Friday, 25 February 2011

Wisconsin Pizza Revolution Update

Since I'm not getting much else done, I figured I'd blog on the Pizza Revolution in Wisconsin again.

We progressives have always snorted beer out our noses when we hear the phrase 'left-wing media bias', but it seems maybe the message is getting through to Americans.

Titled 'TheWisconsin Protests Shatter the Myth of Liberal Media Bias', the blogger writes:
Something has happened in the last two weeks that should dispel the widely held misconceptions that the “mainstream” media is liberal and generally supports Democrats. For the second weekend in a row, no labor leaders, such as the AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka, have been invited (as of now) on the Sunday morning shows.

He lists who is booked, rightwingnutbar governors from Wisconsin, Indiana, and New Jersey, union-busters all.
Notice what was missing? The opposing view point. Why might that be? Richard Trumka, the head of the AFL-CIO and probably one of the most charismatic leaders Big Labor has had in ages, has never been on any of the Sunday morning bobblehead shows. Wouldn’t a “liberal” “mainstream” media have had Trumka on at least once by now? He’s been AFL-CIO President since September 16, 2009, and was President of the United Mine Workers from 1982 to 1995.

Then an update: Trumka will appear.
Update: After a coordinated campaign of Tweeting and phone calls to Fischer and show host David Gregory, there was a late change Thursday evening for Sunday’s Meet the Press. The President of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, will be one of the guests for the show, along with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker(R). The change was sent out by Meet the Press’ Executive Producer Betsy Fischer. It’s telling that it took a herculean effort from bloggers and unions supporters to even have Mr. Trumka given the union side of the argument this weekend.

To update the situation there: the ReThuglicans in the Assembly pulled a fast one at about 1 a.m. last night and passed the bill. But, it needs Senate approval and the 'Wisconsin 14' are still hiding out. (The Senate needs a quorum of 20. ReThugs are one short.)

Rumours are flying on Twitter about whether the protesters who are still occupying the legislature will or will not be moved out tonight.

Mother Jones who has been all over this story launched a million sniggers and retweets with this:
Police say they're planning to sleep with #wiunion protesters tonight, demand capitol stays open #wiunion

And, in case you missed it, Gov. Walker got punked yesterday by a blogger from Buffalo, NY, pretending to be one of the evil billionaire Koch brothers on the phone. The whole idiotic dealie was recorded. Among other things, Walker responds to fake-Koch's suggestion that they send 'troublemakers' into the protests with: 'we thought about that'.

Oh, really? asks the mayor and police chief.
“I spent a good deal of time overnight thinking about Governor Walker’s response, during his news conference yesterday, to the suggestion that his administration ‘thought about’ planting troublemakers among those who are peacefully protesting his bill,” Police chief Noble Wray said in a statement.

“I would like to hear more of an explanation from Governor Walker as to what exactly was being considered, and to what degree it was discussed by his cabinet members.” Wray added.

“I find it very unsettling and troubling that anyone would consider creating safety risks for our citizens and law enforcement officers. Our department works hard dialoging with those who are exercising their First Amendment right, those from both sides of the issue, to make sure we are doing everything we can to ensure they can demonstrate safely,” he said.

Mayor Dave Cieslewicz also noted that he found Walker’s comments disturbing. He said Walker’s statement was “deeply troubling” especially because of the way the governor followed up by “brushing it off”, referring to Walker’s refusal to address the issue in press conferences and appearances on Wednesday and Thursday.

“The governor of Wisconsin actually thought about planting people in the crowds who might turn these peaceful protests into something ugly?” Cieslewicz asked in a statement.

Hmmm. And there may be further legal trouble for Walker.
"If Wisconsin law forbids coordination with political donors similar to federal law, Gov. Scott Walker is not just in political trouble, but in legal hot water,” said David Donnelly, national campaigns director for the Public Campaign Action Fund, in a statement.

More demos are planned for tomorrow right across the US. And 'The West Wing' is coming to Wisconsin. Actor Bradley Whitford, who played Josh Lyman and who is also a native of Madison, is going to emm-cee the rally.

The pizza part is continuing too. Ian's, the pizza joint taking orders from around the country and the world, has discontinued regular business to serve only the protesters.

You gotta admit -- Wisconsinites (?) really know how to protest. And party.

ADDED: I'm so wound into this, it just occurred to me that people might not understand that this battle is NOT just about union-busting. It's about far more. It's Shock Doctrine come home to roost, according to Paul Krugman.

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