employees outlining Walker’s plan to address the state’s “very serious and undeniable financial challenges” including how Wisconsin “face[s] of budget deficit of $136.7 million” in the current fiscal year. (*Full and part-time employee data retrieved from the US Census Bureau.)

Despite Wisconsin Club for Growth’s TV and radio ads depicting state employees as having an unfair advantage and gliding through the recession without sacrifice, public workers in Wisconsin have been hit by the economic downturn. In fact many of us hoped that the mandatory 3% salary loss through two years of furloughs on top of flat salaries plus other state budget cuts by the previous administration meant that there would not be a deficit this fiscal year. And there wasn’t. A January 31, 2010 memo from the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau details how Wisconsin was set to finish the 2009-2011 budget biennium with a surplus. The reason for the deficit is “because Walker and his allies pushed through $140 million in new spending for special-interest groups in January” (The Cap Times) that just happened to be business tax breaks. Yet, in his e-mail, Walker assigns blame to his Republican and Democratic predecessors: “the reality is that these problems were exacerbated by poor budgeting decisions approved and promoted by past elected leaders.” (More on Wisconsin’s Budget Problems by Economics Professor Taggert Brooks.)

Thus the olfactory discomfort begins; is there a whiff of dishonesty?

So that Walker can finance his special-interest group, his Budget Repair Bill includes provisions that state employees pay 5.8% of their salaries towards their pensions “which is about the national average for private sector employees,” and at least 12% of their monthly health insurance premiums “which is still less than half of what the private sector pays” (Walker). Walker decrees that “depending on a state employee’s health care plan, the above provisions mean an 8-12% reduction in his/her take home pay. If the bill passes as is, it will mean a $5,270 cut in next year’s pay for me. For families where two wage earners are public employees, it could mean a $10,000+ cut in take home pay. Lose of 8-12% of one’s take home pay is huge, a look at Section 101.51 (7) of his “Budget Repair Bill” (Senate Bill 11) states “…an employer may not offer a health care coverage plan to its employees under this subsection if the employer pays more than 88 percent of the average premium cost of plans offered…” (emphasis added) which means that the employer could decide to pay 0, 15, or 80 percent equaling much more than the mere 12% pay reduction for employees. Walker repeatedly brings up the private sector when it comes to pension and health insurance contributions. Yet, fails to make similar comparisons when it comes to private and public employee income and education. At my place of work, faculty have not had a net pay increase in over ten years. No pay increases would be one thing if we had high earnings, but as reported by the Economic Policy Institute “Wisconsin state and local governments pay college-educated employees 25% less in annual compensation, on average, than private employers” and that “Wisconsin public employees earn 4.8% less in total compensation per hour than comparable full-time employees in Wisconsin’s private sector” (Keefe, 2010). Furthermore, in public sector, fringe benefits are often in lieu of the higher salaries. In addition to pay cuts through health insurance premiums and pension contributions, the bill dilutes collective bargaining rights to ether: “Given the above changes, the bill also makes various changes to limit collective bargaining to the base pay rate. Total increases cannot exceed the Consumer Price Index (CPI) unless approved by a referendum. Contracts will be limited to one year and wages will be frozen until the new contract is settled. Collective bargaining units will have to take annual votes to maintain certification as a union. Employers will be prohibited from collecting union dues and members of collective bargaining units will not be required to pay dues. These changes take effect upon the expiration of existing contracts. Local police and fire employees and State Patrol Troopers and Inspectors are exempted from these changes” (Walker). Walker states that “collectively, these changes will result in savings of approximately $30 million in the remaining few months of the current fiscal year.” Yet, if collective bargaining rights are eliminated, Wisconsin could lose $46 million dollars. $46 million that in part keeps public transit running across the state. The bill also includes specific language that would eliminate unions for University of Wisconsin hospital employees even though the University of Wisconsin hospitals and clinics do not receive state funds.

And the air thickens with the foul stench of untruth.

Walker continues by stating that the pension and health care “reforms” would avoid more than 1,500 layoffs in the last three months of the current fiscal year and that his 2011-13 biennial budget proposal also focuses on “avoiding layoffs for state employees” (Walker). Yet, as part of the provision that permits the sale of state-owned heating, cooling, and power plants to a private entity “with or without solicitation of bids” 16.896 (1) – if such plants are sold or contracted, the “secretary may decrease the authorized full−time equivalent positions for that state agency by the number of positions so identified” (16.896 (5) (c)). Seems that “decrease the authorized full-time equivalent positions” means that current public employees will lose their jobs and a lay off by any other name is still a lay off. Even though the bill has not passed, a job ad for plant managers in Wisconsin was first sited on February 20th even though all the state-owned public plants have managers and the private power plants don’t appear to need a manager. Furthermore, Koch Industries, with a corporate sales volume of $90,000,000,000 (data retrieved from InfoUSA’s ReferenceUSA Business database) and a $28,000 donation to Scott Walker’s campaign, has core areas of business that include “trading, petroleum, chemicals, energy, gas liquids, asphalt, and fibers.” Yes, this is the same Koch industries that Greenpeace named as the principle sponsors of climate change denial

.

The malodorous air reeks of devious plots and falsehoods. Also noted in Walker’s e-mail are the dire consequences of not addressing this fiscal year’s budget deficient: “Failure to immediately address this shortfall could result in the state being unable to pay for health services to thousands of children and families in Wisconsin’s BadgerCare program.” While he says that passing the bill will allow payments for medical assistance to continue, SB 11 includes provisions that could drastically affect 1.2 million residents including 775,000 children and adults receiving medical coverage via BadgerCare by making it much easier for cuts to be made in the future (emphasis added): “There is one item included on the non-fiscal list that should be noted. That item is entitled, “Medical Assistance — Study and Implementation of Program Changes.” The provision could potentially give broad authority to the Department of Health Services, with approval of the Joint Committee on Finance, to significantly modify the medical assistance program and supersede most statutory provisions regarding the program. While the provision may result in significant savings in the future, it has been included on the list because it would remove the entire Legislature from determining substantial elements of the medical assistance program” (Legislative Fiscal Bureau Memo, February 14, 2011) These provisions will “hand unprecedented powers to the Walker administration to circumvent state laws and normal legislative processes in revamping the public health plans” (The Capital Times). Putrid deceit. Imperial Walker has declared war between workers behind the guise that it is not fair that public workers have not sacrificed while the private workers suffer. He is dividing the people of Wisconsin into two concocted and media perpetuated camps of the haves (public workers such as teachers, EMTs, snow plow drivers, etc) and the have nots (private workers) and perpetuating the gross inaccuracy that public workers need to sacrifice. With his one bill to rule them, he is dividing to conquer and create an empire benefiting private business.

While the proposed bill redacts legislative processes, Walker’s autocratic approach is also evident in his blatant disregard for legislative process. As Representative Jennifer Shilling (D) told her constituents in a February 21 e-mail: “Walker and the Republicans had hoped to have this bill signed into law by last Friday. When it became clear that they weren’t going to be able to pass it in six days, the Assembly Republicans tried to pass the bill in six minutes by holding illegal votes on the Assembly floor and denying Democrats the right to offer amendments”. Representative Gordon Hintz (D) learned about the 144 page bill via the Club for Growth ad: “…I turned on the radio and there was an ad saying, ‘Hey, support Governor Walker’s Budget Repair Bill. Paid for by the Club of Growth.’ Well guess what, I had never been given a bill. I hadn’t even been given talking points yet. And I know we’re in the minority, but I’m elected the same way you are elected by the same public from the State of Wisconsin, and I deserve better than that. And it’s bad enough, it’s bad enough that I had to hear it from a radio ad from Washington DC, and then show up at a meeting with no details.” (http://lybio.net/gordon-hintz-representative-on-the-budget-repair-bill/people/)

On February 25. the bill passed assembly but democratic representatives report that the vote was held quickly cutting off debate and that all 59 of the democrats’ amendments were tabled with being reviewed. More from Representative Shilling: “At 1:07am on Friday morning, the Republican leadership in the Assembly ignored legislative rules and decades of precedent when they rammed through Gov. Walker’s budget adjustment bill. After cutting off Democrats who wanted to speak out against this abusive piece of legislation, the Republicans quickly moved to pass the bill even as Democrats shouted our objections to this deceitful move. In a short 17 seconds, I was among the 28 representatives that were denied the right to vote on this bill. Since the beginning of this debate, the Republicans have used extreme measures to shut out the public and deny citizens their right to voice concerns with this proposal.

  • They locked the public out of their offices.
  • They turned off the Capitol hotline preventing citizens from calling their legislators.
  • They blocked the websites of Capitol organizers.
  • They cut off public debate on this bill with thousands still waiting to speak.
  • They hid from the media and the public.

And with a 17 second roll call vote, they denied me and 27 other representatives our right to vote against this bill and silenced the millions of Wisconsin residents that we represent.”

Toxic fumes engulf the land.

Yet, by the thousands, people are standing up and shouting out together and supporting each other; despite Walker’s bullying and media blackouts the bill has not passed senate. 14 democratic senators courageously left the state and dissolved the quorum necessary to hold a vote which likely would have passed the bill. For 14 days protestors have rallied in Madison with support from around the world. As the days have passed, there’s been time for a revealing prank call, petitions for Walker’s recall, and investigations into his possible violation of labor law and ethics.

For it is solidarity that will penetrate Walker’s fog of flatulence.

Campaign $$$ Side Notes While Koch Industries’ $28,000 donation is the largest single donation Walker’s campaign received, an analysis of data from the Wisconsin Campaign Finance Information System reveals that of 17,141 pre Fall 2011 election donations to “Friends of Scott Walker” totaled $2,900,468.26. Of these donations, 43 non-individuals (e.g. other candidates, business, and registrants) gave $333,245.32 or 11% of all contributions and that 10% of total contributions were from out of state political action committees.

Walker Campaign Donations Over $10,000
Realtors Political Action Committee – Wisconsin $ 43,125.00
Concerned Realtors Committee $ 43,125.00
Republican Party of Wisconsin $ 38,291.00
People for Rebecca (Lieutenant Governor Candidate Campaign) $ 35,000.00
Koch Industries Inc. Political Action Committee $ 28,000.00
Unitemized $ 24,164.99
Republican Party of Wisconsin $ 18,257.00
Building A Better WI $ 15,000.00
Wal-Mart Stores, Political Action Committee – Resp Govt $ 15,000.00
Total $ 259,962.99

Walker Campaign Contributions from Out of State Non-Individuals
Koch Industries Inc. Political Action Committee $28,000.00
Wal-Mart Stores, Political Action Committee -Resp Govt $15,000.00
HNTB Holdings Ltd. Political Action Committee $10,000.00
Deere & Company Political Action Committee $7,000.00
Centene Corporation Political Action Committee $5,000.00
General Electric Company Political Action Committee (GEPAC) $2,500.00
3M Company Political Action Committee $2,500.00
Zeneca Inc. Political Action Committee $1,050.00
Eli Lilly and Company Political Action Committee $1,500.00
National Association of Health Underwriters Political Action Committee $500.00
Total $300,883.08

****************************************************
Thanks to Mudflatter ‘Anonymous Cheesehead’ for the stellar report. Stay tuned for more from Madison.

Comments

comments

Comments
166 Responses to “Boots on the Ground – Scott Walker Cuts the Cheese”
  1. kiksadi50 says:

    I don’t understand how Walker thinks he is going to get re-elected bashing teachers,creating massive layoffs,huge unemploymen among low income familiest,alienating parents whose kids are trying to get an education,& denying kids healthcare.Sounds like a terrific political platform to campaign on.Maybe he already has plans to do a ‘Sara Palin’.Finish out his term,leave Wisco.,join the ‘I Was a Victim’ book tour gravey train,& run for president in 2016.Become a beacon of hope for the Right for being a cold blooded b**tard.When the teachers union went on strike in the sixties,Mayor Daley was quick to settle when he,law enforcement, & frantic watched kids who weren’t in school & had nothing to do ran amuck & created tons of petty crimes & drove citizens crazy with their acting out,unsupervised behaviors.I’d love to see that happen in Wisco.You want to dismiss teachers as overpaid,spoiled,dilettantes,great.See what happens with out them.Go Cheeseheads!

  2. dreamgirl says:

    I’d like to apologize for my comment to a certain “Bob”. Not in my intent, but my profanity. I apologize to AKM, mudpups and her viewers. It was beneath me.

    I’m just so disgusted with the BS being flung at us. Responding to a tr0// is not worth it. Even typing ass is just reaching ‘his’ logic-level. So now I have to apologize to myself for lowering my standards.

  3. jojobo1 says:

    Walker and The GOP now want to pass a bill fining the dem 100 a day till they comeback.They took their parking spaces I heard and will not let their people use the machines they need to use to do their jobs.The GOP TP ,Murdock and the Koch brothers are sure pushing things as far as they can even if some things are slightly illegal. Interesting read on the Koch brothers third brother who sued them because the used fraud in their dealings with indians with oil on their land and the Governm,ent. He on TOO
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2000/11/27/60II/main252545.shtml

  4. Paula says:

    But let’s all remember – myself included, all this insanity… we can VOTE again in 2 more years. Bring it on!

  5. Paula says:

    Wow, was out of town for 12 hours, return to the real world to find it’s going to hell… Ohio? I hope the entire f ing country joins a union. I feel kind of sick. UGH.

  6. A Fan in CA says:

    Matt Tiabbi was on Martin Bashar this afternoon and they discussed the root cause for the drop in tax revenues besides the give aways to the rich.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/41875585#41875585

  7. Ripley in CT says:

    It’s on! Wisconsin Dems officially back recall effort against GOP Senators http://shar.es/3xpsa

    • The shape of the state of Wisconsin lends itself perfectly to a solidarity fist and not so much a “Nazi” salute. I hope Democrats finally get the message to stop trying to reason with these enemies of ordinary citizens and start fighting fire with fire. They aren’t gonna play nice and you can’t reason with them. Thanks for the link Ripley in CT.

    • dreamgirl says:

      Fantastic! Thanks for the news.

  8. Irishgirl says:

    thread

  9. Irishgirl says:

    Damn, where is the open thtead?

    • You want an open lead? Check up around the Arctic Circle,out where the the Polar Bears and seals would be if them damn nutters hadn’t doomed them to cadging a meal on the welfare circuit. No more open leads. Pack ice probably doesn’t form anymore for which I blame Quitty con KooKoo and the Wasilla Wombat totem(no offense to wombats in general) and all the hot air they ejaculate which harms Mother Earth. And no I don’t feel better for venting my spleen. I am not mad at you Irishgirl.I’m just mad. As Emily Latella on SNL used to say,”Never Mind”

  10. IMPEACH-Roberts.Kennedy,Thomas,Scalia,and Alito now.

    • beth says:

      I agree, mike from iowa, but for *legitimate* reasons, not for their ruling on the right to be adzes they just affirmed for the Wesboro adzes. Their Westboro decision ensures all voices can be heard – not just the ones we want to be heard. Their ruling was the type of ruling they are supposed to make — rulings that ensure equality before the law to all citizens…including certifiably obnoxious and repugnant adzes.

      What they SHOULD be drummed off of the SCOTUS for, are: their rulings that corporations have ‘personhood’; that it’s perfectly OK to fully support –and advocate for– dedicated partisan groups in their ‘off time’; that it’s perfectly OK to ‘forget’ to report earnings to the IRS, just to name a few for starters. beth.

      • slipstream says:

        And let’s not forget the overthrow of democracy in Bush v. Gore.

      • fishingmamma says:

        Beth, I was inclined to agree with you until I read the dissenting opinion. It may change your mind, too. It follows the idea that free speech is a right that also carries responsibility.

        Here are a couple of his quotes:

        “Respondents brutally attacked Matthew Snyder, and this attack, which was almost certain to inflict injury, was central to respondents’ well-practiced strategy for attracting public attention,”

        “Respondents’ outrageous conduct caused petitioner great injury, and the court now compounds that injury by depriving petitioner of a judgment that acknowledges the wrong he suffered,” he added. “In order to have a society in which public issues can be openly and vigorously debated, it is not necessary to allow the brutalization of innocent victims like petitioner.”

        Alito wrote the dissenting opinion. the vote was 8 – 1.

        • Paula says:

          It’s the same reason the KKK can have parades. It sounds aweful, but it keeps us free, bc even crazy loony nutz can have a voice. Yeah, they suck, but we can counter them. That’s the beauty!

    • dreamgirl says:

      Thomas is a joke, and all of them are criminal. How messed up is that? To have corrupt judges on the f-ng Supreme court. Are we Iran yet? This morphing thing is giving me a migraine. I mean just DO it already… stop this loooong drag it out transition.

  11. scout says:

    “Wisconsin Finance Director: Gov. Walker ‘Completely Wrong’ That Budget Bill Needed To Avert Layoffs”
    http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2011/03/02/walker-wrong/

    “WI GOP State Sen Schultz Says Walker Move a “Classic Overreach” and GOP Colleagues Unsure”
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/03/02/951779/-Breaking:-WI-GOP-State-Sen-Schultz-Says-Walker-Move-a-Classic-Overreach-and-GOP-Colleagues-Unsure-

  12. Irishgirl says:

    This is a must read. It’s not exactly on topic, but it does show what happens to people when they lose their jobs and how they deal with poverty. Make sure to read the comments too. The people offering advice and support are fantastic. The negative comments….. well you know where they are coming from.

    http://www.salon.com/life/life_stories/index.html?story=/mwt/pinched/2011/03/01/recession_turned_me_into_scavenger

  13. The State of Ohio passed a law banning public workers from striking and punishes workers that walk off the job. Here comes the domino effect. If Wisconsin fall,so will middle America and the terrorists win. Westboro Baptist church protesters are afforded special rights by 8-1 vote in Soopreme Court. America the beautiful is being dismantled by nutters that demand special rights while working to deny other’s the same. I can hardly wait for the Wasilla jack-ass to start braying,I told you so.

    • As abhorent as that decision is, I can see how the Westboro Baptist church won. They are despicable. But people still have the right to demonstrate against them in a way that blocks them from the view of the grieving family.

      But Ohio and Wisconsin and all the rest . . . that’s something else, and I agree with you that the laws that are in the works destroy the gains workers have made in the last hundred years.

  14. dreamgirl says:

    The signs, in this post, are most perfect and heart-breaking. I don’t know what country I’m living in anymore but– I AM Wisconsin!

    Thank you Anonymous Cheesehead. *pass me a tissue*

  15. Lainey says:

    it’s the Koch Bros! …greedy bastards!…as if they didnt own enough or pollute enough!!! they’re buying up PUBLIC officials too!

  16. I’ve kept out of this for about 36 hours and now I’m really unhappy. If Unions sacrifice,if the poor sacrifice,if those children without health insurance have to sacrifice to balance Wisconsin’s budget, What exactly do the filthy rich give up as their sacrifice to the cause?Anything? Or do they get more tax breaks as their sacrifice?

    • Millie says:

      Damn, but we are a screwed up nation! I so worry about what is ahead of us! I see riots – demonstrations that get ugly – physcial harm done to others. This is the not the United States of America that I was raised! Freedom of speech has limits as far as I’m concerned. I like the way Canada does things! We need to get rid of the Palins, Limbaugh, O’Reilley, Hannity, Beck and FOX news. They are doing nothing but spreading lies and fabrications and there are too many uninformed Americans that take it in hook, line and sinker! I so dislike them and the majority of the Republicans in Congress, in the States of our union as well as in our local governments. They are harming the citizens of the U.S.!

  17. London Bridges says:

    A college freshman intern was leaving the office late one evening when he found the newly elected governor, Scott Walker, standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand. “Listen,” said the WI governor, “this is a very sensitive and important document and directive here from Mr. David Koch, and my secretary has gone for the night. Can you make this thing work for me?”

    “Certainly,” said the intern. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.

    “Excellent, excellent!” said Walker, as his paper disappeared inside the machine. “I just need one copy…”

    “A leader without integrity is a leader in name only.”

  18. Irishgirl says:

    Good article here explaining the legalities of the Wisconsin battle.

    “Finally, if the Senate doesn’t convene to vote and no budget is adopted, can Walker simply suspend collective bargaining rights and lay off public employees on his own? The answer is no. The governor has broad veto authority under Article V, Section 10, but he cannot use power until a bill is presented to him. Similarly, he cannot act unilaterally to balance the budget if the Legislature does not act. Tim Pawlenty, then the governor of Minnesota, learned this in 2010 when the Supreme Court in his state ruled that his efforts were illegal. The power to pass a budget and allocate money is a legislative function. For Walker to just fire thousands of state employees in the name of balancing the budget without legislative authorization might also be a constitutional violation.

    Thus, there may be no constitutional way for Gov. Walker and his Republican allies to enact their collective bargaining ban — as long as every Democratic senator stays away from Madison.”

    http://www.salon.com/news/wisconsin/index.html?story=/politics/war_room/2011/03/02/schultz_walker_constitution

  19. Judi says:

    Great article…can I post it on fb???

    Trini…I heard that creep last night…almost fell out of bed…looking to find the clip today so I can post it…hoping that those still in the capitol will walk by the live stream camera with signs….I am a teacher slob, I am a police officer slob, I am a firefighter slob, etc….

    Cassie…could not attend a rally this past sat….but there were rallies in all 50 states!…did post a big sign in my front yard SOLIDARITY!!

    Bob ….question….why did Walker give tax breaks to businesses? Why did he take money that was to pay the loan and use it to balance his budget? Why does he insist on curtailing collective bargaining when the unions have given him the financial concessions he has asked for? hmmm nothing to do with the budget..but with politics..ie union busting….did you see just how much he cost his community when he was the ex dir there? so much for free market huh

    SOLIDARITY

  20. AKjah says:

    Im sorry did i forget to say i LOVE you Jeanie.

  21. LaniN says:

    There is so much going on that is not covered by the msm. The ACLU got a temporary restraining order against the state for denying access to the people to the state building today. Despite the TRO, the state continued to deny access to protesters. A very few were let in when people deemed protesters left, but that was it. So the ACLU returned to court for an emergency hearing. The hearing continued through Imperial Walker’s speech and is continued until tomorrow (Wednesday). Among other things, it’s claimed that Walker supporters/tbaggers were admitted to the assembly via the underground tunnel that Walker used while others were refused entry. I’m following these events on the mudflats forum and invite you to join me there.

  22. A Fan in CA says:

    Fox lies. Last night on Billo a reporter is talking about the demos in WI but the footage showing some shoving has Palm trees. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RClJ6vK9x_4

    It looks like LA to me out in Westwood at the Federal building, a popular demo site. But last weekend the LA demo was downtown about 15 miles due east.

  23. A Fan in CA says:

    Sorry to be a bit OT with this but…..I watched Larry O tonight and he did a long, long segment on Sheen. With all the aspects of this WI story that need exposure why is he wasting time talking about a has been actor?

    Rant over.

  24. auni says:

    Oh slipstream–that was great!!!!

  25. slipstream says:

    A unionized public employee, a corporate CEO, and a Tea Party member are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table there is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, looks at the Tea Partier and says, “Look out for that union guy, he wants a piece of your cookie.”

  26. sam hall says:

    i think also that Sullivan of Anchorage and Governor Parnell are that much different in some ways than Walker. The NYT Sunday magazine had an interesting piece on the New Jersey govenor ..saying among many situations..he is a very savvy political person ..not the person of the people that he seems to be .

  27. Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

    The amazing thing about this overall issue is the extent to which masses of people are miss informed. The consensus of opinion on the left seems to be that this is largely due to media bias. That is probably true. But just as the right wing has a kind of echo chamber so do we on the so called left wing (that is preferring people over corporations for example). We cannot just talk to each other, that does not improve our advantage, which is in numbers, and considerable.

    Here is an idea. The conventional wisdom is that most people get their news from the MSM. Probably true in many respects. Is the viewpoint biased? I think so, I think that most media have abandoned their public responsibility for corporate fidelity. One way to subvert the dominance of a biased view over many people is to inform them directly so it is possible, with a little fore thought to disseminate actual news by simply taking a core constituency like those here at mudflats and expanding to the vast web of interconnections of all their correspondents and their correspondents and so on and so on. This should be spontaneous and unorganized, it will actually become more efficient that way by natural selection. In the simplest possible terms spread the word.

    Specifically, the political motives and aims evinced in Wisconsin are clearly pernicious. But then the whole agenda of the Republican party appears to be pernicious. They don’t seem to care whether millions of people suffer if making them suffer needlessly happens to further their political agenda. I can cite multiple examples, extension of unemployment benefits for 99’ers, extended tax cuts for the nearly impoverished majority held hostage for tax cuts for the ultra rich. Corporations making world record profits paying zero taxes. So-called white collar criminals who did nothing but steal a few trillion dollars from everybody else spending their time on their yachts in the unextraditeable high seas just in case there is a shift in the wind, trying to learn how to use their iPods.

    Tell people you know about it.

  28. sam hall says:

    Walker is a puppet for the Koch brothers who have spent millions to get him elected..They did not get Miller elected in Alaska..also Walker did not tell the people os his state the real truths about everything he has now in his actions doing. Walker did not furnish college..he was a C student..does he have much respect for education? The tea party elected and the ultra right wing jhave an agenda whatever works for their big contributors..the ultra rich Koch brothers and their ilks. Krugman of the NYT wrote a recent blog..where he shows how little these political party leaders actual care about the children for all their talk about children…ie one of many points..is well educated with the best teachers available.

  29. dreamgirl says:

    P.S…. had Melted Brie on my omelette today. Love cheese, Love Wisconsin for representing and love you all for making the effort worth it.

    Thanks Y’all.

  30. dreamgirl says:

    Why have the “librul” media : ABC, NBC, CNN, CBS et al, put Egypt’s protests over our own in Wisconsin, as to coverage and FRONT PAGE NEWS?

    Who runs the news, runs the message, to the sheeple. I am dearly disappointed our Prez. did and said nothing.

    Wisconsin workers and protesters: You have my heart. You are the personification of the beginning heart’s of this country. God Bless You and the unions for what I believe in. (even if the news is acting like China or Iran’s best pupil regarding this issue and the “in your face” Media Black-out.)

    Shame, Shame, Shame: ABC, NBC, CBS, NYT, Mr. President, DNC. This is Front Page news, every day news with full coverage and pictures. Pictures of 100,000 people in Wisconsin protesting and nary a picture. Our media TITANs have turnred us into Iran’s version of media coverage. For shame.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I sent an email to CNN telling them I thought their coverage of the Saturday protests around the country was disgraceful. I think we’re going to have to start doing it a lot more often.

    • leenie17 says:

      “Who runs the news”

      One word – corporations.

      Mostly run by billionaires who are hoping that Walker wins this p!ss!ng contest.

      (Okay, that was more than one word, but you get the idea!)

      • dreamgirl says:

        Yeah, I know about our Corporate Overlords. My point was and is: He who runs the “news” runs the message…..

        Repealing “The Fair Doctrine Rule” really gave America the real Deep Throat experience.

    • A Fan in CA says:

      And it’s not just the protests. They are also ignoring the cause of this whole mess. The Financial Crisis caused by Wall Street.

      It’s like there is a news black out on “Inside Job” that just won the Oscar for best documentary.

  31. thatcrowwoman says:

    Many thanks, Anonymous Cheesehead, from this cheesehead in exile on the Gulf of Mexico.
    Florida’s education employees and other public workers stand in Solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Wisconsin.

    Pete Seeger and the Weavers. Solidarity Forever.

    Your actions inspire and encourage us.
    Protest on!
    that crowwoman

  32. Trini says:

    OMG, a republican senator from Wisconsin was on Lawrence O’Donnell and referred to the taxpayers protesting in the Capitol as “slobs.” He did it several times.

    Enjoy your recall senator.

  33. beth says:

    Bob.Benner @ 15 — what most absolutely Fail to understand is:

    Public sector employees (teachers, EMT, snowplow drivers, etc), accept/ed their lower-than-public-sector pay and benefits while employed, *on the promise* (by the state) that when they retire, they *will* be taken care of. The Unions, speaking for the employees, negotiate/ed the deals to the benefit of *both* the state and the employee; the state ‘got’ the employee at a ‘reduced rate’ and the employee ‘got’ peace of mind that they didn’t have to fret continually about how they’d make ends meet when they retired…they’d have a pension and (associated) retirement benefits. Both sides give a little; both sides ‘win’…all parties concerned, are happy.

    For years and Years!, states have been more than happy to promise the future and pay for today…and for years and Years!, public employees have been more than happy to accept the pay and conditions today *in exchange for* the promised tomorrow.

    So now it’s the employee’s fault for the ‘outlandish, over-the-top, budget-breaking, benefits and pensions’ they were promised (in *exchange*, remember) that the private sector employees, do not get (or have not been promised)? I don’t think so.

    The *states* have been making alligator promises but have *not* been maintaining funds to make good on those promises…and now they are trying to cover their hummingbird adzes by putting the ‘blame’ on the employees. How low down, dirty pool, smoke-and-mirrors, and duplicitous can the states be? Exceedingly so, apparently.

    Unfortunately, DH and I are on the ‘wrong’ end of such ‘understandings.’ It sucks! Throughout his entire career with the ‘public’ entity, we were absolutely promised! one thing –re: retirement benefits and pay– *in exchange* for daily enduring the pizz-poor pay, the hardships, the uncertainties, the…

    I know, first-hand, where the WI workers are coming from — and it’s not through *Any* ‘fault’ of their own that they are where they are; that they are forced to defend theirselves against the abjectly unfair characterizations and vilifications. beth.

    • A Fan in CA says:

      Beth, one of the biggest problems for all pensions funds is what damage was done by the Financial Crisis.

      For example, CalPers recently filed suit for fraud committed by the Big Boys on Wall Street. “The California Public Employees’ Retirement System is suing Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., its ex-executives, and a number of bond underwriters for fraud and of making materially false statements about mortgage-backed securities losses. CalPERS, a $229 billion public pension fund, owned about $700 million Lehman bonds and 3.9 million shares of Lehman bonds when Lehman filed for bankruptcy in September 2008. Because of the economic crisis, CalPERS funds lost $100 billion in value from September 2008 and March 2009. ”

      The other big issue with many funds is borrowing. This is the case in NJ were Republican Todd/Whitman borrowed 3 Billion while governor and now Christie is yapping about shortfalls.

      • lilybart says:

        The Big Con: Bankers stole the public pension money and now we have to cut services.

        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/24/949401/-The-Con-Is-On

      • beth says:

        Fully agree, A Fan in CA and lilybart — the states forgot to keep an eye on the contents of Al Gore’s infamous “Lock Box”, and, furthermore, forgot to keep it locked!

        The part that really galls me, though, is that rather than the ‘powers that be’ acknowledging: A) they’d dipped heavily into the entrusted funds to pay for other things, and B) the financial crisis had pretty much wiped out any remaining monies in those entrusted funds, they’re, instead, blaming –loudly!– the peons for whom those funds were supposed to be being held and to whom those funds are supposed to be distributed. As the ‘peons’ might well ask about now: WTholyF?

        In my world, the “blame the victim” strategy being used in WI, doesn’t go over too well. beth.

  34. Lacy Lady says:

    What the hell rock did Bob Benner @ 15 crawl out from under???????
    Love and prayers to the people of Wisconsin!!!!!!

  35. Cassie Jeep says:

    Hubby and I attended a rally in Raleigh, NC last Saturday –along with about 400 other socially conscious folks—and dutifully out-yelled that 70 or so TP’s who showed up across the street from the Capitol.

    We need to keep this up for our Wisconsin friends and hardworking “ordinary” folks everywhere.

    Someone needs to move Walker’s cheese!

    • fishingmamma says:

      I wish I lived closer – I’d wander through the Walker supporters, carrying a sign that reads “Onions are ruining the country – and my pizza”.

      Makes as much sense as getting rid of unions to balance the budget.

  36. auni says:

    “The cheese does not stand alone” HA–good one! I was so riled up yesterday with the photo of Gov. Nicky working away on her ipod while the other goves were listening to the President. It didn’t seem to upset many people, and I’m not sure why my eyeballs were twirling around. Except, it was so damn rude and classless–as though it’s just fine to ignore the the President speaking and focus on your own stuff. In fact, I’m still pissed!

  37. Ripley in CT says:

    Stay the course, Wisconsin! The cheese does NOT stand alone! We are all with you.

  38. mag the mick says:

    Here’s Billy Bragg, and he’s right. There is power in the unions.

  39. scout says:

    were I with my brothers and sisters in WI, my sign would read:

    We lowered ours. Up yours. WGE 2.0

  40. Zyxomma says:

    Another great boots-on-the-ground report. Thanks so much! Solidarity!!

  41. leenie17 says:

    I suspect that Walker was convinced that, with the Republican majorities in both halves of the Wisconsin legislature, he was going to be able to push this bill through quickly, before anyone would actually realize what was in it. I don’t think he expected to have this much national attention on a bill that includes some parts that are certainly unethical and irresponsible, if not downright illegal. I don’t think he expected anyone to notice the little gifts he tried to hide for himself and his corporate friends in the layers of this bill. And I’d wager good money that he never anticipated the kind of local, state and national protests that have sprung up against him, and the ever-increasing nationwide public opinion going against him.

    It probably seemed like a good strategy at first – tell enough lies and falsehoods that the people who don’t know any better will believe that the unions are evil and have to be vanquished, and then pass the bill before you can be called out as a liar. Unfortunately for him (but fortunately for the rest of us) he got caught, and the lies he told are not only being exposed in Wisconsin, but throughout the entire country. It may not be possible to recall or impeach him just yet, but he’s beginning to see his promising political career start circling the drain. Even some Republicans are abandoning what they recognize as a sinking ship.

    I wish the good, hard-working people of Wisconsin the best of luck in their efforts to defeat this dangerous precedent. We’re behind you!

    • Mo says:

      My favoirte quote lately from ginandtacos:

      I’ve written at length before on the progression of inter-class victim-blaming in this country since 1980. First they convinced the blue collars to scapegoat the Welfare Queens. Then the suburbanites scapegoated the blue collars and their cushy union factory jobs (hence NAFTA). Then the suburbanites started to cannibalize themselves: first the greedy retirees with their sweet benefits were redefined as Leeches, and now it’s the teachers and public sector workforce. While Americans in general have failed to notice how this game of “Find a new scapegoat every 3 years until there’s no one left with benefits or a salary over $10/hr ” has progressed methodically for several decades, the cops appear to have no illusions about what is happening. They are waking up to reality: “They’re going to come for us next.”

      http://www.ginandtacos.com/2011/02/28/self-preservation-enters-the-building/

      • sam hall says:

        I completely agree with your true comments. This is a definite way of the ultra right wings and the now tea party leaders. They know is they can divide the middle class they will win for their ultra rich contibutors to their political fortunes and fame. The tea party people and right wing that are not rich simply do not get it..they believe the trickle down theory..they should think well on the verb…trickle. This theory has never worked in any country in history..given any time..you have only…the rich and the poor.

      • Marilyn Ueeck says:

        Working our way back to whence we came – Merry old England – Kings and surfs!

  42. Big Red says:

    A powerful piece. This guy has to break.

  43. scout says:

    “Fox News Lies? New Video Shows Fox Reporter Merely Tapped By Union Protester”

    http://www.businessinsider.com/fox-news-lies-reporter-assaulted-union-protester-2011-3

  44. Mo says:

    Well, are we all convinced now that it is immoral to vote Republican?

    That even it your were born Republican, it might be time to re-think and change parties? Even it you can only manage “Independent”?

  45. 24owls says:

    I wonder if there is anything that can be done to stop his actions legally. The way the budget was passed in the house, the process sounds illegal, the way his budget sounds like it is filled with false information and numbers gathering, it would seem to me that an accounting firm should certify it – what about the judicial branch, are there any constitutional rights that are being abused, either to the citizens or the representatives? Can there be a public recall of the governor without needing to clearing it through the house?

  46. Bob.Benner says:

    If the public service sector employees don’t like the benefits or salaries they are being offered, they should quit and go find a job that pays them what they think they are worth… and that goes for private sector employees as well… If Walker has overstepped his bounds (which I don’t think he has) and enough state employees start leaving, then he will just have to hire some of them back by offering even more pay and more benefits. It’s called capitalism…

    • Simple Mind says:

      Ahhh…. I wondered when the trolls would come out to play. Let’s just leave this one alone to sulk in the dark. Its hard to teach someone several centuries of history concerning management/labor relations and the results to workers of this point of view. In the meantime, I gotta head off to my (union) job.

      • fishingmamma says:

        It’s even harder to teach morality. What is happening in Wisconson is morally wrong. The protests are giving me great hope for our future.

      • Bob.Benner says:

        I admit that I can see how I might be considered a troll… But that’s just because this website has posters that all think alike… I agree with folks here on some issues, and disagree with them on others… But just because I disagree on some issues and say what I believe, doesn’t make me a troll… Nor does it make me someone who means to offend others… Sorry if you were…

        • Cortez says:

          I didn’t agree with your original post, but it is nice to see that different ideas can be posted. Both sides get caught up in a feeding frenzy at times, resulting in a sense of superiorty. We can all use a reminder of that once in awhile.

        • Rob in Ca says:

          This was not about wages or benefits. They have agreed to those cuts.

          This is about taking away their rights to collective bargaining in a targeted attempt to destroy those particular unions that Scott views as political rivals. Remember…collective bargaining is simply a process where they can agree, or not, to the wages and benefits offered – as well as working conditions. As you pointed out, they can accept them or walk away.

          But you are right about one thing. Disagreeing is not the same as being a troll. I am disappointed that any commenter would jump to that conclusion…but then again it has happened to me too….

          • Simple Mind says:

            Sorry to have disappointed you and Bob, but I can live with that. I’ve been on the minority point on this website several times and can vouch that not all posters think alike, even closely so, even remotely so. However, a troll is usually defined as someone who drops an inflammatory line onto a site like this with the primary intent of provoking an emotional response – in other words, someone just looking to pick a fight, not to discuss issues. So, what did Bob say? He opines that unions (public or private) are not needed because workers can simply go find another job. “Its called capitalism.” While that is a happy theory, it shows a staggering dismissal of history and real life. Explain your theory to a coal miner in Appalachia, a garment worker in New York or a field worker in California. Explain to a school teacher in Wisconsin with 18 years on the job and three kids in the school how she can just move. “Its called capitalism.” Even more so, explain to that school teacher how it is against the law for her to join with her other teachers and negotiate for better conditions. After all, its nothing personal. “Its called capitalism.” If we just move all the x’s and o’s around, they all balance and we’re all happy, right? I admit having personal involvement in the labor movement and, to the extent your inflammatory statement sought to evoke an emotional response, I guess you win. Still, I’d maintain that a breezy dismissal of unions in their totality as unnecessary because of something “called capitalism” is so breathtakingly dumb or naive that it must be the statement of a troll.

          • Mo says:

            Thanks, Simple Mind. That was an excellent explanation all around.

            “Capitalism” as a blanket excuse for all sorts of vague “I’m-a-tough-minded-realist-and-you’re-a-weenie” sentiments is all too common today, especially amongst people who’ve never even cracked Adam Smith [who had some interesting things to say about labor mobility, btw, even during the 18th century].

    • boodog says:

      Some think he has overstepped his bounds-

      “If Wisconsin law forbids coordination with political donors similar to federal law, Gov. Scott Walker is not just in political trouble, but in legal hot water,” said David Donnelly, national campaigns director for the Public Campaign Action Fund.

      There are several looming questions here. First, can what Walker said actually be considered collaboration? And does the law even apply if the caller is a prankster? Adam Smith, spokesman for the Public Campaign Action Fund, says the group is looking closely at Wisconsin law to answer these questions and take appropriate action, if any at all.”

      http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/02/wisconsin-scott-walker-koch-prank

      Not to mention his quip about maybe sending in ‘trouble makers’ to make the opposition look bad.

    • scout says:

      I’d ask you to marry me, but then we’d be engaged, and that is against our hostess’ rules.

      wth: helpful tip of the day: perhaps you’re not a visual learner; maybe try having someone read it to you: reading comprehension ~ F

      ….wanders off to naughty corner

    • Laurie says:

      It is hard to imagine why people would begrudge decent benefits and good wages to those who teach our children or serve our communities in other ways. We are all in this together.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_history_of_the_United_States

      • Mo says:

        Laurie – Bob Herbert’s NYT column today is very worth reading. Here’s a quote that has some bearing on your bewilderment:

        “One of the saddest things I’ve read in The New York Times recently was a comment by Richard Freeman, a Harvard economist, who said that he views the current hostility toward unions by members of the general public as a sign of the erosion of the aspirational nature that has for so long characterized Americans. “It shows a hopelessness,” he said. “It used to be, ‘You have something I don’t have; I’ll go to my employer to get it, too. Now I don’t see any chance of getting it. I don’t want to be the lowest one on the totem pole, so I don’t want you to have it either.’ ”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/01/opinion/01herbert.html?ref=opinion

    • Mo says:

      Bob.Benner – Just so you know, everytime I hear some some old coot roll out that “It’s called capitalism…” line, I automatically disregard anything they might have to say as another manifestation of mental arthritis.

      “It’s called capitalism…” always seems to be some mystical mash-up of long-disproved notions.

      How about de-rusting your thinking, Bob? Start with this for homework:

      http://www.amazon.com/Zombie-Economics-Ideas-Still-among/dp/0691145822/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1299022512&sr=8-1

      • Bob.Benner says:

        OK then, don’t call it capitalism… call it whatever you want… If you aren’t getting paid what you think you’re worth, then find someone who is willing to pay it… and if you can’t find anyone, then maybe reconsider your worth…

        • Cortez says:

          That doesn’t take in consideration one of the basics of capitalism, supply and demand. Your worth goes down as the job supply goes down or unemployment goes up. Supply and demand work great, if you only think of labor as a commodity, not as individuals. That’s what capitalism is about. Labor is about humanizing this particular commodity.

          • Bob.Benner says:

            I agree totally with your recognizing the contributions of the individual… However, I disagree that labor “humanizes this commodity”… In fact I would argue that capitalism rewards the individual and labor rewards the commodity… That is not to say I don’t believe that capitalism doesn’t exploit workers… But when the do, they are punished because the good workers will leave… Labor protects the workers from being exploited, but also allows the slackers to be rewarded because they can just tag along…

          • A Fan in CA says:

            That is why so many in power have shipped our good jobs off shore and refuse to invest in the USA with the 2 Trillion in cash US corporations are sitting on.

            The trickle down system has destroyed Capitalism in the USA.

            Do you realize that our trade and tax laws and regulations actually discourage the creation of jobs and industry in the USA?

            Now our “Captains of Industry” want us to compete with China and India where they don’t have collective bargaining either.

        • leenie17 says:

          I know I shouldn’t respond to your last comment but I am so sick of people telling me that I’m not worth anything because I chose to work with children. There ARE no private sector options for doing what I do.

          In the 9 years that I’ve been in my current position, I worked with three children who had NO LANGUAGE of any kind before they came to my school – profoundly deaf, no speech, no sign, and no way to communicate with anyone. Thanks in part to the many hours I spent with each of them, starting with the most basic of language concepts, they can now all read, write, and express themselves. They can learn, they can share, they can have friends and they can be a real part of their schools, their communities and their families.

          When I started in my department 13 years ago I was making $20,000 as support staff. I have master’s degree in education but, 13 years later, I’m still making less than a first year teacher right out of college, and far less than anyone with my experience and education would in the private sector.

          And yes, I CHOOSE to remain in this position despite the low salary, even though I’m sure I could be making more money elsewhere. My paycheck may not reflect my true worth, but just ask the parents who can communicate with these children for the first time in their lives what I’m worth. Ask their classroom teachers who can now teach them reading, writing and math what I’m worth. And ask those children who can finally be part of the world around them what I’m worth.

          My paycheck is not the only reward I get for doing what I do. I make a profound difference in the lives of my students every day, so do NOT denigrate me and dismiss what I do because the system does not properly compensate me. Do NOT imply that I’m worth less because I choose to stay and make a difference.

          I certainly hope that, if you have children, you show the teachers who work with them more respect than what you have shown on this post today. And I hope that your children learn to have more respect for people who choose to remain in less lucrative professions because they have a passion for what they do.

          And don’t talk to me about capitalism because the rampant, greedy, perversion of capitalism we see today is what has created the social and economic embarrassment this country has become. Capitalism is supposed to be a two-way street, with everyone benefiting when business is successful, not just those at the very top. When people in $5,000 suits sitting in some plush office on Wall Street are valued millions of times more than the people who teach our children, keep us safe, plow our streets and care for us when we’re sick, there is something terribly wrong with our society. And your attitude is a reflection of that.

          • boodog says:

            Bravo, leenie. And thank you.

          • Bob.Benner says:

            I didn’t say anything about your worth leenie, or anyone else’s for that matter… You sound like a wonderful person and you are doing a great job… For example, I thought Nixon was a crook in some ways, and did a great job in others (i.e. foreign policy)… But Checkers had nothing to do with either side of the argument… So I’m not even going to go there…

          • sj says:

            Wonderful post! Just finished watching the “Triangle Fire” which was about the 1911 fire at the waistshirt factory in New York that killed 145 workers who were mainly teenage girls. The girls actually picked for a union shop because of unsafe working conditions, lousy pay, and long hours but didn’t get one. Honestly, people seem to have such a short memory of what unions did for this country in respect to creating safe working conditions and decent working hours and wages.

          • Simple Mind says:

            Of course Bob is not going to reply to your post, Leenie. He can’t. You and he are talking about different things. You are talking about real life. Bob is talking about theory. Bob’s capitalism is a wonderful theory. Put five sellers and five buyers with equal bargaining power in a room and soon everyone will be happy, employed and pleased with their low-cost, high-quality products. Unfortunately, theoretical capitalism is just that …. theoretical, and it has never worked for the same reason that pure socialism has never worked. Real life isn’t theory. Pure capitalism would let the corporate owners of the factory in your town move their work to Asia, where it can be done by children and forced prison labor. Feel free to compete against a starving 9-year-old or prison slave. Don’t want to do that? Maybe you should reconsider your worth, according to Bob and his friends … or maybe you are one of Bob’s “slackers” that the unions protect, you know, the ones with a bad back from years of lifting or black lung from years in the mines. Like all real institutions, unions have not been a complete good, but they have been and continue to be an absolutely necessary balance to the otherwise unfettered power at the top of industrial America, unless, of course, you want the government to step in and make the rules – which is what Scott Walker wants.

          • Bob.Benner says:

            Please read my original post. You elect to do a job for low pay because you enjoy the work, or at least get personal satisfaction from it. Your assertion that I implied that you’re worth is less because you choose to stay and make a difference is not only absurd but false.

          • Simple Mind says:

            post 16.5.1 by Bob.Benner – “If you aren’t getting paid what you think you’re worth, then find someone who is willing to pay it… and if you can’t find anyone, then maybe reconsider your worth…” Yep, that capitalism theory starts getting alittle messy when it gets personal, doesn’t it, Bob? To be fair, I suspect you (Bob) were talking about economic worth, as defined by your theoretical capitalism, in your earlier post, and now you’ve switched to some kind of human worth. The confusion proves my point. In real life, you can’t just breezily tell a worker that they aren’t worth it anymore because some New York investment banker can make money moving the operation to the Marianas. Workers with roots in the community tend to take that kind of personal. “its just capitalism” doesn’t cut it in the real world.

          • leenie17 says:

            “I didn’t say anything about your worth leenie, or anyone else’s for that matter…”

            “Your assertion that I implied that you’re worth is less because you choose to stay and make a difference is not only absurd but false.”
            __________________

            Perhaps, Bob, you should reread what you wrote because that’s exactly what you said:

            “If you aren’t getting paid what you think you’re worth, then find someone who is willing to pay it… and if you can’t find anyone, then maybe reconsider your worth…”

            * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

            I’m going to bed now because the muscles in my forearms are cramping. I stayed for two hours after my official school day was over to interpret a staff meeting that I didn’t have to attend for two deaf colleagues because they would have missed most of the meeting otherwise. It was time that I didn’t get paid for, and two hours of very intensive interpreting that, by all professional standards, should have required a second interpreter. Except that we don’t have one, so I did it alone. For no pay. Like I do twice a month.

            But I’m just one of those lazy, overpaid public union employees, dontcha know.

            Good night, all, and special thanks to those of you who had my back here in this post. Feelin’ the mudpup love! 🙂

    • dreamgirl says:

      Ass-thinker… no offense.

      • Bob.Benner says:

        No offense taken…

        • dreamgirl says:

          Conformation accepted. Ass.

        • Sarafina says:

          This is in response to your reply to leenie, bob. Nice backpedal attempt, but ultimately unsuccessful. You flat out said in your original asinine post that if someone wanted more, they should go find it. And if no one was willing to pay that much, reassess your worth.

          Leenie’s worth a lot. As she said, there are no private sector opportunities for her. Fortunately for ‘real Americans’, she works in public schools. You sound like an acolyte of Ayn Rand, bob. She was the consummate hypocrite, also.

          • Bob.Benner says:

            I wasn’t back-peddling at all. I know nothing about Leenie’s personal case but she sounded distraught. I don’t think public policy should be based upon individual stories such as Leenie’s because there will ALWAYS be individual exceptions regardless of which side of an issue you stand on.

  47. GameOfLife says:

    Great write-up. Too bad you don’t have a twitter button so I could re-tweet this.

  48. AC says:

    STAY STRONG WISCONSON!

    • bubbles says:

      anyone in Wi? please call the Battalion Chief in charge. this is dangerous behavior.

      This from AFL-CIO Political Communications Director Eddie Vale who’s on the ground in Madison, Wis.

      As we speak, Gov. Scott Walker & the Senate R’s are literally having the windows of the capital welded shut to keep people from passing food into the building to the people inside.

      Our attorneys are collecting affidavits from the people who witnessed this, along with people who have been illegally denied access to a public, government, building.

      We will be filing for a TRO [temporary restraining order] to open the Capitol.

      It is a sad for democracy when Governor Walker and his R Senate allies are locking the people of Wisconsin out of their own state capitol.

  49. Simple Mind says:

    To Scott Walker and his type, a worker is not a person. A teacher is not someone who did without in order to get a professional education. A maintenance worker is not someone who puts in overtime so that their kids can get a vacation trip. A dispatcher is not someone who sits up late at the kitchen table, trying to balance the bills. For the Scott Walkers and Dan Sullivans of the world, there are just numbers and ideas. Their idea of the moment is that we shouldn’t have to pay taxes. If that happens to mean that Koch Industries and Walmart and the oil companies get rich and the teachers, maintenance workers, and dispatchers get poor, well……its nothing personal. Its not Walker’s fault. Its just the way it is, the way its supposed to be. Of course, the fact that Walker and Sullivan wind up on the money side, well….. again, that’s just the way it is. Nothing personal. The thing that strikes me about Walker is the utter failure in his vision. He wants to prevent workers from organizing. He wants to be able to sell public facilities without oversight or bids, to redefine medical care unilaterally, all in the name of recovering an alleged deficit that he created. In other words, he says democracy doesn’t work. He wants an elite, who just happen to be him and his pals, to be able to make all the decisions, which, of course, will be for the best and make all the trains run on time. The headlines shouldn’t say that Walker is trying to balance the budget. They should read, “Walker Says Democracy is a Failure.”

    • BigPete says:

      American Exceptionalism

      Koch’s financing of front groups and political organizations all have one thing in common: every single Koch group attacks workers’ rights, promotes deregulation, and argues for radical supply side economics.

      But the focus of the Koch political machine is geared towards “crony capitalism” — corrupting government to make Charles and his brother David Koch richer. Koch’s Tea Party libertarianism is actually a thin veneer for the company’s long running history of winning special deals from the government and manipulating the market to pad Koch profits.

      http://thinkprogress.org/2011/03/01/charles-koch-welfare/

      • Elizabeth says:

        I believe that the Koch brothers “astroturf” front groups sponsored $2million in ads for the Wisconsin gubernatorial race.

  50. BigPete says:

    “Very serious and undeniable financial challenges”

    We’ve see this movie before: tax cuts for special interests followed by cuts that hurt the poor and the middle class. And why not? The poor and middle class always roll over!

    From the Daily Show: The Democrats have pitted the top two percent against the lower 98, when the Republicans know that the real battle should be fought within the middle class, preferably amongst neighbors.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/01/jon-stewart-critiques-wis_n_829618.html

    • scout says:

      “The power has gone out in a typical American town. Wait — it’s not just the electricity. The phones don’t work, either. Portable radios are dead. Cars won’t start.
      But then lawn mowers and cars and lights inexplicably start and stop on their own. What’s going on? A meteor? Sunspots? Or are there, as Tommy’s comic book suggests, aliens among us, preparing for a takeover? Suspicion poisons the air. Neighbor turns on neighbor. A scapegoat is blamed. A shot is fired. Panic, madness, riot.
      And while the humans behave monstrously, the real monsters watch from a nearby hilltop, working a little gizmo that messes with the power on Maple Street, and marveling how easy it is to manipulate these earthlings into destroying themselves.”

      http://www.truth-out.org/the-monsters-are-due-maple-street67972

  51. SouthPaw says:

    Awe…don’t you just love karma…

    ‘The Republican congressman who is taking over responsibility for congressional oversight called President Obama’s administration “one of the most corrupt administrations”…”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/02/AR2011010201493.html

    Ba bye Issa…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/01/issa-spokesman-kurt-bardella-fired-emails_n_829811.html

    • A Fan in CA says:

      The most important take away from this mess is that this PR guy could write a release and then a reporter would just print it up as their article. No attempt to get the other side of the story or various viewpoints.

      The R’s have very active press release writers, the Dems, not so much. When are we going to learn.

      I have a friend who did music industry PR for decades. It was her contention that everything with the exception of Column One was just a press release with rewording in the LA Times.

  52. LibertyLover says:

    Great post! I hope that this is cross-posted across the web.

    I hear that Walker is complaining about money from outside the state coming in to help the unions, but apparently he has no problem with money from outside the state when it supports him and his agenda.

  53. London Bridges says:

    Difference between Gaddafi & Walker is that Gaddafi is not bought & owned by outside interests.

  54. fawnskin mudpuppy says:

    i understand the” who”.
    i get the “what”.
    i know the “where”.

    comprehending the” why” is the most difficult.
    koch, walker, etc. are transparent.
    but “why” does every single republician legistator walk in lock step with outside interests. is there not a single republican with concience that sees the wrong in all of this?

    • lilybart says:

      It is not fiscally responsible to sell off state assets with no open bidding or review. If any GOPer was honest, they would agree. When its THEIR rich guy, they side with rich guy over what is a people-owned asset.

      amazing and scary really

      • Sarafina says:

        I’m wondering how it’s even legal to sell off state assets. Well, passing this bill may make it possible, but this seems to me to be impossibly high-handed.

        • jojobo1 says:

          Thats what some don’t understand Waker has made it alomost all about wages when in fact it is about much more than that,He had hidden some of the things he wanted to cut like Badger care for children and many other insurance programs which would have exempted Wisconsin fro what they call Obama care,so Walker in fact is wasting state tax payers money by fighting this bill.

  55. trishSWFL says:

    Thank you Anonymous Cheesehead for the excellent reporting!

    • jojobo1 says:

      It was an excellent take on what is happening but their seems to be a black out in the MSM about this.Even with all the protest around the country today nothing was said except for Mr Walkers threats.

  56. Winski says:

    I would suggest that IMPEACHMENT is in order followed by a RECALL vote and then???? Who knows..

  57. luckycharms says:

    Excellent, well-researched article. Great to have talented Mudpups with boots on the ground in Wisconsin. Thanks for sharing the info. This is a great resource. And love all the links!

  58. ks sunflower says:

    Gee, it sounds to me that Governor Walker has been taking fiscal planning lessons at Mayor Sullivan’s knee.

    They ginned up crises, slashed the budget where it would most impact the public, and then continue to whine about how it was “the previous administration’s fault” that there is no money.

    What losers —- no, well, although they themselves are total trashy losers, it’s the people who have to live under their dictatorial reigns that are the losers in very tangible ways.

    Thing is, the people can become winners by voting these nasty politicians out (or by recalling/impeaching them or whatever the heck it takes to get them out early). Sad thing is, Walker and Dan Sullivan will always be losers because that’s just their natures. At least, when out of office, the only people they can hurt other than themselves are their families (who also have the option to kick them out).

    • jojobo1 says:

      Funny but I thought the same thing when this first started.The police and firefighters saw what he was planning down the road.

    • dreamgirl says:

      ((((Flash Mobs!))))) to Wisconsin, Tunisia, Egypt, Iran, China and EVERY country (or state who is now representing!) who wishs to peacefully express their hearts by peace, dance and heartfelt belief. A virtual sensation if done right.

  59. Paula says:

    Cut the cheese and it stinks out loud!

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