Sunday wrap

Ugly SEIU, AFL-CIO Fascists Exposed ... Union groups hope to use their influence with the Administration and Congress to control the debate over card check. Anyone have a problem with groups that helped Barack Obama win the Presidency asking the IRS to investigate card check opponents? Both the AFL-CIO and Change to Win (headed by Anna Burger, the secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union) have asked the IRS to investigate one of the country's largest antiunion advocacy groups, the Center for Union Facts. Burger is also a key player in the politically powerful, if near invisible, Democracy Alliance. I have written about her and the Democracy Alliance before at American Thinker. They have their fingers in many legislative and executive actions-but leave very few fingerprints. There is more. Change to Win has also demanded of Secretary of the Treasurery Giethner that firms that receive TARP money be banned from discussing "card check" (oddly enough, unions collect millions in grants from the government, money that can be used to lobby for, among other issues, "card check"). The irony, double standards, and cynicism are palpable. I thought Democrats treasure free speech, open debate, and transparency. But it gets worse. (americanthinker.com)

President Alinsky sends in the attack dogs ... Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, Rick Santelli and Jim Cramer owe much of their 15 minutes of fame to Saul Alinsky, a Chicago Marxist who died in 1972. Mr. Alinsky is considered to be the father of "community organizing" as the path to social revolution. A year before his death he published a book, "Rules for Radicals," which distilled what he had learned from his experiences, his reading of Marx and Lenin, and from his associations with crime boss Al Capone and labor leader John Lewis. Rule 11 is: "Pick a target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it. Don't try to attack abstract corporations or bureaucracies. Identify a responsible individual. Ignore attempts to shift or spread the blame." In other words, engage in character assassination. Your opponent is not someone with whom you disagree. He or she is an enemy who must be destroyed. Democrats have been following Mr. Alinsky's rules. Mr. Wurzelbacher, a.k.a. "Joe the Plumber," came to our attention when candidate Barack Obama approached him in his yard in suburban Toledo and gave an impolitic answer to a question Mr. Wurzelbacher asked. The fault was Mr. Obama's, but it was Mr. Wurzelbacher who was calumnized. His divorce was hashed over in the newspapers and Obama supporters in the Ohio state government improperly searched and made public his tax records. Rick Santelli is a CNBC reporter whose criticism of President Obama's mortgage bailout plan sparked the various "tea parties" that have been springing up around the nation. This prompted a personal attack from White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. Jim Cramer hosts CNBC's popular "Mad Money" show. He is a Democrat who supported Barack Obama. But his criticism of how the president has been handling the economic crisis also earned him a personal attack from Mr. Gibbs. (post-gazette.com)

Bonus links:
Summary of Saul Alinsky's 'Rules for Radicals'
• More Saul Alinsky stories: here
'Rules for Radicals' at amazon.com

Obama revs attack machine

It's a matter of 'when', not 'if' ... What is the breaking point? Where will the resistance form? Heavy questions, but unavoidable in the current political climate. The productive members of society can only be pushed so far, some say. What they envision is not defiance of law or a reversal of the election. It is people's growing disengagement from a new economic order that punishes effort and rewards envy — the creepy future that Bill Ritter and Barack Obama intend for us. Columnist Michelle Malkin calls that withdrawal "going Galt." Malkin was the first speaker last weekend when several hundred Coloradans gathered for a free-market leadership conference in Colorado Springs. Her reference was to John Galt, the individualist hero of Ayn Rand's novel, "Atlas Shrugged." She told of seeing a placard at the protest rally for Obama's stimulus bill signing that warned: "Atlas will shrug." So what, you ask. In human behavior, incentives matter. People are choosers, not automatons. Mess them over enough and they're out of here. All history proves it. "We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us." That bitter joke among Soviet factory drones sums up collectivism's ultimate failure wherever tried. (denverpost.com)

Hotel California: U.S. labor law is a one-way street ... Union leaders have a legislative plan that they say is part of the solution for rebuilding a strong labor movement: Make it easier to get into a union. They are pressing congressional Democrats to adopt the so-called "Employee Free Choice Act" that would, among other things, replace the secret ballot union election with a proposed "card check" system that would have a union certified as the sole bargaining representative for workers after 50 percent of employees in a designated unit sign petition cards. Although the loss of the secret ballot may expose workers to various forms of intimidation, there is something attractive about the notion that it could be as easy to get union representation as it is to get legal representation. But that notion would only make sense if accompanied by another: It should be as easy to replace an ineffectual union as it is to replace a lousy lawyer. (courant.com)

Trumka routs Stern-Burger, Hoffa in Big Labor Food Fight ... At precisely the point when the labor movement should be consolidating gains made in the 2006 and 2008 elections -- an advancing policy initiatives such as the Employee Free Choice Act -- a series of nasty internal fights are absorbing key unions and the country's two major labor federations: the AFL-CIO and the Change to Win coalition. UNITE-HERE, the amalgamated union of clothing workers and hotel and restautant employees that has one of the richest and most honorable histories in the U.S. labor movement, appears to be breaking apart and key leaders are now angling to exit the Change to Win federation to rejoin the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations. The UNITE-HERE move is a blow to the key player in Change to Win, Service Employees International Union president Andy Stern. Stern is being accused by his critics of encouraging the break up of UNITE-HERE in order to bolster the position of an ally, veteran UNITE leader Bruce Raynor. (thenation.com)

Workers petition against SEIU

China may join Tea Party protests ... China's premier didn't say it in so many words, but the implied warning to Washington was blunt: Don't devalue the dollar through reckless spending. Premier Wen Jiabao's message is unlikely to be misunderstood at the White House. It is counting on Beijing to help pay for its stimulus package by buying U.S. bonds. China already is Washington's biggest foreign creditor, with an estimated $1 trillion in U.S. government debt. A weaker dollar would erode the value of those assets. "Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I'm a little bit worried," Wen said at a news conference Friday after the closing of China's annual legislative session. "I would like to call on the United States to honor its words, stay a credible nation and ensure the safety of Chinese assets." (dcexaminer.com)

Unionism: Social Justice Fraud ... I am writing in response to Sergio Rangel's letter Wednesday where he says that workers in union positions earn higher wages than those who are not in union positions. What portion of those higher wages goes to pay union dues, I wonder? I am not anti-union, but believe that they have strayed so far from what they were originally created to provide, safe working environments with fair and equal wages. I am a student of the school of obvious solutions. If you are not satisfied with the offered wage, do not accept the position. I have worked in the hospitality business, in both line and management positions, for over 25 years. I have turned down positions I wanted because to accept them would require me to join a union and pay union dues. I liken this to extortion, as I could not have the job without paying the union. It was not optional or voluntary. Where is the fairness and social justice here? (montereyherald.com)

Another Way Out: Bankruptcy may not be needed to void collective bargaining agreements ... A bankruptcy judge has ruled that the city of Vallejo may be able to void contracts with two key employee groups as a way to escape bankruptcy and looming deficits. Stopping short of ordering the contracts voided, however, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael McManus urged both sides to continue to try to settle the wage-and-benefit dispute before he intervenes. He set a further hearing for March 23. McManus, in an 11-page ruling issued late Friday, held that neither state labor laws nor a 1979 state Supreme Court ruling in a Sonoma County case prevents the federal bankruptcy court from setting aside the city's contracts with firefighters and electrical workers. (contracostatimes.com)

The Employee "Forced" Choice Act

Why all the fuss about Union-Dem P2P? ... This week, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama thrust their cynical "Never Waste a Good Crisis" agenda into full speed. After already capitalizing on the economic downturn as an excuse to propose everything from socialized medicine to contraception subsidies to global warming taxes, they finally introduced their hyper-partisan crown jewel: union card-check. It was never any secret, of course, that impatient Big Labor would demand reimbursement from Democrats for its naked patronage during the past campaign. This legislation, cynically mislabeled the "Employee Free Choice Act" in a maneuver that would astonish even George Orwell, constitutes that payback. Card-check has long topped Big Labor's wish list, and one would be hard pressed to hear an honest, objective defense of its provisions. So what's the big deal about card-check, and why all the fuss? Very simply, this bill would: (1) eliminate workers' right to a secret ballot in union elections; (2) sharply reduce workers' ability to determine the terms and conditions under which they work; and (3) trigger even more layoffs for a slumping American economy. (rightsidenews.com)

Obamaspeak: "Buy American" really means "Buy Union-Only" ... Michigan Democrats in the state House and U.S. House of Representatives sure have a curious way these days of showing the world that our state is friendly to business. Democrats in the U.S. House — including Rep. Mark Schauer — last week introduced a bill that would make it radically easier for labor unions to form in Michigan and across the country. The Employee Free Choice Act is a mistake and one that must not become law. It will drive up the cost of business and, ultimately, American-made products. (mlive.com)

Dead Goose of No Use to New Progs ... President Obama is a strong supporter of “card-check” legislation that will give the unions a clear advantage in organizing attempts by eliminating the secret ballot in union certification elections. He also supported and eagerly signed a bill that will greatly increase wage discrimination lawsuits against employers, by expanding the class of plaintiffs eligible. That would eliminate the statute of limitations for filing such lawsuits. The largest tax increase on businesses will come from “cap and trade” legislation. Under the guise of fighting global warming, it will impose a not-so-hidden tax on carbon emissions that will increase energy costs to business and consumers. American companies will be less competitive. The president’s budget outline just doesn’t square with reality. He can’t have it both ways. He can’t try to mask the dire fiscal consequences of his huge spending increases by attempting to paper them over with rosy economic forecasts that are not likely to materialize. One of the major reasons they won’t materialize is the anti-business agenda being pushed by his administration and the leadership of the House and Senate. Once the goose is cooked, there will be no more golden eggs. (houmatoday.com)

Obama's civil rights apostasy exposed ... The president has said he would support the legislation, drafted on behalf of dues-starved union bosses, that would allow workers to choose between open balloting and secret balloting in organizing drives. The change is supposed to correct a legal bias that ostensibly favors anti-union employers and, consequently, increase union membership. In reality, it rights no wrong; it attempts no reform. Its effect would be to tip more money into union coffers while hiking labor costs. Obama's stance on the Employee Free Choice Act, introduced in Congress last week and likely to be retooled many times before coming to a vote, is outrageously backward for a man who says he's a progressive change agent. With the stroke of a pen, our president would reverse one of the great, unsung civil-rights movements in the history of Western democracies, a battle that set liberal reformers against corrupt, vested interests who controlled the general electorate through bribery and intimidation, and consequently accrued outsized political and financial power. The secret ballot (the anonymous ballot used today in the elections of modern democracies) finally broke the corrupt grip of these despicable men. They no longer knew with certainty if the voter whom they'd either blackmailed or bribed had cast his ballot as promised. Paying for votes immediately became a mug's game. (online.barrons.com)

WaPo: Unionism raises broader Socialism issues ... The Employee Free Choice Act seemed destined to be a relatively narrow clash between unions and employers. But amid the economic downturn, it is turning into a debate over fundamental questions of American capitalism. (washingtonpost.com)

The New UAW: The Newspaper Guild ... Imagine a major U.S. city without a newspaper. Think it couldn't happen? Consider San Francisco, and think about what it would mean to you. Two weeks ago, Hearst Corp. threatened to shut down the San Francisco Chronicle if it can't find a buyer or significantly reduce costs at the 144-year-old paper. If Hearst acts on its warning, the city's only paper would be the Examiner, a freebie. The sorry muddle Hearst finds itself in is just another chapter in a string of crushing setbacks for U.S. newspapers, which like other traditional media outlets fear they may be sliding toward irrelevance, if not extinction. (sltrib.com)

Last Gasp: Seattle to be liberated from leftist, parasitic News Union ... As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer moves toward printing its last edition, it remains unclear whether its bigger rival, The Seattle Times, is far behind -- and whether this famously literate city could soon find itself without a major daily newspaper. The Times is heavily in debt and struggling to cut expenses, just like many other newspapers across the country. But the Times is different from many large newspapers because it is controlled by the Seattle-area Blethen family and doesn't have deep corporate pockets from which to draw. "The Seattle P-I may be going out of business, but the Times is an equally troubled company, and possibly even more troubled," said Alan Mutter, a former newspaper editor and Silicon Valley chief executive who writes the Reflections of a Newsosaur blog. Times Publisher Frank Blethen acknowledged the struggles last month as he appealed to state lawmakers for a tax break for newspapers. (enterprisenewspapers.com)

News Guild rats re-book on sinking ship ... San Francisco Chronicle employees Saturday voted to accept steep concessions to their contract as part of a deal that is expected to cut at least 150 jobs from the newsroom and other departments, yet which the company said is vital to keep the paper from closing. By a vote of 333 to 33, members of the California Media Workers Guild approved the givebacks at a midmorning meeting at the Parc 55 Hotel in San Francisco. "People realize that as bad as this settlement is, it did provide severance pay for a substantial number of people who will be leaving and hopefully keeps alive the company's ability to survive," said Doug Cuthbertson, executive officer of the guild. (mercurynews.com)

International Collectivism

Trotskyite Lula Wows Obama

Communists rip Obama over wasteful spending ... The U.S. sought to ease Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s concern about the security of his country’s investments in U.S. government debt, reiterating pledges to cut the budget deficit in half in four years. “There’s no safer investment in the world than in the United States,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said yesterday at a briefing in Washington. Gibbs was responding to comments from Wen that China, the U.S. government’s largest creditor, is “worried” about its holdings of Treasuries and wants assurances that the investment is safe. “I request the U.S. to maintain its good credit, to honor its promises and to guarantee the safety of China’s assets,” Wen said at a press briefing in Beijing. (dcexaminer.com)

Obamunistas cheer CNN Marxist Funes ... Former broadcast journalist Mauricio Funes could win tomorrow’s presidential election in El Salvador, according to a poll by CID-Gallup. 44 per cent of respondents would vote for the candidate of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), up five points since February. Rodrigo Ávila of the governing conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) is second with 38 per cent, up three points since February. 18 per cent of respondents remain undecided, or would vote for other candidates. On Mar. 9, Ávila said at a stadium rally that Funes would govern under the influence of Venezuelan left-wing president Hugo Chávez if elected, declaring, "Are we going to allow El Salvador to fall into Chávez’s control? Do we want to see our family and children living a better life with progress and freedom? Then, my brothers, on 15 March we must all go to vote early in the morning." (angus-reid.com)
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