Sunday wrap

Middle Class demands forced-labor unionism ... Congress is expected to revisit the Employee Free Choice Act soon -- a controversial bill that would make it easier for employees to unionize. The drawback is that the secret-ballot option on union affiliation would be pushed aside in favor of a card-check process, which could be overseen and witnessed by union officials. That opens the door for increased intimidation by union reps and organizers, and it's the wrong way to counter what labor officials say is an unbalanced playing field, in which employers work behind the scenes to coerce employees to vote "no" on unionizing. The Democratic-controlled Congress may have the votes to pass the act, but President Obama and some Democratic lawmakers are talking about scrapping this bill and crafting a better one. That's the better option. A key question is how much change is needed in labor law, considering that most efforts at union organizing -- about two-thirds -- have been successful in recent years, according to the National Labor Relations Board. Whatever happens, access to the secret ballot should be retained in this process. (lehighvalleylive.com)

We're all in love with ACORN now ... It would surprise us not at all if ACORN, President Obama's favorite community organizing and voter registration thugocracy, soon got a West Wing office. It would surprise us not at all if the mainstream media, such as we are now left with, were to bless such bestowal. (for more CFIF articles click here) Why not? While most of us are trying to grapple with the billions and trillions of taxpayer money being thrown away in legislation moving faster than light, largely overlooked are the millions that will fall into the hands of such groups, as they are engaged by the government for "projects," such as, say, "educating" all of those eligible for "foreclosure protection" on how to game, sorry, gain that "protection." We have long believed that much government scrutiny is misplaced, that rather than focusing on the appropriation of money to government agencies, which is bad enough, that those really concerned with waste, fraud and abuse should look far more closely at expenditures, for in those government checkbooks is the real evidence of government gone amok. Find a check to ACORN, find out what the money is really being used for and there's a story. But it's not going to be written, not by the mainstream media, perhaps on the basis that a recessionary America just can't afford more taxpayer heads exploding. When it comes to organizations like ACORN (did we say it is President Obama's favorite...?), the mainstream media go deaf, blind and mute, even on the simplest of stories. (rightsidenews.com)

Typical: Anti-business Obama exposed ... But William McGurn in the Wall Street Journal may have gotten at something a bit deeper regarding Obama's disdain for business. "In the past, the president has shown that he can paint a compelling portrait of the worker who has just seen his factory close down, or the single mom trying to make ends meet as a secretary," McGurn wrote. "But when it comes to the group whose presence brings life and hope to a community - the small businesses for which most Americans work - in Mr. Obama's telling, they remain largely faceless." Business people - save for the occasional photo-op feigning collaboration - are almost completely faceless in Obama's White House. In a story last week, Politico.com wrote, "There is virtually no one on Obama's team with outsized achievements or a high-profile reputation earned in the world of business. There are no former CEOs in the Obama Cabinet. And among the people who make up his daily inner circle, there is only a dollop or two of top-level private sector experience." Obama spent spent the early days of his presidency vilifying business owners and corporate chieftains while mollifying his minions on the left and placating his union backers, all the while purporting to champion the middle class. Obama's ignorance of business has blinded him to one cold, hard fact: Businesses create the jobs that employ the workers who make up America's middle class. As he bludgeoned America to get his way, businesses pulled back, stopped investing and stopped hiring. Now Obama has suddenly rediscovered American dynamism? We'll see. (knoxnews.com)

Union-backed, Porkulus-fed fraud group leads the New Prog way ... After his election, many felt President Obama would govern from the middle, that his voting record and ties to the ideological far left were political means to an end that weren't reflective of his personal vision for America. Obama's actions as president are jarring, considering the image he was marketed under - the post-ideological uniter bringing change and transparency to bear in Washington. Some attribute the discrepancies to "Chicago pay-to-play" politics - George Soros, the Daily Kos and other leftward media, along with ACORN-type organizations, the abortion industry, the ecopolitical movement and high-ranking Democrats "paid" by getting him elected, and now it's payback time. Others think Obama's intentions go beyond political hat-tipping and are designed to drive the economy into government hands and enlarge the Democrat voter base, creating a de facto single-party system. The gulf between Obama's rhetoric and policy does provide reason to doubt the authenticity of his image. Promising "the most sweeping ethics reforms in history," Obama vetted and tapped six Cabinet nominees mired in scandal. Three withdrew from consideration. Of those, two were tax-evasion casualties. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was confirmed despite creative tax returns, and Tom Daschle, who The Washington Post called "one of Obama's earliest and closest allies," must be especially bitter. After Daschle's nonpayment of taxes surfaced, the president backed him but then backtracked, calling him a "mistake." As Health and Human Services secretary, Daschle was to be the architect of front-door socialized medicine. (onlineathens.com)

A Secretary to Love

Shame on U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, Job-killing Florida DINO ... Beyond that, the card-check bill has another major flaw. It would empower federal arbitrators to impose a two-year contract on an employer and union after just two months if the two sides are unable to come to an agreement. Either party could end up stuck with a deal they don't want. This legislation is so problematic, even former Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern, a lifelong labor advocate, opposes it. The key battle over these provisions will be in the Senate. While Republican Sen. Mel Martinez opposes the legislation, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has previously backed it. Nelson is predicting a long debate on this issue and possible amendments or changes before a final Senate vote. Let's hope wisdom prevails and these two provisions are derailed. If not, in the best interests of his state, Nelson should withdraw his support. (sun-sentinel.com)

Dem Job-Killer Act advances, business closings to surge ... Even a Democrat as liberal as former U.S. Sen. George McGovern has expressed his strong opposition to card check. Writing in the Wall Street Journal last summer, he quite properly blasted his party for colluding with its Big Labor backers in an attempt to deny workers the inalienable right to a vote by secret ballot. That’s why it’s all the more surprising why three local members of Congress — Democrats Jim Webb and Mark Warner in the U.S. Senate and Tom Perriello in the House — are so difficult to pin down when asked about their positions on card check. Late last week, The News & Advance asked the spokesmen for each where their bosses stood on the issue. Each responded that they support the legislation, as introduced in the 110th Congress but believe there are still changes that should be made. Each one of them, though, proclaims support for Virginia’s Right to Work law. It shouldn’t be a difficult decision to make, even for a politician coming from a party as beholden to Big Labor as the Democrats. Do you support the ability of workers to freely choose, by secret ballot, whether to affiliate with a union? It’s a no-brainer. It was even a no-brainer for Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., one of the most liberal members of the House and a chief patron of the legislation in the 110th Congress. Except he backed secret-ballot elections for workers in Mexico. Just not in America, it seems. Back in 2001, Miller and some of his cohorts behind card check legislation wrote a letter to the government of Mexico calling for secret-ballot elections in union voting in that country. He even introduced a resolution in Congress that year to that effect. Why, we wonder, would Rep. Miller support rights for Mexican workers that he would strip from U.S. workers? It makes no sense. And it makes no sense to us why Sens. Webb and Warner and Rep. Perriello can’t just come to the conclusion that American workers today deserve the same rights Rep. Miller was so protective of in 2001 for Mexican workers. (newsadvance.com)

Job-Killer Act opposed by capitalist

Compromise suggested to resolve Card-Check double-standard ... I would support the Employee Free Choice Act as it stands with one change: Give employers the option to have card check to get rid of a union shop, just like Big Labor wants to force a union shop. Fair is fair, right? (blogs.denverpost.com)

Shame on U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen, Job-killing Wisconsin DINO ... I would like to thank U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen for co-sponsoring the Employee Free Choice Act. In these tough economic times, we must strengthen and support the rights of working people who choose to form unions. Union members enjoy greater job security, better access to affordable health insurance, and higher wages than nonunion workers. Sixty-seven percent of union members are covered by defined-benefit pension plans through their jobs, compared with 15 percent of workers who do not have union representation. Kagen is doing the right thing by supporting the Employee Free Choice Act. (greenbaypressgazette.com)

Hoffa grieves fallen Teamster big ... Dave Beck, a laundry driver who rose to president of the Teamsters Union and in the process traveled a rocky highway from working class to wealthy class - and then to the criminal class -has died at age 99. A family friend announced Monday that the stout, steely-eyed retired labor leader died Sunday at Northwest Hospital "of old age." Another friend said Beck had been up and alert on Christmas Day with his family. In the hard-bitten, bare-knuckles battleground of the American labor movement of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, Beck was among its foremost figures-along with the AFL-CIO's George Meany and the United Auto Workers Walter Reuther. A colorful man, despised, feared, admired and courted, often by the same people at the same time, Beck's success emerged directly from the turbulent political currents of the day. (latimesblogs.latimes.com)

Fat-cat union bigs: Greedier than capitalists ... If Irish trade unions were as good at thinking of ways out of the current economic mess as they are at covering their own asses, the country would be out of the woods in no time. The recent mass protests in Dublin were a classic example of this strategic genius being put to the wrong use. Originally planned by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions as a concentrated protest against the imposition of the pensions levy on public sector workers, Ictu then decided to broaden it out into a generalised cry of discontent against the Government's handling of the economy. Personally, I wouldn't go to any event organised by unions even if they were handing out free money, but with the latest opinion polls putting satisfaction with the Fianna Fail-led administration at a mere 10 per cent, the result was predictably impressive: tens of thousands of angry voters thronging the streets, all of whom the unions could then claim to be right behind their cause. It was like hiding behind a human shield in wartime. The outcome would have been less newsworthy if they'd had the honesty to invite the Irish people along to a demo under the banner: 'Pay for our own pensions? Are you nuts? We'd rather get the rest of you suckers out there to cough up instead, even if it does bankrupt the country'. (independent.ie)

Library workers opt to stay out on strike ... As the Grand Forks Library Workers move in to their 6th week on the picket line...plans have been made by both sides to head back to the bargaining table. After a letter was sent to the Library association by CUPE representative Leanne Halifax, asking to get back to the table... two options were then put forth by the employer. The first option asked the union to begin mediation after returning to work under the terms implemented on January 20th, or to begin mediation while continuing to strike during the mediation process. CUPE representative Leanne Halifax says they chose option number 2. (kbsradio.ca)

International Collectivism

Socialist seizes another industry in workers' paradise ... Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez on Saturday ordered the army to take control of all rice processing plants in the South American nation in a spat over prices. "I have ordered the immediate intervention in all those sectors of agro-industry, intervention by the revolutionary government," Mr Chávez said before ordering soldiers to take control of rice processing plants. Major rice processors in Venezuela include privately owned U.S. food giant Cargill and Venezuela's main food company Polar. Mr Chávez's socialist Government imposes price controls on basic products and frequently accuses private companies of hoarding food. Mr Chávez, who has nationalised large swathes of the Venezuelan economy, did not explain whether the government intervention would be a temporary measure of a long-term expropriation. (theaustralian.news.com.au)

UN: Citizens are not responsible for a nation's tyrants ... The United Nations’ highest court ruled today that Serbia was not directly responsible for genocide or conspiring to commit genocide during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) said Serbia should have made efforts to halt massacres in Bosnia, and said the killing of nearly 8,000 Muslims by Bosnian Serbs in Srebrenica amounted to genocide — the first time the ICJ has called an event genocide.However, The Hague-based court said that Bosnian Serb forces operated with a degree of independence from Belgrade, and that the Srebrenica killings “cannot be attributable” to Serbia. Bosnia had accused Yugoslavia of genocide and demanded financial compensation, but the court said Belgrade would not have to pay reparations. Earlier, Judge Roslyn Higgins said Montenegro is no longer part of the case because Serbia alone had assumed the “legal identity” of the former Yugoslavia. The ruling comes with Serbia still facing challenges linked to the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. Closer ties with the European Union have been frozen over Belgrade’s failure to hand over war crimes suspects for trial. Serbia also faces final talks with the United Nations on the future of Kosovo, with the province heading toward near-statehood despite Serbian opposition. (publiuspundit.com)
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