Saturday, February 26, 2011

The idea that we now have the rule of Obama instead of the rule of law should frighten everybody.

Gingrich: If Palin Took Obama Actions, There Would Be Calls for Impeachment - newsmax
Obama Attorney General Eric Holder said on Wednesday that the administration will not defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act in the courts, which has banned recognition of same-sex marriage for 15 years....

Gingrich slammed Obama for his decision, telling Newsmax that he is not a “one-person Supreme Court” and his decision sets a “very dangerous precedent” that must not be allowed to stand.

“Imagine that Governor Palin had become president. Imagine that she had announced that Roe versus Wade in her view was unconstitutional and therefore the United States government would no longer protect anyone’s right to have an abortion because she personally had decided it should be changed. The news media would have gone crazy. The New York Times would have demanded her impeachment.

“First of all, he campaigned in favor of [the law]. He is breaking his word to the American people,” Gingrich says.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Veteran's Nightly Tribute to the Fallen

cbsnews July 2, 2010 rc'd today via email

Wisconsin Assembly passes bill re: union rights

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -
Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly took the first significant action on their plan to strip collective bargaining rights from most public workers, abruptly passing the measure early Friday morning before sleep-deprived Democrats realized what was happening.
The vote ended three straight days of punishing debate in the Assembly. But the political standoff over the bill - and the monumental protests at the state Capitol against it - appear far from over.
The Assembly's vote sent the bill on to the Senate, but minority Democrats in that house have fled to Illinois to prevent a vote. No one knows when they will return from hiding. Republicans who control the chamber sent state troopers out looking for them at their homes on Thursday, but they turned up nothing....

Democrats react:Democrats react:

Barone: Public Unions Force Taxpayers to Fund Dems
Everyone has priorities. During the past week, Barack Obama has found no time to condemn the attacks that Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi has launched on the Libyan people.

But he did find time to be interviewed by a Wisconsin television station and weigh in on the dispute between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and the state's public employee unions. Walker was staging "an assault on unions," he said, and added that "public employee unions make enormous contributions to our states and our citizens."

Enormous contributions, yes -- to the Democratic Party and the Obama campaign. Unions, most of whose members are public employees, gave Democrats some $400 million in the 2008 election cycle. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the biggest public employee union, gave Democrats $90 million in the 2010 cycle.

The Cost Balloon

"How can fringe benefits be nearly as much as salary?" In Wisconsin, ...As is commonly the case, the school district's retiree health plan has not been prefunded. It has been pay-as-you-go. This has been a disaster waiting to happen, as retirees grow in number and live longer, and active employment shrinks in districts such as Milwaukee.... The showdown in Wisconsin over fringe benefits for public employees boils down to one number: 74.2. That's how many cents the public pays Milwaukee public-school teachers and other employees for retirement and health benefits for every dollar they receive in salary. The corresponding rate for employees of private firms is 24.3 cents.

The Republican National Committee - rnc's Channel

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Skin Gun


Keep on top of the news about Libya

here -
GLOBAL MARKETS-Brent oil tops $113 on Libya unrest; Nikkei slides
World grapples for response as battles divide Libya
Al Qaeda backs Libyan protesters and condemns Gaddafi
Nikkei falls on Mideast worries

In Wisconsin, the WEA Trust

The WEA Trust is, in essence, a union-run “multi-employer” health insurance trust (the employers, in this case, are school districts).

The way it works is that WEAC has, through collective bargaining (negotiations), convinced school districts to pay into the WEA Trust and, in turn, the WEA Trust is responsible for administering teachers’ benefits. According to, Walker’s proposal would give school boards the ability to shop freely for more competitive insurance rates and save the state millions.

Follow the Money: What the Wisconsin Education Association Isn’t Talking About

President Obama has decided that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional

Breaking: Obama to abandon DOMA defense
President Obama has decided that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and has asked his Justice Department to stop defending it in court, the administration announced today.

“The President believes that DOMA is unconstitutional. They are no longer going to be defending the cases in the 1st and 2nd circuits,” a person briefed on the decision said.... President Obama has decided that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and has asked his Justice Department to stop defending it in court, the administration announced today.

“The President believes that DOMA is unconstitutional. They are no longer going to be defending the cases in the 1st and 2nd circuits,” a person briefed on the decision said.

Judge Decides Federal Government Has Authority to Control ‘Mental Activity’

Paging George Orwell! - The Other McCain
All Your Thoughts Are Belong To U.S.
Our thoughts are now actions. There literally is nothing the federal government cannot regulate provided there is even a hypothetical connection to the economy, even if the connection at most is in the future.

Our thoughts are now actions. Whoops, I already said that. I just can't get over it. The following sentence has now become a justification for regulating decision-making even where the decision is just to do nothing...

Check your settings
How do I disable geotagging on my smartphone.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gov. Scott Walker Delivers Fireside Chat

BREAKING NEWS: Emanuel declared winner in race for mayor, no run-off

CHICAGO — Obama's former Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, is declared the winner in the race for Chicago mayor.

With 87 percent of the precincts reporting, Rahm claimed 55 percent of the votes.

For the first time in 64 years, Chicago has a new mayor.

The eagerness to claim credit, apparently, has wound up being an obstacle to the whole grassroots narrative.

White House tries backpedaling from Madison protests - HotAir
White House denies assisting Wis. union, but ties run deep - BELTWAY CONFIDENTIAL
...apparently someone forget to tell the DNC’s communication director Bob Woodhouse to scrub his Twitter feed to reflect this new strategy. Doug Ross has pointed out a Feb. 17 Tweet from Woodhouse saying that the White House was “proudly” playing a role in the protest.

The eagerness to claim credit, apparently, has wound up being an obstacle to the whole grassroots narrative. But even the claim that AFSCME, the AFL-CIO, or even the SEIU, are representative of some kind of grassroots movement denies everything we know about unions. First is their political access: Then-SEIU president Andy Stern not only served on the president's deficit commission, he was also the top visitor to the White House in 2009, the first year Obama was in office. Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO's head boss, is on tape saying that he talks to someone at the White House every day.

There's a word for this, and it's not "grassroots...."

Food for thought

GOP Hipster Makeover? - Stephanie Mencimer, Mother Jones
Why victory in 2012 requires a truce on social issues - Cynthia Yockey, aconservativelesbian
Morning Jay: In Defense of the "Truce" Jay Cost, Weekly Standard
10 more reasons for a truce on social issues so we can handle the fiscal ones - Cynthia Yockey, aconservativelesbian
We must create prosperity and it’s going to require all our attention.

Agree? Or disagree?

Monday, February 21, 2011

But That’s What Community Organizers Do (three great reads)

But That’s What Community Organizers Do - Victor Davis Hanson at Pajamas
President Obama need not worry about budget deficits in the manner of Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Unlike state officials, he can print money, and raise fees and taxes...

That characteristic eagerness to grandstand on extraneous issues, while ignoring federal crises, is characteristic of this administration. It will not make meaningful progress in addressing its own massive trillion-dollar debts, reexamine the looming disaster of ObamaCare, gear up to produce more gas and oil in the face of skyrocketing energy costs, or seriously explore ways to get unemployment down below 9%...

Why, why, why all this? In a word, because that is what community organizers are supposed to do, even — or rather, especially — when they become the establishment. Cannot we answer Giuliani’s question? As a general rule, the “organizer” is not indigenous to the community, but as a sort of roaming utopian he travels widely to detect supposed foci of injustice (think an Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson), even to the point of worrying about professors being locked out of their homes or the tranquility of ice cream parlors in Arizona.

Almost immediately there is an artificial divide constructed between an oppressive “them” and a victimized “us,” usually on rigid class, gender, and racial lines. Some such university study is cited to “prove” injustice based on the absence of parity in income, health care, or education. Then the community organizer rallies the “community” to “get in their face” and agitate, which can encompass anything from suing in court, holding mass rallies, conducting voter registration drives with accordant intimidation, visiting the private homes of supposedly culpable officials, bankers, and the wealthy, and threatening strikes, slow-downs and disruptions. These metaphorical “hostage takers” must be “punished” as “enemies,” relegated to a proverbial backseat, and in such a fight have their knives rhetorically trumped by our guns....
a great read as always. read the whole thing
Out of Wisconsin, a lesson in leadership for Obama
...Walker, by a fiscal seriousness contrasting with Obama's lack thereof, and Obama, by inciting defenders of the indefensible, have made three things clear:

First, the Democratic Party is the party of government, not only because of its extravagant sense of government's competence and proper scope, but also because the party's base is government employees. Second, government employees have an increasingly adversarial relationship with the governed. Third, Obama's "move to the center" is fictitious...
Wisconsin: liberals as reactionaries - Roger L Simon at Pajamas
Jonah Goldberg has famously linked liberals with fascism, but in these times I think they are more like reactionaries, desperately clinging to past views when they are no longer functional or even relevant, if they ever were....

...why has our left become so reactionary, so unwilling or unable to adapt to a changed world that they “act out” with all the juvenility of adolescents deprived of the family car keys? Some say it is because they have replaced religious faith with politics and I, an agnostic, see some truth in that. But there is more. Liberalism has become a mask for greed in our culture – a way of hiding excessive selfishness from others and, importantly, from the self. It’s a deflection, really....

Driven by polls?

Obama slinks away from Wisconsin union fight - redstate
After throwing the weight of the presidency and its campaign apparatus behind the Wisconsin public workers’ unions, the Obama regime is now backing away. The New York Times reports the regime claims it did “nothing to encourage the demonstrations in Wisconsin.”

This latest bit of Obama trying to have it both ways can only mean someone has read the polls and knows Obama blew it.

Last week President Obama and his reelection organs — Organizing for America and the Democratic National Committee, went all in with support for the Wisconsin public workers’ unions in the kerfuffle with Governor Scott Walker over the state’s budget....

Last week Rasmussen Reports released a poll that found 70% of likely voters think voters are more willing to make the hard choices needed to reduce federal spending than elected politicians are. Fifty-five percent (55%) don’t think President Obama’s proposed $3.7 trillion 2012 budget includes enough spending cuts, and 40% of don’t think the GOP spending cuts go far enough either.

Also, A poll from the Clarus Group found that 64% do not think that government employees should be represented by labor unions.

Unrest continues - Gaddafi on the run: Dictator may already have fled and be on his way to Venezuela

Gaddafi on the run: Dictator may already have fled and be on his way to Venezuela after Libyan air force attacks civilians -
Says Libyan leader will fight until "last man, last bullet" - Gaddafi's son warns of "rivers of blood" in Libya - alarabiya

"we face a choice between being custodians of freedom, on the one hand, or superintendents of security, on the other"

Watershed Moment in Wisconsin -Roger Kimball at Pajamas Media
What’s happening in Madison, Wisconsin, is not your ordinary blip in the news cycle. It is, as a headline in our former paper of record put it, “A Watershed Moment.” But it’s not (to continue with the rest of the headline) a watershed moment only “for Public-Sector Unions.” It’s a watershed moment for America’s self-understanding....
The dirty secret about WisconsinThe dirty secret about Wisconsin - How could a bastion of progressivism become ground zero for an assault on unions? There's a reason ... How could a bastion of progressivism become ground zero for an assault on unions? There's a reason ... - salon

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Real Deal in Madison - it was that last-gasp attempt to make themselves invulnerable to public accountability that really was the last straw and that convinced Wisconsinites and their representatives that the cozy relations between government unions and legislators had gone too far and needed to be stopped, even if that meant “breaking” the unions.

The Real Deal in Madison - theothermccain
Democrats, after losing the November election, called a special lame-duck session in an abortive effort to lock in sweetheart deals for government employee unions. When that didn’t work, Democrats have since tried to prevent Republicans from acting to balance the budget
Some Recent Historical Context for Wisconsin-Union Dispute
[UPDATED] - piece of work in progress
A lame-duck special session is a rarity in Wisconsin state politics, having been called only once before in the past 40 years. Those very same Democratic Senators who have fled Wisconsin so as to prevent a voting quorum were part of this scheme, and the idea was to take advantage of the absence of any Republican State Senators who had left on vacation to ram through the new deals with 17 different unions, including language that would effectively eliminate oversight of state regulatory agencies and give them full control of workplace policies without having to get government permission....

Dave Hansen, the outgoing Dem majority leader, made the principled decision that the voters of the state had elected a new slate of legislators to deal with budget matters, and all of the contracts but one (for child-care providers) went down by identical 16-16 votes.

It was widely believed that all of those contracts would be approved in Special Session, but Republican lawmakers showed up to do their jobs. Whether Nancy Pelosi was proud of them or not is not recorded.
The Morning Scramble – The People versus The Public Unions edition - norunnyeggs (lots of links here)
Scott Walker vs. Public Sector Unions