7/20/09

Monday wrap

Obama: Cool to Constitution, H8s term limits, loves Czars, opens new Gitmos in Kenya, shames Africans.

Mismanagement: Unions monopolize public sector, falter in OK, rise in South, crush anti-bribery scheme in CO, shut down oppressive employers.

International: Obama-Chávez joint ventures advance.

Ignorant Sotomayor leads us lambs to the slaughter ... When Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) asked Wednesday whether citizens have a right to self-defense, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor told the Senate Judiciary Committee, “I don’t know.” Coburn had asked, “As a citizen of this country, do you believe innately in my ability to have self-defense of myself – personal self-defense? Do I have a right to personal self-defense?” In reply, Sotomayor said that, “I’m trying to think if I remember a case where the Supreme Court has addressed that particular question. Is there a constitutional right to self-defense? And I can’t think of one. I could be wrong, but I can’t think of one.” She then went on to explain that self-defense rights are usually defined by state law.” Unsatisfied, Coburn continued, “But do you have an opinion, of whether or not in this country I personally, as an individual citizen, have a right to self-defense?” Sotomayor responded, “I – as I said, I don’t know.” Later in the exchange, Coburn said, “I wasn’t asking about the legal question. I’m asking your personal opinion.” “But that is an abstract question with no particular meaning to me,” Sotomayor relied. (cnsnews.com)


In case you missed it: The Union News weekend
Sunday: Obama inspired by Orwell, Alinsky
Saturday: Obama provides leadership for global disgrace


Why does evil prosper? ... Perhaps it is because those who embrace evil are not bound by the rules the rest of us, those who embrace the plan given us by our good God, live by. And because their lawlessness and irrationality so confounds the rightly ordered mind of a man with a rightly ordered conscience, it is difficult for him to know how to combat the evil. We must be cunning as serpents, and innocent as lambs. Take our current administration: By appointing unelected "czars" to run everything, our president has created a shadow government, answerable only to him, whose activities are in no way subject to the scrutiny of the American people, nor subject to being booted out of office, nor impeached. That's unconstitutional. And with Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress, the Left can push through almost any spending bill they want, shut out the Republicans, and trample all over the Constitution, because there is no one with the power to stop them. By controlling the census, the White House can control the way voting districts are drawn, and can redraw them more favorably to Democrats, ensuring continued Democrat control (also illegal). (enterstageright.com)


Obama, Chávez seek Honduras replay in Nicaragua ... Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega announced Sunday, on the 30th anniversary of the leftist Sandinista revolution he led, that he would seek a referendum to change the constitution to allow him to seek reelection. Following in the footsteps of elected regional allies, Ortega told thousands of supporters here that he would seek a referendum to let "the people say if they want to reward or punish" their leaders with reelection. His close leftist allies who have had rules changed enabling them to remain in power include presidents Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Evo Morales in Bolivia and Rafael Correa in Ecuador. In the last month President Manuel Zelaya in neighboring Honduras was ousted in a coup by his own military after seeking similar action. Ortega was leading celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of the 1979 Sandinista uprising that removed a decades-long dictatorship when he made the announcement. (google.com)


We don't need no stinkin' separation of powers ... President Barack Obama has kindled a firestorm on Capitol Hill by appointing an ever-expanding team of “czars” to help him deliver on campaign pledges as varied as reforming health care, achieving energy independence, combating climate change and thwarting cyberterrorism. The president’s czars often wield powers greater than those of Cabinet secretaries yet, quite unlike Cabinet secretaries and other high-ranking executive officers, the czars are not subject to Senate confirmation. Although not unconstitutional, these unilateral appointments are indefensible. By installing them without Senate confirmation, Obama risks repeating some of the same mistakes of his immediate predecessor. When the founders gathered at the Philadelphia State House in 1787 to draft a new constitution, their purpose was to create a new structure whose intersecting powers and intermingled functions would repudiate the English parliamentary system and its consolidation of power in the executive branch. Hence the advice and consent clause, which requires the president to obtain Senate approval for his principal appointments, including Cabinet secretaries, ambassadors and other high-ranking officers. This separation of executive and legislative powers was, for the founders, the cornerstone of the American constitutional edifice. (politico.com)


Kenya: Obama's New Gitmo ... Muslim leaders in Kenya have accused the US government of creating another Guantanamo in Mombasa, Kenya–for pirates. Sheikh Mohammed Khalifa, organizing secretary for the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) said that the US should not dump pirates in Kenya, but rather should try pirates in US courts in order to decongest Kenya’s coastal jails. Mombasa’s jails are filled with pirates captured on the high seas by international forces. “Kenya is not a dumping ground,” he said. “The US or the French or the German Navy should take charge of the people they arrest. It is almost like they want to open an African Guantanamo Bay in Kenya. It is a very dangerous trend,” Khalifa added. (thefastertimes.com)


Adujie: Obama shames, ridicules Africans ... Obama is our brother alright, but, he is not entitled to mock us. He is, it should be remember, a beneficiary and recipient of sacrifices of blood sweat and tears of Africans and peoples of African descent. Let Obama do nothing for Black people. But first, let him also be told what good doctors observe as a mantra, it is, first do no harm to the patient. Obama should do no harm to continental Africans and peoples of African descent with his pandering utterances! Is Obama a beneficiary of our collective past which he now cynically exploits at our expense to placate his political opponents, his statements in Ghana and at NAACP are rather strange. (ngex.com)


Opinion: End union monopoly of the public sector ... Competition is key to the vastly superior living standards of capitalist nations. It stimulates cost efficiency and innovation, while providing the public with the ability to "shop around" for the best combination of price and service. Private sector monopolies are either illegal, or tightly regulated. But when it comes to taxpayer-financed services such as health care, education, water supply, public transit and garbage pickup, various levels of government are the dominant monopoly provider. Consequently, cost efficiency and innovation are light years behind where they would be in a free-enterprise, competitive environment. While public sector monopolies are seldom regulated, we can generally trust public officials to avoid deliberate abuse of government monopoly power. But what if the power to abuse is in the hands of another entity? (theglobeandmail.com)


Sooners gird for population influx ... These are hard times for Americans who believe in free markets, entrepreneurship and limited government. A host of liberty-threatening issues recently presented themselves before Congress and all — so far — have been defeated. Unfortunately, the battle is not over. It is therefore critical that we thank and encourage the entire congressional delegation from Oklahoma for the leadership they have shown. They have been a vital and consistent linchpin in the effort to secure economic prosperity for our state and the entire country. (newsok.com)


Establishment bigs void voter-approved anti-bribery law: Who's looking after the little guy? ... Although they’re sometimes on opposing sides, individuals and organizations from both business and labor worked closely together to fight this ill-conceived amendment. This effort followed from a similar partnership that tried to prevent the passage of Amendment 54 and other ballot initiatives last November. In both situations, Colorado Concern — an alliance of some of the state’s top business executives — worked with union officials from multiple labor groups in the state, including the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, the American Federation of Teachers and the Colorado Education Association. Judge Lemon’s ruling demonstrates that when labor and business groups work together, the full extent of important policy issues can be exposed, and real progress can be made. (coloradostatesman.com)


A New History of Labor Unions: We've come a long way, baby! ... Labor unions have been defined as "private combinations of workingmen" that try to increase wages and improve working conditions for members. But how? What means do labor unions use? As Henry George suggests, trade unionists are hardly known for their kindness to strangers and genteel ways. From colonial times, trade unionists found the going difficult in North America. There was no prevailing ideology of "working-class solidarity," and unions were far from respectable; in fact, they had a well-earned reputation for being antisocial, even criminal. Some unions were secret societies with secret oaths, and unionists engaged in intimidation, threats, vandalism, and violence, especially against uncooperative workers denounced as subhuman "scabs" and "blacklegs." Private property, freedom of contract, competition, and freedom of movement across occupations (slavery and indentured servitude aside) were celebrated concepts, while government-granted monopolies and cartels were not popular at the founding of the American Republic. (mises.org)


Forced-labor unionism agenda: Alive and Well ... Labor is desperate to rig the bargaining rules because most workers show time and again that they don't want a union. Americans know unions promise higher wages and benefits and more job security. But workers can also see what has happened to such highly unionized industries as steel, autos, airlines and many others. Unions couldn't save those jobs, and in fact they contributed to their demise with contracts that made the industries uncompetitive. Most workers would also rather not hand over a chunk of their paycheck in mandatory dues to finance the political agenda of labor leaders. Democrats and the AFL-CIO are hoping that if they dump the unpopular secret ballot ban from card check, they can get to their magic number of 60 Senators. The business community and Republicans shouldn't be fooled and let Democrats from swing states off the hook. Card check under any cover is still a job killer. (online.wsj.com)


Union cash colors Commonwealth ballots ... Virginia Democrats haven't controlled the House of Delegates since 1997. A triumph in November would give the party complete control of the General Assembly after it won a narrow majority in the Senate two years ago. Democrats also control Virginia's two U.S. Senate seats, the governor's mansion and a majority of the U.S. House delegation. (washingtonexaminer.com)


UAW bullies plague Atlantic City ... Casino officials lashed back at United Auto Workers on Sunday, accusing the union of "irresponsible grandstanding and bullying tactics" a day after workers voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike against two resort casinos. Dealers at Bally's Atlantic City and slot technicians at Caesars Atlantic City voted Saturday night to reserve the right to strike against their respective casinos. "The UAW's behavior reflects its irrational desire to punish an employer without regard for the consequences to its members, which in this case could be significant," said Alyce Parker, a spokeswoman for Harrah's Entertainment Inc., which owns Bally's and Caesars. (pressofatlanticcity.com)


Striking unionists add to casino woes ... Operators of the eleven Atlantic City casinos may feel as if they are under a biblical curse, considering the number and variety of problems that have beset them since the onset of the recession. Increased competition, tighter consumer budgets, poor publicity stemming from the Trump and Tropicana debacles, smoking bans, and now striking employees all are contributing to the stunning decline in casino revenue. (onlinecasinoadvisory.com)


UFCW's Nightmare on Main Street ... There is no question what is mainly responsible for driving the Bashas' supermarket chain to reorganize under Chapter 11 in Bankruptcy Court. The recession pushed the family-owned Arizona company over the edge. But the bad economy isn't the only headache for the Bashas and company President Mike Proulx. Bashas' is tormented, too, by an international labor union that now is taking indecent joy in the company's woes. The 1.4 million-member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union has conducted a years-long campaign to punish Bashas' for daring to resist its efforts to unionize company workers. The union manufactured a dubious "scandal" about baby food sold at Bashas' stores. It launched a remorseless campaign, especially in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods, to turn loyal Bashas' customers away from the company. It has organized rallies alleging, egregiously and falsely, that the Basha family is somehow anti-immigrant. It has spread baseless rumors about the cleanliness of Bashas' warehouses. And it has conducted a leaflet campaign characterizing Bashas' as a higher-cost supermarket than its competitors. It would be one thing if any of the allegations against Bashas' were proved. They are not. (azcentral.com)


Somali community organizers activate Minneapolis ... Ahmednur Ali's family fled the chaos and violence of their West African homeland Somalia in the 1990s, eventually making their way to Minnesota like thousands of their compatriots. While many of the estimated 32,000 Somalis who settled in the state have struggled to adapt, Ali flourished, blazing a path to Minneapolis' Augsburg College on a soccer scholarship by age 20. He studied political science and aspired to a political career modeled on President Barack Obama's. He was shot and killed last September outside a busy community center where he worked part-time as a youth counselor, and prosecutors said the 16-year-old accused of killing him was part of a gang. Ali was one of seven Minneapolis-area Somali men killed over a 10-month period, and authorities believe all were killed by fellow Somalis. (cnsnews.com)


AFL-CIO organizers swarm the South ... Veering off the paved main road, Justin Flores and Diego Reyes cut onto a dirt road laden with small rocks and dirt bumps. It was minutes past 5 p.m., and they were paying a visit to a farm worker camp. The two organizers for the Farm Labor Organizing Committee of the AFL-CIO had been working since 7 a.m. making their way from Dudley to Davidson County to pick up a sick worker and take him to receive medical attention. Inside were six Mexican farm workers. They were all related and from Santiago, Nayarit. Flores and Reyes introduced themselves and asked if they could come inside to share some information. The workers agreed. They were seasonal workers, H-2A workers. They pay their way to the United States to work every year. “If you think your bosses are going to unite to raise your wages and reimbursements, then you are greatly mistaken,” Reyes said standing in front of the men, his hands moving as he spoke. “That’s what we’re here for, we’re your representation, your voice in Congress and the Department of Labor so they can pay you better.” (the-dispatch.com)


International Collectivism

Obama forms joint venture with Hugo Chávez ... A leading member of the “Progressives for Obama” network is speculating, apparently with good reason, that the leftist governments of Barack Obama and Hugo Chávez have come to an understanding that Honduras should be turned over to anti-American forces allied with the Venezuelan communist ruler. Tom Hayden, once known as Mr. Jane Fonda because of his marriage to the pro-communist actress, has written a piece for the Talking Points Memo website about “new diplomatic collaboration” between Obama-who swore an oath to represent American interests in foreign affairs-and Chávez, who represents the interests of Iran and the Castro brothers. (canadafreepress.com)


Nicaraguan Marxist thug parrots LatAm brothers as a matter of social justice, fairness ... Following in the footsteps of his Latin American leftist allies, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has decided to hold a referendum to extend presidential term limits. "If we are going to be just and fair, re-election should be allowed for all (public officials)," he noted. Ortega's leftist allies, who have already altered the constitutions of their countries in order to be able to be elected, include Venezuelan President, Hugo Chávez, Bolivian head-of-state, Evo Morales and Ecuadoran leader, Rafael Correa. Last month, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya who was seeking a similar action was ousted in a coup by the country's military. (presstv.ir)


Communists party hard on other people's money ... A Chinese news report is highlighting the role that heavy drinking plays in business and government circles in China. One Chinese official is reported dead and another in a coma after excessive drinking. The official China Daily says a water resources official in Wuhan fell unconscious while entertaining guests at an official banquet last week and died on the way to the hospital. Also last week, a district chief in southern Guangdong province fell into a coma after drinking heavily while having dinner with a local Communist Party chief. He remains unconscious. One observer is quoted as saying "drinking with official guests or other officials at alcohol-soaked events is considered part of the job." Attempts to control the excessive boozing have been largely unsuccessful. (kdbc.com)

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