In my latest $0.02 for Politico’s Arena, I write:
Scott Walker used the economic suffering of Wisconsin’s working families as a fig leaf excuse to ram through a Wall Street-driven, anti-worker agenda. History will look back on Scott Walker with astonishment that, at the moment Wisconsin’s workers needed help most, Walker simply delivered more pain and hardship. In the meantime, working people who are fed up with being attacked by their own government are going to turn the tables on Walker and show him what it’s like to get fired.
If only we could get Donald Trump out to Wisconsin to hand Walker his pink slip.
Read the post at Politico here — and please share it via the buttons on their page.
My take on Obama’s next jobs plan, the disaster-in-waiting that is Rick Perry’s campaign, Obama’s vacation and the Wisconsin recall results. If you want to receive my adVantage Points every weekday morning in your inbox, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Obama’s Next Big Plan- story
Instead of yet again failing to make deep structural change in the economy (and disappointing his liberal base), Obama should lay out a bold jobs plan and stick to it. The New Bottom Line coalition and Eliot Spitzer make a great suggestion — force the banks we bailed out to lower the principle on underwater mortgages, putting money back in the hands of consumers who will spend it.
Is Rick Perry Ready For A General Election? – story
Wisconsin Dems Triumph In Recall - story
In a sign of what’s to come, middle class voters were more motivated than the Republican fringe. Anti-worker, anti-government extremists should read the tea leaves and weep.
Obama Should Cancel His Vacation - story
Optics matter. Taking a vacation at a $50,000-per-week compound on an elitist New England island isn’t strategic for a President trying to convey deep compassion for millions of suffering Americans.
My take on Perry and
secession treason, Obama’s repeated pivoting, the Wisconsin recall, and the extremely unpopular Congress. If you want to receive my adVantage Points every weekday morning in your inbox, email email@example.com
Wisconsin Recall Election Today – story
In the Badger State, working people are tired of being badgered by Republican demagogues taking from the middle class and giving to the rich. Regardless of the outcome in the recall elections, there’s no question the anti-worker policies of Republicans nationwide have fired up the electorate, making 2012 a very tough year for the GOP.
Congressional Approval Rating at Historic Low - story
Enough talk about Obama’s approval rating. He looks like Mr. Popularity compared with Congress. Commentators need to spend a bit more time talking about Congressional approval ratings — especially the heinously low approval of Republicans in Congress.
Obama Really Shifting Tone This Time? - story
I’d love to see Obama shift to aggressively fighting for jobs and the middle class and calling out the GOP for their pro-super rich elitist agenda. But if you claim to “pivot” every week, those pivots look less and less pivotal.
I have an op-ed in the Christian Science Monitor about lessons that the (supposed) Organizer-in-Chief can learn from teachers organizing in Wisconsin and elsewhere.
Here’s an excerpt:
In a 1995 interview, Obama said, “What if a politician were to see his job as that of an organizer, as part teacher and part advocate…?” Yes, what if a politician were not to yield to the lowest common denominator in politics but, instead, organize the American people toward a bold and unyielding vision of a better future for everyone. Yes, Mr. President, what if?
I hope you’ll read it, RT it, Facebook it, print it out and attach it to a pigeon, etc.
In case you missed it, over 22,000 people (and counting) have “LIKED” my pro-union post on the FoxNews.com website. In fact, the piece was even on the front page of the Fox website for a few days.
Please click here to read the post and be sure to “LIKE”/Recommend the post via the link at the top and share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, good ol’ fashioned email, etc.
Also, I have just posted this link here so that all the people who keep posting negative comments about the Fox piece on my other posts on this site have a convenient repository for their eloquent critiques. So far, “You’re an idiot” is my favorite!
This past Sunday, February 27, 2011, you couldn’t turn on a television, read a Twitter stream or do much anything else without seeing proud union members. From the almost-entirely unionized Oscar winners to the public workers in Wisconsin continuing their two-week sit-in for worker justice, Americans everywhere were hopefully reminded that unions make America great.
Of course, watching the Oscars last night, you would be forgiven for not knowing that Hollywood is one of the most heavily unionized industries in our nation. There were only two shout-outs to unions during the show. But last month, at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards ceremony — the awards presented by the film and television actors union — thanks and praise for unions from some of Hollywood’s biggest names abounded.
Natalie Portman, for instance, accepting her SAG award for Best Actress in a Film, thanked the union for protecting her rights when she was a child actor, making sure she wasn’t overworked and had to get an education. “I’ve been working since I was 11 years old and SAG has taken care of me,” Portman said. Portman just won an Oscar, but she also just graduated from Harvard. She thanks her union for that.
Melissa Leo, who won Best Supporting Actress last night, didn’t curse when she won the same category at the SAG awards. Instead, she said, “Unions make this country great because it gives a voice to the working people.”
When we wax nostalgic about “The American Dream” we aren’t bragging about how the children of Goldman Sachs executives can grow up to be Goldman Sachs executives. The American Dream for which we stand is the dream that every American has an equal opportunity to work hard and prosper. It’s fitting that The King’s Speech won for best picture last night — a film about the privileged, impermeable oligarchy of England that our nation purposefully rejected in our founding. Even still, the fabulously wealthy Weinsteins didn’t get up on stage when the film they backed won. It was the actors, the directors — the WORKERS — the people whose labor made the film, those are the ones we celebrate. It’s not just the stories they tell but the fact that they all belong to unions that weaves Hollywood so intricately into the fabric of American life.
In Wisconsin, even though public workers have agreed to salary and benefits concessions, Republican Governor Scott Walker still wants to strip public workers of their right to collectively bargain — a brazen political ploy that has nothing to do with balancing the state budget and everything to do with undermining the power of unions in elections. Don’t think this has nothing to do with private sector actor unions. Despite all the rhetorical distinctions from the Republican camp, the Koch brothers and big business backing the attacks in Wisconsin and elsewhere openly condemn all unions. They simply see that fanning deficit-phobia and blaming public unions instead of outsized tax cuts for the rich is a perfect wedge to turn public opinion not only against public unions but, ultimately, unions in general. Do you really think the Koch brothers give a damn about the state of the budget in Wisconsin? If this were a movie, you know it wouldn’t just end with the destruction of public unions only…
Which is why the Screen Actors Guild sent several high-profile members to a Madison rally this past weekend, to speak up for the rights of all workers everywhere to unionize. Hollywood sees the big picture.
Last night, one of the police officers sent to clear protestors from the capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin, simply looked a looked a protestor in the eyes and said, “Thank you for being here.” A few hours later, millions of Americans watched unionized actors, directors, cinematographers and film writers and thanked them, very loudly, for being here. Over the long story arc that is our nation’s history, let us never forget the invaluable role that unions have played ensuring fairness for working people and creating opportunity for each of us to play a role in our glittering American Dream.
What’s happening in Wisconsin isn’t about budget deficits or government spending or even public employee benefits. It’s class war, wherein the big business, conservative Right tries to pit working class Americans against one another so that the super-rich can continue to pilfer our private and public coffers for their own boundless gain. Here are the facts you need to know — and spread:
1. 60% of Wisconsin’s largest corporations pay ZERO taxes
According to the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future, in 2007 60% of corporations in Wisconsin with over $100 million in annual revenues paid zero taxes. None. Zip. Zilch.
2. Raising corporate taxes in Wisconsin to the national average would generate $1 BILLION in revenue
By comparison, Gov. Walker’s union busting bill will “save” a measly $350 million (that is, if you consider lowering the income and security of a core group of tax-paying workers “saving” money…).
3. Cutting taxes on corporations and the rich created state budget crises.
States do not have a spending problem. They have a revenue problem. The recession caused all tax receipts to be lower, but government revenue was artificially suppressed long-before by tax cuts for the big business and the rich pushed through at both the federal and state levels. But with Wall Street tycoons still raking in big bonuses while the rest of us stagger and suffer, anger against big business might reach a boiling point… unless private sector workers can be pitted against public sector workers in a “blame government” charade to diffuse anger from the rightful target.
4. Gov. Walker and the attack on unions are paid for by anti-government Koch brothers
David and Charles Koch, scions of the second largest private corporation in the United States, know how to get a good deal for their dollar. Do you really think the brothers who fund the anti-government, pro-big business Tea Party really give a damn about Wisconsin’s deficit? They are using Wisconsin in their larger play to destroy all unions, further strip all workers of benefits and decent wages, and increase power and profit for a very few, very large corporations like their own. The Koch brothers are among Gov. Walker’s top political contributors.
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