1/19/09

Monday wrap

Andy Stern's SEIU goons harass workers ... Days before national SEIU officials are expected to launch a hostile takeover of United Healthcare Workers (UHW), an off-duty police officer apparently hired as a private investigator aggressively photographed members of the local union and assaulted a UHW staff member. "Before I even saw the man watching us I could tell something was wrong," said Andrea Carol, a UHW member and food service worker at Children's Hospital in Oakland. "I have been in that parking lot so many times as a member of UHW and it just felt different. I can't believe that SEIU International would pay someone to harass us like this. I know they are itching to take over our union, but we have the right to meet in our own union office and come and go without feeling watched and spied on." At 6:00AM Saturday, staff and members of United Healthcare Workers (UHW) first noticed suspicious activity outside UHW's Oakland office. (sev.prnewswire.com)


'Social justice' front group used for Dem Pay-to-Play ... A foundation established by Gov. Bill Richardson collected more than $1.7 million from 2004-07 but the donors haven't been disclosed because the charity isn't required to reveal names. In the fall of 2003, Richardson was collecting money for his Moving America Forward political action committee and started another related organization called the Moving America Forward Foundation. Both were aimed at increasing voter participation among minorities. The foundation's board of directors includes several prominent Hispanic leaders in Albuquerque and included Richardson political advisers. Two board members didn't return telephone calls to the newspaper. Three others told the Journal last week they had no real involvement with the organization and didn't know who its donors were. Democrat Ed Romero of Albuquerque, the national finance chairman for Richardson's failed presidential campaign, was listed as foundation board president on IRS 990 filings. He said he didn't have a list of contributors. "I would not have that. I was sort of a figurehead president. I didn't do anything. I didn't even get any reports," said Romero, formerly U.S. ambassador to Spain and Andorra. Loretta Armenta, president of Qwest New Mexico, was listed as board secretary in the IRS filings but said she doesn't know who contributed. (santafenewmexican.com)


Job-Killer Act to rebuild middle class ... The skids would seem to be greased for its passage in President-elect Barack Obama’s administration. The House passed HR 800 in March 2007 with Obama’s nominee for labor secretary, Rep. Hilda Solis, D-Calif., a co-sponsor. The bill has not gotten a Senate vote yet, but Obama himself was a co-sponsor there. Those are chilling signs to business executives who say the act would too easily impose unions on otherwise viable companies, hit firms with more administrative work, hurt their competitiveness and very possibly chase production overseas. “I really believe, from listening to our members, that this could be one of the most painful types of legislation that the United States could get into,” said Roger Caron, president of Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce. “I think it could be critically bad for our economy.” (journaltimes.com)


Send in the Progs ... This sort of tactic is about as un-American as tearing down our national stars and stripes flag and burning it. It’s as free choice as having the labor officials tell you who to vote for in the general election, “or else.” Anyone who is gullible enough to believe the union bosses statements about open and not secret voting being “free choice” is either an accomplice or under duress. You’ll notice that these union bosses aren’t asking you the employee to vote for this change, as by current law they would have to do it by secret ballot. No, they are asking the majority members of Congress, the ones that they have given so heavily of your dues money in order to win their elections, to change the law from secret voting, to open, for all eyes to see, voting. This sleazy piece of legislation is entitled House Resolution 300, Employee Free Choice Act, and it would erase fair and just legally adopted laws that the very hard pressed and oppressed workers got from their government about 70 years ago in the dark days of the 1930s. (canadafreepress.com)


Bam, Dems in unpopular forced-labor unionism scheme ... How would such forced changes affect private businesses? Likely any union contract forced on a business could lead to layoffs and downsizing. The contract could also impose union employee pension and health-care fund obligations, which are often underfunded, on an employer regardless of the current benefits already offered employees. Companies that have union shops thrust upon them will incur additional costs, which may require raising the price of their products or services. More than half of even union families oppose the act and its infringement upon the right of working men and women to vote their conscience in private. A post-election survey of 800 general election voters by Public Opinion Strategies shows most union households oppose elimination of a secret ballot, and want to vote on contracts that result from binding arbitration. In the meantime, a poll from just one year ago by McLaughlin & Associates shows that nearly nine out of 10 (87 percent) of all voters oppose eliminating secret ballots. (mlive.com)


U.S. Organizer-in-Chief Wants You



Union-democracy sellout in the works? ... Any mechanism supported by organized labor is going to give them an unfair advantage in labor negotiations which, judging by Obama's ridiculous comment about employer "intimidation" (Jennifer Rubin points out it's already against the law for employers to practice intimidation tactics so why pass another law saying the same thing?) shows he doesn't understand or wants to undermine Taft-Hartley. Protections for both labor and management in negotiating seems to be a foreign concept to Obama. It has been for years to the unions. Labor negotiations are no longer a "David and Goliath" issue. If anything, the roles have been reversed since the progressives reformed the workplace in the first half of the 20th century. It is unions now who have the money, the political backing, and the goons to enforce their will while their targets in the business community struggle to compete for market share and fend off the stifling presence of unions in their workplaces. (americanthinker.com)


SEIU-Dem P2P no surprise in labor-state ... About 58 percent of Illinoisans believe Gov. Rod Blagojevich's alleged corrupt behavior is common among the state's public officials, according to findings of a new statewide poll released Thursday by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. Illinoisans are more likely to think of Blagojevich's alleged actions as the norm rather than an aberration in Illinois politics. Of the poll respondents, nearly six in 10 (58 percent) see Blagojevich's alleged behavior as "common among public officials" in the state, compared with four in ten (39 percent) who say it is unusual. According to the poll, corruption in state government and the influence of money in state politics are top concerns of Illinois residents for the state (61 percent and 54 percent respectively "extremely" concerned). These concerns scored even higher than their worries about the economy (50 percent) or jobs (45 percent). (bnd.com)


Alinskyite was picked by divided nation ... Obama is the first Democrat to win a majority of the popular vote (53 percent) since Jimmy Carter. By sex, BHO's support was 49 percent male and 56 percent female. By ethnic group, his support comprised 41 percent of Whites, 61 percent of Asians, 75 percent of Latinos and 95 percent of Blacks. By age, BHO's largest support demographic was 66 percent of voters under the age of 30. By income, 52 percent of voters with more than $200,000 in annual income voted for Obama. By education, his support came from those without a college degree and those with a post-graduate degree. So, his victory was largely due to support from non-whites, from those under 30, from those with the lowest income and education, and from a small number of voters at the other end of those spectrums, while those of middle age, income and education tended to support John McCain. By religion, Obama received support from 46 percent of Protestant voters, 56 percent of Catholic voters and 62 percent of voters of other religions. BHO received 76 percent of atheist and agnostic voters. The Barna Research Group looked at some other interesting characteristics of Obama voters: 57 percent of those who consider themselves "lonely or isolated," 59 percent of those affected by the economic decline in "a major way," and 61 percent of those who claim they are "stressed out" supported BHO. So, considering the stats, the Democrats' strategy of fomenting dissent and disunity by promoting themes of disparity was vital to Obama's election. Indeed, the Left's political playbook has only one chapter defining their modus operandi -- "Divide-n-Conquer." No wonder their national leadership calls itself the DnC. (enterstageright.com)


Political leaders: Gangsters writ large ... One of my favorite books is F. G. Bailey’s unjustly neglected masterpiece Humbuggery and Manipulation: The Art of Leadership (1988). Bailey succeeds better than any writer I know in establishing how political leaders, who are essentially gangsters writ large, gain the people’s submission. The followers, he writes: "are cajoled into devotion by the leader’s pretended concern or admiration for them or for some cause in which they believe, by a pretense of virtue; it is mostly humbuggery.... [T]he role of leader requires performances in defiance of truth, ranging from the mild and on the whole inoffensive metaphorical exaggerations...to actions that are carefully written out of autobiographies because they are shamefully dishonest or even criminal." Listening to Roosevelt’s 1941 inaugural speech, I could not help but think of Bailey’s analysis, in which he also wrote: "Leaders are not the virtuous people they claim to be; they put politics before statesmanship; they distort facts and oversimplify issues; they promise what no one could deliver; and they are liars.... [However, and this point is central,] leaders, if they are to be effective, have no choice in the matter. They could not be virtuous (in the sense of morally excellent) and be leaders at the same time." Think of these words, if you happen to listen to another presidential inaugural speech in the next few days. (independent.org)


Sen. Harry Reid shops for P2P pizza ... Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV): "Purchase a pizza for a quarter? I don't like pizza, and I especially don't like Papa John's Pizza!" We can hardly blame Reid for his sentiment. Papa John's makes a lousy product, from its sugar-saturated dough to its repulsive "garlic sauce," which is actually just a tub of room-temperature cholesterol. But there might be something else that's turning Reid off ... namely that "Papa John" himself, Kentucky's John Schnatter, has donated untold thousands to Reid's nemesis, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)! It looks like this is yet another case of political pay-to-play. (Or, in this particular instance, pay-to-deliver-soggy-sugar-saturated-pizza-to-your-door-30-minutes-late.) Reid is obviously withholding his praise for a pizza mogul who's more sympathetic to his politics. Well he shouldn't count on Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino's. That guy went full-court press for the presidential campaign of Sam Brownback, the Kansas Republican who spends more time thinking about the Rapture and Terri Schiavo than BlackBerry e-mails. (news.aol.com)


We don't need no stinkin' capitalism ... Today it is popular to criticize capitalism. I defend capitalism because, quite honestly, capitalism could use some friends. With the Obama administration coming to power, we find ourselves at a socioeconomic crossroads. While we are not currently fighting a Cold War with the Soviets, we are certainly engaged in a philosophical battle pitting individualism against populist collectivism. The stakes, however, are the same — the survival of American capitalism. In some respects it is unfortunate that the Soviet Union has fallen. Prior to the demise of our old foe it was easy to defend against collectivism in America by simply pointing to the human suffering in Eastern Europe. But with our adversary gone, memories fade and the false appeal of socialist ideals is gaining traction. The world has never seen a pure capitalist economy. Every known economy has been based on the collectivist premise that the interest of the state supersedes the interest of the individual. The genius of the U.S. Constitution was that for the first time the rights of the individual were recognized as taking precedence over the interest of the state. Our government was expressly created to protect the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of each individual. Only under this form of government has capitalism taken root ... Perhaps the best defense of capitalism lies not in a complex discussion of economics but rather in a simple discussion of moral principles. Capitalism is based on the principle of individual freedom. Collectivism requires forced subordination of the individual to the collective ideal as determined by government. Some would correctly call that slavery. (napavalleyregister.com)


International Collectivism

Argentina's ill Prez huddles with Latin socialists ... Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner arrived in Cuba Sunday on a visit to enhance bilateral ties and cooperation between the two nations, local media reported. Kirchner made the trip at the invitation of his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro. This is the first official visit to Cuba by a Argentine president in 23 years, which seeks to revitalize bilateral ties. Kirchner will have talks with Castro and other Cuban leaders and visit places of historical, economical and social interests, local newspaper Granma reported. Fernandez has delayed her visit to Cuba for a week due to a sudden health problem which kept her away from domestic political affairs. After her visit to Cuba, Fernandez will travel to Venezuela on Wednesday, where she will meet with President Hugo Chávez. (news.xinhuanet.com)


Chávez: Bam threatened me ... President Hugo Chávez has accused Barack Obama of meddling in a referendum that could allow him to run for re-election indefinitely and ordered a crackdown on disorderly student protests against the upcoming vote. In a speech to supporters, Chávez accused the United States President-elect of supporting the Venezuelan opposition and wanting to see him removed from office. "He's said I'm an obstacle for progress in Latin America," Chávez said. "Therefore it must be removed, this obstacle, right?" It was unclear what comments Chávez was referring to. On Friday, the top American official in Venezuela, Charge d'Affaires John Caulfield, said the US would seek increased co-operation and "renewed dialogue" with the Chávez Government under an Obama administration. (nzherald.co.nz)


Chavistas attempt to purge corruption ... Opposition Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma said Sunday that Venezuelan government supporters attacked city hall to eliminate evidence of corruption by his predecessor, ruling party member Juan Barreto. The attack occurred on Saturday, when ruling party supporters broke down the building's doors and fired at the structure during an unsuccessful attempt to remove certain documents, Ledezma said in a press conference. "Here are the documents they were looking for," Ledezma said, waving the papers. The mayor listed a series of alleged corruption cases totaling some $6 million. Ledezma said the attack was part of a plan to intimidate new city officials, who were elected on Nov. 23, and keep them from investigating irregularities. "They want to trade peace for cover-up," the mayor said. The Caracas mayor said the groups operating against him were "a mixture of common criminals and activists at the service of the president of the republic, Hugo Chávez."
(laht.com)


Sean Penn: Collectivist Stooge ... We reported last month how Sean Penn was smacked by the gay Advocate magazine over his visits to Fidel and Raul Castro, whose regime murdered and imprisoned gays. Last week, Penn called José Miguel Vivanco, head of Human Rights Watch’s Latin America division, and asked for a meeting. Vivanco flew to San Francisco to dine with the star Thursday and brief him on the situation in Cuba and Venezuela. Vivanco was thrown out of the latter country by Penn pal President Hugo Chávez. “Tom Cruise let Scientology make him a household name for weirdness. Sean is entering into similar territory as a p.r. stooge for left-wing dictatorships,” said a Hollywood insider. (theinsider.com)

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