These are my links for March 7th from 14:20 to 14:26:
- Obama restarts Guantanamo trials – President Barack Obama approved Monday the resumption of military trials for detainees at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ending a two-year ban.
It was the latest acknowledgement that the detention facility Obama had vowed to shut down within a year of taking office will remain open for some time to come. But even while announcing a resumption of military commission trials, Obama reaffirmed his support for trying terror suspects in U.S. federal courts — something that's met vehement resistance on Capitol Hill.
"I strongly believe that the American system of justice is a key part of our arsenal in the war against al-Qaida and its affiliates, and we will continue to draw on all aspects of our justice system — including Article III courts — to ensure that our security and our values are strengthened," the president said in a statement.
I thought Gitmo was Bush's fault and Obama was going to close it?
Liar Liar pants on fire…. what a train wreck Obama is.
- Big Payday for Aides of Departing House Members – Departing members of the House of Representatives awarded millions of dollars in extra pay to aides as they closed down their offices, according to lawmakers' spending records.
The 96 lawmakers paid their employees $6.7 million, or 31%, more in the fourth quarter of 2010 than they did, on average, in the first three quarters of the year.
That's about twice as much as the 16% increase awarded by lawmakers who returned to the 112th Congress, according to LegiStorm, an organization that tracks congressional salaries.
The disparity suggests retiring or defeated members used remaining funds in their official expenses budgets to boost salaries for staffers before they left Washington, cash that might otherwise have been returned to the U.S. Treasury.
There needs to be some legislation here.
- Charlie Sheen Fired From ‘Two And A Half Men’ – Not WINNING – It's over for Charlie Sheen on the hit CBS comedy Two and a Half Men. The series producer Warner Bros. TV just released the following statement: "After careful consideration, Warner Bros. Television has terminated Charlie Sheen’s services on Two and a Half Men effective immediately."
Just like the studio did with its previous statement announcing the cancellation of Two and a Half Men for the rest of this season, Warner Bros. TV stopped short of announcing the end of the series, meaning that continuing the sitcom with a new actor next season is a possibility. Two and a Half Men has one more season under a multi-year pickup at CBS. There has been a lot of speculation about CBS and Warner Bros. TV putting together a wish list of actors to potentially succeed Sheen on the show, with names like John Stamos and Rob Lowe bandied about.
John Stamos would be good in the role.
These are my links for February 28th from 10:01 to 11:04:
- Pelosi splits with Reid, dismisses GOP plan to avoid a shutdown – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is showing no enthusiasm for the new proposal from Republicans to avoid a government shutdown, putting her at odds with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
Pelosi said in a statement that the GOP's plan for a two-week spending bill cuts funding for critical programs.
But, the Senate Dems are going to roll over and Pelosi is in the minority.
- Wisconsin Democrat Legislator GORDON HINTZ: "YOU ARE F’N DEAD!" | Newsradio 620 – Milwaukee, Wisconsin News, Talk, Sports, Weather | Charlie Sykes – Last week, we heard that State Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) had been busted in a prostitution sting.
State Rep. Gordon Hintz was issued a municipal citation in Appleton earlier this month for violating a city sexual misconduct ordinance.
Appleton police said the citation was issued Feb. 10 in conjunction with an ongoing investigation of Heavenly Touch Massage Parlor, 342 W. Wisconsin Ave., in Appleton. Police searched the business and a nearby residence in the 1300 block of North Division Street Jan. 28, after investigators had staked out the properties for several days after receiving a tip.
Last Friday…. after the Assembly voted to engross the Budget Repair Bill, Hintz turned to a female colleague, Rep. Michelle Litjens and said: "You are F***king dead!"
Nice civlity there from the LEFT……
He is frakking through in politics, baby….
- Unions vs. the Right to Work – Collective bargaining on a broad scale is more similar to an antitrust violation than to a civil liberty – How ironic that Wisconsin has become ground zero for the battle between taxpayers and public- employee labor unions. Wisconsin was the first state to allow collective bargaining for government workers (in 1959), following a tradition where it was the first to introduce a personal income tax (in 1911, before the introduction of the current form of individual income tax in 1913 by the federal government).
Labor unions like to portray collective bargaining as a basic civil liberty, akin to the freedoms of speech, press, assembly and religion. For a teachers union, collective bargaining means that suppliers of teacher services to all public school systems in a state—or even across states—can collude with regard to acceptable wages, benefits and working conditions. An analogy for business would be for all providers of airline transportation to assemble to fix ticket prices, capacity and so on. From this perspective, collective bargaining on a broad scale is more similar to an antitrust violation than to a civil liberty.
In fact, labor unions were subject to U.S. antitrust laws in the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, which was first applied in 1894 to the American Railway Union. However, organized labor managed to obtain exemption from federal antitrust laws in subsequent legislation, notably the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 and the National Labor Relations Act of 1935.
Read it all
These are my links for February 25th from 10:40 to 10:50:
- The Untold Story of Scott Walker’s Longstanding History with Labor – Governor Scott Walker may be a new marvel to cable news, but he is certainly no stranger to Wisconsin politics. Scott K. Walker, son of a Baptist preacher, began his political career in the early 1990s when he ran for an Assembly seat in the State Legislature. Even as a young legislator in his twenties, Walker took a hard-line, penny-wise approach to labor unions. During a debate in 1993, Walker advocated reforming union laws that oversaw local government labor disputes. Little did he know that his career in Milwaukee politics would be tested and weighed by his exchange with those very laws.
After nine years in the State Legislature, Scott Walker campaigned for Milwaukee County Executive – a seat that no Republican in Wisconsin has ever occupied. But Milwaukee County was recently rocked by a massive pension scandal – one that had given away six-figure backdrops to hundreds of public employees. The area was ripe for a new breed of leadership, and Walker’s message of frugality and fiscal reform seemed to reverberate with the voters. In 2002, Milwaukee County elected Scott Walker, the first ever Republican County Executive.
As Executive, Walker’s skirmishes with unions began shortly after he promised he would balance county budgets without raising property taxes. Without counting on these revenue-raising mechanisms, Walker had to lean on the county workforce for program cuts.
In 2003, Detractors accused Walker of ginning up a false fiscal crisis in order to justify slashing budget items. Drumming up false budgetary crises became a perennial charge against Walker, so he didn’t waste opportunities to remind them that unfunded pension liabilities threatened the solvency of their county government.
In 2006, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) – Walker’s nemesis in all budgetary matters – criticized Walker for what they called a “Sky is Falling Tour.” A few months later (ironically), the Greater Milwaukee Committee – a private sector civic organization – released a damaging report recommending a state takeover of Milwaukee County's budget due to their daunting health care and pension costs.
Read it all
- Oregon Dem Rep. David Wu should step down | For lack of candor, not because of treatment – Now that an explanation for U.S. Rep. David Wu’s sometimes peculiar behavior has emerged, Oregon Democrats are saying that talk of a resignation is premature. The 1st District congressman says he has sought professional care, and supporters claim that seeking treatment should not disqualify a person for public office. They’re right, but that’s not the issue. The real problem is a lack of candor, and for that he should resign.
On Oct. 30, Wu’s staff members demanded that he check into a psychiatric hospital for treatment, according to The (Portland) Oregonian. Wu, who has represented Oregon’s 1st District since 1999, refused. Wu’s staff kept him away from public events in the final days of the campaign, and on Nov. 2 he was easily re-elected to a seventh term. Many of Wu’s top staff members have quit since the election, including his chief of staff, pollster and campaign treasurer.
Wu’s district extends from the northern Oregon Coast to the west side of Portland, and he has not been a frequent visitor to this part of the state. But people in Lane County who recall Wu’s off-key introduction of Barack Obama on the University of Oregon campus in 2008 have some understanding of reports of disjointed public appearances in his district and in Washington, D.C. His behavior in private has reportedly been even more erratic, leading staff members to stage their unsuccessful intervention.
Rep. Wu needs to resign and concentrate on his health.
- Oregon Rep. David Wu’s situation raises questions about why staff didn’t act sooner – The big question now is whether Wu can survive politically. I suspect that continuing coverage of his eccentricities will leave him no choice but resign or pledge not to run again in 2012.
I'm more interested in the answers to a different set of questions that might provide a greater lesson for us all: Who knew what when? And why didn't they act sooner to help a man whose behavior clearly called out for it?
Eccentricity should not preclude anyone from serving in public office. (If it did, the halls of power would be as empty as Manhattan in "I Am Legend.") Neither should addiction or depression disqualify talented public servants, as long as the conditions are acknowledged and treated. It's a wonder we don't hear more tales of members of Congress cracking from the combined strain of long hours, frequent travel, constant pressure to raise money and, even before the rise of the tea party, increasingly personal attacks from partisan foes.
More people, particularly more in powerful jobs, should feel comfortable openly discussing how they cope with stress; we should all understand that seeing a psychiatrist or taking anti-depressants is a sign of strength and self-awareness, not weakness. (Imagine this campaign victory speech: "I'd like to thank my wife, my children, my volunteers and the guy who invented Zoloft.")
Members of the House and Senate work inside a bubble of supportive staff. Aides handle their daily schedules, their travel arrangements, even their laundry. Wu's increasing agitation could not have escaped his staff's notice. And this was obviously not one bad month, despite Wu's suggestion to that effect on "Good Morning America." Political professionals don't decide to stage an intervention with their boss on the spur of the moment.
Yet his aides stayed with him, in some cases for years. The Democratic establishment tolerated and worked around him, through seven campaigns and an increasing number of whispers and raised eyebrows. From a political perspective, that's understandable. Wu holds a strong Democratic seat and knows how to raise money, particularly from out-of-state donors. You don't mess with that kind of success. Unless you care about the person at the heart of it.
In propping Wu up for so long, in staying quiet about what might lie behind his strange behavior, staff and the party power structure did a disservice to both the congressman and his constituents. Wu should explain his behavior. The people who shielded him for all these years as the pressure mounted should explain theirs, too.
Speaker at the time, Dem Rep Nancy Pelosi propped up this moron because she needed his vote.
She and the House Dem leadership should be ashamed of themselves
Boehner, congressional leaders change Twitter titles in Web change-of-power
In twin moves reflecting their new roles in the next Congress, Reps. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) modified their official handles on Twitter.
Pelosi, the outgoing Speaker of the House, modified her Twitter name to drop her title, changing from “SpeakerPelosi” to “NancyPelosi.”
Boehner,meanwhile, transformed from “GOPLeader” to “SpeakerBoehner,” reflecting his assumption of the top spot in the House on Wednesday.
Pelosi’s account sought to downplay the downgrade, seeming to joke that followers should “rejoice” that her Tweets would be easier to retweet or copy to one’s own account – now that her handle was two characters
Her new account tweeted:
I’m now @NancyPelosi – 2 characters shorter than @SpeakerPelosi. RTers rejoice!
Boehner’s communications director, Kevin Smith, noted the change on his account, adding a “tcot” tag meant to flag the tweet for other conservatives on Twitter:
Check it out … @GOPLeader Boehner is now @SpeakerBoehner #tcot
The change in Twitter names is essentially a small one, though they serve as one 21st century signal of the change in power in the House.
If voters only knew what impact Twitter and #TCOT has had on organizing the RIGHT. The #TCOT newly designed website is here.
I am positive there will be a book.