Saturday, February 26, 2011

On Wisconsin!

A great deal has been going down in the Badger state in the past few days. And while you should obviously be looking elsewhere for more up-to-the-minute reports, if you haven't been paying much attention to it, here's the important highlights to get you up to speed.

One of the biggest developments has been than Governor Walker was prank called by a Buffalo-area reporter pretending to be one of Walker's billionaire backers, David Koch. In the phone call, Walker gladly talks about all the things he's attempting to do to destroy collective bargaining rights, such as calling out thugs to beat up the men, women, and children peacefully camping out at the state capitol.

As many have noted, lots of the things Walker proposes or agrees to do in that phone call are highly illegal. In fact, a former Attorney General of Wisconsin has found at least 3 laws broken in the course of that phone call, with many more possible violations.

And the longer this goes on, the less friends it turns out Governor Walker has. Even the police and firefighter's unions (two of the only three unions to back Walker) have rescinded their support of the governor. In fact, when Walker ordered the police to clear the demonstrators out of the capitol, they not only refused, but publicly announced they're planning on joining the ongoing protests and sleeping in the capitol themselves!

And of course, the big point not to be forgotten in any of this is that it's not about balancing the budget like Walker claims, as the unions have agreed to all of the concession asked for save only their right to collectively bargain. In case you're confused by Walker's lies, here's a Pulitzer Prize winning tax reporter to break it down for you.

Finally, if you're curious what Rage Against the Machine guitarist, sole member of The Nightwatchmen, and all-around union rabble-rouser Tom Morello has to say about the subject, check out his great piece in Rolling Stone on his time at the capitol.

If you'd like to help out in some way, check out any of the sympathy demos going on in every state in the union. Or you could always pack up and travel to Madison for awhile. Or on an even simpler plane, send 'em a pizza.

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