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Josh Marshall: Walking into the Wind

“Political opinion is often more driven by power and impotence than we believe. On the merits, I think Walker’s probably on the wrong side of public opinion in his state on the collective bargaining issue. But quite apart from that, he’s out giving press conferences daring his opponents to come back to the state and give him what he wants. But they’re not. And his top legislative ally seems to be signaling that he doesn’t have another card to play. Whatever you think on the merits of the question, that makes him look weak. And weakness is demoralizing. He’s lost the initiative.”

Read More: For Nervous AWOL Dems In WI, The Pressure’s Off…For Now
Read More: Too Little, Too Late? Moderate GOP Floats Plan To Break WI Impasse
Read More: Star Packer Charles Woodson Supports Wisconsin Unions

Huckabee: Haley Barbour’s Record On Race Issues Is “Impeccable”

“In the past few months, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour — a potential Republican presidential candidate — praised the notorious pro-segregationist Citizen Councils that operated in his youth and refused to denounce efforts in his state to create a license plate honoring Ku Klux Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forrest. But according to former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR), who may also be posturing for a presidential run, Barbour’s record on race issues is “impeccable.””

Disgraced Former Tea Party Leader Calls On Right-Wing Activists To Pose As SEIU Organizers

“National tea party groups like Americans for Prosperity have been bussing conservative activists to Madison, WI to confront protesters there standing up to Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) union busting. But Tea Party Nation and Mark Williams, the disgraced former chairman of Tea Party Express, who was forced to resign after making offensive racial comments, are calling for a more radical approach. In an email alert to supporters sent last night, Tea Party Nation promotes Williams’ “great idea” to impersonate SEIU organizers at upcoming labor rallies in an attempt to embarrass and discredit the union.

Williams lays out a highly dishonest and fairly involved scheme to have “plants” sign up on the SEIU website to be organizers for an upcoming rally, dress up in SEIU shirts, and to then make outrageous comments to reporters covering the events in order to “make the gathering look as greedy and goonish as we know that it is”.”

How John Birch Society Extremism Never Dies: The Fortune Behind Scott Walker’s Union-Busting Campaign

“Over 68,000 people have mobilized in Madison and progressive organizers are planning solidarity efforts across the country to denounce Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-WI) radical attempt to bust Wisconsin’s public sector unions. So far, Walker has refused to compromise, even though Wisconsin labor leaders are already coming to the table with large concessions. How can Walker press on, even with public opinion beginning to turn against him? Much of Walker’s critical political support can be credited to a network of right-wing fronts and astroturf groups in Wisconsin supported largely by a single foundation in Milwaukee: the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, a $460 million conservative honey pot dedicated to crushing the labor movement.

Walker has deeply entwined his administration with the Bradley Foundation. The Bradley Foundation’s CEO, former state GOP chairman Michael Grebe, chaired Walker’s campaign and headed his transition. But more importantly, the organizations lining up to support Walker are financed by Bradley cash.”

Bump In Auto Sales Boosts Consumer Morale, TV Ads

“New and used auto sales jumped 20 percent last year, according to a new survey of businesses. The car industry, sensing a rebound, has responded with an abundance of TV ads. Economists say the uptick in sales is a sign that consumers are starting to believe the worst has passed.”

Huge Bahraini counter-protest reflects rising sectarian strife

“Tens of thousands of Bahrainis rallied in support of their beleaguered government Monday, dwarfing the opposition’s movement and raising new questions about whether the calls for major reforms will lead instead to more sectarianism for a key American strategic ally.”

Anti-government protesters, Libyan security forces clash

“Clashes between protesters and security forces erupted again Monday, a continuation of Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi’s brutal crackdown on demonstrations demanding the end of his 42-year rule, according to human rights groups and witnesses.”

Read More: Qaddafi’s Grip Falters as His Forces Take On Protesters

Israel Silent as Iranian Ships Transit Suez Canal

“Israeli officials have described the move as a provocation but have said it should not be blown out of proportion.”

Egypt’s Leaders Signal Commitment to Civilian Rule

“Egypt’s leaders took high-profile steps to reassure Egyptians and signal to foreign leaders that the move to full civilian rule would be rapid.”

Satire: Obama Denies Accusations He Does Not Love His Dog

“The Beltway media is abuzz following Republican charges that Obama hates Bo (Video).”

Good News: A Lease On Solar Panels? Some States Pitch In

“SolarCity, a four-year-old company, leases solar panels to its customers, so they don’t have to shell out a lot of money up front to buy them. Customers often pay less for the leases and their electric bills than they used to pay for their electric bills alone.”

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