March 12th

by Harry on March 13, 2011


Yesterday was the largest demonstration yet. They’re reporting 85,000 at its peak, which, with the constant stream of people coming and going, would mean 125,000 over the day. (Personally, I suspect that this, like all previous estimates, is an over-estimate, but not a huge one) I went from 10 to 11.45, then again from 3 till 5 (my constraint is having the 4 year old to cart around—literally I carry him all the time—and having to get 14 year old home so that she could get her running kit on and join the other girl cross country runners who ran down there en masse). At 3 the square was densely packed on the west and north sides and then a block down state street and several other streets. And at any given moment hundreds of people leaving while hundreds more arrived.

I have seen Trafalgar Square filled (I’ve even helped fill it) but somehow this was better. Why?

Because instead of a highly coordinated and long planned national one-off demonstration in a country of 60 million and a city of 6 million it was the culmination of weeks of focused protest in a city of 200k in a state of 5 million. People of all ages, all kinds of walks of life, more women than men, the signs ever more focused on the recall efforts and on the state supreme court race on April 5.

A State Trooper gave my lad some of those weird handwarmer things when she saw how uncomfortable he was, and in general the police were smiling, good natured, as clearly on our side as could be. At some point my whole family was there, the two girls separated out—one ith the runners, the other with another family, and the other three of us walking around in amazement. I didn’t get where I am today by being an optimist, but this was the massive show of strength we needed to make.

Here’s Kristen. Michael Moore. If you know other first-hand accounts please alert me to them.



Andrew 03.13.11 at 1:15 pm

That sounds pretty awesome. I hope all those people are willing to donate a little money in the years ahead as well.

Do the recall efforts have a good chance of being successful?


Harry 03.13.11 at 1:37 pm

A good chance? We’ll see with the state supreme court election.
Basically, I think that the 8 republican senators who’ve been targeted should all be very worried (with one exception who has a personal base of support in his district, and against whom the recall effort may unconsciously pull its punches). The Dem tagets have little to worry about (the point of the anti-Dem recall efforts is to divert time money and attention from the Rep recalls, not to actually succeed in recalling them). The question is Walker. Personally, I am not at all optimistic about recalling Walker, but it is worth a try. And if a draft Feingold campaign gets started in a serious way, that would make it more feasible. The calls for a general strike have receded, and that just wont happen — the recall efforts have to be the focus. Who stands in those elections for the Dems is an issue too, though –will they find candidates who are solid on these issues? (which all the current lot are now, but weren’t necessarily before the beginning of this).


Jeffrey Katz 03.13.11 at 1:38 pm

“I hope all those people are willing to donate a little money in the years ahead as well.”

huh? Donate to what?


Frowner 03.13.11 at 2:18 pm

What’s worrying me is this–won’t they just change the law to make a recall impossible? Wasn’t there talk of making recalls impossible unless the politician in question had committed a crime?

Admittedly, doing that would be obviously self-serving and massively unpopular, but they could probably just rely on time and inertia to get away with it.


KCinDC 03.13.11 at 2:24 pm

Frowner, recall is in the Wisconsin constitution, so passing a law isn’t going to undo it. Maybe it’s possible to pass a law to make recall harder, though.


John Protevi 03.13.11 at 2:26 pm

Frowner, it’s in the state: constitution. The last sentence of the clause reads: “(7) This section shall be self-executing and mandatory. Laws may beenacted to facilitate its operation but no law shall be enacted to hamper, restrict or impair the right of recall.”


Lee Hartmann 03.13.11 at 2:32 pm

This makes me so proud to be an ex-Badger.


Frowner 03.13.11 at 2:34 pm

Whew! So I guess I was just hearing rumors. I’ll pass this along when I hear it again.


WiscKE 03.13.11 at 2:37 pm

As a Wisconsin resident hopeful that the effort to recall Walker will succeed, I can think of a number of reasons it’s unlikely. I’m curious about your reasons for pessimism or, to put it another way, what are the biggest obstacles the recall movement needs to overcome?


David Kaib 03.13.11 at 2:41 pm

How would candidates be chosen? Despite all attempts, I’m not sure anyone has devised a way to choose candidates in a way that is immune from public or activist pressure. The big question is who to pressure and how. I certainly wouldn’t suggest leaving it the existing party structure.

Also, as important as the recall efforts are, if all of this energy gets redirected into electoral politics, it would be a shame. The last few years have amply demonstrated the importance of organization in politics, and the overemphasis on elections. The right is going after unions and other aspects of progressive infrastructure because those things matter. Electing Democrats is an important part of the response, but it should only be a part.


Harry 03.13.11 at 2:54 pm

Completely agree with all that David. I’m not in the center of discussions of strategy from hereonin, so don’t have a great sense of what people are thinking about or of how to proceed. I resisted the state supreme court race for a long time, until it became clear that it is going to be seen as a good indicator of our strength. I think the recall efforts are urgent and important (we need the unions to survive), but they mustn’t be all there is.

Madison Teachers are convening to ratify a renewed 2-year contract this afternoon. It includes a compensation cut of around 8%, with salaries kept at 2010-2011 rates till 2013. Those who did not sign in will not be paid for the 4 days they were absent (a relief to me, for public relations reasons, and this despite the fact that my wife, like many teachers, worked more than a contract week both those two weeks, but did not sign in). This assumes they will ratify, but not doing so seems inconceivable. Union dues will be deducted at source for the period of the contract.


Harry 03.13.11 at 3:00 pm

WiscKE — well, 550k signatures in a few weeks is a hell of a lot to get. Walker will have enormous amounts of money at his disposal for the recall and the election campaign (he will be a magnet for right wing corporate donors, and a substantial part of the national party); and other than Feingold (who has these annoying scruples about buying elections, don’t know where they come from) I don’t see a strong Democratic candidate, which is needed to really spark enthusiasm (we don’t have a Terminator, and Agnes Moorehead and Orson Welles are, regrettably, deceased). None of the legislator Dems has really come forward as the natural leader of the movement (although some have come much more to the fore publicly than they had been before — my friend Cory, for example, is much better known outside Racine than he was). That may change in the coming weeks, maybe. But, that’s why I find optimism difficult.


Brett Bellmore 03.13.11 at 3:05 pm

“Also, as important as the recall efforts are, if all of this energy gets redirected into electoral politics, it would be a shame. he last few years have amply demonstrated the importance of organization in politics, and the overemphasis on elections.”

You do realize that, if you’d just won a few more of those meaningless election thingies, this bill wouldn’t have passed, because people who actually agreed with you would have been a majority in the legislature?


Jona 03.13.11 at 3:32 pm

Brett Bellmore: too much energy has been devoted to strategically deviced, short-term election winning aims. Focus on building a movement, with a solid organizational base. Election success will be one of its causal outputs.


David Kaib 03.13.11 at 3:33 pm


One, I didn’t suggest elections were meaningless, only that emphasizing that to the exclusion of all else is foolish (including if your only goal is to win elections, although my concerns go beyond that).

Second, winning elections does not ensure that people who will do what you want. And politics is about getting things done, not having people in power who agree with you. The modern Republican Party demonstrates this, as it has developed all sorts of mechanisms to prevent the personal views of individual legislators from having an impact.


WiscKE 03.13.11 at 3:36 pm

Harry–Agreed, though I think I’m a little more hopeful about a citizen funded campaign (and think of the message that would send nationally — a prospect that might increase Feingold’s interest in participating). Another concern is how to maintain the momentum and make sure that by next January this hasn’t all blown over (as predicted by Walker). Maybe the combination of winning the state supreme court election, taking back the senate through recalls in the summer/fall, and a Feingold announcement would do it. Could he announce his intent to run before the signatures are gathered?

I also agree with David that it’d be a shame if we focused 100% of our attention on the recalls. Economic boycotts are important. And of course the rallies, which provide an energy nothing else can. Turning them into an easier-to-maintain monthly event or perhaps periodically scheduling them around key events could go a long way towards keeping the movement alive. And after all, it’s only going to get more and more pleasant to march on the capitol as spring approaches!


Bruce Wilder 03.13.11 at 3:49 pm

I am glad to see some Americans, somewhere, react with something at least slightly at variance with quiet, desperate resignation.

Feelings of solidarity are a remarkable force in politics, but at something of a low ebb in 21st century America. And, even in Wisconsin, the lack of leadership or an agenda is notable, as is, of course, the fact that they lost.

More than realizing that there might be numbers to support common cause, though, is the realization that “the other side” really, really is out to screw you. Living, as we are, in the twilight scam-economy of a fading Empire, you’d think that would be obvious, but I talk with people every day, who are sure Obama is doing a fine job. The only ally the People have in Disaster Capitalism, is the Disaster, and it is coming, . . . again.


dbk 03.13.11 at 3:56 pm

I found the following in your previous post very perceptive: “…this is just the beginning of a much less spectacular and sexy movement that can reach far beyond the capitol into the cities, towns, and villages of Wisconsin”. Recall elections are indeed important (equally important: finding replacements with The Right Stuff ), but this piece of legislation is chock-a-block with measures-that-must-be-opposed, and opposed massively, e.g. sale (closed bid) of 37 public power plants; sale of the northern woodlands (timber, mineral deposits); decimation of BadgerCare; conversion of the WRS to 401k form (to be managed out of Wall Street) [neatly summarized today by Michael Hudson on counterpunch, and I bet there’s lots more where these came from]. Each of these items – which taken as a whole signify not just the intent to strip labor of its rights, but to strip the state itself of its commons – will require concerted, informed, and long-term efforts.

It seems important that such efforts – data-gathering, writing, intensive educational outreach to, as you said, “the towns and villages” of the state – be undertaken on all fronts, nearly simultaneously – what a massive coordination effort! [Not to mention the need for extensive coordination with other Midwestern/Rust Belt states where similar legislation is concurrently being introduced.]

Re: Democratic candidates: I too was very impressed by your student Cory Mason. Another person I heard speak yesterday who seemed extremely well-informed, well-spoken, and able to connect with his audience was Jim Goodman, a member of the BoD of Family Farm Defenders and FarmAid.


Matt McIrvin 03.13.11 at 3:59 pm

If Walker isn’t recalled then he can veto any repeal of the law, can’t he? So the unions stay broken.


David Kaib 03.13.11 at 4:02 pm

WiscKE – Hopefully it won’t just be citizen funded, but people power driven, along the lines of what Margaret Weir and Marshall Ganz (pdf) delineate. Of course, money matters, but often it is used to buy things that could also be provided through mobilized people. Things like canvassing, house meetings and the like are powerful tools – they are disfavored not because they don’t work, but because they do not reinforce the power of elite power brokers or increase the wealth of high priced consultants (who make more money the more is spent on tv ads – one of the worst incentive systems imaginable.) Note too that this sort of campaign would work organically with the other types of activities you mention.


Barbara Carson 03.13.11 at 4:58 pm

Sign on to to indicate your willingness to
sign the Walker recall petition in November.


Davis X. Machina 03.13.11 at 5:09 pm

If Walker isn’t recalled then he can veto any repeal of the law, can’t he? So the unions stay broken.

I think making him repeatedly veto repeal, especially of the giveaways, will, as the village elders say, ‘heighten the contradictions’ in a most salutary fashion.


John Hulls 03.13.11 at 5:25 pm

Hope you people enjoy this youtube clip. Out here in California, we can’t believe the ‘bait and switch/bought and paid for’ behavior of Walker, so we put this together.


WiscKE 03.13.11 at 5:45 pm

David – Great point, I should have said people driven as I didn’t mean to limit our efforts to financing. I haven’t had time to read the Weir and Ganz chapter yet, but your suggestion raises the question of how do we bring together the newly energized people of Wisconsin and those who have been thinking about these questions for a long time. Wisconsin today seems like the perfect testing ground for a people-powered movement, but how do we bring the interested parties together to do this in a way that maximizes our chances of success? As a non-union member, I see the need for an umbrella organization that is inclusive of and responsible for advocating for the economic well-being of all workers and their families in all arenas and at all levels — a people’s answer to the Chamber of Commerce. But I’m sure there are better and more thought-out ideas out there along with the expertise necessary to pull them off. My biggest fear is that without a unifying entity, we’ll all eventually go back to our previous state of — as Bruce Wilder put it — quiet, desperate resignation.


WiscKE 03.13.11 at 6:04 pm

dbk-You’re exactly right. Everything you listed is necessary if we’re going to effect change in a sustained and meaningful way. They’re counting on our inability to coordinate to pull it off and that’s probably not a bad bet. Our job is to find a way to take the opportunity they’ve handed us (Tammy Baldwin called it “a gift of a moment of clarity”) and beat the odds. Somehow.


Rob Paxton 03.13.11 at 8:12 pm

I’m proud to be your neighbor!

In Solidarity…


FRED LAPIDES 03.13.11 at 9:10 pm


and tell all your FaceBook friends and email folks to boycott and spread the word


Nur al-Cubicle 03.13.11 at 10:09 pm

Oh no, not Land O’Lakes!


Nom_de_Guerre 03.13.11 at 10:57 pm

Teachers in Madison, you were not alone on March 12.

In Lisbon yesterday we were fighting for exactly the same reasons, especially “young” teachers (up to 50 years old!) that face a life that doesn’t allow them to give the quality of education our children deserve.
Like you, we are ignored or disdained by the media, both national and international but whoever was present knows that we will not be so easily moved.

The fact that the same policies and the same corruption exists so far apart could make us despair because of how widespread these problems are.
Instead let us take that into our advantage and see that we could start a worldwide movement for a prosperous society based on fairness and knowledge.

Good luck


MK Chang 03.14.11 at 12:51 am

Thanks for sharing your account of yesterday’s big rally in Madison. You asked if there were any other personal accounts and to let you know. I’ve been writing in my blog about my experiences with this whole ordeal. I invite you to read it and share it with others. I think it’s important for us to capture our experiences with this very historical event. I hope other people are documenting what they’ve been going through as well!

My account of yesterday’s rally can be found at:

My blog homepage is:


Daniel 03.14.11 at 2:14 am

You ain’t seen nothing yet. Look at what is about to become law in Michigan.

The people are broke, what else do you expect. There is no turnaround on the horizon, no new technologies to bail us out, no efficiencies or productivity gains to be had.

This is the new normal. Collectively, we are a middling people, with middling capabilities. We are a declining nation. Y’all have to share in the pain too.


Myles 03.14.11 at 2:22 am

You ain’t seen nothing yet. Look at what is about to become law in Michigan.

Cue interwar Newfoundland.


Barry 03.14.11 at 1:11 pm

Frowner 03.13.11 at 2:34 pm

” Whew! So I guess I was just hearing rumors. I’ll pass this along when I hear it again.”

Considering that they’re trying to make prank phone calls on politicians illegal, and are systematically and deliberately targeting all


Barry 03.14.11 at 1:12 pm

[crap] …, and are systematically and deliberately targeting all Democratic/liberal groups, it’s hard to have a rumor that isn’t something that they’d do.


Barry 03.14.11 at 1:23 pm

Brett Bellmore 03.13.11 at 3:05 pm
” You do realize that, if you’d just won a few more of those meaningless election thingies, this bill wouldn’t have passed, because people who actually agreed with you would have been a majority in the legislature?”

Says the man who did *not* have that attitude after the GOP was swept out of power in 2008.


mds 03.14.11 at 1:27 pm

You ain’t seen nothing yet. Look at what is about to become law in Michigan.

I realize this is probably whistling past the graveyard, given the Wisconsin rumblings about legislatively altering a constitutional recall provision, passing a stripped-down bill through the WI senate and then possibly reinserting things into the version the Assembly passed, etc, etc, etc. But is there anything in the Michigan constitution that would prohibit the governor from unilaterally dissolving municipal governments and seizing their assets? I mean, I know Mr. Bellmore will decry it as a power grab by big government, overturning the will of municipal electoral majorities and trampling property rights, but are there any black-letter legal obstacles?


piglet 03.14.11 at 10:00 pm


Snyder has also proposed eliminating $1.7 billion in tax breaks for individuals while cutting $1.8 billion in taxes for businesses to spur job growth. Much of the $1.7 billion in new tax revenue would be “coming from retirees, senior citizens and the working poor,” the Free Press wrote in an editorial.

This is hardly surprising. Just the usual looting that’s going on all over the country, and frankly most of those senior cities (but not the working poor) have enthusiastically voted their muggers into office. But this:

‘The emergency manager, he said, “has to have the backbone, he has to have the power, to null and void a contract.” ‘

Are they now officially abolishing the rule of law and the validity of contracts (do I hear any libertarians screaming?) How close is this country really to collapse into a failed state?


piglet 03.14.11 at 10:01 pm

oops: senior citizens, not cities.


Jeffrey C. Goldfarb 03.14.11 at 10:19 pm

The marchers in the repeated, large and instense turn out are creating power that is the significant answer to the Tea Party. They need to connect with others and judge politicians and act politically based on that judgment. The discussion will change from primary focus on deficits to focus upon social justice and workers’ rights. This is the beginning of the end of the Tea Party moment.


Margaret 03.15.11 at 12:13 am

The Atlantic is saying that the recall Darling campaign already has enough signatures for a recall, and I have heard this as well by word of mouth. The Committee to Recall Darling isn’t declaring victory. Does anyone have any information on this? If this is true than the effort to recall at least one Republican Senator here in Wisconsin will have succeeded in under two weeks. But is it true?


Harry 03.15.11 at 12:51 am

I don’t know. I do know that everyone is being super-cautious, and trying to get far more signatures than needed, to compensate for illegibility/inaccuracy etc.


Sev 03.15.11 at 1:27 am

#39 “the end of the Tea Party moment.” This would appear to be its end in the one sense, we may hope in the other. (digby):


logern 03.15.11 at 2:25 am

With a successful recall, you may have a mandate for returning collective bargaining, but I’m reminded (in my own state) that Harry Reid was so disliked, that the tea party supporters here and many more outside the state seemed to figure they could run the most radical candidate, pump tons of money into her campaign and that would all serve to defeat Harry Reid in a state that also runs more red than blue.

Or it could be Sharon Angle was just too stupid to win with all her baggage. But fair warning…


Marc 03.15.11 at 3:25 pm

As far as recalling Walker is concerned, I’m actually much more optimistic than Harry – largely because of the utter lack of political skill that he has demonstrated. He won’t reach out to moderates; he’ll continue to behave outrageously; and he’ll proudly trumpet his unwillingness to compromise. This is where the Fox bubble becomes a liability: they really don’t know that the extreme right is a minority (albeit a larger one than the left.) By next January I expect active corruption and cronyism to be part of the mix, and they’ll still be actively whacking the hornet nest to prove their collective manhood.


Bill Door 03.15.11 at 4:02 pm

One thing I haven’t seen addressed: I’m expecting the mother of all signature-challenging campaigns for these races.


Salient 03.15.11 at 4:57 pm

…I suppose I could type up a first-hand account if anyone really wants another one, but it wouldn’t add anything to what’s already been said. I was the one with the sign saying “Governor Walker: 42 cubic feet of ego surrounded by reality” — my personal favorite was “Governor Walker, Take a Hike!” — next time I’ll remember to bring a camera.

There were quite a lot of folks at the St. Patrick’s Day parade (Sunday) trying to organize a meeting that, if I understood correctly, would be the basis for a non-electoral counter-movement against the Citizens United decision and pro-corporate politicians generally (anyone who got their pink and lime green handouts, feel free to correct me). Not sure if that’ll take off, but if anyone visits their first meeting it’d be great to hear how it goes.

Does anyone have any solid information on the protest in Green Bay (where Walker was on Sunday)? I wasn’t able to drive up and participate, and the Press-Gazette had zilch. It would be great for protesters, even just a handful, to show up wherever Walker happens to be going, keep the streak alive, keep enthusiasm bubbling until recall is possible. I hope that happens, & I’m happy to chip in this summer!


Harry 03.15.11 at 4:58 pm

Absolutely — that’s why we need far more signatures than we need (if you see what I mean).
Thanks Marc. Makes me a little more hopeful.


WiscKE 03.15.11 at 5:36 pm

I think Marc is spot on. Last Wednesday evening when I heard the Republicans were going to force the vote through, I assumed they’d be strategic enough to let the one or two Senators most vulnerable to recalls vote no — a move that would have allowed passage of the bill while effectively ending our best recall opportunities. But they didn’t. Has to give you hope.

Salient, I didn’t get a handout. Do you (or any other readers) have any more information on the group/upcoming meeting? Are they associated with Progressives United?


mds 03.15.11 at 8:08 pm


Does anyone have any solid information on the protest in Green Bay (where Walker was on Sunday)?

Well, the Press-Gazette actually did have something up Monday. There’s also video at First Draft, which is another useful go-to site, thanks to its Wisconsin contingent.


mw 03.16.11 at 9:22 pm

First of all, with respect to Michigan — the proposal is to start imposing state income taxes on pensions. That’s something that nearly all other states already do. Why should those fortunate enough to receive pensions pay no state income taxes while those withdrawing money from 401K’s in retirement have to pay? This is particularly unfair since pensioners are generally better off than those relying on 401K accounts.

As for the emergency manager provisions. Do you have any idea of what the cities (and especially the school systems) are like in Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw? Detroit Public Schools, for example, have lost more than half of their students in recent years. And the projection is that student numbers will decline by another 1/3 by 2014. If that happens that will mean DPS dropping from ~150,000 students to about ~60,000 in about a decade. This shrinkage is at a rate much greater than the population of the city itself. If the city of Detroit is as disaster, we need to think of a new word to describe the state of DPS. Maybe a bankruptcy judge wielding the power to abrogate contracts would be a better approach than granting those powers to an emergency manager, but somebody’s going to have to do it — the money is just not there to continue with business-as-usual in these cities and school districts.


Substance McGravitas 03.16.11 at 9:29 pm

the money is just not there to continue with business-as-usual in these cities and school districts

Well sure, but it’s the duty of a union to try to get the best possible deal for its workers. The governments and the managers have all sorts of legal advice, and through unions the workers have theirs. That’s how negotiations work. Unions all over North America have cooperated with management in downsizing as manufacturing has died while trying to take care of their membership as best they can. It’s not mysterious or unreasonable.


mw 03.16.11 at 10:04 pm

Unions all over North America have cooperated with management in downsizing as manufacturing has died while trying to take care of their membership as best they can. It’s not mysterious or unreasonable.

It may not be mysterious or unreasonable, but in these cases it may be a slow enough process that bankruptcy is the result and a judge assumes the same emergency powers to terminate contracts. The way school financing works in Michigan is that state funding is on a per-student basis. This was done in the 1990s to equalize funding between rich & poor districts, which was a good thing. Also in Michigan, there are charter schools and open enrollment districts, so students can leave failing public schools for better nearby districts or charters. Which is also a good thing for students and families. But these changes have made it possible for struggling districts to enter a death spiral where a loss of students leads to a loss of funding which leads to even worse services which leads to even more students leaving. And that’s what has been going on in the Detroit schools for years.

My take (from 50 miles west in Ann Arbor) is that the alternative is probably not normal downsizing negotiations, it’s bankruptcy. That may be better, but it will mean bond defaults, damaged credit ratings, and increased borrowing costs. It’s not just Snyder making dire predictions of bankruptcy — Granholm was saying the same thing before she left office. We’re going to see either emergency powers or municipal bankruptcies, probably starting with Hamtramck.


Substance McGravitas 03.16.11 at 10:17 pm

I can’t take as informed a position on Michigan as you can, but my knee will jerk against those whose default position is to destroy public education anyway, and a powerful advocate for public education has always been teachers unions. They too have the example of unions in their own state trying to make the best of a catastrophe.


Brett Bellmore 03.17.11 at 9:45 am

Ok, now I understand why you guys aren’t worried about any of the Wisconsin Democrats being recalled….


mds 03.17.11 at 4:44 pm

I know he faces a tough crowd here, but I for one would like to thank Mr. Bellmore for that substantive video underscoring the difficulties plaguing the recall effort against Democratic state senators. Namely, that much of the initial effort was undertaken by a Utah conservative group that at first neglected to find a legally-required Wisconsin partner. Couple that with the lack of financial backing from the state Republican Party alluded to , and one has a pretty plausible explanation for the weak showing. (For those who can’t view YouTube, some of this is summarized here.)

Alas, the combination of fumbling illegal actions by out-of-state interests and defensive funding by the WI GOP don’t make for a glamorous narrative, so expect an eventual pivot to blaming it all on “union thugs” or some similar anecdotal mendacity in the James O’Keefe mode. Or possibly it’s all a conspiracy by those Wisconsin palm trees. (Though I think we can all agree with YouTube commenter orlandodolphin at Mr. Bellmore’s link that the union thugs laid themselves open for such charges based on the way they trashed the Wisconsin Capitol. Those violent, unhinged schoolteachers, firefighters, and farmers chose to sow the wind, and now they’re reaping the whirlwind.)


mds 03.17.11 at 5:14 pm

Whoops, my <sarcasm> tags didn’t paste. Apologies if anyone is thereby led to follow the link in #54 to “Union Thugs Destroy Recall Petitions.” In the future, I’ll stick to using the manual codes.


piglet 03.17.11 at 5:16 pm

Maybe a bankruptcy judge wielding the power to abrogate contracts would be a better approach than granting those powers to an emergency manager, but somebody’s going to have to do it—the money is just not there to continue with business-as-usual in these cities and school districts.

Remember how we taxpayers paid those bonuses to AIG managers because contracts are supposedly sacrosanct? How right-wingers were screaming at the possibility that Federal oversight might limit the compensation of multi-million dollar financial executives? Of course teachers making 40,000 are a different matter. The contracts that have been publicly negotiated and upheld in good faith by public sector workers are not worth the paper (but those drawn up by corporate board cronies in bad faith in backrooms are still inviolable) because the United states has become a plutocracy so blatant we have even given up pretending to uphold the rule of law.

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