Have teacher unions nuked the fridge?

posted at 10:12 am on February 17, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

It started in New Jersey, where Chris Christie decided that the only way to real education reform was to challenge the powerful teachers union in the state, 200,000 members strong, and to do it loudly and boldly.   That effort has spread through several states, with the latest battleground erupting in Wisconsin, where teachers staged a wildcat strike with mainly unwitting students in their tow.  As Politico’s Jennifer Epstein reports, even Democrats have stopped defending tenure and other job protections demanded by teachers unions:

In Wisconsin, about 1,000 teachers called in sick Wednesday to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s attempt to strip their union bargaining rights.

In Washington, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie recounted his battle with his state’s teachers unions Wednesday, calling their leaders “greedy” and “selfish.”

And in Nevada, Indiana and Florida, Republican governors are targeting teacher contracts and work rules to fix a system they say is broken. “The status quo has put us at the bottom of the heap,” Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval told POLITICO.

The events point to a convergence that is remaking the politics of education. Teachers unions, historically one of the most powerful interest groups in American politics, are being besieged like never before – under attack from conservative GOP governors with a zeal for budget-cutting even while taking fire from some Democrats, including President Barack Obama, who has suggested he agrees that unions can be an impediment to better schools. … On both sides of the aisle, politicians are unhappy with how teachers are compensated, hired and fired, and are eager to introduce reforms.

Teachers unions dropped $40 million on the midterm election, which Democrats desperately needed — and which did them almost no good in the end anyway.  The public has grown angry over decades of accelerated spending and federal interference in education with little to show for all of the resources sunk into it.  The government protects education as a near-monopoly, where only the wealthy can have actual, real choice in how their children are educated.  Union control of education has led to mediocrity rather than excellence, and sclerosis where there should be innovation.

Their tactics have grown threadbare as well, Patrick McIlheran argues in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.  In fact, if teachers had hoped to generate sympathy for their plight in Wisconsin, they should instead prepare for some significant backlash to their wildcat strike:

The public-sector union tantrums, meant to make lawmakers wobble, have an inadvertent message for the rest of us: Voters can vote all they want. We can elect a cheapskate governor and a Legislature to match. But come the moment, unions will have the last, loudest word.

They’ll have it if takes marches. They’ll have it if it takes what amounts to an illegal strike, with so many Madison teachers calling in sick Wednesday that the district closed schools. If it takes showing up for a we-know-where-your-family-is protest on Walker’s Wauwatosa lawn while he was at work, the unions are sure they can outshout any election result.

This is exactly why Walker is right to limit the unions’ power over government spending.

Furthermore, taking the kids out of classes to march with them underscores another significant concern of the public regarding education.  Most of the students marching with their teachers had no idea of the finer points of Governor Scott Walker’s proposal to bring teacher pension contributions in line with the private sector, a position the union called “slavery” just a couple of months before conceding the point.  Nor do they understand the budget gap that Walker faces, or the nuances of economic policy, tax burdens, and growth policies.  All they know is what their teachers told them — and that speaks to political indoctrination conducted in public schools by activist teachers, and the inability of parents and communities to weed out inappropriate politicking in classrooms.

Thirty years ago, the public saw teachers as underpaid and overworked professionals trying to prepare the next generation for leadership.  These days, the teachers unions are doing their best to present an image of arrogant entitlement combined with an inability to withstand scrutiny and accountability.  When that $40 million failed to rescue Democrats from their midterm debacle, it may well have been a nuke-the-fridge moment that brought a dawning realization of the political albatross that teachers unions have become.

Update: Kevin Binversie says the targeted schools in Wisconsin were not chosen by coincidence:

Beaver Dam and Watertown are direct shots at the Fitzgerald brothers — Jeff and Scott — who “just happen” to be the State Assembly Speaker and State Senate Majority Leader.

Meanwhile, Dodgeville, Richland, Sauk Prairie, and Mineral Point are in the 17th State Senate District; think that’s a message to State Senator Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center).

Can’t get any clearer that Racine United is a message to State Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine)

And, seriously, could they not hide Glendale / River Hills as a way to go after State Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee?

Kevin calls his list “interesting.”  I’d call it … instructional.


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Will BHO have the DOJ sue the state of Wisconsin for “assault on unions”…?

d1carter on February 17, 2011 at 11:31 AM

I don’t think that these teachers are going to get much sympathy from the voters in Wisconsin.

SC.Charlie on February 17, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Interesting.

I always thought the current roster of D grade teachers complained about kids and parents not following the rules, inane ones and all.

SO they strike, while taking kids out of class with them…

Cause – Effect.

Now – ask these teahcers if $40M that their union spent would have been better spent a) within union ranks, b)in classrooms c)after school acitivities… you know the Big 3 excuses every failing techer comes up with to dodge the results question…

I am convinced if you compare 10 kids in a traditional public school, with 10 kids watching Discovery, History, other “programming” – the TV watcehrs will outperform the schooled kids every time.

Teachers today intimately know their employment contract better than the subjects they teach.

Odie1941 on February 17, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Florida next, baby. Scott threw down the gauntlet yesterday after he kilt the highspeed rail.

tree hugging sister on February 17, 2011 at 11:34 AM

I’m always told by my leftist friends that unions HAVE to exist or greedy corporations will fleece them for personal gain … but in the case of public-sector unions, the people handing over the house to the unions are not the owners… it’s politicians handing over (promising) tax money (i.e. other people’s money).

mankai on February 17, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Cindy Munford on February 17, 2011 at 10:50 AM

That’s my question, actually. I have to sign a waiver for my son to even sneeze at his school, it seems. I’d be raising some holy hell if my kid were used without my knowledge for a sickening stunt like this. I have to believe these parents gave permission…and given how liberal Madison is, I doubt there’s a shortage of the willing.

Bee on February 17, 2011 at 11:37 AM

An illegal strike? Fire ‘em. Fire ‘em all. Teaching jobs are hard to come by. Fire ‘em and replace ‘em with some folks who can show a little gratitude and professionalism. Man would I ever love to see that.

Rational Thought on February 17, 2011 at 10:19 AM

That’s what I just said to my mother-in-law(a retired teacher): I hope the governor pretends he’s Reagan and the ‘teachers’ are Aircraft Controllers.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 17, 2011 at 11:37 AM

It looks like the only sympathy they are getting is from dear leader and the BLM

cmsinaz on February 17, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Public sector unions – the entire concept is insane. They ALL must be destroyed, and legally banned from existing.

Rebar on February 17, 2011 at 11:38 AM

None of these protestors voted Republican, the R’s in the state gov need to do what’s right and pass this bill!

WisCon on February 17, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Since this strike cum protest is illegal, parents who are monetarily effected have the legal right to bring a class action suit against the unions. Lawyers are now making themslves available… this public union is going down.

Friendly21 on February 17, 2011 at 11:39 AM

I’m going against the grain here and will defend Los Angeles USD teachers. They are working in very tough situations. Busing and other such things have been bad because it us hard on kids and bringing poor kids to middle class or rich schools made them angry and resentful and the teachers have to deal with that with one hand tied behind their backs. The administrators have all the money not the teachers. The administrators build ridiculously expensive schools in areas mainly populated by immigrants to the detriment of the other areas. The number of special needs kids in classes now is huge and they have to know how to deal with that as well. My daughter is autistic and the services, compassion and interest shown in her by her teachers, aids and other staff at her schools has been great. I had my son at a private Christian school and though the curriculum was better, I have found a lot of Christ at LAUSD.

CCRWM on February 17, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Pennsylvania’s coming soon. SB1, which is now likely to pass, establishes a voucher program. Interestingly, one of the co-sponsors of SB1 is an inner city Democrat (Anthony Williams of Philly). Also, one of the long-time supporters of alternatives to the public schools is another inner city Dem (Rep. Dwight Evans of Philly). There will be Ds voting for this. Union heads are exploding in 1… 2… 3…

either orr on February 17, 2011 at 11:46 AM

I should add an “as well” after my last sentence so as not to imply that I didn’t see Christ at the Christian school because I absolutely did.

CCRWM on February 17, 2011 at 11:48 AM

CCRWM on February 17, 2011 at 11:45 AM

And yet, in all of that, there is not one reason to set up the cartel of a public teachers union.

Count to 10 on February 17, 2011 at 11:50 AM

I think vouchers are the way to go too… I thought it was absolutely evil of Obama to kill them in D.C. when there was so much evidence that the vouchers were really helping the kids get a better safer education.

CCRWM on February 17, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Even liberals I know think unions are too greedy. So let them strike–the bad PR is devastating.

I would guess that most teachers, like all public workers, are forced to join, so let’s not condemn them all.

PattyJ on February 17, 2011 at 11:52 AM

My daughter is autistic and the services, compassion and interest shown in her by her teachers, aids and other staff at her schools has been great. I had my son at a private Christian school and though the curriculum was better, I have found a lot of Christ at LAUSD.

CCRWM on February 17, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Sounds like your child is in a good situation. And I’m happy for that, seriously!

But I don’t think it follows that public sector unions are good and therefore we should keep the system that will inevitably bankrupt every state in this country.

WitchDoctor on February 17, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Governor Scott Walker’s proposal to bring teacher pension contributions in line with the private sector, a position the union called “slavery”

Slavery. Slavery? Oh man….man oh man.

Bishop on February 17, 2011 at 10:22 AM

My husband-a private-sector railroader-hasn’t gotten a raise in TWO TEARS. Yeah-because of his time with the Illinois Central and Chicago NorthWestern/Union Pacific he’s vest for a RR pension when he retires-but that’s for past -rather than current service.
That’s one of the reason’s why we’re really hoping this Texas move works outNot only will our salary go up 10% because of the zero state income tax etc-but since Texas is ‘right-to-work-I won’t be forced to joined a union as a condition of employment if I get hired by a union shop.
Win-Win!

annoyinglittletwerp on February 17, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Pennsylvania’s coming soon…

either orr on February 17, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Good, we have the Governor’s mansion, the Senate and the Assembly. Time to get going on it. Need to undo that ridiculous sprinkler requirement for stand alone homes and sell the liquor stores too.

forest on February 17, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Good point, CCRWM. I’d be willing to bet that administrators did the old “wink, wink” in this protest.
I’ll say this in defense of many public educators (and I should know — I’ve been married to one for 31 years): There are a lot more challenges today than there were when we went through schools because too many parents (a) don’t give a damn; (b) think their kids are incapable of doing ANYTHING wrong. There is a helluva lot more paperwork REQUIRED by an ever-growing bureaucracy than there was when she went into teaching. My wife — a 5th grade teacher — is often referred to, and often not flatteringly, as “the homework b****.” There’s peer pressure to be less demanding, but it hasn’t worked (fortunately, she has had principals with the guts to back her up).

either orr on February 17, 2011 at 11:58 AM

These days, …. are doing their best to present an image of arrogant entitlement combined with an inability to withstand scrutiny and accountability.

How is that any different than any government employee, supposedly our public ‘servants’?

Sir Napsalot on February 17, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Yo, Forest, where in Pa. are you? We’re on the edge of Amish country.

either orr on February 17, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Witch doctor I’m not defending the union, just the teachers who in LA aren’t that active in most schools. Our teachers have not participated in strikes and sick outs that I’m aware of. Thr ones who do are at the Latino dominated schools or at least that is my impression from watching the news. If the teachers could work at private schools and make what they make in the public (which they could if lost the many admins) escaping all be better off!

CCRWM on February 17, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Has anyone noticed how hard Democrats are pushing the shutting down of the government? No matter what Republicans say, the Left keeps insisting it is the plan. You know they are planting the seed so that when it doesn’t happen, they will claim it as a victory. I just saw Sen. Box of Rocks Boxer briefing the press on the imaginary shut down.

Cindy Munford on February 17, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Let them eat vouchers. Let the public decide which schools and teachers deserve to be rewarded with their dollars. Private schools consistently out perform public schools even though the teachers are paid less and have less resources to work with. Money doesn’t create good education, home schooling also out performs public schools. Get back to basics, reward achievement, enrich the gifted, and give specialized help to those who need it and stop trying to punish the achievers for being outstanding.

shmendrick on February 17, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Yeah – schoolteachers – who needs ‘em!? What good have they ever done for the world? And then they want to be able to eat food after they retire and have a roof over their head!? What gall!

We could pay for every teacher’s retirement ten times over with just the bonuses being passed out to those non-union bankers that savaged the economy and threw half your friends and neighbors out of their houses. But it’s the unions that are the problem, right? Was it the unions that destroyed the economy, or was it the investment bankers?

pm123 on February 17, 2011 at 12:08 PM

&%^&&*&*()*&##! THE UNIONS. Let them pay a couple of percent towards retirement like everybody else. Socialist bast*ards. My wife is a teacher in GA and she contributes to her pension and healthcare. WTF! %^%&*&^&*&$$! the unions.

ultracon on February 17, 2011 at 12:11 PM

And then they want to be able to eat food after they retire and have a roof over their head!? What gall! pm123 on February 17, 2011 at 12:08 PM

There are no Oscars given out here but nice job. This isn’t either or. Most of us wanted the banks, GM and Chrysler to file bankruptcy instead of being bailed out. As for who destroyed the economy, unions, bankers and Washington, all share the blame.

Cindy Munford on February 17, 2011 at 12:13 PM

either… all I have ever seen at the schools my daughter has attended are good committed and concientiuos teachers and staff. My husband and I care, are involved and support the teachers as much as possible. My daughter in 12 years has only had two aides and they’ve both been great. The kids include her in everything and no one has ever picked on her for being special. She’s pretty so she gets teased about boys (she is adamant she doesn’t like them) but that’s about it. Oh and she matter of factly stated that Jesus was not a prophet when it was stated as such during their chapter on Islam.

CCRWM on February 17, 2011 at 12:13 PM

pm123 on February 17, 2011 at 12:08 PM

The unions.

Count to 10 on February 17, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Take pictures of the teachers protesting, ID them and find out which ones took the day off by claiming to be sick, and fire their asses. Teachers’ unions thought that they had a bottomless well of public goodwill to draw on to get everything they asked for, and now they’ve hit bottom.

Socratease on February 17, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Bee on February 17, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Who knew that parents would have to start teaching their kids not to be allowed to be pawns in teacher’s games. Teachers complain about the behavior and general unruliness of students today, and not without reason. So how do you complain and then give them this example? Hypocrisy much?

Cindy Munford on February 17, 2011 at 12:16 PM

I can live with the teacher’s greed and political theater – largely because it is creating self inflicted wounds- but the sanctimonious “it’s for the children” stuff is an assault on one’s gag reflex.

Mason on February 17, 2011 at 12:17 PM

pm123 on February 17, 2011 at 12:08 PM

You obviuosly went to a poor-performing ‘publik skool’

Everyone else is having to make sacrifices, so why shouldn’t the union hacks. They are NOT more deserving/better than private-sector workers.

Oh-and how is taking kids out of school to protest help their education?
It isn’t.
These ‘teacher’s aren’t concerned with ‘the children’-they’re concerned with their own bottom line.
PERIOD!

annoyinglittletwerp on February 17, 2011 at 12:18 PM

But it’s the unions that are the problem, right? Was it the unions that destroyed the economy, or was it the investment bankers?

pm123 on February 17, 2011 at 12:08 PM

You don’t read much do you?

darwin on February 17, 2011 at 12:18 PM

pm123 on February 17, 2011 at 12:08 PM

The unions. When your first allegiance is to the union and not to your job, it proves what you really care about. If you work for the government at any level, you’re supposed to be serving the public.

TugboatPhil on February 17, 2011 at 12:19 PM

either orr on February 17, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Me too. I’m in Cumberland County, but I’m from Pittsburgh originally.

forest on February 17, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Gaia help the teacher who would drag my kids to one of these circuses, the janitors would need about fifty pounds of that red barf-sawdust to clean up the remains.

Bishop on February 17, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Teachers in Green Bay encouraged their students to walk out of class Wed, and protest today. It is a fact, heard it on a GB station today.

wi farmgirl on February 17, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Move to Texas or something. No “stupid chants” in Texas, or so I hear.

Grow Fins on February 17, 2011 at 10:39 AM

No.

Public sector unions out.

NOW.

If the military can’t unionize, neither can teachers or other public employees.

Good Lt on February 17, 2011 at 12:24 PM

This is the problem, -the greedy unions are buying politicians. Union contributions to candidates is greater than that of all businesses put together, yet Bammie gets all in huff over contributions from business only. He attacks the Chamber of Commerce when he should be attacking the corrupt union movement.

Special Interests Put Their Thumb on the Scale

It’s time to end the union movement, both private and public employee unions.

slickwillie2001 on February 17, 2011 at 12:25 PM

But it’s the unions that are the problem, right? Was it the unions that destroyed the economy, or was it the investment bankers?

pm123 on February 17, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Investment bankers are causing massive structural deficits due to politician-mandated spending on increasingly generous compensation packages for unionized government employees?

The stupid. It burrrrrnsssss us.

Good Lt on February 17, 2011 at 12:26 PM

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR WISCONSIN GOVERNOR AND STATE LEGISLATURE — SEND YOUR SUPPORT!!!

Your state’s future may depend on their good example.

Mutnodjmet on February 17, 2011 at 12:27 PM

It’s time to end the union movement, both private and public employee unions.

slickwillie2001 on February 17, 2011 at 12:25 PM

No – private unions, if they can get organized, are fine. If those unions want to drive a company into ruin, they all pay for it, so they have an interest in not doing it.

It’s the public unions that are killing us.

Good Lt on February 17, 2011 at 12:28 PM

either… all I have ever seen at the schools my daughter has attended are good committed and concientiuos teachers and staff. My husband and I care, are involved and support the teachers as much as possible. My daughter in 12 years has only had two aides and they’ve both been great. The kids include her in everything and no one has ever picked on her for being special. She’s pretty so she gets teased about boys (she is adamant she doesn’t like them) but that’s about it. Oh and she matter of factly stated that Jesus was not a prophet when it was stated as such during their chapter on Islam.

CCRWM on February 17, 2011 at 12:13 PM

As you know-I’m not the only one in my family who’s on the ‘Spectrum. I’m pretty certain that my ‘almost adult’ is as well. Luckily for him, he lives with his dad in central Illinois and attends a small school that-from Pre-K through 12th-has maybe 450 students…total. The smaller class size has served him very well. He’s in NHS and a leader in the high school-though this term he admits to thinking less about school and more about the GIRLFRIEND(bangs head)and he even has a few Tea Partiers as professors.
It’s a great school for him.
Had he gone to the local ‘mill’ that’s right down the street from where I now sit-between the autism and his race and his conservative views-things would not have turned out well for him.

I’m delighted that your daughter is blossoming at her school!

annoyinglittletwerp on February 17, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Yeah – schoolteachers – who needs ‘em!?

You didn’t ever get taught economics, did you?

Good Lt on February 17, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Yeah – schoolteachers – who needs ‘em!? What good have they ever done for the world? And then they want to be able to eat food after they retire and have a roof over their head!? What gall!

This is a pathetic straw man.

We could pay for every teacher’s retirement ten times over with just the bonuses being passed out to those non-union bankers that savaged the economy and threw half your friends and neighbors out of their houses. But it’s the unions that are the problem, right? Was it the unions that destroyed the economy, or was it the investment bankers?

pm123 on February 17, 2011 at 12:08 PM

It was the idiotic policies of the government and the entitlement mentality of the liberal Democrats that put the economy in its distended shape. Without investment, the economy comes to a standstill, dolt. The unions didn’t help, with their gimme gimme gimme attitude of entitlement and to hell with everybody else.

The housing bubble that broke the back of an already stressed economy was the direct result of entitlement-minded liberal Dems who pushed CRA, then Fannie and Freddie; then they blocked any attempts at reform with assurances that all was OK, when everyone without blinders on could see the writing on the wall.

If you want to believe the tripe you’re spewing, that’s your right. If you expect many thinking people to give it an ounce of credibility, you are in for disappointment.

hillbillyjim on February 17, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Pull a Reagan.

Fire the teachers by Governor Executive Order.

Then broadcast a message on TV how the teachers chose to put their greed aead from teaching students.

After all, make it instructional to the students.

The students need to be aware of the following:

(1) unless each student already is independently wealthy, they will be in significant debt before working at their first full-time job…

(2) much of their salaries will be taxed, meaning they will not see it, in significant part, because it will go to pay teacher union & government employee union benefits;

(3) whenever a teacher takes a student out of class to support their strike, they are disrespecting students and using them as useful idiots for their own gain… because if they were truly about the students, they would actually be teaching them something in class:

(4) whenever teachers talk about slavery, they really mean the student is their slave upon whom they depend to have a nice retirement… and;

(5) all of the schools which had walk-outs were made for political gain supporting the theory that the teachers’ unions do not care about the students… they just care about $$$$$.

If teachers support the nonsense that are propagated by the teachers’ unions – they are equally responsible. So, whenever a teacher next tells a student that they are walking out in protest, and going to take him/her along, they are disrespecting students. The student should then say, NO! Sit yourself back down in that chair and teach me something!

(This assumes, of course, that students truly want to learn something…)

Danny on February 17, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Even nursing unions are not this stupid.

If they go out on strike, they at least allow temps to go in and take care of the patients.

After all, it would look very bad if patients died because nurses were walking a picket line outside the hospital.

Danny on February 17, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Move to Texas or something. No “stupid chants” in Texas, or so I hear.

Grow Fins on February 17, 2011 at 10:39 AM

We do have teachers unions in Texas, but most teachers do not belong to them. Texas is NOT a big union state, although some union thugs in other states have really tried hard to make it one, but have really been pushed back by our citizens who do not want it.

It’s funny to go to school board meetings when a union teacher or employee that has been disciplined or fired gets up to give their sob story. Most of us just laugh at them because they are so full of baloney. They just don’t get much sympathy here.

Susanboo on February 17, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Thirty years ago, the public saw teachers as underpaid and overworked professionals trying to prepare the next generation for leadership.

Hmmm…I’ve never thought of teachers as overworked. They get 2.5 months off during the nicest part of the year and big vacations during Christmas and Easter. I recall when I was in high school…my German teacher was complaining about having to teach every day for six hours. I responded, “Six hours each day? That’s almost full-time!”

BTW, I teach math at a college so I’ve seen first hand how pathetic teachers can be. The one nice thing about it though is that the MEA always sends me a nice mailer telling me all the awesome liberal candidates I should vote for.

Goldenavatar on February 17, 2011 at 10:42 AM

They are not underpaid.
http://dpi.state.wi.us/lbstat/newasr.html

wi farmgirl on February 17, 2011 at 12:42 PM

As a dyed in the wool Badger, I can only hope that Scott Walker can continue to channel his inner Reagan.

My dearest fantasy?

WEAC = PATCO

VelvetElvis on February 17, 2011 at 12:44 PM

There’s no reason any government employees should be able to collude with one another for the purpose of ripping us off. Outlawing the teachers unions will be a great start.

forest on February 17, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Collusion” is a strong word. “Sedition” is even stronger…

dominigan on February 17, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Rush just played a clip of Harry Reid talking about a government shut down. The Democrats are setting up the scenario.

Cindy Munford on February 17, 2011 at 12:53 PM

There is no joy in another workforce having to pay more without compensation to offset that personal expense. I’m sure we’d all prefer that everyone would succeed. However, the private sector, including many private sector unions, have made concessions far more than the public unions are being subjected to in Wisconsin today.

This is a matter of the taxpayer’s voice finally being put into tangible action. There will not be special privileges given to those on the public payroll. There will be accountability. There will be consideration for those who pay the bills. But there will be no celebration for a person’s financial difficulties that are a certain result of the current change. However, there will be satisfaction in salaries and benefits coming closer to being in-line with what we, the taxpayers, in the private sector deal with every day, whether in a union or not.

Steel on February 17, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Rush just played a clip of Harry Reid talking about a government shut down. The Democrats are setting up the scenario.

Cindy Munford on February 17, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Yeah, apparently the democrat position is unless the Republicans give into their spending demands they’ll shut the government down. OK … go ahead.

darwin on February 17, 2011 at 12:57 PM

http://www.examiner.com/conservative-in-spokane/is-wisconsin-the-beginning-of-a-progressive-revolution

jdawg on February 17, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Yeah, just remember how outnumbered they are. They’re loud and violent but their true numbers are very small.

darwin on February 17, 2011 at 12:59 PM

The Dem senators have walked out and are holding up the process.

Apparently it is so loud inside that they can’t even hold a live news interview.

WisCon on February 17, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Furthermore, taking the kids out of classes to march with them underscores another significant concern of the public regarding education.

To me, it underscores the crime of kidnapping, apparently not illegal in Wisconsin.

Vashta.Nerada on February 17, 2011 at 1:03 PM

****BREAKING****

No Democrat Senators are in the Senate. Law enforcement agents are out looking for these Senators.

They need a single Democrat on the floor before the Senate can vote.

Inside: “pandemonium”

“madhouse”

“undercurrent of anger”

“teetering on the level of getting out of hand”

WisCon on February 17, 2011 at 1:04 PM

This does not look good at all.

http://www.examiner.com/conservative-in-spokane/is-wisconsin-the-beginning-of-a-progressive-revolution

jdawg on February 17, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Two words: Bring it.

Vashta.Nerada on February 17, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Seems there’s room here for government action in the states: a simple law that says that the use of any child in a protest or support demonstration of any kind by a public school without the explict and written consent of the parent, for the particular demonstration accurately described, is a crime and a firing offense–with loss of pension.

njcommuter on February 17, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Okay – let’s take a poll. How many people who comment on this site belong to a union? Show of hands…

pm123 on February 17, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Teacher’s unions are EVIL. My junior high history teacher wouldn’t join the union. They had been striking so much that people were saying we would have to attend summer school just to keep up with the curriculum. My history teacher went to his classroom even on the strike days, even though no students were there.

THE UNION USED CONCRETE AROUND HIS CLASSROOM DOOR TO SEAL HIM IN THERE.

If there had been a fire he could have died. He taught me a lot about unions- I still admire the guy.

NTWR on February 17, 2011 at 1:11 PM

My only solace is that they are reacting this way because they see the writing on the wall. Wisconsin, like many states, IS BROKE. They don’t have the money. Governor Scott Walker appears to be sticking to his guns and that makes me immensely proud of Wisconsin.

closetgop on February 17, 2011 at 10:58 AM

I have also seen the hateful posts on FB. I have to hide comments on my wall because of family and friends that are protesting against Walker. I think he should have offered a deal that was a big haircut, and then when the union would refuse it because they would…. Pass this legislation. At least it would appear that he tried. And shown the state it is always about the money when the rubber hits the road. Maybe that is not possible with legislation like that once you go to the bargaining table you have to settle and that is that, no options for a vote.

I dare say the next time any school boards are asked to vote on salary & benefit increases they will remember how many teachers walked out on their classrooms to protest in Madison. Wouldn’t you want your pension/retirement to be fully funded, I can’t understand the reasoning behind some of this it doesn’t make any sense.

wi farmgirl on February 17, 2011 at 1:14 PM

We could pay for every teacher’s retirement ten times over with just the bonuses being passed out to those non-union bankers that savaged the economy and threw half your friends and neighbors out of their houses. But it’s the unions that are the problem, right? Was it the unions that destroyed the economy, or was it the investment bankers?

pm123 on February 17, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Sure. Get your guns and forcibly take private sector earnings and give them to the government worker unions. That’s a wonderful, ‘fair’ plan. Better come well-armed.
You must really miss Stalin.

BTW, it was the unions that have destroyed the economy, not the bankers. How about you educate yourself on the difference between a market bubble and long term economic policy before you waste bandwidth here?

Vashta.Nerada on February 17, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Yeah – schoolteachers – who needs ‘em!? What good have they ever done for the world? And then they want to be able to eat food after they retire and have a roof over their head!? What gall!

We could pay for every teacher’s retirement ten times over with just the bonuses being passed out to those non-union bankers that savaged the economy and threw half your friends and neighbors out of their houses. But it’s the unions that are the problem, right? Was it the unions that destroyed the economy, or was it the investment bankers?

pm123 on February 17, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Yeaaaahhhh…..and if we legalize weed we’d pay off the national debt.

The one we had in 1922, maybe.

Grow up.

98ZJUSMC on February 17, 2011 at 1:17 PM

It’s always the OTHER guy who’s too greedy, isn’t it? All this cost-cutting and belt-tightening needs to be applied to THEM, but not to ME, right? How much are you personally going to sacrifice to help the economy? Exactly.

pm123 on February 17, 2011 at 1:17 PM

BTW, it was the unions that have destroyed the economy, not the bankers.

Yes, if everyone would just live on minimum wage and forego benefits you and your fat cat banker employers can laugh all the way to the riviera.

Grow Fins on February 17, 2011 at 1:19 PM

How much are you personally going to sacrifice to help the economy? Exactly.

And what about you, hypocrite? What are you giving back? How about your social security and your family’s medicare/medicaid benefits for starters?

Grow Fins on February 17, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Okay – let’s take a poll. How many people who comment on this site belong to a union? Show of hands…

pm123 on February 17, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Never been in a union, I don’t have healthcare or any benefits. I don’t even get sick days. I haven’t had a benefit job in almost 15-17 years. And I have tried to get jobs with them. There are hundreds of applicants for those jobs, there are many in the same boat as me.

Outside Madison and Milwaukee we are a wasteland for economic and employment opportunities. Have been for years now. Jobs are lost now hundreds at a time. Industry is dying faster than a blink of an eye. I have worked in medical jobs, mostly for private Dr’s offices and small clinics. My only benefits were in hospitals and large clinics. Those jobs are scarce now too. The best jobs are state and county jobs. And we are paying for their benefits.

wi farmgirl on February 17, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Yes, if everyone would just live on minimum wage and forego benefits you and your fat cat banker employers can laugh all the way to the riviera.

Grow Fins on February 17, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Everyone should live on whatever they can earn, as long as they aren’t a government union, colluding with a political party to artificially inflate their wages, and pass the increased costs to a third party, the taxpayer. And, the unconstitutional minimum wage law should get the axe, too. Some people are worth more as employees than others, sorry to break it to you.

Vashta.Nerada on February 17, 2011 at 1:23 PM

“Grow Fins”: I’m not the one screeching about how greedy everyone else besides me is. I fully admit to being just as greedy as everyone else – no more, no less. I just don’t throw stones in glass houses like most “pundits” here.

pm123 on February 17, 2011 at 1:23 PM

darwin on February 17, 2011 at 12:57 PM

I don’t think that’s it. I think they are trying to make the public think that the Republicans are hellbent to shut it down if they don’t get their way and then claim victory when it doesn’t. The Republican leadership has said time after time that they will do continuing resolutions before shutting it down. So far today I have heard both Reid and Boxer talking about it. It’s like all the articles about how anyone who thinks that the Obamacare mandate is unconstitutional is stupid. It’s a cheap publicity campaign that the MSM is more than willing to help with.

Cindy Munford on February 17, 2011 at 1:23 PM

pm123 on February 17, 2011

Look everybody, we caught another one! Think we should toss it back? The bucket’s getting full.

CurtZHP on February 17, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Uh Oh. Rush just said there was a anti- Governor Scott Walker protest sign with crosshairs on his forehead.

Where is the civility?

portlandon on February 17, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Okay – let’s take a poll. How many people who comment on this site belong to a union? Show of hands…

pm123 on February 17, 2011 at 1:08 PM

While I don’t now because I’m kind of…unemployed my last job was as a bagger in a grocery. As a condition of employment I was required to join the UFCW. I’ve had the misfortune of being a member about 4 times.
My job before that was working as a cashier at a Party City…where I was getting paid more-a LOT more- than @the union shop and and enjoyed what I was doing.
When we moved from Chicago from Oswego I had to quit.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 17, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Where is the civility?

portlandon on February 17, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Civility is to be imposed only on conservative views, you must have missed the memo.

Vashta.Nerada on February 17, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Won’t someone think of the children?

angryed on February 17, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Now the Dems are hiding from the vote, not a one of them appeared for the vote..Pure trash from the party owned absolutely by the unions…

JIMV on February 17, 2011 at 1:28 PM

I have a stupid question. What will it take and when will we know if the governor and the good citizens of Wisconsin have won?

Cindy Munford on February 17, 2011 at 1:29 PM

I have a stupid question. What will it take and when will we know if the governor and the good citizens of Wisconsin have won?

Cindy Munford on February 17, 2011 at 1:29 PM

1. When the state troopers bring at least one democrat senator back into the capitol building.

2. When the governor begins firing the striking teachers.

Vashta.Nerada on February 17, 2011 at 1:30 PM

pm123 on February 17, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Sorry but the federal government took my job when they decided to let the taxpayer foot student loans. And I don’t belong and wouldn’t join a union.

Cindy Munford on February 17, 2011 at 1:31 PM

It’s always the OTHER guy who’s too greedy, isn’t it? All this cost-cutting and belt-tightening needs to be applied to THEM, but not to ME, right? How much are you personally going to sacrifice to help the economy? Exactly.

pm123 on February 17, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Lets see, over the past 3 years we’ve had a 10% reduction in workforce, a pay freeze, and some had a pay cut where I work. I’m getting paid the exact same salary I did in 2007; but I got more work picking up the workload of those who were let go.

The government got their 5% annual pay increases, 2 million more government jobs, and bonuses.

So the solution is that the private sector needs to cut back even more to support higher pay, bonuses, and pensions for the government workers? WE are the ones that are too greedy by not being willing to suffer even more?

Dude, you are funny as all hell… I hope you’re not seriously this clueless.

gekkobear on February 17, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Hey lefty trolls- how has Obama fought the evil bankers? By appointing the former heads of Goldman Sachs to the highest levels of our financial sector.

A series of articles published over the weekend, based on financial disclosure reports released by the Obama administration last Friday concerning top White House officials, documents the extent to which the administration, in both its personnel and policies, is a political instrument of Wall Street.

Alluding diplomatically to the flagrant conflict of interest revealed by these disclosures, the New York Times noted on Saturday: “Mr. Summers, the director of the National Economic Council, wields important influence over Mr. Obama’s policy decisions for the troubled financial industry, including firms from which he recently received payments.”

Summers was a leading advocate of banking deregulation. As treasury secretary in the second Clinton administration, he oversaw the lifting of basic financial regulations dating from the 1930s. The Times article notes that among his current responsibilities is deciding “whether—and how—to tighten regulation of hedge funds.”

Summers is not an exception. He is rather typical of the Wall Street insiders who comprise a cabinet and White House team that is filled with multi-millionaires, presided over by a president who parlayed his own political career into a multi-million-dollar fortune.

It’s CORPORATISM/Fascism. Read your world history to learn about Benito Obama.

Definition of CORPORATISM
: the organization of a society into industrial and professional corporations serving as organs of political representation and exercising control over persons and activities within their jurisdiction

NTWR on February 17, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Reagan showed the air traffic controllers that government workers do NOT have the right to strike. It seems the governor should follow a similar path and let the teachers know that they had better get healthy and return to work or they will be out of a job.

My daughter is a teacher in Colorado and I love her dearly, but enough is enough. Teachers all over this country have to understand that the cash cow (taxpayers) is drying up and they will have to learn to take less just like everyone else.

Know It All on February 17, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Grow Fins on February 17, 2011 at 1:20 PM

I will gladly wait a year or so past 65 to apply for Social Security and take a small percentage less.

Cindy Munford on February 17, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Having spent 30 plus years in the schools both public and private I think I can honestly say that taking the kids out of school to march with the teacher’s union is nothing short of despicable. The teachers who encouraged or promoted this should be fired. The kids choosing to march on their own is one thing, actually enlisting them is unforgivable. Makes one ashamed of the profession and what it’s becoming.

jeanie on February 17, 2011 at 1:33 PM

LOL, on Drudge… Police are out looking for missing Democrats who were required to show up for a vote.

Too funny. Dereliction of duty anyone?

Key West Reader on February 17, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Vashta.Nerada on February 17, 2011 at 1:30 PM

The Dems are hiding? Too funny. I guess you’re just joking about the troopers bringing them in.

Cindy Munford on February 17, 2011 at 1:34 PM

I guess you’re just joking about the troopers bringing them in.

Cindy Munford on February 17, 2011 at 1:34 PM

No joke.

Vashta.Nerada on February 17, 2011 at 1:35 PM

I hope Walker pulls a Reagan and fires all the ones who participated in the wildcat strike…

PatriotRider on February 17, 2011 at 1:35 PM

There is no reason nor rationale for public sector unions: when you work for the public sector you have a guaranteed intput into your employer. You are a citizen and you get a vote.

De-certification of these institutions is necessary.

A class action lawsuit brought by the parents who have to change their schedules for this illegal strike should be done against those participating in the strike.

Fire anyone who doesn’t show up for work without a doctors written note as to why that person was sick when taking a sick day… surely teachers are used to that concept.

ajacksonian on February 17, 2011 at 1:36 PM

The Democrats of the Wisconsin Senate have run.

F**king cowards are skipping work, and holding up the democracy they are named for by keeping the needed 20 out of 33 Senators from being present so that the bill can be voted on.

This is the lowest, most chickens**t kind of politics there is.

MadisonConservative on February 17, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says law enforcement officers were searching for Democrats after they were ordered to attend the Senate session.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110217/ap_on_re_us/us_wisconsin_budget_unions

Vashta.Nerada on February 17, 2011 at 1:37 PM

2. When the governor begins firing the striking teachers.

Vashta.Nerada on February 17, 2011 at 1:30 PM

I wish he would. Politically, he has nothing to lose by doing so. They’ve already compared him to a dictator and claimed he’s “silencing” them.

MadisonConservative on February 17, 2011 at 1:38 PM

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