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Don’t Believe the (Union-Busting) Hype

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Posted on Mar 4, 2011

By Joe Conason

If you are a normal, trusting consumer of American journalism, you might well have gotten the impression by now that the current attempt to break public-sector unions—with its epicenter in Wisconsin—is overwhelmingly supported by the nation’s voters.

You need not be a devotee of Fox News Channel or Rush Limbaugh to believe that Americans despise the unions that represent cops, teachers (especially teachers!) and firefighters. You might reasonably believe that simply because far more authoritative news sources have repeatedly suggested it.

You might think so, for example, because the New York Times Sunday magazine told you so in a cover story written by one of the newspaper of record’s top political analysts last week, or because the Wall Street Journal editorial page said the same thing a few days ago.

But if you believe that the American people are now eager to follow Gov. Scott Walker’s example, in Wisconsin or across the nation, it turns out that you (and those who have misinformed you) are unmistakably and profoundly wrong. For as one poll after another has indicated over the past two weeks, Americans soundly reject Walker’s union-busting gambit.

The polling organizations span the political and journalistic spectrum, from Republican-leaning Gallup and Rasmussen to the Pew Research Center, NBC News/Wall Street Journal and CBS News/New York Times, yet their results are remarkably consistent. While many voters surveyed in all of the polls say that it is fair to require public employees to contribute more to their health and retirement benefits, a clear majority object to any attempt to curtail their collective bargaining rights.

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Asking about the struggle in Wisconsin, the Pew researchers found that 42 percent stood with the unions versus only 31 percent who sided with Walker. The CBS News/New York Times poll was considerably stronger, with 60 percent supporting the right of public employees to bargain collectively and only 33 percent in opposition; those numbers closely matched an earlier Gallup Poll that showed 61 percent supporting labor against the governor.

And again, in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, only 33 percent say that it is “acceptable” to abolish those rights as a supposed way to address state and local budget deficits. Just under twice as many—62 percent—say that eliminating those rights is “unacceptable.”

That finding coincided embarrassingly with a Journal editorial assuring its readers that Walker and his allies are prevailing because “the public in Wisconsin and around the U.S. seems to be listening and absorbing his message. The cause has been helped by the sit-ins and shouting of union members, the threats toward politicians who disagree with them, and by the flight of Democratic state senators to undisclosed locations in Illinois.”

Actually, the vigorous resistance to Walker appears not to have damaged the union cause at all, but to have drawn attention to the gross partisan overreaching of the Republican governor and his corporate friends. In Wisconsin, many voters are now expressing buyer’s remorse over their choice of Walker, and tell pollsters they are evenly divided over whether to recall him.

The ruckus in Madison, which he brought upon himself, has called attention to his budget’s favoritism toward upper-income taxpayers and its destructive impact on educational standards and public safety. Naturally, the good people of the Badger State are starting to wonder whether they cannot do better.

The battle over the rights of public employees—and labor’s future in this country—is far from decided. Indeed, the debate over how to restore the middle class and the prospect of a better future is about to begin again. But the next time a blustering pundit tries to persuade you that some right-wing crusade is trendy or popular, just remember Wisconsin.

Joe Conason writes for The New York Observer.

© 2011 Creators.com


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By kalpal, March 17, 2011 at 9:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When I offer an opinion of America that is not flattering I am asked if I hate this nation so much why don’t I leave?

The refusal to countenance any criticism of this nation indicates a defensiveness that is unrealsitic and unworthy but it is distinctly conservative. It seems to say that America is so great that any uncomplimentary comment must not be permitted to pass anyone’s lips. This country is never in the worng and anything that might seen unjust is simply the fault of the person who believes that this nation can ever be anything less permanently just. Bah humbug!

You knee jerk defensive twerps are are too stupid to keep breathing.

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By Lafayette, March 10, 2011 at 5:16 am Link to this comment

FREE MARKET BUNKUM

BobZ: Yet most American’s know very little about other countries. We have very insular attitudes which manifest themselves in different way usually negative. 

Having been a member of various American Clubs here in Europe, I would say the “challenge” is even more difficult for incoming expats.

Try as I may to explain the “system” and how it works, they get riled. Damn bureaucrats! is the constant refrain.

Many go back thinking that bureaucracy is the devil’s handmaiden and the devil is Centralized Government. In part, this is true. But, incoming expats have to learn, here, why the government has been heavy-handed in control of various aspects of business and transportation and health care and ... the list is very long.

It is for two overarching reasons:
1) Europeans pay much heavier taxes than the Americans, but in return they expect the government to perform properly Public Services. But also to avoid the SubPrime Mess that causes harm to personal wealth in all social categories, but most awfully amongst the poor.
2) Americans have misinterpreted Freedom to mean they can do just about anything they damn well please. But especially in terms of personal accumulation of wealth. Europeans have an ingrained sense of collectivity, that is historical in nature. Americans are more individualists and this is reflected in their attitudes towards the state and Federal governments.

Believe me, however, if you talk to expats who have decided to live here in Europe and ask if they want to come back stateside because they feel that their freedoms have been constrained or denied, the answer is typically “No”.

In fact, the answer is a bit more complicated than just “No”. Expats who live and work in Europe are quite pleased with both the Educational and Health Care systems - the former allows children to pursue their education to their fullest potential at no substantial outlay to the family and the latter avoids personal bankruptcy in the case of serious illness.

So, expat families tend to send their kids back to US universities. Then the children can decide whether they wish to pursue their careers stateside or here. There is no “data” to understand what their choices are, but I do know a great many who, at least in business, return to pursue a career here (where their foreign language skills are appreciated). Yes, the kids tend to be fully bilingual, depending upon in which country they attended primary/secondary schools. Kids pick up languages with amazing facility.

I have known hundreds of expat families over the years. Those that can’t make through the first three years usually go back. Those that stay adapt, find themselves not all that bad-off, and ... enjoy the ride.

Few of the older ones ever think of going back and certainly not because they think that Europe is a worse place to live. America is perhaps a better place to pursue a career since such opportunities are more frequent and there is more mobility. But in terms of overall life-style, Europe is as good as, if not better, than the US.

What Yank expats here do not understand is why Americans remain so attached to such bunkum as unconstrained Free Market Enterprise. Market Economies are an accepted fact in Europe. But no one here takes that concept to the point where it becomes dogma on behalf of generating income unfairly for a select group of the population. (Aka, the plutocrats.)

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By BobZ, March 8, 2011 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

Tomack: Agree with you.

In my salad days, I had many foreign friends, business folks mainly, and they
all had an intimate knowledge of the U.S. including our politics especially. Yet
most American’s know very little about other countries. We have very insular
attitudes which manifest themselves in different way usually negative. In many
cases foreigners know more about our country than we do. We have a lot of
negative stereotypes about others, and think that we are the only country that
has a prosperous middle class and that our ways of doing everything is
automatically better. When Japan was looking about for ways to improve their
health care delivery, that traveled the world looking for the best practices. They
then built their own unique system incorporating these practices. No country
had a monopoly on the perfect way to do things. But what the Japanese found
is that America had no best practices in health care delivery. We have world
class hospitals and world class doctors and other health care practicioners but
our methodology for delivering the care is at the bottom. So we are paying
double what the rest of the world pays because we refuse to admit we have a
bad system. It is one of the worst forms of arrogance and it is costing us
trillions of dollars.

We also have a decaying infrastructure because we only spend 2% of our GDP
on it, less than half of what China and some of the European countries spend.
We have one of the worst rail systems in the world. Our airports are in dire
need of upgrading, and our roads are abysmal.

Loving our country should not mean we are oblivious to its faults, or that we
should leave if we can’t say every thing is just perfect. No country is perfect
including ours.

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By tomack, March 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

Oh, and by by the way way, we have unions to thank for pretty much everything that’s good in life: weekends, reasonable work conditions, the end to child labor, THE SUBURBS for crissakes (although some would argue their worth), Cars, bikes, camping, television, toasters, did I mention weekends? 

The list is actually near endless.

Did I mention weekends? 

How about the simple right to take a lunch break or a bathroom break? How about that?!

Oh, and then there’s weekends. I love weekends.

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By tomack, March 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

And by the way, you SHOULD care what other nations think of us. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but it’s pretty much all one world these days, pal. Get used to it.

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By tomack, March 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment

Call Me Roy is a blog-shill, they’re all over these days. State all manner of shocking (and flatly false) accusations and then run to the next platform. A waste of time for all.

Love it or leave it, indeed. It’s that thinking that causes ALL of our problems. The worst sort of citizen is the citizen who ever believes, all is well. 

I mean, come on! Teachers Unions bringing down the country?! Conspiracies abound…

You want to see a conspiracy? Walker has already signed over $117 million in corporate tax breaks. And that’s before Wisconsin’s budget went bust.

Come on, man!

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By call me roy, March 8, 2011 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

RayLan
Why would you assume that I care what foreign nations think about America? If you hate America so much, leave- and don’t let the door hit you in the ars on you’re way out.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 7, 2011 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

Even at their worst (ie goon and sweetheart) unions protected American workers from the worst excesses of management policies. For example, see how Wal-Mart treats its non-unionized workers in the US versus unionized European workers.

The argument that unions stifle growth is a sham that doesn’t square with the periods of America’s greatest growth and greatest stagnation.

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By Leefeller, March 6, 2011 at 7:15 am Link to this comment

Lafayette, an interesting theory or hypothesis. “doubt everything”, is kind of like my skeptic theory and I try never to place Descartes before the horse! (couldn’t help meself).

Naive seems so polite, plus Grandma for some reason could not pronounce the letter “v”, which I always found amusing as a little kid.

Naive is interesting actually, I can kind of have fun with naive and get behind the word….. For instance Lemmings are naive for following Fox news, the frog crossing the road seems naive hoping the cars will stop for a change.

Okay, I will attempt using naive in my future rants instead of the usual ..stupid, imbecile, and moron plus one must mention idiot. ..... Though, For some reason I think it will dull the fun.

Not sure about the history future, yin yan premise though; dates and events vs facts, after all the Europeans did have two world wars in the short side of half a century.

Doubt everything works for me. I do not know who said question authority, I like that one too!

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By Lafayette, March 6, 2011 at 5:33 am Link to this comment

DOUBT EVERYTHING

Leef: My grandmother who was a foreigner occasionally called Americans stupid

When I first arrived in France - a long, long time ago - I had a refreshing conversation with a French colleague at the time, in which he asked me why Americans were so “naive”.

I was wrong to think he was saying that we were “stupid”. In fact, the words are not the same. That is “imbecile” does mean “stupid”, but “naive” means something else altogether.

It means lacking experience, wisdom, or judgment - which does not mean bereft of intelligence (as stupid does).

That is, Americans ARE an intelligent people - that fact is evident. But, why can they be so politically naive?

I suggest three reasons:
* It’s a generalization, yes, but I figure that whilst Europeans live with history as an albatross around their necks, Americans inhabit the future. (Aside from Dr. Who, you won’t see many sci-fi films coming out of Europe.)
* American schooling treats history in a factual or wrote sense (dates, who done what) rather than analyzing the historical facts. (Which is why it took us 80 years to repeat the Great Depression, but repeat it in highly similar detail we did - thankfully, with a Great Recession that was not quite so debilitating economically.)
* And thus, whilst Europeans cannot see beyond today or tomorrow, Americans cannot seem to learn from past mistakes - or history in general.

The political convulsion we are going through now has the reminiscent stink of McCarthyism, where the Good-Guys were US and the Bad Guys were Them. Just exchange Good-guys for “Patriots” and Bad Guys for “Socialists”. Patriots are “free enterprisers” and Socialists are the “tax ‘n spend” profligates - both shorthand for comforting but vacuous points-of-view.

MY POINT

Why is it that Americans gobble hook, line and sinker the crap that flows from Fox News and other media of this type? You tell me, but it is naive to the extreme. They would not have believed the propaganda from Pravda, would they?

Let’s take a lesson from the Frenchman Descartes: De omnibus dubitandum [doubt everything]. Meaning whether from the Right or the Left, bring it under close scrutiny before swallowing as a belief.

NB

Karl Marx also used the phrase in his works. Note also that, despite his warning, Descartes - in his writing on theology - insisted upon the absolute freedom of God’s act of creation.

Doubting is not necessarily refusal and often provokes further reflection.

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By Lafayette, March 6, 2011 at 4:45 am Link to this comment

JUST THE FACTS, MA’AM*

JC: The polling organizations span the political and journalistic spectrum, from Republican-leaning Gallup and Rasmussen to the Pew Research Center, NBC News/Wall Street Journal and CBS News/New York Times, yet their results are remarkably consistent. While many voters surveyed in all of the polls say that it is fair to require public employees to contribute more to their health and retirement benefits, a clear majority object to any attempt to curtail their collective bargaining rights. 

Good stuff. It is nice to see the facts employed to support an argument, instead of the polemical diatribe so often used in political journalism nowadays.

It would have been nice to see the actual numbers, however, which give a better understanding of the opinion expressed. For instance, consider the Pew Research poll results here.

For instance, it is interesting to note that both Salary & Benefits as well as Working Conditions are highest on the list of priorities for Americans. And the Availability of Good Jobs as well as Compete Globally are lowest.

Or perhaps Americans don’t see the link between Salary & Benefits and the Availability of Good Jobs, which are almost but not quite synonymous?

Anyway, poll results are food for thought; whilst polemics and bitching-in-a-blog are food for puking.

*Repeated constantly by Detective Joe Friday in the original Dragnet series, of which I am old enough to remember. No slight intended to women – as I recall, Friday said it to men as well ... and far more often.

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By ohiolibgal, March 5, 2011 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

The two party system is a sham these days. All the republicans and way too many of the dems are in the tank for the Oligarchy. That’s on top of the political baseline, the so called political center, being way right of where it used to be. Eisenhower and Nixon would be looked on as commie pinkos by the new right wing.

It’s all being enabled by lies (Fox News)and the other MSN entities not probing and questioning like they should = prime example was the pom poms they brought out for the Iraq war.

The good news is that maybe this coordinated overreach by the Koch crew might have awakened enough people to what’s really what.

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By Leefeller, March 5, 2011 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

Call me Roy, A lot more work on the attempted sarcasm…. please!

As a comedian Russ Limbaugh has you beat, guess that’s why Limbaugh makes chump change and belongs to a union,  Limbaugh never lets hypocrisy get in his way.


Yeah Roy! “those “high on the hog teachers” ....what a laugh riot! .... I chuckled on the great line about; ......“Parents trust teachers to instruct their kids and they’re using that opportunity to fill their heads with propaganda and use them for their own purposes.”  ...Those radical teachers!

Next time Roy,..... you may want to throw in some birther jokes just for fun and then finish up with my funny bones favorite;..... “Obama is a Moslem’

It is a great start Roy,.... but you need to do a hell of a lot more work on that sarcasm!

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By Morpheus, March 5, 2011 at 12:30 am Link to this comment

Are you kidding. Repubs are trying to shut the whole country down. The is trick is to shut them down first.

“WAKE UP!”  -  JOIN THE REVOLUTION
Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( http://www.revolution2.osixs.org )

We don’t have to live like this anymore. “Spread the News”

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By Leefeller, March 4, 2011 at 11:56 pm Link to this comment

Raylan this comment reminds me of me grandmaw! ....“No wonder the first word that comes to anybody mind in foreign countries to describe Americans is stupid.”

My grandmother who was a foreigner occasionally called Americans stupid, but for those extra stupid ones, she preferred to use the word imbecile, which she told me means ......stupid idiot! Now that I remember it, grandma predominantly used the word imbecile. 

After reading several exceptionally infamous moronic posters here on TD; not just on this thread:.......If grandma was still alive, I believe grandma would be adding a few colorful expletives after the word imbecile.

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By felixds, March 4, 2011 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment

“Call me Roy” has aspirations of creating some big conspiracy theory with Saul Alinsky, Obama, and Citizen Action of Wisconsin. I think he should come here for a bit and see that this “movement” is taking place in every town and village, in every church and bowling alley and bar and restaurant. In public meetings, in schools at basketball and hockey games. Every single legislator that can be recalled is facing a recall petition as we speak. In 60 years I have never seen the people of this state so passionate. Like it or not Walker has galvanized the state and unleashed a genie that even the Koch brothers can’t help him with.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 4, 2011 at 11:21 pm Link to this comment

Walker is about to do the biggest give-away to big business since Ronald Reagan gave OUR gates at OUR public airports to airlines as a “gift” from you and me.  He’s going to privatize the power plants and, his supporters, the Koch Bros, are ready to buy them for a fraction of what they are worth.  It’s all a big looting game.

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By RayLan, March 4, 2011 at 10:40 pm Link to this comment

@call me Roy
“In Wisconsin, you’ve got teachers closing down the schools via a “sick-out” (Yeah, they really care about the kids they’re teaching).”

So you expect the teachers to sacrifice benefits and equitable pay that any reasonable worker should expect - for the kids - cheap talk - when you’re not a teacher - and actually quite self-centered and disrespectable to the most respectable profession of all.

Teachers are the least paid professionals compared to the rest of the developed world. Really something for the great anti-intellectual USA to be proud of.

No wonder the first word that comes to anybody’s mind in foreign countries to describe Americans is stupid.

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By mrfreeze, March 4, 2011 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment

A prediction:

The Unions will lose in the end.

As much as I’d like to believe regular working people might come together and prevail against the “powers-that-be” (and my friends, Unions have far more enemies than friends these days), the current economic system we have in the U.S. is geared toward lower wages and higher productivity. The corporations hold all the good cards these days…..they have the winning hand. Sorry, but facts are facts.

In the end, once the unions are destroyed, Americans will discover the truth about their corporate masters….and it ain’t going to be pretty.

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By call me roy, March 4, 2011 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment

Who is behind behind Wisconsin protests?

One of the main groups organizing the Wisconsin union protests is a spinoff from an activist academy modeled after Marxist community organizer Saul Alinsky and described as teaching tactics of direct action, confrontation and intimidation.

President Obama once funded that academy - the radical Midwest Academy. He has been closely tied to the group’s founder, socialist activist Heather Booth.

Obama also is closely tied to scores of other radicals behind the Wisconsin opposition protesting Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal for most state workers to pay 12 percent of their health care premiums and 5.8 percent of their salary toward their own pensions.

Walker’s proposal reportedly would save $300 million in the next two years for a state that faces a financial crisis amid a $3.6 billion deficit..

A slew of radical groups and unions have been organizing the protests against Walker’s proposal as well as counter protests to a recent tea party rally in support of the governor’s plan.

Obama’s own political machine has aided in organizing protests in Wisconsin

Counter protests were led in part by radical groups like Veterans for Peace, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and the Workers World Party.

One of the main organizers of the recent Wisconsin protests is a group called Moving Wisconsin Forward. An associated group, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, is part of the Moving Wisconsin Forward movement.

Robert Kraig, executive director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin, has been widely quoted in the media as a main protest organizer and opposition leader.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin, part of a larger national Citizen Action chain, sits in a coalition with Americans for Financial Reform, which is led by Midwest founder Booth.

Indeed, Citizen Action is a spinoff of Midwest Academy.

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By call me roy, March 4, 2011 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment

In Wisconsin, you’ve got teachers closing down the schools via a “sick-out” (Yeah, they really care about the kids they’re teaching). They’re also getting students to march for them, which is disgusting. Parents trust teachers to instruct their kids and they’re using that opportunity to fill their heads with propaganda and use them for their own purposes.
Why all this drama? Because Wisconsin is broke and they’re desperately trying to pay their bills, take back some of the overly generous payments that have been given to unions, and prevent the unions from continuing to break the state’s budget. While everybody else is suffering in a recession and trying to figure out how to pay our bills, the teachers’ unions of Wisconsin want to keep living high on the hog at everyone else’s expense.
America’s education system is in crisis. Test scores show us that students across America are performing at levels far below their peers overseas. In addition to test scores that aren’t up to par, graduation rates are shamefully low. There is no doubt that America’s students deserve better.
In a rapidly changing world, our students are not being taught the basic knowledge and skills they need to succeed. It’s time to get to the root of the problem.
America’s teachers unions — particularly the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers — are the most organized and powerful voices in education politics. These unions continue to block reforms needed to improve our nation’s schools by putting their focus on teachers rather than on the students they teach.
Our education system is in desperate need of reform and it’s time we stop letting teachers unions stand in the way.

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By RayLan, March 4, 2011 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment

It’s hard to tell whether Walker is really stupid or just inconceivably ingenious. As stubborn, arrogant and possibly clever as he may be, I don’t think he will be able to withstand the s-load of national outrage that will be dumped on his wittle head. He will make history as the obstructor of civil rights and democracy, laying people off in the name of economic growth. The lies, I should say stupid lies, being disseminated about teachers only shows the level of white hot desperation this particular right wing gnome has reached.

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By Feathers, March 4, 2011 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment

Why do people join unions?
One word discribes it.—DISSATISFACTION!!

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By zonadude, March 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

We’ve got “The Tea (Baggers) Party. The somewhat invisible “Coffee Party”, for the Lefties. Both are still two heads of a nearly futile exercise in US politics. I’ve had quite enough. I give you my new “grass roots”,“gas roots”, perhaps “ass roots” party;“The Bowel Movement”!

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By zonadude, March 4, 2011 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

We’ve got “The Tea Party”, the lefty, and somewhat invisible “Coffee Party”. They’re all more of the same.
Entrenched in this “two party system”. I’ve bloody well had it to here with all of them. Hence my new “grass roots” or “gas roots”, maybe “ass roots” party, “The Bowel Movement”!

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By StormeeATL, March 4, 2011 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Republicans don’t care about polls anyway unless they favor their ideals. They will just say the usual “you can’t trust or rely on polling” even if it comes from Rasmussen. But if the polls SUPPORT what they say, then of course they are viable. For example, Republicans and their talk masters were crowing about the “overwhelming mandate” of people in the polls wanting to revoke the health care bill - even though that “overwhelming mandate” was a handful of percentage points either way in most polls. But when the a truly overwhelming mandate came out in the polls, often as high as 70% of people not wanting to extend tax cuts for the top 10% of income brackets,nary a Republican or talking head pointed at that mandate - because of course they did not agree with it personally. While Democrats do this to a certain extent as well, Republicans are far more adept and crowning about polls in their favor and poo-pooing ones not in their favor. So don’t expect the union polling to have any affect on them (unless of course it turns to supporting getting rid of collective bargaining rights)

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By bobi6, March 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

And how about that nasty remark from SCOTUS yesterday by Chief Justice
John Roberts that- what the unions are doing in Wisconsin is entirely legal
but went on to say - even if it is entirely repugnant (his choice of words)
to many. Apparently repugnant to the Chief Justice who seems to have
distaste for the law and labor. Lesson he gives us to be sure to win your
case in the lower court because the Supreme Count if not worker friendly

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By felicity, March 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

The middle-class was created (1954) when 35% of the
labor force was unionized - now down to about 12%. 
It’s possible that the majority of Americans thought of
themselves as middle-class, are now in doubt (the
average American family has an income of $3000/month),
and are backing the union in hopes of regaining that
status.

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By Rich Zubaty, March 4, 2011 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

State and local governments are having budget crises, so they are trying to cut the pay of teachers and fire fighters. The reason they are having budget crises is because state revenues are down, as much as 40% in some states. State revenues are down because the economy was destroyed by Wall Street, so people are not working and earning money and spending money, and being taxed on their earnings and spendings, as before. The economy was destroyed by Wall Street fraud.

Therefore, the Wall Street bankers and brokers are the ones who ultimately caused the budget crises. Therefore, the Wall Street faudsters are the ones who should be paying big money to bail out the paychecks of the teachers and firemen and all the rest of us.

Are they gonna do it? Not willingly. Therefore:

Tax Wall Street. Tax the bankers. Tax the brokers. Prosecute them. Throw the big fish in jail. Make them pay back the money they stole from the State and local governments, and from the rest of us.

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By Leefeller, March 4, 2011 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

Of course there are palm trees in Wisconson, just like all Union members are thugs, I always thought of my third grade teacher as a thug!

GRYM needs to check out his Hortus to tell us which variety of plam tree.

Lets hope Joe Conason numbers on supporters is correct, against the Walker screwing of the people routine. Bill Boyarsky’s article on TD seemed to say exactly the opposite, ......the big divide!

Ohio went the Walker way without a whimper, wonder why? People in Ohio are already down and out? Ohio residents are resolved to take it in the shorts, like lowly outcasts in India? Is Ohio already fully integrated in the Republican dumb down program like Texas?

All this manipulating, does take me eyes off the wars, maybe that is the grand scheme?

As one of Truth Digs misanthropic posting morons seems to constantly be asking! ...............Where is the outrage!

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By SarcastiCanuck, March 4, 2011 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well,how abnormal for the majority of American workers wanting a better standard of living and a fair slice of the corporate pie.Now your oligarchs want you to believe that the unions are hurting you.And a large chunk of you believe it and that the rich care if you live,die,go broke or get repossesed.I guess that propaganda shit really works,huh….

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By BobZ, March 4, 2011 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

“I saw that FOX TV recently posted a story about increasing violence (?) in
Wisconsin. As a back drop they had some marchers with picket signs marching
in front of the palm trees. I’ve lived here for 60 years and Wisconsin don’t have
no stinkin palm trees!!!”

And did you notice that the protestor in the foreground was wearing a jacket
with the logo of the San Francisco 49ers football team? I have a hunch that
footage was shot in San Francisco. The skyline looked familiar.

Jon Stewart exposed the hypocrisy of the conservative media (Fox News, Fox
Business News, and CNBC) by showing the horrified comments made when
Obama tried to limit banker CEO pay to a maximum of $ 500,000 if they took
bailout funds. And Stewart showed footage of the discussion about letting the
Bush tax cuts expire for people earning over $ 250,000 a year. One Fox
commentator said $ 250,000 was practically poverty level wages. Of course
when they talk about teachers salaries in Wisconsin they get hysterical about
the $ 51,000 average pay because they “only work 9 months a year”, and then
having the audacity to compare that to hedge fund traders who work a full 12
months a year without mentioning hedge fund traders make $ 51,000 a minute.

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By Dale Headley, March 4, 2011 at 11:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The real reason Republicans hate unions is that the unions created the middle
class in America, along with both Roosevelts, Truman, and Eisenhower, all of
whom are deeply hated by today’s Republicans.  Yes, even General Eisenhower. 
You never hear any Republican declare himself an “Eisenhower Republican.” 
Why?  Because Eisenhower stood up for the common people, not the super rich. 
Ike actually fought for his country.  Today’s Republicans, like Bush, Cheney,
Rumsfeld, Rove, etc., etc., ad infinitum, would not dream of ever fighting for
America.  Instead, they send off the middle and lower classes to die for the
wealthy classes, thus killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.  Their big
icon is Ronald Reagan, who never fought in a war except to initiate the one now
being waged to destroy the middle class and return America to the days of the
rule of robber barons.  The Koch Bros. aspire to be the 21st Century’s John D.
Rockefellers; the Wall Street bankers to be the new J.P. Morgans; Rupert
Murdoch to be William Randolph Hearst; and the tea party to be the
Robespierres and Madam DeFarge’s.  But they can’t achieve this lofty status
without getting rid of the pesky denizens of the middle class who believe their
hard work entitles them to a share of the wealth of this country.  And the sad
reality is that the upper classes are winning.  The income disparity keeps
growing; and more and more of the middle class are sinking into poverty.  Fox
News is right: there IS class warfare going on, and the rich have been winning it
for the last 30 years.

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By balkas, March 4, 2011 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

if a governance wld be pantisocratic [ or allowing participation in it of all those
who want to run own civic affairs] we wld not need unions.
after all, unions also split people into further classes.
the more fissures, ethnic, and cultic divisions, the easier it is for top class
[probably one% of richest americans] to rule each of the descending-in-power
other numerous classes.

a political party that wld stand for only free education, healthcare, right to be
informed wld attract voters from most classes.
in add’n, a political party of a dogged persistance and party discipline cannot be
even weakened let alone rendered dysfuntcional.

in case second party members wld be disappearing or ending in jail. massive-
passive resistance by, say, at least 50 mn americans, cld bring desired change!

so help me godddevil! please, don’t split asunder in two this one entity! thanks
for ur L, R, and deaf Ear!

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By Big B, March 4, 2011 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

Wages and benefits rose for the nations working class as union membership and influence grew. Wages and benefits are now shrinking because of the elimination of unions and their influence on the american politic.

It’s that simple.

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By adam, March 4, 2011 at 10:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Unions are the collusion of labor.

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who'syourdebs's avatar

By who'syourdebs, March 4, 2011 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

The working folks that vote Republican can thank their lucky stars unions exist—they’d be working for much less and under worse conditions without them, no matter what their job is. I’ve joined several unions at various times in my life, am in fact a union member now, and some of them have been soft and management-slanted, but I say right now: ALL, I repeat ALL, situations were better than would have been without that union. And dues were always reasonable. I once had a job in California, where the union reps were so honest that, even though the members voted the union out by a slight margin during a company merger, they still negotiated in good faith the new working conditions and wages my co-workers and I would be working under. How’s that? I call that kind of integrity inspiring. It is criminal, too, the paltry coverage the “so-called liberal” media has given to the events at the statehouse in Madison. The conservatives may be sorry they awakened the sleeping dragon. The polls suggest the people are sharper than their elected representatives give them credit for. And more fair and well-meaning.

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By Edward, March 4, 2011 at 10:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What this country needs is a general strike.

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By Thomas Billis, March 4, 2011 at 10:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When the reporting entities did only reporting before they became part of media conglomerates you had a shot at some honest reporting.I guess a media conglomerate CEO does not have wet dreams at night thinking of any way he can break the many unions that comprise his city room and his press.To think that these companies do not have a vested interest in this debate coming down on one side is naive.They have pretty much decimated the unions on the private side and depressed wages to the point that middle class wages over the last thirty years have remained stagnant have found new victims.Public service employees.Get the middle class fighting amongst itself and keep stealing from all of them.Now it is public service employees versus the private worker.And the top 1% keeps laughing all the way to the bank.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 4, 2011 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

Fox has been faking the visuals for years…they did it at the Glenn Beck mall rally and inflated attendance figures.

Fox is not news. It is a propaganda machine that appeals to people’s basest instincts, something like Der Volkischer Beobachter (The People’s Caller), Hitler’s propaganda newspaper.

It appeals to the lowest common denominator, like a Jerry Springer, The National Enquirer or Giraldo Rivera (who is paid by Fox).

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, March 4, 2011 at 7:33 am Link to this comment

JC: You need not be a devotee of Fox News Channel or Rush Limbaugh to believe that Americans despise the unions that represent cops, teachers (especially teachers!) and firefighters.

Perhaps, but neither is public opinion as strongly in favor of unions as it was just three years ago. From Pew Research, see here.

Unions are a major element of any economy. They are necessary in the bargaining equation of those who Supply labor with those who Demand labor.

The problem is that the though the public believes in their necessity, only a tiny percentage of the American workforce is, in fact, unionized. It is around 12% presently, down from 20% in 1983.

It’s always the unions that get themselves on TV, whilst the rest of population uselessly bitch-in-a-blog .

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By ardee, March 4, 2011 at 6:56 am Link to this comment

The misconceptions regarding the views of a majority of Americans, and on several key issues, stems from one or two particular scenarios I believe.

We ostensibly live in a nation that has a free press and a two party system, thus we expect that issues will be covered fairly and from both sides as well. Further, we expect legislation to reflect the wishes of the voters as it is we who install our representatives. Believe that and Ive got this bridge I can sell you.

Our so-called “free press” is a thing of the past as it is now in the hands of a few ideologues who distort news to suit their political desires.

Our two party system is a sham and a farce as the GOP becomes Tea Party driven and the Democrats emulate Marcel Marceau on almost everything of importance. Even in a blatant and obvious attack on the strength of the Democrats, unions, these Donkeys fail to stand up and be counted. Political suicide one wonders , or something much more sinister and revealing?

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By felixds, March 4, 2011 at 3:47 am Link to this comment

I saw that FOX TV recently posted a story about increasing violence (?) in Wisconsin. As a back drop they had some marchers with picket signs marching in front of the palm trees. I’ve lived here for 60 years and Wisconsin don’t have no stinkin palm trees!!!
As for the supposed violence…there were several days when the numbers of demonstrators was 100,000+/- Yet there were NO ARRESTS. Name one sports event of half that size where there were no arrests. Also there were no reports of theft…people left their cell phones, laptops, sleeping bags in the capitol unguarded…and nothing got stolen!! I guess those teachers do practice what they preach.

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