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Posted at 9:04 AM ET, 02/21/2011

Monday Roundup

By Greg Sargent

* Good for Senator Dick Durbin for stating clearly exactly what the historical stakes are in Wisconsin. His appearance on Meet the Press yesterday is worth quoting at length:

Let me tell you why what's happening in Wisconsin, just north of Illinois, goes way beyond the discussion of the Wisconsin budget. If you think this is just about money and the budget, then you might believe Cesar Chavez was just working to get a couple pennies more per pound for grapes or that Martin Luther King was really working for access to hotels and restaurants.

There's a much bigger issue at stake here. For over 80 years in America, we have recognized the rights of our workers to freely gather together, collectively bargain, so that they could have fairness in the workplace and fairness in compensation. And that is what's at stake here. It goes way beyond this budget issue. This governor of Wisconsin is not setting out just to fix a budget, he's setting out to break a union. That is a major move in terms of American history. I believe the president should have weighed in. I think we should all weigh in and say, "Do the right thing for Wisconsin 's budget, but do not destroy decades of work to establish the rights of workers to speak for themselves."

* As of last night, Wisconsin Dems were still vowing to stay out of the state until Governor Scott Walker drops his proposal to roll back public employee bargaining rights, and now Walker won't even return Dems' phone calls.

* The Wisconsin Dems' game plan: As the Milwakee Journal Sentinel reports, if Dems stay away through the end of this week, it could force Wisconsin Republicans to begin taking other unpalatable steps to close the budget shortfall. The question is whether Dems will hang in there.

* The crucial thing here is that Wisconsin Dems and unions have already agreed to accept the wage and benefits reductions that Walker wants, if he will take the bargaining rights piece off the table.

But Republicans are refusing, insisting that's non-negotiable -- clearly confirming that this isn't about just the budget, it's about busting unions.

* The president of the teachers' union reiterated this willingness to accept fiscal concessions in a statement announcing that teachers will return to work this week:

"We have been clear -- and I will restate this again today -- money issues are off the table. Public employees have agreed to Governor Walker's pension and health care concessions, which he says will solve the budget challenge. But Governor Walker's bill goes too far and he has chosen polarizing rhetoric. He refuses to come to the table to discuss the issue our members care most deeply about: protecting their rights.

* Moderate Republican Senators are offering Dems a deal: We'll temporarily roll back bargaining rights, and reinstate them in 2012.

Both Walker and Dems are unlikely to accept such a deal; the question is whether the willingness to float a deal suggests these moderate GOPers are wavering in their support for Walker.

* Must read: Former SEIU chief Andy Stern offers a detailed and cogent explanation yet of labor's big-picture point of view on this fight.

* E.J. Dionne deftly skewers the myth that Wisconsin public employees are making out like bandits.

* Wisconsin fight to have impact on 2012 election? AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale says that if Republicans try similar moves in other states, all they'll succeed in doing is rebuilding the Dems' 2012 get-out-the-vote operation.

* And props to Chuck Schumer for calling for Social Security to be removed from today's negotiations over the deficit, and for stating clearly that the program "does not contribute one penny to the deficit."

Given that Schumer is the Senate Dems' new messaging guru, this suggests Dems may really recognize that there's the potential for major political advantage in drawing a bright line on the popular program.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | February 21, 2011; 9:04 AM ET
Categories:  Labor, Senate Dems, Social Security  
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Next: This goes far beyond Wisconsin

Comments

Wall Of SHAME............Here's a list of every Democrat Senator who ran from their duty, and betrayed the people of Wisconsin (courtesy of Rhonda L. Blair):

CARPENTER, TIM, DEM. − District 3.Mailing address:  2957 South 38th Street, Milwaukee, WI  53215Capitol office:  19 South, Capitol;  Tel. (608) 266−8535E−mail address:  Sen.Carpenter@legis.wisconsin.gov

CULLEN, TIMOTHY F., DEM. − District 15.Mailing address:  3711 N. Spring Hill Drive, Janesville, WI  53545Capitol office:  108 South, Capitol;  Tel. (608 266−2253E−mail address:  Sen.Cullen@legis.wisconsin.gov

COGGS, SPENCER, DEM. − District 6.Mailing address:  7819 W. Potomac Ave., Milwaukee, WI  53222Capitol office:  109 South, Capitol;  Tel. (608) 266−2500E−mail address:  Sen.Coggs@legis.wisconsin.gov

ERPENBACH, JON, DEM. − District 27.Mailing address:  7194 Belle Fontaine Blvd., Middleton, WI  53562Capitol office:  106 South, Capitol;  Tel. (608) 266−6670E−mail address:  Sen.Erpenbach@legis.wisconsin.gov

HANSEN, DAVE, DEM. − District 30.Mailing address:  3489 Blackwolf Run, Green Bay, WI  54311Capitol office:  5 South, Capitol;  Tel. (608) 266−5670E−mail address:  Sen.Hansen@legis.wisconsin.gov

HOLPERIN, JIM, DEM. − District 12.Mailing address:  3575 Monheim Road, Conover, WI  54516Capitol office:  126 South, Capitol;  Tel. (608) 266−2509E−mail address:  Sen.Holperin@legis.wisconsin.gov

JAUCH, ROBERT, DEM. − District 25.Mailing address:  5271 South Maple Drive, Poplar, WI  54864Capitol office:  415 South, Capitol;  Tel. (608) 266−3510E−mail address:  Sen.Jauch@legis.wisconsin.gov

LARSON, CHRIS, DEM. − District 7.Mailing address:  3261 S. Herman Street, Milwaukee, WI  53207Capitol office:  22 South, Capitol;  Tel. (608) 266−7505E−mail address:  Sen.Larson@legis.wisconsin.gov

LASSA, JULIE M., DEM. − District 24.Mailing address:  4901 Beaver Dam Road, Stevens Point, WI  54481Capitol office:  7 South, Capitol;  Tel. (608) 266−3123E−mail address:  Sen.Lassa@legis.wisconsin.gov

RISSER, FRED A., DEM. − District 26.Mailing address:  100 Wisconsin Avenue, Unit 501, Madison, WI 53703Capitol office:  130 South, Capitol;  Tel. (608) 266−1627E−mail address:  Sen.Risser@legis.wisconsin.gov

TAYLOR, LENA C., DEM. − District 4.Mailing address:  1518 West Capitol, Milwaukee, 53206Capitol office:  20 South, Capitol;  Tel. (608) 266−5810E−mail address:  Sen.Taylor@legis.wisconsin.gov

MILLER, MARK, DEM. − District 16.Mailing address:  4903 Roigan Terrace, Monona, WI  53716Capitol office:  206 South, Capitol;  Tel. (608) 266−9170E−mail address:  Sen.Miller@legis.wisconsin.gov

VINEHOUT, KATHLEEN, DEM. − District 31.Mailing address:  W1490 Cesler Valley Road, Alma, WI  54610Capitol office:  3 South, Capitol;  Tel. (608) 266−8546E−mail address:  Sen.Vinehout@legis.wisconsin.gov

WIRCH, ROBERT W., DEM. − District 22.Mailing address:  3007 Springbrook Road, Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158Capitol office:  127 South Capitol;  Tel. (608) 267−8979

Get at least one of them in shackles back to the Capitol!

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 21, 2011 9:07 AM | Report abuse

What is happening in Wisconsin is really energizing the Democratic base. The base hasn't been this energized since 2008. Democrats were asleep in 2010.

Posted by: maritza1 | February 21, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

""For over 80 years in America, we have recognized the rights of our workers to freely gather together, collectively bargain, so that they could have fairness in the workplace and fairness in compensation.""

Public sector workers have not had the right to collectively bargain for 80 years. JFK did that in 1962. Which is 49 years, still a long time, but not exactly 80 years. And the folks in Wisconsin aren't talking about unions generally--just public sector unions.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 21, 2011 9:18 AM | Report abuse

In the what else is happening category, this is for you Dr. DD,

http://www.oregonlive.com/music/index.ssf/2011/02/live_review_the_decemberists_c.html

Posted by: shrink2 | February 21, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

More shameless promotion of the PDX music scene.

http://www.oregonlive.com/music/index.ssf/2011/02/esperanza_spalding_didnt_come_out_of_the_blue.html#incart_mce

Posted by: shrink2 | February 21, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Jake, I'm going to send them all 'thank you' emails.

No more GOP tyranny!

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 21, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Greg, are you off for Presidents' Day? That's at least a legitimate holiday. Like Kevin_Willis said, we are only going after PUBLIC EMPLOYEE unions (for now).

Just like Reagan had to fire air traffic controllers, public employee unions should not be allowed to strike. They work for US not the other way around. Keep in mind that most teachers also get the summer off, yet they complain about not getting paid enough. How many of us are forced to homeschool / private school because of the poor conditions at public school? Maybe when teachers' unions stop protecting bad teachers, we can pay the good teachers more. How much better would our public schools be without the children of illegal immigrants?

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 21, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of labor rights, they have identified the few still unidentified victims of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory disaster in advance of the centennial anniversary, which is in March. Very good read on the disaster that led to reform of labor laws:

http://mobile.nytimes.com/article?a=747865&f=22

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 21, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

@shrink: I've been to two concerts in my life, neither my idea: Justin Beiber in 2010 and Kris Kristofferson in 1975. I feel asleep during the Kris Kristofferson concert. I had expected the songs I knew (I was 6), and those were off the two eight tracks we had. And with the exception of Me and Bobby McGee, I didn't know any of the songs I heard, got bored, and fell asleep. I stayed awake for all of Justin Beiber, however . . .

Even if the Decemberists played nearby, I don't think I'd be able to make the concert. But I'm a big fan. Leslie Ann Levine is such a beautiful song. And, of course, the Legionnaire's Lament is awesome. And The Mariner's Revenge song (the tune that really turned me into a fan).

They've got a number one album. Amazing. When I first started listening to them, I was enthralled, but if you would have told me that in 6 years they'd have a number one album, I'd have told you that you were smoking crack.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 21, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I'd be interested in seeing you or Adam address head on the point that public sector unions are different than private unions because of their ability to help pick their "management" through elections, and thus (at least when Republicans aren't in control) there is no adversarial relationship.

"The Trouble with Public Sector Unions" from National Affairs

"When it comes to advancing their interests, public-sector unions have significant advantages over traditional unions. For one thing, using the political process, they can exert far greater influence over their members' employers — that is, government — than private-sector unions can. Through their extensive political activity, these government-workers' unions help elect the very politicians who will act as "management" in their contract negotiations — in effect handpicking those who will sit across the bargaining table from them, in a way that workers in a private corporation (like, say, American Airlines or the Washington Post Company) cannot. Such power led Victor Gotbaum, the leader of District Council 37 of the AFSCME in New York City, to brag in 1975: "We have the ability, in a sense, to elect our own boss."

Since public-sector unions began to develop in earnest, their importance in political campaigns has grown by leaps and bounds. Starting from almost nothing in the 1960s, government-workers' unions now far exceed private-sector unions in political contributions. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, from 1989 to 2004, the AFSCME was the biggest spender in America, giving nearly $40 million to candidates in federal elections (98.5% of it to Democrats). It is important to stress that this was spending on federal elections; the union represents mostly state and local workers. But given the magnitude of federal contributions to state budgets, the AFSCME is heavily involved in electioneering to shape Washington's spending in ways that protect public workers and the supply of government services. And so over that 15-year period, the AFSCME was willing and able to outspend any other organization in the country."

http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/the-trouble-with-public-sector-unions

Posted by: jnc4p | February 21, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Casey Wian is live in Madison, WI on CNN. Any updates on the location / apprehension of those Dem State Senators?

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 21, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Justin Bieber eh? Did your daughter love the show?
For awhile, I thought live music was dead, but pluckily, Portland is small enough so the city doesn't swallow the scene (for example, getting out to the venues is easy) and just big enough to make forming a new band pay, barely. Here is last year's crop....

http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-11948-best_new_band_2010.html

Posted by: shrink2 | February 21, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

@clawrence: "Maybe when teachers' unions stop protecting bad teachers, we can pay the good teachers more."

Stop protecting bad teachers and bad teachers miraculously gets better.

"How much better would our public schools be without the children of illegal immigrants?"

Not at all. I can tell you, from working in a school system (and having two children in the public schools, including the oldest who started out in a private school), the problem is not the kids. The problem is going to be rooted in teachers, faculty, staff (somewhat), institutional policies and procedures (moreso), lack of parental involvement (definitely), etc.

The problem also isn't going to be solved by getting rid of the public sector unions, per se (although I don't have a problem with getting rid of the public sector unions). Some systems definitely have some issues in regards to jobs being entirely too secure--to the point where bad teachers cannot be fired, and truly horrible teachers also cannot be fired (they get put on permanent, fully-paid coffee breaks). Which is what needs to be addressed.

I'll be interested in seeing what happens in Wisconsin. I don't expect the governor will win on this, but we'll see. In the long run, public workers who benefit from and are protected by unions will have to understand they work for the tax payers, and the voters, and the unions are in jeopardy in Wisconsin because enough tax payers, voters, and politicians don't feel like they're getting what they paid for.

The sorts of things that need reform (in addition to just firing a teacher who performs so poorly that they end up spending all day reading the paper on the tax payers dime because they do such a poor job in the classroom, but can't be fired) include the very visible flaws in the system, such as pension double dipping:

http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/06/20/copy/pension-rules-allow-educators-to-double-dip.html?sid=101

And pension collecting at the top. Top folks in education--such as superintendents--often jump around to multiple systems, and, in addition to their pricey salaries and performance packages (and, often, golden parachutes) they collect pensions, so they can end up retiring and drawing multiple pensions from multiple systems. When this stuff is noticed, tax payers tend to get irritated, and even though sometimes (as in the case of the sweet deals top brass in education craft for themselves) it has nothing to do with the unions, per se, it's all seen as a form of legal theft from the voters, the tax payers, and the children. So it shouldn't surprise anybody that the unions are under attack.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 21, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

FDR's letter from 1937:

"The desire of Government employees for fair and adequate pay, reasonable hours of work, safe and suitable working conditions, development of opportunities for advancement, facilities for fair and impartial consideration and review of grievances, and other objectives of a proper employee relations policy, is basically no different from that of employees in private industry. Organization on their part to present their views on such matters is both natural and logical, but meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government.

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 21, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@shrink2: "Justin Bieber eh? Did your daughter love the show?"

I took both of them. I think the 5 year old liked it more than the 13 year old, who is on the cusp of being too jaded for such things. But not quite, at the time.

First time I got down to the FedEx forum (one of those stadiums that is supposed to justify tax payer investment, and may eventually, but why don't the people who end up making most of the money pay for it, instead of the tax payers?) . . . but, I digress. The Forum is pretty cool. And huge. But I wasn't all that impressed with the acoustics. The opening acts were loud and bass-heavy, but it was all very muddy and too much reverb in the hall, if you ask me.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 21, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

"* The crucial thing here is that Wisconsin Dems and unions have already agreed to accept the wage and benefits reductions that Walker wants, if he will take the bargaining rights piece off the table.

But Republicans are refusing, insisting that's non-negotiable -- clearly confirming that this isn't about just the budget, it's about busting unions."

It's also about whether or not you have a right to enact your agenda after winning an election.

Your commentary here pretty much undermines your earlier polemics about "obstructionism" of the Republican minority in the Senate. Clearly when it's Democratic interests being favored, you are all in favor of Wisconsin State Senators fleeing the state to obstruct the Republicans from enacting their agenda.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 21, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis, you obviously were not working in the school system for any border State. It will get to your State soon enough.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 21, 2011 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Modest proposal:

Eliminate President's Day as a Federal Holiday and replace it with Election Day in November.

It would be a far better honor to Washington, Lincoln, et. al, to give everyone the day off to go vote and/or participate in the elections than to go to another sale in February.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 21, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Jnc4p, the hypocrisy goes both ways. Walker is using central planning to redistribute the wealth from public coffers to the private sector. And he is using tyranny to ram a law down Wisconsinites' throats.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 21, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Home Schooling?

You people are nuts. The vast majority of the working class can not afford to stay home. They have to work two or three jobs, just to survive.

Most home school parents are Bible Thumpers who want to brain wash their children in their home madrassas, and are worried sick that those outsiders might corrupt the minds of their little brainwashed zombies, with talk of science, and Sex ed, etc.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 21, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

@ronnieandrush "Jnc4p, the hypocrisy goes both ways. Walker is using central planning to redistribute the wealth from public coffers to the private sector. And he is using tyranny to ram a law down Wisconsinites' throats."

Tyranny equals having the Wisconsin State Senate vote on it?

Posted by: jnc4p | February 21, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

@ronnieandrush "Jnc4p, the hypocrisy goes both ways. Walker is using central planning to redistribute the wealth from public coffers to the private sector. And he is using tyranny to ram a law down Wisconsinites' throats."

Also, Walker's tax incentives to stimulate job creation (which I don't think will actually have much benefit) are no more illegitimate than Obama's "Cash for Clunkers" and the other "targeted tax cuts" (read tax expenditures) that were done as part of the 2009 stimulus bill.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 21, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

The new Republican model for attracking jobs to their States is to lower the cost of labor, in order to lure companies away from other States. In other words, in a race to the bottom, they are willing to turn each state into a modern day slave Plantation, in order to be the most attractive to Slave Owners from other states.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 21, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

The Private Sector's handywork. The Republicans' solution? Why of course; let them do what ever they want, without any regulations!

"AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein, Ap Science Writer – Sat Feb 19, 8:53 pm ET

WASHINGTON – Oil from the BP spill remains stuck on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, according to a top scientist's video and slides that she says demonstrate the oil isn't degrading as hoped and has decimated life on parts of the sea floor."

Posted by: Liam-still | February 21, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"Tyranny equals having the Wisconsin State Senate vote on it?"

Tyranny equals having the U.S. Congress vote on PPACA?

See what I mean?

As for tax incentives, clearly the Dems favored direct government spending on infrastructure, energy efficiency and renewable energy creation. The tax incentives in ARRA were largely a result of the GOP's whining. And yes, I agree, they won't be successful in creating enough private sector opportunities to close the state budget gap.

So yes, in terms of hyperbole, both sides are guilty, but in terms of policy, the Democrats have been consistently pro-Middle Class and pro-Economy. The Republicans have been consistently pro-ideology and pro-politics to the detriment of everything and everyone else.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 21, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Great Alternet article on the Wisconsin events. There's even a link where you can buy them a pizza from one one the local shops.

http://www.alternet.org/news/149986/10_developments_in_the_huge_story_of_wisconsin%27s_uprising/?page=entire

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 21, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"Eliminate President's Day as a Federal Holiday and replace it with Election Day in November.

It would be a far better honor to Washington, Lincoln, et. al, to give everyone the day off to go vote and/or participate in the elections than to go to another sale in February."

Hi Jncp4! I've always been fascinated by these ideas. Considering how easy it is to vote, what with early voting and absentee, heck,'even mail in ballots, how many more people would actually vote?

Just curious.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 21, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Sad watching those Koch funded busses bussing in tea partiers, one of which wife was also a teacher. He said his wifes pay would be affected but Wisconsin's budget was more important.

These poor souls don't even realize their getting used to do their Galatian overlords bidding.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 21, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@liam-still: "Most home school parents are Bible Thumpers who want to brain wash their children in their home madrassas, and are worried sick that those outsiders might corrupt the minds of their little brainwashed zombies, with talk of science, and Sex ed, etc."

I'm not a big fan of home schooling, but at least I know what it is. You really oughta look into it. Especially the outcomes for homeschool kids which suggest that parents who are up to homeschooling their children (I was not, and never would be) usually end up getting outstanding results. To the point where efforts have been made to exclude homeschooled children from certain competitions (such as spelling bees) because they tended to win so frequently.

An alternative to your, um, ironically under-informed opinion:

http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000010/200410250.asp

(obviously, the hslda is prejudiced in the favor of homeschoolers, but data is data).

Did you know FDR was homeschooled (our of necessity, but still)? Did it turn him into a little brainwashed zombie? Most of our early presidents were homeschooled. But so was Michael Faraday (he of the Faraday cage). Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Orville and Wilbur Wright, and Frank Whittle (the dude who invented the turbo jet). Margaret Atwood was homeschooled, as was Robert Frots and William F. Buckley. Jennifer Love Hewitt and Whoopy Goldberg? Both homeschooled. The Jonas Brothers (okay, maybe that's an argument against homeschooling, but I'm trying to be objective). Dave Thomas, Ray Kroc, Horace Greeley, Andrew Carnegie, Frank Lloyd Wright . . . all homeschooled.

Robert Frost was homeschooled, and also homeschooled his kids. Was Robert Frost a brainwashing bible thumper?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 21, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Glenn Beck is gonna love this:

One of the most underreported stories about the pro-democracy movement in Egypt was the role of labor unions in the demonstrations, many of which were protesting against neoliberal right-wing economic policies just as much as they were protesting against the Mubarak dictatorship. During the uprising in that country, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka praised the role of organized labor, saying, “The people’s movement for democracy in Egypt and the role unions are playing for freedom and worker rights inspires us and will not be forgotten.”

Now, as tens of thousands of union members and other Wisconsin residents are taking to the streets to protest against Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) attempt to abolish collective bargaining rights for most public workers, a leader of Egypt’s largest umbrella group of independent labor unions is praising the Wisconsin movement. In a videotaped statement, Kamal Abbas, the General Coordinator of the Centre for Trade Unions and Workers Services, tells the Wisconsin protesters, “We stand with you as you stood with us.” He says “no one believed” that the revolution against the Mubarak regime would succeed, yet they were able to bring the dictator down within 18 days. He encourages demonstrators to stay strong, saying, “Don’t give up on your rights. Victory always belongs to the people who stand firm and demand their just rights”:

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/21/leader-egyptian-unions-wisconsin/

Posted by: pragmaticagain | February 21, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

From one study on homeschooled students:

""Homeschool students earned a higher ACT score (26.5) versus 25.0 for other incoming freshmen.
Homeschool students earned more college credits (14.7) prior to their freshmen year than other students (6.0).
Homeschooled freshmen were less likely to live on campus (72.4%) than the rest of the freshmen class (92.7%).
Homeschoolers were more likely to identify themselves as Roman Catholic (68.4%).
Homeschool freshmen earned a higher grade points average (3.37) their first semester in college compared with the other freshmen (3.08).
Homeschool students finished their freshmen year with a better GPA (3.41) than the rest of their class (3.12).
The GPA advantage was still present when homeschoolers were college seniors. Their average GPA was 3.46 versus 3.16 for other seniors.
Homeschool students graduated from college at a higher rate (66.7%) than their peers (57.5%).""

http://moneywatch.bnet.com/saving-money/blog/college-solution/can-homeschoolers-do-well-in-college/2551/

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 21, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Also, "http://moneywatch.bnet.com/saving-money/blog/college-solution/can-homeschoolers-do-well-in-college/2551/

One study "that looked at more than 7,300 adults, who had been homeschooled, determined that the homeschool graduates were more likely to have voted and participated in community service than other adults."

Those brainwashed, bible-thumping home schoolers. Could we possibly be trafficking in any more uninformed, prejudicial, counter-factual stereotypes and cliches? Just curious.

@mikeFromArlington: "These poor souls don't even realize their getting used to do their Galatian overlords bidding."

If only they could be smart as us! Oh, woe to us enlightened, that we must trod upon the same soil as the mentally enfeebled and benighted folks that vote differently that we tell them to--I mean, "against their own self-interests".

Sigh.

@troll: " Considering how easy it is to vote, what with early voting and absentee, heck,'even mail in ballots, how many more people would actually vote?"

7.

That being said, I don't disagree with it as an illustration of where we are, priority wise. I'd rather see voting on Election Day than mattress sales on President's Day.

But lots of people don't get President's Day off, anyway, so would not get Election Day off. I'm working, as does everybody in the school system (it's an inservice day, so the kids are out but everybody else works).

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 21, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

@tmwn: A national holiday for voting makes it easier for people that have to work for a living (especially at hourly and/or low wage jobs) to vote without having to miss time. Every voting day, the lines are long in many areas before and after work times. Many people may be discouraged because they feel they don't have the time to wait in line, especially if it will make them late for work or late picking up kids from school or child care. Sure early and absentee voting help, but those are the people who would normally vote on election day if these options are not available. A national holiday makes it easier for the casual voter, who is not a good planner, who might be energized by the excitement that builds at the end of a campaign, to get the chance to vote without a job penalty. Whether or not we want these voters to participate is a separate issue. It is clear that a day off for voting will increase voter turnout. I agree with jnc4p for once.

Posted by: srw3 | February 21, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

And props to Chuck Schumer for calling for Social Security to be removed from today's negotiations over the deficit, and for stating clearly that the program "does not contribute one penny to the deficit."
----------------------------------------
In a way he is correct. What IS part of the deficit is all the SS $ that congress has stolen over the years that has to be paid back as program outgo starts to exceed SS withholding receipts.


On another note; Since the House has sent the check to the senate to run the Gov for the remainder of the year, does anyone REALLY think the Senate Dems and/or Obama will shut down the government?

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 21, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

TO........claw

1. You missed one e-mail addy (below)

2. Thanks, I sent them all a "hang in there, you're doing the right thing" email.

smd

E−mail address: Sen.Wirch@legis.wisconsin.gov

Posted by: smd1234 | February 21, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Can't raise tax on millionaires by 2% but lower wages on teachers earning on average of 45k, no problem.

Class warfare at it's worst.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 21, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

On another note; Since the House has sent the check to the senate to run the Gov for the remainder of the year, does anyone REALLY think the Senate Dems and/or Obama will shut down the government?

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 21, 2011 11:29 AM

You'd think that Beck/Hannity/O'Reilly would have come up with a new talking point for today.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | February 21, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

@c12: Keep in mind that most teachers also get the summer off, yet they complain about not getting paid enough.

When I was a public school teacher, I worked summers because the pay made it hard to survive on my salary alone. Most of my colleagues, also worked summers for that same reason, house painting, teaching summer school, etc. Since you are not a teacher, and apparently have never been on or even know many public school teachers, your opinions don't really reflect the reality of teachers' lives.

Posted by: srw3 | February 21, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"If only they could be smart as us! Oh, woe to us enlightened, that we must trod upon the same soil as the mentally enfeebled and benighted folks that vote differently that we tell them to--I mean, "against their own self-interests"."

The guy they interviewed didn't appear to be the smartest to be honest.

Why would he be protesting for his family to have lower wages and corporations to have larger tax breaks and his family less bargaining rights.

If he watches Fox as many of the I'll informed do, not surprised he only gets half the story. Fox does a huge disservice to it's viewers.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 21, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

The crack smoking pragmaticagain babbled: "You'd think that Beck/Hannity/O'Reilly would have come up with a new talking point for today."
-----------------------------------------
Hard to answer straightforward questions when your mind is a puddle of goo.

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 21, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

@TrollMcWingnut ""Eliminate President's Day as a Federal Holiday and replace it with Election Day in November.

It would be a far better honor to Washington, Lincoln, et. al, to give everyone the day off to go vote and/or participate in the elections than to go to another sale in February."

Hi Jncp4! I've always been fascinated by these ideas. Considering how easy it is to vote, what with early voting and absentee, heck,'even mail in ballots, how many more people would actually vote?

Just curious."

I'm not attempting to make an argument that it would lead to more participation (remember, I'm a Republican). I'm arguing it's a better use of a Federal Holiday than President's Day as it currently exists.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 21, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

@srw3: "When I was a public school teacher, I worked summers because the pay made it hard to survive on my salary alone"

While all systems are different, most of them pay teachers enough to survive on--especially if you last long enough. And credentialed folks in our system are treated like gold at every level. They are well compensated, especially if they last, but, of course, they should be.

Most teachers don't have to work for, on average, about 2 months out of the summer. But they do plenty of work during the other 10 months of the year. And most teachers I know (a) want to make a good living, but also want to attract talented people into the profession and (b) want money to spend on resources for the kids.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 21, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@kw: Home schooling for the founding fathers? Really? How is that in any way analogous to the modern home schooling movement? There were no public schools for the most part in colonial america. Education was (and still is, in many ways) an activity for the elite and their spawn. What do you think the literacy rate was in colonial america?

Roosevelt? Really, the dynastically wealthy have hired private tutors sine the Greeks. Is that really on par with many parents using a curriculum designed and distributed to by a religiously controlled educational publishing cottage industry?

Modern homeschooling doesn't have any more potential for indoctrination than tutoring from years past, but indoctrination happened back then too.

And on your statistical post, I only say, Mere facile correlation does not causation make.

Home schooling parents are a self selected population. There is no way to isolate the "home schooling effect" from having parents with the time and resources and DESIRE to homeschool their children. There is no control group to compare them too.

Posted by: srw3 | February 21, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

srw3, neither of the following are "opinions" but rather the facts:

1) most teachers get the summer off (from TEACHING)

2) they complain about not getting paid enough (even long after they've LEFT the teaching profession)

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 21, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

@clawrence: "Kevin_Willis, you obviously were not working in the school system for any border State. It will get to your State soon enough."

I'm intimately familiar with demographics. And what that entails. I'll just leave it at that.

Kids aren't the problem in the school system. And, fundamentally, they aren't the problem in any school system. The problem is the adults.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 21, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@pragmaticagain,

Labor is also becoming a big part of the protests in Libya.

"""Output at one of the country's oil fields was reported to have been stopped by a workers' strike and some European oil companies withdrew expatriate workers and suspended operations.

...

Libya is Africa's fourth biggest oil exporter, producing 1.6 million barrels a day. The oil price jumped $3 to $89.50 a barrel for U.S. crude on fear the unrest could disrupt supplies.

A strike at Libya's Nafoora oilfield was reported to have stopped production, according to Al Jazeera television. BP suspended operations for oil and gas drilling."""

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2011/02/dozens_reported_killed_in_tripoli_unrest.php

Labor = POWER

That's what these autocrats (whether Libya or Wisconsin) just don't get that, or choose to ignore it.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 21, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Y'all catch the LGF article of the letter from Tea Party Express chairman Mark Williams wrote instructing his followers to infiltrate the protests and yell obnoxious things to camera's in the hopes to get bad press foe the protesters. These slimballs have no morals.

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/38115_Tea_Partiers_Planning_to_Infiltrate_Wisconsin_Protests

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 21, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

mikefroma,

I'm going to call Murdoch's propaganda channel "Fox Newspeak" from now on. It's true. They don't report news. Just Orwellian newspeak intended to deceive Americans.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 21, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

On another note; Since the House has sent the check to the senate to run the Gov for the remainder of the year, does anyone REALLY think the Senate Dems and/or Obama will shut down the government?

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 21, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Fox should lose it's press credentials. They are dragging journalistic standards down at all levels. Murdoch is a cancer to this planet.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 21, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

@swr3: "And on your statistical post, I only say, Mere facile correlation does not causation make."

No indeed, but correlation is relevant data.

Indeed, very little of what you noted is remotely contradictory to my point: homeschooling is not a method of turning out ignorant, uneducated, religiously indoctrinated morons. Unless you are trying to argue that that's all homeschooling is, then you're not arguing with me.

My central thesis was expressed thusly: "I'm not a big fan of home schooling, but at least I know what it is."

I'm not arguing for homeschooling. I wasn't home schooled, my kids go to public school and always will (until college, anyway). And of course it's self-selecting! It also involves parents and their children, most of the time. Parents who home school will usually have a predisposition to taking extra time to make sure their kids learn the material. I never argued (and never would) that there was something magical about schooling at home rather than in a formal schooling environment (I'm fully, 100% in favor, of organized classroom education).

The fact that children are taught by parents or tutors at home does not make them any more indoctrinated, or any more stupid, or any more ideologically zombified, than anybody else. That's my point.

Also, for my point, the reasons why home schoolers tend to out perform those who are traditionally schooled in almost every category is completely irrelevant. I never asserted causation--didn't even imply it.

I just thought, if you're going to announce that home schooling is a scam for quasi-abusive parents to indoctrinate their children in lies and, as a practical matter, teach them nothing (especially about science), folks should at least know a little something about which they are so confidently critical. Because I like Liam, but his brief characterization of homeschooling was 99.8% bass-ackwards.

BTW, my parents would have been horrendous home schoolers. They were worthless when it came to homework, most of the time! Thank goodness for organized public education.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 21, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not attempting to make an argument that it would lead to more participation (remember, I'm a Republican). I'm arguing it's a better use of a Federal Holiday than President's Day as it currently exists."

I understand. I was looking at more utilitarianly I guess. I think it will turn into a "Voting Day Boss Gone Mad Sale Extravaganza!" type thing like almost all holidays do. But, to be honest, I kind of like that freewheeling commerce thing. 'Course, I like billboards too, so... .

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 21, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis, okay.

mikefromArlington, just as soon as the lamestream media lose their licenses.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 21, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Louder, illogic, LOUDER. Isn't that what Koch teaches you ... you must SHOUT so the truth cannot be heard.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | February 21, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

On another note; Since the House has sent the check to the senate to run the Gov for the remainder of the year, does anyone REALLY think the Senate Dems and/or Obama will shut down the government?

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 21, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I'd also like to mention (re: protests in Libya and Iran) that the geopolitics in the arab world are a PERFECT reason why we need to grow our domestic renewable energy sector. We simply don't have the oil resources and we cannot afford to be tied to a natural resource where the price is determined by lunatic despots in unstable countries.

Enough of the games, GOP.

RENEWABLES NOW.

Crude oil jumps 5% as Libya protests spread

"Compared to Tunisia (a minor crude exporter) or Egypt (not an exporter but a transit country), instability in Libya is a major concern to the oil industry," said analysts at JBC Energy in Vienna.

Anti-government demonstrations have spread to the Libyan capital of Tripoli and protesters seized military bases and weapons. In the eastern city of Benghazi, about 60 people were killed, while more than 200 have died since the unrest began seven days ago.

Oil traders are also closely watching recent protests in Iran, the second-largest crude exporter in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries behind Saudi Arabia.

"The concerns in the market go beyond Libya," said Victor Shum, an energy analyst with Purvin & Gertz in Singapore. "It's unlikely we're going to see any meaningful disruption of oil from the Middle East or North Africa, but the spread of this unrest has raised anxieties."

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/2011-02-21-oil-prices_N.htm

WHY are we doing this to ourselves?

Again.

RENEWABLES *NOW*

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 21, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

" just as soon as the lamestream media lose their licenses."

No other station reports such incomplete stories as Fox.

They don't care anymore because they know their viewers such as yourself will breathlessly defend their la o of journalism.

The billionaires that feed them their propaganda thank you from the bottom of their hearts.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 21, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

@clawrence12, thank you for posting that detailed list. Now I know exactly where to send my campaign contributions.

Posted by: fishellb | February 21, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ronnieandrush: Enough of the games, GOP. RENEWABLES NOW.
-----------------------------------------
Everytime the GOP has tried to take the brakes off nuke power the Dems have blocked it.

Go talk to Reid about this if you want us REALLY to not use fossil fuel for elec.


Posted by: illogicbuster | February 21, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

@mikefromArlington:

"No other station reports such incomplete stories as Fox."

In your opinion. Might even be true, but because someone doesn't cover the stories like you (or, worse, the current administration) want them to is a terrible rationale for pulling licenses or press credentials, and if it was the Bush admin doing it to MSNBC or the New York Times (even if they could somehow prove the coverage of those organizations was outrageously incomplete, in their analysis), you'd probably see the problem with licenses and credentials being pulled from media organizations critical of certain politicians or political groups, because their coverage is biased or incomplete.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 21, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Robert Frost was the exception that proves the rule.

Most home school parents do not possess the amount of knowledge and communication skills to educate children to become skilled adults in the modern world.

Billy The Kid was also home schooled. anecdotal evidence proves nothing; except to irrational home schooling types.

The world is becoming ever more technologically and socially complex, and home schooling from the Bible will not teach kids how to exist in the real modern world.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 21, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

r&r,

Blows my mind how the petroleum institute has the mindless Fox bots running around chanting drill drill when oil prices are globally agreed upon through production levels. We cannot drill ourselves to a long term self sustaining oil producing company.

It's frustrating as heck that these Fox bots are holding back the prosperity of this country.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 21, 2011 12:26 PM | Report abuse

"In your opinion."

No, not opinion.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 21, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Hard to answer straightforward questions when your mind is a puddle of goo.

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 21, 2011 11:48 AM

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

At least you have been able to discern what your problem is.

Try sticking your head in a freezer for a while, and see if that will solidify your puddle.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 21, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Liam-still: "Robert Frost was the exception that proves the rule."
---------------------------------------
Maybe, maybe not. I've searched extensively and all the evidence suggests that home schooled kids do a little better academically than public school children.

Not bad considering that the US is #2 in EDU spending per capita and its ~23rd in results. The home schooling parents don't get those $ to work with...


Posted by: illogicbuster | February 21, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

All, my take on why the states are so high in Wisconsin:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/this_goes_far_beyond_wisconsin.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 21, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Liam-still: "Robert Frost was the exception that proves the rule."
---------------------------------------
Maybe, maybe not. I've searched extensively and all the evidence suggests that home schooled kids do a little better academically than public school children.

Not bad considering that the US is #2 in EDU spending per capita and its ~23rd in results. The home schooling parents don't get those $ to work with...


Posted by: illogicbuster | February 21, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

"Everytime the GOP has tried to take the brakes off nuke power the Dems have blocked it."

Lies.

More e.expansion of nuclear has occured under Obama and Demoratically controlled House and Senate than at any time in the last 30 years.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 21, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Hard to answer straightforward questions when your mind is a puddle of goo.

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 21, 2011 11:48 AM

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

At least you have been able to discern what your problem is.

Try sticking your head in a freezer for a while, and see if that will solidify your puddle.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 21, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"""Everytime the GOP has tried to take the brakes off nuke power the Dems have blocked it."""

Thank you for proving my point.

The GOP LOVES expensive, dirty energy.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 21, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Non Union workers. You better fight to defend the rights of workers to form Unions, because once they are gone, the Fat Cat overlords will come after all your wages and benefit packages next.

First they came for the Unions, and since you were not a member of a Union, you did not speak up.

Then they came after you, but since the Unions had been destroyed, you were on your own.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 21, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

@mike: "No, not opinion."

Yes, opinion, because you have a preference as to what constitutes sufficient coverage, and Fox falls short of that arbitrary line (a line that you share in common with a large amount of people, but it makes it no less arbitrary). No news organization covers every story to a granular level: there's hardly enough time, and there's certainly no financial incentive to do so. So they all limit coverage based on arbitrary criteria. You agree more with where the lines of demarcation and biases are with other organizations, less with Fox. This is an opinion. The fact is, Fox covers certain things CNN may touch on briefly, if at all. Fox certainly covers some things with more depth than nightly news shows.

To suggest that they are the most incomplete, on every story, cannot be factually correct. Especially if you compare every thing without making value judgements. Thus, it is a matter of opinion.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 21, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ronnieandrush" The GOP LOVES expensive, dirty energy."
-------------------------------------------
LMAO. It shows that you don't have a science degree. Must suck living in a technologically advanced world where you have ZERO understanding of how anything around you works.

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 21, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still: "The world is becoming ever more technologically and socially complex, and home schooling from the Bible will not teach kids how to exist in the real modern world."

Well, it's a good thing the only place that happens in any measurable quantity is in your imagination. :-)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 21, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Liam-still: "Non Union workers. You better fight to defend the rights of workers to form Unions, because once they are gone, the Fat Cat overlords will come after all your wages and benefit packages next."
----------------------------------------
Really? Hard evidence is 100% against this delusional rant. I VERY small fraction of the workforce at american companies is unionized. Ergo, what is gong to happen, already did. The TINY % of those that are unionized have no real effect on those that aren't.

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 21, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

What happened to srw3?

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 21, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Kevin,

You posted the example of Robert Frost. Do you have even a clue what century he was born and raised in.

You are sounding more and more like a born again Luddite.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 21, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey Kevin,

Moses was Home Schooled, so there is your proof that all Home Schooled Kids will be able to part the Seas.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 21, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

@liam: "You posted the example of Robert Frost. Do you have even a clue what century he was born and raised in."

Yes. Because, I dunno, I like to know a little something about something before I start pronouncing judgement on it. Call me crazy.

"You are sounding more and more like a born again Luddite."

In what way? Name one way--except, again, in your admirably active imagination--I sound like a Luddite. Or that I've suggested anything remotely Luddite in nature. Be sure that you understand what a Luddite is before you proceed, however.

"Moses was Home Schooled, so there is your proof that all Home Schooled Kids will be able to part the Seas."

Tis a fine straw man, English, but sure it's is no relevance. ;)

Again (since you apparently missed it) I'm not arguing a causative relationship between homeschooling and the academic excellence the home schooled objectively demonstrate. Just that they are not ignorant, indoctrinated, mind-numbed zombies.

I'm not even arguing for home schooling. Only in having some basic understanding of what something actually is and the people who take part in it, before you start passing condemnatory and accusatory judgements.

I know, crazy! I'm a nut like that.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 21, 2011 1:03 PM | Report abuse

"""LMAO. It shows that you don't have a science degree. Must suck living in a technologically advanced world where you have ZERO understanding of how anything around you works."""

Has nothing to do with science and everything to do with economics.

Um. LMAO.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 21, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Kevin,

I hear you. Without Home Schoolers and The Amish, Silicon Valley would never have taken off.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 21, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Maybe, maybe not. I've searched extensively and all the evidence suggests that home schooled kids do a little better academically than public school children.

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 21, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

---

Children whose parents are actively involved in their schooling do better. Unless you can find me examples of uninvolved home schoolers, I don't see that comparison mattering much.

Mind you, we briefly considered it ourselves. I have a graduate degree in physics and lectured at several universities. The missuz did an undergrad degree in education and has a master's in translation and interpretation. Add in the cultural resources of the DC area and I figure we could do a decent job.

Then it turns out both of our kids have autism. We've been grateful for the resources in the area and there's no way we could have accomplished so much on our own.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 21, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Again, the vast majority of working class parents can not afford to stay at home to teach their children. They have to work, in order to just survive and raise their children.

Besides; children need to learn to interact with society at large, rather than just within their own family members.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 21, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"To suggest that they are the most incomplete, on every story, cannot be factually correct. Especially if you compare every thing without making value judgements. Thus, it is a matter of opinion. "

Anyone with a sincere lick of sense can tell you Fox spins stories to be one sided as can he seen by the leaked emails to Media Matters. Look, I understand you need to keep telling yourself it's not spin but it is.

They are no longer even a conservative viewpoint. They are producers viewpoints with the intent to maximize investor profits and allow Murdoch more control over global events.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 21, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

jncp and Kevin posed some challenges to Greg above that will surely go unanswered. Well done
I didn't know that FDR made such sense about government employee unions. There shouldn't be any.

Really home schooling, the Liams of the world are just willfully ignorant bigots. It isn't a universal solution, but the idea that home schooled kids underachieve or are poorly prepared is the exact opposite of the truth. Stats and studies prove it. So does my son, who was homeschooled through eighth grade. I would cite some of the accolades he has received, but the children here would call it boastful. I will just leave it with: his high school teachers adore him, he will graduate a year early, and has been recruited by the top colleges and universities. He would bury Liam in a debate at 16.

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 21, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Hahaha I just saw Liam's latest ignorant post dissing home schooled kids. You could not be farther removed from the truth. I would love to see you observe my son interacting with people for a few days. Or have you tell his teachers and coaches he was unprepared for social life. They would laugh you out of the room.

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 21, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still "Most home school parents do not possess the amount of knowledge and communication skills to educate children to become skilled adults in the modern world."

This is based on what evidence? To the best of my knowledge (I know a couple of home schoolers) they have to pass a grade equivalency test from the state education department every year. You don't automatically get to home school kids with no supervision from the state.

All of the home schoolers that I know are situations where both parents have undergraduate degrees at least. The reasons they chose to home school are roughly 50% religious and the other 50% have basically decided that it's worth the time and money investment because of state of the public schools that their kids would go to and to try and minimize their kids exposure to the larger teen sex, drugs and bullying culture. They basically have to pay twice, once for the public schools that they don't consider fit to send their kids to and then a second time for home school.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 21, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis, here is the U.S., homeschoolers spell it "judgment" without the "e".

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 21, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still "Non Union workers. You better fight to defend the rights of workers to form Unions, because once they are gone, the Fat Cat overlords will come after all your wages and benefit packages next.

First they came for the Unions, and since you were not a member of a Union, you did not speak up.

Then they came after you, but since the Unions had been destroyed, you were on your own."

We are already on our own.

The only people the unions care about are themselves.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 21, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

QB is a Home Schooled Toon Town Lawyer.

In the real world, the countries that are outstripping the US, when it comes to educating kids in Math and Science, are doing so in State run schools

Posted by: Liam-still | February 21, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Poll: American Voters Support Wisconsin Republican Gov. Over Unions by a 48% to 38% Margin
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/february_2011/48_back_gop_governor_in_wisconsin_spat_38_side_with_unions

*union thugs hardest hit*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 21, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

QB, I'm not opposed to home schooling, but your anecdotal evidence means nothing.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 21, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

@quarterback1 "jncp and Kevin posed some challenges to Greg above that will surely go unanswered. Well done
I didn't know that FDR made such sense about government employee unions. There shouldn't be any."

The classical liberals from the 1930's through the 1950's were a much more intellectually rigorous group than what we have today, although you can probably say the same about 2000's conservatives versus say William F. Buckley. There were real problems with labor exploitation in the early half of the 20th century, but the New Deal laws addressed most of that. There's a vast difference between organizing to fight for a 40 hour work week and sick time versus the right to have the taxpayers pay 100% for your health insurance and retirement benefits.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 21, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

jnc4p, I have a juris doctorate, so I only "taught" the U.S. Government portion of our homeschooling, and my wife did a great job with the rest. He got plenty of "social interaction". We have one kid, so that was easier, and he went back to a public high school, but he aced his U.S. Government AP test ; )

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 21, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

@jnc4p: "the right to have the taxpayers pay 100% for your health insurance and retirement benefits"

Nice false argument.

You hit the nail on the head, though, when you say that conservatives are not intellectually "rigorous." You are obviously including yourself in that category.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 21, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I have two school-aged kids, but Liam in his retirement home has a better view of the real world of education. Right. Perfect example of liberal conceit and "reality-based" thinking. He knows better than parents who have kids in school.

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 21, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Well at least we have been successful in stripping away any claims this is about anything but Union busting. And busting only those Unions who support Democrats and not Republicans, those who did not support the Gov. are being targeted - other State employee Unions for the Police and Fire are not included in any of the "critically needed" changes!

And those cowardly Democrates - ducking an important vote like this!

Oh course it's not the same thing when the Republicands in the Senate blocked all the votes in the that Obama wanted - no - according to the Republicans - that was heroic!

What a bunch of whinning crybaby hipocrates these Badger Republican's turn out to be...

Posted by: gooch733 | February 21, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

@ronnieandrush "@jnc4p: "the right to have the taxpayers pay 100% for your health insurance and retirement benefits"

Nice false argument.

You hit the nail on the head, though, when you say that conservatives are not intellectually "rigorous." You are obviously including yourself in that category."

Here's the more intellectually rigorous version:

"The Trouble with Public Sector Unions" from National Affairs

http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/the-trouble-with-public-sector-unions

Posted by: jnc4p | February 21, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

randr,

I guess I will have to console myself with the fact that your opinion is irrelevant to anything that concerns me.

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 21, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"Here's the more intellectually rigorous version"

Um, okay, who cares about that?

Here's the FACTS:

The unions have AGREED to all of Walker's demands. So your suggestion that the unions are trying to preserve "the right to have the taxpayers pay 100% for your health insurance and retirement benefits" is a bald-faced lie.

Or, in intellectually non-rigorous lingo that you can understand:

YOU LIE!

Get out of here with your BS propaganda, chump. You are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 21, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse

@ronnieandrush "Here's the more intellectually rigorous version"

Um, okay, who cares about that?

Here's the FACTS:

The unions have AGREED to all of Walker's demands. So your suggestion that the unions are trying to preserve "the right to have the taxpayers pay 100% for your health insurance and retirement benefits" is a bald-faced lie.

Or, in intellectually non-rigorous lingo that you can understand:

YOU LIE!

Get out of here with your BS propaganda, chump. You are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts."

And if you leave the ability of the public sector union to collectively bargain with the government, we'll be right back here again in a couple of years.

Clearly FDR was a crazy right winger as well for opposing public sector organizing.

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

More fundamentally, the majority of the tax paying public isn't willing to subsidize better benefits for public employees than the taxpayers themselves now receive, especially if it requires a tax increase.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 21, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"And if you leave the ability of the public sector union to collectively bargain with the government, we'll be right back here again in a couple of years"

Thank you for admitting that you are wrong on the facts.

Now you just need to recognize that you using a propaganda-inspired hypothetical situation to scare-monger Americans into giving up their rights.

Btw, to fully expose how partisan your information is, the editor of National Affairs, the source of the article you linked to before, was on the White House domestic policy staff under President George W. Bush. Remember him? George W. Bush? He did a great job on "domestic policy" dontcha think? Trillions in debt, millions of jobs lost... Heckuva job on that "domestic policy" eh jnc4p? Heckuva job!

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 21, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

[Moderator] 0 minutes ago
Just ordered 3 pizzas from the Glass Nickel (608-245-0880) for the protesters. Ian's Pizza's line (608-257-9248) said "all circuits busy." The girl at Glass Nickel says they're delivering them to various places at the capitol so it gets spread out.

Just donated on Act Blue to the Wisconsin Dem. state senators. There's several choices on Act Blue.

And don't forget boycott Koch (see online for full list) but that means almost all of the popular paper towels/toilet papers like Brawny, Sparkle, etc. Check for "Georgia Pacific--" that's Koch.

Posted by: jw456 | February 21, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks JW!

Here are some Koch Industries brands to boycott:

Quilted Northern
Angel Soft
Brawny
Sparkle
Vanity Fair
Dixie Cups

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 21, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

@ronnieandrush "Btw, to fully expose how partisan your information is, the editor of National Affairs, the source of the article you linked to before, was on the White House domestic policy staff under President George W. Bush. Remember him? George W. Bush? He did a great job on "domestic policy" dontcha think? Trillions in debt, millions of jobs lost... Heckuva job on that "domestic policy" eh jnc4p? Heckuva job!"

A lovely ad-hominem attack. The substance of the article regarding the difference between public sector and private sector unions stands unrefuted.

In any event, if people in Wisconsin oppose what the Republicans are doing then they should vote them out in the next election, much like the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives was voted out in 2010.

The next legislature is then free to reinstate the collective bargaining for the public employees.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 21, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Labor does not have to put itself at the whims of the voters.

Labor has, and should organize against the desires of the politicians and the Oligarchs. That is how labor won the forty hour week, etc.

The voters did not grant it to them. They earned it by standing up to the Oligarchs' vicious goons, and scabs. Some even died for the right to organize.

Pay no heed to either the wishes of The Oligarchs or their Right Wing political puppets. Defend what was hard won, and never surrender.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 21, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"The substance of the article regarding the difference between public sector and private sector unions stands unrefuted."

I don't have to refute it. It refutes itself.

In addition to the editor's association with GWB, the #2 editor was special assistant and speechwriter to President George W. Bush.

Done with the Bush administration and done with Republican liars (which includes basically all of them).

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 21, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

For Ethan2010, ad hominem personal attacks are all that's needed to refute logic. If anyone else wants to actually debate the merits, let me know.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 21, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

@ronnieandrush ""The substance of the article regarding the difference between public sector and private sector unions stands unrefuted."

I don't have to refute it. It refutes itself.

In addition to the editor's association with GWB, the #2 editor was special assistant and speechwriter to President George W. Bush.

Done with the Bush administration and done with Republican liars (which includes basically all of them)."

And done with FDR and done with Joe Klein.

"An election was held in Wisconsin last November. The Republicans won. In a democracy, there are consequences to elections and no one, not even the public employees unions, are exempt from that. There are no guarantees that labor contracts, including contracts governing the most basic rights of unions, can't be renegotiated, or terminated for that matter. We hold elections to decide those basic parameters. And it seems to me that Governor Scott Walker's basic requests are modest ones--asking public employees to contribute more to their pension and health care plans, though still far less than most private sector employees do. He is also trying to limit the unions' abilities to negotiate work rules--and this is crucial when it comes to the more efficient operation of government in a difficult time. When I covered local government in New York 30 years ago, the school janitors (then paid a robust $60,000 plus per year) had negotiated the "right" to mop the cafeteria floors only once a week. And we all know about the near-impossibility of getting criminal and morally questionable--to say nothing of less than competent--teachers fired. The negotiation of such contracts were acts of collusion rather than of mediation. Government officials were, in effect, bribing their most activist constituents."

http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2011/02/18/wisconsin-the-hemlock-revolution/

Posted by: jnc4p | February 21, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

jnc4p,

I disagree with Joe Klein because there is a lot more to this budget bill than just union-busting.

However, you have, yet again shown your hand. You are now admitting that all of this boils down to one word: POLITICS.

And you have also totally changed the subject from the comment you made that began this discussion:

"the right to have the taxpayers pay 100% for your health insurance and retirement benefits"

THAT.

Was a lie!

And that makes you... a liar. Or, at best, ignorant. Pick one.

Of course all of this cr@p coming from Gov Walker is entirely political. That's what we on the left have been saying all along. But don't get me wrong, politically the WI GOP has every right to destroy any future chances it has by severely, grotesquely overreaching on its "mandate" that it won (in the Gov's case) by only 6%.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 21, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

jnc4p, they don't care about the merits.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 21, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

"they don't care about the merits."

The merits of what, Joke?

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 21, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

The merits of denying collective bargaining rights to PUBLIC EMPLOYEES based of the very real differences between public sector and private sector unions.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 21, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

@ronnieandrush "jnc4p,

I disagree with Joe Klein because there is a lot more to this budget bill than just union-busting.

However, you have, yet again shown your hand. You are now admitting that all of this boils down to one word: POLITICS.

And you have also totally changed the subject from the comment you made that began this discussion:

"the right to have the taxpayers pay 100% for your health insurance and retirement benefits"

THAT.

Was a lie!

And that makes you... a liar. Or, at best, ignorant. Pick one.

Of course all of this cr@p coming from Gov Walker is entirely political. That's what we on the left have been saying all along. But don't get me wrong, politically the WI GOP has every right to destroy any future chances it has by severely, grotesquely overreaching on its "mandate" that it won (in the Gov's case) by only 6%."

Actually, my first comment in this thread was:

"I'd be interested in seeing you or Adam address head on the point that public sector unions are different than private unions because of their ability to help pick their "management" through elections, and thus (at least when Republicans aren't in control) there is no adversarial relationship."

I doubt I'll get much in the way of results.

""the right to have the taxpayers pay 100% for your health insurance and retirement benefits" is hyperbole as part of this entire statement (which is not Wisconsin specific) "There were real problems with labor exploitation in the early half of the 20th century, but the New Deal laws addressed most of that. There's a vast difference between organizing to fight for a 40 hour work week and sick time versus the right to have the taxpayers pay 100% for your health insurance and retirement benefits. ""

To be more precise:

"Mr. Walker’s plan would require government workers to put 5.8 percent of their pay into their pensions (most pay less than 1 percent now), and would require them to pay at least 12.6 percent of health care premiums (most pay about 6 percent now)."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/us/22wisconsin.html?hp

These contribution levels are trivial compared to the private sector, especially given that most companies no longer even offer defined benefit plans. I do believe if the unions thought they could get away with it, they would go for no employee contributions.

I stand by this:

The majority of the tax paying public isn't willing to subsidize better benefits for public employees than the taxpayers themselves now receive, especially if it requires a tax increase.

Your argument about politics doesn't make sense. All budgets are by their nature political documents.

P.S. I'm still waiting for your rebuttal against that crazy right winger and enemy of the working man, FDR.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 21, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"The merits of denying collective bargaining rights to PUBLIC EMPLOYEES based of the very real differences between public sector and private sector unions. "

Go ahead and post something from an unbiased source and I will comment.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 21, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Wolf Blitzer is in Los Angeles today?!

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 21, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

jnc4p, I guess that FDR's own words are not unbiased enough ; )

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 21, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

@claw: "Kevin_Willis, here is the U.S., homeschoolers spell it "judgment" without the "e"."

Bah! I'm a proud product of the public school system!

"Pshaw" on your Luddite notions of accurate spelling!

:)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 21, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

To them, 6% is a huge "mandate" for hope and change when it comes to Obama in 2008, but not when it comes to Walker in 2010.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 21, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

"""I'm still waiting for your rebuttal against that crazy right winger and enemy of the working man, FDR."""

I agree with FDR when he said:

"The desire of Government employees for fair and adequate pay, reasonable hours of work, safe and suitable working conditions, development of opportunities for advancement, facilities for fair and impartial consideration and review of grievances, and other objectives of a proper employee relations policy, is basically no different from that of employees in private industry. Organization on their part to present their views on such matters is both natural and logical"

I disagree with FDR here:

"All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service"

And so did John F. Kennedy, who wrote an executive order permitting collective bargaining among Federal employees.

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=58926

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 21, 2011 5:27 PM | Report abuse

"""To them, 6% is a huge "mandate" for hope and change when it comes to Obama in 2008, but not when it comes to Walker in 2010."""

Hope and Change was the campaign slogan.

Obama set the agenda and the Republicans refused to compromise, as is normally the case in a representative democracy.

Here we have a Republican executive who, again, doesn't want to compromise, and Democratic representatives who do.

Gee, what a coincidence!

Obama gets 56% and seeks to compromise with the minority party.

Walker gets 56% and tells the minority party to go F themselves.

Sense a pattern here?

Republicans hate compromise... the very idea that forms the foundation for American policy and progress.

Do you see?

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 21, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Workers would still be able to collective bargain even if this bill passes. Everyone says oh we cant bust the unions what about DEMOCRACY. someone explain to me how FORCING SOMEONE TO BELONG TO A UNION AS A CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT IS DEMOCRATIC.

Posted by: bjeagle784 | February 21, 2011 5:36 PM | Report abuse

And so did John F. Kennedy, who wrote an executive order permitting collective bargaining among Federal employees.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 21, 2011 5:27 PM
=========================================

The government giveth and the government taketh away. Aren't you the same person who posted as ethan2010 before you were shamed into oblivion by trying to hang responsibility for the Tucson shooting on Sarah Palin?

And no documentation is needed to point out the difference between public sector and private sector unions. If you don't already know the difference, go educate yourself before posting. Grab your picket and head to the nearest packing plant. If government workers in Wisconsin are unhappy with their lot, they can always move to California.

Business spreads its money around. These public sector unions give it ALL to Dems. Talk about an unholy alliance to rob the taxpayers. No leftist talk now about "obstructionism" I see.

Posted by: Brigade | February 21, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

as a teacher, I know I don't get paid enough. why you ask? Because my job doesn't stop at my "hours" at school. I take work home. my "workday" is essentially from 8 (when I get to school) to 11 pm, or 12 am sometimes. Why? Because I'm busy doing all the stuff that a good classroom takes to run efficiently and productively. Unless of course, you'd prefer your dear little children be taught directly from the textbook? Word for word? I COULD work only for the hours I'm paid, but then, I'd be doing my students and co-workers a disservice. Unless you've been a teacher, shush up please. And frankly, those people complaining about how their relatives were forced to be part of the Union, well, sorry. But if you give back the money, benefits, allowed planning times, etc, you can go back to your pre-union time. I'll keep my union allowed hours and such. You'll make less, work more, and pay for more on your. Oh, and by the way, you DON'T generally have to be part of a union. You can pay the dues to support it because of the wages, working hours, sick leave, and healthcare for your children and dearly beloved they've gotten you, but don't have to be a member. Then again, you're so hypocritical and partisan, it might simply be better if you weren't in the union. Might be too tough of a break from your daily diet of Fox news...

Posted by: Rufusgoofus | February 21, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

@Brigade - of course the Unions give it all to the Dems, what person in their sane mind would give it to union-busting republicans?

And the "business" spreading their money around...to who? different republicans in different states? big difference. Wasn't it them who got us into this mess in the first place?

Posted by: Rufusgoofus | February 21, 2011 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I wish someone like Schumer would point out that raising the SS retirement age is really criminal because life expectancy is not increasing for the least affluent. It is some kind of sick joke that these people have to pay an incredibly regressive tax on small incomes for a benefit many of them will not even see.

Posted by: rhallnj | February 22, 2011 6:06 AM | Report abuse

The fundamental issue in the Wisconsin debate about public workers and collective bargaining is not necessarily about the money in the short term, at this point I suspect the public employees union would be more than happy to make temproary wage and benefit concession to keep their bargaining rights, its the long term fiscal train wreck coming as the overly genrous future pensions and benefit obligations of the public employees wreck Wisconsin's and a lot of other states economies. The unholy alliance of the public employee unions and the millions of dollars they spend to get their Democratic lackeys elected to office who then naturally turn around and give their union paymasters even more generous pension and salaries is fiscally unsustainable to the working class taxpayer who has seen his taxes creep higher and higher to pay for wages and benefits he can only envy. What a strange system where public employees, who by definition get their salaries from the public (taxpayers), then turn around and use a portion of their salaries supplied by the public (taxpayer) to help elect their bosses who then turn around and give them higher salaries and benefits supplied by the public (taxpayer). Who wouldn't like to work a job where you get to pick your own boss. What Scott Walker and other Republican governors are trying to do is break that unholy alliance of labor and management and put them back on equal footing again. As numerous people have pointed out even uber liberal Franklin Roosevelt spoke out strongly against the idea of public employees unionizing and bargaining for their salaries and benefits.

Posted by: RobT1 | February 22, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

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