Procedural ploy lets Wisconsin finesse union

We have been following Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s effort to stop the state employee union from being able to engage in collective bargaining for benefits.  We have also discussed the Democratic legislators who have been on the lam to prevent a quorum to take up the measure.  Here is the latest development:  Some slick parliamentary procedure let Republicans pass the bill without a quorum.

The Wisconsin Senate succeeded in voting Wednesday to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers, after Republicans discovered a way to bypass the chamber’s missing Democrats and approve an explosive proposal that has rocked the state and unions nationwide.

“You are cowards!” spectators in the Senate gallery screamed as lawmakers voted. Within hours, a crowd of a few hundred protesters inside the Capitol had grown to several thousand, more than had been in the building at any point during weeks of protests.

“The whole world is watching!” they shouted as they pressed up against the heavily guarded entrance to the Senate chamber.

All 14 Senate Democrats fled to Illinois nearly three weeks ago, preventing the chamber from having enough members present to consider Gov. Scott Walker’s “budget-repair bill” — a proposal introduced to plug a $137 million budget shortfall.

The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spends money. But Republicans on Wednesday took all the spending measures out of the legislation and a special committee of lawmakers from both the Senate and Assembly approved the revised bill a short time later.

The unexpected yet surprisingly simple procedural move ended a stalemate that had threatened to drag on indefinitely. Until Wednesday’s stunning vote, it appeared the standoff would persist until Democrats returned to Madison from their self-imposed exile.

via Wis. GOP bypasses Dems, cuts collective bargaining | General Headlines | Comcast.net.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Tom Hering

    The Republicans had this option all along, but said they wouldn’t use it because they insisted that the collective bargaining issue was inseparable from the budget issue.

    1) They finally used it because they were losing public support.

    2) They proved it was never about the budget.

    The blowback is going to be so much fun to watch. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    The Republicans had this option all along, but said they wouldn’t use it because they insisted that the collective bargaining issue was inseparable from the budget issue.

    1) They finally used it because they were losing public support.

    2) They proved it was never about the budget.

    The blowback is going to be so much fun to watch. :-D

  • Dan Kempin

    Tom, #1

    From the press release of the senate majority leader:

    “”This afternoon, following a week and a half of line-by-line negotiation, Sen. Miller sent me a letter that offered three options: 1) keep collective bargaining as is with no changes, 2) take our counter-offer, which would keep collective bargaining as is with no changes, 3) or stop talking altogether.

    “With that letter, I realized that we’re dealing with someone who is stalling indefinitely, and doesn’t have a plan or an intention to return. His idea of compromise is “give me everything I want,” and the only negotiating he’s doing is through the media.”

  • Dan Kempin

    Tom, #1

    From the press release of the senate majority leader:

    “”This afternoon, following a week and a half of line-by-line negotiation, Sen. Miller sent me a letter that offered three options: 1) keep collective bargaining as is with no changes, 2) take our counter-offer, which would keep collective bargaining as is with no changes, 3) or stop talking altogether.

    “With that letter, I realized that we’re dealing with someone who is stalling indefinitely, and doesn’t have a plan or an intention to return. His idea of compromise is “give me everything I want,” and the only negotiating he’s doing is through the media.”

  • Carl Vehse

    I applaud the Republicans legislators in the Wisconsin State Senate for passing the legislation:

    SECTION 245. 111.70 (4) (mb): “Prohibited subjects of bargaining; general municipal employees. The municipal employer is prohibited from bargaining collectively with a collective bargaining unit containing a general municipal employee…”

    Also, this piece of legislation that will send union thuggery into apoplexy:

    SECTION 227. 111.70 (3g) – WAGE DEDUCTION PROHIBITION. “A municipal employer may not deduct labor organization dues from the earnings of a general municipal employee or supervisor.”

    And for some icing on the cake, here’s a little piece of legislation from the Wisconsin State Senate to the ‘rat fleebaggers: A $100 fine for every day they stay out of the state to block a vote on the budget bill.

  • Carl Vehse

    I applaud the Republicans legislators in the Wisconsin State Senate for passing the legislation:

    SECTION 245. 111.70 (4) (mb): “Prohibited subjects of bargaining; general municipal employees. The municipal employer is prohibited from bargaining collectively with a collective bargaining unit containing a general municipal employee…”

    Also, this piece of legislation that will send union thuggery into apoplexy:

    SECTION 227. 111.70 (3g) – WAGE DEDUCTION PROHIBITION. “A municipal employer may not deduct labor organization dues from the earnings of a general municipal employee or supervisor.”

    And for some icing on the cake, here’s a little piece of legislation from the Wisconsin State Senate to the ‘rat fleebaggers: A $100 fine for every day they stay out of the state to block a vote on the budget bill.

  • WebMonk

    Tom, I will be interested in the blowback on this too. I can see a couple of good tacts the Republicans there can take to avoid nasty blowback. (or at least I think they would be good tacts)

    Most of all, though, they need to start blowing their horn as hard as they can to make at least as much noise as the protesters. Otherwise no matter how good their reasons (or their spin) may be, they’ll get blown to pieces.

  • WebMonk

    Tom, I will be interested in the blowback on this too. I can see a couple of good tacts the Republicans there can take to avoid nasty blowback. (or at least I think they would be good tacts)

    Most of all, though, they need to start blowing their horn as hard as they can to make at least as much noise as the protesters. Otherwise no matter how good their reasons (or their spin) may be, they’ll get blown to pieces.

  • Tom Hering

    Dan @ 2, did Fitzgerald release the text of the letter he received from Miller? I’m a little reluctant to take the Majority Leader’s word on anything at this point.

  • Tom Hering

    Dan @ 2, did Fitzgerald release the text of the letter he received from Miller? I’m a little reluctant to take the Majority Leader’s word on anything at this point.

  • Matt

    The Republicans want to actually do what they were elected to do – cut spending, limit government and at the same time do it all without raising taxes. The democrats were willing to play hardball by actually leaving the state. The minority were using an illegal move (though not criminal) to stop the government from functioning, and they apparently were willing to hold out as long as it took to get their way. So while not ideal, this method allows the Republicans to ban collective bargaining on non salary related issues.

    Due to the fiscally irresponsible deals that unions often strike with government, this absolutely will have a positive affect on future budgets. For instance, a union bargained teacher emeritus program in Green Bay gives retired teachers a full years worth their former salary, if they work 10 days a year for 3 years. And that’s on top of their pension. Another way to look at it is that retired teachers can earn a third of their salary in a year, by working only 10 days. The fact that such abuse of the system is even possible, with the tax payers usually unaware of these deals but left on the hook anyways, is a good argument that a fiscally responsible government needs to end collective bargaining.

  • Matt

    The Republicans want to actually do what they were elected to do – cut spending, limit government and at the same time do it all without raising taxes. The democrats were willing to play hardball by actually leaving the state. The minority were using an illegal move (though not criminal) to stop the government from functioning, and they apparently were willing to hold out as long as it took to get their way. So while not ideal, this method allows the Republicans to ban collective bargaining on non salary related issues.

    Due to the fiscally irresponsible deals that unions often strike with government, this absolutely will have a positive affect on future budgets. For instance, a union bargained teacher emeritus program in Green Bay gives retired teachers a full years worth their former salary, if they work 10 days a year for 3 years. And that’s on top of their pension. Another way to look at it is that retired teachers can earn a third of their salary in a year, by working only 10 days. The fact that such abuse of the system is even possible, with the tax payers usually unaware of these deals but left on the hook anyways, is a good argument that a fiscally responsible government needs to end collective bargaining.

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    Factually incorrect. The WI constitution requires a 3/5 quorum for any bill which would raise taxes or appropriate money. For all other bills, a quorum is defined as a simple majority.

    The Budget Repair Bill under consideration in the WI Senate was an omnibus bill (meaning it did many things). It included appropriations, therefore it required a 3/5 quorum. Last night, the Republican Senators amended the bill to remove all of the appropriation sections. The amended bill requires only a simple majority quorum.

    They had the required quorum for the bill, and they passed it. It is incorrect to say they did not have a quorum.

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    Factually incorrect. The WI constitution requires a 3/5 quorum for any bill which would raise taxes or appropriate money. For all other bills, a quorum is defined as a simple majority.

    The Budget Repair Bill under consideration in the WI Senate was an omnibus bill (meaning it did many things). It included appropriations, therefore it required a 3/5 quorum. Last night, the Republican Senators amended the bill to remove all of the appropriation sections. The amended bill requires only a simple majority quorum.

    They had the required quorum for the bill, and they passed it. It is incorrect to say they did not have a quorum.

  • Tom Hering

    WebMonk @ 4, the blowback against the Democrats – in the form of the Tea Party – was interesting in that it held the Republican’s feet to the fire, too. I don’t see that happening in this case. The grass roots opposition to the Wisconsin Republicans won’t turn against the Wisconsin Democrats, too. Though it might turn against the D.C. Democrats, if they fail to show strong support for what’s happening here – if they continue in their habit of “never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” :-D

  • Tom Hering

    WebMonk @ 4, the blowback against the Democrats – in the form of the Tea Party – was interesting in that it held the Republican’s feet to the fire, too. I don’t see that happening in this case. The grass roots opposition to the Wisconsin Republicans won’t turn against the Wisconsin Democrats, too. Though it might turn against the D.C. Democrats, if they fail to show strong support for what’s happening here – if they continue in their habit of “never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” :-D

  • Matt

    It would be hypocritical for President Obama and other D.C. democrats to continue bashing the Wisconsin GOP for attempting to end collective bargaining when federal employees don’t have any collective bargaining rights.

    The main problem the Wisconsin Republicans have had during this issue, is that the left and the unions especially have been winning the image battle. They’ve characterized collective bargaining as a fundamental human right, and it’s amazing they’ve been able to succeed in using such an utterly misleading tactic.

  • Matt

    It would be hypocritical for President Obama and other D.C. democrats to continue bashing the Wisconsin GOP for attempting to end collective bargaining when federal employees don’t have any collective bargaining rights.

    The main problem the Wisconsin Republicans have had during this issue, is that the left and the unions especially have been winning the image battle. They’ve characterized collective bargaining as a fundamental human right, and it’s amazing they’ve been able to succeed in using such an utterly misleading tactic.

  • Tom Hering

    RedHatRob @ 7, no one denies that the Republicans had a quorum for a non-fiscal bill. But did they violate Wisconsin’s “Open Meetings Law” – not rule, but law – in the way they rammed it through? I think the courts are going to say they did, and nullify the legislation.

  • Tom Hering

    RedHatRob @ 7, no one denies that the Republicans had a quorum for a non-fiscal bill. But did they violate Wisconsin’s “Open Meetings Law” – not rule, but law – in the way they rammed it through? I think the courts are going to say they did, and nullify the legislation.

  • Matt

    The Republicans apparently met with numerous lawyers before they attempted this procedure so if that’s true – and it would stupid if they did not – I have a hard time believing the courts are going to be able to nullify the legislation.

  • Matt

    The Republicans apparently met with numerous lawyers before they attempted this procedure so if that’s true – and it would stupid if they did not – I have a hard time believing the courts are going to be able to nullify the legislation.

  • Tom Hering

    “They’ve characterized collective bargaining as a fundamental human right, and it’s amazing they’ve been able to succeed in using such an utterly misleading tactic.” – Matt @ 9.

    We had some help:

    “These are the values inspiring those brave workers in Poland [Solidarność] … They remind us that where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.” – Ronald Reagan, 1980.

  • Tom Hering

    “They’ve characterized collective bargaining as a fundamental human right, and it’s amazing they’ve been able to succeed in using such an utterly misleading tactic.” – Matt @ 9.

    We had some help:

    “These are the values inspiring those brave workers in Poland [Solidarność] … They remind us that where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.” – Ronald Reagan, 1980.

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    The blog post included this line: “Some slick parliamentary procedure let Republicans pass the bill without a quorum.”

    That line is factually incorrect. They had the required quorum to pass a non-fiscal bill, and they did.

    Independent legal counsel for the legislature advised that the public notice provisions of the WI Open Meetings Law were satisfied.

    It would be foolish for the Dems to attempt to overturn this on a technicality, as any defect can be cured by simply voting on the measure again.

    It’s also hard to take seriously a complaint that this bill was enacted without proper public notice. The whole country’s been talking about it for weeks.

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    The blog post included this line: “Some slick parliamentary procedure let Republicans pass the bill without a quorum.”

    That line is factually incorrect. They had the required quorum to pass a non-fiscal bill, and they did.

    Independent legal counsel for the legislature advised that the public notice provisions of the WI Open Meetings Law were satisfied.

    It would be foolish for the Dems to attempt to overturn this on a technicality, as any defect can be cured by simply voting on the measure again.

    It’s also hard to take seriously a complaint that this bill was enacted without proper public notice. The whole country’s been talking about it for weeks.

  • Carl Vehse

    Re: the blowing of smoke about an “open meeting” violation: A required 2-hour notification was given. The fleebaggers in Harvard, IL, were only 1 and 1/2 hours away from the Capitol, so they could have made it if they want to, faster still with police escort. The Senate probably would have delayed the vote if there were the slightest indication that the fleebaggers were trying to get back. But there wasn’t.

    Re: the “quorum” non-issue: The referenced AP “news” article vaguely points out the change to the required quorum:

    “The Senate requires a quorum of 20 to take up any measures that spend money. But a special committee of lawmakers from the Senate and Assembly voted late Wednesday afternoon to take all the spending measures out of the legislation and the Senate approved it minutes later, 18-1.”

    BTW, amid the numerous emotional quotes from only those, including various freebaggers, who opposed the legislation the linked AP “news” article appears to have buried near the end two small, reasonable quotes from Gov. Walker and the State Senate majority leader. Later editions of the agenda-driven reporting will no doubt remove such extraneous text.

  • Carl Vehse

    Re: the blowing of smoke about an “open meeting” violation: A required 2-hour notification was given. The fleebaggers in Harvard, IL, were only 1 and 1/2 hours away from the Capitol, so they could have made it if they want to, faster still with police escort. The Senate probably would have delayed the vote if there were the slightest indication that the fleebaggers were trying to get back. But there wasn’t.

    Re: the “quorum” non-issue: The referenced AP “news” article vaguely points out the change to the required quorum:

    “The Senate requires a quorum of 20 to take up any measures that spend money. But a special committee of lawmakers from the Senate and Assembly voted late Wednesday afternoon to take all the spending measures out of the legislation and the Senate approved it minutes later, 18-1.”

    BTW, amid the numerous emotional quotes from only those, including various freebaggers, who opposed the legislation the linked AP “news” article appears to have buried near the end two small, reasonable quotes from Gov. Walker and the State Senate majority leader. Later editions of the agenda-driven reporting will no doubt remove such extraneous text.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, of course, I anticipated the flavor of your reaction to this move, but I have to ask a couple of questions:

    1. How did the Republicans violate the open meetings law? I don’t see it, but I’m also not an expert on the intricacies of this law. Genuine question.

    2. You note quite correctly that the Tea Party, in holding Democrats to account, was also holding Republicans to account. While it’s no doubt true that Walker is too cozy with his donors (as, unfortunately, every elected officer must be; it is a truism in politics that you always answer the phone when a donor calls), you have to remember that he is a quintessential Tea Party candidate. I’ll withhold my views on the Tea Party (they are decidedly mixed), but Walker, both in his own eyes and in the eyes of those who voted for him, is not beholden to the Republican Party, much less to the Democrats. At the moment, I doubt he cares whether he wins reelection, or whether he takes half the Wisconsin legislature with him. He’s playing political hardball to be sure, but I don’t think the “end game” he has in mind involves future electoral results. So, regardless of what you think of him, there is a certain measure of authenticity involved that isn’t common in politics these days. He can be analogized to Chris Christie. He doesn’t care about polls–once again, for better or worse.

    So you ask a very good question (or rather, you make a blatant assertion that I will reframe as a question): will there be extensive “blowback” from this action? First, this bill isn’t nearly as radical as its opponents have painted it. Voters may recognize this in coming months. Second, he was elected as a Tea Partier to take Tea Party measures, again, for better or worse. Over time, I really don’t think blowback is going to be a huge problem for Walker, though it certainly might be for some Republican senators who won by a thin margin last fall. If a general strike occurs (I’ve heard rumblings already from my union), the measure could wax unpopular. Then again, if he balances the budget and at least substantially reduces our structural deficit, I think he’ll be invincible for a while. That, along with “jobs,” is the issue that people really care about right now.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, of course, I anticipated the flavor of your reaction to this move, but I have to ask a couple of questions:

    1. How did the Republicans violate the open meetings law? I don’t see it, but I’m also not an expert on the intricacies of this law. Genuine question.

    2. You note quite correctly that the Tea Party, in holding Democrats to account, was also holding Republicans to account. While it’s no doubt true that Walker is too cozy with his donors (as, unfortunately, every elected officer must be; it is a truism in politics that you always answer the phone when a donor calls), you have to remember that he is a quintessential Tea Party candidate. I’ll withhold my views on the Tea Party (they are decidedly mixed), but Walker, both in his own eyes and in the eyes of those who voted for him, is not beholden to the Republican Party, much less to the Democrats. At the moment, I doubt he cares whether he wins reelection, or whether he takes half the Wisconsin legislature with him. He’s playing political hardball to be sure, but I don’t think the “end game” he has in mind involves future electoral results. So, regardless of what you think of him, there is a certain measure of authenticity involved that isn’t common in politics these days. He can be analogized to Chris Christie. He doesn’t care about polls–once again, for better or worse.

    So you ask a very good question (or rather, you make a blatant assertion that I will reframe as a question): will there be extensive “blowback” from this action? First, this bill isn’t nearly as radical as its opponents have painted it. Voters may recognize this in coming months. Second, he was elected as a Tea Partier to take Tea Party measures, again, for better or worse. Over time, I really don’t think blowback is going to be a huge problem for Walker, though it certainly might be for some Republican senators who won by a thin margin last fall. If a general strike occurs (I’ve heard rumblings already from my union), the measure could wax unpopular. Then again, if he balances the budget and at least substantially reduces our structural deficit, I think he’ll be invincible for a while. That, along with “jobs,” is the issue that people really care about right now.

  • Matt

    @Tom

    I would have to assume Reagan was talking about private sector unions and not public sector unions – their is a distinction between the two. Federal employees have never been able to collectively bargain over salary or benefits so I would suggest you’re quoting out of context.

  • Matt

    @Tom

    I would have to assume Reagan was talking about private sector unions and not public sector unions – their is a distinction between the two. Federal employees have never been able to collectively bargain over salary or benefits so I would suggest you’re quoting out of context.

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    @Tom Hering: An excellent quote from Ronaldus Magnus – the man who fired the Air Traffic Controllers and de-certified their union after they indulged themselves in an illegal strike.

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    @Tom Hering: An excellent quote from Ronaldus Magnus – the man who fired the Air Traffic Controllers and de-certified their union after they indulged themselves in an illegal strike.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Glad to see this, and given the trashing that the protesters have given Madison and the capitol, it’s not safe to assume that the blowback will be primarily against the GOP.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Glad to see this, and given the trashing that the protesters have given Madison and the capitol, it’s not safe to assume that the blowback will be primarily against the GOP.

  • Carl Vehse

    President Ronald Reagan, August 3, 1981, less than a year after the previous (@12) quote:

    “Let me make one thing plain. I respect the right of workers in the private sector to strike. Indeed, as president of my own union, I led the first strike ever called by that union. I guess I’m maybe the first one to ever hold this office who is a lifetime member of an AFL – CIO union. But we cannot compare labor-management relations in the private sector with government. Government cannot close down the assembly line. It has to provide without interruption the protective services which are government’s reason for being.”

  • Carl Vehse

    President Ronald Reagan, August 3, 1981, less than a year after the previous (@12) quote:

    “Let me make one thing plain. I respect the right of workers in the private sector to strike. Indeed, as president of my own union, I led the first strike ever called by that union. I guess I’m maybe the first one to ever hold this office who is a lifetime member of an AFL – CIO union. But we cannot compare labor-management relations in the private sector with government. Government cannot close down the assembly line. It has to provide without interruption the protective services which are government’s reason for being.”

  • Tom Hering

    RedHatRob @ 17, right. Reagan broke a strike, not collective bargaining. Collective bargaining is the antidote to strikes – which we can expect to see again, now. And so long as they aren’t “officially organized,” they’ll be legal.

  • Tom Hering

    RedHatRob @ 17, right. Reagan broke a strike, not collective bargaining. Collective bargaining is the antidote to strikes – which we can expect to see again, now. And so long as they aren’t “officially organized,” they’ll be legal.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, a strike (which I mentioned above) could be a two-pronged sword. It could make the Republicans unpopular, or, as I suspect, it could create even more backlash against public workers. The teachers have already received a lot of bad press–even in Madison papers–just for (fraudulently) calling out sick for a few days to protest the bill in its earlier phases. Regardless of the modest displays of solidarity on the capital square, regardless of unions’s attempts to depict the bill as “radical” and an “assault on the middle class,” regardless of their attempts to claim that there cause is the cause of all people generally, and regardless of what polls say about the bill itself, public workers themselves aren’t in a terribly secure position in the public consciousness right now.

    I don’t think a strike would improve their extant reputation (fallacious or otherwise) as overpaid, underworked, and generally a spoiled drain on the public treasury. I’m not saying I agree with this definition (I am a public worker after all), but it could happen.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, a strike (which I mentioned above) could be a two-pronged sword. It could make the Republicans unpopular, or, as I suspect, it could create even more backlash against public workers. The teachers have already received a lot of bad press–even in Madison papers–just for (fraudulently) calling out sick for a few days to protest the bill in its earlier phases. Regardless of the modest displays of solidarity on the capital square, regardless of unions’s attempts to depict the bill as “radical” and an “assault on the middle class,” regardless of their attempts to claim that there cause is the cause of all people generally, and regardless of what polls say about the bill itself, public workers themselves aren’t in a terribly secure position in the public consciousness right now.

    I don’t think a strike would improve their extant reputation (fallacious or otherwise) as overpaid, underworked, and generally a spoiled drain on the public treasury. I’m not saying I agree with this definition (I am a public worker after all), but it could happen.

  • Tom Hering

    “I doubt [Walker] cares whether he wins reelection, or whether he takes half the Wisconsin legislature with him … there is a certain measure of authenticity involved that isn’t common in politics these days.” – @ 15.

    Are you joking, Cincinnatus? The man is planning to pull a “Palin” and resign (if he isn’t recalled first), so he can accept the vice-presidential nomination, if not the presidential nomination. He doesn’t plan to be here after 2012.

    Yeah, I’m mind-reading again. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    “I doubt [Walker] cares whether he wins reelection, or whether he takes half the Wisconsin legislature with him … there is a certain measure of authenticity involved that isn’t common in politics these days.” – @ 15.

    Are you joking, Cincinnatus? The man is planning to pull a “Palin” and resign (if he isn’t recalled first), so he can accept the vice-presidential nomination, if not the presidential nomination. He doesn’t plan to be here after 2012.

    Yeah, I’m mind-reading again. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The Governor cannot hear the people;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere ambition is loosed upon the State,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.
    Surely some new candidate is at hand;
    Surely the next election is at hand.
    The Next Election! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in the Governor’s mansion.

    An Elephant body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant protesters.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That two months of incumbency
    were vexed to nightmare by a base ambition,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Washington to be elected?

    (Apologies to W.B. Yeats)

  • Tom Hering

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The Governor cannot hear the people;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere ambition is loosed upon the State,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.
    Surely some new candidate is at hand;
    Surely the next election is at hand.
    The Next Election! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in the Governor’s mansion.

    An Elephant body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant protesters.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That two months of incumbency
    were vexed to nightmare by a base ambition,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Washington to be elected?

    (Apologies to W.B. Yeats)

  • Booklover

    slightly off topic. . .

    Today I have learned that “finesse” can be used as a verb. Some days my ignorance amazes me.

  • Booklover

    slightly off topic. . .

    Today I have learned that “finesse” can be used as a verb. Some days my ignorance amazes me.

  • SAL

    Organizing public servants for the purpose of extracting the highest possible share of tax revenues for the minimum level of work undermines the effectiveness of government.

    Liberals favor activist government but they favor policies that make government ineffective and inefficient at everything it does.

    This more than anything else is what sustains Conservatism.

  • SAL

    Organizing public servants for the purpose of extracting the highest possible share of tax revenues for the minimum level of work undermines the effectiveness of government.

    Liberals favor activist government but they favor policies that make government ineffective and inefficient at everything it does.

    This more than anything else is what sustains Conservatism.

  • Another Kerner

    News media is currently reporting that the session of the Wisconsin Assembly scheduled for this morning to take a vote on the bill is being delayed by a mob of people in the halls whose apparent intent is to prevent a vote by the legislators.

    Last night a group of “protesters” were stopped from climbing through the windows of the the capitol building. Further, the state’s Senators needed to be escorted out to a waiting bus with heavy police guard for their safety.

    The legislative process in this state, at least for the moment, is thwarted by mob rule.

    Alas, elected representatives are being prevented from voting.

    We are witnessing a break down of the rule of law.

  • Another Kerner

    News media is currently reporting that the session of the Wisconsin Assembly scheduled for this morning to take a vote on the bill is being delayed by a mob of people in the halls whose apparent intent is to prevent a vote by the legislators.

    Last night a group of “protesters” were stopped from climbing through the windows of the the capitol building. Further, the state’s Senators needed to be escorted out to a waiting bus with heavy police guard for their safety.

    The legislative process in this state, at least for the moment, is thwarted by mob rule.

    Alas, elected representatives are being prevented from voting.

    We are witnessing a break down of the rule of law.

  • Joe

    Tom @ 1 – the quorum requirement only applies to fiscal bills (as defined in Wisconsin law) not budget bills – thus voting on the non-fiscal portions of a budget bill separately from the fiscal portions in no way proves that the measures are unrelated to the budget.

    To accept your logic one would have to suspend reality and assume that despite these changes to collective bargaining the state’s labor costs (i.e. part of its budget) will remain unaffected by the legislation that passed the Conference Committee and the Senate last night and will pass the assembly soon.

  • Joe

    Tom @ 1 – the quorum requirement only applies to fiscal bills (as defined in Wisconsin law) not budget bills – thus voting on the non-fiscal portions of a budget bill separately from the fiscal portions in no way proves that the measures are unrelated to the budget.

    To accept your logic one would have to suspend reality and assume that despite these changes to collective bargaining the state’s labor costs (i.e. part of its budget) will remain unaffected by the legislation that passed the Conference Committee and the Senate last night and will pass the assembly soon.

  • Carl Vehse

    The Wisconsin State legislators also are receiving death threats. With the numerous misspellings it’s hard to tell whether the death threat message might have come from leftwing insurrectionists or union teachers.

  • Carl Vehse

    The Wisconsin State legislators also are receiving death threats. With the numerous misspellings it’s hard to tell whether the death threat message might have come from leftwing insurrectionists or union teachers.

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    @Carl and “death threats”

    Let’s hear it for the “new civility!”

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    @Carl and “death threats”

    Let’s hear it for the “new civility!”

  • DonS

    Classy response by the union goons in Madison. Unionizing civil servants has brought us to the place where our “servants” are nothing but thugs and bullies. News and eyewitness reports indicate that the unionized police are sympathetic to the protesters and are not vigorously enforcing the laws.

    If anything, this situation should make it crystal clear to everyone that we need to de-unionize public employees and restore civil service laws to protect their political neutrality. Civil servants should not be partisan political actors.

  • DonS

    Classy response by the union goons in Madison. Unionizing civil servants has brought us to the place where our “servants” are nothing but thugs and bullies. News and eyewitness reports indicate that the unionized police are sympathetic to the protesters and are not vigorously enforcing the laws.

    If anything, this situation should make it crystal clear to everyone that we need to de-unionize public employees and restore civil service laws to protect their political neutrality. Civil servants should not be partisan political actors.

  • WebMonk

    Booklover @24 :
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/finesse

    The verbizing of nouns annoys me too. This isn’t a case of doing that, but it might sound like it should be. :-)

  • WebMonk

    Booklover @24 :
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/finesse

    The verbizing of nouns annoys me too. This isn’t a case of doing that, but it might sound like it should be. :-)

  • WebMonk

    DonS @ 30

    Civil servants should not be partisan political actors.

    Civil servants are partisan political actors by the very fact that they vote – water reclamation plant employees can vote and are thus “partisan political actors”.

    I realize this might be too crazy to consider, but it’s possible that a sewage plant employee might even be allowed to write a letter to his representative or *gasp* even picket!!!

    Try refining your statement a bit.

  • WebMonk

    DonS @ 30

    Civil servants should not be partisan political actors.

    Civil servants are partisan political actors by the very fact that they vote – water reclamation plant employees can vote and are thus “partisan political actors”.

    I realize this might be too crazy to consider, but it’s possible that a sewage plant employee might even be allowed to write a letter to his representative or *gasp* even picket!!!

    Try refining your statement a bit.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Hey Carl, ya think that the President is going to crack down on the unionists for bullying? :^)

    I didn’t think so, either.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Hey Carl, ya think that the President is going to crack down on the unionists for bullying? :^)

    I didn’t think so, either.

  • DonS

    Webmonk @ 32, to clarify I am talking about restrictions like the federal Hatch Act, which restricts federal employees from certain active campaigning and the holding of certain political offices. Not whether someone can vote, or engage in political speech on their own time.

    The people are entitled to civil servants who are not actively and monolithically aligned with one or the other political party, to the point where their impartiality is at issue or where legislators of one political party cannot even be sure that they can safely conduct the business the people elected them to conduct.

  • DonS

    Webmonk @ 32, to clarify I am talking about restrictions like the federal Hatch Act, which restricts federal employees from certain active campaigning and the holding of certain political offices. Not whether someone can vote, or engage in political speech on their own time.

    The people are entitled to civil servants who are not actively and monolithically aligned with one or the other political party, to the point where their impartiality is at issue or where legislators of one political party cannot even be sure that they can safely conduct the business the people elected them to conduct.

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  • Carl Vehse

    In the meantime, media clymers scream about Republican incivility if Sarah Palin mentions the word “caliber.”

    Maybe if the union rioters in Madison rage any more out of control, Gov. Walker will get to employ Palin’s quip from Conan’s old show – “Boom! Taste my nightstick!” ;-)

  • Carl Vehse

    In the meantime, media clymers scream about Republican incivility if Sarah Palin mentions the word “caliber.”

    Maybe if the union rioters in Madison rage any more out of control, Gov. Walker will get to employ Palin’s quip from Conan’s old show – “Boom! Taste my nightstick!” ;-)

  • The Jones

    Three cheers for political hardball.

    Now I have to say, I don’t think it was “undemocratic” for the Democrats to leave the state, a bold political move, but within the recognized rules. It’s not like that’s out of the political ball-field. Likewise, this maneuver by Republicans is also a bold political move, also within the political ball-field. The only difference is, the Republicans won this one. Now, of course the game goes on, and it’s now about public opinion, so play on.

    But a quick note about this “not being a budget issue.” They say it’s instead about taking power away from the unions. That’s essentially saying the same thing. Money is power and power is money. At the end of the day all union negotiations for everything, from pay to benefits to working conditions to vacation time, translates to dollars on a balance sheet. Pensions are a big part of that. And it’s not like Walker ended ALL collective bargaining rights for unions. He just brought their rights to a level a little better than federal workers and way better than many states.How shocking. Oh yeah! and now an organization has to collect it’s own dues itself. Wow, what a terrible thing.

    As for “Scott Walker won’t negotiate,” give me a break. Unions are supposed to negotiate with their employers. The employer is the guy who pays the bills. The people who pay the bills are the taxpayers. The taxpayers spoke by electing Republican houses and Scott Walker. Negotiate with that.

    I live in a right to work state, so the outpouring of outrage is really over my head. It just sounds like whining to me. Add that to Michael Moore who keeps saying that rich people’s money is “a natural resource” that “we have a right to!” because “THEY took that money out of circulation!” and the whole argument descends into a puddle of ridiculous assertions.

  • The Jones

    Three cheers for political hardball.

    Now I have to say, I don’t think it was “undemocratic” for the Democrats to leave the state, a bold political move, but within the recognized rules. It’s not like that’s out of the political ball-field. Likewise, this maneuver by Republicans is also a bold political move, also within the political ball-field. The only difference is, the Republicans won this one. Now, of course the game goes on, and it’s now about public opinion, so play on.

    But a quick note about this “not being a budget issue.” They say it’s instead about taking power away from the unions. That’s essentially saying the same thing. Money is power and power is money. At the end of the day all union negotiations for everything, from pay to benefits to working conditions to vacation time, translates to dollars on a balance sheet. Pensions are a big part of that. And it’s not like Walker ended ALL collective bargaining rights for unions. He just brought their rights to a level a little better than federal workers and way better than many states.How shocking. Oh yeah! and now an organization has to collect it’s own dues itself. Wow, what a terrible thing.

    As for “Scott Walker won’t negotiate,” give me a break. Unions are supposed to negotiate with their employers. The employer is the guy who pays the bills. The people who pay the bills are the taxpayers. The taxpayers spoke by electing Republican houses and Scott Walker. Negotiate with that.

    I live in a right to work state, so the outpouring of outrage is really over my head. It just sounds like whining to me. Add that to Michael Moore who keeps saying that rich people’s money is “a natural resource” that “we have a right to!” because “THEY took that money out of circulation!” and the whole argument descends into a puddle of ridiculous assertions.

  • kerner

    The assembly just passed the bill. Now all the governor has to do is sign it.

  • kerner

    The assembly just passed the bill. Now all the governor has to do is sign it.

  • WebMonk

    DonS @ 34

    I am talking about restrictions like the federal Hatch Act, …. Not whether someone can vote, or engage in political speech on their own time.
    The people are entitled to civil servants who are not actively and monolithically aligned with one or the other political party.

    You just contradicted yourself again. Hatch Act doesn’t touch on “monolithically aligned” or anything even remotely like that. You say it’s fine for civil employees to vote, donate, and do political speech on their own time, but then you negate that by saying they shouldn’t be monolithically aligned with a party.

    You can’t have it both ways unless you toss out the majority of political freedoms this country enjoys. Civil employees need to have all the rights of expression (in their personal roles) as every other citizen, and if that winds up with them being “monolithically aligned” with one party or the other, then that’s too bad for the other party.

    You can’t have it both ways.

  • WebMonk

    DonS @ 34

    I am talking about restrictions like the federal Hatch Act, …. Not whether someone can vote, or engage in political speech on their own time.
    The people are entitled to civil servants who are not actively and monolithically aligned with one or the other political party.

    You just contradicted yourself again. Hatch Act doesn’t touch on “monolithically aligned” or anything even remotely like that. You say it’s fine for civil employees to vote, donate, and do political speech on their own time, but then you negate that by saying they shouldn’t be monolithically aligned with a party.

    You can’t have it both ways unless you toss out the majority of political freedoms this country enjoys. Civil employees need to have all the rights of expression (in their personal roles) as every other citizen, and if that winds up with them being “monolithically aligned” with one party or the other, then that’s too bad for the other party.

    You can’t have it both ways.

  • DonS

    Webmonk @ 38: I didn’t contradict myself. “Monolithic” means “very large and uniform”. Even if every civil servant happens to share the same political philosophy, if they are restrained from political activism by the Hatch Act or state equivalents, they will not be “actively and monolithically aligned”. What I mean (meant) by my earlier comments is that we now have a situation where our supposed “civil servants” serve not the people but rather themselves. They have been authorized, because of the adoption of the notion of public employee unions, to co-opt the political apparatus to their own ends, and to openly resist, even through physical measures, those citizens and even government officials who disagree with them.

    Our bureaucracy needs to be, as a unit, distanced from both political parties. Unfortunately, it’s not, to the detriment of the citizens.

  • DonS

    Webmonk @ 38: I didn’t contradict myself. “Monolithic” means “very large and uniform”. Even if every civil servant happens to share the same political philosophy, if they are restrained from political activism by the Hatch Act or state equivalents, they will not be “actively and monolithically aligned”. What I mean (meant) by my earlier comments is that we now have a situation where our supposed “civil servants” serve not the people but rather themselves. They have been authorized, because of the adoption of the notion of public employee unions, to co-opt the political apparatus to their own ends, and to openly resist, even through physical measures, those citizens and even government officials who disagree with them.

    Our bureaucracy needs to be, as a unit, distanced from both political parties. Unfortunately, it’s not, to the detriment of the citizens.

  • Cincinnatus

    Actually, WebMonk, you’re a tad mistaken. State and especially federal employees, particularly in defense agencies, are required to sign over lots and lots of rights that ordinary citizens consider fundamental, including and especially rights of expression.

    Whether this has any bearing on the present events in Wisconsin is, I think, irrelevant. The problem isn’t that public employees are expressing their views. The problem is that they represent a unified power-bloc with lots of money on their side, and their aim is effectively to bargain against the public.

  • Cincinnatus

    Actually, WebMonk, you’re a tad mistaken. State and especially federal employees, particularly in defense agencies, are required to sign over lots and lots of rights that ordinary citizens consider fundamental, including and especially rights of expression.

    Whether this has any bearing on the present events in Wisconsin is, I think, irrelevant. The problem isn’t that public employees are expressing their views. The problem is that they represent a unified power-bloc with lots of money on their side, and their aim is effectively to bargain against the public.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@40), I really don’t think “defense agencies” — if by that you mean the military — figure into this discussion at all, even though what you said is correct about them.

    I’m more than a little surprised, though, to read that the Hatch Act prohibits “political activism” (@39) on the part of civil servants. Maybe that’s not what DonS meant, but it doesn’t do that — at least, not across the board. If (hypothetically speaking, of course) public employees were overwhelmingly given to favoring a particular political party, they could, in fact, act on that belief — at least on their own time, with their own money. Am I mistaken?

    The problem is that they represent a unified power-bloc with lots of money on their side, and their aim is effectively to bargain against the public.

    Criminy! It’s a good thing the corporations haven’t learned about these tactics! Of course, if they ever did, I’m certain the same people arguing here against public unions would also aim their arguments at the corporations, as well.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@40), I really don’t think “defense agencies” — if by that you mean the military — figure into this discussion at all, even though what you said is correct about them.

    I’m more than a little surprised, though, to read that the Hatch Act prohibits “political activism” (@39) on the part of civil servants. Maybe that’s not what DonS meant, but it doesn’t do that — at least, not across the board. If (hypothetically speaking, of course) public employees were overwhelmingly given to favoring a particular political party, they could, in fact, act on that belief — at least on their own time, with their own money. Am I mistaken?

    The problem is that they represent a unified power-bloc with lots of money on their side, and their aim is effectively to bargain against the public.

    Criminy! It’s a good thing the corporations haven’t learned about these tactics! Of course, if they ever did, I’m certain the same people arguing here against public unions would also aim their arguments at the corporations, as well.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 41: I have explained in prior comments on prior threads concerning the specifics of the Hatch Act. No, it doesn’t prohibit all political activism, and its restrictions were loosened by Bill Clinton in 1993, responsive, ironically, to union pressure. But it still prevents federal employees from running for partisan political office, using official authority or influence to interfere with an election, soliciting or discouraging political activity of anyone with business before their agency, soliciting or receiving political contributions, engaging in political activity while on duty, in a government office, wearing an official uniform, or using a government vehicle, and wearing partisan political buttons on duty.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 41: I have explained in prior comments on prior threads concerning the specifics of the Hatch Act. No, it doesn’t prohibit all political activism, and its restrictions were loosened by Bill Clinton in 1993, responsive, ironically, to union pressure. But it still prevents federal employees from running for partisan political office, using official authority or influence to interfere with an election, soliciting or discouraging political activity of anyone with business before their agency, soliciting or receiving political contributions, engaging in political activity while on duty, in a government office, wearing an official uniform, or using a government vehicle, and wearing partisan political buttons on duty.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@41:

    How do defense agencies not apply at all? We’re trying to demonstrate that the government can and does in fact limit the fundamental constitutional rights of its employees. Fact: Substantial protections within the First Amendment do not apply to State Department employees, intelligence agency employees, and military service members. As for the Hatch Act, it’s specific provisions are summarized from this little find on Google: http://www.suite101.com/content/the-hatch-act-limits-federal-employees-role-in-partisan-politics-a299331 I think it just repeats what DonS said @ 42.

    As for your second point regarding corporations, I rejoin with a hearty “amen,” sir. But the point is immaterial. The fallacy known as tu quoque isn’t terribly convincing to me. And it’s also a total misdirection of this debate , as it doesn’t even apply: while corporations have tremendous access to the government by virtue simply of the money they can wave before the eyes of slavering legislators, unions in Wisconsin have–or had until this afternoon–a legally mandated back-door to government funds that no one else has. We’ve been over this: not only do union members get to vote for politicians who might give them raises (usually, Democrats), but they also had a “right” to demand higher compensation, etc., via the bargaining table, and the government was legally forced to assent to these negotiations and compromises. As we’ve discussed, this is both problematic in terms of democratic theory and simply in terms of its unfairness to taxpayers who are not employed by the state. No need to repeat the arguments here. Needless to say, corporations don’t have this special access (nor should they). Don’t worry: unions will still have plenty of cash if they wish to bribe a few politicians (or entire political parties, in the case of the Democratic Party).

    So, sure. I’ll gladly agree with you that, just as there is too much union money in politics, there is far too much corporate money in politics. But then again, that isn’t really the issue here, is it? The government doesn’t have to sit down at a bargaining table and negotiate with, say, the Koch brothers if it doesn’t want to, if it wouldn’t be beneficial to the public and the commonwealth of the state (and in fact, in a general sense, they are legally forbidden from doing so; but you didn’t specify exactly what you mean, so it’s hard to say). The processes by which they do negotiate with corporations is entirely different anyway. In other words, the issue is entirely separate. So, again, sure, let’s limit corporate money in politics. What are your proposals? Eliminating no-bid contracts? Prohibit lobbying? We can talk about that, but it has nothing to do with mandatory collective bargaining–which is indeed a root of many of Wisconsin’s fiscal woes (not to mention those of California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and other states).

    p.s. Case in point of my last sentence: the (impossibly stupid) mayor of Madison made a tremendous show of extending the unions contracts of all Madison public workers (so this bill won’t effect them for another two years). Including in these contracts was a 3% raise (!!) this year and another 2% raise next year. Madison’s budget is already in a hole thanks to profligate policies in a time of economic distress, but–surprise!–the new Wisconsin budget includes a deep cut in state aid to Madison. But now Madison is locked into these contracts for another two years, regardless of the persistence of the recession, regardless of decreasing tax receipts, regardless of increasing unemployment, regardless of decreasing state aid. Oops! It would be a harmless foul except that it means that my already absurdly high property taxes (one of the highest millage rates in the nation) is going to go up again far beyond the rate of inflation. Two important facts here: Madison’s deficit, which could have been helped by Walker’s bill had our Mayor not left his brain at home when he was elected, has nothing to do with the state deficit (so the benefits of the bill extend far beyond the state’s budget) and, yes, the unions do indeed have something to do with our fiscal problems, especially at the local level.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@41:

    How do defense agencies not apply at all? We’re trying to demonstrate that the government can and does in fact limit the fundamental constitutional rights of its employees. Fact: Substantial protections within the First Amendment do not apply to State Department employees, intelligence agency employees, and military service members. As for the Hatch Act, it’s specific provisions are summarized from this little find on Google: http://www.suite101.com/content/the-hatch-act-limits-federal-employees-role-in-partisan-politics-a299331 I think it just repeats what DonS said @ 42.

    As for your second point regarding corporations, I rejoin with a hearty “amen,” sir. But the point is immaterial. The fallacy known as tu quoque isn’t terribly convincing to me. And it’s also a total misdirection of this debate , as it doesn’t even apply: while corporations have tremendous access to the government by virtue simply of the money they can wave before the eyes of slavering legislators, unions in Wisconsin have–or had until this afternoon–a legally mandated back-door to government funds that no one else has. We’ve been over this: not only do union members get to vote for politicians who might give them raises (usually, Democrats), but they also had a “right” to demand higher compensation, etc., via the bargaining table, and the government was legally forced to assent to these negotiations and compromises. As we’ve discussed, this is both problematic in terms of democratic theory and simply in terms of its unfairness to taxpayers who are not employed by the state. No need to repeat the arguments here. Needless to say, corporations don’t have this special access (nor should they). Don’t worry: unions will still have plenty of cash if they wish to bribe a few politicians (or entire political parties, in the case of the Democratic Party).

    So, sure. I’ll gladly agree with you that, just as there is too much union money in politics, there is far too much corporate money in politics. But then again, that isn’t really the issue here, is it? The government doesn’t have to sit down at a bargaining table and negotiate with, say, the Koch brothers if it doesn’t want to, if it wouldn’t be beneficial to the public and the commonwealth of the state (and in fact, in a general sense, they are legally forbidden from doing so; but you didn’t specify exactly what you mean, so it’s hard to say). The processes by which they do negotiate with corporations is entirely different anyway. In other words, the issue is entirely separate. So, again, sure, let’s limit corporate money in politics. What are your proposals? Eliminating no-bid contracts? Prohibit lobbying? We can talk about that, but it has nothing to do with mandatory collective bargaining–which is indeed a root of many of Wisconsin’s fiscal woes (not to mention those of California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and other states).

    p.s. Case in point of my last sentence: the (impossibly stupid) mayor of Madison made a tremendous show of extending the unions contracts of all Madison public workers (so this bill won’t effect them for another two years). Including in these contracts was a 3% raise (!!) this year and another 2% raise next year. Madison’s budget is already in a hole thanks to profligate policies in a time of economic distress, but–surprise!–the new Wisconsin budget includes a deep cut in state aid to Madison. But now Madison is locked into these contracts for another two years, regardless of the persistence of the recession, regardless of decreasing tax receipts, regardless of increasing unemployment, regardless of decreasing state aid. Oops! It would be a harmless foul except that it means that my already absurdly high property taxes (one of the highest millage rates in the nation) is going to go up again far beyond the rate of inflation. Two important facts here: Madison’s deficit, which could have been helped by Walker’s bill had our Mayor not left his brain at home when he was elected, has nothing to do with the state deficit (so the benefits of the bill extend far beyond the state’s budget) and, yes, the unions do indeed have something to do with our fiscal problems, especially at the local level.

  • Cincinnatus

    I need to learn to use the plural form of the verb “to be,” by the way.

  • Cincinnatus

    I need to learn to use the plural form of the verb “to be,” by the way.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Booklover, “finesse” can certainly be used as a verb. I guess you don’t play bridge. That’s where this use of the word comes from. “To finesse” means forcing your opponent to play a high card (say, a King) so that you can take it with a higher card (say, an Ace). In this case, the Democrats played a high card (preventing the quorum), but the Republicans played a higher card (changing the bill so it could be voted on without a quorum).

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Booklover, “finesse” can certainly be used as a verb. I guess you don’t play bridge. That’s where this use of the word comes from. “To finesse” means forcing your opponent to play a high card (say, a King) so that you can take it with a higher card (say, an Ace). In this case, the Democrats played a high card (preventing the quorum), but the Republicans played a higher card (changing the bill so it could be voted on without a quorum).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus asked (@43), “How do defense agencies not apply at all?” I thought I explained what I meant when I said “if by [defense agencies] you mean the military”. After all, the Hatch Act, among other things we might discuss here, does not apply to members of the armed forces, though according to Wikipedia there is a similar DoD directive that would apply via the UCMJ. Point being, the military is a whole ‘nother animal.

    “The fallacy known as tu quoque isn’t terribly convincing to me.” Fair enough, but my understanding is that it isn’t a fallacy unless you use it to try to disprove something. I’m not saying that since the same claims aren’t being applied consistently to corporations that therefore no one should care about public unions, either. That would be employing the fallacy. Besides, I thought I’ve made clear my position on public unions in other threads.

    Anyhow, since you “rejoined with a hearty ‘amen’”, my statement obviously doesn’t apply to you.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus asked (@43), “How do defense agencies not apply at all?” I thought I explained what I meant when I said “if by [defense agencies] you mean the military”. After all, the Hatch Act, among other things we might discuss here, does not apply to members of the armed forces, though according to Wikipedia there is a similar DoD directive that would apply via the UCMJ. Point being, the military is a whole ‘nother animal.

    “The fallacy known as tu quoque isn’t terribly convincing to me.” Fair enough, but my understanding is that it isn’t a fallacy unless you use it to try to disprove something. I’m not saying that since the same claims aren’t being applied consistently to corporations that therefore no one should care about public unions, either. That would be employing the fallacy. Besides, I thought I’ve made clear my position on public unions in other threads.

    Anyhow, since you “rejoined with a hearty ‘amen’”, my statement obviously doesn’t apply to you.

  • Booklover

    Dr. Veith @43: Yes, which is why I say. . .My ignorance never ceases to amaze me.

    And I doubt I’ll pick up bridge–I spend too much time on this computer, or on the piano, or next to the fridge. WAIT! I gave that up for Lent, at least after 8:00 p.m. . . . . . .

  • Booklover

    Dr. Veith @43: Yes, which is why I say. . .My ignorance never ceases to amaze me.

    And I doubt I’ll pick up bridge–I spend too much time on this computer, or on the piano, or next to the fridge. WAIT! I gave that up for Lent, at least after 8:00 p.m. . . . . . .

  • Booklover

    Weird. The numbers got mixed up. Make that: “Dr. Veith @45″

  • Booklover

    Weird. The numbers got mixed up. Make that: “Dr. Veith @45″

  • Tom Hering

    @ 28

    We know the Republicans thought about sending troublemakers into the crowds to make the protesters look violent. (I guess FOX wasn’t doing a good enough job of it.) So it’s reasonable to wonder if the Republicans didn’t go ahead and do it digitally, by e-mailing death threats to themselves. Probably not, as there are plenty of nut jobs on both sides out there. But still, given what Walker admitted to, one has to wonder …

  • Tom Hering

    @ 28

    We know the Republicans thought about sending troublemakers into the crowds to make the protesters look violent. (I guess FOX wasn’t doing a good enough job of it.) So it’s reasonable to wonder if the Republicans didn’t go ahead and do it digitally, by e-mailing death threats to themselves. Probably not, as there are plenty of nut jobs on both sides out there. But still, given what Walker admitted to, one has to wonder …

  • DonS

    Not to re-direct attention from the paranoid musings @ 49 (no, Tom, one doesn’t HAVE to wonder about something as loony as you are suggesting), but Japan is suddenly thrust into the middle of a real and disastrous crisis. God bless our neighbors in the region north of Tokyo, dealing with the twin devastation of an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and a 33 ft. tsunami. The video is stunning.

  • DonS

    Not to re-direct attention from the paranoid musings @ 49 (no, Tom, one doesn’t HAVE to wonder about something as loony as you are suggesting), but Japan is suddenly thrust into the middle of a real and disastrous crisis. God bless our neighbors in the region north of Tokyo, dealing with the twin devastation of an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and a 33 ft. tsunami. The video is stunning.

  • Tom Hering

    No, Don, you don’t have to wonder about it. But it seems you did anyways – at least a little bit. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    No, Don, you don’t have to wonder about it. But it seems you did anyways – at least a little bit. :-D

  • kerner

    Cincinnatur @43:

    If I’m not mistaken, your property taxes may not go up after all. I seem to remember that the governor’s budget bill would prohibit municipalities from raising property taxes.

    So the municipalities will have the options of using Walker’s “tools” for reducing labor costs (which apparently Madison has rejected), laying off municipal employees, or borrowing money.

  • kerner

    Cincinnatur @43:

    If I’m not mistaken, your property taxes may not go up after all. I seem to remember that the governor’s budget bill would prohibit municipalities from raising property taxes.

    So the municipalities will have the options of using Walker’s “tools” for reducing labor costs (which apparently Madison has rejected), laying off municipal employees, or borrowing money.

  • WebMonk

    Don and Cin, yes, there are things that civil employees can’t do as mentioned in the Hatch Act, but those are very narrow restrictions, and none of the things the protesters in Wisconsin have been doing violate the Hatch Act.

    To cover my back I should say that none of the things I’ve heard of the protesters doing in Wisconsin violate the Hatch Act.

    They can protest all they want and it is their right to do so, and they should have that right, regardless of being employees. Likewise they do, and should, have the right to petition their representatives all they want.

    What, precisely, is it that the protesters are doing wrong? @42 lists the major categories of restrictions, but the protesters aren’t doing any of those things.

  • WebMonk

    Don and Cin, yes, there are things that civil employees can’t do as mentioned in the Hatch Act, but those are very narrow restrictions, and none of the things the protesters in Wisconsin have been doing violate the Hatch Act.

    To cover my back I should say that none of the things I’ve heard of the protesters doing in Wisconsin violate the Hatch Act.

    They can protest all they want and it is their right to do so, and they should have that right, regardless of being employees. Likewise they do, and should, have the right to petition their representatives all they want.

    What, precisely, is it that the protesters are doing wrong? @42 lists the major categories of restrictions, but the protesters aren’t doing any of those things.

  • mark+

    re: blowback
    “The Really Important Wisconsin Vote Is Not Today
    There will be a vote in Wisconsin which will shake the political landscape of the nation.
    That vote is not today in the Wisconsin Assembly on the bill passed last night in the Senate restricting public employee union collective bargaining.
    That vote will not be in April, when there are local elections in Wisconsin.
    That vote will not be sometime in the next few months as a result of various recall petitions.
    The vote which will shake our political landscape will not be on a single day, and will not be televised.
    The vote will not even be on a ballot.
    The vote will be taken with the feet of tens of thousands of Wisconsin public employee union members, who will have the choice for the first time in memory of deciding whether to join the union and pay the union dues, which have been estimated in the $700-1000 per year range.
    The public employees will have to make a choice, take a pay increase or pay the union.
    I think we know how that vote will turn out, and whether the employees — once given a choice — will buy what the unions are selling.”

    http://legalinsurrection.blogspot.com/

  • mark+

    re: blowback
    “The Really Important Wisconsin Vote Is Not Today
    There will be a vote in Wisconsin which will shake the political landscape of the nation.
    That vote is not today in the Wisconsin Assembly on the bill passed last night in the Senate restricting public employee union collective bargaining.
    That vote will not be in April, when there are local elections in Wisconsin.
    That vote will not be sometime in the next few months as a result of various recall petitions.
    The vote which will shake our political landscape will not be on a single day, and will not be televised.
    The vote will not even be on a ballot.
    The vote will be taken with the feet of tens of thousands of Wisconsin public employee union members, who will have the choice for the first time in memory of deciding whether to join the union and pay the union dues, which have been estimated in the $700-1000 per year range.
    The public employees will have to make a choice, take a pay increase or pay the union.
    I think we know how that vote will turn out, and whether the employees — once given a choice — will buy what the unions are selling.”

    http://legalinsurrection.blogspot.com/

  • Cincinnatus

    WebMonk, you’re right (I think): I wasn’t arguing that the Wisconsin protesters were doing anything that specifically violates the Hatch Act. The categories are exceedingly vague, so I don’t even know if anything or nothing would violate its provisions. I was merely challenging your assertion that federal employees have the “same rights” as anyone else.

    Meanwhile, that doesn’t mean the garments of the protesters are spotless. We could start with teachers fraudulently calling in sick en masse for several days in a row. We could also cite the hundreds (most of whom are unaffiliated students, whose involvement in this circus I don’t really understand; trying to reincarnate 1968, I suppose) who have occupied state property and the capitol building itself after hours in violation of a court order (in addition to whatever cosmetic damage they might have caused to the building). We can also, as of yesterday, throw in death threats and behavior that could be characterized as threatening and even stalking (appearing at representatives’s personal homes and frightening their families, etc.; by the way, Tom, police corroborate these threats).

  • Cincinnatus

    WebMonk, you’re right (I think): I wasn’t arguing that the Wisconsin protesters were doing anything that specifically violates the Hatch Act. The categories are exceedingly vague, so I don’t even know if anything or nothing would violate its provisions. I was merely challenging your assertion that federal employees have the “same rights” as anyone else.

    Meanwhile, that doesn’t mean the garments of the protesters are spotless. We could start with teachers fraudulently calling in sick en masse for several days in a row. We could also cite the hundreds (most of whom are unaffiliated students, whose involvement in this circus I don’t really understand; trying to reincarnate 1968, I suppose) who have occupied state property and the capitol building itself after hours in violation of a court order (in addition to whatever cosmetic damage they might have caused to the building). We can also, as of yesterday, throw in death threats and behavior that could be characterized as threatening and even stalking (appearing at representatives’s personal homes and frightening their families, etc.; by the way, Tom, police corroborate these threats).

  • Tom Hering

    Yes, death threats were received, Cincinnatus. What’s open to question – given all we’ve learned about Republican tactical thinking in Wisconsin – is who sent them?

  • Tom Hering

    Yes, death threats were received, Cincinnatus. What’s open to question – given all we’ve learned about Republican tactical thinking in Wisconsin – is who sent them?

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, you have 80,000 angry, emotional folks marching around the capitol, and no doubt tens of thousands more who can’t make it to Madison elsewhere in the state. I do not wish to paint the protesters in an unkind light, but it just seems undeniable that there are at least a few crazies amongst the crowd. These things just happen in crowd situations. When Tea Partiers were holding massive anti-government rallies, it was just a fact that a few of them were going to be the types who show up with a gun or shout death threats.

    I’m actually very surprised that the police didn’t actually start observing basic security measures (metal detectors at some entrances, controlling access to the actual assembly chamber, ordering crowds off platforms that couldn’t bear enough weight structurally, etc.) until yesterday. The negligence in this respect is something that endangered both members of the government and the other peaceful protesters.

    Meanwhile, police have indicated that at least one of the death threats was “easily traceable,” implying authenticity (or a really stupid Republican?). The ammo found outside hasn’t been traced to Republicans either. The police, by the way, have largely been on the side of the protesters, so there’s little chance of a cover-up here. Simply assuming that anything dangerous or suspicious during the protests can be traced ultimately to a Republican conspiracy is not only borderline paranoid (as DonS points out), but a negative contribution to political discourse.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, you have 80,000 angry, emotional folks marching around the capitol, and no doubt tens of thousands more who can’t make it to Madison elsewhere in the state. I do not wish to paint the protesters in an unkind light, but it just seems undeniable that there are at least a few crazies amongst the crowd. These things just happen in crowd situations. When Tea Partiers were holding massive anti-government rallies, it was just a fact that a few of them were going to be the types who show up with a gun or shout death threats.

    I’m actually very surprised that the police didn’t actually start observing basic security measures (metal detectors at some entrances, controlling access to the actual assembly chamber, ordering crowds off platforms that couldn’t bear enough weight structurally, etc.) until yesterday. The negligence in this respect is something that endangered both members of the government and the other peaceful protesters.

    Meanwhile, police have indicated that at least one of the death threats was “easily traceable,” implying authenticity (or a really stupid Republican?). The ammo found outside hasn’t been traced to Republicans either. The police, by the way, have largely been on the side of the protesters, so there’s little chance of a cover-up here. Simply assuming that anything dangerous or suspicious during the protests can be traced ultimately to a Republican conspiracy is not only borderline paranoid (as DonS points out), but a negative contribution to political discourse.

  • Carl Vehse

    @49: “So it’s reasonable to wonder if the Republicans didn’t go ahead and do it digitally, by e-mailing death threats to themselves.”

    Instead of such spin, reminiscent of leftist rantings after the Arizona murders, it is far more reasonable to consider the death threats came from “nutjobs” who twittered death threats in the video link shown at “Why do these people, many of whom are professionals, feel no fear in expressing such death wishes in the open?.”

  • Carl Vehse

    @49: “So it’s reasonable to wonder if the Republicans didn’t go ahead and do it digitally, by e-mailing death threats to themselves.”

    Instead of such spin, reminiscent of leftist rantings after the Arizona murders, it is far more reasonable to consider the death threats came from “nutjobs” who twittered death threats in the video link shown at “Why do these people, many of whom are professionals, feel no fear in expressing such death wishes in the open?.”

  • Bob

    I’m with Tom.

    There hasn’t been one arrest at the Capitol.

    I’ve been up there, Cincinnatus. Your characterization of the protesters — “you have 80,000 angry, emotional folks marching” — is good fiction but lousy truth. What about Luther’s 8th Commandment, to put things in their best possible light?

    And I’m not a logician, but to say there are a few crazies=death threats? Come on.

    The other side is acting any way they can to discredit these protesters. They’re everyday folks, believe me, — as I said, I’ve been up there more than once.

    Just one example: Faux News ran a video of people protesting while they were talking about madison. Turns out they used footage from a protest in Miami or somesuch — there were PALM TREES in the background! Ha, ha! Good one, Fox! (That’s why you see protesters carrying tall, plastic palms).

  • Bob

    I’m with Tom.

    There hasn’t been one arrest at the Capitol.

    I’ve been up there, Cincinnatus. Your characterization of the protesters — “you have 80,000 angry, emotional folks marching” — is good fiction but lousy truth. What about Luther’s 8th Commandment, to put things in their best possible light?

    And I’m not a logician, but to say there are a few crazies=death threats? Come on.

    The other side is acting any way they can to discredit these protesters. They’re everyday folks, believe me, — as I said, I’ve been up there more than once.

    Just one example: Faux News ran a video of people protesting while they were talking about madison. Turns out they used footage from a protest in Miami or somesuch — there were PALM TREES in the background! Ha, ha! Good one, Fox! (That’s why you see protesters carrying tall, plastic palms).

  • Tom Hering

    As I said about the possibility that the death threats are a Republican tactic, back @ 49, “Probably not, as there are plenty of nut jobs on both sides out there.” Nonetheless, I think the possibility ought to be looked into by investigators – given what we’ve learned about recent Republican tactical thinking in Wisconsin. What’s really troubling to me, right now, is the way these death threats are being characterized as uniquely typical of Democrats and union supporters. Like our side has never received them from right wingers? Ask Dave Obey.

  • Tom Hering

    As I said about the possibility that the death threats are a Republican tactic, back @ 49, “Probably not, as there are plenty of nut jobs on both sides out there.” Nonetheless, I think the possibility ought to be looked into by investigators – given what we’ve learned about recent Republican tactical thinking in Wisconsin. What’s really troubling to me, right now, is the way these death threats are being characterized as uniquely typical of Democrats and union supporters. Like our side has never received them from right wingers? Ask Dave Obey.

  • Carl Vehse

    Instead of death threats coming from Republicans, another group showed their contempt for the law or enforcing security requirements at the Capitol as seen in the blog article, “The Other Loser In Wisconsin – Law Enforcement Credibility,” and its video and link to a previous article, “Wisconsin Police Union Members Threaten Insurrection.”

  • Carl Vehse

    Instead of death threats coming from Republicans, another group showed their contempt for the law or enforcing security requirements at the Capitol as seen in the blog article, “The Other Loser In Wisconsin – Law Enforcement Credibility,” and its video and link to a previous article, “Wisconsin Police Union Members Threaten Insurrection.”

  • Tom Hering

    Oh, I don’t know, Carl. The police have gained a lot of credibility with me, and at least half of Wisconsin. As for the Fitzgerald family’s State Troopers, blech.

  • Tom Hering

    Oh, I don’t know, Carl. The police have gained a lot of credibility with me, and at least half of Wisconsin. As for the Fitzgerald family’s State Troopers, blech.

  • Carl Vehse

    @60: “Like our side has never received them from right wingers?”

    Or, perhaps as you claimed earlier, “by e-mailing death threats to themselves.”

  • Carl Vehse

    @60: “Like our side has never received them from right wingers?”

    Or, perhaps as you claimed earlier, “by e-mailing death threats to themselves.”

  • Tom Hering

    How did Obey e-mail an actual guy with a knife to his office?

  • Tom Hering

    How did Obey e-mail an actual guy with a knife to his office?

  • Carl Vehse

    David Obey, 73, is a former Democrat congressman who decided not to run in 2010, and his seat was won by a Republican (52%-44%) against a scandal-laden Democrat state senator.

    So when did an “actual guy” bring a knife to Obey’s office? Was it during the Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, or Bush II administration? And what evidence was there that the “actual guy” was a “right-winger” or even a Republican? Did the “actual guy” with the knife object to Rep. Obey’s position on a specific issue at the time, or that Obey was a left-winger… or not left-wing enough? And what happened to “actual guy”; was he arrested and later convicted of threatening the congressman? Are there any links to newspaper articles at that time, reporting the crime?

    Over the past decades there are plenty of news reports and videos of Republicans being attacked by liberals; so let’s see the substantiated evidence of this Democrat congressman being attacked by a knife-wielding actual right-winger guy.

  • Carl Vehse

    David Obey, 73, is a former Democrat congressman who decided not to run in 2010, and his seat was won by a Republican (52%-44%) against a scandal-laden Democrat state senator.

    So when did an “actual guy” bring a knife to Obey’s office? Was it during the Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, or Bush II administration? And what evidence was there that the “actual guy” was a “right-winger” or even a Republican? Did the “actual guy” with the knife object to Rep. Obey’s position on a specific issue at the time, or that Obey was a left-winger… or not left-wing enough? And what happened to “actual guy”; was he arrested and later convicted of threatening the congressman? Are there any links to newspaper articles at that time, reporting the crime?

    Over the past decades there are plenty of news reports and videos of Republicans being attacked by liberals; so let’s see the substantiated evidence of this Democrat congressman being attacked by a knife-wielding actual right-winger guy.

  • Tom Hering

    “… knife-wielding …” / “… right-winger guy.”

    There’s a difference? :-D

    Anyways, here you go, Carl.

  • Tom Hering

    “… knife-wielding …” / “… right-winger guy.”

    There’s a difference? :-D

    Anyways, here you go, Carl.

  • Tom Hering
  • Tom Hering
  • Tom Hering

    Hmm, maybe this link will work …democrats-receive-threats-after-health-vote-update1-.html

  • Tom Hering

    Hmm, maybe this link will work …democrats-receive-threats-after-health-vote-update1-.html

  • Cincinnatus

    Bob and Tom, really? The protesters haven’t been angry and emotional? Then what were they doing there? Depicting them as angry and emotional rather than, say, content and joyful isn’t a pejorative assessment. And it’s certainly not “fictional,” unless we’ve all been gravely mistaken about the nature of protests. Anger doesn’t change the fact that the vast majority of the protesters are upstanding, controlled, peaceful, respectable individuals. The point I was making is that, in an emotional crowd situation, it’s nearly inevitable that a few irresponsible individuals will turn up–you know, the types comparing Walker to Hitler (more than a few of those, actually), the types who would shout death threats, or even the types who would show up armed. It’s a tenet of group psychology, wouldn’t you say? Anyway, Bob, I live within audible distance of the capitol. I belong to one of the unions. I am nearly alone among my friends in colleagues in actually questioning the union cause. You don’t need to lecture me about the nature of those protesting (though are quite correct in your general assessment).

    Meanwhile, Tom, I’m sure investigators are examining the sources of these threats, and that would include Republican sources. I don’t know why you must insist that a Republican source is likely. During the Lewinsky scandal, the question for debate was whether private virtue is at all relevant to one’s fitness for public office. Many said that they are unrelated. But not only do you disagree with this, Tom, but you go even further! Not only do private actions matter, but so do private thoughts! So Walker is already guilty of irresponsible leadership because he admits to having considered taking an unsavory action–which he did not actually take. Merely thinking something blameworthy now disqualifies one for office and trust, apparently. Come on. You and Bob are lecturing me about extending charity?

    Anyway, if this is just going to become a pissing match about which party issues the most death threats, then I’m out.

  • Cincinnatus

    Bob and Tom, really? The protesters haven’t been angry and emotional? Then what were they doing there? Depicting them as angry and emotional rather than, say, content and joyful isn’t a pejorative assessment. And it’s certainly not “fictional,” unless we’ve all been gravely mistaken about the nature of protests. Anger doesn’t change the fact that the vast majority of the protesters are upstanding, controlled, peaceful, respectable individuals. The point I was making is that, in an emotional crowd situation, it’s nearly inevitable that a few irresponsible individuals will turn up–you know, the types comparing Walker to Hitler (more than a few of those, actually), the types who would shout death threats, or even the types who would show up armed. It’s a tenet of group psychology, wouldn’t you say? Anyway, Bob, I live within audible distance of the capitol. I belong to one of the unions. I am nearly alone among my friends in colleagues in actually questioning the union cause. You don’t need to lecture me about the nature of those protesting (though are quite correct in your general assessment).

    Meanwhile, Tom, I’m sure investigators are examining the sources of these threats, and that would include Republican sources. I don’t know why you must insist that a Republican source is likely. During the Lewinsky scandal, the question for debate was whether private virtue is at all relevant to one’s fitness for public office. Many said that they are unrelated. But not only do you disagree with this, Tom, but you go even further! Not only do private actions matter, but so do private thoughts! So Walker is already guilty of irresponsible leadership because he admits to having considered taking an unsavory action–which he did not actually take. Merely thinking something blameworthy now disqualifies one for office and trust, apparently. Come on. You and Bob are lecturing me about extending charity?

    Anyway, if this is just going to become a pissing match about which party issues the most death threats, then I’m out.

  • Carl Vehse

    Whaaaa…?!?! Nothing about a specific date? Nothing about an attack? Nothing about the controversy that triggered the alleged incident? Nothing about a right-winger or Republican? Nothing about being arrested and charged? Nothing about the person’s name? Nothing about news reports describing the confrontation with a deadly weapon? Nothing about an elderly politician’s fading memory of his decades in the House? Nothing! Nothing! Nothing!

    You trying to blow smoke up our keisters, Tom.

    And the other report is a year-old BBC article on hearsay reports from Congressrats after they passed the Obamacare obamanation. The BBC also has reported a Scottish farm worker seeing 180 UFOs. Without any substantiated evidence, we shouldn’t buy that either.

  • Carl Vehse

    Whaaaa…?!?! Nothing about a specific date? Nothing about an attack? Nothing about the controversy that triggered the alleged incident? Nothing about a right-winger or Republican? Nothing about being arrested and charged? Nothing about the person’s name? Nothing about news reports describing the confrontation with a deadly weapon? Nothing about an elderly politician’s fading memory of his decades in the House? Nothing! Nothing! Nothing!

    You trying to blow smoke up our keisters, Tom.

    And the other report is a year-old BBC article on hearsay reports from Congressrats after they passed the Obamacare obamanation. The BBC also has reported a Scottish farm worker seeing 180 UFOs. Without any substantiated evidence, we shouldn’t buy that either.

  • Tom Hering

    Gosh, Cincinnatus, you do have a way of exaggerating everything I say. I didn’t say a Republican source was “likely,” only possible, and ought to be considered. And I never said the protesters weren’t angry and emotional. I questioned the characterization, by FOX and others, of the protesters as violent (which I think was Bob’s point, too.) As for a pissing match, sorry, but my urostomy doesn’t allow it. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Gosh, Cincinnatus, you do have a way of exaggerating everything I say. I didn’t say a Republican source was “likely,” only possible, and ought to be considered. And I never said the protesters weren’t angry and emotional. I questioned the characterization, by FOX and others, of the protesters as violent (which I think was Bob’s point, too.) As for a pissing match, sorry, but my urostomy doesn’t allow it. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    I wouldn’t get my lips anywhere near your keister, Carl. Really. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    I wouldn’t get my lips anywhere near your keister, Carl. Really. :-D

  • DonS

    I’ve been up there, Cincinnatus. Your characterization of the protesters — “you have 80,000 angry, emotional folks marching” — is good fiction but lousy truth. What about Luther’s 8th Commandment, to put things in their best possible light?

    — Bob @59

    So as Bob is castigating Cincinnatus of being uncharitable toward the protesters, his compadre, Tom, is accusing Republicans of issuing death threats to themselves! I guess that is an example of Luther’s 8th Commandment in action?

  • DonS

    I’ve been up there, Cincinnatus. Your characterization of the protesters — “you have 80,000 angry, emotional folks marching” — is good fiction but lousy truth. What about Luther’s 8th Commandment, to put things in their best possible light?

    — Bob @59

    So as Bob is castigating Cincinnatus of being uncharitable toward the protesters, his compadre, Tom, is accusing Republicans of issuing death threats to themselves! I guess that is an example of Luther’s 8th Commandment in action?

  • Carl Vehse

    Actually, David Obey had his own history of physically attacking Democrats, that is, if Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) could ever be believed. In June, 2009, Waters complained that Obey had “touched me first” and a Waters aide accused Obey of pushing the California representative during an argument in which House Appropriations Chairman Obey disapproved Water’s demand for a funding earmark for a Los Angeles school to be named after her. The altercation allegedly occurred after both House members had exchanged shouts of “You’re out of line!”

    So should we believe Waters’ claim, too?

  • Carl Vehse

    Actually, David Obey had his own history of physically attacking Democrats, that is, if Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) could ever be believed. In June, 2009, Waters complained that Obey had “touched me first” and a Waters aide accused Obey of pushing the California representative during an argument in which House Appropriations Chairman Obey disapproved Water’s demand for a funding earmark for a Los Angeles school to be named after her. The altercation allegedly occurred after both House members had exchanged shouts of “You’re out of line!”

    So should we believe Waters’ claim, too?

  • DonS

    Webmonk @ 53: I did not cite the Hatch Act as an example of what should be done in Wisconsin. First of all, as I stated above somewhere, the Hatch Act of 1993, instituted by Clinton at the behest of the unions, watered down the prohibitions on federal employee political activity tremendously. I worked, during the 80′s, under the Hatch Act of 1939, which prohibited employees from holding any political office, even nonpartisan ones, and if I remember right, from contributing or otherwise assisting partisan political campaigns, even on our own time.

    Anyway, the point I was making was that at one time we as a nation recognized that it is a very bad idea to have a politicized civil service. Efforts were made to keep it as apolitical as possible, and to protect civil servants from political patronage and retribution for their political beliefs. That was a much better world than the current one, where government unions have pitted public employees against the people and have looted our public treasuries to the detriment of genuinely needy people and infrastructure priorities. If you take an objective look at the current state of public finance, despite historically high tax levels, it’s hard to disagree with this point.

  • DonS

    Webmonk @ 53: I did not cite the Hatch Act as an example of what should be done in Wisconsin. First of all, as I stated above somewhere, the Hatch Act of 1993, instituted by Clinton at the behest of the unions, watered down the prohibitions on federal employee political activity tremendously. I worked, during the 80′s, under the Hatch Act of 1939, which prohibited employees from holding any political office, even nonpartisan ones, and if I remember right, from contributing or otherwise assisting partisan political campaigns, even on our own time.

    Anyway, the point I was making was that at one time we as a nation recognized that it is a very bad idea to have a politicized civil service. Efforts were made to keep it as apolitical as possible, and to protect civil servants from political patronage and retribution for their political beliefs. That was a much better world than the current one, where government unions have pitted public employees against the people and have looted our public treasuries to the detriment of genuinely needy people and infrastructure priorities. If you take an objective look at the current state of public finance, despite historically high tax levels, it’s hard to disagree with this point.

  • Tom Hering

    Don, do you know the difference between “accusing” and raising questions?

  • Tom Hering

    Don, do you know the difference between “accusing” and raising questions?

  • Tom Hering

    Carl, you’re getting desperate.

  • Tom Hering

    Carl, you’re getting desperate.

  • Carl Vehse

    More blowing smoke, eh, Tom?

  • Carl Vehse

    More blowing smoke, eh, Tom?

  • DonS

    Tom @ 76: Do you know the difference between asking responsible questions, based on some kind of hard evidence, and bombthrowing, in the guise of “questioning”?

  • DonS

    Tom @ 76: Do you know the difference between asking responsible questions, based on some kind of hard evidence, and bombthrowing, in the guise of “questioning”?

  • Tom Hering

    Don, when a questioner asks if something might be the case, and then qualifies his own question with “probably not” (@ 49), he’s asking his question in a more than responsible way. You seem to be irked that the question is being asked at all.

  • Tom Hering

    Don, when a questioner asks if something might be the case, and then qualifies his own question with “probably not” (@ 49), he’s asking his question in a more than responsible way. You seem to be irked that the question is being asked at all.

  • Carl Vehse

    Now that Gov. Walker has signed into law the measure restricting collective bargaining for government workers and sent it on to the Wisconsin Secretary of State, the law will go into effect the day after it is officially published. The Wisconsin Secretary of State has now stated he will take the full ten days allowed by law before he publishes the legislation. The Secretary of State is a Democrat.

    Also, it has just been announced that Dane County Circuit Judge Amy Smith has denied a request to issue an emergency order blocking the law.

  • Carl Vehse

    Now that Gov. Walker has signed into law the measure restricting collective bargaining for government workers and sent it on to the Wisconsin Secretary of State, the law will go into effect the day after it is officially published. The Wisconsin Secretary of State has now stated he will take the full ten days allowed by law before he publishes the legislation. The Secretary of State is a Democrat.

    Also, it has just been announced that Dane County Circuit Judge Amy Smith has denied a request to issue an emergency order blocking the law.

  • Tom Hering

    Judge Smith has denied the request for an emergency order – but she has scheduled a full hearing for Wednesday. :-)

    Meanwhile …

    The Fab 14 are returning to the State tonight, to join tomorrow’s expected crowd of protesters in a march to the Capitol, where the Senators will kick off their own campaign to recall the Regressives. (Watch out for all those farmers! They’re hauling their tractors to Madison, and driving them around the Capitol on Saturday to show their anger at Walker.)

    The United Wisconsin PAC has collected 133,095 citizen pledges to sign a Walker recall petition – 16,000 in the last 24 hours alone. Leaving just 407,111 to go. And a year to do it.

    Meanwhile in the interesting blowback department …

    After learning today that M&I bank gave a lot of money to Walker’s campaign, a crowd of 600 firefighters and others descended on the Madison branch to withdraw their money – estimated to total as much as $800,000 – forcing the bank to close its doors. “Citizens United” indeed!

  • Tom Hering

    Judge Smith has denied the request for an emergency order – but she has scheduled a full hearing for Wednesday. :-)

    Meanwhile …

    The Fab 14 are returning to the State tonight, to join tomorrow’s expected crowd of protesters in a march to the Capitol, where the Senators will kick off their own campaign to recall the Regressives. (Watch out for all those farmers! They’re hauling their tractors to Madison, and driving them around the Capitol on Saturday to show their anger at Walker.)

    The United Wisconsin PAC has collected 133,095 citizen pledges to sign a Walker recall petition – 16,000 in the last 24 hours alone. Leaving just 407,111 to go. And a year to do it.

    Meanwhile in the interesting blowback department …

    After learning today that M&I bank gave a lot of money to Walker’s campaign, a crowd of 600 firefighters and others descended on the Madison branch to withdraw their money – estimated to total as much as $800,000 – forcing the bank to close its doors. “Citizens United” indeed!

  • Bob

    The farmers have skin in the game, too. Many of them are self employed and use BadgerCare, which Scooter has threatened to basically run himself. We all know what that means.

  • Bob

    The farmers have skin in the game, too. Many of them are self employed and use BadgerCare, which Scooter has threatened to basically run himself. We all know what that means.

  • Bob

    It’s a shame that our Governor appears to be taking his cues from Machiavelli and Ayn Rand, rather than Jesus, his Savior.

  • Bob

    It’s a shame that our Governor appears to be taking his cues from Machiavelli and Ayn Rand, rather than Jesus, his Savior.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Come now, Bob, such subtle understatement (@84). Don’t you think the people you disagree with more resemble Hitler, or Stalin … or, really, if you think about it, the demonic cyborg Stalin-Hitler-Skynet hybrid?

    Still, your point is well taken. Who could easily forget the Sermon on the Mount, where we are told, “Blessed are the trade unionists, for they will never overreach.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Come now, Bob, such subtle understatement (@84). Don’t you think the people you disagree with more resemble Hitler, or Stalin … or, really, if you think about it, the demonic cyborg Stalin-Hitler-Skynet hybrid?

    Still, your point is well taken. Who could easily forget the Sermon on the Mount, where we are told, “Blessed are the trade unionists, for they will never overreach.”

  • Carl Vehse

    @84: “It’s a shame that our Governor appears to be taking his cues from Machiavelli and Ayn Rand, rather than Jesus, his Savior.”

    Do you have any substantiation for such a comment, Bob?

    More information on the planned March 16th hearing before Judge Smith is here. Elsewhere the amount withdrawn from the M&I branch bank was reported as less than $200,000; the ever pleasant Daily KOS claimed $600K. In any case the bank closed at 3 PM for the day, not permanently.

    The fleebaggers will be returning from their Illinois hideouts (and with some fines to pay as well). Whether they can drum up some more (legitimate) signatures remains to be seen. In the State Senate the R/D ratio is 19/14 and in the Assembly the R/D ratio is 60/38 with one Ind.

  • Carl Vehse

    @84: “It’s a shame that our Governor appears to be taking his cues from Machiavelli and Ayn Rand, rather than Jesus, his Savior.”

    Do you have any substantiation for such a comment, Bob?

    More information on the planned March 16th hearing before Judge Smith is here. Elsewhere the amount withdrawn from the M&I branch bank was reported as less than $200,000; the ever pleasant Daily KOS claimed $600K. In any case the bank closed at 3 PM for the day, not permanently.

    The fleebaggers will be returning from their Illinois hideouts (and with some fines to pay as well). Whether they can drum up some more (legitimate) signatures remains to be seen. In the State Senate the R/D ratio is 19/14 and in the Assembly the R/D ratio is 60/38 with one Ind.

  • kerner

    This is funny:


    :D

  • kerner

    This is funny:


    :D

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    “Because protests and demonstrations magically create more money.”

    [heh]

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    “Because protests and demonstrations magically create more money.”

    [heh]

  • Cincinnatus

    I doubt a recall will succeed. It’s really difficult to obtain the requisite signatures in the required interval of time. Even if they manage to obtain a recall election, I doubt Walker would be ousted, either. Aside from the fact that the public is fickle, I just don’t see a recall succeeding except in the case of gross negligence of duties or definitive misconduct–which so far there has not been any instance of either (unpopular and even bad policy doesn’t count).

    Particularly if the budget is successfully balanced by these measures, I think the circus will end in a few weeks (or whenever the budget manages to pass). The budget, by the way, will not require a supermajority quorum before a vote is called.

  • Cincinnatus

    I doubt a recall will succeed. It’s really difficult to obtain the requisite signatures in the required interval of time. Even if they manage to obtain a recall election, I doubt Walker would be ousted, either. Aside from the fact that the public is fickle, I just don’t see a recall succeeding except in the case of gross negligence of duties or definitive misconduct–which so far there has not been any instance of either (unpopular and even bad policy doesn’t count).

    Particularly if the budget is successfully balanced by these measures, I think the circus will end in a few weeks (or whenever the budget manages to pass). The budget, by the way, will not require a supermajority quorum before a vote is called.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@89), is this naivete just endemic to people living there? I’m reminded of Kerner’s claim that legislators fleeing to prevent a quorum was unheard-of (noting that, since “Wisconsinites probably think of themselves as polar opposites of Texans,” Texas history was not seen as being informative).

    Similarly, does no one remember this anymore? Do you really think that recall was all about “negligence of duties or definitive misconduct”? Or do Wisconsinites probably think of themselves as polar opposites of Californians, so California history is not informative here?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@89), is this naivete just endemic to people living there? I’m reminded of Kerner’s claim that legislators fleeing to prevent a quorum was unheard-of (noting that, since “Wisconsinites probably think of themselves as polar opposites of Texans,” Texas history was not seen as being informative).

    Similarly, does no one remember this anymore? Do you really think that recall was all about “negligence of duties or definitive misconduct”? Or do Wisconsinites probably think of themselves as polar opposites of Californians, so California history is not informative here?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@87), that was pretty funny, if also a bit ham-fisted. Still, I proclaim it the best thing Pajamas Media has ever produced.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@87), that was pretty funny, if also a bit ham-fisted. Still, I proclaim it the best thing Pajamas Media has ever produced.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@90: Naivete? Really? Gray Davis’s tenure in California is almost universally regarded as disastrous. Moreover, his was only the second recall of a governor in American history. The recall of a governor is, in other words, an unlikely event. While some of Walker’s policies are moderately unpopular (last I heard, 57% disapprove of limiting collective bargaining, though they ostensibly have no problem with the rest), he isn’t yet regarded as a disaster. Indeed, he’s only been in office two months. And, again, if he actually succeeds in balancing the budget, I doubt he’ll achieve Davis-levels of unpopularity.

    Meanwhile, calls for a recall are rather hysterical. It’s easy to be sucked into the echo-chamber that is Madison, but the rest of the state doesn’t seem as sold on the madness. Maybe I’ll eat my words in a year, but I doubt it.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@90: Naivete? Really? Gray Davis’s tenure in California is almost universally regarded as disastrous. Moreover, his was only the second recall of a governor in American history. The recall of a governor is, in other words, an unlikely event. While some of Walker’s policies are moderately unpopular (last I heard, 57% disapprove of limiting collective bargaining, though they ostensibly have no problem with the rest), he isn’t yet regarded as a disaster. Indeed, he’s only been in office two months. And, again, if he actually succeeds in balancing the budget, I doubt he’ll achieve Davis-levels of unpopularity.

    Meanwhile, calls for a recall are rather hysterical. It’s easy to be sucked into the echo-chamber that is Madison, but the rest of the state doesn’t seem as sold on the madness. Maybe I’ll eat my words in a year, but I doubt it.

  • Cincinnatus

    Also, while we may or may not consider Texas history informative, we certainly don’t pay attention to other states. Virginia, where I’m originally from, doesn’t have public sector unions, so this brouhaha isn’t even a question there. Thus, if I hear one more person claim that Walker is an “autocrat” attempting to “turn Wisconsin into a Third World nation” (or, at best, “the Mississippi of the Midwest”) while leading a conspiracy to “end democracy” in Wisconsin and replace it by the rule of his “plutocratic” friends, I swear…

    (all of the above I heard today…in an academic forum, no less)

  • Cincinnatus

    Also, while we may or may not consider Texas history informative, we certainly don’t pay attention to other states. Virginia, where I’m originally from, doesn’t have public sector unions, so this brouhaha isn’t even a question there. Thus, if I hear one more person claim that Walker is an “autocrat” attempting to “turn Wisconsin into a Third World nation” (or, at best, “the Mississippi of the Midwest”) while leading a conspiracy to “end democracy” in Wisconsin and replace it by the rule of his “plutocratic” friends, I swear…

    (all of the above I heard today…in an academic forum, no less)

  • kerner

    Geez fellas, I admitted we are provincial here. You don’t have to rub it in.

  • kerner

    Geez fellas, I admitted we are provincial here. You don’t have to rub it in.

  • Tom Hering

    “… [Walker] isn’t yet regarded as a disaster. Indeed, he’s only been in office two months.” – Cincinnatus @ 92.

    Hello? How many governors have inspired a serious recall movement in their first two months? Davis didn’t manage to do this until his second term, and Frazier until his third.

  • Tom Hering

    “… [Walker] isn’t yet regarded as a disaster. Indeed, he’s only been in office two months.” – Cincinnatus @ 92.

    Hello? How many governors have inspired a serious recall movement in their first two months? Davis didn’t manage to do this until his second term, and Frazier until his third.

  • Tom Hering

    And Walker isn’t the only one improving the business climate in Wisconsin. VIDEO. (Amazing that the FOX cameraman couldn’t manage to film any wildly rioting protesters for this report.)

  • Tom Hering

    And Walker isn’t the only one improving the business climate in Wisconsin. VIDEO. (Amazing that the FOX cameraman couldn’t manage to film any wildly rioting protesters for this report.)

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, exactly how popular do you think this recall is? It isn’t being launched by a likely opponent for his office (as was Davis’s), it’s not an organic popular movement; rather, it was started by and so far is restricted to union activists. We’ll see how far they are able to popularize the movement, but I suspect they’ll find it difficult to collect the requisite signatures even to put it on the ballot–and I’m just talking about Walker’s recall. The recalls of Senators are a joke and won’t get anywhere.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, exactly how popular do you think this recall is? It isn’t being launched by a likely opponent for his office (as was Davis’s), it’s not an organic popular movement; rather, it was started by and so far is restricted to union activists. We’ll see how far they are able to popularize the movement, but I suspect they’ll find it difficult to collect the requisite signatures even to put it on the ballot–and I’m just talking about Walker’s recall. The recalls of Senators are a joke and won’t get anywhere.

  • Cincinnatus

    (In other words, I’m questioning the seriousness of the recall effort at this moment.) It’s still a year away, and early polls do not indicate success.

  • Cincinnatus

    (In other words, I’m questioning the seriousness of the recall effort at this moment.) It’s still a year away, and early polls do not indicate success.

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus, we’ve recalled State senators before. I’m confident the current recalls will take place in the next few months, as the petitions don’t require all that many signatures in order to be filed – about 10,000 to 20,000. At which point the recalls must go forward. (see here). As for the recall of Walker, it already has support among non-union Wisconsinites, including Republicans*. At least it does out here, beyond the little bubble you seem to have created for yourself, there in the middle of Madison. :-D

    *Republican votes against the bill: Senate 1, Assembly 4.

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus, we’ve recalled State senators before. I’m confident the current recalls will take place in the next few months, as the petitions don’t require all that many signatures in order to be filed – about 10,000 to 20,000. At which point the recalls must go forward. (see here). As for the recall of Walker, it already has support among non-union Wisconsinites, including Republicans*. At least it does out here, beyond the little bubble you seem to have created for yourself, there in the middle of Madison. :-D

    *Republican votes against the bill: Senate 1, Assembly 4.

  • Tom Hering

    By the way, if you live in Wisconsin, don’t forget to set your clock forward 1 hour tonight. It won’t make up for Walker and the Fitzgeralds setting the clock back 50 years, but every little bit helps. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    By the way, if you live in Wisconsin, don’t forget to set your clock forward 1 hour tonight. It won’t make up for Walker and the Fitzgeralds setting the clock back 50 years, but every little bit helps. :-D

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, I used to think you were better than all this partisan trifle. But you’re making it increasingly hard for me to believe the best about you.

    I’m not a Republican. Nor am I particularly invested in the success of this bill, as I stand to lose either way (health premiums go up if the bill stays in place–and even if it doesn’t–union dues remain if it doesn’t). I’m just trying to keep a realistic perspective on likely political outcomes. A recall is unlikely in any event. Would Walker lose today in a rematch against Barrett? Some polls conclusively indicate a definite “maybe.” But will that be the case after a whole year is passed (i.e., the minimum period before a recall of Walker can even be initiated)? I doubt it, unless there is tremendous fallout from his budget–which could happen, but could very well not.

    Meanwhile, are you seriously using Republican votes against the Budget Repair Bill as an indicator of who supports a recall of Walker altogether? That’s just stupid. I’m surprised, though, that more Republicans didn’t vote against the bill: several senators (not to mention assembly members) are from otherwise blue districts who hold onto their seats tenuously and who won office by razor-thin margins (mere hundreds of votes).

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, I used to think you were better than all this partisan trifle. But you’re making it increasingly hard for me to believe the best about you.

    I’m not a Republican. Nor am I particularly invested in the success of this bill, as I stand to lose either way (health premiums go up if the bill stays in place–and even if it doesn’t–union dues remain if it doesn’t). I’m just trying to keep a realistic perspective on likely political outcomes. A recall is unlikely in any event. Would Walker lose today in a rematch against Barrett? Some polls conclusively indicate a definite “maybe.” But will that be the case after a whole year is passed (i.e., the minimum period before a recall of Walker can even be initiated)? I doubt it, unless there is tremendous fallout from his budget–which could happen, but could very well not.

    Meanwhile, are you seriously using Republican votes against the Budget Repair Bill as an indicator of who supports a recall of Walker altogether? That’s just stupid. I’m surprised, though, that more Republicans didn’t vote against the bill: several senators (not to mention assembly members) are from otherwise blue districts who hold onto their seats tenuously and who won office by razor-thin margins (mere hundreds of votes).

  • Bob

    What’s going on in Madison is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Fact is, there are a number of things fueling what’s going on.

    Walker’s duplicity, his lying, his arrogance…

    And his willingness to suck up to David Koch and take a 20-minute call from him, when he doesn’t have the decency to return many other more local calls.

    People are tired of the income inequality and the loss of the middle class.

    Check out the FACTS — not conjecture, not anecdote, not opinion.

    The Democrats are culpable, too, but not nearly as much as the Right.

    For Walker to take rights away from a $10/hr. library worker in Wisconsin just fuels the anger.

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph

  • Bob

    What’s going on in Madison is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Fact is, there are a number of things fueling what’s going on.

    Walker’s duplicity, his lying, his arrogance…

    And his willingness to suck up to David Koch and take a 20-minute call from him, when he doesn’t have the decency to return many other more local calls.

    People are tired of the income inequality and the loss of the middle class.

    Check out the FACTS — not conjecture, not anecdote, not opinion.

    The Democrats are culpable, too, but not nearly as much as the Right.

    For Walker to take rights away from a $10/hr. library worker in Wisconsin just fuels the anger.

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    I believe the Koch brothers will be distracted for a while. Karl Rove required their help to operate the earthquake and tsunami machinery.

    I’d advise renewing the tinfoil at least monthly. It’s the only way to stay safe.

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    I believe the Koch brothers will be distracted for a while. Karl Rove required their help to operate the earthquake and tsunami machinery.

    I’d advise renewing the tinfoil at least monthly. It’s the only way to stay safe.

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus @ 101, I can live with disappointing you, as I disappoint myself all the time. And I prefer being partisan to remaining above a fray that matters. After all, the only risk I run is being wrong. :-D

    You doubt the movement to recall Walker will last until January, 2012 (the soonest a recall can begin). But this assumes Walker won’t do anything more to anger Wisconsinites over the next nine months. Which isn’t something I’d bet on, myself.

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus @ 101, I can live with disappointing you, as I disappoint myself all the time. And I prefer being partisan to remaining above a fray that matters. After all, the only risk I run is being wrong. :-D

    You doubt the movement to recall Walker will last until January, 2012 (the soonest a recall can begin). But this assumes Walker won’t do anything more to anger Wisconsinites over the next nine months. Which isn’t something I’d bet on, myself.

  • Bob

    Tom @104,

    Great point.

    From what friends from the Milwaukee area tell me, he’s likely to do much, much more to alienate the majority of Badgers. He’s a True Believer, an ideologue who takes no prisoners.

    When he was punked by the fake David Koch, Scooter revealed that he thinks this is “our moment.”

    This is classic oooooooooooooverreach. The election of Scooter and the other Repubs. wasn’t a mandate — more of a correction from a frustrated public willing to try another way.

    He and the Repub. senators in Wis. will soon find out — no one appreciates someone who lies and tries to pit regular citizens against each other. His time here is already waning.

  • Bob

    Tom @104,

    Great point.

    From what friends from the Milwaukee area tell me, he’s likely to do much, much more to alienate the majority of Badgers. He’s a True Believer, an ideologue who takes no prisoners.

    When he was punked by the fake David Koch, Scooter revealed that he thinks this is “our moment.”

    This is classic oooooooooooooverreach. The election of Scooter and the other Repubs. wasn’t a mandate — more of a correction from a frustrated public willing to try another way.

    He and the Repub. senators in Wis. will soon find out — no one appreciates someone who lies and tries to pit regular citizens against each other. His time here is already waning.

  • Tom Hering

    Bob @ 105, Walker is a non-denominational evangelical, and the son of a preacher. So I suspect his next move is to do everything he can to make abortions impossible in Wisconsin (he’s firmly against exceptions for cases of rape and incest). Moral arguments aside, this is sure to shift the recall movement into high gear, and make him even more of a conservative hero than he is now. As well as a shoo-in for the vice-presidential nomination, if not the presidential. (Remember, early on, no one thought Obama had a chance.)

  • Tom Hering

    Bob @ 105, Walker is a non-denominational evangelical, and the son of a preacher. So I suspect his next move is to do everything he can to make abortions impossible in Wisconsin (he’s firmly against exceptions for cases of rape and incest). Moral arguments aside, this is sure to shift the recall movement into high gear, and make him even more of a conservative hero than he is now. As well as a shoo-in for the vice-presidential nomination, if not the presidential. (Remember, early on, no one thought Obama had a chance.)

  • Cincinnatus

    I hate to interrupt the Bob and Tom party, but I’ll buy you both a virtual beer if even a single recall effort succeeds. Meanwhile, why, again, should we recall half of Wisconsin’s government two months after they have taken office? To me, this is another example of sore-losership. Not that I dispute the people’s “right” to engage in such mechanisms (as I would dispute the prerogative of legislators to flee the state), but the issue seems far too trivial to merit such extreme measures. Again, collective bargaining for public employees isn’t even an issue in many states: they don’t do it, never have, and are often better off fiscally because of it. We’ll see.

    On the other hand, while I won’t even confront your ridiculous charges of deceit, etc., on the part of the Republicans, Bob, you are quite right to note (as I did above) that Walker could certainly enrage a number of other voters in the coming months. His budget will no doubt upset many: those who have recently come to enjoy the benefits of BadgerCare, which was wildly overextended by Doyle, will not appreciate being kicked off so soon. Education cuts are always subsumed by riotous cries of “think of the children!” even though dollars-expended-per-student bears little causal relation to educational outcomes. In short, genuine, heavy spending-cuts hurt.

    But keep this in mind: voters may not have specifically elected Walker to cut collective bargaining, for example, but they did specifically elect him to “fix” Wisconsin’s economic problems (including the deficit) knowing that his course of action would be to cut spending and certain taxes. They specifically rejected his opponent Barrett, whose stated policies were essentially the opposite. The masses are indeed fickle, but I will lose some of the little faith I have in democracy if they are so fickle as to say that “I wanted spending cuts, but now I don’t–and I can’t even wait until the end of your term.”

    Also, keep in mind this related fact: already, I’ve seen ads excoriating Walker’s budget because it cuts BadgerCare and education–and this is, of course, unacceptable (think of the children, the poor, the elderly, and the freeloaders!). But state governments spend almost their entire budgets on education and healthcare, so unless you’d like to cut nothing at all and continue to ignore the problem, there is literally no way to repair our budgetary problems without trimming those items that constitute the vast majority of the budget.

    For my part, I’d rather see my local school district lay off its “LBGT Counselor” (who makes in excess of 60k annually before benefits while contributing what exactly to public education?) or see BadgerCare cut down on providing free vasectomies, gender reassignment surgeries, and birth control pills (all are, except in certain very limited circumstances, nonessential procedures) than illegally raid the State’s medical malpractice fund to reward union cronies (as Doyle did), for example.

  • Cincinnatus

    I hate to interrupt the Bob and Tom party, but I’ll buy you both a virtual beer if even a single recall effort succeeds. Meanwhile, why, again, should we recall half of Wisconsin’s government two months after they have taken office? To me, this is another example of sore-losership. Not that I dispute the people’s “right” to engage in such mechanisms (as I would dispute the prerogative of legislators to flee the state), but the issue seems far too trivial to merit such extreme measures. Again, collective bargaining for public employees isn’t even an issue in many states: they don’t do it, never have, and are often better off fiscally because of it. We’ll see.

    On the other hand, while I won’t even confront your ridiculous charges of deceit, etc., on the part of the Republicans, Bob, you are quite right to note (as I did above) that Walker could certainly enrage a number of other voters in the coming months. His budget will no doubt upset many: those who have recently come to enjoy the benefits of BadgerCare, which was wildly overextended by Doyle, will not appreciate being kicked off so soon. Education cuts are always subsumed by riotous cries of “think of the children!” even though dollars-expended-per-student bears little causal relation to educational outcomes. In short, genuine, heavy spending-cuts hurt.

    But keep this in mind: voters may not have specifically elected Walker to cut collective bargaining, for example, but they did specifically elect him to “fix” Wisconsin’s economic problems (including the deficit) knowing that his course of action would be to cut spending and certain taxes. They specifically rejected his opponent Barrett, whose stated policies were essentially the opposite. The masses are indeed fickle, but I will lose some of the little faith I have in democracy if they are so fickle as to say that “I wanted spending cuts, but now I don’t–and I can’t even wait until the end of your term.”

    Also, keep in mind this related fact: already, I’ve seen ads excoriating Walker’s budget because it cuts BadgerCare and education–and this is, of course, unacceptable (think of the children, the poor, the elderly, and the freeloaders!). But state governments spend almost their entire budgets on education and healthcare, so unless you’d like to cut nothing at all and continue to ignore the problem, there is literally no way to repair our budgetary problems without trimming those items that constitute the vast majority of the budget.

    For my part, I’d rather see my local school district lay off its “LBGT Counselor” (who makes in excess of 60k annually before benefits while contributing what exactly to public education?) or see BadgerCare cut down on providing free vasectomies, gender reassignment surgeries, and birth control pills (all are, except in certain very limited circumstances, nonessential procedures) than illegally raid the State’s medical malpractice fund to reward union cronies (as Doyle did), for example.

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus, there you go again, exaggerating. The recall of six Democratic and eight Republican Senators would hardly be “half” of Wisconsin’s government.

    80% of states have some form of collective bargaining, at the state and/or local level. Some of these states are better off than Wisconsin, and some are worse. The real point is: public employee compensation isn’t the cause of our current financial woes. The Great Recession is. It wasn’t the school on Maple Street that caused our current problem – it was Wall Street (in which many states invested heavily.) So let’s start putting the blame where it belongs, and demand that the rich – who’ve ruined our country economically – pay the price to fix it. Not working and middle class families. (Want to call that class warfare? Fine. Tit for tat.)

    As for why Wisconsinites voted for Walker, that too was all about the Great Recession. He won only because he promised to create 250,000 new jobs in his first term. The Democrats lost only because they failed to put jobs front and center. (You’ll remember I made this same argument back in 2010.) So let’s drop the specious “mandate” argument already.

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus, there you go again, exaggerating. The recall of six Democratic and eight Republican Senators would hardly be “half” of Wisconsin’s government.

    80% of states have some form of collective bargaining, at the state and/or local level. Some of these states are better off than Wisconsin, and some are worse. The real point is: public employee compensation isn’t the cause of our current financial woes. The Great Recession is. It wasn’t the school on Maple Street that caused our current problem – it was Wall Street (in which many states invested heavily.) So let’s start putting the blame where it belongs, and demand that the rich – who’ve ruined our country economically – pay the price to fix it. Not working and middle class families. (Want to call that class warfare? Fine. Tit for tat.)

    As for why Wisconsinites voted for Walker, that too was all about the Great Recession. He won only because he promised to create 250,000 new jobs in his first term. The Democrats lost only because they failed to put jobs front and center. (You’ll remember I made this same argument back in 2010.) So let’s drop the specious “mandate” argument already.

  • Cincinnatus

    Oh, thanks Tom. I’m glad someone keeps a precise enumeration of elected officers. How much was I off? Would it actually be 3/8th of the government? Maybe 1/9th? Way to miss my point.

    Anyway, as far as I know, you’re correct on this point: there is no demonstrable correlation between state budget deficits and collective bargaining by bureaucrats. That does not mean that you can claim that collective bargaining in Wisconsin is unrelated to Wisconsin’s public budget, especially at the local level. Why target collective bargaining then? So that budgets can actually be balanced within a reasonable frame of time. Local budgets are tremendously handicapped by union contracts–just take a look at Milwaukee’s balance sheet for proof. Regardless of your opinion on the matter, limiting collective bargaining will give cash-strapped localities in Wisconsin (i.e., all of them) the flexibility they need actually to balance their budgets without relying on (non-existent) state aid.

    Could there be better ways to achieve such flexibility? Raising taxes perhaps? With some of the highest property taxes in the nation, not really. Cutting transportation? Roads in Madison and elsewhere in the state look as if they’ve been used by Soviet tanks in the Eastern bloc, so I don’t think there is any more room to cut in that department. Public services like police and trash collection are, beyond payroll (*ahem* unions *cough*), essential services. Madison will be cutting in the parks department, but let me know when you can save $3.6 billion by neglecting to mow a few playgrounds and medians.

    Seriously, give me your plan to eliminate a $3.6 billion structural deficit (not to mention debt). Ranting about “the rich” is fine, but irrelevant. “They” may have “caused” the Recession, but what does that have to do with Wisconsin? We could raise “their” taxes some–until they decide to move to another state (which they can do because money buys mobility) and take the state’s tax base with them (which has been happening already in the past decade). States don’t have the option to tax or punish “Wall Street” institutions since they are 1,000 miles away. So tell me: what would you do? I want details. I don’t claim that Walker’s plan is the best, I am claiming that, in general terms, it is one of the only possible plans that is remotely viable.

    Meanwhile, are you seriously claiming that the voting public was stupid enough to believe Walker’s campaign promises about “creating” jobs–and 250,000 jobs at that? While they surely believed that he would create a “friendlier” business climate (which Doyle excelled at not doing), I was under the impression that the voting public was a just a tad more intelligent than to fall en masse for a vaid and impossible promise (government can’t “create” jobs). Then again, they did elect our current president on the ostensible basis that he would create “hope” and “change.” In the end, Walker was elected because he was a better candidate than Barrett (which may be saying a lot about how awful Barrett was). Either way, he was elected. I don’t use the language of “mandate,” but what is he supposed to do? He has a majority in both houses of the legislature, and he was elected with all the powers appertaining thereto. He can pass whatever policies the legislature will allow him to pass. These policies may prove unpopular, and he may thus lose his next election (which is likely if someone like Feingold steps to the plate). Big deal. That’s how electoral politics works. He’s spending lots of political capital, to be sure, but what would you propose he do? He doesn’t need to listen to the minority party if he doesn’t wish to do so, and if he doesn’t think their ideas are viable (which they haven’t been for the past eight years). Doyle did whatever he wanted when he presided over an undivided government, up to and including behavior that was, in fact, illegal–right up until he and his party were overwhelmingly booted from office. Did you complain then? Was Doyle “overreaching”? Was he a “dictator”?

  • Cincinnatus

    Oh, thanks Tom. I’m glad someone keeps a precise enumeration of elected officers. How much was I off? Would it actually be 3/8th of the government? Maybe 1/9th? Way to miss my point.

    Anyway, as far as I know, you’re correct on this point: there is no demonstrable correlation between state budget deficits and collective bargaining by bureaucrats. That does not mean that you can claim that collective bargaining in Wisconsin is unrelated to Wisconsin’s public budget, especially at the local level. Why target collective bargaining then? So that budgets can actually be balanced within a reasonable frame of time. Local budgets are tremendously handicapped by union contracts–just take a look at Milwaukee’s balance sheet for proof. Regardless of your opinion on the matter, limiting collective bargaining will give cash-strapped localities in Wisconsin (i.e., all of them) the flexibility they need actually to balance their budgets without relying on (non-existent) state aid.

    Could there be better ways to achieve such flexibility? Raising taxes perhaps? With some of the highest property taxes in the nation, not really. Cutting transportation? Roads in Madison and elsewhere in the state look as if they’ve been used by Soviet tanks in the Eastern bloc, so I don’t think there is any more room to cut in that department. Public services like police and trash collection are, beyond payroll (*ahem* unions *cough*), essential services. Madison will be cutting in the parks department, but let me know when you can save $3.6 billion by neglecting to mow a few playgrounds and medians.

    Seriously, give me your plan to eliminate a $3.6 billion structural deficit (not to mention debt). Ranting about “the rich” is fine, but irrelevant. “They” may have “caused” the Recession, but what does that have to do with Wisconsin? We could raise “their” taxes some–until they decide to move to another state (which they can do because money buys mobility) and take the state’s tax base with them (which has been happening already in the past decade). States don’t have the option to tax or punish “Wall Street” institutions since they are 1,000 miles away. So tell me: what would you do? I want details. I don’t claim that Walker’s plan is the best, I am claiming that, in general terms, it is one of the only possible plans that is remotely viable.

    Meanwhile, are you seriously claiming that the voting public was stupid enough to believe Walker’s campaign promises about “creating” jobs–and 250,000 jobs at that? While they surely believed that he would create a “friendlier” business climate (which Doyle excelled at not doing), I was under the impression that the voting public was a just a tad more intelligent than to fall en masse for a vaid and impossible promise (government can’t “create” jobs). Then again, they did elect our current president on the ostensible basis that he would create “hope” and “change.” In the end, Walker was elected because he was a better candidate than Barrett (which may be saying a lot about how awful Barrett was). Either way, he was elected. I don’t use the language of “mandate,” but what is he supposed to do? He has a majority in both houses of the legislature, and he was elected with all the powers appertaining thereto. He can pass whatever policies the legislature will allow him to pass. These policies may prove unpopular, and he may thus lose his next election (which is likely if someone like Feingold steps to the plate). Big deal. That’s how electoral politics works. He’s spending lots of political capital, to be sure, but what would you propose he do? He doesn’t need to listen to the minority party if he doesn’t wish to do so, and if he doesn’t think their ideas are viable (which they haven’t been for the past eight years). Doyle did whatever he wanted when he presided over an undivided government, up to and including behavior that was, in fact, illegal–right up until he and his party were overwhelmingly booted from office. Did you complain then? Was Doyle “overreaching”? Was he a “dictator”?

  • Dust

    RedHatRob at 103….this is one of the things I love about this blog, getting great links to other sites, like yours! Excellent and highly recommend….your reading list is just about as good as American Spectators :)

  • Dust

    RedHatRob at 103….this is one of the things I love about this blog, getting great links to other sites, like yours! Excellent and highly recommend….your reading list is just about as good as American Spectators :)

  • Tom Hering

    What are you telling me, Cincinnatus? That Wisconsinites didn’t vote to improve the jobs situation? To stop job losses and start jobs creation? To allay their fears? Come on. Things get pretty basic at the polls. It was out with the old and in with the new, which always happens when troubled times go on too long.

    Look at this. Where’s the promise to severely restrict collective bargaining? Why did the restrictions have to be rammed through, apart from the budget? You know why and I know why. What you don’t seem to understand (or just refuse to acknowledge) is that a majority of Wisconsinites consider it unfair treatment of people who are their friends, neighbors, and family members. Scapegoating that’s designed to (among other things) save the asses (and fill the pockets) of the very same fat cats who wrecked the economy and financed Walker’s campaign.

    By the way, Doyle wasn’t booted out, because he didn’t run for another term. Was he a dictator? A better question is: did he fill the streets of Madison with angry citizens?

  • Tom Hering

    What are you telling me, Cincinnatus? That Wisconsinites didn’t vote to improve the jobs situation? To stop job losses and start jobs creation? To allay their fears? Come on. Things get pretty basic at the polls. It was out with the old and in with the new, which always happens when troubled times go on too long.

    Look at this. Where’s the promise to severely restrict collective bargaining? Why did the restrictions have to be rammed through, apart from the budget? You know why and I know why. What you don’t seem to understand (or just refuse to acknowledge) is that a majority of Wisconsinites consider it unfair treatment of people who are their friends, neighbors, and family members. Scapegoating that’s designed to (among other things) save the asses (and fill the pockets) of the very same fat cats who wrecked the economy and financed Walker’s campaign.

    By the way, Doyle wasn’t booted out, because he didn’t run for another term. Was he a dictator? A better question is: did he fill the streets of Madison with angry citizens?

  • Cincinnatus

    Exactly whose pockets are going to be filled by limiting collective bargaining for public employees?

  • Cincinnatus

    Exactly whose pockets are going to be filled by limiting collective bargaining for public employees?

  • Tom Hering

    Exactly which government services (including public education) is Walker seeking to privatize – at least in part, to begin with? There’s your answer.

  • Tom Hering

    Exactly which government services (including public education) is Walker seeking to privatize – at least in part, to begin with? There’s your answer.

  • Cincinnatus

    Is Walker seeking to privatize any government services (other than his hybrid commerce department, which isn’t a terribly controversial or dangerous policy)?

    I’ll just go ahead and answer this one: no, he’s not. I should consider investing in Alcoa, though, because you’ve apparently raised the demand for aluminum.

  • Cincinnatus

    Is Walker seeking to privatize any government services (other than his hybrid commerce department, which isn’t a terribly controversial or dangerous policy)?

    I’ll just go ahead and answer this one: no, he’s not. I should consider investing in Alcoa, though, because you’ve apparently raised the demand for aluminum.

  • Cincinnatus

    Oh, and be careful what you wish for: who, exactly, will you replace the Republicans–corrupt charlatans in the pockets of big money–with? Other charlatans in the pockets of big money? Both parties are little more than well-funded vote receptacles in service to special interests, so I don’t know what you hope to prove. Again, why I’m not a fan of democracy.

    Also, recall elections are very time consuming and expensive. Don’t you progressive folks have better things to do with your time and money?

  • Cincinnatus

    Oh, and be careful what you wish for: who, exactly, will you replace the Republicans–corrupt charlatans in the pockets of big money–with? Other charlatans in the pockets of big money? Both parties are little more than well-funded vote receptacles in service to special interests, so I don’t know what you hope to prove. Again, why I’m not a fan of democracy.

    Also, recall elections are very time consuming and expensive. Don’t you progressive folks have better things to do with your time and money?

  • Tom Hering

    Half of the recall efforts are aimed at Democrats. So we’ll see if Regressives are as willing as Progressives to donate their time and money.

    And a tin foil hat looks better than a wet trouser leg. I expect to see a lot of the latter when the recalls get scary for the Republican incumbents. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Half of the recall efforts are aimed at Democrats. So we’ll see if Regressives are as willing as Progressives to donate their time and money.

    And a tin foil hat looks better than a wet trouser leg. I expect to see a lot of the latter when the recalls get scary for the Republican incumbents. :-D

  • kerner

    I predict the following:

    1. Numerous retirement age public employees panic over the possible loss of benefits and pension rights and sign retirement papers.

    2. Numerous public employee slots open up. Some of these are eliminated and replaced by some form of privatization. Others are replaced by new hires. In both cases, presently unemployed Wisconsinites get jobs and the unemployment rate in Wisconsin drops.

    3. Business interestts are impressed by the fact that Wisconsin seems serious about controling the cost of government and keeping taxes down. As a result, they start or expand operations in Wisconsin and hire new employees. The unemployment rate in Wisconsin drops some more.

    4. All those new hires start paying more taxes. Government revenue increases.

    5. All those businesses start paying taxes (the rates will be lower, but with more economic activity actual revenue will increase some more).

    6. A year from now, with unemployment down and tax revenue up, everybody will be wondering what all the fuss was about. The recall elections fail.

    7. Four years from now, Wiscosnin will be in significantly better shape than many states, particularly Illinois. Walker will be re-elected.

    Now than’t what I call progress! :D

  • kerner

    I predict the following:

    1. Numerous retirement age public employees panic over the possible loss of benefits and pension rights and sign retirement papers.

    2. Numerous public employee slots open up. Some of these are eliminated and replaced by some form of privatization. Others are replaced by new hires. In both cases, presently unemployed Wisconsinites get jobs and the unemployment rate in Wisconsin drops.

    3. Business interestts are impressed by the fact that Wisconsin seems serious about controling the cost of government and keeping taxes down. As a result, they start or expand operations in Wisconsin and hire new employees. The unemployment rate in Wisconsin drops some more.

    4. All those new hires start paying more taxes. Government revenue increases.

    5. All those businesses start paying taxes (the rates will be lower, but with more economic activity actual revenue will increase some more).

    6. A year from now, with unemployment down and tax revenue up, everybody will be wondering what all the fuss was about. The recall elections fail.

    7. Four years from now, Wiscosnin will be in significantly better shape than many states, particularly Illinois. Walker will be re-elected.

    Now than’t what I call progress! :D

  • kerner

    how did i create a typo spelling “that’s”?

  • kerner

    how did i create a typo spelling “that’s”?

  • kerner

    Well, let me rephrase number 6. Everybody except bitter old “progressives” will be wondering what all the fuss was about. All the newly and more securely working people will more that offset them. The results predicted in 6 and 7 will be the same.

  • kerner

    Well, let me rephrase number 6. Everybody except bitter old “progressives” will be wondering what all the fuss was about. All the newly and more securely working people will more that offset them. The results predicted in 6 and 7 will be the same.

  • Tom Hering

    Ahh, the utopian dreams of conservatives! Where are the examples from State histories that support them?

  • Tom Hering

    Ahh, the utopian dreams of conservatives! Where are the examples from State histories that support them?

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    oh no!
    Unions are deploying the drama llama!

    Plans are being put into place to silence workers, lower their wages, cut their benefits and increase the likelihood that they will suffer injuries and fatalities at work.

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    oh no!
    Unions are deploying the drama llama!

    Plans are being put into place to silence workers, lower their wages, cut their benefits and increase the likelihood that they will suffer injuries and fatalities at work.

  • kerner

    I can dream if I like. But, new revision: In addition to the grumbling of bitter old progressives, we can look forward to the antics of youthful vandals who think the way to make a political statement is to super-glue the doors of a grocery store.

    But seriously my predictions are not based on history but on the economic situation today and on economic principles in which I believe. We’ll see if I’m right.

    But I heard on the news this morning that an unusually high number of Milwaukee County employees of retirement age are turning in their retirement papers for fear their pension benefits may deteriorate if they wait. This despite being admonished by HR people that they don’t really need to worry about already vested benefits. And I know from my wife that there was a run among Milwaukee Public Schools principals to retire, including her own (to be fair, the retiring principle from my wife’s school would have done so in June anyway, but retirements are up).

    And vandals did, in fact, super glue the doors at UW Milwaukee and Sendiks this morning.

    And the front page of the Milwaukee Journal reported on the earthquake in Japan, an other things, but the only article on the front page concerning the budget was about how much school districts will be able to save by not having to by their health plans from the teachers’ union owned insurance company anymore.

    But you watch. The young teachers who get a jobs (or get to keep one) because of this legislation will vote for Walker next time around. They may not say so out loud, but they’ll do it. :D

    And every taxpayer whose sees that positions didn’t have to be eliminated at his local school, and yet his property taxes didn’t go up, will vote for Walker too. :D

    Like I said, we’ll see if I’m right.

  • kerner

    I can dream if I like. But, new revision: In addition to the grumbling of bitter old progressives, we can look forward to the antics of youthful vandals who think the way to make a political statement is to super-glue the doors of a grocery store.

    But seriously my predictions are not based on history but on the economic situation today and on economic principles in which I believe. We’ll see if I’m right.

    But I heard on the news this morning that an unusually high number of Milwaukee County employees of retirement age are turning in their retirement papers for fear their pension benefits may deteriorate if they wait. This despite being admonished by HR people that they don’t really need to worry about already vested benefits. And I know from my wife that there was a run among Milwaukee Public Schools principals to retire, including her own (to be fair, the retiring principle from my wife’s school would have done so in June anyway, but retirements are up).

    And vandals did, in fact, super glue the doors at UW Milwaukee and Sendiks this morning.

    And the front page of the Milwaukee Journal reported on the earthquake in Japan, an other things, but the only article on the front page concerning the budget was about how much school districts will be able to save by not having to by their health plans from the teachers’ union owned insurance company anymore.

    But you watch. The young teachers who get a jobs (or get to keep one) because of this legislation will vote for Walker next time around. They may not say so out loud, but they’ll do it. :D

    And every taxpayer whose sees that positions didn’t have to be eliminated at his local school, and yet his property taxes didn’t go up, will vote for Walker too. :D

    Like I said, we’ll see if I’m right.

  • kerner

    I mean, “buy” the health plans.

  • kerner

    I mean, “buy” the health plans.

  • Carl Vehse

    It couldn’t be happening to a more deserving group:

    “Please note that all 14 Democrat senators are still in contempt of the Senate. Therefore, when taking roll call votes on amendments and bills during executive sessions, Senate Democrats’ votes will not be reflected in the Records of Committee Proceedings or the Senate Journal. They are free to attend hearings, listen to testimony, debate legislation, introduce amendments, and cast votes to signal their support/opposition, but those votes will not count, and will not be recorded.”

  • Carl Vehse

    It couldn’t be happening to a more deserving group:

    “Please note that all 14 Democrat senators are still in contempt of the Senate. Therefore, when taking roll call votes on amendments and bills during executive sessions, Senate Democrats’ votes will not be reflected in the Records of Committee Proceedings or the Senate Journal. They are free to attend hearings, listen to testimony, debate legislation, introduce amendments, and cast votes to signal their support/opposition, but those votes will not count, and will not be recorded.”

  • Tom Hering

    You celebrated a little too early, Carl. The Republicans have already backed off denying votes to the Fab 14 – they’ve even dropped the fines against them. I guess the recall threats are starting to worry the Regressives.

    Speaking of recalls, from CNN:

    Wisconsin state Sen. Randy Hopper, a Republican from Fond du Lac, is not only facing backlash from constituents angry over his support for Gov. Scott Walker’s union busting bill – but from his wife.

    According to RawStory.com, protesters who came to his home this past weekend were met by Mrs. Hopper, who told them that her husband “was no longer in residence at this address, but now lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with his 25-year-old mistress [a conservative lobbyist].”

    To make matters worse for Sen. Hopper? A recall effort is under way and one of its top supporters is his wife.

    According to Blogging Blue, Mrs. Hopper – along with her maid – intend to sign the recall petition.

    :-D :-D :-D

  • Tom Hering

    You celebrated a little too early, Carl. The Republicans have already backed off denying votes to the Fab 14 – they’ve even dropped the fines against them. I guess the recall threats are starting to worry the Regressives.

    Speaking of recalls, from CNN:

    Wisconsin state Sen. Randy Hopper, a Republican from Fond du Lac, is not only facing backlash from constituents angry over his support for Gov. Scott Walker’s union busting bill – but from his wife.

    According to RawStory.com, protesters who came to his home this past weekend were met by Mrs. Hopper, who told them that her husband “was no longer in residence at this address, but now lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with his 25-year-old mistress [a conservative lobbyist].”

    To make matters worse for Sen. Hopper? A recall effort is under way and one of its top supporters is his wife.

    According to Blogging Blue, Mrs. Hopper – along with her maid – intend to sign the recall petition.

    :-D :-D :-D

  • Cincinnatus

    Still at it Tom? I wrote a rather long reply to you yesterday or Sunday that apparently never made it through the series of tubes, but I notice that you still haven’t answered my earlier question–which is the real question here:

    How would you propose to balance the budget and eliminate a $3.6 billion structural deficit (not to mention our state’s debt)?

  • Cincinnatus

    Still at it Tom? I wrote a rather long reply to you yesterday or Sunday that apparently never made it through the series of tubes, but I notice that you still haven’t answered my earlier question–which is the real question here:

    How would you propose to balance the budget and eliminate a $3.6 billion structural deficit (not to mention our state’s debt)?

  • Tom Hering

    I can’t believe I missed the opportunity! So here I go now: Senator Randy Hopper (R) seems to be a rather randy bed-hopper. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    I can’t believe I missed the opportunity! So here I go now: Senator Randy Hopper (R) seems to be a rather randy bed-hopper. :-D

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, fewer (lame) jokes and more thinking. Would you mind attempting to answer my question about balancing the budget, the background for which I provided in an earlier comment, and which is asked honestly and seriously?

    Besides, I see no need to bring up the indiscretions of Wisconsin’s Democrats in retort (remember Brian Durke? And how about Gordon Hintz, currently under investigation for prostitution and sexual misconduct?).

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, fewer (lame) jokes and more thinking. Would you mind attempting to answer my question about balancing the budget, the background for which I provided in an earlier comment, and which is asked honestly and seriously?

    Besides, I see no need to bring up the indiscretions of Wisconsin’s Democrats in retort (remember Brian Durke? And how about Gordon Hintz, currently under investigation for prostitution and sexual misconduct?).

  • DonS

    Cincinnatus, I think you’re on a fool’s errand, trying to get Tom to give you a substantive policy response. The only responses I’ve seem from unions to the unprecedented crisis of public finance are: 1) It’s not as horrible as it is being made out to be (big comfort there), and 2) We need to raise taxes until the unions have enough to keep doing what they are doing. Responsible budgeting, spending within your means, sustainable benefits programs — that’s not on the table.

  • DonS

    Cincinnatus, I think you’re on a fool’s errand, trying to get Tom to give you a substantive policy response. The only responses I’ve seem from unions to the unprecedented crisis of public finance are: 1) It’s not as horrible as it is being made out to be (big comfort there), and 2) We need to raise taxes until the unions have enough to keep doing what they are doing. Responsible budgeting, spending within your means, sustainable benefits programs — that’s not on the table.

  • DonS

    Hmm, “seem” should be “seen”, of course.

  • DonS

    Hmm, “seem” should be “seen”, of course.

  • Cincinnatus

    DonS, a fool’s errand indeed: I was/am expecting to trot out something about raising taxes on Wisconsin’s (increasingly non-existent) wealthy–I just want to read it from his own keyboard, as it were.

    At the end of the day, the choices are very limited, especially in Rust Belt states.

  • Cincinnatus

    DonS, a fool’s errand indeed: I was/am expecting to trot out something about raising taxes on Wisconsin’s (increasingly non-existent) wealthy–I just want to read it from his own keyboard, as it were.

    At the end of the day, the choices are very limited, especially in Rust Belt states.

  • Cincinnatus

    expecting Tom* to trot out…

  • Cincinnatus

    expecting Tom* to trot out…

  • Bob

    Tom,

    I saw the Hopper thing. Pretty funny.

    As far as Wisconsin being broke…FALSE. Just because someone in authority says something over and over and over doesn’t make it true. But it could set you up to follow a false authoritarianism.

    Check this out.

    http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/mar/03/scott-walker/wisconsin-gov-scott-walker-says-wisconsin-broke/

    Money quote:
    “Experts agree the state faces financial challenges in the form of deficits. But they also agree the state isn’t broke. Employees and bills are being paid. Services are continuing to be performed. Revenue continues to roll in. A variety of tools — taxes, layoffs, spending cuts, debt shifting — is available to make ends meet. Walker has promised not to increase taxes. That takes one tool off the table. Another tool was never there: declaring bankruptcy. We’re not broke or bankrupt in part because under federal law we can’t be.

    We rate Walker’s statement False.”

  • Bob

    Tom,

    I saw the Hopper thing. Pretty funny.

    As far as Wisconsin being broke…FALSE. Just because someone in authority says something over and over and over doesn’t make it true. But it could set you up to follow a false authoritarianism.

    Check this out.

    http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/mar/03/scott-walker/wisconsin-gov-scott-walker-says-wisconsin-broke/

    Money quote:
    “Experts agree the state faces financial challenges in the form of deficits. But they also agree the state isn’t broke. Employees and bills are being paid. Services are continuing to be performed. Revenue continues to roll in. A variety of tools — taxes, layoffs, spending cuts, debt shifting — is available to make ends meet. Walker has promised not to increase taxes. That takes one tool off the table. Another tool was never there: declaring bankruptcy. We’re not broke or bankrupt in part because under federal law we can’t be.

    We rate Walker’s statement False.”

  • Bob

    Tom,

    I saw the Hopper thing. Hilarious.

    Wisconsin is not broke. Just because someone in authority says a lie over and over does not turn it into the truth.

    Check out this website for the truth.

    “The $137 million deficit in the budget year ending June 30 represents about 0.456 percent of the $30 billion state budget, or less than half of 1 percent. The projected $3.6 billion deficit for the next two-year budget is more serious: about 12 percent of the overall budget.”

    “The state is no more broke than it was two, four or 10 years ago,” said Frank Hoadley, capital finance director with the state Department of Administration.

    “There’s always a huge gap” as budget deliberations begin, he said. “And it always gets hammered out.”

    Here’s the conclusion of this piece:

    “So, let’s review.

    Walker and other Republicans say the state is broke, so broke that there’s no money, and because there’s no money, they are unwilling to negotiate over the terms of the budget-repair bill.

    Experts agree the state faces financial challenges in the form of deficits. But they also agree the state isn’t broke. Employees and bills are being paid. Services are continuing to be performed. Revenue continues to roll in. A variety of tools — taxes, layoffs, spending cuts, debt shifting — is available to make ends meet. Walker has promised not to increase taxes. That takes one tool off the table. Another tool was never there: declaring bankruptcy. We’re not broke or bankrupt in part because under federal law we can’t be.

    We rate Walker’s statement False.”

    http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/mar/03/scott-walker/wisconsin-gov-scott-walker-says-wisconsin-broke/

  • Bob

    Tom,

    I saw the Hopper thing. Hilarious.

    Wisconsin is not broke. Just because someone in authority says a lie over and over does not turn it into the truth.

    Check out this website for the truth.

    “The $137 million deficit in the budget year ending June 30 represents about 0.456 percent of the $30 billion state budget, or less than half of 1 percent. The projected $3.6 billion deficit for the next two-year budget is more serious: about 12 percent of the overall budget.”

    “The state is no more broke than it was two, four or 10 years ago,” said Frank Hoadley, capital finance director with the state Department of Administration.

    “There’s always a huge gap” as budget deliberations begin, he said. “And it always gets hammered out.”

    Here’s the conclusion of this piece:

    “So, let’s review.

    Walker and other Republicans say the state is broke, so broke that there’s no money, and because there’s no money, they are unwilling to negotiate over the terms of the budget-repair bill.

    Experts agree the state faces financial challenges in the form of deficits. But they also agree the state isn’t broke. Employees and bills are being paid. Services are continuing to be performed. Revenue continues to roll in. A variety of tools — taxes, layoffs, spending cuts, debt shifting — is available to make ends meet. Walker has promised not to increase taxes. That takes one tool off the table. Another tool was never there: declaring bankruptcy. We’re not broke or bankrupt in part because under federal law we can’t be.

    We rate Walker’s statement False.”

    http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/mar/03/scott-walker/wisconsin-gov-scott-walker-says-wisconsin-broke/

  • Cincinnatus

    Really Bob? In addition to the current deficit of $137 million (which is not related to Walker’s tax proposals), there is, of course, Wisconsin’s upcoming $3.6 billion deficit, which is about $850 for every single living soul in Wisconsin (but, of course, every single living soul doesn’t pay income taxes in Wisconsin). As your article indicates, spending cuts, layoffs, and debt shifting (or tax increases) are viable means of reducing or, preferably, eliminating the deficit. Walker is pursuing all three. So what is your complaint?

    But wait! This deficit does not include Wisconsin’s state public debt, the long-term component of which was at $14.3 billion dollars in 2009–and at that point, it was exploding, so it’s no doubt significantly higher now. Debt service gobbles up about 5% of Wisconsin’s entire budget. Still think we’re not “bankrupt”? (Fine, we’re not bankrupt in the sense that we haven’t declared Chapter 13. What an asinine piece of pedantry by the Journal-Sentinel, otherwise a fine, if biased, publication.) Still think we don’t need to take action?

    But wait! None of the above numbers include the fiscal crises that local governments in Wisconsin are facing (and to which the collective bargaining provisions are primarily targeted). Madison schools alone (not including the general county or city budgets) faces a $30 million (!!) deficit for the upcoming budget cycle. The city of Milwaukee alone faces a deficit of tens of millions (exact figures depend upon who you ask) and carries a public debt of $750+ million (!!!). Let’s not even start on the fiscal difficulties facing Wisconsin’s declining small municipalities and rural communities.

    The budgetary problems of Wisconsin extend to all levels of government (and, of course, we haven’t even broached the problem of the federal debt and deficit). Are you seriously denying this problem? You yourself cite an article that recommends cutting spending, layoffs, and debt restructuring. Any other bright ideas? Or do you just want to continue the petty partisan sword-waving?

  • Cincinnatus

    Really Bob? In addition to the current deficit of $137 million (which is not related to Walker’s tax proposals), there is, of course, Wisconsin’s upcoming $3.6 billion deficit, which is about $850 for every single living soul in Wisconsin (but, of course, every single living soul doesn’t pay income taxes in Wisconsin). As your article indicates, spending cuts, layoffs, and debt shifting (or tax increases) are viable means of reducing or, preferably, eliminating the deficit. Walker is pursuing all three. So what is your complaint?

    But wait! This deficit does not include Wisconsin’s state public debt, the long-term component of which was at $14.3 billion dollars in 2009–and at that point, it was exploding, so it’s no doubt significantly higher now. Debt service gobbles up about 5% of Wisconsin’s entire budget. Still think we’re not “bankrupt”? (Fine, we’re not bankrupt in the sense that we haven’t declared Chapter 13. What an asinine piece of pedantry by the Journal-Sentinel, otherwise a fine, if biased, publication.) Still think we don’t need to take action?

    But wait! None of the above numbers include the fiscal crises that local governments in Wisconsin are facing (and to which the collective bargaining provisions are primarily targeted). Madison schools alone (not including the general county or city budgets) faces a $30 million (!!) deficit for the upcoming budget cycle. The city of Milwaukee alone faces a deficit of tens of millions (exact figures depend upon who you ask) and carries a public debt of $750+ million (!!!). Let’s not even start on the fiscal difficulties facing Wisconsin’s declining small municipalities and rural communities.

    The budgetary problems of Wisconsin extend to all levels of government (and, of course, we haven’t even broached the problem of the federal debt and deficit). Are you seriously denying this problem? You yourself cite an article that recommends cutting spending, layoffs, and debt restructuring. Any other bright ideas? Or do you just want to continue the petty partisan sword-waving?

  • Tom Hering

    As a Democrat, I support my party’s alternative budget bill.

    Memo.
    Bill.

    Of course, I’m not qualified to say how my party’s bill is better or worse – in every detail – than Walker’s bill. Except that severe restrictions on collective bargaining are off the table, which makes it fair to Wisconsin’s public workers and their families. So, Cincinnatus, if you want to argue with someone who can defend the details of the alternative bill, you’ll waste your time addressing your comments to me. Can’t help ya. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    As a Democrat, I support my party’s alternative budget bill.

    Memo.
    Bill.

    Of course, I’m not qualified to say how my party’s bill is better or worse – in every detail – than Walker’s bill. Except that severe restrictions on collective bargaining are off the table, which makes it fair to Wisconsin’s public workers and their families. So, Cincinnatus, if you want to argue with someone who can defend the details of the alternative bill, you’ll waste your time addressing your comments to me. Can’t help ya. :-D

  • Another Kerner

    Governor Walker’s stand on the issues should not come as a surprise to any voter who looked at his record when he served as Milwaukee County Executive.

    The Hispanic Conservative reviews it for us here:

    http://www.thehispanicconservative.com/Scott-Walker/scott-walkers-longstanding-history-with-labor.html

    Further, he returned some of his own income back to Milwaukee County.

    He does practise what he preaches.

  • Another Kerner

    Governor Walker’s stand on the issues should not come as a surprise to any voter who looked at his record when he served as Milwaukee County Executive.

    The Hispanic Conservative reviews it for us here:

    http://www.thehispanicconservative.com/Scott-Walker/scott-walkers-longstanding-history-with-labor.html

    Further, he returned some of his own income back to Milwaukee County.

    He does practise what he preaches.

  • Tom Hering

    What exactly did Walker say or do as County Executive that would have made it clear as a bell to voters that he, as Governor, would severely limit public employees’ collective bargaining? I mean, I keep hearing the claim that he clearly did and said things, but I have yet to see anything to back that up. Mostly, I get the impression that voters with the power of divination could have figured it out.

  • Tom Hering

    What exactly did Walker say or do as County Executive that would have made it clear as a bell to voters that he, as Governor, would severely limit public employees’ collective bargaining? I mean, I keep hearing the claim that he clearly did and said things, but I have yet to see anything to back that up. Mostly, I get the impression that voters with the power of divination could have figured it out.

  • Tom Hering

    Business Week reports,

    Gov. Scott Walker is proposing spending $1.1 billion on building projects in Wisconsin over the next two years … Walker said in a statement that his proposal released Monday “aggressively uses the funds available to us to maintain state buildings, plan for growth, and most importantly create jobs.”

    In other words, Walker’s promise to create jobs is to be fulfilled by spending tax dollars on government building projects.

    I’m actually giggling. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Business Week reports,

    Gov. Scott Walker is proposing spending $1.1 billion on building projects in Wisconsin over the next two years … Walker said in a statement that his proposal released Monday “aggressively uses the funds available to us to maintain state buildings, plan for growth, and most importantly create jobs.”

    In other words, Walker’s promise to create jobs is to be fulfilled by spending tax dollars on government building projects.

    I’m actually giggling. :-D

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom: Fail–both you and that misleading journalistic excerpt. Walker’s capital budget is 1/3 less than the one from the previous biennium. In other words, Walker is cutting everywhere–and many of the capital projects he kept in that 1.1 billion are federally funded.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom: Fail–both you and that misleading journalistic excerpt. Walker’s capital budget is 1/3 less than the one from the previous biennium. In other words, Walker is cutting everywhere–and many of the capital projects he kept in that 1.1 billion are federally funded.

  • Bob

    Tom,

    Walker lied during his campaign. He never brought it up during the campaign. Divination would have indeed been needed!

    http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/feb/22/scott-walker/wisconsin-gov-scott-walker-says-he-campaigned-his-/

    Kerner,

    I read the cheerleading article you linked to. All the author did was recount a bunch of Walker history, pre-governor. He did no homework; didn’t interview anyone.

    The writer can’t even get his facts straight. Example:

    “He has eight years of experience standing up to labor unions in the most liberal county in the state.”

    Wrong.

    Dane County is more liberal than Milwaukee County (I assume that’s who he’s referring to). In the ’08 presidential election, Dane went 73-26 for Obama, while Milwaukee County went 68-31 — in fact, Milwaukee County was only the third most liberal county in Wisconsin.

    Here’s another view, by a Milwaukee Journal columnist. The headline: “Has Walker Become Unrecognizable?”

    Money quotes:

    “Some Milwaukeeans – particularly in the African-American community – don’t recognize Gov. Scott Walker as the man they came to know during his eight years as Milwaukee County executive.”

    “It’s like he’s a different person,” said Tyrone Dumas, a Milwaukee Public Schools manager who ran against Walker for Milwaukee County executive in 2002.

    “Dumas said he’s tried several times, with no success, to reach Walker to talk about some of the governor’s stringent budget plans for MPS that could mean millions of dollars in cuts.

    ((My comment: Apparently if you’re David Koch, you can easily bend Scooter’s ear for 20 minutes; but he doesn’t have time for Mr. Dumas. How sad.))

    “It’s not the first time I’ve heard that from local African-American leaders since Walker announced his extreme budget cuts.

    For many, it’s just another sign that Walker has morphed into a different kind of politician since being elected governor.”

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/117866379.html

  • Bob

    Tom,

    Walker lied during his campaign. He never brought it up during the campaign. Divination would have indeed been needed!

    http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/feb/22/scott-walker/wisconsin-gov-scott-walker-says-he-campaigned-his-/

    Kerner,

    I read the cheerleading article you linked to. All the author did was recount a bunch of Walker history, pre-governor. He did no homework; didn’t interview anyone.

    The writer can’t even get his facts straight. Example:

    “He has eight years of experience standing up to labor unions in the most liberal county in the state.”

    Wrong.

    Dane County is more liberal than Milwaukee County (I assume that’s who he’s referring to). In the ’08 presidential election, Dane went 73-26 for Obama, while Milwaukee County went 68-31 — in fact, Milwaukee County was only the third most liberal county in Wisconsin.

    Here’s another view, by a Milwaukee Journal columnist. The headline: “Has Walker Become Unrecognizable?”

    Money quotes:

    “Some Milwaukeeans – particularly in the African-American community – don’t recognize Gov. Scott Walker as the man they came to know during his eight years as Milwaukee County executive.”

    “It’s like he’s a different person,” said Tyrone Dumas, a Milwaukee Public Schools manager who ran against Walker for Milwaukee County executive in 2002.

    “Dumas said he’s tried several times, with no success, to reach Walker to talk about some of the governor’s stringent budget plans for MPS that could mean millions of dollars in cuts.

    ((My comment: Apparently if you’re David Koch, you can easily bend Scooter’s ear for 20 minutes; but he doesn’t have time for Mr. Dumas. How sad.))

    “It’s not the first time I’ve heard that from local African-American leaders since Walker announced his extreme budget cuts.

    For many, it’s just another sign that Walker has morphed into a different kind of politician since being elected governor.”

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/117866379.html

  • Tom Hering

    “… Walker is cutting everywhere–and many of the capital projects he kept in that 1.1 billion are federally funded.” – @ 140.

    And Federal funds are … taxpayer dollars. To be used for State government building projects, in order to create the jobs Walker promised. Which is all fine with me. It has a nice Socialist feel to it. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    “… Walker is cutting everywhere–and many of the capital projects he kept in that 1.1 billion are federally funded.” – @ 140.

    And Federal funds are … taxpayer dollars. To be used for State government building projects, in order to create the jobs Walker promised. Which is all fine with me. It has a nice Socialist feel to it. :-D

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, I’m I’m fairly certain at this point that you know literally nothing about the mechanics of a state budget.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, I’m I’m fairly certain at this point that you know literally nothing about the mechanics of a state budget.

  • Tom Hering

    Ah, but I know good news when I see it.

    Huffington Post:

    Working America, an advocacy organization affiliated with the AFL-CIO that provides an outlet for non-union members to support the labor movement, has signed up approximately 20,000 new [Wisconsin] members since Feb. 15.

    Examiner.com/Madison

    The recall effort mounted against eight Wisconsin Republican state Senators has secured nearly half of the signatures required in order to proceed with the recall process. The effort, undertaken by Wisconsin voters along with pro-labor, progressive and democratic organizations, has more than a month remaining to gather the required signatures.

  • Tom Hering

    Ah, but I know good news when I see it.

    Huffington Post:

    Working America, an advocacy organization affiliated with the AFL-CIO that provides an outlet for non-union members to support the labor movement, has signed up approximately 20,000 new [Wisconsin] members since Feb. 15.

    Examiner.com/Madison

    The recall effort mounted against eight Wisconsin Republican state Senators has secured nearly half of the signatures required in order to proceed with the recall process. The effort, undertaken by Wisconsin voters along with pro-labor, progressive and democratic organizations, has more than a month remaining to gather the required signatures.

  • Bob

    “Every political action has an equal and opposite reaction.”

    Sometimes, more than equal!

  • Bob

    “Every political action has an equal and opposite reaction.”

    Sometimes, more than equal!

  • Tom Hering

    Bob, and sometimes less than equal. The Utah-based group behind the effort to recall eight Democratic Senators has now narrowed their list of targets to just three Senators, because they can’t get the same widespread support that the effort to recall eight Republicans is getting.

  • Tom Hering

    Bob, and sometimes less than equal. The Utah-based group behind the effort to recall eight Democratic Senators has now narrowed their list of targets to just three Senators, because they can’t get the same widespread support that the effort to recall eight Republicans is getting.

  • Bob

    Tom,

    I live in a town of less than 10,000. There was a march the other day of 900.

    This article covers the momentum shift quite well.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/16/conservatives-we-are-bein_n_836794.html

  • Bob

    Tom,

    I live in a town of less than 10,000. There was a march the other day of 900.

    This article covers the momentum shift quite well.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/16/conservatives-we-are-bein_n_836794.html

  • Tom Hering

    Bob, a small town to the southwest of me had 2,000 show up to a rally on Tuesday for one of the Fab 14, Senator Julie Lassa (D). Check out the photos. The violence! The vandalism! The ugly faces of a crowd that’s so obviously composed of bitter, aging hippies! :-D (We had a good rally for her here, too, on Sunday.)

  • Tom Hering

    Bob, a small town to the southwest of me had 2,000 show up to a rally on Tuesday for one of the Fab 14, Senator Julie Lassa (D). Check out the photos. The violence! The vandalism! The ugly faces of a crowd that’s so obviously composed of bitter, aging hippies! :-D (We had a good rally for her here, too, on Sunday.)

  • Bob

    Great photos, Tom.

    Yeah, these guys and ladies are real rabblerousers and radical pinkos, all right — firefighters, deer hunters, military veterans, and retirees.

    Whoa, watch out — they might trash something! ROTFLOL.

    These photos (and many others) put the lie to the right-wing media horsecrap about these protests, for sure.

  • Bob

    Great photos, Tom.

    Yeah, these guys and ladies are real rabblerousers and radical pinkos, all right — firefighters, deer hunters, military veterans, and retirees.

    Whoa, watch out — they might trash something! ROTFLOL.

    These photos (and many others) put the lie to the right-wing media horsecrap about these protests, for sure.

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    @Bob & @Tom – congratulations on the turnout.
    Hardly “puts the lie” to the photographs of the crowd in Madison – just another side of the pro-union movement.

    Care to comment on the threats being made against Prof. Althouse?
    Union thuggery against Althouse

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    @Bob & @Tom – congratulations on the turnout.
    Hardly “puts the lie” to the photographs of the crowd in Madison – just another side of the pro-union movement.

    Care to comment on the threats being made against Prof. Althouse?
    Union thuggery against Althouse

  • Cincinnatus

    This discussion is dead, it seems, but who are you “refuting” and “giving the lie” to, Bob and Tom? No regular participant in this thread has argued that the union demonstrators are, on the whole, violent or unruly. There have been a couple of arrests, and more than a few protesters disregarded police instructions, etc., (isn’t that kind of the point?), but I think most people agree–including myself–that they have been peaceful and orderly. Rather boring, in fact.

  • Cincinnatus

    This discussion is dead, it seems, but who are you “refuting” and “giving the lie” to, Bob and Tom? No regular participant in this thread has argued that the union demonstrators are, on the whole, violent or unruly. There have been a couple of arrests, and more than a few protesters disregarded police instructions, etc., (isn’t that kind of the point?), but I think most people agree–including myself–that they have been peaceful and orderly. Rather boring, in fact.

  • Bob

    Got news for you, Cincinnatus — the world is a lot bigger than the participants on this blog. In fact, isn’t that the purpose of this blog — to have a discussion/debate about the wider world around us? Why do you think my comments refer to you specifically, or anyone else on specifically, on here?

    And if Tom and I want to have this discussion, then why are you here if it seems to bother you so much? I guess it isn’t dead, after all.

    I never said participants on this blog said the union folks were unruly or violent. People on here are much too smart for that.

    But the right wing media tried to. O’Reilly tried to show footage of “violent” Wisconsin protesters and then it turned out there were palm trees in the background. Fail.

    Fox News’ “Madison Protest” Footage Aims to Deceive
    http://www.prwatch.org/spin/2011/03/10253/fox-news-madison-protest-footage-aims-deceive

  • Bob

    Got news for you, Cincinnatus — the world is a lot bigger than the participants on this blog. In fact, isn’t that the purpose of this blog — to have a discussion/debate about the wider world around us? Why do you think my comments refer to you specifically, or anyone else on specifically, on here?

    And if Tom and I want to have this discussion, then why are you here if it seems to bother you so much? I guess it isn’t dead, after all.

    I never said participants on this blog said the union folks were unruly or violent. People on here are much too smart for that.

    But the right wing media tried to. O’Reilly tried to show footage of “violent” Wisconsin protesters and then it turned out there were palm trees in the background. Fail.

    Fox News’ “Madison Protest” Footage Aims to Deceive
    http://www.prwatch.org/spin/2011/03/10253/fox-news-madison-protest-footage-aims-deceive

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob
  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob
  • Bob

    Naw, no comment.

    This is such a sterile waste of time.

    I could easily find the same crap from the Right.

    No, thanks.

    It’s wrong no matter what side is doing it.

    Neither side has a corner on intelligence.

  • Bob

    Naw, no comment.

    This is such a sterile waste of time.

    I could easily find the same crap from the Right.

    No, thanks.

    It’s wrong no matter what side is doing it.

    Neither side has a corner on intelligence.

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    @Bob

    You’re welcome to post any stories of right-wing incivility in WI – if you can find them.

    I reject the argument that there’s any moral equivalence. Have the fantastic 14 received death threats? It would be national news if they had.

    Have right-wing nuts harassed anyone soliciting recall petition signatures?

    Meanwhile, there’s this:
    20 Days of Left-Wing Thuggery in Wisconsin: When Will Obama, Democrats, and MSM Call for Civility?

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    @Bob

    You’re welcome to post any stories of right-wing incivility in WI – if you can find them.

    I reject the argument that there’s any moral equivalence. Have the fantastic 14 received death threats? It would be national news if they had.

    Have right-wing nuts harassed anyone soliciting recall petition signatures?

    Meanwhile, there’s this:
    20 Days of Left-Wing Thuggery in Wisconsin: When Will Obama, Democrats, and MSM Call for Civility?

  • Tom Hering

    So, RedHatRob, your response to the fact that people at anti-Walker rallies are just regular folks is – what? That the threats to Althouse and Kapanke are not the work of a few nutjobs? That the threats are typical of Democrats, and union members, and normal Wisconsinites who oppose Walker?

    If that wasn’t what you were saying, and you really wanted to just counter what was shown in the Lassa rally photos, you can still do so by posting links to stories of large pro-Walker rallies around the State.

    I’ll be waiting. But for obvious reasons, I won’t be holding my breath. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    So, RedHatRob, your response to the fact that people at anti-Walker rallies are just regular folks is – what? That the threats to Althouse and Kapanke are not the work of a few nutjobs? That the threats are typical of Democrats, and union members, and normal Wisconsinites who oppose Walker?

    If that wasn’t what you were saying, and you really wanted to just counter what was shown in the Lassa rally photos, you can still do so by posting links to stories of large pro-Walker rallies around the State.

    I’ll be waiting. But for obvious reasons, I won’t be holding my breath. :-D

  • Bob

    Breakin’ news: A Dane County judge says the “budget repair bill” can’t be published until litigation against it is worked through.

    In other words: Open and balanced government 1, college dropout’s power grab 0.

    http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_9b967cde-5176-11e0-b8df-001cc4c002e0.html

  • Bob

    Breakin’ news: A Dane County judge says the “budget repair bill” can’t be published until litigation against it is worked through.

    In other words: Open and balanced government 1, college dropout’s power grab 0.

    http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_9b967cde-5176-11e0-b8df-001cc4c002e0.html

  • Cincinnatus

    Wait, but I thought passing the bill was a huge affront to the democratic process and that the middle class was now ineluctably doomed? You mean the United States has mechanisms and institutions that prevent overreach and imprudent or unconstitutional policies through a system of judicial review, checks and balances, and divided powers?

    In any case, this isn’t a terribly surprising or controversial turn of events. It’s actually fairly typical for injunctions/restraints to be issued against bills that have been legally challenged–which also happens rather frequently. On the other hand, Dane County judges are some of the most blatantly partisan (towards the left, of course) I’ve ever encountered. So I assume a fair hearing of the questions won’t happen until it is bounced to a higher appeals court.

    Clarification, though: the law has been challenged only because its passage allegedly occurred via a violation of the Open Meetings law. Thus, if the courts challenge or even void the law, they can only do so on the basis of the facts pertaining to the form of the meeting, not the content of what happened in the meeting. In other words, they can’t actually void the substance of the bill. Thus, if the judge voids the law on procedural grounds, the legislature can just hold another vote–presumably with more scrupulous observance of various obscure statutes.

    So I’m wondering what the point of this legal challenge is. Are Democrats hoping they can tie up the bill in court long enough to hold recall elections (and ensure that nothing effective is done about the budget)?

  • Cincinnatus

    Wait, but I thought passing the bill was a huge affront to the democratic process and that the middle class was now ineluctably doomed? You mean the United States has mechanisms and institutions that prevent overreach and imprudent or unconstitutional policies through a system of judicial review, checks and balances, and divided powers?

    In any case, this isn’t a terribly surprising or controversial turn of events. It’s actually fairly typical for injunctions/restraints to be issued against bills that have been legally challenged–which also happens rather frequently. On the other hand, Dane County judges are some of the most blatantly partisan (towards the left, of course) I’ve ever encountered. So I assume a fair hearing of the questions won’t happen until it is bounced to a higher appeals court.

    Clarification, though: the law has been challenged only because its passage allegedly occurred via a violation of the Open Meetings law. Thus, if the courts challenge or even void the law, they can only do so on the basis of the facts pertaining to the form of the meeting, not the content of what happened in the meeting. In other words, they can’t actually void the substance of the bill. Thus, if the judge voids the law on procedural grounds, the legislature can just hold another vote–presumably with more scrupulous observance of various obscure statutes.

    So I’m wondering what the point of this legal challenge is. Are Democrats hoping they can tie up the bill in court long enough to hold recall elections (and ensure that nothing effective is done about the budget)?

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    The legislature can make the ruling moot simply by voting on the measure again in open session tomorrow.

    This was hardly unexpected, nor is it of much significance.

    There’s a great deal of difference between a squeaky wheel and a revolution.

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    The legislature can make the ruling moot simply by voting on the measure again in open session tomorrow.

    This was hardly unexpected, nor is it of much significance.

    There’s a great deal of difference between a squeaky wheel and a revolution.

  • Bob

    Oh, Cincinnatus. In every sentence, you show your reactionary bias.

    Dane County judges are smart. They rule on cases based on the law.
    This particular judge, I’m told, is whip-smart with regard to Open Meetings law stuff.

    Too bad Scooter seems to have forgotten that there are 3 branches of government — he forgot the judicial. He was probably doodling drawings of his hero, Ronald Reagan, when his teacher was explaining that back in middle school. Tee hee.

  • Bob

    Oh, Cincinnatus. In every sentence, you show your reactionary bias.

    Dane County judges are smart. They rule on cases based on the law.
    This particular judge, I’m told, is whip-smart with regard to Open Meetings law stuff.

    Too bad Scooter seems to have forgotten that there are 3 branches of government — he forgot the judicial. He was probably doodling drawings of his hero, Ronald Reagan, when his teacher was explaining that back in middle school. Tee hee.

  • Cincinnatus

    Bob, did you actually read my comment–and that of RedHatRob? This isn’t about my partisanship. I’m laying out facts here about the nature of this legal challenge and its probably of success. Personally, I don’t care a hoot about Walker or this bill either way. I would like to see him succeed, as I’d like to see a politician successfully attack state fiscal problems for once, but it’s no skin off my bum if he doesn’t.

  • Cincinnatus

    Bob, did you actually read my comment–and that of RedHatRob? This isn’t about my partisanship. I’m laying out facts here about the nature of this legal challenge and its probably of success. Personally, I don’t care a hoot about Walker or this bill either way. I would like to see him succeed, as I’d like to see a politician successfully attack state fiscal problems for once, but it’s no skin off my bum if he doesn’t.

  • Cincinnatus

    probability* of success

  • Cincinnatus

    probability* of success

  • Bob

    This judge was appointed by a Republican, Tommy Thompson.

    A possible violation of Open Records Law is very significant.

    It has nothing to do with whether there’s “probability of success,” whatever that means.

  • Bob

    This judge was appointed by a Republican, Tommy Thompson.

    A possible violation of Open Records Law is very significant.

    It has nothing to do with whether there’s “probability of success,” whatever that means.

  • DonS

    Regardless of the merits of a technical objection to the law, the most expeditious way forward is just to pass it again, properly noticed, in open session, as both Cincinnatus and Rob have pointed out. There is no substantive challenge to the law.

  • DonS

    Regardless of the merits of a technical objection to the law, the most expeditious way forward is just to pass it again, properly noticed, in open session, as both Cincinnatus and Rob have pointed out. There is no substantive challenge to the law.

  • Bob

    I have a question, an honest question, for conservatives on here, about Gov. Walker.

    Do you really think he could be a Republican presidential contender in 2012?

    I was a little surprised by this story –

    “The phone survey by Public Policy Polling of 642 registered voters on March 10-13 found that Walker’s favorability among Republican voters was 55 percent positive and 11 percent negative, a spread of 44 points.

    That pushed Walker ahead of other possible Republican contenders like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

    “That makes him already more popular with the party base than Mike Huckabee (+42 at 58/16), Sarah Palin (+40 at 63/23), Mitt Romney (+21 at 47/26), and Newt Gingrich (+19 at 49/30),” the polling group said in a release accompanying the results.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/17/scott-walker-emerging-ris_n_837303.html

  • Bob

    I have a question, an honest question, for conservatives on here, about Gov. Walker.

    Do you really think he could be a Republican presidential contender in 2012?

    I was a little surprised by this story –

    “The phone survey by Public Policy Polling of 642 registered voters on March 10-13 found that Walker’s favorability among Republican voters was 55 percent positive and 11 percent negative, a spread of 44 points.

    That pushed Walker ahead of other possible Republican contenders like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

    “That makes him already more popular with the party base than Mike Huckabee (+42 at 58/16), Sarah Palin (+40 at 63/23), Mitt Romney (+21 at 47/26), and Newt Gingrich (+19 at 49/30),” the polling group said in a release accompanying the results.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/17/scott-walker-emerging-ris_n_837303.html

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    At this point, the field is wide open. I would not dismiss him as a candidate with the potential to win.

    Practically, he will be handicapped by his short tenure in the Governor’s office.

    But his actions in rescinding collective bargaining for public employees will be popular with Republican voters.

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    At this point, the field is wide open. I would not dismiss him as a candidate with the potential to win.

    Practically, he will be handicapped by his short tenure in the Governor’s office.

    But his actions in rescinding collective bargaining for public employees will be popular with Republican voters.

  • Tom Hering

    “Are Democrats hoping they can tie up the bill in court long enough to hold recall elections …?” – @ 158.

    I’m hoping.

  • Tom Hering

    “Are Democrats hoping they can tie up the bill in court long enough to hold recall elections …?” – @ 158.

    I’m hoping.

  • DonS

    Bob @ 165: Walker has considerably more executive experience than Obama had at this point in 2007. So, there is no reason why he couldn’t be.

    The election of Obama in 2008 put the lie to any notion that there are minimum qualifications required to be elected president.

  • DonS

    Bob @ 165: Walker has considerably more executive experience than Obama had at this point in 2007. So, there is no reason why he couldn’t be.

    The election of Obama in 2008 put the lie to any notion that there are minimum qualifications required to be elected president.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@167: Try to keep up. The Republicans could hold a new vote on the bill this very afternoon if they wish to circumvent this procedural challenge. It’s a non-starter by Democrats to challenge the bill on this basis.

    Bob@165: Though I’m of a conservative disposition, I’m not a Republican, so I’m not sure if my word will count. But I’ll chime in anyway. Personally, I don’t think Walker is ready for national attention or service yet. I think he’ll be better off serving his full term in Wisconsin before pursuing national ambitions, assuming he has any (I tend to think that all elected officers have such ambitions, as the American careerist model of political service rewards such ambitions). Moreover, I sadly think that his “lack” of education will follow him around (unfairly), even if he has proved or does prove to be an extremely capable, if divisive, executive.

    That said, as DonS pointed out @168, Walker already has 100% more executive experience than Obama had in 2008, and he has demonstrated his competence in managing a legislature, crafting policy, and wielding executive authority, both in Milwaukee County and in Wisconsin as a whole. This is true whether you agree with his policies or not. He also has more experience than Herman Cain, Sarah Palin, and several other figures whose names have been dropped in relation to the G.O.P.’s 2012 ticket. And he’s certainly more tolerable than Palin, for instance.

    But again, I don’t really see him running for office next year. It would be taken–rightly so–as presumptuous to abandon the governorship so soon, and he would be starting too late, I think, to catch up with Pawlenty, Romney, & co. in terms of visibility, fundraising, etc.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@167: Try to keep up. The Republicans could hold a new vote on the bill this very afternoon if they wish to circumvent this procedural challenge. It’s a non-starter by Democrats to challenge the bill on this basis.

    Bob@165: Though I’m of a conservative disposition, I’m not a Republican, so I’m not sure if my word will count. But I’ll chime in anyway. Personally, I don’t think Walker is ready for national attention or service yet. I think he’ll be better off serving his full term in Wisconsin before pursuing national ambitions, assuming he has any (I tend to think that all elected officers have such ambitions, as the American careerist model of political service rewards such ambitions). Moreover, I sadly think that his “lack” of education will follow him around (unfairly), even if he has proved or does prove to be an extremely capable, if divisive, executive.

    That said, as DonS pointed out @168, Walker already has 100% more executive experience than Obama had in 2008, and he has demonstrated his competence in managing a legislature, crafting policy, and wielding executive authority, both in Milwaukee County and in Wisconsin as a whole. This is true whether you agree with his policies or not. He also has more experience than Herman Cain, Sarah Palin, and several other figures whose names have been dropped in relation to the G.O.P.’s 2012 ticket. And he’s certainly more tolerable than Palin, for instance.

    But again, I don’t really see him running for office next year. It would be taken–rightly so–as presumptuous to abandon the governorship so soon, and he would be starting too late, I think, to catch up with Pawlenty, Romney, & co. in terms of visibility, fundraising, etc.

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    The bill will take effect long before any recall elections can be held.

    The really important election in WI will not be the recall election(s), nor will it be the supreme court election, or the next general election.

    The really important election will be the decisions made by thousands of union members as to whether they will pay dues to a union voluntarily once the involuntary deduction of their dues from their paycheck comes to an end.

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    The bill will take effect long before any recall elections can be held.

    The really important election in WI will not be the recall election(s), nor will it be the supreme court election, or the next general election.

    The really important election will be the decisions made by thousands of union members as to whether they will pay dues to a union voluntarily once the involuntary deduction of their dues from their paycheck comes to an end.

  • Bob

    Rob@13

    “Independent legal counsel for the legislature advised that the public notice provisions of the WI Open Meetings Law were satisfied.

    It would be foolish for the Dems to attempt to overturn this on a technicality, as any defect can be cured by simply voting on the measure again.

    It’s also hard to take seriously a complaint that this bill was enacted without proper public notice. The whole country’s been talking about it for weeks.”

    Well, Rob…

    Looks like you were wrong, as were the Wisconsin Republicans.
    Too bad they couldn’t have obtained more competent “independent” legal counsel.

    Gee, the country’s been talking about it for weeks…so what? What does that have to do with the Wisconsin Republicans violating the Open Records Law? How ’bout…nothing.

    Following the law is not a “technicality.” Well, maybe in your world. Not in the real world. Not in Wisconsin.

  • Bob

    Rob@13

    “Independent legal counsel for the legislature advised that the public notice provisions of the WI Open Meetings Law were satisfied.

    It would be foolish for the Dems to attempt to overturn this on a technicality, as any defect can be cured by simply voting on the measure again.

    It’s also hard to take seriously a complaint that this bill was enacted without proper public notice. The whole country’s been talking about it for weeks.”

    Well, Rob…

    Looks like you were wrong, as were the Wisconsin Republicans.
    Too bad they couldn’t have obtained more competent “independent” legal counsel.

    Gee, the country’s been talking about it for weeks…so what? What does that have to do with the Wisconsin Republicans violating the Open Records Law? How ’bout…nothing.

    Following the law is not a “technicality.” Well, maybe in your world. Not in the real world. Not in Wisconsin.

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    @Bob

    Stay tuned. This is hardly the final word on the subject.

    I spent seven years in public service and way to much time with lawyers and legislation.

    I stand by my comments.

  • http://www.redhatrob.com RedHatRob

    @Bob

    Stay tuned. This is hardly the final word on the subject.

    I spent seven years in public service and way to much time with lawyers and legislation.

    I stand by my comments.

  • Tom Hering

    “The Republicans could hold a new vote on the bill this very afternoon …” – @ 169.

    Half of me also hopes for this, as it would give the recall efforts even more momentum. Either way, I’m confident that at least a few Republican Senators will be packing their bags by the end of Summer.

  • Tom Hering

    “The Republicans could hold a new vote on the bill this very afternoon …” – @ 169.

    Half of me also hopes for this, as it would give the recall efforts even more momentum. Either way, I’m confident that at least a few Republican Senators will be packing their bags by the end of Summer.

  • Cincinnatus

    Bob@171: How is Rob “wrong”?

    Tom@173: Maybe, if enough signatures can be gathered for the few Republicans who won by narrow margins. All that will accomplish, though, is a divided government that can’t accomplish anything (think in terms of the Republican House right now which is making essentially pointless, ineffectual statements against the brick wall that is the Democratic Senate and Presidency). And it won’t be able to overturn Walker’s bill, either, since the Assembly will still be Republican.

  • Cincinnatus

    Bob@171: How is Rob “wrong”?

    Tom@173: Maybe, if enough signatures can be gathered for the few Republicans who won by narrow margins. All that will accomplish, though, is a divided government that can’t accomplish anything (think in terms of the Republican House right now which is making essentially pointless, ineffectual statements against the brick wall that is the Democratic Senate and Presidency). And it won’t be able to overturn Walker’s bill, either, since the Assembly will still be Republican.

  • Tom Hering

    Kicking out a few of the Republican Senators who voted for this bill is a worthy end in itself. As for restoring collective bargaining, that can wait for Democratic majorities in both houses – which we will have again, sooner or later. And if the recalls are successful, the also-inevitable Republican majorities, that will succeed the Democrats even farther down the line, will be reluctant to go after collective bargaining again. Unless they’re Republicans who aren’t interested in a political career.

    Yeah, right. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Kicking out a few of the Republican Senators who voted for this bill is a worthy end in itself. As for restoring collective bargaining, that can wait for Democratic majorities in both houses – which we will have again, sooner or later. And if the recalls are successful, the also-inevitable Republican majorities, that will succeed the Democrats even farther down the line, will be reluctant to go after collective bargaining again. Unless they’re Republicans who aren’t interested in a political career.

    Yeah, right. :-D

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