Blog Archives

Getting this election over with is becoming an evening of sheer misery…

It’s not enough that I am going in for tests before my Friday brain surgery at 6:30 AM tomorrow and go through four different doctors and three tests by 2:30 PM…just getting my mind in the mood for that doesn’t let me bond with the TV pundits who are arguing out the campaign results they can’t really call.

Thinking about how miserable it would be if Romney won, but that is not nearly as bad as thinking about how graceless in their concessions the losers will be if Obama and the Democratic Congressional candidates win. Nobody seems to really be trying to tie the country together and make us the UNITED states that we have to become.

BTW, I want to really think the hundreds of you who have wished me well by e-mail, in Facebook, and those of you who have commented on this blog.  I never really knew how many of you visit the LobsterScope and it’s daily changing graphic background and what my daughter calls the rantings of an old man. I hope I’ll be back at full speed next week some time, but it will be hard to keep it up now through the weekend. Don’t be surprised if a day has no or only one post… and don’t plan on anything Friday or Saturday.

Those of you who listen to me on the radio at WSHC 89.7 Shepherdstown, either locally or on the worldwide live feed at http://897wshc.org , won’t hear me this weekend. I got friends and fellows to cover my time on the air and I thank all of them.

If you are in a state that has late polls open and you haven’t voted yet, get out there and do it. People have died for your right to vote!

Bye now… Bill.

Some words about this blog and me…

I often get e-mail from folks out there in the web world who want to know about Under The LobsterScope and why I keep it going and put a major part of each day into it. It is for that reason that I’ve decided to say a few things that will clarify my relationship with UTL and, perhaps, encourage you to get involved as a commentor.

I started this blog through another editing site, Blogspot, during the 2004 presidential election year. I did several thousand entries over five years or so and then something happened. For some reason, someone got into my blog at Blogspot and did some fairly confusing stuff leaving it impossible for me to post on. I cancelled my relationship with Blogspot and over 4000 posts ago I started UTL up again through WordPress where it remains today.

While I was interested in electoral politics (originally in Maryland before my wife and I moved to West Virginia), my biggest interest at the time – and even now, a little – was in theatre directing. I got to do a couple of musicals and some plays at local community theatres and spent a lot of time attending theatre events (one of the reasons we moved to the Shepherdstown, WV, area was to be closer to the Contemporary American Theater Festival which we attend every year.

I also have a great interest in the visual arts… Elly’s background is as a painter and visual artist. That means heading off to galleries locally, in DC and other places. Add to the visual stuff an interest in music and poetry and dance. The arts in general are very important parts of my life.

As to politics, during the past couple of years beginning with the election of Barack Obama, I have become more and more an active Democrat and have felt it is my obligation, since this is a published item read by thousands of people a week, to expose the really awful things Republicans and extreme conservatives are trying to pull off.

Several of you have also noted that I often expose dangerous things being done by religious organizations. As you probably know I am a non-believer… an atheist, a humanist… and cannot understand how people with developed intellectual capacity can believe this stuff. I have no problem exposing things that might make readers see what I see. I am, however, as opposed to pushing my atheism on others as I am of them pushing their religious beliefs on me.

Now that my current age and health keeps me in the house most of the days of the week, I have much time to read other web sites, magazines and other publications, many of which I quote or comment on in the blog. On an average day I do at least 5 posts.

I have established some regular features in this blog that I hope you enjoy. Cartoon(s) of the Week is the one people think of first when I talk about regular features. I have been interested in editorial cartoons for many years. During the current election I have regularly been posting poll results which I see by the search term roundups many of you are looking for. And, of course, there is my regular posting of celebrity obituaries.

If there is any kind of post I do that you would like to see become a regular feature, just let me know and it’s likely to happen.

- Bill

 

Tonight’s Debate is a social/political event in Shepherdstown, WV…

There is a Presidential Debate Watch Party tonight at the Opera House on German Street beginning at 7:30 tonight. The first hour and a half is a “pay what you canfundraiser for Stephen Skinner, Democratic candidate for State Delegate.

You can get there early and meet Skinner and his associates and sit with your friends in the theater to watch the debate on the big screen.

Hope to see you there.

Ever wonder how some people get elected to Congress?

I know I do. The fact that there are Republicans who appear to be uneducated, anti-intellectual and just plain outrageous makes me have a very poor impression of the people who vote for them.

Here are 4 samples of what I’m referring to:

Science and Space Committee? Intelligence Committee? How do these mini-brains get put on committees they don’t seem to have any intellectual connection with?

If statements like these keep them from being re-elected to the House, then I’ll have a much better vision of the voting public. I don’t count on it, however.

 

Ex-Senator and former Presidential Candidate George McGovern in a South Dakota Hospice.

“He’s coming to the end of his life,” McGovern’s daughter, Ann, stated. She didn’t elaborate but noted that her 90-year-old father has suffered several health problems in the last year.

George McGovern became a leader of the Democrats’ liberal wing during his three decades in Congress but lost his 1972 challenge to Richard Nixon. McGovern turned his focus in recent years to world hunger.

It was after a lecture tour a year ago that he was treated for exhaustion, then two months later, he fell and hit his head.

McGovern spent several days in a Florida hospital in April for tests to determine why he occasionally passed out and had difficulty speaking. His daughter said he has moved in the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, SD, where he moved in August to spend more time near his family.

McGovern was a member of the U.S. House from 1957 to 1961 and a U.S. senator from 1963 to 1981.

The VP Debate may have changed things around a little… I think Biden really pulled it off.

I’ve heard critiques this morning that Vice President Joe Biden was all smirks, smiles, laughs, sharp elbows and impolite interruptions in his debate with Paul Ryan. It is always a risky tactic to let Joe be Joe, but it seems to have paid off.

After President Obama’s passive, lackluster response to Mitt Romney’s energetic assault during the first presidential debate, it was a relief that Biden came out swinging at Ryan. They got what they wanted and, as a result, Democrats should be reinvigorated as the closing days of the 2012 campaign tick away. I know I am.

And Biden made sure voters got to see Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” line put into action against the Republican presidential campaign. It was a fantasy moment for Democrats and Obama supporters, who thought the 47% quote from Romney was their major attack point.

CBS’s poll of undecided voters had Biden with a clear win, 50-31. Now we’ll see over the next few days how the VP debate effects overall polling for the presidential candidates.

 

Boehner tells the press that he hopes blacks and latinos don’t vote…

The Speaker of the House told a luncheon hosted by the Christian Science Monitor in Tampa Monday that the Republican Party counted on apathy from the Latinos and blacks in choosing Democrats over Republicans… something that has become apparent by record margins in recent polls.

His actual words (in public, no less):

“This election is about economics… These groups have been hit the hardest. They may not show up and vote for our candidate but I’d suggest to you they won’t show up and vote for the president either.”

Combine this with the Republican campaign for voter ID laws, for limiting voting hours and for stalling registrations , and you get the clear fact that these laws were meant to keep blacks from voting.

As Doug Priesse, chair of the Franklin County, Ohio Republican Party, said about restrictive early voting hours and voter ID laws:

“I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine… Let’s be fair and reasonable.”

In Pennsylvania House Republican leader Mike Turzai conceeded the point of voter ID is to help Republicans win

  “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”

So it looks like Republican leadership from the top to the bottom will do their best to realize a publicly stated hope: Keep minorities away from the voting box… it’s the only way for them to have a 100% white male government.

Today continues the House Republicans’ waste of time…

Well, we need jobs legislation, and we need tax resolution, and we need many more necessary things from the House of Reps… but for the last couple of days, leading to a vote today, they have been wasting time and effort.

Today’s vote will be the 33rd vote to undermine the Affordable Care Act, either through repeal or blocking funding for various provisions, since Republicans took control of the House in 2010. It won’t matter. The repeal, if passed,  is sure to be defeated in the Democratic-led Senate. And even if it made it through the Senate, the President has pledged to veto such a measure once it reaches his desk.

Yesterday I watched the arguments in the House on C-Span and spent most of the time sorting out the truth in claims by both sides. And I heard Obama speak in Iowa saying:

“I will work with anybody to improve the health care law where we can, but this law is here to stay. And it will help the vast majority of Americans feel greater security. If you’ve got health insurance, it’s going to be more secure because insurance companies can’t jerk you around because of fine print. If you don’t have health insurance, we’ll help you get it.”

No matter how much they want to eliminate Romneycare … excuse me, Obamacare … the Republicans have no plan to replace it and will eliminate health care for millions of people, especially young people and seniors and the poor.

One would think that the best thing they could do would be to create a new plan which could replace Obamacare immediately, not remove coverage from the population, and save the millions of dollars they claim they want to do. Then, once voted in, it would replace the existing law without stranding anyone.

But they are not going to do that.

I’ll watch their vote today, but I know by their sheer numbers that Republicans will pass their repeal. Then, once they send it to the Senate, maybe they can get around to the things they really should be doing. Do you think they will?

Republicans shoot down Equal Pay law in the Senate.

From RTTGlobal Financial News:

Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked a bill that Democrats say would increase paycheck equity for women. Republican lawmakers argued the bill would put an undue strain on businesses.

Voting 52-47, the Senate fell eight votes short of the 60 necessary to hold an outright vote on the bill. All 47 Republicans in the chamber voted against it, with the exception of Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., who was absent.

The bill, dripping with election-year politics, was intended to close a pay gap between women and men by increasing litigation opportunities for women, closing a variety of legal loopholes, strengthening federal enforcement authority and barring employers from retaliating against employees who share pay information with colleagues.

Even though women make 84¢ an hour for every buck a man makes in the same job (some say 77¢), the attempt today to remedy that situation in the U.S. Senate was pretty much pissed on by 100% of the Senate Republicans.

There are two problems here… problems which won’t go away while we still have the same Democratic-to-Republican ratio:

- The need to have 60 votes, and not a simple majority, to pass an item. This is what is called a “filibuster” and used to be pulled out only rarely, on extremely important bills that had strong disagreements. And it used to require all Senators to be present and those filibustering had to keep speaking on the floor or give up (remember Jimmy Stewart in “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington“?). This all changed when Republicans decided when Obama was elected to make ALL votes filibusters… and no one has to speak. They just declare it and it automatically goes to the 60 vote requirement. As Mitch McConnell told us in 2008, he’s not going to let any legislation brought in by Obama pass.

- A significant realization that Senators (both parties) can be influenced (read “instructed”) to vote as requested by their major funders. Corporations and Chambers of Commerce did NOT want to equalize the pay of women to that of men. Why? It would cost them more. So this is why 100% of Republicans…even women… sat on their hands on this one.

Obama was a major supporter of this bill. Romney never said a word about it, even though many expected he would show his relationship to his party by expressing his support for their action.

In his statement on the Republican negative vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked Romney why he had not at least called some of the Republican Senators to say he supported this bill (one of his assistants had e-mailed a response to the net that Romney had always supported equal pay.)

“This is a common-sense measure with broad public support. Nine out of 10 Americans – including 81 percent of men and 77 percent of Republicans – support this legislation. But once again, the only Republicans who are left opposing a common-sense measure to improve our economy and help middle-class families are the ones here in Washington.”

What do you women readers think of this? Does it affect you? Are you paid less than men where you work for similar occupations?

Why Social Security is doing fine… and how it can do better (Republicans take notes)

That’s the situation. The next time the Republicans accuse Social Security of adding to the deficit, play this for them (and tell them to put back the money Bush stole from it.)

Romney, btw, wants to cut a hunk out of Social Security – but he doesn’t need it.

Remembering when Republicans were admired by ALL Americans…

 Read Robert G. Ingersol’s piece on Abraham Lincoln written in 1894. This gives a clear perspective on a Republican leader who served the WHOLE country:

http://www.archive.org/stream/abrahamlincolnle00inge#page/n3/mode/2up

(ever wonder what Lincoln would have thought of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner?)

Group Sought to Divide Gays and Blacks to Weaken Democrats…

Found this in Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire this morning:

BuzzFeed obtained a confidential strategy memo from an anti-gay marriage group, the National Organization for Marriage, with a goal of “fanning the hostility” between black voters and gay voters by casting President Obama as a radical foe of marriage.

“The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies.”

If you download the strategy memo (an Adobe .pdf file) you”ll see just how conspiratorial this Repiglicant group is and how they use their lies and fabrications to weaken their Democratic opponents.

I’m starting to get form letters back from my representatives in the Senate and Congress…

… all glad to see my concern and all saying they’ll keep me in mind as legislation comes up.

However, not one of them, whether Democrat or Republican, got elected without financial support from the coal companies that are destroying West Virginia with mountain top removal to get coal. If you think that means they are going to regulate the coal companies who are destroying our state… ruining homes, water supplies and the tourist industry… then you have got to be kidding yourself.

Here’s a piece by Michael Jonathon:

So… of you’re anywhere in the states that have Appalachian coal mining, keep this in mind next Fall when the politicians are campaigning in your neck of the woods.

Friday report from the Labor Dept.: Jobs up higher than expected…

According to Reuters, U.S. job growth accelerated more than expected in July as private employers stepped up hiring, easing fears the economy was sliding into a fresh recession.

It was originally expected that the number of new jobs would b3 85,000… less than the 100,000 minimum necessary to start correcting the unemployment burden. In reality, the new estimate is that the number is 117,000 which brings the unemployment rate from 9.2% to 9.1%.

How much better the situation gets in the next six months is unknown. A stand-off between Democrats and Republicans over raising the country’s debt ceiling poisoned the atmosphere for employers and consumers. Whether this new report helps them to bounce back is questionable.

Austan Goolsbee

Commenting from the White House, Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Austan Goolsbee said:

“While the better than expected report is welcome news, the unemployment rate remains unacceptably high and faster growth is needed to replace the jobs lost in the downturn.” 

It was a long night… hopefully today ends it all…

They decided last night and the Senate took a late vote… now it’s up to the House. The new Debt bill is not very strong on Democratic points and overburdened with Republican points (although it is House Republicans who can possibly kill it today) and we are hearing comments from all sides:

“Real spending cuts. No tax hike. Gang of Six said it could not be done. 1982, 1990 are now bad memories we learned from. Onward.”

- Grover Norquist

“The compromise we have agreed to is remarkable for a number of reasons, not only because of what it does, but because of what it prevents.”

- Harry Reid

“This is an important moment for our country. I can say with a high degree of confidence that there is a framework in place to assure a significant degree of cuts to Washington spending.

- Mitch McConnell

“Is this the deal I would have preferred? No. But this compromise does make a serious down payment on the deficit reduction we need.”

- Barack Obama

“Now listen, this isn’t the greatest deal in the world. But it shows how much we’ve changed the terms of the debate in this town.”

- John Boehner

So now we wait for the vote.

Quote of the Day – from someone who was there when we got it right

“What the GOP seeks is a banana republic: a toxic blend of right-wing populism, anti-intellectualism, debt defaults, and an end to the ladder of economic opportunity.”

-Paul Begala

This is from Begala’s article in the Daily Beast entitled “How Republicans Screwed the Pooch“… this, of course, is from the point-of-view of a member of the Clinton administration who was there when the same kinds of problems were  solved two administrations ago.

Whenever you hear the Republicans (and especially the tea partiers) say that the Democrats never learn from their mistakes, point them to the balanced budgets with surpluses extending out into the foreseeable future that Clinton handed Bush and his Band of Scary Men, who got us into debt andunfunded war within a year. And remember what they left Obama with.

Begala’s article should be read by everyone.

Obama outraises all GOP candidates combined…

Not bad, Obama.

Quote of the Day – Republicans fit to govern?

Conservative N.Y. Times Columnist David Brooks:

“If the debt ceiling talks fail, independents voters will see that Democrats were willing to compromise but Republicans were not. If responsible Republicans don’t take control, independents will conclude that Republican fanaticism caused this default. They will conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern. And they will be right…”

So let’s see… is the Republican press support starting to give way? It’s been a long time since I agreed with David Brooks.

As June ends we see the economy getting worse…

Unemployment looks like it’s starting to go up again, even here in Shepherdstown where we were doing pretty well – something which I think is pretty common in small University towns not based on industry or international trade – and I’m getting more and more pissed off at our Congressfolk who would rather battle for control of the government than the salvation of the citizenry.

Take, for instance, the walkout of Cantor and Kyl from the deficit talks – blaming it n the Democrats seeking tax increases for the rich (after they had already given up three trillion dollars in concessions according to the news on television). Now it seems the walkout was pre-planned and this  was a strategy to throw the Republican position into Boehner‘s lap, keeping the House from any kind of agreement on returning the upper 1% of rich folks from going back to the tax levels that Bush had brought them “temporarily” down to. As they pulled this off, the ability to fund the basics of Medicare and Medicaid seem strained and folks like Max Baucus, one of the few Democrats that I have the least trust in, announced he was ready to look at more cuts in the health care agenda.

If the deficit ceiling is not raised by the end of the next three or four weeks we will have plenty of opportunity to hear both parties blaming the other… both of them claiming that the majority of Americans agree with them. But since the rest of us are all part of that majority of Americans it seems strange that no one really feels the politicians are really speaking for us.

Perhaps it is time for us all to find ways to show that we could work together to solve problems, and send the politicians, lobbyists, Koch Brothers, Fox Newscasters, and all the rest who are making their big bucks on this conflict out into the night.

Maybe we can do it. Maybe.

Unofficial primary results – West Virginia Gubernatorial Races

Republican results (unofficial)

Bill Maloney


Bill Maloney 27,563 45.06%
Betty Ireland 18,891 30.88%
Clark Barnes 5,850 9.56%
Mark A. Sorsaia 2,950 4.82%
Larry V. Faircloth 2,369 3.87%
Mitch B. Carmichael 2,045 3.34%
Ralph William Clark 1,230 2.01%
Cliff Ellis 277 .0.45%

Democratic results (unofficial)

Earl Ray Tomlin


Earl Ray Tomblin 51,191 40.37%
 Rick Thompson 30,572 24.11%
 Natalie E. Tennant 21,954 17.31%
 John D. Perdue 15,904 12.54%
 Jeffrey V. Kessler  6,715 5.30%
 Arne Moltis  481 0.38%

Mountain Party

The mountain Party has no primary. Candidate is nominated in convention.


No Budget – No Museums!

clipped from hyperallergic.com

This weekend, the usually free National Gallery of Art might not be — in fact, it could not be open at all. With the distinct possibility of a government shutdown looming as a result of disagreements between Democrats and Republicans over setting a national budget, public museums may be the first to close their doors at the end of this week.

So if the government actually shuts down for want of a budget, will public museums close? The short answer is yes, they will. From zoos to parks to art museums, most employees won’t be able to work and visitors won’t have any access to the institutions. But don’t worry about the art, the animals or the plants — key employees, the people who really keep these places running behind the scenes will remain on the job.
500,000 visitors could be turned away from the National Zoo and the major Smithsonian museums on the Mall.
How’s that for budget shortfalls?
blog it

My son Will works part-time at the Smithsonian (on their web stuff) while he goes to grad school in DC… I imagine he is not looking forward to this one.

Why are we being taken over by utter stupidity?

I start the morning with a guy ringing the front doorbell and, rather than run downstairs holding the dogs so they don’t run out the door, I open the window and say “Yes?” He asks me if I want information on the celebration of the death of Jesus Christ.

“No, thank you. No, I don’t.”

Perhaps I should put an “atheist lives here” sign on the door… that might keep these folks from coming around (and there are more and more of them lately.) Or perhaps I should go door to door asking if people want information on pure logic as it relates to religious myth. Probably not.

Then I get back to the computer and I’m reading Taegan Goddard‘s morning posts and find this:

House Denies Global Warming is Real

The House of Representatives defeated an amendment to a bill that “would have put the chamber on record backing the widely held scientific view that global warming is occurring and humans are a major cause,” reports The Hill.

The amendment, which stated that “Congress accepts the scientific findings of the Environmental Protection Agency that climate changes is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for public health and welfare,” failed by a near party-line vote of 184 to 240. The only Republican to vote for the amendment is Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA), while three Democrats voted against it.

These are people who have control over money given to scientific research (which they are now probably going to try and eliminate) and who represent any possibility of protecting ourselves in the future from destroying our world.

Of course, the Congressfolk are now working as hard as it can to shut down the government without making their own parties seem responsible. Each side claims to not want the shutdown. At least one group (read “Tea Party”) has taken a stand against ANY compromise, and that will keep Republicans in a muddle.

We are being governed by the brain dead… led by people walking backwards into an existential hole.

I’m going back to bed.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Election Update:

As of 9:30 this morning:
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
 

Scott Walker’s ‘Waterloo’: 19 Counties Flip To Democrats In Wisconsin Supreme Court Race

 

Walker Flipped

A divisive budget battle between labor unions and Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) turned a state Supreme Court race into a nationally watched bellwether on the electorate’s mood heading into a recall campaign and the 2012 elections.

Nearly 1.5 million people turned out to vote, representing 33.5 percent of voting-age adults — 68 percent higher than the 20 percent turnout officials had expected. JoAnne Kloppenburg has already declared victory, with the vote tallies showing her beating incumbent David Prosser by just a couple hundred votes. The race is expected to head to a recount.
Significantly, 19 counties that went for Walker in the 2010 elections this time flipped and went for Kloppenburg, including LaCrosse (59 percent), Sauk (56 percent) and Dunn (56 percent).
Justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court serve 10-year terms, and unseating a member is extremely rare.
blog it

Another C-SPAN Morning, and a very unhappy vote…

I’m watching the vote as the Republican majority votes on debate rules to defund National Public Radio. So far all Republicans are voting to cut the funds and all Democrats are voting to save the funding. If it keeps up like this, NPR has no chance.

C-SPAN is taking in phone calls during the vote, alternating between Democrats and Republicans, and the trend among callers of both parties is that NPR should keep its funding. Oh, there are a few who are supporting it because they claim it’s the government telling people what to watch (where they get that from, I don’t know.)

There us a predominance of callers from small towns and farm areas who realize that NPR and PBS allow broadcasts of unbiased news that they certainly don’t get from commercial stations. They are not looking forward to the cuts… however, the funding from the government is very small and NPR will work very hard in their other fundraising channels (like you and me).

I don’t know when they are having the final debate (they are apparently going to debate troops in Afghanistan next.) But I don’t hold out a lot of hope.

Today begins a response by workers to the Wisconsin Senate’s surprise move last night…

Today people are returning to the Wisconsin capitol building to protest the act of the Republican Senators and the approval they have received by Scott Walker. The organization of trade unions is becoming intense and recalls of some legislators and a build up to recalling Walker (which cannot happen until next January by Wisconsin law) are in process.

Frank Emspak of the Workers Independent News in Madison stated:

“We’ve had democracy by deception here. You’re talking about disenfranchising millions of people, not only in Wisconsin, but also throughout the Midwest, and basically saying that working people, in an organized fashion, have no right to participate in the electoral process. That is what the Republicans are doing.”

And there was this statement by Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME):

At a time when we should be pulling together to create jobs, Governor Walker and the legislators who back him are more interested in stripping nurses, teachers, correction officers, bus drivers and EMTs of their rights. This is a question of right and wrong. The governor is tearing Wisconsin apart when voters want real solutions to the problems they face.

This is about more than Scott Walker’s arrogance. He is tossing aside basic American values. Public workers fought long and hard for the right to collective bargaining. Martin Luther King, Jr. died defending that right for AFSCME sanitation workers in Memphis. We are not going to allow a small group of radical politicians in Wisconsin destroy what Americans have fought generations to win.

Only one Republican, Dale Schultz, voted against the bill last night. Schultz is a moderate Republican who previously proposed a compromise. His vote is likely to protect him from a recall effort by unions and Democrats.

Shultz stated:

As someone who as spent the better part of the last four weeks working toward and hoping for a compromise, this is a difficult night.

I’ve had the honor and privilege of representing folks in Southwest and South Central Wisconsin for 28 years, and where I come from ‘compromise’ isn’t a dirty word.

I’ve received tens of thousands of emails, thousands of phone calls and letters, and spent hours meeting with thousands of citizens in my district. I’ve heard personal and heartfelt stories of friends and neighbors, and they ask for just two things.

First, be inclusive by listening and working with your colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reach a compromise which addresses our fiscal crisis. Second, public employees are willing to make sacrifices on things like wages and benefits, but we need to preserve collective bargaining as a tool which has helped keep labor peace in this state for decades.

Ultimately, I voted my conscience which I feel reflects the core beliefs of the majority of voters who sent me here to represent them.

Because of the Wisconsin law that prohibits a recall until an elected official has served one year in office, only eight of the Republican Senators, who violated the open meeting rule and the 24 hour public announcement policy by eliminating collective bargaining last night, may currently be recalled. These are:

* Robert Cowles
* Alberta Darling
* Sheila Harsdorf
* Luther Olsen
* Randy Hopper
* Glenn Grothman
* Mary Lazich
* Dan Kapanke

The protestors will have until January of next year to get the 500,000 signatures needed to recall Scott Walker. Meanwhile, Walker has been a Uniter, not a Divider: he has united the Unions, the Democrats, the people of Wisconsin and voters all across the unites States. Perhaps we could get the Republicans to run him for President.

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