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Posted at 8:35 AM ET, 03/10/2011

The Morning Plum

By Greg Sargent

* The smoke clears from the wreckage in Wisconsin: As everyone takes stock of yesterday's events, it's becoming clearer that the situation in Wisconsin is now going to escalate exponentially, and on multiple fronts. Today labor leaders and strategists involved in the fight will be consumed with sifting through the wreckage, making sense of what happened last night, and mapping out the way forward.

* Wisconsin battle heads to the courts: Wisconsin labor leaders denounce last night's maneuver as illegal and vow to take it to the courts. And they argue that by passing the rollback of bargaining rights without Dems, Scott Walker and Repubicans revealed it was never about fiscal issues.

* Key question: Will Walker's own repeated claims that the rollback did have fiscal implications make this move vulnerable to a legal challenge?

* Legal challenges and recalls set to proceed: David Dayen has a good overview of the roadmap ahead: The legal avenues, the recalls, and the possibility of strikes.

* What Washington Dems can learn from Wisconsin: As E.J. Dionne notes today, Senate Dems who have let the GOP frame the debate over the budget by conceding ground on spending cuts should note that Wisconsin Dems who stuck their necks out for what they believe in have been rewarded with public approval:

To this point, Washington Democrats have been too afraid and divided to engage compellingly on the fundamentals of what government is there to do and how the burdens of deficit reduction should be apportioned. Wisconsin Democrats have shown that the only way to win arguments is to take risks on behalf of what you believe. Are Washington Democrats prepared to learn this lesson?

This is changing a bit with Chuck Schumer's speech yesterday calling for tax hikes on the rich and cuts to unnecessary subsidies to be included in the discussion, but it's still way too slow in coming, and Dems are still basically fighting on the GOP's turf.

* Senate Dems go wobbly: Indeed, one key number is that 11 Senate Democrats voted against the Dem budget plan yesterday, enabling the GOP plan with extremely deep cuts to get more votes than the Dem proposal in a chamber controlled by ... Democrats. (Both were defeated.)

* GOP still holds upper hand in spending fight: Obama officials are worried that divisions among Senate Dems, combined with the GOP's skillful strategy of luring Senate Dems ever deeper into their territory by getting them to agree to cuts, is causing the political initiative the White House enjoyed only weeks ago to slip away.

* Unions to step up recall drive: Here's some video of a presser last night at which Wisconsin union chiefs vowed to press ahead with the recall of eight GOP state senators and pledged that the fight will continue.

* Rallies today in Wisconsin: The SEIU is staging rallies all over the state today, a sign that labor is only going to respond by pouring more energy into the fight.

* The next step for Dems: They hope last night's events will enable them to use recalls to take back the state senate.

* Wisconsin Republicans will have tough time explaining themselves: The danger for Wisconsin Republicans is that the recall drives against them will be lent even more energy if Wisconsinites conclude that their maneuver last night subverted democracy, which is a common voter reaction to parliamentary tricks.

* Continuing Wisconsin fight could galvanize Dem base: Nate Silver on how yesterday's shenanigans could lead to a more protracted standoff that could mobilize the Democratic base heading into 2012.

Key point: Silver notes that the battle seems to have more motivational appeal for the Dem base than for the Republican one.

* Will Wisconsin Dems win in the end? Jon Chait spells out a fairly simple possibility: "Democrats will pass a ball allowing collective bargaining among public employees as soon as they return to power."

* Chris Christie fact-check of the day: Great stuff from Richard Perez-Pena, who takes a look at the actual substance of much of Christie's allegedly straight and blunt talk and finds that it isn't so straight, after all.

Moral of the story: It's possible to do the tough-and-straight-talk shtick and lie at the same time. I don't know why this is so hard for some folks to appreciate.

* Pete King fact-check of the day: With King's Muslim show trial set for today, Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler digs into King's claim that 80 percent of American mosques are radicalized, and finds that it's "based largely on a single observation by one Muslim cleric 12 years ago, who has offered no evidence to make his claim."

Key question: Will King take the opportunity at today's hearings to clear this up?

* Pete King's record of assigning collective blame: William Saletan has a useful and comprehensive rundown of all of King's greatest hits.

* And Muslims have helped disrupt terror plots: Eric Holder rebuts King, arguing that tips and information from Muslim Americans have been "critical to our efforts to disrupt plots that otherwise might have occurred."

But, really, what would the Attorney General of the United States know about such matters?

And what else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | March 10, 2011; 8:35 AM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, House GOPers, Labor, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, budget  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: GOP's shenanigans in Wisconsin ensure the fight will only escalate
Next: Feingold: Wisconsinites will hold Republicans accountable

Comments

The cowardly fleebaggers were outfoxed, outflanked and totally bamboozled. I guess they will think twice before going AWoL again. I hope the Obamacrats' recall efforts fall flat.

Wisconsinites voted in a group of adults to fix their fiscal mess and now they seem to be backsliding into their old, sociaistic ways again. I guess the seriousness of the Republican effort is scaring the old cheeseheads.

Some smarmy, Obamacrat, media bobblehead described Wisconsin Walker as a "minor leaguer". If a "minor leaguer" can get the liberals' panties in such a knot, imagine what a Republican major leaguer could do to them.

"Democrats will pass a ball allowing collective bargaining among public employees as soon as they return to power."

They don't like to play ball when the game is not rigged, in their favor.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 10, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm so old I remember when Republicans thought passing the Health Care Bill under reconciliation rules was tyranny equivalent to Stalin and Mao.

Now rushing bills through using parliamentary tricks is ok again.

What could have changed I wonder?

Posted by: Scientician | March 10, 2011 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Idaho Legislature Passes Wisconsin-Style Bill Limiting Teachers Union Collective Bargaining Powers
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110309/ap_on_re_us/us_teachers_union_idaho

A bill that would phase out tenure for new teachers and restrict collective bargaining on their salaries and benefits is on its way to the Idaho governor.

*TEA-haw!*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 10, 2011 8:52 AM | Report abuse

*Gweg wuvs polls*

Obama’s Approval Ratings Among Independents Down to 37%, Tanks 10 Points in One Month
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/50954.html

Feel good story du jour.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 10, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

The magnificent irony of this event and others like it is that the Republicans have learned most of their parlimentary tricks from the Democrats and.....

.....turnabout is fair play.

It really scorches the liberals' fuzzy, little rear-ends when their own tricks are used against them.

They screech like a chorus of scalded cats.

It's music to a conservatives ears.


Posted by: battleground51 | March 10, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

"The Commerce Department says the January American trade deficit increased 15.1 percent to $46.3 billion. Exports rose 2.7 percent to an all-time high of $167.7 billion. But imports rose a faster 5.2 percent to $214.1 billion. That reflected a big jump in America's foreign oil bill, underscoring concerns that surging oil prices could derail the economic recovery. A widening trade deficit is bad for the U.S. economy. When imports outpace exports, more jobs go to foreign workers than to U.S. workers." AP

When Jimmy Carter talked of an energy policy to wean the country off foreign oil, the country laughed him off and elected Ronald Reagan, who famously took the solar panels off the roof of the White House. And all these years later, still, learning nothing, Americans keep on voting for Republicans. Crazy.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 10, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

It's rather amazing how giddy conservatives are about stripping rights and benefits away from teachers, nurses, and prison guards.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | March 10, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Scott asked yesterday "Why people in California, New York, Virginia, et al should be this passionate about how Wisconsin deals with its public sector unions is a little bit bewildering."

Cause we actually give a damn about the well being of these teachers even though they are complete strangers. The attack on teachers is outrageous. These are most likely college educated workers that do our country a great service and don't deserve to get attacked by a bunch of out of state money just to make the Dem base weaker. Isolating out our teachers in a partisan battle is heartless. Why would Republicans want to drive away future potential teachers and send them the message they will be the target the next time they want to gain more control.

What's happened today is the reasoning behind teaches voting primarily democratic. They are under constant assault from republicans.

It's outrageous.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 10, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Poor battleground, nothing to do but post here every day, every two minutes. Is this what you call a life, son? The Bush Depression has hit this country hard,hasn't it?

Governor Walker keeps this framed on his wall:

"A key concept of the Mussolini essay was that fascism was a rejection of previous models: "Granted that the XIXth century was the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy, this does not mean that the XXth century must also be the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy.

Political doctrines pass; nations remain. We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the 'right', a Fascist century. "

Posted by: fiona5 | March 10, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all! And with T.H. installed it is indeed a beautiful morning. Thanks again to Kevin the creator of this wonderful little add on, and to shrink and Sue for convincing me to use it. I had waited thinking the WaPo would eventually incorporate it in their system, why they haven’t is beyond me unless their techies are simply jealous of Kevin or perhaps happy to let Kevin do their work for them…whatever…what a pleasurable experience on the PL with T.H. added!

I was glad to read Nate Silver, a pollster, statistician I respect, say what I have been perceiving anecdotally. It does seem there is a growing shift in energy. The tea baggers are running out of steam for their toxic brew and their stars Sister Sarah and Michelle Bachmann have been exposed as know nothings. Meanwhile what is taking place in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and other states is finally waking the Dem base and the middle class. The energy is shifting from “their” side to “our” side!

Now mix in a dose of actual tea bagging governance and the “real” populist uprising is about to begin.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/transportation/masstransit/article1156210.ece

“TALLAHASSEE — Three weeks after Gov. Rick Scott put the brakes on high-speed rail, the Florida Department of Transportation on Wednesday released a study showing the line connecting Tampa to Orlando would have had a $10.2 million operating surplus in 2015, its first year of operation.
The study showed the line would have had a $28.6 million surplus in its 10th year.”
Well only 30,000 decent paying jobs down the drain with that decision by Ricky the Fraudster…yeah “let’s get working”. And so what is the tea bagging R legislature in Florida doing for jobs?

http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/article1156309.ece+

“TALLAHASSEE — Two Republican legislators want to make sure Florida courts aren't tainted by what one of them calls foreign "shenanigans": Muslim sharia or legal codes from other nations.
Neither Sen. Alan Hays nor Rep. Larry Metz, though, could name a Florida case where international law or Islamic law has caused a problem in a state court. They said they weren't targeting sharia, a body of law primarily based on the Koran and the Hadith, the sayings of Islam's founder, Mohammed.”

Teabaggers WTF ever happened to jobs, jobs, jobs! Oh that’s right, Ethan explained it yesterday. You losers meant destroying even more jobs, jobs, jobs!

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 10, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I don't get it. It's as though conservatives get excited at the idea of driving good teachers away from the profession for fear of being targeted in the next budget cuts and having our students continue to under perform against just about every other first world nation out there. They think dumbing down the nation is a good thing.

Between driving teachers away from teaching and going after Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign, you've got to wonder if we're witnessing the destruction of the American empire.

Is that it Kaddafi and battleground? You want everyone at a level playing field...fat, dumb and happy according to your standards?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 10, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Greg:

""which is a common voter reaction to parliamentary tricks.""

Does fleeing the state in order to prevent a quorum and a vote on legislation constitute a "parliamentary trick"?

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 10, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

"What's happened today is the reasoning behind teaches voting primarily democratic. They are under constant assault from republicans."

this is a a direct result making education part of the political process. don't want politicians messing with teachers? then don't put politicians in charge of the system.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 10, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

"What's happened today is the reasoning behind teaches voting primarily democratic. They are under constant assault from republicans."

this is a direct result of making education part of the political process. don't want politicians messing with teachers? then don't put politicians in charge of the system.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 10, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Ooops again, the Afghan war sure has hit a rough patch.

"The cousin of Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been mistakenly killed by Nato troops in southern Afghanistan, officials say. Yar Muhammad Khan was at his home in Dand district near Kandahar city when he was shot dead in an overnight raid."

Posted by: shrink2 | March 10, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, those darn teachers, we showed them! It's sad that that is their mentality. So divorced from reality.

All-in-all, the Republican concept of "Small Government" is, yet again, exposed as the "Big Lie" it truly is.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 10, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

mike:

""Cause we actually give a damn about the well being of these teachers even though they are complete strangers.""

(I responded to this on the previous thread, but will re-post here.)

Well, as Tom has pointed out, the policies Wisconsin is seeking to impose already exist in plenty of other states. Have teachers been "attacked" in those places as well? If so, where has the outrage been?

Look, this is hardly a moral abomination. It is a policy position about which people can reasonably disagree. And that is what is great (or should be, in any event) about our federal system...different places can adopt different policies, and people who have opposing policy preferences can each enjoy their preferences by moving to a place that has adopted what they prefer. In my mind there is no reason for this to be a point of national passion, on either side. Let Wisconsinites (Wisconsiners?) sort it out for themselves, and whichever way they go, bully for them.

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 10, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

"Between driving teachers away from teaching and going after Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign, you've got to wonder if we're witnessing the destruction of the American empire."

Yes, it's the Fifth Column trying to destroy the country from within. The losers who aren't making it, like battleground and kaddafi, want everyone else to sink their 3rd world level.

They hate teachers, they hate eduction and science, they hate kids, they hate the middle class, the gays, the blacks the browns... all they have left is their mancrushes and kneepad worship of brutal authoritarians. But those bully boys get their hearts racing.

Posted by: fiona5 | March 10, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

NoVA:

""this is a direct result of making education part of the political process. don't want politicians messing with teachers? then don't put politicians in charge of the system.""

Precisely correct. Well said.

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 10, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

There was more violence at A SINGLE LEFT WING G-20 protest last year than there was from the hundreds of Tea Party rallies combined. The real angry mobs are on the Left and we're about to witness a doozy in Madison. Remember all those evil things the left made up about the Tea Party? How they're just an angry, dangerous mob of fat white people? Well, kids, we call that projection. You want to see an angry white mob of fat people? Look no further than Madison. And don't be fooled by the crowds. They're mostly unemployed college kids from down the street whose dream job is taking from the government teat. There are no large counter-protests because, well, people with jobs, families, mortgage payments and a sense of personal responsibility can't just march off to the Capitol to "camp". Deadbeats can do that.

Posted by: cartmaneric | March 10, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

fiona:

""They hate...they hate...they hate...they hate...""

Not sure if you have really been paying attention here, but the biggest "haters" on this board tend to share your political outlook on things.

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 10, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse


"The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. ”

— Franklin D. Roosevelt, "Message from the President of the United States Transmitting Recommendations Relative to the Strengthening and Enforcement of Anti-trust Laws"

Walker is a creature of the corporate right, bought and sold to do the Koch empire's bidding. It is but the latest example of the rising tide of fascism engulfing his country.

Posted by: fiona5 | March 10, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Wisconsin Walker has an opinion piece in the WSJ about his outlook on his state's budget battle. It is very good.

Unions are 100%, Democrat party and socialistic, in nature. Unions tend to protect the lame, lazy, and incompetent amongst their members. This bad habit is what gives the unions the stink of really old cheese.

I have seen this. The laziest members always have the loudest mouths, at union meetings, and they are the ones with the most grievances.

Instead of pouring oil on the squeaky wheels, to keep them quiet, get new wheels!

It's a simple concept but the socialists can't quite get it.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 10, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Great news, the billionaires list keeps on growing, so then this isn't really the Great Recession after all!

"More than 200 people joined the billionaires list as their numbers rose to a new record of 1,210, Forbes said...The collective wealth of the billionaires on the list also hit a new record of $4.5tn."

1210 people own four and a half trillion dollars. That is just spectacular.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 10, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

"Look, this is hardly a moral abomination."

Says Scott about union busting

Says Scott about disenfranching voters

Says Scott about poll taxes

Says Scott about tax cuts for the rich

Says Scott about subsidizing the oil industry

Says Scott about insurance industry rescision

Says Scott about the Iraq War

Says Scott about torture

Says Scott about McCarthyite racist show-trials

Says Scott about redefining rape

On and on...

The Republican Party wouldn't know a "moral abomination" if it smacked them in the face every morning.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 10, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Diner

Wisconsin state passes a ugly day. Thousands of protesters are now in road. State Senarot and Law Markers always against state workers.

http://fms.nu/eKCPpp

But I think it's not right. I want to say give full right's to your people. Otherwise situation must be go to down.

Posted by: webcontent2011 | March 10, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Fiona,
Here's my bit of FDR for you. :)
Enjoy, sweetheart. Cheers.

"... 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 ... The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for ... officials ... to bind the employer ... The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives ..."

-Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Posted by: cartmaneric | March 10, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Roosevelt wasn't living in a country being overtaken by fascists at the time.

enjoy,sweetheart, cheers and fu too.

Posted by: fiona5 | March 10, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Hahahaha. Sending an electronic hug your way widdle one. It'll be okay.

Hahahahahaha

Posted by: cartmaneric | March 10, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Politicizing education? LOL.

We were told all along this was about WI budget. We all knew that was a brazen lie.


"In an interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly moments ago, State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI), one of Walker’s closest allies in the legislature, confirmed the true political motive of Walker’s anti-union push. Fitzgerald explained that “this battle” is about eliminating unions so that “the money is not there” for the labor movement. Specifically, he said that the destruction of unions will make it “much more difficult” for President Obama to win reelection in Wisconsin:

FITZGERALD: Well if they flip the state senate, which is obviously their goal with eight recalls going on right now, they can take control of the labor unions. If we win this battle, and the money is not there under the auspices of the unions, certainly what you’re going to find is President Obama is going to have a much difficult, much more difficult time getting elected and winning the state of Wisconsin.:

Posted by: fiona5 | March 10, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Anyhow, it is the fault of the unionistas themselves that unions are despised by Republicans. The unions are merely mechanisms for jacking up Democrat voters and are subsidiaries of the Democrat party.

If unions were not so hyper-partisan, they would not be the natural enemies of Republicans. Unions have become part of the Democrat plantation just like African-Americans.

As the old saying goes, "don't put all of your eggs in one basket".

A very wise old saying, indeed.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 10, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Fiona, for laughing. It was just the thing you said about Roosevelt and the world he inhabited: How he knew nothing of fascism, or communism, or Nazism, or, for that matter, relativistic geniuses like our rather emotional Fioana. Perhaps if Mussolini had gained a foothold in the Soouth Bronx in 1943 Roosevelt might have completely reconsidered his thinking on the collective bargaining rights of public service workers.

Posted by: cartmaneric | March 10, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

"Well, as Tom has pointed out, the policies Wisconsin is seeking to impose already exist in plenty of other states. Have teachers been "attacked" in those places as well? If so, where has the outrage been?"

Yes they have and there have been protests in other places, just not near as focused as WI has been. WI appears to be getting the most press so it would only make sense to focus all your attention there in the hopes the public catches onto how Republicans seem to be going after public school teachers.

It's a tragedy that will only result in future teachers thinking twice about going into that profession. Who in their right mind would want to teach with the fear of knowing that when a Republican gets in control, they will be target number 1?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 10, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

"Fitzgerald explained that “this battle” is about eliminating unions so that “the money is not there” for the labor movement. Specifically, he said that the destruction of unions will make it “much more difficult” for President Obama to win reelection in Wisconsin"

A tactic available to him only because of the power the state holds in the education system.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 10, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

[mike whined: "I don't get it. It's as though conservatives get excited at the idea of driving good teachers away from the profession"]

WRONG. Leftists are only pleased when union fealty trumps teaching MERIT. Conservatives are please that the inverse will now prevail in Wisconsin, Idaho and elsewhere in the TEA-meritocracy.

‘Outstanding First Year Teacher’ Laid Off
http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/96349689.html

Milwaukee Public Schools teacher Megan Sampson was laid off less than one week after being named Outstanding First Year Teacher by the Wisconsin Council of English Teachers. She lost her job because the collective bargaining agreement requires layoffs to be made based on seniority rather than merit.

Informed that her union had rejected a lower-cost health care plan, that still would have required zero contribution from teachers, Sampson said, “Given the opportunity, of course I would switch to a different plan to save my job, or the jobs of 10 other teachers.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 10, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Obama will win Wisconsin and the Democrats will sweep the statewide offices and regain control of the state legislature.

Posted by: Observer691 | March 10, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

[Observer691 crowed: "Obama will win Wisconsin"]

Obama’s Approval Ratings Among Independents Down to 37%, Tanks 10 Points in One Month
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/50954.html

Reuters Poll: 64% Say America on Wrong Track, Highest Number Since Obama Took Office
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/09/us-obama-poll-idUSTRE7284SZ20110309

*Pelosi-Obama-Reid (POR) Economy*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 10, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

"If unions were not so hyper-partisan, they would not be the natural enemies of Republicans." You should have finished that sentence with Republican politicians.

They aren't the enemies of Republicans.

You realize unions vote something like 64% Dem. That means a substantial amount are Republicans also.

Here is where you are mistaken. Republican politicians are pro-business. This means they don't support workers rights or labor laws. Unions are there to protect labor laws. If this means a Republican is trying to diminish their rights, they will go after them politically.

Here's where the shame of this all lies.

Republican politicians have turned those that vote traditionally Republican against union members in the hopes to crush labor laws that will benefit those funding their campaigns. They hope to diminish labor protection laws and annihilate workers pay, benefits and working conditions.

I honestly don't believe Republican working class voters want reductions in pay, benefits and working conditions do they?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 10, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Kingofzouk: Blah blah blah teabagger drooling.

Who is your candidate going to be, drooler? Give us a name, please.

Posted by: Observer691 | March 10, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

It's true that when unions abound, quality goes down. Why is that true?? Because unions are all about political power so unions always seek quantity OVER quality.

Bingo! Bullseye!

Here's a novel idea:

What if unions recruited only the highest quality people available and put them to work and stressed things like productivity, efficiency, and the ethics of being a responsible employee?

What if the unions weeded out the lazy loudmouths and the incompetent slugs, in their ranks? Unions would shrink, in size, but the quality and value, of the unions, would skyrocket.

The unions could be a valuable ally of American business instead of its natural enemy. "Made in America" could really mean something, again.

Wow! If only.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 10, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse


The big money comes to bail Walker out:

"According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel key players in the Wisconsin GOP will gather at the downtown DC headquarters of lobbying firm BGR Group March 16 for an event that donors "are asked to give at least $1,000 to the state Republican Party's federal account" to attend.

It takes $1,000 to get you in the door, but "sponsors" are asked to pony up $2,500 and "hosts" 5,000.

Wisconsin connections to BGR run deep. The president of government affairs for the firm is Bob Wood, who was a "former chief of staff and campaign manager" for former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson. And BGR couldn't be more connected to the national establishment. The firm's original name? Barbour (as in Haley) Griffith Rogers."

Posted by: fiona5 | March 10, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Face it Thugocrats: You lost. These violent temper-tantrums aren’t going to change anything-- but will shift taxpayer sentiment to the beseiged Governor.

RAW Video: Half of Capitol Controlled by Leftist Protesters, Breaking Down Doors, Windows Being Smashed
http://nation.foxnews.com/politics/2011/03/10/half-capitol-controlled-protesters-no-one-safe-national-guard-option-table

Congrats Hussein... your "army" is busy breaking things.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 10, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

mike:

""It's a tragedy that will only result in future teachers thinking twice about going into that profession.""

I doubt that most people who decide to go in to teaching are doing so for the great pay and spectacular benefits, so that seems unlikely to me.

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 10, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Ready for a stock market correction?

Posted by: shrink2 | March 10, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

"WI Senate GOP Leader Admits On-Air That His Goal Is To Defund Labor Unions, Hurt Obama's Reelection Chances"

In an interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly moments ago, State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI), one of Walker’s closest allies in the legislature, confirmed the true political motive of Walker’s anti-union push. Fitzgerald explained that “this battle” is about eliminating unions so that “the money is not there” for the labor movement. Specifically, he said that the destruction of unions will make it “much more difficult” for President Obama to win reelection in Wisconsin:

FITZGERALD: Well if they flip the state senate, which is obviously their goal with eight recalls going on right now, they can take control of the labor unions. If we win this battle, and the money is not there under the auspices of the unions, certainly what you’re going to find is President Obama is going to have a much difficult, much more difficult time getting elected and winning the state of Wisconsin.

Posted by: ebproducer | March 10, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"[mike whined: "I don't get it. It's as though conservatives get excited at the idea of driving good teachers away from the profession"]

WRONG. Leftists are only pleased when union fealty trumps teaching MERIT. Conservatives are please that the inverse will now prevail in Wisconsin, Idaho and elsewhere in the TEA-meritocracy."

Your example proves nothing. You've got one example of an English teacher that was called best new teacher. Is it a shame she didn't make the cut?

Sure.

Now, if WI reading and math levels were lower than average, maybe you could argue the union there is causing problems. But you've taken one example to justify Walkers power grab for the sake of businesses that are about to get massive tax cuts in the state and for the sake of weakening future Democratic voters.

So, your argument that Walker, by removing teachers rights will promote more quality teachers to join the WI workforce doesn't hold up.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 10, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"It's true that when unions abound, quality goes down. Why is that true?? "

You want to try and prove what you say is true? Or should we just believe your flapping gums?

No collective bargaining for teachers here in Ga. Guess that means we must be right up at the top in quality of education, right?
Nope.....45th in SAT scores and 47th in freshman graduation rates. You want to try again?

Posted by: schrodingerscat | March 10, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

/


"Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI), explained that “this battle” is about eliminating unions"

/

Posted by: fiona5 | March 10, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

@scott

""It's a tragedy that will only result in future teachers thinking twice about going into that profession.""

I doubt that most people who decide to go in to teaching are doing so for the great pay and spectacular benefits, so that seems unlikely to me."

Well Scott, they still need to make a living and leave a respected life. You've got 40% of the nation calling them lazy thugs and trying to grab statistics from who knows where trying to show what a bad job they are doing.

There was a time when teaching was a respected profession. Apparently, Republicans are being driven to think public teachers are lazy leaches that deserve dirt for pay and treated like lazy slobs.

I come from a family of teachers in a small town in Illinois. They led prestigious lives as teachers and prospered very well.

Times have changed unfortunately. Republican leadership have targeted them at the request of private business that want's a larger piece of the pie. They demonize them in the hopes the public turns against them and supports de-funding them and making their lives more miserable.

You can say that's not the goal but that is the result of the daily onslaught from the Conservative base that is being conditioned to demonize and hate public teachers by the encouragement of their leadership that is beholden to business demands to free up more tax money for their businesses.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 10, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

This all reminds me of a line in the movie Casino where the narrator was describing the bad guy's methods:

"Nicky's methods of betting weren't scientific, but they worked. When he won, he collected. When he lost, he told the bookies to go *&^% themselves. I mean, what were they going to do, muscle Nicky? Nicky was the muscle."

You gotta hand it to Republicans: when they win they collect. When they lose, they tell the Dems to go *&^% themselves.

Dems? Not so much.

Posted by: fairfaxres | March 10, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

The best, the sweetest thing about the WI situation is the fact that the Democrats and the unions are re acting, not acting.

In any war aggression wins. There is either offense or defense and virtually nothing in between. Right now the right in America is on offense and the left is on defense.

Let's keep them on defense. We should continue to force issues of importance from our POV and let the Democrats/liberals/socialist stay on defense. They can't win from that posture and that's just perfect.

While the unions show America thier entitlement mentality in Madison, sweeping changes are being enacted in other states.

another perfect example of putting the left on defense is the king hearings. The left can't prevent them all they can do is whine about them. AGain, the left can't win from a defensive posture.

I am reminded of the scene in "the empire strikes back" where darth starts throwing things at Luke faster than he can respond. That's the situation now for the left. They simply don't have enough resource to react to all the moves being made by their political opponents.

Even if the American taxpayers don't get everything this time out, the changes made thus far have been worth the effort.

So by all means lefties, vent your sense of impotence. Being impotent stinks, just ask those of us who opposed Obamacare.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 10, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

All, Russ Feingold weighs in on last night's events:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/03/feingold_wisconsinites_will_ho.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | March 10, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Don't bother asking why the droolers here hate unions. They hate unions because they hate their fellow citizens and want to see them in impovershed servitude.

Funny how the chest-beaters who so proudly proclaim their patriotism and love of country in actuality hate pretty much everyone who makes up the nation. These trogladytes think that their fetish for the flag is what counts when it comes to "loving your country".

Unfortunately, they aren't the only ones who suffer when the bad ideas they support get implemented. Then, of course, it's not the fault of the policies or the stupid people they voted for who passed them, but people who were hurt even more by them. Same as it ever was - our poor droolers Brigade, battleground, et al just can't catch a break, and it's all the fault of people who make no money and have no power, not the people who own it all, including the elected officials they can't wait to kneel before.

Before unzipping them, that is...

Posted by: JennOfArk | March 10, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Scott: "I doubt that most people who decide to go in to teaching are doing so for the great pay and spectacular benefits, so that seems unlikely to me."

Thanks! You're right. Teachers don't make great pay NOW. And they will make less and have reduced benefits after their bargaining rights are gone.

But one of the attractions of teaching has been the relative security of retirement by deferring pay today to pension later on. Why would anyone with a masters degree (as many teachers have) consider teaching in the future? What's going to attract them? If you're thinking altruism and love of the classroom is going to cut it, guess again.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | March 10, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

skip, what's happening right now is Democrats are trying to protect teachers from a bunch of propaganda being thrown at them to demoralize and dehumanize them that's conjured up from right wing think tanks to free up more public money to give away to corporate tax breaks.

I don't understand the immoral and un-Christian like attitudes of the modern day right people as yourself. It's as though someone dragged you out from the depths of hell and unleashed your ugliness on this world.

It's not a battle of the left vs right anymore skip. It's protecting good people like teachers from vile demons such as yourself out to degrade and dehumanize good hearted individuals that chose a life of educating our young.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 10, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

What is really missing in this Wisconsin/Ohio/Michigan story are those non-corporate voters who SHOWED UP for the 2010 elections and prevented this fiasco from happening in their States--you know who you are! You did your due diligence. You got the vote out. You did not vote against your own interests. Democracy worked!

Posted by: dozas | March 10, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

[JennOfArk drooled: "Don't bother asking why the droolers here hate unions."]

Leftists hate taxpayers because they hate their fellow citizens and want to see them in impovershed servitude to union goons.

Funny how the window-smashers who so proudly proclaim vandalism as the "highest form of patriotism" in actuality hate pretty much every taxpayer who makes up the nation. These union-huggers think that their fetish for fascist-thuggery is what counts when it comes to "loving your country".

Fortunately, they are the only ones who suffer when unions are busted. Then, of course, it's not the fault of the policies or the stupid Democrats they voted for who fled the state, but voters who were disenfranchised by these fleebaggers. Same as it ever was - our poor droolers Jenn, Mike, Cao, et al just can't catch a break, and it's all the fault of billionaire George Soros who they can't wait to kneel before.

There is no God but Soros and Obama is his prophet.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 10, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Oh, shove a sock in it, you deranged tosser.

How much money did the union busting save the average WI taxpayer? Zero? Then it ain't about that, you moronic dork.

And even if it was, cutting WI teachers' pay in half would save the average taxpayer what, $10 a year or so? Ok, so you're a contractor and that teacher who was gonna hire you to remodel the kitchen can't afford to do it now. So you lose out on a $20K job. But hey, you saved $10 on your taxes so...that's a WIN, right?

You pathetic stooge.

Posted by: JennOfArk | March 10, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

@NoVA: "A tactic available to him only because of the power the state holds in the education system."

As usual, you are only using half of your brain.

As far as I'm concerned, fine, you are more than entitled to believe that the education system does not belong with the state.

But that is not a solution. That is a problem, as you see it.

The "solution," in this case ending collective bargaining for teachers, does nothing to remedy the "problem." Schools will still be run by the state, but the employees won't have a fair say in how they are treated by their employer. Nothing is solved here. No matter how you sugarcoat it, NoVA, what the Republican Party has done is engender acrimony and division amongst people who just want to be treated fairly and aren't even in direct competition with each other (private sector vs. public sector, union vs. non-union). But now they are at war, thanks to GOP top-down dictatorial policy-making, made in conjunction with a substantial effort at corporate welfare on the part of the state (tax breaks, tax cuts, etc).

But, getting back to "problems" and "solutions," the day one of you Republicans comes on here and advocates that their party diagnoses a problem, recommends a solution in Congress, and then works it out in a civil, bi-partisan fashion is the day when the American system has succeeded. This is not that. This is internal warfare that, much like Iraq, is a war of CHOICE not necessity. After all, we now all agree that collective bargaining was NOT budgetary or fiscal in nature. It was passed in a non-fiscal bill. Again, this is identical to the war in Iraq in that it was a dramatic overreach and a war of CHOICE rather than a necessity for the American people.

What YOU are advocating for here, NoVA, the elimination of collective bargaining as a way to get back at public unions, only exacerbates the problems that the right and the left have with the education system. What you are advocating for here, NoVA, only makes your own end-goal harder to reach. What you are advocating for here, NoVA, is a prescription for the failure of American schools and American children.

And that is as flat-out stupid as it is unacceptable and unforgivable.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 10, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

"Leftists hate taxpayers because they hate their fellow citizens and want to see them in impovershed servitude to union goons."

You're talking about teachers you cretin who have more decency on the tip of their finger than your entire family of degenerates have in their near vicinity.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 10, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Your revolution is over, Mr. Lebowski. Condolences. The bums lost. My advice is to do what your parents did; get a job, sir. The bums will always lose.

Do you hear me, Lebowski? The bums will always lose!

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 10, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

*Leftist-Fascism Update*

Leftists Flood Twitter With Death Threats Against WI Gov. Scott Walker After Union Vote
http://www.therightscoop.com/death-wishes-and-hate-to-gov-walker-on-twitter/

[Then again, remember all Taxpayer death threats against Dems after ObamaCare was passed? No, wait...]

*so progressive!*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 10, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I bet any amount of money that KDE works at one of those right-wing sock puppet shops.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 10, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

"Your revolution is over, Mr. Lebowski. Condolences. The bums lost. My advice is to do what your parents did; get a job, sir. The bums will always lose.

Do you hear me, Lebowski? The bums will always lose!"

Your meth induces outbursts are not only causing you to repeat yourself endlessly but also causing you to forget to edit your document of what you perceive to be clever quotes to apply to the situation.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 10, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

IDK. I think they guy is some loser sipping on beers and smoking pot all day. He makes less and less sense as the day goes on.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 10, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

As the WI voters gear up for a recall of the GOP senators, they also have to make Walker's life a living hell before he can be recalled in December. Make it so the only place he can go out of the governor's mansion and his state house office will be a GOP fundraiser. Anyplace he shows his face, boo and heckle him and call him a "liar" and "cheat." Constant brow beating until he's out the door.
Guys like this don't belong in public service. His parents ought to be ashamed on the rotten job they did in child rearing.

As for this GOP doofus Fitzgerald, his Fox interview let the cat out of the bag.
This stunt is in preparation so Obama won't have the forces on the ground to win WI again. The public union issue is subservient to a grand national strategy brought to us by that little goose stepper Herr Rove.

Posted by: filmnoia | March 10, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

ronnie -- My point is this, and this only. The teachers union got in bed with government and now they're shocked they got screwed. I'd say that's a foreseeable consequence. Would you put your retirement in the hands in a bunch of self-interested pols?

Further, if you don't want public officials having such influence over teachers' livelihood, don't give the state the power to do so. as you note, the state will still being running schools. until that is remedied, teachers are screwed, collective bargaining or not, because they've tied themselves to the political system and left themselves with no real alternative. in WI, this has manifested itself in a fight over unions. in other states, it shows itself in ridiculous fights over whether creationism should be taught in science courses.

I make no comment on the merits of Walker's actions, but I do not disagree with your characterization of his motives. Of course he's using the levers of power to achieve his goals and "beat" Obama. This does not surprise me in the least.

it's unfortunate that we as nation decided to subject schools, teachers and students to whims of those holding the levers of power at any given time.


Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 10, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"I bet any amount of money that KDE works at one of those right-wing sock puppet shops."

I doubt he works at all, at anything. like skippy and battle, he seems to do nothing but snort meth and type drool all day, on the taxpayer's dime,no doubt.

Not questioning that they are disabled, that's obvious.

Posted by: fiona5 | March 10, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

NoVA,

So what is your answer?

I'm not saying that what you propose is unacceptable.

I'm saying that the way you go about it, and I'm not even talking about Walker, but people like YOU specifically, is totally unacceptable.

From your comments I can come up with a handful of potential solutions: make all schools profit-based businesses, make all schools run as individual non-profits, make all schools run as entities run by a much larger non-profit.

There, that's three possible solutions to the "problem" of government reach into the school system. It took me all of 5 seconds to suggest some solutions.

This is NOT what you do! You celebrate the top-down dictation by GOP governors and use the same tactics you celebrate to wag your finger at teachers. As I said, forget Walker and the state and national GOP, this type of behavior ON YOUR PART is moronic, imbecilic and emotionally and intellectually immature. Half-baked, if you will.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 10, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

sue:

""Why would anyone with a masters degree (as many teachers have) consider teaching in the future?""

Because they want to teach. Lots and lots of people, perhaps even most, pursue careers because of a desire to do it, not because of the financial rewards, and teaching is probably near the top of the list of such careers. I doubt very much that the absence of collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin is going to change that.

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 10, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Wow judging from the reaction of some of my friends to what for me are invisible posters, I suspect my blood pressure is 20 points lower than it would be without Troll Hunter.

R&R. Ethan...

"Schools will still be run by the state, "
Not if the tea baggers get their way. They'll be run by a hodge podge of churchs and elite private prep schools.

Ricky the Fraudster is doing everything within his power here in Florida to move "public education" into the private sphere.
He's pushing a really "fine" voucher program. Fine if you're wealthy like him because now our taxes will be directed to subsidize the wealthy who can ALREADY afford to send their kids to the elite prep schools. The remainder, including the moronic tea baggers will be left a great choice...send your child to some "Christian" school..where the folks aren't really very Christian at all but full of hate for those not like them, where they can learn things like the fact that dinosaurs and humans roamed the earth at the same time, that evolution is false, this was all created in 7 days, and of course there ain't no stinking global warming...it's all a big hoax created by those nasty liberals.
And in at least one social studies book for a 4th grader I knew I read all the stats on Sweden, geography, capital, etc. and oh btw they Swedes are not very productive because they are socialists. Yeah bad products I laugh from one of my two Volvos.

The other choice will be the remaining shell of public schools with overcrowded classrooms and teachers who are underpaid and joke about by cretins like some of the ones I'm pleased to no longer have to view on this blog.

Most people thought the tea baggers were just using the Boston Tea Party as a cute metaphor and this blind worship of a 200+ year old document as just romantic...little did folks realize that the moronic tea baggers really do want to take us back to the time of the Revolution. Wonderful..DDAWD your 3/5th of a person, Sue, ABC,lmsinca,Jenn forget about voting, and if you're a stinking Jew Ethan or a stinking Catholic Tao and 12Bar forget about ever running for public office because we don't have no room for stinkin fish eaters! And SBJ you're fired dude, none of you perverted gays allowed in our workplaces! It wouldn't be Christian don't cha know.

And in the words of Pink Floyd
We don't need no education!

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 10, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"You celebrate the top-down dictation by GOP governors and use the same tactics you celebrate to wag your finger at teachers"

I did no such thing. And I didn't advocate for the end of collective bargaining for teachers. I'm just saying the teachers were stupid for believing that a promise made to them by a bunch of politicians was worth a damn.

my "solution" was to remove the political system from the equation. your post did not indicate you wanted a manual on how to so.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 10, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

We had a new poster at the end of yesterday's morning plum who made such an excellent point I wish to repost it today so nobody misses it...

@JedG

Haven't seen you here before but welcome and hope you stick around. I'm close to your age and have similar experiences.

The point you bring up at the end of your post truly deserves repeating as you have nailed it and we can see visible proof ALREADY that confirms your thoughts.

"Regarding public employees unions, if it wasn't for the level of continuity the unions provide the political cronyism of the early 1900's would make any inefficiencies in our current governmental system look like child's play.

Within a year, Scott Walker and the Republicans would have Wisconsin's government in total nepotistic chaos."

Madison — The father of the state’s two most powerful legislators was named Tuesday as the head of the State Patrol.

Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb passed over five current top officials at the State Patrol to give the job to Stephen Fitzgerald, 68, a former Dodge County sheriff with four decades in law enforcement who was until May the U.S. marshal in the Western District of Wisconsin. Fitzgerald ran for Dodge County sheriff again in September in the Republican primary but was defeated 2-to-1 by incumbent Sheriff Todd Nehls.

Fitzgerald starts Monday and will earn $105,700, slightly less than the current acting superintendent.

Fitzgerald’s sons – Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) – took over the top positions in their respective houses after Republican victories in November’s elections. The appointment drew sharply divergent reactions in the capital city, ranging from praise to skepticism and outright criticism."

http://www.wisconsincrimenews.com/fitzgerald-selected-to-head-state-patrol-lawmakers-father-selected-over-five-other-candidates/

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 10, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

""Wonderful..DDAWD your 3/5th of a person, Sue, ABC,lmsinca,Jenn forget about voting, and if you're a stinking Jew Ethan or a stinking Catholic Tao and 12Bar forget about ever running for public office because we don't have no room for stinkin fish eaters! And SBJ you're fired dude, none of you perverted gays allowed in our workplaces! It wouldn't be Christian don't cha know.""

You forgot about the Irish.

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 10, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@Scott

"You forgot about the Irish."

Well I'm Irish and so perhaps it could be called a "Freudian slip".
Actually it's part of my bias...raised as an Irish Catholic I assumed I had included the Irish when I mentioned Tao and 12Bar....both Irish "mackeral snappers" like me. Well actually I'm a former "mackeral snapper" but like Liam Irish for life. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 10, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"my "solution" was to remove the political system from the equation."

Again with the half-baked plans! That is NOT a solution!!! Remove them AND THEN WHAT?

NoVA, the "THEN WHAT" IS THE SOLUTION.

You have proposed NO solution!

This is exactly the kind of short-sighted Republican ideological drivel that I am talking about. Precisely. Thank you NoVA, you nailed it. You are the perfect example of Republicanism writ large. It is just mindless, senseless politics driven by ideology and partisanship with TOTAL DISREGARD FOR THE OUTCOME!

Another example is a discussion we had the other day. Republicans on here, and some Dems, were advocating for a law that would mandate a list of expenditures by the government and how much was spent. NO! WRONG! What should be mandated is not how much was spent on each program, but WHAT IS THE *OUTCOME* of that spending!

I am sick of even people like you, fairly moderate, fairly intelligent, fairly well-informed, advocating for these BS ideas based on principle and not outcomes. You are doing yourself and your country a grave disservice by not relying on the real-world results of idealistic concepts that are impractical and in many cases destructive in practice. What will it take for the GOP to actually CARE about what their policies actually do to America? As of now, the Republican/Tea Party is astoundingly short-sighted and destructive of what should be common sense goals in improving Americans' lives.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 10, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Name that movie:

"...but we don't want the Irish!"

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 10, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of movie lines, r&r brings to mind another:

"He's an an angry elf."

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 10, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Ronnie -- you've got a really nasty habit of lashing out when you don't like something. First, i don't identify with the Republican party. because it, like the Democratic, puts its own interests above all else.

those Dems in WI don't care at all -- not one bit -- about the teachers or the students. the teachers and its union are simply a means (money and sympathetic media coverage) to an end (being in power). they are mirror images of Walker, who is employing different means to the achieve the same end.

we're talking past each other. you're criticizing a player, and i'm focused on the game.

but if you want a "solution," to what do do with public schools, that's a big topic that can't be reduced to a few talking points. what do you want from me? I'll say "privatize them" or "vouchers" and you'll come back with "koch sucker."

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 10, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

"""but if you want a "solution," to what do do with public schools, that's a big topic that can't be reduced to a few talking points. what do you want from me? I'll say "privatize them" or "vouchers" and you'll come back with "koch sucker." """

How is privatizing them a solution?

You said the problem is "what to do with public schools"... You said the solution is privatizing them...

So how is that a solution?

How will the schools benefit?

How will the teachers benefit?

How will students benefit?

And, let's say public schools are no longer run by the state... Should teachers in this new system be allowed to collectively bargain?

Lastly, how is your "solution" of privatizing them provide a BETTER OUTCOME versus the other ideas I suggested?

These are all valid questions, and I am listing them as an example of the kind of discussions that the Republican Party NEVER engages in. Regardless of what you say about not being affiliated with the GOP, it doesn't matter because your ideology is on the right and the GOP, like it or not, IS the face of the right wing.

That said, the primary motivation in WI is obviously union-busting, not providing a solution to the "problem" of public schools. If they had a roundtable where they called in experts and had a rigorous intellectual debate on these issues there wouldn't NEED to be top-down dictation by the state government and there wouldn't NEED to be class warfare and there wouldn't NEED to be mass protests.

No, I'm sorry NoVA, having a rational debate on OUTCOMES and deciding the best outcome is called LEADERSHIP.

Forcing your party's way -- without allowing ANY input or discussion from and with stakeholders -- is Big Government dictation. The kind that conservatives have said they oppose for generations.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 10, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"So how is that a solution?
How will the schools benefit?
How will the teachers benefit?
How will students benefit?"

These are the questions I had in mind when i said the issue couldn't be reduced to a few talking points. You can write books on how students will/won't benefit. I can take 5 minutes and regurgitate "proof" from a google search, but that's not helpful. I'm not trying to be coy, and I enjoy PL and understand my opinions are in the minority here, but each of those questions deserve a thought out response that I can't provide you in any reasonable time frame. I'm sorry to disappoint.


Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 10, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

"""I'm not trying to be coy, and I enjoy PL and understand my opinions are in the minority here, but each of those questions deserve a thought out response that I can't provide you in any reasonable time frame. I'm sorry to disappoint. """

You're not trying to be coy...

You're simply NOT TRYING.

That is my point!!!

You can't even boil it down into the basics? Or do you not even know? What is the gist of the research you've read?

What is YOUR reason for supporting privatization/vouchers?

Give me SOMETHING to show me that you care about outcomes, even if it is general commentary! I don't need proof, just your take on why privatization of schools provides better outcomes, and thus why you suggest it as a "solution" to the "problem" of public schools being managed by the state.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 10, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

okay --

my chief concern with public eduction is not the money or the teachers union or any of the standard conservative arguments you hear about public schools. My concern is that that politicians have their own interests at heart. not those of students or teachers. that's my starting premise. I understand that you'll likely reject that, and that' fair.

based on my premise, i think good ideas on how to improve public schools are rejected based on who is proposing them because it is politically expedient to do so. i also think the system is going to resist change. some blame the unions, but i don't think that's entirely fair.

so, i think that removing the political aspect of school boards and state boards of ed and letting those folks on the ground, the principals and teachers do their jobs, would give them the flexibility to structure their methods, courses, calendars, to best serve the students as individuals. Instead we teach to a test that measures I'm not sure what.

personally, I'm an introvert. so i was able to go along and get along at my good public high school (10-11-12). that didn't cut in when i was in private school (9th) -- they pushed you and new you as an individual. it wasn't just class size, although I'm sure it was a factor. it's that the teachers hand the freedom and the administration's support to structure lesson plans and the like to push me. the public school had county mandates to meet and good teachers hands are tied. i was a number at the public school not only because of class size, but also because i wasn't a trouble maker or an academic star. i think if everyone is getting an A, that's just as much of a problem as everyone failing.

i also think the politicization results in stuff like zero tolerance policies that serve the adults by making their jobs easier.


Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 10, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Okay, thanks for trying.

But you just proved my point.

You don't have a clue as to how privatization of the entire school system will play out. While there might be a kernal of an idea in there, you are pretty much totally ignorant on the ramifications of the "solution" you propose.

How will privatization effect very large under-performing schools?
How will privatization effect what subjects are taught?
How will privatization effect remedial and/or advanced learning?
What about kids who can't afford the least expensive education, do they not go to school?
Will there be a for-profit student loan program for elementary school now? Kindergarden?
How will privatization effect the broader economy?

There are a million questions that can be asked about a policy stance like this which is driven by ideology and not by outcomes.

It's clear you haven't thought about this in a serious way. And, given the fact that you are advocating for a DRASTIC change from how things are currently done, I feel that I must point out that it is common sense that you know a little about the ramifications of a policy before you advocate for it.

It really is a pattern though. It seems that so many of the Republican policies are ideology-driven with no, or little, thought about how that policy would play out in the real world. You're entitled to think whatever you want, but if you don't know or don't care about measuring outcomes then you are simply not to be taken seriously. That goes for not only you, but EVERYONE, including each and every member of BOTH political parties.

It's just a shame, however, that the Republican Party is so wholly driven by ideology that they spend more time trying to get their way than they do in trying to develop the RIGHT policy. No compromise, no bipartisanship, "my way or the highway". We see it on pretty much every single issue. It's just simply NOT what AMERICA is about.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 10, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

you keep moving the goalposts. You ask for a generalization and I gave you some. now you want specifics. each of those questions you present could fill a book.

I started the day pointing out that this whole thing in WI was driven by politics and that education was just sideshow. a point I might add is largely shared here.

My larger point was that the teachers got themselves in trouble by putting their trust in a system that relies on their political protectors to watch out for them.

"And, given the fact that you are advocating for a DRASTIC change from how things are currently done, I feel that I must point out that it is common sense that you know a little about the ramifications of a policy before you advocate for it."

Why? Have you ever met a member of congress? This is what they do for a living. but there's research and work out there on reducing the government's role in education. if you're truly interested, start with Cato.

http://www.cato.org/federal-education-policy

i'm signing off for the day can but we can pick this up again if you are so inclined. i'll be on the morning links tomorrow.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 10, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

There's whole areas of education that are not addressed by your solution. THAT was my specific point.

The larger point is that this type of behavior is a pattern with the Republican Party.

We see this pattern over and over and over again where ideology trumps reason and "my way or the highway" trumps dialog and compromise.

"Just privatize it" isn't an answer in the real world. "Give them a coupon for tuition" isn't an answer in the real world. Not when there are SO MANY implications of that proposal.

Those answers are the easy way out of having to actually THINK about which policies are best given the stated needs of ALL of the stakeholders and of having to actually THINK about the real world implications of the policies you support.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 10, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

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