President Obama spoke out in support of public employees’ collective bargaining rights yesterday during a meeting with the National Governors Association, saying, “I don’t think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or their rights are infringed upon. We need to attract the best and brightest to public service. These times demand it.”
As the standoff in Wisconsin continues to escalate, a New York Times/CBS poll has found a majority of Americans oppose efforts to weaken public employee unions’ collective bargaining rights by a margin of 60 to 33 percent. Those surveyed also said they oppose (56 to 37 percent) cutting the pay or benefits of public employees to reduce deficits.
The nonpartisan Moody’s Analytics released an economic analysis yesterday finding that GOP efforts to cut billions from the budget this year could result in the loss of as many as 700,000 jobs by the end of next year. Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi projected that the GOP proposal would cut real GDP growth by 0.5 percent in 2011 and 0.2 percent in 2012.
According to a new poll, “Americans are divided over who would be to blame for a potential government shutdown.” While 46 percent said they’d blame congressional Republicans before the impending shutdown in 1995, today 36 percent say Republicans would be at fault and 35 percent would blame the Obama administration.
The U.S. “has blocked $30 billion in Libyan government assets since President Obama announced his executive order late Friday night imposing unilateral sanctions” on the Qaddafi regime. This “is the largest amount of foreign assets ever seized in an American sanctions action.”
Stating that Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi has “lost the legitimacy to govern and it is time for him to go,” the U.S. is providing refugee aid teams at the Libyan border. While Qaddafi insists that “my people love me,” the UN estimates that “more than 1,000 people have died in the Libyan uprising” and “almost 100,000 have fled.”
President Obama announced yesterday during a meeting with the nation’s governors that he is endorsing moving the state waiver for the federal health care law to 2014. This would allow states to opt out of the federal health care mandate if they are able to put together plans that provide just as much care — like Vermont’s proposed single payer program.
The gun used in the killing of a federal agent in Mexico this month has been traced back to Texas, where three people were arrested yesterday on suspicion of arms smuggling related to the shooting. The slain ICE agent was killed while traveling in an SUV with his partner, who was also shot, to Mexico City, where they were stationed at the American Embassy.
And finally: Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) needs a geography lesson about his own state. Speaking with reporters yesterday, Perry misidentified Ciudad Juarez as “the most dangerous city in America” — it is actually in Mexico. “After an aide informed the governor of his mistake, Perry clarified that Juarez indeed belongs to Mexico, not Texas.”