TPM News

Daley: People Talk About No-Fly Zone As If It Were A 'Video Game' Appearing on Meet The Press, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley criticized those who call for a no-fly zone in Libya: "Well, you know, lots of people throw around phrases of 'no-fly zone,' and they talk about it as though it's just a game on a video game or something, and some people who throw, throw that line out have no idea what they're talking about," said Daley. "Bob Gates understands the difficulty of going to war. This is a man who spent his--almost his entire life working for the government. He, he knows the difficulty of war and the challenges, as does Admiral Mullen. So when, when people comment on military action, most of them have no idea what they're talking about."

McCain: Qaddafi 'Insane,' A No-Fly Zone Can Send Message To People Around Him Appearing on This Week, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) reiterated his support for a no-fly zone as part of an effort to oust Muammar Qaddafi. He's insane. But perhaps the people around him would begin to depart the sinking ship," said McCain. He also added: "Again, by a no-fly zone, by declaring our support for a provisional government, perhaps, which is being formed up now - there is a lot of steps we can take."

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) says that, yes, President Obama is running "a gangster government." And, yeah, he probably doesn't like America very much either.

Appearing this morning on Meet The Press, Bachmann refused to back away from some of her stronger anti-Obama rhetoric. Confronted with her past statements about Obama, Bachmann -- the chair of the House Tea Party Caucus and a potential Republican contender for the White House next year -- essentially doubled down, declining to answer questions about her perceived "extremism."

"I don't take back my statement on gangster government," she said. "I think that there have been actions that have been taken by this government that I think are corrupt, thoroughly corrupt."

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Famed progressive and documentary filmmaker Michael Moore was among the highlights at rallies inside and outside of the state capitol in Madison, Wisc. Saturday.

According to reports on the ground, Moore rallied "thousands" with a rousing speech that focused on "three major lies" of the "past decade."

"Wisconsin is broke. There are weapons of mass destruction [in Iraq,] and the Packers need (Brett) Favre to win the Super Bowl," Moore said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"The country is awash in wealth and cash," Moore said to the crowd of union members and their supporters. "It's just not in your hands."

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Obama Calls For 'Sitting At The Same Table' On Spending Cuts In this weekend's YouTube address, President Obama called for a bipartisan dialogue on spending cuts.

"We need to come together, Democrats and Republicans, around a long-term budget that sacrifices wasteful spending without sacrificing the job-creating investments in our future," said Obama. "My administration has already put forward specific cuts that meet congressional Republicans halfway. And I'm prepared to do more. But we'll only finish the job together - by sitting at the same table, working out our differences, and finding common ground. That's why I've asked Vice President Biden and members of my Administration to meet with leaders of Congress going forward."

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Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) has now taken the latest step in his effort to pass his budget proposal and its anti-public employee union provisions: Sending out layoff notices to the state employee unions. However, nobody is fired just yet.

Instead, Walker says the terminations could happen as early as April 4 -- but can be avoided if the state Senate Democrats who fled the state in order to block the three-fifths budget quorum will just come back.



As WisPolitics reports:

According to the guv's office, individual employees will get a notice at least two weeks before their layoff takes effect.

Walker's office also noted in a statement that "if the Senate Democrats come back to Wisconsin, these notices may be able to be rescinded and layoffs avoided. Without Senate action within 15 days, individual employees may begin to receive potential termination notifications."

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The protesters aren't done in Wisconsin -- far from it.

The AFL-CIO is organizing yet another Saturday rally at the state Capitol in Madison. This follows the mega-protests that occurred the past two weekends, which each attracted many tens of thousands of people in opposition to Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal and its anti-public employee union provisions.



The first mega-rally two weeks ago was interesting in that it pitted the anti-Walker protesters against a promised contingent of pro-Walker Tea Partiers -- only to have the anti-Walker people outnumber his supporters at least several times over. And with tens of thousands of people, there were no amazingly no arrests.

The second Saturday rally, which I attended as a reporter on assignment, had an even larger attendance -- and in freezing, snowy weather, compared to the relatively warm and sunny day of the previous rally. That second rally featured such celebrity appearances as folk singer Peter Yarrow -- who, in an apparent sign of reawakening class consciousness in the state, led a massive sing-along of "Which Side Are You On," and other populist tunes. Actor and Madison native Bradley Whitford was also in attendance, alongside a brass band that was identified as "not the official UW Alumni Band."

So let's see how this Saturday turns out.

State Rep. Pat Bauer, the leader of the AWOL Indiana House Democrats still camped out in Urbana, IL and effectively shutting down legislative process back home, says it's no surprise to him that Wisconsin has dominated the headlines while Indiana's fight has slipped off the front page.

"Their governor isn't as clever as our governor," Bauer told TPM in a telephone interview Friday. Bauer said Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) can "shake and bake," offering up a legislative priority list that Bauer said was a devastating for the middle class "with a smile."

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), on the other hand, is fighting his state's Democrats "with a scowl."

Daniels "doesn't have the attraction of the demon that his pupil has over there [in Wisconsin]," Bauer said. "The governor or Wisconsin says that the Governor of Indiana is his mentor. So obviously Gov. Daniels is smarter and more schooled in how to be a destroyer of the middle class."

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Wisconsin's Capitol building has "always been open to state legislators, to come and go as they please," state Representative Nick Milroy (D), the lawmaker who was tackled by Wisconsin Capitol Police on Thursday night, told TPM in an interview on Friday.

But this week, he says, has been different.

All tackling aside, Milroy's Capitol key card was disabled on Monday, and he doesn't know when it will work again -- leaving him unable to access the building freely, as he used to do.

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