Ground Zero in the Class War: Then They Came for the Trade Unionists

Koch Takes his Expensive Lap Poodle For a Walk

The American People are working harder, longer hours, and still can’t keep up with rising prices, utility bills, ballooning medical expenses, and the accelerating cost of paying for an education.

Still, the trust fund billionaire Koch Brothers yanked on their chain and their poodle Republican governors started barking in unison, well trained in obeying their masters and set out to do the business of further subjugating the people into compliant serfdom.

Teachers, nurses, cops, firefighters and other state workers did not cause the economic mess we are in – 30 years of failed Republican economic policies designed to make the rich richer and working people the working poor was the culprit.

USA Today reported
“A congressionally appointed panel reported …that the financial crisis that set off the Great Recession was avoidable, casting a wide net of blame over regulators and financial giants alike.

In other words, since America swallowed the Reaganomics voodoo she is now dying from, a 30-year policy of deregulation “stripped away key safeguards, which could have helped avoid catastrophe.” This caused gaping holes in the government’s regulation of the shadow banking system and over-the-counter derivatives markets into which banksters slipped and plied their greed-centered game to the detriment of the nation. As Matt Taibbi reported in his story for Rolling Stone titled, “Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?“, immense corruption and malfeasance before, during and after the finance meltdown has plunged American into economic Hell – NOT unionized teachers making $35,000 a year.

The economic crisis was caused by the super wealthy who pushed for deregulation of financial markets, and by lobbied for “free-trade” deals that took the jobs of manufacturing middle class members, and service jobs of white collar workers from American demanding a living wage and gave them to Chinese and Indian workers begging for slave wages.

Back when Obama was capitulating the Republican Tax Cut Terrorists, Reuters reported that the real GOP plan was to push states to declare bankruptcy so as an excuse to smash unions.

As revealed in the phone call from Buffalo Beast blogger pretending to be his master David Koch, Scott Walker never once reiterated that the attempt to destroy collective bargaining was part of the remedy for “budget repair.”

“State records also show that Koch Industries, their energy and consumer products conglomerate based in Wichita, Kan., was one of the biggest contributors to the election campaign of Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a Republican who has championed the proposed cuts.

Even before the new governor was sworn in last month, executives from the Koch-backed group had worked behind the scenes to try to encourage a union showdown, Mr. Phillips said in an interview on Monday.”

The New York Times reported in their column, Billionaire Brothers’ Money Plays Role in Wisconsin Dispute:

Among the thousands of demonstrators who jammed the Wisconsin State Capitol grounds this weekend was a well-financed advocate from Washington who was there to voice praise for cutting state spending by slashing union benefits and bargaining rights.
The visitor, Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, told a large group of counterprotesters who had gathered Saturday at one edge of what otherwise was a mostly union crowd that the cuts were not only necessary, but they also represented the start of a much-needed nationwide move to slash public-sector union benefits.

“We are going to bring fiscal sanity back to this great nation,” he said.

What Mr. Phillips did not mention was that his Virginia-based nonprofit group, whose budget surged to $40 million in 2010 from $7 million three years ago, was created and financed in part by the secretive billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch.

State records also show that Koch Industries, their energy and consumer products conglomerate based in Wichita, Kan., was one of the biggest contributors to the election campaign of Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a Republican who has championed the proposed cuts.

Even before the new governor was sworn in last month, executives from the Koch-backed group had worked behind the scenes to try to encourage a union showdown, Mr. Phillips said in an interview on Monday.
read the rest here.

The fact that the unions have already made all the concessions on health care benefits and pensions that the governor requested, it’s clear that Scott Walker’s plan is more about stripping working families of their rights than about balancing a budget.  What Walker is engaged in is nothing less than a crusade against working families — a purely political maneuver disguised as a budget crisis to not only turn working people into serfs but also eliminate funding for the Democratic Party and create permanent Republican rule in America.   For all the Hitler Mustaches they draw on OTHERS, Republicans sure take pages right from the books of some of histories worst authoritarian monsters.

Who could forget that line from pastor Martin Niemöller’s famous poem, “…Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist…”?

This latest assault is more proof that Republicans are the true heirs to all authoritarian tyrants in history including Hitler, Stalin and more recently, Mubarak in Egypt.  As Senator Sherrod Brown (D- Ohio) explained on the Senate floor:

“I look back in history, in some of the worst governments that we had, you know the first thing they did, go after unions, Hitler didn’t want unions, Stalin didn’t want unions, Mubarak didn’t want unions, these autocrats don’t want independent unions.”

The bottom line is that Scott Walker (and the rest of the Republican authoritarian Governors attacking working people) is David Koch’s lap poodle doing the dirty work of his billionaire benefactors.  It’s well known that inside all right wingers beats the heart of a coward longing for an authoritarian daddy to save them from the monsters they create.  In this case Walker CREATED a budget “crisis” as an excuse to implement a right wing agenda he never ONCE promised on the campaign trail.

What was also revealed in the prank phone call was Walker’s delusions of grandeur… seeing himself as Reagan’s second coming and true CON ideologue whose roots can be traced back to the time when Thomas Paine wrote “Rights of Man” as a rebuttal to Edmund Burke’s philosophies that the majority needed to be governed by a minority of wealthy aristocrats.

Conservatives HATE an Empowered Middle Class

Conservatives believe that an empowered middle class is… plain and simple… dangerous.  An empowered middle class says, “Hell no, we won’t go” to their stinking corporate oil wars.  An empowered middle class knows it has can demand safe working conditions and a living wage.  They won’t settle for the crumbs that fall off the tables of their “masters” because they are aware of their value to making the economic wheels turn.    An empowered middle class has a seat at the table.  This is chaos to Republicans, who can’t abide their mastery of the universe interfered with by the dumb plebeians whose desire to live, grow old, and enjoy some creature comforts gets in the way of unbridled corporate profit.   In truth, Republicans hate the poor and middle class… which is why they treat them so disrespectfully by bombarding them with lies and manipulating them to support policies that will, at best, serve to diminish the quality of their life, at worst, literally kill them.

This hatred is evidenced ALL over Scott Walker’s  “Budget For His Buddies” the so-called budget “repair” Bill allows for the state to sell off its utilities to private companies without competitive bidding.  The three companies in Wisconsinthat would be in a position to make such a purchase, including C. Reiss Coal, are subsidiaries of Koch Industries, the second biggest contributor to Gov. Walker’s campaign.

The Cap Times reported:  “Walker claims there is a $137 million deficit — it is not because of a drop in revenues or increases in the cost of state employee contracts, benefits or pensions. It is because Walker and his allies pushed through $140 million in new spending for special-interest groups in January. If the Legislature were simply to rescind Walker’s new spending schemes — or delay their implementation until they are offset by fresh revenues — the “crisis” would not exist.”

But wait!  There’s MORE!, as Thom Hartmann said:

“ThinkProgress has pointed out some lesser-known provisions that Scott Walker and his Republican colleagues are trying to slip through the state legislature that should worry many Wisconsinites.  Even if protesters successfully defend their rights to collectively bargain – they still have to deal with a GOP-led assault on the several health, environmental, and economic programs including a bill that will allow the state’s uber-conservative Health and Human Services Secretary to override state Medicaid laws to make deep cuts into the critical health care program.

There’s also legislation that will exempt local governments from having to disinfect their waters – and a similar bill that exempts large tracts of wetlands from environmental oversight.  It just so happens that many of those wetlands are owned by a rich Republican donor…talk about cronyism.  The GOP wants Wisconsin voters to have to show an ID when they vote from now on – a move that could disenfranchise many elderly, urban, and low-income voters.

And finally – there are two bills that drastically increase Governor Walker’s powers, including giving him authority to write rules for the state’s ethics watchdog agency – and allowing Walker to turn 37 state civil servants into political appointees thus politicizing critical social services.  What we’re seeing in Wisconsin is not the agenda of a Republican governor – it’s the agenda of a radical autocrat.  And if Walker is successful – Wisconsin is screwed.”

And let’s not forget that while Walker’s budget slashes Medicaid, it INCREASES funeral assistance for the destitute who die.   How “compassionately Conservative” of them!  So while Walker creates more destitute people, at least he and his rich pals won’t have to risk stressing their “beautiful minds” encountering destitute corpses littering the paths to their gated communities.

A letter to the Greenbay Press Gazette:

Letter: Gov. Scott Walker is ‘dictatorial, vindictive’

I support Gov. Scott Walker, his fiscal policies and budget repair bill because:

1. I prefer that my tax dollars go to out-of-state companies than to my friends and neighbors who are garbage collectors, public health nurses and courthouse employees. I am confident that the full-time equivalent jobs created by those companies will provide livable incomes and good benefits to Wisconsin workers.

2. I believe that Walker cares more about my children’s education than their teachers do.

3. I want private companies to charge me fees for street repair, county park maintenance and school lunch programs and take their profits out of my community.

4. I understand that college isn’t right for everyone. It’s no big deal that Walker dropped out after four years just 36 credits short of a degree. After all, he didn’t want to be a librarian or a social worker or a public defender.

5. I look forward to Walker separating the University of Wisconsin-Madison from the rest of the state university system, appointing his friends to run it and charging more for students to go there. And I do hope that UW-Madison becomes a second-rate university.

6. I trust that retirees are sleeping better knowing that Walker suggests that the well-managed Wisconsin Retirement System be required to invest only in Wisconsin entities.

7. I like the fact that public employees will have no job security, no say in determining their working conditions, and no opportunity to discuss their complaints or concerns with their employers. And it’s great that workers who can’t tolerate the situation will create more competition for jobs in the private work force. I do kind of wonder who will want to enter public-service professions. But does it matter? Anyone can do those jobs.

8. I love the way that environmental laws can be quickly circumvented when a wealthy businessman wants to develop fragile, protected wetlands.

9. I applaud Walker when he says he will call on the National Guard to put down protests. Calling on armed guardsmen is a totally appropriate response to civil disobedience. It’s how to show people who’s boss.

10. I know that ramming bills through the state Legislature without public input or legislative debate is just efficient government. Really — asking citizens’ opinions or having legitimate discussion of bills affecting everyone in Wisconsin is simply a waste of time.

If you agree with these statements, Walker is your man, and you deserve everything he will do to you and our state.

If you disagree with these statements, please call or e-mail your Republican legislators and ask them not to blindly rubberstamp the governor’s proposals. Let Walker know, too, that you don’t approve of his dictatorial and vindictive approach to governing our state.

Ann Harrison

Sturgeon Bay

The bottom line is that Republicans are like vampires… you have to invite them in your house but they won’t leave until they have sucked the life out of you.

Let this be a lesson to all the working people who voted for David Koch’s lap poodle in the hopes he would meet them for a beer.  Republicans DON’T CARE about working people -NEVER HAVE & NEVER WILL.  Know them by their fruits.  While working people suffer, Walker’s rich pals continue to party & have the nerve to talk about “shared sacrifice” when they have never even sacrificed LUNCH!   Working people SACRIFICE EVERY DAY so the rich can continue to live high off our labor.   We suffer with their greed and are further insulted while they abuse us further to keep their party going while leaving us to fight over the scraps.

Republican policies collapsed the economy 2x in a century, & rather than slither back to their lairs, they use their very destruction as an excuse to further turn the working people into compliant serfs!  ENOUGH!  This is why they are desperately trying to divide working people against each other, & some people buy it.  SOME – not all.

They have the money but WE HAVE THE NUMBERS.   We must stick together & get America working again for WORKING PEOPLE!

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