Hahahahahaha. I guess getting punched in the face by a “union thug” wasn’t quite the career break that Fox News dickweed and self-styled “comedian” Steven Crowder thought it would be. A Michigan prosecutor has declined to pursue assault charges against the man who punched him. On video.
The Lansing State Journal reported on Tuesday that Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III decided not to pursue a case after watching unedited video of Crowder’s appearance at a protest against right-to-work legislation, which culminated in Crowder getting punched in the face.
But after watching both that video and a longer, unedited account of the incident as aired on Current TV, Dunnings said, “It’s pretty clear the person that they wanted to charge was acting in self-defense.” In the longer video, the man who punched Crowder was pushed by an unseen person before striking him, giving the encounter a different context.
“I’m not holding that against him, but why would they provide the edited video?” Dunnings said. “The longer video clearly shows the guy got pushed down and came up swinging.”
Why would Steven Crowder have provided an edited video, I wonder?
Anyone care to hazard a guess?
Another fun fact about Crowder: He’s an abstinence advocate…
Roger Ailes really knows how to pick credible people for Fox News, doesn’t he?
I lived in the UK then, it was the #1 news story for better than a year. You saw utterly unbelievable footage on the BBC every night that made it look like a civil war was imminent in Great Britain. (When I returned to the US, I looked up in The Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature how many major news articles appeared in print about the strike. As I recall, there were only TWO. A few years later I checked the database at the Museum of Television and Radio and saw that throughout all of 1984, just NBC News had mentioned it on television).
WE SHOULD HAVE FINISHED OFF THE BASTARD RIGHT THEN AND THERE.
This cover came immediately to mind this morning when I watched the below clip from last night’s edition of The Sean Hannity Show on Fox News where witless rightwing Nathan Barleywannabe Steven Crowder admits that:
I want to make something very clear here, Sean. I never went out here to try and be assaulted, as leftists might say. I went out here to prove the left for who they truly are. Certainly, these union thugs. And I’ve achieved that.
What a remarkable achievement for this titan of civil rights activism! Some smarmy conservative media bottom-feeder who deserved a good thrashing very nearly gets one.
Aim slightly higher next time, Steven, won’t you?
“I literally believe, Sean, that if I had defended myself at all, even flicked a small little jab, that they would have killed me where I stood. I have never seen this kind of angry, vitriolic hatred… I expected these people to actually tear me limb from limb. I knew I couldn’t take that.”
If you want to sicken yourself, I mean really induce projectile vomiting, then have a look:
Steven Crowder, a self-described “comedian” and Fox News contributor, got punched in the kisser today, repeatedly, during a heated exchange at an organized labor rally in Lansing, Michigan.
What did Crowder expect would happen when he showed up with a camera crew at the angry protests at Republican Governor Rick Snyder signing a hastily-passed right to work bill into law? It’s pretty obvious what he expected—and hoped—would happen, preferably on camera so he could run right back to Fox News with the footage. Riling up some union workers? Piece-a-cake and then Fox News can call them “union thugs” and demonize organized labor. So predictable, but then again this is Fox News, and old people, i.e. their pension-drawing, Depends-wearing viewers, like things to be predictable, don’t they?
For a talent-less, witless, conservative wiseass like Steven Crowder, getting punched in the face by a “union thug” is just the big career break he was looking for (as deeply fucking pathetic as that might be). Via Huffington Post:
Crowder argued with protesters who began to tear down a tent pitched on the Capitol lawn by the pro-right-to-work group Americans For Prosperity. According to MLive, Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said they were contacted because several people, including two in wheelchairs, were trapped under the tent.
He was then punched repeatedly in the face by a protester, while another man speaking off-camera threatened to kill Crowder with a gun. Crowder said there was no police presence in the area during the altercation.
Over 12,000 protesters gathered in Lansing on Tuesday to show their opposition to the hastily-approved right-to-work legislation, which they say will weaken unions financially and make it more difficult for labor employees to negotiate with employers. At least two protesters were arrested, while a former Michigan Democratic representative was hit with pepper spray.
Speaking on the Dana Loesch radio show immediately following the physical confrontation, Crowder said “Dana, they literally would have killed me where I stood if I’d have fought back and defended myself after the sucker punch. They literally would have torn me limb-from-limb.”
Even if you hate me, nothing I could have done warranted being suckerpunched and threatened with murder. ow.ly/g1aeq#RTW
Crowder also tweeted about further footage that will be seen tonight—surprise, surprise—on The Sean Hannity Show. It will shock no one that Michelle Malkin and Dana Loesch want in on the union-bashing action, too:
Below, Gov. Rick Snyder’s Wikipedia entry as of a few moments ago:
If Paul Ryan is the dude that completely misinterprets Rage Against the Machine, we can probably surmise that Rahm Emanuel secretly yearns for post-grunge butt-rock…
If you haven’t heard, 26,000 teachers and staff have gone on strike in Chicago, the first CTU strike in 25 years. While certain idiots seem to think a few days out of school will forever render children feral little beasts, the teachers are fighting lay-offs, school closings, increases in hours, and the measuring of student (and teacher) success by standardized test scores. Oh yeah, and they want fucking air conditioning.
“[Rahm Emanuel] brazenly canceled a contractually-obligated four percent cost of living raise for teachers last year; he pushed hard for a 20 percent longer school day while offering a two percent pay increase (a fight he eventually lost); he has unabashedly denigrated teachers, accusing them of not caring about the well-being of their students. Despite campaigning on promises of reform, he has gone full-steam ahead on the city’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) system, which diverts huge amounts of tax dollars from public institutions like schools and libraries and funnels them to wealthy corporations.”
After a year and a half of heated debate, many brutally cold winter days and plenty of heroic, hard work, it’s judgement day in Wisconsin.
I hope for the best (a Tom Barrett win) but expect the worst (polls are tight, but favor Scott Walker), so first a little levity:
A CEO, a Tea Partier and a union organizer sit down at a table, on which there is a dish of 12 cookies.The CEO takes 11 of the cookies and says to the Tea Partier, “That union guy wants part of your cookie.”
Remember that joke, it’s going to come in hand—quite a bit, probably—in the coming years…
In the final stretch of the recall election, it cannot be denied, the Republicans did what they do best: They divided and now they look set to conquer. Who would have thought that even a $30 million dollar war chest would have been enough to turn the tide that saw well over a million signatures on Walker recall petitions?
Not me, to be honest. I should stop underestimating the GOP, I really should.
Why Scott Walker could be the new Nixon.
Walker himself said the other day that he’s meeting people all over the state who tell him how RESENTFUL they are that public sector employees have better benefits than they do.
A plan for DUMMIES and people who’ve had 30 million dollars worth of cynical propaganda and bullshit fill their mental space for months now…
Obviously there IS a class war going on in America today, but in Wisconsin, the GOP has (brilliantly) hit upon a new recipe for (probable) electoral success: Pit working class people vs OTHER working class people.
If Walker does manage to hold onto his job today, expect much more of this exact same strategy in the future, in other states and even on a national, presidential level. Wisconsin was a laboratory of how to subvert democracy and a popular uprising with lies, cynicism and lots and lots of money.
Whether or not it’s Walker or Tom Barrett who wins when the votes are counted tonight, the GOP has learned a seriously fucked up new trick that has grave implications for American democracy.
Pit the middle class against each other! It’s a genius move. The politics of resentment are in full flower in Wisconsin today.
The GOP will hold the red states until the end of time with that strategy.
This, I think is the biggest take-away lesson of the entire process, especially for the Republicans. A certain segment of Wisconsin’s population has been successfully “moronized” (in the sense that “father of the New Left” Herbert Marcuse used the term in the 1960s). They’ve got a working blueprint for doing it. Win or lose this one, the implications are fucking enormous for well-funded, state-of-the art Republican political campaigns moving forward.
If Walker wins today, as expected, team GOP will have pulled off an election miracle (albeit a very well-funded miracle). When you consider how the palpable anti-Walker tidal-wave that saw over one million signatures gathered on the recall petitions and compare that with where we are today, when the polls are all telling us that Walker will squeak by and get to hold his job… I mean fuck it, it must be said WELL DONE REPUBLICANS.
They might be evil geniuses, but they are geniuses, nevertheless.
Later, as night fell over Milwaukee, Walker rocked the Serb Hall, presenting himself as a man of courage and big ideas who is trying to move Wisconsin forward, only to be stymied by backward-thinking Democrats and out-of-state “special interests.” (We pause here for a moment to laugh loudly enough that the Koch Brothers to hear us.) The governor’s speech was just as spirited as Barrett’s was, but oddly disjointed. “Isn’t it amazing,” he asked the crowd, “that politics is the only business where you get credit for courage just for keeping your word?” He also deplored the recall for what he said was the uncertainty it had created among the “job creators” and the small-business community in the state. “Truth,” he told the crowd, “is on our side.”
Out in the parking lot, I fell into conversation with Phil Waseleski, who was wearing a T-shirt celebrating the U.S. Postal Service that was festooned with Scott Walker buttons. Phil was a letter carrier in the neighborhoods around the Serb Hall for nearly 40 years, but he retired last year when his days were cut back to three a week as part of the fiscal crisis forced upon the USPS by Republican legislators who would like to see it go away entirely.
“A friend once told me, ‘Well, we only need mail three or four days a week,’” Phil told me. “I politely told him, ‘Dave, we’re gonna have to agree to disagree.’ I could have told him, ‘Dave, you know, maybe at that engineering place where you work, they only need you three days a week, and then you could come help us.’
“The politicians, I think, it’s a tough call, because if you don’t keep the postal service in business — you and I will both agree that there’s nothing more personal than taking pen in hand to write to your mother, sister, or brother. Until June of last year, I gave my heart and soul to my job. I worked right through lunch most days.”
Eventually, I asked him why he was here, at the Serb Hall, supporting Scott Walker, whose politics were far more in tune with the people who are trying to strangle the postal service than they are with the people who still work there. Phil told me that it was about his sister-in-law. “The problem is that, when you start handing out free health care out to teachers, that annoys me to no end,” he said. “I never got free health care. My brother’s wife is a teacher and I once asked her, when I was getting my teeth worked on, what it cost her and she said, ‘Nothing.’ It should never get to that point where somebody’s getting free health care. Something’s way out of whack there.”
Something IS, of course, out of whack, but it’s not what Phil Waseleski—a man who was himself a GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE—perceives it to be. Why on earth would one working person who himself saw his work days cut back support a union-busting asshole like Scott Walker in order to see that the hard fought gains of other middle-class people LIKE HIMSELF will get erased???
The answer, of course, is that Phil Waseleski and other fucking idiots like him have been cynically manipulated to essentially cast a vote AGAINST other working people so that billionaire “job creators” like the Koch brothers can move on to breaking the backs of the private sector unions, too, and rape and pillage the state of Wisconsin without much further ado.
Phil, that’s what you voted for, buddy. Do you realize how stupid you—a former GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE with a chest full of Scott Walker buttons—appear to someone who is (there is no delicate way to put this) smarter than you are? You don’t quite get it, do you, Phil?
It’s sheer idiocy for the working man to support Scott Walker and the Republicans. Nothing but sheer blinkered, uncut idiocy… and you, Phil, with a USPS tee-shirt and Walker badges could be the idiot’s poster boy…
Phil Waseleski, are you really the kind of man who wants to cast your vote in a democracy to cut other working people down to size and take what was theirs and give that to people like the Kochs and Diane Hendricks who make more in ONE HOUR than you did in your best year ever?
Charles Pierce must’ve puked in his mouth a little when he heard you speak this nonsense, you old coot!
If you find yourself reading this, Phil, can you please explain to the people who read your comments to Charles Pierce (in the comments either here or at Esquire), how you came to think this way. I cannot for the life of me understand how Walker and his billionaire reichwing patrons were able to convince one working person to resent other middle-class wage-earners, wish to see them economically punished and to reward two billionaires who inherited their money in the first place? It all makes zero sense to me. I need your help.
It’s not exactly a secret that the Republican party’s natural constituency is obscenely wealthy people and older, easily-manipulated idiots, especially Fox News watchers. Phil, as an obvious older idiot, would you mind, please, explaining to Dangerous Minds readers what happened in Wisconsin, from your perspective as an easily manipulated fool?
PS Phil, have you ever seen this clip? Which one of these guys is you? This is not a trick question, I promise:
Although the wild rumors of Scott Walker leaving behind his love-child from a college-age tryst seemed just a bit far-fetched (a sex scandal seems so unlikely for a guy with a face like Walker’s, don’t you think?) and truly “too good to be true,” the same can’t be said when an Emmy award-winning journalist who has worked for Fox News, CNN and MSNBC, a former Attorney General and a former District Attorney all say that Walker IS the target of the so-called “John Doe” investigation… on a federal level.
It would kind of make sense, um, considering that THIRTEEN of Walker’s subordinates have been granted immunity and five people close to him have already been indicted.
With the recall election less than two days away, federal prosecutors are closing in on Governor Scott Walker, according to veteran political reporter David Shuster, former Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager, and former district attorney Bob Jambois.
In a conference call organized by state Democrats on Saturday evening, June 2, Shuster, Lautenschlager, and Jambois laid out evidence that Walker is a target of a federal investigation.
Wisconsin Democratic Party Communications Director Graeme Zielinski added that there is evidence of wrongdoing after Walker’s time as Milwaukee County Executive, and that the investigation includes criminal activity during his time as governor.
Based on conversations with a lawyer who has knowledge of the investigation, “We believe that Scott Walker set up a secret computer network in the governor’s office and Department of Administration offices, and that the John Doe investigation is seeking evidence of crimes he committed in Madison,” Zielinski said.
Walker denied the allegations. At a campaign event on Saturday, Walker answered “absolutely not” to reporters’ questions—raised by David Shuster’s reporting for Take Action News—about whether he had been informed, either formally or informally, that he might be a target of federal prosecution. “I’ve never heard a single thing about that, other than spin from the left,” Walker said. He described the allegations as “just more of the liberal scare tactics out there desperately trying to get the campaign off target.”
“I stand by my reporting 100 percent,” Shuster said in the conference call. “It’s clear to me that he is, in fact, a target in a federal investigation.”
Despite copious reporting, especially in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, about the Milwaukee County district attorney’s probe of alleged violations when Walker was county executive—including a secret email network maintained by his staff for the purpose of conducting illegal campaign activity on county time, the theft of funds intended for the widows and orphans of Iraq War veterans, and possible favorable treatment of campaign donors seeking public contracts, not much has been written about the FBI probe.
“The Wisconsin press has only reported about the John Doe—the state component,” said Zielinski. “They have not reported on the federal component of this.”
“I’ve been reporting on federal grand juries for twenty years”—including Justice Department probes of former Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker, Monica Lewinsky, Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, and Jack Abramoff—said David Shuster, a former reporter for Fox News and anchor for MSNBC, who now works with Take Action News and as a host on Current TV.
In his reporting on FBI involvement in the current probe of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Shuster said he consulted with Justice Department attorneys in the public integrity section and “I got independent confirmation that he’s a target.”
Shuster said that he had learned Scott Walker’s attorneys had been seeking to have their client publicly cleared of wrongdoing for the last five or six weeks, in the run-up to the recall election. Prosecutors could not clear him, Shuster said, because Walker is a target.
The ongoing John Doe investigation by the Milwaukee County District Attorney has led to criminal charges against three of Walker’s former aides, an appointee, and a major donor. Thirteen of Walker’s associates have been granted immunity—including Walker’s spokesman, Cullen Werwie.
Recent campaign finance filings show that Walker has transferred a total of $160,000 into a criminal defense fund— the only criminal defense fund maintained by a governor of any state in the nation.
This past March, standing outside a Shell station in Mellen, Wis., in the state’s far north, Mike Wiggins Jr. told me about a series of dark and premonitory dreams he had two years earlier. “One of them was a very vivid trip around the North Woods and seeing forests bleeding and sludge from a creek emptying into the Bad River,” Wiggins said. “I ended up at a dilapidated northern log home with rotten snowshoes falling off the wall. I stepped out of the lodge, walked through some pine, and I was in a pipeline. There was a big pipe coming in and out of the ground as far as I could see.
“I had no idea what the hell that was all about,” Wiggins continued. But he said the dream became clearer when a stranger named Matt Fifield came into his office several months later and handed him his card. Wiggins is the chairman of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and Fifield, the managing director of Gogebic Taconite (GTac), a division of the Cline Group, a mining company based in Florida. He had come to Wiggins’s office to discuss GTac’s desire to build a $1.5 billion open-pit iron-ore mine in the Penokee Hills, about seven miles south of the Bad River reservation. The proposed mine would be several hundred feet deep, roughly four miles long and a half-mile wide; the company estimated it would bring 700 long-term jobs to the area. Fearing contamination of the local groundwater and pristine rivers, Wiggins told Fifield he planned to oppose the mine. He didn’t know at the time that the company’s lawyers would be working hand in hand with Republican legislators to draft a bill that would weaken Wisconsin environmental law and expedite the permitting process.
What followed was a drawn-out fight that resembled other statewide battles over labor, education and voter-registration laws — all of which have been introduced since the election of the Republican governor Scott Walker in 2010. The most bitter of these fights began in early February last year, when Walker proposed eliminating virtually all collective-bargaining rights for a vast majority of the state’s public-employee unions. Around the time that Walker announced the measure, similar laws were introduced in Michigan, Ohio and Florida, and a nationwide demonization of public employees caught fire. Within two months, the National Conference of State Legislators had tracked more than 100 bills, initiated across the country, attacking public-sector unions.
From the beginning, Walker, who declined to comment for this article, seemed cognizant that his move to end collective bargaining placed him at the forefront of a national conservative strategy. His attack on public-employee unions was lauded by Mitt Romney, John Boehner and Karl Rove, and he has received significant financial support from the billionaire conservative donors Charles and David Koch. In a widely publicized prank phone call with Ian Murphy, a blogger impersonating David Koch, Walker described a dinner he held for his cabinet at his Executive Residence on Feb. 10, the night before he announced the collective-bargaining measure. “It was kind of the last hurrah, before we dropped the bomb,” he said to the faux-Koch. At the dinner, Walker held up a photograph of Ronald Reagan and told his cabinet that what they were about to do recalled Reagan’s breaking of the air-traffic-controllers’ union strike in 1981. “This is our time to change the course of history,” Walker said.
The June 5 recall election against Walker and four Republican state senators will be a decisive and momentous day in American history—no matter which side of the political divide you are on—and not just for residents of Wisconsin. If the reichwing and the Koch brothers get beaten back, it’ll send a definitive message to Republicans—and draw an iron line in the sand—letting them know how far is TOO FAR and what NOT to do if they don’t want to end up like Scott Walker. If Democrats take back control of the statehouse, I get the sense that things would largely calm down in Wisconsin, after two years that have seen friendships ended, family arguments and nasty, nasty local politics, vandalism, etc. Clearly in this way, Scott Walker has been a disaster for life in his state. How many people who live there, no matter what their political affiliation is, would argue that the mood in Wisconsin has improved under Walker?
However, if the Democrats and the unions lose, and it appears that they will lose, it’ll be a sad day indeed and will be seen as a demoralizing lesson in just how DEAD democracy really is when billionaires and out of state interests can come in and defeat the determined solidarity of tens of thousands of Wisconsin’s most politically engaged progressive citizens. If Walker wins, it will be a significant blow to the labor unions and progressive morale in general.
With repetitive TV and radio ads blanketing Wisconsin’s airways (Walker is spending over 20x what his challenger Tom Barrett can afford) the Koch brothers and the GOP have brainwashed people into supporting policies that would beggar their neighbors, friends and relatives and destroy the hard fought gains of the unions in the state where the labor movement was arguably born merely so that the rich can get richer. It’s not like everyone in Wisconsin doesn’t already know what’s going on and I doubt that many people are still undecided if they’ll be voting for Walker or Barrett with just two weeks to go. The polls are TIGHT, and incredibly—when you consider how his governorship has torn the state apart and Walker’s SHITTY record on jobs—favor the governor. It’s going to be all about the ground game and the side who can get out the most voters (something the Republicans excel at ).
You can kick in a few bucks to kick Walker’s ass at ActBlue. Fingers crossed and GO WISCONSIN.
I’ll join the chorus of folks asking why the fuck Obama and the national Democrats aren’t doing more to support the Scott Walker recall efforts in Wisconsin???
Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, Walker’s opponent in the recall match-up, lost to him in 2010 by 125,000 votes, or 5%. You’d think that after all that’s happened, Barrett’s victory in the recall would be a sure thing, but some recent polls indicate otherwise. Probably has to do with Walker having 20x the cash on hand, thanks to his super-rich pals, like the Koch Brothers.
Although I am not a Democrat and have never self-identified as one, I have voted a straight Democratic ticket for my entire life, SOLELY to vote against the Republican candidates. The beginning and end of any perceived loyalty that I have to the Democrats has to do with my lifelong hatred of Republicans and nothing else.
I’m someone who is resigned to voting for the lesser of two evils, because I believe you get less evil that way. I am, however, a staunch socialist, and strongly believe that the outcome of the WI recall election is of supreme importance to the future of organized labor and all working Americans, not just in Wisconsin. If the anti-Walker movement in WI fails to oust that cross-eyed weasel, Charlie Brown-looking dickhead, the implications for the future of labor unions in America should be seen as dire indeed.
SO WHERE THE FUCK IS OBAMA?
Why hasn’t the President already been in Wisconsin several times to support the state’s progressive Democrats and the labor union members who have worked tirelessly for over a year to kick Walker’s dumb ass to the curb? I thought the unions were the Democratic base, just like the GOP relies on billionaires and IDIOTS. Have Obama and the DNC completely written off big labor? WTF???
They couldn’t have done any less than they have if they decided to do nothing at all.
ONE fundraising email! ONE!
And where are the Occupy folks? THIS is the real battle of 2012, not holding down a park or clogging up the Brooklyn Bridge, as important as that might be symbolically, this is THE REAL DEAL. The Wisconsin recall election is equally important to the 2012 election, I think much more so, in some respects. Want to show the hard right what democracy looks like? Get thee to Wisconsin for the next few weeks and help out.
Clearly this is a battle between people power and the millions upon millions of dollars being funneled into WI by reichwing interests who have a big stake in seeing the unions crushed. The WI recall election is going to be a tight one and in the end the single biggest factor in whoever wins will be the ground game. The DNC could, if they wanted to, make a major impact in this regard, but for whatever reason, their support has been tepid, at best.
Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce—who is one of America’s finest political wordsmiths—laid out another, very compelling factor that should be of great concern to the DNC: Call it “The Future Newt Gingrich Factor”:
Right now, if nothing else changes, it looks very much like Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin, is going to keep his job. If that’s the case, and assuming he doesn’t go down in the ongoing John Doe investigation in Milwaukee, I predict that he will have an “exploratory committee” set up in Iowa within the month, and he will suddenly discover a deeply held desire to spend a lot of time in places like Nashua and Manchester. Make no mistake: If he hangs on, he will be the biggest star in the Republican party. Chris Christie yells at all the right people, but has he ever faced down the existential threat that schoolteachers and snowplow drivers brought to bear on Walker? Marco Rubio? Has he withstood the wrath of organized janitors and professors of the humanities? If Walker wins in June, it wouldn’t take very much effort at all for Fox News and for the vast universe of conservative sugar-daddies and their organization to decide that Walker should be the odds-on choice for 2016.
Dear Debbie Wasserman-Schultz: That heinous future actually could happen if you don’t get out of the Green Room and get the DNC off the stick here. I’m still not kidding. If the Democrats blow this one, and if it’s proven that the DNC could have helped in any way and didn’t, you should be fired before the sun goes down. In 1990, the DNC declined to help fully a congressional candidate named David Worley in Georgia. The Worley people were begging for money, for organizers, for a lifeline of any kind. Very little was forthcoming. Worley lost to Newt Gingrich by 978 votes. How would the subsequent 10 years have been different if Gingrich’s political career had ended ignominiously in 1990? That’s the kind of chance that you seem to be allowing to go a’glimmering in Wisconsin. Let Walker win, and Democrats not yet born will curse your name. [Emphasis added]
I am less than optimistic about Tom Barrett’s chances because he’s getting outspent about 20-1, and because the numbers stubbornly refuse to move. This should be a base-vs.-base election, but it’s being played, at least by the Democrats, as yet another unicorn-hunt after “independent voters.” Barrett keeps talking about the “civil war” that Walker incited in Wisconsin. But that’s not the argument. There should have been a “civil war” over what Walker was trying to do. There wouldn’t even be a recall without what Barrett calls “the civil war.” The “civil war” was entirely appropriate. Sometimes, in politics, there are issues worth screaming about. I’m no expert, but the end of collective bargaining during an era of flat-lining wages would seem to be one of those. By citing the “civil war” as the reason for voting for him, and without, I believe, intending to do so, Barrett makes all those people standing in the cold last January marginally complicit in what he says as the problem the recall was meant to solve. But the problem with Scott Walker was not that he inspired an outburst of incivility. It’s that he tried to screw the workers of the state of Wisconsin, and that he got more than halfway there, and that he apparently intends to go the rest of the way if he manages to survive the recall. It’s not idle speculation to say that a lot more is riding on this than who gets to be governor of Wisconsin. This is the first real fight of the 2016 presidential election.
If you’d like to support the drive to recall Scott Walker, without giving a dime to the national Democrats, you can donate at ActBlue. Even $5 will help offset the 20 to 1 spending by Walker’s billionaire supporters.
Below, an inspiring trailer for We Are Wisconsin: The Movie premiering soon.
The Wisconsin Democratic Party was quick to dub the recall effort — which also targeted Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and a handful of Republican state legislators — the “biggest” in American history, and boasted that organizers had gathered a whopping 460,000 extra signatures for the recall of Walker, who infuriated many in his state last year by pushing through a law that ended most collective bargaining rights for many public workers.
Meagan Mahaffey, executive director of United Wisconsin – the group behind the recall efforts – told POLITICO that Tuesday’s results sent a “crystal clear message to Scott Walker that voters are done with his extreme policies and his destruction that he’s doing to our state.”
Unions were poised to emerge as some of the biggest winners from Tuesday’s news, but Mahaffey insisted that the movement did not simply represent a battle between Walker and organized labor.
“This is a message to people of all backgrounds and all different types of peope that have worked so hard on this recall. The best outcome for all of us is the same: Recall Scott Walker,” she said.
As the months-long recall campaign had neared its end, State Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate had predicted Tuesday’s outcome earlier this week, telling POLITICO he was confident that the final tally would “hit or exceed” their goal of 720,000 signatures and saying the message he hoped would resonate with Wisconsin voters was that “help is on the way.”
“An incredible number of Wisconsinites have stood up to be counted and say, ‘We can’t wait for the next election. We absolutely must get Scott Walker out of office right now,’” said Tate.
Walker himself signaled that he expected his opponents would be able to achieve their goal.
Speaking at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., earlier this month, the embattled governor predicted that a recall election will indeed occur sometime in June.
But Walker stood by his controversial reforms, maintaining that they were all made “for the right reasons.”
“You either get elected to be somebody great or do something great, and I always tell kids to do the latter,” he said.
What are you going to tell your kids now, shithead?
January 17th will be a most fateful day in the career of embattled Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. Tomorrow is the day that labor unions and the state’s Democrats will drop off several hundred thousand signatures to WI election authorities to trigger a statewide recall election. It is widely assumed that the number of Wisconsinites who signed the recall petitions will be well in excess of the 540,208 verified signatures required. Hopefully this will represent a large enough buffer so that Republican efforts to challenge individual signatures would have little or no practical effect.
Wisconsin Public Radio commissioned a recent poll that found a very serious threat indeed to Walker’s administration: if Democrats can manage to trigger the recall vote, 58% of respondents said they’d vote to recall Scott Walker, a jump of 11% since the last poll was taken in April, 2011. Hardly a trend in Walker’s favor. After the Occupy Wall Street movement’s message became part of the national conversation last Fall, it seemed pretty obvious to everyone—including Walker, if his comically hangdog facial expressions are any indication—that Walker’s goose was about to cooked.
Although I fully expect that the recall election will be “on” and that Walker will be ousted (and humiliated, like he so justly deserves), if the man actually cared one whit for the state he governs, or possessed any level of self-awareness, which Walker almost pathologically seems to lack, why doesn’t he just resign? It’s not overstating or simplifying the situation in the least to say that Walker himself IS the problem. With 58% of the state supporting his recall, why doesn’t this creep just accept his fate and fuck the fuck off?
In the event that Walker did survive a recall election, still nothing will get done in the state for the rest of his term. If the governor was truly a civic-minded man, he’d resign—tomorrow, when the signatures get delivered—for the good of this fellow citizens. There seems no possibility whatsoever for vindication in Walker’s case, so why not call it a day, if for no other reason, to save himself the humiliation of what will inevitably follow?
His motivation for wanting more of this seems very odd to me. It’s not mentally healthy, is it? There must something wrong with him.
At this point, Wisconsin needs to move forward. Like with every state, there are crucial issues that need to be resolved. Walker cannot be a part of the solution anymore, he’s simply too divisive of a figure. Whether required amount of signatures have been collected or not, Walker should still go, for the good of the people of Wisconsin. No matter what happens tomorrow, Walker still can’t govern effectively. This is a fact, Jack. The guy has got to go.
It’s his own damned fault, he’s a fuck-up of epic proportions. Just look at that stupid face!
Make us proud tomorrow, Wisconsin. Scratch that, make us even prouder! Make Scott Walker go down in history!
Below, a reminder of when Scott Walker fell for a prank phone caller, Buffalo Beast editor Ian Murphy, pretending to be billionaire David Koch. What a snake, but what an idiotic snake! In retrospect, this entire clip is worth watching on several levels, not the least being to see how much the conversation has changed since last year. Remarkable.
I would be remiss if I didn’t start the year properly, by offering my personal and heartfelt thanks to the fine, morally upstanding people of the great state of Wisconsin. You—and the brave state legislators who got the ball rolling, let’s not forget them—make me proud to be American and one of your fellow citizens. Wisconsin is the birthplace of the American Labor movement and the home of its rebirth in 2011.
The fight against loathsome Republican Governor Scott Walker has inspired and re-invigorated working people across the country—in Ohio, in Michigan, in Zuccotti Park and other OWS sites and events around the country—but it is in Wisconsin where they’re demonstrating to the rest of us how a revolution is won, or can be won, in an appropriately American fashion, at the ballot box.
And the other side just has guys like this mouth-breathing, psychotic reichwing fruitcake—and ridiculous crybaby—Carl Sosnoski, apparently the owner of an Oshkosh sports bar called “Players” and a heating and cooling contractor (Google Players + Oshkosh, if you’d like to order some pizza or… whatever). Little clown-boy Carl got a little bit too close to Robert Bergman—nicknamed “Fighting Bob”—who was exercising his First Amendment rights by soliciting signatures for the Walker Recall effort and this is what happened:
On Tuesday afternoon (12/27/11) I set up to collect signatures in a middle school parking lot. There was no school in session, and it is a public school. I put out my signs, and pretty immediately a signer pulled in. I went to collect his signature. Another truck pulled in behind him. I headed over to it, and asked, “Would you like to sign the petition to recall Scott Walker?” I always ask this, as I don’t want to assume anything. Right away this man asked me why I wanted to recall Walker. For me this is a red flag. Walker supporters want to waste your time. They think you come from out of state, and think you haven’t a clue as to the damage Walker is doing to the state. And they act like you owe them an explanation. At that point I said, “Just one minute - I’ll get back to you,” so that I could finish up with the first guy.
Knowing the man in the truck was there to harass me, I went to my truck and got my video camera. I went to the first signer, and got the clipboard and put it away, so that it couldn’t be destroyed. I started going the long way around his truck because I have learned not to walk in front of vehicles because people will try to run you over. I got half way around when I heard him say, “What are you doing?”
Here’s a transcript of part of their exchange. The last part you just have to WATCH.
Carl: What are you doing?
Bob: I’m video taping you, sir.
Carl: You’re really kind of a jerk, aren’t you? Aren’t you?
Bob: Okay, if you’ve got questions, the reason I’m doing this? (referring to Mr. Sosnoski’s earlier question about his motivation to recall Walker).
Carl: Yeah, I do.
Bob: Okay, the reason I’m doing this is because I don’t believe in Scott Walker.
Carl: What! That’s not a reason! What’s your reason?
Bob: I don’t owe you any explanations, sir.
Carl: Well, then, you can’t use this tape for anything, you know that. Bob: I can too, sir. I feel like I’m being harassed.
Carl: You are being harassed. And pretty soon, you’re going to be killed! Okay?
Want to see an ugly little Republican man completely losing his shit in a very comical way? Watch the video that many people who know Carl—his wife, family, friends, relatives, and FORMER CUSTOMERS—have also probably watched in the past few days…
Even more outrageous is how the cop—a Walker supporter—handled the matter. The thing is, how “pro-Walker” would this police officer be if the Walker administration tried to fuck over the firefighters and police unions the way he fucked over the school teachers and other state employees? What’s in it for HIM to “support” Scott Walker? What an idiot he is, too. Why would any member of any union support Scott Walker?
Sosnoski said he has contacted a lawyer and intends to fight the citation and possibly explore further action against Bergman.
Good luck with that, you stupid son-of-a-bitch. HE’S GOT YOU ON VIDEOTAPE MAKING WHAT AMOUNTS TO A PRETTY DIRECT DEATH THREAT, YOU FUCKING FOOL!
Why not call more attention to yourself, Republican loser? Carl must be even dumber than he looks! I have to wonder if when he called the police, he said anything even remotely like the rather obvious truth: “Um, yeah, I just made a, um, like, um, sort of, um, death threat to this guy who had the audacity to videotape me doing it. He’s locked himself in his truck, can you come over here to protect me from him?”
Conservatives are always ready to cry “foul” when their First Amendment Rights get stepped on, but when they’re the ones doing the goose-stepping on other people’s rights, hey, that’s a-okay!
BTW, as reported on Daily Kos, “Fighting Bob” Bergman, who worked a double shift last night as non-union machine operator, has personally collected 1411 signatures to recall Scott Walker, and 1403 signatures to recall Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. So far!
“Fighting Bob” was never political in his life until last spring. Interesting to contrast what Walker inspires in his opponents vs. what he inspires in his own brain-dead supporters like this shithead, Carl here, and the creeps who pulled this stunt. I can’t imagine that Walker’s case benefits much with undecided voters from such self-defeating activities like these on the part of his supporters!
“Fighting Bob” and the people of Wisconsin, I salute you and think you’re all heroes. Thank you, very, very much for the important work you are doing, for ALL AMERICANS (including Fox News viewers too stupid to understand how what you are doing benefits them, I thank you on their behalf, too).
The day after the first leg of the Wisconsin recall elections, I thought the number of “We won!” emails coming from the various lefty and labor organizations I support seemed a little odd. Did we win? It sure didn’t look that way to me. If “we” would have won, the tallies would have been different, right?
Maybe they were half right. Wisconsin Democrats did, after all, oust two Republican senators in two of the very, very few successful recall races ever held in American history. Pity the other two races didn’t fall their way, but it’s certain that what happened in Wisconsin awakened an awful lot of people to what was going on in their state, the role of the Koch brothers in rightwing AstroTurf politics there and just how aggressive and vicious the GOP can get when they are in the majority in a legislative body.
The Republican majority now hinges on one vote in Wisconsin. Personally, I’d rate the glass more than half-full considering the power math of less than a year ago. There is little doubt that Democrats will retake the legislature next year.
The collective bargaining rights issue highlighted by the recall election in Wisconsin, as I’ve maintained here, has never been merely a statewide matter. It’s a national issue of great importance to the future of this country’s middle-class families. Wisconsin was the flash point. The first battle in a longer war.
When I stopped and thought about it, I realized what HAD been gained in Wisconsin and this is now coming much better into focus as Ohio Governor John Kasich and the Republican party seek to back-walk the deeply unpopular anti-labor bill SB 5—it’s not a law yet despite the GOP’s best efforts—and are asking Ohio Democrats and labor unions to withdraw a November referendum on it. The public opinion is decidedly against the Republicans and polling just a little over two months from the November 8 vote shows an overwhelming 54% to 36% gulf in favor of rejecting the bill.
With this much Republican blood in the water, why would Ohio Democrats be stupid enough to withdraw the referendum? AS IF the Republicans would ever pay them the same courtesy! It’s hilarious to watch Kasich say this shit! So craven! So… Republican.
Judging from this, rather, er, vocal reception at the Wisconsin State Fair, when hapless Republican Scott Walker gets recalled out of office next year, he’ll probably have to go into some sort of witness protection program…
The recall election in Wisconsin is one of the most important American political events of our time. What happens in Wisconsin is not a “local” event, it will have repercussions that will continue to reverberate nationally—one way of the other—for a long time in this country. If progressives can’t win a victory in a state like Wisconsin, god help America, because the Reichwing fangs will be bared with a slobbering viciousness like they never have been before.
But if the little guys win, Republicans will think twice about pulling this kind of shit again. It’s that simple.
The positively heroic level of commitment from the state’s working people to the recall cause and rolling back the corrosive influence of the billionaire Koch Brothers on Wisconsin politics, has truly been a fantastic thing to watch. It’s one of the best things I’ve seen in America in my lifetime… but it’s not over yet.
Before next Tuesday’s Wisconsin recall election, this new ad—featuring a former Republican voter who’s had enough with the Republican Party—will run on television in the district of Republican State Sen. Alberta Darling, now fighting a recall challenge from Democrat Rep. Sandy Pasch.
The recall election in Wisconsin is only a few days away. If you can donate even $3, please go to ActBlue and help them buy airtime for this low-key, but quite effective ad.
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