Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Saturday, February 26th, 2011.


A Good Day for Labor

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Big rallies across the country today, and the biggest crowd in Madison yet, in spite of a snowstorm. I understand the Republicans are going to try to close the statehouse tomorrow afternoon, which may bring things to a head.

The Right is still trying to make the story about union goons. They’re promoting a video that allegedly shows protesters disrespecting a war memorial. I say allegedly, because I found it to be a brilliant illustration of the “greater asshole” rule, and the people making the video definitely come across as the greater assholes. The “evil raging leftists” have the patience and forbearance of saints; I would have been a lot snarkier. You can watch it at Moderate Voice.

Stuff to read:

The Wisconsin Lie Exposed – Taxpayers Actually Contribute Nothing To Public Employee Pensions” by Rick Ungar. See also “A Clarification on Public Workers” by Paul Krugman.

The View From Inside the Wisconsin State Capitol

Must read:Scott Walker’s Ruthless Ambition” by John Gardner.

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More Tales of Union Thuggery …

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… which is to say, rightie bloggers are striving mightily to turn the Wisconsin protest story into a story of Union Goonism, but they’re having a hard time of it, because the protesters are not following the script.

For example, David Weigel links to a hysterically hatemongering post of Michelle Malkin’s (titled “Hate-a-rama: The vulgar, racist, sexist, homophobic rage of the Left,’ but if you want to see it you’ll have to follow Weigel’s link) and asks, “Where are the thugs?” Because the worst examples Malkin could find of this alleged rage are lame.

One of Malkin’s examples is a video of people yelling “shame! shame!” after the Wisconsin Assembly passed Gov. Walker’s bill. Um, free speech, dear? Malkin is defining “thuggery” as “people I don’t like stating opinions I disagree with.”

Weigel continues,

I just spent four days in Madison and the state Capitol, reporting, and saw absolutely no violence. There were no arrests on Saturday, when 80,000 liberals rallied and a smaller number of Tea Partiers counter-protested. There were no arrests last night when hundreds of angry protesters watched the GOP-led Assembly pass the budget repair act. There are no arrests, so far, in Madison. And Malkin cites actual violence in only two cities where protests have taken place.

But, as has been said elsewhere, the union goons are refusing to conform to the Right’s stereotypes. How diabolical of them.

Today a Wisconsin blogger is reporting that Gov. Scott Walker was asked to leave a Madison restaurant when the patrons began to boo him. The original post was taken down because, the blogger says, the restaurant was being swamped with phone calls about it. Swopa at Firedoglake has details.

A rightie blogger claims to have proof that the restaurant story is a hoax. Maybe it is; maybe it isn’t. The “proof” is a lot more dubious than the original story, however. You can listen to the audio of a phone call and judge for yourself; the denial sounds to me like a restaurant employee trying to say anything the caller wanted to hear to get him off the phone, because it was dinner hour and the restaurant was busy.

Update: I’m surprised Malkin isn’t blasting the restaurant for serving arugula. Arugula is one of those effete liberal things that right-thinking Muricans view with suspicion. But why would a Republican governor eat there?

Update: FYI, I am especially fond of fresh arugula with sliced tomatoes and goat cheese.

Update: Via Susie Madrak, The Wisconsin Professional Police Association is calling on the governor to keep the Wisconsin capital building open to the protesters. The WPPA also is calling on its members across the state to come to Madison and camp out with the protesters.

“Law enforcement officers know the difference between right and wrong, and Governor Walker’s attempt to eliminate the collective voice of Wisconsin’s devoted public employees is wrong,” continued Palmer. “That is why we have stood with our fellow employees each day and why we will be sleeping among them tonight.”

The WPPA statement also reinforces what other people are saying — the protesters are behaving very responsibly and even are cleaning up after themselves. I guess the next thing we’ll hear is that the police are a bunch of union goons.

Update: Even though they are picking up after themselves, Ann Althouse complains the protesters are littering up the Capitol Building. They have taped protest signs to a Veterans Memorial, which Althouse apparently thinks is some kind of desecration. Let’s see — what was it veterans did that causes us to memorialize them? Give their lives for our freedoms, maybe?

It also seems to bother her that there are pro-union signs decorating a bust of Robert La Follette If you know anything about LaFollette, you know Fighting Bob would be standing with the protesters himself if he were still alive. He was one of the leaders of the early 20th century progressive movement.

However, there was another famous Wisconsin politician who hated unions. He really, really, hated unions. I’ve got a whole book around here somewhere about how this guy’s number one issue in his early career was how unions ought to be busted. You may have heard of him — Senator Joe McCarthy.

Update: A rightie Wisconsin blogger is outraged that people were disrespectful to the governor, because America is all about showing proper deference to government officials, or something.

Update: See Greg Sargent, “Public employees not such an easy scapegoat after all

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