11/29/08

Saturday wrap

Congress Reaches New Depths of Stupidity ... The cornerstone of the pro-union, anti-business measures is the card-check legislation. Card-check is Obama's reward to his union supporters like the Department of Education was Jimmy Carter's reward to the National Education Association's for their support in 1976. It would force companies to recognize a union if a majority of its workers signed cards. This is different from today's law which requires a month-long campaign ending in a secret vote and would make unionization of a business much easier to attain. Government meddling in this matter is ridiculously unconstitutional. Beyond that obvious fact, why is government still supporting a dinosaur whose historical record is filled with hooliganism, and putting whole industries out of business in the U.S. (see steel and automobiles)? Has Congress learned nothing from its recent study of how the UAW has contributed to the collapse of the Big Three? (nolanchart.com)


U.S. embraces 'social justice' economy ... Today's extreme stock market volatility is not just a symptom of fear — fear cannot account for days of wild market swings upward — but a reaction to meta-economic events: political decisions that have vast economic effects. As economist Irwin Stelzer argues, we have gone from a market economy to a political economy. Consider seven days in November. (ibdeditorials.com)


Andy Stern yearns to replay Great Depression ... The coming debate of worker-employer issues also will turn on questions about whether companies can be adaptable enough to compete in a global economy if they also have strong unions. Union leaders say giving workers more power through collective bargaining and labor-friendly federal rules is critical to Mr. Obama's effort to boost the economy by raising living standards for the middle class. "We're looking to restore the law the way it was in 1935," Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern said in a recent meeting with reporters, referring to the current card-check debate. (online.wsj.com)


Workers threatened by Job-killer Act ... While union bosses may claim that this bill is in the interests of the common man, a look at its fine print shows otherwise. The act does not expand workers’ freedom. In fact, it actually diminishes that freedom by taking away a worker’s right to a private-ballot vote when deciding whether to form a union. I care about my employees, and I wouldn’t want them subject to the kind of harassment this could create. And once unionized, of course, employees also would be subject to union dues and promotion practices, effectively lowering their income and possibility of advancement at the worst time. (grandforksherald.com)


Unions refuse to coordinate with Dems ... The state Office of Campaign and Political Finance found that the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the Service Employees International Union spent $65,718 in helping Sen. James Timilty, D-Walpole, get re-elected. The service employees and the Massachusetts Nurses Association spent $44,657 on behalf of Needham Democrat Sara Orozco, who lost to Sen. Scott Brown, R-Wrentham. The spending was on what the law calls independent expenditures because it is not coordinated with the candidates. There are no limits on what independent groups can spend. The state office said the three unions spent a total of $525,306 statewide on the election, almost all of it going to support Democrats. (thesunchronicle.com)


We're from the UAW and we're here to help ... Kia Motors, the South Korean automaker, is building a plant in West Point, Georgia, promising 2,500 jobs to help replace a textile industry that has all but vanished. The locals are excited to have nonunion work that will start at about $14 per hour. They are discovering the joys of bulgogi -- a different kind of barbecue -- at the Korean restaurants popping up. And many are wondering why Detroit still thinks it's so special that it can ask taxpayers for a $25-billion bailout. (latimes.com)


Progs hunger for payback ... Labor unions, environmentalists and other liberal groups are eagerly preparing for new confrontations with business and conservative interests. They feel secure in having allies in Washington's power centers, 14 years after Democrats last controlled Congress and the White House. (And some consider the exile even longer, dating from Ronald Reagan's 1980 election, because President Clinton's course was largely centrist and he had only two years with a Democratic majority in Congress.) (latimes.com)


UAW agrees to slow-down ... General Motors' assembly center in Wentzville will shut down for two weeks starting Dec. 1 and lay off 150 workers by the end of January, according to plant spokesman Robert Wheeler. The pre-holiday slowdown and ensuing layoffs are part of an effort to keep the company afloat in a market where consumer spending is down, especially on the large automobiles produced at the Wentzville plant. "It's about balancing production to meet what the market's asking for," said GM spokesman Tony Sapienza. "Now that the market has collapsed, we're trying to be as efficient as we possibly can." Sapienza called the extra time off a "fine-tuning" of the manufacturing schedule. Wheeler said that would mean slowing the line down from 42 jobs an hour to 38 jobs per hour. (suburbanjournals.stltoday.com)


Court orders CNN to embrace News Union ... Judge Amchan found that CNN discriminated against the TVS employees in a blatant attempt to avoid having to recognize and bargain with the employees' collective bargaining representatives. This decision is the culmination of more than five years of struggle by workers and their un=ons to vindicate their rights at the DC and New York CNN Bureaus. The judge further found that CNN's Bureau Staffing Project was a sham, used by the network to discriminate against TVS employees in order to limit the hiring of those employees in order to avoid having to recognize and bargain with NABET-CWA. In reaching these conclusions, Judge Amchan thoroughly discredited all of CNN's witnesses and rejected each of CNN's defenses. (postchronicle.com)


Fat-cat unions attack North Carolina ... North Carolina had the lowest rate of unionization of any state until earlier this year, when the state employees association affiliated with the Service Employees International Union. The low rate of unionization has been a key recruitment tool used by state and local leaders when wooing companies to open plants here. One area where labor is making gains is among North Carolina's 500,000 public employees. The State Employees Association of North Carolina, a group that has advocated for state workers but cannot negotiate contracts for them, affiliated earlier this year with the SEIU. The Teamsters have also been gaining ground among public employees. (charlotteobserver.com)


Socialism dragoons U.S. ... Our economic crisis is due in large part to a group known as ACORN, which is known to browbeat banks into lending mortgage money to minorities who were known to be unable to repay the loans. ACORN is under federal investigation for voter fraud activities. Barack Obama was connected with this group. His well-touted “change” is partially defined as spreading the wealth (taking from the successful and giving to the unsuccessful). This type of socialism has been a failure in countries that have tried it. The indoctrination of our young people by left-leaning universities is a detriment to our once-great country. We should definitely support the winners, but only when their concern is what’s best for the nation. (tcpalm.com)


Russian Communists aced out by foreign collectivists ... The first on this Saturday's agenda are the central committee's political report, for which leader Gennady Zyuganov takes the floor, and the report of the central control and audit commission. Then, the new version of the programme will be discussed. The leadership election is planned for Sunday. Communists intend to propose their own plan to overcome the world financial crisis. (itar-tass.com)


Anti-traditionalists at war with civilization ... As columnist Charles Krauthammer once observed: "If poverty and destitution, colonialism and capitalism, are animating radical Islam," how do we explain that one of the first acts of the Taliban in Afghanistan was to blow up two massive 1,500-year-old statues of Buddha carved into a cliff? The statues represented an alternate faith and a great work of civilization. To the Taliban, to al-Qaida and to radical Islam, the presence of both was and is intolerable, as is democracy and freedom in Iraq or anywhere else. (ibdeditorials.com)


Leftist thug to strongarm adversaries ... Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's government has started legal investigations of some of its political opponents after the opposition gained ground in state elections. Officials are investigating an anti-government television station, have interrogated a top opposition politician and have moved to limit the power of the new authorities. The opposition won control of the most populous states in elections last week but Chávez allies still rule most states and towns. Chávez warned the new governors he was watching them and told them not to use their power against him. (reuters.com)

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