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Archive for March 10th, 2011

Walker Makes End Run Around Dems

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 10th, 2011 5:49 am by HL

Walker Makes End Run Around Dems
Wisconsin’s Republican-led state Senate passed Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed restrictions on collective bargaining for public employees Wednesday, getting around a Democratic walkout by stripping financial provisions from the bill. In an 18-1 vote, Republicans were able to move ahead by voting only on the non-financial aspects of Walker’s proposed bill, which requires fewer members for a quorum.



Early Morning Swim: Special Make It Official Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 10th, 2011 5:48 am by HL

Early Morning Swim: Special Make It Official Edition
What Jane said.

What Jane said.

If you trust and value the reporting at FDL, from Hillman Award Winner Marcy Wheeler’s work from Scooter Libby to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, to Dave Dayen’s work on mortgage foreclosure and Jon Walker’s reporting on health care, from Wikileaks and Bradley Manning to Audit the Fed and the BP oil spill, consider becoming a Founding Member of the Firedoglake membership program.  Your annually renewing membership will help us do a lot more of the things we want to do, like sending Dave Dayen to report on the Wisconsin labor protests, or Michael Whitney to the Gulf to cover the BP oil spill, or the three-person team that covered the Prop 8 trial in San Francisco.

Or, put more succinctly:

Independent media. Kick-ass activism.

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If I “Recall” it is time to Party
David Koch’s investment pays off.

I guess the most effective parodies are the those that end up being true to life.


Dave Broder: A Reporter at Heart

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 10th, 2011 5:47 am by HL

Dave Broder: A Reporter at Heart
In an era of instant pontificators on every subject imaginable, Broder was willing to say, “I have no clue.” When Dave did allow as to how he had a clue, you quickly learned that it paid to listen. By Ruth Marcus

In an era of instant pontificators on every subject imaginable, Broder was willing to say, “I have no clue.” When Dave did allow as to how he had a clue, you quickly learned that it paid to listen.


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Moore Takes Palin’s Part for HBO
Tina Fey might have been too busy (or too obvious), but luckily for HBO, the lovely and talented Julianne Moore has agreed to play the world’s most famous Wasillan, Sarah Palin, in HBO’s upcoming movie based on the book “Game Change.”

Tina Fey might have been too busy (or too obvious), but luckily for HBO, the lovely and talented Julianne Moore has agreed to play the world’s most famous Wasillan, Sarah Palin, in HBO’s upcoming movie based on the book “Game Change.”

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Jared Loughner Pleads Not Guilty To Expanded Indictment

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 10th, 2011 5:46 am by HL

Jared Loughner Pleads Not Guilty To Expanded Indictment
March 9, 2011 11:12:21 PM By Tim Gaynor TUCSON, Ariz(Reuters) – Tucson shooting rampage suspect Jared Loughner pleaded not guilty Wednesday to an expanded,…

Ian Fletcher: Protectionism of the Past vs. Protectionism of the Future
Protectionism is frequently tarred as a backward-looking policy which merely preserves yesterday’s jobs at the expense of tomorrow’s. This is a snappy-sounding canard, but it…

Chris Weigant: Obama Challenges Republicans by Supporting Wyden-Brown
Wyden-Brown gives the Republicans everything they asked for — the freedom to do things their own way in Republican states. The fact that they are running away from this sort of challenge is telling.


Napolitano?Drags Out Deceptively Cropped Video?To?Smear Unions

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 10th, 2011 5:45 am by HL

Napolitano?Drags Out Deceptively Cropped Video?To?Smear Unions

Andrew Napolitano used a deceptively cropped portion of a July 2009 speech given by former NEA General Counsel Bob Chanin to claim that unions are solely interested in attaining power, not advocating for workers. In fact, Chanin said in that very speech that “what unions do first and foremost is represent their members.”

Napolitano: Video Shows Union Official Admitting That They Are For “Power” And Not “The Workers”

Napolitano Airs Cropped Video And Claims Union Official “Admitted” That “They Say They Are For The Workers, But It Really All Boils Down To Power.” From Fox News’ Glenn Beck:

NAPOLITANO: If the Wisconsin fourteen keep playing hide-and-seek instead of getting back to work, it’s going to cost them. Today, Republicans in the State Senate voted to approve a resolution that fines the missing Democrats $100 for each session day that they miss. The lawmakers are avoiding voting on a bill that would take power away from public worker unions. And you know what power means to unions.

They say they are for the workers, but it really all boils down to power, doesn’t it? And I’m not just saying that. Even union leaders have admitted to it. Listen to what former General Counsel of the NEA — the National Education Association, which is the largest union in the United States — once said about putting power before children.

CHANIN (video clip): Despite what some among us would like to believe, it is not because we care about children, and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power. And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year.

NAPOLITANO: Unbelievable. That is the lawyer for the largest union in the United States. You can’t make this stuff up. If you put that in a script, in a movie, no one would find it believable. Joining us now with more facts about unions you might not know about is Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity. Tim, it’s a pleasure. Welcome back to The Glenn Beck Program. I mean, this guy that we just listened to is really unbelievable.

It’s about the millions of dollars in dues and it’s about our power. It’s not about what we do for the kids. Question: Is that typical of labor union leadership of public sector unions in the United States of America today, Tim? [Fox News,  The Glenn Beck Program, 3/09/11]

Union Official: “What Unions Do First And Foremost Is Represent Their Members”

Chanin: “Creative Ideas” And “The Merit Of Our Positions” Are Not Enough To Make NEA An “Effective Advocate.” In his farewell address, former NEA General Counsel Bob Chanin said the NEA’s “creative ideas,” “vision,” and care for children were not enough to ensure that NEA is an “effective advocate.” Rather, he said that ensuring the power of the NEA would “enable us to achieve our vision of a great public school for every child.” Chanin also said, “When all is said and done, NEA and its affiliates must never lose sight of the fact that they are unions, and what unions do first and foremost is represent their members.”

From Chanin’s speech (the portions in bold show the deceptively cropped quote used by Napolitano):

And that brings me to my final and most important point. Which is why, at least in my opinion, NEA and its affiliates are such effective advocates. Despite what some among us would like to believe, it is not because of our creative ideas. It is not because of the merit of our positions. It is not because we care about children. And it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power. And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year because they believe that we are the unions that can most effectively represent them, the unions that can protect their rights and advance their interests as education employees.

This is not to say that the concern of NEA and its affiliates with closing achievement gaps, reducing dropout rates, improving teacher quality, and the like are unimportant or inappropriate. To the contrary, these are the goals that guide the work we do. But they need not and must not be achieved at the expense of due process, employee rights, and collective bargaining. That simply is too high a price to pay.

When all is said and done, NEA and its affiliates must never lose sight of the fact that they are unions, and what unions do first and foremost is represent their members. If we do that. If we do that and if we do it well, the rest will fall into place. NEA and its affiliates will remain powerful and that power will in turn enable us to achieve our vision of a great public school for every child.

Today, NEA has thanked me for some of the things that I have done. But this is in a sense, backwards. It is I who should thank NEA for giving me the opportunity to spend almost 50 years of my working life for causes that I truly believe in and to be part of an organization that has made a difference in the lives of children and education employees and has led the defense of public education. [NEA, 7/6/09]


James O’Keefe Skips Breitbart For NPR Hit

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 10th, 2011 5:43 am by HL

James O’Keefe Skips Breitbart For NPR Hit
James O’Keefe, whose hidden camera outfit Project Veritas claimed another major scalp today with the resignation of NPR CEO Vivian Schiler, departed from his usual symbiotic relationship with conservative media guru Andrew Breitbart in releasing his latest project.

Why The Spike In Shootings Of U.S. Marshals?
Recent shooting incidents involving members of the U.S. Marshals Service are shinning a light on the expanding role of federal law enforcement in apprehending state and local felons and raising questions about the impact of proposed budget cuts on the safety of federal law enforcement officers.



Non as blind as those . . .

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 10th, 2011 5:40 am by HL

Non as blind as those . . .
A forty year old movie that told the story of a group of criminals tried to cheat the operators of an illegal bookie operation out of some money may be a very appropriate piece of evidence for pundits who wish to evaluate the next American Presidential Election in the fall of 2112. Movies about elaborate frauds […]


Jindal Raises More Money

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 10th, 2011 5:39 am by HL

Jindal Raises More Money
Despite having no announced challengers, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) “is making a whirlwind fundraising trip through Texas to raise campaign cash for his fall re-election bid,” the AP reports.

Jindal reported last month that he has more than $9 million for his campaign.

Very Little Confidence in Economic Recovery
A new Bloomberg poll finds only 1 American in 7 has faith a lasting economic recovery has taken hold and a plurality say they are personally worse off than they were two years ago.


Why the Government’s Unemployment Rate is Dangerously Deceptive — And the Dark Reality it Hides

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 10th, 2011 5:38 am by HL

Why the Government’s Unemployment Rate is Dangerously Deceptive — And the Dark Reality it Hides
The latest jobs report indicates that the unemployment and job creation rates are better than a year ago, but there are problems with the numbers.


Why Is Israel Aid Exempt From Cuts?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 10th, 2011 5:37 am by HL

Why Is Israel Aid Exempt From Cuts?
Once upon a time, Social Security was considered the “third rail” of American politics. The “third rail” is the train track that carries the high-voltage power; touching it means instant death. The “third rail” metaphor has for decades been applied…

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The Birth of the People’s Party
Look at the outrage in Madison, Wisconsin. Look at the crowds in DesMoines, Iowa. Look at the demonstrations in Indiana and Ohio and elswhere around America….