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February 18, 2011

Comments

And sorry, re-reading our comments makes me realize that I should acknowledge that you are aware that it is a bicameral legislature, which isn't clear in my comment.

While it may be redundant, to those who aren't bothered by the prospect of a whole subset of workers being deprived of the right to collective bargaining:

It may indeed be the case that to you, public sector unions wield a kind of power that seems out of proportion and line, but such unions do not seek to deprive mass groups of people of anything; the purpose of any union is to ensure that management holds up its responsibilities to labor, and play a role in crafting a synergy of labor-management relations that ensures a balance of interests are being maintained, that such balance is within labor law, and that neither side abuses its prerogative.

What is happening in Wisconsin, however, is political interference in that balance for the purpose of upsetting it to the favor of a top-down mandate of managerial fiat, for the expressed purpose of deriving labor of the right to collectively bargain, destroy a union, and disadvantage a large group of workers who have not sought to deprive anyone of anything.

So yes, I couldn't agree more with LJ: at what point is this action by a state governor not an article of bad faith, and what vocabulary is necessary to both satisfy what isn't, and is, bad faith? It's as if the burden of proof of bad faith is never up to the perpetrator, but the perpetrated-upon, with what nuances that are trying to be parsed out big enough to drive a semi through.

To any Badger State folks out there: is this an impeachable offense that Walker's done?

bc:

I don't see the need for full collective bargaining for public sector employers, at least how it exists now.
Why should any workers not have the right to collectively bargain?

I can answer that question, but I think the starting place should be to default to to having that right, and then we can discuss why we might want to have exceptions, rather than vice versa.

And public safety is exempt (because, like in California, there are some unions too entrenched to take on).
Or, in other words, the police and fire unions tend to vote Republican. Want cites?
Since the unions are playing the "democracy" card
Why the scare quotes?
why not require all increases in pay/benefits to be approved by the employer (i.e. the public)?
By referendum? Okay. So long as thepublic also gets to vote on approving the pay/benefits of management. I'll go for that equality. You? If not, why not?
For that matter, why not vote (legislators) and let the voters take it out on the legislature next term?
Last I looked, that's how it worked, doesn't it?
Hiding What's up with that? That seems completely undemocratic.
How's that? Are you saying that legislators should be compelled to show up and vote? What principle are you invoking here?

Moreover, let's take a look at some history, shall we?

[...] In 1987 Republicans defeated seven cloture votes to kill a Democratic campaign finance reform bill. When Democrats brought up the bill again in 1988, Republicans launched another filibuster. "We are ready to go all night," said Republican Whip Alan Simpson of Wyoming. "We will have our sturdy SWAT teams and people on vitamin pills and colostomy bags and Lord knows what else."

During the long night, Republican senators boycotted a roll call vote and in their absence, Democrats voted to command the Senate sergeant-at-arms to "arrest the absent Senators and bring them to the Chamber." Sergeant-at-Arms Henry Giugni found Republican Robert Packwood of Oregon in his office and arrested him. Packwood insisted that he be carried into the Senate chamber—and at 1:17 a.m., he was. Despite the theatrics, the Republicans still killed the bill. "The events of the last 48 hours," noted Republican Warren Rudman of New Hampshire, "were a curious blend of 'Dallas,' 'Dynasty,' 'The Last Buccaneer' and Friday Night Fights."

If we're talking "anti-democratic" in such a context, let me delve faintly digressively into:
[...] Sen. Millard Tydings of Maryland took the argument even further: "It was cloture," he said, "that crucified Christ on the cross."

Not surprisingly, the longest solo filibuster in history was an anti–civil rights monologue. It came in 1957, when Lyndon Johnson was the Senate majority leader. Johnson wanted to become president but he calculated that he could never win the Democratic nomination if he was associated with the Senate's infamous filibusters. So he carefully crafted a civil rights bill so toothless that his Southern colleagues agreed not to filibuster against it. But one senator broke that agreement—Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who was worried about reelection.

[...] On August 28, 1957, Thurmond took a steam bath to dehydrate his body so it could absorb liquids without requiring a bathroom break. Armed with malt tablets and bits of cooked hamburger and diced pumpernickel, he began talking at 8:54 p.m., and he didn't stop for the next 24 hours and 18 minutes. He read the voting laws of all 48 states and quoted George Washington's Farewell Address, but he forgot to mention that 35 years earlier he had impregnated his parents' 16-year-old black maid, and consequently one of the people he was fighting to keep segregated was his daughter.

Thurmond's marathon broke the filibuster record set by Sen. Wayne Morse in 1953, when the Oregon maverick denounced an oil bill for 22 hours and 26 minutes. "I salute him," Morse said of Thurmond. "It takes a lot out of a man to talk so long."

But Thurmond's Southern colleagues didn't salute. They were livid when Strom's publicity stunt sparked a barrage of phone calls and telegrams from angry segregationists back home, who demanded to know why they weren't helping Thurmond fight for white supremacy.

"If I had undertaken a filibuster for personal political aggrandizement," said Richard Russell of Georgia, the leader of the Southern caucus, "I would have forever reproached myself for being guilty of a form of treason against the South."

Seven years later, in 1964, President Johnson committed his own "treason against the South" by supporting a strong civil rights bill. Again, Southern senators tried to kill the bill by filibuster, but times had changed. American television viewers had watched Southern cops attacking nonviolent black protestors with nightsticks, dogs and fire hoses, and civil rights had become the moral issue of the age.

[...] And so the filibuster goes on. And on. And on. Occasionally it gets downright bizarre. I witnessed one of those occasions on November 12, 2003, when I was covering the Senate for the Washington Post. Democrats were threatening to filibuster against four of George W. Bush's judicial nominees. In response, Republicans concocted a wacky new tactic—the anti-filibuster filibuster. For more than 30 hours—all of one night and deep into the next—the Republicans filibustered to protest the Democrats' plan to filibuster.

[...]

Note that both parties can be idiots about filbustering, and this sort of thing. I emphatically think that Senate rule 22 should be changed, and that I'm inclined to let states decide their own rules, but I'm not noticing a partisan issue in this matter, save when we start talking about, say, the last twenty years in the national senate, or specifics in various states. Meanwhile, if you'd like to discuss your own principles you have in mind, I'd find that interesting.

Marty:

Agreeing that the problem has many fathers, one of the most problematic is the political clout that they have.
This is a problem because?

In many places far greater than any of the corporate dollars that are regularly complained about here.
Which places? And, again, the reason that ordinary workers on salaries are more "problematic" than corporate dollars is?

There's an endless amount to post about Wisconsin, and I'm not awake enough to do it, but here's an in interesting little video of Fox reporters being greeted with chants of "Fox Lies! Fox Lies" and their reaction.

"at what point is this action by a state governor not an article of bad faith, "

At the point where he has run for years, publicly opposing and attacking unionization of government employees, and got elected running on this. And now you think it's bad faith of him to not run a bait and switch on the voters, and suddenly say, "Just kidding!"

Yes, it's inconsistent of him to not go after the prison guard and police unions. It's a tactical inconsistency, it's not a very good idea to have the police going on strike at the same time that the prison guards have thrown the doors to the prisons open and walked off.

No, I don't think he's acting in bad faith by actually carrying through a program he has advocated for years. He's acting in good faith by doing what he told voters he'd do.

Oh, and you probably heard it first here; You'll know when he's ready to go after the prison guard unions: He'll call out the national guard, and have the prisons surrounded, first, so as to deprive those unions of the power to release their prisoners into the general population as they go on strike.

Brett, you may be thinking of this WaPo article, but in my online searching, I have found nothing in Walker's gubernatorial campaign about removing the right of public employees to form a union and negotiate. I'm not sure what you are talking about with the prison guards, I think you are confusing CA and WI.

This is a summary of Walker's campaign promises and this is another. Also, when Walker did talk about unions, he only spoke about pay and benefits and not about taking away their right to unionize. link.

Specifically, Brett, I think you are thinking of bc's comment here

In California, I believe the average worker earns just under $70k. With the benefit package that's around $105,000. And that's average.

And Brown isn't cutting prison guard pay, which averages around $73k not counting overtime. Hmmm. Wonder why?

Walker's supporters on this thread are demonstrating classic Republican-supporter behavior. They see a slight potential benefit for people like themselves ( a tax cut) achieved by screwing over a catagory of people to which they do not themselves belong (in this case public employess) so they absorb and regurgitate all kinds of fact-imparied rationalizations to justify the screwing over.

The same people who lied about PP and ACORN are spreading the lie that people in lab coats are handing out fake medcial slips to excuse people from work (they might even be supplying the people in lab coats if the people in lab coats are real)...how long before that lie shows up here as proof of the inate screwoverness of public employees? The lie comes from a source that that has lied before but that hasn't stopped conservative bloggers from spreading the lie without mentioning the previous lies of course.

Divide and conquer is what conservatives do.

And they do not do it for the benefit of the common good.

Brett:

You'll know when he's ready to go after the prison guard unions: He'll call out the national guard, and have the prisons surrounded, first, so as to deprive those unions of the power to release their prisoners into the general population as they go on strike.
Oh good grief, Brett. That is one wild-ass paranoid fantasy.

Although I am technically a Wisconsin native, I haven't lived there for most of my life -- but most of the people on my mother's side live there and of course I've visited a lot, so I feel like I have a pretty good feeling for the place.

The idea that Wisconsin prison guards would release the prisoners if they go on strike is utterly preposterous. It wouldn't be the Right Thing to do, and WI culture places a high value on Doing the Right Thing, consistently. It's a very Lutheran sort of conservatism.

Brett, you are confusing Egypt and WI.You are writing in bad faith and trying to confuse us as confused as you are. But you are believer anyway, no fact can persuade you anything.

Btw, republicans will never undermine enforcement part of the government as long as they enforce it against lower classes. If they do enforce the law against rich and powerfull as Elliot Spitzer was doing to Wall Street then that is another matter.

"and Marty, not meaning to discount your opinion, but Texas might as well be Mars when we talk about the issues in Wisconsin"

I am not sure why you singled me out but I welcome input from Wisconsin also????? I think early on i noted that this is a very different discussion in many right to work states.

GOB,

And I agree with those who have pointed out that public sector unions have not gotten their pay and benefit packages through arms-length negotiations but rather by supporting politicians who promised such in their campaigns in return for support. Not good.

bobbyp has already eviscerated this argument above, but I'd just like to reiterate that when the Republican Party quits acting at the behest of corporate lobbyists and contributors it can complain about this.

Until then, it's laughable.

"bobbyp has already eviscerated this argument above, but I'd just like to reiterate that when the Republican Party quits acting at the behest of corporate lobbyists and contributors it can complain about this."

You guys are just as bad, used to not be a good argument here.

I suspect the prisoners, in collusion with Wisconsin's Kochsucking Republican Party will take the guards hostage, and begin torturing and killing them.

The prisoners, having connections among the ordinary citizenry, believe the guards and their families have it too good, too.

The Governor will send the National Guard in, and under the ruse of rescuing the guards, release fatal indiscriminate violence against everyone but the Republican/libertarian ringleaders among the prisoners, who will reappear soon after "in the community" as Republican candidates for political office, security details for Governor Walker, Brietbartian pimps at local Planned Parenthood facilities, and as homemade alatle craftsman at the local gathering of the camouflaged, non-breast-fed fat f*ck brigade deployed at the nearest taxpayer-financed public park.

Yet more news heard first at Obsidian Wings.

Hey, let's use our imaginations.

Countme
You are just a decade ahead of the present. No worries, you will be called a prophet on the internet when it happens, for all 5 ooo internet users.

Brett: He's acting in good faith by doing what he told voters he'd do.

This is not a trick question: can you find me an example of Walker saying that he would (selectively) eliminate the bargaining rights of unions from this most recent gubernatorial campaign? 'Cause that was news to me, and most other folks.

well it's not like the unions didn't know he was coming

Can you find where he said he wouldn't? Because that's what you'd need to do to prove bad faith. Which consists of more than doing something your political opponents don't like... It would require doing something you'd given people reason to believe you wouldn't do. Who is surprised by what Walker is doing? Nobody who paid any attention, that's who.

You are writing in bad faith and trying to confuse us as confused as you are. But you are believer anyway, no fact can persuade you anything.

I'd advise caution in the bad-faith argument accusations. They amount to an accusation of lying. Now, if you've got evidence to support such accusations, please expose them to the light. Otherwise, you should keep this kind of opinion to yourself.

Now, if somebody could explain something, I'd appreciate it: Republicans have a majority in both houses, per the Wisconsin constitution a majority constitutes a quorum, so, why did the Democrats leaving change anything? Is there something that's not being reported?

Brett: Can you find where he said he wouldn't? Because that's what you'd need to do to prove bad faith.

In Wisconsin? No, you don't; it's part of the fabric of our lives here.

To put it another way: everyone expected that if the Republicans won the governorship or the state senate, the unions would get screwed at the bargaining table. This has happened before (notably during the fiascos of 2001-2005) and, though regrettable, is what it is. [I'll note in passing for Marty that the WI unions are actually quite good about accepting cutbacks if they're necessary for the state's fiscal well-being; see the 2003-2005 contract negotiations, for example.] However, what Walker is proposing is radical and constitutes bad faith with the Wisconsin voters: he's trying to remove the bargaining table altogether. [And yes, eliminating the ability to negotiate for anything except salary is tantamount to removing the bargaining table altogether.] If he had been operating in good faith, the least he would have done is announced this fact during the campaign; that he didn't tells me that he knows damn well that this is a radical power-play that the voters of Wisconsin wouldn't have supported had they known it was coming. Bad faith, pure and simple.

There's also the simple fact of bad faith that he's trying to break the unions on the grounds that there's a fiscal crisis while simultaneously cutting taxes on the wealthy. Or, IOW, the fiscal crisis that is so dire that it necessitates cutting the wages of Wisconsin workers by approximately 12% is yet so minor that we can afford to cut taxes on the wealthy by 3-4% (best estimates I've seen). To which I say: bullshit. If this is truly the fiscal crisis Walker says it is, one that requires massive cutbacks and calamities amongst the workers of Wisconsin, it damn well better require similar austerity measures amongst the wealthy. These tax cuts aren't "fiscal policy" in any meaningful sense; they're the autonomic response from the Republican party, a sort of quasi-policy-related belch, that in present circumstances are both unjustified and unjustifiable. Claims otherwise are, in and of themselves, an act of bad faith with Wisconsin voters.

[As an aside: Wisconsin's been in worse budget holes this past decade. Strangely, those previous issues didn't necessitate removing bargaining rights from the unions. Of course, they also didn't necessitate tax cuts either. Strange, that.]

And, for that matter, if this were to be necessary it should apply to all public unions. Which is the third sign of bad faith: if we're truly under fiscal onslaught the likes of which we've never seen, that requires fundamentally re-architecting the landscape of public policy in Wisconsin, then it applies to everyone, not just the unions which inconveniently voted Democratic. Fortunately, this appears to be backfiring: the police and firefighters' unions have rightly perceived this to be an insulting form of divide-and-conquer and seem to be in support of the protests. Here's to hoping they stay that way.

But that's the extent to which I can play this game, which is a truly silly one. It's blindingly obvious that Walker is using the fiscal crisis (one which his tax cuts have worsened, if not necessarily created) to make a radical, transformative power play aimed at enriching his friends and cronies at the expense of Wisconsin workers. It's largely moot as to whether he's been operating in bad faith or whether he's "just" a radical ideologue who likes to screw the little guy; the latter should automatically disqualify him from public office, and frankly polite conversation, regardless of whether he publicly announced that he was a selfish, mean-spirited shit or not.

"....per the Wisconsin constitution a majority constitutes a quorum,"

Well, obviously a majority does not. Not having read the entire Wisconsin state constitution, it strikes me as fairly standard that such rules are set by the bodies themselves, and not set forth in the Constitution. You might look there for your answer.

"well it's not like the unions didn't know he was coming"

Marty,

If Mr. Keuhn's email is taken at face value, then it demonstrates beyond a doubt Walker was acting in bad faith. His campaign asked the unions to cease bargaining until he could take office and 'start new negotiations'. Given subsequent events, it appears reasonable to now assert that the new governor had absolutely no intention of restarting 'negotiations'. He has issued a diktat and widened the scope to include the very reason unions exist, i.e., collective bargaining itself.

This is classic bad faith bargaining in the framework of current labor relations law.

BobbyP, it's actually quite standard that quorum requirements ARE set in constitutions. See the US constitution:

"Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide."

From the Wisconsin constitution:

"SECTION 7. Each house shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members; and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a
smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide."

I had looked there, that's why I was puzzled.

You guys are just as bad, used to not be a good argument here.

GOB took a simple statement of political principle (political actors give support to those who will aid them in achievement of their goals), wrapped it up with standard wingnut fact free over-the-top anti union bias, and you try to tell me what a "good argument" is?

You continue to crack me up, Marty.

Slarti
Talking in bad faith does mean lieing, and also means using a hypothetical false warnings and treat of violence and fear-mongering. Brett used a hypothetical scenario of prison guards releasing prisoners as Walker's reasoning for not including police, firefighters and prison guards in proposed benefit cuts to state employees. That is a false presentation, hence a lie. There are two reasons for Walker not including them in the cuts. 1st- they supported Walker in last election since they are more conservative part of the state employees everywhere.
2nd- republicans love enforcement part of the government like army, police and guards. The reason for that is obvious and it goes both ways. Soldiers and police are on average less educated then the whole and love power. Just like republicans that love power.
As long as the enforcement part of the government is enforcing the law on poor and middle class they will be protected by both parties. But if they try to enforce it on rich and powerful they will be removed. Take for example Elliot Spitzer that was going after the fraud and crime on the Wall Street they got him removed. None of the fraudsters were put in jail after the Wall Street crash.

Brett,

Apparently 20 senators are needed to constitute a quorum, and the GOP has only 19. They need one of the 14 dems present:

http://www.examiner.com/political-buzz-in-national/wisconsin-democrats-find-company-with-abraham-lincoln

Hope that helps.

Talking in bad faith does mean lieing, and also means using a hypothetical false warnings and treat of violence and fear-mongering.

Can you rephrase this, please? I don't understand what you're trying to say, here.

That is a false presentation, hence a lie.

I'm not following you, here. "False" does not equate to "lie".

I am not sure why you singled me out but I welcome input from Wisconsin also?????

Sorry, Marty, was just trying to keep you in the conversation rather than singling you out. You wrote

What? I mean without the epithets or hyperbole. What exactly is it crystal clear he is doing, beyond exactly wg=hat he says he is doing. Which is balancing the budget and reducing the power of the unions.
link

in response to something I wrote (that is was crystal clear what Walker was doing), so I thought it was polite to acknowledge you. Didn't mean for it to come off as a dismissal, just thought that the TX-WI comparison really was a good example of how things vary from state to state.

I mentioned my ties to WI in this comment but that was in another thread, but in my head, I may have thought I was making a clearer statement about the impact of differences in culture on the state level than I was.

Again, sorry if you felt I was singling you out, that wasn't my intention.

Republicans have a majority in both houses, per the Wisconsin constitution a majority constitutes a quorum, so, why did the Democrats leaving change anything? Is there something that's not being reported?

I think I mentioned above, Wisconsin has a bicameral legislature. The Rs have a 60-30 advantage in the Assembly, but only a 19-14 advantage in the Senate. link Apparently, a quorum for the senate is 3/5, but that is as much math as I'll do here :^)

Thousands of bankers and accountants were send to jail after the S&L crisis when there was a loss of about $250B and 2008 crash brought about $13T ($13T is the total ammount that was transfered to FIRE institutions in US and still not cured) in loss and not one was persecuted for crimes yet and will never.
Bush, Chaney, Rumsfeld and company caused about million of dead Iraqis and 5,000 American soldiers not counting wounded and permanently disabled and nothing happened to them.
Except, Bush cancelled a trip to Switzerland a month ago cause there is a request to be arrested and persecuted for war crimes. He can not travel to Europe anymore without a treat to be arrested. Spain is asking for indictment for Bush because of kidnapping and torture of Spanish citizens, Britain's court is asking for documents on extradition of their citizens to Guantanamo. And so on and on
GOP loves to use the power of the state to protect their benefactors, to enforce anti-abortion laws on women, loves to use the power on illegals but not on employers of illegals. GOP loves to enforce the state laws HA-HA-HA

Brett,

Further investigation: See Article 8, Section 8 of the WI State Constitution. Hope that helps.

http://autonomyforall.blogspot.com/2011/02/semi-apology-about-wisconsins-senate.html

I forgot to mention a lack of empathy that characterizes both GOP and police and millitary.

"Apparently 20 senators are needed to constitute a quorum, and the GOP has only 19. They need one of the 14 dems present:"

See, that's exactly what is puzzling me: The state constitution says that a majority constitutes a quorum, clear as day. Article VI, Section 7, I quoted it above. And the Senate has 33 seats. 19 Republicans, 14 Democrats, adds up to 33. A majority of 33 is 17, which is two less than 19, and conspicuously NOT 20.

The link you gave said the state constitution says 20, but http://legis.wisconsin.gov/rsb/unannotated_wisconst.pdf>here's the state constitution, and it says "majority", not 20.

I've no doubt at all that 20 votes are actually required, but I can't find a convincing explanation as to why.

And this by Slarti

I'd advise caution in the bad-faith argument accusations. They amount to an accusation of lying. Now, if you've got evidence to support such accusations, please expose them to the light. Otherwise, you should keep this kind of opinion to yourself.

is something I agree with completely, and is one of the reasons why I've been trying to engage Brett and others with what precisely would allow us to say 'Walker is operating in bad faith'. If talking about that gave a green light to anyone to take those examples and apply them to commentators on this site, it wasn't intended.

Anarch gives a reason why one can argue that Walker is operating in bad faith, and crithical tinkerer refines his argument to people who voted for Walker, but I'd remind him (and everyone else) that Brett didn't vote for Walker, so I'd appreciate it if we kept the discussion of bad faith to describing Walker's actions. Perhaps that is a line too finely drawn, and if it is, I'll take the blame for trying to draw it here.

'GOB took a simple statement of political principle (political actors give support to those who will aid them in achievement of their goals), wrapped it up with standard wingnut fact free over-the-top anti union bias, and you try to tell me what a "good argument" is?'

bobbyp:

The distinguishing attribute of public sector union support for electoral candidates is that after they are elected, they become the union members workplace boss, and since they want the union support for the next election, they will enact or support enactment of laws and/or rules beneficial to the union members and, consequently, to themselves, but which may very well be detrimental to the taxpayers and the state's fiscal soundness.

is something I agree with completely

Thanks for that, lj.

I'm all for backing up the bad-faith accusation made against Walker, but IMHO that same kind of accusation made against another commenter (Brett, in this case) is doubly in need of substantiation.

Brett, this post references Article 8, section 8, which is

Vote on fiscal bills; quorum. Section 8. On the passage in either house of the legislature of any law which imposes, continues or renews a tax, or creates a debt or charge, or makes, continues or renews an appropriation of public or trust money, or releases, discharges or commutes a claim or demand of the state, the question shall be taken by yeas and nays, which shall be duly entered on the journal; and three-fifths of all the members elected to such house shall in all such cases be required to constitute a quorum therein.

In this post from a conservative site, the writer is arguing that what is necessary to recall one Dem senator, which would then give the Republicans the majority they need. I find the comments quite revealing as well.

Drat, bobbyp wins the competitive Googling elimination round in this thread, which will make him eligible to compete against Gary. (hint, stay away from the Nixon/Watergate category)

Ok, article 8, section 8, which I missed on my first read through, not expecting the quorum to be in two places. that explains it, thanks.

I support the idea that the Governor should declare the missing senators to have abandoned their office, give them a period to return, and declare a special election. It would take a court action to stop such a process and the missing senators would need to show their face in Wisconsin.

"and crithical tinkerer refines his argument to people who voted for Walker"
lj, this is my statement

"Brett used a hypothetical scenario of prison guards releasing prisoners as Walker's reasoning for not including police, firefighters and prison guards in proposed benefit cuts to state employees. That is a false presentation, hence a lie."

which described what Brett did state here previously:

Brett:"It's a tactical inconsistency, it's not a very good idea to have the police going on strike at the same time that the prison guards have thrown the doors to the prisons open and walked off."

This was Brett's statement about why Walker did not include prison guards and police in cuts to state employees. Somehow Brett knows what is on Walker's mind.
This is a treat of consequences that are totaly hypothetical and false. A threat of released prisoners, a fear-mongering. This is what happened in Egypt recently. And again Brett and you Slarti are acting in bad faith.
Slarti:" "False" does not equate to "lie"."
Slarti, have you ever heard of Verbal Fallacies?

Slarti, have you ever heard of Verbal Fallacies?

Was that a rhetorical question, or were you accusing me of something? I'm not sure how that was in any way a response to my statement.

A Day in Life of Joe Republican
by Mark Halperin
http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/talk/blogs/the_coloured_european_observer/2009/10/a-day-in-the-life-of-joe-repub.php


Joe gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards. He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and work as advertised.

All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now Joe gets it too. He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs this day. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo; His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained. Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medicals benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some liberal didn’t think he should loose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

Its noon time, Joe needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FDIC because some liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his life-time.

Joe is home from work, he plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive to dads; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electric until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification. (Those rural Republican’s would still be sitting in the dark)

He is happy to see his dad who is now retired. His dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to. After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home.

He turns on a radio talk show, the host’s keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. (He doesn’t tell Joe that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day) Joe agrees, "We don’t need those big government liberals ruining our lives; after all, I’m a self made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have".

So, all y'all who think that, if the public employee unions get collective bargaining, the taxpayers should get to vote directly for the level of pay and benefits: Do you also think the public should get to vote directly for the salary of the Governor and the Legislature? If not, why not?

"...which will make him eligible to compete against Gary."

I don't know how you would spot points, goals, or strokes in such a competition, but against Gary I would need a number that approaches infinity.

The distinguishing attribute of public sector union corporate and business support for electoral candidates is that after they are elected, they become the union members workplace boss lackeys of private whim, and since they want the union their wealth benefactor's support for the next election, they will enact or support enactment of laws and/or rules beneficial to the union members wealthy and, consequently, to themselves, but which may very well be detrimental to the taxpayers and the state's fiscal soundness.

bobbyp:

Well, we have a system that allows corporate and business support for candidates as well as union support for candidates, and we can see that those elected legislate favorably toward their supporters. That's what we have going on in Wisconsin, so what's the issue? Collective bargaining for public employees is not a basic human right and not one guaranteed under the US Constitution.


Collective bargaining for public employees is not a basic human right

Coming from one who believes owning a gun -- not self defense, but owning a gun -- is a basic human right (which means it had to pre-date the very existence of guns), I think we can give this all the consideration it's due.

and not one guaranteed under the US Constitution.

Wait, do you believe in the 9th and 10th amendments or not? Can you please make up your mind?

As near as I can tell, the point here is that elections are only supposed to matter when Democrats win them. That's all this is about.

'Coming from one who believes owning a gun -- not self defense, but owning a gun -- is a basic human right (which means it had to pre-date the very existence of guns), I think we can give this all the consideration it's due.'

Did I say that? If I did, I must retract. Self-defense is a basic human right and 'the right to keep and bear arms' is a right guaranteed in the Bill of Rights for Americans.

'Collective bargaining for public employees is not a basic human right and not one guaranteed under the US Constitution.'

If you are having trouble understanding how I can say this, let's clarify. All individuals have a right to bargain for their labor, and to do this collectively, but there is no constitutional requirement that the other party bargain in any particular way. So, whatever state laws may exist addressing collective bargaining may be repealed, as long as that does not violate U.S. law or sate constitution. Tell me if this is incorrect legally, but please be specific.

oops, state constitution

For the results-oriented:

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2011/02/but-i-thought-union-busting-solved-all-educational-problems

"so what's the issue?"

There is none. You have tried twice to assert without any substantiating evidence that the influence of public employee unions on public officials is uniquely inimical to good public policy.

Both times you have been shown this is not the case.

GOB: "So, whatever state laws may exist addressing collective bargaining may be repealed, as long as that does not violate U.S. law or sate constitution."

I fail to see why anybody should respond to this in the manner which you have requested. In all the above comments, not one person has asserted otherwise.

You have successfully argued against an issue that is totally of your own creation. Well done.

'so what's the issue?"

There is none'

So, let's vote!

As near as I can tell, the point here is that elections are only supposed to matter when Democrats win them. That's all this is about.

No, it's not.

In the interests of comity, let me give a quick summary of how the process is supposed to work:

- Prior to the biennium (I think it's supposed to be about eight months prior), representatives of the state and representatives of the union meet to negotiate the union's contract.

- It is impermissible to negotiate next biennium's contract in the current contract cycle. The most that can be done is to promise in a non-binding way that you'll make concessions in the next cycle. This was done by the unions in the 2001-2003 biennium negotiations; they promised, and kept their promise, in the tail end of the 2001-2003 negotiations that they would agree to cutbacks in the 2003-2005 biennium. The reasons for this are complicated, see below.

- Beyond the restriction on negotiating next cycle's contract, everything can and should be on the table: salary, benefits, whatever. There are particular unions and particular benefits that are considered sacrosanct but even those can be put on the table under bad circumstances, see below. The only requirement is that the bargaining proceed in "good faith" as (ultimately) determined by a third-party arbitrator.

- Unfortunately, it's nigh-impossible to prove bad faith. One of the definitions of "good faith" is that the offers on both side of the table should converge towards one another, i.e. each offer should improve. In one of our negotiations (for the 2005-2007 biennium, if I remember right) my union lost its zero-premium health care -- a key benefit, given how woefully underpaid we were in other regards -- because the state not only failed to improve their offers, they made each successive offer worse than the one that came before it. Such is life under the Republicans.

As yet more inside baseball: the Republican negotiators declaimed publicly that this was to save the state of Wisconsin money, it was fiscal responsibility, blah blah blah. However, they admitted privately that this had nothing to do with money: they didn't like us and felt it was a matter of principle to make us pay. Of course, they proceeded to lie and re-claimed fiscal responsibility when we called them on it; such is life under the Republicans.

- Once the bargainers have agreed upon a contract, it's sent the larger group for formal ratification. On the union side, that's the union as a whole; on the state side, that's JCOER followed by the state congress.

- This process should be completed a few months prior to the signing of the new contract. Unfortunately, Wisconsin has been reeling since the catastrophic 2001-2003 biennium, when the contract was signed several months after the biennium was over. The very, very short version: the state Republicans, led by John Gard (then-head of JCOER), tried to renege on the contract that had been approved by the unions and by JCOER when the Wisconsin economy turned sour. They did this by "mysteriously" failing to send the contracts to the full congress for ratification. When called on this, Gard claimed that his office had never actually heard that the contract had been approved by the unions; when a signed affadavit was produced showing that his office had, in fact, received the relevant approval from at least one union (the UW-Milwaukee grad students, god bless'em), he hemmed, hawed and said he'd "have to look into the matter" -- and there the matter died. Such is life under the Republicans.

Anyhoo, the contract cycles have been out of whack ever since then, which is why I have trouble remembering the dates on these things.

To summarize:

* When Republicans win elections, the unions get screwed at the bargaining table. This is expected, and a fine illustration of elections having consequences.

* The Republicans have done so in demonstrably bad faith -- though, I regret to say, we were never able to prove it legally -- so the degree to which we get screwed is problematic, but again, this falls within "acceptable" parameters. Barely.

* However -- and for the love of Christ, please pay attention to this because it's the crucial point -- no-one relevant had ever talked removing the right to negotiate altogether. Even though the Republicans had de facto removed our ability to negotiate on health care premiums in the 2005-2007 biennium, it was a single issue that we could, in theory, revisit once the economy improved. This is different: this is a de jure ability to eliminate our negotiate over some of the most important issues in our contracts.

And to be explicit about what's at stake, many (most?) of the unions have the suite of benefits they do because they're horribly undercompensated in salary. During the 2005-2007 biennium, for example, it was revealed that our union was in the bottom 15% of compensation amongst our peer group even after benefits were taken into consideration. If the Republicans are not forced to negotiate on these benefits, they will screw us. There is absolutely no way in hell that they will EVER offer equivalent compensation in salary to the benefits they will take away. The immediate 12% "pay cut" is only the beginning; historically, when this sort of legislation passes, the consequences get significantly worse in each biennium.

Now, am I personally affected? Not any more; I left my union when I graduated and joined the private sector. [And made 400% more money than I had as a grad student, despite my graduate qualifications being irrelevant. Don't talk to me about public sector employees being overpaid.] But this is bad policy for the state and bad faith with the voters. It's a radical right-wing move to seize power for the wealthy at the expense of the workers of Wisconsin and I could not be more happy that they're getting called on it. I just hope to Christ that we can fight them off long enough, and hard enough, to make it stick; given our past history with these zealots, though, I'm not optimistic.

'In the interests of comity, let me give a quick summary of how the process is supposed to work:'

This seems to be a description of the customary re-negotiation process, which is not what is going on, so would not be in play.

Don't worry, guys, the Teatards -- REPORTING FROM OCCUPIED AMERICA AND FIGHTING FOR LIBERTY -- have a sooper dooper sekrit plan to infiltrate the union rallies and make them look bad.

GoodOleBoy: This seems to be a description of the customary re-negotiation process, which is not what is going on, so would not be in play.

You've misunderstood. All union contracts need to be re-negotiated in each biennium, since contracts cannot be made binding across biennia. What Walker is proposing is precisely to break the existing rules of this re-negotiation, as well as (I presume) any additional negotiations that would ensue. This is exactly what's in play.

Actually, it's worse than I thought. Courtesy of Ezra Klein, here's the summary from the Office of the Governor, with emphasis added:

The bill would make various changes to limit collective bargaining for most public employees to wages. Total wage increases could not exceed a cap based on the consumer price index (CPI) unless approved by referendum. Contracts would be limited to one year and wages would be frozen until the new contract is settled. Collective bargaining units are required to take annual votes to maintain certification as a union. Employers would be prohibited from collecting union dues and members of collective bargaining units would not be required to pay dues. These changes take effect upon the expiration of existing contracts. Local law enforcement and fire employees, and state troopers and inspectors would be exempt from these changes.

This is even worse than I'd thought: the union won't even be allowed to negotiate raises as fast as the benefits the Republicans will be stripping away, since they'll be bounded by CPI.

[I'm a little perplexed by the claim about frozen wages, since that's pretty much what already happens. Maybe it was informal and Walker's trying to formalize it? Either way, eh, that's not a big deal.]

And of course, the last few points are pure union-busting. Collective bargaining units required to re-certify every year? Prohibitions on the collection of union dues? Argue for them on their "merits" if you like, but there's no way in hell one can justify these on the grounds "just trying to close the budget gap".

Morning crithical tinkerer,
I went to bed right after I posted my last, so sorry about the gap and sorry about talking about meta immediately after a comment as fine as Anarch's, but let me address this.

This was Brett's statement about why Walker did not include prison guards and police in cuts to state employees. Somehow Brett knows what is on Walker's mind.
This is a treat of consequences that are totaly hypothetical and false. A threat of released prisoners, a fear-mongering. This is what happened in Egypt recently. And again Brett and you Slarti are acting in bad faith.

As I pointed out, I think that Brett has confused California and Wisconsin, based on an off hand comment by bc. So it is not a question of what is on Walker's mind, it is a question of what is on Brett's mind. I believe that Brett is wrong, but you are confusing wrong with Brett knowing something and saying the opposite. As you point out, False does not equal a lie. As you have no access to Brett's thoughts, there is really no way you can assert that in a way that moves the conversation forward. (I'd also point out that Slarti made no assertions whatsoever about prisons and I am willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that the question of striking prisoners was not in his mind, though again, we have no way of satisfying that bet, absence the invention of mind reading software)

You've also posted a piece by Mark Halperin. Posting it is fine, though a link would have been better, but are we to assume that you are saying that Brett (and Slarti) are 'Joe Republicans'? Because, having interacted with both of them online, there are any number of areas where they differ from what Halperin describes as the standard Republican line. But even if they conformed to Halperin's description to a T, we would be left to guess that this is the connection that you wanted to make, so you are forcing us to interpret what you say. While there is a place for that, doing that when you've just accused the other side of having something on their minds and saying the opposite is likely to cause problems.

This is all a prelude to noting that I think you are a newcomer here (and, if I am not mistaken, the handle sounds like a tribute to Sylvester the Cat?) and so want to welcome you here and assure you that this isn't some sort of hazing the newbie ritual. It's just that the practice that has evolved here is to try and separate out accusations of bad faith against people who are commenting here and speculations about people who we presume are not coming here (like Governor Walker) It may seem like a silly nod to civility that has become (or should become) superseded because of the state of politics and the issues we debate, but it's the way we have rolled here, so I hope you can stay within that as we don't want to chase anyone off. Thanks.

lj

BTW, ROFL:

Only 5 states do not have collective bargaining for educators and have deemed it illegal. Those states and their ranking on ACT/SAT scores are as follows:

South Carolina – 50th
North Carolina – 49th
Georgia – 48th
Texas – 47th
Virginia – 44th

If you are wondering, Wisconsin, with its collective bargaining for teachers, is ranked 2nd in the country. Let’s keep it that way.

As Scott Lemieux adds, This isn’t to say that the lack of collective bargaining explains these poor outcomes, of course, but it is true that the evidence that breaking teacher’s unions improves educational outcomes is somewhere between “exceptionally weak” and “non-existent.”

Slarti:

I'd advise caution in the bad-faith argument accusations. They amount to an accusation of lying. Now, if you've got evidence to support such accusations, please expose them to the light. Otherwise, you should keep this kind of opinion to yourself.
Second the request.

Also, I'd to again remind everyone that the Posting Rules, which may finally get a rewrite Real Soon Now, include this:

[...] Lastly, just a reminder that Left and Right have very broad definitions and that people are going to take it personally if you inform them that of course all Xs eat babies, should they themselves be Xs (or Ys trying to keep things cool).
I don't want to jump down anyone's throat here, but I'd like to ask that people try using the modifier "some" a great deal more than they tend to, which in many cases is not at all.

A good use would be to say that "some conservatives do X" or "some liberals do Y," or even "many conservatives/Democrats/liberals/libertarians/leftists/Republicans/breatharians do Z," rathr than blanket statements that declare that all conseratives/liberals, etc. do X.

It's just not true, and it's not a lot of trouble to use modifiers such as "many" or "most" or "some" or others, rather than to go with blanket condemnations that wind up insulting everyone who identifies in any way with a group, and yet is not, in fact, a cardboard cut-out for the most extreme lunatics of the Other Side, nor a substitute for our favorite Hate People.

If people could give such modifiers a bit of a try, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks.

I'm not sure it says anything about *breaking* teachers' unions; Those are all right to work states, did they EVER have collective bargaining for public employees? IICR, such unions were illegal basically nation-wide not so long ago.

Way back upthread I asked:
Is there a better definition of "conservative" than "hates labor unions"?

This rhetorical question, I now recognize, was asked in bad faith. "Hates" implies that I can read conservatives' hearts, for one thing. And anyway, it's wrong to imply that conservatives don't hate other things as well.

So I curse, detest and abjure my previous heresy. It is merely an accident, a coincidence, a chance correlation, that those among us who call themselves conservatives (or at least, have never called themselves liberals) should be so unanimous in their reasoned, good-faith support of Gov. Walker's position. I cannot read their minds, or their hearts; only their words. Not a one of them has written the words "I'm conservative because I hate unions", or even the words "I hate unions because I'm conservative". It was very wrong of me to imply, even rhetorically, that ANY conservative hates unions, let alone that ALL of them do.

E pur si muove.

--TP

lj
I am not really a newbie here, probably have been posting here before you were. I was here before Hilzoy left, just posting intermittently but reading constantly.
I wasn't black and white worldview as i am now but there are reasons for that.
I am from Croatia where all this that is happening here right now happened in Croatia before the war. All the same things after economy collapsed there but in slow motion. I see the party in power that caused the economic crash is blaming the victims and playing divide and conquer. I see destruction of the country played by the Powers That Be using the believers to do their dirty work. They believe that they will enjoy the pie once they win. I am sure that they know in the back of their mind that something is wrong with their beliefs but can not let go since they already stepped into it. I had a chance to be married with a Narcissistic personality disordered person that is doing and acting the same way republicans act. Blame the victim and project your guilt onto the "enemy". No amount of the facts can change a believers mind. Total lack of empathy.
I know that i am very aggressive and that it will contribute to more animosity, but my principle was to always protect the weak and powerless and to never trust the power. Seeing how GOP is attacking the poor and weak i have to take the stand and that attack is more and more organised and strategical leading towards Fascism i have to try to stop it. They are destroying everything that created this country, that created the middle class: FDR's New Deal and Unions.

GoodOleBoy:

Collective bargaining for public employees is not a basic human right and not one guaranteed under the US Constitution.
And almost no laws are guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution: that's what we have legislatures and laws for. Which is what's under argument: what laws the legislature in Wisconsin should pass. Not whether the constitution of the United States compells all laws in all states. Someone as interested in federalism as you are surely understands this distinction, as well as, of course, the 9th Amendment:
Amendment 9 - Construction of Constitution. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

And the 10th:
Amendment 10 - Powers of the States and People. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

. You ask:
That's what we have going on in Wisconsin, so what's the issue?
The issue is whether public employees should have a right by state law to collective bargaining or not.

People are certainly entitled to different opinions on this, but that's the answer to your question, I believe: that's the issue.

[...]So, whatever state laws may exist addressing collective bargaining may be repealed, as long as that does not violate U.S. law or sate constitution.
That's correct. And what the state law should be is what is under debate.

I am from Croatia where all this that is happening here right now happened in Croatia before the war.
We all analogize for our own experience -- that, and our acquired knowledge, and abilities to extrapolate, and imagine, are all we have.

Nonetheless, this is not Croatia, the things that happened there are not happening here, and if you wish to analogize, I suggest that you be as specific as possible, and not make statements that are so generalized as to be unhelpful in communicating what points you wish to make.

I understand now that English is not your first language, so I'll try to take that into account, but nonetheless: please be specific, and discuss actual events here in America. That you think you see generalities in Croatia being reproduced in ways you vaguely describe as generalities in America is not communicating a useful argument.

It's only communicating the fact that you believe you see commonalities, and that you want us to believe that some commonalities must therefore lead to similar events in America as took place in Croatia. This is so vague as to not be helpful in communicating other than that you have strong opinions which you haven't articulated.

If you "see" things, then give citations to specifics. You use constructions such as "They believe that" when you can't know what other, unnamed, unspecified "they" believe, both because you haven't specificed who "they" are, and even if you did, you are not capable of knowing what other people believe. You can only give us cites to quotes of what they've said, and reports on their actions. Please try sticking to those, and then make arguments based on those.

Thanks.

If anyone wants to buy pizza for the crowd at the capital in Madison the number is 608 252 9248 Over one thousand pieces have been given out now by the fortuate pizza point that is located right next to where the protests are! The pizza folks are keeping track of where the orders come from and they just got an order from Egypt.

I am not going to take back or modify what I said about the Republican party and its supporters. The pattern has been repeated now over and over for thirty years. Real people are getting screwed over by the Republicans. I'm sick of it and don't feel like being nice about it.

Here's one of those public employees who should have to sacrifice to balance the state budget screwed up by the Repubicans of Wisconsin: a freind I've known since high school who supports her adult developmentaly disablled daughter. My friend has been a steady employee and taxpayer all of her adult life. She spends her money on things that support other business around where she lives. She ahs a modest house, an old car, saves what she can, and helped put three kids thorough college. She's been a good citizen. But I guess none of that matters as much as creating a deficit by cutting taxes and then scapegoating public employees.

Those state employees are not theoretical people. They aren't stereoptypes. They aren't for god's sake over paid! They aren't any of the lies made up to justify screwing them over to balance a budget mess that the Repubicans of Wisonsin made. It's a shame that anyone is trying to rationaiize their way to support for Gov. Walker's attack on their ability to negotiate wages with the state. Shameful.

To crithical thinker: thank you for joining us. While I know some may feel that accusations of a slide into fascism in the U.S. are extreme, I have to believe that CT knows a thing or two about what he's talking about given where he comes from.

Beating up on people we don't like and feel little for certainly isn't an exclusively American trait, and I don't happen to feel that GOB is mean-spirited through-and-through; but even a cursory run-through of the rhetoric over the last 30 years of American politics, and certainly the last 10, have undeniably yielded a level of rhetoric on the right that, at times, approaches that of Victorian England, or even Franco-era Spain - ideas of the poor as somehow morally bankrupt, with a synergy of money and power and a religious veneer more in tune with fascist religious regimes far more than what some conservative Americans would be comfortable with, if they truly though clearly about what they parrot from the right-wing media.

So if some find this distasteful, think of it this way - it is less so comapred with what is regularly served up nightly on Fox News, or in the rolling pages of right-wing blogs, or Ann Coulter whispers in her bedtime prayers.

It's also frightingly more plausible than we're comfortable thinking is possible in America.

Phil... about those rankings.

i assume they came from here (1999 scores, no less). now, i'm no statistician, so could someone explain how the sum of the positions of two unrelated rankings (SAT, ACT) means anything ?

on the other hand, and in this century, SAT by state for 2009 shows NC @ #39, while Hawaii and Maine take 49 and 50. with NY @ 46.

WI is #2, which is great for WI. but only 3% of WI students take the SAT. and in general, the more kids that take the SAT, the worse a state does. the real winners in the SAT scores rankings appear to be the new england states which only place in the middle of the rankings but all have very high participation rates.

Gary
What you ask of me will demand at least 600 pages to fulfill. It includes historical conditions, mass psychology, peer pressure and small community relationships.
I cam to the US after the war in Croatia but i was still confused with question: How the civil war was possible? During college courses i learned what is the most basic condition for war, Any war to start. It is that one side think of other side as not human, and my question was answered, everything fell in place.
The most recent and well known example of that is in Rwanda where Hutu that controlled the power and media called Tutsi cockroaches(not human). That was a precondition for Hutu not to feel the guilt when they kill another cockroach(Hutu). The same analogy happened in Germany with Aries and Jews. The same is happening now on Fox where liberals are presented as nazy, unamericans and enemy of democracy. It is all about the media and who control it. Media where truth is not objective, where truth can not come out and be presented. Today's US media is about extremes that will catch the eye and keep the viewer occupied on that Chanel, the truth is shunned as not interesting. All those so called journalists abdicated their constitutional assignment to keep the check on the power. The most clear example of that is leading to Iraq War and even clearer is the Wikileaks. Wikileaks is publishing the pure truth, no opinions there, just citing what someone else wrote and unedited videos. Pretty much 95% of the mainstream journalists attacked it as terrorists and the enemy of the US. Wikieleaks is doing what the media is supposed to do but abdicated for their jobs at private corporations. Only one is MSNBC that is partially there, still doing its job, Fareed Zakaria and Ali Welshi.
The government under the Bush already set up the system for non-judicial persecution of terrorists and Obama only strengthening it and enlarged. Many of those terrorists can not be persecuted in court because there is no sufficient evidence against them. Majority of those are sold by Afghanis for $5,000 reward. Glenn Greenwald describes all this in every detail and reference you ask of me. Many examples of neighbors selling the person they had a grudge with or envy of their property to the law enforcement under false pretense. The people sold that were second class citizen like Jews in Nazi Germany and had standing as immoral and enemy of the state like on both sides in Croatia.

The reason Glenn Beck is crying about (non-existent) FEMA camps is knowledge of what they are supposed to be used for, but now that the "enemy" is in White House and controlling it is a cause for alarm. He is projecting their intentions for dissenters.

Next step is total control of all branches of government. GOP controls the Supreme court(proof is Gore-Bush and Citizens United, mind boggling decisions)and Congress. In 2012 will be total completion of control. Last defense is unions as the last institutional base working for democrats. GOP destroyed ACORN which was a very important part for Democrats, important for registering voters and push to vote. And now it is turn on unions.
It is a concerted and well oiled (money) effort that is years in the making. I know it is planed because it was planed in Croatia but visible only after it was all over. True planers are not visible in public or on the media. Visible ones are true believers who do not know where will it end.

'That's correct. And what the state law should be is what is under debate.'

Gary:

I appreciate your elaboration. However, I'm not under any misapprehensions regarding the constitution, state law, or what is going on in Wisconsin.

The fact is, nothing is under debate in the Wisconsin senate because they do not have a quorum. If the missing senators will return to Madison, then the proper debate and vote can take place. This is what we call civil order in a nation of laws. Once the vote is taken on the proposed statute, those who disagree may begin whatever work they need to do to change that result.

"A nation of laws"?

After Bush v. Gore? After torture? After warrantless wiretapping? After no prosecutions of the perpetrators of the financial collapse?

That we still have a nation of laws is a fantasy. It has come down to "whatever you can get away with." It's about time the Democrats took this to heart.

'That we still have a nation of laws is a fantasy. It has come down to "whatever you can get away with." It's about time the Democrats took this to heart.'

All who agree this is the path that should now be taken may chime in.

Here you can hear from another person that went trough and seen things as i did. The person that survived Nazi Germany.

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/george-soros-fox-has-imported-methods-geor

GOB: The fact is, nothing is under debate in the Wisconsin senate because they do not have a quorum.

This is a very reasonable point under one interpretation of "debate". It is disingenuous sophistry under a different interpretation.

In normal life, debate is discussion for the purpose of persuasion. I'm not familiar with the WI senate, but if it's anything like the US senate as I've seen it on C-Span2, then "debate" means something very different there from what it means in normal life.

Far be it from me to suggest that GOB is aware of that fact. Still, it IS a fact.

I can say without fear of contradiction that I have never seen a US senate "debate" which resulted in any senator changing his or her mind due to anything any other senator had to say on the senate floor. Senate "debate" is a series of speeches, not a discussion. It's a formality to be dispensed with before senators vote as they intended to vote in the first place.

From all I have heard or read, none of the WI senate's 19 Republicans are in doubt about which way they'll vote. They are not pining for a healthy discussion with the 14 Democrats to help them make up their minds. All they want is a quorum so that they can get past the formalities and pass Walker's bill.

In the US senate, 40% of senators can prevent passage of any bill they dislike without having to skedaddle out of DC. Reading between the lines, I gather the WI senate doesn't have quite the same filibuster rules as the US senate. If it did, the WI senate Democrats could take the same honorable route as the US senate Republicans have taken about 100 times in the last Congress, without all the fuss and bother of a road trip.

Filibustering with your feet, like the WI senate Dems are doing, may be less dignified than the way US senate Republicans do it, but it's functionally equivalent. I will not presume to suggest that GOB would ever condone either kind of filibuster.

--TP

CT,
Please let me start off by apologizing, I honestly thought you were a native speaker, so please don't take any comments I made about the spelling of your handle as an attack on your English.

I appreciate your discussion of your background and the fact that you have been around here for a while. I would be very interested if you brought your experiences to a guest post here, so please consider it.

Having said that, I think that ObWi differs from Croatia in one key aspect, in that we are trying to talk to each other here. (perhaps there were attempts of Croatian-Serbian dialogue, perhaps you feel that they simply accelerated what happened, but if that is the case, it serves us here to lay that out) The communication here is imperfect and people, from time to time, leave because they don't see the point, but nonetheless, it's the way this place has developed, as you must know if you have been here since before Hilzoy's departure.

There is one point that I cannot emphasize enough. That is that Marty, Brett, GOB, and others are not Fox News and are not Glenn Beck. You can't hold them responsible for what is said on Fox or by Glenn Beck unless they actually come out and state agreement.

Your observation that civil wars begin when one side is unable to see the humanity of the other side is one I agre with. By drawing the lines of responsibility so strictly here, we are trying to make it possible to see the other side as human. Making Brett and others simply kneejerk representatives of Fox News is a way to deny them their humanity and it is something we want to avoid. Tempers still flare and we can all say enough things and have enough beliefs that we can be mad at each other with little trouble. And people have noted that this line drawing can be too restrictive and and others claim that it is too loose, often at the same time. But sometimes, it is really all that we have.

"Filibustering with your feet, like the WI senate Dems are doing, may be less dignified than the way US senate Republicans do it, but it's functionally equivalent."

Aside from, you know, being something like illegal, in as much as the federal constitution, and most state constitutions, prohibit it, and permit the use of force to bring fleeing legislators into the chamber. Which is why the Wisconsin legislators fled to another state, to be beyond the reach of their own police.

The filibuster is an act within the rules of the body, whether or not it might be better if the rules were otherwise. The "filibuster with your feet" is prohibited by the rules of most legislative bodies. People who write laws, and expect to be taken seriously, really have to at least pretend to care about the legality of what they do...

Oh, and thanks for the defense, Gary, LJ. I am actually quite atypical as conservatives go, being an atheist and so forth. I'm quite used to having people on the left ignore what I've actually said, and respond to me as though I'd conformed to their internal model of a conservative, but it never ceases to be annoying.

more on those SAT scores.

I sometimes think the most terrifying thing about a government shutdown, from a liberal perspective, is prospect that a lot of people might not notice it. And then might notice that they didn’t notice it…

- Brett Bellmore, commenting at The Reality-Based Community, only three short hours before complaining about people arguing with the imaginary Brett in their heads.

tp,

As I presume someone has determined it is illegal, (a misdemeanor?, civil offense?), I am really no more upset about their delaying tactics than I would be over a filibuster.

The peoples business will eventually get done. Either way. But next time we talk about the filibuster let's recall that when "your" side (you being whichever side) is doing it) is filibustering it always seems to be for the best and noblest reasons.

Still going on?

The Less Discussed part of Walker's Wisconsin Budget fro Mike Konczal of Rortybomb. 16.896

"The bill would allow for the selling of state-owned heating/cooling/power plants without bids and without concern for the legally-defined public interest." ...Konczal

Koch Brothers are of course, big in energy. Koch Brothers financed Republican pols in WI.

Ok, so you have a political party that once in office sells off public utilities and other public goods. Among countless other atrocities.

I honestly don't think Republicans should be allowed to run for or hold political office in America anymore. The consequences of nostalgia for the no longer effective forms of liberal democracy are too catastrophic, possibly irreversible, and more catastrophic than civil war

But next time we talk about the filibuster let's recall that when "your" side (you being whichever side) is doing it) is filibustering it always seems to be for the best and noblest reasons.

Marty, that is not only a poor defense, but it's no defense at all, like any tu quoque. And, obviously the reasons you do it do matter, don't they? You aren't a postmodernist are you?

But I also would note that you're demonstrating how to take the analogy too far: howling about recent filibusters in the Senate is pretty different from this situation. How often did the GOP use the filibuster in the last congress? You know, the one that served with the newly elected Democrat/Negro person? Well over a hundred - 116 in one year, I believe. Quite a lot of the 'people's business' didn't get done; Republicans filibustered bills they had formally been in favor of - or had even come up with themselves (what conceivable noble reason is there for that?). OTOH, how often do state reps walk out of the statehouse, in WI or in any state? I can think of one instance in recent memory (TX).

All that said, I'd say it doesn't look good for those unions on this issue. We'll see, but their odds don't look too good. The upside is that people are pissed off, as well they should be. Maybe there will be a little more organized, public acknowledgment of the class war has which has been waged against working and middle class people for many years. Overreach sometimes has an upside.

Brett: As near as I can tell, the point here is that elections are only supposed to matter when Democrats win them.

Oh come on now, in the very first comment on the thread I took the Cheeseheads to task for voting for Walker and his co-republicans in the legislature (I did use the technical term "schmucks") and that they're going to have to live with the consequences until next time.

Same thing for people nationally for electing (directly or indirectly) the Great Orange Satan (or is that Kos?) as Speaker of the House.

From the bill McManus cites:

16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).

Seriously, who the hell here wants to continue defending Walker? The man is a carpetbagging sleazeball.

Here are my questions for all of the folks who think public sector employees should STFU, take what Walker wants to give them, and smile.

The average salary of a schoolteacher in WI is $48,733.

Average per capita income in WI is not quite $37K. That's total state personal income divided by total population, not divided by workforce.

Other average incomes in WI can be found here. Teachers make, on average, a little less than an RN, a lot less than a construction project manager or a mechanical engineer, way way less than an IT project manager, but more than a retail store manager.

How much should a teacher make? How much should a state cop make? A fireman? A court clerk?

The conservative agenda is to treat the efforts of working people as a pure, fungible commodity, to be bought and sold on a market like carrots, televisions, or tube socks.

People's labor is not a fungible commodity, analogous to carrots, televisions, or tube socks.

If Walker has his way, the people of WI will end up with all public services either sold off and provided by private entities, or by whatever public employees are willing to work for whatever bottom-scraping crap wage the great Republican minds of WI deem to be sufficient.

In the first case, they will get exactly the services that those private entities find sufficiently economic to provide, and not a f**king ounce more.

In the second case, they will get exactly what they pay for, which is the minimum.

And Wisconsin will suck. The schools will be crap, the roads will be crap, police fire and emergency provider response times will be crap. Crap, crap, crap.

Wisconsin will be on its way to being just like freaking Mississippi, only colder.

And Mississippi is a lovely place in its own way, I'm quite sure, but in terms of its public life and institutions is bloody sucks.

The blanket statement I am completely comfortable saying about the Republican party is that they have no respect or regard for public institutions or public life. None. I agree with McManus that they ought not to be allowed to run for or hold public office, but unfortunately that's neither my call or his to make. People vote for them, so there they are.

And no, I'm not trading in our currently crappy liberal democracy for whatever stupid Animal Farm would flow from trying to prevent stupid, anti-social political actors from doing stupid, anti-social things.

And yes, I've actually been in the streets in fairly recent memory, so it's a purely academic question to me.

I have no idea how things will turn out in WI. It may be that Walker will prevail. If so, the state of WI will be that much sh*ttier a place to live, and the people who live there can thank all of the jerks who thought it was a great idea to stick it to those latte-drinking liberal do-gooders in Madison.

I live in New England, and I'm glad of it. We have our flaws, and in great number, but as of yet we haven't taken to letting the governors of our states sell off power plants to their buddies. If we head that way, you can bet your @ss I will be putting in face time at the capitol.

Nuts. Don't know what's up with the links, so here are the URLs.

State annual income tables:
http://www.bea.gov/regional/spi/default.cfm?selTable=summary

Average salaries for a sample of WI professions:
http://www.payscale.com/research/US/State=Wisconsin/Salary

Average teacher salary in WI (this has it at $46+):
http://teacherportal.com/salary/Wisconsin-teacher-salary

And "so it's a purely academic question to me" should be "so it's *NOT* a purely academic question to me". Seeing your reflection in a cop's mirror shades is interesting.

Brett, Slarti
I apologize for being overly antagonistic and aggressive toward you personally and i am in awe of you guys being able to persist and contribute to what is in general a liberal blog site. Opposite view forces the other side to dig for more support of any view and strengthen the knowledge. That's what makes this site so precious and full of informations and kept me coming back for years. I was a bit outside of deductive reasoning rules that i tried to keep for long time when it comes to responding to arguments that do not apply to the present situation. My views of GOP actions are not changed by my apology.

LJ
Thanks, i do not feel that your apology to me is needed but it calmed my anxiety. Thanks. Btw, my handle is intentional.
Thank you for the invite to guest post even tough i think i am not capable to do it on my own.


Links fixed, russell, after a few false starts.

Basically you were putting the double quotes before the href, not after the =.

crithical tinkerer:

No need to apologize to me; you haven't wronged me. Or at least, not so that I noticed.

Cluelessness (my own) is its own gift, possibly.

I was wondering about your language skills, and whether you'd acquired English later in life than native English-speakers, but couldn't ask in the middle of our conversation in a way that seemed polite.

Lastly: welcome!

russell: The blanket statement I am completely comfortable saying about the Republican party is that they have no respect or regard for public institutions or public life. None.

I was going to post something along these lines, only I was going to say that there is no respsect/regard among the GOP for "public service," at least not anymore and dating back at least to Reagan. People who work for the government are not viewed as public servants, they are not there because they have a sense of wanting to improve their society through serving it via government.

Instead, they are "lazy bureaucrats," overpaid, underworked, bums who are leeching off the productive hard work of the folks in the private sector. They aren't even a "necessary evil", they're just evil (with certain exceptions).

So, when the GOP does win elections these days, you get what we saw under GWB - people like Monica Goodling who thought their oath was to him, and not to the Constitution and, by extension, the people of the United States. They were there to serve him and his political cronies because, hey, since "government doesn't work" anyway, we might as well use our positions to enrich ourselves and our friends, by things like allowing the executive branch to sell state assets "with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state."

Are the Democrats perfect? No. Are they just as bad or worse in some ways? Yes. But I don't get the general sense from them that they have abandoned the general notion of public service with respect to working for and in government.

Feh.

Russell
there is also a fight to destroy anything socialistic in this country under a ruse of free capitalism. The real reason is that the states are out of money and they do not want to come clean. Both parties were spending on their own constituents in order to be reelected, spending the pension funds or not paying the pension obligations, just like federal policy of taking from SS fund. That is the dark truth on both sides. Both of parties do not want responsibility of paying for it and Dems are intentionally loosing elections in order for other party to take hot potato.
Even tough yearly budgets are not that bad, the projected layouts are crushingly devastating. While GOPs constituency is rich, Dems's is poor and minorities.
But why i am still for Dems is that getting the poor to pay for projected future deficits is just devastating. The economic history of any country can teach us that.
All other talk and arguments do not lead anywhere, but talking about bottom line: " who will pay for the debt?"
Tea party is right about identifing the problem, but totally wrong and devastating about solutions of the problem.
Talking about the bottom line is only way, i repeat, the only way to get the other side to change their mind.
The history proves that getting the lower classes to pay is destructive, while making wealthy to pay for it has double benefits. 1-Taxing wealthy is not damaging to the economy as is taxing the poor, as is damaging to the number of lives lost trough malnutrition and lack of health care.
2-Taxing the wealthy prevents manipulation of the market and political structure.

This is the only matter worth talking about with the other side of this battle.

Slarti
Thank you.
About my English skills. I grew up with two slightly different languages not knowing the difference between the two. Then learned another two languages which is normal in tight environment as Europe. One of them (German) trough school. Before i arrived to US at 27 year of age i had a fairly good English vocabulary trough movies, music and contact with tourists, but no grammar skills, totally absent. One college course of advanced grammar was sufficient to qualify me for English college courses. After that was keeping in touch mostly with natives instead with my countryman that improved my skills.
I was ostracized and rejected by my countryman and Croatian nationals cause i had a big dissagrement about causes of the war and how to proceed the redevelopment of the new country. Twenty years after the war in Croatia my views are becoming more and more mainstream in Croatia, not that i contributed to it in any way. Truth always comes out to surface, but only after much, much damage and suffering caused by lies.

Right out of the IMF playbook, down to the selling off of public assets to benefit the rich elites. A pretty clear indication the U.S. is going third world, or at least the Republican parts.

lj:

"Making Brett and others simply knee-jerk representatives of FOX News is a way to deny them their humanity and something we want to avoid."

I've no doubt that all of the conservatives (with the exception of the occasional drive-by from john t. and other murderous Redrummers) at OBWI, in their varied approaches to conservatism, will provide shelter in their root cellars and attics to crithical tinkerer and other liberals here when the Serbian Becks, Ailes, Limbaughs, Levins, Norquists and the rest of CPAC finally loose the machetes and their other well-fondled and beloved weaponry on their enemies.

I'd be a little more confident in that judgement if so many of the rhetorically violent and secession-minded hadn't been given the privilege of holding high office last November, not to mention permitted to run for office un-effing-scathed, but I guess the prospect of taxes not being raised for eternity was too good to pass up for even the squeamish conservatives at OBWI.

That said, I'd choose to be hold up at Mackinney Texas' because at least a guy would be invited out of his hiding place for cocktail hour, rather than say at Brett's, where I can imagine there would be a quota of alatle-wittling (sp?) to be done weekly in exchange for shelter, though I would be willing to do some filing at McKT's law office, to lighten the load when marginal tax rates are finally permitted to rise, which isn't going to happen except over dead bodies, probably mine.

Meanwhile, what should be done about Beck, et al?

I hope the Tides Foundation and George Soros are very heavily armed.


Excellent point TJ.
That is the same battle being waged in Croatia right now, about selling the public assets (only left are utilities) even tough it is not a requirement to enter the EU, but corrupt government is paying off the debt from arming from scratch during the war. Paying off the debt with inflation doesn't work as it used to work after the WWII. Debts everywhere you turn.

"Seriously, who the hell here wants to continue defending Walker? The man is a carpetbagging sleazeball."

seriously russell, have you read a single sentence on why someone thinks this might be a good idea, or necessary? Have you done any homework? Or have you just worked dyourself into such a tizzy that anything someone writes that you can jump will send you into namecalling histrionics?

I haven't seen one pro or con fact on this bill in this thread. Cons: Koch brothers have somethings to do with air conditioning.

Really? That's the depth of analysis we use now? I mean you could be right, it could be a sweet deal aimed straight at the campaign donors. God knows no Democrat ever did that, like give the unions a sweetheart deal.

Isn't this whole thing just a little overblown? It is great political theater. There are definitely key issues from state workers standpoint. But these issues have been on a pendulum in our country for decades. There are 22 right to work states and the country hasn't dissolved into chaos. They can vote him out in a few years if it doesn't suit them.

He doesn't need defending or pillorying. he is a new Governor implementing his new agenda. Disagre vigourously, but "carpetbagging sleazeball"?. Really?

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