Quote for the day

“And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself. I’ll walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States.” ~ Barack Obama in 2007 on the campaign trail.

Guess that means the President is headed for Wisconsin, folks.

On a related note, looks like Politifact needs better fact-checkers.






108 replies
  1. 1
    Uloborus says:

    In a sense, he is. He’s spoken in support of them and is now keeping his head down so that the issue can be about unions and not about them. He’s supporting them in the best way he can, rather than the most grandiose way.

    I’ll grant you, he didn’t realize in 2007 that speaking his name would cause a good third of the nation to howl like gibbons three years later.

  2. 2
    Uloborus says:

    ‘Him’, not ‘Them’. FYWP. Are we still using WP?

  3. 3
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Uloborus: I know but this was too strong of a statement to pass up. I realize he’s spoken out in support, which is great, but it would be cool if he was out there on the picket lines, as it were.

  4. 4
    Yutsano says:

    @E.D. Kain: Come now ED. How is the President supposed to be bipartisan by standing against a Republican? Are you trying to make David Broder haz a sad?

  5. 5
    Moses2317 says:

    It would be cool if President Obama were out there, but probably not realistic to expect of a President, and I agree with Uloborus that his presence would give the media an opening to even further distract from the real issues at hand.

    The folks that should be out there on the picket lines, writing letters to newspaper editors, calling elected officials, etc. are all of us. Here is my guide to things we can do on this issue over the next few days.

    http://www.winningprogressive......eir-unions

  6. 6
    burnspbesq says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    but it would be cool if he was out there on the picket lines, as it were.

    I think the Secret Service might have something to say about that.

  7. 7
    freelancer says:

    This is a promise that must be fulfilled, even if in solidarity or detached legalese, from miles away.

    Nice find, ED. I don’t have much faith in my President in utilizing the Executive to tamper Wall St. or past Executive Branch overreach, and I lament that very much; but I do expect him to uphold certain Democratic values, seeing as how he did run for and win the Democratic Party’s nomination for President. And he did so in the same climate that not only myself, but former Republican Blogger John Cole, and many others, registered for the first time as counted members of the Democratic Party. I still cringe when considering myself a member, but what is my recourse? The Green Party? The firebaggers? Fuck ’em, they’re both purists. Fuck the hipsters. They use big big words they don’t understand.

  8. 8
    Sly says:

    Having the President of the United States show up to a labor protest would certainly lift up the spirits of the protesters and their supporters. But, as Uloborus noted, it would also make the protest about him and not them. The union leaders are out in force, and everyone is trying to figure out ways to defeat the busting efforts without alienating the public. In terms of combating the GOP labor is on pretty solid ground and at the end of the day, I think, everyone’s interests are better served if Obama can present himself as a somewhat distanced consensus builder rather than an in-the-thick-of-it partisan.

    I would suggest that Democratic Members of Congress get to Wisconsin ASAP and start waving signs, but more for their benefit than for the protesters.

  9. 9
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Yutsano: David Broder will haz a sad no matter what, I’m afraid. Until John McCain can be dragged back from the dead to save America with the rest of the Super Best Friends.

  10. 10
    E.D. Kain says:

    @freelancer: Well on that note, it would be nice if the Democrats in general would show the moxie the Wisconsin dems have shown the last couple weeks. The president should lead, though.

  11. 11
    Suck It Up! says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    Yeah, the optics are great for the left and then when the whole story becomes about Obama, then what? The story is already being ignored and then once he goes there the debate becomes ‘should the president of the US be on the picket line’? Not a single news outlet is going to focus on the actual matter of the protest – the war on the middle class.

    Obama gave his statement. Even used inflammatory rhetoric that the left likes so much – “ASSAULT”. Obama made the case for unions at the Chamber of Commerce meeting. He gave a fantastic speech on what unions have done for this country at an AFL-CIO gathering last year or the year before. Sorry, this call for him to go down there isn’t about keeping a promise, its about the consistent and tiring calls from the left for Obama to prove himself to them no matter what he has said or done in support of their cause. So now, if he doesn’t go, the left will paint Obama as being just as bad as Walker.

  12. 12
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Suck It Up!: It could go either way, honestly. I don’t think it’s a big deal that he go, but I don’t think it would be all about him if he did. This things already too big for that. If he’d gone down on day one, sure. At this point? I don’t think so.

  13. 13
    McDevite says:

    @E@E.D. Kain: I get the appeal of the image, but I feel like this is a problem not unlike the issues people have about him failing to emote sufficiently in public about whatever issue, or to be directly involved in the Gulf Oil Spill.

    It’s clear that that’s not the way he views his role as president, and that may be a basic philosophical disagreement about the office (it’s not unlike his fights with Rahm about the obligation to be the leader of his party and the country) or a decision he’s come to on the job after Henry Lewis Gates or something else.

    The relative restraint of the executive from engaging in all news cycles and every event across the nation is a welcome relief from the last administration, which never met a potemkin photo op it didn’t use.

    Anyway, you don’t want to give some punk governor oxygen and national attention by putting him on par with the president if you don’t have to, or elevate a single battle over collective bargaining to the gotterdamerung level. So I think Uloborus is correct in his assessment that the President gave it an appropriate boost and then stepped back in just the right way.

    The timeline in my head suggests that Presidential support cropped up over that first weekend and subsequently, Daniels and Scott pulled back from their plans to crush collective bargaining.

  14. 14
    hamletta says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    but I don’t think it would be all about him if he did.

    You’re not real bright, are you?

    A president walking the picket line wouldn’t turn into a media feeding frenzy about what kind of shoes he’s wearing?

  15. 15
    Mike Kay (Peacemaker) says:

    KEEP HIM OUT

    That’s worst thing you can do.

    The fucking union busting Corporate Media is dying to say the protests are manufactured by Obama’s thugs.

    This is about rights and class.

    The minute it becomes political, we’ll lose the retarded low information independent.

  16. 16
    hamletta says:

    @Mike Kay (Peacemaker): Eggzackly.

    I’m thinking EDK isn’t participating in our Nixonland readathon. This lesson is from Chapter One.

    Don’t remember which verse.

  17. 17
    hamletta says:

    @freelancer: Uh, freelancer, you’re right about the wrongness of the comparison, but you might wanna back off on the lurid description of Logan’s assault.

    I think it originated at the Daily Fail.

  18. 18
    Suffern ACE says:

    Technically speaking, I don’t think a strike has been called and I don’t know if the President should be occupying the state capital in Wisconsin. Although I like the comfortable shoes idea. Probably Clarks. Preferred shoe of teachers who need to stand on their feet all day.

  19. 19
    El Cid says:

    Rachel Maddow took a really cheap shot against Politico simply because Politico had earlier written that what her show had said about the Wisconsin budget was false.

    How was Politico supposed to know what her show actually said?

    Why are all these liberals so uptight about being denounced for things they didn’t say? What? Are prominent politics blogger supposed to suddenly stop everything they’re doing and watch the whooooole Rachel Maddow Show, which has like a billion words in it?

    Sure, maybe Maddow didn’t argue on her show that there was no budget deficit in Wisconsin or that what deficit existed was caused by Walker’s tax cuts.

    But it was the kind of thing she might have said, or someone very much like her, or who had opinions that Politico thought sounded like hers, and this would be true particularly if you’re talking to the kind of people who read Politico.

    If liberal media personalities like Rachel Maddow don’t want to be called out on the carpet for making incorrect or false arguments, then maybe they shouldn’t be the type of people who good establishmentarian political commentators would think to be making bad arguments in the first place.

  20. 20
    Violet says:

    E.D., I asked Kay about this very thing in a post of hers yesterday:

    Kay, do you think at some point that the national Democrats need to/will come out in more vocal support of the unions?

    Here was her response:

    No, I don’t. As I mentioned, here anyway, a lot of the public union members are GOP voters. I don’t think it should be a national Democratic issue. I think it should be a state issue, about rights and decency and respect for workers in these states within their traditions.
    __
    Conservative governors planned a three-state assault on unions, with absolutely no regard for the make-up of the states. I think a national strategy for in-state issues is a mistake on their part, it’s being perceived as manipulative and hyper-partisan. I don’t think national Democrats should make that same mistake. No one wants to be used in some Grand Conservative Strategy. That just sucks.
    I love that Walker and Kasich keep babbling about how they talk to each other daily about their national conservative plan. Keep that up, boys.
    __
    Obama and the DNC should stay out. This is what we have state parties for.

    She’s got a lot of on the ground knowledge in Ohio. I trust her thoughts on the issue.

    This statement by Obama is going to be bandied about by lots of people though. On the way home from class tonight I heard a left-wing talk show on the radio and the host was going on and on about this quote and how disappointing Obama was for “not supporting the unions.”

  21. 21
    Fitzwili says:

    Oh god I hope he doesn’t because right now the media is grudgingly giving a smidgen of attention to the protesters. They clearly don’t want to do it, they want to talk horse race, win the morning how will this impact the campaign Chuck nonsense. If Obama went down there it would be an absolute orgy of Politico prognostications. ALL the oxygen would go out of the room, the smidgen of attention Labor is getting,Trumka of AFL-CIO is finally on Meet the Press this Sunday, is gone in a flash.

  22. 22
    hamletta says:

    @hamletta: OK, I was out of line @14.

    EDK, you’re bright, but you’re real young.

  23. 23
    El Cid says:

    @Suffern ACE: That’s a big part of this story. Teachers, for example, didn’t go on strike — they called in sick.

    Therefore there’s no picket line.

    Instead there have been mass protests and the like.

  24. 24
    Mike Kay (Peacemaker) says:

    Rule #1 of politics: Never talk about fight club.

    Rule #2 of politics: Never interrupt your opponent when he’s in the process of destroying himself.

  25. 25
    Bailey says:

    So now that a middle of the night vote has stripped the union members of their right to bargain, does everyone just go home now?

    I’ve been scrolling blog to see if anyone has been covering this….no one seems to be on it.

    WTF happened? When did the Dems slink back into town?

  26. 26
    hamletta says:

    @Mike Kay (Peacemaker): You are a wise and beautiful man.

  27. 27
    freelancer says:

    @hamletta:

    I read what had repeated from TBogg, who was posting in order to rip a right-wing dipshit and you better believe that it haunted me and I wish that what he hadn’t reported fully or that I could pray to FSM that I had more functional reading skills. I was fuzzy on what exactly occurred, but either way, it fucked me up, and I wished, not only that I was able to unlearn what I had learned, but that Logan could have unexperienced what I had previously assumed to be her assault.

  28. 28
    Yutsano says:

    @Bailey: IIRC that was just the lower chamber. The WI Senate Dems are still AWOL.

  29. 29
    Mike Kay (Peacemaker) says:

    This 4 year old quote was dug up by the wingnut opo-research and pushed via their Corporate Media assets to bait the President.

    Some non-pragmatic progressives will bite on this, but the President is too smart to engage a gop briar patch.

  30. 30
    El Cid says:

    @Bailey: That’s the state House. The body missing the quorum b/c of the missing Democrats is the state Senate.

  31. 31
    hamletta says:

    @Bailey: WFT are you talking about? I’m reading Eric Kleefeld’s tweets from Madison, and he’s said nothing of the sort.

  32. 32
    Suck It Up! says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    He should lead on what? What did people do before Obama came along? Why does he always have to provide cover for members of Congress? Its as if people can’t wipe their asses anymore unless Obama goes first. I love the protests just the way they are. This is real. This is what grassroots looks like. People got pissed and they did something. They didn’t wait until Obama “lead”. They didn’t wait for him to give some inspiring speech. They got up and did it for themselves and its a beautiful thing. What they are doing in WI is what people should be doing all over the U.S. and all over the world.

    Please don’t take my tone the wrong way. I’m not lashing out at you, but the protesters are doing a bang up job already and the last thing we need is for news outlets to start calling the whole thing staged.

    Its amazing. Once again, the Republicans are on the assault and instead of focusing solely on the attacker, the left’s anger is slowly turning right back on Obama.

    I’m going to bed. Mayor-Elect Rahm and Gibbs were right. Especially after hearing what Ed Schulz said. That garbage from a man who told people not to vote?

  33. 33
    hamletta says:

    Stupid edit window, not popping up with its AJAX-y goodness.

  34. 34

    @Yutsano: Agreed. It would be a terrible idea for him to walk the line, as it were. The Teabillies’ brains are currently doing donuts in their mental parking lots. They don’t know what to think and Fox News doesn’t really know what to tell them to think. If Obama shows up in Madison, the story immediately becomes about how he is overreaching and demonstrating his colonial Kenyan socialist Indonesian whatevers. The Reps wigged out after he said it was an assault on the unions.

    He was a community organizer. Anyone who thinks he doesn’t “stand” with them is looking for a reason to nitpick. ::coughEdSchultzcough::

    The people are doing just fine without him.

  35. 35
    Bailey says:

    @El Cid:

    Ah, good. I was just reading twitter feed after being gone all day and panicked.

  36. 36
    Suck It Up! says:

    And lets not forget the precedence this would set. I know you guys love that word. When a Republican becomes president and he/she goes to join a picket line, not a single liberal has the right to complain. Yes, yours is a just cause but those Republican protesters also believe theirs is a just cause.

  37. 37
    Gustopher says:

    If he showed up, the Republicans would use it as an excuse to change the subject to how uppity Obama is, appearing in front of columns, or something.

    “Uppity” would be pronounced “presumptuous”.

    Obama should stay away, unless the protests are fading and need a boost. I don’t think the boost will work, but it would be worth a try.

  38. 38
    Violet says:

    @Suck It Up!:

    He should lead on what? What did people do before Obama came along? Why does he always have to provide cover for members of Congress? Its as if people can’t wipe their asses anymore unless Obama goes first. I love the protests just the way they are. This is real. This is what grassroots looks like. People got pissed and they did something. They didn’t wait until Obama “lead”. They didn’t wait for him to give some inspiring speech. They got up and did it for themselves and its a beautiful thing. What they are doing in WI is what people should be doing all over the U.S. and all over the world.

    Exactly. What was it Obama said? We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. Well, here we are. At least in Wisconsin.

    Obama should stay out of it. Generally supportive statements about unions are as far as he should go, if that far. At some point there may be a need for more of a national involvement, but at this point we’re nowhere close to that. This is grassroots democracy in action. Long may it live.

  39. 39
    Mike Kay (Peacemaker) says:

    I go away for a couple of weeks and the entire world falls apart.

    Geez.

    To paraphrase Colonel Jessup: You need me on that pragmatic 11th dimensional wall.

  40. 40
    Suck It Up! says:

    Last one:

    Look what you all did w/o him having to step in:

    Trumka is on MTP this sunday.

    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/.....r-pressur/

    Today, ThinkProgress and others noted that the Sunday morning news shows did not feature any labor movement leaders or members last week — and none had been booked for this weekend — despite the ongoing protests in a host of states. A Main Street Movement of workers, students, and lawmakers has come together to push back on conservatives attempting to strip collective bargaining rights from public employees, yet the Sunday shows hadn’t see fit to include any of their voices, instead opting for a slew of conservative commentators and Republican governors. However, ThinkProgress has learned that NBC’s Meet the Press today booked AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka for Sunday. We applaud NBC’s decision and encourage the other networks (ABC, CBS, Fox News, and CNN) to also give a voice to working people.

  41. 41
    Anne Laurie says:

    Maddow’s latest is online, wherein she calls out the RNC for promoting Scott Walker’s Big Union-Busting Idea as a pre-planned project intended to be a national flashpoint:

    Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    (Not at all sure this will work… )

  42. 42
    Violet says:

    @Suck It Up!:
    Oh, that’s good news! I love grassroots action. Let’s keep it going!

  43. 43
    P KDZ says:

    @Bailey:

    After 60 hours of debate, the Assembly passed the bill. Republicans, unfortunately, control both the Assembly and the Senate here in Wisconsin.

    http://www.channel3000.com/pol.....etail.html

  44. 44
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Yeah, the instant he shows up, the amount of stories that focus solely on him explode to a degree that drowns out everything worth talking about, from media left, right, and center. I do think, however, that national Democrats with Wisconsin roots can and should make themselves known. David Obey, for instance, or Russ Feingold.

  45. 45
    Violet says:

    @P KDZ:
    But they still need the quorum in the Senate for it to pass there, right?

  46. 46
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    So now that the bill has passed the Assembly, does that mean that if the Democrats convince the Republicans in the Senate, or Walker himself, to change it in any way, do they have to pass it again?

    This is bad news, but it’s not a killing blow in any way.

  47. 47
    El Cid says:

    Bobo is getting visibly aroused by the prospect of Mitch Daniels being the conservative savior candidate of 2012.

    Aside from everything else, Daniels would be comfortable at an Applebee’s salad bar, if they had such a thing, and if it were physically possible for people to be comfortable at restaurant salad bars.

    You will see him sidling up to Hoosiers in breakfast places and parking lots, unassumingly, more or less as an equal, talking mostly about whatever caloric monstrosity happens to be on offer (it’s Indiana).

    Swoon! He can talk to people eating breakfast about funny breakfast dishes which have a lot of food!

    Apparently Daniels is the best person to tackle the ‘central moral issue of our time’: the deficit and debt.

    Not having jobs is, of course, not serious enough to be discussed with people having breakfast at diners.

    Indiana has been turned into a governance and economic paradise by Daniels. But Daniels has also told Republicans that maybe acting purely like Talibangelical conspiracy freaks might occasionally be disadvantageous. He is, therefore, David Brooks.

    Which prompts the second greatest moral issue of our time: Daniels says he’s not interested in running.

  48. 48
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Also, can I just say how sick I am of hearing Teabaggers say how this is how democracy works and the Wisc. 14 are trying to ruin it. First of all, they’ve got no right to say it after 2 straight years of howling in rage every time the Democrats tried to pass something. And now they’re trying to present themselves as the defenders of the democratic process? Second, this little shit-show of theirs was passed in the most un-democratic way imaginable. Nobody campaigned on it, apparently Democrats weren’t even told about it, and they fully intended to ram the whole thing through in one week without any debate if us silly little union thugs hadn’t caught wind of what was happening. The fuck they give a damn about democracy.

  49. 49
    Mike Kay (Peacemaker) says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: this isn’t bad news, it’s irrelevant news.

    No quorum, no senate. no Senate, no bill.

    Think about it in national terms, time after time Pelosi passed legislation in the House that died on arrive in the Senate because of the Filibuster.

    We’ll wait this out and recall the sonofbitch next January.

  50. 50
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @El Cid:

    Why Bobo, what happened to the strong, tan, prairie-chapped fellow from South Dakota? I bet you told the poor man you were breaking up with him via text, you cad!

  51. 51
    Violet says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:
    Strong, tan, prairie-chapped fellow from South Dakota broke up with Bobo. He decided not to run for President this go round.

  52. 52
    Yutsano says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Thune spurned Bobo, so now he’s looking for a new mancrush. Too bad Brooks hasn’t figured out the height deficit or the Arab problem Daniels has. Not to mention turning his back on Walker and backing down from a fight. Not exactly Republican presidential caliber there.

  53. 53
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Yutsano:

    Yes, love is a fickle thing. Perhaps we will soon see a mash note to John Kasich, explaining how bitching about your speeding ticket makes you a Very Serious Politician.

  54. 54
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Is there any news anywhere about someone suing Scott Walker over the faux-Koch blowjob, and getting him out of office before 10 months from now? Jesus, they got Rostenkowski for stealing postage stamps, there’s gotta be something illegal in that 20 minutes of slobber.

  55. 55
    Violet says:

    @Yutsano:
    Bobo will probably start crushing on Christie like the rest of the Villagers. There’s nothing like a man with a little heft on him in a crisis. Makes him look big and strong.

  56. 56
    Yutsano says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Nah. Kasich is a coward and Bobo knows it. The next crush will be Christie. Or he’ll go back to his old flame Newt the next time he says something serious.

  57. 57
    Anne Laurie says:

    @freelancer: Freelancer, I’m sorry, but I pulled your original comment. TBogg chose to use a fReichtard’s very graphic and probably imaginary description of what a famously misogynistic tabloid chose to print about the assault on Lara Logan, and then rebut that description. I’m sorry you were traumatized by it (I wish I hadn’t read it myself) but I’d prefer if the sad souls trolling for violence pr0n continue to find Balloon Juice only in the “skull fvck a kitten” context.

  58. 58
    frosty says:

    E.D. … what the hell happened to you? You seem to be a fire-breathing union organizer. Did you watch Norma Rae once too often?

    One of my colleagues asked me yesterday if I’d join an Engineer’s Union if there was one. I said sure, and he said he’d be happy to take my projects while I was walking the picket line.

    I didn’t get a response when I told him my brother picketed on the Daily News when he was in the Newspaper Guild. I don’t think he expected a professional to know anyone who was in a union.

    Which I’d joined the Bookbinders local that summer I had the factory job.

  59. 59
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Or taking legal action of some sort that would force him to resign. Edit function’s still out, I guess.

  60. 60
    Violet says:

    @Yutsano:
    Nah, Newt’s old news. Christie is the GOP Bieber of the moment.

  61. 61
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    So, I’ve been thinking about this whole WI thing, and it has occurred to me that private companies contracting to do the states business are also, whenever they negotiate contract with the state, essentially negotiating for their collective of workers. If Walker is going deny union workers that right in the name of cost control, shouldn’t private companies be put under similar restrictions? After all, it is true that companies will continually come back to the state demanding money for cost overruns. Private companies will force the state for negotiate more money or threaten to stop providing essential services. Why should they be allowed to blow up the state budget? Why shouldn’t they be forced to only get more money by statute or not be allowed to stop working (basically the same as striking) if they aren’t happy the amount they are being paid? Why should corporate citizens doing the states business have more rights than private citizens?

  62. 62
    El Cid says:

    I do not read shit-head waste of time Megan McAddled, but TBogg points to Susan of Texas

    Who notices that the “Business and Economics Editor of the Atlantic” is sick and tired of all you parasites thinking you should get a “paid vacation”.

    To start with, there is really no such thing as “paid” vacation; your employer is paying you for the work you’ve done, not for spending a week on the beach in Cabo.
    __
    You’re just spreading a slightly higher average hourly wage over a longer period, so it seems like you’re taking a lower wage in exchange for more days off.
    __
    Moreover, these days off often have an additional cost to employersthere are efficiency losses because you’re not around to coordinate with other employees, and they may have to hire a substitute, who is unlikely to be as productive as the worker that they are temporarily replacing.

    She’s right!

    More of us should decide to be born wealthy, with Daddy getting lots and lots of money by getting construction contracts from the government (New York City), so that then we can tell all the scumbag lazy bones out there how to have true dedication to the values of achievement.

    Either that, or we could demand a higher wage upfront in exchange for no paid vacation days, since they are substitutes for higher pay. Fucking moron.

    There’s more shit in there about what this selfish, lazy, affirmative-action-for-right-wing-hacks hire has to say about how all these workplace regulations hurt us all…

    Imagine that your auto mechanic, handyman, or landscaper proposed to work for you under the same kind of elaborate rules as Wisconsin teachers.

    Yes. I’m constantly fretting about how my handyman or landscaper might terrorize me were elaborate rules to be imposed upon me hiring these luxury services which at this time I couldn’t afford.

    It is, however, the responsibility of all of us to continually imagine ourselves to be employers or owners or the purchaser of services when thinking about job issues. Thinking about such issues as if you were a mere employee is something which economics and business experts like some rock-brain at the Atlantic shouldn’t have to worry about.

    Again, this is a worthless figure who should have no place in public discourse, but that is a wonderful encapulation of how such other privileged, spoiled, government-subsidized brats who dominate the media think of what it is that people who have real jobs do and get.

  63. 63
    Mike Kay (Peacemaker) says:

    Christie is 49. I bet Mr. cardiovascular disease doesn’t make it to 55.

    I mean Tim Russet keeled over at age 58, and Christie is way fatter than Russ.

  64. 64
    P KDZ says:

    @Violet:

    Yeah, the State Senate still needs a quorum to take the vote.

  65. 65
    El Cid says:

    @Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony: Not exactly focusing on the notion of private companies’ contracts being ‘collective bargaining’, there is this insight into the philosophy of how Wisconsin’s government is to deal squarely and fairly with the peoples’ money when it has to do with contracting with businesses.

    In this case it’s written by Krugman, though plenty of others have reported it before.

    …[T]he bill [pushed by Gov. Walker which eliminates public worker collective bargaining also] 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).”
    __
    What’s that about? The state of Wisconsin owns a number of plants supplying heating, cooling, and electricity to state-run facilities (like the University of Wisconsin). The language in the budget bill would, in effect, let the governor privatize any or all of these facilities at whim. Not only that, he could sell them, without taking bids, to anyone he chooses. And note that any such sale would, by definition, be “considered to be in the public interest.”

    ‘Guarding the public purse’ is actually about having someone distract the purse’s owner while you rifle through it to take anything of value from it.

  66. 66
    Violet says:

    @Mike Kay (Peacemaker):
    Christie’s been losing weight. I happened to see him on some TV show the other day, maybe the Today Show?, and the interviewer commented/asked him about his weight loss. He said he’d lost some weight, was doing it because he wanted to be around and healthy for his family, and didn’t want to talk about it any more or any specifics.

  67. 67
    Mike Kay (Peacemaker) says:

    Dead Man munching.

    http://tinyurl.com/4h6gyae

  68. 68
    Sly says:

    @El Cid:
    One of my old econ professors once gave out some great advice: “Whenever you hear a politician talk about turning over public infrastructure to private interests, you should start guarding your wallet.”

    This was in relation to the doubling of water rates in Bolivia after it was forced by the World Bank to hand over its public water utilities to a consortium of foreign corporations, but its applicable anywhere.

  69. 69

    OK. While I would personally love to see Obama marching the lines, I have to agree with the people who say it’s not a good idea. It WOULD become all about him–there isn’t any way it couldn’t be. And, he’s already stated his support for the unions. I think he can repeat that support verbally, but he should *sigh* stay away from the actual picket lines should a strike be called.

  70. 70
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: I’m always done telling people I married the smart one. Obama needs to stay away and make his comments from Washington period. This is not about him, and his interjecting any more will turn him into the story so fast our heads will spin.

  71. 71
    freelancer says:

    @Mike Kay (Peacemaker):

    Good to have you back, even if it wasn’t self-imposed.
    @El Cid:

    No shit. McArdle is what had me wishing to reinvent the Guillotine last night, and wishing that my wish would fuck up the math on its design. I’m furious that she is a presence, and I’m even more livid she has any influence.

  72. 72

    @Yutsano: Funny. I say the same thing about you!

    Yeah. Plus, there is no way he can win in this situation–per usual. So, he should just send flowers, kisses, chocolates, and his regrets.

    How you be? I’m gonna hit the sack. You out of work yet?

  73. 73

    @freelancer: Ditto wot you said about McArdle. The fact that she has any influence at all in any way makes me go to my dark place.

    ETA: Seriously. FYWPWAVRPFRIYGDE!

  74. 74
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Apparently one more week since the weather refuses to cooperate on that front. I did realize today that my paycheck last week will be the last one for awhile. I’ll make it though.

  75. 75

    @Yutsano: You get the snow. How unfair is that? Pout.

  76. 76
    freelancer says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    I think us knight owls can all interpret “wot”.

    FYNoEdit!

  77. 77

    @freelancer: Yep. We speak the same lingo, methinks. I like the late-night vibes going on in this joint. But, I fucking hate that I can’t edit my comments.

  78. 78
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: @freelancer: Teh no haz edit is gonna get annoying real fast. I think we’re just being repressed here.

  79. 79
    Mark S. says:

    @El Cid:

    Jesus, Bobo’s really fallen head over heels for this Daniels guy. It’s like Romeo falling for Juliet two minutes after Rosaline (I had to look that up) broke his heart. But he’s thinking about not running.

    I hope some day Bobo realizes what an utter tool he is and throws himself in front of an oncoming train. Gimme that Moore award.

  80. 80

    @Yutsano: Why does FYWP hate our freedoms?

    @Mark S.: You only get it if you metaphorically push Brooks under the train your damn self.

    Harrumph. Bedtime. Night, boyz.

  81. 81
    CaliCat says:

    Oh goody, the professional left is back with their talking point du jour: Obama needs to go to Wisconsin!!! Why hasn’t he gone to Wisconsin? Let’s all lambaste him for not going because if he went that would fix everything…and also because we found this old clip of him saying he would strike…so YEAH!

    Um, no. The president is just fine where he is – a relative distance away. He should not go to WI right now, it would serve only to distract from the issue. But hey, I get it…some on the left just can’t let an opportunity to rag on Mr. Obama go to waste. I know y’all have been jonesing for a major rag session since before the lame duck.

  82. 82
    CaliCat says:

    @Mike Kay (Peacemaker):

    This is about rights and class.

    The minute it becomes political, we’ll lose the retarded low information independent.

    I can’t stop laughing at this.

  83. 83
    CaliCat says:

    Oh, crap, I fucked up my block-quote. 2nd try.

    This is about rights and class.The minute it becomes political, we’ll lose the retarded low information independent.

    I can’t stop laughing at this.

  84. 84
    Mike Kay (Peacemaker) says:

    @CaliCat: thank you. thank you.

    Seriously, the people calling for Obama to show up might as well be calling for Lady GaGa perform a dance number in the Rotunda. It would be just as productive.

  85. 85
    PhoenixRising says:

    Mike wins the inter tubes.

    But what I’m wondering is: WTF are you people doing awake right now?

  86. 86
    Kolohe says:

    Interesting. Politifact was bee’s knees when they agreed with this site’s editorial positions. Now, apparently not so much.

  87. 87
    Uloborus says:

    @Kolohe:
    Welcome to the reality based community, Kolohe. When someone starts screwing up their job, we start losing faith in them. Heck, it’s even a process, not a binary state. Witness the constant wrangling over whether Sullivan deserves Some or No respect.

    In summary, when the facts change we change our minds. What do you do, sir?

  88. 88
    Uloborus says:

    @PhoenixRising:
    Waiting for my blood sugar to normalize so I can go back to bed.

  89. 89
    Kolohe says:

    @Uloborus:

    That they started screwing up only when the ultimate showdown of ultimate destiny began, and not one minute before, is obvious to the most casual observer.

  90. 90
    Uloborus says:

    @Kolohe:
    Not really. I myself became suspicious of them previously. I’ve seen them distort their reports with incredibly narrow interpretations of truth to support conservative memes. All you’re seeing is that no one felt it worth mentioning until now. That’s pretty standard. People don’t talk about things until they have reason to care. Especially on a political blog!

  91. 91
    stuckinred says:

    Where’s the critters?

  92. 92
    roshan says:

    The Wisconsin State Assembly has just passed Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill, including its controversial provisions to eliminate almost all collective bargaining rights for public employee unions as well as many other provisions to weaken union organizing.

    link

  93. 93
    Lojasmo says:

    This thread has been better than a cup of coffee.

    Obama should NOT go to Madison. He should clearly send Clinton.

    Off to get some coffee.

  94. 94
    lacp says:

    The only politicians who have any business dicking around in WI are local ones. For all the rest, no matter what their actual motivation, they’ll come across looking like self-aggrandizing assholes.

    No, I don’t want to see the Prez there. If the Dem senators get outfoxed and this legislation finally gets passed, a general strike (union and non-union) would be pretty cool, though.

  95. 95
    Nick says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    I realize he’s spoken out in support, which is great, but it would be cool if he was out there on the picket lines, as it were.

    Yes that would be great, but there’s also a budget battle in Washington and a civil war in Libya, also Wisconsin unions aren’t being “denied” their right to organize. They still have their right, for now.

  96. 96
    snarkypsice says:

    I think the President has learned a hard truth over this last two years, which is that a sizable chunk of this country hates him. Not distrusts – hates. If he puts himself from and center in any dispute, a significant number of people will oppose whatever he’s for.

    In the case of the unions, they’re winning the PR war right now. He would do more harm than good by getting involved. Everyone who loves him is for the unions anyway. But some of the people who hate him also think the unions are right in this instance.

    I think this post was a cheap shot given the political realities.

  97. 97
    snarkypsice says:

    That was supposed to say ‘front and center’ – sorry for the typo. The site won’t let me edit for some reason.

  98. 98
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Violet: That makes sense to me.

  99. 99
    jwb says:

    @Mike Kay (Peacemaker): Except at some point they do have to pass a budget in WI, no? And I think they need the quorum to pass any budget related bill. So I don’t think this is something that can simply go on until the Walker is recalled.

  100. 100
    Maude says:

    The thing that lefties don’t get is the the WI protest is a state issue, not federal.
    They always blame Obama for every little thing.
    When Obama does something great, DADT or something like it, the lament becomes oh, but he should have done it sooner.
    Sometimes I wonder if they think Obama should be personal servant. Not public servant, but along the lines of: oh, pick up my shoes and put them in the closet.

  101. 101
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    You will see him sidling slithering up to Hoosiers in breakfast places and parking lots, unassumingly, pretending to be more or less as an equal, talking mostly about whatever caloric monstrosity happens to be on offer (it’s Indiana) rather than about issues that matter to our country.

    Fix’t that for ya Bobo!

    Mitch Daniels; He cares about what you are stuffing your face with.

    And not much else.

  102. 102
    El Cid says:

    As a paid member of the Professional Left Association 174, I insist that Obama come to Madison and create a picket line he can walk on.

  103. 103
    El Cid says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: The true test is how well Daniels can do the same in a buffet line.

  104. 104
    lojasmo says:

    UW lacrosse just voted to unionize 26x-3x votes (can’t remember exactly, the numbers)

    Huzzah!

  105. 105
    Sasha says:

    Considering all the shit that’s going down in the Middle East, I’m willing to give Obama a pass …

  106. 106
    Quiddity says:

    I think Obama should at least send a couple of dozen pair of comfortable shoes to the protesters.

  107. 107
    Shoemaker-Levy 9 says:

    On a related note, looks like Politifact needs better fact-checkers.

    The few times I’ve read Politifact pieces I’ve found them poorly written, clumsily reasoned, and perhaps most importantly, incoherent in terms of how they apply their true/false terminology. Is it run by journalists? That would explain much.

    On the Success-o-Meter Politifact rates a Fail.

  108. 108

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