Monday wrap

Authorities plunder U.S. economy ... Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said the administration underestimated the severity of the slumping economy when pushing Congress this winter to pass the $787 billion economic stimulus package, but added that it's too early to consider a second massive spending measure to jump-start the economy. (washingtontimes.com)

In case you missed it: The Union News long weekend
Sunday: Obama completes Mission Impossible
Saturday: 1 in 20
Friday: Obama Job Freeze: You ain't seen nothin' yet

Widespread unsustainablity exposed ... After years of extravagant increases in pensions for public employees in state, county, local and special districts, at least some government leaders have come to understand such generosity with taxpayer money is unsustainable. For too long state, county and local government officials have acceded to union demands for ever higher retirement and other benefits, far in excess of anything offered by the vast majority of private firms. At one time, generous pensions were offered to public employees to compensate for more modest salaries that used to be less than those in the private sector. That situation is outdated. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of December 2008, the average yearly pay for state and local government employees was $53,800. That's $13,500 more than the average private-sector employee. There also is a huge gap between public and private employees in benefit packages. (dailydemocrat.com)

Everyday low politics ... Wal-Mart has so improved its health-care benefits for employees that it's now at a competitive disadvantage to rivals. So Wal-Mart is calling on the U.S. to force all private-sector employers to provide a high minimum level of health-care benefits to employees, "in order to level the playing field". What's more, the notoriously anti-union Wal-Mart in this initiative has joined forces with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), America's biggest union and long a critic of Wal-Mart's labour relations. (thestar.com)

Impeached Judge, now in Congress, revives ugly Wilsonian fascism ... An amendment to a bill swiftly moving through the US Congress will allow the Obama Administration's Attorney General to classify Americans as domestic terrorists if they are pro-life, pro-gun and anti-big government. Impeached Florida judge -- now a Democrat Party member of the House of Representatives -- Rep. Alcee Hastings introduced what some claim is a disturbing piece of legislation. (newswithviews.com)

We don't need no stinkin' golden goose ... Who are their constituents? The June 28 legislative reform editorial suggested that there is "a disconnect between elected officials and their constituents." I would argue that for Gov. Jim Doyle and our Democratic state lawmakers, they most certainly are representing their constituents. Unfortunately, their constituents are not "We the People," but rather the special-interest lobbies that will continue to fund their elections. They are the unions, trial lawyers, environmental groups, public employee unions and the beneficiaries of a big controlling government ideology. This has become especially apparent in the very partisan closed-door budget process and "stimulus" dollar allocation requirements. The same can be said for the Obama administration and Congress. They know who brung 'em to the dance and they want to keep that gravy train running — at your expense. There will be much higher taxes and fewer jobs and investments, but somehow that will be because government has not taxed, spent and regulated enough. (napavalleyregister.com)

SEIU oppresses unionists ... I think that basically Change to Win is dead. In essence, what has happened is that the reformers that were supposed to be the Change to Win unions have become so torn by internal division and by the attempts of SEIU to dominate the American labor movement that, in essence, the Change to Win Federation—it’s not officially dead yet, but my sense is, in my discussions with labor leaders around the country, is that some of the existing Change to Win unions will soon be rejoining the AFL-CIO, but probably without SEIU. (i4.democracynow.org)

SEIU's way or the highway

Racism, nationalism, radicalism govern Post-Constitutional Era ... Sessions has spoken in similar terms recently about a Puerto Rican legal advocacy group on whose board Sotomayor sat from 1980 until 1992. "This is a group that has taken some very shocking positions with respect to terrorism," Sessions said of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, citing its defense in 1990 of Puerto Rican nationalists who 36 years earlier had wounded five lawmakers during an attack on the House while it was in session. Sessions said Thursday the group's stances on issues from capital punishment to race were "extreme." His staff raised concern about its ties with the community organizing group ACORN, which Republicans routinely describe as a radical organization. (sfgate.com)

Stimulus mandates application of shameless Jim Crow Era racial discrimination law ... U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fort Myers, is co-sponsoring a bill in Congress that would kill the Davis-Bacon Act. Michael Reitmann, who heads the Lee Building Industry Association, put it well in a report last week published by the Daily News. “We agree 100 percent with his proposal,” Reitmann said. “It’s against the free enterprise system; that’s why we are in a right-to-work state. The minute you have a negotiated wage that is not related to the project, you are going to be able to do less with that money.” (naplesnews.com)

Obama to apologize for Cold War ... Gary Samore, Obama's coordinator for weapons of mass destruction, did not offer details, but said the two leaders will "register some progress." It's important that any agreement be free of the "Cold War burden" of intrusive inspections," Samore said. In an interesting scheduling twist, Obama also is to see former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, who negotiated an end of the Cold War with former President Ronald Reagan. (newsmax.com)

Hopeless: Tired, old socialist policies plague Obama ... In his landmark 1942 book, "Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy," economist Joseph Schumpeter emphasized the key role that creative destruction plays in generating long-run economic growth. It is the driving force of capitalism. Obama and his team seem sharply opposed to the view that creative destruction is a valuable economic force. They seem happy with what might be called destructive destruction – the obliteration of value and wealth without any resulting positive change. (ocregister.com)

Tea Party movement raises issues ... While little media attention has been paid to the movement since then and some have suggested that its numbers were eroding, Tea Party leaders who have been monitoring the groups and this weekend's activities dispute that. "I don't think this movement's eroding," said Adam Bitely, director of new media at Americans for Limited Government. "When the president's cap-and-trade energy bill came up in the House, a lot of the Tea Party groups were doing local work, calling members of Congress to urge them to vote against the bill," said Mr. Bitely, whose NetRight Nation Web site tracks Tea Party activities. (washingtontimes.com)

Obama hearts bankruptcy ... The Obama administration, along with Congress, has been on a rampage lately to destroy the U.S. economy, and the American voters should take a closer look. The House has passed the cap-and-trade energy bill, H.R. 2454. The Heritage Foundation estimates that by 2035 this bill would cut the gross domestic product of the United States by $6,790 per family of four and impose $4,600 in carbon taxes per family. Obama’s position is: “So, if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.” (napavalleyregister.com)

Communists decry sincerest form of flattery ... Common criminals in the Philippines are passing themselves off as armed Maoists to extort money from businesses and tarnish the reputation of the guerrillas, the rebel leadership said on Sunday. Extortion, or what they call "revolutionary taxes", has long been a tactic employed by the rebels during their decades-old guerrilla campaign in the Philippines to fund their movement. (abs-cbnnews.com)

Authorities misread Honduras ... When U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens arrived last year, Zelaya postponed the ceremony allowing the newly arrived diplomat to present his credentials. He fought with his Congress, insisting that lawmakers accept his nominees to the Supreme Court. He refused to sign the budget and he stalled on dozens of bills approved by the Congress. All along, Zelaya grew closer to Latin America's leftist leaders, especially Chávez. He traveled frequently to Venezuela, where he stood beside Chávez as he gave fiery speeches railing against capitalists. (washingtonpost.com)

Honduran drug thug picks Daniel Ortega over CNN-Marxist Funes ... Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said he had landed in Nicaragua on Sunday after the armed forces of his own country thwarted his attempt to return home. Zelaya was speaking on Caracas-based network Telesur. He had previously said he was diverting the flight to El Salvador. (reuters.com)

We don't need no stinkin' human rights ... Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is taking issue with the Obama administration over "concerns about the U.S. approach to human rights, democratic principles, rule of law, and constitutional institutions" as a result of the crisis in Honduras. In a letter to Obama, Ros-Lehtinen slams the administration's "mypoic" approach, saying "the U.S. stance from the onset appears to have been focused on supporting one individual, President Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales, irrespective of the Honduran constitution, rule of law, and democratic institutions. ... [T]here has been no apparent attempt by the U.S to discern the truth about the status of democratic and constitutional order in this Central American country, before making summary conclusions and issuing condemnations based on incomplete information." (newsmax.com)

Union swindler to select his own penitentary ... Bernard Madoff has hired a veteran prison consultant to help him to find the best possible jail in which to serve his 150-year sentence for Wall Street’s biggest fraud. (timesonline.co.uk)

Police unionists fume ... The local police union is up in arms over the City Council’s recent decison to cut $104,000 from the police-officer uniform budget. In an open letter to residents, Peter Kot, president of Bristol Police Union, Local No. 754, said the city used “bullying” to push through the uniform-fund concession and “guerilla tactics” to hide budget information the union had asked for. Mayor Art Ward and Police Chief John DiVenere recently sought contract concessions from the union during the city’s recent budget deliberations, Kot wrote. Cutting the uniform fund, “impacts everyone who used the money directly to purchase and maintain uniforms,” the letter said. (bristolpress.com)
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