- Union workers DO pay taxes. The value of their labor is subtracted from their paycheck in order to equal exactly what a private worker would pay.
- Plus, the workers already accepted a cut on wages and benefits. The Governor still refuses to negotiate. The remainder of the debate is about collective bargaining, or basically the right of the union to exist at all.
- Some claim that it is the "corrupt Union Bosses" versus the Koch bros. All I can say is that it is not the union bosses out protesting in 20 degree weather. It's the hardworking American people.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
If you're like me, you'd rather see public benefits go toward the American people than two greedy, corrupting billionaires. That's why I'm posting a list of Koch products for my readers to boycott with me, if you so choose.
Building / Remodeling
Cups & Tableware
Home and Office Papers
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
- Meanwhile, overseas gas prices have been soaring thanks to the middle east unrest.
- In China, a Planned "Jasmine Revolution" was put down by security forces who arrested several of the organizers of the protests, leaving the attendees to mull about at the protest site.
- Protests in Bahrain and Algeria continue, though they are receiving substantially less coverage thanks to the happenings in Libya.
- Wisconsin protests continue unchanged. Governor Walker still refuses to negotiate with unionists.
Monday, February 21, 2011
- The governor is pushing through a bill that would cause three major changes to the state's union structure.
- Their ability to bargain with their employers is reduced.
- Their ability to collect dues is undercut.
- An annual secret ballot would be necessary to vote the union back into existence every year.
- The bill would effectively slash salaries and benefits to state employees in order to close the budget gap left from the governor's $200 million donation to corporate interests.
- The unions have agreed to these concessions, and they are only interested in keeping their collective bargaining rights. They want to get rid of the above three changes. This is not about the money, this is about rights.
- Governor Walker has rejected union concessions of giving up salaries and benefits in order to keep collective bargaining rights. He has made it his personal mission to dissolve the state's unions.
- Governor Walker has received the majority of his campaign financing from Tea Party supporting billionaire Koch Brothers, who are now funding efforts to disrupt the protests.
- At least 100,000 are expected to show up to the capitol building in protest today as a few rock legends are expected to put on an awesome show.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
For days, demonstrators have been pouring into the streets of Madison, Wisconsin—and the halls of the state's Capitol building—to protest rookie Republican Governor Scott Walker's anti-union proposals. Big national unions, both major political parties, the tea party and Andrew Breitbart, are already involved. Democratic state senators have fled the state to prevent the legislature from voting on Walker's proposals. And the protests could soon spread to other states, including Ohio.
What's actually being proposed?
Walker says his legislation, which would strip most state employees of any meaningful collective bargaining rights, is necessary to close the state's $137 million budget gap. There are a number of problems with that argument, though. The unions are not to blame for the deficit, and
stripping unionized workers of their collective bargaining rights won't in and of itself save any money. Walker says he needs to strip the unions of their rights to close the gap. But public safety officers' unions, which have members who are more likely to support Republicans and who also tend to have the highest salaries and benefits, are exempted from the new rules. Meanwhile, a series of tax breaks and other goodies that Walker and the Republican legislature passed just after his inauguration dramatically increased the deficit that Walker now says he's trying to close. And Wisconsin has closed a much larger budget gap in the past without scrapping worker organizing rights.
What's really going on, as Kevin Drum has explained, is pure partisan warfare: Walker is trying to de-fund the unions that form the backbone of the Democratic party. The unions and the Democrats are, of course, fighting back. The Washington Post's Ezra Klein drops some knowledge [emphasis added]:
The best way to understand Walker's proposal is as a multi-part attack on the sta
te's labor unions. In part one, their ability to bargain benefits for their members is reduced. In part two, their ability to collect dues, and thus spend money organizing members or lobbying the legislature, is undercut. And in part three, workers have to vote the union back into existence every single year. Put it all together and it looks like this: Wisconsin's unions can't deliver value to their members, they're deprived of the resources
to change the rules so they can start delivering value to their members again, and because of that, their members eventually give in to employer pressure and shut the union down in one of the annual certification elections.
You may think Walker's proposal is a good idea or a bad idea. But that's what it does. And it's telling that he's exempting the unions that supported him and is trying to obscure his plan's specifics behind misleading language about what unions can still bargain for and misleading rhetoric about the state's budget.
Walker's proposals do have important fiscal elements: they roughly double health care premiums for many state employees. But the heart of the proposals, and the controversy, are the provisions that will effectively destroy public-sector unions in the Badger State. As Matt Yglesias notes, this won't destroy the Democratic party. But it will force the party to seek funding from sources other than unions, and that usually means the same rich businessmen who are the main financial backers for the Republican party. Speaking of which....
Friday, February 18, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
- The Patriot Act passed the Senate yesterday. President Obama is expected to sign it soon. Then we will continue living without our fourth amendment rights.
- Democrats and Tea Partiers have also worked together to try to block $3 billion worth of defense spending which would only serve to increase our debt and make John Boehner look good. Seems like the libertarian Tea Party candidates finally realized the republican talking point about "smaller government' is really just a false facade.
- Bahrain, a tiny middle eastern island nation, has had the most successful protests. Citizens have crowded into an important city square in a demonstration reminiscent of Egypt's protests. Earlier today, they were attacked by riot police while camping there overnight. I wish them luck in their attempts to truly change things.
- The BBC have put out an amazing interactive map of the Middle East protests, proving once again that they are far superior to US stations.
- Wisconsin has had its own protests. over 10,000 have gathered at the State capitol in order to object to the radical cuts proposed by the state's republicans. if only my state would do the same...
- Justin Beiber on general politics: “I’m not sure about the parties. But whatever they have in Korea, that’s bad.” And people wonder why I hate this kid.
- Unfortunately I have no Vlad comic for my followers this time, but here's something amusing
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Protesters have gathered in Tahrir (Liberation) Square and have demanded that President of 30 long years, Hosni Mubarak, step down from power.
The protests started on January 25th and have swelled in numbers up to today, when nearly 2 million people are gathered in central Cairo in pursuit of a common goal.
Some are worried about the local Islamic group, the Muslim Brotherhood, taking power afterward, however those fears are baseless as the next leader has been selected to be Nobel Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei, a former UN official.
Al Jazeera has been the biggest coverer of the story, with other news networks simply mentioning it only as far as they believe will get them ratings. Al Jazeera's coverage of the story can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/aljazeeraenglish