Daily Archives: April 15, 2011

Campaign for America’s Future: Did Koch Industries Write The Budget Deal?

April 12, 2011- Did Koch Industries write the budget deal? Or is it just a coincidence that so many of the the things Republicans demanded — and got — just happen to line up with the financial interests of the billionaires who fund the Tea Party and much of the “conservative movement?” Cutting money for the EPA, alternative energy efficiency, high-speed rail, efforts to fight climate change — even prohibiting NOAA from creating a Climate Service … it reads like an oil tycoon's wish list.

Before you read this, remember that they just finishing pushing through another huge tax cut for the rich. Always remember that tax cut deal any time you hear about "deficits" — which were caused by tax cuts for the rich and increases in military spending. And before reading about the cuts below you should know that this buget “cut” deal increased the military budget by another $5 billion. From Talking Points Memo,

Wisconsin State Journal: Sarah Palin coming to Madison? You betcha

April 15, 2011- Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor and current tea party sweetheart, is coming to Madison Saturday to serve as keynote speaker for the now-annual tea party Tax Day Rally.

Thousands are expected to turn out at the Capitol for the rally, which is scheduled to run from noon to 2 p.m. and feature a series of conservative speakers, including radio personality Vicki McKenna, Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund, talk show host John T. Harris, and Americans for Prosperity State Director Matt Seaholm.

But none of those speakers can match the original Mama Grizzly for sizzle factor. Her attendance at the event immediately turns it into a national story — especially given the amount of attention Wisconsin has received over Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial plans to limit public sector collective bargaining.

Talking Points Memo: Palin Headed To Madison, Wisconsin This Weekend

April 14, 2011- Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be headlining a Tea Party rally this weekend, at a venue that has served as the stage for some very high-profile protests of late: The Wisconsin state Capitol building in Madison.

The state Capitol, of course, was the site of massive protests both outside and inside the building, as tens of thousands of people gathered to show (and shout) their opposition to Gov. Scott Walker's anti-public employee union agenda. But now, as the Wisconsin State Journal reports, Palin will be coming to town to rally the other side.

And check out this nugget from the paper's report:

Americans for Prosperity is organizing busses to the event. Last year's gathering featured former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson and others.

Detroit Free Press: Thousands protest in Lansing against governor’s policies

April 14, 2011- A mostly union crowd of more than 5,000 swarmed around and inside the state Capitol on Wednesday to protest planned state budget cuts and tax changes it decried as hurtful to the middle class and unions.

Under comfortable, sunny skies, the six-hour rally may have topped in number a similar demonstration in March. Both were organized by the Michigan AFL-CIO and its affiliates.

Once again, the invective of the rally speakers and a sea of signs were aimed at Gov. Rick Snyder and Republicans

"We're here to fight for a fair economy," said Pamela Moore, 52, who said she has been a janitor at the Renaissance Center for 25 years as a member of the Service Employees International Union.

Moore added, "We've worked too hard all these years for him to come in and tax our pensions."

Some Capitol officials estimated the entire Wednesday crowd at 7,000 or more, as some demonstrators departed and others took their places.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero was among the speakers who stirred the crowd.

Mother Jones: Behind Michigan’s “Financial Martial Law”: Corporations and Right-Wing Billionaires

The think tank that inspired Gov. Rick Snyder's controversial bill is bankrolled by some of the same donors that funded Wisconsin's attack on unions.

March 23, 2011- Last week, Michigan's Republican Governor Rick Snyder signed into law a fiercely contested bill giving unelected "emergency financial managers" unprecedented power to shred union contracts, privatize city services, and consolidate or dissolve local governments, all in the name of saving struggling cities and school districts. Dubbed "financial martial law" by one approving state GOP lawmaker and "disaster capitalism" by critics, Snyder and his bill have become a target for Wisconsin-like protests. Several thousand demonstrators marched on the Michigan Capitol in the days before Snyder signed the bill. But gone unmentioned is a little-known Michigan think tank that for years has been pushing for the most controversial provisions in Snyder's bill—and that's bankrolled by some of the same right-wing millionaires and billionaires that backed Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his anti-union legislation.

CNN Money: Wisconsin governor takes union fight to Congress

April 14, 2011- The controversial governor of Wisconsin defended his efforts to limit public employees' collective bargaining rights and make them pay more toward pension and health care costs at a congressional hearing on Thursday.

Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, compared his actions in Wisconsin to other states that are laying off public employees and increasing property taxes.

"While our idea may be a bold political move, I would argue it is a very modest request of our employees," said Walker to a packed House Oversight Committee hearing.

Walker called his efforts "progressive," saying it will give local governments the "tools to balance their budget not for one year, not for two years but for a generation to come."

Walker testified beside Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat who laid out the ways Vermont balanced its budget without tampering with public employee rights.

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