Walker has pledged to layoff 2000 teachers if Senators don't return - will his divide & conquer strategy work?

Even though his union-busting agenda has stalled thanks to AWOL Democratic state senators – Governor Walker in Wisconsin is unveiling his 2-year budget proposal today – and guess what? It targets teachers. Walker is proposing a $900 million cut to education – and more than 2,000 teachers have received layoff notices as a result. And - Walker is also pledging more layoffs this week if senators don’t return to pass his “budget repair” proposal by today. Basically – Walker is telling his government workers they must accept losing their collective bargaining rights – or be fired. Now – one of the nation’s largest labor unions – AFSCME – has filed a labor complaint against Governor Walker alleging that he has violated fair labor practices with his unwillingness to negotiate with workers over their basic rights. And in more bad news for Walker – a New York Times/CBS poll shows that 60% of the country opposes Walker’s plan to limit collective bargaining rights – and in another poll among Wisconsinites – 52% of respondents said they wouldn’t vote for Walker if the gubernatorial election were held again today. President Obama finally waded into the Wisconsin waters saying yesterday, “I don’t think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or their rights are infringed upon.” But this is the GOP strategy in America today – divide and conquer. Republicans want to turn the middle-class against each other so they can pursue their radical agenda without obstruction – and we can’t let them succeed.


lizallove's picture
lizallove 12 years 13 weeks ago

Are you trying to get fired?!

Don’t you know that’s what happens to the squeaky wheel?

It’s not about making things right or someday getting to retire,

We have to work until we are in the ground. No Deals.

And our children, and theirs, and on and on,

They say that’s what this is about.

Where was that urgency and concern at the dawn

Of increasing cries of “No taxes” and “Yes, War” without any doubt?

We’re in today’s history books

Rewriting the pages that we just passed.

Sometime someone’s actually going to look,

The shell game we are living just can’t last.

“The people” of whom the loudest scream

Have actually got no voice.

Corporations have purchased outright the “American Dream”,

Fists shoved down the working man’s throat.

When asking to breathe after working all our lives

After trusting and paying our due

Becomes selfish greed; infringement of rights

Upon the corporations that are now people too

The real question to be asked in this “shared sacrifice”

Is “Exactly what is this costing you?”

My planned $50,000 a year is enough for me to get by with a smile,

$500 million isn’t enough for who?

Paradigm Mine's picture
Paradigm Mine 12 years 13 weeks ago

Analysis of Anti-union adjenda

It is very strange to think about the unlying message to the systematic distruction of collective bargaining. I keep thinking about the reason why there would be such a movement. It makes logical sense to conclude that after Citizens United made it reasonable for a corporation to contribute money to political campaigns, the labor force behind that corporation's income would want to have shared interest in any such political campaign. I will illustrate with an example;

Suppose I have a company with 100 employees. As the voting majority share-holder, I decide to allocate a fixed amount of money for political campaigning in an upcoming election. But my employees are all tall people (nothing wrong with that right?), but I decide to run ads that promote an adjenda that would lower every door knob 1 foot (I am a short guy). Now, everyone in my company has built the very capitol that I intend to use for this ad. But the very idea I am promoting has no positive effect (if leaglized) on my labor force. But if I had a union representing that labor force, they would want to have a voice in how my political contributions are made.

This is the real reason the GOP is targeting unions. If the Unions in this country WAKE UP and say "What The F!?! A shaving off the profits accumlated by our labor force goes to campaigns that have un-truthful, propoganda? We need to have every member of the union in the company donate to whom they see fit on a PER PERSON basis not a SHARE HOLDER basis."

A highly liberal, female, member of any Koch company work force should have as loud a voice and as much influence over the political contributions in the current political chess game. Such a woman needs representation in words AND MONEY to defend women's rights from GOP house members today as well as defend true democracy and fair elections to come.


Neuro1's picture
Neuro1 12 years 13 weeks ago

of course I wouldn't vote for the SOB, but what is more interesting and significnt is the "I told you so" vote for conservative republicans and you shoot yourself in the foot. Do you think the American people are beginning to learn their lesson. They have no one to blame but themselves..... ignornce has its consequences

militantco's picture
militantco 12 years 13 weeks ago

Us union guys pump money back into main street.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 12 years 13 weeks ago

In Thom's debate with T.J. his opponent said, "Elections have consequences." True, but the Republicans were not "elected to" do what they are doing as they often are claiming as is being made plain to them in Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio.

T.J. also cried, "You're taking 15% from (a billionaire)! How much do you want to take from one person, how many pounds of flesh!?!" Would he ask the same about a $600 per week teacher? The billionaire hasn't gotten anywhere near giving "a pound of flesh".

The whole idea of a progressive tax - as envisioned by Tohmas Jefferson - calls for a system of taxing people based on their ability to pay without undue sacrifice.

CarolynWHart 12 years 13 weeks ago

Wonderfully written! I wish we could send this out to everyone!

gregsain's picture
gregsain 12 years 13 weeks ago

I'm going to keep sounding this alarm until someone hears it, and strarts to sound it themselves.

Here it goes again. Someone looked at one of those CAFR things again. This time it was the state of Wisconsin.

Thought a few of you might want to see what trouble happens when someone goes and looks at one of those darn things.


Sent FYI from,

Walter Burien - CAFR1.com

making progress's picture
making progress 12 years 13 weeks ago

Thom Should Stop supporting the right-wing echo chamber by no longer going on Fox. For The Love Of God; reduce the amount of time that you dedicate to debating facts with people like Carrie, Dan, or Wayne. You have already lost the debate by even engaging them in arguments over what are Facts. You are supposed to start from fact, and then debate the finer points. But you're debating reality with these people! They Own The Debate and you are letting them.
If you want to model behavior, then you need to join Chris Hedges in Protest and Civil Disobedience. It's all we have left, Thom! It's all we have left.....

dnarnadem 12 years 13 weeks ago

I just wrote this in previous blog. I think is it VERY important that middle America wake up here!

It's very simple. This is a culture war. The repugs believe that the Public Schools are the problem for ALL our social ills. Their biggie - Abortion. They believe that if they get rid of the Public Schools they can get rid of liberal education and create Private Schools where all that will be taught is what is in the Bible. Science, Evolution, the liberal arts - all evil. They will no longer be taught. History - only what BIG BROTHER repug wants you to know.

This is BIG BROTHER in a BIG WAY! Small government? Forget it! Totalitarianism is NOT SMALL!

This whole UNSPOKEN agenda of the new repug party is COMPLETE control and COMPLETE dismantling of liberal democracy as we know it. This all sounds nice on paper but they will reap the whirlwind if they actually believe they can implement this in AMERICA!

To tell you the truth I am really getting sick of these smug, know-nothing, incipient fascist, fundamentalist autocrats who are trying to ram their in-tolerant bible toting nonsense down all American throats! Least they forget – this is AMERICA founded on the bed-rock of separation of State and Church. I live by that credo. But they want to eliminate that and make America a Theocracy. It’s not going to happen, at least in my lifetime.

We know what they are about. And we true Democracy loving Americans are not going to let it happen.

And tonight on MSNBC I heard a repug Wisconsin Senator refer to the demonstrators in the Wisconsin Capitol building as SLOBS and DIIRTY! This is what the right wing tea bagger movemnet think of us "Other" liberal Ameircans. Dirty SLOBS! These modern day know-nothings have lost all sense of reality!

gerald's picture
gerald 12 years 13 weeks ago

@making progress, I disagree. If they let him speak his mind, he is a valuable voice for the progressive movement.

dnarnadem 12 years 13 weeks ago

Thom Should Stop supporting

And I agree with you a 100%!! These people are In-Tolerable! And just obnoxious! Facts - what facts!

THEY DO IT FOR $$$$$! It's all about the $$$ they get from those folks who have an agenda to sell. And there is a LOT of $$$ to be made here. Just thing of the $$$ to be made to debate, say Climate-Change. You go to the Koch brothers, give them your anti-climate warming spiel, say you can debate on all the major media outlets, and they give you zillions of $$$$!

Just watch these yo-yos debate the issues here. There are NO facts. It's all general and it's all bogus. But to someone who is not knowledgeable in the subject, or just does not know, the debate seems reasonable. Now multiply this like 20 times a day and you can see who eventually wins the debate. No contest!

This has to be stopped. The truth cannot prevail if there is no one to disprove the falsehoods or if the major media outlets refuse to debunk this nonsense. And this applies across the board with all right-wing pundits and "experts". They are all getting paid a lot of $$$ from special interest groups who have agendas they want to sell - has nothing to do with facts.

mulleindeer's picture
mulleindeer 12 years 13 weeks ago

I was at a move-on rally in support of Wis. We had great support! People drove by honking and giving the thumbs up! Two papers and one news channel gave us coverage. The hateful comments on their websites were very dividing. The anger was scary! I feel they have no way to reply but with anger. One thing I have noticed is they never finish a subject. They change subject and attack.

The Pesident said we have to share the burden. So far I have only heard of the middle class and poor having to cut. It's time to spend some time finding out how much the Govenor makes. Really let's have the Goverment Starting at the top giving up a persentage of their income. The President should set the example! Then the Spreme Court, Senators.................... and so on.

Just a thought


Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 12 years 13 weeks ago

I'd vote to RECALL Walker.

Look, it's the oldest trick in the book. The wealthy have a vested interest in keeping racism, sexism, and all the other hate/fear crimes alive. As long as they can have the lower classes fighting and fearing each other, they can get away with stealing us blind and doing whatever gets them what they want, by propigating fear and hate.

We MUST STAND TOGETHER--all races, all genders, all ethinicities, lower-class, middle-class, all faiths and non-faiths, etc. We are ALL in the same boat. It's us against them.

I saw this on a poster that was part of an AlterNet article: They only call it class war when we speak up.

Well, let's speak up and have class war and end this attempted return of neofeudalism.

Martin Sandberg's picture
Martin Sandberg 12 years 13 weeks ago

When you start believing your own sides bogus polls - its over. This poll would require that Americans completely flip from the November 2, 2010 election results - in FOUR MONTHS. That doesn’t happen.

You libs are losing what little subtlety you had, lets see just how badly this poll had to be cooked to get these results. From http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/03/01/a-shoddy-new-york-times-pol...

“How do you square these figures with the results of last November’s elections, in which anti-tax, anti-deficit, anti-public-union forces swept to historic victories in federal and state elections across the country? Well, you can’t, of course. The Times doesn’t even ask this blindingly obvious question, let alone try to answer it.

But if you read down to the seventh paragraph of the story, which is on page 17, not page 1, an answer emerges:

The nationwide telephone poll was conducted Feb. 24-27 with 984 adults and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all adults. Of those surveyed, 20 percent said there was a union member in their household, and 25 percent said there was a public employee in their household.

Although less than 12 percent of the workforce is unionized today, 20 percent of the households in the survey had a union member. Although government workers are 17 percent of the workforce, 25 percent of the households surveyed had one living there. In other words, the sample was wildly skewed toward the very people most likely to give the answers the Times was hoping to hear.”

We turned away from the insanity of Collectivism last November, after we saw, with crystal clarity, what Collectivism is. We DID listen to Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged is at #211 on Amazon at the moment) and hence my signature:

Atlas Shrugged was supposed to be a warning, NOT a newspaper!

Pretzelogic in Philly PA's picture
Pretzelogic in ... 12 years 13 weeks ago

It's the fundamental Rape-Public-CON agenda: from the New Deal to No Deal.


stonesphear's picture
stonesphear 12 years 13 weeks ago

Black Mail.

stonesphear's picture
stonesphear 12 years 13 weeks ago

Black Mail

stonesphear's picture
stonesphear 12 years 13 weeks ago

Black Mail

Lindawyeth 12 years 13 weeks ago

Of course, I would not vote for Scott Walker. I didn't vote for him in the first place. And I have signed up in several places to work for a recall of Walker and Republican state senators.

Even more importantly, I am organizing people to campaign for JoAnne Kloppenburg for Wisconsin Supreme Court in the April 5 election. David Prosser, the conservative incumbent, says voting for him would keep a conservative majority on our state high court, AND he sees his role as a justice to "complement" the efforts of Walker and the Republican-controlled state legislature. Hey, Prosser?? What about the notion in our state and federal Constitutions about checks and balances? So all you Wisconsinites, let's get out the vote on April 5 for JoAnne Kloppenburg!

dnarnadem 12 years 13 weeks ago

Simple - your side LIED!

And as to Ayn Rand - I read her when I was 16 and even I at that time knew she was full of it! Wonder what that says about your beliefs?

Martin Sandberg's picture
Martin Sandberg 12 years 13 weeks ago

dnarnadem - where was Ayn Rand wrong? Obviously, the amazing sales figures for Atlas Shrugged and what happened on November 2, 2010 show that an awful lot of people think she was right. There is hard proof that her stand on freedom VS collectivism is correct, take a look and the index of economic freedom: http://www.heritage.org/index/ - the freer a country is, the better off it is.

Ludwig von Mises proof that Collectivism cannot work because of the problem of calculation (XXVI. THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF ECONOMIC CALCULATION UNDER SOCIALISM ...) still stands today. And so on and so forth.

The claims of The Equality Trust (http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/why/evidence) on the other hand were trivially shown to be completely wrong (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB127862421912914915.html)

On a more personal level, I've done extremely well by following the philosophy of objectivism that Ayn Rand created. I simply invested in the least regulated industries and over a reasonable period of time became independently wealthy. You might want to look at what's commonly known as Francisco d' Anconia's "Money Speech" http://www.capitalismmagazine.com/economics/money/1826-francisco-s-money-speech.html.

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 12 years 13 weeks ago

Yes, Mr. Sandberg your operative statement is "I've done extremely well." I..I..I..I Everyone like you talks like that: I I I. You must be a hedge-funder or robber broker or someone who robs his employees and customers to do "extrememly well." If you are one of those wealth-worshipping blue-collar guys, you wouldn't be doing "extremely well" without the victories won by unions for the workers.

America can do well as long as there are MORE people doing well--that means a healthy middle-class. Business and jobs cannot survive and be created without the complete circle which requires that two of the three spokes named "worker" and "consumer" have living wages and disposable income. People like you think that the wealthy just create their wealth. They don't. They have to take it from somewhere. Ideas don't generate capital without production of and consumption of that product or service.

Ayn Rand is a hypocritcal jerk. She, at the end of her life, had to turn to the government dole for support.

You'd be better off reading The Jungle.

Martin Sandberg's picture
Martin Sandberg 12 years 13 weeks ago

Elioflight, Actually I'm software developer (mostly) and also an Electrical Engineer. Unions are unheard of in these fields, almost everyone I've worked with knew the damage that unions do. Yes we do create wealth - how much is raw silicon worth, compared to an intel X7460 6 core cpu? If you want an even more amazing example of value being created - look at Google. Nothing physical at all, yet literally thousands of people have been made wealthy by that company.

"Ayn Rand is a hypocritcal jerk. She, at the end of her life, had to turn to the government dole for support." - that is simply the Logical Fallacy of Poisoning the Well. It doesn't disprove anything. I'll close with one of the most eloquent exposition of how wealth is created I've seen, from http://www.capitalismmagazine.com/economics/money/1826-francisco-s-money-speech.html :

"But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made--before it can be looted or mooched--made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can't consume more than he has produced."

The entire speech is well worth reading.

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 12 years 13 weeks ago

So, Mr Sandberg, in your world, where do the mentally and physically handicapped fit in? Where does my son who has been mentally traumatized by his time in Iraq doing the "Hurt Locker" thing and fighting a war for oil, for the riches of other men, and supposedly YOUR freedom--where does he fit in? Should he and others like him or my Uncle Tommie who is mentally handicapped just die and decrease YOUR burden?

Whether you work in software or wherever, you have decent wages and a safe work environment because others suffered and fought for your currrent rights. You may have received government loans or grants for your education. Who do you think paid those? We all did. We all paid a little so that you could get a leg up, because ALL humans are worthy--even those YOU judge to be moochers. Only ANIMALS dispose of their weak. I am a human being, what are you?

I used to edit an internationally famous physics journal. I was paid $7.25/hr for copyediting and for compuscript conversions--plus I worked part-time on a chemistry journal. When I asked to be paid what others doing the same in my field were doing (my "gracious" employer was making $150/page, while I was doing 10 pages per hour per 8 hour days for him), I was told I could go elsewhere--I did. I have worked in all aspects of the publishing industry--from creation to production to printing and never for my hard work--going to work when I was sick, taking work home, not taking vacation because I was the only person to do my job, making my deadlines, being error-free, not because I didn't ask for help, but because management didn't want to spend money for my help but would take clients out for dinners with $800 bottles of wine and give large commisions to lazy salespeople--I never made what I was worth or for what I gave to the company--any company. Then, I went freelance; that was just as bad.

My household has ZERO debit--we are responsible people--but we do NOT believe that because we are doing well that we should not give a hand to others who are unable. I don't know any who are unwilling. And who in the Hell are you to judge a person's worth?

Thoughts don't MAKE products--hands and arms and backs do. Thoughts don't BUY products--people who are paid decently can--then wealth gets made.

dnarnadem 12 years 13 weeks ago

Elioflight Right On! What is lost on all these "Self-Made" bragging "Look-At-How-Smart-I Am" versus "look how stupid you all are poor morons" is the fact that they only got wealthy by selling their wears to those very same stupid morons!

It's a joke! It's like that the rich man who drives down the superhighway in his Maserati luxuriating in his self-worth while reviling the very people who paid for and build that superhighway!

Logic is totally lost on these 'self-made wignuts! They live in ayn rand ivory towers! They don’t even know that it is JUST A STORY!

Martin Sandberg's picture
Martin Sandberg 12 years 13 weeks ago

Elioflight & dnarnadem,

Let me give you a few clues - I worked my way thru college - New Mexico State - it was all I could afford, but it had a good Electrical Engineering Program. Three years on the grave yard shift, get off work, go to class to get my MSEE. Just before 1 semester I had to make a choice between an expensive tooth restoration or getting it extracted and paying tuition - I paid tuition.

I didn't even own a car until my first job after college. I already knew that I needed to save every dime I could scrape together and started buying mutual funds before I was thirty. By the time I'd been working for ten years, I'd switched jobs 4 times and moved to follow them. I've lost count of the contracts and projects I've worked on now. I've almost never had medical or dental coverage, I've always bought my own insurance, when I could afford it. The only pension I'll see is what's in my retirement accounts.

Now, after many years of following Warren Buffet and The Motley Fools, my investments are doing well. I've always wished I could have afforded Stanford, to get into a startup, but I've had to settle for participating as a late stage investor. I can honestly say that I'm self-made and I'll also say that things are a whole lot easier now. Just check out http://ycombinator.com/ as an example. Then there's Apples app store - they've paid out some $2 billion to the authors of programs sold thru it. I'll have a couple in there soon myself.

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