Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin’

How to defeat Obama in 2012: rig the election

September 19, 2011

It’s looking iffy whether the Republicans can prevent President Obama’s reelection with a Tea Party-approved candidate. So let’s change the rules.

First, change the way electoral votes are tallied. Nebraska and Pennsylvania are headed this way. In Nebraska electoral votes are awarded congressional district-by-district. Obama carried Omaha in 2008, so earned one of Nebraska’s five votes. Nebraska appears headed for a winner-take-all system that would deny Obama that one vote.

Pennsylvania is a bigger deal. Obama carried the state in 2008, and its 21 electoral votes under winner-take-all rules. It is headed for a district-by district award—yes, the system Nebraska is abandoning—under which Obama would have only gotten 11 of Pennsylvania’s 21 votes in 2008.

So we could see a Republican gain of 10 votes in Pennsylvania and one in Nebraska—enough to swing a close election. But Republicans can improve the odds a lot more by making it harder for students, minorities, and low income people to vote at all.

To this end Republican-controlled state legislatures in Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin are moving to trim early voting days. Early voters are disproportionally Democrat.

If that’s still not enough to insure a Republican victory, legislators in 20 states are considering tighter ID requirements, including requiring a government-issued photo ID. Guess who don’t have photo IDs: lots of students, minorities, (more…)

Fire the Wisconsin schoolteachers who lie to their employers and harm the children they are supposed to teach

February 21, 2011

 

Revolution in the air in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Libya, and…Wisconsin? The Wisconsin brouhaha, unlike the others, seems not to have any good guys: EthicsAlarms.com does its usual good job of fairly laying out the good and bad, the credit and the blame. Republican Gov. Scott Walker, the runaway Democratic senators, the public employee unions, and the teachers all have some right and some wrong about their positions. Except the teachers, whose behavior is totally reprehensible.

Thousands of Wisconsin teachers, prohibited from striking by state law, falsely claimed to be sick and took days off to demonstrate in the state capital. They scored a twofer, both neglecting their young charges and setting an example that lying to your employer in your own self interest is acceptable.

Public servants are under fire all over the US in this time of budget crises. The Wisconsin teachers by their dishonest and irresponsible behavior seem to confirm the worst stereotypes about public employees.

When the Boston police went out on strike in 1919, Gov. Calvin Coolidge stood by his commissioner who fired the strikers, famously announcing, “There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time.” When America’s air traffic controllers broke the law prohibiting strikes by federal workers in 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired over 11,000 who had refused to return to work.

Coolidge and Reagan showed backbone and the public embraced their actions. Time for the Wisconsin school boards to show their backbone and fire the teachers who lie to their employers and harm the children they are supposed to teach.

 


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