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Scuba

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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
Number of posts: 43,196

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This nation has exactly one fiscal problem.

The utter lack of political will to tax the people who have all the money.

Milwaukee's Forty-Year War On Unions

http://www.progressive.org/news/2015/01/187978/milwaukees-forty-year-war-unions


For generations, Milwaukee boasted of a large, unionized, blue-collar middle class. It was a place to put down roots and raise a family. Neighborhood culture was often defined by industrial bowling leagues and neighborhood taverns owned by former factory workers seeking to be “their own boss” and escape assembly line drudgery.

While highly segregated, economic inequality was at historic lows. Milwaukeeans enjoyed the nation’s second highest median household income in 1969. The black poverty rate was twenty-two percent lower than the US average in 1970, and African American median family income was nineteen percent higher than the US African American median.

...

All of this changed in 1975 with the Meatcutters’ strike. The very day the strike began, the eight companies represented by the Milwaukee Independent Meatpackers Association began hiring replacement workers, some recruited from as far away as Nebraska and Texas. In response to this first attempt by Milwaukee employers to bust a union since World War II, the Menominee Valley filled with angry picketers––black, Latino, and white––rallying to protect their jobs. After fifteen months the employers association had their victory and decertified the union. Hundreds of hard-working union members lost their jobs. Full-time permanent employees were replaced by low-wage workers frequently hired through temp agencies.

The strike legitimized replacement workers, beginning waves of attacks on unions and the city’s working class. When UAW workers struck Master Lock in 1979, Milwaukee police officers escorted replacement workers across the picket line. Two years later A.O. Smith built a non-union plant in Tennessee, the first nail in the coffin of its Milwaukee Automotive Works, which had dominated the city’s north side since the early 1920s.


Emphasis mine.

Milwaukee is now one of the nation's poorest cities. Our African American poverty rate is now forty-nine percent higher than the African American national average, and median income is 30 percent lower.

Wisconsin: A Tale of Two Headlines, Courtesy of Scott Walker

http://bloggingblue.com/2015/01/a-tale-of-two-headlines-courtesy-of-scott-walker/


This just speaks volumes about the state of our state under Gov. Scott Walker.



While I understand that Gov. Walker’s decision to cut $300 million in funding from the UW system is not tied to his decision to borrow $220 million to help build a basketball arena for the billionaire owners of the Milwaukee Bucks, it says something about Gov. Walker’s skewed priorities that he’d borrow hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for a basketball stadium at a time when the state is cutting hundreds of millions in dollars of funding from the University of Wisconsin system.



The third headline says a lot too. Yet the Urinal/Sentinel still endorses this criminal.

Wisconsin: Walker proposes 13% cut, more freedom for UW System

The ever elusive-to-define "freedom", catch-all justification for shit that can't otherwise be justified.


http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/walker-proposes-13-cut-more-freedom-for-uw-system-b99433644z1-289880441.html

The UW System had asked for an increase in funding of $95 million over the next two years — money that it argued was needed given that Walker was calling for another two-year tuition freeze. Walker is going forward with the tuition freeze but is calling for the $300 million cut in exchange for something university leaders have wanted for years: more independence.

UW System President Ray Cross said he supported the structural changes, but he would work to reduce the budget cut. "It's going to be a very significant challenge," he said of the cuts. "It's not something we look forward to."

...

University officials, along with both Democrats and Republicans, have been wary, voicing concerns before Walker released details of his plan.

Under Walker's proposal this year, the Legislature would have no ability to stop the university from raising tuition as much as it wants starting in 2017. Before the most recent two-year tuition freeze, tuition had gone up 5.5% each of the previous six years. That was the most allowed by a law that would no longer be in effect under Walker's plan.

Ron Wyden's petition: Hold CIA Leaders Accountable

from my email ...



Scuba,

The CIA leadership continues to make headlines, but for all the wrong reasons.

Too often, they have stepped on our Constitutional principles. That includes violating the privacy rights of American citizens and hacking U.S. Senate computers in the midst of an investigation of the CIA.

It’s time to hold its leadership accountable. Sign our petition and let them hear you today!

Make no mistake: The CIA does important work to keep us safe here at home and around the globe. But they can’t have free reign to do as they please without any check on their authority.

This is why I’ve led the fight for rock-solid, continuous oversight of their work to keep the agency in line with our Constitution and the law.

Now, it’s time for the CIA leadership to respect the Constitutional limits of their authority, and we’re calling for Director John Brennan to keep the CIA in check. Add your name today and help us lead the charge!

So far, leaders in the CIA have refused to get on board and take responsibility. Let’s make them hear us!


Ron Wyden



http://www.standtallforamerica.com/petition/hold-cia-leadership-accountable/

The Progressive: Obama's Cynical India Visit

http://www.progressive.org/news/2015/01/187977/obamas-cynical-india-visit


President Obama’s visit to India was an exercise in cynicism. To serve U.S. corporate and strategic interests, he ignored the problematic record of his host, Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The roots of Modi and his party, the BJP, lie in an organization called the RSS.

“The RSS was founded in direct imitation of European fascist movements, and like its 1930s fascist models, it still makes much of daily parading in khaki drill and the giving of militaristic salutes,” wrote British journalist William Dalrymple in the New Statesman last summer. “The RSS sees this as an attempt to create a corps of dedicated paramilitary zealots who, so the theory goes, will form the basis of a revival of a golden age of national strength and racial purity. The BJP was founded as the political wing of the RSS, and most senior BJP figures have an RSS background.”


...

The visit paid off dividends on this front. The United States and India “agreed to a ten-year framework for defense ties and struck deals on cooperation that included joint production of drone aircraft and equipment for Lockheed Martin Corp's C-130 military transport plane,” Reuters reports.

...

Another issue on which Obama nudged India is nuclear energy. President Bush signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with previous Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, but a major stumbling block had been India’s unwillingness to cap liability for U.S. firms in the event of a disaster. An understanding between the two sides seems to bode well for U.S. corporations (and ill for the Indian people).

“After Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Barack Obama issued a joint statement on Sunday, giving the broad outline of the discussions and agreement reached between the two countries, India’s foreign secretary, Sujatha Singh, said: ‘The nuclear deal is done. We have reached an understanding on liability,’ ” reports Down to Earth, an Indian environmental publication. “After the sealing of agreement by the leaders, private firms will now negotiate the modalities, say officials.”


Well, as long as Westinghouse and GE are happy, eh?

http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/01/25/india-obama-nuclear-idINKBN0KY0U520150125

Both GE and Westinghouse have already been given land in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh to begin construction of reactors.

Wisconsin's Controversial Schools Bill

http://www.progressive.org/news/2015/01/187975/wisconsins-controversial-schools-bill

Over the course of the 11 ½ hour hearing, only one person spoke in favor of the measure: Rep. Thiesfeldt himself. American Federation for Children lobbyist Scott Jensen and School Choice Wisconsin lobbyist Jim Bender spoke "for information purposes only," since neither they nor their organizations appeared to be legally registered as lobbyists in the State of Wisconsin at the time of the hearing. They both argued that private and religious schools receiving public voucher money should not have to be measured by the same standards nor face the same consequences for failing to meet those different standards as public schools.

Public schools advocate Heather DuBois Bourneane called out Jensen and Bender on their claims that voucher schools have produced “pockets of success.” “We all know what pockets of success are full of – money!” She went on, “If we’re serious about creating successful schools, lets fund them at rates that provide equitable opportunities for success for every single student in the state. Period. This is not a complex idea.”

...


"You use the failures you have engineered to justify an exclusionary education system. That is as transparent as it is dishonest," said retired teacher Sheila Plotkin. “It is immoral to turn our children into cash cows for your campaign donors!”

Milwaukee Public Schools’ new Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver worked in Philadelphia during the roll out of the charter school takeover of public schools there. Rep. Knudson noted that portions of AB1 were modeled after that “turn around” concept of closing public schools and re-opening them as private charters. He asked if she would recommend that model for Wisconsin. “The initial optics—buildings are fixed up, uniforms are there, there’s a lot of excitement around the Promise Academies and the Renaissance Schools—but then when you talk about progress and change over time, it’s still not there,” Driver replied. She recommended that the committee look critically at similar “turn around” projects in other states, “But I think to be fair you should start here with the people doing the work and that doesn’t seem to have happened.”


Scott Walker Confesses

http://cognidissidence.blogspot.com/2015/01/scott-walker-confesses.html


Scott Walker has told so many tall tales, that he can not keep them straight. This weekend he clarified one of them for us. At one point, Mr. Walker was whining that the people who dared to oppose him were actually all from out of Wisconsin.

When it comes to protesters in Madison, "almost all" are now from outside of Wisconsin.
— Scott Walker on Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 in a secretly-recorded prank telephone call


He was very generously given a false rating on this, but we now know where he was coming from. Walker actually was correct about Wisconsin being infiltrated with out of state people trying to influence the WI elections, he just had the candidate wrong. The people from out of state were coming to help Scott Walker.

This from his latest "Freedom Summit" presidential campaign stop:

SO MANY OF YOU HELPED US OUT LAST FALL WHEN WE ARE -- WERE FACING A TOUGH ELECTION. PEOPLE WERE MAKING PHONE CALLS IN MY STATE. YOU KNOCKED ON DOORS. YOU CAME OVER TO MISSISSIPPI AND HELP US KNOCK ON DOORS AND HELP THE CAMPAIGN ALONG THE WAY. I WANT TO TELL YOU HOW MUCH WE APPRECIATE THAT. I THOUGHT OF YOU HERE LIKE OTHER PEOPLE IN THE STATE AND AROUND THE COUNTRY, HELPED US OUT FINANCIALLY AS WELL. THAT MADE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE. WE HAD TO TAKE ON THE BIG GOVERNMENT UNION BOSSES IN WASHINGTON. I WANT TO THANK YOU BECAUSE THE RETURN WE HAVE PEOPLE NOW IN IOWA, AND IN ALL 50 STATES, WHO HELPED US OUT. A WOMAN IN WATERLOO HELPED US OUT THREE TIMES. WE ARE PEOPLE HERE IN DES MOINES AND ALL ACROSS THE STATE THAT SAID WE WILL PUT UP A -- SOME OF OUR MONEY. I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU. MOST OF ALL, THANK YOU BECAUSE SO MANY OF YOU HERE AND ACROSS THE STATE IN THIS COUNTRY PRAYED FOR US. I HAVE TO TELL YOU, ON BEHALF OF MY WIFE AND I, AND MY SONS, WE COULD FEEL THOSE PRAYERS. IN THE DARKEST OF DAYS, I CAN'T TELL YOU WHAT A DIFFERENCE IT MADE

Wisconsin: State budget shortfall projected at $928 million over two years

Kansas, Part II


http://bloggingblue.com/2015/01/state-budget-shortfall-projected-at-928-million-over-two-years/

But remember, Gov. Walker’s fiscally responsible!

To keep the state doing what it does now through mid-2017, Gov. Scott Walker and lawmakers have to come up with $928 million in spending cuts or tax increases, according to estimates released Friday by the Legislature’s budget office.

The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau found that to continue current operations, state officials have to find $283 million this year plus another $648 million over the following two-year budget beginning July 1.

The shortfall in the state’s main account becomes even larger — more than $2 billion — in the unlikely event elected officials seek to provide all of the added spending requested by agencies through June 2017 and the additional tax cuts promised by Walker in his successful re-election campaign last year.



Not to be cynical, but somehow I suspect Wanker will use this self-created (via tax cuts for wealthy donors) fiscal crisis to further punish the poor by cutting Medicaid services and further erode our public schools.

“In order to restore trust ... our nation’s police must collectively apologize”

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/01/24/us/first-cop-then-cleric-now-hoping-to-heal-a-rift-between-blacks-and-police.html

A Police Chief Turned Pastor, Working to Heal the Nation’s Racial Rifts



NORTH LAKE, Wis. — In the days leading up to Christmas, the aging pastor of a small Episcopal church set amid the glacial hills here began to write a parable. It came neither from Scripture nor from yuletide tradition, but rather from the priest’s very different earlier life. The Rev. David Couper, 77, recalled the predawn hours of a March day nearly a quarter-century ago. A fire had broken out at a housing project in Madison, Wis., where he was the chief of police. A police sergeant, hearing about the blaze from a 911 dispatcher, jauntily sang of the apartment complex, “Sommerset Circle is burning down.”

Five black children, the oldest 9 and the youngest 20 months, died in the fire, and revelations about the sergeant’s song prompted protests against the seeming racial insensitivity of the Madison police and fire departments. There were demands that the sergeant be fired, or at least punished beyond the five-day suspension that Mr. Couper meted out.

...

When Mr. Couper recounted the events last month in his blog, he did so in the aftermath of the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice at the hands of police officers, and in recognition of a vast chasm between law enforcement officers and minority populations. And he did so as a police veteran and a minister who has devoted both parts of his career to closing that rift.

“In order to restore trust between police and the communities they serve, our nation’s police must collectively apologize,” he wrote. “It is what we need today to begin to heal the relationships between blacks and police. It is the only way to move past events of Ferguson, Staten Island, Cleveland and the residual effects we all have inherited from slavery, Jim Crow, and pernicious and residual racial discrimination.”
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