Today in Wisconsin, and Other Stuff

Jessica VanEgeren of the Madison Capitol Times writes that about 50 farmers are expected to bring their tractors to Madison today for demonstrations.

The farmers’ concerns go beyond union busting. Many of them depend on Medicaid-funded state health care programs that Walker is planning to cut. They are also concerned about what’s going to happen to their kids’ schools.

The fact that small farmers like Greeno have decided to protest Walker’s budget is an indication not all is well in America’s Dairyland. So is the handful of e-mails, phone calls and messages the grassroots Family Farm Defenders have received over the past several days because of its involvement with the event.

John Peck, the group’s director, says the calls and messages he has received have one common message: farmers participating in Saturday’s protest are being “duped” into supporting the unions.

“This isn’t us versus them, with farmers siding with union employees,” says Scott Schultz, executive director of the Wisconsin Farmers Union. “In rural farm communities, Walker’s budget is hitting home in a number of ways.”

Although unions and collective bargaining have strong roots in the farm industry — the Wisconsin Farmers Union began in the 1930s — Peck says Saturday’s rallies are about more than preserving union rights.

Peck says many of those coming to Madison are upset by the realization that Walker’s agenda is “sacrificing Wisconsin’s quality of life for everyone, not just unions.”

Remember, the population of Wisconsin is 5,654,774 people plus 1,261,000 dairy cows. Wisconsin farmers are the people who put the cheese in cheesehead. I was in Madison on business once while some dairy farmer association was having a convention, and the only motel room my company could get for me was eight miles out of town. And next to a dairy farm.

Elsewhere — this week a white supremacist and neo-Nazi was arrested and charged with planting a bomb along a Martin Luther King Day parade route. Elsewhere, five right-wing anti-government extremists (part of the “sovereign citizens” movement) were arrested in Fairbanks, Alaska, for conspiring to kidnap or kill Alaska state troopers and a Fairbanks judge. The group had done extensive surveillance of the judge’s home and had an extensive cache of weapons, some of them illegal.

So let’s not all hold our breaths waiting for Peter King to hold hearings about the dangers of right-wing radicals, shall we?

Speaking of Alaska, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has come out against plans to defund Planned Parenthood. Naturally, the teabaggers are having fits. My favorite reaction is a comment at Frum Forum: “SHE MIGHT AS WELL STAB A BABY! TWICE! WITH A GAY MUSLIM KNIFE!” Seriously.

Teabaggers extol the virtues of federalism, by which they mean something closer to “states’ rights.” Yet they don’t grasp that elected senators and representatives represent their states and constituents, not teabag ideology. What the teabaggers are trying to do is co-opt state governments into carrying out a national agenda, which is not federalism. And they want to use national clout and money to influence elections within states in which the states’ residents may have different ideas (think Joe Miller).

Anyway … go Wisconsin.

Update: The “Wisconsin 14,” formerly the Senators in Exile, will be joining today’s march to the capitol. Cool.

6 thoughts on “Today in Wisconsin, and Other Stuff

  1. “Speaking of Alaska, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has come out against plans to defund Planned Parenthood.”

    It’s wonderful — and rare– to find a Republican who doesn’t “clone” the Party Line. Glad she beat that Tea Party Whack job.

    Jeez, you can’t make that stuff up, can you?

    Uhm, stupid, the knife may have a straight edge, but just because it doesn’t, doesn’t make it gay.
    How could an INANIMATE object be either straight or gay?
    Oh, wait, I’m wrong on that point. Whatever wrote that probably considers itself straight!

    And if I were called as a witness before Chairman Peter “You Hack” King, of the “‘Un-American’ House Activities Committee” – UHAC, I’d bring a “NO IRISH NEED APPLY!” sign up with me to the witness stand.
    Does anyone think he’d get it?
    Yeah, me neither…

  3. “…GAY…” So, this morn on CSPAN, the topic being bullying, a number of callers thought that the discussion of the issue by the WH was actually a cover-up of the gay-rights movement. In other words, gays were the ones behind the effort to stop bullying because gays are often/sometimes bullied, and therefore for the WH to take up the issue meant that the WH really had no interest in bullying per/se but had a great deal of interest in promoting gay rights.

    When I think that the wing nuts couldn’t possibly come up with yet one more wing nuttiness, they manage to come up with one. In the mean time, in the case of bullying it can and may well continue unabated, uninvestigated, unstudied and, finally, uncontrolled. Great.

  4. Re: “SHE MIGHT AS WELL …”

    Actually, you CAN make that stuff up. I think the comment was meant sarcastically.
    Probably. I think. Maybe.

  5. Wingnuts are only for states’ rights when it advances something the wingnut wants, otherwise “there’s gotta be some rules”.

    During the Bush years, Senator Jeffords of Vermont defected from the GOP to become an independent, foiling their attempt at becoming the majority party. No amount of explaining to wingnuts, that Vermont is different, and Jeffords is only doing what his constituents wanted, would be entertained.

    The rules are only in effect when they help ME, in other words.

    In other words, the only principle is to win, at any cost.

  6. We,(me, and my frog in my pocket, along with any other “Thinking Americans” around the country),would love, much more attention on Wisconsin,in the”Lame stream mudia”-(artistic licensing approved)—> “What’s that “noise” coming out from under the hood,sounds like the “ENGINE”…?,engine ?what’s that? ohhh yeah,yeah,makes the car go,right?—OH, never mind, everything’s still working,don’t worry about it ,”my ‘new’ mechanic” says: “it’s running just the way it’s suppose to…just trust me” he says… Doh !

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