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This Week at TheNation.com: 'Shock and Awe' in Wisconsin | The Nation

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Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

This Week at TheNation.com: 'Shock and Awe' in Wisconsin

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

In the pages of this week’s issue, five finalists chosen from dozens of final candidates will compete for the mantle of The Nation’s cryptic crossword “setter”. The three-page package will feature one crossword from each finalist. For the first time in the history of American magazines, as the New York Times reported, readers will be asked to cast their vote in an online poll to determine the new puzzler. 
 
"This is only the second time in our 146 years of publishing that we've selected a puzzle master,” said Nation crossword editor Judith Long.

Frank W. Lewis, who served as The Nation’s puzzle master for over 62 years, died last year at the age of 98. After serving in World War II as a highly decorated cryptanalyst helping decipher Japanese codes, Lewis entered and won the cryptic crossword contest in 1947, then known only as “Mr. Y”, after the sudden and tragic death of the magazine’s cryptic crossword founder Jack Barrett.

Be sure to read the New York Times’ Wordplay blog for coverage of this historic moment in the magazine’s history, and try your hand at the contest and cast your vote here.

WELCOME: Guest Blogger Sharon Lerner

This week, we’re proud to welcome journalist Sharon Lerner, author of the “War on Moms.” Lerner has covered a wide range of issues of concern to women for more than a decade. She has worked as a reporter for The Village Voice, where she wrote two regular columns and covered women's issues and health. She couldn’t have joined us at a better time. As efforts to defund Planned Parenthood are underway in Congress, and the assault on women’s right to choose continues unabated, Lerner’s voice is critical. Be sure to read her post, “Meet the Ohio Woman Who Would Have Testified Against the 'Heartbeat Bill'.”
 
SLIDESHOW: 100 Days of WikiLeaks' Cablegate

Monday, March 7 marked the 100th day since media expert and blogger Greg Mitchell began live-blogging coverage of Wikileaks. Mitchell has brought us every development in detail, from shocking government secrets to how Wikileaks will impact politics, media and the way we think about freedom of speech. On the 100th day anniversary, we bring you this compelling slideshow of revelations, events and changes in our media and political landscape that have emerged from the cables. Be sure to continue reading Mitchell's daily coverage here.

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