BTS 4/8/11: Government Shutdown; Wisconsin & California Elections

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Ari Berman says it is GOP Heartlessness and Democratic Cowardice that has led us to the impending government shutdown tonight at midnight. The mean-spirited attacks on women, working people, the elderly, children and the sick are clear in the Republican’s shifting rightward budget goalpost, but we’ll ask Ari what he thinks the Democratic game plan is? The Democrats have conceded more than vital social programs, they have conceded terms of the debate: slashing spending during a deep recession/ depression is a recipe for economic disaster. Berman says the Republican budget is “impressive in its ability to not only [to] inflict maximum harm on the economy, but to concentrate that harm on those most in need. This will not only cost the economy hundreds of thousands (and perhaps millions) of jobs over the next five years, it will also destroy the social safety net and undermine policies that support the middle class.

John Nichols wonders whether there is something fishy in Wisconsin. How is it that 14000+ votes were just found in the most Republican of all Wisconsin counties for conservative Justice Prosser, just the amount needed to avoid a recount? Earlier today John was told that someone in Milwaukee’s cat just vomited up 18,000 votes. We’ll ask him about election irregularities, the shifting public mood, and we’ll also get his views on the Budget impasse and government shutdown, and the game each party is playing

Marcy Winograd is running for Congress this time to fill the vacancy left by Jane Harman, Marcy’s erstwhile opponent. Later in the campaign we’ll have a debate on Beneath the Surface with Marcy and her two contenders, Janice Hahn and Debra Bowen. But today we’ll get Marcy’s views on what she would do in Congress, especially during this budget debate. If cutting is the game, what cuts are not being discussed that Marcy would bring to the table?

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Ari Berman, based in New York, is a contributing writer for The Nation, a contributor to The Notion and a Puffin Foundation writing fellow at The Nation Institute. He is currently covering the presidential election race for the Nation.

2. John Nichols is the Washington Correspondent of The Nation, where he also blogs the “Online Beat”. John is also associate editor of the Capital Times, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin, contributing writer for The Progressive and In These Times, and is author of several books, including The Genius of Impeachment (The New Press), Dick: The Man Who is President (The New Press), and with Robert McChesney, It's the Media, Stupid! (Seven Stories), Our Media, Not Theirs (Seven Stories) and Tragedy and Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections, and Destroy Democracy (The New Press).

3. Marcy Winograd is President of the Los Angeles chapter of the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA). In 2006, she ran for Congress to replace pro-war incumbent Jane Harman in the 36th District and took 38% of the vote.