Daily Archives: March 30, 2011

AlterNet: Kochs Profit from Canadian Eco-Nightmare

Koch Industries processes one in four barrels of U.S.-bound Alberta tar sand, while pumping millions of dollars into highly conservative, anti-green causes.

March 22, 2011- What do Tea Party rallies, Republican victories, climate-change deniers, Wisconsin's anti-union push, and attacks on a cap-and-trade market for carbon emissions have in common?

They're all fueled in part by profits derived from Alberta, Canada's oil sands.

Those profits, flowing to a single company, are helping bankroll a libertarian offensive many observers think is shifting America's political culture profoundly to the right. One of the central tenets of that campaign is a disbelief not only in the pressing risks of climate change, but that humans are even causing it.

That article of faith is now being embraced by the American public, with only 51 percent concerned about global warming, compared to 66 percent three years ago.

Politicus USA: Clueless in Wisconsin: Newt Gingrich Praises Gov Walker as Job Creator

March 30, 2011- In Marquette, Wisconsin for a showing of his film that seemed more like a campaign stop, Newt Gingrich touted Governor Walker as a good county executive and claimed that people would like Walker once his programs were proven successful by creating jobs.

Newt Gingrich led the “Republican revolution” against President Clinton as Speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999 and resigned his seat in disgrace after bringing the Republican Party’s short majority to a close by trying to oust President Clinton from office over what turned out to be exceptionally hypocritical claims to family values, given that Newt left his first wife while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer in 1980 and then after marrying his mistress, cheated on her with a House of Representatives staffer 23 years younger than himself while he was screaming about Clinton’s blue dress. Newt has recently claimed that love for his country drove him to have these affairs.

Politicus USA: Republicans Plan to Halt Economic Recovery Through Mass Layoffs

March 30, 2011- The elections of 2010 focused of jobs, the GOP ran on a lack luster economic recovery from the Republican induced recession. They won the U.S. House and gained seats in the U.S. Senate. Now that they have won, they are very timid about talking about the economy. I pointed out to you in a previous article the latest GOP jobs plan. It aims to increase thousands of highly skilled former government workers into the already saturated private labor market in an attempt to drive down middle class wages.

Rather than increasing real demand, which is the base of a healthy economy, the GOP wants to build a facade by lowering Americans’ wages.

Under the leadership of President Obama, the economy has grown. Unemployment continues to go down, and weekly unemployment filings also follow that trend, dropping the week ending March 26 to the lowest level since July 2008 as lay-offs slowed. The months of February and March has seen some job growth.

Politicus USA: As Gov Kasich’s Approval Tanks, Ohio House Passes Anti-Union Bill

March 30, 2011- The Republicans are continuing their war on workers, this time it’s the middle class in Ohio they’re killing.

The Ohio House Republicans passed Republican Gov. John Kasich’s anti-union bill, also known as Senate Bill 5, late Wednesday afternoon, sending it to the Senate for approval of changes made to legislation aimed at limiting the collective bargaining rights of public workers. The Senate may vote on the revised version this evening.

This is all part of the Republicans governors’ unpopularity contest. Kasich, a former Fox News commentator and Lehman Brothers investment banker, has been diving in the polls since he first announced his unpopular plan to kill collective bargaining. On March 14, an Ohio poll showed that 53% of Ohioans wanted the budget balanced with tax increases and spending cuts, and only 40% approved of their Governor. But then on March 23, Quinnipiac University released a poll that showed that 46% disapprove of the way Kasich is handling his job, while only 30% approve.

Politcus USA: CREW Wants Wisconsin GOP Senator Punished For Misuse of Troopers

March 30, 2011- Oh, my. First Fitzy ignores a judge’s order, and while contemplating ignoring the second, we find out that the Washington watchdog group CREW got a hold of his emails and things aren’t looking so good for him on the ethics front either. I’m sure you’re shocked.

We are, of course, talking about Wisconsin again, where Republican senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (of the Fitzgerald GOP “mafia”; aka, daddy’s head of the troopers, bro is in the House and Fitzy leads as Walker’s main dog in the senate) got himself into hot water when he told his daddy to go after those mean Democrats who didn’t want to let him and Scotty steal all of the people’s rights.

Talking Points Memo: GOPers Demand Sean Duffy Salary Tape Be Pulled From The Internet

March 30, 2011- First the Republican Party in Polk County, Wisconsin, pulled the tape of Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) fretting about making ends meet on his $174,000 a year salary from its own website. Now they want it gone from the whole Internet.

For a couple hours, the local county GOP was successful. But we've put an excerpt of the video back up.

A day after TPM posted the video we obtained of Duffy talking about his salary at a Polk County town hall meeting earlier this year, the Polk County GOP contacted the video provider we used to host the video, Blip.tv, and demanded the video be taken down.

The tape caused a stir for Duffy, a first-term conservative best known for his past as a reality TV show star on MTV's The Real World. Democrats flagged the comments about his taxpayer-funded salary (which is nearly three times the median income in Wisconsin) and criticisms began to flow Duffy's way.

Talking Points Memo: Walker Administration ‘Confused’ Over Whether Anti-Union Law In Effect

March 30, 2011- The legal wrangling over Gov. Scott Walker's (R-WI) new law curtailing public employee unions continues, with Secretary of Administration Mike Huebsch now expressing confusion over whether the law is in effect — a day after a Dane County judge enjoined its implementation for a second time.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

Wednesday Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch said that he was "confused" about the judge's ruling and the legal controversy over whether the law is in effect. Asked whether the state would move forward, Huebsch said he couldn't say.

"It's up to the judge," Huebsch said.

Talking Points Memo: Indiana Dems To Return Home With Big Concessions From GOPers

March 28, 2011- Just about a month ago, dozens of Indiana state House Democrats fled to Illinois to shut down what they said was a Republican agenda that targeted workers rights and the public schools. Now they're set to return, having won several concessions from the GOP that will change the face of what Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) was hoping would be a signature session.

Rep. Patrick Bauer, leader of the state House Democrats, called the deal "not perfect" but said the deal shows the standoff — which shut down the state legislature in Indiana for weeks — paid off in the end.

"The principled stand by House Democrats forced concessions by the House Republicans that reflected the concerns expressed by so many people who came to the Statehouse in recent weeks," he told TPM in a statement. "Today we can announce compromises that are great steps forward for working Hoosiers."

Here are two big highlights from compromise, provided to TPM by a Democratic source:

NPR: Wisconsin Judge Reads Riot Act To State Officials On Union Law

March 30, 2011- What part of "no" don't you understand?

That was essentially what Dane County, Wisconsin Judge Maryann Sumi told Wisconsin officials Tuesday who were hellbent on ignoring her previous restraining order so they could put into effect their new law restricting the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions.

In that way that only judges have, Sumi told state officials that if they persisted in ignoring her order, they wouldn't like the outcome.

An excerpt from the Wisconsin State Journal:

"Now that I've made my earlier order as clear as it possibly can be, I must state that those who act in open and willful defiance of the court order place not only themselves at peril of sanctions, they also jeopardize the financial and the governmental stability of the state of Wisconsin," Sumi said.

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