Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Wisconsin Update (March 2/11)

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker delivered his much anticipated/dreaded budget yesterday amidst huge controversy about who was allowed into the chamber to hear it. (There were rumours -- yet to be confirmed -- that Tea Bagger supporters were being spirited into the building through tunnels.)

Canadians will not be surprised to read the Democratic reaction, including the petty bit about where it took place (bold mine).
The location for the Democratic Assembly leaders' response to Gov. Scott Walker’s budget address was symbolic of how little regard their Republican colleagues must have for them.

They were forced to use the office of the minority leader, Rep. Peter Barca (D-Kenosha). It’s not a small office, but with about a dozen news outlets present -- half of them setting up TV cameras -- it was extremely cramped and stuffy. Several reporters sat on the floor, and others had to listen in from the next room.

Rep. Tamara Grigsby (D-Milwaukee) apologized for the small quarters and then added, "We weren’t allowed access to a larger room."

With such little power, what chance do the Democrats have in beating back against Walker’s budget, which calls for severe cuts to education and human services?

"It’s a very perilous time," agrees Rep. Kelda Helen Roys (D-Madison). But, she added, "Walker has managed to do in one fell swoop probably what no Democratic politician could have, which is awaken the voices of the people."

The main strategy -- or hope -- Democrats are banking on is that the already historic mobilization against Walker’s agenda will continue and grow. Rep. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) said: "This budget is so overreaching there are going to be many more citizen groups outraged. These are such deep cuts in health care and education.... This is not a Wisconsin people will recognize."

He's slashing funds for education and health care, increasing funds for prisons. As one tweep put it: 'He wants us poor, sick, ignorant, and scared.'

In typical NeoCon double-speak, Walker claimed that cutting money for cities and municipalities gives them the 'tools' to get their budgets under control.

In a 'take-that-you-pinko-commie' fit of juvenile pique, he also cut the state's recycling program.

To which, tweep FreyaFoust replied:
WI kills recycling program. Please send all used toilet paper to Koch Industries corporate office for recycling.

Koch Industries owns Georgia Pacific, huge manufacturer of paper products including Dixie cups. Good background on them in The New Yorker.

And in a move the so-conned won't like, he plans to close the female juvenile detention centre and mix the bad boys with the bad girls. Given that he's also axed funding for contraception, that oughta go well.

Other sorta random observations from your obsessed humble observer:

In a show of balls, solidarity, and disgust: Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney said he pulled his officers from barring the Capitol's entrances because he didn't want to put them in the 'position of being palace guards'.

Fucked News is doing its usual sterling job of making shit up reporting. First, a reporter who first claimed he had been 'punched' by a demonstrator, had to recant a little when the video demonstrated that the punch was, at worst, 'a pat'.

Same reporter was on the air when Fux aired footage of 'union thuggery' -- except, whoopsie! -- there were palm trees in the background.

Other Fux claims that 'union thugs' were bussed in are neatly spiked by zinovy08, who said: 'The bused in union thugs brought palm trees with them to Madison, WI.'

And, of course it continues. The hearing yesterday to open the Capitol to its people, as stipulated in the state constitution, is continuing today. It is being live-tweeted by two people: Analiese Eicher and ACLUMadison, who's having twitter problems at the moment. I'm following and will update.

In the meantime, watch working people and unions fight back.

Like Cons everywhere, these ReThugs are simply bullies. And pretty quick with the 'thug' word, all things considered.

UPPERDATE: BoingBoing confirms: Tea Bagging ringers snuck in through civil defense tunnels.


Dr.Dawg said...

This is a simply excellent post. Many thanks!

Anonymous said...

"stop the war on working families"

that would be a great line in Canada for the opposition to use. And for us workin' folks, as well.

900ft j

fern hill said...

@Dr. Dawg: aw, shucks.

@900ft j: That 'working families' schtick is waaay too often in Jack Layton's mouth and NDP advertising. Can't we just call ourselves 'working people' and stop with the fambly crap?

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