Ed Schultz and a roomful of ferocious badgers in Madison, Wisconsin

Ed Schultz at Dane Brew Pub Madison Wisconsin.

You can follow this link to see all of the Ed Show segments from last night’s broadcast.

See more photos at my facebook page.

I waited two hours for the Ed Show at the Great Dane Brew Pub in downtown Madison last night. It did help that I consumed some delicious french fries and a very tall Crop Circle wheat beer, but that wasn’t the only thing keeping me waiting patiently in my seat.

Though we bloggers, tweeters, and facebook fanatics do now have a lot of power at our fingertips, we know there’s yet more power in the full force and precision of an established TV show. I think there’s also a huge sense of gratitude to Ed Schultz from many of us for his continued focus on what Wisconsin has been going through this past year.

We got a little coaching before the show: Do not use flash photography during broadcsat, Watch our cues for when to cheer, Silence your phone. Our small yet mighty audience required two men to wrangle our noise. The big problem for our handlers was getting us to throttle down our voices when they needed us to, not raise them.

The show opened with a topic that Appleton Wonk had blogged on earlier in the day at this blog: an act of domestic terrorism at a Planned Parenthood in Grand Chute, Wisconsin [that’s near Appleton] where a small bomb was set off (fortunately injuring nobody). The hostility behind the act was linked by Ed and guests with the ongoing “war on women” waged by the right wing. There also seems to be an ongoing dismissal of the significance of these violent acts against Planned Parenthood but more on that in another post.

Ed drew the discussion to Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum since they are the top GOP candidates on today’s Wisconsin GOP presidential primary [which is open to all]. Those candidates are of very little interest to anyone I know except as sideshow candidates to make jokes about and I doubt that many of Ed’s viewers are interested in voting for those men. However discussing their faults gives Ed an opportunity to pump up Obama’s contrasting support for women’s rights.

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Senators Lena Taylor and Chris Larson were on and did an excellent job of giving a sketch of what Walker is like though the people here who’ve watched him closely know he is 10 times worse than what they described. It’s understandable. You’d need a mini-series to go through the transformation of Wisconsin to Fitzwalkerstan and discuss the rights lost, safety nets shredded, Christian educations funded with public dollars thorugh charter school vouchers, etc. etc.

When Ed Schultz asked Senator Lena Taylor what we’ll do if Walker wins she replied, laughingly, “He won’t win.” That was perfect.

I discussed her answer with Ellen M. H., a teacher from Walworth County. We both loved the answer but agreed that the truth is more severe. The truth is we MUST finish Walker’s career or we are history – “we” being public school teachers and all who hold the rights and safety net of the PUBLIC dear with its separations of church and state intact.

Tom Barrett came on the show next. I was shocked that he missed the opportunity to come on the show in person. He instead sat in a studio in Milwaukee. We could barely hear his voice because of poor audio but the crowd sounded like they were with him, for example clapping when they heard him say “restore collective bargaining rights”. If he’d showed up in person, I think he would’ve gotten a star treatment from us no matter what our feelings were for other candidates for governor.

Barrett said that he’s running for the governor seat because Scott Walker is dividing this state as it never has been before and because Walker has lost jobs at a record rate. Ed asked why Tom thought he could win in 2012 when he lost to Walker in 2010. He responded that “Things have changed. People have seen what Scott Walker is all about.  He never said he was going to halt collective bargaining rights to all employees.”  

Ed asked Tom about whether he would go to bat for restoration of collective bargaining rights as Kathleen Falk has vowed to. Tom in reply said he would go into a special session as soon as elected to deal with restoration of rights. He said he didn’t want to pledge to use the budget for this job [the budget is the one piece of legislation the Wisconsin state legislature MUST pass] because “I don’t want to tie my hand behind my back” and he concluded with the statement,”I will restore collective bargaining rights”. Ed then asked Tom about a statement Walker made, that Tom Barrett used his “tools” to cut the budget of Milwaukee by $25 million dollars.  Barrett replied that it was either cut budgets in Milwaukee or lay people off and that with the cuts in state aid Walker pushed through, he had been painted into a corner as Mayor.

Ed then focused on developments in the Trayvon Martin story and then he talked to people in the crowd to get some personal statements. Following we mobbed him to shake his hand, thank him, and get his autograph.

The main audience wrangler kept close watch on Ed secret service-style for much of this lovefest and then at some point he disappeared and Ed found himself in the middle of the room unescorted. I said to Ellen that his handler probably figured out that if anybody tried to touch a hair on Ed’s head, the perpetrator would’ve suffered the wrath of ferocious activists from Madison. Ed was probably never safer in his life than when he was in that room with us.

Man poses for photo with Ed Schultz at Dane Brew Pub Madison WI

Ed Schultz after show at Dane Brew Pub, Madison Wisconsin, April 2nd, 2012

A Wisconsin Solidarity Grab Bag. March 15, 2011.

While it’s great that my pants fit looser from all that exercise I did rallying, my kitchen is a health hazard. You may see more “grab bag”‘s  “this n that”‘s and other people’s videos this week.

Tensions Ease Between Dems and GOP

Senator Cullen Extends an “Olive Branch”, Puzzling some Dem 14 Fans

“Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville, a key member of the Democratic senators who fled the state in a failed effort to stall Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill, said Tuesday he was drafting a state constitutional amendment that would allow the Legislature to vote on and pass fiscal bills with a simple majority.”-madison.com

Here’s one of the funnier tweeted criticisms: “Need new party called “The Badass Progressives Takin No Crap From You” and Cullen not invited” @juliecmitchell

And this was the most popular criticism of Cullen tweeted: “150,000 people cheer Dem Sen Tim Cullen‘s return and 3 days later he pisses in their faces” –@mgarth Continue reading

The Fab 14 on the Ed Schultz Show: “Whose side are you on?”

Why am I going to summarize this video? I love it. And I know a lot of you don’t have the patience for it and you might not like that constant yelling Ed Schultz does.

Also, it’s a pretty good framework for where things still stand right now between Scott Walker, Senate Majority Leader Scott “Don’t give a shit about your constitutional rights” Fitzgerald, and the power and energy of the impending recall elections against GOP Senators- recall elections that Scott Fitzgerald suggested he’d try to scuttle with a rule change yesterday.

Here’s what’s in this 15 minutes on Wisconsin from a recent Ed Schultz Show:

Walker calls Mark Miller’s letter and offer to meet “ridiculous”.

Walker says he’s assuming that Republican Senator Dale Schultz will vote “no” on his bill, siding with the Democrats. Democrats say they are applying pressure on moderate Republican Senator Mike Ellis.

To accomplish their goal of passing the Governor’s union-busting “budget repair” bill and also the draconian public-education-destroying regular budget bill, Republicans need 1 Democrat to come home and flip.  To defeat the Governor’s agenda, the Democrats need 3 Republicans to flip to “no” votes.

Senator Scott Fitzgerald announces that Dem. Senators Bob Jauch and Tim Cullen met with Walker allies. This announcement enrages Senator Jauch who says “Trust is completely broken down now. I don’t believe anything he says. [meaning Republican Senator Scott Fitzgerald]”

At the 1:19 mark, Ed talks with Senator Mark Miller and Senator Lena Taylor. Senator Miller says that in a recent press conference, Governor Walker claimed access to” ‘zero flexibility’. Senator Miller: “…and then he accuses us of not being able to negotiate”.

Senator Miller adds that Walker apparently does not know how to negotiate, and that is one of the reasons he wants to get rid of public bargaining.  Miller adds that the ability to negotiate is essential to working in the political arena.

Lena Taylor says that Republican Senator Dale Schultz has pretty much stated that he does not support the bill and wants an amendment to it [to keep collective bargaining rights]. She adds that Republican Senator Ellis has always worked in a practical way and he has a good relationship with Democratic Senator Risser. She says,

“Whose side are they on-those 19 Senators [Republican]? Are they on the side of Wisconsin workers? Or are they on Walker’s side?

Senator Miller calls the recall efforts “basically a do-over of the November election” and credits Governor Walker’s radical agenda for dividing Wisconsin. Senator Taylor adds that if the public were not energized to side with the workers, why would they be lining up around the block to volunteer in recall efforts against Republicans?

Ed Schultz asks, “What if you can’t change minds, how long are you willing to ‘hang in there’ and be absent?” Senator Taylor does not address the question directly. Instead she says,”It’s a question of whose side are you on, on the side of an unpopular governor or on the side of the workers?”

At the 5:08 mark, Senator Lena Taylor (full disclosure: my favorite Senator) closes saying,

“the recalls provide an opportunity for Wisconinites to take this baton and to really do what needs to be done to hold them [Republicans] accountable.” She adds something at the end — the Muhammad Ali style of tough talk I’m needing right about now:

“They’re gonna see ’em now, or they’re gonna hear ’em now, they’re gonna listen to ’em now, or they’re gonna have to deal with ’em later”.

Click to link into 15 minutes on Wisconsin's current crisis.