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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:42 pm 
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pandacookie wrote:
Links are good. My twitter was all over the place with egypt stuff but protest in our own country doesn't seem to be making as much news. Tsk.

Seriously. I was walking with someone yesterday and I told him I hadn't read the news since Friday, so we discussed Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, etc. until I finally had to ask "So did they ever find those Senators from Wisconsin?"


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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:23 pm 
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You know, i spend so much time seeing people awash in apathy and corporate anesthetizing, then an event like is comes along. The protesters in Wisconsin have restored my faith in the belief that there's at least an ember of fight left in US progressives and the working class.


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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:00 pm 
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lfred wrote:
Tofulish wrote:
Seriously, why are no Democrats speaking out on this? It is forked up that Obama hasn't said anything.


he has! i'm sorry that all i'm contributing here has been links, but :

http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/116391649.html

it bothers me that he keeps talking about the pension and health care increases, but mentions nothing about the collective bargaining, which people are upset about his bill.


But everything he has said has been so measured and cool. I feel like he needs to throw up some of the fight the protesters and the GOP are throwing up.

After Mubarak stepped down he talked about how sometimes people go out and fight for their dreams. I want to see him say the same thing here - the thousands of protesters are out in icestorms and freezing weather to fight for the dream of a real middle class - with decent wages, health insurance and protections, all of which they have thanks to collective bargaining. I want him to stand with the protesters and re-energize the Democrats and the middle class by talking about how the GOP is the party of big busines that doesn't have our interests at heart.

http://www.freep.com/article/20110221/N ... eststories

We have sympathy protests in Trenton, that I hope to go to. NJ has a republican asshat governor and collective bargaining will be on the chopping block here if it goes in Wisconsin.

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 Post subject: forward!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:48 pm 
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Caveat: I worked really, really hard to elect a Democratic governor (Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett) and re-elect our great progressive Democrat now-ex-Senator, Russ Feingold. I did as much volunteering as I could do while I could still manage a full-time day job and all the trimmings, took off of work on Election Day to help transport people to polls, went to rallies and meet-ups and quite a few GOTVs on nights and weekends. So this is just my opinion based on what I saw from the ground in northeast and northwest Milwaukee during the election cycle.

What volunteers tended to see when we went knocking/knock-and-dragging, and what we tended to hear when we phone banked, was a truly stunning amount of apathy. As a special bonus to our campaign, the vast majority of said apathy was emanating from blocs of people who had literally always been very reliable Democratic voters. Progressives and working class people feel seriously jerked around, taken advantage of (by adamant blue dogs as well as moderates/conservatives who advertised themselves as being significantly more populist/progressive than they ended up acting post-election), and with good reason! Top to bottom, they didn't feel represented by their elected representatives.
Everyone was bummed out about unemployment, everyone was bummed out about the housing crisis, everyone was bummed out about health care. Sadly, A) Faux News exists and B) all other Republicans/Tea Partiers have no qualms about openly lying in order to covertly pressure low- and middle-class citizens into voting against their own economic and social self-interests. That toxic combination has tidily resulted in all of the problems that have been snowballing over the past few years to have been successfully re-branded as "stuff that is the Democrats' (possibly Clinton's, maybe even Carter's, but mostly Obama's) fault," and "Democrat" remains inextricably/inexplicably linked to the term "progressive." Both of our Democratic candidates had reliable voter apathy and anti-"progressive" sentiment working against them from day one. Russ Feingold has always been a loud, proud progressive, so he really had the shortest end of the stick in 2010.

To be fair, Scott Walker was always -- at least to the citizens of Milwaukee County -- clearly a shitbag. He was always clearly incompetent, just like Bush was as the Governor of Texas. Based on the kind of job he did during his first stint in elected office, he shouldn't have won a new election for dog catcher. But he's got that special brand of knee jerk-right wing stupid wealthy white dude charm, and he yelled a lot about lie-berals and poor people being lazy, and the crazy Koch brothers bankrolled the know-nothing Republican candidates here (everywhere!) because they're working so hard to help destroy Obama's socialist Kenyan takeover. Also, the prospect of eliminating Russ Feingold was HUGE, his re-elections were always close calls, and Tea Partiers knew it would be a very painful and personal loss for progressives all over America if one of our heroes went down to a random Randian businessman.
However, even though Tom Barrett is a totally decent mayor and even seems to be a really great guy on a personal level, Walker was predicted to waltz to an easy 60/40 victory for months ahead of the election. It was treated as a foregone conclusion! I talked to more than a few people who voted Feingold for Senate and then inexplicably hit Walker for Governor because "Walker's going to win anyway," or "I never liked (retiring Governor, Democrat) Jim Doyle." But most of all, when it came to the gubernatorial election, I heard, "Who cares?"
I seriously hope everyone protesting now went out and worked like hell/voted for Barrett, because even though Walker hadn't advertised the fact he was going to do exactly this during the election (unlike giving back the high-speed train money), it seemed pretty damn obvious that he would pull some bullshiitake move like this if he won based simply on who financed his campaign. Never underestimate the craziness of the ascendant Tea Party class and their dark, shady overlords.

Having my home state's politics under a national magnifying glass has been really weird! Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of hope that these protests are going to make a difference, because Republicans control every branch of our state government and progressive voter apathy -- in all of the small scale, pedestrian, everyday ways that truly matter during midterms -- remains rampant.

tl;dr Why did this happen? Even though we have a historically hippie-loving capital and a progressive past, much of our state is rural and politically conservative. There are a few nice liberal enclaves, of course, but many of the surrounding suburbs are white-hot zones of wealth, racism, and fuck-y'all-I-got-mine-ism. Scott Walker is a pile of rotten garbage wrapped in a slimy exoskeleton, but he doesn't have a single reason to compromise on this, because his party currently rules everything in the state, and he can't be impeached until he's been in office for a year. Augh.

Also: http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/18/business-teaparty-wisconsin/

ETA This is so long, even I wouldn't read it!

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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:56 pm 
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forking Koch brothers. The New Yorker had a good article about how anti-environment, libertarian, pro-corporation they are: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010 ... fact_mayer

Quote:
The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation. These views dovetail with the brothers’ corporate interests. In a study released this spring, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries one of the top ten air polluters in the United States. And Greenpeace issued a report identifying the company as a “kingpin of climate science denial.” The report showed that, from 2005 to 2008, the Kochs vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups. Indeed, the brothers have funded opposition campaigns against so many Obama Administration policies—from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program—that, in political circles, their ideological network is known as the Kochtopus.


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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:19 pm 
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Sometimes you get Russ Feingold; sometimes you get Joe McCarthy.


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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:43 am 
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http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/21/opinion/21krugman.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=homepage
This is a nice opinion piece from the NY Times. He hits it straight on with america/=democracy and the problems from the wealthy and powerful. The implications of which go far beyond just Wisconsin.

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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:54 am 
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subliminalpanda wrote:
You know, i spend so much time seeing people awash in apathy and corporate anesthetizing, then an event like is comes along. The protesters in Wisconsin have restored my faith in the belief that there's at least an ember of fight left in US progressives and the working class.


Yeah, this is giving me hope even as it's scary. I've been unhealthily obsessed with labor/education news for quite awhile, and most of the time it's just this depressing loss after loss without a fight. I'm so happy to see a fight.


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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:59 am 
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pandacookie wrote:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/21/opinion/21krugman.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=homepage
This is a nice opinion piece from the NY Times. He hits it straight on with america/=democracy and the problems from the wealthy and powerful. The implications of which go far beyond just Wisconsin.


Great piece.


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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:02 pm 
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Another interesting read here http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02 ... on-decline
about union strength and political parties.

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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:06 am 
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I thought Rachel Maddow did a great job on this:
http://seattle.cbslocal.com/2011/02/18/ ... tic-party/

Turns out there actually was no budget crisis in Wisconsin to begin with, the state started 2011, and Republican Governor Scott Walkers term, with a budget surplus. The cuts that public workers are being asked to bear are almost the same amount as the tax breaks that Gov. Walker has proposed be given to businesses in the state. She also points out that the unions who are exempt (cops, firefighters etc) are those that traditionally supported the GOP and the sitting governor, underscoring that this is really about cutting the Democrat's off at the knees in terms of funding

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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:39 am 
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There was a solidarity rally on Beacon Hill last night and Tea Partiers showed up. I would be lying if I said seeing on the news a grizzled union dude yell at a tea party dude who looked like he might pee his pants wasn't a little amusing.

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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:55 pm 
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I've been in rural Wisconsin for about a week and will be here for an undermined length of time longer. My coworkers in the labor movement say they've never seen anything quite like this. .. to say it's intense is an understatement, and it's been incredibly amazing to see so many teachers and public servants who have never been active before take on leadership roles.

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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:58 pm 
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Yes! I wish I had teevee to get some better coverage. I'd love some live shots.

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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:35 pm 
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Democracy Now said on twitter that they are broadcasting live from Madison tomorrow morning at 8 am est. I may have to get up and out to a cafe to watch it.

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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:23 am 
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The full 'budget' bill passed in Assembly today at 1 AM. The Republicans got a simple majority of 51 ayes and then immediately closed voting... before 28 (!) Democrats had voted. Easy as pie! Still waiting on the Senate, but I'm sure the Democrats will come back from Illinois and give the Republicans exactly what they want within the next week or so. Possibly on a silver platter. It's my party's way!

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011 ... -shame.php

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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:32 am 
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stephanie wrote:
I'm sure the Democrats will come back from Illinois and give the Republicans exactly what they want within the next week or so. Possibly on a silver platter. It's my party's way!

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011 ... -shame.php


You know, I am so very disappointed with Democrats since Obama's election. I feel like Obama had so much focus on "compromise" that they never noticed that the GOP moved to be "the party of NO." And then instead of attacking them head on the Dems decided to stick with their strategy of appeasement. Which meant fork all got done.

Why is no one on the radio and television angrily asking why we are giving agribusiness subsidies, tax breaks for businesses or cutting services to people?

I expect the GOP to be the party of evil corporate overlords looking to cut any regulation that would make it more expensive to sell their crepe and protect people from their pollution and products etc. I just hoped the Dems could be more than Evil's incompetent little brother Apathy.

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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:44 am 
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http://www.democracynow.org/

Amy Goodman live in the Wisconsin capitol this morning.

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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:22 pm 
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Day 13! Huge rally in Madison and smaller ones in every state in the country. Union yes.

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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:02 am 
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Scenes from Madison today were just amazing. Also amazing are the rallies that went on elsewhere in the state - I'm in a small town in western Wisconsin right now, and we're breaking records for turnout over here. Today about 400 of us protested outside of a Republican party dinner in five degree weather - lots of teachers, nurses, firemen, and other folks. People brought kids, signs, all sorts of things. I'm too tired to be more eloquent, but there are some incredible pictures on my facebook. I've never been more proud to do the work I do!

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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:13 pm 
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ive never been so terrified in my whole life!
what if all this changes nothing???
this morning i had a moment of thinking maybe if you cant beat 'em, join 'em. somebody slap me.


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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:24 pm 
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lindsayh, even if this doesn't result in your immediate goal, it will change something. And you will always know where you were and which side you were on during the Wisconsin uprising of 2011. Hold your head proud! (says the armchair observer).


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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:37 pm 
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Didn't see anyone who had mentioned it already, but this weekend Wisconsin police apparently joined the protest: "We have been ordered by the legislature to kick you all out at 4:00 today. But we know what’s right from wrong. We will not be kicking anyone out, in fact, we will be sleeping here with you!"

That's a little bit of awesome.

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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:34 pm 
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There actually wasn't an order to clear the building yesterday, but there is today! Huge crowd prepared for civil disobedience police are on both sides.

You can watch it live here:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/afl-cio-2010-rally


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 Post subject: Re: Epidemic hits Mad. WI! Schools closed! 1000+ teachers si
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:04 pm 
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Twitter says the live stream is down for that link. People are still in the building. Mother Jones has someone inside and you can follow them for updates from inside.

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