TheDC Morning: New rule: Wisconsin state senators have to collect their paychecks in Wisconsin

Mike Riggs Contributor
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1.) If they want to get paid, Wisconsin Dems will actually have to go to work — “Senate Republicans voted Tuesday to make Democrats hiding out in Illinois come back to Wisconsin to pick up their paychecks,” reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Members of the Senate Committee on Organization voted 3-2 for the new rule, which says that senators who have missed two consecutive floor sessions will have to come to their actual workplace to get paid. “The majority leader shall provide the checks only to the absent Senator and only on the floor of the Senate during a session day,” reads the new rule. The two minority votes were cast via paper ballot by Democratic senators hiding in Indiana. While the new rule requires that senators go to work to get paid, it doesn’t require them to actually do their jobs.

2.) Inspired by Wisconsinites, Floridians promise to rally at sparsely populated government satellite offices — “Critics of Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed budget reductions and tax cuts plan protests across Florida as legislators convene two weeks from today,” reports the Tallahassee Democrat. But Florida’s display of public sector angst won’t be quite as fascinating as in Madison, where protestors have trashed the Capitol, “because of Florida’s geography and the difficulty of working people getting to the Capitol.” Instead, “Organizers of some labor, civil rights and Democratic Party groups” said “they opted for rallies at government office complexes and parks in major cities on March 8.” Gov. Scott’s promise to cut spending by $5 billion and reduce taxes by $1.7 billion has stoked the ire of literally thousands of Floridians. According to Damien Filer of Progress Florida, “a Facebook page called ‘Awake the State’ was ‘liked’ by 2,665 people in a few days.”

3.) SCOTUS hears greatest 10th Amendment case of all time, possible prelude to Obamacare — Upon learning that her husband had put a bun in her BFF’s oven, Carol A. Bond, a chemist, went on, bought some chemicals, and used them to surreptitiously poison “the other woman.” Said woman was “mildly injured” by the attempt, and for this, Bond was charged by the U.S. government “with using unconventional weapons in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993.” Bond’s attorney argued that “Congress did not have the constitutional power to use a chemical weapons treaty to address a matter of a sort routinely handled by state authorities.” Meanwhile, Justice Samuel Alito’s reading of the law led him to believe that it could also have been applied if Bond had “decided to retaliate against her former friend by pouring a bottle of vinegar in the friend’s goldfish bowl.” If Alito disdains the idea of Congress exceeding its powers here, imagine how he’ll feel when he learns about Charlie Fried’s broccoli interpretation of the Commerce Clause.

4.) All of America paying to make New Yorkers feel fat — “The Department of Health and Human Services has used $650 million in funds from the Recovery Act to pay for an anti-obesity program called Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW),” writes The Daily Caller’s Amanda Carey. Of the many grants that HHS has doled out, “New York City got one of the largest grants– $31.1 million. Of that, $15.5 million was allotted for anti-obesity efforts, or what the website calls ‘interventions,’ and $15.6 million for anti-smoking campaigns.” The department’s new anti-sugar ads “claim that a daily routine of ‘just a few sweetened drinks’ is equivalent to 93 packets of sugar,” and then depict people with diabetes, like some sort of MK Ultra experiment. In terms of intellectual dishonesty, this is a step up from ads the department has run in the past, which peddled the lie that a can of soda a day “can make you 10 pounds fatter a year.”

5.) Earmarks by another name bring Boxer and Inhofe together like Romeo and Juliet — “Boxer and Inhofe have asked senators to submit requests for specific projects in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), a multiyear authorization bill, despite a pledge from President Obama to veto all legislation that includes earmarks,” reports The Hill. “Boxer, the chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Inhofe, ranking Republican on the panel, were careful not to include the word ‘earmark’ in their letter, sent Friday. Instead, they ask colleagues to ‘provide the committee with specific project and programmatic requests you would like considered for inclusion in this bill.'” How long until they resume acting like Mercutio and Tybalt?

6.) Home prices have yet to hit rock bottom — The legacy of a rabid home ownership society is still with us, as evidenced by the fact that homeowners are more underwater on their loans today than yesterday. “The widely followed Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Index, which tracks the real estate market in 20 major U.S. cities, showed that prices dropped 2.4% in December from the same month a year earlier, the third consecutive year-over-year decline,” reports the L.A. times. According to economist Paul Dales, “If a vicious circle of falling prices and rising foreclosures were to develop, prices would fall much further.” Hang on to your hats, folks. Pres. Obama can’t fix this problem either.

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: An interview with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker