Republicans Conjuring Up the Spirit of Joe McCarthy

Now you just know the neo-Nazis of the Republican Party love everything about the professional scumbag Joe McCarthy, so why should their eagerness to engage in the same sort of Witch Hunting come as any surprise.

Perhaps they can have all of their Christo-Fascist closet cases buddies engage in some  buggery in a bus station Tea room in honor of Roy Cohn.

From Talking Points Memo: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/03/in-michigan-conservative-think-tank-seeks-labor-prof-emails.php?ref=fpa

Conservative Think Tank Seeks Michigan Profs’ Emails About Wisconsin Union Battle … And Maddow

Evan McMorris-Santoro
March 29, 2011

A free enterprise think tank in Michigan — backed by some of the biggest names in national conservative donor circles — has made a broad public records request to at least three in-state universities with departments that specialize in the study of labor relations, seeking all their emails regarding the union battle in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, TPM has learned.

According to professors subject to the request, filed under Michigan’s version of the Freedom Of Information Act, the request is extremely rare in academic circles. An employee at the think tank requesting the emails tells TPM they’re part of an investigation into what labor studies professors at state schools in Michigan are saying about the situation in Madison, Wisc., the epicenter of the clashes between unions and Republican-run state governments across the Midwest.

One professor subject to the FOIA described it as anti-union advocates “going after folks they don’t agree with.”

The Mackinac Center For Public Policy, based in Midland, Mich., submitted the FOIA requests last Friday and Monday to the Labor Studies Center at the University of Michigan and the Douglas A. Fraser Center for Workplace Issues at Wayne State University. A third FOIA was directed to Michigan State University, which has a School of Human Resources & Labor Relations.

The requests specifically seek emails from all labor studies faculty at each school.

The Mackinac Center For Public Policy describes itself as a “nonpartisan research and educational institute” focused on providing free market “solutions to state and local policy questions” in Michigan. The center does not disclose its donors but  according to recent reporting by Mother Jones, Mackinac “is part of a network of state-based groups associated with the Heritage Foundation.”

Continue reading at:  http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/03/in-michigan-conservative-think-tank-seeks-labor-prof-emails.php?ref=fpa

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/28/opinion/28krugman.html?_r=2&hp

American Thought Police

By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: March 27, 2011

Recently William Cronon, a historian who teaches at the University of Wisconsin, decided to weigh in on his state’s political turmoil. He started a blog, “Scholar as Citizen,” devoting his first post to the role of the shadowy American Legislative Exchange Council in pushing hard-line conservative legislation at the state level. Then he published an opinion piece in The Times, suggesting that Wisconsin’s Republican governor has turned his back on the state’s long tradition of “neighborliness, decency and mutual respect.”

So what was the G.O.P.’s response? A demand for copies of all e-mails sent to or from Mr. Cronon’s university mail account containing any of a wide range of terms, including the word “Republican” and the names of a number of Republican politicians.

If this action strikes you as no big deal, you’re missing the point. The hard right — which these days is more or less synonymous with the Republican Party — has a modus operandi when it comes to scholars expressing views it dislikes: never mind the substance, go for the smear. And that demand for copies of e-mails is obviously motivated by no more than a hope that it will provide something, anything, that can be used to subject Mr. Cronon to the usual treatment.

The Cronon affair, then, is one more indicator of just how reflexively vindictive, how un-American, one of our two great political parties has become.

The demand for Mr. Cronon’s correspondence has obvious parallels with the ongoing smear campaign against climate science and climate scientists, which has lately relied heavily on supposedly damaging quotations found in e-mail records.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/28/opinion/28krugman.html?_r=2&hp

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