I’ve got a lot of copywriting to do today, and there are blog posters who are closer to the action, anyway (thanks, Kirsten), but here are some observations and links, in case you’ve not been able to keep up with the story.
Yesterday, at noon, with protesters, many bused in from out of state by the DNC and OFA in the wake of Obama’s comment that Governor Walker and the Republicans in the Wisconsin State Senate were committing an “assault on unions,” the Sergeant at Arms announced that he could not find any of the 14 Democratic State Senators to generate the quorum needed to vote on the measures proposed to help balance the budget. Those included upping the amount paid in to the teachers’ pension plans (to 5.8%, about the national average) and contributions to their health plans (to 12%, about half of the national average). Despite the representations of visitors to this blog yesterday, when benefits are calculated in, it appears that the real pay and benefits of teachers in Wisconsin exceed $100k per year on average.
The Democratic State Senators cold not be found because they had left the state, though one called in to CNN to announce that they were in a “secure location,” though not all together, and the reason for their leaving was that the budget changes had been proposed to precipitously, and without due consideration. Therefore, they were doing their jobs by avoiding doing their jobs. From their secure location, they issued a series of demands to the Governor and their Republican colleagues, as the protesters did their best to gum up the works at the Capitol.
Jimmie Bise has two terrific posts on the subject, laden with links, the first of which is here. The first of Michelle Malkin’s so-far 4-part series on what’s happening in Wisconsin is here. Stacy’s first post on the “Cheesehead Revolution” is here, and Ace’s contribution is here.
The missing Dems were discovered at the Rockford Clock Tower Best Western, apparently holed up in the Tilted Kilt bar, 20 miles south of Beloit, Wisconsin, and pretty much straight due south of Madison (past Cut Rock State Park in Illinois). There’s a water park there, too. Due to Jim Hoft’s call for Tea Partiers to flash mob them, they bravely fled, claiming on video to one of the Tea Partiers that they were headed back to Wisconsin to continue to do their jobs, though later announcing that they were liable to be gone from Madison awhile.
All in all, the spectacle presented to the public eye, including that of the trashy aftermath of the first day’s protests, has not been sympathy inducing. That’s underscored by the generally reliably liberal Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Chicago Tribune and even Madison’s own Isthmus taking issue with the strikers and their methods.
The Governor held a press conference, stating that while the protesters had the right to be heard, that should not drown out the voices of the many who voted for him and his colleagues to do exactly what they were proposing to do, and urging the Runaway Senators to return to Madison and do their jobs. He came across as articulate, unflappable and committed, and reinforced that appearance on a variety of television political talk shows, where he stressed that his proposals seemed reasonable to him, considering that the alternative was to furlough as many as 6000 state employees, as was being done in some other states.
Meanwhile, pictures of the demonstrators’ signs comparing the Governor to Emperor Palpatine (Imperial Walker, get it?), Hitler, Mubarak, Mussolini and with cross-hairs over his head were duly recorded and posted on the internet. Another young moron approvingly posted pictures that include calling him a turd, a bitch, and a dick, because that is what Civility NOW!!! is all about. Protesters also went out to picket in front of the legislators’ private homes, even as in DC others picketed Speaker Boehner’s residence on Capitol Hill, in part, it seems, for his telling Obama to stay out of Wisconsin’s business. Remember, when I say we’re all going to have to sacrifice, I mean you.
Richard Trumka is planning on bringing his thugs to Madison today, so I recommend that parents keep their kids home, even if they want to get on one of the SEIU buses to have a holiday. There have been threatening overtones, because that is what union thugs think democracy is about.
On Wednesday morning, Democratic Assembly members wore their t-shirts to show that they’re fighting for working families (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). I think we all know what they mean by that.
What I’d like to see is someone go out and video reactions when they tell the kids that these apparent holidays now will mean make-up days in June. Think any of their teachers taking them to rally have told them that? I seem to recall that Wisconsin has laws regarding truancy, too, or at least so I was told with regard to Senior Skip Day when I was in school.
Lost in all of this shuffle was Nir Rosen’s ridiculous self-defense at Salon over the tweets that lost him his job and Obama’s hilarious account of Lincoln having begun the building of the “intercontinental railroad” during the Civil War. Yeah, I know that was a flub for “transcontinental,” but as Bob’s always asking, what if Bush had said it? Honest Abe the Gipper. Sheesh.
Even dumber was Gwen Moore (Moron-WI) arguing against cutting funds for Planned Parenthood, by saying that it’s better to abort babies than to doom them to a lifetime of eating ramen. Strangely, third-worlders seem to want to cling to life no matter what they eat. It’s probably because they don’t know any better, but perhaps Gwen can visit them and yammer at them until they see the attractiveness of suicide. Other things non-aborted babies might be forced to do are to use pre-paid cell phones and do without cable TV.
Given Obama’s track record, I think we can call his Presidency The War Against the States.
Every day we get in the queue,
To get our money from SEIU.
I’m so nervous, I just sit and smile.
Wisconsin’s only another mile.
UPDATE: Walker asks Obama, who rolled out his own insane budget this week, to mind his own business.
UPDATEx2: Ladd Ehlinger, Jr.: Privatize the Schools and hire strippers for the teachers.
I say, they can have all the collective bargaining power they want when every parent has a full voucher for his student.
UPDATEx3: Jerry observes a sad anniversary.