The public-employee unions and their allies in the Democratic Party just lost again in Wisconsin -- a battleground of their choosing. And despite their trashing of almost every democratic norm.
IT’S BEEN A LONG NINE MONTHS IN THE BADGER STATE.
After capturing the governorship and both houses of the Legislature last fall, Republicans moved to make good on their campaign promise to close the state’s $3.1 billion shortfall with a controversial “budget repair” bill that stripped most public unions of collective-bargaining privileges.
SCREAMING THAT THE SKY WAS FALLING, THE PUBLIC-SECTOR UNIONS -- A KEY DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUENCY -- TRIED REPEATEDLY TO FRUSTRATE THE VOTERS’ WILL. They FLOODED THE STATE CAPITOL WITH SQUADRONS OF GOONS to try to intimidate lawmakers from passing Gov. Scott Walker’s bill. Then 14 DEMOCRATIC STATE SENATORS DECAMPED TO ILLINOIS, EXPLOITING PARLIAMENTARY RULES THAT REQUIRED A QUORUM TO PASS THE BILL. But Republicans used another a parliamentary maneuver to pass the bill without them.
THEN THEY LOST IN COURT -- and again at the polls when they sought to deny re-election to a conservative state Supreme Court justice so as to reverse that decsion.
Finally, on Tuesday, the prolonged farce came to end with THE DEMOCRATS’ FAILURE TO REGAIN CONTROL OF THE STATE SENATE VIA RECALL ELECTIONS. To grab the majority, they needed to win three of the six GOP seats on the ballot, but they only nabbed two.
And it wasn’t really that close. REPUBLICANS WON 53 PERCENT OF THE DAY’S VOTE. Of the two seats they lost, one was in a heavily Democratic district and the other belonged to Randy Hopper, who had scandalized his constituents by leaving his wife for a 25-year-old capitol staffer and moving out of his district.
An isolated incident in a single state? Or the start of a tsunami against the Democrats in 2012?
“That’s a nice business you got there. It’d be a shame if something happened to it.”
That’s the voice of extortion rackets seeking protection money, whether on behalf of organized crime families or organized labor. One Ohio businessman heard that voice loud and clear recently from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 38.
Here’s what happened: AN EMAIL FROM THE ACCOUNT OF IBEW’S RON OLS WAS SENT TO AN OHIO BUSINESSMAN WHOSE UNION-FREE WORKFORCE IS WORKING ON A PROJECT IN TOLEDO.
“We are aware that you chose a different path in the Toledo area,” read the message, which expresses displeasure at the business’s unwillingness to acquiesce to union demands, “and this has possibly led to some problems for your company.”
The email continues: “TO BE 100% CLEAR, SHOULD YOU OPT FOR THE SAME BUSINESS PRACTICES IN THE GREATER CLEVELAND AREA AS YOU CHOSE TO USE IN THE TOLEDO AREA, YOUR PROBLEMS WILL MULTIPLY EXPONENTIALLY.”
Only the hopelessly naive or willfully ignorant could read such a statement in ways other than the obvious. It is also hard to ignore that THIS IS THE LATEST EVIDENCE THAT THE BUSINESS MODEL FROM “ON THE WATERFRONT” IS ALIVE IN THE LANDLOCKED RUST BELT AND BEYOND.
According to The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, during one the tensest moments of this year’s Wisconsin public-sector labor fight, AFSCME COUNCIL 24 TOLD LOCAL BUSINESSES THAT THEY HAD TO PUT A SIGN IN THEIR WINDOWS SHOWING THEIR PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR THE UNION’S POSITION, AND THAT “FAILURE TO DO SO WILL LEAVE US NO CHOICE BUT (TO) DO A PUBLIC BOYCOTT OF YOUR BUSINESS. AND SORRY, NEUTRAL MEANS ‘NO’ TO THOSE WHO WORK FOR THE LARGEST EMPLOYER IN THE AREA AND ARE UNION MEMBERS.”
Democratic politics in action.
Obama lied, Liberal sighed, and Progressivism died
This week the president’s positive ratings are hovering around 40-42%; in some polls there is a 10% gap or more between negative and positive appraisals. I expect that they will go back up, and then even lower as the year wears on. BUT THE LATEST NOSEDIVE HAS PROMPTED MANY ON THE LEFT TO ATTACK MR. OBAMA, FROM A PSYCHOLOGICAL PORTRAIT OFFERED BY ONE DREW WESTEN TO UNUSUAL CARPING FROM MAUREEN DOWD, RICHARD COHEN AND E. J DIONNE. Cornel West is back again, in rather vicious fashion reminding us that he supposedly helped to introduce Obama to us and now regrets that he did, given the president’s purported ingratitude. OFTEN THE CRITICS INVOKE EVERYTHING FROM JIMMY CARTER PARALLELS TO THE UNEASE OF EUROPEAN STATESMEN TO EMPHASIZE THEIR OWN DISAPPOINTMENT…
….At worst, there is a sort of victimization that might be described as, “OBAMA MESMERIZED US AND THEREFORE WE DID NOT QUITE APPRECIATE HOW INEXPERIENCED AND UNACCOMPLISHED HE WAS until now when we sobered up — and when it is too late.” Or as Drew Westen put it more bluntly and less kindly in the New York Times:
Those of us who were bewitched by his eloquence on the campaign trail chose to ignore some disquieting aspects of his biography: that HE HAD ACCOMPLISHED VERY LITTLE BEFORE HE RAN FOR PRESIDENT, HAVING NEVER RUN A BUSINESS OR A STATE; THAT HE HAD A SINGULARLY UNREMARKABLE CAREER AS A LAW PROFESSOR, PUBLISHING NOTHING IN 12 YEARS at the University of Chicago other than an autobiography; and that, before joining the United States Senate, HE HAD VOTED “PRESENT” (INSTEAD OF “YEA” OR “NAY”) 130 TIMES, sometimes dodging difficult issues.
The left must not be very bright. They told us when Bush was in the White House he lied to them (aka they fell for what he said) explaining why they voted for the Iraq War. Now we are hearing the very next president bewitched them. Should these guys really be in an elected office if they are that gullible?
500 Billion New Reasons To Invalidate ObamaCare
A few hundred billion dollars here, a few hundred billion dollars there — sooner or later we're talking about the real cost of Barack Obama's new socialized medicine monstrosity.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi once said that "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it." Apparently, passing the legislation was also a prerequisite to determining its actual price tag — which as it turns out is much higher than anyone fathomed.
THE LATEST COST OVERRUN ASSOCIATED WITH OBAMACARE? A $500 BILLION "ERROR" ASSOCIATED WITH INSURING THE SPOUSES AND CHILDREN OF NEW ENTITLEMENT RECIPIENTS. That's $500 billion in additional deficit spending — although it didn't stem from an "error" so much as it was the result of a deliberate miscalculation.
As it attempted to calculate ObamaCare's true fiscal impact, THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE WAS EXPLICITLY INSTRUCTED TO IGNORE THE COST OF COVERING FAMILY MEMBERS UNDER NEW ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR LOW-INCOME PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYEES….
I probably should be more outraged, but this is pretty much politics as usual. Where our system failed was the failure of the press to investigate and brings these things out before or at least shortly after Obamacare was passed.
Joe Wilson was Right
OBAMA: There are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false. The reforms — THE REFORMS I’M PROPOSING WOULD NOT APPLY TO THOSE WHO ARE HERE ILLEGALLY.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: You lie! (Boos.)
The audience member was Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina.
WILSON’S OUTBURST STIRRED CONDEMNATION FROM THE DEMOCRAT-MEDIA-LEFT BUT DIDN’T HURT HIM: He raised a load of campaign cash while the left denigrated him, and he became an instant national figure and hero here on the Right. And he was re-elected.
AND IT TURNS OUT THAT WILSON WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG. The president was lying.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Tuesday that it has AWARDED $28.8 MILLION TO 67 COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS WITH FUNDS FROM THE OBAMACARE HEALTH REFORM LAW.
Of that $28.8 million, “approximately $8.5 MILLION WILL BE USED BY 25 NEW ACCESS POINT AWARDEES TO TARGET SERVICES TO MIGRANT AND SEASONAL FARM WORKERS,” Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Spokeswoman Judy Andrews told CNSNews.com. HRSA is a part of HHS.
ANDREWS SAID THAT GRANT RECIPIENTS WILL NOT CHECK THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF PEOPLE SEEKING SERVICES….
Further, the GRANT RECIPIENTS ARE REQUIRED TO SERVE “ALL RESIDENTS“ WHO WALK THROUGH THEIR DOORS.
Obamacare is basically a complete lie. It won’t bend the cost curve. It won’t reduce the deficit. You won’t necessarily be able to keep your insurance if you like it. If you are on Medicare, you benefits will change. It will get between you and your doctor….
The London Riots
THE LONDON RIOTS ARE YET ANOTHER EPISODE IN THE SLOW DISINTEGRATION OF EUROPE. London is no longer an English city, it’s just another pin on a map. MUCH OF LONDON IS A BUNCH OF THIRD WORLD CULTURES LIVING IN A GEOGRAPHICAL AREA THAT THEY HAVE NO CULTURAL OR EMOTIONAL CONNECTION TO. The culture around them is as shamelessly materialistic, vulgar and violent as anything in the dark ages—with the occasional tip of the hat to politically correct values involving the environment or tolerating gay people. And the same goes for the rest of Europe’s capitals. Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels and Oslo are all obvious examples.
THE REAL SHOWDOWN IN LONDON WAS NOT BETWEEN OPPORTUNISTIC RIOTERS AND THE IMPOTENT POLICE, BUT BETWEEN AFRICAN LOOTERS AND ASIAN STOREKEEPERS FIGHTING A PURELY MATERIALISTIC BATTLE. And if the UK’s immigration trends do not change, in a generation or two, the battle will have a much more open character. A struggle for ownership of the city…
To me it seems to be a fight between an ordered society and anarchy. Order always eventually wins, but freedom and liberty are frequently casualties in this kind of a war.
College bubble bursting
A college degree once looked to be the path to prosperity. In an article for TechCrunch, Sarah Lacy writes, "LIKE THE HOUSING BUBBLE, THE EDUCATION BUBBLE IS ABOUT SECURITY AND INSURANCE AGAINST THE FUTURE. BOTH WHISPER A SEDUCTIVE PROMISE INTO THE EARS OF WORRIED AMERICANS: DO THIS AND YOU WILL BE SAFE."…
…”Like all booms, higher education has been fueled by credit. In June of last year, total student-loan debt exceeded total credit-card debt outstanding for the first time, totaling more than $900 billion. ALL OF THIS CREDIT HAS PUSHED THE AVERAGE COST OF TUITION UP 440 PERCENT IN THE LAST 25 YEARS, MORE THAN FOUR TIMES THE RATE OF INFLATION. But while the factors of production on campus have been bid up, just as they are in any other asset boom, the return on investment is a bust. In 1992, there were 5.1 million mal-employed college graduates. By 2008, the number was 17 million.”
So why are costs going up so fast? Too much government money! It's the person who doesn't have some government aid that is screwed by profs and others rake in the dough.
Rising test scores show what D.C. charter schools can achieve
It is understandable that the D.C. public school system gets most of the attention when student test scores are released, given the high-profile efforts to reform the traditional public schools. What gets overlooked, though, is the equally compelling story of the progress being made by the city’s public charter schools. Results from this year’s testing are real cause for celebration, with charter students throughout the city showing impressive gains in both reading and math.
Final results of the 2011 District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System were released last month and, for the first time, CHARTER SCHOOLS APPROACHED OR EXCEEDED THE 50 PERCENT MILESTONE OF STUDENTS WHO ARE PROFICIENT OR ADVANCED IN BOTH READING (49.9 PERCENT) AND MATH (53.7 PERCENT). Just five years ago, only 40 percent of students were proficient in math and 43 percent proficient in reading, so the gains are considerable. ALSO ENCOURAGING IS THAT 60 PERCENT OF THE CHARTER SCHOOL CAMPUSES — 44 OF THE 76 TESTED — POSTED HIGHER SCORES THIS YEAR THAN LAST….
Good news from DC for a change.