Saturday wrap

Will Atlas Shrug? ... There’s a new craze hitting the conservative tubes on the Internets these days: “Going Galt!” While it’s difficult to identify an exact date of reference or to provide any unique person with credit for the general meme, Michelle Malkin and Helen Smith certainly deserve honorable mention for recently popularizing the phrase. This movement seems to have manifested itself in two distinct, but related, forms: those who say, more-or-less, that “I ain’t gonna produce more that 249,999 dollars and 99 cents of taxable income” as well as those more accustomed to singing “Amazing Grace” than Twisted Sister taking to the streets across America chanting “we’re not gonna take it anymore.” Here are some relevant (and hopefully balanced) quotes I’ve found on all sides of the aisle regarding this recent phenomenon. Enjoy! (thelibertypapers.org)

Obama flaws revealed: Ignorance, Malevolence ... It’s raining, pouring economic fallacies by the hour, followed by a flood of horrible policy that is driving us ever further into economic depression. The regime in charge has really gone nuts, revealing itself as both deeply ignorant and horribly evil. The encouraging thing – and perhaps this too was inevitable – is that the right wing is getting its act together. It has suddenly discovered that economics matters. You can cheer on the hot wars, fight the culture wars, and crack down on political dissidents all you want. But in the end, what makes for the good society is a sound economy. Without it, all the rest falls apart. But just in case we are again observing yet another expedient shift, it might be a good idea to understand precisely why socialism is a bad idea. The Obama administration doesn’t seem to get it. And there is plenty to get. Socialism crushes human rights, builds the state, impinges on the liberty of conscience, and breeds social, cultural, and economic degeneration. (prisonplanet.com)

Obama: IRS unionists must audit nation's wealthy ... The Internal Revenue Service is eliminating a program that uses private debt collectors to go after tax delinquents, the agency announced Thursday evening. The decision came after the IRS reviewed the program and determined that IRS employees could better do the work. The decision, however, was quickly criticized by a key supporter of the program in Congress. The program is relatively small, bringing in a little more than $80 million since it was started in 2006. But it has caused big political headaches for the IRS. The union representing IRS workers and the National Taxpayer Advocate, an independent ombudsman within the IRS, oppose the program, as do some Democrats in Congress. Other powerful lawmakers from both political parties support it. Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, blasted the decision to end the program, saying the IRS was caving in to "union-driven political pressure." (google.com)

Obama earns international praise ... Good news for President Barack Obama: Hugo Chávez - Venezuela’s socialist president - is becoming a big fan of his American counterpart. Don’t worry Chávez, Obama is doing just that. It’s fascinating to see how progressive Obama truly is - and it’s even more fascinating when one realizes that so many moderates and even moderate conservatives voted for him last year. I expected him to be far more liberal than he was willing to admit - there were a great many signs to put it mildly - but that he was this far left comes somewhat as a surprise even to such an outspoken critic as me. Of course Obama can’t publicly align himself with Chávez. He can’t call for a ’socialist revolution.’ If he does, the American people will instantly rebel. So he pursues a different path: he’s simply bringing about socialist changes without actually calling them such. Smart politics, for now at least. (poligazette.com)

P2P Oops! Veep exposes Stimulus as union-only jobs bank ... Vice President Joe Biden, expressing his solidarity with organized labor, told the AFL-CIO Executive Committee on Thursday that "rebuilding our broken economy gives us the opportunity to get it right and reward workers." Union workers. “We're going to make sure that in every policy, every decision, we don't lose sight of the folks that brought us to the dance,” he said -- a reference to organized labor’s support of the Obama-Biden ticket. “And toward that end, we have to make sure that the jobs we're creating come with fair wages and decent benefits.” Biden told the union executives at the five-star Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami that "economic injustice and inequity are bad for everyone. It's just not right and everybody knows it -- it's just not right when the average CEO makes $10,000 more every day...than what the average worker makes every year.” he said. The vice president noted that the administration is determined to see that taxpayer dollars "go to something other than union-busting activities.” He mentioned the stimulus package, which will funnel taxpayer dollars to union jobs. (cnsnews.com)

New Prog economic engine: Obama touts public sector job creation ... While aknowledging an "astounding" number of job losses in February, President Barack Obama told critics of his $787 billion economic recovery plan Friday that it is saving jobs and said, "I know we did the right thing." He suggested that critics talk to 25 police recruits in Ohio's capital city who owe their jobs to stimulus spending and "talk to the teachers who are still able to teach our children because we passed this plan." During a graduation ceremony for the police recruits, he also noted "the nurses who are still able to care for our sick and the firefighters and first responders who are still able to keep our communities safe." News that 651,000 jobs were lost in February brings to "an astounding 4.4 million" the number of jobs lost since the recession began, Obama said. The unemployment rate spiked to 8.1 percent. But Obama touted the 114th police recruit class as proof that the stimulus plan is paying dividends. (newsmax.com)

He Was A Scab, So I Hit Him ... and I'd Do The Same Today ... As a fresh-faced man of 20, Michael Hogg became the first Scots miner to be arrested over picket line violence. Hundreds of police, strikers and reporters saw him clash with a strike breaker at the gates of Midlothian's landmark Bilston Glen colliery in March 1984. The NUM official confronted John McDonald, 18, an apprentice with management ambitions, as the teenager joined the trickle of employees defying the days-old strike call and trying to get into work. Hogg threw a punch at the other man - who grew up near him in Mayfield, Midlothian - and struggled violently with police. His actions led to him being fined £500 and sacked for gross misconduct. But, 25 years on, he has no regrets over the incident, or the four other picket line convictions which eventually led to him serving two months in Edinburgh's Saughton Prison. Hogg, 45, said yesterday: "He broke the strike, so he was a scab and I still view him as a scab. I still see all the strike breakers as scabs. Within my own community today, I know who remained on strike for a year and who went back to work at some point, whether a month into the strike or 11 months. The fact they went back at all means they are still scabs in my eyes because they crossed a picket line. Some of these people I speak to today quite amicably about community activities. Some I don't speak to - but I don't socialise with any of them. They know why and I know why." (dailyrecord.co.uk)

Alinskyite socialists renew ancient Prog Era hostilities ... The Employee Free Choice Act would also mandate binding arbitration after 90 days of unresolved negotiation, without the option of any appeal. Such a move, ironically, strips workers of any real right to bargain collectively by compelling them to accept government-imposed terms. Why would the union machines (as opposed to their membership) and the IWJ support such a thing? The answer may lie in the openly socialist connections of some of their key people. John Sweeney, president of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), is a member of Democratic Socialists of America – which is also a supporter of the Employee Free Choice Act. As for the IWJ, the Democratic Socialists of America website is not only linked to it but the DSA has honored Bobo’s work. (She was a 2001 Debs-Thomas-Harrington dinner honoree. According to the DSA report of the evening, Bobo “used the occasion to organize for DSA by leading us all in a song about DSA…”) Not surprisingly, we find that the Alinskyian community organizing networks of ACORN and Gamaliel – and a host of other progressive-minded organizations that target religious institutions – are also supporting the proposed labor legislation. Punishing capital – that is, the employer – as the “bad guy” is hardly a new “synthesis ... between capital and labor.” Incitement to renew old hostilities, yes. Synthesis, no. (speroforum.com)

Bonus links:
Summary of Saul Alinsky's 'Rules for Radicals'
'Rules for Radicals' at amazon.com

McGovern backs workers over fascistic union bigs ... A liberal icon is teaming up with an anti-card check organization to stop impeding pro-union legislation that is being pushed in Congress. The Employee Freedom Action Committee (EFAC) is running ads in “targeted markets and on national cable” featuring 1972 Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern decrying the card-check legislation that is currently being deliberated in the legislative branch. The organization’s website calls the card-check “fundamentally wrong” and McGovern himself says in the ad, “I’ve always been a champion of labor unions, but I fear that today’s union leaders are turning their backs on democratic work place elections.” He adds, “I’ve listened to all their arguments, and I’ve reviewed the facts on both sides. Quite simply, this proposed law cannot be justified.” (firstread.msnbc.msn.com)

McGovern smacks down Job-Killer Act

How EFCA Works

Burger King: We will not be gagged by SEIU goons ... The Service Employees International Union serves up a big doughy bun but precious little beef in a grossly distorted news release on the Burger King Corporation. Titled "Burger King Appears to Back Off Opposition to Employee Free Choice Act," the release all but stated that the union's pressure tactics caused BK to rethink its opposition to the so-called Employee Free Choice Act before Congress. But there was a good reason why the union used weasel wording such as "Appears to Back Off." It appears that Burger King will do no such thing. In its statement sent to the Trib, Burger King made clear it "has an obligation to educate and inform its employees, franchisees and key stakeholders on any proposed legislation that could affect the business." And this union-coddling measure certainly fits the bill. The Employee Free Choice Act (also known as "card check") could have significant implications on the company and the more than 1,000 franchisee-owned businesses selling BK products. If passed, the legislation would eliminate secret ballots in union-organizing elections, making it vastly easier for a union to muscle in on company employees. The bill would allow union goons to look over the shoulders of employees and quite possibly intimidate them to check the card in favor of unionization. In its claims about Burger King and card check, the SEIU should stick to the beef and cut the baloney. (pittsburghlive.com)

Trouble brewing on Stern-Burger SEIU plantation ... There’s a new kid in town and we are NUHW, National Union of Health Care Workers. And Andy Stern, Fuehrer of SEIU, is pissed. He came to the Warsaw Ghetto and is getting his ass kicked, deservedly so. When SEIU (Service Employees International Union) illegally took away the right of United Health Care Workers West (UHW) to vote on breaking away from SEIU, I became angry. Let’s call it righteous indignation. Contacting the ACLU about what I considered an infringement of my civil liberties I was told that I had none. I was told that once I belong to a union I’ve given away my rights as an individual. “Well,” I thought, “that means I’m chattel.” Doesn’t Andy Stern know that Lincoln freed the slaves. And what’s with the bean counter mentality of the ACLU? Last week Stern went to the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) and said, “They can’t form a new union, they are members of SEIU UHW, and are my property.” Geez, I had a husband like that years ago and divorced him, and UHW did the same to Stern. So why were we UHW’rs so upset that we need to decertify from SEIU and Stern? There are two reasons. First, we are a bottom up democratic organization: members vote on issues and elect officials. Stern’s organization is a top down organization: He gives the orders and they are carried out. Our executive board is elected, his is appointed by him. Second, Stern would have us all in one health care union whence he’d broker sweetheart deals with employers and reduce us to minimum wag, thereby creating a workforce of drones. Or in his words, “They are my property.” A domino effect would ensue and, piece by peace, workers in home health care, hospitals, and nursing homes, would be subjected to SEIU acting as our employer, not our representative. (opednews.com)

Safire takes on Dem P2P for NYT ... “Feds Interview Obama on ‘Pay-to-Play’ ” was the Washington Times headline last Christmas Eve, subheaded “Team’s Blagojevich review finds ‘nothing inappropriate’ ” in contacts between Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois and White House aides about the replacement for the Senate seat Barack Obama was vacating. That was about the suspected “sale” of the appointment by the F.B.I.-wiretapped governor, who was ultimately impeached and removed. Three weeks later, above an editorial headlined “The Price of Pay-to-Play” and a reminder that “the most brazen episode of pay-to-play of late” was in the Blagojevich affair, The New York Times used the same compound phrase about the withdrawal of Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico from nomination to the Obama cabinet. The editorial held that the New Mexico governor “backed away from the chance to run the Commerce Department as federal prosecutors investigate whether his aides steered a lucrative state contract to a generous political donor.” Many regular readers of this column will focus on the hyphenation issue: Why, if pay for play means “remuneration for participation,” should the words forming the collocation be separated by hyphens? The ancient Romans did not feel the need to hyphenate quid pro quo. Why, if the phase in politics means “payoff,” should not that widely recognized single word fill the bill, unless journalism has been afflicted with a childlike infatuation with rhyme? (nytimes.com)

Labor-state basket-case touts union-only jobs scheme ... House Democrats will travel to nine cities across the state Monday to promote their plan to spur job creation by requiring state contractors and businesses that get state economic development tax breaks to show they're attempting to hire Michigan workers. The 12-bill "Hire Michigan First" package, passed last month by the House Commerce Committee on mostly bipartisan votes, also creates penalties for companies that hire undocumented workers or violate prevailing wage laws to repay their state incentives or bar them from getting future state contracts. "In this economy, we want to bring laser-like focus to Michigan job creation," said Rep. Fred Miller, D-Mount Clemens. (detnews.com)

Disgraced Spitzer welcomed in D.C. ... Disgraced former Gov. Eliot Spitzer is working as a commercial real estate investor and has bought an office building just a block from the site of the infamous encounter with a high-class prostitute that led to his downfall. Working with his father's real estate company, Spitzer worked on the deal to buy 1615 L St. NW, a 13-story building that counts among its tenants the Washington outpost of the Nixon Presidential Library, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday evening on its Web site. The former governor says he walked through the building, talked to the tenants and made "sure the building was in every respect what we wanted." His family, which owns a number of towers, intends to keep the building for years, and so is unconcerned that its value might fall in the short term, he told the newspaper. (dcexaminer.com)

Hollywood Left loves up Hugo Chávez like Ché ... Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro has become the latest celebrity to enjoy one-to-one talk with controversial Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. The film star’s meeting with Chávez came during his tour to the South American country, aimed at promoting his Ernesto Ché Guevara biopic "Ché." According to reports, Del Toro took time out of his busy promotional schedule to pay Chávez a visit in Caracas. The actor has refused to tell what he discussed with Chávez, but it seems that he found the leader to be “nice”. “(I) had a good time with the president," the Daily Express quoted him as saying. Chávez has previously played host to Hollywood stars Sean Penn, Kevin Spacey and Danny Glover. (sify.com)

International Collectivism

Chavez invites Obama to follow road to socialism ... Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez on Friday called upon US President Barack Obama to follow the path to socialism, which he termed as the 'only' way out of the global recession. 'Come with us, align yourself, come with us on the road to socialism. This is the only path. Imagine a socialist revolution in the United States,' Chávez told a group of workers in the southern Venezuelan state of Bolivar. The controversial Venezuelan leader, who taunted the United States as a source of capitalistic evil under former president George W Bush, added that the United States needs a leader who can take it to a 'higher' destiny and bring it out of 'the sad role that it has been given, as a murderous, attacking power that is hated all around the world.' (monstersandcritics.com)

Leading Latin socialist seizes more food businesses ... The Venezuelan government took another step to control the production of food through the intervention, beginning Friday, of a plantation property of Smurfit Kappa, an Irish paper mill. The move followed the expropriation of a rice-processing plant property of multinational Cargill. "A total of 1,500 hectares of Smurfit Kappa Group have been intervened. The cultivation of eucalyptus sucks almost all the subsoil water. That has been intervened," said President Hugo Chávez, in reference to El Piñal, a property located in northwest Venezuela, AFP quoted. "We will rationally exploit that timber and will sow there other things - beans, corn, sorghum, yucca, yam," added the head of state on Thursday evening during a public ceremony. Also, Chávez announced the intervention of another farm, called El Maizal, covering 2,237 hectares and located also in northwestern Venezuela. The owners' name was not released; however, the head of state promised to "pay the compensation, as appropriate." (english.eluniversal.com)

Gorbachev on 'Party of Power': We're Back in the USSR ... Mikhail Gorbachev lashed out at Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party yesterday, comparing it to the worst of the Soviet Union’s Communist regime. Mr Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader before the Communist superpower collapsed in 1991, also attacked Russia’s parliament and court system in some of his most outspoken criticisms of the country’s rulers. Mr Putin created United Russia as a support base for his “power vertical”, which centralised political authority in his hands as President. Now the Prime Minister, he leads the party – although he has refused to become a member – and controls Russia’s parliament because it holds two thirds of its seats. The majority is big enough to change Russia’s constitution and overturn a decision to sack Mr Putin should President Medvedev be rash enough to try. United Russia, known as the “party of power”, a description once used of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, also controls all regional legislatures. (timesonline.co.uk)
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