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Posted at 6:38 PM ET, 02/24/2011

Happy Hour Roundup

By Greg Sargent

* Random thought: It's telling that the Sunday shows can't seem to find any room for representatives of the movement that brought their viewers the weekend.

* Senate Dems start drafting plans to slice billions from the budget, their first concession to House GOPers in the government shutdown standoff.

* Sam Stein and Ryan Grim seem skeptical of the Dem strategy:

Senate Democrats are hoping that by offering the first concession, House GOPers will either respond in kind or take the blame for a shutdown. Yet each Democratic negotiating tactic has led to additional cuts.

* Obama has been letting Senate Dems play the heavies in the shutdown fight, a luxury Bill Clinton didn't have in the mid 1990s, when the GOP controlled both houses.

* TPM reports that lefty Dems are calling on Obama to get out there and more forcefully defend the Wisconsin public employees, rightly noting that the issue has "national ramifications."

* And indeed, back in 2007, then-candidate Obama promised workers:

"If American workers are being denied their right to organize when I'm in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes and I will walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States."

* But today, White House press secretary Jay Carney said there are no plans for Obama to put on that comfortable pair of shoes and head out to Wisconsin.

* A new Franklin and Marshall poll finds that a solid 56 percent of Wisconsinites think public employee unions should have collective bargaining powers, versus less than a third (32 percent) agree with their Governor on the matter.

Can we say Walker overreached yet?

* Important point from Mike Tomasky, who notes that the Wisconsin battle has come as a surprise to many Americans because many of them are clueless about the class warfare waged against working people for the past three decades.

* Steve Benen has been doing nice work pointing out how little media coverage is accorded to rulings upholding the Affordable Care Act, and the latest is no exception to the rule.

* Steve's work inspired Nancy Pelosi's office to put the disparity in coverage into chart form for your viewing pleasure:

pelosichartbenen.JPG

* Gallup finds that Sarah Palin is the preferred 2012 candidate of Republicans who care about national security, which suggests that in some quarters, shooting wolves may be considered good training for dealing with geopolitical threats.

* Joan McCarter says the lack of labor voices on CBS's Face the Nation, which will feature anti-union warrior Chris Christie, ensures that viewers will be treated to a "he said, he said" debate.

* And the classy pushback of the day: With Wisconsin Republicans threatening to withold the paychecks of missing Democrats, one of those Dems tells Andy Kroll he's not worried:

"The longer they hold my check, the more they look like dicks."

What else is happening?

UPDATE, 8:03 p.m.: Meet the Press will now include AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka on its roundtable. Good for them. Amazing what it took to get a voice representing labor on to a single Sunday show, particularly at this moment.

By Greg Sargent  | February 24, 2011; 6:38 PM ET
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, House GOPers, Labor, Political media, Senate Dems  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Watchdog calls for criminal probe of Governor Walker over prank Koch call
Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

"Can we say Walker overreached yet?"

Yes, let's. Let's also say that making collective bargaining for teachers illegal doesn't lead to quality education, and remember, Virginia outlawed collective bargaining for teachers in 1993:

"Only 5 states do not have collective bargaining for educators and have deemed it illegal. Those states and their ranking on ACT/SAT scores are as follows:

South Carolina – 50th
North Carolina – 49th
Georgia – 48th
Texas – 47th
Virginia – 44th

If you are wondering, Wisconsin, with its collective bargaining for teachers, is ranked 2nd in the country. Let’s keep it that way.

This isn’t to say that the lack of collective bargaining explains these poor outcomes, of course, but it is true that the evidence that breaking teacher’s unions improves educational outcomes is somewhere between “exceptionally weak” and “non-existent.”

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2011/02/but-i-thought-union-busting-solved-all-educational-problems

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 24, 2011 6:48 PM | Report abuse

"Gallup finds that Sarah Palin is the preferred 2012 candidate of Republicans who care about national security, which suggests that in some quarters, shooting wolves may be considered good training for dealing with geopolitical threats."

What do they think she's gonna do...track Kaddafi with a helicopter and a hunting rifle? Will she take her dad along to work the bolt and make sure her sights are adjusted?

LOL

Good lord.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 24, 2011 6:52 PM | Report abuse

"It gets so tiring hearing of the complaining about rich and successful people day after day." so sayeth cryos

It must be exhausting, I can only imagine. But it seems like that is a cross successful people have to bear. No love for the rich and famous, someone ought to write some tragic plays about that. No one ever thought of how hard it is to be rich and famous.

But I have an interest in archeology and I have a book with, of all things, a suicide note written in cuneiform (stylus slashes on a wet clay tablet), penned by a merchant pissed off that no one loves him, not even his wife and kids and he said he doesn't want to be a part of a world that does not love him.

Cryos, don't even think about it. You too could be lovable. But hating people who are losers, there is no upside to that.

There there. And don't thank me. It is the great thing about the internet, people just rally round and try to help each other.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 24, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Greg, who works for a Nazi collaborator, is still upset about Sunday morning's lineup. Greg is really just upset that there will be no guests who sent jews to gas chambers which he supports.

Posted by: mges123 | February 24, 2011 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Time is on the governor' side. Pretty soon people will get tired of protesting and not getting paid. The college students will have midterms to deal with and will get bored of hanging out with indignant DMV clerks.

Elections have consequences. Obama exponentially grew the government in spite of the polls because he was playing the long game - a bigger government has to be fed, which forces higher taxes and equalizes incomes which is all he really cares about.

Walker is playing the long game as well. It is time we got rid of public service unions. They serve no purpose other than to support the Democrats and to milk taxpayers. Naked political play? Of course, but no more than JFK allowing it in the first place.

Posted by: sold2u | February 24, 2011 7:01 PM | Report abuse

"Time is on the governor' side."

That was last week.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 24, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

"Time is on the governor' side."

"That was last week".

___________________________________________

The Left has shot their wad. Protests? Check. Fleeing politicians? Check. Sympathetic bloggers and press? Check. The longer it goes on, the less effective it will be. Walker is waiting them out.

He is playing the long game - he breaks the unions in WI, he becomes presidential material.

Posted by: sold2u | February 24, 2011 7:13 PM | Report abuse

How about we bet, $100. to some non-political charity like Autism Speaks. I say, the bill does not pass, you say it does. Honor system. Are you in?

Posted by: shrink2 | February 24, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, most Americans are deliriously happy with this:

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph

The greatest disparity since 1929.

You can't keep the Foxbreathers on the stupid gas forever.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 24, 2011 7:17 PM | Report abuse

juvenile diabetes. i'm in

Posted by: sold2u | February 24, 2011 7:20 PM | Report abuse

juvenile diabetes, good one, very good.

You are on.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 24, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

of course, you'll probably win since walker will probably give up either the CPI clause or the benefits clause (probably the CPI clause / keep the benefits clause) in order to let everyone save face.

Posted by: sold2u | February 24, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Wow a week off to spend time with my 86 year old mother and I see that we still have plenty of morons to laugh at....

"which forces higher taxes"

Yeah it's always about that terribly onerous tax burden isn't it...

"In his review of Obama’s budget, Bruce Bartlett notes that in addition to aging population, one of the biggest drivers of our record-high deficits is our record-low taxes:

According to the historical tables, federal revenues will only consume 14.4 percent of GDP this year – the lowest percentage since 1950. The postwar average is about 18.5 percent and there were many very prosperous years when revenues were considerably higher. In the late 1990s, they averaged more than 20 percent of GDP, which was a key reason why we ran budget surpluses."

Ahhh but Bruce Bartlett some noted lefty right...NOT...

"Bruce Bartlett (b. October 11, 1951, in Ann Arbor, Michigan) is an American historian who turned to writing about supply-side economics. He was a domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan and was a Treasury official under President George H.W. Bush."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Bartlett

Ahhh but the know nothings like sold2u simply love to peddle and share their ignorance...just in case anybody wants to know the truth about our current taxes...

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/taxes/2010-05-10-taxes_N.htm

"Tax bills in 2009 at lowest level since 1950"

http://www.newser.com/story/111499/federal-taxes-at-lowest-level-since-1950.html

"Griping about high taxes? Not so fast: Federal tax bills are at historic lows this year, and for the third consecutive year, families and businesses will pay less than they did under George W Bush."

http://www.bluevirginia.us/diary/3047/federal-taxes-at-lowest-level-in-61-years

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/15/AR2009041503371.html

Ahhh but sold2u doesn't deal in facts...only more BS from the oligarchs.
How about a few links sold2u to support your blatant BS?

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 24, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

"Gallup finds that Sarah Palin is the preferred 2012 candidate of Republicans who care about national security, which suggests that in some quarters, shooting wolves may be considered good training for dealing with geopolitical threats."

Hi Greg! Absolutely fascinating posting and comments today! Everybody should take ambow!

Do you believe this to be true Greg?

Keep up the great work all! The passion is almost palpable! Great reading! I thank you all!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 24, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh well, that is the crux, you said "he breaks the unions in WI"
How about the no bid sale of power generating facilities, will that stay in the bill? If you don't want to bet that's fine I don't want to come across as a jackass. What do you think the bill that passes will be?

Posted by: shrink2 | February 24, 2011 7:30 PM | Report abuse

"How about we bet, $100. to some non-political charity like Autism Speaks. I say, the bill does not pass, you say it does. Honor system. Are you in?

Posted by: shrink2"

Autism not political? Someone didn't pay attention to the Nevada Senate race.

Shouldn't there be some deadline?

Posted by: DDAWD | February 24, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

"Madison Police Chief Noble Wray said Thursday that he found comments by Gov. Scott Walker made about protesters at the state Capitol during a prank phone call 'very unsettling and troubling.'"

======================================

Who cares? The guy's just another political hack, a boot-licking Obama lover. What did you expect him to say?
Maybe he ought to see what his son's been up to:
-------
"MADISON, Wis. -- The son of Madison Police Chief Noble Wray was sentenced to two years probation on Monday after pleading guilty to stealing from a Milwaukee museum earlier this year.

Brent Wray pleaded guilty to stealing more than $15,000 from the Betty Brin Children's Museum. He was accused of taking the money while he worked there.

In June, Wray offered to plead guilty to a lesser charge rather than go to trial to face a felony charge of theft from a business. In return, the charge was reduced to a class one felony.

His father, Noble Wray, has been chief of Madison police since 2004."
-------

Probation for stealing $15,000 from a children's museum? Hmmmm. No strings pulled there. Daddy's on a commission to figure out why so many people of color are locked up in Wisconsin; I guess there's at least one person who ought to be locked up who isn't.

Posted by: Brigade | February 24, 2011 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Good to have you back, ruk...

"Yeah it's always about that terribly onerous tax burden isn't it..."

Yes, yes it is.

I think we need to have a moment of silence to commemorate the hard work and suffering of all those poor souls at the top of the income brackets whose effective rate hovers around 21%. And special consideration, of course, should be paid to those sad, pitiful individuals in the top 400 households who actually pay an effective rate of around 17%. It's gotta be sooooo haaarrrrrddddd on them.....(sniff..sniff...)....

Posted by: schrodingerscat | February 24, 2011 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Andy Stern is not a labor leader. He is an Ex Norwegian Blue Parrot.

Bring on Current Labor Leaders, and also invite Joe McCarthy's Evil Spawn, to defend his fascist ways.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 24, 2011
==========================================

Careful. Shrink's dad campaigned for McCarthy.

Posted by: Brigade | February 24, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

I probably shouldn't have said "break the union" because even if the legislation passes intact Wisconsin would still allow collective bargaining for wages under the CPI, so the union isn't really going away, but that has been the rhetoric on the Left anyway.

If they can take collective bargaining for benefits off the table, that removes the ability to sweep increased liabilities under the rug, so I would hope that is what he fights most for. Allowing raises over the CPI only increases the liability for a few years, plus it is argued in the sunlight, so that is more tolerable. Chances are nil that in this fiscal environment the union can negotiate a raise over CPI anyway. He probably can make the case that most of the collective bargaining remains in place, but there is no reason why the taxpayer needs to collect its dues for the unions. So, my guess is that the elimination of bargaining for benefits and the dues collection stays, the CPI and the vote goes. How is that for a Solomonesque solution?

The power plant stuff probably goes away, but I suspect the governor had no idea it would cause such a stink.

FWIW, I think the power plant stuff will be of interest to XCEL energy (the big regulated utility that covers WI, MN, and a handful of Western states) and probably no one else, certainly not Dave Koch. The only reason to sell it is because someone else can generate electricity cheaper than the state can, which pretty much means a large electric utility. Koch can't compete with XCEL, and certainly couldn't generate his own power cheaper than he could buy it. So, the state will spend a couple of hundred grand in fees to Goldman and Skadden to auction an asset that only one party will be interested in. But, it is a throwaway piece. Certainly not worth fighting for, so it probably goes.

So, my guess is that the ban on CB for benefits passes, the ban on collecting dues passes, and he bargains away the annual vote and the ban on bargaining for raises in excess of CPI.

Posted by: sold2u | February 24, 2011 8:02 PM | Report abuse

"Wis. Senate GOP Leader's Wife Gets School Layoff Notice"

MADISON, WI -- The threatened wave of layoffs of public employees -- which Republican Gov. Scott Walker has said will occur if his budget bill does not pass with its anti-public employee union provisions -- is now hitting home with a top Republican leader. As the Associated Press reports, the wife of state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has now received a preliminary layoff notice.

Lisa Fitzgerald works as a counselor in the Hustisford school district, where the school board has sent layoff notices to all 34 members of the teaching staff.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 24, 2011 8:02 PM | Report abuse

"A new Franklin and Marshall poll finds that a solid 56 percent of Wisconsinites think public employee unions should have collective bargaining powers, versus less than a third (32 percent) agree with their Governor on the matter."
==========================================

"roflol -- that truly is the most laughable thing I have ever read. clue: polls are worthless. you can make people say anything you want just by a change of wording. and not knowing the construction/methodology makes it even more worthless. it's calling 'cherry-picking.'"

Posted by: fiona5 | January 14, 2011
-------

Posted by: Brigade | February 24, 2011 8:02 PM | Report abuse

All, Meet the Press will now have on AFLCIO chief Richard Trumka. See update.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 24, 2011 8:06 PM | Report abuse

""All, Meet the Press will now have on AFLCIO chief Richard Trumka. See update.""

Rumor has it that Trumka will pummel a TeaBanger in a Hoverround with a lead pipe.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 24, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

"* Gallup finds that Sarah Palin is the preferred 2012 candidate of Republicans who care about national security, which suggests that in some quarters, shooting wolves may be considered good training for dealing with geopolitical threats."

Makes sense. Those same Nationally Security Republicans want to buy weapons sytems like Star Wars, that seem to violate aome very basic laws of physics, because they are expensive, apparently, but didn't want the current GI bill because it was too expensive, don't want to properly fund VA because we have a budget deficit, won't pay taxes to pay for two wars, one with absolutely no justification, and the other mismanaged for the duration of their wonder warrior's term of office.

National Security means things to a republican that you will never get by looking the terms up in your Funk and Wagnall's.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 24, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

FULL DISCLOSURE: Richard Trumka did not give us the weekend, God did.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 24, 2011 8:14 PM | Report abuse

sold2u: can you define exponentially?

For instance, do you know what a negative exponent is?

Obama DID exponentially grow the government, just negatively exponentially.

But this post will have all the trolls b...hing about may pedantry.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 24, 2011 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Brigade, you like me I can tell.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 24, 2011 8:26 PM | Report abuse

um, negative exponentially would mean he shrunk government. he increased it by 11%, increased the baseline for all sorts of programs through the stimulus and added a new entitlement program. So yeah, he exponentially increased the size of government.

Posted by: sold2u | February 24, 2011 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I think someone needs to look up "exponentially."
..

Posted by: jprestonian | February 24, 2011 8:33 PM | Report abuse

"So, my guess is that the ban on CB for benefits passes, the ban on collecting dues passes, and he bargains away the annual vote and the ban on bargaining for raises in excess of CPI."

And no power generation give away too? No, I can't bet, this is a push.

BTW, "the power plant stuff probably goes away, but I suspect the governor had no idea it would cause such a stink."

Heh, no doubt about that.

Who put that in the bill? Do you know? The specific words, like nothing I have ever heard of, just kidding...in health "care" pay to play, the finger prints of the industry that bought the law are everywhere.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 24, 2011 8:40 PM | Report abuse

So, Christine O'Donnell is going to be on "Dancing with the Stars"!

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 24, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

"I think someone needs to look up "exponentially." .. Posted by: jprestonian"

Actually he needs to differentiate between budget and government, which is people. the government is at a slightly smaller size, as an employs fewer people, and what people he ADDED were largely border patrol and ICE to deal with immigration problems especially in the South.

And since I haven't a good calculator handy I will guess the common log of 1.11 is just maybe 1.11

Posted by: ceflynline | February 24, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I think he intended to sell the power generation stuff to XCEL all along. My guess is this was the thinking:

The State Public Utilities Commission sets rates for the utilities and mandates that they spend $x amount on increasing capacity. Xcel can either build it, which means that the investment will be paid for with future rate increases, or they can buy the capacity and recoup the investment through increased rates. So, what is better for ratepayers? My guess is that the government decided it would be better off selling the generating capacity to XCEL because (a) it will be cheaper for the utility to buy the asset than build it, (b) it gives a one-time boost to revenues which helps the budget figures, and (c) since the taxpayers are also ratepayers, it probably doesn't make much difference which pocket it comes out of. Remember, the price utilities are allowed to charge is set by the regulators and it is a function of how much it cost the utility to build (or buy) and operate the plant. Suppose the government gave the plant away to the utility. Because it paid nothing for the plant, it won't be allowed to charge market rates for the electricity it generates (because its regulated asset base doesn't increase). Anyway, I think the decision to put that language in was based on the fact that any sale would be negotiated between two parties, and that a separate approval from the state regulators wouldn't be needed because they would be basically running the process to begin with. The government was trying to kill two birds with one stone - raise money for the government and get capacity to the utility on the cheap so rates would be lower than they would have been otherwise.

I don't think Koch even entered into the thought process.

Posted by: sold2u | February 24, 2011 9:01 PM | Report abuse

"Obama DID exponentially grow the government, just negatively exponentially.

But this post will have all the trolls b...hing about may pedantry."

I'm no mathemetician, but I thought a negative exponent results in a reciprocal or fraction. So, let's get this straight, you're claiming Obama actually reduced the size of government? Not only that but made it a small fraction?

Not pedantry but absurdity.

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 24, 2011 9:05 PM | Report abuse

"In a surprise twist, the Air Force awarded a $35 billion contract for aerial fueling tankers to Boeing rather than a European company."

heh, a surprise twist...we are all so shocked and surprised..can barely contain our amazement

Actually giving this contract to Boeing was a forgone conclusion, the initial award to the socialist menace was a way to get the attention of the 'american' company, to see if anyone was home.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 24, 2011 9:05 PM | Report abuse

sold2u, I don't care about anything other than no bid, why no bid?

Posted by: shrink2 | February 24, 2011 9:09 PM | Report abuse

"Anyway, I think the decision to put that language in was based on the fact that any sale would be negotiated between two parties, and that a separate approval from the state regulators wouldn't be needed because they would be basically running the process to begin with."

Transparency is good. Sunlight.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 24, 2011 9:12 PM | Report abuse

"The State Public Utilities Commission sets rates for the utilities and mandates that they spend $x amount on increasing capacity. Xcel can either build it, which means that the investment will be paid for with future rate increases, or they can buy the capacity and recoup the investment through increased rates. So, what is better for ratepayers? My guess is that the government decided it would be better off selling the generating capacity to XCEL because (a) it will be cheaper for the utility to buy the asset than build it, (b) it gives a one-time boost to revenues which helps the budget figures, and (c) since the taxpayers are also ratepayers, it probably doesn't make much difference which pocket it comes out of. Remember, the price utilities are allowed to charge is set by the regulators and it is a function of how much it cost the utility to build (or buy) and operate the plant. Suppose the government gave the plant away to the utility. Because it paid nothing for the plant, it won't be allowed to charge market rates for the electricity it generates (because its regulated asset base doesn't increase). Anyway, I think the decision to put that language in was based on the fact that any sale would be negotiated between two parties, and that a separate approval from the state regulators wouldn't be needed because they would be basically running the process to begin with. The government was trying to kill two birds with one stone - raise money for the government and get capacity to the utility on the cheap so rates would be lower than they would have been otherwise.

I don't think Koch even entered into the thought process.

Posted by: sold2u"

I'll buy this. Anyone want to argue it?

Posted by: DDAWD | February 24, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

shrink, Libya is more explosive, but Bahrain is more important. Libya is isolated in the north African desert.

The Bahraini monarchy will have to give some concession to the opposition. 70 percent of the population of the country is Shia. In Kuwait, the royal family and the legislature have been engaged in a tug of war for many years, and if the opposition forces within the Bahrain parliament win concessions that will embolden the Kuwaiti opposition. 30 percent of all Kuwaiti nationals are Shia. Bahrain will have implications for Kuwait.

From the point of view of Saudi Arabia, the rise of Shia in Bahrain could awaken Saudi Shias who live in the eastern province, which is an oil-rich area not too far from the border with Bahrain. The Saudis are already facing succession issues because of the advanced ages of King Abdullah, Crown Prince Sultan, Second Deputy Prime Minister Prince Naif, and the governor of Riyadh, Prince Salman.

So do not forget to watch Bahrain - where we regularly have USN ships in port.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 24, 2011 9:21 PM | Report abuse

i take "no bid" to mean "no competitive bid."

I think they imagined only one entity would be interested in it, and that would be the regulated utility that is already doing business in the state. The smaller utilities are getting gobbled up by the larger ones because the business is getting more competitive and larger utilities tend to be more efficient than smaller ones. Some independent operator would not be able to compete with the utility that has been in the state for over a century.

Plus, remember how rates are set - if the government sells the asset for a fire sale price, the entity that buys it will have to sell electricity from it at below-market rates. Utilities are basically allowed to run monopolies and in return they have a statutory limit on their profits. So, if they buy the asset for nothing, they will be allowed to make nothing on it. Taxpayers will take a loss on the sale, but since the taxpayers are also ratepayers, they will enjoy lower electricity rates. So, it is kind of a "which pocket does the money come out of" issue.

I am speculating somewhat, but that is what I think was going on.

Posted by: sold2u | February 24, 2011 9:25 PM | Report abuse

"UPDATE, 8:03 p.m.: Meet the Press will now include AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka on its roundtable. Good for them. Amazing what it took to get a voice representing labor on to a single Sunday show, particularly at this moment."

No doubt the noise you made about this had some effect. Good job Greg! But this is no time to relax. One representative on one show is nothing more than a token response by the major media companies. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: mmyotis | February 24, 2011 10:24 PM | Report abuse

"I think they imagined only one entity would be interested in it."

No, that isn't why no bid language is written into law. A law like that is written to exclude the possibility of other bidders, to make sure no one can buy something the state owns other than some entity the Governor decides will get the deal for the terms the Governor decides.

If people imagine no one wants to buy something, they can try to sell it and see, the free market, all that.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 24, 2011 10:30 PM | Report abuse

"awaken Saudi Shias"

these people have been awake, everyone knows everything

The Sunni v Shiite problem is intractable, it is a permanent state of enmity. The books have been written on this topic. Not to mention Syria and Lebanon, I don't think one can say one situation is more important than another, they are all watching each other, caring intently, they are interdependent variables.

The only thing we can be sure of is that everyone wants Gaddafi to disappear as soon as possible.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 24, 2011 10:40 PM | Report abuse

""Taxpayers will take a loss on the sale, but since the taxpayers are also ratepayers, they will enjoy lower electricity rates.""

I was gonna call Grandma Millie to tell her your awesome joke, but I forgot -- she froze to death several years back.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 24, 2011 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Is there any evidence privatizing utilities lowers costs and won't the state lose a long term source of income?

Same crap here in VA. Taliban Bob wanted to sell of the liquer stores even though they are money makers.

I don't get these jokers. The Gov't makes something profitable and Republicans wan't to eliminate it?!?!?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 24, 2011 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I can't find it now but there was a pretty in-depth look at the power plant issue on TPM the other day, and it made it seem much less of an issue than it did at first. These power plants are district heating units for the state universities, not big power producers for towns and cities. I think many are still coal-fired (I used to see one that ran off a huge mountain of coal brought in by rail and truck each winter). Some have been converted to greener technologies, but I doubt they'd be of much use to Koch. Plus this issue was pushed in unsuccessful legislation several years ago.

Basically, it looks like power plants are a side show. Collective bargaining should be the real focus.

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 24, 2011 11:34 PM | Report abuse

For anyone having trouble wrapping his head around Holder's letter on DOMA, here are some good links.

http://www.slate.com/id/2286200

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/23/948801/-DOJ-Will-No-Longer-Defend-DOMAs-Discrimination?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+dailykos/index+%28Daily+Kos%29

Posted by: DDAWD | February 25, 2011 2:40 AM | Report abuse

In this present crisis, millionaires & billionaires are not the solution to the problem. Millionaires & billionaires are the problem.

Even PBS is so blindly brainwashedly trapped in the reigning power zeitgeist that there is no Nightly Labor Report. Imagine the remarkable St. Senators Lena Taylor, John Erpenbach, Trumka, and so many other heart-compelling voices on a *nightly* show.

Posted by: wendyf | February 25, 2011 8:15 AM | Report abuse

@wendy: every major paper in the country and more than a few minor ones have an entire Business section. To say nothing of weekly and monthly periodicals fully dedicated to fawning lovingly over luminaries of the dazzling world of Big Money.

And have you ever, even once, seen a newspaper, major or minor, with so much as a regular *column* dedicated to the interests of labor?

Imagine separating the sections of the paper edition of the Washingon Post and seeing a banner paged reading Labor.

Scarcely even imaginable.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 25, 2011 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Does the press want Walker to succeed or something? It's as though they just gloss over him jokingly talking about using his baseball bat on protesters.

I don't get it. I'm flabbergasted I guess.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 25, 2011 8:25 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/the_morning_plum_194.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 25, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

mikefromArlington, as you said, it was a joke not a conspiracy to murder.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 25, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

@suekzoo1 ""Can we say Walker overreached yet?"

Yes, let's. Let's also say that making collective bargaining for teachers illegal doesn't lead to quality education, and remember, Virginia outlawed collective bargaining for teachers in 1993:

"Only 5 states do not have collective bargaining for educators and have deemed it illegal. Those states and their ranking on ACT/SAT scores are as follows:

South Carolina – 50th
North Carolina – 49th
Georgia – 48th
Texas – 47th
Virginia – 44th

If you are wondering, Wisconsin, with its collective bargaining for teachers, is ranked 2nd in the country. Let’s keep it that way.

This isn’t to say that the lack of collective bargaining explains these poor outcomes, of course, but it is true that the evidence that breaking teacher’s unions improves educational outcomes is somewhere between “exceptionally weak” and “non-existent.”

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2011/02/but-i-thought-union-busting-solved-all-educational-problems"

This is false and has been debunked.

http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/feb/23/state-democratic-party-wisconsin/labor-union-supporters-say-wisconsin-test-scores-v/

Posted by: jnc4p | February 25, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

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