Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 13, 2011

IT'S NOT JUST MADISON.... The efforts of progressive activists in Wisconsin have generated considerable attention, and with good reason. But here's hoping the activism won't be limited to Madison.

For example, you may not have heard about this gathering in Austin, Texas.

Thousands of parents, teachers and other education advocates poured onto the Capitol grounds Saturday to rally against proposed state budget cuts that school districts say could force layoffs of thousands of teachers and other public education employees.

Demonstrators sprawled across the statehouse grounds, carrying signs scrawled with "Save Our Schools" and "Fund the Future."

Others carried umbrellas to underscore their desire that lawmakers tap into the state's rainy day fund to help balance the budget.

"We hope that being here will make a difference," said Nicollette Anthony, a 17-year-old from San Antonio. "But even if it doesn't, they'll know we tried."

Estimates of the crowd size vary, but I've seen some put the number at 12,000 people. (Organizers brought 11,000 stickers to hand out to those on hand, and ran out while folks were still showing up.)

It's a shame events like this don't get more attention. A year ago at this time, a former half-term governor attended a Tea Party rally in Nevada, drew a crowd of 8,000, and garnered national media attention, including live television coverage. But 12,000 people take a stand against deep education cuts, and it's largely an afterthought outside the local media.

One could make the argument, I suppose, that the folks rallying against education cuts in Texas are almost certain to lose -- Republicans dominate in the state capitol -- which makes their efforts less interesting. But I tend to think the opposite -- 12,000 people know they're likely to lose, but they gathered in large numbers anyway and demanded to be heard. Good for them.

For that matter, the opportunity for related activism is great in other areas. In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott (R) wants to cut taxes, and pay for it by slashing education funding. In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker (R) has already cut taxes, and has introduced a budget that cuts education so deeply, the proposal has been characterized as "inhumane."

Pennsylvania's new governor, Republican Tom Corbett, is eyeing some of the deepest cuts to education of any state in the country, including slashing funding for Pennsylvania colleges and universities by more than 50 percent.

Polls suggest education cuts are the ones voters dislike the most, and yet this appears to be one of the first areas Republicans go to when looking for ways to balance their budgets and cut taxes.

The more activism this inspires, the better.

Steve Benen 1:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (48)

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Comments

Most likely, there will be 10,000 in Maryland's state capitol tomorrow. 20,000 demonstrated in Indiana earlier this week. These are all union-led protests, which is why they get no mention in the media. No one is supposed to understand that these cuts are unpopular and avoidable. It takes a long time to educate our membership that they're avoidable. Most people have internalized them as inevitable--people are just so used to losing.

Posted by: Dan Chambers on March 13, 2011 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

It was awesome seeing one of my favorite actors
Tony Shaloub speaking at the rally in Wisconsin, I did not know he was a native of that state -video on DU.

Posted by: j on March 13, 2011 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

It's a shame events like this don't get more attention...

It's really a shame when all that we can muster is this sort of tepid response.

Posted by: rrk1 on March 13, 2011 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Your biggest enemy is your Corporate Media. How much coverage has there been about the new 'law' passed there that will give the governor an almost dictatorial power to dissolve whole town, elected officials, etc and appoint someone who then decides for the people: a corporate lord. How much coverage ? Why not ? And the almost total suppression of all these protests in all these states by normal people because of the corporate/privatization of everything ? And remember during the Iraq war when hundreds of thousands would demonstrate against it ? And no corporate media coverage. Yet last summer, if you remember, CNN had their own 'tea party' bus that went to all their rallies .. 300 hundred here, 50 there, etc and covered it 24/7 ? Remember all those 'town hall meetings' that the tea party took over ? Again, 24/7 coverage. But all these protests by the people now receive almost zero coverage. Your biggest enemy is your Corporate Media. They are actually criminals who get paid millions to do the bidding of the Corporations that hire them. They have made their 'faustian deals' be be the 'media elite'. So corporate pigs like Brian Williams make 15 million a year, and for what ? Meanwhile your teachers are averaging 50,000 a year, the very people who teach your kids ? And now they are being signaled out by the Corporate Media as scapegoats for the economic disaster caused by your evil Wall Street. Williams makes 250,000 PER WEEK. That would pay for five teachers for a whole year. Think about that.

USA ! USA ! USA !

Posted by: blue on March 13, 2011 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Education is a luxury, available to those who can afford it.
Ditto health care, food, and housing.

After all, the document only promises "life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness. . ."

A few years ago this comment would have been considered sarcasm. Today. . .?

Posted by: DAY on March 13, 2011 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

And where is Obama?
His absence from the discussion at a time when even worse things are planned in Michigan, and similar attacks on the right to organize are in the works in other states, is not just shameful, it's poor political tactics. This administration has been willing quite frequently to put politics before principle -- on the argument that you can't get the principles implemented if you don't have the politics in line -- but they're not even doing that this time. Hurry up and lead!

Posted by: Kansachusetts on March 13, 2011 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, they have to keep the people ignorant, or the Republican Party has no future.

Posted by: TCinLA on March 13, 2011 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

And where is Obama? His absence from the discussion at a time when even worse things are planned in Michigan, and similar attacks on the right to organize are in the works in other states, is not just shameful, it's poor political tactics. This administration has been willing quite frequently to put politics before principle -- on the argument that you can't get the principles implemented if you don't have the politics in line -- but they're not even doing that this time. Hurry up and lead!

Robert Reich had something very relevant to say about this very topic the other day (emphasis mine):

OBAMA, CENTRISM, AND THE CLINTON MYTH

By: Robert Reich

In the next week the action moves from Wisconsin to Washington, where the deadline looms for a possible government shutdown over the federal budget. President Obama has to take a more direct and personal role in that budget battle -- both for the economy's sake and for the sake of his reelection. But will he? Don't count on it.

Worried congressional Democrats say the President needs to use his bully pulpit to counter defections in Democatic ranks, such as the ten Democrats and one allied Independent who on Wednesday voted against a Senate leadership plan to cut $6.2 billion from the federal budget over the rest of fiscal year 2011. They want Obama to grab the initiative and push a plan to eliminate tax breaks for oil companies and for companies that move manufacturing facilities out of the country, and a proposal for a surtax on millionaires.

Most importantly, they're worried the President's absence from the debate will result in Republicans winning large budget cuts for the remainder of the fiscal year -- large enough to imperil the fragile recovery.

But Obama won't actively fight the budget battle if the current White House view of how he wins in 2012 continues to prevail.

Shortly after the Democrats' "shellacking" last November, I phoned a friend in the White House who had served in the Clinton administration. "It's 1994 all over again," he said. "Now we move to the center."

The supposed parallel between 2010 and 1994 is something of an article of faith in the Obama White House. That's partly because so many of President Barack Obama's current aides worked for Bill Clinton and vividly recall Clinton's own shellacking in 1994. It's also because the Clinton story had a happy ending, at least electorally. The fact that Bill Clinton went on to win re-election is a source of comfort to the current White House as it looks ahead to 2012.

From this, many in the Obama White House have concluded that the president should follow Clinton's campaign script -- distancing himself from congressional Democrats, embracing further deficit reduction, and seeking guidance from big business. If it worked for Clinton, it must work for Obama -- or so it's supposed.

The superficial logic that so often passes for thought in Washington typically sees causation where there's only correlation. In fact, there's no reason to believe that Clinton's lurch rightward at the start of 1995 is what won him re-election the following November. He was re-elected because of the strength of the economic recovery.

By the spring of 1995, the American economy had bounced back, averaging 200,000 new jobs per month. By early 1996, it was roaring -- creating 434,000 new jobs in February alone. I remember suggesting to Clinton's political adviser, Dick Morris, that the president should come up with some new policy ideas for the election. Morris scowled. This election will be about the economy -- nothing more, nothing less, he said. Morris knew that voters didn't care much about policy. They cared about jobs. "The president," said Morris, "is going to say, 'You've never had it this good, and you ain't seen nothing yet.'"

The 1991-1992 recession was relatively mild as recessions go. As is typical of most recessions, it had been brought on by the Federal Reserve raising interest rates too high in response to fears of inflation -- meaning that a recovery would occur when the Fed reversed course and reduced short-term rates, which then-Chair Alan Greenspan obligingly did.

President Obama won't be as fortunate. The Great Recession resulted from the bursting of a giant debt bubble. Wall Street's irresponsible lending and speculating, negligible oversight by federal regulators, and the insatiable desire of Americans to use their homes as ATMs created a toxic mixture that exploded at the end of 2007 and continues to sicken the economy.

The Fed has kept interest rates near zero for more than a year and has opened the spigots of its discount window, without much result. Unemployment continues to hover around 9 percent. Economic growth is pathetic.

While jobs used to follow corporate profits, American corporations now rack up big profits without expanding employment. Their profits are coming mainly from buoyant sales by their foreign operations -- especially in China and India -- combined with cuts in jobs, wages, and benefits here in the U.S.

The richest 10 percent of Americans, who own about 90 percent of all financial assets, are buying again (sales at Neiman Marcus and Tiffany's are way up). But most Americans still have little purchasing power. Under a huge load of debt, worried about meeting mortgage payments, and seeing their major asset -- their home -- continue to drop in value, they're holding back from the malls.

A strong recovery cannot be sustained by the richest 10 percent. Before the Great Recession, the top 10 percent received about half of total income, but they accounted for only about 40 percent of total spending. Forty percent of spending isn't enough to convince businesses to invest in new capacity and jobs, which is why corporations are still sitting on $1.4 trillion of cash.

So many jobs have been lost since Obama was elected and so many people have entered the workforce needing jobs that even if job growth were to match the extraordinary pace of the late 1990s, year after year, the unemployment rate wouldn't fall below 6 percent until 2016. That pace of job growth is unlikely, to say the least.

If Republicans manage to cut federal spending significantly between now and Election Day while state outlays continue to shrink, the certain result is continued high unemployment and anemic growth.

Obama's challenge in 2012 has nothing to do with Bill Clinton's in 1996. He must fight the Republican plans to cut the budget deficit this year and next, and explain to the public why he's doing so. And he must convince Americans that public spending during the next few years is necessary to get the economy moving, reduce the long-term debt as a portion of the total economy, and get jobs back.

Posted by: TCinLA on March 13, 2011 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think Obama's comments will motivate people as much as the people of Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and the other states that are seeing the injustices taking shape. This is a boots on the ground mission, so if it takes 10,000 plus "party crashers" at the next town hall meeting with a truckload of manure to make a big stink, let's do it!

Posted by: ComradeLou on March 13, 2011 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

The natural aristocratic element is amused detachment . These are the bottle washers for the real movers and shakers , Koch , Hunt , Mellon Scaife , and company . The old practiced hands developed the John Birch Society , miscegenation , tossing fringe conspiracy points to their lap dogs , of whom Richard Nixon remains an unimproved model . The waking of the American tiger of workers pride has precious little time before the Pinkerton's are relicensed to shoot to kill .
Hidden amongst the path of devastation our right wing governors have chosen , is a foregone conclusion that in an unregulated economy , with a neutered federal authority , anything goes , and what is considered untouchable will be the first to go .
If you think the lies and deception , the agitation propaganda has been bad so far , wait till you see the reaction when the right feels the workers movement is a mere paper tiger . Nelson Rockefeller reminds us that when it comes to impressing the old money in this country , no law is to restrictive , no life sacred , when the ambition is to seize power .
Either way when the terrorist christianist militia's perceive that their precious theocracy is being denied to them , or that in an urge to demonstrate power ala Nixon-Rockefeller kill them all let God sort them out frenzies . Life is cheap when it isn't in the circle of mad dog justice Scalia's friends . Not for America the mass demonstrations ushering in change across the middle east . The dogs of the right have been unrestrained for far too long . How long did it take for violent imagery to be restored after Gabrielle Giffords was gunned down with a dozen or so others ?
If this seems overly harsh , consider for a moment when in your wildest dreams did anyone ever consider that a Florida Court of Appeals would unanimously agree with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States .

Posted by: FRP on March 13, 2011 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Obama? Didn't he get elected to something a few years ago? Maybe he should send out some Twitters or make a Facebook page or something. Whatever. As long as whatever he does [or doesn't do] gets him re-elected. That's what counts.

Posted by: DWOB on March 13, 2011 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

*

(208.87.241.21)

Posted by: Banned Troll on March 13, 2011 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

*

(208.87.241.21)

Posted by: Athena's handle was stolen on March 13, 2011 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

[Our apologies for not catching this sooner. -- Mods]

Posted by: DAY on March 13, 2011 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with the comment upthread that the Corporate Media fail to report the story; they have all been foxified to repeat the conservative narrative. And the incident last week where NPR fired Ron Schiller for describing the Tea Partiers as racist was just bizarre. Schiller was fired for speaking the truth at a private luncheon while Fox News broadcasts lies to millions without challenge. Really? It has come to this?

But here is an encouraging article: What's left of the American left?

"There's no denying its historic decline, but the left does not lack for issues. It needs only organisation."

I am hopeful that what is happening in Madison--and Austin, and Maryland and Indiana--is the start of the American rejection of the conservative movement. We can start from the certainty that the media are not going to support us and go from there.

Posted by: PTate in MN on March 13, 2011 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Why care about Texas public schools? Jesus wants them to all home school their kids anyway.

Posted by: kay1352 on March 13, 2011 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

For the record, I almost never provide links. And if I do, they are the straight-forward http:// kind.

If there are links that the poor, pitiful loser using/abusing my handle provides, I cannot be held responsible.
I don't even open most links here because too many times, it's some asshole trying to be offensive.
Do I miss some great links by regular commenter? Sure.
But I'd rather be safe than sorry.

I just wish the poor, pitiful, cowardly punk had the guts to post his/her/its "real" handle, instead of shamelessly degrading mine.

But I think Steve B., the mods, and most people who comment here, know who I am, what I represent, and how I present my opinion, which is a mix of wise ass jokes and informed opinion.

It's a shame the pitiful, cowardly punk who abuses my handle doesn't have the wit or intelligence to come out and play out in the open, but has to resort to offensive language and links.
But what else would anyone expect from this poor, pitiful, cowardly punk?
What?
Courage, wit. intelligence? LOL!!!

Posted by: c u n d gulag on March 13, 2011 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

It's hard to tell whether it is education funding or compensation for state workers as a whole that is being reduced to pay for the corporate tax cuts in Florida. Maybe both.

Posted by: housecalls on March 13, 2011 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

attention moderator

this comment is a name highjack that's trolling [link goes to thumbsnap]
Posted by: DAY on March 13, 2011 at 2:51 PM |

and this is trolling
[link goes to thumbsnap]

Posted by: Dan Chambers on March 13, 2011 at 2:53 PM |

cleanup please

Posted by: dj spellchecka on March 13, 2011 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

ps

the second one is also a name highjack

Posted by: dj spellchecka on March 13, 2011 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Well, troll, you can spell "DAY", but purloining my handle takes a bit more to fool the intelligentsia here. Putting aside my style, I NEVER include links that can be clicked on.

The NYT's Pogue has an interesting piece on internet trolls; I include a pertinent part for all here, esp. gulag:

8. Trolling is making a deliberately inflammatory remark, one that you know perfectly well is baloney, just to get a rise out of other people. Trolling is an art. Trolling works just fine for an audience of one (say, a journalist), but of course the real fun is trolling on public bulletin boards where you can get dozens of people screaming at you simultaneously. Comments on religion, politics or Mac-vs.-Windows are always good bets. The talented troll sits back to enjoy the fireworks with a smirk, and never, ever responds to the responses.

I was about to remark on FRP's post, (cogent thinking, kudos!) but got sidetracked with this.

Posted by: DAY on March 13, 2011 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

DAY,
Well, it looks like that poor, pitiful, gutless, unloved punk is now stalking after you too!

Have some fun at 'its' expense.


Posted by: c u n d gulag on March 13, 2011 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

And where is Obama?

He's busy making sure that whistleblowers know what they can look forward to, and if anyone - like P. J. Crowley - questions that, they're out of a job.

Posted by: Squeaky McCrinkle on March 13, 2011 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

I only posted the first comment. Someone is pretending to be me throughout the thread. Fuck that shit. I have no idea who it is.

[Nor do we, but "it" keeps us busy. I am cleaning up and calling for backup. Our apologies for not catching this sooner. -- Mods]

Posted by: Dan Chambers on March 13, 2011 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

MODS! Please clean up at 2:46, 2:48, 2:51 and 2:53. To the nasty troll, leave our 'nyms alone. And while you're at it, just leave this whole site alone. Go play in a full toilet, since you seem to like crap so much.

Posted by: Athena on March 13, 2011 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it looks like that poor, gutless, pitiful troll/sock-puppet is back again today.

The only thing more disgusting than a pitiful troll/sock-puppet, is thinking what he/she/it does in that sock.
YUCK!

I feel pity for you, you poor unloved creature.

No wonder you lash out at a world of people who are intelligent and caring, since you are neither.

Let's all feel some pity for this poor, pitiful, pitiful, troll/sock-puppet.
That is what you want, right troll/sock-puppet? Pity?
'Cause that's all I feel for you, since you are pitiful.
Pity.
Pity...

Posted by: c u n d gulag on March 13, 2011 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

The irritation that Obama isn't cheerleading at these demonstrations seems misplaced to me.

It seems better for the PEOPLE to do this, on their own, without it looking like it has been orchestrated from the WH or any other center of power.

Really, the Tea Party rallies looks so phony, pale and pathetic compared to the genuine article, does Obama really need to be out there yelling?

Anymore than he could have been yelling and cheerleading the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions? He said and did enough to demonstrate that he was on the side of the PEOPLE, without anyone being able to claim orchestration by Washington.

I can't see him doing anything different here. He made it plain that he knows this is exclusively about union busting. 'Nough said; he steps aside and lets the people do their own talking.

Posted by: jjm on March 13, 2011 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Over 4300 people rallied Friday in St. Louis' downtown Kiener Plaza to protest anti-worker, anti-union legislation that is being rammed through the majority Republican Missouri Legislature. The interesting thing is that the major regional newspaper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, saw fit to ignore the entire rally - they printed not a single word about it, although they covered Tea Party rallies with far smaller turnout on page 2.

This is not new. This ostensibly liberal newspaper tried to ignore the Wisconsin protests until they became too large for the paper to remain silent. The paper finally printed a news service article on the obits page. When people called to ask why the Wisconsin story was being ignored, they were told that the paper's focus is now largely local. I wonder what story they will offer about ignoring a local rally sympathetic to union concerns.

Of course, the new owners of the Post-Dispatch, Lee Enterprises, have been having some union troubles of their own - although they are profitable, they have been attempting to break contractual promises to provide retirees health care. So maybe the reporting in this instance reflects their anti-union bias? Which, in turn, underlines the importance of news outlets like NPR - even though they may be susceptible to political influence. In the U.S. it seems easier to correct for at least high-level political meddling, than to deal with the bias that is becoming more and more obvious in the commercial media.

[Comments are back on. For now.]

Posted by: Irene on March 13, 2011 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Our apologies for not catching this sooner. -- Mods]"

Apologies not needed; we're all big boys and girls here! As well as many hard core Unionists, Progressives, and other dangerous criminal types. Some of us even sing Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie song's from the '30's. . .

Posted by: DAY on March 13, 2011 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

The rallies are more meaningful if they are the voice of the people, once Obama set foot in Madison, the story would be all about him and not the voices of the people, I think he is wise to stay away, and like the head of the union said 'Obama supports them' to go in andlook like he is
over riding a governor would be a crazy move, the people elected Walker and the people should be the ones to remove him.Anyway I kinda think Obama has a full plate with budget, Libya, Japan and a few other things.

Posted by: joan on March 13, 2011 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Even with Obama's lukewarm statement(s), the right has been desperately trying to tie him to the protests, and portray it as some sort of nefarious plot. It's probably best for Obama to stay out of it for now.

That said, at some point before the '12 election(hopefully sooner rather than later), Obama is going to have to make the larger argument to the American people, and identify the goals of the republicans, because the media surely isn't going to do it. Give the American people a choice, instead of trying to play up this faux-bipartisanship.

Posted by: Holmes on March 13, 2011 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Texas: Bled to death by a thousand Republican cuts.

Wisconsin: Bled to death by a thousand Republican cuts.

America: Bled to death by a thousand Republican cuts.

How many more states, how many more American citizens have to be bled so that the Koch brothers and the Wall Street oligarchs can add to their transfusion stockpile from all the economic blood they've bled from the American middle-class and workers?

Posted by: The Oracle on March 13, 2011 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

DAY,
I live near the Hudson River.
Pete Seeger is revered all around here. REVERED! He damn near helped save this river over the past 40 years by himself, with his sloop "Clearwater" leading the way.

He lives in a little unassuming house off the river.
Everyone knows where he lives.
No one bothers the man.
I wish we had dozens more like him.

And I wish the trolls and sock-puppets infesting us here could learn to just live and let live.

But, that's not part of their personality type. They feel the need to foul everything they touch. It is their reason for existence (listen to Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant" for the "Kill, kill, kill!" part to find out what their "philosophy" is all about).

Pitiful creatures.
Just pitiful.
Pity the fools.
pity...

Posted by: c u n d gulag on March 13, 2011 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

I have a theory as to why the Republicans reach for education cuts so readily. A dumbed-down electorate is more likely to produce more Republicans.

Posted by: Bobsled on March 13, 2011 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

According to an e-friend of mine (we share a hobby), there's supposed to be a big rally at the state capitol in Michigan on Tuesday. There was one yesterday, but small.

Posted by: exlibra on March 13, 2011 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

goodnight, all.

Illegitimi non carborundum.

Posted by: DAY on March 13, 2011 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

Your biggest enemy is your Corporate Media:

****************

March 13, 2011 12:00 PM
CNN's Pitiful Coverage of the Protests in Wisconsin
By Heather
Crossposted from Video Cafe

I'm still not sure what's more pitiful. The fact the CNN along with our other cable news networks decided to largely ignore the fact that we had massive protests going on in Wisconsin this weekend, or that when they finally devoted a few minutes to it as CNN did here in between hours upon hours of chasing the ambulance of the day which is the earthquake in Japan, they didn't let the public know just how large the crowds were there.

I thought if you considered yourself a "news" organization, you were supposed to be capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time. CNN along with MSNBC and Fox decided to largely ignore the protests in Wisconsin, and with Fox of course trashing them with the small amount of coverage they got there as well, and instead did almost all wall to wall coverage of the earthquake in Japan.

Thankfully for anyone with Internet access that wanted to see what was going on, The Uptake did broadcast the protests.

We need to do something about the media consolidation in this country and until these large media conglomerates are broken up, things aren't going to get any better with our struggles to fight back against the destruction of the labor movement and the middle class that is under assault right now. How and when that happens and what political force it takes to change it is beyond me, but if we aren't at least pushing our politicians to do something about it, nothing is ever going to change on that front.

I guess it was asking too much of CNN to show this picture of just how many turned out to protest during their coverage. Anyone think if this was some teabagger rally which they love to promote, that they would not have been showing the crowd size?

Here's their feedback page if you'd like to let them hear about it

Posted by: blue on March 13, 2011 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

I've put together a "Common Sense" Guide to the Great Deficit Debate, to help activists get basic background and facts to fight the hysterics generated by Tea Partiers, Koch apparatchiks and GOPer neanderthals:

A PDF download - and related commentary, links & resources - available here:

http://titanicsailsatdawn.blogspot.com/

Hope this is useful to some of you - and spread it around if you are so moved.

Posted by: brucds on March 13, 2011 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, c'mon. Everyone KNOWS that teabag crowds are intrinsically LARGER, since they outweigh your typical liberal approximately 2:1

(Isn't it about time we brought back the fat/stupid jokes?)

Posted by: Captain Obvious on March 13, 2011 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

I'm glad this is being covered outside of Texas. With a budget surplus 6 years ago, the let's reduce property taxes forever crowd here decreased property taxes by 1/3 and put into law tax swaps and a "Gross Profit Margins Tax" that has put Texas in a such a position that we are at least 27.4 billion short for the next biennium (two years.)Our legislature meets for only 140 days each two years. With the the Grover Norquist crowd in charge here now we could lose one thousand jobs in education as soon as September. Students, teachers, and public schools stand to be the big losers in Texas if we don't use the 9.4 billion dollars in our "Rainy Day Fund" which Rick Perry and many Republican legislators have said they don't want to use. For more information, commentary and links you can link to my blog Red Dirt & Sand where I cover Texas politics.

Posted by: Kenneth D. Franks on March 13, 2011 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

Why do Repugs slash education? They don't care about supporting a middle class. They don't need use. They can find cheap labor elsewhere and far more consumers in China, India and Brazil, so they build walls around their homes for safety and buy politicians and lawyers to insure minimal taxes. The wealthy repugs want to tar the reputation of public schools so they can get vouchers to pay for their children's private ed. The tea partiers mostly want to home school their children, and/or they denegrate education and educated people (many of whom are liberals) in favor of sports, religion, and celebrity. So much for the old American Dream, to succeed beyond ones parents through education. Now the dream is to make it big on Amer Idol, become a sports star, or go into finance and become a billionaire. Thus they are reluctant to criticize the uber Capitalists bc they wish they could be so rich themselves. Each time the Repugs assert a new policy, we need to loudly remind people how it undermines our lives and standard of living, and we don't need to support them. There is another way. the Repugs don't know best.

Posted by: pea on March 13, 2011 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

"A year ago at this time, a former half-term governor attended a Tea Party rally in Nevada, drew a crowd of 8,000, and garnered national media attention, including live television coverage. But 12,000 people take a stand against deep education cuts, and it's largely an afterthought outside the local media."

Sad. You just don't understand the needs of modern corporate newsfotainment.
12,000 people? Yawn.
12,000 people addressed by CHARLIE SHEEN? 24/7 WALL TO WALL!

Posted by: Steve P on March 13, 2011 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

against education cuts in Texas are almost certain to lose -- Republicans dominate in the state capitol --

What you meant, Steve, was Republicans don't care about education in TX because so many of the students are brown.

I read a book recently by Gene V. Glass from Arizona State called "Fertilizers, Pills, And Magnetic Strips: The Fate Of Public Education In America." It is a very well documented study of educational policy in the US and why different states have different policies and different results. I recommend it highly to understand why TX is so backwards, along with some other states like AZ and much of the deep South, in everything having to do with education. It boils down to people with power aren't about to pay for the education of children of "the other."

Posted by: Texas Aggie on March 13, 2011 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

Kansachusetts,

Your ignorance is really breathtaking! Did you listen to what the labor leaders have said about the President's involvement in these labor disputes? Did you listen to what the Wisconsin senators said about the President's involvement? I bet you are sitting at home repeating what you read on DKos, FDL or heard from watching Ed Shultz. I am just so sick and tired of pretend progressive Democrats who are quick to jump on the president instead of working hard to counter the destruction being perpetuated by the newly elected Republican governors and the Republican controlled House Of Representatives. If you really paid attention, you would know where PRESIDENT OBAMA stands. What exactly have you personally done to counter the Republican attack on working people?

Posted by: nk007 on March 14, 2011 at 4:52 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans are showing their hand in advance of 2012 -- their vision of America is more foreign wars (Bomb Libya!), cut taxes, screw the unions and arm every citizen to guard "what's theirs." Every decision -- repeat, EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN POLICY DECISION -- is prioritized by how well it advances a corporatist society driven by maximizing profit. They have successfully used unneeded wars, tax cuts and obstructionist tactics to drive every policy discussion toward their new, favorite topic -- cutting health care and balancing the budget.

Democrats simply have a grander vision of what America can be and a proven ability to implement that vision with balanced budgets, diplomacy, job growth and a safety net for the poor and infirm.

Republicans view America as a laboratory for every whacky liberterian economic idea that's out there. The consequences of their poor judgment, divisiveness and outright failure have been profound. Democrats understand the American people are not lab rats but rather hard working, deserving individuals who can achieve more together than by succumbing to greed, suspiciou and fearfulness.

As the Egyptians have shown us, we only succumb to fear when we accept the fear mongers' vision. It's Morning in America, time to push back.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on March 14, 2011 at 5:06 AM | PERMALINK

this is not snark. nk007 please provide a link(s) on the stories you mention. I'd love to know more about Obama's active support for unions in the state leg battles.

Posted by: angler on March 14, 2011 at 6:31 AM | PERMALINK


GOP 2011: Screw teachers.....homeskool !!


Posted by: mr. irony on March 14, 2011 at 7:57 AM | PERMALINK

Please do not forget about NY's Rethuglican Governor Cuomo. Complete jackass buying every R talking point and slamming Ed. funding for Education along with some harmful cuts in the most vulnerable special education.

Posted by: KK on March 14, 2011 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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