Wednesday, 2/23/11, Public Square

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25 responses to “Wednesday, 2/23/11, Public Square

  1. prairie pond

    Here’s a poll that’s NOT done by a labor organization that shows Wisconsin gov. walker does not have majority support.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/the_conversation_is_no_longer.html

    Yeah, I know. Polls have limited value. But after yesterday’s polls and the questions of who commissioned them, I thought this was interesting.

  2. prairie pond

    …and while I’m on the subject of polls…

    A little gem about how people feel about cutting services and shutting down government at the state level.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/146276/Scaling-Back-State-Programs-Least-Three-Fiscal-Evils.aspx

    I’m having trouble being optimistic about the end game success of these labor protests, but perhaps Micheal Moore is correct in his tweet, that we’ve finally had enough.

    And it looks like the bagpipe thingy is catching on. Who knew that in this modern day labor movement, it would be bagpipes, not dishpans?

    http://crooksandliars.com/karoli/ohio-citizens-locked-out-statehouse

  3. prairie pond

    I hope they really are highland war pipes!

  4. prairie pond

    Wicked posted this on last night’s thread, but I thought it was good enough to bring up here so it doesn’t get lost. I hope that’s ok, Wicked. It was too good for the morning crew to miss!

    http://www.workingkansans.com/2011/02/hb2130-house-republicans-seek-to-limit-rights/#

    Our state motto should be “Kansas, a state of followers, not leaders!”

  5. Saudi King Offers $35B to Citizens

    With protests roiling his neighbors, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is grabbing the initiative. The ailing king returned home on Tuesday after months abroad for medical treatment and announced a $35 billion aid package for citizens. The oil-rich nation hasn’t seen massive demonstrations like Tunisia, Egypt, or Libya, but Sunni-Shiite tensions in next-door neighbor Bahrain have some analysts wondering whether the authoritarian regime could be next. Abdullah’s package—which include housing and unemployment aid and cash to compensate for inflation—is intended to get out ahead of any calls for democratic reforms. But some Saudis are already bashing the proposal, saying they want meaningful political change, not handouts.

    http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2011/02/23/world/middleeast/international-us-saudi-king.html?_r=1&hp

  6. Libya Splits in Two

    Shots of celebratory gunfire rang out in Tobruk, a city in eastern Libya, where protesters say Muammar Gaddafi can no longer claim control over their region. National troops are abandoning the leader in droves, recoiling from the brutal force that has been ordered against demonstators. One defected general said he is sure that Gaddafi’s regime “will fall in the coming few days.” Meanwhile, new WikiLeaks cables reveal the exorbitant lifestyle of Gaddafi’s reign—his son’s New Year’s party with Mariah Carey in St. Barts, lavish expense accounts for his sons through oil profits, and more.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/23/us-libya-protests-idUSTRE71G0A620110223

  7. The Republicans’ Fundamentalist Approach to Spending and Jobs

    We all know the aphorism that “it’s the economy, stupid.” I don’t think anyone would argue with that notion–that the biggest thing driving voters (especially at a time like this) is the state of the economy. Unfortunately the economy varies in the eye of the beholder.

    But (despite GOP campaign rhetoric in the 2010 elections) their priority isn’t job creation as such; it’s cutting spending with the idea that job creation will at some point follow. That’s “cutting spending,” not “cutting the deficit.” Dick Cheney famously said that Ronald Reagan proved deficits don’t matter, and this is clearly a lesson the GOP has absorbed.

    They may use cutting the deficit as a talking point, but their utter lack of seriousness regarding the deficit is demonstrated by their ongoing and unshakeable embrace of tax cuts–a policy that would add something on the order of $4 trillion to the deficit.

    http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/robert-schlesinger/2011/02/21/the-republicans-fundamentalist-approach-to-spending-and-jobs

  8. It’s about damn time!

    ————————

    President Obama has decided that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and has asked his Justice Department to stop defending it in court, the administration announced today.

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/obama-won-t-go-to-court-over-defense-of-marriage-act-20110223

    • I applaud the administration for this, all the while recognizing the risk being taken here. Whether one likes it or not, it is the duty of the Executive Branch to seek to uphold all laws in court unless and until the same are declared unconstitutional. An argument for impeachment can be framed around this announcement, and I expect an attempt to be forthcoming.

      • wicked

        Hey, it’ll be fun having Joe as the president.

      • It will give the House Republicans something to do — yet another dead end initiative, but that’s all they’ve tackled to this point so maybe it’s all they know.

        I read an op-ed piece that said when President Obama agreed to extend all bush tax cuts he took away the only thing the GOP has. They’d already gotten their tax cuts before they ever took office as a mojority. Now they have to sell something that takes more than bumper sticker explanations and they have no idea how or what to do. So they’re going for ‘cuts’ that kill jobs when unemployment is high. Governing never was their strong suit but without tax cuts they’re even more lost.

        So maybe they can explain with bumper sticker words why the House needs to spend the time and money on impeachment when conviction isn’t likely and it will be a waste of both. Maybe their constituency won’t mind at all since all they remember from the Clinton days is how much they hated him, and they NOW hate Obama more than they do Clinton.

      • Statement of the Attorney General on Litigation Involving the Defense of Marriage Act

        http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/February/11-ag-222.html

      • wicked

        Yeah, put that in your pipe and smoke it.

        So this begins what? Another 10-15 year debate?

    • danieljacobjingleheimer

      “The decision, which stunned and delighted gay-rights activists, means that the administration will withdraw its defense of ongoing suits in two federal Appeals Courts and will leave it to Congress to defend the law, known as DOMA, against those challenges. It will remain a party to the lawsuits. The law itself remains in effect.”

      This is the interesting part to me. This is a shrewd political move. The administration throws the responsibility for defending DOMA to the Republican leadership in Congress. This is a losing proposition considering that the only political subset that gives two hoots about gay marriage is the rabid Republican base. The Republican leadership can choose not to defend the law and alienate their base or they can choose to defend the law and alienate the rest of the country.

      • Ah ha! Thanks. I hadn’t looked at it that way, but you made the case and it seems a viable possibility. Whoo hoo — “choose not to defend the law and alienate their base or they can choose to defend the law and alienate the rest of the country.” Great choices! 😉

      • It pisses me off that Obama would do the right thing because it was politically expedient, but that’s the way politics is played and the goal is always being (re)elected. I guess I should feel grateful if something good comes from the silly game.

      • indypendent

        Obama has always been a political animal.
        With that said, Obama also knows the best way to show your opponent for what they really are is to box them in politically.

        I think Obama just boxed in a bunch of elephants.

  9. indypendent

    You know, maybe Obama is forcing the Republicans’ hand and baiting them to go ahead and try to impeach him.

    With alot of middle class Americans not working – and no hope of working – let the Republicans spend millions of taxpayer money on impeachment hearings.

    It might just keep them frothing at the mouth so much to think they can bring Obama down that these same elephants will stop doing all their proposed crap to the American people.’

    Americans do not like something that seems to be unfair. And when Republicans go after Obama to impeach him while at the same time bellyaching about how federal spending is so high and the GOP does not create jobs – how long do you think the independents and Democrats are going to tolerate the elephants political games?

    I suspect not long…….this Wisconsin thing might have just awakened the sleeping middle class giant. Only time will tell.

  10. danieljacobjingleheimer

    Uh oh…

    Did Sheppard Smith not get the FOX News memo or is he going rogue. Shep says that “facts are troublesome creatures from time to time.”

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/shep-smith-pretending-wisconsin-is-about-a-fiscal-crisis-is-malarkey/

  11. I’ve already grown weary of the newest Republican meme — “We’re broke.” Yes. And how many options are there, which makes sense for now and the future? How best are the best solutions implemented? What the hell do you mean that cuts are the solution? Do they save jobs, do they protect Americans, do they solve the problem?

    Don’t you wish the GOP could talk in greater detail than bumper sticker words?

    • indypendent

      But yet these sam folks did not seem to are we were broke when Georgie was spending money on two wars off budget and giving out all those special tax cuts and/or subsidies to all his special friends.