Public employees across the country are reeling from what economist Robert Reich is calling a coup d’etat. In a surprise move Wednesday night, eighteen Wisconsin Senate Republicans passed a bill restricting public workers’ collective bargaining rights, over the strenuous objections of the lone Democrat present. Today the bill passed the Assembly 53-42 and is heading to Governor Scott Walker for his signature.
No, we have not gone back in time to the nineties.
Cher is not introducing a new generation to autotune with “I Believe”, “Friends” is not on TV for three straight prime-time hours, and DC bookstores are not being served with subpoenas to give up the titles of books bought by Monica Lewinsky. But Newt Gingrich really is talking about running for president again.
It just keeps escalating.
Today is the deadline by which Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has threatened to lay off 1500 state workers if the Democratic state senators don’t come back to work.
The Wisconsin state Senate Republicans must be getting lonely. They unanimously passed a resolution threatening their fourteen Democratic counterparts with police arrest if the senators do not return to Madison by four p.m. Thursday. The Democrats fled the state two weeks ago in order to block the Senate from voting on Governor Scott Walker’s bill limiting collective bargaining rights for public employee unions. If the Democrats do not return by the deadline, they will be found “in contempt and disorderly behavior” and may be taken into police custody, according to the resolution.
The cold air didn't dampen the spirits of the many protesters who showed up in front of City Hall Saturday for a rally in support of public employee unions in Wisconsin. Organized by MoveOn.org, the rally drew public workers from around the region who expressed concern that the proposed legislation by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was part of a larger national trend that threatened workers everywhere.
Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) drew loud cheers when he took the stage, proclaiming “Ladies and gentlemen my name is Anthony Wiener and I am a Wisconsin union worker, as all of us are today!”
Don’t let Haley Barbour fool you.
Though he may refer to himself as “a fat redneck,” though he’s got a charming Mississippi country-boy drawl, though his white hair, apple cheeks and twinkly eyes may make you think of Santa Claus, the man is a perspicacious politician. Barbour spent Presidents Day in Iowa, meeting with state Republican Party officials and lawmakers in the state that serves as the presidential election starting gate.
Mitch Daniels is feeling popular these days.
Not only does he have an ad starring New York’s own Jimmy “The Rent Is Too Damn High” McMillan, but conservative columnist George Will has predicted that he holds potentially great appeal to conservative voters as the anti-Obama. “If they’re disappointed with Mr. Obama, then a short, balding, unimpressive, uncharismatic, competent governor might be just the key,” Will wrote.
Mitt Romney is a man who has held multiple positions on the issues—sometimes on the same issue. In 2008, his campaign aides had a term they preferred for him: a "turnaround" artist. They were referring to his track record in reviving struggling businesses, but one could be forgiven for assuming it applies to his stance on social issues.
Romney has several things going for him which make him a likely contender in the upcoming elections. For one, he has money — lots of it.
After debating all week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.1 by a vote of 235-189 on Saturday morning. To address the $1.3 trillion deficit, House Speaker John Boehner and the Republican majority have offered this resolution, which intends to cut $100 billion in six months, an amount consistant with the number mentioned in the Republican's Pledge to America during the midterm campaigns.
While the resolution still needs to pass the Senate and be signed off on by the president to become law, the House Republicans are drawing a strong line in the sand, while a government shutdown looms if an agreement is not reached by March 4.
Mike Huckabee is something of a renaissance man.
Not only did he serve as Governor of Arkansas for a full decade, not only did he run for president last time around (and come in first in the Iowa caucus), and not only is he one of the emerging contenders for the 2012 presidential race. He also plays bass in a rock band, has created a 12-step weight-loss program, runs marathons, was named Man of the Year by the American Sportsfishing Association in 1997, and knows how to cook squirrel in a popcorn popper. And, of course, he loves some Lynyrd Sknyrd.
— Steve LeVine of "The Oil and the Glory" blog at Foreign Policy on the Brian Lehrer Show.
— Congressman Michael Grimm (R-NY13) on the Brian Lehrer Show.