Republicans Slash at State Budgets
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Republican Governors are challenging the benefits won by public-sector unions, but a poll out today suggests a possible backlash. What would that mean for Governors like New Jersey's Chris Christie, who's made national headlines by vilifying teachers' unions. Also, rebels appear to hold off pro-Gadhafi forces near Tripoli. On Reporter's Notebook, the Oscar winner for best documentary raised a provocative issue on Sunday: why is nobody in jail in the aftermath of the Wall Street meltdown?
Banner image: Jeannine Ramsey joins thousands of other demonstrators marching around the Capitol building protesting the proposed Budget Repair bill on February 26, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Rebels Appear to Hold Off Pro-Gadhafi Forces Near Tripoli ()
Moammar Gadhafi's assaults on rebels in several cities appear to be failing. US Navy warships are being repositioned in case of humanitarian intervention, but no military action has been authorized by the UN. Gadhafi's son, Saif al-Islam Gahdafi, continues to insist that Libyans are united in support of his father. We get updates from Borzou Daragahi, of the Los Angeles Times, and David Kirkpatrick, of the New York Times, who join from Gadhafi's stronghold, the capital city of Tripoli.
- Borzou Daragahi: Middle East Correspondent, Los Angeles Times, @borzou
- David Kirkpatrick: Cairo Bureau Chief, New York Times, @kirkpatricknyt
Public-Employee Benefits and Republican Politics ()
Between the amount states have promised their workers -- and the money they have to pay -- the gap totals no less than a trillion dollars. Both Democratic and Republican governors want to cut the pay or benefits of public employees to help reduce massive state deficits, but some Republicans are challenging public-sector unions and their right to bargain. While this is music to GOP strategists who've prepared for years to exploit the issue, a poll released today by the New York Times and CBS News says Americans oppose that idea by a margin of 56 to 37 percent. Republican efforts to reduce bargaining rights are opposed by 60 to 33, with only a slim majority of GOP voters in favor. Will there be a political backlash if private-sector voters identify police officers, firefighters and teachers as partners in the besieged middle-class?
- Susan Urahn: Managing Director, Pew Center on the States
- Ken Vogel: Senior Reporter, Politico.com, @kenvogel
- Matt Bai: Political Times Columnist, New York Times, @mattbai
- Christine Todd Whitman: former Governor of New Jersey
'Inside Job' Oscar-winner and the Wall Street Meltdown ()
Sunday's Oscar ceremonies were widely criticized as a snooze, but when Inside Job won for best documentary its director seized the moment. The film depicts the 2008 financial meltdown as a crime committed by greedy Wall Street bankers. Charles Ferguson told the Academy that "three years after a horrific financial crisis caused by massive fraud, not a financial executive has gone to jail – and that's wrong." Kevin Hall is national economics correspondent for the McClatchy Newspapers.
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