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What Wisconsin Can Teach Washington

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Posted on Mar 10, 2011

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

Consider the contrast between two groups of Democrats, in Wisconsin and in the nation’s capital.

The Washington Democrats, including President Obama, have allowed conservative Republicans to dominate the budget debate so far. As long as the argument is over who will cut more from federal spending, conservatives win. Voters may think the GOP is going too far, but when it comes to dollar amounts, they know Republicans will always cut more.

In Wisconsin, by contrast, 14 Democrats in the state Senate defined the political argument on their own terms—and they are winning it.

By leaving Madison rather than providing a quorum to pass Gov. Scott Walker’s assault on collective bargaining for public employees, the Wisconsin 14 took a big risk. Yet to the surprise of Establishment politicians, voters have sided with the itinerant senators and the unions against a Republican governor who has been successfully portrayed as an inflexible ideologue. And in using questionable tactics to force the anti-union provision through the Senate on Wednesday evening, Republicans may win a procedural round but lose further ground in public opinion.

Here’s the key to the Wisconsin battle: For the first time in a long time, blue-collar Republicans—once known as Reagan Democrats—have been encouraged to remember what they think is wrong with conservative ideology. Working-class voters, including many Republicans, want no part of Walker’s war.

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A nationwide Pew Research Center survey released last week, for example, showed Americans siding with the unions over Walker by a margin of 42 percent to 31 percent. Walker’s 31 percent was well below the GOP’s typical base vote because 17 percent of self-described Republicans picked the unions over their party’s governor.

At my request, Pew broke the numbers down by education and income and, sure enough, Walker won support from less than half of Republicans in two overlapping groups: those with incomes under $50,000, and those who did not attend college. Walker’s strongest support came from the wealthier and those with college educations, i.e., country club Republicans. 

Republicans cannot afford to hemorrhage blue-collar voters. In a seminal article in The Weekly Standard six years ago, conservative writers Reihan Salam and Ross Douthat observed: “This is the Republican Party of today—an increasingly working-class party, dependent for its power on supermajorities of the white working-class vote, and a party whose constituents are surprisingly comfortable with bad-but-popular liberal ideas like raising the minimum wage, expanding clumsy environmental regulations, or hiking taxes on the wealthy to fund a health care entitlement.”

Put aside that I favor the policies Douthat and Salam criticize. Their electoral point is dead on. In 2010, working-class whites gave Republicans a 30-point lead over Democrats in House races. That’s why the Wisconsin fight is so dangerous to the conservative cause: Many working-class Republicans still have warm feelings toward unions, and Walker has contrived to remind them of this.

Which brings us to the Washington Democrats. Up to now, the only thing clear about the budget fight is that Democrats want to cut less from discretionary spending than Republicans do. Quietly, many Democrats acknowledge that they have been losing this argument.

Thus the importance of a speech on Wednesday by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, a New York Democrat, intended to “reset the debate.” As Schumer noted, the current battle, focused on “one tiny portion of the budget,” evades the real causes of long-term budget deficits.

Schumer dared to put new revenues on the table—including some tax increases that are popular among the sorts of blue-collar voters who are turning against Walker. Schumer, for example, spoke of Obama’s proposal to end subsidies for oil and gas companies and for higher taxes on “millionaires and billionaires.” Yes, closing the deficit will require more revenue over the long run. But right now, the debate with the House isn’t focusing on revenue at all.

Schumer, who spoke at the Center for American Progress, also suggested cuts to agriculture subsidies and in unnecessary defense programs. He proposed changes in Medicare and Medicaid incentives that would save money, including reform of how both programs pay for prescription drugs. The broad debate Schumer called for would be a big improvement on the current petty argument, which he rightly described as “quicksand.” 

To this point, Washington Democrats have been too afraid and divided to engage compellingly on the fundamentals of what government is there to do and how the burdens of deficit reduction should be apportioned. Wisconsin Democrats have shown that the only way to win arguments is to take risks on behalf of what you believe. Are Washington Democrats prepared to learn this lesson? 

E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is ejdionne(at)washpost.com.
   
© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group


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By Inherit The Wind, March 20, 2011 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, March 17 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

ITW, are you calling me a fascist?

Great last two posts!
************

Only if you want me too!

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By Leefeller, March 17, 2011 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

ITW, are you calling me a fascist?

Great last two posts!

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By Inherit The Wind, March 16, 2011 at 11:48 pm Link to this comment

OM:

I am not accusing you of being a fascist. I am saying that you are letting the genie out of the bottle and won’t be able to get it back in again.

The people in Weimar Germany cherished their new freedom of speech, press and voting.  But they had no mechanisms for preventing that freedom from being used to destroy that society, and fall it did!

There are powers out there, OM, that find our right to complain, to sue, to invoke government regulations against excesses to be HIGHLY inconvenient—and they have the power, the brains, the money and the immorality to shut it down, if we let them.

I think you are a good, decent person who really WANTS to live in a free society.  But, IMHO, you have been snookered into thinking that such freedom means BY DEFINITION we must allow corporations to do whatever they want.  Frankly, OM, without regulations, there is no waste treatment, no control of smokestacks, no incentive whatsoever not to poison groundwater, drinking water, rivers and streams and the very air we breathe.

For 35 years the petrol companies have spent untold billions to keep us addicted to fossil fuels, to get us to import oil from unstable lands—and support their dictators.  They have black-mailed us into taking HUGE risks with our oceans, our forests and, yes, our ground water.

They have spent untold amounts to shut down and prevent any kind of alternative energy.  Do you know that at one time it was ILLEGAL to produce your own electricity?  They had to be FORCED to not only allow it, but to pay you for it when you introduce it into their grid?

They’ve fought bitterly every effort to make transportation more efficient and cleaner.  Hell, back in the 60’s the US auto makers BURIED the Wankel engine, and BURIED infinitely variable transmissions.

Efforts to create propane, methane, and electric public vehicles have withered on the vine as funding is cut.  You know, in Europe, even the busss are electric, with connectors to overhead grids?  But in OUR cities they spew hydrocarbons. Why?

Because corporations with money are “legal persons” with the right to spend their investors’ profits on electioneering for pols who will make sure their “interests” are protected!

Even the requirement that news orgs make an effort to present factual information has been made a laughing stock when THE most popular news network, Fox, DELIBERATELY, at the orders of Richard Ailes, buries stories that make liberals look good and go viral on the littlest thing that makes them look bad.

Has Fox EVER come out and said there is no factual basis to the “birther” movement? No!  Why?  Do you need me to answer?

When people become convinced the ONLY news net they can trust is one that demonstrably lies, fakes video, and generally presents itself as “neutral” when the most left-wing person on a panel is less liberal than George Wallace, we have put ourselves on the road to fascism.

Destroying labor unions, starving education, removing regulations on corporations, and allowing clear blatant violations of civil liberties, even of homes being stolen in illegal foreclosures, with no recourse, means we are falling down the rabbit hole, and each Walker, Scott, and Barbour take us further and further there.

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By Leefeller, March 16, 2011 at 11:02 pm Link to this comment

OM; I am not sure where you are in the Tea Bag realm of things, but after having my eyes opened to Tea Bags or Us, I am so disappointed in, what I perceive as their blind open armed acceptance of special interests/corporate sponsorship and manipulation. I was referring to the Tea Bags,..... not to you OM, by the way,  I find Mussolini a much better analogy than Hitler!

I cannot speak for ITW, his post may have influenced my comment? I find the Tea Bags hypocritical and disappointedly unfair in their agenda, brown shirts and all!

Attacking social security while collecting it seems like accepted hypocrisy and business as usual. 
Ass holes like Rush Limbaugh,  called union workers “bottom-feeding freeloaders,”  and fellow ass hole Beck; stated unions were Communists, socialists, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the United Nations (?) , then I find out these conservative commentators are all members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists a union?  Some how I feel the Tea Bags listen to this tripe!
By the way this has been the special interest program against unions since the early 20th century!

OM, for clarity’s sake I do not believe you are a fascist, so you do not need to prove it to me, and I may make an unsound assumption not all Tea Bag Party members are fascists either! You know how I feel about absolutisms! Not all Liberals are socialists either!  the Tea Baggery agenda seems another story, sleeping with corporations does look very tainted.

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By OzarkMichael, March 16, 2011 at 9:39 pm Link to this comment

When two consecutive posts attempt to correct me using the analogy of fascism and Hitler, it is a serious matter. The accusation of fascism consigns the accused to social death if he cannot answer it.The accusation places heavy responsibility upon the accused. When both posts come not from strangers but from former friends(once quite respected) it is more serious yet. I have two choices:

1)I can attempt a reconciliation with you. This can be done by trying to prove that I am not a fascist, that what i am talking about has nothing to do with fascism. The problem with this is that it places me in the position of appealing to you, while I await your verdict. This places you in the position of Judge over me. I have already gone the distance. I am not doing that any more.

2)I can level a countercharge, turn the tables. It is a form of shouting back. Yes, i have done this many times too. Sometimes it amused you, sometimes it failed. It takes a bit of effort on my part and I dont feel like providing the music for that dance any longer.

The real problem with both choices, and i mean what really galls me, is that they both bury something rather valuable to me… the original argument we were having. I value my thoughts. And your own when you can actually oppose me with one.

I left out one option that i have when you accuse me of fascism. It is the nuclear option, I will label it choice #3

3)I can give you what you want. Oh, I do know what you want. I can start talking about Nationalism and how some races are better than others. As you scold me for being a fascist you wont even know what is really happening. It is called irony. This places me as the Judge over you. Which seems fair in a cosmic sense, because your prejudice in this matter is what really needs to be mocked. Oh and you can quote that juicy sentence about “Nationalism and races” in future, that will lend weight to your accusation against me next time. But not now. Save it for later.

Rereading this post, I see that all options, including explaining the options… are dead ends.

But lets be honest, this post was a dead letter the minute you made your accusations. As soon as you tipped the playing field that way you buried my thoughts. What you dont realize is that you buried your own thoughts too.

But never mind that, there are plenty more where that came from. We wont remember what they even were in a few hours(what were we even talking about? i forgot already!), for tomorrow is a new day. Besides, something better always comes along. 

Ah, yes; did you notice something happy and delightful has just happened?... another provocative Truthdig article has been put up. 

Let us then wave a romantic, bittersweet bye-bye to this thread, anticipating that our confusion will soon be banished by clarity, that our darkness will soon become light. The buried ideas and dreadful accusations will soon be forgotten in the rush and the swirl of the next dance.

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By Leefeller, March 15, 2011 at 11:48 pm Link to this comment

Quick note; Just discovered what the Tea Bag party wants and stands for,  I feel like a fly on the wall at a Shriners meeting! Tea Bag Party seems like a secret religious organization who lives in fear, but promotes Draconian policies sponsored by their opportunist benefactors. 

Om it seems to me, this attack on public service unions is really a planned first opportunity to destroy all unions.  I have learned the Tea Bag Party is against all Unions. It seems all Unions have become to powerful,.... I say again this is all unions, not just public service unions. ....link; “Who Are the Tea Party” Patriots? http://pubrecord.org/politics/9003/party-patriots/

Appearances may be defining. The Tea Bag Party looks like puppets on a sting manipulated by wizards hidden behind a curtain?

Guess,.... What I am attempting to say, is this whole Public Union attack has been choreographed to be just a first step to get rid of all unions.  Remands me of “they came for my neighbor who was different” in the Hitler monologues!

My disappointment is in the potential deception of the argument, only because of my new information on the TBP! I will follow up tomorrow!

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By Inherit The Wind, March 15, 2011 at 11:11 pm Link to this comment

What OM fails to understand is that at some point “freedom” for corporations and corporate legal personage means the death of freedom for the individual.

As an analogy: Germany’s freedom from 1918 to 1933 had no mechanisms to prevent the rise of one who used his very freedom to destroy the freedom of his fellow citizens.  He used fear tactics, loud appealing (but totally false) rhetoric to convince his fellow Germans (even though he was Austrian) of both their innate superiority AND the catastrophic risk they faced from “the other”....and when that didn’t work he had thugs performing intimidation tactics.  He also faced a sympathetic judiciary who issued insanely weak sentences for crimes committed by right-wingers, but insanely harsh sentences for similar crimes committed by left-wing extremists.

Was it Louis Brandeis who said the Constitution is not a suicide pact?  Yet our RW denizens here demand we accept it as exactly that…that the freedom of the corporations and the super-rich and super-powerful to do whatever the fuck they please out-weighs the rights of ordinary people to organize and work together against those demanding the right to do whatever they fuck they please.

Isn’t it amazing how in NY, Ca, and CT, Democratic governors have to make the same draconian cuts the tea-bagger governors do, but because they BALANCE the sacrifice and ASK for help rather than demanding concessions at the point of a gun, they GET the cooperation needed?
Malloy, Cuomo and Brown face the same challenges as Walker, Christie and Scott, but because they aren’t total arrogant assholes about it (amazing because both Brown and Cuomo are famous for their arrogance) they are actually GETTING IT DONE!

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By OzarkMichael, March 15, 2011 at 11:02 pm Link to this comment

I am getting an “om hates unions” reputation with you, which might be an incorrect reputation.

The right of workers to join in collective bargaining is established in your post. I agree.  The right of a Union to represent those workers is established in your post. I agree. You care deeply about Unions, more than most people, and i dont despise you for it. In fact it is a good thing.

I am talking about a particular Union
situation, namely when it is involved with the State.

Leefeller said: “... so Unions may very loosely be construed as monopoly’s only if they have exclusive possession or control of the supply of a commodity or service.  Ah! Yes service!”

Leefeller, think of it this way. It isnt the fault of the Union. The fault is with the State. The State has a deficiency. The State is a like a child or a foolish person with an inheritence… barrels and barrels full of cash. That rich fool(the State) is foolish to the extent that everyone who does close and continual business with him is going to gain advantage because of his foolishness. Its automatic.

The Union has the close and continual business that we speak of. The State is truly as deficient as a child. Will the Union do extremely well for its members? Will they make far more money than they could make anywhere else?  You bet.

But that doesnt make it right. Although you see it as historic justice:

“Okay, naming public service unions as monopoly’s serves OM’s pov to a degree, I happen to find it distracts from the ongoing abuses against workers since the dawn of time.”

Now you seem to be saying that the State largess, the barrels of cash, are a type of apology payment because workers have suffered since the dawn of time. We(the public) need to make it up to the workers, and if anyone takes the barrel of cash away it is like rubbing salt in the still fresh wounds on the backs of workers since the dawn of time.

And by the way, I agree that workers have had it rough since the dawn of time, but I still wont vote for them to tap into the barrels of cash and ope the spigot as wide as they can.

Now I understand why you might think that i am heartless about this, and why my logic seems to be only a distraction. Okay, so we disagree. i dont consider you evil. Supposedly I am the judgemental one who might consign you to hell, but it never occurs to me to do so. Or maybe I do so all the time but I dont remember doing it. Maybe I am just forgetful.

I need to distract myself so I dont dwell on my ever-ready and often-used option for too long. Lets face our next question. Do i have a right to disagree with you?

Hmm, no, let me say it this way: if the voters disagree with you in this matter of separation of Union and State, do they(the voters) have a right to protect the public treasury? Or do the abuses against workers since the dawn of time override the normal considerations of politics?

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By Leefeller, March 15, 2011 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

Ozark Michael; Using the word Monopoly for arguments sake, may seem like an advantage, to me, it emulates the concept of naming something only for the sake of argument. Why not use the more effective age old name infusing words against unions, those names sponsored by special interests starting back in the early 20th century against the steel workers? Good old boy butt scratching names such as Commie, or socialist?

Okay, naming public service unions as monopoly’s serves OM’s pov to a degree, I happen to find it distracts from the ongoing abuses against workers since the dawn of time.

Simply put, collective barging is a cooperative enterprise usually of workers or employees who want a stronger voice in what effects their livelihood, so Unions may very loosely be construed as monopoly’s only if they have exclusive possession or control of the supply of a commodity or service.  Ah! Yes service! 


Most if not all, Individual employees do not have any exclusiveness or control, so workers become cooperative like a school of fish in attempt to protect themselves from sharks, so in a sense OM may label Unions as Monopolies, and the next time I sees a flock of Turkeys I will make the following statement;  “Oh look,.....a monopoly of Ozark Michael Turkeys!

From what I gather, Om has a personal vendetta against Unions, because he feels they are working for him and he is exclusively footing the bill,.... (which could make OM a monopoly in his own right) hence Ozark Michaels comment; “The Union does not represent anyone’s interest but it’s own”

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By aacme88, March 13, 2011 at 11:59 pm Link to this comment

We can hope that many blue collar workers, or former workers, begin to understand the damage they have done themselves as well as the country by being suckered into the corporate strategy of divide and conquer. The have been targeted, through massive propaganda, as foot-soldiers in a so far mostly non-violent, but largely successful war to destroy their own livelihood and freedom.
When they figure it out, maybe soon now, they are going to be seriously pissed off!

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By ohiolibgal, March 13, 2011 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

People should have spent the time to educate themselves about this before, but watch the documentary ” Inside Job” and you will be angry that Obama chose people like Summers and Geithner for his financial team. All you need to know about where his loyalties lie is there with these hirings. It’s stunning.

It’s all mind boggling and it depennds on keeping people in the dark with shell games and sleight of hand and word and hoping that not enough people spend the time to learn what’s really what.

The Wall Street bailout came about because of massive crime, outright fraud, on an historical level. Yet, let alone going to jail for selling toxic CDOs as AAA investments, the players bail out with 100s of millions and get tapped by Obama for top posts in his administration.

Add this in with the waste, fraud and theft of the defense industry - even before Iraq, on 9/10/01 (curious at the very least) Rummy has a presser where he admists he has no idea where a couple of trillion dollars are - and oh my…..it gets bumped off the news cycle on 9/11 and never got back on.

And yet our debt is the fault of teachers and public workers? Drop in the bucket. It’s unfreaking believable that more people can’t connect at least most of the real dots.

Of course they get no help from the major media and hardly any of the minor media, they’re too busy with Paris Hilton and Charlie Sheen.

The tea party folks have the right to be hopping mad, they just have their anger misplaced.

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By Leefeller, March 13, 2011 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

OM, Interesting comment, having some computer problems commenting at this time, would like to continue later?

Leefeller

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By Go Right Young Man, March 12, 2011 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment

What Wisconsin Can Teach Washington

Of the nearly $7 million labor unions have contributed to state candidates in Wisconsin over the last six election cycles, 93 cents of every dollar has gone to a Democrat.

Among educators, it’s 75 cents of every buck. For public employees, 73 cents.

The data compiled by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign for the State Journal starkly illustrate why the high-stakes battle between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and labor unions over the last three weeks is about more than budget shortfalls and bargaining.

  “I consider organized labor to be the backbone of the Democratic Party,” said Mike Tate, state party chairman. “Part of Scott Walker’s strategy is to weaken the infrastructure of the Democratic Party.”

Got that? An attack on unions is an attack on Democrats. That’s a level of honestly that hasn’t made it into the debate much thus far.

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By Go Right Young Man, March 12, 2011 at 10:23 pm Link to this comment

What Wisconsin Can Teach Washington. Apparently Tea Party hatred extends to Gov. Walker as well. There may be evidence of their violent intent found at the State Capital.


Wisconsin’s Governor Wins But Is He Still Dead Man Walker?
By Dawn Reiss / Madison Saturday, Mar. 12, 2011


The state capitol of Wisconsin had taken on an eerie quiet on Friday. Gone were the throngs of protesters who occupied its marble floors like a campground in summer. The midnight honking of cars circling the white building had ceased. The chalk “dead man” outlines etched with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s name on the sidewalks remained in dismembered parts, incompletely washed away by clean-up hoses.

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By Go Right Young Man, March 12, 2011 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

The people of Wisconsin voted.

It certainly takes a great deal of guts to subvert the will of the electorate by demanding you won’t participate. By hiding in another state because you don’t agree with the outcome of that election. Because you failed to convince enough of the voting public to give you majority status.

Republican or democrat. I see that as weak and petulant. So would nearly every individual on this Web space if those fleeing democrats happened to have an (R) after their names.

So now it takes guts and principles to run and hide from tough responsibilities.

Imagine if every minority party in each of the 50 states did the same after every election. What a shining example of democracy that would be. - No matter. Well, as long as it serves your own purpose.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 11, 2011 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, March 11 at 11:40 pm Link to this comment

“Consider the contrast between two groups of Democrats, in Wisconsin and in the nation’s capital.”

Okay.

In Wisconsin the Democrats dont show up.

But then again in Washington Democrats dont really show up either.

**************

On this we agree!

But at least the Wisconsin Democrats didn’t show up because they have guts and principles. 

The Washington Democrats don’t show up because most of ‘em are spineless squids.

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By OzarkMichael, March 11, 2011 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller said: “I find your comments refreshing, only because they promote dialogue.

In which case we are both winners, because the truth that arises from dialogue is always better than what one person thinks alone.

Leefeller continues “Though I may not buy into the Monopoly concept, unless you consider Representative democracy a monopoly?

Yes, I consider the government to be a monopoly. It has unique functions and a unique role to play. For example, one cannot obtain a legal verdict from Walmart. So the citizens must come to the government which has not only that particular monopoly, but many others. Dont get me wrong, i am not complaining. It is a necessary and a good thing.

Leefeller said: “Our disagreement is quite simple, I believe in collective bargaining for people who provide their labor and it sounds like you do not? Public sector or private sector is no different in my view…

I think that because the public sector is a monopoly provider of many services, it is a different case from the private sector.

Leefeller said: “So…. “The Union does not represent anyone’s interest but it’s own”,.... once more, an Ozark Michael absolutist comment

My first post was meant to be specific and not absolute. I was talking about the specific situation of the Union providing labor to the State.

But if you want to know my opinion about the private institutions… neither the Union nor the Corporation is bad, both have made contributions to our culture and both have qualities that people dont like. For example, I dont like it that Corporations increase individual profit while decreasing individual responsibility if the corporation goes bankrupt or is found to have broken the law. But that doesnt mean i want to abolish them.

The specific problem arises when the Union or Corporation obtains a “single seller” monopoly relationship with the government.

The State itself is already a monopoly of sorts. That is why UnionCorporation and the State are a chain or coupled monopoly.

Now good things still come from these coupled monopolies. Corporations make jet fighters and Union workers provide valuable and highly skilled labor in places such as schools. The public gains defense and it gains education. We want the Corporation’s jet fighter and we want the Union worker’s skill.

When the government pays a million dollars for one F16, or one dollar each to a million people for the their labor, once a “single seller” position is established for that Corporation or that Union, interesting things start to happen.

Eventually the coupled monopoly becomes more lucrative for the State Representatives who write the checks to the single seller.  To put it frankly, our Representatives can be enticed into paying more for the jet fighter and more for the labor than it is really worth. Not so mysteriously this is quite lucrative for the Union and the Corporation involved.

There is no faction or interest that counterbalances this. There is no competing seller who can say, “Hey i could provide that fighter or that labor much more cheaply.” There is no ‘owner’ present who says, “Keep negotiating, we will go out of business if we accept that ridiculous deal with the Corporation or the Union!” because the State does not go out of business, it has a monopoly, and the State Representatives are not spending their own money but someone else’s.

There is no brake on the spending, except once in awhile the ordinary citizens occasionally awaken to the largesse and become indignant, “There must be some brake put on that Union or Corporation that is hooked to the Public sector!” But after a few days the citizens focus on something else.

Ah, but the Union and the Corporation never sleeps, never focuses on anything else. They will promote their interest with an incredible tsunami of cash, which is evidence that an extraordinary amount of largesse is at stake.

Dont believe me? Just watch.

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By RightWingersRcowards, March 11, 2011 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For call me Roy (below):

Last thing overheard in the White House as George W. left office:

Did they decide who’s gonna translate my first book into English?
______________________

Response to Go Right Young Man (below) and his cut & paste headline reading “Republican senators in Wisconsin receive death threats.”

And none too soon! It is fine for the corporate whores amongst America’s population to support the Republican corporate whores in office, but tell the whole story and give voice to the massive suffering Republican corpoarte whores engender in the remainder of the population, which in many cases results in death and widespread misery.

Just as corporate whores everywhere never tire of proclaiming when discussing the war on terror: Collateral damage is just something we have to live with. In war it is better to kill a few to save the many.

Those of us on the true left are going to be glad to oblige with the logic of this strategy.
______________________

Final thoughts for all corporate whores:

What to do with any politician campaigning for “smaller government” as they run for a government position:

1. Laugh in their hypocrite faces.

2. Shoot them.

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By OzarkMichael, March 11, 2011 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

“Consider the contrast between two groups of Democrats, in Wisconsin and in the nation’s capital.”

Okay.

In Wisconsin the Democrats dont show up.

But then again in Washington Democrats dont really show up either.

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By call me roy, March 11, 2011 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

Top 10 Things Overheard in the White House During Obama’s First Term
10. “What should I do next, Senior Chavez?”
9. “Does a royal cape come with the title “Anointed One”?
8.”Honestly, Barack! A teleprompter in the bedroom?”
7. “I’m not sure a Che Guevara wall flag in the Oval Office is a good idea, Mr. President.”
6. “Heads, we take over the auto industry. Tails, we nationalize the oil industry.”
5. “Apology list: Iraq –check. Saudi Arabia – check. Palestine – check. Syria…”
4. “Canada’s health care system is a perpetual money-sucking vortex that has resulted in bloated bureaucracy, demanding unions, longer wait times, and a steady exodus of their best and brightest professionals out of the country. Finally we’ve found the perfect template for Obamacare!”
3. “Sean Penn, line two.”
2. “Have they chosen someone to play me in the movie yet?”
1. “Did CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, PBS, Pravda America (MSNBS) and David (Fidel) Letterman get our “secret” message?

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By call me roy, March 11, 2011 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

Don, not only did it hit them in the a#s, but while they were standing in the doorway. Ha Ha Ha

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By Go Right Young Man, March 11, 2011 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

Tea Party Mob Bad. Wisconsin Mob Good.

-

Republican senators in Wisconsin receive death threats. 

Republicans have been told to put their things in order because they will be killed and their families would also be killed due to their actions over the past couple of months. 

“We feel that you and the people that support the dictator have to die. We have tried many other ways of dealing with your corruption but you have taken things too far and we will not stand for it any longer. So, this is how it’s going to happen: I as well as many others know where you and your family live, it’s a matter of public records. We have all planned to assault you by arriving at your house and putting a nice little bullet in your head. However, we decided that we wouldn’t leave it there. We also have decided that this may not be enough to send the message to you since you are so “high” on Koch and have decided that you are now going to single handedly make this a dictatorship instead of a democratic process. So we have also built several bombs that we have placed in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent. This includes, your house, your car, the state capitol.”

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By Angel Gabriel, March 11, 2011 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

Isn’t it about time that choices at the ballot box include - “non-of the above” and
if enough of you people ticked that box the bums would be thrown out? How
about “Party Busting” as a measure to countering the all for one concept of the
Corporately controlled Political Oligarchy.
Choosing Red or Blue these days only intensifies the pain of being someone under
the 5% bracket. The real world has been chanelled by these well oiled Cretins to
force you to accept that the means of your living are dictated by experts that are
driven by greed and exclusivity of self interest. Time to sweep out the Cabin and
re-hang the sign on the door that says “No place like Home!”

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By velville, March 11, 2011 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Organization and collective bargaining for enterprises not paid for directly by the taxpayers?  Absolutely!!!  For enterprises paid for directly by the taxpayers?  Absolutely not!!!
For tenured government employees?  Absolutely not!!!

And for folks who work in enterprises where I cannot vote with my pocketbook?  Absurd!!!

Why cannot you understand that employees who raise money and campaign for the folk who set their checks and benefits makes no sense?

Look at the NYC schools and their fool farm for incompetent teachers who they cannot cut loose, or retired Calif employees (where the state budget is billions under water) who make more not working than folks make elsewhere working 60 hour weeks?

Give me a break, E.J.

And as for quoting Schumer, fulltime public office holder since 1975 and whining hack, quoting him (and his avoidance of solutions and love of whining)...can’t you quote someone who has worked for a living (and I don’t mean your friend Tsouris, I mean, Soror)?

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By Leefeller, March 11, 2011 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

ITW, I did not know about Wal Mart being unionized in Europe, will wonders never cease? I learn new things here, which would never be known other places!

I know Wal Mart hires 60 percent of the retail employees in this great county of ours. So I do happen to know one thing. I wonder what would happen if Wal Mart were Unionized in the USA, would it mean more money to trickle up?

You know if they removed everything not made in the USA from a Wal Mart store, I suspect they could save on rent and could sell their item out of a phone booth or on a street corner next to those ladies of the night!

Nice post ITW!

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By Leefeller, March 11, 2011 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

OM, I had wondered how your opinions weighed in on this topic, ....especially after reading the less articulate Australopithecus conservatives who love to spew on topics and subjects, like monkeys throwing dirt at the zoo.  I find your comments refreshing, only because they promote dialogue.  Though I may not buy into the Monopoly concept, unless you consider Representative democracy a monopoly?

Our disagreement is quite simple, I believe in collective bargaining for people who provide their labor and it sounds like you do not? Public sector or private sector is no different in my view,  it seems the conservative view seems amiable to replacing the public service sector work force with a privy one for the profit of it.  Maybe they need to destroy those unions first?  I happen to believe in public services and the right of public service workers to collective bargaining.

Labor is the only commodity working people have to offer, it may be said labor is the most valuable asset in the world, I support this concept, for every working person in the world, I realize it is a fantasy concept.  I happen to believe in the rights of workers to form collectively as groups of people with the same interests and goals, representing these assets and interests in unity. This might even be called something like….. freedom?  Even further, I would include any working persons hiring out their labor and services in the world; whether they are a coal miner or a teacher in Wisconson or a seamstress in Bangladesh working for 30 cents a day or an auto worker in South Korea paid for forty hours a week but working 80 hours to please management goals. Sounds as if you OM and other conservatives posting here do not! ....Ah yes the corruption of unions as the corruptions of anything. For corruptions have never touched the lips of anything conservative! (oops..never is an absolutism)

So…. “The Union does not represent anyone’s interest but it’s own”,.... once more, an Ozark Michael absolutist comment…. How does OM know this as fact? (as I seem to ask this question of many things OM)  I belonged to a union and I would disagree and find this comment in its proclamation manner profoundly biased,... basically once again opinion promoted as absolute fact?

“The Union does not represent ‘the people any more than the corporation does.” another Ozark Michael comment.  Okay? .....lets substitute the word “corporation” with religion to say;....... The Union does not represent the people any more than religion does? ..... Now it works for me, for I am biased; .....of course, but I would prefer to dispense with the absolutist part of the comment and have it read differently.

I find the monopoly analogy amusing, for my stereotypical opinion of conservatives has always made the unsound assumption, for in the mind of the conservative, I had always suspected Monopolies were a good thing? .... maybe I am mixing up my conservatives, ...the fascist Mussolini kind, with one of those other kinds?

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By Inherit The Wind, March 11, 2011 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

OM fails to realize that everything from his 8 hour day to the safety regulations in his workplace to the fact that his children cannot go to work at age 6 or 8 is solely and completely due to the unions.

I now work for a corporation that pulls in 4.5 Billion/qtr.  What chance do I, as an individual, have of standing up that corporation’s abuses, should it desire to engage in them?  None!  Doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong, just or unjust, or even legal or illegal.  I don’t stand a chance. 
I don’t stand a chance in 1-to-1 negotiations. 
I don’t stand a chance in civil court as I don’t have the legal resources AND still have to make a living.
I don’t stand a chance as a lone voice as the “blacklist” is still very, very real.
I don’t stand a chance even if there is a legal violation, unless the abuse is SO severe, SO extreme, and SO public that a D.A. or asst. D.A. thinks they can make a career advance over it.
I don’t stand a chance in Trenton or in Washington because my feeble donation dollars don’t come near the millions and billions that the corporation can “donate” by running attack ads to support my congressman or Senators or Governor.

I don’t stand a chance if I rely on the good will of the corporation, run by people who were born on 3rd base and think they hit a triple, and, that therefore I don’t matter.

This is the story of the rise of the labor unions.  For the first 30 years of its existence, the Sherman Anti-Trust Act was almost EXCLUSIVELY used against unions until the Wagner Act.

We live in a world of oligopolies: How many cellular companies are there in the US? 4! Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.  All the others piggy-back on them and are tiny.

How many places can you buy hardware? Lowes, Home Depot, Sears and Walmart…the little places are going under.

WalMart is unionized in Europe and is doing just fine there, opening new stores all the time.  But they tell US in the USA that unions will “kill” WalMart and cost jobs….Can you smell the obvious lie?

When Reagan killed the unions and 3.5 MILLION jobs went overseas forever, he also killed the steel industry, the garment manufacturing industry, and horribly crippled the auto industry.  Yet you’ll tell me that is SOMEHOW good for America???

How?

Our strongest periods of growth have always coincided with our strongest unions, and our highest tax rates.

EVERYTHING the Libertarians and Republicans tell us about these things being bad is wrong according to the EMPIRICAL evidence. (not that anybody actually CARES about what really happened)...

But, if I stand with my brothers and sisters who work for this company, maybe we can be heard and maybe we can be heard LOUD enough to get a change.

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By OzarkMichael, March 11, 2011 at 1:46 am Link to this comment

ITW said: “It is a major, treasonous attack on our freedom and Constitution, backed by Fox, the Kochs and crackpot religious leaders.

As a crackpot religious person who supported this major attack, i humbly offer an explanation to ITW…

Unions which provide service to the State are essentially a monopoly providing service to another monopoly. It is a coupling of monopolies.

In this situation the Union acts much like a Corporation which has hooked up with the State. The Union does not represent anyone’s interest but it’s own, just like the Corporation does. The Union does not represent ‘the people’ any more than the corporation does.  Both will buy politicians with the money they siphon off from the State. The bought politicians craft deals resulting in more benefits to the Corporation or the Union. Who is somewhat excluded from their happy arrangement? “The people” are

There is no bottom line that limits how far the State and the Union can go together. Just raise taxes! Just borrow more! Just cut something else! Under this arrangement there is no limit to how wide the spigot can be opened to allow the money through. The people can pay for it all, they have plenty of money!

In this case the Unions have one hand opening up the taxpayer’s wallet while the the other hand waves a little American flag, and this is how defines ITW defines “Freedom”?

Freedom is better defined as the constitutional right of the people to say to both Corporations and Unions, and to any fatcat sucking on the government tit, “No more free lunches for you at our expense!”

It is not against the “constitution” to break up the power of monopolies. It is not “treasonous” for elected officials to determine the rules for obtaining benefits and wages from the public treasury.

Unions, like Corporations, thrive on a monopoly situation and will fight like hell to keep it that way. Yes, keep in mind that the Unions have the same right to ‘free speech’ as Corporations have. Dont you suppose that the Unions will have a lot to say this election cycle, a whole lot more than they ever said before? And oh how we shall hear them!

Whether that is a good thing or not we leave to ITW to decide.

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By vote, March 11, 2011 at 1:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If the people who are upset in WI and other states had voted then these
republicans wouldn’t be in office to muck things up.  Only half the people
vote in presidential elections and even less in state and local.  This is the
result one should expect.

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By Leefeller, March 11, 2011 at 12:51 am Link to this comment

Roy, I know it may be real hard, but can you expand on your comment:

“Wisconsin was about one thing: the total disregard for the taxpayer.”

I dont know Roy, if you are talking about Walker, I kind of agree, but from you laugh riot comments this may not be what you intended to come out?

What are you saying Roy?  you make it sound like a total disregard for Roy the only guy in the world who happens to be a taxpayer?

Is Roy his own self appointed taxpayer representative and speaks for himself, as well as everybody else? Guess it goes with the territory,..... GRYM seems the same way, I don’t mean just the pointy heads and the asinine comments, I mean in not being able to hold a discussion. Between Roy and GRym the only difference being one of them may be smarter then the other,..... but I sure as hell cannot figure out which one?

Oh Yeah Roy, .....what a profound statement, what other jewels do you have hidden up there, I like a good laugh as well as the next guy.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 10, 2011 at 11:11 pm Link to this comment

How things work in Mr. Roy’s Neighborhood.

Scenario 1:
Mr. Roy: “Hello? Fire Department? My house is on fire! I need a firetruck here right away!”
Roy’s Dream, the Private FD: “Sorry Mr. Roy, but we didn’t get your payment by the deadline so we’ve canceled your service.  Maybe your neighbor can lend you his garden hose?”

Scenario 2:
Mr. Roy: “Hello? Fire Department? My house is on fire! I need a firetruck here right away!”
Roy’s Dream, the Private FD: “Sorry Mr. Roy, but didn’t you get our notice that your rate was increasing 20% this month. We received your payment but it did not include the increase so we’ve canceled your service and we’ll be returning that portion you paid.  Maybe your neighbor can lend you his garden hose?”

Scenario 3:
Mr. Roy: “Hello? Fire Department? My house is on fire! I need a firetruck here right away!”
Roy’s Dream, the Private FD: “Sorry Mr. Roy, but we have determined that you are a poor risk so we have canceled your service.  Maybe your neighbor can lend you his garden hose?”

Scenario 4:
Mr. Roy: “Hello? Fire Department? My house is on fire! I need a firetruck here right away!”
Roy’s Dream, the Private FD: “Sorry Mr. Roy, but we didn’t get your payment last month so we’ve canceled your service.”
Mr. Roy: “But I paid the bills! I even have the canceled checks! You HAVE to come…My house is on fire.”
PFD: “I’m sorry Mr. Roy, but our records show you are delinquent.  You can appeal, but please allow 45 days for the appeal to be processed and investigated.”
Mr. Roy: “But MY house is on fire NOW! 45 days will be too late!”
PFD: “Maybe your neighbor can lend you his garden hose?”

Scenario 5:
Mr. Roy: “Hello? Fire Department? My house is on fire! I need a firetruck here right away!”
Roy’s Dream, the Private FD: “Sorry Mr. Roy, but we are all booked up. We can be there two weeks from Tuesday.
Mr. Roy: “But my house is on fire NOW!”
PFD: “Maybe your neighbor can lend you his garden hose?”

Scenario 6:
Mr. Roy: “Hello? Fire Department? My house is on fire! I need a firetruck here right away!”
Roy’s Dream, the Private FD: “Please listen carefully as our options have changed. 
Press One for English, Dos para espanol.
Now press One to make a payment, Two to check the status of your account, Three to cancel your account, Four for more choices.
Press One to learn more about our services, Two to leave a number so a representative can call you, Three for more services, and Four for more choices.
Press One if you need to review the menus or wait for an operator.”
(music plays for two minutes)
“All of agents are currently assisting other customers. Please leave a call back number and we will return your call as soon as possible.”
“Thank you. Goodbye”.

Scenario 7:
Mr. Roy: “Hello? Fire Department? My house is on fire! I need a firetruck here right away!”
Underfunded Public FD: “Sorry Mr. Roy, but we have been cut so heavily by the Wisconsin Legislature that we can only actually respond to fires between 9am and 5pm.  It’s now after hours, and all the fire-fighters are off moonlighting to pay their mortgages. Say, weren’t you that guy posting on TruthDig that we are all an overpaid bunch of lazy free-loaders?  Maybe you neighbor can lend you his garden hose?”

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By gerard, March 10, 2011 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

This comment goes after Dionne for “sins of omission.”  He says:
  “Schumer, for example, spoke of Obama’s proposal to end subsidies for oil and gas companies and for higher taxes on “millionaires and billionaires.” (This is the big expenditure? Not hardly!And why the quotes, by the way? They aren’t “so-called m’s and b’s; they are m’s and b’s!)
  Then he goes on: “Yes, closing the deficit will require more revenue over the long run. But right now, the debate with the House isn’t focusing on revenue at all. (And why not?)
  “Schumer, who spoke at the Center for American Progress, also suggested cuts to agriculture subsidies and in unnecessary defense programs.” Unnecessary defense programs!  How about unnecessary wars? Why not mention those billions monthly?
“He proposed changes in Medicare and Medicaid incentives that would save money, including reform of how both programs pay for prescription drugs.” 
  Lord help us, these petty costs don’t come anywhere near the money wasted on war and the Pentagon budget!
  What’s going on with Dionne here?  Surely he knows better? The Pentagon should pay him big bucks for kindly omitting mention of their name!

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By kerryrose, March 10, 2011 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

California Ray

Thank you.  Everyone was wondering where Obama was throughout this ordeal. The joke is on us.

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By call me roy, March 10, 2011 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment

Wisconsin was about one thing: the total disregard for the taxpayer.

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By Micah D, March 10, 2011 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What Schumer is saying is right on. That is the budget cuts and tax increases that should be implemented but…..it takes leadership to make that happen.  And as much as I detest people like this Gov in Wiscon, he, like Bush, at least went for the things they believed in. So how about some leader actually going after some good ideas? ....Obama you out there? Senate Democrats?

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By California Ray, March 10, 2011 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment

This is for all you Democrats out there:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA9KC8SMu3o

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By bluesman, March 10, 2011 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment

The vote taken yesterday in Wisconsin WILL have political ramifications for years for the GOP.
Mark my words, the voters will not forget this. The Republicans made it perfectly clear who their “masters” are.
The public sector unions had a “no strike” clause in their contract, but was that enough for the greed filled Republicans? No way, because the Republicans and their masters want the whole package.
This was not about any budget crisis, this was about breaking the people who actually work for a living, but they will pay a steep price for this.
It looks as though even Non-union workers are finally seeing who is looking out for who here.
If you are wondering, the Republicans are not about anyone who gets his hands dirty working hard for a middle class income.
This sets a horrible precedent in this country.
Good grief, we just witnessed people in the Middle East finally having enough of their corrupt government, and this is how the Republicans react to that?
Will this be what finally revs up the people in the US and get them to say that enough is enough?
I’m sorry for the rant, but this has me seething.
I cannot believe how many people working for wages under $50,000 a year vote for the Republican Party.
The GOP is out to destroy you, and you don’t see it.

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By de profundis clamavi, March 10, 2011 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

Here is a link to the Koch Brothers’ plans for their conferences in January 2011 in Palm Springs (too late for that one) and this coming June in Aspen (looking for a chance to combine a scenic trip with a bit of pig-baiting?)

Spread this around and go to Aspen to spoil their party.

http://tin­yurl.com/2­5oge3p

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By felicity, March 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

Interesting that last year saw an additional 199 people
added to the list of the world’s billionaires. 
Interesting because it challenges the free market
mantra that great wealth trickles down when the fact is
that today the economies of most of the developed world
are in the tank.  Perhaps trickles down should be
changed to trickles up?

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By CJ, March 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

What Dionne reports re blue-collar conservatives isn’t very surprising. They’re a confused bunch, well indoctrinated in the evils of socialism and the virtues of boot-strapism, aka “free” markets, etc., etc. Still, they’re downtrodden and at least populist as are many on the American left. America is locale to a deep strain of populism, which, yes, can sometimes amount to no more than a whipped up nationalism. Didn’t Buchanan work this same crowd time and again? Buchanan is no backer of big biz, but he’s an ardent, even extremist nationalist of the worst kind.

We got our populism and our nationalism, as did Weimar Germany just before and during subsequent events. Internationalism is one antidote. Tribalism has never worked.

Leaving aside your really lost Palin/McCain-John Wayne-types, who are upper middle-class, or filthy rich, conservatives with few or no worries in life, slave-wage labor of various political stripe all have in common the fact of real worries concerning simple survival, though “scarcity” is manufactured in and by capitalism (as De Beers rendered diamonds “scarce” by controlling supply) and not real. It’s real enough for those who can’t afford material life, even more so for billions around the world than for the vast majority of even the lowest-paid Americans.

Did Schumer mention costs for wars? For defense in general, now over half a trillion per annum? Wars ensue as do—so it’s looking as media lobbies for it too in the case of Libya—no-fly zones, embargoes and so forth. Those imposed on Iraq resulted in hundreds of thousands of murdered. Did Schumer mention the rate on capital gains? How about the fact Bank of America, et al., pay no taxes?

Not only is consent manufactured but so too are debt crisis and deficit crunch, both along with aforementioned scarcity. Media, needless to note, assists in deception.

Were politicians serious they’d begin by taxing the crap out of the elite to the tune of 90%-plus on ALL revenues/incomes over some reasonable amount for the real cost of living—$150,000 or so max for a family of four—and/or for doing capitalist-style business. (For a family, more isn’t required to live a perfectly happy and decent life.) Forbes magazine (run by crazy Steve with a flat-tax scheme and a glazed-over look) announced its annual list of billionaires, whose total wealth is something like $2-$3 trillion, as I recall. A majority is in the U.S., though Asia’s set is catching up fast. For those in the U.S. and those who do business in the U.S., SOAK ‘EM! Not to deal with phony or manufactured crises but to redistribute actually ill gotten gains, the never-shared profits earned by labor and not by bosses, let alone by investors in a rigged game.

The lesson Americans and other nationalities can learn from Wisconsinites (and from Egyptians and Tunisians, and, more sadly, Libyans of moment) is that strikes get attention and sometimes make a real difference—when labor determines what is not only in their best interest but, ergo, in the best interest of all, and the planet too.
When it’s about inhumanity, politician-leaders—like Peter King currently—have the average pedophiliac priest badly beat. Politicians and their sponsors victimize millions, even billions: ruining lives, indeed killing people by a variety of means, direct and indirect. So too judges in a grossly class- and race-biased legal system, anything but blind. There are no excuses, particularly not via some vague line to do with “freedom” in connection with never-really-free markets, that at best might be rigidly regulated means to distribution of goods, and sans financial markets of all kinds. Markets are otherwise antidemocratic.

What’s needed, to begin with, is something old—a general strike, across America in the case of America, around the world in the case of the world. If the pols won’t legislate it, then we must deprive them of it.

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By question, March 10, 2011 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The prez can find time for TV interviews, social networking, bullies & obesity.  When will he start speaking out for the working class under assault in Wisconsin & 16 other states?  Where are the high-profile Democrats & why aren’t they screaming about these issues?

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By ribbie149, March 10, 2011 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

Please continue to thank us for “giving” you Bush and
Walker.  The damage that those of their ilk have
leveled on the U.S. will guarantee our emergence as a
third world nation in the years to come.  Our children
and grandchildren will curse us for our stupidity and
our subservience to criminals (literally) such as
these.  Thank God I won’t be alive to see most of it.

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By Chris Herz, March 10, 2011 at 11:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I may, perhaps have learned something from a long career as manager and business owner in the construction industry.  And yes, there are always exceptions, but basically working class people are motivated by militarism, racism and by the NRA to vote conservative.  Only some real heavy lifting by a real left can counter this natural tendency.
The DC Democrats are incapable of this, and so here we are. 
What is a real problem is that this system of formal, yet eviscerated democracy leaves too many utterly disenfranchised and thus suffers a severe legitimacy crisis. 
I do not think we will solve this problem without civil war.

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By balkas, March 10, 2011 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

for whatever it is worth, america is neither a nation nor a country. it is more like a
region and its citizens regionals; which are governed by super rich families.
such regionals are called americans, but many are treated as aliens or discounted
as less or much less worthy than or deserving a life as some regionals.

the region, self, consisting of thousand and one voelken; some of which are more
important than others.
in case of indigenes, blacks, they r at the bottom of the heap.
japanese during ww2 even wound up in a concetration camp and yet were very
loyal to americanism,  individualism, meritocracy, independency-dependency and
yet firmly opposed to interdependence. tnx

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By FRTothus, March 10, 2011 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

“The great multinationals are unwilling to face the
moral and economic contradictions of their own
behavior - producing in low-wage dictatorships and
selling to high-wage democracies. Indeed, the
striking quality about global enterprises is how
easily free-market capitalism puts aside its supposed
values in order to do business. The conditions of
human freedom do not matter to them so long as the
market demand is robust. The absence of freedom, if
anything, lends order and efficiency to their
operations.”
(William Greider)

“The American oligarchy increasingly has less in
common with the American people than it does with the
equivalent oligarchies in Germany or Mexico or
Japan.”
(Lewis Lapham)

“The immiseration of the majority is an integral part
of the Free World package for the Third World, the
unsavory aspects of the package—the terror, the
direct spoilation of people and resources, and
western complicity—must be rationalized and, as
far as possible, kept under the rug.”
(Edward S. Herman)

” We live amidst massive inequality. We don’t really
care that most people have little power to alter the
conditions of their lives. We refuse to acknowledge
that the earth is dying and that we are killing it.
... Our unthinking celebration of individual
achievement and upward mobility works to damage the
life-giving ties of kinship and the bonds of
community. ...We pretend not to understand the
linkages between our comfortable standard of living
and the dictatorships we impose and protect through
an international military presence.”
(Jerry Fresia)

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By Jim Yell, March 10, 2011 at 9:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One can only hope that the Wisconsin citizens succeed in their recall effort against the “goon” Walker.  With luck they will turn out the Republicans and any Democrats who work with Repbulicans against labor.

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By Big B, March 10, 2011 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

That’s the main stream DNC for ya fiftygigs. No matter how far the democratic leadership moves to the right, we should blindly support the leadership of prez Barry and his cabal of clintonian scum that sold america down the river to the finance industry.

Democrats need to wake the fuck up! The party of the working class no longer exists. Since the influence and money of big labor has dried up, the dimmo elite now eat from same corporate trough as the repug piggys. A mainstream democrat is now no different ideologically from a moderate republican.

When the dimmos were in power in 2008 they chose to go slow and do nothing. We are now all paying the price for their lack of ambition.

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By Big B, March 10, 2011 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

It would be nice if Schumer would become a real liberal, instead of just talking like one in non-election years. I have a feeling during the next election cycle you will see the real Schumer come out again, the shill for the finance industry that caused hardship for many of his constituents.

As I watched Naomi Klein on TV yesterday I realized that she is now some sort of modern day prophet, for what is going on now in states like Wisconsin and Ohio is straight out of her “disaster capitalism” playbook. What is shocking (living here on the pa/ohio border) is that ohioians keep electing these schmucks that continue to sell out the entire state. Are the working class people of Ohio really this stupid? Or are there just not any working class people left in the state? Of course, as a pennsylvanian, I sit here and await the same shock doctrine to be enacted by our new governor, and blithering idiot, Tom Corbet.

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By FiftyGigs, March 10, 2011 at 8:47 am Link to this comment

Thought I’d check in and see how the effort to undermine liberalism is going here. Seems to be flourishing just fine.

I see the stock anti-Obama screed, scant mention of Wisconsin. Keep that 9/11 debate alive! We’re depending on you guys! It’s only been 10 years, but I’m sure there’ll be a breath-through soon.

Oh, and progressives? Thank you EVER so much for giving us George Bush and now Scott Walker. How can we ever repay you?

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By Inherit The Wind, March 10, 2011 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

For once EJ is right. The battle isn’t really about revenue and deficits.  That’s all a bullshit cover.
Walker has revealed the truth: The gimmick they used to pass the bill in Wisconsin was to say it was NOT about budget!

No, it’s about crushing unions, crushing workers’ rights to organize like the corporations do, and to try to ensure what Tom DeLay called the “Perpetual Majority”. 

It is a major, treasonous attack on our freedom and Constitution, backed by Fox, the Kochs and crackpot religious leaders.

For 6,000 years of civilization the rich and powerful have worked to ensure that they are top of the pyramid and NOBODY else has power. The only real opposition to that has been the movement toward universal suffrage that began, not in 1776, but in 1828 when Jackson was elected.

6000 years and the world vs 183 years and a few Western countries.  Which do YOU think has the momentum?

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By Don, March 10, 2011 at 4:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You must not have seen the news.  The law passed even with the democrats outside the side.  The Republicans once again showed how stupid the democrats are.  GOP wins again.  Why?  Because liberals are stupid.  Case closed.  Not ONE democratic senator had enough brains to even see what hit them in the ass.

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