“In press releases and public addresses, the Governor claimed that Act 10 was needed to balance the state budget and give state and municipal governments the tools to manage during economic crisis. There is nothing in the record to suggest prohibiting dues withholding for some, but not all, public sector employees provides an administrative savings. Nor have defendants described how this particular provision affords state and municipal governments increased flexibility to manage the economic crisis, except perhaps to suppress disfavored unions from opposing certain governmental cuts — a purpose that cannot justify the government’s selectively subsidizing union speech. Indeed, the only justification in the record for prohibiting dues withholding for general employees is limiting the speech of that class of unions. During the intense debate over Act 10, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald commented that “[i]f we win this battle, and the money is not there under the auspices of the unions, certainly what you’re going to find is President Obama is going to have a … much more difficult time getting elected and winning the state of Wisconsin.” The suppression of free speech, however, is not a valid government interest.”—
“At the outset of the call, Romney said he has some connections to Wisconsin. “One of most humorous I think relates to my father. You may remember my father, George Romney, was president of an automobile company called American Motors … They had a factory in Michigan, and they had a factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and another one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,” said Romney. “And as the president of the company he decided to close the factory in Michigan and move all the production to Wisconsin. Now later he decided to run for governor of Michigan and so you can imagine that having closed the factory and moved all the production to Wisconsin was a very sensitive issue to him, for his campaign.”—
“This morning in America’s highest court, freedom seems to be less about the absence of constraint than about the absence of shared responsibility, community, or real concern for those who don’t want anything so much as healthy children, or to be cared for when they are old. Until today, I couldn’t really understand why this case was framed as a discussion of “liberty.” This case isn’t so much about freedom from government-mandated broccoli or gyms. It’s about freedom from our obligations to one another, freedom from the modern world in which we live. It’s about the freedom to ignore the injured, walk away from those in peril…It’s about the freedom to be left alone. And now we know the court is worried about freedom: the freedom to live like it’s 1804.”—Dahlia Lithwick, The Supreme Court’s Dark Vision of Freedom.
Next Monday, Ed Schultz will be broadcasting live from the Great Dane. Following his show, he’ll be filming a new “lean forward” commercial at Coopers Tavern. There’s limited access to the filming of his show, so check out his facebook page for more info if you’re interested.
Frank Rich outlines the evolution of the Republican party’s stance on issues related to women’s rights:
For much of its history, misogyny was not the style of the party of Lincoln. For most of the twentieth century, the GOP was ahead of the curve in bestowing women’s rights. When the Nineteenth Amendment granting suffrage was ratified in 1920, roughly three-quarters of the 36 state legislatures that did so were controlled by Republicans. In 1940, the GOP mandated that women be equally represented in its national and executive committees—a standard not imposed by the Democrats until more than three decades later.
Barry Goldwater’s wife Peggy, inspired by a Margaret Sanger lecture in Phoenix in 1937, would help build one of the nation’s largest Planned Parenthood affiliates. Her husband favored abortion rights. “I think the average woman feels, ‘My God, that’s my business,’ and that’s the way we should keep it,” he said late in his career. Prescott Bush, the Connecticut senator who sired a presidential dynasty, was another Sanger enthusiast and treasurer for the first national Planned Parenthood fund-raising campaign. His son George, when a congressman in the sixties, was an ardent birth-control advocate and the principal Republican author of the trailblazing Family Planning Act of 1970. Capitol Hill colleagues jokingly nicknamed him “Rubbers.”
Rich writes, “the GOP started backing away from its traditional beneficence on women’s issues at the tail end of the Nixon presidency.” For example, here is the approach Newt Gingrich took in his first successful congressional campaign:
His opponent, a state senator named Virginia Shapard, crusaded for the Equal Rights Amendment and bankrolled her own campaign. That uppity profile gave the Gingrich forces an advertising message: “Newt will take his family to Washington and keep them together; Virginia will go to Washington and leave her husband and children in the care of a nanny.” Newt won by nine percentage points. One of his campaign officials tied his victory to the strategy of “appealing to the prejudice against working women, against their not being home.”
An interesting analysis of the current state of the Republican party:
Who speaks for the Republican party? The answer is that everyone does — and therefore, no one does.
Much air time and many trees have been wasted trying to explain the division, rancor and lethargy that have beset the Republican nominating campaign, now into its second year and threatening to run all the way to the party’s national convention in late August. But it’s no great mystery. Republicans have fallen prey to one of the favorite tactics of just the sort of heedless, improvident, twenty-first century capitalism they revere. Their party has been outsourced.
“Stop, hey, what’s that sound? Actually, it’s the noise a great political party makes when it loses what’s left of its mind. And it happened — where else? — on Fox News on Sunday, when Mitt Romney bought fully into the claim that gas prices are high thanks to an Obama administration plot. This claim isn’t just nuts; it’s a sort of craziness triple play — a lie wrapped in an absurdity swaddled in paranoia. It’s the sort of thing you used to hear only from people who also believed that fluoridated water was a Communist plot. But now the gas-price conspiracy theory has been formally endorsed by the likely Republican presidential nominee.”—Paul Krugman, Paranoia Strikes Deeper. Krugman tears down the Republican idea that the Obama administration is pushing for higher gas prices.
Seven Milwaukee police officers and a supervisor with a long history of misconduct complaints have been stripped of their police powers after several people complained about invasive body searches. The searches are being investigated as potential sexual assaults and civil rights violations.
The supervisor at the center of the investigation is Sgt. Jason Mucha, who has been investigated in the past after suspects accused him of beating them and planting drugs on them, according to police and court records.
Jared Bernstein, writing for Rolling Stone, on the House GOP budget:
This budget isn’t going anywhere. The Senate won’t accept it; the president will not sign it.
So why read on? I mean, even if it was going to be implemented, it’s a rare person who’d spend his or her free time reading about a federal budget.
Here’s why: Because the House GOP budget is a strikingly clear example of where today’s conservatives are at regarding the basic role and functions of government. You need to be aware of the choices and priorities in this budget; they are not going away. They represent a threatening vein in the body politic.
“As he rolled out his 2013 budget on Tuesday, Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, correctly said that he and his fellow Republicans were offering the country a choice of two very clear futures. The one he outlined in his plan could hardly be more bleak. It is one where the rich pay less in taxes than the unfairly low rates they pay now, while programs for the poor — including Medicaid and food stamps — are slashed and thrown to the whims of individual states. Where older Americans no longer have a guarantee that Medicare will pay for their health needs. Where lack of health insurance is rampant, preschool is unaffordable, and environmental and financial regulation are severely weakened.”—The New York Times, The Careless House Budget
Statement: “The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation. The department also is providing assistance to and cooperating with the state officials in their investigation into the incident. With all federal civil rights crimes, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person acted intentionally and with the specific intent to do something which the law forbids – the highest level of intent in criminal law. Negligence, recklessness, mistakes and accidents are not prosecutable under the federal criminal civil rights laws.” The U.S. Attorney and the FBI are also participating in the investigation.
“St Patrick’s Day is an opportunity for the global Irish family, wherever they are living, to joyously acknowledge our shared heritage and culture and to celebrate and make our commitment to an Irishness of which we all can be proud. The life story of St. Patrick is one of perseverance through adversity, generosity overcoming cruelty, and a people being transformed through the power of spiritual idealism. Just as St. Patrick brought a vision of hope and renewal to his people, we in our time have our own Aisling - our dream of a better, kinder, fairer shared world.”—President Michael D. Higgins, St. Patrick’s Day 2012
“Like so many of their countrymen after centuries of British tyranny, they have the ephemeral, fatalist, yet perversely optimistic faces that seem to say: A broken leg! Be glad you didn’t break them both. Then you couldn’t have crawled out of the bog and you’d have died for sure.”—The Look of the Irish
“If some of these folks were around when Columbus set sail, they probably would have been founding members of the Flat Earth Society. Maybe they would have agreed with one of the pioneers of the radio who apparently said, “Television won’t last. It’s a flash in the pan.” … They might have even sided with one of my predecessors, President Rutherford B. Hayes, who reportedly said this about the telephone: “It’s a great invention but who would ever want to use one?”—President Barack Obama on the critics of a clean energy future, in Maryland today. (via barackobama)
“The mother who carries a child to full term is subject to anxieties, to physical constraints, to pain that only she must bear. That these sacrifices have from the beginning of the human race been endured by woman with a pride that ennobles her in the eyes of others and gives to the infant a bond of love cannot alone be grounds for the State to insist she make the sacrifice. Her suffering is too intimate and personal for the State to insist, without more, upon its own vision of the woman’s role, however dominant that vision has been in the course of our history and our culture. The destiny of the woman must be shaped to a large extent on her own conception of her spiritual imperatives and her place in society.”—Planned Parenthood v. Casey
“It will never be perfect. It will never be giddy liberal nirvana, because it doesn’t work that way. Politics is corrosive and infuriating, de facto and by definition, even with someone as thoughtful as Obama in the Big Chair. Understand it. Deal with it. Get back in the game. If you don’t, we all lose.”—
Mark Morford. The tone of his column is kind of condescending, but the message is on point.
I know I have posted excerpts from this before, but lately I’ve read an alarming number of posts about not voting so this seems relevant.