Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I just saw the video from the assembly session from Friday 2/18.  I am astonished that this story was picked up by the news media.  Here you had the Republicans running their agenda without the Democrats.  They were going to win anyway but they found it necessary to exclude the no votes.  Why?  Probably so that they can show just exactly how undemocratic they are.  This behavior is unbelievable, the founders would be appalled.  Every one of these Republicans should be recalled and this story should be reported.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Do Your Jobs

The Republicans Want the Senate Democrats to come back to Madison so they can represent the people who elected them.  As I have followed the legislative session they are doing as good of job sitting out as they would if they were there.  The Republicans don't allow debate or amendments and they vote as a block.  They must have a problem winning 19-0 instead of 19-14.

Scott Walker for President

Back before the Governor made his plan to effectively eliminate public employee unions I had said that if he could successfully get the teachers and other employees he would be a shoe in for president.  Today I heard Thom Hartmann make a similar claim except he thinks 2016.  Scott would be the one to eliminate the 40 hour work week and the minimum wage.


Okay, I'm good with going after the benefits of public employees and smashing the unions.  Why is it ok to give taxpayer money (bribes) to corporations?  In Wisconsin I refer to Mercury Marine which extorted $50 million from the taxpayers of this state.  Now that the economy has collapsed due to the action of the non-union wealthy Mercury sales have plummeted and they would like to cut the work force but they can't because of the deal with the State.  Where is the Tea Party on this?  This State should have let them go.  If we are going to take a hard line on the public employees let also end corporate welfare.  I say take the country back to the 1920's.

I Had an Interesting Conversation

I had an interesting conversation about jobs, salaries, and health insurance.  The contention is that people choose those jobs with the lower salaries and no benefits.  I was reminded of the scene in the movie Caddyshack where the one caddy is trying to get a scholarship from the judge and he says well the world needs ditch diggers.  I guess that I question how many people self selected these jobs and what happens if no one self selects one of these jobs?  We would have no people serving us will that be ok? 

Take the Country Back

The Tea Party Patriots are always talking about taking the country back.  It seems to me that they want to take the country back to the 1920's.  The heyday of no unions, no social security, no medicare, no EPA, no OSHA, no FDA, no minimum wage, and no 40 hour work week.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Teachers and an Illegal Strike

I tend to be supportive of organized labor, but I can not agree with the teachers taking "sick" time to protest.  They are running an illegal strike and should face some kind of consequence for breaking the law.  Reading the comments on news articles it would indicate that many are not in favor of this action and they want the teachers fired.  This action may erode support for the unions.

Global Warming

Where are the deniers now that temperatures in Madison are pushing 50?  Winter looks to be over and it is only mid-February.  They are out there saying that there is no global warming when it is cold in the Winter in Wisconsin, but they disappear when it is unseasonably warm.

Protest 2.0

As the protests in Madison began a second day many schools closed because the staff called in "sick".  This is precisely the wrong way to gain support from the people.  Teachers are the most hated of the public employees and closing school the most unpopular protest option.  The reality is that this proposal is playing well with most the population (even union workers) in the State.  Teachers walking off of the job just shows these people that they are right about public employees and that the Governor needs to stick it to them and fire those workers.  The other reality is that this bill is going to pass.  It is going to pass no because of the Governor but because the people of the State (many State workers) not only delivered this Governor to power but also clear Republican majorities to the Assembly and Senate that vote in a solid block. 

For people to have buyers remorse shows how they didn't pay attention in the first place.  There are no surprises with any of these bills.  The party ran on this, the individuals ran on this and the people elected them.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Labor Rally at The Capitol

I was asked whether I would attend Tuesday's labor rally.  No, this Governor is doing exactly what he said he would do.  For people who voted for him to be opposed to this is a little surprising.  These Republicans have made no secret in the desire to break the public employee unions and to balance the budget on the backs of the employees.  Now they are doing it.  That being said the other shoe drops on March 13 when the contract extension is canceled at which point without the protections afforded by the unions the Governor will be able to cut staff and salary at will.

The Governor always talks about a private sector equivalence.  In the private sector the workers are currently paying more for benefits if they still have them as well as significant salary cuts to keep jobs.  State employees should consider themselves fortunate for now.  The Governor could do what many businesses do as they are going bankrupt and raid the pension fund.  This would affect workers who are currently retired as well as those retiring in the future.  Those who think that these benefits will be restored in the future are dreaming.  The chance to stop this was the last election.

The rally makes for great theater but in the end is a wasted effort.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Job Killing Environmental Regulation

Now that we have allowed the filling of an urban wetland in Green Bay for the Bass Pro Shop (who has said that they won't build on a wetland) I am reminded of Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi, they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.  I joked before the inauguration that the Governor would ban the use of the word wetland, instead use swamp.  Unfortunately it was close to reality.  These Republicans want to find ways to fill in the remaining swamps in the state, hopefully they will also create jobs.

Auto insurance

The State of Wisconsin had passed a bill in 2009 that went in force in 2010 requiring liability limits for vehicle insurance just like 45 other states.  Some people's insurance went way up.  This was probably because they were under insured.  These people supported people who vowed to repeal this legislation (reduce the minimum, repeal other parts outright) as part of their campaign.  They got elected so now we are going to repeal this.  Personally I already was carrying more than the minimums so I didn't have a problem in fact my insurance went down.  This is going to be a bad bill for consumers but since we are going the route of a non parent government why don't we drop the requirement of auto insurance?  Let those that can afford the right insurance buy it if they want.  To the people who can't afford insurance or who are under insured good luck. 

The Republicans say that they are against trial lawyers have just thrown a bone to the legal profession, unless they make suing illegal.  In that case I'll drop my insurance.