6:59: Okay, looks like everything’s wrapping up now so I’m going to stop blogging shortly. If anyone has any comments or questions for me, please let me know. Thanks for reading.

6:57: I also appreciate that some of the union advocates explained clearly that the rights to collectively bargain also helps them improve situations and services for the people they serve.

6:54: Breaking: Republican Senator Dale Schulz will offer a compromise to the amendment so that the Governor’s collective bargaining proposals will sunset in two years.  A sign that Republicans are wavering on this? Well…remember that Governor Walker can just veto the sunset proposal.

6:53: I agree that the voter ID bill passing is also devastating to Wisconsin. It’s like everywhere you look it’s just more poopy stuff.

6:51: Long-term control over the budget? This man is already the most powerful Governor in the United States.

6:49: Public sector unions are also partners in economic development! Public sector employees are also trying to make ends meet and help their children. Sheesh. They aren’t aliens who scavenge the landscape.

6:47: Andrew, yes. It’s important to remember that teachers and all of the people affected by this have families. My dad was a teacher. These are middle-class people who contribute to the community in and outside of the workplace.

6:46: Nancy, thank you for making it clear that this is not about money.

6:45: Nice camera trickery Any Choi.

6:42: Got to text to save Democracy!

6:41: Okay–if anyone says Wisconsin or Capitol or Madison–have a drink.

6:38: I feel like I should have extended the drinking game into the regular news cast. Madison East plays Verona now? The new Badger Conference configuration makes me feel like I’m 40.

6:36: Don’t Republicans know that withholding pay from Democrats will only emphasize the point that the 14 Democrats are in Illinois on principal, not for their own self-interest? It just makes the Republicans look spiteful and aggressive.

6:35: I do love the parents who have come out in lieu of the teachers. Very cool–people often forget that there are thousands of us who are engaged in this fight even though it doesn’t directly affect us.

6:33: Umm…I don’t think the Senators’ leaving is unethical. I can understand that Republicans don’t want them to vote from Illinois, but I think the ethics behind them leaving is solid. How ethical is it to change 50 years of labor law, affecting 200,000 people, in 5 days?

6:30: Peter Barca is so great at yelling. I kind of wish that I had him in my apartment when I’m trying to clean: Un.be.liev.a.ble that you did NOT scrub out that GROUT!!!

6:26: Nice shot of a woman in the background wincing and trying to refrain from getting angry as a man in front of her says our taxes are too high and that the Dem Senators need to do their jobs and come back to vote.

6:24: But I do appreciate that Channel 3 is letting some regular people talk. Nice reasoned response from an anti-bill person.

6:23: Channel 3 missed an opportunity to mention that it was over 60,000 protesters against the measure.  It was far from even.

6:18: Governor Walker pretty much hit every point I expected, but I think it’s disingenuous of him to pretend like he’s acknowledging the concerns of the protesters, when he really isn’t at all. The key thing nobody wants to let go of is the right to bargain. Bargaining is an important too that enhances civil service protections.

6:17: I do agree with Sen Miller and Prof. Franklin’s analysis that the Dems are giving room for compromise, while making it clear that the right to negotiate should not be touched.

6:15: Had to take a break to catch up with all of the drinks I didn’t get to take! Also, thanks News 3 for putting on Charles Franklin. I don’t necessarily agree with everything he says, but he does a good job explaining everything.

6:14: Also, please remember that this is not just state employees but all public workers.

6:13: Everything Miller is saying is fine, but it’s so awkward. Maybe people will relate to him?

6:12: Miller seems uncomfortable and nervous.

6:10: Mark Miller’s doing the rebuttal? I’d rather see Erpenbach as he’s been much more engaging throughout this process.

6:09: Governor Walker, your ancestors are from Wisconsin? Also, what has made this state great is the rights we have given to our workers.  It’s the progressive history you are trying to end.

6:08: 1,500 state employees will be laid off by the end of June. Please ignore the gun to your head. I’m modest and reasonable.

6:07: I would be up for more taxes instead of civic unrest. Also, it should be noted–the dems plugged a $7 billion hole. Out of state protesters from Nevada! Where were they today? I didn’t see them.

6:05: It’s modest.  Wisconsin eat your kids and your future.  Modest proposals on the county level–that’s why he was sued by and lost to county workers. We’re up to about 6 drinks I think.

6:04: Dear private workers who support Gov Walker: You have the right to unionize and bargain. This would take those rights away from the public sector.  That’s the issue.

6:03: It’s about the budget and protecting the taxpayer.  Did you know that Wisconsin worker? Sheesh–3 drinks!!

6:02: He understands–that’s why he’s taking away what you’re asking for. Drink 3 times!

6:00 p.m. He loves government workers. What a sweet way of showing it. Drink up!

6:00 p.m. Okay–Fireside about to start.

5:45 p.m. Nice national CBS news face time for the Dem 14.  Okay–I’ve got to get my glass of 3 buck chuck.

5:40 p.m.: A note on logistics–I will be watching the fireside on Madison’s CBS affiliate, Channel 3.  Their coverage has been by far the most extensive this week and they are devoting an entire hour to the fireside chat, a democratic rebuttal and analysis.

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Tonight at 6 p.m. (CST) Wisconsin Governor Walker will address the people of Wisconsin via a fireside chat.  It’s like FDR except that he’ll try to convince us that it’s okay to give massive tax breaks to corporations, while simultaneously saying “we’re broke” in order to justify stripping collective bargaining rights for middle-class people.  Or maybe he won’t talk about the collective bargaining proposals at all, as he sometimes doesn’t.  Also he might not talk about how he wants to make it easier to cut poor people’s Medicaid benefits. Those things are messy and all boo-hooey. It’s not like he’s not a hero or anything; Governor Walker is totally the reverse Robin Hood!

Anyway, come back at 6 pm for our first-ever liveblog/drinking game.  To prepare for your intoxication here are the drinking game rules:

Take one drink whenever Governor Walker says:

1. Taxpayers

2. This is about balancing the budget

3.  Layoffs

4. Public employees are good people.

5. Share sacrifices

6. These concessions are still better than the private sector

7. Flexibility/Resources/Tools for local government

8. Cuts

9. Budget emergency

Take two drinks if he says:

1. Taxpayers support this/Protecting or standing with the taxpayers

2. Silent majority

3. It’s time to get back to work

4. Wisconsin is broke/We’re broke/We don’t have the money

5. Out-of-state protesters

6. Nobody should be surprised by this

7. They need to do their jobs/Do your jobs

Take three drinks if Governor Walker says:

1. Modest proposal

2. Paid protesters

4. I understand

5. Elections have concequences

Any other suggestions? Leave in the comments. See you at 6 p.m.

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