|Honduras: Obama's Vietnam? Instinctive protection for Marxist outlaw becomes an oppressive burden on New Prog Admin.|
Mismanagement: GovMo flounders, Federal Czars offend, Progressive corruption rules, IG sues over wrongful termination, U.S. curbing private investment in health, Canada strikes, teachers embezzle, drug trafficking enforced.
Card-Check & Forced-labor unionism: Bait & Switch for Binding Arbitration.
Obama provides leadership for global disgrace ... Despite howls by organizations that should know better, the nation's president legally removed himself from office by trying to alter the Constitution. The military just helped him out the door. We have heard a lot about Honduras lately, but there is much more at issue than the nighttime removal of President Manuel Zelaya on June 28 and its aftermath. The far bigger story is the disgrace of the world's major international political and economic organizations. The Organization of American States and its ambitious leader, Jose Miguel Insulza, took the lead in dealing with the crisis. The OAS gave the new de facto Honduran government three days to restore Zelaya or suffer suspension from the organization. Tegucigalpa responded by quitting first. But the OAS, the United Nations, the European Union, the World Bank and others were all shooting from the hip into the dark. These leaders had nothing to inform their decisions but fuzzy idealism, ideological prejudices, assorted self-interests and profound ignorance of realities on the ground in Honduras. (latimes.com)
Perils of Socialism: GovMo drowns in sea of politics ... On July 6th, GM dealers received a lengthy letter from the General Motors National Dealer Council informing them that the Council strongly opposes H.R. 2743, the "Automobile Dealer Economic Rights Restoration Act of 2009." This is the legislation that would protect the rights of the dealerships that had been arbitrarily closed or forced to discard portions of the business they worked so hard to build. This letter urged the dealers to sign a sort of petition to Congress immediately; no later than 5:00 p.m. the very next day, saying that they opposed passage of the bill. In fact, GM has given dealers talking points - and even a telephone script - to use while talking to their members of Congress. It is reprehensible for this company to ask their dealers to cannibalize one another under what can only be considered a veiled threat. After all, if they don't sign, what will happen to their dealership? Will they suddenly get a pink slip, too? Given that the federal government now owns 61% of GM, the moniker that many have given GM - Government Motors - seems apropos. And, that makes this strong-arming even more reprehensible. With government running GM and Chrysler, politics will control their decision-making, not sound business principles. This letter that the dealers are showing me is proof-positive that politics is prevailing. (washingtonexaminer.com)
Sen. Byrd: Obama's government-by-czar approach needs reining in ... If President Obama wants advisers, he should use the ones he has - his cabinet of constitutionally empowered secretaries and department heads, in whom is entrusted the day-to-day responsibility of governance. He shouldn't stick taxpayers with the bill for new ones. The argument in favor of policy czars at the White House is that, by such an appointment, a president may set one person over an important issue and hold them accountable. The problem is, that accountability is largely cosmetic. There's no set method to hold czars accountable, and no metric to measure their success. What's more, while other presidents have chosen a policy issue or two over which to set czars, Mr. Obama's 34 czars amount to a shadow cabinet whose responsibilities overlap existing federal departments. Enter Congressman Jack Kingston, R-Savannah. Mr. Kingston is correctly pushing a spending bill amendment which would hold up funds for czars until they are vetted and confirmed by the Senate. (savannahnow.com)
Establishment smacks down innovative, voter-approved anti-corruption law ... Denver District Judge Catherine Lemon issued a preliminary injunction late Friday suspending enforcement of Amendment 54, the so-called Clean Government Initiative. The amendment, passed by voters last November, prohibits most election campaign contributions by individuals and organizations doing business with the government under sole-source contracts. But in a 32-page ruling, Lemon said the amendment may well be unconstitutional and that its opponents had met the burden of proof for the granting of a preliminary injunction. The amendment, widely thought to be an attack on union election influence, has since come under fire from a wide range of groups, liberal and conservative, whose members might seek to influence public policy. (bizjournals.com)
Fox sues henhouse for illegal firing ... The inspector general President Obama fired last month filed a lawsuit Friday to get his job back, claiming the firing was politically motivated and broke a 2008 law governing how watchdogs can be dismissed. Gerald Walpin, inspector general of the Corporation for National and Community Service, was removed June 10. In a letter telling Congress of his decision, Mr. Obama said he no longer had confidence in Mr. Walpin, but did not elaborate. Mr. Walpin says he was fired because he targeted an Obama supporter, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, in a successful investigation that resulted in Mr. Johnson and an academy on which he formerly served as executive director repaying half the $847,000 it received in government grants. He also said in its haste to dump him, the administration never interviewed him or any of his staff - an omission Mr. Walpin said in his lawsuit violates a 2008 law meant to protect government watchdogs. (washingtontimes.com)
Obama Bends The Curve ...
It's all about crippling private investment ... According to all of the top public opinion polls, a full 70% of Americans are either pleased or satisfied with their current healthcare plan. That figure represents upwards of 250 million Americans. By their own admission, Obama administration officials and Democrats in Congress concede that the trillion-dollar 'Obamacare' proposal will cover only an estimated 8 million Americans who currently do not have insurance. Hidden in the details is another highly troublesome item indicating that 20 million ILLEGAL ALIENS will be covered under the plan. Question: why spend a trillion bucks of taxpayers' money at a time when the economic ship of state is sinking fast in order to pay for only 8 million uninsured Americans and 20 million illegal aliens? Especially when 250 million Americans do not want to change from their current healthcare plan? (examiner.com)
Card-Check exposed as Trojan Horse for anti-investment agenda ... Binding arbitration has been a disaster in the public sector, driving up costs virtually everywhere it is in place and removing incentives for labor to negotiate. It would be even worse if applied to the private sector. Do we really want some panel of federal "contract czars" writing and imposing the terms and conditions of a labor deal without the approval of either management or the workers? (lvrj.com)
CBS: Card-Check was a Red Herring ... And according to McKinnon, card check isn't the most important provision in the legislation -- "the more onerous provision," he says, "is the forced arbitration component." "The notion of federal bureaucrats coming in and dictating your contracts is a nightmare," he told Hotsheet. "And it will unquestionably lead to additional costs." That talking point is countered by Goldstein of the labor-backed American Rights at Work, who says language in EFCA mandating binding arbitration if a union and company cannot agree on a contract is key to helping interested workers successfully form unions. The latest version of the bill, according to the Times, would also mandate faster elections (giving companies less time to lobby against a possible union), require companies to offer union organizers access to their property, and keep companies from mandating that workers attend what critics call "captive audience meetings" in which the case against the union is made. It also includes something called injunctive relief, which would mandate that if the National Labor Relations Board believes an employee was fired for forming a union, the employee would immediately be reinstated to his job. As one A.F.L.-C.I.O. official told the Times: "This bill will bring about dramatic changes, even if card check has fallen away." (cbsnews.com)
Canada's 'Public Option' exposed: Strike ... For most of us, garbage is best out of sight and out of mind. But seeing and smelling garbage piled up in homes and on the streets because of municipal strikes in Windsor, Ont., and Toronto reminds us that trash removal is an essential part of modern city life - which raises the question why modern city life should be paralyzed by strikes. This summer has seen a mini-revival of labour unrest, with continuing strikes by Windsor and Toronto municipal staff, of whom garbage workers are only one part, by paramedics in British Columbia, as well as a narrowly averted walkout by Ontario liquor-store workers. This follows on the heels of lengthy strikes by Ottawa public transit and York University. This rash of strikes is notable partly because work stoppages have become so rare. The late 1970s saw more than 1,000 strikes a year across Canada; this decade the average is less than 200 a year, with even fewer major strikes. But they are also notable because they affect key services that - at least in the short run - are hard to replace. Unionized city workers off the job mean closed pools, cancelled programs and garbage stinking in the summer heat. (theglobeandmail.com)
Militant unionists hassle the neediest ... At least once during the first week of the strike the north Etobicoke office was closed by picketers who stopped management staff from entering until late in the afternoon. Last week, about a dozen unionized staff who tried to go back to work clashed with their striking colleagues on the picket line, resulting in calls to police. Two security guards are now posted at the main entrance and two private investigators have been capturing everything on camera, although those workers remain on the sidelines. Picketers allowed the centre's management staff to enter with no delays yesterday, but forced dozens of other non-unionized staff deployed to the site to wait about five minutes each. But any delays for non-union staff at welfare offices are unacceptable, said city spokesman Kevin Sack, who visited the site with city manager Joe Pennachetti on Thursday. "They are providing – or trying to provide – service to the city's most vulnerable people," Sack said. "It's really important that the union understands that this kind of work is important and should take place in an atmosphere where people who are going through a tough time don't have to go through a tougher time to access the kind of assistance that they need. (thestar.com)
Organizers swarm Disneyland ... About 800 Disney hotel workers, union organizers, outside demonstrators and members of the Episcopal clergy marched from the Convention Center, shutting down Harbor Boulevard to the Disneyland entrance Tuesday afternoon — another protest rally in the labor dispute between Disney and workers at the three Disneyland hotels that has simmered at a stalemate for a year-and-a-half. (montereyherald.com)
Teachers union educates kids about embezzlement ... The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said Friday it is reviewing allegations that the former business manager for the Detroit Federation of Teachers may have embezzled more than $36,000 from the teachers union. Sherry Patrick left her position as DFT business manager in May and has since been replaced by Vito Peraino, 41, who was hired as the new controller and business manager for the DFT. "I'm not going to make any comments regarding the embezzlement issue at DFT, other than the fact that I've ordered a forensic audit and that audit is under way," DFT President Keith Johnson told the Free Press. "It could become a criminal issue, it could go to litigation." (freep.com)
Militant union drives cookie-maker to ruin ... The union workers at Stella D’oro nabbed a legal victory on Tuesday, June 30 when National Labor Relations Board judge Steven Davis found ownership guilty of bad-faith negotiations. The workers – who went on strike eleven months ago – are baking and mixing at Stella D’oro again. In order to stay, they may need a second legal victory. Ownership has threatened to shutter the Kingsbridge cookie factory in October. (yournabe.com)
Catholics: Obama on wrong side in good v. evil ... Ahead of what many see as the last chance for a peaceful solution to the political crisis in Honduras, the U.S. bishops are calling on the nation's secretary of state to take the "appropriate" steps to avoid further conflict in the Central American country. Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, sent a letter sent Thursday to Hilary Rodham Clinton about the ongoing situation in Honduras, where a June 28 coup ousted President Manuel Zelaya, accused by Hondurans of breaking constitutional law with an attempt to extend his term. (zenit.org)
Honduras lodges complaint v. Progressive LatAm thug ... Honduran Foreign Minister Carlos López made the complaint in a letter to the UN President of the Security Council for July, Uganda's UN Ambassador Ruhakana Rugunda. In the communication, López notified "the Security Council about the violations of articles 1 and 2 of the Charter of the United Nations and urged it to take the measures provided in the Charter." The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the new Honduran government reported "the threats and deliberate acts of provocation committed by President Chávez," in the context of the political crisis in Honduras. López made reference to "the public threats made by Chávez on July 1 that Venezuelan troops would be sent to Honduras, allegedly with the purpose of meddling in the internal affairs of Honduras, which amounts to a clear violation" of the principles of equal sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs, among others. The diplomat also mentioned "the violation of the Honduran airspace by a Venezuelan airplane, on July 5. The airplane was piloted by Venezuelan military, thus countering an explicit ban made by the Civil Aviation Authority of Honduras against flying over the space of our country and trying to land at the international airport of Tegucigalpa." (english.eluniversal.com)
No moment of silence for heroic anti-Marxist in Obama White House ... The Polish philosopher and historian of ideas, Leszek Kolakowski has died in hospital in Oxford, England. He was 81. One of the few 20th Century eastern European thinkers to gain international renown, he spent almost half of his life in exile from his native country. He argued that the cruelties of Stalinism were not an aberration, but the logical conclusion of Marxism. MPs in Warsaw observed a minute's silence to remember his contribution to a free and democratic Poland. (news.bbc.co.uk)
Obama shifts cocaine P2P from Correa to Uribe ... The US military has begun to dismantle its anti-drug-and-terrorism operations and its base in Manta, Ecuador, as its aircraft flew their last missions on Friday, the US embassy said. The equipment and planes appear headed to Colombia, which is negotiating with the US to take them in after Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa refused to extend the contract that ends in September. The US has maintained the base since 1999 as a central observation point to battle narco-trafficking. (earthtimes.org)
Ecuador leftist Rafael Correa: All FARC'd up ... The office of the Colombian Attorney General is investigating documents seized by the police from an alleged FARC rebel, among which a video was found where a high ranking guerrilla chief mentions contributions made in dollars to Ecuador's President Rafael Correa's first presidential campaign. Jorge Briceño, alias "Mono Jojoy", one of the seven members of the FARC council, is seen in the video mentioning that, along with other guerrilla information that has been made known thanks to the operations of the Colombian authorities, the contributions made by the insurgents to Correa's electoral campaign in 2006 have also surfaced. "FARC secrets have been completely lost," the rebel leader assured. "Let's see, in the seized documents there were references to arms purchases of various calibres, along with who would move them and to whom" they were directed, Briceño can be heard saying while listing the series of documents and data that had fallen in the hands of authorities. "Help in dollars to Correa's campaign and subsequent conversations with his emissaries, including some agreements, according to documents in our hands, which result very compromising in our links with friends," adds Briceño while standing up in front of a laptop from which he reads in the middle of the jungle. It was the first time that a FARC high ranking member was heard mentioning such contributions. Rumours had already surfaced in 2008 of their existence. Correa's government, however, has always denied them. (buenosairesherald.com)