2/22/09

Sunday wrap

Citizens re-organizing for Hope and Change ... Seattle on Monday. Denver on Tuesday. Mesa AZ on Wednesday. Overland Park, Kansas today. What a week, huh? We got the anti-stimulus, anti-entitlement protest ball rolling — and now the movement, spurred further by CNBC host Rick Santelli’s call for a “Chicago Tea Party,” is really taking off. David Hogberg at Investor’s Business Daily has a nice piece out today spotlighting the growing taxpayer revolt the rest of the MSM won’t cover. He interviewed our registered commenters Liberty Belle Keli Carender, who spearheaded the Seattle anti-pork protest, and HuskerGirl Amanda Grosserode, who organized today’s anti-stimulus demonstration against Democrat Rep. Dennis Moore in Overland Park, KS. I’m happy to report on several new protest events now on the docket. My friend Michael Patrick Leahy of Top Conservatives on Twitter and his crew are spearheading “simultaneous local tea parties around the country, beginning in Chicago, and including Washington DC, Fayetteville NC, San Diego CA, Omaha Nebraska, and dozens of other locations” for next Friday. (michellemalkin.com)

Related video: Promoting Bad Behavior



Federal Tea Party looms ... Sure, there are legitimate uses for our tax money, like national defense, and we gladly pay for this service. But should government fund the arts, a railroad to Las Vegas, $30 million to protect a mouse in San Francisco, or give subsidies to ACORN? All of these social-engineering programs cost more than the entire national defense budget. And these were snuck into the stimulus bill along with hundreds of others. On top of that, Congress was not given time to read the bill before the "chicken-little" crowd of Democrats demanded a vote. Wouldn't it have been more effective if the Democrats had reduced the weekly withholding, say by 25 percent or $31 a week? Or 50 percent. Then you could decide how to use that money — like buy shoes for your children, or take your family out to dinner for a treat. Or — heaven forbid — save something for the future? Have you seen the economy rebound since the bill was signed? Has your 401k leaped back to where it was a year ago? Did your net worth turn around? Did your property regain its former value? Is your job more secure? Is this what you signed up for? Is this change you can believe in? Is this hope? Or is it "we hope it won't get worse and worse?" Neighbors, it is time for a Boston Tea Party II. (appeal-democrat.com)


Taxpayers Revolt Against Gimme-Mania ... There's something in the air. It's the smell of roasted pork. President Obama heralded the signing of the trillion-dollar "stimulus" bill in Denver and promoted his massive mortgage entitlement expansion in Mesa, Ariz., at tightly controlled campaign events. But outside the Secret Service perimeters, a raucous grassroots rebellion against Beltway spending binges has caught fire. The new Boston Tea Party is here, baby, and it's doused in barbecue sauce. The first revolt took place on Presidents Day in Smurf-blue Seattle, where mom-blogger Keli Carender hastily organized a downtown demonstration to oppose what they called the "stimulus rip-off." A motley band of nearly 100 protesters — moms and their kids, college students, libertarians, taxpayer groups, GOP activists — raised their voices and dined on pulled pork (donated by yours truly). They assailed both the substance of the overstuffed stimulus package and the short-circuited, nontransparent process by which it was passed. Some wore pig noses. Others waved Old Glory and "Don't Tread on Me" flags. Their handmade signs read: "Say No to Generational Theft"; "Obama'$ Porkulu$ Wear$ Lip$tick"; and "I don't want to pay for the SwindleUs! I'm only 10 years old!" (ibdeditorials.com)


Anti-Porkulus Protests Sprout Up ... Holding signs reading "Stimulate Business, Not Government," "Families Against Porkulus" and "Say No To Generational Theft," protesters opposed to the $787 billion stimulus package have been mobilizing across the country. It started last Monday in Seattle, then moved Tuesday to Denver, where President Obama signed the stimulus bill into law. That was followed by another one in Mesa, Ariz., where Obama unveiled a mortgage rescue plan. Another protest was planned for Saturday outside the office of Rep. Dennis Moore in Overland Park, Kan. The Democrat voted for the stimulus. His office didn't return calls seeking comment. As unemployment soars and anger over Wall Street bailouts mounts, public outrage will seek an outlet. (investors.com)


Unethical, unqualified Hilda Solis in Hot Water ... The below letter was sent to the U.S. House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct today. Here is some information showing the corruption that Hilda Solis is getting away with!FEC Form 9 filed by American Rights at WorkIRS Form 990 filed by American Rights at WorkForm A filed by Rep. Hilda SolisLetter from Rep. Hilda Solis to House Clerk’s Office • Dear Chairman Lofgren: I write today to inform the Committee of ethical issues regarding the lobbying activity of the organization American Rights at Work (ARG) and its Treasurer, Rep. Hilda Solis. From our reading of the ethics rules, it appears that this organization and Rep. Solis have violated House ethics rules in that they engaged in lobbying activity targeted at Members of the House. Further, Rep. Solis filed disclosure reports that failed to disclose her role in ARG. (netrightnation.com)


Svengali Spender-in-Chief exposed ... It’s been clear for some time that Barack Obama knows every technique in the debater’s handbook, and he must have used most of them during the course of that first White House press conference: There was the dubious revisionist history rolled out ever so casually, as if it were accepted fact (tax cuts don’t work); the assumption that any fault lies not in us but elsewhere (usually with the Bush administration or those primitive Republicans in general); the dubious dichotomy (the stubborn, do-nothing opposition vs. us perfectly reasonable types willing to compromise, i.e., Democrats) and a host of suspect assertions tossed off with the calm conviction of “a Christian holding four aces.” The phrase is Mark Twain’s, the imperturbable manner is Barack Obama’s. The man can say the most unbelievable things in the most matter-of-fact way, for example, his claim that there’s “not a single pet project” in his stimulus bill. Okay, one man’s pork-barrel spending is another’s economic stimulus, but this horse-choker of a bill was laden with so much lard it’s a wonder the pages didn’t stick together. It almost oinks. The president is right: This proposal of his didn’t contain a single pet project. It contained many. To cite only some of the glaring examples: $2 billion for a clean-coal power plant with the exact specifications of one long desired by the good citizens of Mattoon, Ill.; $2 billion to produce batteries for hybrid cars; $4.2 billion for “neighborhood stabilization activities” that ACORN, an outfit that might as well have been an arm of the Obama campaign last fall, or vice versa, would be highly eligible for and even more likely to get; $650 million for more digital TV coupons; $600 million for new cars for federal workers; $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts; $6 billion for colleges and universities, many of which already enjoy billion-dollar endowments; plus more billions to bail out state governments that have overspent on a reckless scale. Whatever the merits of these projects, or the demerits, you can be sure each is somebody’s pet, and that the somebody in question has managed to slip it into this something-for-every-interest grab bag of a bill. But who you gonna believe, our engaging young leader or your lyin’ eyes? (projo.com)


Unionize Me! ... There is little doubt that President Obama would love to see all of us as one big union family. The collectivization urge runs deep in our president and what better way for all of us to join hands and dance around the Maypole than for all of us to become part of organized labor - brothers and sisters all. No doubt about it; unions have a friend in our new president. And the chances that a future America will see it very difficult to get a job unless you are willing to join a union are increasing - just as Obama and Big Labor intend. (americanthinker.com)


Why do unionists hate libertarians? ... American labor law is a dank miasma of special-interest legislation that tramples on the rights of some citizens in order to advance the interests of others. The main beneficiaries are labor-union officials who lobbied for and received extraordinary and unique powers from compliant politicians. The victims are business owners and workers who prefer to have nothing to do with unions. Even with their powers, however, union officials have seen a steady decline in the popularity of their “product” ever since the 1950s. The percentage of workers in the private sector who are unionized has fallen from 36 percent in 1953 to less than 8 percent today. (Unionization among government employees has, however, grown considerably over time. That shouldn’t be surprising, since government agencies don’t have to worry about inefficiency and competition.) Naturally, union officials have decided to look to politics for salvation. This year, they spent lavishly in an effort to get Congress to pass a bill with the exceptionally misleading title “Employee Free Choice Act.” That effort was defeated in the Senate last year, but the bill will undoubtedly be introduced again and again by politicians who wish to curry favor with Big Labor. Since most people know little about labor law, it’s worth taking some time to examine it and the proposed changes and to compare both with what the ideal law regarding labor unions would be — ideal, that is, from the libertarian standpoint of protecting the rights of all people equally. (fff.org)


Union-backed, Porkulus-fed fraud group threatened in Oklahoma ... Not so many years ago, an NBC reporter did a story on voter fraud, and chose Chicago as the setting for his report. The reporter visited many voter registration locations around the Windy City and registered to vote at each site. At his final stop a public library he registered with no identification requirement, as he had at every other location. When he finished registering, he asked to apply for a library card, to which the librarian said, "Certainly. I'll need two forms of identification, please." More recently, an Oklahoma television reporter set out to prove how easy it would be to register multiple times, or under false names. The reporter registered, without challenge, her dogs, cats, and even a pig named Arnold Ziffel. And during the 2008 campaign, the neighborhood organizers at ACORN - the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now - registered false voters around the country. The starting line-up of the Dallas Cowboys was registered in Nevada, and thousands of voter forms with identical signatures were filed in Indiana. Complaints were lodged against ACORN registration efforts in 18 states. And there was evidence of ACORN activity in Oklahoma last election cycle, when they abandoned an office in south Oklahoma City without paying rent, leaving computers and files behind. Does this prove voter fraud has happened in Oklahoma? No. But are we willing to wait for a tainted election in Oklahoma due to illegally registered voters? Absolutely not. Republicans in the Senate and House are embracing a Voter ID bill which we are confident will pass both houses of the legislature and go to the governor for his signature. (tulsaworld.com)

ACORN: B&E for social justice



We don't need no stinkin' right to vote ... Like a campaign promise, the Employee Free Choice Act sounds great at first blush. You might think, "Free choice for American workers? I like the sound of that." But you'd be wrong. The cleverly misnamed EFCA will not give employees a free choice. In fact, it will take their freedom and their choices away from them. It should be called the "Employee Forced Choice Act." This radical proposal gives Big Labor the green light to replace the right of employees to vote privately in union elections and replace it with a system known as "card check." No longer needing a ratifying vote, union representatives would only need to persuade a majority of employees to sign authorization cards. Once a union collects signed cards from a majority of employees, the organizing drive is over and that business has now become unionized. This card-check petitioning would take place outside of a workplace and in front of union organizers and those employees who support unionization. Employees would be subject to intimidation, misinformation, and other union tactics that would ultimately pressure them into signing authorization cards. Can you imagine having to vote under someone's watchful eye? The pressure would be incredible. Employees would effectively be robbed of the right to vote according to their real opinions. As terrible as it is, strong-arming voters by removing their right to a private vote is just the beginning. With the secret ballot out of the way, labor representatives then only have to meet the threshold of a simple majority vote in order to require all employees to join the union, whether they want it or not. Unions can then start charging all employees — pro-union or not — dues, and that means less take-home pay for those who are already struggling to meet the rising costs of living. Will unions be using these dues to benefit workers? More likely, employee dues will be poured into political campaigns and to support political candidates without the approval of the very members who pay the dues. But that's not all. The "Employee Forced Choice Act" means increased federal government involvement in the personal affairs of employees. If unions and employers cannot reach agreement on employment contracts within a mere 120 days, the union's proposal dictates that the federal government would send in Washington bureaucrats to decide what pay, benefits and working conditions employees should receive — and employees would not be given a vote. (denverpost.com)


Unions to picket, protest informational meeting for oppressive employers ... The Catawba County Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a labor law workshop from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Chamber, 1055 Southgate Corporate Park S.W. in Hickory. The cost is $20 per person for members and $40 for nonmembers and includes lunch. Guest speaker will be Ken Carlson, labor law attorney from Constangy, Brooks and Smith in Winston-Salem. Carlson will discuss issues including the Employee Free Choice Act; Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; Americans With Disabilities Act amendments; Family And Medical Leave Act amendments and recent executive orders. (charlotteobserver.com)


We don't need no stinkin' democracy ... The Employee Free Choice Act is not a good idea. Unions have played an important role in the evolution of work regulations but this was done through secret ballot voting of the employees and face-to-face negotiations once the union was voted in. Secret ballot voting has been a key to America's democracy to avoid intimidation or retaliation for how someone votes. Taking that away, even for this vote, is not the right thing to do. Also, if the union gets the cards signed, under this legislation, they and the company only have 120 days to reach an agreement (virtually a world record in first contract negotiation time frames) and if no agreement then the government tells everyone what they have to live with for the next two years. In these tough economic times the employees and company know what is best for them, not the government. Please contact your legislators to vote no on this and start over. (mydesert.com)


North Dakota tries to inoculate against D.C. union organizers ... We are going to collect 40,000+ signatures and pass a Constitutional Measure in North Dakota that protects secret ballots. The ballot language is very simple: “To preserve and protect the fundamental right of individuals to vote by secret ballot, where local, state or federal law requires elections for public office or ballot measures, or requires designations or authorizations for employee representation, the right of individuals to vote by secret ballot shall be guaranteed.” The 40,000 signature goal seems a bit lofty given that it only takes 26,000 signatures to put a constitutional measure on the ballot, but the movement itself is a worthy one. After all, who can argue against workers being able to vote on unionization in a secret ballot? (kxmc.com)


Pro-union Dems advance in Tarheel State ... There has been an unwritten understanding between the Democratic Party and the business community in North Carolina. The business community will finance the campaigns of Democrats, and the Democrats will push pro-business policies. But labor gambled on North Carolina last year, pouring at least $2 million in donations and putting thousands of boots on the ground in the state. It paid off with the election of Democrats Kay Hagan to the Senate and Beverly Perdue as governor. Hagan and Perdue are now walking a political tightrope. They received strong labor backing but also need to maintain good ties to the business community. In recent days, the business community has been turning up the heat on Hagan on the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as card-check. The bill would make it easier for unions to organize. Hagan is potentially a swing vote in the Senate. Labor is also seeking to lift the ban on collective bargaining for public employees in North Carolina. (newsobserver.com)


Non-union workers fight Jealous NAACP quotas ... President Obama aims to create or save 3.5 million jobs over the next two years by spending some of the money in the recently-enacted stimulus plan on modernizing the nation's roads and bridges, investing in public transportation, and making federal office buildings more energy-efficient. Civil rights advocates hope that the stimulus plan actually puts unemployed Americans, many of whom are Black and Hispanic, to work. Currently, Hispanic and Black unemployment rates – at 9.7 and 12.6 percent respectively – are higher than the rates for other racial and ethnic groups. To help close that gap, the National Urban League (NUL) has recommended that a portion of money be targeted (PDF) towards job training, job placement and job preparation for disadvantaged workers. NUL also urged the government to ensure minority- and women-owned businesses are in a position to take advantage of federal contract opportunities. "It would be unconscionable to spend hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money and simply go back to where we were two years ago. We need to do better than that. We need to actually close that gap that can only be explained at the end of the day by the inclusion of race between white and black unemployment rates," said Ben Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP. (pww.org)


International Collectivism

Castro brothers, Chávez hasty tête-à-tête raises concerns ... Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez spoke twice with former Cuban leader Fidel Castro on Saturday during a surprise visit to Havana. An official announcement stated that the 82-year-old leader congratulated Mr Chávez on his recent referendum victory, which won him the right to stand once more for re-election. Before the referendum, a Venezuelan president could only hold office for two terms. Mr Chávez also met the current Cuban leader, Raúl Castro. The two men discussed the global economic crisis and its possible effects on South America and the Caribbean community. Venezuela is currently Cuba's most important trading partner. (radionetherlands.nl)


George Soros: The New Warren Buffett ... Billionaire investor George Soros said the current economic crisis has its roots in the financial deregulation of the 1980s and marks the end of a free-market model that has since dominated capitalist countries. Liberalization of the financial industry begun by the Reagan administration has led to a series of breakdowns forcing government intervention, Soros told economists and bankers last night at a private dinner at Columbia University in New York. The global recession, triggered by the collapse of the U.S. housing market, has “damaged the financial system itself,” he said. Regulators are in part to blame because they “abrogated” their responsibilities, Soros, 78, said. The philosophy of “market-fundamentalism” was now under question as financial markets have proved to be inefficient and affected by biases rather than driven by all the available information, he said. (bloomberg.com)


Hillary's 'Smart Power' debuts in Asia ... After the dismal and disgusting debut of the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. President Barack Obama ought to be firing her. He ought to fire her; but he likely won't, because it would be an admission of his own poor judgment in filling that cabinet post with his former rival and the wife of former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Communist China is a rogue nation and failed state, which shelters a smaller rogue nation and failed state known as North Korea. Through this trip (in Asia, Feb. 16-22), Clinton reaffirmed many long standing double standards in U.S. foreign policy--double standards that are twisted and diabolical. For example, deploring North Korea for its dictatorship while celebrating China for its dictatorship. In the past, I had bad things to say about former U.S. President Bill Clinton, but I actually found it in me to say some good things about Mrs. Clinton--because when running for President, Mrs. Clinton had some (evidently insincere) tough talk about China. Now, I must eat my kind words, and bring out the harder words for Hillary Clinton. She shares her husband's tin ear, obliviousness, and easy countenance for evil. She and her husband are two people with zero moral compass between them. Both think that sucking up is all that is needed to be successful climbers, and both readily climb into the laps of communists, dictators, tyrants, and thugs. They are the pro-Maoist first couple. (opednews.com)
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