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Over the past several days, Michigan’s union activists and their allies in the fight against austerity have pushed back against expedited “Right-to-Work” legislation with a determination that has been nothing short of inspirational.  As the latest developments in the Capitol building in Lansing made their way to the public via reports, pictures and videos, I have been feeling a wave of déjà vu taking me back to the earliest days of the Wisconsin Uprising in 2011: Thousands of people occupying all levels of the Capitol; Chants of “Kill the bill!!” and “This is what democracy looks like!” echoing throughout the Rotunda;  Citizens being locked out of their publicly funded center of participatory democracy, causing a furor on both sides of the Capitol doors;  The governor’s administration flagrantly violating court orders to re-open the building to the public, in spite of the angry pleas of Democratic representatives; Individuals blocking the legislative chambers in a last ditch attempt to prevent a vote from taking place, only to be hauled away by law enforcement;  Finally, legislative galleries filled with Republican staffers and supporters, shielding lawmakers from their constituents’ opposition, as a union-busting bill is unconscionably rammed through with virtually no public input.  

OLB-Right to Work is a Lie
Photo courtesy of fellow Kossack Noise of Rain and the Overpass Light Brigade

The events in Madison over a blustery few weeks in early 2011, as hundreds of thousands of citizens found their comfortable walking shoes and took to the streets to fight back against GovernEr Walker’s draconian Budget Repair Bill (the remnants of which eventually became Act 10), were a life-changing experience for many of us here in the Badger state.   Although approximately two years have passed and the memories can often feel like a lifetime ago considering all that the Wisconsin Movement has been through since then, a song, chant, or sign can immediately bring those memories flooding back as if they had just occurred yesterday.  

Seeing the struggles facing Michigan’s workers literally sent shivers down my spine as I thought of all the pain and hardship that is to come, not only in Michigan or Wisconsin, but around the country.  We are in throes of a war against the right-wing extremist, anti-worker, anti-woman, anti-democracy, anti-environmental, anti-regulatory agenda that has been steamrolling through Teabag-dominated statehouses since the 2010 mid-term elections.  This November’s national elections were a victory for Democrats and progressives, as renowned, progressive women such as Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin swept into the U.S. Senate, and Tea Party favorites Todd Akin and Allen West were swept out of Congress.  Oh yea…and the potentially devastating RMoney/Rayn ticket, laden with its yarn spinning, wealthy class tax slashing, 47 percent ignoring, "Obamacare" repealing landmines, was sent to its political grave.  

However, the fight rages on at the statewide level as these radical, American Legislative Executive Council (ALEC)-infused agendas being foisted upon the general populace will continue to be pushed through Republican-dominated state legislatures around the country.  Plutocrat-friendly “Governors” like Scott Walker, Rick Snyder, Nikki Haley, Rick Scott, John Kasich and Mike Pence wait with bated breath to sign bill after bill of mind-numbing social and ethical abominations into law.  

Photo courtesy of fellow Kossack Noise of Rain and the Overpass Light Brigade

Here in Wisconsin, a state renowned for its high voting turnout and coming off of a 70 percent turnout of all eligible voters in the recent Presidential election, a bill is already in the works to eliminate Election Day voter registration.  You could say there was a noticeable absence of public clamoring for this type of legislative action prior to the bill’s introduction.  But, in typical Scott Walker fashion, the Governer ignored the citizens of Wisconsin and made his case for this newest form of voter suppression to adoring throngs of Conservatives at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California in mid-November.  In response, many county and municipal clerks and poll-workers from around the state expressed vehement opposition to the elimination of this public service, in place since 1976. With the unconstitutional “Voter ID” law, Act 23, currently on suicide watch after being dealt a permanent court injunction against its implementation, Walker and his legislative lap dogs needed to find another way to limit the electorate they so despise.  

Never ones to be dissuaded by vocal opposition, Republican ASSemblyman Joel Kleefisch and Republican Senator Alberta Darling responded to Walker’s attack dog whistle and announced plans to launch their latest shameless attempt to suppress the vote early in the next legislative session.  While same-day registration is conveniently utilized by hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites each general election, it tends to be a favored method amongst strong Democratic-leaning demographics, including students, minorities and low-income voters.  Making matters worse, Wisconsin’s citizens don’t have the ballot referendum veto at their disposal that the voters of Maine used to overturn their own legislative repeal of same-day voter registration in November 2011.  

Mere weeks later, Walker had the audacity to call a same-day registration repeal “ridiculous.”  In the same manner that Gov. Snyder previously spoke of Right-to-Work-for-Less legislation as a "divisive issue" not worth tackling in Michigan, Walker has said that passing legislation eliminating same-day registration is “not a priority” of his.  Nevertheless, like Snyder, Walker has promised to sign this piece of “non-prioritized” legislation into law if (read: when) it hits his desk.  This stance proves even more absurd and hypocritical following last week’s revelation that Walker’s own son took advantage of same-day registration during the August primaries to cast his first ever vote, with the Governer proudly accompanying him to the polls!

The far-right wing’s corporate ideological agenda to demolish workers’ rights to organize, to earn a living wage and to have a say over workplace conditions, is only picking up steam in Wisconsin.  This past spring, a documentary trailer surfaced in which Scott Walker reassured his tax-dodging, billionaire campaign donor, Diane Hendricks, back in January 2011 that “Right-to-Work” legislation would soon be on its way to Wisconsin.  But he also let her know that he had to go after the public workers as the first step in his tactical plot to “Divide and Conquer” the citizens of Wisconsin.

State Representative Chris Kapenga ($-ALEC), who recently gained notoriety as one of nine Wisconsin legislators supporting hypothetical legislation calling for the arrest of federal officials trying to implement the Affordable Care Act, publicly revealed the Republicans’ legislative end game for unions. Lisa Mux at Blogging Blue noted Kapenga’s remarks at a conservative listening session in May with Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI):

According to Waukesha County resident Leanne Wied-Brusky, when a Town Hall attendee who seemed in favor of right-to-work legislation expressed discontent over the delay in implementation, Kapenga responded,  ”We have right-to-work legislation in (three) different offices ready to go. If we had done it earlier, when we wanted, then Prosser would not have been elected. Right now is not the right time. We have to wait until it is politically feasible.”
Taking advantage of new, secretly agreed upon and gerrymandered voting districts, the Republicans re-gained control of the Wisconsin State Senate in the November elections by an 18-15 tally.  By gaining this comfortable, three seat margin, they insulated themselves from a potential dissenting vote cast by Sen. Dale Schultz, the only Republican Senator to vote against Act 10.  With Republicans maintaining a 60-39 advantage in the State Assembly (despite receiving nearly 200,000 less votes than Democrats statewide) and no recall elections on the horizon, it appears that NOW may be the politically feasible time, of which Rep. Kapenga and Governer Walker portended, for the anti-worker extremists to pass a RTW4L law in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin has weathered this onslaught of single-party, right-wing authoritarianism over most of the past two years and we know that the renewed struggle for social justice and equality will once again reach a fevered pitch as soon as the newest crop of legislators is sworn into office on January 7th, 2013. The corporate fat cats that are driving ALEC and funding the Tea Party’s national ideological assault are not going to ease up on the gas pedal until they have demolished the pillars of a forward thinking, progressive society.  But a critically-thinking populace, one that cares more about educating and helping fellow citizens than it cares about living for the almighty dollar and relying on the horribly misguided and disproven theory of “trickle-down” economics, can put a stop to that.

Right now, the fight is in your own backyard, Michiganders. Although the journey will assuredly be filled with setbacks and trying times, those who have stood shoulder-to-shoulder in the streets of Madison and communities across Wisconsin in our own trying times will stand with you in this battle.  No matter how futile or bleak our efforts may seem at times, we have no other choice but to keep fighting for our rights and for the future of our country.  The line that designates our shared border is merely an afterthought, for your fight is undoubtedly ours, regardless of which state we call home.

Wisconsin Stands With Michigan
Photo courtesy of Noise of Rain and the Overpass Light Brigade

My favorite memory of last year’s initial protests came shortly after I first set foot in Capitol during the Uprising.  Amidst the infectiously rhythmic sound of chanting, clapping, and drumming (and energy so palpable you could feel it permeating throughout the Rotunda), I looked up to the first floor balcony to see a large, yellow, homemade banner gradually unfurling.  As it became fully visible, a thunderous roar built up from within the thousands of voices echoing throughout the Rotunda until the deafening cheers reached their climax.  The message it bore was simple, yet poignant:


Detroit is Here With You

Now it is OUR opportunity to return the favor to the workers of your great state and stand with YOU, Michigan.  I may even commit a blasphemous act for any Badger by singing a chorus of the hated “Hail to the Victors” in your honor.  Blue Fist and the Mitten, together again.  Solidarity, brothers and sisters, and forever FORWARD!!

Here's some Solidarity from the Solidarity Sing Along in Madison to the citizens of Michigan, originally recorded in January of this year.

Members of the Solidarity Sing Along are currently in the midst of their own battle for 1st Amendment rights, while gathering to sing out against the Walker regime every weekday at the Wisconsin Capitol (over 500 times in all) since March 11th, 2011.

*For anyone wishing to donate pizza to the citizens protesting at the Michigan Capitol building, please contact Cottage Inn Pizza at (517) 267-9000 and they will see to it that your order is donated to the hungry, winter warriors.

*For those wishing to follow the live action from the statehouse on Tuesday, please check out this Kicking Ass for the Working Class USTREAM account:

*For anyone who will be in the Lansing area on Tuesday, there is a march on the Capitol in Lansing planned for 8 a.m.  According to the Facebook event page:

Thousands of workers will gather at the Lansing Center at 8am on Tuesday morning to march to the Michigan State Capitol Building.

This past Thursday, Republican legislators passed the worst anti-union legislation Michigan has ever seen. They will give it a final vote on Tuesday. To make matters worse, Governor Snyder has said he will sign a Right to Work-for-less bill if it gets to his desk. If you can't join us at 8am, join us at the Capitol building any time after 9:00 am.

WE NEED YOU to join us in Lansing on Tuesday to stand up for Michigan's working families.

10:07 PM PT: A comment from Kossack peregrine kate regarding anyone planning on attending the march and demonstration:

Email from Progress Michigan (517-999-3646): "We’re opening our office as a pit stop during the rally tomorrow. If you’re in town, join us at 115 W. Allegan, Floor 7 (above the Biggby), to get warm, grab some hot cocoa, recharge your phone, log onto free WI-FI, and make a quick bathroom break."

11:42 PM PT: A friend had this great shot of Detroit's banner that hung in the Wisconsin Capitol Rotunda for weeks and was nice enough to share it with me.  I have added it into the body of the diary.

Originally posted to Wisco Wherls on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:12 PM PST.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, Democracy Addicts, and In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nice job... fun to see recent OLB pix in (17+ / 0-)

    your diary! I wish I could be in Lansing tomorrow, but have duties (last week of classes) here in Milwaukee. My eyes will be on the livestreams in between duties tomorrow, believe me! I think the police are hunkered down to get rough - that is what our Wisconsin friends who are there keep telling me... that things are going to get ugly.

    Massive police presence.

    •  Thanks, Noise! (10+ / 0-)

      I appreciate your willingness to allow myself, Giles and others to use the OLB pictures in diaries.  They always help bring pieces together with their messages of hope and light.  I saw a couple pictures of police riot gear on hand and I am hoping that things stay calm, even if the police do push the envelope and incite the protesters.  I wish I could be there, as well, but I have a couple things that I have to take care of in Madison tomorrow.  We'll see if tomorrow is the end of things or just the beginning of the massive protests and direct action in Lansing.

      We'll be thinking of them and I'll be watching the live stream link that I shared at the bottom of the piece.  Got that from Mr. MI, himself.  Enjoy your final week of classes, brother and I'm sure I'll see you on an overpass in the near future.

  •  Every time I hear someone say that (16+ / 0-)

    "Right to Work" isn't on Snotty's agenda, I think of that clip from As Goes Janesville, and other clips, where he is very honest about his upcoming Divide and Conquer agenda.

    This should be the centerpiece of advertising. Why it isn't I'll never understand.

    Thanks for bringing this all together in a great diary!

    •  Thanks, Badscience! (8+ / 0-)

      Thanks to you, also, for so graciously allowing me to utilize the OLB photographs for good! :)

      If it were up to me, the "Divide and Conquer" video and the "David Koch" phone call with Ian Murphy when Scooter talks about dropping the bomb and planting agitators in the protest crowds to stir up violence should be promoted every time ANYONE wants to put out how terrible of a human being he is.

      "David Koch" pranks Walker: Part 1

      "David Koch" pranks Walker: Part 2

      There is no way that RTW ISN'T on Scotty's Christmas wish list.  Anything we can think of as a worst nightmare, they'll bring to the floor in the next two years.  Fuckers.

      •  I hate them (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        badscience, Wisco Wherls

        Tempering my bliss on Election Night was the knowledge that the Dementors were lurking...sure enough, the stupid stupid people of WI ALSO put the Rethuglicans in complete control here.
        I'm sorry but I simply don't understand what they were thinking. Have the results of Walker's "reforms" been so wonderful??? Not from what we see in the education trenches, not where taxes are concerned (OURS went UP), not where jobs are concerned. I thought I read recently WI was the only state to LOSE jobs or something like that.)
        My husband and I have already decided that, when/ if he retires in 5 years (I'm 12 years younger but out of the job market after years of primary caretaking duties for his and my mother, who died recently) we are out of Wisconsin, where we both have lived most of our lives.
        This is gutwrenching as we love this state and our property, which has been in my husband's family for almost 60 years.
        But we have no family left here now and this state feels like a lost cause to me.
        I KNOW there's gotta be a long game and I hope/believe that there can and will be a successful pushback, but it's too late for us. Gotta head out east, probably, not too far north, not too close to floodable waters, maybe Virginia if someone like McAuliffe can get elected and vaginal probes can be overturned.
        Anyways, thanks for letting me rant :(  Godspeed to our dear neighbor, land of Wolverines and Yoopers!!

  •  A Phrase Where I Live/Come From (9+ / 0-)
    if you use non-union labor your house might burn down.
    I live in a pretty Republican area and from a Republican family. But you just don't FUCK with unions.

    That above statement was taught to me in the 70s, but kind of one that always stuck in my mind (in a good way to be honest).

    The last picket line I saw was two weeks ago. The most attactie women in the world could be on the other side and I'd never cross that line. Never.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:43:06 PM PST

    •  I love your last line, Web... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If they're standing on the other side of that line and smiling back at you, they're not to be trusted, anyways, as they'll assuredly stab you in the back down the road.

      I guess these asshole "Governors" around the country never learned not to fuck with unions or, in my book, they just don't give a rat's ass.  As a non-union member, other than the union I formed back in the spring called, FUCK YOU, SCOTTY, I think we need to find a way for the labor movement to form alliances with progressive social justice causes.  This can reach across the spectrum without having to operate from within the framework of the Democratic Party where so many movements go to die.  It started happening in Wisconsin and the alliance has remained for the most part, which is good...because as these next two years roll around, we're sure as hell going to need every ally we can get.

  •  No public address system in front of capitol (10+ / 0-)

    Americans for Progress (sic) controls the sound system and the large tents on the front of the State Capitol Building.   This is going to be a big problem for the rally.....i gather AFL-CIO has the limited west side of the capitol....but many fewer people can be accommodated there.

    •  Sounds like you may in some good ol' Mic Checking! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnnieJo, Creosote

      Is Americans for Progress in any way affiliated with the Kochs' group, Americans for Prosperity?  If so, what is their purpose for being a permanent fixture and having large tents in front of the building...gloating?  They're already getting exactly what they want out of Snyder and his thugs.

      •  error (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wisco Wherls, AnnieJo, khloemi, Creosote, DuzT

        I'm sorry...I meant Americans for Prosperity....the Koch Group.    They've had the tents at the capitol for about a week now and they got the permit because they knew exactly when and how this was all going to go down with Snyder.

        •  Of course they did...prob. long before the public. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AnnieJo, Creosote, DuzT, dickensgirl

          Sounds exactly like what "Club for Growth" did in Wisconsin when Walker dropped the bomb.  They engage in the same Teabagging bullshit affiliated with AFP, although you'd NEVER guess that from the ridiculously similar and faux-patriotic sounding names.  They already had a radio ad campaign rolling on the airwaves in Wisconsin telling people to support Governor Walker's Budget Despair Bill before Democratic legislators or the public even knew what the hell was IN the bill.

          It's called fascism...and they're getting better at it every day.

    •  Oh yeah. (7+ / 0-)

      I am more frightened at this moment than I was a year ago.

      I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

      by CherryTheTart on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:04:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  At least this time... (9+ / 0-)

      this is a far greater proportion of the public that doesn't have its collective head buried in the sand as was the case in early 2011.  We're ready, we're organized and I think that people are more prepared to utilize more radical labor tactics (strikes, walkouts, see: Walmart) to fight back this time around.

      It's terrifying that so many of these state legislatures have nothing standing in their way between ramming all of their extremism through.  We'll have to rely on the courts to shut down the blatantly illegal and unconstitutional legislation and each other to stick together and keep trying to educate the public and fight back against everything.  

      •  ^This^ (5+ / 0-)

        I participate and 'activate' even in Madison-when possible. Trying to fight off their BS one ear at a time.

        2010 was a real eye opener.

        Tipped virtually currently in DKOS purgatory :-(

        •  I just consider myself fortunate to live... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CherryTheTart, AnnieJo, Creosote, kideni

          IN Madison, so I'm right on the front lines in case anything of import goes down (as it often does.)  

          Just remember to take good care of your appendages, as these nut bags are throwing a lot of BS around that has to be fought off.

          What do you mean when you say that you are in DKOS purgatory?  What happened?

          •  Madison is a great town, I hope our inscumbent (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wisco Wherls

            gov and his toady administration doesn't change the personality of that town w/his fascist BS.

            Unfortunately, I live in deep red Oz county, and spewing ignorance is second nature to them, it can be isolating. Periodic trips to Madison helped keep me energized.

            As for 'purgatory' I am currently NR'ed. One day, just before the-election I got 'sucked in' by a troll. S/he made an insensitive, judgmental  'lifestyle choice' comment I,and a couple of others found offensive. Normally I'm stingy w/pastry and stay away from meta, unfortunately my nerves were raw that day and 'hid' the comment. Kos said it was unwarranted, and NR'ed all 3 of us. The other 2 have been here a lot longer. I has a sad :-(

            Now feeling like an asshole because cant tip comments-(but can rec good diaries). Embarrassing.  BTW that troll had been here a loong time, and is now banned.
            Hope all of the people at BSP along w/everyone else can be patient w/me..gotta wait and figure out how I get my mojo back.

            Thanks for letting me explain, and for all you always learning. Solidarity with Michigan .

  •  GENERAL STRIKE! Goddammit - holding signs at the (8+ / 0-)

    Capitol is NOT GOING TO STOP SNYDER! It did not stop Walker. MI needs to make the line in the sand and shut down EVERYTHING! When Snyder gets the phone calll from GM, Ford & Chrysler saying WTF?! He will back down. Otherwise, I welcome you to Michisippi.

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:04:03 PM PST

    •  You may be right. We will soon see. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, AnnieJo, Joy of Fishes, Creosote

      Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

      by peregrine kate on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:31:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think a general strike is far off... (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrsgoo, elwior, AnnieJo, Creosote, DuzT, dickensgirl

      and I agree with your frustration that more drastic measures must be taken.  However, in the short term, people need to show up in force and make their voices heard, if for no other reason than for the historical record that people didn't take this shit lying down.

      We shall see how organized labor chooses to handle this as it continues sweeping across the country...

      •  We shall see. I think that tomorrow will be (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, AnnieJo

        telling - but my gut says - Snyder don't care. It worked for Walker. And he even did not get recalled. If he signs this POS tomorrow - if MI does not rise up and GS - we are fucked for a long time.

        if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

        by mrsgoo on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:59:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My gut and brain tell me that Snyder doesn't care (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrsgoo, AnnieJo, Creosote, dickensgirl

          ...anymore than Walker cares.  These guys are sociopaths whose strings are being pulled by their corporate masters.

          A Michigan GS would be even more effective if accompanied by a national GS.  We shall see...

          When you say "we are fucked, Mrs. Goo, does that mean that you are from Michigan, or that if Michigan doesn't rise up and call a GS, the rest of us around the country are in serious trouble?  Either way, I feel your pain.

          •  Grew up in MI. Moved to CA in '88 My mom & dad (5+ / 0-)

            were union. I remember chasing scab truck drivers from Northville, Mi to Cincinnati with my mom in '77. Teamsters Local 337 - my mom was a union steward. Here is where I should be a R. Teamsters fucked over my mom and gang when they went on strike. That is why MI union politiics is difficult at best. It does seems that any group given enough power will be corrupted. That is why Prop2 got defeated. That is why we keep electing a divided govt. Snyder is trying to pull a Walker on steroids. It needs to be answered with a General Strike. Given thousands and thousands of people opposed Walker and he didn't give a flyin' F - This time MI needs to send a message! #GeneralStrikeMI

            if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

            by mrsgoo on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 11:01:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not familiar with Prop 2. Care to... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              clue me in?  At least MI was able to overturn the Emergency Financial Manager law in November.  That may not have been taking a true step forward, considering the position it put places like Benton Harbor in, but it's stemming the tide of regression in the meantime, at least.

              •  Prop 2 (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Wisco Wherls

                was the attempt to enshrine collective bargaining in the Michigan state constitution. It was on the ballot this fall, and it failed pretty soundly. Snyder points to the unions support of the measure as his reason for changing his mind on right-to-work (for less), though that's probably just a convenient excuse. From what I've heard, the wording of Prop 2 was pretty broad, and a lot of people thought it would have gone too far (I don't know the details).

                "I kept the faith and I kept voting Not for the iron fist but for the helping hand For theirs is a land with a wall around it And mine is a faith in my fellow man." -- Billy Bragg

                by kideni on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 07:18:56 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  I'm so mad at Bager State Voters (5+ / 0-)

    After all that's happened, to give a Senate majority back to the Republicons is terrible.  What the heck happened?  Was this due to gerrymandering or just stupidity of voters.  After all, Obama won your state.

    Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011)

    by Rosalie907 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:10:00 PM PST

    •  gerrymandering (11+ / 0-)

      "They are an entire cruise ship of evil clowns, these current Republicans"...concernedamerican

      by Giles Goat Boy on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:36:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Gerrymandering, no doubt. (9+ / 0-)

      There was only one competitive race, with half of the Senate seats on the line.  Democrat Jess King, who represented the Oshkosh area and had won her seat via the recall elections back in the summer of 2011, lost out to a Teabagger by just over 500 votes.  A ton of money was poured into her race from conservative special interest groups.  Every other race was a complete ass kicking, no matter who won, (D) or (R).

      Wisconsin is going to be facing a good likelihood of a blood red legislature at least until the next census-based redistricting in 2021, and only if we can get a non-partisan committee created to do it, like Iowa has.  But with the Repugs in total control, don't anticipate any redistricting reform to happen.  After all, now they want to make our non-partisan Government Review Board into a haven for politically appointed cronies:

      More Republican shenanigans from Fitzie.

    •  More Democrats voted than Republicans, (9+ / 0-)

      but the redistricting created gerrymandered State Senate and Assembly districts. This isn’t the best article, but it is a start:
      ahref="">WI GOP redistricting leaves its stamp on 2012 election

      An analysis of the numbers shows that 60 of 99 Assembly districts are more Republican than the state as a whole, based on presidential voting. That’s precisely the number of seats Republicans won last month.

      And 20 of the 33 state Senate districts are more Republican than the state as a whole. The GOP emerged from the election with 18 Senate seats.

      There are now very few districts in Wisconsin that mirror the state’s overall partisan balance. To create more “red” Republican seats, the GOP plan moved Democratic voters from competitive districts into ones that were already very “blue.”
      The end result of gerrymandering: fewer Swing districts, more districts that always vote Republican, fewer districts that always vote Democrat and a Legislature with a Republican majority in both houses.

      "We are slow to realize that democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ~ "Fighting Bob" - Robert M. LaFollette Sr.

      by Sand Hill Crane on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:08:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for sharing, Sandy. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AnnieJo, Joy of Fishes, Creosote, kideni

        I thought of including that article as a link in my piece because Craig Gilbert is usually so damn thorough when he writes about Wisconsin's elections.  He doesn't delve too much into the thought process and greater meaning behind the moves made, but he gets most of the finer details down that allow the rest of us to analyze and interpret.

  •  Tipped, recced and republished to (9+ / 0-)

    I started with nothing and still have most of it left. - Seasick Steve

    by ruleoflaw on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:12:42 PM PST

  •  Love your style (9+ / 0-)

    The anger-free rant. Degree of difficulty is way up there. A great summary and a great rallying cry!

    "They are an entire cruise ship of evil clowns, these current Republicans"...concernedamerican

    by Giles Goat Boy on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:38:19 PM PST

    •  Thanks, GGB!! I knew it'd be tough to pull off... (5+ / 0-)

      but hoped it would turn out well in the end.  Glad to have your support, my friend.  Also, you know me well enough to know how hard it is for me to write a rant without going off...ESPECIALLY when it comes to the fascists' agenda.  

      Fear not...I think I may have a couple really angry rants in the near future once the session starts back up.  I may even drop an F-bomb or ten for emphasis. :)

  •  Thanks for a wonderful diary. I'll read it (8+ / 0-)

    (and the links) more carefully tomorrow after I get home from the rally!
    You in Wisconsin really led the way; we are in your debt. Thanks for demonstrating true and heartfelt solidarity.
    Here's one more resource of use for tomorrow, courtesy ShoshannaD:

    Email from Progress Michigan (517-999-3646): "We’re opening our office as a pit stop during the rally tomorrow. If you’re in town, join us at 115 W. Allegan, Floor 7 (above the Biggby), to get warm, grab some hot cocoa, recharge your phone, log onto free WI-FI, and make a quick bathroom break."
    If you have the chance to put it in your diary with the other resources, that would be nice but obviously not essential.

    Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:38:58 PM PST

    •  I hope you enjoy it as much once you read it... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnnieJo, peregrine kate

      more closely as you did upon first glance!  On behalf of my fellow Sconnie Kossacks, I also thank you for your kind words about our fellow Badgers.  After all of the truly heartfelt Solidarity that has been sent our way through music, the written word, a physical presence or donations over the past two years, it's our duty to keep supporting the rest of the country in need.  The reciprocation comes naturally by now. :-)

      Thanks for the heads up on tomorrow's plans for Lansing.  I worked that into an Update to the piece as soon as I saw your message, and gave you a shout-out.  The more information people heading there can possibly have, the better!

  •  Speaking pragmatically, is there a chance for (6+ / 0-)

    this to be killed, legislatively?  Has the House already voted on this?  Is there a chance for repeal by initiative?

    Very painful to watch; I do not feel all that great about the future of organized labor in the US.  Very frustrating issues and I have not really heard a good way that we can reach out to people who are not in unionized workforces and convince them to support organized labor - a certain race-to-the-bottom has set in and I don't quite see a good way forward when it comes to convincing people who are making $8/hr that other people should be entitled to the good pay and benefits of a union job.  Of late it has proven very difficult to convince those $8/hr people that perhaps the answer is for them to organize instead.

    Yeah.  Not very optimistic.

    "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

    by auron renouille on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:08:11 PM PST

    •  AFAIK, both houses in MI created their own bills. (6+ / 0-)

      Both houses of the legislature will be shoring up their final drafts that they want to send along to Snyder to be signed into law.  It doesn't sound like there is any tactic or parliamentary procedure that can be done to stop these from being passed at this point...and it sure as hell doesn't sound like Snyder can be persuaded not to sign this shit into law, either.

      As this diary from a few days ago points out:

      [B]y late Thursday, the House had passed one of the three bills in a 58-52 vote and the Senate had passed two others—one for private-sector workers and one for public-sector workers—by votes of 22-16 and 22-4, respectively. [...]
      The bill that passed the House includes a $1-million appropriation. By making it an appropriations bill, the Republicans made it ineligible for repeal through a ballot initiative.
      So to answer your question, at a minimum, the House bill cannot be put up for ballot initiative by the citizens of Michigan.  The Repugs had this shit figured out well in advance before they brought it to the floor out of the blue, that's for sure.
      •  Thank you. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AnnieJo, LordMike

        I was just introduced to this issue tonight, it seems to have crept up on me, but I've had an extremely busy week or so, I'm behind on the news.  Had not realized that this had cleared both houses in some form.

        You seem tuned into Michigan - why did the collective bargaining initiative fail so badly?  If it was going to fail badly, has there been any discussion of why it was put up at all?  Michigan has such a large Union share, I'm very surprised that this is happening there...

        Lot of strange forces at work here.

        "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

        by auron renouille on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:40:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I dunno know. Maybe we have to hit complete and (4+ / 0-)

      total bottom. Walmart pays 8 bucks an hr AND the Medicare/ FoodStamp safety net is eliminated. After all, that is what the Red States say they want. Of course, after tonight - I have reached a new low of appreciation of Republican thought. Have a couple from MO staying in the park. With a 15mo old kid. Already went through the whaddya mean you don't have insurance on your RV thing. I guess in MO if you own something  outright - you do NOT have to insure it. Ok. Fine. So tonight, the 15mo old, takes a header off the steps. Face first. The neighbor manages to grab him by the ankles before he REALLY face plants into the ground. The kid is bleeding and his face is swelling up. Mom goes - he's ok. Neighbor is like  he's just a baby and needs to be checked out. You can't tell if he has a concussion. Mom is like - we don't have insurance! Neighbor is like - WHAT?! They make GOOD $. No reason at all to not have health insurance. I guess at this point, good Republicans - will take the kid to Emergency and stick the rest of the CA population with the bill while decrying  - socialism! GRRRR I will be following up.

      if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

      by mrsgoo on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:32:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  GODDAMMIT! All I can offer right now from CA is (8+ / 0-)

    I'm wearing a red shirt tomorrow. MI is my home state and this is really pissing me off. If I had the f'n money - I'd be on a mother f'n plane.

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:08:15 PM PST

  •  Beware: This diary maims fascists. Nice job! n/t (6+ / 0-)

    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, alive as you and me.

    by plankbob on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 02:30:44 AM PST

  •  At my daughters' elementary school in Madison (6+ / 0-)

    yesterday, the teachers' garb was a sea of red in solidarity.  

    The parallels are so chilling, worse than the plummeting temperatures overnight -- parallels with 2011, but also the prefiguring of what's coming down the pike in Wisconsin in 2013.

    I wonder what will be first out of the gate in January here Wisconsin -- will it be the "ridiculous" oh-so-non-prioritized voter suppression bill?  Will it be RTW after all?  Will it be mining?  Or how about a huge privatization assault on education?  

    Or maybe pieces of that will be folded into the state budget so we'll learn about it in February?

    Anyone interested in gearing up to resist the renewed education-privatization push in Wisconsin is invited to join me at the new Stop Special Needs Vouchers group on Facebook -- a grassroots, Wisconsin-statewide parent-led effort.

    But meanwhile!  Thanks so much for the diary, Wisco Wherls.  Solidarity with Michigan!

    If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. - Bishop Desmond Tutu

    by AnnieJo on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 03:08:41 AM PST

    •  Annie, my money's on mining... (0+ / 0-)

      Gogebic Taconite wants to get that ball rolling so they can created of good-paying temporary jobs for Wisconsinites.  As pissed off as F. Scott Fitzgerald and co. were that they got called out for letting the corporation write the mining bill, they were even more livid that they not only couldn't pass AB426, but that they couldn't pass the Vos/Darling "compromise" bill, either.  With the 18-15 lead...they will make us pay now.

      Good call on them sneaking things into the budget.  After all, remember what Fitz the Elder said back in February: If we thought the last budget was bad, just wait'll we see the next one.

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