RUSH: This story out of Wisconsin from the AP, this is just hilarious. "WI House Vote Catches Dems 'Napping'". This is the most unbelievable story. It's by Todd Richmond. "Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly took the first significant action on their plan to strip collective bargaining rights from most public workers, abruptly passing the measure early Friday morning before sleep-deprived Democrats realized what was happening." Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Senate Democrats have fled the state. The only news domestically in this country that has captured everybody's attention is in Wisconsin. The Democrats know full well what's in store for them, and somehow the AP says they were caught napping. And it's the Republicans who pulled a dirty trick on 'em. "Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly took the first significant action on their plan to strip collective bargaining rights ... before sleep-deprived Democrats realized what was happening."
This was after 60 hours of debate. The Democrats still had no clue. And in this story, it says here: "Republicans immediately marched out of the chamber in single file. The Democrats rushed at them, pumping their fists and shouting 'Shame!' and 'Cowards!'" This from a party whose state senators are hiding out in a Motel 6 somewhere in Illinois! (laughing) And they call the Republicans cowards. "The Republicans walked past them without responding. Democrats left the chamber stunned. The protesters greeted them with a thundering chant of 'Thank you!' Some Democrats teared up. Others hugged. 'What a terrible, terrible day for Wisconsin,' said Rep. Jon Richards, D-Milwaukee. 'I am incensed. I am shocked.'" Well, everybody else is chuckling with delight 'cause this is Ground Zero for the future of America. It really is. It is Ground Zero here for the unions, the money laundering operation that state and federal, public union employees are for the Democrat Party.
MacIver News Service out of Wisconsin, out of Milwaukee. Get this. "While Milwaukee Public School Board members publicly bemoan the impact of pending state-funding cuts, the MacIver News Service has learned that MPS gave nearly $20,000 to the ACLU this school year." Thanks to the ACLU, Milwaukee schools are teaching kids to make puppets and T-shirts to identify social issues. I kid you not. "The ACLU of Wisconsin and Milwaukee Public Theatre applied for a $19,990 Partnership for the Arts grant late last year to launch the Public Arts Student Alliance (PASA). The funds go toward a program that promotes community engagement to confront civic apathy by 'identifying community/social issues of concern: planning ways to address them through public art, and honing their skills in speaking, writing and visual art/puppetry and theatre.'" Meanwhile, two-thirds of the students in the eighth grade in Wisconsin schools can't even read at an acceptable level, but the Milwaukee public schools give 20 grand to the ACLU teaching kids to make puppets and T-shirts to identify social issues.
RUSH: Time for some Obama sound bites. Back to November 3rd, 2007, Spartanburg, South Carolina, this was at Converse College. It was a campaign event. This is what Obama said.
OBAMA: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I'm in the White House, I'll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself. I'll walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody's standing in their corner.
RUSH: Anybody seen him in Wisconsin? Has anybody seen him with any comfortable shoes on marching? I haven't.
RUSH: Eugene Robinson, columnist, Washington Post, wanted to weigh in on what's going on in Wisconsin.
ROBINSON: I'm not entirely sure that Scott Walker is gonna come out of this smelling as sweet as everybody else seems to think he is. In the end Scott Walker's managed to do something I didn't think could be done. He's kind of made organized labor kind of cool, made young people pay attention to organized labor in a way that they hadn't in a while. So as a kind of organizing tool, as a rallying cause, you know, this might not be the worst thing that could happen to the labor movement.
RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, (Gasp!) is this really what's happened? (Gasp!) As you watch this situation, does it appear to you (Gasp!) that organized labor is coming off as cool in Wisconsin (Gasp!) and that the governor, Scott Walker, has (Gasp!) made that the overriding, notable thing from this whole process? (Gasp!) Really? Organized labor is cool, from Eugene Robinson? (Gasp!) Takes me into a story here that appears in the Los Angeles Times. This story is highly gratifying to me. We have been talking about Wisconsin, what it means, also Ohio, Indiana, and the potential for Armageddon. I mean this is the potential Armageddon for organized labor, public sector unions as money laundering operations for the Democrat Party. And I am always gratified when I see a seminal central point made on this program migrate into the State-Controlled Media.
It's a news analysis piece by Mark Barabak in the LA Times. "Union Battle in the Midwest a Pull for Political Power' -- Republican governors are going up against organized labor, hitting at the heart of the Democratic Party, which depends heavily on union money and manpower." He goes on to say that it's all on the line in Wisconsin. Now, I'm not gonna charge plagiarism here even if there was plagiarism. I am thrilled that this has moved into this particular element of the State-Controlled Media. Let's give you some of the examples of what I'm talking about. "The labor fight blazing in Madison, Wis., and other state capitals is more than a feud over budgets or the rights of government employees. It is a battle that could fundamentally change the practice of politics in this country, with enormous consequences in 2012 and beyond.
"By striking at organized labor, a pugnacious group of Republican governors is hitting at the heart of the Democratic Party, which banks heavily on union money and manpower. That explains the resistance from the White House, Democrats in Congress and, most fiercely, their liberal allies from New York to California. 'This is all about pure political power,' said Paul Maslin, a party strategist whose office is just a block from Wisconsin's Capitol. 'If they break the unions here, it will spread state by state, nationwide.'" Also fundamentally important here is that Wisconsin is a battleground state. Already you can see stories percolating out there. If Obama loses Wisconsin, he loses the presidency. "Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has proposed deep cuts in benefits for most state workers, saying the belt-tightening is necessary to help close a projected $3.6-billion deficit. ... But Walker, a newly elected Republican, has gone further by seeking to strip state employees of most of their collective bargaining rights. He would also make it harder for unions to organize state workers and collect dues, moves that could diminish labor's clout and deplete its coffers, ultimately hurting Democrats who lean on that support." Right here it is. This is in the LA Times, the truth of what's going on there, which you have heard all week on this program.
Michael Fraioli, a Democratic strategist who works closely with organized labor, said, "It's very simple. Wealthy individuals and corporations can still give six-, seven-, eight-figure checks to all the candidates, state parties and causes they want to. If you take away unions and their ability to organize … you cut at the heart of our financial support." Well, Mr. Fraioli, let's be serious about something. Everyone wants to talk about the Koch brothers here. The Koch brothers can give a maximum of $40,000. Whatever they give is dwarfed by what these unions give not just to the Democrat Party but other Democrat candidates, such as Obama. You know, I really cannot overemphasize the fact that this is a strict money laundering operation. Let me repeat the data that we had yesterday about the stimulus, might have been a couple days ago. Wisconsin got $701 million in the stimulus, it's just a little under 10%, and $600 million of that $700 million went to the unions, public sector unions. The whole purpose of the stimulus bill was during a recession to make sure that public sector unions were not laid off by giving states money to keep them on the payroll.
The reason for this was, as long as they work they're paying union dues, and those union dues end up right at the coffers of the Democrat National Committee, Barack Obama, or what have you. So it's simply a transfer of wealth. It's simply redistribution of wealth. All the while the regime telling everybody it's for shovel-ready projects, roads, bridges, schools, rebuild the infrastructure. Why, we're gonna create three to four million private sector jobs. Unemployment will never go higher than 8%. And in fact easily 75 to 80% of the money, if not more, went to public sector union employees all for the express purpose of making sure the recession did not affect them. I mean even after the stimulus, Obama came back during another crisis point for $26 billion additional dollars specifically for teachers. This was under the guise of your children's teachers might be laid off in California and in other states and we cannot allow your kids to suffer because it's all about the children.
So California, the Los Angeles school district, got some of the money, but they did not use it to hire new teachers. They used it to fund the existing health care and pension plans of teachers currently on the payroll and to see to it that some of that $26 billion ended up back with the Democrat Party. It's a money laundering organization. And here this LA Times story, this news analysis gets it right. What's at stake for the Democrats. Essentially, folks, it's your money taken from you via taxes, income taxes in your state, that money is being used to pay public employees' salaries and benefits on average twice what you make. The union dues from those salaries are automatically deducted in some cases by the state, other cases by the federal government, other cases by the union, but regardless, the money ends up back in the Democrat Party.
In other words, people are coerced. You are giving money to the Democrat Party via your taxes, via public employees. You don't even know it and there's nothing you can do to stop it. And that's why everybody now realizes what this is really all about. This is, for Democrats and unions, Armageddon. The bottom line here essentially is what we need to do is take the public sector unions ATM card away from the taxpayers' ATM machine. The taxpayers' ATM machine is empty. But public sector union's ATM cards continue to be used.
RUSH: We asked a question at the top of the hour based on the sound bite from Obama 2007. He pledged to walk with anybody trying to break the unions. Okay, why is he not in Wisconsin? He's come out in favor of the unions. Why didn't he go there? Why hasn't he walked the union picket lines in Wisconsin as he promised? Folks, it's not separation of powers. It's not a president inserting himself. You know he doesn't care about that. It is as I just said, Wisconsin's a swing state. It's a battleground state, and if Obama loses Wisconsin his reelection chances dim considerably. So Obama not being there, don't doubt me on this, Obama not being in Wisconsin and not really weighing in on it a whole lot anymore proves that what the Governor Scott Walker is doing is wildly popular with voters in Wisconsin right now. If the polls showed that the voters in Wisconsin were against Walker, Obama would be there with bells on and so would the Reverend Jackson talking about leaves and "ruts" and joy and all the rest. And the Reverend Sharpton would be there, too. And Michelle (My Belle) Obama would be barbecuing short ribs. None of that's happening.
Walnutport, Pennsylvania, as we start on the phones on Open Line Friday with Thomas. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hi.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. How you doing?
RUSH: Very well, sir. Thanks much.
CALLER: Hey, listen, I'll tell you what, it's been a long time I've been trying to get through to you, and let me tell you, I used to be a union organizer at one time, and I'm a third generation union guy. And that was my past life and now I am a hardworking guy, I believe in hard work, and I believe in reaping the benefits of what hard work is.
RUSH: And you always have believed that, right?
CALLER: Well, in a way, I did. But the problem is when you're raised in a union family --
RUSH: Oh, I forgot, hard work's not -- yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
CALLER: Yeah, when you're raised in a union family, you're told other things. You're told that you can't succeed. You're told that you're gonna be fired, you could be fired at any minute --
RUSH: You're told to hate the boss.
CALLER: Yeah. People aren't gonna treat you fairly. People aren't gonna treat you nice. All kinds of things are gonna happen to you, and I actually was involved in organizing the first labor union in South Carolina. And what happened was that worked out, it was successful. And then I realized if I can be successful at that, maybe I can be successful at other things.
CALLER: And I could be successful at things that might benefit society. And, you know, we have people right now in Wisconsin that are involved in organizing and being successful at it. My goodness, if they would take that effort and put it out and be successful at being productive, what would our society become?
RUSH: Amen, bro. Amen.
CALLER: So I came to that same conclusion. I did that for myself.
RUSH: Why, that is a major transformation for a union organizer like you. I mean you're not just rank-and-file; you were an organizer.
CALLER: Well, I'll tell you the reason why I did that.
CALLER: Because I ended up going from a $20-an-hour job back in the eighties to a $10-an-hour job. And suddenly I became confused. I reached out and I tried to understand what --
RUSH: And then you heard this program. That's the answer. I knew it was coming. Thanks very much.
RUSH: That last caller that we had, I wish we would have had more time. He actually was going to say that what had opened his mind and changed his mind, the fact that he could do even better than he was in a union was listening to the free market concepts espoused on this program. And that caller seems to have converted from being a "taker" to a "maker," which means, ladies and gentlemen, it can happen. People are redeemable. There are no lost causes. Now, if the union thugs ever find out the ID of that last caller, he'd probably be in more trouble than an apostate from Islam. That's why we didn't mention his real name or any of that. But as it was, it was a very heartening and inspiring call.
RUSH: Listen to this, folks. Last night in Madison, Wisconsin, this is on the floor of the Wisconsin assembly. After the assembly passed Governor Walker's Wisconsin budget bill -- just 11 seconds of this, but it will give you an idea of what happens -- assembly Democrats reacting and protesting the vote. This is not union thugs. This is not citizens. This is actual assembly Democrats, and this is the kind of thing that might happen in Japan, it might happen elsewhere. It doesn't happen in the United States, assembly Democrats in Wisconsin reacting to the budget bill being passed in the Wisconsin assembly.
ASSEMBLY DEMOCRATS: SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!
RUSH: Yeah, they were all upset, too, claimed that Walker shocked 'em on this, surprised 'em on this, did all this before they even had their coffee. But Walker is confident, standing firm last night in Madison, Wisconsin.
WALKER: Let me be clear. This bill is not about me. This bill is about the hardworking taxpayers of Wisconsin. We have got to balance this budget long term. You see, it's not just about now, it's about the future. And I, for one, don't want to pass this problem onto my children. I don't want to pass it on to anybody else's children in this state. This is a mess we inherited with $3.6 billion when it comes to this budget deficit and it's not fair to pass it on to the next generation. That's what got us in this trouble in the first place.
RUSH: Yep. And he's hanging tough so far, and we hope he does. Shame! Shame! Shame! You like all this new civility coming from the Democrats after Obama asked us to do this for the little girl killed in Arizona, fulfill her idealistic expectations, a new era of civility. And note that that memo has fallen on so many deaf ears on the Democrat side. What do they know from shame anyway? They're a bunch of shameless people.
RUSH: This afternoon in Washington outside the White House, after meeting with President Obama, some Democrat governors had a meeting with Obama today, and the chairman, Martin O'Malley of Maryland and other governors held a little press conference. And after the press conference there's a Q&A. The White House Chief Correspondent, CBS Chip Reid, asked O'Malley a question.
REID: Are you saying there wasn't one word about this big battle over public employee unions that is spreading to many of your states?
O'MALLEY: I think most of us see that as a distraction really from the most important work that we can do, which is creating jobs.
RUSH: So O'Malley said they didn't even talk about Wisconsin in the Democrat governor's meeting with Obama. Do we believe that? Do we believe that didn't come up? You know what that tells me is something big was planned, some huge big rabble-rousing, something big is planned is coming. (imitating O'Malley) "Oh, oh, fingerprints, can't find any of ours. We didn't even talk about it, why, we were laser focused on jobs in that meeting with the president. We had nothing to do with that bomb going off down the street, no, we were focusing on jobs." Something big is planned, something big. I'll tell you, it's either that or the polls gotta be horrible for the unions. They just have to be horrible for O'Malley to say, "We didn't talk about it." Whatever, it's not good.
RUSH: Mike in Hudson, New York, I appreciate your patience. Glad you waited, sir. Welcome to the program.
CALLER: Thanks, Rush. I told your screener that I'm a, uh, liberal, and I listen a lot and I think that you only tell half the story way too often. So he asked me to give some examples, and I'll do that. The first example is your talk about the, uh, Wisconsin school reading rate: Two-thirds don't read at a proficient level. Well, the truth is, that's half the story. The other half of the story is that the Wisconsin teachers are getting better results than the rest of the nation on average. Another example would be --
RUSH: Wait, wait. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, just a second.
RUSH: I don't dispute you. Let's look at this at the root level. Two-thirds of Wisconsin eighth graders have a below-average reading level and we're supposed to say, "That's good news!" (joyously) Woo-hoo!
CALLER: No, no.
RUSH: That's good news!
CALLER: That's above average.
RUSH: Well, you want the other half of the story: Wisconsin's doing better than the rest of the states. Okay, two-thirds can't read. Wow, doing great in Wisconsin! Okay, there's the other half of the other half of the story.
CALLER: (long silence)
CALLER: (long silence)
RUSH: What happened? Did you guys hit a...? Did you hit a button in there? Did anybody hit the...? Did you hit the deedle button?
CALLER: (long silence)
RUSH: I didn't hear a hang-up. Mike, are you there?
CALLER: (long silence)
RUSH: Well, what the heck happened? Was he on a cell call? Did we maybe lose the signal? Well, I guess we lost the signal if he's on a cell call. I didn't hear a click. Yeah, we still have the line up. Okay. Half the story. Let me see if I can make his case for him. Something happened, he's not here. I only tell half the story. Wisconsin's eighth grade reading rate, two-thirds... Let's put it this way: Only 34% of eighth graders read at a "good" level. However, what I didn't tell you is that Wisconsin's doing better than a number of other states, and I guess I also didn't tell you Wisconsin's probably spending less per pupil than other states with worse results, but Wisconsin is still spending 10 or $11,000 a student versus some of these other places spending 14 grand.
So the other half of the story that I didn't tell you is that while only one-third of Wisconsin's eighth graders can read, essentially, that's better than a lot of other states. So the other half of the story is, when you strip it all away: Only one-third of Wisconsin eighth graders can read, and that fact makes them better than a lot of other states, and we're supposed to be...happy. So that's the other half of the other half of the story. Now, I don't think this guy hung up just because I made that point. I think something happened to the line. But, I mean, if... (interruption) Mmm-hmm. Okay, he was gonna say, what, that blue states wouldn't be broke if it weren't for revenue sharing?
Blue states send all of their money to the red states? Okay, so that argument is, for example, New York's tax rates are such that they send X-amount of dollars to Washington, but they don't get as much back. They don't get that back in services and benefits from Washington. So the blue states are subsidizing red states, and I'm not... (interruption) Okay, so the other half of the story is that while the blue states suck, the reason they suck is because they're sending more to Washington than the red states send, and the red states are getting an unfair share of benefits back in federal legislation than the blue states. Oh. Okay. Got it. Got it. (sigh) So I take it... Why would this even come up? What would prompt this guy to call?
See, this is the kind of stuff, folks, that fascinates me. Here, let's just take the raw statistic just to boil this down to its essentials: One-third of Wisconsin's eighth graders can read. We are in the midst of a debate over the quality of public education in Wisconsin. We know that the Wisconsin public school teachers make, in salary and benefits, twice the national average. We know it's a huge money-laundering operation. This whole public sector union setup and the stimulus is all a money-laundering operation. So obviously this is an effort here to diminish the impact of what I am saying, and this guy's... (interruption)
Hmm. Ahhhh, all right. Well, track this stuff. So the story is, apparently... (interruption) Oh! Oh, oh, oh, oh. Caller got his info from a David Frum column rebutting me. Ohhhhhhhh. Okay. Well, that explains all this. So somebody from whatever is listening to what I said and I'm just reporting facts: One-third of Wisconsin eighth grade students can read. Rather than deal with the absolute horror of that fact, they say, "Let's see if we can find where Limbaugh is shading things -- and we found a way! One-third of Wisconsin eighth graders being able to read is better than some of the other states where only one-fourth of them can read. A-ha! We got Limbaugh!"
In the meantime, eighth graders can't read in America.
So it's an attempt to make me a bad guy when I've got nothing to do with any of it. I can read.
RUSH: Okay. So the liberal caller here that vanished, unfortunately, somehow, ended up damning the whole teaching profession. He seemed to be making the point, ladies and gentlemen, that apparently Wisconsin is the high watermark and I wasn't telling the whole story. One-third of Wisconsin eighth graders CAN read. That's the high-water mark. So in an effort here to impugn my tactics and my presentation, 'cause I "only tell half the story," the guy just wiped out the teaching profession. He just wiped it out.