Archive for rushpublic corporatists

Poll-itics and PhotOh! This is what solidarity looks like

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This is what union support looks like:

A new USA Today/Gallup poll finds the public strongly opposes laws taking away the collective bargaining power of public employee unions as a way to ease state financial troubles: 61% would oppose a law in their state similar to one being considered in Wisconsin, compared with 33% who would favor such a law.

This is what solidarity looks like, in Boston, where about 1200-1500 were there in support of Wisconsin. About 10 supported the tea party and their union-busting governor, Scott Walker:

Great thanks to momonpatrol & helpwomenheal for the photos.

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Welcome to Pottersville: Koch brothers quietly open lobbying office in downtown Madison

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Why don't the Kochs just buy the whole damn town state country?

Welcome to Pottersville KochVille:

The billionaire brothers whose political action committee gave Gov. Scott Walker $43,000 and helped fund a multi-million dollar attack ad campaign against his opponent during the 2010 gubernatorial election have quietly opened a lobbying office in Madison just off the Capitol Square.

Location! Location! Location!

Remember that group the Kochs back called Americans for Union Busting Prosperity? Well, Tim Phillips, president of said group, admitted that he had encouraged Walker to take on the unions even before the elections.  How nice that they get along so well.

There is one teensy weensy giggle among all this infoflatulence:

Koch Industries, which owns the Georgia-Pacific Corporation and the Koch Pipeline Company, operates gasoline supply terminals and a toilet paper factory in Wisconsin.

How appropriate. I will refrain from making distasteful jokes.

Now back to the infoflatulence already in progress. The lobbying interests include "the environment, energy, taxation, business, policy and other areas affecting Koch Industries, Inc. companies."  It gets better... they registered with the state two days after Walker took office. Not that there was any rush.

The expanded lobbying effort by the Koch brothers in Wisconsin raises red flags in particular because of a little discussed provision in Walker's repair bill that would allow Koch Industries and other private companies to purchase state-owned power plants in no-bid contracts.

I posted about that part of Walker's little plan here.

And to rub salt in the wound, Think Progress has this:

Today, the Koch group Americans for Prosperity announced that it will air an ad smearing the protesters in Madison and calling on the state to support Walker’s power grab.

On Wisconsin.

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Chart: For anyone who thinks Wisconsin state workers are overpaid... Oh, and Abraham Lincoln fled the state, too.

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Graph via Economic Policy Institute (H/t: Jenny)

For days, I've been receiving self-righteous tweets and comments from the right, regarding everything from "Ha! Obama's gonna lose in 2012!" (see link), to the evils of commie pinko unions who are rolling in dough while non-union workers are struggling (see link and chart above), to how dare we refer to our political opponents as "tea baggers" (see link and link)?!

And let us not forget the outrage-- outrage!-- over Wisconsin Democrats leaving the state in order to prevent Scott Walker's union busting.

This is dedicated to those kvetchers:

[T]hose in the Party of Lincoln should look to the 16th president before they criticize the Wisconsin Democrats. Indeed, 170 years before the Wisconsin Democrats fled Madison to deny a quorum, then-state Rep. Abraham Lincoln was fleeing the capitol in Springfield, IL — via a window, no less — to do the same in an attempt to save the State Bank of Illinois [...]

Indeed, the tactic has been used in the U.S. Senate on occasion as well. More recently, the tactic garnered national headlines in 2003 when Texas Democrats fled to New Mexico to block a GOP redistricting effort. Eliot Shapleigh, one of the “Texas Eleven” is now advising the Wisconsin Democrats.

It only takes one weak Democrat to cave and become an accessory to the attempted murder of unions. (see link) Neutralizing unions is tantamount to neutralizing the Democratic party and America's middle class. This is about single party rule... by the GOP.

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The Less Discussed Part of Walker’s Wisconsin Plan: No-Bid Energy Assets Firesales.

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I love people who read the fine print many miss, and then explain it clearly and concisely.

There is a lot more to this post explaining Scott Walker’s 144-page Budget Repair Bill, so please hop over and read the whole thing, but here's the gist:

The bill would allow for the selling of state-owned heating/cooling/power plants without bids and without concern for the legally-defined public interest. This excellent catch is from Ed at ginandtacos.com (who, speaking of Madison, took me to the Essen Haus on my 21st birthday, where the night began to go sideways). Ed correctly notes:

If this isn’t the best summary of the goals of modern conservatism, I don’t know what is. It’s like a highlight reel of all of the tomahawk dunks of neo-Gilded Age corporatism: privatization, no-bid contracts, deregulation, and naked cronyism. Extra bonus points for the explicit effort to legally redefine the term “public interest” as “whatever the energy industry lobbyists we appoint to these unelected bureaucratic positions say it is.”

[...]

The attempt to break labor is part of the same continuous motion as saying that the crony, corporatist selling of state utilities to the Koch brothers and other energy interests is the new “public interest.”

Spreading the truth is vital.  This was a good addition.

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