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Weekend 26 February 2011

Posted by marisacat in Divertissements, Total fucking lunatics.

A baby giraffe sticks out its tongue at the Opelzoo in Kronberg, western Germany

A baby giraffe sticks out its tongue at the Opelzoo in Kronberg, western Germany     [AFP/GETTY]

The REAL zoo:


–NBC’s “Meet the Press“: Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI); Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) live from Cairo; roundtable with Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS), Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Wall Street Journal columnist Kim Strassel

–ABC’s “The Week“: To be announced today

–CBS’s “Face the Nation“: Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)

–“Fox News Sunday“: Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN); former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR); roundtable with the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, NPR’s Mara Liasson, former Bush White House Press Secretary Dana Perino and Fox News’ Juan Williams; “Power Player of the Week” segment with Iranian satire show Parazit host Kambiz Hosseini and Executive Producer Saman Arbabi

–CNN’s “State of the Union“: Sen. John McCain and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) from Cairo; Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND); Gov. Dan Malloy (D-CT) and Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL); roundtable with former CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Moody’s Analytics Chief Economic Mark Zand

–CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS Live” (SUN 10am ET / 1pm ET): Former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz; author Michael Lewis (“The Big Short”)

–C-SPAN: “The Communicators” (SAT 6:30pm ET): New York University associate teacher Clay Shirky … “Newsmakers” (SUN 10am ET / 6pm ET): Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) … “Q&A” (SUN 8pm ET / 11pm ET): Straus Military Reform Project, Center for Defense Information Director Winslow Wheeler

–Univision’s “Al Punto“: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA); former ICE Deputy Assistant Secretary for Operations Alonzo Peña; former Mexican Presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador; French-Chilean musician Ana Tijoux; roundtable with Time’s Tim Padgett, AP’s Laura Wides Muñoz and conservative blogger Javier Manjarres (The Shark Tank)

–NBC’s “The Chris Matthews Show“: HDNet’s Dan Rather, NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie, New York Magazine’s John Heilemann and CNBC’s Trish Regan

–TV One’s “Washington Watch with Roland Martin” (SUN 11am ET): Former NBA star Kareem Abdul Jabbar (discussing new documentary “On the Shoulders of Giants”); author Russell Simmons (“Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All”); roundtable on philanthropy with comedian Steve Harvey, former NBA stars Magic Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, Jalen Rose and Gary Payton; current NBA stars Dwayne Wade, Paul Pierce and Etan Thomas, comedian Arsenio Hall, journalist Stephen A. Smith, actors Larenz Tate and Lamman Rucker, actresses Gabrielle Union and Sherri Shepherd, and Grammy-winning performer John Legend (taped in Los Angeles)


Calls for the biggest butterfly net in the world.  Then toss them all into orbit.


1. ts - 26 February 2011

Seems like Chris Christie spends more time on the weekend shows than he does actually governing his state.

marisacat - 26 February 2011

When he is not in Orlando.

2. marisacat - 26 February 2011

So much more worthy than Planned Parenthood. Of course.

Something GOP doesn’t want to cut: Funding for NASCAR

By Barbara Barrett | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — The Minnesota Democrat who’s out to get rid of the Pentagon’s sponsorships for NASCAR teams says she won’t back away from her efforts and, despite GOP resistance, will broaden her fight to repeal tax breaks for track owners, too.

Rep. Betty McCollum says her work could save American taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. But Defense Department officials and lawmakers from NASCAR country say the sponsorships help military recruitment, and that the tax breaks could save jobs in the struggling economy.

In an interview Friday, McCollum said it doesn’t make sense to keep the benefits for NASCAR teams and track owners when other cuts are being made to community health care, programs for homeless veterans and Head Start.

“I started to look what is in this large defense budget to see what’s not related to security that we could redirect to critical supplies or mission support,” she said. “Or in the case of racetrack owners, what are some of the special tax perks that some of the special interests are getting?” ….

Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/02/25/109477/something-gop-doesnt-want-to-cut.html

She also received a threatening and racist fax, which received widespread media attention [it did? -Mcat] and is being investigated by the U.S. Capitol Police. But her chief of staff said the office also received a lot of calls from tea party supporters who backed McCollum’s amendment.

Her amendment failed, 281-148.

Meanwhile, racetrack owners received tax breaks worth $45 million in 2010 and 2011, aimed at helping them make improvements to their facilities. A two-year extension of the program was included in the tax cuts compromise that President Barack Obama forged with Congress in December.

McCollum said she’ll file legislation to repeal the tax benefit. “It’s an earmark,” she said. ….

brinn - 26 February 2011

Waitnminute…my tax dollars go to NASCAR?!

I mean, I’ve come to accept that I can’t do fuck all about them spending my money killing people in other countries, but NASCAR?!

I vote for my dollars to go to college football, please and thank you.

Where can I get some of those hallucinagen pills that Ghaddfi keeps railing about?!

marisacat - 26 February 2011

Even the Earnhardts piled in on her. I guess she dared to raise Dale E as an image as she stood on the floor of congress.

I guess soon, a third to a half of Florida will be out for her scalp.

I used to make jokes, when I still went to FL, about how I always expected customs/border stops, and to have to change currency at the border of FL

3. ts - 26 February 2011

She also received a threatening and racist fax…

Isn’t she white? Wouldn’t the right word be sexist?

marisacat - 26 February 2011

I thought she was white, but then wondered if I had the wrong person in mind.

The report didn’t detail the wording. Will fish around see what I find….

marisacat - 26 February 2011

uh… no it hit all cylinders. TPM had the actual thing.

Geesh don’t get between stubby white folks and their damned races. And their militaries…. I mean weekend raceways. Flags Winnebagos Hot Dogs, etc.


Madman in the Marketplace - 26 February 2011

well, THAT will go down in history as a fine example of political rhetoric.

marisacat - 26 February 2011

Because of the ME and NAfric I completely missed this imbroglio…. I saw the date on the Fax was the 16th.

4. diane - 26 February 2011

Thank you honey (you know for what teeny favor), to my mind it’s the ‘small’ kindnesses that really help keep us going, and let us know someone at least gave us an ear …you’re a real sweetheart! Have a wonderful weekend if i don’t check back in.

(would love to feel that sweet giraffes muzzle …what a wonderful tongue …love the pic!)

5. marisacat - 26 February 2011

Grabbing for those action verbs.

Obama: Qaddafi Needs to Leave Now

Fox News – ‎21 minutes ago‎

Speaking out against Muammar Qaddafi for the first time, President Obama said on Saturday the Libyan leader needs to “leave now,” having lost the legitimacy to rule.

catnip - 26 February 2011

The key phrase being: “for the first time”.

marisacat - 26 February 2011

The Euros have been faking it better…. Meanwhile the UN rights hoo hoos are said to be “mulling”.

But! what can you do with a minor fixer from Chicago. From a SLICE of Chicago, that is.

6. marisacat - 26 February 2011

Yum yum.

The thread is pretty fab too. And a commenter stands up for sheep, real sheep that is.

7. brinn - 26 February 2011

This live feed is pretty good (the audio kinda sucks), but just in case something bad happens at 6 pm, the video is nice and clear….

brinn - 26 February 2011

Does anyone have any live feed from OUTside?? Those people have been standing in a freaking heavy snow for hours now….

8. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 February 2011
marisacat - 26 February 2011

Scottie DOG

9. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 February 2011

Scott Walker Asked to Leave Local Restaurant

The Merchant in Madison, WI confirms that on Friday night, Patrick Sweeney (one of the owners) politely asked Scott Walker to leave the establishment when other customers began boo-ing him. A bartender at The Merchant said that, “his presence was causing a disturbance to the other customers and management asked him to leave.”

marisacat - 26 February 2011

oh I love it. Public shaming.

Madman in the Marketplace - 26 February 2011

hopefully it will spread to the rest of his party.

10. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 February 2011
brinn - 26 February 2011

The lone comment is golden and should be passed along as well:

steve carlson
February 26, 2011 at 3:23 pm

“A Polish trade union lays the seeds of revolt against communism in the Eastern Bloc, and is supported in its struggle by conservative icon Ronald Reagan who, in 1982, announced sanctions against the Polish government for its outlawing of the trade union, Solidarity.

It’s vitally important that this story be kept away from Governor Walker. Otherwise the resulting cognitive dissonance might actually explode his head.”

Madman in the Marketplace - 26 February 2011

it’s a good one!

brinn - 26 February 2011

thanks for sharing!

Is there a good place that I can get “voices on the ground” type stuff?

brinn - 26 February 2011

Never mind…I’m going to bed. Humans, as a collective, are just too stupid to survive. I am more convinced of this than ever.

Madman in the Marketplace - 26 February 2011
11. brinn - 26 February 2011

Oh for FUCK’S SAKE!!

“My feeling is that if you can say you’re 25 percent Caucasian, you’re Caucasian enough for us.”

I wonder if they’d be ok with those of us who can prove we’re 25% male?!

marisacat - 26 February 2011

hi dear… link failed…

If you circle back, post the URL and I will fix…


brinn - 27 February 2011

I can’t even remember where I found that now….sorry ’bout that!

Madman in the Marketplace - 27 February 2011
12. BooHooHooMan - 26 February 2011

Fisk…Comme ci, comme ca.

Serviceable but needs more commie, ya ask me.

But now a warning. It’s not over. We are experiencing today that warm, slightly clammy feeling before the thunder and lightning break out. Gaddafi’s final horror movie has yet to end, albeit with that terrible mix of farce and blood to which we are accustomed in the Middle East. And his impending doom is, needless to say, throwing into ever-sharper perspective the vile fawning of our own potentates. Berlusconi – who in many respects is already a ghastly mockery of Gaddafi himself – and Sarkozy, and Lord Blair of Isfahan are turning out to look even shabbier than we believed. Those faith-based eyes blessed Gaddafi the murderer. I did write at the time that Blair and Straw had forgotten the “whoops” factor, the reality that this weird light bulb was absolutely bonkers and would undoubtedly perform some other terrible act to shame our masters. And sure enough, every journalist is now going to have to add “Mr Blair’s office did not return our call” to his laptop keyboard.

Everyone is now telling Egypt to follow the “Turkish model” – this seems to involve a pleasant cocktail of democracy and carefully controlled Islam. But if this is true, Egypt’s army will keep an unwanted, undemocratic eye on its people for decades to come. As lawyer Ali Ezzatyar has pointed out, “Egypt’s military leaders have spoken of threats to the “Egyptian way of life”… in a not so subtle reference to threats from the Muslim Brotherhood. This can be seen as a page taken from the Turkish playbook.” The Turkish army turned up as kingmakers four times in modern Turkish history. And who but the Egyptian army, makers of Nasser, constructors of Sadat, got rid of the ex-army general Mubarak when the game was up?

In the next graf, unless my irony meter is failing me, I couldn’t disagree with Fisk’s premise more, a lingering belief in the West that set all this up in the first place.
I imagine he’ll figure the last points out eventually: as the writing is on the wall for the U.S. and the U.K. too.

And democracy – the real, unfettered, flawed but brilliant version which we in the West have so far lovingly (and rightly) cultivated for ourselves… 🙄

Fisk proceeds to hit the mark on Israel.. while missing another on Obby and Hillary somehow being pushed “off the rails”. 🙄
Like they were on anything Other than a – > NeoCon < – Bullet Train.


is not going, in the Arab world, to rest happy with Israel’s pernicious treatment of Palestinians and its land theft in the West Bank. Now no longer the “only democracy in the Middle East”, Israel argued desperately – in company with Saudi Arabia, for heaven’s sake – that it was necessary to maintain Mubarak’s tyranny. It pressed the Muslim Brotherhood button in Washington and built up the usual Israeli lobby fear quotient to push Obama and La Clinton off the rails yet again. 🙄 Faced with pro-democracy protesters in the lands of oppression, they duly went on backing the oppressors until it was too late. I love “orderly transition”. The “order” bit says it all. Only Israeli journalist Gideon Levy got it right. “We should be saying ‘Mabrouk Misr!’,” he said. Congratulations, Egypt!

Yet in Bahrain, I had a depressing experience. King Hamad and Crown Prince Salman have been bowing to their 70 per cent (80 per cent?) Shia population, opening prison doors, promising constitutional reforms. So I asked a government official in Manama if this was really possible. Why not have an elected prime minister instead of a member of the Khalifa royal family? He clucked his tongue. “Impossible,” he said. “The GCC would never permit this.” For GCC – the Gulf Co-operation Council – read Saudi Arabia. And here, I am afraid, our tale grows darker.

We pay too little attention to this autocratic band of robber princes; we think they are archaic, illiterate in modern politics, wealthy (yes, “beyond the dreams of Croesus”, etc), and we laughed when King Abdullah offered to make up any fall in bailouts from Washington to the Mubarak regime, and we laugh now when the old king promises $36bn to his citizens to keep their mouths shut. But this is no laughing matter. The Arab revolt which finally threw the Ottomans out of the Arab world started in the deserts of Arabia, its tribesmen trusting Lawrence and McMahon and the rest of our gang. And from Arabia came Wahabism, the deep and inebriating potion – white foam on the top of the black stuff – whose ghastly simplicity appealed to every would-be Islamist and suicide bomber in the Sunni Muslim world. The Saudis fostered Osama bin Laden and al-Qa’ida and the Taliban. Let us not even mention that they provided most of the 9/11 bombers. And the Saudis will now believe they are the only Muslims still in arms against the brightening world. I have an unhappy suspicion that the destiny of this pageant of Middle East history unfolding before us will be decided in the kingdom of oil, holy places and corruption. Watch out.

Elevating Obama, mere vehicle, I think our PTB anticipated everything but Pan Arab REVOLT..Oh they anticipated increased Discomfit in the ME..in the EU, the whupset here. They anticipated the need for the AntiWar and “change” shmooze necessary to continue SELLING.
But , like Mcat has long maintained, they really misjudged Obama’s durability. And God Fuck Them All as this plays out in the ME, as it will, hardly a revelation here, a function of time FFS, but DAMN ~They REALLY misjudged their ability to maintain the Status Quo.

We live in some very interesting times now.
And this is me being surreal, now…
but I was thinking 😉
How are our Overlords gonna reverse course now?
As in:
Did we say RADICAL Islamic Fundamentalism is the Threat?!??
Oh no, no, no No, NO!
911 Was an INSIDE JOB!

😆 😉

13. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 February 2011

Some protesters plan peaceful resistance when Capitol is closed on Sunday

With police planning to clear the state Capitol of protesters Sunday, some demonstrators Saturday night were preparing to peacefully resist removal from the building.

Capitol Police announced early Saturday that they intend to close down the Capitol at 4 p.m. Sunday. But little information was provided about exactly how the huge building will be cleared of thousands of protesters, some of whom have been sleeping on the marble floors since Feb. 15.

And there were several indications late Saturday that some won’t walk out of the building when asked. Posters went up in several places announcing that three “non-violence training” sessions were scheduled for late Saturday night.

Also, organizers distributed instructions for those who choose to peacefully refuse to leave. Among the options listed was going limp and being carried out by officers.

“I will leave peacefully,” said Neil Graupner, one of the protest organizers, Saturday. “But I can’t speak for my friends.”

Another protester spoke to the crowd about what to expect Sunday and how to behave.

“Don’t fight with the people who carry us out tomorrow,” she told the crowd. “They’re not who our fight is with. It’s with Scott Walker and the people who support his bill.”

Some were questioning why it is necessary to remove the demonstrators. “I’d rather they keep the Capitol open,” said Madison Mayor David Cieslewicz on Saturday.

14. marisacat - 26 February 2011

oh FFS. Can’t someone take Blair out into a clearing and.. slingshot him off the earth.

Just get rid of him.

BooHooHooMan - 26 February 2011

Gahd. Tell me about it.
Poodle doo waste bags all around..

DNC Pressures Obama,
Passes Resolution Endorsing Swift End To Afghanistan War

Try Doo~Over!™
Don’t show your poodle without it!

marisacat - 26 February 2011

oh this is like Gates, just the past day or so, saying: don’t go for an extended land war in Asia.

Ooooooops Too Late Now!

15. BooHooHooMan - 27 February 2011

HA! Courtesy of WikiLeaks, The latest
Obama Era Cables from U.S. Embassy Tripoli.

Something for everybody in this one.
A cozy discussion with Obama’s AFRICOM Gen. Ward in Ghaddafi’s Tent.
How delish this dish: A veritable clusterfuck FEAST.

CLASSIFIED BY: Gene A. Cretz, Ambassador, Embassy Tripoli, Department of State.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)
¶1. (S) Summary. Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi told visiting Commander of U.S. Africa Command General William Ward that Libya supported the establishment of common African institutions, such as an African Ministry of Defense, and expressed hope that the Obama administration would not pursue a policy of military intervention in Africa, as he felt a U.S. military presence on the continent could be a trigger for terrorism. Al-Qadhafi said he hoped President Obama could travel to Libya in early July to address the African Union summit, as well as meet him at the G-8 conference in Italy later in the month. Al-Qadhafi expressed a desire for cooperation with U.S. Africa Command in the fields of counter-terrorism and counter-piracy. 😳 Gen. Ward’s meeting with Foreign Minister Musa Kusa reported septel. End Summary.

¶2. (S) On the afternoon of May 21, Muammar al-Qadhafi, hosted U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) Commander General William “Kip” Ward (Gen. Ward) in his tent at the Bab al-Aziziyah complex in Tripoli for an meeting that ran slightly over an hour. Also in attendance were Secretary of the General People’s Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation (GPCFLIC) (Foreign
Minister) Musa Kusa, Secretary for American Affairs Dr. Ahmad Fituri, Ambassador, U.S. Defense Attache, and a member of Gen.
Ward’s staff.

¶3. (S) After exchanging pleasantries, al-Qadhafi noted that during Gen. Ward’s earlier trip to Libya, he had been visiting Mauritania, where a political crisis was ongoing. “Every time
we put out a fire in Africa, another one breaks out. We used to say this was a US conspiracy, but not anymore.” Al-Qadhafi then began a lengthy monologue during which he related the stages of governance in Africa from revolutionary liberation, to dictatorship, to multi-party elections, concluding that now was the time to establish common African institutions, such as a
Ministry of Defense, that would better represent African interests before the world.

And if General Kippy Hittin the Nippy Ward’s hemmorhoids weren’t flaring up before, I bet they are now reading published State Department cables of his being schooled in Ghaddafi’s tent-

¶4. (S) Al-Qadhafi turned to U.S. and Chinese involvement on the continent, characterizing the Chinese approach as soft, the U.S. as hard, and predicting that China would prevail because it does not interfere in internal affairs. He criticized what he said was a U.S. tendency to place military bases near energy sources, observing that the U.S. did this in the Gulf of Guinea, it would spark terrorism. Turning to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, al-Qadhafi questioned what he characterized as U.S. support for Israel at the expense of Palestine, and advised that it would be in the best interest of the U.S. to support the Palestinians. He cautioned against trusting the advice of Arab leaders in the Gulf and Levant and offered to play a role in that region if the U.S. desired. The Leader concluded his remarks by expressing a desire for President Obama to come to the African Union Summit in Libya in July, and after that meet him in Italy at the G-8 conference.

Gotta love the irony throughout, given past claims and present inversions: Two Bullshitters bullshitting. And below, the language chosen , even for a diplomatic cable, Ward’s succulent “profession of respect” , Ghadaffis “understanding the U.S. position”, does wonders for everyone’s credibility, no?

And for anyone thinking of getting out of piracy and moving to Switzerland? Move Quick! 😆

¶5. (S) In response to Gen. Ward’s profession of respect for the sovereignty of African countries, al-Qadhafi said he understood the U.S. position, but questioned the U.S. military presence in Djibouti, noting military power would be used by extremists to justify terror. He then proceeded to identify two sources of terrorism, Wahabism and Switzerland. Qadhafi stated that the Swiss banking system was used to fund terrorists, and proposed that Switzerland be split among its neighboring countries, according to language.

¶6. (S) On the topic of Somali piracy, al-Qadhafi asserted that “foreign entities” had violated Somalia’s territorial waters. The solution to the problem of Somali piracy was therefore to forge an agreement between the countries exploiting Somali waters and the pirates. Al-Qadhafi offered to identify a pirate spokesman and broker this agreement.

¶7. (S) Al-Qadhafi emphasized that as Libya now presides over the AU, there was a possibility for cooperation with AFRICOM 😯 in combating terrorism in the Sahara and piracy. He said that he could deal with “the new America without reservation”, now that the United States was governed by “a new spirit of change.” 😆

¶8. (U) This cable was cleared by U.S. Africa Command.


Talk about a BIG TENT! On FIRE!

marisacat - 27 February 2011

Sphincters are seizing up.

mattes - 27 February 2011

Thanks for your last couple comments. Need to digest.

Read somewhere that up to 24% of US oil still comes from the ME. And pricing what comes into the world market post revolutions, OMG.

And an Egyptian government like Turkey? Israel’s worst nightmare.

Congrats Bibi, for keeping Israel safe. LOL.

marisacat - 27 February 2011

And an Egyptian government like Turkey

It’s a bullshit talking point, one that the US and Israel WANT. It promotes/keeps the status quo (mil in place as ruler of the country).

catnip - 27 February 2011

I read somewhere that “Kip” is quitting AFRICOM this year.

16. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 February 2011

So Jake Tapper has two Republican govs (AZ & SC) and Deval Patrick & John Hickenlooper (CO) … the two Reps are hammering winger talking points, and of course the two donks are being mealy mouthed “centrists” who refuse to defend the WI Dem Senators (Jake and the two Republicans are all calling them ‘cowards’ repeatedly).

marisacat - 27 February 2011

I only caught the last 25 mins of TW… but it was 4 slags + Tapper, who has lost what little he had… IMO.

The Democrats reap what they sow:

MISSISSIPPI GOV. HALEY BARBOUR, to David Gregory, on “Meet the Press”:

“The president is one of the greatest politicians in the history of the United States, and he’s quiet [on Wisconsin], because he understands that most Americans know this HAS to be done.”

ms_xeno - 27 February 2011

…The Democrats reap what they sow…

Yeah, it does say it all that they literally flee the scene and leave the rank-and-file alone to defend themselves, to risk jail time and what not.

Kind of like Obama running off to Europe to prattle more about “business” every time he’s having a bad PR day in D.C.

The best thing that could come out of all this would be the peons realizing that they get more accomplished with Democrats out of the picture than they do with Democrats in the picture.

catnip - 27 February 2011

And Trumka was on This Week (?) kissing Obama’s butt…again.

ms_xeno - 27 February 2011

The American labor ATM must be kept humming along for the Big Donkey, otherwise the Union brass would have to find themselves real work. 👿 👿

catnip - 27 February 2011
ms_xeno - 27 February 2011

I learned more than enough about those pricks in “leadership” when I was still Union myself. They’re sitting pretty and they know it, the smug fuckers. They need to be called on their shit every bit as much as that asshole GOP governor does.

But I’m not holding my breath.

ms_xeno - 27 February 2011

See also: Mike F.’s latest…


marisacat - 27 February 2011

btw, ms xeno, did you happen to catch a comment at SMBIVA by MF? About his wife’s reaction to a post he showed her (MJS highlighted it in his sheep post) describing How Lame the Lame Dems Are?

Wow… must be some royal battles in THAT house. (Not to presume, but…. )

ms_xeno - 27 February 2011

…Wow… must be some royal battles in THAT house…

I think Mike F. mentions these kinds of arguments with his spouse on a regular basis. But they’re still together, right? :p (Besides, if I started writing about all the political arguments I have with mr_xeno, I’d never have time to talk about much of anything else.)

👿 👿 👿 <— getting a lot of use from the "evil" option today.

marisacat - 27 February 2011

both of you are better people than I am …. 😉

No I had not caught his comments on that before. I guess I skim read too much.

catnip - 27 February 2011

2 lies in one paragraph.

Barbour manages a CYA for his recent support of racists and then proclaims that Obamalama supports Walker.

marisacat - 27 February 2011

…and my guess is Obby is gettin’ those famous shivers up his leg that some powerful white R male endorsed him. All but.

17. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 February 2011

Could a general strike happen here? Experts say maybe

General strikes have been very rare in the United States. Strikes widespread enough to interrupt general commerce date back to the Great Depression of the 1930s when longshoremen in San Francisco, autoworkers in Toledo, Ohio, and teamsters in Minneapolis touched off protests that helped establish industrial unions.

And while the labor struggle in Madison is unfolding in the context of budget deficits exacerbated by the severest economic downturn since the Depression, labor activists say the real conflict is over union power and partisan political influence.

It is dissatisfaction with the political system, not economic desperation, that sets the stage for a general strike, says Reza Rezazadeh, a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville who has studied revolutionary strikes against repressive regimes in his native Iran and elsewhere. In the United States, he says, activists are challenging a political system that, despite freedom of the press and freedom of speech, is shaped by the influence of the economic elite and corporations.

Walker’s challenge to union power is part of an established movement by the Republican Party to cripple unions, the most influential funding source for Democratic candidates and causes, say analysts of the showdown in Wisconsin. Aside from increasing contributions by employees for pension and health care costs, the bill would also sharply restrict the power of most public unions to bargain with their employers. “It is viewed nationally and correctly as a decisive turning point for the future of labor nationally and for the Democratic Party more broadly,” says Harley Shaiken, a labor expert and professor at the University of California-Berkeley.


Not only does the area have many public workers whose families have a direct interest in the issue, but it also has many other residents who are sticking up for their rights. “A lot of people not connected to the labor movement have a strong progressive outlook on issues of people’s rights and social justice,” Taylor says.

“Do I anticipate every worker in and out of a union would walk off the job? No. Could a strike be large enough to have significant leverage? Yes,” he says.

Even the prospect of such an action might unnerve business leaders and other citizens, prompting them to call the governor’s office and say “fix this thing,” says Taylor.

The political standoff over workers’ rights continues into a third week, but some of the urgency for labor unions locally has been relieved by the actions of their public employers. The Madison School District delayed until May the issuance of pink slips for teachers despite looming state funding cuts; the Madison City Council met in special session on Feb. 17 to approve outstanding labor contracts.

Nonetheless, David Poklinkoski, president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2304, says area labor is more united than it ever has been. Meetings of the Labor Federation — which covers 97 labor organizations in six counties — can be tense over competing interests, he says, but the vote to endorse a general strike was unanimous. “The breadth and depth of solidarity in the labor movement right now is unbelievable,” says Poklinkoski, whose union represents employees of Madison Gas & Electric.

“We know the private sector is next,” he says of efforts to strip workers’ rights. “Local unions are trying to figure out what to do if the governor doesn’t change his mind and work out a reasonable solution to this.” That includes studying general strike actions of the past, as well as the budget repair bill’s impacts beyond collective bargaining.

“The local union will not call a general strike – it would be each person’s individual decision,” he says.

Leaders of Local 60 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which includes many city of Madison and some non-teacher Madison Metropolitan School District employees, are asking their members to think about a general strike.

“We’ve been asking people to think about what they would do,” says President Donald Coyier, so that if the union calls for a job action, they are ready.

Idling transportation is a key element of general strike efforts, Rezazadeh says, but there’s no sense yet if that could happen in Madison. Teamsters Local 695, the union that represents Madison bus drivers, is not a member of the Labor Federation. Recording secretary Gene Gowey says union members are protesting and transporting other protesters to the Capitol Square, but as to a strike, he says his members are “attempting to address issues in a peaceful, law-abiding way.”

The stakes are high for strikers. State law restricts strikes by public employees, but job actions in protest of proposed legislation might not be considered a “strike” under state law. Private sector workers might not be protected by federal law in general strikes not related to contract provisions or unfair labor practices, meaning that they could be fired.

Meanwhile, some Madison residents are beginning to meet and talk about how the community might respond to a general strike. One of them, union supporter Judith Zukerman-Kaufman, recalls how during a 1960s parent protest that kept Chicago schoolchildren out of classrooms, alternative schools were established. Creating similar set-ups to teach children about civil rights or labor history is one thing people are starting to talk about here, she says. “There are seeds of some ideas.”

Madison teacher Susan Stern says that the focus of her union continues to be legal protest. “But people are starting to ask: ‘What if?'”

This might be a very, very interesting summer here in the Dairy state.

18. marisacat - 27 February 2011



……………. 8)

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