The reports and images pouring in from Japan are nothing short of horrifying. The record earthquake and subsequent devastation has wrought untold devastation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families in Japan and around the world.
The Nation and TheNation.com continue to bring you the latest coverage of the protests in Madison, where this week a power-play by Senate Republicans led to the passage of the bill that would eliminate the collective bargaining rights of public employees. After Thursday’s Assembly vote, Gov. Scott Walker signed the bill and has, for now, ended the temporary standoff. As our Madison-based Correspondent John Nichols reports, “violations of open meetings laws, restricted debates, denial of access to dissenting legislators, snap votes — have given Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker a momentary victory.”
All is not lost for workers in Wisconsin and around the country. As colleague Peter Rothberg notes, talk of a general strike is gaining momentum. And as Nichols reports on MSNBC’s The Ed Show, at least 16 Wisconsin Senators are being targeted in recall efforts already underway. There will be consequences to Walker’s war on workers that will resonate throughout the country.
Be sure to read John Nichols’ latest dispatches from Madison and stayed tuned into MSNBC’s The Ed Show where he continues to report daily on developments.
Also this week…
SPECIAL SERIES: How Obama Can Tackle Wall Street Oil Speculation
This week, we’re proud to join with MSNBC’s Ed Shultz to bring you coverage on what’s really behind the spike in oil prices. Is it unrest in the Middle East, as we’re so often led to believe? Or are Wall Street speculators back to business as usual? DC Editor Chris Hayes joined Ed this week, arguing that the Obama Administration is too timid to confront regulators and Wall Street itself.
With so many of the government’s gas cost "overseers" in the pocket of big Wall Street donors, and with Republicans blocking funding for the administrations’ key regulatory bodies, Hayes isn’t expecting significant interventions from Obama any time soon. Watch the clip here and be sure to read Hayes’ report, "Will Federal Regulators Crack Down on Oil Speculation?"
VIDEO: Wisconsin’s ‘Shock Doctrine’
The Nation’s Naomi Klein joined MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show this week to talk about how the GOP has used the guise of fiscal crises to ram through unpopular anti-union legislation. As Maddow and Klein note, Wisconsin isn’t alone: sixteen states are currently facing similar assaults. In Michigan, for example, a recent bill would allow the governor to declare a state of emergency on any city, town or school district, in which the governor could then appoint an emergency power that could dismantle contracts and dismiss elected officials.
“What this fight is really about is not unions vs. taxpayers, as we’ve been told. It’s a fight about who is going to pay for the crisis created by the wealthiest elite in this country,” Klein says. “Is it going to be regular working people? Or is it going to be the people who created this crisis? That’s the debate we need to have.” Watch the segment here.
CROSSWORD: Five Anonymous Puzzlers Vying to Replace Legendary Frank W. Lewis