Some very dim light in the gloom

The assault on middle class America took another turn for the worse last night as Scott Walker cruised to an easy win on a mountain of out of state money and all it can buy. But there is some tentative good news, Walker and his crackpot zillionaire agenda may be put on ice:

(WaPo) — While Democrats suffered a decisive defeat in Tuesday’s Wisconsin gubernatorial recall, they may have successfully taken control of the state Senate. Former state Sen. John Lehman (D) has declared victory over state Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine). The AP has not called the race yet, but with all precincts reporting Lehman leads by 779 votes. Wanggaard has not conceded. Democrats launched recalls against four Republican state senators. They needed one victory to win the upper champer, which is divided 17 to 16. Two Republican incumbents kept their seats and a third won an open seat.

Unfortunately this is mostly symbolic, the senate is out of session until November and most of the damage Walker could inflict on middle class voters has been done. No matter who wins the oval office in November, the strategy of the zero-point-one percent will remain the same: ratchet up attacks on middle class benefits and wages, then use the filibuster or any other means to prevent progressives from reversing it. In a few days the conservative controlled Supreme Court will probably hit us with another broadside when they decide we aren’t even allowed a market based national healthcare system that covers everyone.

Guys, not to be alarmist, but let me be alarmist: if conservatives are able to reenact the same polices that crippled our economy and blew up our budget, it is possible this nation could go the way of the former USSR. I know that sounds hyperbolic, but there’s only so much damage any one nation can take before it falls apart.


  1. =8)-DX says

    But.. but.. surely all these wage and benefit cuts are to ensure a reduction in deficits?

  2. raven says

    Guys, not to be alarmist, but let me be alarmist: if conservatives are able to reenact the same polices that crippled our economy and blew up our budget, it is possible this nation could go the way of the former USSR.

    We very well could.

    The Federal Reserve predicts that we will recover from the Great Recession by 2018. It takes on average a decade to recover from a financial crisis.

    This is a lost generation due to the Bush Catastrophe.

    One more Tea Party/GOP Catastrophe and you can add another decade or two to this. This is getting beyond my projected lifespan.

    If Romney wins, I’m just going to give up. No point in trying to prevent 310 million lemmings from running over a cliff.

  3. raven says

    History isn’t on our side either.

    Every civilization (loosely defined) has ended sooner or later. No one wins forever.

    Toynbee showed that 19 out of 22 collapsed from within.

    It’s inevitable that our American civilization will end someday. I was hoping that it would at least hold together for my lifetime but that isn’t looking so good right now.

  4. Trebuchet says

    The AP has not called the race yet, but with all precincts reporting Lehman leads by 779 votes. Wanggaard has not conceded.

    Cue Republicans screaming about voter fraud in 3…2…1…

  5. unbound says

    The power of ignorance. Amazing how many people you can vote for you cause when they never really pay attention to what is going on beyond the current moment…even when it is against your own interests.

    We probably are doomed. Sadly doomed by people who just don’t pay enough attention to understand what is happening around them.

  6. alexmartin says

    Wow. Just think about it: the P/S unions are shriveling now in Wisconsin because those unions can longer force the State to forcibly extract union dues for them from those poor, helpless, put-upon middle class workers that the Republicans are attacking(!)

    –And those ignorant lemming Wisconsin voters voted for More Of The Same! Insipid curs! Letting all that out of state Tea Party tell them what and how to think!

    FREEDOM is under attack! Rally now!!!

  7. alexmartin says

    I hope that I can help you people to think straight and get your minds right.

    Lookahere: if you work for the government in service to the people of your state, the only cause for a union for said workers is to ensure that pay, benefit, and work conditions for those workers is kept fair, equitable, and consistent with that of their peers in other states in comparable employment.

    If the state of Wisconsin went belly-up, as it were, many of these same government workers would have been on the unemployment roles, to begin with. As it is, not a single Wisconsin gov employee has lost their job and, with a balanced budget and projected surplus, none of them will.

    Get ya’ minds right.

    Y’all are no more than uninformed, hapless shills for Big Greedy Raping Leftist Union.

    Dig on that.

  8. RW Ahrens says


    The public service unions in Wisconsin had already conceded to Walker everything he asked for in order to help the budget – his only reason for denying union rights is to deny the unions the money that helps them support Democratic party issues and politicians.

    It is, and he has publicly admitted as much, an attack on Democratic big money sources. Nothing else, nothing less.

  9. says

    Alex here is a great exhibit. S/he may be a paid GOP sock puppet or s/he may sincerely believe that crap. Either way, s/he is impervious to historical data and will make decisions based on ficitonal histories and non existant conspiracies, which, surprise, surprise, happen to align perfectly with the interests of conservative zillionires.

    But sadly, both for them and for us, you can only make decisions based on fantasy for so long, before reality catches up and bites everyone very hard.

  10. magistramarla says

    This has really depressed me. If Romney wins in November, it’s time to start planning our retirement in another country.

  11. davidnangle says

    This is a loss, but it’s a loss for only one state. It’s also a good demonstration of how important money is to influencing democracy. Anybody who’s a genuine supporter of the concept of democracy should be deeply bothered by that.

    Here are the two important battles: Get Obama another four years, and keep Republicans from blaming Republican-created disasters on anyone else.

    If Romney gets in, the collapse of the country will start immediately, and it will be blamed on the powerless. The anger that the country’s peasants will feel over the destruction they have wrought on themselves will be turned against the wrong people, and America will walk down the tyrant’s path.

    A century from now, people won’t be using the insult, “Nazi” against each other. They’ll be calling each other “Americans.” Or, best case, “Republicans.”

  12. alexmartin says

    #10, -11,

    Regarding ignoramus sock-puppetry, the attack on wealth and upon capitalistic success is merely proof, for me, that the communist collectivist assault against American democratic principles is beginning to bare it’s rancid fruit.

    Nothing governor Scott walker has done has benefited “zillionaires” so much (if at all, and if so, how??) as it has benefited the peoples of Wisconsin– again, no one has lost their jobs, municipalities and cities have been able to wrestle their budgets under control and, with a healthy budget to work with, governments are in much better position to be generous to self-serving public-sector employees in future.

    Or is the example of Wisconsin’s evil twin California not compelling enough evidence for you? I need not flesh out that thought because none of you are as far gone as you pretend.

    And hell yes, if curtailing onerous collective bargaining rights (read: arm-twisting by hard-Left, fifth-column unionist apparatchiks masquerading as representatives of “the people”) helps starve the Democrat party of the incestuously garnered, forcibly extracted fealty beaten out of the coin purses of helpless state employees, then I’m all for that too.

    Let me show you an example of the thuggish character of the socialist Left upon facing a setback:–abc-news-politics.html

    Walker told all y’all his agenda and what he would do if elected against Barrett in the first go round. He did exactly what he said, against the most toxic and bilious environment the thuggish unprincipled Left could gin-up, and still you people childishly pouted your way into a replay of the election. You lost, and rightfully so. I read that some 38% of those who “pulled the lever” for Walker were either active union, union family, or union retiree. What does THAT tell you?

    Oh, that’s right: they were blinded by Koch brother money like everyone else.

    Boo. Hoo.

  13. baal says

    As I tin-foiled in another thread this week, my Cassandra glasses suggest a collapse is intentional. The 0.1% think they are immune to that collapse or are in position to reap windfalls in the ‘re-org.’ The Xtian-looney leaders see it as a chance to set up the theocratic America were always were and are meant to be. Wisconsin’s exercise yesterday points out (as noted by Andrew in OP) just how badly broken the current system is.

    As to alexmartin – if you could fire 1600 people and pay their wages to yourself as a bonus for a job well done would you? (and let’s say you get a base pay of $20 mil /year with +20-60Mil in other compensation already).

    The unions aren’t breaking the economy – indeed, Henry Ford knew that having a middle class was the way to have an economy (he ‘over paid’ his workers intentionally despite otherwise being a brutal capalist). The problem is wealth disparity. 1 ultra-rich simple doesn’t create enough jobs to off set the loss of 1600 other people. If you think i’m making this up, go see JT’s version post.

  14. baal says

    assault against American democratic principles is beginning to bare it’s rancid fruit.

    Like voting! Let’s disenfranchise voters to support American democratic principles!

    Also, please go look up the word “florid.” I’ll use it in a sentence for you. Your excessively florid language suggests but doesn’t prove that you have a mental illness.

  15. davidnangle says

    alexmartin, when you see all the country’s capital pooling at the top, to the extent that the economy crashes, it’s not a success of capitalism. It’s the failure and death of capitalism, and the return to feudalism.

    Oh, and for every link to a slap from a lefty, I can probably find fifty links to a righty threatening death, or actually delivering it. Who is thuggish, again?

  16. alexmartin says

    Hey, Baal-


    What is that you garble?
    Some 400 years after the Mayflower Compact and you burble on about a theocratic America?

    “Florid”? I’m florid, indicating mental defect?
    Here’s a word for you: “incoherent”. Look it up. Write a coherent report about it. Get back at me.

    I am not in a position to fire 1600 workers so that I can make $20 million off of their misery. Who is, pray tell?

    Hey Davidnangle, as your fellow Lefty has pointed out, by way of example, the private citizen Henry Ford started an automobile company (with money from an evil private bank!) over 100 years ago. He made a lot of money. His employees were paid a then-handsome wage. PRIVATE-sector unions were formed, and they twain continue their symbiotic/parasitic alliance to this day. Obama takes credit for Ford’s success on his official website. Ford’s executives are paid a lot of dough. And whut?

    Now in this thread we’re reading from the Communist Manifesto II and trashing the free market capitalist system and your own economic freedom, AGAIN, in favor of government central planning and ultimate control over the means of production and distribution. Surprise, surprise.

    Now what?

    So, Davidnangle, you show me some “righty” threatening violence, and I will show you Nancy’s and Barrack’s Occupy movement breaking shit, attacking cops, and on trial for attempted terrorist acts.

    Check. Your move.

  17. alexmartin says

    –Oh, and hey! According to the OP, the writer queefed something about a, quote, “market based national healthcare system”.

    What does it mean when you can hold two separate self-contradictory thoughts to both be true, simultaneously, in your head?

    Do you folk EVER police your own cogitations, or are you all permanently damaged by the noisome cacophony from your panic-room echo chamber?

  18. lorn says

    People forget that before there were unions it had never been done and the existing power structure stood against them. Yet, against long odds, fighting and dying every step of the way, they came together and elbowed their way to the negotiating table so they could demand a fair deal.

    A pro-business and conservative victory brings the seeds of its own defeat. Tomorrow is another day and another battle. Take heart knowing that during the American revolution we lost almost all the battles but won the war.

    Labor will come back and this time we won’t need to discover the means and methods, we know how it is done.

  19. alexmartin says

    Cue the violins. Hand out the tissues. Lorn, that was touching. Moving. Profound. I feel such a stirring, patriotic zeal for your eloquent Patick Henry-esque oratian, I feel I must respond…

    Even the wacked-out, moonbat, ultra-Left-wing super-Lib Workers Paradise of California has had to begin slapping back the public-sector unions.

    Where’s that Koch brother money now?

    Who the hell do you people think you’re fooling?

  20. says

    alexmartin: Tell me, do you have a college education? I’m thinking you may have had a year or two; parts of your vocabulary indicate that you’re been exposed to complex ideas and research, and the rest of it indicates you have not, so I’m guessing a year at most, or you’ve managed to fall through the cracks in serious ways.

    If you have had a year or so of college, you know that there’s a huge body of knowledge which you ought to consult before making claims: for instance, financial history. You should also know that making wild claims without access to information is both not persuasive and makes you look rather foolish.

    If not, you should familiarize yourself with google scholar. It carries some of the PDFs for scholarly articles on the subject. Since you presumably have internet access, the least you could do is use it.

  21. alexmartin says

    Thank you, Mouthyb, I shall take the above under advisement.

    As this has become personal and I annoy you, I’ll answer your query (another ill-advised, $2.00 word). No, actually, I have no college whatsoever, and undoubtedly, it shows. I dropped out of high school in the first three months of 10th grade and joined the Army; all–or what little– I do know is self taught, an intellectual dilletante I be, as it were (another of dem big, unnecessary words…).

    For what it’s worth, I was inducted into MENSA at the age of 15, but that’s likely irrelevant.

    So in the aggregate, most of my opines are, you guessed it, original and self-garnered.

    In other words, just common sense.

    This ain’t no contest. These are serious matters of great import, true, but I can kick most of y’alls asses in a battle of the wits with nothing more than a GED background. Child’s play when you are RIGHT.

    But thanks for asking, just the same.

  22. says

    It’s not that yuor opinions are self taught or learned elsewhere that matters. It’s they seem based on wishful thinking and beliefs we happen to know to a near metaphysical certainty are false. Thirty years of tax cuts have not lowered the deficit, however we did balance the budget and hit ultra low unemployment two years after raising taxes on top earners, that’s a fact of recent history, ergo any belief that lowering taxes on the rich will help the deficit and raisng them will hurt employment is an irrational one. Similar data exist for deregulation, the proliferation of credit default swaps and removing moral hazard led to the greatest economic cluster fuck since 1929, a date which also rings in collective memory as a failure of deregulation. These aren’t points offerd here for debate, they are simply facts. Undisputed by all but the most delisional and misinformed victims of right wing propaganda.

    But you and your ilk avoid facts, you prefer an alternate history where conservative policies did not crash and burn, and you and your peers insist we simply must try those ideas again in the forlorn hope that doing the same thing over and over will, somehow, almost magically, produce wildly different results. IOW, Alex, using one common simplistic definition, modern day conservative economic ideology is insane.

  23. says

    alexmartin: I’m glad you read a lot. If you wish to educate yourself, you’d be better served on google scholar than on right wing blogs.

    Verify your theses. Check them against the best knowledge available, or run the risk, when talking to people who have access to that knowledge, of sounding stupid.

    And Mensa membership means that you have the capacity to be well informed. It’s a pity you haven’t followed through with it.

  24. alexmartin says

    Now I am very, very sad for me and my demonstrably wasted potential. Your backhanded “compliment” has made me both elated and morose. I thank you again. Later today, I’ll curl up in bed and suck my thumb and reminisce on those carefree days in the crib.

    So, any, it’s like this. I am a committed conservative independent who owes allegiance to none but sane political policy and its actualization. The wreck and ruin of the once-proud Democrat party and it’s coerced allegiance to anti-American socialist insurrectionists constitutes a danger to this greatest Republic, for which I stand in opposition. I stand in the gap.

    Dat’s how it be.

  25. alexmartin says

    There you go again with “taxes on the rich”.

    Instead, why don’t we just ‘eat the rich’ or maybe, just ‘kill the rich’?

    Maybe we should do the dream of Obama’s father and confiscate 100% of their ill-gotten wealth, instead?

    Great Marxist ideal, there.
    Thank you Robert Mugabe.

  26. says

    alexmartin: Again, you seem like you have the capacity to understand. I’m sorry you won’t exercise it. Truly sorry, in the way that only someone who teaches college can be. It’s a tragic waste of potential.

    I do want to point something out though– how can you be standing in the gap as an independent thinker when you speak in soundbites? Doesn’t that bother you? Don’t you notice, as someone who prides themselves on independent thought, that the things you’re saying are the same things you see in political commercials?

    That’s one of the reasons I changed my political allegiance so many years ago. I realized that the only way I could describe my beliefs was in the soundbites from commercials and vague fears about whatever was in the commercials, calling it “common sense” when I didn’t even know where it came from.

    This pissed me off so badly that I started doing research (because I valued independent thought and wanted to understand what was out there.)

    I guess I’m just surprised it doesn’t bother you.

  27. alexmartin says

    Omma give it to you again straight, no chaser, so that you can finally leap that existential hurdle you face:

    If you wish for purposeful, fruitful clarity of thought and action beyond that elicited by shallow soundbite and cynical talking point, truly READ the doggone article.

    Compare content versus theory or philosophy. Heed the issues and facts such as they are, are take it from there.

    Be mindful of the thrust of this thread.

    California, run by Progressive leftists, is in an ever-tightening economic death spiral. Californians are crying out for conservative reforms, and the evident benefits those reforms derive.

    People here on this website want not only to stymie those critically necessary reforms, but to turn the clock back to all manner of Progressive economic delusion and the certain fiscal implosion that such a regression would bring about.

    What in the seven hells are YOU talking about?

  28. alexmartin says

    Just as I thought, Mouthyb. With my “tragic waste of potential”. But hey, thanks for trying. Take a cookie and a fruit basket on your way out, ok?

    I’ll hold it down here for you.

  29. meanmike says


    Interesting opinion piece. A salesman sells his product. A bit of Scott Walker flag waving as well. Thanks for sharing.

  30. says

    Alex I understand you are being gang tackled here and it’s not easy to address everyone. Might I suggest you pick one or two posters and engage them? One more idea: I believe you’ll find people are far more receptive to your own points if you make an effort to hear theirs out, too.

    For example I know a guy who is a young earth creationist. He’s well educated and very polite. Debating science with him can be a little frustrating sometimes, but other times it’s enjoyable. One of the things that makes it enjoyable is he recognizes big, big scientific problems with young earth creationism, he addresses them head on, he points out there are big, big problems with other branches of science like quantum physics or fluid mechanics, and he admits he accepts it mostly on faith, as a sort of miracle. That’s an honest view imo, I don’t agree with it, but he’s being legit about his motives and that commands my respect far more than Kent Hovind or Ken Ham ever could. With respect comes a willingness to listen to his opinion.

    Juvenile insults otoh will not open minds, quite the contrary, they confirm our worst steroetypes about the right and, even worse, shut down any chance you have of being heard. A closed mind cannot be persuaded, and I’m sad to say, you are closing quite a few here.

  31. says

    Oh good, you started to provide evidence. These things go much better with evidence.

    So let’s start with the fact that CA has experienced multiple funding crises over the last (at least) 10 years. I don’t think anyone is going to argue that CA has funding problems. Let’s talk about CA’s funding problems. (CA funding problems are, for my purposes, unique. Increasing tax rates requires a 2/3 majority, for all purposes nearly impossible to reach in this climate.)

    This paper discusses why the pension funds are underfunded: systematic underfunding to answer budget crises and stock market speculation, both legacy of voter sanction. Those are both, FYI, conservative positions on managing pension funds.

    The article also talks about tax increases, calling them a disaster, which is where I break out some economics articles on austerity policies (no new taxes, higher economic cuts) and why they fail miserably.

    This paper discusses the common misattributions in cause which form the underpining of the argument for austerity problems, and the arguments made about austerity polices. As does this paper, this paper, this paper discusses the impact of those policies on children and the poor, and this paper discusses why the commonly held positions on the effect of debt are dead wrong.

    The author of the article you’ve used says, about raising taxes, that Brown’s explanation for who gets taxed and why “illustrates well the calamity that is California economics today.” He does not explain why, I’d imagine because he can’t prove austerity policies benefit anyone but the wealthy.

    As far as Wisconsin goes, I leave you with the following papers:

    This paper discusses why the model projecting that lowering the real tax paid by businesses in order to facilitate growth was incorrect and overstated the negative effect of raising taxes (one of Walker’s mainstays).

    This paper discusses why union membership is actually an indicator of less government intrusion into worker’s lives (you seem to be concerned with independence.)

    This paper discusses the correlation between the decline in union membership and an increase in wage inequity.

  32. says

    alexmartin: I actually researched the article and have sent through a comment which contains 12 links to papers, which may mean it gets hung up a bit in the spam folder.

    I will have to bow out for the night; I host a regular Wednesday night tabletop gaming crowd, and I’m currently making dinner. We tend to let out around midnight.

    I’ll be back tomorrow, however, so see what you did with the papers I sent you.

  33. lorn says

    As long as there are poor the rich will not sleep soundly. I do not propose to compromise with the rich. I wish to eat them.

    But, assuming they are both nice and polite about it, and don’t whine too much, I might be persuaded to settle for less than my initial offer.

    What, you were assuming that class warfare would stay a metaphor? Not having national healthcare is a matter of life and death. People, people I both know and care about, are suffering. People well past retirement are picking through the leftovers at Goodwill for clothes and shopping for dented cans at the dollar store. All because some highly intelligent bastards (I would call them cocksuckers if it didn’t imply an interest someone’s pleasure but their own.) sabotaged the economy and sank their 401K. They worked hard for all their lives to build a modest retirement and now it is gone.

    I say we treat the rich with the same tender loving care they treat the poor. Eat them.

  34. says


    I am totally bookmarking those links and using them for my own arguments!

    Thanks for those, even if alexmartin never reads them.

    Are we taking bets on if xe even reads those papers?

  35. kantalope says

    Wait…the teachers and firefighters and police in Wisconsin were getting paid too much? Because of the Unions? Nothing assures quality education like paying teachers less…I guess.

    Here is the joke: Charles Koch, some labor dude and alexmartin are invited to a roundtable discussion. A plate of cookies is provided for refreshment. Charles takes all the cookies but two. The labor dude and alexmartin both take their one. Then Charles Koch whispers to alexmartin, “that guy wants part of your cookie.”

  36. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    So, Davidnangle, you show me some “righty” threatening violence, and I will show you (snip idiocy) Occupy movement breaking shit, attacking cops, and on trial for attempted terrorist acts. suffering countless acts of police brutaliy by police armed better than overseas military.

    FTFY, lying turd.

  37. StevoR says

    @36. lorn :

    As long as there are poor the rich will not sleep soundly. I do not propose to compromise with the rich. I wish to eat them.

    I think I have a song for you lorn :

    I kind hate to point this out to you but, sadly, the rich are going to have the most and best weaponry around plus guards and many other defences. More likely in a future soylent green type world they’ll be eating you.

  38. alexmartin says

    To the good professor, as I work irregular hours, I’ve had little time to commit to your entire,ahem, reading assignment. However, trust and believe, I will. Just on GP. As it stands, the sum of the statements made about the state of CA amount to “death spiral” and “slapping back” public-sector unions. My main issue is and has been Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s victory and defense of his economic reforms.

    You make valid points with California’s fiscal crisis regarding labor unions, undoubtedly accurate and on-point with respect to causation, but that doesn’t seem resonate with what I contend.

    However, yes, I will thoroughly evaluate your references and respond appropriately

  39. says

    alexmartin: Thank you for reading. I realize that was quite a bit of information and you have a life off the internet, so I appreciate you reading those papers. Some of them are a bit jargon heavy; I thought you might prefer the more prestigious journals instead of a plain-speak explanation which skips the math and science of it.

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