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Posted at 8:40 AM ET, 02/23/2011

The Morning Plum

By Greg Sargent

* The next frontier in Wisconsin fight: Beginning today, a union official says, labor will intensify pressure on moderate GOP state senators to break with Governor Scott Walker and work out a compromise with public employees.

Key fact: 14 out of 19 GOP state senators represent districts carried by Obama in 2008.

* Key argument by Walker and right wing debunked: Walker likes to say he "campaigned" on the proposals in his budget repair bill, and other conservatives keep repeating endlessly that this issue was already decided by the voters.

But PolitiFact completely debunks the claim as "false," noting that he never floated anything nearly as onerous as the proposal to roll back bargaining rights.

* The stakes in Wisconsin, ctd.: Harold Meyerson goes big:

Unions remain the most effective part of the Democratic coalition in turning out minority voters come election time and in getting working-class whites to vote Democratic. As such, they are the linchpin of progressive change in America. Taking them off the political map isn't about budgets. It's about removing a check on right-wing and business power in America.

* Crunch time for organized labor: Neil King has a useful overview of the scope of the current GOP challenge to unions across the industrial midwest, concluding that we're now seeing "the most direct challenge to their political and financial clout since Ronald Reagan broke the air-traffic controllers union 30 years ago."

* Cuttin' through all the B.S.: Ezra Klein: "the burden of proof is on those who say Wisconsin's public employees make too much money."

* Governor Walker's fireside chat was a big flame-out: Dave Weigel finds signs in Walker's speech last night that he was subtly conceding some turf to unions and Dems, because his big threat of layoffs wouldn't occur until June, giving Dems plenty of time to continue mobilizing.

* Undisclosed spending flows in government spending fight: Karl Rove's group Crossroads GPS, which doesn't disclose donors, unleashes a barrage of radio ads targeting House Dems for failing to support GOP spending-cut policies.

Key takeway: The ads are a sign that undisclosed money from wealthy and corporate donors will increasingly be used to influence policy fights, rather than just elections.

* Judge upholds health law, demolishes "inactivity" argument: A third federal judge, Clinton-appointee Gladys Kessler, has now upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and in her opinion, which you can read right here, she takes direct aim at the argument that the individual mandate constitutes regulating "inactivity":

It is pure semantics to argue that an individual who makes a choice to forgo health insurance is not "acting," especially given the serious economic and health-related consequences to every individual of that choice. Making a choice is an affirmative action, whether one decides to do something or not do something. They are two sides of the same coin. To pretend otherwise is to ignore reality.

* Government shutdown kabuki continues: John Dickerson on how all the posturing you see in public has nothing whatsoever to do with the negotiations that are actually occuring in private to avert a shutdown.

Dickerson's analysis raises the question: To what degree is John Boehner's hard-line refusal to accept Harry Reid's proposal to extend government funding at current levels for a month really about prepping the Tea Party brigade to ultimately swallow a deal?

* Mitt Romney's health care Gordian Knot, ctd.: Romney's spokesman gamely assures Politico's Kasie Hunt that his support for the individual mandate in Massachusetts won't be much of an issue in the GOP primary. Yeah, okay.

But as Hunt notes, even if Romney does somehow manage to get through the primary, "he'll face a general election without being able to focus on health care as an issue to galvanize Republican voters -- or to effectively attack the president."

* Culture war is alive and well: Good stuff from Ed Kilgore on how the GOP's drive to roll back reproductive rights completely caught the Beltway establishment off guard. The conservative culture-war push on this front is as active as ever, and could figure prominently in the 2012 presidential race, a key dynamic to keep an eye on.

* And here's the head-spinning right wing idiocy of the day: In case you want a one-stop shop to get up to speed on the ongoing attacks on Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign, Dana Milbank plumbs the depths of the right's latest inanities and comes away perplexed that conservatives find it objectionable to urge people to "eat junk less often and exercise more."

Warning: Could induce projectile vomiting.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | February 23, 2011; 8:40 AM ET
Categories:  House GOPers, Labor, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, abortion, budget  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Happy Hour Roundup
Next: It's just about crushing the unions

Comments

Greg - I love you, but could you please stop using the word, "kabuki" in your column every day?

Posted by: breakingball | February 23, 2011 8:57 AM | Report abuse

It's just occurred to me that the Republican attacks on public pensions and Social Security, if successful, could leave a lot of people entering their senior years penniless.

Excellent news for their children and grandchildren!

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 23, 2011 8:57 AM | Report abuse

[Greg sneers: "Warning: Could induce projectile vomiting."]

Meanwhile, The Obamateur is remains silent on Kaddafi's latest bloodbath.

BREAKING VIDEO: Gaddafi Regime Using Heavy Weapons on Protesters
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/

The Times newspaper said Wednesday it had footage of severely wounded and dead protesters in a Libyan hospital which proved that heavy weapons were being used to crush the uprising.

Shocking footage of corpses with bodies blasted off and patients with almost completely severed torsos provided “incontrovertible evidence” that heavy artillery was used, Martin Fletcher, the newspaper’s associate editor said.

“It’s not entirely clear how these men were killed, it could have been by fighter jets, it could have been by helicopter gunships, it could have been by mortar, it could have been by heavy machine guns,” Fletcher said.

“One thing is abundantly clear, they were not killed by tear gas or by batons or by methods of suppressing peaceful protests that are generally considered the outer limits of what is acceptable,” he added.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 23, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Real Americans have diabetes.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 23, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

If anyone's interested here's a great overview of everything that has gone on, is going on and future goings on in WI and other states fighting over the public sector unions. Lost of links and fact checking etc.

http://www.alternet.org/news/149986/the_uprising_that_began_in_wisconsin_is_going_nationwide_--_follow_the_latest_developments_here/?page=4

Posted by: lmsinca | February 23, 2011 9:06 AM | Report abuse

[Greg sneers: "Warning: Could induce projectile vomiting."]

Meanwhile, The Obamateur remains silent on Kaddafi's latest bloodbath.

Photos of dead Libyan protesters killed in Tripoli – WARNING GRAPHIC!
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=caa_1298316370

Charred bodies in Benghazi
WARNING GRAPHIC!
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=0fd_1298298224

All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do...

Munich Olympic Massacre
Constable Fletcher Murder
Rome/Vienna Airport Massacres
Berlin Discoteque Massacre
PA103 Massacre
UTA772 Massacre
IRA proxy massacres
EU Nurse Prison Sextortion
Swiss hostage extortion
Libyan civilian massacres

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 23, 2011 9:08 AM | Report abuse

[Milhouse drools: "conservatives find it objectionable to urge people to "eat junk less often and exercise more."]

No. Conservatives find the 1st Hippo objectionable stuffing her face with short ribs, before climbing up on her hind legs to lecture the little people about diet.
http://weaselzippers.us/2011/02/21/flotus-straps-on-the-feedbag-at-chi-chi-vail-restaurant/

Michelle lives high on the hog in Vail, eats one of the most unhealthy calorie laden options at one if not THE most expensive restaurants in Colorado. Yet her fraud husband tells us about how we need to sacrifice. No wonder so many of us are fuming at the Worst Couple’s rampant do as I say, not as I do hypocrisy from these two elitist snobs.

*projectile vomit*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 23, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

caothien9- "Real Americans have diabetes."

This needs to be put on a t-shirt. It's probably a tad insensitive, but hilarious nonetheless.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 23, 2011 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Christine O'Donnell writes..."FACEBOOK EXCLUSIVE: I just got the Official "Ask" from Dancing With The Stars !! Although I am utterly flattered, my initial thought was to decline, as 2 year old nephew has more rhythm than me, and my two left feet!!"

She'll do it or her name isn't Bible Spice.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 23, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

HAHAHAH

OMFG read this guys. Walker is a complete twit!

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2011/02/23/the-beast-punks-walker/

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 23, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

From lmsinca's Alterman post: "We reported earlier that Walker single-handedly killed high-speed rail between Milwaukee and Madison, and is trying to establish regulations that would make wind-farms very difficult to set up in Wisconsin. But there's more to this story, as Dave Johnson reported yesterday for PRWatch. Tucked into Walker's bill is a provision which allows the sale of 'any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant ... with or without solicitation of bids.'"

If it were up to people like Walker, we'd still live in caves. 

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 23, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Hey Kaddafi, is your wife still workin' the truck stops?

Say hello to her for me will ya? She still owes me my change.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 23, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Oh and Kaddafi, ever notice your kids look nothing like you? If you want, I can explain that to you.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 23, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

"The choice for Romney is complicated, but really very simple: apologize, and the questions will (likely) relent, or stand firm, and keep trying to explain yourself over and over and over again."

I just had a brilliant idea: He should blame Massachusetts! As in look what they've done to Scott Brown. It makes absolutely no sense, but it would work.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 23, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

@kdaffy: whiny, whiny...Didn't hear a critique when bush went to his DYNASTIC FAMILY COMPOUND, ATTENDED PRIVATE SCHOOLS, GOT LEGACY ENTRANCE INTO COLLEGE and grad school, and generally lived as an aristocrat while destroying the economy, badly mismanaging 2 wars (one totally unnecessary), and generally being an out of touch bungler. At least the Obamas actually earned their own small fortune...In rigthwingnutistan, only self made rich people should be criticized for going on vacation. Oligarchs and plutocrats deserve to live in gated compounds, vacation at posh resorts, etc... Cheney lives in (or in a compound guarded by a bunch of soldiers) in the one of the most exclusive resort towns in North America.

Posted by: srw3 | February 23, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

ABC: "It's just occurred to me that the Republican attacks on public pensions and Social Security, if successful, could leave a lot of people entering their senior years penniless."

So could doing nothing to improve the sustainability of public pensions. Surely there must be some middle ground.

"If it were up to people like Walker, we'd still live in caves."

I'm not sure how that follows. Does everybody who has what we might consider to be very bad or tragically flawed public policy ideas want everybody to "live in caves"? Did we all "live in caves" with the government was a fraction of the size it was now? When there was no federal income tax?

I'm not saying we can or should want to go back to that (we shouldn't) but "if were up to people who think different than me, we'd still all live and caves" seems to suffer (to me) from a missing step in the transition from "minimal government" to "caveman". :-)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 23, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

A true conservative would endorse the FLOTUS push to eat less junk and exercise more since it saves money on medical cost...

A true conservative would endorse energy saving plans at the capitol since it saves the tax payers money on energy bills...

I don't know who these people are that took control of the Republican party but conservatives they're not. A true conservative is frugal in every way while these folks appear to be lobbyist for big oil (energy producers) and the junk food industry...

PS... My dad was a true conservative, he insisted we accelerate for only 1/4 of a block and coast the remaining 3/4 in order to save gas. Everything he did and stood for had a conservative element to it. I don't recognize the modern day conservatives in the light of what he taught us. All the money they're spending pushing policies that benefit only the rich should be a huge warning sign as to their true intent...

Posted by: soapm | February 23, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

"Hey Kaddafi, is your wife still workin' the truck stops?
Say hello to her for me will ya? She still owes me my change."

Eewwww, you paid to climb on top of that?

Posted by: shrink2 | February 23, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

The entire punk of Walker is worth the read guys.

http://www.buffalobeast.com/?p=5045

He has to be in major damage control right now. If all networks don't pick up on this story, they don't know wtf news is.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 23, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

@kw: Would you go for substantially lowering living standards for the middle class through redistribution of resources up the income scale....Have some tolerance for a bit of friendly hyperbole...

Posted by: srw3 | February 23, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Check out this jewel on the punk:

"Koch: [Laughs] Well, I tell you what, Scott: once you crush these bastards I’ll fly you out to Cali and really show you a good time.

Walker: All right, that would be outstanding. [*** Ethical violation much? ***] Thanks for all the support…it’s all about getting our freedoms back…"

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 23, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

@KaddafiDelendaEst = "Michelle lives high on the hog in Vail, eats one of the most unhealthy calorie laden options at one if not THE most expensive restaurants in Colorado. Yet her fraud husband tells us about how we need to sacrifice. No wonder so many of us are fuming at the Worst Couple’s rampant do as I say, not as I do hypocrisy from these two elitist snobs."

And you know of her eating habit how??? Did you see what she had on her plate??? Not something you heard on Fox or Limpballs was it??? Does facts ever matter to you guys or do you just make it up as you go???

Also, the president appears fairly fit for a guy his age. Not sure where you come off calling him a fraud. No one is preaching abstinence (except Republican's sex ed approach) but moderation. The president admittedly enjoys pie then hits the workout room. Where is this so called hypocrisy in that???

Posted by: soapm | February 23, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

ABC

Yves Smith had more on "infrastruture scams (I mean sales)" yesterday and it's pretty interesting. We had a similar experience here with our big toll lane connecting Riverside County to Orange County and the only people who can afford it now are probably the top 2%-5% of commuters. The rest of the peons get to sit in traffic even though our tax dollars paid for it.

""The problem, of course, is that these deals put important public resources paid for by taxes (or even worse, financed by bonds and thus potentially not even yet fully paid for) in the hands of private investors. They then earn their returns by charging user fees of various sorts. The public must rely on the new owners for reinvestment and maintenance, and depending on how the deal is negotiated, may have ceded control as far as fee increases are concerned. This is tantamount to selling the family china only to have to rent it back in order to eat dinner.

Now defenders will argue that there is nothing wrong with this in practice, as long as the price is fair, no one is harmed. That’s spurious. This is worse than an intergenerational transfer. Those future fees not only must recoup maintenance costs (which any owner would presumably pay) and the time value of money, but also the investor’s target return in excess of that. In addition, the large transaction costs of these deals are ultimately borne by the seller.

And the list of shortcomings thus far are merely those that result if you have two sides that are equally sophisticated. That is hardly the case with municipalities versus bankers and investors. As the old saying goes, “If you sit down for a game of poker and you don’t know who the sucker at the table is, it’s you.”""

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/02/wisconsins-walker-joins-government-asset-giveaway-club-and-is-rahm-soon-to-follow.html

Posted by: lmsinca | February 23, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

" Does facts ever matter to you guys or do you just make it up as you go???"

Heh, you must be new to this.
Welcome, pull up a chair.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 23, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The food "debate" is fascinating. I think the backlash is a slippery slope argument. Sure, she talks about choice and moderation, but give it a year or so, she'll start calling for stuff to be banned. Like tobacco was once only going to be banned in bars. [granted, this is from principled opposition and not from those interesting in scoring a few partisan points]

Also --- criticism on this issues isn't coming only from the right. There's also the fat acceptance movement that's part of the feminist left that wants businesses and society to be more accommodating to obese people.

but her campaign largely ignores the real problem. cajoling parents will only get you so far when you're spending billions to subsidize the agriculture industry and the USDA has a split personality, as it is tasked with both "promoting" US food interests and ensuring safety.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 23, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Kaddafi is just upset every time he goes to the beach, everyone tries to push his wife back into the surf.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 23, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

@mikeFromArlington: "OMFG read this guys. Walker is a complete twit!"

He really, really is. He's been governor for a month and he's already imploding. Admits he was "thinking about" planting fake protestors. Etc. OMFG indeed.

I give him a week before the implosion is complete an undeniable. While he may last, I would be at least a little surprised if he lasts 6 months. He is (a) clearly not a competent politician. Irrespective of the wisdom of his policies, in a strictly neutral, non-partisan, non-ideological sense, he is a **bad** politician. Also, (b) he's clearly not that bright. That a call from a Koch in this combustible atmosphere didn't start his spider sense tingling (take a number, I'll call him back, then try and confirm the number . . . how hard is that?) . . . dude just ain't bright.

Also, spoiled rotten doesn't go over well with the public. If the unions had been intransigent in taking concessions, his position might have at least been justifiable to a squishy RINO like me. But they were willing to make real concessions, and he should have taken them and backed down on union busting. But no . . .

The appropriate Democrat response" "Really? The whole state? You shouldn't have! Oh, but it is beautiful. And it's so very •blue•. How do you do it? Good lord knows, we could never have gotten it •this• blue in a million years. Not without your help, Scott Walker. Thank you •so• much!"

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 23, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

She's so fat, when she walks in the snow, she doesn't leave tracks.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 23, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Fact: Public employees are paid far more and receive far better benefits than private sector employees.
Fact: The higher salaries and benefits enjoyed by public sector employees is a result of government not having the incentives to negociate like the private sector does.
Fact: Public sector and especially teachers have held the American people (especially children) hostage too many times
Fact: It is the American people working in the private sector who pay for the higher salaries and benefits enjoyed by public sector employees.

It is time to for the American people to take control of this situation. The situation in Wisconsin should serve as a model for the rest of the state, local, and federal government. It is time for the American people to put an end to the higher salaries and benefits paid to public employees.

We must continue to VOTE THEM OUT!!!

Posted by: AngryMobVoter | February 23, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

"but her campaign largely ignores the real problem."

I think her going after school lunches is going at the heart of one of our biggest problems. There is absolutely no reason why kids in public schools should be eating high sugar, carb and salt diets.

If anything, that needs to change.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 23, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

[soapm whined: "Michelle lives high on the hog in Vail... And you know of her eating habit how???"]

Here you go.
*EVIDENCE*
http://weaselzippers.us/2011/02/21/flotus-straps-on-the-feedbag-at-chi-chi-vail-restaurant/

*slurpy it*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 23, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

@mike: "The entire punk of Walker is worth the read guys."

BuffaloBeast is blocked for me. Anyone want to post the text, or the most salient parts?

I think it would be interesting to everybody. :)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 23, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Public employees are paid far more and receive far better benefits than private sector employees. - Lies

The higher salaries and benefits enjoyed by public sector employees is a result of government not having the incentives to negociate like the private sector does. - Lies

Public sector and especially teachers have held the American people (especially children) hostage too many times - Opinion

It is the American people working in the private sector who pay for the higher salaries and benefits enjoyed by public sector employees. - Partially true. Federal workers also pay taxes.

Unbiased analysis of your statement? Pants on fire.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 23, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

but give it a year or so, she'll start calling for stuff to be banned.
-------------------------------------

This campaign has been in full swing for well over a year, what makes you think year 2 or 3 will be the year french fries are finally banned other than unsubstantiated fear? As others have noted previously, Laura Bush campaigned for healthy eating, but the right was mysteriously silent about her totalitarian campaign.

Seriously guys? Wife jokes?

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 23, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

The serious Republican, Mitch Daniels hung Walker out to dry with this statement...

"For reasons I've explained more than once I thought there was a better time and place to have this very important and legitimate issue raised."

Posted by: shrink2 | February 23, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

@swr3: "Would you go for substantially lowering living standards for the middle class through redistribution of resources up the income scale...."

As a descriptive? Yes, that's very fair. ;)

In practice? No, I don't think we should substantially lower anybody's living standards.

"Have some tolerance for a bit of friendly hyperbole..."

I'm a conservative. Intolerance is my middle name!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 23, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I still LMAO at those D-Day images of mulish Michelle clomping along in her potatoe sack and heels, next to the elegant (and va-va-va-vooom!) Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/06/06/article-1191344-053C9302000005DC-710_634x658.jpg

*1st Hippo*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 23, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

The part I found most interesting, and least sensationalistic, of Morgan Spurlock's "Super Size Me!" was the part on school lunches. Feed kids healthy food and less salt and sugar and, whaddaya know, there tend to be less behavioral problems and better study habits.

I would wager most parents have observed the impact of food on children's behavior. School lunches could, and should, be healthier (and contain less refined sugar!)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 23, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Bilgeman/AKA Kaddafi breaks the shocking story that The First Lady dined at a restaurant. Wait until he gets a scoop on the next time she buys some shoes! That scoop will earn him a visit with Matt Lauer.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 23, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"The Senate organization committee is going to meet and pass a rule that says if you don’t show up for two consecutive days on a session day—in the state Senate, the Senate chief clerk—it’s a little procedural thing here, but—can actually have your payroll stopped from being automatically deducted—

Koch: Beautiful.

Walker: —into your checking account and instead—you still get a check, but the check has to be personally picked up and he’s instructing them—which we just loved—to lock them in their desk on the floor of the state Senate.
...
Koch: Bring a baseball bat. That’s what I’d do.

Walker: I have one in my office; you’d be happy with that. I have a slugger with my name on it.

Koch: Beautiful.

Walker: [union-bashing...]

Koch: Beautiful.
...
Koch: Beautiful; beautiful. You gotta love that Mika Brzezinski; she’s a real piece of ass.

Walker: Oh yeah.
...

Koch: [Laughs] Well, I tell you what, Scott: once you crush these bastards I’ll fly you out to Cali and really show you a good time.

Walker: All right, that would be outstanding. [*** Ethical violation much? ***] Thanks for all the support…it’s all about getting our freedoms back…"


There's load, that's just a bit of it. Here are the two audi tapes of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBnSv3a6Nh4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3a2pYGr7-k

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 23, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

@Kadaffi: "I still LMAO at those D-Day images of mulish Michelle blah blah blah"

Kadaffi, don't you have some protestors to be strafing or something? I thought you were very busy in your country just about now.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 23, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Kaddafi, keepin' it classy as always.

Michelle Obama is a great-looking woman who happens to have hips. Perhaps Kaddafi prefers his females to look more like pre-pubescent boys rather than, you know, women.

And of course, only a troglogyte misogynist would consider a woman's looks the only measure of her value.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 23, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

"The higher salaries and benefits enjoyed by public sector employees is a result of government not having the incentives to negociate like the private sector does"

Given the importance voters place on the debt, I would think there are some incentives for the government to "negociate".

I also wonder how much of the salary gap public workers have narrowed or surpassed has happened in the last 10 years when private workers have seen stagnant or reduced wages. I assuming most of the narrowing has occurred over that stretch which would mean private companies are able to undermine unions by not giving workers wages. At what point is this about private workers making too little as opposed to public workers making "too much?"

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 23, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

From The Desk Of Deck Armey:

Memo To All Tea Party Members:

Dear Koch Suckers,

Just a brief note to remind you to be sure to punch some Public School Teachers, and warmly embrace some Deprived Billionaires today.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 23, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"There is absolutely no reason why kids in public schools should be eating high sugar, carb and salt diets."

Agreed -- but take it up with the USDA. They pushed back on putting salad bars in elementary schools. They eventually caved, but there's an institutional problem there. I think it stems from the fact the agency is tasked with promoting agriculture and not just food safety.

"what makes you think year 2 or 3 will be the year french fries are finally banned other than unsubstantiated fear?"

Because that's what their trying to do?

"A bipartisan group in Congress plans to introduce legislation today that would prohibit the sale in school not only of French fries but also of other fatty or sugary foods, including soft drinks."

They've already banned stuff before, so they've established the proof of concept. It wouldn't be too difficult to add to the list. after all, "it's for the children."

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/06/education/06lunch.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

and

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/08/health/nutrition/08junk.html


Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 23, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

@ashot: I"This campaign has been in full swing for well over a year, what makes you think year 2 or 3 will be the year french fries are finally banned other than unsubstantiated fear?"

This sort of thing is always my problem with a slippery slope argument. It's one thing to argue that a law that allows "X" might also allow "Y", because if you open a door for one thing, something else might come through. That's a true "slippery slope".

It's quite another to argue that because someone thinks you ought to eat less sugar and then says so that they are going to have the gestapo going through your refrigerator next year.

And we are a country where a cultural bias towards healthier foods and against unhealthier foods is a good idea for everybody, and that only happens through regular encouragement. And exposure to tasty, healthy foods in school lunches and breakfasts (if we're going to have such things) seems like a great idea. Additionally, I mentioned issues of learning retention and behavior in regards to food . . .

But it's not a slippery slope. Just because I'm going to drive to work doesn't mean I'm about to drive across the country to Canada. I'll stop when I get to work. Because that's where I'm going--to work.

When I suggest that something is a net positive, it doesn't mean I think you should be forced to do it at gunpoint.

Etc.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 23, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

No one can throw money at problems like the Saudi's can. These guys put American pork barrel politicians to shame. Everyone gets their free lunch delivered on a free polo pony,

"Bahrain King in Saudi Arabia to Discuss Unrest, The visit on Wednesday came as the Saudi king announced a package of aid for the country’s citizens."

Posted by: shrink2 | February 23, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

TrogloDyte misogynists, also. Too.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 23, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

From a 10-24-10 Wisconsin State Journal article: The Walkers were a frugal bunch, by necessity: The family of a preacher is respected but rarely wealthy. Walker’s wife, Tonette, said the family often was paid in food. Those humble beginnings rubbed off on her husband, who now struggles with simple extravagances like buying a new suit.
“You have to walk him through it,” she said. “It’s a process.”

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 23, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

There is absolutely no reason why kids in Public Schools should have School Teachers.

They should be put to work at their little desks, sewing Green Bay Packers clothing memorabilia.

Scott Hosni Walker.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 23, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

[Jenn barked: "Michelle Obama is a great-looking woman who happens to have hips."]

hips? 1st Hippo, I says!

Is Michelle or Cankles more likely to (as Greg so elegantly put it) "induce projectile vomiting"?

*toss up*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 23, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Kevin, I'm sure I don't have to explain the uses of metaphor and hyperbole to you . . .

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 23, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

@liam: "They should be put to work at their little desks, sewing Green Bay Packers clothing memorabilia."

It teaches them the value of hard work and thrift. And what more value lesson could be imparted?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 23, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

OK the beast site is down so you'll have to listen to the audiotapes of youtube. I posted the links, enjoy.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 23, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

How will the Human Species survive, if they take away our French Fries. After all, God gave them to us, in the Garden Of Eden, and besides, those French are not with us, so we need to get back to eating Freedom Fries, so that they can not sap our precious bodily fluids with their Surrender Fries.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 23, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

What I don't understand is why the pension plans who were duped by the banksters and the rating agencies into investing in worthless mortgage backed securities aren't suing for fraud. Is there a reason they aren't?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 23, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

More good news from the front...

"ALGIERS (Reuters) - A Libyan air force plane crashed near the eastern city of Benghazi after its crew bailed out because they refused to carry out orders to bomb the city, Libya's Quryna newspaper cited a military source as saying.

Quryna's online version quoted the source, a colonel at an air base near Benghazi, as saying captain Attia Abdel Salem al Abdali and his number two Ali Omar Gaddafi bailed out of the Russian-made Sukhoi-22 plane and parachuted to earth."

Heroes not martyrs, that is what I like.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 23, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

""Those humble beginnings rubbed off on her husband, who now struggles with simple extravagances like buying a new suit.""

It's funny my husband's like that also. But by the same token I have to be careful what I ask for because he'll always figure out some way to give it to me, budget be damned. He's also first in line every Fri. and Sat. morning spending his money on markdowns at the grocery store for our senior food bank. He turned his frugality inward.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 23, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"And we are a country where a cultural bias towards healthier foods and against unhealthier foods is a good idea for everybody, and that only happens through regular encouragement"

The point I'm trying -- and failing -- to make, is that the First Lady can encourage all she wants, but as long as the USDA is handing out subsidies that result in the overproduction of cheap, low nutritious and otherwise unhealthy foods, it's a losing effort. Even more so when the USDA is dually tasked with promotion of the stuff.

why are we obese? because we eat cheap processed crap and that's made possible thanks to the US Government. but they won't touch that side of the equation.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 23, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

He turned his frugality inward.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 23, 2011 10:28 AM |

..................

So has Hosni Walker. He is first in line every morning shopping for discount school teachers.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 23, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

ashotinthedark, even more hilarious: gestational diabetes (added bonus if there are complications and stillbirth!)

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 23, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

BREAKING: Libyan Justice Minister admits 'Gadhafi ordered Lockerbie'

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j6qtJSctAwrwo_nuDJ3lv2m-Eumw?docId=cf63ca33ee80414ca381da8fddbf2b6b

"He told Expressen Gadhafi gave the order to Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the only man convicted in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed all 259 people on board and 11 on the ground.

“"I have proof that Gadhafi gave the order about Lockerbie... To hide it, he (Gadhafi) did everything in his power to get al-Megrahi back from Scotland,” Abdel-Jalil was quoted as saying.
=====

["everything" ...including prison raping EU nurse hostages. UN and Western leaders remain silent because this whole hostage extortion for terrorist scheme is about to explode in their faces.]

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 23, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

NoVa- I thought you meant banned in general, not banned in schools. I don't doubt french fries may be banned in schools eventually, nor do I see that as particularly concerning event.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 23, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

"What I don't understand is why the pension plans who were duped by the banksters and the rating agencies into investing in worthless mortgage backed securities aren't suing for fraud. Is there a reason they aren't?"

Some did, Oregon in re its College Savings Plan for example.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123966488425515111.html

"Oppenheimer is one of the larger managers of 529 plans, with about $4 billion under management.

Oppenheimer Core Bond fund's sharp losses in 2008 stem partly from bets on high-quality commercial mortgage-backed securities, which its manager believed would rise in value. To make these investments, the fund used a type of derivative called total-return swaps, which are agreements between parties to exchange cash flows in the future based on how a set of securities performs. But commercial mortgage securities have deteriorated since last year, thanks to the worsening economy."

None dare call it looting. Seems almost funny. You are saving for your kids' college education, and these crooks are gambling with your money and they lose it! It is just gone to someone else, it isn't yours anymore, ooops. And that my friends is still going on, it was and is legal, no one went to jail, no one.

Who knows why more people didn't at least get to a settlement, as Oregon did. Perhaps, that would undermine 'confidence' the whole thing is a house of cards, today like every other day.

Everyone is desperate, literally, to sustain the value of the paper they own. It is easy to screw pensioners, anyway, they vote Republican, no matter what.


Posted by: shrink2 | February 23, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

""I also wonder how much of the salary gap public workers have narrowed or surpassed has happened in the last 10 years when private workers have seen stagnant or reduced wages""

ashot, from the alternet link above, you'll see that public workers wages have been quite stagnant.

""The Economic Policy Institute put out a fact-sheet last week (PDF) that noted that wages in the public sector has grown more slowly than it has for comparable workers in the private:

The total growth of inflation-adjusted wages for high school educated workers in the private sector between 1989 and 2010 was 4.8%, slightly faster than the 2.6% wage growth for comparable public employees. This means that inflation-adjusted wages have been essentially flat for two decades for high school educated workers regardless of sector. In contrast, productivity growth, reflecting the increase in the economy’s overall gains, grew 62.5% in the 1989-2010 period.

For those with a bachelor’s degree (but no further education), inflation-adjusted wages grew by 19.5% in the private sector from 1989 to 2010, far more than the 9.5% growth seen by state employees.""

Posted by: lmsinca | February 23, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

French Fries should never be banned. They are Sacraments For Ditto Heads.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 23, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone really care what Barack H. Obama's, army housewife says about anything??

It's the stuff of Sunday, newpaper magazines and other women's bathroom reading material.

Fluff and filler.

Posted by: battleground51 | February 23, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Can Greg's toadies imagine The Obamateur invoking Article 51 and making this speech?

“He counted on America to be passive. He counted wrong.”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5fOq9PYp8A

The Obamateur sees Libya as a community in need of organizing.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 23, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin_Willis "@mike: "The entire punk of Walker is worth the read guys."

BuffaloBeast is blocked for me. Anyone want to post the text, or the most salient parts?

I think it would be interesting to everybody. :)"

Daily Kos has it.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/23/948732/-Busted:-Scott-Walker-fell-for-Prankster-posing-as-David-Koch-

It will be interesting to see if this gets as much traction as say the Acorn videos did.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 23, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Check out today's Libya Revolution/Civil War situation map.

http://yfrog.com/f/h3un88j/

Posted by: shrink2 | February 23, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

In the wake of Lara Logan's gang-rape, it's worth recalling Kaddafi’s jizya booty for prison raping EU nurses.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIV_trial_in_Libya#Terms_of_release

EU $400 million (includes Bulgaria’s $57M ransom)

French nuclear reactor deal (+ military hardware)

EU free trade (+ political normalization)

Brand new US Ambassador + date w/ Condi

An historic handshake and UN podium w/ Obama for Ramadan

Lockerbie bomber’s release… PRICELESS

Oh yes, terrorism still pays… handsomely!

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 23, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

MacDonalds to soon offer Happy Meals for Tea Party Members:

Two Bags Of French Fries, Two Half Pound Cheese Burgers With Bacon, and a small diet coke.
Toys included are: An Incandescent light bulb, and A Tundra Barbie Doll.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 23, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

All, good stuff from Adam Serwer cutting through Scott Walker's fireside chat B.S.:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 23, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Very informative site regarding benefits, pay for teachers in all states. Sorry if it's been posted before:

http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/sass/tables_list.asp#2009

Things here in Ohio are heating up. 5,200 protesters yesterday. From the Columbus Dispatch:

Jay McDonald, president of the union, said his organization can agree with parts of the bill, such as more transparency in the bargaining process. But he said eliminating binding arbitration - a provision Bacon says is key to the bill - goes way too far, giving police and firefighters no power to negotiate.
"There might be other ways to achieve the same result," McDonald said. "There has to be finality that my members have an equitable stake in."
As for his willingness to engage in talks, he said, "I'd love for them to say this is going to go away, but it's not."

Posted by: DinOH | February 23, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

More of the GOP version of democracy:

Jeffrey Cox is a deputy attorney general for the state of Indiana, and he has some strong views about the protests in Wisconsin. In response to a Mother Jones tweet this weekend reporting that riot police might be used to clear protestors from the capitol building in Madison, Cox tweeted back: “Use live ammunition”

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/23/official-use-ammo/

Posted by: pragmaticagain | February 23, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"Two Bags Of French Fries, Two Half Pound Cheese Burgers With Bacon, and a small diet coke."

All for $5. you can thank the USDA.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 23, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

What conservatives and their cousins, libertarians, do not want is a food crusade liken unto the fanatical, hysterical, insane anti-tobacco war on cigarets of a few years ago.

They don't care if liberals choose to buy ultra-expensive, organic, all-natural tofu and garunuilla. Spend yourself broke on the stuff. It's free enterprise.

Just don't demand that everyone do the same. The key here is free choice.

Just like liberals cry when they line up at the abortion clinics.

FREE CHOICE and a harpy free environment.

Posted by: battleground51 | February 23, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

To Liam-still;

It's FREEDOM FRIES you FROG!

Get with the program.

Posted by: battleground51 | February 23, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

@ashot: " I don't doubt french fries may be banned in schools eventually, nor do I see that as particularly concerning event."

No point to that, in most places, as french fries aren't fried in schools, they're baked (at least, that's the case in most of them). That was the case in our schools when I went to school, and that was a long time ago. Bulk frozen fries are immanently bake-able and saves the expense of cooking oil.

Although skin-on steak fries would be healthier.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 23, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Potato Skins have absorbed a lot of pesticides. So,unless they are really organic, it is best to not eat the skins.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 23, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

@battleground51: I still LMAO at those D-Day images of mulish Michelle clomping along in her potatoe sack and heels, next to the elegant (and va-va-va-vooom!) Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/06/06/article-1191344-053C9302000005DC-710_634x658.jpg

*1st Hippo*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 23, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

The Right Wing Nut Jobs hate The French, until they can use them to attack a brilliant, gracious, and elegant African American Woman.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 23, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Kevin, do you realize "frozen fries" are called fries because they are fried before they are frozen? Baking something that was fried does not save oil.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 23, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

shrink- "Kevin, do you realize "frozen fries" are called fries because they are fried before they are frozen? Baking something that was fried does not save oil"

It saves the school oil. Anyway, the point isn't about saving schools the cost of oil for their fryer, the point is getting kids to eat healthier. You know like many fast food chains are doing by offering apples as an alternative to fries.

The "insane" fight against cigarette smoking?

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 23, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"The "insane" fight against cigarette smoking?"

Ignorant and proud of it. I mean, these are people who admire Palin's intelligence.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 23, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@shrink2: "Kevin, do you realize 'frozen fries' are called fries because they are fried before they are frozen? Baking something that was fried does not save oil."

Uncooked potatoes are not fried. Frozen fries are raw or half-cooked, dude. Fresh-cut potatoes flash frozen, usually. Many brands (especially seasoned) are coated with oil as part of production, which isn't super healthy, but they still aren't fries.

The "fries" part is often a misnomer, although due to coating (some fries are coated in an oil-containing batter) they frequently contain more oil or fat than a fresh cut potato would. But they aren't fried. Now, some schools can, of course, be different, but I had the french "fries" at the school I went to, many times. Not only were they not fried, I think they were steamed. Seriously.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 23, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I always fight on the side of the Under Dogs:


Republicans always fight on the side of The Over Dogs.

I believe in comforting the afflicted, and afflicting the comfortable.

Republicans believe in doing the exact opposite.

Republicans practice Dyslexic Christianity.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 23, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

"A third federal judge, Clinton-appointee Gladys Kessler, has now upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and in her opinion, which you can read right here"

Finally.

New premises that we have to work with.

1) Any action that can affect current or future economic action can be regulated.

2) Inaction counts as action.

Oh, so many new legal actions.

3) Having children affects future economic action.

Abortion may be declared illegal at the federal level through the Commerce Clause as economic action.

Not even the most fun one though... remember inaction = action.

Women can be forced by Federal law to have a minimum of three children for population growth purposes. Choosing not to have children is the same economic choice as choosing to have children; and any economic choice may be regulated by the Federal Government.

Given that all possible economic action may be regulated, and inaction is action; the government can force women to have more kids... right?

In what way would that be inappropriate, or require anything this ruling doesn't provide?

Posted by: gekkobear | February 23, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Scott Walker is doing the right thing amongst a great deal of the old time "peer pressure." Difficult times do call for difficult measures, Our National and State debts are such a time. Debt will take a family, a corporation, and a nation down only a little slower than a departure from morals will.

Posted by: manwaringjd | February 25, 2011 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Scott Walker is doing the right thing amongst a great deal of the old time "peer pressure." Difficult times do call for difficult measures, Our National and State debts are such a time. Debt will take a family, a corporation, and a nation down only a little slower than a departure from morals will.

Posted by: manwaringjd | February 25, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Liam, if you really want to know where his head really is, Google bilgeman and rectum on the same line.
3 pages just of LINKS.
enjoy!

Posted by: 1HooNoseM | February 27, 2011 9:09 PM | Report abuse

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