Nobody wants to know about your personal journey of growth and pain, Newt. People mostly want to call you out for being (and continuing to be) such a fucking, shameless hypocrite.
Versus the global labor revival. Go read Matt Stoller’s entire piece — it’s long but well worth it.
I do find it fascinating (if unsurprising) that Obama refuses to take a real position in favor of the Wisconsin strikes, which means the Stockholm syndrome process is now complete and the former community organizer is openly and unashamedly on the side of the oligarchy. (I’m sure his Wall Street mentors have explained to him that no reasonable person would take a position against the “needs” of the global labor market!
But if there’s one thing I know, whether it’s on a global scale or played out between two people, it’s this: Control freaks always lose, because while they’re making plans to move people around like chess pieces, they forget that even chess pieces have minds of their own.
As Daniel Ellsberg once said, “Courage is contagious.” And what happened in Wisconsin came from the inspiration of see millions of powerless people join together and overthrow a regime in Egypt. It didn’t come from union leaders, who have been perpetually unprepared for the onslaught against them. Just look at the webpage of the AFL-CIO of Wisconsin. It looks like it was designed by Geocities in 1997. Yet, #wiunion has been trending on and off for a week on Twitter, and has inspired actions all over the country (check out the Cheesehead protest in NYC).
This upsurge certainly didn’t come from the Democratic Party leadership. I mean, Rhode Island is a pretty reliable blue state and the last Mayor of Providence was just elected to Congress as a Democrat. Meanwhile, Former Democratic Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm is saying the Wisconsin state Senators need to get back to work. And what is striking about Obama’s posture on the greatest uprising in American labor history of this century, is how he is really nowhere, meekly tut-tutting about union busting while gravely acknowledging fiscal realities and tough choices. But the Wisconsin protests happen every day, without formal authority structures. This quote from the Huffington Post Hill newsletter shows that there is something new going on.
Tom O’Grady, a union sheet metal worker from Sun Prairie, Wis., said the sight of youngsters protesting against Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to gut collective bargaining rights is bittersweet. “It’s humbling,” said O’Grady, 60. “We see all these kids, they may never have a union job, and they’re here every night for us? It’s very humbling.”
Striking just isn’t in the collective memory of the American public anymore. This kind of highly politicized hybrid political protest/strike walks like an Egyptian these days, which is why Egyptians were sending Wisconsinites pizza and Madison protesters were holding signs lauding teachers, workers, and the new Egyptian flag. In fact, Madison may represent a new kind of American labor model, the melding of old school unions, Howard Dean-style internet-based organizing, Anonymous-style serious pranking, and social media reporting on protests and policy. There’s an anti-bailout class-based fervor here as well, with a simmering anger at Wall Street as subtext. It’s headless and global, though there is leadership. The most powerful moment so far in the Wisconsin conflict didn’t come from the actions of a labor leader, but froma prank call by alt-weekly “Buffalo Beast” editor Ian Murphy, who pretended to be billionaire American oligarch David Koch and had a frank 20 minute conversation with Governor Scott Walker. Murphy originally wanted to pose as Hosni Mubarak, but couldn’t pull off the accent.
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Question of the day: Can you possibly be paranoid enough?
The reporter whose story for Rolling Stone forced the resignation of former Gen. Stanley McChrystal has a new story out, this time focusing on what he calls “psyops” employed against elected officials by yet another “runaway general.”
However, when told to target high-profile individuals such as Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Al Franken (D-MN), Carl Levin (D-MI) and even Adm. Mike Mullen — one unit resisted, citing federal law that information warfare not be used against Americans.
“At minimum,” Hastings writes, “the use of the [information operations] team against U.S. senators was a misue of vital resources designed to combat the enemy.”
The report added that documents provided to the magazine showed the operations cost taxpayers over $6 million.
Those that resisted, the report said, were targeted for retaliation.
Economics Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University really lets it rip in his conversation with Lawrence O’Donnell on The Last Word last night. Calling the union attacks of Republican governors “absolutely coordinated,” he talks about the Koch brothers, says they never want to pay another tax or deal with environmental controls.
He says the billionaires have been buying up the Congress, and now they’re buying the governors. “It’s unbelieveable, the game that’s going on. This is absolutely vile,” Sachs said. He talked about the extreme income inequality that’s skewed the game, and the attacks on teachers unions instead of addressing the root causes of poverty.
“Where is President Obama, frankly, when we need him to be defending the basic values of this country? We need to hear his voice,” Sachs said in an impassioned voice.
Poisoning Chinese workers to get those iPhones and iPads out faster!