State Sen. Carpenter proposes collective bargaining amendment to WI constitution

In a statement released Monday, Democratic State Senator Tim Carpenter announced he has drafted a proposed amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution to protect the rights of workers to collectively bargain wages, benefits, hours, and work conditions.

“The recent passage of a bill in Wisconsin that effectively eliminates collective bargaining for most public employees has put Wisconsinites through a traumatic period of our history. That bill is currently being litigated in the courts, and its passage has even given rise to unprecedented efforts to recall elected officials,” said Carpenter

An amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution would need to be approved by two consecutive sessions of the state legislature before being put to the voters in a statewide referendum, so the odds are certainly stacked against a constitutional amendment protecting collective bargaining. While I appreciate the thought behind Sen. Carpenter’s proposed amendment, it’s obviously a non-starter until 2012 at the earliest, and so it’s symbolism but not much else.

Maybe Sean Duffy should get a grip on himself

During his election night victory speech, Congressman Sean Duffy told the assembled crowd that the great task of his generation was to stop the ” creeping socialism ” that he feels is threatening America. What was Duffy talking about?

The only thing I could think of that made any sense is that Duffy must be afraid of the citizens of North Dakota. Why?

Because North Dakota has the only state owned bank in the United States. A state owned bank is socialism. What kind of horrible oppression do the North Dakotans live under from their form of socialism?

North Dakota currently enjoys a budget surplus and the lowest unemployment rate in the nation. The Bank of North Dakota didn’t get involved in making the kinds of wildly speculative sub-prime loans that toppled Wall Street brokerage firms, and that prompted Congress to bail out large commercial banks.

And when large banks won’t lend money to small businesses and family farmers, the Bank of North Dakota does, keeping North Dakotans money at home instead of sending it to Wall Street. By God, that does sound downright un-American!

What can be done about this imminent threat to American capitalism? Maybe we should invade North Dakota? We could probably catch them completely off guard. Or maybe Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana should erect large border fences to stem the tide of socialist immigration to other states?

Better yet, maybe Sean Duffy should get a grip on himself and quit spouting hysterical nonsense?

The lessons liberals can learn from Gov. Jerry Brown

From the Left Wing Noise Machine over at Daily Kos comes a few lessons more of our liberal/progressive elected officials could learn from California Gov. Jerry Brown when it comes to framing the debate on issues, instead of allowing the debate to be dictated by conservatives and the tea party:

Recent polls show that by a huge majority, Californians now support raising taxes on the rich (and even themselves) rather than further Tea Party slash and burn budget cutting. Here’s Brown’s mojo.

First, he didn’t come out of the starting block with a compromise pleasing to the entrenched extremist Republican minority obstructing a tax increase (unlike a certain President we know). He made a definite proposal and he stuck to it. When the Tea Party gurus tried to change the subject and make unions the issue, not taxes, Brown refused to fall for the Shock Capitalist feign and stuck by the unions. He didn’t flinch or apologize for his support of higher taxes, even suggesting – mirabile dictu – that the GOP’s zombielike anti-tax dogma showed their bad faith and lack of concern for Californians. They squealed like stuck pigs with lipstick on (don’t apologize Obama) and looked foolish.

Second, Brown talked directly to the people of California, not just the obstreperous and incoherent Republican commandants. Again, unlike a certain President. Over and over again, he took his message to YouTube (you got to love that), as well as highschool gyms and union halls. For a septuagenarian he made a certain young president look like a geezer. Again the GOP squealed, and most people here saw the Republicans for what they are: ideological bullies who act like South Park’s Cartman when somebody stands up to them.

Finally, he created a narrative. He didn’t bother, Vulcan-like, to rebut the noisy Tea Party’s deceptive graphs and slogans. He just called them deceptive. He didn’t hold a seminar on interest rate fluctuations. Rather he painted a picture of what a dystopian California will look like if conservatives have their way and perform further budget amputations without anesthesia.

Sorry it took so long…

From Andrew Sullivan comes this gem:

Image courtesy Andrew Sullivan (click for full size)

No doubt we’ve come a long way from the days of former President George W. Bush – who once vowed to bring Osama bin Laden to justice – saying of bin Laden, “I don’t know where he is, nor do I really spend that much time on it really…to be honest with you.”

Personally I’m glad President Obama did what George W. Bush wouldn’t do – spend some time on finding Osama bin Laden – because bin Laden needed to be held accountable for his role in the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.