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'There is a stench in this body!'
February 19, 2011 5:46 PM   Subscribe

To Madison, WI, to the Wisconsin State Assembly, where the Republican majority attempted to move newly-elected Republican Governor Scott Walker's controversial budget repair bill towards final passage, before the Democrat minority had even entered the assembly. The minority leader then proceeds to rip the majority a new one. The cheering of tens of thousands of protesters, composed of public-sector employees and their supporters, can be heard permeating the walls of the assembly chamber. A minority assemblyman responds to the tactic.

Opponents say the budget crisis is invented, and that the true purpose is to reward his supporters and break the unions; bill supporters say that wages and benefits enjoyed by the the public-sector employees are the reason for the shortfall and that the bill is necessary to balance the budget. (Previously.) (Before that.)
posted by g.i.r. (539 comments total) 54 users marked this as a favorite

 


I have a feeling if this was a negotiation between a corporation and the government Republicans would not be suggesting making negotiation illegal as a solution. Corporations have rights, after all.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:53 PM on February 19, 2011 [28 favorites]


This is going to spread elsewherre. It is the Blue states versus the Red states, but now outside the public election booth.
posted by Postroad at 5:54 PM on February 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


As few as four petitions with 16,000 signatures could tip the balance of power in the Wisconsin Legislature, stripping Walker and the Republicans of much of their power.
Currently, the Wisconsin State Senate has 19 Republican Senators and 14 Democrats (thanks JeanGenetic). If successful recall petitions can be done against at least four three of the Republican Senators, the Democrats have an opportunity to best them in a recall election. The thing is, there are 8 Republican Senators right now that can be targeted for recall.

In January of 2012, a recall can go out against Walker. Right now... today... recall petitions can be started against 8 Republican Senators. With a little work, some organization, and continuation of the current popular support and Wisconsin can make a line in the sand and put an end to Walker's tyranny.

The following eight WI State Senators were elected in 2008 and are starting the third year of their term. Recall petitions can be started on any or all of them at any time. To recall any of these Senators, a petition must be created within the district where they were elected and that petition needs to have signatures numbering at least 25% of the number of gubernatorial votes cast in their district in the 2010 election.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:56 PM on February 19, 2011 [19 favorites]


(And the comments point out they actually only need three recalls to change the majority.)
posted by Rhaomi at 5:57 PM on February 19, 2011


Anyone know why the Democrats came back giving the Republicans a quorum?
posted by jeffburdges at 6:00 PM on February 19, 2011


I have a feeling if this was a negotiation between a corporation and the government Republicans would not be suggesting making negotiation illegal as a solution. Corporations have rights, after all.

Well, of course. Collective negotiation on behalf of capital owners: good. Collective negotiation on behalf of labor: bad.
posted by weston at 6:01 PM on February 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


Randy Hopper (District 18) only won his election by 101 votes. If he can be brought up for recall, the dems only need 53 more votes than they got in 2008.

Unfortunately, the Republicans are gearing up their machine to try recalling Democratic Senators, and my guess is they have more money to make it happen.
posted by drezdn at 6:02 PM on February 19, 2011


This was the Assembly - the Republicans (plus one independent) have quorum with their own numbers. The Democrats in the State Senate are still out of state to deprive that body of quorum.
posted by Fin Azvandi at 6:02 PM on February 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Anyone know why the Democrats came back giving the Republicans a quorum?

this is the assembly, not the senate. the 14 dem senators are still out of state, whereabouts unknown.
posted by g.i.r. at 6:02 PM on February 19, 2011



Anyone know why the Democrats came back giving the Republicans a quorum?


As far as I know, none of the Senators have come back yet, and everything is shut down until Tuesday (except for the protests).

In the "rip the majority" clip, I think the Republicans might have enough for quorum without the Dems, but they started voting on the bill before the time they told the Dems that discussion would be held. It's a huge breach of rules and once they got called out, they rescinded it immediately.
posted by drezdn at 6:06 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


My question: does Gov. Walker really think this bodes well for him politically, causing his state to immediately explode in trench warfare? There's myriad ways to pull a state towards your political agenda without picking really visible fights with public servants.

What a jaw-droppingly dumb politician.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:08 PM on February 19, 2011 [12 favorites]


Interesting exchange came through my Twitter feed today:

"5 states don't have bargaining rights for teachers and they rank 44, 47, 48, 49 & 50 in ACT/SAT scores. Wis ranked 2nd."

A "union watch" twitter account responded with more or less "well, that could mean, uh, anything."
posted by weston at 6:12 PM on February 19, 2011 [24 favorites]


This is one of those situations that compels one to ask in disbelief:

What the hell were they thinking?


All this publicity, noise (4000 crazy people in that Capital building, who won't be denied their voices making a wondrous happy racket), must be rankling the right something fierce and they're beginning to wonder if they signed on for all this...

AND on top of it to perhaps begin to feel that they're on the wrong side of this and Walker has made a serious blunder here and they just want to do their little number on this thing to CYA themselves and just clear out to let Walker, the unions, the 14 absconded Dems work this out amongst themselves.

You could say their inner assholery shined through loud and clear.

By Tuesday Barca is going to pwn that Assembly and make those disckheads pay a dear political price.
posted by Skygazer at 6:15 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sadly they stared and sank in their chairs
and searched for a comforting notion.
And the rich silver walls looked ready to fall
As they shook in doubtful devotion.
The ice cubes would clink as they freshened their drinks,
wet their minds in bitter emotion.
And they talked about the ringing of revolution.

posted by The White Hat at 6:21 PM on February 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


Sort of a strange day out there today. The Tea Party counterprotest, much fretted about here, came to nothing or next to nothing -- there were a few thousand Walker supporters among the 60,000 or so opponents . They mostly kept to themselves. The mood was a little less intense, because it's not clear at this point what actual event protestors could be anticipating -- no one knows when the Dem Sens will come back, there's no reports of any substantive negotiation taking place, Walker's budget announcement, scheduled for Tuesday, has been pushed back a week... so it's limbo. Many people wearing "Remember: this is a peaceful protest" placards but no one seemed in the mood to clash anyway. In the absence of any political motion, rumors bounced back and forth all day of Big Names On The Way: Sarah Palin, Bill Clinton, Obama, Jon Stewart. None have materialized. The singer from Rage Against the Machine will be here Monday, is about it. Snow and ice pellets tomorrow and you have to figure on a much smaller crowd.

As to "What the hell were they thinking?" I think all political actors here were taken by surprise at the magnitude of this thing. But I'm not sure how much of a blunder it really is. For Democrats, the longer this goes on, the more they energize their base, which didn't turn out in 2010 -- that's how we got a governor, senate, and assembly well to the right of the population. For Walker, on the other hand, the longer we go, the bigger chance he has at grabbing a place as a national Republican figure, and thus a big stream of money from out-of-state for re-election. He wants to be Chris Christie or Jan Brewer, not John Kasich or Bill Haslam.

And of course there's speculation here that he has his eye on bigger things in the party, for which purpose this fracas can only help him. Say what you will about the man, you cannot deny he has the qualifications to be the next Dan Quayle.
posted by escabeche at 6:25 PM on February 19, 2011 [41 favorites]


Say what you will about the man, you cannot deny he has the qualifications to be the next Dan Quayle.

Brutal.
posted by brennen at 6:28 PM on February 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Say what you will about the man, you cannot deny he has the qualifications to be the next Dan Quayle.

Palin/Walker in 2012, sure! Get him out of Madison. I've seen several "Feingold for Governor" signs out there.
posted by Fin Azvandi at 6:30 PM on February 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Son: "Daddy, I have to write a special report for school, but I don't know what Politics is."

Father: "Well, let's take our home as an example. I am the bread-winner, so let's call me Capitalism. Your Mum is the administrator of money, so we'll call her Government. We take care of your need, so let's call you The People. We'll call the maid the Working Class and your brother we can call The Future. Do you understand son?"

Son: "I'm not really sure, Dad. I'll have to think about it."

That night awakened by his brother's crying, the boy went to see what was wrong. Discovering that the baby had seriously soiled his diaper, the boy went to his parent's room and found his mother sound asleep. He went to the maid's room, where, peeking through the keyhole, he saw his father in bed with the maid. The boy's knocking went totally unheeded by his father and the maid, so the boy returned to his room and went back to sleep.

The next morning he reported to his father.

Son: "Dad, now I think I understand what Politics is."

Father: "Good son! Can you explain it to me in your own words?"

Son: "Well Dad, while Capitalism is screwing the Working Class, Government is sound asleep, the People are being completely ignored and the Future is full of shit."
posted by netbros at 6:31 PM on February 19, 2011 [93 favorites]


Say what you will about the man, you cannot deny he has the qualifications to be the next Dan Quayle.

Dan Quayle actually graduated from college.
posted by drezdn at 6:35 PM on February 19, 2011 [13 favorites]


Walker definitely wants something bigger than Wisconsin, but I don't think he has a chance outside of the state, especially after this fiasco. He has many flaws, but up to now they had been ignored by the local media because many of them actively supported him. To quote a friend, Scott Walker's political epitaph will be that he single-handedly revitalized the union movement in Wisconsin.
posted by drezdn at 6:40 PM on February 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


All those damn Wisconsin teachers, working half a day, getting hour lunches and living in their "Mansions of Pedagogy." Argh and those union bosses, probably eating a 16 oz rib eye right now, swilling around a hefeweizen, carelessly letting it drip down their beards, chuckling and ribbing their union partners as they take in the finest burlesque show.

And those poor, poor dairy farm owners. Burdened by high taxes. Going to work and having mud splashed on them as a 5th grade teacher roars by in a white Land Rover. They finally get to their farm and notice the tractor is in a state of complete disrepair. "Boss, sorry we tried all we can, just can't get the engine started." "It is alright Jimmy, I know you did." The little boy's stomach rumbles. "Are you hungry?" Jimmy looks sheepishly at the ground, shaking his head no. "Here, take this," he says handing Jimmy his last $5. "Ah thanks, I'll get something that we both can share."

There's nothing left for these titans of industry, these capitalists of industry as the greedy teachers suck the tit of commerce dry.
posted by geoff. at 6:41 PM on February 19, 2011 [24 favorites]


I just can't imagine the kind of gutless weirdo that sits around writing bills that cut funding to things like Wisconsin school buses. It's simply breathtaking.
posted by pwally at 6:44 PM on February 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


A minority assemblyman responds to the tactic.


HELL YES.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:47 PM on February 19, 2011 [20 favorites]




Walker claims under his budget-repair bill, "collective bargaining is fully intact," earns pants-on-fire designation.

Meanwhile, some source is claiming there were arrests and problems at the protest, but the city of Madison PD seems to think things went OK.

Others have claimed doctors were handing out fake notes to help protestors get out of work, but that also seems suspect.

One thing's for sure, good faith discussion on the facts or the policy involved seems to be hard to come by on the Walker side of the fence.
posted by weston at 6:48 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, some source is claiming there were arrests and problems at the protest, but the city of Madison PD seems to think things went OK.


My sources tell me the police were handing out brats. Last time I checked, that's not a problem.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:51 PM on February 19, 2011 [11 favorites]


Ah. New form of non-lethal crowd suppression, I guess.
posted by weston at 6:54 PM on February 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Little known fact: the chap featured in the last link is a member of the Air Guitar Hall of Fame. He's also a very nice guy.
posted by norm at 6:57 PM on February 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you have any questions as to whether or not Gordon Hintz is fully awesome:

Mr. Hintz also placed 2nd in the 2003 National Air Guitar championships under the pseudonym, "Krye Tuff".[1]
wiki
posted by louche mustachio at 6:57 PM on February 19, 2011


To quote a friend, Scott Walker's political epitaph will be that he single-handedly revitalized the union movement in Wisconsin

Not just Wisconsin, either. Listening to this, I realized that I'd been to slack about participating in my chapter, because the situation here is reasonably cooperative and unlikely to change in the near future. Which is why I should be working to make sure it stays that way.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 7:01 PM on February 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


the 14 dem senators are still out of state, whereabouts unknown.

What is this, the 1700s? Get them on the phone!
posted by doublehappy at 7:01 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


...and this guy Gordon Hintz sounds a lot like McLovin'
posted by doublehappy at 7:08 PM on February 19, 2011


What a jaw-droppingly dumb politician.

In his defense, he'd just finished Atlas Shrugged.
posted by telstar at 7:11 PM on February 19, 2011 [14 favorites]


Does anyone know how long Wisconsin has funds budgeted for?
posted by Weebot at 7:12 PM on February 19, 2011


My sources tell me the police were handing out brats. Last time I checked, that's not a problem.

Ah. New form of non-lethal crowd suppression, I guess.


I don't know how many times you've eaten brats, especially in Wisconsin. But something lethal will happen in a few hours.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 7:29 PM on February 19, 2011 [15 favorites]


What the hell were they thinking?

Well, what I meant to be more precise, is what was that assembly doing taking that vote without the minority (the dems) present before the time scheduled before the start of the session, which was 5:00 PM, yet they were done with it by 4:56 or so from the time in the video.

It is, of course also a much larger question. I do not think Walker's masters the Koch Bros. are going to appreciate all this bad publicity he's helped generate towards them, regardless of what he was asked to pull off, he should've known better as the politician. I eagerly look forward to boycotting everything those Billionaire TeaHeads manufacture and sell (Georgia-Pacific paper and Brawny are two of their brands).

I don't know about Scott Walker being anything at this point but one of the most reviled governors in Wisconsin's history, although I can see him going national in the way Palin and other Tea Party heroes have.

From what Hintz fury on in that chamber, it sounds like the whole thing was perhaps synchronized with a national campaign from the Club for Growth and American's for Prosperity. And the GOP and it's whole carefully constructed resurgence (revisionism) is going to lose support the longer this goes on.

I think it can be seen now that the Tea Party is not the formidable lion of American regeneration it pretends to be, but rather a meek lapdog with it's tail between it's legs, playing dress up in powdered wigs. Misunderstanding history. Perverting the Constitution doing the bidding of its corporatist owners and just utterly a collection of foolish horseshit.
posted by Skygazer at 7:35 PM on February 19, 2011 [19 favorites]


From what Hintz fury on in that chamber ----> From the fury expressed by Hintz in that chamber...
posted by Skygazer at 7:38 PM on February 19, 2011


I've got to wonder - is there any other sanction that can be brought against the majority party members perpetrating these intentional, blatant acts of, pretty much criminally circumventing the democratic process they were elected to participate in? I'm going to guess no, they'd have thought of that, but come on, now.

The speaker, for one. He knows damn well what he was doing. Same thing with the "I object" obstructionism video that went around a while back. I suppose they rationalize it to themselves that they're just "doing everything in their power" to win. But they know what they're doing. It's just a game of nomic to them; the most devious will win! They've forgotten what they're really there for, and maybe never knew.

I'm just not satisfied with hoping shining a light on these bugs will keep them from reelection. Too many of their constituents don't care about blatant dishonesty, as long as it's in their favor.
posted by ctmf at 7:42 PM on February 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Man, is there a video that does not need silverlight?
posted by jadepearl at 7:43 PM on February 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Previously he did something similar to Milwaukee County.

It makes me wonder who the hell voted this guy into office given his track record.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 7:44 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


What a jaw-droppingly dumb politician.

And just for those record thingys: not to be confused with the god-like genius recording artist Scott Walker.
posted by ovvl at 7:54 PM on February 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


A link to Koch brands would be fitting.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:00 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here ya go.

(Lycra!)
posted by hackly_fracture at 8:04 PM on February 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


Economic Policy Institute Memo, "Wisconsin public versus
private employee costs: Why compare apples to oranges?"
, via Ezra Klein.

tl;dr: "[We] find that Wisconsin public employees earn 4.8% less in total compensation than comparable private sector workers."
posted by Weebot at 8:09 PM on February 19, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm curious how this plays with the average WI voter. We're the choir preaching to ourselves here. And raising up a big protest in Madison isn't exactly hard for any lefty cause. What's the rest of the state saying?
posted by Mid at 8:14 PM on February 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


...does Gov. Walker really think this bodes well for him politically, causing his state to immediately explode in trench warfare? There's myriad ways to pull a state towards your political agenda without picking really visible fights with public servants.

He doesn't care, this is about brute political force. Any of the states that have republican super majorities are going to try to ramrod this and other measures that will strengthen their posture for 2012 election through. You can be sure that democratic legislators in other states won't be able to abscond, they will plug that hole. You can be sure that the corporate backers are learning from this laboratory experiment and will be better prepared in other states.

We have slash and burn everywhere...so many fires to put out in the states and in DC: attacks on health care reform, Planned Parenthood, PBS - nothing is too petty or too vindictive ... even Obama's Czars (Elizabeth Warren is a particular arget) and Pelosi's Green Capitol initiatives. The only thing we can hope is that they will get too greedy and continue overplaying their hand and overestimating public support.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:17 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know how many times you've eaten brats, especially in Wisconsin. But something lethal will happen in a few hours.


I'm from Wisconsin. I have eaten brats in Wisconsin.


I have faith that those thus fed know exactly where to aim.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:18 PM on February 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


14 Senators - a song by Ken Lonnquist (written 2-18-2011)

Some of my favorite recent pundit tweets:
@tomtomorrow: Just so I'm clear on this: Tea Party is siding decisively w/ government in its battle against middle class Americans

@KatrinaNation The Real GOP Strategy--divide, assault, divide, assault. And, oh yea, tax breaks for richest/ http://robertreich.org/post/3353591266

@EricBoehlert Where's Bruce? Where's Mellencamp? Where's Vedder? Go to WI. and lend your musical support.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:26 PM on February 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


If the Firemen break out the bagpipes to announce they'll fight to the death for librarians and special-ed teachers, you may as well pack it in.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:35 PM on February 19, 2011 [14 favorites]


Several media members and politicians (even some of the protesters) have drawn parallels between the events in Cairo and Madison. I am curious what people here think. Would these protests have happened if there was no Egyptian revolution? I think of the studies that show that the prevalance of gun violence, or suicide, tends to rise after an episode of the same, because the act is legitimized, somehow, in the minds of others. Are we seeing the same effect with protest?
posted by ofthestrait at 8:35 PM on February 19, 2011


madamjujujive: We have slash and burn everywhere..

Those things, while important are really peripheral to what is happening in Madison. That's Ground Zero for who gets the populist momentum that's going to define this nation not just going into 2012, but possibly for the next era of a political cycle. The Right is certain the the vibrations of a magic dead Reagan is going to bring them to the promised land once again and all will be a Randian wonderworld of hyper Capitalistic fury and prosperity, and can't seem to understand this is the big one, the big battle to see if the middle class in this nation is going to permanently become a moribund class.

The only thing we can hope is that they will get too greedy and continue overplaying their hand and overestimating public support.

They've already overplayed their hand, and I'm not saying this is won or a done deal, but the momentum is definitely with organized labor and with the people protesting Walker. The Dems Senator's must absolutely stay outside the state until this becomes a massive political liability for Walker. He thinks a tough pose and hubris is going to bring things his way and I say no, no, no motherfucking way this time does another Right wing coward get to act like Ronald Reagan and think he's going to win this...

What I'm wondering about is what the next bit of evil strategery is: I can hear Walker on the phone:

Walker: GET ME ONE OF THOSE DEMS!! NOW!!! OFFER THEM IT ANYTHING, POLITICAL FAVORS, MONEY, ANYTHING IT WANTS!! I WANT IT HERE ON MONDAY AND I WANT IT IN THE CHAMBER WITH THE QUORUM AND GET THIS HAPPENING NOW!!!

Ring...ring..ring..ring...

WALKER: WHAT?!!

David Koch: Hello Scott. How is everything progressing...eh??

Walker: Oh..hello Mr. Koch! Great! Great! We have those parasites on the run!!

David Koch: Did you make one of them a nice fat offer to complete the Quorum and so I can stop reading about myself IN EVERY MAJOR NEWSPAPER IN THE COUNTRY!!

Walker: Yes...ha...ha...yes, why of course Mr. Koch, this is all going to be wrapped up by next week, I guarantee it...

KOCH: Well, I hope so son. Don't disappoint me...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To be continued...
posted by Skygazer at 8:42 PM on February 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


So when are the democratic big-wigs going to join in? We need feet on the ground.
posted by Bonzai at 8:55 PM on February 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Anyone know why the Democrats came back giving the Republicans a quorum?

The Democrats that left are state senators. This is the state representatives, where the Democrats do not have enough people to prevent a quorum.
posted by pbrim at 8:58 PM on February 19, 2011


It's fucked up that a state governor threatens military violence against teachers for protesting wage and benefit reductions. Especially after he gave kickbacks to special interests and corporations equivalent to the budget shortfall that he is blaming public employees for. These is the kind of shenanigans that gets the elite strung up from lampposts in third-world countries.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:04 PM on February 19, 2011 [16 favorites]


Skygazer: I eagerly look forward to boycotting everything those Billionaire TeaHeads manufacture and sell (Georgia-Pacific paper and Brawny are two of their brands)."

I'm not sure I've got them all, but I think this is a mostly complete list:

Angel Soft
Brawny
Dixie Cups
Georgia Pacific
Mardis Gras paper products
Northern paper products (Quilted Norther tissue, et.al.)
Vanity Fair paper products (napkins, disposable table linens, etc. Not the magazine.)

Under their Invista brand, also owned by Koch Bros:

Antron
Comforel
Coolmax
Cordura
Dacron
Lycra
Polarguard
Stainmaster
Solarmax
Tactel
Thermolite


Also seemingly owned by them:

Gander Mountain
Holiday Companies
Holiday World


Man...the Lycra and Dacron, that's gonna be the hardest one. That's in a lot more clothing than you'd think. (Maybe that's just me; I wear a lot of yoga-type clothes.)
posted by dejah420 at 9:23 PM on February 19, 2011 [16 favorites]


12 Things You Need to Know About the Uprising in Wisconsin

A good overview of the facts surrounding the bill and unions in Wisconsin.
posted by j03 at 9:29 PM on February 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think you got the big ones, dejah. The World of Koch lists many of their brands.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:34 PM on February 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


What, those assholes own Holiday World!? Is nothing sacred?
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:38 PM on February 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Geezus. Wisconsin is a state of fishing and cycling. Two sports that consume a hell of a lot of synthetic fibers.
posted by Severian at 9:42 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Skygazer: "What I'm wondering about is what the next bit of evil strategery is: I can hear Walker on the phone:"
[INT. WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM]
SOLDIER 1
Sir, we're finally getting something.

SCIENTIST 1
It's sending radio wavelengths!

PRES. OBAMA
What does it want with radio waves?

SCIENTIST 2
Maybe he wants to make a call?
[INT. WISCONSIN GOVERNOR'S OFFICE]

A TELEPHONE is ringing. It is answered by a SECRETARY.
SECRETARY
Governor Walker's office.
[INT. GOV. WALKER'S CHAMBERS]

WALKER is staring moodily out into the night.
WALKER
I told you I did not want to be disturbed.

SECRETARY
I know you don't want to be disturbed, except if
it's Mr. Koch, and it's... Mr. Koch on the line.
EERIE SOUNDS fill the room. WALKER turns slowly and picks up
the phone. The voice on the other line is rumbling, monstrous.
KOCH
IT'S... ME... AGAIN...

WALKER
Walker here...

KOCH
AM I... DISTURBING YOU?

WALKER
No, no, no, no... uh, just... where are you?

KOCH
NOT FAR NOW...

WALKER
Good... good, good.

KOCH
HOW... ARE... THE UNIONS?

WALKER
Fine! Fine... just, just fine. I'll have the, uh...
I'll have the, uh, the four unions that you asked
for shut down any time now -- but it wasn't easy...
my costs have tripled.
A stream of BLOOD begins to drip from his hairline.
KOCH
MONEY... IS OF NO IMPORTANCE.
I... WANT... THE... UNIONS.

WALKER [whispering]
The unions... will disappear. I'll... I'll see to
it personally.
He wipes the BLOOD with his free hand.
KOCH
I... WILL BE AMONG YOU... SOON...
[INT. WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM]
SOLDIER
We lost it.

GENERAL
We lost the signal.

PRES. OBAMA
Damn!
He stands and stalks the room.

[INT. GOV. WALKER'S CHAMBERS]

WALKER collapses in his chair and stares at his bloody hand,
shocked. Outside, PROTESTERS and POLICE are playing FRISBEE GOLF.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:44 PM on February 19, 2011 [54 favorites]


@EricBoehlert Where's Bruce? Where's Mellencamp? Where's Vedder? Go to WI. and lend your musical support.

I think this is an awesome idea, actually. Where the hell is Eddie? He and his ukelele could be doing a world of good right about now.
posted by hippybear at 9:48 PM on February 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


What, those assholes own Holiday World!? Is nothing sacred?

Whew, false alarm. Different Kochs.
posted by asperity at 9:54 PM on February 19, 2011


Several media members and politicians (even some of the protesters) have drawn parallels between the events in Cairo and Madison. I am curious what people here think. Would these protests have happened if there was no Egyptian revolution?

Well, while there may be similarities with Egypt, I would have to say no, offthestrait. Wisconsin has a strong, long, proud and tragic history of labor protests and activism. This says more of the egregious and unfair nature of Walker's attack than anything else, and I think you would be seeing activity like this if Egypt had never happened.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:58 PM on February 19, 2011


Wait, wait, no, that was another wrong family of Kochs. Holiday World is still awesome.
posted by asperity at 10:01 PM on February 19, 2011


And then the NY Times writes a puff piece on Scott the Walker and Scott the Fitzgerald, Brother to the speaker of the Assembly, son to the head of the Wisconsin State Police. Recently appointed.

Yeah, I'm sure the Two Scotts of Wisconsin aren't sweating this.....one little bit....


I wonder if Obama can appoint a special Federal negotiator or get someone on the ground down there.
posted by Skygazer at 10:02 PM on February 19, 2011


So I can keep wearing my cycling spandex and go fly fishing?

Thank god!
posted by Severian at 10:02 PM on February 19, 2011


I'm curious how this plays with the average WI voter. We're the choir preaching to ourselves here. And raising up a big protest in Madison isn't exactly hard for any lefty cause. What's the rest of the state saying?

From what I hear, it's pretty simple -- the Republican parts of the state are saying Republican things and the Democratic parts of the state are saying Democratic things. Wisconsin is quite evenly split between D and R and I would guess Walker is polarizing the state without actually moving his overall support numbers very much. Expecting him to be "reviled" here is wishful thinking -- though we don't know yet what the cuts are in his budget, and that could change things.

"Raising up a big protest in Madison isn't exactly hard..." It is if it's this big. I've lived here since 2005 and have never seen anything on this scale (that didn't involve Halloween or the Badgers.)

I doubt things would be much different if Egypt hadn't happened. Though I have to concede that there are many more Egypt signs than I'd expected. They are about equinumerous with the Star Wars-themed "Imperial Walker" signs.
posted by escabeche at 10:04 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the 12 Things You Need To Know About the Uprising in Wisconsin link"
3. This isn't just about public employees. What even a majority of the protesters don't know is that Walker's law would also place all of the state's Medicaid funding in the hands of the governor. State senator Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton -- one of the Dem law-makers who fled the state to block a vote on the bill -- told local media that this amounted to "substantial Medicaid changes" that put "the governor, all of a sudden... in charge of Medicaid, which is SeniorCare, which is BadgerCare ...and he has never once said what he intends to do” with those programs. But the provision led journalist Suzie Madrak to conclude that "the end game for all this is to defund state Medicaid programs and make it impossible to serve as part of the new health care safety net."
posted by gc at 10:05 PM on February 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


I eagerly look forward to boycotting everything those Billionaire TeaHeads manufacture and sell (Georgia-Pacific paper and Brawny are two of their brands).

Keep in mind this also means boycotting PBS's NOVA.

I had a long, incoherent comment lamenting the situation. Suffice it to say that that I'm not at all optimistic. Walker and his thugs hold all the cards. The public at large hates unions and hates people who get money from taxes (unless they're Republican politicians or defense contractors). The public at large doesn't really care about their own children's education, much less other people's kids. I'm not saying that the people of WI shouldn't protest, but remember the millions who protested the imminent Iraq war. They don't have to listen to us.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:16 PM on February 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


I hope you're wrong, dirigibleman, because the American middle class will be lucky to last another decade if we can't stop what the Republicans are doing right now.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:20 PM on February 19, 2011 [11 favorites]


Would these protests have happened if there was no Egyptian revolution?

I was wondering the same thing a few days ago. I think protests would have happened but perhaps not as quickly or in the shame shape.

I have a union job, working for a county entity. The majority of my coworkers are white men over the age of 50; journey level tradesmen that have worked with their hands their entire lives. They don't come to our union meetings; they bitch about paying dues. Most of them live in rural areas outside of the city we work in. They are, by and large, hunters, gun owners, Republican minded "independents" who listen to Rush Limbaugh, don't want to pay taxes and wish Joe Arpaio was our Sheriff.

All of them were completely oblivious to this story when I mentioned it on Monday. By Friday both of the computers in our break room had images of the protesters in the rotunda as desktop backgrounds. One of them referenced "Fucking Kent State" while talking about Walker's threat to involve the National Guard.

The Republicans aren't attacking the poor, immigrants or minorities this time and these guys don't seem to know what to think about it. "There are your people," I said, "and if they get away with this they're gonna be coming for us next."

The protests in Wisconsin give me hope.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 10:22 PM on February 19, 2011 [34 favorites]


And we'll march day and night, by the legislature, they have the laws, but we have the power.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:30 PM on February 19, 2011 [4 favorites]




What would be the role of the Nat’l guard; labor replacement or crowd control.
posted by clavdivs at 10:37 PM on February 19, 2011


I spent the day in Madison and finally made it into the capitol building itself this evening after the crowds had thinned and there wasn't a line. My lousy cameraphone photos don't really capture it at all. I have never seen anything like that. People are sleeping there, every wall is covered with posters and signs and flyers, but it is the opposite of chaotic; everything feels orderly and calm.
posted by enn at 10:50 PM on February 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Republicanism (US) is an awesome concept.

Responsibility for self, smaller government...I can get behind that.

But why do you motherfuckers make it so easy for me to hate you when you do some douchebag tactics to bust up unions?

Keep doing what you are doing, and I will continue voting Democrat.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:58 PM on February 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have never seen anything like that. People are sleeping there, every wall is covered with posters and signs and flyers, but it is the opposite of chaotic; everything feels orderly and calm.

It's coming through a hole in the air.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:11 PM on February 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's not even the busting up unions. It's the lies and the lies and lies.
posted by wv kay in ga at 11:13 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


because the whole thing needs to be heard/read.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:13 PM on February 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


He doesn't care, this is about brute political force. Any of the states that have republican super majorities are going to try to ramrod this and other measures that will strengthen their posture for 2012 election through. You can be sure that democratic legislators in other states won't be able to abscond, they will plug that hole. You can be sure that the corporate backers are learning from this laboratory experiment and will be better prepared in other states.


It has to be stopped here. This is not something that can be allowed to work and to spread and to become de rigueur.
posted by kafziel at 11:23 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Has any other society successfully negotiated their way from a right-wing, fascist-admiring (though we don't use those words) reality like we have here in the US to a northern-European-style society where there is still democracy but also humane conditions as far as health care and worker's rights? Or are we destined to simply slide into fascism here? I was hopeful yesterday and am filled with foreboding today.
posted by maxwelton at 11:29 PM on February 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Cripes, here's a great quote from a 2008 article about Walker giving his aides raises in the midst of laying off workers in Milwaukee County:
It wasn't that Nardelli was demanding more money, but the higher pay might be needed to attract a good candidate to that post in the future, Walker said.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 11:30 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]




"I've been working in a factory for 26 years. We pay 15 percent for the cost of our healthcare. The state workers get Cadillac insurance and pensions. They have no God-given right to collective bargaining," said bill supporter Anthony Thelen, 46, who works in a nonunion factory outside of Milwaukee.

I mean, the obvious thing to point out to this dude is he'd be in a better position if his factory was unionized.

Also, why is it that Republicans hate health care so much? I mean, is it a belief that if the free market has decided you can't afford health care, you deserve to die?
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:57 PM on February 19, 2011 [8 favorites]


If you're into reading about the details, here's the Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s analysis of the bill. 48 pages of fun!
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 12:00 AM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Now that there are counter protesters, I hope union organizing groups start showing up with materials about the benefits of unions and make an effort to reach individuals like Mr. Thelen.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 12:03 AM on February 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


The interesting thing about the free market is that sometimes state like systems form naturally within it. Unions, collective bargaining, and socially organised healthcare are sometimes the most efficient way to deliver certain desired results.

But that's irrelevant, because it's Improv Everywhere's 10th birthday pretty soon, and I'm pretty sure they're gearing up to reveal Tea Party Republicanism as an elaborate hoax. I mean come on.
posted by doublehappy at 12:07 AM on February 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


maxwelton: Or are we destined to simply slide into fascism here? I was hopeful yesterday and am filled with foreboding today.

One of the most dangerous things is to give in to fear or the siege mentality. You stop thinking, you stop creating and you stop moving forward. Snap out of it.

They're counting on that. Scott Walker is either an idiot or a sociopath. I truly believe that.

He will overplay his hand again and soon. This movement will build up even more momentum and resolve this week. There's no going back now.
posted by Skygazer at 12:13 AM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Suffice it to say that that I'm not at all optimistic. Walker and his thugs hold all the cards. The public at large hates unions and hates people who get money from taxes

I share this pessimism. Other than the Senate Dems staying away from the state -- and their families -- for the remainder of the legislative session, there's nothing to prevent them from enacting this agenda as planned. The underhanded move in the Assembly proves that they are without remorse or shame. There is so much money attached to this agenda that they won't give up on it for nothing.

I do suspect we'll see duelling legislative recall efforts gearing up soon, but both sets of targets are really in fairly safe districts, so even if they are recalled they could run again and win with a redemptive Rocky-like narrative, or hand the torch, willingly or by primary, to another member of their own party. But I'm sure the number-crunching guys are crunching away to find out the districts with the best ROI here. When these elections happen, expect beaucoup Citizens United sanctioned outside money in play.

These is the kind of shenanigans that gets the elite strung up from lampposts in third-world countries.

Blaze, you have to understand that for folks today, propaganda has defined "elite" as "schoolteacher". It's very Orwellian, of course. Their cushy pensions. They live high off the hog. The wealthy union bosses. Etc. Meanwhile, the assault on the incomes and wealth of the lower 90% continues by setting them all against each other.
posted by dhartung at 12:56 AM on February 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Has any other society successfully negotiated their way from a right-wing, fascist-admiring (though we don't use those words) reality like we have here in the US to a northern-European-style society where there is still democracy but also humane conditions as far as health care and worker's rights? Or are we destined to simply slide into fascism here? I was hopeful yesterday and am filled with foreboding today.

Spain's transition from Franco to a left-wing state. Greece's transition from their dictators. The United Kingdom's provision of healthcare and social security. Egypt's ongoing change. Sweden used to be pretty terrible in some ways. Germany, obviously. Japan, come to that. South Korea has liberalised their democracy a lot from the autocratic dicatorship it once was. Most of Europe was insanely right wing within living memory; just like we didn't, you don't have to settle for what you have.
posted by jaduncan at 1:07 AM on February 20, 2011 [10 favorites]


It has to be said that for a Republican party that is so enthusiatically anti-social equality and anti-economic equality, there are an awful lot of members who want to fellate the Kochs.
posted by jaduncan at 1:11 AM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


As a union-member in Northeastern Ohio, I look forward to the inevitable Cleveland/Akron/Youngstown vs. Cincinnazi/Dayton/Columbutt political shit-storm.

Kasich’s remark about cops being idiots seems like a Walker-level move, too. I sincerely hope that the people who voted Kasich into office rue the day they came to and trundled into the voting booth to throw in their lot with that idiot manchild.
posted by Es ist Zeit, dass es Zeit wird! at 1:18 AM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, and here’s former Ohio (D) governor Ted Strickland discussing Kasich on MSNBC.
posted by Es ist Zeit, dass es Zeit wird! at 1:21 AM on February 20, 2011


I want to send something to the protesters today (Sunday), like maybe pizza or coffee (I've read it's going to be cold). Does anyone know how best to do this?
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 2:07 AM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


From the conclusion in the jb's link:

The Right has made great political progress getting Americans to ask the question: "How come that guy’s getting what I don’t have?" It’s the crux of the politics of grievance. Progressives need to get Americans to ask a different question: "What’s keeping me from getting what that guy has?" At least part of the answer is the Right’s decades-long assault on private sector workers’ ability to organize, and the latest battle is being waged in Wisconsin.
posted by marsha56 at 2:25 AM on February 20, 2011 [19 favorites]


Sorry, that should be j03's link (not jb).
posted by marsha56 at 2:28 AM on February 20, 2011


Cincinnazi/Columbutt? Are you six or just an idiot?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:13 AM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


The state workers get Cadillac insurance and pensions

I think this is the most depressing thing of all. Not the politics, not the "you can't have any because I don't", but the fact that you can just repeat an idiotic lie enough times, and a hefty chunk of the public will just parrot it right back without ever engaging their brains, thus guaranteeing that the opposition will have to spend all their time addressing the lie instead of dealing with the real issues.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 4:43 AM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


As a union-member in Northeastern Ohio, I look forward to the inevitable Cleveland/Akron/Youngstown vs. Cincinnazi/Dayton/Columbutt political shit-storm.

My aunt lives in Dayton, and I spent my summers there as a child. I was speaking to her about this 2 days ago, and it's her opinion that folks in the Dayton/Columbus/Springfield area have lived and died with the unions, and couldn't be more supportive. There was an effort where she works to get some people on a bus over to Madison, because they felt that Wisconsin was first, and Ohio was next.
posted by thanotopsis at 5:17 AM on February 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


May these motherfuckers please forget that their cops are public employees too. Please?

Mubarak was said to hold all the cards too. Until the guys with guns stopped responding to input.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:21 AM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Union-affiliated friends of mine from Illinois are on their way up to protest, organize, and help with the recall efforts in Wisconsin.

Also, to respond to someone way further up the thread, I think Wisconsonians care a LOT about their kids' educations; I think midwesterners in general place a pretty high premium on education, and I think the Big Ten (publicly-funded top-notch universities) illustrate that point.

The thing is, there IS a lot of anti-public-worker-benefits sentiment in this country right now even among people who generally favor unions; it's very difficult to have tax rates go up while employment goes down and see public-sector workers getting raises negotiated in their last contract. There are also plenty of places where teachers make well, well above the average salary for the area in which they teach ... if you teach in an urban high-poverty district, you may make twice the average local salary, and there are redistributive aspects when people making middle-class government salaries in poor areas take those salaries and live in middle-class suburbs instead of the city that pays them, effectively transferring tax dollars from poor areas to wealthier ones. If Walker had just stuck with cutting pay and benefits, he probably would have been able to get somewhere, and make at least a semi-legitimate argument that it was only about the budget. Many state with strong unions will be taking the opportunity presented by this economic climate to do just that, pull back on salaries and benefits for public-sector employees with unions that can only argue for so long because it's rough out there for everyone. But Walker waaaaaay overreached from the start; even people who aren't big fans of unions can see that the union-busting has zero to do with the claimed purpose of balancing the budget. Some of my very anti-union friends are real hot about it, and pissed at Walker.

(Also, teacher strikes are an extremely, extremely powerful tool, not least because so many families have all adults working and no other childcare choices, and for whatever reason the ire of the PARENTS is almost always directed at those "making" the teachers strike. It's a very difficult PR battle to win when you're fighting the beloved kindergarten teacher of a charming five-year-old who is the apple of his parents' eye.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:31 AM on February 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


"May these motherfuckers please forget that their cops are public employees too. Please?"

I believe Walker has exempted the police from the union-busting. And one other big one, I forget who.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:31 AM on February 20, 2011


Eyebrows McGee, the firefighters unions (who supported his election), though firefighters have protested too.

and there are redistributive aspects when people making middle-class government salaries in poor areas take those salaries and live in middle-class suburbs instead of the city that pays them

In Milwaukee, the example that the Conservatives trot out, there is definitely not a re-distributive element as MPS teachers are legally required to live in the city or they lose their jobs.
posted by drezdn at 5:44 AM on February 20, 2011


I think this episode really illustrates the difference between Republican and Democrat control of executive and legislative functions. When Democrats are in power, they dither and argue amongst themselves and maybe--maybe, mind you-- pass a watered down version of what they campaigned on.

Republicans go for the kill shot, literally banning a perceived stronghold of political opposition.

And yes, Walker exempted police and fire unions from his plan, but it is my understanding that they are supporting the other unions anyway.
posted by norm at 5:45 AM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]



I want to send something to the protesters today.


Ian's Pizza on State St. is taking orders in support of the protesters. They've received orders from 30 states and 5 countries.
posted by drezdn at 5:47 AM on February 20, 2011 [14 favorites]


"Raising up a big protest in Madison isn't exactly hard..." It is if it's this big. I've lived here since 2005 and have never seen anything on this scale (that didn't involve Halloween or the Badgers.)

Seconding this—I lived there from 1993 to 1998 and never saw any political protests even a tenth of the size of this.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:47 AM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


...but the fact that you can just repeat an idiotic lie enough times, and a hefty chunk of the public will just parrot it right back without ever engaging their brains, thus guaranteeing that the opposition will have to spend all their time addressing the lie instead of dealing with the real issues.

40-odd years of waging a well-funded war against public education has the outcome they hoped for.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:12 AM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ok - I appreciate that the protest is big, but, I suppose, if the public employees' union couldn't raise a big protest in Madison, I'd be worried. It's a city famous for protests, it has a huge student population, and it's a state capital full of public sector workers.

I'm all for the protests and the cause, I'm jut skeptical that the protest is a good gauge of broader "median voter" support. In fact, I'm a little worried that the protests are more polarizing than convincing -- people in the private sector feeling lots of economic insecurity may see the whole thing as fundamentally about hanging onto benefits and job protections that they themselves do not have.
posted by Mid at 6:13 AM on February 20, 2011


I'm all for the protests and the cause, I'm jut skeptical that the protest is a good gauge of broader "median voter" support.

It's not. It's a very large, very public finger pointed at some things that the good Governor would probably have liked better kept under the radar.

Also, it generates many, many opportunities for saying and/or doing things that will swing median voters against him.
posted by Mooski at 6:21 AM on February 20, 2011


...people in the private sector feeling lots of economic insecurity may see the whole thing as fundamentally about hanging onto benefits and job protections that they themselves do not have.

This is the most infuriating part of this whole mess. There was a time, not so long ago (certainly in my lifetime) when both private and public sector workers enjoyed very similar benefits...pensions, healthcare, etc. But, beginning, roughly, in the 80's, workers in the private sector allowed employers to hack-away at their benefits and pay over-and-over-again, without nary a whimper or argument. Honestly, the disparity between what public and private employees enjoy is the fault of the private employees willfully rolling-over and taking it up the ass from their employers. (and believing they deserved the reaming, to boot!)

If they don't like that some (but certainly not all) public employees have better benefits, perhaps they should get off their subservient asses and demand better.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:23 AM on February 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


people in the private sector feeling lots of economic insecurity may see the whole thing as fundamentally about hanging onto benefits and job protections that they themselves do not have.

They might feel that way, but the unions already said they would agree to the cuts proposed in the budget, they at least want to retain their collective bargaining rights (which don't directly cost anything).

Additionally, there's far more to be upset about in this bill than just the union issues. It would also give the Gov. complete control over the state's medicare/medicaid program.
posted by drezdn at 6:23 AM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]




Ok - I appreciate that the protest is big, but, I suppose, if the public employees' union couldn't raise a big protest in Madison, I'd be worried. It's a city famous for protests, it has a huge student population, and it's a state capital full of public sector workers.

But it's not just Madisonians here!! Just to compare: 30,000 people came to see the President speak this fall. 30,000 and that includes people who were just coming because it's the President and they wanted to see what the deal was about. We Madisonians were impressed by this turnout.

Then yesterday, we doubled that crowd. It's not just people from Madison. We have "Solidarity" banners (and the people who brought them) from Baltimore, North Carolina, Illinois, Seattle, and others. I know people from all over the state are here.
posted by shesdeadimalive at 7:14 AM on February 20, 2011


Just figured out there was a new thread. Here's my reposted comment from the previous one:

As much as I hate Michelle Malkin, we really need to watch the content of our signage [warning: Michelle Malkin] so as not to give ammunition to the other side. If someone has a sign with Scott Walker in crosshairs, he/she needs to be told that is NOT COOL. The gangbang sign was extra not cool too. If it's not cool when the right does it, it's not cool when we do it either. We need to police ourselves.
posted by desjardins at 7:18 AM on February 20, 2011 [13 favorites]


30,000 people came to see the President speak this fall

There was far more than that. 30k was all they let into Library Mall. There were easily 5-10 times that many people lined up Bascom Hill and University Ave and up State Street.

John Kerry drew a crowd estimated at 250+k in 2004.

Madison is an activist town, that is true. However, in my 11 years of living here this by far the largest protest I have ever seen. Event the anti-Iraq war protests were not this well attended.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:39 AM on February 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Folks,

I heard from the TAA (teaching assistants union), that they need people to relieve the protesters who are sleeping at capitol. Some protesters have been there 3 or 4 days now.

If you want to give a hand, grab a pillow and c'mon down!

Also, if you know anyone from Wisconsin, call them up and tell them to get in touch with their state senators. There are persistent rumors that there are a few republicans on the fence.
posted by kuatto at 7:59 AM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


One thing to keep in mind about the numbers too, those aren't necessarily the same people each day. I was there on Friday and I know others who've went different days. It's probably almost impossible to count accurately how many people have been protesting.
posted by drezdn at 7:59 AM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, if you know anyone from Wisconsin, call them up and tell them to get in touch with their state senators. There are persistent rumors that there are a few republicans on the fence.

This is would be great. If you have relatives in WI with Democratic Senators, have them call their people to, so that they know people support their actions. Also, have them call the Governor's office at 608-226-1212 and tell him that they are opposed to the Budget Repair Bill.
posted by drezdn at 8:02 AM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Republicanism (US) is an awesome concept.

Responsibility for self, smaller government...I can get behind that.


That's really more properly called Reaganism or something (in reality, the Federal government's budget actually grew or at least stayed the same under Reagan overall--military spending and the deficit reached unprecedented levels under his administration; he just cut a lot of social programs, business taxes and regulations on the markets). Historically, Republicanism kind of meant the opposite of this: sort of like the sentiment expressed as "ask not what you're country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." Civic duty and individual equality were considered the key features, not contempt for your fellow citizens, the republic and its institutions and traditions, which is what seems to characterize the latest variant on conservativism in the US.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:13 AM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


ctmf: "I'm just not satisfied with hoping shining a light on these bugs will keep them from reelection. Too many of their constituents don't care about blatant dishonesty, as long as it's in their favor"

This is why we have to continue to stay united. One massive problem is that we're due for redistricting (just like Ohio - who also is now dominated by Republicans)...

The other is the new attempts at disenfranchisement... They're proposing the strictest voter ID requirements in the nation.

This is ALL about retaining control. They are going to do whatever it takes to make Wisconsin "Red" (Can I have my Commie Color back now?) I don't know how we can fight any of this. I hope we're really working on recalls - and that maybe just maybe they can pass. But with all the right-wing disinformation, and this really selfish attitude I am seeing expressed by the right-wing voters, I really don't think they give one whit about helping others (or themselves).
posted by symbioid at 8:15 AM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's the most effective way to contact a senator for someone who really, really dislikes talking on the phone? Email or snail mail? Facebook or Twitter?
posted by desjardins at 8:16 AM on February 20, 2011


mandymanwasregistered: " "I've been working in a factory for 26 years. We pay 15 percent for the cost of our healthcare. The state workers get Cadillac insurance and pensions. They have no God-given right to collective bargaining," said bill supporter Anthony Thelen, 46, who works in a nonunion factory outside of Milwaukee.

Race to the bottom
"

I said it before in the other thread, and I'll say it here -- they're philosophy has nothing to do with "Conservatism" (Properly defined), and everything to do with "Spite-ism"
posted by symbioid at 8:17 AM on February 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


>> we really need to watch the content of our signage

There was some effort early yesterday morning to take down offensive signs that were hanging in the capitol rotunda. It felt kind of half-hearted and/or misguided, though; the people leading the effort said that the signs needed to go so that FOX couldn't spin them negatively (as opposed to "because it's deeply offensive to advocate raping anybody, even if you disagree with them) and that they'd put them back up after the Tea Party rally was over (I'm not sure if that happened; I haven't been back in the rotunda since early yesterday afternoon), and some of the signs they took down seemed pretty inoffensive ("HIGH SPEED FAIL").
posted by Vibrissa at 8:25 AM on February 20, 2011


Doctors handing out notes to protesters seems to be true
posted by desjardins at 8:36 AM on February 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


What bothers me so much about Republican voters is the fact that they vote against their own economic interests. Due to emotional knee jerk issues such as gun rights, abortion, family issues (gay rights, abortion) , and the delusional fantasies of no governmental regulations these voters fail to acknowledge some hard economic truths.
American wages have been stagnant for many years. The middle class is losing wealth, while the top 2% continues to reap in the wealth off the backs of the very people creating value. All awhile the lack of oversight in the financial markets created an environment where corporate greed and flat out criminal behavior ran rampant. America continues to outsource the very industries that allowed us to have the opportunities that made us who we are. At the rate of outsourcing, we are no longer a producing nation but a consumption nation. Eventually we will not be the number one market in the world and this will greatly impact the very standards we enjoy.

Instead of complaining about the pensions and benenfits, more workers need to stand with these unions. Least we have forgotten our past, unions have greatly impacted our safety, rights, working conditions, hours worked, and shaped wages. More people should be demanding even more from our government and employers. This is a symbiotic relationship, for it to be sucessful in the long run it needs a balance.

I am tired of hearing about 'sacrafices' we need to take when all of us have been making real sacrafices already. We've lost our home values, our jobs, our 401ks, opportunity for education, the list could go on.
/rant
posted by handbanana at 8:45 AM on February 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


I am kind of clueless when it comes to music, so I'm not really familiar with these people, but there's a rock concert planned for Monday night at the capitol:
1. Tom Morello (AKA The Nightwatchman and formerly of Rage Against the Machine)

2. Wayne Kramer (solo acoustic of the MC5)

3. Mike McColgan (singer of the Street Dogs, former lead singer of the Dropkick Murphys)

4. Tom Gabel from Against Me! has posted on Twitter he will be playing as well (http://twitter.com/#!/tommygabel)

5. Tim McIlrath has also been added from Rise Against

SO THERE IS NO MISINFORMATION: RAGE is not coming but Tom Morello will be there. THIS CONCERT WILL STILL BE HUGE!
(Facebook)
posted by desjardins at 8:47 AM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


RAGE is not coming but Tom Morello will be there.

Having seen Street Sweeper Social Club a few years ago warming up for NIN/Jane's Addiction, I can say that any concert with Tom Morello in it will be mindblowingly amazing. That man can do things with a guitar which involve non-Newtonian physics and dark matter, I'm sure of it.
posted by hippybear at 8:49 AM on February 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Desjardins, those bands at least Rise Against, AgainstMe have some pretty good political songs.
Against Me has been in my head sense this whole thing began. That's actually pretty fucking cool!
posted by handbanana at 8:51 AM on February 20, 2011


It just blows my mind that the protest on saturday of 70,000+ resulted on not a single arrest.

via: http://www.cityofmadison.com/news/view.cfm?news_id=2512
On behalf of all the law enforcement agencies that helped keep the peace on the Capitol Square Saturday, a very sincere thank you to all of those who showed up to exercise their First Amendment rights. You conducted yourselves with great decorum and civility, and if the eyes of the nation were upon Wisconsin, then you have shown how democracy can flourish even amongst those who passionately disagree. As of 5:00 p.m., no major incidents had been reported. There have been no arrests. However, discourse and discussion was - at times - loud and heated. That was to be expected. As previously indicated, the goal of law enforcement has been to provide a safe environment for democracy to take place. That goal has been realized for yet another day.
posted by kuatto at 8:53 AM on February 20, 2011 [11 favorites]


kuatto, from a live feed I was following, they said that this week the protesters have also had informal security patrolling the crowds to try and keep things civil, asking people to take down over-the-top signage (Hitler signs etc), the protesters have been working to pick up garbage, hand out food and water and generally just looking after one another.
posted by edgeways at 9:00 AM on February 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Eyebrows McGee: "it's very difficult to have tax rates go up while employment goes down and see public-sector workers getting raises negotiated in their last contract. "

Except - The employees AREN'T getting negotiated raises. In Wisconsin, there were no raises for the past 2 years as part of a deal to help balance the budget, AND they had to take furlough days. That is "unpaid leave". Not only that, but the Republicans are REFUSING to raise taxes. There IS no tax raising going on, and they're making it harder to raise taxes. As well as making it more difficult for localities/municipalities to raise taxes if they deem it necessary.

So both those points are utterly wrong (at least in Wisconsin). And if people actually think that's how it is, they need the shit wiped from their eyes.
posted by symbioid at 9:01 AM on February 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Eyebrows McGee: " I think Wisconsonians "

Sorry to be pedantic, but...

"Wisconsinite"
posted by symbioid at 9:02 AM on February 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


It just blows my mind that the protest on saturday of 70,000+ resulted on not a single arrest.
That's pretty cool.
Though, the foil hat side of me wonders when Walker's supporters will get the idea to start monkeywrenching the crowds. Just a small disturbance (no matter how contrived) will be enough for the media to start screaming "OMG protests turn violent!!!"
posted by Thorzdad at 9:04 AM on February 20, 2011


er... FOX was already doing that on Thurs (or Fri)
posted by edgeways at 9:05 AM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


RE: Doctor's notes, let me just quote The Coup here...

---------
[B] Ay man I got a disease
[E] Damn what you catch?
[B] It's called broke, with no motherfuckin respect
[B] and it's a STD, but you ain't never gon' nut
[B] cause it come from a long legacy of gettin FUCKED
---------
posted by symbioid at 9:09 AM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


13 arrests at Badger Game (Nov 2010)
35 arrests at Badger game (Oct 2010)

So zero arrests for a comparable number of people is pretty impressive.
posted by desjardins at 9:16 AM on February 20, 2011


For our friends around the world who want to support Wisconsin workers, know that Koch's Georgia-Pacific divisions sells consumer paper products under a number of brand names: Cohogar, Delica, Demakup, Inversoft, Kitten Soft, Lotus, Moltonel, Okay Kitchen Towel, Tenderly, Tutto.
posted by tommyD at 9:26 AM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


My favorite sign so far
posted by desjardins at 9:30 AM on February 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


"Except - The employees AREN'T getting negotiated raises."

I just meant generally; national attitudes towards unions. Several of our local ones with longer-term contracts got raises negotiated before the crisis after the crisis began, which of course creates irritation even when one understands the reason. Others of our local ones had shorter contracts and as the national economy contracted, their new contracts had small or no raises. But of course the ones you hear about are the ones with raises that are causing city budget problems.

Of course the blame for that should be laid at the feet of management that negotiated too-long a contract with poor economic modeling, or at Wall Street for blowing up the economy. But that's not what's visible to people.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:35 AM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wiscoosiers? Wisconsooners? Wiscuckeyes?
posted by Flunkie at 9:35 AM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wiscareyoutryingtopissmeoffinites? LOL
posted by symbioid at 9:37 AM on February 20, 2011


Eyebrows, I think that's exactly the issue. "What's visible to people" or rather, "What's been propagandized to people" for over 20 years...
posted by symbioid at 9:38 AM on February 20, 2011


symbioid: "Sorry to be pedantic, but...

"Wisconsinite"
"

Also accepted: "Cheesehead" or "Badger"
posted by Bonzai at 10:01 AM on February 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


Nationwide solidarity events this week (SEIU) - mostly on Tuesday
posted by desjardins at 10:02 AM on February 20, 2011


Also accepted: "Cheesehead" or "Badger"

Also accepted: "Awesome"
posted by desjardins at 10:03 AM on February 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


What's the most effective way to contact a senator for someone who really, really dislikes talking on the phone? Email or snail mail? Facebook or Twitter?
posted by desjardins at 10:16 AM on February 20 [+] [!]


The answer depends on whether you are interested in contacting a Senator or a Representative (I know you specified Senator in your question, but I want to make the distinction clear here).

If you want to contact a Senator, both email and snail mail are equally good. If you want to contact a Representative, you must email them; they are moving very fast (in legislative terms...) and there's no guarantee snail mail would reach them before they've already voted.
posted by Jpfed at 10:26 AM on February 20, 2011


Regarding Facebook and Twitter: those may be useful to reach others or spread news, but they are not particularly useful tools for contacting state legislators.
posted by Jpfed at 10:39 AM on February 20, 2011



What's the most effective way to contact a senator for someone who really, really dislikes talking on the phone? Email or snail mail? Facebook or Twitter?


If Chris Larson is your Senator, he is active on twitter @chrisjlarson. He's one of the good ones. Personally, I think contacting them in as many ways as possible is the way to go. So, email and letter or call and email, or all of the above.
posted by drezdn at 10:58 AM on February 20, 2011




Also accepted: "Cheesehead" or "Badger"

Also accepted: "Awesome"


Also accepted: "Sconnie"
posted by Floydd at 11:06 AM on February 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Here's a digital archive a friend made for storing media from the protests. If you have anything, please add it.
posted by drezdn at 11:12 AM on February 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have a question for the Wisconsinites. If the election for Gov, was held again, now that Walker has made his intentions clear, Would he be able to win? Will he be able to win re-election?

My thoughts on this are: Obama won Wisconsin in 2008. There was a huge turn out (youth wise, Dem-wise) in 2008. There wasn't a huge turn out in 2010, no matter how much the TeaPublican's talk of a "mandate" and a sweeping ideological victory, it was a classic low voter turn out mid-term election with unemployment pushing up against 10%. Walker, in spite of grabbing 52% of the votes in November (Bennett the Dem got 48%), would be in trouble. He would get creamed by a re-invigorated union movement fighting for its life and a youth movement that is obviously not happy with him.

One other question (two parts): How long can he hold off on giving his State of the State and what is the deadline for submitting his budget for Wisconsin?
posted by Skygazer at 11:24 AM on February 20, 2011


When the Hunt Bros lost the ability to gain a useful erection,
they plotted to corner the silver market. 30 years later...
posted by Fupped Duck at 11:29 AM on February 20, 2011


So when are the democratic big-wigs going to join in? We need feet on the ground.

Who cares - "feet on the ground" can be done via citizens networking together. Show the people in power that you don't need their power structures......and they'd best serve the citizens or they'll be shown the door.

My sources tell me the police were handing out brats.

A fine example of how to keep both sides seeing the other as a 'us' and not 'them'.
(And a fine way for the "I want to do something" crowd - pay for food to be handed out for the duration. Best idea I have : Talk to your local police union to work with local Wisconsin police unions for the fund transfer. Builds your local police connections and exposes the coppers along the way to citizens who arn't suspects Sell it as community building so you get past the politics of this moment. Get receipts as a way of showing no one's a corrupt SOB.)

I wonder if Obama can appoint a special Federal negotiator or get someone on the ground down there.

Prompting change from the top? No, I'll advocate change from the bottom. As in citizens.

Find the violations of law and take it to the Grand Jury - no need for the guys from the top - just citizens working to find the violations and taking it to the other citizens serving on the Grand Jury.

If the people from the bottom start sending things to Grand Juries that'll put some pressure on the people in government to start following law. A few true bills and convictions, even better.

Because what is being advocated is 'official oppression' and that will only breed more citizens VS government - exactly what brings about the hate for the the untouchable government workers.

And again, actions any one citizen can take could end you in jail if you even THINK of a ham based sammy......won't that get more than a few government workers to think 2x times about what they do?

It's probably almost impossible to count accurately how many people have been protesting.

GNU radio + tracking the cell phone's 90 second 'tower pings' - there's your tracking.

koch industries boycott

Look towards a P2P distributed way of creating a 'reputation' system such that not only can the public records of corps be used for/against 'em, but also anyone/anything in the public sphere. Panaopticon VS government/corporations.....the only vote you have is your money, get a tool that helps inform others where to "vote".

(and someone will make money hosting verified reputation records/verifying the records, not to mention astroturfing the bad habits of others.)
posted by rough ashlar at 11:38 AM on February 20, 2011 [3 favorites]



Naked Capitalism post debunking Walker's arguments about the pension and state worker compensation.
She also points out two things wrt to current state/fed budget problems:
1. collapse in tax receipts from global financial crisis
2. corporations no longer pay their fair share of total taxes.

Isn't it something like 2/3 of corporations don't pay taxes in WI and the 1/3 is mostly comprised of smaller businesses?
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 11:43 AM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm calling Ians pizza to make a donation and it sounds like they are overwhelmed with donation requests which is totally awesome, but is there anywhere else that is taking donations to give food/support to the protesters?
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:53 AM on February 20, 2011




Glass Nickel Pizza also delivers downtown.
posted by escabeche at 11:55 AM on February 20, 2011


One thing to keep in mind about the numbers too, those aren't necessarily the same people each day. I was there on Friday and I know others who've went different days. It's probably almost impossible to count accurately how many people have been protesting.

National identity cards are the next big thing.
posted by doublehappy at 11:57 AM on February 20, 2011


Here's a good insight on the competing Tea Party from Jason Linkins : Sunday political TV shows wrap-up blog thingy over on the Huffington Post.

I think one reason you'll always see the anti-Walker throngs dwarf the counter-protestors by several orders of magnitude is that even while people disagree, most understand that it's one thing to yell at Washington elites -- it's another thing entirely to yell at your neighbors.

Which is key to understanding, just how dangerous it is politically for Walker, the Kock (sic) bros. funded Tea Publican groups, (American's for Prosperity, Club for Growth, Freedom Works) and even Fox for this to really go on too long.

Up until now the TP has basically been going up against this monstrous abstract bogeyman tha embodies an unrealistic skill set of evil talents, an Obama Manchurian candidate Commie liberal from hell black power Hitler type THING. And it has been wildly effective, as it's all things terrible and terrifying to anyone already looking to be frightened or to frighten other people into voting a certain way...

That's been dispelled and will continue to be dispelled. I mean barring total drunk Tea Party assholes like this out to get their rocks off on telling people they're fired, it's going to be pretty hard for the TP-er's to look out at the anti-Walker protestors and NOT see either themselves, or someone in their family or a friend. At least someone they understand and not at all the Liberal Progressive monsters and lazy freeloaders they're being told about by Fox, and all the GOP groups.

And vice versa of course, although of course that drunk shithead screaming to people that they're "FIRED!!" obviously has issues.

Which is why perhaps, the most genius move from yesterday was college kids giving cookies to the TP people.

I'm going to say this again. In spite of how hopeless this seems, it's not, Regardless of the Koch Bros. limitless wealth and ruthless intent...who needs billions when there's a whole infrastructure of social media by which to reach and influence others.

Even better than that: There's meeting the enemy and perhaps realizing the monsters you envisioned on the other side aren't monsters, or evil or greedy at all. They're the nice college kid or sweet teacher bringing you.....BAKED GOODS.

Ahhh...run for you lives....your country is being taken over by Communists with baked goods....
posted by Skygazer at 12:10 PM on February 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


I also called Ian's. They sounded overwhelmed, but not enough to where they couldn't take my order.

So some protesters are going to feast on a pizza courtesy of a Seattlite, and I gave the staff a hefty tip as well. I'm sure they're all busting their asses as well during all of this.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:14 PM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


How long can he hold off on giving his State of the State and what is the deadline for submitting his budget for Wisconsin?

He may be able to do it discretionarily at any time before adjournment of the legislative session, per Wis. Const. Article V, §4 ("shall communicate to the legislature, at every session, the condition of the state").

The budget for 2011-2013 is due September 30 at the latest, as far as I can tell, but is usually in place by the time the fiscal year commences on July 1. The bill in question is a "budget repair bill" for the current 2009-2011 budget.
posted by dhartung at 12:26 PM on February 20, 2011


Drezdn: The protests are having an affect... in Michigan.

That's a good sign. I guess Snyder out of the new crop of TP Govs was on the fence anyway and was observing what was happening in Wis. (as they all are: Ohio, Indiana and, crazily somehow, Christie in NJ? God: now there's a union protest to bring down all protests considering they're proximity to NYC. But I digress...)

It doesn't take a politcal Einstein to see how deeply Walker has stepped in the Shit pile. Regardless of his bogus "I'm not blinking...and I'm unfazed by the protestors..and I won't compromise" public face, what else can he do at this point. He's made his bed...this is where he sinks or swims, there's too much pressure for him to do otherwise and the loss of face from backing off on the collective bargaining element of the negotiations with the union will bury him as a possible national figure (and he seems mighty ambitious in that regard..). And the other anti-union govs are not going to risk derailing their whole legislative agenda by "dying" on this particular field (ie: doing away with Collective bargaining) of political battle.

I imagine the GOP-ers think that if the union loses in Wisconsin, they'll fold like a house of cards in those other midwest states. I mean, they are counting on the idea that Dems don't or won't fight for their principles.
posted by Skygazer at 12:29 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Regarding Facebook and Twitter: those may be useful to reach others or spread news, but they are not particularly useful tools for contacting state legislators.

Oops, I said this on the assumption that your legislators were in their offices. Ignore my silliness.
posted by Jpfed at 12:37 PM on February 20, 2011


the Kock (sic) bros.

Technically, their name is pronounced "Coke".
posted by dhartung at 12:38 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I mean, they are counting on the idea that Dems don't or won't fight for their principles.

I believe the record* shows there is not a dime's bit of difference between the Republicans and the Democrats.

The citizens don't need the parties - start taking the violations of law to the Grand Jury. Take this out of the 'political' and move it to the 'judiciary'**.

*Al VS Ralph

** Be sure to include a ham sandwich.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:38 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]




Oy vey, not to keep the doctor's note thing going, but now on twitter people are trying to out the docs. Based on the links they're from the excellent family medicine dept at UW-Madison.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 12:41 PM on February 20, 2011


people are trying to out the docs

Oh noes! Who'll prescribe medical MJ for writer's cramp once WI gets medical MJ?
posted by rough ashlar at 12:44 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


>Oy vey, not to keep the doctor's note thing going, but now on twitter people are trying to out the docs. Based on the links they're from the excellent family medicine dept at UW-Madison.

I'd like to see some actual evidence regarding the veracity of these alleged excuse notes.
posted by mikelieman at 12:47 PM on February 20, 2011


Considering the depth and extent of the protests, and the extent to which the President has already voiced support and committed resources, I'm really disappointed in the mild-as-milk statements that WI's Democratic Senator, Herb Kohl, has put out.
posted by Weebot at 12:50 PM on February 20, 2011


I believe the record* shows there is not a dime's bit of difference between the Republicans and the Democrats.

I don't buy this. It's that Nadarite BS that led to 8 years of Bush malfeasance and criminality, and ascendant crony capitalism, and the current economic and political Clusterfu*k.
posted by Skygazer at 12:51 PM on February 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


"I believe the record* shows there is not a dime's bit of difference between the Republicans and the Democrats."

I *do* buy this. If there's a difference, there would have been people arrested for torturing prisoners, committing fraud in foreclosure filings, etc.

But there hasn't.

I knew everything about Obama I needed to know in July of 2008, when he flip-flopped from being against Warrantless Domestic Surveillance to being FOR Warrantless Domestic Surveillance.
posted by mikelieman at 12:56 PM on February 20, 2011


I don't agree there is no difference btw dems and repubs, I just wish the difference wasn't so small.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 12:58 PM on February 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


I knew everything about Obama I needed to know in July of 2008, when he flip-flopped from being against Warrantless Domestic Surveillance to being FOR Warrantless Domestic Surveillance

Surely, you're exaggerating?

(I'm not calling Shirley)
posted by Skygazer at 12:59 PM on February 20, 2011


Live ustream from inside capitol. You might want to turn the sound down before loading as it's rather loud.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 1:00 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


or calling you Shirley...

Err..yeah...calling YOU Shirley.


Surly not.

posted by Skygazer at 1:01 PM on February 20, 2011


Surely, you're exaggerating?

(I'm not calling Shirley)


Nope. I remember the moment precisely. At that second I *knew* that we could actually have a black man sitting in the oval office this time around.
posted by mikelieman at 1:02 PM on February 20, 2011


Will the snowstorm have any impact on the protests?
posted by jadepearl at 1:02 PM on February 20, 2011


Technically, their name is pronounced "Coke".
posted by dhartung at 8:38 PM on February 20 [+] [!]

How come there aren't more 'hopped up on Koch' jokes?
posted by jaduncan at 1:14 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I believe the record* shows there is not a dime's bit of difference between the Republicans and the Democrats.
Nineteen out of nineteen Republican Wisconsin state senators, and the Republican governor, currently want to break the unions. Fourteen out of fourteen Democratic state senators are currently preventing them from doing so.
posted by Flunkie at 1:17 PM on February 20, 2011 [16 favorites]


I mean, they are counting on the idea that Dems don't or won't fight for their principles.

I hate to say that I wasn't so sure they did or would myself - until now. This really needed to happen and I'm glad it has.
posted by Jess the Mess at 1:17 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I mean, they are counting on the idea that Dems don't or won't fight for their principles.

That's been a winning bet so far. Maybe this time will be different?
posted by -harlequin- at 1:34 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


"the governor, all of a sudden... in charge of Medicaid, which is SeniorCare, which is BadgerCare ...and he has never once said what he intends to do”

BadgerCare?
posted by ovvl at 1:34 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, most people in Wisconsin own a badger.
posted by found missing at 1:37 PM on February 20, 2011 [17 favorites]


That's been a winning bet so far. Maybe this time will be different?

Yes, the protest isn't being run by the Dems primarily, and it is utterly, utterly obvious that their base will crucify them if they change course. Maybe there's a lesson there. If the base will crucifiy them if they don't, they still stick to their stance. Labour should be more assertive in general; it's not like the Republicans could oppose them any more virulently and they'll paint it as communism whatever happens.
posted by jaduncan at 1:41 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]



BadgerCare?

A healthcare system for low income families. It serves basically to fill in the hole that occurs when you make too much to qualify for medicaid but too little to actually afford health care.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:47 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ha, just got finished with thedailybeast.com reporting. Very sloppily written summary that could read that here were 60k teabaggers and after wading through comments (ugh) people just roll with the thought that there were that many baggers. Seriously, there needs to be a more serious narrative given to the media.

Damn it, I am tired of the whiffle bat style kneecapping approach.
posted by jadepearl at 1:49 PM on February 20, 2011


BadgerCare, for those following from home, was created by former repub gov Tommy Thompson. It was the reason he was later appointed head of Health and Human Services by GW Bush. Walker has said Thompson is a hero of his, which doesn't explain the attempts to de-fund BadgerCare and the refusal of fed $ for high speed rail (Thompson is a big rail fan as well).
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 1:54 PM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


BadgerCare is the state "brand" for Medicaid services. In particular, beyond the services for pregnant women and parents of infants, it includes a "Core Plan" of public insurance with a pro-rated subsidy for adults without dependents, and most recently a "Basic Plan" with a flat insurance rate for those who could not get into the enrollment-limited Core Plan. These last two are expected to be eliminated or severely cut back under Walker.

Of some importance, which I would like to see picked up by even local media, the badger mascot actually comes from the miners who poured into the region in the early 19th century, digging holes into the hills as they mined minerals, particularly lead. A wonderful symbol of the state's historic identification with the working man.
posted by dhartung at 1:54 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Weebot: "Considering the depth and extent of the protests, and the extent to which the President has already voiced support and committed resources, I'm really disappointed in the mild-as-milk statements that WI's Democratic Senator, Herb Kohl, has put out"

It's Herb Kohl - what would you expect (sorry... If you lived here long enough, you'd know what I mean ;P)
posted by symbioid at 2:15 PM on February 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh fuck, this thread just got Beesed, and Joe ain't even around! O_o
posted by symbioid at 2:16 PM on February 20, 2011


So...

Head of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association, Tracy Fuller, posted his regret for supporting Walker:

(mostly cuz it's biting him in the ass from the other cops! Yes - Allcaps is his LOL)
...
I SPECIFICALLY REGRET THE ENDORSEMENT OF THE WISCONSIN TROOPER’S ASSOCIATION FOR GOVERNOR SCOTT WALKER. I REGRET THE GOVERNOR’S DECISION TO “ENDORSE” THE TROOPERS AND INSPECTORS OF THE WISCONSIN STATE PATROL. I REGRET BEING THE RECIPIENT OF ANY OF THE PERCIEVED BENEFITS PROVIDED BY THE GOVERNOR’S ANNOINTING.

I THINK EVERYONE’S JOB AND CAREER IS JUST AS SIGNIFICANT AS THE OTHERS. EVERYONES FAMILY IS JUST AS VALUABLE AS MINE OR ANY OTHER PERSONS, ESPECIALLY MINE. EVERYONES NEEDS ARE JUST AS VALUABLE. WE ARE ALL GREAT PEOPLE!!
...
posted by symbioid at 2:23 PM on February 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


article on Tracy Fuller and the Cop Union fiasco
But Fuller is already facing a family squabble of another kind. As president of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association (WLEA), he's taking a lot of heat from those members of his union who are not exempt from Walker's plans.

"We are currently experiencing all kinds of backlash from our membership because of what I consider to be cherry picking of our union by the governor," he says.

The union, in short, is in danger of coming apart. And that's likely what Walker wants.
posted by symbioid at 2:27 PM on February 20, 2011


It seems like this is a key quote from that article:
Much of the backlash comes from the fact that the Wisconsin State Troopers' Association, a lobbying group which is not affiliated with the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association, endorsed Walker during last year's campaign, against the wishes of many in the union. And the Troopers Association was quick to applaud Walker's move to exempt the State Patrol from the curtailment of bargaining rights. The Troopers' Association, a group that lobbies for benefits, isn't affiliated with the WLEA.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 2:33 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The union, in short, is in danger of coming apart. And that's likely what Walker wants.

I don't have a lot of long-term optimism for this but I actually found that article pretty optimistic. For one thing it started by pointing out how heavily this situation hits close to home--literally--for some people in protected unions.

For another, this line actually had me LOLing over the irony:
"It is very possible that if the vote goes against public employees, we will witness something that hasn't happened since the 70s: massive strikes," he writes. "This may be the only way to fight this ‘wartime' mentality of the state. Only with mass unity of the teachers and all other public employees will we be able to beat back this aggression by the governor's office."
Hey... remember like, a year ago when threatening to do that was called "Going Galt" and it was awesome to teabaggers? Hey guys, quick history lesson here: unions are sort of, like, the people who actually do what you were cosplaying last year.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:39 PM on February 20, 2011 [16 favorites]


Many protest signs have been calling for Aaron Rodgers to come out in support of the public unions, but today Charles Woodson was the first Green Bay Packer to add his voice to the statement issued by a group of former and current Packers a last week.

Also, thanks for the pizza anonymous out-of-state donors!
posted by Fin Azvandi at 2:46 PM on February 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Man, there was a ton of Ian's pizza at the Rotunda this afternoon. Extra cheese, from the look of it.
posted by Mngo at 2:48 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


mild-as-milk statements

He said "unprecedented mobilization"! I think I also detected a pulse....

Meanwhile: Right-wing radio personality Mark Williams (marktalk.com) is openly planning agent provocateur activities at the SEIU demonstration in Sacramento and urging his fans to follow suit.
posted by dhartung at 2:59 PM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Man I wish we could hit demagogues on media with Encitement charges.
posted by Severian at 3:06 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, most people in Wisconsin own a badger.

But sadly, it's not a honey badger, which isn't native to WI.
posted by desjardins at 3:13 PM on February 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm pretty sure a call for specific criminal actions at a specific place and time by someone who might credibly influence people fails the Brandenberg test hard.

Cops should bust his ass.
posted by Zalzidrax at 3:13 PM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Zalzidrax, it's certainly assholeish but what exactly is illegal about it? He specifically says NOT to physically engage.
posted by desjardins at 3:16 PM on February 20, 2011


"It's Herb Kohl - what would you expect"

I think Herb actually takes up negative space in the Senate chamber. At least he woke up long enough to issue a statement.
posted by MikeMc at 3:50 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Those of you who wish to know how the story goes should Walker succeed can look to British Columbia's recent history. Our Premier, Gordon Campbell, discarded signed agreements. A unilateral decision. We did not have a general strike. and this in a province that did have a general strike against Premier van der Zalm not more than twenty years ago.

Rant Deleted. Suffice to say: I don't think things have improved for the majority of BC citizens.

We had limited-profit public corporations responsible for delivering public infrastructure subject to publically-determined regulations.

This infrastructure to the back end of beyond in BC, a very large and very rugged chunk of territory, was the result of having strong public control.

Our "Scottwalkers" sold most of that low-profit, high-monopoly, captive market to their buddies. Somehow, they claim this is to our public benefit. I can't even.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:30 PM on February 20, 2011


According to their FB update, Ian's Pizza is set for donations/orders for tonight, and will begin taking orders again tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. Looks like they've got orders accounted for from nearly all 50 states -- I'm campaigning to get someone from my old stomping grounds of Wyoming to call in. Don't let me down, Equality State progressives... I know you're out there. I'm looking at you, Laramie!
posted by scody at 4:55 PM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Madison Metropolitan School District is closed again tomorrow. The kids have basically gotten most of a week off of school in the middle of February. They assure us that the union has promised staffing by Tuesday. This signals to me that the concert tomorrow night will put a head on all of this.

If it isn't resolved by Monday evening....I don't know what's going to happen. I may have to start home-schooling my kids for a while, here.
posted by thanotopsis at 5:17 PM on February 20, 2011


Moderate Wisconsin Republicans Offer Compromise

This is obviously nowhere near acceptable -- "[the compromise] calls for most collective bargaining rights of public employee unions to be eliminated . . . but then reinstated in 2013" -- but it shows that the protests are having the intended effect and depriving Walker of his political backing.
posted by Weebot at 5:24 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


thantopsis - it ain't over until the Unions win the rights. And that's not gonna happen in this climate. Even if the "compromise" that weebot mentions goes through, Walker probably wouldn't sign it.

And the fact is, we know how these sunset provisions end (or rather, don't end)...

"Trust us, it's just temporary!"
posted by symbioid at 5:27 PM on February 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Tensions Rise As Indiana Legislators Plan to Put Collective Bargaining to a Vote

Next week, the state legislature in Indianapolis plans legislative hearings similar to those in Wisconsin, Florida, and Ohio, where Republican majorities have moved swiftly to kneecap union organizing and bargaining rights. In Indiana, both houses are controlled by the GOP, and Hoosiers are afraid that anti-union bills could pass quickly.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:29 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


thanotopsis: If it isn't resolved by Monday evening....I don't know what's going to happen. I may have to start home-schooling my kids for a while, here.

Well, this has got to be dealt with by the union. They can't shut down the whole system everyday, some sort of rolling strike schedule should be established and the families of the teachers and the students should be enough to have pretty solid constant presence at the Capitol building in Madison. Public sentiment could get too much if too many people can't get to work themselves cos they don't have or can't afford baby sitters. (Perhaps a babysitters volunteer corps??) And save the big shows of people for strategic "big days."

This has got to last through this week for Scott to really begin sweating, He's already put his foot in his mouth saying he thinks this will all be wrapped up this week.

Meanwhile the protests are going national.
posted by Skygazer at 5:48 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile the protests are going national.

When the protests come to Florida, count me in. I'm not union because I'm a private sector contractor and there are no unions in my industry (and besides, and I quote, "if anyone even talks about setting up a union here, everyone will be fired"). But I will definitely join in the protests.
posted by saulgoodman at 5:57 PM on February 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Scott Walker: The One Man Death Panel: a fairly detailed analysis of Walker's proposed changes to medicaid.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 6:00 PM on February 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


It seems like the idea that Obama has masterminded the union protests is headed into right-wing mythology, like ACORN stealing the presidential election, and Obama paying back black farmers.
posted by Weebot at 6:05 PM on February 20, 2011


When the protests come to Florida, count me in.

Here is a list of solidarity protests going nationwide, this week being organized by SEIU. Looks like there's already more cities and states added since I viewed it earlier, so check back if you state isn't there yet.

There's nothing for Florida as of yet
posted by Skygazer at 6:06 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


My favorite protest sign that I've seen so far has been "Evolution is a Myth / WMDs in Iraq / Unions Cause Deficits / Witches Float." Then things like this...

It seems like the idea that Obama has masterminded the union protests is headed into right-wing mythology

...remind me that there are whole swaths of people whose response to that sign would be to actually agree with it.
posted by scody at 6:13 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, here's the actual bill if anyone wants to read it!
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 6:20 PM on February 20, 2011


It seems like the idea that Obama has masterminded the union protests is headed into right-wing mythology

Paint me paranoid, but equally optimistic by saying that this could be setting up the narrative for how badly Walker and the Right blundered if, they lose on this.

Of course, it the GOP/ the TP /The Kroch Bros. /Fox all take a black eye on this:

It's got to be a democratic conspiracy masterminded by the Hitler/Stalin/Mao/Sasquatch/unbirthed alien COMMUNIST BOGEY MAN abstraction of terror know as------>

Barack Hussein Obummer!!!
posted by Skygazer at 6:23 PM on February 20, 2011


Which is, you know, back to business as usual...

I hope people around the country are really looking at these people and who they are.

THey are THEM!
posted by Skygazer at 6:26 PM on February 20, 2011


So - I have question regarding a General Strike.

There's something called a "Secondary Strike" which is, apparently, illegal.

Wikipedia describes it thus:
Secondary action (also "secondary boycott" or a "sympathy strike") is industrial action by a trade union that is initiated by workers in one enterprise and supported by workers in a separate enterprise. The term "secondary action" is intended to be distinct from a trade dispute with a worker's direct employer, and so may be used to refer to a dispute with the employer's parent company, its suppliers, financiers, contracting parties, or any other employer in another industry.
That sounds a lot like a general strike. But from what I gather a general strike isn't illegal?

Any thoughts on the difference between the two?
posted by symbioid at 6:28 PM on February 20, 2011


If Walker has his way, strikes will be a thing of the past. From page 5 of the bill:

Under current law, the governor may declare a state of emergency if he or she determines that an emergency exists resulting from a disaster or the imminent threat of a disaster. This bill authorizes a state agency to discharge any state employee who fails to report to work as scheduled for any three unexcused working days during a state of emergency or who participates in a strike, work stoppage, sit−down, stay−in, slowdown, or other concerted activities to interrupt the of operations or services of state government, including specifically purported mass resignations or sick calls. Under the bill, engaging in any of these actions constitutes just cause for discharge.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 6:36 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's why I think we'd best get this general strike thing happening ASAP/before the bill to put pressure on employers across to state to realize just how big this is and if we ALL join to make our voice heard, maybe they'll grok that it's not just some strange group of people "out there" but people right here working for them that are in resistance.

*sigh* if only we weren't wage slaves and could afford to strike without worry for our bills.
posted by symbioid at 6:38 PM on February 20, 2011


Here is what I want to know: why is it ever illegal to strike? If you don't want to go to work because you have a grievance, why should the government be involved?

Also, all these governors trying to end collective bargaining, how does that work? If the teachers all stick together and refuse to work unless their demands are met, what can a governor do? Sure they can be fired, but fire thousands of teachers and try to replace them all at once? It's not like when the miners struck in Wales and the owners simply shut the mines. You can't shut down the schools.

I know Reagan fired all of the air traffic controllers who went out on strike but it took years to replace them. I wonder how that would go over today?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:46 PM on February 20, 2011


Secret Life of Gravy: " If you don't want to go to work because you have a grievance, why should the government be involved?"

Because that's how the rich folk want it? Something something interstate commerce?
posted by symbioid at 6:50 PM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Personally, I'm hoping that the teachers start working out a sick out rotation mixed with a teach in, where they teach but scrap the traditional lesson plans with a history lesson on workers rights, unions, or the physics of Scott Walker's hair.
posted by drezdn at 6:53 PM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't help but wonder what Walker backer will benefit from this:
Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the
3 department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may
4 contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without
5 solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best
6 interest of the state.

posted by mandymanwasregistered at 6:53 PM on February 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Does that mean he's seeking total power to privatize state owned heating, cooling and power plants?
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 6:56 PM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


In WI, the power companies have set rates that almost guarantee they'll turn a profit, by selling the state owned plants to them, they'll make money by selling the power back to the state.
posted by drezdn at 6:57 PM on February 20, 2011


I mean, is it a belief that if the free market has decided you can't afford health care, you deserve to die?

This is exactly what one of my Republican (well, he is always quick to point out that he is neither Repub or Dem, and says he's Independent, but he talks like a teabagger to me) friends says. His idea of healthcare is that the government should pay for the first $10,000 of care (preventative) for everyone, and then insurance companies should take over for anything above and beyond. When he explcitly told me that people who can't afford insurance deserve to die, I decided there was no getting through to that kind of thinking and ended our conversations on the issue. I think he somehow equates not being able to get health insurance with being lazy, but whatever with that bullshit.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:57 PM on February 20, 2011


I'm calling Ians pizza to make a donation and it sounds like they are overwhelmed with donation requests which is totally awesome, but is there anywhere else that is taking donations to give food/support to the protesters?

Here an idea, and I'm just spit-balling here, but could we find a high-profile moderator or something to set up a paypal account that we can donate to and put together a big donation from all us mefites together?

I think, if someone were trust-worthy enough and willing, they could negotiate a better deal than each of us placing orders with Ian's individually. Maybe we could get some input from someone on the ground and get the protesters something besides food that they might be missing.

Thoughts?
posted by VTX at 7:02 PM on February 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


>I don't buy this. It's that Nadarite BS that led to 8 years of Bush malfeasance and criminality, and ascendant crony capitalism, and the current economic and political Clusterfu*k.

Well thanks for clearing that up. I was under the impression that the American public electing George W. Bush to two terms "led to 8 years of Bush malfeasance and criminality, and ascendant crony capitalism, and the current economic and political Clusterfu*k." I guess I can now disregard all of Nader's very cogent points because he was actually responsible for this whole mess and not the politicians involved and certainly not the American Public.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:04 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like VTX's idea. Could we spread the love around? Can any Madison MeFites suggest other locally owned food/beverage purveyors in downtown Madison? Maybe a coffee shop or three? Some vegan fare?
posted by marsha56 at 7:08 PM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


There are already a ton of people calling into Ian's. Food won't necessarily be the biggest problem for protesters. The weather may end up being a bigger deal. It may be helpful to try to get hot drinks for people from the nearby coffee shops (Ancora, Bradbury, Barriques, and Starbucks are the closest to the square). People closer by might be able to bring warm packs or rain ponchos if the precipitation hasn't turned to snow by then.
posted by Jpfed at 7:11 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Teaching Assistants’ Association and the Labor Movement in general would like to thank the following local businesses who have donated food and supplies to the sit in/sleep in at the Capitol. Please remember their support and patronize these businesses:

Capital Centre Market
Cargo Coffee
Community Pharmacy
Fromagination
Ian’s Pizza
Just Coffee
Marigold Kitchen
Mermaid Cafe
Regent Street Market
Underground Kitchen
Union Cab
Weary Traveler
Willy Street Coop

Also FB page listing supporting businesses.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 7:14 PM on February 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


The Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association, which did endorse Walker just renounced their endorsement
posted by edgeways at 7:25 PM on February 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


Some vegan fare?

Wait, I thought we were supporting the protesters.
posted by indubitable at 7:28 PM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


what conservatives really want.
posted by g.i.r. at 7:40 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess I can now disregard all of Nader's very cogent points because he was actually responsible for this whole mess and not the politicians involved and certainly not the American Public.

Yeah, Ralph screwed the pooch. HARD.

The American public has it's share of the blame, sure, but they also thought they were voting for a moderate "compassionate conservative" who was going to lower taxes a bit, probably do a lot of golfing and and th nation was flush with money an solidly in the black, and everything was going to be fine when they pulled the lever for W.

Wow, how hard did they screw the pooch?

And of course he benefited from a SCOTUS, that thought it somehow had the right to get involved in deciding a national election.

Wow, how hard did they screw the pooch?

And then 911, happened and most of the country, myself gave W. and Cheney full faith and support in a time of unprecedented danger and uncertainty.

Wow, how hard did we screw the pooch?

And then, Bush and Cheney, Rove and the Neo-Conservatives got a bit of a taste for what could be a whole era of conservative expansion and establishing a cult of power for itself that would eclipse the two party system....but, they got greedy and overplayed their hand, lied and manipulated and frightened the country about WMD's in Iraq.

Wow, how hard did they screw the dream of a neoconservative worldwide utopia based on AMerican empire.

And then, the swift boaters came in and fucked John Kerry to within an inch of his life, and...got W. re-elected.

Wow, how hard did they screw the country?

SCOTUS gives the plutocracy a shining turd of a jewel called Citizen's United.

Wow...

Fast forward to 2010, and this heinious deplorable Tea Party revisionism, and phony populism based on a zombie Reagan and the Murdoch empire...and a string of TP govs try and do away with unions...

Wow, how hard...



So, yeah. We're all fucked. But there can be no doubt how serious the Right in this country is with complete dominance. They can see it, they can smell it and fuck me, if they're not closing in on it....

I honestly don't want to live in another bizarro decade of crony capitalism and destroyed personal rights...

So, yeah.....basically Nader can go fuck himself.
posted by Skygazer at 7:42 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Ralph screwed the pooch. HARD. [LACK OF ANY SUPPORTING EVIDENCE] So, yeah.....basically Nader can go fuck himself.

Listen you can blame Nader all you like but in the end it is just argumentum ad hominem as you don't actually address any of his critiques, but rather just spew shit like "Nader can go fuck himself." Done with the derail sorry.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:55 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


And then, Bush and Cheney, Rove and the Neo-Conservatives got a bit of a taste for what could be a whole era of conservative expansion and establishing a cult of power for itself that would eclipse the two party system.

Est. 1975.
posted by clavdivs at 7:58 PM on February 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm interested in how Nader apologists feel about the fact that he went out of his way to target battleground states in which support for him would necessarily undercut Gore, rather than safe blue states full of Green-friendly liberals which would more strongly contribute to Nader's overall vote count. His campaign strategy suggests a drive to damage the Democrats rather than build electoral support for the Greens, which is backed up by this damning exchange between sociologist Harry Levine and Nader nephew and campaign advisor Tarek Milleron:
I then turned to my favorite argument. I said: "There are those who say at the end of World War Two, that instead of dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the U.S. should have taken the Japanese high command out to some island and shown them what this new bomb could do. The U.S. could have demonstrated their destructive weapon without actually taking hundreds of thousands of civilian lives. Ralph could do they same thing. The large vote in the 40 or so safe states would send a real political message; the low or non Nader turnout in the close states would show that Nader sent people to Gore and that he had that kind of power. If he did this, he would be someone to be reckoned with. If Gore won, Nader would have real influence for progressive causes, and he could continue to build his movement and the Green Party. If Gore lost, Nader would have substantial credibility and power within the Democratic party. By holding back in a handful of states now, he could demonstrate his capacity to cause real damage in the future, and gain much in the short and the long run."

Tarek did not disagree with that at all. Instead, leaning toward me, with a bit of extra steel in his voice and body, but without changing his cool tone and demeanor, he simply said:

"We are not going to do that."

"Why not?" I said.

With just a flicker of smile, Tarek said: "Because we want to punish the Democrats, we want to hurt them, wound them."
Well, mission fucking accomplished, dude. It's that noxious attitude that helped deliver us nearly a decade of Bush, and at a critical juncture in American history.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:13 PM on February 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


THANKS, LET'S HAVE THIS ARGUMENT AGAIN NOW, GUYS AND GALS!

(Ugh)
posted by Dr.Enormous at 8:24 PM on February 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


Jeez, it's really helping me re-live my time in Madison to have an argument about Nader.
Anyway!

Paul Krugman's column from tomorrow's NY Times lays it all out. He even uses Glenn Beck's favorite word: oligarchy!
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 8:34 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Please take any further Nader meanderings to MeTa or to MeMail.
posted by edgeways at 8:47 PM on February 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yes, please, no more Obama, Nader, or "No difference between Dems and Repubs" derails. Make comments that matter to our discussion, but they should be no more than one deviation from the topic (and hopefully less than that).

Back on subject, I'm really wrestling with all of this unrest on a personal level. I'm leaving my job in the military and am working on getting my Masters in Education so I can teach high school. Still, I'll have to bridge employment between when I get out and when I finally get my certification (in about two years), so I'm definitely thinking about hiring on for a military headhunter to get me a corporate job that pays the mortgage for that time. Now, I'm really torn on what I should do, and what any of us can do. I want to live in a better world, but for now, like most of us, I'm bound by lending my strength to that which we should be free from. Even over here in Virginia, I'm now looking at what can be done, what can I do to help foment a real labor revival that aims to make sure that those who labor are paid well for their time and toil. I seriously don't know what to do on both the personal and community front other than watch from the sidelines, sing Pete Seeger songs, and explain the importance of unions to my friends.

"Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one" as Solidarity Forever proclaims. There must be something that can be done other than ordering pizza for guerrilla congressmen.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 9:42 PM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]




Lord Chancellor: Well, there is always donating to the Wisconsin Democratic State Senate Committee, if you feel pizza is too inconsequential.
posted by Weebot at 11:57 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Weebot, I did consider that, though I wonder if I should focus my efforts in my own state of Virginia. I feel that if this labor resurgence is to have any victory, it must rise in every state of the Union. The powers that be should feel threatened by it, because only when they see that it has a real capability to get out of hand will they negotiate with it. Wisconsin is a battleground right now, yes, but I'm hoping that the entire US will erupt in labor demonstrations and organization. Unfortunately, Virginia is a right-to-work state and has beaten back unions until they're nearly dead.

Screw it. Until a better option appears, I'll get the Wisconsinite protesters what they need to march on. They certainly have our backs, so we need to get theirs.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 12:18 AM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Illinois Senate President continues to thank Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for marketing effort
SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois Senate President John Cullerton is again thanking Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for his contributions to Illinois’ economic rebound.

“I must say, I really did not expect Governor Walker to work this hard to make Illinois look so good. Once again, I’d like to thank Governor Walker for his ongoing efforts to market Illinois as a great place to live and work,” Cullerton said. “First he let everyone know how much lower our tax rates are than his, now he's focusing on how much more stable Illinois is than the chaotic Wisconsin he's created. I can’t wait to hear how he’ll help us next.”
posted by Weebot at 12:18 AM on February 21, 2011 [9 favorites]




On what we can do, let me throw this out for consideration: when you see one-sided or weak reporting in the media, point it out. Don't point it out in the comments section; too many wackos there.

Instead, send e-mail to the reporter if possible, and/or the editor or the news desk. Ask the journalists to do better. Be nice about it. Don't be arrogant or too critical. Praise their work in general and tell them you are know journalists have it in them to get the truth across. Pass on some valid tips or contacts if you have them.

Talk about how hard we folks have it, scraping to hang on to the bottom rung of the middle class, with lay offs, pay cuts, understaffing, pressure from corporate. Most journalists and being pounded from all sides, financially and professionally, with closings, consolidations, threats.

The idea is not to mix more noise into the comments thread, but to spark some conversations in the news room.

Just throwing it out for discussion. Maybe I'll try it as a short-term hobby.
posted by tommyD at 3:42 AM on February 21, 2011 [16 favorites]


Wisconsin is a battleground right now, yes, but I'm hoping that the entire US will erupt in labor demonstrations and organization.

Things are moving very, very quickly. Ohio's new Tea Party governor proposed as bill similar to Wisconsin's early on, and in just the last few days they've been joined by Indiana and Tennessee. I suspect there will be a need for labor demonstrations all across the country sooner rather than later.
posted by enn at 5:10 AM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


tommyD, that is an excellent suggestion. The right wing has been very successful in their pufferfish campaign of looking larger and more numerous than they are by incessantly "freeping" the media, politicians, polls, online comments, and advertisers. Granted much of it is done through dirty tricks, but there is no denying that they are masters at positioning and broadcasting their messaging.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:27 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh and another thing - if you see good, objective and comprehensive journalism, thank the writers/reporters for their efforts.
posted by tommyD at 5:38 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, mission fucking accomplished, dude. It's that noxious attitude that helped deliver us nearly a decade of Bush, and at a critical juncture in American history.

To be honest, it's not as though the Dems didn't deserve it. The 90s gave us Clinton, sure, that triangulating, outselling, pandering grope artist that gave us DADT and DOMA. And he only got into office because Perot shortsheeted Bush the Elder.

The dems were only starting to perfect their current fecklessness and inability to accomplish anything.

We've been blowing off work and dinner with families to defend our fucking way of life and the only national media personality to show up so far has been Jesse Fucking Jackson ?

Even Obama "It seems like an assault on unions" - woah, there pardner. Thems fightin words!

Thanks for nothing assholes.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:49 AM on February 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Keep your eye on the prize though, Pogo. Not that you aren't right to criticize, but there are still much bigger fish to fry here. Solidarity should be the first concern right now, IMO. The loyalty testing can come later after those who are openly and explicitly opposed to labor back down. That said, everyone should be applying whatever pressure they can to get Dems to support the protesters. Not because Dems are always the good guys, or some bastion of principled support for the labor unions, but because they're the only political party that isn't actively opposing labor and ultimately the only best shot for practical, strategic cooperation. You can't always limit yourself to working exclusively with true-believers. Coalitions formed on the basis of practical, strategic interests are just as necessary to winning battles like these as is the support of the true believers.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:02 AM on February 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


I dunno what the weather is like in Madison this morning, but here in Milwaukee it took me a half-hour to scrape 3 inches of ice off my car. So I'm betting some coffee would be much appreciated by the protesters.
posted by desjardins at 7:07 AM on February 21, 2011


One thing people outside Wisconsin can do is join us in boycotting Scott Walker's supporters until the bill is defeated. Here's a list. Probably the easiest for Metafilter members to boycott would be Miller beer.

Make sure to contact the companies and tell them your reason for the boycott.
posted by drezdn at 7:09 AM on February 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


It is seriously icy here, but maybe not as bad. I think everyone is probably inside this morning, but there's a rally at noon--I hope the footing isn't too bad.
posted by Mngo at 7:10 AM on February 21, 2011


The "Democrat minority"? Jeez. From the "Democrat Party"? It's "Democratic".
posted by lathrop at 7:17 AM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Even Obama "It seems like an assault on unions" - woah, there pardner. Thems fightin words!

While I agree with saulgoodman that solidarity, not loyalty testing, is what's needed right now, Obama didn't even go that far. He said "From what I've been hearing, it seems..." Not exactly a line in the sand, for sure.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:44 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


desjardins: "I dunno what the weather is like in Madison this morning, but here in Milwaukee it took me a half-hour to scrape 3 inches of ice off my car. So I'm betting some coffee would be much appreciated by the protesters."

I didn't have it that bad, but it was a decent sheet of glue-ice (y'all know what I'm talking about)... It took me about 15 minutes. Maybe I'll order some coffees for 'em. Least I can do. Maybe Walker is right - he's good for business! LOL.
posted by symbioid at 7:51 AM on February 21, 2011


I agree, Benny Andajetz. He's missing a huge strategic political opportunity here. If Obama really wants more political leverage going into these budget debates, he would come out decisively on the side of labor. These protests represent a huge source of potential political leverage for any politicians sincerely on the progressive side of the debate. Not to see that and act on it--even if late--would pretty much be a self-inflicted political wound. It's possible Obama legitimately worries that his taking a more active, personal engagement in this issue would be used to dismiss the whole cause as partisan and political in nature (since that's already pretty much how the Fox News is characterizing it). On the other hand, the tone of some of his early responses do seem to me to reflect that he may really just be behind the curve here, and possibly even out of touch with just how serious the economic situation in the US has become.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:58 AM on February 21, 2011


Would these protests have happened if there was no Egyptian revolution? I think of the studies that show that the prevalance of gun violence, or suicide, tends to rise after an episode of the same, because the act is legitimized, somehow, in the minds of others. Are we seeing the same effect with protest?

You have masses of people who can be easily contacted to mobilize-- union members. And it was a huge, simultaneous attack on all of them, so I'm sure you've got unions involved who have no public sector workers as members. So yeah, this definately would have happened. But I'm sure there is a bit of the psychological effect you're taking about. The Egypt situation likely gave a nice bit of pep to the mobilization effort, and it provides a great recent example of sustained, peaceful, and successful demonstrations.
posted by zennie at 8:03 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the example of peace in Egypt is a really good thing, and is probably the greatest thing for Wisconsin right now in terms of what we can learn and use.
posted by symbioid at 8:06 AM on February 21, 2011


If Obama really wants more political leverage going into these budget debates, he would come out decisively on the side of labor.

It's not even just Obama. There's more than a few reasons why he wouldn't want to get his hands dirty, and that make sense.

But like.... He's not the only Democrat in the nation, and the rest of them haven't even been as strong as he has.

Look, the tea party protests have been a joke in comparsion and exceedingly more effective.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:07 AM on February 21, 2011


Pogo_Fuzzybutt: "But like.... He's not the only Democrat in the nation, and the rest of them haven't even been as strong as he has.

Look, the tea party protests have been a joke in comparsion and exceedingly more effective.
"

Well, I agree that the Dems should be stronger, sadly, the best fighter we had in the Senate (IMO) got beat by the Teabaggers. But why do you think the teaparty protests are "exceedingly more effective" despite smaller numbers? Well, isn't that because of corporate media and the center-right/far-right narrative that is considered "centrist/moderate" in america? Obama doesn't help, nor do the rest of the dems help when all they do is capitulate (overton window, anyone?)

But look - we've got a Democratic Senate in Wisconsin who is saying that they aren't returning until Collective Bargaining is back in. We've got a powerless Assembly Minority, who are still vociferously voicing their objections, and I have a feeling that's not just cuz they're in the minority. Maybe they wouldn't normally be as loud. But I think it's great that they have our support, being inspired by the crowds. It's just sad that there's a lot of national leaders who are still so tepid.

Anyways, I guess my point is that the institutions of media have used the Tea Party as a sort of reality television for politics and it's worked so well.

It's a shame their bile can't stay contained to the little box in our living rooms and spills out like some horror from a Japanese movie into the real world.
posted by symbioid at 8:15 AM on February 21, 2011


With all the focus on the anti-labor aspects, I was unaware of some of the other horrors in the bill as well. ginandtacos found this one:
16.896 ... the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state....



It's like conservative slash fic in the form of legislation.
posted by logicpunk at 8:15 AM on February 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


logicpunk, yeah, that's one thing I saw last night - there's a lot of horrible things in this bill, and to focus on the bargaining rights, while important, shouldn't be the only fight. we need to use this mobilization to oppose ALL the wretched disastrous privatization provisions and the move to limit health care.

It's horrible that they tried to push a 144 page bill through in a few days. What a fucking joke.
posted by symbioid at 8:18 AM on February 21, 2011


Cut Into The Earth

Is this life? To stand here and wait. In this city forged of scraps. Is this life? To stand on the dead. On feces and sweat. Is this life? It's...starting again. Quick, gather your belongings and go. Run while it's still dark. Out here you're as good as dead. Leave the shots echoing behind. Don't look back until you run out of land. When you think there's a second that you can't be seen, the current can decide how this night will end. Don't try to imagine what's ahead. Let nothing cripple your will. You will cross enormous distance only to arrive with nothing. You will give all you have. If you navigate your way with endurance and success, if you pass the obstacles and still have your life, if you've escaped death, if your guts haven't withered away, if you haven't broken under the strain. They won't be welcoming. They forget a time when their land was swelling. A monstrous movement across the sea. When she relieved her bowels all over the world. Don't try to imagine what's ahead. Let nothing cripple your will. Just follow the paths that they cut into the earth right back to their door.
posted by symbioid at 8:22 AM on February 21, 2011


I've tweeted the boycott list of Scott Walker donors, and I've called up a coffee shop by the square who is going to be giving away cups of coffee to protesters from the Mefi Local #100737. (I was going to do "Mefi Union of Cabalists and GRAR", but I figured it was much too inside a joke for anyone else to understand). Joe for Joes, that's my motto this morning.

And now that I've done my good deed for the day, I must make penance by going to a 2nd grade cafeteria. God help us all.
posted by dejah420 at 8:23 AM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


This bill authorizes a state agency to discharge any state employee...

It's worth noting here that K-12 teachers are generally not state employees.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:25 AM on February 21, 2011


Rumor has it that the senate Republicans may try to pass the union portions of the bill separately tomorrow as a non-fiscal bill (so they wouldn't need any democrats to reach a quorum).

Based on that story, it does sound like just a rumor at this point, but maybe a rumor worth being concerned about.
posted by Vibrissa at 8:37 AM on February 21, 2011


It's horrible that they tried to push a 144 page bill through in a few days.

And yet "Obamacare" was "shoved down people's throats" after months of town hall meetings and other discussions. And concessions. Lots and lots of concessions...

/derail
posted by desjardins at 8:41 AM on February 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Not a derail, IMO (though this, however, was, LOL)
posted by symbioid at 8:43 AM on February 21, 2011


Well, not to understate the difficulties here, but they'll still need some Republicans to reach a quorum, right? So don't let anyone into chambers for a vote. Then if they try to hold session somewhere else (if that's even allowed--I really don't know), don't let them in there either. No matter what they mean to do, they can be stopped if enough of us are determined to stop them.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:46 AM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


So don't let anyone into chambers for a vote.

I think the state troopers will have something to say about this.
posted by desjardins at 8:56 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


saulgoodman: "Well, not to understate the difficulties here, but they'll still need some Republicans to reach a quorum, right? So don't let anyone into chambers for a vote. Then if they try to hold session somewhere else (if that's even allowed--I really don't know), don't let them in there either. No matter what they mean to do, they can be stopped if enough of us are determined to stop them."

Fuck - you just found my limit of faith in the modern American resistance. *Sigh*

Could it be done? How many would be willing to do it? Would the police then beginto arrest people for "disturbing the peace" or some other charge? (not that arrest is a bad thing - we need to be prepared for a lot more)... But do people have the will to go that far? It's real easy when you have this solidarity so far, but once we start talking tactics more than marching and holding signs, how many will actually get on board, and how long could that last?
posted by symbioid at 8:57 AM on February 21, 2011


For people who hate government neo-con Republicans sure like to play king.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:57 AM on February 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


And then it gets me to the point of that one quote by... was it Emma Goldman? "If voting changed anything, it'd be illegal" in the same way "If mere protesting changed anything, it'd be illegal"...

Hence, any attempt at actually blocking this bill through some confrontational stance as saulgoodman recommended would handily be put down because it'd be too effective at showing the powers that be the power inherent in the people.
posted by symbioid at 9:01 AM on February 21, 2011


"A man does what he must, in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures, and that is the basis of all human morality."
-- John F. Kennedy
posted by symbioid at 9:02 AM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


>> So don't let anyone into chambers for a vote.

>> I think the state troopers will have something to say about this.

Actually... I couldn't see who was speaking, so I have no idea how much knowledge/authority they had, but we were being told on Thursday afternoon that we had to let people exit the Senate chamber, but we didn't have to let them enter.
posted by Vibrissa at 9:07 AM on February 21, 2011


As a result of the protests, the business community is finding itself on the defensive. Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce President Tim Sheehy would not commit to giving support to strip collective bargaining from public employees in an interview with Wisconsin Public Radio. Sheehy said, “so I think it’s fair to discuss the narrowing of collective bargaining. Whether we throw it out or not is not something we’ve taken a position on.”

via this alternet article
posted by symbioid at 9:07 AM on February 21, 2011


Could it be done? How many would be willing to do it? Would the police then beginto arrest people for "disturbing the peace" or some other charge? (not that arrest is a bad thing - we need to be prepared for a lot more)... But do people have the will to go that far? It's real easy when you have this solidarity so far, but once we start talking tactics more than marching and holding signs, how many will actually get on board, and how long could that last?

I understand, but it has been done successfully before. A survey of the history of civil disobedience in the US really does seem to suggest that the only effective protests we've had demanded the end of business as usual in order to force compromise from the opposition.

From the Montgomery Bus Boycotts, to King's March on Washington (which was illegal, too), the only time protest in America has ever led to tangible results favorable to the protesters from what I can tell is when the protesters were willing to go as far as they needed to without directly engaging in violent acts. And we used to be willing to go pretty damn far for what we believed was right.

That said, personal conscience and conviction is a private matter. Everyone has to decide for themselves how far they're willing to go in service to what they believe. Hopefully it won't even come to the point where people have to make those kinds of choices.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:12 AM on February 21, 2011


FDL posts that there is a limited window for a $100 million state refinancing opportunity that adds urgency for the budget to be finalized by this Friday or latest Saturday latest, which would offer the Democratic holdout a greater bargaining chip than many might think. Wisconsin Budget Bill Wouldn’t Be Able to Be Implemented After Friday

And another noteworthy posting suggests the legislation would allow a no-bid sale of state-owned power plants - to the Koch Bros., perhaps?
posted by madamjujujive at 9:13 AM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


we were being told on Thursday afternoon that we had to let people exit the Senate chamber, but we didn't have to let them enter.

If this is true, it needs to be spread far and wide on social media, so those who are willing to take a risk know that they can do so.

We will all owe an immense debt to anyone who is arrested if this bill is stopped.
posted by desjardins at 9:17 AM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!Keep your heads up high!
Raise your voices, raise your hands,
A reckoning is nigh. (U rah rah)
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Fight for rights and pay,
Fight! Wisconsin! - fight, fight, fight!
We'll win the day.



On, Wisconsin! On Wisconsin!
We stand in solidarity
And honor labor's might!
On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin!
The world is on your side!
Corruption will not crumble you
Nor break your stride!

On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Hear the people sing!
"Forward" is your driving spirit,
Workers voices ring.
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Raise your glowing flame
Hail, to those who make you strong!
Salute her name!


(I wrote that kind of fast, sorry)
posted by louche mustachio at 9:21 AM on February 21, 2011


Even if you buy Walker's definition of the problem the simple answer is $32. (SLYT)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:35 AM on February 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


"so I have no idea how much knowledge/authority they had, but we were being told on Thursday afternoon that we had to let people exit the Senate chamber, but we didn't have to let them enter."

Confining people to a room and refusing to allow them to leave is a form of kidnapping (false imprisonment). Barring people from entering a room is not, typically, a crime in and of itself. If Wisconsin has any laws or court decisions requiring citizens not to block duly-elected authorities from the chambers of government, those will probably date from the student protests in the 60s. (Typically you can block things peacefully but the cops can often force you to move.)

I can think of 8,000 complications and filigrees that would make this an interesting theoretical legal debate, but that's probably what the guy meant, and I don't know enough about Wisconsin law relating to access to public spaces to make it more than theoretical. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:40 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Even if you buy Walker's definition of the problem the simple answer is $32 . (SLYT)


Or maybe he could have not given millions of dollars in corporate tax breaks.
posted by catwash at 9:41 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Benny, I *just* calculated that -- the problem isn't so much the 140 million issue.

By 2013, there's a 3.6 billion deficit - now some of that can be reduced as the economy increases, and if they end up cutting some things (sadly, they'll gut things til it's a rotten corpse)...

But using the 3.6 billion deficit and with 5.6 million population (though I didn't factor in any unemployment, non-working folk to reduce the population)... Anyways, it turns out to be about... 53 dollars/month per Wisconsin citizen. To those who are lower on the pole, that will hurt, so we do a bit of the ol' progressive taxation and increase the amount the rich pay and lessen it on the poor. Still, a fairly negligible amount. But of course...

"Tax cuts are off the table"

Fiscal Responsibility/Balanced Budget my ass.
posted by symbioid at 9:42 AM on February 21, 2011


And if the union leaders sell out the workers for a piece of the pie, workers best get wildcat on their ass!
posted by symbioid at 9:45 AM on February 21, 2011


Benny Andajetz, that is an awesome video - I think everyone should check it out. His ending points about the states that don't have collective bargaining rights and who rank at the lower extremes for testing is excellent!

Why not make that a movement? $32 to save Wisconsin teachers ... and unions.

Instead of donating pizza, I will donate $32 to Wisconsin's budget. In fact, I'll donate $100 so that I can pay for 2 citizens who can't afford it.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:51 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]




Troopers would ‘absolutely’ use force on Wisc. protesters if ordered - But: 'That would not be something I recognize as the United States of America,' state patrol inspector adds.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:18 AM on February 21, 2011


Instead of donating pizza, I will donate $32 to Wisconsin's budget. In fact, I'll donate $100 so that I can pay for 2 citizens who can't afford it.

That's very generous of you, but since they don't really care about balancing the budget, such a movement is unlikely to stem their efforts to break unions.
posted by desjardins at 10:46 AM on February 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


So true, I know they have no interest in balancing the budget... but a movement of "I gave $32" from people all over the country would be a strong message and might help to drive home the fact that it is NOT really about the money.

to those who don't get that. And judging by my family & friends, there are many who don't get that. ("We all have to make sacrifices")
posted by madamjujujive at 10:55 AM on February 21, 2011


madamjujujive: "And judging by my family & friends, there are many who don't get that. ("We all have to make sacrifices")"

I keep hearing that talking point, and it irritates the fuck outta me. My boss said it the other day. "Really? What sacrifice are you making? Tax cut? OH NO, JEEZ! HORRIBLE TERRIBLE TAX CUTS!" (but I guess yes, we ARE all making sacrifices, because we're getting dicked over by the corporate plutocrats -- but I don't have a feeling that's the kind of sacrifice they think they're making).

When I hear them say "We HAVE to balance the budget. We WILL NOT ALLOW tax raises." and then the "Sacrifice" line, the cognitive dissonance makes me so befuddled with rage.
posted by symbioid at 11:01 AM on February 21, 2011


Daily Show is downtown, my brother's toddler got his photo taken with John Oliver :-)
posted by Hlewagast at 11:04 AM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


But we all know that's not the point... Still, the followers who parrot this shit are so fucking brainwashed that how do we get this point through?

How do we end this "tax cuts" fixation of theirs? I don't get it, our taxes are the lowest they've been in decades.

I'm also trying to figure out the cog-dis on "a rising tide lifts all boats" when the CEOs make millions, but try to get the working stiff a few extra bucks or some bennies and suddenly, that logic stops.
posted by symbioid at 11:05 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


It makes me wonder who the hell voted this guy into office given his track record.

It certainly was NOT the people Walker terrorized as Milwaukee County Executive:

City of Milwaukee election results:

GOVERNOR / LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

BARRETT / NELSON (DEM) . . . . . . 137,774 73.93
WALKER / KLEEFISCH (REP) . . . . . 47,238 25.35

nor did he have the support in the whole of Milwaukee County (FYI raw vote totals are in an Excel file, these are my quick percentage calculations):

GOVERNOR / LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

BARRETT / NELSON (DEM) . . . . . . 209,909 68.94
WALKER / KLEEFISCH (REP) . . . . . 128,608 37.71

No, he was elected by rural folks who only heard the dog whistle of the tea party:

1) Scott Walker won't raise taxes!
2) Scott Walker brown bags his lunch!
3) Scott Walker doesn't take the County Executive salary!
4) Scott Walker drives himself around in an older car that he owns himself!

gosh, golly gee! isn't he swell?

these folks never heard that Walker drove Milwaukee County services into the ground, including the Mental Health facility, County Parks, and shafted the security and janitorial staff at the Milwaukee County Courthouse by getting rid of them (at great expense that somehow never gets talked about) and replaced them with contract employees from a company that ... wait for it ... one of his biggest financiers just happens to own.

Walker was also sued by and lost to Milwaukee County based unions when he tried to pull a fast one and force furlough days on them (to balance the county budget ... hmmm, sounds familiar, huh?!?) in direct violation of the agreements that had been won previously in bargaining. It's this last one that utterly no one except Union folks and clued in politicos knew about.

Walker has a psychopathic mission to destroy unions, and he's taking the rest of Wisconsin down with him as a result. Moron.
posted by kuppajava at 11:15 AM on February 21, 2011 [15 favorites]


Echoes of Egypt? DefendWisconsin.org, the website set up by the UW-Madison Teaching Assistant Association to serve as a center for information, activity coordination, and publicity about the protests is being blocked from the Capitol wi-fi network.
posted by Fin Azvandi at 11:17 AM on February 21, 2011


Well, how's the rest of Wisconsin feeling about him now? I am not snarking but seriously curious.
posted by jadepearl at 11:19 AM on February 21, 2011


Well, how's the rest of Wisconsin feeling about him now? I am not snarking but seriously curious.

I'm not sure. I do know that personally my republican in-laws contacted their reps to oppose the bill, and that my moderate parents are now firmly in the anti-Walker camp.

My guess is that, assuming he's not recalled, his future in the state will depend on who runs against him. I'd like to think that Russ Feingold would mop the floor with him.
posted by drezdn at 11:24 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Contact page for Sargento Cheese, who also provides a great deal of the cheese (Mozzarella) used in pizzeria's around the country, so be sure to mention that you will ask your favorite pizza shop to find a cheese new supplier in protest to Sargento's support of Walker, the anti-worker, anti-American governor they just helped get elected.

Ask the big pizza places in Madison who're taking orders from around the country and the world who provides their cheeses...
posted by Skygazer at 11:31 AM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Josh Marshall:

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is saying he won't take the legislation up until the Democrats come back
.

"The backstory seems to be that there's a moderate faction among the Republican senators. And they are apparently refusing to go ahead with that approach. We don't know that latter point for certain yet. But it seems to be the most logical inference to draw from Fitzgerald's statement."
posted by madamjujujive at 11:31 AM on February 21, 2011


Well, how's the rest of Wisconsin feeling about him now? I am not snarking but seriously curious.

I can only speak for myself, since you ask.

He was an idiot then and he's an idiot now.

I'm more disgusted with my relatives that voted for him. Getting mad at Walker is like getting mad a stinky dog. Dog can't help it.
posted by Bonzai at 11:35 AM on February 21, 2011


Bonzai: Do you know what your relatives think of him now?
posted by Weebot at 11:40 AM on February 21, 2011


No. I've been posting stuff to facebook but no one has commented. I don't think too many pro-walker people are paying attention.

Too embarrassed I suspect.
posted by Bonzai at 11:42 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


madamjujujive: That's probably the most significant piece of news I've heard in a while. If the are divisions within the Senate Republican caucus get big enough, then Walker won't have any legs to stand on. Good to know that there is an endgame to all this.
posted by Weebot at 11:50 AM on February 21, 2011


Another way to help the protesters besides buying them pizza and coffee (and perhaps the accompanying case of Tums) is to donate to WORT-FM, the local non-profit community run radio station that has been an absolute gem to the Madison area for decades now. WORT has been covering the protests nonstop since they started. Not only do they have live updates and reporting from the protests itself, but also quite a lot of analysis and discussions of the issues behind the protests. Quite a valuable resource.

Donations page!
posted by spinifex23 at 11:54 AM on February 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


YAY WORT!!!!!!!!!!!! <3 <3 <3 -- Seriously, EVERY community needs a WORT!
posted by symbioid at 11:57 AM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, how's the rest of Wisconsin feeling about him now? I am not snarking but seriously curious.

That's a good question Jadepearl and it's something I have been wondering about as well. So far my weak searching hasn't turned up anything.

As a Wisconsinite I think it's fair to say that Madison is commonly seen as a liberal hotbed surrounded by a more conservative, rural majority. I also don't think Wisconsin is as "red" as other states with Republican majorities, which means there could be more at stake than is immediately apparent.
posted by Horatius at 12:04 PM on February 21, 2011


On the subject of donations, the TA union is collecting donations not just for food but also for a capitol clean-up fund. I'm not sure what exactly "cleaning up" entails, but it seems worth supporting - the Wisconsin state capitol is a beautiful building, and as generally good as the protesters are about picking up after themselves/each other, it's still being used pretty hard this week.
posted by Vibrissa at 12:07 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are literally four teabaggers at the olympia, WA solidarity protest. Guess who the cameras are filming?
posted by stet at 12:12 PM on February 21, 2011 [9 favorites]


Things you might not know if you're from out of state:

The perception is that there is Milwaukee and Madison, and then there's the rest of the state, which is fairly rural and fairly conservative. So that's one divide.

Madison is much more liberal than Milwaukee. I'm not sure you could ever get the number of protesters in Milwaukee that you see in Madison, even with 5x the metro area population. UW-Milwaukee students are an apathetic bunch compared to their UW-Madison counterparts. So there's a second divide.

Milwaukee is extremely segregated and somewhat polarized. There's the north side, which is mostly black and almost entirely poor, there's the east side, which is mostly white and liberal, and then there's the rest of the metro area, which is almost all white* and conservative. And there's your third divide.

Liberals mostly exist in a few pockets in this state, and IMO I feel cut off from the rest of it.

*with the exception of the Latinos in the near south side
posted by desjardins at 12:12 PM on February 21, 2011


Ashland/Bayfield/Douglas counties (most of Northern Wisconsin) are more complex than the Madison/other divide. By and large they tend to be more liberal than most of the state, and less liberal than Madison. Some of the Ashland/Bayfield liberalness comes from Northland College. Some of the Douglas liberalness comes from UWS and being on the boarder with Duluth/St. Louis Co (MN).
posted by edgeways at 12:18 PM on February 21, 2011


Liberals mostly exist in a few pockets in this state, and IMO I feel cut off from the rest of it.

That having been said, there are some deeply purple areas - especially in the cities where union represntation is huge. Kaukauna is a town that doesn't exist without it's (union) papermill. Same with Wisconsin Rapids, Shawano,\ and so on.

I doubt this will play well there.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:20 PM on February 21, 2011


There are literally more Egyptians here than teabaggers.

Well, maybe Somalis. Headscarves are pretty colorful so my guess is Egyptian.
posted by stet at 12:25 PM on February 21, 2011


Well I did find this article: "What's News: Who's winning the war of public opinion on Walker's budget bill?" The article, apparently based on googling for opinion polls, suggests that Walker does not have public support on the budget bill throughout the state, if only by smallish margins.
posted by Horatius at 12:39 PM on February 21, 2011


WORT's live feed has been a great resource for me out here in Los Angeles. Between that, the Isthmus and twitter, I've been able to follow things. I won't mention the meek biased coverage the LA Times (owned by Chicago Tribune) has presented.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 12:42 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here's more information about the agent provocateur activities that Mark Williams, former Tea Party express chairman has been calling for from his followers online as previously mentioned here up-thread. Any SEIU officials out there should be on the lookout; luckily, he lays out pretty clearly what his scheme is. A small sampling of his "plan":
(4) we are going to target the many TV cameras and reporters looking for comments from the members there (5) we will approach the cameras to make good pictures… signs under our shirts that say things like “screw the taxpayer!” and “you OWE me!” to be pulled out for the camera (timing is important because the signs will be taken away from us) (6) we will echo those slogans in angry sounding tones to the cameras and the reporters.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:44 PM on February 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Protesting is actually quite dull it turns out. Fortunately metafilter!
posted by stet at 12:46 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


If folks are still looking for different ways to help from afar: Madison's Willy St. Co-op is taking gift card orders over the phone. They collect them during the day, then every morning call the protesters, ask what they need, and use the gift cards to buy it (608 251-6776); and, DefendWisconsin, the group organizing much of the protest, is taking remote volunteers. Send your name, email and phone to volunteertodefendwisconsin@gmail.com.

Spokespeople from the firefighters and steelworkers unions stated that they'll be spending the night in the Capitol tonight.
posted by yomimono at 12:53 PM on February 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


A small sampling of his "plan"

Classic goon tactics.

Malkin has unleashed mega-tweets to all the cities with SEIU solidarity protests, for these people to go and disrupt and pick fights etc.
posted by Skygazer at 12:58 PM on February 21, 2011


So are people writing to major media outlets to show that this is being planned, so if it breaks out we can say "this was known to be happening"???
posted by symbioid at 1:01 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I contacted defend wisconsin and SEIU - since Defend Wisconsin seems to be one of the key organizers of the current WI protests and SEIU seems to be the main focus/target and are national, not just based in one state.

Hopefully their orgs can bump it up to the national media.
posted by symbioid at 1:22 PM on February 21, 2011


via Nick Milroy, Northern districts' Assemblyman:
Republicans shut down the legislative hotline, are trying to keep people from getting to legislators offices, and are working to shut down the Capitol to the public. This is a further attempt to silence the voice of the people.
I'll try and get a link to substantiate.
posted by edgeways at 1:24 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


A small thing, but if you're in town and want something to do between the rallies tomorrow, I'm producing a staged reading, with Theatre TAs in the cast, of Clifford Odet's cheesey labor play "Waiting for Lefty" tomorrow (Tuesday) at 2:30pm in the Bartell Theatre (free). Yes, that's the play that ends with the audience shouting "Strike! Strike!" It'll take us only 30 seconds to march back to the capitol.
posted by Mngo at 1:56 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Man... It just struck me. I miss Utah Phillips. He'd be all over this action.

The bit above from Nick Milroy, was from his facebook page. Which is not open to all, so consider it decent quality, but second hand info.
posted by edgeways at 2:05 PM on February 21, 2011


The Wisconsin State Journal has a short note on the Legislative Hotline being disconnected. Key quote: The chief clerk's office said the flood of calls was in part due to another organization forwarding all of its calls to the hotline, and the state was being charged 10 cents a minute for those calls.

People can still call their legislator's office directly.
posted by Fin Azvandi at 2:13 PM on February 21, 2011


"another organization forwarding all of its calls to the hotline"...

What organization is that? Is this some sneaky bullshit going on or what?
posted by symbioid at 2:16 PM on February 21, 2011


Saw this quote on reddit, anybody confirm?

"There aren't many people out today... maybe it will pick up for the rally at 5?"

What's the turnout look like right now?
posted by symbioid at 2:35 PM on February 21, 2011




Here's a pic from noon today. I don't think this is letting up, though I doubt Saturday's numbers will be matched given weather/weekday.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 2:40 PM on February 21, 2011




Rasmussen poll finds 48% support Walker, 38% the unions. FiveThirtyEight takes serious issue with their methodology, concluding folks should ignore the poll and "view their work with extreme skepticism going forward," following up with a tweet saying "Rasmussen should probably just drop the pretense that they are non-partisan."

Rasmussen, the same pollster whose current approval numbers for Obama undercut the next-most-negative outfit by 16 points, who whiffed on their forecasts for the 2010 midterms with a significant GOP bias (including one poll that erred Republican by 42 points, the least accurate polling result in 12 years), and who are headed by a former Bush consultant and WorldNetDaily columnist.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:07 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]




Heh, on MSNBC Cenk Uygur is railing against the Koch bros. connection in WI -- how they make profits specifically from financing union-busting, sponsored Walker, coordinating counter-demonstrations, their connections to the Tea Party, etc. (And now he's blasting Obama for being too milquetoast regarding any hint of supporting the workers -- "god forbid he actually be accused of being a progressive!")
posted by scody at 3:36 PM on February 21, 2011




there is Milwaukee and Madison, and then there's the rest of the state

Madison was described by a Republican Governor as "[30]varies square miles surrounded by reality". And Milwaukee, despite its current apathy, was one of the few places in the US to openly elect socialists to local government.

The state's union bulwark exists partly because as the rust belt has declined, Wisconsin has ended up as one of the states with the highest percentage of manufacturing (17% of state GDP, pre-recession). But even in supposed union strongholds, like my former GM town, there's a lot of reactionary politics and anti-union sentiment. I've met salt-of-the-Earth guys around here that are in a union and totally get it, and others who think the union is stealing their money to support gun-seizing, baby-killing lib'ruls.

One would be loath to draw decisive conclusions from any newspaper comment demographics, but my local rag has some real winners, the folks who rail about "Obummer" or call anyone to their left an "Obami" (or the one who just posted that he's read up on the Koch brothers, and they seem preferable to the "corrupt unions"). On the other hand, it's not actually a very socially conservative political culture, mostly just fiscal conservative, Paul Ryan being an example. For the most part the basic Walker message about cutting taxes held appeal. People around here don't like the local government spending money on anything extravagant.

Generally, despite the prevalence of the same reactionaries who once elected Joe McCarthy to the US Senate, I feel that the political institutions in Wisconsin, many of which date from the progressive era, are sound and successful. We have good schools, we have well-run council-manager-type cities, we have very low levels of official corruption or political patronage, and a well-educated populace. But the progressive era has ended, and notably with it the so-called Prairie Progressives (like McGovern and Daschle), and even the once-blue parts of the northern state have begun turning red (David Obey was replaced by Sean Duffy -- yes, from The Real World). It's very much a triumph of the values-voting strategy of the Republican party these last eleventeen years.

Our prior Democratic Governor was handling a stumbling budget crisis inherited from the four-term Republican before him inelegantly but mostly effectively and transparently. The recession hit, our manufacturing economy tanked, and unemployment soared. Naturally, the values voters blamed the Democrat. We suffered the same incumbent backlash the rest of the country did, and the towering Russ Feingold was toppled by an uncharismatic nobody -- probably to the surprise of almost everyone.

If anything, this crisis has energized the Democratic base in a way that nothing in the 2010 election could have, so that's good and bodes well for the state staying on track in the long run. But the reactionary deadweight remains and the rural/urban divide remains. This GOP-supermajority legislature is going to do the redistricting of both Congress and itself, likely creating more uphill battles for Democrats over the next decade.

If collective bargaining does fall, and the rest of the budget provisions are enacted, local governments and schools are going to suffer tremendously, both losing so-called revenue sharing that eases the property tax burden and boosts the economically disadvantaged government units. We'll end up with a less fair, less capable government statewide. The vaunted University system may face divide-and-conquer slash-and-burn tactics with campuses closed as tuition soars, making second-tier locations like Stout and Platteville even less attractive. Social services will be gutted, and the poor will become a more serious problem. I really feel that even ultimately winning back the state politically will still be losing on a large scale, the way that Prop 13 still haunts California.

Anyway, the present-day sentiment. I hope that nobody actually holds this vision dear, and that all this support for Walker is chimerical misunderstandings of who is actually winning while the middle class is losing. But it's hard to tell. I might take a sign downtown for a while tomorrow and see what the hometown sentiment is via horn/obscenity activity.
posted by dhartung at 3:51 PM on February 21, 2011 [9 favorites]


Contrary to what you might expect (and contrary to Walker's statements to the press, that "To protect our schools, to protect our local governments, we need to give them the tools they've been asking for, not just for years but for decades") management at the local government level is not in strong support of these changes.

Wisconsin's local governments never asked to end collective bargaining, as Scott Walker contends

The Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators actually opposes getting rid of collective bargaining rights (it "would create a very problematic work environment because right now we have an established system and everyone knows how the systems works and there's a comfort with everyone having a seat at the table. If you take that away, it leads to an uncertain work environment, that could lead to strikes.")

The League of Wisconsin Municipalities has not yet taken a position, but their executive director says "The governor gave us a great deal more flexibility than we asked for" and "I think I have some members who are very supportive. I have others who think the government's gone too far and it will cause labor problems" and "The governor's proposal thinks police and fire should be treated differently," notes Thompson. "Virtually every municipal official thinks that's a mistake."

And the Wisconsin Counties Association also says that they did not ask for collective bargaining to be ended and are divided on this issue.
posted by EmilyClimbs at 5:42 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I grew up during the impact of Prop 13 in California. It was not good and I say that as a person who did public schools the whole way. It just became shabbier and sadder as time went by. You know that feeling of being in a place that was once grander than it is presently? Yeah. Visiting the family and talking to the youngest members of the family depress me even further.

So being in Minnesota and experiencing Tim Pawlenty I have to say that Minnesota is getting that familiar vibe of decline. Really, its the elites working over the lumpen proletariat.

So I pray that Wisconsin wakes up and fight. Fight and understand that your opponent has NO good intentions towards you or yours. Seriously, there is a vision at work here that does not include people except in abstract ways as worker, consumer and proxy. You are the content of your wallet; all else is negligible.
posted by jadepearl at 6:14 PM on February 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


You know that feeling of being in a place that was once grander than it is presently?

I'm an American, aren't I?

I really feel that even ultimately winning back the state politically will still be losing on a large scale

I definitely feel this way about my own state of PA, and about the country at large as well.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 6:24 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's a rumor that there's a poll that shows that Walker's "ratings" have dropped 20 points after this move.

A tweet from Tmorello (the old audioslave/Rage guitarist): Madison: students occupying Capital, burly Packer fans are union militants, cops are on OUR side. It's an awesome alternate universe
posted by drezdn at 6:45 PM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is a peaceful protest.
posted by drezdn at 6:46 PM on February 21, 2011


Rasmussen poll finds 48% support Walker, 38% the unions.

You already mentioned the Rasmussen bias but it should also be noted that this was from a national poll. If it wasn't focused on Wisconsin voters I don't really see the point.

You might as well take a world-wide poll about Obama. It would be just as meaningless.
posted by Bonzai at 7:40 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


So once this thread peters out, where are the best sites to go for updates about what's happening at the capital?

And where are the best places to go for a little commentary and links like the ones we have in this thread?
posted by Tehhund at 7:47 PM on February 21, 2011


dhartung: And Milwaukee, despite its current apathy, was one of the few places in the US to openly elect socialists to local government.


How I learned this.
posted by Bonzai at 8:24 PM on February 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


desjardins: "Things you might not know if you're from out of state:

The perception is that there is Milwaukee and Madison, and then there's the rest of the state, which is fairly rural and fairly conservative.
"


Texas is like that. There's Austin...there's part of Dallas/Ft.Worth, then...there's everything else. What's so weird, is that 50 years ago, this was a yellow dog democrat state...much like Wisconsin.
posted by dejah420 at 9:05 PM on February 21, 2011


Tehhund: I've been following #wiunion mostly on Twitter, also the Isthmus (Madison weekly paper) has been hosting daily live chats here. Between those two you can find a lot of links to other sources.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 9:52 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]




GOOD MORNING WISCONSIN
posted by desjardins at 6:58 AM on February 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


GOOD MORNING DESJARDINS

It looks like there's no Isthmus live blog today?

Also, the south-central Wisconsin chapter of the AFL-CIO voted last night to prepare for a general strike. Which doesn't necessarily mean there's actually gonna be a strike.
posted by Vibrissa at 7:07 AM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Repeal the Taft-Hartley Act!
posted by saulgoodman at 7:09 AM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


sorry. got carried away. that can wait.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:21 AM on February 22, 2011


Just cuz sick-out/sit-down strikes are illegal, there's slow-down strikes (how do you prove it unless you're going absolutely slow) or Work to rule...

"Hey, we're just following orders! (To the letter)"
posted by symbioid at 7:31 AM on February 22, 2011


It looks like there's no Isthmus live blog today?

10:37 Jason Joyce:
Okay folks, that's about enough excitement for tonight. Join us right back here again tomorrow for Day 9 of the excitement in Madison. Legislators will be back at work, so there should be plenty to discuss.


It doesn't get started promptly; it's only ten minutes now later than Monday's first post.
posted by dhartung at 7:44 AM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


It appears the live-blog is up
posted by mikelieman at 8:01 AM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm not liking what I'm reading on the liveblog from Kristen Knutson - so... are they planning a crackdown??? This doesn't look good.
posted by symbioid at 8:22 AM on February 22, 2011


The live blog is awesome, thanks for posting it.
posted by desjardins at 8:28 AM on February 22, 2011


:) Now this thread will be for liveblogging the liveblog.
posted by Vibrissa at 8:31 AM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Someone from Indiana needs to make another FPP about the goings-on there. Also Ohio.
posted by desjardins at 8:32 AM on February 22, 2011


are they planning a crackdown???

I doubt that. What has happened is that mutual aid has kicked in and a lot of out-of-Madison police have arrived to relieve guys who've been working a lot of overtime. Probably, these guys are not used to dealing with protests and could be a bit more stand-offish than the MPD and WSP, but I don't know that there's any reason to assume they would be more likely to do Walker's dirty work for him.

It does appear this week that there is a push to get "back to business" inside the Capitol, so they're restricting access.

The live blog is awesome, thanks for posting it.

I hope it was posted before -- I think most of us just assumed it had been. It's moderated so it has a better signal-to-noise ratio than #wiunion. I've been watching it for days. Sorry for not passing it on sooner.
posted by dhartung at 8:34 AM on February 22, 2011


There are rumors that anti-walker websites are being blocked inside the Capitol.
posted by drezdn at 8:36 AM on February 22, 2011


Walker threatening layoffs without a budget being passed?

Hmm. Lots of non-working state workers with a big issue to rally around, eh?

Sounds like someone isn't thinking this through.
posted by symbioid at 8:38 AM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are rumors that anti-walker websites are being blocked inside the Capitol.

oh man, imagine if this turns out to be true. He can't possibly be this stupid, can he?
posted by desjardins at 8:47 AM on February 22, 2011


There are rumors that anti-walker websites are being blocked inside the Capitol.
posted by drezdn at 10:36 AM on February 22 [+] [!]


It is possible. The wireless access points in the capitol are set up and maintained by the executive branch; I don't believe they have any requirement to be non-partisan.
posted by Jpfed at 8:48 AM on February 22, 2011


If it does turn out to be true, would there be any actual consequences? I mean, bad press, but other than that?
posted by Vibrissa at 8:49 AM on February 22, 2011


Are there ever any bad consequences? *sigh*
posted by symbioid at 8:51 AM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here are a couple of the rumors, by the way, in case there's anyone not following the live blog. There's also this quote from the blog:

Kristian Knutsen:
I'm on the Wis Dems conference call right now, and they're alleging that the state is using standard website-blocking software to prohibit access to http://www.defendwisconsin.org via the Capitol wifi system. This site was launched last Friday by the TAA to organize the protests and testimony to legislators.
posted by Vibrissa at 8:54 AM on February 22, 2011


Indiana Democrats walk out of the Legislature to prevent passage of right-to-work legislation.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:54 AM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Are there ever any bad consequences? *sigh*

Sure there are. Plenty of 'em. For us.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:56 AM on February 22, 2011


Go Indiana!
posted by futz at 8:57 AM on February 22, 2011


If it does turn out to be true, would there be any actual consequences? I mean, bad press, but other than that?
posted by Vibrissa at 10:49 AM on February 22 [+] [!]


I don't believe the DOA is required to be nonpartisan, so no, I don't think there would be legal consequences.
posted by Jpfed at 8:58 AM on February 22, 2011


If Walker is recalled, is there a new election or does the Lt. Gov. slide up to that spot?
posted by symbioid at 8:59 AM on February 22, 2011


Indiana has both Mike Pence & Mitch Daniels to answer for. Our Buddy Walker considers Daniels to be a mentor and Pence was the ass who introduced the legislation to deny Planned Parenthood funding. Yay Indiana.
posted by futz at 9:02 AM on February 22, 2011



If Walker is recalled, is there a new election or does the Lt. Gov. slide up to that spot?


No, there would be a new election. The Lt. Governor may actually be more extreme than the Gov., though she's currently recovering from cancer.
posted by drezdn at 9:03 AM on February 22, 2011


From the constitution:

(2) The filing officer with whom the recall petition is filed shall call a recall election for the Tuesday of the 6th week after the date of filing the petition or, if that Tuesday is a legal holiday, on the first day after that Tuesday which is not a legal holiday.

Which is good, 'cause I don't want Rebecca Kleefisch to be my governor.
posted by Vibrissa at 9:04 AM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


No, there would be a new election.

Actually, they're one and the same. It's a new election for governor; the incumbent is free to run to succeed himself (and indeed does so by default). There isn't a vote to remove and a subsequent or simultaneous vote to succeed, which may be the case elsewhere. If there are multiple candidates from the same party, that party holds a recall primary to nominate a candidate.

Draft Russ.
posted by dhartung at 9:11 AM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd really like to think Feingold would mop the floor with Walker. Feingold has the anti-deficit record that some Republicans love and real progressive cred for the Democrats. Plus, he has name recognition.
posted by drezdn at 9:14 AM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


(from the livefeed)...
Rep Knilans: union rights are not a civil right.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Could've fooled me! If corporate spending of unlimited money is the same as free speech, than Unions are a civil right, too, asshole.
posted by symbioid at 9:18 AM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


drezdn: plus, he is made of unicorns and rainbows and cupcakes. I <3 Russ.
posted by desjardins at 9:23 AM on February 22, 2011 [6 favorites]




Haven't found a link yet, but Indiana dems are said to have left their state too.
posted by drezdn at 9:28 AM on February 22, 2011


>> Haven't found a link yet, but Indiana dems are said to have left their state too.

Link.
posted by Vibrissa at 9:31 AM on February 22, 2011




If you live in Wisconsin, this site is planning a coordinated recall effort of Walker as soon as it is legally possible

While not in Wisconsin, I'd love to see some of those Republican senators up for recall votes ASAP.
posted by mikelieman at 9:46 AM on February 22, 2011


Well, hey, don't let being out-of-state stop you. There's a group from Utah that's starting efforts to recall the Democratic senators.
posted by Vibrissa at 9:52 AM on February 22, 2011


Rep Knilans: union rights are not a civil right.

Union rights are among the most fundamental of all civil rights. The labor union movement was at the forefront of the civil rights movement and the progressive reform era that began in the 1900s.

Even the Catholic Church has recognized union rights as a natural right--that's right: a natural right, like life and liberty--since the late 1800s.

The right to organize labor has historically been viewed as a natural right, meaning these rights were viewed as even more fundamental than the enumerated rights in the Bill of Rights.

These political interests have been systematically dismantling the last century's worth of political reforms and socio-economic progress, and now they're on the verge of total success and even going after our natural rights. And the reactions from what should be supportive quarters like the Daily Show are not encouraging. Thank God the American people aren't proving to be as willing to roll over on our fundamental rights as our "leaders" are.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:54 AM on February 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


What is the Daily Show saying? Is Stewart and his ilk honestly not in support? Are they not ridiculing the fuck outta Walker? Oh yeah... "Kumba-fuckin-ya" Jon. Stand for nothing, you fall for anything.
posted by symbioid at 9:59 AM on February 22, 2011


Yeah, I'm usually pretty good with letting TDS barbs slide away even when the target is something I may be sympathetic toward. But I thought last night's coverage was a bit heavy on the open mocking of the protesters, and didn't really get a lot of the facts straight about what was actually being protested and why.
posted by hippybear at 10:00 AM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Lord hopes the Union busting fails, but what would also be nifty is if Walker was not only recalled, but Feingold ran and became the WI gov.
posted by edgeways at 10:01 AM on February 22, 2011


Oh, and about Russ - I'm a little concerned - I'd *hope* he could win, but not entirely sure. And I love his politics, fersure. But I also don't know - is Governor the best position for him? Well, he's certainly better than Walker (but then again, so is the giant dump I took in the toilet earlier today)...

Who else has the name recognition and respect? I'd hazard no-one. So maybe it is Feingold. Hmm... He sure as fuck stands up for Unions and if the union vote gets out, then maybe he could win.
posted by symbioid at 10:01 AM on February 22, 2011


From Indianapolis Fox News:

House Democrats in short supply at Statehouse
"When Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma (R) realized he did not have a quorum to conduct House business Tueday morning he said, "I'm shocked. This has never happened before," and then asked Austin "Where are you guys? The Best Western?""
posted by futz at 10:06 AM on February 22, 2011


I know this has been referenced in one of these threads: Budget bill would allow sale of state power plants.

But it looks like Walker given the go ahead to which ever corporation that is going to be awarded the no-bid contract: Energy client is looking for experienced Plant Managers for multiple power plants located in Wisconsin.

posted by greasy_skillet at 10:11 AM on February 22, 2011 [4 favorites]




By the way, here is a story about what was going on with the blocked website at the capitol. The Department of Administration says it was something done automatically by their filtering software, and it was cleared up within a couple hours of it being brought to their attention.
posted by Vibrissa at 10:20 AM on February 22, 2011


Ass-kissing Assembly - "Resolution commending law enforcement for their work this past week" Of course, they won't "commend the protesters for being peaceful"
posted by symbioid at 10:27 AM on February 22, 2011


The Department of Administration says it was something done automatically by their filtering software, and it was cleared up within a couple hours of it being brought to their attention.

I suppose that makes sense.

I'm more worried about this rumor that Vibrissa linked to up-thread:

"Word from state worker sources: No access to union websites at work, all union -related emails going straight to spam folders."
posted by VTX at 10:31 AM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I haven't seen that one corroborated anywhere, so I'm kinda skeptical about it.
posted by Vibrissa at 10:41 AM on February 22, 2011


In Ohio, protesters have supposedly been locked out of the state house.
posted by drezdn at 10:49 AM on February 22, 2011


So the Indiana Dems have gone into hiding now to deny the Republicans a quorum for their Union Busting efforts there, too.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:49 AM on February 22, 2011


Easy to believe that there are a few office admins who'd wouldn't be able to resist blocking union sites and blacklisting union email. Likely not state-wide.
posted by zennie at 10:50 AM on February 22, 2011


In Ohio, protesters have supposedly been locked out of the state house.

On what grounds can they be prevented from assembling peacefully in public governmental buildings? Is there any part of the Bill of Rights left that does what it says on the tin?
posted by saulgoodman at 10:51 AM on February 22, 2011


The Daily Show was pretty disappointing, yeah. Stewart didn't seem to really understand what's actually happening, and he spent more time making fun of protesters than throwing jabs at Walker. John Oliver hasn't filed his on-site report yet, though, so we'll see how it goes.
posted by echo target at 10:52 AM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


saulgoodman - freespeech zones only exist OUTSIDE the Capitol buildings, you see.
posted by symbioid at 10:54 AM on February 22, 2011


Random thought: Henry David Thoreau would get such a kick out of all this.
posted by zennie at 10:54 AM on February 22, 2011


I haven't seen last night's Daily Show piece, and I generally like them, but reports that they brought a camel disgust me. They can't figure out that a camel won't know how to walk on ice and snow?
posted by desjardins at 10:55 AM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, that camel thing seems a bit schticky to me. I did hear an interview recently with someone who does camel wrangling in the NYC area about using camels in Nativity scenes, parades, and Radio City Music Hall during Christmas, and apparently they really don't have feet that work well on ice and snow at all. It isn't so much about the cold as it is the lack of traction that makes being a camel in winter weather sucky.

So yeah... cute idea to make a point, wrong time of year for it.
posted by hippybear at 11:00 AM on February 22, 2011


Where's PETA when you need them?
posted by symbioid at 11:03 AM on February 22, 2011


They can't figure out that a camel won't know how to walk on ice and snow?

Camels are no worse than horses on ice and snow. Actually, some are quite good at it, but it depends on the type. Looks like the animal got its leg caught in a security gate and ended up sitting with the leg still trapped. Definitely the fault of the handlers.
posted by zennie at 11:07 AM on February 22, 2011


So, this was covered by Rachel Maddow last night, but I'm including links here for those who don't like video.

Apparently when Scott Walker came into office, he fired all the unionized courthouse security guards (who were county employees, not state), over the objection of the county in question. He then replaced them with a Wackenhut contract for security at the courthouses.

This led to lawsuits and arbitration, costing the county nearly a half-million dollars in required backpay for the illegally-fired guards who are now to be reinstated.

No wonder he wants to break the unions. He has already had his hand slapped HARD by trying to do whatever he wants outside the law. Added bonus: union voters typically lean left... Break the unions, break the left. (Also, new voter ID laws in WI will discourage the young from voting, also helping to break the left as younger voters tend to lean left.)
posted by hippybear at 11:18 AM on February 22, 2011 [7 favorites]


Ah, I seem to have been mistaken... the actions taken by Walker surrounding the security guards were from when he was a county official, not as Governor.

Still, the results remain the same, even if the circumstances were slightly different than what I initially believed.
posted by hippybear at 11:25 AM on February 22, 2011


Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker warns of layoff notices for state employees.

But he wouldn't fire them immediately, he would warning them that he could fire them. So he's threatening that he might threaten to fire state employees. I think he's getting desperate.
posted by greasy_skillet at 11:27 AM on February 22, 2011


hippybear: "So, No wonder he wants to break the unions. He has already had his hand slapped HARD by trying to do whatever he wants outside the law. Added bonus: union voters typically lean left... Break the unions, break the left. (Also, new voter ID laws in WI will discourage the young from voting, also helping to break the left as younger voters tend to lean left.)"

Oh yeha - this is all a big political takeover push. In fact. I'm surprised they haven't started to gerrymander - unless it's not the legal time for them to do that?

But the voter ID thing affects not just youth but disabled and minority voters.
See this news from last year regarding attempts by the Rethugs to engage in voter caging.
posted by symbioid at 11:28 AM on February 22, 2011


Hippybear, he was the Milwaukee County Executive actually, then went on to lose Milwaukee county by something like 70% to 30% in the Governors race.
posted by greasy_skillet at 11:30 AM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


"I'm going to fire some of you if you don't do what I want. I won't say WHO, and I won't say WHEN, and I won't say HOW MANY, and I won't even say how it will be legal....

.... but you'd better do what I want, because I'm telling you that I might at some point in the undetermined future do something to some number of you which may not be legal under your contracts."

Good grief. Is this what they mean by the word "poser"?
posted by hippybear at 11:33 AM on February 22, 2011


There's a new bit on TPM about the media's unquestioning repetition of Walker's dishonest claims about there being a $3.6 billion dollar deficit in Wisconsin.

I've been hearing this bogus 3.6 billion dollar Wisconsin deficit figure that Walker's been touting repeated endlessly on NPR for the last couple of days and it's been making my blood boil.

In reality, the current year shortfull is only about 100 million--and that's only due to new tax breaks that Walker pushed through himself to provide cover for this union busting scam.

So much for NPR being "leftist."
posted by saulgoodman at 11:36 AM on February 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that Governor Walker wants to run for national office at some point. The WI right wing talk radio supports my belief, and they should know. One former worker for WTMJ is now his chief of staff and his campaign manager was the wife of one of Milwaukee's Limbaughs, Charlie Sykes.

The thing is, I don't think it's realistic at all.

1) Have you seen the dude lately? He's like a younger looking Nixon.

2) No one has been able to make it stick yet (partially because the biggest Milwaukee media player supports him), but the dude oozes sleezy croonyism, and is far more likely to end up in jail than the White House.

3) He destroyed his "moderate" credentials far too early.

4) He'd be the first president since Truman without a college degree.

5) It's rumored that he got kicked out of college for cheating.

6) The things he did to get elected here would look silly outside of the state (he looks like Dukakis on a motorcycle).
posted by drezdn at 11:41 AM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


The thing is, the 3.6 billion deficit exists (or will), but it's not for this year. Of course, the 140 million deficit currently is because of his handouts to his pals. But the 3.6 billion isn't an urgent issue.

3.6 billion is, as I understand it, for the 2011-2013. I don't think it serves us to make the claim that it doesn't (or won't) exist. It will, and if we pretend that there isn't any problem then that will be used against us. We need to argue against the reality of the situation as it is, not against what we want it to be.

We can point out his spin on the situation, but if we aren't willing to face up to the reality, they will paint us with a brush calling us liars and biased.
posted by symbioid at 11:41 AM on February 22, 2011


Governor Rick Scott won't strip collective bargaining rights in Florida.
posted by drezdn at 11:43 AM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


That said, NPR is pathetically "moderate" and doesn't really do much hard-hitting questioning against "common sense" lies by the right-wing.
posted by symbioid at 11:44 AM on February 22, 2011


saulgoodman and symbioid:

The ~$100 million deficit is for FY2010. None of Walker's tax cuts will take effect for FY2010; he did not create the FY2010 problem (which is real but quite manageable). However, the Walker tax cuts will exacerbate the projected $3 billion+ deficit for the next biennium.

Here's an article that clarifies things.
posted by Jpfed at 11:45 AM on February 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


fwiw, there is credible talk that the ~100 million in tax cuts don't go into effect until next year, so that figure may be above and beyond what WI owes. Make no mistake I am not saying this in defense of wanker Walker, and would like to see him run out of the state on a greased rail.

A big problem right now is that Walker and the D Senators are both painted into a corner. There really isn't much room for the Senators to move "in compromise" and Walker would loose a lot of face domestically and nationally if he gave in. His political future is entirely dependent on this moment. And I honestlly wonder what is going to happen.
posted by edgeways at 11:46 AM on February 22, 2011


snap/coke/etc
posted by edgeways at 11:47 AM on February 22, 2011


BTW, if you want to read about Walker's time running Milwaukee County, I've found this blog to be pretty great resource.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 11:48 AM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Regarding the big number deficit being bandied about, I read an essay on a mailing list by someone who has really understands and made clear the budgetary process of Wisconsin, and puts that particular talking point to rest pretty well.

Here it is.

In essence, this is just a numbers game, possible only because of the particular way Wisconsin manages its finances each and every year.
posted by lriG rorriM at 11:48 AM on February 22, 2011 [7 favorites]


Thanks for that, lriG rorriM... That's the most lucid explanation of anything I've read about this whole mess so far.
posted by hippybear at 11:56 AM on February 22, 2011


We can point out his spin on the situation, but if we aren't willing to face up to the reality, they will paint us with a brush calling us liars and biased.

Labor opponents will do that anyway, symbioid, and people who want to believe we're lying will believe it.

This projected 3.6 billion shortfall is just that: a projected deficit, not an actual one. One produced by no one more independent than Walker's own budget analysts, and based on revenue cuts Walker himself is making.

There is currently no "deficit" of 3.6 billion, period, yet that's how it's being reported: not as a projected three-year deficit, but as the current deficit that will cause the threatened shutdown that Walker's trying to use to ramrod these measures through without sufficient deliberation. It's not just spin: it's a lie.

Governor Rick Scott won't strip collective bargaining rights in Florida.

Meanwhile, though, the Florida legislature (with Scott's support) is still looking to eliminate payroll deduction for Union dues in the State of Florida. And he and the legislature are currently planning major costly changes to public employee pensions (a guy I know who works at the capitol told me he's now in the unenviable position of helping to prepare the legislation that will gut his own pension).
posted by saulgoodman at 11:57 AM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe he could slip in an "unintended" -not- somewhere, and hope it just gets rammed home.

(heh)
posted by edgeways at 12:00 PM on February 22, 2011


I can only see three endgames to this staring contest:

1. Walker blinks and allows the union-busting to be taken out of the bill. There's almost no chance this will happen, since he's staking his whole political future on this big push.

2. One or more Dem senators blink and agree to come back, possibly for a small concession like a 2013 expiration for the collective bargaining limits. I don't know details about every single senator's views, so I can't really say how likely this is, but it's probably more likely than #1.

3. Three or more moderate Republicans blink, most likely because of the debt refinancing deadline coming up this Friday (or Saturday, depending who you ask). They agree to take out collective bargaining limits, and the Dems return. 14 Dems + 3 Reps = 17 senators, a majority. If this is going to happen, it has to be this week.

The problem is that right now, none of these situations seems very likely at all.
posted by echo target at 12:00 PM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sadly, I worried that Walker will just let the 100 million be lost and use it to excuse more cuts/more payoffs to his supporters.
posted by drezdn at 12:03 PM on February 22, 2011


Thanks for the clarification Jpfed. So it's the larger projected deficit that Walker created himself (the one he's using to justify the curtailment of the collective bargaining rights), while the actual current deficit is the lower number.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:06 PM on February 22, 2011


It's pretty evident that whatever the financial situation, Walker (and the other repub govs) are going to make the same arguments about gutting the public worker unions and privatizing government.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 12:06 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


is/are, close enough
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 12:06 PM on February 22, 2011


Has this been posted yet? Poll showing Walker's popularity in WI falling? Don't know anything about that particular research outfit.
posted by edgeways at 12:13 PM on February 22, 2011


Thanks for the link to that analysis. It's handy to help understand how it all works.

I agree, Saul, that they will tar us with all sorts of labels, regardless. But it's still in our best interest to be honest with ourselves and analyze the situation to be as truthful about it as we can, to ourselves if no-one else.

That said, it is all bullshit and it's a game to cut cut cut, I agree 100%.

Also... It seems like he's the "pusher" in the Overton window now, and look at what's happening "Oh! Rick Scott won't eliminate collective bargaining rights, whew... We can relax!" They can now do all sorts of horrible shit and "it's not that bad, cuz it's not what they're doing over in Wisconsin"... We set the boundaries of acceptable discourse, and as long as they don't cross that limit, they'll feel free to approach it.

We need to fight to make sure that we push the boundary in the other direction. We can NOT let them use this as an excuse to erode other things by excusing it as "not that bad".
posted by symbioid at 12:18 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm with you symbioid. The truth is bad enough without need for embellishment. Unfortunately, there will be plenty more opportunities for US governors to cry "budget crisis" to come, because several of the new Republican state governors have pledged to completely eliminate their states' corporate income taxes (Florida being one), and in general, states are planning deep tax cuts despite record budget shortfalls (and it isn't just the Republicans).

We need to fight to make sure that we push the boundary in the other direction. We can NOT let them use this as an excuse to erode other things by excusing it as "not that bad".

Exactly. That's why now's a great time to push for increased organized labor rights as a counterweight to the Citizens United ruling, among other things. If corporations should enjoy all these unprecedented new freedoms now, then labor unions should enjoy the benefits of greater freedoms, too. Ending 'Right-to-Work' states and guaranteeing that employers can't fire workers simply for considering joining or organizing a union should be another priority.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:34 PM on February 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


"right to work" what an Orwellian phrase.
posted by symbioid at 12:42 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]




So when are the democratic big-wigs going to join in? We need feet on the ground.

Not sure who qualifies, but for the record I have seen a bunch of pictures floating around of Russ Feingold out there with the protestors. I love me some Russ Feingold.
posted by naoko at 12:50 PM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've been really befuddled by the right-wing who loves the phrase "a rising tide lifts all boats" to excuse egregious corporate power and wealth-taking while refusing to acknowledge the phrase for the rights of those lower on the totem pole.

In fact, as I thought about it, it seemed that the phrase almost sounded... left-wing.

So I looked it up.

Where did the phrase come from? A speech by a certain President name John F Kennedy.
So the right took from him a phrase that was used to justify building a dam for the seeming public good (wikipedia says it was considered Pork-Barrel spending at the time - when did Pork Barrel become a term?)...

Interesting co-option of a phrase to justify a seemingly opposite intent of the originator.
posted by symbioid at 12:52 PM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]



New gallup poll shows 61% oppose limits on Union rights
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:06 PM on February 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ah man, that poor camel. WTF, Oliver?
posted by homunculus at 1:11 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


when did Pork Barrel become a term?

Wikipedia says it was coined in the 1860s.
posted by hippybear at 1:13 PM on February 22, 2011


That's a good sign P_F... it is mildly surprising (to me) and the wide margin gives me some hope it has credibility. Plus it counters the jack-shit Rasmussen poll.

So, we have an internal WI poll showing Walker has overreached, and national one as well. I hope this gets circulated and boosts spirits to the demonstrators and the WI 14.


2011.... what a year.
posted by edgeways at 1:13 PM on February 22, 2011


And it's only starting.
posted by zennie at 1:16 PM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


From the live feed, supposedly Anonymous provided a list of proxies when the websites were blocked (scribd doc). I'm not sure I want them involved.
posted by desjardins at 1:25 PM on February 22, 2011


Now Senators who miss two or more sessions will no longer be allowed direct deposit. They have to pick up their checks on the Senate floor.
posted by drezdn at 1:34 PM on February 22, 2011


Hadn't heard this yet: the police & firefighters have agreed to take the same pay cuts (benefit concessions) as the rest of state employees as long as the unions are left alone. Damn. They were heroes just for showing up at the protests when they were specifically protected from the harm the bill would cause. Now they're saying they'll take less pay for nothing in return just to keep the other unions together. Those guys are awesome.
posted by echo target at 1:40 PM on February 22, 2011 [16 favorites]


Yay solidarity!
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 1:42 PM on February 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


Now Senators who miss two or more sessions will no longer be allowed direct deposit. They have to pick up their checks on the Senate floor.

Source?

Also: oh noes!
posted by zennie at 1:43 PM on February 22, 2011


drezdn: "Now Senators who miss two or more sessions will no longer be allowed direct deposit. They have to pick up their checks on the Senate floor."

You have got to be shitting me. Do you have a link?

I say we unite and pay them if they need money (here's to hoping they don't).
posted by symbioid at 1:43 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Now Senators who miss two or more sessions will no longer be allowed direct deposit. They have to pick up their checks on the Senate floor.

As I noted before, this is par for the course. It's about pissing off liberals. Always is.

The last few days is a rapid acceleration of the eternal conservative domination fantasy. They want to slap people around and that's honestly almost entirely what I'm reading on right-wing sites now. There's no analysis, just suggestions of how else to physically and financially hurt their opponents.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:44 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Source for the senators having to pick up checks in person.
posted by echo target at 1:45 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Case in point: the link about the checks. Comment #2: "The Dems will be really pissed off!"

The Dems will be really pissed off.

This is what they care about.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:46 PM on February 22, 2011


Those guys are awesome.

Brave, but also smart. They're going out on a limb for their neighbors, but it's not going out on a limb to say that eventually the crazies and cutters will come for them too, someday. The people they support now will hopefully (and probably) be their allies.

Now Senators who miss two or more sessions will no longer be allowed direct deposit.

Funny thing, considering the ones who are absent now are the only ones who can be said to actually be doing their job.
posted by weston at 1:47 PM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Another likely union busting aspect of Walker's bill is the 47 million fed transportation $ that would be lost.

Impact on Federal Funding:
Relative to Section 13(c) would affect only those transit systems that are unionized and would involve the collective bargaining rights in place at the time the federal transit aid was first received. Most bus transit systems in the state are staffed by unionized transit workers. In addition, a few of the Tier C shared-ride taxi systems may involve unionized workers.
According to information from the U.S. Department of Labor, the proposed changes in collective bargaining rights included under SS SB 11 could impact the ability of unionized transit systems in the state to receive existing federal transit aid, unless actions are taken to protect the collective bargaining rights of their employees (see the attached memo from Mr. John Lund). If the federal Department of Labor makes the determination that the changes in local transit worker collective bargaining rights resulting from the collective bargaining changes under SS SB 11 affect the continuation of collective bargaining rights, and protection of transit employees' wages, working conditions, pension benefits, seniority, vacation, sick and personal leave, travel passes, and other conditions of employment, the Federal Transit Authority could not provide federal transit funding under these provisions.


So basically, if Walker gets rid of collective bargaining, the state loses $47 million from the fed government because unionized workers must be able to collectively bargain unless...those transportation workers are no longer unionized!
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 1:48 PM on February 22, 2011 [10 favorites]


mandymanwasregistered, thanks for pointing that out. There was speculation that the state didn't realize that systems could lose funding because of the haste of the bill's conception, but now it appears, again, that Walker must have received technical assistance to create such devious outcomes. I want to know more about that technical assistance.
posted by dhartung at 1:52 PM on February 22, 2011


XQUZYPHYR: "Case in point: the link about the checks. Comment #2: "The Dems will be really pissed off!"

The Dems will be really pissed off.

This is what they care about.
"

Whew, I was wondering when they'd be pissed off, because they must not be now, what with all those 70k people out there protesting!!!
posted by symbioid at 1:57 PM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does anyone have a filter to remove comments from public blogs? Seriously ... UGH!
posted by symbioid at 1:59 PM on February 22, 2011


I have exactly such a filter. It's called "not scrolling down".
posted by hippybear at 2:00 PM on February 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wait. By demanding them to pick up their checks in person and depriving them of that which is due to them (which CAN be given any other way) in order to obtain political ends, are they not engaging in blackmail?
posted by symbioid at 2:01 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


symbioid, I wouldn't get too excited. Typically a legislative body has the power to set its own rules. This is a cute ploy showing uninterest in a compromise, and was probably something the 14 had to expect, but adds a very personal touch to the dispute. I doubt there's any law being violated, only trust between peers.
posted by dhartung at 2:12 PM on February 22, 2011


I'm sympathetic to the issue, but I think the argument may go that since the Senators are engaging in a technically illegal act, requiring them to pick the checks up in person is not technically depriving them of their income. It's a shitty underhanded technique to be sure, but very likely legal.
posted by edgeways at 2:14 PM on February 22, 2011


A straightforward administrative change like that probably doesn't constitute an illegal act. They're being told they need to come to their place of work to address an employee matter. You could call it arm-twisting, maybe. I wonder if they could just sign power of attorney to an agent to get their checks, if they're that desperate, which they're probably not.
posted by zennie at 2:14 PM on February 22, 2011


I'm not sure I'll be home by 6 to hear Walker's address. I assume it'll be on all the Milwaukee broadcast stations? Can anyone confirm?
posted by desjardins at 2:19 PM on February 22, 2011






I'm sympathetic to the issue, but I think the argument may go that since the Senators are engaging in a technically illegal act.

It's not illegal. No law has been broken. The legislature and the governor can compel attendance under their authority to subpeona and whatnot, and use the various police forces at their disposal - but there is no law requiring attendance.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:22 PM on February 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's not illegal. No law has been broken.

I believe this to be true, but does anyone have a link to back it up (aside from precedents)?
posted by drezdn at 2:25 PM on February 22, 2011


desjardins: "I'm not sure I'll be home by 6 to hear Walker's address. I assume it'll be on all the Milwaukee broadcast stations? Can anyone confirm?"

Remember what I said about "blog comments"? The same holds true for Walker. I know it's important to hear it, but dear god I can't subject myself to it. It's like listening to Bush or Palin. I guess I'll listen for a couple minutes just to at least familiarize myself with his voice if nothing else.

That said - I'd imagine it'd be playing on Public Radio, since they're pretty solid about that kind of thing.
posted by symbioid at 2:28 PM on February 22, 2011



The college rag had a short blurb about it today :
People may think legislators are violating the law because the sergeant-at-arms has the authority to find lawmakers, but the Senate Democrats are not in violation of any laws, said UW political science professor Dennis Dresang.

“It’s something that is indeed an option for them, to not show up and thereby deprive the state Senate of a quorum,” he said.

Should the stand-off continue, Dresang said nothing will happen until the Democrats decide to return to Wisconsin.

“Without a quorum, they can’t deliberate,” he said.
It echoes what I've seen elsewhere.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:33 PM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I heard him on some radio station awhile back, the one that plays shit like Black Eyed Peas, before all this shit hit the fan. I didn't catch the intro so didn't know who he was. He sounded like another DJ to me, and he was trying to be all down with the lingo and shit. My jaw dropped when I found out who it was.
posted by desjardins at 2:35 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hope the article is a bit clear that "nothing will happen" is in reference to the specific bill. Other non-fiscal bills can still be passed, according to my understanding?
posted by symbioid at 2:36 PM on February 22, 2011








"I don't value teachers any better than I value the guy changing my oil." says a caller from Green Bay on WPR right now.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 2:52 PM on February 22, 2011


But Aaron Rodgers is a saint, no doubt.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 2:54 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]



But Aaron Rodgers is a saint, no doubt.


Aaron Rodgers is also a union rep.
posted by drezdn at 2:55 PM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]




Aaron Rodgers is also a union rep.

Oh, I know, but it's amazing how much people can worship sports figures and not care one whit about the people educating the next generation.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 2:59 PM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


"I don't value teachers any better than I value the guy changing my oil." says a caller from Green Bay on WPR right now.

And now a private sector union member claiming that unions are thugs and they don't bargain. "I'm paying $1000 a month for health care and I don't know why!" This guy can't be for real.

Someone needs to dispense with the myth that the workers get some sort of fat pension. Not to mention I wish I could find letter I received the other year from the WI retirement fund that dealt with the massive hit the fund took due to the market crash. And yet in spite of that it's still essentially fully funded.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 2:59 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh hey, somehow that comment posted halfway though writing it. Internet probs: I haz them.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 3:07 PM on February 22, 2011


so, how do we frame the discussion with people who don't agree, or who are unsure? how do we convince people that what we're all discussing here on mefi is what we should all be united for? you could say that it's a bit of an echo chamber in here...but with hundreds of comments on all of the WI threads here it seems to me that that echo represents a pretty large group. how do we convince other people, who don't agree with what we're discussing or maybe don't fully understand, that they're in the same boat we are and that we all need to work together?

i've been posting links to facts - facts ! - non-stop on my facebook, and i'm still seeing people grumble about how the dem senators and the teachers need to 'get back to work.' someone else said they didn't understand how the dems in WI and IN could legally 'just leave when they've been elected to do a job.' the online comments section of my local paper is full of screaming from people who get all their news from fox and won't even listen to facts posted there. it seems like these people don't want to hear or believe or understand any other point of view. furthermore, these people are shaping the narrative because when someone screams the same shit over and over, who really wants to try to engage them?

i nearly died when i found out my younger brother listens to hannity...he thinks it's news. i don't know what to say to convince him. i don't think that he's necessarily a huge conservative, just that he doesn't know any better. he closes up when i try to discuss politics or current events with him. many others simply get their news from local outlets and the big 3 networks, which haven't delved into this issue to any depth at all. all anyone gets out of it is skimmed off the very top - - -'$4 billion shortfall - need to cut public workers pay - public workers protest - dems leave to stop vote', when we all know from following links to details and facts here and elsewhere that there's so much more to it than that. how do we frame this simply in order to wake people up to the fact that our freedoms are being eroded?

yeah, you and i know that the people who are tools of the repubs and fox news are really in the same boat as the rest of us little people, believe what they may, and that the repubs will drop them like a hot rock when they are no longer needed...but i'm afraid that by then it will be far too late.

or is it all hopeless, unchangeable?...is it just that some people's moral compass points inward, and others' point outward, and that no one will ever convince them to look outward rather than inward ?
posted by g.i.r. at 3:07 PM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just want to say hello to my Wisconsin Cheese head homies! Hello Cheese Heads.

So busy, but trying to keep ahead of developments, not doing a great job, I think I need an extra brain and pair of hands.

So Saturday is national Solidarity Day. It's going to be great to finally be able to join the protestor's in an actual event that brings everyone together in this.

Also, Mitch Daniels and Rick Scott, Governors of Indiana and Florida respectively come out with statements against seeking the unions in their state having to be concerned with losing collective bargaining rights. Methinks this is huge!!

It's nice to see there's still some pols out their (even if they are GOP), with their politicians wits about them determined not to make the massive fatal mistake Walker has made...(regardless of what they want eventually).

You could say they threw him under the bus, yes?
posted by Skygazer at 4:29 PM on February 22, 2011


or is it all hopeless, unchangeable?...is it just that some people's moral compass points inward, and others' point outward, and that no one will ever convince them to look outward rather than inward ?

When I was a kid, the union meant my dad getting laid off, or going on strike and that meant months of government cheese, handmedown clothes, and only two stations on the TV because mom cancelled cable.

Even my dad wasn't terribly enthralled with his union, the reps, or anything really about it.

Then something bad happened about 6 years ago, and the union came through 110% for him.

So yeah, it's kind of a dick move, but we didn't like what the union had to offer until it mattered to one of us. I suspect most people are like that. I like to think that I am wiser now, but I only manage that on most days.

Also, it's worth pointing out that at one point I was Jingoistic Ayn Rand reading homophobe who listened to Limbaugh and actually campaigned for Perot. Most of my friends from that time still are. I'm not sure there is much you can do; I got here on my own, I guess.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 4:32 PM on February 22, 2011 [8 favorites]


Also, it's worth pointing out that at one point I was Jingoistic Ayn Rand reading homophobe who listened to Limbaugh and actually campaigned for Perot.

Me too! Except the only Rand I've read is Anthem, and I was too young to help Perot, but I was a dittohead from eighth grade through college.
posted by drezdn at 4:39 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Judy Peaches vs Joseph P. Sherk
posted by marsha56 at 4:46 PM on February 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


Guess who opened a lobbying office in Madison 2 weeks before Walker was elected?

Come on, guess. I give you one shot.

That's right! Koch Industries

Fucking poking a hornets nest these assholes are.

Anybody listen to the speech? I can't stomach to listen, so I'm wondering if anyone can verify whether my predictions are true:

1) Get back to work Democrats.
2) No negotiations on Collective Bargaining.
3) We're really in deep shit, no SRSLY! I'm not lying, honest to god!
4) I "respect" the workers of Wisconsin.
5) Shame if I had to lay some people off.

Anything else?
posted by symbioid at 5:32 PM on February 22, 2011


Nah, you're pretty much spot on.

Except for the part where his head spun 360 degrees around his neck and flames shot out of his eye sockets.
posted by Skygazer at 5:36 PM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also? Former capital L Libertarian here, too.

Then I moved to Madison and got my edumakashun (non-college, just via osmosis).

I'd like to think that if I hadn't moved to Madison, I still would have sorted myself out, but I'm scared to think that maybe I would have turned Teabagger if I'd stayed in my old rural/small-town stomping grounds.
posted by symbioid at 5:41 PM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


I was a bleeding heart from the get-go. I had shouting matches with the Young Repblicans at my high school:)
posted by desjardins at 5:43 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


ugh sorry, typing with cat laying on arm.
posted by desjardins at 5:44 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wisconsin's gov
So far a flop
Swiss cheese in head
But none on top

Burma-Shave®
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:45 PM on February 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


I was a bleeding heart from the get-go. I had shouting matches with the Young Repblicans at my high school:)

Oh man, I was totally That Girl too! (As I'm sure will come as some surprise to everyone.)
posted by scody at 5:57 PM on February 22, 2011


The article linked by lirG rorriM above is written by a good friend of mine. Glad to see it on the blue.

Supposedly the republican govs of florida and Indiana have both asked their states to drop "right to work" legislation as of today.
posted by Severian at 5:59 PM on February 22, 2011


g.i.r.: or is it all hopeless, unchangeable?...is it just that some people's moral compass points inward, and others' point outward, and that no one will ever convince them to look outward rather than inward ?

I had this feeling for a while near the end of the Bush years. And then I remembered my own history. I was ragingly conservative early in my life. Then I learned something, and realized that liberal policies were often very productive. But I couldn't bring myself to vocalize that, because how embarrassing would it be to be out as a bleeding heart? Finally, I realized that other reasonable people were also left-leaning, and that was the tipping point for me: when I realized I wasn't alone.

Now, I'm not the worlds most active activist. But I publicly (and sanely) support the causes I support, to let others know that their reasonable friend Tehhund feels that way, and maybe it's okay for them to put down the Glenn Beck and join us. So I think it's possible for people to come around, we just have to a) keep fighting and b) let them know it's okay to join us. That's why I'm broadcasting my support of the unions - to let people know that others feel this way.
posted by Tehhund at 6:07 PM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Here's a list of local businesses who have supported the sleep-in/sit-in at the Capitol. I don't get to Madison often, but I'll sure patronize them next time I do!
posted by desjardins at 6:33 PM on February 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


If only I could remember where I was reading the break down of how little the measures against the public workers would do do "repair" the budget. Focusing on the fiscal facts can be helpful. Part of that means pointing out the source of state budget problems (ie global market crash, not public sector unions).

Here's a fun fact: According to David Cay Johnson of Tax.com, the average Wisconsin pension is $24,500 a year. 15% of the money contributed to the fund each year is going to Wall Street in fees!

As much as I wish pointing out how manipulative the Koch brothers and their various outfits are would work, that probably isn't going to help. Soros!1!eleventy! (Yes I know they're not the same thing)

But I don't know what you say to someone who refuses logic like the dude on WPR who was calling the dem senators disgraceful for heading to IL (subverting democratic process yadda yadda), yet who defended repub filibustering.

The other thing is humanizing the protesters. There is a strong attempt to other them. If you look at Walker's twitter feed, you can see that he tries to imply they aren't even from Wisconsin. Also the implication that they are "taking" tax payer's $$--as if they are not tax paying Wisconsinites themselves! In this country public school teachers (and their unions) have become a punching bag for a lot of shit in recent years. How the public got conned into thinking they are somehow greedy and inept is beyond me, but that is the reality. I have yet to meet a public school teacher who went into it for the $.

Also, if you haven't yet, I'd encourage you to either read through the bill (144 pages) or the analysis (50 pages) of the bill. There's a lot more to it than ending collective bargaining. We've mentioned the no-bid power plant sale business, the changes to BadgerCare (where basically he gets the authority to do whatevs he wants), the loss of federal transportation $. It also strips local governments of certain powers. And other stuff I have yet to read!
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 7:13 PM on February 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


someone else said they didn't understand how the dems in WI and IN could legally 'just leave when they've been elected to do a job.'

It's still a free country. One of the principles of law in a free country is that anything that is not specifically prohibited by law is permitted.

There is no law in Indiana or Wisconsin (or any state that I'm aware of) that prohibits legislators from not showing up when the legislature is in session. (With good reason; there are many non-political reasons why a legislator might not show up: family emergency, health issues, etc.) Thus, it is permitted. Apparently the Sergeant-at-Arms can compel the legislators to show up, if he can find them, but that's not the same as it being illegal for them not to show up in the first place.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:59 PM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


g.i.r., this is basically the What's the Matter with Kansas?^ problem. In other words, it's one which liberal thinkers have been grappling with for some time (often to the derision of conservatives). Why is it that large swathes of America have turned to voting their "values" instead of their "interests"? Why do they focus their ire on their economic peers and lessers, instead of the powerful and wealthy who control media messaging? We understand some of why, we don't understand how to turn it around effectively.

It's especially frustrating when you see the Tea Party contingent being as anti-elitist and populist as you've always hoped a Democrat would be, fired up like Howard Dean, but not an object of fun for it. The 'othering' spoken of is a big part of this. Their anti-elitism is weirdly redirected against ... well, people just like them, people they may even know. The Lakoff article about his pet 'framing' is a good analysis here (although the basic argument never seems to advance much, I know).

The GOP is relying on the appeal of a strong 'daddy culture' approach. Dereliction of duty, as a teacher or senator, is a no-no, someone being irresponsible and becoming dependent on others. (The conservative mind senses community -- to the Randoid, collectivism -- to be a kind of dependence, and thus abhors it.) This time around, the shoe is on the foot of the taxpayers, so collective [whoops, that word!] bargaining is mainly a sneaky way to prevent individual performances from being evaluated, hence the focus by some on "bad" teachers. (See the other thread for a well-meaning (?) example of the same.) Another component of this argument is that relying on a union to negotiate your wages means you -- and everyone presumes that they are of superior capability and intelligence -- are being brought down to the mean, to the level of the drones and drudges. As I said in my earlier comment, you can find this view even among longstanding union members, even though many of them do get it (and more often in teachers' unions, with those pesky college educations, than in say pipefitters').

The other framing device at work is the redirection of anger from the high-rolling stockholders like the Koch Brothers, to whom another billion would just be a rounding error, toward "cushy" teachers' pensions and the like. This is an utterly simple divide and conquer tactic. Focus them on what they're supposedly taking from each other, and stop them talking about what they get back from each other (e.g. spending that money locally). Make the middle class fight itself to the death, while the arbitrageurs laugh all the way, uh, home from the bank.

I think there are three groups at work, roughly, the true believers/tea partiers, the moderates/independents, and the Democrats. You really can't reach the first with this message, until they themselves are somehow affected. (Many won't accept gays -- until there's one in their family.) It's moderates and independents who are worth your time and focus. Point out the logical flaws, point out the self-interest and profiting elites, point out the way they turn Americans against each other on a regular basis. Make sure they understand, for instance, as I just had to explain to a high school buddy, that an issue like this has nothing to do with you disliking tea partiers as people, but is strictly about protecting rights and interests. Ultimately you can't expect to turn such people into shoulder-to-shoulder solidarity types, but you can get them to see the unfairness.

If you ask me, the corruption angle here is one of the biggest and most effective you can use. If we can get people to follow the money, to think of Walker as a 'company man', they'll start to suspect his motives on anything else. In effect, this fight has only strengthened his image among true believers, because he's standing up to what they view -- no matter how legitimately -- as a corrupt institution. Making a liability out of that takes finesse. In retrospect, his 'man of the people' campaign pose was good insulation against charges he is acting on behest of out-of-state monied interests. The more you can tie him to quid-pro-quos, to rule-breaking and underhanded maneuvering, the more nervous independents get about him. They especially are concerned with rectitude and fairness (whereas partisans are concerned with ends over means).

These are some non-expert thoughts, but I hope they help.
posted by dhartung at 9:53 PM on February 22, 2011 [11 favorites]


Did Scott Walker Get Crank-Call Pwned? (AUDIO)

Mother Jones reports: "A New York-based alt-news editor says he got through to the embattled Wisconsin governor on the phone Tuesday by posing as right-wing financier David Koch...then had a far-ranging 20-minute conversation about the collective bargaining protests."

A real call or good theatre? It's pretty interesting.
posted by madamjujujive at 3:59 AM on February 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


The GOP is relying on the appeal of a strong 'daddy culture' approach.

I have never heard it put that way, but this makes perfect sense to me.

Conservatives want the government to function like a stereotypical father. Cold, distant, and strict. Citizens need to keep their mouths shut when Daddy is talking to his grown-up friends (Mr. Big Business, for example); they need to quit acting like sissies when they get hurt and just get over it; and when they screw up, Daddy is prepared to take them behind the woodshed and beat some sense into them - or kick them out of the house altogether if they're not living the kind of lifestyle he thinks they should. And if someone else is threatening his family, he'll kick their ass.

Liberals, on the other hand, want a stereotypical warm, cuddly, nurturing Mommy government. Mommy will make sure her citizens know they are the center of her universe. She will hold Little Citizens' hands when they're having a rough time, kiss all their boo-boos better; forgive them for their mistakes and let them know she still loves them; and when they make choices she doesn't understand or agree with, she'll tell them, "As long as you're happy, I'm happy."
posted by Dojie at 5:30 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


How you can help the protesters in WI.
posted by drezdn at 5:36 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dojie, you can learn more about Lakoff's model of the conservative view of culture, which he calls Strict Father, here. The liberal model is the Nurturant Parent (if you want to be oppositional, the Nanny State).
posted by dhartung at 6:37 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Republican Indiana governor Mitch Daniels says Democratic walkout is "a perfectly legitimate part of the process."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:44 AM on February 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Based solely on the two quotes I've read from him recently, Republican Indiana governor Mitch Daniels is a surprisingly stand-up guy.
posted by theredpen at 6:55 AM on February 23, 2011


Yeah, I'm by no means a fan of everything Daniels has done, but I think he's better than most Republican governors. Indiana is in better financial shape than many other states right now, and I think Daniels deserves at least some of the credit for that.

That said, this isn't the first time he's used the "I agree with Rebpulicans in the state legislature in principle, but this isn't the time for this; there are more important things we need to work on now" tactic on pet issues of the far right. Whether he's sincere, or cynically trying to appeal to both sides, is up for debate. (And I'm not sure which would be worse.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:20 AM on February 23, 2011


Based solely on the two quotes I've read from him recently, Republican Indiana governor Mitch Daniels is a surprisingly stand-up guy would really like to be Vice-President.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:22 AM on February 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


XQUZYPHYR: "Based solely on the two quotes I've read from him recently, Republican Indiana governor Mitch Daniels is a surprisingly stand-up guy would really like to be Vice-President."

I hope that doesn't happen! Just wanted to give credit for non-Walker behavior.
posted by theredpen at 7:28 AM on February 23, 2011


Speaking of Indiana officials and Teabaggers...

Indiana deputy AG urges the use of live ammunition against protesters in Wisconsin
posted by symbioid at 7:35 AM on February 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Daily Beast links are down.

Youtube #1

Youtube #2

Personally, I think it is Walker. It's just too well done otherwise.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:39 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


"The protesters appreciate hot coffee, food and water, so we are doing a small, one-day drive to raise funds to buy supplies to fuel those in Wisconsin. Abe Sauer will be at Capitol Square tonight and also definitely on Thursday evening and will deliver as much as the donations can buy (from a locally-owned vendor, of course) to those continuing to occupy the Capitol building." - The Awl
posted by oinopaponton at 7:48 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow symbioid, I don't even know what to type here about that link. I emailed that to everyone that I know. Thanks.
posted by futz at 7:51 AM on February 23, 2011


Did Scott Walker Get Crank-Call Pwned? (AUDIO)

Wow.

It sounds exactly like the person I saw on TV this morning. Pretty strong in my memory because I had no idea what Walker looked or sounded like, so I was trying to figure out who he was for several minutes. I didn't think it was Walker because he looked so young.
posted by zennie at 8:04 AM on February 23, 2011


Kos has a transcript.

As for the authenticity of the phone call, one thing that really stands out is Walker mentioning Cullen. He's considered the weakest link of the 14 Ds, but I don't think it's something most people would know.
posted by drezdn at 8:05 AM on February 23, 2011


I think the transcript is actually from the original "Buffalo Beast" page.
posted by zennie at 8:11 AM on February 23, 2011



Indeed, and MJ just posted this update :
(UPDATE, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 10:30 a.m.: The Beast's site has crashed, presumably because of the traffic this story is generating. Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein just tweeted that he has spoken to the site's publisher, who says the call is "absolutely legit," and was made via Skype. So they're standing by their story, at least.)
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:12 AM on February 23, 2011


According to a Madison reporter, the Governor's Office says it is him on the call. Time to circulate it far and wide.
posted by drezdn at 8:15 AM on February 23, 2011


I think it's important to not get caught up in the hurf-durf backbitey politics. This call is really starting to get "echo-chambery democrat" to me. Not that it's not important to show what Walker is like, but the issue isn't Walker, and it's not like there's anything that's major earth-shattering. If someone can prove that discussion was an illegal bribe and bring him on charges, great, but I hope we don't get sidetracked of the main issues.

That said, how the fuck do we non-union folks strategize? Besides buying coffee right now for current protesters, what's our long term goal? What are we fighting? I want to see this grow the working class spirit fighting against corps again, and pushing the fuck out of our leaders to stop playing nice w/corps.

The more personal the politics gets the less focused it gets on that issue. Anyways, that's my gripe (and I guess look at me, I did it with the live-fire thing, but that was less a personal attack than showing how far the system (or at least certain segments within it) are ready to go to maintain their turf, at least that's why I posted it).
posted by symbioid at 8:17 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


If the call is confirmed, I think it deserves a new FPP with explanatory links about his connection to the Kochs (which can probably be found in this thread). It'd be interesting to include their connections to other states as well. It's pretty big news IMHO. I'm sure there are some "previously on mefi" links on the Kochs. Unfortunately, I have to, you know, work and stuff so I can't do it. Maybe tonight if no one else has, unless you all think it'd be too much of an overlap with this post.
posted by desjardins at 8:18 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


well, never mind! Thanks XQUZYPHYR (pronounced excuse-y-fur, at least by me)!
posted by desjardins at 8:28 AM on February 23, 2011


And thank you for saying "O'Keefed" because it puts it right in the framework. This is stupid Breitbart level shit (ok, not quite that level), but it's approaching that mindset.

I'm done.
posted by symbioid at 8:32 AM on February 23, 2011


There's a lot TO fight in this bill - from the no-bid sell off our public power plants to some dubious shenanigans with medicaid and BadgerCare , it goes beyond the unions. The union stuff alone was enough to get me unhappy - these are my neighbors, my friends, the people I pass in the grocery store. I'm not in a union, but right now, the unions have the biggest voice, and so I think that that's the best route to try to get rid of this toxic piece of trash masquerading as a bill. I've been going down to protest and donating in support of the protesters, emailing the AWOL senators to let them know that I'm behind them and appreciate their hard work, and just trying to keep the ball rolling. Publicizing what's really going on downtown and fighting the republican sound bites is an important task, too. I would love to find the single most effective way to get this thing stopped, but I don't know if there is such a thing. My long term goal? Get rid of Scott Walker and replace him with someone who actually wants to serve the best interests of the state of Wisconsin. I agree with symbioid that the call doesn't really do anything earth shattering - but it's getting press, and I think it does cast the governor in a bad light in a lot of ways, so I'll take the exposure. Anything to get people to see that this guy is a tool - literally, a tool - of people like David Koch.
posted by lriG rorriM at 9:04 AM on February 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


lriG rorriM, you might want to put this in the new FPP :)
posted by futz at 9:16 AM on February 23, 2011


Seriously, we don't need to keep changing threads. This one is only a few days old and has managed to stay on topic.
posted by zennie at 10:12 AM on February 23, 2011


I feel that way, too, zennie, but some people like to keep the general topic on the front page, and the prank call is a big enough "new" twist that it merits a post.
posted by dhartung at 10:20 AM on February 23, 2011


From the Legislative Fiscal Bureau's analysis of the bill:
The Department of Administration identifies 37 heating, cooling and power plants, including 14 at University of Wisconsin institutions, 13 at Department of Corrections facilities, five at Department of Health Services facilities and five at other agency facilities. Since most of the heating, cooling, and power plants are tied into specific state facilities, it is likely that any purchase or lease would be agreed to only if there was an additional agreement requiring the state to purchase heating, cooling, and power from the purchaser or leaser. The long-term value of any sale, from the state's perspective, will hinge on any contractors ability to provide heating, cooling and power for less than it would cost to produce the same commodities on its own. The value from the perspective of any buyer or leaser would be based on that company's ability to recover more net profits (including sales price, production costs, and taxes and tax incentives) from the purchase or lease than in the absence of such a purchase or lease

The UW System board, or a separate UW-Madison board if created -- rather than the Governor/DOA -- would have the authority to decide to sell its facilities, but the same conditions would apply.
posted by dhartung at 11:29 AM on February 23, 2011


(Whoops, wrong thread, although on topic)
posted by dhartung at 11:30 AM on February 23, 2011


I'm still avidly following all the threads related to the Wisconsin situation. It's kind of interesting how many different spin-offs there have been.

I'm glad to see more stuff on the power plant issue being circulated. Is there much information out there on the changes proposed to medicaid and BadgerCare?
posted by lriG rorriM at 11:35 AM on February 23, 2011


Specific changes, lriG rorriM, such as co-pays, are not in the bill. The bill transfers authority to make changes to the DHS. Even then, the DHS will have to prepare a plan which will need to be submitted to the Federal HHS for a waiver, and what actually happens depends on whether or not they get it. There is a proposed drop in funding which would translate into a change in eligibility ratios.

But basically, once the authority is devolved to Walker appointees, there's precious little that anyone could do about the changes, so now is the only opportunity to prevent this. At least we should retain the right for oversight by the legislature, no matter how supermajoritized.
posted by dhartung at 12:18 PM on February 23, 2011


Contrary to my first impulse upon reading the headline, this isn't a joke.
A secretly recorded phone conversation between Gov. Scott Walker and an investigative reporter pretending to be David Koch captures Walker clearly outlining his strategy for making Wisconsin the lead player in a national conservative movement to undercut the power of public employee unions.

Murphy offers to help Walker out by "planting some troublemakers" among the demonstrators. Walker's reply:

"We thought about that.... My only gut reaction to that would be, right now, the lawmakers I've talked to have just completely had it with them. The public is not really fond of this. The teachers union did some polling and focus groups, I think, and found out the public turned on them the minute they closed schools for a couple of days. The guys we got left are largely from out of state and I keep dismissing it in all of my press comments, [saying] 'Er, they're mostly from out of state.'

"My only fear would be if there was a ruckus caused, is that that would scare the public into thinking maybe the governor's got to settle to avoid all these problems. Whereas I'm saying, 'Hey, we can handle this, people can protest. This is Madison, full of all these '60s liberals. Let them protest. It's not going to affect us. And as long as we go back to our homes and the majority of people are telling us to do the right thing, let them protest all they want.

"Um, so that's my gut reaction. I think it's actually good if they're constant, they're noisy, but they're quiet, nothing happens, because sooner or later the media stops finding them interesting."

posted by mandymanwasregistered at 12:21 PM on February 23, 2011


Gah fucking crappy internet, I swear I reloaded this thread before posting that! Carry on.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 12:23 PM on February 23, 2011




where can i find a very simplified explanation of the proposed changes in this bill? i'm attending a rally in my hometown tomorrow and i would like to hand out a sheet that has some very simple, bullet-point, sound-bite style talking points in order to simply and effectively communicate with moderates and the media, and also to constructively debate any tea-partiers with simply stated facts right from the bill itself.
this would probably help my discussions elsewhere IRL and on the web also...
posted by g.i.r. at 2:01 PM on February 23, 2011


You might want to check out this WaPo article. You should be able to pull some bullet points from that. The article itself is actually pretty short and to the point. However, it mainly focuses on the collective bargaining angle and ignores the no-bid sale of power-plants, and the changes to the state health-care programs.
posted by VTX at 2:57 PM on February 23, 2011


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