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Union Workers Defend Their Rights As GOP Goose-Steps For Tea Party Billionaires
03.02.2011
03:08 pm

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The view on the ground in Wisconsin and Ohio from New Left Media. If Gov. Kasich doesn’t back down, he’s going to get “Walkered” too. Could two prominent Republicans be THAT stupid? Hopefully not, but I wouldn’t put anything past these guys. Even money says Kasich looks at the mess he knows is brewing on his doorstep and backs down. Crank-call victim Walker, however, just isn’t that smart, has shitty political instincts and he’s already dug himself in way too deep. Walker’s misguided “My-way-or-the-highway” approach was never going to work in a union state like Wisconsin. The man’s a buffoon, a Republican buffoon (Walker has the most idiotically Republican-looking face I think I have ever seen).

Look for Walker to push his anti-labor legislation through in the coming days with some parliamentary chicanery and then for all hell to break loose around him. Walker might not even make it all the way to the recall process, in my estimation, he might have to resign long before it can legally take place. He’s not going to be able to delude himself that he’s “Reagan Jr”. anymore when he gets forced out of office…

Over the last two weeks, tens of thousands of workers and their supporters have flooded the Wisconsin and Ohio state capitols, pushing back on their newly-elected Republican Governors’ attempts to revoke collective bargaining rights for public workers.

Other than the flashes of anger Ohio crowds showed when they were curiously shut out of their statehouse, the protests have been entirely peaceful, even jovial, with the Wisconsin capitol having an atmosphere similar to a pep rally.

WI Gov. Scott Walker and OH Gov. John Kasich have claimed budget crisis as the impetus for their efforts, but their accounting is spurious, and unions have already agreed to reductions in pay and benefits. Wisconsin public workers have yielded to all of Walker’s fiscal requests, making Gov. Walker’s insistence that he must cut collective bargaining rights to cut the deficit even more dubious.

Many of those we interviewed, including union leaders, did not believe that the revocation of their rights was necessary to balance budgets, but was rather part of a coordinated effort to dismantle unions and reduce their large financial and organizational contributions to progressive politics.

As Governors Walker and Kasich hold staunch, refusing even to negotiate, the protests in Wisconsin and Ohio continue, joined by thousands of others from states across the nation.

This NEW LEFT MEDIA film was produced and edited by Chase Whiteside (interviews) and Erick Stoll (camera). Additional camera by Matt Wisniewski.

These guys are fantastic. I really admire Chase Whiteside, he’s an outstanding young man. Please help New Left Media spread clip this around, won’t you?
 

 
Via Joe.My.God (and his title, too)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Help put this powerful pro-union commercial on TV in Wisconsin
03.02.2011
10:29 am

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Bold Progressives have a powerful new TV commercial that eloquently pushes back against the Walker/Republican/Koch Brothers/Tea party union-busting agenda in Wisconsin, with the words of union members themselves.

It’s these brave people vs. the wealthy fat cats who have destroyed this country and want to give us more of the same. It’s these brave people who are fighting the class war, on behalf of all working people.

You can donate to ActBlue to help buy local airtime in Wisconsin. Working Wisconsinites need your support! Even $3 will help a lot!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Political corruption (and what to do about it): A primer
03.01.2011
06:39 pm

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Professor Lawrence Lessig, lectures on “corruption” at Harvard’s Thinks Big forum. Essential viewing. Stay with it until the end.
 

The framers left open a path to amendment that doesn’t require the approval of Congress: a convention. Article V of the Constitution requires Congress to call a convention to propose amendments if 34 state legislatures demand it. Any proposed amendment would then have to be ratified by both houses of 38 state legislatures (three-fourths of the states). This entails 76 separate votes in the affirmative by two houses of 38 state legislatures. Easy to do? No. But possible? Certainly, yes. There hasn’t been a time when there has been such anger and frustration directed at our nation’s capitol. There hasn’t been a moment when the opportunity to organize to build a movement among the states has been as real. The beauty of a convention is that it would provide a forum of possibility for conservative Tea Party types who might want an amendment calling for a balanced budget, or a line-item veto for the president as well as progressives who would like to amend the constitution to make it possible to enact meaningful campaign finance reform. The only requirement is that two-thirds of the states apply, and then begins the drama of an unscripted national convention to debate questions of fundamental law. It would be a grand circus of democracy at its best.

—Lawrence Lessig and Mark McKinnon

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Wisconsin’s class war endgame: Recall the Republicans

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No matter which way that things go in Wisconsin in the short-term, the writing is certainly on the wall for the increasingly hapless-looking Republican governor Scott Walker and probably his GOP buddies in the statehouse as well. And what nasty graffiti it is. Walker has to be one of the most tone-deaf politicians of this generation (which is saying a lot) and he’s leading his GOP troops right off a cliff. Of ALL the places to take on unions… Wisconsin? Good lord, what an idiotic decision that was, even if Walker did get to pretend for one brief (very brief) “shining moment” that he was the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan busting the unions…

No one can take that away from him. But his job can be taken away and I’d wager the odds are that it will happen. Very few people hated Gray Davis in California—we found him incompetent—can the same be said of Wisconsin’s opinion of Walker? It was political suicide for him to step on the tails of so many badgers. Walker can—and probably will—be recalled by Wisconsin voters who are already sick of his stupid Republican face after just a matter of weeks. He has to be in office for one year before that can legally happen, but I should think that gives angry Wisconsinites plenty of time to organize his political demise.

From The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:

With recall drives being threatened on both sides, this report by a Democratic targeting expert argues that both Gov. Walker and GOP state lawmakers are vulnerable to recall challenges because of the intensity of feeling among opponents to Walker’s budget proposals.

It was done by Wisconsin’s Ken Strasma, who did micro-targeting for the 2008 Obama campaign, and concludes that among people who dislike what Walker is doing, “very large numbers are willing to take some action about it,” said Strasma in an interview.

The obvious cautionary notes: Strasma works for Democratic and progressive clients (he said he did this survey and analysis on his own, not for a client).  For either side planning recall campaigns, the threshold for signatures is very high in Wisconsin (25% of the number of people who voted in the last gubernatorial election).  And no recalls can occur before a year has passed from the time the targeted official was elected.

If I lived there, I’d be standing in the Rite Aid parking lot with a clipboard every weekend myself. I’ll say it again: This is one of the biggest, most important developments in American civic life in DECADES. If you don’t understand why, you aren’t paying enough attention.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Poll finds large number of Britons would support a non-violent, non-thuggish anti-immigration party
02.28.2011
03:03 pm

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This is not good: A new poll conducted in the UK has found that nearly half of the respondents said they might support a nationalist political party if such a party existed that was non-violent and eschewed the fascist trappings that normally accompany such groups. Ouch! In Great Britain? How can this be?

Huge numbers of Britons would support an anti-immigration English nationalist party if it was not associated with violence and fascist imagery, according to the largest survey into identity and extremism conducted in the UK.

A Populus poll found that 48% of the population would consider supporting a new anti-immigration party committed to challenging Islamist extremism, and would support policies to make it statutory for all public buildings to fly the flag of St George or the union flag.

Anti-racism campaigners said the findings suggested Britain’s mainstream parties were losing touch with public opinion on issues of identity and race.

The poll’s findings are at odds with the perception that the UK is more moderate than say, France or Holland, with their highly visible anti-immigration politicians. A spokesperson for the Searchlight Educational Trust, the gruop who commissioned the poll, told The Guardian newspaper, “This is not because British people are more moderate, but simply because their views have not found a political articulation.”

Read it and weep at The Guardian website.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The complexity of America’s class war summed up in a simple joke even a Teabagger could understand
02.28.2011
02:21 pm

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“A public union employee, a tea party activist, and a CEO are sitting at a table with a plate of a dozen cookies in the middle of it.

The CEO takes 11 cookies, turns to the tea partier and says, ‘Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie.’ “

 
Apparently a lot of people have been updating their Facebook status with this joke today. Maybe you’d like to also?

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Why Dummies Want to Forget the Tea Party Ancestry

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LOVE IT. This is from a series called “Mock the Dummy.” I just discovered them today, but plan to dig in for more.

Dummies should be mocked. Name ‘em, and shame ‘em.
 

 
Yikes! Using “real” dummies really makes the stupidity of the real-life Tea party dummies seem quite sinister, if you ask me. Remember those creepy ads for Magic?
 


Via Blog to Comm

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Stand in solidarity with Wisconsin workers
02.25.2011
01:00 pm

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ActBlue has posted this letter on their website. Click here to add your name.

Gov. Walker has threatened to call out the National Guard against workers who protest his radical plan to cut benefits of middle class workers and strip them of their rights. 

Stand in solidarity with tens of thousands of workers who have been protesting:

Members of the Wisconsin Legislature,

The Associated Press reports, “Gov. Scott Walker says the Wisconsin National Guard is prepared to respond if there is any unrest among state employees in the wake of his announcement that he wants to take away nearly all collective bargaining rights.”

The Governor’s decision to ask the Wisconsin National Guard to be prepared for a fight against nurses, teachers, and other public employees puts Wisconsin firmly on the wrong side of history. The idea that a governor can use the military to impose his personal, political will on the people he governs is a primitive relic of the past – one that resulted in almost a century of bloodshed in this country. It must not be repeated again.

Trying to ram through cuts to the health care and pensions of Wisconsin nurses and teachers – and take away their right to negotiate for fair benefits – is already unacceptable. But the Governor’s threat of military force against Wisconsin citizens who serve their state proudly is even more shameful.

We say “no” to the Governor’s budget—and “no” to the use of the National Guard against the people of Wisconsin. And we ask you to join us.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME HERE!

I wonder if it’s occurred to Gov. Walker, yet, just how bad of an idea it was to piss on this wasp’s nest and in Wisconsin of all places??? Like their brave union forefathers, these 21st century Badger heroes seem to love a good fight. Something tells me this is just the beginning.

One way or another Walker is political toast and I think he must know it. He was Ronald Reagan firing the air traffic controllers in his own mind, but he sure looks like Gray Davis to me.

We win in Wisconsin, and we’ll win in every other Republican controlled statehouse. What’s going on there is THAT IMPORTANT. One way or another history will be made in Wisconsin. Which side are you on?

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
WAKE UP and see exactly what happened in Wisconsin while you were sleeping
02.25.2011
11:29 am

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At least we’re still waking up on the west coast…
 

 

The Wisconsin state Assembly on Friday passed a Republican plan to curb public sector union power over the fierce objections of protesters, setting the stage for a showdown with Senate Democrats who fled the state last week to prevent a vote in that chamber.
After two all-night debating sessions and an eleventh hour Democratic bid for a compromise, the Republican-dominated Assembly abruptly ended all debate early Friday morning and approved the bill by a vote of 51 to 17.

The outcome of the vote, which was taken so fast many Democratic lawmakers who were outside the chamber when it was called were unable to participate, was greeted by chants of “it’s not over yet” and “we are here to stay” from more than a thousand protesters who stayed to watch in the capitol rotunda overnight.

 
Here’s the reaction from pro labor demonstrators in the gallery:
 

This is video from the gallery of the WI Assembly past 1 AM in the morning on 2/25/2011. The Democrats have just been told by the speaker pro tempore there will be no more debate before the vote, even though there were more than a dozen Democrats in the queue to speak. They shout “Shame! Shame! Shame!”

The public citizens in the gallery were shortly told to leave by police. None of the public were allowed in the gallery at the time of the vote.

 

 
Today’s gonna be interesting!

Via Joe. My.God

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Forget the birthers, Obama needs to prove he’s a Democrat!
02.24.2011
09:03 pm

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In a 2007 campaign stop in Spartanburg, South Carolina, then-candidate Barack Obama told a crowd:

f American workers are being denied their right to organize when I’m in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes and I will walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States.”

Then it’s time to get your shoes on, Mr. President! What are you waiting for?

Get a move on (so to speak). Times a’wastin’ and Scott Walker thinks this is “his moment” to play act like he’s Ronald Reagan firing the air traffic controllers and you are doing… exactly… what about it?  Who do you think your base is, anyway? Who do you think put you in office? (Hint: It probably wasn’t the type of person who favors union-busting who voted for you!).

Hell, forget about whether or not Obama was born in the USA, I want some some proof that he’s a fucking Democrat!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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