Archive for workers rights – Page 2

WTF is the matter with Michigan? Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse...


Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said that union busting is “pro-workers! It’s a good thing! This is a positive thing for unions!” Then the union busting “Right-to-work for work for less” measure was signed it into law. It's important to remember that Michigan’s “Right to Work” law contains verbatim language from ALEC model bill.

Speaking of remembering, remember King Ricky's appalling financial martial law? That was the legislation that allowed one person to dictate all kinds of things without any input from voters. For example:

He could do away with unions, with police officers, mayorships, you name it. You voted for someone and they won? Pfft, fuggetaboutit. OUT.

You like that school your kid goes to? Nevermind. GONE.

You cherish democracy and thought it would always be The American way? TOO BAD.

Remember all my rants about the GOP’s goal of crushing unions as a way of denying Democrats their political funding which would lead to eventual single party rule? Me too.

And now Michigan's House has passed new version and sent it to the Senate all nice and repackaged under a different name, and they're pushing it right on through as they are wont to do:

The state House passed late Wednesday what the Snyder administration says is a new and improved emergency manager law, but opponents say is a warmed-over version of what voters rejected Nov. 6.

Michigan gun owners with extra training could carry concealed weapons in schools under a bill OK'd by a House panel Yes, guns in schools are A-OK with Michigan's "pro-life" Republicans:

Gun owners with concealed weapon permits could get additional training that would allow them to carry their concealed firearms in schools and at sporting events on school property under legislation approved Wednesday by a Michigan House committee.

The bill, OK'd 7-2 by majority Republicans along party lines, is awaiting potential final votes before lawmakers conclude their lame-duck session. [...]

Public schools - currently gun-free unless someone openly carries a weapon - would have to allow concealed weapons under the bill... [U]nintended consequences - more potential for altercations at football games or students finding teachers' guns in locked places.

Is it the right time to discuss responsible gun regulation yet?

Because Republican just can't seem to learn any lessons from the November elections, they decided to pass a bill attacking LGBTs and women. And to make double super sure that their so-called "small government" keeps their big paws off the rights of individuals, they included a "conscience objection" for health care providers who don't want to give that care when they feel it conflicts with their religious beliefs. Never mind anyone else's beliefs... or non-beliefs.

In other words, they get to discriminate against gay people and female people, even when it means that their well-being is at stake:

The Republicans in the Michigan legislature have passed a bill today that would allow hospitals, nursing homes or any other health care center to deny services that run contrary to the religious teachings or conscious of its leaders. This so-called conscience objection bill would open the doors for healthcare providers, insurance companies and employers to disallow healthcare services to anyone they find objectionable, such as LGBT people and women seeking family planning services including birth control and abortions.

There you have it, Michigan in a very ugly nutshell.


Wisconsin Capitol cleanup will cost a whole lot less than Gov. Scott Walker estimated


Remember this?


Remember the millions of dollars of damage all those stinky, uniony protesters supposedly did to the Wisconsin Capitol building?

And remember the battle of the damage-to-the-Wisconsin-Capitol costs (State says damage to marble at Capitol could hit $7.5 million vs.DOA now estimate Capitol damage as low as $350,000)?

The Walker administration quickly acknowledged the $7.5 million cleanup cost was overstated, and had little more than some figures written on a sheet of notebook paper to back the estimate.

Hey, me too! But, oops, there's been another revision. The Sheboygan Press is reporting that... well, I'll let them tell you:

MADISON — Cleaning and restoring the state Capitol after last year's massive protests will cost about $200,000, according to the state Department of Administration, a total that's millions of dollars less than a state official's initial estimate of $7.5 million.

So, let's see... 7.5 million minus 200K, times GOP fail, plus anti-union bias, divided by idiocy, carry the talking points... Walker was only off by about $7,300,000.

Anybody could have made a tiny error like that. Scotty's made a bunch of 'em.

So the actual costs from those “slobs” practicing their First Amendment rights were even less than the first correction indicated. And a whole lot less than the RWNJ falsely claimed.


VIDEO: Solidarity Sing-Along protest in defiance of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's new permit rules


Solidarity Sing-Along #240 in defiance of new DOA permit rules from dane101 on Vimeo.

Under the always-obnoxiously dictatorial Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's new rules, permits and fees are now required in order to protest at the Capitol. So what's a protester to do? Why, get creative, that's what! And so Solidarity Sing-Alongs were born.

In this video, they met up, without seeking a permit, on the first day the implementation of the New Rules, and whaddya know, there were no arrests.


WI Dems have more than 500,000 recall signatures; Gov. Walker raises $5.1 million, files recall lawsuit


What a political volcano this is becoming, as expected. Recalling Scott Walker is essential to preserving what little fairness and democracy still remains in ScottWalkerstan Wisconsin. Little did he know that he would inspire thousands of people to rally against him and take action. We all owe him one, including the Occupy movement.

540,000 signatures must be collected by January 17th in order to proceed with a recall election (Well, 540,208 to be exact). So here comes the good news and the not so good news.

First, via Stevens Point Journal, some good news:

MADISON -- Organizers of the historic recall effort against Gov. Scott Walker announced Thursday that they have collected more than half a million signatures, a milestone that puts them more than 90 percent of the way toward the number needed to trigger an election.

The number being reported is 507,000. That's a pretty big wowee. They'll try to collect over 700,000 to compensate for any errors or fraudulent signatures, and my money is on their success.

Now for the not so good news. As anticipated, Scotty McKochBro is raking in the big corporate bucks, per WisPolitics:

In the first 30 days of the effort to recall him, Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign says he collected contributions from 46,976 individual donors, with 37,356 of them giving $50 or less.

Walker’s campaign released the cover sheet from his fundraising report Thursday, showing he raised $5.1 million, spent almost $4 million and had $3 million in the bank. [...]

State Dem Chair Mike Tate said he was not fazed by Walker’s fundraising report.

We have always know that Scott Walker was going to have all the money in the world at his disposal because he’s done so many favors for all these different corporate benefactors and insiders and people of favor.

Now for the irritating news, via The Northwestern:

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker's campaign and the head of the Wisconsin Republican Party sued the state elections board on Thursday, saying its process for reviewing signatures on recall petitions is unconstitutional.

The lawsuit asks a judge to order the Government Accountability Board to look for and eliminate duplicative signatures, obviously fake names such as Mickey Mouse, and signatures with clearly illegible signatures. The board argues that state law places the burden of challenging those signatures on the office holder being targeted for recall.

And by lawsuit, Scotty means, "Waaaah! Nobody likes me! My days are numbered! Mommyyyy! Waaaah!"


Standoff coming: Will Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker mass arrest solidarity singers right before Christmas?


On Monday, December 19th, there will be something to watch carefully, per Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice. At the Wisconsin Capitol, a Solidarity Sing-Along will take place, but this will be the first time that such an event will occur since (hopefully soon-to-be-recalled) Governor Scott Walker's new policy.

You remember that, right? It "would require demonstrations inside the Capitol of four or more people to request permits of the state 72 hours in advance, and could require protest groups to reimburse the state for the cost of policing them, at a cost of $50 per officer per hour."

Requiring payment for First Amendment rights, how democratic of him!


This dictatorial move by Scott Walker has already been asserted to be unconstitutional [...]

The restrictions are being taken as a direct response to the Solidarity Sing Along’, which has gotten under Walker’s skin to say the least. ... [E]very day since the mass protests started dying down there has been an average of 50-100 Wisconsinites who go back to the site of the occupation to use song in a continuous action against Governor Walker. [...]

It will represent a similar standoff that we have been seeing across the country (and world) with the movement stemming from Occupy Wall Street, and which we likewise saw consistently at the State Capitol occupation last spring.

I love that singing in the Capitol gets under Walker's skin. I think they should gather at his office door and sing this over and over and over again, just to see how long it would take for him to go completely bonkers (not much of a leap):


Wisconsin will likely get enough signatures for Walker recall. Also, Feingold recruitment abandoned.


Audio via.

The Big Gov. Scott Walker Recall Effort must collect 540,000 signatures by January 17th, and will probably get more as "insurance". To quote the trusty Magic Eight Ball:

Via, University of Wisconsin political scientist Barry Burden:

“I think everyone believes that the groups are on track to collect the signatures...Both Republicans and Democrats are betting on it. The progress they’ve made to this point suggests there’s a lot of enthusiasm for signing. Being halfway there with still six weeks to go, it looks do-able to me.”

Scotty Walker did an interview on CNBC and said this about the likelihood of enough signatures being gathered: “My guess is they probably will.”

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

However, the news isn't as upbeat when it comes to another effort, the one to recruit Russ Feingold to run for governor. He declined some time ago, but some people apparently still held out some hope.


Email correspondence authored by a Democratic National Committee member shows an attempt to produce a video to help try to convince former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold to run in a recall election against Governor Scott Walker has been abandoned.

Follow the link to see a list of potential candidates.

Onward and upward.


Anti-abortion Wisconsin lawmakers propose personhood amendment


It's like Wisconsin Republicans are begging for more recalls, are gluttons for more punishment, and are turning their backs on the very loud message from their very protesty voters. Do they not remember that two of their Senators were recalled, along with the repeal of union-busting Senate Bill 5 (SB5), and that their governor is facing his own possible recall election?

In other words, are they not getting that they don't have their own state behind them?

Do they not remember that the Mississippi personhood initiative was defeated 58% to 42%?

But why bother with the will of the people when you have a majority rule? Via The Wisconsin State Journal:

Many Wisconsin abortion foes are cheering the introduction of legislation that would amend the state constitution to extend personhood to the moment an egg is fertilized...

Of course this would mean no abortions, even in cases of rape and incest, and no hormonal contraception, including birth control pills and IUDs.

Wisconsin's "personhood" amendment, introduced last week by Rep. Andre Jacque, R-Bellevue, would define the terms "people" and "person" in the constitution to include "every human being at any stage of development." [...]

Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, said the legislation is a continuation of the Republican Party's "extreme social agenda," adding it's also "anti-business and anti-jobs" because of its potential impact on Wisconsin's bio-medical and embryonic stem cell research sectors.

Even Wisconsin Right to Life is against this, saying that campaigning for the amendment would be too costly and that, even if that was successful, it would lose if it went to court.

Meanwhile, look what it's costing Wisconsin, not only in dollars, but also in wasted energy, effort, and emotional stress.

Love the blastocyst, hate the already-born.