Tuesday ReadsPosted: March 1, 2011
Good Morning politics junkies!! I’ve got a few juicy reads for you today, so let’s get right to it.
First up, the ongoing protests against Gov. Scott Walker’s attempted union-busting in Wisconsin. There already have been a couple of polls showing that the majority of Americans support the fight for workers’ rights, and specifically the right of public employees to bargain collectively.
Public Policy Polling (PPP) announced last night that if Wisconsin voters could have a “do over,” Walker would not win the election for Governor.
if voters in the state could do it over today they’d support defeated Democratic nominee Tom Barrett over Scott Walker by a a 52-45 margin.
The difference between how folks would vote now and how they voted in November can almost all be attributed to shifts within union households. Voters who are not part of union households have barely shifted at all- they report having voted for Walker by 7 points last fall and they still say they would vote for Walker by a 4 point margin. But in households where there is a union member voters now say they’d go for Barrett by a 31 point margin, up quite a bit from the 14 point advantage they report having given him in November.
It’s actually Republicans, more so than Democrats or independents, whose shifting away from Walker would allow Barrett to win a rematch if there was one today. Only 3% of the Republicans we surveyed said they voted for Barrett last fall but now 10% say they would if they could do it over again.
Fascinating, huh? In addition, the results of the latest NY Times/CBS poll shows majority support for public employee unions.
Americans oppose weakening the bargaining rights of public employee unions by a margin of nearly two to one: 60 percent to 33 percent. While a slim majority of Republicans favored taking away some bargaining rights, they were outnumbered by large majorities of Democrats and independents who said they opposed weakening them.
Those surveyed said they opposed, 56 percent to 37 percent, cutting the pay or benefits of public employees to reduce deficits, breaking down along similar party lines. A majority of respondents who have no union members living in their households opposed both cuts in pay or benefits and taking away the collective bargaining rights of public employees.
A couple of days ago, the Los Angeles Police Protective League blog urged support for Wisconsin publish employees who have been protesting in Madison for more than a week now.
An attack on the collective bargaining process in any of the 50 states is an attack on every unionized worker in America. California, long a pro-labor state, is no exception. Following the Wisconsin governor’s lead, a Republican state assemblyman from Costa Mesa has announced legislation to eliminate collective bargaining for pension benefits by California’s public employees. While Assemblyman Allan Mansoor’s bill – aimed at addressing the increasing costs of retired public employees – stands little chance of passage in the Democrat-controlled Legislature, it serves as a reminder that we must remain vigilant and prepared to take action whenever our basic union rights are threatened.
President Obama actually spoke in vague terms (does he ever get specific?) about union workers. I won’t bother to quote his meaningless words; I just want to note that Scott Walker responded to Obama’s remarks–and, if anything, he was more vague and meaningless than Obama. What a pair!
In Libya, vicious tyrant Muammar el-Qaddafi (or Gadhafi, or Gaddafi–or however the heck you spell it) is getting more out of touch with reality with each passing day. From The New York Times:
Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya is deep into a fantasy world. In an interview with ABC News, he insisted that his people “love me,” blamed the courageous uprising against his rule on “terrorists” and refused to take responsibility for his many crimes.
Only if you believe the old saw, “you only hurt the ones you love.” More details from CNN:
Embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi flatly denied Monday the existence of the protests threatening to end his 41-year rule, as reports of fighting between government forces and rebels raged another day.
In a joint interview with ABC News’ Christiane Amanpour and the BBC, Gadhafi also denied using force against his people, Amanpour reported. Excerpts of the interview were posted on the networks’ websites.
“No demonstration at all in the streets,” he said, speaking at a restaurant in Tripoli.
Told by the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen that he had seen demonstrators in the streets that morning, Gadhafi asked, “Are they supporting us?”
“They love me, all my people with me, they love me all. They will die to protect me, my people,” he said.
Now those are truly spectacular delusions!
At Al Jazeera, there’s a great article on revelations about the Gaddafi family drawn from cables released by Wikileaks.
For my fellow conspiracy buffs, here’s a fascinating story from Salon about the latest appeal for parole by RFK assassin Sirhan Sirhan.
More than four decades after Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated, his convicted murderer wants to go free for a crime he says he can’t remember.
It is not old age or some memory-snatching disease that has erased an act Sirhan Bishara Sirhan once said he committed “with 20 years of malice aforethought.” It’s been this way almost from the beginning. Hypnotists and psychologists, lawyers and investigators have tried to jog his memory with no useful result….
“There is no doubt he does not remember the critical events,” said William F. Pepper, the attorney who will argue for Sirhan’s parole Wednesday. “He is not feigning it. It’s not an act. He does not remember it.”
Of course he doesn’t remember it. He’s a “Manchurian Candidate.”
Pepper also suggests Sirhan was “hypno-programmed,” turning him into a virtual “Manchurian Candidate,” acting robot-like at the behest of evil forces who then wiped his memory clean. It’s the stuff of science fiction and Hollywood movies, but some believe it is the key.
I’m going to leave you with this video of an enraged husband yelling at Christian Taliban pickets outside an abortion clinic where he and his wife went for help with a terrible medical problem. Thanks to Dakinikat who sent this to me last night.
What are you reading and blogging about today?