Is the Scott Walker Story Just the Tip of the Koch Brothers’ Political Iceberg?

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

Last week I wrote up a post titled Scott Walker: A Fiscally Responsible Governor or a Politician Who Is Playing Favorites?. Judging from the number of comments left at that post, it appears that people are very interested in what’s been going on in the state of Wisconsin. I think many people may believe that as Wisconsin goes—so goes the nation…and probably the life expectancy of labor unions and collective bargaining.

What got a lot of press attention was the story of the prank phone call that Governor Walker received from gonzo journalist Ian Murphy. Murphy pretended to be billionaire industrialist David Koch. He talked to Walker for twenty minutes. Murphy reportedly told the Associated Press he made the prank phone call in order to show how candid Walker would be in a conversation with Koch at a time when Democrats claim the governor was refusing to return their calls.

The prank phone call appears to show a cozy relationship between Walker and Koch, a top campaign donor who may have a financial interest in fighting unions. Union workers protesting in Wisconsin have already made monetary concessions to help with Wisconsin’s budget shortfall. One has to wonder what is really behind the governor’s demand that public employee unions be stripped of their right to bargain collectively. Is it all part of an agenda to “take unions out at the knees”—a strategy suggested by Scott Hagerstrom at the annual conference of the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC)? Hagerstrom is the Executive Director of Michigan’s chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP).

In a Mother Jones article, Andy Kroll writes: Walker’s plan to eviscerate collective bargaining rights for public employees is right out of the Koch brothers’ playbook. Koch-backed groups like Americans for Prosperity, the Cato Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Reason Foundation have long taken a very antagonistic view toward public-sector unions.

And who is Americans for Prosperity? Felicia Sonmez has written that AFP is really two groups—both of which were founded by David Koch in 2004: Americans for Prosperity, a 501(c)4 and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, is a 501(c)3.

Somnez says that both groups are considered “not-for-profit” organizations under the Internal Revenue Service code—and that they do not have to disclose the identity of their donors or the contributions made by those donors. She added that David Koch is believed to be one of the group’s top donors.

In a New Yorker article titled Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama, Jane Mayer wrote about Peggy Venable, the Texas State Director of AFP: She (Peggy Venable) explained that the role of Americans for Prosperity was to help “educate” Tea Party activists on policy details, and to give them “next-step training” after their rallies, so that their political energy could be channelled “more effectively.” And she noted that Americans for Prosperity had provided Tea Party activists with lists of elected officials to target. She said of the Kochs, “They’re certainly our people. David’s the chairman of our board. I’ve certainly met with them, and I’m very appreciative of what they do.”

In August 2009, ThinkProgress said that it had obtained an exclusive memo from a Tea Party group that is supported by Koch’s Americans for Prosperity.

From Think Progress: “The memo outlined various ways for Tea Party activists to intimidate Democratic lawmakers and disrupt their town hall meetings on health reform. ThinkProgress published half a dozen articles exposing the role of Koch-funded groups like “Patients United” in encouraging opposition to health reform. For instance, in Virginia, a Koch-funded operative Ben Marchi assisted a birther who followed Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA) around, yelling at him at town hall meetings.”

That’s all I’ve got for now, folks. Talk amongst yourselves. I need a break!

**********

Sources
Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama. (New Yorker)

Who is “Americans for Prosperity”? (Washington Post)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker: Funded by the Koch Bros. (Mother Jones)

Why did Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker take a call from ‘David Koch’? (Christian Science Monitor)

Billionaire Brothers’ Money Plays Role in Wisconsin Dispute (New York Times)

On prank call, Wis. governor discusses strategy (Yahoo)

Koch Front Group Americans For Prosperity: ‘Take The Unions Out At The Knees’ (Think Progress)

Billionaire Right-Wing Koch Brothers Fund Wisconsin Governor Campaign and Anti-Union Push (Democracy Now)

Union Busting: The Real Call from the Koch Brothers (Huffington Post)

Charles And David Koch Exposed For Insidious Role In Crafting The Modern Right (Think Progress)
  

For Further Reading
Koch-Powered Tea Party Pushes Climate Denial Bill In New Hampshire (Think Progress) 

Commentary: Koch brothers and the union-busting Kansas House (The Kansas City Star)

630 thoughts on “Is the Scott Walker Story Just the Tip of the Koch Brothers’ Political Iceberg?

  1. Elaine,
    I think a book is in order here! Great stuff and scary stuff at the same time. The only things that can combat the Kochs are massive amounts of money spent to defeat their efforts and/or legislation to make it mandatory that these shadow organizations have to disclose all contributions and all contributors. The Citizens United decision was a watershed for these radicals and in my opinion that decision was bought and paid for by the Kochs.

  2. Thanks, Mike.

    rafflaw, I think Lee Fang of Think Progress may have a book coming out about the Koch Brothers this spring.

    In regard to Citizens United, one has to wonder if this is why there is such a push to weaken/eradicate labor unions. Labor unions are also able now to conribute huge amounts of money to political candidates.

  3. Elaine,
    I do believe that there is a connection between the Citizens United decision and the war on Unions and women. It is like the old Watergate theme. Follow the money. It is more than just the Koch brothers. They are just the money guys.

  4. Elaine,

    Most excellent job.

    In re Citizens United and union busting, of course that’s the nexus. The corporatists only real cash challengers are unions. Depriving them of their funding from their base is key to the Koch plan to “cut of unions at the knees”. If I recall correctly, 7 of the top 10 contributors last cycle were corporate backed special PACs and the remaining 3 unions. Attacking the unions is the logical next step in advancing fascism via the abomination that is Citizens United.

  5. What Buddha said. Follow the money and without the unions, the Right can’t even come close to matching the corporate money that is going to be thrown at the 2012 election.

  6. http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=267317

    “Obama’s own political machine has aided in organizing protests in Wisconsin

    Counter protests were led in part by radical groups like Veterans for Peace, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and the Workers World Party.”

    “One of the main organizers of the recent Wisconsin protests is a group called Moving Wisconsin Forward. An associated group, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, is part of the Moving Wisconsin Forward movement.

    Robert Kraig, executive director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin, has been widely quoted in the media as a main protest organizer and opposition leader.

    Citizen Action of Wisconsin, part of a larger national Citizen Action chain, sits in a coalition with Americans for Financial Reform, which is led by Midwest founder Booth.

    Indeed, Citizen Action is a spinoff of Midwest Academy.”

    “Booth founded Midwest in the 1970s with her husband, Paul Booth, a founder and the former national secretary of Students for a Democratic Society, the radical 1960s anti-war movement from which William Ayers’ domestic Weather Underground terrorist organization splintered.”

    “The keynote speaker at last week’s “Moving Wisconsin Forward” rally was John Nichols, who identifies himself as a “progressive” writer.

    Nichols co-authored four books and a number of major articles with Marxist activist Robert W. McChesney, founder of the George Soros-funded Free Press.

    McChesney has called for the dismantlement “brick-by-brick” of the U.S. capitalist system, with America being rebuilt as a socialist society.”

    So it would seem that Wisconsin is a battleground between competeing ideologies.

    The Kochs are libertarians not fascists.

  7. DG,
    The Kochs are libertarians. They are most certaintly in favor of the coporations and the government becoming one. Look up the definition. Your attempt to link John Nichols into some Marxist plot is hilarious and wrong.

  8. Dick Grabble,

    John Nichols is a seventh-generation Wisconsinite who writes for The Nation. I’m sure he is a progressive. Do you have a problem with that?

    The Kochs are indeed Libertarians. I never said they were fascists.

  9. “The Kochs are libertarians not fascists.”

    They call themselves Libertarian, sure.

    But read the following carefully: “Fascists seek to organize a nation according to corporatist perspectives, values, and systems, including the political system and the economy.”

    Actions speak louder than words.

    If you want to call guys who act like fascists Libertarians just because they say they are Libertarians? Your beliefs are your prerogative. However, it pays to remember that Hitler came to power claiming to be a socialist when in fact the economy of Nazi Germany was modeled upon the economy of Fascist Italy – much to the chagrin of some of his fellow Nazis who felt fascism to be a non-Aryan influence and not fit for Germany. RINO? DINO? Why not LINO? In politics, a label is only useful when pared with actions, not self-proclamations.

  10. Elaine,

    Buddha Is Waving. I’d be the one who called them fascists. I have a thing about calling them like I see them. :)

  11. Elaine,
    I agree with Buddha that the Kochs would like you to believe that they are mere libertarians. I am sure they funnelled money to many organizations. Even some that don’t quite fit the Koch mold, but that will allow them to hoodwink the public into believing that they are sheep instead of the wolves that they really are.

  12. Good gravy.

    I need to go eat something.

    It’s “paired” not “pared”.

    A clear food related homophonic typo and surely a sign!

  13. “In politics, a label is only useful when pared with actions, not self-proclamations.”

    So what actions of theirs are fascist?

    You may not agree with the Cato Institute but they are hardly a fascist propaganda organ.

  14. rafflaw:

    “Your attempt to link John Nichols into some Marxist plot is hilarious and wrong.”

    I got the idea because the left is linking the Kochs to every thing under the sun. Same way the right links Soros to everything.

    Wisconsin is an ideological war of billionaires. Soros on one side and the Kochs on the other.

    Personally I’ll take the billionaires who actually run a group of companies to one who made his money manipulating currencies.

  15. Dick,

    All those union workers protesting aren’t billionaires. They are workers fighting for their right to bargain collectively. Why is it the Governor Walker has refused to compromise on that issue when he already got monetary concessions from the workers?

    I’m not going to support the manipulation of currencies. Neither will I support billionaires who are trying to manipulate politicians–or American voters from behind the scenes.

  16. Dick Grabble,
    Once again your attempt to link the unions working to keep their collective bargaining rights and George Soroos is laughable. The Kochs have been proven to be involved in Wisconsin and the other states where the Republicans are attacking unions. Keep trying but just because you get the idea, doesn’t make it a fact.
    In fact, the averaage annual pension that the the teachers paid for in Wisconsin is $24,000 per year. Compare that to Social Security and you will see that roughly $2,000 per month is not much. Can you say hi to the Koch’s for me?!

  17. One wonders if Dickie is a paid shill for the Koch crime family. Kind of odd that every time there is a diary like this posted, we see some names that have never darkened the door of this blawg. Not making any accusations of course, but this country boy has to wonder.

    For grins, as they say a picture speaks a thousand words. Well, here are few thousand words in the link below. Take a look at all Dickie’s billionaires out on the street. I suppose they cannot be up to any good, y’think?

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/26/950140/-WisconsinAwestruck,-a-photo-diary

  18. From Think Progress (2/26/2011)
    REPORT: Top 10 Disastrous Policies From The Wisconsin GOP You Haven’t Heard About
    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/26/report-top-10-disastrous-policies-from-the-wisconsin-gop-you-havent-heard-about/

    Excerpt:
    As the standoff between the Main Street Movement and Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) continues for the twelfth day, much of the media coverage — and anger — from both sides has focused on Walker’s efforts to strip Wisconsin public workers of their right to collective bargaining. But Walker’s assault on public employees is only one part of a larger political program that aims to give corporations free reign in the state while dismantling the healthcare programs, environmental regulations, and good government laws that protect Wisconsin’s middle and working class. These lesser known proposals in the 144-page bill reveal how radical Walker’s plan actually is:

    1. ELIMINATING MEDICAID: The Budget Repair Bill includes a little-known provision that would put complete control of the state’s Medicaid program, known as BadgerCare, in the hands of the state’s ultra-conservative Health and Human Services Secretary Dennis Smith. Smith would have the authority to “to override state Medicaid laws as [he] sees fit and institute sweeping changes” including reducing benefits and limiting eligibility. Ironically, during the 1990s it was Republicans, especially former Gov. and Bush HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, who helped develop BadgerCare into one of the country’s most innovative and generous Medicaid programs. A decade later, a new generation of radical Republicans is hoping to destroy one of Wisconsin’s “success stories.”

    2. POWER PLANT PRIVATIZATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL NEGLECT: The same budget bill calls for a rapid no-bid “firesale” of all state-owned power plants. One progressive blogger called the proposal “a highlight reel of all of the tomahawk dunks of neo-Gilded Age corporatism: privatization, no-bid contracts, deregulation, and naked cronyism” and suggested that the provision will open the way for large, politically connected corporations to buy up the state’s power plants on the cheap. While it’s unclear whether corporations would be interested in buying the plants, a similar proposal was vetoed six years ago by Gov. Jim Doyle (D), who called the plan fiscally and environmentally irresponsible. Many of Wisconsin’s power plants are in violation of federal clean air regulations and desperately need to be upgraded and cleaned up — not dumped into the private sector.

    3. DANGEROUS DRINKING WATER: Republican lawmakers have introduced bills in both the Senate and the House which would repeal a rule requiring municipal governments to disinfect their water. Conservatives have said that the clean water rule — which went into effect in December — is simply too expensive. Yet the rule only affects 12 percent of municipalities and the price may be worth it. In 1993, 104 people died and 400,000 fell sick when the Milwaukee water supply became infected. Even two decades later, the Environmental Protection Agency Advisory Board notes that 13 percent of acute gastro-intestinal illnesses in municipalities that don’t disinfect their water supplies are the result of dirty water. Municipalities can keep their water clean for as low as $10,000 per well — but apparently for the Wisconsin GOP that is too high a price to pay to keep citizens safe from deadly microorganisms.

    4. DESTROYING WETLANDS: In January, Walker’s proposed regulatory reform bill exempted a parcel of wetland owned by a Republican donor from water quality standards. But the exemption was more than just an embarrassing giveaway to a GOP ally: environmental groups believe the bill’s special provision would actually affect the entire county, eliminating public hearings on proposed wetland development, short-circuiting approval of development projects, and disrupting the region’s water system.

    5. FISCAL IRRESPONSIBILITY: Walker signed a bill this week requiring a 2/3 supermajority in the legislature to pass any tax increase. Republican lawmakers are now reportedly considering a constitutional amendment that would make the rule permanent. A similar constitutional amendment in California has been called the “source of misery” of that state’s crippling budget crisis and has forced lawmakers to “gut public education, slash social services and health care programs, close prisons, and lay off record numbers of public employees.” While claiming to “make a commitment to the future instead of [choosing] dire consequences for our children” Walker and GOP lawmakers are instead putting generations of Wisconsinites in a “fiscal strait-jacket.”

  19. The group “Anonymous” has decided to target the Koch brothers and their empire. If I were them, I would be getting nervous, unless they think they are so rich they can ride it out. Anonymous does not usually play nice, so we shall see.

    The group has written an open letter to the Koch brothers. It will either be ignored or dismissed, of course, but they do so at their peril.

    http://www.anonnews.org/?p=press&a=item&i=585

  20. From Huffington Post (2/26/2011)
    Wisconsin Protests Led By Group Of Volunteers
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/26/wisconsin-protests-led-by_n_828591.html

    Excerpt:
    MADISON, Wis. — Harriet Rowan was among the first to join what has become an almost two-week-long rally at the Wisconsin Capitol, and she said with the arrival of thousands of others, confusion, misinformation and rumors quickly spread.

    “I came back on Tuesday night and there was absolutely no organization,” Rowan said. “People needed people to go up upstairs and testify all night to keep the building open … people were going around just waking people up … it was chaotic.”

    The University of Wisconsin senior made a spur-of-the-moment decision to coordinate protest efforts, making signs with media talking points and starting a Twitter feed detailing legislative meeting times, union rally locations and details on day-to-day life in the Capitol.

    Other Madison residents have opened their doors to out-of-town strangers, offering a bed to anyone friendly to unions. At the Statehouse, a spread including pizza, chili and artisanal cheeses is offered to hungry protesters. Busloads of supporters from Los Angeles and elsewhere arrive to boost the numbers.

    Nearly two weeks after the start of massive protests against Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal that would strip nearly all public employees of their collective bargaining rights erupted, a network of volunteers has emerged as the skeleton that keeps the daily demonstrations alive.

    Widespread protests began Feb. 15, with 13,000 people attending rallies in and around the Capitol. Crowds peaked at 70,000 a week ago, a few thousand of which were tea party counter-protesters. Since then, crowds outside the Capitol have dipped significantly, although thousands of protesters packed the building and surrounding streets on Saturday, while thousands of others demonstrated in support of them in rallies planned for all 50 states.

    Outside the Statehouse in St. Paul, Minn., about 1,000 people waved signs of support for the Wisconsin protesters and chanted “workers’ rights are human rights.” Democratic U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison addressed the rally and encouraged the protesters to keep up the fight. Similar rallies took place in Denver, New York City, Topeka, Kan., Lansing, Mich., Harrisburg, Pa., and elsewhere.

    In Ohio, thousands of union members and environmentalists rallied outside the Statehouse in Columbus against proposed legislation similar to Wisconsin’s that would abolish most collective bargaining rights.

  21. I looked at the pictures from the Daily Kos. The thing that stuck out to me is out of all those pictures and looking deep into them I only counted 3 black people. If that was a Tea Party march you would say they are racist. Just sayin.

  22. Elaine, yes it is for real. That link is to a web site used by the group Anonymous and the open letter is real. Keep in mind they are the same ones that have gone after Scientology and HB Gary, among others. Where Wikileks is passive, Anonymous is proactive. That actually makes them more dangerous to their targets than Wikileaks.

  23. Bdaman, and your point is? That was an open protest on the street, and anyone could come that wanted to. The crowds self-selected. Additionally, the photographer obviously did not take pictures of everyone there. I have no idea of the demographics of that particular area. It may be that there are not that many minorities living in that community. I am trained in statistics and scientific sampling; therefore, I know you cannot draw reliable conclusions about the demographic of a protest based on a bunch of photos on a blog.

  24. Population 5 plus mil. 6% is 300k plus. Those are still good numbers. I would expected to see more blacks being involved in a mostly democrat rally.

  25. From MSNBC
    Thousands converge on Wisconsin for more protests
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41797641/ns/us_news-life/

    Excerpt:
    ‘Unjust, unfair’
    The stakes are high for labor groups because more than a third of U.S. public employees, including teachers, police and civil service workers, belong to unions. Only about six percent of private sector workers are unionized.

    “We bailed out Goldman Sachs, we bailed out Wall Street, we bailed out GM, but the hell with our teachers, our fire fighters, our nurses, our city workers, our state workers! I’m here because that’s unjust, unfair,” said Raymond Wohl, a teacher for 20 years, at the Chicago protest.

    Doug Frank, 51, said he drove three-and-a-half hours from his home in Crosby to attend the protest in Austin.

    “This is finally the one that pushed me over the edge,” said Frank, an oil and gas laboratory technician.

    “What they’re trying to do (in Wisconsin) is very heavy-handed; it’s un-American,” he said.

    In New York, people waved signs reading “Cut bonuses, not teachers,” “Unions make us strong,” and “Wall St is destroying America,” and wore stickers that read “We are all Wisconsin.”

    Anne O’Byrne, 44, a philosophy professor at Stony Brook University who brought her daughter Sophia, 2, to the New York rally, said she was disturbed by events in Wisconsin.

    “If we don’t have collective bargaining rights I don’t know what’s left for workers in America,” she said. “It seems important to me to resist any attempt to take away those union rights that have in fact brought us so much over the years.”

    John Cody, 26, of the Civilian Complaint Review Board, said unions were “under assault” in the United States and some protesters had drawn inspiration from the popular uprisings in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.

    “Egypt is inspiring Americans and labor movements,” he said. “Unions need to work like the corporations in some ways in that the world’s become a globalized economy so unions need to show acts of solidarity not only across the United States but across the world.”

  26. Bdaman: From those numbers, subtract infants and children. Then subtract the elderly and those who may not be in good health or disabled. Then subtract the number who may be at work, out of town or otherwise occupied. Then subtract those who may be supportive but for personal reasons did not want to take to the streets. We are now down to probably less than three percent. It would be easy for a ratio of three out of a hundred people to look like the number of AA people you spotted in the photographs.

  27. Elaine M.,

    You have done great work… Not that the others guest posting have not….You have gone beyond the scope of duty….

  28. “So what actions of theirs are fascist?”

    1) Union Busting – One of the first things both Hitler and Mussolini did for their corporate buddies.

    2) By trying to undercut the base of the Democrats, they are seeking to form a single party state backed solely by corporations.

    3) They reject individual rights. The Constitution starts of “We the People”, not “We the Legal Fiction”. They funded the Citizens United campaign – and probably bought of members of SCOTUS – to get a legal fiction rights that appear on par with actual real people’s rights, but because of the capital reserves of corporations is actually superior to 99% of the individual citizens in funding elections.

    4) They oppose egalitarianism. This is evidenced by the fact they think they and their corporation deserve special treatment by the government will “less wealthy” citizens deserve the finger and to be marginalized in government.

    5) They are anti-liberal, a hallmark of fascism.

    6) They are rabidly nationalistic and whip up idiot teabaggers and dim Libertarians behind the cry of jingoism.

    7) They are seeking to have corporations set the agenda and functions of both government and the economy and thus organize the country around corporatist principles.

    Yep.

    They’re fascists alright.

  29. New commerce secretary sees opportunity in state’s budget strife
    By John Schmid of the Journal Sentinel
    http://www.jsonline.com/business/116922138.html

    Excerpt:
    Pewaukee — Protests in Madison that have drawn the nation’s attention could be a boon to Wisconsin’s business image, the newly named state commerce secretary said Friday.

    “We will be one of the few states effectively addressing its budget problems and therefore more receptive to the needs of business,” said Paul Jadin, who will lead economic development efforts in Gov. Scott Walker’s new administration.

    Walker’s proposals to patch holes in the state’s current budget, which expires in July, have ignited a firestorm, in large part because Walker wants to strip public sector unions of many of their collective bargaining rights.

    At a time when the nation is politically polarized, Americans see their divisions reflected in Wisconsin, which in turn helps rivet attention, Jadin said. And in the long run, Jadin said, that could be in Wisconsin’s favor as the state works to draw investment, businesses and jobs.

  30. Dick Drivel-

    World Net Daily?? The Fascist equivalent of the Daily Worker? Funny stuff. Especially the article by Pat Boone. PAT BOONE? HaHaHaHaHaHaHa!! Isn’t that slimy asshole dead yet?

    Dick- Don’t you know the drill? Walker said there were demonstrators-some from out of state. Next you are supposed to use the term, “outside agitators”. THEN you start shouting “COMMIE! COMMIE! THE COMMIES ARE HERE!” Let it build. If you shout “COMMIE!” right away, people will laugh at you and look with scorn at your tinfoil hat.

  31. I was at the rally at the Capitol in Lansing from just after noon until it ended sometime between 2 and 3. The crowd grew from when I arrived until around 2pm after which it declined slowly until the end of the event. I conducted an impromptu, unscientific, informal poll of the people getting the attendees to sign in (I believe that these were paid MoveOn.org employees, but I’m not sure) as well as other people I happened to talk with – I asked everyone what they thought the crowd size was. The answers I got ranged from someone who said ‘over 500′ (this was shortly after I arrived, well before the peak crowd) to someone who claimed to have seen a crowd of 10,000 at the Capitol who put the crowd at ‘optimistically 5,000 – realistically 3,500. The person who’s estimate (shortly before the peak crowd) seemed the most credible to me described a crowd that had been officially estimated at 800 and said he thought that the current crowd was at least double that. Mostly the estimates fell in the range of 1,000 to 3,500 with an average of around 2,000 – which is what the Detroit Free Press reported. My conclusion is that liberals and union members (someone mentioned the SEIU bus – I have no idea if there was more than one – and there were plenty of people with signs or clothing identifying their union) are far better at the estimation of crowd sizes thanteabaggers are…

    Bdaman,

    I saw at least a couple dozen African-Americans in the crowd – the racial makeup of the crowd seemed in no way unusual for the area (in which I’ve lived over half of my life). It seemed like a pretty diverse crowd to me – there certainly weren’t signs that would have made anyone uncomfortable (except maybe the Koch brothers…) or any detectable racial tension whatsoever. I would suggest that if the right wing wants to avoid charges of racism and attract a more diverse crowd, they’re going to have to give up trying to (metaphorically) lynch the president…

    I talked to one African-American gentleman in particular who was the permanent MEA representative for paraplegics (he was in a wheelchair). My mother was in the MEA (Michigan Education Association), so I’m grateful to them for the role they had in supporting my family when we were growing up. My mother quit teaching to raise my sister and I and returned to substituting after we started school, but was unable to obtain a full time position for several years and were it not for the union not only would she have been fired from a long-term sub job before reaching the point at which she would have to be offered a full-time position for the next year, but the policy which forced her hiring wouldn’t have existed. I never actually saw my mother teach (I went to her classroom several times over the years, though…) but based on the fact that she would have a student over for dinner with our family once a week (on Wednesdays – her entire class would visit over the course of the year) and the fact that I somehow grew up to place some value on having an education… ;-) I’m guessing that she was a pretty good one. So what I’d like to know, Bdaman, is why you continually carry water for the Koch brothers at the expense of oppressing people like my mother?

  32. Bdaman-

    Come to my Milwaukee suburb. I’ll show you enough Black People, Arabs, and Russians to scare the fertilizer out of you. The Black people you didn’t see are probably either working or looking for work. George Bush + 2 Unfunded Wars + Unregulated Wall Street + Huge Tax Cuts for the Richest People in the U.S. + Who Knows How Many Fraudulent Mortgages = DISASTROUS RECESSION. In case you didn’t know this, Black people who take a day off to demonstrate, get fired in God’s favorite country.

  33. Elaine-

    You have done an amazing and outstanding job of research, links to pertinent web sites, and providing a running commentary on this important story. You have been tireless in your work, although you must be exhausted by it. In my year and a half on the Turley Blog, this is the finest piece of work I have seen. I think the Prof. must be very proud of you- I certainly am.

  34. I’ve got to second HenMan there Elaine.

    You deserve the Turley Blog Medal of Honor for your work on this topic.

    You’re the real deal and I’ll wrestle anybody who claims otherwise. :)

  35. “I got the idea because the left is linking the Kochs to every thing under the sun. Same way the right links Soros to everything.”

    Dick,

    Rather then admit the truth, you would try to set up false equivalencies. The Koch’s are fascists, by classic definition. The Cato Institute is in thrall of the US plutocrats and their father’s john Birch society were fascist bigots. You have the right to believe differently but if you do you are being deceived.

  36. Come to my Milwaukee suburb. I’ll show you enough Black People, Arabs, and Russians to scare the fertilizer out of you.

    Hen Man I would blend in with that group so by your comment I guess I would be the one scaring the fertilizer out of people :)

  37. Frank Rich points out today that Governor Walker is merely a “petty cash item on the Koch ledger”. Their larger goal is to get the new republican house energy and commerce committee to weaken the EPA and therefore increase their bottom line. Their donations to the committee even top Exxon Mobil’s.

  38. The Tea Party Patriots met in Phoenix yesterday. The mentionimg of Scott Walker’s name drew many standing ovations. Pawlenty and Ron Paul were the speakers. As Frank Rich said in today’s NYT, “the goal is to destroy government not balance the budget.”

  39. I see my Governor is going to be on TV again this morning,the “new darling”of the media.

    I asked a local reporter about this for she had written a piece earlier about Christie,and I wanted to know why he seemed to be so popular outside of our state:

    “Thank you for your e-mail. I can assure you that your sentiments were shared by many more who wrote to me this weekend about Gov. Christie’s comments after returning from Disney.

    I think the popularity they are referring to is that which extends beyond the boundaries of New Jersey. He has amassed a large following nationwide, sometimes that is incompatible with the sentiments of the people in the state.

    I suppose Vitter and Christie are quite different. But if Vitter can get through that situation, it would seem a politician can weather any storm.

    Thank you again for your e-mail.

    ——————–

    The Star-Ledger Statehouse bureau

    Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2011 6:10 PM

    Subject: Christie sent wrong message

    I hope this short e-mail finds you well and preparing to tackle the challenges of the in coming New Year,which my family and I wish you a happy and healthy one.

    Liked your article but I think Bob Mann is comparing Sen. David Vitter(La) situation to Governor Christies is like Apples and Santa Claus Melons,not even close.

    The other thing I find puzzling is the other day I caught I think her name is Michelle Bernard on Hardball with Chris Matthews say something to the effect of the Governor being “popular” I had heard this said awhile back on another program which name escapes for now.With who?

    But where is that coming from?

    christie 49%

    corzine 45%

    They also keep refering to Christie as the one who started this stuff with the Unions,The Teachers union to be exact and this happened Friday:

    TRENTON — There were cheeseheads, signs calling for the recall of Gov. Chris Christie, and chants about solidarity.

    Bemoaning what some called a nationwide attack on the middle class, poncho-clad public workers flooded Trenton Friday in a show of support for employees in Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker has called for an end to collective bargaining. The rally, organized by the state AFL-CIO, attracted a crowd of about 3,100, State Police said.

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/02/nj_public_workers_rally_at_sta.html

    I see Walkers going to be on meet the press this morning.

  40. “Bdaman 1, February 26, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    I looked at the pictures from the Daily Kos. The thing that stuck out to me is out of all those pictures and looking deep into them I only counted 3 black people. If that was a Tea Party march you would say they are racist. Just sayin.”

    Can only give you my opinion,the marchers know who is who and the people of color who live in the state know what side has their best interest in mind.
    Wether seen or not there is one binding word:

    “sol·i·dar·i·ty (sl-dr-t)
    n.
    A union of interests, purposes, or sympathies among members of a group; fellowship of responsibilities and interests”

  41. OS,

    I looked at the pictures on the Daily Kos link – thank you! I think my favorite sign was the “Dope” sign – Lol.

    Elaine M,

    I echo many of the sentiments here. You have done an outstanding job in keeping this topic front and center. You are to be commended for your efforts!

    Dickey,

    What Mike Spindell said. Your Kock = Soros does not compute.

  42. Dick Grabble 1, February 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    “The Kochs are libertarians not fascists.”
    __________________

    Are they Libertarians behaving like fascists?
    ====================

    lib·er·tar·i·an (lbr-târ-n)
    n.
    1. One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state.
    2. One who believes in free will.
    [From liberty.]
    liber·tari·an adj.
    liber·tari·an·ism n.

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    _______________________

    …’cause they apparently don’t beleive in anyone else having free will or right to speech (and collective bargaining…which would crtnly minimize the states involvement ) not to mention they seem to be perfectly happy to UTILIZE the so called ‘State’ (ala Scalia, Walker …that other Judge…etal…..)….!

  43. Stamford Liberal: I agree that the “DOPE” sign was great. My personal favorite is “Stop the Imperial Walker,” for pure creativity. And do not forget the lady in the flamingo hat. Not sure of her message, but anything that can make one smile at a time like this has to be a Good Thing.

  44. silly me…I spoke before reading all the posts…Buddha has this angle well in hand (as usual) ….I am just not speedy enuff……:[

  45. Woosty,

    It does no harm to remind people of the truth. We hear lies being repeated all the time–so much so that many have come to believe that those lies are the truth.

  46. Speaking of crowd sizes,I saw where someone said if it was a tea party demo with 50 people the media would have been all over it,but since it wasn’t and on a week-end I guess it dosen’t rate.

    Coverage has been little to none accept probably like here in Jersey,they showed our state and what was going on in New York.

  47. eniobob: Another reason the MSM is becoming more and more irrelevant. It is the reason I did not renew my subscription to either of our local newspapers, and seldom watch the evening news any more. If you stop and think about it, more of our news feeds are coming through the internet than ever before. We can get unfiltered video from the streets of Cairo, strange news of the weird, and local news items of interest that would never have made it into the local paper. Whether this is a good thing or not is a matter of opinion.

    I know one newspaper editor and photographer who quit his job because as he put it, “Dead tree journalism is dying and I do not want to be the one left to turn out the lights.”

  48. OS:

    “Another reason the MSM is becoming more and more irrelevant.”

    Case in point,I just caught the roundtable on Meet The Press,not the interview with Governor Walker for I knew where that would be going,they seem to have a decent panel but when they went to commercial after discussion their postitions on what walker said,I’m sitting here saying, What??

  49. OS,

    Yeah, the flamingo hat threw me off, too. Maybe she was also protesting for Greenpeach and, “Save the Flamingos?” :)

    I also agree with your take on the MSM. I read my local paper just to keep up with local issues and events, but I cannot remember the last time I sat through any evening newscasts. Most, if not all of my news comes from the internet. The MSM are more concerned, in the name of “objectivity”, with how they will be perceived if they dare speak out against falsehoods put forth by politicians, etc., than they are in pointing out the hypocrisy exhibited by policitians, etc. Silly me in thinking that it is there job to point out falsehoods and hypocrisy. Edward Murrow must be spinning in his grave.

    Elaine M’s indepth coverage of what is happening in WI, and by extension the country, is enough to put network and cable news to shame. And she is doing so quite effectively.

  50. Mrs.M:

    May I also give my KUDOS!!,After getting all the info I guess the real up setting thing is seeing how many people are so misinformed on the issue and are taking to that misinformation like catnip.

  51. Elaine M,

    I forgot about that – thanks for the reminder.

    Anderson Cooper may be the exception to the rule these days. He also called out Michelle “Bat-Sh*t” Bachmann for her lack of historical knowledge.

  52. To all,

    “Silly me in thinking that it is there job …”

    “THEIR”

    Please excuse the spelling and grammatical errors – I’m barely through my first cup of coffee!

    rafflaw,

    I think you’re rubbing off on me!

  53. In the early 90’s, my partners and I took a company public. As part of that process we were required to sign a document stating we understood and accepted that our primary responsibility as board members and officers of a publically traded company was to provide the shareholders the maximum reurn on their investment. This is a completely understandable thing to require of management. I know that sounds quite off topic, but just a step or two away from that story, we get to what’s happening in WI.

    Focussing management’s attention on ROI is not an innately bad thing. It doesn’t make corporate business managers bad or even anti-union people. It’s their job to control costs and with personnel costs being most company’s largest expense item, it’s often the target of cost cutting. Again, this by itself is not anti-labor, it’s management’s job.

    However, to suggest that the workers, be they teachers, or sanitation workers or electricians should not or, worse, are not permitted to organize to protect their own side of that equation is absurd and it runs contrary to the American tradition of fair play as well being anti-democratic (small d).

    Denying workers the right to organize and negotiate their work environment, conditions, pay and benefits is to deny them democracy. Corporations and goverments are set up using monarchy as their organizatioal model. Unions are democracies. They elect representatives from their ranks to negotiate with management on their behalf. Management’s (and Gov. Walker’s) view is that of royalty rather than democracy. Walker’s position essentially asserts that state workers MUST accept the largesse of the king without question or discussion. Ironically, this anti-government teabagger is stating that the state knows best how much a teacher should earn. Only the state is equipped to determine what workers’ benefits and workplace condition will be. The worker has no say in the process.

    When a company is profitable, it is usually because all elements of the business are working well. All levels from plant floor to the board room are doing what they’re supposed to do. It is right and fittig that labor enjoy some benefit for their part in the good news. It shouldn’t be that only management is rewarded with bonusses as if only they provided the time and sweat to achive the good results. On the other hand, when times are difficult, the workers can be, and have been, asked to negotiate salaries and benifits downward to protect the company or city, county, state from insolvency. In WI, in previous years teachers have foregone pay increases and accepted higher pension contribution instead. Now those pensions are under attack.

    It is precisely Walker’s kind of unilateral capricious behavior that spawned unions. It’s why we had dead miners in KY. His actions (and Koch Industries behind him) indicate a contempt for American workers, contempt for the middle class and contempt for the voters and residents of WI.

  54. “It is precisely Walker’s kind of unilateral capricious behavior that spawned unions.’

    rcampbell,

    Couldn’t agree more with the entirety of your well thought out comment.

  55. Stamford,
    There is probably medication to prevent me from influencing you!!:)
    rcamblell,
    You hit the nail on the head as to why unions are still needed. Mr. Walker is one walking and talking and Koch Spending example of the anti-worker, anti-union, anti-middle class and anti-woman and minorites ideas that are drownig the Republican party.

  56. Jason Linkins HuffPost Reporting jason@huffingtonpost.com

    TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads:

    “Hello, good morning, et al., to this morning’s edition of the Sunday Morning Liveblog, which you should imagine is pedeconferenced to you, Sorkin style, on the morning of the day he is likely to win an Academy Award (though I am rooting for Banksy, in every category except sound effects editing). My name is Jason and I am here to watch the affluent punditocracy urge the need for “shared sacrifice” as usual, though there is rumor today that Richard Trumka might briefly appear, possibly during the segment where David Gregory discusses Charlie Sheen’s presidential hopes. (HE IS ADDICTED TO WINNING, IS HALEY BARBOUR?)”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/27/tv-soundoff-sunday-talkin_40_n_828757.html

  57. “The GOP strategic aim is simple enough. If they can abolish union collective-bargaining rights, they can undermine the automatic payment of dues to the public-employee union treasuries. Shrinking those treasuries and reducing the union structure and membership will make it harder for Democrats and their allies to communicate directly with workers.

    And under the infamous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, unions — like corporations — are free to spend as much as they want directly advocating for a candidate. That makes the math even more urgent as the 2012 election season approaches.”

    Howard Fineman

  58. You hit the nail on the head Buddha. Citizens United has opened the floodgates and if the attacks on unions are successful, the corporations will be the only show in town.

  59. rcampbell-

    You said, “In WI, in previous years teachers have foregone pay increases and accepted higher pension contributions instead.”

    This is an important fact that is never mentioned by the “talking heads”. Just this morning I watched a weekly local (Milwaukee) current events and politics show on the PBS channel. The Republican, an aging hack who has worked for years in Madison as a legislative assistant, spent the entire show interrupting and talking over the other Republican and the two Democrats. Much of his rant was about teachers and cops having “lavish fringe benefits” and “Cadillac pensions”, never mentioning that they gave up higher wages many times in previous years to get those benefits. Now, the Republicans want to rob them a second time and take their “fringe benefits” too.

    “Fringe benefits” is an unfortunate term for things that are necessary for a decent way of life for everybody, not just the rich. Things like pensions, health and dental insurance, paid vacations, paid sick days, paid holidays- not to mention Unemployment Insurance, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicade. Who DOESN’T deserve to have all these things in the United States of America? We aren’t a third world country yet, but we are moving in that direction at a frightening pace.

    How can Republicans keep getting away with the hypocrisy that they are “Christians” when they violate, with no shame and no remorse, every tenet of what Jesus Christ tried (and failed) to teach them? They need to be called out on this every time they quote selected parts of the Bible to support their bigotry, hatred, and lack of compassion and respect for their fellow man.

  60. I just wonder if they realize that they are gambling…. It appears that the are playing Russian Roulette which is going end in craps….. unless you come in second place…then you have to come and clean up the mess that the winners started with….

  61. AP is reporting that “Wisconsin Protesters Resist Police Order To Leave Capitol“.

    Supplemental from Huff Po’s live coverage states:

    “HuffPost’s Amanda Terkel reports:

    Police officers were supposed to begin clearing out protesters in the Wisconsin statehouse at 4:00 pm CT Sunday, but more than 30 minutes later, hundreds of people remained inside. An announcement was made that people were supposed to leave, and while some did go, chanting “We’ll be back,” many remained — even though they risked being arrested. Many more people who wanted to support the protesters but didn’t want to risk spending the night in jail amassed outside the Capitol.

    Approximately 10,000 people were viewing a livestream of the action on the floor on USTREAM, but that feed went down shortly after 4:30, prompting panic from viewers on Twitter wondering where else they can view what’s happening. (FoxNews.com has a livestream at the top of its site.)

    Police officers are currently in the Capitol but have taken no action to arrest or forcibly remove anyone. @MelissaRyan, who is on the ground, tweeted that the mood is not even in the slightest bit tense. Just a short while ago, protesters began singing the national anthem.

    @News3David wrote that Jim Palmer, the executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association — which has strongly supported the protest — believes people will not be made to leave and the Capitol will remain open. One Madison police officer not in uniform also told him that he plans to stay in the Capitol, even if asked to leave.”

    Go unions!

  62. Here is a live Twitter feed from the front lines in the Capitol. Crowds are orderly. Place is still packed. Earlier, there were a couple of obvious agitators trying to stir up the crowd to violence, but that fizzled. Security is letting people leave, but admitting people as those inside leave. That means the numbers inside remain about the same.

    http://twitter.com/AndrewKroll

  63. Check out the Koch Industries paper products that you should boycott below.

    From AnonNews—Anonymous
    http://www.anonnews.org/?p=press&a=item&i=585
    It has come to our attention that the brothers, David and Charles Koch–the billionaire owners of Koch Industries–have long attempted to usurp American Democracy. Their actions to undermine the legitimate political process in Wisconsin are the final straw. Starting today we fight back.

    Koch Industries, and oligarchs like them, have most recently started to manipulate the political agenda in Wisconsin. Governor Walker’s union-busting budget plan contains a clause that went nearly un-noticed. This clause would allow the sale of publicly owned utility plants in Wisconsin to private parties (specifically, Koch Industries) at any price, no matter how low, without a public bidding process. The Koch’s have helped to fuel the unrest in Wisconsin and the drive behind the bill to eliminate the collective bargaining power of unions in a bid to gain a monopoly over the state’s power supplies.

    The Koch brothers have made a science of fabricating ‘grassroots’ organizations and advertising campaigns to support them in an attempt to sway voters based on their falsehoods. Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth and Citizens United are just a few of these organizations. In a world where corporate money has become the lifeblood of political influence, the labor unions are one of the few ways citizens have to fight against corporate greed. Anonymous cannot ignore the plight of the citizen-workers of Wisconsin, or the opportunity to fight for the people in America’s broken political system. For these reasons, we feel that the Koch brothers threaten the United States democratic system and, by extension, all freedom-loving individuals everywhere. As such, we have no choice but to spread the word of the Koch brothers’ political manipulation, their single-minded intent and the insidious truth of their actions in Wisconsin, for all to witness.

    Anonymous hears the voice of the downtrodden American people, whose rights and liberties are being systematically removed one by one, even when their own government refuses to listen or worse – is complicit in these attacks. We are actively seeking vulnerabilities, but in the mean time we are calling for all supporters of true Democracy, and Freedom of The People, to boycott all Koch Industries’ paper products. We welcome unions across the globe to join us in this boycott to show that you will not allow big business to dictate your freedom.

    U.S. Product Boycott List
    •Vanity Fair
    •Quilted Northern
    •Angel Soft
    •Sparkle
    •Brawny
    •Mardi Gras
    •Dixie

    European Product Boycott List
    •Demak’Up
    •Kitten Soft
    •Lotus / Lotus Soft
    •Tenderly
    •Nouvelle Soft
    •Okay Ktchen Towels
    •Colhogar
    •Delica
    •Inversoft
    •Tutto

  64. From Huffington Post (2/27/2011)
    Dick Durbin At Pro-Union Rally In Chicago: Walker Trying To ‘Destroy A Basic American Right’ (VIDEO)
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/26/dick-durbin-at-pro-union-_n_828731.html

    Excerpt:
    On Saturday, Chicagoans joined the chorus of protesters across the country to support union members in Wisconsin and other states who are fighting to keep their bargaining rights.

    More than 1,000 people reportedly turned out at the afternoon Thompson Center rally, chanting “Save the American Dream.”

    Demonstrators gathered elsewhere in Illinois as well. Hundreds of union supporters rallied in Springfield Saturday afternoon.

    “If they bust the unions up (in Wisconsin), it’s a matter of time before they bust the unions up here,” laid-off Illinois electrician Rich Bonzani told the Chicago Tribune. “It’s an assault on the middle class.”

    Sen. Dick Durbin was one of several speakers to address the Chicago crowd, and slammed Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s plan to strip about 170,000 of Wisconsin’s public employees of their collective bargaining rights. Walker has defended the move as a way to fill a budget gap.

    “Governor Walker’s agenda in Wisconsin goes way beyond the budget. He’s trying to destroy a basic American right,” Durbin said at the rally, according to ABC Chicago.

    Durbin also told the crowd that senators fleeing Wisconsin in an effort to stop the legislation would always be welcome in Illinois.

  65. From The Center for Public Integrity
    Politics of Oil
    Koch’s Low Profile Belies Political Power
    Private oil company does both business and politics with the shades drawn
    http://projects.publicintegrity.org/oil/report.aspx?aid=347

    Excerpt:
    By Bob Williams and Kevin Bogardus

    WASHINGTON, July 15, 2004 — Koch Industries could be the biggest oil company you have never heard of—unless, that is, you hang around the halls of government in Washington.

    Koch Industries (pronounced “coke”) is a huge oil conglomerate controlled by brothers Charles and David Koch, two of the country’s richest men and among the biggest backers of conservative and libertarian causes. With estimated revenue of about $40 billion last year, Koch is bigger than Microsoft, Merrill Lynch and AT&T.

    Koch is the leading campaign contributor among oil and gas companies for the 2004 election cycle, giving $587,000 so far. Next came Valero Energy at $568,000.

    Since 1998, Koch is the fourth biggest campaign oil and gas industry giver, behind ChevronTexaco, El Paso Corp. and Enron Corp.

    Despite its size and political largesse, Koch is able to dodge the limelight because it is privately-held, meaning that nearly all of its business dealings are known primarily only by the company and the Internal Revenue Service. In fact, it is the second largest private company in the country, trailing only food processing giant Cargill.

    Koch also prefers to operate in private when it comes to politics and government.

    Although it is both a top campaign contributor and spends millions on direct lobbying, Koch’s chief political influence tool is a web of interconnected, right-wing think tanks and advocacy groups funded by foundations controlled and supported by the two Koch brothers.

    Among those groups are some of the country’s most prominent conservative and libertarian voices including the Cato Institute, the Reason Foundation, Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Federalist Society. All regularly beat the drum in official Washington for the causes the Koch’s hold dear—minimal government, deregulation, and free market economics.

    For the Kochs, conservative and libertarian views are a family tradition. Fred Koch, who founded the company’s predecessor in 1940, helped establish the ultra right-wing John Birch Society.

    Some of Koch’s other political activities have been less exotic, but no less controversial.

    For example, Charles Koch found himself under investigation by the U.S. Senate for his alleged role in funding so-called “issue ads” that helped conservative Republican congressional candidates in 1996.

    Even critics seem awed by the Kochs’ ability to shape policy so effectively without drawing much attention to themselves.

    “It’s astounding that so few people have ever heard of a family this rich and powerful and aggressive when it comes to policy and politics,” says Jeff Krehely, deputy director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, who co-authored a recent study on conservative think tanks, including those funded by the Kochs. “When you talk about Koch, most folks think you are talking about the soft drink company.”

    Koch Industries did not respond to repeated phone calls and emails requesting interviews for this report.

    David Koch, who ran for vice president on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1980, in an interview with National Journal, has described his philosophy this way: “My overall concept is to minimize the role of government and to maximize the role of the private economy to maximize personal freedoms.”

  66. From Reuters (2/26/2011)
    Analysis: Koch brothers a force in anti-union effort
    By Andrew Stern
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/26/us-usa-wisconsin-koch-idUSTRE71P28W20110226

    Excerpt:
    LIBERTARIAN STALWARTS

    Among the basic tenets of libertarianism — smaller government, less regulation, and lower taxes — is anti-unionism, and the Koch brothers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to buttress the movement since the 1960s.

    But the timing for the union squeeze may have more to do with the emergence over the past two years of the populist Tea Party, which lifted like-minded candidates into office in 2010 and provided foot soldiers for the libertarian movement.

    “This is all a wave of political belief that the Kochs unquestionably have funded in various ways for years and years and years,” said Brian Doherty, editor of Reason Magazine, published by one of several think tanks funded by Koch money.

    “Calling that manipulating, (saying they are) calling the shots, seems a silly, conspiratorial mind-set,” he said.

    Walker and Kasich voice elements of the libertarian view, looking to gain from the money and votes it attracts.

    Union supporters argue Walker and other Republicans are doing the Kochs’ bidding, suspicious the billionaires want to promote their business interests and curb government regulation.

    Greenpeace has ranked Koch Industries among the top 10 U.S. polluters, and Koch-funded think tanks produce research papers arguing against climate change and environmental regulation.

  67. from The Cap Times (2/23/2011)
    Koch brothers quietly open lobbying office in downtown Madison
    http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_7e8aa25a-3ec0-11e0-9923-001cc4c03286.html

    Excerpt:
    The group has had a lobbying presence in the state before, with four contracted lobbyists from Hamilton Consulting billing just over $97,000 for services during the 2009-11 legislative session, according to the GAB. Three of those lobbyists — Amy Boyer, Andrew Engel and Robert Fassbender — are now joined also by Ray Carey, Jason Childress, Kathleen Walby and Jeffrey Schoepke.

    The lobbyists for Koch Companies Public Sector registered with the state on January 5, two days after Walker’s inauguration.

    The expanded lobbying effort by the Koch brothers in Wisconsin raises red flags in particular because of a little discussed provision in Walker’s repair bill that would allow Koch Industries and other private companies to purchase state-owned power plants in no-bid contracts.

    “It’s curious that the Kochs have apparently expanded their lobbying presence just as Walker was sworn into office and immediately before a budget was unveiled that would allow the executive branch unilateral power to sell off public utilities in this state in no-bid contracts,” says Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy.

  68. So what? The Koch’s support free markets, big deal. Soros supports communist/socialist fronts.

    You think we dont do the same? You think people like us are just going to sit back and surrender our country and let you run things?

  69. Bad news, troll. I support free markets and I’m a democratic socialist and Jeffersonian Constitutionalist. So what’s your point? Free markets are a tool and like all tools they can and will be misused. The Koch’s idea of a free market is free for them and screw everybody else. The Koch’s are fascists and demonstrably so by their actions.

    Fascists always lose in the end. It’s just a matter of how much damage they do before they are stopped. For examples, see Nazi Germany, Italy under Mussolini, Spain under Franco and Chile under Pinochet.

    And say what you want about Soros. He can and does think about other people instead of just focusing on his pocketbook. Unlike you venal Koch suckers.

    Enjoy your impending doom.

    It’ll happen.

    I know this because history tells me so.

  70. I see the shill, Maor (or is is Roam) is back. Can I ask a question? How much do they pay you to post comments in blogs? Do you get paid by the hour or for piecework? I realize you probably will not see this, since your work is more hit and run. Post but not read or engage.

  71. This ought to make the trolls come out from under the bridge:

    ;)

    The Roots of Stalin in the Tea Party Movement
    The Koch family, America’s biggest financial backers of the Tea Party, would not be the billionaires they are today were it not for the godless empire of the USSR.
    By Yasha Levine
    (April 17, 2010)
    http://www.alternet.org/story/146504/

    The Tea Party movement’s dirty little secret is that its chief financial backers owe their family fortune to the granddaddy of all their hatred: Stalin’s godless empire of the USSR. The secretive oil billionaires of the Koch family, the main supporters of the right-wing groups that orchestrated the Tea Party movement, would not have the means to bankroll their favorite causes had it not been for the pile of money the family made working for the Bolsheviks in the late 1920s and early 1930s, building refineries, training Communist engineers and laying down the foundation of Soviet oil infrastructure.

    The comrades were good to the Kochs. Today Koch Industries has grown into the second-largest private company in America. With an annual revenue of $100 billion, the company was just $6.3 billion shy of first place in 2008. Ownership is kept strictly in the family, with the company being split roughly between brothers Charles and David Koch, who are worth about $20 billion apiece and are infamous as the largest sponsors of right-wing causes. They bankroll scores of free-market and libertarian think tanks, institutes and advocacy groups. Greenpeace estimates that the Koch family shelled out $25 million from 2005 to 2008 funding the “climate denial machine,” which means they outspent Exxon Mobile three to one.

    I first learned about the Kochs in February 2009, when my colleague Mark Ames and I were looking into the strange origins of the then-nascent Tea Party movement. Our investigation led us again and again to a handful of right-wing advocacy groups directly tied to the Kochs. We were the first to connect the dots and debunk the Tea Party movement’s “grassroots” front, exposing it as billionaire-backed astroturf campaign run by free-market advocacy groups FreedomWorks and Americans For Prosperity, both of which are closely linked to the Koch brothers.

    But the Tea Party movement — and the Koch family’s obscene wealth — go back more than half a century, all the way to grandpa Fredrick C. Koch, one of the founding members of the far-right John Birch Society which was convinced that socialism was taking over America through unions, colored people, Jews, homosexuals, the Kennedys and even Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    These days, the Kochs paint themselves as true-believer Libertarians of the Austrian School. Charles Koch, the elder brother who runs the family business in Wichita, Kansas, quotes the wisdom of proto-libertarian “economist” Ludwig von Mises, but also sees himself as an economist in his own right. In 2007, Charles made his contribution to the body of free-market thought with an economic theory he calls “Market-Based Management” (a term he trademarked).

    David Koch is the highbrow brother who lives in New York. He ran as the Libertarian party candidate for president in 1980 and says his dream is to “minimize the role of government, to maximize the role of private economy and to maximize personal freedoms.” Apparently everyone’s a free-market enthusiast at Koch Industries, including its spokeswoman, who recently wrote a letter to the New York Times stating that “it’s a historical fact that economic freedom best fosters innovation, environmental protection and improved quality of life in a society.” It might be true somewhere for someone, but not for the Kochs — they owe it all to socialism and totalitarianism.

    Here is a better historical fact, one that the Kochs don’t like to repeat in public: the family’s initial wealth was not created by the harsh, creative forces of unfettered capitalism, but by the grace of the centrally planned economy of the Soviet Union. The Koch family, America’s biggest pushers of the free-market Tea Party revolution, would not be the billionaires they are today were it not for the whim of one of Stalin’s comrades.

    **********

    Today, it [Koch Industies] operates thousands of miles of pipelines in the United States, refines 800,000 barrels of crude oil daily, buys and sells the most asphalt in the nation, is among the top 10 cattle producers, and is among the 50 largest landowners. Koch Industries also poured hundreds of millions of dollars into right-wing organizations like Institute for Humane Studies, the Cato Institute, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the Bill of Rights Institute, the Reason Foundation, Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Federalist Society — all of them promoting the usual billionaire-friendly ideas of the free market, deregulation and smaller government.

    If that expansion looks too fast to be legit, that’s because it was.

    William Koch, the third brother who had a falling-out with Charles and David back in the ’80s over Charles’ sociopathic management style, appeared on “60 Minutes” in November 2000 to tell the world that Koch Industries was a criminal enterprise: “It was – was my family company. I was out of it,” he says. “But that’s what appalled me so much… I did not want my family, my legacy, my father’s legacy to be based upon organized crime.”

    Charles Koch’s racket was very simple, explained William. With its extensive oil pipe network, Koch Industries’ role as an oil middleman–it buys crude from someone’s well and sells it to a refinery–makes it easy to steal millions of dollars worth of oil by skimming just a little off the top of each transaction, or what they call “cheating measurements” in the oil trade. According to William, wells located on federal and Native American lands were the prime targets of the Koch scam.

    “What Koch was doing was taking all these measurements and then falsifying them on the run sheets,” said Bill Koch. “If the dipstick measured five feet 10 inches and one half inch, they would write down five feet nine and one half inches.”

    That may not sound like much, but Bill Koch said it added up. “Well, that was the beauty of the scheme. Because if they’re buying oil from 50,000 different people, and they’re stealing two barrels from each person. What does that add up to? One year, their data showed they stole a million and a half barrels of oil.”

    In 1999, William decided to take his brothers down. He sued Koch Industries in civil court under the False Claims Act, which allows whistleblowers to file suit on behalf of the federal government. William Koch accused the company of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars in oil from federal lands.

    The band of brothers settled the case two years later, with Charles agreeing to pay $25 million in penalties to the federal government to have the suit dismissed. It turned out to be a great deal for Charles and David, considering that in the 1980s their “adjustments” allowed Koch Industries to siphon off 300 million gallons of oil without paying. It was pure profit–free money–to the tune of $230 million.

    At the trial, 50 former Koch gaugers testified against the company, some in video depositions. They said employees even had a term for cheating on the measurements. “We in the company referred to it as the Koch Method because it was a system for cheating the producer out of oil,” said one of the gaugers, Mark Wilson.

    Ah, finally! Have we stumbled onto the secret to the family’s success? At the bottom of it all, is the Koch Method that funds all the libertarians nothing but old-fashioned theft? Or, as Koch hero Ludwig von Mises might ask, “Is the Koch Method just an unceasing sequence of single thefts?”

  72. Wouldn’t it be a kick if Madison WI brought down the Koch family, two Supreme Court justices, and the Citizens United decision all in one fell swoop? I’ll bet AG Holder and the President are conferencing big time.

  73. Hey, Eric Holder!

    You may not have the spine to go after traitors who were/are politicians, but how about a prosecution of business criminals who settled a civil suit?

    Even you should be able to win that one, Jelly Bones.

  74. Koch Industries Fails to Disclose Offshore Tax Avoidance
    By Daniel Zoltai

    Found at: http://ecobserver.blogspot.com/2009/10/koch-industries-fails-to-disclose.html – a blog run out of Hungary by student journalists.

    The column reads:

    The IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program for US persons who have not properly reported their non-US bank and other financial accounts and offshore structures, such as foreign trusts and companies controlled by US persons ended on October 15, 2009.
    In the last week, Democrat Senator Carl Levin has offered his Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act as an amendment to the Senate Finance Committee’s healthcare bill, bringing the issue of tax haven abuse back to the table just after the close of the IRS program, a move that is supported by Barack Obama.

    With current reports detailing thousands of individuals coming forward to declare their offshore assets, there has been little disclosure made by major corporations. While public corporations are fairly transparent and often show up in examples of tax haven abuse, privately held corporations are much more likely to hide behind a veil of secrecy and employ complex off-shore structures in order to avoid taxes.
    Take the example of Koch Industries. This the largest privately held conglomerate on the planet, employing approximately 70,000 people worldwide with annual revenues exceeding $100 billion. Their financials are kept strictly confidential and they do not disclose information about their management structure and activities. Koch is known to be aggressive with their tax avoidance strategies, having sued the IRS for $20 million in 2006 claiming that their tax refund was not correct. Public documents available on the Luxembourg government website, Legilux.lu, reveal that Koch operates a complex system of offshore companies and accounts in order to avoid paying US taxes on huge sums of corporate profits. Out of his Kansas office, Global Tax Director for Koch Industries, Craig M. Munson, manages these offshore corporations with the assistance of a shady Luxembourg company, ATOZ s.a., whose partners are primarily former Arthur Anderson staffers – the tax advisory giant that ceased to exist as a result of their felony conviction in the Enron “off-shore and off-balance sheet” debt scandal of 2002.
    With the help of his offshore tax avoidance experts at ATOZ, Mr. Munson has set up a network of companies under the brand name “KoSa” that are used to move and consolidate funds offshore in order to avoid taxes. Some of the companies include “KoSa Foreign Investments” which was formed in June 2009 with over $1.8 billion in capital and “KoSa Luxembourg” which in August of this year declared a capital of over 520 million Euros. There are also vehicle companies such as “KoSa US Receivables Company” which declared a capital of nearly $185 million in August and “KoSa Canada Receivables Company” with a capital of nearly $35 million. These companies, and several others in the “KoSa” structures set up by Mr. Munson and his ATOZ facilitators are shells with no employees or physical operations. They are all incorporated under the “s.a.r.l.” status which has light reporting and governance requirements and is normally used for small businesses. When the sums involved are significant, such as the case here, the use of an “s.a.r.l.” is often cover for money laundering or tax avoidance schemes. In this case, it appears that these companies exist for no reason other than to avoid the payment of taxes. This is not the first time that Mr. Munson’s Luxembourg companies are involved in nefarious activity. In 2002, Arteva s.a.r.l., a Luxembourg company doing business as “KoSa” with Mr. Munson named as manager, was sued by the United States and plead guilty to charges of criminal price fixing.
    A government source, wishing to remain anonymous due to direct proximity with the issue, has confirmed that the IRS will be investigating the matter.

  75. Tea Party hugger Pat Buchanan in today’s paper:

    Barack Hussein Alinsky 22 Feb

    By Patrick J. Buchanan

    “As a large and furious demonstration was under way outside and inside the Capitol in Madison last week, Barack Obama invited in a TV camera crew from Milwaukee and proceeded to fan the flames.

    Dropping the mask of The Great Compromiser, Obama reverted to his role as South Chicago community organizer, charging Gov. Scott Walker and the Wisconsin legislature with an “assault on unions.”

    As the late Saul Alinsky admonished in his “Rules for Radicals,” “the community organizer … must first rub raw the resentments of the people; fan the latent hostilities to the point of overt expression.”

    After Obama goaded the demonstrators, the protests swelled. All 14 Democratic state senators fled to Illinois to paralyze the upper chamber by denying it a quorum. Teachers went on strike, left kids in the classroom and came to Madison. Schools shut down.

    Jesse Jackson arrived. The White House political machine went into overdrive to sustain the crowds in Madison and other capitals and use street pressure to break governments seeking to peel back the pay, perks, privileges and power of public employee unions that are the taxpayer-subsidized armies of the Democratic Party.

    Marin County millionairess Nancy Pelosi, doing a poor imitation of Emma Goldman, announced, “I stand in solidarity with the Wisconsin workers fighting for their rights, especially for all the students and young people leading the charge.”

    Is this not the same lady who called Tea Partiers “un-American” for “drowning out opposing views”? Is not drowning out opposing views exactly what those scores of thousands are doing in Madison, banging drums inside the state Capitol?

    Some carried signs comparing Walker to Hitler, Mussolini and Mubarak. One had a placard with the face of Walker in the cross hairs of a rifle sight. Major media seemed uninterested. These signs didn’t comport with their script.

    In related street action, protesters, outraged over Congress’ oversight of the D.C. budget, showed up at John Boehner’s residence on Capitol Hill to abuse the speaker at his home.

    And so the great battle of this generation is engaged.”

    More here:

    http://buchanan.org/blog/barack-hussein-alinsky-4611

    Sounds like the right-wing is getting desparate now that the wizards’ curtain has fallen.

  76. And you are most welcome, Elaine.

    One lives to be of service, you dear one, are a living inspiration.

    Any assistance I have offered pales in comparison to your efforts here.

  77. The Koch Brothers are dirty tax dodging scoundrels! I always get a kick out of Pat Buchanan. One of these days Pat might actually wake up and realize that no one cares about the crap that he spews. I wonder if he got a 1099 from the Koch brothers?

  78. From Salon (2/27/2011)
    Labor wins the day in Wisconsin
    Police change course and say demonstrators can stay another night, and a GOP senator opposes Walker’s union-busting
    by Joan Walsh
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/joan_walsh/politics/2011/02/27/wisconsin_rallies_just_get_bigger/index.html

    Excerpt:
    I’m not going to pretend to be dispassionate about the Wisconsin protests. The first civil disobedience I ever witnessed personally was in Madison in 1978, when I was covering a protest at the Board of Regents meeting, where students demanded the regents divest the university’s holdings in South Africa. I got maced by police in a stairwell just doing my job, but I was thrilled we were among the first universities to divest. I’ve been a proud Badger ever since.

    All these years later, I’ve been thrilled by the growing protest movement against Gov. Scott Walker’s union-busting in Wisconsin. This weekend, though, it was hard to indulge my obsession. Although an estimated 100,000 people gathered at the capitol in Madison, including West Wing star and Wisconsin native Bradley Whitford, Rep. Tammy Baldwin, and a contingent of off-duty and retired Wisconsin cops (who aren’t directly hit by Walker’s plan), the mainstream media barely paid attention. And on Sunday, when state police warned they’d clear the capitol of protesters at 4 pm local time, and at least 1,000 pledged to commit civil disobedience to stay put – including off-duty cops and firefighters and former Madison Mayor Paul Soglin – well, you had to tune into Twitter and a couple of Ustream live feeds to find out what was happening.

    I really don’t get it. CNN embedded reporters with Tea Party protests last year, but the struggling network couldn’t be bothered with live coverage of the weekend’s events. Even before Oscar red carpet coverage took over on Sunday, CNN was rerunning the same canned piece on the model Iman it had run Saturday. MSNBC was hopeless, running its canned crime documentaries all day long as usual. Fox News was more reliable; of course it covered the protests, since it does actual news on the weekends, but the network found anger and even violence where no one else did. (A Fox reporter claimed he was slugged off camera, but there was no other confirmation of the assault.) Things got really crazy when the AFL-CIO live stream failed, and organizers couldn’t get back their internet connection. For a while the only way to follow the goings on in the capitol was via activist Ben Brandzel’s phone-cam and bloggers on site. It was great to hear the crowd sing “The Star Spangled Banner” and “We Shall Overcome,” widening the appeal beyond the beloved labor hymn “Solidarity Forever.” Andrew Kroll of Mother Jones kept up a live stream of photos from the Sunday rally, including this great one of a friendly cop chatting up a wildly dressed protester.

    In the end Sunday night, state police officials told reporters that no one peacefully protesting would be removed from the capitol by force. About an hour later, the crowd cheered the news that Republican State Sen. Dale Schultz announced he would not back Walker’s bill. Democrats still need two more Republicans to block Walker’s move, but the momentum seems to be on the side of the unions right now. The mainstream media missed a great story Sunday. It reminds Paul Krugman of the way the media also ignored the massive protests before the 2003 Iraq war. It’s really depressing.

  79. I am struck by the difference in organization and reporting between the tax day outbreak of teabagging and the pro-union rallies this weekend – I know that it was on short notice, but you’d think that MoveOn.org or the SEIU could have given MSNBC a call and they could have pre-empted a couple of hours of Lockup, right? Surely Ed Schultz would have given up his Saturday to report on this? They could have at least mentioned it on their Friday night shows…

    Hopefully events will show that grassroots movements are more effective in the end than astroturf movements, but right now it certainly seems like you get what you pay for in terms of media coverage…

  80. From Think Progress (5/29/2009)
    Tim Phillips, The Man Behind The ‘Americans For Prosperity’ Corporate Front Group Factory
    By Lee Fang
    http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2009/05/29/afp-timphillips-astroturf/

    Excerpt:
    The rate at which the Koch Industries funded Americans for Prosperity (AFP) churns out front groups to promote its right-wing corporate agenda sets the organization out among similar conservative “think tanks.” This week, AFP created their latest front group called “Patients United Now,” an entity set up to defeat health care reform. Patients United follows a familiar pattern AFP has used for their other front groups: create a new stand alone website, fill it with lines like “We are people just like you” to give the site a grassroots feel, and then use the new group to recruit supporters and run deceptive advertisements attacking reform. This “astroturfing” model has been used by AFP to launch groups pushing distortions against other progressive priorities:

    – The “Hot Air Tour” promoting global warming skepticism and attacking environmental regulations.
    – “Free Our Energy,” a group promoting increased domestic drilling.
    – The “Save My Ballot Tour,” a group that pays Joe the Plumber to travel around the country smearing the Employee Free Choice Act.
    – “No Climate Tax,” a group dedicated to the defeat of Clean Energy Economy legislation.
    – “No Stimulus,” a group launched to try to stop the passage of the Recovery Act.

    Notably, AFP was also instrumental in orchestrating the anti-Obama, anti-tax tea party protests in April.

    With nearly 70 Republican operatives and former oil industry spokesmen working behind the scenes of AFP’s various fronts and disclosures that point to ever increasing oil and corporate donations to the group, one must wonder, who is guiding this massive front group factory? The answer is Tim Phillips, the President of AFP who has built a long career of inventing fake grassroots causes. In Phillips’ official biography, there appears to be over a 10 year gap — but that period was when Phillips developed his very first astroturf groups to do everything from smearing his opponents with anti-Semitic attacks to laundering money for criminal lobbyists.

  81. From Think Progress (10/16/2009)
    Maddow Calls Out Americans for Prosperity President: ‘Parasite Who Gets Fat On Americans’ Fears’
    By Lee Fang
    http://thinkprogress.org/2009/10/16/afp-corporate-parasites/

    Excerpt:
    In May, the Wonk Room first reported on the sordid history of Republican operative Tim Phillips — who now heads the front group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) — with respect to his long history of orchestrating “grassroots” lobbying efforts for nefarious corporate and political clients. For example, Phillips helped run a “religious and pro-family” campaign for Enron’s largely successful attempt to achieve energy deregulation policies, and in another campaign used anti-Semitic attacks against Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) during Cantor’s first run for Congress.

    Last night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow called Phillips out for using deceptive tactics and fear in his campaigns, noting in particular his role in creating the ads which portrayed former Sen. Max Cleland (D-GA) — a triple amputee and Vietnam war veteran — as a terrorist sympathizer. Phillips stood by every single example of his work for his Republican and corporate clients, adding that he indeed does believe Cleland didn’t have the “courage to lead on the war on terror.”

    Maddow extracted confessions from Phillips that he had in fact worked for a Jack Abramoff client to pressure members of Congress to vote against legislation that would have made the U.S. commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands — where Chinese workers were forced into prostitution and mandatory abortions — subject to federal wage and worker safety laws. Even given the deplorable conditions at the sweatshops, Phillips was unrepentant. “I don’t have an issue with it,” said Phillips, adding, “I’m not going to disown it.”

    Phillips defended his methods with a curious argument. He disregarded the morals of his tactics, then explained that no matter what his organization says, who funds them, and how they operate, he and his corporate backers have every right to be “involved in the process.” Maddow conceded that point, but asserted that AFP’s fear-mongering and lying is simply bad for the country:

    MADDOW: And I have to tell you, because we’re making this about you and me, is that I personally think that you and the folks who do what you do are a parasite who gets fat on Americans’ fears.

    AFP, which was founded and is currently funded by David Koch of the Koch Industries oil refining empire, maintains a variety of mini-front groups to attack progressive labor efforts, clean energy legislation, and most recently, health reform. AFP places multimillion dollar ad buys knocking reform, employs dozens of high level Republican operatives planning “grassroots” events, and rents buses crisscrossing the country to shuttle anti-reform speakers to their rallies.

  82. Elaine,

    Been gone all weekend so just now catching up. Much reading to do before commenting. Thanks for starting a new thread and for all the in-depth research you are doing.

    I am now going to starting following the links, watching the vids and reading the comments.

    Atta Girl! :)

  83. From Energy Boom
    KOCH INDUSTRIES DONATES $1 MILLION TO PROP 23 EFFORT TO KILL CALIFORNIA CLIMATE LAW
    BY EBOOM CONTRIBUTOR ON SEPTEMBER 3, 2010
    http://wind.energyboom.com/policy/koch-industries-donates-1-million-prop-23-effort-kill-california-climate-law

    Excerpt:
    David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers bankrolling the front groups behind the Tea Party and climate denial movement, have added another ’cause’ to their philanthropic endeavors, donating $1 million to the Proposition 23 fight to kill California’s landmark 2006 climate change legislation.

    Koch subsidiary Flint Hills Resources LP handled the laundry duties on this one, but the directive surely came from the heads of the Kochtopus empire – billionaires David and Charles Koch.

    The Kochs have found themselves under an uncomfortable spotlight lately after a thorough investigation by The New Yorker revealed the brothers’ extensive funding of a network of groups that catapulted the ‘grassroots’ Tea Party into play, as well as their financial backing of a sprawling network of climate denier groups that makes even ExxonMobil blush.

    The Los Angeles Times blog ‘Greenspace’ first reported Flint Hills Resources donation towards the Proposition 23 bill last night, noting that the effort was launched by two other oil industry players, Texas-based refinery companies Valero Energy and Tesoro Corp.

    The Kochs have lost much of the anonymity they enjoyed over the past several decades in the political world. Ever since David Koch’s disastrous performance in the 1980 elections when he bought his way onto the Libertarian Party’s ticket as Vice Pr

  84. Extraordinary work Elaine, thank you very much.

    Two things are obvious, the MSM are superfluous and the Congressional Democrats and the President have made themselves superfluous with their absence from this fight.

    There is right now a budget battle raging in Washington over the nations budget. The House has purposely dicked around for 2 full months with distracting, culture-war legislation instead of a budget or jobs programs and the Democrats have remained silent. We now have a two week window to pass a continuing resolution or a budget in order to keep much of the government functioning.

    The Republicans in the House have played these game in order to serve up a last minute continuing resolution for a two week period that has many draconian cuts to social and regulatory programs and they want it passed in a last minute, crisis atmosphere. If it’s passed The time crunch is transfered to the Senate and the same game goes on. The cuts in whatever is passed will be the departure point for even deeper cuts in the actual proposed budget and that too will be debated and passed in a last minute, crisis atmosphere.

    It’s how all important, taxpayer raping legislation is passed. People will vote and tell us later that they didn’t have time to read it as they did with the bailout and the healthcare legislation.

    But here’s what I don’t understand. Wisconsin is IMO the perfect departure point for a unified and relentless push-back by Democrats and the President against the Republican economic agenda at the national level. Democrats couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity yet they not only haven’t taken the two weeks of basic economic conflict and used it as the daily example of Republican greed and hatred for the working class, they seem to have hidden from it.

    Wisconsin is the perfect, tailor made fulcrum for the Democrats to lever not only the public’s perception over the national budget but to (try to) demand concessions from the Republicans over programs that benefit working families and the working class in general including job stimulus legislation. Wisconsin, a decent wage, a strong retirement and health coverage, increased jobs and decent education as a right should be the lead story at every days press briefing from the White House. Yet it’s not. The Democrats aren’t touching it.

    And neither are the Republicans that I’ve read. These events seem to be hands off at the national level. One would think that the Democrats have the most to lose if the public unions are destroyed so why is neither party making Wisconsin an issue?

    This is an excellent site for union coverage numbers, use the left hand column to find excel and html lists of union membership by type within states and metro areas:

    http://www.unionstats.com/

  85. From PRWatch
    A CMD Special Report: Scott Walker Runs on Koch Money
    http://www.prwatch.org/news/2011/02/9964/cmd-special-report-scott-walker-runs-koch-money

    Excerpt:
    Americans for Prosperity’s Investment in Scott Walker

    Notably, Americans for Prosperity bragged that it was going to spend nearly $50 million across the country in the November elections. As one of the groups exploiting the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision to allow unlimited spending by corporations to influence election outcomes, it does not disclose its donors and it does not report its expenditures on so-called “issue ads.” It did run such ads in Wisconsin last fall.

    Americans for Prosperity has actively supported and promoted Scott Walker in a variety of ways. It featured him at its tea party rally in Wisconsin in September 2009, when he was running for the Republican nomination for governor. Americans for Prosperity also ran millions of dollars in ads on a “spending crisis” (a crisis it did not run ads against when Republicans were spending the multi-billion dollar budget surplus into a multi-trillion dollar deficit), and it selected Wisconsin as one of the states for those ads in the months before the election. It also funded a “spending revolt” tour in Wisconsin last fall through its state “chapter.”

    Just how much money has Americans for Prosperity and its Wisconsin counterpart spent on issue ads or promoting Walker over the past two years is one of the questions for this weekend’s orchestrated “Stand with Walker” event.

    The Return on Investment?

    Some things are known, though. Koch money helped get Scott Walker the governor’s seat in Wisconsin. And now a major Koch-related group is spearheading the defense of Walker’s radical plan to kill public employees’ right to organize in Wisconsin. The question is whether an actual majority of Wisconsin citizens want two of the richest men in the world, who do not live here — and who, as Lee Fang has pointed out, have eliminated jobs in this state — to be playing such an influential role in the rights of working people here.

    The Kochs assert that they do not “direct” the activities of Americans for Prosperity or the Tea Party. No, they just fuel them with their riches from the oil business they inherited from their daddy.

    And they did not vote for Scott Walker in the traditional sense in a democracy. Rather, as the Republican Governors Association spells out, they “invested” in him.

    What is the return desired for their investment? It looks like the first dividend Walker wants to pay, through the help of the Koch-subsidized cheerleaders from Americans for Prosperity, is a death knell for unions and the rights of workers to organize. But tens of thousands of Wisconsin citizens have stood up this week to say this ROI will not be paid, that their rights will not be the price Walker exacts from them in return for the largess the Kochs have shown him as the anointed instrument of their agenda in this state.

  86. Koch Brothers’ latest acquisition: Wisconsin
    Sentinel & Enterprise
    Posted: 02/28/2011
    http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/opinion/ci_17501210

    Excerpt:
    But here’s what the mainstream media will never tell you. If workers have already agreed to his budget demands, why is Gov. Walker stubbornly insisting on breaking the backs of the unions? Because that’s what the Koch brothers told him to do. And, in Wisconsin, as well as many other states, what the Koch brothers want, the Koch brothers get. And they’re willing to pay handsomely for it.

    Remember the names Charles G. and David H. Koch, because you’re going to hear a lot more about them. By day, they are major polluters, heads of the energy and consumer products conglomerate Koch Brothers, based in Wichita, Kansas. By night, they are one of the most powerful and secretive forces in American politics — whose stated goal is to get rid of all government regulation. They have, in fact, used a big chunk of their oil money to found and fuel a right-wing political machine so vast, so widespread, and so influential that it’s known in political circles as the “Kochtopus.”

    Like any self-respecting octopus, the Koch boys operate with many tentacles, their principal one a faux-grassroots, corporate-funded organization called Americans for Prosperity. In 2009 and 2010, AFP provided most of the funding for tea party rallies nationwide. They bused people to Washington to protest President Obama’s health-care reform and global warming legislation. They paid for buses to Glenn Beck’s rally at the Lincoln Memorial. They put up the money for Proposition 23, an unsuccessful effort to overturn California’s strict climate change laws. And, all the while, they fueled a relentless series of vicious, personal attacks on President Obama.

    The Kochtopus was also active at the state level, supporting Republican candidates for governor who would embrace their anti-government agenda. And they found their poster boy in Scott Walker, always willing to dance to the Koch brothers’ tune — and take their call, even when it’s fake.

    Because of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, allowing unlimited and unreported corporate campaign contributions, it’s impossible to trace all the money the Kochs poured into Wisconsin. But we do know that Koch Industries was Walker’s second-biggest contributor. Their PAC gave $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, which spent $4.3 million attacking Walker’s opponent. The Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council advised Walker on his union-busting legislation. And Koch Industries have opened their own lobbyist office in Madison.

    But don’t say Scott Walker isn’t grateful. Buried deep inside the governor’s so-called “budget repair” bill is a totally unrelated provision allowing no-bid sales of state-owned heating, cooling, and power plants. And, in Wisconsin, guess who’s the leading customer for buying power plants? Koch Industries.

    Follow the money. In Wisconsin, it leads to Charles and David Koch.

  87. Think Progress (9/27/2011)
    Koch-Funded Book Argues Against Mine Safety Laws In West Virginia
    By Lee Fang
    http://thinkprogress.org/2010/09/27/koch-mine-safety/

    Paul Nyden, writing in the Charleston Gazette this Sunday, revealed that Koch Industries — the massive conglomerate of oil, chemical, manufacturing, timber, hedge fund, coal, and shipping interests run by the right-wing ideologues David and Charles Koch — has seeded West Virginia with several conservative front groups. Koch foundations provide the cash for anti-government efforts in the Mountain State, including a right-wing “think tank” called the Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia and for free-market faculty members at West Virginia University. Nyden notes that Russell Sobel, a local economist whose research and writing has been underwritten by Koch fronts, argues against the minimum wage and against mine safety laws:

    Sobel also works closely with the Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia, the Morgantown think tank which published his book, “Unleashing Capitalism: Why Prosperity Stops at the West Virginia Border and How to Fix It,” in 2007. The Sobel book is a collection of 12 essays, arguing that government regulations hurt West Virginia’s economy. One essay questions the value of “mandated” mine safety laws, stating government regulations may increase accident rates.

    The Koch-funded think tank recently started a phony news service in West Virginia, called the “West Virginia Watchdog.” Americans for Prosperity, the fake grassroots group founded and financed by David Koch, has been running television ads in West Virginia attacking progressive reforms. David and Charles Koch, each worth $21.5 billion, have postured as great philanthropists, slapping their names on New York opera houses and the private prep school David attended, Deerfield Academy. But much of Koch’s wealth has been quietly spent lobbying against consumer protections, environmental regulations, and other efforts to erode the ability for Americans to provide accountability to powerful corporations. As the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer reported, Koch lobbied aggressively to prevent the EPA from “classifying formaldehyde, which the company produces in great quantities, as a ‘known carcinogen‘ in humans.”

  88. From NYT
    The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party
    By FRANK RICH
    Published: August 28, 2010
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/opinion/29rich.html?_r=1

    Excerpts:
    ANOTHER weekend, another grass-roots demonstration starring Real Americans who are mad as hell and want to take back their country from you-know-who. Last Sunday the site was Lower Manhattan, where they jeered the “ground zero mosque.” This weekend, the scene shifted to Washington, where the avatars of oppressed white Tea Party America, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, were slated to “reclaim the civil rights movement” (Beck’s words) on the same spot where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had his dream exactly 47 years earlier.

    Vive la révolution!

    There’s just one element missing from these snapshots of America’s ostensibly spontaneous and leaderless populist uprising: the sugar daddies who are bankrolling it, and have been doing so since well before the “death panel” warm-up acts of last summer. Three heavy hitters rule. You’ve heard of one of them, Rupert Murdoch. The other two, the brothers David and Charles Koch, are even richer, with a combined wealth exceeded only by that of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett among Americans. But even those carrying the Kochs’ banner may not know who these brothers are.

    Their self-interested and at times radical agendas, like Murdoch’s, go well beyond, and sometimes counter to, the interests of those who serve as spear carriers in the political pageants hawked on Fox News. The country will be in for quite a ride should these potentates gain power, and given the recession-battered electorate’s unchecked anger and the Obama White House’s unfocused political strategy, they might.

    All three tycoons are the latest incarnation of what the historian Kim Phillips-Fein labeled “Invisible Hands” in her prescient 2009 book of that title: those corporate players who have financed the far right ever since the du Pont brothers spawned the American Liberty League in 1934 to bring down F.D.R. You can draw a straight line from the Liberty League’s crusade against the New Deal “socialism” of Social Security, the Securities and Exchange Commission and child labor laws to the John Birch Society-Barry Goldwater assault on J.F.K. and Medicare to the Koch-Murdoch-backed juggernaut against our “socialist” president.

    Only the fat cats change — not their methods and not their pet bugaboos (taxes, corporate regulation, organized labor, and government “handouts” to the poor, unemployed, ill and elderly). Even the sources of their fortunes remain fairly constant. Koch Industries began with oil in the 1930s and now also spews an array of industrial products, from Dixie cups to Lycra, not unlike DuPont’s portfolio of paint and plastics. Sometimes the biological DNA persists as well. The Koch brothers’ father, Fred, was among the select group chosen to serve on the Birch Society’s top governing body. In a recorded 1963 speech that survives in a University of Michigan archive, he can be heard warning of “a takeover” of America in which Communists would “infiltrate the highest offices of government in the U.S. until the president is a Communist, unknown to the rest of us.” That rant could be delivered as is at any Tea Party rally today.

    **********

    When David Koch ran to the right of Reagan as vice president on the 1980 Libertarian ticket (it polled 1 percent), his campaign called for the abolition not just of Social Security, federal regulatory agencies and welfare but also of the F.B.I., the C.I.A., and public schools — in other words, any government enterprise that would either inhibit his business profits or increase his taxes. He hasn’t changed. As Mayer details, Koch-supported lobbyists, foundations and political operatives are at the center of climate-science denial — a cause that forestalls threats to Koch Industries’ vast fossil fuel business. While Koch foundations donate to cancer hospitals like Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York, Koch Industries has been lobbying to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from classifying another product important to its bottom line, formaldehyde, as a “known carcinogen” in humans (which it is).

    Tea Partiers may share the Kochs’ detestation of taxes, big government and Obama. But there’s a difference between mainstream conservatism and a fringe agenda that tilts completely toward big business, whether on Wall Street or in the Gulf of Mexico, while dismantling fundamental government safety nets designed to protect the unemployed, public health, workplace safety and the subsistence of the elderly.

    Yet inexorably the Koch agenda is morphing into the G.O.P. agenda, as articulated by current Republican members of Congress, including the putative next speaker of the House, John Boehner, and Tea Party Senate candidates like Rand Paul, Sharron Angle, and the new kid on the block, Alaska’s anti-Medicaid, anti-unemployment insurance Palin protégé, Joe Miller. Their program opposes a federal deficit, but has no objection to running up trillions in red ink in tax cuts to corporations and the superrich; apologizes to corporate malefactors like BP and derides money put in escrow for oil spill victims as a “slush fund”; opposes the extension of unemployment benefits; and calls for a freeze on federal regulations in an era when abuses in the oil, financial, mining, pharmaceutical and even egg industries (among others) have been outrageous.

    The Koch brothers must be laughing all the way to the bank knowing that working Americans are aiding and abetting their selfish interests. And surely Murdoch is snickering at those protesting the “ground zero mosque.” Last week on “Fox and Friends,” the Bush administration flacks Dan Senor and Dana Perino attacked a supposedly terrorism-tainted Saudi prince whose foundation might contribute to the Islamic center. But as “The Daily Show” keeps pointing out, these Fox bloviators never acknowledge that the evil prince they’re bashing, Walid bin Talal, is not only the biggest non-Murdoch shareholder in Fox News’s parent company (he owns 7 percent of News Corporation) and the recipient of Murdoch mammoth investments in Saudi Arabia but also the subject of lionization elsewhere on Fox.

  89. Exclusive: Polluter Billionaire David Koch Says Tea Party ‘Rank And File Are Just Normal People Like Us’
    By Lee Fang (1/6/2011)
    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/01/06/koch-teaparty-us/

    Excerpts:
    Yesterday, David Koch — one of the richest men in America, co-owner of the conglomerate Koch Industries, and a top financier of right-wing front groups — attended the swearing-in ceremony for Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and also hosted a party for the new Republican majority he helped bankroll.

    Perhaps no one has been more aggressive in exposing Koch’s activities than ThinkProgress. We first reported in April 2009 that Americans for Prosperity, the front group founded and chaired by Koch since 1984, helped orchestrate many of the first Tea Party rallies and anti-Obama protests. ThinkProgess also unearthed a memo detailing how Koch convened a meeting of executives from Wall Street and the oil industry — along with hate talker Glenn Beck and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — to plan how to win the November elections for Republicans in 2010.

    **********

    It’s interesting that Koch, who inherited his wealth from his father’s oil company and is now worth $21.5 billion dollars, considers himself just another “normal” Tea Party member. Despite the myth that the Tea Party represents some kind of “spontaneous” uprising of middle class voters, many of the drivers of the movement come from America’s wealthy elite. Millionaire Steve Forbes and corporate lobbyist Dick Armey own the other significant Tea Party organizing group, FreedomWorks. Cliff Asness, a wealthy hedge fund manager who attended several Republican planning meetings and Koch’s secret meeting last June, considers himself a card-carrying member of the Tea Party movement.

    Despite the Tea Party veneer, Koch and other wealthy businessmen have a self-interested reason to invest in anti-government movements and Republican politicians. Koch funneled large amounts of donations into electing George Bush in 2000 (even sending Koch-linked lobbyists to help disrupt the Florida recount). At the time, Koch Industries faced 97-count federal indictment charging it with concealing illegal releases of 91 metric tons of benzene, known to cause leukemia, from its refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas. When Bush took office, his Justice Department dropped 88 of the charges and settled the case for a small amount of money. As the Wall Street Journal reported, Koch front groups largely dictated Bush’s environmental regulatory policy and Koch lobbyists gained appointments to key environmental regulatory position in the administration.

    Although Bush is gone, Koch still flexes his muscle over major policy issues in the Obama era. Americans for Prosperity, leveraging its large budget and over 80 campaign operatives, coordinated Tea Party protests to kill clean energy reform (Koch Industries is a major oil company and is still one of the worst polluters in America), pass tax cuts for the rich, and to slow down financial reform (Koch Industries is also very active in the unregulated derivatives market). Koch’s vast network of front groups are also credited with successfully distorting the public’s understanding of climate change.

  90. Exclusive: Tea Party Billionaire David Koch Denies Climate Change, Shrugs Off His Carbon Pollution
    By Lee Fang (1/7/2011)
    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/01/07/koch-interview-global-warming/

    Koch Industries — the largest private corporation in America — thrives on emitting carbon pollution and other forms of pollution for free. Much of Koch Industries’ $120 billion-a-year revenues are derived from burning fossil fuels: oil refineries and pipelines, chemical plants, fertilizer plants, manufacturing factories, and the shipping of coal. Moreover, Koch Industries owns Georgia Pacific, one of the largest timber companies, so Koch also contributes to global warming by decreasing the world’s carbon sink capacity. The National Academy of Sciences, the US Global Change Research Program, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have all come to the same conclusion: “that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use and the loss of carbon-sink capacity in heavily timbered forests are increasing temperatures and making oceans more acidic.” Corporate documents revealed by ThinkProgress show that Koch Industries explicitly targeted laws to reduce carbon emissions as a threat to Koch’s bottom line.

    To boost their profits, Koch is the largest funder of climate change denying organizations and media outlets in the world. For example, Koch bankrolls denier groups like the CATO Institute, Fraser Institute, Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment, the Manhattan Institute, the Marshall Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the State Policy Network, and dozens of others. Not only have Koch fronts instructed Tea Party groups to kill national legislation to address climate change, but Koch groups have been instrumental in pushing climate change-believers out of the Republican Party. As the Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson has detailed, the vast majority of new Republicans in Congress are “climate zombies.” Koch Industries is so fervently anti-climate science that it recently filed a lawsuit claiming that a belief in global warming damages its reputation.

    Koch’s active role in Republican politics and multifaceted propaganda campaigns are almost always tied to Koch Industries’ business interests. Koch’s assistance to then-Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS) resulted in special legislation to exempt Koch from prosecution regarding an oil spill, and Koch’s efforts to elect President Bush were rewarded with a virtual pardon of charges related to Koch’s release of carcinogenic chemicals in Texas. Koch groups also worked to derail international climate negotiations in Copenhagen, and Koch-funded groups helped spread the myth that hacked e-mails from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit somehow disputed the scientific consensus on climate change.

    Of course, Koch’s current war on climate science is not new. As we first reported, Koch’s current campaign to distort the public’s understanding of global warming is a continuation of its campaign in 1990 to spread skepticism about acid rain. However, Koch’s hidden role in the climate denying machine is beginning to unravel.

  91. Aww, how cute. Rick Scott’s defending his pal,
    Scott Walker. With lies, of course:

    “Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s amazing reality distortion field
    Taxes are too high, says the governor, and public sector union workers are getting too good a deal. He’s wrong
    By Andrew Leonard
    AP
    Gov. Rick ScottMost Republican governors, leery of the strong negative reaction in Wisconsin to Scott Walker’s provocative attack on public sector union collective bargaining rights, have steered away from enthusiastically endorsing him.

    But not Florida’s Rick Scott! In a preview of an interview to be televised this weekend on “Political Capital With Al Hunt,” published by Bloomberg, the governor, fresh off his high-profile cancellation of a high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando, effusively backed Walker’s union-busting initiative.

    He said Florida would be better off if public employees couldn’t form unions and that it’s unfair to taxpayers that state workers don’t contribute to their pensions.

    “Our state workers don’t pay for anything into their pension plan. And we can’t afford that — it’s not fair to taxpayers,” Scott said. “If you didn’t have collective bargaining, would it be better for the state? Absolutely.”

    Now seems like a good time to outsource some rage to David Cay Johnston, the former New York Times reporter and tax expert. On Thursday, Johnston lambasted “deeply flawed coverage” of Walker’s pension fund rhetoric for fundamentally misrepresenting the truth about public sector worker pensions. According to Johnston, “out of every dollar that funds Wisconsin’s pension and health insurance plans for state workers, 100 cents comes from the state workers.”

    How can that be? Because the “contributions” consist of money that employees chose to take as deferred wages — as pensions when they retire — rather than take immediately in cash. The same is true with the health care plan. If this were not so a serious crime would be taking place, the gift of public funds rather than payment for services.

    Thus, state workers are not being asked to simply “contribute more” to Wisconsin’s retirement system (or as the argument goes, “pay their fair share” of retirement costs as do employees in Wisconsin’ s private sector who still have pensions and health insurance). They are being asked to accept a cut in their salaries so that the state of Wisconsin can use the money to fill the hole left by tax cuts and reduced audits of corporations in Wisconsin.

    The labor agreements show that the pension plan money is part of the total negotiated compensation. The key phrase, in those agreements I read (emphasis added), is: “The Employer shall contribute on behalf of the employee.” This shows that this is just divvying up the total compensation package, so much for cash wages, so much for paid vacations, so much for retirement, etc.

    The entire column is very much worth reading.

    But Scott’s misrepresentation of what’s really going on with public sector workers is hardly the only whopper in his interview. He also went after President Obama:

    Scott, 58, in Washington for a weekend meeting of the National Governors Association, criticized President Barack Obama’s performance, saying he hasn’t shifted toward the center since the November elections cost Democrats control of the House and shrank their Senate majority.

    “What’s changed?” Scott said. “We still have ridiculously high taxes. We’re walking into a $1.6 trillion deficit.”

    It’s hard to know where to start.. One of Obama’s biggest legislative “achievements” since the November election was a tax cut deal with Republicans that lowered taxes. Federal taxes now account for only 14.8 percent of GDP, the lowest mark since the presidency of Harry Truman.

    Florida is going to have a lot of fun with Rick Scott as its governor for the next four years.

    Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21. More: Andrew Leonard
    http://www.salon.com/technology/how_the_world_works/index.html?story=/tech/htww/2011/02/25/rick_scott_joins_the_scott_walker_fan_club&source=newsletter&utm_source=contactology&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Salon_Daily%2520Newsletter%2520%2528Not%2520Premium%2529_7_30_110

  92. Fulfilling Father’s Campaign To Segregate Public Schools, Koch Groups End Successful Integration Program In NC
    By Lee Fang (1/12/2011)
    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/01/12/koch-segregation/

    Excerpt:
    Today in the Washington Post, reporter Stephanie McCrummen detailed how a right-wing campaign in the Wake County area of North Carolina has taken over the school board with a pledge to end a very successful socio-economic integration plan. The integration plan, which created thriving schools in poor African-American parts of the school district along with achieving diversity in schools located in wealthy white enclaves, was a model for the nation. However, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the Tea Party group founded and funded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, worked with local right-wing financier (and AFP board member) Art Pope to fundamentally change Wake County’s school board:

    In their quest to end the diversity policy, the frustrated parents have found some influential partners, among them retail magnate and Republican operative Art Pope. Following his guidance, the GOP fielded the victorious bloc of school board candidates who railed against “forced busing.” The nation’s largest tea party organizers, Americans for Prosperity – on whose national board Pope sits – cast the old school board members as arrogant “leftists.” Two libertarian think tanks, which Pope funds almost exclusively, have deployed experts on TV and radio.

  93. Exclusive: David Koch Refuses To Answer Questions About Citizens United, Secret Right-Wing Meetings
    By Lee Fang (1/10/2011)
    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/01/10/citizens-united-koch/

    Excerpt:
    Koch has long sought to expand his influence and the influence of other right-wing plutocrats by funding groups that have chipped away at campaign finance laws and disclosure laws for decades. When the Supreme Court took up the Citizens United case, Koch-funded front groups filed a series of amicus briefs arguing that unlimited corporate money in politics is protected by the First Amendment. For example, the Cato Institute, founded and financed by the Koch brothers, submitted a brief that called for “unfettered” corporate “speech” and the Institute for Justice, founded and financed by David’s brother Charles, submitted a brief claiming that campaign finance laws prohibiting unlimited corporate money “trump the First Amendment.” Koch-funded groups later lobbied aggressively to oppose efforts to provide transparency for the new tidal wave of corporate spending.

    As ThinkProgress has covered extensively, the Citizens United case opened the floodgates for corporate money. Corporations funneled hundreds of millions of dollars into nonprofit groups to anonymously run attack ads against Democrats last fall. Koch’s own Americans for Prosperity group ran $40 million dollars in direct attacks, but also hired over 80 operatives to orchestrate pro-Republican Tea Parties across the country.

    The Koch-elected Republican Congress and Koch-orchestrated Tea Party is well documented, but Koch’s relationship with the Supreme Court is more mysterious. As ThinkProgress reported, the Koch brothers have convened secret meetings for years with corporate leaders and right-wing partisans. We obtained a memo detailing the last meeting, in June of 2010, which was attended by executives from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Glenn Beck, and a large group of businessmen (including major hedge fund managers, the CEO of Bechtel, oil billionaire Phil Anschutz, and others). The memo also indicated that Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia have been featured at Koch meetings in the past. Scalia and Thomas, who maintains a close working relationship with Koch-funded front groups, of course supported the Citizens United decision.

    In the first interview we published with Koch, he was excited about doing more political work. “We’re going to do more too in the next couple of years,” he boasted about Americans for Prosperity. Americans for Prosperity has led the way in whipping up paranoid right-wing Tea Parties and purchasing partisan attack ads on television. If the post-Citizens United midterm elections were any indication of the future, Koch’s influence will only grow.

  94. raff,

    The Kochs’ have a carbon bigfoot print… or, in the words of the Ghostbusters, ‘That’s a big twinkie.’ ;-)

    It seems that the Koch brothers have been doing this for quite some time – I’m curious as to why it is coming to light now. Is it because they overreached? Because of how journalism has changed? Because they took on the unions? Because they showed their had in co-opting the tea party? I’d never heard of the Koch brothers before Rachel Maddow started talking about them on her show (a year or so ago?) – now their names are plastered all over protest signs in Madison and across the country. What changed? Or has it just been the necessary time for the natural evolution of journalism in the wake of the Citizen’s United decision? (the first tentative antibodies starting to fight the contagion of that toxic decision…)

  95. Slarti,

    Not to answer for raff, but I think I have some answers for your questions and I too will use a “Ghostbusters” quote.

    “Yes. Have some.”

  96. Thanks Buddha! I could never say it as well as you do! :)
    Slarts,
    I think the real answer is a mixture of some of the suggestions that you raised. The internet makes it easier to track people and organizations down and they have been a little bolder in their public appearances and comments. The big fights that they are involved in now also raises the stakes and people dig deeper in looking at these important issues.

  97. Slarti,

    Lee Fang of Think Progress and Jane Mayer have done some excellent investigative journalism in the past year. They’ve uncovered a lot of information about the Koch Brothers, their dealings, and their front groups. Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbemann, and Cenk Uygur have done some segments about them on their shows.
    I think the stories about Justices Scalia and Thomas having spoken at Koch- sponsored conferences really helped to get people more interested in what the billionaire brothers have been up to behind the scenes. I think more people are starting to connect the dots. That prank phone call didn’t hurt either!

  98. My nieces and nephew attend Wake County schools. My sister chose to move to Cary, NC specifically because of the schools (and it’s distance from the great white north…). She and most of the parents she knows were against resegregation, but it’s hard to fight billionaires…

    Buddha, the next time the Koch brothers ask you if you’re a god, you tell them, “YES”!

    Raff,

    I think that it is useful to look at why these things (by which I mean the Koch brothers and their army of Koch-suckers) are coming to light now when trying to determine the best strategies and tactics to fight them. Identifying them was a necessary first step, but now we need to gather as much information as possible about who they are and what they’re doing (both of which Elaine has done yeoman’s work on…) as well as what they’ve done and how it has led to this point in order to identify their vulnerabilities. If I’m wrong, we go to jail – peacefully, quietly. We’ll enjoy it. But if I’m right, and we can stop this thing, Rafflaw, you will have saved the lives of millions of registered voters…

  99. rafflaw,

    “Stamford,
    Rick Scott is another guy we should have on the radar. The author is correct that Florida is in for some tough sledding the next four years.”

    Well, it’s not like the citizens of FL didn’t know beforehand that Scott’s as crooked as they come. While I do feel sorry for the liberals and progressives there, the rest are only reaping what they’ve sown.

    How long before buyer’s remorse? I start the pool with $20 on six months …

  100. I know this is waaaaaaaay off topic but since we’re discussing greedy billionaires, I thought injecting a little humor at one of the “haves” is appropriate:

  101. Slarts,
    Amen to what you said. The Koch Brothers are on a tear to bring the country fully under the thumb of big corporations and the wealthy. They are a walking advertisement why we should return to a 70% tax rate for the uber wealthy.
    Stamford,
    does Florida have a recall law for their governors?

  102. Elaine,

    I think the key now is to continue gathering momentum – sunlight may be the best disinfectant, but we’re trying to beat a cancer, not just a few germs. In my opinion, the biggest danger right now is the fickle attention span of the American public – and the media that panders to it. I think this is a ‘United we stand, divided we fall’ moment for liberals (and moderates – sane conservatives, too…) – if this could be a catalyst to get the left and the center working together then hopefully it can lead to the kind of change necessary to repair the damage done by Citizen’s United and stop the Koch agenda…

  103. Slarti,

    “In my opinion, the biggest danger right now is the fickle attention span of the American public – and the media that panders to it.”

    The media itself has a fickle attention span–maybe a shorter attention span than that of the average American. There are more important stories than those about the Koch brothers, union busting, our two wars, etc. You know–stories about Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, people from the Jersey Shore.

  104. OS,
    those were some great pictures!
    Elaine,
    Great work as usual on the Rachel Maddow clip. The Koch Brothers are like an octupus with their tentacles going everywhere.

  105. “the only thing he believed in was a government that protected indivdual rights.”

    That pretty much is what the Constitution is all about, isnt it?

    So we dont want the government concerned with that little irratation? And the stupid bitch said it with a straight face.

    And all of you worry about the Kochs? That women above and people who think like she does are more an enemy of liberty than the Kochs could ever hope to be.

  106. rafflaw,

    No, Florida does not have a recall law. The legislature can impeach Scott, but as it stands right now, Florida citizens are screwed until 2014.

  107. Moar,

    Lol – a little testy, sport? Gee, Ms. Maddow must have touched one of your exposed and fragile nerves.

  108. Moar,

    I can only hope more and more people will become as adept at Koch-blocking as Dr. Maddow. In my opinion she is one of the best journalists on the TV machine right now. If all you can come up with to discredit her is a straw man based on a misinterpretation of what she said, then it speaks volumes to her quality and your lack of the same…

  109. A heart warming story!

    Excerpt:

    “Andy Kroll, TomDispatch: “The call reportedly arrived from Cairo. Pizza for the protesters, the voice said. It was Saturday, February 20th, and by then Ian’s Pizza on State Street in Madison, Wisconsin, was overwhelmed. One employee had been assigned the sole task of answering the phone and taking down orders. And in they came, from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, from Morocco, Haiti, Turkey, Belgium, Uganda, China, New Zealand, and even a research station in Antarctica. More than 50 countries around the globe. Ian’s couldn’t make pizza fast enough, and the generosity of distant strangers with credit cards was paying for it all.”

    http://www.truth-out.org/cairo-wisconsin-eating-egyptian-pizza-downtown-madison68111

  110. Moar/Roam, or whatever sockpuppet name you want to go by. I wish the Professor had a hide rating button like some blogs. The sexism alone is worth an HR.

    You seem to have lost your way. RedState is over that way >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  111. Stamford and Slarts,
    I think moar is getting heat from his employers!
    Elaine,
    $100 million! Wow. That is outrageous. I wonder how much unofficial money and services have been “donated”?

  112. rafflaw,

    “I think moar is getting heat from his employers!”

    Methinks someone is just about ready to go nucular!

  113. Friday morning after the Assembly vote to approve Governor Scott Walker’s budget repair bill Democrat State Rep. Gordon Hintz turned to Republican Rep. Michelle Litjens and said: “You are F***king dead!”
    620 WTMJ reported:

    State Rep. Gordon Hintz was issued a municipal citation in Appleton earlier this month for violating a city sexual misconduct ordinance.

    Appleton police said the citation was issued Feb. 10 in conjunction with an ongoing investigation of Heavenly Touch Massage Parlor, 342 W. Wisconsin Ave., in Appleton. Police searched the business and a nearby residence in the 1300 block of North Division Street Jan. 28, after investigators had staked out the properties for several days after receiving a tip.

    Last Friday…. after the Assembly voted to engross the Budget Repair Bill, Hintz turned to a female colleague, Rep. Michelle Litjens and said: “You are F***king dead!”

    Hintz was arrested for sexual misconduct earlier in the week in a prostitution sting.

    http://www.620wtmj.com/shows/charliesykes/117064153.html?blog=y

  114. Stamford Liberal,

    I like to address her as ‘Dr. Maddow’, both because everyone deserves to have the titles they’ve earned acknowledged and because I think that formal signs of respect for those they’ve cast as evil piss people like Moar off…

    Raff,

    I don’t think that the agents of the Koch brothers can effectively do their job if their identities (as agent provocateurs – not their actual identities) and tactics are exposed. It doesn’t matter whether or not Moar is getting paid by the Koch brothers – it’s using disingenuous tactics in acting as an apologist for them so it is clearly their agent.

  115. On the other hand, knowing a troll is a troll defeats the purpose of their trolling – namely to propagate a false and/or damaging meme.

  116. Bdaman: That video has been up for a couple of days. The person shown has been exposed as an agent provocateur. In other words, either a Republican or Koch plant, not a real union guy. This is part of the right wing disinformation effort that has been discussed here.

  117. I was not talking about Rachel Maddow, she seems like a decent though misguided individual.

    I was talking about the person she was interviewing.

  118. That Moar is a lunatic, set the hounds onto him.

    Can you say trust busitng? Lets turn that Big Koch into a bunch of little pricks.

  119. Slartibartfast,

    “Stamford Liberal,

    I like to address her as ‘Dr. Maddow’, both because everyone deserves to have the titles they’ve earned acknowledged and because I think that formal signs of respect for those they’ve cast as evil piss people like Moar off…”

    Point well taken – Dr. Maddow it is!

  120. Moar,

    That “stupid bitch” that Rachel Maddow was interviewing was Jane Mayer. Mayer was a war correspondent and a foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal before she became a writer for the New Yorker. She was a winner of the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 2008. Her book “The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals” was a 2008 National Book Award Finalist. Jane Mayer has twice been a finalist for a National Magazine Award. She was also nominated twice by the Journal for a Pulitzer Prize in the feature-writing category.

  121. Moar,

    I stand corrected – it was Jane Mayer that you tried to misrepresent in a pathetic straw man attack, not Dr. Maddow. I’m sorry I misidentified the target of your toothless lies…

  122. Blouise,

    “don’t they have any “A” list dudes on tap”

    Like their celebrities, the only list the Right has is the F-List :)

  123. Elaine,
    I love it when experts on the left are denigrated by the Right no matter what their credentials are. Jane Mayer’s book the Dark Side was an excellent read. Maybe we should send a copy to moar or roam or whatever he/she is labeled next.

  124. TPMDC
    Poll: Wisconsin Voters Wouldn’t Elect Gov. Walker In Do-Over
    Jon Terbush | February 28, 2011
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/02/poll-wisconsin-voters-woudlnt-elect-gov-walker-in-do-over.php?ref=fpa

    Excerpt:
    Wisconsin voters already have buyers remorse about electing Gov. Scott Walker (R).

    In a PPP poll released Monday, a majority of registered Wisconsin voters say that in a hypothetical re-do of last year’s gubernatorial election, they would vote for Democrat Tom Barrett, whom Walker defeated in November. That finding comes as Walker continues to stand firm on his budget proposals that would strip most state public employees of long-held collective bargaining rights.

    Fifty-two percent of respondents said they would vote for Barrett if the election were held today, while 45% said they would vote for Walker. That’s almost exactly the opposite of what happened in the election, when Walker won the governorship with 52% of the vote to Barrett’s 47%.

  125. Well, I guess a Yale degree isnt what it used to be.

    regurgitating liberal tripe back to a professor isnt exactly what you would call getting an education. I guess journalistic standards arent too high anymore either.

  126. Quintus Ariolas:

    you have your math wrong, its more around 65%/35% with the lessor being people who are in favor of a free ride.

    Not all people who make under $150,000 per year are in favor of your ideas.

  127. Moar,

    Not all people who make under $150K agree with our ideas, but they would all benefit from them (as would the people making over $150K – the benefit of a stable and prosperous society would be enormous to, say, a person that has made billions of dollars from that society…). Just like everyone got a tax cut when the Bush tax cuts were extended – the Republicans just held out for a BIGGER tax cut for those making over $250K. You’re the one who’s having problems with their arithmetic – I doubt you even know what math is…

  128. Moar,

    I guess trolling isn’t what it used to be–at least judging by your comments. Of course, those who don’t have any standards often like to denigrate others. It’s usually helps to make them feel less inferior than they are.

  129. Elaine:

    I have plenty of standards, I stay away from takers.

    Most of the poor want to be poor, I grew up with them. For the most part they are a groveling mass of incompetence and stupidity. You want to save them go ahead, I have no desire to foster dependency in someone unwilling to help themselves.

    By the way you and others that think like you only want to tear people down. You have no desire to help the poor, only to denigrate achievement. The posts here prove that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

  130. Moar,
    Most of the poor want to be poor? Excuse my French, but that is just crap. The clientele here can smell that from a mile away. We are not looking to harm achievment, but we are not looking for corporations to merge with the government. Some here have lived through that or their parents have lived through that, and it won’t do anything but increase the gap between the rich and poor even more than it is now.

  131. Moar,

    You appear to be one of those people who enjoys tearing people down. I take it you’re suggesting that the union workers in Wisconsin are poor dependents who are “takers.”

    Why are you here defending the cause of two billionaire brothers?
    What have the Kochs done for you lately?

  132. Elaine sez: “What have the Kochs done for you lately??

    **************************

    Ouch! Elaine, I guess the follow-on question for Moar/Roam is, “Cash, check or direct deposit?”

  133. From Mother Jones (2/4/2011)
    The Koch Brothers’ Vast Right-Wing Media Conspiracy
    Watched any conservative programs lately? Chances are, you’ve seen an oil-funded pundit.
    — By Kate Sheppard
    http://motherjones.com/environment/2011/02/koch-brothers-media-beck-greenpeace

    Excerpt:
    Last June, Glenn Beck paused in the middle of a rant about the economy and climate on his television show for an important, if rather unexpected, aside. “I want to thank Charles Koch for this information,” he said. Beck’s statement was totally without context, thrown in amid jabs at Al Gore and endorsements of the free market. Months later, it came to light that he recently had been a guest of honor at a semiannual confab sponsored by fossil-fuel billionaire Charles Koch and his brother, David, an event the pair hosts to connect conservative think tanks, politicos, and media types like Beck.

    Koch Industries, a Kansas-based company founded in 1940 by father Fred Koch, is the second largest privately held company in America. Charles and David Koch are tied as the fifth wealthiest people in the nation, worth a combined $43 billion. Their money comes through a variety of business interests—ranching, mining, oil refining, and production of paper products, fertilizer, and chemicals. It would be an understatement to say that they have much at stake when it comes to efforts to cut climate-changing emissions.

    Indeed, the brothers have spent $31.3 million since 2005 on organizations that deny or downplay climate change, according to a forthcoming report from Greenpeace that updates its report on Koch’s climate denial work released last year. But it’s the web of media influence the Kochs have created that perhaps accounts best for their power—particularly when it comes to sowing doubt about climate change.

    Koch Industries describes its semiannual shindigs, which began in 2003, as an “opportunity for attendees and presenters to discuss ways of preserving and advancing economic freedom in the United States and to share ideas about the free-market principles that have made our country great.” The guest list for last weekend’s meeting is still under wraps, but the June 2010 event in Aspen drew a who’s who of conservative media stars; Besides Beck, there were Philip Anschutz, owner of the Examiner newspapers and the Weekly Standard; Charles Krauthammer, syndicated columnist and Weekly Standard contributor; Stephen Moore, Wall Street Journal editorial board member; and Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor for The National Review.

    Andrew Breitbart, the mastermind behind the conservative news sites Breitbart.com and Breitbart.tv, made his presence at the meeting known by rollerblading out to heckle some of the 1,500 protestors who’d gathered outside of the gate.

    The Kochs’ influence over the conservative media may be obvious at such powwows. But to the general public, it’s not always apparent that the pundits they read about in blogs and see on TV have a direct relationship to the company. So says Derek Cressman, regional director of state operations with Common Cause, the group that organized the protests outside the Koch Bros gates. “They don’t see that connection between the pundit and the fact that it’s funded by an oil company,” says Cressman. “The global warming deniers aren’t being candid that their funding is coming from people with an enormous financial stake in how we deal with climate change.”

    Take, for example, Planet Gore, the denialist blog at National Review Online. Planet Gore, along with NRO’s main blog, The Corner, regularly features guest posts by representatives of think-tanks and foundations that have benefited from the Koch’s largesse. Prime examples include Chris Horner and Ian Murray of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who have each posted hundreds of items on the site. NRO’s blogs regularly promote the institute’s work to undermine climate science, such as the lawsuit the group filed against NASA last fall for temperature records. CEI has received more than $700,000 in Koch funds over the years.

    Pat Michaels, a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute, is another regular guest blogger. Cato has received $13 million from Koch family foundations since 1998. (Michaels’ refusal to disclose how much money he’s taken from fossil fuel interests has drawn scrutiny—most recently when a senior House Democrat raised questions about whether he lied on his resume about his funding from energy interests.)

    Other guests representing Koch-funded organizations featured on National Review Online include Jim Manzi of the Manhattan Institute (which has received $1.5 million in Koch family money), Phil Kerpen of Americans for Prosperity ($5.5 million), and Jonathan Adler of the Federalist Society ($2 million).*

    The Koch brothers also spent $1 million on a ballot measure last fall to derail California’s landmark climate law, and funded groups, including the California branch of Americans for Prosperity, that were key in promoting the measure. The Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy (PRI), which has received $1.2 million in Koch money, also rallied against the climate law with a report that made extreme claims about potential job losses it would cause. The day after the report appeared, author and PRI senior fellow Benjamin Zycher appeared on the Planet Gore blog to tout it. (The ballot measure failed despite all these efforts.)

    The Kochs’ influence isn’t limited to fringe media. Krauthammer has used his Washington Post column to blast the “Church of the Environment” that believes the global warming is real, and he has appeared on Fox News to discuss why any legislation addressing climate change is “dead on arrival.”

    The Wall Street Journal has regularly offered up its opinion pages to Cato’s Michaels to bash climate scientists. The Weekly Standard, too, has provided a platform for Koch-backed organizations like the American Enterprise Institute to accuse scientists of being a “corrupt cabal of global warming alarmists.”

    For the Kochs, the millions of dollars they have invested in think tanks and electoral politics is small change. But the value of having access to media outlets that can promote the work of other projects they fund is hard to put a dollar figure on. “In addition to building their own think tanks, they built their own media,” said Kert Davies, research director at Greenpeace. “They have their own echo chamber built up, so then when they need it, when they need to amplify a message, they simply push a button and it’s there.”

    * Sentance has been rewritten for clarity.

    Kate Sheppard covers energy and environmental politics in Mother Jones’ Washington bureau.

  134. raff,

    I submit that the Koch Bros. are not just a stain on our freedom and Constitution, but on our species as well.

  135. Tangentially related:

    HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Barr Steps Down

    From the article:

    “Embattled CEO Aaron Barr says he is stepping down from his post at HBGary Federal to allow the company to move on after an embarassing data breach.

    The announcement comes three weeks after Barr became the target of a coordinated attack by members of the online mischief making group Anonymous, which hacked into HBGary Federal’s computer network and published tens of thousands of company e-mail messages on the Internet. HBGary did not respond to telephone and e-mail requests for comments on Barr’s resignation.

    In an interview with Threatpost, Barr said that he is stepping down to allow himself and the company he ran to move on in the wake of the high profile hack.
    Recommended Reads

    “I need to focus on taking care of my family and rebuilding my reputation,” Barr said in a phone interview. “It’s been a challenge to do that and run a company. And, given that I’ve been the focus of much of bad press, I hope that, by leaving, HBGary and HBGary Federal can get away from some of that. I’m confident they’ll be able to weather this storm.”

    The group conducted a preemptive strike on HBGary after Barr was quoted in a published article saying that he had identified the leadership of the group and planned to disclose their identities at the B-Sides Security Conference in San Francisco.”

  136. WSEU files unfair labor practice charge against Walker
    By Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel
    (Updated 2/28/2011)
    http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/117079073.html?page=3

    Excerpt:
    The Wisconsin State Employees Union on Monday filed an unfair labor practice charge against Gov. Scott Walker, accusing him of refusing to bargain on a new contract.

    The complaint was filed with the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission.

    “This governor has never made any attempt to contact the unions he is attacking, much less negotiate in good faith as required by law,” said Marty Beil, the union’s executive director. “Instead of trying to find real solutions to the challenges facing the state, the governor is attempting to dictate terms. This not only is ineffective, it’s against the law,” Beil said.

  137. Thanks for posting a link to that story about the suit, Elaine.

    I ran across a headline about it earlier, but couldn’t get it to open properly.

  138. Buddha,

    P.S. Thanks for the story about Aaron Barr. Did you see the segment Stephen Colbert did about him the other night on his show? Colbert also talked with Glenn Greenwald. Colbert and Stewart often have better news than the MSM.

  139. From Media Matters
    Once Again, Fox Masquerades GOP Activist As Concerned Parent To Attack Unions
    February 28, 2011
    http://mediamatters.org/blog/201102280011

    Excerpt:
    This morning, Fox & Friends hosted an “upset Wisconsin parent” to discuss her objection to Wisconsin public schools’ teaching of labor union history. Left unsaid during the segment: The parent, Amber Hahn, is also a local GOP official.

  140. rafflaw:

    “but we are not looking for corporations to merge with the government. Some here have lived through that or their parents have lived through that, and it won’t do anything but increase the gap between the rich and poor even more than it is now.”

    Your misguided policies are doing exactly what you fear. You cannot proceed down the same path and expect different results. What you and others here promote will lead to government control/in bed with corporations more than they are now.

    There is no such thing as free market socialism, it is an oxymoron or worse. Socialism by its very nature is about government control of corporations, which is nothing but fascism.
    You cannot have what you want unless you get government out of business and business out of government.

    But that is exactly what you dont want, you want government in business. You cannot have it the way you want it. What will happen is a small elite will control everything, which is exactly what is happening now.

    You want to keep government and business from controlling us? Then make business free and make them live or die in the market. Do not give them favors, do not subsidize their mistakes, refuse to pay for cotton not grown, refuse to give sugar farmers a subsidy so they sell their sugar cheaper than sugar from other countries, refuse to use ethanol, in other words give up government control of business.

    But you wont because you are your own worst enemy.

    Free market socialism is a joke, to be able to hold and firmly believe 2 contradictory concepts at the same time is a feat I hope I am never able of achieving. It is the physical equivalent of believing you can breathe underwater unaided. Maybe in science fiction but not in reality.

    The poor? Most of them are poor for a reason. Some are victims of circumstance but not many.

  141. Moar sez: “The poor? Most of them are poor for a reason. Some are victims of circumstance but not many.”

    **********************************

    And you get your data where? From what study to you find that only a minority of the poor are victims of circumstance. How many poor people do you actually know? How many villages in Appalachia have you visited where the two or three local factories have moved to some country where labor is pennies an hour, leaving the local American citizens destitute? Perhaps you ought to get out more. You obviously have a problem with reality. Or are you one of the “personas” created by the Koch minions to spread dissent and disrupt blog threads as you are doing here?

  142. Elaine M:

    The Kochs have done nothing for me personally. You libs dont like them, so I figure they must have something going for them. Anyone who steals from the government is OK by me. At least I know they are getting back some of their tax money. Seems to me fair is fair. Government steals from them so why not a little turn about?

    You do know that Robin Hood was stealing from the unproductive rich to give to the productive poor? If Robin Hood was a liberal icon he would have been taking from the productive poor to give to the unproductive rich. Which is what we have now, the productive in our society are being made to subsidize the chosen few unproductive friends of government.

    How did that government regulation work out? Their brother had to drop a dime on them.

  143. OS:

    I grew up with them, I worked with them. I know them better than you do.

    To bad for the dipsticks in Appalachia. If the business leaves go find other work somewhere else. When I couldn’t find a job where I lived, I moved and found one. Lot of people just stayed around waiting for someone to come help them.

    When you know something about the poor you come talk to me. You may feel all good inside by throwing them a bone once in awhile but it doesn’t help them, it only gives you well off white liberals a warm, comfy feeling. Maybe its to make up for the heart you don’t have. If you had a heart you wouldn’t make people dependent on government for their existence.

  144. Moar,

    “How did that government regulation work out?”

    *****

    Of what government regulation do you speak?

    So…you think it’s okay for the Kochs to steal from the government??? How much has the government stolen from the Kochs???

  145. This is making the rounds on the intertubes:

    A unionized public employee, a member of the Tea Party, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table there is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across, takes 11 cookies, looks at the tea partier, and says, “Look out for that union guy, he wants a piece of your cookie.”

  146. For humor to be truthful it has to be real:

    A unionized public employee, a member of the Tea Party, a CEO and a government representative are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table there is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The govt. rep reaches across, takes 11 cookies, gives 2 to the govt union guy and leaves one cookie on the table, looks at the govt union guy and says, “Look out for the CEO and the tea partier, they want a piece of your cookie.”

    Now its correct.

  147. Moar, since you are functionally incapable of logic, truth empathy or compassion, I am done with you. I do not typically waste time with trolls or shills anyway. Good day.

  148. Dieased mind? Now that is just funny. But then that is what the left does when it doesnt agree with someone, they must be crazy. Just read 1984.

    That comment about not having a heart hit to close to home?

  149. OS:

    I am functionally incapable of logic? You must be taking a page from the playbook of other denizens of this blog when they dont agree.

    Your assertion is facile and funny.

  150. Guess who has an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal today? Charles G. Koch!

    Why Koch Industries Is Speaking Out
    Crony capitalism and bloated government prevent entrepreneurs from producing the products and services that make people’s lives better.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704288304576170974226083178.html

    Excerpts:
    For many years, I, my family and our company have contributed to a variety of intellectual and political causes working to solve these problems. Because of our activism, we’ve been vilified by various groups. Despite this criticism, we’re determined to keep contributing and standing up for those politicians, like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who are taking these challenges seriously.

    *****
    Because every other company in a given industry is accepting market-distorting programs, Koch companies have had little option but to do so as well, simply to remain competitive and help sustain our 50,000 U.S.-based jobs. However, even when such policies benefit us, we only support the policies that enhance true economic freedom.

    **********

    Poor billionaire brothers! Why is everybody picking on them?

  151. Unions winning battle for public opinion in Wisconsin
    By Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/morning-fix/rick-perry-roundtable.html

    Excerpt:
    A plurality of people nationwide side with labor unions over Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) in the ongoing budget standoff in the Badger State, according to a new Pew Poll.

    Forty-two percent of people said they favor unions, while 31 percent take Walker’s side and another nine percent take neither side in the skirmish.

    The Pew numbers are the first credible polling since Walker introduced his budget repair bill and state Senate Democrats left the state to prevent the Republican majority from being able to pass it.

    Protests — organized by unions — have ensued with thousands of people flooding the state capitol to try to force Walker to back away from a provision in the bill that would eliminate collective bargaining for public-sector employees.

  152. “Free market socialism is a joke, to be able to hold and firmly believe 2 contradictory concepts at the same time is a feat I hope I am never able of achieving.”

    Why wouldn’t you want to emulate the economic success of Norway as reported by respected business magazine Inc.?

    “In Norway, Start-ups Say Ja to Socialism By Max Chafkin

    We venture to the very heart of the hell that is Scandinavian socialism—and find out that it’s not so bad. Pricey, yes, but a good place to start and run a company. What exactly does that suggest about the link between taxes and entrepreneurship?”

    Read the rest at: http://www.inc.com/magazine/20110201/in-norway-start-ups-say-ja-to-socialism.html

  153. “Government spending on business only aggravates the problem. Too many businesses have successfully lobbied for special favors and treatment by seeking mandates for their products, subsidies (in the form of cash payments from the government), and regulations or tariffs to keep more efficient competitors at bay.

    Crony capitalism is much easier than competing in an open market. But it erodes our overall standard of living and stifles entrepreneurs by rewarding the politically favored rather than those who provide what consumers want.”

    Now that is a good Koch. Hopefully he is hard enough to prevent liberals from beating him.

  154. And you would know “good Koch”, Moar.

    This is evidenced by what dribbles out of your mouth.

  155. Elaine M,

    “Poor billionaire brothers! Why is everybody picking on them?”

    Oh, how bad do I feel for the poor, picked on Koch Brothers. Well, they can both cry me a river and drown in it.

    Like “Justice” Thomas, the Brothers Grim are a little on the defensive … they doth protest too much, methinks

  156. Moar,

    Just don’t forget to kick the homeless person as you walk on by. To not kick the less fortunate when they are down might indicate you have, dare I say, compassion. And we CERTAINLY don’t want you to give anyone the wrong impression of you.

  157. Stam Lib:

    you and people like you have no compassion for the poor. You want to keep them perpetually poor through government programs.

    You and people like you have killed the physical body and the soul/spirit of untold millions of people.

    But keep kidding yourself that you are their defenders, there are many who know your true motives.

  158. BIL, you DIDN’T!!! You did. You dared to go there. Now that is funny, and under the circumstances, appropriate.

  159. OS,

    Muahahahaha! :mrgreen:

    Elaine,

    For the purposes of current issues, I’d have to say absolutely and unequivocally no.

  160. “I grew up with them, I worked with them. I know them better than you do.”

    Sounds like someone ashamed of their background, or so insecure that they need to believe their superiority to have inner peace.

    “When you know something about the poor you come talk to me.”

    Sour grapes, or a privileged childhood? Proof of nothing.

    “But then that is what the left does when it doesnt agree with someone, they must be crazy. Just read 1984.”

    Doesn’t say much for your reading comprehension if you think Orwell was talking about communism alone. He was anti-Nazi and anti-totalitarian. He was a democratic socialist. You know totalitarians, don’t you? Those are the leaders you long to follow.

    “Which is what we have now, the productive in our society are being made to subsidize the chosen few unproductive friends of government.”

    Taken right from Ayn Rand, inept writer of silly romantic novels. Taken by some as a philosopher because it fir their own selfish, amoral needs.

    “How did that government regulation work out?”

    Actually very well for those who believe in a free society, not controlled by the plutocracy. Started going downhill when a B movie actor pretended to be President.

    “Anyone who steals from the government is OK by me. At least I know they are getting back some of their tax money. Seems to me fair is fair. Government steals from them so why not a little turn about?”

    Spoken like a true robber baron, but probably just an underpaid hack, satisfied with its’ pittance, believing wealth will come some day.

    “Your misguided policies are doing exactly what you fear. You cannot proceed down the same path and expect different results.”

    Dripping with irony because the “path” you talk of has been trod for the past 3 decades under the control of those who decry government regulation. Loss of jobs, wage stagnation, growing inequality and a failing economy has been the result.

    “The poor? Most of them are poor for a reason. Some are victims of circumstance but not many.”

    Either it’s one of the religious zealots believing that wealth is a sign of God’s preference, or it lacks the comprehension that most people who are poor, are poor because that’s the way our economic system is contrived.

    “There is no such thing as free market socialism”

    There is no such thing as a free market and there never has been.
    The aim of business is to control the market, or game it to produce the most profit. A truly free market would scare the hell out of the major business interests today. As for the small business person, achieve a minor success and get steam roller-ed by wealthier entities.

    “Socialism by its very nature is about government control of corporations, which is nothing but fascism.”

    It must sound snappy to you, but that only exposes woeful pre-judgment in vision and/or a lack of understanding of terms.
    whether you disdain either, the disdain of socialists for fascists and vice versa is the reality. I know your ilk likes to conflate the two as a propaganda tactic, similar tactically to those developed by Goebbels, but it simply is nonsense historically. Despite the ignorant, a historical notion bandied about today that Nazi’s were socialists by name. Nazi’s were liars and deceivers by nature and “socialist” in their party name was just another version of the big lie, they were so good at. Perhaps you should sharpen your familiarity with history, rather than listening to the propaganda of deceitful and/or ignorant fools.

    I’m sorry that many regulars here have heaped contempt upon you.
    While I can understand their reasoning, given you pathetic posting, I think the contempt is misplaced. Even if you’re a troll (paid or not)you are someone to be pitied and to view with compassion. Your debating skills are limited, historical knowledge sketchy, empathy non-existent and insecurity obvious.
    In short someone who is frightened and miserable in their lives and who clings to chimera’s to keep their pain at bay.

  161. Moar,

    “you and people like you have no compassion for the poor. You want to keep them perpetually poor through government programs.”

    No, sport. You assume you know but you don’t. But that’s what happens when you allow the Rabid & Ridiculous Right to beat into the empty cavern resting atop your shoulders blatant falsehoods. See, I believe in welfare to work in order to see that those who have the will to work have the proper training to do so. But, can’t do that if there aren’t any jobs to be had, which jobs I’m waiting for John of Orange and his cohorts to create the jobs they said they’d create. I believe that I am only one individual in a community of thousands, and it is my duty in life to see that we all help each other in order for us each to excel and for our community to excel. A compassionate and fair community is a happy community. I also believe in giving our kids every opportunity to have a stellar education in order to become critical-thinking, fully functioning adults.

    “You and people like you have killed the physical body and the soul/spirit of untold millions of people.”

    Nah, that’s not right. Telling people they are lazy, no good, and enjoy living “lavish” lifestyles on unemployment and welfare just does not do a body – or mind – any good. Typically, positive reinforcement works better than kicking someone when they are down. Having the tools and programs available in helping people with job training, and education usually helps to keep one’s spirts up, the positive vibes flowing, and the incentive to make one’s life a little better.

    “But keep kidding yourself that you are their defenders, there are many who know your true motives.”

    SHOCKING! So it’s been YOU that has been reading my mind??!! And all this time I was thinking it was the Amazing Karnak! Well, I’ll be!

    Yes, you’ve got me. I really am just like you. A colossal douchebag shilling for Corporate America.

  162. Some one mentioned humor:

    Christie: Obama ‘playing politics’ in remarks supporting public workers
    Monday, February 28, 2011
    Last updated: Monday February 28, 2011, 6:02 PM
    BY HERB JACKSON
    The Record
    WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

    President Obama was “playing politics to his political base” when he told the nation’s governors Monday they should not be denigrating or vilifying public employees, Governor Christie said.

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/politics/022811_Christie_Obama_playing_politics_in_remarks_supporting_public_workers.html

  163. And from this corner, John of Orange:

    John Boehner says unions have “a machine gun” pointed “at the heads of local officials”

    By Adam Clark Estes
    AP/Alex Brandon

    House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio takes part in a news conference on Capitol Hill.House Speaker John Boehner likened unions’ actions in the Midwest to armed hostage-takers in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network on Sunday. Blaming states’ dependence on federal bailouts and criticizing Obama’s involvment, Boehner did not mince his words:

    ‘In some of these states, you’ve got collective bargaining laws that are so weighted in favor of the public employees that there’s almost no bargaining. We’ve given them a machine gun and put it right at the heads of the local officials and they really have their hands tied. And I think what you’re seeing in these states is they’re trying to bring some balance to these negotiations that when you look at the pay of public employees today and you look at their retirement benefits they are way out of line with many other working Americans.'”

    http://downloads.cbn.com/cbnnewsplayer/cbnPlayer.swf?aid=21392

  164. TPMDC
    Poll: Wisconsin Voters Turn On Gov. Walker, Back State Unions
    Jon Terbush | March 1, 2011
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/03/poll-wisconsin-voters-turn-on-gov-walker-back-state-unions.php?ref=fpb

    Excerpt:
    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) is rapidly losing support from his constituents as he continues to push budget proposals that would cut collective bargaining rights and benefits for most of the states public employee unions, according to new data from a PPP poll, a poll whose results TPM first reported on Monday. His support has slipped so much that, after just two months in office, voters are now evenly divided over whether he should be recalled.

    A majority of Wisconsin voters now disapprove of Walker’s job performance, a reversal from the positive approval rating he enjoyed immediately after election day. Further, most voters support collective bargaining rights for the state’s public employee unions, and oppose Walker’s proposal to cut those same rights.

    In the poll, 57% of respondents said public employees should have the right to collectively bargain, compared to 37% who said they should not. A similar majority, 55%, said the state’s unions should have the same amount of rights or more than they already enjoy, a rebuke to Walker’s efforts to roll back those rights.

  165. TPMDC
    ‘Anonymous’ Takes Down Site Of Conservative Group Club For Growth
    Jillian Rayfield | March 1, 2011, 9:43AM
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/03/anonymous-takes-down-site-of-conservative-group-club-for-growth.php?ref=fpb

    The hacker collective ‘Anonymous’ is taking credit for bringing down the site of the conservative anti-tax group Club For Growth, which was apparently down for a decent chunk of time Monday night.

    In a tweet ‘Anonymous’ wrote: “I’ve been informed a #DDoS is underway against http://www.clubforgrowth.org #Anonymous #OpWisconsin #WIunion #WeAreWI.”

    “#DDoS” refers to a distributed denial-of-service attack, the preferred method of attack for ‘Anonymous’.

    As we reported Monday, ‘Anonymous’ put out a statement declaring that it would target conservative groups like Americans For Prosperity and Citizens United, in solidarity with the protesters in Wisconsin. “In a world where corporate money has become the lifeblood of political influence, the labor unions are one of the few ways citizens have to fight against corporate greed. Anonymous cannot ignore the plight of the citizen-workers of Wisconsin, or the opportunity to fight for the people in America’s broken political system,” ‘Anonymous’ explained.

    Ben Smith of Politico reported Monday that the AFP site was down “intermittently” on Sunday night. The Club For Growth site is back up now, though was down earlier Tuesday morning.

    Club For Growth did not immediately return TPM’s request for comment.

  166. From Mother Jones
    Hypocrisy Alert: Charles Koch Blasts “Crony Capitalism”
    By Andy Kroll
    Tue Mar. 1, 2011 10:04 AM PST.
    http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/03/charles-koch-brothers-wisconsin-walker

    Excerpt:
    Charles G. Koch, the right-wing titan of industry, is a very tight-lipped guy, just like his billionaire brother David Koch. But today Charles Koch has gone public with a Wall Street Journal op-ed titled “Why Koch Industries Is Speaking Out.” In it, Koch decries the years of “overspending” that have “brought us face-to-face with an economic crisis.” He blames this crisis on both Democrats and Republicans who’ve “done a poor job managing our finances.” Koch explains how he, his family, and his multi-billion-dollar company, Koch Industries, have tried to support politicians like Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker who are “working to solve these problems.”

    But here’s where it gets interesting. Koch goes on to rail against businesses who “have successfully lobbied for special favors and treatment” like government subsidies and regulations. For starters, Koch Industries has benefited plenty from government subsidies in the past. As the New York Observer reported, Koch companies have received subsidies from the Venezuelan government as part of a deal to sell Venezuelan-made fertilizer in the US; used US land subsidies for its Matador Cattle Company; and profited from private logging of US forests that wouldn’t have been possible if the US Forestry Service hadn’t built new roads with taxpayer money to un-logged lands, among other examples.

    And while Charles Koch criticizes “crony capitalism,” his company is one of the biggest players in the nation when it comes to lobbying and political donations. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Koch Industries has spent more than $40 million lobbying the federal government in the past three years alone. They’ve given $11 million since 1989 to federal candidates, political parties, and political committees, a mere $1,500 of which went to Democrats, according to the Public Campaign Action Fund (PCAF). Much of that spending has gone toward fighting new regulations of the oil and gas industry, which would hurt Koch Industries’ profits. Not surprisingly, then, lawmakers on the influential House energy and commerce committee have pocketed $630,950 in Koch-connected donations.

  167. From Vanity Fair
    Boycott of Billionaire Koch Brothers Does Not Leave Very Many Paper Towel Options
    by Juli Weiner March 1, 2011, 10:10 AM
    http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2011/03/boycott-of-billionaire-koch-brothers-does-not-leave-very-many-paper-towel-options.html

    Many on the Internet and in supermarkets are boycotting the products of David and Charles Koch, the cagey and conservative titans of industry whose billions benefit G.O.P. and Tea Party causes célèbres. Would-be boycotters whose daily activities depend on such disparate trades as technology, polymers, chemicals, finance, ranching, forest products, fertilizers, pollution control, refining, and/or fibers may find it difficult to completely avoid patronizing the diffuse Koch Industries. It will be a particular challenge for anyone whose dish-washing and laundry habits require the occasional use of paper towels and tabletop products—a market that is somewhat cornered by the Kochs.

    Koch Industries is the parent company of Georgia-Pacific, the paper manufacturer that produces such products as Quilted Northern® paper towels,
    Angel Soft® bathroom tissue, Brawny® paper towels, Sparkle® paper towels, Soft ‘n Gentle® bath tissue, Dixie® table products, Mardi Gras® napkins (the most popular napkin in North America!), and Vanity Fair® table products, which bear no relation to this magazine and perhaps even come from different (worse) trees.

    Activists who appreciate the easiness and convenience of recyclable paper products will be comforted to know that cursory Googling reveals that the Cottonelle® and Scott® brands are not within the Koch empire. Neither, we’ll casually mention again, is Vanity Fair magazine.

  168. From The Colorado Independent
    Koch Brothers connected to House committee attacking EPA
    By Kyle Daly | 03.01.11 | 5:32 am
    http://coloradoindependent.com/77061/koch-brothers-connected-to-house-committee-attacking-epa

    Excerpt:
    The Watchdog Institute, a nonprofit reporting center based out of San Diego State University, has released a report showing connections between a committee in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Koch brothers, Charles and David. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, a San Diego Republican who also happens to be the richest member of Congress with a net worth of $451.1 million, according to a recent Mother Jones review.

    This month, Issa’s Committee on Oversight and Government Reform published a report critical of federal regulatory practices that it considers “impediments to job creation.” The report several times singles out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an entity whose regulations create costs for small businesses that inhibit job growth. Given the committee’s Koch connections, it may come as little surprise that its report targets the EPA, as Koch Industries has come into repeated conflict with federal and state environmental protection agencies. The most recent flare-up between Koch Industries and environmental regulators comes in the form of a battle between Koch Industries-owned Georgia-Pacific Paper and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection over a wastewater pipeline Georgia-Pacific wants to route into Florida’s St. John’s River.

    The Watchdog report demonstrates that the parallels between the House committee’s criticisms and Koch Industries’ clashes with federal and state regulators certainly may not be mere coincidence. At least six Republican staffers with the Committee on Oversight have demonstrable corporate lobbying connections, according to the Watchdog Institute. Additionally, 11 of the 23 Republican representatives in the committee received financial help from Koch Industries in the last election.

  169. ” Nazi’s were liars and deceivers by nature and “socialist” in their party name was just another version of the big lie, they were so good at. ”

    So is that what explains the democratic party?

  170. “Doesn’t say much for your reading comprehension if you think Orwell was talking about communism alone. He was anti-Nazi and anti-totalitarian. He was a democratic socialist.”

    My reading comprehension is fine, what was 1984 about? A totalitarian state. What did they do at the end? Called into question the guys sanity.

    So now what were you saying?

  171. ”’Nazi’s were liars and deceivers by nature and ‘socialist’ in their party name was just another version of the big lie, they were so good at.’

    So is that what explains the democratic party?”

    No. It explains fascists like the Koch Brothers.

  172. Amity Shlaes’s Forgotten History: When Unions Go Bust, We All Do
    Wednesday, 02/23/2011 – 2:09 pm by Lynn Parramore

    Busting unions gave Calvin Coolidge the White House, but it gave America the Great Depression.

    For years, American workers’ wages have stagnated even as they produced more. Since 2008, they have been socked with staggering new bills for bank bailouts and hammered by a Great Recession brought on by the very same banks. Now public sector workers are confronted by a new crop of Republican governors who want to put an end to unions. Union workers in Wisconsin have already conceded all of Governor Walker’s draconian demands. But they want to hold on to their right to bargain so that they won’t be at the mercy of the whims of political appointees or rogue school boards. Tens of thousands have swarmed Madison to show their support for the working people of Wisconsin.

    Conservatives are tasked with coming up with a narrative that makes villains out of these working folks and heroes out of the powerful people who aim to squeeze them for what’s left of their economic security.

    This is not easy. And you have to admire their ingenuity. Amity Shlaes, ever the eager revisionist, has whipped up a widely parroted narrative that contains just enough truth to give it the ring of plausibility. It goes like this: Governor Scott Walker is a paragon of virtue who will soon be embraced by the American public, just like his union-crushing predecessors Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan. According to Shlaes’s account, Coolidge, then governor of Massachusetts, stood boldly against badly abused Boston policemen who walked off the job in 1919 and left the city unprotected against looters. After firing the policemen, Coolidge became a national hero and was promptly swept into the Vice President’s office on a wave of popular admiration. When President Warren Harding died, Coolidge took office and it was suddenly Morning in America. As Shlaes tells it:

    “’Boston Police’ remained American code for the principle that union causes do not trump others. The concern that the U.S. might succumb to European-style revolutions lifted. Strikes abated. Wages rose without unions in Motor City. Private-sector union membership declined. Joblessness dropped. Companies poured cash, which they otherwise would have spent on union relations, into innovation.”

    Let us fill in some finer detail, shall we?

    As Shlaes admits, the Boston police force had been grossly abused with long hours and horrific conditions. And it was true that there was some disorder when they walked off the job, though she somewhat overstates the case. It is also true that Coolidge’s response made his reputation as a Republican politician.

    But it was not exactly popular enthusiasm that wafted Coolidge into the White House. Actually, there was a huge orchestrated effort to push Coolidge by powerful financial interests. He ended up on the ticket with Warren Harding not so much because of his overwhelming appeal to the American public – he was known for being taciturn, unsociable, and downright weird (Alice Roosevelt Longworth wondered if he had been “weaned on a pickle”). Rather, it was his overwhelming appeal to American bankers.

    They knew a good thing when they saw it.

    Young Coolidge, you see, had gone to Amherst College, where he had hardly any friends except Dwight Morrow, who became his bosom buddy. Coolidge went on to become a small town Massachusetts attorney representing banks, while Morrow became a senior partner in House of Morgan. When Morrow saw his pal Coolidge attracting attention in the Boston Police Strike, he wrote to everyone he knew and launched a national campaign to make a legend out of the uncharismatic Coolidge. Morrow and fellow Morgan partner Thomas Cochran lobbied tirelessly for Coolidge at the Chicago Republican Convention in 1920, and their lobbying paid off. Coolidge, first as vice president and then as president in 1923 when Harding died, became a valuable partner for the House of Morgan. Famously declaring that “the business of America is business,” Coolidge stocked his administration with enough Morgan men to fill a banking convention. Historian Murray N. Rothbard notes that

    “the year 1924 indeed saw the House of Morgan at the pinnacle of political power in the United States. President Calvin Coolidge, friend and protégé of Morgan partner Dwight Morrow, was deeply admired by J.P. “Jack” Morgan, Jr. Jack Morgan saw the president, perhaps uniquely, as a rare blend of deep thinker and moralist. Morgan wrote a friend: ‘I have never seen any president who gives me just the feeling of confidence in the country and its institutions, and the working out of our problems, that Mr. Coolidge does.’”

    Coolidge got to the White House for crushing unions, where he slept ten hours a day and hopped on and off a mechanical horse in his underpants and a cowboy hat.

    Here’s what America got: the Great Depression.

    Coolidge’s real legacy was a huge upward shift of income during the “roaring twenties” away from ordinary people to the rich and powerful, who got even richer and more powerful thanks to his regulatory and policy inactivity. The best Average Joe could hope for under Coolidge was for his income to hold steady. The profits from that wondrous innovation and growth that send Shlaes into rhapsodies went to fatcats who turned the country into a casino and smashed the economy.

    Reagan’s history is better known – or so you would think. His firing of 13,000 striking workers was, as Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson put it, “an unambiguous signal that employers need feel little or no obligation to their workers.” After Reagan, employers were emboldened to illegally ditch workers who sought to unionize, replace permanent employees who could collect benefits with temps, and ship factories and jobs abroad. Ever-smiling with his friendly cowboy image, Reagan tried to lower the minimum wage for younger workers, weaken child labor, job safety and anti-sweatshop laws, and do away with training programs for the jobless. He also did his best to replace thousands of federal employees with temps without civil service or union protections. Under his watch, the share of the nation’s wealth held by the richest 1 percent of Americans went up 5 percent richer. Guess whose declined?

    At the time, Americans were supportive, by slim margins, of Reagan’s stance against the air traffic controllers, who went on strike to win benefit concessions from the federal government. However, the comparison with Wisconsin workers is not exactly apples to apples. These workers have agreed to concessions, and only fight to maintain their right to collective bargaining. Intuiting correctly that the public may not be on their side in this battle, conservatives have relentlessly pushed the deceptive idea that public employees enjoy higher salaries and better benefits than their private-sector counterparts. But this has been widely debunked. Careful research has shown that when you adjust for skill levels, public sector workers are not overpaid relative to private sector pay scales.

    After the Great Crash, Coolidge’s bank-friendly, union-bashing policies didn’t seem like such a great gift to America. And just like in the twenties, Reagan’s signal that it was open season on unions energized a much bolder effort to hold down wages by corporate America: Over the next few years, workers by the thousands were let go, found their pay slashed, and turned into poorly paid part time employees. US income inequality reached Himalayan levels as people’s share of the benefits from increased productivity took a sharp nosedive. Today, after the Great Recession, Reagan’s anti-union attitude and enthusiasm for deregulation has also proven to be a dubious legacy.

    Governor Walker says he’s fighting for ordinary Americans. So why does he want to require unions to re-certify every year, but we don’t hear a peep about corporations being required to renew their charters every year? Why does he want to control the salaries of public employees, but doesn’t have any interest in controlling the salaries of grossly overcompensated corporate CEOs? Why does he call for sacrifices from hard-working people who have been screwed by the economy through no fault of their own, and none from the financiers who caused the crisis?

    Maybe it’s because he has quite a bit in common with Coolidge and Reagan after all. In Reagan’s case, as in Coolidge’s, union-busting led to some of the biggest peacetime income re-distributions in modern history. Democracy got weaker, oligopolies got stronger, the rich got richer, and the rest of us got left behind.

    The real lesson from Coolidge and Reagan is this: If Governor Walker and his Republican friends are allowed to crush the public unions, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Lynn Parramore is Editor of New Deal 2.0, Media Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, and Co-founder of Recessionwire.

    http://www.newdeal20.org/2011/02/23/amity-shlaes%e2%80%99s-forgotten-history-when-unions-go-bust-we-all-do-36727/

  173. Elaine M:

    “Koch Industries is the parent company of Georgia-Pacific, the paper manufacturer that produces such products as Quilted Northern® paper towels,
    Angel Soft® bathroom tissue, Brawny® paper towels, Sparkle® paper towels, Soft ‘n Gentle® bath tissue, Dixie® table products, Mardi Gras® napkins (the most popular napkin in North America!), and Vanity Fair® table products, which bear no relation to this magazine and perhaps even come from different (worse) trees.”

    thanks for posting this. I remember how effective the lefts boycott of Whole Foods was. It increased their business because conservatives started shopping there. So now we know what paper products to buy as well.

    Keep up the good work.

  174. TPMDC
    Wisconsin Sheriff Pulled Deputies From Capitol, Says They Won’t Be ‘Palace Guard’
    Eric Lach | March 1, 2011, 3:24PM
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/03/wisconsin-sheriff-pulls-deputies-from-capitol-says-they-wont-be-palace-guard.php?ref=fpa

    Excerpt:
    At the same press conference where Dane County, Wisc., District Attorney Ismael Ozanne told reporters he found nothing criminal in Gov. Scott Walker’s comments to a prank caller last week, Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney spoke about law enforcement’s role in the push and pull over access to the Capitol building in Madison. Mahoney revealed that yesterday he pulled his officers from a duty to guard the building’s entrances.

    According to WisPolitics, Mahoney said that over the last two days, “we have placed those law enforcement officers in the position of being palace guards.”

    The deputies had been told that the doors would be open at 8 a.m. yesterday, but that didn’t happen and the officers didn’t find out why until the afternoon, Mahoney said.

    “When asked to stand guard at the doors that duty was turned over to the Wisconsin State Patrol because our deputies would not stand and be palace guards,” Mahoney said. “I refused to put deputy sheriffs in a position to be palace guards.”

    Mahoney also said that it was “crucial” for individuals have access to their lawmakers, and said he’s “never been prouder” of his officers than over the last two weeks.

  175. According to government statistics, the AGI threshold for the top 1% is $380,000. The threshold for the top 5% is $159,600,
    as of 2008.

    So what we really have is a disagreement as to which groups may continue making campaign contributions to retain their reserved seats on the Tax Expenditure Express for one more election cycle.

    Class warfare is the continuation of politics by other means. It will be a Phyrric victory, so it doesn’t matter which side wins. Hostilities will recommence at the start of the next primary season.

    The Internal Revenue Service has released new data on individual income taxes, reporting on calendar year 2008, a year of economic recession in which the world’s financial system was temporarily in a perilous state.

    The amount of individual income taxes paid fell substantially in 2008, by $84 billion, and nationally, average income tax rates were at their lowest levels since 2004. The average tax rate for returns with a positive liability went from 12.68 percent in 2007 to 12.24 percent in 2008.

    Another indicator of this reversal in the income and tax shares of the top 1 percent is that during 2007, the top 1 percent had actually paid more in federal income tax than the bottom 95 percent, a comparison that was much remarked on a year ago. But the diminished income of the top 1 percent in 2008 means that the comparison no longer holds. During 2008, the bottom 95 percent (AGI under $159,619) paid 41.3 percent of the total collected, a larger share than the 38.0 percent paid by the top 1 percent (AGI over $380,354).

    The top-earning 5 percent of taxpayers (AGI over $159,619), however, still paid far more than the bottom 95 percent. The top 5 percent earned 34.7 percent of the nation’s adjusted gross income, but paid approximately 58.7 percent of federal individual income taxes.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  176. Randall,

    “thanks for posting this. I remember how effective the lefts boycott of Whole Foods was. It increased their business because conservatives started shopping there. So now we know what paper products to buy as well.”

    That’s funny because I cannot find one thing to support your claim, which leads me to one of two conclusions:

    1. This is a myth put forth by conservatives with no credible facts to back said myth up;

    or

    2. This is something you pulled out of your arse.

    I’m leaning towards the latter as opposed to the former.

  177. St. Lib.:

    It most definitely happened and was told by the owner of Whole Foods on a national cable tv show. It is not myth.

    That owner probably wishes the left would boycott his store at least once a quarter for whatever reason du revolution may be.

    People used to think the plague was spread by vapors, now we know its by rats carrying big red fleas.

  178. Wisconsin Lawmakers Seek To Criminalize Prank Phone Calls After Scott Walker Flap, HuffPo’s Jason Linkins is reporting. From the story and to the point:

    “Wisconsin lawmakers at the center of the conflagration over Walker’s “budget repair” bill have been quick to address the problem that lies at the heart of the Koch prank call, and are responding to it by demanding greater transparency over the special interests and influence peddlers who have direct access to the statehouse moving to criminalize prank phone calls:

    Sen. Mary Lazich, R-Waukesha, and Rep. Mark Honadel, R-Milwaukee, authored a bill that would prohibit tricking the call’s recipient into believing the caller is someone they are not for malicious purposes.

    “While use of spoofing is said to have some legitimate uses, it can also be used to frighten, harass and potentially defraud,” Lazich and Honadel said in an e-mail to legislators.

    The bill language forbids a caller from intentionally providing a false phone number and convincing the person receiving the call that it comes from someone other than the actual caller.

    The bill would make it illegal to defraud, cause harm or wrongfully obtain any information of value from using a caller identification service to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller identification information. It would also prohibit individuals from masking their voices or providing a fake phone number to the call recipient, said Jason Vick, spokesperson for Honadel.

    Aren’t there already laws against fraud and harassment and terrifying people in Wisconsin? Because this sort of makes it look like legislators are primarily motivated by the need to make ‘making Scott Walker look stupid’ a criminal offense.” [emphasis added]

  179. Randall,

    I don’t take anyone’s “word” for it. Care to supply the link to that “national cable TV show?”

    Well, people used to believe the world was flat and the sun revolved around the earth. So?

  180. Buddha,

    “Sen. Mary Lazich, R-Waukesha, and Rep. Mark Honadel, R-Milwaukee, authored a bill that would prohibit tricking the call’s recipient into believing the caller is someone they are not for malicious purposes.”

    How does one prove a that a person has a “malicious” purpose for prank calling someone else?

    Regarding “making Scott Walker look stupid”: Well, WHO made Walker look stupid? Ian Murphy or Scott Walker?

  181. Elaine M,

    “Americans for Prosperity PM Pundit Party or Coffee Klatch with Club for Growth”

    Lol!

    I did a google search and I found nothing to support that claim. I’m thinking it came from the nether-regions …

  182. Let’s all get out the crying towel for Randall and his Republican friends. They can’t verify who they are talking to on the phone so they want to pass a bill to criminalize prank calls. Isn’t that more unnecessary government regulation and added cost to the State in order to police all of those Liberals calling Republican office holders?

  183. I think that if people are being recorded they should know about it.

    Making crank phone calls is a right of passage.

    So it is OK for an individual to record another individual without his knowledge but it is not Ok for the government to record an individual without a warrant? Seems to me you have a double standard.

  184. rafflaw,

    “Let’s all get out the crying towel for Randall and his Republican friends. They can’t verify who they are talking to on the phone so they want to pass a bill to criminalize prank calls. Isn’t that more unnecessary government regulation and added cost to the State in order to police all of those Liberals calling Republican office holders?”

    —————————————————-

    Can you hear it? I’m in possession of the worlds smallest violin and I’m playing, “My Heart Bleeds for You.”

  185. Tangentially related followup:

    Yesterday, HBGary’s CEO resigned.

    Today?

    Dems push for Congressional investigation of HBGary Federal.

    “Embattled HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Barr quit his job yesterday as the prospect of a Congressional investigation loomed. A dozen Democrats in Congress asked various Republican committee chairs to launch probes of HBGary Federal’s idea for a “reconnaissance cell” targeting pro-union organizers.

    HBGary Federal was hacked last month by Anonymous after Aaron Barr believed he had unmasked much of the group’s leadership—and Barr’s entire cache of corporate e-mails was made public. Those messages revealed that Barr had joined up with two other security firms, Palantir and Berico, to pitch the powerhouse DC law firm of Hunton & Williams on an idea to go after union-backed websites who opposed the US Chamber of Commerce. The scheme, if adopted, would have cost the Chamber up to $2 million a month.

    The three companies called themselves Team Themis, and instead of providing simple “business intelligence,” they had a few other ideas:

    * Create a false document, perhaps highlighting periodical financial information, and monitor to see if US Chamber Watch acquires it. Afterward, present explicit evidence proving that such transactions never occurred. Also, create a fake insider persona and generate communications with [union-backed Change to Win]. Afterward, release the actual documents at a specified time and explain the activity as a CtW contrived operation.
    * If needed, create two fake insider personas, using one as leverage to discredit the other while confirming the legitimacy of the second. Such work is complicated, but a well-thought out approach will give way to a variety of strategies that can sufficiently aid the formation of vetting questions US Chamber Watch will likely ask.
    * Create a humor piece about the leaders of CtW.

    Now, some members of Congress want an investigation.”

  186. Randall,
    ever hear of a thing called Caller ID? they even have that in Wisconsin these days.
    Stamford,
    It sounds like beautiful music to my ears!!

  187. Buddha,
    I think that if the House Republicans allow an investigation into the Chamber’s allegedly illegal activities they will find so much “stuff” that they will have to make it a permanent committee.

  188. BIL,

    There are reports that ethics complaints have been filed against three of Hunton & Williams attorneys as well:

    Democrats call for probe of top D.C. law firm
    By Justin Elliott

    Excerpt:

    “As I’ve written previously, Hunton & Williams is a leading international law firm with dozens of big corporate clients. Three Hunton attorneys connected to the episode were hit with an ethics complaint last week by one of the anti-Chamber activists targeted in the proposed plan. Unlike all of the other players, Hunton has not publicly commented on its role in the plot.”

    http://www.salon.com/news/washington_dc/index.html?story=/politics/war_room/2011/03/01/hunton_williams_investigation

  189. Just out of curiosity why are you all up in arms about Wisconsin and collective bargaining? Many other states do not have collective bargaining for state employees.

  190. Randall,

    My state has collective bargaining for public employees. I wish that all workers–both public and private–had the right to bargain collectively and could negotiate with their employers and come to amicable terms on their salaries, pensions, and working conditions. A lot of people don’t understand what collective bargaining is all about. Do you have something against collective bargaining?

  191. Not for the private sector. The tax payers are the boss in the public sector or should be. If they could vote on the raises and whatever else might come to the table, then I would be in favor of it.

    Please dont insult me with the argument that tax payers are represented by their elected politicians.

  192. From Think Progress
    By Lee Fang

    REPORT: How Koch Industries Makes Billions By Demanding Bailouts And Taxpayer Subsidies (Part 1)
    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/03/01/charles-koch-welfare/

    Excerpt:
    Koch Industries, the international conglomerate owned by Charles and David Koch, is not only the second largest private company in America, it is the most politically active. As ThinkProgress has carefully documented over the last three years, Koch groups have spent tens of millions to influence government policy — from financing the Tea Parties, to funding junk academic studies, to undisclosed attack ads against Democrats, to groups promoting climate change denial, to a large network of state-based and national think tanks. In an opinion column for the Wall Street Journal today, Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch fired back at his critics, who have grown more vocal as it has become clear that Koch groups are providing the political muscle for Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-WI) union-busting power grab.

    In his piece, Charles portrays himself as simply an ideological advocate, and says his money to political groups is only meant to “enhance true economic freedom.” He chides special interests that have “successfully lobbied for special favors,” claiming “crony capitalism is much easier than competing in an open market.” But in reality, the focus of the Koch political machine is geared towards “crony capitalism” — corrupting government to make Charles and his brother David Koch richer. Koch’s Tea Party libertarianism is actually a thin veneer for the company’s long running history of winning special deals from the government and manipulating the market to pad Koch profits:

    – The dirty secret of Koch Industries is its birth under the centrally-planned Soviet Union. Fred Koch, the founder of the company and father of David and Charles, helped construct fifteen oil refineries for Joseph Stalin before expanding the business in the United States.

    – As Yasha Levine has reported, Koch exploits a number of government programs for profit. For instance, Georgia Pacific, a timber company subsidiary of Koch Industries, uses taxpayer money provided by the U.S. Forestry Service to provide their loggers with taxpayer-funded roads and access to virgin growth forests. “Logging companies such as Georgia-Pacific strip lands bare, destroy vast acreages and pay only a small fee to the federal government in proportion to what they take from the public,” according to the Institute for Public Accuracy. Levine also notes that Koch’s cattle ranching company, Matador Cattle Company, uses a New Deal program to profit off federal land for free.

    – Koch Industries won massive government contracts using their close relationship with the Bush administration. The Bush administration, in a deal even conservatives alleged was a quid pro quo because of Koch’s campaign donations, handed Koch Industries a lucrative contract to supply the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve with 8 million barrels of crude oil. The SPR deal, done initially in 2002, was renewed in 2004 by Bush administration officials. During the occupation of Iraq, Koch won significant contracts to buy Iraqi crude oil.

    – Although Koch campaigned vigorously against health reform — running attack ads, sponsoring anti-health reform Tea Parties, and comparing health reform to the Holocaust — Koch Industries applied for health reform subsidies made possible by the Obama administration.

    **********

    REPORT: How Koch Industries Makes Billions Corrupting Government And Polluting For Free (Part 2)
    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/03/01/koch-polluter-bailout/

    Excerpt:
    In an opinion piece published today responding to his critics, Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch promised to continue to finance anti-government, right-wing front groups. Charles writes that the “purpose of business is to efficiently convert resources into products and services that make people’s lives better.” But when it comes to Koch’s carcinogenic pollution and carbon emissions, the purpose of Koch’s political giving is to avoid any financial responsibility — no matter who gets hurt. Koch Industries has cornered the market in monetizing some of the most dirty industrial businesses. Koch imports oil from the Middle East, refines high-carbon Canadian crude, maintains coal-burning plants, owns one of the largest oil pipeline networks in America, runs environmentally hazardous lumber mills, produces toxic chemicals, and manufacturers fertilizer. The University of Masschusetts Amherst has scored Koch as among the top ten worst air polluters for its carcinogenic chemicals.

    Much of the entire Koch political machine is geared towards ensuring that Koch Industries never has to compensate the people and ecosystems damaged by Koch Industries pollution. Koch front groups — from Tea Party groups to think tanks — have diligently promoted Koch Industries’ bottom line by denying global warming, fighting regulations on Koch’s cancer-causing chemicals, and snuffing out investigations into Koch’s environmental crimes:

    – In 1990, as both Republicans and Democrats proposed a cap and trade system to address acid rain, Koch financed a front group called “Concerned Citizens for the Environment” to battle proposed regulations. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the group “has no citizen membership of its own,” but produced studies arguing that acid rain was a myth and that deregulation would benefit the environment. Koch refineries and factories, top emitters of acid rain-causing toxins, were impacted by the successful cap and trade system. A front group founded by David Koch, Citizens for a Sound Economy (which later changed its name to Americans for Prosperity), also battled regulations designed to combat acid rain, labeling the problem a “myth.”

    – Koch Industries vastly expanded its political giving in reaction to revelations that the company had systematically stolen oil from Native American reservations and federal lands. Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS), a personal friend of the Koch brothers and top recipient of Koch money, sponsored legislation to suppress an investigation into the oil thefts. Over 50 Koch Industries employees later testified that indeed the “Koch Method” of manipulating data to surreptitiously take Native American oil resulted in an estimated 300 million gallons of oil the company received for free. Koch later settled for $25 million in penalties.

    – Between 1995 and 1997 there were over 300 reported oil spills at pipelines owned and operated by Koch, which caused an estimated three million gallons of oil into lakes and streams in six states. David Koch helped Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS) raise over $150,000 for his campaign, and was rewarded with Dole-sponsored legislation that would have helped Koch Industries avoid serious penalties for the oil spills. On January 13, 2000, the government settled that case for $35 million in fines.

  193. Randall,

    My mother retired last year after 38 years with the State of CT. She is by no means independently wealthy, but without union representation, she would be in worse shape financially. My father (now deceased), on the other-hand, retired after dedicating 40 years of his life to Pitney Bowes, nonunion. His retirement package nowhere near reflected his years of service. If she had to rely on my deceased father’s pension and her social security, she’d still have to work – at 75 – to make ends meet.

    After 38 years of dedicated service, she earned her pension, she earned the right to retire in comfort.

    If it weren’t for unions in general, much of what today’s workers whether public or private do get in terms of insurance, pensions and other perks simply would not exist.

    Still looking for that clip from the “national cable TV network”?

  194. “Please dont insult me with the argument that tax payers are represented by their elected politicians.” (Randall)

    I specifically asked for an “A” list troll and they send out Randall!!??

    “It increased their business because conservatives started shopping there. So now we know what paper products to buy as well.” (Randall)

    Now that right there is a lie … everybody knows that conservatives don’t shop, they shoplift … they have no money which is why they are trying to steal from hard working Americans who belong to Unions and thus make decent wages. I know this is all true because I saw it on a national cable tv network.

  195. Blouise,

    Dammit, woman! Stop being so effin’ witty! You will only humiliate the poor D-Lister and I don’t think he gets paid enough for that!

  196. Stamford Liberal,

    I heard it on a national cable tv network so I know it’s true … also … I think god told me the same thing last week.

    During the same program it was said that conservatives only own mobile homes and that if you see a conservative living in a big house that doesn’t have wheels then they’re squatters … god didn’t mention it so I have no holy confirmation on that one.

    I’ve heard that 99.9% of all bank robberies are committed by conservatives … I wonder if that’s true or not …

  197. Blouise,

    All that truthiness from one national cable TV network! Who would have thunk it!

    Well, here’s one truthiness you don’t know … I have it on good authority* that the conservative diet consists of corndogs, tater tots and Pabst Blue Ribbon only. On those special occasions, they get Twinkies for dessert – bonus!

    *God – that’s who the voice in my head said he was so it must be true

  198. “Corndogs on my shoulders makes me happy,
    Corndogs in my eyes can make me cry,
    Corndogs on the water look so lovely,
    Corndogs almost always makes me high.”

    All this and more on “Boner Sings the Classics”, available only on this exclusive TV offer . . .

  199. Note to self: Quick way to kill conversation is to mention corndogs, John’s Denver and Boehner at same time.

  200. You probably missed all the flu meds I’ve taken, raff.

    For some reason, SL mentioned corndogs, and lo and behold, that was what came to mind.

  201. I liked John Denver … he was a friend from my younger days

    I don’t like corn dogs but pigs-in-a-blanket are served at all conservative cocktail parties … along with Thunderbird (1989 was a good vintage year according to Boehner, an expert in all things alcoholic)

    By the way … last Saturday I enjoyed a glass of Jim Beam Bourbon Beer out of a brewery in Kentucky … it was excellent.

  202. Elaine,

    Poor Randall … “”The only thing that ever consoles man for the stupid things he does is the praise he always gives himself for doing them.” (Oscar Wilde)

  203. rafflaw
    1, March 1, 2011 at 11:35 pm
    Blouise,
    Mad Dog 20/20 is much more effective than T-Bird!

    ============================================

    It is a well known fact that conservatives who prefer Mad Dog 20/20 over T-Bird are putting on airs … they are the same ones who put “skirts” around the base of their mobile homes … uppity.

  204. I hope the Kochs dismantle their business enterprise. How many people would that put out of work?

    The government provides for those subsidies, if I had a big company I would take advantage of them as well. Do you take advantage of the mortgage interest deduction? Or the dependent child deduction? If you do you are as guilty as the Kochs.

    The problem isn’t the Kochs it is big government, the Kochs and others take advantage of a system, one which is legal, to advance their interests. That is socialism or fascism, however you want to look at it. Same end so basically the same system.

    Most trees are farmed and they have sever restrictions on cutting old growth timber. Much of the old growth timber was cut at the turn of the last century. Grazing federal lands helps small farmers as well. Fertilizer increases crop yield.

    You cant have your cake and eat it to, either you get government out of business and initiate Darwinian competition in the market or you have an anemic economy that barely grows and a continued downward trend in the standard of living. Socialism doesn’t work.

    We cannot sustain a federal budget deficit of more than about 15% of GDP and have prosperity. It doesn’t work.

    Corporations are not hoarding money, it is being invested and is working in the economy.

    A prosperous economy is what raises peoples wages and puts the most people to work, not some union boss with a pen and a lawyer.

  205. “Yesterday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a 345-page report detailing 34 major areas of wasteful government spending that Sen. Tom Coburn (R–OK) says could save the federal government $100 billion or more every year. Conservatives jumped on the news, with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R–VA) office characterizing the report as “a mother lode of government waste and duplication that should keep Congress busy for the rest of the year.”

    Liberals, however, greeted the report with polite applause bur then predicted nothing would come of it. Why is the left so uninterested in eliminating wasteful government spending? Why can’t progressive politicians agree to cut programs that even the GAO identifies as duplicative or ineffective? The answer can be found in the left’s reaction to two reports issued in the last weeks, one by bailed-out Goldman Sachs and the other by failed stimulus architect Mark Zandi.

    On February 23, Goldman Sachs released a report purporting to show that the $61 billion in cuts in the House fiscal year 2011 spending bill would reduce economic spending by up to 2 percent this year. Not to be out done, Zandi released a report on February 28 purporting to show that the same $61 billion in cuts would cost 700,000 jobs through 2012. In stark contrast to the GAO report on wasteful government spending, liberals on Capitol Hill broadly promoted the findings of these two studies as proof that the House budget would harm the economic recovery.

    But wait: How can the Zandi and Goldman studies claim that the spending cuts in the House budget will harm the economy if they came out before the GAO study identifying wasteful government spending? What if all, half, or just some of the spending cuts in the House budget are simply cuts to government waste? Surely these facts would change the outcome of Goldman’s and Zandi’s computer simulations, right? Wrong. The Goldman and Zandi reports have absolutely zero relationship to the real world. They both assume that all government spending, no matter how wasteful or duplicative, not only helps the economy grow but does so by large multipliers. This is the exact same thinking that led the Obama Administration to claim that their $1 trillion stimulus would keep unemployment below 8 percent when in fact unemployment rose to 10.1 percent. The Heritage Foundation’s Brian Riedl explains why government spending does not stimulate economic growth:
    Congress does not have a vault of money waiting to be distributed. Every dollar Congress injects into the economy must first be taxed or borrowed out of the economy. No new spending power is created. It is merely redistributed from one group of people to another.

    Congress cannot create new purchasing power out of thin air. If it funds new spending with taxes, it is simply redistributing existing purchasing power (while decreasing incentives to produce income and output). If Congress instead borrows the money from domestic investors, those investors will have that much less to invest or to spend in the private economy. If they borrow the money from foreigners, the balance of payments will adjust by equally raising net imports, leaving total demand and output unchanged. Every dollar Congress spends must first come from somewhere else.

    Conservatives believe that the federal government should have limited powers and that—beyond providing for the common defense and enforcing contracts— government should stay out of economic affairs as much as possible. Conservatives believe most federal spending is suspect and should be cut if it has not proven to be effective (such as on programs like COPS, FEMA fire grants, and Head Start). Progressives, on the other hand, see the federal government as a giant jobs program so that any cut to any federal program, no matter how ineffective or wasteful, would be a harm to the economy. If we are ever going to tackle our nation’s true budgetary problems—spending on the entitlement programs Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security—we must first defeat the misguided idea that all government spending cuts are bad for the economy.”

    Conn Carroll

  206. Randall,

    “Do you take advantage of the mortgage interest deduction? Or the dependent child deduction?”

    False equivalency. People who take advantage of the mortgage interest deduction and dependent child deduction – like me – aren’t making billions a year and haven’t the means to take advantage of hiding assets in overseas account in order to avoid paying taxes. Even taking advantage of those deductions, I still pay my taxes, not hide them in order to feed my need for greed.

    “Corporations are not hoarding money, it is being invested and is working in the economy.”

    Corporations Begin Spending Cash, After Period Of Hoarding, Bloomberg Reports

    In a sign that the pace of recovery could be quickening, corporations are starting to spend money.

    After the recession prompted many companies to pad their defenses by hoarding cash, that trend seems to be shifting, Bloomberg reports, citing data it compiled from companies’ recent reports. As other sectors of the economy have been recovering, the jobs market remains in poor shape. If companies invest their cash domestically, and if they use it to expand payrolls, this dismal labor situation might improve.

    Companies in the S&P 500 index reduced their holdings of cash and other short-term assets by 2.4 percent during the last quarter. The total hoard fell to $2.4 trillion, from $2.46 trillion, Bloomberg says. A signal that companies may be investing in new equipment, capital spending increased $22.3 billion that quarter, to reach its highest total in two years.

    If this spending trend continues, it could help create jobs for American workers. Cash-hoarding helps companies themselves but doesn’t do much for the broader economy, economists say.

    Just months earlier, companies were hoarding cash to a record degree. In the third quarter of 2010, U.S. corporations increased their cash holdings by 7.3 percent, according to Federal Reserve data. Relative to their short-term liabilities, companies hadn’t been that flush since 1956.

    The unemployment numbers reflect the drought. In January, private payrolls added a measly 36,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 9 percent from 9.4 percent, as many discouraged workers dropped out of the workforce altogether, excluding themselves from the official count.

    Other traditional sources of jobs have also been posting lackluster results. Small businesses, which, according to the Obama administration’s estimate, create about 70 percent of American jobs, are in some cases having difficulty getting the loans that are crucial for their growth.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/16/corporate-cash_n_823914.html

    So, Randall, what were they doing prior to 4th quarter 2010?

    —————————————————-

    “A prosperous economy is what raises peoples wages and puts the most people to work, not some union boss with a pen and a lawyer.”

    Income Gaps Between Very Rich and Everyone Else More Than Tripled In Last Three Decades, New Data Show
    By Arloc Sherman and Chad Stone

    The gaps in after-tax income between the richest 1 percent of Americans and the middle and poorest fifths of the country more than tripled between 1979 and 2007 (the period for which these data are available), according to data the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued last week. Taken together with prior research, the new data suggest greater income concentration at the top of the income scale than at any time since 1928.

    While the recession that began in December 2007 likely reduced the income of the wealthiest Americans substantially and may thereby shrink the income gap between rich and poor households, a similar development that occurred around the bursting of the dot.com bubble and the 2001 recession turned out to be just a speed bump. Incomes at the top more than made up the lost ground from 2003 to 2005.

    The new CBO data — the most comprehensive data available on changes in incomes and taxes for different income groups — also show the following:

    ■In 2007, the share of after-tax income going to the top 1 percent hit its highest level (17.1 percent) since 1979, while the share going to the middle one-fifth of Americans shrank to its lowest level during this period (14.1 percent).
    ■Between 1979 and 2007, average after-tax incomes for the top 1 percent rose by 281 percent after adjusting for inflation — an increase in income of $973,100 per household — compared to increases of 25 percent ($11,200 per household) for the middle fifth of households and 16 percent ($2,400 per household) for the bottom fifth (see Figure 1).
    ■If all groups’ after-tax incomes had grown at the same percentage rate over the 1979-2007 period, middle-income households would have received an additional $13,042 in 2007 and families in the bottom fifth would have received an additional $6,010.
    ■In 2007, the average household in the top 1 percent had an income of $1.3 million, up $88,800 just from the prior year; this $88,800 gain is well above the total 2007 income of the average middle-income household ($55,300). [1]

    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3220

    It’s not “trickle down” economics, it’s “tinkle on ekonomiks.”

    So, Randall? If the job creators incomes have increased, why aren’t they creating jobs? They’ve had tax cuts for eight years but … where are the jobs? Gee, wasn’t that what the GOP was so aflutter about, that increasing taxes on the job creators kills jobs? They’ve got the money so, were are the jobs, sport?

    On another note, I guess you’re having a really, really hard time finding that clip from that “national cable TV network” I’ve been asking for since yesterday … Lol

  207. Moar posts something from some hack with the Heritage Foundation like it’s supposed to prove something … Lol

  208. Stamford Liberal, you should not expect anything better when they keep sending C and D list trolls like Randall and Moar/Roam. This is a quality blog and I think we should demand better quality trolls. At least Tootie and MfM are occasionally entertaining whilst being batsh*t nutz.

  209. Moar,

    Let me think…who is Conn Carroll??? Why, bless my soul, he’s Assistant Director of Strategic Communications for The Heritage Foundation. The Heritage Foundation receives a lot of funding from–ta-da–the Kochs!

  210. SL/OS,

    The Heritage Foundation.

    *sigh*

    I suppose I must shoulder part of the blame/credit for the lack of quality trolls. I may have over hunted this field. Mea culpa. :mregreen:

  211. Jeffery Sachs, Columbia University Professor, talks to Lawrence O’Donnell about the Koch brothers, union busting, a disappearing middle class, attacks on teachers, President Reagan, and buying politicians:

  212. Buddha Is Laughing
    1, March 2, 2011 at 10:37 am
    SL/OS,

    The Heritage Foundation.

    *sigh*

    I suppose I must shoulder part of the blame/credit for the lack of quality trolls. I may have over hunted this field. Mea culpa.

    =======================

    Are they now on an endangered species list?

  213. Not endangered per se, Blouise, but it is apparently getting harder find the trophy quality specimens.

  214. OS,

    “you should not expect anything better when they keep sending C and D list trolls like Randall and Moar/Roam.”

    You give the trolls far, far too much credit! I see them as F-List!

    “At least Tootie and MfM are occasionally entertaining whilst being batsh*t nutz”

    !!!! Whatever you do, do NOT say 2T three times in the mirror as it might bring the demon back!

    ————————————————–

    BIL,

    “I suppose I must shoulder part of the blame/credit for the lack of quality trolls.”

    I hope you are repenting for the havoc you have wrought upon us …
    :D

  215. SL,

    Charlie Sheen creates havoc. I think of what I do as making life exciting, but yes I suppose I do represent that remark. Oh, wait! You said “repent”.

    My bad. I must need to get new glasses. Never mind.

  216. I’m not holding my breath …

    How Democrats can become relevant again
    By Robert Reich

    Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid talks to the media after a Democratic policy luncheon
    This post originally appeared at Robert Reich’s blog

    Republicans offered Democrats two more weeks before the doomsday shut-down. Democrats countered with four. Republicans held their ground. Democrats agreed to two.

    This is what passes for compromise in our nation’s capital.

    Democrats have become irrelevant. If they want to be relevant again they have to connect the dots: The explosion of income and wealth among America’s super-rich, the dramatic drop in their tax rates, the consequential devastating budget squeezes in Washington and in state capitals, and the slashing of public services for the middle class and the poor.

    It is not a complicated story. Begin with what’s happened to the typical American, whose wages have been stagnant for thirty years. Today’s typical 30-year-old male (if he has a job) is earning the same as a 30-year-old male earned three decades ago, adjusted for for inflation. (Although women are doing better than they did 30 years ago, their wages still trail men’s.)

    The bottom 90 percent of Americans now earn, on average, only about $280 more per year than they did thirty years ago. That’s less than a 1 percent gain over more than a third of a century. Families are doing somewhat better but that’s only because so many families now have to rely on two incomes.

    But wait. The American economy is more than twice as large now as it was thirty years ago. So where did the money go? To the top. The richest 1 percent’s share of national has doubled — from around 9 percent in 1977 to over 20 percent now. The richest one-tenth of 1 percent’s share has tripled. The 150,000 households that comprise the top one-tenth of one percent now earn as much as the bottom 120 million put together.

    Given this explosion of income at the top you might think our tax system would demand a larger share from them. But you’d be wrong. You’re not taking account of the power of the super rich. As income and wealth have risen to the top, so has political power. As a result, their taxes have plummeted.

    From the 1940s until 1980, the tax rate on the highest earners in America was 70 percent or higher. In the 1950s, it was 91 percent. Even if you include deductions and credits, the rich were paying a far higher share of their income than at any time since.

    Under Ronald Reagan the top rate dropped to 28 percent. Under Bill Clinton it rose to 39 percent and then under George W. Bush dropped to 36 percent. As you recall, Republicans have managed to keep it there. Their avowed aim is to keep it there permanently.

    Meanwhile, estate taxes (which hit only the top 2 percent) have been slashed, as have taxes on capital gains — which comprise most of the income of the super rich. In the late 1970s, capital gains were taxed at well over 35 percent. Under Bill Clinton, the capital gains rate was 20 percent. Now it’s 15 percent.

    So who’s going to foot the bill for everything we need? Even before the Great Recession, the middle class’s share of the nation’s total income had shrunk. Yet their tax burden had grown. They were paying a bigger chunk of their incomes in payroll taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes than decades before.

    Then came the Great Recession — and with it, lower tax revenues. That means all levels of government are squeezed. Obviously, the middle class can’t pay more in taxes. But because the Democrats seem to lack the intestinal fortitude to suggest the obvious — that taxes need to be raised on the super rich — we’re left with a mess.

    Teachers are being fired, Pell grants for the poor are being slashed, energy assistance for the needy is disappearing, other vital public services shriveling. Regulatory agencies don’t have the budgets to pay the people they need to enforce the law. Even if it wanted to the Securities and Exchange Commission couldn’t police Wall Street.

    All of which is precisely where Republicans want the nation to be. It sets them up perfectly to blame government, blame public employees, blame unionized workers. It lets them pit workers against one another, divide the Democratic base, and promote the false idea that we’re in a giant zero-sum game and the nation can’t afford to do more.

    It diverts attention from what’s happened at the top — so no one sees how well CEOs and Wall Street bankers are doing again, no one views the paybacks and tax giveaways engineered by their Republican patrons, and no one focuses on the tide of money flowing from the likes of billionaires Charles and David Koch into Republican coffers.

    Where are the Democrats? Shuffling their feet, looking at the floor. “Please oh please give us four weeks before you shut us down,” they ask. “No,” say the Republicans, “you’ll get only two.” “Well, alright then,” say the Democrats.

    Here’s what Democrats should be saying:

    Hike taxes on the super-rich. Reform the tax code to create more brackets at the top with higher rates for millionaires and billionaires. Absurdly, the top bracket is now set at $375,000 with a tax rate of 35 percent; the second-highest bracket, at 33 percent, starts at $172,000 for individuals. But the big money is way higher.

    The source of income shouldn’t matter — salary, wages, capital gains, other unearned income — all should be treated the same. There’s no reason to reward speculators. (Don’t penalize true entrepreneurs, though. If they’re owners who have held their assets for at least twenty years, keep their capital gains low.)

    And while you’re at it, raise the ceiling on income subject to Social Security taxes. And bring back the estate tax.

    Do this and we can afford to do what we need to do as a nation. Do this and you prevent Republicans from setting the working middle class against itself. Do this and you restore some balance to a distribution of income and wealth that’s now dangerously out of whack.

    Do this, Democrats, and you have a chance of being relevant again.

    Robert Reich, a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, was secretary of labor during the Clinton administration. He is also a blogger and the author of “Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future.” More: Robert Reich

    http://www.salon.com/news/economics/index.html?story=/politics/war_room/2011/03/02/government_shutdown_stopgap_democrats

  217. “Conservatives believe that the federal government should have limited powers and that—beyond providing for the common defense and enforcing contracts— government should stay out of economic affairs as much as possible.”

    Yes they do. In every period where that has happened in our country’s history we have been faced with economic crises, while
    the wealth of the richest expanded. That is because those you call “conservative” come in basically three flavors:

    1. The very rich and their corporations.

    2. The servants of the very rich hoping for a piece of the pie.

    3, The ignorant, taken in by the propaganda of the rich and believing they too will get a piece of the pie, which they won’t.

    Where are you on the list Moar? I suspect number 2, which is a euphemism for other things.

  218. Mike S. said, “Where are you on the list Moar? I suspect number 2, which is a euphemism for other things.”

    Which, oddly enough, rhymes with “Moar”.

  219. Mike Spindell,

    “Robert Reich is one of the best people in the limelight today.”

    He is like a god to me. He makes so much damned sense and in terms that even I, with my limited economic knowledge, can understand.

  220. From Think Progress (3/2/2011)
    Ohio’s Assault On Workers’ Rights
    by Faiz Shakir, Benjamin Armbruster, George Zornick, Zaid Jilani, Alex Seitz-Wald, and Tanya Somanader
    http://pr.thinkprogress.org/2011/03/pr20110302/index.html

    Excerpt:
    In the largest political protest the state Capitol has seen in 15 years, thousands of demonstrators descended on the Ohio statehouse yesterday to protest Gov. John Kasich’s (R) bill taking away workers’ collective bargaining rights. The demonstrators, estimated at 8,500 strong, are speaking out against a bill that would “dramatically curtail bargaining powers of government workers, as the state becomes the latest flash point in the fight over union rights.” While much of the focus in recent weeks has been on Wisconsin, Ohio Republicans are taking a page from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) playbook to use the state’s budget woes as a pretext to cripple public sector unions with their own legislation, Senate Bill 5. Ohio’s bill would actually “go further than the one in Wisconsin by also affecting police officers and firefighters,” but unlike in the standoff in Wisconsin, Democrats in Ohio “don’t have the numbers to walk out and delay a vote.” The Ohio Senate Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee approved the changes today, which come in the form of a 99-page amendment to the bill. The committee’s chairman, state Sen. Kevin Bacon (R) worried he would not have enough votes to bring the measure to the Senate floor after Republican Sen. Bill Seitz (R), a committee member, said he would oppose it. Seitz even wrote an op-ed to the Cincinnati Enquirer warning the bill “overreach[es].” In a stunning move this morning, the Republican leadership yanked Seitz off the Labor committee, replacing him with a supporter of S.B 5 ahead of the vote.

  221. Dayton Daily News (2/25/2011)
    Paul Krugman: GOP trying to bust unions and push privatization
    http://www.daytondailynews.com/opinion/columnists/paul-krugman-gop-trying-to-bust-unions-and-push-privatization-1091217.html

    Excerpt:
    Here’s a thought: Maybe Madison, Wis., isn’t Cairo after all. Maybe it’s Baghdad — specifically, Baghdad in 2003, when the Bush administration put Iraq under the rule of officials chosen for loyalty and political reliability rather than experience and competence.

    As many readers may recall, the results were spectacular — in a bad way. Instead of focusing on the urgent problems of a shattered economy and society, which would soon descend into a murderous civil war, those Bush appointees were obsessed with imposing a conservative ideological vision. Indeed, with looters still prowling the streets of Baghdad, L. Paul Bremer, the American viceroy, told a Washington Post reporter that one of his top priorities was to “corporatize and privatize state-owned enterprises” — Bremer’s words, not the reporter’s — and to “wean people from the idea the state supports everything.”

    The story of the privatization-obsessed Coalition Provisional Authority was the centerpiece of Naomi Klein’s best-selling book “The Shock Doctrine,” which argued that it was part of a broader pattern. From Chile in the 1970s onward, she suggested, right-wing ideologues have exploited crises to push through an agenda that has nothing to do with resolving those crises, and everything to do with imposing their vision of a harsher, more unequal, less democratic society.

    Which brings us to Wisconsin 2011, where the shock doctrine is on full display.

    In recent weeks, Madison has been the scene of large demonstrations against the governor’s budget bill, which would deny collective-bargaining rights to public-sector workers. Gov. Scott Walker claims that he needs to pass his bill to deal with the state’s fiscal problems. But his attack on unions has nothing to do with the budget. In fact, those unions have already indicated their willingness to make substantial financial concessions — an offer the governor has rejected.

    What’s happening in Wisconsin is, instead, a power grab — an attempt to exploit the fiscal crisis to destroy the last major counterweight to the political power of corporations and the wealthy. And the power grab goes beyond union-busting. The bill in question is 144 pages long, and there are some extraordinary things hidden deep inside.

    For example, the bill includes language that would allow officials appointed by the governor to make sweeping cuts in health coverage for low-income families without having to go through the normal legislative process.

    And then there’s this: “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).”

  222. This has been an excellent thread and a bravura performance by Elaine, but some comments have started me on a thought process. Is it that we have second string trolls and so their arguments are easily demolished, or is it that the entire, current conservative argument is flawed and indefensible? I’m leaning towards the latter.

    In the past, when the center really did represent a an apex on the political bell curve, valid arguments could be made by both the left and right as to how best to govern this country. In fact, at least political/financial/social philosophy had valid issues to be raised and points to be made by not only the center, but from both sides of the spectrum. The overall welfare of the country’s people might be seen to by solutions offered from differing political contexts. As a caveat of course the US is and has always been an oligarchy, but for the most parts the debates had some substance on either side of the spectrum.

    Today that no longer exists. A conservative like Ike, would be vilified by those calling him a traitor to the movement. Robert Taft, seen at the time as an arch-conservative, would really be a moderate by today’s standards. The center has moved so far to the right that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, who are seen by the right as out of control liberals, are actually moderate conservatives.

    This shift began after the defeat of Goldwater as the fanatical forces of right wing entitlement, began funding operations to utilize propaganda to shift this country rightwards against its’ own best interests. Dick Nixon, who today would also be viewed by Teabaggers as liberal, was forced out of office under circumstances that are to this day suspect in the sense that the whole story was never revealed (ITT’s Dita Baird, for instance).
    Jerry Ford was a placeholder as far as this cabal was concerned,
    while they groomed a failed actor for the role of “leader” by
    his term as Governor of a large State.

    Jimmy Carter, unfortunately a man of little Washington insider savvy was set up as the future patsy, by a media already being message controlled by the cabal. The came the events in Iran, the hostage crisis and the peculiar (to say the least)release of the hostages on inauguration day. The 80’s brought the cabal’s plan to fruition, with G.H.W. Bush controlling the puppet actor,
    all three TV networks coming under the control of conservative corporations and the proliferation of ultra-right wing foundations (Heritage, Cato, etc.) to supply credible sounding speakers to soundbite news shows, further pushing the discussion and its’ acceptable parameters further right.

    To get to my real point I had to use the ultra-brief and shallow
    discussion above as a setter of context. There is no logically defensible position to be found upholding the rape of America and its’ people by this cabal of greedy, unsympathetic plutocrats. Our middle class is disappearing, our manufacturing
    base sent overseas, our infrastructure is failing, our military
    is tasked with imperialist operations.

    To make a valid argument for this state of affairs based on current “conservative” philosophy is impossible. The only way to get past this is via the “big lie” technique and a false appeal to fundamentalist religious values. To be among the wealthy elite in this country excuses you from all manner of sin and certainly punishment for those you commit, be it fraud or murder. The morality is for the “little people,” not the nabobs.

    So of course then the trolls vapid arguments and lies are easily demolished. They have no substance and merely serve for cover for the real situation occurring here. TV and football have become our version of the Roman’s “bread and circuses,” but in the end it is ignorance of the people behind the curtain that keep us under their thumb.

    My apologies for any excesses or failings in my statements above. I’ve read through all this thread and while I’m still hopeful, my bile towards what’s going on rose to the surface today.

  223. Robert Reich is awesome. I don’t always agree with Krugman, but I almost always agree with Reich.

  224. Buddha,

    I think Krugman is right on this one–the GOP is/has been trying to bust unions and to privatize many of the functions/responsibilities of government. Look at all the contractors in Afghanistan as just one example. And now we even have a Democratic Administration that employs thousands and thousands of military contractors.

  225. Here’s an interesting news tidbit:

    TPM LiveWire
    Fox News Suspends Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum As Contributors
    Ryan J. Reilly | March 2, 2011, 12:15PM
    http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/03/fox-news-suspends-newt-gingrich-rick-santorum-as-contributors.php?ref=fpb

    Excerpt:
    Fox News has suspended Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum as contributors to the network because they “have signaled possible runs for the Presidency.”

    Fox News anchor Bret Baier announced on air that starting today, the network had suspended its contributor arrangements with both Gingrich and Santorum, who have indicated they are planning presidential runs against President Barack Obama in 2012.

    Baier, reports Mediaite, said the suspension is effective for 60 days and that their contracts with Fox News will officially be terminated on May 1. Sarah Palin wasn’t affected by the suspensions.

  226. Mike Spindell:

    I think the same way about the tripe you guys swill. Basically government is in bed with industry and has been subsidizing it for years. Vanderbilt ran his steam ship line against a government subsidized company in the mid to late 1800’s. The government subsidized one didn’t do very well and Vanderbilt made his fortune.

    The problem is that government and business have no business being in the same bed. That is called socialism or fascism. You want more of the same. I want a total separation of government and business. You want business sucking governments teat and vice versa. But you don’t even know that is what you are proposing.

    So if you think our ideas are easy to defend against, we think your ideas aren’t even worth discussing. There is no historical evidence for a government business nexus that has ever worked. It has only lead to penury and woe. So why would we even entertain more of the same?

    Go back to sleep old timer, you and your kind already screwed our country up. Us young people have a different idea. It is time for you 60’s radicals to get out of the way and quit singing Kumbaya and shouting “Ho Ho We Wont Go”.

    Your ideas [the left] definitely are #2, they truly are for shit.

    But keep on dreaming the dream old timer.

  227. “Robert Reich is awesome. I don’t always agree with Krugman, but I almost always agree with Reich.”

    So you agree with them the same except not the same?

    Man, no wonder you dont make any sense.

  228. Dr. Reich’s article and Mike Spindell’s remarks got me thinking – in my opinion, what we (take ‘we’ in whatever context you like) should do is to build a populist movement around the idea of raising taxes on the rich for the 2012 elections. To avoid some of the mistakes that liberals have made in the recent past, I think several things should be considered:

    1. There should be an easily articulated basic principle (something like taking half of all earnings over $1,000,000.00 to pay down the debt) so it can’t be turned into a ‘death panel’- or is more difficult to do and less effective if it is.

    2. A robust and straightforward policy goal (say, a marginal tax rate of 50% on all income over $1 million which automatically drops to %40 if the national debt drops below an acceptable level (10% of GNP, for instance). We don’t want to get health insurance reform instead of health care reform and lose the public option because it wasn’t billed as a ‘Medicare buy-in’ and clearly shown to be supported by the public.

    3. Characteristic slogans – if you can fill the National Mall with people chanting ‘Tax the Rich!’ or ‘Austerity for Billionaires’ it gives a clear message to the politicians as to why they are being elected (especially if people are chanting those slogans at their campaign rallies…) – the only way that I can see this working is if it is a goal shared by a broad and vocal grassroots movement.

    4. The message that it is the patriotic duty of all ‘affluent Americans’ to take one for the team right now. As Mike S. pointed out, there is no moral position from which to argue that such a measure would be unfair and no credible argument that this policy would be bad for the economy.

    This could also be paired with a flat corporate tax rate on companies doing business in the US – even if they get their mail at an address in the Caribbean…

    Let’s go after the Koch brothers’ money – and let’s not forget (at least) half of their fortunes when they finally croak!

  229. Moar,

    You believe in polluted air, poisoned water, and tainted foods. You believe in drugs that will kill people as long as they sell enough to cover the lawsuits and make a profit besides. You believe in our parents and grandparents dying of starvation and disease in poverty. You believe in corporations and individuals gaming the system for their own profit at the expense of everyone else. What a pathetic waste of a human being you are…

  230. Moaroan,

    “Go back to sleep old timer, you and your kind already screwed our country up. Us young people have a different idea. It is time for you 60′s radicals to get out of the way and quit singing Kumbaya and shouting “Ho Ho We Wont Go”.

    Your ideas [the left] definitely are #2, they truly are for shit.

    But keep on dreaming the dream old timer.”

    Typical petulent drivel from a typical petulant child. Like a spoiled brat who stamps their feet and screams that it’s all about, you and the retards like you whine, “It’s all about ME! ME! ME!!”. Without progressive policies, this country would be farther down the shitter than it already is. It is the greed and selfishness of those that you worship that are determined to see that anyone they deem “unworthy” are kicked to the curb, while they enjoy the spoils of the war they are waging.

    While Mike Spindell may not have the physical strength he once had, intellectually, he buries whiney little punk-ass bitches like you on a daily basis.

  231. Stamford Liberal,

    Those comments that Moar made about and to Mike S. show Moar has little respect for those with more life experience and more wisdom than he/she. Moar knows about “talking points” and the right-wing agenda. He/she seems to know little about the past…and seems to care little for the average working people of this country.

  232. Elaine sez (with regard to “Moar”): “He/she seems to know little about the past…and seems to care little for the average working people of this country.”

    ***************************************************

    Elaine, there is no “seems” about it. This is clearly a “know-nothing” who has nothing original to offer but RedState, Limbaugh,Beck, and O’Reilly talking points. Operating from a stance that if you shout lies loud and often, it will magically become true.

  233. “You want more of the same. I want a total separation of government and business. You want business sucking governments teat and vice versa.”

    Wow! Talking about getting one’s point proven by the person it was partly aimed toward. Thank you Moar. You’ve just played the game I’ve described by arguing against a “straw man” of your own construction. I don’t want government and business interconnected, I want government to regulate business to ensure that we are dealing with a fair marketplace and not one gamed by business.

    I know that is too difficult a concept for you to perceive, being that you’re so wrapped up in your
    propagandistic mythology, or are you a disciple of that untalented romantic novelist? One can’t tell because you expose as little of your own personality as possible,
    which gives you the flexibility of deniability and deceit.

    As far as outmoded ideas go, your writing exposes a taste for feudalism, under a different banner. That is the inevitable consequence of your beliefs, if one had the basic reasoning skills to postulate the results. Now, since you expose so little of your background it is possible that feudalism would work for you, like G.W. Bush you might have been born on 3rd base and thought you hit a triple. My guess though is that you’re just another working guy, who longs for the scraps thrown him from his “betters” table. By the way since you have no understanding of Fascism, or Communism, or Socialism,
    perhaps you don’t understand Feudalism either. Let me explain it to you in the simplest terms possible, one that might even excite your loins: Feudalism is the system where courtiers vie to empty the King’s Chamber
    Pot in the morning and then to wipe his behind.

  234. Troll That Rhymes With Whore,

    I don’t make sense to you because, unlike you, I am capable of independent critical thought without having what to think spoon fed to me by fascists and propagandists.

  235. Elaine M,

    As evidenced by his posts, it’s obvious he has no respect for anyone or anything, and it’s highly doubtful Moar respects himself and is obviously unable to think for himself. What a shitty way to go through life.

    He may get away with his blissful ignorance and his disrespecting others – failure on his parents part I guess – but I won’t let it slide by. If my kid were like that, she would have had a size 8 foot firmly implanted in her behind.

    ——————————————————-

    Mike S,

    You have proven my point above – thank you! ;)

  236. Mike S.,
    Well said. Mr./Ms.Moar is basically arguing for our side when he complains that business and government should not be in bed with each other. Does he/she bother to read what Walker and his kin have been doing and are trying to expand? The organized labor movement is one of the best ways to prevent government from getting into bed with corporations. Hey Moar. do you wonder why Gov. Walker took the call from the Koch imposter??

  237. SL,

    Mike is a truly awesome troll-killer.

    It is part and parcel of why I and many regulars do love him so.

  238. “in my opinion, what we (take ‘we’ in whatever context you like) should do is to build a populist movement around the idea of raising taxes on the rich for the 2012 elections.”

    Slarti,

    Yes I’m coming from the same place exactly. Democrats have been afraid in the past to engage this way tactically for fear of the claim they were starting a “Class War,” of course with its spurious Marxian connotations. The mistake of this strategy, or lack of same, is that the “class war” is already being waged against us by the Plutocratic Class and its minions like Moar (as a poor “for instance”).

    I’ve always found both in my career and my personal dealings that when you avoid discussing the reality of a situation, you give power to those behaving with deceit and/or pathology. The only hope for success against the Plutocrats is to strike back in kind, with sound bytes that describe our position. The difference twixt us and them is that their sound bytes are meant to conceal their true agenda, while ours should reveal our agenda.

    My thinking which I know you share, is that unless we call things as they are, people will be fooled again. I also strongly believe that with the truth exposed the majority of people will side with progressives. You see now conservatives, progressives believe in enlightened self interest, it’s just knowing what one’s self interests are and should be.

  239. “in my opinion, what we (take ‘we’ in whatever context you like) should do is to build a populist movement around the idea of raising taxes on the rich for the 2012 elections.”

    Raff,

    What constantly amazes me is how people like Moar just don’t get it, assuming he is not for hire. They exhibit the psychological construct know as Denial and the
    “wishful(magical)thinking” characteristic of 5 year old children.

    Buddha,

    In your own famous words “one lives to be of service.”

  240. Mike S.,
    I think you touched on the answer. these “posters” always seem to rise up whenever there is heat on a Koch issue or a Republican issue. They morph from moar to roam to whatever name is next for the purpose of hijacking the thread. I do think compensation, in some form, is involved.

  241. rafflaw,

    “I do think compensation, in some form, is involved.”

    You don’t suppose it’s a “good boy” and a pat on the head, do you?

    ;)

  242. raff,

    I hope so, but more importantly I want to figure out what I can do to make it so (and to do so regardless of the success or failure of the ‘Wisconsin 14′). As far as trolls go… I don’t particularly care whether they’re compensated or not – in either case I think the best response is dictated by the need to fight the tactic (derailing the discussion, building false consensus, etc.) rather than the motive. I am, however, curious as to if there is a way to determine a troll’s motive… (and I agree with the consensus regarding the possibilities).

    Mike S,

    Since anything further preaching would be to the choir (and the deaf), the question becomes: how do you start a grassroots movement? How can we tell the Koch brothers (and their ilk) that we’ve all sacrificed already and that now it’s their turn – and actually get politicians to follow through?

    TAX THE RICH!

  243. BIL,

    Yes, Mike is quite the troll slayer, isn’t he? It’s always the peaceful, nonconfrontational ones that hit the hardest ;)

    —————————————————

    Elaine M,

    “You don’t suppose it’s a “good boy” and a pat on the head, do you?”

    Absolutely – and with a Snausage thrown in to boot!

  244. Slartibarfast:

    “Moar,

    You believe in polluted air, poisoned water, and tainted foods. You believe in drugs that will kill people as long as they sell enough to cover the lawsuits and make a profit besides. You believe in our parents and grandparents dying of starvation and disease in poverty. You believe in corporations and individuals gaming the system for their own profit at the expense of everyone else. What a pathetic waste of a human being you are…”

    Only in your progressive day dreams Pokey

  245. Stamford Liberal:

    “Without progressive policies, this country would be farther down the shitter than it already is.”

    Now that is pure bull hunky. One of the greatest eras of invention and innovation was during the later half of the 19th century, when we had a pretty much free economy.

    You dumb asses have caused us to be behind where we could have been. You and your old stale tired Marxist crap has put us in the shitter. That it took you a 100 years to do it is testiment to the capacity of the free market.

  246. No. It is not a dream you support the Kochs. It’s your own admission. You support demonstrable fascists, troll. That alone shows you’re a pathetic waste of a human being to follow men who put simple personal profit over principle. Venal is as venal does. While the venal may be good at making money, they suck at being people. This is simply because in their greed they lack some of the basic traits that make us human, like compassion, empathy and a concern for society that rises about the concern for their own pocketbook. Progressives may dream of a day when people like that are marginalized from influencing society and raising children to act that way is frowned upon as if you were raising your kids to be heroin addicts, but until then, that does not change that those kind of people that embrace retrograde and damaging political ideals like fascism are indeed bad at being human and ergo are a pathetic waste.

  247. Moaroan,

    Blah, blah, free economy, blah, yawn, dumbasses, yawn, yawn.

    Same old and tired talking points. Tell your ass-masters they need to give you some new ones.

  248. Moar,

    In my progressive daydreams you have a make-work job (to justify your government stipend – your only source of income) apologizing to people for all of your inaccuracies, propaganda, and lies. And you live to a ripe old age (due to socialized medicine) stewing in the knowledge that you were utterly and completely wrong.

    But maybe that’s just me…

  249. Elaine M:

    “Stamford Liberal,

    Those comments that Moar made about and to Mike S. show Moar has little respect for those with more life experience and more wisdom than he/she. Moar knows about “talking points” and the right-wing agenda. He/she seems to know little about the past…and seems to care little for the average working people of this country.”

    I am the working class that is why I dont like your policies or ideas. They cause and have caused much pain and suffering.

    Socialism sucks and so does fascism and Marxism all of them are called statism as in static as in dead ideas. They have done nothing for the working class except impoverish him so he can pay for someone elses child to go to college.

    You and people like you feed off the working man to pay for the food on some crack whores table. Or pay for some punk ass artist to shove paint up his and take a dump on a canvas, or some poet to write about mules screwing virgins.

    Or you tax the life out of the working man to put up public housing units which have to be torn down not long after they are built.

    in short you despise the working man and use him for your wet dreams.

  250. Mike Spindroll:

    “I don’t want government and business interconnected, I want government to regulate business to ensure that we are dealing with a fair marketplace and not one gamed by business.”

    Cant be done, we do it now and have done it for years. All you will get is more of the same. When government has favors to sell, they are sold.

    Try again pops, long on sarcasm short on substance. You getting enough oxygen old timer? They sell pulse ox monitors at the Rexall or Walgreens around the corner. If it is under about 90 you might want to call a medical supply house and get some O2.

  251. Mike S.,

    The troll definitely has his/her knickers in a twist at the moment. The troll is getting really agitated now. Poor thing’s frustrated that he/she isn’t getting his/her talking points across to “old timers” like you and me.

  252. Stuttering Loon:

    “BIL,

    Yes, Mike is quite the troll slayer, isn’t he? It’s always the peaceful, non confrontational ones that hit the hardest”

    you are kidding, right? His refutation was completely lame, my dog makes more sense than he does. I think all of you must be some geriatric group of lefties getting together to pat one another on the back about the old times and how you and Bill Ayers “saved” the country.

    Keep positing pestilence, maybe some dumb union guy will believe you.

  253. Moaron,

    Such an angry white boy you are.

    How sad it is to be you – a little, ineffective and ignorant piss-ant who whores himself out for the benefit of his corporate masters and is too stupid to know it.

    Christ, the LEAST they could do is give you some new material!

  254. Apologist drivel and ageism in one fell swoop. Regulation of business can be done and hasn’t been done since the all out assault on regulation begun under Reagan. De-regulation that has led to economic collapse, fraud and corruption. De-regulation that *gasp* needs to be addressed to fix those problems by, wait for it . . . regulation. Like the regulation that mitigated those damages to society before the fascist putsch for profits and damn the consequences. Like those regulations put in place after the 1929 market crash and the failed Business Coup of 1933.

  255. Buddha is:

    “but until then, that does not change that those kind of people that embrace retrograde and damaging political ideals like fascism are indeed bad at being human and ergo are a pathetic waste.”

    I know where that kind of talk leads, now you are talking killing people who are rich. Happens every time you socialists come to power, someone is always in the cross hairs. Capitalists, Jews, Kulaks, the Middle Class. It never fails, just cant keep away from shedding blood.

    I bet you and ole Pol Pot have a lot in common.

  256. moar,
    you are getting crazier by the minute. Noone is suggesting that anyone gets harmed. Nice try, but hsyterics are no substitute for facts and reason. By the way, the middle class are the ones that the Rich are battling against now in Wisconsin, Ohio and around the country. I think you have been smoking some of that ol’ Pot to come up with your off the wall statments.

  257. “It’s always the peaceful, non confrontational ones that hit the hardest”

    Moar,

    You really are a schmuck. You are so caught up in your master’s stereotypes that you really believe that people like me are just effete snobs, who are fearful of confrontation. Sonny, you don’t know how wrong you are. While its true that I like people and for the most part treat them well, I am far from being a gentle soul when it comes to bullies and their lackeys. You seem the perfect lackey to me and that is why I used certain allusions with you. You conservative guys like to talk tough and some of you are even as tough as they talk. Those are the people though who would have nothing to do with the likes of you, except as servants. Most of you though are just bullies and bully wannabe’s.

    You all have the attitude, based on your silly stereotypes of liberals, that people who care for others are soft pushovers.
    I’m no pushover and haven’t been in my life and career, when it comes to confronting poisonous people and their poisoned ideas.
    Now in this forum, where it is all about words and knowledge, people of your ilk just can’t cut it. However, what you trolls don’t realize is that we’ve had real conservatives who write here and have written here. They, like many of us are independent thinkers, rather than party line followers, and thus pleasures to encounter.

    You, on the other hand are a party line follower, just like any Nazi or Communist. There is no flexibility of thought, only tired slogans to be brandished in the vain hope of using stale material to support your rigid belief system.

    Your are someone to be pitied and in your heart you know that’s true. The fact is that your ability to make a point has been tested here and found woefully wanting, though I bet you’re a hit with your ignorant friends, as well as being a loyal lap dog for your masters.

  258. Elaine M:

    you mean wise as in “accepting of liberal ideas?” It will never happen.

    I look at it the other way around, by the time you get to be old you should have left that progressive nonsense in the dust. Put it in the cedar chest with your blankie and pacifier.

    Progressivism is a very childish and destructive ideology.

    May you truly understand what individual rights are before you meet the boatman.

  259. “I know where that kind of talk leads, now you are talking killing people who are rich. Happens every time you socialists come to power, someone is always in the cross hairs. Capitalists, Jews, Kulaks, the Middle Class. It never fails, just cant keep away from shedding blood.”

    Not only is that hysterical statement ridiculous, it is rife with
    lack of understanding. socialists are not communists, two different belief systems. Communists have killed people, so have those of fascist mind like you. People of that ilk disgust me and the difference between you and me is that I’ve actually known them, while all you’ve got is the propaganda from other ignorant fools. I’m neither a Nazi, Communist, Socialist, or Capitalist. “Ism’s” and those who believe them are foolish attempts to make sense of the world by rigid thinkers who need a guidebook to life and politics.

    I believe in treating others in the way I’d like to be treated.
    I believe that we humans are responsible to ensure that all our fellow humans are well-treated and free from oppression. I believe that greed is bad and that love for humanity is good. In sort i am what is called a moral person, in the main. You are simply a defender of amoral behavior, clothed as economics and equally vicious to the other belief systems you decry. It’s just that you’re to rigid to come to that realization.

  260. Mike Spindroll:

    Lacky? That is rich coming from people who follow the party line of real Marxists. Very funny stuff.

    Jesus, you are accusing me of what you and others here engage in. It is rich. Krugman, Reich, Sarte, Marx, Tiabi, Ayers those are your masters. Only problem is they arent right.

    You make me laugh grandpa. Look in the mirror. Take the beam out of your own eye before you comment on the splinter in mine.

  261. You are simply a defender of amoral behavior, clothed as economics and equally [AS} vicious [AS] the other belief systems you decry. It’s just that you’re to rigid to come to that realization.

    Oops.

  262. Moar,

    BZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

    Wrong answer. I’m against tyranny. Including tyranny perpetrated on the majority by the minority wealthy. We’re supposed to be a democracy, which means a government of the people for the people with majority rules. However if “the rich”, aka your pimp, screw over enough people?

    History tells me what happens to “the rich”. And it isn’t “they eat more cake”. You too can ask Marie if you can superglue her head back on.

    But me? No. I’d prefer a peaceful legal solution. Like equitable taxation where the monies are spent on infrastructure benefiting the common good and not just narrow special interests. Where there equal treatment under the law and people don’t get away with crimes simply because they are wealthy and have purchased influence over corrupt politicians. Where the words “liberty and justice for all” actually mean something again.

    However, if “the rich” bring disaster upon themselves out of their perpetually myopic greed? I’m going to be the guy laughing my ass off at their folly.

    So next time you want to play psychic? You better buy a clue first, sport. Because you clearly don’t know what I think, Koch Whore.

  263. “You make me laugh grandpa. Look in the mirror. Take the beam out of your own eye before you comment on the splinter in mine.”

    By the age of 18 I had read all of Ayn Rand’s books. They at first seemed compelling until I gave some thought to them, at which point I realized their solutions were ridiculous. Ah but I was so much smarter ten you seem to be.

    “Mike Spindroll:”

    By the way sonny, don’t you realize that making fun of people’s names usually goes away by the 7th grade?

  264. Mike S.,

    “By the way sonny, don’t you realize that making fun of people’s names usually goes away by the 7th grade?”

    I think Moar is suffering from something called arrested development.

  265. Mike Spindroll:

    I dont think people who promote the forceful taking of other peoples property are very moral. So I am not impressed.

  266. Mike Spindroll:

    Who is Ayn Rand? If you dont like him/her he/she must be okay.

    What books has she written so I can go get a couple.

  267. Hey Buddha:

    What is majority rule? It’s mob rule. Last time I checked the Constitution was written to protect the individual from the mob.

    Jesus, I hope you arent a lawyer.

  268. Then you’re not only unimpressed, but unconstitutional as well.

    The power to tax and spend is well established in both the Constitution and in precedent. If the wealthy don’t want to pay their fair share of the burden of maintaining society, the very society that made them wealthy in the first place, then that’s just too bad. Being a venal asshole isn’t impressive either. Being venal is in fact frowned upon by every reasonable ethical and religious tradition in the world. If the wealthy don’t want to pay taxes, they should not avail themselves of the courts, call the cops or fire department, or expect special treatment from the government as they are failing in their civic duty.

  269. rafflaw:

    go ahead and confuse me with your reality. That is exactly what it is. You are against the individual at the core of your beliefs. There is nothing liberal about any of you.

  270. Hey Moar,

    Goes to show you can read, but can’t understand.

    The purpose of the Constitution is found in the Preamble.

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    Note the words “We the People”, “common” and “general”.

    The needs of many outweigh the desires of the few.

    Equating majority rule to mob rule is a false equivalence. A false equivalence is two things: 1) a lie and 2) a logical fallacy. If you’re trying to paint yourself as an illogical liar, you’re doing a bang up job, sparky.

    What you propose isn’t democracy. It’s simply oligarchy. Which is, I should point out, the favored form of fascists. Where a few people run everything and the everyone else is simply screwed. You know – oligarchical fascists, like the guys you support. The guys you think will give you a piece of the pie when they come to final power but will instead have you scrubbing the toilets wearing a dunce cap and a badge that says “Rube”. If you weren’t so intractably greed and from that blind greed ignorant, you’d realize that in a democracy everyone gets pie, but no one gets cake.

  271. Buddha is ?:

    “Because you clearly don’t know what I think, Koch Whore.”

    sure I do, it is in your writings, you are a totalitarian who would steal from the guy making $30k per year to give to the guy making $12k per year. You dont care for the Constitution even though you slavisly pay homage to it. You would be the first to burn it if you got the chance.

  272. Moar-

    You said,”Who is Ayn Rand?”…”What books has she written so I can go get a couple.”

    Those are the books you are sitting on, so you can reach the keyboard of your Mom’s computer.

  273. No, dipstick, I’m a democratic socialist who thinks 30K a year and 12K a year are both getting screwed over by 30M a year and that 30M a year should be paying ALL the taxes they should under an equitable system of taxation that wasn’t rigged to favor the super wealthy. My writings clearly and repeatedly indicate that I am in favor of a sliding scale flat rate tax with no exemptions or loopholes.

    Once again, buy a clue sport. Inequity is injustice. Tax inequity is still inequity and ergo inherently unjust.

    But please, call me a totalitarian again. I love it when fascist bootlicks try to smear me with their own sins. It smell just like Karl Rove.

  274. Buddha is ?:

    now that is really funny. Come on Sparky you are kidding me right?

    You are a hopeless case if you think the Constitution was written for “We” the people. It was written to protect the rights of the least in our society.

    I cant even believe that you honestly believe that, it is the stupidist thing I have yet read.

    this is no place of enlightened thinkers, it is festering shit hole of populist punks.

  275. raff,

    Moat works too. Most moats were full of the filthy waste water produced by the royals living inside the castle. In the instance of this troll, that is most appropriate.

  276. Moar
    1, March 2, 2011 at 7:53 pm
    Henman:

    I am sitting on a phonebook and my mom is dead. So who is Ayn Rand? Or dont you know?

    ==============================================

    Fool … you are obviously unaware that HenMan is a super-hero and able to view both you and your mom at this very minute … she’s not dead and you are sitting on an Atlas that is constantly Shrugging.

    (Koch siblings …. please, I’m begging you … better trolls)

  277. Moar,

    If you don’t know who Ayn Rand is then you are woefully ignorant of the philosophies that you are parroting; if you do know who Ayn Rand is then you are playing some kind of disingenuous, moronic game; and if you can’t find out who Ayn Rand is using the internet then you are an imbecile. Which is it?

  278. Moar,

    Personally, I think you are an ignorant imbecile playing some kind of disingenuous, moronic game, but logically at least one of those things has to be true.

  279. Moar,

    “sure I do, it is in your writings, you are a totalitarian who would steal from the guy making $30k per year to give to the guy making $12k per year.”

    Really? Oh, please show me where anyone has advocated “stealing” from the guy who makes $30,000 to give to the guy making $12,000.

    Don’t bother, you can’t because it has never been said, has never been proposed. You are just revomiting what the Rabid and Ridiculous Right and your Corporate Ass Masters vomit down your throat.

    Your silly statement is just another sign that you are so full of sh*t your eyes are turning brown. Not only are you full of sh*t, you are one dumb f*ck.

  280. HenMan,

    “Those are the books you are sitting on, so you can reach the keyboard of your Mom’s computer.”

    LOL – DAMMIT! Not only do I have to be careful before reading Blouise’s post, NOW I have to be careful before reading yours … apple juice really hurts when it flies out of your nose …

  281. we \ˈwē\, pl. pronoun

    1: I and the rest of a group that includes me : you and I : you and I and another or others : I and another or others not including you —used as pronoun of the first person plural — compare i, our, ours, us

    2:: 1i —used by sovereigns —used by writers to keep an impersonal character

    As our Constitution plainly established this country as a pluralistic representative republican democracy, the second definition of “we”, the royal “we”, is clearly inappropriate in discussing the Constitution. Unless, of course, you’re some tool trying to promote and defend oligarchical fascism.

  282. Elaine,

    Re: Republican War on Working Families ad … I consider my donation well spent

    The majority of workers slated to lose their rights here in Ohio are women so this is also another arm of the Republican Party’s War on American Women. (Public Service Workers in Ohio … 250,000 men; 350,000 women)

  283. Blouise,

    Somewhere–sorry I can’t recall where–someone wrote about how the unions that Walker was allowing to keep the right to collective bargaining had a large majority of male members…while members of teachers and nurses unions were mostly female. That is something to think about.

  284. Folks, I think by now it is abundantly clear that the trolls infesting this thread came here with the express purpose of disruption of any meaningful discussion of the issues at hand. In that, they have succeeded. It is no coincidence that the trolling has been in threads related to the Koch crime family, Republican governors and their misbehavior, and anything that brings right-wing immorality and/or illegality into the light.

    I little bit of making fun of the trolls is OK, but when it rises to the level of the troll having a diagnosable case of OCD and Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder and making the blog thread unreadable, then it ceases to be entertaining.

    And that pisses me off.

  285. Otteray,

    I think we’ve had plenty of meaningful discussion on this thread. In addition, I think the trolling here proves what kind of people speak and argue in support of the Kochs of this country. By the trolls’ comments–a number of which have been crude–shall ye know them.

  286. Elaine, you are right of course. It is just that I get truly annoyed and disgusted with the deliberate attempts to derail discussion. I do not know whether the best thing would be to ignore them or do what we have been doing. Adding to my reaction is the fact I am under a lot of stress right now and my tolerance for that famous barnyard product is even lower than usual. Sorry if I am coming across as unduly grumpy.

  287. Elaine M.
    1, March 2, 2011 at 8:40 pm
    Blouise,

    Somewhere–sorry I can’t recall where–someone wrote about how the unions that Walker was allowing to keep the right to collective bargaining had a large majority of male members…while members of teachers and nurses unions were mostly female. That is something to think about.

    =================================================

    Yep … Republicans do want to break the Unions but they would like to do so by driving a wedge between the male and female members. Here, in Ohio, that tactic was recognized from the get-go and the Fire and Police refused to “fall” for it.

    The Republican Party’s War on American Women is very real and based on the fear that women are taking too much of the power here-to-fore reserved for “white” males. It is as sexist as it appears and it appeals to a certain class of males who find a comfortable home within the Republican Party … and the women who live to service them.

    Class/sex/race warfare is a basic tenant of the Republican Party and has been overtly so since the nomination of Reagan. Over time many intelligent Republicans have left the party due to this ugly fact which is why the party’s ability to carry on has become so sloppy and so dependent on the fools who called themselves the Christian Right, then the Moral Majority and most recently, the Teabaggers. These are all the same people simply renaming themselves … the name changes but the actions remain the same.

    Forcing the Koch siblings out of the closet by tying them so publicly to Walker and Kasich without giving them a strong personality like Gingrich or Falwell behind which to hide is causing some consternation within the wealthy Republican Party contributors.

  288. Elaine, I must give a mea culpa. The demon child is back in the thread about the SCOTUS ruling today. I knew I should not have written the name of “she who must not be named.” It is probably my fault she is back.

  289. Otteray,

    The trick is to use their blathering to get in some points that would otherwise not be made. In that respect it is a battle of wits.

  290. OS,

    I have to agree with Elaine about the net effect (or failure to effect from their masters viewpoint) that the trolls have had upon this thread. If pure disruption was their goal, it was an abject and miserable failure on their part that only succeeded in further making the case against the Koch Bros. and those like them. And these trolls clearly did not come prepared for a battle of wits as they came unarmed.

    As to the being grumpy? That happens to everybody now and again. Don’t sweat it. Why some of my favorite regular posters are grumpy.

    As to mentioning “she who must not be named” though? Those who forget the lessons of the film “Candyman” are doomed to repeat them (pardon the pun). :mrgreen:

  291. Elaine-

    You said, “…the unions that Walker was allowing to keep the right to collective bargaining…”.

    These are the Police, Firefighters, and State Patrol unions. You may have noticed they are not counter-protesting, nor are they showing any hostility to the other members of state employee unions who are in and around the Capitol Building. Actually, many have joined the protesters. The reason for this is simple. They have not fallen for Walker’s attempts to divide the unions and play them off against each other. The Police, Firefighters, and State Patrol members know that as soon as the other unions are broken, their unions will be next on the chopping block. And Wackenhut is waiting in the wings drooling over the opportunity to deal with Scott Walker again.

    As I said on an earlier post, did you ever meet a Republican who only hated SOME of the unions?

  292. OS,

    You have nothing to feel shame for. And don’t worry about naming Tootie – whenever she shows up you just have to tear her arguments to shreds for awhile and she will run away pretty quickly. Tootie might have more game that Moar, but in the greater scheme of things she still lost the genetic lottery for intelligence and apparently wasn’t raised in an environment that taught her critical thinking skills or the value of education. To put it bluntly – she isn’t scary. At all. So just to refute Buddha’s point, thrice I name thee Tootie, and done! Let’s see her do her worst…

    Regarding the care and feeding (or lack thereof) of trolls – I think that it is important to keep in mind that if you go too far in engaging with trolls then you are helping to disrupt the conversation and achieve their purpose, but some level of engagement is good for the purposes of debunking them and elucidating arguments.

  293. HenMan,
    Well said. All unions are on the Republican chopping block. Walker just thought he could fool the police and fire unions. Another mistake that Scotty made.

  294. Slarti,

    I don’t mind you refute my points, but don’t go refudiating my jokes there, You Mr. Fjords-Sciencey Guy You. ;)

  295. Buddha,

    That’s ‘DOCTOR Fjords-Sciencey Guy’ – I didn’t spend 10 years in evil graduate school (that would be Duke, mostly) to be called mister… Besides, with all of these substandard trolls, I wouldn’t want you to lose your edge.

  296. Strutting Loon:

    “Really? Oh, please show me where anyone has advocated “stealing” from the guy who makes $30,000 to give to the guy making $12,000.”

    Do you or do you not support taxation? If you do then you support what is written above because it is happening right now.

  297. From Mother Jones (3/3/2011)
    Wisconsin Legislators Move Desks Out of Locked-Down Capitol In Challenge to Lawless Governor
    by John Nichols
    http://www.thenation.com/blog/158977/wisconsin-legislators-move-desks-out-locked-down-capitol-challenge-lawless-governor

    Excerpt:
    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is so determined to shut down debate on his proposal to strip collective bargaining rights from state, county and municipal employees and teachers that he has effectively locked down the state Capitol of Wisconsin.

    A judge has ordered the governor and his aides to open the Capitol.

    Obviously shaken by the popular rejection of his proposal — which has spaked protests across the state, including one that drew more than 100,000 people to Madison last Saturday — the governor and his aides have failed to comply with the order. Instead, they have restricted access so severely that, in the words of former Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager, they make a mockery of the state’s tradition of open and accessible government.

    “Opening the Capitol to the public does not mean letting one person in every three hours, as then restricting the movements of that one person once she is inside,” explainsLautenschlager. “The governor and his aides are not respecting the judge’s order; they are in contempt of it.”

    As Lautenschlager and her legal team attempt to open the Capitol, some legislators have grown so frustrated with the governor’s lawlessness that they have moved their desks out of the building in order to be accessible to their constituents.

    On Wednesday, a number of Democrats state Assembly members began meeting with the people they represent along the outside wall of the Capitol, beneath a banner that read: “Assembly Democrats Are Open for Business.”

    “We are out here because our governor and the Department of Administration are ignoring a judge’s court order,” said Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, who was joined by state representatives Fred Clark, Nick Milroy and Cory Mason.

    With them was former U.S. Rep. Dave Obey, a Democrat who began his political career as an Assembly member.

    Obey said that, on Wednesday, he was denied entry to the Capitol for the first time in his five decades of public service and active citizenship.

  298. Moar supports taxation and governmental actions and he knows it…..

    You know how I know? He is using the internet in America. Mostly built with Tax Dollars and the Power of Emminate Domain.

    He certainly would not be using the public roadways to drive on or water coming out of the sink or lights from electric bulb….. He is above all of that right?

    So why are we even responding to this hypocrite…

  299. Dr. Slartibartfast:

    I actually did do a search of Ayn Rand since none of you real geniiesses could tell me what she thought.

    I will have to buy a couple of her books and check it out.

    I do you hope all of you understand that there are many free market economists out there. For those of you too stupid to use the internet:

    Jean Baptiste Say
    Ludwig Von Mises
    F. A. Hyack
    Frederic Bastiate
    Milton Friedman
    Maury Rothbard

    and many others, but I leave that for you.

    This is has got to be the most ignorant group of people I have ever met. I guess liberals are only smart in herds, you know group think.

    Try and keep up Pokey.

  300. Case in point….Moar believes in the power of government and the ability to tax and make things happen with the tax dollars……. He is using the Internet….

  301. Asininely Yours:

    The government may have developed it using tax payer dollars but the private sector made it what it is today. And there are many private hubs and cable which connects us.

    In fact the Internet has been pretty much left alone so it is actually a good example of what could happen in the rest of the economy if government would get out of the way.

    Thanks for bringing it up.

    By the way I am forced to use those things. I don’t have a choice, if I don’t pay my taxes they will throw me in jail. So your assertion is false. And since I pay taxes I don’t have enough money to buy a generator or dig a well.

  302. “For those of you too stupid to use the internet”

    Rich coming from a tool who asked “Who’s Ayn Rand” and was too lazy and stupid to use the internet himself.

    “This is has got to be the most ignorant group of people I have ever met.”

    You say that as if we care what you think. Sorry if we gave you the that impression we did – Lol.

  303. SL,

    We may not care what he has to say but he does have aright to say it….we have a right to ignore moar until they get a new name…..I am just sitting here thinking about how primitive moars’ world would be if he really got what he wanted….. one thought was the commercial about the guy hand cranking the generator so they would have enough power to link to the net…. but if thats what he wants to do….is dig himself in a bigger hole….thats fine….lol

  304. As a former teacher, I can really appreciate this post at Daily Kos today:

    THU MAR 03, 2011 AT 08:42 AM EST
    Cheers and Jeers: Thursday
    by Bill in Portland Maine for Daily Kos
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/03/03/951933/-Cheers-and-Jeers:-Thursday

    From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

    My Teachers

    Kindergarten: Mrs. Dunn
    1st Grade: Mrs. Cline
    2nd Grade: Miss Martin
    3rd Grade: Mrs. Wiley
    4th Grade: Mrs. Geoque
    5th Grade: Miss Woolson
    6th Grade: Mrs. Crouch
    7th – 9th Grade: Mr. Lockwood, Ms. Edwards, Ms. Bermann, Mr. Ernst, Ms. Master
    10th – 12th Grade: Mr. Bower, Mr. Bechtel, Mr. Houston, Miss Stillwell, Mr. Lupica, Mrs. Roeder, Mr. Pfeiffer, Mr. Marchal, Mr. Robertson.

    My teachers taught me how to write (standard and cursive). How to read. How to do math. How to question assumptions and test theories. How to look at problems analytically and critically. How our system of government works. How to appreciate music and drama and literature. How to think and figure stuff out. How to accept intellectual challenges and succeed. And why all this learnin’ stuff mattered.

    There’s a lot of vitriol being flung at teachers—particularly public school teachers—mainly by Republicans who manage to prove every day that they didn’t learn much when they were in school. I can only speak for myself, but my teachers were dedicated, mostly good-humored, hard-working, patient (Lord knows I tested their patience), and amazingly adept at herding rugrats.

    No particular point to this except to say that I think much of the criticism being heaped upon them is bloody unfair. Sure, our education system needs improvement…it always has and always will. But without teachers we’re just a gaggle of nose-picking nitwits, halfwits and pimplewits (a term of partial-endearment my high school band teacher taught us…or, rather, used on us). They deserve reasonable class sizes, better pay, and a lot more respect. Also: there’s no reason they should have to buy books and supplies for their students out of their own pockets, as many do. Seriously…WTF?

    Looking back, I regret that I never thanked my K-12 teachers for their role in fueling my brain and showing me how to use it. Back then they were just, y’know, my teachers. Today I look at them as my Yodas. Public school Yodas. And thank them I certainly do.

  305. Agree with you Elaine. Bill in Portland Maine is a national treasure. Witty, timely and usually on the mark with his observations.

  306. “Try and keep up Pokey.”

    you call us ignorant and you didn’t know who Ayn Rand is? For you to espouse your attempted philosophy and not know who Rand is shows monumental ignorance. By the way you put Milton Friedman on your list of good economists. Google Friedman and Rand and see what you get dummy. You are an example of all the no nothing blowhards of the world, who attempt to expound with a limited knowledge base. Keep ’em coming Moar the unaware humor in your ignorance makes my day.

  307. AY,

    “SL,

    We may not care what he has to say but he does have aright to say it….we have a right to ignore moar until they get a new name…..I am just sitting here thinking about how primitive moars’ world would be if he really got what he wanted….. one thought was the commercial about the guy hand cranking the generator so they would have enough power to link to the net…. but if thats what he wants to do….is dig himself in a bigger hole….thats fine….lol”

    Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating that Moar lose his right to free speech, but it is our right to ridicule his stupidity. For example, he posted this brilliance:

    “In fact the Internet has been pretty much left alone so it is actually a good example of what could happen in the rest of the economy if government would get out of the way.”

    As Moar has painfully exhibited time and again, he sorely lacks in historical knowledge. If it weren’t for government in connection with the internet …

    Yup, that hole is mighty deep!

  308. Moar posted:

    Dr. Slartibartfast:

    I actually did do a search of Ayn Rand since none of you real geniiesses [That’s ‘geniuses’, Einstein…] could tell me what she thought.

    We could have told you what she thought, but then we would have been guilty of filling your head with (more) flawed reasoning…

    I will have to buy a couple of her books and check it out.

    You do understand that everyone here already knows how to pick apart her arguments, right?

    I do you hope all of you understand that there are many free market economists out there. For those of you too stupid to use the internet:

    And I hope you understand that all of the empirical evidence shows that the unregulated free market is a disaster. The systematic destruction of the negative feedback mechanisms in the governmental regulatory agencies – which stepped into high gear during the Bush administration – has led to things like the financial meltdown, the deadly explosion in Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine, and, of course, the environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, brought to you by BP…

    Jean Baptiste Say
    Ludwig Von Mises
    F. A. Hyack
    Frederic Bastiate
    Milton Friedman
    Maury Rothbard

    and many others, but I leave that for you.

    Sorry, but I’ve already studied economics and as someone who does mathematical modeling professionally, I know a great deal about the behavior of complex systems and I’ve seen no evidence that my knowledge isn’t applicable to the economy and a great deal of evidence that the economy behaves exactly like I would expect it to – every engineer knows that controlling a system via positive feedback will cause it to oscillate out of control and that removing negative feedback causes systems to become unstable, yet this is exactly what Republican policies have done (with some assistance from the Democrats – like repealing Glass-Stiegle…). I sincerely doubt that you have any insight into how the economy works that is more accurate than my current understanding, but you’re welcome to try…

    This is has got to be the most ignorant group of people I have ever met.

    If so, that only speaks to the cloistered and provincial nature of your intellectual life to date…

    I guess liberals are only smart in herds, you know group think.

    Actually, it’s just the opposite – liberals tend to seem smarter one-on-one. In groups, liberals often lack consensus due to the fact that most of them are independent thinkers who come to their own conclusions. Groupthink is what Republicans, trolls like you, and your corporate masters are pushing with disinformation and propaganda. The groupthink is so strongly rooted in your mind that you have no idea how to justify your positions rationally, logically, or morally – you’ve somehow learned what arguments you’re ‘supposed’ to make by rote, but since you’ve never had an original thought in your life critical thinking is (and will likely remain) a mystery to you…

    Try and keep up Pokey.

    You know, I tried to dumb myself down to your level, but the cognitive dissonance hurt, so I’ll just go on ahead and you catch up when you can…

    I hope that you are a child (or at least a teenager), because for an adult to be as close-minded and ignorant as you are is just sad…

  309. “Folks, I think by now it is abundantly clear that the trolls infesting this thread came here with the express purpose of disruption of any meaningful discussion of the issues at hand. In that, they have succeeded.”

    OS,

    Take heart. This is one of the more interesting threads in the years I’ve been coming here. The Trolls here far from disrupting, are adding comic relief and also moving the discussion forward, since many answers to them actually elicit responses with good information. What sets this thread apart from many others is that in addition to excellent argument points there has also been the riches of information that increases our understanding of the issues.

    Slarti,

    “Since anything further preaching would be to the choir (and the deaf), the question becomes: how do you start a grassroots movement?”

    I think the movement has started and lo and behold there are no leaders. In any moment of change there is an advantage to a diffusion of leadership. This to me avoids the traps of the past, where the whims and emotions of leaders, corrupted the purity of the sentiment. A case in point from the other side is the Teabaggers, whose strings are pulled by outside money and the likes of Dick Armey. Many of their membership have a right to feel disaffected by the current state of this country, but have been led by their leadership into serving as pawns for the Plutocrats.

    The glory of the internet as an organizational/informational tool is that it is diffuse. Rather than revolutionary party lines, there is a multiplicity of opinions that seem to coalesce into effective action. Whichever way it finally turns out Wisconsin serves as an example of motivation/stimulation of our side. It has helped to open people’s minds and change paradigms for them. The revolution this time won’t be quick and it won’t be violent. It will be the final rotting of the “Reagan Revolution” and the development of a new consciousness
    regarding how our system is dysfunctional. Change is coming but
    it won’t happen over night. Just as Sam Gomper’s radical idea of social security, took three decades to enact.

    If this time we can focus on the problems macro-cosmically and develop macro-cosmic solutions, rather than getting bogged down in individual issues, we will be successful. To me the individual issues like educational reform; employment; health care; women’s rights; gay equality; pay equality; civil rights;
    to name a few, all stem from the same macro-cosmic defect to wit: Corporatism and Plutocracy. We must fight to redress all those issues, but with a consciousness informed by the root cause of these abominations.

    our side

  310. “Change is coming but it won’t happen over night.” (Mike Spindell)

    If my reading of history is correct, and I believe it is, any great movement sneaks up on people. Initially dismissed as insignificant, the overwhelming numbers eventually involved always seem to shock those in positions of power who can’t believe they are no longer in control.

    There is definitely something going on in this nation and change has been in the wind for sometime and has been dismissed as insignificant by those in positions of power, yet the numbers keep building and the polls keep showing great and greater support for the matters being protested.

    It’s sneaking up on them and the majority of our politicians and their corporate bosses still don’t have a clue as to what’s coming.

  311. SL and Elaine: We just found out how much lower they can go. The Wisconsin Senate just voted 19-0 to have the Democratic 14 arrested and hauled to the Senate. I have a couple of problems with this. If they do not have a quorum, how can they conduct any business at all, including this? Second, since WI has a law against arresting members of the Senate while the legislature is is session, exactly how will that work? Finally, this is not an extraditable charge, so how will they get them back? Kidnapping? At this point, I would not put anything past the Koch-funded goons, so that is a possibility.

    One more thing. Since the vote was 19-0, we see where the supposedly waffling Republican Senators really stand. The mask comes off and we see behind the curtain.

    http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_8d9ad090-45bd-11e0-bf68-001cc4c03286.html

  312. OS,
    I don’t understand how a Senate of any state can authorize the arrest of anyone. Your question about the quorom is a good one.
    Elaine and Stamford,
    We have not reached the lowest point of the pond scum called Wisconsin Republicans.

  313. rafflaw,

    The Ohio Republicans are right there with the WI Republicans. Did you hear about what they did in Ohio?

    *****

    Otteray,

    Thanks so much for that information! I’d say it’s hard to believe something like that could happen–but nothing surprises me anymore.

  314. OS,

    Jesus H. Christ in a wheelchair. Thanks for the info.

    What’s next, the effin’ Gulag?

  315. rafflaw,

    After reading the link OS provided, even calling the Wisconsin GOP lower than pond scum is being kind.

    This is positively shameful. This is going to get real ugly, real fast. And not just in Wisconsin, either.

    —————————–

    Elaine,

    OH – the GOP their union-busting bill and snuck in a provision that marriage is to be defined as between one man and one woman, right?

  316. Elaine,
    If you are talking about the additional language in the ant-union bill outlawing gay marriage, I have seen it. I am guessing that the Illinois authorities just might have some difficulty “locating” the missing Senators!

  317. Here’s the Ohio story I was talking about:

    TPMDC
    The ‘Ohio 6′ Speak: Meet The GOPers Who Voted Against Kasich’s Anti-Union Bill
    Evan McMorris-Santoro | March 3, 2011, 10:10AM
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/03/the-ohio-6-speak-meet-the-gopers-who-voted-against-kasichs-union-bill.php?ref=fpb

    Excerpt:
    By the slimmest of margins on Wednesday, the state Senate in Ohio passed the budget bill endorsed by Gov. John Kasich (R) and deplored by the unions and Democrats. The bill now moves to the state House where the sizable Republican majority is expected to pass it easily.

    But before it does, it’s worth taking a look at the six Republicans who voted against the bill in the Senate, and the fears they raised about the bill. Ohio will be an important state nationally in 2012, and is often pointed to in the press as a bellwhether for the national political picture. And to hear the Republicans who turned on Kasich in the Senate yesterday tell it, the bill that would gut collective bargaining rights for thousands of state workers in Ohio is a step too far to the right.

    “This bill is not balanced,” Sen. Scott Oelslager, one of two Republicans booted from their committee seats so the bill could pass, told the AP. “There has to be a balance between labor and management in negotiations. It tips the scales in favor of management.”

    Oelslager was pulled from the Senate Rules Committee to break a deadlock that would have kept the bill from moving to a floor vote. Sen. Bill Seitz, a member of the Senate Insurance and Labor Committee until Wednesday, shared Oelsager’s fate, also being pulled from his committee. He warned that the bill, known as SB 5, puts Republicans on the wrong side of Ohio voters by removing the right of union workers to bargain for benefits and other rights.

    “It’s a ‘heads I win, tails you lose’ proposition,” Seitz told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We don’t have to get down into the weeds of the finer points of the law. Average Americans and Ohioans understand that ‘heads I win, tails you lose is not a very fair method of dispute resolution.’

  318. Mike Spindell:

    “Google Friedman and Rand and see what you get dummy.”

    I did, what is your point? They have similar bents, though not identical from what I can tell.

    I am sure there is much disagreement about certain points within the group of free market economists. But they all agree on the basics, namely a free market is a good idea.

    You seem to think that only progressives have disagreements about policy and are the only ones smart enough to detect the nuances of political thought. I see it all the time, it is rather funny. I think you would call it dogmatic, in fact you did call me dogmatic.

    So from my view you and others here are no better or worse than anyone who adheres to a set of beliefs. I just personally think most of your beliefs are wrong or misguided. You are certainly free to hold them and act in your own life according to your convictions. The problem is when any group tries to forcibly push their views on others who do not hold the same beliefs or wish to.

    The evangelical Christians are such a group as are the evangelical progressives. Both are despicable.

  319. BREAKING: Wisconsin Voters Launch Recall Campaign Against Eight GOP State Senators

    Last month, ThinkProgress reported that Wisconsin law allows any elected official who has served at least one year of their current term to be recalled from office. Today, a group of Wisconsin voters took the first step towards invoking this recall process. According to a Wisconsin Democratic Party e-mail that was obtained by ThinkProgress:

    This morning citizens from around the state took the first steps by filing recall papers against key Republican Senators who have stood with Scott Walker and pushed his partisan power grab that will strip thousands of middle class teachers, nurses, librarians and other workers of their right to collective bargaining. And we learned just last night that their disastrous budget that will cut millions from our schools and universities. . . .

    Make no mistake, these Republican Senators are vulnerable to recall for their radical partisan overreach. Senator Randy Hopper won his last election by just 184 votes. And Alberta Darling won her last race by only 1,007. By recalling just three of the eight Senators [Democrats] are targeting, [Democrats] can regain control of the Senate.

    Under Wisconsin law, supporters of this recall effort now have 60 days to collect an amount of signatures “equal to at least 25% of the vote cast for the office of governor at the last election within the same district or territory as that of the officeholder being recalled.” The amount of signatures necessary to trigger a recall will vary from district to district, but will range from about 15,000 to 21,000 signatures per recalled senator.

    If the supporters succeed in collecting enough signatures, the result is an effective “do over” election. The incumbent will automatically be a candidate in the election unless they resign from office, and Democrats and members of other political parties will be allowed to nominate opponents. The winner of a recall election is seated as soon as the election result is certified.

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), who was inaugurated last January, will be eligible for a recall in January of 2012.

    Update The SEIU has signed onto the recall effort as well.
    Update The Chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party suggests that his Party will continue to back this recall effort even if the eight targeted senators offer to withdraw their support for Gov. Walker’s anti-union bill in order to quell the recall campaign:
    Asked if Wisconsin Dems would drop their push to recall senators if they abandoned the drive to roll back public employee bargaining rights. Tate said he couldn’t guarantee that, arguing that Walker’s proposed budget cuts yesterday took this fight to a whole new level.

    “In the past 24 hours, this has gotten so much larger than the rights of our public employees,” he said. “This is much larger now than it was a week ago.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/03/02/wisconsin-recall-2/

  320. rafflaw,

    “So let me get this straight, Is it “moar” or is it “maor”? Can’t you stick to one name?’

    He’s just copying what his mom wrote on the inside of his tighty-whitey’s before he goes to camp (so if they are lost, they can be returned). Mom must have been hitting the Jack pretty damned hard before the last camping trip.

  321. rafflaw:

    does it really matter? It could be mor/more/moore/mhor/mjor/mhore. Or you could call me a Koch Whore if you wish but then there are so many of us you wouldnt be able to tell who was posting.

  322. Bring on that recall vote, that is a good idea. Now we will see just exactly where the people of Wisconsin stand.

    This could cut both ways. Although probably not in Wisconsin and especially not in the Peoples Republic of Madison.

  323. Or it could just be plain moar whore…. which seems quite apt for der pupil…. wow….Russians and Germans collaborating what a concept…

  324. Moar/Maor:

    man you really gave it to them. Maybe you could tone it down a bit? Less vituperation and more substance. You had some good talking points but you didn’t take them far enough.

    You have to do a little more than tell them they are wrong.

    By the way I hope you don’t mind me using your idea for a name.

  325. maor, et al,
    I am not so sure that you should be so excited to see the recall process started. If the polls are to be believed, your Koch devotees are going down.
    Stamford,
    I loved the tightey whitey reference! And thanks for the latest update on the recall efforts.

  326. As soon as the bill in Ohio becomes law the campaign for the “Ballot Initiative” begins … 7 republicans were needed to stall the bill but only 6 showed up yet it should be said that initially only 4 were expected. In other words, the Ballot Initiative was begun the moment the bill was announced.

    As I said earlier … it’s going to be a long battle that Koch-puppet Kasich will be dealing with for his entire term … and then there will be the individual recall petitions … and other things …

  327. More anti-union action, this time in Ohio under new GOP Governor John Kasich (another former Fox News contributor, for what it’s worth). From TPM:

    The Ohio State Senate just passed the controversial SB 5, aimed a limiting unionized state employees’ ability to collectively bargain or go on strike.

    In an indication of how divisive the legislation is in the Buckeye State, the final vote in the Senate was 17-16. The bill now moves to the state House, which like the Senate, is under Republican control.

    Gov. John Kasich (R) has endorsed the measure and is expected to sign it when it reaches his desk.

    Democrats united against the bill, and they needed seven Republican members to join with them to stop it. In the end they got six.

    Pushing the bill through the Senate has been tough for supporters of the plan, with the Republican leader of the state Senate removing two Republicans opposed to the measure to get the bill to the Senate floor today.

    Say what? Yup. From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

    Cincinnnati Fire Department Lt. Mark Sanders, president of the Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters, ripped Senate President Tom Niehaus of New Richmond today for abruptly removing Sen. Bill Seitz of Green Township from a committee that narrowly approved Senate Bill 5 this morning, by a 7-5 vote.

    Another Republican, Sen. Scott Oelslager of North Canton, was removed from the Senate Rules Committee to avoid a split vote and get the bill to the 33-member Senate floor this afternoon.

    UPDATE: Seitz and Oelslager joined all 10 Democrats in voting against the bill, but fell one vote short. Here is Enquirer coverage of 17 to 16 vote passage of Senate Bill 5.

    “That’s my senator,” Sanders said of Seitz. “He represents my area. I don’t have that voice anymore. What kind of democracy do we have? I think the Senate has forgotten Ohioans today.”

    “We’re going to leave no stone unturned,” Sanders said of recourse should the full Senate pass the legislation that guts the state’s 27-year-old collective bargaining law.

    Well, that’s one way to do it. Just imagine if Harry Reid had removed a Republican senator from a committee to pass an Obama bill through.

    Yep, it’s shady, and here’s hoping Sanders and his brethren and sistren can claim a scalp come election time.

    But the episode does serve as a reminder of something that has gone to my reading all but unmentioned in press coverage of these fights. At the state and local level, there is indeed such a thing as a pro-union Republican.

    Various estimates I’m familiar with say that roughly 35% of public-employee union members are Republicans. Some are cops and fire fighters and work in other professions and trades that skew GOP, and some are conservative because of cultural issues and so on. They vote for Republicans, but they prefer voting for Republicans who respect basic bargaining rights, and the two given the boot above obviously do. So the union movement has a bit of leverage into the GOP at the state and local level, something that people on the ground in Wisconsin are well aware of.

    I have to travel today and tomorrow, so this will be it for today, except for one surprise post coming shortly. I’ll probably do one in the morning tomorrow.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2011/mar/03/us-politics-ohio-pro-union-republicans-do-exist

  328. From Think Progress (3/3/2011)
    Blogger From Koch’s Law Firm Defends Koch, Doesn’t Disclose Ties
    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/03/03/bloggers-kneel-to-koch/

    Excerpt:
    Fighting back against public scrutiny, Koch Industries is relying on a small army of conservative bloggers, reporters, and lobbyists. Chief among them is John Hinderaker, a blogger at the “Powerline Blog.” However, in his now daily defense of the Koch brothers, Hinderaker has failed to disclose that his law firm counts Koch Industries as a major client.

    Hinderaker has been on the war path defending Koch. He has tasked himself with sniping at ThinkProgress posts, spending the last few weeks defending forced-abortion lobbyist and Koch operative Tim Phillips, celebrating Koch’s self-interested propaganda against climate change science, and generally making juvenile swipes at yours truly, including posting my picture and calling me a “high school student.” In a bizarre rant defending “what a great company Koch Enterprises is,” Hinkeraker even claims ThinkProgress is being paid “millions of dollars by left-wing billionaires” to report on Koch Industries. But here’s what he didn’t say:

    – Hinderaker Has A Disclosure Problem. Hinderaker is an attorney for the law firm Faegre and Benson. Despite his previous role handling “ethics and professional responsibility” for Faegre, he has failed to disclose in his Koch-friendly blogging that Koch is a major client for his firm. Faegre represented Koch Industries in cases related to Koch’s theft of oil (using the famed “Koch Method” of manipulating oil data) in Texas and North Dakota, in cases against Koch’s own employees regarding Koch’s speculative weather derivatives business and an environmental whistleblower case, and in a case against a Koch subcontractor. In an ongoing case, Hinderaker’s firm represents Koch Industries in a class action suit brought by a group of plaintiffs regarding oil Koch allegedly stole from wells in Oklahoma. In addition, Hinderaker has defended the Bradley Foundation after we profiled the group and its support for Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI). Hinderaker never disclosed that he is a fellow of the Claremont Institute, a front that has received over $3 million from the Bradley Foundation.

    Asked about his failure to disclose his firm’s financial relationship with Koch, Hinderaker told ThinkProgress’ Scott Keyes today that he has no comment.

  329. Moar-

    You said, “This has got to be the most ignorant group of people I have ever met.”

    Ignorant, but charitable. Here’s a little help with your spelling:

    Ludwig von Mises

    Friedrich Hayek

    Frederic Bastiat

    Murray Rothbard

  330. Mike S. wrote:

    Slarti,

    [Me]: “Since anything further preaching would be to the choir (and the deaf), the question becomes: how do you start a grassroots movement?

    I think the movement has started and lo and behold there are no leaders. In any moment of change there is an advantage to a diffusion of leadership. This to me avoids the traps of the past, where the whims and emotions of leaders, corrupted the purity of the sentiment.

    I would agree that these are pitfalls that go with having a leader, but there are issues with the lack of a leader as well and while mostly they are inevitable and acceptable consequences of organic grassroots movements (like the lack of centralized control), others (like coordination of resources to avoid duplication of effort and allow for a concentration of effort on our opponents’ vulnerabilities) are necessary for any large-scale enterprise. I was also implicitly asking the question ‘what can I do?’ – Elaine has given us a wonderful example of what a single person can do and I was out at the capitol last weekend, but, personally, I would like to be doing more. Any movement of this sort has a critical growth rate which it needs to be able to sustain itself to the point where it reaches critical mass and achieves its ends – and by the very nature of a grassroots movement anyone can contribute. I am heartened by the recall efforts – now even if Governor Walker succeeds he’ll probably lose his Senate (and his own seat as well in a year or so…). It is starting to seem more and more likely that any union busting managed by Governor Walker wont survive very long (or only long enough to become a rallying point…).

    A case in point from the other side is the Teabaggers, whose strings are pulled by outside money and the likes of Dick Armey. Many of their membership have a right to feel disaffected by the current state of this country, but have been led by their leadership into serving as pawns for the Plutocrats.

    Unfortunately, I think that so many of them are low information voters (or high propaganda voters – i.e. FOX News viewers) and will remain dupes instead of getting pissed of by the use and betrayal by their masters.

    The glory of the internet as an organizational/informational tool is that it is diffuse. Rather than revolutionary party lines, there is a multiplicity of opinions that seem to coalesce into effective action. Whichever way it finally turns out Wisconsin serves as an example of motivation/stimulation of our side. It has helped to open people’s minds and change paradigms for them. The revolution this time won’t be quick and it won’t be violent. It will be the final rotting of the “Reagan Revolution” and the development of a new consciousness
    regarding how our system is dysfunctional. Change is coming but
    it won’t happen over night. Just as Sam Gomper’s radical idea of social security, took three decades to enact.

    I agree, but I think we’re also fighting against the clock – we’ve got to solve enough problems quickly enough that we avoid passing a tipping point until things can be stabilized enough to pull ourselves back from the brink. It’s sort of like juggling a bunch of knives, chainsaws, and lit pipe bombs blindfolded…

    If this time we can focus on the problems macro-cosmically and develop macro-cosmic solutions, rather than getting bogged down in individual issues, we will be successful. To me the individual issues like educational reform; employment; health care; women’s rights; gay equality; pay equality; civil rights;
    to name a few, all stem from the same macro-cosmic defect to wit: Corporatism and Plutocracy. We must fight to redress all those issues, but with a consciousness informed by the root cause of these abominations.

    I agree. I think that taxing the rich (and corporations) is a good overarching policy to start with – if the deficit and debt can be lowered without placing the burden on the vast majority of Americans (most of whom are already carrying a heavy load) it will take some of the stress off of the system and begin a virtuous cycle.

    our side

    ???

  331. rafflaw,

    Yeah, I haven’t had an opportunity to use the tighty-whitey reference in a while … needless to say, I was giggling pretty damned hard while typing it!

  332. Moar-

    I don’t need to google any of the 6 economists you mentioned. I have read them all- von Mises, Hayek, Friedman, and Rothbard extensively. I attended a lecture by Friedman. I have also read all of Ayn Rand’s novels and several years’ worth of “The Objectivist” and the “Objectivist Newsletter”. Now- let’s hear your qualifications for discussing Objectivism or economics in general.

  333. rafflaw,

    Well, come to think of it, these trolls are uptight white guys so I guess it would appropriate! :D

  334. HENMAN:

    good for you. I don’t have a degree in economics but I have read the following:

    Capitalism and Freedom
    Theory of Money and Credit
    Causes of the Economic Crises (Crash of 29)
    Causes of the Depression (Rothbard)
    Volume I of Bastiat’s works (Volume II is in the que)
    The Law
    The Road to Serfdom
    The Communist Manifesto
    Das Kapital (in English unfortunately)
    Knowledge and Decision (Sowell)
    Basic Economics (Sowell)

    and numerous essays by some of the above. So I have a nodding acquaintance with the subject.

    But I imagine yours is bigger than mine since it is not my occupation.

  335. rafflaw,

    “HenMan,
    What is Moar referring to when he says yours is bigger than his??”

    Lol!

  336. Reading and comprehension are not the same thing. Apes read philosophy, Otto. They just don’t understand it.

  337. Moar-

    Put down the Sowell and find yourself a nice girl. Spend those checks you get from the Koch Bros. on something more rewarding. Besides, I heard Sowell’s a lousy kisser and you won’t get any until the fourth date.

    Personally, I prefer the Marx Brothers to the Koch Brothers. The Koch Brothers aren’t funny at all. Karl Marx had a better sense of humor. “Das Kapital” killed! It killed, Jerry!

  338. SwM,

    He’s a good one (Brown)and he gets votes in republican districts … a lot of votes from otherwise “good” republicans.

  339. Henman:

    So why did you chose Marx over free markets?

    What I found with Marx was that he was speaking against the remnants of the feudal system in Germany at the time and the class stratification of that system.

    Capitalism, at least in the early days of this country, helped create a large middle class. Granted there was a large landed gentry and during the gilded age you did have a small number of very wealthy people. But there was also a substantial middle class. I speculate had Marx lived in America he would not have written about communism. For 2 reasons, one he would never have been influenced by Hegel and for another the class structure was not as stratified here. And you were free from the restraints placed on you by the class structure in Europe. You didn’t have to become a cobbler or a baker as was your father.

  340. Latest from Madison. Firefighters on an emergency call were denied access to the Capitol building by police guarding the doors. In a karmic twist of fate, the emergency patient was a police officer in an elevator.

    Lower than pond scum? This is to the point of insulting ordinary hard-working pond scum.

    “…Trainor (one of the firefighters) said he did not believe police officers would have mistaken the crew for protesters because they were hauling equipment, carrying radios and had arrived in a firetruck.”

    http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/117349798.html

  341. Interesting story OS. Walker and his cabal are digging themselves a deep hole.
    Moar,
    You might want to read up on Marxism. It has nothing in common with the progressive movement.

  342. Rafflaw, this story is bad enough, but my evil twin speculates as to what the fallout would have looked like had the police officer/patient died due to the delay.

    Given the propensity for unforeseen events to shape history, I have a bad feeling that there is no way this episode in Madison is going to end with a whimper.

  343. rafflaw:

    I am all ears on how you come to that conclusion. It seems that is where your economics comes from. You [pl] seem to see things in fine shades of grey. To me there is not much difference between them.

    The end result is a limitation on freedom whichever way you cut it. But please tell me where I have missed the boat. This should be enjoyable.

  344. From the Los Angeles Times (3/3/2011)
    Limiting unions just part of Wisconsin governor’s agenda
    Republican Gov. Scott Walker has set about reorganizing government in a way critics say is more about power than fiscal prudence.
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-wisconsin-budget-20110304,0,238145.story

    Excerpt:
    Reporting from Madison, Wis. Even before new Republican Gov. Scott Walker set off a national firestorm by proposing to strip most Wisconsin government workers of their collective bargaining rights, he had hit the ground running.

    He pushed $117 million in business tax cuts through the GOP-run statehouse, aggravating the state’s deficit in hopes of creating jobs. Then he got the Legislature to agree to a measure requiring a two-thirds majority to raise taxes in the future, leaving fewer options to close the shortfall.

    This week, he proposed a two-year budget to close the projected $3.6-billion deficit. It included big cuts in state aid to local governments — and would bar those cities and counties from raising property taxes to avoid having to make their own reductions.

    Most notably, Walker used a small gap in the current fiscal year to fast-track a bill that would give his administration unprecedented powers — not only to weaken public sector unions, but to appoint dozens of powerful new bureaucrats and to determine who gets to stay in the state’s Medicaid program.

    Democrats contend that Walker seems to be more interested in changing Wisconsin’s political dynamics than in financial stewardship. Even outside observers are starting to agree.

    “What you’ve got is a governor who’s come in with a great appetite for achieving his ends,” said Norman J. Ornstein, a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “This is far more about power than it is about money.”

    Walker’s office did not respond to requests for an interview, but the governor’s supporters said Wisconsin voters overwhelmingly backed him and his party in November when they ran on a platform of cutting spending and helping businesses create jobs.

  345. Elaine, it occurs to me that if you are rich enough, like the Koch crime family, it might just be possible to BUY a state. However, it would help if your appointed CEO did not look like a bad clone of Mortimer Snerd and was just a bit brighter.

    And send out better quality trolls than the D-list types we have infesting this thread.

  346. Maor, et al,
    Just because you claim that progressives are akin to Marxists doesn’t make it true. You missed the boat because you built the boat on a fabrication or a misunderstanding. Free markets that are regulated are not Marxist. Unregulated markets are the reason the economy tanked during the Bush regime.

  347. Elaine,

    I wish to take this opportunity, before the weekend guest blogger articles hit, to sincerely thank you for the incredible job you have done with the Walker threads over the last two weeks.

    These two threads have well over a thousand hits to their credit and have been chocked full of good and continually updated information which has kept us well informed and facilitated some amazing discussions.

    I deeply appreciate the amount of work you have put into this endeavor and thank you from the bottom of my little liberal heart!

  348. WoW, I’m sorry I’ve been out of the lop for a couple of days, this thread has been exciting as has real life.

    How to get the Wisconsin Legislators back? Bounty hunters. Once in the state the state police can arrest and present them at the capitol building. Walker is nuts, he just might send out bounty hunters IMO. That would be an interesting showdown on the capitol steps.
    **

    Beginning tomorrow the court has directed that all doors to the capitol building are to be opened and as long as business is conducted the capitol building is to be left open. Democrats are deciding if they can do some work late into the night to meet the requirement of business being conducted and keep the building open most or all of the night. That from MSNBC, one of the night-time news shows tonight.

    Update on the Ed Show just now: The building is to be closed and cleaned for 48 hours and then be opened in accordance with the order. That would be Sunday morning it should be opened if any business is being conducted.
    **

    If Ohio’s House passes HB5 and the Governor signs the bill I think all affected employees, 360,000 of them, should strike. If the state wishes to cripple it’s employees with what amounts to a nuclear option against workers then the concept of MAD should be on the table as a response.

  349. Somewhere on this thread someone mentioned the proclivity of public service workers to vote republican … especially police and fire.

    That is very true here in Ohio and I was rather amazed that Kasich would abandon life-time, loyal party members simply to push through this rather lame bill.

    What he has done is convince these here-to-fore loyal republicans that their party will betray them in an instant in order to serve a Corporate Master.

    These men and women are gone for good as are their families.

    Incredibly stupid move.

  350. Moar, Have you as yet written or called any House Republicans that voted to preserve the tax subsidies to the 5 biggest energy/oil companies? You know, as being traitors to the free market model of economics. You do seem to have time for posting so I’m guessing you also have time to email these traitors to conservative economic values. Just wondering.

  351. Lottakatz,

    Although I love strikes and negotiated a few of them in my day … that is not the answer here. To do so would lose public support (rather like going into Iraq)and would cost each worker far too much in lost wages.

    The answer is the slow but steady fight that is the Ballot Initiative and recall petitions in vulnerable republican districts. That and continued demonstrations which will be based around the Ballot Initiative and recall petitions will keep Kasich and his buddies very busy.

    If the Ballot Initiative succeeds then this bill is history and Kasich is a complete failure which eliminates any future hopes he has for federal office. This is important as the man is nothing more than a Corporate shill and has no business serving in any governmental post anywhere in a democracy.

    A Ballot Initiative on the Nov. 2012 ballot will destroy the republicans … have patience … :)

  352. Blouise, It’s not about smart, it’s about ideology and the bottom line for the corporate masters. Doesn’t the Wisconsin bill have an expansion of the school voucher system to cover all families regardless of income? Isn’t it about privatizing education and redistributing the wealth upwards? This is a blatant grab for even more money to the wealthy. The gravy train has to end sometime, it looks to me like the thieves are grabbing at the picture frames and candle sticks as they run out the door.

  353. Lottakatz,

    Wisconsin is a different kettle of fish … a rolling strike might actually work there. Walker, the Koch Whore, is desperately trying to man-up … something whores have difficulty doing properly. One can just hear his advisors telling him to get tough, be aggressive, be a man. As a result he’s making some incredibly stupid moves … much like Bush and Iraq.

    Ohio is different and we have different legal options open to us that can permanently defeat this bill and ruin Kasich. Here the goal is not to limit the damage but to completely remove the damage … for good.

  354. Blouise, In a state like Wisconsin where you have the Senate Democrats solidly behind you as well as the public, to maintain their support is paramount, there is a chance to stop the legislation. That will depend on the W14 staying absent and the simultaneous political pressure of their recall petitions and public support.

    Once the deed is done though, as may well be the case soon in Ohio, then it becomes IMO, how do you deal with a bully? If all services continue, the non-immediately affected supporters are as likely as not to start wondering what the big deal was about, everything still works just fine for them. Ohio is different from Wisconsin (possibly) and I am not of the mind that the same tactics are applicable to both.

  355. Lottakatz,

    The bill will become law in Ohio … once the republicans who were going to vote against it in committee were removed and only 6 were gathered to vote against the bill instead of 7 … the game was up. It will be law which means one has to fight it with law … i.e the Ballot Initiative and other such things.

    This was understood from the very beginning and plans were made accordingly.

    This is a Republican Party declared war against American women and against the American middle class and every weapon in our arsenal will be used or readied for use. The strike is a weapon that tends to result in “friendly-fire” casualties but, if wielded properly, it can be most effective.

  356. I had to take a blog break for a while.

    Otteray, it’s funny that you mention Gov. Walker’s resemblance to Mortimer Snerd. I had the same thought the other day and almost posted a youtube video of Snerd.

  357. Blouise, You’re on the ground and probably, as an activist, connected in Ohio so I presume that you know what you’re talking about. I am confident in that assumption. OTOH I am speculating based on things I have seen and been party to in other times and places.

    It is interesting and heartening that you say the eventuality of passage was understood from the beginning and plans have been made. I hope they’re successful.

  358. From Madison.com (3/3/2011)
    Walker budget bill would effectively kill unions
    http://host.madison.com/article_00aaf0ec-460e-11e0-9a32-001cc4c03286.html

    Excerpt:
    Gov. Scott Walker insists that his plan to remake state labor law isn’t designed to kill unions for teachers and other public employees.

    “I really didn’t factor that in one way or another,” Walker said Thursday.

    Critics have seized on Walker’s budget-repair bill because it would end nearly all collective bargaining with public worker unions. But national labor experts and union officials say lesser-known portions of the proposal are equally devastating.
    The bill greatly narrows the focus of contract negotiations to cost-of-living pay increases. But some of the sleeper provisions include stopping unions from collecting dues with payroll deductions and from requiring members to pay dues.

    The bill also would force unions to ask members to vote every year on their certification and win the support of 51 percent of all members – not just a simple majority of those voting – to keep going. Other measures take aim at arbitration and contract lengths.

    “It would be virtually impossible to sustain unions under these conditions,” said James Green, a University of Massachusetts-Boston professor of history and labor studies. “Two or three of those things would be pretty fatal by themselves.”

  359. Lottakatz,

    All I can tell you is that there are plans in place and cool, experienced hands on the wheel … I can’t guarantee that I will agree with every decision they make but I know they have the best interests of the hundreds of thousands of people they represent firmly guiding their decision process.

    Way back when, the country turned against Unions during a “coal” strike that affected everybody in the heavily populated “winter” areas of the country that relied on coal to heat their homes.

    Reagan “fired” the Air Traffic Controllers not so much because of national concerns but because of international pressures from countries fearful of the strike spreading to their workers. The failure of the President of the Air Traffic Controllers to take into account these foreign pressures hurt his membership beyond belief.

    Strikes are tricky things and one can lose the vital support of the public with an ill-timed strike … also, in some cases strikes are illegal for public service workers.

    That being said … make no mistake … the working women in Ohio and the majority of Ohio’s middle class know the Republican Party, on behalf of its Corporate Masters, has declared war on them and their families … they are and will continue to fight back!

  360. As one protester told me this week … “I’ll eat spaghetti every night for dinner if I’m saving money to send my kid to college. I’l be damned if I’ll eat spaghetti every night so Kasich and his Koch-like bosses can sit on a gold-plated toilet to take a sh*t.”

  361. Blouise,

    These are the Ohio law details as reported yesterday:

    * Eliminates binding arbitration on contract disputes by a neutral third party. Instead, it leaves the final decision to the legislative body, such as a city council.

    * Establishes merit as the only basis for pay increases, not length of service.

    * Affects 42,000 state workers, plus 19,500 workers in the state’s university and college system, as well as 300,000 local government workers such as firefighters, police officers and public school teachers.

    * Offers limited collective bargaining rights for wages based on performance; health insurance benefits subject to state limits on percentages; sick leave and other types of leave capped at the level allowed for non-union employees; certain aspects of performance evaluations; and duration of the agreement. Eliminates collective bargaining rights on numerous other issues, including transfers, staffing levels, hours of work, equipment, privatization of services and discipline. It also prohibits seniority from being the sole factor in determining order of layoff.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/02/us-ohio-unions-factbox-idUSTRE72181N20110302

    See above list of lost rights; been there – done that.
    I have walked down virtually the same road as the Ohio workers will on most of these items in my last job and it simply killed my union and in a matter of less than 3 years destroyed 20 years of progress on EO law implementation.

    It also led to much more work for the same pay, merit pay decisions that were no more than cronyism, and since seniority wasn’t any longer in the picture, a pay system and a training/promotion system (also crony driven) that was so obviously (declared as weighted) weighted toward younger (cheaper, more easily manipulated, more grateful for the job) employees that there was an exodus of workers, either to other jobs, or retirement.

    Discrete work groups, where duties could be identified and packaged conveniently by work series, led to rapacious contracting out and the organizations that had the strongest union support and many of the activists were first on the chopping block.

    It allowed working conditions to be made very difficult to mostly older, senior employees in hopes of driving them out (big success) and that included transfers to less desirable locations. Most of this stuff wasn’t arbitrable because the local regulations, work rules, were changed either by the new collective bargaining structure or the local regulations which were constructed based on the increased latitude allowed by the decreased bargaining rights.

    We did have access to statutory forums such as EEOC but that, for Federal employees was a long, slow process and most of the senior employees that were discriminated against simply left and didn’t look back.

    The union had little-to-no work that they could do and lost most of it’s members. If our collective bargaining rights had not been removed entirely, by legal fiat, close to 3 years later we would have simply blown away and eventually been decertified for inactivity. It took less than 3 years to completely destroy the union, the bargaining unit, and virtually every gain made in 20+ years, since the unions certification.

    Given a couple of years of such reduced benefits as I see in that list I can easily imagine decert petitions coming from the membership, why pay if there is no product of value in return?

    I sincerely hope that the plan is for a repeal of SB5 and it is absolutely successful but between now and then I can envision all of that new latitude management has been given being used to eviscerate the union of its most active local employees as well as senior employees and throw the fear of ghod into the rest. If the plan is to wait until 2012 and elect another, new bunch of politicians that will ‘give’ back rights, well I’ll believe that works when I see it and I’d like to be proven wrong in my pessimism.

    Do the Ohio contracts stay in effect until their current terms end and do you know when that is if it does? Can the law be repealed and is that the plan? Special election or regularly scheduled cycle? I’ve been looking around for actual details like that but they are hard to come by and I’m actually very interested. Any info you can provide are appreciated. It’s like deja vue to me, I’m almost morbidly compelled to find out more because timing is very important.

  362. lottakatz:

    tell me who they are and I would be happy to, I dont believe in subsidies for business. Although I dont consider reducing a tax burden a subsidy since the money is rightfully theirs.

    Unlike Michael Moore, I dont believe the money earned by the rich is societies. Since rich people typically earn their money by creating a need or a want. Look at Apple, how many jobs did Steve Jobs create? Seems to me he has more than benefited society. Even Michael Moore, how many jobs has he created?

    Just out of curiosity, how much of his [Micheal Moore] money has he given to us?

  363. rafflaw:

    just what deregulations are you talking about, there are thousands of banking regulations on the books.

  364. “As one protester told me this week … “I’ll eat spaghetti every night for dinner if I’m saving money to send my kid to college. I’l be damned if I’ll eat spaghetti every night so Kasich and his Koch-like bosses can sit on a gold-plated toilet to take a sh*t.””

    now if we could only get people to think that way about government entitlement programs. Especially in light of the fact that if the Kochs are sitting on a gold plated toilet seat they actually made the money to purchase it.

  365. A lot of rich people inherit their money. A lot of rich people earn money off investments. Look at what some of the rich fat cats on Wall Street did to our economy and how much money they lost for pension funds. Those people don’t create any jobs.

    Not all rich people are like Steve Jobs.

  366. yes I agree with that. a good many liberal wall street bankers along with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd [didnt he inherit a bunch of money] did screw up our economy.

    We can agree on that much.