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Posted at 8:43 AM ET, 03/ 3/2011

The Morning Plum

By Greg Sargent

* National liberal money flows into Wisconsin fight: Yesterday I first reported on a new ad being aired by progressive groups featuring ordinary Wisconsites making the case against Scott Walker, and in the 24 hours since, the spot has now pulled in more than $200,000 in contributions to keep it on the air.

The influx of cash -- which will enable the ad to run widely -- is a measure of how high the stakes have become in Wisconsin for Dems and liberals around the country, and the degree to which they view the standoff as one chapter in a national war with implications that go well beyond the particulars of this one battle.

* White House steps up involvement in budget fight: Obama has invited Congressional leaders of both parties to sit down with Veep Joe Biden and hammer out a long-term budget agreement, an effort to exert a more hands-on role (which he's been criticized for not doing) and to act as uniter of squabbling factions.

Ideological divisions remain so deep -- with Republicans in effect trying to restrain Obama from basic governing functions -- that it's hard to see how the differences will be bridged. The question now is how forcefully the President will back the core liberal priorities Congressional Dems want to protect and how hard a line he'll draw in opposition to the steep spending cuts sought by the GOP.

* Dems want Obama to get tougher with GOP: Indeed, some Democrats are hoping the President will make a stronger case against GOP cuts than he has to date, a sign that Congressional Dems are already looking to point fingers even as they remain divided themselves over how to proceed.

* Boehner to Dems: Get your own house in order first: John Boehner suggests he doesn't see much point in a summit until Dems all agree among themselves on a budget plan, a sign Republicans will seek to profit off Dem discord over whether to embrace GOP cuts. Something Dems might keep in mind?

* Budget cuts putting Republicans on thin political ice? The new NBC/WSJ poll finds generic worries running high about the deficit, but it also finds that the least popular solutions to the problem are cuts to Medicare, education, and Social Security. One GOP pollster says this is a "huge flashing yellow sign to Republicans."

Also: "More than 60 percent -- including key swing-voter groups -- are concerned that major cuts from Congress could impact their lives and their families."

Again: People reflexively tell pollsters they're terrified about the deficit and love the idea of cutting government in theory -- until you talk about what would actually be cut. Then they suddenly don't hate government so much anymore.

* But media rewards "serious" governors who cut, cut, cut: As E.J. Dionne notes today, the national media lavishes attention on governors who are simply trying to cut everything in sight, and are ignoring other governors who are bravely embracing tax hikes as part of the solutions to their fiscal woes.

This is another symptom, I think, of the fact that it's been broadly and arbitrarily decided that calling for tax hikes is by definition at odds with fiscal hawkery and hard-nosed fiscal seriousness, even though an acknowledgement that tax hikes may need to be part of the solution represents the truly serious position.

* Those public sector workers known as "teachers" are kind of important: Matt Miller offers some very serious talk about public employees and the future of the country:

The one thing I know for sure, however, is this: The future of the country depends on the public-sector workers known as teachers. That's because unless we dramatically improve our educational performance, America's standard of living will be at risk.

* Please don't privatize my Medicare: With House Republicans reportedly mulling a possible voucher scheme for the program, Americans United for Change is going up with billboards in the districts of three House GOPers: "Please Congressman, don't privatize my Medicare."

* Quote of the day: Chris Christie, in another sign of GOP reluctance to embrace Scott Walker's approach: "I love collective bargaining."

* Also: Politico notes that for all Christie's tough talk about unions, and for all the media love he gets for that tough talk, he, unlike Walker, is willing to work with them.

* Mitt Romney's Gordian Knot, ctd: Mitt gnashes teeth as GOP Rep Paul Ryan opines that Romneycare is "not that dissimilar to Obamacare," another sign that he'll remain a nonstarter in the 2012 GOP primary until he repudiates what used to be seen as a middle-of-the-road policy solution before Obama adopted the mandate.

* Relatedly, what's amusing about the fact that this is now Romney's chief liability, as Jonathan Cohn notes, is that Romneycare has in many ways worked out quite well.

* And CNN distances itself from Erick Erickson's falsehoods: CNN has now gotten Erickson to post a clarification in which he kinda sorta admits he oversimplied the situation for CNN readers and directs them to a recent post he did admitting that I never called for any union violence.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | March 3, 2011; 8:43 AM ET
Categories:  House GOPers, Labor, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, budget  
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Next: Public rejecting bogus "public employee versus taxpayer" frame?

Comments

Gov. Walker never called for any kind of violence with his "trouble makers" comment either. Gov. Palin never called for any kind of violence with her "target" symbol. But we know what the left has done with those examples.

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 3, 2011 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Someone should sit down with Obama and review the successes of the ideas of John Maynard Keynes. Specifically the lesser evil of deficit spending as economic stimulus.

Posted by: caothien9 | March 3, 2011 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Well "Gov." Palin's crosshairs map was the stroke that finished off her already moribund chances of ever serving in public office again.

What's 38% of 310 million, Jake?

Posted by: caothien9 | March 3, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Sharon Angle never called for any kind of violence with her "2nd Amendment" comment, yet Greg and the left brought that up every day. Karma's a bïtch.

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 3, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Can't help but wonder which is the better *long term* strategy

(1) block Scott Walker's attack on labor organization and save the jobs of Wisconsin workers

(2) let him win and hang that albatross around the neck of every Republican in the country

It's amazing the legs this issue has grown.

Posted by: caothien9 | March 3, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

@Greg

I love ya dude but I'm afraid you've fallen into the Washington C.W. on this one....

"Again: People reflexively tell pollsters they're terrified about the deficit and love the idea of cutting government in theory -- until you talk about what would actually be cut. Then they suddenly don't hate government so much anymore."

May I respectfully disagree. Go to page 16 in the WSJ/NBC poll...

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/MSNBC/Sections/NEWS/A_Politics/___Politics_Today_Stories_Teases/2-24-28-11.pdf

Actually the people have spoken quite clearly on WHAT they'd like to cut and other ways they'd like to address the deficit. They are saying the same thing I've been preaching for the past months.

#1.)Raise the freaking taxes on the wealthy! 81%...yes 81% are in favor of a surtax on millionaires! And this from a group where more than 30% identified themselves as Conservative. I.E. HALF of the Conservatives favor raising taxes on the millionaires.

2.)Cutting defense...76%..yes 76% favor cutting programs the DOD says it doesn't need. Seems obvious but Congress simply balks everytime this is brought up. Again more than 30% of these folks were self described Conservatives.

3.)Eliminating tax credits for oil and gas industry 74% yes again 3 out of 4!!!!!!!!

The Beltway media and the politicians are full of manure. People HAVE spoken about what they'd like to cut. I readily concede there may not be enough in what they have selected, but obfuscating their choices by repeating the simple mantra they won't cut S.S. or Medicare/Medicaid is a Republican Canard Greg. You need to see through this....

Again some simple math....Cut Defense spending to 2000 levels..67% ago and save a half TRILLION $$...Raise taxes to 20% of GDP instead of the current historically low 15% and add another 700 BIL for a total of 1.2 Trillion and the budget is balanced VOILA without even looking at entitlements.

My point is not that entitlements should be sacred cows...my point is that there are OBVIOUS places to begin cutting and to add revenue...I don't suppose we'd have to political will to do what I just suggested, however I do wish the media, the Dems would find the cojones to at least begin that discussion and start cutting defense and raising taxes. It's OBVIOUS and according to this latest WSJ/NBC poll the public supports it by a three out of four plurality!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 3, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I am not a Jake.

Speaking of "witch" does anyone else know why Christine O'Donnell isn't on Dancing with the Stars this time around?

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 3, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Sharon Angle never called for any kind of violence with her "2nd Amendment" comment, yet Greg and the left brought that up every day. Karma's a bïtch.

==

Sure is. Harry Reid won and the Democrats held on to the Senate. Reid was in an exceptionally weak position bunt nominating someone as irresponsible and extreme as Angle the Republicans managed to snatch defeat from victory's jaws.

And now they're doubling down by making it clear as can be that they have nothing whatever to offer American workers. Yeah, let's revive the abortion debate and have a national discussion of DOMA.

Posted by: caothien9 | March 3, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

CNN Money:

Jobless claims for the latest week drop to:

368,000

Lowest since May 2008 and below the magical 400k mark.

Woohoo! Let's hope the POTUS eliminates GOP's job-killing/economy-killing budget cuts.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 3, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Sharon Angle never called for any kind of violence with her "2nd Amendment"
-------------------------------------

"I hope that's not where we're going, but you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies. They're saying: My goodness, what can we do to turn this country around?"

What did she mean then? Merely that she knew of people thinking about armed revolution? The "I'm not saying, I'm just saying" defense is lame and irresponsible.

Her quote was a big deal well before the shooting in Arizona.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 3, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse

America must escape the doomed path of EU-style decline

Since the Greek financial debacle last year, there has been a great deal of interest across the Atlantic in Europe’s debt crisis and the lessons that can be learned for America. Not least because the United States may face its own Greek-style economic meltdown in a few years time unless it gets its own house in order.

Niles Gardiner

Obama = Europhile

Posted by: battleground51 | March 3, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

A technical point on Keynesian economics:

The countercyclicals we rely upon to cushion the depth of a cycle are Keynesian, are in place, and are working. That is, we spend more on them in a recession and they keep the spiral from quickly spinning into a larger, sucking, whirlpool.

But even focused deficit financing is not nearly as "stimulative" to the national economy as it was a generation ago, or earlier. Dollars spent here even for ordinary commercial goods dissipate throughout a global economy now. New furniture is not likely from NC. New clothing? Haiti, Singapore, Viet Nam.

So there can be no shotgun approach to this, and Congress, serving 435 constituencies, is a shotgun. Big problem.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 3, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Fortunately, there is a new wave of political leaders on Capitol Hill who are serious about cutting spending, reining in the deficit, and challenging the Big Government culture that has dominated Washington in recent years. Principled leaders such as Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan for example, who have pledged to take an axe rather than a scalpel to public expenditure.

Niles Gardiner

Posted by: battleground51 | March 3, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

@c12: Well what does second amendment solutions mean if not using guns? Angle is too slow to understand symbolism and allegory given her interpretation of the Bible etc.

Posted by: srw3 | March 3, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

ashotinthedark, she meant "I hope that's not where we're going."

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 3, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

If any Congressman, Republican or Democrat, is looking for a succinct guide to Europe’s economic and political failure as the EU heads down the path of “ever closer union”, I would strongly recommend my fellow Telegraph blogger Daniel Hannan’s important new pamphlet, “Why America Must Not Follow Europe.”

Niles Gardiner

The battle for America is on.

Wisconsin is but one, small battle.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 3, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Morning all- I don't see why GOPers have such a problem with Romneycare. They say determining how health care is administered in the states should be determined by the states. Romneycare is just that- a state's decision to regulate health care and health insurance within its own borders. The Commerce Clause is about what the federal government may regulate and its boundaries are restrictions on federal activity. The 14th Amendment makes most of the Bill of Rights applicable to the states, but it doesn't incorporate any other part of the Constitution on the states.

Posted by: mobrien83 | March 3, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I am not a Jake.

=

You are James Dort, the poster who was banned twice on The Fix, first as JakeD and then as JakeD2.

You don't even bother to change your little verbal tics and you think you can pull off a hidden identity?

@ruk: co-sign. I would go further and take highest tax rates back to 70% if not to 91%. As for defense, the USA has 174 military bases around the world and I'm pretty sure Stalin isn't going to invade West Germany.

Posted by: caothien9 | March 3, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

As he points out, there is a reason why Americans have for decades been richer and more economically productive than their European counterparts – less bureaucracy, lower spending, lower taxes, faster growth, and fewer people out of work. Between 1980 and 1992, excluding the UK, “the EU failed to produce a single net private sector job,” a staggering statistic. In addition, as Dan notes, Western Europe’s share of world GDP fell from 36 percent in 1974 to just 26 percent in 2011, with a projected fall to 15 percent by 2020. In contrast, the US share has remained steady at about 26 percent of world GDP.

Nile Gardiner

Look at Americas, new, UNemployment, normal of 10% under Obama. The pattern begins here.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 3, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Regardless, Sharron Angle never explicitly called for violence *

* Just like Greg Sargent.

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 3, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

@R&R

Thanks for keeping up the posts on the economic news Ethan.

If you consider that an improving economy will also add to our tax revenues...AGAIN helping to diminish the deficit..and then combine the news you've just offered Ethan..
reducing UE is critical...18%...yes 18% of our budget this year is tied up in the UE problem....

I acknowledge we need to address the deficit...but I am not a hawk..I am not in a panic..and we should be VERY careful lest we wreck our fragile recovery.

Again...it's so freaking obvious that 81% of Americans get it...raise the damn taxes!!!! Cut Defense spending!!! Hope the economy continues to grow and create some jobs to ease that 18% UE burden on the budget.

This is not rocket science..it's simply the selfish aholes in our country doing everything they can to hang on to every last freaking penny! It's the M.I.C. exerting it's power in Congress.

Hopefully Wisconsin is the wakeup call because INDEED this is class warfare...
in the words of Warren Buffett back in 2006....

“There’s class warfare, all right,” Mr. Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/26/business/yourmoney/26every.html

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 3, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

But America’s long-term economic success is under threat from a towering federal debt, increasing government intervention in the economy, and a significantly more expensive and regulated health care system. In short, economic freedom is declining in America as Washington increasingly turns to European-style solutions. As Hannan argues, President Obama’s vision for America is quintessentially European:

Niles Gardiner - The Telegraph

Liberal Democrats have always turned their noses up at American, free enterprise and individual freedoms and fawned over the European system of controlled enterprise and social bureaucracy.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 3, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Jake did you simply not know how to spell Clarence or did you wish us to pronounce your name with a Southern accent?

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 3, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

"least popular solutions to the problem are cuts to Medicare, education, and Social Security"

This is why my wife tells me not to talk politics at dinner parties.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 3, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

mobrien83, as a life long Republican, I would definitely vote for Romney over Obama, as I think most Republicans would. Can he get enough enthusiasm out there however?

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 3, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

@NoVa

Does she also list religion on the list of banned subjects? :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 3, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Fortunately, there is a new wave of political leaders on Capitol Hill who are serious about cutting spending, reining in the deficit, and challenging the Big Government culture that has dominated Washington in recent years.
---------------------------------
By recent years, I assume you mean since Reagan with a hiatus for Bush 1 and Clinton, followed by a return to huge government expenditures when Republicans had full control.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 3, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

"Christine O'Donnell isn't on Dancing with the Stars"

My guess is the producers told her she'd have to lose a ton of weight, or she talked to Bristol who felt humiliated by being forced to do dirty dancing...hard to say, but I'm sure she'll "write" all about it in "her" forthcoming "book".

Posted by: shrink2 | March 3, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

claw- I think he could be formidable if Rs weren't endorsing this narrative that Romneycare=ACA. The problem with ACA is it's a federal overreach. Nothing wrong with a state doing what Romneycare does, but Romney gets villified for making health care decisions at the level of government where most Rs say they should be made. An independent, I think the distinction is very important.

Posted by: mobrien83 | March 3, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone care about some economist clown called Niles Gardiner writing pithy screeds in some paper called the Telegraph?

Didn't think so.

America isn't becoming more like Europe, it's becoming more like El Salvadore in the 80s. More like Europe would be an astounding impriovement. Starting with steep cuts in defense, investing in the future, and restoring steeply progressive taxation.

Posted by: caothien9 | March 3, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Ruk -- I've actually banner her from religion. she's a history buff. for some reason, people don't like hearing the history nature of some doctrines belief.

you can see how we'd be popular. "we should close public schools." "The fish is great .. did you know the reason we're fasting on Fridays is the Pope wanted to prop up the fishing industry."

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 3, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

@NoVa

Wow you guys must have some interesting conversations around the dinner table.

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 3, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Aging Americans, we who lived through the good old days don't have to live in terror of our beloved country becoming European, which is a proxy for weak, even dare I say it, effeminate, I understand.

When Americans lean into Socialism and they will, it will be a robust success. We can and we will have to avoid the problems of Euro-socialism because our Constitution will demand that of us.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 3, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

"Corporate donations to Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana are restricted. But there are no limits on giving to his wife’s foundation."

I am shocked, shocked by this revelation.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 3, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

@shrink

Perhaps on the weekend thread...they're the best for open wide ranging philosophical discussions...you can share your vision of what "American Socialism" would feature.

Now I've given you two days to complete your assignment and no "the dog ate my homework" excuses!

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 3, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I appreciated that Matt Miller piece re teachers. Here's another interesting one, they're retiring by the droves. Who can blame them? Most of the really bright young people I know aren't interested in teaching anymore so it remains to be seen what caliber of people will be replacing them. A dilemma for sure.

""Although politics may play a role in some of these departures, they also underscore a demographic reality. According to the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, public sector workers tend to be older and more educated than their counterparts in the private sector. And growth in government employment outpaced private sector employment growth between 1992 and 2008.

The departures now are coming on top of a brain drain of state workers who were axed in budget cuts over the past few years. Another 400,000 government workers could lose their jobs this year.""

http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/retirement/state-worker-retirements-soar-across-the-country/19863365/

Posted by: lmsinca | March 3, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

As if the weakness of potential GOP nominees wasn't comical enough (Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, *guffaw*) the one guy they have who isn't a complete snoozelord and/or Neanderthal has to run away not from his failures but from his successes.

Oh, and mobrien .. I don't give a flying one about the Constitution. It's from an America so long ago as to be more foreign than where I live now. What I care about is the success and sustainability of the society, and a wealthy country that has failed in as many ways as America has to meet that goal should be doing something more reality based than navel-gazing in ancient douments.

Posted by: caothien9 | March 3, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

ruk -- never a dull moment.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 3, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

shrink2, her book is due out in August. You do remember that Bristol got to the finals, right?

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 3, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

" That's because unless we dramatically improve our educational performance, America's standard of living will be at risk."

Sounds good, but in reality,

CUNY is swamped by remedial (ignorant) students

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/04/nyregion/04remedial.html?_r=1&hp

What a shame. People worried about weakness, moral, economic, spiritual, ignorance is the fundamental weakness.


Posted by: shrink2 | March 3, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

[Greg sneers: "Quote of the day: Chris Christie, in another sign of GOP reluctance to embrace Scott Walker's approach: "I love collective bargaining."]

Quote of the day II: Another sign of Leftist cognitive dissonance: "You can't love collective bargaining and want to unilaterally ram health care changes through the legislature in two weeks' time," Master said. "Those are not consistent."

*paging Pelosi*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 3, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

"What I care about is the success and sustainability of the society, and a wealthy country that has failed in as many ways as America has to meet that goal should be doing something more reality based than navel-gazing in ancient documents."

I second that Cao.

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 3, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Teachers are not "glorified baby sitters"

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/education/03teacher.html?hp

Posted by: shrink2 | March 3, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

You can't love collective bargaining and want to unilaterally ram health care changes through the legislature in two weeks' time," Master said. "Those are not consistent."

*paging Pelosi*

---------------------------------------
Wait a second, Pelosi passed health care changes? That happened so fast I must have missed it. You know that seems like the kind of issue we should have debated for months and months on end.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 3, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

[ass_hat_inthedark: "Wait a second, Pelosi passed health care changes? That happened so fast I must have missed it. You know that seems like the kind of issue we should have debated for months and months on end."]

That's cute. Ass_Hat still fantasizes that Dems carefully deliberated PelosiCare before unilaterally ramming it through the legislature. They didn't even read it.

Delusional, thy name is ass_hat.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 3, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"What I care about is the success and sustainability of the society, and a wealthy country that has failed in as many ways as America has to meet that goal should be doing something more reality based than navel-gazing in ancient documents."

I second that Cao.

==

Thanks. And to sharpen the point, success not defined only by how well the top 0.1% are doing.

As much money as America has there should be nobody without access to healthcare, nobody hungry, nobody who wants a job without one, and if that means that people now worth ten figures have to find a way to eek by with nine, well, so be it.

America has lost its way, and this "economics" thing is the main reason.

Posted by: caothien9 | March 3, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

CAO- I would suggest that a written constitution is a valuable protection in a country consisting of wildly varying regional, state-to-state, and individual differences. Those parts that become so archaic as to be inconsistent with the times are easily corrected by the amendment process. While it's difficult to amend the Constitution, on those matters that are truly "foreign," you'd think it wouldn't be difficult to pass an amendment. Perhaps those elements that are foreign to you are natural and reasonable to a portion of the country. Perhaps also, it is wise that our government's structure is not easily changed willy-nilly.

Posted by: mobrien83 | March 3, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Thanks RUK.

I agree wholeheartedly with your earlier post.

I'd also add cutting Big Ag subsidies to that list of bipartisan budget remedies.

Mark_in_Austin (great town btw) was correct in his post too. That's why govt tax breaks and/or spending should focus on crucial domestic groth industries and long-term solutions:

Cleantech manufacturing
Distributed renewable energy
Sustainable local food
Health IT
Education & Education IT
Job training & re-training
Community colleges
Rural & dense urban wireless broadband

Keep $$$ in the U.S. in domestic growth industries.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 3, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

That's cute. Ass_Hat still fantasizes that Dems carefully deliberated PelosiCare before unilaterally ramming it through the legislature. They didn't even read it.

==

Congratulations on finding the discipline to refrain from working your fantasy of oral rape into the description. That's a rarity with you guys.

Posted by: caothien9 | March 3, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Cao- I don't disagree with you that everyone should have access to health care. I do disagree with the notion that restraints on the government should be ignored when a bare majority of citizens thinks its appropriate. If restricting the federal government from regulating certain activities and reserving regulation of those activities to the states is so foreign, a supermajority for amending the Constitution shouldn't be difficult to achieve.

Posted by: mobrien83 | March 3, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

From the rumblings of Greg's toadies, progressives seem to think they have struck political gold in Wisconsin. They’ve found an issue on which they sincerely beleive the public will support them-- protecting the "rights" of teachers and other government workers.

What they’ve really found is fool’s gold.
http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1295.xml?ReleaseID=1562

A new survey of 1,800 registered voters from Quinnipiac University shows that the public’s view of public-sector unionism is mixed at best, and on the whole leans against the unions. An overwhelming majority of 63 percent believe they should be contributing more to their benefits. Only 15 percent believe that government workers are underpaid. A plurality of 42 percent believe they are overpaid.

The public is split evenly, but slightly against the unions (45 to 42 percent) on the question of whether government workers should have their collective bargaining rights limited. They also split in favor of the Republican governors (47 to 41 percent) in their belief that Walker and others are putting the screws to unions because of legitimate budget problems, not simply to weaken unions.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 3, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I would also guess that you don't mind navel-gazing at those portions of the document that don't create barriers to the policies you support, like oh, I don't know, elections every couple years, due process, separation of powers, checks and balances, etc... Trust me, my policy preferences are very closely aligned with yours. The means matter though.

Posted by: mobrien83 | March 3, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

mobrien- "If restricting the federal government from regulating certain activities and reserving regulation of those activities to the states is so foreign, a supermajority for amending the Constitution shouldn't be difficult to achieve."

Your initial post expressed confusion as to why Romneycare is largely villified by Republicans and why he needs to run away from it. The way Romneycare is being portrayed by the Right shows a lack of depth in understanding what that law did and more complex issues such as federalism. It also shows a willingness (hardly exclusive to the Right) by politicians to capitalize on confusion and a lack (or absence) of knowledge in order to score political points, the truth be darned.

Given this, you think we would able get enough support to pass a Constitutional Amendment on even the most mundane of issues much less a complex issue like healthcare? I don't.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 3, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

The Ohio state Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would curb the collective bargaining rights of public workers and strip away their power to strike.
http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/03/02/ohio.budget/index.html?section=cnn_latest

Your revolution is over, Mr. Lebowski. Condolences. The bums lost. My advice is to do what your parents did; get a job, sir. The bums will always lose.

Do you hear me, Lebowski? The bums will always lose!

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 3, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Recall efforts against four fleebagging Democrats are now under way. But unlike Leftists, conservatives aren’t limited to recall petitions against Democratic fugitives.

A Wisconsin citizen has filed suit against Jim Holperin requesting an order of mandamus to get him to perform his duties, and earlier today a state senate committee (with Democrats absent, natch) approved daily $100 fines for members who miss floor sessions.
http://mediatrackers.org/2011/03/private-citizen-sues-democratic-senator-jim-holperin/

Luckily, fleebagger Dems have kind-hearted mommies and daddies to help pay their bills while they’re in Illinois striking a blow for obstruction or whatever.
http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/261111/parents-footing-bill-wisconsin-state-senator-chicago

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 3, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

ah, am i wrong but isn't there another group of people who are considered public employees, paid with hard working american's tax dollars, who have excellent health care and pension benefits and decide amongst themselves about salary increases - state legislators (and yes that would be gov. scott walker for one) representatives and senators? heck, they don't even need a union to protect them.

Posted by: sbvpav | March 3, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Continued from way above:

My guess is that if anything, Obama would verbalize his ideology using the same vocabulary that Eurocrats do. He would say he wants a fairer America, a more tolerant America, a less arrogant America, a more engaged America. When you prize away the cliché, what these phrases amount to are higher taxes, less patriotism, a bigger role for state bureaucracies, and a transfer of sovereignty to global institutions. In other words, President Obama wants to make the U.S. more like the EU.

Exactly correct!

Posted by: battleground51 | March 3, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

ashot- Agreed that on this issue an amendment is unlikely. I think it illustrates the point that the "ancient" document is not foreign or useless to people in this country at this time. I meant to say that if it were so anachronistic, amendment would not be so difficult. The fact that amendment would be difficult contradicts the assertion that the document is old, foreign, useless. Therefore, the Commerce Clause should not be amended, and states should do the appropriate and moral thing by making sure folks have health care. It just shouldn't be the feds.

Agree completely with your analysis of why folks don't appreciate the differences between Romneycare and ACA.

Posted by: mobrien83 | March 3, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

"Israel has concluded that a final peace deal with the Palestinians cannot be reached at this time and is weighing alternatives to try to prove that it is interested in keeping peacemaking with the Palestinians alive, officials said Thursday."

This is so idiotic. Weighing alternatives to try to prove that it is interested? Of course they don't want peace, there is no upside to that. The state, the power structure literally relies on the enmity of the Arabs. What if Israel had to support itself? With what, selling oranges? What they 'make' is war with the Arabs, that is their place it is what they do.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 3, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

All, important finding in new NBC/WSJ poll:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/03/public_rejecting_bogus_public.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | March 3, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Obama is not pursuing a set of random initiatives lashed arbitrarily together but a program of comprehensive Europeanization: European health care, European welfare, European carbon taxes, European day care, European college education, even a European foreign policy, based engagement with supranational technocracies, nuclear disarmament, and a reluctance to deploy forces overseas.

More from Niles Gardiner of The Telegraph

And there is of course a vast difference between the limited government vision of America’s Founding Fathers and the statist EU Constitution, or Lisbon Treaty. As Hannan writes:

The U.S. Constitution, in particular the Bill of Rights, is mainly about the liberty of the individual.
The EU Constitution is mainly about the power of the state. Here is the categorical difference between the two unions, the elemental distinction of which all the other differences are aspects.

Because the U.S. was designed along what we might loosely term Jeffersonian lines, it has tended to have a small government, strong local authorities, a flourishing private sphere, a limited welfare system, relatively low taxes, and skepticism toward global technocracies. The EU, having been conceived around the concept of an ever-closer union, tends the opposite way.

Obama is a statist, Europhilic, cosmopolitan-community organizer, Harvard-Chicagoland, dyed-in-the-wool sociocat.

He should be the Canadian prime minister and not U.S. president. America made a terrible mistake in 2008.

Obama surfed into the White House on a tidal wave of "white guilt" on the part of that big slug of voters we call moderates.

Oh, come on! You know it's true.

It was an impulse buy and now they all have "buyer's remorse".

Posted by: battleground51 | March 3, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

It might be time for another Keep the Fear Alive festival/march. The Republican is terrified, recoiling in horror at all threats, real and imagined. But though the sky is not falling, we don't have an unlimited amount of time to embrace the future, threats and all.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 3, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Go change your diaper, battleground

Posted by: caothien9 | March 3, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps Jon Huntsman's decision to step down from his post, and vie for the R. nomination (it is rumored) has to do with his political calculation that Romney will be passed by for the nomination due to Romneycare. I can easily imagine the LDS money machine asking Huntsman to carry the banner for the Church. It has been a dream for the LDS Church to have one of their own in the Presidency (Brigham Young himself tried to run for president). Don't think that the Church and its members can't raise significant money for their guy.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | March 3, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I meant to say that if it were so anachronistic, amendment would not be so difficult. The fact that amendment would be difficult contradicts the assertion that the document is old, foreign, useless.
-------------------------------------
The amendment process was designed to be difficult, so I don't see how the fact that it functions as designed is proof of anything other than just that.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 3, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Simply put, the steady Europeanisation of the United States is a huge threat to America’s long-term prosperity, international leadership and freedom, and goes against the US tradition of individual liberty. If Americans wish to avoid EU-style decline, they should avoid European-style policies as well as the supranational world view that drives them.

Niles Gardiner of The Telegraph

America is being warned to NOT follow the Euro-weenies off the cliff of national, economic and moral DEcline.

Let's take heed. Let's nip this Obamanation, in the bud, before it grows into an alien monster and consumes us all.

Also, socialists never learn from the past.

Every, new generation of socialists claim the socialist failures, of the past, were because "they" just didn't do it right.

Next time it'll work because "we" are smarter than "they".

Conceited hogwash!

Every socialist system is doomed to failure. Any denial of this fact is ideological fantasy.

And labor unions are based in socialism.

Safe, high paying jobs even if you are lame, lazy or incompetent.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 3, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

One GOP pollster says this is a "huge flashing yellow sign to Republicans."

--which means they will gun it over the cliff.

Posted by: fiona5 | March 3, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Sad to see so many ignoramuses who can't read a dictionary, and thus have no idea what the word 'socialism' actually means.

Hint: You are not Humpty Dumpty, and words do not mean what you want them to mean.

And yes, 'clawrence' is James Dort, also known as JakeD, who has this sad oldguy crush on palin.

Posted by: fiona5 | March 3, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Fiona, what is the sign?

Posted by: shrink2 | March 3, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

The amendment process was designed to be difficult, so I don't see how the fact that it functions as designed is proof of anything other than just that.
---------------------------

That fact alone doesn't prove anything, but the fact that it has still been amended many times, including 12 times in the last century and as recently as 1992, demonstrates that corrections are readily made when it becomes obvious that they are appropriate. The fact that amending the Commerce Clause does not enjoy such overwhelming support belies the idea that its an ancient relic that should be ignored for the greater good. Almost half of the people in this country oppose national health care reform and view it as a federal overreach; that's a pretty good reason why the difficulty of amending the Constitution wouldn't be overcome. Changing the law should be able to be achieved by majorities (the fillibuster notwithstanding), but changes to the compact describing the basic relationships among people and their governments should require overwhelming support, and that support is not present for ignoring the Commerce Clause.

I will readily admit, though, that the Constitutional issue around the individual mandate is nowhere near clear-cut. I happen to think it violates the Commerce Clause. My reaction was to suggestions that the Constitution is old and therefore "foreign" and should be ignored when good ideas don't fit in its framework.

Posted by: mobrien83 | March 3, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

No, fiona5, I am not.

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 3, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

shrink -- that the public, according to a number of different polls, favors the WI teachers over the governor, and feel that Walker is waaay overreaching. He is, essentially, a tyrant- a sockpuppet toady of CEOs,who wants to crush workers and strip them of their rights at the behest of his corporate masters.

David Koch, oil/gas billionaire many times over, wrote a piece in the WSJ this week, talking about how happy he was with the way Walker was doing his bidding, and that Koch would continue to shovel him money. Koch also instructed all his republican toadies to cut deeper. Now, many of these people will probably lose their elections. But they are disposable, even if they don't know it yet. Because Koch can always buy another one to replace them. They don't understand that they will be used and then thrown away like so much toilet paper.

Also, when people see in their own states that their new governors are delivering big tax cuts to corporations -- even ones who operate in other countries -- and then making big cuts in education and health care to pay for it -- if they are not Fox-stupid, they will get that they are getting hosed.

Posted by: fiona5 | March 3, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

"Keep $$$ in the U.S. in domestic growth industries."

Yes, the government is so good at picking the "growth industries," which apparently wouldn't "grow" without government help.

Brilliant stuff.


Posted by: quarterback1 | March 3, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

@claw-

You are so lost in wherever it is you live in your mind that you don't see what a "Second Amendment remedy" means. Willfull deflection and/or ignorance on your part.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | March 3, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Quick quiz for the doddering joked, aka clawrence:

What's the difference between Gov. Walker and "Gov." Palin?

Posted by: Observer691 | March 3, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans think they have their finger on the country's pulse about the deficit because that's what their rich white base is most worried about.

The rest of the country is wondering, WTF? It's jobs, jobs, jobs stupid!

Posted by: Beeliever | March 3, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

ChuckinDenton, if I say that I hope you don't shoot yourself in the head, that does not necessarily mean that I want to shoot you in the head. As I said, regardless, the left twisted our words around so I think that Erick Erickson should do the same as to Greg Sargent's words.

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 3, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

fiona, great work on JokeD.

James M Dort, Stanford Law '61. LOL

Posted by: Observer691 | March 3, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

fiona got it, yes, thank you.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 3, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if bumblegrunt51 is as old as JimmyDork.

Two diaper-wearing teabaggers.

Posted by: Observer691 | March 3, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

clawrence12 : Gov. Walker never called for any kind of violence with his "trouble makers" comment either. Gov. Palin never called for any kind of violence with her "target" symbol. But we know what the left has done with those examples.

What were they trying to say?

Posted by: LeftCoast5 | March 3, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

lawrence12: Sharon Angle never called for any kind of violence with her "2nd Amendment" comment, yet Greg and the left brought that up every day. Karma's a bïtch.

Was she promoting well-regulated militias?

Posted by: LeftCoast5 | March 3, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

LeftCoast5, it is obvious to me at least that Walker considered sending in counter-protesters but decided not to because of the potential for violence and that Palin was "targeting" vulnerable Congressional districts at the ballot box, not implicitly endorsing assassination(s).

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 3, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"Sad to see so many ignoramuses who can't read a dictionary, and thus have no idea what the word 'socialism' actually means."

What is ignorant is the notion that a dictionary definition of socialism exhausts its meaning for educated people.

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 3, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

QB1: I, Breyer, and presumably the whole Court, agree with you about the internet postings. The narrow issue of "picketing" is where the case was argued, and that turned on the "public comment" characterization.

But a point you raise for discussion that I think has never been fully explored is the public comment designed and intended to cause private harm. Breyer kind of skates around this a bit in his concurrence. Clearly they were not ready to try to formulate this, and it would be difficult to do, I think.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 3, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Angle was trying to WARN what would happen, just like if someone honks the horn to warn a fellow driver that he is driving toward a cliff. She explicitly said "I hope it DOESN'T happen"!

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 3, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"LeftCoast5, it is obvious to me at least that Walker considered sending in counter-protesters but decided not to because of the potential for violence "

No, not at all. He explicitly said he was afraid it would look bad for him politically.

Posted by: fiona5 | March 3, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

.. and Angle was inciting people to shoot their representative if they were not happy with that person's actions.

The Tea party lexicon is even more drenched with violent imagery than the standard Republican one.

Posted by: fiona5 | March 3, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

addafiDelendaEst: Quote of the day II: Another sign of Leftist cognitive dissonance: "You can't love collective bargaining and want to unilaterally ram health care changes through the legislature in two weeks' time," Master said. "Those are not consistent."

Please explain how it was "...unilaterally ram(med) through. Thanks.

Posted by: LeftCoast5 | March 3, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Christie may not have tried to pass legislation that curtails the collective bargaining rights of unions (that's a non-starter in NJ) but he proudly took credit for the backlash against public workers, and wave of actions by other governors, that we've seen across the country. It seems odd to see him praised for his "willingness" to work with unions -- he's bashed, humiliated and scapegoated them, tried to turn voters against them, and, as he expressed with his his recent quote, "I love collective bargaining...let me at them....and let's get rid of civil service and replace it with bargaining", he loves getting in the ring with them and beating them to a pulp. Can't we find a model in between the prize fighting governor from NJ, the extremist from Wisconsin and the weasly, shortsighted one that we've seen in years past that gets steamrolled by unions.

Posted by: wswest | March 3, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

LeftCoast5, do you believe that Sharron Angle was "inciting people to shoot their representative" (a federal and Nevada State crime)?

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 3, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

This Angle quote pretty much speaks for itself-

"I hope that's not where we're going, but you know if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out."

Second Amendment- "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

What does she mean by remedy? Certainly she can't mean a "well-regulated" militia because that wouldn't be something that she hopes doesn't happen.

"People are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies" doesn't mean they want to join the National Guard...

"Turn this country around" by using your firearms, or the threat of it.

Face it, she's a whack job and a stain on the GOP.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | March 3, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Clawrence: LeftCoast5, do you believe that Sharron Angle was "inciting people to shoot their representative" (a federal and Nevada State crime)?

I don't know. That's why I asked you the question.

Posted by: LeftCoast5 | March 3, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

And that's why I answered your question. I obviously do not believe she was inciting anyone or part of any conspiracy (apparently neither does the U.S. Attorney in Nevada or local district attorney).

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 3, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Careful everyone, JimmyDork is issuing legal opinions from on high.

Posted by: Observer691 | March 3, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

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