HELP Verizon Workers

This morning, I got an email on behalf of the striking Verizon workers.
This part made me sick:

"Despite the fact that Verizon has made $22.5 billion in profits over the last four years, and its top five execs were paid $258 million (and get free healthcare) Verizon wants raise health care costs by up to $6,800 per worker, eliminate compensation for workers injured on the job and slash paid sick leave, outsource more jobs . . . "

To cut to the chase, the city is about to award a $120 million dollar contract to this union busting outfit.

A picket and protest is planned on August 17 at 5pm outside of "the hearing" at Murry Bergtraum High School near City Hall/Brooklyn Bridge.

To anyone in the NY area reading this, please make an effort to participate, or drop by to give a little moral support.

Bonus comment:  what planet is this president living on?

 

 

 

 

Feingold to Give Opening Keynote at Netroots Nation

Day old news, but still worth a mention.  Russ Feingold will deliver the opening keynote at Netroots Nation 2011 in Minnesota.  Feingold's announcement brings it full circle, outlining the fight progressives have taken up:

If you've been following what's going on in Wisconsin, then you're seeing what I'm seeing: the ever-increasing, corruptive power of corporations that continue to invade our system of government.

And that's why I just launched Progressives United, a new organization that will bring together progressives like you to fight back against that corporate influence.

Many of you have already been hard at work standing up for the American people and fighting back against the hundreds of millions of dollars from corporate special interests. But our real fight is ahead, as special interests will try to buy their way to victory in 2012.

Feingold's direct involvement in protests and push-back against Walker's "budget" in Wisconsin position him well.  Reaction to events in Wisconsin have helped to define a clear narrative for this year's conference on the vigourous (and organized) GOP attack on unions, mass progressive push-back, and linking it all back to increased coporate influence through Citizens United.

Defining a progressive strategy and narrative will be key to constructing an ongoing mass movement out of mass outrage.  Feingold can help lead that charge.

 

 

Assembly of GOP Cowards

Wow.  After 60 plus hours of debate that seemed to have a few hours to go, the Wisconsin Assembly GOP passed Governor Walker's budget "repair" bill in what is -- more graciously than deserved -- being called a "surprise" vote.  TPM:

[...] at about 1 AM Speaker Pro Tempore Bill Kramer (R) announced that he would hear a voice vote for a roll call on final passage. Immediately, the majority Republicans shouted their ayes, and the Democrats were booing, as they tried to be recognized to demand a separate motion to cut off debate.

Then Kramer called the vote. Within seconds, the digital vote system on the wall announced 51 ayes and 17 nays, and voting was suddenly closed. With a total of 96 members, that got to a majority for the bill but left 28 members who hadn't had a chance yet to vote.

The cowardly GOP Assembly, sans four Republicans voting against, couldn't pick up their brief cases and exit fast enough, as the house exploded with outraged Democrats and protestors shouting "Shame!" Watch (h/t Bob Brigham):

Not a done deal, the budget bill moves on to the Senate still missing 14 Democrats, but a clear sign that the Wisconsin GOP is willing to sink or swim with Walker and the du Pont Koch agenda.

Walker Isolated

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R), today:

I'm not sending the state police after anybody. I'm not gonna divert a single trooper from their job of protection the Indiana public. I trust that people's consciences will bring them back to work. ... For reasons I've explained more than once I thought there was a better time and place to have this very important and legitimate issue raised.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), today:

My belief is as long as people know what they’re doing, collective bargaining is fine.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), tonight's "fireside":

The missing Senate Democrats must know that their failure to come to work will lead to dire consequences very soon.   Failure to act on this budget repair bill means (at least) 15 hundred state employees will be laid off before the end of June.  If there is no agreement by July 1st, another 5-6 thousand state workers -- as well as 5-6 thousand local government employees would be also laid off.

Tone.  Deaf.  Someone has been giving Walker some very bad PR advice.  The real fight at this point is whether Republicans in the legislature will do the walking back, letting Walker save face, or if they'll let him shoulder the over-reach alone.  Walker, legislative Republicans or Democrats, someone has to back down, and momentum is behind the state Democrats standing their ground.  And the longer the fight continues, the more discussion around Walker's proposal -- designed as a reactionary, quick, "crisis" driven move, not ready for prime time scrutiny -- the better the position for unions and Democratic lawmakers.

Public support for union bargaining rights nationwide is high, the unions have agreed to the financial concessions, and rally's from Colorado to New Jersey to Montana in support of Wisconsin workers have drawn headlines.  Walker's only hope here is that the toxicity the battle he and state Republicans have chosen doesn't hang with them for the next four years.

But here's hoping it does.

Walker Isolated

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R), today:

I'm not sending the state police after anybody. I'm not gonna divert a single trooper from their job of protection the Indiana public. I trust that people's consciences will bring them back to work. ... For reasons I've explained more than once I thought there was a better time and place to have this very important and legitimate issue raised.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), today:

My belief is as long as people know what they’re doing, collective bargaining is fine.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), tonight's "fireside":

The missing Senate Democrats must know that their failure to come to work will lead to dire consequences very soon.   Failure to act on this budget repair bill means (at least) 15 hundred state employees will be laid off before the end of June.  If there is no agreement by July 1st, another 5-6 thousand state workers -- as well as 5-6 thousand local government employees would be also laid off.

Tone.  Deaf.  Someone has been giving Walker some very bad PR advice.  The real fight at this point is whether Republicans in the legislature will do the walking back, letting Walker save face, or if they'll let him shoulder the over-reach alone.  Walker, legislative Republicans or Democrats, someone has to back down, and momentum is behind the state Democrats standing their ground.  And the longer the fight continues, the more discussion around Walker's proposal -- designed as a reactionary, quick, "crisis" driven move, not ready for prime time scrutiny -- the better the position for unions and Democratic lawmakers.

Public support for union bargaining rights nationwide is high, the unions have agreed to the financial concessions, and rally's from Colorado to New Jersey to Montana in support of Wisconsin workers have drawn headlines.  Walker's only hope here is that the toxicity the battle he and state Republicans have chosen doesn't hang with them for the next four years.

But here's hoping it does.

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