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March 12, 2011

On Wednesday, we reported that WI high school students were calling for students nationwide to stand in solidarity with them to protest Governor Scott Walker’s union-busting bill by participating in a nationwide high school walk out. The walkouts were scheduled on Friday, March 11, 2011, at 2:00 PM local time.

Here’s a sample of the media and blog coverage of the high school walkouts on the net:

Eua Claire, WI walkout coverage includes an article and local TV footage.

From Urbana, IL, college and high school students joined the walk out together.

In Mankato, MN, more than 200 students walked out to join the protest.

Students in Skokie, IL are organizing continued protests and walkouts next week.

States as far away as Massachusetts saw students join the walkouts. From the east coast to the west coast, students across the nation made their voices heard. Here, Portland OR students rallied.

We could go on and on with lists. Google News links to similar articles across the country.

As an American, it makes me proud to see young people getting informed, and making their voices heard. Thankfully, this does not bode well for the nationwide movement to legally disenfranchise likely Democratic voters. College students, the poor, and other likely Democratic voters’ right to vote are under openly direct attack in 32 states.

For details and to learn more, watch this shocking video.

Money Quote:

Right now in 2011, Republicans in 32 states are considering adding more onerous ID requirements to make it harder to register and harder to vote. Which should bring down the number of Democratic voters nicely in time for the 2012 presidential election. And, which should limit any electoral damage these guys might be expecting from pushing for even wildly unpopular redistribution of resources and rights, away from American’s middle class. TADA!

March 9, 2011 9:50 PM EST

High school students in Madison, WI are calling for and organizing a national high school student walkout on Friday, March 11th, at 2:00 PM, local time, Michael Moore reported Wednesday, at approximately 9:40 EST PM, on The Rachel Maddow Show.

This is class war that has been leveled against working people of this country,” said Michael Moore. (Michael Moore’s Twitter feed here.)

Video of Michael Moore’s original mention of the 2:00 PM walkout protest at the 2:55 mark. He goes on to mention why the walkout matters.

Twitter was already abuzz with tweets like this one from Untangled_Vines:

Untangled Vines: “Nationwide High school student walkout. This Friday at 2:00! We need to protest. Just walk right out of class!

From the main Facebook Nationwide Student Walkout event page:

We are asking all students in the United States to walk out at 2:00 PM local time in solidarity with Wisconsin and to organize teach-ins on the attacks on public education and working families where you live.

Another Facebook Public Event has been created for National High School Walkout 2PM Local Time For Friday Mar 11.

A Facebook Fan Page for the walkout has also been created.

How Can I Help?

I urge you to walk out, call your local media, blog about it, let people know on FB and Twitter what you are doing, and spread the word!

Join the movement. 40 hour work weeks, weekends, and a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay are all standard because of unions.

Tell the billionaire puppet masters and their Republican puppets that they have gone too far, and that cops, teachers, nurses, firefighters, and working people matter!

Thanks to commenter David for pointing out that Friday is indeed March 11, not March 9.

Want to show your patriotic spirit? Buy an American Flag here.

Follow up:

Here is our round-up of the news coverage of the actual March 11, 2011 high school national walkouts.
Latest Update: March 10, 2011 7:14 PM EST

As dusk in America approaches, get ready for a very long two years

“No” to jobs for Americans.

“No” to health care for Americans.

“No” to successful governance.

“No” to constructively solving the country’s problems.

“No” to ending welfare for the wealthy.

Donna Brazile does have a way with words.

I originally posted this on my Myspace blog on Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008.

I have been debating a liberal friend of mine about Obama v. Clinton.

I am withholding his name, but thought maybe some of you political junkies might like to chime in.  It started a bit sarcastic, but then discourse prevailed.

It all started with his email:

Subject: WSJ – excellent analysis of Obama & Clinton health care plans
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120234937353949449.html

My sarcastic response:

Dude, you’re doing it wrong IMO.
Read Krugmans blog.  http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/
Hillary’s plan is superior in my judgment, and the WSJ is a right wing paper…

His thoughtful response:

Krugman is an excellent economist, but I don’t really like his political analyses.  I’ve seen him several times on Real Time w/ Bill Maher, and he usually gets beat down (he’s a bit too socialist for me).  Anyway, Krugman is making a huge mistake here….taking campaign promises at face value.  Do you honestly believe that Hillary’s plan won’t change once she realizes mandates are unenforceable?  It will have to change, and it will end up being some kind of privately run program….she’s a corporatist, just like Bill was.  Not saying that Obama’s half-baked plan won’t end up being the same thing, but to fall in love with Hillary over her health care program is, to me, buying snake oil.

Personally, I don’t really give a sh** about healthcare.  Costs will stop rising when we take care of the immigration issue in this country.  How many illegals are taken care of in our hospitals, only to skip on the bill & leave taxpayers holding it?   I’d like to see perhaps a buy-up style health care program.  Take care of the poor and uninsured, but make sure those who can afford better coverage can GET better coverage without costing more than our existing plans.  That said, I’m certainly not basing my vote on a single issue….particularly since I bitch about single issue voters all the time (see:  Evangelicals & abortion)

This election is about one thing for me.  Fresh air in Washington.  I don’t want to spend half my adult life living under Bush (4 yrs) Clinton (8 yrs) Bush (8 yrs) Clinton (? Yrs).  We need a president who can UNIFY this country after GWB has successfully divided it.  I think it is important that the world see us as being a peaceful, progressive state again, and Obama, as a symbol, would be very powerful.  Do you think the leaders of the middle east are more likely to listen to a woman or to Obama?  Hillary is about as divisive a candidate as you’ll find.  Look at poll numbers for Hillary vs McCain and Obama vs McCain….

Forcing me to rebut without sarcasm:

Okay, first of all, I enjoy the correct usage of analyses.  The only reason Krugman gets beat down on Maher, is that he won’t yell over Tucker Carlson like Carlson will to him.  This is what happened last time I saw him, and Krugman was making logical points, while Tucker was channeling Ann Coulter.

His point, in past blogs and columns, is that it will be a knock out drag down fight to get universal health care–or anything even close to it–even with the will of the people.  At the root of his arguments, is that we must start with the ‘universal’ goal before letting it get whittled away (as it probably will).  As in when negotiating, and you throw out the first number, if you are selling, make it high.

He feels (and I agree that ) Obama is starting out with a whittled away position.  Additionally, allowing people not to buy in initially, but then to buy in subsequently when they sicken, will raise premiums for everyone else.  This would also deteriorate ‘volume discounts’ that the population  could receive as a whole.

A privately run program equals subsidies to insurance companies, in my mind, so avoiding that becomes the apparent goal.

Bill was not a very liberal president, and I cannot argue against you saying that she is a ‘corporatist’.  But remember, I would have chosen Kucinich, Biden, Richardson, and Edwards before her.  At this point, in my mind, as a super liberal, she is the lesser of two evils.

I think you are off a bit on the illiegal immigration issues.  Americans pay 30% more (read:  bureaucratic costs from the current inefficient insurance structure) than other developed countries.

I think we need to unify against the big business and their shills, and I think Hillary is the best man for the job.

Also, regarding the middle east, I think they respond more to power and diplomacy than the sex or the race.  Remember, at that level, we are dealing with the often western educated plutocrats in the middle east, not the ghetto suicide bombers.

Your last point is well taken;  Obama is currently beating her in the general ‘versus McCain’ poll, but not significantlyl.  However, at this point, I am happy to support my candidate of choice based on policy.  As time goes forward, I very well may revise my choice.  The last thing I want, as you do, is a Republican in the White House.

Obama gives the best speech recent memory, and his charisma is undeniable.  I get tingly hearing him speak some times (not the ghey).  However, I believe that I have heard more hype and rhetoric from him, and less policies with which I agree, than from Hillary.

He was right on Iraq initially though.  Although I think Kucinich is the only one that I can think of that stood tall and voted against the funding of the Iraq genocide each time.

P.S. I am going to post this discourse on my myspace blog, with your name excluded.  I think it may spur some interesting discourse with other political junkies.  Feel free to identify yourself if you wish.

Peace out,

Josher
Here’s to hoping I start a massive political thread here, with minimal flaming and trolling!

I have not seen the preliminary exit polling numbers in the Massachussets special election for Senator, but Five Thirty Eight’s latest model shows Republican Scott Brown as a 3 to 1 favorite to win the Senate seat over Democrat Martha Coakley.

The FiveThirtyEight Senate Forecasting Model, which correctly predicted the outcome of all 35 Senate races in 2008, now regards Republican Scott Brown as a 74 percent favorite to win the Senate seat in Massachusetts on the basis of new polling from ARG, Research 2000 and InsiderAdvantage which show worsening numbers for Brown’s opponent, Martha Coakley.

If Scott Brown wins, it will leave the Democrats with only 59 seats in the Senate, and take away their filibuster proof supermajority.

But, no need for alarm!  As Washington Post megablogger Ezra Klein points out in his excellent post, the Senate’s version of the health care  bill has already passsed.  Democrats can simply pass this Senate bill version in the House, and Obama can sign it into law.

Scott Brown’s victory would change the math in the Senate but not the fundamentals of the bill. It’s true, of course, that the addition of a 41st Republican means that the GOP can thwart the will of the 59 Democrats in the majority and successfully filibuster legislation. But this particular bill has already passed the Senate. It can be signed into law without ever seeing Harry Reid’s desk again.

It may not be the perfect bill, or the bill that you want, but it’s a step in the right direction.

UPDATE – 01/19/2010 2:14 PM EST:

Paul Krugman agrees.

UPDATE – 01/19/2010 8:02 EST:

Dana Bash just reported on CNN that she spoke to several House Democrats, and they are all saying to a man that they will absolutely not pass the Senate version of the bill (that has already passed the Senate).  If Democrats do not pass health care, they will have no one to blame but themselves.