Friday, February 25, 2011

Open Thread: Tea Party Shows It's Strength

The vote ended three straight days of punishing debate in the Assembly. But the political standoff over the bill – and the monumental protests at the state Capitol against it – appear far from over.

Hot Video:Public Sector Unions vs. America
New Video of Wisconsin ad:


  1. By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Andrew Taylor, Associated Press –
    WASHINGTON – Social Security checks would still go out. Troops would remain at their posts. Furloughed federal workers probably would get paid, though not until later. And virtually every essential government agency, like the FBI, the Border Patrol and the Coast Guard, would remain open.

    That's the little-known truth about a government shutdown. The government doesn't shut down.

    And it won't on March 5, even if the combatants on Capitol Hill can't resolve enough differences to pass a stopgap spending bill to fund the government while they hash out legislation to cover the last seven months of the budget year.

    Fewer than half of the 2.1 million federal workers subject to a shutdown would be forced off the job if the Obama administration followed the path taken by presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. And that's not counting 600,000 Postal Service employees or 1.6 million uniformed military personnel exempt from a shutdown.

    So we're talking fewer than one in four federal workers staying at home. Many federal workers get paid on March 4, so it would take a two-week shutdown for them to see a delay in their paychecks.

    The rules for who works and who doesn't date back to the early 1980s and haven't been significantly modified since. The Obama administration hasn't issued new guidance.

    The air traffic control system, food inspection, Medicare, veterans' health care and many other essential government programs would run as usual. The Social Security Administration would not only send out benefits but would continue to take applications. The Postal Service, which is self-funded, would keep delivering the mail. Federal courts would remain open.

    The cherry blossoms in Washington would bloom as usual, and visitors to the city would be able to park and see them in all their glory around the Tidal Basin.

    But they wouldn't be able to take the elevator up the Washington Monument, visit museums along the National Mall or take a White House tour. National parks would be closed to visitors, a loss often emphasized in shutdown discussions.

    The Capitol would remain open, however. Congress is deemed essential, despite its abysmal poll ratings.

    The IRS wouldn't answer its taxpayer hotline — at the height of tax-filing season. Under IRS precedents, the agency would process tax returns that contain payments. But people getting refunds would have to wait.

    All sides say they don't want a so-called shutdown like the two separate partial government closings in 1995-1996, when President Clinton and a then-new GOP majority in Congress were at loggerheads over the budget. Republicans took most of the political blame, and the episodes gave Clinton critical momentum on his way to re-election.

    There haven't been any shutdowns since then. The politics stink.

    But from a practical perspective, shutdowns usually aren't that big a deal. They happened every year when Jimmy Carter was president, averaging 11 days each. During President Reagan's two terms, there were six shutdowns, typically of just one or two days apiece. Deals got cut. Everybody moved on.

    In 1995-96, however, shutdowns morphed into political warfare, to the dismay of Republicans who thought they could use them to drag Clinton to the negotiating table on a balanced budget plan.

  2. Not to beat a dead racist horse, but I stumbled upon this today and thought it pertinent to an earlier conversation:

    Unions, Law, and History
    by Richard Adams

    If, as many on the Left seem to think, it's okay to tar today's conservatives with the sins of conservatives in previous generations, why does the same not apply to Unions? Consider the motives behind the Davis-Bacon act, from a review of David Bernstein's Only One Place of Redress:

    "Depression era legislation, though officially colorblind, was often highly discriminatory. A case in point was the Davis-Act requiring construction firms with federal contracts to pay "prevailing wages." As defined by the Department of Labor, the prevailing wage usually equaled the union wage thus freezing low-skilled black workers out of many projects. As Bernstein points out, "contractors had every incentive to hire unionized workers for skilled positions. Union members were generally the best-trained workers, and they could be hired quickly and efficiently through union hiring halls." Many backers of Davis-Bacon did not hide their racist goals. The testimony at the hearings for the bill by William Green, the president of the American Federation of Labor, was a clear example. Green praised the proposed law because it would make it more difficult for contractors to "demoralize" wage rates through use of low-wage "[c]olored labor""

    In general, in American history, American Unions have not covered themselves in honor on racial matters.

  3. Time for the little kiddies to take a nap. Don't worry DemocRATS, the adults have this. You had your chance at bat, and you blew it. You kids have had the credit card at the candy store too long, now it's time for mommy and daddy to let you have a good cry and then put you to bed.

  4. Those republicans are acting like nazi's. They should be jailed for what they did in Wis. Do you think labor will put up with this kind of action from the republicans? God help you if you voted for these assholes in Wis.


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