Walker “Wins”: Neo-liberal Structural Reforms on Tap for Everyone… They have a Mandate Now

by Scott Creighton

Give the people what they want. They want you to steal from them and make you pay for the excess and the crimes of the financial elites of the country so by GOD let’s give it to them. Diebold says so. It must be so.

Union busting, privatizations, looting pension plans, unelected technocrats being appointed as mini-Me dictators in various cities and townships, the controlled demolition of that evil social safety net, rolling back any regulation that threatens a precious nickel of profit for the mega-corporations, erasing the Civil Rights Act and Child Labor Laws and the minimum wage act, grand mothers eating out of garbage cans, real hunger games running non-stop on Current TV… it’s all on the table now folks, coming to a “democracy” near you ‘cus that’s what the people want. Right?

Savage, genocidal, austerity measures here at home.

The Great Wisconsin uprising has ended via a Diebold “election” and surprise surprise, the neo-liberal poster-boy, Scott Walker, has “won”. Couldn’t have seen that one coming, could we?

Meanwhile, Bill Clinton calls on an extension of the Bush Tax Cuts for the super wealthy. Guess the people “want” that as well.

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Experts: Wisconsin only ‘Republican broke’

from David Ferguson, Raw Story

According to The Wisconsin State Journal some economists allege that Governor Scott Walker’s budget crisis is a fabrication invented out of whole cloth and predicated on a series of tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy. Walker has repeatedly asserted that the state is “broke”, but using the word “broke” they say, is a political tool.

“Wisconsin is Republican broke, but it’s not broke,” said Mordecai Lee, a UW-Milwaukee political science professor and former Democratic state lawmaker. “Broke suggests near bankruptcy.”

Using the word “broke” helps Walker frame the debate around his controversial budget plans on his terms, Lee said, suggesting spending cuts are the only option and any tax increases are out of the question.

One measure of a state’s economic health is its public employee pension system. U-W Madison professor of public policy and applied economics Andrew Reshcovsky says Wisconsin’s is robust. “Wisconsin gets a gold star. We have a strong pension system.” Wisconsin’s neighbor to the south, Illinois, by contrast, has one of the nation’s most beleaguered public pension systems and currently faces a massive shortfall.

[read the rest, here]

Wisconsin Union Law Passage To Be Examined By Judge

Todd Richmond, AP

A week ago, Wisconsin Republicans thought they’d won the fight over the state’s polarizing union rights bill. They’d weathered massive protests, outfoxed Senate Democrats who fled the state and gotten around a restraining order blocking the law by having an obscure state agency publish it. They even started preparations to pull money from public workers’ paychecks.

But the victory was short-lived. A judge ruled Friday that the restraining order will stay in place for at least two months she while considers whether Republicans passed the law illegally. It was the second blow to Republicans in as many days after the same judge declared Thursday that the law hadn’t been properly published and wasn’t in effect as they claimed.

[read the rest, here]

Indiana prosecutor told Wisconsin governor to stage ‘false flag’ operation

 from Raw Story

An Indiana prosecutor and Republican activist has resigned after emails show he suggested Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker stage a fake attack on himself to discredit unions protesting his budget repair bill.

The Republican governor signed a bill on March 11 that eliminates most union rights for public employees.

In an email from February 19, Indiana deputy prosecutor Carlos F. Lam told Walker the situation presented “a good opportunity for what’s called a ‘false flag’ operation.”

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism discovered the email among tens of thousands released to the public last week following a lawsuit by the Isthmus and the Associated Press.

“If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions’ cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the unions,” Lam said in his email.

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Look Over There! Look Over There! Nothing to See Here… Look OVER THERE!!!

by Scott Creighton

While most of the MSM focuses entirely on Japan or the drifting fallout, winds of CHANGE are blowing through the Obama administration who are definitely taking advantage of the distraction. The president has chosen this particular moment in time to take up the question of gun control in the wake of the shooting in Arizona which took place more than 2 months ago. Hillary Clinton has once again been pushing for the establishment of a no-fly zone and military intervention in Libya in a G-8 Summit meeting in Paris but several other leaders don’t seem to want to help her and her CIA linked MI-6 “diplomats” overthrow the Gadhafi regime.  You will never see a better equipped and more violent group of “pro-democracy demonstrators” in the entire Middle Eastern uprising.  The Obama administration played down the violence against the protesters in Egypt and Tunisia and even called for the corrupt regimes there to remain while “modifications” to their rule were slowly worked out.  Those protesters had no heavy truck-mounted weapons, no MI-6 “advisers”, and no offer from Israeli security companies to fund “separation forces”.

Isn’t it funny how the “progressive” Obama regime is in the same camp on this one that John McCain and “Fightin” Joe LIEberman are in calling for an all out invasion of Libya to remove Gadhafi? Of course, Obama’s been in the same camp as those two neocon fraudsters for years.

Yet while the Obama administration works hard to unseat Gadhafi because his forces are fighting back against the heavily armed insurgents in Libya, the peaceful protesters in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain are being slaughtered without so much as a peep coming from our Peace Prize “winning” president.

In Yemen the pro-western dictator of 30 years, President Saleh, is using poison gas and live rounds on his unarmed pro-democracy demonstrators to keep his hold on power. Hunt oil has a big pipeline deal in Yemen and lots of natural gas to steal from those poor people. The poisoned gas he is using is reported to have come from the U.S. and Britain.  But not a word from Obama the peace-maker.

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Power Concedes Nothing Without a Demand

by Chris Hedges, Truthdig

The liberal class is discovering what happens when you tolerate the intolerant. Let hate speech pollute the airways. Let corporations buy up your courts and state and federal legislative bodies. Let the Christian religion be manipulated by charlatans to demonize Muslims, gays and intellectuals, discredit science and become a source of personal enrichment. Let unions wither under corporate assault. Let social services and public education be stripped of funding. Let Wall Street loot the national treasury with impunity. Let sleazy con artists use lies and deception to carry out unethical sting operations on tottering liberal institutions, and you roll out the welcome mat for fascism.

The liberal class has busied itself with the toothless pursuits of inclusiveness, multiculturalism, identity politics and tolerance—a word Martin Luther King never used—and forgotten about justice. It naively sought to placate ideological and corporate forces bent on the destruction of the democratic state. The liberal class, like the misguided democrats in the former Yugoslavia or the hapless aristocrats in the Weimar Republic, invited the wolf into the henhouse. The liberal class forgot that, as Karl Popper wrote in “The Open Society and Its Enemies,” “If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”

[read the rest, here]

100,000 Show Up for Madison Protest on Saturday

from the Associated Press

Clogging the Wisconsin Capitol grounds and screaming angry chants, tens of thousands of undaunted pro-labor protesters descended on Madison again Saturday and vowed to focus on future elections now that contentious cuts to public worker union rights have become law.

Protests have rocked the Capitol almost every day since Gov. Scott Walker proposed taking nearly all collective bargaining rights away from public workers, but the largest came a day after the governor signed the measure into law. Madison Police estimated the crowd at 85,000 to 100,000 people – along with 50 tractors and one donkey – by late afternoon. No one was arrested.

[read the rest, here]

General Strike Pamphlet

by Steve Ayers at IWW

What Do We Face?

Walker’s bill, if passed, will strip public-sector unions of the right to collectively bargain regarding all workplace issues other than basic wages. Workers would no longer have a legal say in their pensions, their healthcare plans, workplace safety, or any other pertinent issues. Without collective bargaining, we have no legally-recognized way to influence how we are treated at our jobs. Workers with access to a union have an opportunity to make their workplaces more democratic. Think about how much time we dedicate to work and work-related activities. With so much of our lives spent in undemocratic workplaces, how could we have real democracy in the rest of our lives?

The impact of Walker’s bill reaches far beyond unions and public servants. Stripping public workers of their right to bargain affects the rights of everyone who works for a living. This attack on workers’ rights will not stop with the public sector or with Wisconsin. These anti-union bills are spreading around the country from Indiana to Ohio to Nebraska in an effort to serve the corporate elite by lowering labor costs and weakening all labor.

What Does Any of This Have to Do With A General Strike & With Wisconsin?

In the recently released prank call by a journalist pretending to be billionaire David Koch, Scott Walker said, “All week there’s been 15-30,000 [protesters] a day, but I remind our lawmakers that there’s 5.5 million people in this state and just because a bunch of guys who can jump off work because of their union[s]…doesn’t mean the rest of your people are with you.” The truth is that these protesters are not “guys who can jump off work” – they are students, activists, union and non-union workers from the public and private sectors, Wisconsin families, and members of the religious community. Additionally, unionized and non-unionized workers both risk job security by taking time to protest. Essentially, Governor Walker doesn’t think that the protesters represent the rest of the state. He thinks that the majority of Wisconsin agrees with his attempt to strip workers of basic rights. He is wrong. Despite facing opposition from millions, Walker still won’t budge from his position on this issue. It will take something bigger from the unions, and from the working-class as a whole: a general strike.

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Tens of thousands gather at Indiana’s statehouse to support workers’ rights

from Raw Story

Facing down icy conditions, tens of thousands of union workers and supporters gathered outside Indiana’s statehouse Thursday to protest a bill that would strip all union workers of their bargaining rights.

Like in Wisconsin, a number of the state’s elected Democrats have fled, preventing a vote from taking place. Also like Wisconsin, the protests have only grown in recent weeks.

According to organizers, Thursday’s protest was the biggest of them all, possibly even eclipsing a 1995 union protest that many have called the largest in Indiana’s history.

The state’s Republicans want to turn Indiana into a “right to work” state like Texas, where workers are essentially prohibited from organizing to bargain with their managers.

Indiana Republicans were also pushing two other bills that Democrats adamantly objected to: one that would limit wages paid on public construction projects, and another that would use tax dollars to subsidize tuition at private schools

[read the rest, here]

“This is War”

Micheal Moore talking on Rachel Maddow’s show (yeah… I know) about the situation in Madison Wisconsin.  This is class warfare. It’s been going on since the Reagan revolution (and beyond actually, since the Lewis Powell Memo and the American Liberty League got ready to overthrow the US government in ’34)… and yes, they seem to think it’s a left/right battle, and yes, they ignore what Clinton and Obama have been doing… but at least it’s a start… hopefully. And it’s good to see someone on MSM use the term “class warfare”.

Madison firefighters’ union president calls for general strike

by Steven Webster, Raw Story

Joe Conway, president of the Madison firefighters’ union, said recently that the political situation has grown so dire in Wisconsin, he’d support a general strike.

“We should start walking out tomorrow, the next day … See how long they can last,” he told reporters with The Uptake. “This is a nation-wide movement to attack all working men and women in Wisconsin and the United States.”

His call mirrors one from filmmaker Michael Moore, who’s called on high school students and working people of all stripes to restart the American democracy movement and fight back in this latest round of “class war” against the middle class.

Gov Walker Faked a Financial Crisis to Privatize Milwaukee County’s Security Guards

by Scott Creighton

As Rachel Maddow has been pointing out, Gov. Walker earned his loyalty from the Koch brothers by running his union-busting scam before in Milwaukee County when he was serving as county executive. He made up a financial crisis and used it to privatize the county security guard jobs, which have been unionized for some time. He brought in a British owned company, G4S Wackenhut, whose claim to fame so far is the fact that their security guys in Afghanistan like to drink vodka out of each other’s rectum. Nice, huh? No wonder they work for ten bucks an hour.

Now, G4S Wackenhut has a page on their site that explains their corporate affiliations.  They are a purely globalist institution. Confederation of British Industry.   Centre for European Reform: Think-tank devoted to reforming the European Union (ie: union busting in Europe).  There are claims that Wackenhut had (has) connections with the CIA. The founding members of Wackenhut were all ex-FBI agents.

Apparently the county commission refused his union busting move but Walker claimed the power to make the decision himself and fired the employees and signed a contract with the butt-drinkers anyway.  No wonder the neoliberal Koch brothers felt an obligation to push Walker, a college dropout C- student, for governor of Wisconsin. He’s their kind of dimwit. The kind that will do anything it takes to sell-out the people of his state in service to the financial oligarchs of America.

“But 21 private guards the county hired in an emergency budget move in March 2009 by then-County Executive Scott Walker also remain on the job at a cost to the county of about $95,000 a month, county Public Works Director Jack Takerian said Wednesday. Walker was elected governor in November.” JS Online

‘America Is NOT Broke’: Michael Moore Speaks in Madison, WI — March 5, 2011

Protests Across the Country to Support Worker’s Rights

100,000 in Wisconsin “largest since the Vietnam war”

Wisconsin Cop explains who he works for “When we took this job, we swore an oath to protect and serve the members of our community. And that is exactly what we intend to do”

Missouri rally

Chicago

Michigan

Go to Raw Story to read and see photos and other videos of rallies at Anchorage, Denver, Phoenix, Albany, San Francisco, Tallahassee, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Austin, Maine, Jackson, Johnson City, Sante Fe, Salem and others…

RALLY TO SAVE THE AMERICAN DREAM

RALLY TO SAVE THE AMERICAN DREAM

Today, Saturday, February 26th, at Noon
Local Time in Locations in All 50 States

by Scott Creighton

Stand with the people of Wisconsin, Stand with the working people of America

Gov. Walker’s budget bill is not just about austerity measures that force working Americans to accept less to pay for the greed of the bankers and the corporate CEOs…

… it’s not just about crushing our right to collective bargaining and going after the public sector unions like the corporatists have been going after the private sector unions for 3 decades now…

Gov. Walker’s budget bill is about allowing massive privatizations of Wisconsin publicly held assets; privatizations that include huge energy plants that the Koch brothers certainly will have their eyes on. This budget gives the Governor the ability to hand over these assets to the wealthy oligarchs at whatever price he wants in a no-bid process which is not subject to review by the state in any way.

“Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state-owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).” from Governor Walker’s budget proposal, taken from the New York Times

This is the economic shock therapy model the IMF and World Bank have imposed on nations all across the world to horrific results.

Gov. Walker’s plan is to give away the assets that the people of Wisconsin have paid for and own to the oligarchs for next to nothing.

If you don’t want this to happen in your state, and you can get to your state capitol by noon today, check the website and get out there.

Jon Stewart isn’t rallying this time (he’s too busy helping Donald Rumsfeld sell his latest book and rebrand his image), and the Huffington Post isn’t even mentioning it on their website, much less busing people in to their local rally. So the revolution won’t be televised by Jon Stewart and it won’t be blogged by AOL/Arianna… but we don’t need these shills and sell-outs

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