Republicans lose only two in Wisconsin

August 10, 2011

Opening paragraph in this morning’s Post-Crescent in Appleton, Wisconsin:

By Steve Contorno, Gannett Wisconsin Media

Sen. Rob Cowles blocked one of six attempts by Democrats on Tuesday to oust a sitting Republican lawmaker from office, putting his party in a position to maintain control of Madison and continue its unchecked, aggressive agenda.

That’s about as polite as it is possible to be.

Democrats faced an uphill battle, but took two out of three seats from Republicans.  It is not enough to flip the majority in the Senate.

Will it be enough of a scare to make Republicans talk sense?  You’d think that, after watching the damage done to the stock market, almost as bad as the attack on the World Trade Center, Wisconsin voters would have been more circumspect.

But these six Republicans were well-entrenched.  33% is better than nothing.  It means 33% of Wisconsinites appear to have awakened to the wolves at their doors.

How to wake up the rest?

Two Democrats face recall elections next week, revenge for the recall elections this week.

Will the assault on U.S. values, education and public institutions, continue?


This morning, according to AP, Wisconsin Democrats said they will push forward to recall Gov. Scott “Ahab” Walker, just as soon as he is eligible for recall.

Barbara Ehrenreich wonders: What’s the real poverty rate in America?

August 10, 2011

Barbara Ehrenreich, “How America turned poverty into a crime,”, August 9, 2011:

At the time I wrote “Nickel and Dimed,” I wasn’t sure how many people it directly applied to — only that the official definition of poverty was way off the mark, since it defined an individual earning $7 an hour, as I did on average, as well out of poverty. But three months after the book was published, the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., issued a report entitled “Hardships in America: The Real Story of Working Families,” which found an astounding 29 percent of American families living in what could be more reasonably defined as poverty, meaning that they earned less than a barebones budget covering housing, child care, health care, food, transportation, and taxes — though not, it should be noted, any entertainment, meals out, cable TV, Internet service, vacations, or holiday gifts. 29 percent is a minority, but not a reassuringly small one, and other studies in the early 2000s came up with similar figures.

The big question, 10 years later, is whether things have improved or worsened for those in the bottom third of the income distribution, the people who clean hotel rooms, work in warehouses, wash dishes in restaurants, care for the very young and very old, and keep the shelves stocked in our stores. The short answer is that things have gotten much worse, especially since the economic downturn that began in 2008.

Liberty does not flow to those who lack the money to eat, or keep warm.  We have strides to make to get to “liberty and justice for all.”

Libertarians, why do you oppose liberty for poor-but-working people?

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