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Posted at 8:34 AM ET, 02/24/2011

The Morning Plum

By Greg Sargent

* Unions keep the pressure on Walker with new ads: The AFL-CIO is going up with new print ads in Wisconsin statewide newspapers, a union official says, pressing the case that public employees have already agreed to the fiscal concessions Walker has asked for and just want him to preserve his bargaining rights.

"Dear Governor Walker: We've come halfway," the ad says. "Will you meet us?"

Union officials and Dems view this as their best line of attack, because they think it has successfully revealed that Walker's drive to roll back public employee bargaining rights is uncompromising, extreme, ideologically motivated, and not about the budget -- rhetorical turf that gives them the upper hand. Check out the ad right here.

Also: The AFL-CIO is going up with a second ad in Wisconsin newspapers thanking Dems for hanging tough.

* Republican governors not standing with Walker: Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake lay out the larger story: Walker's call for other governors to stand with him against the scourge of public employee bargaining rights just isn't finding many takers.

Key takeaway: GOP pollsters say they aren't sure this is a winning issue, another sign that Walker has over-interpreted the public's anti-public employee sentiment.

* Labor's sleeping giant awakens: With the Wisconsin standoff continuing, the big unions are drawing up a plan for a $30 million national campaign against state efforts to roll back fundamental union rights across the country, including paid media and aggressive oppo research campaigns into wealthy interests pushing the national anti-labor agenda.

* Conservatives angry with Mitch Daniels for being insufficiently anti-labor: Now this is an interesting dynamic to watch: Conservative writer John Fund tears into Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels for dropping an onerous anti-union bill after protests, deriding him for a "kinder and gentler" approach.

Key takeaway: The right will not tolerate any signs of moderation, reasonableness or compromise from GOP governors in this evolving national battle.

* Wisconsin newspapers all over prank Koch call story: Though some on the right are straining to paint this story as somehow not newsworthy, the Wisconsin press begs to differ.

* House GOP makes move in government shutdown fight: House Republicans have proposed a stop-gap plan that funds the government for two weeks at $4 billion lower than current levels -- kicking the ball back into Harry Reid's court and challenge him to reject an offer that would keep government running, albeit with spending cuts.

Dems are dismissing the move as merely a temporary version of the House GOP's "reckless" overall spending-cut plan, and have proposed their own plan to keep government funded for a month at current levels. But despite earlier Dem confidence, it's still unclear who has the upper hand in this fight, and both sides show no signs of backing down.

* Neither side has edge in shutdown fight: Indeed, Gallup finds that Americans are closely divided over which side is right in the spending showdown, and Republicans may even have a slight edge, with 48 percent saying Dem proposals "don't go far enough."

Friendly reminder: The public always says it wants government cut until you tell people what would actually be cut.

* Government shutdown talks fall apart: Relatedly, back-channel negotiations between House GOP and Senate Dem leaders, which is where the real action is taking place, appear to have come to a standstill.

* Your survival guide to the coming shutdown: Ed O'Keefe has everything you need to know about what it means in practical terms.

* McCain's phony "maverick" image tarnished for good: His cranky rightward shift leads National Journal to rank him as tied for the title of most conservative Senator.

* Liberals should embrace the culture war: Kevin Drum on how Obama's newfound refusal to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court is a reminder that the left should embrace the culture war "until there's no more war to fight."

* Obama's "quieter" approach in the Mideast: Fareed Zakaria has a pointed rebuke to conservatives who want Obama to replicate Bush's fondness for foreign policy bluster:

Obama has had a quieter approach, supporting freedom but insisting that the United States did not intend to impose it on anyone. As unsatisfying as this might have been as public rhetoric, it has had the effect of allowing the Arab revolts of 2011 to be wholly owned by Arabs. This is no small matter, because the success of these protests hinges on whether they will be seen as organic, indigenous, national movements.

* Bookmark this now: Be sure to bookmark 2Chambers, the Post's new blog on Congress, to be run by Felicia Sonmez.

* And today in crackpot right-wing conspiracy-mongering: Jonathan Bernstein on how conservatives are willfully keeping alive the fantasy that Obama is out to destroy conservative talk radio through an imaginary "Fairness Doctrine Czar."

What else is going on?

By Greg Sargent  | February 24, 2011; 8:34 AM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, House GOPers, Labor, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, gay rights  
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Next: Not defending DOMA a slippery slope?

Comments

First!

What, nobody does that here?

Boring!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 24, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

How can Obama be more blustery about Libya when we still have 500+ American citizens there who could very easily targeted for a hostage-taking?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 24, 2011 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I can't remember which poster has repeatedly brought up the issue of pill poppers going to Florida to get their pills and bringing them back to their home state, but anyway the Feds cracked down on that this week:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/us/24drugs.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=%2b%22Centers+for+Disease+Control%22&st=nyt

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 24, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I think that Obama is playing Libya just about right just as he did in Egypt. Each country and situation is different and Libya is far more difficult than Egypt is because Obama is also dealing with a CRAZY person in Kaddafi.

Posted by: maritza1 | February 24, 2011 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Kevin/mark (brought forward):

From a USA Today article:

"Vanderbilt University economist Kip Viscusi studied the net costs of smoking-related spending and savings and found that for every pack of cigarettes smoked, the country reaps a net cost savings of 32 cents.

"It looks unpleasant or ghoulish to look at the cost savings as well as the cost increases and it's not a good thing that smoking kills people," Viscusi said in an interview. "But if you're going to follow this health-cost train all the way, you have to take into account all the effects, not just the ones you like in terms of getting your bill passed."

Viscusi worked as a litigation expert for the tobacco industry in lawsuits by states but said that his research, which has been published in peer-reviewed journals, has never been funded by industry.

Other researchers have reached similar conclusions.

A Dutch study published last year in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal said that health care costs for smokers were about $326,000 from age 20 on, compared to about $417,000 for thin and healthy people.

The reason: The thin, healthy people lived much longer.

Willard Manning, a professor of health economics and policy at the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy Studies, was lead author on a paper published two decades ago in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found that, taking into account tobacco taxes in effect at the time, smokers were not a financial burden to society.

"We were actually quite surprised by the finding because we were pretty sure that smokers were getting cross-subsidized by everybody else," said Manning, who suspects the findings would be similar today. "But it was only when we put all the pieces together that we found it was pretty much a wash." "

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-04-08-fda-tobacco-costs_N.htm

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 24, 2011 9:04 AM | Report abuse

The Arab world wants Gaddafi gone, that much is clear and the Arab world plus Israel is a very big place; there is no doubt that a deal exists (with the Arab League etc.) which leaves the US out of any obvious role in what is turning into the Libyan civil war.

Gaddafi wants nothing more at this point than an external enemy, he would love to have some evidence that The West has anything to do with this. Call me a wild eyed optimist, but am I still the only one who sees this as a disaster for the jihadis and Islamic extremism in general? Zakaria almost makes that point, then steps away from it, probably because it is too soon to make that prediction for a person whose career depends upon making those calls correctly.

This should be an extraordinary opportunity for American foreign policy, détente with the Arab world. But only if Israel stops stealing Arab land and good luck to that hope.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 24, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

""Jonathan Bernstein on how conservatives are willfully keeping alive the fantasy that Obama is out to destroy conservative talk radio through an imaginary "Fairness Doctrine Czar."""

Read it. He makes good points, although I imagine if either side could easily and without resistance shut up their political opponents, they'd do it, and feel perfectly justified. That being said . . .

Any fears about the government or liberals shutting up conservatives is way overblown. That genie is out of the bottle. All a real institution of the Fairness Doctrine would do is serve to show cases conservatives, conservative thought, and conservative criticism.

As much as critics may fantasize about yanking Fox new's license or forcing Rush off the air with equal time requirements, that ship sailed long ago. They wouldn't be able to put the cork in that bottle, and even the perception that someone was trying to shut them off would increase audience and interest (I don't listen to Rush much any more, but if there was a real move to restrict him or do equal time, I'd probably start listening more, and I'm not the only one). The same with Fox--I don't watch Fox very much. But if there was a battle over yanking their license, I'd be watching constantly.

Any attempt at a Fairness Doctrine, or a Fairness Doctrine Czar, would just be a rope-a-dope in favor of conservatives. IMHO.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 24, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

petro dollars at work...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12567043

And here I thought Reagan won the cold war. What, China wasn't even in the game yet? Ah, so that was just the first act. The intermission was fun while it lasted. I remember the "end of history" fondly.

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

|img:http://goofuponastar.com/s/155.jpg|

WaPo Troll Hunter updated. Very minor change: fixed a cosmetic thing with blockquotes that had the first paragraph in the block quote appear different from the second and subsequent paragraph. Not a big deal, it just bugged me. Also changed embedded images so they wouldn't be wider than the comment area. Not that anybody does embedded images, that was just a lark on my part. ;)

http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/89140

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 24, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"Fareed Zakaria has a pointed rebuke to conservatives who want Obama to replicate Bush's fondness for foreign policy bluster:"

We won't know for some years, but I suspect Zakaria is correct. Change from within, once it happens, tends to be far more meaningful & long lasting than change from without.

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 24, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Hey Kevin,

Can you post the instructions again for formatting?

Thanks!!!!

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 24, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

shrink writes
"Call me a wild eyed optimist, but am I still the only one who sees this as a disaster for the jihadis and Islamic extremism in general?"


you may be a wild eyed optimist, but you are not alone.

.

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 24, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Kevin,

Never mind.....found them when I installed the update.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 24, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Cute pic, Kevin. Is that recent?? LOL

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 24, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

@sue:

Formatting is covered here:

http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/89140

Sort of in the middle. I just updated it to make sure it was correct.

Here are the basics, but you'll have to disable the WaPo Troll Hunter to see them fully:

""Double quotes for blockquotes"" , double-asterisk **for bold**, bullets (option-8 on Mac, Alt-0149 on the PC) for •italic•, double underline for __underline__ and double en dashes (option - on the Mac, Alt-0150 on PC) for ––strike through––.

Other formatting includes typing …

|img:http://memetrics.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/athra2.jpg?w=500&h=285|

… to embed an image. Just put the image URL after the |img: and before the ending pipe (|).

Hilite: |hi:this is hilited text|

Red colored type: |red:this type is red|

And that's pretty much it.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 24, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Ooops. Sorry about the giant empty image block, Troll Hunter users. Didn't think about that when cutting/pasting from my instructions.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 24, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Perfect! This is wonderful news!

"Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi has told state TV that Osama Bin Laden and his followers are to blame for the protests wracking his country."

Posted by: shrink2 | February 24, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

McDonnell here in VA is taking heat for prematurely supporting Walker which tells me McDonnell is ready to begin his assault on teachers.

The puritanical attack on public schools is continuing with the intent on privatizing all schools to closely guard the curriculum in the hopes to evangelize our entire population early on and turn us into a Theocratic state.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 24, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I really like Simon Johnson. He gives us the facts, the way out, and a bi-partisan assessment. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to like our prospects. Then there's the guy from Kansas (I think), can't remember his name, he says break up the big banks NOW.

""But the problem here is bipartisan — as it was with the tax cut last year. None of the leadership on either side is willing to talk openly about how our biggest banks caused great fiscal damage. No one is willing to explain why our health care costs continue to rise. And no top politicians currently champion real tax reform.

The Republicans have seized a moment. To them, this is not really about fiscal responsibility; this is about an opportunity to shrink the size of government.

But the Democrats have played perfectly into their hands. The heart of their mistake was the president’s refusal to explain clearly how the financial system produced a recession that has pushed up our national debt.

Both sides of our political elite have contributed to the sense of fiscal crisis. And as we continue down this path — dangerous big banks, out-of-control health care spending, significant tax cuts, small changes in nonmilitary discretionary spending and irresponsible rhetoric on both sides — we are well on our way to a real crisis.""

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/does-the-u-s-really-have-a-fiscal-crisis/?partner=rss

Posted by: lmsinca | February 24, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

"Key takeaway: The right will not tolerate any signs of moderation, reasonableness or compromise from GOP governors in this evolving national battle."

When will the Democrats fight back highlighting the tea parties extreme far right positions and unwillingness to compromise as being the cause of our dysfunctional government? Scott Walker and stories like this should be the poster child for the extremism on the right and asking the people are we really that extreme? Is this really what we voted for in the last election?

What suddenly happen to the word bipartisan? It was made into an absolute necessity when the Democrats had power now no one even mentions that word. The democrats need to demonize the word conservative policies like the right has demonized the word liberal policies.

Posted by: soapm | February 24, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

"Trade Unions banned - 2 May 1933

The Trade Unions offices were closed, their money confiscated, and their leaders put in prison. In their place, Hitler put the German Labour Front which reduced workers' pay and took away the right to strike."

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 24, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

You can almost hear the groans and sighs coming from the jihadi caves all across the region. Now, what are they supposed to say, Gaddafi is just a tool of Western Imperialism? Experts agree, the number one cause of Islamic extremism is the shame, the hopelessness and helplessness of a meaningless existence. If Arab populations become (I hate this word) empowered, there won't be a population of people who as ObL put it, "want to die as much as you want to live."

Posted by: shrink2 | February 24, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

@sue: That is the troll being hunted. Above, there is an illustration of I, the valiant Troll Hunter!

Not really, but . . . it is from the graphic novel of my friend Nathaniel Sullivan, which I recommend.

http://www.athra.net/

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 24, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"General Election - 5 March 1933

Hitler held a general election, appealing to the German people to give him a clear mandate. Only 44% of the people voted Nazi, which did not give him a majority in the Reichstag, so Hitler arrested the 81 Communist deputies (which did give him a majority).

Enabling Act - 23 March 1933

The Reichstag voted to give Hitler the power to make his own laws. Nazi stormtroopers stopped opposition deputies going in, and beat up anyone who dared to speak against it.

The Enabling Act made Hitler the dictator of Germany, with power to do anything he liked - legally

Local government - 26 April 1933

The Nazis took over local government and the police. The Nazis started to replace anti-Nazi teachers and University professors.

Trade Unions banned - 2 May 1933

The Trade Unions offices were closed, their money confiscated, and their leaders put in prison. In their place, Hitler put the German Labour Front which reduced workers' pay and took away the right to strike.

Man, those four sequential steps sound familiar. Sorry but I had to do it. I mean, our leaders have been called Nazi's for the last 2 years.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 24, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"The heart of their mistake was the president’s refusal to explain clearly how the financial system produced a recession that has pushed up our national debt."

Well how could Obama do that when he has been pumping "free" money (borrowed from taxpayers' future earnings) into those same peoples' pockets?

Posted by: shrink2 | February 24, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Julian Assange is going to be extradited to Sweden.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 24, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Corruption on tape.

Call in the FBI.


Walker is corrupt.

Although early in Walker says they are investigating the Democratic Senators to see if they are committing ethics violations by accepting union funds, when the fake David Koch says he will fly Walker "out to Cali and really show you a good time," Walker responds by saying "that would be outstanding."

Posted by: Liam-still | February 24, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

See, Kevin, here I thought that was you with the deep baby blues, all cute and impish.

:o)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 24, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Julian Assange is going to be extradited to Sweden.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 24, 2011 10:17 AM

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

He should have returned to answer questions, at the outset. Two women reported that he raped them. The Swedish legal authorities could not just ignore their complaints. They did not file charges against Mr. Assange. They wanted to question him, which seems like a perfectly normal thing for them to do.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 24, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I haven't seen any reporting in weeks on gun control efforts/momentum. Anything happening on that front?

Posted by: wswest | February 24, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

@shrink2 ""The heart of their mistake was the president’s refusal to explain clearly how the financial system produced a recession that has pushed up our national debt."

Well how could Obama do that when he has been pumping "free" money (borrowed from taxpayers' future earnings) into those same peoples' pockets?"

Also, looks like the banks are going to win on the foreclosure paperwork problems:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/24/AR2011022400093.html

Should be back to business as usual in say three months.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 24, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

bsimon and all; the link to Fareed Z. is here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/23/AR2011022303232.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions

It is an excellent overview and it does give GWB some credit, btw.
Fareed says we should treat Libya differently than Bahrain, mainly b/c Moammar is a madman, I think.

Heard Ryan Crocker this morning discussing Libya and his view that we should participate in sanctions and, if necessary, a NATO no-fly zone, but we should not be the lead nation on the diplomatic front, so as not to give Moammar a rallying point. He also said Europe directly traded for Libyan oil and would not welcome a heavy hand from us.

Shrink, I meant will to resist overeating vs. obsession /compulsion to stuff one's face, not will to exercise vs. obsessive gym rattiness.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 24, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

@mikeFromArlington: ""Hitler held a general election, appealing to the German people to give him a clear mandate. Only 44% of the people voted Nazi, which did not give him a majority in the Reichstag, so Hitler arrested the 81 Communist deputies (which did give him a majority).""

Has Obama arrested any communists? ;)

The main problem with the Godwin-esque comparison in this case is that it's Obama, not a Republican, in the top spot. A lot of this--like arresting the opposition (something not done directly by the president in the US, and something that would be very difficult to sell, should it be tried) and the Enabling Act--that's not going to happen for any president of either party. But but of those are highly dependent on who the leader (in our case, president) is--and, right now, it's Obama. So unless the comparison is between Obama and Hitler, then it doesn't work (actually, even then, it doesn't work, but . . .).

""The Nazis took over local government and the police. The Nazis started to replace anti-Nazi teachers and University professors.""

I assume the Republicans are the Nazis in this scenario. Is there an example of that happening?

""Trade Unions banned - 2 May 1933""

This also isn't happening. I'm not sure that nobody is trying to get rid of trade unions--Right to Work states are clearly hostile to trade unions--but what's going on now is entirely about public sector unions. Did Germany have public sector unions in 1933?

""Man, those four sequential steps sound familiar.""

Only if you •reeaalllllyyyyy• stretch it.

"And then all the Republicans all showed up--wearing pants! You know who else wore pants? The Nazis."

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 24, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Well how could Obama do that when he has been pumping "free" money (borrowed from taxpayers' future earnings) into those same peoples' pockets?"

Also, looks like the banks are going to win on the foreclosure paperwork problems:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/24/AR2011022400093.html

Should be back to business as usual in say three months.
------------------------------------
lather, rinse, repeat...

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 24, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"Also, looks like the banks are going to win on the foreclosure paperwork problems."

Yes, this is a disaster in waiting as the backlog of foreclosures held up by these various process impasses will move onto the housing market at just the wrong time, i.e., this year. This year in which the rate of foreclosure is already in excess of last year's rate.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 24, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Ims, thanx for the Simon Johnson link.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 24, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Not to worry. Once Republicans destroy the unions, there will be a lot more working class people having their homes foreclosed on, and property values will drop in currently stable neighborhoods across the country.

Watch out Wisconsin homeowners. Hosni Walker is trying hard to destroy the value of your homes.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 24, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Good stuff from Adam Serwer taking on conservative criticism of Obama's decision on DOMA:

http://wapo.st/hS2gva

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 24, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

mark, NP, I've pretty much just resorted to dropping in a link now and then that I find pertinent. Saw your comment last night re Brown, fingers crossed.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 24, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Hey thanks ashot, thatd be me!

Keep em comin'!

Rick Scott has refused to shut down the pill mills that are based in Florida but feed Oxycontin abuse nationwide.

Spread the word, this is a national BIPARTISAN issue. Thanks again for sharing this important story ashot!

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 24, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Libyan state TV is reporting that authorities in the country have seized, ''audio recordings of al-Qaeda members in Zawiya aiming to carry out acts of sabotage."

Sure it is Schadenfreude, but I love this turn. Gaddafi tries to save his skin by blaming al-Q for his problems. Any takers? I wonder why no one believes a word he says...

Posted by: shrink2 | February 24, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Andy Stern's interview with Ezra Klein is definitely worth a read:

"AS: In European situations, every workplace has to have a works council. It’s not necessarily a union, but a collaborative group that meets about production, quality, and many other things. They’re elected, and the union often runs for election. But they don’t always win. And this is just in the culture. Labor meets with management to talk about things. We’ve never, as a union movement, promoted partnerships with employers where we talk about how to share in success and in skills and training. You say those things in the labor movement and they go over well with workers and employers and badly with activists. To the activists, this is sell-out language. So I think the labor movement is doing a great job standing up and building something big in Wisconsin, but I think they seem like a legacy institution and not an institution of the future. And legacies get shed. The question is does anything replace them?"

"AS: When I left SEIU, we had started, two years earlier, this quality public service agenda, which was trying to say to our members what I think the United Autoworkers learned: that quality is our only job security in the long run. You can use lots of things like politics and the natural slowness of change, but in the end, if people are waiting on long lines at the DMV, something will happen eventually. Subcontracting, technology, or something else will begin to replace you. When I started work, the largest job classification in most units was secretary. Now that classification has been devastated by technology. So in the end, the question is whether the public-sector unions can get on the side of innovation and quality. That’s a process we were working on in the public sector, but the recession and the budget crisis changed everything. We went into survival mode."

"AS: I would say that Republicans have been very successful. There are three things Americans don’t like: Big unions, big government, and big corporations. So Republicans go after big government and big unions, and only talk about small businesses. And it’s worked. Where does the union movement have enough penetration in an industry of this century to be disruptive? We’re down to 6.2 percent in the private sector. The forces that don’t like unions there have largely finished with us. And now they’re moving to the public sector. But part of this story is that the Democratic Party hasn’t embraced unions in the last 20 years. Republicans understood unions as an ally of the Democratic Party. But unions couldn’t get Democrats to embrace unions as a response. They made the argument that making more union members was how you make more Democrats, and that argument is true, but they couldn’t get the Democratic Party to really embrace that theory. Today, no one thinks about any type of labor or industrial policy at all."

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2011/02/andy_stern_it_may_not_end_beau.html

Posted by: jnc4p | February 24, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

First they came for the Teachers Unions....

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 24, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@liam: "Not to worry. Once Republicans destroy the unions"

That's not going to happen. I'm not even sure they'll have a great deal of success with the public sector unions.

"there will be a lot more working class people having their homes foreclosed on"

This is going to happen, either way.

"and property values will drop in currently stable neighborhoods across the country."

This is going to happen in either case. Be prepared!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 24, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

@jnc4p: ""Andy Stern's interview with Ezra Klein is definitely worth a read:""

Sounds to me like Stern's selling out! We'll have to start calling him Hosni Stern.

He clearly wants to punch teachers and destroy the middle class. He's history's greatest monster!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 24, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

@Liam-still "Not to worry. Once Republicans destroy the unions, there will be a lot more working class people having their homes foreclosed on, and property values will drop in currently stable neighborhoods across the country.

Watch out Wisconsin homeowners. Hosni Walker is trying hard to destroy the value of your homes."

What's your take on President Obama's foreclosure prevention policies?

Posted by: jnc4p | February 24, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Kevin,

You are very naive. I guess that is what makes you A Ditto Head. Republicans are out to eliminate all Unions. Walker pretty much admitted as much on that tape, and they will succeed, because the Gang of Five Right Wing Supreme Court activists handed the Oligarchs the weapon, which with to do it.

The Oligarchs have won. There will be a few pitch battles here and there, for a few years, but when the dust settles, America will end up being ruled by The Oligarchs, and the vast majority of the working class will be sinking into third world living conditions.

Here come the Neo-Plantation Owners. Like those of old, they will provide only starvation level wages, and import all the luxury items, that only they can afford.

American Exceptionalism is now becoming a sick joke, thanks to all those stupid Tea Party idiots.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 24, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@Liam: "You are very naive. I guess that is what makes you A Ditto Head."

I'm a liberal, Liam. A big lefty. Just like you and DDAWD. Claw and Skip have pretty much said so.

"Republicans are out to eliminate all Unions."

Well, some, maybe most, of them may well be. Doesn't change what I said--it's not going to happen.

"American Exceptionalism is now becoming a sick joke, thanks to all those stupid Tea Party idiots."

Well, just think about how many people you get to call different names. And the sense of moral superiority will be palpable. Really, you should occasionally try and see the glass as half-full, rather than half-empty.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 24, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Kevin, you keep on filling up the glass for the oligarchs, out of the almost empty glasses of the working class, and lapping up Rush Limbaugh referring to women as FemiNazis, and attacking the First Lady, because she does not look like Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Models, you sanctimonious hypocrite.

After they finish off the unions, they will come after you and Joe The Plumber next. That is how Despotic Regimes operate. One day, they will not leave you with a pot to piss in, or a window to empty it out through, and you will sit there all dazed and confused, and still go around muttering; damn progressives, with their workers rights and stuff, have ruined me.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 24, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

@Liam: "Kevin, you keep on filling up the glass for the oligarchs, out of the almost empty glasses of the working class, and lapping up Rush Limbaugh referring to women as FemiNazis, and attacking the First Lady, because she does not look like Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Models, you sanctimonious hypocrite."

Liam, you should actually talk me sometimes, instead of the fantasy me you're making up. To deconstruct: "and lapping up Rush Limbaugh referring to women as FemiNazis"

When have I done this? Point to something, please.

"and attacking the First Lady, because she does not look like Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Models"

I don't agree with that. Don't like that kind of thinking. Don't like that kind of critique. Don't support it. Never have. If you think I have--find an example.

"you sanctimonious hypocrite"

Well, yes, but I hardly consider that a negative. Do you? :-D

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 24, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Why is there NOTHING in the washington post about the extraordinary twenty minute exchange betweeen the Governor of Wisconsin and the person he thought was David Koch?

Posted by: fmjk | February 24, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Why is there NOTHING in the washington post about the extraordinary twenty minute exchange betweeen the Governor of Wisconsin and the person he thought was David Koch?

Posted by: fmjk | February 24, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Why is there NOTHING in the washington post about the extraordinary twenty minute exchange betweeen the Governor of Wisconsin and the person he thought was David Koch?

Posted by: fmjk | February 24, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin_Willis "@jnc4p: ""Andy Stern's interview with Ezra Klein is definitely worth a read:""

Sounds to me like Stern's selling out! We'll have to start calling him Hosni Stern.

He clearly wants to punch teachers and destroy the middle class. He's history's greatest monster!"

I think Stern has nailed the politics of the fight though:

"Ezra Klein: A week ago, everyone I spoke to in the labor movement was convinced that Walker’s initiative was the worst thing to happen to them in a generation. Now I talk to them and they say it may be the best thing to happen to them in a generation. Where do you come down?

Andy Stern: It has that potential. The unions managed to strip the fiscal issues out from all of it, and Walker made such a big mistake exempting the police and firemen’s unions. He mobilized unions members in a way that hasn’t happened in a long time, and brought them together with students and other progressives. It’s turned into a Democrat versus Republican fight, not a good government versus bad government fight. Walker is beginning to look stubborn and inflexible. They’ve clearly raised the price of taking this action to a very high level. It was interesting to see [Indiana’s] Mitch Daniels and [Florida’s] Rick Scott back away from this stuff. But it may not end beautifully in Wisconsin. They have to be really careful about how that end is interpreted -- whatever it is. You have to think about how to not make it a loss, without making ridiculous claims that you’ve won.

But this is what we do best in labor: fight back. Our question going forward is how do we change our posture on budget and fiscal issues so we’re not always looking like an impediment. Budget and pensions are math. There is a problem in Wisconsin next year, as there is in 44 other states. And the union eventually made a decision about contributing to solve the problem, but doing it under duress looks different than doing it as part of a collaborative process."

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2011/02/andy_stern_it_may_not_end_beau.html#more

Posted by: jnc4p | February 24, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

What's your take on President Obama's foreclosure prevention policies?

Posted by: jnc4p | February 24, 2011 11:19 AM

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

Too little too late, and if he tried to do anything more robust, the Tea Party and The Oligarchs would go berserk about him spending tax payer dollars.

The middle class is: a dead man walking. In fact the Oligarchy is amazed that it still is able to stand up at all, after all the bullets it has fired into it.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 24, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"Walker has over-interpreted the public's anti-public employee sentiment;" what anti-public employee sentiments? the gop and in particular the tea party may find themselves believing their hype and taking a 40% voter electorate as a majority and mandate. it comes when you are so out-of-touch and living in your own well endowed bubble.

Posted by: sbvpav | February 24, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

"Walker has over-interpreted the public's anti-public employee sentiment;" what anti-public employee sentiments? the gop and in particular the tea party may find themselves believing their own hype and taking a 40% voter turnout as a majority and mandate. it comes when you are so out-of-touch and living in your own well endowed bubble.

Posted by: sbvpav | February 24, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

What Walker was counting on was the lack of fight in Democrats. He had ever reason to believe that they would not put up a fight this time, because both Feingold and Tom Barrett never went on the offensive during the election campaign. Karl Rove and The Chamber Of Commerce turned them into 24/7 punching bags, and Russ Feingold would not even allow any outside money to come in and help him to fight back.

Both Feingold and Barrett campaigned as if they were applying for to replace Mr. Rodgers.

That led Walker to assume that he would meet with no resistance from the Democrats now.

Time for Democrats to start selecting candidates who have emerged from The Working Classes, who know how to fight for the rights of the people they grew up among, instead of offering up more jellyfish Lawyers to represent us.

Can we clone Harry Truman and Tip O'Neill?

Posted by: Liam-still | February 24, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse


The market rates may have gone down, or remained the same. For the homeowner to get qualified for lower rates, there are certain prerequisites but I would recommend you search online for 123 mortgage Refi before you decide because they can find the 3% refinance rates.

Posted by: tombarnes88 | February 25, 2011 4:20 AM | Report abuse

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