There’s much more going on than I can follow. You may have heard there’s a civil war in Libya, for example. For a while it seemed that Moammar Gaddafi was toast, but the news this morning is that he’s using paramilitary forces and mercenaries to crush the rebellion. The post-Gaddafi era may be postponed, alas.
In Wisconsin, it appears Democrats in one legislative house, the Assembly, have ended a filibuster and reluctantly agreed to allow Gov. Walker’s union-busting bill to come to a vote. Wisconsin Senate Democrats are still out of state, however, so it can’t pass into law just yet.
Must Read: “Scapegoats in Wisconsin” by Mark Erlich.
Organized operatives paid by FreedomWorks are attempting to throw the protesters off their game by inciting them to violence. Shoving into crowds and getting into people’s faces while being terminally obnoxious, a few of the Koch-paid goons have been insulted right back, which of course is captured on video and labeled “union thuggery.”
One, um, video of dubious veracity begins with some guy practically begging a protester to hit him. Then the camera turns away, the image gets fuzzy, and you hear noises that sound like punches. When the camera comes back into focus, you see a somewhat puzzled union protester, still holding his sign, while the Koch guy is screaming “you just hit a girl!”
While I do not condone violence, neither do I condone BS. The allegedly assaulted young woman was allegedly the FreedomWorks operative allegedly holding the camera, and although she is allegedly petite and the man who allegedly assaulted her (without dropping his sign) appears to be quite large, there are no reports she needed medical help. Please; that’s the best you got? This, dears, is what real thuggery looks looks like.
Update: Stephen Colbert demonstrates —
Elsewhere: Although Indiana has backed down, the situation in Ohio is still at an impasse. Also, a bill that would strip collective bargaining rights from municipal workers has just left committee in Oklahoma.
In other news, the Obama Administration is not going to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which has always struck me as being blatantly unconstitutional. A federal judge has found the Affordable Care Act to be constitutional, which now brings us to three judges yes, two judges no.
Finally, there’s a bill pending in the state of Arizona that would repeal the law of karma within state borders. I’m serious. HB 2582 would prohibit courts from basing any decisions on “religious sectarian law,” which beside being an oxymoron is defined as
… any statute, tenet or body of law evolving within and binding a specific religious sect or tribe. Religious sectarian law includes Sharia Law, Canon Law, Halacha and Karma but does not include any law of the United States or the individual states based on Angloâ€‘American legal tradition and principles on which the United States was founded.
I like the part about Anglo-American legal tradition. I also suspect that the authors of this bill assume the Ten Commandments are part of that Anglo-American tradition and wouldn’t be prohibited.
Karma, of course, is basically just the principle that actions have consequences; cause and effect. You might as well prohibit gravity. This bill is right up there with China’s regulation that lamas may not reincarnate without government approval. For that matter, I’d expect the Arizona legislature to pass a law prohibiting species from evolving within state borders, but then they’d have to acknowledge that species do evolve.
Update: Alex Pareene has more about the so-called “union thug” video, which has gone viral on the Right. Pareene points out that this video was made in Washington DC, not Wisconsin, which I had not noticed. “FreedomWorks could only manage to provoke an incident in D.C., because the people of Wisconsin are a gentle and peaceful lot, unless there is a Packers game on,” he says.
He also says that what he saw was the gentleman in the video pushing away the camera. I can’t make out that he did anything in particular, but you take a look and see what you think. Pareene continues,
Pushing a camera away from one’s face seems less “thuggish” to me than it does … defensive. And purposefully picking fights with people in order to provoke an angry response does not really prove much of anything.
Pareene also says that the young woman whose camera was pushed is now comparing herself to Lara Logan, the CBS reporter who was assaulted in Cairo, which I also hadn’t noticed until he pointed it out. He continues,
I am not making that up. I wish I was making that up. But I would actually not make that up, because it would seem beyond the pale to accuse conservative activists of being so horrible, so desperate to play the victim, so morally depraved, so deep into their persecution fantasies that they’ve lost all perspective on the rest of the world.
Yeah, pretty much. One of the keys to interpreting teabaggery is that in their minds, they are always the victims.
Update: See Wonkette and Tbogg.