Monthly Archives: February 2011

Poll shows Walker’s overreach

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker talks to the media ...

Associated Press photo

Embattled Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin has the support of only a third of the nation in his attempt at union-busting, according to a recent New York Times/CBS News poll.

Politico reports today on a nationwide poll taken by The New York Times and CBS News that shows that only 33 percent agree with Wisconsin Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker’s contention that it’s acceptable to strip public-sector union members of their right to collectively bargain.

Further, a sizeable majority of 56 percent oppose cutting public workers’ pay or benefits as a way to deal with state budget deficits, which also blows out of the water Walker’s contention that it is acceptable to deal with a state’s budget deficit by making members of the working class pay for the problem that they didn’t create.

Walker, if he is able to remain in office for a full first term, certainly won’t see a second term. His political career is toast.

The Times/CBS News poll shows that Walker has the support of only the roughly one-third of Americans who are wingnuts, who go along with whatever the ringleaders of the right are doing at the moment, and the right-wing “cause” du jour is union-busting, as evidenced by this graphic from a fundraising e-mail that I received today from the National Repugnican Senatorial Committee:

The one-third or so of Americans who are wingnuts are loud and obnoxious, no doubt, but they are the minority, and the rest of us are — or, were until recently, anyway — truly the silent majority, those of us who are sick and fucking tired of being told that we are the cause of the nation’s economic problems while the treasonous Wall Street criminals who put us into this mess (and who have the full support of the Repugnican Tea Party) remain unprosecuted.

It is the plutocrats’ wet fucking dream to destroy our federal, state and local governments, which are the last barrier to our becoming serfs to our corporate feudal overlords.

So devoid of any decency whatsofuckingever are the plutocrats that they’re attacking even our public-school teachers. They are doing this for several reasons, of course: one, they want to privatize our schools because they hate to see any operation from which they are not profiting obscenely, and they are perfectly OK with decimating our public-school system to the point that only the children of the rich and the super-rich get anything like a decent education, while the rest of our children, like the children of third-world nations, get grossly substandard educations or none at all; two, they want total control of what is taught and what is not taught in our schools, even though corporations already have undue influence over our public-school curricula; three, they want the American educational system to make the masses even more ignorant and even more obedient, which the schools, under their command, would do; and four, they constantly are on the lookout for supposed internal enemies, be they non-heterosexuals, non-Christians, “illegals” — and yes, even our public-school teachers.

But back to Scott Walker.

Clearly his political calculations were grossly in error. His colossal fucking ego prevents him from admitting this, but I have no doubt in my mind that, if he could go back in time and do things differently, he would.

He claims that it doesn’t bother him that he has drawn protests in Madison the size of which haven’t been seen since the Vietnam War — as many as 100,000 protesters there on Saturday, which saw protests of varying sizes in the capitals of every state of the nation — but I have no doubt that privately it disturbs him greatly that his state’s capital, thanks to him, resembles one of the Middle Eastern nations whose dictators are toppling like dominoes.

Thankfully, the more that Walker digs in his heels, the more that the political noose that he has looped around his neck tightens; give a fucking fool enough rope and he’ll hang himself.

At this point, Walker is fairly trapped. Wanting, in his own words, to be the next Ronald Reagan, he has alienated the majority of the people of Wisconsin, but he also wants to show the national Repugnican Tea Party what a bad-ass he is. He probably could succeed with that in a red state, but he is in a purple state: Wisconsin went to the Democratic presidential candidate in the past six president elections; the last Repugnican presidential candidate to win Wisconsin was Reagan in 1984. (Barack Obama in 2008 garnered 56 percent of the vote in Wisconsin, which was a better showing than Bill Clinton or Michael Dukakis had in the state in 1988, 1992 and 1996.)

Walker took a huge political gamble — and he lost.

Rather than destroying the nation’s labor unions, which is the goal of the Repugnican Tea Party and the plutocrats who fund it, Walker, by being such an incredibly craven asshole, has inspired the center, the center-left and the left — not only in Wisconsin but nationwide — in a way that President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party could not do in the mid-term elections of 2010.

Now, not only is Obama’s re-election almost guaranteed, but Wisconsin’s next governor will be a Democrat, and I will be surprised if at least one of the state’s two houses doesn’t revert to Democratic control in 2012.

For Scott Walker, it’s all over but the crying — but he is, I’m sure, crying on his pillow at night right now.

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Worst. Oscars. Ever?

Oscars Live Report

Melissa Leo accepts the Oscar for best actress ...

AFP and Associated Press photos

The writers of this year’s Oscars ceremony couldn’t even make Anne Hathaway and James Franco in drag funny, and Melissa Leo’s accidental use of the f-word while accepting her best supporting actress Oscar was the biggest surprise of the evening.

I like James Franco and Anne Hathaway, and I had thought that they might actually make pretty decent Oscar hosts. I was wrong.

Much of it wasn’t their fault. The writing of the Oscars ceremony was for shit. Franco was unusually wooden, and Hathaway wasn’t as bouncy as I’d thought she might be. If she isn’t careful, the role that she played in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” — that of the rather empty-headed White Queen — might come to define her.

But again, most of it was the writing. There were too many self-referential (and unfunny) lines about trying to capture the youthful audience with this year’s show and too few funny lines, period.

That “The King’s Speech” would win the most number of awards was a given, so there were few surprises.

When the most talked-about element of the show is that the best supporting actress winner accidentally uttered the f-word on live television (which was bleeped out due to a few seconds’ time delay, apparently), you know that there’s a problem.

I like Colin Firth — he was great in “A Single Man” — but his performance in “The King’s Speech” wasn’t the best performance of the year. Javier Bardem did a much better job in “Biutiful.”

I like Natalie Portman enough, but her Oscar win for best actress for “Black Swan” wasn’t the best performance of the year. Jennifer Lawrence did a better job in “Winter’s Bone.”

“The King’s Speech,” to me, suffered mostly from weak subject matter. That a former king of England overcame a stutter isn’t very compelling material, which one of the film’s producers seemed to admit himself in his acceptance speech for the Oscar for best picture — he indicated that he’d been concerned that no one would find the material worthy enough to back its production and distribution, if memory serves.

“The King’s Speech” is well made — well directed, well written, well acted, well designed, etc. (indeed, virtually every moment of the film screams out “Give me an Oscar already!” [and this screaming worked]) — but do those things matter when the storyline itself is so ho-hum? Just as “truthiness” has replaced the truth, is “Oscariness” going to replace actual Oscar-worthiness?

Admittedly, I have yet to see “The Social Network” or “Toy Story 3,” but that these two highly commercial films, along with the highly commercial “Inception” (which I did see), won so many nominations, including for best picture (for all three), makes me wonder in what direction the Oscars are headed. That a film is a commercial success doesn’t automatically mean that it isn’t Oscar-worthy, but it seems as though the Oscars are becoming more like the People’s Choice Awards.

And the tech-emphasis-heavy Oscars, including not just so many nods to “The Social Network” and “Inception,” but even a mildly-funny-at-best Auto-tune segment, tried way too hard to be hip.  

And do we really need 10 films nominated for best picture when in the other major categories (actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress and director) there are only five nominees? I’d like to see it reduced to no more than seven or eight nominees for best picture.

Finally, while I have no problem with Brits and Australians, the Brits and Australians on this year’s Oscars seemed to have outnumbered the Americans. Are we Americans this devoid of filmmaking excellence?

If we are, then maybe we should move the Oscars from Los Angeles to London or Sydney.

Just sayin’.

I consider the Oscars to be the “Gay Super Bowl,” and this year’s Gay Super Bowl was dismal.

P.S. Oprah Winfrey’s appearance on the Oscars was a little creepy — I once read someone refer to her as a corporation, and that’s fairly accurate — and ABC’s little corporate plug was offensive, but I do recommend that you see “Inside Job,” the winner for best documentary, the award that Winfrey announced.

“Inside Job,” about the Wall Street criminals who put our nation into economic collapse (um, yeah, it wasn’t the members of public-sector labor unions who did that), is a must-see, and I love the fact that the filmmaker, in his acceptance speech, pulled a mild Michael Moore and noted that not one of the Wall Street crooks has yet to see the inside of a jail cell for his or her crimes (which, in my book, amount to treason).

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Plutocrats have declared class war

Wisconsin Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker — brought to you by (and bought off by) the Billionaire Brothers — has claimed that his legislation that attempts to destroy Wisconsin’s public-sector labor unions isn’t about destroying Wisconsin’s public-sector labor unions.

(It’s simply and only about the state’s budget, he has claimed, even though the 20-minute recording of him believing that he’s speaking to one of his billionaire benefactors demonstrates that he’s a fucking liar whose word is worthless.)

Supposedly it’s not about union-busting, yet the Repugnican National Committee today put out a fundraising e-mail (yes, I’m on the enemy’s e-mail list) under the signature of the new RNC head Reince Priebus (a Richie Rich frat boy) with the subject line of “Fight Obama’s Union Bosses.”

The fundraising e-mail (which asks for as much as $2,012) reads:

Over the past week, Democrats and their Big Labor Union Bosses [you have to love the strategic capitalization there; why didn’t they just use all caps?] have been subverting the democratic process, intimidating taxpayers and walking out on the job in order to secure generous taxpayer-funded benefits for themselves at a time when everyone else is cutting back. [Of course, the rich and the super-rich aren’t cutting back. They always do just fine, regardless of the nation’s economic situation.]

Classrooms have been left empty and Democrat [sic] lawmakers in Wisconsin and Indiana are literally running away from their responsibilities [they’re not protecting their constituents or anything like that…] — fleeing their states instead of making the tough choices required to move our country forward. [They’re not caving in to plutocratic pressure like good little peacenik-y liberals usually do, those assholes!]

Enough is enough. Now is the time to stop Barack Obama’s Union Bosses and to show your support for Republicans who are standing up for the taxpayers and middle class families. [Because clearly, the Repugnican Party has a history of helping the working and the middle class! Even though they fight for tax cuts for the rich and the super-rich and are engaged in a national union-busting campaign right now!] Robert, I’m counting on GOP grassroots leaders like you [hee hee hee…] to help us win this fight.

The Republican National Committee has a new ad campaign that is taking the fight to the Obama Democrats and their Big Labor Union Bosses. But we need your help to spread our commonsense [sic — and ha!], conservative message of fiscal discipline [again, the rich and super-rich, such as the treasonous Wall Street fat cats who put our nation into economic collapse, are exempt from fiscal discipline, but the rest of us are not] to voters in every corner of the country….

This obviously is a nationally coordinated Repugnican Tea Party attack on what is left of the middle and working class after Ronald Reagan, George Bush I and George Bush II did their best to destroy it. (And no, the triangulating Bill Clinton wasn’t much of a friend to labor, either.)

According to the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ propaganda, it’s perfectly fine for the Repugnican Tea Party to take millions upon millions of dollars from the rich and the super-rich, like the Koch brothers — and to send out fundraising e-mails asking for as much as $2,012 — in order to get their pro-plutocratic, anti-worker, anti-middle-class legislation passed via paid-off, corrupt politicians like Scott Walker.

But when labor unions — no, wait, that’s BIG BAD LABOR UNION BOSSES! — put money into the political process on behalf of the members of the middle class and the working class whom the labor unions exist to protect, it’s a gross abuse of power!

So, under the Repugnican Tea Party plan, the rich and the super-rich get even more undue influence in the political process, while the working class, the middle class and the poor get even less influence. Consequently, the rich continue to get richer and the poor continue to get poorer.

Yes, it’s an all-out class war. No doubt. And the plutocrats, through the Repugnican Tea Party, have declared this war upon the middle and working class.

The plutocrats and the Repugnican Tea Party traitors are playing the victim, too, claiming, later in the e-mail that I referenced above that “These Union Bosses have sent thousands of out-of-state union jack booted [sic] thugs into Wisconsin and and [sic] Indiana to try and [sic] intimidate lawmakers and thwart the will of the people.”

Oh, fuck me and call me a waaaaambulance!

“Union Bosses,” “union jack booted thugs.” Which century are we living in?

These so-called “union jack booted thugs” are nurses, teachers and other government employees and other unionized workers standing up for workers’ rights, and the vast majority of the protesters live in the states in which they are protesting, but speaking of shenanigans from “out of state,” it’s perfectly fine for the plutocrats from out of state to meddle in Wisconsin, but according to the fascists on the right, none of their opponents are allowed to.

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors want those of us on the left to unilaterally disarm.

Fuck them.

The right wing started it. We need to end it.

I encourage you to attend an anti-fascist rally at your state’s capital at noon tomorrow if you can. Click here for more information.

I’ll be at the rally here in Sacramento, and I even have my sign ready to go already:

“Tea Party” Traitors (Word document)

If you like it, feel free to use it, too.

This is class war, and we of the middle class and working class can’t afford to lose.

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The Conversation (starring Scott Walker and ‘David Koch’)

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker pauses for a ...

Reuters photo

Power-drunk Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker gives what he called a “fireside chat” the night before a damning recording of him believing that he was speaking on the telephone with his billionaire campaign contributor David Koch was released. The recorded 20-minute phone conversation must be listened to to be believed (and you can listen to it here). The conversation is a window into Walker’s soul.

Not long after I wrote today about how a “Tea Party” ringleader of the Sacramento area had planned to plant “Tea Party” traitors disguised as labor-union members in last night’s pro-Wisconsin-labor gathering here in Sacramento at the California state Capitol in order to paint labor-union members in a blatantly false light, I read the news that Wisconsin Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker in a recently recorded telephone conversation told a left-wing website editor whom he had thought was his billionaire sugar daddy David Koch that he and his team also had considered doing the same in Madison, Wisconsin.

WTF?

The good news is that the “Tea Party” traitors are so unpopular right now that they’re resorting to underhanded tactics like this. I mean, if your position is strong, you don’t have to resort to dishonorably dishonest shit like this — stupid shit, too, shit that drunken frat boys would come up with. (Which, of course, is what the power-drunk wingnuts like Walker, this supposed “new generation” of Repugnican governors — and the literal drunkards, like John Boehner — are like.)

Scotty Walker is one wingnutty dipshit, and he cannot simply dismiss the revelations that were made public by the release of his recorded 20-minute telephone conversation with a man whom he thought was billionaire Koch.

In the recording, among other things, Walker also:

  • States that he supports withholding the absconded 14 Democratic Wisconsin state senators’ paychecks and locking the paychecks in their desks on the floor of the state Senate in order to cause hardship for/pressure on the senators
  • States that he supports pursuing felony charges against the absconded Democratic senators if labor unions have contributed to their food or lodging “or anything like that” while they have been out of state; “the attorney general’s office is looking into [this] for us,” he reports, adding, “Each day we crank up a little bit more pressure.”
  • States that he plans to issue soon between 5,000 and 6,000 state-worker “at-risk” (for lay0ff) notices in order to put political pressure on his Democratic opposition (as state workers were just political pawns for Repugnican former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, they are the same to Walker, quite apparently)
  • States that he is considering trying to lure the absconded Democratic state senators back to the state’s Capitol on false pretenses and then holding the labor-union-killing vote unbeknownst to them
  • Relishes what he claims is the phenomenon of “stereotypical blue-collar worker type[s]” from the private sector going on the record against their unionized public-sector counterparts
  • Talks about his plan to conduct a “fireside chat,” as though he were some great statesman (and, of course, the original “fireside chats” were conducted by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whose progressive politics were diametrically opposed to Walker’s backasswards, wingnutty politics)
  • Very apparently compares himself to Ronald Reagan, whom he idolizes, and states that he admires Reagan’s firing of air-traffic controllers 30 years ago, which he calls “the first crack in the Berlin Wall and the fall of Communism,” because that supposedly showed the then-Soviets and the Communists that “Ronald Reagan wasn’t a pushover” — and refers to introducing his labor-union-crushing legislation as “drop[ping] the bomb” and “[changing] the course of history”
  • Agrees to accept a trip to California sponsored by the faux Koch in return for his successful destruction (or at least crippling) of Wisconsin’s labor unions (“That would be outstanding,” he responds to the offer)

While Walker does indicate in the telephone conversation that his largest concern is the state’s budget and “doing the just and right thing” — as well as “getting our freedom back,” also, of course (cue screeching bald eagle!) — he also agrees with the fake Koch’s assertion that Wisconsin is “the first domino” and he proclaims, “This is our moment.” Which certainly points to a top objective of union-busting to me, as does his overall bravado and his interesting word choice throughout the recorded conversation.

But perhaps the most damaging aspects of the recorded phone conversation heard ’round the world are that (1) Walker was stupid enough to have the rather lengthy phone conversation with an impersonator in the first place — this raises significant questions about his intelligence and his judgment — and (2) that the phone conversation begins with the fake David Koch asking Walker to ask for an update on the situation in Wisconsin, and Walker dutifully gives him a long update like he is Darth Vader reporting to the Emperor.

After the recorded phone call’s wide release, it would be very difficult for Walker to deny that he answers to his big campaign contributors more than he does to the people of the state of Wisconsin — and that far above what’s best for the most number of people in the state of Wisconsin, the cocky-without-cause Scott Walker puts his own bald political ambitions — even casting himself as the next Ronald Fucking Reagan.

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The art of protest is dead

Well, apparently not in Wisconsin, and very apparently not in the Middle East, but here in Sacramento, California, and throughout much if not most of the rest of the nation, I surmise, it is.

Last night I attended the solidarity-with-the-workers-of-Wisconsin gathering at the California state Capitol here in Sacramento. It was a great turnout, especially given that the gathering was in support of the working people several states away and was not about anything that immediately is occurring here in California.

The Sacramento Bee put the turnout at 2,500, but, while I’m no expert at estimating crowd size, I would estimate that there were at least 4,000 people at the peak of the turnout.

The turnout was impressive, but the organization of the protest (which barely can be called a “protest,” since it was so tame) was sad.

The organizers had had at least a few days to organize, but the sound system was for shit. It sounded like they were using technology along the lines of Mr. Microphone. Unless you were within maybe a dozen yards of the individual speaking at the moment, you couldn’t hear anything but muffled sounds.

Old labor-movement songs (from the 1930s, I believe they were) were sung. So old that few there knew the lyrics. Hell, why not use some old protest ditties in Latin? The labor movement sorely needs to update itself. The history of the labor movement is important, but when you are singing decades-old songs, it makes you appear to those who are unfamiliar with labor-movement history (which is the majority of Americans) to be, um, irrelevant…

Once the organizers of last night’s “protest” got the crowd that they wanted to get, they apparently didn’t know what to do with it. There was no coordinated march, the chants and the singing were weak (in no small part because of the practically non-existent sound system), and, although the event was billed as a “candlelight vigil” for the embattled workers of Wisconsin, what appeared to be portable stadium lights brightly lit up the protest area the whole time and never were dimmed, making an actual candlelight vigil impossible.

And a candlelight vigil implies that you’re going to be there for at least two or three hours, but by around 6:45 p.m., only 45 minutes after the event began, it was over and the crowd started to disperse. Shit. The protesters in Wisconsin have been at it for more than a week now; we couldn’t do a full hour last night?

Predictably, a small group of “Tea Party” traitors — most of them old and white and just mean (one of them had a sign advising us unionized workers to “man up,” when what the traitors really want us to do is to bend over) — were across the street from us last night. I estimate that there were no more than 20 of them there at a time. (The Bee put their number at 35. My guess is that the mainstream/corporately owned and controlled media don’t mind underestimating the size of crowds of those of us who are left of center, but that they are much more generous when estimating the number of wingnuts, since they don’t want the wingnuts harassing them that they were undercounted.*)

I hate “Tea Party” traitors. To give you an idea of what utter incorrigible asswipes these people (and I use the word “people” very loosely) are, the Sacramento Bee has reported that a local “Tea Party” ringleader named Mark Williams had planned to have “Tea Party” traitors wear labor-union shirts (specifically, the purple shirts of the state’s largest and most powerful labor union, Service Employees International Union [to which I belong]) and to act in ways to shed a falsely negative light on us pro-labor-union protesters.

The Bee reports that Williams had blogged (in part) about his plan to infiltrate last night’s protest:

Our goal is to make the gathering look as greedy and goonish as we know that it is, ding their credibility with the media and exploit the lazy reporters who just want dramatic shots and outrageous quotes for headlines. Even if it becomes known that we are plants the quotes and pictures will linger as defacto truth.

See, just as the members of the right wing have no problem with such things as stolen presidential elections and bogus wars, truth doesn’t matter to them — just the appearance of truth, or, as Williams put it, the “defacto [sic] truth.” (Faux wingnut Stephen Colbert calls this “truthiness.”)

If we labor-union members truly inherently are so “greedy” and “goonish,” then why would “Tea Party” traitors need to don labor-union garb and act like greedy goons? Wouldn’t our greedinees and our goonishness be self-evident? Why would our supposed greediness and goonishness need a boost?

Anyway, word of Williams’ dirty plot leaked out, and SEIU warned its members of it via Facebook (and maybe Twitter, too), which apparently explains why I saw not a single purple T-shirt there (which at the time I found strange, since at that time I wasn’t aware of Williams’ plot; it was only after I got home from the gathering last night that I read about it).

As I have established, I loathe the “Tea Party” traitors, and as the “protest” was dispersing last night, from across the street I yelled at the “Tea Party” traitors who were there to counter-protest something like this: “Tea Party traitors! The ‘founding father’ you follow is Benedict Arnold! You fight against the working class and you support the rich!”

Immediately a thuggish white male member of the California Highway Patrol (California’s state police, who have jurisdiction over the Capitol grounds) and an apparent “security” team member (also a thuggish young white male) for one of the unions that had “organized” the “protest” who looked and acted like a fucking bouncer both tried to shut me up, trying to use their imposing presences, the threat of violence, to intimidate me into silence.

Sadly and pathetically, I had to remind both of them (who apparently spend much more time in the gym than reviewing the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution) that I simply was exercising my First Amendment rights, to which they had no coherent response.

I was across the street from the “Tea Party” traitors and I had made no movement toward them. I had not threatened them with violence. I had not tried to pelt them with rocks or anything like that. I simply had shouted at them what I thought of them. From across the street.

(That violence might ensue from spoken words at what is supposed to be a “protest,” for fuck’s sake, does not mean that it’s legal to infringe upon a citizen’s First Amendment rights.)

But so cowed have we Americans become that apparently even at a “protest” you aren’t to — gasp! offend anyone! You are to stand obediently like cattle in your designated “protest zone” (which our police state actually has instituted in many of our cities) and be nice. Definitely no shouting at the opposition! (Especially if you aren’t a wingnut, to whom much more latitude is given, since wingnuts are professional “victims.”)

So: Only as long as “protests” are rather ineffective and inoffensive, they are allowed.

What’s the fucking point of “protests,” then?

And why do cops and soldiers and other authoritarian types think that they’re such hot shit when testosterone-fueled tools for the powers that be is all that they actually are? They’re exploited just like the rest of us are, yet they apparently believe that they’re superior. They need to ask themselves — and we need to ask ourselves — for whom they really, ultimately are “keeping the peace.”

From my experience last night and from other “protests” at the California state Capitol and elsewhere in Sacramento, I surmise that the (vast) majority of Americans today have no real idea of how to protest. Having been divided and conquered and trained from diaperhood to look out only for our own interests (capitalism, after all, encourages the screwing over of others for the enrichment of oneself [survival of the fittest, you know!]), most of us are at a fairly total loss as to how to come together to effect change.

Even at a public “protest,” we think that we must be “polite.”

And if we dare to be “impolite,” a member of the police state, official or self-appointed, like the sellout sheep-herding dog that he or she is, quickly will intimidate us to get back in line with the other sheeple.

Thing is, when you don’t allow the people a viable, meaningful means of expression, it seems to me that you are asking for it. You are asking for the pressure to build and build and build — until the volcano blows.

At which point the sheeple will scratch their heads and ponder aloud about “senseless,” “incomprehensible,” “unpredictable” acts of violence that, given the police state that we inhabit, which inhibits anything even remotely threatening to the status quo, actually were pretty fucking comprehensible and fucking predictable.

*Similarly, the Bee gave the news story of the event only seven paragraphs, two of which it devoted to the vastly outnumbered “Tea Party” traitors (you know, to be “fair and balanced”). Had it been a “Tea Party”-sponsored protest of even a third of the same size, instead of a labor-union protest of the size that last night’s was, I’m confident that the Bee’s coverage would have been more thorough.

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‘Tea Party’ traitors want ALL of us to be serfs to their feudal masters

Tom Braun and Nathaniel Raghez, both of Milwaukee, ...

Associated Press photo

A smug, deluded, treasonous Glenn Beck wannabe (left) argues with a pro-labor-union protester (right) in Madison, Wisconsin, on the fifth day of pro-labor protests there. The young wingnut and his ilk expect all of us of the working class to obediently bend over and take it up the ass, to be told that there aren’t enough resources in the nation even though the Repugnican Tea Party’s plan for the federal budget is to increase Pentagon spending while slashing spending on actual human beings. Of course, the Pentagon’s bloated budget is just the avenue for the corporateers and the war profiteers, who enjoy the full support of the Repugnican Tea Party, for stealing hundreds of billions of our tax dollars legally — while denying us a social safety net.

Down the rabbit hole we fall. With rocket boosters strapped to our asses.

The members of the “Tea Party” fancy themselves to be revolutionaries, comparing themselves to the actual patriots who fought the British monarchy in the infancy of our nation.

But whom are the members of the “Tea Party” fighting against today? The fat-cat corporatocrats and plutocrats, whom we easily could compare to evil, oppressive monarchs?

No, they’re fighting against the working people.

The Associated Press reports today that members of the “Tea Party Patriots” counter-demonstrated in Wisconsin today, the fifth day of protests in the state’s capital against the young-punk Repugnican Tea Party governor’s attempt to destroy, in one fell swoop, labor-union protections that Wisconsinites have enjoyed since 19fucking59.

Yup. These “Tea Party” traitors are not fighting against the rich and the super-rich, whose profits continue to increase even while the rest of us suffer in the economic downturn that the rich and the super-rich caused. These “Tea Party” traitors are fighting against us.

One of the beyond-insane “Tea-Party” talking points that I’m actually seeing lately is that it is the members of labor unions who are the “haves” in a nation of “haves” and “have-nots.”

It used to be the rich and the super-rich who were the “haves” and the rest of us were the “have-nots.”

Gee. Hmmm… Whom, exactly, does it benefit to reclassify the “haves” as members of labor unions? Whom does it benefit to mythologize labor-union members as enjoying some lavish lifestyle at the expense of everyone else?

It benefits only the rich and the super-rich, who actually enjoy a lavish lifestyle at the expense of the rest of us, and who would be ecstatic to have the last vestiges of labor unions destroyed, so that they can roll back every gain that the labor movement achieved: the weekend, overtime, workplace safety, workers’ compensation for on-the-job injuries, benefits such as health care insurance and vacation time and sick time, etc.

The sheer insanity of it is stunning: the members of the “Tea Party,” who actually call themselves “patriots,” want to destroy our already-weakened (since the days of Ronald Reagan, one of our worst, most fascist and most anti-working-people presidents) labor unions, the last obstacle for our corporate feudal overlords to turn all of us into serfs.

The “solution” to our nation’s economic ills, according to the “Tea Party” “patriots,” is to allow the corporatocrats and plutocrats, who put us into our mess, to make things even worse — to make the filthy rich even filthier and the poor among us even poorer.

The members of the “Tea Party” hardly are patriots. They support the raping, pillaging and plundering done by the enemies of the people, which makes them traitors. I might call them simply useful idiots for the plutocrats and the corporatocrats whom they aid and abet, but because the “Tea Party” traitors’ actions threaten the good of the nation, I have to call them what they are: traitors.

The members of the treasonous “Tea Party” overwhelmingly are white — and white supremacist as well. Their No. 1 problem with President Barack Obama, whom the majority of us elected over John McCainosaurus in November 2008 by a little more than 7 percent of the popular vote — is that he’s black. But overt racism is taboo, so they have used code: He’s really a Muslim. He’s really a socialist. He pals around with terrorists. He wasn’t born here.

The members of the “Tea Party” overwhelmingly are nationalistic, jingoistic and militaristic.

Gee — which other group of people in history matched this description: pro-corporate, anti-labor union; white supremacist; nationalistic; xenophobic; militaristic; blaming relatively powerless minority groups for the nation’s ills?

That would be the members of the Nazi Party.

This is what we are seeing today with the “Tea Party”: history repeating itself. In the wake of Germany’s economic troubles arose the Nazi Party. In the wake of the United States of America’s economic troubles has arisen the “Tea Party.”

And the “Tea Party” is official now; it has fused with the Repugnican Party to become the Repugnican Tea Party.

We have drunkard John Boehner, who not only looks like a Nazi but acts like one, and the likes of lunatic she-Nazi Michele Bachmann representing the Repugnican Tea Party in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Are the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in the U.S. House of Representatives doing what they promised to do: turn the economy around and reverse joblessness?

Hell fucking no.

Reports The Associated Press today:

Washington – The [Repugnican Tea Party]-run House, jolted by freshmen determined to drive down the deficit, snatched $61 billion from hundreds of federal programs while shielding coal companies, oil refiners and farms from new federal regulations.

Passage early [today] of the $1.2 trillion bill, covering every Cabinet agency through Sept. 30, when the current budget year ends, sent the measure to the Senate, where it faces longer odds, and defied a White House veto threat.

The largely party-line vote of 235-189 was the most striking victory to date for the 87 freshman Republicans elected last fall on a promise to attack the deficit and reduce the reach of government. Three Republicans joined Democrats in opposing the measure.

“The American people have spoken. They demand that Washington stop its out-of-control spending now, not some time in the future,” said freshman Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan.

The legislation imposes severe spending cuts on domestic programs and foreign aid. Targets include schools, nutrition programs, environmental protection, and heating and housing subsidies for the poor.

The measure faces a rough ride in the Democratic-controlled Senate. That was the case even before late GOP amendments pushed the bill further to the right on health care and environmental policy.

Senate Democrats are promising higher spending levels and are poised to defend President Barack Obama’s health care bill, environmental policies and new efforts to overhaul regulation of the financial services industry.

Changes rammed through the House [yesterday and today] would shield greenhouse-gas polluters and privately owned colleges from federal regulators; block a plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay; and bar the government from shutting down mountaintop mines it believes will cause too much water pollution.

In almost every case, the measure sides with business groups over environmental activists and federal regulators.

“This is like a Cliff Notes summary of every issue that the Republicans, the Chamber of Commerce, and the (free-market) CATO Institute have pushed for 30 years,” said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass. “And they’re just going to run them through here.” …

The AP also notes that “Republicans awarded the Pentagon an increase of less than 2 percent, but domestic agencies would endure cuts of about 12 percent.”

The Repugnican Tea Party plan is clear: Help out the corporations and war profiteers, screw over the American people. Deregulate corporations more, even though such deregulation put us into the national economic crisis in the first
place. Slash all spending on the American people, saying that we just can’t afford such spending — even though the Pentagon just got an increase.

This is the very same treasonous party that squandered hundreds of billions of our tax dollars in bogus warfare in the Middle East for the war profiteering of Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and other war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp now telling us that we can’t afford to fund our public schools, feed our hungry, protect our environment and help our poor — you know, do all of the things that Jesus Christ instructed us to do, even though the vast majority of the members of the treasonous, anti-Christian Repugnican Tea Party claim to be staunch followers of Jesus Christ as well as stellar patriots.

What we are seeing now is the treasonous leaders of the Repugnican Tea Party shamelessly taking advantage of the economic crisis that they created in order to try to shove down the throats of the people of an already economically shell-shocked nation their pet right-wing agenda items: kill the labor unions; keep the bloated military-industrial complex intact, claiming that to do so is vital for our “national security,” while cutting government programs that actually help those in need (defunding even our public schools), claiming that we just can’t afford these programs; deregulate corporations further so that they can further rape, pillage and plunder the people, the nation and the planet; ensure that the super-rich continue to evade their fair share of taxes; etc.

And the Repugnican Tea Party is trying to do this under the veneer of democracy, of majority rule.

“The American people have spoken,” triumphantly declared the junior Nazi in the news story above.

Oh, have they really?

Because the Repugnican Tea Party — the New Nazi Party — has a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, they now represent the majority of the American people?

The last time that I looked, Barack Obama was elected in 2008 with a higher percentage of the popular vote than George W. Bush got in 2000 or in 2004 (look it up). The last time that I looked, the U.S. Senate was controlled by a Democratic majority.

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors (redundant), who claim to know so much about our Constitution, apparently are clueless about the separation of powers and the fact that the House of Representatives does not represent the entire elected federal government.

Yes, the Repugnican Tea Party in the last mid-term election was able to convince enough dipshit “swing voters” that the Repugnican Tea Party, even though it caused our economic meltdown (beginning with Ronald Reagan but more recently during the eight, long, nightmarish years of reign by the unelected Bush regime), is the one to fix it.

But did even those dipshit “swing voters” vote to make the rich richer and the poor poorer? Or did they buy the Repugnican Tea Party’s lie that it actually would bring back the jobs?

The U.S. House of Representatives is called the “people’s house,” but the Repugnican Tea Party-led House, despite promising “jobs, jobs, jobs,” is working overtime to make the rich richer and the poor poorer and to make average Americans even more miserable, not less.

Unsurprisingly, what we’re seeing with the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party majority in the House is a reconstitution of the treasonous Bush years.

This is their strategy for 2012: to do to more of the same that put us in this hellish hole.

Actually, I hope that the elected members of the Repugnican Tea Party in the U.S. House (and elsewhere, such as in Wisconsin) don’t relent. Being wholly out of touch with the average American’s concerns, and wishing to do nothing else but serve their corporate campaign contributors, such as Big Oil, I don’t expect the Repugnican Tea Party members in the House (and elsewhere) to relent.

The popular uprising in Wisconsin against Wisconsin’s tone-deaf, over-reaching, fascistic Repugnican Tea Party governor — who quite obviously believed that he easily could kill the state’s labor unions in one final coup de grâce (I doubt that he even considered the possibility that the state’s Democratic senators would abscond; I’m sure he thought that they cooperatively would just allow him to put the state’s labor unions into his gas chamber) — is just a beginning.

The American people are watching the people of the Middle East rise up against their plutocrats. The American people are realizing that, like their Egyptian and other Middle Eastern counterparts, they — we — must be persistent in our protests, that a nonviolent protest that lasts a few hours won’t make any actual changes, and that the plutocratic powers that be won’t back down in their raping, pillaging and plundering of us, our nation and our planet unless the threat of violent mass uprising against them is very real.

We, the people, vastly outnumber our feudal overlords, who control us through relentless right-wing propaganda (such as Fox “News”) and who convince a minority of us (members of the “Tea Party,” mostly) to support them, even though this is exactly like chickens supporting Colonel Sanders.

Our overlords know that we vastly outnumber them. This is why they funnel our tax dollars into the military and into law enforcement while they tell us that we can’t afford to feed our public schoolchildren: they count on the members of the military and law enforcement to protect them from the masses who demand a more equitable distribution of resources; they count on their thugs to maintain the status quo for them.

We need to demonstrate to our treasonous plutocratic overlords, graphically, that we know that we vastly outnumber them, too.

If the blood of the treasonous plutocrats and their treasonous supporters — which would include members of the Repugnican Tea Party/New Nazi Party and any police officers or soldiers who turn against the people who are fighting for better lives for themselves and their children and those who will come after them — is spilled, well, in the words of Nazi-in-chief John Boehner:

So be it!

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Labor-union members: the new Jews

State workers, union members and others protest ...

Protestors to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal ...

Protestors to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal ...

Thousands fill the Capitol rotunda in Madison, ...

Associated Press photos

Little Egypt? Thousands of Wisconsinites protest, inside and outside the state’s Capitol in Madison, the plutocratic assault on labor-union members by their state’s plutocratic Repugnican politicians. The state’s Repugnican governor stupidly has threatened to call on the National Guard to stop the protests — just like a despot in the Middle East would do.

Come and get me with your pitchforks and torches, because I am — gasp! — a government employee. And a member of a labor union!

Indeed, we labor-union members are the Jews du jour.

Yup. Just as the Nazi Party blamed Germany’s economic woes on the Jews (and on other relatively powerless minorities), the Repugnican Party today blames the nation’s economic woes on unionized public/government employees.

In 2004, according to the Repugnican Party and its wingnutty allies, it was gay men and lesbians wanting equal marriage rights who were the largest threat to the nation. Then, it became the “illegals.” (With, of course, the “Islamofascists” being an omnipresent threat since the unelected Bush regime failed to prevent the events of Sept. 11, 2001.)

Now, it’s public/government workers, whose ranks include not just the stereotypical governmental bureaucrats but also teachers, nurses, cops, firefighters, doctors, custodians, construction workers, trash collectors, dog catchers, et. al., et. al., who are the cause of the nation’s problems.

Why public/government workers?

Well, they’re (we’re) unionized. Because they’re/we’re unionized, they/we tend to do better — have better working conditions, better pay and better benefits — than do those workers who aren’t in unions.

But is the solution to kill (what’s left of) the unions? No. The solution is to get every American worker in a union so that working conditions and economic conditions can improve for everyone.

The resources are there for everyone. It’s not a problem of a lack of resources. It’s a problem of the grotesquely inequitable distribution of resources. Labor unions help to level the playing field, which is why the pro-plutocratic Repugnican Tea Party fights against labor unions tooth and nail.

The assault on public/government employees works to some degree for the Repugnican Tea Party because:

  • There are many, many dipshits in the lower and working classes who gladly follow the corporately funded and corporately led assault on labor unions, who buy the right-wing propaganda that labor unions are the enemy — when instead they should be pushing for (more) union protection for themselves. (Although misery loves company, the solution to miserable conditions isn’t to help the plutocratic power elite to create even more misery for others, but to try to lessen your own misery. Duh.)
  • There are many, many dipshits in the lower and working classes who buy the plutocrats’ argument that privatization is the best thing (and that government is evil), even though privatized workers are the most miserable workers and government/public workers generally are happier than are their privatized counterparts. (The plutocrats of the Repugnican Party push privatization only because they want to squeeze profits out of everything, but they hide their agenda of profiteering by proclaiming that the private sector can do things better when reality demonstrates that whenever ever-increasing profits is the No. 1 goal, the operation, whatever it is, only gets worse — except for the plutocratic thieves and thugs at the top.)
  • There are many who don’t know any unionized public/government workers, who have no real idea of what it’s like to be a public/government worker, and who thus buy the right-wing noise machine’s myths about public/government workers, such as that all of them (us…) are lazy and enjoy benefits fit for royalty.

I, for one, can tell you that my decade as a unionized public/government worker here in California has not been what I would call glamorous. Last year, under Repugnican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who came to power only because of an unethical, right-wing-orchestrated do-over election in 2003, I took a 15-percent pay cut due to furlough days (forced days off without pay).

Now, I have what amounts to a 5-percent pay cut due to furlough days — and I’m very happy that California now is led again by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who got the state’s workers unionized in the first place.

I had to pass state job examinations to get where I am (many if not most of California’s state-worker-haters couldn’t pass such an exam…), and for my education and my skills I am quite underpaid. But I cherish the fact that I cannot be fired unfairly, that I have actual rights as a worker, and I have benefits that no money-grubbing, employee-hating corporation would provide. (However, my benefits have been eroding, not increasing, due to the state’s budget crisis.)

I am a public/government worker mainly for the reason that I do not want to be treated like chattel, like a wage slave, by some fucking corporation. I would rather serve the public than make some fat-cat plutocrats even fatter with the fruits of my labor.

And before you whine that you pay my salary, well, I fucking pay state income tax, too, so I pay my salary as well!

If you are employed by a corporation and you find yourself miserable (and you probably do), the answer to your corporately caused misery is to join a union or fight to form a union and to combat abusive corporations, not to combat those of us who are unionized.

The way out of the nation’s mess is not to further weaken our labor unions, but to strengthen them. The super-rich among us need to be de-fanged, not empowered even further.

Just as I admire the people of Egypt for having steadfastly stood up to U.S.-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak for more than two weeks until he finally fled Egypt, I admire the people of Wisconsin for standing up to Repugnican Gov. Scott Walker, who is leading the right-wing charge to strip the state’s labor-union members of their collective bargaining rights that they achieved in 1959.

The Associated Press today reports that

The nation’s most aggressive anti-union proposal has been speeding through the [Wisconsin] Legislature since Republican Gov. Scott Walker introduced it a week ago. After clearing a major legislative hurdle [last] night, it was headed to votes in the Senate and Assembly.

Hundreds of protesters massed outside the Senate chamber on the second floor of the Capitol early [today], hours before the planned vote. Republican leaders said it has the votes to pass in both the Senate and Assembly.

The bill marks a dramatic shift for Wisconsin, which passed a comprehensive collective bargaining law in 1959 and was the birthplace of the national union representing all non-federal public employees

Thousands of protesters, including children and teachers from more than two dozen schools forced to close due to high [coordinated] absences [in protest], were expected in and outside the Capitol for a third day of protests. Schools in Madison, the state’s second largest district with 2,600-union covered employees, closed for a second day.

Hundreds of people, many of them students from the nearby University of Wisconsin campus, slept in the rotunda for a second night leading up to the vote.

They chanted “Kill the bill!” and “Recall Walker!” early [today]. But there appeared to be little doubt the bill would pass.

The AP also notes:

While other states have proposed bills curtailing labor rights, Wisconsin’s measure is the most aggressive anti-union move yet to solve state budget problems. It would end collective bargaining for state, county and local workers, except for police, firefighters and the state patrol. [Emphasis mine.]

Wisconsin has long been a bastion for workers’ rights. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees was founded in 1936 in Madison.

Gov. Scott Walker has threatened to call out the National Guard on the protesters. Note that plutocrats like Walker recognize that they need thugs to protect them from the angry masses (and firefighters to protect their private property from the angry masses) — thus, as the AP reports, the collective-bargaining rights of state and local police officers and firefighters in Wisconsin very conveniently are not threatened.

Walker is a fucking fool who just might find himself Mubaraked.

Speaking of which, Ted Rall is right, of course, that any revolution in Egypt has only just begun. Thus far, the people of Egypt don’t have a government by, of and for the people. But they’ve taken the first step by ousting their despot.

The plutocratic powers that be here at home aren’t used to massive uprisings of the American people. Among many other things, they got away with stealing two presidential elections in a row last decade and they launched a bogus war on Iraq — and they tell us now, after they’ve spent hundreds of billions of our tax dollars on their bogus war profiteering, that we don’t have the resources to take care of our own working class and our poor.

These traitors, who because of their disproportionate amount of wealth and power are far removed from the average American’s daily experience, obviously take Americans’ continued passivity for granted. I guarantee you that they are not prepared for massive uprisings here at home.

Who’s going to protect them? The same overworked, underpaid cops and soldiers whom they also shit and piss upon? Will these cops and soldiers accept the plutocrats’ bribes, such as exempting them from labor-union-killing legislation? 

How are these underpaid and overworked (and bribed…) cops and soldiers going to feel about being ordered by their plutocratic masters to turn upon their fellow Americans who are only fighting for better working and living conditions?

It might not be too long before our treasonous plutocratic elite find out.

P.S. I love this news photo that I came across. It was taken last month during Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s inauguration. In the poignant photo, a protester with a paper sack on his head makes his point, while a lone state cop apparently guards the Capitol from this “threat.”  

FILE - In this Jan. 3, 2011, file photo a protester ...

Associated Press photo

It doesn’t look all that much different from the images that we’ve been seeing out of the Middle East as of late, does it — the working-class thug protecting the status quo?

Again, I have to wonder how far our cops and soldiers will go to prop up their plutocratic masters.

Those cops and soldiers who ever do turn against the people who are fighting for their rights are despot-enabling traitors and need to be treated as such. They need to serve the will of the people — not the will of the overprivileged, treasonous few.

P.P.S. Rachel Maddow, one of the only actual journalists we have left, yesterday reported brilliantly on the right-wing phenomenon of assaulting public/government workers, of making them scapegoats for the nation’s ills. (This phenomenon, by the way, is not new but has been going on for a while now. Billionaire bitch Repugnican Nutmeg Whitman made blaming California’s state workers for the state’s problems a centerpiece of her failed bid for the governorship for which she spent more of her personal wealth [well, the wealth that she stole from her employees and from consumers, not really her wealth] than any other candidate in U.S. history.)

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