This morning our local (that is to say, our Chicago) news carried a blurb about the prank pulled on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. The merry punker called pretending to be one of the Koch brothers, the billionaire siblings who have been underwriting a lot of the Tea Party and ultra conservative groups. I read about this some yesterday and a couple of the stories carried partial transcripts of the conversation. The news story simply told of the prank and that Walker is vowing not to be 'distracted.' If the stories I saw yesterday are accurate, he should be extremely embarrassed and not worrying about the distraction. The prankster suggested that Walker plant provocateurs in the crowd to stir things up. Walker responded that he and Republican leaders had considered that option and did not consider it feasible. Note: he didn't reject it because it was morally wrong but because he doubted the tactic would accomplish what ever he wanted it to. Isolated incident? Momentary lapse? Maybe; but then consider Walker's response in light of this Rolling Stone story about the U.S. military directing their 'informational operations' and 'psychological operations' teams, illegally, against visiting U.S. officials. MSNBC also carried this story with a link to the original. Crooks and Liars (and yes, Lois, I do love these guys!!) just posted this item. I do hope that the Government Accountability Board (a bipartisan, independent ethics board) does investigate.
This firedoglake article shows why I think we are very close to the line, if not over it, of abandoning the right to call ourselves a 'society of laws.' Notice the section on the health of the Wisconsin pension plan. It isn't in any real trouble at all. Notice also how the current and past governors of New Jersey created much of their pension plan problem by diverting the funds from the pension plan to other uses. Illinois did much the same. But ordinary working people are being told they have been 'over promised' and must shoulder 'some' of the burden for getting us out of this fiscal mess. Can anyone else spell 'hypocrite'?