The Beast Punks Walker

Scott Walker isn’t talking to Democrats, but he will take a call from “David Koch”. Unfortunately, this “Koch” was the Buffalo Beast:

Koch: We’ll back you any way we can. What we were thinking about the crowd was, uh, was planting some troublemakers.

Walker: You know, well, the only problem with that —because we thought about that. The problem—the, my only gut reaction to that is right now the lawmakers I’ve talked to have just completely had it with them, the public is not really fond of this […]

Walker: […] I went on “Morning Joe” this morning. I like it because I just like being combative with those guys, but, uh. You know they’re off the deep end.

Koch: Joe—Joe’s a good guy. He’s one of us.

Walker: Yeah, he’s all right. He was fair to me…[bashes NY Senator Chuck Schumer, who was also on the program.]

Koch: Beautiful; beautiful. You gotta love that Mika Brzezinski; she’s a real piece of ass.

Walker: Oh yeah.

(h/t: Thoughtful Black Co-Citizen)






168 replies
  1. 1
    wobblybits says:

    Again, wow.

  2. 2

    This is so awesome. i hope someone plays it on loudspeakers in Madison today and every day.

  3. 3
    PeakVT says:

    Why do the other FPers always bigfoot Kay’s posts 5 or 10 minutes after she puts something up?

  4. 4
    General Stuck says:

    Creating jobs for shovel makers, from a one dufus market.

  5. 5
    ed says:

    because we thought about that

    Well of course They did. Fuckers.

  6. 6

    A favor: Please credit my comrade YAFB at Rumproast.

    So he doesn’t kick my ass.

    Now I must go shower, because listening to Walker slobbering over a fake Koch has made me feel unclean.

  7. 7

    @PeakVT: FPers big-foot each other’s posts all the time. JC and DJ will post within five minutes of each other – often. I’ve complained about it before long ago, but it would be nice if there were some sort of coordination between them somehow. Like no posts within 30 minutes of each other.

    That said, mistermix is known for quickly big-footing his own posts with quick hits every morning. :)

  8. 8
    cleek says:

    @PeakVT:
    what’s your definition of “bigfoot” ?

  9. 9
    martha says:

    OH MY GOD. Please tell me again that this is really true!!! Cant listen right now to confirm if its really Walker or not. Oh please oh please oh please. Going to a meeting right now but taking the iPad with me. Don’t care if the client fires me.

  10. 10
    Dork says:

    This is spoof, right? That’s not really Walker commenting on some broad’s split tail, is it?

  11. 11
    Athenae says:

    Sweet merciful baby Jesus.

    A.

  12. 12
    aimai says:

    Yes, I saw this at Rumproast (must credit YAFB!!). I was too stunned to comment over there but I should go throw him some love. I did read the entire thing out loud to Mr. Aimai. Its pretty jaw dropping. The social engineering used to get the phone call thorugh was pretty darned good. I hope they can upload the call to the web and get wide distribution. What makes it seem real to me–and I assume it is real–is the pathetic quality of Walker’s dialogue. Its not supervillain, its not terribly intelligent. Its just rather self obsessed, whiny, and self aggrandizing. You have to love his description of other Governors fawning over him as the courageous spearhead of their conservative movement. The guy totally lacks self awareness and, apparently, self protection since while they were privately praising him they were getting ready to jump ship.

    aimai

  13. 13
    jinxtigr says:

    Loudspeakers :D

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Scott says:

    That is so goddamn beautiful.

    Of course, I’m waiting for some brave truth-teller in the media to whine that it’s wrong to reveal Villagers as ethically-challenged morons…

  16. 16
    dmsilev says:

    @aimai:

    The social engineering used to get the phone call thorugh was pretty darned good. I hope they can upload the call to the web and get wide distribution.

    The Buffalo Beast link at the top includes a pair of YouTube videos with the complete audio of the call.

    dms

  17. 17
    Jim, Once says:

    Unfuckingbelievable. This needs to go viral. And the idea about the speakers? Yes.

  18. 18
    PeakVT says:

    @cleek: Blog comments tend to gravitate towards the most recent post regardless of the merits. Kay’s posts tend get less discussion than they’re worth because they get pushed down the page almost immediately.

  19. 19
    JPL says:

    Walker is for outside agitators except when he’s not.

  20. 20
    jwb says:

    I can hardly wait for Breitbart to denounce such tactics.

  21. 21
    SonofMog says:

    Amai: “I hope they can upload the call to the web…”

    That’s what those 2 youtubevideos in the middle of the article are.

    The Beast has pranked mayors and religious leaders before. I’m sure this is the real thing.

  22. 22
    mistermix a.k.a. mastermix says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: We don’t coordinate at all, and we all have day jobs or other responsibilities, so we post when we can.

  23. 23
    Buffalo Rude says:

    @aimai: I’ll bet it’s real. Back when it was The Buffalo Beast they pulled this stunt a couple times resulting in many lulz. They almost engineered a wife swap between the mayor of Buffalo and the mayor of Ottawa.

  24. 24
    Beverley says:

    Won’t believe it until I see the corporate brought mainstream media salivating over this. I love this spot but even the best gets pawned. Crossing my fingers.

  25. 25

    Why didn’t I think of doing this?

    Moar pls!

  26. 26
    stuckinred says:

    I ain’t buying.

  27. 27
    soonergrunt says:

    Wow. Just wow.

  28. 28
    kay says:

    @PeakVT:

    You are a dear, but I don’t mind at all. I’m all involved in the Ohio-Indiana thing, and I think the best action there is in-state, not national, but this goes to that, so that I’m happy mistermix put it up. We’re going to email it around, once I’m confident it’s legit and not edited.
    The specifics in Ohio, which is what I tend to gravitate to, might not be of general interest.
    But, thanks again.

  29. 29
    Emma says:

    Can’t be true, can it? Really? This much stupid concentrated in one place?

  30. 30
    cleek says:

    @PeakVT:
    well, i was just wondering if there’s a time range that you use to determine who’s stomping on who? cause Kay’s post, while just 7 minutes before this, came just 12 minutes after mistermix’s previous.

    double-stomp!

    nah, it’s just a busy blog.

  31. 31
    Alex S. says:

    Wow, what’s next, Kasich on Rupert Murdoch’s payroll?

  32. 32
    General Stuck says:

    WI will seem like a fuzzy dream on the political playground in a week or so. When the tea tard circus goes national.

    Democrats and Republicans can’t even agree on the size of a stopgap measure to fund the government for one month — let alone until the end of the fiscal year on Sept 30. But they have just a handful of working days to bridge that impasse because, if they don’t, the government will shut down on March 4.

    While top Republican and Democratic staffers from both chambers negotiate longer-term federal spending legislation, House and Senate Democrats say that the government should continue to operate at current spending levels until April. Those levels, they point out, are already reduced to a level set by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell last year. And further across-the-board cuts would be too disruptive.

    Though it is appreciated, Mr. Walker handing dems some much needed momentum for the coming battle. Mcconnell must be biting his lips, if he had any.

  33. 33
    Rosalita says:

    fucking-a awesome. I too hope this goes viral.

  34. 34
    JPL says:

    I have tv on in the background and did not hear the entire conversation but Amy Poehler gave a high five to Wisconsin.
    She was on Regis and Kelly. It should be online later today and I’ll try to find it.

    EDIT I’m on antenna and I don’t have a DVR so I can’t just go back.. sorry.

  35. 35

    @mistermix a.k.a. mastermix:
    You can, however, schedule posts ahead of time in FYWP. That might be an idea. Write all your posts and then spread them out an hour for scheduling.

  36. 36
    mistermix a.k.a. mastermix says:

    @Emma: Listen to the recordings and make up your own mind. Walker sounds too much like a typical jackass politician for this to be a fake.

  37. 37
    jcricket says:

    In a sane world this would actually end up reported as news.

    But no – only conservative stings that are heavily edited (see James O’Keefe, et al) make news.

    Republican malfeasance is just par for the course. Boys being boys. Can’t stand the heat, the unions should get out of the kitchen. Shut up and do your jobs proles!

  38. 38
    RalfW says:

    @General Stuck:

    Mr. Walker handing dems some much needed momentum for the coming battle.

    I wonder if Koch & Co just didn’t even contingency plan this possibility? In their hubris, they probably never thought that the general public would, y’know, actually support union schlubs or be able to connect the dots between their own unemployment/underemployment and the bullshit agenda of the wingtard right.

  39. 39
    shecky says:

    Is that for real? Man, I just woke up, I can’t believe someone just pulled a Breitbart on Walker.

  40. 40
    SpotWeld says:

    The most telling part about this whole event is not so much what Gov. Walker said but the fact that the he took someone’s call based on the representation he was someone named “Koch”.

    That’s it. Someone dropped a name a power, and he jumped to.

    Honestly, I’ll gladly brush aside all of the conversation as possible verbal maneuvering. He took the call based on nothing more than a “big money” name.

  41. 41
    priscianus jr says:

    @Dork:

    This is spoof, right? That’s not really Walker commenting on some broad’s split tail, is it?

    I don’t like Walker one bit, but let’s face it, this was a James O’Keefe kind of stunt and frankly, all the good lines were from the caller. As far as that comment about Mika Brzezinski’s shapely gluteus maximus, all Walker said was “Oh yeah.” What did you expect him to say — “How dare you insult a lady in my presence?”

  42. 42
    DougJ says:

    @jwb:

    I can’t wait for the Washington Post to condemn them.

  43. 43
    aimai says:

    @priscianus jr:

    I don’t agree that all the good lines were from the caller. I think that the caller actually stayed pretty much offline and seems to have let Walker do most of the talking. There were a few lines that were a bit juvenile (like the Breitbart comment–anyone think that Walker has the faintest idea who Breitbart is?) but for the most part he lets Walker reveal himself.

    aimai

  44. 44
    Mister Papercut says:

    Just listened to the whole thing — of course it wraps up with Reagan worship. *rolls eyes* (And he says Reagan’s firing of the air traffic controllers was the first step in the fall of Communism? What?)

  45. 45
    geg6 says:

    A thing of true beauty. Serious beauty. Bravo to all involved!

  46. 46
    Grover Gardner says:

    I don’t like Walker one bit, but let’s face it, this was a James O’Keefe kind of stunt and frankly, all the good lines were from the caller.

    I hear Walker called the police right after the call.

    ;-)

  47. 47

    @priscianus jr: Not even close. This is the governor of Wisconsin being punked, not some low level staffer. O’Keefe’s only foray into trying to setup a high level political official landed him in jail.

  48. 48
    JPL says:

    Walker laid out his plan to entrap the Democratic senators and that has to be helpful. Walker might not budge but the audio is damaging to the Republican senators that are supporting him.

  49. 49
    MikeTheZ says:

    I thought I was so jaded nothing could surprised me and I would believe anything that happened. I was wrong.

    This cannot be real. Can it?

  50. 50
    Chyron HR says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    That might be an idea. Write all your posts and then spread them out an hour for scheduling.

    “Well, the US just declared war on Somalia, but John’s post about how Tunch peed on him is only 29 minutes old.”

  51. 51
    shortstop says:

    @jinxtigr: Outside the Capitol. Over and over.

  52. 52
    SatanicPanic says:

    Reading the transcript makes me hope that Walker gets crushed by space junk.

  53. 53
    quaint irene says:

    he was someone named “Koch”.

    Well, probably cause the guy pronounced it properly (‘Coke’ and not ‘Kotch’) he figured it was all legit.

    This is way too good to be true. Will wait till there’s some more confirmation before I start emailing it to everyone I know.

  54. 54
    BobS says:

    Pulitzer?

  55. 55
    Glen Tomkins says:

    Too good to be true

    This is really brilliant. But you should not have buried the Beast’s headline, “Koch Whore”. That’s the encapsulation.

    That said, things that are too good to be true usually aren’t. And recording a conversation without the permission of the other party is legally dicey.

    I’ll contribute to the legal defense fund if this turns out to be too good to be true, but still true anyway.

  56. 56
    GregB says:

    I think the rightwing is going to end up regretting the day the encouraged Breitbarting of public figures.

    Because, not for nothing, left wingers are a whole shitpile more funny and creative.

    Looking forward to more of this.

  57. 57
    liberal says:

    @priscianus jr:
    Hardly. The fact that (assuming it’s all real) the guy took “Koch’s” phone call and had a long conversation is itself extremely damning.

  58. 58
    liberal says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:
    Assuming it’s real, the loudspeakers idea is a most excellent one.

  59. 59
    liberal says:

    @Glen Tomkins:

    And recording a conversation without the permission of the other party is legally dicey.

    Very very much depends on where. E.g. it’s illegal here (MD).

    IIRC those people who secretly videotaped at Planned Parenthoods apparently were careful to only do it in states where it’s legal.

  60. 60
    Grover Gardner says:

    Uh oh. Link down. He’s either swamped with hits, or…?

  61. 61
    General Stuck says:

    I wonder if anyone else gets the sense listening to these tapes, that Walker is talking to the fake Koch like someone reporting to his boss. Breathless Gushing of detail, unprompted, with an undertone of seeking approval that comes across as subordinate to the boss. Boss Koch.

  62. 62
    liberal says:

    @GregB:

    Looking forward to more of this.

    I’m sure some pantywaisters will say we shouldn’t stoop to their level. They forget that all’s fair in love and war.

  63. 63
    Chris says:

    @aimai:

    What makes it seem real to me—and I assume it is real—is the pathetic quality of Walker’s dialogue. Its not supervillain, its not terribly intelligent. Its just rather self obsessed, whiny, and self aggrandizing.

    It’s back to the old Gilded Age standard. The supervillains are the Kochs and people like them: their public servants are just the henchmen, either mean and ugly or comically inept but in either case not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  64. 64
    meh says:

    @Glen Tomkins:

    Both Wisc and NY are one-party consent states for recording telephone calls. Only one party needs to give consent. No legal issues here…

  65. 65
    Grover Gardner says:

    I wonder if anyone else gets the sense listening to these tapes, that Walker is talking to the fake Koch like someone reporting to his boss. Breathless Gushing of detail, unprompted, with an undertone of seeking approval that comes across as subordinate to the boss. Boss Koch.

    Wonder no more. That’s exactly what first struck me.

  66. 66
    Chuck says:

    IAAL: Both New York and Wisconsin have “one party consent” statutes. Any action would not likely pass summary judgment.

  67. 67
    Michael says:

    @aimai:

    Its just rather self obsessed, whiny, and self aggrandizing.

    The definition of the modern conservative movement in a nutshell.

  68. 68
    PaulW says:

    Okay, this statement is based on the perception that the conversation was really with Gov. Walker and not some voice actor:

    I do have to ask, what’s the difference between what the Buffalo Beast did and what Breitbart and his crew do? It’s the attempt to destroy your political opponents through deceptive exposure of poor behavior, but not necessarily the truth. Instead of focusing on the REAL ISSUE – Unions are NOT the problem to our economic woes nor our states’ shortfalls, it’s the GODDAMN CORPORATE TAX CUTS – we’re focusing on Walker’s failure to realize he’s not talking to a real Koch and on Walker’s fratboy heh-hehing over a cute piece of -ss.

    The salaciousness of what the Beast did *is* fun. And Walker should have known better than to talk to ANYONE about what he’s thinking. But all this really does is paint Walker out as a colossal jackass. And we knew that already.

  69. 69
    Chris says:

    @priscianus jr:

    I don’t like Walker one bit, but let’s face it, this was a James O’Keefe kind of stunt and frankly, all the good lines were from the caller.

    Oh, well most of it’s just a stunt, for sure.

    It’s this part that leaps out to me:

    Koch: We’ll back you any way we can. What we were thinking about the crowd was, uh, was planting some troublemakers.
    Walker: You know, well, the only problem with that —because we thought about that. The problem—the, my only gut reaction to that is right now the lawmakers I’ve talked to have just completely had it with them, the public is not really fond of this […]

    The notion that Walker would even “think about” sending out thugs as agent provocateurs in order to disrupt a protest speaks volumes for the way he governs. (And the teabaggers are the ones who tell their people to watch out for liberal plants trying to discredit them. Heh).

    Everything else is, indeed, just clownish stuff: but that line should make your blood run cold.

  70. 70
    Dennis SGMM says:

    Has the RW avalanche of outrage over using Walker’s own words against him commenced yet?

  71. 71
    Chuck says:

    This has some legs, if for no other reason than the comment about Mika’s appealing hindquarters.

  72. 72
    Continental Op says:

    For whatever reason, The Beast site is down, but the recorded conversation is on youtube in two parts:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBnSv3a6Nh4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3a2pYGr7-k

    (You might have to cut-and-paste the links.)

  73. 73
    SonofMog says:

    Site’s down–inundated by hits, probably. But the youtube audio of the call is still up:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBnSv3a6Nh4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3a2pYGr7-k

  74. 74
    Steve says:

    I don’t like Walker one bit, but let’s face it, this was a James O’Keefe kind of stunt and frankly, all the good lines were from the caller

    Oh please. There were no pimp costumes, no sex toys and no crimes being committed. Not to mention no deceptive editing. Hardly up to (down to?) O’Keefe’s level.

  75. 75
    Grover Gardner says:

    I do have to ask, what’s the difference between what the Buffalo Beast did and what Breitbart and his crew do?

    In most cases, O’Keefe edited his videos to make people look criminal or stupid, when in fact they were neither. Now, if Buffalo Beast edited out the part where Walker says, “Okay, I know you’re a crank but I’ll play along just for fun,” or re-arranged Walker’s responses, or dubbed in his questions afterward, then yeah, there’s no difference. But it doesn’t sound that way.

  76. 76
    BobS says:

    @PaulW: One difference is that Breitbart edited his video (and has still not provided the unedited edition) , resulting in a false account of what occurred, whereas The Beast has provided the entire conversation it had with Walker.

  77. 77
    Observer says:

    I guess, as usual, I’ll have to be the one with a different view.

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with punking the Gov. And for the record, I think the gov is completely wrong on this issue.

    But wait a minute, it was a 20 minute recording… What did he actually say?

    1) didn’t want out-of-towners in because of possible violence
    2) was standing on principle
    3) did this before in Milwaukee when public opinion was against him but three weeks later was getting claps and cheers from the crowds
    4) sincerely believes this was the right thing to do and if he continues to explain his opinion to the public, he thinks the public is with him
    5) was successful in Milwaukee when the climate was against his brand of politics because he stood firm

    what was missing?
    1) trying to cut a deal in a bipartisan manner. He things Dems are flat wrong
    2) negotiating. will talk and listen but not negotiate
    3) getting a “deal” to claim victory for future legislative victories.

    No wonder you folks hate the guy. He’s someone who stands on principle, doesn’t waver when the public is all around him, figures out how to use his power to get what he wants and believes he can change public opinion through sticking to this principles.

    Basically his every tactic is the opposite of what you folks advocate here. With men and women like this, it’s little wonder Republicans control the media narratives and control the Senate even with a minority of seats.

  78. 78
    Steve says:

    I do have to ask, what’s the difference between what the Buffalo Beast did and what Breitbart and his crew do?

    This one shows actual slimy, undemocratic things going on, and will get no major news coverage. Breitbart’s work is fiction which shows no real wrongdoing, and it gets major news coverage.

  79. 79
    aimai says:

    @PaulW:

    I think if you read the transcript, or listen to the entire tape, you’ll see that they actually spend most of the time talking about the nuts and bolts of the situation with respect to the Unions and to Walker’s ideas about the national significance of his actions. Mistermix/mastermix only quoted two lines–one of them the Brezinski line–but the body of the work is simply straight up allowing Walker to boast to his paymaster about how well things are going. What’s obvious, and even more damning, is that this is clearly part of an ongoing conversation between master and man. Walker doesn’t feel the need to fill a stranger in on background, they just launch into the discussion as though they know each other pretty well and are continuing previous strategy sessions.

    aimai

  80. 80
    apl says:

    “I played this stinking city like a harp from Hell!”

  81. 81
    burnspbesq says:

    Hate to say this, but Walker pwn3d all of us.

    The war on unions was a shiny object, a distraction.

    Meanwhile, he got the centerpiece of his legislative program through last night. Tax increases now require a two-thirds vote.

    Those of us who live in California can tell you how well requiring supermajorities to approve budgets or tax increases has worked out for us.

    On Wisconsin, On Wisconsin, slide right down that slope …

  82. 82
    handsmile says:

    Priceless: revealing strategy and tactical details to a voice at the end of a phone line.

    On this one issue, we have an answer to that perennial question asked of conservatives, Evil or Stupid.

    Bonus points: NYT is praised by power-besotted Walker for yesterday’s front-page anti-union article “Union Bonds in Wisconsin Begin to Fray.” More evidence that such people have nothing to fear from the corporate media.

  83. 83
    Steve says:

    @ Observer

    What does this show?

    1) Governor Walker leaps to attention when a oligarch calls him.
    2) Governor Walker has no intention of negotiating in good faith.
    3) Governor Walker considered planting “troublemakers” in the crowd, a Nixonian tactic which could have caused violence and disorder.
    4) He was trying to lure the Senate back under false pretenses in order to jam his law through.
    5) He refuses to acknowledge that his previous union busting work was a failure which ended up costing the public money.
    6) He would be “happy” to be “shown a good time” as a quid pro quo for advancing the financial agenda of a major campaign contributor.
    7) He doesn’t give a flying fuck about working people.

    He stands on his principles? Well good for him. The problem is that his “principles” are shit. Being consistent isn’t a virtue when you are consistently wrong.

  84. 84
    pk says:

    No wonder you folks hate the guy. He’s someone who stands on principle, doesn’t waver when the public is all around him, figures out how to use his power to get what he wants and believes he can change public opinion through sticking to this principles.

    Bet you loved George Bush and Cheney too. They always stood on their principles. I bet screwing the middle class and giving blow jobs to the rich are wonderful principles.
    You know who else stood by his principles? Someone who believed in roasting people in ovens.

    Principles! Wonderful things!

  85. 85
    Buffalo Rude says:

    Regarding the Breitbart comparison: The Beast has pulling these stunts for years. In their first issue as a free bi-weekly mag in Buffalo, Matt Taibbi tricked then Mayor Masiello in believing the show The Supranos wanted to film in Buffalo. Then, as I mentioned before, they almost convinced the current mayor of Buffalo, Mayor Brown, to consider a wife swap with the mayor of Ottawa (when propositioned, Mayor Brown put his wife on the phone). And in the same stunt, they almost convinced to the mayor of Ottawa to look into sending high tech jobs to Buffalo in exchange for the Buffalo Sabres throwing a playoff series with the Ottawa Senators. I shit you not.

    These guys are pros. It also helps when your marks are incredibly gullible.

  86. 86
    Jrod the Cookie Thief says:

    @Observer: “Standing on principle” is a lot easier when you have a sugar-daddy like David Koch to catch you when you stumble. I’m really not impressed when the biggest risk Walker is taking in his noble stand is that he might have to start his lucrative “consulting” career at some Koch-funded wingnut welfare outfit a year or two earlier than expected.

    A good governor would listen to his constituents, especially when more than 30,000 of them are standing at your doorstep. A bad governor will do his master’s bidding and pretend that it’s principle.

  87. 87
    Poopyman says:

    @apl: I think you meant to put this one on the Rahm post.

  88. 88
    Rheinhard says:

    For those who might not be able to view the Youtube videos (any bets on how long until Walker or a flunky sends Youtube a takedown demand?) or get to the original Buffalo Beast page (I keep getting a database error, probably because the site is overloaded?), the videos have been linked with a printed transcript for your reading and printing pleasure in a diary at the Great Orange Satan.

  89. 89
    Nate says:

    @PaulW

    I do have to ask, what’s the difference between what the Buffalo Beast did and what Breitbart and his crew do?

    Buffalo Beast released all the tapes up front.

  90. 90
    Chris says:

    Walker standing on principle would look like this: Walker going out in public and explaining why he’s still pretending that this is all about the deficit when 1) the union has already agreed to pay cuts and 2) he created most of it himself with his tax cut mania. It would also look like him explaining why the teachers’ union, which didn’t endorse him, is getting slammed while the police and firefighter unions, which did, are not.

    He isn’t doing any of that. QED, he isn’t standing on principle: he’s full of shyte. Thanks for playing. Next question.

  91. 91
    jwb says:

    @burnspbesq: Unless I hear that that law is not reversible by a simple majority vote, I’m not all that concerned. The problem with the California law, if I’m not mistaken, is that it is part of the constitution.

  92. 92
    kay says:

    @Observer:

    negotiating. will talk and listen but not negotiate

    That’s just silly. It sounds very noble, but it makes absolutely no sense. You’re saying… he wants to be their friend while he takes something valuable from them, and offers no concessions?
    This may be akin to how Walker doesn’t understand the simple meaning of the phase “collective bargaining”. I don’t know how to break it down any further for him. Define each word?

  93. 93
    Violet says:

    Hilarious.

  94. 94
    SpotWeld says:

    @PaulW:

    I do have to ask, what’s the difference between what the Buffalo Beast did and what Breitbart and his crew do?

    Not to pile on, but another distinction is the manner by which the “reporter” gained access to the subject.

    Planned Parenthood is pretty much open door. There is no controversy in the fact that they spoke with someone who walked in, no matter how outlandishly dressed. They have pledged to help (within certain restrictions) anyone who expresses need within thier range of services. O’Keefe activly exploited this by playing the pimp and acting as if that was a scandal that he was given access.

    In the case of Gov. Walker, he has actively limited access to himself. The fact that he responded in a prolong phone conversation with someone who bore no other credentials than the name “Koch” is controversial.

    I give very little weight to the content of Walker’s conversation. I find the fact he had it all very telling.

  95. 95
    Citizen_X says:

    @Observer: Seriously? His principles are:

    1) Break the unions, at whatever the cost to Wisconsin,

    2) Tax cuts, at whatever the cost to Wisconsin, and

    1) Serve his Lords and Masters, at whatever the cost to Wisconsin.

    Fuck him and his “principles.”

    On edit: Like typical 21st-century American conservatives, and all ideologues, he hold fast to his ideology in the face of overwhelming countervailing evidence. This violates my deepest principles.

    So again, fuck him and his “principles.”

  96. 96
    Chyron HR says:

    @Observer:

    No wonder you folks hate the guy. He is a true patriot who loves the Constitution and America, and conversely you hate the Constitution and America. Also he is a good person and you are all a bunch of child molestors, so there.

    And what an insightful observer you are.

  97. 97
    Kurzleg says:

    Walker thinks public-sector unions contributing to legislators is wrong. What about owners of companies that have contracts with the state? Are contributions the owners make to legislators wrong?

  98. 98

    I just posted this item. Remember when Sarah Palin got punk’d in a similar fashion?

    Anyway, do we know if this if for real?

  99. 99
    Mattminus says:

    Ye Gods, I speak from experience when I say this has the sound of a low level employee who just got an unexpected call from the president of the company. You can hear Walker sweating through his suit jacket.

  100. 100
    liberal says:

    @jwb:
    I was wondering the same thing. I don’t understand how a legislating body can pass a law with a simple majority that binds future legislatures from taking an action unless they have a supermajority. Unless it’s in the constitution.

  101. 101
    liberal says:

    @SpotWeld:
    Agreed. I made essentially the same point in #57.

  102. 102
    Ash Can says:

    Seriously, is this the real thing? Holy fucking… The good people of Madison, and Wisconsin in general, ought to have a field day with this.

    @shecky:

    I can’t believe someone just pulled a Breitbart on Walker.

    Other commenters here have beaten me to it, but I’ll reiterate it for emphasis. It says an awful lot that Breitbart and his minions have to heavily edit their audio and video, to the extent of making it say things that weren’t actually said, in order to present their side, and that the Buffalo Beast doesn’t have to touch its audio to present its own side.

  103. 103
    singfoom says:

    OT, but does anyone else get a General Jack T. Ripper vibe off of conservatives now? The more and more i think about it, their language sounds like “The Purity of Essence of Our Bodily Fluids” from Strangelove….

    Tax raises threaten the Purity of Essence of our Bodily Fluids.
    Collective bargaining threatens the Purity of Essence of our Bodily Fluids.
    Empirical evidence threatens the Purity of Essence of our Bodily Fluids.

    And anyone who doesn’t agree is a prevert. :)

  104. 104
    Rpx says:

    Walker thinks the Morning Joe people aren’t off the deep end? Jeebus, they are about as village as you can get. Does this mean he thinks Rush Limbaugh is a centrist who is, “maybe a little too pink for my taste.”

  105. 105
    Chris says:

    @singfoom:

    OT, but does anyone else get a General Jack T. Ripper vibe off of conservatives now?

    What do you think Dr. Strangelove was parodying in the first place? The John Birchers of that era are the teabaggers of today.

    OT as well but jumping off of that, I heard one of the people screaming at the town hall rallies a while ago said “they call us extreme, but they called the John Birch Society extreme too!” Great unintentional self parody, somewhere along the lines of “they call us racists, but they called the Ku Klux Klan racist too!”

  106. 106
    Violet says:

    The Buffalo Beast site is being overwhelmed and is down. Mother Jones has the audio.

  107. 107
    Observer says:

    @Steve:
    @Citizen_X:

    So again, fuck him and his “principles.”

    Yes I know. That’s the problem with Republicans.. Bad principles. But good negotiating tactics.

    The Dems are the EXACT OPPOSITE. Generally good principles. But they never stand on them and they always negotiate them away.

    That’s the entire problem with Dems.

    Dems need to stop listening and running to conservadems consultants.

    The best world is Dem principles with Republican negotiating tactics. BTD keeps telling you folks that but you hate him too it sometimes seems.

    But that’s what I’m saying.

    Hate the Gov all you want but he wasn’t trying to pretend to be anything he isn’t and neither does the rest of the Republican party. And their side tends to win all major arguments over time.

    So you figure it out. It isn’t “only 20% of the population is liberal” b.s. The Gov inherits a similar situation and but instead believes his arguments will prevail not that the needs to cave. Totally diferent tactics.

  108. 108
    liberal says:

    @Observer:

    No wonder you folks hate the guy. He’s someone who stands on principle, doesn’t waver when the public is all around him, figures out how to use his power to get what he wants and believes he can change public opinion through sticking to this principles.

    I agree with this. The problem is that those on the right have a much easier task because they can get by tapping a very few, very rich donors, who have a very focussed self-interest. Those of us on the other side (and I myself am very critical of Dems for being too wimpy, not standing on principles, and being corporate sellouts too foten) have a much harder collective action problem to solve: the beneficaries of our principles are much poorer, with much less disposable wealth, and are far more numerous with less focussed self-interest.

  109. 109
    Observer says:

    @Chyron HR: That’s actually pretty good. LOL.

  110. 110
    Mike E says:

    Just another placeholder in office, keeping out competence while liquidating his charge. The GOP once again proving the validity of the theory of evolution–2nd best will never do, they must always push the envelop on greed and social mayhem. Impressive vandalism

  111. 111
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Observer: 1) Actually, Walker primarily campaigned on jobs (the immediate provision thereof). Breaking unions, cutting medicaid, and giving away huge chunks of state assets to corporate supporters were not things that he talked about very much during his campaign. 2) In this particular case, the democrats and their allies are standing on principle and fighting, so your criticism is not really on point.

  112. 112
    jwb says:

    @liberal: Well, they can make it a rule, just like the PayGo law and so forth, and so it can bind legislative action so long as it’s in force. But it’s the kind of thing that can be changed easily through legislation, so all you would need is a majority that agreed this law is a bad idea. The problem with California is that a simple majority can’t change the law.

  113. 113
    LGRooney says:

    @Glen Tomkins: Satire has a wide berth in terms of legality and this may fall under First Amendment guidelines as a result.

  114. 114
    Ash Can says:

    @Observer:

    Hate the Gov all you want but he wasn’t trying to pretend to be anything he isn’t and neither does the rest of the Republican party.

    Um, that’s why they’re so hated. If they were to make an attempt to hide at least a little of their innate sociopathy they might not be quite so hated.

    And their side tends to win all major arguments over time.

    Too often and too many, yes, but not always. Not unless you consider one-year recall “winning a major argument.”

  115. 115
    Captain C says:

    @Kurzleg:

    Walker thinks public-sector unions contributing to legislators is wrong. What about owners of companies that have contracts with the state? Are contributions the owners make to legislators wrong?

    It’s only wrong if you can’t give the governor some personal sugar on the side.

  116. 116

    Observer seems to be really, really concerned.

    @Nate: And unedited.

  117. 117
    pk says:

    Am I the only one who finds this odd? If this tape is real the most shocking aspect is not the conversation, but the fact that the Governor of the state is discussing policy issues with a billionaire who has nothing whatsoever (in theory) to do with it. I bet Walker would not go into such details with an ordinary citizen of Wisconsin. Are we so use to corruption that nobody is shocked that a billionaire calls the governer of a state to get the lowdown on a current crisis and direct events?

  118. 118
    kay says:

    It won’t get any media play because it’s a conversation between two powerful people.

    Unlike with the ACORN or Planned Parenthood workers. Their reputations had no value, so they didn’t bother to determine if the tapes were edited before airing them. Low-level workers at non-profits who make 9 dollars an hour are easy to bully and exploit.

    They’ll be very, very careful to protect the careers and reputations of a Koch brother or a conservative governor.

  119. 119
    Martin says:

    Man, there are days that I wonder if the US doesn’t deserve to be conquered by hamsters. We put the stupidest motherfuckers into office…

  120. 120
    liberal says:

    @Chris:

    What do you think Dr. Strangelove was parodying in the first place? The John Birchers of that era are the teabaggers of today.

    Nah. IIRC the most direct model for Dr Strangelove was Herman Kahn, not people like the Birchers.

  121. 121
    Captain C says:

    Not unless you consider one-year recall “winning a major argument.”

    What’s the status of the recall movements on currently eligible Wisconsin State Senators? Or Gov. Walker for that matter?

  122. 122
    Observer says:

    @liberal:
    Yes, you’re right about that and it’s all true too. Dems have been running to wealthy donors for the past 40 years and now they’ve let blue dog third way conservadem Koch inpsired b.s. get inside their heads too much and forgotten the less fortunate ones.

  123. 123
    liberal says:

    @jwb:
    Agreed. The point is the supermajority requirement.

  124. 124
    Uloborus says:

    @RalfW:
    Always remember that the Kochs are true believers. The commie threat, the negro threat, the enroaching one world government, the inherent superiority of the rich person – they really believe this stuff. They’re not the sharpest crabs in the bucket. They may have chosen their belief system because it benefits them, but they are all in now.

  125. 125
    Chris says:

    What OO said. Walker didn’t campaign on any of this. And like I listed above – he’s still pretending to be trying to rein in the deficit, a little disingenuous when you consider that the unions already gave him what he wants and that he himself has been cutting taxes on the rich like mad. It’s even more so when you consider that the only unions he’s punishing are the ones that didn’t endorse him.

    So no, I’d have to say he’s not standing on principle. Can’t really blame him: Barry Goldwater still stands as a warning to conservatives of what happens when you stand on principle and are actually up front about your intentions.

  126. 126
    liberal says:

    @Observer:
    My attitude is that solving collective action problems like this isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible. In the short run, adopting tactics like you suggest (increasing adherence to a set of principles, negotiating harder) would IMHO be costly, but would pay off longer-term. A reasonable view would be that that’s what the right is doing (with more money of course).

  127. 127
    Mike E says:

    @liberal: Curtis LeMay et al provided inspiration for the cast of Strangelove. Ripper, Bucky and the president were his id, ego, and super ego.

  128. 128
    soonergrunt says:

    @General Stuck: precisely what I thought.

  129. 129
    bemused says:

    @Observer:
    Another Walker principle in the bill: sell off state owned heating, cooling and power plants, with or without bids, to private entities. Koch anyone?
    I’m waiting for Walker and WI GOP to ‘splain how this would be budget reducing. Sounds like a great plan to gouge the state’s and residents’ wallets to me.

  130. 130
    Observer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: This case is an outlier and we were talking about Walker and his “gotcha” recorded conservation. But there was no gotcha. Just someone standing on principles, however wrong they are.

    But if you want to talk about this case and the Dems…finally Dems are staying in a fight. The big big quesiton is whether they’ll see this through or whether they’ll cave in a few days or weeks.

    Hopefully they’ll stand firm and *hopefully* they’ll be an example to the rest of the party. Time will tell.

  131. 131
    Fuck U III: The Duck Fucks Back says:

    Martin: Are you saying that our hamsters aren’t as strong as theirs? Do we have a hamster gap? Somebody alert the president!

  132. 132

    Hate the Gov all you want but he wasn’t trying to pretend to be anything he isn’t and neither does the rest of the Republican party. And their side tends to win all major arguments over time.

    Not trying to pretend he’s something he isn’t?? Howsabout being a toady to some mega-rich, controlling conservative f*ck? I think he was trying to come off a little better than that…

  133. 133
    liberal says:

    @Uloborus:

    They may have chosen their belief system because it benefits them, but they are all in now.

    Huh? The problem with scum like the Kochs is that there’s no downside. So in what sense are they “all in”?

  134. 134
    liberal says:

    @Mike E:
    Yeah, that might be true. But not for the good Dr himself, I would think.

  135. 135
    Bailey says:

    Good grief, Walker is abysmallly stupid. Even the dog with the victrola recognized his master’s voice.

  136. 136
    Fe E says:

    @Observer:

    Lanny Davis–is that you?

  137. 137
    Uloborus says:

    @liberal:
    In the sense that they really believe it. That they HONESTLY think Democrats are communists involved in a global communist plot to take over America. Not that they’re willing to take risks for their belief.

    @Observer:
    Personally, I’m not all that big on ‘standing on principles’. ‘Standing on principles’ sounds great, but most of the time it actually means ‘refusing to consider the real world ramifications of anything you do, evidence against your shiny ideal even if that evidence is overwhelming, or who might be hurt by your actions’. ‘Standing on principle’ is the basic motivation of the Conservative movement. ‘Standing on principle’ doesn’t even mean doing the best you can to obtain your goals. Usually it means utterly futile grandstanding.

    Give me the reality based community any day, sorry.

    EDIT – Oh, and whoever said that in the long run the conservatives always win? No. In the long run the conservatives always lose. The Kochs are trying to RETURN to the glory days of 1900. The long term trends always move liberal, even if things bounce around like a pinball in the short term.

  138. 138
    Menu says:

    What does this prove?
    Hello? How about the fact that Walker, in the midst of all this turmoil, with plenty on his plate (and media requests out the wazoo) will take a private call from someone sporting the right last name.
    What more do you need?

  139. 139
    Chris says:

    @Uloborus:

    Something like this.

    I don’t object to standing on principle (which is irrelevant here, because that’s not what Walker’s doing and that’s not what any Republican’s done for a very long time) per se, but your principles have to be informed by some connection to the real world.

    As John Maynard Keynes put it, “when the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

  140. 140
    You Don't Say says:

    Walker’s office confirms the call is real.

  141. 141
    Sentient Puddle says:

    The governor’s office confirmed that this shit be real. Smooth.

  142. 142
    Citizen_X says:

    @liberal: I think you’re right; Dr. Strangelove was a little bit Herman Kahn, but he was also a little bit Werner Von Braun.

  143. 143
    liberal says:

    @Uloborus:

    ‘Standing on principles’ sounds great, but most of the time it actually means ‘refusing to consider the real world ramifications of anything you do, evidence against your shiny ideal even if that evidence is overwhelming, or who might be hurt by your actions’.

    I don’t think this is true. All the Right really cares about is that the rich benefit from government, yet pay not a penny for it. As a matter of positive (descriptive) knowledge, I assume you’d claim that this is gravely injurious to the nation, and I’d agree. The problem is that the Right doesn’t care; they just don’t want wealthy scum to pay taxes, regardless of the consequences.

    We can claim that that’s highly immoral, etc etc etc, but there’s no fact that can be arrayed against it itself. Of course facts can be arrayed against ancillary descriptive claims like “pro-rich = pro-growth for everyone”, but not against the sociopathic goal of no taxes for the Kochs itself.

  144. 144
    liberal says:

    @Uloborus:

    The long term trends always move liberal, even if things bounce around like a pinball in the short term.

    That’s true, though in the US, the trend since roughly 1980 has certainly been to the right on economic issues.

    And while the long-term trend is liberal overall, nasty unpredictable things can happen in a crisis.

  145. 145
  146. 146
    Hob says:

    The governor’s office, in confirming the call, tried to spin it the same way Observer is: “The phone call shows that the Governor says the same thing in private as he does in public.”

    They’re apparently hoping no one will notice that Walker admitted to (a) having considered planting fake “troublemakers” in the crowd to discredit the protesters, and (b) plotting to trick Democratic legislators into showing up for negotiations that wouldn’t actually take place, so as to get a quorum. Needless to say, those are not things he said in public.

    Observer either did not read the transcript, or is a lying asshole like Walker.

  147. 147
    drkrick says:

    @liberal:

    IIRC the most direct model for Dr Strangelove was Herman Kahn, not people like the Birchers.

    It was actually Henry Kissinger. Not the original plan (he wasn’t well known in the early ’60’s), but Sellers or someone else talked to him as part the preproduction research and found him irrestistable as a model.

  148. 148
    The Bobs says:

    @Chris:

    Koch’s father, Fred was a charter member of the John Birch Society.

  149. 149

    […] the same prank-call conversation, he also revealed himself to be not only Nixonian, but also just a straight-up pig: Koch: We’ll back you any way we can. What we were thinking about the crowd was, uh, was […]

  150. 150
    Ash Can says:

    @You Don’t Say:
    @Sentient Puddle:

    Looks like this confirmation was what the other press was waiting for; this is now front-page news on the Wisconsin State Journal (Madison) and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

    (Links here and here)

  151. 151
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Observer: You brought up the running from a fight issue. And, as multiple people have pointed out to you, there is more here than the purported principled stand by a conservative.

  152. 152
    kay says:

    @Ash Can:

    We’re sending this to local papers:

    “I talk to Kasich every day—John’s gotta stand firm in Ohio.”

    I think that’s a good headline, right there. The governor of Wisconsin and the Koch brothers are running Ohio.

  153. 153
    Tone in DC says:

    If this escapade doesn’t kill Walker’s stupid, wrongheaded bill (not to mention his career prospects), I don’t know what could.

  154. 154
    Ash Can says:

    @kay: As I just commented on another thread, I think this is a pretty fair-sized explosion. This puts confirmation of the Koch brothers’ involvement right out there, front and center, and I don’t see how this gets explained away.

  155. 155
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    I’m sorry, Walker is a C**t of the first water, but the last thing we want is more O’Keefe clones, even on the left.

    ‘Cos the wingnutz will be calling up Barbara Boxer’s line, pretending to be Soros.

  156. 156
    Ash Can says:

    And this story has hit the Chicago Tribune’s rotating front-page headlines as well.

    @Herbal Infusion Bagger: The thing is, though, “Soros” will get hung up on.

  157. 157
    Tractarian says:

    but the last thing we want is more O’Keefe clones, even on the left.

    ‘Cos the wingnutz will be calling up Barbara Boxer’s line, pretending to be Soros.

    And if Boxer’s staff puts “Soros” through to the Senator, I’d say she deserves whatever’s coming to her.

    The problem with O’Keefe is not his concept (engage in pranks to reveal scandals) but his execution (having failed to reveal a scandal, edit and obscure the evidence to make it look scandalous).

    BB seems to be a liberal, competent version of O’Keefe. I say, the more the better.

  158. 158
    Cris says:

    @Herbal Infusion Bagger: Here’s a little difference between O’Keefe and the Beast. O’Keefe selectively edits his source material to appear incriminating, and invariably presents a story that is the polar opposite of what actually transpired. The Beast presents a full transcript, and the Governor’s office confirms that it is accurate.

  159. 159
    Uloborus says:

    @liberal:
    Don’t argue with this in any way. But my point is that every fight is a good fight, because in the long run we really ARE winning. Giving in to despair because the conservatives always win flies in the face of the evidence. Eventually they lose. It’s just a grinding battle of two steps forward and one step back.

    @liberal:
    I actually completely disagree with this. It’s not by any means ‘all’ they believe in. The narrowmindedness of the Right, who see nothing important by their own little pet ideals, is just incredibly easily coopted by the ruthlessly wealthy. And if you think you’re always right and getting your way is not only the only thing that matters but inherently virtuous you become corrupt in a split second. At the highest levels of the GOP corporate whoring is incredibly important, but it’s just a tool they don’t mind using – and these days have no choice but to use, thanks to the Kochs and FOX running the primarying base into crazytown – to get their own ends.

  160. 160
    Cris says:

    @Ash Can: This puts confirmation of the Koch brothers’ involvement right out there, front and center, and I don’t see how this gets explained away.

    Does anybody outside of these blog-walls care about the Koch brothers, though? I don’t know, I’m asking. I would have thought Abramoff was too inside-baseball for anybody to care, but that did seem to have an impact in the electorate-at-large.

  161. 161
    Shadow's Mom says:

    This has made Andrea Mitchell (who interviewed a Republican rep) and is a lead on Tamron Hall.

  162. 162
    Ash Can says:

    @Cris: I’m thinking that a lot of people outside these blog walls don’t even know about the Koch brothers, and that a lot of Cheeseheads are going to get a crash course over the next couple of days in who’s pulling Walker’s strings, thanks to this hitting the news. If Walker and the rest of the state Republicans could have maintained the framing of this kerfluffle as an all-in-the-state-family affair, they’d have been able to maintain a lot more credibility and good will than if the focus shifted to an examination of who’s really calling the shots, which is what I think could very well happen now.

  163. 163
    JGabriel says:

    @SpotWeld:

    Honestly, I’ll gladly brush aside all of the conversation as possible verbal maneuvering. He took the call based on nothing more than a “big money” name.

    Yeah, I think that’s actually true for most of it. The biggest takeaway is Walker revealing how he plans to deceive the Democratic State Senators into returning, and then screw them.

    The other takeaway is the blindered world view. We often debate whether Republicans are evil or stupid — or, more accurately, whether they are knowingly evil or ignorantly evil. Walker’s compliment of the NYT article as “true journalism”, and re-assertion, in private, that the protesters are mostly from out of state, confirm that Walker, at least, is ignorantly evil.

    Republican politicians really do believe the whole ignorant Fox propaganda weltanschauung they advocate every day.

    .

  164. 164
    burnspbesq says:

    @jwb:

    ” Unless I hear that that law is not reversible by a simple majority vote, I’m not all that concerned. The problem with the California law, if I’m not mistaken, is that it is part of the constitution.”

    I don’t normally think of you as naive, but in this case I think you’re kidding yourself. Explain how a candidate for the legislature runs a winning campaign in which he or she pledges to vote to repeal this law.

    FWIW, here’s the full text.

    http://legis.wisconsin.gov/2011/data/JR1AB-5.pdf

  165. 165
    liberal says:

    @Uloborus:

    The narrowmindedness of the Right, who see nothing important by their own little pet ideals, is just incredibly easily coopted by the ruthlessly wealthy.

    I tend to think there’d be not much of a right to speak of, without the largesse of the extremely wealthy.

    Sure, the ideals would be out there, and sure there’d be stupid/evil people subscribing to those ideals, but without all the money, they’d be much much weaker.

    That’s why their coalition is so amazingly cohesive, despite large fissures between e.g. the social values crowd and the libertarian crowd. They all think higher taxes are one of the ultimate evils.

  166. 166
    liberal says:

    @drkrick:
    Is that really true? I used to think it was Kissinger, but then later heard it was Kahn.

  167. 167
    liberal says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Explain how a candidate for the legislature runs a winning campaign in which he or she pledges to vote to repeal this law.

    It might be difficult, but why do you think it would be substantially more difficult than raising taxes?

  168. 168
    You Don't Say says:

    Finally listened to the whole thing. Walker really thinks he’s the shits, doesn’t he? He’s pleased as punch to be showing off for Koch. He can barely shut up to end the call.

    Can you imagine if a similar prank was played on Obama showing him giving a fake George Soros such access and time?

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