Daily Archives: March 31, 2011

Capitol Hill Blue: The Kochs and their weapons of mass distraction

March 31, 2011- When it comes to assault on American freedoms, few terrorists — if any — are more dangerous than Charles and David Koch — the energy magnates who use their checkbooks as weapons of mass distraction to finance threats against Democracy.

The Koch brothers are modern-day robber barons — rabid right wing billionaires who finance phony grassroots operations like the Tea Party to impose their own repressive, freedom-squelching views upon a gullible electorate led into a sea of ignorance by fake promises of returning power to the people and fighting the establishment.

As owners of one of the largest privately-held conglomerates in the world, the Kochs fund scams created by crafty consultants, creating sham organizations to further their power-grabbing goals to put control of the government into the hands of the uber-rich while convincing their sadly-ignorant followers that its all for the common good.

Talking Points Memo: Walker Administration Suspends Implementation Of Anti-Union Law, After Judge’s Third Order Against It

March 31, 2011- In a major development in Wisconsin, Secretary of Administration Mike Huebsch (R) has announced that the Walker administration is suspending implementation of its new law curtailing public employee unions — after Dane County (Madison) Judge Maryann Sumi declared that the law was not validly published and thus had not taken effect, in the wake of Republican efforts to circumvent her previous orders against publication.

WisPolitics reports:

Huebsch again said he believes the act was legally published and is law, but is pulling back given Judge Sumi's order this morning.

"DOA will continue to abide by the court orders, like the department has done all throughout this process," he said.

CMD PR Watch: A CMD Special Report: Who Are the Headliners at Koch-Funded AFP Conventions?

March 29, 2011- In the midst of the controversy of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's ties to David Koch and Koch Industries, the Center for Media and Democracy has conducted an analysis of the headliners at Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity (AFP) conventions in the state in the past two years. The events featured select candidates who were running for office, including gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker, Attorney General candidate J.B. Van Hollen, judicial candidate David T. Prosser, Jr., and Congressman James Sensenbrenner. The AFP events also featured an array of national speakers who have supported AFP and its "Tea Party" related activities.

The Smirking Chimp: Smart ALEC: Dragging the Secretive Conservative Organization Out of the Shadows

March 31, 2011- As puzzle master Will Shortz might say, what is a four-letter acronym for a virtually unknown, but politically powerful conservative organization? If you guessed ALEC, you won't be receiving an NPR lapel pin, but rest assured, you are in very elite company.

Most people are unaware of the existence or reach of this shadowy organization. The members of ALEC would rather you remain ignorant of their purposes. In fact, these folks are so uncomfortable with anyone knowing about them that a University of Wisconsin history professor is being hammered by the Republican Party of that state for suggesting in an entry on his blog that in order to better understand the actions in various states with new Republican governors whose radical legislative proposals are remarkably similar, it might be worthwhile paying attention to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

LA Times: Berkeley scientists’ climate data review puts them at center of national debate

The head of the study, a longtime critic of the global warming consensus, will testify before a House panel. Leading climate scientists worry that the project, funded in part by an oil billionaire's foundation, has an agenda.

March 31, 2011- An effort by a handful of UC Berkeley scientists to reexamine temperature data underlying global warming research has landed in the center of a national political debate over government regulation.

The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study is led by physicist Richard Muller, a longtime critic of the scientific consensus on climate change, who plans to testify on the effort Thursday before the House Science Committee in the latest of several congressional inquiries on climate science since the GOP majority was seated.

The Berkeley project's biggest private backer, with $150,000, is the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. Oil billionaires Charles and David Koch are the nation's most prominent funders of efforts to prevent curbs on fossil-fuel burning, the biggest contributor to planet-warming greenhouse gases.

Huffington Post: Wisconsin Judge Declares Union Law Not In Effect

March 31, 2011- A Wisconsin judge on Thursday did what thousands of pro-union protesters and boycotting Democratic lawmakers couldn't, halting Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plans – at least temporarily – to cut most public workers' pay and strip them of most of their union rights.

Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi issued a declaration stating in no uncertain terms that the collective bargaining law that led to weeks of large protests at the state Capitol had not taken effect, contradicting Republican arguments that it had because a state office published it online. Hours later, Walker said his administration would comply, despite misgivings about the order.

"In my mind it's not a matter of if the law goes back (into effect), it's just a matter of when," Walker said.

Democrats and union leaders said Sumi's declaration showed the arrogance that Walker and his allies, including top aide, Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch, have shown in trying to push through the polarizing law.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Sumi rules that union law not in effect; state to comply

March 31, 2011- A state law to sharply curb union bargaining by public employees is not in effect, a Dane County judge ruled Thursday, continuing the turmoil over a measure that sparked massive protests and prompted Democrats to boycott the Senate for three weeks.

Gov. Scott Walker's administration said it would comply and discontinue the implementation of the law.

"Based on the briefs of counsel, the uncontroverted testimony, and the evidence received at the March 29, 2011, evidentiary hearing, it is hereby DECLARED that 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 has not been published within the meaning of (state statutes), and is therefore not in effect," Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi ruled in a two-paragraph order.

On Tuesday, Sumi reiterated an earlier order that Secretary of State Doug La Follette was barred from designating a date to publish the law and said no steps should be taken to implement the law. But at that Tuesday hearing, she declined to issue a declaration that the law had not yet been published.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Capitol damage cost claim based on 1 page of notebook paper

Handwritten page was all state had behind $7 million figure

March 30, 2011- State officials' controversial courtroom testimony that protesters did more than $7 million in damage to the Capitol was based on a single handwritten page.

An open records request by the Journal Sentinel on the damage estimate turned up only one page of notebook paper listing costs written before the courtroom testimony. Other e-mails from state officials listing areas to check for potential damage also were released, but there were no others with any dollar figures written before the court testimony.

The state has still not fixed a firm cost for cleanup and any needed restoration, and so far the most visible damage has been to the Capitol lawn.

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