Scott Walker’s Labor Record in Wisconsin – The Atlantic

This past February, at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) outside Washington, D.C., Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker rolled up his sleeves, clipped on a lavalier microphone, and without the aid of a teleprompter gave the speech of his life. He emerged from that early GOP cattle call as a front-runner for his party’s nomination for president. Numerous polls this spring placed him several points ahead of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the preferred candidate of the Republican establishment, in Iowa and New Hampshire. Those same polls showed him with an even more substantial lead over movement conservative favorites such as Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Mike Huckabee. In late April, the Koch brothers hinted that Walker would be the likely recipient of the nearly $900 million they plan to spend on the 2016 election cycle.

via Scott Walker’s Labor Record in Wisconsin – The Atlantic.

I used to lead tours at a plantation. You won’t believe the questions I got about slavery. – Vox

Up until a few weeks ago, I worked at a historic site in the South that included an old house and a nearby plantation. My job was to lead tours and tell guests about the people who made plantations possible: the slaves.

The site I worked at most frequently had more than 100 enslaved workers associated with it— 27 people serving the household alone, outnumbering the home’s three white residents by a factor of nine. Yet many guests who visited the house and took the tour reacted with hostility to hearing a presentation that focused more on the slaves than on the owners.

He said, “Listen, I just wanted to say that dragging all this slavery stuff up again is bringing down America”

via I used to lead tours at a plantation. You won’t believe the questions I got about slavery. – Vox.

Fracketeering: how capitalism is power-hosing the last drops of value out of us all | Money | The Guardian

Fracking. Could there be a more perfect model for how we’re getting rinsed by this current conspiracy of government and commerce? In a world turned upside down, “conservative” now means the absolute opposite of “leaving things as they are”. Conservative means changing everything. It means dismantling things and selling off the bits. It means drilling into our lives and extracting the marrow.

Conservatism and conservation are now about as far apart as it’s possible to get. Friends of Conservation are the ones protecting the countryside. The ones who stand around self-consciously in terrible fancy dress, holding passive-aggressive placards in praise of the noble, selfless badger. Or basically any mammal that looks good in a waistcoat.

Friends of Conservatism, on the other hand, are the ones who roll up on heavy machinery like a pissed Ukrainian militia. The ones who drill deep beneath that area of local countryside whose only “use” so far has been as a picnic site. And who then pump into the ground powerful jets of high-pressure hydrogunk, splintering rock as easily as a walnut. And who, having sucked up a sky’s worth of valuable gas through a massive crack pipe, then pack up and lumber off to fracture and steal someone else’s underground treasure.

via Fracketeering: how capitalism is power-hosing the last drops of value out of us all | Money | The Guardian.

New Jersey Editor Warns Nation: Chris Christie Is a Pathological Liar | Mediaite

On the morn of Chris Christie’s presidential campaign announcement, Star-Ledger editor Tom Moran looked back upon his decade-plus of covering the pugnacious governor and diagnosed him as a pathological liar.

“Don’t misunderstand me,” Moran wrote. “They all lie, and I get that. But Christie does it with such audacity, and such frequency, that he stands out.”

Moran distinguished Christie’s mendacity from other politicians’, who tend to obfuscate or dissemble, by pointing out that Christie “lies with conviction.” He noted Christie’s 2009 promise to unions that public sector pensions were “sacred” to him, the force of which was matched by Christie’s vigor in targeting those pensions.

“His hands don’t shake, and his eyes don’t wander,” Moran wrote. “I can hardly blame the union leaders who met with him for believing him.”

via New Jersey Editor Warns Nation: Chris Christie Is a Pathological Liar | Mediaite.

Confederate Flag Supporters, Opponents Brawl | Al Jazeera America

Fistfights broke out near the Confederate battle flag on the grounds of the South Carolina statehouse in Columbia after flag supporters accused opponents of stealing flags off their trucks, local news reports said.

The flag, which flies above a memorial for Confederate soldiers, has become embroiled in controversy following the June 17 mass shooting at a historically black church in Charleston. The suspect in the attack, Dylann Roof, 21, revered the flag in photos posted online before his capture.

Supporters of the flag contend that it is a symbol of their heritage and history in the U.S. South. Opponents, however, say it represents a history of slavery, a cause that soldiers flying the flag fought to protect in the Civil War, and violent intimidation against African-Americans.

via Confederate Flag Supporters, Opponents Brawl | Al Jazeera America.

Donald Trump piñatas for sale in Mexico – Boing Boing

In response to Donald Trump’s recent idiotic, racist comments about Mexico and its people, piñata maker Dalton Ramirez of border city Reynosa added a fun new character to his product line.

“This pinata especially is the one everyone wants to break,” Ramirez says.

via Donald Trump piñatas for sale in Mexico – Boing Boing.

Combative Maine Governor Becomes a Party of One – The New York Times

AUGUSTA, Me. — When Paul R. LePage, Maine’s combative governor, was seeking re-election last year, he told voters that his days of intemperate remarks were over. At a debate, Mr. LePage, who is of French descent, memorably said: “Even a Frenchman can be taught to cool down.”

And he can apparently heat up again, too.

In the last few weeks, Mr. LePage’s pugnaciousness has surprised even his critics, and prompted some to raise the specter of impeachment.

via Combative Maine Governor Becomes a Party of One – The New York Times.