Talk Like an Egyptian…Tyrant

From The Washington Post (Editorial):

In Egypt, workers are having a revolutionary February. In the United States, by contrast, February is shaping up as the cruelest month workers have known in decades.

The coup de grace that toppled Hosni Mubarak came after tens of thousands of Egyptian workers went on strike beginning last Tuesday.


But even as workers were helping topple the regime in Cairo, one state government in particular was moving to topple workers’ organizations here in the United States. Last Friday, Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s new Republican governor, proposed taking away most collective bargaining rights of public employees.

Original DVD cover

Under his legislation, which has moved so swiftly through the newly Republican state legislature that it might come to a vote Thursday, the unions representing teachers, sanitation workers, doctors and nurses at public hospitals, and a host of other public employees, would lose the right to bargain over health coverage, pensions and other benefits. (To make his proposal more politically palatable, the governor exempted from his hit list the unions representing firefighters and police.) The only thing all other public-sector workers could bargain over would be their base wages, and given the fiscal restraints plaguing the states, that’s hardly anything to bargain over at all.

You might think that Walker came to this extreme measure after negotiations with public-sector unions had reached an impasse. In fact, he hasn’t held such discussions. “I don’t have anything to negotiate,” Walker told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last week. To underscore just how accompli he considered his fait, he vowed to call in the National Guard if protesting workers walked off the job or disrupted state services.


Now, it’s not as if our states don’t have fiscal crises to address, and Walker insists that it’s Wisconsin’s empty till that has driven him to curtail workers’ rights. But there are other options. Democratic governors such as California’s Jerry Brown and New York’s Andrew Cuomo have proposed scaling back public services, pay and benefits without going after workers’ fundamental rights to bargain. The right to bargain is clearly a separate question. Newly elected Republican governors, however, may reach the same conclusion Walker did and use the recession-induced fiscal crisis to achieve a partisan political objective: removing unions, the most potent force in the Democrats’ electoral operation, from the landscape.


The real goal of the American right is to reduce public employee unions to the level of private-sector unions, which now represent fewer than 7 percent of American workers.


Our unions have already been decimated in the private sector; the results are plain. Corporate profits are soaring, while domestic investment, wages and benefits (particularly at nonunion companies) are flat-lining at best. With nobody to bargain for workers, America increasingly is an economically stagnant, plutocratic utopia.


Now that Wisconsin’s governor has given the Guard its marching orders, we can discern a new pattern of global repressive solidarity emerging – from the chastened pharaoh of the Middle East to the cheesehead pharaoh of the Middle West.


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34 responses to “Talk Like an Egyptian…Tyrant

  1. Walker keeps his brains in his fanny pack…

  2. I love that last line! ๐Ÿ˜†

    I saw the headline about Florida’s governor rejecting high speed rail money and New York trying to call dibs on it.

    It’s a bit frightening that it appears we’ve elected a LOT of people who don’t know what the hell they are doing.

    • you probably won’t believe me, but i had only read the first couple of paragraphs when i went looking for a movie. i searched for ‘cheese’ thinking that i could change it to cheesehead. i found that movie, and i was very excited. i didn’t read the last sentence of the editorial until i was cutting and pasting it over here and after i had already finished the poster. it was completely serendipity that the author used the term cheesehead just as i had. i love happy coincidences! ๐Ÿ˜€

      i think there are a lot of people with buyer’s remorse all over the country. hopefully, the pendulum will swing in the other direction in 2012, and we’ll at least get the house back. we’ll just have to wait out the disastrous governorships.

    • So far, Snyder here in Michigan looks relatively reasonable. I’ll see if I still have that opinion tomorrow after he releases his budget.

      • rick scott is going to lay off 1800 prison workers and shut down 2 state-run prisons and expand private prisons (he’s jan brewer in pants). one rethuglican senator who supports prison union workers will no longer speak to him. state employees have gone 7 years without a raise, but scott wants them to pay thousands of dollars a year than they’re paying now for their health insurance. he also refused the money for the high-speed rail, which pissed off everyone except the moronic teabaggers. it wouldn’t have cost the state anything, because private companies were willing to pay for any cost overruns. now, everyone is trying to figure out how to get around the shithead governor and make deals with individual cities to get the damned thing built. i think he might be on track to be the worst governor of all time, if he’s not impeached. he’s a crook, and he won’t change the way he does things, so it’s a matter of time until he’s caught doing something illegal. even rethuglicans hate him, so they won’t rush to protect him.

  3. Of course, I believe you! And that rocks! This happens to me with Wonkette. I had used Justin Bieber to make something ridiculous even more ridiculous. I thought I was amazing and then saw they used Justin Bieber.

    Who would ever believe I thought of it on my own? I just asked myself…what teeny bopping thing do my boys revile. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Now the Beeb gets props today for saying the U.S. Health care system is evil.

  4. He has declared war on the working class. Why do they hate people who have to work for a living so much? We can’t all be members of the Lucky Vagina club. In my circles, old money is the few bucks you didn’t spend when the next payday comes around, assuming you have a job. Now, once again they will show us all what bad asses they are. Let’s roll it all back! Forget about that 8 hour day, were going back to 12 hours for 6 or 7 day workweek. No more holidays. The children will be exploited again like 100 years ago, so there will be no more school (only private academy for wealthy) No more welfare state. Just let the elderly die like they used to. Free enterprise will encourage the use of private concentration camps that were so popular in Germany in 33-34. Beat them all down. Shoot all the labor leaders, reporters, intellectuals, etc. When it is all done, look at the great work and offer a burnt offering to him-rr- that never sinned, never taxed, never was wrong about anything. Puff up that pride! And we will close with scripture….”Though they wear robes of righteousness, inside are the bones of dead men….

    • he’s one of those shitheads who has his, so the hell with everyone else. i don’t know why the people in wisconsin are so surprised. i guess all the ones who didn’t vote are rethinking their decision now.

  5. jeb

    The destruction of the middle class continues. Their primitive Darwinian economic view has no basis in reality relative to what made this country great. Once they’ve done the bidding of the corporations and uber-wealthy, those average Americans who allowed themselves to be spoon-fed crap by Rushbo, Ins-Hannity and Blech will wake up and wonder what happened.

    I hope against hope that the Public Sector Union can hold the line and survive but I don’t have much hope at this point. The first losers will be the union employees in Wisconsin but that will quickly be followed by the collapse of public sector services there. Of course, I guess it follows that if you believe in drowning government in the bathtub, you don’t really have a need for public sector unions, do you?

    • i hope the teabaggers are patting themselves on the back as they watch their friends and neighbors on their way to the poorhouse. how stupid are these people? if not for unions, they’d be working 80-hour weeks for low wages and no benefits. unions help everyone who has a job, whether they belong to a union or not.

  6. MNLatteLiberal

    union-busting asshole.
    why doesn’t he take a pay cut and walk away from his health care bennies? why doesn’t he contribute his pension to the state?
    hypocritical mofo. but then, he’s a rethug politician. so that’s kinda redundant.

    • rethuglicans think they’re entitled to everything, but everyone else should have nothing. it’s pretty apparent what the rethuglican plan is, and i hope people remember that when the next election comes around.

  7. Snoring Dog Studio

    Somehow, this has become the decade of destroying government employees – the ones who really aren’t making that much money, whose salaries are far lower than those in the private sector – people who will never see a pay raise in their lifetime. That’s where we are in Idaho now. It plays well to the lunatics in the private sector and it’s fueled by heartless Republicans and TPs. Somehow they all think we government employees are living high. No matter what we do, we won’t get that target off our backs until the Republicans and Tea Party folks decimate that sector. Good luck. Nothing will be left but the crying over, “Where are my government services that I paid for?!”

    • it’s the same thing with hollywood. we always hear about the gazillions people are making there, while only the top famous few make the megabucks, while the rest of the industry is made up of middle-class hard-working people. government workers aren’t the enemy, and i find it pretty disgusting when people like bronzo the clown can dismiss their concerns with a flippant so be it.

      • jeb

        It’s the same thing going on with the NFL too Nonnie. At first glance most people may see the argument as rich athletes wanting even more but it’s really not the case. The owners are ready to lock out the players. All the players want it an extension of the current CBA but the owners want more revenue from the players share. What they also really want is to break the back of the players union. This is nothing more than absolute greed and union busting which is just a reflection of a disturbing trend in the nation.

        • the nfl is a bit different, because the cities where the teams are located are subsidized by the taxpayers, and most of the taxpayers get no or very little benefit in return. tickets are way too expensive for most people these days. that makes it hard for me to sympathize with them, especially the ones who are paid huge amounts. that said, the owners are the biggest dirtbags in the equation, so i’ll still root for the players. i totally agree with you that there’s an alarming amount of attempted union-busting going on, and it must be stopped.

          • jeb

            Yes the communites subsidize the rich owner’s sweetheart deals. If there is a lockout, it will affect those communities economically. A lot of people work for the local team and stadium. It does appear as a battle of the rich vs the richer but there is a lot of fallout for the communities. My point though was more the focus on the greedhead owners and their attempt to finally break the NFLPA and put the players in their place. It truly is the utmost example of the wealthiest trying to ensure that they get every last scrap.

  8. Megaprops, btw, on your eye for news! Wisconsin went nuts today! I’ve never heard of an entire party of state lawmakers heading for the border to stop legislation.

    Walker looks like a fool.

    • i think it’s awesome that all the dems left! the teabaggers keep hoping for a revolution, and they may get one, but not the kind they wanted. i wonder how many of them have been awakened and now realize that they were hoodwinked. they were leading themselves to their own slaughter.

      • MNLatteLiberal

        he is so steaming man, that Walker, he is threatening to arrest the Dems Reps and Senators who walked out. i smell a tamper tantrum. “i’m not a governor, but i play one in Wisconsin” is showing the world how to flake under self-induced pressure.

        • wtf? he must have the tiniest weewee evah! all he does is threaten people. he’s going to call out the national guard, and now he’s going to have all the dems arrested? he’s a bully, and you have to stand up to bullies.

    • Come on M’lissa think back when DeLay (aka Rusty Shackelford) was attempting to make Texas districts 100% goper. Maybe it didn’t get much national coverage but all the dems bailed out of Austin and, of course, they sent the DPS out to look for them. Now I can’t remember the pet name the media gave those guys!! It’s hell getting old.

      • i thought that this had happened before. now you’ve reminded me, jerry. the texas dems went to oklahoma. i remember seeing them interviewed on tv while they were on the lam. delay tried to sic the fcc and the cops and everyone else on them, and he got spanked for it. it was all pretty hilarious. i don’t remember them having any particular nickname, and the only one i saw when i googled was: The Democratic Tantrum of Texas.

      • I didn’t. I vaguely remember now. I was eating and sleeping Iraq war and crazy weather in May 2003.

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  10. walker, christie, scott, kasich, the guy in michigan, the asshole in virginia – we have an overabundance of little nazis running this country – they love the attention they are getting.

    you have to wonder how many people in florida are regretting their vote – i bet wisconsin tries to recall walker when they can- in january
    can florida?