On Wisconsin and on to Tripoli, Libya
Wisconsin: Where to start? Republican Governor Scott Walker is a hypocrite. When he campaigned for governor, he made promises for new programs and proposed a variety of tax cuts. This is hardly the behavior of anyone serious about closing the looming $2.7 billion state deficit.
Denying the fundamental right to collective bargain was not necessary to close the state budget gap. Rather, the budget gap was the excuse to destroy union rights.
Then we found out that billionaire right wing patrons, the Koch Brothers, are a key force behind Walker’s union busting. Owners of Georgia Pacific, energy companies, and some popular household product lines, the brothers are libertarians with an anti-Democrat, anti-union fanaticism fueled by their highly profitable businesses.
Walker Punked, Implicated in Illegal Acts: Walke, the Tea Party man in Madison, took a call last week from a man identifying himself as David Koch. Fake David Koch, blogger Ian Murphy, recorded the conversation (kudos to Murphy!). It turned out to be Walker, who gave every indication that he took the call seriously.
John Nichols of Madison’s CapTimes, has an excellent analysis showing the potential illegalities in this exchange:
Fake David Koch (Ian Murphy): “Well, I tell you what, Scott: Once you crush these bastards, I’ll fly you out to Cali and really show you a good time.”
Gov. Walker: “All right, that would be outstanding. Thanks for all the support in helping us move the cause forward …”
Fake David Koch: “Absolutely. And, you know, we have a little bit of a vested interest as well.”
Gov. Walker: “Well, that’s just it.”
Nichols offered the following analysis:
Someone who Walker thought was a major donor to national groups that aided Walker’s 2010 gubernatorial run — giving the Walker campaign $43,000 directly, via Koch Industries’ KochPAC — said he had a “vested interest” in a budget plan being pushed by the governor, and Walker replied, “Well, that’s just it.” CapTimes, Feb 24
We also have the fake Koch brother offering a free trip to California and the governor saying, “That would be outstanding.”
More ominously, the fake Koch suggested planting disruptors among the union demonstrators in the state capitol. Walker’s response indicates that he and others conspired to do just that but changed their minds:
Fake David Koch: “Right, right. Well, we’ll back you any way we can. But, uh, what we were thinking about the crowds was, uh, was planting some troublemakers.”
Gov. Walker: “You know, the, well, the only problem with that — because we thought about that. The problem — the, my only gut reaction to that is right now the lawmakers I’ve talked to have just completely had it with them, the public is not really fond of this.” From full transcript of call in The Wisconsin State Journal
There’s your Tea Party revolution against crooked government. It is more rotten, unethical, and dishonest than anyone could have imagined. You cannot make up this stuff. The reality is simply too appalling.
On to Tripoli, Libya: While researching and writing on the stunning events in Libya, I discovered this endorsement of the Libyan economy on February 15, 2011. It’s from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a US-EU backed fund for international development.
The outlook for Libya’s economy remains favorable.
International Monetary Fund, February 15, 2011
After recounting the IMF’s mind numbing approval of Gaddafi, I said, “When international financial organizations and experts take a liking to a regime, they become blind to the atrocities that the regime has committed. It’s all just money to them.” Economic Populist, February 22
The next day, the IMF announced that it connected the dots between the “sustainability” of macroeconomic investments and the involvement of the people. One would hope that by “involvement” of the people, IMF includes democracy and the freedom of public assembly free of being attacked with fighter jets by the IMF funded regime.
Tens of thousands have died through the maniacal attacks of the dictator Gaddafi. He has lost most Libyan cities. His last stand is in the nation’s capital, Tripoli. His time has come and the end will be ugly. The aftermath will provide an opportunity to examine just how brutal his regime was. It will also provide a focus on the disgraceful behavior of two successive United States administrations for supporting this monster, not to mention the fawning support of the European Union.
But why did US and European governments support Gaddafi? Der Spiegel sums it up: Libyan Arms Deals Come Back to Haunt Europe February 24
The Bush Administration, the European Union, and the IMF welcomed Libya into fellowship of “civil” nations. Those entities and the Obama administration supplied the political legitimization for Gaddafi to stay in power and the arms with which the dictator is now using to attack his own people. Mission accomplished. These people are not qualified to hold any office, let alone positions of real power.
At long last, have they no sense of shame? Nah. They’re into it. They love the money from the arms deals, $500 million in 2009 alone, and the perquisites they get from the arms dealers.
The Empty Shirt Presidency: President Obama continued his perfect record of standing for very little, other than the interests of Wall Street and the big banks (remember those bailouts). On Libya, Obama was more tentative in warning the regime to avoid slaughtering its people. While Egypt has a US friendly Army to take up the reins of power, there is no such entity in Libya. In Egypt, there was violence against citizens but nothing to compare to the wholesale slaughter in Libya. Hence, Obama is more tentative on Libya.
The president makes no sense unless you recognize the cynicism of pretending to be a peacemaker when, in fact, he is more like a profit center.
In 2007, Obama promised to walk the line if anyone came after the public service unions. Now that he’s president, Obama can’t quite decide which side he’s on. He kind-of likes the unions in Wisconsin but he wants them to share the sacrifice to balance budgets. He is bereft of any guiding principles that promote the well-being of anyone other than his pals on Wall Street and at the big banks.
This article, as it turns out, was not satire: Obama to Switch Party, November 14, 2010
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