Saturday’s mishmash

Hi guys,

Have a great weekend.

1. Weekly Address:

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2. Dear Florida, the president told you not to give them the keys back, right? Well, Bye-Bye high-speed rail.

LaHood puts Florida rail money up for grabs

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Friday he was officially making the $2.4 billion in high speed rail money that had been rejected by Florida available to other states.

LaHood has repeatedly said there was a great deal of interest in building high speed railways, despite Florida’s rejection. Last week, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) became the third newly-elected GOP governor to turn down the funds.

The transportation secretary has said he would have no trouble finding another state to take the money.

He said on Friday that new applications for the funds would be collected until April 4th.

“The Obama administration’s bold high-speed rail plan will create jobs, reinvigorate our manufacturing sector and spur economic development for years to come,” LaHood said in a statement.

“States across the country have been banging down our door for the opportunity to receive additional high-speed rail dollars and to deliver all of its economic benefits to their citizens,” he added.

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3. New Rutgers poll in New jersey:

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4. NYT editorial:

It’s Not Over in Wisconsin

 ….And, in doing so, they reluctantly exposed the real truth behind the maneuver: stripping the unions of their rights was never about the budget, especially once the unions had agreed to significant concessions on pensions and health care. It was always about politics. Governor Walker had hoped to hide behind a cooked-up budget crisis, but the fleeing Democrats at least succeeded in pulling away that facade.

Undermining public unions — and the support they give to Democrats — has been a long-sought goal of the Republican Party and many of its corporate backers. Koch Industries, one of the party’s biggest supporters, spent $1.2 million last year to help elect Mr. Walker and other Republican governors who want to eliminate or reduce bargaining rights. On Wednesday, the State Senate’s Republican leader, Scott Fitzgerald, told Fox News that if unions lose the battle for their rights, they would have less money to help President Obama win re-election.

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More broadly, the overreach by Mr. Walker and Republicans elsewhere has finally revealed their true agenda to blue-collar voters who either voted for them last year or who stayed home. These voters are not going to benefit from a crippled union movement; they live next door to the teachers and nurses and D.M.V. clerks who are about to lose what little clout they had in the state capital. Many have suffered during the recession and have watched in pain as private-sector unions have been battered to the point of ineffectiveness.

They understand the power play that took place this week. The place to exercise some power of their own is at the voting booth.

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