Monthly Archives: February 2011

The Brothers Grime

From REUTERS:

The billionaire Koch brothers — whose deep pockets and small-government philosophy have made them conservative powerhouses — are playing an influential role in the drive to strip public employee unions of their rights to bargain in several U.S. states.

Charles and David Koch, who both rank 24th on the Forbes list of the world’s richest people with $17.5 billion each, are behind campaign donations of tens of thousands, if not millions, of dollars to Republicans leading the anti-union effort.

“They’re the poster boys for the incredible out-sized influence that corporate America has on our government right now,” said Mary Boyle of the left-leaning group Common Cause.

And they’re my poster boys, too!
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The Bland of Pawlenty

From politicalticker at CNN:

Phoenix (CNN) – With no Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich or other potential presidential candidates in attendance, Tim Pawlenty did not have to elbow much for speaking and face time with conservative activists gathered at the American Policy Summit in Phoenix on Saturday.

Amid the thin lineup of potential candidates at the Tea Party Patriots’ three-day event, the friendly crowd was served red meat from the former Minnesota Republican governor – who emerged on stage to a splashy video presentation.

“I’m here today to say, ‘Thank you.’ Thank you for standing up to the ruling class. Thank you for standing up to the liberal power brokers, guardians of the status quo and the royal triangle of greed: big government, big unions and big bailed-out businesses.”

Thank you, because I can’t blow each one of you individually.
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Anti-Labor Pains

From POLITICAL HOTSHEET at CBS NEWS:

As the conflict in Wisconsin shifts from a battle over budget deficits into an ideological debate, some high-profile Republicans — potential presidential contenders — are lining up behind Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

…snip…

Former Minnesota governor and possible presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty released a video today that uses dramatic music and quick cuts of protest footage to show support for Walker. At the end of the minute-long video, Pawlenty is shown on a news program saying, “It’s really important that America stand with Walker, stand with Wisconsin.”

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Prank and Vile

From Ezra Klein at The Washington Post:

Gonzo journalist Ian Murphy noticed one of Wisconsin’s Senate Democrats complaining that Gov. Scott Walker was impossible to reach on the phone. So Murphy came up with a prank call: He posed as right-wing financier David Koch and called Walker’s receptionist. Shortly thereafter, he was on the phone with the governor himself.

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Bubble, Bubble, Toil & Bullshit

From THE MINNESOTA INDEPENDENT:

Rep. Michele Bachmann was on a tear: In one of her most fiery stump speeches to date, the tea party leader told a South Carolina audience that the tax code was a “weapon of mass destruction,” that President Obama is “babying” terrorists, that the rich pay too much in taxes, that social issues like marriage and abortion cannot be put on the “back burner,” and that Fox News’ Glenn Beck can solve America’s budget deficit.

…snip…

“We are looking at a time of bubbles,” Bachmann said, referring to the housing and tech bubbles. She said that Americans are witnessing a “government bubble.”

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Scott Walker, Koch Addict

From The Washington Post:

You’ve probably heard politicians fret that state governments – or, worse, the federal government – will default on their debts. House Speaker John A. Boehner called the prospect of a federal default “a financial disaster not only for our country but for the worldwide economy.”

And why will it be so bad for the economy? Because the powerful actors who make up the entity we loosely refer to as “the market” – that means everyone from banks to hedge funds to China – will go nuts.

…snip…

So America’s various governmental entities are looking for ways to avoid defaulting on their debt – or at least defaulting on their debt to the powerful. That addendum is important, because one of the strategies that’s emerging is to default on debt to the less powerful, the people who don’t have the power to wreck our economy.

This is a crucial fact about the economy: Power matters. It’s worth more, in many cases, than money. And that’s what’s really at issue in Wisconsin.

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Nudnik at Nite

(Reuters) – Tea Party activist and Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann on Saturday defended moves by fellow Republicans in Wisconsin to reduce state union bargaining power.


Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has sparked mass protests in the state this week with a proposal to cut state employee benefits and roll back public union collective bargaining rights.

“Don’t let anyone tell you that the government workers in Wisconsin are losing their collective bargaining rights over wages,” Bachmann said in a speech to a South Carolina Republican women’s group.

“They are not. They are retaining them. It’s their collective bargaining right over their benefits.”

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