West Wing Week: “Green Eggs and Governors”

The White House

Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It was a busy week on the 18 acres, with President Obama welcoming the nation’s governors, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and Mexican President Felipe Calderón to the White House. The First Lady and Education Secretary Arne Duncan also helped kick off Education Month at the Library of Congress.

Politico’s: The Week In One-Liners

The week’s top 10 quotes in American politics: 

“I used Michele Bachmann as my methadone.” – Washington Post writer Dana Milbank, explaining how he managed to avoid writing about Sarah Palin for all of February. 

“I’m more famous than Obama!” – Charlie Sheen, as quoted by his estranged wife in a court declaration as she sought a restraining order. 

“That’s tough talk from someone who is being bossed around by a bunch of freshmen.” – A spokesman for Sen. Harry Reid, keeping a war of words going with Rep. John Boehner. 

“The melting forks are finally gone.” – A Boehner spokesman, expressing glee at the Republican majority’s scrapping of biodegradable utensils in House cafeterias. 

“Jesus will be the manager of the Red Sox before the budget … is ever balanced again.” – Radio host Don Imus, offering a prediction to Sen. John Kerry. 

“He’s doing well.” – Former first lady Nancy Reagan, assessing President Barack Obama’s performance thus far. 

“Read the report that comes out tomorrow from the GAO that looked at the government that we put in the last debt-limit extension – makes us all look like jackasses.” – Sen. Tom Coburn, issuing a warning about a new Government Accountability Office report on overlap and duplication in programs and agencies. 

“It’s good to allow [states] to work out their own problems rather than a one-size-fits-all federal government stupid, dumbass program.” – Sen. Orrin Hatch, issuing his critique of Obama’s health care bill. 

“The White House is pretty f—-ing cool, but it ain’t Charlie Sheen’s house.” – Sugar Ray lead singer Mark McGrath, comparing houses while performing in Washington this week. 

“You’re freakin’ A right I do!” – Former White House adviser David Axelrod, answering whether he missed the fake @MayorEmanuel account.

Haunting New Giffords Photo

The Daily Beast Cheat Sheet

49 Charges in Giffords Case

Staffers of wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords released a never-before-seen photo on Giffords’ Facebook page today depicting her just moments before being shot in the head. The photo shows Giffords doing what “she loves to do; talk to her constituents,” her staff said. In the picture, the Representative—who has lately shown rapid signs of a rapid recovery, including walking and talking, but still has a long way to go, doctors say—is talking to Jim and Doris Tucker outside the Tucson Safeway where she was attacked. On the same day, her alleged shooter Jared Loughner was indicted on 49 new counts by a federal grand jury.

Gaddafi’s Most Brutal Attack Yet

Is Libya locked in a bloody stalemate? Leader Muammar Gaddafi launched one of his most brutal attacks yet on Friday, attempting to maintain his grip on Tripoli and surrounding areas in what some rebels called a “bloodbath.” Meanwhile, the country’s Internet was completely shut down yesterday, new reports show. In the U.S., President Obama is receiving three briefings per day on the situation, the White House said, and is “appalled” at what he hears.   At least 37 people died on Friday night’s fighting alone and rebels say the number is closer to 50.

Read it at The Washington Post 

Wisconsin Democrat Tackled While Trying To Enter Capitol

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker upped the ante in his state’s tense union standoff on Friday night, issuing layoff warning notices to 13 unions. The notices “may be able to be rescinded,” Walker said, if the state’s Senate Democrats, who fled Wisconsin in protest, return. Meanwhile, a Democratic Assembly member was tackled by Capitol police Thursday night when he tried to enter the building, which had been closed to the public after weeks of protests. The Assembly member, Nick Milroy, called the situation at the Capitol an “armed-palace environment,” and said the guard knocked him to the ground before he was able to produce his identification card. Police closed the building Thursday night after a judge banned protesters from staying past business hours. 



Walker’s Budget Slashes Medicaid, While Increasing Funeral Assistance For Destitute Who Die

This is a sad state of affairs.  Whats worse is that there is no lobbyists for the poor and or destitute in Wisconson or elsewhere…

Think Progress

For weeks, Wisconsin has been the site of an intense battle between a Main Street Movement consisting of middle class Wisconsinites and a radical push by Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) and his allies to strip most of the state’s public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights.

One of the lesser-known assaults on working class people in Walker’s most recent legislative push is his attempt to override federal Medicaid laws to place the state’s subsidized health care system, BadgerCare, under the control of the state’s Health and Human Services office, and then proceed to slash its budget and throw thousands of people off the rolls.

As In These Times’s Lindsay Beyerstein notes, this new provision in the budget is coupled with another policy which seems darkly ironic when seen alongside these Medicaid cuts. The Walker budget “recommends increasing payments to counties to cover the costs of burying Wisconsinites who die destitute” — one of the few major increases in spending to be found in the document. Indeed, on page 248 of the governor’s Health and Human Services budget, Walker recommends an “increase” in “funeral and cemetery aids”:

Yesterday, a “coalition of public-and private-sector unions is holding a jazz funeral for the welfare state in Wisconsin,” complete with a New Orleans-style procession. “If he’s going to let let them die, he’d better beef up the cemeteries,” said protest organizer Jean Ross, a co-president of co-president of National Nurses United, of Walker. “The man has no heart.”

Update:    The Badger-Herald filed a video report from the scene of the funeral procession. Watch it