Posts Tagged Wisconsin
How Michigan Republicans Caught Labor Off-Guard, Making Law Worse than Wisconsin’s
A law that seemed to happen overnight was actually years in the making, but Gov. Snyder’s election-year fear of a Koch-funded group may have tipped the balance.
December 12, 2012
Photo Credit: Michigan AFT
It seemed to happen so fast. Actually, it was years in the making: A law designed to eviscerate the membership rolls of labor unions in the state in which the mighty United Auto Workers makes its home was rammed through both houses of the Michigan legislature and signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Rick Snyder. As Wisconsin is to public employee unions, so is Michigan to the unions of the manufacturing sector — a place emblematic of labor’s political sway, a force now diminished by the new law.
Taken up in a lame-duck legislative session, the prospects for the bill’s passage caught everybody off-guard, thanks to a sudden change of heart by Snyder who had, throughout his term, expressed opposition to any law that, like the one he just signed, would allow workers in union shops — such as those employed by the big-three automakers whose plants account for more than 136,000 Michigan jobs — to opt out of paying dues to the unions that represent them.
But Snyder faces re-election in 2014, which means his campaign begins now, with this opening volley. Had the legislature passed the law, drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (the organization funded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch that drafted Wisconsin’s anti-union law), and Snyder failed to sign it, he might have faced fierce opposition from Americans for Prosperity, the Koch-funded astroturf group that was also instrumental in the passage of the Wisconsin law. Even worse (for him), Snyder might have faced a primary challenge.
The Michigan governor was no doubt emboldened in his back-tracking by the results of the Proposal 2 referendum, which, had it passed, would have enshrined collective bargaining rights in the state constitution. The measure’s defeat — by a 15-point margin in an election dominated by Democratic wins from the presidency on down — gave Republicans a “head count,” writes Rich Yeselson at theAmerican Prospect. “The head count said simply that the UAW and allied unions did not have the unqualified support of most Michigan voters.” (In fairness to the unions, it should be said that opponents waged a relentless air campaign against the proposal in the final two weeks of the election, according to Karla Swift of the Michigan AFL-CIO, drawing from a virtually bottomless well of money provided by the likes of the Kochs, the DeVos family that created the Amway empire, and assorted business interests.)
So, head count no doubt taken into consideration, Snyder gambled that his embrace of the law its proponents call “right to work” would cost him less at the polls than it would to piss off the Kochs and their friends. Until that point, however, Snyder — who is an anti-choice right-winger — had his apologists among Michigan’s smart set, notably the editorial board of the Detroit Free Press, the state’s best-known newspaper. And the editorial board was not amused. To be proven so wrong in its backing of a public official whose shortcomings they so often lent cover — well, smart-set people such as editorial board members don’t like being left with egg on their faces. And so they wrote:
In short, we trusted Snyder’s judgment.
That trust has now been betrayed — for us, and for the hundreds of thousands of independents who voted for Snyder with the conviction that they were electing someone more independent, and more visionary, than partisan apparatchiks like Wisconsin’s Scott Walker or Florida’s Rick Scott.
(Here’s hoping editorial board members will remember this moment the next time they’re inclined to side with a self-described moderate who is actually a right-winger.)
But unions are not totally without blame in this equation. As Ruth Conniff of theProgressive, a publication known as a stalwart supporter of labor, points out, unions, especially the UAW, made perhaps too many concessions along the way, weakening their power and the public perception thereof. And, as Harold Meyerson notes in his comprehensive TAP piece (“What Happens if Labor Dies?”), by the 1980s unions were hardly working to broaden their membership. “Lulled during the years of labor’s power into thinking they’d attained sufficient numbers to keep on winning better contracts, they largely stopped organizing,” Meyerson writes, “devoting only 4 percent of their budgets to recruiting new members.”
The next step for Michigan labor leaders and their allies is to get a referendum on the ballot that would essentially repeal the just-passed union-busting law. It will be a hard fight, and could take several years to win, Yeselson writes, but it’s winnable.
But that’s just Michigan. What’s needed is a national, progressive strategy that encompasses labor battles — after all, this is the essence of the class war fight — with all the other progressive issues. (Just a day after passing the anti-labor law, Michigan’s legislature introduced a bill that would allow healthcare providers to opt out of providing care that goes against their religious beliefs.) Most of these battles take place at the state level. Progressives need an ALEC of their own — and a lot of boots on the ground.
- How Michigan Republicans Caught Labor Off-Guard, Making Law Worse than Wisconsin’s (alternet.org)
- Michigan Anti-Labor Law Seen as Domino Changing Rust Belt (bloomberg.com)
- Insight: How Republicans engineered a blow to Michigan’s powerful unions (reuters.com)
- Walker says he won’t pursue any union legislation in the next session (jsonline.com)
- Rick Snyder: The Scott Walker of 2014 (washingtonpost.com)
- Koch brothers, Tea Party cash drives Michigan right-to-work bill (salon.com)
- Michigan’s right-to-work a Koch brothers and ALEC-style model bill in action (deathandtaxesmag.com)
- Unions Begin Long War After Stunning Blow in Michigan – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Labor’s plan to fight back (politico.com)
- Insight: How Republicans engineered a blow to Michigan’s powerful unions (news.yahoo.com)
Opinion: Romney’s Desperation Showing In Final Days Of Campaign
November 2, 2012
Mitt Romney (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
The Romney campaign enters this weekend in a bind.
This race has boiled down to Ohio. The problem for Romney is that the Obama campaign has built a firewall there. Between advertising, organizing and events the president’s campaign has built a strong foundation.
But in the end it was Obama’s politically risky decision to bail out the auto industry and Mitt Romney’s criticism of the decision that define the race in Ohio because so many jobs have returned to the state.
Ohio’s economy, like most other swing states, is doing better than the national average. For Ohioans, they know that the auto bailout is a driving force behind the growing economy.
The other factor that boosts Obama in Ohio, as well as Wisconsin, is the attempt by Republicans to strip working class union members of their right to bargain collectively.
These factors have created a lower ceiling for the Romney/Ryan campaign in two critical states in the Electoral College.
One need look no farther than Obama’s strength with white working class voters nationally versus Ohio to see that the auto bailout and the successful effort to overturn the Republican legislators and governor’s assault on unions.
So Romney has little room to maneuver. Nevada and Iowa seem squarely in the Obama column as well. It looks like New Hampshire is out of reach for Romney, too.
The Romney campaign knows that time is running out and they have to resort to desperate measures.
One piece of evidence we have that the Romney campaign is trying to manufacture a momentum storyline. They claimed that they were expanding the map to include Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. But that was clearly spin, as none of those states are on Romney’s travel itinerary in the closing week save a last minute addition of a stop in Pennsylvania.
McCain tried to make up the momentum story four years ago, including a late stop in the Keystone State. McCain lost the state by double digits.
Spoiler Alert: The Romney campaign cannot and will not win any of those three states.
Another piece of evidence we have that the Romney campaign is in desperation mode is that they did not stop the campaigning during Hurricane Sandy and the tone of the campaign was the same before and after the disaster.
But the most damning piece of evidence we have that Mitt Romney is searching for some sort of magic bullet to save his campaign from inevitable defeat is that Romney has gotten into a fight with his vaunted job creators.
The Romney campaign has invented a story, first told during a speech then turned into a campaign ad, that Jeep is closing production in the U.S. and offshoring production to China – a favorite tactic of Romney at Bain by the way.
Jeep and Chrysler have attacked the campaign endlessly for making this story up.
That’s right, the son of an auto CEO has picked another fight with the auto industry a week before the election. Maybe it is some sort of deep seeded issue Romney has with his father that causes him to lash out in this way.
Whatever the reason, Romney’s effort is failing.
No one is buying this lie other than people that live in the alternate reality of right wing media.
As the campaign draws to a close it has become very apparent that Obama will return to the White House and that Harry Reid will lead a Democratic Senate.
One of the biggest open questions is the Republican House. Will voters really turn out and send the president and a Democratic Senate to Washington and return a Republican majority in the House of Representatives or will Democrats pick-off enough seats to kick out the one body of government that preferred we head to a fiscal cliff rather than cutting a four billion dollar deficit reduction plan?
- Mitt Hits the Panic Button | Alternet (mbcalyn.com)
- Romney Airdrops Two Billion in Small Bills Over Ohio : The New Yorker (mbcalyn.com)
- Opinion: Romney’s Desperation Showing In Final Days Of Campaign (philadelphia.cbslocal.com)
- Final surge: Romney wins major boost after a late play for Pennsylvania in the sprint to the finish line (dailymail.co.uk)
- Obama, Romney take aim at key Midwestern swing states – Reuters UK (uk.reuters.com)
- Mitt hits the panic button (salon.com)
- Obama, Romney take aim at key Midwestern swing states – Reuters (reuters.com)
- Why Mitt Romney Has Turned to Lying About the Auto Bailout (theatlantic.com)
- Obama, Romney take aim at key Midwestern swing states (news.yahoo.com)
- Obama, Romney, Launch Final Campaign Blitz (voanews.com)
EXCLUSIVE: Romney Campaign Incorrectly Trains Iowa Poll Watchers To Check For Photo ID | ThinkProgress
Earlier this week, ThinkProgress released internal documents from the Romney campaign detailing how it is training poll watchers to mislead voters in Wisconsin. Now, according to new documents, Wisconsin may not be the only state where Romney’s campaign is equipping volunteers with deceptive information.
A new ThinkProgress investigation has found that in Iowa, Romney poll watchers are being trained to watch for voters who show up without a photo ID, even though no voter ID law exists in the state.
In a training video for Romney poll watchers in Iowa, the narrator tells volunteers to be on the lookout for anytime “a voter fails to show a voter ID and they are still permitted to vote.” If that happens, he says, “alert the legal team so they can handle the problem.” The text of the campaign’s slide, however, says something contradictory, instructing volunteers when poll workers should check the voter’s ID. Despite the mixed messages, the slide ends with: “If an election worker is not checking photo ID, please call the legal hotline immediately.”
NARRATOR: Naturally, you’re probably wondering what irregularities may come up throughout the day. We’ll walk you through some quick examples. and you can get back to checking voters.
The text on the video notes that utility bills and other government documents are acceptable forms of ID, but that section is contradicted by the narrator’s decree to be on the lookout for anyone who tries to vote without a photo ID and text at the bottom warning poll watchers to be on the lookout for voters who lack photo ID. In sum, the training material is, at best, highly misleading.
Iowa in not a voter ID state. ThinkProgress asked a representative at the Iowa Secretary of State’s office whether it would be incorrect to say that voter ID is required in Iowa. “That’s right,” she confirmed. Voters do not need ID on Election Day; they can show a current utility bill (including cell phone bill), bank statement, paycheck, or other government document, but are not required to do so.
This video is part of Romney’s massive nationwide poll-watcher effort on Election Day. The campaign is training 34,000 volunteers to fan out in swing states across the country and monitor for voter fraud. Romney personally touted Project ORCA in a video released Wednesday evening, telling poll watchers that they’ll “be the key link in providing critical, real-time information to me.” Because of the program, Romney said, “our campaign will have an unprecedented advantage on Election Day.”
After ThinkProgress published this story, the Romney campaign scrubbed the original training video from the web. It has since been replaced with an alternate video that does not mention photo ID. We captured the original video, which you can see below:
According to Reuters, the office of Iowa’s Secretary of State, Matt Schultz (R), “contacted the state director of the Romney campaign” to make clear that the state did not require photo ID to vote.
- EXCLUSIVE: Romney Campaign Incorrectly Trains Iowa Poll Watchers To Check For Photo ID (thinkprogress.org)
- EXCLUSIVE: Romney Campaign Incorrectly Trains Iowa Poll Watchers To Check For Photo ID (cmmacneil.wordpress.com)
- Romney campaign falsely training Wisc. poll watchers that IDs ‘must include photo’ (rawstory.com)
- EXCLUSIVE: Romney Campaign Training Poll Watchers To Mislead Voters In Wisconsin (thinkprogress.org)
- Romney camp gives poll-watchers bogus info in Wisconsin (maddowblog.msnbc.com)
- Reports Suggest Team Romney Plans On Misleading Voters: VIDEO (towleroad.com)
- Voter ID Laws Blocked, But Misinformation And Confusion Spread (huffingtonpost.com)
- Wisconsin Republicans give dubious training to poll watchers (washingtonpost.com)
- Judge keeps voter ID ads in place (earlyreturns.post-gazette.com)
- Poll workers will ask voters to show photo ID (sharonherald.com)
Our country has been united by – of all things – bad football refereeing.
Yeah, the referees blew the call. Yeah, the replacement refs were lousy.
But the now-infamous big, bad call actually had a positive effect on the country during this heated political season. It diverted our attention from the battle between the “illegal Kenyan” and the “corporate raider/tax dodger.”
And, it actually put both political parties on the same page, at least on this issue.
Pat Bagley / Salt Lake Tribune
“Paul (Ryan) was very angry that the Green Bay Packers, he believes, won, and the referees took it away from them,” said Mitt Romney.
“I’ve been saying for months, we’ve gotta get our refs back,” President Obama said.
“After catching a few hours of sleep, the #Packers game is still just as painful,” tweeted Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), ending it with the hash-tag: “#Returntherealrefs.”
If Walker wanted the union-member referees back, you know that the replacements were lousy.
RELATED: How the NFL is Like Socialism
See what happens when we all work together for a cause? The real refs are back. We did it, people.
The referees had been locked out since early June, when negotiations over a new contract between the National Football League Referees Association and the NFL broke down.
It’s amazing what gets the country’s attention. But, if we can reach common ground on an issue, all the better.
At least all teams were in the same boat. The referees were the same poor quality all over the NFL.
I personally think it brought an added feature to the game that reliable referees were not be able to contribute. Who would have thought that the ruling on a catch would be as exciting as the actual catch?
But this hoopla was not just about blown calls. It was also about the NFL’s stand against elements trying to upset its socialistic revenue flow.
And, of course, also about how the unionized referees wanted a bigger piece of the profit pie.
About 70 percent of the NFL television revenue, which amounts to more than $4 billion annually, is doled out equally among the professional teams. Equal distribution of wealth is akin to socialism.
Then, the teams need huge stadiums to play in – huge public stadiums, built with tax dollars.
“On average, taxpayers fund 60 percent of new stadium costs. In the last 20 years, the NFL’s take of taxpayer subsidies has amounted to $17 billion,” writes Matthew Stevenson for the website newgeography.com.
If that’s not an example of socialism, I don’t know what is.
The owners as a group didn’t really care how good or bad the calls were. In their rich, “socialist” world (how ironic), that is not a major concern. Plus, all the teams were suffering … equally.
They just didn’t plan on the replacements messing up so badly that even the national political campaigns got into the action
The owners ended up caving in to public pressure, but their money is guaranteed, no matter the calls. Football is protected from little bumps in the road like blown calls and union referees who want a bigger pension fund. It’s protected by a socialist system of distributing revenues.
It puts a financial unbrella over their heads that is hard to budge.
I am not saying whether this is good or bad, only that of all the things money can buy, this one is off the chain – it can buy socialism. The NFL is living proof of that.
Now, let’s review that play again for the umpteenth time. That was a horrible call! Like the owners really cared. Socialism also has a pacifying effect.
- Packers debacle has Wisconsin governor supporting referees’ union (profootballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- NFL’s Lockout Of Referees Is Lifted; No More Replacement Referees To Be Used (forbes.com)
- Gov. Scott Walker tweets support of unionized NFL refs (news.yahoo.com)
- Scott Walker, Packer Fan, Now a Union Man (nymag.com)
- Don’t Blame Goodell for the NFL Referee Debacle (thecollegeconservative.com)
- Green Bay Packers Replacement Referees Also Screwed Up St. Louis Rams Game Last Week (stlouis.sbnation.com)
- Referees for America? (dianeravitch.net)
- Even Scott Walker agrees: The NFL needs its union referees (current.com)
- NFL Referees Approve Eight-Year Labor Agreement, AP Reports – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Romney Tackles NFL Replacement Refs (huffingtonpost.com)
Take a Look at What Paul Ryan Did to His Own Congressional District, and Be Very Scared for Your Country | Alternet
Take a Look at What Paul Ryan Did to His Own Congressional District, and Be Very Scared for Your Country
Child abuse and suicide is skyrocketing, the number of battered women has tripled, foreclosures have tripled, wages plummeting, and more.
September 19, 2012
Before Paul Ryan was anointed as the Republican vice presidential candidate, Ryan reigned as the GOP’s resident economic genius and “leading intellectual.”
However, this praise from major media outlets has long been divorced from the reality 1,000 miles away back in Ryan’s 1st Congressional District in southeastern Wisconsin. Even while Beltway media — and even President Obama — heaped kudos on Ryan for his bold economic proposals and “intellectual audacity,” the productive base and social health of his constituents have been severely deteriorating under the impact of the very policies he has aggressively championed.
Ryan trumpeted the $1.2 trillion in Bush tax cuts showered largely on the richest 1%, pushed for the deregulation of Wall Street financial manipulations, opposed 2007 efforts to rein in the financial industry’s increasingly risky practices but then voted for a virtually unconditional bailout of the big banks after the meltdown in 2008 in order to “save the free enterprise system.” Ryan also voted for the auto bailout without any provisions to prioritize US jobs including those in his district. Further, Ryan has been a consistent supporter of the “free trade” deals with low-wage, repressive regimes that have fueled the offshoring of jobs.
In recent years, Ryan’s home district has lost thousands of family-sustaining jobs. Its economic foundations have been dangerously hollowed out: Delco in Oak Creek shut down at a cost of 3,800 jobs, mostly going to Mexico; Chrysler in Kenosha had 850 jobs sent to Mexico with the help of auto industry “bailout” funds; and General Motors in his hometown of Janesville eliminated 2,800 jobs directly with its pre-Christmas 2008 plant closing, while GM kept open a low-wage plant with parallel capacities in Silao, Mexico. The GM shutdown in Janesville wiped out another 3,000 jobs in nearby supplier plants.
The three major industrial counties in Ryan’s district have endured devastating manufacturing job losses since 2000, with Kenosha County losing 30%, Racine County 33%, and Rock County an astonishing 54%.
PREDICTABLE RESULTS OF JOB LOSS
The results of Ryan’s policies and the resulting economic wreckage havebeen grimly predictable. The persistently high unemployment has been accompanied by rising signs of social disintegration and distress throughout most of the district.
• Foreclosures in Rock County — home to Janesville and Beloit — have quadrupled since 2000. They have nearly tripled throughout the entire district.
• In Janesville, the GM shutdown created such a surplus of workers begging for jobs that the average wage fell from $23.27 in 2007 to $18.82 in 2010.
• Within three months of the GM closing just before Christmas in 2008, the number of battered women seeking shelter at the YWCA’s Janesville family violence center nearly tripled.
• Janesville has been afflicted by a major increase in child abuse and neglect.
• Janesville’s rate of child poverty has nearly doubled to 47.1% since 2000. The percentage of children eligible for free or reduced-cost lunches ranges from 43% to 69% in the major cities of his district.
• Janesville has also experienced a near-doubling in suicides over the first two years since the GM closing.
OBLIVIOUS TO SUFFERING
Yet Ryan has remained oblivious to this massive suffering, seemingly driven by his embrace of Ayn Rand’s ideology of anti-social capitalism (which he recently and unconvincingly renounced in the face of complaints about her atheism). He has advocated and voted for cuts to the government protections and the social safety net desperately needed by families in his district trying to hang on to their cars, their homes, and their dignity.
Ryan, always readily willing to bestow bailouts on major banks and corporations, but worries that workers and the poor will lose their motivation to work if the government directs meaningful help to workers, the jobless, and the poor. Ryan claims that the US safety net, pitifully thin compared to other advanced nations, is already in danger of seriously undermining the will to work: “We don’t want to turn this safety net into a hammock that ends up lulling people in their lives into dependency and complacency.”
After Ryan advanced pro-corporate policies that laid waste to his district, he followed up by seeking to block programs that would relieve the human misery among his constituents:
• Ryan has voted against extended unemployment benefits despite a persistent lack of job openings.
• Ryan has consistently opposed increases in the minimum wage, in spite of growing evidence that the majority of minimum-wage workers are employed by giant firms.
• Ryan has opposed the S-CHIP healthcare program to aid low-income people, as well as vowing to repeal the Affordable Care Act in the face of rising needs for healthcare among the ranks of the uninsured. In Janesville, for example, “Over the last two years, we’ve seen a 77% increase in the number of patients,” Traci Rogers, executive director of the HealthNet Clinic for low-income people,” told me in 2011.
• Ryan has voted against expansions of foreclosure-prevention assistance, in the face of evidence that prior efforts were far too weak and mis-directed toward helping mortgage holders rather than families trying to save their homes.
• Ryan has opposed expanded funding for job training in both his votes and his budget proposals. “The cuts he is proposing would have a devastating effect on the hardest-hit workers in Wisconsin, with cities like Racine and Beloit way above the national average in unemployment,” says Robert Borremans, executive director of the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board. “The cuts would mean that displaced workers would be shut out of new opportunities.”
Clearly, Ryan would prefer that government resources be directed elsewhere: to intruding into the sex lives of women and radically restricting their reproductive rights. Despite being identified for years with Ayn Rand’s “libertarianism” and a philosophy of “small government,” Ryan has zealously pursued a legislative agenda to essentially criminalize abortion under virtually all circumstances, often in tandem with the now-toxic Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), who is now running for the Senate. “Over the thirteen years he’s been in Congress, Ryan has voted 59 times — every time possible — to deny women access to abortion and even to forms of contraception,” notes Marilyn Katz in In These Times. “The 59 pieces of legislation range from declaring a fetus a human being with full legal rights to allowing hospitals to refuse treatment to a woman who needs post-abortion care — even if she is at death’s door.”
While Ryan’s legislative teamwork with Rep. Akin has instantly gained a scorching media spotlight, escaping mainstream media attention has been Ryan’s little-discussed budget proposal to halt the authority of the US government to tax the foreign profits of US corporations once they are brought back into the country, notes tax expert David Cay Johnston, author of Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense and Stick You With The Bill. This provision in Ryan’s budget plan would be disastrous to both US jobs and tax revenues.
“Ryan’s plan would insure that any profits created offshore by US corporations would never be taxed by the US government,” explains Johnston, who won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for his work as the New York Times’ tax reporter. “This would create a tremendous incentive to move more and more US jobs overseas to escape taxes on the profits that foreign workers produce for them,” Johnston told me. Corporations would thus gain a huge financial advantage in off-shoring those family-supporting jobs remaining in Ryan’s home district and the rest of the US.
In sum, Ryan’s economic policies have intensified the incessant carpet-bombing of the First District’s manufacturing base. But even more mercilessly, Ryan has led the strafing of the first aid stations, the safety-net measures and programs designed to help the under-employed and the jobless earn higher wages, feed their families, retain their homes, and get retrained for scarce new jobs.
- Take a Look at What Paul Ryan Did to His Own Congressional District, and Be Very Scared for Your Country (alternet.org)
- Take a Look at What Paul Ryan Did to His Own Congressional District, and Tremble for Your Country (alternet.org)
- Paul Ryan has literally neglected his congressional district (bluedownstate.wordpress.com)
- 7 Worst Media Brown-Nosers Who Enable Paul Ryan’s Lies | Alternet (mbcalyn.com)
- Take a Look at What Paul Ryan Did to His Own Congressional District, and Be Very Scared for Your Country (occupytvstations.com)
- Ten Big Lies Paul Ryan Keeps Repeating That the Corporate Media Refuses to Push Back On | Alternet (mbcalyn.com)
- Paul Ryan: Contraception Mandate ‘Will Be Gone’ On ‘Day 1′ (bonosrama.newsvine.com)
- Paul Ryan’s Top 10 Falsehoods and Outrages… from Just His First Week on the Campaign Trail | Alternet (mbcalyn.com)
- Revealed: Romney Campaign’s Attempts to Deny Paul Ryan’s Insider Trading Don’t Add Up | Alternet (mbcalyn.com)
- Paul Ryan’s Former Pastor on Ryan Plan: ‘He Shouldn’t Wrap Himself in Catholic Teaching’ | Alternet (mbcalyn.com)
Wisconsin Judge Strikes Down Law Against Collective Bargaining
Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled that the law violates both the state and U.S. Constitution and is null and void. The ruling comes after a lawsuit brought by the Madison teachers union and a union for Milwaukee city employees.
Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said he was confident the decision will be overturned on appeal.
It’s not clear if the judge’s ruling means the law is suspended. Scott Walker may have survived recall, but this fight is not over.
3:42 PM PT: To clarify, though parts of the law have previously been struck down, the majority-conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned that—which may be a clue to the future of this ruling as well. One hopes that Judge Colas wrote very carefully with that in mind.
- Judge strikes down Wisconsin law against collective bargaining for public workers (dailykos.com)
- Wisconsin Judge Strikes Down Gov. Walker’s Collective Bargaining Law (colorlines.com)
- Wisconsin Law Limiting Public Worker Unions Struck Down (bloomberg.com)
- Judge tosses much of Wis. collective bargaining law (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- VIDEO REPORT: Judge Strikes Down Wis. Law Limiting Union Rights (nbc15.com)
- Judge Strikes Down Wisconsin Collective-Bargaining Law (boiseweekly.com)
- BREAKING: Scott Walker’s Anti-Union Law Struck Down by WI Judge as Unconstitutional, ‘Null & Void’ (bradblog.com)
- Judge Strikes Down Wisconsin’s Anti-Union Law (chicagoist.com)
- WI Judge Strikes Down Gov. Walker’s Collective Bargaining Law (breitbart.com)
- Wisconsin judge reinstates collective bargaining for state employees (rt.com)
SEPTEMBER 3, 2012
RYAN GIVES DETAILED ACCOUNT OF DAY HE KILLED BIN LADEN
POSTED BY ANDY BOROWITZ
NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—In a dramatic narrative that could upstage this week’s Democratic National Convention, Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wisc.) gave reporters today a detailed account of the fateful day he killed Osama bin Laden.
Mr. Ryan said that he was revealing his role as the triggerman who felled the Al Qaeda leader to “set the record straight,” explaining that he had remained silent about his mission until now, because “I don’t like to brag.”
The Republican Vice-Presidential nominee painted a portrait of a Paul Ryan few know, a man who trained for missions with SEAL Team Six while somehow finding time to cut key provisions of Medicare.
The Wisconsin Congressman said he was doing sit-ups in the House of Representatives cloakroom when he got the call to deploy for his mission to Abbottabad, and hours later found himself face to face with the world’s most wanted man.
“Osama got one look at me and he ran like a bat out of hell,” he said. “It’s times like that that I’m glad I can run a hundred meters in 9.58 seconds.”
As for the perfect shot between the eyes that nailed bin Laden, Mr. Ryan called it “just another day at the office.”
“You don’t want to get too full of yourself because of a thing like this,” he said. “I had a job to do, and I did it. It was very satisfying to see all my SEAL training come together. And it was great practice for the day I got Qaddafi.”
- Ryan Gives Detailed Account of Day He Killed Bin Laden – New Yorker (blog) (newyorker.com)
- Osama Bin Laden Dead Long Ago Get Over It! (windowintopalestine.blogspot.com)
- Excerpts from SEAL’s book about Osama bin Laden killing (security.blogs.cnn.com)
- Navy SEAL bin Laden book out-selling ’50 Shades’ on Amazon (news.terra.com)
- Ex Navy Seals Account of Taking Out Osama Bin Laden (socyberty.com)
- Navy SEAL’s bin Laden book out-selling ’50 Shades’ on Amazon (vancouversun.com)
- The Life and Death of Osama Bin Laden | A Timeline (burialinsurance.org)
- Book by US Navy Seal Mark Bissonnette disputes how Osama bin Laden died (independent.co.uk)
- Elite SEALs taken off duty to deal with aftermath of Bin Laden book as whole command is ‘put on the bench’ (engineeringevil.com)
- Osama bin Laden used Just For Men to dye his beard black (thesun.co.uk)
Paul Ryan is no Sarah Palin
I’ve been trying to think of something new to say about Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee. Before he was tapped by Mitt Romney, I deemed him a risky pick as a running mate. And I’ve said that Ryan is already overshadowing Romney. And everyone else has said just everything else. But, as is the scribbler’s way, there are a few little things that should be noted — and they all involve Sarah Palin.
Palin in 2008 and Ryan today have one big thing in common: They brought energy to beleaguered campaigns. Remember how terrified Democrats were of losing to McCain-Palin between the end of the Republican convention and Sept. 15, when the economy imploded? McCain was energized by the reaction to his pick. And so, it seems, is Romney by his. From the “60 Minutes” interview to the rally in Wisconsin last night, we’ve seen an animated rather animatronic Romney.
Here, in ways big and small, is how Ryan and Palin differ.
Ryan actually has the policy heft that Palin pretended to have. Sure, like Palin, Ryan has no foreign policy experience. But I certainly don’t expect Ryan to be as disastrous in international relations. Not because Palin set the bar so low that I felt more qualified to run for vice president just by being able to answer the questions posed to her. But because Ryan is a hard worker who will study actual policy rather memorize lines to get through a debate or interview.
Palin was a statewide elected official before she quit her office halfway through her first term as governor. Ryan is a seven-term congressman who has never run statewide, let alone nationally. Thanks to his “Roadmap” and subsequent budget plans, Ryan has spent more than two years under the hot lights of national scrutiny. Yet, the lights of a presidential campaign burn with the heat of a thousand suns. We’ll soon see whether Ryan can handle that. But this much I know: He won’t wilt.
Finally, here’s the biggest and most important difference between Ryan and Palin. With his selection, the 42-year-old Ryan is the bona fide leader with the necessary policy chops that conservatives hoped Palin would be. She was poised to be the leader of the Republican Party after her 2008 defeat, but she squandered her future potential on reality TV shows and point-scoring from her perch at Fox News. That Palin won’t be speaking at the convention in Tampa is proof that her Republican reign mercifully may be over.
- The Obama Campaign Declares Sarah Palin Mentally Incompetent (mbcalyn.com)
- Cagle Post ” Stop Comparing Paul Ryan to Sarah Palin (mbcalyn.com)
- Stop Comparing Paul Ryan to Sarah Palin (Guest Voice) (themoderatevoice.com)
- Team Obama: Ryan ‘falls flat’ with voters, like Palin and Quayle – The Hill – covering Congress, Politics, Political Campaigns and Capitol Hill | TheHill.com (mbcalyn.com)
- Bill Maher on Paul Ryan’s smarts: Name something he and Sarah Palin disagree on (theblaze.com)
- Sarah Palin won’t speak at GOP convention (newsday.com)
- Palin Vows to Protect Ryan From What Happened to her in 2008 (politics.blogs.foxnews.com)
- Bill Maher Talks Paul Ryan, Sarah Palin & Medical Marijuana On HuffPost Live (VIDEO) (huffingtonpost.com)
- The Internet Gives Paul Ryan the Sarah Palin Treatment (theatlanticwire.com)
- Sarah Palin won’t speak at 2012 GOP convention (cbsnews.com)
By Josh Israel on Aug 14, 2012 at 11:53 am
Despite the repeated mantra from the Romney-Ryan campaign that “hard-working Americans are what create jobs, not government,” Paul Ryan’s family business — for whom he briefly worked as a “marketing consultant” — was built in large part on government contracts. Salon reports Ryan Incorporated Central began in 1884 doing government-subsidized railroad construction, then moved into building federal interstate highways, and helped build O’Hare Airport.
The story notes:
A current search of Defense Department contracts suggests that “Ryan Incorporated Central” has had at least 22 defense contracts with the federal government since 1996, including one from 1996 worth $5.6 million. … Mr. Anti-Spending secured millions in earmarks for his home state of Wisconsin, including, among other things, $3.3 million for highway projects. And Ryan voted to preserve $40 billion in special subsidies for big oil, an industry in which, it so happens, Ryan and his wife hold ownership stakes.
Yet in his first speech as Romney’s running-mate, Ryan joined in on the attacks on President Obama for believing that those whose businesses are successful, in part succeed because “somebody invested in roads and bridges.” Ryan proclaimed that he was “proud to stand with a man who understands what it takes to foster job creation in our economy, someone who knows from experience, that if you have a small business—you did build that.”
Last month, ThinkProgress noted the irony that a Romney campaign ad hitting President Obama for his argument that government investment plays a part in business success starred a small businessman who benefited from millions of dollars of government loans and contracts to get his business on its feet. It is more ironic still that his campaign now stars a running mate demonstrating the same kind of hypocrisy.
- Paul Ryan’s Family Business Built On Government Contracts (thinkprogress.org)
- You didn’t build that: Paul Ryan edition (brobrubel.wordpress.com)
- Paul Ryan’s Family Business: Wealth Attained Because Of Government Money (alan.com)
- Ryan Family Fortune Built on Public Works Projects That Romney Campaign Mocks (alternet.org)
- Surprise: Paul Ryan, ‘fiscal conservative,’ is a big earmarker and a big oil subsidizer (dailykos.com)
- Paul Ryan — THE TOPLESS PHOTO (tmz.com)
- If it was the staff’s fault, then why did Paul Ryan sign the letters? (dailykos.com)
- Paul Ryan Asked for Stimulus Cash, Then Lied About Doing So [Paul Ryan] (gawker.com)
- Paul Ryan’s Willingness to Lie Becomes Apparent Just One Week Into National Campaign (news.firedoglake.com)
- He didn’t build it: How socialism helped Paul Ryan go to college (americablog.com)