May you live in interesting times.
Said as a curse, not a blessing, this saying (allegedly of Chinese origin, but who knows really) certainly applies to the current situation in Wisconsin. I'm still attempting to nurse myself back to health from a particularly nasty and tenacious cold, but have been doing my best to keep up with events as they unfold.
I wrote a summary of today's public access crackdown at the Capitol for Dane101 if you'd like to check it out. Basically, just over two weeks in, the Department of Administration and, presumably, Republican officials have decided that the public's ability to enter the building should be severely limited. Even those who work in the Capitol have been trouble getting in, bags are being searched, and now the rumor is that the windows are being welded and/or locked shut in order to prevent food from being delivered to protesters who've either been inside since yesterday or managed to squeak in this morning.
This all comes after the optimism of last night, when police conceded to allowing demonstrators to remain in the rotunda even after the 4 p.m. shutdown time handed down by the Walker administration.
All of it is being done under the guise of needing time to clean the building (even though they were able to clean it while protesters were there, and even though protesters themselves have been cleaning during the entire occupation), and now, I can only assume, because Walker has decided to give his budget address from the Assembly instead of off-site as originally planned.
Interesting, because the Wisconsin State Constitution explicitly forbids the Legislature from restricting the public's access to the building for any reason.
In the meantime, Walker is now also trying to say that a flyer found in the Capitol proves that the union claims that they're willing to concede to increased pension and benefit contributions in order to keep collective bargaining rights (something the national press as almost entirely ignored, by the way) are false. Because we all know that 1) random flyers found in the rotunda should be taken as gospel truth, and 2) Walker and the GOP wouldn't possibly make shit up in order to demonize their opponents.
I'll have more on all of this, plus a few other related items, in a comprehensive Emily's Post tomorrow. You can also check out a handy timeline of events so far over at Isthmus. Suffice to say that this ain't over, and I suspect times will get yet more interesting in the near future.