Wednesday wrap

U.S. industry bigs exhibit Stockholm Syndrome ... So far, manufacturers have given Obama high grades for his handling of the economic crisis, but they're concerned about the president's support for the Employee Free Choice Act -- better known as "card check" -- which makes it easier for workers to form unions. Also of concern are the White House's proposed changes to tax rules on foreign earnings of U.S. companies and a carbon "cap and trade" policy to combat climate change. (detnews.com)

Tax-funded voter fraud is wrong ... Several prominent non-Republicans and ex-Republicans have been all over the media giving advice to Republicans about how they should re-brand themselves and which issues they should talk about. Among this unsolicited advice is that Republicans should stop criticizing ACORN. Au contraire -- Republicans should loudly demand that ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) be cut off from all further handouts of taxpayers' money. (humanevents.com)

Working Class rejects union organizers ... According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 20 percent of eligible wage and salary workers in this country belonged to a labor union in 1983. By 2008, that number had dropped to 12.4 percent. Why? Because those who comprise the nation's working class understand that organized labor is not good for them, for the nation's economy, nor for the country. The average worker in this country can see that organized labor is a detriment to good business practices. If American industry is going to compete at a global level, it cannot be shackled by unreasonable demands from union bosses, unrealistic collective bargaining agreements, and the inflexibility that comes from trying to operate within the operational structure of a union shop. You don't need a degree in economics to understand the negative impact labor unions have in the nation's workplace. American workers do, indeed, understand, which explains why union membership has taken a nosedive over the past quarter century. (statesboroherald.com)

Union bigs have unfinished business ... I remain convinced that union power will continue to diminish for the simple reason that the sort of work that unions have traditionally represented is going the way of, well, auto-assembly jobs. For unions, the action is in the public sector, especially health care and education. But even there, both taxpayers and workers themselves are getting fed up with rigid work rules and pay that is ultimately pegged to your least-productive co-worker. Which isn't to say that new rules rigged in favor of labor can't cause problems in the short- or even mid- run. (reason.com)

Embattled Speaker turns Left for support during crisis ... House Speaker Nancy Pelosi came out swinging at a gathering of 3000 trade unionists here yesterday with a passionate call for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. Determined to rebuff right wingers trying to use the “torture” issue as a means of derailing congressional and administrative moves to help workers, she told members of the nation’s 13 building and construction unions that she is committed to passing the bill and that President Obama is ready to sign it into law. (pww.org)

Militant teacher unionists' sickout teaches kids a lesson in collective bargaining ... Hundreds of teachers protesting Boulder Valley's contract offer stayed home from school again on Tuesday. Eight schools scrambled to come up with substitutes for 269 absent teachers. Monday, 342 teachers took the day off, according to district spokesman Briggs Gamblin. Last week, contract negotiations broke down between the district and its teachers' union, the Boulder Valley Education Association. The union wants a permanent cost-of-living increase to the pay scale, but the district says it doesn’t have the guaranteed revenue flow to make that change. (dailycamera.com)

Leftwing tree-killer fears anarchy from 10th Amendment ... Conservative groups called on South Carolina legislators Tuesday to pass a measure that declares the state has the right to ignore any federal law or policies it deems unconstitutional. Republican legislators say they want to send a message to Washington that the federal government is overstepping its bounds, from gun control to the No Child Left Behind education accountability law. Democrats contend it's a partisan issue directed at the federal stimulus package, and the measure will have no practical effect. The bill notes the 10th Amendment in the U.S. Constitution gives all powers not delegated to the federal government to states. It would be sent to President Barack Obama, congressional leaders and South Carolina's delegation. (thestate.com)

Union-backed, tax-funded fraud group lacks transparency ... Association of Community Organizers for Reform leaders deny having ties to legions of affiliated state and local organizations, but federal tax documents examined by The Examiner show concrete financial links between four such groups and the national ACORN office. Project Vote, ACORN Institute, ACORN Housing Corporation and the ACORN American Institute for Social Justice included financial transactions with Citizens Consulting Incorporated on their tax documents. Current and former ACORN officers and members who are unhappy with what they describe as a lack of transparency and accountability in the group’s national leadership say those leaders use a New Orleans-based non-profit, Citizens Consulting Inc., to maintain centralized financial controls over affiliates. Although the Louisiana Secretary of State described CCI as a non-profit in its registration records, no federal tax returns for a non-profit by that name could be found. “To understand what is happening to ACORN today, try to imagine what it would be like if Tony Soprano took over Catholic Charities,” said Michael McCray, a former national ACORN board member from Georgia. “All of the money that goes into ACORN goes into CCI first and there is no way to know how much is squandered or misappropriated,” McCray said. Project Vote, which is also known as “Voting for America,” paid $1,266,967 to CCI from 2000 to 2004, according to the organization’s IRS 990 tax returns for those years. Project Vote registration drives have resulted in fraud investigations in at least 14 states, most recently in Nevada and in Pennsylvania. (washingtonexaminer.com)

Rep. Lloyd Doggett placed on Dirty Money Watch ... WHO: Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), a co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act (aka Card Check). WHAT: Rep. Doggett received the following dirty money: Communication Workers of America (PAC) $10,000 in 2008 election cycle; $10,000 in 2006 election cycle. Boilermakers Union (PAC) $2,500; $1,500 in 2006 election cycle. American Federation of Government Employees (PAC) $2,500 in 2008 election cycle; $2,000 in 2006 election cycle. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (PAC) $10,000 in 2008; $3,500 in 2006 election cycle. Service Employees International Union (PAC) $10,000 in 2008 election cycle. United Steelworkers of America (PAC) $5,000 in 2008 election cycle; $3,000 in 2006 election cycle. WHY IT’S DIRTY: Multiple officers and members of these unions, including 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. The Communication Workers of America and the American Federation of Government Employees have had eight convictions, The Service Employees International Union has had nine convictions and The Boilermakers have had 10 members convicted, while the IBEW has had 14 members convicted. The United Steelworkers of America, which includes Paper, Allied-Industrial Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (PACE), has had 30 convictions among its membership. The amounts of embezzled funds range from over $5,000 to over $100,000. WILL DOGGETT GIVE IT BACK: Doggett did not respond to The Examiner’s request for comment. THE SCORE: Number of Democrats who have given it back: 0 • Number of Republicans who have given it back: 0 • YOUR TURN: You can reach Rep. Doggett’s Washington D.C. office at 202-225-4865 (washingtonexaminer.com)

International Collectivism

Obama gives Chávez a boost ... Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's approval rating remains above 60 percent, according to recent polls by Datanalisis, which is considered to be sympathetic to the opposition and private business interests, and Social Investigation Group XXI (GIS), which is considered to be sympathetic to the government. The GIS poll, which surveyed 2,500 Venezuelans at the end of April, reported that 67.1 percent of respondents said Chávez's management of the country has been "good" or "very good," while 21 percent said it has been "bad" or "very bad," and 11.9 percent said it has been "regular." If a presidential election were held tomorrow, 53.4 percent of respondents said they would vote for Chávez, while 32.5 percent said they would vote for the opposition, according to GIS. (politicalaffairs.net)

OPEC oil going Communist ... Venezuela is poised to begin building the first joint Venezuelan-Chinese oil drilling platform in June, according to Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez. "The oil drilling platform is at a very advanced stage in the (western) Orinoco Belt," Ramirez told the Panorama newspaper, from the northwestern city of Maracaibo, on Monday. "In June ... Venezuela will assemble the first oil rig with Venezuelan labor." Run through a joint venture between Venezuelan Petroleum (PDVSA) with a 60 percent stake, and China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) with a 40 percent stake, the oil rig will maintain 24 active teams equipped with "the latest technology," Ramirez said. There are currently 276 active oil rigs in Venezuela, 51 of which are owned by PDVSA and the rest are run by contractors. Seventeen others are undergoing maintenance and four are inactive due to cuts agreed with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the newspaper said. "We hope that in a few years, we can assume control of all oil rigs in the country," Ramirez said. (google.com)

Oppressed teachers on strike Down Under ... State schools across the Sunshine Coast closed yesterday as hundreds of striking teachers crammed into the Caloundra Powerboat Club, joining a state-wide fight to secure higher teacher wages. Their message was clear – Anna Bligh’s offer of a 12.5% pay rise over three years did not make the grade and, if a resolution was not reached, more strikes could follow. “The way Queensland teachers have been treated is just not good enough,” said Lyn Winch, the Queensland Teachers’ Union honorary president. (thedaily.com.au)
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