I just love when our President calls out the Republicans on their stupidity. Since the media just plays along with them, it falls on the President to do it himself. And he does it sooooo well, doesn’t he?
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
At an event in Decorah, Iowa on Monday, President Obama gave an impassioned defense of unions in our country in response to a question from a former school teacher. He also talked of the importance of revering teachers, who have been getting assaulted by the right, with the help of the media, for way too long. It’s a long answer from the President, but well worth reading. Take it away Mr. President…(emphasis mine)
Okay. The woman with the hat. She’s been waving that hat around. (Laughter.) See, you got to have a hat. That’s a huge advantage in terms of getting called on.
Q Hi, my name is Bev Kromgezmi (ph), and I actually used to teach school in the district in which Seed Savers is located. And we have a number of students, former students here, that I taught.
THE PRESIDENT: How was she? Was she a good teacher? (Applause.) You got thumbs up.
Q What can I say?
THE PRESIDENT: What did you teach?
Q High school social studies.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, that’s important stuff.
Q Many unions, especially public sector unions, helped you get elected in 2008. Those public sector unions and their members gained their salaries and benefits through collective bargaining. Recently, those benefits have been under attack. And I realize that this is a state issue mostly, but what can you do to help support collective bargaining in the states and, most of all, support the public sector unions, the middle class, many of whom are union members? Thank you. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, let’s make one thing clear. The right of workers to come together and join a union is part of what built America’s middle class. It’s the reason why we’ve got a minimum wage. (Applause.) It’s the reason why folks have weekends. It’s the reason why you have basic protections on the job from an abusive employer.
There are a whole range of things that people take for granted, even if they’re not in a union, that they wouldn’t have had if it had not been for collective bargaining. (Applause.) So I think it is very important, whether you are in a union or not — and I speak particularly to young people,because you’ve grown up at a time when in a lot of circles “union” somehow is a dirty word — to understand all this is is people joining together so they’ve got a little more leverage; so they’ve got better working conditions, better wages; they can better support their family.
And a lot of us entered into the middle class because our parent or a grandparent was in a union. Remember that. (Applause.) When I hear this kind of anti-union rhetoric and anti-union assaults, I’m thinking these folks have amnesia. They don’t remember that that helped build our middle class and strengthen our economy.
I love this story and hope more of it happens. I want to see a resurgence of unions, we need them now more than ever.
Wisconsin’s workers haven’t only fought back with protests and recall efforts. Since Scott Walker began his attack on Wisconsin’s public employees, faculty at three University of Wisconsin campuses have voted to join the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
I never thought I’d miss President Reagan. Compared to current Republicans, he was a moderate. But I’m not telling you all anything you don’t already know. Enjoy this blast from the past where Ronnie shows his support for unions as an American institution. It should be pumped from loud speakers at these rallies, over and over and over. We should stand in front of Republican legislatures homes with giant boom boxes blaring out this Ronald Reagan clip.
I know this is all over the internet, but I felt I must post it as well. It sure is nice to have an adult as President of the United States. It’s just too bad almost everyone else in our federal government acts like adolescents.
And if you haven’t seen this awesome sound bite from Wally Pfister, the Oscar winning cinematographer for the film Inception, go watch it now. Sorry I can’t find the Youtube clip and there is a commercial that leads into this clip.
I just read this article over at Forbes about the big freakin lie that Governor Scott Walker and the “librul” media, cough, spit, choke have been pushing. It has even inspired commercials and campaigns all based on that lie. Here are some details from Rick Ungar at Forbes, with help from tax.com…
Pulitzer Prize winning tax reporter, David Cay Johnston, has written a brilliant piece for tax.com exposing the truth about who really pays for the pension and benefits for public employees in Wisconsin.
Gov. Scott Walker says he wants state workers covered by collective bargaining agreements to “contribute more” to their pension and health insurance plans. Accepting Gov. Walker’ s assertions as fact, and failing to check, creates the impression that somehow the workers are getting something extra, a gift from taxpayers. They are not. Out of every dollar that funds Wisconsin’ s pension and health insurance plans for state workers, 100 cents comes from the state workers.
Got that, all the bullshit about “contributing more” to their pensions is a big lie. They already contribute 100% to their own pensions, taxpayers have nothing to do with it. Now as Rick Ungar put in his piece, if you want to call it a pay cut, go ahead, but misleading the public into thinking that taxpayers are paying for the workers pensions has to stop. The lie has been exposed and Bob Cesca said it best at his Awesome Blog! Go!…
The apologies and corrections are forthcoming in 5… 4… 3…
Check out these signs sent from some family members and fellow NEA/MEA members minutes ago from Lansing, Michigan where they are protesting similar cuts as Wisconsin’s wingnut Republican governor. Democracy in action. And of course because a lot of them are teachers, the signs are even spelled right. Enjoy…I’m sure there will be more.
I’m waiting for the pictures of Scottie and his Wackenhut buddies who like to have parties like the ones shown below. In case you missed this story, Governor Walker, when he was Milwaukee County Executive fired the unionized security at the county courthouse and hired this British company. No shit, he didn’t even hire a company from his own state or country. A little background from Think Progress…
The last time Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) went after public sector unions it had “disastrous results” for him and for taxpayers. As Milwaukee County Executive in 2009, Walker tried to get rid of the unionized security guards at the county courthouse and replace them with contractors, which he promised would save the county money. The County Board rejected the idea, but in March of 2010 Walker “unilaterally ordered it,” claiming there was a budget emergency. Walker hired the British security contractor Wackenhut — of Kabul Embassy sex scandal fame — to replace the guards. Unfortunately for Walker and Milwaukee taxpayers, an arbiter later ruled that Walker had overstepped his authority, and ordered the county to reinstate the unionized workers, pay backwages, and pay tens of thousands of dollars in arbiter fees.
Wackenhut came into the American public view in a rather controversial way, wouldn’t you say. They were the contractors in Afghanistan who like to party like frat boys and rugby players, apparently. The photos really say it all, don’t they.
Party animals, those Wackenhut employees. Woooo hoooo, let’s go party with Scott Walker in Wisconsin. Someone has to have photos of Scott with his British buddies, come on people, haven’t you ever heard of Photoshop?
Unbelievable!!! Now if that doesn’t speak volumes about this nut in Wisconsin, I don’t know what does. I’m almost speechless, I can’t even believe it. From Raw Story…
he Democratic Party of Wisconsin spoke out forcefully Tuesday after it was discovered that the state Capitol had blocked a website that was attempting to organize those protesting Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to strip unions of their rights.Anyone trying to use the state Capitol’s Wi-Fi connection to access www.defendwisconsin.org Monday and early Tuesday received an error message.
University of Wisconsin-Madison Teacher Assistants created the website to share information with protesters and let them know where volunteers were needed. Democratic party officials claimed that it was available at the Capitol until at least last Friday.
“In a direct assault on the First Amendment, Scott Walker’s administration is blocking access in the Wisconsin Capitol to opposition websites,” Wisconsin Democratic Party press secretary Graeme Zielinski told CNN.
“It seems that we are entering a nightmare period in Wisconsin history in which Scott Walker is drawing all power unto himself, to the point that he feels comfortable blocking the First Amendment rights of protesters at the exact time they are exercising their First Amendment rights,” Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Michael Tate said in recorded audio message.
And now he wants the government workers to pay for it. Nothing like a little wealth redistribution the wrong way. Rich get richer, poor get shit on. This has to be the most blatant case of Republicans helping the rich and screwing the poor that we’ve ever seen. When anyone tries to say that these cuts to government workers are crucial to balancing the budget, respond by saying….well then, let’s repeal those tax cuts that got us into this mess. Gov. Walker is like a “mini-Bush”….cut taxes for the multi-millionaires and then stick the debt with working class folks.
He was handed a balanced budget when he took office, a balanced budget. So the only one to blame for this mess is the person looking back at him in the mirror. Don’t believe the Republican and media lie machine. Talking Points Memo has more…
Furthermore, this broadside comes less than a month after the state’s fiscal bureau — the Wisconsin equivalent of the Congressional Budget Office — concluded that Wisconsin isn’t even in need of austerity measures, and could conclude the fiscal year with a surplus. In fact, they say that the current budget shortfall is a direct result of tax cut policies Walker enacted in his first days in office.
“Walker was not forced into a budget repair bill by circumstances beyond he control,” says Jack Norman, research director at the Institute for Wisconsin Future — a public interest think tank. “He wanted a budget repair bill and forced it by pushing through tax cuts… so he could rush through these other changes.”
He is a sleazy bastard. Of course, he IS a Republican. There aren’t many left who aren’t sleazy, selfish bastards.
I’ll have more on this later, but for now go read Steve Benen’s post about it.
The hold up on the new head of the TSA, Erroll Southers, by Senator Jim DeMint is because of the fear that he will allow the TSA workers to unionize. Check out this awesome exchange on CNN (full transcript) where James Carville does what he does best, goes for the jugular.
ROBERTS: We’re getting, James, potentially a look here at how things are going to go next year. The former vice president has rung in this morning on what he calls the, quote, “low-key response” by the president to all of this, saying that President Obama’s trying to pretend that we are not at war with terrorists.
Do you think that this is going to be recurring theme from the Republican side as we head into the mid-term election here?
CARVILLE: Let’s go invade Sri Lanka. That would be their — look, I think what he said is that there was a systemic breakdown, and I think we ought to have a hardcore investigation.
By the way, on this question of TSA being unionized, I think every fireman that went in on 9/11 was a union member. And I would like to ask Senator DeMint, how did being in a union member affect them, because like 1,100 of these guys lost their lives running into a burning building.
I think this whole idea of blaming the unions for this is absurd. I don’t think Senator DeMint has any idea what he’s talking about. Captain Sully was a union member. It sure didn’t stop him from landing that airplane in the river.
Pow, take that MF’er. Being a union member myself, NEA and MEA, I am appalled at the all out attack on unions by the repugs over the last 30 years. It seems pretty counterproductive for their party, since so many working class folks are union members. This trend of bashing unions needs to be attacked head on with arguments like James Carville’s above. Love him or hate him, he has some pretty great moments.