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Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011

Wisconsin Goes National

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Don't believe your local media when they tell you the “Occupy Wall Street” protests are coming to Wisconsin in the form of rallies in Madison, Milwaukee and other cities around the state.

Everyone who understands what's really going on realizes Occupy Wall Street is simply “Occupy Madison” and “Recall Scott Walker” gone national.

The fact that everyone in the national media is talking about Occupy Wall Street right now proves that what began in Wisconsin is succeeding on a larger scale.

That's despite the national media trying their damnedest not to say anything at all about the protests against the political puppeteers on Wall Street. In the early days, the media simply ignored the protests.

Keith Olbermann, one of the few liberal voices in what's falsely characterized as a liberal news media, had to publicly shame the media into covering the story taking place right down the street from their New York studios.

Forced to take notice, the media's next instinct was to minimize and ridicule. The protesters were simply a ragtag bunch of confused kids and chronic demonstrators participating in a carnival whose purpose, in the words of The New York Times, was “virtually impossible to decipher.”

Anyone who attended any of the massive rallies in Madison can recite the obvious answer to that absurd attack. They can even play the rhythm on their car horns: “This Is What Democracy Looks Like.”

The most important thing happening nationally as a result of these spreading protests is the focusing of attention of people everywhere on the true villains of their ongoing economic misery: the people who caused the economic collapse of the United States and continue to reap enormous profits from it.

Tea Party's Brazen Dishonesty

One of the many dishonest tactics by Republicans in response to the nation's economic crisis was to pretend they were upset by the bank bailouts begun under President George W. Bush that prevented the collapse of the nation's financial system.

As distasteful as the bank bailouts were, if the entire banking system had been permitted to fail, the resulting economic disaster would have made the Great Depression look like a birthday party on the beach.

What made tea party Republican complaints about the bailouts even more brazenly dishonest was that the biggest supporters of enormous giveaways to wealthy bankers are, of course, the Republicans themselves.

Republicans have shown their true sentiments ever since by coming up with a solution to the historic economic disaster created by their no-regulation, serve-the-rich policies that is absolutely breathtaking in its sheer gall.

At a time when massive unemployment is the biggest problem threatening our survival as a nation, Republicans actually oppose job creation that would put people back to work and stop families from being thrown out of their homes.

That is a failed idea, Republicans say. What we really need to do is roll back more banking and business regulations to give corporate executives more freedom to line their pockets through the same sort of sleazy, unregulated practices that destroyed the national economy under Republicans.

Oh yes: And continue to oppose taxes on billionaires and millionaires that would require America's wealthiest 1% to pay their fair share. Instead, by using tax loopholes, billionaires and millionaires should continue to pay lower tax rates than middle-class families.

As appalling as that Republican political position is, it comes as no surprise to those of us in Wisconsin, where these populist protests began against Walker, the Koch brothers' corporate puppet who uses exactly the same dishonest doublespeak.

Whenever Walker publicly announces a special session of the Legislature to focus on jobs, we all have to wait to find out what corrupt motive is really behind the session.

Walker's first special legislative session on jobs turned out to really be about destroying half a century of union bargaining rights, laying off teachers and other public employees and slashing the wages of those who manage to hang onto their jobs.

Silly us. We thought a session focusing on jobs would create jobs instead of eliminating them.

Walker's new session on jobs in name only appears mostly to be about destroying environmental regulations and consumer protections throughout the state and greasing the way for mining operations to pillage and poison northern Wisconsin.

And, of course, the primary focus of both of Walker's special sessions is to hand out hundreds of millions of dollars in tax benefits and other lavish gifts to the wealthiest corporadoes on the face of the planet.

Leading the fight to stop this corporate plunder and focus attention on the nation's most urgent priorities of economic recovery and job creation are the grassroots organizers in Wisconsin working to recall Walker and the growing Occupy Wall Street movement around the country.

The next step is to take back the state and the country in 2012.

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