February 21, 2011

Can I get my news about Wisconsin from the New York Times?

The newspaper I'd like to rely on is leading 2 main stories about Wisconsin on its website this morning: 1. "Wisconsin Puts Obama Between Competing Desire," and 2. "Protesters in Wisconsin Say They Are Staying Put."

As for #1... yes, as usual, it's all about Obama. What does it mean for Obama? And his "competing desires"? Good, lord, it sounds like jacket copy for a romance novel.
The battle in Wisconsin over public employee unions has left President Obama facing a tricky balance between showing solidarity with longtime political supporters and projecting a message in favor of deep spending cuts to reduce the debt.
What's the best way for Obama to look best? The eternal question. Is there no real Obama? Possibly not!
“This is a Wisconsin story, not a Washington one,” said Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director. “False claims of White House involvement are attempts to distract from the organic grass-roots opposition that is happening in Wisconsin.”
If it's a Wisconsin story, why did Obama horn in on it? He horned in and then backed out. It's this back and forth, trying to get into the right pose to look good later on. It's so difficult for him! (As for "organic grass-roots." Organic! You just know, the Tea Party was commercially grown.) I'd like to know what's really going on! Can't the NYT ferret out some real information about the behind-the-scenes national-level politics reaching into Wisconsin instead of passing along propaganda from Dan Pfeiffer?

Now, if we can tear ourselves away from always-scintillating trials and tribulations of Barack Obama, let's look at the second article...
Union leaders urged Wisconsin teachers to return to work at schools that are open on Monday...
But the Madison schools are closed, and there was a big union vote yesterday about that, as I blogged last night. "Nearly 3,000 Madison teachers, staff and family gathered at Monona Terrace," and the press was kicked out. The NYT doesn't mention that — let alone try to find out what went on.
As the protests went on through falling sleet and snow...
But hardly anyone was out in the bad weather, as my video, taken yesterday afternoon shows. The continuing protest was indoors, in our posh Capitol building.

As for that indoor crowd, are they Wisconsin school teachers, or are they UW students and teaching assistants? Is it still about the Scott Walker budget, or has it skewed into more generic left-wing causes? Here's the video I took inside yesterday afternoon, and those are the questions that occurred to me.

Why doesn't the NYT dig out some information? Who's involved in the organizing? How are they using Facebook and Twitter to maintain the presence in the Capitol? Who's sleeping there overnight? I photographed a sign on a pillar in the Capitol rotunda that says "talk to the TAA about how we can work together." Does the NYT know or care what the TAA even is let alone its role in organizing the protest?
Democrats in the State Senate, meanwhile, who are in the minority but are needed for a quorum, said Sunday that they intended to remain out of state — and far from the voting chamber — until Republican leaders agree to remove broad collective bargaining restrictions from the proposal to increase workers’ health care and pension costs.

“This is not a stunt, it’s not a prank,” said Senator Jon Erpenbach, one of the Democrats who drove away from Madison early Thursday, hours before a planned vote, and would say only that he was in Chicago. “This is not an option I can ever see us doing again, but in this case, it’s absolutely the right thing to do. What they want to do is not the will of the people.”
Instead of passing along a cheerleader quote from Erpenbach, how about making him tell us who's paying to house the 14 Democratic Senators in Chicago? And I want some investigation into how the protest is playing with voters around the state. Are the protests stirring up support among Wisconsinites or pissing people off? Are people outraged by the teachers taking sickout days? Are working parents struggling to find alternate childcare or leaving kids alone? Do people accept the flexible ethics of doctors giving excuse notes to protesters who called in sick and legislators who don't show up for their jobs? Are people inclined to pursue remedies like impeachment or recall? What would it take to get  actual public opinion polls?

The weather here is a dreary winter mix, and the reporting drizzling in from New York only adds to slushy mush.

126 comments:

Lincolntf said...

Nice scolding of the nearly worthless NYT. Their lies of omission have always been their easiest tell.
The Obama-in-the-middle twaddle is just funny.

lucid said...

Much as I hate the NYTimes, they have a lot of influence and this may all turn out to be Walker's Newt Gingrich/Nancy Pelosi moment--while riding high and mighty, he drives his political career off a cliff.

Independents and moderates want efficiency and effective government, and their money carefully spent. They don't like chaos and disturbances, shutdowns of basic services like schools, and they don't like extremists.
They may decide Walker is too erratic, disruptive, and extreme (especially since the teachers have already made the financeal concessions that he wanted). That's what happened with Christine O'Donnell, Sharon Angle, and that bearded guy in Alaska (and the bearded woman in Connecticut?).

The Times knows how to play to that possibility.

AprilApple said...

Our media does not exist to ask tough questions and find real answers. No. Our media exists to exalt the chosen one/dear leader and to promote the agenda of one political party.

MadisonMan said...

Why doesn't the NYT dig out some information?

Because they are lazy?

I do like this story about the strike though.

Amy said...

The NYT does not address your excellent list of questions because the answers would not fit their narrative. Exactly why they cannot be taken seriously as a news source. The entire paper is an op Ed piece.

Scott M said...

As for #1... yes, as usual, it's all about Obama. What does it mean for Obama? And his "competing desires"? Good, lord, it sounds like jacket copy for a romance novel.

There are many things one can say to describe our POTUS. Bodice-ripper is certainly not one of them.

shoutingthomas said...

Independents and moderates want efficiency and effective government, and their money carefully spent. They don't like chaos and disturbances, shutdowns of basic services like schools, and they don't like extremists.

How would you know what independents and moderates want, lucid? You're a dyed in the wool leftist loon.

I'm actually am a moderate and independent. Hang in there Gov. Walker. Wait out the infants throwing their temper tantrum.

I live in NY. We're counting on you to constrain the constant growth of public employment, and to stop the corrupt cycle of self dealing between Democratic candidates and public employees.

Once again, lucid, how old are you? I'd guess somewhere around 20. You haven't yet acknowledged that nothing is free and that somebody has to pay the bills.

You're just a dumb kid.

Scott M said...

Bosom-heaver, perhaps?

shoutingthomas said...

As for why the NYT cannot see anything here except for Obama worship, the answer is:

He's black.

The NYT still refuses to acknowledge that the protesters in Wisconsin are all white.

It's a Klan rally in Wisconsin!

Kev said...

(the other kev)

The tragedy of the Times is not its growing irrelevance (that ship sailed years ago), but how much money it wastes to be irrelevant.

As for Walker being 'too extreme,' let's see how this ends before we bury him, shall we? The voters might just as easily decide they don't need to pay their state senators salaries to tour all the Tilted Kilts in the midwest.

info said...

First and foremost, GREAT coverage Ann!
But..."The newspaper I'd like to rely on",. This sentiment can only mean you LIKE to be mislead, only a certain brand of coverage is to your liking, you would just as soon not have to deal with the other side of the story. The NYT is complicit in creating this mess due to their slanted coverage over many decades. And they would LOVE to mislead their readers through this with their "coverage". Proceed at your own risk, the rest of the country (majority) has learned their lesson and will go another way.

Dody Jane said...

Are there any polls? Or - are the results not definitively PRO labor? Or - are they muddy? Is there a single news outlet in Wisconsin asking these and other questions?
I would like to know how many teachers are silently in favor or tossing the bargaining rights and quitting the union and getting their $1000 a year raise (since they won't have to pay dues) which could go toward their own retirement. Riveting times...

Lincolntf said...

lucid, all due respect, but who cares?
We can't let the stupid and deceived dictate things. If the Teachers Unions/Dem Senators were right, or acting ethically, maybe there'd be some significance to the MSM campaign. But they're not. I don't care what public opinion turn out to be, Wisconsin can't afford not to pass the bill.

Pogo said...

"They may decide Walker is too erratic, disruptive, and extreme..."

Yup, all unions have to do is shut down basic services like schools, firefighting, and road maintenance, and the one who points out that union control of the gov't. is terrible and unsustainable is the extremist.

Except for FDR, who thought the same thing, of course.

If they win, Wisconsin will be yet another state that is
Government
of the unions
by the unions
for the unions.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Democrats in the State Senate...intended to remain out of state...until Republican leaders agree to remove broad collective bargaining restrictions from the proposal to increase workers’ health care and pension costs.

Bullshit alert- the proposal dose not increase workers' health care and pension costs. It just changes who pays for some of those costs.

I don't know why you want more in-depth coverage from the NYT. They would just get it wrong, and oddly enough, wrong in a way that makes Republicans look worse, or Democrats look better.

PETER V. BELLA said...

OFA (barackobama.com) is vigorously supporting the protests and is bragging about the organizers they sent. OFA is supposedly a wing of the DNC- which has denied being directly involved.

So, is President Obama (barackobama.com) directly involved? Is the DNC involved?

I do not think there are competing desires. The President is in this up to his neck.

AJ Lynch said...

Althouse has questions, questions, questions and most are very good questions. But alas, there are no answers in her beloved NYT. Because the NYT lacks the essence of neutrality that is required to formulate her type of questions.

Jay said...

and projecting a message in favor of deep spending cuts to reduce the debt.

Note that regarding Obama it is about "projecting a message" regarding spending.

Everybody realizes he does not favor spending cuts (he recently vowed to veto a bill cutting a tiny $100 billion in spending).

AllenS said...

If you want to get your news about WI from the NYT you can. You'd be a fool to believe anything that they say though.

aronamos said...

What's a TAA?

rhhardin said...

The NYT is a business catering to the narrative needs of its readers, and hoping there are enough of them to sell to its advertisers.

The business model will work or it won't.

It probably won't work if enough people ridicule the pretensions of the NYT, though.

Then their readership's tastes won't edit national debates any longer.

What happens when the MSM narratives all go bankrupt is an open question.

I doubt there's an actual audience big enough to support daily hard news, anyway supposing that the country is back to working correctly.

Jay said...

“This is not an option I can ever see us doing again, but in this case, it’s absolutely the right thing to do. What they want to do is not the will of the people.”

And there you have it.

As with just about all members of the modern left, you a) Pretend what you're doing is noble at all times and b) Ignore relevant facts (the recent election); so you can get through your day without acknowledging you are a silly, lying hypocrite.

shoutingthomas said...

Just curious, Althouse...

Why would you "like to rely" on the NYT?

Some romantic leftover from 30 years ago when you actually believed that it was a responsible newspaper?

Jay said...

They may decide Walker is too erratic, disruptive, and extreme (especially since the teachers have already made the financeal concessions that he wanted).

Actually, the teachers have done no such thing.

But you should go on pretending. It helps your narrative.

JAL said...

1472 people "voted" yesterday. By walking through doorways. (As I noted yesterday -- and the thoussssaaaannnddds are ... who?)

Did the NYT write about that?

Please add to your note scribbles that this was not a secret ballot.

Why don't unions like secret ballots?

Did the NYT write about that?

Their Dem heroes, the WI senators won't vote. Open or secret. Period.

Did they write about that? I mean really?

And I find it still hard to believe that the Professor wastes her tapping observations about the NYT, which has announced that "blogs are dead."

(There went to morning coffee.)

Pogo said...

Here's what Madison faces if they cannot say no to the unions:

The Ruins of Detroit.

roesch-voltaire said...

Of course this is not just a Wisconsin story, but a nation wide attempt by the Republicans to destroy unions and I would expect Obama to comment on it-- no comment on his follow up non- comments. And the NYT only has so many reporters, so you have to look at local sources to discover that there smaller protests popping up at cities across Wisconsin. And according to one poll, 65% of Wisconsin residents think that Walker has gone too far.

Original Mike said...

"President Obama facing a tricky balance between showing solidarity with longtime political supporters and projecting a message in favor of deep spending cuts"

Deep spending cuts? When has he advocated that?

And why is Althouse still trying to rely on the NYT? One would have thought that shipped had sailed long, long, ago.

rhhardin said...

Hire firefighters as teachers.

If there's a fire, the students go to study hall until the teacher gets back.

Two pretensions solved in one change.

Issob Morocco said...

Nice presentation of why the MSM is truly a propaganda arm of the Democratic party. No other story here but the evil Scott Walker trodding down the hard fought and paid for politically, union concessions that have helped add to the economic woes of Wisconsin and dare I say the US.

Hold firm, don't give in. The steam eventually disappears and the rest of the non-government workers are starting to see why this needs to be done so that we are all sharing in the pain when it is tolerable, versus when it becomes mind numbing.

galdosiana said...

I can answer the question about who is organizing this: the TAA (the teaching assistant union) has had a HUGE role in getting those protesters out to the Capitol every day. They are sending the entire TA body (and perhaps the student body as well, though I'm not sure) literally between 3-8 emails PER DAY about these "walk-outs". Now, they are getting huge groups together on Facebook, which is where they organize it all. I've been grabbing screenshots of all of this, as it's pretty interesting and often quite vitriolic.

Here are some of their groups on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=140789502647002

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=164945273557168

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=201031179909733

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/event.php?eid=102640723148336

Leland said...

If it's a Wisconsin story, why did Obama horn in on it? He horned in and then backed out. It's this back and forth, trying to get into the right pose to look good later on.

If you replace the word "Wisconsin" with "Egypt", I think Althouse would find some common ground with the people of Egypt.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Was a tax increase ever considered?

What is the sales and income tax rate in Wisconsin anyway? In Indiana the income tax is 3.4% and the sales tax is 7%. Our 2011 budget is showing that we're spending over $7.5 billion on K-12 education which accounts for 53% of total state revenue.

m stone said...

Actually, Jay, the teachers have made financial concessions according to Mary Bell:

"We have been clear – and I will restate this again today – money issues are off the table. Public employees have agreed to Governor Walker's pension and health care concessions, which he says will solve the budget challenge."

-from a statement issued to WBAY yesterday.

lucid said...

with his usual perspicacity, shoutingthomas wrote:
"Once again, lucid, how old are you? I'd guess somewhere around 20. You haven't yet acknowledged that nothing is free and that somebody has to pay the bills.

You're just a dumb kid."

I'm 57 and own my own business, which does very well, thank you. I would like to play, but I actually have to go to work (which you apparently don't do).

Suffice to say that it is very likely that extremists in the Tea Party will go down the road that Gingrich and Pelosi took.

Also, in my view, your screen name is diagnostic of a personality disorder.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And according to one poll, 65% of Wisconsin residents think that Walker has gone too far.

I would think with that many people opposed to Walker, there should not be any problem passing whatever tax increases are necessary to ensure the public union employees can be paid and receive the benefits that they deserve.

shoutingthomas said...

And according to one poll, 65% of Wisconsin residents think that Walker has gone too far.

Good try. I really get a chuckle out of these repeated attempt to insist that selected opinion polls and demonstrations by public employees who get paid to demonstrate should override the will of the people express in an election.

You can't really expect anybody to buy this crap.

Hold on Gov. Walker, and do what you were elected to do.

Paddy O said...

"Independents and moderates want efficiency and effective government, and their money carefully spent. They don't like chaos and disturbances, shutdowns of basic services like schools, and they don't like extremists."

I think this is true. But I absolutely disagree that Walker is the one losing out here.

Government is immensely inefficient, sure. Right now, Walker is at work, but Democrat senators are off in another state, massive amounts of government employees are wandering out about town, meanwhile schools are closed--not because of Walker, but because the teachers have chosen not to work.

So everything that people hate about government is going on in the streets of Madison.

Walker really is, I think, following Sarkozy's approach. The formerly devastating French protests have lost their bite. But, they thrive on being confronted. Public support isn't there, so Sarkozy waited them out. Eventually, everyone just gives up and goes home. The legislation is passed.

No confrontation. No big battle. Just waiting for everyone to realize they have to move on in life.

At some point, the schools need to open, and the teachers know it.

shoutingthomas said...

Also, in my view, your screen name is diagnostic of a personality disorder.

Frankly, lucid, you're just a liar.

You're a punk kid at UW.

The lying is pretty transparent.

Bobby Dupea said...

The only people who can lose this moment to this tiny fraction of fractious leftists, are Walker and the so-called 'moderate Republicans.'

Candidly, I'll be a lot more upset with them, if they acquiesce before this illegal nullification, than I am with the half-wit teachers' lobby, that is clearly just fighting for its life in a world where unions are afraid of democracy, secret voting, and voluntary membership. This union can't survive as a voluntary association, and thus they must nullify the last election to survive.

The electorate is so much smarter than the media, which remains enamored of John L. Lewis calls for a 40 hour week -- when this conflict is just about retaining above-market wages for a select minority, all of them willing to tear the democratic fabric under some 'noble labor strife' conceit.

Normally, in a situation like this, you pull your offer off the table. I wonder if Walker is considering this as well as holding the Dems in contempt. There should be deadlines against the running Dems as well as the unions claiming superordinate 'rights.'

Walker also has to start answering the question, "Why aren't you willing to negotiate and thus causing this shutdown?" Walker isn't shutting down the Senate, the illegal nullification effort is shutting down the Senate. His proposal *still* pays the teachers above-market wages and benefits. *Walker* didn't call Illinois motel-no-tell time.

I really hope people are waking up to the fact that a number of people numbering in the 10's of thousands are thwarting a state of 5.5 million.

Brian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott M said...

Of course this is not just a Wisconsin story, but a nation wide attempt by the Republicans to destroy unions

...because public employee unions garnishing member paychecks for dues that go almost completely to Democratic candidates, who then get elected and grant largess to public employee unions, who then give money almost completely to Democratic candidates, who then get elected and grant largess to public employee unions, who then give money almost completely to Democratic candidates, who then...

Yes, r-v. I can see how that's a completely non-corrupt and sustainable method of conducting the people's business.

MadisonMan said...

Was a tax increase ever considered?

I don't think so. Doyle never raised taxes (He raised plenty of fees, though, and borrowed and shifted money). I don't expect Walker will, although I think some increase in the Business Tax is warranted at some point.

Contrary to what WMC will tell you, businesses are not taxed much here. In the past 30 years the share of tax burden they bear has dropped like a stone.

Roger J. said...

Professor: while I am in awe of your coverage of the situation in Madison, I gotta tell you girl: you rely on the NYT? Really? Kind of like your vote for Obama--you remain a squishy hippie to your core.

The NYT is good for the sunday crossword and John Tierney's science articles--the rest is dreck.

But as always, YMMV

roesch-voltaire said...

Shouting, I qualified the poll as one, now please cite a Wisconsin poll which shows different results. About the TAA organization, since many are from China, we can assume those commies have had a big influence in organizing this event :)

Freeman Hunt said...

I linked this post on Facebook.

Rather than pulling the beginning of the post for the quote out, it pulled the first comment.

Odd.

garage mahal said...

Hire firefighters as teachers.

Highly doubt it. The firefighters have been marching in support of the protesters from Day 1.

SGT Ted said...

You can see them omit that which doesn't support the Narrative of "local, grassroots". No mention of OFA, which is Obamas activism arm. No mention of his deciding the Unions are correct. No mention of the bussed in pre-print signage crwod. And a blatant lie in claiming Obama didn't say what he said, which is in support of the Union over Wisconsin taxpayers.

Funny how hand made signs are now de riguer amongst the leftards trough hogs, which is revealing their hatred of Democracy and contempt for the taxpayers dissent.

The biggest mistake the union putzes made was to paint the taxpayers who foot their salaries and goodies as not being true "workers". Thats like two own-goals.

There's no support outside the Union to speak of for their tantrums. Otherwise, the NYT would trumpet it.

AllenS said...

Hoosier,

WI sales tax is 5.5%

lucid said...

shoutingthomas wrote:

"Frankly, lucid, you're just a liar.

You're a punk kid at UW.

The lying is pretty transparent."

In 45 minutes I'll be in midtown Manhattan. I've never been to Wisconsin.

AS I said, your screenname is diagnostic of a personality disorder.

shoutingthomas said...

AS I said, your screenname is diagnostic of a personality disorder.

As I said, lucid, you're just a flat out liar.

As befits a punk kid at UW.

JAL said...

February 21, 2011

Can I get my news about Wisconsin from the New York Times?


I hope your question has been answered, Professor.

Reagan said...

I understand this is political theater for the good prof, and we all know she needs more Amazon purchases made through her portal to make up for her lost revenues due to the Governor's good works, all of which can be accomplished by raising the hackles of the echo chamber here, but I call b.s.

Have you ever questioned why the good Governor wouldn't even discuss the proposal with any union leaders prior to issuing the bill? He managed to inform the Club for Growth in enough time so they could have adverts produced for T.V. and radio in time for them to be published the day the bill was released. No comment here about Assembly Rep. Hintz's (among others') impassioned rebuke to the Assembly Republicans for trying to pass the bill by starting the vote before the scheduled start time?

I know, teachers and home health nurses are stealing from taxpayers (which they are) by having a reasonable modicum of economic stability. No matter what, we should try to increase the gap between rich and poor as much as possible. If we can accomplish that by pitting poor folks against middle-income folks, all the better - keep it up! The wealthy really know what is best for us anyway.

Keep bitching about the NYT, you'll get plenty of clicks. Just don't forget to mention your Amazon link and recent purchases.

Triangle Man said...

I really hope people are waking up to the fact that a number of people numbering in the 10's of thousands are thwarting a state of 5.5 million.


Do you think that 5.6 million - 40,000 = the number of people who think Walker's bill should pass unmodified?

Skyler said...

Ann, is it possible you're finally starting to realize that the NYT is a purely partisan rag?

Why do you still read it?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Why doesn't the NYT dig out some information?

When have they EVER dug out any information that doesn't support their fantasies and propagana.

If the information doesn't fit.....don't print.

Drew said...

Are the protests stirring up support among Wisconsinites or pissing people off?

From up here in the north, away from Madison, the general feeling is one of pissed-offedness. The stunt being pulled by doctors is only making people more angry.

Madison is a bit of an echo chamber. This is not playing well out here in the hinterlands of Wisconsin.

aronamos said...

The teachers assistants have a union? For what purpose? They're freakin' babysitters.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Contrary to what WMC will tell you, businesses are not taxed much here. In the past 30 years the share of tax burden they bear has dropped like a stone.

Then perhaps a healthy hike in the business tax is warranted.

I mean everyone seems to want something from the state so it stands to reason that a larger share of income needs to be taxed in order to provide these obviously necessary services. For example, in Indiana the amount of revenue devoted to K-12 education has grown 10% over the last decade. Out of total revenue of $14.5 billion, over 53% is appropriated to K-12 and no end in sight for increases. No one questions if its enough, too much or too little, only that you can rest assured its going to increase again next year.

If the people of Wisconsin strongly feel that public employees should have the wages they earn, the benefits they have and the job security no one else enjoys then they should have no problem setting aside more of their income to pay for it.

It really is that simple.

Trooper York said...

Going to the New York Times for news is like going to Lindsey Lohan for dating advice.

The only thing worse than a journalist is a lawyer.

rdkraus said...

"The battle in Wisconsin over public employee unions has left President Obama facing a tricky balance between showing solidarity with longtime political supporters and projecting a message in favor of deep spending cuts to reduce the debt."

Con man working on his con. Tricky.

I love the "projecting a message" language. Right. Because he's not actualy in favor of any cuts or reducing the debt. He is a big time tax and spend, bigbigbig gov't liberal.

Con man votes present again.

This is leadership Zero style.

SGT Ted said...

The public employee unions need to be broken and outlawed.

There should be NO divided loyalties in the public sector, especially in Emregency Services. If cops and firefighters selectively do their jobs because of the bidding of their union, like "blue flu" or not protecting the rights of anti-union counter protestors then they need to be fired as they aren't professional enough to do their job.

They work for and are paid by taxpayers, not the union or the Democratic party. Its high time they were reminded of that.

Calypso Facto said...

Whoa..MadMan. Wisconsin still ranks 8th HIGHEST nationwide for taxation.

"using its four principal taxes—individual and corporate income, property and sales—its burden is 10.1% of income, or eighth highest [in the nation]" Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance

Also, remember that 2/3 of businesses are S-corps that pass through their income to the owners personal returns.

Joaquin said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP7tIRQGhjE&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Morning%2BBell

Sure doesn't sound like some wacko. Oh yeah, and he was elected.

MayBee said...

Doesn't the fact that the union think it's being busted by a requirement that members actually vote on whether they want to be members tell us everything?

Original Mike said...

"Going to the New York Times for news is like going to Lindsey Lohan for dating advice."

I bet the NYT doesn't even know who are the World Champions of professional football.

Trooper York said...

Walker just has to wait these douchenozzles out. Simply state "You have to go back to work. You have to come back to the Capitol to vote."

Both the teachers and the politicians can't get a job doing anything in the real world. They have to go back to work. I mean those quail lunches don't grow on trees.

Mark S. Scarberry said...

Perhaps someone already has asked this question, but wouldn't Wisconsin schools be closed today (Monday) anyway for Presidents Day?

Bobby Dupea said...

@ triangle man, if you think that Wisconsin should suspend democracy because of a favored subculture of 40,000, and their discontent at losing the election to a ticket headed by a Republican reformer, then you are not thinking clearly or do not believe in democracy.

The polity has managed to deliver elections and laws for 150 years, without some underperforming, overpaid subculture making like it's 1969 and nullifying the results of the election.

Let's all remember that the teachers are responsible for producing the WORST black high school performance figures in the country. And that Walker has been winning elections because people in Wisconsin like what he says and does.

If it's unacceptable to give small towns the ability to pay their teachers what they can afford to pay their teachers, move to California.

The cognitive dissonance on the left will crescendo next with liberal pillars such as Cuomo do the same as Walker.

Reagan said...

UW students and TA's are subservient citizens and their concerns should not be countenanced. They are also overpaid barnacles. WE should pass a 3/5 clause for any citizens who happen to be in any way related to government. Keep it up!! Good work!!

Trooper York said...

Original Mike said...
I bet the NYT doesn't even know who are the World Champions of professional football

Sure they do. They are the ones leading the strike that will cancel next season. You must realize that professional athletes are underpaid and abused just like those poor teachers. I mean they even have to work eight months out of the year too!

It's like slavery man!

Calypso Facto said...

Drew said: This is not playing well out here in the hinterlands of Wisconsin.

I said that on last Thursday, and I'll double down on it today with Drew. Talk with almost ANYONE outside of Madison/Milwaukee who isn't personally involved (self or spouse) with a public union, and they are most likely disgusted at this costly temper tantrum.

Kevin said...

The AP is even worse:

For compromise in Wis., 3 GOP senators are needed

MADISON, Wis. - To end a high-stakes stalemate over union rights that has captured the nation's attention, a handful of Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin might have to stand up to their new governor.

Because, after all, it is self-evident that the Republicans have to fold...

Drew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drew said...

Perhaps someone already has asked this question, but wouldn't Wisconsin schools be closed today (Monday) anyway for Presidents Day?

Locally our schools were going to be closed for . . . "inservice" or something. Of course, the snowstorm has closed those that weren't already closing.

But unless something's changed in recent years, no we don't get President's Day off.

chernevik said...

It's like reading Pravda, the story is what isn't covered. No mention of polls or wider reaction? Probably going well for Walker, the Times would surely trumpet it otherwise. Can't learn anything of a 4 hour meeting of 3000 people held in open public space? Probably included discussion of how poorly this is playing.

The fact that the union leadership is leaving strategy to a mass huddle of whomever happens to be around it itself suggestive that they're at sea, and probably focused on their own cadres as much as anything else.

The fact that the President is backpedaling -- just reaching Paul Ryan's district, no intervention here! -- also bodes well. Likewise the muted commentary from usual suspects Dowd and Rich.

Now looking for stories about how it's their "duty" to return to work, though against their interests, and how they've decided to do their bit for Wisconsin no matter how unfair.

Sofa King said...

Someone should tell Erpenbach and the rest: we don't negotiate with terrorists and hostage takers. If they will return voluntarily, we will give then a fair hearing.

Bobby Dupea said...

That's rich, some Republicans need to endorse this illegal walkout and the grotesquerie of protected civil servants holding the people's government hostage.

Walker should just pull the bill, hold the running Dems in contempt, change the employee benefit contribution to the statewide average. While he's doing it he can reduce coverage attributes to the statewide average, eliminate tenure (anyone out there in a mill or assembly plant have "tenure"?), and link school funding to school performance.

The strange passivity by the Republicans, while these dolts tap dance on tv, is alarming.

If the democrats need to "negotiate" with this governor, why he should do so, and start by saying, "I've pulled my prior offer and I thought we should talk about Plan B. It expires in three days. Plan C will be worse."

Paddy O said...

Freeman, Facebook has been doing the same sort of thing for me. Somehow picking out something mostly irrelevant. However, I found that if you click the text of either the quote and the title, you can edit each before you post it.

Bobby Dupea said...

Obama's inane comment has proven just to highlight the numerical fraud that is his budget. Virtually every comment people have made, to the breathless reporters' request for comment, has started with "That dude should clean up his own kitchen before he starts commenting on Wisconsin's."

Third Coast said...

One of the wayward State Senators was interviewed on the WLS Don & Roma radio show this morning. Needless to say, the good Senator tended to give evasive, Orwellian answers to direct questions. He did assure the listeners that his motel bills were being paid out of his personal funds. Unfortunately, I don't think WLS has a podcast available.

ricpic said...

Is there any way around this no quorum no vote game the runaway Dems are playing?

caplight said...

@Lucid who said, "Independents and moderates want efficiency and effective government, and their money carefully spent. They don't like chaos and disturbances, shutdowns of basic services like schools, and they don't like extremists."
I can tell you that my "moderate" daughter in Wisconsin who worked until recently for another state government has done a 180 and now is solidly against the teachers. Took her about three days of watching the news. She's not a big online reader so she is getting her info from traditional media. This is not 1995 and Scott Walker is not Newt Gingrich and there is no Bill Clinton to be the face for the unions.

Sofa King said...

Is there any way around this no quorum no vote game the runaway Dems are playing?

Indict and extradite.

Bruce Hayden said...

Another somewhat similar view of this from Commentary (an admittedly right-of-center source): Times’ Slanted Wisconsin Coverage Contrasts With Their Treatment of Tea Party. Summarizing part of that article - the Times shows its colors by how it covered the Tea Party movement versus the protests in Madison.

Paddy O said...

"WE should pass a 3/5 clause for any citizens who happen to be in any way related to government"

No, we should pass a 1:1 clause, so that those in government aren't negotiating with themselves, thus making for a de facto 10/5 clause.

Bobby Dupea said...

I love the NYT, I just throw away the first section unless John Burns or C.J. Chivers is published. It seems odd to me that someone of the liberty persuasion would seek ratification in their pages, otherwise.

They do have the only legit book review any more, the Home section is superb, the gadget and arts reviews, generally, remain best-in-class, imo. The editorializing, on and off the op-ed pages, verges on comical. They are so broke they had to mortgage their own building, and they continue to sell assets to stay afloat.

Sofa King said...

Much as I hate the NYTimes, they have a lot of influence and this may all turn out to be Walker's Newt Gingrich/Nancy Pelosi moment--while riding high and mighty, he drives his political career off a cliff.

Oh, yes, of course. It is well-known that the vast majority of citizens in Wisconsin get their news from the New York Times. It is all we think about, all day: what is the Times' take on this?

Are you serious?

caplight said...

I would like to ask Ann her take on why the crowd at the capitol is so "white." Is Madison basically a white town? Are there that few black teachers in Madison or in Wisconsin?

garage mahal said...

Good ole Scotty Walker Ranger wanted to be the wingnut hero and be the first state to bust unions. I'm sure he told his patrons, the Koch Brothers and the Club for Growth " I can dooo this!". So he went first. Had the reverse effect of course, and now the protests are going national.

Oooopsy!

Scott M said...

The strange passivity by the Republicans, while these dolts tap dance on tv, is alarming.

The analogy of providing someone with their own noose-equipped rope comes to mind...

Bruce Hayden said...

Have you ever questioned why the good Governor wouldn't even discuss the proposal with any union leaders prior to issuing the bill?

To the extent that this is true, it also ignores the basic problem that giving organized labor a seat at the table when it comes to spending state monies and working conditions for state workers is what caused the problem in the first place.

It presupposes that organized labor deserves a seat at the table, just because they are organized labor. But, they are a stakeholder, just like every one else in every budgetary debate, and deserve no more consideration than other stake holders who supported the other side so lavishly during the last election cycle.

Would the commenter there suggest that the governor should have cleared his actions with Code Pink, OFA, Moveon.org, etc. before bringing them to the legislature?

The theory that organized labor should have been given advanced notice and a chance to provide input here presupposes some sort of special status for the unions. But this isn't a private company, but rather, the state, and its primary duty is not to the unions and their employees, but rather, to the people of the state of Wisconsin.

Big Mike said...

I bet the NYT doesn't even know who are the World Champions of professional football.

Sure they do! It's the ... hmmm ... they need to think about it for a minute.

The Jets?

No, wait. It must be the Giants.

Ummm. Didn't they move west of the Hudson somewhere? Yeah, they did.

It's the Yankees!!!

Or maybe the Rangers.

America's Politico said...

The NYT is predicting what will happen in Nov. 2012.

A total, complete GOP wipeout.

WI goes for Obama/Biden, so does the nation.

This is what everyone is saying.

GOP RIP

Charlie Martin said...

The newspaper I'd like to rely on

Sadly, there are so many things we want and can't have.

Sofa King said...

Elections have consequences!...for other people.

garage mahal said...

We learned from the Tea Party.

knox said...

yes, as usual, it's all about Obama.

LOL.

madawaskan said...

if you think that Wisconsin should suspend democracy because of a favored subculture of 40,000, and their discontent at losing the election to a ticket headed by a Republican reformer, then you are not thinking clearly or do not believe in democracy.

The polity has managed to deliver elections and laws for 150 years, without some underperforming, overpaid subculture making like it's 1969 and nullifying the results of the election.

Let's all remember that the teachers are responsible for producing the WORST black high school performance figures in the country.


Zinnnnngggg!!!

Batter Batter-

Triangle Man you are UP!

Jay said...

And according to one poll, 65% of Wisconsin residents think that Walker has gone too far.

And then what?

madawaskan said...

You might want to take awhile because I think you just got scorched!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Can I get my news about Wisconsin from the New York Times?

Why should news about Wisconsin be different then news about anything else?

People tend to believe the media, until the media reports on a subject which the people know about first hand, at which point they realize how bad the reporting is on that subject. Unfortunately most people don't continue on to realize that the reporting is also that bad for the subjects for which they do not have first hand experience.

madawaskan said...

Roesch Voltaire

And according to one poll, 65% of Wisconsin residents think that Walker has gone too far.


Come on Roesch-you have a source for that poll?

Show me that poll and I'll rip it's methodology if they even dare to share that.

Scott M said...

We learned from the Tea Party.

The only thing you guys have learned from the Tea Party, so far at least, is how to be on the uncomfortable side of an electoral ass-whuppin'.

Derek Kite said...

The last throes of a dying institution.

New York Times that is.

I suspect they are desperately attempting to make the story out to be nothing. There isn't any real problem, just a bit of rhetorical flourish normal for a tough labor negotiation.

There is no fiscal crisis. Believe us.

Derek

Bruce Hayden said...

No, we should pass a 1:1 clause, so that those in government aren't negotiating with themselves, thus making for a de facto 10/5 clause.

If I understand it, I think that you are suggesting that government employees should be disenfranchised as long as they are on the government payroll. And, if that isn't your position, I will run as if it were.

I am somewhat ambivalent here. On the one hand, I am quick to say that those who are most directly benefiting from state revenues should not be voting, directly or indirectly, for their own benefit at the expense of the other citizens of the state.

But, this assumes that the population of government employees is homogeneous. It isn't. For example, how different would Ann's situation be today if she had gone to work for a private law school, as compared to the state school that she did? My guess is that there would not be much difference in either work conditions or overall pay added to benefits. Law school professoring is a cush job, but Ann was a very bright, well credentialed, young lawyer at a time when there was a significant shortage of female law profs when she entered academia as a career. Indeed, by now, she might be making notably more if she had gone to work for a private law school.

But what is most often lost when comparing private and public employees is that the pay comparability depends to a great extent upon education and specialty level. Government employees tend to be most overpaid at the lower levels, and underpaid at the professional levels (which excludes K-12 teachers here).

So, I wouldn't take the vote away from University of Wisconsin faculty, but more likely would from the teachers and snow plow drivers. But, then that would require taking the franchise away from police and fire, and that would not be good either (because we really, really, want them invested in the community).

Which is a long way of saying that probably the best solution is to remove collective bargaining from state workers, since that is the element that most corrupts the relationship between the state and its citizens.

edutcher said...

Yes, Ann ,you can get your news from the Gray Lady, but you get it filtered through Pinch Sulzberger's radical 60s nostalgia.

Dody Jane said...

Are there any polls? Or - are the results not definitively PRO labor? Or - are they muddy? Is there a single news outlet in Wisconsin asking these and other questions?

The one I saw from an in-state firm supported Walker 65%, but that was the middle of last week. Rasmussen has the split at 48 - 38 for Walker (can't imagine how a quarter of the people have no opinion).

roesch-voltaire said...

Of course this is not just a Wisconsin story, but a nation wide attempt by the Republicans to destroy unions

Lie. it's an attempt to end the corrupt practices of public sector unions.

The private sector ones destroyed themselves 50 years ago.

Consider this from Insta:

WHY THEY’RE SO ANGRY: Politico: GOP Govs Strike At Heart of Democratic Power. “Yet another element of the legislation could have even greater political consequences. The Republican would end the automatic deduction from their workers paychecks and make the unions collect the dues themselves, a move that would almost surely result in less cash flowing into labor coffers. It would block unions from collecting money from consenting workers’ paychecks for political operations and it would force annual elections on whether state workers even want a union, a lethal threat to public sector labor.”

And this from the WSJ.

Ann Althouse said...

The weather here is a dreary winter mix, and the reporting drizzling in from New York only adds to slushy mush.

I love it when you go all nasty.

Big Mike said...

I see that Mark Miller wants to negotiate.

Which I guess will be hard to do since he's nowhere near Madison.

But I do have to ask the question -- how much negotiation was Miller and Doyle and the rest of the elected Democrats prepared to engage in with the Republicans back before the 2010 election and they held the governorship and both houses of the legislature?

David said...

I read the NYT this morning, as the WSJ was not published today. My reaction was also WTF? Who knew this was about Obama?

My favorite part of the article was where it conceded that national Washington based Democratic party resources were being used to organize the protests and disruptions, but that the "White House" had not been "consulted."

So tired of the bullshit . . . .

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

caplight said...
" . . . . Is Madison basically a white town?"

Not from around these parts, eh pardner?

Brent said...

They (the Times) do have the only legit book review any more

Nope. The Wall Street Journal does. Far and away the best and most informative Book reviews around, including children's books.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Had the reverse effect of course, and now the protests are going national.

Perhaps that is a good effect. Maybe those in the private sector will become educated on the concept of who actually is paying the salaries and benefits of public sector employees.

Perhaps to Walker this is a feature, not a bug.

Phil 3:14 said...

Beware of anyone who insists "I'm actually am a moderate" and at the same time refuses to accept a straightforward response to an accusation:

lucid, you're just a liar. You're a punk kid at UW.

ST, gain some perspective and turn down the volume.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Which is a long way of saying that probably the best solution is to remove collective bargaining from state workers, since that is the element that most corrupts the relationship between the state and its citizens.

Why shouldn't public employee pay and benefit increases simply be subject to a vote by the taxpayers? If the union seeks an increase in wages and benefits then fine, put it to a vote.

MayBee said...

I find the lying by omission about the OFA the most disturbing. From both the NYT and the White House.
They are obviously very happy to put out misleading information.

Tom said...

Thank you Ann for providing the BEST coverage on the web of the Wisconsin protests. You're doing the job that the professional media should be doing. Amazing what one women can do (with the able help from Meade)

Bruce Hayden said...

Why shouldn't public employee pay and benefit increases simply be subject to a vote by the taxpayers? If the union seeks an increase in wages and benefits then fine, put it to a vote.

I would suggest that this would work at the state level, and might work at the local level, if the elections were limited to general elections.

As I think many know, part of home the teachers (and their unions) most often maintain effective control over their school boards is through special purpose elections. They have a concentrated interest in raising their salary and benefits, while the interest of most everyone else is fairly diffuse, and so they have a much easier time getting their supporters to vote in these elections where the only thing on the ballot are school related.

James said...

WI sales tax is 5.5%

No, the Wisconsin sales tax is 5 percent. Anything above that is a special levy for a specific purpose. For example, in Racine and Kenosha counties the sales tax is 5.1 percent. That one-tenth of a percent is levied to finance Miller Park. Milwaukee County pays 5.6%; .5 percent county sales tax and .1 for Miller Park. Brown County and a few other have a similar tax to finance Lambeau Field.

James said...

I see that Mark Miller wants to negotiate.

Which I guess will be hard to do since he's nowhere near Madison.

But I do have to ask the question -- how much negotiation was Miller and Doyle and the rest of the elected Democrats prepared to engage in with the Republicans back before the 2010 election and they held the governorship and both houses of the legislature?



None.

People seem to forget that in February 2009l, Governor Squidward pushed through a similarly named Budget Repair Bill in three days. He taxed everything that wasn't nailed down and raised fees on every service. He also instituted Combined Reporting for Corporations which forced several to flee the state and others like Harley Davidson to threaten to leave.

Governor Squidward's bill passed both chambers and was signed into law without any public debate. The Republicans voted against it but did not run away to another state.

former law student said...

how about making him tell us who's paying to house the 14 Democratic Senators in Chicago?

What if they're all bunking with Rahm?

We always had a rollaway bed for overnight guests.

Fen said...

Ann, this is a perfect opportunity for you to compare the NYTs coverage with your direct knowledge of what's been happening on the ground.

Its how most people learn to no longer trust MSM reporting on anything.

former law student said...

Dane County was 4.7% black in 2009, according to US census data.

T J Sawyer said...

IgnoranceIsBliss said it best:

"People tend to believe the media, until the media reports on a subject which the people know about first hand..."

Welcome to the real world, Ann. It comes as a shock to most people who have believed they were getting accurate news to read a news story about something that they know intimately.

In spite of this, I still read a local and a national paper. But I always go to trusted sources in the Blogosphere for verification, explanation or more detail. Thank God I have an on-site source in Madison!

Excust me now, I have to go to your tip jar.

george said...

Opinion polls will be slow to come out because they will not match what the media wants to hear. They will drag their feet and try to propagandize even louder for a while longer before releasing anything that will make the reporting they have already done look bad. They will also try different ways of phrasing the questions to get the results they are looking for.

As to the rest of Althouse's list, why would a reporters ask questions when (they think) they already have all of the answers that the public needs to hear?

q12345q6789 said...

@ Ann Althouse:

Thank You.



WV: shark (no-kidding!)