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Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 03:01 PM PST

This is your brain on Koch

by xofferson

The recall of Scott Walker officially got underway on Tuesday, although he already started raising unlimited money from the Koch Brothers and others 10 days ago, when a Republican filed a phony recall petition to start the clock on the contributions.  That won't effect the 60 days organizers have to collect 540,000-plus signatures.

We don't know if Walker has talked to Koch recently, since a recorded prank call last winter from a blogger pretending to be David Koch exposed Walker as a corporate bootlicker.  But the Kochs will be in this to the tune of millions, whether they find ways to hide disclosure or not.  With that in mind, a northern Wisconsin activist, Steve Carlson, put this together:

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Wwen he ran for Congress in northern Wisconsin last year, Sen Duffy, a one time TV reality star and lumberjack champion, donned a plaid shirt and promised in this slick TV commercial to "bring the ax to washington" and cut spending.

What he didn't say was that he wanted to clear-cut programs like Social Security and Medicare. Fortunately, there are others in his district who pointed it out:

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Rep. Tammy Baldwin comes the closest she has yet to saying she'll run for the US Senate next year, telling Paul Fanlund of The Capital Times that "I think I am likely to run."

That's far short of saying she will run, but it certainly has people chattering.

So, let's go where few Dems have dared tread yet, and pose the question: Can she win?

She's certainly an attractive, smart, savvy, disciplined candidate who would tap a national base. She's won as an underdog before -- in Democratic primaries.

She would probably be unbeatable in a Dem primary in 2012, assuming she and Russ Feingold work it out and don't run against each other.

But how about a statewide general election? Fanlund lays it out:


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by Kathy Kelly
June 27, 2011

Last week, newly-arrived in Athens as part of the US Boat to Gaza project, our team of activists gathered for nonviolence training.  We are here to sail to Gaza, in defiance of an Israeli naval blockade, in our ship, "The Audacity of Hope." Our team, and nine other ships' crews from countries around the world, want Israel to end its lethal blockade of Gaza by letting our crews through to shore to meet with Gazans.  The US ship will bring over 3,000 letters of support to a population suffering its fifth continuous decade of de facto occupation, now in the form of a military blockade controlling Gaza's sea and sky, punctuated by frequent deadly military incursions, that has starved Gaza's economy and people to the exact level of cruelty considered acceptable to the domestic population of our own United States, Israel's staunchest ally.

The international flotilla last year was brutally attacked and the Turkish ship fired on from the air, with a cherrypicked video clip of the resulting panic presented to the world to justify nine deaths, one of a United States citizen, most of them execution-style killings. So it’s essential, albeit a bit bizarre, to plan for how we will respond to military assaults.

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The Greater Wisconsin Committee, a progressive issue advocacy organization, has just posted a two and a half-minute video animation of Gov. Scott Walker singing "My Wisconsin."  (It is below the fold.)

The organization already has been running commercials on Walker's budget bills for their union-busting provisions and massive cuts for education and health care.

And it is waging a petition drive to stop Walker's budget.  

The new online video takes a lighter approach, but pulls no punches.  See it below.

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Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 08:39 PM PST

Welcome to Fitzwalkerstan

by xofferson

Wisconsin State Rep. Mark Pocan started it with a blog post saying he felt like he was living in Fitzwalkerstan:

Over the past month, Republican legislators have continuously violated our own legislative rules. They’ve even disobeyed state law and a court order.

Don’t worry, they’re above the law.

Don’t recognize your state? That’s because it’s not your state anymore. The Republicans have spent the past two months quietly trying to form their own junta aimed at dismembering Wisconsin.

Welcome to FitzWalkerstan, where Wisconsin is open for special interest give-a-ways and closed to the middle-class.

The New Order will be issuing new laws soon. Stay tuned.


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These happenings on Madison's Capitol Square are exhilarating -- and exhausting.

They are both inspirational and emotionally draining.

Today was no exception.

The movement is growing and spreading, it is real, and we are winning.

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If there were any doubt that Gov. Scott Walker is losing support in his union-busting campaign, plans for two new television campaigns in support of Walker were announced today.

There's one reason for this carpet-bombing campaign from the air. Walker is in trouble.  The right-wing nationally has a lot at stake and needs to win this fight in Wisconsin. At any cost. And his side has unlimited money at its disposal.

Both spots start Tuesday, the day Walker unveils his new budget proposal, which is certain to make him even more unpopular as he slashes nearly a billion dollars from public education.

One is particularly nasty.  It's from a new group that has never been active in Wisconsin, called the Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama. The ad, an expensive 60-second spot, attributed to the Our County Deserves Better PAC and TeaPartyExpress.org, accuses "labor union mobs led by Barack Obama's Organizing for America" of attempting to "intimidate" and "harass" the governor and legislators.

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Just when you think it's safe to come out, and there really aren't any communists under your bed after all, someone comes along with a scary new revelation.

It turns out, according to Chris Horner at The Daily Caller that there's a frightening conspiracy between unions and environmentalists in Wisconsin right now.  And -- who knew? --  what they have in common is communism.  

As evidence, he points to actions by the Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters and others, in opposing Scott Walker's union-busting budget review bill. Says Horner:  

And amid the Madison, Wisconsin, rabble-rousing now metastasizing to other state capitals, their coalescence is as glaringly in-your-face right now as we have ever seen it.
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"Whose house?"

"OUR house!"

The chant has been echoing off the marble of the Wisconsin State Capitol for two weeks, as demonstrators opposed to Gov. Scott Walker's attempt to break public employee unions have filled the building and maintained a round-the-clock presence.

But in a few hours, at 4 this afternoon, Walker has ordered the Capitol cleared for "cleaning," and declared an end to overnight sleep-ins.  

That could set the stage for confrontation, and Walker -- who admitted in a taped telephone conversation he had considered planting some troublemakers -- would not be disappointed if there's some scuffling that makes the demonstrators look bad.

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As the author of a biography of Wisconsin political giant Gaylord Nelson (pictured), I get daily Google alerts about articles and web postings that mention his name.  They usually peak around Earth Day, naturally, but there have been a spate of mentions lately because he was the Wisconsin governor in 1959 who signed into law the bill giving public employees collective bargaining rights.

Now, Christian Schneider of WPRI (We Promote Right-Wing Ideas), which poses as the "Wis. Policy Research Institute," has written a piece for National Review Online,  which tries to put the 1959 action into some historical context.

But he ends up trying to rewrite history, as the right often seems inclined to do.

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, embattled after proposing to strip public employee unions of their bargaining rights and essentially put them out of business,  continues to claim that he is just doing what he said he would do during the campaign.  It is a key element of his defense.  But it is not true.

He repeats the claim, and the national media, or at least the conservative media, pick it up.  David Brooks' column in the NY Times on Tuesday was just the latest.

Problem: Walker never once said any such thing at any time during his year-long campaign.  It's he did repeatedly bash public employees and say he wanted them to pay more for pensions and health care -- something they have agreed to do if he will yield on the bargaining rights issue.

Judging from the reaction since he unveiled his union-busting secret plan, with hundreds of thousands of people joining to oppose it, it's likely that if he had told the truth to the voters before Nov. 3 he probably would not be the governor.

Now, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's PolitiFact has checked Walker's claim.

Its finding:False.

Please spread the word.

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