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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 08:43 AM ET, 03/28/2011

The Morning Plum

* Assault on unions is transforming midwestern politics: Read of the morning: E.J. Dionne on how the assault on union rights by GOP governors is reawakening class and labor issues in the midwest, and getting blue collar whites to rethink their drift towards the GOP, in ways that could have major ramifications for 2012 and beyond.

Also: E.J. notes, as I have, that one big story here is that commentators and strategists who thought public employees would make easy scapegoats amid our economic doldrums have been proven entirely wrong.

* How much maneuvering room will Congress give Obama on Libya? Driving this week: The President is set to address the nation tonight on Libya. He will claim that the mission is starting to achieve it goals, but Obama officials are still unwilling to clarify how long our presence will last.

Here’s a good preview of what Obama will say.

How much credence will top Congressional Republicans — who have generally been more willing than conservative commentators to grant Obama breathing room as commander in chief — grant Obama’s claims of progress?

Another key question about Obama’s speech: Will it persuade his Congressional critics on both sides that he has a clearly defined endgame in sight, or will it only make it easier for those demanding more clearly defined goals to escalate their criticism?

* Congressional critics remain angry: Obama’s critics in Congress on Libya are signaling that the White House’s latest outreach to the Hill is not enough, a suggestion that frustration with Obama’s lack of engagement on the budget talks is spilling over into Congressional reaction to events in Libya.

* Libya question of the day: Tom Malinowski, the Washington director of Human Rights Watch, notes that it’s entirely legit to press Obama for a more clearly defined mission, but he also asks:

Why isn’t Obama getting credit for stopping an atrocity?

* The Wisconsin GOP’s latest shenanigans: Late Friday, Wisconsin GOP senate leaders went ahead and published Scott Walker’s bill rolling back bargaining rights, an effort to make it law despite a judge’s temporary restraining order.

But Wisconsin’s secretary of state now says sorry, no dice, it ain’t law.

* Does Scott Walker agree with latest GOP maneuver? A key question for today: What is Scott Walker’s position on whether these latest GOP senate shenanigans do, in fact, make his proposal law despite the judge’s restraining order? His office is refusing to say.

Key takeaway: While the legal consequences of this move are still up in the air, the bottom line is that these latest shenanigans will only add more energy to the recall drives.

* Why Wisconsin GOPers are likely to get recalled: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has an interesting look at how the Wisconsin electorate is comprised of a surprisingly large percentage of public employeees, and why large turnout among them is likely to tip the balance in the elections to recall Wisconsin Republican senators.

* Wisconsin GOP trying to silence critic? I’m glad Paul Krugman devoted a column to the Wisconsin GOP’s demand for professor William Cronon’s emails, arguing that it’s part of a larger trend of GOP opposition to fact-based academic inquiry. Hopefully major news orgs will start giving this story some more attention.

* Why should GOP risk a government shutdown? Fred Barnes echoes the conviction of conservative elites that Republicans are winning the budget war with the Dems and that it would be folly to play into the hands of Dems by letting their right flank change this dynamic by pushing us all into a government shutdown.

* The GOP’s Latino problem: As Chris Cillizza notes, GOP strategists are worriedly noting that new census data shows that nearly one out of four children 17 and other today are Hispanic, and many of them will of course soon be, you know, voters. Also: Many red states are among the ones with the fastest-growing Hispanic populations.

Cillizza: “what had been reliably red states for decades are slowly — or not so slowly — seeing huge growth among what, for the moment, is a reliably Democratic constituency.” Is it time to rethink all that immigration rhetoric yet?

* Is Obama falling prey to misguided faith in American militarism? James Carroll makes the case that whatever Obama’s intentions, his Libya policies suffer from the same “illusions of martial supremacy” that have ruled us for decades.

* How many times can Gingrich flip flop on Libya? Ian Millhiser has a useful guide to all of Newt’s recent contortions and acrobatic reversals.

* Right-wing blog-bait of the day: Joe Biden’s staff, trying to clean up an absurd and wholly unncessary mess, apologizes to a reporter for sticking him into a closet for more than an hour at a Biden fundraiser.

* And the must-read takedown of the day:Glenn Greenwald on the poor, put-upon Koch brothers and the odd phenomenon known as “billionaire self pity.”

What else is happening?

By  |  08:43 AM ET, 03/28/2011

 
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