Best-selling author and broadcaster Laura Flanders hosts the The Laura Flanders Show, where she interviews forward thinking people from the worlds of politics, business, culture and social movements about the key questions of our day. The LF Show airs weekly on KCET/LinkTV, FreeSpeech TV, and in English & Spanish in teleSUR. Flanders is also a contributing writer to The Nation and Yes! Magazine (“Commonomics”) and a regular guest on MSNBC. She is the author of six books, including The New York Times best-seller, BUSHWOMEN: Tales of a Cynical Species (Verso, 2004) and Blue GRIT: True Democrats Take Back Politics from the Politicians (Penguin Press, 2007). The Laura Flanders Show first aired on Air America Radio 2004-2008. You can find all her archives and more at Lauraflanders.com.
Sometimes things fall apart and sometime they flow together. As the Wisconsin State Senate rammed through their union-busting bill Wednesday night, people in the capitol chanted “General strike!” And I heard an echo. Not of 1934, the last time there was a general strike in the US, but earlier.
It was tax day in 2009 that saw the first Tea Party protests, and the FOX-led media firestorm that's followed has made it seem as though the Tea Party's the only game in town if you want to complain about bailouts. This year, though, as tax day approaches, a new wave of protest is sweeping the country.
There's been a joke going around the labor protests. It goes something like this:
A union member, a CEO and a Tea Party member are sitting at a table with 12 cookies. The CEO grabs 11, turns to the Tea Partier and says “The Union's out to take your cookie!”
The banks are back! They’re paying out bonuses and raking in profits, we hear. But just how did they bounce back so fast? Let’s take Bank of America—they’re testing a new “fee structure” for formerly-free checking, adding $6 to $25 to their take of your money each month.
So that's what they mean by from welfare to work. First you go force the poorest Americans into the workforce, then you go after their bargaining power. Wisconsin has long been the eye of this storm.
“This freeze would cut the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade, bringing this kind of spending -- domestic discretionary spending -- to its lowest share of our economy since Dwight Eisenhower was President. Let me repeat that...."
That was our president announcing his 2012 budget. And indeed let's repeat that — and note a few things he didn't say.
It might be the greatest bait and switch ever pulled on the American voter. For two successive election cycles we've been promised jobs, a recovering economy, attention to the Constitution. After the last one, triumphant Republican after triumphant Republican declared November’s to be an election decided on jobs.