Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This is getting serious when Michael Barone has noticed

Is the Tea Party pooped? It must keep making its case

Has the wind gone out of the sails of the smaller-government movement? Is the Tea Party movement going through a hangover?

You can find some evidence for these propositions. In Washington, Democrats like former National Chairman Howard Dean look forward gleefully to a government shutdown, and Sen. Charles Schumer thinks he can drive a wedge between Speaker John Boehner and "extremist" Tea Partiers.

And in state capitals some new Republican governors are getting hostile receptions to their plans for cutting spending and curtailing the power of public employee unions.
We are working hard to keep our local group going. Read the rest of what Barone has to say here

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I am so tired of government waste, especially when it is fraud

This is from Patterico Pontifications:
Original Pigford Claimant Calls It One Of “Biggest Conspiracies Against The U.S. Treasury Ever”
[Guest Post by Lee Stranahan]
Quick Note to Patterico readers – I’ve been working with Andrew Breitbart for several months on the Pigford story. The Pigford ‘black farmers’ settlement has cost over 2.5 billion dollars so far. A lawsuit initially meant to help black farmers who had been discriminated against by the USDA, it ended up as a giveaway to thousands who fraudulently claimed to have ‘attempted to farm.’ It’s not something I’m planning to be blogging about regularly here but we’re kicking off a new series about it and I wanted to give you a taste of it. If you want more, we’ve done a huge amount of reporting on it over at BigGovernment.com )
It’s back to business on our investigation of the Pigford story – the ongoing fraud that needs your help and attention to make it stop. The mainstream – with a few exceptions like John Stossel – are ignoring the story of the one of the biggest frauds in U.S. history because it doesn’t fit their narrative. The good guys are the real farmers who faced discrimination at the hands of the USDA and the people, mostly conservative at this point, trying to bring their story to light. The bad guys are the trial lawyers, politicians, race hustlers and those inside the USDA who profit by lying to the public about how the Pigford settlement is a ‘victory’ for black farmers.

In this video, we introduce you to Lucious Abrams, a Georgia farmer who was one of the seven original claimants. Abrams has spent years working for justice only to be betrayed by people like the Congressional Black Caucus. Now Lucious is speaking out and speaking truth the power structure that doesn’t speak for him.

When a group like Color of Change wants to silence investigation into Pigford, it’s farmers like Lucious Abrams they are silencing.

When liberals on sites like DailyKos try to bully Rep. Steve King and Rep. Michele Bachmann with charges of racism, it’s really farmers like Lucious Abrams they are bullying.

When supposed advocates for black farmers like John Boyd ignore the plight of real black farmers and keep the Pigford fraud going, it’s farmers like Lucious Abrams they ignore.

– Lee Stranahan
This is a very brave stance by this black farmer. He is a true American Hero.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

On the necessity of Tea Partys

Our own local Tea Party seems to be getting smaller and smaller, this is no time for letting up on the pressure of the conservatives on the "business as usual" politicians.
It’s no time for a ‘party’
by Frank Miele
If you are a fan of this weekly column, you probably don’t think Democrats are the solution to this country’s problems. But if you think Republicans are the solution, think again.
George W. Bush is a Republican. John McCain is a Republican. Strange as it may seem, even Arnold Schwarzenegger is a Republican! Now, stop talking about partisan solutions, and face the facts.

Republicans are not the solution — you are.

It’s up to the good people of this country to stand up and get something done — restore common sense, return to common values, and re-establish the Constitution as the common bond that all Americans share.

That means that everyday Americans can’t just be passive observers anymore. You can’t just entrust the future to one party or the other. And you can’t stand back and watch your country be run into the ground, and wonder who is going to take care of the problem. It’s up to you.

There are literally millions of Americans working to “fundamentally transform” America into a place where “social justice” is more important that individual liberty, into a place where “equal outcomes” have taken the place of “equal rights,” and ultimately into a place where — like in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” — “some... are more equal than others.”

Sure, I know there is a sentimental attachment some people have to party designations, and you can make a case that Democrats lean a certain way and Republicans lean another way, but the facts of the past 50 years speak pretty loudly.

Since 1961, we have had five Democratic presidents and five Republican presidents. Congress has been a bit more Democratic over that long period, but you would be hard pressed to see much difference in the outcomes between times of Democratic and Republican control. Problems have continued to grow, and solutions have continued to get more distant in the telescope, no matter who was in control. The current debt crisis is just one more example of that. George W. Bush was nearly as profligate a spender as Barack Obama, and apparently thought that being a compassionate conservative meant spending more money on social programs than Democrats did.

As for President Obama, what’s his explanation for bombing Libya? How can he possibly jibe his administration’s use of war powers today with his own statement in 2007 that, “The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation”?

Answer: He can’t. It’s just one more example of how political affiliation is more for convenience in getting elected than a statement of values or guarantee of where you stand.

Another place where both parties have an abysmal record for acting in accord with the wishes of the people is border control and immigration sanity. Don’t forget — it was President Bush who tried to push through amnesty for illegal immigrants, with the support of many Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

And it wasn’t the Republican Party that stopped that disaster from happening; it was the American people, rousing from their slumber long enough to slam a sledgehammer of email, faxes and phone calls into the Capitol. Congress got the message — barely. The amnesty bill was shut down and people started talking about enforcing border security instead of legalizing criminal behavior.

But as always happens, the powers that be were just waiting for America to go back to sleep — Democrats kept talking about “comprehensive immigration reform,” the code words for amnesty, and Republicans kept trying to figure out how they could vote for it and still get re-elected.

A funny thing happened on the way to the re-vote that many in Congress had hoped for, however; the Tea Party movement emerged, partly as a followup to the amnesty fight and partly as a bulwark against increased government spending that was proposed in the wake of the 2008 economic collapse.

What the Tea Party realized long before most people did was that 20 million illegal aliens inside our borders are a huge drain on government services and taxpayer dollars. If we are against government spending money on citizens, we are adamant in our opposition to spending money to protect people who have broken the law to take advantage of our hospitality.

But if you think that Republicans are going to take the common sense approach to the immigration crisis, just take a look at Utah to see how wrong you are.

In a state that is arguably the most Republican in the country, a bill was recently signed into law that allows illegal immigrants to become legal residents of Utah. That’s right. Pay a fine of $2,500 and be on the road to not just a driver’s license, but also in-state tuition, safety-net benefits, and possibly even the right to vote! Talk about a path to citizenship!

Democrats are no doubt giddy over such a development, but the problem is that it would take federal approval to work — and if the feds were to allow Utah to develop its own immigration policy, it would also have to acknowledge the right of Arizona to do the same thing.

Since Arizona wants to do the right thing and send illegals aliens back to their homes in Mexico and elsewhere, that’s never going to happen!

But in the meantime, we are left with the incredibly important lesson that party membership is no guarantee of common sense, nor a safeguard against hypocrisy or foolishness. If you trust a political party to do the right thing, you aren’t paying attention.

Don’t trust Democrats, don’t trust Republicans, don’t even trust the Tea Party. If you expect anything to get done, trust yourself. Speak up, speak louder, speak until you are heard. Don’t let someone else do it — because they aren’t always speaking for you, and by the time you figure that out, it’s often too late.

Frank Miele/Daily Inter Lake

We can learn from the Japanese

Did you know his highway was already repaired? Have I missed something in the news lately?  Apparently I have.

The picture of gaping chasms in a Japanese highway demonstrated the power of the March 11 earthquake.

Now the astonishing speed of reconstruction is being used to highlight the nation’s ability to get back on its feet.

Work began on March 17 and six days later the cratered section of the Great Kanto Highway in Naka was as good as new. It was ready to re-open to traffic last night.
Now you see it...: This stretch of the Great Kanto highway was wrecked by deep chasms in the March 11 earthquake - but was repaired in just six days
Read all the rest here.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

How deep into socialism are we? Pretty deep!

FIGURES… SEIU Is Partner With Obama’s Conservation Youth Corps
Posted by Jim Hoft on Saturday, March 26, 2011, 6:47 PM

Big Government Socialists Never Sleep—
Just when you thought this radical administration was ready to cut back on their socialist agenda they surprise you with another shockingly radical initiative.

Team Obama announced this week the formation of their American Conservation Youth Corps.
Read it all here at Gateway Pundit.  You can tell by my labels what I think of this.  I actually knew a man who was in Hitler Youth.  It was not fun, it was be like the rest or else.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Not just lies, but slander?

I'm not a lawyer, just a little old lady, but I call this slander.
Horrible… Obama and Reuters Rewrite History to Smear Bush
Posted by Jim Hoft

Horrible.

Barack Obama smeared Bush this week while discussing Libya in Chile.

The Plum Line reported, via FOX Nation:
In Chile, Obama puts forth his doctrine, defending the Libya mission by claiming that humanitarian interventionism is the “core principle that has to be upheld.”

Crucially, Obama also took a tacit shot at Bush, comparing his own multilateral approach favorably to the former president’s:

“In the past there have been times when the United States acted unilaterally or did not have full international support, and as a consequence typically it was the United States military that ended up bearing the entire burden.”

Adding to the confusion… Reuters repeated the lie yesterday.
That wasn't confusion - that was slander.
Obama is committed to partnering with other countries rather than going it alone as did his predecessor George W. Bush, which both broadens and complicates the decision-making process.
This was a lie.

President Bush had twice as many allies in his Iraqi Coalition than Obama has in Libya.
Reuters… And Obama… Need to apologize and correct their awful smear against Bush.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Voter ID at last!

This is from the Texas Tribune
Voter ID Passes House After Long, Emotional Debate
by Julian Aguliar

After more than 11 hours of debate, seven points of order, more than 60 amendments and nearly as many heated exchanges, a mentally vanquished and emotionally exhausted Texas House preliminarily approved the controversial voter ID bill late tonight.

The bill, SB 14, which would require that voters present a form of approved photo identification to cast a ballot, was passed strictly along party lines, 101-48.

Throughout the debate, Democrats opposed the bill that Gov. Rick Perry designated as an emergency item. They tried — and failed — time and again through amendments to loosen the strict voting requirements.

State Rep. Patricia Harless, R-Spring, the bill’s House sponsor, bore the brunt of the Democrats’ frustrations. But she and Republican supporters of the measure dug in, and rejected even moderate proposals for change. With Republicans accounting for 101 of the 150 legislators in the House, the bill’s approval was never in doubt.

Republicans argued, as they have through years of working to pass the measure, that requiring photo identification is necessary to stop voter fraud, to restore integrity at the ballot box and to increase voter confidence and turnout. Democrats countered that voter fraud at the polling place is a myth, and that if it occurs at all, it is through mail-in ballots, a problem the bill would do nothing to address. Instead, they said, requiring photo ID would disenfranchise thousands of voters, including the elderly, minorities and students.
I cannot understand the Democratic issues here, we must have a photo ID for so many things, including the privilege to drive, why should we not have one to vote?  Their argument is a specious one.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Infrastructure, not radiation is the real worry

And Victor Davis Hanson knows how to say it much better than I.
The Fragility of Complex Societies
Thoughts on Japan
There is no more ordered, successful and humane urban society than found in Japan. Like most Americans, these last few days I have been moved as never before by the courage and calm of the Japanese people amid such horrific conditions, as one of the most sophisticated and complex urbanized cultures on the planet in a split second is nearly paralyzed. I confess I do not quite fathom the constant American news blitzes about all sorts of China Syndrome scenarios. Radiation pollution is a serious worry, but right now no one has died from exposure and perhaps 10,000 have perished from the tsunami and earthquake. It seems to me the greater worry right now is not yet a meltdown, but the vast dangers resulting from disruptions in food, water, power, and sewage.

Odder still, it was almost crass to watch American TV heads lead in with shrill, hyped-up mini-dramas about possible radiation clouds descending here on the West Coast, even as their backdrop screens showed biblical disasters of earthquake, flood and human wreckage. Whether we are exposed to a chest-X-ray dose of radiation seems insignificant in comparison to the horrific conditions that millions of Japanese are now enduring.
Read it all here. He says it all so well.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A very good question from bookworm

Question of the day
posted by Don Quixote on Mar 13 2011

Why are so many people who are unwilling to do anything to stop Iran from getting and intentionally using nuclear weapons so freaked out at the possibility of a nuclear accident?
A very good question, indeed.  But I think we know the answer.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Texas Public Beaches Act

High court will revisit its ruling on beach access
Harris County among entities pushing the move
By ALLAN TURNER

Faced with a tidal wave of legal protests, the Texas Supreme Court Friday agreed to reconsider a California woman's lawsuit that ended in a controversial ruling last November that left public access to some beaches in question.

The court's decision to reopen the Carole Severance case — oral arguments will begin April 19 — came at the behest of Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson.

Harris County and the city of Galveston joined 18 other area counties, cities and chambers of commerce in submitting friend of the court briefs supporting Patterson.

"This is nothing less than a second chance for the Texas Open Beaches Act," Patterson said in a statement. "Public access to the beach is a Texas tradition that predates the Republic. Today's decision by the court to take another look at its decision in this case is great news."
Read it all here in The Houston Chronicle.

Brian de Palma is partially responsible for murders of American Soldiers

German Authorities Confirm that Frankfurt Shooter Viewed De Palma Clip
The combination of fictional American “atrocities” and radical Islamic preaching appears to have led Arid Uka to kill.
by John Rosenthal

According to the German wire service dapd, the German Attorney General’s Office has confirmed that the video clip viewed by the Frankfurt Airport shooter Arid Uka — and that allegedly provoked him to kill American soldiers — was indeed the rape scene from Brian De Palma’s fictional anti-Iraq War movie Redacted. Attorney General spokesperson Frank Wallenta confirmed the identity of the clip to the German television news magazine Spiegel TV.

Uka viewed the De Palma clip as part of a four-and-a-half minute propaganda video that was posted on a German-language YouTube page under the title “American Soldiers Rape our Sisters! Awake Oh Ummah.” The video was removed from YouTube shortly after the publication of a Pajamas Media report noting its existence and linking it. It can currently be viewed on The Daily Caller here.

In addition to the rape scene, the propaganda video contains three other scenes. One shows American soldiers breaking down the door of a family’s home and rushing into the home with guns raised; a second shows American soldiers touching Iraqi girls; and the third shows what appears to be an Arabic-language news report and attempts to revive a severely wounded pregnant woman who has been shot at an American checkpoint. The “reporter” is shown interviewing the woman’s fraught brother as attempts are made to save her life. The “reporter” then announces that the woman has died.

All four of the scenes are in fact fictional scenes taken from Brian De Palma’s film Redacted. Two shots of Arabic text, as well as some music and Arabic voice-over, have been added to the De Palma footage.
Read it all here.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pajamas Media » Why Do Islamic Groups Fear Hearings on Islamic Radicalization?

I'd like to point out that as Americans and as Christians, the majority of us shun the Westboro Baptist Church for their ugly radical behavior. We and American Islamics should be doing the same to the radical Islamics. This is a good place to start. You can't have a McCarthy witch hunt these days, the internet community doesn't allow it to happen. Why refuse to give radical Islam the same shunning as we give the WBC?

Pajamas Media » Why Do Islamic Groups Fear Hearings on Islamic Radicalization?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I missed this when it first came out, Texas wins!!!

Iowahawk can be very, very funny but sometimes he gets serious and puts out facts. Facts that he as a former professor can use to good advantage, this is one of those times. Because he is so thorough I am posting the WHOLE thing. Thank you, Iowahawk!
Longhorns 17, Badgers 1
Please pardon this brief departure from my normal folderol, but every so often a member of the chattering class issues a nugget of stupidity so egregious that no amount of mockery will suffice. Particularly when the issuer of said stupidity holds a Nobel Prize.

Case in point: Paul Krugman. The Times' staff economics blowhard recently typed, re the state of education in Texas:

And in low-tax, low-spending Texas, the kids are not all right. The high school graduation rate, at just 61.3 percent, puts Texas 43rd out of 50 in state rankings. Nationally, the state ranks fifth in child poverty; it leads in the percentage of children without health insurance. And only 78 percent of Texas children are in excellent or very good health, significantly below the national average.

Similarly, The Economist passes on what appears to be the cut-'n'-paste lefty factoid du jour:

Only 5 states do not have collective bargaining for educators and have deemed it illegal. Those states and their ranking on ACT/SAT scores are as follows:

South Carolina – 50th
North Carolina – 49th
Georgia – 48th
Texas – 47th
Virginia – 44th

If you are wondering, Wisconsin, with its collective bargaining for teachers, is ranked 2nd in the country.

The point being, I suppose, is that unionized teachers stand as a thin chalk-stained line keeping Wisconsin from descending into the dystopian non-union educational hellscape of Texas. Interesting, if it wasn't complete bullshit.

As a son of Iowa, I'm no stranger to bragging about my home state's ranking on various standardized test. Like Wisconsin we Iowans usually rank near the top of the heap on average ACT/SAT scores. We are usually joined there by Minnesota, Nebraska, and the various Dakotas; Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire...

... beginning to see a pattern? Perhaps because a state's "average ACT/SAT" is, for all intents and purposes, a proxy for the percent of white people who live there. In fact, the lion's share of state-to-state variance in test scores is accounted for by differences in ethnic composition. Minority students - regardless of state residence - tend to score lower than white students on standardized test, and the higher the proportion of minority students in a state the lower its overall test scores tend to be.

Please note: this has nothing to do with innate ability or aptitude. Quite to the contrary, I believe the test gap between minority students and white students can be attributed to differences in socioeconomic status. And poverty. And yes, racism. And yes, family structure. Whatever combination of reasons, the gap exists, and it's mathematical sophistry to compare the combined average test scores in a state like Wisconsin (4% black, 4% Hispanic) with a state like Texas (12% black, 30% Hispanic).

So how to compare educational achievement between two states with such dissimilar populations? In data analysis this is usually done by treating ethnicity as a "covariate." A very simple way to do this is by comparing educational achievement between states within the same ethnic group. In other words, do black students perform better in Wisconsin than Texas? Do Hispanic students perform better in Wisconsin or Texas? White students? If Wisconsin's kids consistently beat their Texas counterparts, after controlling for ethnicity, then there's a strong case that maybe Texas schools ought to become a union shop.

Luckily, there is data to answer this question via the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The NAEP is an annual standardized test given to 4th and 8th graders around the country to measure proficiency in math, science, and reading. Participation is fairly universal; if you've had a 4th or 8th grader in the last few years, you're probably familiar with it. Results are compiled on the NAEP website, broken down by grade, state, subject and ethnicity.

So how does brokeass, dumbass, redneck Texas stack up against progressive unionized Wisconsin?

2009 4th Grade Math

White students: Texas 254, Wisconsin 250 (national average 248)
Black students: Texas 231, Wisconsin 217 (national 222)
Hispanic students: Texas 233, Wisconsin 228 (national 227)

2009 8th Grade Math

White students: Texas 301, Wisconsin 294 (national 294)
Black students: Texas 272, Wisconsin 254 (national 260)
Hispanic students: Texas 277, Wisconsin 268 (national 260)

2009 4th Grade Reading

White students: Texas 232, Wisconsin 227 (national 229)
Black students: Texas 213, Wisconsin 192 (national 204)
Hispanic students: Texas 210, Wisconsin 202 (national 204)

2009 8th Grade Reading

White students: Texas 273, Wisconsin 271 (national 271)
Black students: Texas 249, Wisconsin 238 (national 245)
Hispanic students: Texas 251, Wisconsin 250 (national 248)

2009 4th Grade Science

White students: Texas 168, Wisconsin 164 (national 162)
Black students: Texas 139, Wisconsin 121 (national 127)
Hispanic students: Wisconsin 138, Texas 136 (national 130)

2009 8th Grade Science

White students: Texas 167, Wisconsin 165 (national 161)
Black students: Texas 133, Wisconsin 120 (national 125)
Hispanic students: Texas 141, Wisconsin 134 (national 131)

To recap: white students in Texas perform better than white students in Wisconsin, black students in Texas perform better than black students in Wisconsin, Hispanic students in Texas perform better than Hispanic students in Wisconsin. In 18 separate ethnicity-controlled comparisons, the only one where Wisconsin students performed better than their peers in Texas was 4th grade science for Hispanic students (statistically insignificant), and this was reversed by 8th grade. Further, Texas students exceeded the national average for their ethnic cohort in all 18 comparisons; Wisconsinites were below the national average in 8, above average in 8.

Perhaps the most striking thing in these numbers is the within-state gap between white and minority students. Not only did white Texas students outperform white Wisconsin students, the gap between white students and minority students in Texas was much less than the gap between white and minority students in Wisconsin. In other words, students are better off in Texas schools than in Wisconsin schools - especially minority students.

Conclusion: instead of chanting slogans in Madison, maybe it's time for Wisconsin teachers to take refresher lessons from their non-union counterparts in the Lone Star State.

****
Update: a few emails complaining that I focused on NAEP 4th and 8th graders, and didn't address Krugman's "point" about Texas dropout rates. I would note that "average state dropout rate" (non-controlled for ethnicity) is as uninformative as "average state ACT/SAT." Some research suggests Hispanic students, for example, tend to have higher dropout rates than black students despite performing marginally better on standardized tests. But still, the level of Texas dropout rate claimed by Krugman (38%+) is rather disturbing, and it does seem rather odd that somewhere between 8th and 12th grade Texas students are attacked by an epidemic of stupidity.

So I decided to investigate.

Mr. Krugman (please note - I don't call anyone "Doctor" unless they can write me a prescription for drugs) doesn't mention where he gets his dropout statistic from. I suspect a database somewhere in his lower intestine. So I endeavored to find most detailed / recent / comprehensive state-by-state dropout table, which appears to be this 2006-7 report from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Event Dropout Rates for 9th-12th graders during 2006-7 school year:

White students: Texas 1.9%, Wisconsin 1.2% (national average 3.0%)
Black students: Texas 5.8%, Wisconsin 7.8% (national 6.8%)
Hispanic students: Texas 5.6%, Wisconsin 5.2% (national 6.5%)

White and Hispanic Texas students indeed seem to dropout at a higher rate than their counterparts in Wisconsin, although in both cases (a) the difference is not statistically significant; and (b) in both cases, both states are significantly below the national average. Among black high school students, Texans have significantly lower dropout rates than their national cohort and Wisconsinites. Black high school students in Wisconsin have significantly higher dropout rates than national.

Your first question is probably, "why do the union teachers in Wisconsin hate black students?" Sorry, can't help you there, I'm stumped too.

Your second question is probably, "why are these number so discrepant with the 30% dropout numbers I've always read?" The reason is these are event rates, representing the probability a kid will drop out in a specific year. For cumulative dropout rate, you would have to compound; for example if the 1-year dropout rate is 10% the 4 year survival would roughly be 0.9^4 =~ 65%.

Even the WAPO knows it is the same policy

Obama's new Gitmo policy is a lot like Bush's old policy
By Dana Milbank
It was another important moment in the education of Barack Obama.

He began his presidency with a pledge to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay within a year. Within months, he realized that was impossible. And now he has essentially formalized George W. Bush's detention policy.

With Monday's announcement that the Obama administration would resume military tribunals at Gitmo, conservatives rushed out triumphant I-told-you-sos. Liberal supporters again felt betrayed. Administration officials had some 'splainin to do.
We can only hope the 'splainin is that he finally learned something.

Purim in Wisconsin? - Page 1 - Marvin Olasky - Townhall Conservative

Once again, it is all about the comments. This is the clearest explanation of the lies of the big government push for the unions in Wisconsin that I have found. Read the article, read the comments.

Commenter Big_D_ Wrote:

"Wisconsin is leading the charge -
I had the opportunity to listen in on a Tea Party Patriots conference call this evening, where I listened to a couple of GOP House members and the WI lieutenant governor, as well as several others, speaking about the current fight over fiscal responsibility being waged in Washington and in several state capitols.
One speaker was Bob Williams of Sunshine Review, who framed the real issue being addressed in Wisconsin more succinctly than I have heard it before.

The Unions, the Democrats, and the Media have a narrative that this is about viciously depriving union members of their right to collective bargaining. (more detail at http://www.statebudgetsolutions.org/issues/detail/unions)

This is a lie (ok, it is a gross misdirection of attention).

The most important part of the Wisconsin bill is restoring the right of personal free choice to Wisconsin citizens who are in state government jobs (including teachers). It stipulates that public employee unions must hold an annual election to reaffirm the will of their members to be organized. This is similar to, but different than, “Right to Work” which allows individuals in a union shop to opt in or out of the union.

That is what the whiners and fleebaggers are so afraid of. They aren’t afraid of providing more employee contributions for benefits—they already offered to do that. They aren’t really so afraid of the limited restrictions that would be placed on “collective bargaining”—specifically that they could no longer collectively bargain for benefits, or for salary that would outstrip the CPI. Remember, they are “collective bargaining” with themselves, via the people they get elected with their union money (except, thankfully, last November). Their employer—the taxpayer—is not in the collective bargaining room. This is the fundamental difference between public and private employee unions. So if there wasn’t “collective bargaining”, they could probably get what they want anyway.

Now they are organizing recall campaigns against GOP state senators, who have been doing their jobs as their constituencies elected them to do, while their Democrat fellows have been hiding outside of extradition range.

I think that if everyone understood these facts, and the imperative facing most states to cut spending or be bankrupt, the public outrage at this travesty of the Democrat power-brokers would be deafening.

You know that several other states are in early stages of doing the same, or similar, things. If Wisconsin prevails, it will embolden additional states to take this difficult but necessary step toward fiscal recovery.

ON WISCONSIN!!"
Purim in Wisconsin? - Marvin Olasky -

Monday, March 7, 2011

Be Bold, or Go Home - - Mike Needham - Townhall Conservative

As you can probably tell from these posts, Townhall Conservative is one of the blogs I check out daily. Some days they really hit home, some days not so much. Today they are hitting home. Go take a look at them, they post some really good stuff.
Be Bold, or Go Home - Mike Needham - Townhall Conservative

A Word of Warning for Hill Republicans -- Carol Platt Liebau - Townhall Conservative

I agree that most politicians, be they Republicans or Democrats, STILL. DON'T. GET. IT.
We, the American people have had it. Enough. Either get to work on the deficit,or get out. Once again, the comments are the most telling part. Read the comments.
A Word of Warning for Hill Republicans - Page 1 - Carol Platt Liebau - Townhall Conservative

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Yep, Obama's G-Men Are Part of the Mexico Problem

The ATF put a lot of guns in the hands of Mexican cartel killers -- who killed with them. This is another story that broke on the conservative sites and blogs a few weeks ago and the mainstream media wouldn't touch because it indicted their Golden Boy. But now it's on CBS, so even the Liberals have had enough here.

Agent: I was ordered to let U.S. guns into Mexico
ATF agent says "Fast and Furious" program let guns "walk" into hands of Mexican drug cartels with aim of tracking and breaking a big case
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/03/eveningnews/main20039031.shtml

Union Contracts, Not Pay, Are States’ Problem

A fair and balanced story from the New York Times. (Even a broke clock is right twice a day...) It is encouraging to read the level-headed comments that agree and see that clarity sometimes comes even to readers of the Times.

". . .It has become conventional wisdom to say that public sector unions are inherently problematic because they can use their political influence to win lavish pay from politicians. But that’s not quite right. The real problem with most union contracts for public workers is not the money — it’s almost everything else. "

Read it here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/02/business/02leonhardt.html?_r=1

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Collective Bargaining for Public Employees is Wrong

Time to review the simple truth: Collective bargaining for public employees is wrong because it is a conflict of interest.

Management is elected -- often because of huge donations from the union that management will end up negotiating with. So the unions put their money behind the candidate that will make them the best deals. It is about deal making, not about public service and fiscal responsibility. Public employees should not be able to strike either.

It has happened and is happening. And many unions' overly-lucrative pensions (which are drowning states in debt) are the evidence. Pensions negotiated with people they had a strong hand in electing. It is the fox guarding the hen house as much as any conflict of interest in the private sector. The conditions that allow it to happen should not exist. That means no collective bargaining for public employees. It is that simple.

Furthermore, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin should say it loud and clear. Not hide behind his short-term budget goals.