William Cronon, whom I know very slightly, is as good as the American academic establishment can now produce. He is president of the American Historical Association; he is the Frederick Jackson Turner professor of history at the University of Wisconsin; his Nature’s Metropolisand Changes in the Landare books any writer would be proud to claim.
Because Cronon dared write an op-ed piece in the New York Times pointing to Wisconsin’s long tradition of bi-partisan, “good government”-minded support of collective bargaining rights, and criticizing Gov. Scott Walker for his campaign against organized labor and collective bargaining, the Wisconsin Republican Party is launching a legal effort to look through his email archives to see if he has been involved in the recent protests in the state. The putative rationale is that Cronon’s messages were sent on the University of Wisconsin’s email system and therefore are covered by the state’s open-records law.
“They remind us that where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost. They remind us that freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. You and I must protect and preserve freedom here, or it will not be passed on to our children, and it will disappear everywhere in the world.”
Ronald Reagan Labor Day speech, Liberty Island September 1, 1980
The China Syndrome: The country’s currency manipulation costs 900,000 US jobs. So why are Republicans stalling efforts to end the practice?
“Chinese currency manipulation is the single biggest reason why so many Americans are still jobless,” says Peter Morici…But attempts to address the problem have hit a Great Wall here at home. Senior House Republicans…oppose [a bill ending] it, says an inside source familiar with the negotiations, because “US multinationals with operations in China really don’t like it.”
…Your proposed Budget Repair Bill will cost me just under $3000 per year at my current salary, with the stated goal of saving $30 million this year on the state budget. I say, take it. You can have it. It will hurt me financially, but if it will balance the budget of the state that has been my home since birth, take it with my blessing. But if I may, before you do, I have some questions:
This is how “democracy” works in Wisconsin. Republican legislators cut off Rep. Peter Barca, the Democratic Assembly minority leader, as he complained that the meeting violated the state’s open-meeting law. They commenced a roll-call vote, knocked a gavel, obliterated worker union rights, and fled the room while Barca continued to plead his case.
Surely, this was what the state’s voters intended last November, right?
They removed the “budget-repair” part. The reason the Democrats left the state to begin with is because Wisconsin’s upper chamber can’t pass any fiscal bills without 3/5 of the members present, according to Senate rules. With the Democrats missing, Republicans lacked that 3/5 quorum, and…