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The Media Consortium: Showdown in Madison: A Primer for the Wisconsin Protests

by Raquel Brown, Media Consortium blogger It’s been a tumultuous week in Madison, Wisconsin. Tens of thousands of state workers, teachers, and students have packed the state Capitol building to protest Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to weaken public unions. In a move ostensibly aimed to balance the state budget, Walker proposed a bill on Friday, February 11 that would dislodge collective bargaining rights for all public workers except for police, firefighters and the state patrol–some of the few public employee unions that supported Walker’s gubernatorial campaign. In addition, the bill will require most state workers to pay significantly more
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Fox Reporter Greeted With ‘Fox Lies’ Chants In Madison

Fox News anchor Chris Cotter and reporter Jeff Flock found the scene in Madison, Wisconsin a little bit inhospitable, as the gathered protesters chanted “Fox lies” over and over again during their afternoon hit from the state capitol building. One gentleman in a woolly hat was especially emphatic about his opinion that “Fox lies.” “Fox lies!” he said, adding, “Fox lies.” Flock quipped, “Those appear to be the only two words he knows,” but credited the majority of the crowd for being “reasoned, calm, and willing to talk.” As it turns out, questions regarding the veracity of the content on
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Health Care Repeal Could Cost $210 Billion, CBO Says

WASHINGTON (By Susan Heavey) – Repealing the U.S. healthcare law enacted last year would add $210 billion to the nation’s deficit over the next decade, congressional auditors said on Friday. The Congressional Budget Office said enactment of a House of Representatives measure last month to scrap the healthcare overhaul would eliminate a number of provisions aimed at reducing federal healthcare costs as well as strip out new revenue-creating taxes and fees. Republicans, who now control the House, campaigned on repealing the law, one of Democratic President Barack Obama’s main legislative victories. Despite the vote in the House, the repeal was
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Michelle Chen: From Wisconsin to Washington, Budget Cuts Draw Battle Lines

It’s remarkable how little the demonstrations in Wisconsin have to do with the budget battle that initially sparked it. The protesters today aren’t talking about program cuts, but reinvigorating a sense of economic citizenship in an age when workers and democratic government are both under siege. Amid the chants and the picket signs is a new sense of where working-class families will draw the line when it comes to protecting certain public goods: education, labor rights, job security, and a solid social safety net. Meanwhile in Washington, the same core values face a nationwide war of attrition against the public
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HUFFPOST HILL – Jackie Speier’s Undeniable Chutzpah

Wisconsin public servants descended on their statehouse in hopes that Governor Scott Walker would retire to the Egyptian coastal resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh. Tim Pawlenty will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming Tea Party Policy Summit, leaving the rest of the 2012 field scrambling to deliver the introductory remarks at the “Facts: Fact or Fiction?” seminar. And If you’re a sick polar bear seeking family planning whose habitat has been decimated by global warming and is in desperate need of UN peacekeepers to maintain the political stability of the ice floe that is carrying you out to sea,
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Jeff Danziger: Wisconsin Protests

Content from The Huffington Post, obtained via an RSS feed, as in all content in in our Political briefs section. Most web sites use RSS to feature blurbs withs links back to the original site. HuffPo features many stories from other sites with links back to the original source. For some reason, HuffPo often features the full content of the story in their web site. We\’e not sure why but the material here is provided under the same rules we use for all RSS content.
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Cynthia Dill: State Workers Getting Slammed in Maine

“We need to be honest with the Maine people. This isn’t about slamming anybody here; this is about paying your bills,” said Paul LePage, speaking about the hospital debt that had been kicking around for over a decade. The Baldacci administration had of course paid down $3.7 billion on this decades-old “bill,” but the campaign rhetoric about the state “paying what it owes” resonated. Hopefully it still does. The political theatre starring Maine’s unpaid hospital bills was choreographed by Communications Director, Dan Demeritt, who said, “and I’ll even make sure our members know the exact day the exact amount of
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POLLS: Mixed Results On Labor Unions

WASHINGTON – With protests surging in Wisconsin over a law that President Obama described as an “assault on unions,” two new surveys show very different impressions of public employee labor unions among Americans. One finds a net positive rating of unions that represent people who work for state or local governments, while the other finds a two-to-one majority expressing opposition to the notion of public employee unions should “bargain for higher pay, benefits and pensions.” The difference, as usual, hangs on the wording of the questions: Narrow majorities of Americans continue to approve of unions, including public employee unions, though
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