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Republicans avert ‘NPR emergency’
03.18.2011
01:22 pm

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Fantastic. New York Congressman Anthony Weiner razzes the Republicans over the “NPR emergency.”

I love Weiner’s appearances on Sean Hannity’s program. He always treats Hannity with the respect he deserves, like he’s talking to a child or a complete idiot…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Protesters in DC crash fundraiser for Wisconsin GOP

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Yay team! Yesterday protesters crashed a fundraising event for the Wisconsin Republican Party in Washington D.C. A Salon videographer was there:
 

 
Via Scott Walker Watch

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Tea partier wants to deport Latinos and bus in Blacks to pick the crops!
03.17.2011
11:56 am

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Amazing but true: Upstate New York asshat Jack Davis, once a Democrat asshat (he’s run for Congress three times as a Democrat and lost each time), is now taking his unique brand of idiocy to what you might expect would be the warm embrace of the GOP/Tea partiers, but that’s not been the case. Apparently Davis, who is running in the special election to replace scandalized Republican Craigslist tranny-chaser, Chris Lee, is too much of an asshole even for the folks who gave us Carl Paladino!

According to the Buffalo News:

Congressional candidate Jack Davis shocked local Republican leaders in a recent interview when he suggested that Latino farmworkers be deported—and that African-Americans from the inner city be bused to farm country to pick the crops.

Several sources who were in the Feb. 20 endorsement interview with Davis confirmed his comments, which echo those he made to the Tonawanda News in 2008, when he said: “We have a huge unemployment problem with black youth in our cities. Put them on buses, take them out there [to the farms] and pay them a decent wage; they will work.”

When Davis repeated those sentiments in the recent interview, the Republican leaders—who later delivered the party endorsement for the vacant seat in the 26th Congressional District to Assemblywoman Jane L. Corwin of Clarence—said they couldn’t believe what they were hearing.

“I was thunderstruck,” said Amherst GOP Chairman Marshall Wood. “Maybe in 1860 that might have been seen by some as an appropriate comment, but not now.”

When asked his controversial comments prior to a campaign event Davis replied: “It’s politics.” Rim-shot please!

Obviously, Davis has an ice cube’s chance in Hell of winning the seat. One of his challengers, Assemblywoman Jane Corwin has been given the endorsement of the state GOP, the Conservative Party and the Independence Party, and so will have three spots on the ballet.

(And speaking of idiocy, the GOP doesn’t have the market cornered: two prominent Democrats in Michigan, Michael McGuinness, former chairman of the Oakland County Democratic Party, and Jason Bauer, former operations director for the Oakland County Democratic Party have been indicted on felony charges for their amateur hour “creation” of two fake Tea party candidates. They forged signatures and everything! One of the pair falsely notarized petitions for a dozen statewide candidates! HOW in the world did these morons expect this would go unnoticed? The county prosecutor is a Democrat, so this ain’t a partisan hit job. These two need a long spell in the pokey to reflect on what they did to themselves, their political party and to their families’ future. I shook my head in disbelief when I read about this. It’s far worse than anything James O’Keefe has done, if you ask me.)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Union member interviewed as Walker was signing the union-busting bill

 

So tell me your name?

Ken Larson.

And where do you work?

I work for the University. I work for the elevator crew, and in the electric shop.

And this year, you’re retiring?

Yes, I’m retiring in June, prompted by all of the goings on. I had planned to retire in December, but I can’t take the chance.

And how many years do you have in?

I have, with the University, seventeen years.

And what does this mean to you?

Aw this, it started out, to me, as an issue between collective bargaining, and the fact that, uh…[breaks down]

I’m a Vietnam vet. That’s alright.

But when he talked about the National Guard, it became personal. He talked about bringing out the Guard, you know, hinting that the Guard would be called, it became personal. But I’m over all that now, that’s why what’s really personal to us all, is [pauses to collect himself]

...are my grandchildren. I don’t want them to be deprived, because this guy has to give it to millionaires. He doesn’t deserve that. My kids, my grandkids deserve everything. So this became personal to me, very personal now, because of all the families, the poor, and moderate-income families that he’s depriving of a better life.

That’s the best I can say.

Via Tina Dupuy/Crooks & Liars

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Mega-rally: Large protests expected in Michigan tomorrow

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Tomorrow a large rally to protest the policies of unpopular Michigan Governor Rick Synder will take place in Lansing. There was a protest held there earlier today attended by more than 1,000 pissed-off senior citizens whose pensions Gov. Snyder wants to tax. That was just the orchestra tuning up. Snyder’s outlandish budget proposal would give even a goon like Scott Walker pause. Synder’s plan would raise taxes on the working class by 31% while cutting taxes for corporations by 86%. WTF is right! Get on the bus!

Below, Michael Moore’s open letter to his fellow Michiganders:

Friends and neighbors,

The call has gone out and I’m asking everyone who can to take Wednesday off and head to the State Capitol in Lansing to protest the cruel and downright frightening legislation currently being jammed down our throats.

What is most shocking to many is that the new governor, who ran against the Tea Party and defeated the right wing of his party in the primaries—and then ran in the general election as “just a nerd from Ann Arbor” who was a moderate, not an ideologue—has pulled off one of the biggest Jekyll and Hyde ruses I’ve ever seen in electoral politics.

Governor Snyder, once elected, yanked off his nice-guy mask to reveal that he is in fact a multi-millionaire hell-bent on destroying our state and turning it over to his buddies from Wall Street.

In just 8 short weeks he has:

* Gotten the House and Senate to pass bills giving him “Emergency Management” powers such as the ability to appoint a corporation or a CEO who could literally dissolve town governments or school boards, fire the elected officials, nullify any local law and run your local governmental entity. That company then would have the power to immediately declare all collective bargaining contracts null and void.

* Proposed giving business a whopping 86% tax cut while raising everyone’s personal taxes by 31%! And much of that tax hike he believes should be shouldered by—I kid you not—senior citizens and the poor! He says these two groups have not been “sharing the sacrifice” the rest of us have been burdened with. So his budget proposes a $1.8 billion tax CUT for business and a $1.75 billion tax INCREASE for the rest of us, much of it from the poor, seniors and working people—even though the top 1% in Michigan ALREADY pay a lower state tax rate than everyone else does!

* Together with the legislature, introduced over 40 anti-labor bills in just the first two months of this session! They have wasted no time and have caught most people off guard. Much of this is being rushed through right now before you have a chance to raise your voice in objection.

These actions are breathtaking when you realize they will drive our already battered state straight into the ground. What we needed right now was an inspiring leader to help us reinvent Michigan and to find creative ways to create new jobs and lift us out of our economic depression. The rest of the country may call what they’re experiencing the “Great Recession,” but few argue that Michigan is suffering a “one-state Depression.”

I know many of you are filled with a great sense of despair and a justifiable loss of hope these days in Michigan. But you must not let things get even worse. You must stand up against these Draconian measures and this outrageous attempt to rip our democratic rights from us by turning our state over to well-paid hacks from Wall Street and corporate America. They see our state as one big fire sale—and they are licking their chops to get their hands on what is still a state rich in natural resources and industrial infrastructure.

Please show up at noon on Wednesday for our first mega-rally against this insanity. Hundreds of groups are already organizing car pools and buses. You can right now just declare yourself an organizer and get your friends and neighbors committed to being in Lansing. If ever there were a day to call in sick, Wednesday is it (because this IS sick). Students, if ever there were a day to cut class and become a participant in your democracy, Wednesday is it. This event needs to be HUGE—and I believe it will be if you will simply be there and take a stand.

Much attention has been paid to Wisconsin in recent weeks. Well, they got nothing on what’s going on here in Michigan. Rick Snyder is Scott Walker on steroids. There’s never been what even the AARP calls “an all-out attack” like this on us. Trust me, you will rue the day you sat home and did nothing while thieves posing as politicians stole your Great Lakes State from you.

Don’t let it happen. Be at the capitol by noon on Wednesday for the largest demonstration the state has ever seen.

Go Spartans! Go Wolverines! Go Everyone Else In Between!

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Recall Walker’: Gov. Scott Walker has a welcoming committee

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Increasingly hapless Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, still trying to prove how utterly and spectacularly clueless he is, took his show on the road this weekend to the small town of Washburn in Bayfield County, WI. Walker spoke at an invitation-only event where he was met by a large, angry and very vocal group of people who hate his guts. The video below is what we can now safely refer to as “Classic Walker”—boy, this motherfucker is DENSE! He honestly seems to think this is going to blow over! He suffers from this weird, pathological delusion that he’s right! Reality is going to be smacking Scott Walker in the face—HARD—in the very near future. From the Duluth News Tribune:

Walker arrived in a convoy of six unmarked police cars that pulled up at 5:45 p.m. to the Steak Pit for a Republican Lincoln Day fundraiser. The large, boisterous crowd, which had been lining the streets leading to the restaurant since 4:30, quickly recognized him and erupted in boos and shouts of “Recall Walker.”

The convoy moved through quickly and without incident, and most of the protesters began to follow a circuitous route on public pathways to a spot behind the restaurant where they continued the protest within earshot of the Republican Party faithful inside.

Bayfield County Sheriff Paul Susienka said Saturday evening that he didn’t have a crowd estimate, but various people had estimated the size at between 2,000 and 5,000. So the protest

probably at least doubled the size of Washburn, which has a population of 2,271.

—snip—

People were definitely saying their piece, greeting each vehicle that arrived for the dinner with shouts of “Shame!” while waving protest signs and shaking their fists. One person videotaped the license plates of at least some of the vehicles that entered.

Protesters banged pots, shook tambourines at car windows and sounded horns. Most of the drivers and their passengers stared straight ahead. They had to navigate through a narrow tunnel formed by protesters on both sides, held back by Bayfield County sheriff’s deputies and rally organizers.

Signs included “Gov. Walker, you probably can’t remember me, but ... I can recall you” and “At least my Grandma’s Walker helps her.”

—snip—

“The thing that really got me here is the disparity of wealth that has grown way too out of hand,” Griffiths said. “This is not a Wisconsin thing. This is a global pandemic of wealth buying power.”

Richard Bergsrud, 26, of Duluth agreed that it wasn’t just a Wisconsin thing. The way Walker’s proposal to strip public employee unions of most collective bargaining rights was passed into law was wrong, Bergsrud said.

“It should be a dialogue, not a monologue,” he said.

Bergsrud acknowledged he felt a little bit sorry for people arriving to the event. But he said they were wrong for supporting actions that deprived public employees of long-fought-for rights.

Not everyone who disagreed with the protesters was in the Steak Pit.

Mark Goodrich, a building contractor in Ashland, stood at the corner where protesters passed between Stage North and the entrance to the Steak Pit with a large sign bearing the words, “God Bless Gov. Walker.”

Goodrich said he had heard a few taunts from protesters.

“I know some of the people,” he said. “I have friends on both sides.”

But he added: “Collective bargaining is not a right. It’s never been a right.”

Not sure if I am reading this correctly, but was there just one idiot in the whole town who “stood up” for Dead Man Walker against all the other protesters who loathe him?

That’s a visual! One I don’t expect was very comforting for the embattled Republican governor, do you?

It would be amusing to know whether or not class traitor Mark Goodrich was invited in out of the cold by the Republicans for his misguided efforts on their behalf, wouldn’t it?
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Dems have nearly half of signatures needed for recall of Wisconsin GOP state senators
03.15.2011
02:35 pm

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Democrats in Wisconsin got out of the gate with a very strong start for the race to gain the necessary signatures needed for a recall election in the “Forward” state. This can’t come as good news to the Republicans and Gov. Walker (nicknamed “Dead Man Walker” by no less of a representative of mainstream American opinion than TIME magazine).

Greg Sargent writes in the Washington Post:

Dems have now collected over 56,000 signatures supporting the recall drives, according to party spokesman Graeme Zielinski, after another surge in organizing activity over the weekend. That’s up from rougly 14,000 after last weekend. This means Dems are well ahead of schedule: In each targeted district, Dems need to amass the required signatures — 25 percent of the number who voted in the last gubernatorial election — by a deadline of 60 days after first filing for recalls, which happened nearly two weeks ago.

In other words, Dems are reporting they are nearly halfway to the finish line, with roughly three-fourths of the alloted time remaining.

Though the national media has largely treated the Wisconsin story as resolved, now that Republicans used a procedural maneuver to pass Scott Walker’s measure, the new signature numbers suggest the GOP’s maneuver may only be giving more momentum to the recall drives. The recall fight has drawn the attention of national Dems, who are keeping attention on the battle in hopes that it will have ramifications in the 2012 Congressional and presidential elections, by galvanizing the Dem base, persuading independents that the GOP has overreached, and reawakening the affection of blue collar whites for unions.

Some will insist that these numbers are unreliable, because they are coming from Dems. But if they did cook the numbers, such exaggerations would quickly become apparent if they fell well short of their goals by the deadline. (Republicans are refusing to reveal the amount of signatures they’ve collected to recall Dems.) What’s more, these signatures numbers claimed by Dems mirror other indicators of enthusiasm: Dems and labor continue to raise money for the recall drives at a dizzying clip, and a huge rally amassed in Madison over the weekend.

According to Wisconsin Dem spokesman Zielinski, Dems are ahead of pace in signature gathering in every single one of the eight districts being targteted, and in three of the districts, Dems have well over 50 percent of the number required.

And in a related note, popular Wisconsin resident, Jeff Skiles, who was co-pilot of the “Miracle on the Hudson” plane, told WISC-TV that he will be closing his accounts (totaling over $400,000) at M&I Bank today. M&I’s executives were amongst the largest donors to embattled Gov. Scott Walker’s election campaign. Below, Skiles speaks to pro-labor protesters in Madison on Feb. 26, 2011.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Wisconsin GOP: Winning hearts and minds, continued
03.15.2011
01:38 pm

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Mafia -style politics in Madison? This is the text of the email that went out yesterday to Wisconsin Republicans from their Majority Leader, Scott Fitzgerald. Stunning, isn’t it? It’s as if these people have no clue what is about to hit them.

From: Sen.Fitzgerald
Sent: Monday, March 14, 2011 3:52 PM
To: *Legislative Senate Republicans
Subject: Senate Democrat voting privileges in standing committees

Dear Members,

With the return of the Senate Democrats this weekend, questions have arisen regarding Democrat members’ participation in Senate standing committee public hearings and executive sessions.

Please note that all 14 Democrat senators are still in contempt of the Senate. Therefore, when taking roll call votes on amendments and bills during executive sessions, Senate Democrats’ votes will not be reflected in the Records of Committee Proceedings or the Senate Journal. They are free to attend hearings, listen to testimony, debate legislation, introduce amendments, and cast votes to signal their support/opposition, but those votes will not count, and will not be recorded.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact my office.

Thank you,

Scott Fitzgerald
Senate Majority Leader
13th Senate District

Below, Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald discusses his version of democracy(!!), but look what happened when the Wisconsin 14 actually did return. Fitzgerald thinks he can have it both ways. He’s wrong. What an appalling hypocritical scumbag this man is. I will look forward to his recall and hope it’s chock full of juicy Republican schadenfreude, because Republican schadenfreude is the best kind of schadenfreude there is. (And how fucking dumb—and politically tone-deaf—would you have to be to make a statement like this with THAT racket in the background? Fitzgerald only appears slightly less stupid than Sarah Palin did when she pardoned the turkey... and that’s nothin’ to be proud of, pal.)
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Morgan Spurlock sells out at SXSW
03.15.2011
02:41 am

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Morgan Spurlock’s new documentary The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is a riotously funny, dead serious look at product placement, advertising and marketing in entertainment and the world around us and how it literally fucks with our heads. The entire movie was funded by the companies whose products are blatantly featured throughout the film. The movie exists thanks to the cash that Spurlock managed to extract from the very system he is critiquing. Exploiting components of the $412 billion marketing industry, Spurlock has created the cinematic equivalent of a virus devouring its host. It’s an ingenious bit of guerrilla theater that makes its frightening points while being highly entertaining.

Spurlock describes the concept behind The Greatest Movie Ever Sold:

Brands are everywhere these days. It seems like I can‘t go to any event these days without someone ―sponsoring it. Sporting events, concerts, anything. So, why not a movie? Better yet, why not a movie that examines the whole phenomenon that is actually paid for by the companies themselves. That was the jumping off point.
The movie documents both the absurdity and pervasiveness of product placement in our daily lives and I saw my role on this film as both a filmmaker and an anthropologist.”

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold was funded by Hyatt, POM Wonderful, Sheetz, Jet Blue, Mini Cooper, Ban deodorant and half a dozen other brands. The product placement and commercials that occupy virtually every frame of the movie have made the $1.5 million documentary profitable before it even opens in theaters on April 22.

Here’s the Q&A with Morgan after the screening of The Greatest Movie Ever Sold at SXSW on March 13. This footage was shot on a Sony HD camcorder by Dangerous Minds’ Marc Campbell who was wearing Levi jeans and Converse sneakers while sucking on an Altoid mint.
 

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Naomi Klein’s ‘The Shock Doctrine’: The Documentary
03.12.2011
05:37 pm

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The Shock Doctrine is a 79 minute documentary directed by Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross, based on Naomi Kelin’s book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, and broadcast by the UK’s Channel 4 in September 2009. From The Times:

The Shock Doctrine examines the way that the free-market policies of Milton Friedman and the Chicago School were forced through in Chile, Russia, Britain and, most recently, Iraq by either exploiting or engineering disasters — coups, floods and wars. It’s an obvious fit for Winterbottom, a left-leaning director in the tradition of his one-time mentor Lindsay Anderson. He had long been a fan of Klein’s journalism and her bestselling first book, No Logo, though he admits that he hadn’t read The Shock Doctrine before Klein approached him about turning a shorter film she had made into something feature length.

Klein suggests a link between economic shock (radical spending cuts, mass unemployment) and the shock therapy practised in the 1950s by the psychiatrist Ewen Cameron, which led to the development of Guantánamo-style torture techniques. It impressed Winterbottom as “a simple and clever idea that makes you look at things in a different way”. He adds: “Naomi harnesses these events, especially the connections between what went on in Chile under Pinochet and what’s going on now in Iraq, which I hadn’t thought of before.

Winterbottom makes the point that when the current economic crisis hit, many people were not aware that to be pro-Friedman was to adopt a political position: his policies, implemented first by President Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, were the water we all swam in. “I’m an optimist and I think this is a good time to be arguing this case because there’s a possibility we could be talking about a comeback for a Keynesian model,” he says. “Naomi feels differently. She thinks that the powerful people who have benefited from these changes over the years are going to hold on to them. Maybe she’s right. You only have to look at Goldman Sachs paying out record bonuses.”

Absolutely essential viewing, this is television at its best.
 

 
After the jump, The Shock Doctrine, Parts 2-8

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
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