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Posted at 3:58 PM ET, 02/22/2011

The conversation is no longer about Wisconsin's finances

By Greg Sargent

An important new poll finds strong support for public employee bargaining rights:

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.

This is only one poll, and we need to see the internals, but there are a couple quick points to be made about it. While it's been widely assumed that conservatives would have an easy time scapegoating public employees amid our economic woes, this suggests the possibility that an active push to take away long-assumed bedrock union rights might be pushing the envelope too far in the public mind. One wonders whether Governor Scott Walker overread anti-public employee sentiment and whether his overreach might end up turning public employees into -- gasp! -- somewhat sympathetic figures.

The second point: It's striking to note that the main focus of this conversation is no longer on the state of Wisconsin's finances. It's now all about workers' rights to engage in collective bargaining, something that has been enshrined in bipartisan consensus for decades. This is partly Walker's fault: His decision to reject the union's offer to accept his fiscal demands in exchange for preserving their rights did a great deal to shift the conversation into one no longer focused on Wisconsin's budgetary needs. The entry of outside groups like Americans for Prosperity into the fight also fuels a sense that this is no longer a budget dispute, but something else entirely, something far more ideologically charged.

Walker may very well end up winning this standoff in the end, but it feels like the broader P.R. war may have shifted to new, unexpected turf, a place the right suddenly no longer has the upper hand.

By Greg Sargent  | February 22, 2011; 3:58 PM ET
Categories:  Labor  
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Comments

Protecting worker's rights has become a national issue!

It's not enough just to say that the GOP is demonizing scary unions.

Because when they do so, what the GOP is ALSO SAYING is that workers should not have the right to redress unfair wages, work hours, and poor workplace conditions.

In 21st Century America that idea is a non-starter.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 22, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Can you say overreach ten times?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 22, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

@greg: I can imagine, much as with health care reform, once you point out the specifics things might change:

"In New York City, the No. 2 guy in the fire department retired on a pension worth $242,000 a year. In New York State, a single official holding two jobs and one pension took in $641,000. A lieutenant with the Port Authority police retired with an annual pension of $196,767, and 738 of the city's teachers, principals and such have pensions worth more than $100,000 a year. Their former employer, it goes almost without saying, is steamed. Their former employer is me."

"... if you were lucky enough to fake a disability - oh, my aching back! - the sky is virtually the limit. Fully one-third of all New York City cops who retired during a recent 17-month period did so on disability. They have dangerous jobs, we all know - but not nearly as dangerous as Long Island Rail Road workers. Almost all of them retired on disability. All aboard!"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/21/AR2011022103775.html

Posted by: sbj3 | February 22, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

This is also worth noting from the same poll - basically there isn't a majority in favor of taking any specific steps to address the financial problems of the states, whether they are tax increases or spending cuts.

"Key results:

• 71% oppose increasing sales, income or other taxes while 27% are in favor that approach.

• 53% oppose reducing pay or benefits for government workers while 44% are in favor.

• 48% opposed reducing or eliminating government programs while 47% were in favor of cuts."

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

Posted by: jnc4p | February 22, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

And now SBJ, Hosni Walker's Parrot, wants to leave Wisconsin, and some how make the case that Hosni Walker is taking on Unions in East Coast States.

Nice try Parrot. SBJ want a cracker? Awk Awk.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the poll results show that more and more people are catching on to the fact that poor workers did not bring about the financial deficits, or outsource the jobs.

The 31% in support of destroying the unions is most likely comprised of mostly Tea Party Imbeciles, AKA Stupid Koch Suckers.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"The entry of outside groups like Americans for Prosperity into the fight also fuels a sense that this is no longer a budget dispute, but something else entirely, something far more ideologically charged."

But not the entry of DNC days ago, of course.

Posted by: johnyt1977 | February 22, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

DNC. Democratic National Committee. The Democratic Party has not right to fight for workers, but Republicans have every right to fight for the rights of The Koch Brothers, is that your position; Tea Party Koch Sucker?

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, now even David Brooks is scolding Walker.

"So I’d invite Governor Walker and the debt fighters everywhere to think of themselves as founding fathers of austerity. They are not only balancing budgets, they are setting precedent for a process that will last decades. By their example, they have to create habits that diverse majorities can respect and embrace. The process has to be balanced. It has to make everybody hurt."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/opinion/22brooks.html?_r=2&hp

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 22, 2011 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The argument may not be about Wisconsin, it is about finances. The public employee pension overhang in many municipalities has at least as much to do with the great recession, as to with unrealistic contracts, but who knew the American economy would cease to grow circa 2001?

The deep structure of the coming austerity is, who has to get hurt. America can not support the they-earned-it argument for keeping the rich richer, whether pro-athletes, entertainers or bankers and still have a vibrant middle class, it just can't.

So who pays the price in the austerity battles to come? Sure these pensions are very expensive obligations to honor, but whose fault is that, where did all that value go? Why is the disgraced criminal ex-CEO of countrywide still worth over $500 million? Since we can't criticize Wall Street let alone put the criminals in jail, you can either tax the rich, soda pop and other stuff we don't need, or have class war, I am for class war.
It is long overdue.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 22, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I really don't get that. Somehow it is bad for the DNC to get into this fight. Isn't the DNC a political operation? Isn't this a fight over government policy? Hello? Anyone home?

Likewise Americans for Koch Bros. entry into the fight isn't bad, but something to take note of. Especially since it means the entry of anti-union interests are getting involved, this is no longer just a budget fight. Perhaps Greg should have mentioned DNC as well. It'd just strengthen his point.

Posted by: Alex3 | February 22, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

To hell with David Brooks. That guy was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and to quote Ann Richards: "He was born on third base, but thinks he hit a triple."

He writes a small column every few days, and then repeats the very same points on tv appearances. He has never had to put in a real day's work in the past thirty years or more.

Last week he was on a kick, complaining about President Obama not having offered to slash "entitlements". In other words; he is very disappointed that President Obama did not fall into the trap of doing The Republicans' dirty work for them.

Brooks must think Obama does not see through his little elementary gambits, of trying to con the President into enraging retirees, while doing the Republicans' hatchet work for them.

I really enjoyed Brooks saying on TV that he really appreciated John Boehner allowing his members to pass so many budget slashing amendments, that would in the end go nowhere, and he also wonders if Boehner has an end plan, to get out of the impasse.

Get that folks. Brooks raved about Boehner being willing to waste time, without laying out any real practical solution that stood a chance of going anywhere.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"The Democratic Party has not right to fight for workers"

Yeah, and how dare the DNC stand up for Democratic members of Congress whose constituents are being terrorized by a conglomerate of Republicans and massive corporate interests! Shame on you DNC! You're supposed to let the Republican oligarchy machine steamroll all of America!

Idiot.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 22, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Liam, I quoted you but my "idiot" comment was to the idiot above and not to you.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 22, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

@shrink2 "The argument may not be about Wisconsin, it is about finances. The public employee pension overhang in many municipalities has at least as much to do with the great recession, as to with unrealistic contracts, but who knew the American economy would cease to grow circa 2001?

The deep structure of the coming austerity is, who has to get hurt. America can not support the they-earned-it argument for keeping the rich richer, whether pro-athletes, entertainers or bankers and still have a vibrant middle class, it just can't.

So who pays the price in the austerity battles to come? Sure these pensions are very expensive obligations to honor, but whose fault is that, where did all that value go? Why is the disgraced criminal ex-CEO of countrywide still worth over $500 million? Since we can't criticize Wall Street let alone put the criminals in jail, you can either tax the rich, soda pop and other stuff we don't need, or have class war, I am for class war.
It is long overdue."

If you look at the USA Today/Gallup poll that Liam-still cited, the only thing more unpopular than taking away the collective bargaining power of public employees (at 61% opposed) was increasing taxes (at 71% opposed). So here we are.

If the unions successfully block reductions to public employee pensions and health benefits, then we'll just have state defaults, and possibly state bankruptcies (assuming the bankruptcy code is amended to allow for this) and let the federal bankruptcy judge do the job of reducing the benefits. I don't see another federal bailout of the states in the cards though.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 22, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

RETREAAAT! RUN AWAYY RUN AWAYYYY!

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/02/rick-scott-gives-thumbs-up-to-public-worker-organizing.php

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/02/mitch-daniels-calls-on-state-gop-to-abandon-union-busting-bill.php

A little high and dry up there in WI, eh Gov Walker?

Wasn't such a grand idea now that you think of it, eh Gov Walker?

Ha ha ha!

You know when you're further to the right than Rick Scott on collective bargaining, you're an extremist.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 22, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

@ronnieandrush ""The Democratic Party has not right to fight for workers"

Yeah, and how dare the DNC stand up for Democratic members of Congress whose constituents are being terrorized by a conglomerate of Republicans and massive corporate interests! Shame on you DNC! You're supposed to let the Republican oligarchy machine steamroll all of America!

Idiot."

The original commenter (johnyt1977) wasn't arguing that the DNC didn't have a "right" to be there and fight for it's interests, but rather that Americans for Prosperity wasn't the first outside group to enter the fight and thus fuel "a sense that this is no longer a budget dispute, but something else entirely, something far more ideologically charged."

As a factual matter, I believe this is accurate, i.e. the Democrats were the ones who decided to try and make this a national issue to stop the bill.

Which is fine. As everyone has noted, this has national implications and the common progressive criticism of the Democrats is that they are never willing to fight for their principles.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 22, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

jnc4p,

Maybe you don't get it. Here it is in simpler terms:

AfP = outside group defending corporate interests

DNC = politics is their core mission

"""i.e. the Democrats were the ones who decided to try and make this a national issue to stop the bill."""

Survey says? WRONG.

The coordinated effort by Republican governors across several states made this a national issue.

Enough garbage.

You consider yourself smart, and so you should be above the tactic of causing a mess and blaming someone else. That's so 2nd grade of you.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 22, 2011 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Ronnieandrush beat me to it. It looks like Daniels and Scott are sawing off the branch that Walker's perched on.
Walker is among that large group of GOP dim bulbs, like Pence , Cantor,Santorum etc., a none too bright guy, in this case a C student and college drop out who may be just too damn dumb and stubborn to give in.

Posted by: filmnoia | February 22, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

"As a factual matter, I believe this is accurate, i.e. the Democrats were the ones who decided to try and make this a national issue to stop the bill. Which is fine. As everyone has noted, this has national implications and the common progressive criticism of the Democrats is that they are never willing to fight for their principles."

I agree, this is a battle that has to be fought. Now is a good time. There isn't going to be a national consensus in this regard. The only America agrees on is that we deserve more than we get, because someone else is getting a more than they deserve.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 22, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Here's the bottom line:

Soon, many states are going to run out of resources. Some already have. Like Obamacare, there will have to be big cuts to make limited funds go further. With Obamacare, quality of care will suffer greatly and people will have to be eliminated from the system.

With Obamacare the old and feeble will be let go by withholding care. The "death panel" scenario.

With bureaucrats there will be two choices:

1. They can keep their high wages and face getting permanently laid off, fired.

2. They can face lower wages and benefits but most of their jobs can be saved.

The socialistic choice is the second one. This conservative governor is a crypto-socialist and should be near and dear to Obamacrats' hearts.

The greedy thing to do is to keep your high pay and turn your head as your comrads get canned.

Am I correct??

You know I am!

Posted by: battleground51 | February 22, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of trouble, "The Warfala [tribe have] declared war, marching a convoy to Tripoli from Bani Waled and calling other tribes to join."

Posted by: shrink2 | February 22, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Walker was the Milwaukee County Executive for many years. He talks about how he is just applying the same things he did for Milwaukee county, to the State.

What does not get much coverage is the fact, that after many years of having being managed by Scott Walker, he left it such a fiscal wreck, that they are still expecting to file for bankruptcy, after Walker's replacement is elected.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

@ronnieandrush "jnc4p,

Maybe you don't get it. Here it is in simpler terms:

AfP = outside group defending corporate interests

DNC = politics is their core mission

"""i.e. the Democrats were the ones who decided to try and make this a national issue to stop the bill."""

Survey says? WRONG.

The coordinated effort by Republican governors across several states made this a national issue.

Enough garbage.

You consider yourself smart, and so you should be above the tactic of causing a mess and blaming someone else. That's so 2nd grade of you."

I don't see a distinction between AfP and the DNC as "outside groups" in terms of the Wisconsin State Budget debate or the ability of Wisconsin State employees to collectively bargain.

Or to put it another way, the DNC is as much of an outside group as say the RNC would be as compared to the Wisconsin State Democratic party.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 22, 2011 5:21 PM | Report abuse

The DNC has to disclose the sources of their funding. The AFP does not, and will not.

AFP is just a washing machine for Anonymous Oligarchs to launder their bribes.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the well paid, state employees must think of their comrads instead of their greedy selves, for a change.

They should give back a chunk of their wages, benefits, and pensions for the common good of "the village" or community.

If they donated 25% of it all they may be able to save most of the other bureaucrat jobs and help brother Obama keep the unemployment from going beyond 10%.

Help dear leader to look better in 2012. Give up your pay today for more jobs tomorrow.

Give till it hurts! The ONE will smile down on you.

Posted by: battleground51 | February 22, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, now even David Brooks is scolding Walker.

"So I’d invite Governor Walker and the debt fighters everywhere to think of themselves as founding fathers of austerity. They are not only balancing budgets, they are setting precedent for a process that will last decades. By their example, they have to create habits that diverse majorities can respect and embrace. The process has to be balanced. It has to make everybody hurt."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/opinion/22brooks.html?_r=2&hp

Posted by: mikefromArlington
_________________________________

fine. name me one SINGLE proposal from the Republicans, now or ever, that causes pain to anyone making over $250,000 a year..... waiting....

Posted by: emoenergy1 | February 22, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

""In New York City, the No. 2 guy in the fire department retired on a pension worth $242,000 a year.""

And yet the Masters of the Universe who tanked our economy **deserve** their 7- and 8-figure bonuses, and the right to pay only 15% U.S. income tax on it!

Poor, poor Richie Rich.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 22, 2011 5:31 PM | Report abuse

AFP is a Koch Bros front, naturally. None of the wingers want to talk about how they are nothing but patsies and suckers for CEOS, but they are.

Republicans have launched a sustained assault on the environment, the middle class, healthcare, education, worker's rights -- you name it. All for the purpose of class warfare--- to transfer more wealth to the wealthy. And the bagger scabs and thugs are willing to see themselves and their families go down to please the oligarths. Pathetic gullible tools.

Posted by: fiona5 | February 22, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Walker was the Milwaukee County Executive for many years. He talks about how he is just applying the same things he did for Milwaukee county, to the State.

What does not get much coverage is the fact, that after many years of having being managed by Scott Walker, he left it such a fiscal wreck, that they are still expecting to file for bankruptcy, after Walker's replacement is elected.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

This is a national issue for the Democrat party because the stakes are enormous.

The civil service unions are a golden seam for the Democrat party. This past cycle AFSCME spent close to 90 million. Here is a relevant quote:
"We're the big dog," said Larry Scanlon, the head of AFSCME's political operations. "But we don't like to brag."

And whence AFSCME's largesse? From gummint employees, many of whom MUST join the union and MUST pay dues to that union.

and on whom did AFSCME lavish its money? DEMOCRATS.

For the national politicians this isn't about teachers or students or the guys that operate the snow plows and haul the trash, this is about money, and lots of it.

Still don't believe me? Try this quote from National Education Association's just-retired General Counsel Bob Chanin:
"Despite what some among us would like to believe, it is not because of our creative ideas. It is not because of the merit of our positions. It is not because we care about children. And it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power. And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year because they believe that we are the unions that can most effectively represent them, the unions that can protect their rights and advance their interests as education employees."

It is clear that the law under consideration in WI tests the proposition laid out above. Do the teachers pay dues for the reason stated above, or because they simply have no choice? If the union dues are no longer collected by the gummint, then what happens to union cash flow?

If the unions must stand for re certification yearly, what happens if they lose? Even if they win, the campaign to retain their position will consume resource the used to spend on buying pliant politicians.

Yes, the stakes are high in WI. and this just might be the pebble that starts the avalanche.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 22, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

"""I don't see a distinction between AfP and the DNC as "outside groups" in terms of the Wisconsin State Budget debate or the ability of Wisconsin State employees to collectively bargain."""

That's your problem if you don't see a distinction.

As I've said, the DNC is in WI to support democratically-elected DEMOCRATS who are in the middle of a political war.

AfP's mission -- from their website -- is "advancing every individual's right to economic freedom and opportunity." I guess they feel like they've been elected to represent Wisconsin in this battle?

Don't be a moron, jnc4p. I know you a little from your posts. You're far smarter than to fall for AfP's corporatist propaganda.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 22, 2011 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Some of those big payouts for firemen and cops look like more than they really are. Those are the guys that make it till the end. My sons friend just got retired at age 39 due to an on the job injury after 13 years. He's 25% disabled and after paying in $350/mo out of his own wages he's getting about $3000/mo and the best job he could find as a disabled worker is making 12 bucks an hour as a parts manager at a big RV repair shop. He was the most educated firefighter in the department and on track for captain and probably battalion chief. A lot of these guys don't make it till what would be a normal retirement. Then some of them double dip, which should not be allowed IMO, but that's another story.

What's happening is working people are being pitted against other working people to the benefit of the top 1%-5% to drive down wages and benefits. The reason so many states have unfunded liabilities in their pensions is because of the recession, health care costs and poor investment of said funds usually to the benefit of Wall Street. Here in CA we lost a bunch of money on real estate pension fund investment but last year were able to make up about $2billion by putting it into less risky investments.

Also, if we got back from the Feds what we paid out, the missing 22%, we wouldn't have a deficit at all. Ask Ms. Palin about that.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 22, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_theticket/20110222/ts_yblog_theticket/rush-limbaugh-says-first-lady-is-no-swimsuit-model

"Rush Limbaugh says First Lady is no swimsuit model"

bahahahahahahaha

So, Conservatives. This is the guy you all worship.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 22, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Even on CNBC this morning the controversy in Wisconsin was described as "last stand for the middle class?"

Most people are beginning to understand (if they did not already) that wages and salaries for 95% of the population have been flat to declining for the past 40 years while the share of the top 1% has more than doubled. The debt problem is a revenue problem (lack thereof) at both the governmental and individual level. Without people having money to buy, demand goes down and we don't get out of the recession. Without spending on education, we have no innovation. Multinationals can think they can sell abroad, but inequality at home does not promote stability and sooner or later things are going to collapse.

Posted by: Mimikatz | February 22, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Btw, everyone who hasn't done so yet (jnc4p, skip, etc) should look into who these AfP goons really are:

AFP was founded in 2004 when Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) split into FreedomWorks (formerly Citizens for a Sound Economy), for 501(c)(4) advocacy activity, and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation (formerly the Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation). Dick Armey, who had become chair of CSE in 2003 after retiring from Congress, stayed as chairman of FreedomWorks, while David H. Koch stayed as Chairman of Americans for Prosperity Foundation. Like CSE, AFP was founded with the support of David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch of Koch Industries. Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) had been established in 1984 by David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch. "CSE received almost $5 million from various Koch foundations between 1986 and 1990, and David Koch and several Koch Industries employees serve[d] as directors of CSE and the CSE Foundation."

More at the link:

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

David Koch and Charles Koch are oil tycoons who were born into MASSIVE fortunes (they are each worth over $20 BILLION).

Dick Armey is a corporate lobbyist who was a member of the GOP establishment as he served in the House of Representatives from 1985 to 2003.

These are your Tea Party leaders, folks.

Two multi-billionaire oil tycoons who were born into msasive fortunes and a died-in-the-wool member of the corporate Republican establishment.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 22, 2011 5:51 PM | Report abuse

jnc- "If the unions successfully block reductions to public employee pensions and health benefits, then we'll just have state defaults, and possibly state bankruptcies"

Their agreeing to take a hit with respect to both their pension and health benefits, despite the fact that they have a contract. The argument for effectively ending their collective bargaining rights is that they won't agree to do so in the future. I'm guessing a few months ago many of the union haters here would have laughed at me if I had suggested they would have agreed to the concession on healthcare and pensions.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 22, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Remember when the Right Wingers were using Cops and Firemen as Heroic Icons, after 9/11?

Now, that they want to use them in the opposite way, suddenly Right Wingers have discovered that Cops and Firemen are The Bad Guys, who are destroying The American Economy.

Like Joseph McCarty, and his evil spawn, Hosni Walker, Tea Party Members, "have no shame."

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 5:55 PM | Report abuse

"Rush Limbaugh says First Lady is no swimsuit model"

bahahahahahahaha

So, Conservatives. This is the guy you all worship.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 22, 2011 5:48 PM

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

Rush Limbaugh(AKA The Big Fat Pillbilly)

Is the cover model on this month's swimsuit issue of Hippopotami Illustrated.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Just wait until the people see the rest of the tea-bagger republican agenda in action!

Posted by: jeffc6578 | February 22, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Jeb Bush on FL Gov Rick Scott's decision to reject high-speed rail

"I'm surprised he didn't let the process go to a conclusion ... before pulling the plug," Bush said, saying he was somewhat taken aback by Scott's timing.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 22, 2011 6:05 PM | Report abuse

liberals hate competition. It must be an inferiority thing. Perhaps shrink can help with some insight.

but liberals hate competition. Look at the venom dripping from ronnieandrush's comment.

How dare those right wing types use the same tools and techniques employed by the left wing?

yet another example of liberal rule number one: Do as liberals say, not as liberals do.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 22, 2011 6:05 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/happy_hour_roundup_191.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 22, 2011 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Rick Scott still baffles common sense on shutting down pill mills:

As for the prescription drug database, Scott he prefers current law-enforcement efforts to crack down on pill mills. He doesn't like the idea of the government tracking prescrition purchases.

"I’m trying to figure out in that group where the money is. It has come to my attention that thousands of dollars have been spent on lawyers, travel, meals and board members," Scott said. "I don’t support the database. I believe it’s an invasion of privacy.... it appears that the money’s been wasted."

No state money is involved in establishing the database, but opponents fear it will only be a matter of time before the state starts funding it.

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/content/another-news-making-rick-scott-presser

On average almost 9 people die every DAY from Oxycontin in Florida alone. Other states (KY, TN, WV) are begging him to allow the bipartisan plan -- that passed in FL legislature way before he was elected Gov -- to go forward... and he refuses.

Grade A SCHMUCK and total scumbag.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 22, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

"Look at the venom dripping from ronnieandrush's comment."

Look at the venom dripping for your EVERY comment, when it isn't rabid froth.

Posted by: fiona5 | February 22, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Skippy feels he missed out, because he never got to be A Star Stasi Informer.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 6:15 PM | Report abuse

"but liberals hate competition. Look at the venom dripping from ronnieandrush's comment."

You have a light bulb firmly implanted you-know-where.

And btw... The reason why light bulbs are going the way of the horse and buggy?

Anyone?

Anyone?

Competition in the free market!

Gotta love it.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 22, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I have only one word for the people of Wisconsin "RECALL" anyone?

Posted by: charmz | February 22, 2011 7:27 PM | Report abuse

I have only one word for the people of Wisconsin "RECALL" anyone?

Posted by: charmz | February 22, 2011 7:27 PM | Report abuse

I have only one word for the people of Wisconsin "RECALL" anyone?

Posted by: charmz | February 22, 2011 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Walker overreached merely by running for Gov. and, like our idiot here in OH who is playing the same game with the unions, is unfit to hold office. A recall would be too nice a gesture.

Posted by: kg1957 | February 22, 2011 7:37 PM | Report abuse

"Koch suckers." New to me, and quite rude, but it is hard not to enjoy the slur. On the other hand, it is a slur, and not likely to help persuade anyone toward an alternative view.

Can we agree that public service benefits need to be scaled back to be in line with what others get, but that we do not need to throw out the right to organize? Unions have done much good, historically, and are a useful check on the unmitigated power of the oligarchs.

Posted by: frodot | February 22, 2011 7:58 PM | Report abuse

The cowardly, state Democrats from Wisconsin and Indiana are fleeing to Illinois, land of Obama. They want to be with their own kind around Chicago.

Illinois seeks to borrow $3.7 billion to shore up pension shortfall

Illinois' pension system is one of the most poorly funded in the nation, with less than 40 percent of its $139 billion in liabilities funded, according to state figures.

But the $3.7 billion is a small patch for a very large hole. The teachers pension alone is underfunded by nearly $40 billion. It will receive slightly more than $2 billion from the bond proceeds.

AND this is the teachers pension problem ALONE.


Result: Bankruptcy all around. Yes, they want to be with their own kind. Credit card rich and cash poor. Limosine liberals who like to spend their states dry, raise taxes, and then go begging for bailouts.

Chicagoland is their kind of place. Let them stay there, please!

Posted by: battleground51 | February 23, 2011 4:42 AM | Report abuse

So who pays the price in the austerity battles to come? Sure these pensions are very expensive obligations to honor, but whose fault is that, where did all that value go? Why is the disgraced criminal ex-CEO of countrywide still worth over $500 million? Since we can't criticize Wall Street let alone put the criminals in jail, you can either tax the rich, soda pop and other stuff we don't need, or have class war, I am for class war.

It is long overdue.

==

Co-sign.

Let's get it out in the open. It's not like the Koch brothers are going to look good under the bright lights. They're libertarians, after all, their beliefs are ugliness incarnate.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 23, 2011 7:46 AM | Report abuse

pcow

Unions are just no longer needed, and the Wikileaks video showing corruption and back room deals is just the latest proof that they don't really stand for the people they represent:

http://fms.nu/eiZw0G

I know, my father-in-law had an on the job issue, and the union just backed off when push came to shove... The employer was totally at fault.

Posted by: webcontent2011 | February 28, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

pcow

Unions are just no longer needed, and the Wikileaks video showing corruption and back room deals is just the latest proof that they don't really stand for the people they represent:

http://fms.nu/eiZw0G

I know, my father-in-law had an on the job issue, and the union just backed off when push came to shove... The employer was totally at fault.

Posted by: webcontent2011 | February 28, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

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