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Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 03/11/2011

The Morning Plum

By Greg Sargent

* House GOP to take plunge into "entitlement" cuts: GOP Rep Paul Ryan says in a new interview that House Republicans will take the first step into the "entitlements" briar patch, vowing to offer fundamental changes to Medicare and Medicaid and perhaps Social Security.

The move comes after Obama and Dems had effectively dared Republicans to make the first move on to politically treacherous terrain, and indeed, Ryan seemed to confirm the level of risk involved by claiming that Republicans are going to "lead with our chin."

* Senate Dems blame Obama for botching budget fight: Senate Dems are now blaming President Obama for the Dem caucus's failure to settle on a unified vision to counter that of Republicans, who continue to lure Dems deeper and deeper onto their own "must slash spending now" rhetorical turf.

* White House ceding the rhetorical game to GOP? Relatedly, Paul Krugman on how Obama and Dems are validating the GOP frame that immediate spending cuts are crucial, and how their failure to articulate an alternative vision "is aiding and abetting the dumbing down of our deficit debate."

* Dem governors slam Walker: Alex Burns reports that the Democratic Governors Association is out with a new video featuring footage of Republican governors distancing themselves from Walker, another reminder that even if Walker ends up prevailing in the short term, his overreaching approach has become politically toxic.

* Indeed, as GOP consultant Mike Murphy puts it, the "pounding" Walker took is likely to loom as a cautionary tale for other GOP governors.

* Cash continues to flow for Wisconsin recall efforts: In the 24 hours after the GOP maneuver, the Wisconsin Democratic Party raised over $350,000 for the drive to recall GOP senators.

* The legal case against Wisconsin GOP maneuver: Dems also hope to make the case that Wednesday night's rollback of bargaining rights was still "a fiscal bill," and therefore required 20 state senators to be present.

* Battle continues to spread in Wisconsin with boycotts now planned: Unions representing teachers, firefighters and cops will boycott a major state bank if it does not come out against the drive to roll back public employee bargaining rights, and they plan to target businesses who back Scott Walker.

* Labor's next fight could have major national ramifications: In Ohio, Republicans are pushing a bill that would curb bargaining rights for public employees, and labor stategists are planning to try to overturn it by referendum, energizing union households and the base in a swing state that could be crucial to Obama's 2012 reelection.

* Obama to push back on GOP's latest rendition of "drill, baby, drill": At his presser today, the President will push back on GOP critics who are blaming rising gas prices on his alleged blocking of energy production. The White House pushback: 2010 saw the biggest jump in domestic energy production since 2003; Obama has issued dozens of offshore drilling permits since the BP disaster.

* Claire McCaskill's political trip could undermine reelection: Senator McCaskill's spokesperson confirms to Ben Smith that the Senator billed and repaid taxpayers for a political trip on a private plane, a violation of Congressional ethics rules that could complicate an already tough reelection campaign.

* Obama's statement on Japan earthquake and tsunamis: Per the White House, Obama was notified of the disaster at 4 a.m. by chief of staff Bill Daley, and here's the President's statement:

"Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan, particularly those who have lost loved ones in the earthquake and tsunamis. The United States stands ready to help the Japanese people in this time of great trial. The friendship and alliance between our two nations is unshakeable, and only strengthens our resolve to stand with the people of Japan as they overcome this tragedy. We will continue to closely monitor tsunamis around Japan and the Pacific going forward and we are asking all our citizens in the affected region to listen to their state and local officials as I have instructed FEMA to be ready to assist Hawaii and the rest of the US states and territories that could be affected."

* NPR pushes back on James O'Keefe's latest sting: Newly released emails validate what NPR has been saying about not accepting any $5 million from any phony "Muslim group."

* In defense of NPR: Relatedly, Bill Moyers and Michael Wineship make the case that NPR's long history of fair journalism, including on the Tea Party, should not be tainted by a single episode involving "one of the sleaziest operatives ever to climb out of a sewer."

* And the takedown of the day, Michele Bachmann edition: Jonathan Bernstein absolutely eviscerates Bachmann's unhinged assertion of a $105 billion slush fund in the Affordable Care Act, a textbook example of how GOP politicians and conservative media collaborate "to create and spread false claims."

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | March 11, 2011; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  House GOPers, Labor, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Social Security, budget  
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Comments

"even if Walker ends up prevailing in the short term"?

Isn't he going to sign it today?

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 11, 2011 8:38 AM | Report abuse

"Indeed, as GOP consultant Mike Murphy puts it, the "pounding" Walker took is likely to loom as a cautionary tale for other GOP governors."

Or it's always possible that when the dust clears Wisconsin will be in better shape and Walker will stand as a model of leadership and political courage. At least, I don't think too many conservatives are going to lose sleep over Mike Murphy's hand wringing. At some point, you have to do what is right, despite all the attacks and smears of union bullies, chicken littles, and establishment guardians of entitlement.

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 11, 2011 8:39 AM | Report abuse


Bill Moyers' calling someone "one of the sleaziest operatives ever to climb out of a sewer" in a polemic about the supposed journalistic quality of public broadcasting is one for the annals of irony. Then there's this:

"Our work has sometimes been the explicit bull's eye on the dartboard, as conservative ideologues sought to extinguish the independent reporting and analysis they find so threatening to their phobic worldview."

Quite Orwellian.

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 11, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Funny how you don't get upset when the "establishment guardians of entitlement" are doing things like making sure rich people and corporations have lower tax rates than many of us working stiffs. Or when they fight to make sure Wall Street can operate without oversight. Or when one of them whines about how Exxon can't make any money without massive tax incentives. Or....

Posted by: JennOfArk | March 11, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see that Senate Democrats sat with Plouffe, Lew, and Sperling on how to impove Obama's messaging on the budget.

Obama has the bullypulpit and he isn't using it effectively. He did well during the lame duck and the early part of the year but hit a big snag on the budget.

He and his counselors thought that he could just be above the fray on the budget and let the Senate and the House duke it out and then he just comes in at the last minute and finalizes the plan.

But that is NOT how that should happen. Obama has to present a competing vision to counteract the Republicans' vision of cuts cuts cuts ESPECIALLY because that is NOT where America is.

Luckily for Obama the American public is not focused on the budget but rather on the economy, gas prices, the Middle East, and union busting.

I suspect that Obama's press conference today was done so that Obama will now take the bully pulpit.

Posted by: maritza1 | March 11, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Why attacking our children's educators excites right wing conservatives is beyond me.

When did heartless un-Christian-like vindictiveness become such a corner stone and a badge of honor on the right?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 11, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

quarterback1, Mike Murphy is fast becoming our party's Bob Shrum, completely useless.

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 11, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

We use the word "entitlement" to evoke three completely different concepts.

1] I paid for it and I have a right to take delivery, or

2] What always was, always shall be, or

3] I want [or need]; therefore you must give.

The first might describe SS old age benefits and contractual retirement plans.

The second might describe UK royalty.

The third might describe a spoiled brat.

We should distinguish. These distinctions are based on different fact patterns entirely.


Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 11, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Clawence 12,

Walker signs it today but it can be undone tomorrow by 3 things: take back the State Senate by recall 2011, recall Walker in January 2012, take the assembly in 2012 and then that law can be reversed.

Posted by: maritza1 | March 11, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

The new law should withstand legal challenges (already dealt with "notice" requirement on prior thread, from Volokh.com):

The Wisconsin Senate has passed a budget bill with the “non-fiscal” provisions stripped out, just as I proposed last week in a manuscript on SSRN, a post at Volokh (“Wisconsin Senate Does Not Need a 3/5ths Quorum to Pass Much of the Budget Bill”), and an op-ed at National Review Online. Those curious about the legalities of the definition of “fiscal” should download my paper at SSRN.

A source in the legislature informed me last week that this approach had been proposed early on, but had been rejected as too politically risky for Republicans friendly to labor and too procedurally hard to go through both houses again, given the rancor in the assembly. From what I’ve heard from several sources (including one journalist), I’m fairly certain that it was NOT under active consideration when I floated my proposal last week.

I haven’t been able to find a copy on the bill online yet, but it appears that the senators took a fairly aggressive line in determining what was fiscal, treating even provisions that have financial impact as not fiscal. For example, the Bill passed by the Senate is reported to contain the requirement that contracts require public workers to pay at least 12%. In this, as my op-ed and article showed, they are being consistent with the very narrow definition of fiscal in the Wisconsin Constitution and the Joint Rules of the legislature.

Here is the conclusion of my SSRN paper, Super Quorums Under the Wisconsin Constitution:

Article VII, §8 of the Wisconsin Constitution requires a three-fifths quorum only for statutes that are fiscal, that is, statutes that actually appropriate money, impose taxes, create a debt, or release a claim owed to the state. Even then, these categories have consistently been interpreted in the most limited form conceivable. Indeed, the Wisconsin attorney general in 1971 gave a formal opinion to the legislature that a bill that changed collective bargaining rights substantially was not fiscal in nature and was not subject to the three-fifths super quorum provision. Because collective bargaining rights and that very statutory chapter (ch. 111) are at the heart of the proposed Senate Bill 11, the most controversial portions of the bill could be passed constitutionally with just a simple majority of elected members present, without a three-fifths quorum.

Though most of the bill’s provisions demarcated “Fiscal changes” are clearly fiscal — e.g., increasing appropriations for needy families, health care, and corrections — much of the bill is not fiscal. Even provisions that observers might reasonably assume to be fiscal are probably not "fiscal" under Wisconsin law, such as the rule that in the future employers can agree to pay no more than 88% of health care costs.

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 11, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

quarterback1, Walker will be recalled within a year.

They only need 500,000 signatures and unions members will make up the bulk of those signatures with their spouses, friends, and loved one getting the rest.

Posted by: maritza1 | March 11, 2011 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Whenever Greg says some lefty "absolutely eviscerates" X, you can reliably conclude it's nothing of the sort. The funds Bachmann is talking about are huge pots of money granted to bureaucrats to hand out to cronies and favored "public health" projects.

Whining that this isn't a "slush fund" is just disputing a characterization. It isn't "eviscerating" or even refuting any factual claim. I especially love the guy's whining that one of the funds isn't a "slush fund" because the money that is required to be spent.

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 11, 2011 9:07 AM | Report abuse

maritza1, January 2013 is hardly "tomorrow".

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 11, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

""Walker signs it today but it can be undone tomorrow by 3 things: take back the State Senate by recall 2011, recall Walker in January 2012, take the assembly in 2012 and then that law can be reversed.""

4.) Wisconsin court finds that the Beelzebublicans pulled a fast one in getting the thang passed through the Senate.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | March 11, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

mike -- regarding your first point, it doesn't apply to social security. more accurately, it would be:

"i paid for it and got a promise from a politician that it will be there for me."

as there is no contractual right to social security benefits, congress can change the program at any time. that was the point behind the private account proposal, regardless of how there were invested. the idea being once you have a numbered account, you would have a contractual right that Congress couldn't take away.

so how much faith you put in the political process is entirely up to you. it's a tax that's been marketed as some sort of social contract, but it's nothing of the sort. they could repeal the entire social security act and nobody would have any legal claim to the taxes they've paid. obviously, it will be politically difficult for them to alter benefits, there's nothing stopping them from doing so.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 11, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse

claw, I don't know where you copy/pasted that info from but I'm finding the identical opening line on another site.

"Article vii of the wisconsin constitution requires a three-fifths quorum only for statutes that are fiscal that is statutes that actually appropriate money."

http://www.drugrehabaddictions.com/Article-VII-8-Of-The-Wisconsin-Constitution-Requires-A-Three-fifths-Quorum-Only-For-Statutes-That-Are-Fiscal.php

Either you are plagiarizing or someone else is and you are just claiming you wrote that...Upon further searching, it appears you are plagiarizing someone from FreeRepublic and just rewording a bit.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2683623/posts

Or are you big bog?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 11, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

"" the idea being once you have a numbered account, you would have a contractual right that Congress couldn't take away.""

But the Masters of the Universe could lose on your behalf in the Great Casino.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | March 11, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

My favorite tweet of the day: "Said it before, I'll say it again: Scott Walker is the best thing to happen to Dem activism since George W. Bush."

Scott Walker and the overreaching Republican governors is why Obama will win in 2012. Democrats are pissed off particularly in the heartland of Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, etc where these governors are trying to take away workers' rights.

Just as health care reform awoke the sleeping Republican party, taking away collective bargaining has awoken the Democratic party.

According to pollsters the enthusiasm gap has been erased between Republicans and Democrats. By the time 2012 comes around Democrats will be even more enthused especially since the Republican nominee for president will be a dud.

Posted by: maritza1 | March 11, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

"But the Masters of the Universe could lose on your behalf in the Great Casino."

also true.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 11, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The R's in Florida have held the state hostage for the past 15 years culminating this year with the election of tea bagger Rick the Fraudster to be dictator.

In fairness the two decades prior to the R's ascendancy were years of Dem control. Things started off well with increased integration, growth management laws, and other good things for the state. But after awhile the Dems grew fat and lazy and participants in the same kind of bribery the R's are now experiencing.

The problem is the moronic teabaggers are so addled, old, and confused they say one thing and do another...such as let's throw the bums out. Instead they gave our lovely state and dictator for Governor, and veto proof majorities in both houses for the R's. This is after 15 years of watching crime and corruption run rampant in Tallahassee. One of the leading practioners, Marco Rubio who quadrupled his income during his tenure as Speaker of the Florida House was rewarded for his graft and corruption by ousting a centrist R Crist in the race for the U.S. Senate.

It is the bi-partisan chicanery that makes people like NoVA justifiably suspicious of ALL politicians. We see this phenomenon taking place not just in Florida but around the country in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan....When will it end?

When the people wake up and become engaged...or as Johnny Mathis used to sing..."The 12th of Never".

Our founding fathers thought they had discovered a great system of checks and balances. But it really hasn't worked.
A Supreme Court now containing Koch stooges like Thomas and Scalia, a Congress largely bought and paid for by the big special interests, and a President who will take a huge net in campaign contributions from Wall Street. The only real system of checks and balances is at the polls and I'm not sure our voters are involved enough...YET. As the pain an misery index continue to climb, more foreclosures, more unemployed, more rights seized..perhaps the 12th of Never is just around the corner. One can always hope.

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 11, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

"quarterback1, Walker will be recalled within a year.

They only need 500,000 signatures and unions members will make up the bulk of those signatures with their spouses, friends, and loved one getting the rest."

Maybe he will, maybe he won't. Maybe you'll succeed in replacing him with Feingold, and then maybe the middle class, business owners, and the rest of the public will get 500k signatures and recall Feingold.

If the bulk of the WI public ultimately decides to go back into servitude to public union bosses and corrupt Democrats, so be it. They'll pay the price in long-term decline, and people inclined to be free will likely flow out of the state.

Walker and the WI GOP have done heroic work either way. There' no free lunch in the long run.


Posted by: quarterback1 | March 11, 2011 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I thought that the recall statute required 25% signatures? You do realize that simply triggers a recall election where the 1,128,887 who voted for him in November will get to vote for him again? Regardless, January 2013 is not "tomorrow". I am done with you.

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 11, 2011 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Clawrence12,

January 2012 is basically just around the corner. Just as Republicans did not forget about health carer reform passing, Democrats in Wisconsin won't forget that workers' collective bargaining rights were stripped away in 2011.

Unions are incredibly organized.

He will be recalled in January 2012.

Posted by: maritza1 | March 11, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse

mikefromArlington, as I noted in the PARENTHESIS ("they look like this") that excerpt is from Volokh.com. Nice try though.

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 11, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Clawrence 12,

Walker can be recalled in 2012 NOT 2013. He will be gone for sure. They only need 500,000 signatures. It will be done.

Posted by: maritza1 | March 11, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

ruk -- saw your posting the other day from the newbie re: unions and patronage. wasn't the idea of the permanent bureaucracy designed to eliminate the problem of the spoils system? i don't think the unions were a response to that particular problem, but I might be wrong. i think the unions weren't intended to prevent patronage, but just address who we deal with the system that was already in place to address that problem.

i don't think unions are a good check on that. instead of hiding your patronage jobs in mid or low level jobs, now they go to the higher ups and appointments level positions.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 11, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

"When did heartless un-Christian-like vindictiveness become such a corner stone and a badge of honor on the right?"

Clearly, you haven't been paying attention at all during your life. It goes like this:

1) "I am a member of group A, which is the bestest group ever, most loved by God and always right about everything."

2) "Some members of groups B*, C* and D*, who are different from me and therefore clearly inferior, are making more money/happier/better off than I am, which goes against God's will." (* - use any of these interchangeably: "black people", "hispanic people", "immigrants", "non-Chrisitans", "non-penis possessing","not Republican", etc. etc. Sometimes you'll see them make up terms to try to hide who it is they're convinced has turned their life into a steaming bowl of crap, i.e. "Cadillac-driving welfare queen", "godless communist", "socialist", etc.)

3. "There ought to be a law that everyone has to recognized and respect my superiority, because god knows I'll never get any recognition or respect otherwise - that would require actual accomplishments."

4. "If I can't make them by law recognize and respect me, I can at least try to use the law to make sure they aren't better off than I am. Then I'll WIN."

Same as it ever was. Rinse and repeat.

Posted by: JennOfArk | March 11, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse

"Why attacking our children's educators excites right wing conservatives is beyond me."

What is beyond you is that it has nothing to do with "attacking our children's educators."

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 11, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Absolutely, 'eviscerates' is a word that might incite the unhinged to hang Michelle Bachmann's carcass from a gambrel and take a butcher knife to her belly, or at least, some mental health expert says that is a fair question to bring up or something like that.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 11, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Clawrence12,

Several polls have Walker's approval ratings in the 30's including the Republican Rasmussen poll. People have buyers' remorse. If the election would happen today he would be gone.

When you take people's rights away like that people don't forget. January 2012 isn't that far away.

Posted by: maritza1 | March 11, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone on the left address the SUBSTANCE of the legal arguments defending this new law?

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 11, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

@NoVA

"so how much faith you put in the political process is entirely up to you."

Exactly, And my personal experience leads me to put a lot more faith in the political process, much as I have just demeaned it, than I do "private" retirement options. The rest well diversified in real estate and our business which also lost value! My "private" options just went in the tank as my wife and I saw 40% of our net worth disappear in less than a year. Much of it in "professionally" managed retirement accounts. Meanwhile our Social Security Statement that comes annually since our 60th birthday has held steady. This means whereas before I thought we would not really need SS...now thanks to the banksters and derivative traders I and my wife will REALLY need SS and Medicare. Our $20,000 + in annual health insurance premiums have also contributed to our financial challenges.

Do you suppose I'm going to sit in my house and let folks like Rick the Fraudster steal from the taxpayers, get rewarded with a Governor's mansion and let them mess with MY SS? Not likely. And like most "exceptional" and brave Americans I am armed! If they try to take away or diminish my SS in any serious way I would also become dangerous.

The wealthy in this country have had a pass for long enough!

And so given those circumstances can you give me ONE plausible reason why I should trust banksters and con men derivative traders more than the Gov't?

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 11, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Clawrence12,

Several polls have Walker's approval ratings in the 30's including the Republican Rasmussen poll. People have buyers' remorse. If the election would happen today he would be gone.

When you take people's rights away like that people don't forget. January 2012 isn't that far away.

Posted by: maritza1 | March 11, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

If Republican office holders take the example from WI to show spine and fight for policies they were elected to follow, it will energize Republicans and increase their turnout. The chronic Republican failure of resolve led to their 2008 debacle. I'm glad Democrats are completely oblivious to this reality and are giddy over the "reenergized" (tiny) base of the Big Labor left.

If the national GOP follows suit, Dems might never know what hit them politically in the next several cycles. After all, the same people proclaiming this the suicide of the GOP had declared it dead two years ago. Right long-time Plumers?

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 11, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for the horrible editing...hopefully you can see where I inserted the phrase "the rest... " was misplaced in my horrid editing. Apologies all.

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 11, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"After all, the same people proclaiming this the suicide of the GOP had declared it dead two years ago."

I wasn't here, but elsewhere, I declared just after Obama beat The Clintons, that the GOP would get its act together to realistically contest the White House by 2016. I stand by that prediction and I'll be horrified if I am wrong. But I'll soldier on, somehow.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 11, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

shrink,

I hadn't even caught that. Greg is promoting political violance, AGAIN! He's always going on about skewering, puncturing, eviscerating ....

And just look at the rest of his post -- next labor "fight," unions will "target businesses who back Walker," another "takedown of the day," NPR "pushes back." For heaven's sake, Greg, stop the hate and violence speech before you get someone seriously hurt or killed!

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 11, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

ruk:

""This means whereas before I thought we would not really need SS...now thanks to the banksters and derivative traders I and my wife will REALLY need SS and Medicare.""

A perfect opportunity for you to educate the rest of us. Perhaps you could explain to the board how a fixed income derivative works (start with, say, a simple plain vanilla interest rate swap) and point out how trading in these instruments is responsible for your woes. I'm extremely curious.

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 11, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

quarterback1, not ALL Democrats are completely oblivious to this reality (I'm certain that some are very concerned). At least the 16% of respondents (the smart ones) on The Ed Shultz show conceded that the Wisc. Republicans have won their union-busting battle.

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 11, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

ruk, on behalf of my profession, I object to your calling supreme Court Justices "Koch stooges". Scalia is brilliant, somewhat consistent, often an absolutist on the First and Sixth Amendments, at least, and I wish he could influence the Kochs. But he was a "Federalist Society" booster before the Kochs began hosting FS and while I often think his angry dissents are over the top, I appreciate the intellect and energy he devotes to the Court and the country.

I would never have selected him to serve on my hypothetical Supremes, but I sure would not have voted against his appointment were I a Senator, not even in hindsight, and I have disagreed with his opinions and dissents more than I have with those of any other current Justice, save Justice Thomas.

And while I think of Justice Thomas as not in the same class of extraordinary lawyers as the other eight, he too is not somebody else's stooge.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 11, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

"If Republican office holders take the example from WI to show spine and fight for policies they were elected to follow..."

Perhaps it would be helpful if they told people what they planned to do if elected...you know, like Walker and the WI Republicans DIDN'T do. If they were fighting "for policies they were elected to follow" they wouldn't currently have approval ratings in the 30s.

Then again, if Republicans ran on what their actual policy goals are, far fewer of them would be elected. Sure, they'd probably still do well in the South running on their "re-institute Jim Crow" platform, but everywhere else their "cut rich people's taxes and balance the budget by cutting the services the rest of you peons rely on" probably wouldn't go over so well.

Posted by: JennOfArk | March 11, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

ruk -- frankly i don't trust them either that much. but it comes down to this. those accounts have lost value, but they are yours. you social security statement can be taken away by a legislative vote, and i guess that leaves you with the Sharon Angle remedies.

i guess dealing with the fraudsters and con men is better, because as least they don't pretend otherwise. i trust wall street more than a government promise. i have other issues with social security -- namely the inability to inherit benefits, and the lack of means testing.

i realize I've been flirting with troll territory the past couple of days. rough week. I'll be better next week.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 11, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

qb, it is true, for all the moral homilies and darkly stated if not entirely serious warnings we endured in re Laughner (and Palin sure swallowed the lure), everyone's return to quasi- and sometimes outright violent political hyperbole was inevitable.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 11, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

shrink,

Around here there were months and months of proclamations that the GOP was permanently finished and would never be a signficant threat again -- just a "regional, redneck rump party" representing a few racist hicks and a few plutocrats and their lackeys.


Ethan (nka ronnieandrush) was all over that meme. So were man others. It seemed to be a delusion particularly (although not exclusively) attactive to the young and foolish.

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 11, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Scott

Why would I need to explain those derivatives Scott?
What point or non sequitor are you trying to toss out here?

Perhaps you can explain to the rest of us how derivatives worked in packaging the sub prime mortgages. I have a Real Estate Broker's license and am familiar with those, having been encouraged to purchase some. When I objected that whoa aren't "subprime" risky by definition? The person encouraging me, a real estate attorney who claimed he was making money hand over fist with them, told me don't worry they're backed by the real estate securing them. Thankfully that didn't convince me.

However if I had been part of the "Wall Street" crowd and someone had told me, don't worry you purchase this insurance called Credit Default Swaps to protect your investment...I might have taken the leap...not being the "sophisticated" investor which is what you are trying to point out. I would have assumed that "insurance" was required by Gov't regulation to have a certain amount of "collatorilization" behind like most forms of insurance. Not worth nothing more than the paper the insurance was recorded.

Scott we are all aware right now that you are trading derivatives as part of a hedging process that legitimately protects large entities against the vagaries of currency swings.

If you want me to state unequivocally that not all "derivatives traders" are scum and that some have use to society...OK...Not all derivative traders are scum and "some" have a use for society. Having said that there are plenty of "traders" period that add nothing to society but misery, They are scam artists and many of them should have gone to jail for the crap they pulled that helped lead to this economic tragedy.

BTW I'm not just talking about "derivatives" here...I'm not well educated enough, nor informed enough, but I have a "belief" that there are "traders" "speculators" who are exacerbating our current gas price problem.

There has been no DECREASE in supply of oil, in fact the Saudi's have guaranteed to make up for any decrease in supply that might be caused by the Libyan situation. There has been no SUDDEN INCREASE in demand for oil. Perhaps you Scott in your infinite wisdom can explain then who it is that there HAS been a sudden increase in the price of gasoline.

If supply hasn't been hampered, if demand hasn't increased dramatically, isn't it just logical to assume that somewhere some "traders" "speculator" "middlemen" are gaming the system?

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 11, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Golly, Jenn, I thought it was common knowledge that abolition of all unions and worker rights, return to the 12-hour, 7-day work week, child labor, etc. were the main policy goals of all Republicans.

It's just so hard to keep up with someone as smart as you and always three moves ahead.

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 11, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

"I thought it was common knowledge that abolition of all unions and worker rights, return to the 12-hour, 7-day work week, child labor, etc. were the main policy goals of all Republicans. "

You joke but that would be the ideal conservative Republican result for the Club for Growth, CoC and Koch industries along with Turd Blossom's PAC all with the help of Fox.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 11, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

"There has been no SUDDEN INCREASE in demand for oil. Perhaps you Scott in your infinite wisdom can explain then who it is that there HAS been a sudden increase in the price of gasoline."

Maybe Al Gore has built another mansion, or is flying around to promote AGW again.

I don't know the facts about current supply and demand trends, but I am fairly sure that if there is no increase in demand then there is no economic recovery underway. Maybe that's what ruk is claiming.

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 11, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse

@NoVA

"i realize I've been flirting with troll territory the past couple of days. rough week. I'll be better next week. "

You're fine this week NoVA. Obviously we disagree on quite a few things. But I've never found you to come off as a blind ideologue and you always provide "rational" thoughts to go along with your posts.

In fact I'll pay you the highest compliment...while my overall sense is that you are a conservative person, I wouldn't call you a "C"onservative because you haven't yet relinquished your ability to think freely. :-) I don't find you taking sides in any issue simply because that's the "side" you are on. You generally spend a lot of time considering "both" sides. I never mind disagreeing with a person thoughtful enough to at least "consider" both sides.

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 11, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Please do not get sucked into a "debate" with clawrence12 AKA JakeD AKA JimmyDork, Stanford '61.

Posted by: Observer691 | March 11, 2011 10:09 AM | Report abuse

""If supply hasn't been hampered, if demand hasn't increased dramatically, isn't it just logical to assume that somewhere some "traders" "speculator" "middlemen" are gaming the system?""

Siwwy Wabbit -- this is how hard-working, salt-of-the-Earth, Real Americans make their hard-earned millions.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | March 11, 2011 10:09 AM | Report abuse

The Department of Energy's take on the jump int the price of oil. they put these reports out monthly.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/steo/pub/contents.html

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

"You joke but that would be the ideal conservative Republican result for the Club for Growth, CoC and Koch industries along with Turd Blossom's PAC all with the help of Fox."

Not really. We wouldn't be happy without the return of poor houses, debtors' prisons, and a higher percentage of children homeless. Also widespread use of lead plumbing and repeal of fire codes.

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 11, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

*Republicans Save 1500 Jobs*

Governor Walker directed state agencies to rescind layoff notices because the Legislature passed the budget-repair bill.
http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/117794798.html

=====
“The Legislature helped us save 1,500 middle-class jobs by moving forward this week with the budget repair. The state will now be able to realize $30 million in savings to balance the budget and allow 1,500 state employees to keep their jobs. The reforms contained in this legislation, which require modest health care and pension contributions from all public employees, will help put Wisconsin on a path to fiscal sustainability."
=====

Dem fleebaggers lost this opportunity to ride to the rescue. Had they returned a few days ago and faced the inevitable, they could have claimed to do so in an attempt to rescue those workers targeted for layoffs.

Now the Republican Senators can (rightly) boast to have passed the bill to keep state workers from losing their jobs-- while Fleebagger Democrats cynically vacationed in Illinois.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 11, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

First, the trainwreck that was the mid-terms. Now, the DemoUnion bust-up in Wisconsin.

It looks like Obamacrats are running against the tide of history here.

Two years ago, the snooty liberals were spitting on the graves of the conservative movement and G.O.P.

The theme is obvious.

The Obamanation seems to be but an annoying speed bump in the road to America's ultimate destination.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 11, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

And you still joke as if those aren't goals of the conservative Republican's that are pro-business, anti-worker.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 11, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Any guesses how many short ribs Michelle "Antoinette" Obama toted home for breakfast this morning in her new $1000 handbag?
http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2011/03/10/michelle-obama-sports-1000-handbag/

*Everyone must sacrifice*
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GJX8bXduLM&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 11, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

@Mark in Austin

"ruk, on behalf of my profession, I object to your calling supreme Court Justices "Koch stooges".

Your objection is duly noted.

Seriously I respect you greatly Mark.
Like NoVA you do not come across as an ideologue or blind partisan. I feel certain you have forgotten more about the law than I'll ever know.

Having said that...while I take your point that Koch Stooges is harsh...I think the Supremes..the two I've mentioned anyway have indeed brought shame to the court if only in appearances and not reality. Scalia was the one who bristled the most in the furor over whether it's appropriate for Supremes to get "honoraria". I'm not lawyer but NO Scalia should not get honoraria (viewed by thinking laypeople as a "bribe" er..conflict of interest) And to describe the disdain with which I hold Thomas and the activities of his wife Ginny would be another entire post.

I'm actually sorry Mark that "your profession" hadn't made a bigger deal out of Scalia's attitudes towards "honoraria" and hanging out with the Kochs' Calling it the "Federalist Society" or whatever doesn't change the fact that two Supremes who just handed down a tremendously controversial decision in CU that greatly increased the POWER of already powerful wealthy brothers,(let's be honest Mark they could be legitimately defined as oligarchs) then decide to spend so much time with the beneficiaries of that decision.

Can you at least concede Mark it LOOKS bad?

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 11, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

ruk:

""Why would I need to explain those derivatives Scott?""

You don't "need" to at all. I'm just curious how "derivatives" and/or "derivatives traders" were responsible for your finaincial losses, as you claim. Obviously you are perfectly free to leave the claim withour explanation and/or substantiation, if that is your wont.

""What point or non sequitor are you trying to toss out here?""

No non sequitor at all. It is a direct question regarding a specific claim you made.

Ultimately, however, I suspect that you (like others here, as I demonstrated a week or so ago) actually don't know the first thing about "derivatives" and simply use it as a generic bogeyman, probably because you once read somewhere that derivatives are "bad things". But, of course, I could be entirely wrong about that, so I asked the question.

""If you want me to state unequivocally that not all "derivatives traders" are scum and that some have use to society...OK""

Nope. I don't particularly care about your opinion of me or some or all "derivatives traders" or how much "use" to society we are. I'm guessing you don't know a single one or what they do (the fact that you refer to them generically as "derivatives traders" when in fact there are all manner of differnt kinds of derivative instruments for different markets that trade in different ways for different purposes is strong evidence that my guess is right) and so your opinion on the matter isn't really worth much either way, I suspect.

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 11, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Hey Kaddafi, how many web sites do you spam the same garbage over and over?

I counted over a dozen yesterday. How many browsers do you have opened so you can just copy/paste the same jibberish over and over? 20? 30 maybe?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 11, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Since the "shame" is not real, by all means play up the appearances. Same thing Newt and Huck are doing as to Barack.

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 11, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Hey, mikefromArlington, how many web sites do you actually address the SUBSTANCE of arguments rather than false accusations of plagiarism? Oh, that's right, none.

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 11, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@NoVA

Thanks ever so much for that link to the DOE energy report.

Lots of info to digest but at least it offers some explanation.
Missing in all of it was the Saudi promise to up their production to make up for that 1.8mbbl daily of now missing Libyan oil. Perhaps the Saudi's were just posturing.

The next big debate will be whether to release our strategic reserves this summer to help mitigate the spike in prices.
I'm not well educated enough or well informed enough to know whether that would be effective or desirable or too risky.

It's clear however that these rising gas prices are going to crush any recovery in our economy and could indeed play a huge factor in the '12 elections. This is probably the Obama Administrations greatest fear...well 2nd greatest behind another large terrorist attack like 9/11.

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 11, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

[rukidding7: "Can you at least concede Mark it LOOKS bad?"]

You know what LOOKS bad? Wookie 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

BREAKING: France leads while Obama fiddles
http://www.france24.com/en/20110310-France-NTC-national-transitional-council-embassy-Libya

In a major diplomatic victory for the Libyan opposition, France has become the first country to formally recognise Libya’s rebel leadership, pledging to exchange ambassadors between Paris and the Libyan opposition stronghold of Benghazi... Ahead of the Brussels meeting, AFP reported that Sarkozy would propose “targeted airstrikes” in Libya as a way to end the violence.

*Sarkozy Doctrine*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 11, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Any guesses how many short ribs Michelle "Antoinette" Obama toted home for breakfast this morning in her new $1000 handbag?

Kaddafi, you're so witty and clever!

Posted by: LeftCoast5 | March 11, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

All, great post from Adam Serwer taking down Marc Thiessen:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | March 11, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Looks like it's the end of this thread (yeah) but I'm going to drop this in here instead of moving to the next one. Marcy Wheeler caught this and I find it both interesting and revealing.

Sometimes the truth has a way of slipping out:

"" I just heard an extraordinary remark from State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley. He was speaking to a small audience at MIT on “the benefits of new media as it relates to foreign policy”, an event organised by the Center for Future Civic Media.

Around twenty of us were sitting around the table listening to his views on social media, the impact of the Twittersphere, the Arab uprisings, and so on, in a vast space-age conference room overlooking the Charles River and the Boston skyline. And then, inevitably, one young man said he wanted to address “the elephant in the room”. What did Crowley think, he asked, about Wikileaks? About the United States, in his words, “torturing a prisoner in a military brig”? Crowley didn’t stop to think. What’s being done to Bradley Manning by my colleagues at the Department of Defense “is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.”

Wow. Crowley has spent the last several months condemning the abuse of Middle Eastern dictators against their citizens. And now, in a room of twenty people, Crowley has condemned the abuse our own country commits.""

Posted by: lmsinca | March 11, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Scott

Way to dodge the actual issue and simply defend YOUR turf.
I told you of the "derivatives" of which I was aware.

"Ultimately, however, I suspect that you (like others here, as I demonstrated a week or so ago) actually don't know the first thing about "derivatives" and simply use it as a generic bogeyman, probably because you once read somewhere that derivatives are "bad things""

I gave you a very SPECIFIC example, not a generic one in response to your post. I was talking about those who created "derivatives" out of sub prime mortgages. I added in the thieves who created CDS scams which were not backed by any collateral. I asked you to "explain" your views on them and yet you took a complete pass.

I'm not surprised though from a pompous arse like you Scott.
You come on this board and continually make fun of people because they do not understand the minutia of your arcane job and we are supposed to be impressed.

Well you've succeeded at least with DDAWD...he calls you "the smartest conservative ever". LMAO

As for me I think you're more closely akin to the Wizard of Oz.

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 11, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

claw, are you Kaddafi's boyfriend or something? I'm sure the half wit can defend himself.

And, I missed the part where you attributed that to someone else. So, which one of your brilliant arguments should I challenge?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 11, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

BTW Is it time for all of us to send our thoughts and prayers to the Japanese and our hopes that Hawaii is not totally wasted.

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 11, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I don't know squat about derivatives, but I know this much: Scott is a parasite who doesn't make a damn thing of value to humanity. Just another Galtian "producer" who doesn't "produce" diddly-squat, just moves around pieces of paper both real and imaginary, while skimming off the top money that was generated by actual WORK on the part of those he considers to be "parasites."

Posted by: JennOfArk | March 11, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I'm perfectly fine with Europe defending their oil supply. It's about time they step up to the plate.

The U.S. doesn't always have to be involved. We dish out the most blood/cash for most global intervention and all we get back is a bunch of flack. Let the Europeans deal with their backdoor problems and let Kaddafi, the mad spammer of dozens of internet sites spam away.

Still though Kaddafi, I'm serious. I counted over a dozen of the exact same statements you posted. Is that all you or are there an army of mindless dolts as yourself spamming the same garbage on blogs across the internet.

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

Kaddafi said "Wookie Michelle clomping along in her potatoe sack and heels"

Let me guess, that wasn't really a racist comment. It was just a funny joke, *wink* *wink*

Hey so conservatives. Do you think calling the first lady a wookie is OK? Please, lets hear it from you serious conservatives.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 11, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

"The next big debate will be whether to release our strategic reserves this summer to help mitigate the spike in prices."

politics only. would do nothing to the price, because it's not really replacing anything. that system is designed for short term emergencies, like a hurricane. Katrina was the last time it was opened, becuase the supplies couldn't come in. and they let 9 million barrels out. we go through 20 million barrels a day in the US.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 11, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Kaddafi said "Wookie Michelle clomping along in her potatoe sack and heels"

Let me guess, that wasn't really a racist comment. It was just a funny joke, *wink* *wink*

Hey so conservatives. Do you think calling the first lady a wookie is OK? Please, lets hear it from you serious conservatives.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 11, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Gov. Walker has signed and rescinded layoff notices.

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 11, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

"I don't know squat about derivatives, but I know this much: Scott is a parasite who doesn't make a damn thing of value to humanity."

Spoken like a true Bolshevik. Or just someone who's really ignorant and stupid. Lots of overlap there. Really, one of the stupidest things I've ever seen here.

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 11, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"politics only. would do nothing to the price,"

Perhaps the President agrees with you NoVA since he doesn't seem interested in talking much about that as a solution.

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 11, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

qb, It's true though. you don't seem to give a damn about the working class. You joke when examples of efforts are underway to increase the power of business over the working class as though its some sort of victory for America.

Trashing and demoralizing our educators and those building this country from the ground up is no way to build a strong society.

Why run from what you are projecting? If you don't want people to think you are a heartless turd then don't act like a heartless turd.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 11, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

"he doesn't seem interested in talking much about that as a solution."

smart guy. would look pretty bad for him if/when they opened it up and prices still went up. it only holds about a months worth of oil, based on our current consumption.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 11, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

RUK, I will buy "looks bad" to the general public.

But when former ACLU counsel RBG is a guest of honor at ACLU banquet, does that "look bad"? What about one week seminars taught at law schools? Should my Austin Federal Bar Association not have paid J. Breyer when he spoke at our annual dinner? Is your line on honoraria or on who pays them?

The Federalist Society is a conservative legal group full of good lawyers. Three of its alums [I think] are Supremes now. Why would not the FS invite them?

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

When you have something of substance to say, mike, feel free to share it. There's nothing to respond to in your little flurry of leftist cliches and fighting words.

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

How come I haven't read *a single* conservative here calling for axeing the collective bargaining rights of police and fire?

Are y'all that naked in your partisan hypocrisy?

Thought so...

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

[mikey whined: "Do you think calling the first lady a wookie is OK?"]

I apologize for offending wookies. That was a cheap shot.

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

Just calling a spade a spade qb.

So qb, do you think it's fine for Qaddafi to call the first lady a "Wookie Michelle clomping along in her potatoe sack and heels"

Come on qb, I want to hear the conservative argument on this claim she is a wookie.

Please, your think you're a smart guy. Lets hear your intelligent defense of this guys claim.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 11, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

"How come I haven't read *a single* conservative here calling for axeing the collective bargaining rights of police and fire?"

Probably because that hasn't been the question on the table. But I'd favor it. No reason to exempt them. Police in my metropolitan area behave like a sorry lot, and it's in no small part because of their union power. Government is the expression of the benevolent will of the public, which wants government workers to have the best pay and benefits possible, and the easiest work. No need for unions.

"Are y'all that naked in your partisan hypocrisy?"

Why aren't rent-a-mobs shutting down the governments of all the other states where government employees don't have collective bargaining? Why haven't you been screaming about the end of civilization?


Posted by: quarterback1 | March 11, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

[Mikey shrieked: "Wookie Michelle"... wasn't really a racist comment."]

You got me. I'm a closet racist toward StarWars characters.

*paging ChimpyMcHaliburton*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 11, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

[mikey spate: "Just calling a spade a spade"]

Wookies forgive mikey's wacist attack on spades.

*stay classy*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 11, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

@Mark

Sorry but I think honoraria for the Supremes is wrong no matter who or which organization pays them. I understand expenses, but even those should be tightly controlled and not unlimited.

If this means that the Supremes stop public speaking engagements totally, that does not disturb me. In fact I'm not really sure I'm that comfortable with the Supremes making public appearances even before legitimate groups like yours in Austin.

I'm thinking purely from a cost/benefit standpoint here. The amount of knowledge shared in these meetings versus the risk of politicization of the court..even by other entities such as law schools and bar associations.

Just MHO Mark but I think the 9 Supremes should be as pure as the driven snow. Perhaps too idealistic but an idea worth pursuing. I want them insulated from all manner of politics.
I agree with Scott in fact that they should not attend SOTU's.
They need to remain in their ivory towers far above any influence from any special interests.

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 11, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

ruk:

""Way to dodge the actual issue and simply defend YOUR turf.""

The "actual issue" was the one I questioned you about, and so that is what I remained focused on, ignoring your attempt to change the topic to oil prices.

""I told you of the "derivatives" of which I was aware. ""

Which demonstrated that, as I suspected, you don't really know what you are talking about. The packaging of subprime mortgages is not an example of a "derivative". It is a collateralized security. And with regard to CDS, which is a derivative, as applied to the mortgage market, the problem was not the use of CDS, but rather the lack of use. As the housing market became overheated due to too much and too easy lending, a lot of pressure would have been taken out of the market if there were people around willing to short the housing market (or, more accurately, short the credit market for houses). And the only way to short the housing market is by buying credit protection (ie CDS) on MBS. (Michael Lewis' book The Big Short is apparently about the few guys who did precisely this...I have not read it yet). Had more people been buying protection thru CDS, it would have signalled that lending was getting out of control and taken a bit of air out of the housing bubble, or at least burst it sooner than it did, thus blunting the eventual effects of it.

I'm sorry, ruk, but your view of "derivatives" is an uninformed caricature.

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 11, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

The Repuke leader in the Wisconsin Senate has admitted the main point of the anti-union legislation was to hurt Obama's reelection bid.

Care to defend that, rightwingnut droolers?

Posted by: Observer691 | March 11, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

The Repuke leader in the Wisconsin Senate has admitted the main point of the anti-union legislation was to hurt Obama's reelection bid.

Care to defend that, rightwingnut droolers?

Posted by: Observer691 | March 11, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

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