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Wisc, Democrats flee state to prevent a vote

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1Carnophile
Edited: Feb 28, 2011, 6:42pm Top

Democracy is so important!

How in the world is this legal?

The important point is that fleeing the state to thwart the democratic process is true democracy.

2readafew
Feb 28, 2011, 7:34pm Top

that whole thing is a shitpot and everyone is getting a chance to stir it. I have a hard time believing 'running away' was the only reasonable option. However, I also think the Wis Governor is full of it when he says he's not union busting. His plan for the corrections union (prison guards etc.) pretty much pulls all it's teeth, and they are already crippled by federal law not allowing them to strike.

I am generally not a union person I think most of them are bloated ticks feeding off their people but, I also don't think much of the plan as I know it either. I suspect many states could save many millions by legalizing marijuana and releasing everyone whose only offense was possession or selling.

4Carnophile
Edited: Feb 28, 2011, 7:48pm Top

>3 Jesse_wiedinmyer:

Regarding the first link:
(1) No one even accused the NY Repubs of leaving the state to try to avoid a quorum.
(2)Doesn't count anyway, as it happened in 2009 and is therefore in violation of the Makifat five-week rule.

Regarding the second link:
(1) It's wrong when Republicans do it, just as it's wrong when Democrats do it.
(2) Doesn't count anyway, as it happened in 1988 and is therefore waaaaaaaaaaay in violation of the Makifat five-week rule.

5legallypuzzled
Feb 28, 2011, 8:02pm Top

The generally unbiased National Conference of State Legislatures did a bit of research on this, finding "Legislative Walkouts are Nothing New."

Interesting reading, even if all the events happened more than five weeks ago....

6faceinbook
Feb 28, 2011, 9:19pm Top

If one looks at it as "running away" of course it looks bad.
However, it is my opinion that they did it to buy time. The story is huge. The inability to vote has kept this in the public eye. I think that other Republicans are not liking what they are seeing and have had to rethink their own plans to do the same thing. It is my belief that this type of action was supposed to sweep across the country....which would weaken the Democratic Party.
Unions need tweeking but taking a voice away from workers doesn't work either. The less union workers the bigger the divide between the pay of workers and top management. The spread between top and bottom used to be about 20 times higher on the top, now it is about 400 to 500 times greater. This can't be good for the economy. Perhaps just as harmful as over paid union workers.

I live in Wisconsin, the taxes are high. Our teachers do get paid well. Having said that, there are people who come to this State to educate their children. Of course, this was when we were a Blue State. If our current Governor has his way, this will change.
Next on his agenda will be the "Conceal and Carry" law. Despite the current amount of gun violence in our country, the new administration in this State is very anxious to pass this law.
They also passed a law that requires a voter to show a picture ID. Many of the voters in the city of Milwaukee are very poor. They often use public transportation...no driver's license. Of course they can apply for a ID card but I imagine that they will not.
None of this is an accident and most of it has nothing to do with our State budget.

7codyed
Mar 1, 2011, 12:25am Top

Gov. Walker is a Koch whore.

8krolik
Mar 1, 2011, 2:19am Top

>5 legallypuzzled:
Thanks. Interesting to have more history on this...

9margd
Mar 1, 2011, 5:07am Top

Just a filibuster with legs? Better than a secret hold.

10BruceCoulson
Mar 1, 2011, 11:01am Top

Our Ohio governor (who is proposing the same basic legislation) also proclaimed that he was not 'union-busting'.

Interesting that multiple states have very similar legislation to deal with their budget crisis.

I wonder how much money would be saved if the Governor carried out his threat to lay off thousands of public workers...starting with executive and legislative staff?

11faceinbook
Mar 2, 2011, 8:35am Top

This entire country is headed for a two class system. Since the brilliant idea that wealth will "trickle down" was conceived we have seen an ever widening gap between the have's and the have not's.
Reducing the quality and availability of a "good" education" insures that only those who have a good size piece of the pie are going to be able to obtain more of it.
The Union's for all of their current flaws made America what it was......a country of opportunity for all with a large healthy middle class.
It is no accident that the Republican Party backed by "big business" (one must keep in mind that the definition of "big business" is NOT the same as it was when I was a child..it has changed radically) is attacking schools first. How better to eliminate future compition ?
It is so easy to see that I am always amazed by those who seem to think that this stuff is surprising.
We build nothing in this country.....in 11 years we can't even replace the World Trade Center. No trains, our roads are toast, our healthcare system is breaking the back of individuals faster than a Union Buster and we refuse to see it for what it is.
Amazing !!

12theoria
Mar 2, 2011, 8:46am Top

A new tape has emerged in which Governor Walker talks about his dreams and career ambitions. This is a rough transcription:

And if one day I should become
A singer with a Spanish bum
Who sings for women of great virtue
I'd sing to them with a guitar
I borrowed from a coffee bar
Well, what you don't know doesn't hurt you
My name would be Antonio
And all my bridges I would burn
And when I gave them some they'd know
I'd expect something in return
I'd have to get drunk every night
And talk about virility
With some old grandmother
That might be decked out like a christmas tree
And though pink elephants I'd see
Though I'd be drunk as I could be
Still I would sing my song to me
About the time they called me "Jacky"

If I could be for only an hour
If I could be for an hour every day
If I could be for just one little hour
Cute in a stupid ass way

13margd
Mar 4, 2011, 7:53am Top

Why are our representatives going after immigrants and public servants, rather than financial wizards whose misdeeds brought us the Great Recession?

Here in Michigan, Arizona-like legislation is proposed that would compel people stopped by police to prove immigrant status.

"The problem isn’t that public-sector workers have too much retirement security. It’s that everyone else has too little." http://www.nationaljournal.com/columns/political-connections/pensions-at-risk-in...

Are our reps looking for scapegoats rather than justice and solutions?

14Carnophile
Mar 4, 2011, 8:39am Top

Why are our representatives going after immigrants and public servants, rather than financial wizards whose misdeeds brought us the Great Recession?

Let's assume - purely for the sake of argument/entertainment - that some financial wizards caused the last recession.

MAny think exactly that, and so Congress and the President passed the Dodd-Frank Act. An important step to passing that law was to get a quorum...

PS: If they don't show up to do their jobs, they are not "public servants," but "people who are avoiding public service."

15BruceCoulson
Mar 4, 2011, 11:05am Top

They were elected by their districts to represent the interests of those people. What if the best way to properly represent and protect those interests is to prevent such a bill from being passed, and running away is the only way to accomplish that task?

16theoria
Mar 4, 2011, 11:22am Top

It's odd that the small-government Republicans seek to use the force of government to compel these representatives to return. George III would be proud.

However, the Democrats should just return, vote, and be done with it. The citizens of Wisconsin will have a chance to vote the Republicans out, including the governor, who looks to be a one-termer. Then this law can be overturned and collective bargaining rights can be restored.

17inkdrinker
Mar 4, 2011, 12:08pm Top


#16 However, the Democrats should just return, vote, and be done with it. The citizens of Wisconsin will have a chance to vote the Republicans out, including the governor, who looks to be a one-termer.

----------------------------------------

By the time that happens a lot of damage could be done which will be near impossible to undo quickly. In the case of education it could cause irreperable damage to whole groups of students.

18theoria
Mar 4, 2011, 12:31pm Top

17> I'm not sure how losing collective bargaining rights for 2 or 4 years (depending on the election cycle and whether Democrats can regain control over the legislature and governorship) would cause so much damage to students . . . just as the stripping of collective bargaining rights will not shave one penny off the current fiscal deficit in Wisconsin.

19readafew
Mar 4, 2011, 12:40pm Top

18 > actually quit often Wis is 12-18 months behind on settling contracts for teachers and corrections officers, so by removing their rights to bargain they can keep all the 'backpay' money.

20inkdrinker
Mar 4, 2011, 12:50pm Top

I'm not fully immersed in Wis's current law. I am assuming that it also contains some of the same parts that the Indiana law which cause our Dems to leave state does. In our case it's not just the collective barganing rights which are on table. It's more of a general dismantling of education.

However, I do know that many of the places in the world (such as Finland) which have the best education systems, also have VERY strong teacher unions. Everyone keeps bringing it back to pay, but that is not the only thing that unions use barganing rights for. In the past unions have fought for better practices which actually improve education... unlike the insipid charter schools will solve our problems solution being touted by many of these Rep govs.

21theoria
Mar 4, 2011, 1:02pm Top

19> I didn't know that, thanks.

20> If it dismantles education, that's a different matter. IMO, No Child Left Behind has poisoned the climate for education reforms (a bad Clintonian idea). Attacks on teachers' unions, advocacy of vouchers, and charter schools are of a piece (of largely Republican assaults on public eduction). However, I could see a situation in which charter schools might not be a bad addition to a well funded public education system. But this is a topic for a different thread.

22BruceCoulson
Mar 4, 2011, 1:36pm Top

I thought that program was No Child Left a Dime...

Republican's clients don't care about public schools; THEIR children attend private facilities.

In fact, a conspiracy theorist could make a case that sabotaging public education is a way to make sure that the children of the wealthy lack competition for the best positions in society. (I just think it's human evil and greed, not a conspiracy, btw.)

23inkdrinker
Mar 4, 2011, 1:49pm Top

I don't think it's a conspiracy, but I do think these changes will further degrade the middle class's tenuous hold. If taken to the extreme, we could end up with only two classes... Wealthy and poor... or for you traditionalists out there... Nobility and serfs...

24Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 4, 2011, 1:51pm Top

#23

Given the current state of wealth distribution, a plausible case could be made for the idea that we're already there.

25codyed
Mar 4, 2011, 1:51pm Top

Captialists and proletariat.

26BruceCoulson
Mar 4, 2011, 2:10pm Top

Make it mandatory that the children of elected officials MUST attend public schools.

I'd wager priorities in education would take a radical shift.

27inkdrinker
Mar 4, 2011, 2:15pm Top

I would tend to agree with that.

28jjwilson61
Mar 4, 2011, 3:49pm Top

21> IMO, No Child Left Behind has poisoned the climate for education reforms (a bad Clintonian idea).

NCLB is a Bush program.

29lriley
Edited: Mar 4, 2011, 4:24pm Top

I was wondering when this would rear its head here.

The republican philosophy seems to be cut taxes-cut jobs even if their propaganda reads cut taxes-create jobs. One way or the other they want low wages for the masses of people and huge incomes for an elite small % of the population. They pander to an angry right--a high % of which is angry older white people who think that Obama's being elected is tantamount to having their country stolen under their noses. They have divisive religious issues to sell--anti-communist/socialist/marxist/homosexual/immigrant/taxes/drugs/abortion etc.--pro gun. Underneath it all is that urge to trade off American industrial and factory workers jobs so that an investor class can profit--only every 10 to 15 years they pull the rug out from under the smaller investors who are then eaten up by the largest ones.

In Wisconson we seem to have a case where schoolteachers and other public unionized workers are going to be singled out to carry the entire burden of past budget deficits. Walker's rich friends get off scot free. It's pretty much what's in store for a lot more of the country if he gets away with it. Looking towards the future we might even see rollbacks in the minimum wage--more leverage by employers over employees in regards to breaks, paying overtime etc.

30BruceCoulson
Mar 4, 2011, 4:26pm Top

Not just in Wisconsin. While everyone is looking there, Ohio is busy passing an even more draconian measure.

The same basic idea and legislation, in multiple states, all introduced around the same time. Coincidence?

31Carnophile
Mar 4, 2011, 4:46pm Top

>15 BruceCoulson: In other words, "Fuck democracy."

32theoria
Mar 4, 2011, 4:52pm Top

30> It's sad to see that Ohio has become an extension of Kentucky.

33lriley
Mar 4, 2011, 5:12pm Top

The tea party movement seems at least to me one that's been built out of resentment--like much of what we see from the right. It incorporates notions like the birther argument. No secret that's it been bankrolled by super wealthy people. Ambitious people. The wealthiest who don't want to pay any taxes--don't want to abide by any kind of labor or environmental law. It's a fact that to a significant amount of their adherents that issues such as pollution or global warming are considered absolute fallacies while also to a significant amount of their adherents things like a coming armageddon are as real as the sun coming up tomorrow--even realer. They haven't really advanced from the earth is flat concept. Now their voices can be heard because some super rich people are willing to bankroll them and their ludicrous notions not because they take those notions seriously--at least not all of them but because they can organize them as a means to political power.

At least that's my read on the tea partiers.

I've mentioned this before that this country at least since FDR's time has balan ced between a capitalist economy and a socialist democracy. It hasn't always worked well but it's worked at least as well as anything we've ever had in our entire history. For a society to progress sometimes the 'individual' may have to take a step back. This is my basic disagreement with libertarians. Their notions of total freedom are a bunch of bs. The less wealth disparity in a society the closer it is going to be to a slave state.

34Carnophile
Mar 4, 2011, 5:27pm Top

The less wealth disparity in a society the closer it is going to be to a slave state.

Tell it, lriley!

35BruceCoulson
Mar 4, 2011, 6:14pm Top

#33 and #34: Huh?

That has to be one of the oddest theories I've heard in a long time.

We were closer to slavery in the 1950s and 60s?

Sorry, can't see it.

36Carnophile
Mar 5, 2011, 9:27am Top

Wisconsin Senate has new rule: Senators must collect paychecks in person.. Heh heh heh heh heh. I feel a strange tremor in the Force, as if a million smug liberal smirks suddenly vanished from a million liberal faces.

How long can a typical Wisonsin state congressperson's family make the mortgage payments without a paycheck? We're gonna find out!

PS: The "smug liberal" thing is for Jesse. You know you want it, dude. Your lips say No, but your eyes say Yes.

37jjwilson61
Edited: Mar 5, 2011, 9:35am Top

I think the unions would supply them with whatever support they need.

ETA: And if that's not legal for some reason they could set up a fund that members could contribute to that would probably bring in enough.

38Carnophile
Edited: Mar 5, 2011, 10:41am Top

That would be fascinating. If so, I hope the media is all over it. And if not, the good citizens on the Net will be.

It will make it oh so clear just how "non-partisan" the unions are.

If I were the Wisonsin Dems I'd just come back home and get it all over with. But by all means, let this be a drawn-out battle played out in the public sphere if they want.

Popcorn?

Edit:
And if that's not legal for some reason they could set up a fund that members could contribute to that would probably bring in enough.

Even if that would work at first, which is questionable, it wouldn't work forever. I can see the Dems' base getting all fired up to make donations one month. But then the next month... And the next... And it drags on... And you're getting tired of supporting representatives who are, after all, avoiding doing their jobs. And the state legislature can't get anything else done, either... And you're paying and paying... Month after month... And you have your own financial goals to meet... And the issue quickly ceases to be sexy or exciting...
Assuming it ever happens in the first place, I give it one month, realistically.

39krolik
Mar 5, 2011, 10:54am Top

>38 Carnophile: Anybody here said the unions are "non-partisan"?

40Carnophile
Edited: Mar 5, 2011, 11:59am Top

Allow me to answer that question with another:

Did I say that anybody here said the unions are non-partisan?

-----------

Update: I've just read a rumor that the Dems in Indiana may get away with it: There's a legislative clock on all proposed legislation, and it has run out.

Utterly vile.

But it does have the benefit of highlighting the true nature of Democrats. When they say "Democracy" they mean "doing everything we can to thwart democracy." They have revealed themselves to the nation. They have a boiling, acidic hatred for democracy and will use all means to crush it.

Very educational. Hopefully the teachable moment aspects of this vis-a-vis the Dems' true nature will outweigh whatever gain they think they'll get from this shit.

Also, turnabout is fair play. What are they going to say when a Republican minority does this in the future?

41krolik
Edited: Mar 5, 2011, 12:43pm Top

>40 Carnophile:
Did I say that anybody here said the unions are non-partisan?

True enough. As a piece of grammatical sophistry. But I assumed you were talking to people in the thread in which you chose to post. And previous experience has suggested to me that you're smarter and more together than the guy I see at the bus stop talking to people who aren't there.

For whatever it's worth, although I sympathize with the grievances of Wisconsin teachers, I disapprove of the legislators' fleeing tactic to thwart a vote. It's better to lose a vote with dignity and let the protesters and strikers and whoever gets mobilized create a new situation on the ground. Which might or might not happen, as far as I can tell now.

As for partisanship, well, that's fairly inevitable, isn't it? Who for such questions can really set themselves up as non-partisan? As post >5 legallypuzzled: pointed out, both parties have a history of employing this dubious tactic.

(And, although I don't like this tactic, I find it less troubling and undemocratic than the use of presidential "signing statements" to thwart laws that have already been passed. That's probably a subject for another thread, but the recent history on that has been bad news.

As for your claim, they have a boiling, acidic hatred for democracy and will use all means to crush it, I suggest you take a deep breath. All means? We haven't quite reached the burning of the Reichstag yet. Get a grip.

edited for italics

42Carnophile
Mar 5, 2011, 1:17pm Top

True enough. As a piece of grammatical sophistry.

What the hell?! YOU'RE the one who first asked, Anybody here said the unions are "non-partisan"? Hellllllooooooo?

As for your claim, they have a boiling, acidic hatred for democracy and will use all means to crush it, I suggest you take a deep breath.

I'm calmer now, thanks. I do get a little hinky at:

Reps lose election: Dems get their way.
Dems lose election: Dems get their way.

I actually don't think this is boiling acidic hatred of democracy among the congresscritters (though plainly this is true of some of their base). It's much too cool-minded, cynical, and pre-meditated to be animated mostly by emotion.

43Jesse_wiedinmyer
Edited: Mar 5, 2011, 2:48pm Top

Senators must collect paychecks in person.. Heh heh heh heh heh. I feel a strange tremor in the Force, as if a million smug liberal smirks suddenly vanished from a million liberal faces.


That's nothing new. Whatsoever.

The idea was stated back on day two or three of the "controversy" when a blogger prank called Governor Walker pretending to be one of the Koch brothers. As a surprising turn of events, it's barely a blip.


But it does have the benefit of highlighting the true nature of Democrats. When they say "Democracy" they mean "doing everything we can to thwart democracy." They have revealed themselves to the nation. They have a boiling, acidic hatred for democracy and will use all means to crush it.


I commend you on your ability to focus on the last five minutes.

As for the unions floating money to the senators, that's a pretty clear ethics violation (and Governor Walker has already talked about trying to trap them into such a position in the phone call linked above).

44lriley
Edited: Mar 5, 2011, 2:51pm Top

Maybe there's too much of an hysterical edge to my #33--so I'll try to put my analysis into better context.

I've watched all kinds of debates over free trade over the years. Politicians all pro free trade always going on about how it will open up such and such a country to all our goods/products. The United States though produces hardly anything. Just look around your own houses. Furniture, clothing, gizmos/knickknacks, technology--tv's, ipods, computers/laptops. Almost nothing is produced here anymore. Some money--sometimes the majority of it from whatever anyone buys--besides maybe food--which isn't all produced or grown here either is going out of the country. That's why we have such a huge trade deficit. We produce nothing--or pretty close to it. In the meantime unemployment estimates have us over 10% though real unemployment is another thing--closer to 20%--not to mention underemployment. With a population of about 300 million we basically have enough to keep 250 million going and as the population continues to increase--the Pew estimates have us hitting 400 million by mid century and if our economy continues to stagnate and if we continue to not to produce goods even sell off the few production jobs left how in the hell are we going to kepp our population going? This is where Obama and his administration have failed miserably because at least while running for president he seemed to have a clue, to have insights, to have some kind of vision for the future. The GOP vision is just to make rich people richer. They'll rain nickels and dimes down on everybody--Reagan's trickle down economy crap. What is our society going to be like if in the relatively near future-20 years down the road--we are looking at 100--150? million people who are unemployed? In my eyes this is a real possibility. I don't see a democratic party that is willing to dig in its heels and really fight and I definitely don't see a republican party that gives a rat's ass whether half or two thirds of our population is living in misery.

45Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 5, 2011, 2:49pm Top

As for a smug smile...?

I do have to admit that there's the same sort of thrill watching the protesters in WI as there was watching the protesters in Egypt.

That smile is still there. Even if the protesters aren't.

46Carnophile
Edited: Mar 5, 2011, 3:05pm Top

That's nothing new. Whatsoever. The idea was stated back on day two or three of the "controversy"...

Yes, I'm behind. I got behind initially and am trying to follow this in chronological order so I'm always playing catch-up. Little-known fact: Force waves travel at a maximum speed which is rather below lightspeed. Hence the delay. The point is what happened, not really when it happened.

I commend you on your ability to focus on the last five minutes.

Well, am I too far behind, or too up-to-the-minute? Help a brother out, Jesse!

47Carnophile
Mar 5, 2011, 3:04pm Top

I do have to admit that there's the same sort of thrill watching the protesters in WI as there was watching the protesters in Egypt.

A bit schizoid. You do understand that only one of those two groups was fighting for democracy, right?

48Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 5, 2011, 3:32pm Top

As has been pointed out before, in our discussion of Sowell's Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy, this is precisely where Sowell's arguments contradicts itself. Sowell argues that the economy functions most effectively when individual actors are allowed to make decisions with respect to their own resources and property, with the government not taking any steps to interfere with this process.

Sowell then argues that the state must forbid these individual actors from making the choice to enter into collective bargaining agreements.

I definitely recommend checking out the call linked above, if you haven't already.

49inkdrinker
Mar 5, 2011, 4:22pm Top

Yes yes...

It is soooooo democratic to deny people the right to use their collective power when negotiating with a large entity such as a corporation or a government....

and don't get me started on what many of these proposed laws will do to the only remotely democratic educational system in the entire world.

50Carnophile
Mar 5, 2011, 4:59pm Top

>48 Jesse_wiedinmyer:

I don't understand your purpose in referring to Sowell.

As for the call, are you referring to cody's post 7?

>49 inkdrinker:
Oh my God, you're actually arguing the point. Amazing. You're confused between "Something that inkdrinker approves of" and "democracy."

51Jesse_wiedinmyer
Edited: Mar 5, 2011, 5:08pm Top

I don't understand your purpose in referring to Sowell.

Prohibiting voluntary entry into collective bargaining agreements is a pretty obvious interference with individual choice.

52codyed
Edited: Mar 5, 2011, 5:15pm Top

Speaking of the prank call, Wisc. Republicans be all angry and stuff. They want to ban them.

53inkdrinker
Edited: Mar 5, 2011, 7:51pm Top

Carnophile,

So according to YOU (and you only) allowing large corporations and the government to bully people and not allow them to bargain collectively is democracy? WOW. I'VE NEVER IN MY LIFE HEARD ANYONE DEFINE DEMOCRACY THAT WAY. So businesses and governments are allowed to use their inequitable power to deny people opportunities, but THE PEOPLE are not allowed the right to work for their own better good? Yep. Sure sounds like democracy to me... NOT.

As to education, I guarantee that what these laws are out to do is to de-democratize our education system. We currently have the MOST democratic education system in the world. As charter schools, private schools, and corporation run schools are allowed to siphon off tax dollars to allow wealthy people to get their children out of public education without having to pay taxes for public education, the rest of the children will be left to suffer. Charter schools, private schools, and for-profit schools have NO obligation to take or keep ANY student. These schools will keep only students who will make them look good. Oh they'll take others, but once the counts are in for the year, the money is theirs and the poor students WILL be booted. It already happens with charter schools right now. The system that this kind of legislation creates is VERY reminiscent of separate but equal bullshit.

So, please tell me how the FUCK that's democracy?

54Carnophile
Mar 5, 2011, 8:23pm Top

So according to YOU (and you only) allowing large corporations and the government to bully people and not allow them to bargain collectively is democracy?

Democracy is when the people or their elected representatives make the law.

55Carnophile
Mar 5, 2011, 8:24pm Top

Prohibiting voluntary entry into collective bargaining agreements is a pretty obvious interference with individual choice.

That's nice. What does it have to do with representatives fleeing the state to prevent the legislature from functioning? It could be anything; maybe the fugitive lawmakers want to (making up an example here) prevent a hydroelectric dam from being built or whatever. In Texas in 2003 the issue was redistricting.

For me, the issue isn't the issue. The deliberate sabotaging of the government is the issue.

Yes, I wish the gov't were a lot smaller, but I'm not an anarchist (I wish, it would all be so neat n tidy). As long as we have to have the damn thing, and I'm pretty sure we do, it should be democratic and rule-bound.

We have to play by certain ground rules. This shouldn't even be a political dispute. It's just civilization, for God's sake. It can't just be, "When my party has the majority, the rules matter; when the other party has the majority fuck the rules."

And why would you expect the Republicans to continue to play that game anyway? They may be "the stupid party," but they're not that stupid. Or spineless. I hope.

GAAAAAH! Just the idea that this cynical piece of shit maneuver might work in Indiana, that they might get away with it, is going to give me an anuerysm. I'd better take off and go listen to tunes or something. Carry on without me.

56inkdrinker
Mar 5, 2011, 8:34pm Top

For me, the issue isn't the issue. The deliberate sabotaging of the government is the issue.
__________________________________________

This is no different than a filibuster. Stop pretending like it is. Your sabotaging the gov argument is soooo full of holes it looks like Swiss cheese. The democrats ARE representing the people who elected them the ONLY way they can.

57margd
Edited: Mar 5, 2011, 10:22pm Top

I'm saving MY popcorn for when the union-busting, DOMA-supporting, dream-crushing, anti-choice, healthcare-denying, millionaire-coddling, etc. chickens come home to roost. Maybe I'll have my popcorn with tea.

58theoria
Mar 6, 2011, 12:19am Top

Bachmann Palin Overdrive.

59faceinbook
Edited: Mar 8, 2011, 8:36am Top

As to Carnophile...
notice how they "take off" when the going gets tough ? I have heard the same about Walker....know somebody who worked with him....if he feels he is losing a debate he changes the subject or has a pressing engagement. "My way or the highway" type thing. Walker is now fighting over 67% disapproval in public opinion in his own State......much like most everything that was done within our government since 2000, public opinion does not seem to matter one bit. (Including the 2000 election)

No matter how Obama tried to fix the mess that presented itself when he walked into office, it was going to look very Socialistic....how could it not. The problems were huge and all encompassing. What needed to be done should have been with the masses in mind......sounds pretty socialist to me. So for all the cries about "Socialism" I would say they have a point......however, the only way to fix big issues is with big solutions. Instead we got wishy washy garbage that has left the big banks and big corporations doing what ever it is they have been doing to ensure obscene amounts of profit (watch Wall Street as it is not about the "middle class") and a bunch of "fake" Republicans crying about balancing a budget. (a budget that was totally over looked from 2000 to 2008, though it appears most of the idiots were sitting in office at the time)
Because nothing was done about the practices of those with power and wealth in this country, they are going to balance the budget on the backs of the middle class. Until there is no more to take ......
Education is the only way to equalitiy ........ eliminate/minimize education it will be far easier to keep most of the pie at the top.

Follow the money !! Money matters. Money=Power

It is so easy to see what is happening that it amazes me to no end that more people can't see it for what it is. The very people who wear the tea bag hats and pound the pavement for "Democracy" are in the pockets of "big money" The very same power structure that has NO interest in keeping a healthy Democracy.

60BruceCoulson
Mar 8, 2011, 10:58am Top

We've had a socialist economy for 150+ years; it's a little late to start complaining.

No one was going to be able to resolve the problems facing this country in a few weeks, or even a few years. I don't think President Obama has done a very good job, but that has more to do with the fact that he's not willing to exert the power of the Presidency.

The elites' opinion of public opinion was summed up by Vice President Dick Cheney; "So?"

Eliminating collective bargaining is a way of maintaining control and power; it has very little to do with saving money. Saving money would require the privileged classes to actually make sacrifices; not something that's going to happen. (Rolling Stone had a good article on this by Matt Taibbi.)

61faceinbook
Mar 8, 2011, 11:28am Top

>60 BruceCoulson: Just started reading "Griftopia" by Matt Taibbi

Obama is too Democratic.....too much for compromise and "working together". Seems that the U.S. is in a heightened state of "my way or the highway". Bush actually uttered these words and because for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, it has poisoned our entire government. Hence the run away Senators.

As with every form of abuse to a system, some are very aware of what is happening and others remain blissfully unaware. Sometimes I wish that I had a pair of the rose colored glasses the "unaware" seem to have covering thier eyes. Would lessen the frustration level.

62faceinbook
Mar 10, 2011, 4:46pm Top

Voted on the part about "collective bargining" separately.........which was the important part of the bill anyway as it has alot to do with paying union dues...... Since all these sheenanagins allow workers to opt out of union dues and those same workers are going to be paying more towards their healtcare and their pension funds.....I am thinking many will not pay dues to the union.
From a news article posted this AM

"The stakes are high for labor because more than a third of U.S. public employees such as teachers, police and civil service workers belong to unions while only 6.9 percent of private sector workers are unionized. In Wisconsin, 46.6 percent of government workers are union members.
Unions are the biggest single source of funding for the Democratic party."

.....the only defense against corporate money that is pouring into the Republican Party

THIS is what it is all about.....has to do with political power and they have done this first.....not too concerned about the budget right now.

Next will by the young college students who consistantly tend to vote Democratic......

63Lunar
Mar 11, 2011, 1:40am Top

#51: Prohibiting voluntary entry into collective bargaining agreements is a pretty obvious interference with individual choice.

Depends on what Sowell means by a union engaging in collective bargaining. Is he really talking about voluntarily created unions (which would indeed make him self-contradictory), or is he talking about unions which have been granted a labor monopoly by the government (in which case Sowell would be objecting to the "individual choice" to use government to restrict the individual choices of others).

Of course, Carnophile is right to question why Sowell is even relevant to this story. If Sowell objects to truly voluntary unions, then he's just wrong.

64lriley
Mar 13, 2011, 1:55pm Top

Interesting as the protests carry on despite it being a 'done deal'. The firefighters and police unions (if I'm not mistaken most of them endorsed Walker the candidate) have thrown in their lot with their fellow unionistas--teachers, nurses etc. The firefighters even with great fanfare--drums and bagpipes marching over to the Marshall and Ilsley bank (a major Walker supporter) and advising a fairly large crowd to 'move their money' at which point a number of firefighters entered the bank and closed their accounts. It seems that there is a boycott movement to pressure major Walker contributors to make public whose side they're going to be on and face the consequences if they make the wrong choice. M and I bank apparently having recieved $2 billion in Tarp money is one of those targets.

I'm sure that some might think that is unfair. There are people working jobs who have nothing to do with the decisions their bosses or fellow employees may make. OTOH the potential future financial problems that any of them may have could be seen as an offset to the financial harm about to be perpetrated on collective bargaining workers who are being singled out to carry the burden for the economic deficits of an entire state while again the top end at least of financial institutions make out like bandits. In any case we've seen in the past the handiwork of govt. negotiated free trade deals that sold off union industrial and manufacturing jobs with promises that other jobs would reappear (quite often in other parts of the country) to take their place. Usually lower paying jobs. FWIW if you work for someone like M & I bank and happen to lose your job because of something like a boycott--keep in mind that the money taken away from M & I is going to another financial institution and they may be hiring more people. You can always go and try there.

65codyed
Mar 13, 2011, 5:35pm Top

Here come the farmers.

66faceinbook
Mar 13, 2011, 7:04pm Top

Never worked for a Union. Worked a lot of jobs through out my working years.....was often times sexually harrassed, docked pay to cover a slumping profit margin (this at a for profit hospital who cut pay by 12% until their project profit margin was back in line) and laid off of full time work only to be called back in three days for a part time position (could not refuse as it would have made me ineligable for unemployment compensation.)

SO......the Unions got a bit greedy but taking away the voice of the workers is indeed a big deal. Not all companies treat their workers badly but many do.....and historically, public workers were not treated very well before they were unionized.

This is a bitter pill which would have been swallowed far easier had the tax cuts for the upper 2% been repealed.

Also....Walker should have started with the unions who backed him as they believed in his policies.....this he did not do. He started with a group of people that Republicans love to hate.

Poorly done.....and most of it was for political reasons.

67SimonW11
Edited: Mar 13, 2011, 7:51pm Top

http://blogs.forbes.com/erikkain/2011/03/11/michigan-governor-plays-fast-and-loo...

I watch american politics from a distance so i am unsure if this is true or just democrats being dramatic. is this true ? can the Governor really remove any elected official without any review?
can he really place a crony who does not represent you in a position of power over you if you live in that state.

68Doug1943
Mar 13, 2011, 7:31pm Top

Government employees need some protection against their employers: there ought to be tribunals which can consider unfair firings, harrassment, etc.

But the problem with unions negotiating pay and conditions is this: when they negotiate with a private employer, they know that if their demands get too extravagant, they can put him out of business. (This is less true if he is a monopoly or near-monopoly employer, as in the auto industry.) This keeps their demands realistic, or at least tends in that direction.

But government cannot be put out of business. It can always raise taxes, or borrow more money, or print more money.

An employer has a strong incentive to hire people, only if they increase the efficiency of his business. Politicians, on the other hand, have a strong incentrive to hire more people if they increase the voting base of the politician.

This is the fatal reality that has impoverished many countries: in Iraq, evidently, everyone wants to work for the government, and quite a large percentage of people do. But what Iraq needs is lots of private companies, not a growing government workforce.

I don't know the specifics of the Wisconsin situation, so I'm hesitant to leap in with an opinion.

I think unions have done a lot of good in the past, especially where there was a great imbalance of power/knowledge/connections between the workforce, and the employer, as in the case of longshoremen.

If this were a fight against Walmart, my reflexes would be on the side of the workers. But where government employees are concerned, I think of the harm done by the teachers unions, and the unions which defend sex criminals, and it makes me less sympathetic.

69faceinbook
Mar 13, 2011, 7:58pm Top

>68 Doug1943: You are absolutely correct....all of the points you made are valid...the reasoning is sound. Many union employees themselves don't like the way the union operates.

Walker could have done this in ways that would not have hurt as badly. As I said before, keeping the tax cuts in place for the upper 2% makes any measures to regulate the "greed" of the middle class a very very sore point. And again, he could have started with those who backed him...the police and firemen (they have since crossed over). OR best yet, across the board, no one exempt. When one singles out a particualr group of people, it raises questions and makes those who are the ones that find themselves in the "have to start somewhere" group pretty ticked off.

In 1999 Karl Rove came up with this little domino game. Anyone who was paying attention is not only angered but feeling very helpless.

Having said that, I finished the book "Griftopia" by Matt Taibbi and based on his investigation of the financial crisis, the health care reform and the ability for the "big guys" at the banks to speculate on commodities, we should all be feeling pretty helpless and ticked off !

70lriley
Edited: Mar 13, 2011, 8:39pm Top

A thing that strikes me is that Gov. Walker got endorsements from firefighters and police unions--who apparently weren't in the loop of what his intentions really were and even though he's exempted them from all this those unions have turned against him and with real anger.

The political process by the way doesn't just have to be about voting for a candiatate every two or four years. It can take other forms. The senators leaving the state to deny a quorom is one. Boycotts are another. At least in part--there's more to this particular episode than the usual. A certain amount of stubborness on Walker's part even when some of his allies started jumping off his boat. It's always has seemed to be that the politicians who make the most difference--good or bad--recognize the need to be pragmatic when the situation calls for it. They compromise when they feel they have to. Their own political philosophies can be adjusted--ethics be damned then. He targets unions. Unions use the sympathy they're getting to target his contributors.

The debate over why the economy has melted down to the extent it has. The Bush years of deregulation particularly in the housing market and his creating wars has played the biggest part. The Obama administration okaying the bailout of financial institutions that caused the problem in the first place. I'll admit a real part of the failure here IMO is with the guy I voted for--Obama promised a lot and has delivered almost nothing. He was given a problem by the previous administration that was borderline catastrophic. Failure by both sides of our two party political system. Another reason why we need more than two parties.The money has left main street and has gone into the coffers of the wealthiest people/entities in the nation. Walker would fix this by singling out a small--decidedly middle class sector of society and at the same time try to destroy them as a political force. People bitching because some of their neighbors have a little more than them. Complaining about pensions that union workers pay a percentage of their wages over the course of their working lives--when they're not getting anything because they never paid for anything because their non union employers never offered them anything but that's the reality that they know. It's a vicious circle and when there is less money to go around there is more anger. People who have never been in unions don't tend to have any insight how they work on either a national and/or a local level nor are they very aware of how unions have impacted work environments--non-union as well as union on issues such as wages-living wage/minimum wage, safety, environment, gender rights, race, retirement safety nets, health care, the 40 hour work week, child labor and all kinds of management abuses. They've provided a voice for workers around the world who are almost entirely ordinary people and yeah there are countless occasions of corruption but all in all the good outweighs the bad.

71margd
Edited: Mar 14, 2011, 2:44am Top

> 67 I watch american politics from a distance so i am unsure if this is true or just democrats being dramatic. is this true ? can the Governor really remove any elected official without any review?
can he really place a crony who does not represent you in a position of power over you if you live in that state.

The only emergency manager that I recall being appointed in Michigan (by our last Governor, a Democrat) was for Detroit schools. Schools are funded by the state, and like much of Detroit, infrastructure remains from when there was a much larger population, and in this case elected school boards were having difficulty making necessary cuts. The emergency manager is supposed to confine himself to finance, but his decisions affect academics. Current proposal is to reduce number of schools, which won't be popular! Detroit students test very poorly, though, so if my kids attended school there, I would be welcoming a shake-up if it improved things.

I haven't yet read about our new Republican Governor's proposed law. He may be reacting to imminent bankruptcies in auto towns such as Hamtramck and Flint. Tough times. Current mayor of Detroit (Democrat) seems quite capable, unlike previous scoundrel (also Democrat), but he is faced with incredible challenge of providing services to a decimated city: he proposes to consolidate neighborhoods, which means moving people. Not sure how that will happen. Some combination of carrots and sticks?

My impression is that emergency managers can be appointed if bankruptcy or fiscal insolvency looms, when state funds are involved or if entity appeals to state. Appointments are temporary.

72Doug1943
Mar 14, 2011, 6:32am Top

I think filibusters, boycotts of the legislature, even mass non violent sit ins, are all part of the democratic process. It may make those of us on the other side angry, but it's one of the things that allows the naked ape to live together in large bands without periodic mass slaughters.

We all have conflicting interests. In the West, over the last few hundred years, we have evolved a system (really, a family of systems) which we call "democracy", "ordered liberty", "the rule of law", which seems to be, from the point of view of ordinary people, a great advance on earlier systems, which were pretty much just the naked exercise of power by the powerful.

All of this operates with human beings, who are self-interested, and often very short-sighted, and among whom there is an enormous range of talent, intelligence, dilligence, sweetness of character, perserverence, ruthlessness, envy, perversity, etc.

This means that some rise to the top (in any system), some sink to the bottom. It's especially distressing when the positive and negative characteristics seem to be very differentially distributed among identifiable groups, like nationalities, races, religions, sexes.

All of us jostle for the best outcome for ourselves (except for the readers and writer of this thread, who are motivated only to seek the good of all). Whatever we end up with is going to be a messy compromise. The trick is to keep most of the people relatively happy, and in particular not to kill off hope for the future.

I think it would be a very bad thing if ordinary people, including policemen, firemen, government clerks, teachers, felt they had no ability at all to articulate their self interests.

Conservatives ought to know how this feels: liberal judges pass rulings that overturn democratic votes, government makes decisions that benefit this or that minority group (not necessarily racial or religious minorities, also bankers), and we feel rage.

Well, this is how government employees feel. They may not be justified in it. They may have, objectively, voted themselves a free lunch in the past, and now want to hang on to it. But it doesn't seem like that to them.

And like many people, I think they (and I) would be "happier" in our current suffering, if we saw the wealthy having to suffer just a little bit too. The latter ought to be forced to sit down and read a bit about the run-up to the French, Russian, and Chinese revolutions, and try to understand how "the little guy", who normally is so deferent, so passive, can become deeply radicalized and ready to follow people who then usher in an Apocalypse.

Too much of this, for too long, could begin seriously to alter the political terrain in the United States, and clear the ground for some really radical/extreme political development, something that would make the Tea Party, or MoveOn, look positively benevolent. I think we are seeing stirrings of this in Europe. (The daughter of LePen, who leads the Front National, is now getting higher voter ratings than President Sarkozy.)

Trotsky once said that the wires of democracy cannot carry too high a social voltage.

The question is: how resilient -- or how brittle -- is American democracy?

73faceinbook
Mar 14, 2011, 10:00am Top

>72 Doug1943: "Conservatives ought to know how this feels: liberal judges pass rulings that overturn democratic votes, government makes decisions that benefit this or that minority group (not necessarily racial or religious minorities, also bankers), and we feel rage. "

YES !! What happened to the ability to "walk a mile in another's shoes ?" Being a Democrat (for the most part) does not mean that I don't respect opinions from those who feel differently than I do.....nor does it erase my desire to compromise for the best outcome in any given situation. What I have seen recently is the rule of thumb that says "I am in charge......and if you don't agree with me you must be against me" To some extent it is human nature to feel this but there is a hightened sense of this in our current government.

I am also a VERY strong believer in "walking the walk" if I am going to "talk the talk". (not always easy) In Walker's case he is "talking the talk" but picking and choosing as to who has to walk the walk. It smells of hypocrisy and will not go down well for him in the end.
Another sad sorry type of action that seems to be heightened in today's governing body, the cry for sacrifice ...... but insuring that it is someone else who will be making the sacrifice.

Must say that it is refreshing to hear an echo coming from the other side......hasn't happened in Wisconsin for a while ;>)

74Carnophile
Mar 14, 2011, 6:04pm Top

>56 inkdrinker:
This is no different than a filibuster. Stop pretending like it is.

Funny thing about a filibuster: You have to acually show up. Y'know, show up and do the job the people are paying you to do.
Also, filibusters cannot be used unless they're within the rules of the relevant legislative body.
Also, a filibuster, at least in the U.S., Senate, can be ended by a cloture vote.

None of these features apply to legislators fleeing across state lines.

Your sabotaging the gov argument is soooo full of holes it looks like Swiss cheese.

It sabotaged the legislature's ability to even hold a vote on anything that required the fugitive legislators' presence. Since that was their stated intention, it seems kind of silly to argue about it.
Of course, we've since learned that some of the measures Walker wanted a vote on did not in fact require their presence. But no one knew that at first, and the stated goal was to scuttle the vote.

The democrats ARE representing the people who elected them the ONLY way they can.

To correct you, they'd represent them by showing up and voting as their constituency wanted.

"But... but then they'd lose!"

Err, yes. That has been known to happen in a democracy. I can only stress that the definition of democracy is not "That system which always results in inkdrinker's preferred outcome."

75Carnophile
Mar 14, 2011, 6:09pm Top

lriley, what BruceCoulson found confusing and I found amusing about 33 was your last sentence, in which you presumably said the opposite of what you meant.

76BruceCoulson
Mar 14, 2011, 6:50pm Top

If the constituents of the runaway legislators find their actions not in their best interest, then they have the right and privilege of not voting for them in the next election. (Since I'm quite sure their opponents will be reminding the voters of these events at every opportunity.)

Those of us who are not residents and voters in those districts; although we may certainly comment and/or criticize their actions, we are not those being respresented, and therefore our opinions are moot.

77faceinbook
Mar 14, 2011, 9:07pm Top

>74 Carnophile: Welcome back.....
Not too sure about showing up for a filibuster.....you used to have to show up...now you can threaten and go home. A technique which I believe the current Republican Party has mastered over the past couple of years.

The reason for leaving had more behind it than simply not voting......it was being pushed through rapidly. Leaving was done, in part, so that people would know what was going on. I believe that was discussed somewhere on this thread ? Way back at the beginning of this discussion...... The Democrats did what they thought they had to do......Walker is a "my way or the highway" lawmaker......no discussion, no compromise.
In fact, since many of the public union workers who supported Mr Walker have since rethought their position it should be pretty clear that Walker was not totally "upfront" about what he was going to do......and he was planning on doing very quickly.
Polls in Wisconsin would suggest that over 50% of the voters are not all that upset about the action of the Democratic lawmakers.
No body wants to lose their voice....NOBODY. Something about hearing someone say "No compromise" makes individuals feel as if they have no voice......actually.....at times leaving may be the only option.

78Arctic-Stranger
Mar 14, 2011, 9:07pm Top

And if the people do not like Walker's union busting tactics, they can recall or vote him out.

Essentially, even when it is broken, the system works.

79Carnophile
Edited: Mar 14, 2011, 11:17pm Top

>59 faceinbook:
Walker is now fighting over 67% disapproval in public opinion in his own State
Not that opinion polls have anything to do with it - I'm concerned with the behavior, not people's opinions of the behavior - but at least some of the polls have been cooked. See here, for example.

Two polls deliberately oversampled Democrats and union members to get anti-Walker results. In the first link DaTechGuy provides, here, a poller is asked why they oversampled union members and he says this: We're assuming that in another election, people sympathetic to Democrats would be galvanized, but people sympathetic to Republicans would not be.

By the way, a Rasmussen poll of the whole country found that 67% support Walker and only 25% support the Dems. (The rest being undecided, presumably.) But really, why should that sway you from your opinion? It's just a summary of what some other people think.

80Carnophile
Mar 14, 2011, 11:38pm Top

>76 BruceCoulson:
If the constituents of the runaway legislators find their actions not in their best interest, then they have the right and privilege of not voting for them in the next election.

Seriously? Any behavior is justified because there’ll be other elections in the future?

Why bother with elections if the elected representatives aren’t going to be allowed to actually vote on anything?

81Carnophile
Edited: Mar 15, 2011, 12:07am Top

If the constituents of the runaway legislators find their actions not in their best interest, then they have the right and privilege of not voting for them in the next election.

The question is the rights of Wisconsin voters in general, not just those who happen to agree with you. Please try really hard to get this through your head.

The majority voted in a Republican-dominated legislature. It’s their right to vote that is the issue here. Their votes were stolen from them by the Dems’ flight to another state. In fleeing the state they rendered the majority’s votes irrelevant, since they can’t represent their constituency when the legislature is frozen.

Your argument about the right to vote undercuts itself, since the behavior in question makes the majority’s vote irrelevant.

Again:
If the constituents of the runaway legislators find their actions not in their best interest, then they have the right and privilege of not voting for them in the next election.

Whether that constituency is being represented is not the issue; in fact they’re being over-represented since their reps have taken it upon themselves to stop the process whenever a majority that disagrees with them might prevail.

Majority rule?! We can't have that, dammit; this is a democracy!

82Carnophile
Mar 14, 2011, 11:52pm Top

>70 lriley:
The political process by the way doesn't just have to be about voting for a candiatate every two or four years. It can take other forms. The senators leaving the state to deny a quorom is one.

>72 Doug1943:
I think filibusters, boycotts of the legislature, even mass non violent sit ins, are all part of the democratic process.

Preventing representatives from voting on a measure is not just another part of the political process, no. Voting on the measure would be the democratic process. “If we’re not going to win, we’re going to shut down the process” is in no sense part of legitimate democratic government.

How sad it is that this even need be said. How sad it is that “Democracy!” as a fundamental principle is so abandoned so casually.

it's one of the things that allows the naked ape to live together in large bands without periodic mass slaughters.

What is? Allowing the losers in an election to get their way? WTF, Doug? If the majority of people can’t get their way through voting, then they do resort to mass slaughters! A major point - the whole point? - of democratic government is that it prevents this! Come on, Doug, you’ve read enough PoliSci and Poli Phil to have come across statements like, The crucial advantage of democracy is that it allows the peaceful transfer of power.

The trick is to keep most of the people relatively happy...

Which is accomplished by allowing a minority to neutralize the majority’s elected representatives?

I think it would be a very bad thing if ordinary people, including policemen, firemen, government clerks, teachers, felt they had no ability at all to articulate their self interests.

They do; it’s called voting. “I get to express my preference” is not the same thing as “I have a right to guarantee that my preference prevails.”

Conservatives ought to know how this feels: liberal judges pass rulings that overturn democratic votes.. and we feel rage.

Precisely.

Such a weird post, Doug, coming from a guy whom I know can do so much better.

Of course I agree with you on more stuff than I disagree with you on. Usually I’m content to just let you express it. But I post to your arguments more often when I disagree with them.

Here’s a joke that probably only you and I will get: On this issue, I’m a Bolshevik and you’re a Menshevik. Heh.

83Carnophile
Edited: Mar 15, 2011, 12:07am Top

Irony all over the place here. I like the idea of limiting all government, including democratic gov't. I don't think that a minority or a majority has the right to, e.g., tell me what I can read. But what (little, ideally) gov't we have must be democratic, for God's sake! And everyone must play by the same rules.

Symmetrically, the left on this issue is even funnier, since they advocate omnipotent governement (let us be frank), the only selling point of which is that it's ostensibly going to be democratic. But now even that has been tossed over the side. So apparently the real goal is omnipotent governmenmt that won't even be democratic. Oh, yum, sign me up for that one!

84SimonW11
Edited: Mar 15, 2011, 4:53am Top

It is not unknown for people to stand for election openly stating that they will not participate in the democratic body they are being voted to ,and for them then to be elected.
These people are undoubtedly representing the people they stand for when they do not take up their elected post. Democracies by their nature contain people who do not support that democracy, though they might well support a different one.

Such people might well incur the wrath of the people who voted for them if they were to assume the post.
Democratic nations do tend to find these a problem, but their mandate from the electorate is legitimate if their votes were fairly won in a legitimate election, Powers that move against such representatives or citizens, are generally disapproved of for doing so.

If those governing simply force another election in which only people willing to work with those in power are allowed to stand or impose someone to the role by fiat. They do so only by disfranchising that electorate. Disenfranchisment is also generally looked down on.

Generally people start to question the legitimacy of goverments if elected representatives refuse to participate if they take action against those elected representaves. or if they impose a representative who has no political mandate. Which Is why that columnist in Forbes was so keen to point out that the governor was trying to gain the right to appoint replacements for elected officials by fiat.

In this case I suspect the Democrat Representatives have no such explicit mandate.
Mandates rarely are explicit on more than a handful of topics. People are voted in not to echo their constituents opinions on everything. but to apply their intelligence and judgement to the business of government. We should no more expect a representative to vote as we think than we should expect a juror member who has spent the last three weeks listening to and debating a case to agree with our verdict after watching a five minute case summary on the tv.

Politicians have legitimately a great deal of freedom in decideng what their mandate is. As I frequently hear Americans say America is a republic not a Democracy.

Have the Democrat representatives overstep that mandate on this occasion?
If they have I see little sign of it. Mandates I will remind you spring from the electorate not from the governing body. and that electorate seem more interested in recalling the republicans thant the Democrats, and recall is surely the mechanism for removing those who overstep their mandate.

85faceinbook
Mar 15, 2011, 9:11am Top

>79 Carnophile: My suggestion, for what it is worth....Read "Griftopia" by Matt Taibbi.....it really doesn't much matter what the polls say.....who is in office.....how we vote them in or out.....follow the money and you will see what is happening....teachers and other public workers are merely dominos in the great picture.
Unless you are in the billionaire club...you will be no better off than the public workers or any other "middle class" American because of this debacle.
Most of this stuff is a giant distraction and we seem all to willing to turn on each other rather than focusing on what is really happening in this country.

Walker picked the perfect target.....but then he is being coached well. Unless he is pretty open minded and inquisitive (both attributes which seem to be losing ground in American society).....he knows not what he does.

What is amazing to me is how easily we are led to direct our ire at those around us, most of whom are in the same position as we are, instead of attacking the real problems. Suppose it is the easiest but then, we have no one to blame but ourselves when things don't get any better.

Busting up the public workers union is not going to fix anything in this country.....not a thing. What we save by taking from them we are going to have to pass on to those who have more power.
The problem is cultural, NOT situational......

Let me add that after slamming the polling process......it doesn't make much sense to use polling statistics to support your case !!!

86BruceCoulson
Mar 15, 2011, 10:35am Top

The voters in other districts may certainly campaign against the runaway representatives, if they feel their rights have been trampled upon.

But unless you can cite some part of the Wisconsin legal code that outlaws what those reps did, then what they did was lawful. (It might have been wrong from a moral standpoint; but we are talking about politicians and lawyers here, so moral objections are insufficient.)

And if the Legislature feels that the above action truly hindered their functioning, then again they may amend their rules to prevent such actions in the future.

Since the phenomena of legislators leaving to prevent a vote is not without precedent, I find it hard to believe that this issue was never considered prior to the actual event. If the Legislature failed to take precautions against such an occurance, whose fault is that?

87faceinbook
Mar 15, 2011, 1:49pm Top

Well, the Wisconsin Repulicans are not counting the votes of the Democrats, on any matter what so ever, stating that they are in contempt......nice one....lets all work together. It remains to be seen whether this is factual from a legal standpoint but it is not stopping them from passing what ever it is they want passed without counting the votes from the Left. They can not be appeased even when they dominate.....further domination is in order.

Really, if the Democrats had thought that there was any way to "work with" Walker, they would not have left. End of story.

Perhaps we can chalk this up as a moral issue as well...trying to work with someone who is determined not to work with you is useless......ask those who remain in our Senate from the prior majority.....if you go in thinking to compromise you are doomed to failure....either have to ram stuff through using pure numbers or let it sit cause compromise (even if you THINK you have made compromises...they will not be sufficent) is NOT an option.

I remember a very high up Republican saying "You are either for me or against me" One of the very worst statements made by a leader, of what is supposed to be a democracy, EVER !
It has poisoned what was left of any type of compromise, given license for an unprecidented lack of respect for anyone who may think differently than you and caused a rift that will take a long time to heal, if ever.

88BruceCoulson
Mar 15, 2011, 4:22pm Top

I think 'compromise' is read as a four-letter word these days.

With apocalyptic rhetoric, that's no surprise. How do you 'compromise' with EVIL? You don't. And so, those that oppose you are not only wrong; they're evil, and so no compromise is necessary. In fact, compromise would be giving in to evil.

89faceinbook
Mar 15, 2011, 5:34pm Top

> Well said ! VERY depressing but well said !

90faceinbook
Mar 16, 2011, 2:38pm Top

This enough to make Democrats want to flee the country. After all....what else can one do ???

Blurb from The Week Magazine March 18, 2011
"House Republicans have reintroduced Styrofoam cups and plastic plates to the Capitol cafeteria. The change is part of a larger effort to reverse former Speaker Nancy Pelosi's "Green The Capitol" initiative, which mandated the use of recyclable utensils and cups made from cornstarch."

WHY ??? What is it we are dealing with when it comes to these overgrown temper tantrum prone lawmakers. Now they will cut pay for garbage collecters and who is going to clean up after them ?

Glenn Beck said something much the same just recently......he found his wife using cloth bags at the grocery store so he DOUBLE bags everything. What is with this ? Simply can not wrap my mind around this kind of thing.....

This isn't even about government....this is about childish revenge without thought to the consequences. A complete and total show of disrespect and contempt. Mr. Beck saying something like this on the air was wife bashing on a grand scale....no respect for her what so ever !

If my kids would have acted this way when I was raising them.....I would have seen to it that they couldn't sit down for a good long week !!!!

91faceinbook
Mar 16, 2011, 2:53pm Top

In answer to the original question of this thread :

When personal ideas and moral values are so disrespected as to cause actions that are self destructive on the part of those who perpetrate them.....one has little choice but to remove themselves from the issue at hand.

It is not enough for the Republican Party to dominate.....they also see a need to denegrate....this is not helpful to anyone including their own interests.

92Arctic-Stranger
Mar 16, 2011, 5:37pm Top

Simple fact: Politicians will use the system to get what they want, or to block things they don't want. Complaining about that is as American as apple pie, and as pointless as saying the moon is too far away. That the democrats did this is not really interesting, nor a matter of outrage. (My guess is that Carnophile would not be as incensed if the exodus involved people who refused to bend to the labor goons. Maybe not, but most people, myself included, tend to be conveniently annoyed at politicians.)

What is interesting is the reaction to Walker's actions, and how long it can be sustained. Walker clearly hit a nerve, one that few would have predicted would be as sore. Most people have written Labor's eulogy, threw dirt on the grave, and went back in the church to eat potato salad long ago. But here it is, the center (sympathetic center) of attention again.

Walker has done more to mobilize labor than any union or labor organization could hope to do.

93faceinbook
Mar 16, 2011, 5:56pm Top

>92 Arctic-Stranger:......Politicians should be targets of our ire.
There is no secret that refuse is an ever growing problem in our country. Why you would put Styrofoam BACK after using an alternative ? This is insane. Not to mention that there are many inovative jobs in the recyling process.
This is not about government....it is beyond petty.
When a marriage falls apart to this extent.....one person has to walk. In no way do I suppose that politicans need to all "think" alike....we were a great country BECAUSE we compromised.....now not only do we refuse to do so.....we show a demoralizing lack of respect for those who don't follow lock step the proposed agenda.
Suppose that brings right back to message #88.....

94Lunar
Mar 17, 2011, 1:33am Top

#90: WHY ???

Because Republicans are just as farcical as Democrats. As politically motivated as the Republicans are in this action, let's not act like it's worth shedding a tear over the Democrats losing ground on their faux environmentalism of adopting the use of materials made of things with as big a carbon footprint as cornstarch. It's the same stupid game.

95SimonW11
Mar 17, 2011, 4:21am Top

94>big carbon footprint? could you be more specific?
Corn is surely carbon neutral It removes carbon dixoid from the air on being grown and returns that same carbon to the air on breaking down. it seems unlike to me that the carbon cost of extracting cornstarch and moulding it would be carbon cost of producing Polystyrene cups.

While I a would happily agree that Democrats might be more interested in the image aspect of recyling than the actual benefits of the reduction of landfill. this does not mean that landfill was not reduced and regardless of the impurity of their motives such a a reduction is surely a good thing.

Undoing this action however has no positive benefits that i can see, Either environmentally or in regard to image. Acting like a unsocialized 4 year old is rarely cute.

96faceinbook
Mar 17, 2011, 8:41am Top

>95 SimonW11: " Acting like a unsocialized 4 year old is rarely cute."

Thank you !! The point isn't about recycling or not recylcling......nor about carbon footprints. The point is about denegrating the beliefs of others. Surely the use of recyclable materials is not HURTING anyone.

In fact, in most States the masses are expected to recycle and conserve our use of non recyclable materials....Using such materials at the White House would be "walking the walk" and not just "talking the talk".

Granted both parties are guilty of political gamemenship but it seems to me that Republican's often do things that are SELF distructive...just to make a dang point.
Sadly, though I am inclined to agree with some very Republican principals, when they do stuff like this.....they've lost me completely.
Same with Walker....something needed to be done, but he didn't need to rub their noses in it.....which is what he did.

97inkdrinker
Mar 17, 2011, 10:48am Top

"I think it would be a very bad thing if ordinary people, including policemen, firemen, government clerks, teachers, felt they had no ability at all to articulate their self interests.

They do; it’s called voting. 'I get to express my preference” is not the same thing as “I have a right to guarantee that my preference prevails.'"

_____________________________________

Ah, but these very laws being contested are designed to not allow these people to articulate their self interests in any meaningful way.

1. Unions allow the small man in a working situation a voice.

2. Unions also often allow the small man to have some semblance of the same kind of power a non-human has in an election. Democracies are supposed to represent the people... not a fucking corporation.

You keep avoiding the fact that these anti-union laws are undemocratic by their very nature.

98inkdrinker
Mar 17, 2011, 10:55am Top

"Irony all over the place here."

_____________________________________

The irony I see here is that you keep talking about the rights of one side of this issue to be represented but you have ZERO problem with the rights of workers being completely trampled and eliminated. One worker has NO voice against a government or a large company. Denying people the right to come together and use their voice to have a say in what happens to them is DEMOCRACY. I see very little difference between this and taxation without representation. Unions are the reason we don't have children working factories for nothing a day... you know like China and other such places.

99Arctic-Stranger
Mar 17, 2011, 11:57am Top

This is the conundrum of libertarianism. What if people chose to combine resources for their own betterment? I take my labor, which alone is not that powerful, and combine it with yours, and the other people who work in my office, and suddenly we can make better wages.

We do that all the time. I would rather pay a cop to enforce traffic laws than have to do that myself. And since paying directly would be a major inconvenience, I don't mind someone from the government collecting money from me to pay for that--and for schools. And for fire service. And for people who make sure the burgers I eat are not poisoned. And for people who make sure that when I buy into a 4G network, it is really 4G and not just a tweaked 3G (which most of it is).

Surely I have the right to that kind of life.

100BruceCoulson
Mar 17, 2011, 1:45pm Top

Combining of resources is how we got to where we are now. It also means that you have to give up some of your liberties. We empower police to enforce the laws; we give up the right to enforce them ourselves (mostly).

But the trade-offs are supposed to work both ways. Those in power are expected to understand that. When they don't, or think that they have a clever scheme that will let them get away with something, we get the above problems.

A suggestion was made that since the public workers have lost their collective bargaining rights, their unions should gather up their dues, and pay each member to hire a personal attorney to individually negotiate every single contract with the State or City. That's only fair and legal, right?

101faceinbook
Mar 17, 2011, 4:41pm Top

" A suggestion was made that since the public workers have lost their collective bargaining rights, their unions should gather up their dues, and pay each member to hire a personal attorney to individually negotiate every single contract with the State or City. That's only fair and legal, right? "

I LOVE this idea !! The government would then have to hire more government workers to deal with this situation.....they could look at it as "job creation" Then go ahead and spend the savings they are making by trimming pay off of other public workers.

102Lunar
Mar 18, 2011, 2:00am Top

#95: Corn is surely carbon neutral

You don't actually know what a carbon footprint is, do you?

#98: Unions are the reason we don't have children working factories for nothing a day... you know like China and other such places.

Sorry, but that was all resolved before 1958, not after. These are public-sector unions we're talking about. I thought the whole idea about unions was of stickin' it to the evil capitalists, not stickin' it to the evil taxpayers.

103SimonW11
Mar 18, 2011, 5:15am Top

102>

you did not answer my question.

Now in answer to your question a carbon footprint is a measure of the amount of green house gas produced by a process.
For example a plant converting carbon dioxide into a polysaccharide or other solid has a negative carbon footprint. It removes a greenhouse gas Carbon dioxide from the air.

Large amounts of carbon dioxide were removed from circulation by this process over the ages. The carbon was sequestered as peat, coal. oil, tar etc. However most such material is not sequestered long term.
instead the carbon reenters the carbon cycle, as gas, typically Carbon Dioxide, or Methane,the main two green house gases.
These processes, typically Burning, Aerobic , or anerobic digestions, as found for example in Compost heaps, incinerators and cows. Have a positive carbon foot print. They contribute greenhouse gasses to the enviroment.

Methane gas production in particular is a problem. it has a significantly greater greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide when released into the enviroment and lingers in the enviroment for a long time. Hence here in the uk ith emphasis on composting plant material rather than processing it anerobicaly, Thought there are anerobic digesters around that produce Methane as a fuel, which of course produces Carbon dioxide as its exhaust.

Industrial processes Processes that result in no net gain in greenhouse gasses are known as carbon neutral, they are few and far between making a cup whether it is out of corn starch or Polystyrene requires a factory that requires energy which is in part is produced by the release of carbon dioxide.
having said that if the energy is gain by releasing CO2 that was recently removed from the atmosphere. say by burning Miscanthus or corn, Or cornstarch cups, that then even carbon releasing energy sources can be carbon neutral.

There I hope that clears up your confusion.

Now please answer my question.

104faceinbook
Edited: Mar 18, 2011, 8:44am Top

>102 Lunar:
Did you attend school ? Is your garbage picked up ? Do you have the "911" option in your area ? Are your streets and/or sidewalks reasonably clean ?

Not sure that the objective of the Public Worker's Union is to "stick it to the taxpayer"
We do depend on them for many things.

Do I think that the Union's needed to make concessions at this point in time ? Yes !

The solution to abolish the rights of worker's is going to bring a backlash which may very well reverse the whole dang thing....working with the Unions AND the workers may have brought a slightly more positive outcome.

I also have a question for you......Why is it that you feel someone is "sticking it to you"

It would seem to me that those who are always looking to "stick it to someone" would be the first one's to be worried about having it "stuck to them"

From The Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
Compromise: a settlement of differences reached by mutual concessions.

No where in this definition do I see anything about "sticking anything to anyone" No "my way or highway" No "for me or against me".

Looks to me that the Public Worker's Union got it "stuck to them" pretty royally. Not much by way of compromise in what Walker is doing.

105inkdrinker
Edited: Mar 18, 2011, 9:29am Top

Honestly... Do ANY of you actually know what teachers unions do?

As far as "sticking it to the tax payer", the largest teachers' union in my state cannot negotiate a contract that isn't at least a year and a half old by the time it signed. The last 5 or 6 union contracts for teachers here haven't even really netted any raises. The amount which has been gained in raise has been less than the amount added to the employee's contribution to health insurance. So, the last 5 or 6 contracts negotiated here have actually been pay cuts.

However, the Governor of my state would say that teachers are over paid.

People keep arguing that the unions are what's wrong with education, but that is also a lie. Teachers' unions have been the ones pushing for many research based teaching/education practices. Yet when the government mandates teaching practices which are KNOWN TO BE COUNTER PRODUCTIVE, the unions take the blame.

ETA: All of the above is to say that teachers HAVE made concessions and continue to do so. These governors and state legislators full of shit.

106faceinbook
Mar 18, 2011, 10:31am Top


>105 inkdrinker: You are correct I am not totally clear as to what the Teachers Union does but I do know that it is not all about money and benefits......The key to inciting those who feel that they are being "stuck at" by the teachers, is to FOCUS on the money

Do know that many of the decisions made regarding the actual job of teaching were done through collective bargining.....class size (with out a voice teachers are going to find themselves with 50 kids to a classroom or some such nonsense), teaching materials and probably many more things.

This big "money cutting" spew from the Right is pure nonsense. Walker just applied to the Federal Government for disaster relief due to the blizzard in Southern Wisconsin at the end of Jan. None of this "let's be self sufficient stuff" is being applied on this matter.
Seems to me that Walker is talking out of his mouth and his rear end at the same time.

Funny thing......I live in a VERY Republican area.....made a few enemies during the years 2000 thru 2008. Ran around rubber mouthing about how much money the wars were going to cost this country and asking stupid questions like "Do you want our money to be spent HERE or do you want it going to Haliburton and who ever else was contracted to do business in the Middle East (including the mercenaries we contracted with). All I got in response was a whole lot of blank stares......gave up.
Now I am being bombarded by people who are denegrating our teachers (yes these very same individuals whose eyes glazed over when the past administration spent America's wealth on something that was a very costly "special interest").....
....teachers are our neighbors, they build new homes, buy cars and support our economy. What has Iraq done for anyone ??
Unbelievable !!!




107faceinbook
Mar 18, 2011, 10:35am Top

Gives new meaning to the phrase "Shock and Awe" !

108Doug1943
Mar 18, 2011, 11:20am Top

#105: "People keep arguing that the unions are what's wrong with education, but that is also a lie. Teachers' unions have been the ones pushing for many research based teaching/education practices..."

This is not a polemical question, but ... could you give some examples?

I've been interested in "the education question" all my life, but have never been able to decide on the education answer. I went to non-unionized schools in Texas in the 50s -- the School Board was vehemently anti-union and the teaching was very traditional-- and I don't think they were very good, although they certainly had some positive features as compared to schools I am familiar with today. (I'm mainly familar with schools in England, where the teachers in many state -- "public" in the American sene of the term -- schools face verbal and physical abuse from the lower class students all the time, and these students disrupt the education of the others. It would never have happened at Stonewall Jackson Junior High, that's for sure. However, I think this is more to do with the decay of Western society than with anything the teachers unions have fought for.)

In any case, I would be interested in discussing the research-based teaching and education practices that unions have advocated, if you want to mention some. I don't think that "teaching to the test" is a good idea, by the way, but I also worry that without some sort of accountability, we could end up without any serious teaching at all.

I absolutely agree that teachers, if we want good ones, should get good wages and good working conditions.

However ... I wonder if unions are so completely benevolent as you think. (I know that in Third World countries like India and Mexico, they are positively wicked, so far as getting kids educated is concerned.)

So could you - or other pro-union people here -- comment on the following article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/23/magazine/23Race-t.html?_r=1

It seems to me that it would be a good idea if good teachers could be promoted faster and paid more, mediocre teachers not so much, and incompetent teachers fired. And I think unions don't like this idea. It's not because unions are inherently evil, it's just that they have to defend the immediate interests of the majority of their members, and that this clashes with the interests of the children, with respect to rewarding good teachers and dis-rewarding bad ones.

109Arctic-Stranger
Mar 18, 2011, 11:52am Top

I will give you one example. We recently introduced legislation in Alaska that gives stipends to teachers who go through a national certification process by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. this is a rigorous process, cost $2,500 and is probably better for teachers than an average masters in Ed.

The biggest supporters of the bill? The NEA, by far. From start to finish they were involved in the process in a positive way.

110Carnophile
Mar 18, 2011, 3:37pm Top

>77 faceinbook:
Not too sure about showing up for a filibuster.....you used to have to show up...now you can threaten and go home.

Huh? I thought that by definition a filibuster means continuing floor debate.

Wikipedia: “A filibuster is a type of parliamentary procedure. Specifically, it is the right of an individual to extend debate, allowing a lone member to delay or entirely prevent a vote on a given proposal. It is cynically referred to as talking out a bill...”

111Carnophile
Mar 18, 2011, 3:38pm Top

>84 SimonW11:
It is not unknown for people to stand for election openly stating that they will not participate in the democratic body they are being voted to ,and for them then to be elected.
These people are undoubtedly representing the people they stand for when they do not take up their elected post.


And preventing others’ representatives from representing their voters, if a quorum is thus prevented.
By all means, continue to pretend that you haven’t read post 81.

112Carnophile
Mar 18, 2011, 3:42pm Top

>85 faceinbook:
Let me add that after slamming the polling process......it doesn't make much sense to use polling statistics to support your case !!!

I wasn’t usig them to support my case. You introduced the topic of polls and I was pointing out that there are polls that go the other way from the one you alluded to.

113Arctic-Stranger
Mar 18, 2011, 3:47pm Top

Carnophile,

If you could see what really goes on in a state legislature, it would really make your blood boil. This is my second year in the Alaska State senate, and the way things are SUPPOSED to work make the Wisc. Dems look pretty tame.

My favorite story: A bill was passed in the last few seconds of a hearing, when the opposing legislators were walking out the room. (Bills are not voted on in committee, they are passed "without objection." See Mason's Manual.) There was a huge uproar, and during the uproar a Senator walked over to the aide who was holding the bill, and took it from him.

Since the physical bill itself has to be passed on to the next committee, and this bill was "missing," it was never referred to the next committee, and officially died at the end of the Legislature.

In other words, this is hardly worth your umbrage. This is just a much more public example of what goes into our political sausage.

114Carnophile
Mar 18, 2011, 4:08pm Top

>86 BruceCoulson:
But unless you can cite some part of the Wisconsin legal code that outlaws what those reps did, then what they did was lawful. (It might have been wrong from a moral standpoint; but we are talking about politicians and lawyers here, so moral objections are insufficient.)

What in the world? Now you’re trying to rule out moral considerations?

Also, I don’t really think it was lawful to refuse to show up for an assembly of the legislature. That must be why they fled to another state: The Wisc congress could have forcibly compelled their attendance otherwise.

If the Legislature failed to take precautions against such an occurance, whose fault is that?

Yeah, right on! And if I shoot you, it’s your fault for not wearing a bulletproof vest!

115Carnophile
Mar 18, 2011, 4:09pm Top

>113 Arctic-Stranger:

No, it's all worth taking umbrage.

116Carnophile
Edited: Mar 18, 2011, 4:16pm Top

>87 faceinbook:, 88

Whence this notion that a majority is morally obligated to negotiate with a minority?

The people of Wisconsin elected a Republican majority large enough to pass certain measures. Your preferene against the measure is hardly relevant for the question of democratic legitimacy.

Besides, I entertain grave doubts as to whether anyone actually believes this notion that compromise is morally obligatory.

Obamacare passed with not a single Republican vote in either chamber of Congress. I don’t recall any liberals squawking about that.

Edit: WTF? Can't verify the # of Repub votes.

117BruceCoulson
Mar 18, 2011, 4:17pm Top

And if the Legislature failed to make something illegal, then yes, it would be my fault for failing to take adequate precautions.

The Wisconsin Legislature is not a hapless victim, unable to take steps to defend itself. Walking out (or fleeing) to avoid a vote is an old tactic. If you know people are doing something, but don't take steps to prohibit the action, you shouldn't be surprised when it keeps happening.

118margd
Mar 18, 2011, 4:51pm Top

Didn't Joseph Cao, Republican rep from LA, vote for "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act"? Granted, he didn't vote for "Obamacare" bill, but that was because no such bill was introduced? :p

119faceinbook
Mar 18, 2011, 5:06pm Top

>110 Carnophile: They have NOT stayed to fillebuster....they have threatened...McCain tried to change this process cause it is too easy to hold everything hostage to that threat. Then he changed his mind. In other words....he was for the change (before Obama) before he was against it.(after Obama)

How is it you are citing any thing about morality at all ?? We have a former President and Vice President who are guilty of war crimes. I believe that the only reason they are not being held accountable for their actions is the amount of money and time it would take to enforce the law.

Left too big a mess they did !

Morality should ALWAYS come into play.....but it starts at home. Most of what I see is an expectation of morality from others while pulling every thing they can get away with.
One of my main beefs with Walker....he should have started with those who voted for him and agreed with his policies....he did NOT do this....

Karl Rove talked of Union Busting in 1999. Was a way to cripple the Democratic party (Given the response to Walker it may not work) and as Rove put it "ensure that the power goes to Republicans always" or words to that effect.
One does not earn the name "Turd Blossom" by being a moralist, I would think.

Compromise may not be a "moral" issue but most often it yields the best outcome.

120BruceCoulson
Mar 18, 2011, 6:07pm Top

Compromise occurs when neither party is able (or willing) to pay the cost of completely enforcing their will on the other.

But if one party is unwilling to compromise, and the other party is unwilling to fight back tooth and nail to make the cost too high to pay, then compromise goes out the window.

What the Republicans are gambling on is that after the initial furor, the opposition will lose steam, be unable or unwilling to fight further, and the Republicans will get everything for very little initial cost.

121SimonW11
Mar 18, 2011, 6:18pm Top

111> You are mistaken ,I was as I recall replying to post 81.
, I am sure I said Democracies do find Abstentionism a problem. yep I just checked, I am surprised you did not notice I was acknowledgeing that that there was a problem.

Here In the UK Abstentionists have never formed a group large enough to prevent a quorum. So they could only deny a voice in parliament to those people with in the Constituency who wanted one. But I have no doubt at all that they would have been delighted to prevent the formation of a quorum.

A democratic goverment that cannot form a quorum is in as you americans say deep shit.

As I see it there are two reasons this might happen, one is ineffectiveness, A body with no power, attracts few votes. Parish councils in the UK might fall into this category, for them installing a single a single bus shelter, is likely the major expenditure item of the year.
and another is simple Intransigence, Where one bloc refuses to interact with the other. America With its two party system would seem particularily prone to this.
If one side is refusing to interact with the other. Democracy has broken down whether there is a quorum or not.

122Lunar
Mar 19, 2011, 2:49am Top

#103: Now in answer to your question a carbon footprint is a measure of the amount of green house gas produced by a process.

Yes, and the agriculture industry isn't exactly "carbon neutral." You're just thinking of the plant itself. The process of growing conrstarch for utensils has a bigger carbon footprint than any other method of making utensils.

#104: Why is it that you feel someone is "sticking it to you"

If you go back and read what I wrote, I was co-opting the language of "stickin' it to the evil capitalists." A bit rhetorical there, but I'm not far wrong in stating that the long-standing view against having public-sector unions (including that of FDR) was that it pitted the interests of government workers against the interests of taxpayers. Labor monopolies are no better than any other kind of monopoly.

123SimonW11
Mar 19, 2011, 3:23am Top

103> nods modern farms do indeed convert a lot of fuel into carbon dioxide, could you please provide a source about their relative cost to polystyrene production.

124Carnophile
Mar 20, 2011, 9:50pm Top

>97 inkdrinker:
Ah, but these very laws being contested are designed to not allow these people to articulate their self interests in any meaningful way.

Yes they can, they can vote. By “meaningful” you seem to mean “guaranteed to give them what they want.”

1. Unions allow the small man in a working situation a voice.
Voting does that.

2. Unions also often allow the small man to have some semblance of the same kind of power a non-human has in an election. Democracies are supposed to represent the people...

Except when the people vote for an outcome the left doesn’t like, in which case democracy must be prevented.

You keep avoiding the fact that these anti-union laws are undemocratic by their very nature.

Er, no, they’re democratic.

125Carnophile
Mar 20, 2011, 9:59pm Top

>98 inkdrinker:
you keep talking about the rights of one side of this issue to be represented but you have ZERO problem with the rights of workers being completely trampled and eliminated.

Which rights, specifically?

You keep trying to drag the discussion to the union thing, but it’s the foundational principle of democratic government that’s at stake here. By the way, if you’re going to sell your allegienace to democracy for some particular issue, do you really want it to be unions? Why not wait for something like the environment, where you could at least argue that the survival of the human race is at stake? Or the chillllldren?

Denying people the right to come together and use their voice to have a say in what happens to them is DEMOCRACY.

Don’t know how seriously to take this.

126Carnophile
Mar 20, 2011, 10:07pm Top

>104 faceinbook:
No "my way or highway"

You’re kidding, right? The Democrats in the Wisconsin legislature said, “Give us our way or we’ll shut down the process.”

>117 BruceCoulson:
The Wisconsin Legislature is not a hapless victim, unable to take steps to defend itself. Walking out (or fleeing) to avoid a vote is an old tactic. If you know people are doing something, but don't take steps to prohibit the action, you shouldn't be surprised when it keeps happening.

I don’t think it has happened in Wisconsin before, at least not for a long time.
At any rate, the legislature being feckless about stopping a sin hardly makes it a non-sin.

127Carnophile
Mar 20, 2011, 10:10pm Top

>119 faceinbook:
How is it you are citing any thing about morality at all ?? We have a former President and Vice President who are guilty of war crimes.

Ah yes, thank you for confirming Carn's Law: A lefty, backed into a corner, will start screaming "racism" or try to change the subject to the Iraq War.

128faceinbook
Mar 21, 2011, 8:34am Top

>126 Carnophile: Seriously ???? What do you call what the Republicans have been doing since Obama took office ? Do you think that what is going on is Democratic process ?

The Democrats wanted COMPROMISE. Walker started the so called debate by saying that there was going to be no compromise, it was going to be "his way" no debating the issue.....just cast a useless vote and lets get this over.

The results of the 2000 election and the dangling chads are in the subconcious of every voter in this country......when push comes to shove....might does not always equal right.

On this issue, many of those who voted for Walker did not agree on taking away bargining rights....in fact the police and firemen who voted for Walker protested with the teachers....when the majority spoke out....Walker did what he wanted anyway. Don't think this is how it is supposed to work....OR...is it indeed like one wealthy CEO told me...."the rich have earned the right to make decisions for the poor" ?

Based on ALL I have seen in the past decade....this CEO was making a statement about the future of our country.

129faceinbook
Mar 21, 2011, 9:07am Top

>127 Carnophile: Pouncing on the Democrats of Wisconsin for doing something you consider "illegal" after watching the Bush administration operate, from dangling chads to torture techniques, is a bit mind boggling.
To have ten years of a debacle dismissed/forgotten, only to call "foul" on the Democrats is close to being insane !
Lot's of rightous indignation out there... "Do as I say, not as I've done" type of thing. In my experience, people do not respond well to this type of behavior.
The action of the Democratic law makers in Wisconsin seems to pale compared to our "jaded" past and the trumped up anger regarding this action seems to be just that...."trumped up anger", another deflection from what is really going on.

As far as racism.....It is alive and well in the U.S. of A......not recognizing that some of things said about Barak Obama AND his family are racist is pure denial.

130BruceCoulson
Mar 21, 2011, 10:59am Top

"The Wisconsin Legislature is not a hapless victim, unable to take steps to defend itself. Walking out (or fleeing) to avoid a vote is an old tactic. If you know people are doing something, but don't take steps to prohibit the action, you shouldn't be surprised when it keeps happening.

I don’t think it has happened in Wisconsin before, at least not for a long time.
At any rate, the legislature being feckless about stopping a sin hardly makes it a non-sin."

Walking out of a vote goes back to at least the late 19th Century, when Speaker Reed of the U.S. House finally set rules concerning votes and attendance in the U.S. Congress. Again, if you know that people are willing to do something, have done so in the past, and may well be prepared to do so in the future, and fail to account for it, then don't be shocked and surprised when it happens again. I refuse to believe that the Wisconsin Legislators are either ignorant or stupid. Sin as a concept is a non-starter; we're talking about the law here.

131faceinbook
Mar 21, 2011, 8:18pm Top

What amazes me is the amount of indignation over those who are preventing a vote due to absence and the lack of indignation over those who calmly sit there and push all votes to the side so as to impede progress. What is the difference ? Other than a certain amount of arrogance on the part of those who sit and obstruct, thinking nothing of it. Certainly leaving is far more honest than actually pretending you are governing.

The end game is the same really, and that is to make sure nothing is getting done. Those who are so angered about this issue and the fact that there has been little progress....seem very quiet about what went on in 2000 and 2001 in our Congress ?

Have a BIG problem with hypocrisy.

I do believe that the Democratic law makers in Wisconsin did what they did with full knowledge of the possible consequences or lack there of......

132Lunar
Mar 22, 2011, 1:52am Top

#129: Pouncing on the Democrats of Wisconsin for doing something you consider "illegal" after watching the Bush administration operate, from dangling chads to torture techniques, is a bit mind boggling.

What kind of strawman nonsense is this? You think just because the Democrats have a different letter next to their names than President Chimpy did then they should be absolved of criticism? This isn't the first time you've used the follies of Bush 2 to deflect criticism of the party of Bush 3.

#123: While the manufacture of an individual bioplastic item does come out with a smaller carbon footprint than a newly made plastic equivalent, that edge reverses when recyclability is taken into account. The recycling of bioplastic, it is claimed, would require the creation of a separate infrastructure outside of that used to recycle traditional plastic. Big Corn would not be pleased.

133SimonW11
Mar 22, 2011, 3:56am Top

132So have the Republicans put a polystyrene recycling policy into effect?

134faceinbook
Edited: Mar 22, 2011, 12:05pm Top

> I did not say that the Democrats should be above criticism.....just made the observation that those who criticize them the most seem to be blind when it is done by those who agree with their own way of thinking. Seems that if one is upset about obstructionist tactics and/or illegal activity, it should bother them no matter WHO is doing the obstructing and/or law breaking.
Not deflecting at all.......just wondering why the standards are different for one over the other.
Personally.....I don't like obstruction of government in either party......was not happy since Obama took office and I don't like what is going on in my State.....However, I do not see any compromise on the part of the Right in most anything. In Congress concessions were made and STILL the Bill's were pushed off OR despite being loaded with Republican changes, voted against.......in Wisconsin Walker actually SAID that no compromises were going to be made.
Perhaps you could enlighten me as to how it SHOULD work ?

To my mind it has been totally broken since the "for me or against me" statement. Gave license to all kinds of bad behavior and rightous indignation. After all if you don't think or feel the same way I do you must be against me.... what a load of nonsense.

It is only going to end when both side agree to compromise a bit on their postion and from what I have heard coming from the Right.....they are unwilling to do so. Believe that the Democrats HAVE made compromises....we have a President who is all about "working together" but as I see it he is walking into a wall here. Nothing short of his disappearing is going to make the Republicans happy. Learned that there is a point where you have the right to stop compromising yourself for someone who is never going to be happy with the compromise any way.

Again..... I am thinking that sometimes the only thing one can do is walk away.

Which often takes more guts than staying.....
As for legal or illegal.....those who are squeaky clean can loud mouth about it...otherwise it is hypocrisy....

135Carnophile
Mar 22, 2011, 9:55pm Top

>128 faceinbook:
when the majority spoke out....Walker did what he wanted anyway.

The majority elected him.

Racism, the Iraq war... nebulous references to what went on in 2000 and 2001 in our Congress What in the world?

As for legal or illegal.....those who are squeaky clean can loud mouth about it...otherwise it is hypocrisy....

Wow. I called you out on changing the subject and you just doubled down. Fascinating.

>130 BruceCoulson:
Walking out of a vote goes back to at least the late 19th Century...

But if it hasn’t happened in Wisconsin any time recently (before the current dustup) then there’s no reason for the Wisconsin legislature to take steps forbidding it. It’s like saying that there was a witch burning in Salem Mass in 1641 (or whenever) so the Wisconsin legislature should have been prepared to deal with witch burnings.

What steps could they take to prevent such flight, anyway? Their legal authority doesn’t extend outside the state.

136faceinbook
Edited: Mar 23, 2011, 10:18am Top

>135 Carnophile:
Walker was not honest about what he was going to do !!! How many times do you need to hear this ? When it came to light what he was all about, 70% of the people did NOT agree with him.
So according to your statement, what you believe to be acceptable is to lie your way into office and then do what you want using the "majority voted me in" reasoning.

I am also supposing that the past is the past and we are to forget anything that has gone before....past transgressions have nothing to do with today. This is sound reasoning to anyone who is in denial......nothing will ever get fixed cause it is never addressed......to keep repeating the behavior looking for a different outcome is doomed to failure.

No arguing with many Republicans either....should have learned that by now cause they are NEVER wrong and they REFUSE to compromise.

137Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 23, 2011, 4:26pm Top

The majority elected him.

Voter turnouts being what they are, I doubt that this is true in a strict sense.

138Carnophile
Mar 23, 2011, 9:49pm Top

The majority of voters.

For God's sake, Weidinmyer.

139Carnophile
Edited: Mar 23, 2011, 10:04pm Top

>136 faceinbook:
When it came to light what he was all about, 70% of the people did NOT agree with him.

I’ve already mentioned two polls that were proven to be set up dishonestly set up to give that impression. This makes me even less inclined to trust polls on this matter than I normally am.

More importantly - this is the crucial point - democracy proceeds by elections, not by the opinion poll of the moment. (This whole argument is ill-advised. There was a time when it was true - maybe it still is - that the majority of the country disapproved of ObamaCare. Does that mean it was not democratically legitimate and should have been repealed?)

140Carnophile
Edited: Mar 23, 2011, 10:31pm Top

>136 faceinbook:
Walker was not honest about what he was going to do !!! How many times do you need to hear this?
I’m not sure. How many times do you have to say it to make it become true?

So according to your statement, what you believe to be acceptable is to lie your way into office and then do what you want using the "majority voted me in" reasoning.

What “lie” exactly did Walker tell in his campaign about his proposals on unions? To be lying about that, he’d have to have said “I don’t intend to limit collective bargaining.” He never said any such thing.

In fact, he did say that he intended to attempt various concessions from unions, so this whole idea is consistent with his campaign.

You might be thinking of this oft-cited PolitiFact piece which says Walker never mentioned it.

Even PolitiFact admits, “There is no dispute that Walker campaigned on getting concessions on health and pension benefits from state employees.”

In fact, The Weekly Standard proves that this admission by PolitiFact doesn’t go far enough:
On August 30, the Journal Sentinel ran an article ... The reporter spoke to Ryan Murray, a top policy adviser for the Walker campaign, who explained the candidate’’s plan. “The way the proposal would work is we would take the choice out of the collective bargaining process,” Murray said.
So does taking the choice out of the collective bargaining process mean ending it for health care? The reporter certainly seemed to think so. “(Murray) said school districts often have some of the most expensive health benefits in Wisconsin and could receive cheaper insurance through the state if they didn't have to negotiate with unions about who would insure their members.”
What was clear to the reporter was also clear to the teachers’ unions. ““Our members oppose taking away their rights to collective bargaining, so they would definitely raise their voices against it,” said Christina Brey, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the union leading protests today.
...So a top Walker adviser made an on-the-record comment that both a reporter and a union representative understood as meaning an end to collective bargaining.
The claim that Walker lied is just another in a line of arguments that amount to "Democrats shouldn't have to play by the rules!" Please, just stop. Sometimes in a democrcay you'll disagree with the outcome. That doesn't make the outcome illegitimate.

141Carnophile
Mar 24, 2011, 7:33am Top

PS: I love the idea that if a politician lies, it entitles the opposition to shut down the process. Fortunately, that wouldn't be too disruptive, since politicians so rarely lie. Oh, wait.

As someone who wishes the gov't were a lot smaller, I'm all for this! Though it might in fact lead to a total dissolution of the government.

142Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 24, 2011, 8:01am Top

Even PolitiFact admits, “There is no dispute that Walker campaigned on getting concessions on health and pension benefits from state employees.”

And oddly enough, the unions gave Walker quite a few concessions. Where they drew the line was at their ability to bargain collectively.

143Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 24, 2011, 8:02am Top

The majority

and

The majority of voters.

are not equivalent concepts.

144faceinbook
Mar 24, 2011, 8:33am Top

>142 Jesse_wiedinmyer:
Might as well give it up......some people are NEVER wrong and they will NOT compromise.

Walk away.....cause no matter how you say something it will be misconstrued and used against you.

145faceinbook
Edited: Mar 24, 2011, 9:06am Top

Would add that eventually it ceases to be about the original point and becomes all about winning. Once a line is crossed, common sense is tossed aside and it becomes more about symantics than any valid point.
As is evident by the current way our government is operating.
Consquently nothing gets done and if by chance any thing should be accomplished, those who feel they haven't won, are going to "back track" and try to dismantle it.

For the past decade or so the only true patriotic American is a Conservative and the only true Democracy is a Republican run nation.....not quite sure where the rest of us fit in. We've been called a lot of names but none have stuck thus far....we shall see.

(Somehow, in the context of the discussion, I knew what "The majority" vs. "The majority of voters" meant, but then.......guess, technically that would be beside the point)




147krolik
Edited: Mar 26, 2011, 4:14am Top

An interesting case of fall-out concerns William Cronon, a UW history professor and president of the American Historical Association.

Cronon was critical of Gov. Walker on a blog, and in response the Wisconsin Republican Party has started a legal effort to see his email archives.

The reasoning is that when messages are sent on the University of Wisconsin's email system, they're covered by the state's open-records law. Cronon says he's carefully separated work and private email addresses, and sees this mainly as an abuse of power.

It's long, but here's Cronon's version here: http://scholarcitizen.williamcronon.net/2011/03/24/open-records-attack-on-academ...

148faceinbook
Mar 26, 2011, 10:08am Top

> 147
Again, at the risk of being considered irrelevant....the past is the past and all that, for a Party who promotes itself as believing in smaller government, this type of action is mind boggling and it is consistant with many of the actions taken by the Bush administration.
Honestly couldn't say if an equal amount of this stuff happens on both sides, I suspect so. I am not versed enough to have any idea but I can say that this smacks of hypocrisy and is very frustrating.
A list would be helpful, a list of whose private lives will be protected from government oversite and whose are open to scrutiny....just making a blanket statement that government should "stay out of people's lives" is inconsistant with the actions taken and appears to be dishonest.
Sadly, it is my belief that they are all the same at this game and we the voters are "fed" just enough to keep us snarking at each other rather than focusing on what is really happening. To swallow anything that is coming from our "broken" government is purely delusional.

149Carnophile
Edited: Mar 26, 2011, 3:06pm Top

>142 Jesse_wiedinmyer:
The issue isn't what the unions approve of; it's whether Walker supported legislation that he said he wouldn't suport, or is so different from what he said he'd support as to remove his legitimacy as a democratically-elected official.

>143 Jesse_wiedinmyer:

The majority, and The majority of voters, are not equivalent concepts.

Obviously. But you know what I meant and, I suspect, are just being difficult. The people who don't vote don't count anyway. Not because I say so, but because they say so. They decided not to vote, so they can hardly whine about their voices being ignored or whatever.

150SimonW11
Mar 26, 2011, 6:31pm Top

!,,, so they can hardly whine about their voices being ignored or whatever."
You are mistaken they can and they do.

151margd
Mar 28, 2011, 9:07am Top

> 67 http://blogs.forbes.com/erikkain/2011/03/11/michigan-governor-plays-fast-and-loo.... I watch american politics from a distance so i am unsure if this is true or just democrats being dramatic. is this true ? can the Governor really remove any elected official without any review?
can he really place a crony who does not represent you in a position of power over you if you live in that state.

Just fyi, a news article about a still solvent blue-collar Michigan town, trying to avoid the state appointing an emergency administrator a couple years down the road: http://www.annarbor.com/news/council-member-pete-murdock-offers-available-new-ta...

152SimonW11
Mar 28, 2011, 6:05pm Top

Thanks it seems the cities face very real problems, but still I am amazed that the Governor can take them over without either a vote, or a judicial review.

Does no one ask quo custodiet ipso custodes?

153faceinbook
Mar 28, 2011, 8:46pm Top

>152 SimonW11:
Note message number 146. The law means nothing. Actually, the law has had very little influence over the actions of our government for a while now. It is also worthy to note that our courts have been polluted by partisan interest, including our Supreme Court.

154Carnophile
Mar 28, 2011, 9:53pm Top

!,,, so they can hardly whine about their voices being ignored or whatever."
You are mistaken they can and they do.


Oh.

Does no one ask quo custodiet ipso custodes?

This is the Question That Must Not Be Asked.

155faceinbook
Mar 29, 2011, 7:57am Top

>152 SimonW11:
They are all busy keeping close tabs on each other....but not to anyone's advantage other than their own !!!

156krolik
Mar 31, 2011, 3:59am Top

Some more fall-out in message control (this time on behalf of the "home" team, as compared to >147 krolik:), where Wisconsin Republicans are trying to pull a video off the internet where representative Sean Duffy complains about his $174,000 salary.

More here: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/03/gopers-demand-sean-duffy-salary-tape-...

157Jesse_wiedinmyer
Apr 6, 2011, 4:28pm Top

So, the latest number I see has the challenger ahead by 204 votes, but is that even a statistically meaningful lead?

158faceinbook
Apr 6, 2011, 7:53pm Top

Will be a recount......cost even more money for the taxpayers

Did anyone see this little beauty....great example of "Do as I say and not as I do" If the Republican Party wants to be considered credible about their desire to cut spending and tighten belts...they should start at HOME.
When you've just dissed a whole class of people who went to school, earned degrees and have job requirements that include continued education and something like this comes to light.....sorry.....you look like a bunch of idiots !

http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/119238419.html

159Arctic-Stranger
Apr 6, 2011, 8:17pm Top

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, 204 votes is what we call a winner.

Recounts can easily change that, and 204 votes can be lost easily. But that would assume all the voting errors would be in the republicans favor.

160margd
Apr 21, 2011, 3:40pm Top

> 67

Jesse Jackson criticizes Michigan's emergency managers as "democracy being suspended": http://www.annarbor.com/business-review/michael-finney-defends-emergency-manager...

161faceinbook
Apr 21, 2011, 4:38pm Top

Well heck....even the NAME "financial martial law" sounds ominous......Like I said....this is not about less government so much as it is about trying to concentrate government to "one true party".
There is nothing Democratic about martial law of any kind....

162Carnophile
Apr 21, 2011, 5:25pm Top

Can someone provide a citation to the actual text of the law, or a reputable source that quotes from it? I've been trying to find one, fruitlessly.

163BruceCoulson
Apr 21, 2011, 7:00pm Top

http://www.mi-water.org/miawwa/committees/Water_Utility/PAA/PAA03-18-2011.htm

This seems to provide links to the actual texts of the bills in question; wasn't able to fully explore this since I'm at work atm.

164BruceCoulson
Apr 21, 2011, 7:23pm Top

If the commentary about the bills is correct, this sets up some interesting precedents.

How long before the U.S. Congress considers similar bills to rein in the outrageous spending by States?

166Carnophile
Apr 22, 2011, 6:41pm Top

>163 BruceCoulson:, 165.

Thanks. I'm going to dig into the text when I have time.

Meanwhile, if it says what it seems to from the popular accounts, it's an outrageous traducement of democracy.

167BruceCoulson
Apr 22, 2011, 7:10pm Top

After going over the text, it does appear that the State Government can indeed exert total control over local school and political districts, either directly through takeover, or indirectly through threats and 'consent decrees'.

Which means the State Government can cut off all funding to a district, then declare that the district can no longer meet its financial obligations and remove all financial control from the local officials.

Obviously, the above wouldn't be that blatant; but the basic power is there.

Of course, if this stands, then the precedent has been set for the Federal Government to impose exactly the same conditions on the States, for the same reasons given in the bill.

None of this power would be used to punish districts that voted the wrong way in elections, of course...

168margd
May 12, 2011, 3:15pm Top

Sounds like Detroit might be next up for emergency manager (July 1):
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/12/michigan-emergency-manager-private-sect...

Republican Governor Governor could appoint Democratic Mayor Bing, I think? Would strengthen Bing's hand, but not entirely undercut the democratic process.

169faceinbook
May 12, 2011, 5:13pm Top

Governor of Indiana just made major cuts to Planned Parenthood.

What are these guys thinking.......Planned Parenthood is not a major money suck. What it does do is help women of low income with birth control and health issues. It also provides abortions but only 3% of their money is spent on this and NO federal funds.
What fools...now you have a bunch of women who can't afford medical care and probably not any birth control either....having more babies.
And this makes sense how ??????
Course if you cut Medicaid and most free public clinics.....women can always try to do the procedure themselves, which they will, as they are mainly using Planned Parenthood cause they can not afford another mouth to feed in the first place.

170BruceCoulson
May 12, 2011, 7:24pm Top

What they are thinking is pleasing their 'conservative' and Christian base, which takes as a given abortion = murder. They are also opposed to sex education in general (Let them learn from Catholic priests!) and birth control, so if they could remove Planned Parenthood entirely, they would.

None of these people give a flying *&^# for the common people who will be adversely affected; after all, if you're poor, that's what God intended. They also have no concern for the children after they are born; God will provide, after all. (I wonder if you could sue God for child support?) If you can't practice abstinence, everyone in the family must suffer.

It has nothing whatsoever to do with saving money or balancing the budget (which has to remain balanced in Indiana anyway, so...).

171JGL53
May 14, 2011, 12:03pm Top

To paraphrase Eric Cartman:

repubs - play silly games.

repubs - are really lame.

172faceinbook
May 14, 2011, 3:11pm Top

Wisconsin also poised to pass a conceal and carry law.....THAT aught to bring in jobs and revenue !

173margd
Jun 21, 2011, 2:04am Top

> 168 contd. After two appointed managers, a new authority of state, Detroit Public Schools, and a teacher's university (EMU) appointees will manage the worst of Detroit schools--plus philanthropists look for a way to fund college tuition for eligible students, as they have in Kalamazoo, MI. I sympathize with concerns that democracy is being overridden, but if I had kids in those schools, I'd certainly be wishing the new authority Godspeed!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/20/detroit-announces-new-authority_n_88075...

174margd
Edited: Jan 17, 2012, 5:11am Top

>173 margd: contd. Yesterday, (MLK Day 2012) Occupy people marched on MI Governor Rick Snyder's home--or at least his subdivision's gates--to protest emergency management law subverting local elections.

http://www.annarbor.com/news/rick-snyder-mlk-day-march-to-protest-emergency-mana...

176theoria
Jan 17, 2012, 3:00pm Top

1 mill+ signatures submitted to recalled the Gov. http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/recall18-8g3r7ui-137489833.html

177margd
Jan 19, 2012, 10:30am Top

>174 margd: contd.

In state of the state address, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder defends emergency manager law:

http://www.annarbor.com/news/snyder-defends-emergency-manager-law-in-state-of-th...

178margd
Feb 7, 2012, 7:26am Top

> 67 http://blogs.forbes.com/erikkain/2011/03/11/michigan-governor-plays-fast-and-loo.... I watch american politics from a distance so i am unsure if this is true or just democrats being dramatic. is this true ? can the Governor really remove any elected official without any review?
can he really place a crony who does not represent you in a position of power over you if you live in that state.

Co-author of emergency manager law, an advisor to Michigan Department of Treasury:
Emergency managers are 'kinder, gentler' alternative to bankruptcy.

"...Looming over the debate about Michigan’s emergency manager law is a petition drive organized by a nonprofit called Michigan Forward, which has said it’s close to delivering enough petitions to immediately suspend the law and place it on the ballot for voters to decide in November."

"Leaders already are debating how the petition drive would affect the law, but (State Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor) acknowledged that Republicans already are quietly discussing the prospect of passing alternative legislation to replace Public Act No. 4 if it’s subjected to a vote in November."

"Meanwhile, (Republican Governor) Snyder is considering whether to install an emergency manager in the city of Detroit..."

http://www.annarbor.com/news/michigan-treasury-department-adviser-emergency-mana...

179Carnophile
Jun 6, 2012, 12:30pm Top

Walker wins, despite a raft of dirty tricks.

180lriley
Jun 6, 2012, 12:48pm Top

FWIW--he kept his job but the republican party as of now is the minority in the state senate--meaning effectively that for legislation to pass there is going to have to be some compromising. Part of the reason why he's now more or less saying that everyone should take a step back--listen to each other--and at least attempt to find common ground.

181SimonW11
Edited: Jun 6, 2012, 5:18pm Top

I can really see a Wisconsin democrat attempting to find common ground.

183lriley
Jun 6, 2012, 7:28pm Top

182--Toxicity goes both ways these days.

184lriley
Edited: Jun 7, 2012, 3:25am Top

#181--after Walker holds out the olive branch? I don't know. You have two camps that are split. It's not necessarily a good situation nor necessarily a bad one. Maybe just a little like Northern Ireland Protestants and Catholics 15 years ago. They've gradually built relationships if only just to get the mundane items of day to day living out of the way. Things go on--alliances change. Some things work--some don't. Some will get stalled completely. What started with democrat state senators heading down the road/fleeing (take your pick) to Illinois to block legislation being fast tracked/ramrodded (again take your pick) through has at this point in time turned into a very marginal majority for democrats in the Senate. There is an irony there just as there is an irony in Walker/Kleebfisch surviving.

Anyway Walker now wants to get everyone together for burgers, brats and beer. Who would have thunk? But there are things that have to be worked on beyond the major issues of the recall--and so holding out that olive branch is politics plain and simple.

185faceinbook
Jun 11, 2012, 10:40am Top

As I see it, the Right in Congress has been offering up an olive branch for the past three and a half years. Has been a very passive aggressive type olive branch ! The branch remains extended unless they do not get their way. Don't see those from the Right offering up anything by the way of "compromise".
Not sure about Wisconsin.....and IF there were that many "tricks" afloat....that many cases of "voter fraud", why then is Walker still in office ? Or, could it be the other way around we should be looking ?

186lriley
Edited: Jun 12, 2012, 3:23am Top

#18--well their ability to ram legislation through has more or less been negated for the time being. That doesn't mean the business of governing and legislation comes to a complete halt.

As far as what Walker etal. will do if they get complete control again--I'm sure it will be forcing their agenda through again. But--my main thing in the last few posts was to derail the idea that Walker won--he survived but he took a damaging hit.

187Carnophile
Jun 13, 2012, 9:58pm Top

my main thing in the last few posts was to derail the idea that Walker won--he survived but he took a damaging hit.

May fiscally responsible politicians of any party suffer more damaging hits like that one!

188lriley
Jun 14, 2012, 3:19am Top

#187--well Carnophile the reason he made such headway with his agenda is that his party controlled both legislative bodies in Wisconson--and now they don't. It is damaging. I don't think his mindset has changed that much. After all he went out of state to collect millions of dollars to run his recall campaign and much of that money came from people with the same kind of ideology. So what's really changed other than he lost the senate?--not much but it is a hit and there's no way of spinning that.

From the point of view that recall elections are evil--that is actually the door Walker first entered elective politics through. Sometimes what goes around comes back around.

189Carnophile
Edited: Jun 15, 2012, 9:15pm Top

Oh, please. The recall was all about Walker. The left made it all about him. Now that he kicked ass, you can’t walk that back. The voters not only reaffirmed that they want Walker in office, but did so by a larger margin than the original election. That will teach him a lesson!

Regarding who won, one need only look at the reaction on the left. From the weeping “democracy is dead” guy ("The end of the USA as we know it!") to the woman who stood in front of CNN’s bus trying to prevent them from calling it for Walker and leaving town.

Furthermore, the Wisconsin Legislature isn’t scheduled to convene again until January. Lehman (the Dems' one victory you referred to) must stand for election again in November, before the next meeting of the legislature. So the Dems’ one victory (out of six races) is totally irrelevant.

From the point of view that recall elections are evil--that is actually the door Walker first entered elective politics through. Sometimes what goes around comes back around.

Walker didn’t get his start in a recall. He got his start in a special election for an open seat.

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