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Al Franken writes, "Eighteen Republican state senators broke faith with the people who elected them. They broke their word. They may have even broken the law. They wanted to bust public-sector unions - the last line of defense for the rights of teachers, police officers, firefighters, nurses, and other public servants - so badly that they were willing to cheat the system. Let's be clear: They did this in the hopes that, with the bill passed, the crowds would dissipate and we'd let this go. But they were wrong."

Portrait, Senator Al Franken, 06/01/09. (photo: Jeffrey Thompson/Getty Images)
Portrait, Senator Al Franken, 06/01/09. (photo: Jeffrey Thompson/Getty Images)

This Isn't Over

By Sen. Al Franken, Reader Supported News

10 March 11

RSN Special Coverage: GOP's War on American Labor

e were all shocked by what happened in Wisconsin Wednesday night.

Eighteen Republican state senators broke faith with the people who elected them. They broke their word. They may have even broken the law.

They wanted to bust public-sector unions - the last line of defense for the rights of teachers, police officers, firefighters, nurses, and other public servants - so badly that they were willing to cheat the system.

Let's be clear: They did this in the hopes that, with the bill passed, the crowds would dissipate and we'd let this go.

But they were wrong. We're not going to let this go. We're going to help the people of Wisconsin fight this bill - and the illegal power grab it took to pass it - every step of the way. We're going to help them hold accountable the elected officials who sold out workers and subverted democracy.

And, most of all, we're going to make sure that this is the end - not the beginning - of the right wing's attempt to destroy the middle class. It took a power-hungry, corporate-backed governor and 18 senators with no respect for the law or the struggle of working families to bring this issue to national attention. But the fight to stand up for the middle class against corporations and the politicians they own has always been a national fight.

It's up to us to make sure we win that fight for the working families whose voices - whose livelihoods - are at stake.

Thank you. And please stay tuned. your social media marketing partner


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+64 # virgil cain 2011-03-10 19:00
Im sticking with the union.
+46 # Susan Temere 2011-03-10 23:08
We;ve just begun to figh!
+76 # reo100 2011-03-10 19:01
Al, tell it to the President. Better yet, ask him to grow some balls and kick ass.
I'm disgusted.....
+31 # Parker 2011-03-11 00:18
Quoting reo100:
Al, tell it to the President. Better yet, ask him to grow some balls and kick ass.
I'm disgusted.....

The Mr. Cool image is getting really old. He needs to repay the enthusiasm that was shown for him in the General Election.
+4 # Monika 2011-03-12 09:31
Quoting Parker:
Quoting reo100:
Al, tell it to the President. Better yet, ask him to grow some balls and kick ass.
I'm disgusted.....

The Mr. Cool image is getting really old. He needs to repay the enthusiasm that was shown for him in the General Election.

I could give this comment 2 thumbs up I would have! Come on Mr. President, help us help YOU.
+40 # Lani 2011-03-11 07:01
Quoting reo100:
Al, tell it to the President. Better yet, ask him to grow some balls and kick ass.
I'm disgusted.....

The one thing I learned from all this is we need to all grow our own balls and overies and kick ass!
+19 # islandwolf 2011-03-11 10:46
U are so right Lani it’s up to us as it should be. President Obama is behind us but he should not overstep his bounds as President to All of America. He has expressed his support for the Unions and at this time unless it has to with the law being broken he can do no more. He is not a King.
-1 # Isa Kocher 2011-03-12 21:56
he's behind us alright. so far behind us he can't see our taillights. if he were any further behind us he'd be in another party. he certainly is attending another party. lily livered blue dog party.
+4 # Randal Marlin 2011-03-11 11:11
Sounds like a novel way of egging people on.
+1 # juliajayne 2011-03-12 10:34
Now that was a cute comment. Thanks for making me laugh, I needed it.
+23 # Wynne Dimock 2011-03-11 08:54
you are not alone, but WE ALL are when it comes to Democratic support.......T HIS IS OUR FIGHT
-5 # Leslie 2011-03-11 10:45
The President is the problem, like as if in the "real world" where the government is not corrupt, he couldn't do anything about all of this, come on, if he doesn't have the power to fix it then who does? Nothing but excuses! Well as long as the banks control Obama and congress, it's will only get worse! The people of the USA need to stand up pretty darn quick for your rights before martial law is fully enacted, before it's too late, and you can't! Your governments plan is in action, and unfortunately, the people are not part of that plan, only the elites are. Take back your government before it's too late!
+8 # Lesabre 2011-03-11 15:29
It's all those independant voters that sway with the wind that voted in all those R's . I'd like to hear what they say now. They voted for a Democrat Pres and then tied his hands with the next round of voting...They want instand gradification and keep switching sides...
+1 # Noosejunkie 2011-03-10 21:35
I dont think the President capable of growing balls.
-1 # Isa Kocher 2011-03-12 21:58
michelle keeps them safe in a jewel box
+66 # Pamela Jambeck 2011-03-10 21:41
At last! Franken speaks in behalf of the middle class! I've been waiting for his comments! Thank you, Al!!
+29 # Andrew Mark 2011-03-11 00:02
Obama has the balls. He just needs to know that his bread will be buttered FAR better if he gets in front of the train that MUST address the outrageousness of Wisconsin's state gov't.

One fact keeps getting buried: unionized state government workers are FAR less likely to become corrupted (union aren’t STUPID: they KNOW that if they develop a rep of tolerating corruption, they..and their workers… will be seeing the door.

Obviously, corrupting the bureaucracy IS the Republican agenda.

If Obama allows the state governments to strip unions out of the equation, without some other enforcement scheme in place first, its a pretty good bet that, 25 years from now, the US bureaucracy will have the some level of integrity that Greece is dealing with now.

+17 # Capn Canard 2011-03-11 10:15
I don't doubt that Obama will try to do something, but the influence of BIG MONEY is HUGE IN DC. If he were to try a massive protection of workers I believe it would be a quick death sentence for him. Literally he would be assassinated and it would be a mystery to those in officialdom. Those in power would blame the most convenient "enemy". Hell, they wouldn't hesitate to blame AARP, the NEA or even disgruntled 9-11 survivors, it would great cover for the guilty! That is the modius operandi. This is how power works all across the world. It is not unique to America. Check out Benazhir Buhto's murder, or the multiple Latin American leaders that mysteriously die before reforms are enacted. Or the failed coup de'tat against Chavez in 02. The MSM jumped on this story and reported it as successful coup. Even NPR reported that. NPR then changed the story before the day was over, but from what I remember the MSM just ignored the truth. Obama is be a sitting duck. But we need him and everyone else in power to step up and put their lives on the line or we will get rolled.
+38 # Erica 2011-03-10 22:57
Hope this backfires and the perpetrators are recalled. It's a total outrage.
+3 # Monika 2011-03-12 09:35
And the first recall I'd love to see is that lousy excuse of a governor, Scott Walker. Start with this jerk.
+31 # DPM 2011-03-10 23:56
Rallies in Michigan. I will be at the rally in Lansing on the 15th and in Traverse City on the 19th. If you live in Michigan, please join us. If you live in Wisconsin, join those protests. They are protesting in Indiana, too. Though you would hardly know it by listening to most news broadcasts.
+3 # Edujustice2005 2011-03-11 23:51
edujustice2005; DPM; I will be in Michigan during that time and I will surely be there to give all support that I can. I will bring about 5 fiends and relative from Detroit with me. Hope we can connect there and get starting doing something to move these Teapublicans and Birthers, KKKs and others! Hope to see you there also!
+20 # C.P. 2011-03-11 00:03
Whenever something ugly happens in any part of the world, you can count on the cheap pundits among us to ask why President Obama hasn't put his hand into that pot. When we consider how many outrageous things are happening everywhere on earth, any president would wear himself out just keeping up with them, much less delivering position policies on them all. Obama did make his position known about collective bargaining, however, and he is squarely on the side of the unions. Right now he has his hands full with Libya and a possible no-fly zone question.
+10 # Anarchist 23 2011-03-11 11:25
Sorry but when are the Libyans more important than the American people? Of course I sympathize with the Libyans and Kadafi must go, but it looks like we have a bunch of little Kadaffis spawning in WI, MI,OH, NB and countless other states. From Egypt to USA-we should all stand together against economic and political injustice! Otherwise, I suggest you throw 1984, Brave New World, Kafka´s The Trial and The Castle and perhaps some Stephen King novels in a blender along with selected bits of Dune which describe Baron Harkunon´s planet and read the future from the mixed up bits of text!
-2 # Isa Kocher 2011-03-12 22:00
if obama is watching my back why does it feel i've been knifed skewered basted roasted and served on a platter
+52 # Wanda 2011-03-11 00:11
People get the government they deserve. For the last 30 years I've watched helplessly as my fellow middle class commrads have voted Republican. In the name of culture wars and tax breaks for the wealthy they have voted like chickens who vote for Col. Sanders.
Americans were smart to vote for Obama but they didn't go far enough. Then they back peddled and voted to give Republicans their chance to make their final move. Obama needed help and he didn't get it. He'll help us but we have to mean business!
+22 # Capn Canard 2011-03-11 09:58
Wanda I share your frustration. I've watched on countless occasions people who gladly vote against their own best interests. They just don't get it. Is is a problem with their intelligence or the herd mentality, a function of not straying from the social group like sheep they all are more than willing to plunge over the cliff. Or like chickens they eagerly seek refuge with Col Sanders or Popeyes Chicken shack. Lambss to the slaughter.
+24 # ellen Almaguer 2011-03-11 00:13
Thanks Al..I was beginning to wonder hwne the democrats were going to wake up, but sometimes I guess it takes an earthquake.I stand behind those union people as I was once a state worker in Illinois and the govenor tried almost the same thing. My prayers are with them all.
+11 # Clayton Stouffer 2011-03-11 00:28
Obama could do so much for the people of our country IF he were to put people other than the corporate, Wall Street and Banking on his advisory group AND go boldly forward with the progressive changes he campaigned on. He could get the people in the streets supporting him. It does appear that he has problem comprehending what he could do. I don't think it is a male hormone problem. Maybe he is just a sell out?
+25 # Leslie Lakind 2011-03-11 01:27
Thank you Al.
It's more then the president that need balls.
We need more als and bernies. Fiengold for president.
+27 # ligonlaw 2011-03-11 01:37
At last a Democrat who stands up for the working people. We need you, Senator Al.
+28 # Ken Hall 2011-03-11 02:54
Thank you, AF, an anti-corporatis t voice in the Senate!
+24 # giraffee2012 2011-03-11 03:01
The President SAID he disapproves (strongly) but it is up to Congress to make law. Those who cry about President Obama do not know he is NOT a King (albeit after "W" - it seemed that a pResident was King)

VOTE in 2012 - to get these criminals out of office. We may never recover from the damage done bu "W"/Cheney/Rove etc but we can stop the tsunami by not electing any more R's into office.

And don't watch FAUX and then post on this blog because FAUX is a pack of liars
+4 # albertchampion 2011-03-11 03:14
it's over. fascism rules
+4 # Capn Canard 2011-03-11 10:17
Albert it good to know I am not alone in that assessment.
+8 # Frosty46 2011-03-11 04:47
Al, thanks for the words of encouragement. Sadly it's way late for the Dems to grow actual bone matter in the spine area.

Having sit back on their corporate asses, sucking the tit of greed and corruption from the nipples of corporate America while the last bit of strength was sucked from working men and women kind of makes Dems assholes!

Past time for a third party that has revolution on it's agenda--you know like 90% tax on all income over 175,000 annual income---withou t exception! That's churches, charities, every dollar that exchange hands for what ever reason-till the books are balanced!

Next this third party could make our US elections honest---every citizen gets one vote in the most easy manner possible--chang e everything! End the BS electoral college BS. Guess you get the idea do all the honest things that should have been done say 100 years ago!
-8 # Marc 2011-03-11 06:10
Like most Democrats, Franken wants to play both sides. He voted for the tax extensions for the very wealthy.
+14 # todd williams 2011-03-11 07:09
I want to know why the president has, for the most part, been silent on this matter. Furthermore, why haven't Democratic senators and reps from OTHER states gone to Wisconsin to show solidarity with the workers there? We are going to have to stand together or the right will win, destroy unionism and the middle class. This is the truth.
+31 # rm 2011-03-11 07:26
Well, the republicans are now out of the closet. Their agenda is clear for all to see. I don't see why any of them would be re-elected in 2012. Why would anyone believe their campaign talk about "fiscal responsibility" ? This is class warfare; they are out to smash the middle class and loot whatever wealth the middle class has accumulated.
+21 # rm 2011-03-11 07:38
Good for Al Franken. But it will take a lot more than simply saying "we're going to make sure that this is the end - not the beginning - of the right wing's attempt to destroy the middle class." What is Franken proposing to do? Why does he support Obama's wars all over the world? Those must stop NOW. They are part of American Fascism, too.

The US needs right now a general strike -- a nationwide walk out. Shut the economy/nation down until the Federal government turns 180 degrees away from the neo-con policies of all presidents from Reagan through Obama, the war against the world and the trickle down economics at home. The only way to have capitalism is to regulate it heavily. Non regulated capitalism will over-run everyone.
+32 # MarjB 2011-03-11 07:58
Okay, it's time to start connecting the dots. Citizens United gave corporportions - and unions - the power of free speech. Both entities now have the same rights as you and me. So unions are the only defense the average guy has against the power of corporations. And the last powerful unions are public sector. If you were a bought-and-paid -for Republican, what would you do? Pass legislation that kills the power of the unions. Then corporations are the only non-human "persons" left with the power and money to influence elections. Slam. Dunk.
+21 # Capn Canard 2011-03-11 09:40
Glad to see you get it. But I believe it is far, far worse than what you have posted here. Citizens United is neither a citizen based group nor is it a union in the truest sense of the word "union". It is the same thing that will destroy us, in that Corporations are legally recognized as PEOPLE, PERSONS. This is that old 1886 Supreme court abomination of Santa Clara Co v. Southern Pacific Railroad. This is death to individual person hood. Citizen United case is just a continuation of the WAR ON THE WORKING CLASS. If we don't stop this, then the United States of America is effectively finished.
+4 # JustJim 2011-03-11 16:36
Thank-you Capn. I really love it when someone backs up their arguments with a reference to a factual historic event.
+20 # jacdav 2011-03-11 09:12
This outrage CANNOT be allowed to pass. If the pols are looking for a "SIGN" a general strike would be a good start. Hell, even wearing red until the WI & MI dictats are repealed would be a good idea. I served my country, I worked from 14 to 62yo. These SOB's are cheating US out of our govt, homes & future- perhaps you all wanna sit on your duff, but not me. This could easily end in violence- when you have nothing left to loose some poor choices look pretty good.
TIME TO UNASS, goto protests, write to papers, stand with our brothers and sisters UNTIL justice is restored,this is our last stand. Look back to the working conditions in 1880's (they were called the robber barons) that is the Republican dream. Is it yours? NO? Then action is required. NOW.
Obama is a great disappointment, bad enough he sold out any hope of progressive change, now he is on standby as due process, & civil rights are pissed on & flushed down the corporate toilet.
Contracts are sacred unless you are wealthy, republican and find them inconvienent.
+12 # james t 2011-03-11 09:16
just dusted off my 1988 postal WORKER union it before my drivers license
get up ,stand up
+18 # Capn Canard 2011-03-11 09:32
I am shocked at the lack of awareness of the majority of Americans. This is very disappointing.. . The MSM has been completely lost to us since WWII. The Fascists have learned to manipulate the news with constant spinning of fact. Case in point is Bill O'Reilly's incompetence that is sold to most people as the journalistic standard. That is what we are up against and the Fascists are relying the facts and truth being lost in ether. It is far easier than telling the truth.
+6 # cycleman60 2011-03-11 10:43
I am a loyal and dedicated union member. Whenever the GOP tramnples our collective bargaining rights, they have drawn the sword, and it will strike at you. You will know we will come after you. We will. This fight has just begun and you are the target. Be ready!!!
-2 # cheeseshark 2011-03-11 11:32
Bring it bitch!
+4 # BishopAndrew 2011-03-11 11:51
Sorry AL, but it is too little too late! The Tea Party oligarchs aren't really to blame because they did not act in a vacuum no it is your gutless party and president who bears the blame along with every idiot that voted these den of thieves in office.
Yes brothers and sisters the president could have done more without violating any Constitutional principe. He could have addressed the people of Wisconsin directly and he could have sent those yellow belly so called Democratic leaders there on his behalf. Caused a donnybrook of course but this is war and it is a war against the working people of this nation, the Bill of Rights, and the very foundational concept that government is the servant of the People not corporations or the so called free market place. Make no mistake the Tea Party Republican Party is an evil party of people who worship money and will use any device or deception to do so. Join the People's Party and let us have a true democratic revolution. If the people of Iran and Egypt and Libya can do it so can we!
+5 # propsguy 2011-03-11 12:32
yes, where IS the president? why hasn't he flown to wisconsin and made his presence felt. michael moore was able to get there and he doesn't have airforce 1 at his disposal. the silence from the white house has been deafening
+6 # angelfish 2011-03-11 13:56
The goal of the ReTHUGlican Party is to return us to the days of the "Company Store", where workers were held literally captive and beholden to the "owners". They WANT us to go back to 16 hour days, NO Health Insurance, No job Security, NO paid vacations, No OSHA and NO minimum wage. In essence NO VOICE over how we do our jobs. We will sit when they say "sit", and stand when they say "stand", "beg" and "roll over" at their command, and if we don't like it, we can walk out the door and not let it hit us where the good Lord split us! THAT is their main goal in life. They've ALREADY gotten us to bail their sorry a$$es out of the Banking debacle. I haven't seen anyone indicted or even CHARGED with a crime yet, Have you? Didn't think so. They're ALL clipping coupons and making MORE money than ever! Thanks to the deluded simpletons recruited by the Koch brother's "Tea Party", they've overtaken several Governorships since the mid-term elections and we are reaping their evil fruit already in Wisconsin. THIS is where they want to take the rest of us. DO NOT LET THEM! Hopefully Justice will prevail and they will be recalled and replaced with Human Beings. I STILL have hope!
0 # Buckles 2011-03-11 16:47
Wisconsin voted for Obama, So did Illinois.Does he want to loose these states in 2012. This WW2 vet will welcome you when you put on the soft shoes and make an appearanse for our UNion fight.
-4 # disgusted American 2011-03-12 20:41
So, Al Franken, here you are all in a huff, and rightly so, because what happened in WI was vile.

BUT, do you have selective anmesia?

Why is what took place in WI anymore "shocking" and "wrong" than Democrats under the leadership of Pelosi, ramming the so-called health care reform through by resorting to reconcilation when Scott Brown won the MA special election?

Furthermore, the Democratic (at that time) House was discussing using the Slaughter Rule which would deemed the bill passed.

Aren't you the pot calling the kettle black? Methinks you are!

And for all readers: How soon "we the people" forget.
0 # Gary in Midwest 2011-03-13 11:26
Hey Al, there's a canard here no one's talking about and yet you know as well as I. This banning union's right to collective bargaining is not the simple mantra everyone's spinning. The system in Wisconsin was broken. The union was negotiating with a stacked deck in their favor because the other side of the table contained union cronies just as much as the Koch brothers have their cronies in office for the other side, particularly the governor. What we should be talking about is fixing cronyism. On both sides. That should be the real issue here. Instead, the baby has gone out with the bath.
0 # Lgagliano 2011-03-14 12:12
Sorry, but I don't think Obama has "the balls" or the capability to do us even a small amount of good he's failed us miserably on so many counts since the day he took office. I LOVE Mr. Franken, but he's in the world of politicians now. I agree with everything that's been said about people standing up for their civil rights. How much more do we need to see before we realize we cannot trust or rely on our party bound leaders to protect anyone's middle or working class rights ??? Get out there and talk to all your conservative leaning working and middle class friends who think the republicans have got their backs- The veil needs to be lifted, our politicians on both sides are failing us- the best thing we can do is open our eyes and choose wisely and independently.
0 # Roy H 2011-03-15 18:30
I'm glad to read that some people understand that our senators and representatives are bought and paid for by special interest money. As has been said "He with the gold rules". I would not be surprised in time to see a $9- $13/hr job considered to be relatively good pay. So stay tuned while the wealthy try to get you and the senior citizens to pay the lion's share of the national debt.

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