Thursday, February 17, 2011

it's a small world (after all)

so NBC News (hey Brian Williams) starts in Bahrain (which is close to Egypt where they've been for most of the month but even closer to Saudi Arabia on whom Bahrain is extremely dependent) before reaching Wisconsin (I link to the Times because the NBC web coverage is not great (or good)) where the recently elected Republican governor ("I'm shocked, shocked that union-busting is going on in here!") is on the verge of passing a law that would slash benefits of public employees as well as remove their right to collectively bargain.
"It's not about the unions," the Governor has said. "It's about balancing the budget."
which certainly explains why the bill would also require annual de-certification elections in an ongoing, yearly attempt to kill the unions once and for all.

I am SO DAMN TIRED of this shit.

we have a budget crisis (everybody has a budget crisis; remember when a few Wall Street firms gambling on mortgage-backed securities caused an economic meltdown?).
so why is the answer extending historically low tax cuts for the richest 1% of Americans so that we can attempt to solve our problems at the expense of teachers making less than $50,000 a year?
seriously, you would think at least one Republican politician received a decent education, that at least one Republican politician could appreciate the potentially life-changing value of an excellent (and more than likely under-compensated) teacher.

here's the small world part:
back in January I interviewed Harold Cook, at the time a 49 year old who once staffed the longest quorum break in history (anybody remember the Texas Eleven?).
and two weeks after that, the morning after the State of the Union actually, I interviewed Wisconsin State Senator Jon Erpenbach, a hardcore Springsteen fan, as he drove to meet the President. and now State Senator Erpenbach is one of 14 elected Wisconsin officials who have crossed the state line into Illinois to avoid the passage of Governor Walker's precedent-setting, union-busting bill.

I firmly believe that Harold's work with the Texas Eleven serves as a kind of blueprint for the Wisconsin Fourteen.
and I also believe that Governor Walker is most likely following President Reagan's union-busting lead in hopes that one day Milwaukee's airport will be rechristened Walker International.
but, of course, to make the analogy truly apt, they're going to have a name a few schools after the new governor. you know, several schools where teachers making less than $50,000 a year were sent home, laid off, lost their jobs to make up a budget deficit that they didn't create in a state where two-thirds of the corporations pay no tax at all.

more small world:
not only did I have a connection to the second NBC News story from the top, I also had a connection to the second NBC News story from the end: the arrest of an unrepentant (if his phone call to Paul Finebaum in late January offers any indication) 62 year-old man accused of poisoning the live oak trees at Toomer's Corner in Auburn.
and I link elsewhere this time because NBC did a horrible job on the original broadcast piece.

Brian Williams (hey Brian Williams) kept referring to the setting as "the American South" like the Snopes had gotten loose again.
and Ron Mott, the featured correspondent, felt compelled to offer really awful puns (like "history uprooted") while repeating the claim of the accused, Harvey Updyke (who named his children Crimson and Bear), that he acted in retaliation for Auburn students celebrating the death of Alabama coach Paul 'Bear' Bryant back in 1983.
now 27 years would definitely qualify for the whole revenge is a dish best served cold philosophy, but what Mott forgot to mention (therefore lending credence to the theories of a man batshit enough to name his daughter Crimson, his son Bear, poison historic live oak trees because they're cherished by the fans of his favorite football team's rival and call in to a radio talk show to brag about it) is that Auburn students didn't actually celebrate Coach Bryant's death because that would be a pretty sick thing to do.

and in less irate news, the Tusk book received its first professional review and it's a good one and I'm happy about it.

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