Thursday, February 17, 2011

Scott Walker: Now An International Embarrassment

Thanks to Scott Walker, the whole world has taken note of Walker's attempt at setting himself up to be a two-bit despot:
Wisconsin is at the cutting edge of that transformation. Under its Tea Party-favoured new Republican governor, Scott Walker, and with a state legislature that recently flipped from blue to red (that is, from Democratic control to Republican), it is pushing a rightwing agenda that is shocking to American progressives. First up an astonishing attack on unions. As part of spending cuts ostensibly aimed at digging Wisconsin out of a budgetary mess, Walker wants to brutally strip-mine state workers' benefits and pensions. He has also launched a full-frontal attack on the collective bargaining rights of 175,000 state and local employees, allowing workers instead to negotiate only over salary. It is a shocking attempt at union-busting that has caused outrage – and scores of demonstrations across the state. 
Yet, in the face of that, Walker threatened to call out the state's national guard. But union-busting is only the beginning. 
Walker is also aiming at a massive extension of power over the state's health programmes, covering more than 1 million residents. Cuts are likely to aim at nursing homes, medical care for children and prescriptions for the elderly, among other targets. Walker and the Republicans also plan changes to Wisconsin's electoral laws: scrapping voter registration on election day;and tightening photo ID rules. Traditionally, such measures hit at Democratic-supporting low-income groups, students, minorities and the elderly. Now they have power, Walker and the Republicans want to cement it. 
Then, there is the rejection of federal funds in a time of crippling austerity. In line with the Tea Party's philosophy that government help should mostly be avoided on principle, Wisconsin has now given back $23m in funds aimed at expanding high-speed internet service. The excuse was that it came with too many contractual strings. But that sum pales to the $810m Wisconsin lost when it decided it did not want the federal government to build a high-speed rail line in the state. The money then went to other, more grateful, states instead.
On the bright side, if there is one when our own Idiot Mean Dada Walker is causing international embarrassment, Chris Walker of Political Heat makes it big time when he is the source for the second link in this story.


  1. Or, it can be said that the teachers are the embarassment. Reading the different papers throughout Wisconsin, it seems like the teachers and other government employees have few supporters, even in Madison (last time I looked was about 3:00 Wisconsin time.)

  2. Let's see. 25,000+ people at the rally today. National and international coverage, not sympathetic t Walker. Recall parties forming for most of the Senate Republicans, as well as Governor Weasel. And now tomorrow is going to be the biggest day yet, and Monday even bigger than Friday.

    Meanwhile, Walker boasts of nearly 8000 emails all week, "some" of them even being nice to him.

    Keep drinking that Koch Kool-Aid there Dan.