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Posted at 10:52 AM ET, 02/22/2011

Workers are workers, public or private

By Adam Serwer

The New York Times' David Brooks makes the argument, popular among conservatives, that public-sector unions are terrible things that shouldn't exist:

Private sector unions confront managers who have an incentive to push back against their demands. Public sector unions face managers who have an incentive to give into them for the sake of their own survival. Most important, public sector unions help choose those they negotiate with. Through gigantic campaign contributions and overall clout, they have enormous influence over who gets elected to bargain with them, especially in state and local races.

It's really odd how conservatives have discovered the right of private-sector unions to exist, after having succeeded in decimating private-sector union membership. Now that private-sector unions are weaker than they've been in a hundred years, they've fallen in love with them. Funny how that works.

Given that public workers in Wisconsin have indicated they're willing to take cuts in benefits to preserve their collective bargaining rights, it's become clear that Republican Gov. Scott Walker (who managed to create the budget deficit he's now using as an excuse to cut those benefits) is merely trying to crush a Democratic political constituency. The moral and ideological pretext for this is the notion that public worker unions are entirely different from private-sector ones.

It's certainly true that, sometimes, public workers have interests contrary to those of the public -- the example that comes to mind are prison guard unions and the expansion of the prison system. What's odd is suggesting that there are no forceful checks on the influence of public workers, an argument belied by the nationwide corporate-funded, Republican-led, campaign against them. In New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo has promised to shut down excess prison capacity in spite of the fact that it would cost state workers jobs. Nonwithstanding the fact that as John Sides writes, there is "no direct correlation between public-sector collective bargaining and yawning state budget deficits," standing up to public unions, without stripping them entirely of their collective bargaining rights, just isn't the herculean task Republicans pretend it is. That is, if the goal is actually fiscal responsibility rather than simply destroying public unions. 

Conservatives have taken to quoting President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's argument against the existence of public-sector unions, without noting that at the time, labor unions in the private sector were growing at an accelerated rate. As Kevin Drum writes, labor unions -- yes, even public ones -- have provided an essential check on the interests of corporations and the wealthy throughout American history. While time-traveling telepathy is not one of my personal talents, it's not hard to imagine that Roosevelt might have changed his mind about the impact of public worker unions given the relative state of private-sector unions today.

We live in a country where corporations can anonymously funnel billions of dollars to affect the outcome of elections that decide who their regulators are and who oversees them. But according to Brooks, we're supposed to see public worker unions, one of the few remaining institutions standing between American democracy and runaway oligarchy, as a singularly sinister influence on the body politic. It's not that Brooks is some hippie idealist who doesn't think money has any place in politics, he's merely wrinkling his nose at the idea of public workers having a say. Silly workers, democracy is for Wall Street. 

As Ezra Klein writes, this is really about political power. If Republicans succeed, one of the few remaining institutions aligned against the creeping bipartisan corporatism of both parties will be seriously, if not fatally, wounded. 

By Adam Serwer  | February 22, 2011; 10:52 AM ET
Categories:  Labor, Political media  
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Next: Why won't Governor Walker accept unions' offer and declare victory?

Comments

When Ezra Klein wrote "If Republicans win..." he forgot to push the conclusion to its logical end.

If Republicans win, we will witness a socio-economic pole inversion in the Americas, no less: Meaning, the US will become what Brazil and Argentina were in the 50s to 00s, whereas these two countries (especially Brazil) are becoming, in terms of prosperity and economic dynamism) what wee were between the same period.

How's that for high stakes?

PS: Just a small, but very revealing data point: The most expensive office space in the Americas is NOT in North America anymore.

Posted by: grosmec | February 22, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Teachers and their lavish lifestyles! I mean, how many helicopters and yachts do those elementary school teachers really need?

At a starting salary of 30k in WI, how greedy can they get?

People wonder why our schools are failing. Who the hell wants to work in an industry that is constantly on the attack from Republicans any time there is a downturn in the economy.

The 80's saw an exodus of teachers when the economy collapsed under Reagan. What did Reagan do to stop it? Give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires and let the states flounder.

Now what's happening across the country and particularly in WI? Tax breaks are being given to corporations creating deficits and the brunt of the deficit will have to be carried on the backs of teachers.

What is it with Republicans and their constant assault on teachers? For instance, when Sarahcudda and her daughter rolled their eyes when the individual confronting them in Alaska stated she was a teacher, what the hell was that about? There was a time being a teacher was a well respected profession, public or private school.

In recent times, they've become the target of Libertarian think tanks sponsored by scum like the Koch's because what they think is their money is being used to provide a decent lives for those teaching our children.

It's a shame the tea party people are being played by these Koch jerks to further their stranglehold on society.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 22, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

David Brooks is another one of those Right Wingers "who was born on third base, and thinks he hit a triple". Ann Richards.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

From Think Progress:

"The Last Time Scott Walker Went Union Busting, He Was Overruled And Wasted Taxpayer Dollars"

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/22/scott-walker-union-wackenhut/

"The last time Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) went after public sector unions it had “disastrous results” for him and for taxpayers. As Milwaukee County Executive in 2009, Walker tried to get rid of the unionized security guards at the county courthouse and replace them with contractors, which he promised would save the county money. The County Board rejected the idea, but in March of 2010 Walker “unilaterally ordered it,” claiming there was a budget emergency. Walker hired the British security contractor Wackenhut — of Kabul Embassy sex scandal fame — to replace the guards. Unfortunately for Walker and Milwaukee taxpayers, an arbiter later ruled that Walker had overstepped his authority, and ordered the county to reinstate the unionized workers, pay backwages, and pay tens-of-thousands of dollars in arbiter fees."

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

This post makes my David Brooks argument again. While he has the dual gifts of being able to talk about politics from a broader sociological perspective and the ability to most often sound genial and occasionally open-minded, that's part of his guile. He unfailingly carries the water for the most conservative neo-con positions, making the arguments and mouthing the talking points. What's so insidious is that his manner can rake in moderates and Dems who're less conversant with the bigger argument in play. He's extremely effective in advancing the Republican agenda. As just one of many examples, we owe him Justice Alito.

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 22, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

People,

All this BS spin about FDR...

HE WAS A MEMBER OF A FEDERAL UNION!

http://www.nffe.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/21065

right there on page 7

As an aside, here are the federal agencies and departments whose workers are represented by the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE):

U.S. Department of the Interior
General Services Administration
U.S. Department of Defense
United States Navy
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Coast Guard
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
United States Army
U.S. Forest Service
Medical Expenditures Panel Survey
Office of Surface Mining
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
U.S. Department of Commerce
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Defense Logistics Agency
U.S. Army Materiel Command
Risk Management Agency
Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command
Logistics Systems Support Office
Minority Business Development Agency
Indian Health Service
Defense Contract Management Agency
National Park Service
Bureau of Consular Affairs
National Technical Information Service
United States Air Force
U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Defense Information Systems Agency
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Federal Aviation Administration

All those scary democratic "big government" agencies...

Like the Air Force. The Army. The Navy. etc etc etc.....

God forbid people who work to maintain our armed forces and the VA have any labor rights!!!!!!!!!!

The National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) is a national union representing approximately 110,000 blue and white collar government workers across the United States. Ratifying its constitution on September 20, 1917, NFFE is the oldest union representing federal employees.

http://www.nffe.org/ht/d/sp/i/279/pid/279

Stop the lies right wingers!

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 22, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand why teachers' unions are a menace while police and fire fighting unions are good to go. Is the corruption and imbalance only in existence with teachers?
The other issue is that unions are being blamed and apparently need to come to an end because officials act in their own electoral self-interest. This is hardly a phenomenon exclusive to unions and illustrates that unions are only half the problem. To a large extent Gov. Walker is choosing who can play and who can't.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 22, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

The very idea that we shouldn't allow THESE people -- who work every single day to make America a better place -- to have a say in how they are treated by their employer is absolutely revolting.

By virtue of the fact that they are working for the betterment of America, they DESERVE fair pay, fair hours, and a safe working environment.

I'd like to see any right winger go ahead and protest the military employees' lbaor rights.

Go right ahead. Need directions to the Pentagon? I'll even help you make your stupid signs. Here's some slogans:

Military = Soshulist

The U.S. Army is destroying America

Labor rights for nurses who take care of wounded vets? Not on my watch!

Go ahead. I'm sure you can think of a few better ways to insult the fabric of our country. You righties certainly have a gift for it.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 22, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Just so we're clear here:

People who make $250k and above are not rich, and therefore, can't be asked for a modest hike in taxes. Teachers and nurses who make $40-60k make way too much, and therefore, have to give wage and benefit concessions.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 22, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

@Adam: "Republican Gov. Scott Walker (who managed to create the budget deficit)."

Will this lie never die? PolitiFact looked at this claim and it is FALSE.

"There is fierce debate over the approach Walker took to address the short-term budget deficit. But there should be no debate on whether or not there is a shortfall. While not historically large, the shortfall in the current budget needed to be addressed in some fashion. Walker’s tax cuts will boost the size of the projected deficit in the next budget, but they’re not part of this problem and did not create it."

http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/feb/18/rachel-maddow/rachel-maddow-says-wisconsin-track-have-budget-sur/

Posted by: sbj3 | February 22, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Walker has two of the beadiest little eyes I have ever seen in a living creature. Wisconsin is The Badger State, but come on Cheeseheads, did you really have to elect one as your Governor?!

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"Conservatives have taken to quoting President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's argument against the existence of public-sector unions, without noting that at the time, labor unions in the private sector were growing at an accelerated rate. As Kevin Drum writes, labor unions -- yes, even public ones -- have provided an essential check on the interests of corporations and the wealthy throughout American history. While time-traveling telepathy is not one of my personal talents, it's not hard to imagine that Roosevelt might have changed his mind about the impact of public worker unions given the relative state of private-sector unions today. "

Adam would have been better served to address Roosevelt's argument directly, rather than arbitrarily deciding that he would have changed his mind. While possibly true, he doesn't refute FDR's central argument:

"All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.

Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable."

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=15445

Posted by: jnc4p | February 22, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

That part where Brooks talks about "gigantic campaign contributions" is hilarious. Never heard of the Koch Bros., Dave? They purchased the Wisconsin governor's office, and have finced the entire out-of-state counter-protest effort.

Posted by: aprilglaspie | February 22, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

"Now that private-sector unions are weaker than they've been in a hundred years, they've fallen in love with them."

It's completely hyperbolic statements like this that ratchet up the vitriol level. The fact that conservatives allow that there is a right for private workers to unionize in no way means "they've fallen in love with them." They are simply repeating a very important distinction that they have been making for years; that since the goals of the government and private firms differ greatly, there can and should be differences, some significant, between how their employees are handled.

I also notice how you never comment on the incestuous relationship public unions have with Democrats. They forcibly extract dues from their troops, use it to elect democrats into power, then the democrats forcibly extract more tax revenue from taxpayers to pay off the union leaders who got them elected, with few of the benefits reaching the worker.

Finally, I will continue to pound you for your exaggerated rhetoric. You willfully and grossly distorted the views of your opposition, contributing to a lowered level of civility. I will continue to remind commentors here of how many posts you ran that implicitly blamed your opponents' rhetoric, even a couple that explicitly called a truce, then spent the rest of the post implicitly blaming the opponents again. You are nothing more than a hypocritical, partisan hack. I rejected your truce offer, and it is posts like this that continue to validate that choice.

Posted by: octopi213 | February 22, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Pay no attention to SBJ. Just a couple of days ago, he was telling The Big Lie, that Walker was not trying to take away the Unions" collective bargaining rights.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

@SBJ,

Why will this lie never die? PolitiFact looked at Gov Walker's claim and rated it PANTS ON FIRE.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says his budget-repair bill would leave collective bargaining “fully intact”

In arguing the changes would be modest, Walker cited the civil service system and said "collective bargaining is fully in tact." However, Walker himself has outlined how his budget-repair bill would limit the collective bargaining rights of public employees.

Indeed, it’s that provision that provoked daily demonstrations at the state Capitol and national media attention. To now say now say collective bargaining would remain "fully intact" is not just false, it’s ridiculously false.

http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/feb/18/scott-walker/wisconsin-gov-scott-walker-says-his-budget-repair-/

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 22, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Democrats are not trying to destroy the Unions, but the Republicans are. So of course Unions are going to side with the Party that is not trying to eradicate them.

Now we have some Stupid Tea Party Koch Sucker calling that an "incestuous relationship"

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Damn -- I had 12:15-12:30 in the pool for Liam's first use of "The Big Lie" today.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 22, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

The Teamsters Union supported Richard Nixon and worked hard to get him into the White House.

According to a Tea Party Koch Sucker, who just dropped by;

Richard Nixon was engaging in "an incestuous relationship" with The Head Of The Teamsters?

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

@ethan: I agree that to say that collective bargaining would remain intact is not true. Walker tried to thread a needle to claim that the ability to collectively bargain *wages* would remain - which is true in a very limited sense - but Walker's proposal would, without a doubt, severely impact public employee collective bargaining rights.

Which all has nothing at all to do with Adam's claim in this post - which is FALSE.

Posted by: sbj3 | February 22, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

@NoVAHockey "Damn -- I had 12:15-12:30 in the pool for Liam's first use of "The Big Lie" today. "

Did you also get a hit on "Koch Sucker" for the daily double?

Posted by: jnc4p | February 22, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"Silly workers, democracy is for Wall Street."

That very neatly sums the situation up. Our government is the best Wall Street can buy. Soon the People will have no one left to advocate for them.

Posted by: Alex3 | February 22, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Andrew Sullivan addressed the Walker giveaway to the Koch brothers for funding his campaign finally.

Hope this story get picked up and isn't brushed away.

Here's part of the bill being pushed by Koch funded Walker.

"the department may sell any state-owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids,"

Sullivan's response to the bill:

"Without solicitation of bids? How is that frugal? How is that conservative? It couldn't be anthing to do with the Koch brothers, could it?...I'm glad I took my time on this...the more I read, the shadier and more ideological Walker seems."

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2011/02/how-does-this-help-balance-wisconsins-budget.html

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 22, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Every time the Right Wing Choir talks about bets they are making on what I will say, I win every time.

That is all those little cretins have in their quivers. I love it.

"Pearls before swine" come and get them, Fat Right Wing Pigs!!!

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

This is totally bizarre:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/21/AR2011022104351.html

The Tea Partiers are backing a woman who repeatedly tried to poison her friend. She was imprisoned under chemical weapons rules, but the Phylis Schafly and others are claiming that she has the right to sue the federal government under the 10th Amendment (here we go), which is not an individual right but a state right. What a crazy world these right wingers live in... Where "strict constructionists" support the total redefinition of a constitutional amendment. Whackjobs.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 22, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Sue writes,

"Just so we're clear here:

People who make $250k and above are not rich, and therefore, can't be asked for a modest hike in taxes. Teachers and nurses who make $40-60k make way too much, and therefore, have to give wage and benefit concessions."

Boil this down to something that can fit on a bumper sticker, and you've got the message.This isn't it, but an opening bid--

$250K: Not Rich, $42K: Marie Antoinette

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 22, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Party Mantra:

Billionaires Hurting.
Teachers Spoiled.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Basically what you have is the Koch's used their influence to take control of the state legislature with enough votes to slip by an energy contract worth millions.

So, you've got 300k investment into millions of giveaways in the form of the initial contracts and then the tax breaks they'll receive.

Not a bad payday for the Koch's if they had gotten away with it.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 22, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Wow the whining of the so called progressives here is as music to the ears.

What Mr Serwer fails to acknowledge is why private sector union membership has declined. There are a variety of reasons, but none of them are nefarious.

First, unions have less impact on the quality of work then they used to. It is simple really. In my life time we've seen OSHA, and various state versions, we've seen the EPA and various state versions. We've seen the rise of the PI bar and its subspecialty: worker's comp injury. And on and on and on.

I am no fan of over regulation, but the fact is that the unions are redundant now. Why pay for this with both taxes and union dues?

The net result of that is the unions have far less ability to convince people that without them, life would be just too hard. Further, businesses, who own the jobs after all, have moved from locations of strong unionization to locations where unions have far less clout. If we compare right to work states to others, we see growth in jobs and incomes. While the union bastions are aptly called the rust belt.

Finally, unions are such a damper on the performance of a firm that companies have gotten better and better at avoiding them, and at beating them in elections.

Funny how the most recent Toyota factory was built in Mississippi and NOT Ohio or MI.

next, an examination of campaign contributions. Gov't sector unions VS the uber evil Kock brothers. This should be fun

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 22, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"Did you also get a hit on "Koch Sucker" for the daily double?"

That's a free space on the board.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 22, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still
"Every time the Right Wing Choir talks about bets they are making on what I will say, I win every time."

It also makes for a good drinking game.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 22, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Every time the Right Wing Choir talks about bets they are making on what I will say, I win every time.

That is all those little cretins have in their quivers. I love it.

"Pearls before swine" come and get them, Fat Right Wing Pigs!!!

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Place your bets: Right Wing Swine:


The Tea Party Mantra:

Billionaires Hurting.
Teachers Spoiled.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Good, ThinkProgress just released an article on the GOP's plan to create tax breaks for business and shift the burden onto the rest of us.

Priorities? GOP Governors Shift Burden To Poor, Middle Class To Pay For Tax Breaks For Rich, Corporations

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/22/gop-governors-misplaced-priorities/

VA's governor tried to privatize our Liquor stores which is a big money maker for the state. One of the few things that's making a killing and the Gov tries to kill it for a one time influx of money to fill a hole in a budget.

It should be called the Year of the Big Corporate Giveaway.

Republicans are using budget holes to justify giving away state and local assets to their campaign contributors and the deficits remaining will be put on the backs of you and me.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 22, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

All, my take on why Scott Walker is rejecting the compromise unions are offering:

http://wapo.st/i8EuuU

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 22, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

OT:

Really good read about discord growing within the Taliban:

One close supporter of the Taliban in Helmand Province said that the insurgents had lost 500 fighters there last year, including virtually all the known commanders. Those who survived remonstrated with the leadership in Pakistan over why they had to sacrifice so many men.

The accounts of divisions between the Taliban leadership and its field commanders come on top of reports from American military officials of new frictions within the top Taliban leadership, which is believed to be based in the western Pakistani city of Quetta.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/world/asia/22taliban.html

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 22, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Party Stupid Koch Suckers are letting me know that the truth hurts. They are trying to get me to stop hitting them with the honest truth; they are just A Bunch Of Stupid Koch Suckers.

Place your bets Right Wing Swine. You are going to keep getting socked with that truth, day after day.

Whine on Koch Brothers' Harvest Swine. They will dine on your fat carcasses next.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

""They are simply repeating a very important distinction that they have been making for years; that since the goals of the government and private firms differ greatly, there can and should be differences, some significant, between how their employees are handled.""

Yeah -- one thing you'll never hear from a conservative is that we need to run government like a business.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 22, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Party Mantra:

Billionaires Hurting.
Teachers Spoiled.


What a bunch of stupid Koch Suckers!

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

People who make $250k and above are not rich, and therefore, can't be asked for a modest hike in taxes. Teachers and nurses who make $40-60k make way too much, and therefore, have to give wage and benefit concessions."

Boil this down to something that can fit on a bumper sticker, and you've got the message.This isn't it, but an opening bid--
-------------------------------------------

I wonder if there's a way to point out that saying a CEO making millions is "making too much" makes you a Socialist, Marxist, but saying a teacher "makes too much" is just capitalism at its finest. Yep, it's only Dems who practice class warfare.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 22, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"VA's governor tried to privatize our Liquor stores which is a big money maker for the state."

never mind that the commonwealth has no business being a liquor store operator.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 22, 2011 12:26 PM | Report abuse

'...it's become clear that Republican Gov. Scott Walker (who managed to create the budget deficit he's now using as an excuse to cut those benefits)..."

That's a lie Adam.

Make your case but cut the bullshyt.

Posted by: tao9 | February 22, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Joe Biden spoke of when his maternal grandfather said to him, when he was a young boy; "remember Joey; in America it is always Socialism for the rich, and free enterprise for the poor."

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

never mind that the commonwealth has no business being a liquor store operator.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 22, 2011 12:26 PM |

......................

Not while all their Tea Party members are swilling down gallons and gallons of Koch Suckers Kool-Aid.

Place your bets;

The Tea Party Mantra;

Our Billionaires Are Hurting, While Our Teachers Are Spoiled.

More Kool-Aid, Mr. Koch Sucker?

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

That's a lie Adam.

Make your case but cut the bullshyt.

Posted by: tao9 | February 22, 2011 12:33 PM


You are the one who is lying so cut your Right Wing BS.

Wisconsin does not have a fiscal crisis, and the Democrats turned over a state with a much lower unemployment rate than most states, so Hosni Walker's is lying about having to kill the Service Unions in order to attract jobs.

Besides; taking away their collective bargaining rights, will not add a single penny to his current budget coffers.

Why is it that you right wing religious types can lie so easily, and are so eager to take food out of the mouths of the working class, in order to further enrich the fattest cats in the land?

I guess you guys have to seek forgiveness every Sunday, because the other six days of the week, you have been busy stealing from the poor to give to the rich.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are not trying to destroy the Unions, but the Republicans are. So of course Unions are going to side with the Party that is not trying to eradicate them.

Now we have some Stupid Tea Party Koch Sucker calling that an "incestuous relationship"

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 11:49 AM
***************************************

And here is an example of the complete lack of intelligence from liberals. Little understanding of facts, issues, and logic; only able to sling insults from behind the cloak of anonymity provided by the internet. You stay classy, libs.

Posted by: octopi213 | February 22, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

And here we have some idiot who can not defend the claim that Unions backing Democrats because Republicans are against Unions, is actually a form of incest, complaining about name calling. You called it Incest, and now you whine about how uncivil liberals are.

You really are a complete Moron.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

And here we have some idiot who can not defend the claim that Unions backing Democrats because Republicans are against Unions, is actually a form of incest, complaining about name calling. You called it Incest, and now you whine about how uncivil liberals are.

You really are a complete Moron.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 1:45 PM

I simply pointed out how Serwer/Sargent were at the head of the bandwagon blaming their opponents for "vitriol," even after it became blatant that rhetoric had nothing to do with the Arizona shootings. They then offered a "truce" that basically said, "well even though you didn't do it this time you will be responsible for the next one, and you must take some blame for this one." I rejected that truce. And now it turns out it was a well-deserved rejection, since they are not abiding by it. Pointing out the hypocrisy of others is not "whining." It is holding them accountable for what they said.

As for who is or isn't a moron, one only has to read the posts here and they can quickly determine where the vast majority of intelligence lies. It is most definitely not with you.

Posted by: octopi213 | February 22, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Someone cited this link to make fun of the TEA people.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/21/AR2011022104351.html

Carol set out to poison Myrlinda who had a baby with the assistance of Carol's wandering hubby. She used the mails to send chemical laced packages. The Postal authorities caught her.

She was prosecuted in fed ct under an anti-terrorism statute that was passed to support a treaty.

Carol claims that statute is unconstitutional as applied to her because she is not a terrorist and not someone covered by the Treaty. She recognizes she committed a state crime and she argues that as applied to her, the anti-terrorist statute infringes on an area of criminal law reserved to the states - domestic crimes.

I think she will lose, ultimately, but I bet the Supremes let her re-argue her position in the Circuit. I think it would be a major loss of civil liberties if an appellant could not argue all the ways the statute under which she was charged and convicted might be unconstitutional. I would not limit her argument by saying that only a state, which had no interest in the outcome of her case, had standing to attack the validity of the fed indictment against her. This is an area where restrictive standing rules do an injustice to the person bearing the weight of a federal prosecution.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 22, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

And now for The Great News:

"Poll: 61% oppose limiting union bargaining power"

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-02-22-poll-public-unions-wisconsin_N.htm

"The public strongly opposes laws taking away the collective bargaining power of public employee unions as a way to ease state financial troubles, according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.


The poll found that 61% would oppose a law in their state similar to one being considered in Wisconsin, compared with 33% who would favor such a law. "

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

So this is the part I don't get. Each one of these cities, counties, states, federal gov't sat at the table and negotiated with the unions until a contract was agreed to. Everyone negotiated "in good faith" and pensions and their funding were included in the contracts. Nothing was hidden. The cities, counties, states, etc. failed to include their portion of pension funding in their budgets to the tune of billions of dollars in short falls. Now, after years of these government agencies dithering, the bill is due. AND EXACTLY HOW IS THIS THE WORKERS' FAULT? Should these governments (local, city, state, etc.) manage to default on contracts that were negotiated "in good faith" with their workers, what do you thing is next?

Posted by: mjohnson1116 | February 22, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Adam inaccurately stated: "Workers are workers, public or private"
-----------------------------------------
No, they are not the same. ONLY someone with a low enough IQ thinks that private business is the same thing as the government. Apparently, Adam fall into that category...

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 23, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Adam again babbled: "The New York Times' David Brooks makes the argument, popular among conservatives, that public-sector unions are terrible things that shouldn't exist:"
---------------------------------------
David is correct and, here is why. Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government. The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 23, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

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