Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Governor Me And Other Thoughts


  • Remember when the Journal Sentinel used to have in-house editorial cartoonists, rather than running the “work” right-wing freaks like Michael Ramirez?  In preparation for tonight’s “fireside chat” by the desperate Incredible Shrinking Governor, I offer this, sent to me directly from Stuart Carlson, one of the great editorial cartoonists no longer employed at the paper. 
  • This blog was pretty harsh on the public safety employees carved out for special treatment in Gov. Walker’s historically-divisive union-busting bill. “Law enforcement and fire fighter groups have always been the whiniest bunch of crybabies in the labor movement, and, now that they think they are going to get to keep their ball, they are going to take it and go home,” I wrote. Yeah, well, er, officer, what I meant to say is…The fact is that many of the public employees benefiting from the carve-out – especially the firefighters and the State Troopers – have stuck their neck out in solidarity for their brothers and sisters in the labor movement.  The State Troopers have actually come out and announced regret for their endorsement of Walker last fall. The Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin sent me an e-mail, making sure I knew about their opposition to the union-busting aspects of the bill.  So, all hail to the brave men and women of the state organizations.  As far as I know, the Milwaukee firefighters and police haven’t announced regret for their endorsements or shown any support for anyone other than themselves.  If this is not the case, someone let me know and I’ll update.
  • Speaking of regrettable endorsements, the Journal Sentinel editorial board continues to carry Walker’s dirty water.  In an outrageous editorial today, the paper continues to foist the phony premises of Walker’s union-busting, declaring the state’s deficit (half of what it was a couple of years ago) a “fiscal emergency” while using tired right-wing rhetoric, like calling union leaders “bosses” to drive the governor’s radical-right agenda.  The paper again refuses to recognize the legitimacy of the Bus Filibuster by Senate Democrats – the Republicans have no right to a quorum and they are working harder right now than any of the stonewalling Republicans – and makes a preemptive strike against recall efforts to come against supposedly pro-labor Republicans like Van Wanggaard and Dan Kapanke, both of whom wrote pathetic and pathetically similar explanations for why they stood ready to vote to destroy the public employee unions.  Worst of all, the Journal Sentinel refuses to tell Walker to take the deal that is on the table – accept the increase in pension and health insurance contributions while leaving work place collective bargaining in place.  In fact, the editorial doesn’t mention the attack on non-financial bargaining at all, unless its statement that “benefits should not be on the bargaining table at all” is a reference to that – again, accepting the Walker spin confusing non-economic bargaining with “benefits”.  In the meantime, the editorial calls the obvious union-busting intent of the bill “not necessary” and identifies certain aspects as intended to “cripple unions”, without saying that is necessarily a bad thing.  The Journal Sentinel continues to take the side of the Koch-driven union-busters over the public employee. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

would you agree that one favorable aspect of the bill is that employees be allowed to vote each year for a union or no union? Don't you think that this would make local unions much more accountable to the members they serve?