Saturday’s mishmash

Hi guys,

Have a great weekend.

1. Weekly Address:


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.


3. New Rutgers poll in New jersey:


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.


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.



148 thoughts on “Saturday’s mishmash

  1. Good morning everyone! Am I first! Wow! Love the picture of FLOTUS dropping the puck. So much better than Sarah.

    The Times article is wonderful. About time the msm report this.

  2. Thanks for this excellent mishmash. I will pass these links along. Good weekend to all!

  3. Good morning everyone. Hope you have a wonderful Saturday. Love the NJ poll. What was that loudmouth Christie said about he knows he can win? In the words of Tweety — Hah!

  4. Good morning and happy weekend, everyone!

    So, the high-speed rail thing has me very intrigued. I can see two great corridors being started with the funds not rejected by idiot gop governors: something like 1) East Coast New York to Boston and 2) West Coast California to Oregon and 3) Southwest New Mexico, Colorado, etc.

    Exciting. They need to start breaking ground asap.

  5. Happy weekend everyone.!! 😀

    From my twitter timeline:

    RT @WestWingReport: President’s Week Ahead: Mon.-speech on education at a Virginia middle school; Danish PM Rasmussen. Tue. & Wed.-White House meetings;

    RT @WestWingReport: President’s Week Ahead: Thurs.-Irish PM Kenny; St. Patrick’s Day lunch on Capitol Hill; St. Patrick’s Day reception in PM;

    RT @WestWingReport: President’s Week Ahead: Fri.-travels to Brazil. President & First Family also visiting Chile and El Salvador. Returns Mar. 23

  6. The NYT editorial says it all. The middle class isn’t falling for the GOTeaparty’s “we’re broke” chicken little crap. They’re passing ID laws, union busting laws and laws to limit student voting to position rethugs to steal the White House (again) in 2012. In the words of Dubya – fool me once, shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again! 🙂

  7. I’ll be very interested in the President’s trip to South and Central America.

    For quite a while now, most of our national attention has been focused on the Middle East. Many people forget that there have been equally powerful movements away from dictators and towards democracy to the south of our border.

  8. Good Morning Everyone!

    1) Hey Florida! Thanks so much! Here in Oregon we are looking to improve our rail system. It would be great to high speed rail from Medford to Portland- much better than having to fly and could stimulate industry along the corridor, as it once was.

    2) And look at the FLOTUS!

  9. The protesters in Libya are losing ground and the remaining dictators in the ME are helping Gaddafi, while Russia stalls everything to keep its oil profits up and Europe sits on its fat thumbs. I’m really getting to dislike Angela Merkel who seems the very opposite of her given name – she is no angel.

  10. He warned democrats that this will happen but most liberals taught they wre punishing President oboma by staying home. We all have ourselves to blame for all of this . Where are the proffes,sional liberals that know it all, they lead people to believe oboma was the problem , I guess they did not see this coming. The sad part it does not affect them they can sell there you know what is three hundred and some million to be made afterall.

  11. Okay this is toooo good. Family values at work in Wisconsin. Found the following story on a Wisconsin blog about one of Scott Walker’s henchmen.

    Sen. Randy Hopper’s Wife Tells Protesters Hopper Is Living with 25-year-old mistress in Madison

    Update: Two sources in Fond du Lac close to the recall effort say the Hopper maid has signed the legal-sized recall sheet. The maid reportedly said it’s likely Hopper’s soon-to-be-ex wife will also sign the recall petition.

    Recall target, Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac), talks a good game about family values.

    But protesters outside the Hopper house this week in Fond du Lac were met by his wife who reportedly came out and told them: Hopper no longer lives there, but with his 25-year-old mistress in Madison.

    No confirmation on whether the divorcing wife signed that petition to recall Hopper who represents Wisconsin Senate District 18.

    Hopper has been a close ally with Gov. Scott Walker whose billionaire-funded attacks on Wisconsin families is drawing international attention and widespread condemnation.

  12. Yes indeed, I would love a high speed rail from San Diego,CA to Blaine, WA. This Californian loves WA state…Keep it Blue!

  13. Illinois has benefitted from funds redirected from Wi and Oh and initial construction is already underway for the Chgo to St. Louis run. Obama’s plan is for 80% of Americans to have access to high speed rail service within 25 years. It’s the future in transportation as airline ticket prices rise and our roads are clogged with congestion and an almost unbroken chain of trucks. (I can attest to that last fact by recently driving to Fl. from Il. and back—yikes)
    Gov. Numbnuts in Fl. seems to only be interested in tax breaks for corporations and slashing education funding, abolishing EPA water quality standards along with a series of other nutty plans—closing 53 state parks and turning them into golf courses—and being against anything that Obama is for. He seems determined to redefine crazy as someone put it, and many in the state, Repubs included, appear to be having buyers’ remorse. A Dem has introduced legislation which would allow for recall as no such provision now exists. Fl. mayors are attempting to form a last ditch coalition to save the rail plan, along with Sen. Nelson, but it has almost zero chance as they would need Scott’s cooperation at some point. He should be in prison for robbing Medicare of billions, and it is just inconceivable that this immoral crook was voted into office and is allowed to lead a state.
    And I echo all others in my gratitude to BWD for her great work here.

  14. Good one DC Sandy….so true. The millionaires and billionaires are positioning themselves to steal back the WH, HSE and Senate. We all need to get active now. Please everyone join OFA, get active, talk to new voters, young adults, and those that are feeling cheated from the past eight yrs of Bush & CO where “deficits did not matter”. They spent money on wars but now there’s no money for America’s citizens…BULL!

  15. Good Morning ALL,

    Thank you Blackwaterdog for your tireless dedication of providing us with how great our President is (also all the others on the Blog roll as well as the bloggers here). I am so thankful for you BWD. Have a great weekend and for those in the USA who observe daylight savings time, we spring forward tonight.

    Have a great weekend all!

  16. What is done in the dark will soon be brought out into the light.
    Republican Party is getting an earful from the laws of sowing and reaping.
    God will NOT be mocked. They call themselves Christians and followers in Christ Jesus yet they lie on God constantly while twisting the Word of God.

  17. lol! that last line is a trade mark of President Bush. It should remind us all of the 8 years of torments we had because of a number of forces that was against the working class.

  18. NLinStPaul,

    I read your excellent analysis on your blog. I especially liked this passage that should be heeded by all of who claim to be progressives:

    “…. history tells us that all of the battles won by the left in this country have been based on a partnership model of power…enough people finally spoke up in ways that couldn’t be ignored. We see that in the battle for civil rights, unions, women’s suffrage, anti-war, etc.”

  19. Excellent NL and the contrast between those governors and the direction their states are headed and the future minded (D) governor of my state and the positive direction we are headed will become more apparent each and every day. The husband put it well this A.M. they are boycotting the future.

  20. We know they are ALL hypocrites! This DOES NOT surprise me…they think they’re holier than thou, but we always find them out.Disgusting jackwagons that they are.Pathetic.

  21. Wow, I didn’t know construction was already underway. Thanks for the info. ObamaRail, full speed ahead :-).

    These TeaPublican governors have no vision and progress will simply pass their little, petty, backward-looking selves right on by. On a high-speed train, LOL.

  22. Thank you so much for your excellent analysis. I went to your blog and I love your writing. I will go there more often.

  23. LOL!!!!

    But protesters outside the Hopper house this week in Fond du Lac were met by his wife who reportedly came out and told them: Hopper no longer lives there, but with his 25-year-old mistress in Madison.

    No judgment in terms of consenting adults, but that scene is funny as I don’t know what.

  24. I’m going to restate my belief that we need to help that 25-28% of people who haven’t yet made up their minds about the Tea Party decide they feel unfavorably toward them.

    Casually introduce consequences of the Tea Party’s actions into conversations and guide the conversation toward people believing the Tea Party = Radical.

  25. Here’s another equation:
    Republicans want Obama to be a one-term President.
    Professional Lefties want Obama to be a one-term President.
    Therefore: Professional Lefties are Republicans.

  26. Govs Kitzhaber (OR) and Gregoire (WA) requesting HSR funds rejected by other states:

    SALEM, Ore. – Oregon is joining a growing list of states that are seeking federal high-speed rail money rejected by other states. Governor John Kitzhaber wrote a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood urging him to redeploy a portion of the rejected cash to Oregon.


    Washington Governor Chris Gregoire has also asked for a share of the money turned away by other states. Both Oregon and Washington received high-speed rail funding in an earlier round of grants.

  27. Something I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere, is that the Obama campaign in ’08 has had a substantial impact on what’s happening in WI. I know some people who have been very active in those protests from Day 1, and they received a lot of training from the Obama campaign, along with the re-surgence of Community Organizing in general, which President Obama helped tremendously.

    I know for a fact that many of the most active people in the Madison success are simply applying what they learned working on the Obama campaign. I’ve said since the ’08 campaign ended, that one of the most important things to come out of President Obama’s campaign is the training and inspiration for effective Organizing. We’re seeing proof of that right now in Madison, and more and more around the country.

  28. Extremely well said bonkers (and this is what’s driving the GOP crazy—POTUS has no direct involvement and thus they can’t make him the story, but these protests are definitely helped by what he started), and also seconding TigerFist thanking Nonie for this link.

  29. I was so hoping the people of WI would not give up hope after what happened this week.

    Why did I ever waste energy doubting them?

    This is truly an inspiration. I hope they know how many of us out here across the country are not only rooting for them, but drawing strength from them as well.

  30. thanks for the clip.

    lets note how the teabaggers never had any support in their early days like what these real (not corporate financed)grass roots protesters are having across our nation yet MSM kept the focus on them 24/7. I would bet any amount that this is not being shown on the major networks.

  31. Thanks, GN…and to you as well. Watching that traffic cam is pretty amazing. Where do all those people come from and to where are they going? Fascinating.

  32. Its been noted here and other level headed places that OFA has been major in helping the WI protesters from early on. Yet in the professional left world, Republican fake liberal ed Schulz and his ilk choose to ignore that and the GOP propaganda news station has been using that info in a negative light against our potus. These far right, far left career “obama” haters will always find something to faux outrage about.

  33. The netroots, and by extension, the PL which depends on the netroots for stories, has been contemptuous of OFA from the very beginning. Because OFA resides outside of the influence and control of the handful of editors in the netroots who basically run almost the entirety of the lefty new media, and who are prone to fits and tantrums should people decline to kiss their respective rings. Someone at wsy noted that a fauxgressive wrote a piece about wanting to infiltrate and take over OFA. It just…there’s no reasoning with this. It’s just crazy.

  34. Just checked HuffPoo, and under Japan major headline, which is understandable, only mention of Madison is headline, “Obama Shies Away From Union Protest.” Propaganda piece is just 100% negative about our President. Nothing positive to say about historic uprising…just all about division and Democrats fighting each other. Never forget….

  35. It really saddens me that Illinois is surrounded by a bunch of fool govs: WI, IN, MI, OH…imagine the kind of high-speed system that could have built and eventually connected between these states and what it would’ve meant for the region. At least we still have Chicago to St Louis, which will be upgraded from 79mph to 110mph…sigh

  36. There are going to be nationwide rallies to stand with our brothers and sisters in Wisconsin this coming Tuesday. NYC’s will be at Union Square, Tuesday the 15th, 5:30–8:30pm (two thumbs up to a nice long three hour rally). Be there or be square, lol!

  37. I loved the poll for the Christie results too! He is in his own world, just like Guliani. I saw Morning Joe a couple of weeks ago just raving about how the American people just love Christie.

    Not so much. Joe should narrow that to Republicans just love Christie. I get so tired of Republicans referring their preferences as the preferences of the American people.

  38. LOL…I think a lot of the PL sound like Libertarians and there seems to be a fine line between the left-leaning and the right-leaning ones. That might explain why some of their critiques of the President sound so similar…

  39. I’m beginning to think the Koch Brothers and their paid minions are against high speed rail because in addition to providing good jobs while under construction, it would allow people greater mobility in accepting employment. If you could ride a high speed train for 1.5 hours to work without having to fight traffic, many people would be freer to accept jobs farther from their children’s schools and family activities.

    The Republicans don’t want us to have any choices in our lives, period.

  40. Thanks for the link! I really regret not taking the 3-hr drive up there cause I know I won’t see coverage of this on CNN or MSNBC today. MoveOn and a union group are holding more solidarity rallies on Tues at the Thompson Center in Chicago. I plan to go to that.

  41. And register new voters everywhere! Don’t forget high schoolers depending upon the laws of your state. In CA we can register students as long as they will be 18 by election day. With all of the enlightenment stemming from the tactics of the GOP all over the country there are a lot of people who see the benefit of being a registered Democrat.

  42. That is because to the MSM Republicans are the REAL Americans. As a result, the GOP always gets to set the agenda and talking points and the Democrats are always forced to play defense.


    But make no mistake, the Republican governors who are rejecting rail are throwing a significant monkey wrench into the overall vision for nationwide rail. That is in large part because the GOP is now almost completely the property of the oil industry, which vehemently opposes green technology and anything that would lead Americans out of their non-electric cars. And because in many ways, the Republican party is being directed by the Koch brothers and their ilk, opposition to anything that would limit oil industry profits – from regulation of greenhouse gases to acceptance of the science on global warming, to high speed rail – is an anathema, and to be rigorously opposed.

    Ironically, the states who will now be bypassed by rail are forfeiting the economic benefits, including potential increases in tourism, and the jobs created by passenger rail itself.
    Elections are choices, and if voters in the swing states don’t choose a different path going forward, they risk voting for disconnection, stagnation, and exempting themselves not just from a faster, cleaner way to see America, but from the very idea of modernity for themselves.

  44. The PL falls into two categories, IMO. First are opportunists with no REAL political view (or are willing to abandon them for money and fame). The second are libertarians, Naderites and socialists who will never be satisfied with what any politician is able to accomplish in the real world. They live in a dream world and refuse to wake up.

  45. And Chicago to Ann Arbor…..but it doesn’t continure on to Detroit????
    There used to be service from Detroit to Chicago – wonder why it doesn’t connect? There used to be rail service between New York City and Detroit too – now it ends in Toledo. Could be nobody is going to Detroit anymore……sigh.

  46. If there was ever any doubt about the fact that the PL and MSM are bought and paid for by the GOP and corporations, the coverage (or lack thereof) of the Wisconsin protests should open some eyes. They only cover the Wisconsin protests as a way to slam Pres. Obama. Very similar to the lack of coverage of the huge antiwar protests that occurred prior to the Iraq War. Somehow these truly liberal protests can’t seem to get the coverage they deserves, while if a teapartier farts or Palin utters some nonsense it gets the megaphone treatment. It is no accident. They throw us a few bones every now and again (usually when it is too late to make a difference)so we keep listening, but by and large both the PL and MSM are firmly on the GOP side and against Pres. Obama. Did anyone else notice that prior to the Midterm elections EVERY news source and magazine in this country was peddling an anti-Obama perspective. I knew something was up when even GQ and Esquire magazines were chock full of anti-Obama articles and editorials prior to the midterms. It was a GOP full court press, and it was successful in depressing democratic turnout, IMO. I pray the people of this country will wake up and realize they are being brainwashed by propaganda into voting against their interests. I am heartened by the fact that the people of Wisconsin are still fighting. This could be a watershed moment. I pray it is.

  47. h/t miranda@weeseeyou:

    Breaking News Alert: Arab League endorses Libyan no-fly zone
    March 12, 2011 12:56:10 PM

    The Arab League on Saturday called on the United Nations Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. The move could have a significant impact on U.S. and European deliberations over how to respond to the conflict that has erupted in recent weeks as rebels have seized half of Libya, and Col. Moammar Gaddafi’s security forces have struck back with massive firepower. NATO has said that an Arab endorsement of the no-fly zone was a precondition for taking such action.

    For more information, visit

  48. So, apparently the brave-14-Senators from Wisconsin said that they know President Obama was with them, and they were glad he did not come and shift the focus to him, but let the focus stay on the workers in WI.

    Well, we knew he did the right thing here.

  49. I *heart* you blackwaterdog!!!
    I *heart* the Senators from Wisconsin, and I *heart* this place!
    Thank you for creating this reality-based sanctuary, bwd!

  50. What just gets me about the PL is not only that they desire to force their ideas on the rest of us, but that their ideas tend to be soooo short-sighted, and just plain old stupid. Anyone with common sense could detect OFA’s fingerprints all over Wisconsin despite the formal requests from POTUS that they stay out of it. President Obama cannot be front and center on this; it’s too easy a target and too easy an argument about partisan politics. Not everyone thinks like us, there are people who really would be like, “well, I’m against socialism and POTUS is a socialist, therefore the Wisconsin workers are wrong.” He took that argument away from Walker/Koch brothers. That’s why the one Koch brother who went whining about “this is what happens when you go against the administration, you become victimized by the left” sounded so stupid–because POTUS hadn’t stepped foot in WI and had only made cursory statements, letting it be known that he supports the unions but staying out of it.

    Masterful organizing on the part of: OFA, unions, state Dems. Round of applause, and let me join starshine: I *heart* this place.

  51. I always found it interesting that it’s actually the frustrati that give Obama all the power. Their focus is completely on what he does/doesn’t do. They seem to want some kind of king or dictator.

  52. They wanted a Liberal Bush. They wanted revenge or something. Obviously, none of them were listening during the campaign, so now they mad at him for not being what he never promised to be.

  53. Tien Le:
    Your equation makes sense. I think it is crystal clear that the “Professional lefties” and the Republicans certainly share the same goal:they “want Obama to be one-term President.” Now that we know that the PLs share the same goal as Republicans, we must resoundingly reject their claim that they are President Obama’s base.

  54. Thanks for the link rsmpdx. Oregon and Washington are two states that usually elect real sensible politicians. I would mind them sharing the rejected HSR with my beloved California.

  55. Wow! Truly an impressive expression of solidarity. Thanks for sharing the video, bonkers.

  56. “The Real Sleeping Giant” Indeed! Nonie, thanks for sharing this incredible show of unity in Wisconsin. Very inspiring.

  57. Thanks GN for the breaking news. This is the way it should be done. The President, as always, is very methodical in the way he is dealing with Libya. I am so glad he is not listening to all these idiots who are only interested in drama.

  58. You know BWD, “No Lie Can Live Forever!” You know what else, these holier than thou progressives really have little or no understanding of politics. Republicans would really have loved to make Walker’s “assault” on Wisconsin workers all about President Obama’s dictatorial interference in a state issue.

  59. “What just gets me about the PL is not only that they desire to force their ideas on the rest of us, but that their ideas tend to be soooo short-sighted, and just plain old stupid.” Well said GN! This needs repeating. Any one who thinks that the President of United States should drop everything to go lead a worker’s protest in Wisconsin is, to say it charitably, simply nuts! Such a person or persons must never be taken seriously.

  60. I like that term – ObamaRail. Will borrow it from you to use in the future! 🙂

    Thanks Junkessa!

  61. “The Wisconsin 14 is holding a press conference….:”

    “We’re back to aid that movement… Right now, they’re [the GOP] walking the plank. They all walked the plank with the exception of Schultz. … Alberta Darling: got 24-27% of her signatures signed to recall her, they got more than a third needed for her recall. They are taking it to the streets, saying, “You did not hear us. Since you didn’t change your minds, we’ll change the faces..”


    “We have a job to do to repair the damage done to the confidence of citizens… All of our conversations were about repairing the fabric… We’ll see a continuing effort to repair the damage and restore rights. This is not a political, partisan movement, it is an American movement… This far surpasses the sixties… There is no turning back… the zeal to get their state back… President Obama is busy with Libya, etc. but recognizes the hope we believe in. We didn’t plan for this moment, but we realize what is at stake. The loss of these rights is unAmerican. They are taking it on themselves to restore those rights, and would welcome Pres. Obama here in greater numbers than 2 years ago….”


    Q: Obama disappointing you?

    Erpenbach: No not at all, He was very supportive, a couple of different times, of public employees. He has a nation to sail through some rough waters right now. He was briefed 1-2 times a day, I don’t doubt him at all. Had he come here, it would have been more chaotic. I’m glad he didn’t come here.

    Lena: I agree. It would have been about him, instead of the workers of WI. It would’ve been politicized, it would have been about the 2012 election. He has time to come stand with the WI workers, real soon.

  62. I’m watching a History channel show called “Its Good to be President.” So awesome to see Pres Obama in the mix and they just showed him dancing with Michelle during one of the inaugural balls 🙂

  63. Hmmm….apparently I posted this in the wrong spot…sorry! Just trying to make a general comment 🙂

  64. Well, then let the Arab League maintain the no-fly zone if they want one. The Russians aren’t going to stand for it and will veto having NATO take part. So if the Arab League wants a no-fly zone, they have their own jets.

    Seriously, how can we justify getting sucked into this? Get the rebels to stand down and live to fight another day. Let the sanctions have time to work to effectively isolate their leader or something.

  65. You’re right…a Chicago to Detroit line makes perfect sense. I still have hope for Detroit though…the motor city will come back stronger than ever…

  66. “Around 4300 people attended the Working Families Rally at Kiener Plaza in St. Louis, Mo., this Friday to protest corporate greed and the push to turn Missouri into a “right to work” state. I attended the rally and took quite a few photos, which I wanted to share with the readers here at C&L.”


    “Now is the time to send a powerful message to the enemies of working men and women,” declared Jo Wanda Bozeman, president of the Parkway National Education Association.

    “She asserted that the nation was witnessing “a methodical and planned assault” on the collective-bargaining rights of union workers.”

    The crowd roared as Bozeman shouted, “We’re not going to take it anymore!”

    “Bob Soutier, president of the Greater St. Louis Labor Council called the turnout — the official count was 4,300 — the biggest local labor gathering he’s seen in years.”

  67. One more comment on this: Richard Wolffe just said in this special that PBO doesn’t need an iPad because he has an iReggie LOL…this is a cool special

  68. The Professional Left seem to not know what they want. If POTUS stepped foot, or released a statment about the events in Wisconsin, the debate turns into the fedaral government vs. local government, and POTUS vs. Rethugs!! Now let POTUS go to Wisconsin and change the headlines about him and the PL would be having tantrums that he took the spotlight off the unions/protesters.

  69. “Yet even if Gov. Scott Walker (R) succeeds in signing this bill into law, Wisconsin voters have the power to ensure that his victory is short lived.”

    “First, a broad coalition of these voters are circulating petitions to recall the eight GOP state senators who are currently eligible to be removed from office. If just three of these seats are flipped to the Democrats, the GOP will lose control of the state’s upper house.”


    “Second, because Wisconsin law allows any elected official to be recalled after they have served one full year of their term in office, all remaining state legislators and Gov. Walker will be eligible for a recall election next January. If Wisconsin voters wage a successful campaign to fire the state’s anti-worker lawmakers, this bill could be repealed as soon as the snow starts to melt in spring of 2012.”


    “Third, Wisconsin also has the power to ensure that no future lawmakers can repeat Walker’s assault on working families:


    “In other words, the Wisconsin Constitution can be amended in a three step process: 1) the current legislature must approve the amendment; 2) after the next election, the new legislature must approve the amendment; 3) the voters must ratify the amendment by a majority vote. Under this procedure, Wisconsin could amend its constitution to permanently protect working families as soon as 2013.”

  70. “Over two weeks after receiving a request from One Wisconsin Now, Walker’s administration has refused to release details of its contacts with lobbyists from Koch Industries, run by billionaire arch-conservatives Charles and David Koch. The group requested “all email and written communications between Koch Industries’ lead Wisconsin lobbyist and the office of Gov. Scott Walker and the Department of Administration,” but has not yet received the information.”

    “Koch Industries was one of the biggest contributors to Walker’s election campaign. Americans for Prosperity, a group created and financed by the Koch brothers, has organized rallies in Wisconsin, and ‘[e]ven before the new governor was sworn in last month, executives from the Koch-backed group had worked behind the scenes to try to encourage a union showdown.'”

  71. Tien, I’m sorry but Gaddafi and his son are mentally ill. If the protesters stand down, they will get slaughtered one way or another. I’m not sure if the Arab league can actually accomplish a no-fly zone and maintain it. I know I do not want to see those people who only want to get out from under the boot of a dictator all get tortured and killed.
    My fear, however, is that anything done now may be too late for thousands who will die between now and then. Sanctions alone are not going to do the job.

  72. Don’t tell the Tea Party but apparently Presidents used to be responsible for ALL WH expenses…even state dinners, security ect. They said that some early Presidents even left the WH in debt! Now can you imagine in this climate what the Tea Partiers might try to do to PBO if they knew this? Especially with ppl like Michelle Bachmann already making crazy claims about how much his trips cost…

  73. Madison Teachers, MMSD Agree To Contract Extension
    Deal Includes Pay Freeze For 2011-2012 School Year
    Updated: 4:15 pm CST March 12, 2011

    Text SizeAAAMADISON, Wis. — A two-year tentative contract agreement has been reached between the Madison Metropolitan School District and the Madison Teachers Union for five bargaining units: teachers, substitute teachers, educational and special educational assistants, supportive educational employees and school security assistants.

    District administrators, with the guidance of the Board of Education, and Madison Teacher Inc. reps negotiated from 9 a.m. Friday until 3 a.m. Saturday when the tentative agreements were completed.

    Under details of the contract, workers would contribute 50 percent of the total money that’s being contribution to pension plans. That figure according to district officials, is believed to be very close to the 12 percent overall contribution that the budget repair bill was calling for. The overall savings to the district would be $11 million.

    The two sides also said they agreed on a pay freeze at 2010-11 wages through mid-2013 at 2010-11 rates, however, union members would be allowed to receive raises for longevity and educational credits. The district estimates savings of about $1.9 million.

    The district can also require up to a 5 percent employee contribution on health care premiums for those enrolled in Group Health Cooperative. For employees enrolled in WPS, contributions would be capped at 15 percent. The district estimates savings of about $1.7 million.

    In the second year of the contract, the WPS option will be eliminated and members will be provided the same health insurance options as provided to MTI support units with premium contributions not to exceed 10 percent. The district estimates $5.7 million in savings during the second year of the contract.

    Teachers will not be paid for the four days they missed last month in protest of Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget repair bill that would strip most state workers of most of their collective bargaining rights.

    The Board of Education held a special meeting Saturday at 2 p.m. and ratified the five collective bargaining agreements. The five MTI units must also ratify before the contracts take effect.

  74. MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin 14 have addressed the media, holding a news conference at noon at Monona Terrace. Thirteen of the 14 senators spoke Saturday before marching around the Capitol where thousands of protesters gathered a day after the governor signed the legislation.

    Wisconsin Senate Democrats who fled the state to try to block a vote on Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s collective bargaining plan made their first public appearance in Madison in weeks.

    “I don’t think anyone knew what they were getting in this election,” said Sen. Mark Miller. “They want a do-over.”

    Throngs of protesters gathered outside the news conference yelling “Fab 14, our heroes!”

    The Democrats said they’ll now shift their energy toward recall efforts already under way against some GOP colleagues.

    “While we were gone, democracy failed in so many ways,” said Sen. Lena Taylor. “I’m excited to be back to help.”

    Senator Spencer Coggs of Milwaukee said Walker has forced Republicans into “walking the plank” by passing the law.

  75. Thank you so, so much Tigerfist. I’d been looking and looking for alternative sites covering today’s rally. Listened to some of the speeches at and now getting to see your photos is dessert.

    It is quite a challenge to get news while boycotting all the MSM, but I’m becoming better at it thanks y’all at this oasis.

  76. What is infuriating is, that stupid state senator says that this is all high school students and college students!

    Whatever! and what if it ONLY was just this group of wonderful people?
    Jeesh, they are really targeting the Presidents base, trying to smear them!

    First Lationos, now college kids…

  77. This is why I post, dear. So I can learn more about stuff. Thanks for your insight. Very helpful.

  78. I hope this story will get some attention this weekend. It really is ironic. But maybe, just maybe this news will prompt the American people to ask a simple question:

    If the GOP budget plan could target something as important and critical to the safety of the American people as the TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER, then exactly what else is being targeted? The answer to that question will be astonishing and a real eye-opener.

  79. Here is the letter I just received from OFA:

    From: Finer, Daniel
    Date: 3/11/2011 9:21:54 PM
    To: Undisclosed recipients:,
    Subject: Organizing for America Florida – Summer Organizer Program

    Dear Gulf-Area OFA Summer Organizer Applicants,

    I’m emailing to thank you for your support of Organizing For America and for applying to our Summer Organizer program. This email should act as a follow-up to either our phone conversation from earlier today or a voicemail I left on your phones earlier today. Interest in this competitive program has been very strong and we’ve already received thousands of applications nationwide in advance of the April 18, 2011 deadline.

    I also wanted give you an update on what to expect for the application process. OFA staff has started a full review of applications and they will be in contact with all applicants in the coming weeks at which time they may ask to set up an interview with you. Because we have received so many applications, we have added the option to submit your resume as part of your application. The resume is optional, but I wanted to let you know that you can now do that online if you haven’t already.

    Click Here to Submit Your Resume Online

    Additionally, many questions about the Summer Organizer program can be answered from our national Frequently Asked Questions page.

    In the meantime, here are some additional state-specific links to OFA FL:

    OFA FL – MyBO

    OFA FL – Twitter

    OFA FL – facebook

    Thanks Again,

    Dan Finer, State Data Director

  80. Those are really great. Thanks.
    My favs:


    Tea Party sounds so much nicer than “Mob of Racists and Homophobes”

    The Dairy cows with the solidarity sign

    “Where Free Unions and Collective Bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost” – Ronald Reagan (Labor Day address in 1980)

  81. On Aljazeera I read that the mayor of Providence, R.I. sent dismissal notices to all 2,000 of the city’s teachers. Is this stuff legal?

  82. Creolechild,

    Thank you so much for the link. It is wonderful to see the faces of the 14 brave Wisconsin sate Senators. I hope the PL are listening carefully to what they have to say about what President Obama should have done:

    “Erpenbach: No not at all, He was very supportive, a couple of different times, of public employees. He has a nation to sail through some rough waters right now. He was briefed 1-2 times a day, I don’t doubt him at all. Had he come here, it would have been more chaotic. I’m glad he didn’t come here.”

    “Lena: I agree. It would have been about him, instead of the workers of WI. It would’ve been politicized, it would have been about the 2012 election. He has time to come stand with the WI workers, real soon.”

    I am so proud of many people on this site who expressed similar sentiments. Someone should tell Ed Shultz and others to speak for themselves and stop falsely claiming to be speaking for the President’s base.

  83. By Staff | March 12, 2011
    Read more articles in Labor

    150,000 protest in Madison March 12. (Fight Back! News/Staff) Madison, WI – As of 3:00 p.m. today, March 12, the number of protesters at the state capitol here has swelled to more than 150,000. Senators who had left Wisconsin in an attempt to block Governor Walker’s union-busting legislations returned to an enthusiastic welcome.

    On March 11 Governor Walker signed into law a bill which strips public workers of their right to collectively bargain.

    J Burger, a Chicago trade unionist attending the rally stated, “This is the largest protest yet. This fight will continue and the outcome will be determined by the efforts of Wisconsin workers.”


    MSM blackout!

  84. I agree with you hopefruit2. Our mission should be to relentless expose her tactics of divide and conquer. After her sell of HuffPost to a major corporation, I don’t see why anybody who claims to be progressive still thinks her site is credible

  85. For a little comic relief, try to picture this: There’s Michelle Bachman at one of her teabagger rallies in New Hampshire, congratulating her audience that their state, New Hampshire, is where the American Revolution began “in Lexington and Concord”. Holding her little teabag to show her teabagger credentials, she doesn’t even master elementary school history. Ever heard of Masssachusetts, Michelle?

  86. Well said overseasgranny. While I share Tien Le’s caution that we not be drawn into another war, I think in this situation something has to be done to prevent genocide. This is not the same thing as the willful invasion of Iraq. I think that with the support of the Arab league the UN and NATO the US military action can focus on saving lives without being accused of imperial overreach. I really applaud the methodical way President Obama has been dealing with the situation in Libya.

  87. Unfortunately, the HSR progress may pass their STATES by. That suits these guys fine.

  88. WIW,
    Thanks for the link. Sometimes it’s difficult to find words to accurately describe the GOP craziness. May be they plan on privatizing the weather services.

  89. “these holier than thou progressives really have little or no understanding of politics.”

    Bingo, that is it exactly. They are so politically vacant.

  90. So I went looking for a story in MSM that would be useful. Saw a headline “SEIU reports Administration has really stepped up”. so it turns out to be the Topline show which is very smarmy.

    I cut out all the nasty stories at the beginning of the video and have just Mary Kay Henry who is great, speaks up for working families, praises president Obama, and tells corporations with trillions in the bank to use it to put folks back to work.

    I have 2 questions at the bottom of the posting that I would love answers to, you guys know everything.

  91. “I don’t think anyone knew what they were getting in this election,” said Sen. Mark Miller. “They want a do-over.”

    Your Pres knew. Many people here knew.

  92. WIW – Sorry about that non-post; hit the wrong key.

    After reading your post (the NYT story), I’m wondering how ANY Republican will ever get voted into office in Wisconsin, in ANY future elections.

    That’s naive, but I’m enjoying the thought.

  93. Here are the attendance figures for the protest in Madison, with an update at the end. .

    “Demonstrators — 85,000 to 100,000 strong — turned out in force again Saturday for what Madison police say was the largest crowd since protests against Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to strip state employees of most collective bargaining rights and other proposals for balancing the state budget began more than three weeks ago.”


    “We had 85,000 to 100,000 people, 50 tractors and a donkey, and it all went well from a police perspective,” said Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain, who again thanked people for their peaceful exercise of democracy and their patience. “Just getting around Downtown was a bit problematic.”

    “Capitol police estimated Saturday’s crowd peaked at a little over 68,000, said spokesman Tim Donovan. He explained the discrepancy by saying Madison police might have been “counting people we weren’t” who were spread out further from the Capitol.
    Both agencies said there were no arrests.”

    “On Friday, Walker signed a bill stripping most collective bargaining rights from state employees, but the law does not take effect until it is published. Secretary of State Doug La Follette said he will delay publishing the bill until March 25 to allow for legal challenges.”

  94. “But the fight in Wisconsin isn’t over – Democrats and unions are already filing lawsuits against the proposal and recall actions against GOP senators who approved it.”

    “It’s just the beginning,” said Sen. Bob Jauch (D-Poplar). “This is the civil rights issue of this century.”


    “Meanwhile, Dane County officials filed a lawsuit Friday to immediately block the signed bill from being published and taking the force of law, arguing that legislators hadn’t followed the law in passing the bill.”

    “Dane County Circuit Judge Amy Smith ruled that the county did not meet the standard for a temporary restraining order, which calls for the plaintiff to show there would be irreparable harm if the bill is published and becomes law. But Smith ordered the county and the state to come back to court on Wednesday for a hearing on a temporary injunction to block the bill.”


    “Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, a Kenosha Democrat, made a complaint Thursday similar to the county’s lawsuit to Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne. Ozanne said Friday the matter is a “high priority” for his office, and he has already had investigators interview Barca.”

    “In another Dane County case, Circuit Judge John Albert heard a proposal from state Assistant Attorney General Steven Means for the court to appoint a special master to handle disputes related to public access to the Capitol. Albert told Means and attorney Peg Lautenschlager, representing organized labor, to come back to court on Monday to see if the idea is workable.”

  95. “Indianapolis – Thousands of union members are attending a rally at the Indiana Statehouse Thursday. It’s one of the biggest protests yet in the fight against legislation they say punishes the working class.”

    “Labor organizers promised 20,000 to 30,000 protesters outside the Statehouse on Thursday afternoon. Police said by 11:00 am, over 5,000 people were estimated at the rally. State police estimated the final number at over 8,000 attendees. Although not as many protesters turned up as expected, it was still one of the largest rallies at the Statehouse over the past ten years.”


    “It wasn’t just labor legislation that came under fire. Education bills that would allow unlicensed teachers into classrooms and funnel taxpayer dollars to private schools were also the target of criticism.”

    (Live coverage included.)

  96. “LANSING – With hundreds of union supporters loudly protesting outside their doors, Senate Republicans set up a final vote for Wednesday to give state-appointed emergency managers much greater power to overhaul city or school finances, including termination of employee union contracts.”

    “The legislation drew more than 1,000 protesters to the Capitol, and many swarmed into the rotunda chanting “Kill the bill” and distracting the Senate during its regular session. Dozens packed the gallery above the Senate floor and were mostly quiet but admonished at one point for clapping and cheering.”

    “Senate sergeants-at-arms watched crowd warily to assure it did not attempt to enter the chamber, where decorum is strictly enforced.”

    “Senate Democrats, outnumbered 26-12, were repeatedly snubbed in their effort to amend a bill that has become one flashpoint for labor unions to rally against what they call an assault on bargaining rights.”|head”

  97. Your husband is right. Could also say they are hi-jacking the future, since they’re actively trying to derail it.

  98. LOL…looks like there’s trouble in paradise.

    “For the better part of the last year, Visual Art Source reposted a number of the articles that we publish in our monthly digest, ArtScene, as well as in our Visual Art Source weekly newsletter and on our website to a nationally branded website owned and operated by the author of a book published last year entitled Third World America: How our Politicians are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream.”


    Two central concerns have troubled us from the start: is exposure to Huffington Post’s extensive audience and widely recognised brand simply a fair exchange for not being paid a penny? Is it acceptable for serious writing to appear alongside press releases, shill pieces paid to promote a third party and junk journalism – without anything to distinguish them as such?….”

    “Huffington has brilliantly and gracefully exploited at least hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of otherwise bright and qualified professional writers. She is reveling in both wealth and celebrity, having been lifted by the combined efforts of this army of the uncompensated. Brava, Madame Capitalist. But as a very public voice, she has suddenly morphed from being a soul sister of progressives into a Koch sister, contributing to nothing so much as that betrayal of the middle class.”


    “Thus, we have decided to call for a strike of the unpaid, non-unionised and unemployed Huffington Post contributors. Let all writers cease to contribute for now, and until the executives at the Huffington Post negotiate a proper contract with those writers, and establish proper content and quality controls, they ought to deny them the profit-generating benefits of unpaid labour.”

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