Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Morning Brief - Part One: More on Madison

A little editorial statement to start the morning:

Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo tweets: Embattled leader goes on TV to claim outside agitators are behind mounting protests ... Walker or Qaddafi?

It would be funny if it were not so true. Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin simply lied to the citizens of Wisconsin last night:

Our bill is about protecting the hardworking taxpayer. It's about Wisconsin families trying to make ends meet and help their children. -- The inference is clear: union workers -- that would be teachers, police, firefighters -- are neither taxpayers, nor families with children.

And so does the factory worker in Janesville who was laid off nearly two years ago. He's a union guy in a union town who asks simply why everyone else has to sacrifice except those in government. -- Walker again is inferring that state workers are not ready to make sacrifices, to accept cuts in wages and benefits in order to help the state balance its budget -- but this absolutely untrue. The unions and its members have said over and over that they are prepared to do just that. But they are not prepared to have their rights taken away.

The media has done a piss-poor job of covering events in Madison. A few are starting to finally get a handle on the story. Meanwhile, though, "the story" is spreading to Iowa, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. Yet most media outlets continue to treat the story as a battle between the citizens of a state and their state workers, rather than a battle of the right of workers everywhere to collective bargaining, and a decent standard of living.

Update: I've broken out the politics from the news briefs and made this a separate post.