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Thursday, February 24, 2011

A message from Russ Feingold

The following comes from former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, a man who once bought me soup. He now runs Progressives United.

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Governor Walker claims that his controversial proposal is simply about the budget. But it's not: it's a political bait-and-switch designed to destroy the fundamental rights of Wisconsin's workers.

And in the last two weeks, it's become clear that Governor Walker isn't doing his job to represent my state of Wisconsin. Instead, he's trying to make a national name for himself by pushing the same agenda shared by corporate interests like the Koch brothers - the billionaire captains of industry who just recently opened a lobbying office across the street from the Capitol in Madison.

The Kochs not only spent tens of thousands of dollars supporting Walker's campaign, but they also funneled millions of dollars through front groups to fund attack ads. And now, just as the people of Wisconsin are working together to stand up to them, the Kochs and other front groups are trying to simply buy the result they want, showering the state with pro-Walker, anti-Obama TV ads.

Enough is enough. It's time we unite as progressives and stand up to the corporate interests trying to dominate our democracy. Members of Progressives United are calling on Governor Walker to take a step back and end his attempt to strip the rights of Wisconsin's workers. Click here to join us.

Democrats and workers are willing to come to the table and compromise in the spirit of shared sacrifice for the sake of the budget.

But no matter how much he claims otherwise, Governor Walker’s goals aren't about money. They're about politics.

It was clear from the beginning: one of Governor Walker's first legislative priorities was passing tax cuts for corporations, which only furthered the budget problem. He is now using that to gut workers rights, putting the burden of corporate tax cuts on the backs of taxpaying Wisconsin workers.

Governor Walker has made it clear, he thinks of Wisconsin as the first domino in a war on workers’ rights. Governors in Indiana, Florida, and Ohio have already proposed similar plans - but unlike Governor Walker, they're willing to compromise.

We have a unique opportunity here to show that individuals can join together and stop attempts by big-monied special interests to attack this country’s middle class. Join members of Progressives United in telling Governor Walker: Get past the heavy-handed politics and outside money and stop attacking our rights.

As a former state senator and U.S. senator from Wisconsin -- but more importantly, as a citizen of Wisconsin -- I call on Governor Walker to drop his attack on the fundamental rights of workers and focus on his job of fixing the budget.

Thank you for joining me,

Russ Feingold
Progressives United

P.S. -- Please take action today to join me and ask Governor Walker to rise above the influence of heavy-handed politics and outside money and go to work for the people.

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Cannon again. Is this a doomed effort? Maybe. But hell -- all of life is a doomed effort, and will remain so as long as the death rate remains 100%. Even so, we must fight the good fight.

On that cheerily philosophical note, here is another message. This one comes the folks at, which has started something called the Job Party:

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This Saturday we're drawing a line in the sand. The entire progressive movement is putting everything we have into one massive display of progressive solidarity nationwide.

We won't let Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker - or any other billionaire-bought TeaParty Governor - break the unions. Unions created America's middle class and if they disappear we'll all end up as corporate slaves.

The entire progressive movement - Netroots, unions, environmentalists, and community groups - will hold solidarity rallies in major cities, including every state capital, this Saturday around noon.

We'll demand an end to the attacks on workers' rights and public services across the country. We'll demand investment to create jobs. And we'll demand that the rich and powerful pay their fair share of taxes.

Will you join us Saturday at noon? Sign up to join your local rally here.

Here in New York City, our new Job Party has already held two solidarity rallies, proudly wearing Wisconsin Cheeseheads and winning smiles and cheers from fellow New Yorkers.

Cheesehead Rally NYC #1Last Friday, 100 of us held a spirited rally in front of CNN, NBC, and FOX. On Tuesday we grew to 500 at FOX during Glenn Beck's show, and prominent New York unions and politicians joined us.

While Glenn Beck raged helplessly inside his studio, Ed Schultz happily crossed the street to interview us. We also appeared on Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly. Watch our videos.

And with unions, students, and progressives in the Midwest leading the way, we're turning the tide. When an Indiana official urged use of "live ammunition" against unions, he was immediately fired. Then Indiana Republicans dropped their anti-union "right-to-work" bill like a hot potato. Republican Governors in Michigan, New Jersey, and Florida are running as fast as they can from union-busting.

But a few hard-line Republicans are holding out, especially Wisconsin's Scott Walker and Ohio's John Kasich. And several Republican presidential candidates are supporting them, promising to bust unions nationwide if they win in 2012.

So we need to hit the streets to send a message that's loud and crystal-clear: the American people support our unions, and we want jobs!

Sign up to join your local rally here.

* * *

Cannon here again. I like the "we want jobs" message -- but don't you think that the wisest course of action would have been to support a real Democrat for president? Y'know, someone who didn't flat-out lie about NAFTA?

The "Job Party" is a good idea -- in fact, it sounds an awful lot like my own idea, which will be returning soon. But in order to get anywhere, the Job Party needs to denounce the great Obama sell-out.

In fact, maybe Wisconsin provides us with an opportunity. Win or lose, maybe this battle will provide a good way for Democrats to recapture the Democratic party, because it's pretty obvious that the guy in the White House ain't taking a stand against Walker and the Kochs. Afterwards, we can tell the few remaining Obots: "Screw you. We did this without you. We don't need you."

On a completely unrelated topic: Gadhafi blames all of his problems on pill-popping young people and on Al Qaeda. His tactics are pretty obvious. He's pointing to the Osama bogeyman in order to scare the U.S. into supporting him: "Apres moi, le Caliphate!"

As for drugs -- man, does that dude look wasted or what?
Actually Joe you probably know this but Gaddafi does have quite a history with Al Qaeda. The Brits tried to use a cell in Libya to assassinate him at one point before 9/11. And if you have ever looked at Osama's Interpol page: 2nd on the list for arrest is the District Attorney for Manhattan...1st would be Muammar. Funny world.
Sure there is some Al Qaeda element in Libya. But thats whats happens when you eliminate all reasonable opposition. Its obvious that the bulk of the anti Quadafi movement are just ordinary people.

I support the strikers in Wisconsin 100%. I know they may lose. But if they fight they just might show some people whats at stake and what can be done. Lets show up these corporate hacks for what they are - we deserve politicians who represent our interests, not the Kochs.

Harry, I agree about Libya, but the history was too amusing to pass up mentioning.

You're correct the article was really about Wisconsin but I have little to add there as it seems self-evident that the unions should be supported in this case. One aspect that bothered me was the idea the police and security unions would be excluded from the new legislation. It seems every where you turn these days the military and police are getting special consideration either with budgeting or legal exceptions. While I strongly support our service members I also support teachers and nurses equally. This sort of pandering to security forces also seems a common attribute of banana republics.
The fifth paragraph of your soup post, take out Bush and insert Obama and it's relevant for today.

Your New Deal and the Job Party are too little too late. Obama, Reid and Pelosi have their hands around the throat of the Democratic Party and aren't about to let go.

At the risk of repeating myself, the seeds of the party's morphing into republican-lite were sown in the 1980's when Democrats voted for Ronald Reagan. One union, the Teamsters, endorsed Reagan twice.

The only fix is to replace any and all incumbent Democrats in any and all political offices from school board to president. To paraphrase the Joker,"This party needs an enema!"

Speaking of the Joker, remember the stink that was raised when Obama was photoshopped in whiteface with the word Socialist underneath? Why haven't I been able to find similar outrage about the Rope poster?

Could it be nobody cares any longer?
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