A union member, a tea partier, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, looks at the tea partier and says, “Watch out for that union guy, he wants a piece of your cookie.”
Trends in College Spending, 1998–2008: Where does the money come from? Where does it go? What does it buy? is the third in a series of reports on college and university spending from the Delta Cost Project. The findings presented in this report concentrate on the 1998 to 2008 time period—the last academic year for which spending data are available, and what in retrospect may turn out to be a high point in funding for higher education.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has announced plans to introduce a bill in the U.S. Congress that would repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the law that defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman for purposes of all federal laws.
Feinstein’s announcement comes on the heels of the Obama administration’s announcement last week that at least one part of DOMA will not be able to pass constitutional muster in federal court, and that the Justice Department will not defend that part of the law in two pending cases in the Second Circuit.
“The Bible doesn’t condone the type of slavery that was cruel. Didn’t God Himself lead the Israeli slaves out of Egypt after a series of plagues He poured down on Egypt? That demonstrates His feeling about racial slavery. The slavery the Bible allowed did not resemble the racial slavery that plagued America in past centuries. The Bible gives instructions on how slaves should be treated.”—
Doris Soule, resident Bible expert and theocrat in Wheatland, Wyo.
Doris is batshit insane, (seriously, Google her) but this time… wow. I picture her doddering around her knickknack filled home in her housedress, occasionally stopping at the kitchen for a nip of sherry (but just a nip, it’s before noon) and contemplating her weekly Letter to the Editor. Usually she insists we’re a Christian nation, but this time, maybe she had more than a nip of that kitchen sherry.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”—Desmond Tutu
This is Gerald Gay’s response to a gay Wyomingite’s email regarding HB74. This is not a joke. The segment in blockquote format is the section he pasted from the man’s email.
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 09:34:18 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: Re: HR 0074
"With the country trying to move forward, but constantly being pulled backwards, I would like ask you a question before you make your vote tomorrow.
Try to think of one of your children, or your grandchildren coming to you to tell you they are gay. Of course you know it will be very difficult for them, because everyone is against them and they will be fighting for rights all of their lives, but, you love them and want only the best for them. How would you like them to think of you and your vote on this resolution? Cause and effect.”
I appreciate your question. However having the family name “Gay” I look at this issue somewhat differently:
Try explaining to your 7 year-old why the kids in the schoolyard ridicule him for his name and tell nasty jokes that really have nothing to do with him or his lifestyle. Try explaining to a very young child that some people are different and conduct themselves in a manner that societies have taught is abhorrent but in order to gain social acceptance they have adopted a word with a very different meaning in order to make their lifestyle seem more mainstream. A child of that age can’t grasp certain subtle nuances. This would be a very different issue if we still used the words “homosexual” or “sodomite” to describe such choices.
Imagine for a moment the nonsense I hear about this reprobate issue every day of my life. Every member of my family has universally turned its’ back on the use of the family name to describe sodomy. So in answer to your question, I feel confident that none of my descendants will ever come to me and say “I am gay”. And yes, I do wish more people considered “cause and effect” when making the choices they make.
Sincerely, Gerald Gay
I saw this email a few days ago and was horrified. I read it out loud on my radio show. There is really nothing to say about this other than his “Assclown of the 2011 Wyoming Legislature” award is 100% deserved.
The presence of blue collar workers in the Capitol has made it more difficult for Republican Gov. Scott Walker or Capitol Police to kick protesters out. “Each night one union will take a shift and send down a hundred of its member to sleep in the Capitol. One day the firefighters will come, the next the construction unions,” said Edward Sadlowski. “The labor movement understand they have to stand in solidarity with the young people who started this occupation.”
"Right now the only thing we are disrupting is this Capitol," said Sadlowski. "As long as we hold onto this Capitol, we have a chance."
Solidarity! Seriously, the only thing I can add to this is dancing for joy.
If you’re on Facebook, come click “like” on this page. It’s freaking hysterical. It’s all about tracking a right-wing hate group in Wyoming who are trying like hell to invalidate same-sex marriages from out of state and pass radical anti-choice legislation. The page not only highlights the hypocrisy and the legislators who support it, but the GLBTQ activism ongoing in Wyoming. They got shut down once by Facebook, and could use the love.
“I believe that we’re in denial about potential problems as we see more and more homosexual couples raising families. Essentially, these are experiments to see how well children will fare in such same-sex households. It will be years before we know whether or not our little guinea pigs turn out to be good at marriage and parenthood.”—
Mike Huckabee, regarding marriage equality and the DOMA. Fuck you, Mike Huckabee. Seriously. Comparing GLBTQ people to guinea pigs is ridiculously offensive.
From inside the Wisconsin State Capitol, RAN ally Ryan Harvey:
“Hundreds of cops have just marched into the Wisconsin state capitol building to protest the anti-Union bill, to massive applause. They now join up to 600 people who are inside.”
From his Facebook page earlier today:
“Police have just announced to the crowds inside the occupied State Capitol of Wisconsin: ‘We have been ordered by the legislature to kick you all out at 4:00 today. But we know what’s right from wrong. We will not be kicking anyone out, in fact, we will be sleeping here with you!’ Unreal.”
1. ELIMINATING MEDICAID: The Budget Repair Bill includes a little-known provision that would put complete control of the state’s Medicaid program, known as BadgerCare, in the hands of the state’sultra-conservative Health and Human Services Secretary Dennis Smith. Smith would have the authority to “to override state Medicaid laws as [he] sees fit and institute sweeping changes” including reducing benefits and limiting eligibility. Ironically, during the 1990s it was Republicans, especially former Gov. and Bush HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, who helped develop BadgerCare into one of the country’s most innovative and generous Medicaid programs. A decade later, a new generation of radical Republicans is hoping to destroy one of Wisconsin’s “success stories.”
2. POWER PLANT PRIVATIZATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL NEGLECT: The same budget bill calls for a rapid no-bid “firesale” of all state-owned power plants. One progressive blogger called the proposal “a highlight reel of all of the tomahawk dunks of neo-Gilded Age corporatism: privatization, no-bid contracts, deregulation, and naked cronyism” and suggested that the provision will open the way for large, politically connected corporations to buy up the state’s power plants on the cheap. While it’s unclear whether corporations would be interested in buying the plants, a similar proposal was vetoed six years ago by Gov. Jim Doyle (D), who called the plan fiscally and environmentally irresponsible. Many of Wisconsin’s power plants are in violation of federal clean air regulations and desperately need to be upgraded and cleaned up — not dumped into the private sector.
3. DANGEROUS DRINKING WATER: Republican lawmakers have introduced bills in both the Senate and the House which would repeal a rule requiring municipal governments to disinfect their water. Conservatives have said that the clean water rule — which went into effect in December — is simply too expensive. Yet the rule only affects 12 percent of municipalities and the price may be worth it. In 1993, 104 people died and 400,000 fell sick when the Milwaukee water supply became infected. Even two decades later, the Environmental Protection Agency Advisory Board notes that 13 percent of acute gastro-intestinal illnesses in municipalities that don’t disinfect their water supplies are the result of dirty water. Municipalities can keep their water clean for as low as $10,000 per well — but apparently for the Wisconsin GOP that is too high a price to pay to keep citizens safe from deadly microorganisms.
4. DESTROYING WETLANDS: In January, Walker’s proposed regulatory reform bill exempted a parcel of wetland owned by a Republican donor from water quality standards. But the exemption was more than just an embarrassing giveaway to a GOP ally: environmental groups believe the bill’s special provision would actually affect the entire county, eliminating public hearings on proposed wetland development, short-circuiting approval of development projects, and disrupting the region’s water system.
5. FISCAL IRRESPONSIBILITY: Walker signed a bill this week requiring a 2/3 supermajority in the legislature to pass any tax increase. Republican lawmakers are now reportedly considering a constitutional amendment that would make the rule permanent. A similar constitutional amendment in California has been called the “source of misery” of that state’s crippling budget crisis and has forced lawmakers to “gut public education, slash social services and health care programs, close prisons, and lay off record numbers of public employees.” While claiming to “make a commitment to the future instead of [choosing] dire consequences for our children” Walker and GOP lawmakers are instead putting generations of Wisconsinites in a “fiscal strait-jacket.”
6. DISENFRANCHISING VOTERS: This week, Republican lawmakers moved forward on a bill that would require voters to present a photo ID from the DMV at the polls, making it significantly more difficult for the elderly, the disabled, college students, and rural residents to participate in elections. While Republican lawmakers insist the bill is necessary to prevent voter fraud, there have been almost no documented cases of fraudulent voting in the state. Instead, the Wisconsin State Journal writes, the GOP bill is going “overboard in limiting ballot access in a state proud of its long history of high participation in elections.”
7. CUTTING JOBS, LOSING THE FUTURE: Last fall, Walker killed an $810 billion federally funded high-speed rail project, forcing the Transportation Department to pull its funding. Walker’s decision killed 130,000 expected jobs and forced the Spanish company Talgo to close its Milwaukee factory and layoff its 40 person staff. A spokeswoman for the company told The Daily Reporter that “the state’s decision to back away from the high-speed rail project sends a terrible message to businesses considering locating in the state.”
8. STIFLING INNOVATION: In late January, Walker introduced a bill that would ban wind-powered energy from Wisconsin and exacerbate the state’s dependence on out-of-state coal. If passed, it’s estimated that the law would immediately eliminate $1.8 billion in new wind power investments and jeopardize eleven currently proposed wind projects. After a public outcry earlier this month, Walker’s bill is (for now) dead.
9. “NAKED POWER GRAB”: Earlier this month in a party-line vote, the legislature ceded “extraordinary control” of the state’s rule-making oversight process to the governor. Walker now has complete power to draft agency rules which the legislature must then either approve or reject. The law gives Walker the power to write rules for formerly independent state agencies like the state Departments of Justice and Education — and most ominously the Government Accountability Board, the state’s ethics watchdog.
10. POLITICIZING STATE AGENCIES: A provision in Walker’s budget repair bill would convert thirty-seven state employees from civil servants to political appointees — consolidating his power over state government and expanding his power to “hire, fire and move key employees to carry out his agenda.”
Patrick Rogers of Philadelphia has proven that the goth kid in your economics class who spent the entire hour quietly carving the Skinny Puppy emblem into his tin Teletubbies lunchbox/make-up case was paying attention after all! Patrick the vampire turned his fangs on Wells Fargo after they tried to force him to pay a home insurance premium on a $1 million house when he bought his Victorian home (of course) for only $180,000.
Gov. Scott “Imperial” Walker of Wisconsin would make the WORST Bond villain ever. He not only revealed his evil plan over the phone to a potential operative, he made no effort to even confirm the operative’s identity as “not James Bond” as it were. At least Bond is usually facing somewhat certain death before the villain reveals the plot, face-to-face, to blow up the world or something.
Reports continue to pour in from around the nation today of helpless Americans being forcibly taken from their marital unions after President Obama dropped the Defense of Marriage Act earlier this week, leaving the institution completely vulnerable to roving bands of homosexuals.
“WALKER: An interesting idea that was brought up to me by my chief of staff, we won’t do it until tomorrow, is putting out an appeal to the Democratic leader. I would be willing to sit down and talk to him, the assembly Democrat leader, plus the other two Republican leaders—talk, not negotiate and listen to what they have to say if they will in turn—but I’ll only do it if all 14 of them will come back and sit down in the state assembly. They can recess it… the reason for that, we’re verifying it this afternoon, legally, we believe, once they’ve gone into session, they don’t physically have to be there. If they’re actually in session for that day, and they take a recess, the 19 Senate Republicans could then go into action and they’d have quorum because it’s turned out that way. So we’re double checking that. If you heard I was going to talk to them that’s the only reason why. We’d only do it if they came back to the capitol with all 14 of them. My sense is, hell. I’ll talk. If they want to yell at me for an hour, I’m used to that. I can deal with that. But I’m not negotiating.
And here’s another great snippet, flagged by commenter Ed Cooper:
“Koch”: Well, I tell you what, Scott: Once you crush these bastards, I’ll fly you out to Cali and really show you a good time.
Walker: All right, that would be outstanding.”—
A prank caller called gov. walker and got him to talk through his strategy w/the unions. I’m not able to listen to the tapes (i only know what’s been transcribed above) so listen to the tapes at your own discretion.
But what I thought was the most interesting thing was that Walker thought he was talking to One of the “Koch” brothers. Who stand to benefit tremendously from the unions being busted. Notice: Walker is willing to talk to Koch. To create a plan, to negotiate.
He isn’t talking to his own damn citizens. He has openly declared: no negotiations. No negotiations with MY CITIZENS.
“It may be that we are puppets-puppets controlled by the strings of society. But at least we are puppets with perception, with awareness. And perhaps our awareness is the first step to our liberation.”—Stanley Milgram
“Any business owner who uses largely unpaid labor, with a handful of underpaid, nonunion employees, to build a company that is sold for a few hundred million dollars, no matter how he or she is introduced to you on the television screen, is not a liberal or a progressive. Those who take advantage of workers, whatever their outward ideological veneer, to make profits of that magnitude are charter members of the exploitative class. Dust off your Karl Marx. They are the enemies of working men and women. And they are also, in this case, sucking the life blood out of a trade I care deeply about. It was bad enough that Huffington used her site for flagrant self-promotion, although the cult of the self has reached such dizzying proportions in American society that such behavior is almost expected. But there is an even sadder irony that this was carried out in the name of journalism.”—
“A dictator cannot be allowed to shun the foreign press, and to shut off his country, and kill his people, and not have anybody not know their names and the struggles they are undergoing… The world should know what’s happening.”—
The House on Friday voted down a proposed budget amendment by Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum (Minn.) that sought to bar the use of Pentagon funds to sponsor NASCAR vehicles. In 2010, the U.S. Army spent some $7 million to sponsor the No. 39 Chevy Impala stockracing car.
The final vote was 148 in favor of the amendment, 281 opposed. Republicans provided 209 of the 281 nay votes, while 72 were cast by Democrats; 118 Democrats supported the ban, along with 30 Republicans.
Debate surrounding the proposal took a menacing turn Thursday, when McCollum’s staff alerted U.S. Capitol Police to a threatening fax sent to her office relating to her NASCAR amendment. First reported by Talking Points Memo, the obscenity-laden message concluded with the words, “Death To All Marxists, Foreign And Domestic!” Capitol Police said Thursday that they are investigating the incident.
We want to defund Planned Parenthood. We defunded Americorp. We want to defund PBS. BUT GOD FUCKING HELP YOU IF YOU TOUCH MY NASCAR!!! From now on, GOP…
From my friend Elaine: “NASCAR = Non-Athletic Sport Centered Around Republicans”
It’s no wonder that some observers — including veteran legislators — are calling this the worst session in many years. It’s been discouraging. Accomplishments have been few, while so much time has been wasted. One of the reasons behind the lackluster effort has been the insistence of some lawmakers that the Legislature concentrate on making political statements against the federal government. Ironically, some of the same legislators who practically foam at the mouth at the intrusiveness of the federal government are the same ones who demand that the state control the reproductive choices of women in Wyoming. Apparently they either fail to see their own hypocrisy or don’t care, as long as their religious values prevail. They also want to regulate personal relationships, even considering a bill (and fortunately rejecting it) that would have required a certain amount of counseling before marriage or divorce.
Legislators can still salvage the final days of this session, but only if they quit worrying about scoring conservative political points and focus on actually making a positive difference in people’s lives.
”—The Casper Star-Tribune calls out the Wyoming Legislature for wasting the people’s time.