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Posted at 8:45 AM ET, 02/24/2011

Wisconsin Gov. Walker is winning

By Jennifer Rubin

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, by holding firm, is winning his face off against the public employee unions and their Democratic handmaidens. Yes, the state senate Democrats remain in an undisclosed location in Illinois, but their situation has become a whole lot more precarious. The AP reports:

Republicans and Democrats in the Wisconsin Assembly have agreed to a deal that will limit further debate on a bill taking away collective bargaining rights for public workers and lead to a vote on the measure later Thursday.

The deal was announced shortly after 6 a.m. Thursday following an unprecedented 40-hour debate that began Tuesday morning with only short breaks in between.

Democrats agreed to limit further amendments to just 38 with a 10-minute time limit on each one. If they take the maximum time for each, with no breaks, that would put the vote around noon.

So senate Democrats are going to remain out of state while their assembly colleagues give way to the will of the majority? And meanwhile, the canny governor is racking up other wins. Here's from the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:

With 14 Democrats remaining in Illinois and continuing to boycott the Senate, Republicans easily passed a bill repealing a requirement that law enforcement collect data on the race of all drivers they stop.

Republican leaders also scheduled a vote for Thursday on a bill to require people to show photo ID to vote. That bill - abhorred by Democrats, who believe it will disenfranchise voters - also could get through the Senate with little debate because Democrats have shown no signs of returning.

Aside from the taxpayers and Walker, the big winners -- should things continue in this direction -- will be the other governors, Republicans and Democrats alike, who are battling public employee unions and trying to balance their budgets. Walker is showing that if a governor refuses to blink, the public employee unions have few options.

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 24, 2011; 8:45 AM ET
Categories:  Governors  
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Comments

The unions have agreed to the wage and benefit cuts. There is no legitimate justification to abolish their rights to negotiate contracts. The 3 unions which donated to Walker have been exempted from this fascist legislation to bust unions which proves this is nothing but a political tactic and has nothing to do with budget deficits. Nuff said.

Posted by: fingersfly | February 24, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

@fingersfly. there are 314 state and local police and fire unions in Wisconsin. Only 3 of those 314 endorsed Walker yet all 314 are exempt.

Posted by: jryan23 | February 24, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Koch Industries and the brothers should be investigated. Looking like we're worse than a third world country.
Creepy

Posted by: hhkeller | February 24, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

If the unions are popular with their members, those members will vote for them once per year, write their checks to pay their dues, organize furiously in 2012, and punish the Republicans terribly then.

Unions have no "rights" to negotiate with themselves in order to attach the taxpayers and the future taxpayers. Employees have the right to organize, to be protected by Wiscy's very strong civil service, to vote, and to win. The problem here is nothing more than a majority of the Wiscy legislature, and the governor, have posited in fair elections that the public employee unions should not have the right to dictate to towns and counties how those entities manage their payrolls and long term liabilities.

If this is all unfair and unproductive, no doubt the public employees will change jobs and Wiscy will collapse in the vacuum that they leave behind; voters will punish the Republicans for a generation; no one will attempt to run for governor without the endorsement of the public employee lobby; Wiscy will become the envy of the country in respect of its outstanding public school performance and fiscal stability.

I'm just not really clear on why, given how right and popular the Democratic/public employee union position here is, and how "fascist" and "dictatorial" the running dog Walker is, the election and its consequences should be nullified. I thought the left believed in democracy and its effects.

Posted by: IowaHawkeye | February 24, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

"Walker is showing that if a governor refuses to XXXXX "I won't negotiate", the public employee unions have few options."

Posted by: ohwell1 | February 24, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

@fingersfly Collective bargaining allows the state to confiscate the dues from union members, turns the money directly to the unions who then distributes the monies to Dem politicians who then vote to give the unions more power and money. Who gets left out-the taxpayers who just voted to give Republicans power to stop this cronyism. The fact that Dem senators are willing to run away to stop the will of the voters just shows how money corrupts.

Posted by: cajunkate | February 24, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Walker is losing. He can 'hold firm' all he wants. The Senate Republicans aren't the Koch fedayeen that he is, and since Walker is losing in public opinion, it's only a matter of time until they break ranks.

Posted by: jiji1 | February 24, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

There is no legitimate justification to abolish their rights to negotiate contracts. The 3 unions which donated to Walker have been exempted from this fascist legislation to bust unions which proves this is nothing but a political tactic and has nothing to do with budget deficits. Nuff said.

Posted by: fingersfly | February 24, 2011 9:02 AM
---------------

The bill does not abolish their (the public unions) rights to negotiate contracts, does not "bust" unions and is not "fascist" by any recognized definition of the term, and the allegation that the "3 unions which donated to Walker have been exempted" is misleading and has been debunked by Politifact: http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/feb/21/donna-brazile/donna-brazile-says-unions-supported-scott-walker-a/

Posted by: paco33 | February 24, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I suppose if Soros and the SEIU were prevented from participating in politics then it would make sense to prevent David Koch from participating in politics. But if Soros and the SEIU are proscribed from committing politics, and Koch is as well, the Democrats would get the worst part of that deal, because Soros and the unions are much larger investors in the Democrats than the Koch Bros. are in the other side.

Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing the Rockford Hotel's credit card receipts subpoened, in order to verify who is paying for the minority caucus in exile. Since it's a felony to have the unions pay the expenses of these guys.

Anyway, claims of Walker's political demise seem pretty silly. Most voters do not like to see their elections nullifying by chants, drums, and nostalgic appeals to labor movements gone by.

Posted by: IowaHawkeye | February 24, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

hhkeller, yes it does seem like the world turned upside down, and we are back at about 1907. The billionaires are now so rich and so powerful that they can just buy any state government that they want to. But they can't send in armored cars to mow down the protesters like they could in that era - cell phone cameras you know. And progressives and union members have far greater tools available to get their message out.

What it really took was a wakeup call to the middle class that the billionaires and their flunkies in government are really coming after them.

While a few people, particularly poorly educated rural people, resent the high-flying salaries of public school teachers (snark), most people simply are not consumed by envy, no matter what conservatives may claim. Trying to stoke envy in the poor of those high-falutin' school teachers is not going to work. Conservatives view of human nature is flawed. That is why they lost in the beginning of the 20th century, and why they'll lose today.

This is a useful exercise. Unless youngsters today watch 'The Grapes Of Wrath' they have no conception of what happens to people when they are friendless and unrepresented and prostrate, left to the tender mercies of the Rockefellers and the Kochs.

Posted by: jiji1 | February 24, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Walker refuses to blink? He's earned himself a new title, not the Governor, but...the Bagwa!

Posted by: aardunza | February 24, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

IowaHawkeye - The IowaHawkeye? If so, wow, I'm honored, and read your blog. Not enough T. Coddington posts of late though. More!

David Koch can certainly 'participate' in politics. He can buy any politician he wants. The question is whether we want to be ruled entirely by money.

The rich have taken good care of themselves throughout history. The poor have fared less well.

I thought the purpose of democracy and elections was to move power from the marketplace to the polling place. If the rich can buy politicians of any party, can run 24-hour propaganda networks to mislead people in to voting harm to themselves - is that really the ideal that America is about? Sounds like a rather unfortunate state of affairs.

Posted by: jiji1 | February 24, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Rubin and the Koch brothers must be thrilled at the good news she reports. How odd, however, that it is Democrats and labor movement supporters who seem to be ecstatic. How odd that the most recent Gallup poll reported that 61 percent of Americans oppose taking away collective bargaining rights.

Are Rubin and the Kochs really convinced that "Wisconsin Gov. Walker is winning," or is this brave and bold headline just the latest GOP talking point, soon to be repeated endlessly on Fixed News and the hoard of am radio talk shows controlled by corporate America? Just wondering.

Posted by: J_B_A | February 24, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

The fact that members of many of these unions fear retaliation for speaking within their communities the best of what is on their minds represents the dictatorial nature of what has become a corrupt relationship between democrats and unions. This grip on the throats of municipal governments becomes extremely hard to break. But this corrupted relationship feeds at the trough of us taxpayers over commitments that bind us well into our country’s future. These commitments become “fundamental rights” to those who benefit from this process while becoming a scourge to the rest of our citizenry, our children and their children who have to pay well into the future for corrupt processes that eat slowly at our nation’s soul and our concepts of personal liberty, responsibility and accountability.

Posted by: pthib | February 24, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

if walker is winning why are almost all republicans staying more than an arms lenght away from him...

and why don't you tell us why the dems agreed to a vote in the assembly?
oh, yeah, it undercuts your lies

Posted by: newagent99 | February 24, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Real questions for the libs here: you believe that "Koch Industries and the brothers should be investigated", "David Koch can certainly 'participate' in politics. He can buy any politician he wants. The question is whether we want to be ruled entirely by money", etc.
How are the Koch's any different that George Soros?

Btw, according to OpenSecrets, the Koch's rank 50th on the list of top overall donors to political campaigns - well behind such Dem supporting groups as: ActBlue, SEIU, the NEA, American Federation of Teachers, AFSCME, the Teamsters, the American Assoc. for Justice, the IBEW, CWA, etc.

If the Koch's are buying legislators what are the unions doing?

Posted by: paco33 | February 24, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

pthib,

Are you an actual person or a corporation?

Posted by: J_B_A | February 24, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Stop the greed and cronyism of public sector unions and Democrat politicians?

Yes we can!

Posted by: Bobo4 | February 24, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

This whole thing with Koch brothers is really tiring, and misses the point entirely. I think that there is little thoughtfulness or creativity remaining in the left wing. There is only complaining. Oh,,and whining. Oh, right, and abdication of responsibility. By elected officials, teachers, doctors, and media.

There is certainly no critical thinking going on.

These are PUBLIC unions, people. See the dychotomy? See the conflict? If not then I guess you will never be able to rise from the fog that is obscuring your thinking.

You are useful idiots for the mafia dons that run these unions. And, without question, the Unions are in it for only themselves.

Posted by: chuck_mayhew | February 24, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

The problem for the Left here is that this is not an ideological problem set unique to Wiscy. It's a fiscal problem endemic across the country. So the Left, to persevere, has to adopt Trumka's point of view that there is no national deficit problem, and there is no state and local government deficit problem. It's all a mirage. The economy is fine. Citizens are flush. Walker is exploiting Roberts Rules of Order to attack the children of the UMW, the followers of John L. Lewis once-removed.

I think a lot of the easterners reading this blog are probably thrown off guard by the monotonic, understating Walker, but Walker is operating according to a logic tree, and the clock favors him as well. What does the Left have? Drums, chanting, the REV-erunnnd JACK-son.

There really is a hard deadline by which Wiscy needs a budget to avoid a 9 figure financing penalty, and there really are constitutional obligations on the part of the Democratic senators to enable a lawful legislative session. I really don't see that the Democrats have any option but to show up for work and reverse this lawful process the old-fashioned way -- in the 2012 elections. Why all the sturm und drang about winning elections? What's so hard about winning elections and advancing policy? But even the union is afraid of internal democracy, and seeks to void a requirement to allow their members to vote on participation.

What could possibly be more abhorrent to free people than being compelled to give money to an organization, simply in order to work at one's profession and support one's family?

Posted by: IowaHawkeye | February 24, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"I thought the purpose of democracy and elections was to move power from the marketplace to the polling place. If the rich can buy politicians of any party, can run 24-hour propaganda networks to mislead people in to voting harm to themselves - is that really the ideal that America is about? Sounds like a rather unfortunate state of affairs."

jiji1, You have encapsulated the contempt the Left has for the electorate. "..can run 24-hour propaganda networks to mislead people in to voting harm to themselves.."

What an elitist and repellant viewpoint that we Americans are such rubes that we don't know what's in our own best interests. Who DOES know what's in our best intersts? It must be those liberal politicians and liberal Ivy League trained wizards! Everyone else just go along please and keep your mouths shut! You fools are much too stupid to lead your lives as you wish!

And for all these "Koch Brothers" and "FoxNews" accusations, you folks on the Left render yourselves pretty close to unworthy of intellectual respect. It's similar to the "Nazi" allegation. Once you hear that accusation, you just tune the person out.

In response, would it be fair for the Right to say that liberals get their marching orders from George Soros, and their news strictly from MSNBC?

Posted by: RitchieEmmons | February 24, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

All government unions should be banned; or they should not be allow to make political donations/contributions of any kind or be allowed to strike against the people. These unions are the most corrupt and greedy institutions in our political system today. More power to the Kochs if they are in this fight.

Posted by: vausa22923 | February 24, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

FleeBagger Democrats hide out in Illinois while Republicans pass their agenda unopposed?

Now that's what I call Hope & Change!

Posted by: Bobo4 | February 24, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

It seems the Senate Democrats made a critical error here. In their minds, they could leave the state, delay the vote, expect the protests to overwhelm the Governor and their Senate colleagues causing them to cave, Democrats win. What in essence has happened instead is that they left, snowstorm, work week resumes, protests diminish, Governor and Senate colleagues don't cave, they're stuck in Harvard, Illinois, home of the annual Milk Days festival; and eventually they will have to come back and when they do, the budget will pass, they will lose. They will doubly lose because for coming back the unions will think they rolled on them.

Posted by: sfergus1 | February 24, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

"Koch Industries and the brothers should be investigated."

And while we're at it, let's take a look at that Emmanuel Goldstein character!

Posted by: jimtreacher | February 24, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Anyway, there is an easily testable empirical question on the table. Who will give in first, and, if no one, will the Governor and GOP majority use the means at their disposal to resolve the situation--and, who will gain and who will suffer politically in the aftermath. I believe that the Republicans will be rewarded for standing firm and curtailing public union power, punished if they weaken, and that public opinion will turn dramatically against the union and its supporters. (Where has our community organizer in chief been on the issue lately, by the way? He's not a bad bellweather of political winds, is he?) Let's all get our bets down!

Posted by: adam62 | February 24, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Newagent99, which Republicans are "staying away" from Walker? I think the Left is confused because Walker's supports are not calling people Hitler, Mussolini, dictator; they're not violating medical ethics, lying to their employers, chanting like Orwellian livestock, claiming to be the modern-day descendents of the IWW.

Walker is just allowing the air to vacate the anti-government balloon, and the irony of government employees attacking their own government, to become plain. Perhaps if they become frustrated enough they'll just start screaming on streetcorners that taxpayers are lucky to have them, so pony up the dough.

The lower house Dems agreed to a vote because ... that is their Constitutional obligation? You realize that you're saying nullification and fleeing the state is the new normal, and legislators who legislate are the exception?

But thanks for calling statements of fact and observation "lies". It's always best to impugn the motives and sincerity of one's political opponents, instead of making a case based on law, history, and the most recent election results.

Posted by: IowaHawkeye | February 24, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Not quite, Fingersfly. The teacher's union in Wisconsin haven't agreed to wage or benefits cuts. Nor have they sacrificed. During 2008 - 2009, they received a 2 1/2% pay increase, for 2010 they received a 3% pay increase. The state teacher's pension is in debt 10.9 billion dollars, it's not solvent. The state has massive debt, and with entire towns in Wisconsin facing the loss of jobs as at least 3 companies that operated in Wisconson (Polaris being one) have decided to move operations overseas courtesy of the burdens imposed under Obamacare, and other democrat demanded tax increases makes them less competitive, it's impossible to believe the already suffering taxpayers can shoulder more burdens.

Frankly, FDR himself stated that government workers should not be unionized, and I believe this now. I've not seen one government worker sacrifice in any way, but I have seen privately employed citizens take pay cuts, be laid off or fired, displaced by cheap foreign labor that demand welfare subsidies to make up the difference for the low wages that are used as a rationale for their being hired. It's insane.

The statistics in Wisconsin are deplorable. These union teachers who refuse to sacrifice, can't even be bothered to do the jobs they are paid for. Testing reveals that only 1 in 3 Wisconsin 8th grader is proficient in reading.

Posted by: jenn3 | February 24, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

jiji1, I am not David Burge/IowaHawk, though we both retain a fondness for rural NW Iowa and carburated V-8's.

Posted by: IowaHawkeye | February 24, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

The problem for the Left here is that this is not an ideological problem set unique to Wiscy. It's a fiscal problem endemic across the country. So the Left, to persevere, has to adopt Trumka's point of view that there is no national deficit problem, and there is no state and local government deficit problem. It's all a mirage. The economy is fine. Citizens are flush. Walker is exploiting Roberts Rules of Order to attack the children of the UMW, the followers of John L. Lewis once-removed.

=========================================

The left has another tactic, blame Bush for everything and hope all the problems magically disappear.

Posted by: bbface21 | February 24, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

RitchieEmmons: "And for all these "Koch Brothers" and "FoxNews" accusations, you folks on the Left render yourselves pretty close to unworthy of intellectual respect. It's similar to the "Nazi" allegation. Once you hear that accusation, you just tune the person out."

One fly in the ointment of your castigation of progressives as conspiracy theorists: yesterday an impostor posing as David Koch was patched through to the governor, and the governor talked to the impostor as though this "Koch" was his supervisor, giving a report of his progress and asking for "encouragement" of himself and other republicans. When you ask a billionaire for "encouragement" what do you think that word is a euphemism for?

Try calling up Democratic governors posing as George Soros, and asking them to promote a Marxist agenda, see how well that works.

Check the campaign finance reports of Democratic governors, look for Soros contributions. Walker took 43 grand from the Koch's pac.

Nazi allegations? You don't want to start tugging at that thread. Google "Koch" + "Buchenwald".

Posted by: jiji1 | February 24, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Thank Zeus for Gov. Walker. FINALLY in America we've found strong principled leadership. Let's hope the rest of the GOP grows a backbone and restores sanity, growth and freedom across this great land.

Now if we could only get Dirty Harry and his band of Senate misfits to emulate their Wisconsin brethren and just run away...

Posted by: thebump | February 24, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"What could possibly be more abhorrent to free people than being compelled to give money to an organization, simply in order to work at one's profession and support one's family?"

Freedom is not important to most public school teachers. A one wage fits all employment paradigm based on seniority is what they want, and their unions deliver in spades.

Posted by: Inagua1 | February 24, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

IowaHawk: "The problem for the Left here is that this is not an ideological problem set unique to Wiscy. It's a fiscal problem endemic across the country."

The problem is a hoax. Republicans slash taxes for billionaires, then the resulting 'crisis' is used to crush workers.

Wall Street bankers destroyed the world, got hundreds of billions of tax dollars as a bailout, are paying themselves billion dollar bonuses, and I'm supposed to believe the answer to rectify this situation is to take it out of the hide of public school teachers? Can you hear yourself?

"What does the Left have?" Well, the right has all the money and worldly powers that Mammon can summon from the depths of Hades. But the Left does have this: virtue, reasonableness, truth & justice. To paraphrase Ghandi, tyrants come and go and for a time they can seem invincible. But love always wins in the end. That's what the Left has.

Posted by: jiji1 | February 24, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The Koch's donated about less than 1% of the moneys that Walker raised for his election bid. If the left seriously thinks this amount of money swung the election then no wonder they find facts so confusing. I would seem then that anyone who contributed more that a nominal amount would have which ever candidate in their pocket. And let me note that the Unions were by far the biggest single contributors to the Donkey party. So by your logic, what does that make the candidate for the Democrats? A union tool? Logic hurts sometimes.

Posted by: mtm1259 | February 24, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

A moonbat writes: "Try calling up Democratic governors posing as George Soros, and asking them to promote a Marxist agenda, see how well that works."

Governors might be a bit too savvy, but I guarantee you that you easily could nail 80% of the Dimwitcrat caucus in the House.

Posted by: thebump | February 24, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I didn't hear one objective, objectionable comment by Walker in his conversation with the "F*** the Troops" blogger. I keep reading about how it's a smoking gun, but no one on the Left can tell me why it's a smoking gun. Koch is a libertarian who gives money to small government politicians, and politicians raise money from people who help them pay for campaigns. Duh. Newsflash: Dog bites man. Again.

Moreover, he obviously doesn't know Koch, or else he couldn't have been fooled.

Increasingly, I am becoming convinced that easterners and liberals are thrown way off their game by this dispassionate, understated governor. The Left keeps raising the decibel level, and the governor says, "By all means, have a ball." Americans are pretty smart and if this nullification-and-strike strategy is what they want, they'll get it, if not now, in the next election. It's a kind of electoral rope-a-dope. When 1500 people get laid off while 14 legislators illegal sit in a Rockford hotel, Walker will be calling Quinn and asking him to provide police protection for those lonely 14. The 14 have no strategy; they express a politics of complaint. At bottom, all they're complaining about is that they lost the last election. If they'd won, they could have jammed through their benefits and wage increases and raised taxes again, as Quinn did. But they didn't. So they're left with nullification and some sentimental crap about how self-dealing public employees are the moral equivalent of miners in West Virginia in 1908.

Posted by: IowaHawkeye | February 24, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Walker exempted police and fire unions from his fascist legislation. The facts are that 3 of these unions supported him. He couldn't very well exempt only the police and fire unions who supported him and not exempt the police and fire unions who did not, so he exempted them all to protect his donors. He is a corrupt pig who is selling out Wisconsin to his big money corporatists, the Koch Bros.

The far right wing of the Republican party are fascists. They are scapegoating labor, the left, and nonfavored religious groups which is what fascists always do. Their agenda is to enrich their industrialists while they enslave everyone else.

Posted by: fingersfly | February 24, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

jiji1, the Wiscy pension plan is $10B under water.

You could confiscate the net worth of every person in Wisconsin making more than a few hundred thousand a year, and you wouldn't solve this problem. That is, if the Left could win an election based on the principle that anyone making more than a few hundred grand should prepare to forfeit everything they have, in order to save public employee unions in Wisconsin.

But you're right, people like me lack "virtue, reasonableness, truth & justice". I guess you win another argument! Yay! You go! All I have are a few facts, the law, the votes, and ... a powerful disinterest in emotional nostrums.

Posted by: IowaHawkeye | February 24, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Fleeing the capitol to deny a quorum isn't a felony. It isn't a felony to pay for someone to be somewhere else.

Abraham Lincoln jumped out the window of the Illinois state capitol in 1839 to deny the Democrats a quorum.

Posted by: jiji1 | February 24, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"and eventually they will have to come back and when they do, the budget will pass"

I doubt that. The unions are facing an existential threat. They are backed in to a corner and their choices are fight and keep fighting, or die.

Not only will Wisconsin Democratic Senators not budge, the protests have spread all over the Midwest, and as of Saturday March 5, they will spread to the Tennessee capitol (as well as others probably).

http://www.teateachers.org/News.asp?s=1&nid=343

Wear red, no hitler signs please.

Posted by: jiji1 | February 24, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"Fleeing the capitol to deny a quorum isn't a felony."

A stirring defense!

"Abraham Lincoln jumped out the window of the Illinois state capitol in 1839 to deny the Democrats a quorum."

And later in his life, after he'd grown up a bit, he admitted that it was a mistake.

Posted by: jimtreacher | February 24, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

What an irony as well that it's Wisconsin where this is happening. The Socialist Green Bay Packers just won the superbowl. (The only community owned and operated NFL franchise, lowest paid players in the league)

Cornerback Charles Woodson of the Socialist Green Bay Packers, issued the following statement along with the NFL Players Association:

"I am also honored as a member of the NFL Players Association to stand together with working families of Wisconsin and organized labor in their fight against this attempt to hurt them by targeting unions."

Truth, Justice and The American Way. As American as the Superbowl.

Posted by: jiji1 | February 24, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"yesterday an impostor posing as David Koch was patched through to the governor, and the governor talked to the impostor as though this "Koch" was his supervisor, giving a report of his progress......"

So promulgating fraud somehow strengthens the morality of your position????

Oh I get it the ends justify any means......


Lefties.............scheeesh

Posted by: edward1960 | February 24, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Edward1960, Affording Governor Walker the opportunity to report his 'progress' to his superiors candidly so that we may gain a window in to his thoughts is 'fraud'?

Why we learned that Walker intended to tell the Democratic Senators that he was willing to 'talk' on the condition that all of them return to the capitol, resume the session, take a recess and adjourn to an antiroom to 'talk'. While they were gone the Republicans would consider a quorum to be present and pass the bill.

Sounds like Governor Walker was exceedingly honest. How can an honest conversation with the governor be considered fraud?

Posted by: jiji1 | February 24, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

@IowaHawkeye at several: Well stated and percipient. Just be advised that you are arguing with a hole in the wall.

Posted by: jafco | February 24, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

posing as someone you are not is something other than fraud???

Scheeesh

Posted by: edward1960 | February 24, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

The key reforms are to limit public sector unions from negotiating long-term contracts and to end deduction of union dues directly from paychecks. With long-term contracts the temptation would be for the government to agree to benefits like pensions that are almost free in the present with the true cost shifted to future taxpayers. Without direct confiscation of dues, unions would be forced to provide value to individual workers to get them to pay up. Both major reforms shift the balance of power between public sector unions, government workers, and taxpayers to something more reasonable.

Posted by: GeorgeB_TX | February 24, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Amazing: Ruben Bolling foresaw all of this:

http://tinyurl.com/26rj2or

Hollingsworth Hound in "Starve The Beast"

Posted by: jiji1 | February 24, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"...Nor have they sacrificed. During 2008 - 2009, they received a 2 1/2% pay increase, for 2010 they received a 3% pay increase..."

Well, compared to their initial demands (opening negotiating position), I guess that counts as a huge sacrifice! Is that their logic?

Posted by: aardunza | February 24, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"Try calling up Democratic governors posing as George Soros, and asking them to promote a Marxist agenda, see how well that works.

Check the campaign finance reports of Democratic governors, look for Soros contributions. Walker took 43 grand from the Koch's pac.

Nazi allegations? You don't want to start tugging at that thread. Google "Koch" + "Buchenwald".

Posted by: jiji1"

Paragraph #1 - Non-sequitur.

Paragraph #2 - So what.

Paragraph #3 - You make my point beautifully. Thanks very much.

Posted by: RitchieEmmons | February 24, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"jiji1, You have encapsulated the contempt the Left has for the electorate. "..can run 24-hour propaganda networks to mislead people in to voting harm to themselves.." What an elitist and repellant viewpoint that we Americans are such rubes that we don't know what's in our own best interests."

Well I do happen to know a number of people who are certain that Saddam Hussein perpetrated 9/11, that Obama raised their taxes and that Obama's first budget had a larger deficit than the one left to him by his predecessor. I know an otherwise sane corporate attorney who believes that it was conclusively proven that John Kerry fraudulently obtained his medals.

If people don't understand what's happening in the world - because of corporations which exist to get them to believe falsehoods, then how can they make informed decisions at the voting booth?

Posted by: jiji1 | February 24, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

J_B_A

I'm an actual person.

Posted by: pthib | February 24, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

For all the people spewing Fox News lies, it is being widely reported that Fox reporting on the poll of union support was reversed to falsely show that Americans don't support unions when the fact is, 61% FAVOR unions. They are maintaining the lie on broadcast after broadcast. They have no shame!

http://mediamatters.org/blog/201102230009

Posted by: fingersfly | February 24, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Well I do happen to know a number of people who are certain that Saddam Hussein perpetrated 9/11, that Obama raised their taxes and that Obama's first budget had a larger deficit than the one left to him by his predecessor. I know an otherwise sane corporate attorney who believes that it was conclusively proven that John Kerry fraudulently obtained his medals.Posted by: jiji1 | February 24, 2011 12:02 PM
---------------------
And I know people who are sure that 9/11 was an inside job perpetrated by GW Bush. Obama has in fact raised taxes. Obama's first budget did in fact result in a larger deficit than the one left him (and significantly larger than the last Bush budget with a Republican Congress in 2005.

Most people on the left (including Dem party leaders) believe that Bush lied about WMD (not a shred of proof), that he stole the 2000 election (no proof), that Obamacare will give health insurance to 30 million more people AND reduce costs, the the stimulus worked, that Israel is expanding settlements in the West Bank, that the Citizens United case overturned 100 years of precedent,...I could go on and on but my fingers are getting tired.

Posted by: paco33 | February 24, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

"Well I do happen to know a number of people who are certain that Saddam Hussein perpetrated 9/11, that Obama raised their taxes and that Obama's first budget had a larger deficit than the one left to him by his predecessor. I know an otherwise sane corporate attorney who believes that it was conclusively proven that John Kerry fraudulently obtained his medals."

Really?? Oh boy, we need to do something here! I think you're right, and these people don't know what's best for themselves and get easily fooled into voting against their interests. Someone call the liberals to arrange a meeting to set these folks on the correct path.

What then do we do about those people known as 9/11 Truthers, those convinced that the Bush-Cheney axis of evil stated that Saddam was behind 9/11, that Bush-Cheney went into Iraq for oil and that Iran is building only a peaceful nuclear program? Do we have a plan for them?

Posted by: RitchieEmmons | February 24, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"One fly in the ointment of your castigation of progressives as conspiracy theorists: yesterday an impostor posing as David Koch was patched through to the governor, and the governor talked to the impostor as though this "Koch" was his supervisor, giving a report of his progress and asking for "encouragement" of himself and other republicans. When you ask a billionaire for "encouragement" what do you think that word is a euphemism for?"

God the left is crazy. What, exactly, did the governor say that went beyond the politeness any politician would show for a supporter, and the candidness of a politician who has nothing to hide? Please, quote something incriminating.

Posted by: adam62 | February 24, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

At least the Kochs are using THEIR OWN MONEY and not the $400 MILLION in tax payer dollars the Unions spent in 2008 to elect Democrats nationwide. Even in politcal expenditures, Democrats are such deadbeats that they have to borrow money from the government to give right back to the government. Would be nice to have a final study determining how much members of each politcal party receives in government pay checks, food stamps, WIC vouchers, subsidized housing, grants, jail expenses, etc. Face it libs, you're expensive to have around. Deadbeats vote Democrat. You all just suck so very much. You really, truly just suck.

Posted by: cartmaneric | February 24, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

cartmaneric (aptly named) - if you think working people are expensive now, wait until they're free.

Posted by: jiji1 | February 24, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Adam62: "What, exactly, did the governor say that went beyond the politeness any politician would show for a supporter, and the candidness of a politician who has nothing to hide?"

Why don't we just play the tapes on TV on permanent loop for a few weeks and let viewers and voters decide.

Posted by: jiji1 | February 24, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

According to OpenSecrets, the Koch's rank 50th on the list of top overall donors to political campaigns - well behind such Dem supporting groups as: ActBlue, SEIU, the NEA, American Federation of Teachers, AFSCME, the Teamsters, the American Assoc. for Justice, the IBEW, CWA, and 6 other unions.

If the Koch's are buying legislators what are the unions doing? Why are the Koch's devils incarnate destroying the political system while George Soros is a benign Santa Claus - beyond the obvious that the Koch's support conservatives and Soros supports liberals?

Posted by: paco33 | February 24, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm very surprised that I just read about the following for the first time. You know that fascist Governor in Wisconsin who is using dictatorial power to bust the public unions by limiting collective bargaining to wages? Well, President Obama is the executive in charge of a federal workforce that is not permitted to bargain collectively over either wages or benefits. I guess it could be worse for the besieged public workers of Wisconsin - Governor Walker, the Nazi/Mubarak of Wisconsin, could have unilaterally frozen their wages.

Posted by: paco33 | February 24, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

When did Jennifer Rubin become a humor columnist?

Posted by: IHATETHISFACKINGLOGIN | February 24, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

jiji1 Still defending the fraud? Why don't pose as a cop and search your house for something "bad"..... Lead paint perhaps or an older furnace and then report you.....

Posted by: edward1960 | February 24, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Adam62: "What, exactly, did the governor say that went beyond the politeness any politician would show for a supporter, and the candidness of a politician who has nothing to hide?"

Why don't we just play the tapes on TV on permanent loop for a few weeks and let viewers and voters decide.

Posted by: jiji1 | February 24, 2011 12:54 PM


What an odd response! People will obviously be watching the tape as much as they want. I suspect the continual loop will make people enraged at whoever is forcing them to watch the same uninteresting thing over and over. Your belief that the incriminating nature of the tape is simply self-evident was the reason for my original response: God, the Left is crazy! Your fantasy of a perpetual propaganda machine simply confirms the belief.

But don't worry--you've got that 61% of Americans on your side, right?

Posted by: adam62 | February 24, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

The wingers among us should be very pleased that faced with a resurgent population of secretive billionaires intent on shutting down anything in government which could impinge on their profits, the president is so timid.

Frank Rich: "When wolves of Murdoch’s ingenuity and the Kochs’ stealth have been at the door of our democracy in the past, Democrats have fought back fiercely. Franklin Roosevelt’s triumphant 1936 re-election campaign pummeled the Liberty League as a Republican ally eager to “squeeze the worker dry in his old age and cast him like an orange rind into the refuse pail.” When John Kennedy’s patriotism was assailed by Birchers calling for impeachment, he gave a major speech denouncing their “crusades of suspicion.”

And Obama? So far, sadly, this question answers itself."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/opinion/29rich.html?_r=1

So in a sense, you all are winning, and the President is MIA. Perhaps though with this latest overreach, you have awakened a sleeping giant.

Posted by: jiji1 | February 24, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

http://tinyurl.com/45f397p

Transcript of "David Koch" phone call with Walker:

... I’m not negotiating.

Murphy: Bring a baseball bat. That’s what I’d do.

Walker: I have one in my office; you’d be happy with that. I got a Slugger with my name on it.

Murphy: Beautiful.

...

... it’s actually good if they’re constant, they’re noisy, but they’re quiet, nothing happens, ’cause sooner or later the media stops finding ’em interesting.

Murphy: Well, not the liberal bast***s on MSNBC.

Walker: Oh, yeah, but who watches that? I went on “Morning Joe” this morning. I like it ’cause I just like being combative with those guys, but, uh. You know they’re off the deep end.

Murphy: Joe-Joe’s a good guy. He’s one of us.

Walker: Yeah, he’s all right.

...

Murphy: [Laughs] Well, I tell you what, Scott: once you crush these bastards I’ll fly you out to Cali and really show you a good time.

Walker: All right, that would be outstanding. Thanks, thanks for all the support and helping us move the cause forward, and we appreciate it.

...

Murphy: Absolutely. And, you know, we have a little bit of a vested interest as well. [Laughs]

Walker: Well, that’s just it. The bottom line is we’re gonna get the world moving here because it’s the right thing to do....

Murphy: All right then.

Walker: Thanks a million!

Posted by: jiji1 | February 24, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to the 2012 election where the economy is fully recovered and the 60% assert their power.

Right now Obama is at -20. But that is only temporary. Once the war in the Middle East is fully revved up I expect he will regain his former popularity given the deftness of his foreign policy.

We are so lucky to have the smartest President ever running the show.

Posted by: msimon6808 | February 24, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Amazing right wing response to this little gem of Rubin propaganda. These comments almost make a person forget that 61 percent of Americans oppose taking away collective bargaining rights.

Rubin’s followers are, of course, the sworn enemies of working class Americans, as they have clearly reminded the world in the comments posted today.

Posted by: J_B_A | February 24, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

"...61 percent of Americans oppose taking away collective bargaining rights."

And that is going to affect Wisconsin State Senators how? Do you expect some Republicans to go squishy? Do you expect that the poll that shows 67% disapprove of the the Democratic Senators leaving the state will influence them to return prematurely? And BTW when, if ever, do you think the the Senators should return?

Posted by: Inagua1 | February 24, 2011 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Inagua1: Do you expect some Republicans to go squishy?

If that’s a serious question, I’ll give you a serious answer. I expect the GOP to continue its relentless assault on middle and working class Americans.

Posted by: J_B_A | February 24, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Of course it was a serious question. I see no other way the Democrats can win this standoff. Do you?

Posted by: Inagua1 | February 24, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

http://tinyurl.com/45f397p

Transcript of "David Koch" phone call with Walker:

... I’m not negotiating.

Murphy: Bring a baseball bat. That’s what I’d do.

Walker: I have one in my office; you’d be happy with that. I got a Slugger with my name on it.

Murphy: Beautiful.

...

... it’s actually good if they’re constant, they’re noisy, but they’re quiet, nothing happens, ’cause sooner or later the media stops finding ’em interesting.

Murphy: Well, not the liberal bast***s on MSNBC.

Walker: Oh, yeah, but who watches that? I went on “Morning Joe” this morning. I like it ’cause I just like being combative with those guys, but, uh. You know they’re off the deep end.

Murphy: Joe-Joe’s a good guy. He’s one of us.

Walker: Yeah, he’s all right........"

That's what you got? You guys are pathetic.

But you know your losing, don't you--I can tell by the way you're scrambling for the high moral ground, as you see it.


Posted by: adam62 | February 24, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I’m sure that’s the Fox News line. Everything I see indicates that other GOP govs have already abandoned Walker in droves, and that the medium to long range results of this maneuver appear to be catastrophic for the GOP. Of course, the GOP will cause considerable harm in the short run. Isn’t that the intention?

Posted by: J_B_A | February 24, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

J_B_A,

I repeat, how can the Wisconsin Democrats win the current standoff without some Republicans going squishy, as the Republicans in Indiana did? No offense, but I didn't understand the point or intention your last post.

Posted by: Inagua1 | February 24, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Wow the collective is out in force..........

If the unions are so good for the workers (in this case teachers) and the public that pays the teachers, then why are the unions so frightened about losing the confiscatory power of forcing everyone to cough up the union dues. Shouldn't that be a choice?

Posted by: edward1960 | February 24, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Will anyone believe I'm a corporation? Member in good standing of the Confederation of Dunzas.

Posted by: aardunza | February 24, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Sounds more like Walker was punking Murphy to me.

Posted by: aardunza | February 24, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

What do you call a smoking water pistol -- a steaming no-sex scandal?

Posted by: aardunza | February 24, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

So if Walker doesn't even recognize Koch's voice then how can he be so closely involved with him?

Do people have a problem with Soros or Union political efforts? All of this Koch rhetoric strikes me as an effort to suppress political speech. That's creepy.

Posted by: fallsmeadjc | February 24, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I don’t understand what “win the current standoff” means. If you are asking whether Walker will get his desired law eliminating collective bargaining for public employees, my guess is that he won’t. If he does, however, his political career in Wisconsin will done – which is probably the case anyway. What is your answer to your own question?

Posted by: J_B_A | February 24, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

J_B_A.

I thought "win the standoff" was obvious -- either Walker's bill becomes law or it doesn't. I have no idea what it going to happen, but I don't see how the Democrats can stop the bill without some Republicans going squishy because the Democrats cannot stay away forever. Most of them are already facing recall peititons, and, as you know, the public is against them 67-25.

Posted by: Inagua1 | February 24, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

As you will have observed, I don’t see much relevance to the question whether the legislation will pass. If it does, it will be short-lived. What I regard to be more interesting are the strategic implications. As mentioned, I view this as a catastrophe for the GOP. Apparently Rubin disagrees – or at least her GOP talking points (purportedly) disagree.

Posted by: J_B_A | February 24, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I expect the GOP to continue its relentless assault on middle and working class Americans.

Posted by: J_B_A | February 24, 2011 3:29 PM
------------

Yes, because the middle and working class Americans who are paying much higher income and property taxes so that public sector workers can enjoy far better health and pension benefits than they do will of course see the GOP as their enemy and the Dems as their protectors.

Posted by: paco33 | February 24, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

As you will have observed, I don’t see much relevance to the question whether the legislation will pass. If it does, it will be short-lived. What I regard to be more interesting are the strategic implications. As mentioned, I view this as a catastrophe for the GOP. Apparently Rubin disagrees – or at least her GOP talking points (purportedly) disagree.

Posted by: J_B_A | February 24, 2011 4:51 PM

Well, at least we have a prediction. A bizarre one, which explains the actions of no one involved, but what else could keep you going? Why anyone but other public employees should care about public sector unions getting their collective bargaining power curtailed and their benefits cut is a mystery. Really, who else is on their side? Why would they be? You can talk about the Koch brothers all you want but anyone can see there's no corporation on the other side of this--there's just US. A very bad fight for you guys.

Posted by: adam62 | February 24, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

You must see some of these protest signs from Wisconsin! Hilarious! Here are some our favorites!

http://precisiontradingsolutions.blogspot.com

Posted by: kjordan3637 | February 24, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Adam,

You ask who supports the Wisconsin teachers besides union members. Well, I can think of a certain San Francisco based multi-millionairess with interests in a winery, a luxury resort and a restaurant chain, all of which employ thousands of non-union laborers, who has expressed "solidarity."

Posted by: Inagua1 | February 24, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"Adam,

You ask who supports the Wisconsin teachers besides union members. Well, I can think of a certain San Francisco based multi-millionairess with interests in a winery, a luxury resort and a restaurant chain, all of which employ thousands of non-union laborers, who has expressed "solidarity."

Posted by: Inagua1 "

Yes, and a certain French-looking senator from Massachusetts, who by the way served in Vietnam and I believe one of whose houses has been built out of the original bricks, transported to the U.S., of an English castle. And who likes windsurfing.

Posted by: adam62 | February 24, 2011 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: adam62: Why anyone but other public employees should care about public sector unions getting their collective bargaining power curtailed and their benefits cut is a mystery. Really, who else is on their side? Why would they be?
__________________________

How appropriate that you would wonder why anyone “should care about public sector unions getting their collective bargaining power curtailed and their benefits cut.” How appropriate that you would genuinely wonder how other human beings could be so lacking in greed, selfishness and hypocrisy. How freaking appropriate.

Posted by: J_B_A | February 24, 2011 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Amiss as good as a mile. Confederacy of Dunzas, of course. Once when beginning a job I screwed up and forgot the .dll's my boss showed up pounding his big plastic Louisville Slugger and gave me a warning. I never forgot them again, even though it was only plastic!

Posted by: aardunza | February 24, 2011 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Everything I see indicates that other GOP govs have already abandoned Walker in droves...

Posted by: J_B_A | February 24, 2011 3:46 PM
------------------

Really? Droves? Like who?

Posted by: paco33 | February 24, 2011 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: adam62: Why anyone but other public employees should care about public sector unions getting their collective bargaining power curtailed and their benefits cut is a mystery. Really, who else is on their side? Why would they be?
__________________________

How appropriate that you would wonder why anyone “should care about public sector unions getting their collective bargaining power curtailed and their benefits cut.” How appropriate that you would genuinely wonder how other human beings could be so lacking in greed, selfishness and hypocrisy. How freaking appropriate.


Posted by: J_B_A


There is no more vivid display of selfishness than the public employees taking days off, dragging the kids they should be teaching to protests, getting fake medical notes, assaulting counter-protesters and reporters; and, more broadly, using money paid to you by taxpayers to support politicians who will continue to increase your size, power and benefits. Raw power, naked selfishness--that's actually what socialism is all about.

Posted by: adam62 | February 24, 2011 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: adam62: "Why anyone but other public employees should care about public sector unions getting their collective bargaining power curtailed and their benefits cut is a mystery. Really, who else is on their side? Why would they be?"

I'm a non-union private-sector fairly decently paid worker. And I support the unions in Wisconsin 100%. Why? Because like all people who are not leisure class, I have to work for a living, and the Kochs and their allies are coming after all of us.

Their strategy is to try to turn us against one another, stoking resentment and envy against - improbably - public school teachers.

American financier Jay Gould said "I can hire one-half of the working class to kill the other half." He, and you guys today, probably think that's true. It isn't. If you do things very quietly, in stealth, you can gradually take away more and more wages and benefits from workers.

Do it suddenly, as you are doing right now, and you wake the sleeping giant.

Contrary to your views of human nature, working class people are not bitter, hateful people who envy and resent anyone who makes a bit more than they do. This is what you're counting on to turn people against one another. I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed.

Jay Gould couldn't hire half the working class to kill the other half, and you can't either.

Posted by: privacy5 | February 24, 2011 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I put it to anyone who supports the Kochs and the Koch stooges: if they crush and destroy teachers, do you think they will be satisfied and stop there? Do you think all we would need to stop them is a little appeasement? Throw the teachers to the wolves and the wolves will be sated and not come after the rest of us?

Posted by: privacy5 | February 24, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

"Because like all people who are not leisure class, I have to work for a living, and the Kochs and their allies are coming after all of us.

Their strategy is to try to turn us against one another, stoking resentment and envy against - improbably - public school teachers. "

Marxist crap--even worse, sub-Marxist crap. The Kochs are the stand-in for the "capitalist ruling class" (instead of 100 families, we have a pair of brothers). The Kochs don't hire the public sector workers, neither do their "allies"--we the people do.

"American financier Jay Gould said "I can hire one-half of the working class to kill the other half." He, and you guys today, probably think that's true. It isn't. If you do things very quietly, in stealth, you can gradually take away more and more wages and benefits from workers.

Do it suddenly, as you are doing right now, and you wake the sleeping giant."

You're living in some "socialist realism" novel from the 1930s. I repeat, the benefits in question here are paid by us, as in the taxpayers.

"Contrary to your views of human nature, working class people are not bitter, hateful people who envy and resent anyone who makes a bit more than they do. This is what you're counting on to turn people against one another. I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed."

The only bitterness I see is that of the union workers and their democratic allies, who are willing to threaten and I assume resort to violence, violate their contracts and subvert the democratic process. Nobody has to turn against anyone--there is a bill before the WI legislature which will become law soon enough.

"Jay Gould couldn't hire half the working class to kill the other half, and you can't either."

When does Snidely Whiplash turn up in this story, with a maiden tied to the railroad tracks? The Left has always had a taste for melodrama.

"I put it to anyone who supports the Kochs and the Koch stooges: if they crush and destroy teachers, do you think they will be satisfied and stop there? Do you think all we would need to stop them is a little appeasement? Throw the teachers to the wolves and the wolves will be sated and not come after the rest of us?"

Again, I feel like I'm talking to lunatics. Nobody is coming after anybody, the Kochs are not involved....


Posted by: adam62 | February 24, 2011 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Crush and destroy teachers? By limiting collective bargaining to wages? By giving teachers and other public employees more collective bargaining rights than the sainted FDR would ever give and that federal employees receive now? Even Upton Sinclair would be laughing his butt off.

Posted by: paco33 | February 24, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

privacy5, Excellent post. Somehow the "lunatic" label doesn't fit you. Can't say that about everybody who has posted today.

Posted by: J_B_A | February 24, 2011 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Privacy5: "I put it to anyone who supports the Kochs and the Koch stooges: if they crush and destroy teachers, do you think they will be satisfied and stop there? Do you think all we would need to stop them is a little appeasement? Throw the teachers to the wolves and the wolves will be sated and not come after the rest of us?"

Calm down, and please explain how asking teachers to contribute a teensy bit more to their pensions and health care (still significantly less than private sector workers do, btw) while still allowing them to collectively bargain over wages (something only 6% of private sector workers do), is "crushing and destroying" them. No one yet has given a satisfactory explanation of this.
When you're done explaining that, please explain how these demonically powerful brothers are going to "come after the rest of us." What are they, X-men?

And by the way, most people who support Walker had never heard of the Koch brothers until you guys started screeching about their omnipotence. Their contribution to the Walker campaign was peanuts. For your own sake, get a grip.

Posted by: pbaseoul | February 24, 2011 9:20 PM | Report abuse

privacy5,

As I said, excellent post. Thinking about your comments and the subsequent posts attempting to trivialize, or otherwise discredit, your excellent points, I was reminded of the 1970s TV show, All in the Family. As far as I was aware at the time, Carroll O'Connor's caricature of a right wing American was generally thought to be wildly over-the-top. He was hilarious precisely because -- I thought everybody agreed -- the views he expressed were so fatuous.

Little did I know that Archie Bunker was very much alive and well, and quite ready to re-emerge in USA. The present version -- a kind of Archie Bunker on steroids -- unabashedly proclaims himself everywhere you care to look. He is known by such names as "Rush," "Bill," "Glenn," "adam62," "paco33" . . . Who would have thought?

Posted by: J_B_A | February 24, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: J_B_A

You're a meathead.

Posted by: adam62 | February 24, 2011 10:04 PM | Report abuse

This isn't about budgets. It's about busting unions. I direct you to Walkers own statements. He took out Ronald Reagans picture to show his cabinet before he started this battle, and said he saw himself as a historic figure. He said firing the air traffic controllers started the collapse of communism. He thinks he's doing the same thing right here.

I direct you to Walkers own statements. Look them up. He sees himself inspiring a war on workers nationwide, and thinks that if he wins here, any of them can win anywhere.

The country is in a mess right now, and guess what, it's not because teachers are overpaid.

Posted by: privacy5 | February 24, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

"This isn't about budgets. It's about busting unions. I direct you to Walkers own statements. He took out Ronald Reagans picture to show his cabinet before he started this battle, and said he saw himself as a historic figure. He said firing the air traffic controllers started the collapse of communism. He thinks he's doing the same thing right here.

I direct you to Walkers own statements. Look them up. He sees himself inspiring a war on workers nationwide, and thinks that if he wins here, any of them can win anywhere."

I hope you're right--I was worried that Walker might turn out to be soft, but this is very encouraging. The public sector unions do, indeed, need to be broken across the country (the private sector unions are dying a natural death and can be left alone) and if you are portraying Walker accurately, his is exactly the kind of vision we need.

Posted by: adam62 | February 24, 2011 10:39 PM | Report abuse

"This isn't about budgets. It's about busting unions."

Privacy,

Would the teachers union be busted if collective bargaining rights for wages were limited to CPI? If union dues were no longer deducted from the paycheck? If the union had to get recertified by its members every year?

To the best of my knowledge, the governor has not even gone after the worst union policies -- refusal of merit pay and insistence on LIFO layoffs.

Posted by: Inagua1 | February 24, 2011 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Inagua1: At 4:37 pm you posted the following: Democrats cannot stay away forever. Most of them are already facing recall peititons, and, as you know, the public is against them 67-25.
__________

According to the polls in Wisconsin, 56 % are of the view that public employees should have the right to collectively bargain. 32 % say no. I predict that the only politician in Wisconsin likely to be recalled is Scott Walker. It would be tough to engineer a political disaster of this magnitude if you planned it for years. Leave it to the GOP.

Posted by: J_B_A | February 24, 2011 10:57 PM | Report abuse

According to the polls in Wisconsin, 56 % are of the view that public employees should have the right to collectively bargain. 32 % say no. I predict that the only politician in Wisconsin likely to be recalled is Scott Walker. It would be tough to engineer a political disaster of this magnitude if you planned it for years. Leave it to the GOP.


Posted by: J_B_A


The Democrats in the WI legislature must see things differently, otherwise they would stay, proudly cast their no votes, and collect the political windfall.

Posted by: adam62 | February 24, 2011 11:27 PM | Report abuse

The mayor of Milwaukee has again today described the financial disaster created by Scott Walker while County Executive in the episode in which Walker purported to fire -- illegally, it turns out -- public employees in that city. Yesterday, as the whole world knows, Walker gets punked by a fake David Koch. This clown imagines himself to be the new Ronald Reagan and is in actuality a walking disaster area.

Hey Wisconsin, how's that GOP anti-labor changy thing workin' out fer ya?

Posted by: J_B_A | February 24, 2011 11:28 PM | Report abuse

J_B_A,

Sorry if I wasn't clear. A national poll showed that 67% respondents disapproved of the Wisconsin walkout.

On the larger issue of public employee unions, I am simply amazed that educated professionals want to be treated liked unskilled factory workers. I simply don't understand how a college graduate can be incapable of negotiating his own employment without the help of a union.

Posted by: Inagua1 | February 24, 2011 11:33 PM | Report abuse

If it doesn't matter whether bargaining rights are stripped and this is just about the money, why won't Walker take the money deal he's after right now and pass it without stripping away worker rights? Why does it have to be taking away rights?

I'll tell you why. He is a revolutionary and he does not intend to stop there, and he intends to create an example for all the other revolutionary governors to follow.

These people do not believe in the fundamental legitimacy of unions at all. They do not believe any money should ever be spent on social programs at all. They do not believe wealthy people should pay taxes at all. And they are fighting a total war to bring about their vision. They want to fundamentally transform America and undo all the labor rights gains made in the 20th century. This is not an exaggeration.

If you want to know what America will look like if they win, look at pre-Victorian England. Hungry, shoeless children in the streets, Dikensian workhouses with malnourished poor. This is the world they are trying to muscle in to being.

They coming for the teachers today. If they destroy the teachers they'll be coming for someone else next. Eventually they will come for you.

Posted by: privacy5 | February 24, 2011 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Adam62: "I hope you're right--I was worried that Walker might turn out to be soft, but this is very encouraging. The public sector unions do, indeed, need to be broken across the country (the private sector unions are dying a natural death and can be left alone)"

So this is very clear. You fundamentally don't think the little people have the right to form unions and I do, and I assume we're both willing to fight for our beliefs. We have nothing to discuss, we have nothing to negotiate. I don't wish you luck.

Posted by: privacy5 | February 24, 2011 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Privacy,

Sorry if I was not clear. I agree with you that the current impasse is not about money, as the union already agreed to the givebacks.

The points at issue seem trivial to me, like the method of dues payment and annual recertification. But I am not a union official in danger of seeing my job disappear if dues payments drop off or if the members refuse to recertify the union.

Posted by: Inagua1 | February 24, 2011 11:50 PM | Report abuse

I sweeps up. Good times! But Archie was very much wrong about the toilet paper roll direction. It should go over, not under!!! Now that's an issue I can, er, "get behind."

Posted by: aardunza | February 24, 2011 11:51 PM | Report abuse

The important thing is to stop letting the govt automatically deduct the union dues from the paychecks and let the unions directly solicit the funds from their members. They're so afraid of an open shop because they know that their membership will dry up considerably, if the employees have a choice about contributing, and they'll be forced to strong-arm it out of them using shaming techniques and/or threats of violence. Teachers don't fight, they prevent fights; that's part of the job description. There are plenty of teachers who resent having to fund the party they don't vote for. I just refuse to believe all public employees vote the Democratic ticket.

Posted by: aardunza | February 25, 2011 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Posted by Inagua1: The points at issue seem trivial to me, like the method of dues payment and annual recertification. But I am not a union official in danger of seeing my job disappear if dues payments drop off or if the members refuse to recertify the union.
__________

Inagau1, you should know that your posts convey the very strong impression that you are a craven, selfish materialist who does not give a damn about anyone's situation besides your own. You have repeatedly commented how "trivial" you regard to be the struggle about other people's rights. Reading your comments, one has the impression that Marie Antoinette ("let them eat cake") was Mother Theresa compared to you. It's possible, though unlikely, that you are unaware of this, which is why I bother to mention it.

Posted by: J_B_A | February 25, 2011 12:10 AM | Report abuse

J_B_A,

I am sorry you find me craven and selfish. I try to be reasonable and rational. Perhaps you could address the content of the posts rather than the impression they create in your mind? For example, what is unreasonable about teacher union dues being collected directly by the union instead of as a payroll deduction?

Posted by: Inagua1 | February 25, 2011 12:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm new here, is J_B_A the evening shift KOS kiddie?

Although not by J_B_A

Incorrect version
"I put it to anyone who supports the Kochs and the Koch stooges: if they crush and destroy teachers, do you think they will be satisfied and stop there? Do you think all we would need to stop them is a little appeasement? Throw the teachers to the wolves and the wolves will be sated and not come after the rest of us?

Corrected version
I put it to anyone who supports Soros and the Soros stooges: if they crush and destroy Tax payers, do you think they will be satisfied and stop there? Do you think all we would need to stop them is a little appeasement? Throw the tax payers to the wolves and the wolves will be sated and not come after the rest of the US?

There fixed that for you

Posted by: edward1960 | February 25, 2011 12:45 AM | Report abuse

If I can't vote or choose to join a union and the union can confiscate a portion of my pay, is that a form of taxation without representation?

Posted by: edward1960 | February 25, 2011 12:51 AM | Report abuse

"Adam62: "I hope you're right--I was worried that Walker might turn out to be soft, but this is very encouraging. The public sector unions do, indeed, need to be broken across the country (the private sector unions are dying a natural death and can be left alone)"

So this is very clear. You fundamentally don't think the little people have the right to form unions and I do, and I assume we're both willing to fight for our beliefs. We have nothing to discuss, we have nothing to negotiate. I don't wish you luck.

Posted by: privacy5 "|


The distinction between public and private employees seems to confuse you people. Maybe because, in the end, you want everyone to be working for the state.

Posted by: adam62 | February 25, 2011 7:01 AM | Report abuse

I could work for the state any time I wanted. I live in a state capitol and could get one of those jobs. I'm a private sector guy, make decent money, etc. But unlike you I realize that as Americans I am bound to my countrymen and their well being in a million tangible ways. Injustice anywhere is injustice anywhere, and I won't stand by idly while the Kochs and their stooges brutalize and rob my neighbors.

So, this morning I joined a union. I won't be represented in the workplace, which is fine for now. But I will be part of the side defending real people from the financiers.

Suck it, Jay Gould.

Posted by: jiji1 | February 25, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

jiji1 --- Best post yet. "Ask not for whom the bell tolls, . . ." Glad somebody gets it.

Posted by: J_B_A | February 25, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

"I won't stand by idly while the Kochs and their stooges brutalize and rob my neighbors."

JiJi,

I assume by your neighbors that you are referring to the Wisconsin teachers. If so please explain your objection to what I understand are the only outstanding differences between the parties -- method of union dues payment; annual union recertification; collective bargaining rights for wages limited to CPI; termination of collective bargaining rights for fringe benefits benefits.

Posted by: Inagua1 | February 25, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, J_B_A,

Gare to share your analysis of any of what I understand to be the only remaining differences between the union and the governor?

1. Method of dues payment.
2. Annual recertification.
3. Collective bargaining rights for wages limited to CPI.
4. Elimination of collective bargaining rights for fringe benefits.

Posted by: Inagua1 | February 25, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Why do you care?

Posted by: J_B_A | February 25, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

J_B_A,

I am always interested in opposing viewpoints, as there is always the possibility that my present view is mistaken. Are you always right about everything? Haven't you ever changed your mind about anything?

Posted by: Inagua1 | February 25, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Inagua1, Imagine we are on the Western front in World War 1. The shattered town of Ypres is half a click to our rear, there's a couple of km's of trenches and shell holes, and the German lines beyond.

You say to me: "Look, they just want Ypres. They say that's all they want. Why don't you just agree to pull back 2 miles or so and let them take it, and then they'll be satisfied. What's the big deal, it's only a ruin."

What's my answer?

"Nuts."

Posted by: member8 | February 25, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

member8: Super!

Posted by: J_B_A | February 25, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

The climactic scene of John Steinback's The Grapes of Wrath, updated:

Wherever there's a prison guard who wants to retire at age 50, I'll be there; wherever there's a teacher who wants to go on paid leave while the district tries to fire her for inappropriate behavior with a student, I'll be there; wherever there's a Democratic politician who needs campaign cash fast, I'll be there; wherever there's a Tea Party demonstration to which we want to bring some muscle, I'll be there; wherever there's a city manager who wants a 500,000$ a year salary, I'll be there; wherever the legislators of a state believe they can actually decide upon a budget for thesmelves, I'll be there.

Posted by: adam62 | February 25, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

http://tinyurl.com/4m9tj98

...

Recall that in recent years, we've witnessed two separate debates over two types of taxpayer-subsidized laborers. First, we saw a brief argument over how much taxpayer money should pay government-sponsored bankers on Wall Street. Now, we're having a more prolonged discussion about how much taxpayer money should pay public employees in our schools, police departments, fire departments and infrastructure agencies.

The first set of workers, underwritten by ongoing multitrillion-dollar Treasury and Federal Reserve bailouts, mostly cannibalize wealth through foreclosures and speculation. The second set of workers, by contrast, primarily create and protect wealth through educating kids, preventing fires and crimes, and building public assets.

To the government-funded bankers, we've applied the notion of "you get what you pay for." Thus, our government has refrained from ending exorbitant pay packages at taxpayer-funded banks in the name of "retaining talent." That was the mantra of politicians and publicly subsidized financial executives when they weakened proposals to cap annual bank salaries at $500,000. Though an astronomical sum, one Wall Street adviser told reporters that half-a-million bucks "is not a lot of money," while others repeated a talking point from a corporate report insisting that government-sponsored banks would "experience a talent drain" if barred from paying employees millions.

Of course, this same idea of paying a premium to retain talent is nowhere in our discussion about the other set of public workers. Instead, we mostly hear politicians and media voices berating teachers, firefighters and police officers as "freeloaders" or "welfare cases." This, despite the Economic Policy Institute reporting that these non-bank public employees make 3.7 percent less than those in similar private-sector jobs.

Taken together, this may seem like a double standard, but it's actually a consistent, if abhorrent, statement of priorities in an age of avarice -- an age in which financial executives can grossly outspend middle-class workers on campaign contributions.

In this view, $500,000 isn't nearly enough taxpayer cash to retain government-funded bankers, but $48,000 (the average teacher salary in Wisconsin) is too much to pay educators. In this view, the government is "there to serve the banks," as the new chairman of Congress' Financial Services Committee said, but police and firefighters are expected to serve the population, even as those police officers and firefighters are berated for receiving middle-class wages.

Yes, in this destructive and now-ascendant view, government exists to pad private profits but do nothing more -- and that's the kind of government we should all expect to get.

Posted by: member8 | February 25, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"Inagua1, Imagine we are on the Western front in World War 1. The shattered town of Ypres is half a click to our rear, there's a couple of km's of trenches and shell holes, and the German lines beyond.

You say to me: "Look, they just want Ypres. They say that's all they want. Why don't you just agree to pull back 2 miles or so and let them take it, and then they'll be satisfied. What's the big deal, it's only a ruin."

What's my answer?

"Nuts."

Posted by: member8 | February 25, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

member8: Super!

Posted by: J_B_A"


Yes, great--more left craziness. Your heads are filled with old black and white newsreels. It's the Battle of the Somme all over again. Trench warfare! Don't give an inch! What, exactly, is your strategy--the Democratic legislators hide out forever? Once they're back, the bill is passed, the union's power severely curtailed, the budget cuts made. Then what--you restore the ancien regime how? A wildcat strike? Do you think any governor would have the slightest difficulty firing the lot of them in that case? Go ahead, make our day.

Posted by: adam62 | February 25, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

"Of course, this same idea of paying a premium to retain talent is nowhere in our discussion about the other set of public workers."

Exactly right--this should be the way salaries should be determined--we should be paying teachers, policemen, firemen, bureaucrats, etc., just as much as we need to in order to attract and retain the level of skill and dedication we want in those jobs. I'm willing to take the risk that, in some cases at least, salaries and benefits might be even higher than now. But why should unions enter into it?

And yes, cut the bankers loose altogether--but first of all stop telling them who they have to lend money to, so the government doesn't take co-responsibility for their loans.

Posted by: adam62 | February 25, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

adam62 - not all Republicans in the state Senate are Koch fedayeen. Your forces, like the Kaisers, are not invincible.

We will accept your surrender at any time.

Posted by: member8 | February 25, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Adam,

The Tom Joad riff was very clever and amusing. I congradulate you on answering analogy with analogy.

But I find argument by analogy unconvincing when there are specific issues that can be easily addressed. Why the teacher union supporters will not discuss issues like dues or certification mystifies me.

Posted by: Inagua1 | February 25, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

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