Tag Archives: union busting

Warren-vs.-Walker deathmatch in 2016?

The release of this book yesterday can only fuel speculation that Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has presidential aspirations. While I loathe the man (who is a man only in the strict, dictionary-definition sense of the word), a presidential match-up between progressive Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and the pro-plutocratic Walker would, I surmise, be awesome.

Many if not most say that it’s way too early to start speculating about the November 2016 presidential election.

I mostly disagree with that.

Especially if you haven’t been anointed by the D.C. establishment, as, say, Republicrat Billary Clinton has been, you probably need all of the campaigning time that you can get between now and November 2016.

And if Barack Obama had delivered substantively on the “hope” and “change” that he relentlessly and ubiquitously had promised during his campaign for 2008, and if we hadn’t all given up on him already because as president he’s been so fucking lazy and worthless (at best), we (especially us progressives) probably wouldn’t already be looking past Obama and forward to 2016.

All of that said, the latest 2016 presidential speculation is that Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker might run for his party’s presidential nomination.

The release of Walker’s (probably ghost-written) book — Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge (reminiscent to me of the smug, pseudo-triumphant title of Mittens Romney’s No Apologies) — yesterday should only fuel speculation that he’ll be a 2016 contender.

(Walker reportedly says that “his new book … is not a campaign book [right…] but that he’s not ruling out a run for president in 2016 or promising that if re-elected [as Wisconsin governor] next year he’ll serve out his term.”

Walker also reportedly stated recently that the 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nominee must “be an outsider,” adding, “I think both the presidential and the vice presidential nominee should either be a former or current governor — people who have done successful things in their states, who have taken on big reforms, who are ready to move America forward.”

Walker just coinky-dinkily, in his mind, anyway, matches that description.

So there you go.)

Could Walker win the White House?

My guess is that no, he could not, but the fact that Walker was elected governor in 2010 and survived a gubernatorial recall election in June 2012 in a state whose denizens cast the most number of votes for the Democratic presidential candidate in every election since at least 1988 suggests, at least on the face of it, that the smug, heartless, union-busting, Koch-brother-loving/pro-plutocratic Walker might be a stronger 2016 contender than many if not most realize.

I can’t really see Walker doing well in the national forum, as I don’t detect a milligram of charisma in him, but he is a masterful liar, doing the bidding of the billionaires who fund him while pretending that he does everything in the best interests of the commoner.

That is, of course, how the “tea party” operates: excuse the “hard-working” billionaires who have been dismantling the middle class for some decades now — and blame and punish instead the working class and what’s left of the middle class for all of our socioeconomic ills.

Pathetically, that shit actually sells, especially among right-wing and right-leaning stupid (by definition) white men, the Joe the Plumber types, and other similar types (most of them, though, poor, white trash) who think that it’s a great idea for the chickens to support Colonel Sanders, and who apparently are too fucking stupid to realize the simple, basic, obvious fact that they, too, are chickens.

A Elizabeth-Warren-vs.-Scott-Walker 2016 presidential contest would be, to say the least, interesting.

It would be a battle by proxy between us progressives and the “tea-party” dipshits, a battle between us progressives, who fully realize that it’s the Wall Street weasels and other assorted plutocrats and their supporters (like Scott Walker) who have been destroying the nation (many of us found a voice in the Occupy movement), and the teatards, who are too fucking stupid to realize that we of the working class and the middle class are not actually the enemy, but are the victims of our plutocratic overlords.

Such a battle would have my full engagement.

If the uniquely uninspiring and uncharismatic and waaay-overrated Billary Clinton actually got the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, however, you pretty much could count me out.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Repug Tea Party traitors down in Wisconsin

Massive crowds gather to see 14 democratic senators ...

Reuters photo

Wisconsinites on March 12 celebrate the return to Madison of the state’s 14 Democratic state senators who had done their best to prevent Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ union-busting legislation from taking effect. The union-busting legislation that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors apparently illegally rammed through the state Legislature still remains in legal limbo, and today petition signatures to start the recall election process for one of the state’s Repugnican Tea Party senators who voted for the union-busting legislation were submitted.

There is so much that I could say, but this news story from The Associated Press today pretty much speaks for itself:

Madison, Wis. – A week ago, Wisconsin Republicans thought they’d won the fight over the state’s polarizing union-rights bill. They’d weathered massive protests, outfoxed Senate Democrats who fled the state and gotten around a restraining order blocking the law by having an obscure state agency publish it. They even started preparations to pull money from public workers’ paychecks.

But the victory was short-lived. A judge ruled [today] that the restraining order will stay in place for at least two months she while considers whether Republicans passed the law illegally. It was the second blow to Republicans in as many days after the same judge declared [yesterday] that the law hadn’t been properly published and [thus] wasn’t in effect as they claimed.

Republicans now must either wait for the case to wind its way through the courts or pass the law again to get around complaints it wasn’t done properly the first time. One GOP leader said [today] he didn’t see much point in that.

“We passed the law correctly, legally the first time,” Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said in a statement. “Passing the law correctly and legally a second or third time wouldn’t change anything. It certainly wouldn’t stop another activist judge and (a) room full of lawyers from trying to start this merry-go-round all over again.”

[In Repugnican Tea Party traitor lingo, an “activist judge” is a judge who does not rule the way that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors want him or her to rule. (A judge who rules in the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ favor of course is a great fucking judge.)]

The law would force public employees to pay more for their health care and pension benefits, which amounts to an 8-percent pay cut. It also would eliminate their ability to collectively bargain anything except wage increases no higher than inflation.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker has said the law is needed to help schools and local governments deal with cuts in state funding he expects to make to address an estimated $3.6 billion shortfall in the next two-year budget. His spokesman referred questions [today] to state Department of Administration officials, who declined to comment.

Democrats have said the bill is meant to weaken the public employee unions that have been some of their strongest campaign supporters. Its introduction in mid-February set off a month of protests that drew up to 85,000 people to the state Capitol and sent Senate Democrats scurrying to Illinois to block a vote in that chamber.

Republicans eventually got around the Democrats’ boycott by removing fiscal provisions from the bill so it could be passed with fewer senators present.

Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi has been considering a lawsuit that claims Republican lawmakers violated the state’s opening meetings law when they met to change the bill. The lawsuit filed by Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne says the state’s open meetings law requires 24 hours notice of a meeting but Republicans provided barely two. Republican legislative leaders say proper notice was given under Senate rules.

Sumi heard testimony [today] from people who said they heard about the meeting only minutes before it began. They said they arrived to find long lines at the Capitol’s entrances and by the time they reached the room where the meeting was held, police wouldn’t allow them in….

Sumi gave the attorneys until May 23 to make additional arguments, delaying a decision for nearly two months and possibly longer. Even when she does rule, one side or the other is likely to appeal in an attempt to get the case to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The state has already appealed her restraining order to the high court, but it has not said whether it will hear the case and is under no deadline to do so.

Two other, separate lawsuits also have been filed, which could further drag out the matter.

Anger over the bill also has prompted recall efforts against 16 state senators, including eight from each party. [Today], Democrats announced they had collected enough signatures for a recall election against one of the Republicans. [Emphasis mine.]

Ah, The Associated Press saved the best for last. Yes, recall election proponents today were to have filed their recall election petition signatures against Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin state Sen. Dan Kapanke, whom Daily Kos (via AlterNet) calls “the most vulnerable of all the eight Republican state senators” who are the targets of recall efforts in Wisconsin. Daily Kos notes that

Kapanke represents a district that [Barack] Obama won with 61 percent of the vote in 2008. Our Daily Kos/PPP poll shows him trailing a generic Democrat by a whopping 55 percent to 41 percent. An earlier MoveOn Survey USA poll showed Kapanke trailing a generic opponent by an even worse 57-percent-to-41-percent margin.

Kapanke is in a lot of trouble. He is also not alone. Last week, recall petition organizers against Republican state Sen. Randy Hopper announced they had enough signatures, too….

Hopper, a freshman who only won his seat by 163 votes, trails a generic Democrat 49 percent to 44 percent in our polling. In the MoveOn/Survey USA polling, he trails 54 percent to 43 percent. Both polls were taken before the scandal about Hopper’s mistress receiving a state job with a 35 percent raise exploded….

So the union-busting law in Wisconsin remains on hold, and the 33-member Wisconsin state Senate should return to a Democratic majority in the foreseeable future. (The Dems have to gain only three state Senate seats to get a majority of 17 to 16. While I have read about recall-vulnerable Repugnican Tea Party state senators, I have yet to read that any of the eight Democratic state senators who have been the targets of recall petitions actually are vulnerable.)

Why does Wisconsin matter? Why do I care? Why should you care?

Because Wisconsin was supposed to the be the first domino to topple in the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party’s war against the working class and the middle class. A victory for the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Wisconsin would have emboldened the traitors elsewhere in the nation.

But rather than the quick, clear-cut victory against the working class and the middle class that Wisconsin Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott “Dead Man” Walker & Co. expected, they instead have met not only resistance by tens of thousands of citizens showing up at the state Capitol in Madison in protest for weeks, but all of them can expect themselves to be subjected to recall elections as soon as they can be.

Walker & Co. didn’t say anything about union busting when they campaigned because they knew that union busting wouldn’t fly at the ballot box. They had to shove their union-busting legislation through quickly and dirtily precisely because it’s against what the majority of Wisconsinites have wanted.

Now, they are paying the price, and not only has the Repugnican Tea Party experiment in Wisconsin failed, but it has stimulated the Democratic Party’s national base in a way that the Democrats couldn’t do themselves in the mid-term elections this past November, and 2012 is all over for the Repugnican Tea Party traitors except for the crying.

You can contribute to the recall election efforts in Wisconsin here. I have.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Mostly, only the ‘tea party’ traitors like the ‘tea party’

Late last month when I attended a pro-labor rally at the California state Capitol in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Wisconsin who are under attack by the right-wing, anti-working-class traitors of the Repugnican Tea Party, a small “tea party” contingent showed up to counter-demonstrate, and, to listen to them tell it, they’re in the majority.

But a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation nationwide poll released today shows that only 32 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the so-called “tea party” — and that 47 percent have an unfavorable view of the “tea party” traitors. (Seven percent, somehow reached inside of their caves, said they had never heard of the “tea party,” and 14 percent inexplicably said that they have no opinion of the “tea party.”)

Politico reports on the poll that the “tea party’s” “favorability rating hovered at 36 percent to 38 percent throughout 2010” and that “The biggest drop in the tea party movement’s favorability came among people who make less than $50,000 a year. In October, 30 percent in that income group said they had unfavorable views of the tea party. Now, 45 percent say the same.”

Well, hell yeah: When you make less than $50K a year (as I do), and you see the “tea party” traitors siding with the plutocrats and siding against the working class and the middle class in the plutocrats’ union-busting (as I have), you aren’t going to have a favorable opinion of the “tea party” traitors.

Politico reports that the Repugnican Party gets a favorable rating by 44 percent of those polled, while the Democratic Party gets a 46-percent approval rating. (Both of the duopolistic parties have a 48 percent unfavorable rating, which would account mostly for members of the opposing party, of course.)

What are the “tea party” members’ actual numbers?

A CBS News nationwide poll taken earlier this month asked, “Do you consider yourself to be a supporter of the ‘tea party’ movement or not?” — and only 23 percent said yes. A whopping 64 percent said no. (And 13 percent, inexplicably, were unsure.)

An ABC News/Washington Post nationwide poll taken earlier this month asked, “Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of the political movement known as the ‘tea party’?” — and 36 percent said favorable, 48 percent said unfavorable and 16 percent somehow weren’t sure.

It seems safe to me to conclude that no more than one in four Americans considers himself or herself to be a “tea party” member and that the “tea party” has the support of only about one in three Americans — and that most of these supporters are “tea party” members, who of course favor themselves, and the rest mostly are right-wing Repugnicans who don’t consider themselves to be members of the “tea party” but who apparently believe that the “tea party” is helping, or at least not harming, the Repugnican Party.

The “tea party” can have success in the solid-red states, but as a national party, it’s dead in the water. And in more-blue-than-red purple states like Wisconsin, the “tea party” is going to struggle, as we have seen.

And the next time you hear a “tea party” traitor claim to be speaking for the majority, know that he or she is lying or is deluded. The “tea party” traitors are loud, but the majority of us they are not.

P.S. Also enjoying low favorability ratings right now is President Barack Obama, whose favorability rating is as low as 42 percent, according to a Quinnipiac poll.

Of course, favorability ratings can be deceptive. To assume that 42 percent of Americans find Obama to be too left of center would be a faulty assumption, since there are millions like me who disapprove of Obama’s job performance not because he is too left of center, but because he isn’t left of center nearly enough.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Wisconsin Repugs won’t count Democratic 14’s votes in state Senate

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Wisconsin — who before Election Day last November never bothered to share with Wisconsinites their plan to destroy the state’s public-sector labor unions love democracy sooooo much that now they proclaim that any votes cast by the 14 Democratic state senators who have returned from their three-week exile from the state will not count.

Wisconsin’s state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, the other Scott who is cut from the same fascistic cloth as is Wisconsin Gov. Scott “Dead Man” Walker, has proclaimed that the Democratic 14 still are in contempt of the state Senate and therefore their votes in the Senate won’t count.

“They are free to attend hearings, listen to testimony, debate legislation, introduce amendments, and cast votes to signal their support/opposition, but those votes will not count, and will not be recorded,” Fitzgerald proclaimed.

It was just yesterday that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Wisconsin were proclaiming that the Democratic 14, by having fled the state, were evading their democratic duty to those who elected them.

But if the Repugnican Tea Party traitors really have been so concerned about that, why would they now proclaim that the votes of the Democratic senators won’t count — thus denying those senators’ constituents a representative voice in the Senate?

The Democratic 14, contrary to the Repgunican Tea Party’s propaganda, have had the support of their constituents. The Dem 14 returned to an adoring crowd of tens of thousands in Madison on Saturday. Only the Repugnican Tea Party traitors complained that the Democratic senators wouldn’t cooperate with them in their destruction of the state’s public-sector labor unions — like good little lambs on their way to their own slaughter should.

The Democratic 14’s largest “crime” is that, by leaving the state, they refused to give a veneer of legitimacy to the Repugnican Tea Party’s immoral decimation of the state’s public-sector labor unions, and so now the Repugnican Tea Party traitors are exacting revenge.

Wisconsin’s Democrats will get the last word, though.

An unprecedented recall campaign is under way in Wisconsin, and pro-labor Wisconsinites hope to flip control of the state Senate from the Repugnican Tea Party to the Democratic Party as early as this summer. (Eight Democratic state senators as well as eight Repugnican state senators are the targets of current recall efforts, but state opinion favors the Democrats over the Repugnicans, so expect at least some of the Repugnicans and perhaps none of the Democrats to lose their state Senate seats due to the recall efforts.)

And “Dead Man” Walker can expect the recall effort against him to commence as soon as it legally can commence in January.

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Wisconsin took a gamble and fired the first shot in their war against the working class and the middle class. They will lose this war, and vindictive stunts such as denying the Democratic 14 a voice in the state Senate is only another nail in the Repugnican Tea Party’s coffin in Wisconsin.

And far from Wisconsin being the first domino to topple in the Repugnican Tea Party’s misguided, ill-conceived crusade against labor unions, Wisconsin will serve as a warning for Repugnican Tea Party traitors in other states:

DON’T TREAD ON THE WORKING CLASS!

You can financially support the Wisconsin state Democrats and the recall efforts against the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Wisconsin here and here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Assorted shit

Flub heard ’round the world

U.S. Congresswoman Bachmann, a potential Republican ...

U.S. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a potential ...

Reuters photos

The insane ignoramus U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann shows what a true patriot she is by sacrificing herself to recite the pledge of allegiance and then holds aloft a tea bag while incorrectly identifying New Hampshire as the location where the first shot in the American Revolutionary War was fired. Utter stupidity and uber-jingoism are a dangerous mix, as we saw during the eight long, nightmarish years of rule by the unelected, fascistic Bush regime.

The larger point should not be lost in the reportage that Repugnican Tea Party whackjob Michele Bachmann yesterday told a group of Repugnican Tea Party traitors in New Hampshire that the American Revolutionary War started in their state — when, in fact, it started in Massachusetts.

Notes The Associated Press today:

Though Bachmann probably wasn’t the first to confuse Concord, N.H., with Concord, Mass., her mistake was striking given her roots in the “tea party” movement, which takes its name from the dumping of tea into Boston Harbor by angry American colonists in December 1773….

It’s not just that Bachmann, like the majority of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, are utter dipshits who don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about — not even the basics of those things that they align themselves with, such as the American Revolutionary War (these fascistic white supremacists who want to drag us back to the Dark Ages are “revolutionaries,” you see!) and the contents of the New Testament. (Jesus said that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven, and he advised his followers not to fight against paying their taxes — which the “Christo”fascist Repugnican Tea Party traitors don’t mention when, say, they fight for more tax breaks for the rich and the super-rich. A simple oversight, I’m sure.)

The bigger picture is that the members of the Repugnican Tea Party wrap themselves in both the U.S. flag and in the Shroud of Turin — they claim the mantles of both patriotism and Christianity — when, in fact, they’re just fucking charlatans, are just aligning themselves, for personal political gain, with groups that they perceive to be large and powerful — because the stupid and the cowardly, utterly unable to stand on their own two feet, align themselves with groups that they perceive to be large and powerful.

The reason that Bachmann doesn’t know her material is that for Bachmann it’s not about the material — it’s all about Bachmann and her insatiable lust for power. The material is just the cover that she uses for herself in her fascistic quest for power.

Not to be hypocritical; while I know much, much more about U.S. history and the contents of the New Testament than does your typical tea-baggin’ traitor, it’s an awful lot of material and I certainly don’t have all of it memorized.

But then, unlike the members of the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party, I don’t go around acting as though I do.

TIME calls Wisconsin guv “Dead Man Walker”

Wisconsin State Governor Scott Walker signs the ...

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signs a bill at a ...

Reuters and Associated Press photos

Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, surrounded by his cabal of fellow stupid white men, signs legislation eliminating collective bargaining rights for public servants in Wisconsin. About two-thirds of Americans believe that public servants should have collective bargainging rights, according to a Bloomberg poll taken this month.

TIME.com quotes Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker as having said on Friday, when he signed the union-busting legislation that the Repugnican Tea Party rammed down Wisconsinites’ throats:

“Some have asked whether this is going to set a national precedent. And I don’t know… but if along the way we help lead a movement across the state for true fiscal reform, true budgetary reform to ultimately inspire others across this country, state by state and in our federal government, inspire others to stand up and make tough decision to make a commitment to the future, so that our children across all states don’t have to face the dire consequences we face because previous leaders have failed to stand up and lead, I feel that is a good thing.”

Wow. So to destroy labor unions and to give the corporations even more power to exploit their wage slaves is for the children! This is novel!

It’s true that our leaders have failed to stand up and lead. For instance, not a single Wall Street crook who helped put us into our economic cataclysm is behind bars. The Obama administration, in fact, puts Wall Street crooks in charge of national economic policy — just as the Bush regime did.

We do have a huge failure of leadership, but that failure is to stop the runaway greed of the rich and the super-rich, for whom the word “enough” is not in their vocabulary.

Scott Walker’s “vision,” to the contrary, is to make the working class and the middle class suffer even more for the crimes of the treasonous plutocrats and corporatocrats whom he treasonously aids and abets.

Walker calls the rich getting even richer and the poor getting even poorer “true fiscal reform, true budgetary reform.” And George Orwell is spinning in his grave.

Walker admits what we already knew, which is that the Repugnican Tea Party is on a “state-by-state” jihad to destroy labor unions.

As Rachel Maddow recently pointed out, the reason that the Repugnican Tea Party did not tell voters before Election Day 2010 that they would seek to destroy labor unions is that to destroy labor unions is not what the American majority wants.

A Bloomberg nationwide poll taken this month, in fact, show that about two-thirds of Americans believe that public servants should have the right to collectively bargain — and that about two-thirds of Americans believe that corporations have more political power than do labor unions.

And according to this poll, how do Americans feel about our public-school teachers, whom the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party has tried to make into Public Enemy No. 1? A full two-thirds of Americans support public-school teachers’ right to be in a labor union.

Thing is, it’s human nature to not realize how much you value something until its continued existence is threatened.

What WalkerCorp has done is made most Americans realize how valuable labor unions and collective bargaining are and that corporations have way too fucking much power and drastically need to be reeled in.

While Americans bought a lot of Orwellian shit during the eight long, nightmarish years of the unelected Bush regime, at this point, I believe, they realize that they’ve been punk’d repeatedly, and they reject the Repugnican Tea Party “argument” that the middle class and the working class are the cause of our nation’s economic problems and that they need to sacrifice even more.

“Wisconsin’s Governor Wins But Is He Still Dead Man Walker?” TIME.com asks.

The question is not whether Walker’s political career is finished, but when. If he is not successfully recalled — and unfortunately he cannot be recalled until January 2012 — he certainly won’t be re-elected in 2014.

And recall efforts of Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin state senators who can be recalled now already are under way, which should mean that if Walker does manage to finish his first and only four-year term, the Repugnican Tea Party won’t control both houses of Wisconsin’s Legislature for very long into his first and only term.

Is Obama lazy and/or cowardly — or politically smart?

The Associated Press reports that Barack Obama proclaimed in a speech in 2007:

“If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself. I’ll walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.”

Of course, the AP also reports that

So far, however, the White House has stayed away from any trips to Madison, the [Wisconsin] state capital, or other states in the throes of union battles. The Obama administration is treading carefully on the contentious political issue that has led to a national debate over the power that public sector unions wield in negotiating wages and benefits.

Questions abound.

Is Obama too lazy and/or cowardly to have inserted himself into the historic battle for the rights of the working class and the middle class in Wisconsin? Or did he and/or his handlers calculate that such an insertion might actually harm, rather than help, the cause — and thus they wisely have kept out of the battle in Wisconsin, regardless of Obama’s 2007 promise to “walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America”?

If I had to put money on it, my money would be on Obama being too lazy and/or cowardly to fulfill his 2007 promise, but I surmise that it nonetheless is better that Obama continue to stay out of it, whatever the reason(s) for his peculiar absence might be.

That way, what truly is a populist upswelling against the pro-plutocratic Repugnican Tea Party — I can’t recall that thousands of Americans in any state ever sustained a three-week protest in at least the past three decades — won’t be branded as simply a Democratic Party thing when it actually is about we, the people.

Battleground Wisconsin only peripherally has been about the Democratic Party. For the most part, it has been about the majority of the people in a state who have had more than enough abuse at the hands of the Repugnican Tea Party — and who aren’t sitting around waiting for the Democratic Party to save them.*

*That said, I laud the brave 14 Democratic Wisconsin state senators who did the best that they could to stand up for their constituents by vacating the state for three weeks. I laud their courage, their solidarity and their resolve, traits that utterly are lacking in most elected officials who call themselves Democrats.

Although the traitors who comprise the Repugnican Tea Party repeatedly accused these 14 Democratic state senators of not doing their jobs, they certainly did do their jobs: they refused to go quietly to the guillotine that the Repugnican Tea Party so lovingly had set up for them and for their constituents, who aren’t corporations but who are we, the people.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

We win in Wisconsin!

Updated below

Progressives should not be disheartened or daunted tonight.

Tonight, 18 Repugnican Tea Party members of the Wisconsin state Senate voted to strip the state’s public servants of their collective bargaining rights. One of the Repugnican Tea Party senators, probably sensing the inevitable political backlash, voted against the Repugnican Tea Party’s union-busting legislation, and the state’s 14 Democratic senators (to my knowledge as of this moment) remain outside of the state.

The Repugnican Tea Party owns this. It’s all theirs.

Separating the union-busting provisions from the state’s budget legislation, thus requiring only a simple majority and not a quorum (which the Democratic 14 have been preventing), is a short-term win and a long-term loss for the Repugnican Tea Party in Wisconsin — and probably elsewhere throughout the nation.

In 2012, there will be repercussions in Wisconsin– if not before then, because recall efforts already have been under way in the state. There will be some national repercussions as well; the Repugnican Tea Party promised to bring back jobs, but instead is attacking those of us whose jobs just aren’t miserable enough for the Repugnican Tea Party’s sadistic and plutocratic tastes.

In a statement, Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker said, “In order to move the state forward, I applaud the Legislature’s action today to stand up to the status quo and take a step in the right direction to balance the budget and reform government. The action today will help ensure Wisconsin has a business climate that allows the private sector to create 250,000 new jobs.”

The last sentence is what it’s really about: Walker has delivered a better “business climate” for his corporate pimps.

The union-busting legislation won’t create 250,000 jobs, though, and nor has this battle ever been about balancing Wisconsin’s budget. As Rachel Maddow points out, Walker gave Wisconsin’s rich and super-rich tax cuts before he decided to “drop the bomb” (as Walker put it in his telephone conversation with “David Koch”) on the public-sector labor unions. If you truly want to balance a budget, you don’t hand out tax cuts to the wealthy like candy. 

Nor is Walker — whose truthfulness was revealed in what he thought was a telephone conversation with one of his super-rich sugar daddies — out to “reform government.” He’s out to destroy his state’s government so that the corporate pimps that fund the Repugnican Tea Party have even fewer obstacles to their obscene profiteering. The corporate pimps have bought Wisconsin’s governorship and Legislature.

Walker, politically speaking, is a dead man walking, and he has taken many other Repugnican Tea Party politicians with him.

Walker & Co. won the battle, but they will lose the war.

Update: Democratic Wisconsin state Sen. Jon Erpenbach tells Rachel Maddow tonight that all 14 state Democratic senators remain in solidarity and that all of them plan to remain outside of Wisconsin because, he said, “we don’t trust the Senate Republicans” and “we don’t trust Gov. Walker,” adding that “the entire state of Wisconsin is ashamed” of what the state Senate Repugnicans did tonight. 

Maddow also shows must-see video from the shoved-through, probably-illegal vote of the 18 Repugnican Tea Party state senators to strip public servants of their collective bargaining rights — even though it never was about union-busting, remember?

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

To hell in a handbasket — on crack



This the is “vision” that the Repugnican Tea Party has for the United States of America.

The members of the Repugnican Tea Party in the U.S. House of Representatives promised to make jobs and the economy their No. 1 issue. But let’s tick off what they’ve actually “accomplished” thus far:

  • They read the U.S. Constitution to us aloud — minus those unpleasant portions about slavery, of course.
  • They have attacked Planned Parenthood and women’s rights.
  • They have attacked the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • They are engaged in a nationwide union-busting campaign that benefits only their corporate and plutocratic benefactors pimps.
  • They have attacked our public servants, even our public-school teachers.
  • They have attacked National Public Radio, and got the scalp of NPR’s president and CEO.
  • Tomorrow they are to began McCarthyesque hearings on what a danger to the nation Muslim Americans are.

In short, the Repugnicans in the House have done nothing substantial toward bringing about national economic recovery.

They know that this is what they should be addressing, however, because they frequently are using the economy as their bullshit excuse to fulfill their Wingnut Wish List.

We can’t afford NPR, they claim, when in fact, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (NPR’s parent) — and Planned Parenthood — get a fucking pittance from the federal government compared to the bloated military-industrial complex, which is draining our nation of its lifeblood, a huge threat to the continued existence of our nation. (Many other empires collapsed due to military overextension and concomitant domestic rot.) Our public servants, too, get a negligible portion of the federal budget, and they’re worth every penny of their underpaid salaries.

The treasonous Repugnican Tea Party House members’ intent in these aforementioned instances isn’t to save us money — it’s to censor/silence NPR (and the Public Broadcasting System), to deny women their right to self-determination of their own fucking uteri, and to destroy every last governmental hurdle to complete corporate control of the nation.

It’s about the wingnuts in the U.S. House of Representatives throwing huge chunks of red meat to their base of plutocrats and “Christo”fascists. (The upcoming House hearings on “the Muslim problem” — remember Adolf Hitler’s “Jewish problem”? — especially are an early Christmas gift to the “Christo”fascists.)

If the Repugnican Tea Party members of the House were serious about tackling the nation’s federal budget deficit that “President” George W. Bush created by giving tax breaks to the rich and the super-rich while wasting hundreds of billions of our tax dollars in bogus warfare, they would make the rich and the super-rich pay their fair share of taxes and they would seriously, meaningfully cut the bloated budget of the military-industrial complex.

Instead, the Repugnican Tea Party is on a campaign to make the United States of America more and more like a third-world nation:

  • Get rid of the Environmental Protection Agency — so that climate change accelerates, making the entire planet resemble the planet in the movies “The Road” or “WALL-E” or “Idiocracy.”
  • Get rid of Planned Parenthood and outlaw abortion — so that we have many more mouths that we can’t feed and many more consumers of the planet’s limited resources, accelerating climate change and other environmental catastrophes.
  • Privatize all of the public schools so that only the children of the rich and super-rich can get a decent education, and institute only right-wing and pro-corporate curricula in what remains of the crumbling, old public school system.
  • Destroy all of the labor unions so that the corporations have no barriers in their mistreatment and exploitation of their wage slaves.
  • Get rid of NPR and PBS — so that the only source Americans have of “news” and “information” is Faux “News” and the other right-wing, pro-corporate media.
  • Continue to ignore homelessness and continue to build gated communities, in which the rich and the super-rich live, protected by their private security thugs, while everyone else lives in crime-infested squalor.
  • Attack Muslims, literally and figuratively — so that we have perpetual enemies/“enemies” and thus perpetual warfare, a la George Orwell’s 1984.

This is some serious shit. Life as we know it — indeed, the very ability of the planet to sustain human life itself — is at stake if we, the people, don’t fight back against the traitors who spend every waking hour calculating how they can destroy us for their own selfish benefit.

We, the people, cannot depend upon the members of what excellent writer Chris Hedges calls the “liberal class” in his book  Death of the Liberal Class.

Members of the so-called liberal class* include such hypocritical cowards as the supposedly pro-labor Barack Obama, who has remained mostly silent while tens of thousands of pro-labor Wisconsinites are in their third week of protests to keep the middle class and the working class in Wisconsin alive, and Vivian Schiller, the CEO and president of NPR who, instead of holding her ground against the right-wing assault on NPR, cut and run in order to appease the right-wing fascists who are out to destroy the nation.

We’re on our own.

No one is going to save us from the fascistic onslaught that we are witnessing now — except ourselves.

*I have a problem with the term “liberal class,” since these cowardly, self-serving hypocrites aren’t actually liberal. They pay lip service to liberal ideals, but their actions and their inaction only help the right wing. They are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized