Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

hi, March, what’s shaking

man, I haven’t even looked at the ol’ blog in a while. not that I was mad at it, but rather that I’ve been indifferent. this is how I’ll treat my kids someday. “out of the way, son, the Horizon League quarterfinals are on.”

and that’s not to say that a lot of shit hasn’t been going on, neither.

for instance, let’s see. I really need a haircut (sorry, no pictures).

speaking of the Horizon League, Valparaiso is playing the mighty UW-Milwaukee Panthers in the semis tonight at 8:30. you can watch it streaming on the computer, so I suggest minimizing the pornography and watch some mid-major college hoops. northwest Indiana and its expatriates are very excited — and if they’re not, they goddamn well should be, Andrew.

in movie news: after years on the shelf, Mel Gibson’s soul-searching, public image-healing comeback movie is being introduced to the casual fan. it is called “The Beaver” and I will be first in line to see it. here is your brief synopsis: Mel Gibson is a middle-aged corporate type, whose fed-up wife bears an uncanny resemblance to Jodie Foster (Jodie Foster, Gibson’s buddy who also directs). Foster and his kids and everybody else thinks Gibson’s a basket case, and to turn his life around, Mel begins self-therapy by channeling a separate personality into a beaver sock puppet. the puppet becomes an extension of his arm, and it speaks with an Australian accent.


I will be in line to see this. I will be under the influence of all kinds of shit, too. but it’s important that we’re there for him. it’s been a rough couple of anti-semetic, hard-drinking years for Mel Gibson. he’s really bottomed out into some kind of terrible piece of shit. but that don’t make him any less the Road Warrior. and that movie ruled.

what else. umm … Ben Bernanke specifically said that it would be unwise for state and local governments to cut back on early education programs, as they have increasingly shown to spur economic growth. this was news that made me almost hyperventilate at work, but barely registered a fart out of my boss. I thought this would create a flurry of activity, but he’s a advocacy PR veteran, so I’ll defer to his judgment. 
Bernanke also said that the House Republicans’ spending cuts would result in around 200,000 jobs lost, just as economy seems to finally be getting its feet again. Republicans, not knowing fuckall about job creation? no, surely you jest.

and, of course, I have been transfixed by the fight over collective bargaining in Wisconsin. if you haven’t been following this at all, if you’ve been living under a rock, I think it’s worth your time; it’s the first time in a long while that my generation of liberal has paid the labor movement any mind, and it’s too goddamn bad that it’s only happening now.
in Ohio a similar fight has taken place, and the Republicans look pretty certain to kill collective bargaining outright, but the media has been following the cheese state. either its an amazing case of misdirection, or it’s made for better theater. whatever the reason, it has become a flashpoint: Wisconsin’s governor is taking a mighty hack, trying to gut the institutions of public unions in that state, and it still is anyone’s guess as to whether he will succeed or not — and whether or not that victory will be worth the political price.
the governor, Walker, has framed this as a budget issue — though the workers have agreed to the increases in pension contributions and health care payments that he wants in his budget repair bill. but he refuses to alter the bill, which would strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from most every public employee, and which would severely limit unions’ abilities to collect dues — and in response, state senate democrats have been sequestered in a Rockford, Ill. hotel for two weeks, breaking quorum and indefinitely stalling the legislative process.
Walker says collective bargaining must be curtailed so municipalities will have the ability to unilaterally make cost-cutting decisions — something that they’ll need to do, he says, as future austere budget environments appear on the near horizon — but that’s a pretty weaksauce argument, especially as it guarantees no actual or immediate savings. it only the ability of municipalities to unilaterally set workforce compensation policy.
really, what it’s all about is busting the union. it’s a political moment, and a politial objective for a right-wing idealogue who refuses to even consider tax increases to pay for a budget gap. that’s it. yeah, I may be some pro-labor liberal dickhead, but have I misinterpreted something? because I’m not stretching the facts here. that’s why Walker has started the process of firing state employees, just like he said he would on a recorded call with what he thought was a billionaire tea party funder (see the 5:00 minute mark), in an effort to ratchet up pressure on the other side.

here’s a good summary of where things stand in Wisconsin as of today.
and if you’re interested in reading following this closely, I’d keep an eye on the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s politics blog. though you won’t. all five of you, you won’t, you assholes. I hate this goddamn blog. happy Saturday!