Observe the native palm trees of Madison, Wisconsin. See the insane violence of the protesters, as reported by Bill O'Reilly of FOX News.
The [Unions] thread got itself locked for being well over 100 pages, so I thought I'd make a thread specifically about the Wisconsin protests; perhaps we can focus on the historic event unfolding here and not dwell so much on how much unions do (not?) deserve to exist. Faint hope, I know.
EDIT: I'm okay with wider picture stuff, because it does set the stage for what's going on in Madison right now, but I'm not really interested in broad generalizations over whether unions are all corrupt and all deserve to be destroyed. There are benefits and drawbacks of most systems, including unions. Now can we talk about what applies (even indirectly) to Wisconsin?
The protests are going into their third full week.
It was Angela Aldous, a 30-year-old nurse from Madison, who drew the loudest cheers. She sought to cast doubt on Walker's suggestion, made last week, that many people from out of state were joining the large protest crowds in Madison.
"Governor Walker, I'm not faking this Wisconsin accent," Aldous said. "I was born in Wisconsin. I live in Wisconsin. And I came back early from my ice-fishing trip to tell you, 'You are not going to crush Wisconsin.' "
She then led the crowd in a chant: "We are Wisconsin."
Not since the anti-war protests of the Vietnam era has Madison been the scene of such sustained and large demonstrations. Wisconsin is at the center of an epic clash between a Republican governor eager to take on entrenched union power and public-sector workers battling to hold onto rights they have held for more than a half century.
Well, they don't seem to be going away.
On the legislative front:
Miller, speaking by telephone from an undisclosed location in Illinois, said he and other Democratic senators had reached out to Fitzgerald and other Republican senators on a daily basis.
"We continue to seek a resolution to this impasse," he said. "We have been communicating on a daily basis with our Republican colleagues."
Asked if he had reached out to Walker, Miller would only say the "governor is the key to solving this."
Walker and Republican legislative leaders say the measure must pass the Senate by Tuesday to avoid the layoffs of thousands of employees as early as April 1.
The crazy thing is, this guy who has a Pulitzer says that Wisconsin public employees already pay for all of their supposedly expensive pensions.
Gov. Scott Walker says he wants state workers covered by collective bargaining agreements to “contribute more” to their pension and health insurance plans. Accepting Gov. Walker’ s assertions as fact, and failing to check, creates the impression that somehow the workers are getting something extra, a gift from taxpayers. They are not. Out of every dollar that funds Wisconsin’ s pension and health insurance plans for state workers, 100 cents comes from the state workers.
So what Walker really means by "contribute more" is: "Take a pay cut." That is, in addition to giving up collective bargaining rights and almost any hope of ever getting a raise above inflation.
Still confused? Let's let state assemblyman Gordon Hintz explain what happened:
Apparently this video keeps disappearing under mysterious circumstances.
EDIT: I suppose I should also mention the infamous prank call
that Buffalo Beast editor Murphy made to Walker (after he found out that Walker was not taking any calls). Turns out he does take calls from Kansas billionares that donated the maximum amount to his campaign and whose PAC was running ads for the bill before it was even revealed to the state Democrats.
"Koch": We’ll back you any way we can. What we were thinking about the crowd was, uh, was planting some troublemakers.
Walker: You know, well, the only problem with that —because we thought about that. The problem—the, my only gut reaction to that is right now the lawmakers I’ve talked to have just completely had it with them, the public is not really fond of this…[snip] My only fear would be if there’s a ruckus caused is that maybe the governor has to settle to solve all these problems…[snip]…Let ‘em protest all they want…Sooner or later the media stops finding it interesting.