A bill before the Wisconsin state legislature would repeal a provision in state law which mandates that employees of private businesses must get one day off after every six worked. Proponents of the bill argue the measure will allow business owners and their employees to have greater flexibility in scheduling and permit an employee to volunteer to work a seventh-straight day.
But to the folks at MSNBC.com, the law could be a threat to the working man's down-time. "Could workers lose their right to a weekend?" an alarming headline on the network's main Web page asked. Clicking the link brings readers to Ned Resnikoff's January 17 story, "Wisconsin may eliminate ban on 7-day work weeks," which was slanted towards the perspective of liberal labor unions while dismissive of a business lobby backing the proposal (emphasis mine):
A search at the national web site of the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, on the name of Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker (not in quotes) returns only two recent relevant items. One relates to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, where Walker is described as saying, in AP's words, "that (last week) he didn't know enough about the situation to comment ... (and) has remained silent in the days since details emerged." The other relates to Walker's brief jury duty stint last week.
Giving items relating to Walker national attention makes sense, given that his name frequently comes up as a possible GOP 2016 presidential contender. But if the two items just mentioned merit national coverage, why doesn't the fact that an out-of-control Democratic Wisconsin prosecutor attempting to dig up "coordination" between interested outside parties and Walker's 2012 campaign to turn back a recall effort just had his hat handed to him in court? On Friday evening, a Wall Street Journal editorial had the news (bolds are mine throughout this post; the link to a previous WSJ editorial was added by me):
Michigan may very well become the 24th state to adopt right-to-work legislation on Tuesday, and liberal media outlets have given its opponents ample opportunity to state their case. While proponents have not been allowed to defend the law at all, MSNBC's Chris Jansing was more than happy to briefly play "devil's advocate" with her guest on Monday -- newly elected state representative Tim Greimel who called right-to-work "too divisive and too extreme for the state."
Following his lengthy diatribe on the subject, in which he also called right-to-work the "surest path to poverty that anybody could pursue here in Michigan," Jansing invited the Washington Post's Dana Milbank and Jackie Kucinich -- daughter of retiring liberal Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) -- of USA Today back on the program to reinforce the argument Greimel made. Hardly a balanced analysis of legislation designed to safeguard an individual's right not be coerced into a union or into financially supporting a union in which he/she is not a member [ video and transcript below ]
New York Times reporter Monica Davey was in Wisconsin on Thursday, playing up the Democratic candidate's Rep. Tammy Baldwin chances in her race for an open Senate seat against former Wisconsin governor, Republican Tommy Thompson. The headline was a puzzler: "A Republican Haven Is Finding Itself Split."
Though Gov. Scott Walker pushed through his public sector union reforms and survived a recall vote, Wisconsin hasn't been a "Republican Haven" for decades. The state has voted Democratic in the last six presidential elections, last voting for Republican Ronald Reagan in 1984 along with all but one other state. Between 1993 and 2011 Wisconsin was represented in the U.S. Senate by two Democrats, Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold (Feingold lost to Republican Ron Johnson in the November 2010 election, and Kohl is retiring, leaving the open seat Baldwin and Thompson are fighting over).
I really can't do much with this one beyond relaying the absurd particulars involved in PolitiFact's incredible conclusion that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker made a statement which was only "Half True" about unemployment in the various states in his speech last week at the Republican National Convention.
On August 17, the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics opened its monthly Regional and State Employment and Unemployment report as follows: "Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed or slightly higher in July. Forty-four states recorded unemployment rate increases, two states and the District of Columbia posted rate decreases, and four states had no change ..." The Associated Press's opening sentence in its coverage of the report's contents was: "Unemployment rates rose in 44 U.S. states in July, the most states to show a monthly increase in more than three years and a reflection of weak hiring nationwide." After the jump, readers will see the awful statement Walker made in Tampa:
In the aftermath of Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker defeating a union-backed recall election, New York Times reporter John Harwood still saw bright hopes for Obama both in Wisconsin and nationwide, basing his Saturday "political memo" on a study from a liberal group, in "Demographic Shifts in Key States Could Aid Obama in Fall." That's slanted enough. But why is Harwood also relying on the worthless exit poll from the Walker-Barrett vote last Tuesday to argue that Obama is ahead in Wisconsin?
I watched the Wisconsin returns on MSNBC Tuesday night, and it came right down to the wire between "the Democrats were outspent 7-to-1" and "Republicans are stripping union rights!" As we go to press it's still too close to call.
President Obama wanted to go to Wisconsin, but he just didn't have time. He's been doing so many campaign fundraisers lately he barely has time to play golf.
Remarking that Wisconsin voters had "decided to leave their governor in office" on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams contemptuously declared that "money flowed into that state from all over the country, from people who had never been to Wisconsin, had no connection to Wisconsin. Part of the new and unlimited spending that is changing politics in a hurry." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After Williams credited the out-of-state money for "a huge victory for the Republicans," chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd breathlessly proclaimed: "Walker and national Republicans responded aggressively [to the recall], launching an unprecedented fundraising and TV ad campaign, outspending Barrett and his labor allies by a 3 to 1 margin on the air alone. Overall, nearly as much money was spent in this one state for one election than Mitt Romney has spent to secure the Republican presidential nomination."
Wisconsin's reforming Republican Gov. Scott Walker easily turned back a recall attempt by labor activists angry at him for ending collective bargaining for public service unions. But the New York Times, pushing its own agenda, would prefer the story to be about the "stunning amount" of money in politics. The Times and other media have obsessed over the big spending by Walker supporters, which is rather galling considering that it was the left responsible for holding this election in the first place. Also absent: credit to Tea Party activists.
One of the most mystifying aspects of the coverage of the Wisconsin recall election has been the media's ongoing use of exit poll results in stories suggesting that -- despite Gov. Scott Walker's big win against the efforts of Democrats and Labor Unions to end his term early -- President Obama has a big lead over Mitt Romney in the crucial swing state.
The continued faith in the flawed Wisconsin survey is even more amazing when you consider the dreadful record exit polls have of matching up with the actual vote totals. In nearly every case of error, exit polls have oversampled Democrats, a fact almost never pointed out by the nation's news organizations.
They really outdid themselves. In Wisconsin and across the nation, public school employee unions spared no kiddie human shields in their battle against GOP Gov. Scott Walker's budget and pension reforms. Students were the first and last casualties of the ruthless Big Labor war against fiscal discipline.
To kick off the yearlong protest festivities, the Wisconsin Education Association Council led a massive "sickout" of educators and other government school personnel. The coordinated truancy action — tantamount to an illegal strike — cost taxpayers an estimated $6 million. Left-wing doctors assisted the campaign by supplying fake medical excuse notes to teachers who ditched their public school classrooms to protest Walker's modest package of belt-tightening measures.
Searching for an excuse to explain what went wrong for Democrats in Wisconsin, the broadcast networks blamed "a record-shattering $64 million poured into" the recall election by "conservative out-of-state groups" supporting Republican Governor Scott Walker.
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, correspondent Bill Plante promoted Obama campaign talking points on the major Democratic loss: "...what it called the 'massive spending gap'. Governor Walker's supporters raised $31 million to $4 million for the challenger, Tom Barrett....with most of that money coming from out of state – a huge chunk of it from the super-PACs." On Tuesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Dean Reynolds proclaimed: "Their efforts resulted in an avalanche of ads attacking Walker's Democratic opponent..."
While confessing Democrats and unions were dealt a "painful blow" Tuesday night as Republican Gov. Scott Walker handily beat Democratic challenger Tom Barrett in the Wisconsin recall election, Wednesday's lead story by Monica Davey and Jeff Zeleny opened with the liberal argument that Walker was to blame for undermining the "civility" of the state's progressive politics by engaging in his successful reform of public sector unions. (The online headline, "Walker Survives Wisconsin Recall Effort," is a slightly churlish acknowledgement of Walker's convincing win of 53%-46%.)
Gov. Scott Walker, whose decision to cut collective bargaining rights for most public workers set off a firestorm in a state usually known for its political civility, easily held on to his job on Tuesday, becoming the first governor in the country to survive a recall election and dealing a painful blow to Democrats and labor unions.
Politico's Glenn Thrush insists that there's "Only one takeaway from Wisconsin: Money shouts." "Cash doesn't talk in 2012, it shouts, and Wisconsin was a sonic boom that's breaking glass in Chicago," Thrush groused, adding that "Conservative groups outspent unions and progs in Wisconsin by an estimated SEVEN-TO-ONE."
Although it's a predictable left-leaning take on yesterday's results, it's incredibly insulting to Badger State voters, not to mention completely illogical in light of exit polling data.
During the special 11:00 p.m. edition of The Ed Show on Tuesday, MSNBC host Ed Schultz fretted about what he viewed as "pretty damn scary stuff" that he believed Republicans would do in following Governor Scott Walkers example in pushing a conservative agenda in Wisconsin.
A bit later, during an interview with the Reverend Jesse Jackson, he asserted that conservatives are trying to "destroy and defund public education," which he claimed was "hurting the minority communities."
Tuesday night's edition of The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News featured one of the latest videos from Dan Joseph of MRCTV from the streets of Madison. Joseph tried to interview an angry aging hippie as he held up leftist signs, including one with Gov. Scott Walker's face in a pile of elephant dung.
Joseph turned to a group of middle-school-aged children who said the protester was scary. O'Reilly said "Those kids are getting quite a political education." O'Reilly also featured what a generous person might call the "soul stylings" of liberal Congresswoman Gwen Moore of Milwaukee as she tried to sing "Hit the Road, Scott."
If the polls are right, the vote next Tuesday in Wisconsin on whether to recall Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican state senators could amount to a redial of their original victory. Voters who first elected the conservative Walker on a promise to fix the state's dismal economy and crushing debt appear ready to reaffirm their judgment.
They would be making the right decision given the results Gov. Walker appears to have produced.
Wisconsin Democrats, Washington elite and insiders, and liberal special interests have joined together to fight for the recall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in Tuesday's election. But this past Friday, when I saw them also send in the big gun — former President Bill Clinton himself — against Gov. Walker, I knew I had to enter the ring, too.
The Los Angeles Times reported last Thursday: "Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced Thursday that Clinton would be campaigning with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett as he looks to unseat Gov. Scott Walker in next week's recall. The former president will take part in a rally with Barrett, according to the Barrett's website."
As the national media's political attention turns again to a Wisconsin recall election ginned up by angry labor unions -- that's not counting Ed Schultz, who's never stopped obsessing about ousting Gov. Scott Walker -- it's easy to forget that the national media used to be on the other side of a recall election.
In 2003 in California, it was liberal Gov. Gray Davis who was recalled, and conservatives who ginned up the campaign. Back then, the governor was a hero and the opponents were cranks. As reporters Howard Fineman and Karen Breslau summed up in a Newsweek cover story: "So this is California: in thrall, at least for the moment, to an earnest crank and in the grip of what can only be described as a civic crackup."
Friday evening, Madison, Wisconsin blogger Ann Althouse reported receiving (HT Instapundit) an "Incredibly creepy mail today from the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund." She has a put up an image of what she received with names and addresses redacted (except for her name). It's a list which includes Althouse and many of her neighbors indicating who has and hasn't voted in the last two elections.
Unsurprisingly, the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund is the political fundraising arm of the Greater Wisconsin Committee, both of which lean very left. Both support the effort to recall Badger State Governor Scott Walker. Both appear likely to get a virtually free pass from the establishment press. Althouse's reaction follows the jump:
Asking the questions the liberal media won't ask, our good friend Joe Schoffstall of MRCTV caught up with Bill Clinton in Milwaukee today and asked him to defend his unqualified support of the recall effort to oust Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) from office given Clinton's previous opposition to recall elections in September 2003.
Back then, Clinton worried that tossing out Gov. Gray Davis (D) -- who had just been reelected the year prior -- would make California a "laughingstock" and would herald the "beginning of a circus in America where we just throw people out as soon as they make a tough decision." [video of Joe's interaction with Clinton juxtaposed with 2003 Clinton remarks follows page break]
Yet he left out a lot, including the nasty tactics against Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who was compared to Hitler by the left-wing union protesters who took to the state capitol, after Walker moved to take away the collective bargaining rights of public-sector employees. Kaufman shied away from actual details about the union-instigated Walker recall election, like its $18 million price tag and the fact that Walker has a substantial lead in most polls. Instead he focused on tangential stories supposedly representative of Republican corruption and the decline of civility in the state. He ended with a lesson in Times-worthy political decorum, as one Republican state senator regains his civility (i.e., votes with the Democrats).
On Daily Kos, Jesse LaGreca calls himself “Ministry of Truth.” That moniker certainly doesn’t match his latest blog post, headlined “Young Scott Walker downplays KKK Grand Dragon David Duke's extremism”.
Using a very selectively edited video, LaGreca asserts “Walker can beat up on labor rights but he couldn't bring himself to bad mouth another Republican, even if that Republican is a self avowed white supremacist.” But in the actual video, Walker attacks Duke as a neo-Nazi and compares him to cannibal killer Jeffrey Dahmer.
You've probably already heard about how reforming Wisconsin governor Scott Walker managed to get more votes than his top two Democratic challengers in that state's primary. What you may not know is the reason why: The state is booming contrary to the dire predictions of the union bosses who swore that Walker's reforms would destroy the Badger State. Walker's choice to reform and cut the budget instead of raise taxes has proved for a perfect contrast with neighboring Illinois which did the very opposite, with poor results:
The journalism industry has a problem. The core principles of objectivity and impartiality have become a lost art, now we’re left with bias and hypocrisy. This disconcerting reality has been recently heightened with the revelation that journalists from both the print and broadcast media in the Badger State have signed petitions to recall Governor Scott Walker.
Instead of doing some soul-searching to get to the root of this problem, the Wisconsin media have promoted attacks on a free-market online publication that reports information they'd rather not know about.
Of late, the liberal media has been extremely interested in letting people know that Rush Limbaugh shouldn't have called abortion activist Sandra Fluke a slut since such language is inappropriate. That's a decidedly different attitude from how the media have regarded vulgar and sexist attacks on Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch—and her children.
Kleefisch is a wife, mother and cancer survivor who faces a recall vote on June 5 along with Governor Scott Walker after they helped pass a law last spring that would affect public workers' collective bargaining rights.
Now is the time for all good tea partiers to come to the aid of Wisconsin. Fiscally conservative leaders in the Badger State are under coordinated siege from Big Labor, the White House, the liberal media and the judiciary. The yearlong campaign of union thuggery, family harassment and intimidation of Republican donors and businesses is about to escalate even further. This is the price the Right pays for doing the right thing.
The most visible target is Gov. Scott Walker, who faces recall on June 5 over his tough package of state budget and public employee union reforms. Three state GOP legislators — Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Sen. Van Wanggaard and Sen. Terry Moulton — also face recall. A fourth target, staunch union reformer and Second Amendment advocate Sen. Pam Galloway, announced she was stepping down last week — leaving the legislature deadlocked and Democratic strategists salivating.
If Scott Walker somehow loses his recall election in Wisconsin, will that be national news? Of course it will.
Well, if the Walker recall really is a national story, why isn't it news that 29 judges who are supposed to be impartial in their rulings and who are under strict prohibitions against political activity were found by Gannett News to have signed petitions supporting Walker's recall -- including at least one who has ruled in a recall-related matter without bothering to disclose his action? Make such a story about Republican judges signing petitions to recall a Democratic governor, and it would be national news for sure. Here are several paragraphs from Eric Litke's report:
In January a controversy exploded when a Wisconsin newspaper reporter and his managing editor signed recall petitions against the incumbent state senator representing the area of the paper’s circulation. Ryan Whisner regularly covers politics and elected officials for the Ft. Atkinson Daily Union, and before it became apparent that he signed a recall petition, he was found on Facebook personally cheering on the efforts of Lori Compas, the woman who was leading the charge to recall incumbent state Sen. Scott Fitzgerald. Whisner’s editor was among the first to sign the recall petitions targeting Fitzgerald for recall.
After Media Trackers, a state-based conservative media watchdog, and talk radio hosts in southern Wisconsin brought the political activities of the reporter and editor to light, the newspaper’s publisher attempted to do damage control by issuing a statement saying that the paper would reassign particular stories to prevent any appearance of bias or conflict of interest. Just how serious the newspaper was in promising to remove any perception is now in doubt since Whisner is still writing about the recall race.