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This won't embed, but it's worth a look to see raw video of what took place outside the State Senate today.

UPDATE:  New video from Arthur Kohl-Riggs (commentary can be read here):

A few hours ago protesters massed outside the Wisconsin State Senate and rushed the door to gain entry during a debate on the newest Republican budget that will continue the devastation that's been FitzWalkerStan since 2011.  Republicans have control of the entire state government so this will pass and be signed into law as quickly as they can manage it.

Three and a half hours into the debate, the Senate fell briefly into turmoil as protesters chanted, "Focus on jobs, not on vaginas" — a response to the Legislature's vote last week to require women seeking abortions to get ultrasounds.

Protesters tried to rush onto the Senate floor, but were stopped by aides. Others chanted from the viewing galleries and areas immediately outside the Senate chamber.

Protesters pushed against Capitol Police officers who were trying to restrain them and close the doors leading to the chamber. The demonstrators ignored orders from police and grappled with them before being pushed to the floor.

About eight protesters made it into the vestibule outside the Senate chamber before being stopped and ultimately led away in handcuffs. While the number of demonstrators was relatively small, the confrontation between protesters and police was as rough as some of those in 2011, at the height of the labor unrest at the Capitol.

Outside, Sarah Wagner wore an "I Stand with Planned Parenthood" T-shirt and tried to get into the Senate. She said the disruption was needed "because they don't listen to us any other way."

Efforts to remove the vast number of non-budget policy items that infest Scott Walkers state budget are expected to fail (it was the insertion of non-budgetary union busting and other policy issues that prompted the 2011 protests that continued to encircle the Capitol for weeks).  The current budget proposal furthers the Republican agenda of virtually creating a flat tax in Wisconsin, removing all restrictions on voucher schools (even providing state funds to millionaires to cover their private school costs), and, of course, the pinacle of Republican foolishness:  a tax cut that will mostly benefit the top 2% in Wisconsin (i.e. Walkers "base").

Yes, you heard me right, a TAX CUT in a state Walker continues to slash programs and aid to children, the poor and disabled because, you know, "we're broke".  On top of that Walker is borrowing $2 billion and wants to sell off state assets without bids to pay for state road construction because, you know, the road builders were major donors to Republican campaigns and they must, must be paid back for the "investment".   And not one penny will go to local roads that are now in such disrepair that they're being turned into gravel roads again.

The $68 billion, two-year tax and spending planwould cut income taxes by more than $650 million over two years; ....

The budget would sweep through many parts of Wisconsin life by legalizing bounty hunters; loosening residency rules for city and school workers; giving the governor's administration the power to sell most state assets; requiring the able-bodied to work for food stamps; kicking the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism off the UW-Madison campus; and collecting DNA from felony suspects at arrest rather than conviction.

While Republicans defend the serious cuts because, you know "we're broke" and "we have to live within our means", Democrats point out the doubling down on already failed policies and cuts is madness:
Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) denounced the budget as a "road map to mediocrity" for rejecting federal aid for health care, allowing the no-bid sale of state property and allowing students around the state to attend private schools at taxpayer expense.

"Unfortunately, this budget doubles down on the failed policies of the past," Shilling said.

Senate President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) responded that Republicans would boost the economy by cutting income taxes rather than letting more money flow to "the black hole of government." He dismissed Democrats' complaints that too much of the cuts would go to the wealthy.

"We are not going to apologize for giving the people back their money," Ellis said.

Mike Ellis is the Republican clown who broke his gavel while screaming at objecting State Senators to sit down and shut up in order to prevent any debate on the mandatory ultrasound before abortion bill which was rushed through and Legislature last week.

Refusing federal Medicaid expansion and kicking 90,000 Wisconsinites off Badger Care in order to give millionaires a big tax cut says it all about Republican priorities.  And it sets them up to run "we cut your taxes" ads in 2014.

It's Not Just the Budget

Folks are angry at the speed of light passage of new restrictions on abortion providers and even women seeking abortions.  Women will now be forced to have unnecessary, painful (I've had one and I can tell you it's no picnic), and invasive ultrasounds before they have an abortion and have them not only shown to them, but described as well.  Abortion providers will also be required to have admitting priviledges to a nearby hospital and this will cause one of 4 remaining abortion clinics to close entirely which will mean 8-10 hour drives for women in the northwestern part of the state to access services.

They shouted:  Jobs, Not Vaginas.  

That bill went from introduction to passage in less than 2 weeks and is now awaiting Scott Walkers signature.  He's already said he'll be happy to sign the new puritan law, but I'll bet my next pension check that he'll sign it in secret late on a Friday (perhaps just before the 4th of July holiday) to avoid press coverage.  No debate, no discussion, and done as fast as possible to avoid the kind of media attention and public pushback that fellow Virginia Republican Governor "Ultrasound" got on his very similar bill.

Protests are necessary because they're not listening to the people at all.  They're listening to Tea Baggers, misogynists, pro-birth extremists, and, most of all, the rich, corporate, and entitled who fill their campaign coffers.  

Protests are all we have when the government strips the poor to provide for the wealthy.



UPDATE 4:30 PM CST:  More information here and here.

Originally posted to Puddytat on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 02:36 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive and Hellraisers Journal.

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