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  • WHO WE ARE-Earlier this month, I arrived in San Diego following five days of driving across the country from Wisconsin. I pulled into my friend’s driveway, brought my things inside, and went back to my car to park it on the street. Almost immediately, a cop’s siren and flashing lights went off. I’d left my license in my friend’s apartment, so I…
  • The Hunting Ground: Human Truths of Campus Rape

    Susan Rose
    CALIFORNIA MOVES AGAINST RAPE-On May 13, California moved aggressively against rape on campuses, issuing a directive to all state colleges to “notify authorities when a sexual assault is reported.” Attorney General Kamala Harris and U.C. president Janet Napolitano jointly issued a set of guidelines to encourage collaboration between campuses and…
  • Santa Barbara Spill Underscores Why We Can’t Allow Arctic Oil Drilling

    Ryan Schleeter
    PLANET WATCH-Last week, a major oil spill in Santa Barbara County made headlines after a ruptured pipeline dumped as much as 105,000 gallons of crude oil on the California coastline. The spill stretches across roughly nine miles of state beach with tens of thousands of gallons entering marine protected areas in the Pacific Ocean. The spill took…
  • How Will David Ryu Honor His Campaign Pledges?

    Jack Humphreville
    LA WATCHDOG-In a race that focused on local issues, outsider David Ryu (photo) outpolled City Hall insider Carolyn Ramsay by almost 10 points (54.8% to 45.2%), representing a margin of over 2,300 votes. Yet, since less than 16% of Council District 4’s 153,000 registered voters bothered to vote, Ryu was supported by less than 9% of those eligible…
  • $15 an Hour: If This Ain't Socialism, Then What SHOULD We Call It?

    Ken Alpern
    CONSIDER THIS-Funny how when you accuse, or even suggest, to a liberal (or is it "progressive"? or is it "reformist"?) that he/she is socialist, they get all bent out of shape. One reason that Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is so respected is that he says it like it is--he's a sincere socialist who means what he says and says what he means. One…
  • California Dreaming: Booms to Busts, the Optimists are Still Searching for the Gold

    James Preston Allen
    AT LENGTH-At a meeting I attended recently with the management of the Port of Los Angeles, a civic leader voiced his enduring optimism for a bright and successful future. I gave the unsolicited reply, “an ounce of skepticism is worth a pound of optimism.” Others at the meeting said aghast, “Oh, no. How would anything ever get accomplished?”…
  • LA’s Homeless: Not a lost Cause

    Denyse Selesnick
    MY TURN-I was both surprised and rather pleased about the reaction to my recent article. Apparently, many people in Los Angeles are realizing that the Homelessness isn’t just City Hall’s challenge but affects all of our neighborhoods. Even more important, it doesn’t just affect us economically but impacts our sense of humanity and fair play. Yes,…
  • Senate Race: Choosing Kamala or Loretta Comes Down to North vs. South … California

    Joe Mathews
    CONNECTING CALIFORNIA-Are you a Kamala or a Loretta? Attorney General Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez—the two leading candidates for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat next year—confront Californians with a choice. But it’s not a choice about competing policies or political visions. Californians don’t have political arguments about…
  • From Tragedy, Healing

    Mike Newhouse
    GUEST WORDS-In the days after Brendon Glenn was killed, in the heart of Venice, I was starkly reminded of one of our community's biggest challenges. But, my perspective may surprise you. What first came to mind was not how we police. It was not about racism or homelessness. It was not about mental illness, or the insidious nature of drug or…

 

  • Can Marijuana Really Kill Cancer?

    Christian Cristiano
    Marijuana enthusiasts have been speculating for years that pot can actually combat certain types of cancer, but it wasn’t until recently that…
  • Study: The Best Way to Quit Smoking … Bet On It

    Francie Diep
    WELLNESS-Oftentimes, money speaks louder than words. Apparently, that aphorism applies to cigarettes too. A new study finds that money incentives…
  • Can Strawberries Help Fight Cancer?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-There have been a number of studies over the years that could show evidence of strawberries fighting off cancer. Tong Chen lead a study…




Alert! World’s 10 most dangerous animals

Smashing good job. World’s leaders beating each other up

Trevor Noah warming up for takeover of the Daily Show

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Democrats Failed in Wisconsin Because They Failed Wisconsin

WALKER RECALL - On, Wisconsin! Or so it was meant to be with a union-led recall in the home state of Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette Sr., the populist governor and senator who once shaped the cry for anti-corporate social justice in this nation. After La Follette there was the Wisconsinite William Proxmire, the great conscience of the US Senate, followed by the equally impressive Russ Feingold, who, despite being exactly correct in warning of the consequences of unfettered banking greed, was turned out by Wisconsin voters in 2010.

Perhaps if the original McCain-Feingold legislation—gutted by the Supreme Court—was still the law of the land on campaign finance, the Democrats and their union base would have survived Tuesday’s election.

Certainly that is the excuse provided by what remains of the liberal media, which point to the lopsided advantage in funding for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and to the high court’s Citizens United ruling in seeking reasons for this “billionaire’s victory” over “people power.”
●●●●●
Other post recall perspectives:
“Big Money Wins in Wisconsin”-Peter Dreier
“In Wisconsin, Money Wins”-Randy Shaw
“Union Power Challenged”-Joel Fox
“Wisconsin Recall No Cause for White House Panic”-Earl Ofari Hutchinson
“Don’t Overstate Wisconsin”-LA Times Editorial
●●●●●
But the larger truth is that the spirit of populism has been perverted by the Republican tea party right and that Democrats are left defending government bureaucracy while remaining incapable of responding to America’s widespread economic pain.

At a time when so many are worried about obtaining or holding on to work, it’s difficult to rally around the guaranteed job security and high pensions of some privileged government employees. Not all public workers fit into this category, to be sure.

But nonpublic workers who must struggle with the vagaries of private employment have seen more than enough examples of government employee unions, the last stronghold of organized labor, exercising their power to ensure what appears to be outsized compensation for their members.

Of course this argument is a red herring. The budget crises of state and municipal governments were not brought on by excessive pay to firemen, cops and other civil servants, but rather by a banking meltdown that has enriched those who engineered it.

Housing values, and the local taxes dependent on them, are down because of financial shenanigans that wrapped mortgages into collateralized debt obligations, and that is the root cause of government red ink. But the job security and pensions of government employees make terribly convenient scapegoats at a time when so many Americans are lining up at food banks.

The electorate in Wisconsin, and San Diego and San Jose, Calif., that voted Tuesday against public employee unions were not expressing a rational response to the crisis, but rather a tantrum stoked by the lavishly financed demagogues of the right. The voters bought their story because the opportunism of the Democratic Party leadership has left progressives without a believable alternative to the tea party’s narrative.

Indeed, job creation became a bigger issue than collective bargaining in the Wisconsin race, and the dismal national unemployment figures that came out just days before the election didn’t hurt the Republicans’ cause.

By refusing to campaign in the state before Tuesday’s vote, President Obama proved he has no heart for engaging in a real debate about the sources of our economic crisis. As Bloomberg News reported in an editorial titled “All Eyes on Wisconsin, Except Obama’s,” the president made two fundraising stops within 50 miles of the Wisconsin border last Friday, but studiously avoided entering the state he easily carried in the 2008 election. Instead of visiting, Obama tweeted: “It’s Election Day in Wisconsin tomorrow, and I’m standing by Tom Barrett. He’d make an outstanding governor. -bo.”

Not a word of support for the unions that so slavishly support the president and spent millions propping up Barrett.

“Bo” emerged with his popularity intact, according to exit polls, and he will do better in November than Barrett did this week, despite media attempts to treat the Wisconsin election as an omen of things to come.

Few Midwestern independents and moderates will fault Obama for saving the American automobile industry from extinction, if Mitt Romney plays that weak card in campaigning against the president.

Nor will the president lack for funds to finance his message. Democrats who made such a big deal about the money from the superrich that poured into Wisconsin were frequently reminded on Internet comments pages that Obama raised more money from the well-heeled than did John McCain in the last election.

And to paraphrase those old Smith Barney commercials, Obama got Wall Street’s money the old-fashioned way. He earned it.

That cannot be said of the unqualified support Obama has received from organized labor and the working people it attempts to represent. He has failed both at every turn.

(Robert Scheer is the editor of truthdig.org where this column was first posted.) –cw

Tags: Walker Recall, Robert Scheer, Wisconsin election, Democrats, unions, Democrats failed






CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 46
Pub: June 8, 2012

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