I will be on the radio tonight at 8:30 pm EST with Sean Yoes, senior reporter at The Afro American, giving my own two cents on Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin protests. Yoes is the host of "The WEAA/AFRO First Edition", an hour-long political talk show on Baltimore's NPR affiliate WEAA-FM (88.9 FM), which airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m.

If you are a fan of Scott Walker and his heavy handed tactics to strip the Wisconsin public unions of their collective bargaining rights, you do not need to click on the link above tonight.

In any case, it will be an entertaining segment, with plenty of information about the plight of the protestors and the challenges facing the Obama administration going forward.

You can click this link and push the "Listen Live" button at the top of the page to hear the show.

Enjoy!

"You're Doing A Heck Of A Job, Scottie"



The dumbassedness continues in the governor's mansion in Wisconsin, where Scott Walker's guts are probably starting to curdle and twist in fear of the no show Tuesday by the state senate's Democratic caucus, an act that will effectively force him to deal with his budget shortfall without the benefit of a bond refinancing.

I couldn't see it happening to a nicer guy.

I told you earlier this week why this kicked out of college nincompoop would be an idiot for giving the rest of the world time to really study the entire 146 pages of that bill he and his posse were trying to pass so fast.

I could never have imagined that he would be dumb enough to TAKE A CALL FROM A BILLIONAIRE WHO IS ON FUCKING SKYPE! I actually have a similar recording device on my Skype account, although it doesn't work nearly as well as the one used by the editor of the Buffalo Beast.

Which is why "you're doing a heck of a job, Scottie" is getting half hearted endorsements from his fellow GOP governors, including ole Chris Christie, who just can't seem to form his lips around the words "no collective bargaining in my state."

But that's not why I'm posting here on a Saturday when I am almost half a day behind schedule already. I'm here because I am disgusted at the way this entire debacle, as ridiculous as its underlying premise is, has been discussed by the mainstream media solely in right wing talking points, as if the Fourth Estate doesn't own any dictionaries. Most of the people who call themselves journalists these days need to pour gasoline on their keyboards and set them on fire.

FOR INSTANCE, the entire conversation this week has focused on the compensation of public sector workers. But instead of describing their salaries and benefits accurately, as a combined salary and benefits package, they have mostly fallen down on the job, insisting that the taxpayers are "footing the bill" for public employees pension plans, when any fifth grader can tell you that if you agree to give him an apple to take out your trash, and he tells you to cut the apple in half and so he can have some later, the half you give him later is still a half that he earned for taking out your trash.

But I guess I shouldn't expect much from an entire contingent of journalists and pundits who continually refer to the Social Security as an "entitlement program" even though it has always been set up as an INSURANCE PLAN, one that has provided a whole lot of cash for our Congress to piss away like water back when times where good.

So if you have fifteen minutes today, you need to read this article on the Forbes magazine blog that takes the rest of their brethren to task for royally fucking up a fundamental part of the whole Wisconsin union pension argument - whose money is this?

Pulitzer Prize winning tax reporter, David Cay Johnston, has written a brilliant piece for tax.com exposing the truth about who really pays for the pension and benefits for public employees in Wisconsin.

Gov. Scott Walker says he wants state workers covered by collective bargaining agreements to “contribute more” to their pension and health insurance plans. Accepting Gov. Walker’ s assertions as fact, and failing to check, creates the impression that somehow the workers are getting something extra, a gift from taxpayers. They are not. Out of every dollar that funds Wisconsin’ s pension and health insurance plans for state workers, 100 cents comes from the state workers.

The Wisconsin Lie Exposed
This is why newspapers are going out of business - because their publishers insist on keeping their staffers on a leash and printing the kind of bullshit stories the general public could care less about.

As Gordon Gekko said to Bud Fox, "tell me something I don't already know."

And if you can't do that, just present the facts - ALL OF THEM - whether or not they look "objective" or "balanced" - and quit wasting our time with "response quotes" from bald faced liars, no matter which political party they support.















I've been haranguing my buddy to death about his company website lately because he doesn't have a mobile version. Ever since I succumbed to the urge to get a smartphone, I have been amazed at the number of websites I can visit with just the touch of a few buttons during lunch or on a trip.

So it finally dawned on me yesterday that my own blog was not mobile friendly. This is usually the point where I wonder why I don't break down and get a Wordpress blog, which would make all of this as easy as uploading a plugin.

Luckily, the folks at Blogger are actually working, because while I was looking for a mobile friendly template to install, something I really don't have time for right now, I discovered that they have introduced a new feature to Blogger that makes getting a mobile friendly version of my blog as easy as clicking "yes" underneath the right tab on my Blogger dashboard.

So if you've got an IPhone, or a Android phone, (haven't tried it on a Blackberry, but should work there as well) this should be automatic. If you've got a Nokia phone like I do, or a Windows phone, or a  phone that uses Opera Mini, click the "Mobile Version" link at the top of the page and you should be all set.

The Brown Man, taking it to the streets one cell phone at a time.



Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has already lost whatever it was he was fighting for days ago. The question is, is he stupid enough to ante up what's left of his credibility to prove a point? With a 3.2 BILLION deficit looming just around the corner, is he planning on paying state employees with actual peanuts next year, unless the price of peanuts go up?

The state's Democrats will ultimately have to come back. But they never had anything to lose in this debacle. The only ones with any political skin in the game on this one are the Wisconsin Republicans, and to a lesser extent, their fellow brethren in the Ohio legislatures and others who seem to be in lock step with their "kill the unions" agenda. The union members in Wisconsin have their backs against the wall. They are almost in the same boat the Egyptians were in last week.

Walker's real problem is public scrutiny. One hundred and forty six page bills, like the two thousand plus page healthcare bill the Democrats passed last year, are bound to have some embarrassing tidbits in them. Like this questionable proposal to outsource state government work to Deloitte Consulting, a firm that, as the writer puts it, "outsources much of it's own work of this type to India."

People who can barely work their remote controls at home suddenly become aware of the amount of taxes corporations really pay in your state when its on TV every night, corporations like Harley Davidson, who can book A BILLION in pretax profits and pay only ONE MILLION in state corporate taxes. In case you don't know how much that is, its less than 0.01% of Harley Davidson's profits for 2008.

The only number in this whole debacle that even comes close to this is the Consumer Price Index percentage increase for the year, which is 0.2%. In other words, most of the state of Wisconsin's public employees would retain only the right to bargain for less than a $100 raise this year.

Are you getting this yet?

Wisconsites are. A pro-business poll and a pro-labor poll both show the same thing - Governor Walker is well on his way to matching Sarah Palin's unfavorable numbers among Wisconsin voters.


If I were you, I would turn my TV off tonight and root around at the links below for a few minutes. NOBODY in Wisconsin sees this as anything more than it is.



Eau Claire (Wisc.) Leader-Telegram:

And while the way some protesters expressed themselves went overboard, the motivation for their sentiments was real. Walker's sudden attempt to eliminate most collective bargaining rights for public employees was heavy-handed, and some of his statements and actions since the Feb. 11 budget repair bill announcement have unsettling police-state connotations. ...

Add to this Walker's categorical unwillingness to negotiate with public employees, his efforts to avoid critics (after an appearance at an Eau Claire business Tuesday, he "slipped out a side door and into a waiting vehicle" to avoid hundreds of protesters, the Leader-Telegram reported), and his beefed-up security detail, and it seems our new governor may be on a power trip.

While that doesn't make him a dictator, Walker's "my way or the highway" approach won't win him any friends, and that will make it even harder to solve the state's critical problems.

John Nichols at the Madison (Wisc.) Cap Times:

I have always argued that Wisconsin leads the nation: We do better, ask little and give much. Our ancestors fought to end slavery, break up the trusts and make our state what Teddy Roosevelt called America’s “laboratory of democracy.”

A week ago, it seemed as if the laboratory was producing something toxic -- an assault on public servants that would quickly spread from Madison to other state capitols where Republican politicians want to use fiscal challenges as an excuse to score political points against unions.

But then Wisconsin pushed backed.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Democrats in the state Senate should return to their jobs and stop pretending their escape to Illinois was about democracy. It wasn't. In fact, quite the opposite. Democracy has creaked to a halt in their absence.

Republicans, led by Gov. Scott Walker, should stop pretending their budget repair bill is only about repairing a budget. It's not. It's also an attempt to break up Wisconsin public employee unions. Not necessary, governor.

But even now, there is ample room for compromise.

Green Bay Press Gazette:

This newspaper, which endorsed the governor in his race against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, has a tradition of supporting fiscal conservatism on the local, state and national levels. We think Walker is on target in his intention to reduce a massive projected deficit. And frankly, it's difficult to imagine every public employee union in the state would have agreed to the changes Walker seeks. Still, bypassing labor without even trying only muddies the waters.

Walker wants public employees to accept changes in pension and health care contributions already thrust onto workers in the private sector. We support the governor's insistence on taking those steps. That said, his approach casts the debate as an anti-union campaign, and not a tough-but-fair shared sacrifice.

We also are troubled Walker's budget repair bill makes an exception for police, firefighters and the Wisconsin State Patrol. When he introduced the bill, Walker said Wisconsin always has treated those groups differently from other state employees, but critics have a valid argument in that their exemption smacks of political payback for support in the fall election.

The Northwestern in Oshkosh, Wisc.:


The problem with Gov. Scott Walker's state budget repair bill isn't what it ends, but what it begins. If it ended at simply requiring public employees in Wisconsin to pay a higher share of health insurance and pension costs, it would be a tough, but reasonable and appropriate response to a projected $3.6 billion budget deficit.

Truth be told, the bill is the beginning of an effort to roll back the right of workers. Its lesser-known provisions set a dangerous precedent for granting the executive branch broad emergency powers where an emergency does not exist. The speed in which the bill is heading from proposal to adoption is also of concern. It is slated for a vote Thursday, just six days after it was released to the public. The fact that a national special interest group, The Club for Growth, began broadcasting ads in support of the proposal at the same time the bill was released shows that this is not a homegrown effort to fix Wisconsin's problems, but an orchestrated, ideologically driven campaign.






Today's topic at my blog "Resurgence" on BigThink.com:



Wisconsin Governor Hopes Unions Settle For A Dollar A Day And A Bowl Of Rice




Wisconsin Governor Hopes Unions Settle For A Dollar A Day And A Bowl Of Rice

The Republican Party has declared war on public servants in the United States the same way Middle East dictators have declared war on political dissidents. Members of the GOP like Scott Wilson, the governor of Wisconsin, want the people of Wisconsin to believe that the people who keep their communities safe, their houses from burning down, their kids educated and their trash picked up on time are nothing more than sniveling spoiled brats who should be thankful if they get to work for anything more than a dollar a day and a bowl of rice.




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BigThink.com is a global forum connecting people and ideas.

You can access hundreds of hours of direct, unfiltered interviews with today's leading thinkers, movers and shakers, and, best of all, respond in kind. You can respond to the interviewee, respond to a responder or throw your own question or idea into the ring.





I will be on the radio tonight at 8:30 pm EST with Sean Yoes, senior reporter at The Afro American, giving my own two cents on the Egyptian uprising. Yoes is the host of "The WEAA/AFRO First Edition", an hour-long political talk show on Baltimore's NPR affiliate WEAA-FM (88.9 FM), which airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m.

The ironic thing about this interview is, less than ten minutes after we wrapped up the taping Huffington Post announced that Hosni Mubarak had stepped down as the head of the Egyptian government.

In any case, it will be an entertaining segment, with plenty of information about the plight of the protestors and the challenges facing the Obama administration going forward.

You can click this link and push the "Listen Live" button at the top of the page to hear the show.

Enjoy!






Today's topic at my blog "Resurgence" on BigThink.com:


Opinions About The Egyptian Uprising You Will Not See On TV



Those of us writers who are not experts on foreign policy have done more reading than writing this week about the tense situation between the Egyptian government and the Egyptian people after the recent Egyptian uprising, even though most of us have no problem grasping the rudimentary aspects of America’s foreign policy stance as we watch the agonizing rituals that usually come with the fall of a nation’s leader. As my brother so simply and eloquently put it earlier today, “every revolution happens because somebody else wants to be in charge.”

Read More...


BigThink.com is a global forum connecting people and ideas.

You can access hundreds of hours of direct, unfiltered interviews with today's leading thinkers, movers and shakers, and, best of all, respond in kind. You can respond to the interviewee, respond to a responder or throw your own question or idea into the ring.

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