"On Wednesday evening, in a veritable Night of the Long Knives, Wisconsin's integrity was brutally murdered on the floor of the state Capitol in Madison. On 9 March, integrity and trust built up over a century was obliterated as Wisconsin state senators quickly reversed course and cleaved its budget "repair bill" in half. Financial items require a quorum, thus, collective bargaining was split off from the budget repair bill and voted on separately so as to permit its being voted on now. Even so, this still broke the state's open meeting law requiring 24 hours' notice to ensure transparency. Instead, the Wisconsin senate Republicans pulled out this new legislation without advance notice and began voting, leaving only a stunned Democratic legislator, Peter Barca, to read the open meeting law out loud to prevent the senators from voting. The senate voted over his objections anyway."
Governor Walker’s Coup D’Etat
Robert Reich writes on his blog: "Governor Scott Walker and his Wisconsin senate Republicans have laid bare the motives for their coup d’etat. By severing the financial part of the bill (which couldn’t be passed without absent Democrats) from the part eliminating the collective bargaining rights of public employees (which could be), and then doing the latter, Wisconsin Republicans have made it crystal clear that their goal has had nothing whatever to do with the state budget. It’s been to bust the unions."
'America Is NOT Broke': Michael Moore Speaks in Madison, WI -- March 5, 2011
Michael Moore writes on his blog: " America is not broke. Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you'll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It's just that it's not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich. Today just 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined."
Wisconsin Senate Leader Admits Union-Busting Bill Is about Defeating Obama
Wisconsin Firefighters Spark "Move Your Money" Moment
Mary Bottari writes for PR Watch: "On the day that the bill passed the Wisconsin Assembly effectively ending 50 years of collective bargaining in Wisconsin and eviscerating the ability of public unions to raise money through dues, a new front opened in the battle for the future of Wisconsin families. Bagpipes blaring, hundreds of firefighters walked across the street from the Wisconsin Capitol building, stood outside the Marshall and Ilsley Bank (M&I Bank) and played a few tunes -- loudly. Later, a group of firefighters and consumers stopped back in at the bank to make a few transactions. One by one they closed their accounts and withdrew their life savings, totaling approximately $190,000. After the last customer left, the bank quickly closed its doors, just in case the spontaneous 'Move Your Money' moment caught fire."
The Corporate/GOP Attack on America's Middle Class
Simon Johnson: "A Healthy Financial System Cannot Be Built on the Expectation of Bailouts"
Simon Johnson blogs on The Baseline Scenario: "The financial crisis is not over, in the sense that its impact persists and even continues to spread. Employment remains more than 5 percent below its pre-crisis peak, millions of homeowners are still underwater on their mortgages, and the negative fiscal consequences - at national, state, and local level - remain profound."
Military Cutbacks Won't Fix Deficit
Paul Krugman, Krugman and Co.: "I am baffled by the argument that the United States can incur big savings by ending the war in Afghanistan and, more generally, by cutting bloated defense budgets. I've mostly been hearing this from liberals, and indeed this is a variation of a debate that has continued for years. Now, I am not endorsing our current levels of defense spending. The nation's military buildup following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was outrageous. The United States was hit by a handful of men wielding box-cutters (or something similar - I am aware that's not certain), and we responded by buying a lot of heavy tanks and later invading a country that had nothing to do with the attack."
Rasmussen Poll: Majority Want U.S. Troops Out Of Afghanistan Within A Year
Amanda Terkel reports for The Huffington Post: " On the same day that Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that America would continue to have a military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014, a new poll finds that the majority of Americans want all U.S. troops withdrawn within one year. The polling firm Rasmussen, whose surveys are often accused of having a decidedly conservative tilt, finds that for the first time, a majority of likely voters want the U.S. government to set a timetable to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan within one year. Within that group, 31 percent want troops to come home immediately. In September 2010, just 43 percent of likely voters wanted a one-year timeline."
GOP Budget Cuts Would Lead to Furloughs at Tsunami Warning Centers, Undermining Their "Ability to React"
Anti-Nuclear Groups Warn of Fallout at Japanese Plant
Suvendrini Kakuchi reports for IPS: "Heightened tension on Saturday after a blast at a nuclear facility in Fukushima, 150 kilometres north of Tokyo, eased off after the government reported that the danger had been overstated. But anti-nuclear experts continued to express concern. 'There are many areas that remain unclear in the government's explanation, which is why we cannot accept that the coast is clear,' Professor Hiroaki Koiwa from the Research Reactor Institute at the national Kyoto University told IPS."
Palin Falsely Claims Domestic Drilling Is "The Solution" To High Gas Prices
Media Matters for America provides the following research: "Fox News contributor Sarah Palin claimed that "the solution" to rising gas prices is "to drill here and drill now" and argued that recoverable oil and natural gas in the Arctic could make the U.S. "energy independent." In fact, experts have said expanding domestic production of fossil fuels would not shield the U.S. from volatility in the global price of oil."
Peter King's Radicalization Hearings, Explained
tried for treason and for WikiLeaks to be listed as a terrorist organization, has never shied away from confronting terrorist threats wherever he sees them—but this time he's struck a nerve. He's been denounced by the ACLU and Democratic rivals—who have compared him to Joseph McCarthy. His own party, meanwhile, has been conspicuously silent. So who's going to speak on Thursday? And what are they going to say?" Photo:
Muslim-American Terrorism Down in 2010
Emily Badger reports for Miller-McCune: "The number of Muslim Americans involved in terrorist threats declined in 2010 from the previous year, although you wouldn't know that from the tone of a congressional hearing scheduled for Thursday on 'the extent of radicalization of the American Muslim community.' Committee chairman Rep. Peter King, a Republican from New York, has been planning the hearing for months, partly as a response, he says, to the lack of cooperation some law enforcement officials have complained of within the Muslim-American community. Civil liberties groups and Muslim leaders, meanwhile, are decrying what looks like the singling-out of a minority group in a congressional setting that recalls McCarthyism."
Recommended Audio: Rachel Maddow - Pulling Back the Curtain on Political Puppetmasters
AlterNet reports: "Monday (March 7), Think Progress released a video that showed Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown slavishly fawning over David Koch and begging him for money. "Your support during the election, it meant a ton. It made a difference and I can certainly use it again," said Brown on the tape. Brown's gross display of subservience is only the latest reminder of the right-wing billionaire brothers' shockingly outsized influence on our politics. Over the past year, progressive journalists, including AlterNet's Adele Stan, have documented the Koch brothers' role in promoting the conservative agenda, from helping fund the Tea Party movement to supporting Gov. Walker's union-busting efforts in Wisconsin. Thanks to a prank in which blogger Ian Murphy posed as David Koch in a phone call to Governor Walker, the Koch brothers have become more visible than ever. Signs calling Walker a "Koch-conspirator" and, more bluntly, a "Koch-whore" have proliferated at pro-labor rallies in Wisconsin and throughout the country. " Read complete article here.
Koch Brothers Increased Wealth by $9 Billion Last Year As They Fund Laws to Make Working Class Poorer
Rachel Maddow revealed that while Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is stripping away the financial security of workers, the Koch brothers increased their wealth by $9 billion last year. Together, Maddow notes, they would rank as the fourth-wealthiest person ($44 billion) in the world."
Conservative Corporate Advocacy Group ALEC Behind Voter Disenfranchisement Efforts
Tobin Van Ostern reports for Campus Progress: "The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative organization linked to corporate and right-wing donors, including the billionaire Koch brothers, has drafted and distributed model legislation, obtained by Campus Progress, that appears to be the inspiration for bills proposed by state legislators this year and promoted by Tea Party activists, bills that would limit access of young people to vote."
Anti-Gay State Senator’s Secret Gay Life Is Revealed In Bribery Indictment
John Cook reports for Gawker: "Carl Kruger is a Democratic state senator from Brooklyn. His vote against gay marriage last year was crucial in stopping the measure in New York. Funny thing: He lives with his gay lover, who's the bagman in their bribery racket. Yesterday, a criminal complaint against Kruger was unsealed in federal court in the southern district of New York, lifting the veil from what must be one of the most satisfyingly convoluted and brazen cases of self-loathing gay political figures in our time."
Marking 100 Years of International Women's Day
more sensational) by the day, we can all draw strength from the committed struggle women from around the world have waged in pursuit of full gender equality. The Nation has a long history of championing woman-friendly policies and standing firmly behind the feminist principles that have revolutionized the role of women in our society. That’s why today at The Nation we are proud to mark the 100th International Women’s Day by not only highlighting the achievements of women, but also reflecting on ways we can effectively face the many challenges that still lie ahead."
In Defense of NPR
Bill Moyers and Michael Winship write for Truthout: "Come on now: let's take a breath and put this National Public Radio (NPR) fracas into perspective. Just as public radio struggles against yet another assault from its longtime nemesis - the right-wing machine that would thrill if our sole sources of information were Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and ads paid for by the Koch Brothers - it walks into a trap perpetrated by one of the sleaziest operatives ever to climb out of a sewer."