Verizon, who has recently been quite happy to secretly turn over millions of loyal Americans' phone records to the government (and then lie about doing so!), now has a much more difficult choice to make about what's right. Do they cater to anti-union bias and Wall Street profit-grabbing? Or do they engage just a little in trying to make America better by not helping to destroy the middle class?
With global operating revenues last year of $106 billion (and only $31 billion in real costs), the company doesn't feel a need to really engage with its 45,000 striking workers. Last year, Verizon laid off lots of staff—2500 directly, [...]
The partisan divide on display in Wisconsin— which is eroding the neighborliness found in small communities across the state—is also infecting the nation. The political fervor finds an America acting out an increasingly satirical reverse version of Mao's Cultural Revolution, such as in Maine, where lawmakers have removed a historical mural simply because it depicted the state's labor history.
Meanwhile, with an election approaching on April 5, Wisconsin finds itself in an absolute fit over partisanship.
The same partisans that are pushing Attorney General JB Van Hollen to challenge the federal heath care reform bill in the courts are criticizing the lawsuits that challenge Governor Walker's budget bill. [...]
"Now maybe the Liberals know how the Conservatives felt last year when the Democrat Congress rammed Obamacare through (without even reading it)."
That comment, by "JamVee" on a Reuters story about last Saturday's near-100,000-strong protest crowd in Madison, perfectly sums up what has become the predominant arguing position of pro-Walker conservatives. This "shoe on the other foot" defense of Governor Scott Walker's budget bill stinks of revenge, not reason. But while there are many more solid reasons that the two bills are different, there really are ways in which the two pieces of legislation are the same—and, in one sense, they're exactly the same.
"Just two months after being sworn into office, Ohio Gov. John Kasich will lay out his plan for Ohio’s budget reduction on Tuesday at noon…. Ohio Representative Matt Lundy told NewsChannel5 that he learned of plans to sell the Grafton Correctional Institution and the North Coast Correctional Treatment Facility as a package to a private prison operator are part of Tuesday’s budget announcement. Right now, the North Coast Correctional Treatment Facility is privately operated, while Grafton Correctional is operated by the state." You could make this stuff up but you wouldn't be creative enough. The Ohio budget gap is $8 billion.
On Tuesday we published an in-depth look at how Republican representatives running for office lied to union reps during the vetting process—lies which directly led to those Republican candidates receiving union endorsements. We also looked at how American Majority, a far right conservative organization founded by the Sam Adams Alliance, had become active in Wisconsin. Their goal: training candidates to take over school boards and city council seats to better use the "tools" in Governor Scott Walker's budget "repair" bill.
A very polite person named Kasey Ginsberg identified herself in the comments of that piece as an American Majority employee and offered some "corrections."
Scott Walker's budget address to the Wisconsin legislature on Tuesday was a circus—except inside the assembly chamber, where the governor enjoyed a resoundingly warm reception. This reception was suspiciously affectionate: on Wednesday, we looked at the makeup of the west gallery audience, where attendees—every one of them—stood and cheered most loudly during the address.
What kind of special access was granted to the assembly chamber that day? How did everyone get in? Let's look at Larry Meade, blogger and also spouse of Ann Althouse, the most influential conservative blogger in the region and a UW-Madison law professor, where she teaches Constitutional Law I and other [...]