Daily Archives: March 1, 2011

The Nation: Why Did Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Participate in Discussions About Disrupting Peaceful Rallies?

February 25, 2011- Embattled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has now acknowledged in a press conference and in a nationally television interview—with Fox News host Greta Van Susteren—that he engaged in discussions with political allies about hiring “troublemakers” to disrupt peaceful demonstrations against his budget repair bill.

“You said you thought about it?” asked Van Susteren.

“We did,” replied Walker. “We had people contacting [us]. I even had lawmakers and others suggesting riling things up.”

Buzzflash: Dear Tea Party: You’ve Been Had

March 1, 2011-

Letter to all the Tea Party patriots of America,

Like a modern day Paul Revere I travel across our country calling the British are coming, the British are coming, although this time it is a much more sinister enemy that is coming to take our country.

I was the assistant curator of Old South Meeting House for several years during the bicentennial sharing the story of the Boston Tea Party to visitors and scholars. After working at Old South I was employed by the National Park Service and lectured at Bunker Hill and other revolutionary sites for two years. The Sons of Liberty organized their 1773 rally at Old South and marched to the harbor dumping tea into the bay to protest "taxation without representation."

Buzzflash: Wisconsin Corporations Underpay State and Local Taxes by More Than $1.3 Billion Annually

March 1, 2011- What if the alphabet only had the letters "A" and "B"?

In that case, Scott Walker would be a champion speller because, although he could offer a full alphabet of options for a state budget, he seems to have forgotten the rest of the letters beyond "A" (destroy the unions) or "B" (fire state workers).

BuzzFlash/Truthout staffer Dan DiMaggio wrote a commentary about Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, who offered another option: taxing the super rich:

The Escapist: Anonymous Uncovers Corruption in Wisconsin Labor Dispute

No longer content to be hacker watchdogs, Anonymous is now apparently blowing the whistle on the underlying government corruption in the Wisconsin brouhaha.

March 1, 2011- Anonymous brought down the Americans for Prosperity website with a DDoS attack and released a statement asking us all to boycott Koch Industries products like Quilted Northern, Angel Soft and Dixie cups. The statement claimed that the billionaire brothers Koch are undermining the democracy of our country through funding organizations to protest against the state workers of Wisconsin who are fighting for their right to negotiate their contracts as a group. Anonymous believes Koch Industries is doing this in order to profit and not because of any interest in furthering the political process. As of press time, however, the Americans for Prosperity website is back online.

Talking Points Memo: Progressives Target GOP State Senators In WI With Recall Threat

March 1, 2011- A pair of national progressive groups are firing the first shots in what could become a full-scale recall campaign against Republican state Senators in Wisconsin, TPM has learned.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy For America are launching a robocall campaign to test the waters for the immediate recall of several state Senators as well as Senate President Michael Ellis and moderate Senator Dale Schultz, who voters would be able to recall in a year under Wisconsin law.

Buzzflash: George Lakoff: Democracy as We Know It is at Stake in the Wisconsin Protests. How Long Can We Afford to Subsidize the Rich?

February 28, 2011- The Wisconsin protests are about much more than budgets and unions. As I observed in What Conservatives Really Want, the conservative story about budget deficits is a ruse to turn the country conservative in every area. Karl Rove and Shep Smith have made it clear on Fox: If the Wisconsin plan to kill the public employees' unions succeeds, then there will be little union money in the future to support democratic candidates. Conservatives will be effectively unopposed in raising campaign funding in most elections, including the presidential elections. This will mean a thoroughly conservative America in every issue area.

The media, with few exceptions, is failing to get at the deeper issues.

NYT: Majority in Poll Back Employees in Public Sector Unions

February 28, 2011- As labor battles erupt in state capitals around the nation, a majority of Americans say they oppose efforts to weaken the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions and are also against cutting the pay or benefits of public workers to reduce state budget deficits, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

Labor unions are not exactly popular, though: A third of those surveyed viewed them favorably, a quarter viewed them unfavorably, and the rest said they were either undecided or had not heard enough about them. But the nationwide poll found that embattled public employee unions have the support of most Americans — and most independents — as they fight the efforts of newly elected Republican governors in Wisconsin and Ohio to weaken their bargaining powers, and the attempts of governors from both parties to cut their pay or benefits.

Talking Points Memo: DGA Chair: With Their Union Battles, GOP Has Given Democrats Their Mojo Back

February 28, 2011- Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley — the man in charge of seeing to the election of Democratic governors in the current cycle — says that the fights between Republican governors and union workers across the Midwest is just the kind of thing that could stop the Republican tide and put Democrats back in charge.

"It certainly draws the contrast doesn't it?" O'Malley, the chair of the Democratic Governors Association, told TPM in an interview this weekend.

"I think because of the difficulty and the challenges and what we've all lost in this recession, the distinction between Democratic and Republican governors became a little bit blurred for some," he said, reflecting on the Democratic losses of 2010. "But I think it's pretty clear now the sort of ideological detour that these governors are taking when all of us should be creating jobs, contrasting with our message of job opportunity now."

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