A Half-Century of Rights, Gone
March 9, 2011 4:33 PM   Subscribe

Republicans remove fiscal measures of Wisconsin's controversial budget repair bill, no longer need quorum denied to them by the 14 AWOL Senate Democrats. After seven minutes and over the objections of the Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, the bill is revised and accepted. The bill passes in the Senate 18-1. Previously. Before that Before even that.
posted by shesdeadimalive (1264 comments total) 65 users marked this as a favorite

 
Crowds are calling for a general strike. Unsure of whether the bill will pass into the Assembly tonight. Barca requesting Attorney General investigate vote.

(first post, this is all happening very quickly, please be kind)
posted by shesdeadimalive at 4:36 PM on March 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


"Rights"

LOL

Surely the most offensive aspect of this story has been the equating of collective bargaining with civil rights.
posted by BigSky at 4:38 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Christ, what assholes.

See this Democrats? THIS is what the Republicans do when they gain power. THIS is the reason that you look like sniveling cowards when you allow them to frame every debate and begin every negotiation with the premise that you're going to need to meet them halfway to crazytown.
posted by 1adam12 at 4:38 PM on March 9, 2011 [107 favorites]


Speaker of the Senate Scott Fitzgerald's release
posted by shesdeadimalive at 4:38 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Republicans had previously said they wouldn't do this. But then, their word isn't worth much. Gov. Walker didn't even mention collective bargaining rights when he was running for office.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:39 PM on March 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


Sucks and all, but what an awesome display of getting things done.

See how that works, Democratic politicians?
posted by notyou at 4:39 PM on March 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


Right. The gloves are very much off and in an unhidden way.

Banning reading in the capitol, removing rights with no mandate to do so (it wasn't mentioned in the campaign) and destroying public services?

I hope there is a general strike, it is certainly a defining fight about the future of public service. In fact, there's not many actions against it I wouldn't back right now.
posted by jaduncan at 4:41 PM on March 9, 2011 [13 favorites]



Sucks and all, but what an awesome display of getting things done.


Underhanded bullshit might get things done, but there's nothing awesome about it.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:41 PM on March 9, 2011 [30 favorites]


I, for one, welcome our new Republican overlords.
posted by wayofthedodo at 4:42 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


What is the most awesome thing about this is that it doesn't fix the economy even slightly.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:43 PM on March 9, 2011 [28 favorites]


Surely the most offensive aspect of this story has been the equating of collective bargaining with civil rights.

Collective bargaining is only as offensive a civil right as the right to vote in a democracy, in that both function in similar manner and are offensive to a Right-wing political movement that aims to dismantle both rights.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:45 PM on March 9, 2011 [133 favorites]


It's a shame that our Attorney General is the baggiest of baggers. Hopefully there's another way to challenge this if he won't.
posted by drezdn at 4:47 PM on March 9, 2011


Unfuckingbelievable. It's well past time for a revolution.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:48 PM on March 9, 2011 [13 favorites]


The legislation being voted on tonight has few changes from the bill as initially proposed. It would save just $30 million less than the original budget bill by stripping out a refinancing provision. But it would still save the state $300 million over the next two years by requiring state employees to contribute about 5% of income toward their pensions and by requiring state workers to pay for about 12% of their health insurance premiums. It would also save $1.44 billion by requiring public employees in school districts and municipalities to pay 5% of their salaries toward their pensions and by removing collective bargaining for benefits, thus giving school districts and municipalities the option of requiring their employees to pay about 12% for their health insurance premiums.

"We are not splitting the bill. It's an an amended bill," says one source, who explains that the state's non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau has said that such a vote could take place without a three-fifths quorum required for some fiscal bills. "It still has a fiscal impact, but doesn't appropriate money," which is why the senate can vote on the bill with a simple majority present.

posted by EmilyClimbs at 4:48 PM on March 9, 2011


As Josh Marshall pointed out: "Wisconsin Republicans have decided to make their move, redefining the union-busting portions of the budget bill as non-budgetary and voting through those provisions tonight.

The irony here is that the union-busting provisions really are not budgetary -- they're simply an attempt to eliminate unions in the state. But Gov. Walker's argument throughout has been that they are budgetary measures and necessary to avert fiscal catastrophe."
posted by donovan at 4:48 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Isthmus live blog updating like crazy right now with more details.
posted by flex at 4:48 PM on March 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Surely the most offensive aspect of this story has been the equating of collective bargaining with civil rights.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a treaty to which the US is a ratified signatory, article 23 section 4:

Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

And just for good measure, US Constitution, article VI:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

You're welcome!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:49 PM on March 9, 2011 [174 favorites]


Deficit? You've Gotta Be Kitten Me!
posted by netbros at 4:49 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


According to what I've seen online, to not be illegal, a general strike must be called for by the workers.
posted by drezdn at 4:49 PM on March 9, 2011


What is the most awesome thing about this is that it doesn't fix the economy even slightly.

Which is what I desperately hope is the take away for the main stream media. This is not about the budget, this has never been about the budget. They've as much as said it outright, but even then no one really ran with it, and now we have this...

These fuckers are destroying my state in an effort to demonstrate how to break the backs of the unions, so that they can pull votes away from the Left.

This is bad, and I hope like hell that it finally gets the national coverage it needs.
posted by quin at 4:50 PM on March 9, 2011 [10 favorites]


Surely the most offensive aspect of this story has been the equating of collective bargaining with civil rights.

The right to cooperate with other citizens in negotiating the price of your labor sounds pretty fundamental to me.

Perhaps the part you're actually offended by is the "civil" bit.
posted by namespan at 4:50 PM on March 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


In related class-warfare news, the New York Times pays a reporter to go up to Bronxville and ask an investment banker if he thinks his kids' public school teachers are paid too much.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:50 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Time to start seriously considering moving away from North America. This society is rapidly going down the crapper.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:51 PM on March 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


I can't wait for all those new jobs in Wisconsin to magically grow from the grave of an organized public sector. And Hamburger.
posted by localhuman at 4:52 PM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


I am having a fucking beer.
posted by desjardins at 4:52 PM on March 9, 2011 [32 favorites]


Surely the most offensive aspect of this story has been the equating of collective bargaining with civil rights.

I would think a libertarian such as yourself would consider the right to freely enter into binding contracts to be a pretty fundamental right.

Actually, unions (voluntary associations of employees bargaining to increase their earning power) are a pretty powerful libertarian idea. I have no idea why libertarians snicker at them.
posted by Avenger at 4:53 PM on March 9, 2011 [42 favorites]


I am having a fucking beer.

That's the correct Wisconsin response to everything.
posted by drezdn at 4:54 PM on March 9, 2011 [38 favorites]


I would like to think that this will lose Wisconsin for the Republicans for a generation or more.
posted by Flunkie at 4:56 PM on March 9, 2011 [14 favorites]


Time to start seriously considering moving away from North America.

There has been a decades-long tilt towards complacency about individual freedoms. It may take cross-country strikes by the nation's weakened workforce to get the seesaw tilted back towards respect for human rights.

I wouldn't say the US is a lost cause, but the progress that workers need to recover over the next decade will be critical to prevent the country from spiraling towards the third-world, South American-style oligarchy that the Right intends the US to become.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:57 PM on March 9, 2011 [18 favorites]


"What Republicans did was an affront to democracy. Never shall a voter doubt which party stands for the working class, and which for the rich" Chris Larson (Facebook)
posted by desjardins at 4:58 PM on March 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


> Even a Wealthy Suburb Faces Pressure to Curb School Taxes

The U.S.S. United States is listing.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:58 PM on March 9, 2011


Surely the most offensive aspect of this story has been the equating of collective bargaining with civil rights.

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.

Likewise, FDR once said "The right to bargain collectively is at the bottom of social justice for the worker, as well as the sensible conduct of business affairs. The denial or observance of this right means the difference between despotism and democracy".

Of course, all he did was win the war and end the Great Depression, so what did he know?
posted by vorfeed at 5:00 PM on March 9, 2011 [52 favorites]


I would like to think that this will lose Wisconsin for the Republicans for a generation or more.

They're trying to put their fingers on the scale though with voter i.d. bills.
posted by drezdn at 5:00 PM on March 9, 2011


California is next.
posted by TwelveTwo at 5:01 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


The bill that passed the Senate (really long PDF)
posted by desjardins at 5:02 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hell, even Reagan referred to forming unions and striking as a "basic right".
posted by Flunkie at 5:02 PM on March 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


Walker just released a press release praising them for balancing the budget by passing a non-fiscal bill.
posted by drezdn at 5:02 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Surely the most offensive aspect of this story has been the equating of collective bargaining with civil rights.

I suggest you crack some books and look at how employment worked before the advent of unions and collective bargaining.
posted by kafziel at 5:03 PM on March 9, 2011 [25 favorites]


Watch.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:03 PM on March 9, 2011


California is next.

Uh, no. Yes, some Republican proposed a bill like that here. No, it has no chance of passing / being signed.
posted by wildcrdj at 5:03 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


FireDogLake piece on what happens next.
posted by VelveteenBabbitt at 5:03 PM on March 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


All I can say is, thank goodness the teaparty Republicans are such eager beavers about all this, all across the country. If they'd been quiet and incremental-- you know, rational-- there wouldn't be as much of an outcry. Instead they lit the rockets.
posted by zennie at 5:04 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I would think a libertarian such as yourself would consider the right to freely enter into binding contracts to be a pretty fundamental right.

You're missing the point. It's not the unions organizing or negotiating and signing a contract as a group that's the problem, that is indeed their right. It's the forced obligation on the part of the employer to recognize the union that makes it a parody of a right.

Also, see here for some thoughts from FDR (FDR!) on the "collective bargaining rights" of public sector employees.

Money quote:

"All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service."
posted by BigSky at 5:04 PM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


More than a year of intense debate on healthcare reform after an election mandate won partially on that issue, endless amendments, endless town hall meetings, endless concession and compromise, nationally televised speeches, President Obama meeting personally with Republican legislators in an hours-long televised conference, a process so lengthy that multiple special elections altered the composition of Congress enough to influence the debate: RAMMING IT DOWN OUR THROATS

Passing arguably illegal legislation in a matter of minutes in a closed session after an abortive month-long "debate" so rushed that the frozen-out minority fled the state in protest, immediately following an election in which the winning Republicans had promised not to do what they're currently doing: AMERICA FUCK YEAH
posted by Rhaomi at 5:05 PM on March 9, 2011 [118 favorites]


This is bullshit.
posted by rtha at 5:06 PM on March 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


GENERAL FUCKING STRIKE
posted by scody at 5:07 PM on March 9, 2011 [57 favorites]


I know it would be bad form to go back and link to the comments in previous threads laughing and saying Walker was stupid and in way over his head and screwed and what not, but damn I want to.

This is just like the Palin thing. People laugh and want to act like these people have no shot. Maddow (who I recently decided to watch more than clips of) was just all giddy last night talking about how Walker had lost.

When will people realize the bad guys always have an easier time? They can do any underhanded thing they want, and are not burdened by trying to do things the right way.

This is war. Laughing it up with John Stewart and being peaceful may be a way to handle this but I don't think the peaceful thing is going to work without a scary violent alternative to steer clear of.

I wish I had handy a list of all the nutso things the republicans have done the past few months. They are emboldened now and trying to take the country backward.
posted by cashman at 5:07 PM on March 9, 2011 [20 favorites]


Surely the most offensive aspect of this story has been the equating of collective bargaining with civil rights.

The most offensive aspect of this is the idiotic "us vs. them" over-simplification across bliggity blogs, faceyspaces, tweets and local and national television and radio "news".
posted by DigDoug at 5:07 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm all for a general strike - I don't think anyone would notice if I didn't show up though.
posted by hafehd at 5:07 PM on March 9, 2011


dumb question - does a call for a "General strike" mean all union workers, or EVERYONE?
posted by desjardins at 5:09 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's the forced obligation on the part of the employer to recognize the union that makes it a parody of a right.

It's totally the right of a state to pass a law against polluting the water, but forcing companies to comply with it makes it a parody of a right!
posted by rtha at 5:09 PM on March 9, 2011 [28 favorites]


It's the forced obligation on the part of the employer to recognize the union that makes it a parody of a right.

Employers are de facto organized. When employees organize they gain equal footing. Employers usual capitulate because it's not prudent to push someone around when they can push back with equal force.
posted by zennie at 5:09 PM on March 9, 2011 [24 favorites]


I say strike. But then again I already don't have a job so... I'll get drunk. Fuck you Republicateapartybaggers. And fuck you too Koch brothers.
posted by Glibpaxman at 5:09 PM on March 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


Well, this should create jobs in the guillotine making business.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 5:10 PM on March 9, 2011 [27 favorites]


Surely the most offensive aspect of this story has been the equating of collective bargaining with civil rights.

The only people who have done this are people who are trying to find some reason why the public opinion polls are invalid. There's a difference between civil rights and rights as they pertain to things like collective bargaining. It's a word that can mean multiple things.

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

I would point you, particularly, to the phrase "as usually understood" and recommend you read up on the Tennesee Valley Authority.
posted by pokermonk at 5:11 PM on March 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


god, maybe it is time for a fucking day of hate in the good ol' U.S. of A. fucking bastards.
posted by angrycat at 5:11 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


So now that the bill's passed, what did Governor Walker accomplish? His approval ratings sunk, workers all around the country are galvanized against him, many Republican senators will face recall elections (at the very least, the Republicans won't hold a majority in the Senate by the end of his term), and the bill will end up in the ballot box, where it will likely be voted down anyway. Sure he got it passed, but after getting in on a wave of Republican fervor in 2010 in an overwhelmingly democratic state, the people turned against him. He's just been too near sighted to realize it.
posted by catwash at 5:12 PM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's a civil right in the most basic sense of the term: it is a right that exists due to the civil society that employers and employees find themselves in. Voting is the same. They're also civil rights as only these rights can make the civil society possible.

And to hit on FDR, who has been dead for many, many years as not supporting negotiation rights for government employees is like attacking the idea of democracy because OMG, Thomas Jefferon had slaves!!
posted by Lord Chancellor at 5:13 PM on March 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


Hell, even Reagan referred to forming unions and striking as a "basic right".

It scares the shit out of me that Reagan, a guy I remember as an unapologetic right-winger, is now too lefty for the right.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:13 PM on March 9, 2011 [66 favorites]


Also: take note, Obama. Republicans get shit done. They lie, cheat, steal, bully and threaten, but at the end of the day, they get what they want and the American people respect them for it.

The American people respect winners and dispise losers and compromisers. Now stop trying to be Jesus Christ on the Potomac and get your ass to work.
posted by Avenger at 5:14 PM on March 9, 2011 [45 favorites]


Between this and NPR I've been pretty goddamn discouraged. Every public service is sweating bullets, and basically seeing their budget on a permanent chopping block that never gets better even if the economy somehow magically does. I seriously think we're seeing the end of the social safety net in America (AKA my future job).
posted by codacorolla at 5:15 PM on March 9, 2011


So now that the bill's passed, what did Governor Walker accomplish?

He busted the unions and guaranteed himself a lucrative post-governor career in a Koch-run corporation.
posted by dirigibleman at 5:17 PM on March 9, 2011 [26 favorites]


So now that the bill's passed, what did Governor Walker accomplish?

Given that he's on record comparing himself to Reagan, by which he delusionally links Reagan's busting of PATCO to the downfall of communism, I can only imagine Walker thinks he's put himself in the running for a spot on the GOP's national ticket.
posted by scody at 5:17 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Reagan served as President of the SCREEN ACTORS GUILD, twice. People like Palin have no right to compare themselves to him.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:17 PM on March 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


Seen on FB:
"I applaud the Republican Senators in Wisconsin for sacrificing their political careers to prove that this budget fight wasn't about the budget at all, but their desire to cripple the unions. I also thank them for doing it illegally." - Jon Leitheusser
posted by dhartung at 5:17 PM on March 9, 2011 [24 favorites]


It's a civil right in the most basic sense of the term: it is a right that exists due to the civil society that employers and employees find themselves in. Voting is the same. They're also civil rights as only these rights can make the civil society possible.

This is far from the conventional usage of "civil rights".
posted by BigSky at 5:17 PM on March 9, 2011


RT @EricKleefeld: I congratulate Gov.-elect Russ Feingold, (D-WI), on his victory in the 2012 recall. / Amen! #wiunion
posted by madamjujujive at 5:18 PM on March 9, 2011 [14 favorites]


Watching the twitter feed for #wisconsin is both enlightening and depressing. Dozens and dozens of people really angry about this peppered with a couple of really vulgar anti-union comments here and there.

Funny, those ones all seem to have flags and the word "patriot" all over them, just so we don't confuse them with someone who hates the country (despite who their supporting.)

Ugh.
posted by quin at 5:19 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Looking on my road map for this thread, I can see things going along with the main flow, or I can see things going off in a dusty side road with unpassable ruts. Just a thought.
posted by dhartung at 5:19 PM on March 9, 2011


Civil and political rights are a class of rights and freedoms that protect individuals from unwarranted action by government and private organizations and individuals and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:20 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Viewing Unions from Right and Left
posted by homunculus at 5:20 PM on March 9, 2011


Sounds like protesters are peacefully opening windows and doors at the Capitol.
posted by drezdn at 5:20 PM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


HOLY FUCKIN BALLS I'M GOING TO THE CAPITOL RIGHT GODDAMN NOW
posted by echo target at 5:20 PM on March 9, 2011 [27 favorites]


This. Is bullshit.

I cannot tolerate feeling so disconnected from my government - that decisions are made without any consideration to the thousands of voices in protest. Thanks to VelveteenBabbitt for posting the FDL link - I want very much to know what are the next steps, and what I can do about it.
posted by queseyo at 5:21 PM on March 9, 2011


I should make a correction to my comment earlier. As Wikipedia points out:

While not a treaty itself, the Declaration was explicitly adopted for the purpose of defining the meaning of the words "fundamental freedoms" and "human rights" appearing in the United Nations Charter, which is binding on all member states.

I should have given the better example of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which is directly binding and is "the supreme law of the land":

Article 22

1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
2. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those which are prescribed by law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals, or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. This article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on members of the armed forces and of the police in their exercise of this right.

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:22 PM on March 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


Mike Elk on twitter has General Strike info.
posted by drezdn at 5:23 PM on March 9, 2011


Yes, furiousxgeorge, I considered using that excerpt from Wikipedia myself. That's not the same thing as the quote in my previous post.
posted by BigSky at 5:25 PM on March 9, 2011


You're missing the point. It's not the unions organizing or negotiating and signing a contract as a group that's the problem, that is indeed their right. It's the forced obligation on the part of the employer to recognize the union that makes it a parody of a right.

Not that I agree with this POV in the first place, but even if I did, this legislation doesn't just remove obligations from public employers to bargain-- it's actually the state prohibiting local governments from being allowed to choose to recognize and freely bargain with their employees' unions. It prohibits local governments from choosing to run their affairs how they see fit and to enter into contracts on a wide variety of issues with their employees, even if local elected officials think that's best for their area. Yay for Big Government?
posted by EmilyClimbs at 5:25 PM on March 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


GENERAL STRIKE!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:25 PM on March 9, 2011


Also: take note, Obama. Republicans get shit done. They lie, cheat, steal, bully and threaten, but at the end of the day, they get what they want and the American people respect them for it.

This is something I wish Obama could just do, but don't underestimate how things get warped when you're a scary black muslim Kenyan terrorist. If he rammed things through and just kicked ass half the country would believe what Fox would be saying, which is that 9/11 had happened again and you'd better murder every brown person you see or they will enslave you.

It's something I didn't realize I understood until I had female friends who faced sexism at work. "Just say what you want and be firm. No, don't agree to do that." and time and again I would get told that I didn't understand it would work and they would just get labeled a bitch.

It won't work. Obama's election didn't just wipe away his ability to be painted as a scary black kenyan muslim terrorist. Don't forget that.

You may not want it to be true, just as I cringe at seeing women I know with advanced degrees getting crapped on at their jobs even in 2011, but it is true. It is there. You've got to understand that context, and it should be obvious as soon as you consider how he has actually acted and how distant that is from how a significant number of people in this country think he has acted.

In other words, America is one big store and even though Obama bought his goods with legit money and walks out of the store with his receipt in plain view, the cry of "SHOPLIFTER!" is going to get him tackled to the ground even as there are ten 'Walkers' next to him who just grabbed shit and strolled out.
posted by cashman at 5:26 PM on March 9, 2011 [40 favorites]


If I just read a tweet correctly, the public has breached security on the closed Capitol Building and are now occupying it.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:27 PM on March 9, 2011 [13 favorites]


live audio thread from inside capitol (noisy and crazy)
posted by desjardins at 5:27 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]



Yes, furiousxgeorge, I considered using that excerpt from Wikipedia myself. That's not the same thing as the quote in my previous post.


It is a definition inclusive of unions.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:28 PM on March 9, 2011


Any video of rep. Barca on the floor during the vote?
posted by Think_Long at 5:28 PM on March 9, 2011


If I just read a tweet correctly, the public has breached security on the closed Capitol Building and are now occupying it.

Oh my. I would absolutely like to hear more about this.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:29 PM on March 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


Also, see here for some thoughts from FDR (FDR!) on the "collective bargaining rights" of public sector employees.

Money quote:

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


Did you actually read that letter, or did you just cut-n-paste out the one sentence which seems to support your views? Because that letter makes it quite clear that the only thing FDR considers off the table for public sector employees is "militant tactics" and "an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied". He says "The desire of Government employees for fair and adequate pay, reasonable hours of work, safe and suitable working conditions, development of opportunities for advancement, facilities for fair and impartial consideration and review of grievances, and other objectives of a proper employee relations policy, is basically no different from that of employees in private industry. Organization on their part to present their views on such matters is both natural and logical, but meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government."

This bill was not passed because the unions were militant and/or trying to obstruct the government. Therefore, it has little or nothing to do with FDR's cautions.
posted by vorfeed at 5:30 PM on March 9, 2011 [33 favorites]


Think_Long, this is the video of Barca and the Conference Committee vote directly before the Senate session.
posted by flex at 5:30 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Good comment via TPM:

It's not just the budget bill needs a quorum -- the big issue is that *any* bill with fiscal implications is supposed to have a quorum in the Wisconsin state Senate. So there are two choices here:

1. Collective bargaining has fiscal implications, and so the bill will be blocked in the courts and ruled unconstitutional.

2. Collective bargaining DOES NOT have direct fiscal implications, and Gov. Walker has been lying this entire time by making the case that it's fiscally necessary.

So either the state R's just passed an illegal bill, or Walker has been lying this entire time and really is just interested in union-busting.

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:31 PM on March 9, 2011 [16 favorites]


fyi, meetup in Madison on Saturday

IT'S GONNA BE CRAZY!
posted by desjardins at 5:32 PM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


It prohibits local governments from choosing to run their affairs how they see fit and to enter into contracts on a wide variety of issues with their employees, even if local elected officials think that's best for their area. Yay for Big Government?

This is how it is in Nevada - the state doesn't have collective bargaining, but local agencies (cities, counties, districts, etc.) have CB if they want.
posted by SirOmega at 5:32 PM on March 9, 2011


Greg Nog, the Isthmus live blog is updating from Twitter and other sources right now. Last I saw, the Assembly Democrats were trying to hold an overnight hearing so the protesters could stay in the Capitol building tonight. Some people have gotten in, but people at one entrance are being told they can't go in by the cops at the door.
posted by flex at 5:34 PM on March 9, 2011


Michael Moore to be on Rachel Maddow. What I wouldn't give for cable right now. Is there a live feed of her show online?
posted by desjardins at 5:34 PM on March 9, 2011


So either the state R's just passed an illegal bill, or Walker has been lying this entire time and really is just interested in union-busting.

Zugzwang.
posted by drezdn at 5:34 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Avenger: "Jesus Christ on the Potomac"

JESUS CHRIST ON A POTO MAC.

SRSLY though.

Technically what we non-public sector workers want is a General Strike that is really a Secondary Action -- (since we're not affected directly by this bill), but that's illegal in the US.
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. In most countries there are limits on the purpose for which people can go on strike, and in English speaking countries there have been placed heavy restrictions on the identity of the organisation one may strike against. In the US and UK workers can typically strike against their direct employer only. In continental Europe, secondary action is generally lawful and the right to strike is seen as a part of broader political freedom.
That's right, they have such bullshit laws in the US.

So, what can we do? How do we oppose this if marching doesn't help? How do we send a message to our fucking Republican bosses (oops, let that on slip, yeah. my boss is a republican)... How do we let them know that we oppose them tooth and nail?
posted by symbioid at 5:35 PM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


I wonder if this rush was precipitated by Senator Fitzgerald coming out today and saying this was an attempt to beat Obama?
posted by drezdn at 5:35 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


So either the state R's just passed an illegal bill, or Walker has been lying this entire time and really is just interested in union-busting.

If you think you can embarrass the republican party by a contradiction like this you have not been paying attention. If there is one thing they are extremely good at, its brazening through.
posted by shothotbot at 5:36 PM on March 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


Eric Drooker has a beautiful general strike poster available for download.
posted by ryanshepard at 5:37 PM on March 9, 2011 [12 favorites]


they're trying to provoke us, to start an all-out, real war. stay strong and stay PEACEFUL.
posted by g.i.r. at 5:38 PM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


JESUS CHRIST ON A POTO MAC.

first time I've smiled this evening
posted by desjardins at 5:38 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, seems to me there's two things to be done about this.

1. Democrats remain AWOL, which prevents the passage of any money bills at all, i.e. the budget, in which case government shuts down, people get upset, and a compromise is forced.
2. Seeing as how there's a unilateral change of contract by the government, it's a fair argument to say that public sector workers' contracts have been abrogated, and there's no contract to be adhered to anymore, in which case public sector workers don't have to show up to work, in which case government shuts down, people get upset, and a compromise is forced.

The first part is the very least -- those guys have nothing to lose. The second part would be more effective, but it's much riskier for the workers involved and their families, and I'd totally understand if those people can't get on board with that.

In any event, this ain't over. Not by a long shot.
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:39 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Time to start seriously considering moving away from North America. This society is rapidly going down the crapper.

Whoah there, Canada's still relatively sane, you know.
posted by jokeefe at 5:40 PM on March 9, 2011


Fuckity fuck fuck fuck. This sucks.

I love how these Republicans kicked it old school- it's like they thought by ramming this through late at night, they wouldn't get called out in Thursday's early edition.

Psst, heey, guys? It's the age of the internet. We know it was you. Already. And we won't forget.
posted by Leta at 5:42 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


vorfeed, I don't understand the relevance of your post. I have read the letter. This legislation (and thread) is about the so-called right of public sector unions to engage in collective bargaining. My quote is directly relevant to this issue. I'm not disputing the right of workers to organize or petition as a group. That isn't the same thing as collective bargaining no matter how convenient it would be for you to conflate the two.
posted by BigSky at 5:43 PM on March 9, 2011


five fresh fish: "If I just read a tweet correctly, the public has breached security on the closed Capitol Building and are now occupying it"

My friend posted "Inside", she said in response to "what's going on there" --- "Madness"
posted by symbioid at 5:44 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whoah there, Canada's still relatively sane, you know.

Not so fast.
posted by saturday_morning at 5:45 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Whoah there, Canada's still relatively sane, you know.

Yeah, but Rob Ford just got a huge boner.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:45 PM on March 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald Statement on Senate Action

Money quotes:
After nearly a month of debate...

...the Senate met tonight to pass the non-fiscal items in the Budget Repair Bill....

This afternoon, following a week and a half of line-by-line negotiation, Sen. Miller sent me a letter that offered three options: 1) keep collective bargaining as is with no changes, 2) take our counter-offer, which would keep collective bargaining as is with no changes, 3) or stop talking altogether. With that letter, I realized that we're dealing with someone who is stalling indefinitely, and doesn't have a plan or an intention to return. [Democratic Sen. Miller's] idea of compromise is "give me everything I want," [Ed. note: what] and the only negotiating he's doing is through the media.

We have confirmed with the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the Legislative Council and the Legislative Reference Bureau that every item in tonight's bill follows the letter of the law.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:46 PM on March 9, 2011



Wow. I wish I had a job so I could be part of a general strike.
posted by notreally at 5:47 PM on March 9, 2011 [23 favorites]


they're trying to provoke us, to start an all-out, real war. stay strong and stay PEACEFUL.

Why would this work? As has been mentioned (and was clear previously), shaming doesn't work. The protesters will still be outside freezing and peacefully yelling while Walker is chillin with the Kochs. He's set for life. How is this supposed to work?
posted by cashman at 5:47 PM on March 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


You get who you vote for. Ignorance of a particular party's ideology is no excuse. Wisconsin was controlled by dems until last election cycle.
posted by Max Power at 5:47 PM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


FWIW, ActBlue is taking contributions to run ads highlighting the issues in Wisconsin, apparently with an eye towards influencing recall elections.
posted by namespan at 5:49 PM on March 9, 2011


Per the Isthmus blog: "Sen Mark Miller of Wisconsin 14: Tomorrow we will join the people of Wisconsin in taking back their government." So the Dems are coming back.

Per Daily Kos: next step is recall.

Per Firedoglake: Also legal challenges galore, possibly affecting a key judge race.

Rumors of a general strike continue.

@legaleagle on Twitter is inside the Capitol, but tweets that her signal is weak.
posted by emjaybee at 5:49 PM on March 9, 2011


Whoah there, Canada's still relatively sane, you know.

Not so fast.


LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU

Sorry. I'm just fucking outraged and sick at heart right now. I know that bastard Harper is looking over the border and watching closely. The only thing I take comfort in is that by US standards Harper's a lefty democrat.
posted by jokeefe at 5:50 PM on March 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


How to prepare for a general strike (via hellojed)
posted by desjardins at 5:53 PM on March 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


How is this supposed to work?

A few general strikes through history (from the link to the general strike poster here):
- Chicago, New York, Cincinnati, and elsewhere, 1886 – First victory in the fight for an eight-hour day
- Toledo, OH, 1934 – First successful unionization of the auto industry.
- San Francsico, CA, 1934 – Unionization of all West Coast ports of the United States.
- Poland, 1980 – Began the process of democratic reforms that led to the end of Soviet control over the country.
- Egypt, 2011 – Brought the 30-year reign of an autocratic despot to an end.
posted by scody at 5:53 PM on March 9, 2011 [20 favorites]


gah.
posted by desjardins at 5:53 PM on March 9, 2011


jokeefe - "bluedog" is the word you're looking for.

Here's an FB page for a general strike (looks like IWW is behind it):

http://www.facebook.com/wigeneralstrike
posted by symbioid at 5:53 PM on March 9, 2011


The only thing I take comfort in is that by US standards Harper's a lefty democrat.

The only thing that keeps him from being a righty Republican is that Canadians (for the moment) would never elect him if he said what was really on his mind.

Hey, want some more wonderful news tonight? Guess what?
posted by saturday_morning at 5:53 PM on March 9, 2011


Right - I've just taken a page from the Egyptian playbook and posted a link to this news as my status update. Get more people to boost the signal and show Wisconsin the rest of us are watching.

Would that I could do more as a non-Wisconsin.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:54 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Poland, 1980 – Began the process of democratic reforms that led to the end of Soviet control over the country.

Surely the most offensive aspect of this comment is suggesting that had anything to do with civil rights.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:55 PM on March 9, 2011 [16 favorites]


#Wisconsin citizens, #anonymous needs your information on the developing situation join #opwisconsin on IRC: http://bit.ly/htfzAu #wiunion

29 minutes ago via TweetDeck
Retweeted by 100+ people
posted by Rhaomi at 5:56 PM on March 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


info on who they're trying to recall, how to volunteer, where to go to give your signature if you're in one of their districts: http://www.recalltherepublican8.com/

more Tweets from the live blog -

CitizenActionWI: RT @news3jessica: UPDATE FROM SEN. MILLER'S OFFICE: Senators will not be coming back tonight or tomorrow. [via Twitter]

WEAC: RT @wicapaccess: Madison police will not be helping to clear the Capitol tonight. [via Twitter]
posted by flex at 5:57 PM on March 9, 2011


A few general strikes through history

Oh I didn't mean the proposed strike, I meant just walking around the capitol chanting and yelling, or other demonstrations. A strike, well yeah I know how that can work - you're crippling the economy. Money or violence - something's going to have to be a worse alternative. I don't know if the strike will work, but I'll do whatever I need to, to help. Hopefully we don't have to have the implication of some violent future before shit like this stops happening. Sad but true.
posted by cashman at 5:57 PM on March 9, 2011


Live video stream from the State Capitol

Crowds chanting: "UNION BUSTING, MOST DISGUSTING"
posted by Rhaomi at 5:59 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


scody,

Another one: Winnipeg.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:02 PM on March 9, 2011


Naturally the mood right now is outrage.

But this is probably the best possible outcome for the unions and Democrats. Short of outright revolt by moderate GOP Senators, which never seemed likely, the collective bargaining provisions were going to get passed. It could have passed thanks to Democrats giving up and accepting meaningless concessions, or thanks to a single D being bought off. Instead, Walker had to push the bill through under cover of night and questionable legal circumstances, and he concedes that collective bargaining is unrelated to the state budget. He's had this option since the beginning; if this was the way he wanted to pass the law, he would have done it two weeks ago. This is his plan C.

The next step for labor in Wisconsin is to work like hell to get Joanne Kloppenburg on the Supreme Court on April 5 (with time and manpower, not money -- she's publicly financed) and to keep the momentum going on recalls of state Senators. Wisconsin is not a liberal or a conservative state. The notion that things go awry when one party controls the governorship, both houses of the legislature, and the Supreme Court has a lot of traction here.

Right now, public opinion is on labor's side and not on Walker's. I think you run the risk of changing that with a general strike.
posted by escabeche at 6:03 PM on March 9, 2011 [10 favorites]


Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a treaty to which the US is a ratified signatory, article 23 section 4:

Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

And just for good measure, US Constitution, article VI:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

You're welcome!


Not a treaty, and hence not something to which the US is a ratified signatory, and hence not something addressed by the Supremacy Clause.

And were it otherwise, you would also find limits like: "In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society." Like it or not, that's tonic Walker.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 6:04 PM on March 9, 2011


Wisconsin is now either the beginning of the end of the modern GOP, or the beginning of the end of the modern Democratic Party.
posted by andreaazure at 6:08 PM on March 9, 2011 [17 favorites]


The crazy thing I learned today is that the governor of Wisconsin has the power to completely invert the meaning of legislation by striking individual words and phrases—for instance, "not—from legislation. Before 2008 the governor actually had unlimited power to do this; before 1990 he could strike individual letters and numerals.

As a result of the "Wisconsin veto" passing legislation that can't be subverted or reversed by the governor is apparently effectively impossible in Wisconsin. I really can't imagine how the state has survived this long. This is no way to run a government.
posted by gerryblog at 6:09 PM on March 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


FYI Rhaomi, it's
Caller: WHAT'S DISGUSTING?
Crowd: UNION BUSTING!

Also, I don't think that feed is actually live -- I think I just listened to the report of the 6pm-ish vote.
posted by dhartung at 6:09 PM on March 9, 2011


said it here before. say it again:

Post here; write emails and forward; fill in comments all over the net; use FaceBook:

I WILL NOT SPEND ANY MONEY NOR VACATION IN ANY STATE THAT DESTROYS COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS THAT HAVE BEEN IN PLACE IN THAT STATE. NO VACATION. NO MONEY.
posted by Postroad at 6:10 PM on March 9, 2011 [12 favorites]


This thing is so transparently illegitimate, I'm worried it's just a ploy to trick the Democratic senators to come back to Wisconsin.
posted by uosuaq at 6:11 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


This thing is so transparently illegitimate, I'm worried it's just a ploy to trick the Democratic senators to come back to Wisconsin.

This.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 6:11 PM on March 9, 2011


The next step for labor in Wisconsin is to work like hell to get Joanne Kloppenburg on the Supreme Court on April 5 (with time and manpower, not money -- she's publicly financed) and to keep the momentum going on recalls of state Senators. Wisconsin is not a liberal or a conservative state. The notion that things go awry when one party controls the governorship, both houses of the legislature, and the Supreme Court has a lot of traction here.

Right now, public opinion is on labor's side and not on Walker's. I think you run the risk of changing that with a general strike.


I'd be wary of any option that says wait around, do not act. When would the earliest recalls be? I know Walker can't be recalled for like 10 months or something, right?

There's a lot at stake here, and if this goes through and democrats return to the state (as has been reported they're driving fast to get back), won't they just pass the rest and try to associate the two acts in the mind of the public?

I would go for the most disruptive thing. Allow people to get comfortable and back to normal, and you lose the momentum and allow tiime for something else to snatch the narrative away, be it allowed attack or other event that draws attention away.

Something needs to happen that scares these people.
posted by cashman at 6:11 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


dhartung: "Also, I don't think that feed is actually live -- I think I just listened to the report of the 6pm-ish vote."

I think you're right -- the page used to be an audio stream from a reporter on the scene before changing to video; that plus the "Livestream" logo made me think it was a continuation, but it does sound out of date now.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:12 PM on March 9, 2011


gerryblog: I wrote that Atlantic piece -- essentially a fleshed out version of this FPP about the Wisconsin veto I posted in 2007. Simpler times.....
posted by escabeche at 6:12 PM on March 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


TPSL, here... from deep in the heart of Texas.

I'm drinking Shiner in solidarity. General strike time.

Republic wide. It's time to shake things up...

Before these fuckers tear everything down.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 6:13 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


gerryblog: "As a result of the "Wisconsin veto" passing legislation that can't be subverted or reversed by the governor is apparently effectively impossible in Wisconsin. I really can't imagine how the state has survived this long. This is no way to run a government."

A 2/3 supermajority can override such a veto. I can't imagine how legislators of both parties could not agree on this, at least, but if it requires a referendum, all bets are off.
posted by mkb at 6:14 PM on March 9, 2011


On Rachel Maddow's show the absent Democrats said that they are staying away still because they don't trust any of the Republicans.
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:14 PM on March 9, 2011 [10 favorites]


postroad: I WILL NOT SPEND ANY MONEY NOR VACATION IN ANY STATE THAT DESTROYS COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS THAT HAVE BEEN IN PLACE IN THAT STATE. NO VACATION. NO MONEY.
you can camp out in my yard. bonfires don't cost anything. i'll share my beer with you too :) we're already broke, so we know how to party on a budget...
posted by g.i.r. at 6:14 PM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Live or not, someone from security asked the phone-camera-person to leave peacefully, at least to vacate the upper level, and the crowd began chanting "Hell no, we won't go!"

Twitter indicating that people are still trying to get in, food is coming in, and now they're chanting "One day longer -- one day stronger".
posted by dhartung at 6:15 PM on March 9, 2011


What happened in Wisconsin tonight -- Ezra Klein
posted by dhartung at 6:16 PM on March 9, 2011


escabeche, that's awesome -- it's a great piece.

This thing is so transparently illegitimate, I'm worried it's just a ploy to trick the Democratic senators to come back to Wisconsin.

For what it's worth, they seem not to be taking the bait. I'd suggest that the ploy may be directed not at the Dems but their base; a key GOP trick in the last few decades has been to pass transparently illegal or unconstitutional legislation as a sop to their base, and then turn around and raise more money off it when it's overturned by "activist judges." That could be Walker's face-saving exit strategy; let the courts invalidate it and rile up his own side's sense of righteous fury.
posted by gerryblog at 6:17 PM on March 9, 2011


http://twitter.com/DefendWisconsin/status/45667744754044928

Republicans are celebrating at Best Western Inn on the Park. Make life difficult for them.
posted by symbioid at 6:17 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Republicans get shit done. They lie, cheat, steal, bully and threaten, but at the end of the day, they get what they want and the American people respect them for it.

Fuck that. Billy Clint always said that our ideas are better than theirs. Saying we should act like republicans is like burning the village in order to save it. I understand the rage, because I feel it too, but eventually progressives always win, and we often do it with our dignity intact. Walker is going to end up as a sad footnote eventually.
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 6:18 PM on March 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


eventually progressives always win

[Citation needed]
posted by gerryblog at 6:20 PM on March 9, 2011 [15 favorites]


Is there anything setup so that people outside of Wisconsin can donate to funds to help the protesters? I mean, with really practical things like getting food there so people can keep occupying the Capitol. And so that if there is a general strike, there's money to help support the striking workers.
posted by overglow at 6:21 PM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm seriously considering taking a week off from work and heading out there with a Guy Fawkes mask, a loud boombox, and a Rick Astley's greatest hits cassette tape.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:21 PM on March 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'd be wary of any option that says wait around, do not act. When would the earliest recalls be?

The Supreme Court election, which will determine the ideological balance of the court, is in three weeks. It's impossible to imagine that a lot of this mess won't end up in court. Focusing on that race is not "waiting around."

The recall petitions for the eight R Senators have to finish gathering their signatures within the next sixty days.

People who want to block the Walker administration from continuing to act unchecked should supply whatever resources they can to those campaigns.
posted by escabeche at 6:21 PM on March 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, it's not live, dhartung - their live blog on the side says they are "playing back tape" from earlier. Boo.
posted by flex at 6:22 PM on March 9, 2011


overglow: It won't help the protestors or workers directly, but you can support the recall efforts.
posted by gerryblog at 6:22 PM on March 9, 2011


OK, now the video is showing GOPers leaving, so this was hours ago.

I completely agree with escabeche here. There are short-term aspects to this fight, but we need to think long-term.
posted by dhartung at 6:23 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Supreme Court election, which will determine the ideological balance of the court, is in three weeks. It's impossible to imagine that a lot of this mess won't end up in court. Focusing on that race is not "waiting around."

Thank you for that.
posted by cashman at 6:24 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


gerryblog: "overglow: It won't help the protestors or workers directly, but you can support the recall efforts."

Actblue is also raising money for TV ad buys.
posted by mkb at 6:24 PM on March 9, 2011


That sounds horribly plausible, gerryblog.
(Also, should have been "to trick...into coming back"...sorry.)
posted by uosuaq at 6:24 PM on March 9, 2011


I agree that we need to focus long term, but elections for democrats is ... well... unless they get the message, we're just gonna continue to get moderate/centrist dems, and with the attitude of "don't rock the boat" it seems like that's all we'd get.

We didn't get the 8 hour day by merely voting. We applied pressure every single step of the way. People died for that. Are we willing to die if necessary? How far are they going to go?
posted by symbioid at 6:26 PM on March 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


I've got 35 mins to get some alcohol ... do I?
posted by symbioid at 6:26 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pardon the long text: here's a hurriedly prepared writeup from a UW law prof about whether the Wednesday Night Surprise violates Wisconsin's open meeting laws. (Executive summary: seems like it, but the Dane County DA would have to bring suit to force the issue, and were the meeting found in violation, it would be at the court's discretion whether to void the results or merely to fine the participants.)


Brief notes on the alleged Wisconsin open meetings violation, by a former Legislation prof who ought to be prepping for a conference instead:



I'm not trying to be positive or negative, really! It just seemed like a neat puzzle to try to figure out, and I'm a sucker for puzzles (esp. when I should be cutting down 30 powerpoint slides into at least 15 or so for a 20 min presentation). Plus every now and then I get asked weird legislative analysis questions (sorry for never getting back to you, Victor! I just forgot for awhile and now just remembered but now I don't have time to respond.)



1. Does the Open Meetings Law even apply?



From the Wisconsin DOJ Open Meetings Law compliance guide (http://www.doj.state.wi.us/AWP/2007OMCG-PRO/2007_OML_Compliance_Guide.pdf):



Generally speaking, the open meetings law applies to the state Legislature, including the senate, assembly and any committees or subunits of those bodies. Wis. Stat. § 19.87. The law does not apply to any partisan caucus of the senate or assembly. Wis. Stat. § 19.87(3). The open meetings law also does not apply where it conflicts with a rule of the Legislature, senate or assembly. Wis. Stat. § 19.87(2). Additional restrictions are set forth in Wis. Stat. § 19.87.



So it does seem like the open meetings law applies here. But there is an exception that the Republicans might try to argue applies to the bill passed here:



The definition of “governmental body” explicitly excludes bodies that are formed for or meeting for the purpose of collective bargaining with municipal or state employees under Wis. Stat. ch. 111. A body formed exclusively for the purpose of collective bargaining is not subject to the open meetings law. Wis. Stat. § 19.82(1). A body formed for other purposes, in addition to collective bargaining, is not subject to the open meetings law when conducting collective bargaining. Wis. Stat. § 19.82(1). The Attorney General has, however, advised multi-purpose bodies to comply with the open meetings law, including the requirements for convening in closed session, when meeting for the purpose of forming negotiating strategies to be used in collective bargaining. 66 Op. Att’y Gen. 93, 96-97 (1977). The collective bargaining exclusion does not permit any body to consider the final ratification or approval of a collective bargaining agreement in closed session. Wis. Stat. § 19.85(3).



The argument would be that this meeting is for the purpose of collective bargaining (well, abandoning collective bargaining). My really really skimmy take is that this seems unlikely to apply, because the meeting didn't involve actually doing the bargaining, but was more about the bargaining process itself. But without a more extensive case law analysis, this could just be a matter of first impression. (State ex rel. Herro v. Village of McFarland, 303 Wis.2d 749 (2007) seems somewhat relevant, in that it allows for closure when collective bargaining with one party but not other affected parties, but it still involves actual bargaining, versus deliberating about the availability of bargaining.)



2. Suppose the open meetings law does apply, then what?



Again from the Wisconsin DOJ website:



The notice provision in Wis. Stat. § 19.84(2) requires that if the chief presiding officer or the officer’s designee knows at the time he or she gives notice of a meeting that a closed session is contemplated, the notice must contain the subject matter to be considered in closed session. Such notice “must contain enough information for the public to discern whether the subject matter is authorized for closed session under § 19.85(1).” Buswell, 2007 WI 71, ¶ 37 n.7. The Attorney General has advised that notice of closed sessions must contain the specific nature of the business, as well as the exemption(s) under which the chief presiding officer believes a closed session is authorized. 66 Op. Att’y Gen. 93, 98. Merely identifying and quoting from a statutory exemption does not reasonably identify any particular subject that might be taken up thereunder and thus is not adequate notice of a closed session. Weinschenk Correspondence, December 29, 2006; Anderson Correspondence, February 13, 2007. In State ex rel. Schaeve v. Van Lare, 125 Wis. 2d 40, 47, 370 N.W.2d 271 (Ct. App. 1985), the court held that a notice to convene in closed session under Wis. Stat. § 19.85(1)(b) “‘to conduct a hearing to consider the possible discipline of a public employee’” was sufficient.



I don't think this happened. But I honestly can't tell from the news accounts yet. Those of you who have more time, I urge you to look into it.



3. Okay, well, suppose we even assume that they didn't properly close the meeting and they did indeed violate the law. What's the remedy?



Still not a total win for the challengers. First, the quickest way to bring a challenge under WSA 19.97(1) is to get the attorney general or the district county of the county wherein the violation occurred to bring a suit.



(1) This subchapter shall be enforced in the name and on behalf of the state by the attorney general or, upon the verified complaint of any person, by the district attorney of any county wherein a violation may occur. In actions brought by the attorney general, the court shall award any forfeiture recovered together with reasonable costs to the state; and in actions brought by the district attorney, the court shall award any forfeiture recovered together with reasonable costs to the county.



The Wisconsin AG is unlikely to bring such a suit. So challengers would have to get on Ismael Ozanne's case to bring a suit. He's already said he won't bring a criminal investigation into Scott Walker for his prank-call suggestion that he considered bringing in fake protesters. (http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20110301/APC0101/110301089/Dane-County-District-Attorney-Ismael-Ozanne-No-criminal-investigation-into-Wisconsin-Gov-Scott-Walker-Democrats) I don't know what that says about challengers' chances here. But it suggests that getting him to go along wouldn't be a slam dunk, at least.



But if a pro bono lawyer wants to take it on, there's still a chance, because under WSA 19.97(4), you can do this



(4) If the district attorney refuses or otherwise fails to commence an action to enforce this subchapter within 20 days after receiving a verified complaint, the person making such complaint may bring an action under subs. (1) to (3) on his or her relation in the name, and on behalf, of the state. In such actions, the court may award actual and necessary costs of prosecution, including reasonable attorney fees to the relator if he or she prevails, but any forfeiture recovered shall be paid to the state.



You still need to give the DA a crack at it first, but after 20 days, you can bring the suit yourself. But it means you're taking on an attorneys' fee risk. Still, I can imagine there are a number of attorneys who might take the case on. But forfeiture (if recovered) wouldn't go to the challenger.



Moreover, what's can challengers get out of it? Again from the Wisconsin DOJ website:



Any member of a governmental body who “knowingly” attends a meeting held in violation of the open meetings law, or otherwise violates the law, is subject to a forfeiture of between $25 and $300 for each violation. Wis. Stat. § 19.96. Any forfeiture obtained in an action brought by the district attorney is awarded to the county. Wis. Stat. § 19.97(1). Any forfeiture obtained in an action brought by the Attorney General or a private citizen is awarded to the state. Wis. Stat. § 19.97(1), (2) and (4).



This isn't a lot, really. But aren't there other remedies, you might ask. Yes. Under WSA 19.97(3), you can also get



(3) Any action taken at a meeting of a governmental body held in violation of this subchapter is voidable, upon action brought by the attorney general or the district attorney of the county wherein the violation occurred. However, any judgment declaring such action void shall not be entered unless the court finds, under the facts of the particular case, that the public interest in the enforcement of this subchapter outweighs any public interest which there may be in sustaining the validity of the action taken.



Voiding of the bill is what I expect most challengers would want. But "Voidable" doesn't mean it must be voided. Again, culling from the Wisconsin DOJ website:



In addition to the forfeiture penalty, Wis. Stat. § 19.97(3) provides that a court may void any action taken at a meeting held in violation of the open meetings law if the court finds that the interest in enforcing the law outweighs any interest in maintaining the validity of the action. Thus, in Hodge, 180 Wis. 2d at 75-76, the court voided the Town Board’s denial of a permit, taken after an unauthorized closed session deliberation about whether to grant or deny the permit. Cf. Epping, 218 Wis. 2d 524 n.4 (arguably unlawful closed session deliberation does not provide basis for voiding subsequent open session vote); State ex rel. Ward v. Town of Nashville, 2001 WI App 224, ¶ 30, 247 Wis. 2d 988, 635 N.W.2d 26 (unpublished opinion declining to void an agreement made in open session, where the agreement was the product of three years of unlawfully closed meetings). A court may award any other appropriate legal or equitable relief, including declaratory and injunctive relief. Wis. Stat. § 19.97(2).



This is not to say that the Wisconsin DOJ website is the end-all and be-all. Just all that I have time to look up at the moment (plus a cursory skimming of Westlaw cases I called up, which really just ended up being the cases cited by the Wisconsin DOJ website, because there aren't a ton of cases out there.) But it's stuff that everyone on my facebook friends' list who's all, "WHOA OPEN MEETINGS LAW VIOLATION" should consider. (Not to dampen anyone's indignance! Just ultimately concluding that even proving a violation might not "win" very much for challengers.)



Some other stuff:



Looks like who brings the case might be at issue. See, e.g., State ex rel. Epping v. City of Neillsville Common Council, 218 Wis.2d 516 (1998) (holding that challenger needed a due process right in order to be able to bring a challenge to an alleged open-meeting violation when that alleged violation led to the termination of his employment when his employment contract was already terminable at will). So a more successful challenge might (again--I've only taken a superficial look at this, and I'm totally not a labor lawyer) have to involve a state worker. Not necessarily a problem, given that there are enough state workers mad enough to file challenges, just something to consider.

posted by escabeche at 6:27 PM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


eventually progressives always win

[Citation needed]


Yea, this is actually pretty obvious as we glance back through us history. Where exactly haven't we made progress?
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 6:28 PM on March 9, 2011


we're just gonna continue to get moderate/centrist dems, and with the attitude of "don't rock the boat" it seems like that's all we'd get.

Well, I understand your point, but the Dems in Wisconsin have been doing a pretty good job here I think (I'm not sure what else they could be doing). yeah, it takes this kind of ridiculous overreach by the Republicans to trigger it, but they appear to be rocking the boat plenty right now.
posted by wildcrdj at 6:29 PM on March 9, 2011


Republicans get shit done. They lie, cheat, steal, bully and threaten

- while Democrats run away and hide in another state. Regardless of which side you are on, their absence is pure political cowardice. Spineless, even. I would expect those I help elect to stand their ground and be present to stop today's bullshit. Ethically, legislators are not allowed to go on strike.
posted by Ardiril at 6:29 PM on March 9, 2011


A bunch of tweets saying the entrances have been flooded with protesters getting into the building and that the Capitol is "officially reoccupied".
posted by flex at 6:30 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I would expect those I help elect to stand their ground and be present to stop today's bullshit

You have absolutely no idea whats been going on, do you? Their absence is the only reason this didnt happen weeks ago.
posted by wildcrdj at 6:30 PM on March 9, 2011 [28 favorites]


The last 30 years? (Pro-tip... Bill Clinton wasn't a progressive, Obama isn't a progressive... Democrat and Progressive are not synonymous - holding the bay against a crushing tide isn't "progressing").

But I don't want to fight against you, because we are on the same side, and if there's one thing we need now, is unity. But don't expect us to unite and be all "hey, let's just vote and everything will be ok" and we can't just rely on the traditional, stale old political institutions. We need their support, we NEED the unions to work together, but we need to realize that it's more than just unions, and the rest of us non-union folk need to realize that it's a class war and they won't stop until we're all working in sweatshops.
posted by symbioid at 6:30 PM on March 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


Regardless of which side you are on, their absence is pure political cowardice. Spineless, even. I would expect those I help elect to stand their ground and be present to stop today's bullshit. Ethically, legislators are not allowed to go on strike.

Either this is a great ironic joke, or you really don't understand why they did that.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:32 PM on March 9, 2011 [25 favorites]


while Democrats run away and hide in another state. Regardless of which side you are on, their absence is pure political cowardice. Spineless, even.
you don't understand this, by a long shot. they've been working via phone and laptop every day, and trying to reach an agreement with Repubs every day. They just haven't been physically present - this was to deny the Repubs the ability to ram through a bill with destructive, far-reaching implications.
posted by g.i.r. at 6:32 PM on March 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


wildcrdj: "Well, I understand your point, but the Dems in Wisconsin have been doing a pretty good job here I think (I'm not sure what else they could be doing). yeah, it takes this kind of ridiculous overreach by the Republicans to trigger it, but they appear to be rocking the boat plenty right now"

I wholeheartedly agree, and have tried to argue this point in other threads where a couple people have said "fuck dems"... I'm not that way... I'm very proud of the State Senators, and am glad we *have* a progressive tradition to fall back on. They just need to know that they have to stick by us and we'll stick by them. So I'll vote gladly against the Repubs for this bullshit.

I just don't hold out much hope without a continued fight. A giant continuous push from below.
posted by symbioid at 6:33 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Atlas shrugged, workers mugged (sign)
posted by madamjujujive at 6:34 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Folks, seriously, stop feeding the troll.

At this point in history, after all these years online, hasn't anyone learned anything at all about trolling? Really? Really?
posted by aramaic at 6:34 PM on March 9, 2011 [10 favorites]



- while Democrats run away and hide in another state. Regardless of which side you are on, their absence is pure political cowardice. Spineless, even. I would expect those I help elect to stand their ground and be present to stop today's bullshit. Ethically, legislators are not allowed to go on strike.


Did you...did you just become aware of this story five minutes ago?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:34 PM on March 9, 2011 [13 favorites]


Wait, you mean... you mean there's this technology called "internet" that AT&T brought us that said we could work from beaches? We don't *have* to be in an office all the time?

And sorry, bucko... Ethically, Legislators should stand against the shit. If they were present, this would have gone through without a fight. You sound like a teabagger. Seriously? The people who voted for them fully well believe they're "doing their job".

Christ - Republican talking points. Ugh.
posted by symbioid at 6:35 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


"hey, let's just vote and everything will be ok"

This wasn't really my point. I was merely taking a longer view. Also, to quote someone else on mefi " I see Lenin when I turn to the right." It isn't a matter of what you and I, true bed- wetting liberals that we are, think of as progressive. It is what is progressive as compared to the status quo. With that in mind, I take Bill and Barak any day, just consider the alternatives.
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 6:35 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


OK, no but really - I've got like 25 minutes. Do I get shit to drink or what? Can't buy alcohol after 9 in WI, and I need you, the people, to vote for me.
posted by symbioid at 6:36 PM on March 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


eventually progressives always win

[Citation needed]

Yea, this is actually pretty obvious as we glance back through us history. Where exactly haven't we made progress?


Obviously this depends on the relevant timetable -- what two years are we comparing and what's happened in between? But to take up the subject at hand, the last thirty to forty years have seen a winnowing of union power such that collective bargaining rights as such are now under serious threat. And in fact the decades since the 1973 recession have seen an almost unbroken streak of rightward drift on nearly all economic issues; just look at tax rates and the GINI inequality index. Likewise on civil liberties and foreign policy; read the Guantanamo thread for more on that.

Sure, people are less (openly) racist and sexist than they were in 1945, but that fact alone doesn't mean "progressives always win."
posted by gerryblog at 6:36 PM on March 9, 2011 [10 favorites]


Where exactly haven't we made progress?

Income inequality has been increasing for decades. Real wages have been stagnant. Union density has been decreasing for decades. It's a nice story but it simply isn't true that progress is inevitable.
posted by enn at 6:36 PM on March 9, 2011 [20 favorites]


I think it also helps that this is an issue where centrists and progressives agree, so the Democratic Party is more helpful. I mean, I'm more of a centrist than a progressive myself and am just as outraged by this. There may be some disagreements about how exactly unions should function, but Democratic centrists (in the Clinton/Obama sense) are definitely pro-union.
posted by wildcrdj at 6:37 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I also agree with you on all that unity stuff.
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 6:37 PM on March 9, 2011


Twitpic: shot of inside the rotunda five minutes ago (via @philgarlic)
posted by flex at 6:37 PM on March 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


Wisconin, District 18 on the Communist World Map
posted by enn at 6:37 PM on March 9, 2011



Also: take note, Obama. Republicans get shit done. They lie, cheat, steal, bully and threaten, but at the end of the day, they get what they want and the American people respect them for it.

The American people respect winners and dispise losers and compromisers.


Who was it that said something like "the masses are feminine and want a strong leader to dominate them"? I think he may have been Austrian.
posted by acb at 6:37 PM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


symbiod, flip a coin.
posted by schyler523 at 6:38 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ardiril, two weeks ago at a union protest we all sang happy birthday to our State Senator and pledged to support him for staying away. We, his constituents.

Polls do show this is a wedge issue for them, with even large numbers of Democratic voters succumbing to the idea that they "aren't doing their job", but we pretty much assume that's because of poor media coverage of the issue in areas with little access to anything but local papers and cable (and self-reinforcing social media sources).
posted by dhartung at 6:39 PM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Get the beer.
posted by Leta at 6:40 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow. I wish I had a job so I could be part of a general strike.

Consider yourself an early adopter.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 6:41 PM on March 9, 2011 [15 favorites]


i vote beer.
posted by Glibpaxman at 6:41 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


This will allow Republicans to more easily raid pension funds to pay for tax cuts for the rich. Why steal billions when you can steal trillions?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:41 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Income inequality has been increasing for decades.

This is true, but I think in general quality of life terms, I will take now over the past. Anyway, I'm not trying to act like this isn't a big deal. It is more like I am looking forward to some future comeuppance. I know it isn't cool to be optimistic, but old people will keep dying, and social equality will slowly continue to advance. I see this incident as a particular nasty bump in the road.

Also: it is really fucking hard to keep up with this thread.
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 6:42 PM on March 9, 2011


"The armies separated; and, it is said, Pyrrhus replied to one that gave him joy of his victory that one more such victory would utterly undo him."
posted by escabeche at 6:43 PM on March 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


symbioid, I already got my liquor (a six-pack of Mike's). Run! Run like the wind!

It was actually a factor in my decision not to stop outside my assemblyman's house and yell "Shame! Shame! Shame!" -- I figured even with unopened alcohol in the car it would not wendell.
posted by dhartung at 6:45 PM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Moore is heated on Maddow's show.
posted by cashman at 6:47 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


It was actually a factor in my decision not to stop outside my assemblyman's house and yell "Shame! Shame! Shame!" -- I figured even with unopened alcohol in the car it would not wendell.

I totally envision this as a scene out of The Simpsons: you yelling "shame! shame! shame!" and Homer yelling at you "Beer! Beer! Beer!"

posted by scody at 6:48 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Legomancer at 6:51 PM on March 9, 2011


This is true, but I think in general quality of life terms, I will take now over the past. Anyway, I'm not trying to act like this isn't a big deal. It is more like I am looking forward to some future comeuppance. I know it isn't cool to be optimistic, but old people will keep dying, and social equality will slowly continue to advance. I see this incident as a particular nasty bump in the road.

For what it's worth, I agree with you. But a progressive cause progressing is the result of getting really fucking pissed when it's appropriate, such as now.
posted by Think_Long at 6:51 PM on March 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


symbioid...Boxer beer, from a canadian-owned company but brewed here in monroe, WI, is 36 cans for $10.99. 5% alc/vol. not as bad of a taste as you'd think for that price, and you can get pretty fuckin smashed in a hurry, for cheap.
fuck, i need one now.
posted by g.i.r. at 6:53 PM on March 9, 2011


Beer. Now.
posted by ahdeeda at 6:53 PM on March 9, 2011


I am in the Capitol. The crowd is huge. Wisconsin will NOT stand for these shenanigans.
posted by lriG rorriM at 6:55 PM on March 9, 2011 [48 favorites]


here we go, plunging back into the dark ages when wisconsin teachers and bureaucrats were forced to work 24/7 in unsafe conditions for a pittance. how could we have come to this?!
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:56 PM on March 9, 2011


Since I lived in Chicago, Huber Bock has found a special place in the part of my heart that I cherish easy drinking cheap beer.
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 6:56 PM on March 9, 2011


Fuck a badger.

The only thing keeping me to a modicum of despondency is that I've been reading about early labor fights in Chicago and Los Angeles the last couple of days. No labor supporters have had their houses bombed yet, so I guess that's progress!
posted by klangklangston at 6:57 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


here we go, plunging back into the dark ages when wisconsin teachers and bureaucrats were forced to work 24/7 in unsafe conditions for a pittance. how could we have come to this?!

In these tough economic times, we can only afford to pay them half a pittance. Sacrifice for all, tax hikes for none!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:58 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, Maddow has footage of Rep Peter Barca (Assembly Minority Leader, D-Kenosha) just going ballistic in the meeting insisting -- by reading from the law itself -- that what the GOP is doing violates the open meetings law, and the Rethuglicans basically just shouting him down and proceeding anyway. "Mr. Chairman, this is a VIOLATION OF LAW!" "Aye, Aye, Aye, and we're adjourned."
posted by scody at 6:58 PM on March 9, 2011 [12 favorites]


By the way, Huber's sold nationwide as Simpler Times at Trader Joe's. It's tasty and cheap!
posted by klangklangston at 6:58 PM on March 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Kind of fun watching the numbers go up on this ActBlue page. By my count they raised $1000 for the recall from 30 people in the last 15 minutes.
posted by escabeche at 7:00 PM on March 9, 2011


This is a win for us, politically. Walker is done. And I think the recalls will be awesome.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:02 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


You can also donate to the Madison IWW which is helping to organize the general strike.
posted by enn at 7:02 PM on March 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


If there's not drinking at the revolution, I won't come.
posted by stet at 7:03 PM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


on my second beer.
posted by desjardins at 7:04 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, as a self-employed person, I fully expect to spend tomorrow picketing my chicken coop in solidarity.
posted by stet at 7:04 PM on March 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


One can only hope this galvanizes enough people to limit the damage. We're going to see more of this garbage in other states before we're done.
posted by leslies at 7:07 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Rep. Jon Erpenbach (one of the WI 14) on Maddow: "We have open meetings laws in the state of Wisconsin for a reason.... My guess is that this will end up in court.... We are staying out of the state for the simple reason that we cannot trust the senate Republicans, we don't trust Governor Walker.... The entire state of Wisconsin is ashamed at those actions tonight. But we're not going to go back because there are still a lot of games they can play."

(Incidentally, Dale Schulz is the lone GOP senator who voted against the bill today.)
posted by scody at 7:09 PM on March 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Michael Moore to be on Rachel Maddow. What I wouldn't give for cable right now. Is there a live feed of her show online?
- desjardins


The Rachel Maddow Show has 2 podcasts, audio and video, put out on a nightly basis. They only stay up for roughly one day (or a weekend) until the next show is ready to replace it.

Go to http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8132577 and scroll down for more info and links for iTunes, Zune, and other podcast clients.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:09 PM on March 9, 2011


I think that I've read before that the progressive population has generally increased in each generation. Being an optimist, I look at events like this as opportunities to energize, educate and expand the active political base. And I classify these moves as last-ditch power grabs before the ship sinks the rest of the way. It's definitely on the way down.
posted by empyrean at 7:11 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Apparently protestors are considering forming a human chain across the eight-block-wide Madison Isthmus, obstructing all crosstown traffic.

Also, a reminder from PolitiFact Wisconsin on Walker's earlier statement that "I campaigned on (the proposals in the budget repair bill for Wisconsin) all throughout the election. Anybody who says they are shocked on this has been asleep for the past two years."
FALSE

Walker contends he clearly "campaigned on" his union bargaining plan.

But Walker, who offered many specific proposals during the campaign, did not go public with even the bare-bones of his multi-faceted plans to sharply curb collective bargaining rights. He could not point to any statements where he did. We could find none either.

While Walker often talked about employees paying more for pensions and health care, in his budget-repair bill he connected it to collective bargaining changes that were far different from his campaign rhetoric in terms of how far his plan goes and the way it would be accomplished.

We rate his statement False.

(Editor’s note: After this item was posted, a conversation surfaced between Walker and a person impersonating Walker campaign contributor and industrialist David Koch. In an audiotape released Feb. 23, 2011, Walker compares his union plan to a history-making act and portrayed his union plan as a "bomb."
posted by Rhaomi at 7:14 PM on March 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


Apparently protestors are considering forming a human chain across the eight-block-wide Madison Isthmus, obstructing all crosstown traffic.

I know I said this before but please work to ensure high student turnout in the Supreme Court election on April 5 instead of doing shit like this.
posted by escabeche at 7:19 PM on March 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


Apparently protestors are considering forming a human chain across the eight-block-wide Madison Isthmus, obstructing all crosstown traffic.

That's awesome.

please work to ensure high student turnout in the Supreme Court election on April 5 instead of doing shit like this.

How about in addition to?
posted by cashman at 7:22 PM on March 9, 2011 [10 favorites]


[root@wisconsin.gov ~]# userdel Scott Walker
[root@wisconsin.gov ~]# _
posted by localhuman at 7:23 PM on March 9, 2011 [13 favorites]


Another half-hour, another $5K for recall at the ActBlue site.
posted by escabeche at 7:24 PM on March 9, 2011


I know I said this before but please work to ensure high student turnout in the Supreme Court election on April 5 instead of doing shit like this.

I totally get where you're coming from, but let it be for the next two days at least; politics works best when there's emotion, and right now, the emotion I think is anger. The advantage of having a massive movement is that you can do both, cerebral plotting etc, and public demonstration of anger. The trick would be to galvanize all those people in the human chain to vote for the judges that you mention.
posted by the cydonian at 7:24 PM on March 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


YOU HAVE ANGERED THE BADGER.
posted by g.i.r. at 7:26 PM on March 9, 2011 [18 favorites]


Today, we are all Cheeseheads.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:28 PM on March 9, 2011 [15 favorites]


Apparently protestors are considering forming a human chain across the eight-block-wide Madison Isthmus, obstructing all crosstown traffic.

I imagine, if it happened, that the GOP would use pictures of that in their own campaign fundraising.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:28 PM on March 9, 2011


The trick would be to galvanize all those people in the human chain to vote for the judges that you mention.

And what about the people who can't get to work?
posted by escabeche at 7:28 PM on March 9, 2011


That's why they call it a strike.
posted by enn at 7:29 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I live two blocks from the Capitol and got home 45 minutes ago. Cars haven't stopped honking since I arrived -- mostly in the "This is what democracy looks like!" rhythm.

symbioid: Vic Pierce, on Sherman Ave. behind Oscar Mayer (by the Inferno), is open until 12. Thank you, Maple Bluff.
posted by Madamina at 7:36 PM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


instead of doing shit like this

You mean shit like what Egyptians did a month ago?

Meanwhile, in Michigan:
Legislation that would give broad new powers to emergency managers appointed to guide financially struggling cities and schools in Michigan moved one step closer to becoming law Wednesday, winning approval from the Republican-led state Senate.

The Senate passed the main bill in the package by a 26-12 party-line vote. The Republican-led House has passed similar legislation and the bills would head to Gov. Rick Snyder once differences are resolved between the two versions.

...Opponents of the legislation are concerned because emergency financial managers who are appointed by the state would have the power to terminate union contracts held by school teachers and local government workers. Democrats say the measures are an assault on collective bargaining.

Managers also could strip local elected officials of most powers, which Democrats say would lead to overwhelming authority invested in someone who is appointed from outside the community rather than elected by local voters.

...An amendment to the main bill that would have capped an emergency manager's salary at the approved annual pay rate of Michigan's governor — currently about $159,000 — failed under fairly unique circumstances. Senators tied on a 19-19 vote, and Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Calley broke the tie with a "no" vote, drawing some boos from protesters in the Senate gallery. One protester shouted "shame on you" after Calley's vote.
Ladies and gentlemen: your individual-freedom-loving, small government, fiscally responsible Republican Party!
posted by scody at 7:36 PM on March 9, 2011 [17 favorites]


General strike it is.
posted by Skygazer at 7:39 PM on March 9, 2011


video from the uptake
i don't think it's live, seems to be clips. sorry if this was already posted
posted by g.i.r. at 7:39 PM on March 9, 2011


And what about the people who can't get to work?

And lots of other concerns, sure. But at some point maintaining order becomes being complicit with those who need it to keep that foot on your neck.

You mean shit like what Egyptians did a month ago?

Exactly. Disrupting the social order and causing a dent in profits and order is something that will get them to actually change their minds. The idea is that if this is going to happen, it is going to affect everybody. I mean shit, this has already been a teddy bear puppy dog fluffity fluff protest. What do you want them to do, just stand still and whisper politely behind the barricades?
posted by cashman at 7:41 PM on March 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


This is so deeply upsetting, but I'm proud (having ancestral Wisconsin roots myself) to see that people are out and angry and protesting. Hopefully this will serve as a model for what will happen if the lunatic fringe Republicans continue to trample over our civil rights*.

*Unless you live in bizarro world collective bargaining is definitely an example of a civil right, or a right you are guaranteed upon entry to civil society. It's a liberal ideal and doesn't only mean "That one time in the 1960s."
posted by nonmerci at 7:41 PM on March 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, there's some crazy shit happening here, too, and we have our own protests building in Lansing.

On the political matrix test, I'm almost always in the lower left hand corner. Meaning I have a libertarian streak a foot wide and a mile long, but I am a liberal through and through.

This is what befuddles me: the Republicans get elected on a libertarian, small government, lower taxes, fewer services platform... and then they rule from a huge government, authoritarian standpoint.

And we keep electing them.

I don't get it.

Sorry for the derail.
posted by Leta at 7:42 PM on March 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


g.i.r. It's live, just cutting between different reporters
posted by desjardins at 7:45 PM on March 9, 2011


FUCK YEAH TRACTORCADE!
posted by stet at 7:46 PM on March 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


desjardins...are you sure ? i was listening before, when it was audio-only...i could swear that i heard some of the exact same conversations then....
posted by g.i.r. at 7:47 PM on March 9, 2011


The ad displayed when viewing this thread while logged out?

"Defund Obamacare"
posted by nomisxid at 7:47 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


In case anyone skipped over it in scody's link above, the Republican government of Michigan is preparing to create what amounts to "committies of public safety" which will have the power to dismiss local elected officials and unilaterally enact emergency laws.

Honestly people, this is basically two steps from martial law. Were being eased into it. Slowly.
posted by Avenger at 7:47 PM on March 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


What do you want them to do, just stand still and whisper politely behind the barricades?

No, I want them expend lots of money and boring hard work in order to get their voters to show up to a low-turnout election. That's what the GOP did in 2010 and that's how we got here.

What you call a "teddy bear puppy dog fluffity fluff protest" backed Walker into a corner and has made him the target of anger and derision throughout the state. Do you think it would have been the same if protesters had blockaded traffic?

I think if the Egyptians had had the option to recall Mubarak they might have tried that first.
posted by escabeche at 7:48 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Strategically I feel like this is going to turn out to be a major blunder for Republicans in 2012. Just last cycle I was saying that I didn't think gubernatorial elections are really all that important in the grand scheme of things. Wrong-o.
posted by BeerFilter at 7:54 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


posted by BeerFilter at 9:54 PM on March 9

Eponythreadical
posted by symbioid at 7:55 PM on March 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


Our (Australia's) Prime Minister was just talking to America. As head of the Labor Government I hope she said something to Obama about this....

Workers rights are taken so seriously here that a popular and successful government lost power for threatening them.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:56 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


stet: "FUCK YEAH TRACTORCADE!"

SATURDAY SATURDAY SATURDAY - LIVE AT THE CAPITOL SQUARE -- TRACTORZILLA!
With Special Guest: JIM HIGHTOWER!
posted by symbioid at 7:56 PM on March 9, 2011 [13 favorites]


symbioid - beer report !
posted by g.i.r. at 7:56 PM on March 9, 2011


I don't fully remember the details, but a while ago I heard that a necessary part of a bill becoming law in Wisconsin is that a physical representation of the law (like, paper) must be placed onto a particular board in the capitol building. Weird traditions, these.
posted by Jpfed at 7:57 PM on March 9, 2011


If we are going to get equality, if we are going to get adequate wages, we are going to have to struggle for it. Now, you know what, you may have to escalate the struggle a bit. If they keep refusing, and they will not recognize the union, and will not decree further check-off for the collection of dues, I'm telling you what you ought to do, and you're together here enough to do it. In a few days you ought to get together and just have a general work stoppage in the city of Memphis.

If you let that day come, not a Negro in this city will go to any job downtown. And no Negro in domestic service will go to anybody's house, anybody's kitchen. And black students will not go to anybody's school, and black teachers, and they will hear you then. The city of Memphis will not be able to function that day. All I'm saying is you've got to put the pressure on.
—MLK, March 18, 1968
posted by enn at 7:59 PM on March 9, 2011 [25 favorites]


Per the link about Michigan:
"Emergency managers"? Facilitating possible martial law??

Must...resist...urge...to Godwin...thread...
posted by nonmerci at 7:59 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


OMW to Vics! (thanks for the link!)

Will look for your Boxer, and if not, we'll see what I can find - may need liquor not beer. We'll see :P

Will report back in a half hour or so. Farewell comrades!
posted by symbioid at 8:01 PM on March 9, 2011


Jpfed: "I don't fully remember the details, but a while ago I heard that a necessary part of a bill becoming law in Wisconsin is that a physical representation of the law (like, paper) must be placed onto a particular board in the capitol building. Weird traditions, these."


KIDNAP THE BOARD

[badger.jpg]

SAVE DEMOCRACY
posted by Rhaomi at 8:01 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


It seems I misspoke. The new Michigan Emergency Commisars won't have the power to dismiss elected officials from office -- just the power to take away their budgeting decisions.

But what is that but a dismissal in all but name? A government without power over it's purse is merely a figurehead. These are dangerous times, folks.
posted by Avenger at 8:01 PM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


In case anyone skipped over it in scody's link above, the Republican government of Michigan is preparing to create what amounts to "committies of public safety" which will have the power to dismiss local elected officials and unilaterally enact emergency laws.

It was covered bigtime last night on Maddow too, if anyone has the link to that video where it was described in detail.

No, I want them expend lots of money and boring hard work in order to get their voters to show up to a low-turnout election. That's what the GOP did in 2010 and that's how we got here.

No I think you got there because people worked hard to get Obama in office, and then basically kicked back and relaxed. If there is a huge story about how nothing in the state can progress because people are outraged and literally blocking traffic with their own bodies, it empowers people and you won't have to worry about people having the drive to get people to the voting booth. The folks there will energize one another with the stories and make the moves when the time comes, whatever they may be.

I'd love to see you out there right now though, telling people not to be upset, calm down, chill out and let things be calm. That's all news needs right? To report a completely calm scene so they can say Walker's move went through just fine, that things are fine, now lets go talk about charlie sheen and Borders' bankruptcy and a large number of people would forget about everything by the weekend.

I get what you're saying - act strategically. But I think you need to get mad as hell and express it to remove that "should I" component from future actions. To remove that "welllll maybe the Republicans DO have some good ideas" crap that seems to infect people who aren't outraged and pissed and blocking thousand pound vehicles with their own bodies.
posted by cashman at 8:02 PM on March 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


As of this moment, $576,323 raised so far by ActBlue to recall the eight eligible Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate.

That includes the $50 I just sent. Pals, please put some money where your Fuck Yeah is!
posted by FLAG (BASTARD WATER.) (Acorus Adulterinus.) at 8:03 PM on March 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


Strategically I feel like this is going to turn out to be a major blunder for Republicans in 2012. Just last cycle I was saying that I didn't think gubernatorial elections are really all that important in the grand scheme of things. Wrong-o.

I would like to take this opportunity and say we (should) shall not say things like "the republicans are going to lose/fail/fuck up in/for 2012" until we find out for certain the day after the election in 2012. Because as we have seen, they have a certain persistence about them that takes advantage of any available amount of apathy (including that generated by said comments) that might be out there.

So let's follow through on this people. Sword fighters, I am pretty sure, didn't quit when their opponents got their blade stuck in a tree/bush/other tough plant (if that happened at all).

Thanks!
posted by JoeXIII007 at 8:05 PM on March 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


Bruce Springsteen needs to get down there and help out with the publicity.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:06 PM on March 9, 2011 [16 favorites]


Unfuckingbelievable.

Next they'll outlaw unions and hey'll have to start a phone tree

Then...
posted by zombieApoc at 8:06 PM on March 9, 2011


Indeed, an old friend emailed a few minutes ago to say:
"Just donated to support the recall effort on ActBlue. Good luck -- wish I could help out in a more direct way."

Here in the Azvandi household we skipped the beer and went straight to White Russians.
posted by Fin Azvandi at 8:07 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


What you call a "teddy bear puppy dog fluffity fluff protest" backed Walker into a corner and has made him the target of anger and derision throughout the state. Do you think it would have been the same if protesters had blockaded traffic?

General strikes are to remind the 2% at the top that there is a breaking point for the general population of tolerating their bullshit shenanigans. The only way to hurt those sad, heartless fucks is to threaten their wealth by shutting down daily economic activity. This only becomes popular when many people are already out of work or struggling anyway, so they figure, why not bring the bastards down with us?

Solidarity is quite effective as a bargaining tool. That's why the official party of business hates it: it makes negotiations at the economic table more equal for employees, which means less income inequality, which means money out of the pockets of CEOs who believe they should make 320 times what their average employee makes because they "deserve" it. To put that in perspective, even if their employees only made $7 an hour, they think they should make $2200 an hour. The top 25 hedge fund managers last year made an average of $480,000 an hour.

That's right; $480,000 an hour.

The propaganda will work for a little while longer. But pretty soon, even the most die hard Republicans are going to get it. Even though they almost deserve it, I hope the rich assholes don't stir everyone up into a mess that ends up in a real revolution with pitchforks and mob justice. Hopefully this general strike will make them less sure about their ability to propagandize and con the American public about the real roots of our economic hardship.
posted by notion at 8:10 PM on March 9, 2011 [42 favorites]


Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.

This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North and held and flogged at the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages and make no resistance, either moral or physical. Men may not get all they pay for in this world, but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others. - Frederick Douglass, 1857
posted by scody at 8:12 PM on March 9, 2011 [70 favorites]


Here in the Azvandi household we skipped the beer and went straight to White Russians.

A manhattan for miz mayhem. Thank you all for this thread. I'm so sputtering mad I have nothing to contribute, but it's wonderful reading all the links you guys are turning up. Wonderful in a "each link just pisses me off more," kind of way, that is.
posted by mollymayhem at 8:12 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is it folks. This is the final offensive on what's left of the popular funding and voting bases of the Democratic Party. If they win this fight, Citizens United will leave both parties irrevocably under the total control of corporate influence, forever. And they just took the first battle.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:16 PM on March 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think that I've read before that the progressive population has generally increased in each generation.

On a personal note, this seems to be a beneficial effect of the combination of the melt down of the middle class, and having at least one compassionate well educated friend
posted by Redhush at 8:19 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


"What this fight is really about is not unions vs. taxpayers, as we’ve been told. It’s a fight about who is going to pay for the crisis created by the wealthiest elite in this country,” Klein says. “Is it going to be regular working people? Or is it going to be the people who created this crisis? That’s the debate we need to have.”

**

Moore does get it. He gets it in a fundamental sense, the sense of having waited a very long time for some mass of citizens, somewhere in America, to say: “We have had it!"
A dream deferred long enough can give way, even in the most optimistic and hopeful of Americans, to cynicism and despair.
What Michael Moore 'Gets' About Wisconsin... and America
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream at 8:25 PM on March 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


per Michael Moore: calls for a nationwide student walkout on Friday afternoon.
posted by scody at 8:31 PM on March 9, 2011


They didn't pass the bill. They claim they did, but they didn't, the danger here is that "fake it until you make it" works.

There is a good case that the procedure was illegal. You're handing them victory by agreeing with them that their illegitimate actions in the building passed a bill. If everyone says - to their face - it didn't happen, and refuse to record it, and refuse to act on it and follow it through, then it didn't happen - and the evidence (there was no quorum and Walker insisted the union measures were budgetary) backs you.

if on the other hand, everyone believes they passed the bill, then they passed the bill.

Rage on the streets, but don't give an inch. And accepting that this illegal action somehow passed a bill is giving away the entire rope.

The let prove they passed a bill. Right now, they've succeeded in putting the onus on you to prove they didn't.
posted by -harlequin- at 8:31 PM on March 9, 2011 [14 favorites]


ActBlue in the last half hour:

8:03pm PST: $576,323

8:33pm PST: $603,927

Total raised to recall the eight eligible Republican senators in the last half hour:

$27,604

That's over $900 a minute.
posted by FLAG (BASTARD WATER.) (Acorus Adulterinus.) at 8:33 PM on March 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


They didn't pass the bill. They claim they did, but they didn't, the danger here is that "fake it until you make it" works.

The W-14 appeared to get that when they talked tonight. Aside from talking about how they do not trust the republicans, they also said they weren't coming back tomorrow, and how a strike may not be the best thing strategically because Walker could try to use it to privatize whatever sectors he can.

I would like to take this opportunity and say we (should) shall not say things like "the republicans are going to lose/fail/fuck up in/for 2012" until we find out for certain the day after the election in 2012. Because as we have seen, they have a certain persistence about them that takes advantage of any available amount of apathy (including that generated by said comments) that might be out there.

I can't agree with you enough. People just repeatedly say again and again that this republican is screwed or that republican is screwed. Even when Palin turned out to be dumber than four wet magazines under an old tire McCain/Palin still got more votes than Nader ever did. Again, this is how you know you're the bad guys, when you can just do all kinds of ridiculous shit and you still keep truckin.
posted by cashman at 8:38 PM on March 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


Does anyone know how the effort to recall the dems is going?
posted by VTX at 8:39 PM on March 9, 2011


A few general strikes through history (from the link to the general strike poster here):
- Chicago, New York, Cincinnati, and elsewhere, 1886 – First victory in the fight for an eight-hour day
- Toledo, OH, 1934 – First successful unionization of the auto industry.
- San Francsico, CA, 1934 – Unionization of all West Coast ports of the United States.
- Poland, 1980 – Began the process of democratic reforms that led to the end of Soviet control over the country.
- Egypt, 2011 – Brought the 30-year reign of an autocratic despot to an end"

Don't leave us out, sweetheart.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle_General_Strike (1919). I would be delighted should the Wisconsin General Strike follow on the general details of the Seattle strike, especially the labor-based replacement of government services.
posted by mwhybark at 8:39 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


whoops, somehow I trimmed the quote attribution, my bad.
posted by mwhybark at 8:41 PM on March 9, 2011


For those interested in the history and power of the strike in America, I recommend the excellent Strike by Jeremy Brecher. It is since out of print but it looks like you can read the whole thing on Google Books.
posted by nonmerci at 8:42 PM on March 9, 2011


Does anyone know how the effort to recall the dems is going?


In my northwestern town, the repubs tried a couple months ago, just to try to get rid of them, take a guess how few signatures they did get.
posted by usagizero at 8:44 PM on March 9, 2011


Fuck these guys.

$100 to actblue, they're now up to $616,157

Keep it coming...
posted by slapshot57 at 8:49 PM on March 9, 2011


You know what? The truth is, I have no idea what tactics will and won't work. I've been completely taken by surprise several times already during this whole process. Everybody just do what feels useful.
posted by escabeche at 8:50 PM on March 9, 2011 [9 favorites]



Even if the bill is illegal, the State AG has to pursue it.

You know, Republican J.B. Van Hollen ?


You know, it is funny that there aren't any palm trees here because it does start to resemble a banana republic.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:52 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Act Blue suddenly dropped to $610K
posted by bz at 8:53 PM on March 9, 2011


Just threw $100 ActBlue's way, myself.
posted by Kikkoman at 8:53 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


The truth is, I have no idea what tactics will and won't work. I've been completely taken by surprise several times already during this whole process.

I think we're all that way - it's a discussion where hopefully some good ideas come out and a course of action that will be productive emerges. Don't take the discussion as combative! Unity. Like we say in basketball games when we're going for the same object and almost get in each other's way - "same team."
posted by cashman at 8:54 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am too tired from grading exams until 3 AM last night and teaching all day (9 AM - 10 PM) today for barely sustainable pay and modest benefits (thanks, Union, for the latter!) to really muster a comment, here, despite the gravity of the situation, so I will leave it at this:

SOLIDARITY.

Wisconsin: we stand with you.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:56 PM on March 9, 2011 [12 favorites]


PS: Hedge-fund managers with whom I went to law school now engaged in your grotesque e-endzone dances on Facebook about this shit? Yeah, we were never friends to begin with and we sure as shit are not Facebook "friends" now. Goodbye.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:59 PM on March 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


I never, ever give money to causes, but I just gave 20 dollars to the recall effort.
posted by codacorolla at 8:59 PM on March 9, 2011


BACK!

Went to Vic's they were busy - got some Bell's Hopslam -- expensive as shit - should've got liquor, but then I'd overdo it, and that's not good, not at this point in the game. Forgot that part of town, took a right on Packers to Northport then backtracked all the way on Sherman. Doh! Anyways, then after I picked it up (decided to drive up to the Capitol).

Not a lot of honking at first. The outerloop was open, but the innerloop was blocked by the fuzz. Then I heard some honk on the group of cars stopped to our left, the lights turned and we turned right, then our group started to honk. As our group turned by the first turn, there was a poor guy with a sign that said "STOP! Honk of you're a jackass" Normally I'd assume he's a teabagging thug, but honestly, I think he's just a kid trying to sleep. That said, I'm a jackass, so....... BEEP BEEP...

You know how hard it is to beep to the rhythm "What's disgusting? Union Busting!" But we did it. The cars got more packed on the King street side, with more honking.

Only did one loop. Have shit to do yet tonight and had to report back to y'all.
posted by symbioid at 8:59 PM on March 9, 2011 [14 favorites]


A quote from the mayor who helped put down the strike from that Wikipedia article on the Seattle General Strike strikes me as funny at this particular historical moment:

The so-called sympathetic Seattle strike was an attempted revolution. That there was no violence does not alter the fact... That is to say, it puts the government out of operation. And that is all there is to revolt–no matter how achieved.

He was arguing that the striking laborers were dangerous revolutionaries because they were willing to go so far as to shut down the government. Wonder if anyone will call Republicans in the House dangerous revolutionaries if they go through with their threats to force a Federal government shutdown?
posted by saulgoodman at 9:00 PM on March 9, 2011


In the overnight lull, I'd be interested if anyone wants to post how the major or most influential local news outlet in your area is covering (or not) this story.
posted by cashman at 9:01 PM on March 9, 2011


the UpTake seems to be repeating footage, meanwhile people on Twitter are talking about state troopers getting ready to clear the place ??
posted by desjardins at 9:01 PM on March 9, 2011


FUCK I HIT MY FAVORITE LIMIT! Damnit mods! Stop that shit.
posted by symbioid at 9:01 PM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


ActBlue in the last hour:

8:03pm PST: $576,323

8:33pm PST: $603,927

9:03pm PST: $621,382

Total raised to recall the eight eligible Republican senators in the last hour:

$45,059

It's after midnight on the East Coast, and we're still raising $750 each minute to retire these pigs.
posted by FLAG (BASTARD WATER.) (Acorus Adulterinus.) at 9:05 PM on March 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


This is appalling and I have read every comment here. Couldn't agree more that the biggest mistake is to say "Well, Walker's done for now!" Everyone who has pointed out that that's that apathy that loses elections is correct!

I am proud to be a born-and-raised Wisconsinite and know firsthand that Wisconsin will not stand for this shit. I'm also anxious, now that I live halfway across the country. Sending my $25 to ActBlue, as soon as their server stops acting up. (Please to forgive my incoherence at this hour.)
posted by Zephyrial at 9:05 PM on March 9, 2011


post how the major or most influential local news outlet in your area is covering (or not) this story.

from wausau - local paper and ABC affiliate only have the barest of facts, literally 2 paragraphs. shit like this is the reason that mindless morons have been putting pro-walker garbage on the bulletin board at work (at a union factory !!!)
posted by g.i.r. at 9:06 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Even if the bill is illegal, the State AG has to pursue it.

You know, Republican J.B. Van Hollen ?


yes, but it was Van Hollen that Peter Barca was quoting as he was insisting that the vote itself was a violation of the open meetings law.
posted by scody at 9:07 PM on March 9, 2011


I'd just like to say that I love Midwestern people of the northern variety, especially in the rare instances that they get angry.
posted by localhuman at 9:09 PM on March 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


Even if the bill is illegal, the State AG has to pursue it.

I just passed a bill that undoes their bill, and I'm not even in the same state, but it counts just as much because I followed the right procedures and stuff, except when I didn't, and I'm a duly elected quorum, except when I'm not.

I don't see why the State AG has to pursue it. Would the State AG have to pursue it on behalf of Walker if the Dems likewise "passed" a bill invalidating Walker's? Or passed a bill declaring that Walker didn't exist?
posted by -harlequin- at 9:14 PM on March 9, 2011


Well it's time to go get pokie my pickfork and McLighterson my torch from the garage. I really don't see another way outta this that could be considered diplomatic.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 9:15 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, Republican J.B. Van Hollen ?

Wait until you meet J.B. Van Hagar.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:16 PM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Whoa, sorry. Clearly sleep-deprived. Goodnight, MeFi.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:16 PM on March 9, 2011


To a certain extent, Scott Walker is what he is, at this point. No one should negotiate (if they're allowed to) with him in good faith. I get it already. But there was not a single Republican Senator in Wisconsin to stand up and say "hey guys maybe this isn't such a great idea?". Especially doing it in some kind of sneaky, middle-of-the-night manner? Didn't it dawn on them that credibility and the public's trust are more valuable to them than the outcome of any single vote? Just asking.
posted by newdaddy at 9:18 PM on March 9, 2011


The Oregonian has the story as the third headline down in a news 'roundup'. Interestingly, the large photo accompanying the article is Republican Dale Shulz, with the caption stating he is "the lone Republican voting against the bill." The tone is hard for me to parse, because it seems kind of inconsistent (The Oregonian is a conservative paper by Northwest standards). It notes how "bitter" the political atmosphere is, says the vote took the Democrats "by surprise," that it will increase "anxiety" for union-workers nation-wide, that it is "controversial" and that its passage is "all but assured." Not very critical in any sense of the word, but there you have it!
posted by nonmerci at 9:18 PM on March 9, 2011


Right now as I type this CBC Ideas is airing a program about Anarchism (the philosophy): why do we need the state?
posted by KokuRyu at 9:20 PM on March 9, 2011


But there was not a single Republican Senator in Wisconsin to stand up and say "hey guys maybe this isn't such a great idea?".

Yes, there was a single one who did this - Dale Schulz.
posted by scody at 9:20 PM on March 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wasn't the no vote a Republican? I don't think Barca actually voted there, but that scene was a little hard to make sense of.
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:20 PM on March 9, 2011


Barca is the Assembly Minority leader - the clips you've probably seen were of him speaking in the ultra-brief Joint Committee meeting before the stripped bill was sent to the Senate.
posted by Fin Azvandi at 9:25 PM on March 9, 2011


Ok, I sorta take it back then. God bless Dale Schulz.

But the rest of them ought to be ashamed of themselves.

I never liked cheddar anyways-
posted by newdaddy at 9:26 PM on March 9, 2011


post how the major or most influential local news outlet in your area is covering (or not) this story.

This would be CBC Vancouver with it's usual tepid take on the matter and a comment board mostly favoring the unions.

And, this would be Global TV Vancouver which has more context including the fact that Walker never campaigned on this in the election.

As for the two local dailies, I can't bear to link to them they are so heinous in general.

And, I would like to add that my thoughts are with the people fighting for their rights and their dignity in Wisconsin. I don't think a lot of people elsewhere realize that this is a lot larger than just Wisconsin or even the USA for that matter. The right wing everywhere is watching also to see if Walker can get away with it and if he does, this will only embolden union bashing in other jurisdictions around the world. So, Go Wisconsin!! (Reaching for the metaphorical cheese hat)
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 9:27 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


John of the Mountain Goats shows solidarity.
posted by Maaik at 9:33 PM on March 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


This is a good start (the protests, not the dirty Republican tricks).

But it needs to be more than government workers. We cant be the only working folk who earn a decent wage and have good benefits in this country. We need the middle class to stand up and re-unionize, fight back for what they can get - I don't care if its Walmart Greeters local 502, you've got to fight for your rights, fight for a middle class.
posted by SirOmega at 9:35 PM on March 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


ActBlue in the last ninety minutes:

8:03pm PST: $576,323

8:33pm PST: $603,927

9:03pm PST: $621,382

9:33pm PST: $640,765

Total raised to recall the eight eligible Republican senators in the last ninety minutes:

$64,442

Over $700 a minute, and most of the United States is asleep.

You're not -- so go donate!
posted by FLAG (BASTARD WATER.) (Acorus Adulterinus.) at 9:36 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I never liked cheddar anyways-.

What about delicious vermont cheddar?
posted by el io at 9:36 PM on March 9, 2011



I actually don't see what all the fuss is about. Just seems like another group getting their freedom and rights crushed.

Just another day in China, er America.
posted by bengalsfan1 at 9:38 PM on March 9, 2011


Michael Moore on Rachel Maddow tonight: "If you live within driving distance of the Wisconsin capitol, GO THERE. This is WAR."
posted by scody at 9:45 PM on March 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


I was thinking earlier today that the most destructive, dadaist, anarchic, nihilistic, thing anyone could do would be to actively promote the Republican agenda. Destroy the human race...just for the lulz.

I am not suggesting anyone do this.
posted by Xoebe at 9:59 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Just got back from the protest in downtown Milwaukee. A reporter from TMJ4 lied right in front of me, saying that there were people there marching in support of Walker. Unless if he was referring to himself, there wasn't one.
posted by drezdn at 10:00 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Police in the live feed are amazingly reasonable
posted by GilloD at 10:04 PM on March 9, 2011


Someone up thread (haven't had the chance to read every comment) said that we underestimate Palin/Walker and the like when we call them stupid.

The thing is, while Walker has made some shrewd moves, he's shown himself to be not that bright over and over again. When he tried a stunt like this to privatize the Courthouse security in Milwaukee, it backfired on him.

He's not a great legal mind, and as such, is likely to try things that aren't legal. It may take time, but there's a good chance they'll be shot down eventually.
posted by drezdn at 10:06 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I haven't read most of the comments in this thread yet--I left work a little after six and didn't have access to a computer for most of the night while the shit and the fan were colliding. When I (finally) got home, I rode over to the capitol for forty minutes of therapeutic shouting (whose house? Our house! That's right, motherfuckers) and solidarity. I live about three miles away, and I didn't leave home 'til just after ten, and for the whole of the three miles, there were cars around me honking out THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE. When I got to the capitol, the doors were wide open and there were a pair of old guys standing on the steps waving the American flag and the flag of Wisconsin. The honking right around the capitol is incessant, and the chanting and cheering inside is intense. There's a lot of anger, but there's also a really strong feeling of determination in there.

I keep coming back to "inspiring" as the best word to describe the protests (and the protesters) for me. I feel like this is a movement that might accomplish something? It feels a lot like the same enthusiasm and energy as when Obama was campaigning, except that with Obama, people were hanging all their hopes on one individual and there was no way he could fulfill their expectations so there was no way people could help but be disappointed. Right now in Madison, we have that same kind of energy, but we're pinning our hopes on ourselves; we're saying that we can work together to fight for our rights and we can help each other and make a difference and we don't need to be saved by anyone because we can do the saving ourselves. And writing that out in words, I self-consciously feel like maybe I'm just being totally naive, but... I still have hope. So I emailed my boss that I'd be out tomorrow, and now I'm crashing on my lives-close-to-the-capitol friend's couch, and in the morning, I'll be back up there for the rallies.
posted by Vibrissa at 10:10 PM on March 9, 2011 [76 favorites]


In BC the Campbell government successfully and unilaterally imposed a contract and subsequently unilaterally broke the contract.

Wisconsin is in much the same boat. Don't let them get away with it. The next step is to sell stuff off their cronies. The KochWalkers are gonna take everything they can as fast as then can.

It's a hit and run burglary. Drive through the front window, grab everything they can, and get away fast before the cops can show up.

A general strike and recall and do-over is the concrete bollard in front of the window.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:12 PM on March 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is the first time that I've seriously thought the call to the national guard may be coming. I still think that is several steps down the road, but Walker has proven himself to be one of those idiots who will do whatever it takes to win, and at this point if the vote can't be challenged legally a General strike may be on the way, given how the firefighters and many police unions feel, the next step Walker has so far as "on the ground" force is the Guard.

Lord hopes it does not come to that, but for the first time I think it is a real possibility.
posted by edgeways at 10:13 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


That was beautiful, Vibrissa.
posted by drezdn at 10:13 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


For someone with a longer political and better political memory than me, did a politician that one the presidency or vice presidency ever do something this extreme (or move the overton window this much) before they were elected at the national level?
posted by drezdn at 10:20 PM on March 9, 2011


Right now in Madison, we have that same kind of energy, but we're pinning our hopes on ourselves; we're saying that we can work together to fight for our rights and we can help each other and make a difference and we don't need to be saved by anyone because we can do the saving ourselves. And writing that out in words, I self-consciously feel like maybe I'm just being totally naive, but... I still have hope.

I would say it's actually the opposite of naive: it's a clear understanding that no one politician -- and no major party under our present system -- is a substitute for a mass movement. The eight-hour day, women's suffrage, civil rights: those things came about not because politicians were voted in to grant them to us from on high, but because literally millions of people came together to demand them, to make it politically untenable to withhold them any longer.
posted by scody at 10:24 PM on March 9, 2011 [30 favorites]


I feel like I should hop on a flight to Wisconsin and bring homemade cookies. I don't know why, but in times of turmoil, I feel like I should provide cookies.
posted by rachaelfaith at 10:28 PM on March 9, 2011 [17 favorites]


COOKIES!!!!!!! Sweet sweet 1000 dollar cookies! (I looked at your profile and there is no cookie that I love more than macadamia-whitechocolatechip, btw ;P)
posted by symbioid at 10:36 PM on March 9, 2011


ooh, I'd bake cookies, too. Is there a way to organize COOKIES FOR MADISON??
posted by scody at 10:38 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


We could probably start a Facebook group...but where do we send them?
posted by schyler523 at 10:39 PM on March 9, 2011


Seriously, if I had an address to send cookies to, I would do it this weekend. Money's tight and overnight shipping is expensive, but how often do you get to send cookies to a bunch of protesters that are probably freezing their butts off in the name of what's fair?
posted by rachaelfaith at 10:41 PM on March 9, 2011


Wow. Wow. Got a tweet about the bullshit about 5:30, and got back downtown about 6:10. Big crowd pressing against the King Street entrance. A good bit of unison chanting, but a good bit of tactical argument. Crowd definitely dense. 1 double-door and one revolving door in use, but moving slow because of the securtity screen inside of it.
Once inside the doors, very crushed, very frustrated crowd. The usual chants, and a couple of us eventually raise up a round of "peace...and solidarity" just to chill us out a bit. The cops on the TSA line very chill, very cursory, line actually moving well.
In the rotunda, a familiar but sharper sound. A couple of thousand people. At first pressed up against the chamber, then organized around the rotunda. [Possibly apochryphal: did an Ian's pizza delivery get through to produce that cheer?).
Stupidly, I exit to reconnect with friends (try for the wrong door and I get as close as I've experienced to a cop shoving me).
Doors are shut. A lot of pissed off people, growing every minute. We circle, we gather. One guy climbs the outer wall to a balcony but we loose sight of him. Word passes to organize outside to make an impression for the 10pm news.
Then suddenly everyone in sight is runing for the E. Washington street entrance, up a flight of stone steps to the second floor. The balcony is icy and a lot of us are shouting "slow down! peace! there's ice here." But the doors are open, and the noise is incredible.
Before, when I got in, there were cops at every choke point. Now, they've clearly either adjusted to the situation or adopted a new strategy--or the unionized blue have executed a beautifully subtle job action. There's a few (enormous) state patrol guys, and a couple of capitol cops, but soon almost all the doors are open, and people are just coming in (and some going out).
Once it's clear that the re-occupation is established, and we old folks are sated on the noise, we leave to feed the dogs. Earlier, on the roads around the capitol square, there'd been cars circling and honking, until the police closed the roads. When we get to the car, parked in a garage on the "outer loop," we find it almost jammed with circling cars. We join them for a loop, call-and-responding beeps to the beat of "show-me-what-democracy-looks-like! this-is-what-democracy-looks-like!"
At home, on the DVR, the news seems tepid.
See y'all tomorrow.
posted by Mngo at 10:43 PM on March 9, 2011 [30 favorites]


I really wanted to go down to Madison tis weekend, but would have to leave at 3 am to get there in time for the tractor-cade. I then heard Walker is going to be in Washburn WI for a Lincoln Day diner.. that is little over an hour away, and they are organizing a fairly big protest for it. I think seeing as Walker himself will be there I'm going to head to Washburn instead, and try and pull as many people as possible over to it.
posted by edgeways at 10:44 PM on March 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


Why not auction them off and donate the proceeds to the ActBlue recall fund. MeFi itself is probably not the bestest venue for this, but given the gaggle of MeFi affiliated sites and level of technical competence, someone is likely to have something up in a few hours if enough bakers chime in.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:44 PM on March 9, 2011


schyler523: "We could probably start a Facebook group...but where do we send them"

MAH BELLEH!
posted by symbioid at 10:46 PM on March 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


COOKIES DELIVERY. Let me check with my family in the area. (By "area" I mean "like four blocks from the capital.") They might be too confused by the idea of receiving Internet Cookies, But No Really The Good Kind, but it can't hurt to ask.
posted by librarina at 10:47 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cookies against Koch?
Hmm... The Hopslam is kicking in and my brain cells can't think of a cool name for the idea.

But a bake sale for the revolution??? (as Kid Charlemagne suggested) might just be a fucking AWESOME IDEA!
posted by symbioid at 10:48 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


BAKE SALE FOR THE REVOLUTION. Hells yes. Count me and my chocolate truffle brownies IN like Elizabeth Gurley FLYNN!
posted by scody at 10:54 PM on March 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


@peterdaou: As I've said, the right's target list speaks volumes: unions, scientists, academics, public broadcasters, health providers, women. #WIunion
posted by dhartung at 10:54 PM on March 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


> I can't wait for all those new jobs in Wisconsin to magically grow from the grave of an organized public sector.

Y'know, I always expected the big, Republican, fuck-you-Middle-class Oases to spring up somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon line -- somewhere like Virginia or Texas. It's surprising to see all of this class intolerance springing up in a heretofore assumed 'Liberal' climate.

Then again, I guess there's no shortage of dystopic rich people, like the Koch Brothers.
posted by vhsiv at 10:56 PM on March 9, 2011


Folks not to be a downer but take the money you spent on cookie ingredients and donate it instead.
posted by PenDevil at 10:57 PM on March 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


a 12:30 minute short documentary on the protest, by a local (Duluth) filmmaker
posted by edgeways at 10:58 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


PenDevil is correct. This is just like disasters. Don't send blankets, send cash so the locals can supply blankets. Buying Ian's Pizza or whatever is also obviously pretty much the same thing. There was a list of businesses that have been supportive; I imagine it will soon turn up again.
posted by dhartung at 11:00 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


PenDevil: Can't I do a little of both?
posted by rachaelfaith at 11:00 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


But if I must, I can try to organize a local bake sale (I go to Rutgers, hungry college kids) and donate the proceeds from that.
posted by rachaelfaith at 11:02 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Folks not to be a downer but take the money you spent on cookie ingredients and donate it instead.

You do know it's not an either/or proposition, right?
posted by scody at 11:02 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Cookie ingredients cost like $3 for like two dozen cookies. I can still donate a twenty (or two!) even after I buy flour and sugar.
posted by librarina at 11:03 PM on March 9, 2011


Indeed it shall. Here is the list of businesses that are taking donation money for the protestors.

I strongly urge people to donate through the grocery stores, a lot of other people are going to be buying pizzas and the like, from what I've heard, veg*n and gluten free foods have been scarce. I imagine the grocery stores have a better idea of the type of things people need than we do.
posted by thebestsophist at 11:08 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh come on, I'd be willing to bet that folks who like the idea of sending cookies have been donating already (money, pizzas, etc.) for weeks and will continue doing so, cookies or not. If an individual in Madison is willing to receive and distribute baked goods (if someone like that really does, in fact, volunteer), this is not at all comparable to draining the labor resources of the Red Cross by sending literally tons of used clothes and expired canned goods to be sorted through in the aftermath of an earthquake.

*shrugs* Oh well. This has given me the idea to make a couple of batches of brownies (cost: about $4) and send them to friends in Madison directly who've been demonstrating daily. This will not preclude my ability to continue donating in a variety of ways, though I find it strange that some people appear to assume that it would.

posted by scody at 11:27 PM on March 9, 2011


It isn't about winners and losers and who the voters respect there. Okay, maybe a little, but not really.

It's about comprehensive voting versus single-issue voting. This is the Republicans' biggest gun and they are in the process of shooting themselves with it.

Democratic politicians, at least the good ones, present a plethora or practical ideas, with the hope that voters will see that life will be better under the grand scheme of their plans.

Republican politicians, on the other hand, don't need to have a comprehensive plan. Their ideas can be, and all are, completely self-serving and divisive, bigoted and hateful. It doesn't matter, because they simply need to be loud, vitriolic, and set at odds against every single of the Democratic planks.

Because one by one, they will get voters afraid enough of a single Democratic plank - and it will be different for everybody - to get them to vote against 99% of their own self-interest in facor of the 1% of mischaracterized bullshit which frightens them to their core.

Most Republican voters are, de facto, single-issue voters. But only because the party leaders have exploited their fears so much as to make mindless fear their only real platform. And once you've bought in for a penny, they'll be happy to sell you on the pound of other bullshit they have waiting in the wings. This is accomplished by "teaching" the viewers/listeners/readers about things they don't know. For all we can say about it, FOXNews wouldn't be so popular if the common American weren't at least interested and curious.

So, a person "learns" something new, or is presented with a novel argument about something. They feel smarter. They feel proud and newly educated. They mention this fact/argument to someone else, who explains why it is wrong. Now they feel stupid/duped. By instinct, they will try to gain the upper ground once again, and demonize those who made them feel stupid; not those who told them the lies, but those who pointed out the lies.

Coming home from seeing family at Thanksgiving, I was stuck for hours in an awful terminal in Dallas with only a newsstand and an overpriced coffeestand. Eventually I broke down and bought a copy of The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown, because it was set in DC (my current hometown) and I was curious.

I'd read The Da Vinci Code, and was fascinated by all of the information it had to teach me. Same with Angels & Demons, which I read later. The Lost Symbol, however, was about DC (a town I know well), Freemasons (I'm not a member but I'm friends with some) and Noetic Science (a.k.a. not a science anymore than fucking homeopathy or magic crystals are.) The book presented a D.C. that was completely unfamiliar to me in any way, a view of the masons which had no bearing on reality, and promoted positive thinking as the next great scientific breakthrough, that was so important that there was a conspiracy to prevent its publication.

In short, the bullshit came close enough to home that I realized nothing Dan Brown had ever written was true, despite his claims to the contrary at the start of each book. At a layover in Houston, a Nun saw me with the book, which I was trying by that point to hide the cover of, and gushed about how much she love the Da Vinci Code. I wept inside that she didn't know enough about the religion she served to know that Brown's version was completely made up.

The point is that Republicans are the Dan Brown of politics, but a lot of the time, when they talk about anything people actually know about, people realize that they're full of shit. Not always, but enough of the time. In Wisconsin, now is one of those times. It turns out most people like and treasure teachers, and don't want to see their unions destroyed.

And that's how divisive, singe-issue politicians kill themselves. They actually act on their rhetoric. And once people see it, it strikes too close to home, and the Dan Brown bullshit-meter kicks in, and there's no coming back from that.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:27 PM on March 9, 2011 [28 favorites]


I live in Milwaukee.

A new guy moved in on my block last year with his beat up pick-up truck with giant knobby off-roading wheels and the back covered in "WALKER FOR GOVENOR" and "WISCONSIN REPUBLICAN" bumper stickers.

In the past week, I noticed the bumper stickers had been removed or covered and in the back window of the truck was a UNION sign.

I'm happy to say, the Republicans really stepped in it this time.
posted by j03 at 11:44 PM on March 9, 2011 [43 favorites]


I forgot to add: I'm half a lawyer and I don't begin to understand laws preventing striking. It is not against the law to stop going to your job. It is not against the law to peaceably assemble. The employer may bring in scabs but those two rights above, which make up the entirety of what "striking" consists of, are pretty inalienable.

Oh, and BigSky, a libertarian making an exception against collective bargain on it's own is weird, what with Atlas Shrugged being the manual there and all. Making an exception against educated teachers and saying that as long as the government is determining the pay makes all the difference is hypocritical irony enough to help me laugh myself to sleep tonight.

So thank you.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:06 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


The line of shame...

These are some of the GOP Senators who just voted to take workers rights away. They are slinking away from the people.
posted by edgeways at 12:09 AM on March 10, 2011 [12 favorites]


Oh, one more thing.

Never, ever forget. This is not about cutting teacher salaries in order to balance the budget.

This is about paying blood money in order to hold onto the Bush tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans.

Bush gave them the cuts knowing they'd never give them up. This is what that looks like. Teachers are te ones paying for the richest right now. Everyone against the teachers needs to remember that, BigSky.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:16 AM on March 10, 2011 [19 favorites]


I want to just inject this into the thread before I go to sleep:

don't be too upset. We're winning this one. And if you don't believe me, all you have to do is what I did last weekend and take the time to go to Madison on Saturday. I honestly don't think there's a force on Earth that will defeat that. And if you do believe me, come and join in the victory for the working people that's going down right now. I'll see you on Saturday.
posted by Subcommandante Cheese at 12:20 AM on March 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


11:32 Alaska time. Act Blue donations register over $682,500 including my $100. I wish I could be down in Madison but I'll send my money instead. I'm also calling my mom tomorrow and convincing her to donate some... and my aunt. To everybody spending time in protest, thanks for looking after my right to a humane workplace and convincing me that there is hope there will be a check to the Republican's war on the working and middle class.
posted by Foam Pants at 12:38 AM on March 10, 2011


Don't let the fuckers win.
posted by maxwelton at 1:29 AM on March 10, 2011


I, for one...bollocks.
posted by arcticseal at 3:03 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd bake cookies for this (warning, self-link). Would have to ship them, but I think if I cut the butter down enough they'd probably make the trip.

It saddens me to watch this happen, over and over. Not because "my side" is losing. Not because "their side" is winning. Not because a vocal plurality of people actually seem to support fuck-you-got-mine as a political philosophy. No, I'm sad because policies have consequences.

The systematic stepping back of the rights of individuals (a subtly different concept from individual rights, a distinction which doesn't fit into a ten-second sound-bite) to follow a twisted ideology of "self-reliance" (one could translate this latter to Juche if were so inclined, but let's not just yet Kimwin the thead) will lead to significantly reduced quality of life for everyone, even the filthy-rich finserv douches getting defriended upthread.

Good luck, Wisconsin, and America.
posted by Vetinari at 3:10 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


The systematic stepping back of the rights of individuals (a subtly different concept from individual rights, a distinction which doesn't fit into a ten-second sound-bite) to follow a twisted ideology of "self-reliance" (one could translate this latter to Juche if were so inclined, but let's not just yet Kimwin the thead) will lead to significantly reduced quality of life for everyone, even the filthy-rich finserv douches getting defriended upthread.

And will lead to greatly reduced security, and a political shift to the right, as people across the spectrum shrink the circles that separate their in-group from their out-group (you gotta look after yourself if nobody else will) and as austere survival values replace the upper levels of the Maslow hierarchy.

Which could be part of the masterplan; make it so that any meaningfully progressive action is unrealistic, and that ordinary people not only acquiesce to but support reactionary, regressive and authoritarian actions because "that's the way the real world works".
posted by acb at 3:58 AM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Which could be part of the masterplan; make it so that any meaningfully progressive action is unrealistic, and that ordinary people not only acquiesce to but support reactionary, regressive and authoritarian actions because "that's the way the real world works".

Most probably. Actual reality doesn't care whether you planned it or not. It's the results that matter, and I can't think of a meaningful metric by which one could judge that these results are, integrated across the whole society, good.
posted by Vetinari at 4:06 AM on March 10, 2011


"Integrated across the whole society" doesn't matter if you're a hedge fund in Dubai or Switzerland, or if you live in an armed compound and only depend on society as far as it provides you with cheap labour.
posted by acb at 4:27 AM on March 10, 2011


Not a substantive comment, but if anyone WOULD like to send cookies, I only live a block from the Capitol and would be happy to have them sent to my house. I'll bring them with a big sign "Love From MeFi"

Anyone who wants to send them and doesn't already have a contact in Madison can memail me for my address.
posted by shesdeadimalive at 4:28 AM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


...or if you live in an armed compound and only depend on society as far as it provides you with cheap labour.

I like to think of this as an ultimately self-defeating short-sighted view of things, which, fast forwarded a half-century, turns out to look a hell of a lot like Benghazi.
posted by Vetinari at 4:35 AM on March 10, 2011


I like to think of this as an ultimately self-defeating short-sighted view of things, which, fast forwarded a half-century, turns out to look a hell of a lot like Benghazi.

It's a game-theoretic tragedy somewhere between tragedy of the commons and Prisoner's Dilemma. Do you act modestly to ensure a long-term future, or do you squeeze as hard as you can to get what you can now, leaving those in the future to put down peasant revolts? What if the other guy was going to take your slice of the pie if you don't do so now?
posted by acb at 4:39 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nothing will come of this. The Republicans will continue to get rich and abuse good people. The Democrats will continue to let them. The world is a sucky, sucky place where no one gets what is coming to them. "Never again...," yeah right.
posted by OmieWise at 5:29 AM on March 10, 2011


Does anyone know if it's possible to recall Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices or the Attorney General?
posted by drezdn at 5:40 AM on March 10, 2011


This is the Republicans' biggest gun and they are in the process of shooting themselves with it.

Sorry I did not read the rest of your essay there, but this^ has got to stop, and should only resume in the past tense after they finally actually politically do it.

And I apologize if I seem a bit too fast to respond.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 5:41 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wisconsin Republican Senators will be in DC soon to fund-raise. I hope the people of DC give them a "warm" welcome.
posted by drezdn at 5:48 AM on March 10, 2011


@OmieWise
I'm only twenty so you may call me naive and I may agree with you. But I find this brand of cynicism so offensive, considering the effort I and thousands of other Wisconsinites have put forth for the last three weeks. We're exhausted, but within an hour of this underhanded and anti-democratic passage, thousands (estimates of around 6,000) were at the Capitol. We're out there everyday, with the support of our community and with overwhelming support of the population of the United States.

This is a movement. This isn't a political fight. I know plenty of life-long Republicans who have joined me out on the Capitol Square. This is much, much bigger than you're giving it credit for being.

Cynicism never helped anybody and it doesn't get anything done.
Please don't insult me and my friends for doing what's right. At least we're trying to fight back.
posted by shesdeadimalive at 6:00 AM on March 10, 2011 [42 favorites]


I don't know if you can recall justices, but there's an election April 5 that should put one good one in there.
posted by Mngo at 6:00 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Shesdeadimalive,
owiewise has been trolling these types of posts for quite sometime.
keep of the good fight, and take pride in the fact you are standing for something important and taking part in the democratic process.

Solidarity with Wisconsin!!
posted by handbanana at 6:03 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does anyone know if it's possible to recall Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices or the Attorney General?

I don't know, but I do know that David Prosser is up for reelection in April and that he is not aligned ideologically with most posters in this thread. He has excellent name recognition, so any opposition to him would have to get started pretty quickly.
posted by Jpfed at 6:08 AM on March 10, 2011


Sorry for feeding the troll. Like I said, I'm exhausted and it's been an emotional night.

Like I said, I'm twenty and I've never had any heart problems but after three weeks of protesting, I'm getting a cardiac event monitor strapped to my chest today.
I joke that Scott Walker broke my heart.

Everyday it's less and less of a joke.
posted by shesdeadimalive at 6:10 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I donated to the ActBlue campaign before leaving for work this morning. Anyone know where we are?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:10 AM on March 10, 2011


How Ontario dealt with a similar situation.
posted by drezdn at 6:14 AM on March 10, 2011


Empress Callipygos:

"RT @kombiz: WI State Senate Democratic Committee raised $320k in 2010 cycle. In first 3 mths of 2011 they've raised $700k+ on actblue alone"

Between last night and this morning, we raised upwards of $200,000
posted by shesdeadimalive at 6:15 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sheisdeadiamalive,
btw you are hardly naive if you understand the reprecussions of this action, you are an informed individual.
posted by handbanana at 6:15 AM on March 10, 2011


Empress- you may monitor the tally here. Currently $722,726.
posted by Jpfed at 6:16 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


They want us to be cynical, the best response is to be positive and organized. And always remember, no matter what "this too shall pass."
posted by drezdn at 6:17 AM on March 10, 2011


List of rallies today.
posted by drezdn at 6:18 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I actually donated to the recall campaign (linking in here for my own purposes as well).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:19 AM on March 10, 2011


owiewise has been trolling these types of posts for quite sometime

I'm not trolling, I'm depressed. You and I had a disagreement in one other post. That's it. One other post where I didn't agree with you. Why don't you lay off. My opinion is just as valid as yours is, for all your righteous tone.

I think this will come to nothing. I think this momentary fervent is just that. It would be nice to be wrong, but I don't think I am.
posted by OmieWise at 6:20 AM on March 10, 2011


Yeah, an opinion coupled with cynicism should not be considered trolling -- it's a really bad faith way to have a conversation.

OmieWise, I hope you're wrong too brother.
posted by Think_Long at 6:22 AM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


If you're not happy with what politicians have done, the correct response isn't to give up. It's to find people who support your ideals and do whatever you can to see that they are elected. If no one meets your criteria, than it's your turn to step up.

One thing I've learned from this is to know what's going on. I try to stay up on elections, but I admit that there are often down ballot races where I don't know the people running. Never again.
posted by drezdn at 6:22 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you're not happy with what politicians have done, the correct response isn't to give up. It's to find people who support your ideals and do whatever you can to see that they are elected.

In other words: "Don't mourn, Organize!"
posted by Floydd at 6:26 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


OmieWise, I disagree, but I know the feeling. I sat down and wept at one point last night, before getting up and shouting again. Long term, I hope you're wrong.
posted by Mngo at 6:28 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


"If you think that by hanging us you can stamp out the labor movement, then hang us. Here you will tread upon a spark, but here, and there, and behind you, and in front of you, the flames will blaze up. It is a subterranean fire. You cannot put in out." - Haymarket martyr August Spies.
posted by drezdn at 6:29 AM on March 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


Question:

Why wouldn't Fitzgerald et al do this above the board and give the 24-hour notice (or more)?

If you wanted to take this action while holding on to some hope of quelling the public — particularly shoring up against the recalls beyond Darling and Kapanke (who are in it deep) — wouldn't you put the move into the Democratic senators hand?

The bill itself likely would have passed (whether the senators returned or not), and you'd have a shred of a case with the public since ample time was given for the Democrats to do whatever they had to do.

The explanations I can come up with:

-The Republicans didn't know the rule. (Unlikely.)

-The move exhibits the frustration Fitzgerald, Walker, and core Republicans are feeling... They're at a point where they're acting purely on impulse because they cannot figure out what to do.

-The move was intended to pressure wavering Republicans into committing to their side. If the Democrats had returned, maybe Fitzgerald figured out there would be enough support within his party to cut down the reduced bill.

As much as I think Walker and the Brothers Fitzgerald are fools and snakes who feed on their own conspiracy theory shit, the third is the one I'm most inclined to think is true.

But, yeah... These guys have actually turned themselves crazy, so I suppose all bets are off.

Any better thoughts?
posted by pokermonk at 6:31 AM on March 10, 2011


Don't despair. Sing along (at the very least, it makes the pain go away):
I’m gonna tell you fascists
You may be surprised
The people in this world
Are getting organized
You’re bound to lose
You fascists bound to lose
posted by saulgoodman at 6:32 AM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


I hope OmieWise is wrong and I think he will be, but please: He's not trolling, cut it out with that noise.

I just tossed a donation to the recall efforts. The total has increased by about $8,000 in less than 30 minutes.
posted by rollbiz at 6:32 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Amazing video of Democratic Rep. Peter Barca at the table with GOP senators, raising legal objections, being ignored, and then becoming outraged as the Republicans suddenly vote and then flee the room.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:34 AM on March 10, 2011 [21 favorites]


Pokermonk
I'm pretty sure it has something to do with Walker's brand of governance.

"Anyone who thinks he will change his mind has another thing coming," said Milwaukee County Supervisor Joe Sanfelippo, a Walker ally during his tenure as county executive. "He ignores the polls and the protests and does what he thinks is right. And I can tell you, he will not give in."
posted by shesdeadimalive at 6:37 AM on March 10, 2011


Oh fuck this thread. I made seemingly obvious neutral observation last night and yall turn it into the apathy that loses elections. "Strategically I feel like this is going to turn out to be a major blunder for Republicans in 2012" is not saying "fuck yeah, we got this LIBRUL POWA." Politics is fucking disgusting.
posted by BeerFilter at 6:40 AM on March 10, 2011


Part if my guess for why they didn't give notice was because they knew protesters would've packed the capitol if there was 24 hours notice. The 6k that got there were on very very short notice.

With 24 hours notice, people would have been able to come from everywhere.
posted by drezdn at 6:43 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Police unloading riot gear.
posted by drezdn at 6:45 AM on March 10, 2011


shit, this is getting real. Like really real.
posted by Think_Long at 6:45 AM on March 10, 2011


Part if my guess for why they didn't give notice was because they knew protesters would've packed the capitol if there was 24 hours notice. The 6k that got there were on very very short notice.

drezdn's got it: They got an itchy trigger finger because they're feeling insecure.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:46 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I followed this thread last night, watched Michael Moore become emotional (and rightly so) on Rachel Maddow, and I still have Mike Elk's feed up.

But this morning on my 35 minute drive to work, my local radio station's pledge drive was going on about business as usual. (Although they were just finishing talking about this whole business when I got in the car). My other radio station played music and a movie review. My co-workers (granted, just a couple hardworking guys), didn't even know what had happened.

I guess I expected the whole world to be different this morning, and I know in some places, it is. I applaud the donations and cookie drives and the justified anger and the calls to action! But this country/plutocracy/ignorance of the masses depresses me so much on a regular basis that I am not as hopeful as I wish I was.

Being part of this community helps. It's amazing to see posts from people who are in the thick of the action. I hope they keep coming! Thank you to everyone who is doing so many things that really matter.
posted by Glinn at 6:48 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


The 'us' and 'them' narrative keeps the Demopulbicans and Republicrats in power.

Look to bust that power - start getting things like Instant Run Off voting in place.

The other "vote" is where you spend your money. A P2P database software allowing, dare I say, the anonymous to populate with records of "why is this firm good/bad" would allow those who care to track things like the KV pharma track record. Or Koch Brothers holdings. That way you'd know where to spend your money. Its been shown damning records on firms get sued. A P2P passing around of claims of jackassery - who they gonna go after?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:53 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Even if the bill can be reversed, the damage is severe. Unions will now crumble without regular funding.
The damage and institutions will take years and years to rebuild.

Get everyone you know to sign up with their union. Get a card. Pay your dues. Get informed.
posted by Theta States at 6:54 AM on March 10, 2011


Bit cranky this morning and caffeine deprived, appologies to owiewise for my comment.
posted by handbanana at 6:58 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I changed my profile picture to the old "Sabo Cat" from IWW's old days a few days ago (before I knew IWW was getting involved in a bigger way in Wisconsin). I have alternated desktops on my computer for a long time with pictures of Sabo Cat and the IWW logo for years. The quality of the graphics available off the web have been crappy at best, though, so last week I redrew them both in Illustrator.

Below are links to the graphics files, if anyone wants to use them on posters or their computers. One file has both the the IWW "An injury to one is an injury to all" logo and the Sabo Cat logo. The other file has the Sabo Cat on a 1680x1050 black background. Both are available as AI, EPS and/or PDF files. Spread them around if you think they'll help.

IWW logo and Sabo Cat (Illustrator CS3)
IWW logo and Sabo Cat (EPS)
IWW logo and Sabo Cat (PDF)
Sabo Cat (Illustrator CS3)
Sabo Cat (EPS)
Sabo Cat (PDF)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:00 AM on March 10, 2011 [12 favorites]


Good morning Wisconsin! I am emotionally exhausted. Last night I planned to work on a website for my consolidated map of rallies, but then all hell broke loose and I was glued to twitter, the UpTake live feed, and the Isthmus blog until midnight.

I did register a wiunion-oriented URL (not actually "wiunion") and I know enough HTML and CSS to be dangerous, but I'm slow at it. I hope to whip something basic up tonight when I'm not working on signs for Saturday.
posted by desjardins at 7:07 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]



Here are my thoughts on why the republicans did it :

What do they have to lose ?

In the short term, the assembly passes it, the governor signs it. They win.

In the mid term, it's passed and goes into effect pending lawsuits, but they'll ignore court orders and drag things out (see capitol access) and they win.

Long term, even with the recalls putting the kibosh on Walkers plans, there is no way he will ever sign a repeal assuming it ever makes it through the assembly. And with our Frankenbill line item veto, he'll just rewrite it anyway.


This, too, is what democracy looks like.

Our only real hope is to get those recalls to happen and for the Democrats to actually execute on the will of the people for a fucking change.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:07 AM on March 10, 2011


So, after last night's little experiment in crowd wisdom democracy here on the blue, I have to say, that maybe sometimes crowd wisdom isn't so wise. ;) NO MORE BEER FOR ME! LOL...

Revoluti-ON!
posted by symbioid at 7:12 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


GilloD: "The Police in the live feed are amazingly reasonable"

Funny how there's no riots when that happens, eh?
posted by symbioid at 7:15 AM on March 10, 2011 [14 favorites]


Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's office is noting those who are call about the legality of the open records violation. Only one person is answering phones. Keep calling and she encourages us to mail and fax letters:

Phone: 608-266-1221
Wisconsin Department of Justice
P.O. Box 7857
Madison, WI 53707-7857
Fax: 608-267-2779
posted by drezdn at 7:24 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


escabeche: "Everybody just do what feels useful."

Right now I feel like it would be useful to put that on a TShirt.
posted by notyou at 7:26 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


OK, word from family near the capital is they are down for cookie receipt and distribution. So memail me for address, or contact shesdeadimalive who is closer, it sounds like.
posted by librarina at 7:26 AM on March 10, 2011


When will anonymous declare war on WI GOP? Seems they've declared war on everyone else lately.
posted by Think_Long at 7:27 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


If anyone wants really up-to-the-second news on this, the Isthmus, an alt-weekly paper in Madison, has a really good live blog going on.
posted by Subcommandante Cheese at 7:28 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not that the GOP majority would do it, but can Walker be impeached for what appears to be, for all intents and purposes, committing perjury during his State of the State Address?

He claimed unions had to be busted for budget reasons. Then he forced through a bill stating, flat-out, that busting unions wasn't a budgetary issue. In other words, either Walker's own testimony is why a court should strike the vote down as illegal, or Walker lied during an official statement to the State legislature.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:29 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jesus Christ:

But there's another explosive provision in the bill that's received little attention: The bill authorizes state officials to fire any state employee who joins a strike, walk-out, sit-in, or coordinated effort to call in sick.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:33 AM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


If lying was impeachable, we wouldn't have any overlords.

or bosses, or priests ...
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:34 AM on March 10, 2011


XQUZYPHYR, I was just about to comment on why that hadn't been in the news. It's on page 16 of the bill (pdf)
posted by desjardins at 7:35 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


@WORTnews WORT News
Shaken bus driver reports his bus was taken by police last night to haul fleeing politicians to airport. Passengers kicked off.
posted by drezdn at 7:38 AM on March 10, 2011


If lying was impeachable, we wouldn't have any overlords.

Lying was impeachable when Nixon did it, and when Clinton did it. So... Why isn't lying impeachable now?
posted by saulgoodman at 7:41 AM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's amazing to me how little the rest of the world seems to be paying attention to this.
posted by lunit at 7:42 AM on March 10, 2011


Lying was impeachable when Nixon did it, and when Clinton did it. So... Why isn't lying impeachable now?

Party Unity.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:42 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Err, country, I mean.
posted by lunit at 7:42 AM on March 10, 2011


Impeachment would require 50 votes in the Assembly; Democrats have 38. Conviction would require 22 votes in the Senate; Democrats have 14, and they would have to return to vote. This is not happening, politically, regardless of the merit of any legal rationale.
As I've said, unless they catch him with a dead girl or a live boy.
posted by dhartung at 7:42 AM on March 10, 2011


Assuming that we can't count the one seemingly reasonable republican, Dale Schultz, to with the democrats, we would need all 8 vulnerable republican senators to lose their seats while the democratic senators keep theirs to be able override the governor's veto. It sounds like the recall efforts against the dems aren't gaining any traction but the recall efforts against the republicans seem all the more important now.
posted by VTX at 7:44 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well clearly as I said, I don't think they can do it; just wondering if addressing the legal feasibility would be helpful in discussion and the future recall movement. If he broke the law he broke the law. Also, I'm specifically saying perjury; not just lying. An official statement to the state assembly may constitute that.

But don't want to derail here; bigger issue is clearly the bill itself and how it just essentially made public unions illegal.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:45 AM on March 10, 2011


Not that the GOP majority would do it, but can Walker be impeached for what appears to be, for all intents and purposes, committing perjury during his State of the State Address?
I'm not familiar with impeachment laws in Wisconsin, but I'd be at least somewhat surprised if something similar to what Gerald Ford said about federal impeachment didn't apply:
"An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history".
posted by Flunkie at 7:47 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've heard rumors that if the bill passes at least one Harvard Labor Attorney is set to fight in based on Article 10 of the US Constitution.
posted by drezdn at 7:48 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Shaken bus driver reports his bus was taken by police last night to haul fleeing politicians to airport. Passengers kicked off.

Do they think they're all getting that trip to California that not-Koch promised the governor?
posted by scody at 7:48 AM on March 10, 2011


"Amazing video of Democratic Rep. Peter Barca at the table with GOP senators yt , raising legal objections, being ignored, and then becoming outraged as the Republicans suddenly vote and then flee the room."
posted by Rhaomi at 2:34 PM


what a fantastic video. i know hes republican, but god bless you, rep barca. The bit where he jumps up ahouting "no" is fantastic, and the shouts of "shame" and "what have you done?" as they file out filled me with joy.

what an unreal thread. this will be the uk in a few years time, as the neolibs consolidate over here. Klein was right all along: this is out shock, the takeover begins. what is even more amazing is that in this day and age the rich allowed a book outlining their plans to be published, knowing hardly any of the mass population would bother to read it.

good luck to all Wisconsinites fighting against this, especially the 20 yr old!
posted by marienbad at 7:50 AM on March 10, 2011


i know hes republican, but god bless you, rep barca.

The quote you posted states that Barca is Democrat.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:51 AM on March 10, 2011


Wisconsin blog just noted Jesse Jackson was blocked from access to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Entrance.

Yeah.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:51 AM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's great to hear about the IWW outside of their own literature and history books about the 1930s.

I hope the general strike takes off, and the radicalism brewing in WI spreads like wildfire.
posted by Stagger Lee at 7:52 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I snorted. Shit is just too crazy now.
posted by desjardins at 7:52 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's amazing to me how little the rest of the world seems to be paying attention to this.

With all due respect -- how would this impact the rest of the world in the first place? I'm honestly not sure why this would receive international attention. I mean, hell, we barely cover the results of other country's national elections here -- the only way I even knew that Ireland had a national election a couple weeks ago was because a friend living there told me -- so I'm not certain why you'd expect other nations to cover the results of an internal state election here.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:53 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


"The quote you posted states that Barca is Democrat."

damn, yesh. misread the video link words! this thread is overloading my poor brain

so god bless you, democrat barca
posted by marienbad at 7:54 AM on March 10, 2011


Barca is actually the one who shamed the Assembly into taking back a previous illegal vote. He's one of my heroes right now.
posted by drezdn at 7:55 AM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Feingold/Barca 2012.
posted by hijinx at 7:55 AM on March 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


Wisconsin blog just noted Jesse Jackson was blocked from access to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Entrance.

Yeah.


This is one of those moments where the person on screen just turns to look at the audience for like 5 seconds straight with an unblinking stare.
posted by cashman at 7:56 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've heard rumors that if the bill passes at least one Harvard Labor Attorney is set to fight in based on Article 10 of the US Constitution.

There is no Article 10 (they only go up to 7). Did you mean the 10th Amendment? The 10th Amendment is one of the weakest parts of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has held that it is a mere truism, adding nothing to the original Constitution. Laws only fall afoul of the 10th Amendment when the federal government tries to force states to enforce federal laws, and that's only happened a few times in history.

There's an Article X of the Wisconsin Constitution that deals with education, but I don't see anything in there that seems applicable to this situation.

No doubt there are all kinds of legal challenges to be made here, but they'd have to be based on something else, I think.
posted by jedicus at 7:57 AM on March 10, 2011




With all due respect -- how would this impact the rest of the world in the first place?

There's definite talk of pushing through similar measures in Canada now.

This kind of thing spreads. Either the workers will stomp it out and we all move forward, or it gets in, and all of North America falls back a few steps.

This is about worker's rights, and they have a global impact. It's not about nationality as much as it's about a deliberate move to crush union movements... which are the only thing with any means at all to balance international business.
posted by Stagger Lee at 7:57 AM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


This is one of those moments where the person on screen just turns to look at the audience for like 5 seconds straight with an unblinking stare.

The Halpert.
posted by drezdn at 7:58 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm confused: is the capital building on lock down now? Are there still people camped out? Anyone there who can report?
posted by Think_Long at 7:59 AM on March 10, 2011


Holy shit, I never thought I'd see the IWW on the front page of BoingBoing.
posted by Stagger Lee at 8:00 AM on March 10, 2011


There are people inside, but no one else is allowed in.
posted by drezdn at 8:00 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Think_Long, you're not the only one:
Here's a story - Tim Donovan, spksmn for DOA (fmr WI Natl Grd) is LOCKED out of the capitol and can't get in - just got off the phone with him...he has no idea who is calling shots inside - STAY CALM AND PEACEFUL!!! -- from the DailyPage feed

The DOA (Department of Administration) is the arm of state government with responsibility for the Capitol and its security, so....
posted by dhartung at 8:01 AM on March 10, 2011


Picketing one of the tunnels.
posted by drezdn at 8:02 AM on March 10, 2011


Don't retreat, reload?
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:02 AM on March 10, 2011


Meanwhile, in Florida:

Florida Conservatives Standing Up For Liberty With New Law to Ban Farm Photos
SB 1246 by Sen. Jim Norman, R-Tampa, would make it a first-degree felony to photograph a farm without first obtaining written permission from the owner. A farm is defined as any land “cultivated for the purpose of agricultural production, the raising and breeding of domestic animals or the storage of a commodity.”

The specific freedom-enhancing element of this particular initiative is that apparently freedom-hating animal rights activists have been known to secretly document farm activities in order to advance socialism.
I wonder what other shit is flying under the radar with Wisconsin soaking up all the attention. Didn't Kasich get his union-busting bill through in Ohio? I've heard next to nothing about that.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:04 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


how would this impact the rest of the world in the first place? I'm honestly not sure why this would receive international attention.

Well, if things like this can happen, then obviously it's receiving international attention somehow.

And yeah, this is being watched pretty closely by about everyone I know in Canada and the UK in particular, precisely because it has very important implications for the same types of attacks on organized labor and the working/middle classes that are also going on there right now. And it is, indeed, being reported internationally.
posted by scody at 8:06 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


From DefendWisconsin:
Troopers are escorting protesters out of Assembly foyer to crowd chanting
"Shame"
posted by rollbiz at 8:07 AM on March 10, 2011


Troopers.
posted by drezdn at 8:10 AM on March 10, 2011


OK, word from family near the capital is they are down for cookie receipt and distribution.

Worth noting at this point is that said family member (librarina and I are partners, for context) is my previously mentioned Egyptian sister-in-law who fled Cairo during the early days of the revolution to stay with my family in, ta-da!, Madison, Wisconsin.

She has offered to go on tour in order to summon forth the crowds of protesters that apparently follow her everywhere she goes. She's a regular Joe Hill in a hijab, that one.
posted by stet at 8:11 AM on March 10, 2011 [26 favorites]


It's amazing to me how little the rest of the world seems to be paying attention to this.

With all due respect -- how would this impact the rest of the world in the first place?


All I know is, when I was awake at a stupid hour earlier this morning, AJE did a segment on the events of last night in WI.

It's only our media that isn't really covering this. The rest of the world knows.
posted by hippybear at 8:11 AM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Two republican ass. members denied entry
posted by drezdn at 8:11 AM on March 10, 2011


With all due respect -- how would this impact the rest of the world in the first place?

Ask a Tunisian.
posted by stet at 8:14 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


A protester after peacefully leaving the assembly chamber.
posted by drezdn at 8:14 AM on March 10, 2011


Picture inside the Capitol.
posted by drezdn at 8:16 AM on March 10, 2011


People are being dragged out of the chamber according to the live blog
posted by desjardins at 8:16 AM on March 10, 2011


Students are apparently blocking regent street in Madison according to @wearewisc
posted by drezdn at 8:17 AM on March 10, 2011


Two republican ass. members denied entry

I see what you did there
posted by Think_Long at 8:18 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Reportedly, Madison East High School just walked out.
posted by drezdn at 8:18 AM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


@sarablackthorne: firefighters just withdrew all their money from M&I bank in protest. #wiunion
posted by drezdn at 8:20 AM on March 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Both Madison East AND West have walked out, per live blog.
posted by hijinx at 8:21 AM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Madison East Students are marching down E. Washington, which is a really busy street in Madison, escorted by police cars.
posted by drezdn at 8:21 AM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Protesters being carried off vid.
posted by drezdn at 8:21 AM on March 10, 2011


Dale Schultz's official statement on the Senate action
posted by nickmark at 8:22 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am skeptical that any judicial recourse is possible. The interpretation of laws regarding how and when the legislature meets has historically been deferred by the judiciary to the legislature.
posted by Jpfed at 8:23 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Folks, I'm not saying that the events in Wisconsin are unimportant. I'm just questioning whether we have hit "international news status" yet. I think we may just be hitting that point now, which explains why we haven't seen any international coverage before now is all.

We didn't start covering the news in Tunisia and Egypt when it was still just a couple of local protests. We didn't start until it spread bigger. That was my only point.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:25 AM on March 10, 2011


So it looks like WI state troopers that have been brought in to start doing some of the dirty work at the capitol, is that right?

If so, anyone know if the troopers are unionized (I'm assuming they are)? Time to see if the other police unions will call for solidarity from their locals?
posted by scody at 8:25 AM on March 10, 2011


Senator Kohl “This is not how Democracy is supposed to work. It’s an affront to workers and families across our state, not only public employees. This is not the way to build strength in our state or our economy – that will only happen when fairness and respect are restored to guide us.”
posted by drezdn at 8:26 AM on March 10, 2011


We didn't start covering the news in Tunisia and Egypt when it was still just a couple of local protests. We didn't start until it spread bigger. That was my only point.

Are you just referring to this new round of protests, or the entire ordeal? Because the initial capital takeover was definitely known worldwide.
posted by Think_Long at 8:26 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


>We didn't start covering the news in Tunisia and Egypt when it was still just a couple of local protests. We didn't start until it spread bigger. That was my only point.

Are you just referring to this new round of protests, or the entire ordeal? Because the initial capital takeover was definitely known worldwide.


Neither, I'm talking about the beginings of the grass-roots efforts that lead up to the initial capital takeover. Before the international news got it, there was stuff going on that we didn't focus on because we didn't know it would be newsworthy at that early stage, was my point.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:28 AM on March 10, 2011


Its up on CNN Live coverage as "breaking news."
posted by yesster at 8:29 AM on March 10, 2011


Person being dragged out.
posted by drezdn at 8:30 AM on March 10, 2011


Pick something from this notepad and do it. -Anonymous
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:30 AM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


can you post the notepad or is it too long? no way am I clicking on an anonymous link.
posted by desjardins at 8:33 AM on March 10, 2011


Guy in "CITY OF MADISON ENGINEERING" blaze yellow coat, on CNN, getting violent with protesters. WTF?
posted by yesster at 8:34 AM on March 10, 2011


I'm listening to the scanner right now, and according to Madison PD dispatch there is a confirmed group of 500+ students who have walked out and are en route to the Capitol. Crowd is reported as "10-2" (cooperative, well-behaved).
posted by rollbiz at 8:34 AM on March 10, 2011


Maybe these Wisconsin republicans should have been forced to watch Harlan County USA before being allowed to take their seats.
posted by Stagger Lee at 8:35 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


can you post the notepad or is it too long? no way am I clicking on an anonymous link.

It is really long and links to other notepads, which are all being edited in realtime.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:35 AM on March 10, 2011


Walker is talking live from West Allis at this moment, pinning the "bill... measure" on what's good for the middle class! And the children! And local governments!
posted by hijinx at 8:35 AM on March 10, 2011


The notepad is too long to post in full, but here are the actual TODO items, so to speak:

* Spread word of boycott
http://piratepad.net/boycottkoch

* Create a call for the cooperation of Student Walkouts/General Strike:
http://piratepad.net/ak3nqNmxI2

* Dox these fuckers (aka search google for info, etc.)
http://piratepad.net/e6LEdnarwD

* Project MoonWalker (organizing mass moonings of walker at the capitol)
http://piratepad.net/moonwalker

* Getting other organizations with similar causes in our loop
http://piratepad.net/otherorganizations

* Emailing employees of companies that were major donators to Walker campaign. We are asking for leaks outright.
http://piratepad.net/emailleakers

* Spreading the names of the senators who voted yes across twitter "with a dont vote for" tag
http://piratepad.net/tweetnames
http://piratenpad.de/twitterjustice

* Operation Feed The Union (sending pizzas, etc and spreading phone #'s to others
http://piratepad.net/feedunion

* DDoS'ing: (no +1)
http://piratepad.net/ddoskoch
posted by jedicus at 8:37 AM on March 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Yes, scody, the troopers are state employees in a union (exempted from the law, btw). They are not known to be personally eager to participate in a crackdown, but their boss is the father of Scott Fitzgerald (Senate Majority Leader) and Jeff Fitzgerald (Assembly Speaker). Most of the protesters recognize that they are in an extraordinarily difficult position.

Nothing wrong with the notepad link, desjardins, it's just an #Anonymous-ish ["Pirate Party"] version of Scribd or Google Docs for what they're calling #OpWisconsin.
posted by dhartung at 8:37 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


State ag. secretary describes Capitol as a 'Holocaust', issues apology:
"They came to town with a lot of ideas and a lot of concepts they could really work on and then they got stuck in the middle of a Holocaust in a horror story that was going on in town, as far as people using the building all night long and some shenanigans, but they really are interested in what you're interested in and this is your opportunity to introduce yourselves to them," Brancel [said].

When asked about his use of the word 'Holocaust,' Brancel said, "That was a bad word."

"It should have been 'total confusion in the Capitol,'" Brancel said. "It was not an appropriate word to use in the context of which I used it, and... I better go back to English school."

Brancel was appointed by Gov. Walker and began his term in January.
"I better go back to English school"!!!!! You seriously couldn't make some of this shit up.
posted by scody at 8:38 AM on March 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


isthmus blog reporting people being removed from the square
posted by g.i.r. at 8:38 AM on March 10, 2011


Live feed of Madison police scanner
posted by Rhaomi at 8:39 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't get video to work, but I can hear Walker talking the same old bs here (the wkow link asked me to install silverlight. No.).
posted by cashman at 8:39 AM on March 10, 2011


(on non-preview: thanks, dhartung!)
posted by scody at 8:39 AM on March 10, 2011


"Learn English" That's what they like to say, isn't it?
posted by symbioid at 8:39 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]



isthmus blog reporting people being removed from the square


.
posted by drezdn at 8:40 AM on March 10, 2011


I should point out that DDOSing is leaving the realm of "peaceful protest" and entering the realm of "clearly illegal and possibly a felony"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:41 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Walker is trying to calmly assert that this is a budget balancing thing designed to get people to work, but he also acknowledged it was about reform. He also compared Wisconsin's workers to federal workers, saying federal workers don't have collective bargaining. Now he's talking about his talks with the democrats and trying to make it sound like HE was the one willing to negotiate, but democrats said "do this or else". He's got a deluded vision of what is happening and he's pushing it, not unlike a certain news network. He keeps saying people want to move forward, and "the people of this state have spoken" as if the protestors aren't the people of this state, and as if the only people that have spoken were him and his 17 cronies.
posted by cashman at 8:42 AM on March 10, 2011


Students of Madison East and West High Schools just walked out. I should point out that DDOSing is leaving the realm of "peaceful protest" and entering the realm of "clearly illegal and possibly a felony"

That's why they specifically are saying "no" to doing this.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:42 AM on March 10, 2011


Someone has got to mash up Walker's "The people have spoken, we have to move forward" speech with video of the increasingly frantic protests and capital lock down.
posted by Think_Long at 8:42 AM on March 10, 2011


I should point out that DDOSing is leaving the realm of "peaceful protest" and entering the realm of "clearly illegal and possibly a felony"

Yeah I think that's what the "no +1" was meant to indicate (i.e. that someone disagreed and another person seconded the disagreement). In the original it was highlighted in red. I debated leaving it out entirely.
posted by jedicus at 8:43 AM on March 10, 2011


Oops, I don't know where the students part got into my copy buffer.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:43 AM on March 10, 2011


And now he's trying to make it sound like "outside influences" are the ones that have come in and caused chaos. Really dude? Walker is taking questions now. Seems like the first one questioned the legality of his madness last night - he's saying he talked to a few different organizations and making it sound like it is.
posted by cashman at 8:44 AM on March 10, 2011


DDOSing is only a temporary action and if enough people are involved practically not tracable, based on resources alone not considering lack of log files.

It does send a clear message though.
posted by handbanana at 8:44 AM on March 10, 2011


Here's a web viewer for the #OPWisconsin IRC channel, for those who dare.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:45 AM on March 10, 2011


Walker is trying really, really, really hard to minimize this. Keeps suggesting that "the people" want to "move forward" and "move on."
posted by hijinx at 8:45 AM on March 10, 2011


He keeps saying "the overwhelming message I've heard from the people is move forward, get it done and lets move on". He's calmly saying all this like he has just convinced his own brain that there are no protesters.
posted by cashman at 8:45 AM on March 10, 2011


Shit just got real.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:46 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


He's also very much painting the people against this measure as being unruly. Absurd!
posted by hijinx at 8:47 AM on March 10, 2011


He keeps saying "the overwhelming message I've heard from the people is move forward, get it done and lets move on"

Of course, what he's missing is that we are talking about the Republican recall efforts...
posted by quin at 8:47 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]



He's also very much painting the people against this measure as being unruly. Absurd!


Next he'll demonstrate that it's amazing how fast a crowd can become unruly when you send in the riot squad and start man handling them.
posted by Stagger Lee at 8:48 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


* Project MoonWalker (organizing mass moonings of walker at the capitol)
http://piratepad.net/moonwalker


Really? Cute play on words, but hard to think of a better way to trivialize your cause and turn off potential supporters.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:48 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's again and again and again saying "people just kept asking if we could just move forward", appropriating that like it didn't mean discuss and have negotiations with the democrats and fix the budget without removing collective bargaining. He's still taking questions.
posted by cashman at 8:48 AM on March 10, 2011


"the overwhelming message I've heard from the people is move forward, get it done and lets move on"

Translation: "Some guy calling himself The People left a message on my voice mail the other day and he said 'MOVE ON.' It was a little strange, because I could have sworn he sounded just like David Koch..."
posted by scody at 8:49 AM on March 10, 2011


Really? Cute play on words, but hard to think of a better way to trivialize your cause and turn off potential supporters.

It worked in Braveheart.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:49 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


isthmus blog reporting people being removed from the square

I don't see anything like this from my window. There are plenty of people on the square right now.
posted by Jpfed at 8:50 AM on March 10, 2011


I cannot for the life of me understand why the police are doing this. They're union members too! WTF!

This reminds me of the Egypt thread, when someone pointed out that the psychology of their recruitment and training causes police to side with the established power structure to the bitter end, even after the army has ceased to.

I want to respect cops, I do, but right now, I cannot.
posted by Leta at 8:51 AM on March 10, 2011


He keeps saying "the overwhelming message I've heard from the people is move forward, get it done and lets move on"

Has Walker literally lost his fucking mind or is he just trolling the entire national news media? The "people of this state" are TWENTY FEET OUTSIDE THE DOOR CALLING FOR YOUR FUCKING HEAD, you goddamn lunatic.

This is seriously the part of this where I get furious. It's not even that it's just horrific union-busting because they believe in things I don't; it's when Walker just flat out pretends people aren't there. He's just pretending he hasn't lost forty approval points and that there aren't thousands outside like they have been.

"Wisconsin wants to move on?" How in the holy fuck are people surprised death threats have started? If I was there when he said that I'd be ready to leap across the hall and strangle him.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:52 AM on March 10, 2011 [13 favorites]


I can't believe Walker is trying to stress this as "Washington trying to influence a local issue." Hello, Koch is in Kansas.
posted by hijinx at 8:52 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I feel so trapped - stuck at work, I have 2 people who I can't jeopardize with any extreme action. I am stuck in this job, and no savings to fall back on - white collar - no union to work with no way to strike back.

it sucks. i feel so helpless.
posted by symbioid at 8:54 AM on March 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


(adding, I honestly wonder if this is intentional. There is probably nothing Walker and Fox News want more right now than a riot to break out.)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:54 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]



I can't believe Walker is trying to stress this as "Washington trying to influence a local issue."


Especially considering that the Republican Senators will be flying to Washington for a fundraiser soon.
posted by drezdn at 8:55 AM on March 10, 2011


Threeway Handshake: "Shit just got real."

Yeah, lined up riot squads are never a good sign.

posted by dejah420 at 8:55 AM on March 10, 2011



"Wisconsin wants to move on?" How in the holy fuck are people surprised death threats have started? If I was there when he said that I'd be ready to leap across the hall and strangle him.


I've been speculating that union solidarity ties people together, and gives them a constructive way to push back. It may be exactly what stops from climbing bell towers with hunting rifles. :-/

That's sort of what unions are for anyway.
posted by Stagger Lee at 8:55 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


From Mike Elk's Twitter: "The Wisconsin AP has FOIA requested Walker to show [his claimed 150K] emails of support. So far he has refused -- matter in court now."
posted by Zozo at 8:55 AM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


From nih.gov:

"Psychosis is a loss of contact with reality, usually including false beliefs about what is taking place or who one is (delusions)"

I'm being totally serious: Is Walker off his meds?
posted by Leta at 8:56 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Moveon has raised 825k for recall effort.
posted by drezdn at 8:56 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I received about 100,000 emails from people who are in the middle on this issue, according to this statistic I just made up."
posted by hijinx at 8:56 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


symbioid - be patient for now. When you get out of work you can take action, the movement always need more phone-bankers and people out gathering signatures for recalls.
posted by Fin Azvandi at 8:57 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I feel so trapped - stuck at work, I have 2 people who I can't jeopardize with any extreme action. I am stuck in this job, and no savings to fall back on - white collar - no union to work with no way to strike back.

it sucks. i feel so helpless.

same boat here....CUBICLE DWELLERS UNITE
posted by g.i.r. at 8:57 AM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


There is probably nothing Walker and Fox News want more right now than a riot to break out.

Especially since he keeps framing this as being people from elsewhere. So he's simultaneously trying to quell any outside assistance from coming in (Those cookies were agitators!) and then with any disorder he'll say "well the people of wisconsin are fine with our action - we just have these unruly outsiders who need to leave our state."
posted by cashman at 8:57 AM on March 10, 2011


Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS 527 group is flooding the airwaves with anti-union ads.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:58 AM on March 10, 2011


WI Democrats are apparently coming home.

Assuming this means they're not going to challenge the bill in court, which seems stupid to not do.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:58 AM on March 10, 2011


Seriously, didn't we retire the "outside agitators" canard with the poll tax?

Speaking of canards, lets steal one from the WSJ and call this what it is: class warfare.
posted by Leta at 8:59 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


More about the FOIA request for the much-vaunted "emails of support"
posted by scody at 8:59 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]




WI Democrats are apparently coming home.'

That article has an attitude of resignation right now, when the workers need aggressive action. Considering how much union donations the democrats get, you'd think they'd try harder not to neuter themselves.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:01 AM on March 10, 2011


Boy, I'm going to take heat for this one, but the more the goes on, the more I am reminded of the health care debate that spawned the Tea Party.

Right up front, I want to be clear that I think these political tactics are disgusting and cowardly. From the left's point of view, it was a bullshit legal technicality, questionably legal. And – whether it's true or not – this is exactly how the right viewed the passage of "Obamacare."

This sense of anger and frustration we're all feeling right now? It's the same as what the right felt. I'll bet if you cut-and-pasted this thread, replaced a few select phrases (and added a few more typos), it will echo the comments of every right-wing blog. And so on. It's the same cliches from both sides. What freaks me out – as someone who considers himself center-left – is the polarization is starting to get nasty. Really nasty. Most of America just wants to have a decent job, be able to raise their family, and live their life. It feels like war is coming – it may already be here.

Tensions have been building for 30 years. As they say, history doesn't repeat, but it rhymes. The violence is coming, and I'm starting to get really nervous.
posted by Exploding Gutbuster at 9:02 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Assembly Dems not being allowed access to chambers.
posted by drezdn at 9:02 AM on March 10, 2011


Apparently this is a live feed from the square. I can't check it out at work.
posted by desjardins at 9:03 AM on March 10, 2011


I think the WI14 should stay away, since it's a trap and let the court rule on the passed bill's legitimacy given the issues with the open-meetings law..
posted by mikelieman at 9:03 AM on March 10, 2011


Stagger Lee, it's clear that the exile will no longer serve any useful purpose. It's time now to regroup and plan out common strategy.
posted by dhartung at 9:03 AM on March 10, 2011


Exploding Gutbuster, I can definitely see the similarities with the tea party, but the big difference to me is that most Democratic leaders actually tried listening to the tea partiers.
posted by drezdn at 9:04 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


According to @brewcitybrawler Senator Alberta Darling has asked Walker to bring in the National Guard.
posted by drezdn at 9:05 AM on March 10, 2011


Considering how the cops (State Troopers aside) have conducted themselves thus far, I doubt that they'll be pushing things. They were probably ordered to put on the riot gear and frankly, given what I'm hearing about the mood there I think it is a prudent preparation for them to make.

I see three outcomes:

1. They keep things safe and civil and things end up being very anti-climactic for the police end of things

2. A riot breaks out and things go south fast

3. The cops do what Walker wants and "quell the riot" even if there isn't one and it looks like the government beating a bunch of peaceful cheese heads.

Any of those will look bad for Walker even if he doesn't realize it. I hope for number 1 but I really think number 3 would make Walker look the worst of the three, it just isn't in my nature to hope for violence.
posted by VTX at 9:05 AM on March 10, 2011


Stagger Lee, it's clear that the exile will no longer serve any useful purpose.

Really? They *still* can't pass finance legislation without them, last nights hijinks are legally suspicious, and forcing Walker to recognize the importance of building consensus is the real goal here, I think.
posted by mikelieman at 9:07 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Supposedly Madison's mayor is leading a wildcat strike today.
posted by drezdn at 9:07 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


\Fuck Holperin.
posted by symbioid at 9:08 AM on March 10, 2011


Legislative Fiscal Bureau's analysis of the conference committee bill.
posted by Jpfed at 9:09 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


More protesters being dragged from capitol pic.
posted by drezdn at 9:10 AM on March 10, 2011


From the live blog:

Press release just issued by Dane County:

County Executive Falk Statement: Dane County Pursues Legal Action

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk issued the following statement on Thursday morning, after she and County Board Chair Scott McDonell directed Dane County attorneys to pursue legal action related to the state legislature’s recent actions:

“In my 35 years of working with the state legislature, I’ve never seen such a blatant abuse of power and process as what took place in our Capitol Wednesday evening.

State officials take an oath to uphold the law and regardless of their zeal to achieve political means, they don’t get to chose what laws they’ll follow and when.

This morning, Chair McDonell and I directed our county attorneys to take legal action today to ensure the laws and rules followed by public policymakers in this state for generations are followed.”
posted by gilrain at 9:10 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Total false equivalency.


The healthcare debate went on for over a year.

The Wisconsin bill was introduced about a month ago.


Democrats campaigned and won Congress and the White House on a platform of healthcare reform.

Wisconsin Republicans were silent on the issue of collective bargaining, or said they wouldn't target it.


The majority Senate Democrats compromised endlessly and got zero minority GOP support in return.

Minority Democrats and union leaders conceded everything to Walker except the life-or-death issue of collective bargaining, and Walker refused to accept the compromise.


The healthcare bill was passed through a legal maneuver that has been used by both parties many times before.

Walker's bill was passed with virtually no notice in a closed session in violation of open-meeting law in a way that completely contradicted the Republican argument that the bill was purely fiscal.


And in both cases, it was Republicans who admitted they were fighting for cynical political reasons -- during the healthcare fight, they filibustered to make healthcare "Obama's Waterloo" and even obstructed vital military funding measures purely to throw a monkeywrench into the healthcare voting process. Compare to now, when Walker told faux-Koch he was out to bust the unions and a Wisconsin GOP senator admitted on Fox News that they were pushing for this to make it harder for Obama to win Wisconsin with union help.

Toss on all the usual bullshit, hypocrisy, and disinformation coming from the right on this, and the reactions from minority protesters are not comparable at all, despite their surface similarities.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:14 AM on March 10, 2011 [42 favorites]


WI Democrats are apparently coming home.

Oh FFS. This less than 24 hours after Erpenbach insisted they're staying put precisely because there are too many shenanigans the Republicans and Walker could still play.

I knew it; I knew it! Right after Maddow last night when Erpanbach made his statement, Ed Schultz had a group of the 14 on his show, and one of them -- I forget her name -- was asked about the possibility of a general strike, other actions for people to take to support the struggle, etc., and she kept repeating (paraphrasing here) "other actions are not important; the only real power people have is at the ballot box." Classic.
posted by scody at 9:15 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


scody, do you mean the woman who said that a strike might play into Walker's hands because he wants to privatize everything in the state? It seemed like she made a good point(?) but I admit to woeful ignorance about much of the legalities involved here.
posted by Glinn at 9:18 AM on March 10, 2011


This sense of anger and frustration we're all feeling right now? It's the same as what the right felt. I'll bet if you cut-and-pasted this thread, replaced a few select phrases (and added a few more typos), it will echo the comments of every right-wing blog.

--"Our rights are being trampled."


You do see that a major difference here is that this literally concerns a piece of legislation that explicitly takes away a legal right that the people of Wisconsin have enjoyed for over half a century, right? In one case, it's debatable whether the claims of "rights being trampled" are legitimate, in the other, it absolutely isn't. Actual specific worker rights that had been enshrined in Wisconsin law for 50 years have been taken away in this case, full stop.

The key difference here is that there's no ambiguity or room for debate about this: A law whose stated intent is taking away a set of rights is definitely an example of "our rights being trampled." That's not a fact you can hand wave away or attribute to a good-faith difference of opinions.

A complex bill like HCR that explicitly created many new consumer rights (like not permitting preexisting condition exclusions) with the stated intent of increasing access to health care doesn't compare in the slightest to this, even if there is some remotely plausible-seeming debate to be had that the mandate may impinge upon some implicit right (which is much less clear cut, considering Romney enacted a mandate at the state level in Mass. and there's historically been a very broad interpretation of congress' powers to legislate under the commerce clause).

Everyone should read about the history of the labor movement in the US. Contrary to the dominant right-wing narrative, We did not achieve the (now rapidly declining) standards of living we enjoy in the US today thanks to unregulated markets and the socially empowering effects of capitalism. We got there by fighting for it. And that's the only way we're going to keep it.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:19 AM on March 10, 2011 [24 favorites]



What are they supposed to do ?

Stay away ? It doesn't matter. Come home, it doesn't matter.

Walker and the Fitzgeralds will just do whatever they want anyway, enabled as they are by the 30% who would vote for them to eat a live puppy and their own religious belief that they are the hero in thier own Legislative Braveheart.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:19 AM on March 10, 2011


This is an amazingly bizarre day. I'm sitting here talking with mister mirror (who is much more a violent anarchist to my pacifist) watching the isthmus live feed and there are snippets of Walker's speech interspersed with "chants of shame" "doors still locked" "assembly democrats not getting access" and so forth. It's surreal. Absolutely surreal.
posted by lriG rorriM at 9:19 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Beautiful.
posted by Leta at 9:20 AM on March 10, 2011 [21 favorites]


With regard to calls for a strike: strikes are only legal when called for by the workers themselves. The senators aren't going to call for strikes because that would make any strike that followed illegal. They might support the idea, but they won't be able to say so in public.
posted by echo target at 9:20 AM on March 10, 2011


Again: there can't be a general strike because they just passed a bill making it illegal.

Seriously, can we reflect on this for a minute? If they call a general strike Walker can have them all fired.


At this point it's all down to how much Democrats want to just honestly say there's no point anymore whether or not they're sitting there. The government of Wisconsin is broken. Nothing can or will be done. Do they think that, like, tomorrow or something the Democrats and Republicans are going to start having meetings to share ideas on policies? The GOP just voted for one-party rule and the Democrats have to decide how much money and resources will be devoted to recalling them.

Democrats are coming back to essentially say they're spending the rest of the time trying to get their co-workers fired. That's the "function" they are left with now.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:22 AM on March 10, 2011


They might support the idea, but they won't be able to say so in public.

Really? So if any elected official expresses sympathy for a strike, that strike becomes de facto illegal?
posted by Think_Long at 9:22 AM on March 10, 2011


@JacquelynGill Large crowd outside King St. Entrance just told that Senate is proposing bill to change recall laws (which are in constitutional). #wiunion
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:23 AM on March 10, 2011


Large crowd outside King St. Entrance just told that Senate is proposing bill to change recall laws (which are in constitutional). #wiunion

Monarchs were beheaded for less than this.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:25 AM on March 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


If they call a general strike Walker can have them all fired.

It's bluster for me to call for a general strike, but if they could reach a certain critical mass, it becomes impossible for everyone to be fired lest the state fall into chaos.
posted by drezdn at 9:25 AM on March 10, 2011


Large crowd outside King St. Entrance just told that Senate is proposing bill to change recall laws (which are in constitutional). #wiunion

That would be ex-post-facto, no?

Any one know that area of law in Wisconsin?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:26 AM on March 10, 2011


God that Rove ad is such bullshit. Classic example of taking a quote out of context. Chanin's full quote (which was obviously cut off in the middle of a sentence; prosodic markers make this clear even in the ad) is as follows:
“So the bad news, or depending on your point of view, the good news, is that NEA and its affiliates will continue to be attacked by conservative and right-wing groups as long as we continue to be effective advocates for public education, for education employees, and for human and civil rights. And that brings me to my final and most important point. Which is why, at least in my opinion, NEA and its affiliates are such effective advocates. Despite what some among us would like to believe, it is not because of our creative ideas. It is not because of the merit of our positions. It is not because we care about children. And it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power. And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year because they believe that we are the unions that can most effectively represent them, the unions that can protect their rights and advance their interests as education employees.”
So clear when you read the whole thing that he's not saying "we don't care about children".
posted by tractorfeed at 9:26 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Large crowd outside King St. Entrance just told that Senate is proposing bill to change recall laws

Holy fucking shit.They do want a riot...
posted by greasy_skillet at 9:26 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Democrats are coming back to essentially say they're spending the rest of the time trying to get their co-workers fired. That's the "function" they are left with now.

It doesn't matter. They will fire many of them anyway, if they win this.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:26 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think it matters whether an outside party "calls [for]" a strike. Also, when we speak of a general strike, XQUZYPHYR, we're talking about people who are not actually directly affected by the bill. Butchers, bakers, candle-stick makers. General strikes are sympathy strikes, or secondary actions, which are broadly illegal under US federal labor laws.

And pace JacquelynGill, but I understood the Senate to be out of session and the Assembly to have not gaveled in yet. I do expect them to try to tinker with the law, though. It may or may not be constitutionally impossible to change it for sitting officials.
posted by dhartung at 9:27 AM on March 10, 2011


There's no legal way for them to change recall laws quickly enough. Requires two consecutive legis. votes and a referendum.
posted by drezdn at 9:27 AM on March 10, 2011


An overview of Winconsin recall laws from ballotpedia.
posted by hippybear at 9:28 AM on March 10, 2011


Requires two consecutive legis. votes and a referendum.

Or they could just call a meeting to take place in a closed-off room in two hours and make it a law. Apparently, that's how democracy now works in Wisconsin.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:30 AM on March 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


WRT Exploding Gutbuster's comment upthread:

I think he is arguing that they are the same situation but the feelings are the same. I agree that the health care debate and this are different situations and that, on a rational level, the tea partiers that felt the same "anger and frustration" at the health care debate as others feel about this situation are wrong to feel that way.

However, the emotions are not rational, they don't follow facts. I think the emotions are the same even if I don't think they should be and it provides some incite into the mind of those that identify with the tea party.
posted by VTX at 9:31 AM on March 10, 2011


Folks, I'm not saying that the events in Wisconsin are unimportant. I'm just questioning whether we have hit "international news status" yet. I think we may just be hitting that point now, which explains why we haven't seen any international coverage before now is all.

This has been international news before now.

Le Monde - 22nd February

O Globo - 26th February
posted by winna at 9:31 AM on March 10, 2011


Walker on David Duke
posted by drezdn at 9:33 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Again: there can't be a general strike because they just passed a bill making it illegal.

The same bill that is, itself, almost certainly illegal.
posted by scody at 9:33 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


This has been international news before now.

Good grief.

The observation I was responding to was "I'm surprised how little the rest of the world seems to be paying attention to this." I was proposing a reason why there may not have been more widespread international coverage before this point. I was not saying anything about whether this was newsworthy, nor was I claiming that this hadn't been mentioned internationally at all.

I honestly have no idea why people are picking my statement to death. Why didn't anyone comment on lunit's original statement about "how little the rest of the world seems to be paying attention to this" instead of responding to me?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:40 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


If there is a general strike, it will be a coordinated effort among the unions and their members. The "strike" that people are discussing in this thread sounds like the spontaneous protests. It wouldn't happen that way, because people need assurance that they're going to have company. If there's a general strike, it will take at least several days to get that organized and funded. I'm sure organizers have been considering the possibility, but it's doubtful that they're ready.

On the police: We need and want the police to do their jobs. So long as they're following the law and not hurting people, it's fine. Up until now they've actually been slightly less adversarial than some protest organizers would like. I for one was a little disappointed that there weren't mass arrests of police and firefighters way back on that night before they clamped down on Capitol security. Organizers were all set for it to happen-- they were giving people instructions on how to be arrested and what would happen after. Can you imagine the headlines? As it happened, there was no coverage except for Fair and Balanced Fox News.
posted by zennie at 9:40 AM on March 10, 2011


Are there so few government jobs that Walker could replace them all with scabs?

I suppose it doesn't matter if the strike is legal or not. He wants to fire everyone and privatize the whole thing anyways.

The thing about a general strike though is that, if it is big enough, it doesn't matter if it is illegal or not. The American Revolution wasn't legal in the eyes of the British but it happened anyways.

Does anyone know what the penalty for engaging in a sympathy strike are?
posted by VTX at 9:40 AM on March 10, 2011


I just called Ian's Pizza, and I could hear the commotion in the background. Awe-inspiring stuff. Whoever eats the pizza I sent you, I hope you find it delicious and nourishing.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:45 AM on March 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Does anyone know what the penalty for engaging in a sympathy strike are?

Losing your job?
posted by desjardins at 9:45 AM on March 10, 2011


Mark my words, the republican Americans, idiots that they are, will elect this fuck face president one day, and then we can kiss both the constitution and small business goodbye.

I pledge allegiance to the logo of the United States of America, LLC, and to the stock holders, and all their demands, one corporation, under NASDAQ, a monopoly, with free trade and offshore tax havens for all.
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 9:46 AM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think he is arguing that they are the same situation but the feelings are the same.

Oh yeah, that's definitely true. In fact, I think a key part of what happened with the Tea Party is that the establishment Republicans were using their astroturfing tactics to redirect what in a lot of cases was the legitimate anger of Tea Partiers who've been among the many middle-class and working class folks to see themselves become more economically insecure and politically disenfranchised.

Basically, the Republican political operatives that fueled the movement were siphoning off a lot of popular political energy that should have been directed at them and managed to get it working for them instead. A lot of the anger between the two groups actually has the same source: Yes, some of that energy in the Tea Party movement was skillfully directed toward racism and in other counter-productive, divisive directions, but the underlying frustration stems from the same thing: Our politicians--and this seems to be especially acute in Republican controlled state legislatures--no longer feel any responsibility toward or political pressure to represent the public interest or popular will.

What the Republicans who secretly funded the tea party groups were doing was part of the well-worn divide and conquer play: Pit the left against itself by appealing to petty cultural resentments and scapegoating in order to divide people who might otherwise represent a unified movement due to their common economic interests.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:47 AM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


some new polling by Survey USA that finds solid majorities in two GOP senate districts support the recall of their senators.

And this was taken before last night's events!
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:55 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Does anyone know what the penalty for engaging in a sympathy strike are?

Losing your job?

If that was the only consequence of participating in a strike, unions wouldn't exist.

If sympathy strikes are illegal, I'm asking what the government (state, federal, or local) can do about it if it happens.
posted by VTX at 9:57 AM on March 10, 2011


Mark my words: Walker is going to privatize everything as fast as possible. He's going to fire everyone, sell everything to the Kochs, get canned, get paid off, and run away.

There'll be endless court cases and shut, but in the end he'll have cut unionism deep and bloody.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:59 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's no legal way for them to change recall laws quickly enough.
So?
posted by Flunkie at 10:06 AM on March 10, 2011


Mark my words: Walker is going to privatize everything as fast as possible. He's going to fire everyone, sell everything to the Kochs, get canned, get paid off, and run away.

Senator Taylor said this on Ed Schultz's show last night.
posted by cashman at 10:06 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Joint Rule 3(1) says: "In all cases of disagreement between the senate and assembly on amendments, adopted by either house to a bill or joint resolution passed by the other house, a committee of conference consisting of 3 members from each house may be requested by either house, and the other house shall appoint a similar committee. At least one member from each house shall be a member of the minority party."

No Democratic Senator at conference committee.
posted by drezdn at 10:08 AM on March 10, 2011


Is there any more word that they are actually trying to change the recall election rules? I'm stunned at how brazen this is, if true. I mean seriously, if that is true, that is some serious shit.
posted by cashman at 10:08 AM on March 10, 2011


Is there a live feed of the protesters?
posted by futz at 10:10 AM on March 10, 2011


Yeah, saulgoodman. Turning the justified anger from the economic catastrophe away from the banks and Wall St to fucking teacher's unions has got to be one the best propaganda successes in modern political history.

"Hey, don't pay attention to the billionaire fund managers who just destroyed your retirement... there are teachers in Wisconsin who want the freedom to assemble! And they have benefits and you're broke, and it's all because of unions!"
posted by notion at 10:16 AM on March 10, 2011 [20 favorites]


Wisc. State Assembly live feed

posted by Threeway Handshake at 10:18 AM on March 10, 2011


One thing some of you might be able to do. If you bank with M&I bank, take your money out asap. Their board has actively supported Walker.
posted by drezdn at 10:18 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


If Walker did fire striking public workers, wouldn't they all be able to claim unemployment?
posted by drezdn at 10:19 AM on March 10, 2011


cashman, the right to recall elected officials is in the state constitution. Amending the constitution can only take place if the amendments are agreed to by two successive votes of both houses of the legislature, with an election intervening, followed by a public referendum.

They could tinker with the supporting statutes in some fashion, but I don't think it would be a) effective, or b) do anything but inflame anger more.
posted by dhartung at 10:19 AM on March 10, 2011



Yeah, saulgoodman. Turning the justified anger from the economic catastrophe away from the banks and Wall St to fucking teacher's unions has got to be one the best propaganda successes in modern political history.


I blame the American union movement as much as the Republicans.
It's when people feel isolated and powerless that they lash out at everyone around them. If the union movement had done anything to empower workers over the last few decades we might not be in this situation.

It's never too late to start, but I hope it's a grassroots union movement that rises up against this, the trade unions have let their membership down enough.
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:20 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Apparently ~$200k has already been ran from M&I bank so far.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 10:20 AM on March 10, 2011


The latest statement from One Wisconsin Now does not pull punches. Democrats need to start talking like this. Right now.
Madison - One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding the desperate actions by Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled state legislature to use the government to take away the rights of Wisconsin workers and reward corporations.

"Last night's action orchestrated by Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans, desperate to ram through this unconscionable attack on working families and reward Wall Street and big corporations, was a clear violation of the state's open meetings law. This was the worst of partisan politics as Gov. Walker and the Republicans want the people of Wisconsin to pay for hundreds of millions in handouts to their corporate special interests by slashing public education, cutting tens of thousands from accessing health care and giving Gov. Walker unprecedented power to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants.

"Under Gov. Walker's direction, the Republican legislature deliberately violated the open meetings law standards it has adopted for itself and every other governmental body in this state. The rules are clear and the Republicans broke them to pass this extreme assault on Wisconsin's working families.

"The law requires 24 hours notice of every meeting 'unless for good cause such notice is impossible or impractical, in which case shorter notice may be given, but in no case may the notice be provided less than two hours in advance of the meeting.' Wisconsin Statutes s.19.84(3) Legislative rules take precedence over the open meetings law, but no rule authorizes a joint committee to meet without giving the public, and committee members, the 24 hours notice the open meetings law requires. The committee has not even claimed to have 'good cause' to shorten the notice period and, even if it could meet that standard, failed to give even the minimum two hours notice.

"Gov. Walker and the Republicans legislators lied to Wisconsin. Gov. Walker and the Republicans' war on the middle class and working families to enrich the governor's special interest corporate donors undoes 50 years of cooperation between Wisconsin's workers and Republicans and Democrats.

"Every part of this debacle: from the $800 million in cuts to our kids' education, to the dismantling of college affordability, to cutting 70,000 people from BadgerCare, to making it harder for seniors to get prescription drugs, to handing government over to high-priced private contractors and offering $200 million to the rich and Walker's corporate benefactors - every piece of this nightmare is Gov. Walker's and his Republican lapdogs' fault. There is no shared sacrifice when it comes to Gov. Walker and these Republicans, only putting the needs of Wall Street and corporate profits ahead of the people of Wisconsin."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:20 AM on March 10, 2011 [23 favorites]


If you guys need a breather and a little bit of relief, and you like Mr. Show (or if you don't know about Mr. Show and want to know more and wanna watch some clips)... this thread will bring a much needed smile to your face. Then we can all come back after a little hearty laugh and continue to rage on.
posted by symbioid at 10:23 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


drezdn- just to clarify, focusing on rule violations may get people's emotions running higher, but I would be surprised if there were actual judicial consequences for any potential violations. The judiciary has not historically monitored the legislature's compliance with the rules that it has set for itself.
posted by Jpfed at 10:25 AM on March 10, 2011


IWW donation page.

ALL DONATIONS GO TOWARD ORGANIZING IN WISCONSIN

INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD STATEMENT ON WISCONSIN SB 11 AND THE DEMONSTRATIONS IN MADISON

The Industrial Workers of the World stands in solidarity with all public and private sector workers in the state of Wisconsin during this trying time. The Wisconsin governor, Scott Walker, is attempting to close a 137 million dollar budget gap at the expense of the rights of state employees; effectively eliminating collective bargaining and destroying public sector unions. This bill is nothing less than a slap in the face to people who have dedicated their lives to serving the state and its people.

In response to this impending crisis for organized labor, the IWW is mobilizing its membership for a protracted fight against this and other hostile state administrations. Additionally, the IWW is coordinating with larger unions to initiate a demonstrative one day General Strike throughout the state of Wisconsin - the date of which is to be determined during the coming week. The IWW is committed to organizing a grassroots, worker-led response to this and other economic problems.

An Injury to One is an Injury to All!
posted by Threeway Handshake at 10:25 AM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


They could tinker with the supporting statutes in some fashion, but I don't think it would be a) effective, or b) do anything but inflame anger more.

I don't think Walker & crew care about b. What is crucial, is are they tinkering? Are they tinkering? Does anyone know if they are tinkering with things trying to remove the people's ability to recall them? This may just be a rumor.
posted by cashman at 10:26 AM on March 10, 2011


The Republicans are claiming that it was a special legislative session and didn't need to meet open meetings laws. *Shruggity*
posted by drezdn at 10:26 AM on March 10, 2011


Citing Ass. Rule 93 of special sessions.
posted by drezdn at 10:26 AM on March 10, 2011


Also, tinker is a really fun word.
posted by cashman at 10:27 AM on March 10, 2011


If the union movement had done anything to empower workers over the last few decades we might not be in this situation.

Not really sure why you think this is true, but I'll provide you with some data. My sister is unionized high school teacher in New York City, and is the chapter leader of her school (basically like a shop steward). She works night and day for her students and for her unionized colleagues, who fear reprisals by the administration if they become known as "troublemakers". This label can be applied for as little as actually requesting that your extant rights be recognized. Yes, that's right, attempting to exercise your rights means you're a troublemaker. Thank goodness that the union is there to protect teachers from trumped-up charges brought by principals that want to put those "troublemakers" in their place. Sadly, it seems that for the past few decades unions have been mostly fending off the attacks on what little rights labor has left in the US, and many involved people are sad that they're not making progress, just trying to keep things from getting (much, much) worse. But really, if you think this way, talk to some unionized teachers and ask them what they think.
posted by tractorfeed at 10:29 AM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


It all comes down to how effectively the republicans have blurred the distinctions between different kinds of interest groups in popular opinion over the years, IMO: corporations are now seen as conceptually (and legally) identical to unions which are identical to actual people. In other words, even the people are just another "special interest," rather than the interest our political system is supposed to be concerned with. They've successfully blurred all the distinctions between real people, unions, commercial corporations and non-profits in the culture so that even the public interest can be dismissed as a "special interest" when its politically necessary. Never mind that the public interest happens to be the only interest the constitution explicitly put first: it's just another special interest now.

The judiciary has not historically monitored the legislature's compliance with the rules that it has set for itself.

It's not a rule, it's a law on the books in Wisconsin. They have an open meetings act that requires the 24-hour advance notice.

It is not optional for the judiciary to honor this law. Please don't pass along bad info.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:29 AM on March 10, 2011 [12 favorites]


Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, filed a complaint Thursday morning with the Dane County district attorney charging that the Joint Conference Committee that convened at 6 p.m. Wednesday and passed an amended version of Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill is in violation of the open meetings law.

posted by Threeway Handshake at 10:30 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Huh-huh, "ass rule."
posted by Zozo at 10:30 AM on March 10, 2011


Rhaomi: Toss on all the usual bullshit, hypocrisy, and disinformation coming from the right on this, and the reactions from minority protesters are not comparable at all, despite their surface similarities.

I guess in my mind, it's all bullshit from both sides. And I would argue that the protestors aren't comparable. How many people in this thread have suggested the exact same actions? Funding the political opponents? Check. Protests? Check. Veiled threats of violence? Check.

saulgoodman: The key difference here is that there's no ambiguity or room for debate about this: A law whose stated intent is taking away a set of rights is definitely an example of "our rights being trampled." That's not a fact you can hand wave away or attribute to a good-faith difference of opinions.

Not arguing that point. This law took away rights for union members. HCR made it law that we had to pay for a product from a for-profit industry, even if we didn't want to. Different sides of the same coin – depending on your perspective, it's either an abuse of power or sanity finally winning.

Do NOT underestimate the hatred for some union members in this country. I am torn myself – being in Michigan, I have seen first-hand every union stereotype right before my eyes. There ARE bad union workers out there. It upsets me that in this fight, I support an overworked and underpaid teacher – but I also therefore have to support an underworked bureaucrat who plays Farmville all day.

Both sides have plenty to be pissed off about. Both sides. Neither side can claim 100% the moral high ground. I'm just worried that a lot of blood is going to spill before it's all over.
posted by Exploding Gutbuster at 10:32 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


But really, if you think this way, talk to some unionized teachers and ask them what they think.

Don't worry, I'm a staunch supporter of unions. But I do think that the entrenched leadership of trade unions has let down the membership on several occasions.

There are too many examples of strikes (and general strikes!) ending prematurely, and against the will of the membership. Or of union leadership trying to talk membership out of job actions.

The interests of paid organizers, and registered trade unions, don't always align with the interests of the working class. Doesn't mean I don't love unions, but I wish we had a union movement that I could love more. (If you want a better idea of what my politics DO align with, I fully support the IWW and paid dues for years.)
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:32 AM on March 10, 2011


Who gives a shit about this Rule 93 stuff? What exactly is their intent here? That they were all shiteating, conniving, democracy-hating motherfuckers, but at least they were shiteating, conniving, democracy-hating motherfuckers legally? It's like listening to Jefferey Dhamer talk about watching his calories.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:32 AM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Please don't pass along bad info.

I'm pretty sure Jpfed's info is coming from informed people on this subject.
posted by drezdn at 10:32 AM on March 10, 2011


Huh-huh, "ass rule."

Proctocracy.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:33 AM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


The president of the Madison Firefighters' Union has called for a general strike.

Neither side can claim 100% the moral high ground.

I'm pretty sure the side that hasn't deliberately subverted democracy and the rule of law to strip workers of their civil rights has a pretty decent claim to the moral high ground, no matter how much Farmville they're playing.
posted by Zozo at 10:35 AM on March 10, 2011 [17 favorites]


Assembly calling roll now.
posted by futz at 10:35 AM on March 10, 2011


Who gives a shit about this Rule 93 stuff?

I just want every shred of hope that this will be overturned in the courts. It shows what there arguments will be.
posted by drezdn at 10:36 AM on March 10, 2011


Protester being dragged out.
posted by cashman at 10:37 AM on March 10, 2011


The president of the Madison Firefighters' Union has called for a general strike.
What happens when firefighters strike?
posted by Flunkie at 10:37 AM on March 10, 2011


If the union movement had done anything to empower workers over the last few decades we might not be in this situation.

Oh you must be referring to the HFMU, the Hedge Fund Managers Union, or the BBEU, the Big Bank Executives Union? Also, look down the ladder much? Blaming unions for the Koch Brothers' puppet governor's rabidly ideological schuck and jive is a very good example of people being trained reflexively to blame the victims for the crime.
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream at 10:37 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Exploding Gutbuster: "I guess in my mind, it's all bullshit from both sides."

Then frankly, you're not paying enough attention. There is no equivalent on the left to Fox News, no equivalent to talk radio, no equivalent to the massive, coordinated media infrastructure designed to disseminate lies as widely as possible. There is a serious imbalance of honesty and objective fact in the political discourse.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:37 AM on March 10, 2011 [29 favorites]


"You don’t have to love unions, you don’t have to believe that their policy positions are always right, to recognize that they’re among the few influential players in our political system representing the interests of middle- and working-class Americans, as opposed to the wealthy."
posted by edgeways at 10:37 AM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Rally in Ripon.
posted by drezdn at 10:38 AM on March 10, 2011


Joe Parisi introducing Jesse Jackson (unless my wiseye is behind).
posted by cashman at 10:41 AM on March 10, 2011


If the union movement had done anything to empower workers over the last few decades we might not be in this situation.

Oh you must be referring to the HFMU, the Hedge Fund Managers Union, or the BBEU, the Big Bank Executives Union? Also, look down the ladder much? Blaming unions for the Koch Brothers' puppet governor's rabidly ideological schuck and jive is a very good example of people being trained reflexively to blame the victims for the crime.


It doesn't matter whose fault it is right now. We can worry about that later. No matter who is at fault, it happened. Right now, we need to focus on fixing the problem.
posted by VTX at 10:42 AM on March 10, 2011


Anybody got alternative links to listen or watch this?
posted by cashman at 10:45 AM on March 10, 2011


Jesse Jackson apparently has assembly holding hands.
posted by drezdn at 10:48 AM on March 10, 2011


and...welcome to michigan.
posted by tomswift at 10:48 AM on March 10, 2011


HCR made it law that we had to pay for a product from a for-profit industry, even if we didn't want to.

Yes, but no where is there explicitly defined in statute or any law the right not to be compelled to spend your money as part of a regulation. We're compelled by the state to spend our money on things all the time, under special conditions. It's not even debatable: one furor was over some people's theoretical speculation (or less charitably, political spin) that some right might be lost or weakened by an implication of the HRC, while in this case, rights that are specifically defined in the words of the law are explicitly being taken away. Somehow, the more directly and blatantly the Republicans act to roll back actual rights, the less people have been able to see or honestly acknowledge they're doing it.

There ARE bad union workers out there. It upsets me that in this fight, I support an overworked and underpaid teacher – but I also therefore have to support an underworked bureaucrat who plays Farmville all day.

Well, just remember, for every doughy, unproductive bureaucrat, there's a hedge fund manager out there right now literally earning $480,000.00 an hour for scheming up new ways to make all of us less financially secure. There are bad people out there, in unions in board rooms, in restaurants and everywhere else. That's a feature of people, not unions, or whoever else someone wants you to see as being the real enemy du jour.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:49 AM on March 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


Cspan stream
posted by Threeway Handshake at 10:49 AM on March 10, 2011


saulgoodman: IANAL. But, see here, specifically

Article IV, §1 - ANNOT.
The court will invalidate legislation only for constitutional violations. State ex rel. La Follette v. Stitt, 114 Wis. 2d 358, 338 N.W.2d 684 (1983).

Article IV, §8 - ANNOT.
Courts have no jurisdiction to review legislative rules of proceeding, which are those rules having "to do with the process the legislature uses to propose or pass legislation or how it determines the qualifications of its members." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel v. DOA, 2009 WI 79, 319 Wis. 2d 439, 768 N.W.2d 700, 07-1160.


Perhaps it is possible to punish legislators for what happened last night, but if the bill becomes law, I doubt it would be struck down by a judicial challenge on the grounds of the legislature not complying with its own laws.
posted by Jpfed at 10:49 AM on March 10, 2011


A call for Obama "to use the damn bully pulpit!"

With all those new Repubs in Congress, I don't know if this would simply cause more problems. But it could sure stir a lot of hearts, I'd wager.
posted by Glinn at 10:49 AM on March 10, 2011


If the union movement had done anything to empower workers over the last few decades we might not be in this situation.

people here aren't getting it, staggerlee - the fact is that unions pretty much forgot about the solidarity and rights of all workers - the membership doesn't really care that the workers at the malls and the fast food places aren't unionized - instead of expanding their influence, they stopped trying - and now a sizable proportion of the working population are anti-union because they've never seen a union fight for them, because the big unions have ignored their plight, because they've never been shown that there are people in the union movement who would like a real re-ordering of society for everyone, not just the places that are easily organized

it's like abraham lincoln said - you can't have a country that is half slave and half free - one or the other is going to prevail
posted by pyramid termite at 10:52 AM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


According to lawyer tweeps, the legislature special session claim is a rule, open meetings are a law. Not sure which has precedent. Not sure if open meetings are in the constitution.
posted by drezdn at 10:53 AM on March 10, 2011


Article IV, §1 - ANNOT.
The court will invalidate legislation only for constitutional violations. State ex rel. La Follette v. Stitt, 114 Wis. 2d 358, 338 N.W.2d 684 (1983).


The constitution requires that laws be followed, no? What is the purpose of a law regarding congressional meetings if it can be broken without consequence?

Article IV, §8 - ANNOT.
Courts have no jurisdiction to review legislative rules of proceeding, which are those rules having "to do with the process the legislature uses to propose or pass legislation or how it determines the qualifications of its members." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel v. DOA, 2009 WI 79, 319 Wis. 2d 439, 768 N.W.2d 700, 07-1160.


This seems to apply to rules, not laws. IANAL
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:55 AM on March 10, 2011


Another choppy livestream option

I also hear that the local NBC15 station has it live online, but I don't know their website offhand.
posted by Vibrissa at 10:56 AM on March 10, 2011


Would it be a good idea to call our national reps. and ask them for support, or counterproductive? (Non-WI resident wondering.)
posted by VelveteenBabbitt at 10:56 AM on March 10, 2011


Another stream working well for me. Also, Barca is on fire right now, calling for Fitzgerald's ouster.
posted by hijinx at 10:58 AM on March 10, 2011


Barca moves to have Fitzgerald removed as speaker
posted by Fin Azvandi at 10:58 AM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


It wouldn't be counterproductive, but it would be essentially ineffectual. They would take your call, shove it into their constituent correspondence system and shoot out a form letter a few weeks later.
posted by thebestsophist at 10:59 AM on March 10, 2011


Can you say "Governor Russ Feingold"?
posted by Rhaomi at 10:59 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


CBS News Livestream
posted by Threeway Handshake at 10:59 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


For those watching live (as in, not online), what is currently happening? I have Barca speaking saying "he said the mere fact of you being here puts your safety at risk".
posted by cashman at 11:00 AM on March 10, 2011


Kabaddi Champion- I am saying that the consequence for the law (regarding meeting notices) being broken will not be striking the soon-to-be-law (the budget repair bill). Some people might get fined or something, though, I don't know.
posted by Jpfed at 11:02 AM on March 10, 2011


Perhaps it is possible to punish legislators for what happened last night, but if the bill becomes law, I doubt it would be struck down by a judicial challenge on the grounds of the legislature not complying with its own laws.

Here's a link to the entirety of the Wisconsin Open Meeting Law.

It very clearly states that in the event of violation, one potential legal remedy will be voiding any actions taken during the illegal meeting.
(3) Any action taken at a meeting of a governmental body held in violation of this subchapter is voidable, upon action brought by the attorney general or the district attorney of the county wherein the violation occurred. However, any judgment declaring such action void shall not be entered unless the court finds, under the facts of the particular case, that the public interest in the enforcement of this subchapter outweighs any public interest which there may be in sustaining the validity of the action taken.

(4) If the district attorney refuses or otherwise fails to commence an action to enforce this subchapter within 20 days after receiving a verified complaint, the person making such complaint may bring an action under subs. (1) to (3) on his or her relation in the name, and on behalf, of the state. In such actions, the court may award actual and necessary costs of prosecution, including reasonable attorney fees to the relator if he or she prevails, but any forfeiture recovered shall be paid to the state.
Your quote here:

Courts have no jurisdiction to review legislative rules of proceeding, which are those rules having "to do with the process the legislature uses to propose or pass legislation or how it determines the qualifications of its members." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel v. DOA, 2009 WI 79, 319 Wis. 2d 439, 768 N.W.2d 700, 07-1160.


...Is completely irrelevant, as the Wisonsin public meeting law is law, not merely a procedural rule. Actual laws governing legislative proceedings trump rules every time.

This is an asinine discussion to be having.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:03 AM on March 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Kathleen Falk, Dane County D.A. agrees with Saulgoodman on this one.
posted by drezdn at 11:06 AM on March 10, 2011


If the union movement had done anything to empower workers over the last few decades we might not be in this situation.

That's bullshit. The decline in the influence of unions comes from several major long-term trends. First, automation and outsourcing by large manufacturers has thinned the ranks of, say, automakers. Second, free trade has utterly hollowed out or practically destroyed the remaining vestiges of whole unionized industries, two examples being steelworkers and textile/garment industry workers. Third, red-state-right-to-work-state confluence has also replaced workers in unionized industries with non-union replacement workers in rural areas where jobs are welcome. Even the automation and centralization of the agricultural industry has all but killed the historical relationship between farmers and labor that was always evident particularly here in the upper Midwest (with the Minnesota D party actually being a merger of the Democratic Party with the Farm-Labor Party). The first three, in particular, have been supported as policy by many political opponents of unionized labor.

Another factor has been an inability of unions, somewhat universally (i.e. regardless of American exceptional circumstances) to organize in many of the newer industries. Fast food workers? Gimme a break, most of them aren't on the job six months. Knowledge workers? Many are freelance, others are happy with a credentialed meritocracy. Etc.
posted by dhartung at 11:06 AM on March 10, 2011 [19 favorites]


people here aren't getting it, staggerlee - the fact is that unions pretty much forgot about the solidarity and rights of all workers - the membership doesn't really care that the workers at the malls and the fast food places aren't unionized - instead of expanding their influence, they stopped trying

I think this is basically true, present circumstances aside, though I don't know that the blame lies with the union organizations specifically so much as with the Demos more broadly. Truthfully, we've all been a little complacent the last few decades, haven't we? Judging from my Facebook feed, many of us still are.

That's why I plan to get seriously involved in the labor movement now, and anyone else who finally sees what this moment in US history is really all about should, too.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:12 AM on March 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


On FB:
The Young Progressives
Walker's Chief of Staff Eric Shutt's answers why Republicans in close races haven't jumped ship. He says they have considered it, but the protests have made it virtually impossible. They have no choice but to stay strong or all appear that they cave under pressure. At Lucky's bar last night Walker's staff appeared "shellshocked" according to UW-Professor Donald Downs.
posted by dhartung at 11:13 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Knowledge workers? Many are freelance, others are happy with a credentialed meritocracy. Etc.

Also, many of them have been told, as I have (and this is as near as possible to a quote): "If anyone even talks about organizing here, everyone will be fired."
posted by saulgoodman at 11:14 AM on March 10, 2011 [15 favorites]


Just popped in to respond to the commenters bemoaning the lack of guts on the part of unions. Some close friends of mine work for UNITE HERE as labor organizers, and I can promise you that they've been fighting hard--and winning--for years.

I acknowledge that the labor movement in the US, as a whole, has been weak. But there ARE progressive unions and they are doing real grassroots organizing, turning workers into leaders and fighting greedy corporations and winning good contracts. More info here.
posted by flotson at 11:14 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fitzgerald is speaking currently, going at Barca. He's straight out belligerent, lashing out with a guttoral tone in his speech, on the attack.
posted by cashman at 11:15 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fitzgerald is speaking currently, going at Barca. He's straight out belligerent, lashing out with a guttoral tone in his speech, on the attack.

Please somebody get a recording of this on Youtube asap.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 11:17 AM on March 10, 2011


He sounds like an ass.....thats all I have at the moment
posted by wheelieman at 11:18 AM on March 10, 2011


The tweets I'm seeing say Fitz is making a fiscal argument. Does he know what the Senate did yesterday?
posted by drezdn at 11:18 AM on March 10, 2011


Hes taking a email from an internet troll to use as an example from the left, forget any real examples.
posted by wheelieman at 11:19 AM on March 10, 2011


Paraphrase of Fitz:


We need to do this to balance the budget. I'm not going to mention that the unions have already made the concessions we want, we'll just blather about how WI is broke.

Now, let me read the death threats I've received by email to show how courageous I am in facing down the union thugs.
posted by honestcoyote at 11:20 AM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Kinda doesn't matter whether last night's 'non-fiscal' bill stands if the dem senators roll back in. They'll pass the original bill as soon as one of them sets foot in the senate.

admiralakbar.jpg
posted by mullingitover at 11:20 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Here's a bit from Ezra Klein with Andy Stern, who built SEIU into a powerful union with 2.2. members, on Wisconsin. It's a couple of weeks old, but relevant, and I can't stand paying attention to the farce of a debate.
posted by dhartung at 11:20 AM on March 10, 2011


One thing that has really hamstrung the few powerful unions is the government not allowing them to strike or forcing them to break up the strike early. It happened with UPS in the 90s. It happened in the last decade with Californian longshoreman. These were people whose strikes had power, but the government stepped in.
posted by drezdn at 11:20 AM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Apparently Fitzgerald and some of the other Republican senators received death threats by email last night; here is the text of one such email (released earlier this morning; he's reading it on the assembly floor right now).

Obviously, death threats (even incredible death threats) are well beyond unacceptable. But also, do the legislators usually have death-threat-detection filters on their emails? 'cause it seems awfully convenient that they were able to find find this email so quickly among the many thousands of emails that they haven't been responding to for the last few weeks.
posted by Vibrissa at 11:22 AM on March 10, 2011


Judging from the hassle after two weeks without garbage pickup between Christmas and New Years, Sanitation Workers could be rich if they could strike.
posted by drezdn at 11:22 AM on March 10, 2011


Yeah, Fitzgerald sounds like a schoolyard bully. The kind who doesn't sock you in the face, but trips you up during kickball and "accidentally" spills glue over your books, then goes to the teacher to complain about how you don't like him and are being mean by moving when he sits next to you.

The substance of his argument seems to be: Whatever we did, Dems did first; if you don't show up @ capitol in person you're not doing your job; the budget can only be balanced by this bill; a single email carries more substance than the weeks of peaceful protests so y'all violent commies can go suck it. And you're only trying to slow this bill down out of spite.
posted by VelveteenBabbitt at 11:22 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Many are freelance

As a freelancer, I've been wondering about this recently. As I understand it, I'm technically a small business and therefore organizing would fall foul of antitrust laws.

But I'm still selling labor, here. There's nothing to prevent companies from laying off regular workers and using freelancers for knowledge work just so they don't have to deal with unions, is there?

Are any labor law experts or activists thinking/talking/advocating about this?
posted by Hypocrite_Lecteur at 11:23 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Manitoba etc., I realize there is a desire to find external authority for vindicating the position of the Democrats here, but not only is the Universal Declaration not a treaty and therefore not binding per the Supremacy Clause, as you originally remarked, but the ICCPR is not self-executing under US law and is also not binding as you imply. Even were either binding (and the Declaration is regarded by many as customary international law in at least some regards, but rarely with purchase on questions like this), there are substantial problems with suggesting that either one would direct an outcome here even within its own terms.

That is not to say that they shouldn't be noted, but authority like this tends to be invoked in a conclusory fashion that's not very helpful. Sadly, I have seen here and elsewhere various parts of Wisconsin law and legislative procedure invoked by both sides in this same way. I think this use by lawyers and non-lawyers alike is unfortunate.

As you would say, "you're welcome"!
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 11:24 AM on March 10, 2011


Are any labor law experts or activists thinking/talking/advocating about this?


posted by Threeway Handshake at 11:30 AM on March 10, 2011


Huh-huh, "ass rule."

Proctocracy.
posted by Faint of Butt

C'mon, no one beat me to it?

Eponysterical.
posted by Leta at 11:44 AM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think this use by lawyers and non-lawyers alike is unfortunate.

I agree, and in fact it should be irrelevant. There is a strong propaganda push by the right to define down legal rights from the level of human or civil rights, with many tweets etc. these last few weeks saying e.g. "collective bargaining is not a right, it's a privilege". This could apply to anything that is enshrined as a "right" in law. The only difference is that yes, there are substantial differences in the outcomes for, say, constitutional rights, simply because they come from a foundational document, or are at least more difficult to amend away. But that doesn't make non-constitutional rights merely a "privilege", because if they are in law they are effectively an exercisable right.

It's word-mincing, and people want to defeat that, but it's proper to call out the language used as disempowering rather than resorting to the legalistic justification route -- particularly since so many on the right are ultra-suspicious of "international" law as an interference with sovereignty. It's like handing them an easy way to dismiss your argument out of hand.
posted by dhartung at 11:44 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wisc Dem State Rep Pocan: "I feel like I'm in FitzWalkerstan"
posted by futz at 11:47 AM on March 10, 2011 [12 favorites]


Oh, good, Rush Limbaugh has weighed in: "a mob" of "bused-in union thugs" "shutting down a democratic government."

What fucking planet does he even live on?
posted by Zozo at 11:59 AM on March 10, 2011


From @edcetra "In Fitzwalkerstan, budget cuts you."
posted by drezdn at 12:01 PM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Confirmed: Union-Bashing Right-Wing Media Stars Hannity, Limbaugh and O'Reilly Are AFL-CIO Union-Affiliated Members
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:02 PM on March 10, 2011 [19 favorites]


Reddit: "Can somebody please give me the right-wing view of what's happening in Wisconsin?"
posted by Rhaomi at 12:07 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


John Darnielle weighs in.
posted by GriffX at 12:12 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, good, Rush Limbaugh has weighed in: "a mob" of "bused-in union thugs" "shutting down a democratic government."

What fucking planet does he even live on?


One in which he makes jillions of dollars a year for saying dumb shit like this.
posted by NoMich at 12:16 PM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


C-SPAN is streaming the Assembly debate live for those who experience trouble with WisEye and other local sources.
posted by Fin Azvandi at 12:16 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


: people here aren't getting it, staggerlee - the fact is that unions pretty much forgot about the solidarity and rights of all workers - the membership doesn't really care that the workers at the malls and the fast food places aren't unionized - instead of expanding their influence, they stopped trying - and now a sizable proportion of the working population are anti-union because they've never seen a union fight for them, because the big unions have ignored their plight, because they've never been shown that there are people in the union movement who would like a real re-ordering of society for everyone, not just the places that are easily organized

What? Why exactly do you think the establishment Right hates SEIU so much? They've been doing exactly what you claim they're not. While I agree that people not having experience with unions is a large part of the PR problem, they have also been villainized, and what you're saying is just buying into that. Unions have every incentive to make an effort to find members. The image problem and Right to Work states have made that more essential and more difficult.
posted by zennie at 12:19 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


A Labor Notes post for for everyone in the thread wondering about some of the basic logistics in planning for a general strike:
With events in Madison unfolding by the hour, we are reposting the story of the Ontario "Days of Action" to offer practical advice for mounting huge strikes and demonstrations. In the late '90s, unions in Ontario, Canada, conducted 11 citywide strikes against the Conservative government's policies. The strikes featured cross-picketing in each other's workplaces and broad labor-community coalitions.
(via drezdn's link upthread)
posted by dustyasymptotes at 12:29 PM on March 10, 2011


There's a rumor that the M&I in Madison closed their doors due to too many people trying to withdraw money.
posted by drezdn at 12:32 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Overview of Open Meetings Laws.
posted by drezdn at 12:33 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


There is also a forfeiture penalty. Each member who knowingly attended a meeting in violation of the law is subject to a forfeiture of $25-$300 for each violation. An issue of intent is not likely given that a Democrat stated at the meeting that it violated this law before the vote.


From the previous link.
posted by drezdn at 12:35 PM on March 10, 2011


Something tells me a 25-300 forfeiture isn't particularly worrying to these guys. Jailtime might be something a little different.
posted by symbioid at 12:38 PM on March 10, 2011


Something tells me a 25-300 forfeiture isn't particularly worrying to these guys.

I should have included the next graph. If they suffer the forfeit, there is more grist for the recall mill.
posted by drezdn at 12:40 PM on March 10, 2011


Labor Medley
posted by drezdn at 12:40 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's at least 2 credit unions in Madison:

Heartland (who, bless their souls, had to post a disclaimer that they were NOT the Heartland Credit Union who donated to Walker (there was a Heartland Credit Union in ILLINOIS that donated to Walker for some god forsaken reason))

UW Credit Union

I think there's at least another one, but can't remember. If you use M&I and are looking for an alternative and live in Madison, you can check them out. If you want an alternative, regardless, check em out. And if you don't like in Madison, but use M&I (or just hate giving big banks all that money...) SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL CREDIT UNION!
posted by symbioid at 12:42 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am gonna put money in M&I just so I can take it out!

not really
posted by desjardins at 12:44 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Rep. Mason: "Martin Luther King was assassinated while fighting for the rights you're trying to take away." from @tape
posted by drezdn at 12:44 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


People on Reddit seem stupid/ignorant, given that a lot of their questions (do Wisconsinites in general support Walker? They do not.) could be answered with a little bit of research, instead of just more reference-free one-liners from ideologues.
posted by klangklangston at 12:47 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


A list of Credit Unions in Madison, WI.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:47 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


drezdn, M&I did shut down the Cap Square branch, but for security concerns. Apparently way too many people for their security guard to keep track of.
posted by Hlewagast at 12:48 PM on March 10, 2011


klang- as a redditor, I'd like to encourage mefites to avoid generalizations. It's a really big site, and there is not a doubt in my mind that people on any large-enough site ask questions you might consider stupid.
posted by Jpfed at 12:49 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Rep. Mason: "Martin Luther King was assassinated while fighting for the rights you're trying to take away."

Lest we forget. AFSCME, obviously, has not. (At one point, they ran the mayor off a stage.)
posted by dhartung at 12:51 PM on March 10, 2011


There is now a Fitzwalkerstan twitter account.*

*Which leads me to an aside, one thing parody accounts like @govwalkernot (formerly @govwalkerwi) and @govwalkersdiary have done is take the ideas the Governor presents and immediately counters them with facts or humor. They're like storm troopers of meme deflation.
posted by drezdn at 12:58 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


@WORTnews: WLEA: Troopers asking for legal protection from "illegal" use of State Patrol by the Governor
posted by drezdn at 12:58 PM on March 10, 2011 [12 favorites]


wha...? that is an interesting twist drezdn.

I think it puts us closer to national guard time, but it does further isolate Walker.
posted by edgeways at 1:01 PM on March 10, 2011


i never figured i would say this...GO COPS GO
posted by g.i.r. at 1:02 PM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]



I think it puts us closer to national guard time, but it does further isolate Walker.


The State Patrol's head is the dad of the Senate majority leader and Ass. Majority Leader. The State Troopers would have to have stones the size of Rib Mountain to stand up to him.
posted by drezdn at 1:05 PM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Christ.. Walker is going to tear the State apart.
posted by edgeways at 1:05 PM on March 10, 2011


Now they've successfully gone after the teachers, garbage truck drivers and social workers.

Next they'll go after the police and firefighters.

After that they'll go after old folks on social security.

Then, they'll go after anybody receiving any kind of civilian federal government pension.

Finally they'll after the pensions and VA benefits of retired and injured military.

Because the people behind this only want one thing: more.

If anybody working for any public entity or collecting any kind of government benefit thinks he is immune, he is a fool.
posted by lordrunningclam at 1:05 PM on March 10, 2011 [12 favorites]


edgeways: "Christ.. Walker is going to tear the State apart."

Not if the the State tears Walker apart first!
posted by symbioid at 1:07 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


We should build a statue of Walker, so we have something satisfying to topple next year.
posted by drezdn at 1:11 PM on March 10, 2011 [19 favorites]


Another feed (many others are down)
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:11 PM on March 10, 2011


Or you can just type it in: mms/71.87.25.133/Cap2V
Apparently can't link to non-HTTP://
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:12 PM on March 10, 2011


Another feed
posted by cmfletcher at 1:14 PM on March 10, 2011


What fucking planet does he even live on?

Runningdogapologistopia.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:14 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


If anybody working for any public entity or collecting any kind of government benefit thinks he is immune, he is a fool.

I know. This is true everywhere, too. My wife and I are terrified about the prospect of the Federal government shutdown the republicans have been threatening. Her dad, who's retired and dependent on SS and Medicare, was just diagnosed with lung cancer; if he starts treatment right when the checks stop, there's going to be trouble. I've also got a close uncle who's on SS disability and currently undergoing physical therapy and awaiting more back surgery after an accident he was in a couple of months ago; it took going to court and over a year after the previous accident that caused his disability (he had been working as a roofer until he broke his neck) for him to even get on disability. So he's just been piling up medical debt. And now there's a possibility the Republicans will cut off his disability check, too, as part of a political stunt.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:16 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


saulgoodman: "So he's just been piling up medical debt. And now there's a possibility the Republicans will cut off his disability check, too, as part of a political stunt."

My hope is that my SS Collecting mom will wake up a bit when she realizes that she is affected, if the Repubs pull this. They weren't on it in 94, but now they are... Now maybe she'll understand. That's the *only* positive I can see, and it's a right shitty thing. I have a room-mate who collects SSI/Disability/Badgercare (not sure what program is which - gotta love all the convolution). I know I'll see it first hand if shit like this happens.

I've seen my mom suffer in her ideology while hurting and suffering trying to help my sister for years while she was trying to get financial help/disability.

There's a LOT of people who are gonna be affected, and it will be interesting to see teabaggers who don't realize their hypocrisy and what will happen when they face the consequences.

But there's also a lot of people who didn't ask for such a thing and they're getting stiffed (just like people who say "Wisconsin voted Walker in, deal with it" (yeah, someone has said that in these threads)...
posted by symbioid at 1:22 PM on March 10, 2011


I said this on twitter: If Governor Walker would charge $10 per ball for a chance to dunk him in a dunk tank, the budget would be balanced in days.
posted by drezdn at 1:24 PM on March 10, 2011 [18 favorites]


Meanwhile in Florida, the Republican legislature wants to turn state parks into golf courses.
posted by lordrunningclam at 1:26 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Had to FB that one, drezdn :)
posted by symbioid at 1:26 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hold on now, let's explore this idea a bit. What exactly is in the tank? Because I might pay considerably more per ball if I had the chance to drop him into a giant vat of liquid shit.

Or piranhas.
posted by quin at 1:27 PM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Twitter goon trying to incite riot.

Very entertaining.
posted by Skygazer at 1:28 PM on March 10, 2011


Don't forget, you have to find a non-union way of transporting and filling the tank.
posted by feloniousmonk at 1:28 PM on March 10, 2011


quin: "Hold on now, let's explore this idea a bit. What exactly is in the tank? Because I might pay considerably more per ball if I had the chance to drop him into a giant vat of liquid shit.

Or piranhas.
"

What would you pay to waterboard? I mean... It's not torture, remember!
posted by symbioid at 1:29 PM on March 10, 2011


This is a peaceful protest.
posted by drezdn at 1:34 PM on March 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Meanwhile in Florida, the Republican legislature wants to turn state parks into golf courses.

These fools are running wild.
posted by cashman at 1:36 PM on March 10, 2011


Meanwhile in Florida, the Republican legislature wants to turn state parks into golf courses.

Parody: RIP.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:37 PM on March 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


I thought the bus thing was apocryphal but here's a video. Probably the first time many of them have ever ridden the bus.
posted by drezdn at 1:37 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was joking, drez... Just wanted to clarify.
More a joke about the whole "it's not torture"

(I was actually gonna put a disclaimer on it. I would never advocate anything like that to my worst enemy. If I don't want fundamentalist religious jerks who keep women down to be waterboarded, I wouldn't want Republicans to get waterboarded... But I repeat myself)

I'm *very* proud and glad that things have remained peaceful - and again I think that's largely due to the police not antagonizing people.
posted by symbioid at 1:39 PM on March 10, 2011


Any further confirmation on the WLEA news? I went to their site and didn't see anything about that issue.
posted by symbioid at 1:42 PM on March 10, 2011


re: the bus video...'not in service', indeed...
posted by g.i.r. at 1:43 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]



I was joking, drez... Just wanted to clarify.


No problem, I'm just trying to keep down any appearances of violence. My first draft of the dunk tank involved a metafilter classic
posted by drezdn at 1:43 PM on March 10, 2011


Holy crap, the assembly just adjourned until the 15th.
posted by hijinx at 1:44 PM on March 10, 2011


DUDE! I use that phrase all the time! :D (I have an LJ icon of a bear fight and one looks like he's punching the other in the dick! :D)

But you are absolutely correct, "anything we say can and will" be taken out of context by those who are against our struggle.
posted by symbioid at 1:45 PM on March 10, 2011


Holy crap, the assembly just adjourned until the 15th.

My feed cut out before the vote. What was the reason given?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:45 PM on March 10, 2011


They passed the bill and immediately adjourned.
posted by Fin Azvandi at 1:45 PM on March 10, 2011


Yep, just passed. 53-42.
posted by echo target at 1:46 PM on March 10, 2011


Passed. 53-42. Shit.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 1:46 PM on March 10, 2011


.
posted by cmfletcher at 1:46 PM on March 10, 2011


.
posted by drezdn at 1:46 PM on March 10, 2011


What was going on with the speaker saying "we should read it, but we won't" right before the vote was taken? Was that just that they were supposed to read the resolution again before voting, but he wanted to get it over with before people knew what was happening and started yelling?
posted by Vibrissa at 1:48 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


FUCK! So... what's this mean? Is it law if Walker signs? Is it up to the courts now? Well, I look forward to the general strike. Where do we non-union folk go for advice on a general strike?
posted by symbioid at 1:48 PM on March 10, 2011


not an end, but a beginning. let's get a quarter-million on the square this saturday.
posted by g.i.r. at 1:48 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


It happened so fast I didn't even think the vote happened, but it did. Holy crap.
posted by hijinx at 1:48 PM on March 10, 2011


Fucking cowards.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:48 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Vibrissa: "Was that just that they were supposed to read the resolution again before voting, but he wanted to get it over with before people knew what was happening and started yelling?"

I think so. I'm going to *guess* it's a procedural thing, but the GOP has proven they don't care about procedure, so.
posted by hijinx at 1:49 PM on March 10, 2011


They must be gunning for some new legislative landspeed record here. Every vote I've seen them take is open and shut within a minute or two, before anybody else even realizes what's going on.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:50 PM on March 10, 2011


WI GOP heading to DC for their prize money
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:53 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


.

So... what's this mean? Is it law if Walker signs? Is it up to the courts now?

My presumption is that they have a carrier pigeon at the ready to waft the very paper up to Walker's office where he will sign it forthwith. Today (and yesterday, for that matter) has been pretty stage-managed, what with Walker releasing an Op-Ed to the WSJ and speaking in West Allis moments before the original time the Assembly was to open.
posted by dhartung at 1:53 PM on March 10, 2011


you know what makes me really angry?
for two years the left has heard about socialism this and socialism that. oh government is bad, because, look, USSR!!!!!!!111

I'm reading Solzhenityn's In the First Circle now, and I tell you what, if anything in this country has been approaching Stalinist Russia, it's what these bozos are doing.

My ma works with correctional justice in ABQ, juvenile offenders. She's a therapist so she is not so keen on putting kids in manacles and in soli confinement. But because of the new fuckwad of the gov., Susanna Martinez, many people in the facility are all, "Yay, manacles and the hole will sort these kids out."

There are so many people I want to punch in the face right now I just
posted by angrycat at 1:59 PM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


oh hey charlie sheen news on cnn you guys, lets watch
posted by Rhaomi at 1:59 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


WKOW has a live feed of inside the building. Protesters want to stay but are being told to leave. I'm getting worried.
posted by futz at 1:59 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just donated $100 to the ActBlue cause. Why? Because this white-collar worker gets to go home today at five o'clock thanks to the Unions, not covered in carcinogens thanks to the Unions, after just getting a raise without having to beg my manager; all while awaiting my weekend - thanks to the Unions!
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 2:00 PM on March 10, 2011 [31 favorites]


Another live feed.
posted by futz at 2:03 PM on March 10, 2011


Meanwhile in Florida, the Republican legislature wants to turn state parks into golf courses.

Oh. My. God. I live right next to a Florida state park. It's beautiful. If they try and pave over it for a goddamn golf course I'm going to personally organize a protest in my town.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 2:04 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Before they completely ignore you and board the short bus home.
posted by Talez at 2:10 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, one reason for the abrupt adjournment is to clear out the capital building. As I learned a few threads back, the WI Constitution requires that the public be allowed access to the capital while the legislature is in session. No more session, no more access.
posted by absalom at 2:18 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Did someone punch this thread in the dick? Where is everyone?
posted by symbioid at 2:39 PM on March 10, 2011


Drinking.
posted by drezdn at 2:40 PM on March 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Radio silence? WTF is going on?
posted by five fresh fish at 2:40 PM on March 10, 2011


This is only the beginning from Senator Chris Larson.
posted by drezdn at 2:45 PM on March 10, 2011


Just got home, working on website.
posted by desjardins at 2:49 PM on March 10, 2011



I just got home with my son, and we're going through an uploading photos of the student marches to FB.

I'm waiting form Mrs. Fuzzybutt to come home, and we're gonna walk the dogs. I maybe might go back down there for the rally, but might not - the son and I have guild raid in WoW tonight, and I'm kind of peopled and protested out. It's gonna be a big weekend, I have several friends coming from all over the state to protest.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:49 PM on March 10, 2011


my head is still spinning from that 2 minute vote. Trying to grok what will happen next...it's like that final vote sucked all the air out of the room. And I'm trying to catch up on Iowa news, since there's debates in Iowa today on similar restrictions to collective bargaining -- everything's happening so fast -- I understand the term Shock Doctrine on a new, visceral level now.
posted by atlatl at 2:50 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


.
posted by spinifex23 at 2:51 PM on March 10, 2011


The mind boggles...

I'm at Univ. California, Davis, where one of the nominees for the board of regents is riding a pile of anti-union rhetoric. Just sent something off to my state senator...
posted by kaibutsu at 2:54 PM on March 10, 2011


A Redditor is trying to get Madison rideshares going on in case of a general strike...
posted by symbioid at 2:57 PM on March 10, 2011


Weird. Biggest American story on the Sydney Morning Herald (our NY Times) site is 'The Wire actress arrested'. They barely show The Wire here but workers rights are constantly talked about.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 2:59 PM on March 10, 2011


Symboid, I'm here. I've been following this thread since yesterday evening and freaking the fuck out. This is huge. And my brain is exploding so I've tried to write anything knowing it will not make sense because all I can think is HOLY SHIT--- They just undid something fucking huge and they KNOW that--- and this protest following egypt is big---whatever happens with this--- when was the last time thousands of people stormed a capital building in the US? Has it ever happened?

I am so happy that these protests are peaceful.

But this is a really senstive situation and I am fucking worried. There are school children all over the place? I am glad there are school children all over the place but I am fucking worried as hell. When these things get out of hand or the police decide to start attacking people things can get. Oh fuck.

Are people just going to go home? Are people going to hang out in the capital? What is happening?! Is the uptake livestream current? How long will people stake out there? What is the immediate hope?

This is why I haven't written anything. I don't have thing coherant, but I'm fucking here on the edge of my seat. I'm agnostic, but god help us.

This is happening and by this, I don't mean Wisconsin. I mean the divide within this country is coming out into the open. It has to happen. It's happening. I want it to happen. But non-violence. This is surreal. I am surrealed. I would prefer to be drunk right now actually dammit sobriety. Somebody drink one for me.
posted by xarnop at 3:03 PM on March 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm at Univ. California, Davis, where one of the nominees for the board of regents is riding a pile of anti-union rhetoric.

NAME PLEASE
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 3:15 PM on March 10, 2011


Fuck guys, this is happening so fast, and in so many states...we've been totally sold down the river. By the Republicans, by the TeaParty...and by the President so many of us worked and donated to elect. Despite his promises to "put on comfortable shoes and march with workers who were facing anti-union blah blah blah", he never came within spitting distance of any of these states that have just been handed over to the corporate overlords.

Here in Texas, they're cutting all gifted programs, all "enrichment" programs that aren't football, and talking about raising class sizes to over 30 kids per class. They're also canceling WIC; assistance that helps poor pregnant women and newborn babies get milk and cheese.

But don't tax the oil companies...that would be bad for the economy. Ignorant children and starving babies are a way better option than oil executives having to give up diamond earrings for their mistresses.

In Michigan, they're passing a law that lets the governor disenfranchise any city, take over the running of the city, and fire all the elected officials to be replaced by handpicked cronies of the gov. Nice. Rule by fiat. See what happens when the unions are defanged? Republicans fucking the public hard and without lube is what happens.

Ohio? Going the same route as WI.

Florida? Makes Wisconsin look rational.

You think Barber in Mississippi is gonna stand still? Hell no, he and his Confederate black-hating buddies are cooking up some fantastic stuff to punish the poor for breathing.

We are fucked. Seriously, absolutely, unequivocally, fucked. There will never be a revolution here. There will never be a serious uprising that won't be violently quelled to make an example. We have become what Orwell feared. A corporatist state that will sublimate all human endeavor to the profit maw.
posted by dejah420 at 3:20 PM on March 10, 2011 [13 favorites]




We are fucked. Seriously, absolutely, unequivocally, fucked. There will never be a revolution here. There will never be a serious uprising that won't be violently quelled to make an example. We have become what Orwell feared. A corporatist state that will sublimate all human endeavor to the profit maw.


All my money is on Wisconsin. A big enough strike there, and we might still be in the race. Maybe things could even turn around. But a solid defeat and hell, it's back a hundred years for labor in North America.
posted by Stagger Lee at 3:22 PM on March 10, 2011


This is not how Democracy is supposed to work

But is that how a Republic is supposed to work?

"other actions are not important; the only real power people have is at the ballot box."

Bulls *smack* hit.

The votes are where you spend your money. Pulling funds from Chase^H^H^H^H^HM&I are examples of REAL POWER.

Wanna scare these politicians? Start demanding things like instant run off voting or other ways to break the backbone of the 2 party system.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:22 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm at Univ. California, Davis, where one of the nominees for the board of regents is riding a pile of anti-union rhetoric.

NAME PLEASE


David Crane.
posted by kaibutsu at 3:24 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wanna scare these politicians? Start demanding things like instant run off voting or other ways to break the backbone of the 2 party system.


This a thousand times. We won't get anything but the same as long as the system guarantees that a third party vote is a wasted vote.

Campaign finance reform pure pubic campaign financing would be the other part.
posted by mullingitover at 3:26 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Fuck guys, this is happening so fast, and in so many states...we've been totally sold down the river. By the Republicans, by the TeaParty...and by the President so many of us worked and donated to elect. Despite his promises to "put on comfortable shoes and march with workers who were facing anti-union blah blah blah", he never came within spitting distance of any of these states that have just been handed over to the corporate overlords.

Then start work on distributed information tools so the ills of the Corporations can be documented along with ways the distributed tool can suggest concrete actions to deprive the corporate overlords of their cash. Making it p2p means no one place to go after.

Get the unions to have an open wi-fi tool that the workers at say Wal-Mart can use their smart phones to connect to to get union organization info. Make the corporate master have to spend money and effort to try and stop such. The "pranksters" of the world will come and go from the stores as they consume and force the stores to have security follow them about attempting to union bust. The android stack is open.......turn that phone into an open hot spot.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:29 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Twenty more dollars for the recall. It's all I can give.

Shit's moving so damned fast.

It hard to know where we can stand and fight.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 3:30 PM on March 10, 2011


There will never be a revolution here. There will never be a serious uprising that won't be violently quelled to make an example.

I totally sympathize with the dismay, but I say to you: EGYPT! Seriously, I am NOT kidding. They had every reason to back down in the face of deadly force and they didn't and they fucking toppled Mubarak. Their overlords and our overlords are both equally counting on us coming to the precipice and being too frightened to take the next step. This is the moment in Wisconsin -- and increasingly around the country -- where we are facing the fear barrier. But when you break it, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Not guaranteed. But possible.

Look, whether or not there's a revolution doesn't depend on them -- it depends on us. To quote Frederick Douglass again:
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
They are counting on our paralysis in the face of fear and dismay. This was DESIGNED to demoralize us, to break our will. Don't let them do it. Don't Mourn. ORGANIZE.
posted by scody at 3:31 PM on March 10, 2011 [43 favorites]


but the GOP has proven they don't care about procedure, so.

The GOP is the only group that doesn't care about procedure......

(Its just here on the blue its whined about more than when the Democrats blow off procedure)
posted by rough ashlar at 3:32 PM on March 10, 2011


We are fucked. Seriously, absolutely, unequivocally, fucked. There will never be a revolution here. There will never be a serious uprising that won't be violently quelled to make an example. We have become what Orwell feared. A corporatist state that will sublimate all human endeavor to the profit maw

What's the point of a revolution?
We are fucked BECAUSE we live in a democracy and we get the government we vote for. We are fucked because the majority of Americans are too lazy and ignorant to educate themselves on any issues, and just suck down whatever manufactured half-truths the television spits out. We are fucked because the majority of Americans will keep voting against their own interests. I'm so pissed off today because I can't do anything to help and because more and more it seems like all the work that the protesters are doing -- that anyone's doing, that I've done -- is just a losing war to save people from themselves. Republicans have made it patently clear that their political agenda is all about destroying the entire public infrastructure that made America great and selling every inch and scrap of it off to private industries for private profit. But somehow people still keep voting for them. And everything that's happening now is just a bunch of chickens coming home to roost.
posted by crackingdes at 3:35 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't believe it'd even be a revolution as much as a second civil war.

At this point, American politics is about beating the other guy, no matter the cost, no matter the situation after he is beaten, gut it out and win. How do you fix the mentality that politics is just football with words? I don't know that you can.
posted by feloniousmonk at 3:43 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The corporate propaganda machine is their most powerful weapon. It must be somehow neutralized or bypassed.
posted by vibrotronica at 3:45 PM on March 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


i have watched this thread since it started, coming back and reading up. it is an awesome thread. i am a bit confused as tho the situation, where are things at right now? (also am english so am confused by some of this anyways) in the vote, the bill was passed into law? yes/no? how many dems voted for the bill? did they know what they were voting for? will there be a legal challenge? i get that this is kinda uncharted terrotory but can anyone sum up?

it is like wathcing the end come:

"We are fucked. Seriously, absolutely, unequivocally, fucked. There will never be a revolution here. There will never be a serious uprising that won't be violently quelled to make an example. We have become what Orwell feared. A corporatist state that will sublimate all human endeavor to the profit maw."
posted by dejah42

violent uprising? yeah, we tried that way back
posted by marienbad at 3:52 PM on March 10, 2011


DON'T MOURN. ORGANIZE. There are links throughout in this thread where you can send cold, hard cash to the recall efforts and to the Madison IWW. Madison students have called for a nationwide student walkout tomorrow -- if you're a student, or know students, have the conversation about walking out in your community. There are solidarity events planned around the country all this week. Contact MoveOn -- they organized the 50-state emergency "Save the American Dream" rallies last week; see what they're planning next. And failing all that - stage a demo in your own community! Contact any local unions to see if they'd be interested in standing in solidarity with the Wisconsin workers. At the very least, go make some signs, grab some like-minded family and friends, and stand on a street corner and see who joins you.

I'm hearing back from an old friend in Madison -- he's a teacher -- and he just left the capitol: devastated, furious, and in shock. For those of us who aren't there, we have to stand in solidarity with him -- and the hundreds of thousands of people who just got kicked in the motherfucking teeth -- by doing something.

This is a setback. But it is only the end if we walk away. There is something every one of us can do, no matter how small it may seem or how fearful, frustrated, or furious we may feel. DON'T MOURN. ORGANIZE.
posted by scody at 3:53 PM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Where do we non-union folk go for advice on a general strike?
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that _____________________ commits to participating in a statewide general strike to occur on a date to be determined by the Statewide Strike Steering Committee and that my organization agrees to participate in a Statewide Strike Steering Committee to plan and carry out the general strike.

Would you like one of the General Strike Pamphlets?

http://madison.iww.org
posted by mikelieman at 3:54 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wisconsin GOP Bill Allows State to Fire Employees for Strikes, Walk-Outs
posted by homunculus at 4:03 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


i have watched this thread since it started, coming back and reading up. it is an awesome thread. i am a bit confused as tho the situation, where are things at right now? (also am english so am confused by some of this anyways) in the vote, the bill was passed into law? yes/no? how many dems voted for the bill? did they know what they were voting for? will there be a legal challenge? i get that this is kinda uncharted terrotory but can anyone sum up?

The bill orginated a budgetary bill. Because of that it required a special 2/3 quorum to be considered. The Republicans have that majority in the assembly, but not in the senate. The bill went through the assembly (after some shenanigans), but stalled in the Senate when the Dems left the state denying quorum.

The Senate then removed parts of the bill, and reconsidered it as a regular bill requiring a majority quorum where it passed last night. This may or may not have been legal. Since the bill was different than the assembly bill, a conference committee was called to reconcile the differences. The assembly then approved those changes today.

It goes to the governor to sign now.

The only recourse we have now are to fight the bill in the courts and to recall the politicians and repeal this law.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 4:05 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


thanks fuzzybutt. I think the elites of europe will be watching this with interest. like vultures.
posted by marienbad at 4:08 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm a member of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (god bless it). I'll be contacting our reps to ask if there are any plans to take action to show our solidarity with the people of Wisconsin, whether by letter or demonstration or donations. Listen to scody: Don't mourn-- organize!
posted by jokeefe at 4:11 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Make plans, tell people those plans, organize. Lobbyists and Think Tanks have beat out more traditional methods of activism for decades now. Copy their simple formula: provide new rhetorics, narratives, justifications for the actions that you want to see. Political science kids, rhetoric students, essay buffs, now is the time to apply your skills. Argue the point in as many ways as possible, in as many venues as possible. Don't just counter theirs, make new positions. Do not let them define the argument. Steal their words, appropriate their terms. We've all heard the same leftist rhetoric and it isn't that the masses aren't hearing it. Be clever. Make info-graphics, write those polemics, reach out to every community, make friends with your strangers, be readable, be accessible, be approachable, and make friends with your strangers. Part of the local clubs? Why not? The more people you know, and stay in contact with, the more contagious your political views are. In your writing, in your work, do not simply persuade, you must undermine the opposition. Don't rely solely on petitions, authorities, political officials, demonstrations, and the media. Read, study up. Find the message, write the messages, try everything. If they contradict, it doesn't matter, an approach will stick. Something will go viral. Do not rely on just one meme, one approach, keep moving.

Messianic expectations are a disease. There are no guarantees, and expecting everyone but you to do it is what everyone will do. Expecting someone else to act is a recipe for inaction. You cannot just scream "help" to your fellows, or your government. Take charge. If the people with the power knew what to do, and how to do it, then they would. If they believed they could do it, they would. We are losing not because because people do not understand, but because we think we do not know what to do. What happens if we act is uncertain, but what will happen if we do not act is certain. Get creative, what worked before may not work now. Try everything. Contact neutral political figures and get them on the correct side, show them how they help themselves. Sys admins, you know what is in your power to do. Developers, make up for the media's failure. Lawyers, provide anonymous consul. Keep this interesting. America will lose interest in a week if we don't keep this going, creatively, new stories, new angles of attack. And there is nothing more uncomfortable than a story that won't die. Keep this alive.

If you just stand aside and watch, then you will certainly be disappointed in how all this turns out. If you act, then the consequences are unknown, and we'll be writing the history. Don't act to be a hero, act because you must.
posted by TwelveTwo at 4:14 PM on March 10, 2011 [15 favorites]


So - here's the thing. This isn't shit hitting the fan, right now. This is still all being played electorally. I wish beyond wish that it could be resolved electorally. But it's a struggle that never ends.

That said... Let's pretend that we do end up in a "revolution" or a "civil war". How many of us are overweight, out of shape ... you know the stereotype.

I know a lot of you guys are probably decently healthy. I, on the other hand, am not.

Back in 2005, when the last time I felt so riled up politically, I pondered the concept of MADREC: Madison Revolutionary Exercise Committee. The idea that we need to get in shape. The holistic view of a revolution that we need to grow, not just socially but physically and other ways. If we are to have a revolution, or be prepared if the state does end up cracking down against us and we are to stand in solidarity against an ever increasingly brutal system, is it not imperative of us to make sure we're ready?

But this is a very difficult task. I'm not sure how much I weigh these days, but I'm somewhere between 365-385... That's a lot of fat.

I'm not advocating violence. I'm not advocating weapons. I'm advocating a revolution of the personal and social not just political. If we are to unite, should we support each other more than just in labor? How can we help each other grow? We need stronger community in many ways. We've been divided. We've let community be either religious in nature, or when it comes to politics, electoral in nature.

We're all great at the brain game and a lot of us know our radical history. But we don't know how to organize (or most of us don't -- and those who do are stuck in previous modes of organizing). Protests are one part of the equation. We need to have a stronger social network. We need to build our own society in the shell of the old (as the Wobblies like to put it :))
It is the historic mission of the working class to do away with capitalism. The army of production must be organized, not only for the everyday struggle with capitalists, but also to carry on production when capitalism shall have been overthrown. By organizing industrially we are forming the structure of the new society within the shell of the old.
We need teachins, but we need more than just knowing history - we need to get rid of stale dogma. We need new things, we need new ideas. I'm not fully sold on Rough Ashlar's concept, BUT... THAT is the kind of thinking we need. We need to work on decentralizing our social networks, we need new forms of micropayments, we need ways to "route around" censorship and get the word out. We need to verify and build trust networks. We need to learn and teach encryption.

We need to work with established systems that we align with, but we need to move beyond those systems. Of course, being decentralized means we need to focus on not letting a vanguard tell us what to do. We also do need to be wary of those who would infiltrate and attempt to subvert. Because they will.

Sooooooooooo.

Any other Madison folks who are out of shape (or in shape folks who can provide advice and tips) wanna meet up sometime and start to get healthy?

Here's a couple Dead Prez tracks for inspiration :)

Discipline
Be Healthy
posted by symbioid at 4:17 PM on March 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


TwelveTwo: " Political science kids, rhetoric students, essay buffs, now is the time to apply your skills. Argue the point in as many ways as possible, in as many venues as possible. Don't just counter theirs, make new positions."

Yes! We need the graphic artists to start making propaganda. We've got the "Imperial Walker" idea, which hey, great, fun... But we need more. The black cat general strike poster is excellent. We need information and pamphlets. We need things to easily show the ideas, in nice properly designed infographic, ADHD-formatted data.

This is a different age, manifestos need to be in full color and have simple to read charts. CHARTS I TELL YOU! But information needs to be easy to grasp in quick terms, and we need professionals who are sympathetic to start working on this. (DICTATOR SYMBIOID!)
posted by symbioid at 4:22 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Or, you know--- precisely what TwelveTwo said had I read the full post before I jumped in! (I'm not even on stimulants)
posted by symbioid at 4:24 PM on March 10, 2011


I was thinking that an effective mascot would be a really, really pissed off badger, with huge rippling badger muscles and a LOCAL BADGERS 118 union t-shirt. Make the Walker side of the equation in to a really scrawny mad-hatter type sipping tea with a prominent tea bag.
posted by codacorolla at 4:25 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Fuck it, if you can't, then pay people to do it if you can't do it. No, I am not saying donate more to charity. It is hard for a board of ten people to use $100,000 creatively, but it is easy for 1,000 to use $100 creatively. There are plenty of people who need jobs and gigs. Help the artists, web developers, videographers, podcasters, advertisement agents, bloggers, programmers, and unemployed. This is a distributed age.
posted by TwelveTwo at 4:27 PM on March 10, 2011


Make agitprop a growth industry.
posted by vibrotronica at 4:28 PM on March 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


For the recall :

27,979
Supporters

$899,610
Raised

This is a clear message.

Let us pray that the next messages that we must send are not propelled with explosive force.

I'm fit and healthy... but damn... I'm 32... I'm too old for that shit.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 4:32 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


TwelveTwo: " It is hard for a board of ten people to use $100,000 creatively, but it is easy for 1,000 to use $100 creatively."

The revolution will be kickstarted?
posted by symbioid at 4:37 PM on March 10, 2011


Movie sign.
posted by drezdn at 4:39 PM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


dejah420: "But don't tax the oil companies...that would be bad for the economy."

Here's a clip of Joe Barton (R-TX) talking about how, if you believe in the "free market capitalist system", then you have to give federal tax credits to oil companies.
posted by fryman at 4:43 PM on March 10, 2011


Me, personally, I'm more afraid of suits and ties than I am of any Al Qaeda guys.
posted by nevercalm at 3:58 PM on March 10


I'm more afraid of suits and ties than I am of any Al Qaeda guys

Best. Rally chant. Ever.

posted by reductiondesign at 6:09 PM on March 10
Just thought I would leave this here.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 4:43 PM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I was thinking that an effective mascot would be a really, really pissed off badger....

You mean like this?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:45 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Movie sign.

Oh that photo needs to go viral. There need to be poster mockups, t-shirts, signs, edited youtube videos. That is awesome.

Clever girl.
posted by cashman at 4:46 PM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think this calls for giant inflatable badgers in the mold of the giant inflatable rats you see on the East Coast.
posted by feloniousmonk at 4:47 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


People upthread asked about the laws forbidding general strikes. Specifically, it's considered an "unfair labor practice" under the Taft-Hartley Act. You can see more about it here. Unfair labor practices include:
  • restraining or coercing employees in the exercise of their rights or an employer in the choice of its bargaining representative
  • causing an employer to discriminate against an employee,
  • refusing to bargain with the employer of the employees it represents
  • engaging in certain types of secondary boycotts
  • requiring excessive dues
  • engaging in featherbedding (requiring an employer to pay for unneeded workers)
  • picketing for recognition for more than thirty days without petitioning for an election,
  • entering into "hot cargo" agreements (refusing to handle goods from an anti-union employer)
  • striking or picketing a health care establishment without giving the required notice.
If a union leader (such as the gentleman from the firefighters' union) does call for a general strike, then the party on the other side (in this case the state) can file a claim against the union. In simplified terms, Gov. Walker can go to court for fines against the union as well as an injunction forcing people back to work. I need to do more research on this but I also think that theoretically the courts (I'm including administrative law judges as part of the courts) could also decertify a union as punishment. But if you're going to lose all collective bargaining rights anyway, then the threat of decertification is not such a serious threat....you're dead in the water as a union without collective bargaining. On the other hand, a general strike that brings all activity in the state (or even ...the USA) to a halt is a chance at survival.

It's basically life and death here for many people in the USA, since with paycuts to come etc, you're looking at people not being able to feed their families or keep their houses. And forget about college for the kids, which is essentially committing the kids either to permanent underclass status or a roll of the dice in the military. Tell a person that they face life and death and they either give up or fight. Only fighting gives a chance of survival -- any non-zero chance is infinitely greater than no chance at all.

The general strike is illegal. So was picketing in Birmingham, and so was Ghandi's Salt March.

It's almost unbelievable to me that kind of mobilization that is taking place in Wisconsin, in the face of this terrible economic crisis. For so long I've heard people say that Americans today just don't have it in them to stand up for our rights. Well that's obviously not true. So let's do this. It's now or never.
posted by wuwei at 4:54 PM on March 10, 2011 [21 favorites]


I'm honestly beginning to see the GOP not as fellow Americans on the other side of the ideological divide, but as a real and serious enemy. In the most primal sense.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 4:58 PM on March 10, 2011 [15 favorites]


I'm honestly beginning to see the GOP not as fellow Americans on the other side of the ideological divide, but as a real and serious enemy. In the most primal sense.


You and me both.
No more bending over backwards to find common ground.
Shout them down and shut them up.
Ostracize them at every turn.
Make them feel the full weight of their slackjawed ignorance in every atom of their being.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:01 PM on March 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


There's also a difference between participating in a general strike and endorsing a general strike. Individuals participating in a general strike are striking illegally, and may be fired, but so long as the strike wasn't called/endorsed by the union, I believe the union is free and clear of Taft-Hartley.
posted by kaibutsu at 5:02 PM on March 10, 2011


Holy crap, the assembly just adjourned until the 15th.

Beware the Ides of March. Speaking of which, I've just signed up to attend the Defend the Dream rally in New York on March 15. I was only the 22nd person to register; hopefully a lot of others will sign up soon, Ides be damned. Anyone in NYC interested in having a meetup at the rally?
posted by brina at 5:09 PM on March 10, 2011


Remember that day when Mubarak showed up to give a speech and everybody thought it would be the big one where he resigned, and there were leaked reports to that effect, etc., and then he didn't resign and things started getting nasty, but the Egyptians held tight and didn't let up the pressure anyway because they realized they had gone too far to give up now? Well. Just think about that.

On the other hand, a general strike that brings all activity in the state (or even ...the USA) to a halt is a chance at survival.

My thoughts on how best to play this is that a general strike in the state might be necessary in the short term, depending on what comes of the current legal actions against the legislation, but at the national level, if the Republicans force a government shutdown, there should be a total nationwide general strike. Seriously. If the Republicans have the nerve to shut down the Federal government in protest, then we should shut down everything else in protest in response.

I'm honestly beginning to see the GOP not as fellow Americans on the other side of the ideological divide

Don't fall for that, unless you mean the GOP party politicos and their wealthy puppet masters. The rest of them--well, at least a lot of the rest of them--really are just basically decent Americans, even if some of them are spiteful and too stubborn to admit their mistakes. Either way, they're being exploited, too, even if they don't know it, so at least bear that in mind.

It's almost unbelievable to me that kind of mobilization that is taking place in Wisconsin, in the face of this terrible economic crisis. For so long I've heard people say that Americans today just don't have it in them to stand up for our rights. Well that's obviously not true. So let's do this. It's now or never.

Here, here!
posted by saulgoodman at 5:09 PM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm honestly beginning to see the GOP not as fellow Americans on the other side of the ideological divide, but as a real and serious enemy. In the most primal sense.


You and me both.

Third. After the '08 elections, I was one of the people who wanted to maintain civil discourse and do everything even-handedly. But seeing that the GOP intentionally fucks things up for the bottom 90% every chance they get, we just can't afford to be reasonable with them anymore. A group that only bargains in bad faith is not worth bargaining with at all.

posted by KGMoney at 5:11 PM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Huh. I swear those italics were closed in preview mode...
posted by KGMoney at 5:12 PM on March 10, 2011


A group that only bargains in bad faith is not worth bargaining with at all.

QFT
posted by Leta at 5:14 PM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is a sad moment because we lost this battle. But we can be sad without giving up. This is not a moment for despair, I think this is actually a moment for great hope, if we can seize it, if we can build on it. A month ago, few people would have believed you if you told them this was going to happen, that this many people would care this much and fight this hard for public employee bargaining rights (I certainly wouldn't have!) What else can happen moving forward that no one would believe if you told them today? Hope is precious, hope is a vital spark for movement-building and change-making. If we let go of the hope, we lose. If we hold on to hope and believe in ourselves and eachother, who knows what we're capable of? I don't mean to be naive. But even though we may not be able to win right away on a lot of things, even though we might lose a lot over the next year or two, I actually have more hope than I've had for a long time in our ability to build a movement for real progressive change, one that before long can roll back what they're doing and start moving us forward in a big way-- as long as we don't give up now.

It's time to organize. As many people as we can, in as many ways as we can. Organize unions (or organize within our unions to make them stronger), organize politically, organize our communities, organize online. Build connections, build a movement, build a vision.

Organize to fight off attacks, yes. But more than that, organize around a progressive vision that we can move forward, and build it how we can, and elect politicians who can help build it, and hold them accountable (because winning elections isn't an accomplishment of our goals, electing people is just a tool to help us accomplish our goals, and we can't expect to reach them if we just sit back and depend on politicians to decide to do the right thing.)

How do we make this a movement? How do we keep this movement going?
posted by EmilyClimbs at 5:18 PM on March 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Don't fall for that, unless you mean the GOP party politicos and their wealthy puppet masters. The rest of them--well, at least a lot of the rest of them--really are just basically decent Americans, even if some of them are spiteful and too stubborn to admit their mistakes. Either way, they're being exploited, too, even if they don't know it, so at least bear that in mind.


Yeah and ya know what?
Fuck them. Seriously. Fuck them.
It has never in the history of the world been more fallin-off-a-fuckin-log easy to not be a misinformed ignorant dipshit.
They do this by choice.
Not because they are a poor misinformed waif in the woods who's sensitive eyes havent yet seen the light. They are full well aware of it and they hate it. They prefer the lie because, frankly, they are assholes.

Turning state parks into golf courses? Destroying workers rights? Conflating totalitarianism with not allowing health insurers to stop coverage for 5 year olds with cancer?

These arent abstract differences of polysci piffle theoretical opinion. These are things that, to support, requires you to be an asshole. And they are. And its time we stoped trying to play nice with the rubes and moved society forward without them. Make fun of them. Make them FEEL their ignorance. We are "elitists" no matter what we do, so lets show them what a real Meritocracy looks like.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:18 PM on March 10, 2011 [23 favorites]


There are still good Republican individuals out there, but, yes, the GOP is our enemy and the enemy of the United States, and they have been for quite some time.

Look at their plan for America, if they could get everything they wanted:

Torture

Never ending wars

A fully politicized judiciary beholden to their party and which ignores the Constitution when that document becomes inconvenient

Occupied Iraq as a model: a (greatly shrunken) civil service where, again, party membership and political correctness is the only criteria

Revoke any and all laws that might reduce, even slightly, corporate profits. Including anything protecting the environment, food safety, workplace safety, minimum wage, etc.

On that note, eliminate taxes on corporations and individuals making over 250,000 a year. Raise taxes on the middle and lower classes, since someone has to pay for the military.

End most social services but continue all corporate subsidies

For what few services are left, privatize all of them.

Eliminate public schools, provide vouchers for a time, and then revoke the vouchers.

No choice for women, no protections based on gender or sexuality

However, on the plus side, you will be able to carry your gun to Applebees and to Church. So there's always a silver lining.

Could be an interesting dystopia.
posted by honestcoyote at 5:21 PM on March 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


How do we make this a movement? How do we keep this movement going?

By trying every idea that comes to us. These are not problems solved through talk alone. We will not know what works until it does. Experiment.
posted by TwelveTwo at 5:21 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


If I was a legitimate enemy of the US, I'd be pouring money into the GOP thanks to Citizens United. Why bother with a direct confrontation when you can just back the guys that refuse to make any investment whatsoever in any kind of future that isn't a bleak hell? Just back the GOP and wait 20 years.

I understand the calls for optimism, and normally I'd be right there with them, because there are some truly beautiful things happening in WI, despite all the terror, but man, it's really hard to be optimistic.
posted by feloniousmonk at 5:27 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


My point is just the more heat and energy you devote to picking fights with those little bad guys, the more complicated and less direct of a job you're doing of going after the real bad guys, who actually have their hands on the levers of power. And you know, some of those little bad guys really might be persuaded to pick a different side if you don't push them further back into a corner and keep forcing the real bad guys into situations that force them to show their true intentions. Not all of them can be convinced, sure, but some of them can be. Maybe even enough of them.

They aren't the real enemy here, the source of this movement; they don't really even understand a lot of what the big bad guys are up to, though they may be complicit and they certainly aren't blameless. Just don't forget this: Every bit of misdirected energy is potentially wasted energy.
posted by saulgoodman at 5:30 PM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


"They" being your ignorant cousin who always votes GOP to stick it to Big Government, instead of guys like Walker and Koch.
posted by saulgoodman at 5:35 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Every bit of misdirected energy is potentially wasted energy.

But every hesitation is a complete loss.

I am not saying we all fire our cannons individually, I am saying we are all the leaders of the movement. Whoever succeeds happens to be the unifying one. Whoever unifies the movement happens to be the successful one. Try every message.
posted by TwelveTwo at 5:41 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Totally. Don't hesitate. But always be strategic, too.
posted by saulgoodman at 5:43 PM on March 10, 2011


If our loved ones have to go without their social security checks, then why shouldn't our bosses have to go without, too? If there's a government shutdown, there should be a nationwide general strike.
posted by saulgoodman at 5:49 PM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


How do we get that idea "viral" for lack of a better term? My typical disdain for marketing has left me high and dry. There's probably a lesson there.
posted by feloniousmonk at 5:53 PM on March 10, 2011


I like the idea of a general strike of banks and investments.
posted by bongo_x at 6:00 PM on March 10, 2011


The general strike is illegal. So was picketing in Birmingham, and so was Ghandi's Salt March.

Quoted for TRUTH. The actions that won us the eight-hour day? Illegal. The vote Susan B. Anthony cast in 1872 to demand women's suffrage? Illegal. The strikes and occupations that led to the formations of many of the unions right here in in the U.S.? Illegal. Sitting in at lunch counters? Illegal. Rosa Parks' refusal to sit at the back of the bus? Illegal.

I don't think the king woke up one morning / Said all the people should be better paid (no!) / Things were bad but things got changed / Plenty tough, union made!
posted by scody at 6:01 PM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Symboid: Did someone punch this thread in the dick? Where is everyone?

I'm here. Deeply disgusted and so enraged by the actions of the last 24 hours all I can do is watch all this and try and take it in the best I can. Information overload and the intense emotion of what to me seems like a truly ugly look into humanity has effectively shut me down articulation wise. I thought this country was past what happened late yesterday afternoon. And to here the R's in that assembly today try and defend what they're doing was just so sad. They keep saying to the Dems, in essence things like "You know we're right if you think about it" and "C'mon everyone, lighten up, we're going to get past this and everyone's going to realize everything is fine...blah..blah..blah..."

As if they're the one's needing reassurance to the right or wrongness of what they're doing, they're the one's who're wondering if they're doing the right thing, they're the one's desperate to hold on to the high ground (poor Jeff Fitzwalker and his nasty email...poor baby...), they're the one's who've allowed all the discussion and debate and careful scrutiny of this legislation, when if fact a couple of weeks ago they tried to thing with no Dems present in the assembly at 4:56 PM, on a vote scheduled for 5 fucking PM!

(Deep breath.)

Yesterday the Senate basically violates Wisconsin in one of the nastiest most brutish displays of power I've ever seen. Even without Wisconsin's open meeting laws (which I have no idea how Walker and FitzDickhole think they met the requirements on that ).

But even putting those things aside, there's a lot of faith that goes into a democratic system. There is what would be called a "culture" and a way of doing things, a convention, that is a shared set of beliefs and respect for the process and the spirit of what one is doing in government that goes deeper than laws, rules of order and procedure.

And that thing is founded on something very special, sorta sacred and it's the invisible lines of currency that people try to follow and it's based on a granted, invisible covenant that rules that culture and convention, and I don't care if you're Democrat, Independent or Republican, or Green party or whatever, what happened yesterday in that Wisconsin Senate is deeply disturbed and beyond fucked up, because something deeper, that culture, that convention, that shared covenant was fucking violated and damn near irreparably harmed.

I think anyone who can transcend party politics for even a second and truly look at the way they passed this bill in the Senate will see that beyond the issue at hand, and the doing away of 50 years of proud respect of organized labor, with the government explicitly on the side of the people against overwhelming capital that alone is shameful beyond words, and to do it without the Democrats, that even is shameful, and to do it in such a shameful way , that shows Walker and his lackey's NEVER cared about the budget aspects and that's all been a ruse and camoflage. An artificial crisis created to do something even more egregious.

But the most terrible thing, even without all that stuff is that I think they have seriously broken the government of Wisconsin to do this by befouling that unwritten covenant.

And that's why everyone who vote for this bill needs to be recalled and removed from office in Wisconsin. Because they destroyed something so valuable and spit on it and now they dare to think "we'll all move on from this...etc." But you know even every relationship there's that unspoken covenant of sorts, and much as you might try to get beyond it, it eventually rots a relationship from the inside out. There's no "moving on" from what these people did in Wisconsin, and what they're determined to do all across the country and on the Federal level if possible, and people need to see NOW what lengths this extreme ideology will go to, in order to TAKE BACK THEIR COUNTRY, because in order to do that they will need to disenfranchise everyone.

Frankly, as of now Wisconsin, in spite of the laws and whatever, has no government, these people have disenfranchised everyone in that state, and they're merely figureheads now, pretending answering only to their monied interests or anyone who can pretend to be that monied interest in a prank phonecall.


Recall is the answer for Wisconsin. For the rest of the country, Wisconsin is the answer to what the future will look like if these despicable so called "patriots" and their twisted idea of "freedom" is allowed to be given credibility as anything resembling democracy.
posted by Skygazer at 6:02 PM on March 10, 2011 [20 favorites]


How do we get that idea "viral" for lack of a better term? My typical disdain for marketing has left me high and dry. There's probably a lesson there.

By promoting it until it promotes itself. The first 100,000 hits of Old Spice Man videos were not organic. If the message doesn't stick then you move on. Try another. Say it differently. Say it simpler. Say it bolder. Say it in French. Say it like you were a tea partier, a marxist, a banker, a libertarian, a woman, a man, an immigrant, a patriot. Try everything. Memes are like the wee baby sea turtles, many are born but only few may make it to the sea. Be plentiful.
posted by TwelveTwo at 6:06 PM on March 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


Let a thousand memes bloom, in other words :)
posted by symbioid at 6:13 PM on March 10, 2011


We are fucked BECAUSE we live in a democracy and we get the government we vote for.

Now who's being naive?
posted by doctor_negative at 6:16 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Part II

If these fuckers are so worried about the poor motherfuckin' taxpayer, hell... why give public workers any pay or benefits, just bring back slavery. Zero labor costs, other than the basic feeding and whipping costs.

How else will they serve all these hardworking oppressed taxpayers (and plutocrats)?

I mean, I know it sounds extreme and everything, but I'm sure everyone will realize it's for the best and get beyond it eventually and be good friends again.

/*bird flip to #FitzWalkerStan*


I'm being facetious of course, but you know, it simply floors me and disgusts me that so many hard-working caring kind generous and good people, people who believe in the goodness of educating children to become good people and citizens, like teachers and librarians and people who want to take care of their communities and save lives from fires and violence, had their dignity taken away in such a brutal manner yesterday.

And treated so terribly, so so terribly. I am embarrassed for these power-mad motherfuckers who never learned humility and any respect for people who gave them such valuable and intangible things as an education.

No one should be humbled in that way, but for these folks to lose their dignity like this is beyond the fuckin' beyond. I can't even find words for it. It bespeaks an ignorance and pettiness that makes me want to take my laptop and bust it against the wall.
posted by Skygazer at 6:17 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've been learning a lot over these past couple of weeks--breaking quorums, public vs. private unions, general strikes, instant-runoff voting--and it's a shame this is what's been required to educate me, but in my (poor) defense, I'm young. This is far beyond anything I've ever seen in my lifetime.

I have to thank you guys for this thread. I've read almost every post in it and there is so much good in here. I've donated to ActBlue, even though I probably shouldn't have. I want to buy a pizza... I might do so tomorrow. Without you guys, I would have had no idea what to do.

I'm not in Wisconsin. I'm in Ohio, where we've already had this happen, and I missed the entire thing--it was over in a week. I've been looking around primarily on Facebook (I know so few places) to see if there are talks of nationwide gatherings/strikes in solidarity. I know this is all just happening, but does anyone have any advice on where to watch for this sort of thing? I want to do more, but I know so little about what to do.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 6:20 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was thinking today as I watched this all unfold, what would happen if Twitter or just the Internet was available back in the civil rights era. Would that march on Selma and Washington be ten times larger? #IHaveADream
posted by wheelieman at 6:22 PM on March 10, 2011


The general strike is illegal. So was picketing in Birmingham, and so was Ghandi's Salt March.

A few years ago, allegedly from Karl Rove:

The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

The take-home message: Act boldly enough and your action makes itself legal. Powerful unyielding insistence that it is legal makes it so. Lie so audaciously that you redefine what is true, and thus are truthfully speaking the new reality.

This is what Walker and Co just did, this is what Fox is doing. This is what Bush and Cheney were doing.

Fight fire with fire. The general strike is legal. Anyone saying otherwise is out of touch with reality.
posted by -harlequin- at 6:28 PM on March 10, 2011 [22 favorites]


This is the Republican/Corporate endgame. They've worked for this showdown for 40 years. Inch by inch. First, they decimated the private sector worker. By hook and crook they stripped the private-sector unions of power, pushed for right-to-work and employee-at-will laws, and shipped as many jobs overseas as possible.

Now they're finishing off by trying to kill public-sector unions. It's what they wanted all along - an utterly powerless and tractable workforce.

They have one biiiig problem though (and here I totally agree with Michael Moore) - they've overplayed their hand. They've tried to make their (obviously, to anyone who's been watching) orchestrated move too quickly and blatantly. This ham-handed move is exactly what we on the other side needed. This is a gift - many ordinary citizens who couldn't be bothered before have been slapped awake. The scales have fallen from a lot of eyes, I believe.

It's crucial that the workers and the left-leaning in this country make a stand now.We must grab peoples' attention while their interest and anger are up. If they are allowed to go back to sleep, the game is over.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:30 PM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


So, what are you doing Benny?
posted by TwelveTwo at 6:32 PM on March 10, 2011


The take-home message: Act boldly enough and your action makes itself legal. Powerful unyielding insistence that it is legal makes it so. Lie so audaciously that you redefine what is true, and thus are truthfully speaking the new reality.

Precisely. Oldest con in the book. Assume you have a certain power and act upon it as such without hesitation and, unless you are challenged, and 9 out of 10 times; YOU SIMPLY WON'T be, and you will have that power.

It's like the date rape method of government.
posted by Skygazer at 6:33 PM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Grand old Badger State!
We, your loyal sons and daughters,
Hail thee, good and great.
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Champion of the right,
"Forward", our motto,
God will give thee might!
posted by spinifex23 at 6:36 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, what are you doing Benny?

I've been involved with liberal causes and fundraising in Virginia for 30+ years - so I am quite familiar with lost causes and banging my head against the wall. I'm a keyboard soldier from way back. I'm raising a young son to be a thinking, thoughtful, empathetic person. I spread the liberal word to anybody and everybody; my friends will attest I'm like a Jehovah's Witness for progressivism. I'm a true believer in "reach one, teach one".

I'm too old, tied-down and broke right now to travel to participate anymore, but I'm involved locally a great deal.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:49 PM on March 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


spinifex23: "On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Grand old Badger State!
We, your loyal sons and daughters,
Hail thee, good and great.
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Champion of the right,
"Forward", our motto,
God will give thee might!
"

YEEEEEEEEE-HEE!
posted by mkb at 6:51 PM on March 10, 2011


Let a thousand memes bloom, in other words

Heh! Yeah, taking back the terms of the debate is important. Get slogans and charts OUT THERE. Post them on Facebook and twitter. Email them to your family members who always send you the LOLCATS and the crazy conspiracy theory spams.

How the middle class became the underclass

Eleven charts that show everything that's wrong with America

recent FB statuses/tweets:
"Why is a 3% tax increase on the rich considered socialism, but a 14% pay cut on the middle class considered doing their part?"

"A union worker, a tea party member, and a billionaire CEO [or Scott Walker, or the Koch Brothers] are seated at a table with a plate of 12 cookies. The CEO takes 11 cookies, then turns to the tea party member and whispers to him, 'Watch out for that union guy. He's stealing your cookie.'"

"Workers [or Teachers, or Union Members, or whatever] ARE Taxpayers!"

"The richest 400 people in America own as much wealth as the next 155 million combined. Did they really work 387,500 times harder than you?"

There are plenty out there... picket signs are a great source of good ones. Start reclaiming the language. Turn the conversation to our terms. As jo3's anecdote illustrates, people's consciousness can change in the crucible of certain circumstances. Be open to having the conversation with anyone who wants to have the conversation/debate in good faith with you.
posted by scody at 6:52 PM on March 10, 2011 [16 favorites]


Hooray Benny!
posted by TwelveTwo at 6:52 PM on March 10, 2011


"A union worker, a tea party member, and a billionaire CEO [or Scott Walker, or the Koch Brothers] are seated at a table with a plate of 12 cookies. The CEO takes 11 cookies, then turns to the tea party member and whispers to him, 'Watch out for that union guy. He's stealing your cookie.'"

Oh hey, I get it, the joke is the CEO left a cookie on the table, right ?
posted by iamabot at 6:56 PM on March 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


I wish I hadn't, really, but if you want a little taste of the other side, here's a WSJ piece about how "Taxpayers Win".

And if you don't want to read the whole thing, maybe just one really horrifying comment:
"This whole school debacle wouldn't be wasting our time and money if the gov't didn't have the right to take our money by force in order to subsidize its monopoly on education. Even parents who refuse to send their kids to gov't run schools are forced to pay taxes for them! And if you don't approve of evolution or sex education? Well, too bad. The gov't wants to force those values on your kids."
Just a convincing comment bot? Maybe this one. But some of those people are actual people who actually, aaaugh, how?
posted by Glinn at 6:59 PM on March 10, 2011


"Why is a 3% tax increase on the rich considered socialism, but a 14% pay cut on the middle class considered doing their part?"

"A union worker, a tea party member, and a billionaire CEO [or Scott Walker, or the Koch Brothers] are seated at a table with a plate of 12 cookies. The CEO takes 11 cookies, then turns to the tea party member and whispers to him, 'Watch out for that union guy. He's stealing your cookie.'"

"Workers [or Teachers, or Union Members, or whatever] ARE Taxpayers!"

"The richest 400 people in America own as much wealth as the next 155 million combined. Did they really work 387,500 times harder than you?"


Boy would I love to see a central collection point for stuff like this, with quick links to backup cites, where applicable.
posted by rollbiz at 6:59 PM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


We should have a projects.metafilter.com contest.
posted by TwelveTwo at 7:01 PM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


nthing that we need to frame the discussion our way. the teabaggers have done this up 'til now...i firmly believe they're in the minority, but they've sure been making a hell of a lot of noise. there are way more of us - reasonable, informed human beings - than there are of them. we need to focus efforts on people who are uninformed, unsure, fearful. show them that there's another way. we'll win those people to our side.

eventually, teabaggers will either see the light and come to our side or they won't. if not, we bring them in with open arms and forgiveness...if they don't, fuck 'em. right now, we waste time and effort, we destroy our morale, by focusing on these petty ideological arguments with people who have been brainwashed. ignore them and focus on informed, reasonable discussion with people who need that information, who need to see that people power is real and that we can do anything.

what am i doing ? i started a WI-centric FB group to share facts, info, discussion, hopefully organize and act, and it started to spread on its own. i've been re-posting all the awesome things that are shared here on mefi, and others are doing similar things, and the ball is starting to roll. we're all good at something, we just have to figure out how we can apply it to this movement, and then get over the fear of the unknown and just fuckin' do it.
posted by g.i.r. at 7:02 PM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Well, the richest 400 vs. next 155 million comes from Michael Moore's speech in Madison the other day -- I just added on the bit about "did they work that much harder than you?" bit. But yeah, a central slogan blog sort of thingy is an great project idea!
posted by scody at 7:02 PM on March 10, 2011


This whole school debacle wouldn't be wasting our time and money if the gov't didn't have the right to take our money by force in order to subsidize its monopoly on education. Even parents who refuse to send their kids to gov't run schools are forced to pay taxes for them!

I'd be happy to let them opt out of paying for government run schools as soon as I can opt out of paying for immoral wars, corporate giveaways, and state-sanctioned torture.
posted by rollbiz at 7:02 PM on March 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


We should have a projects.metafilter.com contest.

Awesome idea. I'm not much for site-building but I can find and source material with the best of 'em...
posted by rollbiz at 7:03 PM on March 10, 2011


Just registered supportingstatements.org. I register all kinds of domains on a regular basis for no real reason, so if nothing happens with it, no big deal, but I can put up a wiki in an hour or two. If there is truly no superior alternative for that sort of thing, I have no problem trying to get one started.
posted by feloniousmonk at 7:09 PM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


It doesn't matter if there is or isn't a superior alternative. You have the idea. Rockstars get their teeth fixed after they are famous. Websites can be done right after they are tried.
posted by TwelveTwo at 7:13 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am a good designer but Im not too clever with the concepts. Id love to throw in my talent where it can help.
Maybe on that supportingstatements site if ya want.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 7:14 PM on March 10, 2011


six-or-six-thirty: I know this is all just happening, but does anyone have any advice on where to watch for this sort of thing?

Here's the stuff I've been keeping an eye on.

There's tons of links to breaking news, photos, articles etc on these twitter feeds (Search in twitter):

@WIUNION or #WIUNION

@WISCONSIN or #WISCONSIN

and

Mefite DesJardin's feed is great:

http://twitter.com/#!/desjardins

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/

http://defendwisconsin.blogspot.com/

or very immediate and at the Capital Building:

http://twitter.com/#!/DefendWisconsin

Also good for a feel of what's happening with a great feed:
http://twitter.com/#!/edcetera

http://www.youtube.com/VoicesOfSolidarityWI

Great writing from this guy on the ground in Wis.

http://www.theawl.com/author/sauer

http://www.thedailypage.com/

or

http://www.thedailypage.com/isthmus/

http://www.recallscottwalker.com/

http://twitter.com/#!/ACLUMadison

http://www.prwatch.org/

Report: The Kochs, A Nazi Past, Oil & The

http://www.willystreet.coop/co-op_offers_process_for_donating_to_protesters

http://politifact.com/wisconsin/
posted by Skygazer at 7:17 PM on March 10, 2011 [12 favorites]


Rockstars get their teeth fixed after they are famous.

True, but I was always rather charmed by David Bowie's original snaggletooth smile... /derail

posted by scody at 7:17 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I want this graphic on a shirt! (from that Mother Jones inequality article)
posted by cashman at 7:19 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Alright, tell you what, it's getting late and I have an early meeting, and apparently I am going to have to wait awhile for all of the bits to align and the site to get set up with my host. I'll set up a mediawiki tomorrow. I will configure it for anonymous access a la wikipedia and then open up admin accounts as-needed.

Seeing skygazer's post on preview: someone (who isn't me, because I already do this with my account for professional use) who has a Google Reader needs to set up a public share that aggregates all of that information into one place. Once you do that you can hit a URL like reader.google.com/username/public and see everything all at once.
posted by feloniousmonk at 7:21 PM on March 10, 2011


I want this graphic on a shirt!

Me too! I am positive some clever Mefite can make that happen, as well... maybe with proceeds going to the recall efforts?
posted by scody at 7:21 PM on March 10, 2011


supportingstatements.org Google Group, for organizing design, construction, and content.
posted by rollbiz at 7:21 PM on March 10, 2011


NICE!

The gigposter community is ON THE CASE!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 7:24 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


You can't win, Scott. If you strike unions down, they shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.
posted by g.i.r. at 7:26 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


oh, another good slogan: The Revolution Will Be UNIONIZED
posted by scody at 7:27 PM on March 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Me too! I am positive some clever Mefite can make that happen, as well

Oh I think I know just the person for this job. Join me in asking, won't you?
posted by cashman at 7:31 PM on March 10, 2011


Well, the richest 400 vs. next 155 million comes from Michael Moore's speech in Madison the other day

FYI, rated true by Politifact.

How do we make this a movement? How do we keep this movement going?

Really? We just covered this.
posted by dhartung at 7:32 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh and six or six thirty, how could I forget this great site for boycotting all things Koch Industries.
posted by Skygazer at 7:33 PM on March 10, 2011


Another good one, perhaps especially useful for certain members of your mailing list:

"These are the values inspiring those brave workers in Poland ... They remind us that where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." -- Ronald Reagan, 1980

(of course, then the bastard went and busted PATCO. But it may have its rhetorical uses!)
posted by scody at 7:42 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


That General Strike image with the cat(link?), red on black, is tremendously gor-ge-ous. I want the poster, the t-shirt, the hat, the pants, the coffee mug, the pen and pencil set, the beer opener, the zippo lighter, the sippy cup, the toddler t-shirt, the bumper sticker...man just give me one of everything. Thank you.
posted by Skygazer at 7:42 PM on March 10, 2011


With this just-posted thread about Rep. Peter King trying to take away ham radio, combined with Avenger's comment from February 6th predicting this, along with the recent torrent of crazy restrictive things republicans are enacting, we need to keep a serious eye on what coming regarding what we are using to communicate with each other right now. They are coming down on all forms of learning - schools, npr, libraries. We can't let something slip in and somehow strangle what is going on right here in this thread. Just something to keep in mind. And I mean actually keep it in your mind - if you see related things, make an FPP.
posted by cashman at 7:48 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Senor Cardage: I am a good designer but Im not too clever with the concepts

It's interesting you say that Senor, as I am quite good with the concepts, but my graphic design cannot even be called design. I'm so bad at graphic design, my laptop refuses to allow me to open up Illustrator or Photoshop or Fireworks. Heck, sometimes it won't even let me use Wing dings in Word fer Chrissakes...sometimes it lets me use Visio, but even there if I get to fancy it goes blue screen...
posted by Skygazer at 7:49 PM on March 10, 2011


Here's what I'm thinking. There are some really striking images from that gigposters link above. Get together a handful of websites that give stark, simple facts. The 300 Americans being richer than half the country combined is great. The fact that the lowest ranking state school systems aren't unionized. Basic figures of how much Koch industries donates to union busting. Build individual websites with unique URLs that also have a single line fact. For this image (my favorite, btw) set up badgersnotweasels.com, and let it link to the other sites in the network, as well as tweet, facebook share, and donate buttons.

Put together other, more in depth sites that give guides like how to participate in a general strike if it's called. How to unionize in your area. Basic compilations of labor laws. Put these on a central hub that users can click in to to get more information.

Put PDFs online that people can print up posters, and encourage them to put them up in grocery stores, university campuses, municipal bulletin boards. Print out high quality, glossy trading cards and sell packs of them online donating the money, as well as putting them out in stacks in public places where people can get to them. Give instructions for individuals to print their own trading cards at places like Kinkos and encourage them to donate their time distributing them if they can't afford a direct contribution.
posted by codacorolla at 7:53 PM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Put any ideas you have on the google group. I don't want to seem like a flake, but it's been awhile since I set up a totally new domain and I forgot it wasn't instantaneous like most things.
posted by feloniousmonk at 7:54 PM on March 10, 2011


Oh, and my other grand idea (which I posted on Billy Bragg's FB page, just because I know he actually maintains his own page) is that there should be a series of LABOR AID concerts (not LABOUR, of course, because we can only afford 5 letters here, rather than 6) to raise awareness and money (along the lines of the Red Wedge concerts in Britain in the '80s during Thatcher's onslaught against the miners).

Sadly, despite my awesome luck with managing to occasionally meet Musicians of a Certain Generation, I have no idea how to go about getting this idea into the heads and hands of the right people (the last time I organized anything like this was a Waco Brothers benefit gig against the death penalty in Chicago, c. 1996).

I'm hopeful that something like this is already in the works, given the concert with Tom Morello et al. in Madison a few weeks ago, but just to put another meme out there: LABOR AID! Rock the Working Class!
posted by scody at 8:08 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


(or: The Working Class ROCKS)
posted by scody at 8:10 PM on March 10, 2011


I want this graphic on a shirt!

nthing that I would wear the hell out of such a shirt!

My mom is a classified employee at UW-Milwaukee, so I've been following this power grab closely and with abject horror. I wish I could be there to join in the protest. I can't shake the feeling that their "passing" this bill is just like Bush "winning" in Florida in 2000 - they are definitely succeeding at "creating the reality" as the Rove quote goes. I can't decide whether I'm surprised or not that President Obama hasn't said much about the whole thing, but it says volumes about how far to the hard right this country has veered over the last 40 years.

I just fervently hope that they've overreached this time - doing this in Wisconsin of all places, the heart of the Progressive movement! My fiancé canvassed for EFCA and health care for the AFL-CIO in 2008, and even in liberal Portland, he had horror stories every night of people spouting the most unbelievably ignorant, hateful crap about unions (and immigrants). As a result of that experience, I don't have very high hopes for public support of unions - but I would dearly love to be proven wrong.

Where's Woody Guthrie when we need him?
posted by dialetheia at 8:12 PM on March 10, 2011


scody - there are a lot of local bands that would go for that also, mine included. we could do something like that on a local / state level.
posted by g.i.r. at 8:13 PM on March 10, 2011


there are a lot of local bands that would go for that also, mine included. we could do something like that on a local / state level.

Awesome -- do it! Run with it! (And be sure to contact these guys!)

And from that local/state level, someone's bound to have connections with national musicians, as well -- the Dropkick Murphys, Wilco, etc. -- and/or knowledge of what plans (f any) for further concerts may have come out of the concert last month. And seriously, get in touch with the Waco Brothers.

Where's Woody Guthrie when we need him?

In our midst?
posted by scody at 8:23 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Skygazer, you are the best. Right up at the top of desjardin's twitter was just what I was looking for in terms of solidarity rallies in other states: http://www.standupforwisconsin.org/

And all of the other stuff was super good as well--still digesting, though, there's a lot.

You guys are fantastic.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 8:33 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you really want things on t-shirts, I can speak from experience that the inkjet iron-on sheets which are easy to find from various makers have pretty decent color transfer and last for years. I still have a "John Ashcroft Is Watching You" shirt I made back when he was AG, and it looks pretty much like it did when I first ironed it on.
posted by hippybear at 8:38 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's not just Wisconsin any more. There are rallies going on all over the country this weekend. Google "YourStateCapital or YourCity rally", and I betcha there's one near you.


For anyone in the Texas area, there's going to be a teacher's rally at the Capitol on Saturday from 11 - 2pm, to protest the planned cuts to education in Texas. So far I know there are caravans coming from Dallas and from Houston. In the middle of SxSW, so; if you're there, grab a dazed hipster, hand him a sign, march him in a circle. He'll thank you for the experience later, trust me. Hipsters love being ironic parts of the movement.
posted by dejah420 at 8:53 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


since this thread is getting long (that's a good thing !), i'm re-posting madison meetup for this saturday
posted by g.i.r. at 9:09 PM on March 10, 2011


I watched my Twitter feed update all day at work as I slowly filled with impotent rage. I really wanted to be there.

It's not just Wisconsin any more. There are rallies going on all over the country this weekend.

Maddow devoted tonight's show to connecting the dots between the protests taking place right now.

If the Dems don't run on this--if any Democratic candidate is not rolling out a gigantic LOOK AT WHAT THE OTHER GUYS ARE DOING TO YOU banner with photos of people getting tackled inside capitol buildings, they are crazy.
posted by Maaik at 9:20 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well..."crazy," or "also corporate lapdogs" I should say.
posted by Maaik at 9:31 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I sense the outrage is already waning. The ActBlue money-o-meter is slowing. This phenomenon is the genesis of Scott Brown's election and the one's that followed.

The left is just no good at building and maintaining a fever until it's snatching victory from the jaws of defeat time (or, as in the case of Scott Brown, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory).
posted by bz at 9:35 PM on March 10, 2011


bz: "I sense the outrage is already waning. The ActBlue money-o-meter is slowing. "

Perhaps because it's nearly midnight in Wisconsin?

Don't worry, there will be even larger protests tomorrow (I've heard rumblings about a nationwide student walkout) and over the weekend. But fearless warriors for democracy need to sleep, too.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:41 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


If the Dems don't run on this--if any Democratic candidate is not rolling out a gigantic LOOK AT WHAT THE OTHER GUYS ARE DOING TO YOU banner with photos of people getting tackled inside capitol buildings, they are crazy.

The national dems are not going to do anything with this. They're genetically incapable of it. The unions are being killed off one state at a time, and the democrats are absolutely frightened of actually taking a stand. Watch this senator flop around like a fish.

Hell, it took the state dems 2 weeks to summon up the courage to run a recall campaign - one that was already well afoot by the time they stopped pussyfooting around. The biggest national figures we've managed to attract have been Michael Moore and Jesse Jackson, fercrhissakes.

If you're looking to the Democratic Party of the US to save you, you're fucked. Those pickle headed morons are the ones that got us into this mess and have no real interest in getting us out.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:42 PM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I hope so.
posted by bz at 9:43 PM on March 10, 2011



Ed Dionne puts it more gently than I do.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:50 PM on March 10, 2011


The left is just no good at building and maintaining a fever until it's snatching victory from the jaws of defeat time

Then we must not be the left, we must be something new.
posted by TwelveTwo at 9:58 PM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Perhaps.
posted by bz at 10:02 PM on March 10, 2011


What is the other option?
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:04 PM on March 10, 2011


Wisconsin in the Norwegian news.
posted by desjardins at 10:06 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]



You think Nancy Pelosi and the Clintons will ever allow that ? That's daft. We handed the dems sizable majorities and a presidency - and the republicans a stunning defeat - in 2008 and they managed to let the republicans push them around anyway.

Obama isn't a great leader - he's a fine statesman and administrator - but the dems lack of leadership and direction was never more in evidence than in the 2 years since we gave them all they could have asked for electorally. Even at that, he could have accomplished a lot more if he didn't have to drag the spineless idiot twins Reid and Pelosi into every bright idea he wanted to accomplish.

We'll go on to hand the dems another victory, surely. But they won't have earned it and they'll just squander it.

The Democratic party - the Minnesota Vikings of politics.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:09 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Then we must not be the left, we must be something new.

Come on, the term "the left" isn't the problem -- it's giving up the fight (or expecting the Democratic Party to wage the fight) that's the problem. The issue is not one of what we call ourselves but what strategies and tactics we pursue.
posted by scody at 10:13 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thanks skygazer and six-or-six-thirty for the shout out. I slapped that website together in a couple of hours tonight and I'd really appreciate any help with a) data entry and/or b) making it prettier.
posted by desjardins at 10:13 PM on March 10, 2011


or javascript :/
posted by desjardins at 10:15 PM on March 10, 2011


(oh, and TwelveTwo, I didn't mean that to come off as snarky as it might have sounded -- my apologies!)
posted by scody at 10:16 PM on March 10, 2011


Pogo_Fuzzybutt: "Even at that, he could have accomplished a lot more if he didn't have to drag the spineless idiot twins Reid and Pelosi into every bright idea he wanted to accomplish."

Reid for sure, but Pelosi? She was one of the most effective Speakers in American history. She made sure her caucus delivered on every major bill, down to razor-thin margins, only to see most of those bills founder or wither in the Senate.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:20 PM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


scody: "Come on, the term "the left" isn't the problem -- it's giving up the fight (or expecting the Democratic Party to wage the fight) that's the problem. The issue is not one of what we call ourselves but what strategies and tactics we pursue"

I think that I'm going to the city offices tomorrow to find out how to run for city council. I cannot fix things in Wisconsin. Hell, I probably can't fix anything in Austin. But I can sure as hell fix something in my little town, and tomorrow I'm gonna figure out how to register as an independent candidate and gather signatures.
posted by dejah420 at 10:22 PM on March 10, 2011 [22 favorites]


Don't worry scody, you are absolutely correct.
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:28 PM on March 10, 2011


Newly recorded video from the Mountain Goats last night

Protestors occupying the Assembly singing Solidarity Forever, also from last night.
posted by dustyasymptotes at 10:37 PM on March 10, 2011


Whoops, here's the correct second link.
posted by dustyasymptotes at 10:38 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


We'll go on to hand the dems another victory, surely. But they won't have earned it and they'll just squander it.

So let's not just "hand" it to them and leave it them to squander. What if we were mobilizing like we are now with Democrats in control? What if we were really fighting for them to do what we elected them to do, and not letting them off the hook until they do it?
posted by EmilyClimbs at 10:38 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tonight, I had the odd experience of attending a LWV candidate forum for our city council, with one of the candidates the brother of our GOP assemblyman, whom the limited seating obliged us to sit by. I had to resist standing up and yelling "Shame!" several times. He was a nervous nelly -- already dressed down to sweatshirt and jeans (blue collar guy, new to politics), with a bouncing knee half the night.

Anyway, three of the candidates are incumbents, and one of them brought up the coming loss of $1.5 million in state shared revenues (from a $42M budget), as well as $300,000 coming out of the recycling subsidy (they think they can make the program break even this year regardless). Then, his voice almost cracking, concluded that the new caps on tax increases mean they can only raise total tax levy citywide ... $100,000. We have 60,000 residents. That's just $1.67 per person. That's all the state will let us make up the balance of what they've taken away.

The city is already struggling to provide services at much the same as pre-recession levels, with huge numbers of foreclosed and defaulting properties on the books, in the wake of the loss of our GM plant (5% of the county's total employment). Last fall the budget was approved after a herculean effort to shave $1.5M already.

And this guy next to us sat there smirking.

I think they're just asshole through and through.
posted by dhartung at 10:44 PM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


I am so pissed about the bullshit limits on local levies. Who the FUCK do the Republicans think they are when they talk about "local control" unless of course, it's what they don't want. Fucking hypocrites. Fuck them so hard.
posted by symbioid at 10:53 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Okay, I'm desperate for a normal night's sleep tonight, so I'm going to try to be disciplined and bow out of the thread for the evening by making a plug for the excellent Democracy Now! site, which one of the single best independent media outlets in the U.S. If ever the need for a real alternative to the hegemonic bullshit of the mainstream media was clear, this is the time.
posted by scody at 11:38 PM on March 10, 2011


Oh, sorry, one more thing, just to remind people that this fight is national, not just Wisconsin -- Thousands of workers protest at Indiana Statehouse. The official count was 8,000, but the unofficial counts I've seen all put it over 10,000.
posted by scody at 12:43 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


What is the other option?

Progressive !
posted by g.i.r. at 2:56 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I woke up today and read about the latest from WI and the blatant dictatorial takeover of MI, and the massive earthquake in Japan ... and I'm gonna go to Washburn on Sat to protest Walker and they are expect at least 2000 people (population 16700)... and I can not lie... my heart hurts today, not in a omg emergency room fashion, but in a sad fashion. Gotta go do something life affirming for the day. Carry on, I'll be back at it on Saturday.
posted by edgeways at 5:23 AM on March 11, 2011


edgeways, I am with you completely. I spent most of a summer in northern Japan, and I woke up this morning to hear that a town where I spent a couple weekends is under eight feet of water. I could really use some happy news today.
posted by Vibrissa at 5:35 AM on March 11, 2011


edgeways, I am with you completely. I spent most of a summer in northern Japan, and I woke up this morning to hear that a town where I spent a couple weekends is under eight feet of water. I could really use some happy news today.

I'm trying to find a link right now, but does General Strike Called for 3/17 perk you up any?
posted by mikelieman at 5:45 AM on March 11, 2011


Folks talking about bands, I know that some IATSE members were working on a concert--I can't get to the info right now but I'll try to post it later.
posted by Mngo at 5:51 AM on March 11, 2011


Like Joan Baez said, action is the antidote to despair. I've got an internet friend in Wisconsin and it burns me up that her rights are just being trampled on as if they were dirt. I wish I could do something useful.
posted by harriet vane at 6:07 AM on March 11, 2011


I think that I'm going to the city offices tomorrow to find out how to run for city council. I cannot fix things in Wisconsin. Hell, I probably can't fix anything in Austin. But I can sure as hell fix something in my little town, and tomorrow I'm gonna figure out how to register as an independent candidate and gather signatures.

This, right here, is the way to fix things. Start at the bottom, get your name in, and work up. It's how the Right started getting power ten-fifteen years ago, by going for the little posts that nobody else paid attention to -- once they did that, they networked and then built that into "[x] years service" slogans for bigger campaigns.

And how can the rest of us help? By doing this:

Dejah, I can't give much -- maybe only about ten bucks -- but I would gladly give that to your campaign. Where can I do that?

...Anyone else want to support the Blue's latest candidate?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:17 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nope. Thanks though, but no. Still gathering data. Not even a registered candidate. Also completely unaware of rules regarding campaign donations. It's a town of 3,000 people...it's not like a real city. And everybody knows everybody. The odds of the weird art chick who doesn't go to church, is pro legalization, and pro gay marriage, winning in a little Baptist farm town....next to nothing. It could happen, I suppose. Stranger things have. Especially to me.

However; I just moved, (ok I moved 7 miles), and my polling place changed, which may mean I need to wait a year to fill residency requirements. I'm waiting for a call back from the city secretary. Monday is the last day to be able to register to get on the ballot for May elections, but apparently I don't need any signatures, I can just sign up.

So, first steps taken, city hall just a mile or two away, and one of the ladies already has a packet made up for me, we're just waiting to hear back if my move disqualifies me for this round. Even if it does, our city council is elected in cycles, such that every year there's an election for different places on the council.

But I do think we should all commit to taking an active role in our communities. Be visible. Go to your city council meetings. Stand up for progressive systems, and fight hard when they try to give "tax rebates" to companies. Stand up for libraries and after school programs and parks. Proudly talk about what you believe, as though it is the only rational belief system. The time for passive politeness in the face of this unrelenting juggernaut of hate is over. Either we stand up to it, and show civility, but no tolerance of ignorance, or we will be rolled over by the tank drivers of the culture wars.

Or, in the immortal words of Dieter: Now is the time on Sprockets when we dance.
posted by dejah420 at 6:57 AM on March 11, 2011 [15 favorites]


Fair enough; you've actually spawned an idea, though, that if anyone wants to help me figure out how to work it/help point out why it wouldn't work, I'd like them to MeMail me --

In essence, what I'm seeing is a sort of Modest Needs or Kiva or Donors Choose for grass-roots political candidates. Especially in the smaller communities and the smaller elections. But the point about campaign donations is a good one, so if anyone wants to Memail me and pick holes in that, let me know...(this idea is an ameboid state, so knowing exactly what the obstacles would be is very good.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:08 AM on March 11, 2011


Empress, I really dig that idea. Let me do some digging around my contacts lists and see if I know anyone who knows anyone in the micro-financing arena.
posted by dejah420 at 7:17 AM on March 11, 2011


Or, in the immortal words of Dieter: Now is the time on Sprockets when we dance.

Also, this was awesome.
posted by VTX at 7:18 AM on March 11, 2011


From the South Central Federation of Labor site Madison Troublemakers School

Potentially interesting?

I couldn't find anything on the 3/17 strike mikelieman. I'd imagine it'd be all over if it were called by someone?
posted by symbioid at 7:22 AM on March 11, 2011


So, what are you doing Benny?

Don't know about Benny, but I've been working on a couple of fund raising/outreach ideas for the state-level AFL-CIO, and have been talking to as many people as I can about labor issues (as well as promoting the idea of a broad general strike as a response to the threatened Federal shutdown, should the Republicans make good their threat). I've also been going out and playing union songs and having casual sing-alongs with friends.

Stuff like that is a start. Basically, go out get organized and spread as much enthusiasm as you can while you're doing it.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:35 AM on March 11, 2011


"Jobs saved"

I mean - do they really think we believe this bullshit?
"The Legislature helped us save 1,500 middle class jobs by moving forward this week with the budget repair. The state will now be able to realize $30 million in savings to balance the budget and allow 1,500 state employees to keep their jobs," said Walker in a statement released Friday morning.
posted by symbioid at 7:35 AM on March 11, 2011


That's like me holding a gun to someone's head and claiming that I saved their life simply because I didn't pull the trigger.
posted by VTX at 7:37 AM on March 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


I'm hopeful that something like this is already in the works, given the concert with Tom Morello et al. in Madison a few weeks ago, but just to put another meme out there: LABOR AID! Rock the Working Class!

Holy crap--that's really similar to my main fundraising idea right now. I'm thinking of trying to set up some local shows (kind of a mixed bag with some scheduled acts and then a long open-mic portion) dedicated to union songs and labor protest songs. Originally I was thinking "Little Red Song Night," or something like that with donated proceeds and a cut of the door from the shows going to the AFL-CIO or other union organizations. Then of course, I'd also like to help put out a compilation of union songs by various artists with sales proceeds to go to cause.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:38 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


The left is just no good at building and maintaining a fever until it's snatching victory from the jaws of defeat time

That's not true. "The Left," remember, is just the old poli-sci term for the non-aristocratic masses of the people; the demos. It was the left-wing--the commoners, who sat on the left-wing of the French parliament--who carried out the French Revolution. It's not "the left" that snatches defeat from the jaws of victories; the left is an abstraction, a title for the masses of ordinary people, whatever their current ideological leanings or level of civic engagement. It's only the modern-day American left that's incoherent and divided against itself.

In our own past, the American left-wing was much more unified and organized, and had more successes standing up to the powers-that-be. That's why America has such a proud tradition and culture of honoring nonviolent protest and civil disobedience. But then, the left was also more desperate back then, because living conditions were far more conspicuously worse for so many more people than they are today. While things are already getting a lot worse, today we are really fighting to avoid losing what we've already gained, not simply fighting for more-- although it'd be a mistake not to push for as much as we can now that it's reached this point.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:52 AM on March 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


And in more class war news banks threatening to put caps on debit card purchases. (sorry I know it's only tangentially related, but since we're getting all worked about the corps and plutocracy, I figure it may as well be stated here where we're all het up about the class war stuff.

It's a clear game by the banks to make it sound like they *have* to do this so now it makes the liberals/dems/people who want to limit corps look like "the bad guy".

Fucking Assholes.

We need a decentralized economy STAT.

Madison has a localized currency: HOURS. Let's start focusing on taking our money from their system. Let's work on cross regional alternative currencies... Something, anything to withdraw from their system.
posted by symbioid at 7:54 AM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm joining my local credit union; wish I'd already done it.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:00 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't fall for that, unless you mean the GOP party politicos and their wealthy puppet masters. The rest of them--well, at least a lot of the rest of them--really are just basically decent Americans, even if some of them are spiteful and too stubborn to admit their mistakes. Either way, they're being exploited, too, even if they don't know it, so at least bear that in mind.
"That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it."
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:05 AM on March 11, 2011


Well, okay then. The modern-day American left is just no good at building and maintaining a fever until it's snatching victory from the jaws of defeat time.
posted by bz at 8:05 AM on March 11, 2011


My rep just posted:

Bill already signed, apparently middle of the night. 3PM ceremony only for credentialed members of the press. Capitol still not fully open, checkpoints at N & S Hamilton entrances.
posted by symbioid at 8:22 AM on March 11, 2011


I couldn't find anything on the 3/17 strike mikelieman. I'd imagine it'd be all over if it were called by someone?

I guess I'm just a nobody... (it works when Rove does it...)
posted by mikelieman at 8:29 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]



The DNC - they issue press releases.

They've taken the brave stance of decrying what the republicans have done without going so far as to irritate their own corporate donors.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:31 AM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


(sorry, Mikelieman!)

I thought you had heard news from one of the Unions. Then your quote about "having to find it" :P
posted by symbioid at 8:32 AM on March 11, 2011


I want this graphic on a shirt!

Me too! I am positive some clever Mefite can make that happen, as well... maybe with proceeds going to the recall efforts?
posted by scody at 10:21 PM on March 10 [+] [!] 24247">


Here you go. I cleaned up the image and put it on spreadshirt.

(I set my commission to 0.00, so I don't make any money off this, but it doesn't cost me anything either. That's as low as I can set the price. I set it so you can customize the color, but don't ask me how.)
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:33 AM on March 11, 2011 [4 favorites]



The Democratic Strategist has a tidy article on the mess the dems have made of things. Concluding :
"Wisconsin Democrats have shown that the only way to win arguments is to take risks on behalf of what you believe. Are Washington Democrats prepared to learn this lesson? "

posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:36 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here you go. I cleaned up the image and put it on spreadshirt.

Would you be willing to do this one?
posted by ryanshepard at 8:40 AM on March 11, 2011


This Mother Jones article talks about how/why/when the Democratic party abandoned the middle class.

I applaud the actions of the WI Senate dems, but it seems the majority of dems have turned away from the middle class in favor of soulless corporations that fund them. Case in point. Or maybe it's just when they move to a national stage and the costs of running a campaign are so completely insane that they feel they have no choice... and then they (and we) are totally f*cked.

btw - wtf "National Amusements" a movie theater chain?

btw2, I know these things are not news to many of you uber-informed folks. But I am learning a lot these last few days - the kinds of things I have avoided because it's all so freaking depressing. Hopefully scads of people who otherwise weren't are similarly reading up. And that is a good thing.
posted by Glinn at 8:43 AM on March 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


If you want more to understand and read and be inspired, I'd recommend the classic A People's History of the United States.

Didn't someone post in this thread or another one a booklist with a lot of good reading material?
posted by symbioid at 8:46 AM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I cleaned up the image and put it on spreadshirt.

That. Is. Awesome.
posted by desjardins at 8:46 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Overpromising and underdelivering :
Union officials and progressive activists on the ground in Wisconsin say that six specific lawmakers have been targeted for recall (before Wednesday night that number had been eight). Of those, three were considered top tier “gets:” Sen. Randy Hopper (District 18) who won his last election by 184 votes, Sen. Alberta Darling (District 8) who won her last election with 51 percent of the vote, and Sen. Dan Kapanke (District 32) who also won his last election with 51 percent of the vote, in a district where President Obama won 61 percent of the vote in 2008. The other three lawmakers on the list were Sen. Robert Cowles (District 2), Sheila Harsdorf (District 10), and Luther Olsen (District 14).

From 8 down to 3 and maybe a few more if they get lucky.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:47 AM on March 11, 2011


I saw an unconfirmed twitter rumor that they've already collected half the signatures they need to recall Kapanke.
posted by Vibrissa at 8:51 AM on March 11, 2011


I would love to see a clearing house of information on which politicians get funding from whom & where -- I can't really imagine the footwork this would involve, but the media certainly isn't doing it.

The Dems & Repubs who take corporate funds (and which of them doesn't??) need to be exposed. That's why the DNC wrote that timid response and are running away from the truth of Wisconsin like it's a hot potato full of the plague. Their leashes are being yanked.
posted by atlatl at 8:51 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


atlatl, perhaps opensecrets will work?
posted by symbioid at 8:52 AM on March 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think they'll try to get all of them but those three are the low-hanging fruit and they want to be certain they get at least those three.
posted by VTX at 8:53 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


symbioid, thanks! hooray for info sharing!
posted by atlatl at 8:55 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Not to throw a wrench in any glorious t-shirt plans but have the original creators of those designs given all necessary permissions? Might also want to credit the creator, if possible, on the shirt?)
posted by Glinn at 9:06 AM on March 11, 2011


Would you be willing to do this one?
posted by ryanshepard at 11:40 AM on March 11 [+] [!]


Absolutely.

General Strike! (black only)
General Strike! (pick your color)

(btw, here's the cleaned up 'Actual Wealth' graphic in PNG form, if you want to do other stuff with it on your own.)
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:07 AM on March 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


THIS IS A SOCIALIST REVOLUTION! WE HAVE NO NEED FOR PROPERTY RIGHTS!

(Seriously, I do agree that original creators would be good to get in contact with. I've a feeling the general strike cat person would be fine with it - maybe check out w/the IWW... Hell, if they could get it made and the money would go towards their efforts, even better -- actually, not sure why they haven't done that themselves, honestly)
posted by symbioid at 9:09 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not to throw a wrench in any glorious t-shirt plans but have the original creators of those designs given all necessary permissions?

For the Drooker image, yes.
posted by ryanshepard at 9:12 AM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


The vibe i got is that it was meant to be printed and distributed freely, and I'm not making money off the shirts, but if Drooker or IWW or Spreadshirt wants me to take the items down, I'll happily comply. I'm just trying to help out.

Think of it as a poster you can wear.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:16 AM on March 11, 2011


Uther Bentrazor you're doing excellent things, I didn't mean to criticize, just to throw a teeny note of caution as I see many t-shirt-type-things on the horizon!
posted by Glinn at 9:21 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Uther, you're good. The wobblies commisioned the image to be used exactly how you're using it, so thanks!

After I cash my check today I'm gonna go register a domain (maybe culturewarroom.com or something like that) and set up a magazine style wordpress site and try to put up some info about organizing and whatnot. I'd be glad to accept submissions, ideas, help, whatevs. PM me and I'll give you super admin access when I've got it set up.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:24 AM on March 11, 2011


Damn - looks like the Spreadshirts tees are made by Gildan and Fruit of the Loom, both of whom use sweatshop labor.
posted by ryanshepard at 9:25 AM on March 11, 2011


Oof that's a bummer.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:27 AM on March 11, 2011


What about Cafepress? (I think they have larger sizes for us fatties, as well). But I don't know what brand they use for shirts. I still like having the option of larger clothes. Not all of us are non-morbidly-obese hipsters :P

But, be careful, I've had a shirt not be allowed to post because they said it was "offensive" (though there were much more offensive shirts than mine). They might make some excuse to not host it.
posted by symbioid at 9:33 AM on March 11, 2011


That report is from 2004. Is there more recent information? They may have changed their practices in the meantime.
posted by hippybear at 9:34 AM on March 11, 2011


Also - zazzle has up to 6x, though my gf ordered some cards from them and it took *forever* to get made.... Just some ideas - but I have a feeling that pretty much anything is gonna be sweat.

Oh hippybear, ye of much faith in the system ;)
posted by symbioid at 9:37 AM on March 11, 2011



And it's offical.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:44 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


God I hope this gets slammed in the courts.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:47 AM on March 11, 2011


Well, if you want to check out other direct to garment places, here are the graphics I used

General Strike!
for color shirts
for black shirts

They're PNG with transparency (save them and then open them in a graphics program)

Also, someone put up a photoshop (PSD) version of the poster, divided into layers if you want to do your own thing
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:48 AM on March 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


I know I'm not supposed to read the comments, but I had to LOL...
Pres. Obama is not very likely to be re-elected. his ideas failed (Keynesian Stimulus? Were you asleep for 40 years?)
No, I was awake. and 30 of those 40 years were all Reaganomics.

Some people.
posted by symbioid at 9:49 AM on March 11, 2011


Uther Bentrazor: "Well, if you want to check out other direct to garment places, here are the graphics I used

General Strike!
for color shirts
for black shirts

They're PNG with transparency (save them and then open them in a graphics program)

Also, someone put up a photoshop (PSD) version of the poster, divided into layers if you want to do your own thing
"

I'd be careful with modifying it - the CC license is attribute, no profit and no-modification. Unless you were just using it to like - resize for printing or whatever PSD would be for...
posted by symbioid at 9:50 AM on March 11, 2011


I sent money to the Madison IWW.
It's not much, but I hope it helps.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:51 AM on March 11, 2011


Does anyone know what - if anything - the IWW is using the donations for?

I'm getting to work on organizing a benefit show in D.C., and want to make certain that the $ goes for no-BS, nuts-and-bolts organizing in WI.
posted by ryanshepard at 9:54 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]




Does anyone know what - if anything - the IWW is using the donations for?

From their site:

ALL DONATIONS GO TOWARD ORGANIZING IN WISCONSIN

INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD STATEMENT ON WISCONSIN SB 11 AND THE DEMONSTRATIONS IN MADISON

The Industrial Workers of the World stands in solidarity with all public and private sector workers in the state of Wisconsin during this trying time. The Wisconsin governor, Scott Walker, is attempting to close a 137 million dollar budget gap at the expense of the rights of state employees; effectively eliminating collective bargaining and destroying public sector unions. This bill is nothing less than a slap in the face to people who have dedicated their lives to serving the state and its people.

In response to this impending crisis for organized labor, the IWW is mobilizing its membership for a protracted fight against this and other hostile state administrations. Additionally, the IWW is coordinating with larger unions to initiate a demonstrative one day General Strike throughout the state of Wisconsin - the date of which is to be determined during the coming week. The IWW is committed to organizing a grassroots, worker-led response to this and other economic problems.

An Injury to One is an Injury to All!

http://www.iww.org/


I can't vouch for the individuals in the branch, but the organization is solid and accountable.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:57 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know a chunk of the donations is going to the strike fund.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:59 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


At the bottom of this page, there is a phone number 608-313-4694 which you could probably call if you want to talk to someone there about how they use any money you might raise for them.
posted by hippybear at 9:59 AM on March 11, 2011


I just posted this on my LJ:
I've been thinking about the coming class war.

In particular, where are the supposedly reasonable wealthy fuckers. You know... Gates, Buffett, Soros? Soros made a lot of talk back in 2004 about "Open Society" -- (you know the same Soros who made mad money destroying countries financially by betting on their currencies)...

Where are these guys who like to talk about being "liberal" and that they owe it to society? Buffett who says "tax us more".

Put your money where your mouth is you fucker.

Fuck... Put your MOUTH where your mouth is. Where the fuck are you when the US is being utterly ripped apart by fascist thugs who are using this "fiscal crisis" as an opportunity to rip away any constraints on corporate America - giving tax breaks to the wealthy, while eliminating tax breaks for the poor (1.8 billion tax raise on the elderly and poor in Michigan, while they give a 1.7 billion tax REDUCTION to the rich) Meanwhile, Michigan enacted (or is in the process of enacting(?)) a law whereby the governor can single-handedly mandate the dissolution of a duly elected government of any municipality and hand it over to a handsomely paid corporate-style manager hand picked, of course, by the governor. This is insane and absurd, and this isn't a joke. It's not "oh maybe they're just talking some weird funny ideas to get the base riled up". This is real, it's happening NOW.

And the class collaborationists who make noise about "doing their part" continue to let the system crumble.

FUCK Even Goddamned FDR (wealthy New Yorker) knew where the bread was buttered. He knew that if he didn't moderate shit, it would go to hell, so he passed some reforms for unions, thus co-opting a more radicalizing movement.

So... If these guys don't want to co-opt the movement? If they don't want to take a stand, well, if the class war begins, don't say you weren't warned, and don't say we don't know what side you chose. Your silence is deafening.
posted by symbioid at 10:00 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


@symbioid

And do it quickly, before the angry masses start chanting "Eat the Rich!" right?
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:15 AM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hey just in case anybody missed it, I'd like to point you to the rally page that desjardins built. Check and see if there's anything set up for your city.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 10:34 AM on March 11, 2011


the rally page that desjardins built

...with some help from a few mefites, random people from around the country, and a high school kid from Madison who contacted me out of the blue. solidarity indeed.
posted by desjardins at 10:52 AM on March 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


Whoo. I'm trying to get you as many legitimate back links as I can.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 10:54 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


desjardins: you should maybe pop that into MeFi Projects, too. Since it's already done, and everything.
posted by hippybear at 11:09 AM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ugh. Judge declines to issue a temporary injunction against the bill.
posted by Vibrissa at 11:32 AM on March 11, 2011


I've been a long time lurker (years, sadly(?)) but this has prompted me to finally register just to say that I've also been back linking desjardins's site as well as putting it out over twitter and facebook. When you stand up for your neighbor, you stand up for yourself. If only we can convince some of the more right-leaning folks of that simple truism; I suspect that is the direction in which victory lies.
posted by Godspeed.You!Black.Emperor.Penguin at 11:40 AM on March 11, 2011 [14 favorites]


I'm trying to get you as many legitimate back links as I can.

I just updated my blog for the first time since July! Thanks, desjardins.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:42 AM on March 11, 2011


hippybear, I think you're right. I wanted to wait until it was prettier, but I'd rather get it out there since there is a lot going on tomorrow and especially Tuesday.
posted by desjardins at 11:42 AM on March 11, 2011


When you stand up for your neighbor, you stand up for yourself.

And an injury to one is an injury to all.

FUCK YEAH wobblies.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 11:44 AM on March 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Another way to help: Show as many people as possible this graphic: Class-Warfare Illustrated.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:07 PM on March 11, 2011 [12 favorites]


The "Fab 14" will be featured at the rally tomorrow (source)
posted by desjardins at 1:03 PM on March 11, 2011


This weekend I'm thinking about making mock-ups for the sites I mentioned in my previous comments. It's probably been mentioned, but is there a central Metafilter area for collaborating on this effort?
posted by codacorolla at 1:13 PM on March 11, 2011


activism.metafilter.com? Probably not.

Maybe someone should make a wiki for this stuff?
posted by Think_Long at 1:27 PM on March 11, 2011


FUCK YEAH wobblies.

Not found. I sense an opportunity for somebody....
posted by dersins at 1:28 PM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe someone should make a wiki for this stuff?

One sec. Me and wuwei are working on another site. I'll have a wiki up in a couple minutes or so.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 1:43 PM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Alright, wiki is up at my domain (sorry, I have to cash my check before I can register a new one).

I don't really have time to babysit it though. I sent admin deets to Think_Long. I'm pretty sure public edits are the default, so it should be ready to go, right?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 2:02 PM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks thsmchnekllsfascists

If anyone has any experience being admin for a wiki, let me know, cause I'm pretty green and I'm happy pass the torch. Otherwise, people can start going to town, right? I can start pushing some buttons this weekend and see what shapes up?

Again, if someone else can be admin, please let me know
posted by Think_Long at 2:13 PM on March 11, 2011


Sweet!

I'd advise some sort of login mechanism at some point. When I tried to make a wiki, it got too much spam, and I couldn't maintain it that well and ended up deleting it.

But I think if there's enough of us, then it will be "weeded" and no need for a login - I dunno.

I can't remember much about how it worked - hell I can't remember how to even edit a wiki page!

Is there some way to get a base index on the front? Some auto indexer?
posted by symbioid at 2:19 PM on March 11, 2011


I'm heading out of work now, but I'll try to dick around on this thing tonight. Memail or post here with requests for admin access, suggestions, input, etc.
posted by Think_Long at 2:23 PM on March 11, 2011


Some updates on the discussions of the way forward:

Weighing General Strike Option, Wisconsin Unions Map Fights on Many Fronts

What Do We Do Next? (from a nurse and member of SEIU in Madison) and Now Is the Time to Fight (which helps explain the seeming paralysis of union leadership, etc.)

Walkouts, Bank Boycotts and Recalls: Wisconsin Protests Intensify as Union-Busting Legislation Pushed through State Assembly

>This Mother Jones article talks about how/why/when the Democratic party abandoned the middle class.

This is an excellent article -- I urge everyone to read it.

It also illustrates (if I can go off on a little bit of a historical tangent) one of the enduring political tragedies of the past century: the failure to form a fully functional, social democratic Labor Party -- independent of the Democrats -- out of the many farmer/labor/progressive parties and organizations in the 19th and early 20th centuries. (Which itself is part and parcel of the tragedy of a winner-takes-all, two-party system, but that's another tangent.) This eventually allowed organized labor to be co-opted as a "special interest group" by the Democrats even as they remained an essentially capitalist party dependent (and increasingly so after the '70s, as the Mother Jones article points out in detail) on corporate patronage, thus putting two fundamentally opposing forces under the same roof.

This meant a few things: first, that political action for many unions (and union leaders in particular) shifted their focus from the workplace to elections, diverting literally untold amounts of time, money, and energy into Democratic candidates rather than organizing workers, workplace actions, etc. (Not to say that organizing, etc. ceased to exist, but that it was no longer the primary focus of political work for whole swaths of organized labor.)

Second, for labor to become a "special interest" was a demotion, as it were; after all, unions were originally designed to defend the rights of all workers -- the vast majority of us, remember -- whether unionized or not. But now those fundamental interests of the majority were lumped in with the interests of the many (often competing) "other special interests" under the Dems, thus allowing labor to be ever more vulnerable to attacks, concessions, etc. As union membership dwindled, so too did their influence politically. And as their political influence dwindled, so too did membership.

Third, it allowed for a general decline in people's own class consciousness -- you see this in the rise of the so-called "blue-collar Reagan Democrats," which were part of how Reagan won in 1980 and in the phenomenon of people repeatedly voting against their own interests (often by being mobilized through "culture war" issues -- abortion, gay mariage, etc.) -- though it's certainly not true, as the Mother Jones article points out, that this necessarily meant that all workers abandoned the Dems for the GOP.

But what did happen, regardless of Dem/GOP affiliation, was a gradual decline in people's self-identification as a workers (regardless of the color of their collar!) who had shared interests with other workers, meaning that you understand that your interests -- i.e., your rights and living standards -- are interconnected with other workers' interests. In its place, I would argue, was rise in people identifying themselves primarily as taxpayers and consumers, in which your only interest is yourself. (This is how we get to the Bizarro World, zero-sum notion that somehow public school teachers are a drain on taxpayers -- as if teachers don't pay taxes themselves, and as if millions of taxpayers weren't once students of public schools or have their own children enrolled in public schools.) It is the classic divide and conquer strategy.

All of this created a perfect storm for ruling-class warfare, and the opening shot was Reagan's busting of PATCO in 1981 (see the "Now is the Time to Fight" link above) and organized labor's failure to go all out to defend those 11,000 air traffic controllers by any means necessary. This immediately ushered in the last 30 years of attack upon attack of organized labor and the near-collapse in union membership -- which, funnily enough, almost exactly parallels the massive rise in the transfer of wealth to the super-rich that we can see in a bunch of the graphs that have already been posted.


tl;dr version: The do or die moment for the entire working and middle classes in America is upon us. Things are about to get much, much, much worse unless we break the fear barrier and FIGHT.
posted by scody at 2:26 PM on March 11, 2011 [13 favorites]


Mojo link is borked! :(
posted by symbioid at 2:28 PM on March 11, 2011


Huh, that's funny, it works for me... nevertheless, trying again:

Plutocracy Now: What Wisconsin Is Really About
posted by scody at 2:32 PM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Tea Party Leader Urges "Agent Provocatuer" Plan to Disrupt and Discredit Protests
posted by Mngo at 2:41 PM on March 11, 2011


But what did happen, regardless of Dem/GOP affiliation, was a gradual decline in people's self-identification as a workers (regardless of the color of their collar!) who had shared interests with other workers, meaning that you understand that your interests -- i.e., your rights and living standards -- are interconnected with other workers' interests. In its place, I would argue, was rise in people identifying themselves primarily as taxpayers and consumers, in which your only interest is yourself.

Reading this sentence makes me wonder how much of this recasting of the american workforce is tied up in the concepts contained in Adam Curtis' excellent, lengthy examination of the mid-20th Century, The Century Of The Self.

If you haven't seen that, you should. It's available at archive.org for download, or you can watch it on Google Video.

All these things are starting to converge in my mind. Either I'm going mad, or I'm gaining clarity. And honestly, based on the past 2-3 months, it's really hard to know from where I stand. Reality has become surreal, and the surreal has intruded into reality.
posted by hippybear at 2:43 PM on March 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


One of the Republican Senators up for recall may literally be in bed with a lobbyist. People protesting his house are turned away by his soon to be ex-wife saying he lives with his lobbyist mistress in Madison.
posted by drezdn at 2:49 PM on March 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


For the sake of the record, I dug a bit deeper and found the source, complete with footnotes, for that Class Warfare graphic linked above. It's even better when you know where the numbers come from.
posted by hippybear at 2:55 PM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


hippybear: Reading this sentence makes me wonder how much of this recasting of the american workforce is tied up in the concepts contained in Adam Curtis' excellent, lengthy examination of the mid-20th Century, The Century Of The Self.

This is a really exceptional miniseries. Really, exceptionally depressing. But incredibly well done and thought provoking none the less.

Fun fact from the flick: the phrase and related idea "lifestyle" were coined by psychoanalysts working for marking people as a way to convince you to define yourself by your income and spending habits rather than any other markers.
posted by paisley henosis at 3:11 PM on March 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also by Curtis, in the same vein, The Trap: Whatever Happened to Our Dream of Freedom? 1 2 3
posted by Grangousier at 3:19 PM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


the phrase and related idea "lifestyle" were coined by psychoanalysts working for marking people as a way to convince you to define yourself by your income and spending habits rather than any other markers.

DAMN YOU, DON DRAPER

posted by scody at 3:26 PM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hate thinking this cynically, but I imagine at least a few GOP leaders are thrilled by the news out of Japan. A major earthquake on the eve of this sham legislation being signed takes the media focus off of said legislation quite nicely.

Speaking of earthquakes, the House GOP was just now attempting to slash funding for the NOAA, which monitors the oceans for tsunamis:
The continuing resolution passed by the GOP House, the one that just failed in the Senate, reduces funding for the federal agencies that monitor and react to disasters.

The CR is here. According to the House Appropriation Committee's summary of the bill, the CR funds Operations, Research and Facilities for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association with $454.3 million less than it got in FY2010; this represents a $450.3 million cut from what the president's never-passed FY2011 budget was requesting. The National Weather Service, of course, is part of NOAA -- its funding drops by $126 million. The CR also reduces funding for FEMA management by $24.3 million off of the FY2010 budget, and reduces that appropriation by $783.3 million for FEMA state and local programs.

Democrats did attempt to add more money to NOAA's budget. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., offered an amendment to the CR that would have directed "no less than $710,641,000 to the National Weather Service Local Warnings and Forecasts." The amendment was one of several Democratic spending proposals that was found to be out of order, and not voted on.

My friend Matthew Yglesias points me to Carol Vaughn's article published yesterday, about the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service employees union mobilizing against the cuts
What Republicans are doing now isn't just about funneling money to wealthy friends or weakening America's standing in the world. They are cutting vital services that help save lives. Jindal's ill-timed snark about "LOL VOLCANO MONITORING" right before that volcano erupted helped torpedo his fledgling presidential ambitions. Let's make sure this shortsighted dangerous bullshit does the same to the House that approved it.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:33 PM on March 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


I hate thinking this cynically, but I imagine at least a few GOP leaders are thrilled by the news out of Japan.
The governor is.
posted by Flunkie at 3:46 PM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


R thoughts and prayers r with those effected

Jesus, he really is the male Sarah Palin of the midwest, isn't he? No wonder this ignorant cretin despises education so much.
posted by scody at 3:54 PM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


scody: "R thoughts and prayers r with those effected

Jesus, he really is the male Sarah Palin of the midwest, isn't he? No wonder this ignorant cretin despises education so much
"

Umm -that's one of those fake accounts, right?
posted by symbioid at 4:01 PM on March 11, 2011


Heh, maybe! It's terrifyingly difficult to tell these days, I guess. (Case in point: Sarah Freakin' Palin)
posted by scody at 4:03 PM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


LOL --- (wonkette link warning)
We’ve tried to get the Governor’s account verified through Twitter,” said a spokesperson for Walker’s office yesterday afternoon. The office sent a request to Twitter via fax on official letterhead last week to prove legitimacy of the @GovWalker account, the spokesperson told ClickZ News.

“With all the attention surrounding the Governor…it was kind of important for us to get his account verified. There are a lot of impersonations.”

Yet, despite Walker’s emergence on the national political stage in the midst of his fight with Wisconsin Senate Democrats and public unions, Twitter turned down the Governor’s request.
posted by symbioid at 4:04 PM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


They verified it a few days later. Something about not being notable enough.
posted by psyche7 at 4:26 PM on March 11, 2011


http://madison.iww.org/content/community-forum-general-strike

This Saturday, March 12th at 6pm, the Madison IWW and UTI (immigrant worker's union) Madison will be cosponsoring a community forum discussing the current crisis and ways to address it.

The event will take place at the Madison Labor Temple (Second Floor), 1602 S. Park, Madison, WI

There will be time for community groups and members of the public to voice their concerns and ideas relating to a General Strike or the general struggles we face in our communities. This is a forum to discuss tactics, practical paths to direct action, and ways to unite disparate communities with the message:

"The People United Will Never Be Defeated".

translators will be present.

Feel free to forward this flyer.

solidarity
Midwest IWW
posted by symbioid at 5:20 PM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I always thought it was "The People United, Will Never Be Divided"? Hmmm, maybe that was a punk lyric. Punk lyrics, protest slogans...really one and the same anyway.
posted by dejah420 at 5:31 PM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hate thinking this cynically, but I imagine at least a few GOP leaders are thrilled by the news out of Japan.

I do not doubt this. It is exactly how removed they are from real people, whether it is Americans in their own backyard or even further, across an ocean.

You know I recently became acquainted with the monkeysphere concept (which someone recently linked in a AskMe thread about someone's dogs), and I have been thinking about it. I believe these people - I guess that 400 at the very top with most of this country's stolen money - they are so far removed, most from birth almost certainly, from the lives of average people that something like this enormous recent tragedy only registers in terms of the effect on a stock portfolio (or that tragedy's usefulness in furthering their single-minded pursuit of more and more wealth. In this case, a distraction from a heinous act).*


*Apologies for the tortured sentence structure.
posted by Glinn at 5:39 PM on March 11, 2011


dejah420, it rhymes better in the original Spanish.
posted by dhartung at 5:40 PM on March 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Here's cynical for you.

What if the whole recession was engineered not only to line the pockets of Wall Street, but to create a pool of demoralized, unemployed workers from which to draw new teachers and other unionized folk after their unions are broken, they strike, and are fired.

What can be learned from the PATCO strike?

Does this make me a conspiracy theorist? : /
posted by Glinn at 5:47 PM on March 11, 2011


Not that this should distract us from the important work of organizing and strategizing and movement-building, but:

Dane County filed suit today for the bill to be voided, based on it being a fiscal bill that needed and lacked a quorum, violation of the Open Meetings law, as well as a bunch of other reasons. (PDF of the lawsuit here.) The bill doesn't become effective until it's published, Dane County asked for a temporary restraining order to keep it from being published but that was denied, based on failure to prove irreparable harm if the bill goes into effect and is then later struck down. But there will be a hearing on Wednesday to consider a temporary injunction (which I think has a lower burden of proof than a TRO?) If anyone comes across some good analysis of all this by lawyers, I'd love to see it...

Then later in the afternoon the Democratic Secretary of State, who was asked by Walker to publish the bill on Monday, announced he will not publish it until March 25th, the maximum 10 days allowed under law.
posted by EmilyClimbs at 6:02 PM on March 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


The event will take place at the Madison Labor Temple (Second Floor), 1602 S. Park, Madison, WI

Pleeeeeeeeease add this kind of stuff to the map. I can't keep up with it all.
posted by desjardins at 6:13 PM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dejah420: I always thought it was "The People United, Will Never Be Divided"? Hmmm, maybe that was a punk lyric. Punk lyrics, protest slogans...really one and the same anyway.

You almost got it. You're thinking of the English band: Sham 69's classic punk song If the Kids are United (the will never be divided...)

Great working class song, and what an aweswome tune it would be for the kids protesting so tirelessly in Wisconsin. It' about time political punk was pulled out of the storage bins and given a new overhaul too..

(This song was already referenced in one of these Wis 14 threads.)
posted by Skygazer at 7:54 PM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Punk for the people! oh now we're talking

So they say they'll set me free
If I plead guilty and let it be
But I'm not the one who did their crimes
So why should I keep taking their jives
I'm done playing all their games
And being titled low life names
When I'm innocent and concerned
Of who I am and what I've learned
I'm not the one who did their crimes

There's no justice, there's just us
Blind justice screwed all of us
There's no justice, there's just us
We need justice for all of us
posted by Redhush at 9:13 PM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


funny this stuff is so old now that balding flabby hard working relics like me can dust this off and the (my) kids can dig it too! And still appropriate as it is fuckin ROCKIN!
posted by Redhush at 9:16 PM on March 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Then later in the afternoon the Democratic Secretary of State, who was asked by Walker to publish the bill on Monday, announced he will not publish it until March 25th, the maximum 10 days allowed under law.

Further tests may be needed, such as an X-Ray or MRI or CAT scan, but this suggests, contrary to all prior indications, that Douglas LaFollette has ... a spine.

BTW, he is not a descendant of Fighting Bob, more like a great-grand-nephew or something like that. His parents were from Iowa. But allegedly all the LaFollettes are actually related; it isn't even a name in France.
posted by dhartung at 9:24 PM on March 11, 2011


"I wonder what most of the states the GOP targets for Union Busting have in common..."
posted by Rhaomi at 3:47 AM on March 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


Those an ominous pair of maps, Rhaomi. More evidence that what's happening is based on a cohesive national strategy to turn those swing states more securely in the red state column.

It would also explain why Walker is acting more like he's listening, not to his own state, but some national directive. Some paper evidence of it that could trace it back to some organization funded by the Koch's and/or Karl Roves organization, would make the case more compelling for it.
posted by Skygazer at 4:55 AM on March 12, 2011


Think_Long, I have some experience adminning a wiki. You should be able to grant me sysop status and also keep it yourself. I'll MeMail you too.
posted by AugieAugustus at 5:14 AM on March 12, 2011


@govwalker is definitely his account.
posted by drezdn at 5:25 AM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


New video.
posted by drezdn at 5:46 AM on March 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


@powerwisconsin: departure delayed a bit. teabaggers confronting us now with camera 'proving' that we didn't REALLY walk the whole time. free speech lives?
posted by drezdn at 5:49 AM on March 12, 2011


Skygazer: Those [are] an ominous pair of maps, Rhaomi.

Wait, say what? I'm all for criticising the Koch Bros. & Co.'s oligarchy-financing efforts. But to say that there is a deliberate targeting of swing states, that should get cut by Ockham's Razor.

Deep-red states already have lost (or never had) the collective bargaining rights which the industrial Midwest states fought for in the beginning of last century, and deep-blue states don't have the conservative legislative majorities needed to shove this stuff through. So of course swing states are the battle ground -- not because they have been targeted, but by the very nature of being swing states, places where power can shift relatively far to the left or right depending on the party in power.

That map tells us nothing. (When did Idaho, Alaska and Hawaii become swing states?) Let's not pretend that the backers of oligarchy are some all-knowing, infallibly-predicting colossus. That way lies paranoia, despair and paralysis.

Let's be honest about the fact that the opponents of the working class in this country have the money, the media, and the levers of power in many states. But let's also recognise that they make mistakes, they over-reach, they are human. And then let's exploit those mistakes.

Clearly Walker erred when he tried to frame the removal of collective bargaining rights as a fiscal issue -- not only did including union-busting in the budget repair bill require that the Senate have a higher quorum to pass the legislation, but also his position has been shown up very obviously as a lie now that the stripped bill has been passed even after unions indicated their willingness to renegotiate contracts.

Please don't start with the conspiracy theories (unless, of course, actual documentation outlining this strategy surfaces). It just feeds into despair on the left and will be used by the right to show moderates how crazy the liberals are.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:56 AM on March 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


But to say that there is a deliberate targeting of swing states, that should get cut by Ockham's Razor.

In Wisconsin, the leader of the Republican Senators specifically said that this union busting was an attempt to kneecap Obama's base in the state.
posted by drezdn at 8:14 AM on March 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Right, but (my reading of) the comments above is that people are claiming that there is a vast nationwide conspiracy to specifically target union rights in swing states for the purpose of destroying the Democratic Party.

Look, I have no doubt that Walker (and Snyder, et al.) are corporate bootlickers, fully bought and paid for by the monied interests. However, and maybe this is a distinction without a difference, but I would like to see more actual documentation of an actual, specific plot (beyond simple "OMG conservative donors are donating to conservative politicians") before seeing these sorts of theories get publicised.

Think about the recent & ongoing protests in the Middle East. The various governments tried to paint the protests as illegitimate, foreign-sponsored astroturfing. If they'd been able to come up with legitimate evidence for this conspiracy theory, it would've been devastating and demoralising for the opposition movements -- but since those theories had pretty much emerged from their asses, they just got mocked for being stupid propagandists.

Again: if there is evidence, incontrovertible evidence that will be accepted by CNN and your moderate Republican in-law, of a "cohesive national strategy to turn those swing states more securely in the red state column" or "some national directive" (emphases mine), let's see it and get it in front of the cameras, or at least in front of President Obama and the rest of the Washington Democratic leadership. The sloppy sort of "draw your own conclusion from these maps that I AM SHOWING IN CONJUNCTION" thinking is exactly the way that Glenn and Rush operate, and let's not follow them down that rabbit-hole. This thing can be won on the merits -- the people of Wisconsin are showing us that loud and clear.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:39 AM on March 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, it's not like there haven't been reports of national strategy meetings centered around the Koch brothers and their ilk hoping to execute their agenda.

Whether this anti-union push was planned at a meeting like that, those of us on the outside will likely never know.
posted by hippybear at 8:56 AM on March 12, 2011


Just went to the dog park to watch the Tractorcade take off from the coliseum to go to the capitol. Lots of happy, pissed off farmers shutting down traffic!
posted by Mngo at 9:00 AM on March 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Whether it is a conspiracy or not I think we're oversimplifying things. There can, and certainly is, more than one motivation for all of this. Perhaps it is just a correlation or maybe it is just an unrelated side effect. I think that the ways the republicans want to change government have the benefit of turning blue states more red. Maybe that side effect is the things that gets their corporate campaign contributors to through in the big bucks. Maybe the corporate overloads know that the things the republicans are doing will be good for them but the elected officials themselves have convinced themselves that what they're doing really is good for everyone. Maybe the whole really is a conspiracy by a small group of sociopaths that have sold to everyone else as good for the country.

Realistically, it is probably a combinations of all of those. To simply call it a conspiracy it a good way to get those on the fence to dismiss you as a loon. We need to keep in mind that most of those on the left are still good people and that the motivations for everything all these people do are diverse and complex.
posted by VTX at 9:16 AM on March 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


VTX: To simply call it a conspiracy it a good way to get those on the fence to dismiss you as a loon.

Yeah, this. Midwesterners are a moderate and consensus-driven lot. We don't do shrill, and I think a lot of people are waking up to the fact that the Republican Party barely gives lip service to those ideals anymore.

It's past time for the Reagan Democrats to come home.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:44 AM on March 12, 2011


For anyone thinking of donating to the Madison IWW, here's what they report they're doing with the money:

things money has gone towards:

bus fare to get iww members to and from madison

printing up literature and posters promoting a general strike

small stipend to pay for food and housing for two full-time iww organizers who are working to bring community together towards direct action (very very small stipend, we're talking $1.25 an hour)

renting meeting spaces for community forums

all carefully tracked with receipts etc.

----

what we are trying to do:

organize support for direct action against these cuts and agitate against those who are killing the momentum by exclusively talking about recalls.

attempting to unite workers across the midwest against the whole slate of anti-worker bills coming out, WI, MI, OH, IN, etc.

moving the struggle to a broader issue than public unions -- a general trend towards funneling money and power to an elite few at the expense of the public good.

thanks
madiww

posted by ryanshepard at 10:05 AM on March 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Picture of the tractor protest
posted by drezdn at 10:16 AM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another tractor pic.
posted by drezdn at 10:17 AM on March 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


That tractor pic is outstanding!

Did this thread get too buried?
posted by Glinn at 10:40 AM on March 12, 2011


My sign for today.
posted by shesdeadimalive at 10:58 AM on March 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Soli-"dairy"-ity
posted by drezdn at 12:23 PM on March 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


off to Washburn to give Walker an earful.. expectation is 2K.

rah rah rah

oh and Duffy is expected to be there as well for added protest goodness.
posted by edgeways at 12:34 PM on March 12, 2011


Livestream of the rally, which by all accounts is bigger than any of the previous weeks. I am so impressed by the turnout, by the determined and energized and hopeful spirit that people are showing. It would be hard to blame people for being discouraged and depressed about what's happened, but they seem hopeful and strong and ready to keep fighting as long as it takes. Incredible.
posted by EmilyClimbs at 1:05 PM on March 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Small shot of the crowd.
posted by drezdn at 1:38 PM on March 12, 2011


Hee. Sen Erpenbach: "I want to talk about 13 people I just took a really, really weird trip with."
posted by EmilyClimbs at 1:40 PM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another Crowd Picture.
posted by drezdn at 1:42 PM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Union Pug
posted by drezdn at 1:55 PM on March 12, 2011


Yet another crowd shot.
posted by drezdn at 1:56 PM on March 12, 2011


re: Crowd Picture

Reminds me of Egypt a couple of weeks ago, for almost the reasons.
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 2:03 PM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Firefighter picture.
posted by drezdn at 2:17 PM on March 12, 2011


So... you're the Republican Party; is radicalizing a whole bunch of middle class, middle American "salt of the earth" backbone-of-America type of people what you really want to do? I mean I get how a lot of people can view "the left" as hipster liberals/hippies/socialists/ivory-tower academics, blah, blah, but now you're going to try to paint school teachers and firefighters as bad guys? Is this idea flying at all? I'm seriously asking, because I can't tell what the feeling is in the rest of the U.S. from where I am. It seems completely preposterous to me.
posted by taz at 2:42 PM on March 12, 2011


"cohesive national strategy to turn those swing states more securely in the red state column"

Anyone who thinks this isn't exactly what has been happening over a period of years, has been asleep at the wheel. It's all straight out of the Rove & Co playbook, which calls for strangling organizations and initiatives that are favorable to Democratic voting. Do you think these things are coincidence? Uh-uh, they are a concerted strategy and carefully coordinated with the far right think tanks, FOX, the Chamber of Commerce, the radio agitators and hate mongers, the right wing blogs & the politicians. And sadly enough, the strategy is largely working. It calls for: Watch for more!
posted by madamjujujive at 3:14 PM on March 12, 2011 [26 favorites]


One angle to try in the anti-Republican messaging is to try and co-opt their military authoritarianism through the blurring of military and police/firefighters/EMS.

Authoritarians love their soldiers, cops, and firemen. Get the police and fire unions to start challenging republican positions and you gain a lot.
posted by anthill at 3:22 PM on March 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm thinking and hoping that this is an overstretch by the Republicans. Zogby claimed 47 percent of union members voted Republican in 2010. A Washington Post / ABC poll from November 1, 2010 claimed 42 percent of Union members would vote for the GOP.

I couldn't hazard a realistic guess about how many of those union households will continue going for the GOP, but I would imagine, at least in the affected states, the percentage will drop dramatically. Not to mention the effect on non union working class voters, who might finally realize one party is going all out to destroy what little security they have left.

Considering many of the races were relatively close, this could make an enormous difference and could finally put a stake in the notion of the "Reagan Democrat".
posted by honestcoyote at 3:53 PM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Daily Kos has a ton of pics.
posted by drezdn at 5:14 PM on March 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


they are a concerted strategy and carefully coordinated

One of the chief coordinators at the legislative level is ALEC. Their website -- some of which is only accessible to members [e.g. this page of model legislation] -- is a trove of information on how to turn your state into a libertarian paradise free of unions, regulations, and taxes.

They're organized. They're open about it. They learned some of this shit from us. Thomas Frank, George Lakoff, and others have identified the ways that they have used language, cultural, and wedge issues to divide and conquer the traditional alliances underpinning the Democratic party. The homework has been done.

I think Wisconsin is ready to start seeing these issues in terms of class warfare, again, for perhaps the first time in two generations. It may not be as easy in other states; other states may lose as much and roll over, others may need to experience the Walker shock doctrine themselves to be galvanized, and still others may simply continue to experience the death of a thousand cuts. But if it is ever going to start, it must perforce start here where people are experiencing the clarity of understanding that a threat to their personal careers and compensation brings, because if we can't start it here, we can't start it anywhere.
posted by dhartung at 5:48 PM on March 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


Some fantastic crowd shots (estimated up to 100,000) from the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
posted by scody at 6:26 PM on March 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


That seems like a low estimate, given the pictures that I've seen. They easily surpassed the crowds from the Vietnam protests back in the day.

My plans to go were thwarted by sick child at the last minute...I'm filled with disappointment that I couldn't be there, but like innumerable others, I was there in spirit.

On Wisconsin!
posted by altopower at 6:56 PM on March 12, 2011


Yesterday, I learned that my rich, Republican relatives are driving up from Chicago to join the protest on the grounds that, yes, Scott Walker is just that much of an asshole. These are people that literally grew up (when the sun was right) in the shadow of the family sausage factory 30 miles outside of Madison. Believe you me, these people know from Wisconsin assholes.

BTW, I am aware that my comments of late make me sound like a pathological liar, but stick with me! My story gets better.
posted by stet at 7:58 PM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


omg I'm exhausted. I have some pics and video, I'll post them tomorrow. They're not that great because the crowds were so dense, and I'm so short. I could have gotten a lot of pictures of peoples' shoulder blades.

My favorite part was listening to 100K people singing "God Bless America."

I expected there to be a little more tension between the cops and protesters, given the events of the last week, but I saw none whatsoever. Just like last week, they either looked bored or happy. I got a little smarter this week, and doubled up on socks. I bought a hat at Goodwill on State about an hour after I got there. Mental note for next week: HAVE SNACKS ON YOUR PERSON. It took me nearly an hour to find food after the rally; I have never been in a dense crowd of that many people (including Summerfest and State Fair). People were unfailingly polite, but you're inevitably going to get jostled and stepped on.

I had the delusion that I was going to get to meet my Senator, Chris Larson, but I didn't even see him. They didn't introduce the speakers individually (that I heard), so I don't even know which one he was. I did get 5 feet from Jesse Jackson, but that was totally accidental (he was getting into his SUV which was parked on the street I happened to be walking down). I did see someone I used to work with, and someone from high school. And of course lriG rorriM and Vibrissa from the meetup! And Madamina! And her partner, whose username I can never remember.

I saw a couple of counter-protesters (didn't see any last week). drezdn spotted one in my photo here. Another one stood in front of me for awhile and had a sign like "Welcome home... cowards." He was an older white guy, didn't engage with anyone, just talked to his wife a bit. He left midway through the senators' speeches. Personally, I think it's a testament to the tenor of the crowd that no one confronted these guys (that I saw).

Anyway, exhausted, pondering vicodin.
posted by desjardins at 8:22 PM on March 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


I suggest a new FPP tomorrow for that dailykos page. 100,000 people, desjardins tool and the news that walker added parts to the bill I think deserves an FPP. Also a couple of links about what is coming next, similar protests in other states and the like.

Also, was this one of you? I might have missed it in the dailykos photos if there was a better angle, but that's that "TOTAL RECALL" movie sign linked upthread!
posted by cashman at 8:29 PM on March 12, 2011


Here's a video from the stage, from Chris Larson's Facebook
posted by desjardins at 8:30 PM on March 12, 2011


My favorite part was listening to 100K people singing "God Bless America."

We need video of that posted in every comment thread of every newspaper in Wisconsin.
posted by dhartung at 8:48 PM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it was touching precisely because it wasn't knee-jerk nationalism. Thousands of liberals singing a patriotic song with religious overtones. Non-ironically.

Palin's brain just exploded.
posted by desjardins at 9:06 PM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Palin's brain just exploded.

Not with a bang but a whimper.
posted by stet at 9:08 PM on March 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Brain? What brain?

Ok sorry.
(not really)

News fromt he Washburn WI protest.

Walker was flowing in (who paid for it... anyone?) to Northern WI to attend a Steak dinner (who paid for the diner?) and was met by a few thousand people from the region chanting shame. He was driven to the restaurant in an unmarked State Trooper car with the windows papered over so he couldn't see the protesters. We surrounded the Steak Pit and made ourselves heard. It was cold, and slightly snowy with wind.

Word is Hightower referenced the protest today in a speech.
Photos later tonight or tomorrow as time allows.

(I was all for trying to get people to chant "Choke... choke... choke..." but I guess that isn't non-violent enough.
posted by edgeways at 9:27 PM on March 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


Because she has a tiny brain that wouldn't make much noise if it blew up, if that's unclear.
posted by stet at 9:28 PM on March 12, 2011


Washburn story w/video -- on FOX, and with an interesting imbalance of coverage.

edgeways, that encourages me, because we have Walker coming to our Chamber of Commerce [Forward Janesville] dinner on March 29. (They politely declined my FB request to rescind his invitation.) We plan a protest, but there hasn't been as much activity here as in some other cities -- it's very much a Reagan Democrat kind of place. Best suggestion: We hold a bake sale next door for the school district.
posted by dhartung at 9:43 PM on March 12, 2011


Dennis Kucinich is fired up
posted by Sailormom at 9:48 PM on March 12, 2011


Allrighty, before bed: The Washburn protest in slideshow
posted by edgeways at 10:01 PM on March 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


My favorite sign from the Washburn "Hey Walker, I wanted to screw some of my teachers, too!" LOL

Glad you guys got out there. I'll check out the wiki tomorrow. Any update on it's status (i.e. its own domain)

Anybody else working on it yet?
posted by symbioid at 10:53 PM on March 12, 2011


Here's a clip of Saturday's "God Bless America" in Madison, and another from Indianapolis' protests on Wednesday.
posted by VelveteenBabbitt at 11:32 PM on March 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Allrighty, before bed: The Washburn protest in slideshow

As usual Governor Walker's twitter doesn't reflect this at all. That papered windows thing is really telling.
posted by drezdn at 5:44 AM on March 13, 2011


He was driven to the restaurant in an unmarked State Trooper car with the windows papered over so he couldn't see the protesters.

This is not what democracy looks like.
posted by AugieAugustus at 6:45 AM on March 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Shroedinger's Inverse Governor?
posted by symbioid at 9:47 AM on March 13, 2011


Northern WI, I'm proud of you! I have to admit I'd never heard of Washburn before this, so the fact that thousands of people showed up is amazing. (FYI, the entire population is 16,000, according to Google).
posted by desjardins at 9:52 AM on March 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, sorry, that's the population for the COUNTY. The population of Washburn is 2280.
posted by desjardins at 9:54 AM on March 13, 2011


driven to the restaurant in an unmarked State Trooper car with the windows papered over

What a coward, he can't even face up to the reality of his decisions. That is so telling. "Lalalala, I'm not listening, I'm not listening."
posted by madamjujujive at 10:33 AM on March 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm going to make a site collecting all the violations of rules & laws committed by Walker and the Fitzgeralds during the last few weeks. I can do basic HTML and CSS. I need help putting together the data. If anyone here can help out, memail me.
posted by echo target at 11:54 AM on March 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


echo target, when it's done can you send me the link? A few of us are trying to maintain a wiki of different mefi user projects related to these protests and I'd like to add yours.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:08 PM on March 13, 2011


echo, if you don't want to buy your own domain, you can use mine, and we'll make a menu on the front page that links to your stuff.
posted by desjardins at 12:10 PM on March 13, 2011


Madison Rally Bigger Than Biggest Tea Party Rally.
posted by ericb at 12:11 PM on March 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


echo target-- the Dane County legal filing is a good source for violations.
posted by EmilyClimbs at 12:31 PM on March 13, 2011


firefighters just withdrew all their money from M&I bank in protest.

More info and pics here and here.
posted by homunculus at 12:33 PM on March 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fitzwalkerstan: The Republican Brothers And The Wisconsin Showdown
The fact that brothers spearhead the 2 legislative bodies and that their father heads the state police... you don't hear this talked about or remarked on very much in national media.

Of course, you don't see the national media giving much coverage to Wisconsin at all relative to the weight of the issues and the size of the protests. Let alone Ohio and Indiana.
posted by madamjujujive at 12:39 PM on March 13, 2011


paul soglin: no general strike in wisconsin
posted by escabeche at 12:53 PM on March 13, 2011


er I think that Soglin piece directly contradicts his "mission statement" A candid examination ... and the Democrats who play along and the horrid liberal policies designed to assuage the moderates but end up irritating everyone.
posted by edgeways at 1:06 PM on March 13, 2011


There's a "procott" going on in Milwaukee - buying from businesses who support unions and telling them why. Facebook page
posted by desjardins at 1:18 PM on March 13, 2011


Days 26 and 27
posted by madamjujujive at 1:29 PM on March 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Wisconsin Recall & Protecting Child Predators
posted by homunculus at 1:32 PM on March 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


From This article about the return of the Wisconsin 14:
"Republican lawmakers, who called the Democrats cowards and accused them of abandoning their posts, made numerous efforts to get them back, including holding their paychecks, stripping their parking spots, issuing fines, threatening arrest and pursuing other legislation before ultimately maneuvering to vote without them. "
Seriously? Stripping their parking spots? Wow, what meanypants.
posted by Glinn at 1:45 PM on March 13, 2011


Seriously? Stripping their parking spots? Wow, what meanypants.

Honestly, they've made themselves into the party of Scut Farkus. ("Yellow eyes! I swear to god he had yellow eyes!") WE ARE ALL RALPHIE!
posted by scody at 2:11 PM on March 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Another story about R Senator Hopper (Fond du Lac), I think he is going to be easy to get rid of.
posted by edgeways at 4:16 PM on March 13, 2011


The money quote from edgeways' link: "Mrs. Hopper intends to sign the recall petition against her husband. The petition has already been signed by the family's maid."

It's like a scene out of an unmade Frank Capra film.
posted by scody at 4:31 PM on March 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


Pictures from yesterday, some with bonus finger parts!
posted by desjardins at 4:55 PM on March 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Two good articles by John Nichols in the Nation from the past couple of days:

Pro-Worker Movement Power in Wisconsin: What's Next?:
What’s significant is that some Wisconsin unions are serious about exploring options for mass action that borrow from more recent experiences—especially the “Days of Action” strikes organized by Ontario public-employee unions when they came under attack from the government of Conservative Premier Mike Harris in the mid-1990s.

“There are a lot of people in Wisconsin who are looking at what was done in Canada, how it was organized and maintained, how they made sure that emergency services were maintained, that vulnerable people were protected, while at the same time getting their point across,” explained Madison Firefighters Local 311 union president Joe Conway Jr., a key activist in the Wisconsin struggle.

[...] SCFL president Jim Cavanaugh says: “As the labor movement moves to address this naked class war waged upon us, we know we have already accomplished much, setting an example to the nation and the world for how to fight for our rights and for our children’s futures. It appears we have much more to do.”

And this is not just local talk in Madison. Communications Workers of America president Larry Cohen is talking about organization of of a national “no-business-as-usual” day of action on April 4, the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
Undaunted! More Than 100,000 Wisconsinites Rally "To Take Our State Back!":
It was one of the largest pro-labor rallies in American history.

From the start, the numbers have told the story of Wisconsin’s resistance, and its resilience.

The tens.

The hundreds.

The thousands.

The tens of thousands.

The hundreds of thousands.

Their message has been clear and unequivocal. They oppose Scott Walker’s assault on working families. They oppose the lawless actions of legislative leaders who are more determined to advance the governor’s political agenda than to respect their colleagues or to serve the interests of the whole state.

[...]Nothing Scott Walker does to the citizens of the state will be as long-lasting or meaningful as what those citizens will do for the state when they remove him—and those who have supported him—from office.

[...]“The governor wants to divide us,” explained western Wisconsin farmer Joel Greeno, who will ride his tractor into the Capitol Square this morning. “But that won’t happen. The governor’s got his corporate contributors. But the state employees and the teachers, they’ve got us. Farmers understand that when you cut funding for road crews and schools, our rural communities get hurt. And we’ve been hurt enough.”
posted by scody at 5:07 PM on March 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


I was there yesterday as well. Amazing display of democracy. Anyway, I shot some video on my iPhone, edited it on said phone during the drive on the way back, and was going to just upload it to my Facebook account, when I noticed that iMovie would allow me to upload it to something called CNN iReport. I'd never noticed it before (part of a software update last week apparently) and looked into it. Typical crowd-sourced, citizen-journalism idea. "What the hey.", I said and created an account and uploaded it.

This morning I get a call from a CNN producer in Atlanta - "Can we use this video on CNN and CNN.com?" Sure, why not. (Since MSM is woefully under-reporting it.) Well, It's now linked from the home page of CNN ("Big rally" link under "Latest News"), so I guess it was worth it. 9500+ views since noon today. Your typical trolls in the comment thread, but folks seem surprised by the size of the crowd. (I commented as "vonherwig" in the tread.)

Had I known it was going to be picked up I would have actually spent more than 5 seconds shooting or editing it, but it gives a good feel for the milieu and tone of the crowd. Plus, you get to see Susan Sarandon's ass as she speaks.

Amazing day overall and just the opening salvos to this round of class war in Wisconsin.
posted by danherwig at 6:19 PM on March 13, 2011 [14 favorites]


Outstanding!
posted by Glinn at 6:28 PM on March 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Little piece about the W14 and their thoughts about Obama.
posted by edgeways at 6:59 PM on March 13, 2011


The JSOnline politics blog had a post today that made me email the writer. The post said, in part:
An estimated 85,000 people marched on the Capitol Square Saturday, nearly all of them castigating, mocking and insulting Gov. Scott Walker.
My response to him:
You say that "nearly all" of the protesters at Saturday's rally were "castigating, mocking and insulting Gov. Scott Walker." This is categorically untrue. You can watch dozens of videos and view thousands of photos taken by those who were there. I'll link some searches below. The overwhelming majority of the protesters focused on Scott Walker's policies or on his job in office, and not on Scott Walker the person.

I did see several Walker supporters there, and they were not treated disrespectfully. Everyone I saw seemed indifferent to them. If someone actually did challenge Foht to a fight, there were plenty of law enforcement officers available, and he should have summoned one.

This is not responsible journalism.

Photos

videos
He responded (from his iPhone!) that the "Koch-sucker" and "Koch-whore" signs were insulting. OK, I'll give him that, but that was maybe 0.01% of the crowd. Not "nearly all." (Actually, I noted on Twitter that those signs are homophobic. Nothing wrong with fellatio, gay or straight. They're also ignorant of the pronunciation of "Koch," which is "Coke.")
posted by desjardins at 7:28 PM on March 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


DanHerwig: Amazing day overall and just the opening salvos to this round of class war in Wisconsin.

Your

Video Fu

is

AWESOME!
posted by Skygazer at 9:14 PM on March 13, 2011


Edgeways: Little piece about the W14 and their thoughts about Obama.

Well there we go then. That's what I thought was going on, and I'm happy to see that is exactly it. Awesome!


Hey GOP: Don't bring a reptile brain to a genius fight.
posted by Skygazer at 9:24 PM on March 13, 2011


There's a "procott" going on in Milwaukee - buying from businesses who support unions and telling them why.

Apparently there's a campaign going on all around the state on this, with volunteers talking to businesses, finding out where they stand, asking them to put up signs, and collecting and publicizing the info-- Pledge to Spend.
posted by EmilyClimbs at 9:31 PM on March 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


To be fair..."coke-whore" may have been the double entrendre the sign maker was shooting for. A triple play on name, drug and energy. Clever.
posted by dejah420 at 9:47 PM on March 13, 2011


To be fair..."coke-whore" may have been the double entrendre the sign maker was shooting for.

It almost certainly is.
posted by Bonzai at 10:04 PM on March 13, 2011


EmilyClimbs: "There's a "procott" going on in Milwaukee - buying from businesses who support unions and telling them why.

Apparently there's a campaign going on all around the state on this, with volunteers talking to businesses, finding out where they stand, asking them to put up signs, and collecting and publicizing the info-- Pledge to Spend
"

What if they lie, then take the money they get for lying, then spend it on Republican races? O_o
posted by symbioid at 10:14 PM on March 13, 2011


Meanwhile, another entry from the I Truly Can't Tell If It's Satire Anymore Dept.:
Let's Roll... To A STOP! Sarah Palin called the Obama Administration’s actions as the “Road to Ruin”! Like most of the USA now, we at Stand Up America think it is a great way to express yourself and learn what is really happening to our country, so what can we do? Well, it seems the normal methods do not work because of entrenched political machinery, moneyed interests, power seeking for power’s sake, and a media that is just plan in the tank.

In the past, petitions were signed, marches on Washington and elsewhere were held, Tea Parties were created, letters were written, calls were made, new representatives were elected, yet, the road to ruin is still there, and the Obama Administration has the pedal to the floor, the speedometer is pegged, and there are no brakes. All our efforts have for the most part FAILED!

So how do we make our voices known? How do we finally succeed? How do we send a clear message that cannot be twisted by the media, misinterpreted by politicians, or co-opted by Obama apologists? Well, we have come up with one interesting new way. Are you game? It won’t cost you any money short of a gallon of gas. It won’t take much of your time, only about an hour. It won’t mean travel to distant cities. It won’t mean crowds to wade through, and it won’t interfere with your life too much.

What it will be is FUN, and a great way to vent your frustration, without being labeled, or maligned!
posted by scody at 10:41 PM on March 13, 2011


Random things:

video of public sector workers in Oshkosh talking about the budget repair bill

and this wonderful poem I just re-found, published during the 1919 General Strike in Seattle:

What scares them most is
That NOTHING HAPPENS!
They are ready
For DISTURBANCES.
They have machine guns
And soldiers,
But this SMILING SILENCE
is uncanny.
The business men
Don't understand
That sort of weapon...
It is your SMILE
That is UPSETTING
Their reliance
On Artillery, brother!
It is the garbage wagons
That go along the street
Marked "EXEMPT
by STRIKE COMMITTEE."
It is the milk stations
That are getting better daily,
And the three hundred
WAR Veterans of Labor
Handling the crowds
WITHOUT GUNS,
For these things speak
Of a NEW POWER
And a NEW WORLD
That they do not feel
At HOME in.

(published in Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States-- available online and always a great read, the linked chapter on the 1920s and 1930s is particularly interesting in times like these...)
posted by EmilyClimbs at 11:48 PM on March 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


AFSCME: The Union that Works for You
posted by kaibutsu at 3:53 AM on March 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Let's Roll... To A STOP!

I didn't have anywhere to go yesterday so I didn't see anyone actually doing this. I really wished the call would have gone out to do this today at about rush hour so my commute would have gone faster. It would have been a perfect analogy. The conservatives pull over by the side of the road while the progressives make some progress!

How is that any different than a march or a protest other than the fact that it is less visible, less effective, and more dangerous (seriously, don't stop on the interstate without good reason)?
posted by VTX at 5:55 AM on March 14, 2011


I was going to ask, VTX, whether anyone anywhere saw any evidence that this "Roll To A Stop" thing even happened. Because this was the first I heard of it -- one day after the fact. It seems to have gotten no notice from either the media or the blogosphere.

My hunch is that maybe a handful of people across the country did it, and everyone else on the highway just blew past them all, assuming they'd had car trouble or whatever and didn't pay any attention.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:22 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's a shitload of rallies going on in Ohio tomorrow, and a few each in Florida, Texas, Tennessee, New York, California, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Virginia. And of course Wisconsin. Are these coordinated? What are good sources of information?
posted by desjardins at 7:24 AM on March 14, 2011


BTW I had to defriend my cousin's wife, who'd been lousing up my and my husband's Facebook posts on the Walker situation with personal attacks. When my husband defriended her, she came to my page to complain, and when I said I wouldn't engage with her further, she went to all caps and asked why I didn't work in the public sector instead of for rich lawyers (??!! I worked at a law firm six years ago). Some people are really apoplectic over this stuff here.
posted by desjardins at 7:28 AM on March 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well yeah people are ticked off. You've got a government that isn't even pretending that its job is to listen to people, or even follow the law. You've got tens of thousands people wanting to make their voices heard by their state government, only to be dismissed as "out of state agitators" and "union thugs". You've got a legislature passing bills in the night without the notice required by law and without public hearing. You've got a legislature who thinks it can call a bill with sections explicitly headed "fiscal changes to..." a non-fiscal bill and pass it without the quorum required by law.

You're darn right people are apoplectic, as well they should be.
posted by Zalzidrax at 8:26 AM on March 14, 2011


Watching Uproar Over Wisconsin Protests, It's Time to Remember How Unions Make Our Lives Better

Commentary from Fox News O.o
posted by hippybear at 8:50 AM on March 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


Scott Walker's real agenda in Wisconsin

Analysis from across the pond.
posted by hippybear at 8:52 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


You're darn right people are apoplectic, as well they should be.

Zalzidrax: I agree with you and I'm sure desjardins does as well; if I'm reading her comment right, she's saying that her sister-in-law is among the apoplectic folks who are dismissing the protesters as "out of state agitators" and "union thugs," as you rightly decry.

posted by scody at 8:54 AM on March 14, 2011


Article from Counter Punch
posted by edgeways at 9:49 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


This message from the South Central Federation of Labor contains some excellent resources on the history as well as the practical nuts and bolts of general strikes, including notes on how the Ontario general strikes of the mid-'90s (previously mentioned in one of the John Nichols articles upthread).
posted by scody at 9:51 AM on March 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Zalzidrax, scody has it right. Almost all of the anti-Walker protesters I've encountered, while upset and energized, haven't been in an apoplectic rage. But the pro-Walker folks online have been full of vitriol. One told my senator that he makes him (the commenter) want to puke. An anti-Walker commenter's response? "[username], I hope you have a nice day."
posted by desjardins at 9:54 AM on March 14, 2011


Commentary from Fox News O.o

omg there's a pig flying past my window!
posted by desjardins at 9:55 AM on March 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Did this appear in a print newspaper?
posted by drezdn at 10:19 AM on March 14, 2011



Credit where it's due

Republicans in the Capitol
Republicans in Madison
Republicans in the Capitol
Republicans all vote all the same
There's a white one, and a white one
and a white one, another white one
And they all ignore the people
And they all vote all the same

And the people who work here
And attend the university
All tried to tell them to stop
But they all voted all the same
They care about party unity
for out of state executives
Republicans in Madison
And they all vote all the same

And they vote as Walker tells them
And then fly off to Washington
where the lobbyists can thank them
for all voting all the same
There's a white one and a white one
and a white one and another white one
and they all ignore the people
and they all vote all the same
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:43 AM on March 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Michigan’s GOP Gov. Slashes Corporate Tax Rate by 86 Percent, Hikes Taxes for Working Poor.
posted by ericb at 11:03 AM on March 14, 2011


Walker plans to do the exact same thing.
posted by hydrophonic at 11:10 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe the GOP secretly wants a revolution and that is why they keep doing this crap. I mean, without Judas, there is no resurrection so they figure that someone needs to be the bad guy. All other explanations defy belief.
posted by VTX at 11:10 AM on March 14, 2011


Loved this line from the Guardian: The Republican governor's budget plan would open the state up to a corporate asset-grab not seen since robber baron capitalism

What Have The Unions Ever Done For Us?
posted by madamjujujive at 11:24 AM on March 14, 2011


Zalzidrax, scody has it right. Almost all of the anti-Walker protesters I've encountered, while upset and energized, haven't been in an apoplectic rage. But the pro-Walker folks online have been full of vitriol. One told my senator that he makes him (the commenter) want to puke. An anti-Walker commenter's response? "[username], I hope you have a nice day."

A person can be furious without losing it and becoming a total jerk, but I do agree that I have been uniformly impressed about how levelheaded and polite people have been at these protests.
posted by Zalzidrax at 11:27 AM on March 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


John Nichols writes about what the Times did for us.
At a critical early point in the debate over whether to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights, the nation’s “newspaper of record” told Scott Walker he was right to presume that “the only ones that weren’t with us were people who were either a public employee or married to a public employee.” And he has diligently peddled that falsehood, in public and private comments, often citing the supposedly liberal and labor-friendly Times as his source.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:37 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it is kind of like religion PF, the Times' article was used as justification, but not necessarily was the reason for his actions. I doubt very much that if the NYT had come out and said, "Walker's plans are idiotic and he should be ashamed" that the outcome would be any different. He would have inserted some other source for justification, or just made it up. It's not as if they are operating on anything other than sheer gall anyways.
posted by edgeways at 11:43 AM on March 14, 2011


oh... and nearly half of the signatures required for the Senatorial recall have already been collected, according to WI Dems.
posted by edgeways at 11:50 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have been uniformly impressed about how levelheaded and polite people have been at these protests.

I think it's partly because there has been little to no opposition. I don't think the protesters are just naturally more polite people. (ok, maybe a little bit) I think if you saw a large number of tea party types showing up in Madison, you'd get a lot more rancor, if not occasional scuffles. Right now, they're so overwhelmingly outnumbered that there's no point in picking on them. So too, there haven't been any major conflicts with the police because there's been little to no resistance or provocation from them. The only time there was any "trouble" at all is when they were wearing riot gear.
posted by desjardins at 12:10 PM on March 14, 2011


I think desjardins is right - One of the first things I noted is that it's peaceful because we don't have cops acting like riot cops all gussied up and ready for a crackdown. That sets the tone to peaceful.

Which kinda tells ya something, eh?

I'm sure, though, that yes, if there were a large contingent of teabaggers we might have more problems. Thankfully people have tended to ignore them than confront them. I think most people understand the stakes. I'm not saying all, I'm sure some people on our side may end up doing bad things after getting heated. But this movement, so far, is amazing. Honestly, I'd like to imagine that Egypt was a bit of an example on how to do this right.

Also? Desjardins, I was on facebook, and I saw your map linked from one of the groups :)

It's getting around and it appears that it's going to be a useful tool for a lot of folks!
posted by symbioid at 12:15 PM on March 14, 2011


Thanks scody, I have taken the general strike links and put them up on the wiki over at http://activism.boostrapdesign.com.
posted by wuwei at 12:21 PM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


desjardins, that very well may be the case. I do know however that many of the protest organizers in different parts of the State take active steps to minimize the possibilities of hostilities. Being in direct communication with the police, recruiting and training rally monitors to step in and diffuse tense/confrontational situations, planning on cleaning up the protest areas after the fact. There is allot of talk about being peaceful and non-violent.

I am not really directing people to my flickr stream, but in two photos on it I show the crowd (part of the 2200) and the number of police between them and Walker in the restaurant (3, and at least one of them was mouthing along to some of the protest chants). Inside the restaurant, perhaps a dozen, at most, State Troopers. Honestly, here (and in Madison) the police only policed by the consent of the crowd.
posted by edgeways at 12:24 PM on March 14, 2011


symbioid: yeah, it seems to be getting a good amount of hits. Unfortunately, I screwed up the Google Analytics code for a few days, so I don't have accurate results for the entire timeframe, but there are a lot of concerned citizens who use Firefox and Safari. Who knew.

edgeways: I agree that the organizers have made efforts to ensure the protests are peaceful, and I have seen many calls to remain respectful. Other left-wing protests I've been to have been much more tense because a) the police were not on our side and not open to negotiation and therefore b) seen as the enemy. In one situation, I was blocking traffic by laying down in the street in front of a police horse and it was scary as fuck. It got to that point because the cops were trying to herd us away from peacefully picketing a building, and people became very resistant, very quickly.

Note: No one was hurt that I heard of, and I was not arrested but many others were.
posted by desjardins at 12:37 PM on March 14, 2011


I think the protests have done a huge amount of good (well, at least among law-abiding citizens who typically only get the occasional speeding ticket) for cementing the relationships between law enforcement and the general public. The care that they've taken with the protesters, even on the worst days (last Thursday, for example, when hostilities were rightly at their highest), has been a real inspiration.

1. the continued press releases in which they praise the protesters for being peaceful
2. the respectful way they've acted when their duties and personal beliefs have conflicted. Example: last Thursday, when they were removing protesters from the Assembly (a whole new can of worms), two troopers were carrying a guy out when his pants fell down. They gently set him down and let go so he could pull them back up again and secure them. Then they picked him back up and continued carrying him out, with much laughter and tears on all sides.

I'm also really heartened by the breadth of people coming out. I love seeing people in their dress uniforms and their dirty work boots; I love seeing the creativity of the signs; I love seeing little kids (and the care of people in the crowds to give them room); I love seeing signs saying "I'm doing this for my dad" and "I'm doing this for my kids."

The atmosphere has been more charged, and it was definitely harder to move around freely on Saturday. The Capitol lawn looks like shit now (literally :P) because of all the people who got on the muddy slope.

But that's a small price to pay, and I'm sure $7.5 million will cover it ;)
posted by Madamina at 12:39 PM on March 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


drezdn, I'm not in Madison so can't be absolutely sure, but it's my understanding that the Cap Times discontinued its daily print edition and is now a weekly section (focusing on culture and long-form reporting) stuffed in the State Journal.

edgeways, I took Nichols comments more in the realm of the NYT failing to help public opinion be more critical of Walker, than affecting Walker's actions directly. It is a fact that that article was datelined Janesville, but only two of the people interviewed were connected with Janesville at all, and apparently none of the people interviewed in the article were either public employees or union members (unless the faculty interviewed for perspective were). An appalling failure of journalism.
posted by dhartung at 12:59 PM on March 14, 2011


stuffed in the State Journal.

The Cap Times is a separate publication, but yeah it only appears weekly. The State Urinal is a terrible paper, too.

An appalling failure of journalism.

It's the New York Times. Just making shit up is job one.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:13 PM on March 14, 2011


I think the protests have done a huge amount of good ... for cementing the relationships between law enforcement and the general public. The care that they've taken with the protesters, even on the worst days (last Thursday, for example, when hostilities were rightly at their highest), has been a real inspiration.

At our Janesville rally, held at the County Courthouse, the Sheriff was a speaker, who received rousing applause when the MC announced how he had pulled his deputies from Capitol duty when it appeared that orders to clear the building were imminent. There's little doubt what side he's on (he was rank and file before being elected sheriff). The courthouse, of course, is his own turf.
posted by dhartung at 1:39 PM on March 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


I can't remember where I read this (The Awl, maybe), but basically the NY Times had a reporter in Madison at the time who wrote a whole f-ing book on unions, but instead chose to give that article to a 22 year old reporter from the family that runs the paper (Sulzberger, or however you spell it). And the rookie reporter with family connections didn't know he was talking to a fake union source. That's how we ended up with that shit article that struck me with a false tone when I read it. It was sort of a big deal because it was one of the first (the first?) articles in the mainstream national media to address what was happening in WI wrt collective bargaining and the protests.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 2:09 PM on March 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


mandymanwasregistered, those points have been covered in previous threads, but here's a good overview, and a good analysis from The Progressive.

I'm disappointed I could not get our local paper to write about the bad story.
posted by dhartung at 2:35 PM on March 14, 2011


Very tangentially related, I just saw this article via boingboing. FDA approves monopoly control over a drug which jacks the rate from 10 to 1500.

What if we had like a "fucked company" but "Company Fucked" where all the shit corps do to fuck you over are clearly added. Could this be part of the wiki? A spinoff?
posted by symbioid at 2:39 PM on March 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Stop motion protest.
posted by drezdn at 3:20 PM on March 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Fitzgerald says the Democratic senators are still in contempt and won't be allowed to vote in committee meetings.

That seems to me to be ridiculous and unlikely to hold up. This letter from an attorney [PDF] probably showed up upthread somewhere; I think he suggests that the Senate didn't have the authority to find the Democrats in contempt to begin with (he says that the Wisconsin statutes provide a fairly limited list of contemptible offenses).
posted by Vibrissa at 3:35 PM on March 14, 2011


tivalasvegas: ...(my reading of) the comments above is that people are claiming that there is a vast nationwide conspiracy to specifically target union rights in swing states for the purpose of destroying the Democratic Party.

Hey Trivialasvegas, I don't want to derail, this very important and very real and practical thread with arguing over what is conspiracy and what is not, but in my defense I would like to say that I make it very clear in my comment on Rhaomi's link to the U.S. political maps that it is worthy of consideration and give some thoughts BUT I end my comment with the important caveat that:

Some paper evidence of it that could trace it back to some organization funded by the Koch's and/or Karl Roves organization, would make the case more compelling for it.


I am not one to humor conspiracy theories and prefer very much to remain part of the reality-based community, so I am at a loss to wonder how you went from point A to B and completely ignoring points C, D and E.*

Rove is, indeed very much still seen as the master political strategist who handed Bush II, not just one but two presidential wins, especially in 2004, when he created an on the ground operation that tapped heavily and victoriously into a nationwide network of born-again, evangelical Christian churches that, indeed, was the decisive element in giving Bush II four more years to rot this nation with his ideologically driven rot, deaf, dumb and blind to the wishes of a massive sector of the nation.

If Rove's strategy had been identified sooner, could the outcome of that election been changed? I like to think perhaps it could've been with proper targeting of ads and educating the Democratic base that their full involvement was required if the religious right was going to be leveraged in such a massive, monolithic (and cynically opportunistic, I might add...) manner.

I enjoy getting into the minds of what people as perverse as Rove and their foot soldiers (Walker and the Fitzgeralds), and the rest of the "brain" trust at the GOP are trying to pull, because guaranteed there will be shenanigans in the future because they have no choice in the matter.

Does this make me think they're "infallible?" Not in the least, in fact the extreme opposite is true: They're so driven by blind ideology and their vaunted discipline as a party, that they're liable to make massive and irreversibly politically tone deaf mistakes.

Perhaps, you're not familiar with my commentary here, but that's one thing that fascinates me, trying to get a sorta advance intelligence on what they're (and the Dems too) thinking is...what's behind the surface, and the words and the gestures. Sometimes the distance between public words and actions that belie a whole completely contradictory set of intentions, leaves me in a state of amazement. And from what I know of Rhaomi's comments I know, he too wants to get into their heads to either make light of it or be able to get the ideas out there, so I see nothing wrong with the maps he linked too, and not only that there was indeed a very important pattern between the two, that perhaps obvious, perhaps far-fetched, I felt certainly was worth consideration.

It's about analysis and NOT conspiracy. Yes, there is more than enough for the FitzWalkerStan people suffer a huge political loss (as I think they're in the process of...and again why? Why would they do this and act so foolishly against their interests? Because they've stopped looking around them to the people of Wis. and have instead set their sights on the national stage, because they've had that carrot put in front of them. That's not conspiracy, that's speculation and analysis. And I would bet money on that.)

Sure, let's deal with the merits and the practical day to day elements. But to close our eyes to what their actions reveal because it might seem conspiracy theory, is to give your enemy a HUGE advantage because you're refusing to connect the dots and anticipate, and therefore, hopefully neutralize their cynical strategies. That's the best way I know of to deal with people that I see on some level have become evil and dangerous and are oblivious to that because once people like that really get into serious power, one is effectively, if you'll pardon the word: fucked.

If proper analysis had been done on Walker and the dots connected and the strategy deciphered, perhaps he could've been stopped on his way to becoming Governor of Wisconsin and causing all this turmoil. Although honestly to see the energy this issue has released in the middle class across Wisconsin and the country and having the scales fall from their eyes as they witness the true egregious intentions of the Tea Party and the GOP, in their obvious despicable subservience to the ultra-wealthy (the Koch Bros and etc...), is possibly one of the best things that's happened in years.

(If you want to discuss this further please...contact me through MeMail. THX.)
posted by Skygazer at 3:42 PM on March 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


Check your MeMail.

I think that we're coming from the same general position but are just looking at different things. From my perspective, it's not very important to know exactly how the dots are connected. I just don't think it's news that the Republican Party is comprised of a coalition of social conservatives and business interests, who are (respectively) involved in lobbying for policies that enforce conservative social norms and increase corporate power. I think that for Koch and Walker, weakening collective bargaining rights is a good in itself -- that this also could help the Republican Party politically (or hurt the Democratic Party, which is the converse) is just a happy side effect to them.

I'm more concerned with how we continue the process of opening eyes, and I do think that primarily looks like sharing stories rather than pointing to connections and networks and political strategies.

I think you've convinced me, though, that this process of dot-connecting is a more important part than I thought when I started this conversation. Thanks.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:22 PM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


In addition to the video I posted above from Saturday's protest, I also just created two zoomable panoramic images (north and south) from Saturday's protest in Madison. (Flash Required) They were taken around 11am, before the crowds swelled in the afternoon.
posted by danherwig at 7:09 PM on March 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Chris Hedges - Power Concedes Nothing Without a Demand

'We have tolerated the intolerant—from propaganda outlets such as Fox News to Christian fascists to lunatics in the Republican Party to Wall Street and corporations—and we are paying the price. The only place left for us is on the street. We must occupy state and federal offices. We must foment general strikes. The powerful, with no check left on their greed and criminality, are gorging on money while they busily foreclose our homes, bust the last of our unions, drive up our health care costs and cement into place a permanent underclass of the broken and the poor. They are slashing our most essential and basic services—including budgets for schools, firefighters and assistance programs for children and the elderly—so we can pay for the fraud they committed when they wiped out $14 trillion of housing wealth, wages and retirement savings. All we have left is the capacity to say “no.” And if enough of us say “no,” if enough of us refuse to cooperate, the despots are in trouble.'

(...apologies if this has already been posted...)
posted by g.i.r. at 4:13 AM on March 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


Skygazer and tivalasvegas, check out this post by dhartung in this thread.

It discusses ALEC and and "model legislation" for states to copy.

I think this is the key you're looking for.
posted by symbioid at 6:41 AM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Peeple vs. Scott Walker.
posted by drezdn at 6:44 AM on March 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


omg drezdn, that's adorable. Power to the peeps!

On a serious note, tivalasvegas said:

I just don't think it's news that the Republican Party is comprised of a coalition of social conservatives and business interests, who are (respectively) involved in lobbying for policies that enforce conservative social norms and increase corporate power.

It's not news to you. It really is news to a lot of middle-class and working-class folks who genuinely believed that Republicans were working in their best interests. I think THIS is why you see such a diverse crowd in Madison. Many people were caught off guard, realized they'd been lied to, and are now furious.

My dad is a Harley rider, and has been for my entire life. I spent a lot of summers going to various bike rallies. These are not liberal folks. I guarantee they almost all voted for Bush, and the vast majority for Walker. Yet these are exactly the same types of people I saw in Madison, and they are pissed off now that their delusions have been ripped away. I saw Ironworkers with tears in their eyes at the betrayal. My own father, a union member for 30 years, was floored that Walker would try union busting. To us it seems obvious that the Republicans are the party of the rich. This is most definitely news to a lot of America.
posted by desjardins at 7:28 AM on March 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


Polling in the districts of the 8 Republic senators eligible for recall

Interesting to click through and see the polarization between the results in a district like Kapanke's (I'm guessing most of the Dem senators' districts would look similar) vs Grothman or Lazich's, with the rest in varying places in the middle.
posted by EmilyClimbs at 8:34 AM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


It really is news to a lot of middle-class and working-class folks who genuinely believed that Republicans were working in their best interests. I think THIS is why you see such a diverse crowd in Madison. Many people were caught off guard, realized they'd been lied to, and are now furious.

No names, but I was recently speaking with a Republican former Assembly candidate -- also former union. He's appalled by Walker and crowd. Everything from the non-consultative approach to the legislative ramrod has made him furious. I don't think it's shaken all his core beliefs -- he actually said if Walker was taking a billion from schools, why are we sending a billion to Japan (as if they came from the same balance sheet) -- nor his party affiliation, but it's pretty interesting as an isolated data point. If it means there are decent Republicans again, instead of these nuclear-option laying-waste roll-it-all-back ideologues, I can take that.

EmilyClimbs -- that poll post highlights a critical issue facing us in the coming weeks, which is fielding an actual candidate to run against any recalled Senator. [Usage varies, but since in Wisconsin the petition leads to an election that by default includes the incumbent, I take the election itself as the "re-call" as opposed to the removal from office.] Lots of these districts lean red as it is, and any viable Dem is going to be some sort of known quantity, with all the baggage that implies.

In my Congressional district, by way of analogy, we have Paul Ryan, and every primary a bunch of interesting unknowns run for the nomination to oppose him -- and for six-ish elections in a row, the guy who won was this absolute block of cheese of a retired physician (with a ridiculously bad MPB haircut to boot, and a lopsided smile that was worsened by brain surgery at one point), and he would get just flattened. He was like your template for a horrible, useless candidate. Partly the power of incumbency meant whoever ran would face an uphill battle -- and partly that led to no really strong candidates running. So this feels like a real problem to me.
posted by dhartung at 8:50 AM on March 15, 2011


dhartung, That's exactly the problem that my district (SD 14) has. The restaurant next door to my office has been collecting signatures and from what they tell me they are getting an enthusiastic, diverse crowd of people looking to sign the recall petition. Looking at the polling, it seems pretty evenly split within the district. I can't help but think that a recall in the district will be little more than a symbolic annoyance for Sen. Olsen. He ran unopposed in the last election and I haven't heard that anyone has stepped forward to run against him in the recall election.

This is the same problem we have in our assembly district, the local democratic party just cannot find a good candidate. The last guy they put up, while I think he was a smart and good man, was very milquetoast. He had no clear objectives other than to listen to constituents. He was partially blind with his bad eye having a milky appearance,walked with a cane and actually lived OUTSIDE the district when he began campaigning. The party was very quick to point out that technically he was eligible to run if he moved into the district within a certain time frame, but jesus...was he the best guy they could find?
posted by greasy_skillet at 9:05 AM on March 15, 2011


WI GOP wants to outlaw pickets at politicians' homes
posted by drezdn at 9:12 AM on March 15, 2011


Bah. Of course they do. Doesn't that blatantly infringe on the right to assembly though?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:22 AM on March 15, 2011


When during this whole ordeal have you seen Walker let a piddly little thing like the law get in the way of what he wants to do.

I really hope that, between the recalls and the eventual court battles, Walker and is cronies get slammed down hard.
posted by VTX at 10:16 AM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


WI GOP wants to outlaw pickets at politicians' homes

given that the SCOTUS has just ruled, nearly unanimously, on the right to protest, the most the WI GOP can do is limit time and place. Either limitations that seem unreasonable are likely to get smacked down pretty quickly.
posted by edgeways at 1:41 PM on March 15, 2011


given that the SCOTUS has just ruled, nearly unanimously, on the right to protest, the most the WI GOP can do is limit time and place. Either limitations that seem unreasonable are likely to get smacked down pretty quickly.

At which point, hopefully, WI GOP will start in on the usual screechy blather about liberal "activist" judges (you know, like Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia).
posted by scody at 2:26 PM on March 15, 2011


Speaking of the right to protest, I just entered this into desjardin and friends' awesome map, for DC-area folks: Wednesday, March 16 Demonstration Against Lobbyist Party for Republican State Senators from Wisconsin.

Let's give them the welcome drezdn asked for!
posted by EvaDestruction at 2:27 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Check out this absolutely stunning series of 360 panoramic images from Madison. The last one in the series was from this past Saturday. Closest thing I've seen to capturing the sheer size of the crowd that day.
posted by danherwig at 2:49 PM on March 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


New wiki domain.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 8:08 PM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Forget Fox and Friends, tune into desjardins and friends!

Anyway, I updated the map. Lots of Wisconsin stuff in the next few days - could use some sources for out-of-state events.
posted by desjardins at 9:05 PM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


anyone know what this may be about?
posted by edgeways at 9:10 PM on March 15, 2011


Spread the word! April 4 National Day of Action: "We Are One!"

There are a number of different events listed (more events for desjardins's awesome map!), with more to come; for folks in areas without events yet on the map, I'd suggest contacting your state or local labor organizations to see what they're planning and ask how you can get on board. Some great videos on youtube.
posted by scody at 10:41 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


"The shots and photos of those senators at that rally just made me sick to my stomach," said Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.

Sen. Majority Leader FitzDickBreath better get himself an industrial size bottle of Maalox...


/wink
posted by Skygazer at 1:33 AM on March 16, 2011


Great pie chart showing the inequality in wealth available to download and re-use.
posted by Skygazer at 1:46 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


anyone know what this may be about?

Dunno, but it was dismissed. Good call on looking him up :)
posted by desjardins at 5:38 AM on March 16, 2011


Sen. Majority Leader FitzDickBreath

*raised eyebrow* seriously? What is this, the kindergarten playground?
posted by hippybear at 7:34 AM on March 16, 2011 [3 favorites]




It really is news to a lot of middle-class and working-class folks who genuinely believed that Republicans were working in their best interests. I think THIS is why you see such a diverse crowd in Madison. Many people were caught off guard, realized they'd been lied to, and are now furious.


Now wait until they realize that the union leaders and democrats aren't necessarily working in their best interests. (As seen in the excellent Mother Jones article up thread)

I'm starting to think that a General Strike is going to have to come from the people if it's going to come at all, in defiance of the authorities that we keep trying to appeal to. (See Oakland, 1946 for reference)
posted by Stagger Lee at 7:46 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Great pie chart showing the inequality in wealth available to download and re-use.

I'd love to see that redone as a graphic of a car with an old rich fellow driving it. Nearly half of the car (the front end, the door, the driver) is the top 1% with 43% of the wealth. A bunch more is the next 4%, and the trunk is the next 5% with 11% of the wealth. The next 10% with 10% of the wealth can be the larger, front wheel

The smaller back wheel (2-dimensional car) can be the 80% of Americans that have 7% of the wealth. And the image would look great with the load tilted so the back end of the car is leaning all on that back wheel while the front wheel is slightly off the ground.
posted by cashman at 8:11 AM on March 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Excellent 101 on the people and strategies who have orchestrated the rise in extreme conservatism in the US since the 1960s: Who’s Really Behind Recent Republican Legislation in Wisconsin and Elsewhere? (Hint: It Didn’t Start Here) -- A Study Guide for Those Wishing to Know More

Ari Paul for AJE: Waking up to class politics: The protests in Wisconsin harken back to the old days of labour and class struggle in the US.

Now wait until they realize that the union leaders and democrats aren't necessarily working in their best interests. (As seen in the excellent Mother Jones article up thread)

Yes, but the difference -- and this is absolutely crucial to understand in Wisconsin and for the reawakening of the labor movement as a whole -- is that unions are not just made up of their leadership; they are made up of their rank-and-file members, and renewed organization and activism among the rank-and-file, as well as among the working class as a whole, can push the labor movement forward (as has happened historically), even if the leadership and/or their allies in the Democratic party may be paralyzed or even actively trying to hold the movement back.
posted by scody at 11:00 AM on March 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


(oh, and I meant to give props for those two articles: the first via miko, the second via klangklangston)
posted by scody at 11:22 AM on March 16, 2011


Michigan is demonstrating against their governor's budget proposal, in particular the financial emergency manager bills, also known as the financial martial law bills (my understanding is pretty fuzzy, but as far as I can tell, they are Senate bills 153 - 158, which you can find searching this page). There was some talk yesterday about occupying the capitol in Lansing, and requests for protest pizza are going out on twitter.
posted by Vibrissa at 11:59 AM on March 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Cashman, will this do?
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 12:18 PM on March 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


*raised eyebrow* seriously?

Nah. Not really.

Just Fitz-joshin' around. Makin' Fitz-words just for Fitz-fun.


*Slinking away, with my Fitz-guilty Fitz-face*
posted by Skygazer at 12:41 PM on March 16, 2011


Nice speech from Jim Cavanaugh, president of the South Central Federation of Labor: "Scott Walker and his benefactors, both in state and out of state, have declared war on this State’s working class and middle class. But, as Phil Neuenfeldt, the state AFL-CIO’s president, says, it ain’t class war unless we fight back. Well, Brother Phil, we’re fighting back." (Not sure if you be on FB to be able to read it.)
posted by scody at 12:52 PM on March 16, 2011


btw, Orange Pamplemousse -- nice image! Is that a late '40s Chevy Aero?
posted by scody at 1:09 PM on March 16, 2011


Pic from the fundraising protest in Washington.
posted by drezdn at 2:20 PM on March 16, 2011


requests for protest pizza are going out on twitter.

Jeez, now everyone wants pizza. Kids these days. Now we're going to have hipster protesters in Madison. "I had pizza delivered to me while I occupied the state capitol - before it was cool"
posted by desjardins at 2:50 PM on March 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I can't access Facebook right now, but there are pages for both Walkerville and Rotundaville, with some friendly competitiveness going.
posted by desjardins at 2:52 PM on March 16, 2011


... going on.

Walker cut my budget for grammar.
posted by desjardins at 2:53 PM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


related thread, for those of us who just hit F5 on our Recent Activity pages all day
posted by desjardins at 3:19 PM on March 16, 2011


PDF of Dane County's complaint alleging that the conference committee meeting last week violated the Open Meeting laws.
posted by Vibrissa at 3:56 PM on March 16, 2011


Sorry scody, source.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 4:42 PM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tx, d. I'd missed that thread.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:51 PM on March 16, 2011


Pic from the fundraising protest in Washington.

Does anyone know how many people came out for this? Sadly, I just found out about it now.
posted by ryanshepard at 5:41 PM on March 16, 2011


According to Talking Points Memo, the protesters in DC took over the lobby of the lobbyists.
posted by honestcoyote at 6:08 PM on March 16, 2011


Isthmus, AP to get Walker emails
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:04 PM on March 16, 2011


More on taking over the lobbyists' lobby
posted by Vibrissa at 8:12 PM on March 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Onion-style news roundup for early Thursday -- from my city councilman.
posted by dhartung at 1:03 AM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Abe Sauer's latest WI piece, from The Awl
posted by g.i.r. at 5:26 AM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sauer's pretty amazing. That piece is excellent for the breadth of knowledge and history he employs and for the way he makes his point in such a powerful manner devoid of off putting partisan jargon.
posted by Skygazer at 8:57 AM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cashman, will this do?

That is fantastic! Bravo Orange Pamplemousse!
posted by cashman at 9:07 AM on March 17, 2011


ryanshepherd, one of my friends in the thick of things estimated 1,000 people at the peak (at least several hundreds seems to be agreed upon by various informal sources). By the time I got there (the end) it was around 50ish people left, I guess, which didn't seem like a bad result considering they'd been at it for 2 hours and had gone from the Homer Building to the White House and the Chamber of Commerce, back to the Homer Building.
posted by EvaDestruction at 10:01 AM on March 17, 2011


A slideshow from the DC protest
posted by scody at 12:26 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Canada might not be far enough away...

Wisconsin governor rising in Republican eyes
posted by g.i.r. at 6:22 PM on March 17, 2011


...if i have to move, i mean...
posted by g.i.r. at 6:23 PM on March 17, 2011


Hey folks, I've got started on a site that will catalog the violations of rule and law that Walker and the Fitzgeralds have committed in their rush to push the bill through:

crimesagainstwisconsin.com

I still have to tweak a number of things, and I haven't had time to find data yet, so all it has right now are a few things off the top of my head. If you can help me fill this out, memail me. I know there's a lot more to go on this list.
posted by echo target at 7:44 PM on March 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


that's NOT how we want to do this....because that's just wrong. we're better than that, smarter than that. unity and solidarity, not division. fired up, but not violent. determination, not destruction. no hate. do not want.

we take the high road. if we do what's right, we can win support and we can win this struggle. threats and violence are not the way to do that.
posted by g.i.r. at 4:04 AM on March 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


No kidding. If they can have a more or less peaceful revolution in Egypt I think we can do better than that here.
posted by VTX at 6:16 AM on March 18, 2011


It's not really clear from wallstreet1929's comment, but that's a quote from a threatening email that Senator Fitzgerald received last Wednesday after the Senate vote. The last thing I heard about the story was that police were investigating and maybe knew the identity of the sender, though I can't find a cite for that offhand.

Honestly, my first thought when I heard about the email was that it seemed implausibly over-the-top (apparently the subject line was "Atten: Death threat!!!! Bomb!!!!") and conveniently timed. Like, obviously it should be taken seriously by law enforcement and investigated, but it reads like Angry Internet Troll, and it was a handy thing for the Republicans to hold up as evidence that the protests are secretly not peaceful.
posted by Vibrissa at 6:45 AM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


...it was a handy thing for the Republicans to hold up as evidence that the protests are secretly not peaceful.

That is exactly why no one should send crap like that. Firstly, it is a dumb threat. It doesn't say, "Meet me demands or else!" It just says, "We're gonna kill you!" If there is no way for your target to escape their fate, don't make things harder for yourself and tell them you're coming. Secondly, if it wasn't a genuine threat (and for the reasons I mentioned above I don't think it was) don't feel the republican trolls with this crap.
posted by VTX at 6:57 AM on March 18, 2011


[Comment removed, maybe don't post long nutty violent screeds without some pretty thorough context, because it ends up looking like you're posting long nutty violent screeds for no clear reason.]
posted by cortex at 7:10 AM on March 18, 2011


....aaaaand now it looks like i was talking to myself, or maybe replying to echo target's idea, but i was talking about the thing that cortex removed...
posted by g.i.r. at 7:31 AM on March 18, 2011


actually, it looked like you were responding to echo target's new website, which was really a WTF moment.
posted by desjardins at 7:35 AM on March 18, 2011


no, echo's thing is a good idea ! :)
what i was commenting on (and a few others after me) was a comment that presumably showed the text of a death-threat email to some unnamed Repub, but like cortex said there was no context, link, or explanation...
posted by g.i.r. at 7:45 AM on March 18, 2011


There was a hearing this morning regarding a temporary restraining order preventing the bill from being published until after legal challenges against it have been answered. The Wispolitics Budget blog has been covering it this morning. The temporary restraining order has been granted.

A hearing regarding whether or not the open meetings law was violated will begin at 1pm today.
posted by Vibrissa at 8:41 AM on March 18, 2011


My understanding is that the hearing this afternoon is whether or not various sections of the state constitution were violated.
posted by drezdn at 8:52 AM on March 18, 2011


drezdn, I could definitely be wrong. This is the case that's being heard this afternoon, I think (the legislators have been dismissed as defendants because they have legislative immunity, I think). This (PDF) is a note sent out by Dane County yesterday about the hearings, but it's not really clear to me from that what's happening this afternoon, and this (also a PDF, largely talking about the open meetings law) is the only complaint I've found that was filed by the Dane County DA, but this story makes it sound like the afternoon case is something else. Hmm.
posted by Vibrissa at 9:15 AM on March 18, 2011


If I'm reading the ACLU Madison tweets correctly, part of it is open meetings law violation but it includes a complaint about not enough Senators being present.
posted by drezdn at 9:19 AM on March 18, 2011


Ah, yeah, I just found an earlier story that says the same thing.
posted by Vibrissa at 9:22 AM on March 18, 2011


A longer article about the Dane County judge's temporary block!
posted by Glinn at 9:33 AM on March 18, 2011


Echo Target: Your site is going on the wiki!
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:36 AM on March 18, 2011


More about Hopper (the Senator with the mistress who may or may not actual live in his district)
posted by edgeways at 9:39 AM on March 18, 2011


More info about the two different lawsuits, from yesterday.

Two county officials in Wisconsin have filed separate legal challenges... Hearings on both challenges are scheduled Friday....

Dane County District Attorney... Ozanne’s challenge wants the law voided and the Republican senators involved fined $300 for violating the open-meetings law.

In the second legal action, Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk filed a restraining order and temporary injunction Friday against the state’s Republican leadership, saying the bill’s passage was illegal because not enough senators were present for the vote.

posted by EmilyClimbs at 9:41 AM on March 18, 2011


Worth being aware of with the restraining order: it sounds like the legislature might be able to call another conference committee meeting and pass the law again as long as they don't violate the open meetings law doing it.
posted by Vibrissa at 9:43 AM on March 18, 2011


Vibrissa, true. Here's hoping someone is camped out by the legislative announcement board. I would think they'd give 24 hours notice, but considering their actions so far, I wouldn't be surprised if they only gave two.
posted by drezdn at 9:46 AM on March 18, 2011


i thought i remember reading that in a conference committee, there needs to be at least one member of the minority from each house present, or the actions taken by the committee are not valid...
posted by g.i.r. at 9:55 AM on March 18, 2011


g.i.r., that was a comment by drezdn in this thread.

Joint Rule 3(1) says: "In all cases of disagreement between the senate and assembly on amendments, adopted by either house to a bill or joint resolution passed by the other house, a committee of conference consisting of 3 members from each house may be requested by either house, and the other house shall appoint a similar committee. At least one member from each house shall be a member of the minority party."
posted by Vibrissa at 10:10 AM on March 18, 2011


i did some searching...this is a blog post on that very topic...
i believe what it says is that a committee member from the senate dems was appointed by the senate prez, and that as long as an appointment was made, even if the appointee wasn't actually present, that their bases were covered. maybe that's why i haven't heard anything on it...
posted by g.i.r. at 10:18 AM on March 18, 2011


Just heard something through the grapevine that Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi issued a temporary restraining order on the CBA law taking effect, which was requested by Ozanne.

Anybody know what will happen now? The rumors I heard weren't very forthcoming with details.
posted by CancerMan at 11:56 AM on March 18, 2011


Damn, there are now events in 29 out of 50 states (that I know of). This movement is spreading like wildfire.
posted by desjardins at 11:57 AM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


CancerMan, the Attorney General's office is appealing the TRO. I think more hearings about the restraining order (separate from the probable appeal) are scheduled for the end of this month, and the hearing about the constitutionality of the bill will now be April 12. There's also a chance that the legislature will try to re-pass the bill without violating the open meetings law.
posted by Vibrissa at 12:05 PM on March 18, 2011


My Mom is friends with Frank Lasee's Mom. [WI Senate, District 1 (R)]

Having just finished his first term he is not yet eligible for recall but I have it good authority that his own mother didn't vote for him. Let's hope there is some momentum left when we get to phase 2.
posted by Bonzai at 12:30 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the case about the vote violating the need for quorum (essentially arguing that it is a fiscal bill) is the bigger issue since the 14 dems can go into exile again to prevent them re-voting on it then. Even then, I don't think they would since their stance was that the people needed time to review the bill, time they've now had.

I think the only way this bill won't take effect is if the constitutionality of it (either on a state or federal level) is challenged and won.

That, or the recalls are successful and they can repeal the thing.
posted by VTX at 12:32 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Senator Cullen (Democrat from Janesville) is apparently drafting a constitutional amendment to lower the quorum needed for fiscal bills. I don't think we could get all 14 to leave again to prevent a quorum if it came to that; if it came to a vote again, what we'd need would be for a few more Republicans to stop being assholes and start listening to the people.
posted by Vibrissa at 12:51 PM on March 18, 2011


Vibrissa, people are speculating about the near-term effects of that amendment, but due to the process Wisconsin must follow to amend its constitution, it could not take effect until two successive legislatures and a statewide popular referendum endorsed the amendment to take effect. The earliest it could be enacted is sometime in 2013.

Also, while it's seen as a "pox on both your houses" sort of thing, and would weaken this quasi-filibuster capability, it would also eviscerate a supermajority requirement that the right wing favors as a bulwark against the ease of tax increases. I'm not sure it's viable in the current setup. I'm not sure why it's received so much attention.
posted by dhartung at 1:04 PM on March 18, 2011


Yeah, dhartung, I'm not really worried about the amendment for its own sake, but the fact that he's proposing it (and getting a lot of press for the proposal) makes me think that he wouldn't be willing to leave the state again to prevent a quorum.
posted by Vibrissa at 1:11 PM on March 18, 2011


Sumi grants continuance in second challenge to collective bargaining changes

Dane County's corporation counsel and the defense reached an agreement that it didn't make sense to move ahead on the complaint in light of this morning's ruling.

The state has filed a motion to dismiss Dane County's case based on jurisdictional issues. Sumi said there are a series of issues that need to be resolved before the case can move forward. She set oral arguments on the case on motion for April 12.

"There are a lot of ways that this can be mooted out" prior to that hearing, she said.


It's too bad, because this is the one that also talks about the quorum issue.
posted by EmilyClimbs at 2:18 PM on March 18, 2011


PDF of Sumi's decision from this morning's hearing

I kind of love the Wheeler Report.
posted by Vibrissa at 2:50 PM on March 18, 2011


Aaaand...

Badgercare Enrollment Frozen.

And of course, the lackey who brought us this? Dennis Smith of the Heritage Foundation
posted by symbioid at 6:22 PM on March 18, 2011


This youtube clip takes the audio from one of Scott Walker's campaign commercials and adds it onto footage from the Madison protests. The juxtaposition is oddly amazing and inspiring.
posted by desjardins at 6:58 PM on March 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


let's laugh a little...A New Gilded Age? Yay!
posted by g.i.r. at 5:14 AM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you Cortex.

[Comment removed, maybe don't post long nutty violent screeds without some pretty thorough context, because it ends up looking like you're posting long nutty violent screeds for no clear reason.]

I guess I thought that putting forward "primary texts" that were unedited, and more or less uneditorialized, would provide more powerful communication for an area of this story that I believe is underserved. The degree to which these disagreements have sunk is very disturbing regardless of political opinions. The degree to which - well, I'm sorry, there is simply no other way to phrase this - these DEATH THREATS have been swept under the rug is pathetic. And I'm not talking about one or two isolated instances, but dozens. At some point one of these "violent nutty screeds" which really need to come to light, will result in something more real. What will we do then? "Oh, I hadn't heard about these"? "Oh, I knew it was bad, but that bad?" Didn't that Sheriff in Arizona get some forewarning of a violent nut in his district? And then it got real.

Bomb threats, dozen calls for murder, various tweets.

Again, I think facing the actual words is probably the most important facet of this, not anything I have to say. It's not an opinion thing, it's a fact thing. The movie is unfolding, someone will make a million producing it.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 8:55 AM on March 19, 2011


The death threats are not being swept under any rugs. This kind of thing happens around any attention grabbing story and is more and more frequently being used by assholes for PR purposes to make themselves look like victims.

The nuts send threats, it has nothing to do with the protesting movement at large which has been stridently peaceful.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:21 AM on March 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hell, even Penny Arcade pulled this shit. It's deeply uncivil, but not a true sign that anyone is in danger.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:24 AM on March 19, 2011


The degree to which - well, I'm sorry, there is simply no other way to phrase this - these DEATH THREATS have been swept under the rug is pathetic.

I think what you are trying to say - but are really afraid to - is that these death threats have not reduced the credibility of "the left" as much as you think they ought to have.

You seek to discredit the movement entirely and avoid having to have a discussion on the merits and facts of the matter.

It's a form of concern trolling and it is utterly disingenuous. It is cheap political theater which is part and parcel of the conventional conservative victim mythology. Particularly as the protests and the movement has been praised by nearly everyone for being so peaceful and nonviolent.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:44 AM on March 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


Sen. Randy Hopper update: Remember his mistress, the one who started working for the state in Feb. She's making 11k more a year than the last person who had the position.

Power Plant Sale Update: They're saying the sales will be in the big budget bill and the state building commission approved $9 million in upgrades to the plants earlier this week.
posted by drezdn at 1:46 PM on March 19, 2011


Assembly Representative Mark Pocan wrote the following letter to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald.
posted by g.i.r. at 4:09 AM on March 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Recall Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan
posted by various at 2:36 PM on March 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Strong Plurality Of Michigan Voters Support Amending State Constitution To Protect Collective Bargaining
posted by homunculus at 3:31 PM on March 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Maddow: It's Not About the Budget; Republicans Take Care of Their Own on the Backs of the Poor and Middle Class
posted by homunculus at 3:35 PM on March 22, 2011


In the interest of shared sacrifice: Senate Bill 38, a bill to sell the Governor's Mansion. I emailed Walker to tell him to support it.
posted by drezdn at 6:26 PM on March 22, 2011


Darn it, there was a post in one of these threads (or maybe an article linked to?) that said that non-union works earn more when a unionized workforce exists in that market. Does anyone know where that information is?
posted by VTX at 6:45 AM on March 23, 2011


Maine Gov. Paul LePage Orders Labor History Mural Removed From State Offices
posted by homunculus at 11:52 AM on March 23, 2011


Conservatives On Wisconsin Supreme Court Let Corporate Lobbyists Write Judicial Ethics Rules
posted by homunculus at 11:54 AM on March 23, 2011


we need a new thread, maybe ?
starting to feel a little down, what with not much new happening...

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

relevant to some discussion above, facebook group to explore the possibility of a solidarity music concert event. at the moment, it is kinda central-WI oriented, and small-scale, but maybe it could be more?......
posted by g.i.r. at 7:34 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


g.i.r., I'm not on Facebook, but I could probably get my four-piece to play at an event. Depends on when. Memail me if something comes of it.
posted by echo target at 6:18 AM on March 24, 2011


In "petty dickweeds" news:
"Newly Released Wisconsin Emails Show GOP Considered Ways to Punish Democrats"
posted by AugieAugustus at 9:07 AM on March 24, 2011



About those "death threats"...
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:51 PM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jeez!
posted by EvaDestruction at 1:24 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


About those "death threats"...

Lam said he hasn’t filed a police report, but he intends to do so by the end of the week. He said he was minivan-shopping with his family when the email was sent.

Updated 3:59 p.m. Carlos Lam has admitted writing the email and resigned as deputy prosecutor of Johnson County, according to a statement from the Johnson County Prosecutor.


Pants thoroughly engulfed in flames.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:29 PM on March 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


Pants thoroughly engulfed in flames.

We're receiving eyewitness reports that the blaze started immediately after Lam attempted to leave the scene, posterior first. More details at 11.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 3:12 PM on March 24, 2011


*attempted to leave the scene via telephone wire
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 3:12 PM on March 24, 2011


We're receiving eyewitness reports that the blaze started immediately after Lam attempted to leave the scene

...of the Reichstag?

(all joking aside, should this be its own FPP?)
posted by scody at 3:20 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


scody: if you think it should be, write one up!
posted by hippybear at 3:22 PM on March 24, 2011


I made one.

It's kinda thin, I guess, but it should be OK.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:51 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Buried Provision In House GOP Bill Would Cut Off Food Stamps To Entire Families If One Member Strikes
posted by homunculus at 4:42 PM on March 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Buried Provision In House GOP Bill Would Cut Off Food Stamps To Entire Families If One Member Strikes

"Malice, craftiness, and duplicity are concomitants of absolute power, and those known as patricians tend for the most part to be lacking in the feelings of ordinary humanity." -- Marcus Aurelius
posted by scody at 5:04 PM on March 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


Cut off food stamps for striking? Goldbugs, y'all, you've got to shut that shit down. These fascist creeps you've been elected are no laughing matter. They're going to badly break things.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:00 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Goldbugs? Er, thanks, auto-correct.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:01 PM on March 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


"The company I work for posted record profits, the union is going to renegotiate our contract to get us all a raise but we might have to strike to get it done. If it works, my family will be able to afford to get off of food stamps!"

"If you go on strike to permanently get off food stamps, we'll take away your food stamps."

"Ah yes, that makes sense."
posted by VTX at 7:30 AM on March 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


GOP Trust Admits Wisconsin was about politics, not budget
posted by hippybear at 9:26 AM on March 25, 2011


Act published despite temporary restraining order.
posted by drezdn at 3:03 PM on March 25, 2011


hearing on FB and twitter that walker will be in wausau at the plaza hotel saturday mar 26, sometime betw 9 and 10 am ... protests beginning at 9 am...i wish i had a verified source, sorry...can't find one.

...but we'll take any protest help we can get...
posted by g.i.r. at 8:11 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Enough (likely) signatures to force a recall vote have been collected for Hopper
posted by edgeways at 10:18 PM on March 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Conservative Think Tank Seeks Michigan Profs' Emails About Wisconsin Union Battle ... And Maddow
posted by homunculus at 1:10 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the GOP Trust Admits link above:

"The far-left is trying to hijack the narrative here and paint the unions as a counterweight to corporate power, when in reality they have become MORE powerful than corporations under the current administration."

These people are absolutely fucking delusional. At this point, I'm not sure I believe a middle ground can even be reached anymore, they are just operating from a point of view that doesn't even live in the same zip code as reality.
posted by quin at 1:41 PM on March 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


They are totally divorced from reality, quin, you're right. It's weird to me, because I really love researching things and when someone makes a claim I'm inclined to go out and figure out how much of it to believe. Evidently for some people the idea that unions are "MORE powerful than corporations" actually passes the sniff test for bullshit and then they're keen to fight against this injustice. It's... bizarre.

The hearing for the temporary restraining order today has been fascinating, and I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to hear what's going to happen next.

Some of the drama today:

Members of the Legislative Reference Bureau admit that Senator Fitzgerald insisted they publish bill

Secretary of State La Follette is permitted to retain his own legal counsel after Governor Walker sent lawyers to represent him, whom he'd never even met. He said he might have to fire his new legal counsel (before being allowed to get his own representation) if they refused to ask the questions of witnesses that he wanted.

The head of the LRB has said he didn't think that his publication of the law on the website meant the law was in force. There was a video of Representative Barca yelling at the conference meeting that it was against the open meetings law - and then the assistant attorney general argued that Representative Barca should be removed from the case since he says he didn't violate the law, as he didn't vote.

These are hijinks that I don't think I would have found believable had I read them in a novel.
posted by lriG rorriM at 2:37 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seeing on twitter that Sumi has upheld the TRO for now and established that the bill is not law. More hearings on Friday.

The best part of the trial, from my perspective was that there were at least two attorneys that were theoretically defending defendants but also fighting the bill becoming law. Lazar was out gunned.
posted by drezdn at 3:02 PM on March 29, 2011


The far-left is trying to hijack the narrative here and paint the unions as a counterweight to corporate power, when in reality they have become MORE powerful than corporations under the current administration.

Terrific Glenn Greenwald article on the psychology of this mindset from just a few days ago:
For billionaires to see themselves as the True Victims, to complain that the President and the Government are waging some sort of war against them in the name of radical egalitarianism, is so removed from reality -- universes away -- that's it's hard to put into words.

[...]This strain of delusional self-victimization is not uncommon. One commonly finds those who are the strongest and most powerful convincing themselves that they are the oppressed and the marginalized. Many Americans believe that -- as they invade, bomb and occupy countless Muslim countries -- that they are the ones being victimized by the Muslim world, while many Israelis and their loyalists believe that the nuclear-armed, constantly invading, occupying and bombing nation is the real victim of aggression and militarism in the Middle East. In Imperial Ambitions, Noam Chomsky described this inverted sense of victimhood in the foreign policy context this way:
...That is a constant refrain of imperialism. You have your jackboot on someone's neck and they're about to destroy you.

The same is true with any form of oppression. And it's psychologically understandable. If you're crushing and destroying someone, you have to have a reason for it, and it can't be, "I'm a murderous monster." It has to be self-defense. "I'm protecting myself against them. Look what they're doing to me." Oppression gets psychologically inverted; the oppressor is the victim who is defending himself. [Greenwald's emphasis]
This is exactly the psychological affliction that leads Wall Street plunderers and tycoons and billionaires to see themselves as the victims of the resentful lower-classes and the "radical egalitarians" who run the U.S. Government. Even as they get richer and everyone else gets poorer, even as the very few remaining restraints on their political power are abolished, even as the disparities in wealth and power grow ever-larger, they become increasingly convinced that everything is stacked against them, that there is a grand conspiracy to deprive them of what is rightfully theirs. [my emphasis] All of this could be confined to a fascinating, abstract psychological study if not for the fact that the people who think this way exercise the most political power and continue to exercise more and more.
posted by scody at 3:23 PM on March 29, 2011 [10 favorites]


Just back from the Janesville protest, at a hotel where Walker is speaking to the local chamber of commerce. At least 2000 people attending, with an atmosphere very similar to Madison. TV cameras, reporters. No counter-demonstrators to be seen, but one guy was preaching to the crowd about abortion. A tense moment as a group marched down a closed street up to the property line of the hotel ("Whose street? OUR STREET!"), but the cops quickly put up another police tape and asked people not to cross the barricade line. Quite a few union-printed signs, and the prominent TEAMSTERS big rig, but many, many home-made signs with personal messages, indicating how grass-roots this movement is.

For a while I was near the back parking lot entrance. It was striking how many of the registered guests drive $50,000 SUVs, and how many of the cars going on past (looking for parking to get out and protest, mostly!) were held together with rust and duct-tape. Many shouts of "SHAME!", although the majority of these attendees engaged in polite ignoring, one did open her window and yell at some us that WE should be ashamed. For what, I wonder.

It is believed that Walker was secreted inside the hotel well before the protests, or slipped in some other way. There was apparently no prominent motorcade at either entrance.
posted by dhartung at 5:29 PM on March 29, 2011 [7 favorites]


Also there's an existential ferocity to the relentless single mindedness, that betrays an almost laughable fear of the Left and an insecurity as their ability to truly win the hearts and minds of the nation.

I mean, they're asking for a huge cache of trust from the country that what they're doing and the way they're doing it, by hamfistedly destroying any middle ground will be worth it in the end. And the end will justify everything. And besides, the Left is finally going to get what it truly deserves and the comeuppance it has somehow earned and brought upon itself....

Not surprisingly, many on the Right agree with this view.

I'm going to stick to my guns and say what I've been saying from the beginning on the Tea Party. I think the extremity and inarticulate anger/rage/paranoia is an intuitive understanding that the Right, and the ever more pronounced and ever more blatant and double-edged GOP corporatism we have known these past 30 years is in decline as an appealing ideology for the nation, part of that is the GOP in the natural transference that occurred with becoming a branch of Wall Street, has lost it's true ideals (although it continually tries to show otherwise with buffonish shows of political nostalgia and gung ho childishness that has Tea Party members dressing up as colonials with tri-cornered hats, even while they're pushing for the 2nd Amendment to be further perverted from it's initial intentions, which isn't half so annoying as the continual refrain that this is a "Christian nation" even though the Bill of Rights spells out in no uncertain terms how serious the original colonialist's where, after seeing all the crap committed in the name of this God, and that God, to be done once and for all with GOD as anything but a personal hobby people would be better off keeping to themselves, like stamp collecting or whatever.

But it's this that has alienated the nation and will continue to alienate the nation. Their God has become so particular, ungenerous and unloving and, let's face it, a not very nice douche. Their God doesn't like much of anyone these days and seems to spend a lot of time in places it has no business being, at country clubs, sitting around executive tables making hundreds of times more than most people make in a year, in the guts of the computers at Goldman Sachs gaming every commodity for maximum profit for the already obscenely rich, and making sure those profits don't get taxed very much, and their God wants to judge people on their ethnicity, race, sexual preference(s), what they do in their personal time, if they have the right attitude as employee's, and even, and this is weird; their God wants to force people to make it the official sponsor of the country.

So that's the deal they, the current bizarro version of the Right either doubles down and traps the nation in a game of it's own devising or it's going to take the whole thing down by force if they have too.

And that's the scary part. The Right is no longer, it seems leaving itself a way out that might allow compromise, and it points frighteningly to the use of violence if it feels threatened enough and some bad badness if they can't get what they want. I just hope the laws and processes put in place are sturdy enough to withstand how hard basic rights will be eliminated if they can find the justification for it.

posted by Skygazer at 5:39 PM on March 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh crap. Italics gone wild!!!
posted by Skygazer at 5:40 PM on March 29, 2011


"[M]inutes later, outside the court room, Assistant Attorney General Steven Means said the legislation 'absolutely' is still in effect."

And so Wisconsin edges ever deeper into constitutional-crisis territory...
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:01 PM on March 29, 2011


The Right is no longer, it seems leaving itself a way out that might allow compromise, and it points frighteningly to the use of violence if it feels threatened enough

Indeed, their very harping on minor pranks (pulling out RCA plugs on a soundboard) and perfectly legal acts of persuasion (asking businesses to support labor or face a boycott) as "thuggish intimidation" belies their worldview.

the Left is finally going to get what it truly deserves and the comeuppance it has somehow earned and brought upon itself

I suspect they really, truly believe their concept that people are simply motivated by union bosses to stand out in the cold protesting will be neutralized by "defunding the Left". Of course, the Left existed long before these, if you will, subsidized jobs existed, so perhaps this concept is somewhat flawed.
posted by dhartung at 8:29 PM on March 29, 2011


Why I Walked Out on Governor Walker, by Yuri Rashkin, who is on the Janesville City Council. He will probably face some withering criticism for this, as people have already made comments on the local paper's (unique) anonymous phone-in-a-comment "Sound Off" feature to the effect that as a member of a non-partisan council, he should apparently never, ever act outside his duties in (what they perceive to be) a partisan way.

Personally, I really hope that he gets an appearance on Maddow or someplace for doing this.
posted by dhartung at 10:11 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


about those death threats, just your kids daycare teacher....
posted by wallstreet1929 at 6:54 AM on April 1, 2011


…who was very unlikely to carry them out, who doesn't appear to be a union member (despite the comments on the JSOnline site), and is one out of hundreds of thousands who have demonstrated.

The only reason it was stupid was because it gives right-wing apologists like you a chance to discredit labor activists.
posted by klangklangston at 8:43 AM on April 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


(and at the same time -- strangely! -- there was of course no comment from the right-wing peanut gallery about catching a fellow member of the right wing in suggesting a false flag operation involving firearms just a few weeks ago.)
posted by scody at 2:15 PM on April 1, 2011


Threats mentioned in Wall Street 1929's link were an attempt to get someone else in trouble.
posted by drezdn at 3:14 PM on April 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


I look forward to the intellectually honest mea culpas from the Right as well as the extensive media coverage to find that another threat from "union thugs" turns out to be no such thing.

Oh, wait.
posted by scody at 3:41 PM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


You know wallstreet1929, if the intention of the protesters was for violence, there would not be a law enforcement mechanism that would be able to hold them in check. Seriously. The big elephant in the room about law enforcement is that it is done by the consent of the population. If at the height of the WI protest, 100,000 stormed the capitol in search for blood and the head of Fitzgerld, no one could have stopped them, and Fitz would be dead.

I was at the Washburn protest a few weeks back. Know what comprised the thin blue line? Between 2500 people and the Governor? About 5 local cops (of whom at least two where chanting with the crowd) and 5 state troopers. If we where thugs... if we where violence prone, Walker would not have left Washburn.

But.. here is the deal. We are not thugs, we are not violence prone, despite whatever paranoid fantasy the Right cares to promote. One person... hell a dozen people do not represent the huge numbers, hundreds of thousands, that have stood up and protested. Indeed they have been renounced and demonized by the protesters and by the Democrats, something Republicans have traditionally been slow and dragged their feet on when the shoe is on the other foot.

Perhaps, violence is how you would carry out a protest, and how you think they are inevitability carried out and that is why there is such an obsession over these rare events. Perhaps the Right can not conceive that their opposition are better, more kind, less violent them they themselves?

More people have marched and turned out and peacefully voiced their displeasure in the middle of winter then any lame-ass warm weather tea-fucker protests.

What have you got? A scattering of tweets and idiots. Where where you during the last presidential campaign when there was a wave of racially motivated vandalism across the nation? How vocal where you in the Ashly Todd Hoax?

bah
posted by edgeways at 3:48 PM on April 1, 2011 [12 favorites]


keep protesting edgeways, I'm sure any day now those (non-violent) protests will make a difference.
posted by Shit Parade at 4:16 PM on April 1, 2011


By all evidence, the protests have been an incredible rising up. Wisconsin has basically set the bar for dealing with wannabe tyrants and what's been given birth to there is going to be something the GOP is going to regret this year, next year and for many years to come...
posted by Skygazer at 4:40 PM on April 1, 2011


Seems to me that Egyptians proved non-violent protest can work against violent leaders.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:40 PM on April 1, 2011


As long as a camel charge is as close a massacre as the dictator is willing to go on live TV.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:49 PM on April 1, 2011


as opposed to what Shit Parade? You want me to take up arms and kill me some neo-fascist Republio fuckers? What are you doing for the cause? How many demons have you bravely faced down behind the almighty keyboard?

I am saying that Wisconsin has proved, is proving, that with enough people pissed off they can effect a change. It is not easy, it even may fail, but it is worthwhile and is a fight worth having. I am not sure exactly what you are saying because it seems to be somewhat muddled between sarcasm and desire. A word to the wise. State clearly what you intend to say or move aside. If you meant to imply that peaceful protest is ineffectual I really have no time to listen to you, whole nations have achieved self determination on the back of peaceful protest. I most certainly will not be joining your post-apocalyptic tea party until they actively pull the trigger (and possibly not even after).

so shit or get off the pot.
posted by edgeways at 9:55 PM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Non-violent protests in America are working within a system that is already broken and engineered against the common interests of the majority. WI workers is going to lose the PR battle, laws will continue to be passed against your desires, and protests, from what I see, are not changing the outcome. I wish I had Skygazer's optimism, but I only foresee a further shift towards the right.

The problems in WI are more than political, and therefore political solutions will not solve them.

Sorry I am not part of the love fest dude.
posted by Shit Parade at 2:30 PM on April 2, 2011


Do you have a picture? Because I'm going to put it on the eponysterical page.
posted by desjardins at 6:35 PM on April 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


So what is the alternative SP? Because you didn't answer that part. What is the alternative and are you willing to go there? What are you doing?
posted by edgeways at 8:18 PM on April 2, 2011


WI workers is going to lose the PR battle, laws will continue to be passed against your desires, and protests, from what I see, are not changing the outcome.

I don't know where you are, but I'm right in the middle of this. I've been to three Saturday protests at the Capitol, and a Walker protest here in town as well as a small rally welcoming back one of the Senators. My immediate family includes two unionized public workers and a union railroad engineer, and my circle of acquaintances includes a state employee and numerous teachers.

The protests were fun, energizing, and positive in a way that sitting home moodily griping about the situation wasn't. They put in perspective how many Wisconsinites -- and how broad a cross-section of them -- were affected by this bill and were willing to stand out in a snowstorm to say something about that. The protests continue -- a Zombie Walk Against Walker yesterday shows our sense of humor remains intact, even extending to arguable self-parody ("Whose brains? Our brains!"). But everyone recognizes that the protests were only about expressing our determination to stop the process, not about actually stopping it. Clearly Walker and the Fitzgeralds do not crumble or even humble very easily.

Nevertheless, the mood right now is optimistic and stalwart, but for the long term. We have learned once again that we only get -- or keep -- rights if we demand them and organize together. We can't change the make-up of the statehouse overnight, but we have begun the process. We will recall as many State Senators as we can this cycle, and by the beginning of the year we will put in motion the process to recall other Senators and Assemblypersons and the Governor himself. It's uncertain that any of these efforts will succeed, but this is a clear and utter refutation of your thesis that protests accomplish nothing. They do, perhaps, unless they are part of a broader political process.

What I see happening is an incredible coming together of old coalition buddies who had become estranged. I see people working to organize on the ground, to hold teach-ins that cross group lines, to work side by side with others who they had ignored. I see people who never cared about politics before standing up and yelling with the rest of us. I see a determination to halt the forward movement of this Republican blitz right here, right now, with every tool at our disposal.

This was not a "rightward shift" by any means, not of Wisconsinites. The polls show the people are with us, here and nationally. This was an election where a dejected electorate stayed home and a determined minority seized power just by GOTV. We all expected big gains by the GOP, but none of us expected to see supermajorities in both houses and an ideological hand grenade coupled with utter amoral end-over-means ruthlessness. But that very situation is proving somewhat of an undoing for the party, which has lost much of its independent support.

Look, I'm not saying we're going to win in a cakewalk. But win or lose we will fight. The protests are the fun, photogenic bit making the news, but the fight is going on every day in living rooms and community halls across the state.

You're entitled to be cynical, I suppose, but do not accuse us of relying on waving signs and chanting to ersatz five-gallon paint drums. We're doing the heavy lifting, too.
posted by dhartung at 11:54 PM on April 2, 2011 [10 favorites]


Shit Parade, you make a host of ascertains here with nary a fact or an explanation for your thoughts.

My "optimism," is based on the real, and measurable, loathing and distrust, independents and moderates have developed for this wave of far right extremist corporatist who do what they do in the name of the all hoy and all sacred "taxpayer."

Wisconsin is ground zero for what they tried to do, and Walker and the Fitzgerald's are, to me, as frightening a face of American Neo-fascism as I have ever seen. Because they have the power and they have the ruthlessness to abuse it. But they've done more to bring the Left and the middle class together than anyone has in years. And there is great strength in that. And there is knowledge and organizational skill that has been developed that will hopefully carry over to the whole country.

There are other hopeful signs in that the Right continues to alienate so many parts of the population that are growing (the young, Hispanics, immigrants, women, working class, urban creatives etc...).

Where is the Left losing? Well, as in other times, in framing the debate. I wonder if all these positives will lead to any good if people in this country no longer understand the bonds and responsibilities of being not only "taxpayers," and "consumers," but citizens not only with a civic duty, but a culture of interaction that is paramount to those first two labels.

It's this culture, that has stopped Walker & Co. for now. Because that importance and that idea is injected and infused into the LAWS and Procedures of it's government.

That's one of the huge things I've seen here, that is hopeful. The solid and healthy traditions of citizen interactions finally asserted themselves and stayed the egregious tyrannical, Capital Wall Street schemes and ruthlessness.

There is a reason there's a difference between Wall Street and Main Street and the more authoritarian and ruthless and anti-democratic (despotic really) of the two, SHOULD NEVER INFECT THE OTHER WITH ITS CONVENTIONS AND MANNERS.

So, I ask myself, why am I optimistic? Well, because of reasons like that, I was able to make that deduction and I hope that others see that the Right wing lie of "taxpayer-rights," reduces us all to being merely worthless serfs in schemes of deplorable people with no real sense of right and wrong.

Also, I'll be damned if I'm going to give those soul-less evil (yes, I think corporatist's and anyone who can't see past the designation "taxpayer" has lost their ethical balance and are indeed evil) people any comfort by being pessimistic in a public thread and giving them comfort (in essence comforting their inner hatred, and inner suspicion that people on the Left are weak. It's shown itself across the country that's not the case).

I think this is the sea change in this unfettered right-wing fantasy because the Left took a major shot to the head and is still standing, and I think getting stronger for it.

So, I've tried to explain my optimism, can you explain your dour eponysterical outlook?

I have some thoughts as to where it originates from but it would be unfair, not to mention rude, to speak for you.
posted by Skygazer at 9:20 AM on April 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sorry I am not part of the love fest dude.

So what fest are you part of? Do you have alternatives to propose? Or are you so cynical, jaded, and weary that your only solution is to lie back and think of England? Because that right there - to me - is the true sign of having been co-opted by the right-wing corporatist agenda.
posted by rtha at 9:52 AM on April 3, 2011


The USA faces a number of very difficult challenges and this is to be admitted even before we acknowledge the on-going soft, civil war between the ultra-rich and everyone else.

The corporatist's have hijacked the political process and attempting to overcome them through politics is akin to trying to win a modern war with sticks and stones.

I think it plenty useful to point out to others what is ineffective, but I will say this about alternatives -- any I might propose would likely be illegal.
posted by Shit Parade at 12:26 PM on April 3, 2011


"[A]lexis de Tocqueville once described what he saw as a chief part of the peculiar genius of American society—something he called “self-interest properly understood.” The last two words were the key. Everyone possesses self-interest in a narrow sense: I want what’s good for me right now! Self-interest “properly understood” is different. It means appreciating that paying attention to everyone else’s self-interest—in other words, the common welfare—is in fact a precondition for one’s own ultimate well-being. Tocqueville was not suggesting that there was anything noble or idealistic about this outlook—in fact, he was suggesting the opposite. It was a mark of American pragmatism. Those canny Americans understood a basic fact: looking out for the other guy isn’t just good for the soul—it’s good for business.

The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late.
"

I disagree with Shit Parade, but I have a feeling that his frustration with the political process is far from unique. I think you're going to have a lot of people (especially if the Democrats lose big in 2012) who see less and less efficacy with the votes and protests, and more and more efficacy with bombs and guns. I really don't think America is too far off from massive, angry riots. One more reason for the left to try as hard as possible to push back on the right, and try to make sure that it doesn't get to that point.

Hopefully the super rich realize that hanging from a lamp post isn't the most comfortable position in the world, and back away from the brink as well, but I'm not holding my breath on that.
posted by codacorolla at 3:26 PM on April 3, 2011


Shit Parade: " attempting to overcome them through politics is akin to trying to win a modern war with sticks and stones"

I'm not sure the military metaphor completely works for me, but going with it: we're not fighting with sticks and bones exactly, but we are fighting, among other things, to keep one specific weapons system (union organizing and financial power) as a counter to the hold that the corporatist right has on most elements of media and politics.

I get the skepticism over what can be accomplished, I really do. But whatever "illegal" alternatives I can imagine have worse outcomes, as does doing nothing. I hope, at least, to have a better state Supreme Court by Tuesday night, and a few less right-wing legislators a year from now. If the far right wins the immediate legislative struggle, that victory can be profound--or pyrrhic.
posted by Mngo at 3:48 PM on April 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


"The USA faces a number of very difficult challenges and this is to be admitted even before we acknowledge the on-going soft, civil war between the ultra-rich and everyone else.

The corporatist's have hijacked the political process and attempting to overcome them through politics is akin to trying to win a modern war with sticks and stones.

I think it plenty useful to point out to others what is ineffective, but I will say this about alternatives -- any I might propose would likely be illegal.
"

Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei.

It's funny how much people like Bill Ayers, who said nearly the same things you're saying now, seem to repudiate violence after having acted with it.
posted by klangklangston at 9:25 PM on April 3, 2011


« Older Carnival 2011!...  |  Film Film Film (1968), an awar... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments