Monday wrap

Moral, intellectual bankruptcy plagues U.S. ... Coming to a country near you: Labor contracts dictated by federal arbitrators who know little about the businesses they will be regulating by their decisions, and the advent of near universal unionization. The country near you is your country — yes, the United States of America. If high corporate taxes, increased dividend taxes, increased capital gains taxes, the anti-energy carbon tax and metastasizing regulation won’t kill American business, entrepreneurship, and innovation, this will: the wildly misnamed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) backed by President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, now the far left party. EFCA is the top priority of organized labor and when it asks for something, the Democrats salute and obey. To put the EFCA into quick perspective, it is so un-American and destructive of free enterprise, that it is even opposed by former presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. George McGovern. He knows, as any American should know, the secret ballot is essential to any election process — whether a national election or union. Sen. McGovern understands the fundamental importance of the secret ballot. When he ran for president in 1972, he was considered a far-out leftist. Now the Democratic Party has moved so far to the left it makes Sen. McGovern look like a conservative. This EFCA controversy tells you how the Democratic Party has become totally radicalized and how it has sold its soul to the union bosses. When you’re willing to sacrifice the secret ballot on the altar of political expedience, you’re morally and intellectually bankrupt. (thebulletin.us)

Related video: McGovern smacks down Job-Killer Act

In case you missed it: The Union News weekend
Saturday: Secret-ballots unnecessary under socialism
Ugly SEIU, AFL-CIO Fascists Exposed

Post-Constitutional Era exposed: Unconstrained U.S. socialism ... Because some governors might not accept the money, Congress added a unique provision, in subsection 1607(b): "If funds provided to any State in any division of this Act are not accepted for use by the Governor, then acceptance by the State legislature, by means of the adoption of a concurrent resolution, shall be sufficient to provide funding to such State." If state law does not give the state legislature the right to bypass the governor, how can Congress just change that law? Where does Congress get the power to change a state constitution? It might appear quaint to note that the U.S. Constitution does not create a central government of unlimited powers. Congress only has those powers that the Constitution gives it either expressly or by implication. That's a lot of power, to be sure, but it's not unlimited. Justice Hugo Black reminded us over 40 years ago, "The proceedings of the original Constitutional Convention show beyond all doubt that" the framers denied Congress "the power to veto or negat[e] state laws," but that is exactly what subsection (b) does. To give Congress such power "distorts our constitutional structure of government." But that is what subsection (b) does. (chicagotribune.com)

New Prog Fascists: We Have the Votes, The Debate is Over ... It's in the works, the bill's in the hopper, the rails are greased. As long expected, the Democratic leadership in Congress has introduced its master plan to unionize American workers - a plan that would do away with the bothersome little detail of having the workers vote on that decision. Vote, shmote. This ain't about democracy. It's about power. And how to seize it. Ah, yes, the right to vote. Just a minor detail, though it used to be of some importance in a free country. I remember it well. But after this session of Congress, the secret ballot might be only a quaint relic of labor-management relations in this country. Will the actual vote in Congress be just a formality? Given the Democrats' solid majority in both houses of Congress, is it all over but the shoutin'? (argusleader.com)

Obama decoder ring discovered ... The Democrats are chock-full of clever catch phrases and lofty titles for newly minted programs. I envision a boiler room full of Ivy League turnouts who majored in creative writing, scratching away 24-7 with number 2 pencils. "Employee Free Choice Act" aka "Card Check" translation: "Attract a Goon Act" aka "Broken Kneecap Act". Whether the guy is from union or management, you may get a family dinnertime visit to discuss your revealed vote in detail. Resupply your first aid kit ASAP. "tax our way to prosperity" translation: "Stand in a bucket and try to lift yourself up by the handle." (examiner.com)

President Pelosi startles U.K. analysts ... Meanwhile, the sharp swerve to the Left accelerates. One of the most startling measures to which the Obama-Pelosi-Reid administration has committed itself is the Employee Free Choice Act (commonly known as the "card check" bill) which does precisely the opposite of what it says on the tin. The Act would effectively abolish the right of trade union members to secret ballots. In other words, it would give American union bosses the kind of power to intimidate their membership into strike action that used to belong to British union leaders before the Thatcherite reforms. I was amazed to discover that most US Republicans were unaware that the statutory right to a secret ballot was one of the most crucial aspects of the 1980s British industrial relations revolution. Needless to say, when I imparted that snippet of information to Mitch McConnell, he and his press officer looked as if all their birthdays had come at once. But from the opposition point of view, there are some upsides to this White House Leftism: assuming that the Obama-Pelosi-Reid juggernaut stays on its present course, the Republicans can see a very clear path for themselves. In the Senate, Mr McConnell will set them solidly against borrowing too much, spending too much and taxing too much. (telegraph.co.uk)

Rep. Jason Altmire placed on Dirty Money Watch ... WHO: Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA) WHAT: Altmire received the following dirty money: Communication Workers of America (PAC) $5,000 in 2008 election cycle; Boilermakers Union PAC $10,000 in 2008 election cycle; $9,100 in 2006 election cycle; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (PAC) $5,000 in 2008 election cycle; $13,500 in 2006 election cycle. American Federation of Government Employees (PAC) $3,500 in 2008 election cycle; $500 in 2006 election cycle. PMA Group (PAC) $7,000 in 2008 election cycle. WHY IT’S DIRTY: At least eight members of these unions including several division presidents, secretary-treasurers and business managers have been convicted since 2001 of felonies ranging from embezzlement, falsifying official reports to government, mail fraud and conspiracy. PMA Group (Paul Magliocchetti and Associates) is primarily a defense lobbying group based in Washington D.C. that was raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) last year. In total, PMA Group's employees and its political action committee have given current members of Congress $3.4 million since 1989, with 79 percent of that going to Democrats, according to OpenSecrets. WILL ALTMIRE GIVE IT BACK? Altmire did not return a phone call seeking comment. (dcexaminer.com)

Union Issues and the Federal Government

Punk'd by Obama ... Change is in the air. Not just that the inside the Beltway pundits are noticing that He is not all that He is cracked up to be. Not just that people are taking to the streets in protest. Not just that our European allies no longer are amused. Not just that the Chinese and Russians are worried that His economic policies may be too socialist. No, you know that things are changing when the normally compliant cheerleaders at AP take to mocking Him. Hey America. Remember that election? You've been punked. Remember all the "sky is falling" rhetoric to get the stimulus package passed? You've been punk'd. Remember "imagine hope"? You've been punk'd. Pretty funny. The One who shows the fierce urgency to mock others is being mocked. (legalinsurrection.blogspot.com)

Obama revealed: New Prog National Socialist ... Another polarizing move from Barack Obama. His permanent campaign is organizing a political organization loyal to him, bound by a pledge, outside the government and existing party apparatus. The historical precedents are ominous. Only this time around the Obama organization supplies YouTube videos on how to organize, and social networking software connects them. Steve Gilbert was among the first to point it out: "Anyone who is a student of totalitarian regimes, especially Nazi Germany, should recognize this tactic. Mr. Obama has organized his own cadre of Brown Shirts (or, if you prefer, Red Shirts) to agitate for his agenda. Mr. Alinsky would be proud. And rightly so. For this is simply the continuation of Mr. Obama's perpetual campaign. A campaign, as we noted at the time, that was modeled on Saul Alinsky's organizing principles." Notice that by taking the pledge, Obama believers foreclose any discussion of any issues. Barack Obama by definition is always right, once they have pledged personal loyalty. This is not the way a democracy is supposed to operate. (americanthinker.com)

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

Kansas City resists oppressive socialism ... Tea bags,” he bellowed. “Anybody want a tea bag to hold up?” The man, an older gent, reached into a Lipton box and passed out props for Saturday’s Johnson County tea party as horns honked in support of more than 100 street-corner protesters. A woman in an SUV rolled down her window and hollered. “Get his a-- back to Kenya; we don’t want him here,” she said and gave a thumbs up as she drove off. Saturday morning. Mission Road and 95th Street. Different location from last week and the weeks before. No telling where they’ll turn up next weekend as the anti-stimulus revolution soldiers on. Now, if you’ve been paying attention to the polls, then you know that 60 percent of Americans approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing, while 30 percent disapprove. (The remaining 10 percent were napping or something.) We don’t see demonstrations to counter the one in old Leawood the other day. Probably because there’s trepidation about the stimulus package, even among those of us who pray that its passage last month will end the economic bloodletting. However, stimulus opponents nurse no uncertainty. So for four weekends running, they’ve gathered with signs that say “No to Socialism” or something more elaborate, such as this one drawn up by Kevin Frye of Overland Park: “Obama job hunting ad. Looking for community organizer w/communist views. No experience necessary. Smokers Ok. Ask for Nancy.” (kansascity.com)

Related video: Didn't work then, won't work now

Unionist decries oppressive ruse ... Advocates of the Employee Free Choice Act should start using a more accurate descriptive moniker, post haste. As a union member for 30-plus years, I would call it the “Act to Limit Suppression by Employers and Union Busters of Employee Voting” or something along the lines of the “Anti-suppression of Union Voting Act.” The ruse that is being used by the anti-union activists and anti-worker, pro-corporation toadies, which allege that card-check would take away choice or allow big union bosses to exploit workers, is Big Lie number 9,873. Any member of Congress who has the gall to stand in front of a microphone and pretend he has the best interests of workers at heart when opposing this bill should be drummed out of office at the next opportunity (this is for Sen. John Ensign). Strong unions are coming again, now. Big corporations are going to have to start sharing a tiny bit of their booty with the people who make it happen. The mistake of regarding corporations as “persons” legally will ultimately be corrected. Better days are coming. Employees are not enemies of employers and the relationship need not be adversarial, if fairness is the objective. Workers are integral to any company’s success. Exploitation hurts everyone. The world is changing and “we” are “them” and “they” are “us.” (lasvegassun.com)

Can Big Labor Buy-Off GOP Troika? ... Angling for a critical Senate swing vote to pass the "card check" bill that would make it easier to form unions, Pennsylvania labor leaders promised Sen. Arlen Specter that they will switch union members from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party to help him win a tough 2010 primary election, The Washington Times has learned. Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President William M. George said he pledged Mr. Specter "all kinds of help from the union" in a series of meetings to woo the Republican senator's support for the bill, which would ease rules favoring secret-ballot elections to unionize workplaces. "We are pushing to give him help in the primary, including changing Democrats to Republicans for the primary," Mr. George told The Times. "It's hard to do because of other races in the state ... but we'll do it for 'card check.'" (washingtontimes.com)

Oppressive D.C. union organizers resisted by state lawmakers ... Democrats in Congress who are pushing for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) are finding that card check is being rejected by legislatures in a number of states. EFCA would allow unions to circumvent secret ballot elections in organizing campaigns. So far seven state legislatures have passed resolutions opposing EFCA: * Alabama * Mississippi * Oklahoma * South Carolina * Georgian * Washington. Eight others have had resolutions * Nebraska * Pennsylvania * Texas * Alaska. The legislatures are concerned about having EFCA imposed on their constituents' businesses. By forcing a vote on the EFCA issues, state legislators will be put on the record, with evidence about on the issue out in front of the voters. It could become a political hot potato next time they stand for election. While President Bush was in office, Democrats were safe because they knew he would veto EFCA. However, President Barack Obama is sure to sign the bill if Congress approves it. This election cycle it will be different and there may be consequences for those running for national, state and local offices who will have to stand by how they voted. Democrats may make the unions happy by passing EFCA but there could be a backlash among the folks back home. (examiner.com)

Terry McAuliffe: Big Labor's Gov't Circus Ringleader ... The bill’s introduction resembled a circus. We lost track of the number of e-mails we received from supporters and from opponents. Photo-ops abounded. After its recent gig at the Coliseum, Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey apparently took its acts to Washington. Although senators and representatives will cast the ayes and nays (or might cast them; it’s not certain card check will reach the floor of either chamber), candidates for state office are fielding questions on an issue business groups and labor unions place at the top of their agendas. While card check may not be a question for governors directly to resolve, a state politician’s approach to it still says important things about philosophy, temperament, and, perhaps, character. Here’s where Virginia’s gubernatorial candidates stand, as reported by Tyler Whitley in yesterday’s Times-Dispatch: Bob McDonnell, the presumptive GOP nominee, opposes it — no ifs, ands, buts, or let’s wait and see. Brian Moran, Creigh Deeds, and Terry McAuliffe — the three Democratic contenders — offer considerably less clarity. Indeed, they do not directly answer with a yes or a no, but emit soothing words about looking forward, with fond hopes high, to reasonable debate. We’re not surprised. The commonwealth remains a right-to-work state; successful Democrats recognize that fact and understand its electoral implications. They also rely on the kindnesses of labor, but they remember that Virginia is not Michigan, not yet anyway. The three Democrats thus far are performing a high-wire act worthy of the Wallendas. As we said, it’s a circus. (starexponent.com)

UAW struggles to rebuild Middle Class

Anti-business Obama throws a bone, feigns course reversal ... Amid misgivings over his spending blueprint, President Barack Obama has decided to provide billions of dollars in federal lending aid aimed at struggling small business owners. The broad package of measures to be announced Monday includes portions of the $730 million from the stimulus plan that will be used to immediately reduce small-business lending fees and increase the government guarantee on some Small Business Administration loans to 90 percent. The government also will take aggressive steps to boost bank liquidity with more than $10 billion aimed at unfreezing the secondary credit market, according to officials briefed on the plan who demanded anonymity to avoid pre-empting the president's announcement. (dcexaminer.com)

International Collectivism

ACORN's Wade Rathke leads Latin CNN Marxist 'president' to victory ... Here are some facts about Mauricio Funes, who won El Salvador's presidential election for the left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, or FMLN, party founded by former Marxist rebels. * Funes, 49, is a former TV journalist who hosted local news programs critical of past governments and appeared on CNN's Spanish-language channel. As the first FMLN presidential candidate without a rebel fighter background, he attracted some middle-ground voters wary of the FMLN's rebel warfare past. * Funes developed leftist sympathies reporting on the 1980-92 civil war, interviewing rebel leaders and grieving for a leftist brother killed in the conflict. Yet he says he is a center-leftist who admires Brazil's moderate president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. His wife is a Brazilian who represented Lula's Workers' Party in El Salvador. * He says he wants to continue the close relations El Salvador has had with Washington, although opponents fear he could be a puppet leader with FMLN old-timers like Vice President-elect Salvador Sanchez pulling the strings. (reuters.com)

Reset button: Obama OK's peaceful Russian bombers in Venezuela ... The Russian military has reached a contingency agreement to land long-range supersonic bomber aircraft in Venezuela, according to reports from Moscow on Saturday, which analysts cast as a nuisance rather than reason for alarm. U.S. Defense and diplomatic officials told The Miami Herald they were aware of the report by the at-times unreliable InterFax agency but downplayed its significance. "Our analysts weren't caught unaware and don't believe this is anything alarming," said Army Col. Bill Costello, spokesman for the Pentagon's Southern Command. InterFax said Chávez had offered "a whole island" with an airfield that "we can use as a temporary base for strategic bombers" -- an apparent reference to La Orchila, home to Antonio Diaz Naval Air Station, off the north-central coast. La Orchila is Venezuela's version of Camp David, a presidential retreat used by Chávez for summits and at-times clandestine meetings. The president also was detained there, briefly, during his 2002 ouster. While the report broke Saturday, La Orchila has been the focus of Russian interest for some time. Venezuelan media reported in November that, while President Dmitry Medvedev toured Latin America, Russian military inspected the island's airstrip. (miamiherald.com)

Chávez uses military to grab more power ... Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has ordered the military to take over the country's ports and airports. The decision allows the central government to gain control of facilities run by state governments that are controlled by the opposition. Over the past few months President Chávez has already removed regional leaders' control of services such as hospitals and police forces. The move sparked accusations that the president is strengthening his hold on power. The announcement comes just days after Congress passed legislation allowing the central government to take over roads, ports and airports if states fail to maintain them. On Sunday, President Chávez also confirmed media reports that he had offered Russia the use of an air base for its strategic bombers. (radionetherlands.nl)

State takes over fish ... Venezuela, which banned trawl-fishing yesterday, will take over 30 trawlers and donate them to Pescera de Alba, a joint venture with Cuba, for other uses, Food and Agriculture Minister Elias Jaua said. “Excellent recommendation,” President Hugo Chávez said on his weekly television address, as supporters, including a group of fishermen who use smaller boats, chanted their approval. Venezuela yesterday became the first country in Latin America to ban trawling in waters under its control. The practice hurts fisheries and small fishermen, Chávez said today. Seventy percent of the country’s fish are provided by small fishermen, while trawlers mostly catch shrimp for export, he said. Chávez also signed a measure to buy and scrap trawlers deemed unfit for navigation. There were 248 trawlers operating in the country with 6,500 workers, the Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela, daily newspaper El Tiempo reported today. Ten boat-owners accepted a government offer for conversion to other types of fishing, Jaua said. The remaining 30 trawlers that meet maritime standards will be taken by the government. Chávez said he wants to double or triple Venezuela’s consumption of fish because it is healthier than red meat. (bloomberg.com)

Bolivia: Private property on endangered list ... Bolivia's President Evo Morales has handed over thousands of hectares of land seized from large-scale owners to indigenous farmers. Mr Morales said the move would encourage people to put country over profit and would end human rights violations against indigenous people. He had accused the previous owners of abusing workers and misusing the land. Bolivians voted in a new constitution in January aimed at empowering the country's indigenous majority. "Today, from here, we are beginning to put an end to the giant landholdings of Bolivia," Mr Morales said at a ceremony in the east of the country. Mr Morales told a gathering of Guarani Indians on Saturday that some people "don't want to end large landownership" but that they should "voluntarily give up their land to people who have none," the Associated Press reported. (news.bbc.co.uk)

Communists privatize election reforms ... Maoists rebels in Orissa's Malkangiri district have distributed hundreds of leaflets and posters asking [sic] people to boycott the general elections and threatening politicians who canvass for votes. Rebels of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) have also said they would burn vehicles used in campaigning. The leaflets were found Sunday night in the interior areas of the southern district of Malkangiri, about 700 km from here. 'We have found posters and leaflets in the Chitrakonda area. They have asked people to boycott polls and asked leaders to refrain from campaigning,' District Superintendent of Police Satyabrata Bhoi told IANS. (bombaynews.net)

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