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Monday, February 28, 2011

The Year of the Governors

By S.E. Cupp

Back in 2010, during the midterm elections, people in my field were of course panting in breathless anticipation as we watched important congressional races to see how many seats Republicans would pick up two years after Barack Obama came into office. Would it be a turnover of the Senate? How sweeping would the House pickups be? Who’d take Pelosi’s place? What would it mean for the tea party? We all know how it turned out. I’m fond of the way one notable described it…as a “shellacking.”

But overlooked were the equally important governors races. I had my eye on them here and there, just to keep up with redistricting possibilities. But no one could have predicted just how important the state houses would be so soon into 2011. In short, whether you’re Chris Christie or Scott Walker, governors are having the best month ever, and it’s clear the Republican gains in the state houses last year are having a huge impact on domestic policy. (And, let’s face it, they’re a major thorn in President Obama’s side.)

In 2010 Democrats took five governorships from the Republicans…California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota and Vermont. But Republicans took a whopping 11 governorships from the Democrats, including key states like Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Who knew how big THAT one would turn out. Republicans also won Florida, which had previously been held by an Independent. Before he was a Republican. So Republicans held a majority of governorships for the first time since 2006.

No one would have predicted just a few months ago that it would be these governors, and not celebrity senators like the thus far invisible Marco Rubio or the tea party favorite Rand Paul, who would be making the most noise.

Read the full article here.

The Daily News: February 28, 2011


End the Privileged Class

With the Wisconsin showdown at a fever pitch, Mark McKinnon says America doesn’t need public unions anymore—they silence voters’ choice, redistribute wealth, and clog the political system.

The manufactured Madison, Wis., mob is not the movement the White House was hoping for. Both may find themselves at the wrong end of the populist pitchfork. While I generally defend collective bargaining and private-sector unions (lots of airline pilots in my family), it is the abuse by public unions and their bosses that pushes centrists like me to the GOP. It is the right and duty of citizens to petition their government. The Tea Party and Republicans seek to limit government growth to protect their pocketbooks. Public-union bosses want to increase the cost of government to protect their racket.

1. Public unions are big money.

Public unions are big money. Paul Krugman is correct: we do need “some counterweight to the political power of big money.” But in the Alice in Wonderland world where what’s up is down and what’s down is up, Krugman believes public unions do not represent big money. Of the top 20 biggest givers in federal-level politics over the past 20 years, 10 are unions; just four are corporations. The three biggest public unions gave $171.5 million for the 2010 elections alone, according to The Wall Street Journal. That’s big money.

2. Public unions redistribute wealth.

Public employees contribute real value for the benefit of all citizens. Public-union bosses collect real money from all taxpayers for the benefit of a few. Unlike private-sector jobs, which are more than fully funded through revenues created in a voluntary exchange of money for goods or serv-ices, public-sector jobs are funded by taxpayer dollars, forcibly collected by the government (union dues are often deducted from public employees’ paychecks). In 28 states, state and local employees must pay full union dues or be fired. A sizable portion of those dues is then donated by the public unions almost exclusively to Democratic candidates. Michael Barone sums it up: “public-employee unions are a mechanism by which every taxpayer is forced to fund the Democratic Party.”

3. Public unions silence the voters’ voice.

Read the full article here.

The British Take the Lead on Libya

Did you ever think you would see the day that the Brits would stand up and do the right thing because the USA would not? I confess, I never did. - Reggie

Libya: Cameron proposes no-fly zone to protect Libyan people from attacks by Gaddafi loyalists

The Prime Minister repeated his earlier call for Col Gaddafi to step down and said that all measures would be considered to increase pressure on him to go.

"We do not in any way rule out the use of military assets," Mr Cameron said.

"We must not tolerate this regime using military force against its own people. In that context I have asked the Ministry of Defence and the Chief of the Defence Staff to work with our allies on plans for a military no-fly zone."

The European Union has agreed to impose an assets freeze and travel ban on Col Gaddafi and 25 members of his family and inner circle.

Baroness Ashton, the EU's high representative for foreign affairs, told a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that the union would impose further restrictions on Libya very soon, noting that violent repression in the north African country "shocks our conscience."

Read the full article here.

Walker gives 24-hour deadline to fleebaggers

If the Wisconsin state Senators who fled the state intended on highlighting their opposition to Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill, then the governor offered his congratulations on their success.  In his statement this morning, though, Walker also told the fleebaggers that any further delay would cost the state $165 million in a lost opportunity to restructure the state’s debt — and that continued delay will force Walker to cut jobs to save money:
“According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, if Senate Democrats refuse to return to Wisconsin and cast their vote the next day the option to refinance a portion of the state’s debt will be off the table,” the statement says.
In addition, Cullen Werwie, the governor’s spokesman, said in a statement: “Senate Democrats claimed they fled the state to slow down the process so the public had enough time to learn about the budget repair bill. If that was their true intention, they have been successful.
“Now they have one day to return to work before the state loses out on the chance to refinance debt, saving taxpayers $165 million this fiscal year. Failure to return to work and cast their votes will lead to more painful and aggressive spending cuts in the very near future.”
Werwie said he was giving the Democrats 24-hour notice. He added that the governor will delay sending out layoff notices “as long as possible.”
With Walker raising the stakes, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel provided its readers with the context of spending on public employees:
But by any measure, as Walker has noted and most state employees acknowledge, the state will continue to provide rich health-insurance benefits compared with the private sector, where nearly 40% of employers don’t offer health benefits at all.
Under Walker’s bill, state employees – including elected state legislators, who receive the same benefits – would pay about $600 more for single coverage, raising their share of that cost to about $1,000 a year. For family coverage, they would pay $1,476 more, raising their share of the cost to about $2,500 a year.
The proposal would increase their share of the premium to 12.4%. But that would still be well below the share paid by employees in the private sector, who by one estimate pay an average of 19% of the cost for single coverage and 29% for family coverage.
It also is less than the 28% of the premium paid on average by federal employees.
The union has accepted these changes in principle, now that Walker has pushed his budget-repair bill with collective-bargaining reform built into it, as Walker promised during the election.  The PEUs would rather accept cuts in the near term than the ability to browbeat the state and localities in later negotiations.  However, these are the very same financial changes that unions characterized as … well
“We certainly aren’t the haves, in spite of what he says. I just see this as all political posturing,” said Marty Beil.
Beil is executive director of the Wisconsin State Employees Union , which represents 22,000 state workers in various departments including corrections, universities, mental health, and social work.
It’s like the plantation owner talking to the slaves. We’ve moved in Walker’s mentality from public service to public servitude,” Beil explained to FOX 11. When asked “Do you really think comparison to plantation owner and slave is accurate?” Beil replied: “I do. I really do because here he sits as the incoming governor, basically issuing mandates about what he wants to happen. Governors and employers don’t do that especially in the modern era of labor relations. We sit down at a table to talk about things.”

Read the full post at Hot Air

The Entitled Party

President Obama and the left wing of the Democratic Party think they are entitled to win. From our narcissistic President to screaming union organizers, they are puffed up with self-righteous zeal. They must have health care to save the sick, they must shut down Louisiana oil rigs to save the planet, they must defend government unions to save the middle class.

Of course, each side thinks they are right. Being right is no excuse. You have to abide by the law, you have to abide by elections, you have to respect the courts and constitutional separation of power, or else we no longer live in a democratic country. In our democracy, no one is entitled to win. If you won't lose, you cannot have democracy.

What you have are the Wisconsin Democrat senators who are unwilling to abide by the election results that put them in a minority. What you have is Reid and Pelosi, ramming Obamacare through by breaking rules of procedure, in order to flout the 2010 election results. What you have is the Obama White House, blocking Congress's right to confirm appointees, and openly ignoring federal courts. What you have is the Justice Department announcing it will no longer defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act in court, as if Obama gets to decide which laws are constitutional. What you have is a Democratic Party run amok, undercutting our democracy in the service of their own power.

The complacency, nay, the vociferous support, from Democrat leaders and the legacy media for this disregard for the rule of law reminds me of the old joke about the psychiatrist. A man is sent by his family to see a shrink because he thinks he's a chicken. After months of treatment, he is still clucking. The family asks the psychiatrist if he's told his patient he is not a chicken. "No," the psychiatrist admits. "Why not!" "Because I like the eggs."

The Democrats like the eggs. They like imposing their will, whether it be ObamaCare, or the off-shore drilling moratorium, or the blockage of Wisconsin's elected government. Are they really this short-sighted? Don't they understand the damage to our democratic system by these anti-democratic precedents? Do they really want to change congressional rules so that the House and the Senate version of bills no longer have to be reconciled, as they did to jam ObamaCare through by the fiction it was a finance bill? Do they really want the Interior Department ignoring federal court orders? Do they really want state senators refusing to accept that when you lose an election, the other side gets to pass their agenda?

Obama appointed extremists for important administrative positions, controversial and even creepy people, like Van Jones, whom he knew would not get past Congressional confirmation. The checks and balances between executive and legislative branch were instituted by our founders for this exact purpose. The executive nominates but Congress must confirm -- bedrock principles of American democracy. Obama's answer: flout the law. Call his appointees 'czars' and bypass confirmation. This is not legal and it is not democracy. Do the liberal legacy media and Obama's fellow Democrats want presidents to have this unlimited power? Do they really want to give up the safeguards of congressional confirmation by calling appointees czars?

Czars indeed.

Read the full article here.

Rush segment from February 24th

Obama Nixes Safe Drilling

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was in Houston this weekend talking with oil executives who are eager to start drilling again in the Gulf of Mexico. That may sound like progress, but after the meeting Salazar said that nothing had changed. He was not ready to approve any new drilling.

Despite everything that energy companies have done to devise advanced containment systems, Salazar is unwilling to issue a single new permit. Systems constructed by the nonprofit Marine Well Containment Company and other entities are now able to handle a flow equal or greater than that experienced during the Deepwater Horizon accident last summer. But that's not enough for Salazar, who stated that even the most advanced systems have "limitations on water depth and barrel-per-day containment capacity."

Well, yes. Any system that could be devised would have limitations on depth and per-barrel capacity. But that's not the point, as Mr. Salazar must know. The question is whether the new systems are able to handle the sorts of accident that might actually take place. Not the worst scenario that someone from the Interior Department could dream up. Combined with safely protocols now in place, the new containment equipment can do just that.

So why no permits for new drilling? It appears that the Obama administration is more interested in kowtowing to environmental donors in advance of the 2012 election than it is in controlling energy prices. Even with a federal court  order to decide on new drilling in the Gulf by March 20, the Obama administration remains obdurate.

Two Solutions to the Wisconsin Stalemate

The Republican majority of the Wisconsin State Senate has at hand the tools to end its stalemate now.

The Wisconsin Constitution requires that to vote on a law dealing with taxing or spending or borrowing, a "quorum" is needed, and the minimum number to constitute a "quorum" is sixty percent of the elected members of the legislature:

ARTICLE VIII FINANCE

Vote on fiscal bills; quorum. SECTION 8. On the passage in either house of the legislature of any law which imposes, continues or renews a tax, or creates a debt or charge, or makes, continues or renews an appropriation of public or trust money, or releases, discharges or commutes a claim or demand of the state, the question shall be taken by yeas and nays, which shall be duly entered on the journal; and three-fifths of all the members elected to such house shall in all such cases be required to constitute a quorum therein.

A "money-related" quorum in the current legislative session is 20 (19.8) senators of the 33 senators elected. The current party breakdown in the Wisconsin Senate is 19 Republicans and 14 Democrats. Each one of the 14 Democratic senators has refused to appear in the Senate chamber in Madison, leaving 19 Republicans alone at their desks and, seemingly, unable to have a vote until at least one Democrat shows up for work.

[It is widely believed that those lying-low legislators have gone so far as to leave Wisconsin entirely, hiding out in a hotel in Illinois.]

The common understanding is that unless at least one of those 14 decides to return to the Senate chamber, a money bill cannot be voted on. That does not have to be the case.

Read the full article here.

AWOL Democrats Defy Ballot Box

American-style democracy holds together because no matter how nasty the political game gets, the players honor a few inviolable rules. We obey the laws, even the ones we disagree with. We respect the ballot box. And after even the most bitterly contested election, the loser accepts the results, works within the system and awaits another chance to prevail with voters.

These guidelines kept the nation from shearing apart in 2000, when supporters of Al Gore (wrongly) believed the presidential election was stolen by George W. Bush. A tense period of uncertainty ended when Gore, in perhaps his finest moment, conceded and urged his backers to work to heal the country.

But what's happening in Wisconsin and Indiana breaks that tradition and puts a crack in our democratic foundation.

Democrats in those states, as in most others, were shellacked in legislative races last fall, giving Republicans majority control of their legislatures.

Republicans interpreted their overwhelming victories as a mandate to change the course of the states. Specifically, they set about undoing decades of laws put in place by Democrats to favor labor unions over taxpayers.

Instead of staying on the field to defend their positions, Democratic lawmakers in both states fled to neighboring Illinois, where they hope to win with their absence what they couldn't at the ballot box — namely, the right to control policymaking. (emphasis mine)

Read the full article here.

Muslims Plan Thursday Sharia Rally in D.C.

‘Rise to Implement the Shari’ah in America’

This coming Fourth of July, Muslims are planning a “Million Muslim March” in D.C. to “re-establish the feelings of brother and sisterhood among Muslim Americans“ and start the ”healing” proces after 9/11. And while there is no indication that rally will dabble in Sharia law, a different D.C. march scheduled for Thursday boldly declares its goal of bringing Sharia law “directly to the doorsteps of the United States of America.”

The rally will feature radical UK Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary, who recently told Sean Hannity Americans are “the biggest criminals in the world today,“ and in October announced ”the flag of Islam will one day fly over the White House.” His group, Islam4UK, has been outlawed in Britain.

“We hereby call upon the Muslims in the US, particularly in New York, Michigan, Chicago and Washington DC to take lessons from their Muslim brothers and sisters in North Africa and the Middle East and rise to implement the Shari’ah in America,” the group Shariah4America, seemingly modeled after Choudary’s UK organization, says on its website.

Read the full story here.

Their logo is ready and it is another call for revolution. I guess they need to get in line behind the Progressives, Socialists, Communists, Labor Unions and Democrats. Violence is coming and it will all come from the left. - Reggie


Boehner Speech at National Religious Broadcasters Convention

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) delivered remarks to the annual National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) convention on the economic and moral implications of Washington's spending binge and efforts to create a better environment for job creation. His full remarks as prepared for delivery are here.

High Speed to Insolvency

the real reason for progressives’ passion for trains is their goal of diminishing Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism.

by George F. Will
February 27, 2011

Generations hence, when the river of time has worn this presidency’s importance to a small, smooth pebble in the stream of history, people will still marvel that its defining trait was a mania for high-speed rail projects. This disorder illuminates the progressive mind.

Remarkably widespread derision has greeted the Obama administration’s damn-the-arithmetic-full-speed-ahead proposal to spend $53 billion more (after the $8 billion in stimulus money and $2.4 billion in enticements to 23 states) in the next six years pursuant to the president’s loopy goal of giving “80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail.” “Access” and “high-speed” to be defined later.

Criticism of this optional and irrational spending—meaning: borrowing —during a deficit crisis has been withering. Only an administration blinkered by ideology would persist.

‘Defending Liberty’: Defiant Clarence Thomas Slams Critics for ‘Undermining’ High Court


USA Inc. 2010 Income Statement

Click here to read the full story.
click image for larger view


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fox News Correspondent: 'There is hate in their eyes'




Reporter Mike Tobin Harassed, Attacked

John Bolton on Crisis in Libya

from February 25th



Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Daily News: February 24, 2011

Egypt’s Revolution Robbed

Statement from Walid Shoebat

As the stage at Tahrir Square was set for the Friday Day of Victory to commemorate Egypt’s revolution, Wael Ghoneim – the mastermind youth behind the revolution – was set to speak when suddenly his speech was hijacked by guards forcing him to leave, hiding his face with the Egyptian flag (See photos). Rumors have been spreading throughout the Middle East that regard Wael Ghoneim as “member of Masonic Lodge”, “imperialist” and an “American agent”.

So who were these thugs that hijacked the voices of the youth…twitter and facebook?

It was the guards of none other than terror supporter and international liaison of the Muslim Brotherhood—the exiled Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi.

Yes, you heard it right.

The grand opportunist like a thief in the night and in broad daylight bullied his way to address a million Egyptians, urging them to “Protect the revolution and don’t you dare let anyone steal it from you.” Except for him, of course, promising that soon he “will pray on the Jerusalem Al-Aqsa (Temple Mount)” not as a pilgrimage since visiting it is a “shame” and “forbidden by Sharia” so long as Israel exists. (emphasis mine)

Stop saying ‘unacceptable’ if you’re not going to do anything about it

h/t The Daily Caller

Why is Union Leader Talking to White House Daily?

And there is this:


What If...

Attorney General Mark Levin: Won't Enforce Roe v. Wade


WASHINGTON
January 21, 2013

Barely twenty-four hours after her inauguration as America's first woman chief executive, President Sarah Palin announced today that Attorney General Mark Levin has been instructed to stop defending Roe v. Wade and abortion in a wave of fresh lawsuits filed in federal courts around the country.

Said the Attorney General:

"Roe v. Wade contains numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of unborn children and their potential intimate and family relationships -- precisely the kind of stereotype-based thinking and animus the (Constitution's) Equal Protection Clause is designed to guard against."

"Much of the legal landscape has changed in the 40 years since the Supreme Court created a so-called 'right to privacy,' which has no constitutional basis and no tangible form," Levin said in a statement. He noted that various Supreme Court justices have previously ruled that laws authorizing the taking of the life of an unborn child are unconstitutional and that Congress has forbidden the federal government from paying for abortions.

'More Union Civility...'

More Union Civility: Eyewitness to Boston thuggery; Plus: Die, elderly Tea Partiers, die!

By Michelle Malkin  •  February 24, 2011 01:08 PM

Tea Party senior citizens: Menaces to society!

A supporter of Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker in Boston wrote me last night to recount the violence that took place at the Tuesday union rally where Democrat Rep. Michael Capuano told his minions to “get a little bloody.” The tipster is remaining anonymous for now while police investigate the targeting of an elderly, flag-waving counter-protester.

As the witness told me, “It was worse than you and what the media portrayed it as…as usual!!”

The MSM may be AWOL. But the truth will out:

Wisconsin Senate Democrats

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Dallas Target: Texas Resident Arrested on Charge of Attempted Use of Weapon of Mass Destruction

Suspect Allegedly Purchased Bomb Materials and Researched U.S. Targets

WASHINGTON — Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, a citizen of Saudi Arabia and resident of Lubbock, Texas, was arrested late yesterday by FBI agents in Texas on a federal charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction in connection with his alleged purchase of chemicals and equipment necessary to make an improvised explosive device (IED) and his research of potential U.S. targets.

The arrest and the criminal complaint, which was unsealed in the Northern District of Texas, were announced by David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; James T. Jacks, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas; and Robert E. Casey Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Dallas Field Division.

Aldawsari is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court in Lubbock at 9:00 a.m. on Friday morning. Aldawsari, who was lawfully admitted into the United States in 2008 on a student visa and is enrolled at South Plains College near Lubbock, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the complaint, Aldawsari has been researching online how to construct an IED using several chemicals as ingredients. He has also acquired or taken a substantial step toward acquiring most of the ingredients and equipment necessary to construct an IED and he has conducted online research of several potential U.S. targets, the affidavit alleges. In addition, he has allegedly described his desire for violent jihad and martyrdom in blog postings and a personal journal.

“As alleged in the complaint, Aldawsari purchased ingredients to construct an explosive device and was actively researching potential targets in the United States. Thanks to the efforts of many agents, analysts and prosecutors, this plot was thwarted before it could advance further,” said Assistant Attorney General Kris. “This case serves as another reminder of the need for continued vigilance both at home and abroad.”

“Yesterday’s arrest demonstrates the need for and the importance of vigilance and the willingness of private individuals and companies to ask questions and contact the authorities when confronted with suspicious activities. Based upon reports from the public, Aldawsari’s plot was uncovered and thwarted. We’re confident we have neutralized the alleged threat posed by this defendant. Those reports resulted in the initiation of a complex and far-reaching investigation requiring almost around the clock work by hundreds of dedicated FBI agents, analysts, prosecutors and others. Their effort is another example of the work being done to protect our country and its citizens. These individuals are deserving of our respect and gratitude,” said U.S. Attorney Jacks.

“This arrest and criminal charge is a result of the success of the FBI's counterterrorism strategy, which is to detect, penetrate, and disrupt terrorist plots in the United States and against U.S. interests abroad. In this case, FBI Agents and other FBI experts worked tirelessly to neutralize the imminent terrorist threat described in the criminal complaint. The public can be justifiably proud of the national security expertise shown by the FBI in this investigation,” said Special Agent in Charge Casey.

Purchases of Chemical Ingredients and Other Equipment

The affidavit alleges that on Feb. 1, 2011, a chemical supplier reported to the FBI a suspicious attempted purchase of concentrated phenol by a man identifying himself as Khalid Aldawsari. According to the affidavit, phenol is a toxic chemical with legitimate uses, but can also be used to make the explosive trinitrophenol, also known as T.N.P., or picric acid. The affidavit alleges that other ingredients typically used with phenol to make picric acid, or T.N.P., are concentrated sulfuric and nitric acids.

Aldawsari allegedly attempted to have the phenol order shipped to a freight company so it could be held for him there, but the freight company returned the order to the supplier and called the police. Later, Aldawsari falsely told the supplier he was associated with a university and wanted the phenol for “off-campus, personal research.” Frustrated by questions being asked over his phenol order, Aldawsari cancelled his order and later e-mailed himself instructions for producing phenol. The affidavit alleges that in December 2010, he successfully purchased concentrated nitric and sulfuric acids.

Read the rest of the article

Wisconsin’s teachers required to teach kids labor union and collective bargaining history

This is indoctrination at it's finest! This law should be repealed. - Reggie

Wisconsin’s teachers are required to teach children about the history of the labor union movement and collective bargaining in the United States, per a law former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle signed in December 2009. Wisconsin’s Assembly Bill (AB) 172 requires the state’s teachers to incorporate “the history of organized labor in America and the collective bargaining process” into their lesson plans.

Describing the new law, AB 172, Wisconsin’s official Department of Public Instruction (DPI) website says, “Wisconsin has long been a leader in labor rights. The Progressive Movement, which had its beginnings in our state, led to laws limiting child labor and safety in the workplace. Unions such as the AFL-CIO and Teamsters allow us to enjoy an eight-hour work week and vacation time. In fact, it has been argued by some historians that the history of the United States itself could be a history of labor.”

For help in lesson planning, the Wisconsin DPI provides links to the Wisconsin Labor History Society, the Wisconsin Historical Society Labor Collections and the Educational Communications Board Surf Report on Labor History, all pro-union websites.

The Wisconsin Labor History Society reported that the only reason the bill passed was because Democrats were in control of both houses of the legislature and the governor’s office for the first time in 12 years.

“In signing the bill, Gov. Doyle cited the importance of elections to achieving legislative goals. He recalled the lengthy effort to pass the bill, with it often passing one house of the legislature, and being stranded in the other,” the group states on their website. “He said for the first time in the last dozen years both houses of the Legislature, and the governor’s office, were in control of Democrats, nearly all of whom support legislation calling for teaching of labor history and collective bargaining in the schools.”

The Wisconsin Labor History Society recommends that, when teachers talk about labor unions and collective bargaining today, they use the following talking points:

1. Unions work closely in the community, are responsible for passage of key civil rights laws and other citizen protections.
2. Unions face greater employer challenges after President Reagan fired striking air traffic controllers in 1981.
3. Unions develop highly successful political efforts during last two decades of the 20th Century.
4. Organizing and aggressive political action became the top two priorities of the AFL-CIO with the election of John Sweeney as President in 1995.

Another lesson  plan recommends that students play a trivia game about labor union history and design patches for unions their parents may be a part of.

The Wisconsin Labor History Society suggests teachers have students imagine that they’re a local firefighter in a union to try to understand why they should have union representation.

“Major elections always seem to elicit accusations and counterclaims about candidates’ response to political pressure and dollar contributions from special interest groups,” the Society recommends. “The special interest label has been applied to groups as diverse as environmentalists, pharmaceutical companies, and realtors. Unions, including those of firefighters, police officers, and teachers, are also often labeled as special interest groups. Imagine you are hired as a firefighter in your local community. All firefighters, including you, are being asked to contribute $2 a month to a political action committee. You aren’t sure you see the connection between firefighters, unions, and political action.”

Then, the Society suggests teachers have children research their local firefighters union to see, “why individuals with common interests, jobs, or training might join together to create political influence.”

Governor Walker's Fireside Chat to Wisconsin Taxpayers

from 02.22.11

Press Release from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

Thursday, February 24, 2011
Union Bosses Say One Thing, Do Another

Madison– For several days, government union bosses have said that government workers would be willing to contribute to their pensions and pay a slightly larger portion of their healthcare premiums. At the same time, local bargaining units have been negotiating for and signing contracts that do not accept the modest contributions proposed by Governor Walker.

In Janesville, government workers are proposing a contract that includes 2 percent pay increases this year and for the next two years. The government would pay all of the workers’ pension contributions and workers would only pay 8 percent toward their health insurance premiums.

In La Crosse County, government workers have agreed to a one-year contract with health and dental premiums at the same level as 2010. The agreement has the county covering the full pension payment of most government workers.

Government workers with the Milwaukee Area Technical College agreed to a new contract where the workers contribute nothing toward their pension. The College’s attorney said the agreement means MATC would leave $7.1 million on the table.

In Madison, government workers have proposed a contract that would allow them to continue to receive their current pension and health benefits for the next two years. Many government workers would receive a 3-percent pay raise.

In Racine, government workers have agreed to a contract that includes pay raises.

In Sheboygan, government workers agreed to a contract where nurses pay nothing toward their pensions.

"Reality Check" from the GOP

The Showdown Over Public Union Power

At last, politicians and voters are fighting back against the most potent lobby for government spending and ever-higher taxes.

Government workers have taken to the streets in Madison, Wis., to battle a series of reforms proposed by Gov. Scott Walker that include allowing workers to opt out of paying dues to unions. Everywhere that this "opt out" idea has been proposed, unions have battled it vigorously because the money they collect from dues is at the heart of their power.

Unions use that money not only to run their daily operations but to wage political campaigns in state capitals and city halls. Indeed, public-sector unions especially have become the nation's most aggressive advocates for higher taxes and spending. They sponsor tax-raising ballot initiatives and pay for advertising and lobbying campaigns to pressure politicians into voting for them. And they mount multimillion dollar campaigns to defeat efforts by governors and taxpayer groups to roll back taxes.

Early last year, for example, Oregon's unions spearheaded a successful battle to pass ballot measures 66 and 67, which collectively raised business and income taxes in the state by an estimated $727 million annually. Led by $2 million from the Oregon Education Association and $1.8 million from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), unions contributed an estimated 75% of the nearly $7 million raised to promote the tax increases, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

Read the full article

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mark Levin to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels: 'You're not presidential'


Public Unions Must Go

A death knell for government unions? If only.

The protesting public-school teachers with fake doctor’s notes swarming the capitol building in Madison, Wis., insist that Gov. Scott Walker is hell-bent on “union busting.” Walker denies that his effort to reform public-sector unions in Wisconsin is anything more than an honest attempt at balancing the state’s books.

I hope the protesters are right. Public unions have been a 50-year mistake.

A crucial distinction has been lost in the debate over Walker’s proposals: Government unions are not the same thing as private-sector unions.

Traditional, private-sector unions were born out of an often-bloody adversarial relationship between labor and management. It’s been said that during World War I, U.S. soldiers had better odds of surviving on the front lines than miners did in West Virginia coal mines. Mine disasters were frequent; hazardous conditions were the norm. In 1907, the Monongah mine explosion claimed the lives of 362 West Virginia miners. Day-to-day life often resembled serfdom, with management controlling vast swaths of the miners’ lives. Before unionization and many New Deal–era reforms, Washington had little power to reform conditions by legislation.

Government unions have no such narrative on their side. Do you recall the Great DMV Cave-in of 1959? How about the travails of second-grade teachers recounted in Upton Sinclair’s famous schoolhouse sequel to The Jungle? No? Don’t feel bad, because no such horror stories exist.

Government workers were making good salaries in 1962 when President Kennedy lifted, by executive order (so much for democracy), the federal ban on government unions. Civil-service regulations and similar laws had guaranteed good working conditions for generations.

The argument for public unionization wasn’t moral, economic, or intellectual. It was rankly political.

Traditional organized labor, the backbone of the Democratic party, was beginning to lose ground. As Daniel DiSalvo wrote in “The Trouble with Public Sector Unions,” in the fall issue of National Affairs, JFK saw how in states such as New York and Wisconsin, where public unions were already in place, local liberal pols benefited politically and financially. He took the idea national.

The plan worked perfectly — too perfectly. Public-union membership skyrocketed, and government-union support for the party of government skyrocketed with it. From 1989 to 2004, AFSCME — the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees — gave nearly $40 million to candidates in federal elections, with 98.5 percent going to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Why would local government unions give so much in federal elections? Because government workers have an inherent interest in boosting the amount of federal tax dollars their local governments get. Put simply, people in the government business support the party of government. Which is why, as the Manhattan Institute’s Steven Malanga has been chronicling for years, public unions are the country’s foremost advocates for increased taxes at all levels of government.

And this gets to the real insidiousness of government unions. Wisconsin labor officials fairly note that they’ve acceded to many of their governor’s specific demands — that workers contribute to their pensions and health-care costs, for example. But they don’t want to lose the right to collective bargaining.

But that is exactly what they need to lose.

Private-sector unions fight with management over an equitable distribution of profits. Government unions negotiate with friendly politicians over taxpayer money, putting the public interest at odds with union interests, and, as we’ve seen in states such as California and Wisconsin, exploding the cost of government. California’s pension costs soared 2,000 percent in a decade thanks to the unions.

Union Member Assaults Woman

Today, a CWA union thug became violent and struck a FreedomWorks employee. Read more about the assault here. I've been saying this for more than a year, now: The worst is yet to come!

We must be prepared for societal collapse because of these union people that believe they are entitled to anything and everything they want. They are willing to do anything to keep their ill-gotten gains because they believe they deserve it.

This is what the leftists/statists/Marxists have done to our country. Why have we allowed it?

The Daily News: February 23, 2011


Monday, February 21, 2011

President's sacred entitlements remain untouched

By Charles Krauthammer

Dharapak/AP
Obama discussed his plans for the budget during a news conference on Tuesday, Feb. 15.

Five days before his inauguration, President-elect Obama told The Washington Post that entitlement reform could no longer be kicked down the road. He then spent the next two years kicking - racking up $3 trillion in new debt along the way - on the grounds that massive temporary deficit spending was necessary to prevent another Great Depression.

To prove his bona fides, he later appointed a deficit reduction commission. It made its report last December, when the economy was well past recession, solemnly declaring that "the era of debt denial is over."

That lasted all of two months. The President's first post-commission budget, submitted Monday, marks a return to obliviousness. Even Erskine Bowles, Obama's Democratic debt commission co-chair, says it goes "nowhere near where they will have to go to resolve our fiscal nightmare."

The budget touts a deficit reduction of $1.1 trillion over the next decade. Where to begin? Even if you buy this number, Obama's budget adds $7.2 trillion in new debt over that same decade.

But there's a catch. The administration assumes economic growth levels higher than private economists and the Congressional Budget Office predict. Without this rosy scenario - using CBO growth estimates - $1.7 trillion of revenue disappears and U.S. debt increases $9 trillion over the next decade. This is almost $1 trillion every year.

Assume you buy the rosy scenario. Of what does this $1.1 trillion in deficit reduction consist? Painful cuts? Think again. It consists of $1.6 trillion in tax hikes, plus an odd $328 billion of some mysterious bipartisan funding for a transportation trust fund (gas taxes, one supposes) - for a grand total of nearly $2 trillion in new taxes.

Classic Obama debt reduction: Add $2 trillion in new taxes, then add another $1 trillion in new spending and, presto, you've got $1 trillion of debt reduction. It's the same kind of mad deficit accounting in Obamacare: It reduces debt by adding $540 billion in new spending, then adding $770 billion in new taxes. Presto: $230 billion of "debt reduction." Bialystock & Bloom accounting.

And what of those "painful cuts" Obama is making to programs he really cares about? The catch is that these "cuts" are from a hugely inflated new baseline created by the orgy of spending in Obama's first two years. These were supposedly catastrophe-averting, anti-Depression emergency measures. But post-recession they remain in place. As a result, discretionary non-defense budget levels today are 24% higher than before Obama - 84% higher if you add in the stimulus money.

The Daily News: February 21, 2011


What's at Stake in Wisconsin's Budget Battle

Who's in charge of our political system—voters or unions?


This week President Obama was roundly criticized, even by many of his allies, for submitting a federal budget that actually increases our already crushing deficit. But that didn't stop him Thursday from jumping into Wisconsin's titanic budget battle. He accused the new Republican governor, Scott Walker, of launching an "assault" on unions with his emergency legislation aimed at cutting the state budget.

The real assault this week was led by Organizing for America, the successor to President's Obama's 2008 campaign organization. It helped fill buses of protesters who flooded the state capital of Madison and ran 15 phone banks urging people to call state legislators.

Mr. Walker's proposals are hardly revolutionary. Facing a $137 million budget deficit, he has decided to try to avoid laying off 5,500 state workers by proposing that they contribute 5.8% of their income towards their pensions and 12.6% towards health insurance. That's roughly the national average for public pension payments, and it is less than half the national average of what government workers contribute to health care. Mr. Walker also wants to limit the power of public-employee unions to negotiate contracts and work rules—something that 24 states already limit or ban.

Number of Solidly Democratic States Cut in Half From '08 to '10

PRINCETON, NJ -- Gallup's analysis of party affiliation in the U.S. states shows a marked decline in the number of solidly Democratic states from 2008 (30) to 2010 (14). The number of politically competitive states increased over the same period, from 10 to 18, with more limited growth in the number of leaning or solidly Republican states.

Political Composition of U.S. States, Based on Party Affiliation, 2008-2010

Washington's Spending Spree is Over


Battle in Wisconsin over public-sector unions set to spread to other states

MADISON, Wisc. – Conservatives expect Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker to wrap up his state’s budget debate this week. But the budget clash that erupted in Wisconsin which pitted public-sector unions and their supporters against fiscal conservatives represented by the Tea Party movement may signify the beginning of a policy battle that will play out in states across the country.

“Let’s put it this way: the public-sector union bosses are a cancer that is eating away at the very foundation of this country,” said Ned Ryun of the Tea Party group American Majority. “The Tea Partiers are coming out and facing these public sector unions head on.”

What has unions so riled up is that Republican governors around the country are gearing up to take on public-sector union benefits in the process of fixing their state’s fiscal condition. Walker’s budget, for instance, proposes eliminating collective bargaining privileges for the state’s public-sector employees when it comes to their health benefit and pension plans. Public-sector employees, however, would still be allowed to collectively bargain on their salaries.

Walker is also seeking to get those public-sector employees to pay for more of their own benefits. Under his plan, they’d pay about 12.6 percent of their health care plans, instead of the about 6 percent they currently pay. Also, Walker’s budget calls for public-sector employees to contribute 5.8 percent of their salaries to their pension plans. Currently, some pay nothing while others contribute negligible amounts. From 2000 to 2009, public sector employees in Wisconsin paid $55.4 million into a pension system that cost $12.6 billion.

Both Ned Ryun and his brother Drew Ryun are gearing American Majority up to be able to help the states that are expected to follow in Wisconsin’s footsteps, if local conservative groups need the help. Next up, they say, is Ohio. After that, they said to expect policy battles against public-sector unions in Pennsylvania, Florida and then maybe even New York. New York would be an interesting win for the Tea Party movement because the governor there, Andrew Cuomo, is a Democrat.

Ned Ryun, who was on the ground in Madison organizing American Majority’s Tea Party movement counter-protest, told TheDC that he was amazed that 10,000 grassroots conservatives got to Madison in such a short timeframe to show on-the-ground support for Walker. He believes it is a sign that the American people like what the Tea Party movement stands for.

“We announced the rally just 48 hours beforehand and 10,000 people showed up,” Ned Ryun said in an interview. “I thought it was just a fantastic show of support for these guys.”

Likely 2012 presidential candidate Herman Cain called the battle in Wisconsin “Ground Zero” for everything that’s likely to happen in other statehouses around the country – and that he expects other governors to follow Walker’s lead.

“Wisconsin is Ground Zero for the rest of the nation,” Cain said in his speech at the Tea Party counter-union protest on Saturday. “And, we the representative majority, will not be intimidated.”

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on Unions and Budget Cuts

via The Heritage Foundation



Local Fox Crew Attacked, Beaten in California

Incredible video has surfaced after a news crew from local Fox station KTXL was attacked and beaten in Natomas, California on Sunday. The crew included a male reporter and a female videographer. Both were repeatedly struck, with the woman being pulled to the ground by her hair and kicked in the face. They were trying to cover reaction to a recent murder.

The first video is a first-person perspective, showing video taken by the female attack victim working for Fox 40 in Sacramento:

 

via The Blaze. See the other videos here.

Wisconsin: 'Blaze Exclusive'

via The Blaze

Blaze Exclusive: International Anarchists, Socialists and Marxist, Not Average Union Workers, Have a Substance Fueled Rave While Taking Over Wisconsin State Capital

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Palin Answers Questions at New York Event

On February 17th, Sarah Palin spoke before a bipartisan crowd of 1,000 business leaders at the Long Island Association and took questions. Below is the video of the question and answer session. Special thanks to PalinTV for the video. They also have the following note about it:

Note: After she’s announced until she sits down there is no sound. The sound comes back on as soon as the Q&A begins. It was probably a matter of switching on the microphones. Other than the applause when she sits down there is nothing missing.