Wisconsin, other US, workers fight on


This video from the USA is called Wisconsin demonstrations enter third week.

As many as 50,000 workers and young people braved cold weather to demonstrate in the Wisconsin state capital of Madison Saturday, with another 15,000 coming out on Sunday to oppose the attack on public employees and social spending: here.

Wisconsin: Scott Walker Believes He’s Following Orders from the Lord: here.

Dave Lindorff, This Can’t Be Happening: “The dramatic and inspiring occupation of the Wisconsin Statehouse in Madison by angry public workers and their supporters over the past few weeks is an exciting preview of what we can expect to see in the halls of Congress before long, as right-wing forces, funded by corporate lobbies and corporate-funded think-tanks push hard for cutbacks in Social Security and Medicare… Here’s the big point: Corporate America, and its political lackeys in the Republican and Democratic Parties, know that they are about to confront a dramatically more powerful protagonist in their campaign to kill Social Security and Medicare: the Boomer Retirees”: here.

What happens in Wisconsin matters world-wide: here.

Public school students staged a series of walkouts in districts across the state of Idaho last week to protest planned budget cuts and teacher layoffs. Protests began last month after state superintendent Tom Luna called for increasing class sizes in elementary, middle, and high schools and the dismissal of 770 teachers. The state also aims to tie teacher pay to student performance on standardized tests: here.

5 thoughts on “Wisconsin, other US, workers fight on

  1. TRUTHOUT’S BUZZFLASH DAILY HEADLINES

    Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are all members of a union that has a collective bargaining agreement. As Cenk Ugyur of the Young Turks points out by playing a clip of O’Reilly, Bill actually brags that his union, AFTRA, took one of his former television producers to court to enforce pension benefits agreed upon in a collective bargaining agreement.

    You can watch it here. O’Reilly doesn’t in any way do anything but praise his union because it prevented him from being “stiffed.”

    As a Florida newspaper commentator recently noted:

    The “Health Fund” that is set up by AFTRA, also provides for mental health counseling. I am sure some of those Fox “reporters” could take advantage of that … especially with all of their conspiracy theories swirling around.

    Meanwhile, O’Reilly and the FOX propaganda team for Murdoch and the Koch Brothers regularly bash union protesters in Wisconsin and support Scott Walker’s thuggish efforts to smash unions.

    O’Reilly does imply that concessions will have to be made by unions to compete in a global economy, but the public unions in Wisconsin have already said that they would be willing to negotiate concessions. Scott Walker, however, has remained adamant that he will not negotiate about the collective bargaining process itself, which is the only way to guarantee that the union can negotiate and simply not have its members be subject to arbitrary pay, safety and benefits decisions by a Koch’d-up governor.

    Yesterday, BuzzFlash at Truthout documented how the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel detailed that Scott Walker lied about receiving a mandate for eliminating (with some very minor exceptions) collective bargaining because he never mentioned or campaigned on such a draconian measure.

    What’s clear from Bill O’Reilly’s admission is that he is grateful for the collective bargaining power and assertiveness of the AFTRA union protecting his benefits.

    O’Reilly, Beck and Limbaugh make millions and millions of dollars for blabbering the most inane and bizarre bile on television (although O’Reilly has come to seem like the “senior statesman” of the disingenuous right-wing echo chamber).

    Teachers and custodians in Wisconsin make a tiny fraction of their salaries. Shouldn’t the middle-class working people for the state of Wisconsin have the same union protection of collective bargaining that the paid shills of the plutocracy have?

    You would think so, wouldn’t you?

    Because otherwise it might be blatant hypocrisy.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

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  2. I found your argument very interesting and informative; however, I disagree with your wild assumption that there is absolutely no line separating the government from corporation. That would mean that we are in a facist state, and I do not believe we are. It would be helpful if you did not make such wild assumptions, and situate your entire argument upon it. It damages your credibility, and I do think you have some heartfelt arguments. Just make sure they are based on facts and not assumptions.

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  3. Re #2: presumably, you refer to Dave Lindorff of This Can’t Be Happening, one of the sources quoted in this blog post. So I think it would be better if you would have this particular discussion about corporate-governmental relationships with him instead of here.

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  4. TRUTHOUT’S BUZZFLASH DAILY HEADLINES

    While tens of thousands of advocates for saving the middle class have come to Madison the past few weeks, Scott Walker is countering that he has received a few thousand emails in support of his assault on unions.

    But even while the ratio of protesting bodies to Walker’s alleged supportive emails is crushingly in favor of the pro-union advocates, Walker won’t allow the public to see the fan email he claims to have gotten (and they could have been AstroTurfed from the Koch Brothers’ “Americans for Prosperity,” if they exist).

    The Wisconsin Associated Press and the Madison “Isthmus” are, as a result, suing the Wisconsin governor to be allowed to review the electronic messages. On March 4, the lawsuit was filed based on the open record laws of Wisconsin.

    As the “Isthmus” reported:

    “Isthmus” made its request by hand-delivered letter on Feb. 18, a day after Walker referred to these 8,000 emails and about an hour before he held another press conference saying the number had since swelled to 19,000, again mostly positive. The paper followed this with two communications with Walker spokesperson Cullen Werwie (the second of which, on Feb. 24, was also sent to Brian Hagedorn, the governor’s legal counsel). Both asked for an update on the status of the original request.

    The Associated Press, through reporter Todd Richmond, emailed its request for the referenced 8,000 emails on Feb. 18. Richmond followed this on Feb. 25 with an email to Werwie and Hagedorn inquiring as to the status of his request and asking that it be expanded to include “all emails the governor has received that mention the budget repair bill.”

    As of today, the governor’s office and his legal counsel have not responded to these requests for records, or provided information on their status.

    As the [legal] complaint notes, the state’s Open Records Law requires that open records requests receive responses “as soon as practicable and without delay.” The complaint states: “Defendants have violated the Wisconsin Open Records Law and Wis. Stat. § 19.37(1) by withholding the requested email messages and delaying granting access to the email messages.” It calls the defendants’ failure to provide these records “arbitrary and capricious.”

    The Walker governorship is authoritarian and opaque, even when it comes to a relatively small number of emails of “support.”

    We’re sure there are at least a few sympathetic missives from David Koch. He’s got to buck up his investment in Walker.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

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  5. TRUTHOUT’S BUZZFLASH DAILY HEADLINES

    Want a confirmation of corporate governance, just look at the Forbes top global corporations for 2010:

    1. JPMorgan Chase – United States
    2. General Electric – United States
    3. Bank of America – United States
    4. ExxonMobil – United States
    5. ICBC – China

    Fortune uses somewhat different criteria and ranks BP as number four and Wal-Mart as number one.

    In short, the Forbes and Fortune top US headquartered companies compose sort of the wish list of big contributors to political campaigns. So, if you were running, let’s say a re-election campaign for president, you might want to adopt policies that favor these businesses and court key people in their top staffs.

    So, would an administration favor Wall Street policies that benefit the likes of JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America, keep any top executives from being indicted, and appoint a top JP Morgan Chase honcho as White House chief of staff? Would that administration have some of the key people behind the de-regulation policies that caused a multi-trillion dollar Wall Street collapse serve as the senior economic policy team in the White House?

    Would an administration looking to top-level corporate support for a national campaign reassure General Electric (GE) that it was 100% behind nuclear power plants despite their newly proven catastrophic potential (and this one occurring in a poorly designed GE facility)? Would such an administration appoint the head of GE as his jobs czar when GE’s main employment activity appears to be exporting jobs from the US?

    Would such a White House re-instate deepwater drilling so soon after a disastrous and preventable massive spill by BP in the Gulf of Mexico, and let BP off with a slap on the wrist after it pretty much dictated post-blow out strategy to the US government?

    Would the First Lady team up with Wal-Mart – to brandish its image – on an anti-obesity campaign when Wal-Mart is still primarily selling junk consumer food?

    Maybe it’s just a coincidence that the top US headquartered global corporations appear to be getting their way with policy in the White House, and that the president is great pals with these “masters of the universe” who run these companies.

    Maybe it is just all a big coincidence.

    But more likely, this is what happens when the audacity of hope turns into the harsh reality of cynicism.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

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