The tea bagger elitists, who collect their Social Security and Medicare, in between attending astroturf sponsored rallies where they are bussed in by the Koch brothers, better really have the number of supporters they claim to have in 2012. Tractors Roll Into Madison, As Wisconsin Readies For The Biggest Protest Yet
Wisconsinites from every background, every religion, every politics and every job have filled the Capitol Square for the past month.
Their message has been clear and unequivocal. They oppose Scott Walker’s assault on working families. They oppose the lawless actions of legislative leaders who are more determined to advance the governor’s political agenda than to respect their colleagues or to serve the interests of the whole state.
[ ]…The tractorcade, organized by the Wisconsin Farmers Union and Family Farm Defenders, will begin a day of rallying at the Capitol that is expected to be the largest yet — and that will signal the determination of Wisconsinites to keep fighting the Walker agenda.
“The governor wants to divide us,” says western Wisconsin farmer Joel Greeno, who will ride his tractor into the Capitol Square this morning. “But that won’t happen. The governor’s got his corporate contributors. But the state employees and the teachers, they’ve got us. Farmers understand that when you cut funding for road crews and schools, our rural communities get hurt. And we’ve been hurt enough.”
Wisconsin workers and farmers will in the words of the tractorcade organizers “Pull Together!” That’s a slogan that recalled the historic organizing of the farmer-labor movements of the upper Midwest, which has their expression in Wisconsin in the Progressive Party that sent Robert M. La Follette Jr. to the U.S. Senate and elected Phil La Follette as governor in the 1930s.
The Right’s plan – exemplified by Fox, Michelle Malkin, FreedomWorks, The Gateway Punk and their assorted miscreants followers have really distinguished themselves by declaring all union members and their supporters “thugs”. Those thugs would be the bed rock middle-America exemplified by guys that protest on their tractors. Teachers, nurses, lawn maintenance workers, and firefighters that protest on weekends. The tea bag’s desire to dis-empower the working class movement – with candy ass heroes like Scott Walker and Chris Christie may have spit in the face of the wrong people, at exactly the wrong time. These people who the Right calls thugs – work, raise families and pay taxes. And they have reached their not going to take this anymore moment. The unions made concessions, only asking to keep their right to bargain – their right to exercise their 1st Amendment rights to free speech and to redress grievances ( you know stuff like class sizes that are too big) and Republicans took those basic human rights and shredded them like so much trash. I would only request the Right to keep it up. It’s like political fuel, Idaho passes Republican bill to curb union rights
The Idaho state legislature approved a bill on Tuesday to strip public school teachers of many of their collective bargaining rights while protesters in five states rallied against Republican efforts to curb union power.
The Idaho bill, which excludes issues like class size and workloads from negotiations for the state’s 12,000 unionized teachers, was given final approval by the Republican-led House and is expected to be signed by Republican Governor Butch Otter.
I have some sympathy for the desire to rework the seniority and merit provisions of some teacher contracts. That is something that can be done via collective bargaining, not for Republicans to act like mini-lite versions of Muammar Gaddafi. Nearly Identical Anti-Labor Bills Appear In Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, Other States
David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity group has beefed up its presence in Maine since the election of Gov. Paul LePage (R), a far-right tea party favorite. Meanwhile, Maine’s Republican Speaker of the House hired Trevor Bragdon, the former director of the Americans for Prosperity state chapter in Maine. And Trevor’s brother Tarren is the executive director of the Maine Heritage Policy Center, a conservative state-based think tank with ties to several corporate donors, including Koch Industries. Both Americans for Prosperity and the Maine Heritage Policy Center appear to be laying the groundwork for the same type of anti-labor effort as Wisconsin’s led by Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI).
besides the obvious union busting the common thread to all this legislation is to it has nothing to do with saving state budgets. As Wisconsin unions noted several times, they had agreed to wage and benefits concessions. Walker gave away millions in state revenue to corporations that did not need them. Public Sector Unions Should Have the Right to Collective Bargaining – Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and his colleagues in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Idaho, and Tennessee are wrong in trying to strip workers’ rights
And the absence of public sector unions does not necessarily help balance state budgets, either. Texas, which does not allow collective bargaining and has a very weak union movement, faces a $27 billion budget deficit over the next two fiscal years, a budget deficit similar in size to California’s, but with a much smaller economy.
Governments have budget problems because of the recession, which was caused by Wall Street speculation and not the middle-class lifestyle of teachers. Despite all the rhetoric to the contrary, public sector workers are not overpaid. They make about 4 percent less compared to similar employees in the private sector.
Public sector unions also are not newly powerful. Unionization rates for government employees are roughly the same as they have been for the past three decades. Government employees have already seen reductions in pay through furloughs, and 426,000 state and local government jobs have been cut since August 2008.
In 2012 the usual kool-aid drinkers will swear these anti-democracy governors saved their states money. Public employees, their families and friends will know otherwise. Unions Are Good for the Economy and Democracy
* Without unions, fewer workers get ahead. Shrinking union membership hurts all Americans. Corporations rather than workers are increasingly rewarded for growth in the economy. Long before the current financial crisis began, working families were struggling to make ends meet. American productivity has expanded by nearly 16 percent since 2001, but most of that economic boom bypassed workers, and real wages have remained flat. Corporate profits have meanwhile doubled since 2001, according to Moody economist Mark Zandi. Not since the 1920s has the link between economic growth and the well-being of the middle class been so tenuous. Labor’s decline squeezes the middle class, raises inequality, and undermines democratic values.
Unions are good for the economy. They can help foster a competitive high-wage, high-productivity economic strategy.
* Higher wages are competitive. Critics argue that union wages are too high and make it hard for American employers to compete globally. Yet competitiveness is also linked to productivity, quality, and innovation—all of which can be enhanced with higher wages. Henry Ford found in 1914 that paying employees $5 per day—double the auto industry’s prevailing wage—reduced turnover, allowing him to cut the price of the Model T and increase profits significantly. Ford commented that the $5 day was one of the finest cost-cutting moves we ever made.
“What I love about New Hampshire and what we have in common is our extreme love for liberty,” the potential GOP presidential candidate said. “You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord. And you put a marker in the ground and paid with the blood of your ancestors the very first price that had to be paid to make this the most magnificent nation that has ever arisen in the annals of man in 5,000 years of recorded history.”
In fact, the 1775 Battles of Lexington and Concord that marked the first military engagements of the American Revolution took place in Massachusetts. But Bachmann did not correct her error when she referenced the battles again later in her speech.
If Bachmann, who like every other right-wing conservative, advertises herself as a strict originalists on matters of history and the Constitution, had made just the one gaffe. No big deal. People get hurried and nervous, and mistakes are sure to follow. The problem seems to be that Bachmann and her staff have made the same gaffe twice. They’re genuinely are unaware of the details of the historical event they are using to make a point.
It’s bad enough to be ignorant of this seminal moment in American history. Worse still, Bachmann can’t be bothered to get basic facts straight even as she’s revving up a presidential bid. And she repeats her mistake without any apparent concern for accuracy, nor even an awareness that she’s blathering away in front of an audience that is surely far better informed than she is.
If Bachmann got $250k in government subsidies for remembering history maybe her memory would improve (Bachmann got $250K in federal farm subsidies).
In these tough economic times, isn’t it nice to know that calamitous natural disasters needn’t have an adverse affect on your investment portfolio? After the 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan failed to induce a market nosedive, CNBC’s Larry Kudlow expressed his relief in terms that seemed to appall even his fellow cheerleaders for capitalism: “The human toll here,” he declared, “looks to be much worse than the economic toll and we can be grateful for that.”
Conservatives do have values. They just happen to be the kind of values that place the losses of day-traders over people’s lives.