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Author Topic: Oh, Wisconsin, you so silly.
Juxtapose
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http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/02/report-wis-dem-state-senators-leave-state-to-block-budget-quorum.php?ref=fpblg

tl;dr:

1. New Wisconsin budget would severely limit public workers' ability to negotiate for better pensions or health care plans.
2. Democratic state senators block quorum on budget vote by refusing to show up.
3. Republican Senate Majority Leader threatens to use the State Patrol to round up the senators.
4. Missing senators flee the state.

For bonus hilarity, the communications director for the state's Democratic Party gives us this gem:
quote:
"I know the whereabouts of not a single Democratic senator. I do not know what latitude they're on, or know what longitude they're on. I assume they're in this hemisphere, I'll say that.
[ROFL]
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Strider
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the amount of demonstrators out there has been pretty astounding.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Juxtapose:
3. Republican Senate Majority Leader threatens to use the State Patrol to round up the senators.

Is not showing up a criminal offense?
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Juxtapose
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I guess if your dad is head of the State Patrol you can do that?
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
the amount of demonstrators out there has been pretty astounding.

It's a good thing they're leftist demonstrators, and therefore not perpetuating any of that insidious violent rhetoric that we're supposed to be toning down.

Oh... wait...

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capaxinfiniti
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maybe in wisconson deficits and budget short-falls dont exist. this is what happens when theres no more money to throw at union workers to make them shut up. granted, the demonstrators arent only one act in this circus show. ive never heard of senators being rounded up by the HP.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
maybe in wisconson deficits and budget short-falls dont exist
Ironically, they didn't until the governor signed $140 billion in tax cuts into law shortly after being sworn in.

No kidding.

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Bokonon
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I believe that's $140 million...
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
maybe in wisconson deficits and budget short-falls dont exist
Ironically, they didn't until the governor signed $140 billion in tax cuts into law shortly after being sworn in.

No kidding.

Stuff like that has been happening all over.

Of course, I guess the wisconson dems wanted to crank it to 11 in return.

Hooray, more disappearing legislators.

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Tstorm
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I thought Kansas was being silly lately, but then I started hearing about Wisconsin...

Kansas only has a $6+ billion liability on its public employee pension program and an upcoming budget shortfall of half a billion dollars this year. But that's Ok, because we've put our trust in one political party for all three branches of government. Nothing can go wrong, now that someone's in full control of the system.

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scholarette
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Texas democrats fled to New Mexico in an attempt to prevent jerrymanderng. Texas sent Texas Rangers, so new Mexico deployed their troops to protect them. In the end one of the senators missed his family and broke ranks to go home.
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rivka
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Wow, and I thought politics in California got weird and wacky.
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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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I envision great campaign slogans coming about from this.

"Vote Bob! He doesn't run out of the state when a vote comes up!"

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BlackBlade
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I'd favor, bumper stickers that said, "Hop in legislators, I'll save you from Walker and Fitzgerald."
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Lyrhawn
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Lots of states either have Constitutional provisions or laws on the books that empower either the legislature or the governor to use the state police force to escort, willingly or not, legislators to the capitol.

I haven't totally read myself into this topic yet, but what I have read is pretty troubling when it comes to the union's ability to engage in collective bargaining. Given that a lot of these public workers have had a freeze on salaries for years now, with inflation they're getting paid less with each passing year, and now the proposal would carve pretty huge chunks out of their paychecks. And that's not even touching the whole state of education in American debate.

It's refreshing to see that Americans actually can get annoyed enough to turn out in protest. I don't know why we haven't been doing it more.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
It's a good thing they're leftist demonstrators, and therefore not perpetuating any of that insidious violent rhetoric that we're supposed to be toning down.
First of all Dan, the point of the sorts of complaints you're mocking was never (from any serious commentator or politician) that no leftist figures or demonstrators perpetuate any kind of violent rhetoric, just that lately the right does much more of it than the left. A challenge your link doesn't address at all, one way or another.

Second, having looked carefully at the video, I'd say about half of the images linked were actually violent and the rest said things like, "In 1933, Hitler abolished unions. Stop this attack on workers in the present day." (Paraphrased.) And then of course there's the one with the word, "Rape!" in big red letters. It's not saying to rape anyone. It says, "Rape! is never a good choice. 'Don't rape our public employees.'" (Again, paraphrased.) Clearly not a case of violent language directed towards the left from the right. Charged language, yes, but not focued.

And then of course there's the 'Don't retreat, reload' with the 'Repeal Walker' and the crosshairs. Do you imagine that's anything but an ironic quotation from another source, Dan? Distasteful, certainly, but hardly a case of something a leftist demonstrator created whole cloth. They show a sign that says, "Death to tyrants." And that's all. Not what tyrants. Then there's another one that says, get this, "One down, one to go," with pictures of Mubarak and Walker, calling both dicators. But it wasn't calling for their death. Mubarak isn't dead, he stepped down from power alive.

Dan, it just really sounds like you haven't looked carefully at the video in question here and examined its contents critically. Because about the most damning, violent thing the entire video includes? Is a quotation from Gov. Sarah Palin, likening Walker to Hitler (but not calling for violence against him-stupid rhetoric, yes, but not violent rhetoric), and likening Walker to Mubarak.

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Dan_Frank
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Wait, so the thing we're supposed to avoid is specifically explicit calls for violence against individuals? That's not been my impression at all. The call was for "civility," not "don't call for someone to be murdered." Most of the signs seem plenty uncivil. At least as offensive as the stuff we generally see at Tea Parties.

I dunno, man, what you call "charged language," when done by the right, seems to be resoundingly condemned.

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jebus202
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Not most of the signs, a few signs, they had to do a few repeats because they didn't have even enough to make a whole youtube clip out of.
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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
It's refreshing to see that Americans actually can get annoyed enough to turn out in protest. I don't know why we haven't been doing it more.

I take it you don't live in the DC area.
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AchillesHeel
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I like the idea, maybe Jan Brewer and her newly found wealth can flee Arizona leave the budget for sick kids alone.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
It's refreshing to see that Americans actually can get annoyed enough to turn out in protest. I don't know why we haven't been doing it more.

Probably because Americans aren't ready for democracy. Did you know 15% of them believe in Christian laws? [Wink]
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Lots of states either have Constitutional provisions or laws on the books that empower either the legislature or the governor to use the state police force to escort, willingly or not, legislators to the capitol.

!!!

And that doesn't strike anyone as bizarre or problematic?

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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
It's refreshing to see that Americans actually can get annoyed enough to turn out in protest. I don't know why we haven't been doing it more.

Probably because Americans aren't ready for democracy. Did you know 15% of them believe in Christian laws? [Wink]
Barbaric! allowing archaic delusions and mythology to decide upon matters of the modern world? I didnt know such things had survived into the 21st century, are they amish?
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Mucus
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I know, eh?

I've even heard that many of them call each other "brothers" forming some kind of brotherhood. And that these kinds of people are trying to lead political parties and become governors!

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Geraine
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Schools have been shut down now for over two days. While I feel bad for the teachers and the unions, it is too bad the kids have to suffer through the whole thing.

"They are trying to cut education spending! The poor kids are going to suffer because of it. We have to do something!"

"What can we do?"

"Let's strike so they have to shut down the schools."

[Dont Know]

I don't know how that makes sense.

I did hear that the State is in trouble partly due to Walker hooking his buddies up with money. I don't know if that is true or not though.

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MattP
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The kids aren't suffering, though I'm sure it's inconvenient for some parents. They'll tack the missed days on the end of the school year.
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Darth_Mauve
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So what the government of Wisconsin is doing is arranging a Bail-Out of the state by their own employees.

See, the same conservatives that cried for rebellion when the government bailed out banks using tax dollars, now want the public servants to bail out the government with money legally promised to them.

The call seems to be, "Government employees have health care and retirement services beyond those in the private marketplace." This is true, because they have accepted payment below that they could acquire in the private market place.

This was done not because the sneaky public employees are trying to be laze, but because the lazy elected officials didn't want to lose their jobs by raising taxes to pay the employees, so they offered the unions "a great retirement and health package you are guaranteed later for a lack of a pay raise you get today. Do it as a favor to us and our budget."

So if this passes they get stuck with the same low pay rate, enforced by bad government budgets that won't allow any increases in pay, but with severely cut retirement and health care. A teacher making $25k this year, but has full health care will be stuck making $25k for the next few years, but having to pay a big chunk of their health care costs--dropping their take home pay.

The result--only the worst of the civil servants will stay behind to collect whatever pay they can.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
So what the government of Wisconsin is doing is arranging a Bail-Out of the state by their own employees.
Well, no, I wouldn't put it that way. The actual budget implications here are relatively minor. What the government of Wisconsin is doing is transferring around $140 million in wages and benefits from public employees to tax shelters and business creation funds. At the same time, it is also stripping from almost all public employees the ability to engage in collective bargaining for reasons absolutely unrelated to budget targets.

quote:
A teacher making $25k this year, but has full health care will be stuck making $25k for the next few years, but having to pay a big chunk of their health care costs--dropping their take home pay.
There aren't many teachers making that little in Wisconsin, but there are a few. But, hey, let's make her a bus driver; teachers are too sympathetic a figure anyway. That driver started two or three years ago. Once hired, she could not be fired without stated cause, was guaranteed a certain amount of vacation and sick leave (usually two weeks and four weeks), paid about $15 a month for health benefits out of pocket, and had around $1,200 a year paid into a pension fund. Over the last two years, despite her contract stating that her salary would be tied to inflation, she received no salary increase (despite inflation) due to an agreement her union reached with the governor. She was also required to take four weeks of unpaid leave, although she had the option to simply deduct some of those weeks from her vacation (but not sick) time.

Under the new proposal, her salary would remain frozen at $25,000, but again would be theoretically open to increase at the rate of inflation. She would lose any benefits guaranteed by contract, but might still keep them at the whim of her employer. She would be required to pay $1,200 a year -- after tax -- into her pension fund, an amount that would not be matched by the state, thus reducing her effective salary. She would also have to pay $80 a month for individual health benefits.

If she's a teacher, things actually get a little worse for her. While she's likely making more money than our bus driver, she's in real danger of losing her job and possibly all her benefits; Walker has proposed slashing the state's education budget by 25%, which when coupled with the loss of collective bargaining means that she's on the chopping block.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Wait, so the thing we're supposed to avoid is specifically explicit calls for violence against individuals? That's not been my impression at all. The call was for "civility," not "don't call for someone to be murdered." Most of the signs seem plenty uncivil. At least as offensive as the stuff we generally see at Tea Parties.
Dan, now you're changing the goalposts of the discussion. Before you were complaining about violent rhetoric, not 'uncivil' rhetoric. Now you're objecting because the language they're using is 'uncivil', not that it's 'insidious violent rhetoric', which I think we can agree that video doesn't show any of.

The only thing I saw that could actually be construed as violent that I remember was quoting Sarah Palin. And even that quotation, in and of itself, I wouldn't consider violent, only when taken in a context of a whole charged atmosphere of other campaign language of similar rhetoric involving violent imagery-which again, this wasn't. Uncivil, yes-violent, no.

quote:
I dunno, man, what you call "charged language," when done by the right, seems to be resoundingly condemned.
Which discussion do you want to have, Dan?

quote:
Schools have been shut down now for over two days. While I feel bad for the teachers and the unions, it is too bad the kids have to suffer through the whole thing.
What's too bad is the situation that caused this crisis in the first place, Geraine. Blaming those that strike seems pretty short-sighted to me.
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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Schools have been shut down now for over two days. While I feel bad for the teachers and the unions, it is too bad the kids have to suffer through the whole thing.
What's too bad is the situation that caused this crisis in the first place, Geraine. Blaming those that strike seems pretty short-sighted to me.
I'm not blaming them, just pointing out the irony.

From what I've been hearing concerning the cuts, salaries are not included. It doesn't get rid of all of the collective bargaining rights, only some of them. Teachers pay would be unaffected. A lot of the outrage is over the state government saying the employees will have to cover 12.1% of their healthcare instead of the 5% they pay now.

If that is the case I don't really feel sorry for them.

I don't know why the union is urging teachers to call in sick to protest. I wouldn't be surprised if the governor fired the teachers that called in sick to protest for insubordination and fraud.

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Sterling
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The bill would strip collective bargaining rights from public employees... Except for the police, firefighters, and the State Patrol. The three unions that backed Gov. Walker's election.

The employees have a right to be pissed.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Teacher's pay would be unaffected.
They would be required to pay 5% of their current pay into their pension fund, which amounts to a cut in salary; this comes on top of increased insurance costs and the fact that, out of the kindness of their hearts, they agreed to a salary freeze for the last two years.

------------

quote:
I wouldn't be surprised if the governor fired the teachers that called in sick to protest for insubordination and fraud.
As an example of what collective bargaining does for you: under rules negotiated by the unions, the governor can't do this. Without collective bargaining, he could.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Wait, so the thing we're supposed to avoid is specifically explicit calls for violence against individuals? That's not been my impression at all. The call was for "civility," not "don't call for someone to be murdered." Most of the signs seem plenty uncivil. At least as offensive as the stuff we generally see at Tea Parties.
Dan, now you're changing the goalposts of the discussion. Before you were complaining about violent rhetoric, not 'uncivil' rhetoric. Now you're objecting because the language they're using is 'uncivil', not that it's 'insidious violent rhetoric', which I think we can agree that video doesn't show any of.

The only thing I saw that could actually be construed as violent that I remember was quoting Sarah Palin. And even that quotation, in and of itself, I wouldn't consider violent, only when taken in a context of a whole charged atmosphere of other campaign language of similar rhetoric involving violent imagery-which again, this wasn't. Uncivil, yes-violent, no.

Eh, I'm not changing anything. The news media and certain politicians have been calling for civility, in general. They have used a lot of different terms to describe those on the right who are upset about the current administration. Insidious, violent, charged, angry, hateful, the list goes on. The only point I've had (and perhaps I wasn't specific enough initially) is that the people in this protest (just like every single leftist protest, anywhere, ever) is filled with just as much, if not more, vitriol and anger and hatred and violence as any Tea Party protest.

Is your contention that it isn't? I'd love to see footage of the tea party that puts this protest to shame, I really would.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
The only point I've had (and perhaps I wasn't specific enough initially) is that the people in this protest (just like every single leftist protest, anywhere, ever) is filled with just as much, if not more, vitriol and anger and hatred and violence as any Tea Party protest.
I went to this rally two days ago, and I attended the Tea Party rally two years ago (which was about a tenth this size). And the Tea Party rally was far, far more hateful, and considerably more violent. Heck, if you really don't see the difference in those signs -- which, after all, knowing the Blaze, were the worst and most extreme signs they could find (and were certainly not representative of the signs at the rally in general, believe me) -- I don't know what to tell you. But, heck, there were two signs in that entire batch that implied violence -- one doing so by directly quoting Sarah Palin in an ironic fashion, tacitly implying and recognizing that she was wrong to have done so originally, and the other by writing "Death to Tyrants!" in big letters, with the qualifier "(Political)" written above it in smaller text. Which means that the person writing the sign was either confronted about the text by someone and added a qualifier at their request, or was self-aware enough on his or her own that he or she put the qualifier in as a humorous nod to the ridiculousness of it all.

Compare that, in all seriousness, to the kind of crap we saw in exactly the same place two years ago, and it's like night and day -- in favor of the current batch of protesters.

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Vadon
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Wait, so the thing we're supposed to avoid is specifically explicit calls for violence against individuals? That's not been my impression at all. The call was for "civility," not "don't call for someone to be murdered." Most of the signs seem plenty uncivil. At least as offensive as the stuff we generally see at Tea Parties.
Dan, now you're changing the goalposts of the discussion. Before you were complaining about violent rhetoric, not 'uncivil' rhetoric. Now you're objecting because the language they're using is 'uncivil', not that it's 'insidious violent rhetoric', which I think we can agree that video doesn't show any of.

The only thing I saw that could actually be construed as violent that I remember was quoting Sarah Palin. And even that quotation, in and of itself, I wouldn't consider violent, only when taken in a context of a whole charged atmosphere of other campaign language of similar rhetoric involving violent imagery-which again, this wasn't. Uncivil, yes-violent, no.

Eh, I'm not changing anything. The news media and certain politicians have been calling for civility, in general. They have used a lot of different terms to describe those on the right who are upset about the current administration. Insidious, violent, charged, angry, hateful, the list goes on. The only point I've had (and perhaps I wasn't specific enough initially) is that the people in this protest (just like every single leftist protest, anywhere, ever) is filled with just as much, if not more, vitriol and anger and hatred and violence as any Tea Party protest.

Is your contention that it isn't? I'd love to see footage of the tea party that puts this protest to shame, I really would.

I'm going to do you a solid here, Dan, and agree that the protest imagery is uncivil at the least, and there could be an argument made that it encourages violence.

While I support the intent of these protestors, I don't support the means by which they're expressing their dissatisfaction. I think Rakeesh is misguided in his particular line of argumentation against you. The point shouldn't be and (for me at least) never has been about who uses this sort of imagery more. The point is that this incivility contributes to an atmosphere where legitimate discourse is difficult and may pave the way for greater irrational actions to be taken.

What frustrates me about this debate is, of course, that there exists this antagonizing rhetoric in the first place. But further, instead of fessing up to it being improper, we were told that it didn't exist ("They were surveyors marks!"), that it's somehow okay or justified ("Well, democrats/republicans use it too."), or that we're trying to "silence" folks.

None of those three things are true, yet it's what I keep hearing. The point is that this imagery is wrong from wherever it comes, and I'd appreciate folks calling it out rather than trying to score cheap political points.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
The point is that this incivility contributes to an atmosphere where legitimate discourse is difficult...
Bear in mind that the legislature did not permit any debate on this bill and initially wanted to vote on it in closed session on private property. Legitimate discourse would have been impossible had "uncivil" discourse not been undertaken.
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Vadon
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
The point is that this incivility contributes to an atmosphere where legitimate discourse is difficult...
Bear in mind that the legislature did not permit any debate on this bill and initially wanted to vote on it in closed session on private property. Legitimate discourse would have been impossible had "uncivil" discourse not been undertaken.
Fair point. But I'm not arguing against protesting, I'm arguing against the imagery a select few are using in these protests.

I think you'd be hardpressed to show that the reason discourse is possible now is because of the signs equating the actions the governor has taken to the nazis. Though I will admit, if you can demonstrate that, those are some very impressive signs.

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TomDavidson
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The couple of signs equating Walker to a Nazi were pretty restrained, compared to what I've seen elsewhere. There were far more Star Wars references -- which I suppose is potentially more uncivil, since even Hitler didn't blow up a planet.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
I think Rakeesh is misguided in his particular line of argumentation against you. The point shouldn't be and (for me at least) never has been about who uses this sort of imagery more.
That seems pretty unreasonable to me, Vadon, given that, "...and therefore not perpetuating any of that insidious violent rhetoric that we're supposed to be toning down," is what I was objecting to. Somehow the conversation shifted from 'insiduous violent rhetoric' to 'uncivil' rhetoric. When I pointed that out, the discussion changed again to talk about what the media and politicians generally have been calling for.

quote:
...if not more, vitriol and anger and hatred and violence as any Tea Party protest.

Is your contention that it isn't? I'd love to see footage of the tea party that puts this protest to shame, I really would.

My only contention, Dan, is that the video linked contained little to no violence at all, and the best example of actual violent rhetoric you could find - the thing you started off complaining about - was a direct quote of Sarah Palin, darling of the Tea Party. I'm really not sure why you persist in attempting to change the subject away from this-it's like the third time now.
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Vadon
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
The couple of signs equating Walker to a Nazi were pretty restrained, compared to what I've seen elsewhere. There were far more Star Wars references -- which I suppose is potentially more uncivil, since even Hitler didn't blow up a planet.

I... I have nothing to say to that. You're right. The Star Wars references have to come to an end if we want real discourse in this country. [Smile]

@Rakeesh -

I actually agree that the images weren't particularly violent, and considering Dan's original post claimed there was "insidious violent rhetoric," you were challenging him on what he said. Then he did change the goalpost. I'm not saying that your argument is wrong. I agree with you. I'm saying that you're using the wrong argument. You don't want to go down the road of saying liberals/democrats don't use violent imagery. Trust me, it's a losing argument. (Gwar disemboweling an effigy of Sarah Palin on stage comes to mind.) Even if you're right, that these folks weren't violent, what would you hope to gain? Dan might be wrong in this example, but you're just baiting him to find an example of liberals being violent that you can't refute.

I'd much rather admit that there were a select few individuals who were out of line(whether violent or not) and encourage people not to lose focus on the point of these protests.

[ February 19, 2011, 03:27 AM: Message edited by: Vadon ]

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Insidious, violent, charged, angry, hateful, the list goes on. The only point I've had (and perhaps I wasn't specific enough initially) is that the people in this protest (just like every single leftist protest, anywhere, ever) is filled with just as much, if not more, vitriol and anger and hatred and violence as any Tea Party protest.

More false equivalence? I pretty much thought we'd hammered this into the ground.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Lots of states either have Constitutional provisions or laws on the books that empower either the legislature or the governor to use the state police force to escort, willingly or not, legislators to the capitol.

!!!

And that doesn't strike anyone as bizarre or problematic?

The state Constitution gives the Senate the right to "compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalty as each house may provide." Once notified of the absence, the Senate rules say the Senate sergeant at arms "shall forthwith proceed to find and bring in such absentees."

In the case of Wisconsin specifically, the constitution doesn't actually spell out what sort of mechanism the sergeant at arms is empowered to use in order to compel their attendance, nor is there any specific penalty for not showing up. The provision wasn't written into the constitution with any sort of thought as to legislatures fleeing the state to specifically disrupt a quorum call.

I've done a quick search and found that several other states have almost the exact same language, but they've written it into all sorts of different places. Louisiana had a similar provision in their State Senate rules, which were adopted by and for the Senate their, but they were changed in 1999 to eliminate the ability of the majority to compel the attendance of missing members.

For many it's uncharted waters. None of these provisions spells out exactly how enforcement works, and what often happens is those who are there pass some sort of resolution calling for the missing legislators to be rounded up, which is then enforced by the governor, who figures he has the backing of the legislature and the law to call upon the state police to track these guys down. That's why they flee the state, to try and avoid state police forces.

The more I read, the more I find this is actually a fascinating topic. I'd love to read the rationale for why these provisions were passed in the first place, why they're all over the place, why they've been amended so much, and how they've actually been enforced over time. It would appear that most of them were written as a ward against simple laziness, of members blowing off their duties, and the specific rules for what constituted negligence or how it would be enforced were left up to the respective Rules Committees of each governing body, but it would also appear that most Rules Committees never got around to the nuts and bolts.

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Paul Goldner
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I'm still trying to figure out how removing ANY collective bargaining rights isn't a gross violation of freedom of association.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Paul Goldner:
I'm still trying to figure out how removing ANY collective bargaining rights isn't a gross violation of freedom of association.

"And they like to call us fascists" springs to mind, song-lyric wise.
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Parkour
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quote:
Originally posted by Paul Goldner:
I'm still trying to figure out how removing ANY collective bargaining rights isn't a gross violation of freedom of association.

The Koch Brothers are behind this attempt to destroy collective bargaining rights.

http://blogs.forbes.com/rickungar/2011/02/18/koch-brothers-behind-wisconsin-effort-to-kill-public-unions/

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
I think Rakeesh is misguided in his particular line of argumentation against you. The point shouldn't be and (for me at least) never has been about who uses this sort of imagery more.
That seems pretty unreasonable to me, Vadon, given that, "...and therefore not perpetuating any of that insidious violent rhetoric that we're supposed to be toning down," is what I was objecting to. Somehow the conversation shifted from 'insiduous violent rhetoric' to 'uncivil' rhetoric. When I pointed that out, the discussion changed again to talk about what the media and politicians generally have been calling for.

quote:
...if not more, vitriol and anger and hatred and violence as any Tea Party protest.

Is your contention that it isn't? I'd love to see footage of the tea party that puts this protest to shame, I really would.

My only contention, Dan, is that the video linked contained little to no violence at all, and the best example of actual violent rhetoric you could find - the thing you started off complaining about - was a direct quote of Sarah Palin, darling of the Tea Party. I'm really not sure why you persist in attempting to change the subject away from this-it's like the third time now.

*sigh*

Okay, so I don't care about "don't retreat, reload." I don't care about Sarah Palin. I apologize that my first post used the words "insidious" and "violent," I was trying to be cute quoting the media's characterization of tea parties. What you call "changing the goalpost" is just me trying to clarify those goalposts. I'm sorry if you feel it's me trying to change the subject, but I'm only trying to change the subject onto the actual conversation I've been trying to have.

Honestly, this fixation everyone has on crosshair imagery and combat metaphors just strikes me as bizarre. People have used combat metaphors for politics forever... anybody want to hazard a guess why we call them campaigns? I'm really not concerned by crosshairs.

I'm more concerned with the characterization of tea parties as hate-filled despicable cesspits, contrasted to the rainbows and unicorns at liberal protests. I went to a lot of leftist protests between 2000 and 2008, and every one of them was filled with hitler signs and hate-filled angry people.

And Samp, no, this isn't false equivalence. When it comes to protesters I will confidently say that leftists are far, far more angry and hate filled than the tea parties.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I'm more concerned with the characterization of tea parties as hate-filled despicable cesspits, contrasted to the rainbows and unicorns at liberal protests.
This has certainly been my anecdotal experience. I have never been to a liberal protest that has involved any significant number of obviously hate-filled people; I have, by contrast, never been to a Tea Party event that has not prominently featured people with chins flecked with spittle.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
And Samp, no, this isn't false equivalence. When it comes to protesters I will confidently say that leftists are far, far more angry and hate filled than the tea parties.

So you'll confidently move from, quote, "just as much, if not more" to "far far more" in response to being charged with false equivalence?
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Paul Goldner
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If the actions of the new republican congress represent the attitudes of the tea-partiers, then "hate filled despicable cesspits" would actually be doing them a kindness.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Paul Goldner:
If the actions of the new republican congress represent the attitudes of the tea-partiers, then "hate filled despicable cesspits" would actually be doing them a kindness.

What they're doing is calculated, cynical, and has a name. "Starve the beast" is the name for the well-established ploy wherein the conservatives pass huge unfunded tax cuts, and then use the resulting huge deficits and budget crises as an excuse to cut programs, whether they were working fine before or not. This is inflicted purposefully on states that previously had managed and balanced budgets. It's business as usual sold to those who are eagerly and impressionably lured into voting against their interests. It hit Nassau County like a dump truck already.
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