Thunderball In Wisconsin

We’re watching events unfold in Wisconsin with a barely stifled yawn. It’s not that the scenes aren’t exciting, it’s that we’ve seen this show before. The ending won’t be pretty.

Recall the golden age of Obama promises and how the world would change? Well, it has. Elections have consequences. In the case of Obama – if you elect a boob, expect boobery.

In the case of Republicans – wait – Republicans? Weren’t they supposed to have died off after Obama’s election? Isn’t there a demographic bomb that killed off the Republican Party and has ensured endless victories for the party of Barack Obama? And didn’t Barack Obama promise some magic card check thingy that would invigorate Big Labor?

Here at Big Pink we scoffed at the demographic nonsense of well educated idiots. We gutted the notion that Barack Obama and the demographic bomb are anything but cheap glittery balls. As to Republicans – we disagree with them and we thought a fighter like Hillary Clinton was needed to fight them – but we never thought they were stupid.

We knew Republicans would adapt and react to demographic trends and political realities. This is what we wrote before last year’s Republican victories:

The obvious mistake that the massive “creative class” brains made when they created the Obama monster in a Chicago laboratory was that Republicans would remain static in their strategies and candidates. The stupidity was to think that Republicans would go to sleep and stick to an outdated playbook. Strategists such as Teixeira managed to persuade the gullible “leadership” that even though White Americans would remain a potent electoral force these White Americans could be ignored if they were “lunch bucket Joe and Jane”. In other words, the White Working Class would be ignored and instead wealthy white liberals and their kids would be the only ones invited to participate in the New America.

The additional stupidity from the “creative class” brains was that the Democratic base could be taken for granted. After all, reasoned these brains, by definition the base is the base. The base could be ignored and led by the nose. Sound familiar Democratic progressives? Instead of nurturing the base and courting the base in order to keep the base – arrogance ruled arrogantly.

So which races are the two most important races this election cycle? Think Russ Feingold in Wisconsin and Marco Rubio in Florida.”

The Republicans adapted and now have a very diverse pool among the leadership ranks. Republicans have young people, young women, ethnics, and young Latinos. As to those “two most important races”, young Republican conservative Latino Marco Rubio won and Wisconsin Obama Dimocrat “old white guy” progressive Russ Feingold lost. Which leads us to Wisconsin and Big Labor.

Have you noticed how little we have thus far mentioned Big Labor and labor unions in Wisconsin? It’s because labor and labor unions are a side show even as they take center stage and the spotlight is on them. What we are witnessing in Wisconsin is a not dead, very smart Republican Party cut the air hose on the Obama Dimocratic Party.

To our shock and surprise, NBC had some worthwhile, if obvious, analysis:

“Upside down: Anyone else noticed how the political protests in Wisconsin — as well as the game of hide and seek there — have turned the political rhetoric upside down? A year ago, during the health-care fight in Washington, Democrats maintained that elections have consequences. Now it’s the Republicans in power in Wisconsin (and elsewhere) who are saying this. A year ago, Republicans complained of partisan legislation being quickly crammed through the system (though that process took an entire year), and now it’s Democrats who are voicing this complaint in Wisconsin. And a year ago, Republicans used every parliamentary trick in the book (cloture, votes up until Christmas Eve) to stop or slow down the health-care legislation. Now we’re seeing the Democrats use what’s at their disposal (like fleeing to Illinois to deny a quorum) to stop or slow down the legislation in Wisconsin. Bottom line: Those in political power do every thing they can to pass their priorities, and those out of power do every thing they can to stop them.”

It’s not a surprise but NBC gets the history right but misses the point, again. NBC goes with the “pols are pols” stupidity those at Left Talk spew. The point is that Republicans realize that the best way to stop a tank is to deprive it of gasoline. It’s the supply lines, stupid.

Remember the James Bond movie Thunderball? In the climatic undersea battle we see the chief tactic of the “frogmen” is to cut the air hose from the other guy and leave the victim twitching and gasping for air. That’s what the Republicans are doing.



Why is there such a hubbub in Wisconsin? Why is Barack Obama sending his thugs and thug machine OAFs to Wisconsin? Why are there tens of thousands of demonstrators out on the streets and in the state capital? Why are the labor unions finally so aroused? Why is there a scent of camels (not the cigarette) and Cairo in the air? It has almost nothing to do with paying more for health benefits or pensions.

What is happening in Wisconsin is that Obama realizes he is mortally threatened. What is happening in Wisconsin is that the Obama Dimocratic Party knows it is mortally threatened. That’s why now, all of a sudden, Obama Dimocrats are so concerned about “the workers”.

For too long the Democratic Party relied on labor unions to do just about everything. The payoff for public labor unions was a friendly negotiator across the table. Nothing wrong with that arrangement except that ultimately it hurt the workers as they increasingly became cogs in a Big Labor machine that cared about them less and less. The Democratic Party was ultimately hurt too.

The Democratic Party atrophied with its dependence on labor unions to supply the manpower and womanpower, along with the financing for campaigns as well as the headquarters and field offices. Along with union endorsements came money and workers and therefore the game became union endorsements instead of outreach to individuals. The game was not to appeal to the workers but instead to romance the Big Labor union bosses. We’re all guilty of this – Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton included.

For the unions, the workers became less important. The workers essentially became only dues payers. The Big Labor bosses increasingly ignored the plight of the workers and only cared that the dues were paid. With the money from the workers’ dues unions paid for political protection and friendly negotiators in the public service labor arena. Instead of spending all their money on union organizing and increasing their ranks, unions saw their easy path on the political highway. Republicans noticed.

In the wake of Barack Obama’s election it all began to fall apart. Obama had made a big show of loving unions and pledged to pass Big Labor’s number one priority in 2009. As if. Obama was not about to help Big Labor when it could possibly undermine him. Legislation that would get rid of the secrecy of the ballot box in union elections, garner hundreds of thousands of new union members, was great for unions. But perhaps they would then get too strong and challenge him. Further, why help Big Labor when it would require some political capital? Obama did a lot of talkin’ and not much else.

Now in the the wake of the Citizens United decision which increases the power of Big Business, Barack Obama knows the Republicans have a very smart plan to cut off his oxygen supply and leave him flopping about at the bottom of the sea. Wisconsin unions have already surrendered on higher health benefits bills and pension contributions. What they will not agree on, cannot agree on are the killer provisions which for all intents and purposes will neuter them in 2012.

These killer provisions would allow workers to opt out of paying union dues. The public service unions would also have to hold a vote every year on whether or not to stay in business. This would all mean the workers would be back in control of their unions – because the union bosses would have to listen to them continuously not just collect the paid dues. But this also means that the unions would be greatly weakened and have to struggle just for survival. Any idea of increased power in 2012 would be gone. Mass expenditures to help elect Obama Dimocrats would be lessened if not imperiled.

The Republicans have played this very well. Republicans appear to be on the side of fiscal probity and the taxpayer while at the same time running a spear through Obama and his Keystone Kops Dimocrats by slicing through the air hose. To this the Dimocrats have responded with a tactic that is sure to fail – they have run away.

According to Sam Stein, who interviewed the Texas Democrats that tried the same run away tactic years ago, the great hardship for the runaway Wisconsin Dimocrats will be a lack of sex:

“As a group of Wisconsin Democrats camp outside their state in hopes of stalling an anti-public union bill, veterans of such high-stake showdowns see numerous challenges ahead. The media coverage will be suffocating; the urge to cut a deal will be compelling; the lack of sex will be, well, unsettling. Seriously. [snip]

She’s not joking. Among the many trying elements that come with a “quorum break,” the disruption to a lawmaker’s personal life ranks highest.”

Stein also notes about the Texas Dems, “Their flight was also, ultimately, fruitless, and I think inexplicable to many voters.” It’s sad that when it comes to “fight or flight” the choice for those we used to call compatriots is flight – and the greatest hardship is deprivation of sexual orgasm. Evil Republicans we suppose are preventing masturbatory alternatives (or secret sex treats from Disney).

This is not going to end well. A rational party would have realized that running away from a fight is not going to be a winning strategy. Republicans are not going to be deterred and they will indeed follow Obama’s example and cram/ram the legislation through. The difference here will be that the public sides more with the Wisconsin Republicans than Americans ever sided with Obama and his health scam.

A rational party would have stayed in the capital and fought. They would have lost anyway but they could have made an argument to the public. The notion that these frightened Obama Dimocrats should be cheered is a ludicrous one. At most they are delaying a vote but they are losing the battle for public opinion. The desperation tactic is easy to understand because this Wisconsin legislation will cut huge resources from every Dimocratic campaign, but ultimately they are going to lose the battle. Wouldn’t it have been better to “man up” (we prefer “woman up”) and fight, lose and fight again?

It would have been better long term to stay and fight. However there are other considerations driving Obama Dimocrats and Big Labor in this fight.

One major consideration is FEAR. Big Labor and Obama Dimocrats want riots and demonstrations and outrage and horror to be seen in the false HOPE that somehow this will frighten Republicans in Wisconsin and other states. Like Barack Obama’s election this is a false HOPE. The Republicans are not going to be frightened.

The Thunderball that has hit the land of La Follette (yup, Wisconsin is the progressive promised land, or was) is going to hit other states. Some of these will be really big states like Ohio. Obama Dimocrats know this.

The FEAR tactic is meant to help out with the TIME factor. Republicans in state after state are going to pass Wisconsin type laws and these will impact just in time for 2012. With 21 states completely under Republican control (Pennsylvania and Florida included) the Republicans know they are in a strong position. Obama Dimocrats in the streets, labor unions in the streets, insulting signs in the streets are not going to deter.

“The president’s political machine worked in close coordination Thursday with state and national union officials to get thousands of protesters to gather in Madison and to plan similar demonstrations in other state capitals.

Their efforts began to spread, as thousands of labor supporters turned out for a hearing in Columbus, Ohio, to protest a measure from Gov. John Kasich (R) that would cut collective-bargaining rights.

By the end of the day, Democratic Party officials were organizing additional demonstrations in Ohio and Indiana, where an effort is underway to trim benefits for public workers. Some union activists predicted similar protests in Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.”

Barack Obama long ago sold out American workers and the American people in order to help himself with business leaders, insurance companies, Big PhaRma and others (let’s not forget Exelon). Now the chickens are, um, coming home.

Obama’s new Dimocratic Party was to be built on African-Americans, young people, and gentry whites. The White Working Class was dumped along with seniors. Big Labor money was welcome but only in exchange for nothing. Big Labor knows that they are in a trap of their own making when they supported treacherous Barack Obama:

“Two years into a presidency that carried immense promises for the labor movement, this is how it has gone for Obama. Some unions remain firmly by his side, while others think he has reneged on promises or – as he seeks to mend relationships with business leaders – abandoned them altogether.

“He’s basically trying to be everything to everybody,” said Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, a nursing union that claims 160,000 members and is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO. “Until you look at the policies, and then it’s clear he’s there for the corporate sector.

The union arranged a protest this month when Obama addressed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, accusing him of cozying up to big businesses.

Officials from another AFL-CIO affiliate, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said that tens of thousands of its members have been laid off and that they don’t see the White House advocating for them.

They may be lost to the Democratic cause,” said Rick Sloan, a spokesman for the union.

Hey, you could have had Hillary who would have fought. But that hopey changey glitter ball was so new you had to chase it.

When unions hire non-union pickets you know something is very wrong. The better strategy for labor in Wisconsin and Big Labor generally would have been to try to win the battle for public opinion even if they lost the fight and the law passed. But this is not about labor or workers. The battle of Wisconsin is about money for Obama Dimocrats in 2012.

Today Sarah Palin has sent a note of support to demonstrating backers of Governor Walker and the Republicans in Wisconsin. Herman Cain is declaring Wisconsin “ground zero”. It’s supporters versus opponents in the Battle of Wisconsin. In the land of La Follette progressives, Republicans are WTF (winning the future). It’s a mad, mad, world.

But not to worry. While workers are in the cold streets of Wisconsin (there’s now a Winter storm watch), while Republicans are demonstrating for their beliefs as well, while Big Labor and Big Business fight a climatic battle…

Michelle Obama, who calls for diets and sacrifice... is in expensive Vail, Colorado on a ski vacation. Don’t forget to tip the help Michelle, they’re voters, a fact your hubby forgot.

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386 thoughts on “Thunderball In Wisconsin

  1. Libya : The entire eastern part of the country is under the control of the people, there is really no presence of Gaddafi to speak of.

  2. Protesters in Nalut (Amazigh town) burnt down the Head Quarters of the Revolutionary Commitee. Skirmishes now in Tripoli.

    Also heard that some of Gaddafi’s militia brigade camps have fallen to protestors at a high cost of over 100 people and this is where Gaddafi’s son has been captured.

  3. Hearing very strong rumours that GADDAFIs Nephew is now DEAD in birka barracks, Benghazi after the people breached the walls and took the camp.

    This is gonna get ugly folks.

  4. Among Democrats Clinton is 1st with 22%, Obama 3rd with a mere 11%

    Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Bambi.

  5. Five Graves To Cairo – the secret is the supply lines. Cut off the supply lines and you win. It’s what the Republicans are doing. Rommel knew the importance of supply lines.

  6. Morrocco is now : Coalition of Moroccan youth groups calls for mass protests in cities across Morocco on Sunday – Al Arabiya

    Ivory Coast also : Ivory Coast forces open fire on protesters seeking president’s ouster; at least 2 dead – BBC

    Algeria : Police crackdown on protestors in Algiers

    That whole continent is going to shit. Thanks Bambi.

  7. MoonOnPluto, things will be bad if Gaddafi goes down because of potential for even more instability. But on the whole things will be much much better than they are now. At least Libyans will have a chance to build a good life – if they take that chance. Democratic change might come. Libya has oil so they should have a much better life than they have now. It’s a chance worth taking and cheering for.

  8. it is worth it Admin, i am really just scared right now for my friend there right now, they are being threatened, they are trapped. I’m chewing my fingers off here.

  9. Wisconsin unions have already surrendered on higher health benefits bills and pension contributions. What they will not agree on, cannot agree on are the killer provisions which for all intents and purposes will neuter them in 2012.

    These killer provisions would allow workers to opt out of paying union dues. The public service unions would also have to hold a vote every year on whether or not to stay in business. This would all mean the workers would be back in control of their unions – because the union bosses would have to listen to them continuously not just collect the paid dues. But this also means that the unions would be greatly weakened and have to struggle just for survival. Any idea of increased power in 2012 would be gone. Mass expenditures to help elect Obama Dimocrats would be lessened if not imperiled.
    ********************
    I must be missing something here. If the fight is to cut funds from Obama, he has already turned tail and run to the Chamber of Commerce. It seems more like payback to the unions who supported him, not a good strategy to weaken him in the future.

    Also about the killer provision to make union dues optional, many years ago my first job out of high school was union, but you did not have to join and pay dues to work there and get the same benefits. I always wondered if that would kill the union, but they were the Communication Workers of America, still strong today.

  10. admin and moononpluto
    Do you really see any democracies coming out of these overthows in the middle east? I find it hard to believe that their history makes them in any way, able to mount a democracy.

  11. Tunisia’s ousted president stashed diamonds, gold and wads of cash in secret spots around his palace in the impoverished country’s capital, according to video shown by state television on Saturday.

    Popular uprisings in January toppled president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali after 23 years of repressive rule, sending shockwaves through the rest of the Arab world and encouraging a similar revolution in Egypt.

    Ben Ali hid treasures behind curtains and in secret compartments behind the palace library, according to the video broadcast by First National TV, which showed millions of dollars and euros, diamond necklaces and gold recovered from the palace in Tunis’ Sidi Bou Said district.

    The broadcast said the riches would be redistributed to Tunisians, who have complained of rampant corruption during Ben Ali’s rule of the North African state. Tunisian GDP per capita is roughly $10 per day.

    France, Switzerland, Canada, and the European Union have said they have frozen the assets of the former president and his family. Tunisia’s interim government, charged with setting elections, said it was seeking to recover money and property to help combat poverty.

    http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/02/20/138358.html

    Thats gonna be one hell of a treasure hunt.

  12. Here’s another thing I’m struggling with being a poor retired senior. How are the Egyption people making $2 a day (or whatever it was supposed to be) coordinating these popular overthrows using iphones, twitter, etc. I can’t afford the newest electronic gadgets, how are they? Something fishy here.

  13. Big Cat, that is really up to them, we can only support setting them free, its then up to them to make sure they dont fall into another dictatorship, we can offer help along the way, should we wish it but it is up to them.

    The North African ones are a tossup, the standard of living needs to rise quickly in places like Morrocco and Algeria to make sure bad elements dont take over promising the world.

    I have no crystal ball here, it really is 50/50.

  14. Bigcat, the protestors in Egypt started out with the doctors, lawyers, young educated middle class students who brought the poor on board once they got it rolling.

  15. A shot over the bow of Obama, maybe he really is in trouble with Soros. I wonder if Bambi has gotten too big for his boots for his lord and master Soros.

  16. moononpluto
    I’m just watching here and not getting too involved, but this is just too widespread and organized for me to buy that it is popular uprisings, so trying to get a handle on the agendas involved.

  17. BigCat, i think its also very much a part of them getting embolden, they see that others can do it and now they seen Tunisia go down, it embolden the Egyptians and then Mubarak fell, maybe the people of the middle east have just thought, if we’re gonna get rid of these guys, we may not get a better chance.

    Its that domino effect, the success in Tunisia and Egypt has spurred them all on.

  18. Anyone who still isn’t getting the message that the media, Kerry and obama are out to get hillary…well…

    We are not in Kansas anymore–Hillary!

    While Senator John Kerry is playing the “Good Cop”, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her state department is the “Bad Cop”….

    http://www.viewstimes.com/?p=610

  19. And then…

    Majority of Professional Women Choose Hillary Clinton as Elected Woman Most Admired in Recent Survey

    February 19, 2011

    Hillary Clinton is the “most admired” of elected women leaders in a recent survey conducted by Dr. Wendy Flint, Founder and CEO of Workplace Leaders Online. When 222 professional women were asked in an open-ended question, “What woman in elected public office do you most admire?” 45 % of those who answered said, “Hillary Clinton.” Sarah Palin came in second with 12%, Condoleezza Rice (though not an elected official) was third with 8%, and Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi tied with 4% each (27% chose others).

    Additionally, women were asked: “What are the top three qualities of the person you selected?” Seventy-two individual qualities were listed to describe Former Senator Clinton’s character and leadership ability (30 of those qualities were repeated multiple times).

    “The purpose of the survey,” says Dr. Flint, whose day job is Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales for a company in California, “is to identify the skills and qualities women need to be successful.”

    The top five qualities listed for Hillary Clinton were (in order) intelligence, strength, determination, knowledge and goal-oriented. One survey participant wrote, “Despite her affluence, she has mass appeal to women of all ages and across social strata. She is focused on her goals while maintaining family ties.”

    “This was not intended to be a political survey,” says Flint, “and participants were not asked their political party.” “We simply wanted women to choose a ‘visible leader’ they most admired and then describe the characteristics that influenced her decision. The response overwhelmingly leaned toward Hillary Clinton; and to list 72 different descriptors was amazing.”

    The complete survey report along with “Secrets of Success Advice” that 200 professional women shared, can be found at http://www.womensleadershipconferenceonline.com. The results of the survey were used to determine topics and speakers for an upcoming six-week series – Women’s Leadership Conference Online 2011 sponsored by The Learning Oasis, an E-learning company.

    Other significant results of the survey were 72% found “family management” and 67% selected “male/female bias” as the greatest challenge for women in business; with 26% indicating that the male/female bias prevented advancement. 84% of professional women leaders said that faith (however defined) played an important part in her business life. 39% of women leader participants hold a graduate advanced degree; and 19% earn $100,000 or more annually. There was a 50-50 split on whether the feminist movement had or has anything to do with a women’s success.

    The survey had a margin of error of +/-6.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/02/19/prweb5089204.DTL

  20. If anything, Soros is in as deep as ever with regards to pushing the world’s unrest. He would betray his own mother to save his own skin and will probably throw bambi under the bus as well before this all ends.

  21. Admin:
    (snip)
    The Democratic Party atrophied with its dependence on labor unions to supply the manpower and womanpower, along with the financing for campaigns as well as the headquarters and field offices. Along with union endorsements came money and workers and therefore the game became union endorsements instead of outreach to individuals. The game was not to appeal to the workers but instead to romance the Big Labor union bosses. We’re all guilty of this – Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton included.

    For the unions, the workers became less important. The workers essentially became only dues payers. The Big Labor bosses increasingly ignored the plight of the workers and only cared that the dues were paid. With the money from the workers’ dues unions paid for political protection and friendly negotiators in the public service labor arena. Instead of spending all their money on union organizing and increasing their ranks, unions saw their easy path on the political highway. Republicans noticed.
    (snip)

    Pretty much the same opinion as the Trotskyites:

    “In a bid to delay passage of the bill—under conditions where this would have set up an explosive political confrontation between the legislature and mass public opposition to Walker’s cuts—Democratic state senators fled Wisconsin yesterday. This maneuver stripped the Republicans of the three-fifths-present quorum required to vote on bills.

    This is mere grandstanding by the Democrats, however, as they and the trade unions support similar social cuts as those proposed by Walker in other states, as well as in Washington—where President Barack Obama is preparing a budget call ing for over $1 trillion in cuts overwhelmingly directed against the working class. The Democrats’ maneuver aims to stabilize the political situation and allow negotiations to continue between the big-business parties and the trade unions, to secure passage of the cuts.

    However, on Friday thousands more workers and youth from across the state joined a growing wave of walkouts and school closures, effectively refusing to hand over their struggle to the state Democratic Party and union heads.”

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/feb2011/wisc-f19.shtml

  22. “Barack Obama long ago sold out American workers and the American people in order to help himself with business leaders, insurance companies, Big PhaRma and others (let’s not forget Exelon). Now the chickens are, um, coming home.”

    —————-

    Exactly. Excellent article, admin.

  23. I received some information to be passed along to Hillary-

    Obama was using the message “protect the (affluent) youth in Egypt.”

    Knowing they are the only ones who can afford computers and have expendable time to be on Twitter and Facebook. The ordinary Egyptian citizen is not part of that crowd, yet he is clinging to hopes for a better life through a regime change.

    Last week, Hillary gave a speech about Internet Freedom but at the same time the Justice Dept was asking to confiscate Twitter posts creating the illusion of hypocrisy coming from her State Dept.

    She has to straighten this out before it is used against her to undermine her credibility as a champion for peoples all over the world…

  24. Moon,
    My thoughts and hopes are with you and your friend….I’m sorry to hear of this!

    BCL,
    My dad was/is a member of the communication workers of America…they are affiliated the AFL-CIO. I’ve got a belt buckle somewhere around here that was given to me when I was 13…I rode 87 miles on horse back for a pony express to take a letter to Lyndon Johnson from the Union….I was really sick of riding by the time I finished that ride.

    I guess you could call me a Union brat…and that’s why I was selected to represent Hillary at the State Convention….the union background! Of coarse I threw in a couple “yellow dog” slogans…I had them eating out of my hand…maybe I should of been a politician….LOL!

    Henry,
    I realize some of these pensions are unsustainable, especially since the Wall Street bankers freaked off the money on the derivities market…now they want to cut the poor teaches….if you can read this blog….thank a teacher! That’s my motto. I taught school for one year…they’ve got a hard job and one that requires many more hours than I put in at the hospital and they aren’t compensated for it either!

    What I would like to know….during the election it was teacher pay was low and that’s why our school’s are failing….now its that they make too much…which is it??? I know where I live the first year teachers make 17,000. a year. I made more than that with a 2 year degree in radiology my first year out of school. We are being bent over and freaked! I am not sure what party is doing it, but you can bet its the rethugs party! The rich folks is who is doing it!

  25. #
    JanH
    February 19th, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    If anything, Soros is in as deep as ever with regards to pushing the world’s unrest. He would betray his own mother to save his own skin and will probably throw bambi under the bus as well before this all ends.
    _____________________________

    Yes, thats exactly right. The initial Tarpley post was noticeably absent of naming names of which Soros’s name would be at the forefront of the list tied in with Obama and unfortunately the US.

    In the second Tarpley post he lays out several probabilities of how the the Egyptian crisis will play out.

  26. We are being bent over and freaked! I am not sure what party is doing it, but you can bet its the rethugs party! The rich folks is who is doing it!
    *********
    If you do a search for wealth distribution in the US and look at the redistribution of income and wealth to the upper 1% since Reagan; it answers the question. Those graphs demonstrate the biggest threat to this country and it isn’t terrists. If the average American with an ~eighth grade education can’t get a job and support a family, then American society can’t and won’t remain stable.

  27. She’s in Vail Colorado on a ski vacation???? Well SHEAT! They just got back from Hawaii….how about cutting this freaking deficit with her damn vacations….before we cut the teachers who ACTUALLY WORK!

  28. SHV,
    I agree and until these dumbell rednecks go hungry a little longer they won’t realize it…the rethugs are smart SOB’s, they got the working class fooled, but sooner or later, they are going to catch on and when Bubba is out of his “chicken fried steaks” the SHEAT will hit the fan!

    I know a teacher who doesn’t work as a teacher anymore, she works why up the ladder….she lives on a golf coarse. Just like BCL says, it pure class warfare and it will happen in every profession….sooner or later the Dr.’s are going to turn on their nurses. I’ve already heard many complain how much these nurses are making…its just a matter of time. My job with all its new technology is moving to a point when a chimp will be able to take your xray! That’s the goal!

    You have to give to the rethugs…Glenn Beck has convinced America that the Democrat party is a communist party and now they are going after Hillary….I hope Hillary has outsmarted them this time….

  29. #
    JanH
    February 19th, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    While Senator John Kerry is playing the “Good Cop”, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her state department is the “Bad Cop”….

    http://www.viewstimes.com/?p=610
    ______________________

    Jan, the site viewtimes has been dormant for quite a long time until now resurrected for propaganda purposes to marginalize Hillary while
    introducing John Kerry as a friend to their future (Muslim) readership.

    We should keep track of them and see what they are up to-

  30. “Glenn Beck has convinced America that the Democrat party is a communist party and now they are going after Hillary”
    *********
    We are now living a single party country. The Rethug vs Dims is pure theater for their bases. Obama as President was brilliant. Big bidness knew a rethug couldn’t get elected in 2000 so finance a corrupt sociopathic fraud to be President. The Glenn Becks then call the pro-corporate agenda of the Dims and Obama SOCIALISM and create a backlash to redistribute more money to the upper 1%. I think that you are correct, there is nowhere to go until people decide to vote their economic self-interest. Corporate media has the majority of the public so brain-washed that, unlike 1932, the country will be pushed further into the international corporate agenda.

  31. Crap, this post by Admin makes me feel worse for the American worker.

    There is going to be blood in the streets and if Rethugs don’t come to the aid of the workers, they will be dead meat in 2012. They will help Barry win more votes by pissing off the working wounded.

    I am somewhat lucky I live in a state that refused to elect a frickin’ Republican governor!

  32. but to just ram through something without looking at alternatives, formulating a reasonable plan for implementation, or even looking at the consequences

    ===============

    Hey, that sounds familiar….

  33. Well between what Obama and his neocons are doing to this country and a person on FB who seems to post all the rotten things people do to pit bulls and animals in general…I’m NOW depressed! Well I’m going to drink a few diet beers…that should help!

    Shadowfax,
    Like I said when Bubba realizes he can’t afford his “chicken fried” steak….he will be pist and he has guns! Glad I know a few Bubbitt’s that will protect me, cause I’m a scary cat….I have a bad temper….but I don’t have anything to harm anyone with it, except your ears….LOL! I do however have a big voice!

  34. BigCatLover
    February 19th, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Here’s another thing I’m struggling with being a poor retired senior. How are the Egyptian people making $2 a day (or whatever it was supposed to be) coordinating these popular overthrows using iphones, twitter, etc. I can’t afford the newest electronic gadgets, how are they? Something fishy here.
    ———-
    Big Cat, there is a huge gap between the wealthy and the poor. The poor only makes about $2 a day. The protest was mainly organized by the huge population of youth, average age of youth is 24, 60% of the population. Costs something like $60/year to go to college, so tons of them that are graduating with degrees have no jobs or way to use their education.

    This is from memory of a couple of weeks ago…so I am pretty sure these numbers are accurate. Those organizing the protest, some like the guy from Google, had money.

    Were I live, even the poor have cell phones.

  35. get rid of the secrecy of the ballot box in union elections

    =================

    Kind of like a caucus, maybe….

  36. “I am somewhat lucky I live in a state that refused to elect a frickin’ Republican governor!”
    __________________

    Chafee is the new governor of our state and daily the damage done over the last 8yrs by the former (Republican) governor has just about BK’ed the state. Bad enough, jobs are at a premium here (not hiring anyone over 47 yrs old) and recommending retiring most workers at 50.

    Statistical data is revealing the staggering numbers of people moving OUT of the state searching for employment elsewhere in the country.

    Not that Dems have been sterling examples of American values. But since 08’and the election of Obama, the problems we’re dealing with in this country were hatched and orchestrated by the Neo-cons and supported by the Republican Party en toto and now that Dems have taken the $$$ and favors, consensus demands… they are a ONE Party system now corrupt as ever and wallowing in a layer of foul extraneous matter in the swamp along with the Republicans.

  37. I posted this response upthread:

    BigCatLover
    February 19th, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Here’s another thing I’m struggling with being a poor retired senior. How are the Egyptian people making $2 a day (or whatever it was supposed to be) coordinating these popular overthrows using iphones, twitter, etc. I can’t afford the newest electronic gadgets, how are they? Something fishy here.
    ___________________________

    Obama was using the message “protect the (affluent) youth in Egypt.”

    Knowing they are the only ones who can afford computers and have expendable time to be on Twitter and Facebook. The ordinary Egyptian citizen is not part of that crowd, yet he is clinging to hopes for a better life through a regime change.

    Last week, Hillary gave a speech about Internet Freedom but at the same time the Justice Dept was asking to confiscate Twitter posts creating the illusion of hypocrisy coming from her State Dept.

    She has to straighten this out before it is used against her to undermine her credibility as a champion for peoples all over the world…

  38. confloyd
    February 19th, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Shadowfax,
    You should be greatful for that…I live with Bubba….and it sucks!
    ——-
    Ya confloyd, you gotta real snake for a governor, sorry.

    I ruffled some feathers on the blog when I tore up Meg Whitman, and damn, I am proud that my state kept her from winning. Damn proud.

  39. Bad enough, jobs are at a premium here (not hiring anyone over 47 yrs old) and recommending retiring most workers at 50.
    **********************
    I’m waiting to see what happens when the over 50’s can’t find jobs but the retirement age has been raised to the high 60’s. A revolt I hope.

  40. BBL I am royally pist at the Rethugs and their plan to cut the life line off to the American workers!!!

    Yea, they keep their GeorgeWPetFuckingGoat taxes to the rich and the workers get crucified!!

    God help us.

  41. Dunno about the issues in the WI union thing, but imo the Dems are acting reasonably in delaying passage till there can be a full, detailed discussion and the citizens can communicate with the legislators their INFORMED opinion.

    People don’t elect a legislator JUST on his/her stand on one (complicated) issue. Tea Party punishment of Dims may have had something to do with the 2010 elections. Now the anti-union thing is coming up for vote — so now IS the time for a full discussion. If the Dems hiding out is what that requires, ok.

    Fighting for their side at the moment doesn’t mean showing up to be shouted down and silenced. It means doing what will give the public and the teachers time to sort out the details.

    Whatever was said in the campaigns — hearing direct from their kid’s teacher may change some parents’ minds. They deserve that chance.

  42. #
    BigCatLover
    February 19th, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Bad enough, jobs are at a premium here (not hiring anyone over 47 yrs old) and recommending retiring most workers at 50.
    **********************
    I’m waiting to see what happens when the over 50’s can’t find jobs but the retirement age has been raised to the high 60’s. A revolt I hope.
    ______________________

    It’s happening here already- and many are living on fixed SS income and having basic Medi-Care coverage. How much more they can be pushed before a revolt, remains to be seen.

    There won’t be a revolt in this horribly cruel winter. We’re expecting 5 more inches of snow late Sunday night into all day Monday. Our dog is getting cabin fever. He’s really missing retrieving his ball outside in the fresh air and is being a nudge revolting against all this snow. For the first time today he went over a mile and a half on the treadmill at a trot…

  43. We got a hint of spring this week, but each year it’s hard not to get excited thinking spring is on the way, then have another storm hit. It’s seems twice as bad. My cat had cabin fever before the warmer weather hit, but we got outside a couple of days, so we’re both better now.

  44. BigCatLover
    February 19th, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    We got a hint of spring this week, but each year it’s hard not to get excited thinking spring is on the way, then have another storm hit.
    _____________________

    We experienced similar weather this week for 2 days in the 50s and then the 60s. The thing is we have so much snow left piling up in some areas to 3′ from the last 3 blizzards, the warm weather hardly made a dent. We did have a giggle though, my neighbor 2 houses down was seen taking her morning constitutional walking her cat down the street on a leash! LOL

  45. I’m waiting to see what happens when the over 50’s can’t find jobs but the retirement age has been raised to the high 60’s. A revolt I hope.
    ***********
    The 50 somethings are at about peak salary and at a point when their medical risk for the company is increasing. Recently a friend who has work at the same big corp for 20+ years was shown the door. He was “middle management” in IT, did a lot of traveling solving IT and inventory problems. He and 200 others were called into a meeting on a Thursday and told not to come to work the following Monday. At age 54 his chances of finding full time employment is slightly greater than zero. His wife works for the same company and is waiting for her notice.

  46. A ray of sunshine- Our Hillary is ON the job (as usual) trying to move along and complete what her dear friend Richard Holbrooke began:
    ______________________

    U.S.-Taliban Talks

    by Steve Coll
    February 28, 2011 .

    “Holbrooke’s final diplomatic achievement, it turns out, was to see this advice accepted. The Obama Administration has entered into direct, secret talks with senior Afghan Taliban leaders, several people briefed about the talks told me last week. The discussions are continuing; they are of an exploratory nature and do not yet amount to a peace negotiation. That may take some time: the first secret talks between the United States and representatives of North Vietnam took place in 1968; the Paris Peace Accords, intended to end direct U.S. military involvement in the war, were not agreed on until 1973.

    When asked for comment on the talks, a White House spokesman said that the remarks that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made last Friday at the Asia Society offered a “thorough representation of the U.S. position.” Clinton had tough words for the Taliban, saying that they were confronted with a choice between political compromise and ostracism as “an enemy of the international community.” She added, “I know that reconciling with an adversary that can be as brutal as the Taliban sounds distasteful, even unimaginable. And diplomacy would be easy if we only had to talk to our friends. But that is not how one makes peace. President Reagan understood that when he sat down with the Soviets. And Richard Holbrooke made this his life’s work. He negotiated face to face with Milosevic and ended a war.”

    Read more
    http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2011/02/28/110228taco_talk_coll#ixzz1ET4DIzRo

  47. At age 54 his chances of finding full time employment is slightly greater than zero. His wife works for the same company and is waiting for her notice.
    ___________________

    It seems like the current game plan for social engineering in America is keeping the 20-30 somethings entirely focused on their 6-pack abs and working towards imitating a celebrity lifestyle making them the ideal replacements for the corporate sloughing off of the 50’s crowd.

    If we are to survive this dramatic social change the media has to be brought to heel. Important News worthy news only happens in the first 3 min of the Today Show from 7am to 7:03. Other than that, it’s all infotainment for the next 3 hrs.

    I have a question- Is analog tv operational with/without a special antennae. There has to be information (real news) coming to a preferred segment of the population in the loop explaining the apathy that seems to have overtaken the country.

  48. These killer provisions would allow workers to opt out of paying union dues. The public service unions would also have to hold a vote every year on whether or not to stay in business. This would all mean the workers would be back in control of their unions – because the union bosses would have to listen to them continuously not just collect the paid dues.

    This. I am not anti-union, but I am indeed anti-forced union. I have seen over the years what used to be very good unions become nothing more than political muscle for the left. Maybe if employees have an unpressured choice as to whether to join, the unions would have to clean up their act, fulfill the function they were intended for, and actually attract members. Polls show that over 60% of union members DO NOT like the political activities of their union. Unions should not be in bed with the govt.

    And yes, I am well aware of the good things unions have brought us in the workplace, and the important past battles they have fought. I appreciate that. But I don’t give blind allegiance to anyone or anything. It is, unfortunately, a common theme in history that an oppressed group wins acceptance, then goes on to win real power, then goes on to abuse that power and often become oppressors themselves. Happens all the time.

  49. Regardless of whether you support the protestors or support Gov. Walker or are in between, Admin is dead right when she/he points out how badly the unions and Obama are handling this.

    I’ve been watching the protests on various channels, and apart from the issues themselves, they are making themselves look like complete rude asses to the general public. They are not winning over any support other than those who were already going to support them regardless. And the Dem senators fleeing the state is going over like a nasty hairball on the carpet.

  50. Admin: So which races are the two most important races this election cycle? Think Russ Feingold in Wisconsin and Marco Rubio in Florida.”
    —————————-
    Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant.

    I was at the bookstore tonight. I skimmed and damned near picked up a copy of Chris Hedges book on the death of liberalism. It was too depressing. I passed. Liberalism is the only protection we have against the predations of the corporate state. These fuck–ing juronolisters are not liberals. They are servants of the corporate state. Just as Obama is–and Hedges makes no bones about this. Take that fucking move on dot org. Notice how quickly they pulled in their horns on foreign wars when Obama became president. No more general betray us. Those wars are bleeding us dry–and our children and grandchildren. These jurnolisters are servants of the corporate state without realizing what they are. And all the rest of them. They are a disgrace to the founders of this country. I also picked up a book by Max Blum thinking it was Max Boot. I see he is with that rattlesnake Katrina_vanden_Heuvel at the Nation and Huffpo the land of lightweights. He presumes to write about what is wrong with the Republican Party as an outsider. He would do better to write a book on what is wrong with his own party. If you want to know what is wrong with the Repblican Party read somebody who knows–an insider who could not take it any more and had the courage to speak out–Kevin Phillips who Admin has written about. I threw Blumes book back on the shelf and it fell to the ground. With a little luck someone will step on it. I am right where Hedges is, and it is depressing. We need someone who will stand up to the corporate state. The problem is unions, the media and academia have all sold out. Obama is the surrogate of corporations, he represents all that is wrong in the system, yet these psuedo liberals defend him as he sells the country down the river.

  51. I’ve been watching the protests on various channels, and apart from the issues themselves, they are making themselves look like complete rude asses to the general public. They are not winning over any support other than those who were already going to support them regardless. And the Dem senators fleeing the state is going over like a nasty hairball on the carpet.
    —————————————–
    A perversion of the union movement. I have told them that they are too paraochial and they laugh. It is like La Rouche says, when I tell his people that what he is doing now will have no short term effect and in the long run we will all be dead. He says we must proceed on the premise that we are immortal, because then we can speak credibly for the unborn. The failure of the union movement lies in their failure to speak for all working people–union and non union alike. They say they will not do that because non union people do not pay dues. I tell them they sound less like a priest, more like a pawn broker and in the end they will be rejected for that reason.

  52. These killer provisions would allow workers to opt out of paying union dues. The public service unions would also have to hold a vote every year on whether or not to stay in business. This would all mean the workers would be back in control of their unions – because the union bosses would have to listen to them continuously not just collect the paid dues.

    This. I am not anti-union, but I am indeed anti-forced union.

    ===============

    Very good.

  53. Mrs. Smith,
    Just wanted to let all of you know that I spoke with my friend tonight that does this fracking for a living…he says that “gasland” is a farce. He said the chemicals are that are used are put in well below the water level. He also said about the film and the water coming out of the sink was completely over kill and ever since they began drilling those thing could happen…Fraking was safe…of coarse he did say accidents could happen but they were rare…I trust what he says because he’s a liberal and would not stand for doing anything against the enviroment as bad as what “gasland” was talking about. I told him it was probably the people who’ve invested in alternate fuels that are driving this discussion against the gas. We both agreed that if Hillary is backing it….it can’t be too dangerous…you can bet Hillary has done her homework on this fracking technology. She prolly knows as much about fracking as John does….LOL! You betcha!

    He also says we just consume way to much fuel…we have 2% of the population, yet we consume the most! Well you can’t argue with that! He thinks this new method about 5 years old is really good for America!

  54. turndown, I for one think that the fact that ALL workers in certain sectors are required to join the union is one of the things that has ruined them. Why be responsive to your members when you have a guaranteed membership handed to you, regardless of performance? The argument is that allowing workers to freely choose will weaken the unions. And it might, in the short run. But in the long run it will force them to remain effective and relevant or lose membership.

    I think that forced union membership is one of the things that have made the unions fat and top-heavy and lazy, looking to the politicians instead of to their own members.

  55. This not going to end welll…..

    Two Iranian warships have passed through the Suez Canal, heading for Syria, Iranian state TV reports

  56. However : Iran ships yet to enter Suez Canal, Egyptian officials say, contradicting earlier reports on Iran state TV – Reuters

    I wish they would make their bloody minds up.

  57. Iran ships yet to enter Suez Canal, Egyptian officials say, contradicting earlier reports on Iran state TV – Reuters

    I wish they would make their bloody minds up.

    ====================

    I suppose the MSM is scared to fly over and find out? Where’s Al Zazeera?

  58. Fox News busts Wisconsin doctor faking sick notes on video

    Fox News busts Wisconsin doctor faking sick notes on video. The latest in the long line of outrages that the pro-union, Democrat voters protesting in Wisconsin have perpetrated now includes fraud—medical fraud, that is. Yesterday, reports began emerging that doctors in the state were writing fraudulent sick notes to protesters, so that they could scam their employers into excusing them while they continued taking part in their opposition to Governor Scott Walker’s demand that they pay a little bit of their own healthcare costs. Fox News actually sent one of its producers to approach one such doctor in the crowd and ended up getting footage of the doctor incriminating herself by writing a phony sick note for the producer.

    …………………….

    Stupid stupid Doctor, not only can she go to jail but she will also probably lose her licence.

  59. Another one falls.

    Special election win gives GOP Louisiana Senate, control legislature first time since Reconstruction.

  60. ABBEVILLE, La. — A Republican candidate late Saturday won a special election for a Louisiana state Senate seat, according to unofficial returns, a result that if certified would give the GOP control of the Senate for the first time since Reconstruction.

    The Louisiana Secretary of State’s office reported on its website that Republican state Rep. Jonathan Perry narrowly defeated Democrat Nathan Granger in the race to fill a vacant state Senate seat. Unofficial returns show Perry receiving 52 percent of the vote to Granger’s 48 percent, with all 106 precincts reporting.

    The contest was closely watched because the state Senate is currently split, with 19 Republicans and 19 Democrats. After a number of party switches, Republicans recently took control of the state House. Republican Bobby Jindal is the governor.

    A Louisiana elections official said the state Senate results still must be certified and can be contested until Feb. 28.

  61. WI- is all the mainstaim news is carrying. Libya is dangerous- Loss of life in the hundreds.
    _____________________________

    Gadhafi forces fire on Libya protesters

    Security forces attack mourners at a funeral for slain protesters. A doctor at a Benghazi hospital says 200 people have been killed.

    CAIRO —
    Moammar Gadhafi’s forces have opened fire on mourners at the funeral for anti-government protesters in the city of Benghazi, where a doctor says at least 200 people have already been slain in days of demonstrations.

    A man shot in the leg Sunday said marchers were bearing coffins to a cemetery when they passed a Gadhafi compound in Libya’s second-largest city. The man said security forces fired in the air, then opened up on the crowd. A hospital official says four people have been wounded, two seriously.

    The latest violence follows a day of brutal violence Saturday. Witnesses told The Associated Press that a mix of special commandos, foreign mercenaries and Gadhafi loyalists assaulted demonstrators with knives, assault rifles and heavy weapons. Those protesters also were at a funeral.

    A doctor in Benghazi said his hospital has seen the bodies of at least 200 protesters killed by Gadhafi’s forces over the last few days. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he fears reprisal.

    Benghazi has been a center of a six-day revolt by Libyans inspired by uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia and frustrated by Gadhafi’s more than 40 years of authoritarian rule.

    more news at link:

    http://www.latimes.com/la-fgw-libya-deaths-20110221,0,1704807.story

  62. Protests reach epidemic proportions!
    _______________________________

    Arrests after “Jasmine Revolution” call in China

    20 February 2011

    BEIJING – Several top Chinese rights activists have disappeared into police custody as a web campaign urged angry citizens to mark the Middle East’s “Jasmine Revolution” with protests, campaigners said Sunday.

    Up to 15 leading Chinese rights lawyers and activists have disappeared since Saturday amid a nationwide police mobilisation, according to activists, while the government appeared to censor Internet postings calling for the demonstrations.

    “We welcome… laid off workers and victims of forced evictions to participate in demonstrations, shout slogans and seek freedom, democracy and political reform to end ‘one party rule’,” one Internet posting said.

    The postings, many of which appeared to have originated on overseas websites run by exiled Chinese political activists, called for protests in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and 10 other major Chinese cities.

    Protesters were urged to shout slogans including “We want food to eat”, “We want work”, “We want housing”, “We want justice”, “Long live freedom”, and “Long live democracy”.

    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/1111918/1/.html

  63. The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 23% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-one percent (41%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -18

    Overall, 44% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president’s performance. Fifty-four percent (54%) disapprove. (-10 overall approval)
    …………………

    This has plummetted in the last 2 days.

  64. Never let be said, the Obamas are incapable of compartmentalizing.

    Today, Obama went to serve as the “parent coach” for for Sasha’s basketball team, even though Sasha was not there.

    Meanwhile, Vice President Biden and his wife are spending the weekend in Key Largo. (w/Trump?)
    ___________________________________

    Michelle Obama Goes Skiing in Colorado

    by Keith Koffler on February 19, 2011,

    First Lady Michelle Obama is on “a private family trip” in Colorado where she is skiing with daughters Sasha and Malia, according to an administration official.

    “The First Lady and several close friends are chaperoning their children on a ski trip,” the official told the press pool reporter who is following President Obama today.

    Reports coming out of Colorado say she arrived Friday night and is staying at the Sebastian Hotel on Vail Mountain. Rooms start at $605 per night for a room with two queen beds and head north of $2,000 for multi-bedroom suites.

    http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2011/02/19/michelle-obama-skiing-colorado/

  65. AmericanGal
    February 19th, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Some of you posted earlier about teacher salaries and benefits:

    I am a teacher in Minnesota. I make about $52,000 yearly–thats with a Master’s degree and 16 years in the district. The highest salary a teacher can make in my district is roughtly $59,000–thats with 20 years experience and several additional credits past a Master’s degree. Benefits: As a single person, I get my health care paid by the district–teachers wanting family coverage must pay for it (nearly $500 per month). When I retire, I no longer get free health insurance I have to pay for it.

    Money is taken from my paycheck each month for my teacher retirement pension. I also pay union fees.

    One of the things that makes me so angry about the Wisconsin situation is how teachers are being portrayed as greedy, overpaid, and receiving benefits that are somehow grossly unfair.

    I am in my mid 50s–I just completed my masters degree two years ago and will be paying back student loans (including previous ones) for at least 10 more years (over $500 per month). My additional education has made me more valuable in my district and has allowed me to participate in a wide variety of teaching situations. I also have previous undergraduate degrees (for which I get no monetary compensation) that also increase my usefulness to the district as they provide background knowlege and skills that can be applied in my special needs classroom.

    I can’t imagine a situation like in Wisconsin where suddenly, with no debate, discussion or look at the consequences for students, they want to cut teacher’s salaries by thousands of dollars. I realize states are in dire straits, but teachers did not cause the financial problems they are having. I am not against a reasonable debate on teacher unions and teacher’s salaries but to try to ram through legislation in the manner the Wisconsin governor is choosing does not problem solve, does not respect teachers, and only serves to further divide the electorate. It probably won’t solve that states financial problems either.

    We are hearing rumblings of similar legislation here in Minnesota. We are watching this very carefully…I am not astute on all the issues and ramifications of what is going on in our neighboring state but like my colleagues I am getting educated in a hurry…

    On another note: Its upsetting to read comments on websites about how “cushy” our jobs are and how we are paid even though we don’t work in the summer. The reality is that during the school year I work my contracted hours then go home, every single day, and work throughout the evening (until bedtime) preparing lessons, doing special ed. paperwork, contacting parents and grading papers. This extra, non-contract time in the evening is more time doing work related tasks then the time that school is out in the summer. No one is getting paid for doing.

    The amount of teacher hate I am seeing online is truly frightening and sad. What’s going to happen is that the best and brightest will no longer consider teaching as a career and I guarantee that will impact the classroom. It doesn’t have to be this way…

    ================================

    AmericanGal, Right on! Thank you for saying that and thank you for your service. ((((((( teacher )))))))

    The bold emphasis above in your post is mine. I’m so heart-torn over what is happening in the U.S. and the world now, It’s all I can muster in the way of constructive comment.

  66. It’s one thing to Talk the Talk- When does Obama intend to Walk the Walk?
    _____________________________

    Obama on his embattled budget: Let’s talk, but….

    “Here’s the isolated president’s perception of how painfully the feds need to address their fiscal canyon: “If you’re a family trying to cut back, you might skip going out to dinner, you might put off a vacation.”

    Delay a vacation? Where, to his planet? When millions of American families would settle for having a job in Obama’s unstimulated economy? Or keeping their home while the Democrat lobs $53 billion more taxpayer money winning the future with unions to build high-speed trains for nobody to ride — but to do so very rapidly?

    As Obama did with extending the Bush tax cuts in December, it appears……. the president of the United States is positioning himself as the reluctant follower again: ‘Gee, it looks like I’ll have to accept those cuts from these GOP hostage-takers, as much as I don’t like them.’

    Which, of course, would get him both the cuts to brag about next year, proof of his willingness to compromise, if not lead, and cover from his left, thinks his phony proposed cuts now are too much.

    As he did with the design of the stimulus spending bill two years ago, Obama is leaving the real — and politically risky — detailed cutting work to Congress.

    He knows and says that reforms in the huge entitlement spending is where the real whacking work needs doing. But he doesn’t whack there. You first, Mr. Speaker.”

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2011/02/obama-news-conference.html

  67. Thank you Ohanson..appreciate it..

    Great article Admin–gives the true picture of what is happening..

    A question for you–if this does spread to other states does it help Obama for reelection or will it give an inroad for any Dem challengers?

  68. Palestinians plan ‘day of rage’ after US vetoes resolution on Israeli settlements

    US decision to use UN security council veto sparks furious reaction in West Bank and Gaza

    Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem
    guardian.co.uk,
    Sunday 20 February 2011

    Palestinians are planning a “day of rage” on Friday in response to the US wielding its veto against a UN security council resolution condemning Israeli settlements. The US decision to use its veto has sparked a furious reaction in the West Bank and Gaza.

    Anti-US rallies took place in the West Bank towns of Bethlehem, Tulkarem and Jenin this weekend after the 14-1 vote on the resolution, in which the US stood alone against the rest of the security council, including Britain, Germany and France. It voted in contradiction of its own policy.

    In Gaza, Hamas described the US position as outrageous and said Washington was “completely biased” towards Israel.

    Ibrahim Sarsour, an Israeli-Arab member of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, said it was time to tell the US president, Barack Obama, to “go to hell”.

    “Obama cannot be trusted,” he wrote in an open letter to the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. “We knew his promises were lies. The time has come to spit in the face of the Americans.”

    The Egyptian foreign ministry said the US veto would “lead to more damage of the United States’ credibility on the Arab side as a mediator in peace efforts”.

    The use of the veto for the first time under Obama will strengthen perceptions in the Arab world that for the US, protection of its ally Israel overrides its desire for a just outcome for Palestinians in the decades-old conflict.

    The move is likely to impede US efforts to persuade the parties to return to peace negotiations, which stalled in September over the issue of settlement expansion.

    With protests raging across the Middle East against repression, corruption, food prices and dismal economic prospects, Washington is acutely aware that distrust of the US is widespread in the region.

    The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyhu, said his country “deeply appreciated” the US use of its veto.

    However, some Israeli commentators warned that the vote served to reinforce Israel’s international isolation and said Washington would expect a payback from its ally. They suggested the US would be unwilling to use its veto in similar circumstances again.

    The opposition leader, Tzipi Livni, said Israel was “now in political collapse”.

    “We now find that Germany, Britain and France – all friends of Israel who want to help it defend itself – voted against the positions of Israel, and the US is being pushed into a corner and finds itself with Israel against the world,” she said.

    The vote, on Friday night, followed frantic diplomatic efforts to prevent the tabling of the resolution, which was carefully worded to reflect official US policy on settlements.

    Obama spoke to Abbas on the phone for 50 minutes on Thursday, offering a package of inducements, including public statements, to withdraw the resolution.

    According to the Palestinian press, Obama also suggested US aid to the Palestinian Authority could be halted if the resolution went ahead.

    The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, made a further telephone call to Abbas on Friday to put pressure on him to abandon the resolution.

    However, the Palestinian president – aware of the volatile mood in the region and the backlash he would face if he acceded to Obama’s demands – refused to withdraw. One Palestinian official told Reuters that “people would take to the streets and topple the president” if he backed down.

    After the vote, the US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, told the security council that Washington agreed with “our fellow council members, and indeed with the wider world, about the folly and illegitimacy of continued Israel settlement activity”.

    But she added: “We think it unwise for this council to attempt to resolve the core issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians.”

    Underlying the growing gap between the US and Europe on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Britain, France and Germany issued a joint statement saying settlement construction was against international law.

    The veto served to unite the political rivals Hamas and Fatah in condemnation. Palestinian leaders are considering whether to take a resolution on Israel’s settlement policies to the UN general assembly.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/20/palestinians-day-rage-us-veto

  69. Let me take another swipe at this…

    Serious as the ’state government vs the unions’ drama, being carefully crafted for both viewing and discussion may be, it diverts attention from bloody reality and sets the people fighting among themselves.

    Bloody Reality–-that which big media works to keep the citizens from grasping.

    “…and the Justice Department hasn’t taken any of the big banks to court. Why the hell not?”

    Lawless and unrestrained is the unified axis of government and corporate power–the full-scale merger between public and private sphere–one of the most critical yet under-discussed political topics.  The powers of the state have become largely privatized.  There is very little separation between government power and corporate power.   Those who wield the latter intrinsically wield the former.  The revolving door between the highest levels of government and corporate offices rotates so fast and continuously that it has basically flown off its track and no longer provides even the minimal barrier it once did.  It’s not merely that corporate power is unrestrained; it’s worse than that: corporations actively exploit the power of the state to further entrench and enhance their power.

    It’s vital to understand how this really works:  it isn’t that people move from public office to the private sector and back again.  That implies more separation than really exists.  At this point, it’s more accurate to view the U.S. Government and these huge industry interests as one gigantic, amalgamated, inseparable entity — with a public division and a private one.  When someone goes from a top private sector position to a top government post in the same field, it’s more like an intra-corporate re-assignment than it is changing employers.  When McConnell serves as DNI, he’s simply in one division of this entity and when he’s at Booz Allen, he’s in another, but it’s all serving the same entity (it’s exactly how insurance giant Wellpoint dispatched one of its Vice Presidents to Max Baucus’ office so that she could write the health care plan that the Congress eventually enacted).

    While “news” outlets distract Americans with the petty partisan dramas of the day, these factions — whose power is totally impervious to changes in party control — continue to expand their stranglehold on how the Government functions in ways that fundamentally alter our core privacy and liberties, and radically expand the role public-private “partnerships” play in our lives.

    (The last three paragraphs are slightly edited Glenn Greenwald.)

  70. Elections have consequences. The Democrats are finding this out most painfully in Wisconsin. It is spreading to other states like wildfire. While I personally have great sympathy for the public employees (I used to be one), the visuals on TV are killing them. Anyone who lets the Democratic Party and the thugs from Obama for America come in and take over is headed for disaster. Allowing this scum to take over (at least in the PR department) presents the very worst face to the country. The public employee unions need to make it clear that this bunch of political assholes does not speak for them, and they need to get their misogonistic, rabble rousing, foul mouthed asses back to Chicago or DC or whatever rock they crawled out from under. Most professional public employees are nonpolitical at least in public. And the public does not want them to be activists because they want them to work for them the public and not a political party or Obama for America. Public employees cannot strike. This means they cannot close down public offices, schools, police or fire stations, etc. These laws were passed because of the health and safety of the public which includes school children. By pulling a sick out, these teachers lost probably 50% of any support they may have had from the public. It is a stupid, short sited thing to do, and their union leaders should have known better. By co-opting public employee unions, Obama is killing them. The public is starting to see public employees as political workers for Obama, rather than as public servants working for their health, welfare and education.

  71. Ibrahim Sarsour, an Israeli-Arab member of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, said it was time to tell the US president, Barack Obama, to “go to hell”.
    *************************
    We’ve been doing this for 3 years and he’s still here.

  72. I have not been watching television in re this Wisonsin deal. I understood based on the Morris account that the issue here was health and welfare co-pay. But the comment by American gal leads me to believe that this issue relates directly to wages–cutting wages unilaterally. Both sides have an incentive to distort the issue for their own partisan ends. But in the absense of specifics–not Trumpka or Obama lies and hyperbole–but proven facts, I am still unclear.

  73. AmericanGal
    February 20th, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Your earlier response briefing the norm for most Teachers financial picture was appreciated and well said- The teachers in our family our grateful for your candor and willingness for sharing your personal history..

    {{{hugs}}}

  74. More on Bloody Reality…

    Behind both the Hitler and Mussolini governments lay a complex of imperial financiers and corporate cartels, which used the governments to keep the people in line. The German cartels, many of which came together to form the infamous IG Farben, were actually creatures of the Anglo-Dutch Liberal system; they, like Schacht, helped finance Hitler and build his war machine for the purpose of having Germany attack Russia—having rivals fight debilitating wars against each other is a specialty of the Brits. It was only when Hitler turned his guns west toward the heart of the empire, that the oligarchs were forced to defend themselves against the monster they created.

    The purpose of this corporatist movement was to eliminate the role of the nation-state as a force in world affairs, and replace it with a system run by financial houses and corporate cartels. There were fascist parties in all the major Western nations in the 1920s and 1930s, including the U.S.A., where the Morgan and du Pont interests tried to organize a coup against Franklin Roosevelt, in a plot exposed by Gen. Smedley Butler, in 1934.

    The coup against Roosevelt was thwarted, and FDR led the United States and its Allies to victory over Germany and Italy in World War II. The tools of fascism had been defeated, but not its imperial core. This corporatist movement resurfaced in a big way with the 1968 Bilderberg meeting in Mont Tremblant, Canada.

    At that meeting, George Ball, a senior banker at Lehman Brothers and a major figure in the Anglo-American Establishment, gave a speech outlining the need for a new structure to replace the “outmoded” nation-state. Ball called this new structure the “world company,” an explicitly corporatist formulation. This “world company” would, in the view of its sponsors, take control over raw materials and other resources worldwide, allowing the empire to use them as it saw fit. Nations, it was said, were too selfish, tending to view the resources within their borders as theirs, to be used for the benefit of their own people.

    Fast-forward to today, and look at the world from that perspective.

    This world company approach has largely been implemented, under the name globalization; nations everywhere are dependent upon the empire’s financial markets for their funds, and dependent upon the empire’s cartels for many of the necessities of life. Though we do not—yet—have the jackboots of Hitler and Mussolini, we do have the corporatist fascism they represented, and that system is coming to the fore under the guise of bailing out the financial system.

    – Debt Overload –

    It should be obvious to all thinking persons by now, that we cannot solve a debt crisis by taking on even more debt. All the bailout really does is transfer losses from the books of the banks to the books of the government—and thus to the taxpayer—without doing anything to increase our economy’s ability to pay that debt. It does, in fact, do just the opposite, as the physical economy is further cannibalized by the demands of the bailout.

    rest of article at http://www.larouchepac.com/node/7354

  75. JanH
    February 20th, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Palestinians plan ‘day of rage’ after US vetoes resolution on Israeli settlements

    US decision to use UN security council veto sparks furious reaction in West Bank and Gaza
    ___________________________

    Jan, I found out the “real reason” for the US Veto-

    The word “ILLEGAL” is found in the language of the new resolution. Whereas, the word “illegitimate” has always been used and supported in the past by the US as the appropriate word regarding the settlements.

  76. Carol and Jan… we have to watch out for Hillary. They are trying to portray her as being divisive to the administration’s policies with the intent of turning the Israelis against her and by association Jewish Americans living in the US.

    I’m hoping the Palestinians response is an unexpected backlash that singles out Obama and inherently does not wash over Hillary.

  77. #
    BigCatLover
    February 20th, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Hillary Clinton to appear on abc This Week shortly to talk about the middle east.
    ____________________

    Yes, I watched the interview earlier, as it played here at 9am…

    The distinction of the wording in the Resolution is not being clarified enough by anyone so far… and the primary reason for the US using it’s Veto power quashing it’s passage.

    Palestine tried pulling a fast one and it didn’t work…

  78. more second thoughts…

    The abc interview with Hillary was done sometime on Friday, as was the vote scheduled for the Resolution. She might have wanted to wait, mentioning the difference in wording until the Vote and US Veto was over and recorded.

  79. The German cartels, many of which came together to form the infamous IG Farben, were actually creatures of the Anglo-Dutch Liberal system; they, like Schacht, helped finance Hitler and build his war machine for the purpose of having Germany attack Russia—having rivals fight debilitating wars against each other is a specialty of the Brits.

    ==================

    Rabbitseggs.

  80. Why would Hillary say ‘we’ had no control over what happened in Egypt? Why such a blanket statement. They may not have gotten the exact result they wanted, but surely they had some control.

  81. I can’t imagine a situation like in Wisconsin where suddenly, with no debate, discussion or look at the consequences for students, they want to cut teacher’s salaries by thousands of dollars. [….] to try to ram through legislation in the manner the Wisconsin governor is choosing does not problem solve, does not respect teachers, and only serves to further divide the electorate.

    ========================

    Yes. This is the sort of ramming through that we rightly protested when Obama did it with Obamacare. In Wisconsin there is not even the debate we had on UHC. Imagine if in January 2009, Obama had rammed through Obamacare with no discussion; would we be saying “Elections have consequences”?

  82. I hope WI keeps the damn schools shut down, fireman let the firehouse stay empty and cops rally too.

    I don’t give a crap if any hearts are swayed that think the Retug Gov was right. Rove can go to Hell.

    Either this protest ends with a fair compromise or ever Ratsucking Republican Governor is going to do this to your state.

  83. Can’t you smell the snake oil in this write-up?

    ” faking … long line of outrages … perpetrated … medical fraud … scam their employers
    … pay a little bit … incriminating herself … phony ”

    That’s just the substantive loaded words.

  84. Wbboei,

    Teachers where I work are concerned about the two issues at the forefront of the Wisconsin situation–the role of labor unions in the public sector (what they should/should not do) and the more immediate issue of changes being proposed by the Wisconsin legislature that will suddenly force teachers to pay a percentage of their pensions and health care. This is being pushed through by the Republican majority and will result in a large pay cut for teachers (thousands of dollars). The Democrats in Wisconsin don’t have the votes to stop it.

    What is of most concern to me (and my fellow teachers) is that we are already in a situation of a wage freeze, have no pay increases planned for years, and are barely keeping up with our current wages. The legislation proposed in Wisconsin may now be proposed in my state of Minnesota as well as others around the country. It’s one thing to have a honest debate on this issue..it’s another to just ram legislation into existance. We fear this will happen here in Minnesota also which is why I wrote about my situation and what I am hearing in public opinion (which has gone completely anti-teacher). There is also a lot of misinformation out there about what teacher’s make and our actual benefits so I wrote about my own situation. I will be seriously impacted financially if there is a sudden decrease in my income from similar education.

    This is from the net that sums up what the Wisconsin legislation is all about:

    “Gov. Walker’s plan calls for nearly all state, local and school employees to pay half the costs of their pensions and at least 12.6 percent of their health care premiums….
    The measure also would prohibit most unionized public employees, except local police and fire fighters and the State Patrol, from bargaining on issues besides wages. Wage hikes could be negotiated only if they don’t exceed the consumer price index.”

  85. oops…that should be “sudden decrease in my income from similar legislation”. I need to proofread before posting…

  86. Carol
    February 20th, 2011 at 10:42 am

    ——————-

    I’ve been confused by this as well. jbstonesfan and Mrs. Smith have both commented on the words “illegitimate” and “illegal” as being key here. To me it is just semantics. Both suggest wrongdoing and twist Israeli history up.

    For me Israelis has every reason to build on lands that were theirs years before they were taken from them by Arab and British interests. And yet also for years, the UN has remain blinded to this fact.

    I think Arab oil has and continues to play a huge part in this. I also think obama is pushing this lie to the brink.

    I watched Hillary on “This Week.” It seemed to me that here was another journalist trying to put words in her mounth. Even so, I am disappointed and wish that at least one democratic country would come out on Israel’s side on the settlement issue.

  87. #
    BigCatLover
    February 20th, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Why would Hillary say ‘we’ had no control over what happened in Egypt? Why such a blanket statement. They may not have gotten the exact result they wanted, but surely they had some control.
    _____________________

    The only control the US has over other countries is their own. Controlling the aide they send to foreign countries. Threatening countries with withholding their yearly aide packages does not help
    lubricate future diplomatic relations even though it could be used as a last resort in certain situations.

  88. It’s one thing to have a honest debate on this issue..it’s another to just ram legislation into existance.

    =========================

    Right. It’s a complicated issue that deserves PUBLIC discussion.

    Like, maybe after a PTA meeting. Voters hear the teachers’ side directly from their own kid’s teacher.

    We know, er, guess what the Obamacare ‘debate’ in the smoky rooms of Congress was like. If Dem legislators leaving is what it takes to get the WI debate out of the WI smoky rooms and into the parents’ living rooms — so be it.

  89. JanH
    February 20th, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I’ve been confused by this as well. jbstonesfan and Mrs. Smith have both commented on the words “illegitimate” and “illegal” as being key here. To me it is just semantics. Both suggest wrongdoing and twist Israeli history up.
    __________________________

    To you it might be- but the distinctions are very real holding very real ramifications in a court of law. Otherwise, had the word “legitimate” been used in the draft Resolution, the US would have been unable to use it’s Veto power for quashing it. Be thankful for small blessings and take care using wishful thinking overpowering rational reason that only serves to inspire anger and disappointment.

    The word illegal, means there is existing LAW backing up what has already been decided by a court or legislation in place declaring in clear language outlining terms previously agreed upon.

    illegal
       
    –adjective
    1. forbidden by law or statute.

    2.contrary to or forbidden by official rules, regulations, etc.:
    _______________________

    illegitimate, although a synonym of illegal, means lacking legal or traditional right or rights: an illegitimate child; illegitimate use of privileged knowledge.

  90. The only control the US has over other countries is their own. Controlling the aide they send to foreign countries. Threatening countries with withholding their yearly aide packages does not help lubricate future diplomatic relations even though it could be used as a last resort in certain situations.

    =================

    Tell that to Saddam Hussein.

  91. #
    BigCatLover
    February 20th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Controlling the aide they send to foreign countries.
    **********************
    Exactly, my point.
    ___________________

    And how would stopping US foreign aid to Egypt “controlled” the outcome differently?

  92. JanH-

    Both suggest wrongdoing and twist Israeli history up.

    For me Israelis has every reason to build on lands that were theirs years before they were taken from them by Arab and British interests. And yet also for years, the UN has remain blinded to this fact.

    __________________

    Isn’t this what the foundation of the whole Brouhaha is all about?
    The Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel’s history? Because the land in question was conquered and taken by other countries?

    This is not semantics in any way shape or form and the entire reason for promoting a 2 state resolution for an amicable compromise.

  93. And how would stopping US foreign aid to Egypt “controlled” the outcome differently?
    ************************
    My point is that foreign aid gives a country some control. Hillary said we had no control. This is not a random statement, she used no control for some reason. What is she trying to imply and who is this statement aimed at: the Arab world, the American people, the world’s media, Barack Obama? Look deeper.

  94. Well . . . judge for yourself. It does appear that Obama, Trumpka and their Sturmabteilung (SA)–OFA stormtroopers are distorting the truth. By contrast, it appears that Morris was telling the truth as to the real issue. I find the governor, who I had never heard of before, to be persuasive. The only caveat is I do think they should use the collective bargaining process before he implements anything. Evidently he believes it would be futile. I do not–because I think the affected employees should have a say in these matters particularly with respect to implementation. Process can be as important as substance in these kinds of situations. Also, the interests of the students should be considered, and collective bargaining provides a forum for those kinds of discussions. This is not a zero sum game.

    http://www.noquarterusa.net/blog/2011/02/19/we-watch-wisconsin-in-wonder/#more-56715

  95. BigCatLover
    February 20th, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    No, BCL. Here is your original question. You are capitalizing on my responses and changing your original question to go into the world you created of hypothesis based on a few words.
    ____________________________

    Why would Hillary say ‘we’ had no control over what happened in Egypt? Why such a blanket statement. They may not have gotten the exact result they wanted, but surely they had some control.

    I’ve given a sufficient answer to that question. You on the other hand have not answered my question of how withholding financial support from Egypt would have changed the outcome.

  96. Mrs. Smith
    We are talking about 2 different things here. You assume the only control was to withhold aid and I agree the end result may or may not have been determined by giving, withholding, increasing, or decreasing aid. My point is that Hillary agreed to do this interveiw because she had something to say and I am just trying to be sure I got her message, not rehash the Egypt uprising. I think it is a given that our aid did not determine the outcome – that’s not my point.

  97. From the No Quarter article:
    The WSJ’s John Fund voiced one way to ask the question: “Who’s in charge of our political system—voters or unions?”
    ***********************
    This is the divisive tactic that I object to and find dangerous in America now. Voters are unions and unions are voters. And I don’t think either is currently in charge of our political system, but nothing like a false dichotomy to obfuscate the real issues.

  98. Mrs. Smith

    We are talking about 2 different things here. You assume the only control was to withhold aid and I agree the end result may or may not have been determined by giving, withholding, increasing, or decreasing aid. My point is that Hillary agreed to do this interveiw because she had something to say and I am just trying to be sure I got her message, not rehash the Egypt uprising. I think it is a given that our aid did not determine the outcome – that’s not my point.
    ________________________

    My point is, stop moving the goal posts and you may settle on just one point.

    Hereis the example of your first point, in your own words:

    ____________________________

    BigCatLover
    February 20th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Controlling the aide they send to foreign countries.
    **********************
    Exactly, my point.
    ____________________________

    And here is the example of your ‘second’ point in your own words.

    “My point is that Hillary agreed to do this interveiw because she had something to say and I am just trying to be sure I got her message”
    ___________________________

    FYI… it’s called “moving the goal posts” in our world’s nomenclature- How many points does one point have? Not a good use of anyones time because resolution is not in the cards..

  99. “Who’s in charge of our political system—voters or unions?”
    ***********************
    This is the divisive tactic that I object to and find dangerous in America now. Voters are unions and unions are voters.

    ===============

    Right. With the politicians out of action for a while, the voters in the unions and the voters outside the unions can discuss the details civilly — then instruct the politicians.

  100. Mrs. Smith
    You thought I was asking one question when I was asking another. It’s a misunderstanding not a moving of the goalposts. My question intent has not changed, please.

  101. confloyd
    February 20th, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Look at this! Oh My!
    ____________________

    Holding a former president’s daughter hostage will only turn up the volume on violence and could spur something happening to satify the outrage of the injured party to everyone’s detriment.

  102. I’m not in the mood to forgive unions so easily after what they actively did to Hillary in 2008 or have we conveniently forgotten that they were Bambi’s footsoldiers and still are.

  103. Yeah, and now they are trying to have uprising in China….WTF, is going on?? Surely Georgie Porgie Soros doesn’t have that kind of power???

    BTW, did anyone watch that A-hole this morning….I slept late…too much time of the phone discussing Fraking with my oil man! LOL!

  104. Obama accused of ‘double standards’ as family go skiing just days after telling Americans to sacrifice their own holidays

    President Obama has been accused of having double standards after appealing for Americans to sacrifice their holidays just days before his wife and children went on a costly skiing trip.

    First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha are said to be on a ‘private family trip’ to Colorado for Presidents’ Day Weekend.

    They are staying at the upscale Sebastian Hotel on Vail Mountain, where rooms start at $650 a night and range up to more than $2,400 for multi-bedroom suites.

    ‘If you’re a family trying to cut back, you might skip going out to dinner, or you might put off a vacation,’ he said.

    While Mr Obama is staying put at the White House, the rest of his family headed to Colorado – rather than visiting slopes closer to Washington in Virginia or Pennsylvania – despite being criticised for taking extravagant vacations, including a trip last summer to Spain.
    Cool: critics say President Obama should take less extravagant holidays

    Cool: critics say President Obama should take less extravagant holidays

    Mrs Obama also raised eyebrows when she left earlier than her husband for their annual Christmas holiday in Hawaii, incurring additional expenses estimated to be more than $97,000.

    Although the Obamas will pay for a portion of the skiing trip, taxpayers will still shoulder many of the costs.

    A motorcade of about a dozen vehicles, including at least 15 police officers, travelled from Eagle County Regional Airport to Vail on Friday night when the presidential party arrived.

    Roads were temporarily closed to make way for the cavalcade.

    No public events have been scheduled for the visit.

    ‘I don’t know whether to laugh or cry,’ said one of the president’s most outspoken critics, conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. ‘He’s got the single largest deficit in the history of the country and he’s trying to tell us that we really cut back here.’

    Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife are spending the holiday weekend in the US in Florida’s Key Largo resort town.

    The White House said the Bidens arrived in Key Largo on Thursday night and will remain there until Monday night.

    ‘The First Lady and several close family friends are chaperoning their children on a ski trip. Personal expenses are being paid for by the Obamas,’ said a spokesman for the president.

    Sasha, nine, and Malia, twelve, have been skiing once before, at Liberty Mountain Resort, in Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania, in February last year.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1358829/Obama-accused-double-standards-family-holiday-telling-Americans-to.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

  105. I slept late…too much time of the phone discussing Fraking with my oil man! LOL!
    ________________

    Yes, I read your response earlier and posted with a thank you-

    Was the oil man upset over the question?

  106. What a surprise “i feel your pain ” but only after the wife and kids get back from the expensive ski holiday. I suppose we should be grateful he actually spent the money in the US this time.

  107. What schools are on vacation in February, I thought most schools had spring break in March or April. It’s interesting that most of these news articles questioning the Obamas are from England, not America.

  108. BCL,
    I don’t know…I’ve forgotten! Prolly Messnbc, but who knows! I really wished I hadn’t missed that jerk….he’s the one we need to worry about….maybe? Who knows who is really pulling the strings anyway….someone or a couple of dozen cazillionaire’s are doing it…that’s for sure!

  109. Mrs. Smith,
    Oh no, he was happy to give me the information…it’s nice to get the real scoop from someone doing it because we all know we are being manipulated for the greater enrichment of a few!

  110. Mrs. Smith,
    It seems these folks that make these movies have their own agenda…that’s what we poor folk have to watch out for. It is never to make it easier on the middle class….it to further these folks agenda which is to make themselves richer.

    I mean…how much money do these jerks need anyway??? Taking this money from teachers…DISGUSTING! Breaking the unions…just disgusting!

  111. confloyd
    I was switching back and forth betweem abc and nbc and I didn’t see him, so maybe he was on Fareed Zakaria on CNN. I’ll check.

  112. Muslim Cleric Plans White House Protest in Attempt to Spread Sharia Law in America

    Anjem Choudary, who once said “the flag of Islam will fly over the White House,” says he will lead a demonstration rallying Muslims to establish Sharia law across the United States.

    Choudary, 43, called Americans “the biggest criminals in the world today” during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity this month.

    Choudary, who is the former leader of the outlawed British-based group Islam4UK, says the March rally at the White House is being organized by the extremist group Islamic Thinkers Society, which is based in New York.

    “The event is a rally, a call for the Sharia, a call for the Muslims to rise up and establish the Islamic state in America,” Choudary told London’s Daily Mail in an interview.

    Click to read more about Anjem Choudary’s rally plans from the Daily Mail

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/02/20/muslim-cleric-plans-protest-outside-white-house-attempt-spread-sharia-law/#

  113. We’ve in for another Big snow storm tonight- got to freshen up the food supply in case the storm stalls and we are stuck in for a few extra days.

    BBL-

  114. BCL,
    Of coarse they will edit out everything they don’t want us to know….it’s their agenda…I wished I’d seen the whole thing and I remember now it was on CNN.

    Mrs.Smith,
    I feel sorry for you another big snow storm…yuk…its 70 here and sunshining….I’m sorry!

  115. BCL
    This can’t be good for Obama, if Georgie is coming on CNN and saying these things…the money men who put him in can’t want this??? I heard a few weeks ago that George was urging the money men not to give any to the Obama campaign, and then it all changed and it looks like the idiot is running….so who’s giving him the money to run if not from Soros???

    We do realize when this economy suffers so does George Soros and the rest of them, right???

  116. confloyd
    Yes, that’s why I was curious what Soros said in the interview. I thought they (CNN) reran FZ’s show late at night but it’s not on my tv listing.

  117. they want to cut teacher’s salaries by thousands of dollars

    If I’m understanding correctly, they’re not saying they want to directly cut their salaries, but they want the teachers to start paying for part of their benefits, including their pension. This would lead to an indirect decrease in their salaries.

    From what I’ve read, what they’re being asked to pay toward their own benefits is still less than the national average. And of course, most of us (non-teachers) don’t get any pension at all, let alone one paid for by taxpayers. Perhaps another way to look at it is that teachers were lucky for a long time to get benefits and pensions that they didn’t pay anything or much into at all, not that they’re being singled out in this world-wide economic crisis.

    To further play devil’s advocate(!), someone posted an article about the Obamas’ vacation. The snip I’ve pasted below reminded me of the controversy about teachers now having to pay something toward their own benefits:

    Although the Obamas will pay for a portion of the skiing trip, taxpayers will still shoulder many of the costs.

    It strikes me that most of us in the private sector are having to pay more for our benefits, are having COLA cut back or cut out, are having wages frozen, and many are being laid off, but somehow the teachers are being singled out when it happens to them…..?

    I think there are a lot of passionate voices on both side of the issue, and I agree with others that there needs to be a discussion.

    I just know the states are going broke, and can’t print money or borrow it from China like Obama can. If he had only focused on creating jobs, as he has said he would but never does, more people would be working and paying taxes, some of which would be used to continue paying for teachers’ benefits.

    Maybe the teachers should be mad at Obama.

  118. “Be thankful for small blessings and take care using wishful thinking overpowering rational reason that only serves to inspire anger and disappointment.”

    ———————–

    Um…Mrs. Smith, when you add up all the experiences, both horrific and blessed that the Jewish people have been subjected to over the centuries, that statement almost feels as if we are not deserving of the basic rights that others, i.e. Americans and other democracies are.

    I do know the difference between those two words, but it seems as if absolutely no one is willing to call a spade a spade. Makeshift solutions at the expense of the Israelis is what this is.

    I just wonder why it is always the Jewish people who always have to bend.

    lol…my violin is getting rusty. Sorry for the lecture.

  119. George Soros blasts Fox News, Rupert Murdoch for misleading viewers

    Glenn Beck of Fox News Channel has repeatedly accused billionaire investor George Soros of being the puppet master trying to bring down the U.S. government.

    Soros answered that criticism this morning on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.” The program repeats at 1 p.m. ET today.

    “I would be amused if people saw the joke in it,” Soros told Zakaria. “Because what he [Beck] is doing, he is projecting what Fox — what Rupert Murdoch is doing, because he has a media empire that is telling the people some falsehoods and leading the government in the wrong direction. But, you know, by accusing me of doing that … it makes it rather hard to see that … he [Beck] is working for the man who is doing it.”

    Zakaria charted how Soros has been portrayed in the media over the years, going from being the “ultra capitalist” who best understood markets to “this kind of left-wing iconic figure.”

    Zakaria marveled: “It’s been quite a journey.”

    Soros responded: “You just had the experience of speaking to the puppet master and the extreme left-wing manipulator. And you and the audience can make their own decisions.”

    Beck also has accused Soros, who lost many people of the Holocaust, of helping round up Jews as a 14-year-old boy.

    Soros offered this response: “Fox News makes a habit — it has imported the methods of George Orwell, you know, newspeak, where you can tell the people falsehoods and deceive them. And you wouldn’t believe that an open society and a democracy, these methods can succeed. But, actually, they did succeed. They succeeded in Germany, where the Weimar Republic collapsed and you had a Nazi regime follow it. So this is a very, very dangerous way of deceiving people. And I would like people to be aware that they are being deceived.”

    He added that he hoped Americans would wake up and realize that they are being deceived.

    In response to a Zakaria question, Soros weighed in on the Tea Party. “I think the people in the Tea Party are very decent people, hard-working,” Soros said. “They have been hit by a force that they — that comes from somewhere which they can’t fully understand. And they are being misled. And they are misled by people who are using it for their selfish purposes, namely to remove regulations and reduce taxation. So reduce taxation and regulation. And they are being used and deceived.”

    What do you say to that?

    http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment_tv_tvblog/2011/02/george-soros-blasts-fox-news-rupert-murdoch-for-misleading-viewers.html

  120. From what I’ve read, what they’re being asked to pay toward their own benefits is still less than the national average. And of course, most of us (non-teachers) don’t get any pension at all, let alone one paid for by taxpayers.
    ************************
    In our state (I worked for a state pension system) all members receiving pensions paid into that fund their entire working lives as do their employers. And if you work in the private sector, you pay into and will receive a pension (social security). Also due to the Offset/Windfall laws (which are federal laws), public pension recipients do not receive social security unless they made big bucks under social security in addition to the public pension they contributed to. This of course usually only applies to highly paid managers. And even they get their social security pension cut by 2/3 if they also receive a public pension. Bottom line whichever pension you pay into (public or social security) determines which system you receive a pension from.

  121. BCL – thanks for the info. Perhaps what they (the article I read) were saying was that comparatively, what WI teachers pay into their pension will still be less than what other people pay into social security…? And that what they pay for their medical benefits is less than what private employees pay for theirs….?

    (sorry, I read it yesterday, I have no idea now where it was!)

  122. lorac
    Basically, public pensions used to be more generous than social security because investment income was good and the federal govt was not legally able to constantly dip into the public pension funds. However, now with the economy crash and bad investment years, public pension benefits are being cut left and right. And the private sector workers have to fight for social security and not let them take it away. All the way around, pensions are under attack so we need to try to understand what is actually happening, even though they don’t make it easy.

  123. BCL, I appreciate your info. I knew that “government workers” don’t get social security, but even though I know that teachers are funded by taxpayers, I didn’t realize that they, too, don’t get social security.

    My sister works for the federal government. I’ve always felt good that she gets good benefits, has a good job. But I’ll have to ask her about it, maybe they’re cutting back on her stuff, too!

  124. lorac
    My state has 5 difference public pension systems:

    Certified Teachers (requires a degree)
    Uncertified school employees (bus drivers, secretaries, janitors – no degree required)
    State workers
    Police and Fireman
    Highway Patrol

    We are all separate but heavily regulated by the state and have similar contribution requirements and operate similarly.

    But since the teachers paid more into their pension, they got bigger pensions. And their unions negotiated better working conditions, so they became the target when public workers were targeted. Public workers don’t have 401k’s and I am not aware that a public employer ever matched funds paid into a retirement account like private employers do for their employee’s 401ks. In 43 years of my working life, I never had an employee match payments into a private retirement account for me.

  125. correction: In 43 years of my working life, I never had an employee match payments into a private retirement account for me.

    Make that ’employer’ match payments

  126. George Soros blasts Fox News, Rupert Murdoch for misleading viewers
    ———————————–
    The left has a bad habit of accusing anyone they do not like of being a Nazi. But it is not often we meet the real thing. George Soros worked for the Nazis and committed crimes against humanity in Hungary in 1944. The confiscation of personal effects was merely the tip of the iceberg. Thereafter, he changed his name and fled the country to avoid prosecution.

    How can anyone with such a background presume to accuse someone else of misleading people. Soros himself is the great deceiver. He broke the bank of England in 1992, has been convicted of financial crimes in France, and generated the Asian crisis in 1998. He supports revolutions and then capitalizes on them. His Quantum Fund has many shady characters in its ranks, and is domiciled in Dutch Antillies to avoid any transparency.

    As far as I am concerned, this man belongs in a cage–not on national television.

  127. correction: In 43 years of my working life, I never had an employee match payments into a private retirement account for me.

    Make that ‘employer’ match payments
    ————————————
    Pretty common practice with 401(k)s though.

  128. wbboei
    I know and that is just a little sidelight in the whole private versus public pension thing. A public worker can open a private retirement savings account, but our employers do not match funds (at least this is true in my state). That can cost a public worker a bundle in retirement savings.

  129. I’m not in the mood to forgive unions so easily after what they actively did to Hillary in 2008 or have we conveniently forgotten that they were Bambi’s footsoldiers and still are.
    ——————————-
    Alot of them were. Particularly the SEIU, the Teamsters, UAW, Steelworkers and others. Significantly, the Machinists and AFSME were on the side of the angels–Hillary’s side. You are correct that some of the Obama unions behaved like thugsm and some of them were thugs. There were thugs in the White House–Jim Messina Deputy Chief of Staff and former employee of Harry Reid who directed them to attack Tea Parties, as we saw in St. Louis. Scum.

  130. wbboei,
    There seems to be many “Great Liar’s” these days and they all can get on the TV to keep “Bubba” in the dark….

  131. Anyone else think the entire world is just going to hell in a handbasket, it just seems like a period of “WTF” is going on. Think i might just get permanently drunk.

    Now where is that bottle of Gin…i put it round here somewhere.

  132. I’m not in the mood to forgive unions so easily after what they actively did to Hillary in 2008 or have we conveniently forgotten that they were Bambi’s footsoldiers and still are.

    ==================

    Sometimes against the will of the actual union members.

    Reid and Murkowski used union leaders too. I agree with H4T that union leaders need to be controlled by their members, and making the unions re-recruit every year and collect their own dues would be a good start.

    I’m just defending the TACTICS of the Dems leaving and the protestors, er, protesting.

  133. Also due to the Offset/Windfall laws (which are federal laws), public pension recipients do not receive social security unless they made big bucks under social security in addition to the public pension they contributed to. This of course usually only applies to highly paid managers. And even they get their social security pension cut by 2/3 if they also receive a public pension. Bottom line whichever pension you pay into (public or social security) determines which system you receive a pension from.

    ==================

    Excellent point! Could you untangle the grammar a little?

  134. As for teachers being required to pay less into their retirement fund than the private sector, are you sure?

    Each state is different. In my state, teachers do not pay into SS. BUT…teachers pay 14% of their monthly salary into retirement. That seems like a considerable amount but I would not know what others pay or what percentage is required for Social Security each month or pay check.

    Even though a teacher works in the summer and has had other jobs paying into SS, if they get teacher retirement, the SS is greatly reduced. My spouse will get only $54 per month at full retirement age instead of the normal benefit. In my state we were not allowed to pay into Medicare if we began teaching BEFORE 1986 unless we moved to another district. If you moved to another district in your state, you lost your years of experience if you had a lot. And if you moved out of state your retirement did not transfer.

    For years the state has wanted to get their hands on our retirement or to bundle us in with state workers. We have fought it but politicians have looked at our retirement money with a huge need to get their hands on it.

  135. Oooh reports coming out Gaddafi has fallen and has left Libya for Venezuela….take with ap inch of salt until confirmed.

    Both Gaddafi sons now having public bust up in Libya.

  136. There is absolute turmoil in Libya, apparently one Gaddafi son has shot the other one in fight for control.

  137. Moon,
    I was wondering about Libya…I have been hearing on CNN that the Eastern half has fallen and Gaddafi’s son’s are going to talk in a few minutes..

    Just what I want Gaddafi in Venezuela…yeah lets move all the dictator’s to South America…Oh Brother! I’d rather they end up DEAD!

    What about your friend? Have you heard from him??

  138. Confloyd, The son was going to speak, but i gather he’s been shot by the brother and wont now speak.

    Tabu Tribes in the south have joined protestors and the south has fallen too and there is wildfire riots in Tripoli.

    Spoke to my friend, they are terrified there but they do know whats going on.

    Sounds like maybe Gaddafi knows its lost and has fled.

    So when its over can we have the lockerbie bomber back please.

  139. Moon,
    Yes we need that bomber back….you know Obama was the one who let the SOB go home.

    It’s so weird all these middle eastern countries falling….I know Soros is involved it and it will be good if we get a true democracy, but the chance of that happening is small I think!

    Well it looks like if its headed to Tripoli…its all over in Libya….but why arent we hearing this non-stop like we did in Cairo???

  140. Confloyd, the journo’s cannot get into the country to report they are stopped at the airprot, detained, deported, Al Jaz’s reporter was followed by Gaddafi’s hitmen, could not report.

    Libya’s visa is hard to get. My friend is stuck because they confiscated all their passports.

  141. If I was the Saudi’s, i’d be crapping myself about now. Pretty soon they are going to have no friends around them.

  142. O/T at a critical time – Sorry to interrupt, but want to remind you of this from The Clinton Foundation:

    In a documentary airing tomorrow at 10:00 PM EST on MSNBC, Chris Matthews calls President Clinton a one-man Peace Corps.

    Though I know he’s far too humble to ever say that himself, President Clinton’s work the past 10 years has been remarkable.

    From his life-changing work with the Clinton Foundation and his disaster relief efforts for the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake, to his humanitarian actions to free two journalists from North Korea and the convening power of the Clinton Global Initiative that brings together businesses, governments, nonprofits, and individuals to implement real solutions to the world’s most urgent challenges — his work today is directly improving hundreds of millions of lives. It is not a stretch to say what he has accomplished with friends and supporters like you is truly changing the world.

    And I know this is just the beginning of what we can do.

    This President’s Day, there will be a special documentary — The President of the World: The Bill Clinton Phenomenon, Monday, 10:00 PM EST on MSNBC, about the 10 years since President Clinton left office. At the Clinton Foundation, we are celebrating his last 10 years as a private citizen with a Decade of Difference. I hope you will join us and see the role you have played in President Clinton’s work during the last 10 years.

    When: 10:00 PM EST, Monday, February 21, 2011
    Where: MSNBC, Hardball with Chris Matthews
    What: President of the World: The Bill Clinton Phenomenon

    Snip I look forward to what we can accomplish together in the next 10 years.

    Laura Graham
    Chief of Staff to President Clinton
    Chief Operating Officer
    William J. Clinton Foundation

  143. The fleeing of State Security from Tripoli probably means that Gadafi has left Tripoli. Apparently they are not to be found in Tripoli, Gaddafi’s private guard has gone awol.

  144. Today Ben Smith rewrote our article:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/49852.html

    To take on the well-organized and politically connected teachers and state workers, however, is to strike at the heart of the Democratic Party in many states.

    If Walker, who is trying to curb collective-bargaining rights, and Christie, who is attempting to overhaul teacher tenure, manage to succeed, they’ll only embolden their counterparts elsewhere — and potentially do grave damage to what is one of the Democrats’ most important financial and grass-roots constituencies. Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, among other Republicans, are watching carefully, bracing for similar showdowns.

    Much of the attention in Wisconsin is devoted to Walker’s proposal to strip state employees of the right to bargain collectively for anything besides their pay and to make them pay more for their health care and pensions.

    Yet another element of the legislation could have even greater political consequences. The Republican would end the automatic deduction from their workers paychecks and make the unions collect the dues themselves, a move that would almost surely result in less cash flowing into labor coffers. It would block unions from collecting money from consenting workers’ paychecks for political operations and it would force annual elections on whether state workers even want a union, a lethal threat to public sector labor. [snip]

    Democrats and labor leaders see the stakes the same way — which is why they’re rallying by the thousands outside Wisconsin’s Capitol dome.

    “Underneath the real crisis about funding and revenue and pensions is an opportunity to take your opponents and knock them down a peg in terms of having their members participate politically,” said former SEIU President Andrew Stern. “It’s an opportunity to rebalance the political scale.”

    “Those unions are an important part of the core Democratic coalition — from a purely mechanical standpoint, they matter in our elections,” said Jim Jordan, a Democratic consultant, who added that the principle of collective bargaining is also a central one to the party.

    “This isn’t just about power and politics — this is one that is truly about principle,” he said. [snip]

    That’s why the GOP confrontation with labor marks something far more meaningful than the typical policy changes that accompany a switch from Republican to Democratic governance. Instead, it represents a violent break with a bipartisan consensus about government workers that has operated unquestioned for four decades in union-friendly states from California to Michigan to New York.

    “The moderate Republicans of the 1960s were totally accommodating to unions,” said E.J. McMahon, a senior fellow at the conservative Empire Center in Albany, N.Y., who cited Michigan Gov. George Romney and New York’s Nelson Rockefeller, who shepherded through that state’s law extending collective bargaining to state workers. “This was the governing consensus up to this crisis.”

    Unions extended their reach through the mid-1970s, when attempts to pass a federal law to extend collective bargaining rights to all public sector workers stalled amid a wave of high-profile strikes. One in Pennsylvania was led by the fiery local AFSCME leader, Gerald McEntee — now the chief of the national union — whose pointed rallying cries reportedly called for closing the entire state.

    But for decades, governors of both parties — including Democrats with close ties to labor like California’s Pat and Jerry Brown, and Republicans like former New York Gov. George Pataki, former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, and former New Jersey Gov. Christie Todd Whitman — waged tough negotiations without trying to drive their labor adversaries into extinction.

    “I never tried to change the rules,” said former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, a moderate Republican, who recalled in an interview that union members picketed his home in the negotiations over his first budget in the recession of the early 1980s. “I had a confrontation, but nothing like Christie’s.”

    Jim Jordan is spinning – this is not about “principle” it’s only about power and politics.

  145. I think I will be so proud if the Libyans manage to rid themselves and everyone else of Ghadaffi.

    I will be cheering from the rooftops.

    Libya now, next stop, Ahmadinehjad, start packing.

  146. Further reports suggest the 500,000-strong Tuareg tribe in south Libya has heeded the call from the million-strong Warfala tribe to join the uprising.

    He’s lost control.

  147. JanH
    February 20th, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    “I just wonder why it is always the Jewish people who always have to bend.”
    ___________________

    I shudder to think of Israel being takeover by the Palestinians.

    God watches over Israel. Between Him, BiBi and Hillary… no worries.

  148. I got this email from the Clinton Foundation: {What is Tweety up to? But we will take it anyway. Also there is 12 page CNN article on Hillary (BH linked it at NQ) — I browsed through quickly and it seemed quite positive.}

    In a documentary airing tomorrow at 10:00 PM EST on MSNBC, Chris Matthews calls President Clinton a one-man Peace Corps.

    Though I know he’s far too humble to ever say that himself, President Clinton’s work the past 10 years has been remarkable.

    From his life-changing work with the Clinton Foundation and his disaster relief efforts for the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake, to his humanitarian actions to free two journalists from North Korea and the convening power of the Clinton Global Initiative that brings together businesses, governments, nonprofits, and individuals to implement real solutions to the world’s most urgent challenges — his work today is directly improving hundreds of millions of lives. It is not a stretch to say what he has accomplished with friends and supporters like you is truly changing the world.

    And I know this is just the beginning of what we can do.

    This President’s Day, there will be a special documentary — The President of the World: The Bill Clinton Phenomenon, Monday, 10:00 PM EST on MSNBC, about the 10 years since President Clinton left office. At the Clinton Foundation, we are celebrating his last 10 years as a private citizen with a Decade of Difference. I hope you will join us and see the role you have played in President Clinton’s work during the last 10 years.

    When: 10:00 PM EST, Monday, February 21, 2011
    Where: MSNBC, Hardball with Chris Matthews
    What: President of the World: The Bill Clinton Phenomenon

    Thank you again for all your support. I look forward to what we can accomplish together in the next 10 years.

    Laura Graham
    Chief of Staff to President Clinton
    Chief Operating Officer
    William J. Clinton Foundation

  149. I go to the supermarket, make dinner and look what happens…
    the earth is rocking the World over!
    __________________________

    #
    moononpluto
    February 20th, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I think I will be so proud if the Libyans manage to rid themselves and everyone else of Ghadaffi.

    I will be cheering from the rooftops.

    Libya now, next stop, Ahmadinehjad, start packing.

  150. Gaddafi’s son is basically on his knees begging, its pathetic.

    basically said “what would you do without us”

  151. I shudder to think of Israel being takeover by the Palestinians.

    God watches over Israel. Between Him, BiBi and Hillary… no worries.

    —————————-

    Amen.

    To which I will add only one more thing. My only wishful thinking is that Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, et al be forced to come clean and give up some of their land as well as Israel to a new state for the Palestinians. They have all had their hand in treating the Palestinians in a less than decent way over the years. Israel is a tiny country and shouldn’t have to carry the burden alone.

    LOL…yes I know it is wishful thinking.

  152. This man is at the crux of the problem- after you read the article, you understand how dangerous this man is to the World.
    ____________________________

    US must be removed from Islamic world: Khamenei

    Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday called on Muslims to “remove” the US from the Islamic world.

    “The main problem in the Muslim world is the presence of the United States. It is the biggest problem. We need to address that,” he told a gathering of Shiite and Sunni scholars in Tehran for an international conference on Islam.

    “It is necessary to remove the US from the Islamic world,” the all-powerful cleric and Islamic republic’s commander-in-chief said, adding that the country’s arch-foe was currently weak.

    Khamenei urged Muslims worldwide to preserve the “people’s movement in Egypt,” saying it was the duty of both the people and dignitaries of Arab nations and the entire Islamic community.

    He reiterated that the Arab revolts were “Islamic” and must be consolidated.

    “The enemies try to say that the popular movements in Egypt, Tunisia and other nations are un-Islamic, but certainly these popular movements are Islamic and must be consolidated,” he said.

    Khamenei also urged that “the conspiracy of enemies to create differences between Sunnis and Shiites” be confronted.

    On February 4, in his Friday prayer sermon, Khamenei called for an Islamic regime to be installed in Egypt, a week before that country’s strongman Hosni Mubarak was ousted.

    Iranian officials expressed support for the uprising in the Arab world’s most populous nation.

    http://www.thenewage.co.za/10953-1020-53-US_must_be_removed_from_Islamic_world_Khamenei

  153. JanH,
    It is however true…those Palestinians are Arabs and no one wants them….there is a lot of land on which to make a Palestinian state without removing the Jews from Israel.

    God does protect Israel!

  154. Confloyd,

    I thought you would be interested in this and I’d like to hear your take on it.

    A former school board candidate in one of the towns I cover is the only person in this area close to completing a “redemption” application. I didn’t know what he meant and I googled and found this. I am going to do a feature on this guy and the whole thing is pretty fascinating.

    Have you heard of this?

    http://www.redemptionservice.com/contents/secured_party_creditor.asp

  155. moononpluto,

    Jeez! I just caught up with the Libya stuff. Barbarians at the gates. I hope your friend is safe and I hope like he11 you have an exit strategy. It seems there’s no telling where this unrest is going to spread next. And it seems like BO couldn’t give a flying f**k about any of it. I’m still convinced this is what he wants. I still don’t know exactly why.

  156. basil9,
    No I hadn’t heard of it and I will go back and read it thoroughly later on…

    That’s the problem, we don’t know WHY this is all happening now, do we?? Its all so surreal!

  157. Yikes, I took a nap and exercised and signed back in here to find out that the sky is definitely falling in the middle east. Is someone actually filming the Gadafi’s falling apart? Going back up to the videos posted by admin.

  158. turndownobama
    February 20th, 2011 at 4:32 pm
    Let me see if I can untangle the grammar a little better for you (also see Southern Born’s comment on their situation).

    The offset/windfall laws I talked about in the comment you asked about only applies to a public worker who also worked for and paid into social security enough to make them eligible for SS at retirement. Public workers who never worked under SS are not affected. If a public worker retires under the public pension they paid into and also is eligible to collect SS, their SS pension is reduced by 2/3 of the public pension amount. If that 2/3 reduction is more than you were to receive under SS, you do not collect any SS. This is my situation. I worked 22 years under SS but early in my career when my pay was small. The last 23 years of my working life was under a public pension where my salary was much larger. Therefore, the public pension I am entitled to (salary x years worked x age at retirement) wipes out my reduced SS pension. So basically, I collect no retirement for the first 22 years of my working life when I paid into SS. Public pensions were also under attack in the 80’s under Reagan and Bush Sr. and the offset/windfall law was passed then.

    It’s a little complicated, but it was designed to punish public worker pensions. Bottom line, the republicans would like to eliminate all public pensions because they like to privatize everything so they can get their sticky fingers into that money.

  159. Has someone who follows Hillary’s schedule noticed if there are alot of meetings going on in the State Dept over the mideast situation the last two days.

  160. BigCat

    …It’s a little complicated, but it was designed to punish public worker pensions. Bottom line, the republicans would like to eliminate all public pensions because they like to privatize everything so they can get their sticky fingers into that money.

    ————-
    Call me crazy, (no don’t really) but I fear many things about the WI protest and what that jerk of a Gov. is trying to do. My fear is that it is setting an agenda for rethugs…that other Rethugs will do the same in their state, stripping the workers of any protection from unions and leaving them flopping in the frying pan…

    If this happens in other states, I predict that instead of making the Republican Party stronger, it will piss off the working class even further, driving them to support the Fraud in 2012.

    I sure as shit will not vote for a Rethug in 2012 that screws the middle class…I will have to hope that Nader runs or some independent if Barry isn’t primaried.

    This could be a huge mistake for Rethugs, instead of making things better for the majority of voters, they are only going to make things better for the frickin’ rich and tea party folks, and send the middle class back to the Dims.

    I really think this is a very stupid move for Rethugs wanting to win the 2012 election.

  161. Shadowfax
    I would never call you crazy. Since I worked for 23 years for a public pension system, I have watched all the attacks on public pensions. First when the stock market was soaring, repubs said it was not fair to have public workers paying into a heavily regulated public pension while private workers were making so much money in the stock market. So Public pensions were forced by their state legislatures to form two pensions processes. One where your salary and years worked and your age determined your retirement amount. Or you could now choose to put your money in private investments instead of into the pension system. That was designed to defund the public pensions and force everyone to privately invest. Then the stock market crashed and people lost their private investments. Now they are attacking public pensions by convincing everyone not in a public pension that the public workers are getting a better deal than private workers. When they get social security defunded and force the public pensions into bankruptcy, then they will control everyone’s retirement.

  162. turndownobama
    February 20th, 2011 at 10:10 pm
    From the story:

    “as it grew dark and a younger, rowdier element arrived in the square, that the mood shifted to a more sinister undercurrent.
    These teenagers behaved like football hooligans, charging around in long conga lines.”
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1358759/Like-Lara-Logan-I-mob-sex-attack-victim-Tahrir-Square.html#ixzz1ESjroUyG
    ***********************
    I believe she is British not American, so she is referring to soccer fan hooligans who have gotten violent in their celebrations.

  163. As you all report more attacks on the square in Cairo during the chaos…I get a red flag because this could be a sign that these protesters were really radical fundamentalists…it might of been to keep women out. It’s worrisome!

  164. BCL,
    Could it be that they won’t be satisfied until they screwed off every asset the middle class has…like their pension plans??

  165. This could be a huge mistake for Rethugs, instead of making things better for the majority of voters, they are only going to make things better for the frickin’ rich and tea party folks, and send the middle class back to the Dims.

    Shadowfax – I think the majority of people are NOT in unions, especially public unions. This proposed legislation for public union workers would only affect a minority, then. And… aren’t most of the tea partiers middle class, themselves? If we’re talking about economic issues, wouldn’t they be affected in the same way the dem middle clas would be? The middle class, non-union people might be happy that the state became fiscally solvent again (assuming it does, of course), and move toward the republicans. Who knows!

    I hear a lot of different versions – they want to take away all collective bargaining vs the union workers could still collectively bargain for wages, but no longer for benefits; they’re going to drastically cut their wages vs. they’re being asked to pay some more for their benefits, etc.

    I guess the dust has to settle, and it may become more clear exactly what’s going on, outside of the passionate interpretations.

  166. There’s evidence the ‘hooligans’ were not the same as the ‘protestors.’ BEfore Mub left, while the protestors were in control of the square, they kept things peaceful. They even checked people for weapons before letting them in. The protestors, or at least their leaders, were ‘young’ but professional types, like yuppies: ie the people who had electronic gadgets.

    After Mub left and the conflict was over, those protestors stopped controlling the square and let everyone else in — including the local teenage ‘hooligan’ types.

    The CBS report also distinguished the behavior of the ‘mob’ that attacked them, from the protestors who had been celebrating.

    The missing piece here is a description of what sort of people had attacked news crews in previous days, Anderson Cooper etc.

  167. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/21/opinion/21kristof.html?src=un&feedurl=http://json8.nytimes.com/pages/opinion/index.jsonp
    And don’t buy into the pernicious whisper campaign from dictators that a more democratic Middle East will be fundamentalist, anti-American or anti-women. For starters, there have been plenty of women on the streets demanding change (incredibly strong women, too!).

    For decades, the United States embraced corrupt and repressive autocracies across the Middle East, turning a blind eye to torture and repression in part because of fear that the “democratic rabble” might be hostile to us. Far too often, we were both myopic and just plain on the wrong side.

    Here in Bahrain, we have been in bed with a minority Sunni elite that has presided over a tolerant, open and economically dynamic country — but it’s an elite that is also steeped in corruption, repression and profound discrimination toward the Shia population.
    [….]
    We give aid to these oligarchs to outfit their police forces to keep the Shiites down; we should follow Britain’s example and immediately suspend such transfers until it is clear that the government will not again attack peaceful, unarmed protesters.

    [[[ Or at least stop giving them tear gas cans labeled “Made in USA.” ]]]

  168. Let us not forget, nor forget to honor, the brave souls taken from us.
    A comment offered at Kristof’s blog:

    The peaceful uprising across the Arab world confirms the efficacy of non-violent resistance. Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote these words in 1819 following the Peterloo massacre of his countrymen by units of the English cavalry:

    […]

    “Stand ye calm and resolute,
    Like a forest close and mute,
    With folded arms and looks which are
    Weapons of unvanquished war.

    And if then the tyrants dare,
    Let them ride among you there,
    Slash, and stab, and maim and hew,
    What they like, that let them do.

    With folded arms and steady eyes,
    And little fear, and less surprise
    Look upon them as they slay
    Till their rage has died away

    Then they will return with shame
    To the place from which they came,
    And the blood thus shed will speak
    In hot blushes on their cheek.

    Rise like Lions after slumber
    In unvanquishable number,
    Shake your chains to earth like dew
    Which in sleep had fallen on you-
    Ye are many — they are few

    ——-

    Justicia
    NY, NY
    February 20th, 2011
    10:16 pm

  169. Ye are many — they are few

    Also from Kristol:
    ” One day earlier, troops had opened fire on marchers there, with live ammunition and without any warning. So I flinched and braced myself to watch them die.
    Yet, astonishingly, they didn’t. The royal family called off the use of lethal force, perhaps because of American pressure. The police fired tear gas and rubber bullets, but the protesters marched on anyway, and the police fled.”

    So it seems to be more or less working in some countries. Unless the armies/police are just being thrown in the briar patch.

  170. wbboei,
    There seems to be many “Great Liar’s” these days and they all can get on the TV to keep “Bubba” in the dark
    ———————-
    You know from the research you did that Soros is in a league of his own. He is not only a megalomaniac, but he controls the dimocratic party and owns an interest in 170 newspapers around the globe. He is far more than a liar–he brings down governments and installs puppet regimes, and he crashes markets. These are proven facts, and if you talk to insiders on Wall Street and some of the investment people I have they regard him as a threat to our country. Nothing I have said about him came from Beck. Beck’s value is in exposing him to the general public and that is why he is putting in an appearance–damage control. He did the same thing with the shocking 60 Minutes interview where he owned up to collaborating with the Nazis–and feeling no remorse over it. In that interview he alluded to other things which he did not go into. The catalyst to that interview was two books which were written on him which described other things he did which went beyond confiscating property. If you want to know what evil looks like, take a good look at Soros. He has the cold eyes of a shark and is a master of deception. And when he is caught red handed hia response is it may be wrong but if I was not doing it someone else would be. Interesting, that is exactly the defense which Obama’s other buddy Immelt gave when he was asked about selling national defense systems to Red China.

  171. Obama’s State of the Union, Jan. 25, 2011

    “We are poised for progress. Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again. But we have never measured progress by these yardsticks alone. We measure progress by the success of our people. By the jobs they can find and the quality of life those jobs offer. By the prospects of a small business owner who dreams of turning a good idea into a thriving enterprise. By the opportunities for a better life that we pass on to our children.

    “We did that in December. Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans’ paychecks are a little bigger today. Every business can write off the full cost of new investments that they make this year.”

  172. The Egyptian revolt is coming home
    John Pilger
    9 February 2011

    The uprising in Egypt is our theatre of the possible. It is what people across the world have struggled for and their thought controllers have feared. [snip seven paragraph body]

    Fear of Lord Knows What requires that the historical truth of American and British “diplomacy” as largely responsible for the suffering in the Middle East is suppressed or reversed. Forget the Balfour Declaration that led to the imposition of expansionist Israel. Forget secret Anglo-American sponsorship of Islamic jihadists as a “bulwark” against the democratic control of oil. Forget the overthrow of democracy in Iran and the installation of the tyrant Shah, and the slaughter and destruction in Iraq. Forget the American fighter jets, cluster bombs, white phosphorous and depleted uranium that are performance-tested on children in Gaza. And now, in the cause of preventing “chaos”, forget the denial of almost every basic civil liberty in Omar Sulieman’s contrite “new” regime in Cairo.

    The uprising in Egypt has discredited every Western media stereotype about the Arabs. The courage, determination, eloquence and grace of those in Liberation Square contrast with “our” specious fear-mongering with its al-Qaeda and Iran bogeys and iron-clad assumptions, bereft of irony, of the “moral leadership of the West”. It is not surprising that the recent source of truth about the imperial abuse of the Middle East, WikiLeaks, is itself subjected to craven, petty abuse in those self-congratulating newspapers that set the limits of elite liberal debate on both sides of the Atlantic. Perhaps they are worried. Across the world, public awareness is rising and bypassing them. In Washington and London, the regimes are fragile and barely democratic. Having long burned down societies abroad, they are now doing something similar at home, with lies and without a mandate. To their victims, the resistance in Cairo’s Liberation Square must seem an inspiration. “We won’t stop,” said the young Egyptian woman on TV, “we won’t go home.” Try kettling a million people in the centre of London, bent on civil disobedience, and try imagining it could not happen.

  173. Wisconsin GOP Governor in Neofascist Union-Busting Drive

    Webster G. Tarpley, Ph.D.

    TARPLEY.net
    February 20, 2011

    Washington DC, Feb. 20, 2011 – After four decades of disillusionment, and demoralization, disorientation and rout of the labor movement, the mass strike is once again abroad in the land. In dozens of state capitals, reactionary Republican governors and runaway legislatures, trading on the primitive slogans of the astroturf “Tea Party” movement, and controlled by sinister billionaires like the Koch brothers, are attempting to implement their lunatic agenda of tax cuts and deregulation for the super-rich, while attempting to shift the costs for Wall Street’s world economic depression onto the backs of working people.

    The reactionary attack is now so ferocious that it is goading increasing numbers of American working people into actions of self-defense, leading US workers to put aside the apathy and passivity which have prevailed in the labor movement since the Nixon administration.

    In a move of unusual barbarism and savagery, Republican Governor Walker of Wisconsin is attempting to loot the wages and pensions of state workers, while at the same time stripping them of the right to collective bargaining which they have exercised for many decades.

    The workers, students, and citizens of Wisconsin and surrounding states have responded to Walker’s challenge by occupying the state capital and maintaining a continuous presence in downtown Madison. The situation, bearing certain formal similarities to Tahrir Square in Cairo, is now a focus of national and international attention.

  174. They stole from SS and now call it an entitlement, so what is a little states retirement piggy bank for but to follow suit. They should all go to Jail for using designated funds for things not intended, and thereby frauding the people who put their money in their care. However, what normally happens is you slap them on the wrist.

    There is a doctor here that they have enough evidence on to through him out of the practice of medicine, but instead he gets another chance. How many middle class people would get another chance. No wonder people are mad.

  175. What I admire so much about my very good friend, W.G.Tarpley is he isn’t afraid to speak out. He doesn’t need to absorb someone elses’ thoughts personalizing popularly held opinion with anecdotes of windy empty words. He is advising, “stay the course.”
    ________________________

    De Facto General Strike of the Wisconsin Public Sector

    For the first time in a very long time, the American people are fighting back, waging class defense against the merciless class hatred and class warfare coming from the plutocratic 1% who own almost 40% of the total assets of this country, while the bottom 40% of Americans own less than 1%. The Wisconsin public unions are in a de facto general strike, shutting down schools and other offices, and enlisting other segments of the population in their support.

    The national media, engaged at the moment in a cheerleading campaign in favor of CIA destabilizations across the Middle East, are hesitating to condemn the strikers until they get a pretext.

    It is imperative that the Wisconsin public sector unions win their fight, and force Governor Walker to back down. But already, their union leaders and Democratic politicians have unilaterally given up on defending them against the wage and pension prongs of Walker’s class war assault.

    This preventive surrender is very unwise, to say the least. Why not wait for concessions from Walker before giving up anything? If the labor movement refuses to try to defend even the existing reduced standard of living of US workers, then no success will ever be possible.

    The biggest problem for the Wisconsin public sector workers is that none of the leaders, so far as is known, has had the ability to propose a broader program than just the idea that state workers who have collective bargaining should be allowed to keep it. This is true and right, but it is also far too narrow, and will not be politically successful over time.

    Successful movements cannot simply advance the interests of their own limited group. They have to articulate a broader interest of the whole society, in which disparate strata of the population can see their own aspirations being expressed. The Wisconsin workers are doing this implicitly, but now they must do it explicitly, for all to see.

  176. Martin Heinrich, here in NM, is looking at running for the Senate. As they said on TV, that was a shot over the bow to let eveyone in the Dem party what he might be planning. I wonder who might be the next to declare. We have heard nothing from the Reps yet. But I bet we will shortly.

  177. NewMexicoFan
    February 21st, 2011 at 8:42 am

    They stole from SS and now call it an entitlement, so what is a little states retirement piggy bank for but to follow suit. They should all go to Jail for using designated funds for things not intended, and thereby frauding the people who put their money in their care. However, what normally happens is you slap them on the wrist.
    _____________

    Yes, NMF- There should be bull-horns going 24/7 witin the crowds protesting restating Social Security is NOT an Entitlement, it is a self-paid Retirement Fund enacted by FDR that needs to be repayed the monies w/interest borrowed from it over the last 50 yrs.

  178. Webster is on a roll, he waxing sound poetic advise that reads like music to our ears.
    _______________________

    Who Will Pay for the Depression – Wall Street or Working People?

    The big question right now is, “Who will pay for the depression?” Will it be the Wall Street parasites, who caused a crisis and who have insisted in an obscene display of $150 billion of bonuses in 2010, or will it be working people and the middle class?

    If Wisconsin public-sector workers don’t want Governor Walker to flay them alive, they need to come up with some policy answers. If they don’t want the state budget to be balanced at their expense, and they need to specify where indeed the money should come from.

    Is there no significant mass of wealth which is currently untaxed, where a modest levy might provide the revenue to get the state out of its budget difficulties?

  179. Tarpley has a suggestion answering his own question above-
    _______________

    The Wall Street Sales Tax the Key to Labor Victory

    There is: it is the financial transactions of banks, hedge funds, and brokerages, in the form of derivatives, foreign exchange, stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments which are universally exempted in this country from the state sales taxes which everyone else pays when they purchase the necessities and amenities of daily life, from consumer electronics to a car or a pair of shoes.

    A 1% tax on all financial transactions, which is well within the power of the state of Wisconsin to impose, would provide hundreds of millions or billions of dollars of new revenue and remove any pretext for the current assault on state workers.

    Right now, we repeat, bankers and hedge fund operators pay absolutely no tax on their daily turnover of trading volume, which can easily reach into trillions of dollars, even in a state like Wisconsin. They need to start paying a Wall Street Sales Tax.

    (if his idea went viral it would turn WS on it’s head.)

    Governor Walker says the state is broke and cannot afford to pay current wages and benefits. Since we are in a world economic depression, his argument is plausible. He also says that businesses and families cannot pay more in taxes. In many cases, although not all, this is also true. But the transactions of financial firms and banks represent a cash flow which is currently not taxed at all. Surely, if Governor Walker and so many commentators want to talk about shared sacrifice, a 1% Wall Street sales tax on this turnover cannot be too much to ask.

    Simply put, if the Wisconsin cops, firemen, teachers and other state workers forcefully demand the Wall Street sales tax as an indispensable reform, they can win. Without the Wall Street sales tax, they are very likely to be defeated.

    If you tell a reactionary that state workers should not have their wages and benefits reduced, the reactionary is likely to ask where the money should come from. The Wall Street Sales Tax is the one answer which puts the reactionary on the defensive, and forces him to defend the most hated group in American society today – the Wall Street zombie bankers who have shown no gratitude for the bipartisan $4 TRILLION bailout they received from the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve

  180. Tarpley has a proposal for a doable plan:
    _______________________

    An Economic Program for Labor Victory

    The state workers should build a program of demands along the following lines:

    1. Trade union rights for all. This means for everybody, not just for state workers. It implies a serious commitment by trade union bureaucrats to organize the 93% of the private sector who currently have no union representation. It also implies a commitment to organize the unemployed, including most emphatically undocumented workers or illegal aliens. If the labor movement has nothing to offer to immigrant workers, they are absolutely guaranteed to show up as strikebreakers in the pay of the reactionaries – so choose which you prefer. Trade union rights need to be anchored in federal legislation by returning to the Wagner Act of 1935, and by repealing the infamous Taft-Hartley Act, which condemns many states to low-wage backwardness in a race to the bottom under reactionary “right to work” laws.

    2. No cutting, no gutting, no layoffs. Fiscal austerity and budget cuts represent national suicide, condemning the United States to permanent inferiority and immiseration as dynamic powers like China dominate the world stage. No more firing of state workers or private-sector workers, since unemployment is now about 25% in real terms, meaning a very serious depression. We must reject the recommendations of the various fiscal vampires and austerity ghouls of the Bowles-Simpson Commission. There must be no reductions in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, WIC, Pell Grants, and the other remaining components of the social safety net. Unemployment benefits must be fully funded on an open-ended basis for the duration of the joblessness of any individual, with special provision for the 99ers whom Obama sold out in his deal with the GOP.

    3. With unemployment now reaching 25% in real terms, American democracy is in grave danger. We need immediate measures in the spirit of the Franklin D. Roosevelt New Deal to create millions of productive jobs. We need a new addition of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and its related institutions, which were able to create 4.25 million jobs during a two-month period in the terrible winter of 1933-1934. We need a new federal agency operating on an emergency basis with the ability to cut through red tape and put people back to work rebuilding this country. We need to build tens of thousands of miles of ultra-modern fast rail. We need to build 1,000 state-of-the-art hospitals in rural America and the inner cities. We need to rebuild the entire Interstate Highway System, and roads and bridges across the country. We need modern energy production, including 100 nuclear reactors. We need to build canals and water systems. We need to fund scientific research for biomedical discoveries, high-energy physics, and a revived space program. A realistic goal would be 5 million new jobs to be created in the next three months, as a step towards the 30 million new productive jobs which would bring the country back to full employment for the first time since 1945.

    4. Pay for these programs, especially public workers’ salaries and benefits and the social safety net, with a Wall Street Sales Tax. As the economic recovery gathers steam, the Congress should force Bernanke and the Federal Reserve to stop giving trillions in 0% loans to banks and credit card companies, and instead make that same cheap federal credit available to producers – to the automobile industry, to Silicon Valley, to biotech, to heavy industry, to small business, to farmers, to states building infrastructure — to any business or agency that wants to produce tangible, physical wealth as distinct from derivatives and financial services – thus benefiting all the businesses that Wall Street has been starving of credit, down to local repair shops, dry cleaners, clothing stores, supermarkets, or restaurants.

  181. If you’re still under any delusions Obama is supporting Unions… Here is food for thought.
    ________________________________

    Obama: Strikebreaker in Chief

    President Obama and the Democratic Party can be relied upon to betray the movement of working people as soon as they get the chance. Obama has been waging his own campaign against teachers’ unions from the first day he entered office, although with methods which are slower and more indirect than those used by the unfortunate Governor Walker.

    Obama calls his union-busting program against the teachers’ unions the Race to The Top, which he is implementing with Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan and such figures as the foundation operative Michelle Rhee.

    All working people need to understand that none of the principal factions of the Democratic Party are on their side, if only because they are all tied to Obama, whose loyalties are with Wall Street. Cuomo in New York and Jerry Brown in California are pushing the same slow death for the state unions, but they are more deceptive than Walker.

    The retreat of American labor began with the General Electric strike of 1969, followed by the Nixon policies of Phase 1 (wage controls), Phase 2, and Phase 3, which started unions on the path to defeat.

    Jimmy Carter regarded unions as just another special interest with no claim on the loyalty of the Democratic Party, and Obama represents the same approach. The retreat became a rout when Reagan busted the air traffic controllers’ union PATCO in 1981, and since then unions have been continuously on the ropes.

    Under Bush, millions of productive jobs were destroyed. Obama promised the unions card check to facilitate organizing, but has delivered absolutely nothing. The rebirth of labor ferment is therefore one of the most hopeful signs we have seen in many decades. But right now the reviving labor movement lacks the two main ingredients necessary for victory – an economic program and an organizing strategy capable of mobilizing the entire US population, way beyond the narrow confines of today’s shriveled unions ranks. These are the two urgent tasks which must be addressed.

  182. Excellent!
    _____________________

    Turn Any GOP Government Shutdown or Default into a General Strike

    If DeMint, Ryan, and the rest of the Koch brigade in Congress insist on shutting down the US government or driving it into bankruptcy default in March, they will be showing that their rhetoric about maintaining government services in Wisconsin or anywhere else is a pack of lies.

    At that point, the response of the American people should be to turn the GOP’s government shutdown into an open-ended nationwide general strike of the public and private sectors around the demands listed above. Maybe that will give Wall Street something to think about.

    For the first time in many decades, class conflict in the United States shows signs of becoming a two-way street

  183. Stop calling them “conservatives” – they are reactionaries and proto-fascists

    News commentators persist in applying the misnomer of “conservative” to the strikebreaking forces now mobilizing in Wisconsin and many other states. This is scientifically inaccurate, and also a huge public relations gift to the union busters.

    In Wisconsin in particular, public-sector unions have had the right of collective bargaining for more than half a century. The forces controlled by Koch and his ilk would now like to turn the clock all the way back to the early 19th century, when trade unions were banned as a conspiracy in restraint of free trade.

    The union busters have no respect for tradition, no regard for the status quo, no interest in organic growth, and no patience with notions of gradual reform in any direction. They are right wing radicals, militant reactionaries, or right wing extremists, destined as such to gravitate into proto-fascist directions as the world economic depression deepens and the special privileges of the legions of greed are threatened.

    Whatever the “Tea Party” might have been when it got started in early 2009, it has by now being totally absorbed into the Koch machine, meaning the militant extremist and reactionary wing of finance capital. This is an extremely ominous development.

    Back in the 1930s, fascist millionaires like Pew of Sun Oil, Pitcairn of Pittsburgh Plate Glass, and DuPont financed strikebreaking organizations like the Silver Shirts, the Sentinels of the Republic, the Crusaders, and the Southern Committee for the Constitution. This is where the Tea Party is headed.

    When you get right wing goon squads who are paid and deployed against worker demonstrations and strikes by super-rich moneybags, then you are on the road to Italy in 1922 and Germany in 1933, when fascist movements took power.

  184. Why America’s Teachers are Enraged

    Editor’s note: Diane Ravitch is a historian of education and the author of the best seller “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education.”

    (CNN) — Thousands of teachers, nurses, firefighters and other public sector workers have camped out at the Wisconsin Capitol, protesting Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to reduce their take-home pay — by increasing their contribution to their pension plans and health care benefits — and restrict their collective bargaining rights.

    Republicans control the state Legislature, and initially it seemed certain that Walker’s proposal would pass easily. But then the Democrats in the Legislature went into hiding, leaving that body one vote shy of a quorum. As of this writing, the Legislature was at a standstill as state police searched high and low for the missing lawmakers.

    Like other conservative Republican governors, including Chris Christie of New Jersey, John Kasich of Ohio, Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Rick Scott of Florida, the Wisconsin governor wants to sap the power of public employee unions, especially the teachers’ union, since public education is the single biggest expenditure for every state.

    Public schools in Madison and a dozen other districts in Wisconsin closed as teachers joined the protest. Although Walker claims he was forced to impose cutbacks because the state is broke, teachers noticed that he offered generous tax breaks to businesses that were equivalent to the value of their givebacks.

    The uprising in Madison is symptomatic of a simmering rage among the nation’s teachers.

    –Diane Ravitch

    Thousands protest Wisconsin budget cuts

    Fifth day of Wisconsin protests

    Wisconsin businessman avoids chaos RELATED TOPICS
    Collective Bargaining
    Education
    Scott Walker
    Wisconsin
    The uprising in Madison is symptomatic of a simmering rage among the nation’s teachers. They have grown angry and demoralized over the past two years as attacks on their profession escalated.

    The much-publicized film “Waiting for ‘Superman'” made the specious claim that “bad teachers” caused low student test scores. A Newsweek cover last year proposed that the key to saving American education was firing bad teachers.

    Teachers across the nation reacted with alarm when the leaders of the Central Falls district in Rhode Island threatened to fire the entire staff of the small town’s only high school. What got their attention was that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and President Obama thought this was a fine idea, even though no one at the high school had been evaluated.

    The Obama administration’s Race to the Top program intensified the demonizing of teachers, because it encouraged states to evaluate teachers in relation to student scores. There are many reasons why students do well or poorly on tests, and teachers felt they were being unfairly blamed when students got low scores, while the crucial role of families and the students themselves was overlooked.

    Teachers’ despair deepened last August when The Los Angeles Times rated 6,000 teachers in Los Angeles as effective or ineffective, based on their students’ test scores, and posted these ratings online. Testing experts warn that such ratings are likely to be both inaccurate and unstable, but the Times stood by its analysis.

    Now conservative governors and mayors want to abolish teachers’ right to due process, their seniority, and — in some states — their collective bargaining rights. Right-to-work states do not have higher scores than states with strong unions. Actually, the states with the highest performance on national tests are Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Vermont, and New Hampshire, where teachers belong to unions that bargain collectively for their members.

    Unions actively lobby to increase education funding and reduce class size, so conservative governors who want to slash education spending feel the need to reduce their clout. This silences the best organized opposition to education cuts.

    There has recently been a national furor about school reform. One must wonder how it is possible to talk of improving schools while cutting funding, demoralizing teachers, cutting scholarships to college, and increasing class sizes.

    The real story in Madison is not just about unions trying to protect their members’ hard-won rights. It is about teachers who are fed up with attacks on their profession. A large group of National Board Certified teachers — teachers from many states who have passed rigorous examinations by an independent national board — is organizing a march on Washington in July. The events in Madison are sure to multiply their numbers.

    As the attacks on teachers increase and as layoffs grow, there are likely to be more protests like the one that has mobilized teachers and their allies and immobilized the Wisconsin Legislature.

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/02/20/ravitch.teachers.blamed/index.html?hpt=C1

  185. by Diana West

    from IsraelNationalNews.com and http://www.DianaWest.net

    Why CBS kept mum for four days about the brutal sexual assault of network correspondent Lara Logan by a Tahrir Square mob on Feb. 11 we just don’t know.

    Did Logan, flown out of Cairo by a network-chartered jet to a U.S. hospital hours after the attack, request secrecy as a brutalized victim?

    Were news executives, or even Logan herself, concerned that the bombshell news of the assault, which took place almost exactly as Hosni Mubarak was relinquishing all powers, would detract from the “jubilant” crowd’s “democracy” drama? Such a news blackout is hard to imagine if, for example, a star correspondent had been similarly violated by a mob of tea party-goers at, say, a massive Glenn Beck rally — and particularly if other correspondents had previously suffered unprecedented assaults and threats from the same crowd. A keening outcry would have arisen from the heart of the MSM (mainstream media) against the mob, accompanied by a natural zeal to investigate cultural or other reasons for the brutality. Not excuses. And not disinterest.

    But in this singular Logan case we’ve seen both. First, only after news queries indicated the story was breaking did CBS on Tuesday release a brief rap sheet on the Friday crime. We were told of Logan’s accidental separation from her crew in the crowd. The prolonged assault by over 200 people “whipped into a frenzy.” The rescue by a group of women and 20 soldiers. What CBS didn’t mention — what was later attributed to an unnamed network source — was that as the thugs assaulted the 39-year-old journalist and mother of two, they shouted, “Jew! Jew!”

    This essential piece of the story, this clue to the hysterical, obsessive anti-Semitism of the Islamic world including Egypt, was broken by the New York Post. It has sparked little comment, which in itself is worth comment. Imagine, again, if a tea party mob were implicated in such an assault, and, as if in answer to fervent leftist fantasy, it came out that 200 Constitution-loving thugs had been yelling racial slurs. The MSM would directly attribute it the fact that George Washington owned slaves.

    But Islam, even with its Koranically enjoined anti-Semitism and misogyny, isn’t considered a factor here. Islam might as well not exist. Islamic misogyny might as well not exist. Islamic anti-Semitism might as well not exist. But imagine further if the foundational documents of the tea party movement, its official leaders and heroes, were steeped in equivalent hatred and misogyny. There would be no instinctive reaction in the MSM to universalize the attack and strip away all possible cultural or (considering those shouts of “Jew! Jew!” in the Logan case) religious context.

    But that’s exactly what happened here. It took a tweet from a movie critic even to broach the misogyny topic in the MSM when Roger Ebert wrote, “The attack on Lara Logan brings Middle East attitudes toward women into sad focus.” (Given that Israel is in the otherwise Islamically dominated “Middle East,” Ebert is employing the quasi-accepted euphemism for Muslim.)

    Those few reports that even discuss the anti-Semitic angle do so without comment, or let it go slack, as when Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, noting the “undertones of pogromist anti-Semitism,” only concluded that “not everyone in Tahrir Square that night had democracy on their mind.” (The light might have dawnethed more brightly had the MSM actually reported on the widespread anti-Semitic iconography visible in the demonstrations, as amply archived by John Rosenthal at Pajamas Media.)

    Missing is any acknowledgement of the fact — the overwhelming, highly upsetting but nonetheless unavoidable fact — that Islam’s teachings on women and particularly Jews are literally hateful. And that’s the Koranic truth, as copiously expressed by the late Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, Grand Imam of Egypt’s Al-Azhar University, approximately Sunni Islam’s “pope.” As he put it, and with plenty of canonical support: Jews “are the enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs.”

    Rather than consider the sources of violent animus that appear to have been manifested in the assault on Logan, who, by the way, is not a Jew, the MSM let it all go. The crowd was “whipped into a frenzy” just as CBS said. But was the frenzy cultural? Religious? Don’t ask, and certainly don’t tell.

    That would spoil the story.

    (Reprinted with the author’s permission from http://www.dianawest.net/)

  186. Actually, the states with the highest performance on national tests are Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Vermont, and New Hampshire, where teachers belong to unions that bargain collectively for their members.

    —————–

    AG, that meme making the rounds about test scores is bogus. They are not comparing apples to apples. Some states have almost all their students take the SAT, some take the ACT, and some states make it all voluntary. It’s a worthless comparison. If the test is voluntary, then only the high-achieving students take it, so of course you will get higher scores.

    This is just silly. As I noted above, almost nobody in Wisconsin takes the SATs — the state has only a 4% participation rate on that test, with the only students taking it being those who are applying to competitive out-of-state colleges that don’t accept the ACTs. When you compare Wisconsin’s SAT average to Georgia’s, you’re comparing the performance of a tiny elite in one state with that of 74% of the graduating class of the other. And on top of that, this chart gives Wisconsin’s SAT score equal weight with its ACT score in determining which state is “better.”
    It’s nonsense. It’s meaningless.

    http://studentactivism.net/2011/02/20/sat-act-unions/

  187. ohanson
    February 20th, 2011 at 9:48 am
    AmericanGal
    February 19th, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Some of you posted earlier about teacher salaries and benefits:

    In my small school district…only K – 8, we have 23 teachers earning more than $100,000 salary along with incredible pension benefits. They get raises every year regardless of how poor the economy is. They can work for 20 years and collect a pension which averages the last 3 years of salary and can collect for 30 years with health benefits paid as well. Manu of them then take other jobs.

    There must be some fabulous resort in the islands where they live out their days while the rest of us struggle with ever increasing school taxes to pay for their benefits.

    PS I was a teacher but unfortunately left teaching before the meteoric rise in compensation.

  188. A wise leader would know that sacrific by you consituants will be viewed fair, if they view it as equitable to all. When you throw a Little Old lady in Jail for not paying her taxes, because she had to eat, yet forgive the congress person (some who have not payed some taxes in years), what in the HxLL are they still doing serving in congress) even though he not only makes good money, has a good retirement and medical plan, and has just signed a book deal for $1M plus, that is not perceived as FAIR.

    The Reps are only fair to the Upper class, and it appears the same is true of the Dems, only they hide it.

    BREAKING NEWS: When this entire country is asked to sacrifice (wealthy no tax breaks until we are out of the red, as we cannot afford it), at all levels, we will then begin to cooperate.

    In the meantime, the sleeping Giant of the middle class has awakened, and they are in the streets of Madison. After all, what do they have to lose, if you are already cutting their teacher salaries by $500. On Good Morning American this morning, the interviewer kept saying, they have said that they will take the pay cut, etc; however, they will not give up their bargaining rights, So Gov why will you not compromise. He kept stumbling trying to explain that the union had plenty of rights left, but he looked bad, as he does not want to give one thing in return for their sacrifices.

  189. Mrs. Smith
    February 20th, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Those were HIllary’s own words. You can watch her on the video. I have many Jewish friends who are not only turned off to Obama, but they are also turning away from Hillary because of statements like this. I am also troubled by her comments, though I still support her.

  190. Turn Any GOP Government Shutdown or Default into a General Strike
    ————————————–
    Actually, the GOP will not be the ones to shut down government. They will not repeat the mistake of the Clinton years. They will defund Obama, and force him to shut down government. That is–if they present a united front–which is a big if . . . when you have people like Coburn meeting secretly to raise taxes.

    As far as a general strike,I believe an actual strike will backfire, whereas the threat of one may be effective. A general strike would cut off the flow of goods and services. Because of just in time inventories, the supply of goods and services on hand locally is minimal, and if you have a Rodney King riot, truck drivers will walk away from their trucks. This is not the kind of thing pundits should be speculating about because loose talk in desperate times can set forces in motion that nobody can control.

    If the country goes down the only beneficiaries will be Obama (our seventh greatest president according to Gallup? Pavolvian), Soros (who openly talks about bringing down the United States) and the great outsourcer Immelt ( I am betraying the country when I sell weapons technology to China, but if I were not doing it somebody else would and then they would take the profit–I have a solemn duty to my shareholders, and the law and quaint notions of patriotism must not stand in the way of my solemn duty as head of GE).

  191. What makes the budget problem solutions offered by the conservatives so evil in the state, federal and local govts is the false idea put forth that the only way to solve this is to punish whatever group is currently targeted like social security recipients or teachers or public workers. As the Tarpley pieces above show there are many other plans that could be tried to raise revenues and cut spending. What we need are politicians who can actually think long term solutions, not punish those who are not their constituents, especially since their constituents’ illegal and unethical behavior actually caused the economic downfall.

  192. Public sector unions are not the same thing as private sector unions. The dynamics are entirely different.

    When it comes to advancing their interests, public-sector unions have significant advantages over traditional unions. For one thing, using the political process, they can exert far greater influence over their members’ employers — that is, government — than private-sector unions can. Through their extensive political activity, these government-workers’ unions help elect the very politicians who will act as “management” in their contract negotiations — in effect handpicking those who will sit across the bargaining table from them, in a way that workers in a private corporation (like, say, American Airlines or the Washington Post Company) cannot. Such power led Victor Gotbaum, the leader of District Council 37 of the AFSCME in New York City, to brag in 1975: “We have the ability, in a sense, to elect our own boss.”

    —–

    The political influence of public-sector unions is probably greatest, however, in low-turnout elections to school boards and state and local offices, and in votes to decide ballot initiatives and referenda. For example, two of the top five biggest spenders in Wisconsin’s 2003 and 2004 state elections were the Wisconsin Education Association Council and the AFSCME-affiliated Wisconsin PEOPLE Conference. Only the state Republican Party and two other political action committees — those belonging to the National Association of Realtors and SBC / Ameritech — spent more. The same is true in state after state, as unions work to exert control over the very governments that employs their members.

    This political dimension of public-sector unionism also changes the substantive priorities and demands of the unions themselves. Although private-sector unions in the United States have engaged in leftist “social activism,” they have mostly concentrated their efforts on securing the best wages, benefits, pensions, and working conditions for their members: “pure and simple unionism,” as longtime American Federation of Labor president Samuel Gompers used to call it. Rarely do they demand more hiring, since — given the constant private-sector imperative to keep operating costs minimal — increasing the number of a company’s employees can limit wage and benefit increases for the workers already on the company’s payroll.

    By contrast, as economist Richard Freeman has written, “public sector unions can be viewed as using their political power to raise demand for public services, as well as using their bargaining power to fight for higher wages.” The millions spent by public-employee unions on ballot measures in states like California and Oregon, for instance, almost always support the options that would lead to higher taxes and more government spending. The California Teachers Association, for example, spent $57 million in 2005 to defeat referenda that would have reduced union power and checked government growth. And the political influence of such massive spending is of course only amplified by the get-out-the-vote efforts of the unions and their members. This power of government-workers’ unions to increase (and then sustain) levels of employment through the political process helps explain why, for instance, the city of Buffalo, New York, had the same number of public workers in 2006 as it did in 1950 — despite having lost half of its population (and thus a significant amount of the demand for public services).

    A further important advantage that public-sector unions have over their private-sector counterparts is their relative freedom from market forces. In the private sector, the wage demands of union workers cannot exceed a certain threshold: If they do, they can render their employers uncompetitive, threatening workers’ long-term job security. In the public sector, though, government is the monopoly provider of many services, eliminating any market pressures that might keep unions’ demands in check. Moreover, unlike in the private sector, contract negotiations in the public sector are usually not highly adversarial; most government-agency mangers have little personal stake in such negotiations. Unlike executives accountable to shareholders and corporate boards, government managers generally get paid the same — and have the same likelihood of keeping their jobs — regardless of whether their operations are run efficiently. They therefore rarely play hardball with unions like business owners and managers do; there is little history of “union busting” in government.

    http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/the-trouble-with-public-sector-unions

    There are significant political and economic forces at play (or not at play) with public sector unions that are entirely different from private labor unions. Unlike normal unions, there is no counterforce or incentive to control costs or the growth of the “professional govt class” on the other side of the bargaining table. That is a fact. And the public sector unions need to address those concerns, rather than just blasting anyone who voices them as anti-union, anti-worker fascists who want to return us all to 60 hour workweeks and child labor.

    And until a reasonable conversation is had, all the screaming and yelling and demonizing of those with concerns is only going to make the public even more disgusted with public unions.

  193. Carol, what state is that in? We need all the facts, because in San Francisco, $100K a year is not that much. Also, remember, they cannot collect SS, even if they take another job, and pay into SS. Actually I see those that retire and go right back into teaching at the same school and actually I think that is wrong, but not knowing the area they live in and their personnal financial situation, I really don’t know if that is necessary or not. Perhaps they need to support 12 family members. I am not a teacher, but what I have learned is that the vast majority employed in the public sector make about $60K, and don’t retire with their full salaries. In a lot of cases they do have decent medical, but not outrageous. The people in the public sector making outrageous salaries are the Political Appointees.

    In our State, Richardson had a number of people on his payroll making $250K, in job slots they did not even qualify for. That is wrong, but most of the public servants are decent people, and in many cases working after retirement to just get by to pay their bills.

  194. Carol
    February 21st, 2011 at 10:20 am

    In my professional life I have never heard of a K-8 teacher earning more than $100,000 in salary. That must be some incredible wealthy district or incredibly powerful union negotiators. It certainly doesn’t exist where I live…

    I’ve never heard of any teachers here getting lifetime health benefits either (possibly some districts do that in some places I realize).

  195. Well the Unions and Democrats are showing their true colors; it’s all about access, money and personal power (ego). Reminds me of primary season when NOW, NARAL, etc threw women under to bus for the same reasons.

    “Huge protest march opposes Wisconsin cuts”
    By Jerry White
    21 February 2011
    (snip)
    “While workers and young people have poured into the state capital all week long to fight all of these attacks, officials from the two largest public-employee unions, the Wisconsin State Employees and Wisconsin Educational Association Council (WEAC), have already offered to accept all of the Republican governor’s economic demands. The only thing they want in return is that he drop the proposal to do away with the dues checkoff system and restrict the unions’ role in bargaining away their members’ jobs, working conditions and living standards.

    In a statement WEAC President Mary Bell said, “Ask any teacher, and they’ll tell you they didn’t get into this profession for the money. We have said all along that this isn’t about pay and benefits. Let’s be very clear: we are prepared to implement the financial concessions proposed to help our state in these tough times… We will meet the governor half way, but we will not be denied our right to collectively bargain.”
    (snip)
    “State Democratic politicians have hailed the capitulation by union officials to Walker’s demands for wage and benefit cuts and proposed a “compromise,” under which the workers accept the cuts in return for preservation of bargaining rights, dues checkoff and union recognition.

    State Senator Jon Erpenbach issued a statement on behalf of the Democratic caucus in the state senate, which has gone into hiding in Illinois to block the legislation temporarily by depriving the legislature of a quorum. The statement reads: “I have been informed that all state and local public employees – including teachers – have agreed to the financial aspects of Governor Walker’s request. This includes Walker’s requested concessions on public employee health care and pension. In return they ask only that the provisions that deny their right to collectively bargain are removed. This will solve the budget challenge.”
    (snip)
    “The Obama administration has adopted the same posture—support for the cuts, while keeping the unions involved in the process and using them as an instrument for imposing sacrifices on the workers. New White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Air Force One Friday that the president “is very understanding of the need for state governments, governors, state legislatures to reduce spending, to be—to make tough choices, to be fiscally responsible. He’s doing that at the federal level, and he understands that states need to do that at the state level.”

    There is little mention that WI was projected to have a small budget surplus this year until the Gov./legislature passed large tax cuts that benefited the C of C.

  196. Carol
    February 21st, 2011 at 10:20 am
    Define ‘incredible pension benefits’.
    I suspect those $100,000 workers are actually administrators who are overpaid in every sector of employment. I’ve seen many managers over the years that cripple the workplace through incompetence make fabulous sums of money. How about what our wall street bankers make – in the millions – for doing what?
    Early retirement was a benefit that teachers negotiated back when times were good and the pensions were flush with money thru lucrative investments. Those did not break the pensions, the stock market crash did, so now these things must be renegotiated. But the teachers did not cause this. Wall street and mortgage broker cheaters did.

  197. The problem with the Republicans is many of them do not believe in the public school system, and that is a serious problem in my opinion. The public school system is the only melting pot we have in this culture, one of the few institutions that bind us together as a people. That is especially true now with the demise of compulsory military service. Teachers are important to the future of our county–get rid of the bad ones, promote the good ones, and make sure they are well paid. It is a global market we live in today, and if our citizens are not properly prepared to meet its challenges then our country will suffer. Why go after the people who can help us meet those challenges which is to say the teachers. The problem is you have people like Trumpka and Obama mixed up in this distorting what is really going on. If the wolf is truly at the door, then it is better to avoid lay-offs. If you believe that is the stark choice. It is funny, when Hillary was running, I saw an opportunity to reposition this country as an economic leader after the dismal Bush years. In that context I favored tax increases. But after seeing what Obama has done to the economy, the main issue is how to jump start the economy, and tax increases now can have a depressing effect on job creation in the segment of the economy that produces them namely small business. Because Obama is the hand maiden of big business, he wants to place the onus there. If he represented the American People rather than Immelt and Soros, he would be holding big business’s feet to the fire.

  198. Mrs. Smith
    February 20th, 2011 at 6:02 pm
    JanH
    February 20th, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    “I just wonder why it is always the Jewish people who always have to bend.”
    ___________________

    I shudder to think of Israel being takeover by the Palestinians.

    God watches over Israel. Between Him, BiBi and Hillary… no worries.

    ______
    Israel will neever be taken over by the Palestinians. Think about Masada. If their destrction appears imminent, they will take the Palestinians with them. They do have the Bomb.

  199. “In my professional life I have never heard of a K-8 teacher earning more than $100,000 in salary. That must be some incredible wealthy district or incredibly powerful union negotiators. It certainly doesn’t exist where I live…

    I’ve never heard of any teachers here getting lifetime health benefits either (possibly some districts do that in some places I realize).”
    ***********
    My teacher friend, with a (real) masters degree, has taught in the same district for 18 years. She makes ~$62k and when she retires, probably nest year, will pay for her health insurance.

  200. Carol
    February 21st, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Mrs. Smith
    February 20th, 2011 at 1:42 pm
    ________________

    Not sure what your asking. My comment @ 1:42pm is chat about our forthcoming snowstorm… (that so far has snookered weather forecasters)

  201. Social Security is NOT an Entitlement, it is a self-paid Retirement Fund enacted by FDR that needs to be repayed the monies w/interest borrowed from it over the last 50 yrs.

    =================

    True — though actually that is what ‘entitlement’ means. SS recipients ARE entitled to the benefits that their own taxes earned. Making ‘entitlement’ a negative word, is serious twisting of the language.

  202. NewMexicoFan
    February 21st, 2011 at 10:32 am

    New York of course…but I am 2 hours out of the city….not a wealthy district…in fact it is largely blue collar. The teacher salaries are higher than the average salaries here. The biggest problem is that lay school boards over the years have completely caved to the unions. Slary increase for public employees must be tied to the economy. Our school is literally going under. We can not afford the ever increasing tax bill.

    BTW, NJ schools have similar pay scales.

  203. What I posted above is the root of the issue. This is why the whole public union dynamic is so sticky. You don’t have the classic opposing dichotomy of employee/employer. You have a threesome composed of employee/govt managers/the taxpayer. And the taxpayer who foots the bill has been feeling like the first two parties have spent years cutting mutually beneficial deals (I get you elected, you give me what I want), while they are the only ones without a true seat at the table.

    That’s a genuine concern, not “hatred of teachers” or whatever else they are accused of. And it needs to be addressed. It goes beyond just specific benefits or pay, to the sense of “When the fuck do WE get a say in all this?”

  204. Isn’t it unusual that the Obama’s aren’t being invited to all these huge weddings?? Didn’t the President go to Charles and Diana’s wedding?? I feel its unusual!

  205. BigCatLover
    February 21st, 2011 at 10:42 am

    No, those are elementary school teacher salaries. Our School superindentent was just given a $20,000 raise from $170,000 to $190,000….an almost 12% raise on the ground that “other districts pay more”….. Unbelievable in this economy.

    One of the minor candidates for gov in NY last year talked in a debate about NY policy of “No administrator left behind” as schools cut teacher positions for lack of funding.

  206. Republicans feel they have a sense of “entitlement” simply because they are Republicans. Dictionary definitions are meant to be twisted into pretzel logic for their own benefit. The word ”entitlement spoken by a Republican is projected to mean a government handout!

    The “Whats yours is mine, whats mine IS mine” mentality gone wild.

  207. I am quite sure of these numbers as I have recently started attending school board meetings. The 12 % raise was like a war cry. I will vote against the budget…..something I really don’t want to do….but the board must find some backbone and not treat the taxpayers like a bootomless well of funds.

  208. srael will neever be taken over by the Palestinians. Think about Masada. If their destrction appears imminent, they will take the Palestinians with them. They do have the Bomb.
    ————————————————-
    There is a major disconnect between having the bomb and using it. It can have a deterrent effect against other nations who have the bomb but not to countries that don’t. Part of the reason for this is the scale of violence across the world has come down from the nation state level to the sole actor or group of actors. Take the case of Saudi Arabia. They have been buying F-16s and other sophisticated weapons systems from the United States til hell won’t have it anymore especially now under Obama. What good does that do when the most likely adversary the kingdom faces is not a militarized Iran, but terrorist groups who infiltrate its borders and now the spread of revolution throughout the region. That is the quandary all nations are in today, and Israel is not immune from it anymore than we are. The only difference is they are surrounded by enemies, whereas we are not but even that may change depending on how powerful the drug gangs in Mexico become due to Obama’s refusal to protect our borders.

  209. Israel will neever be taken over by the Palestinians. Think about Masada. If their destrction appears imminent, they will take the Palestinians with them. They do have the Bomb.

    =================

    Oh, great.

  210. The people in the public sector making outrageous salaries are the Political Appointees.

    In our State, Richardson had a number of people on his payroll making $250K, in job slots they did not even qualify for. That is wrong, but most of the public servants are decent people, and in many cases working after retirement to just get by to pay their bills.
    ************************
    So true, so true. As someone who worked in the public sector for over 20 years after working in the private sector for over 20 years, I got an eyeful of this. And it got more and more outrageous after jobs got harder to come by and more and more ex private sector people moved into the public sector. The huge salaries they contracted for and the bonuses they instituted were mind boggling to the public worker that had not seen those before. They moved the retched excess of the private sector into the public sector, and now the little worker is getting punished for this. Remember, the public sector is highly regulated by legisators and after those legislators became more corrupt, corruption was allowed in the public sector.

  211. confloyd
    February 21st, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Isn’t it unusual that the Obama’s aren’t being invited to all these huge weddings?? Didn’t the President go to Charles and Diana’s wedding?? I feel its unusual..
    _______________________

    Probably because they are the most insulting de classe individuals high maintenance to ever reach celebrity status requiring with nothing to show for it. 😆

    Bet Bill and Hill got their invitations-

  212. Carol
    February 21st, 2011 at 10:56 am
    BigCatLover
    February 21st, 2011 at 10:42 am

    No, those are elementary school teacher salaries. Our School superindentent was just given a $20,000 raise from $170,000 to $190,000….an almost 12% raise on the ground that “other districts pay more”….. Unbelievable in this economy.

    One of the minor candidates for gov in NY last year talked in a debate about NY policy of “No administrator left behind” as schools cut teacher positions for lack of funding.
    ************************
    Carol, please tell us where you live, we all want to get jobs there. By the way, that superintendent salary is just what I was saying, they make obscene amounts of money (even where I live). But then, so do managers in the private sector. We actually pay for that too, only in the cost of the products or services we buy. None of this is free.

  213. Let me restate that-

    Probably because they are the most insulting de classe individuals to ever reach celebrity status requiring unparalleled high maintenance with nothing to show for it

  214. Mrs. Smith
    Probably because they are the most insulting de classe individuals high maintenance to ever reach celebrity status requiring with nothing to show for it.

    Bet Bill and Hill got their invitations-
    *******************
    LOL. I hope Bill and Hill did too. Karma baby.

  215. “The problem with the Republicans is many of them do not believe in the public school system, and that is a serious problem in my opinion. The public school system is the only melting pot we have in this culture, one of the few institutions that bind us together as a people.”
    **********
    I am not sure what the Republican Party believes. Unlike the degenerate and corrupt Democrats, the Republicans have a vision; I just don’t see how their social engineering is good for the Country. The end result of their policies is to return the Country to the Republican Party dominated age of 1876-1932: “Free Labor”, Laissez Faire, Social Darwinism, etc. Now, however, in addition to the economics, the Republican Party is driven by a fundamentalist religious doctrine. Marginalizing the Public School system is a very high priority. Looking at the fights over content of school books gives a good idea of where they want to take the country. Their ideal is to have education in private christian schools. (6000 year old earth, Grand Canyon created by great flood, etc) The Chinese are laughing their asses off at us.

  216. confloyd
    February 21st, 2011 at 10:53 am

    —————-
    Apparently the twit and meme have been invited for a state visit this spring. Of course the media will be all over this visit.

  217. I am trying to make sense of Hillary Clinton’s statement that it has been American policy for years that the Israeli settlements are illegitimate. As well, I am trying to make sense of Hillary’s silence during the UN vote issue with Riceand obama…first going along and then veto.

    I would like to believe that just because Hillary is SOS, it does not mean that she necessarily agrees with “U.S. Policy” personally, but follows it verbatim because she is a team player and doing what obama wants.

    I would like to think that her play on words, as Mrs. Smith suggested yesterday allows Hillary some wiggle room.

  218. jbstonesfan,

    “And so, while this transparent diversion goes on at the world body, the main show right now is elsewhere. From Tehran to Tripoli, alas, the UN is nowhere to be found.”

    ——————
    Excellent article. The UN is a joke. Their constant bias against Israel and neglect of the bigger picture is ridiculous. And yes, the settlement issue has been going on forever, Israel has offered to negotiate but not as a precondition. So while chaos was going on around the world, this is the only issue the UN could think to deal with last week???

  219. The first lady went to Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail Village on Saturday night, dining on a pickled pumpkin salad with arugula and a braised ancho-chile short rib with hominy wild mushrooms and sauteed kale.

    Apparently this is what MO had for dinner last night on her luxury ski trip in Vail. A classic ‘let them eat cake’ moment. But be that as it may, look at the calorie count on that dish!! How the hell do you burn that off? More importantly why is she not setting a good example by ordering salads and eating healthy herself?
    ———————–
    Nutrition Facts
    Coffee-braised Short Ribs With Ancho Chile

    Serving Size: 1 (599 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 6

    Amount Per Serving % Daily Value
    Calories 1575.8

    Calories from Fat 1279 81%
    Total Fat 142.1 g 218%
    Saturated Fat 60.3 g 301%
    Monounsaturated Fat 65.4 g 327%
    Polyunsaturated Fat 5.7 g 28%
    Trans Fat 0.0 g 0%
    Cholesterol 287.2 mg 95%

    Sodium 380.0 mg 15%
    Potassium 1290.7 mg 36%
    Magnesium 77.9 mg 3%
    Total Carbohydrate 16.0 g 5%
    Dietary Fiber 2.9 g 11%
    Sugars 9.7 g 39%
    Protein 56.2 g 112%

    Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/coffee-braised-short-ribs-with-ancho-chile-102536#ixzz1Ec2KVG3w

  220. “A classic ‘let them eat cake’ moment.”

    ————————–
    Yep. I want to see the final expense sheet for this ‘let them eat cake’ holliday.

  221. H4T, I like your comments. As usual you look at both sides of the issue and draw a consensus to solve the problem. What strikes me with the WI situation is how suspicious the Dems are about what Repubs are up to in the long run. People should protest being used as pawns by both parties.

  222. I am trying to make sense of the Wisconsin situation. As a former teacher with a disability retiremnt (because of Hep_C followed by cancer) I have been extremely grateful for the meager pension I receive. However, if i had not moved to a fairly inexpensive part of the country, I would not be able to survie on it.

    I am not complaining. But nor do i feel guilty about what I get. I put in 20 years, working in the most horrible conditions, teaching in girls locker rooms, cafeterias and even staircases. I had an MA plus 30 toward a PhD. The working conditions were downright brutal for those of us in the trenches. I had a minimum of 200 kids a day and in some schools I saw 1200 different students a week with some class sizes swelling near 50 with the addition of “push in” special ed students.

    I always had to pay toward my pension, even if I didn’t want to. It was automatically deducted from my salary and I had no choice in the matter. It was a signgnificant amount per pay period.

    That money was supposedly invested in the teachers pension fund and the state was required to deposit some sort of matching funds but they never did. Instead, they said they invested the money and received profits and the upshot was after Whitman (of NJ) left the governor’s position her practies became public and it turned out the pension program was broke.

    If I had taken the money forceably deducted from my pay for 20 yeas how much would that have added up to and how much could I have made through private investment?

    (Well – I know that’s a stretch. I am terrible with finances).

    OTOH, while teaching I saw probably close to 40-50% of staff with do-nothing high-paying jobs with next to zero kid contact raking in the highest salries. It infuriated me and many other ground troops. I would say that at least 25 percent of staff in many districts is pure lard.

    I am now writing for a small weekly paper and the budget battle is ferocious. 45 teacher cuts last year, probably the same, if not higher slated for this year. The taxpayers are furious, as they should be. The teachers here have very small class sizes, state-of-the-art equipment and I think they do a great job. Nevertheless, class sizes could easily be increased by 20 percent and there is far too much money paid for specual education. The average cost for regular kids per year is around $10G while that for SE is between $40-5$55G. It is outrageous.

    I guess what I’m saying is I see both sides of the issue but there has to be a change. Frankly, I think paring the excess number of do-nothing positions, cutting administrators, cutting down on all these pull-in, push-put staff who service just a couple of kids a week is a good place to start.

    I also think that in states where teachers don’t pay into benefits, or don’t pay enough, it should be increased.

    But don’t get me wrong. Many teachers who make it to the perks are nothing short of heroic. Those in the trenches, at any rate. The pace is grueling, the work is relentless, and it takes an incredible toll on many people.

    But the Wisconsin demonstrations are ludicrous and insulting to the public, IMHO.

    That’s my 2 cents.

  223. Jan-

    I wrote something yesterday to the effect the abc interview w/Hillary was done sometime on Friday. The UN Resolution Vote was also on Friday (what time? before or after< I do not know-) I don't think she wanted to give anything away. The changing of the wording in the Resolution by Abbas from illegitimate to illegal was viewed as an over-reach and therefore able to be Vetoed.

    A hypothetical… suppose, just suppose, the Resolution HAD passed? With almost every country in the ME blowing up, country after country getting into the fray, the resolution's passage would have given carte blance to the MB's coming at Israel from all sides flooding into Israel staking a Palestinian flag and claim to the land.

    Today, President's Day, the world would have been a different place, upside down and in total chaos.

  224. I wanted to add this but it doesn’t seem to be showing as posted-

    Jan-

    I wrote something yesterday to the effect the abc interview w/Hillary was done sometime on Friday. The UN Resolution Vote was also on Friday (what time? before or after< I do not know-) I don't think she wanted to give anything away. The changing of the wording in the Resolution by Abbas from illegitimate to illegal was viewed as an over-reach and therefore able to be Vetoed.

    A hypothetical… suppose, just suppose, the Resolution HAD passed? With almost every country in the ME blowing up, country after country getting into the fray, the resolution's passage would have given carte blance to the MB's coming at Israel from all sides flooding into Israel staking a Palestinian flag and claim to the land.

    Today, President's Day, the world would have been a different place, upside down and in total chaos.

  225. @ basil – yep, I agree.

    It’s about addressing the real concerns of the taxpayers. This was not a surprise, no matter what the unions say – Walker and most of the new R’s elected RAN on doing exactly what they are doing. Not on a vague “budget balancing”, but precisely and specifically this plan.

    The public unions could have gotten out front of those concerns, and come out of the gate looking like THEY were the reasonable and responsive ones. They didn’t. They rolled the dice and decided Hitler posters and Mubarak comparisons and over-the-top hyperbole would scare off the politicians. It didn’t work, and now they are screwed. The problem with that kind of approach is that if it works, it works big, but if you pass the tipping point and the surge of sentiment goes against you, you end up looking like screeching maniacs. Optics again.

    I don’t think for one minute that the R legislators would be standing so tough if they did not have internal polls showing them the public is on their side. Bet the bank that they do. You can’t fight the People when opinions are that strong. You can try to convince, try to reason, try to address their concerns in other, more effective ways than the R’s are doing. But they didn’t.
    The unions lost this fight the moment they decided to go all out and demonize the opposition as filthy selfish rich right-wing teacher-haters.

    The bill is likely an overreaction, but an entirely predictable one. When you’ve been pushing the public for years, oftentimes they push back harder than is actually warranted. It’s entirely foreseeable.

    When that happens, the smart response is to take a deep breath and admit they might have a point or two. If your initial response is to shove a Hitler poster in their face and call them supporters of a dictator, guess who gets even more public support?

  226. The UN is one of the most corrupt orgs in the World.. controlled by Soros and the elites.

    Jan-

    I wrote something yesterday to the effect the abc interview w/Hillary was done sometime on Friday. The UN Resolution Vote was also on Friday (what time? before or after< I do not know-) I don't think she wanted to give anything away. The changing of the wording in the Resolution by A.b.b.a.s from illegitimate to illegal was viewed as an over-reach and therefore able to be Vetoed.

    A hypothetical… suppose, just suppose, the Resolution HAD passed? With almost every country in the ME blowing up, country after country getting into the fray, the resolution's passage would have given carte blance to the MB's coming at Israel from all sides flooding into Israel staking a Palestinian flag and claim to the land.

    Today, President's Day, the world would have been a different place, upside down and in total chaos.

  227. JanH and Carol,

    I wrote something yesterday to the effect the abc interview w/Hillary was done sometime on Friday. The UN Resolution Vote was also on Friday (what time? before or after< I do not know-) I don't think she wanted to give anything away. The changing of the wording in the Resolution by Abbas from illegitimate to illegal was viewed as an over-reach and therefore able to be Vetoed.

    A hypothetical… suppose, just suppose, the Resolution HAD passed? With almost every country in the ME blowing up, country after country getting into the fray, the resolution's passage would have given carte blance to the MB's coming at Israel from all sides flooding into Israel staking a Palestinian flag and claim to the land.

    Today, President's Day, the world would have been a different place, upside down and in total chaos.

  228. In New Mexico they pay the Teacher next to nothing, but the administrators are a different story, yet we are ranked 49th in the nation on the quality of our education. I would like to see the administrators salaries linked to the quality of the education we give our students in the classroom. Let’s face it, we cannot get but one notch lower. That to me is where the adjustment needs to be made with the Superintendents and Presidents of the colleges.

  229. confloyd
    February 21st, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Isn’t it unusual that the Obama’s aren’t being invited to all these huge weddings?? Didn’t the President go to Charles and Diana’s wedding?? I feel its unusual..

    ______________

    Confloyd, as far as the English go, they say that because William and Kate are not first in line as King and Queen, they do not have to invite heads of state to their wedding, or something to that effect. However, having watched a number of segments reporting on the royal wedding on Canadian television, it appears that a few heads of state will be invited, but they do say that Obama will not be one of them. I guess that could change. The news has been released that Kate and William’s first official visit will be to Canada. I am looking forward to the press coverage while they are here. I think they are lovely young people. They will be here at the end of June and will attend our Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa on July 1st. They will start their trip in Prince Edward Island, my home province, although I live in Ontario.

  230. The Noon news is saying Stocks are down… that should tell us something-

    Warran Buffett Ca$hed in all of his Bank of America stock last week. A precursor to Wiki Leaks?

  231. Didn’t the President go to Charles and Diana’s wedding??
    ________________

    The Reagans were invited to the wedding of Charles and Diana. Mrs. Reagan attended, but I think the president was suffering from the aftermath of the attempted assassination, if I recall correctly.

  232. Basil, I am a special ed. teacher. The reason special ed. costs are so high is that the Federal government isn’t paying what they originally said they would when IDEA came into effect. That leaves the financial burden to states and school districts. Students that I work with require different curriculum materials, assistive devices and specialized programming (as well as specialized teachers) that the regular student body does not–it’s not their fault that these things are expensive. One Dynavox communication device, for example, is roughly $8,000. When you multiply all the supportive equipment, materials and teachers needed for all special ed. students in a district is does add up substantially. However, we need more money for special ed., not less. These kids deserve to be educated to the best our our ability and to the highest level they can achieve–it is their civil right. This to get them to a functional level so they are able to be independent and contribute to society after graduation like everyone else. In the big picture this costs less than the costs incurred after graduation if their transition needs are not addressed and met.

    On the Wisconsin situation: I understand why the Wisconsin teachers are protesting but I think they are just making themselves look bad by staying away from work. This is hurting students and putting stress on parents. Admin is correct–they (and Democratic state legislators) should be making their case to the public, not making themselves look like fools.

  233. HillaryforTexas
    February 21st, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Read the Tarpley articles he offers solid solutions for Union success over the WI governor and all Unions:

    The (4 or 5 Tarpley articles I posted) begin here:

    Mrs. Smith
    February 21st, 2011 at 8:32 am

  234. Hillaryfortexas,

    It’s enlightening to see the picture from the taxpayers perspective. People in southern Albany County are disgusted. At community-district budget meetings they have advocated cutting everything from free breakfast, lunch and after school programs to merging districts to having half-day classes for the high school. Year after year their taxes go up while the quality of education either remains the same or decreases. Attending the 3-hour board of education meetings has verified my pervious supposition of just how incompetent the administrators and, to a large extent, board members actually are.

    The superintendent just grandstanded by offering to forego his 4% salary increase on a $163,000 base salry just months after negotiating another year in his contract during a time when half the board members weren’t present. It is friggin’ obscene and the taxpayers are livid.

    Last year they voted down the budget and it went to contingency.

    This year, the same is expected to happen.

    The message from residents is the district has taken care of administrators, teachers, kids and it’s time to take care of the taxpayers.

    Many of the people in the are are either retired, on fixed incomes or have relatively low salries in comparison to what BOE employees make.

    It is getting ugly.

  235. Mrs Smith, I’ve read Tarpley. I rarely agree with him. I don’t agree that the majority of the American public who have concerns about abuse of union power, esp. public unions, are duped tools of proto-fascists. He’s painting the usual caricature of the teapartiers, and I doubt seriously he actually knows any, or he’d realize how laughable his rantings sound.

  236. The Veto JanH was only b/c Abbas refused , after Rice practically begged, for them to accept a statement that the settlements were illigitimate as opposed to illegal. belive me, Rice and Obama did everything they could to have the US join in on a resolution less severe, but PALS refused b/c it allowed them another opportunity to avoid direct negotiation.
    As for Hillary, I do think she believes the some of settlements are illegitimate. I don’t think this was something she necessarily advertised as Senator for NY, but it has been her and Bill’s postion. I happen to disagree with it.

  237. @basil, that’s one of the things that is driving the disgust. Most people want teachers paid well. But the public never sees the union fighting to clean up the administrative deadwood, the rampant waste, and get the money to the teachers. What they see is a top-heavy monstrosity that trots out “the poor teachers” every time their power gets challenged, then goes right back to pouring money to everywhere BUT the teachers.

    People are fed up. They don’t hate teachers, but there seems to be no way to stop the runaway train without the teachers taking a hit as well.

  238. AmericanGal,

    I didn’t mean to imply I am attacking special education teachers and I agree one of the reasons the cost per student is so high is because of unpaid federal mandates.

    I have worked with the most dedicated special ed teachers and I have also worked with those who didn’t do a d@mn ting and let their 2-3 assistants run the classroom.

    I also taught special ed music classes and believe me, they were my least favorite classes after kindergarten. (I taught K-8)

    But even though it is a civil right for these kids to be in school, I think the costs are just astronomical. I took a good look at this year’s special ed budget and it is roughly $3.5 million for about 65 kids in out-of-district and BOCES placement. unfriginreal! The budget for in-district special ed is not as high but the ditrict has not yet released those figures. (Wonder why)

    Something has to give. How fair is it that gifted and talented kids are deprived of advanced classes, music and other extra-curricular activities? There has to be a change. I’m not sure what it is but IMHO everyone has to give back something.

  239. I wonder what would happen if teachers had a separate union, and all the administrators had to have their own?
    Now that’s a radical idea!

    What would happen if the teacher’s union was limited to JUST actual teachers, and bloated administration had to collectively bargain separately? I’m sure there are reasons why it would be difficult, but I like thinking outside the box and throwing ideas out. Damn, that would shake up the status quo, huh? 😀

  240. How fair is it that gifted and talented kids are deprived of advanced classes, music and other extra-curricular activities?

    =================

    Right. Be nice to the ‘special ed’ kids, but it’s the gifted kids that can grow up to cure cancer, if given more actual education.

  241. What would happen if the teacher’s union was limited to JUST actual teachers, and bloated administration had to collectively bargain separately?

    ==============

    Good. So does the ‘right to work’ part of Walker’s bill allow them not only to stay out of the existing union, but to make a new one of their own?

  242. they (and Democratic state legislators) should be making their case to the public, not making themselves look like fools.

    =====================

    If the Democratic legislators hadn’t left, there would be no TIME to make their case to the public; the bill would have already been Pelosi-ed through.

  243. HillaryforTexas
    February 21st, 2011 at 12:14 pm
    ——————————-
    Good analysis. They cannot run deficits the way the federal government does. One can only speculate how Jerry Brown will handle this situation–after he gets done blaming his predecessor. California is in much deeper trouble than Wisconsin, and the unions have the legislative branch in their pocket. Also they have many illegals, and I seriously doubt that they are paying taxes. I do not think Wisconsin is ground zero for this clash between big government and the citizenry. I think ground zero is California. When Brown is forced to cut off vital services it will get very ugly. Wait and see. As with Obama, you will see hopium turn into sulphur gas.

  244. I’m iffy on the Wall Street transaction tax. It would definitely bring in money, and I’m all for making the bankers pay more, but often things that sound like a good idea have unintended consequences that make it less workable in practice.

    I’ll need to research that one some more to figure out what the ripple results might be. Often those transactions are based on profit from sheer volume, trading stocks back and forth very quickly making only pennies on each one, but each is counted as an individual transaction. If the amount of the transaction tax makes it impossible to profit doing that, you could grind the stock market to a halt.

    Maybe you could do a tax on a daily trade basis, rather than an “each transaction” basis and get around it. I dunno. But like I said, I’d have to look into it before forming a definite opinion.

  245. Basil, some of the things that are driving up sped costs is that the numbers of some categories of sped kids is exploding. In my district, over the past decade or so, the sheer numbers of students with Autism and Emotional/Behavioral disorders has skyrocketed. No one seems to know why but this increase in students has increased costs as districts need to have more sped teachers/programming to accomodate their needs.

    Also, there are some students with developmental disabilities who are so significantly physically and mentally impaired that they require one on one nursing care and individualized support from paraprofessional over day. This is extremely expensive. They also require special equipment and related professional services (OT, PT etc)–this is also costly. This is one area where we as special ed. teachers wonder ourselves if it’s really free and appropriate education when students are receiving primarily nursing care rather than educational learning in a school setting. These are students so disabled they are unresponsive and cannot be taught–basically they are the cognitive level of an newborn infant.

    On top of this, many parents will keep their significantly disabled children in school until age 21 irregardless of any progress not being made. That is also costly to the district (although it is their right under current law).

    Perhaps the outlying district you mentioned as a higher percentage of more significantly disabled students–that would account for their higher costs.

    There is no question that special ed. is costly. IMO, cutting sped funds would set off legal challenges by parents as current law is quite clear that students are entitled to receive the services deemed appropriate. I myself have serious questions on some things we do with special ed. however. I wish I knew the answer on how to make things better…

  246. AG, I have a handicapped child myself (grown now), and I agree with you. I’m all for educating special needs kids to the limit of their capabilities, but we have to realize that there ARE limits to what can be done for them. It’s reached a point where the taxpayers are paying for what amounts to nursing care, babysitting, and entertainment to keep them occupied. That could all be done at home. They are not benefitting from any “education” in those cases.

  247. HillaryforTexas
    February 21st, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    I agree–I know its difficult for folks with a significantly handicapped child but my own feeling is that if there is no demonstrable learning that can take place, and if the child needs primarily nursing care, why are they in a school setting? Lots of money is spent in my district teaching staff how to use equipment, do tube feedings, range of motion exercises, and other special procedures due to the primarily physical needs of these students. I am not uncaring..I just wonder if the student wouldn’t be better served in a medical setting. They really aren’t getting any learning needs met in our special ed. classrooms plus their transition after graduation is going to be to an medical care facility (unless parents are going to care for them at home).

  248. The world is going to have to send in the military to extract foreigners from Libya, if this continues.

    People cannot get out of Libya, they are trapped. There is no way for foreigners to get out, they are having to escape by any means, all airports have been shut, no one processing the required exit visa and there are thousands upon thousands stranded and trapped.

  249. There are pictures of them shooting at children on the tv right now.

    Stalin-like brutality: Al Jazeera now showing many injured children with blood streaming out of their heads in Libya.

  250. turndownobama and Basil
    February 21st, 2011 at 1:01 pm
    How fair is it that gifted and talented kids are deprived of advanced classes, music and other extra-curricular activities?

    =================

    Right. Be nice to the ’special ed’ kids, but it’s the gifted kids that can grow up to cure cancer, if given more actual education.

    ___

    I have to respond here.. I don’t know how you can judge one human being as more valuable than another based on intellect. I teach children with mild/moderate developmental disabilities. Although none of my students will become doctors, lawyers or go to college, most will work at regular jobs in the community and have a life like everyone else. Most non-special ed. students at my high school will not become doctors or lawyers or go to college but we still educate them so they can be independent after graduation.

    Gifted and talented kids aren’t suffering because of a lack of special programs–they will excel in whatever classes they take. Most high schools have advanced placement classes in the core academic areas and the opportunity to take college classes if there is one in the area. While there may not be as many opportunites for them as we would like, they are there..There is no study I know of that says we are losing the potential of the gifted due to lack of specialized programming.

  251. Update : My friend and his colleagues are surrounded in the compound, they have no passports, they are cut off now, they have been refused permission to leave by the libyan Govt, the turkish aircraft has been refused permission to land. This is happening all over the country to many companies, I think Gaddafi wants a human shield, hostages?

    I’m am terrified this is Gadaffi’s game. I have not heard from my friend for many hours now.

  252. Breaking Russia Today Arabic: Gaddafi’s personal Security Brigade known as the “Mohammed Al Migraif” has joined the protesters in Tripoli

    If this is true, Gaddafi is finished.

  253. AmericanGal
    February 21st, 2011 at 1:56 pm
    ——————————–
    Well stated. And that is the beauty of public education–as opposed to vouchers, home schooling–and elite institutions like Harvard. They regard anyone who did not have the money to get to Harvard as intellectually and morally inferior. If their track record was really superior then we might be tempted to defer to their manifest wisdom and judgement. But too often their performance falls far short of expectations, and they turn out to be self promoters, and promoters of others who hail from their alma mater. From what I have seen in talking with these people in the various professions, they believe in the inate superiority of their own judgment, and do not believe that all boats must rise with the tide. If there is a lynch pin to a just society, then surely it is that. The distinction between Democrats and Republican does not mean much to me at this point. There are the self serving elites, and then there are the rest of us.

  254. Moonpluto, that situation in Libya is sounding more seriouis by the minute… I certainly hope your friend is safe and in hiding somewhere.

  255. The leadership principle assumes a willingness by people to defer to the superior judgment of the leader, but the predicate to this is a faith by the people that the leader will do what is best for the people. When faux leaders like Obama are willing to sell out the interests of their constituents to the elites for personal gain, their claim to leadership becomes not only illegitimate but obscene.

  256. AmericanGal
    February 21st, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    turndownobama
    February 21st, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Right. Be nice to the ’special ed’ kids, but it’s the gifted kids that can grow up to cure cancer, if given more actual education.

    ___

    I have to respond here.. I don’t know how you can judge one human being as more valuable than another based on intellect.
    —————————–

    AmericanGal, good response.

    What an idiotic (and even inhumane) view from the other commenter.

  257. This situation has been difficult for me in WI. I was born there, went to college there and continue to have many union friends in the state. Needless to say, they are all in Madison as I type. I was a union member, as all of my family, but even at a young age I saw the union’s as corrupt. The problem is so many unionized people just pay their dues and if their job is secure they really don’t look into where the money goes and where it could be used in a more beneficial way for the workers. I think since the 60’s the Union’s have just fed on their own. Very little of the dues went into enlarging the membership.But who will speak for the people if the union’s are busted? Maybe they need to be busted in order to be reformed.

  258. moononpluto
    February 21st, 2011 at 2:01 pm
    ——————————-
    I know none of the details, but it does occur to me that this may be another case of revolt against the presumed successor whom the despot wants to install when he leaves the stage. As in Egypt the heir apparent is probably the son. And Gaddaffi’s son is an idiot. I recall reading stories of him driving his sports car down the Champs Elysees at breakneck speed and being arrested, and his goon squad in the City of Light roughing people up at restaurants. As in Egypt, you are apt to find that others are behind it.

  259. gonzo, I understand your mixed feelings, as I have them as well. One of the problems in the debate is looking to past accomplishments of unions (and they are many, and good), as a legitimizing factor for what they are doing today.

    That’s silly, in my mind. One may as well tell all blacks they had to mindlessly continue to support the republicans because of Lincoln and the fact that Jim Crow laws were passed by Democrats. It is not a dismissal of past accomplishments to take a good hard look at whether the organization of TODAY is doing the same things as the organization of yesterday.

    Organizations have to be accountable for their current focus and actions – they can’t just expect blind allegiance because of good they did in the past.

  260. Right. Be nice to the ’special ed’ kids, but it’s the gifted kids that can grow up to cure cancer, if given more actual education.

    ___

    I have to respond here.. I don’t know how you can judge one human being as more valuable than another based on intellect.

    ================

    The ones with intellect are the more likely to cure cancer.

  261. Guys, I don’t think turndown meant that comment about special ed kids as a blanket statement as to their inherent worth as human beings. Sheesh, she wasn’t saying deny them help or care or acceptance. She/he was just pointing out that the PURPOSE of even having public education is to educate toward some productive goal. In some cases, there is really a point beyond which you are not “educating” to any logical end, and that money could be more productively spent.

  262. Interesting….I was not sure how it was going to play.

    48% Back GOP Governor in Wisconsin Spat, 38% Side With Unions

    A sizable number of voters are following new Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s showdown with unionized public employees in his state, and nearly half side with the governor.

    A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters agree more with the Republican governor in his dispute with union workers. Thirty-eight percent (38%) agree more with the unionized public employees, while 14% are undecided.

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/february_2011/48_back_gop_governor_in_wisconsin_spat_38_side_with_unions

  263. I don’t remember who said that the money spent on some stuff for sped kids would save money caring for them when they graduate. But if so, then whose budget is being saved and whose budget is being stressed? It’s the agencies who will save later, who should be paying the costs now — not public schools.

  264. Gaddafi has apparently said “I was the one who created Libya, I will be the one to destroy it”

    What else does the world need to know what he’s going to do.

  265. This is interesting, moon. The ones strongly in support of the unions are those making under 20,000 (who do not pay taxes) and also kids ( a lot of whom do not pay taxes). The bulk of actual taxpayers fall in the 60-75 group, and they are strongly in Walker’s corner. Also, the public union is losing Independents in a BIG way, and that’s who swings elections. The Democrat numbers are irrelevant as to pushing Walker to change his stance, as he knows those votes are not his anyway.

    —————-

    As of Friday and Saturday, two-thirds of likely voters nationwide have followed the controversy in Wisconsin. Men were more likely to follow it (79%) than women (58%), while younger voters were the only age demographic to not have a majority following it closely (47%). Only that age demographic was more likely to agree with the unions than Governor Scott Walker (36/52), while every other age demographic had a plurality or majority siding with the governor.

    No one will be shocked to find Democrats opposed to Walker’s plan, 21/68, although the opposition seems a little weak, under the circumstances. Also, no one will be surprised to see almost the mirror image among Republicans, 68/15. Independents across the nation give a strong endorsement to Walker, 56/31. Among income demographics, only those earning under $20K per year support the unions (30/54), while Walker gains a plurality or majority in every other income demographic, including a 62/27 among the $60-75K demo. Interestingly, unions only barely edge Walker among government employees, 44/46.

  266. Moon,
    Why is it taking so long for the US Ambassadors to get out….why are they just doing it now…Moon I hoping for the best from you about your friend….things sound horrid there.

  267. Wisconsin needs 20 Sens to vote on financial bills but only 17 on any other bill.

    GOP may bring voter ID to a vote in Dems absence (Wi Republicans call Rats bluff)

    As the budget standoff drags on, Republicans and Democrats are holding possible bargaining chips in their efforts to end the stalemate that has held up action on Gov. Scott Walker’s bill to fix the state budget and take away most of public workers’ union rights.

    And one of those chips may be a bill to require voters to show ID at the polls – a change Republicans have long wanted and Democrats fear will disenfranchise voters.

    Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) on Monday said Republicans who control the Legislature may bring that bill to the floor if Democrats continue to boycott Senate sessions for much longer. Democrats went to Illinois Thursday to prevent passage of the bill on union rights.

    On Tuesday, the Senate will vote on measures to honor the Green Bay Packers and extend a dairy and livestock tax credit. Fitzgerald said the ID bill could come another day if Democrats don’t return. Without Democrats present, the Republicans have enough members to be able to hold votes on non-financial bills but not on a fiscal bill like a budget.

  268. UN Sec General has spoken to Gaddafi to warn him to stop…..

    Yeah I’m sure he listened, what are these idiots on.

    The only thing Gaddafi listens to is a cruise missile through the front window.

  269. Re WI, hell, I kind of like the “right to work” principle. I’m just dubious about what’s actually in WALKER’s bill, the fine print, since he’s trying to ram it through so fast without debate on the details.

  270. Egyptian Army furious at Gaddafi for blaming Egyptians behind the uprising.

    Preparing to evacuate Egyptians in Libya themselves. They could get involved and not afraid to shoot back.

  271. “Gaddafi has apparently said “I was the one who created Libya, I will be the one to destroy it”

    —————–

    Insane.

    I wonder how the rest of the world can just stand there and let this happen. If ever there was a time to send troops in to save the people, this is it.

  272. JanH,
    You know that little spineless jerk Obambi is not going to send them in….Hillary would have already done it!

  273. Maybe the Egyptian army will go in and take over Libya while they’re at it. The US could slip Egypt some more tear gas,preferably with the labels filed off.

  274. The Egyptian army says they have up to a million Egyptians working in Libya. Tehy need to protect them, if Gaddafi is airbombing them, then they will only stand back so long.

  275. Lots of money is spent in my district teaching staff how to use equipment, do tube feedings, range of motion exercises, and other special procedures due to the primarily physical needs of these students.
    [….] their transition after graduation is going to be to an medical care facility

    ================

    Sounds like a lot of duplication of equipment and staff training. Perhaps better to just expand the later facility to handle them years sooner.

  276. WHy isn’t the WH saying something about this….Bambi was all over Mubarak, but we hear nothing about Kadaffi…all this makes a person….huh!

  277. By Bruno Waterfield, Brussels 5:38PM GMT 21 Feb 2011
    Comment
    Following an emergency EU meeting of foreign ministers on the situation in Libya, Mr Hague was asked if Britain, or other Western countries, knew if Col. Gaddafi had left Tripoli.
    “About whether Col. Gaddafi, is in Venezuela, I have no information that says he is although I have seen some information that suggests he is on his way there,” he said.
    British officials stressed that Mr Hague was referring “not to media reports but information from other channels”. “This is credible information,” said a diplomat.

  278. And that nut Gaddafi was encouraging the protestors in other Arab/Muslim countries to uprise as well as the Palestinians …I guess, as someone said, his chickens have come home to roost.

  279. AmericanGal,

    Apologies if my comments offended. I was speaking about the special education budget because that’s the one recently discussed by the BOE and when I spoke to the SE Director and crunched the numbers, well, they were absolutely shocking. Spending so much more for some students isn’t exactly fair.

    After looking at the budget and seeing the amount paid out of district to special services it definietly crossed my mind there is far more going on than just attending to the education of SE students. I’m talking kickbacks, special relationships, etc.

    And about the number of students now classifed as SE, where the heck is that coming from? Is it actually true or is there a concerted effort to classify more students to justify existing programs and staff. I’m just saying because the same thing goes on with other departmental numbers, the padding of expenses, etc.

    The rest of the district budget, IMHO, is equally obscene. They just haven’t gotten to all the specifics, yet. I will say that the district I cover has as few as ten and less students in some regular HS classes. I think that’s ridiculous.

    There are also many regular ed MS and HS teachers who only teach a few classes a day and then do double duty as deans, or other things.

    Allocation of funds and who gets the funds is a joke. I remember all during my first 13 or so years of teaching I only got roughly $1G a year salary increase.

    Then, all of a sudden, in what was nicknamed the “bubble step” the salary would go up by as much as $15-$20G. Of course I loved it but I remember thinking why are the teachers in the first 10 years of teaching, when many are more energetic, motivated and excited about the profession, gien such meager additional compensation.

    What I’m saying is I think it’s a friggin’ racket which in many cases doesn’t serve anyone except those in power and thier cronies at local, county and state levels.

    About special education teachers, my best friend at the last school I taught was one and she was amazing. The good ones are unbelievable and they have the patience of a saint. But just as in many other positions, especially the so-called “specialist” positions, many just don’t pull their weight.

    I am absolutely convonced you are not one of them by the heartfelt way you express yourself about the children you teach.

    Like I said, it’s been areal wake-up call being on the other side of the school budget process and I sometimes feel a little guilty for getting sick and getting early retirement disability, especially since I’m now 1 year cancer-free. (Got very positive results from a petscan last week).

    The issue is supremely complicated. I believe the Wisconsin protests have left a bad taste in the publics mouths. The protesters have come across as greedy, insensitive, bullying and entitled.

    Like I said before, I don’t know what the answer is except there have to be cuts.

    HillaryforTexas,

    ‘What would happen if the teacher’s union was limited to JUST actual teachers, and bloated administration had to collectively bargain separately?”

    THE ADMINISTRATORS IN THE DISTRICT I COVER DO HAVE A SEPARATE BARGAINNG UNIT AND THEY DO VERY WELL FOR THEMSELVES. lAST YEAR, THE SUPERINTENDENT CUT 45 POSITIONS MOSTLY FROM LOW-SALARY AIDES, ASSISTENTS, BUS AND CUSTODIAL WORKERS AND A FEW TEACHERS. HE DID NOT TOUCH THE ADNMINISTRATIVE STAFF. TAXPAYERS ARE STILL FURIOUS ABOUT IT.

    😳 Sorry for the caps.

    It shows where the district priorities are – not to help the kids but to keep high-paid low-putput bloviating administrators onboard.

    AmericanGal, once I again I apologize if you took my comments as critical of SE. I agree all kids should be helped through the public education system. I’m just not sure SE is not getting a bigger share of the budget than they should. I agree the medical needs of some kids should not be handled in the educational setting but in a medical setting.

  280. moononpluto
    Where are you getting your information about Libya. Yesterday you said one brother shot the other, yet I haven’t hard anything reported on that. Now they are shooting children and the tv is covering it? Which tv?

  281. moononpluto
    February 21st, 2011 at 2:55 pm
    Interesting….I was not sure how it was going to play.

    48% Back GOP Governor in Wisconsin Spat, 38% Side With Unions
    **********************************
    Isn’t union membership among the general population only about 20% or less (anyone have that figure). So if 38% are supporting the union position, that is not good news for the rightwing’s attempt to eliminate the unions.

  282. I get all the middle eastern tv channels here, Al jaz and many others. Being over here means you get the full force of info not the sanitized version.

  283. BREAKING Al Arabiya: Reports that Muammar Gaddafi will be delivering an address on TV soon

    This ought to be good for a looney tunes of the month view.

  284. I have a special needs family member in a well-off but very small school district (autism). He is now in high school and doing well, but his parents have been fighting to have the schools continue to give him this special ed. They are both professionals who can well afford to send him to a special needs program outside of the school system for an hour or two a day or week, whatever he needs. I think the current laws are too big a burden on some school systems, so should be looked at again.

  285. BCLover, see the bit about Independents. There is no way to spin this poll as good for the teacher unions.

    I saw an earlier poll that showed a very sharp contrast in support for private-sector unions, which is MUCH higher. Most support them. People have issues with govt employee unions for a lot of reasons that do not apply to other unions,

  286. HillaryforTexas
    February 21st, 2011 at 4:47 pm
    One person’s spin is another person’s propaganda. Now it’s private sector unions against public sector unions? I sure haven’t seen alot of support for private sector unions. It’s the old divide and conquer, so now we pit private sector unions against public sector unions. To what end?

  287. I’ll take Tarpley’s opinion any time anywhere.
    He has it right. Divide and Conquer-

    As he said, the Koch People are taking over and infiltrating the T-Party.

    When someone pokes fun at an honest man- I always perceive their ridicule as childish ignorance.
    ____________________________

    Here’s the example:

    February 19, 2011

    There’s a Tea Party rally in Wisconsin today —

    pro-Scott Walker — and I’m a bit wary.

    Red State says:

    Calling all tea party and grassroots conservatives in Wisconsin! This is your moment. Your state is ground zero in the fight against the unions. We win there, we win everywhere.

    The fight against the unions… Well, there’s an open declaration that it’s not about solving the budget crisis, fairness, and shared sacrifice.

    I’m sure the people who’ve been protesting for the last 4 days will appreciate your frankness. That’s what they accuse the Wisconsin GOP of doing. Is that the Tea Party way? You’re coming in to serve us some iced tea, here in the Wisconsin winter — ice tea with a wedge of divisiveness, for that refreshing gulp of pure partisan flavor.

    Why else do you think President Obama, Organizing for America and just about every element of the Left is focused on the fight in Wisconsin? Heck, even the godfather of the union movement, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, is flying into Madison today [to] address the union protestors.

    Yes, the anti-Scott Walker side has its outside agitators. I don’t think that necessarily helps the protesters win over the people of Wisconsin. (As I’ve said.) By contrast, Scott Walker and the GOP legislators have looked like they are focused on the public good, doing what needs to be done for the people of Wisconsin, which I think is a persuasive political message in Wisconsin. You want to switch that to Republicans versus Democrats in a hardcore political standoff? By bringing in your own outside agitators?

    Is that good Tea Party style? I don’t think so!

    As the union thugs and clueless students run around the capitol shouting, “Tax the rich, fix the deficit!” and holding up signs with crosshairs on Scott Walker’s head, the taxpayers of Wisconsin have been organizing.

    Tomorrow, (Saturday, February 19) from noon to 3pm, the local tea party leaders from across Wisconsin and American Majority are joining in a counter protest to the unions (I Stand with Scott Walker!) on the state capitol grounds in Madison.
    Okay, fine. Fine to have a protest supporting our governor. But it should be about Wisconsin and the public good — not party politics.

    Confirmed speakers are Andrew Breitbart, Herman Cain, Jim Hoff of Gateway Pundit and my brother Ned with more to come.
    Something tells me these people are not Wisconsinites.

    Fox News, CNN and ABC News will be covering the event.

    You can knock yourself out verifying the info at the links here:

    http://althouse.blogspot.com/2011/02/theres-tea-party-rally-in-wisconsin.html

  288. February 21st, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Update : My friend and his colleagues are surrounded in the compound, they have no passports, they are cut off now, they have been refused permission to leave by the libyan Govt, the turkish aircraft has been refused permission to land. This is happening all over the country to many companies, I think Gaddafi wants a human shield, hostages?
    I’m am terrified this is Gadaffi’s game. I have not heard from my friend for many hours now.
    ___________________

    Moon- is your friend an American? Have you gotten any word from him?

  289. CNN finally reporting on Libyan violence saying they are using airplanes to attack protestors and pilots have flown to Malta to avoid having to attack protestors.

  290. Moon is also a boy, thank you……

    Nope, no word, there are 25’000 turks trapped in Libya. My Friend is Turkish, last word i got was, they were not letting them leave, they have had all passports confiscated.

  291. BCL, it’s not a matter of pitting one against the other. I discussed the very real differences between private sector and public sector unions upthread, at length, and the reasons why the public views them somewhat differently. I won’t repeat myself – you’re free to go read it.

    The dynamics and forces that keep costs under control for private unions simply do not exist in the public unions.

  292. Rest assured Obama is backing this with help from the Republicans all the way… Good Cop/Bad Cop… again and again!
    _______________________

    Neither Side Budging in Wisconsin Union Fight
    Feb 21, 2011 – 2:45 PM

    WALKER”S proposals:

    MADISON, Wis. — No resolution appeared imminent Monday to the stalemate over union rights in Wisconsin, leaving Senate Republicans resigned to forge ahead with less-controversial business such as tax breaks for dairy farmers and commending the Green Bay Packers on winning the Super Bowl.

    As the standoff entered its second week, none of the major players offered any signs of backing down in a high-stakes game of political chicken that has riveted the nation and led to ongoing public protests that drew a high of 68,000 people on Saturday. Thousands more braved cold winds and temperatures in the 20s to march again on Monday, waving signs that said “Stop the attack on Wisconsin families” and “solidarity.”

    The 14 Senate Democrats who skipped town Thursday to indefinitely delay a vote on Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s bill stripping most collective bargaining rights from nearly all public employees remained missing in action for a fifth day.

    “You have shut down the people’s government, and that is not acceptable,” Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said during a brief meeting Monday setting the agenda for Tuesday’s Senate session.

    Two of the missing Democrats participated by phone from an undisclosed location. (death threats? from BOTH sides?)

    “You’re not in negotiations. There is no negotiation,” Fitzgerald said, cutting off one of the Democrats on the phone. “You need to get back to the floor of the Senate and offer any ideas you may have on final passage. That’s where we’re at. There is no negotiation.”

    Both the Senate and Assembly planned to be in session on Tuesday to take up the bill, but at least one of the missing Democrats needed to show up for a vote to be taken in the Senate. Assembly Democrats planned to offer dozens of amendments that could push a vote into Wednesday or later.

    Although Tuesday’s list of items, including the resolution honoring the Packers, is largely bipartisan, Fitzgerald hinted that he might try to push some more controversial ones later, even if the Democrats aren’t back. Among the possibilities is a vote on the question of whether voters should be required to show identification at the polls.

    The Democratic senators taking part in the scheduling meeting urged Republicans to accept the offer made by the unions under which they would accept paying more for benefits as Walker wants but still retain their collective bargaining rights.

    Another compromise offered by Republican Sen. Dale Schultz would remove collective bargaining rights just for two years

    “It’s time for all of us to move forward,” said Democratic Sen. Dave Hansen of Green Bay over the phone to the Republicans.

    Walker has rejected both offers, saying local governments and school districts can’t be hamstrung by the often lengthy collective bargaining process and need to have more flexibility to deal with up to $1 billion in cuts he will propose in his budget next week and into the future.

    “It will never get to me because other than that one state senator, all the rest of the Republicans are firmly behind our proposal,” Walker said in an MSNBC interview on Monday, calling it an unacceptable short-term fix.

    The emergency plan he wants the Legislature to pass would address this year’s $137 million shortfall and start dealing with the $3.6 billion hole expected by mid-2013. The benefits concessions would amount to $30 million this year, but the largest savings Walker proposed comes from refinancing debt to save $165 million.

    That portion must be done by Friday for bonds to be refinanced in time to realize the savings by June 30, the end of this fiscal year.

    Walker said not passing the bill by Friday would make even deeper cuts necessary and possibly result in laying off 1,500 workers over the next four months.

    Thousands of those affected and their supporters marched on the Capitol for a seventh straight day. Hundreds of them have been sleeping in the rotunda every night and several districts have had to close after so many teachers called in sick. The Madison School District was closed Wednesday through Monday but was expected to reopen Tuesday.

    Districts in central Wisconsin were also closed Monday, but that was because of 10 to 12 inches of snow. Milwaukee schools were shut down for a pre-scheduled midsemester break. Those closures, on top of Monday being a previously scheduled furlough day for state workers, resulted in another large crowd Monday but an official estimate was not yet released.

    At noon, guitarist Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine took to a stage on the Capitol steps to fire up the crowd. He said he flew in from California to lend his voice to the protest.

    “The future of workers’ rights will be decided in Madison, Wisconsin,” he said. “You’re making history here.”

    He joked that he could hardly play the guitar because his fingers were numb. He sang a song with the refrain, “For the union men and women standing up and standing strong!” Each time he repeated that lyric, the crowd roared.

    Sponsored Links
    Walker’s plan would allow unions representing most public employees to negotiate only for wage increases, not benefits or working conditions. Any wage increase above the Consumer Price Index would have to be approved in a referendum. Unions would face a vote of membership every year to stay formed, and workers could opt out of paying dues.

    The plan would also require many public employees to cut their take home pay by about 8 percent by contributing more of their salaries toward their health insurance and retirement benefits, concessions the unions have said they’re willing to accept.

    But Walker and Republicans are showing no willingness to budge while the Senate Democrats say they are prepared to stay away for weeks if that’s what it will take.

    http://www.aolnews.com/2011/02/21/gop-senators-needed-for-compromise-in-wisconsin/?icid=main%7Cnetscape%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk3%7C202681

  293. BigCatLover,

    That’s one of the issues I have about SE. There are a few parents of SE students who come to BOE meetings and demand expensive programs for their kids be retained and threaten legal action if they’re not. At one of last year’s budget hearing many of those who stood up to speak were in cushy jobs, NOT in the classroom and, IMHO, just trying to protect their positions.

    In elementary schools, I saw a lot of resentment toward SE classrooms primarily because those teachers had 1 ior 2 assistants in the room and usually had very low class sizes, less than 10, while grades K-5 would have 25-30 kids with no assistants.

    I know some of the kids are absolute nightmares to deal with and extra help is needed but I also think there have been many ancillary positions created for people who may only service a couple of kids a week. Other teachers are often resentful of the extra help given SE teachers.

    But the goal of many an ‘educator’ is to get licensed in some specialist field and get out of the classroom ASAP.

    Politics rules and those who are friendly with the administrators and the prinicipals often get the best classes, the best kids, the most help, etc.

    It’s shameful.

    I will say that even if my health holds up I would NEVER go back to teaching. I would rather work as a Wal-Mart cashier then go back into the public school system.

  294. I’ve seen photos and video of people blown to pieces on middle east tv, its disgraceful, poor kids being shot at. One woman was shot just because she was looking out her window.

    You would not believe what is going on over in Libya and the west is NOT showing it.

  295. HillaryforTexas
    February 21st, 2011 at 5:04 pm
    I’ve read the post you refer to and I have no argument with it, except to say that the private sector is highly regulated, so is not running wild. I have never been in a union, public or private, so have no dog in this fight. I did work for a public sector organization so saw much up close and personal, so I report on what I saw. Your argument seems to be mostly that you have a statistic or poll number and figures don’t lie. I have to say to that – Hahahaha.

    Moononpluto
    Since I’ve been following your shocking comments, Ive been wondering when American news was going to catch up and I’m appalled it seems to be taking so long. But, finally CNN is giving it some air time although nothing like the coverage they gave to Egypt. I wonder if that is because they can’t get their own reporters in there?

  296. BCL, maybe you did not scroll up far enough. I explained the differences in the two types of unions, and the incentives (or lack thereof) to control costs in depth. See @ 10:32 and around 12:14

    I’m not sure how you get “mostly a statistic or a poll number” from that, but whatever.

  297. HillaryforTexas
    February 21st, 2011 at 5:26 pm
    Yes, I read that comment and don’t have a problem with it. Quoting statistics and poll numbers were done in other comments. I’m just saying you did not seem to think that my real world examples that I’ve explained over several days have the same weight and want to argue with me on them and call it spin. We disagree on this. I think both can be valid and one does not trump the other.

  298. Big deal. Once again obama is a day late and a dollar short.

    Obama seeking reform in Libya, official says

    Washington (CNN) — U.S. authorities were keeping a close watch on Libya’s rapidly unfolding political crisis Monday, in part to see what possibilities might exist for meaningful reform, a senior Obama administration official said.

    Among other things, Washington was taking a close look at a speech delivered Sunday by Saif al-Islam Gadhafi — Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s son — which included warnings of a civil war if demonstrations in the North African country don’t stop.

    In the same speech, Saif Gadhafi also acknowledged changing times regionally and proposed “radical” reforms — like bolstering local governments, relaxing restrictive laws, raising salaries, extending loans, and drafting a constitution, which doesn’t now exist.

    Obama officials continued to discuss with their Libyan counterparts the need to avoid violence against peaceful protesters, the official added.

    President Barack Obama was briefed on the situation in Libya by his national security adviser, Tom Donilon, on Sunday night, the official also said.

    Despite the warning from Gadhafi’s son, Libya’s protesters are showing no sign of an intention to back down. After Gadhafi’s government apparently lost control of the city of Benghazi, some angry protesters in Tripoli said they hoped for a similar turn of events in the nation’s capital.

    Tripoli residents said state-run al-Shababiya TV was attacked Sunday evening by anti-government protesters. CNN, however, could not immediately confirm reports. The Libyan government maintains tight control on communications and has not responded to repeated requests from CNN for access to the country.

    CNN has interviewed numerous witnesses by phone.

    The current unrest, spurred largely by demands for freedom and angst over high unemployment, has left at least 233 people dead in Libya, according to Human Rights Watch, citing information from hospital sources.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/02/21/libya.us.reaction/

  299. And from Hillary…

    Libya must stop ‘unacceptable bloodshed’ now: Clinton
    (AFP) – 19 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Libya on Monday to immediately put an end to “unacceptable bloodshed” as she condemned Moamer Kadhafi’s protest crackdown.

    “The world is watching the situation in Libya with alarm,” Clinton said in a written statement. “We join the international community in strongly condemning the violence in Libya.”

    “Now is the time to stop this unacceptable bloodshed,” she implored. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those whose lives have been lost, and with their loved ones.

    “The government of Libya has a responsibility to respect the universal rights of the people, including the right to free expression and assembly.”

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5i9UnJ6rkXibK3-R93xcc2QMuvkHA?docId=CNG.aa651167cd0af745b3cb395cf1d402e3.ad1

  300. LIBYA: Hillary Clinton says world is watching ‘with alarm’

    February 21, 2011

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that “the world is watching the situation in Libya with alarm,” Bloomberg reported.

    “We join the international community in strongly condemning the violence in Libya,” Clinton said in an e-mail statement. “The government of Libya has a responsibility to respect the universal rights of the people, including the right to free expression and assembly. Now is the time to stop this unacceptable bloodshed. We are working urgently with friends and partners around the world to convey this message to the Libyan government.”

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2011/02/libya-hillary-clinton-world-is-watching-with-alarm.html

  301. From Jan H link above:
    “CNN has interviewed numerous witnesses by phone.”

    Maybe that is why they are now reporting more details on Libya.

  302. Army has turned :

    Breaking Al Jazeera: Statement by Libyan Military Officers asks all members of the Libyan army to head to Tripoli & remove Gaddafi

  303. Basil,

    I am not upset but I feel compelled to defend my sped kids (and special ed in general) because we are an easy target due to the specialized nature of what we do and because so many people feel sped kids have no reason to deserve such a costly education. My belief is that it’s unfair (and wrong) to think they shouldn’t have the special educational assistance they need to succeed just because it costs more. And again, I know special ed. isn’t perfect–there are many things I myself would like to see changed (and there are many ways money could be saved if we would do things more efficiently).

    About that budget you cited–perhaps you have indeed uncovered some shennanigans in your district–

    I have honestly never experienced special ed. teachers in any school that I have worked “not pulling their weight”. Perhaps I’ve just been fortunate…

    The numbers of certain categories of sped students is indeed increasing as I mentioned earlier, particularly those with Autism. You cannot add students to special ed. simply to raise more money for teachers/staff. They have to meet state criteria (with documented standardized testing) although it is possible to slide some kids into the program via overrides. I think that students sometimes are left in special ed. longer than they need be however. This happens sometimes with learning disabled students who, as time goes on, may not need so much help anymore but are never exited from the program.

    I agree about overpaid administrators. There is someone in my district who was put in a made up administrative position and paid over $100,000 a year. No one could actually explain what his job was and what he did on a daily basis. It’s ridiculous..

  304. Liveblogging Libya on Al-Jazeera.

    FYI.

    As protests in Libya enter their eighth day, following a “day of rage” on Thursday, we keep you updated on the developing situation from our headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

    (All times are local in Libya)

    Blog: Feb17 – Feb18 – Feb19 – Feb20

    AJE Live Stream – Twitter Audio: Voices from Libya – Benghazi Protest Radio (Arabic)

    Benghazi Webcam – Libyan Youth Movement – LibyaFeb17.com

    February 22

    12:34am: Images of bodies gutted in the attacks are too harrowing to be shown. Our colleagues on the TV side of the newsroom have had to pixellate the bloodied bodies, where limbs have been hacked off and torsos maimed.

    12:32am: Saif Gaddafi denies any airstrikes on Libyan cities

    12:30am: Further reports that Libyan border guards have abandoned the eastern border with Egypt

    12:22am: Deputy FM denies use of mercenaries against Libyan citizens

    12:20am: Still waiting for that speech from Gaddafi.

    12:17am: Once the Libyan foreign minister comes off air, we’ll bring you a translated transcript of the fascinating exchange as soon as possible. Watch this space. Or follow Al Jazeera correspondent Rawya Rageh on Twitter @RawyaRageh who is tweeting about it constantly…

    12:15am: Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, says: “Now is the time to stop this unacceptable bloodshed”

    12:11am: Al Jazeera Arabic presenter tries to corner Khaled al-Gaeim, deputy foreign minister, to allow the network into the country to report on events there.

    If you don’t trust our coverage, why are you on air with us now?

    Deputy FM:

    I called in to tell you about your dismal coverage, and to say that you do not own the airwaves

    12:09am: Libyan deputy foreign minister denies any massacres have occurred in Benghazi or anywhere else in the country. He then blames Al Jazeera for “inciting strife”.

    What do you gain from your coverage? More employees?

    12:06am: Calls for solidarity protests around the world spread globally across online social networks.

    12:03am: Al Jazeera’s Anita McNaught, reporting from Istanbul, says a plane sent earlier today to pick up some of the 25,000 Turkish workers in Libya had to turn back after approaching the country – because there was no-one left in air control facilities

    12:01am: Online reports say Darnah city now under attack from “mercenaries”.

  305. AmericanGal,

    I have nothing but admiration for teachers, especially SE teachers, who really do work with their kids.

    Sandy, my friend in the Paterson School District was amazing. The things she did to control and teach her kids – many of which would undoubtably get her fired if some people knew about them but which she was forced to adopt in order to keep the kids in line – were brilliant. I saw her tackle, tickle, taunt and tease violent kids no one else could control and she would have them eating out of her hand. But it was a grueling daily battle. After 3 years in the classroom she finished her MA in some support position and couldn’t wait to get out.

    But Paterson is a very urban, very poor, very badly run school district. Most of my experience was in such districts. While the first 15 years I have to say I found it challenging and rewarding by the end I was completely burned out as much from the inequities in staffing as by the kids and parents.

    Anyway, you have my admiration for sticking up for your kids. If not you, then who? That, IMHO, is the mark of an excellent teacher.

    😀

  306. You know all this talk about SE kids and do any of you have one? I do, and it wasn’t easy to get him the help he needed. I had him tested, schooled and tutored on my own dime at a cost of over 100,000 dollars. Yes, I repeat a $100,000. The school district fought me at every turn. They poured more money into NOT educating my son then it would have taken to educate him. I sympathize with the SE kid. It is not an easy life. He had reading deficits of comprehension of a second grader in 10th grade. I could list all his deficits but won’t. He has many gifts as well and that is what I promoted, but I will be damned if I was just going to let him “pass” and not receive an education. This is a kid that I read to everyday and as he got old enough had him read to me everyday. I taught him how to multiple because the “new” math didn’t seem to think it was important, they use calculators you know ( At least that is what I have been told). Yes, I had a lawyer and yes I sued the ISD twice and won twice. And before the teachers in the audience speak up and think I am anti-teacher, my daughter is one, and quite good AND dare I say certified in SE. There are two sides to this story. When I was in school we didn’t have a lot of SE because they just dropped out. I now know why. In the end, I think the effects of the disintegration of the family has played out in the school room. Society is expecting the schools and teachers to make up for the failure of the family for our society as a whole to survive and it just can’t meet that expectation. It is impossible. I don’t have an answer.

  307. Gonzotx,

    It’s awful you had such a hard time getting services for your child..that’s not right. It certainly sounds like he had a disablity–not a good school district to deny him special education services–clearly they were in the wrong.

Comments are closed.