Tag Archives: labor unions

Right to Work States Have Healthier Economies

This week Wisconsin became the 25th state in the union to pass and sign into law so-called “right to work” legislation. Despite the pejorative light oftentimes associated with right to Work (RTW) laws, in reality all they do is proscribe the requirement that a worker join or pay dues to a union as a qualification for employment.

2015-Right-To-Work-States-Map-updated Unions often view laws removing compulsory union membership for work in the private sector as “anti-union,” while advocates of right to work laws maintain it’s a matter of personal liberty and economic freedom. They argue that workers in given trades or industries should have the option to choose whether to join a union or not. Arguably, if a union is doing a good job representing the interests of its members, it should not be threatened by the freedom to choose, as the benefits of union membership would be self-evident.

Even some union leadership supports such a sentiment. Gary Casteel, the Southern region director for the United Auto Workers, explains, “This is something I’ve never understood, that people think right to work hurts unions. To me, it helps them. You don’t have to belong if you don’t want to. So if I go to an organizing drive, I can tell these workers, ‘If you don’t like this arrangement, you don’t have to belong.’ Versus, ‘If we get 50 percent of you, then all of you have to belong, whether you like to or not.’ I don’t even like the way that sounds, because it’s a voluntary system, and if you don’t think the system’s earning its keep, then you don’t have to pay.”

right_to_work_1One cannot be a student of history without recognizing the tremendous contributions unions made to the emergence of the middle class in early to mid 20th century America. They significantly improved working conditions, workweek hours, and compensation levels.

In today’s highly competitive economy, their focus seems to have changed, as they seem to be primarily political entities today, with compulsory union dues used mostly for amassing power in the political arena, and spent on candidates and causes that some members may object to. Even Bob Chanin, former top lawyer for the National Education Association, admitted that in his farewell speech a few years ago. “It’s not about the kids…it’s about power,” he said.

hohmanRTW-chart2According to Department of Labor statistics, only about 7% of America’s private sector workforce is unionized. In post World War II era, it was nearly 40%. The trend is reversed for public employees, where 60 years ago the unionized segment of the public employees workforce was less than 10%, while it currently is nearly 37%. Logic leads one to surmise that maybe all those “evil corporations” have gotten it right, and are providing pay and benefits at a level that employees are satisfied with. While the same logic might lead us to believe that, following those trends, it is “evil government” that is taking advantage of employees and must be represented by collective bargaining.

Average wages do tend to be slightly lower in right to work states, as reported by The Wall Street Journal last year. But the differences may be attributable to other factors. As the Journal explained, “Many economists say when differences in cost of living are taken into account, wages are roughly the same—or even higher—in right-to-work states.” When looking at a map of non-right to work states, geographical and cost of living factors seem to affirm that distinction.

GDP Growth Rate Strongest In Right To Work States

GDP Growth Rate Strongest In Right To Work States

Last year the National Institute for Labor Relations released a detailed study of right to work vs. non-right to work states. The research was based upon data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Census Bureau, United States Patent and Research Office and Bureau of Economic Analysis. Five economic factors were analyzed in right to work and non-right to work states in the Midwest, with the following statistical conclusions:

Job growth is twice as strong in RTW states. The percentage growth of non-farm private sector jobs (1995-2005)
in right to work states was 12.9%
while non-right to work states came in at 6.0%.

Perhaps surprising to some, poverty is actually higher in non-right to work states. Average poverty rate, adjusted for cost of living was 8.5% in RTW states, and 10.1% in non-right to work states. This may likewise have more to do with geography and cost of living factors, however.

New company and new product growth is significantly greater in RTW states. During that same period, annual percentage growth in patents granted was 33% in RTW states, and only 11% in non-right to work states.

500px-RTWmapcompleteIncome growth rates are higher in RTW states as well. The percentage growth in real personal income was 26.0%
in RTW states, while non-right to work states grew at 19.0%.

Even health insurance coverage in RTW states fared better. Note that this data was gathered before implementation of Obamacare. The percentage growth in number of people covered by employment based private health insurance was 8.5% for RTW states, and 0.7%
for non-right to work states.

Consequently, based on National Institute for Labor Relations research, right to work states create more private sector jobs, enjoy lower poverty rates, experience more technology development, realize more personal income growth, and increase the number of people covered by employment-based private health insurance. Clearly when looking at the big picture, the economy of a state is more likely to be more robust when the workforce has the freedom to choose.

Associated Press award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho and is a graduate of Idaho State University with degrees in Political Science and History and coursework completed toward a Master’s in Public Administration. He can be reached at [email protected].

Bought & Paid For, Part II

National and local unions have taken over the Minnesota legislature.

solidarity fistThe elections of 2012 saw an unprecedented $100 million dollars spent by large employee unions throughout the United States. More than $11 million of that money was spent in Minnesota. Bought and Paid For… Minnesota Legislature lists some of the powerful democrats who are pushing bills through legislative committees that are clearly inspired by various unions. Those same unions supported their campaigns through endorsements and financial contributions.

Expanding on the previous list, here is an investigation into the democrat members of the MN House Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries Committee who have also been bought and paid for by employee unions.

Representative Sheldon Johnson: Chair of the Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries Committee

Endorsed by AFSCME, MAPE, Teamsters, Education MN, MNA, IBEW, and various police, firefighter, building, trades, and transportation unions.

Johnson was a Union Steward for Teamsters 320.

Johnson has received the following campaign donations: $8,400 from public employee unions, $4,100 from civil servants/public officials, $3,000 from building trade unions, and another $3,700 from miscellaneous unions.

Representative Mike Sundin: freshman legislator and Vice Chair of the Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries Committee

Endorsed by AFSCME, AFL-CIO, IBEW, MN Farmers Union, Teamsters, United Transportation Union, Education MN, and 11 other unions.

Sundin is a professional painter and was part of the Internation Union of Painters and Allied Tradees (IUPAT).

Representative Peter Fischer: freshman legislator

Endorsed by AFSCME, AFL-CIO, MNA, MAPE, Education MN, Teamsters.

In his final campaign finance report submitted in January 2013, Fischer reported donations in excess of $4,000 from unions including IBEW, Education MN, MAPE, Iron Workers and more.

Representative Carolyn Laine: Vice Chair of MN House Early Childhood and Youth Development Policy Committee which already passed the forced unionization bill

Endorsed by AFSCME, SEIU, IBEW, AFL-CIO, Teamsters, MAPE, United Transportation Union, various police, firefighters, nurses and farmers unions

Received 42% of campaign donations from out-of-state sources.
Received more than $8,000 in campaign contributions from unions.

Represenative Shannon Savick

Received the following donations for her 2012 campaign:
SEIU $250
Education MN $450
IBEW $700
Joint Council 32 (Teamsters) $500
MAPE $250
AFL-CIO $250
MNA $500
Laborers Council of MN & ND Pol Fund $500
United Food and Commercial Workers Union $500

Representative Michael Nelson: Professional carpenter for 22 years before working directly for a carpenters union in 2000

Representative Erik Simonson

Endorsed by AFSCME, AFL-CIO, Firefighters unions, and building/construction trades unions.

Over $3500 in Simonson’s 2012 campaign contributions were from city and state employees.

15 employee unions donated more than $6,300, including $500 from AFSCME, $250 from AFL-CIO, $200 from Public Employee Services Association, and $250 from Education MN.

Representative Sandra Masin

Endorsed by AFSCME, Education MN, SEIU, AFL-CIO, Joint Council 32 DRIVE (Teamsters), MAPE, Police and Peace Officers Union, Council of Carpenters, United Transportation Union, St. Paul Building Construction Trades Council, MNA.

Campaign contributions from AFSCME, SEIU, MAPE, Education MN and others totaled $4,000 in Masin’s 2012 campaign.

Representative Jason Metsa: currently employeed as Field Coordinator for North East Area Labor Council

11 employee unions contributed to Metsa’s 2012 campaign. Northern Central States Carpenters union contributed $500 and Virginia Eveleth Carpenters Local #606 donated $300.

The MN House Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries Committee heard the introduction and testimony on the forced unionization of in-home child care business owners today and is expected to pass the bill onto the House floor later in the session. Both AFSCME and SEIU will see an influx of thousands of new members should the bill pass making private business owners employees of the State of Minnesota.

The information for this article was obtained via the MN Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board and individual candidate campaign websites. Some endorsement and other information was obtained from ProjectVoteSmart.org.
Author of the MN Senate version of the child care provider unionization bill is Senator Sandy Pappas. What are her ties to unions? What happened in her committee: Read here: It’s Payback Time
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Here We Go Again: A Discussion with Numbers USA’s Rosemary Jenks

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 10.12.17 AMWith the “Gang of Eight” announcing their immigration reform package yesterday, I’m sure many American found the deal sensible, rational, and fair.  It’s a bipartisan deal, which pleases the independent segments of the electorate, and has Sen. Marco Rubio endorsing it wholeheartedly.  Immigration keeps the United States economically vibrant, unlike Europe, which has become older, grayer, and more Islamized.  We should welcome immigrants, but not at the cost of undermining our economic interests – which is what NumbersUSA, an organization dedicated to common sense immigration reform, is trying to tell members of Congress.  I was able to speak with Rosemary Jenks, NumbersUSA’s Director of Government Relations, about the new proposal last night.

On NumbersUSA’s website, they lay out the details of the package:

 1. Create a tough but fair path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States that is contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country when required;

2. Reform our legal immigration system to better recognize the importance of characteristics that will help build the American economy and strengthen American families;

3. Create an effective employment verification system that will prevent identity theft and end the hiring of future unauthorized workers; and,

4. Establish an improved process for admitting future workers to serve our nation’s workforce needs, while simultaneously protecting all workers.

It doesn’t sound like snake oil, but anything from government that sounds too good to be true – tends to be that way.  Case in point, the passing of Obamacare.  However, to low-information voters, or those who aren’t privy to immigration data, it represents, as Jenks said:

…part of the problem with the immigration debate because when you see an outline of a proposal, and you don’t know a whole lot about the issue, it tends to look pretty reasonable.  It’s only when you get into the details that things start to fall apart. So, you know for example – the bottom line is that this proposal is virtually identical to the proposal from the Gang of Eight in 2007. And I actually like Sen. Sessions’s title for them better, which is “masters of the universe.”  They basically have been meeting behind closed doors.  They don’t allow anyone else into the meetings – anyone who might disagree with them – and then they come out with this grand announcement, and assume that everyone will fall in line and vote for it. But the problem is that this proposal is not well thought out in terms of what’s best for America. And part of the reason for that is that involved in their little secret meetings, and closed-door negotiations, are groups like the AFL-CIO, the Chamber of Commerce, and organized religion, the ethnic advocacy groups – special interest groups have all had their say, but the one group that’s always left out of these negotiations is the America people. So, here we go again – starting this whole process, and we’re looking at essentially the same proposals with the same meaningless so-called triggers that aren’t actually triggers – and massive amnesty.

Closed-door negotiations? It’s a bit ironic that comprehensive immigration reform that intends to keep us an open, immigrant friendly nation needs to be fleshed out in secret meetings.  However, what shocked me was the involvement of the AFL-CIO.  The Democratic wing that’s beholden to union interests have usually opposed illegal immigration since they allow, for example, contractors to underbid union contracts.  Why are they for amnesty? Jenks explains that:

basically, the unions have an interest in amnesty because immigrants, legal or illegal, is the only growing population of union-dues paying members. If they want to continue their dues, the need to legalize the illegal population to keep them here, keep them unionized, and keep them paying dues.  So in exchange for that amnesty, they’ve made a deal with the Chamber of Commerce, in which the unions give up on guest workers – to get amnesty – and the Chamber gives them amnesty to get guest workers.  So, everybody wins, except the American worker.

However, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) did say, at the close of the press conference yesterday, that the proposal will tie  immigration the influx of legal immigration to the nation’s unemployment rate.  However, Jenks wasn’t convinced that this item in the package will be taken seriously.

 Well, the fact that they’re talking about giving expedited amnesty to AG workers [agricultural workers] and to dreamers – and then some kind of extended amnesty to all of the rest of the eleven million illegal aliens in the country, despite the fact that we have 7.9% unemployment tells me whatever they have in mind for the future is certainly not going to happen because they’ve already vastly exceeded the ability of our economy to employ these people. We’ve already got twenty million Americans who can’t find full-time jobs.  So, we’re going to add eleven million more?

The growth industries in the U.S. economy are mostly highly skilled, high-tech occupations.  So, why would we then be giving a massive amnesty –expedited amnesty – to AG workers, and creating a new guest worker program for low-skilled labor?  It doesn’t make sense.  We should be reforming our legal immigration system to meet the needs of the 21st century. Instead of doing that, they’re basically just packing on a whole bunch of new programs that will continue to flood the labor market, primarily the low-skill labor market, and increase the competition for our own most vulnerable workers. And who’s going to pay for it?  The taxpayers.

Yet, Brad Plumer posted on The Washington Post’s WonkBlog yesterday – and said that illegal immigration has “slowed since 2007.”  So, what’s the big deal?  Isn’t that a positive indicator?

there has been – it appears – through some Census data – that the number of new illegal aliens coming into the United States slowed somewhat during the recession, but there’s also evidence that the number has started to pick up again.  It’s entirely possible that’s because of all this talk of amnesty – but the bottom line is illegal immigration is going to be affected by some small degree by economic changes in the United States.  But the fact is that the illegal population has stayed at about an estimated eleven million. It hasn’t actually dropped.  We still have a huge problem, and you can’t stop illegal immigration by redefining it as legal.   That’s not a long-term solution.

What alternative policy does NumbersUSA endorse to solve this crisis?  Jenks said that since its inception, NumbersUSA has supported the proposals laid out from the 1995 U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, which was chaired by former Texas Congresswoman Barbara Jordan.  Jordan, a Democrat, and her commission had these key points in their report.

  • a scale back of family chain-migration by implementing a prioritization of family relationships to determine who will be admitted through family-based immigration. Spouses and minor children of US citizens would continue to be admitted as first priority;
  • elimination of other family-based admission categories, including:
    • Adult, unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens;
    • Adult, married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens;
    • Adult, unmarried sons and daughters of legal permanent residents; and
    • Siblings of U.S. citizens.
  • a focus on the admission of highly-skilled individuals to support the national interest by bringing to the U.S. individuals whose skills would benefit our society. Recommended the elimination of the admission of unskilled workers and elimination of the diversity visa lottery;
  • immigration admissions level of 550,000 per year, to be divided as follows:
    • Nuclear family immigration 400,000;
    • Skill-based immigration 100,000;
    • Refugee resettlement 50,000.
  • Stressed deportation is crucial. Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: those who should get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave.

Without a doubt, amnesty will be unpalatable to Republicans in the House.  As a naturalized citizen, who immigrated via adoption from South Korea, I want America to remain an open nation.  However, there are rules.  It’s unfair to the legal immigrants to be cast aside because millions of illegals broke the law.  They’ve waited patiently, and now they’re about to be cut in line.  There’s something unethical about it, but we shall see how conservatives react to this new amnesty push – even with the stringent standards attached to the pathway to citizenship.

Originally Posted on PJ Tatler.

Do Union Organizers Want Us to Dislike Them?

union cardThough most of the news coverage in Michigan this week has been tepid, showing calm crowds protesting quietly, a few intrepid journalists entered the protest area and filmed a far more violent and angry mob. (Even Huffington Post had to admit things got more than a little out of hand when Conservative Steven Crowder was punched, not once, but four times when he dared to question the protestors. You can see the video here.)

Also this week there is a union protest in Philadelphia by electricians who did not get an apartment renovation job. But again, not a quiet march with pickets, these protesters are blaring a loud recorded message that includes an annoyingly long crying jag by a fussy baby. The electricians are protesting the use of a non-union contractor to do electrical work on renovations at the apartment building. Residents say they have nothing against organized labor making a point, but this?

“I know everybody says they’ve got their rights,” says longtime apartment resident Jean Smith, “and that’s fine. But don’t we have rights too, that we have to hear this constantly- every day?”
“The crying of the baby- it doesn’t give them no sympathy,” says apartment dweller David Dickson. “It’s not helping them.”

At a time when unions seem to be losing their strength one would think, no expect, that they would promote themselves in a positive light, explaining to the public why they can be helpful to the average worker. Instead incidents like these examples beg the question, do union organizers really want us to dislike them?
Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Jim DeMint – Change in Washington Can Only Come From the Outside

Great conservatives like Marco Rubio, Mike Lee and Rand Paul can only be topped with a Senate majority. If so, it won’t be with Senator DeMint as he moves to the Heritage Foundation. The true fight in engaging Washington and politics in general is from the outside.

…you cannot change Washington from the inside. You can only change it from the outside. That's how I got elected. That's how the biggest accomplishments like healthcare got done was because we mobilized the American people to speak out.

Barack Obama


Universities indoctrinate thousands of liberals annually, these indoctrinated students are painfully brought back to reality through life experiences. Some never leave their theoretical world, only to validate their flawed concepts. As universities place these misguided in powerful positions, our society begins to deteriorate.

Media and Hollywood reinforce these false concepts with keenly worded polls and convenient news to push political agendas. Bob Costa's choose gun control over Jovan Belchers' fractured family? How convenient a Small Arms treaty is awaiting ratification rather than the destruction of unwedded parents, raising a child in a dysfunctional home. You have the perfect contributions of Hollywood when you throw in cinematography, a famous actor and a great storyline.

MI protestCommunity organizations and unions drive similar messages. Life's hard lessons are the fault of greedy bankers loaning money to the poor or business owners providing jobs rather than bad legislation. In 2010, union workers made up 11.4% of the workforce; now only 7%. Unions see private businesses fall apart because they bargain for more power, squeezing every last profit out until no business has anything to fall back on. Community organizations (also referred to as Non Governmental Organizations) such as the Sierra Club, PETA or ACORN advocate for the distressed. If negotiating or the problem was solved, community organizations and unions would no longer need to exist.

Universities, unions, community organizations and media use groupthink, authority and compartmentalization to whip mobs into frenzies so they maintain their political power. These outside agencies influence our political system through subversion and power. They use individual actions to justify their broad, collective advocacy or propaganda.

In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.

Thomas Jefferson

     Our Constitutional Republic was created to protect individual rights from the frenzied mobs. As they lobby the collective, the repercussion destroys the individual and any opposition. Change to Washington must come from the outside. Instead of solving problems on there own, these groups demand Washington and local governments intervene through legislation.

The true power struggle is no longer in Washington DC, we must realize the front lines are in our community. Our reality and way of life is threatened as long as universities, unions, community organizations and media maintain power through manipulation and coercion. This is why Jim DeMint made a fabulous move in moving his fight to the outside.

It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions…There are men, in all ages…who mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters…

Daniel Webster

Toys, Tech and Twinkies: When unions go awry

The news is ripe with new union pushes for more rights, more benefits more money, fewer cuts, less hardship… all regardless of what the economy is doing. A lack of inexpensive toys, electronics and dessert food may be the cost of union member’s demands that they get more of everything while the rest of middle-to-low income America is earning less.

Unions have never been great students of economics. The fact that our current President and Senate Majority Leader pay them so much homage shows that perhaps our federal government also does not fully comprehend how a real free economy actually functions.

Next Friday, “Black Friday” as it is called, is the beginning of profitability for many retailers. Now, many union-influenced Wal-Mart employees are planning a massive walkout just as many American consumers are preparing to do the bulk of their holiday shopping.

Unions aren’t only going after toys and electronics. Twinkies, cupcakes, ho hos, ding dongs, suzy q’s, sno balls, zingers and danishes may all cease to exist once Hostess decides to close its doors. While Hostess has reached an agreement with it’s teamsters union, the baker’s union is holding the company hostage. Hostess has asked for a 4% overall pay cut to deal with the downturn in the economy and the unions have refused. As of 5pm today, the highly-specialized Twinkie bakers of hostess had not yet agreed to return to work – Hostess has said that it can no longer afford the union’s demands and will seek to close the company and sell all assets.

The Irving, Texas-based company employs about 18,300 people nationwide and filed for Chapter 11 protection in January, its second trip through bankruptcy court in less than a decade. Hostess cited increasing pension and medical costs for employees as one of the drivers behind its latest filing.

In economic downturns, many Americans have had to take less pay, fewer benefits, jobs that offer less or no job at all. Who does the baker’s union think buys Twinkies? With Hostess in its second bankruptcy, it is more likely that union demands will drive it out of business and the “bakers” will have to find work elsewhere – if they can. As Hostess employee Marty Raymond put it, “I’m 59 years old. I’d like to get five more years, and I’ve been working with all these workers all these years and they just don’t want to listen. They listen to the union.”

With all the talk of “shared sacrifice” from the President, the unions are looking like the most greedy of all. The economy is struggling and so are most Americans. To have a certain segment of the population decide that they deserve more while the rest of us do with less is greed – pure and simple. What’s worse is that less than 20% of the Hostess workforce is on strike – the rest will lose their jobs over union demands.

Wal-Mart employees are important because the store won’t operate without managers, stockers, cashiers and receivers. While they are free to voice their grievances  their jobs are not so highly-specialized that it will be difficult to replace them – especially in today’s job market. I am not sure that Twinkie bakers are much more specialized as the recipe is standardized, repeatable and could probably be shepherded through the automated cycle by anyone that prefers a paycheck over unemployment assistance.

The Hostess jobs are the type that could easily be moved to other countries. It requires no special education, no lengthy training, no licensing or certifications. The FDA wouldn’t care if the Ho Ho’s were made here or Mexico as long as the ingredients and methods stayed the same.

Unions are an out-moded idea. During the early 20th century they helped raise awareness and combat worker abuses. Now they just seek higher compensation than the market would otherwise dictate. Seriously, if there were a huge need for dessert cake bakers, wages would rise on their own so processed food cookeries could attract the best talent. Oddly, that’s not happening so the unions have to step in to artificially inflate wages and benefits.

If turning a blind-eye to the free market economy weren’t enough, the National Labor Relations Board – a highly-political government organization – is expected to force businesses to give personal information to unions:

The National Labor Relations Board is expected to start work on a rule that would force businesses to turn over workers’ phone numbers, emails and shift times to union organizers.

In the end, the average American family loses. Some will find Wal-Marts with long lines or closed doors on the heaviest shopping day of the year. Other’s will find their jobs ended by a few greedy union leaders bent on absolute rule over the economy.

Obama’s bad tryst with coal is going to hurt him

We all know about the Obama administration’s ‘War on Coal.’  It’s an egregious regulatory onslaught against American enterprise.  However, it’s a story that’s often buried by some in the media.  Last month, I wrote about how The Washington Post pushed another event in Obama’s war on coal to page 16 of their September 19 edition.  It was when “Alpha Natural Resources [planned to] lay off 160 mineworkers and abandon eight mines in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia this week.  Alpha is ‘the largest coal producer by revenue and third-largest in production.’ Talk about President Obama being on the side of workers.”  Furthermore, Investors Business Daily had quoted “Steven Miller, CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, [who] warn[ed] of job losses totaling 1.4 million over the next eight years and a 23% jump in electricity rates in states dependent on coal-fired plants.”

Katrina Trinko at National Review wrote on September 26 that:

The Obama administration has imposed regulations on the coal industry ‘that have huge economic costs, but questionable and minimal environmental benefits,’ says Nicolas Loris, an energy-policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation.’The administration has made the construction of new coal-powered utility plants exceedingly difficult, if not almost impossible, and it has shut down mines or made it much more difficult to keep them open.’

‘The Obama administration has done everything it possibly can to destroy the American coal industry,’ says Mike Carey, chairman of the Ohio Coal Association and vice president of government affairs at the Murray Energy Corporation. ‘Under Obama’s leadership, we have gone from producing 1.2 billion tons to somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 million tons. It’s disingenuous at best for Obama to say that he supports the coal industry when we have lost one-third of our production.’

Although, there was that frivolous “clean coal” ad in 2008 where he supposedly supported burning coal in the U.S., but also said to the San Francisco Chronicle that he would advocate new regulations that would make running new coal plants immensely expensive and bring them to the point of bankruptcy.  Saying one thing and doing another – which will be one of the enduring characteristics of this administration.  I would say incompetence, but that’s axiomatic.

Trinko wrote that Republicans have eyed using coal to undercut Obama this year.  For example, she noted how felon Keith Judd won 42% of the vote in West Virginia’s Democratic primary.  It’s not like coal isn’t part of that state’s life’s blood or anything. (sarcasm)   These economically damaging policies, coupled with an anemic economic recovery, surely influenced West Virginia Democrats last spring, however, WaPo’s Chris Cillizza had another reason: racism.

Robert Stacy McCain at The American Spectator wrote on October 8 that Romney is ‘counting on coal country.’  At a campaign rally for Romney/Ryan in Abingdon, VA, Romney said, ”the head of the EPA has… said that the regulations on burning coal are now so stringent it’s virtually impossible to build a new coal-fired [electrical power] plant…well, I don’t believe in putting our coal under the ground forever. I believe we should take advantage of it, put American workers back to work and use a resource that’s abundant and cheap and can be burned in a clean way.”  A message that surely resonated with McCain noticing all of the pro-coal paraphernalia in the crowd that day.

McCain noted that:

Cap-and-trade legislation passed the House of Representatives during Nancy Pelosi’s speakership before stalling in the Senate, but the failure to pass that law hasn’t prevented Obama from pursuing his anti-coal agenda by other means, namely the regulatory authority of the EPA. Under the leadership of administrator Lisa Jackson, new rules have forced the closure of several existing coal-fired power plants while making it practically impossible to build new coal plants. This radical environmentalist policy enraged Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers, who said that the regulations represent a “decision by the EPA that we’re never going to have another coal-fired facility in the United States that’s constructed.” For a Democratic president so closely allied with the labor movement, Obama’s abandonment of the mine workers is stunning, considering that the head of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, began his career with the UMW.

However, United Mine Workers don’t have to be overly aggressive in their opposition to Obama’s coal policy for the time being since the job cuts to Alpha – which McCain also mentions – doesn’t affect union membership.

McCain reported that “a strong turnout for Romney in southwest Virginia’s coal country could help put the Old Dominion’s 13 Electoral College votes out of reach for Obama, and GOP margins in the coal-mining regions of southeast Ohio may prove pivotal in the all-out fight for the Buckeye State’s 18 Electoral College votes. But the issue has potential political reach beyond the coal fields, as nearly half of the electrical power supply in the United States (and 90 percent in Ohio) comes from coal-fired plants, making Obama’s war on coal a “pocketbook” issue for the many millions of voters who would pay higher electric bills because of the EPA’s squeeze.”

Although, if you live in Texas, not only are you feeling higher electric bills, but the danger of rolling blackouts since the EPA ordered the state to cut down on their carbon dioxide emissions by 47% from 2010 levels.  These regulations put a strain on “the Lone Star State[‘s] power grid… [and] its Public Utility Commission asked the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the grid, about the impact of the new EPA rules. ‘We expect to see 1,200 to 1,400 megawatts of generation capacity unavailable that was available this year,’ responded ERCOT representative Warren Lasher.”  This comes after the state struggled to meet energy demands under the brutal heat of last summer.

Yet, are these regulations necessary?  Trinko quoted “Jason Hayes, communications director for the American Coal Council…[saying] ‘the industry over the past few decades has invested over $100 billion in cleaning up emissions, and it’s already been effective… ‘all of the important noxious pollutants have decreased markedly over the last 30 to 40 years, at the same time that we’ve been using more and more coal, and the expectation is that we’re going to continue investing.”  Furthermore, Hayes noted that “in the next ten years, the industry anticipates spending ‘another $100 billion cleaning up and building newer, more efficient power plants, and we’re doing all of this on top of dealing with all the other things.” The environmental benefits that we’re hearing about are questionable, Hayes adds. ‘The job losses are real. They’re happening right now.”

Just like how Obama put the kibosh on the Keystone pipeline, which would have increased consumer spending and created thousands of jobs, he decides to engage in a needless war against the American worker to placate the insufferable environmental wing of his party.

Who Should Get Credit for “Saving” the Auto Industry?

First, before I start, I need to get this out there: I was/am firmly against the auto industry “bailouts.” I don’t care who did it; I do not believe the government should have rewarded poor business decisions. It’s quite simple in my book. If you make good business decisions, you survive. If you don’t, you fail. By bailing out GM and Chrysler, the government ultimately mitigated risk away from a company and ensured that they would be preserved no matter how badly they performed. The cost of setting this precedent outweighs the short-term benefit of saving these companies. I wrote about this in one of my first ever blog posts: http://loudmouthelephant.blogspot.com/2011/11/too-big-to-fail-dangerous-precedent.html

But why am I writing about this now? For one, Vice President Joe Biden and Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan are set to debate tomorrow, and I’m sure this will come up. Joe Biden is often heard at campaign rallies touting the “Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive” line. Take a look: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120903/POLITICS01/209030369. He even said it in his DNC speech in Charlotte, North Carolina earlier this year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKCwQnIygcw

It’s interesting: President Obama tends to blame George W. Bush for the bad things he “left” us, but he doesn’t give Bush the credit he deserves for the good things. No, Obama tends to take credit for those himself in the most cherry-picked fashion he could. Never mind that the mission to hunt Bin Laden began under Bush, and Obama merely continued the task… I won’t even get into that. I want to talk about the claim that Obama saved the auto industry.

Going forward, I ask a simple question: how does one dole out credit for a success? Well, if I built 75% of a house, and my partner built 25%, I think I would get 75% of the credit and he would get 25%. Or heck, maybe I’d be a nice guy and say it’s even. That’s not the case the democrats are making with respect to “saving” the auto industry. In my opinion, Team Obama tends to think Americans are stupid. They champion the phrase, “we saved the auto industry” while also repeating, “Mitt Romney would have let them go bankrupt.” I will get to that later.

Let’s focus on some simple facts surrounding the auto industry bailout. According to this CBS article (read it here: CBS Fact-Checks DNC Speeches), the auto bailout was started by Bush. Out of a total of $17 billion given to GM and Chrysler, George W. Bush authorized the release of about $13 billion of it. According to the New York Times (Bush Aids Detroit), Bush even left Obama with a manageable situations with various options on handling the developing crisis. The Times article states, “The auto bailout plan sets ‘targets’ rather than concrete requirements about what those concessions may be, meaning that Mr. Obama and his advisers have enormous latitude to decide how to define long-term viability.” It sounds like George W. Bush did a swell job and even left Obama with options. In fact, with respect to whom spent the most money, Bush gave $13/$17 billion, and Obama gave $4/$17 billion. In my book, Bush should get about 76.5% of the credit, and Obama should get about 23.5%  It’s sad, however, that we don’t hear this discussed much in the media, and we constantly hear that phrase “Mitt Romney would have let them go bankrupt.”

So when the left talks about Mitt Romney’s recommendations, what are the referring to? As it turns out, Team Obama is referencing an op-ed Romney published in the New York Times (see it here: NYT Mitt Romney Op-Ed). Interestingly enough, Team Obama plays on the word “bankrupt,” again, while thinking Americans are stupid. They think that if Americans hear the word “bankrupt” they will feel the negative connotation behind it, forgetting the fact that it’s a regulated, potential company-saving instrument. Yes, Mitt Romney advocated for a restructuring of the automaker’s business operations, and most importantly, he called for new leadership. He said:

– “Second, management as is must go. New faces should be recruited from unrelated industries — from companies widely respected for excellence in marketing, innovation, creativity and labor relations.”

Perhaps the last line of the article is the most important:

– “In a managed bankruptcy, the federal government would propel newly competitive and viable automakers, rather than seal their fate with a bailout check.”

You know who else advocated for the auto industry to go through bankruptcy? That’s right: President Obama. As seen in the CBS article highlighted above:

– “Where Mr. Obama put his real stamp on the bailout was setting the parameters in March 2009, allocating General Motors and Chrysler an additional $4 billion in exchange for agreeing to major restructuring of their operations…

Bankruptcy was not off the table for Mr. Obama: in his March 2009 restructuring announcement, Mr. Obama gave GM and Chrysler one month to shape up or face bankruptcy. In fact, Chrysler did file for bankruptcy at the end of April 2009, GM shortly thereafter, though both emerged from bankruptcy stronger than before.”

Wait?! WHAT?! President Obama “let Detroit go bankrupt?!” Yes, you read it correctly: President Obama and Joe Biden, while thinking that Americans are sheer suckers (there really is no other way to put this), gave a minority amount of bailout cash to the automakers and chastised Mitt Romney, all while implementing the EXACT SAME program that Mitt Romney himself suggested.

To go “off the cuff,” I just want to say, “come on, President Obama. Do you really think you can fool us?” I fear, based on how many times I see Team Obama’s “we saved GM” claim on Facebook, I think he believes he can. Please, Paul Ryan, when Joe Biden comes out with his deceitful little quip, be sure to give him a cold bucket of water known as facts.

Yes, facts are facts, truths are truths, and I think it’s my job to pass this one on. What do you think? Please share this with a friend.

Klobuchar is “Minnesota Nice” …in name only!

Should a sitting senator be praising a 9/11 truther?

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is often billed as the “Minnesota-nice” senator who makes great hot dish. She is soft spoken and is quick to flash an unassuming smile. It’s a great cover for a woman who pals around with communist revolutionaries, George Soros lackeys and union thugs who would like to destroy capitalism and the American way of life.

At a Labor Day weekend event hosted by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and headlined by 9/11 truther, self-described communist revolutionary and disgraced former White House advisor Van Jones, Sen Klobuchar spoke to a crowd of about 50-75 union members, campaign staffers and activists. She began her prepared remarks with a story of a Chicago women’s conference where she and 2,000 other women swooned for Van Jones.

Along with union powerhouse and president of Soros-backed Center for American Progress John Podesta, Jones and Klobuchar were speakers at an event called “Good Jobs, Green Jobs” in 2009. It’s unclear whether she was referring to this event as Klobuchar has appeared several times with Jones.

Van Jones has long been a 9/11 truther and signed a petition/statement blaming the Bush administration for the attacks. Jones is seen in this video (click link) at the 4:38 mark speaking at a rally on September 12, 2001 where speakers openly blame Americans for the 9/11 attacks. Jones claims, “We have something stronger than bombs; we have solidarity. That dream of revolutionary change is stronger than bombs.”

Jones has a rather lengthy history of radical behavior and hateful rhetoric as seen here: In His Own Words.
One of the more notable quotes is as follows:

“I’m willing to forgo the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of the radical ends.” – Van Jones

Klobuchar spoke to a reporter with the Associated Press recently where she spoke of the upcoming election.

“Reach out to independents and to Republicans. Find the common ground,” she said. “Because when the choice is so stark as it is in this election, you will find friends and supporters in places you never expected to find them.”

Senator Kloubuchar has obviously chosen to align with a radical 9/11 truther who seeks revolution to change the American way of life. Is that really who Minnesotans want representing them on Capitol Hill?

Klobuchar’s press secretary did not immediately return phone calls for comment.
See Van Jones bash republicans at the same event and claim that republicans would “let people drown on the beach.” View the video here: Van Jones Doubles Down

First Strike in 25 years.

Late into Sunday and early Monday morning parents were still wondering whether or not their children would be attending a normal day of school. However, this was not the case this morning.
On any normal Monday morning, parents would be dropping their children off at school, and starting their day of work or household activities. The Chicago Public School teachers made a different choice this morning, they chose to put themselves first over the children that they are supposed to be teaching and educating these children to prepare them for their futures. Instead they chose to march in picket lines early this morning. The head of the Chicago Teachers Union Karen Lewis and the School Board President David Vitale were supposed to meet this Monday and attempt to solve this issue so that there would be no teachers striking and the children would be able to attend classes thus allowing for school to resume as normal, according to the Suntimes.com.

Monday, Sept. 10, 2012. | Ernie Torres~Sun-Times

However after negotiations broke and led to a strike, which has not occurred for more than 25 years. Even as the strike was taking place, the negotiations are still continuing. The two major issues that are preventing the children from attending their normal day of school are, the re-hiring of teachers that were laid off from school shut downs and a new teacher evaluation process that is based on student test scores. Rahm Emanuel said that this is he is “disappointed” and that this latest deal was ” very respectful of our teachers and is right by our children.” He went on to say that, “This is totally unnecessary. It’s avoidable and our kids don’t deserve this…This is a strike of choice, its down to two issues, finish it.”

These two issues were reported by the Suntimes.com

“Negotiations have been intense but productive, however we have failed to reach an agreement that will prevent a labor strike,” Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said at a dramatic 10 p.m. Sunday press conference. “Real school will not be open [Monday]. … No CTU member will be inside our schools.

“Please seek alternative care for your children.”


Part of the earlier package that was offered to the teachers union was increased pay, that would increase the average teachers pay by 16 percent over the next four years, which could not be changed even if there was a lack of funding. Even with all of this guaranteed pay increases, the Chicago Teachers Union(CTU) still chose to strike over the two previous issues. Lewis, President of CTU, quoted by the Suntimes.com said;

“We do not intend to sign an agreement until all matters of our contract are addressed,” Lewis said. “We are committed to staying at the table.”

While the situation is still developing, parents are split over how this will change the landscape of their children’s education and the future of the school systems in their area.

The company you keep…

At a Labor Day weekend barbecue in Minneapolis, Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) hosted some big talent to speak to a crowd of about 50-75 that consisted mostly of union members, public employees and campaign staffers and volunteers. The keynote speaker was self-described communist revolutionary, former Green Jobs Czar for President Obama and “9/11 truther” Anthony “Van” Jones.

Jones was well-accepted by the crowd and spent time before the scheduled program to answer questions and take photos. Though Jones was clearly being measured in his talking points, he was mostly polite and friendly, that is, when he wasn’t calling republicans “assholes,” which he did more than a couple of times.

Various speakers preceded Jones including several candidates for state offices and Senator Amy Klobuchar who is being challenged by Republican Kurt Bills. Klobuchar seemed to blush when praising Jones in her prepared remarks. She told the story of a conference in Chicago at which the two spoke and women lined up just to give him their phone numbers. Almost smitten, she was obviously proud to know and work with him for several years.

Ellison shared in Klobuchar’s fawning and began his introduction of Jones by saying that when he looks for progressive policy advice, he turns to Jones’ books, Green Collar Economy which extolls the idea that wealth should be redistributed via green initiatives, and Rebuild the Dream which focuses 4 chapters on the Occupy movement. Ellison said he turns to Jones’ work in magazines and other publications because in Ellison’s opinion, Jones is the “leading intellectual force in this country when it comes to progressive politics.”

Ellison is the Co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus which lists among its many socialist goals a commitment to the UN Millennium prjoect and redistributing wealth via legislation, to nudge companies and individuals into a green economy.

Jones, who has in the past said, “white polluters and the white environmentalists are essentially steering poison in to the people of color communities because they have a racial justice frame,” spent about 20 minutes delivering typical democrat talking points, claimed republicans want dirty air and water, and highlighted his speech with accusing republicans of allowing people to drown.

Comparing republicans to life guards without a job and the president as the currently employed life guard, Jones said this election is like a tsunami on the beach.

“We were watchin’ the flooding; … and I’m still praying for our friends in the Gulf… It would be like you had a big tsunami coming through, and people were drowning. And you sit back and say, ‘the more bodies on the beach, the more likely they gonna fire the lifeguard. And I’m getting the life guard’s job.

… Rather than coming together during the emergency, and helping my country… Imma going to try to hurt. Imma cut the lifeline. Imma stand on the oxygen tube… Because the more bodies on the beach, the more likely they are to fire the life guard.”

On the heels of disgraced and recently fired Yahoo News chief David Chalian’s comments about republicans being “happy to have a party while black people drown,” one has to wonder if Jones prepared his remarks to keep that narrative alive.

Following Jones’ address, the crowd was treated to some live music. In honor of Labor Day, the crowd was handed laminated lyrics sheets and joined in singing labor songs including “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody,” a song about racial divide and Jim Crow.

Minnesota is no stranger to communists and radical leftists. Even the governor has ties to the likes of Van Jones. Do the people of Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District know the company their representative is keeping?

See the VIDEO here.

“Romney Hood”? Obama Campaign Showing Signs of Idiocy

I find the recent Obama re-election campaign tactic of referring to Mitt Romney as “Romney Hood” rather interesting.  Obama and his cronies are actually complimenting Romney, seemingly without being smart enough to realize it.  If idiocy isn’t the case they are counting on We the People being too stupid to know our fables.  I am a long way from being a supporter of Mitt Romney but this isn’t about Romney, it is about the Muslim-in-Chief sitting in the White House and his associates.

For those who may not be familiar with the “The Legend of Robin Hood” let me give you a lesson in the true story related in the fable.  Robin Hood was the son of a titled man in England during the days of the Crusades.  When King  Richard the Lionhearted, Robin’s father, went off to fight the Saracens Richard left his evil and greedy brother Prince John in charge.  As the legend goes, John and the Sheriff of Nottingham stole the land belonging to Robin of Locksley and threw his family out of their castle to live off the land as peasants.  The common belief of the story in the legend of Robin Hood is that he and his “merry men” stole from the rich to give to the poor. This understanding of the fable is flawed.  The Obama camp is using this misunderstanding in a sarcastic manner, suggesting “Romney Hood” will steal from the poor to give to the rich.  The perception given by the Obama crowd couldn’t be further from the truth.

When you take a look at the reality of the Robin Hood legend, you find a different concept altogether.  Robin Hood didn’t “steal from the rich to give to the poor”.  What was actually happening was that the tax collectors of Prince John were out stealing everything they could take from the peasants; crops, money, livestock, food, and enslaving those who King Richard had treated fairly.  What Robin Hood and his Merry Men did was intercept the caravans, take the money from the tax collectors, and give it back to those from whom it had been stolen.  He was taking from the tyrannical government, and giving back to the poor, what had been taken unjustly.  Quite a different story when you look at what the fable was really about.

Now let’s look at today’s situation.  We are told Obama and his cronies are going to “level the playing field” by “re-distributing the wealth”, essentially taking from those who have and giving it to those who don’t.  But Obama isn’t taking from the rich to give to the poor; he is taking from the middle and lower class to give to HIS friends and supporters.  When Obama bailed out Chrysler and General Motors, instead of letting them go through bankruptcy, he took money that had been invested by us “peasants” and gave it to the unions, his allies.

Under bankruptcy laws the “secured investors” get their money first and “unsecured investors” get what is left.  In this case the “secured investors” were demonized as big banks and “fat cat money managers”.  In some cases that may be true but most of the “fat cat money managers” manage money for people like me.  Part of my retirement plan, money that I had been saving for 35 years, was invested in Chrysler and GM.

When Obama took that money and gave it to Richard Trumka, a multi-millionaire union boss, he took money out of my retirement fund to give to Trumka and his union cronies.  I draw $18,000 per year out of that fund, hardly enough to make me a “fat cat millionaire”.  That money is gone and I will never get it back.  Trumka and his union friends give much of it back to the Demoncrat Party in the form of campaign donations, a monumental money laundering scheme that would make Bernie Madoff look like an amateur.  They spend the rest living a life of luxury I will never be able to afford.

As much as I detest Mitt Romney I cannot sit back and let a lie go unanswered.  Obama and his Axis of Evil partners are destroying this nation every day they have control.  Romney may not be much better for the nation in the long run but if he isn’t, let’s at least oppose him with truth instead of lies.  Obama has ignored a court order to re-open drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, a move that would help alleviate our oil price problems.  Instead he is giving $4 billion to Brazil and Mexico to drill in the same Gulf of Mexico that he says is too dangerous for us to drill in; using the same drilling rigs that used to provide oil for our nation.  This has transferred jobs, and tax dollars paid in to the government by American citizens, to Brazil and Mexico.  This also takes the potential tax revenue from the sale of the oil; the social security taxes, the income taxes, excise taxes and whatever other taxes there are away from the federal and state treasuries.  Oh goody, we can replace the shortages by borrowing that money from China.

Obama also stopped the Keystone Pipeline from being built on American soil by American workers, benefitting the American economy.  These and many other actions taken by Obama and his evil cohorts are stealing from the poor and middle class to benefit his friends in foreign countries.  He is also hurting those union workers who would have had jobs in the oil and pipeline industry.  Where are the union bosses who should be screaming about these jobs going to foreigners?  They are silent because they don’t care about American workers.  They have unionized foreign companies so they still get their money.

In the end, the “Romney Hood” label is designed to influence ignorant or stupid people to vote for Obama and his evil cohorts in November.  Ignorance is the lack of factual information; as opposed to stupid, which is the lack of willingness to act on factual information.  I believe Obama is counting on the ignorance or stupidity of voters to succeed with this tactic.  The problem is that Obama just may be correct in his assessment of We the People.  Many are indeed too stupid to either comprehend or acknowledge the issue, and many more are oblivious and content to stay that way.  Something for nothing is a very powerful incentive for many to vote for Obama again.  The trouble with spending other people’s money, however, is that it eventually runs out.

When those producing finally see that producing gains them nothing they will stop producing and we will have total dependence on government for everything.  How does a government with no source of income provide anything??? Slave labor is the usual means of production in this system of government.  This system is now or has been in use in many countries throughout the world.  Soviet Russia, under several rulers, used this system until its economy collapsed in 1989.  Adolph Hitler also used this system in Nazi Germany until it was defeated by Great Britain, Australia, and the United States in World War II.  Fidel Castro in Cuba, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Chairman Mao and his successors in China, the Kim Jong line of dictators in North Korea, and others throughout the world are using the same system proposed by Obama.  Do you know anything about how the people in these countries live?  Can you spell poverty, slavery, destitution, fear, hunger, hopelessness?

I believe this nation is facing the greatest peril in its history, regardless of which one of these ineligible (U S Constitution: Article II, Section 1, Paragraph 5) candidates is elected in November.  I don’t write this in support of Mitt Romney.  I write this in opposition to the outright lies and deception of a political campaign run by the most obnoxious and evil cabal to ever sit in authority in America.  If Obama is going to run a campaign he should run it with honesty and truth but that is never going to happen as he knows those methods would doom his re-election hopes.

Now back to the “Romney Hood” story.  What the Obama campaign intends is for We the People to equate Romney with rich thieves when in essence the true legend of Robin Hood equates Obama and his tax collectors with Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham.  Obama (Prince John’s government) takes from those who earn the money (peasants) to give to those who don’t earn it (large “too big to fail” banks, union bosses, illegal aliens, and moochers).  Romney (Romney Hood) says he will take the money stolen by outrageous taxes and give the money back to the rightful owners (peasants).

I don’t know what Romney will do if elected but I do know what Obama has done to We the People and the nation founded 236 years ago on the premise of God, honor, honesty, and a fair chance for all.  Outright lies are being used against a candidate I don’t like by a candidate I detest for his lying, duplicity, tyranny, and evil.

Some will still vote for Obama but I hope that it won’t be because they buy into the “Romney Hood” lie.  Deception seems to be the way to get elected in America these days and that is sad.  Good government takes educated and intelligent decisions by voters who take the time to know what and who they are voting for.  If voters make their decisions on sound bites and talking points our nation will soon be a Third World dictatorship akin to Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea.  I hope I don’t live long enough to see that happen to the greatest form of government ever formed on Earth.

I submit this in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, in faith, with the responsibility given to me by Almighty God to honor His work and not let it die from neglect.

Bob Russell      Claremore, Oklahoma                        August 14, 2012

Wisconsin: Tea Party Beats Unions

The Tea Party sparked Conservative wave that swept most of the United States in 2010 was a contributing factor in many races, including the elections of Scott Walker, Rebecca Kleefisch and a Republican legislative majority in Wisconsin. Governor Walker and his fiscally Conservative allies in the State House set about enacting the reforms they promised during their campaign. Balancing the State budget without raising taxes, reigning in spending and creating a more business friendly environment where private sector businesses could create jobs.

Once the reforms were enacted, government sector unions went rogue, holding demonstrations, occupying the State House and basically going out of their way to create a ruckus over perceived wrong doings by Walker and his fellow Republicans.

The allegations were that the Republicans had wrongly stripped the public unions of all their collective bargaining “rights”. This allegation was false on multiple counts.

First of all, collective bargaining is not a right. A right is something that is inherent, which belongs to you without costing another. Wielding monopoly bargaining power to extort exorbitant salaries, pensions and benefits in excess of those enjoyed by the taxpayers footing the bill from politicians seeking re-election to office is not a right.

Second, collective bargaining is a negotiating tool, agreed upon by both sides of the negotiations. A mutually agreed upon negotiating tool, like any such tool, is subject to rejection by one side or the other at any time.

Thirdly, the unions did not lose all their bargaining power. They still retain the ability to collectively bargain for salaries. What changed was their power to collectively bargain over pensions and benefits was removed. Those are budgetary line items that for the State of Wisconsin had reached the point of insolvency. The cost of those pensions and benefits were sending the State of Wisconsin down the fast track to bankruptcy.

In response, every national union in America spent huge bankrolls and invested big muscle in multiple recall attempts within the State of Wisconsin; culminating in the recall attempts against Governor Walker and Lieutenant Governor Kleefisch. In each and every recall attempt, the big, free spending, bullying tactic practicing union failed. The hardest core, institutionalized “progressive” left threw everything they had at Walker, Kleefisch and Wisconsin and fell short. Their noisy, irreverent public displays of selfishness went to no avail.

The win in Wisconsin is a win for the Silent Majority…otherwise known as the Tea Party. Remember them? The “progressive” Party Pravda and “progressive” politicians of all stripes want you to believe they’ve disappeared from the electoral map.

Remember the Tea Party. The ordinary mom and pop citizens who had finally had enough, who got up off the couch, skipped a few of their regularly scheduled activities and demonstrated against big government, big spending, higher taxes and irresponsible regulations.

The Tea Party stood eyeball to eyeball and went toe to toe with the unions in Wisconsin. The Tea Party took the unions best punch and won each and every round. Unions and their incessant demands for more of the fruits of the taxpayer’s labor are on retreat in Wisconsin. Unions and their institutionalized “progressive” allies are on notice. It’s time for them to retreat in America. The people have spoken.

The Tea Party and America are on the rise.


The Wisconsin Recall: Foreshadowing the 2012 Presidential Race

Today’s recall vote of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has been touted as a crucial measure of the upcoming presidential election by both liberals and conservatives. Liberals say Walker’s defeat is a victory over the so-called fascistic measures Walker took to strip state workers of their apparently unalienable collective bargaining rights. As a growing number of states push right to work legislation, which allows individual workers to negotiate benefits without forced unionization, the Wisconsin recall is the frontline of the union battle for liberals.

Conservative pundits across the aisle see a win by Walker as a resounding endorsement of small-government, pro-liberty ideals represented in Walker’s fiscally responsible balanced budget, which turned a projected  1443 billion dollar budget deficit into a projected 154 million dollar surplus. As conservatives fight a growing national deficit, the threat of tax hikes and the continuing lack of a federal budget, Wisconsin represents the successful implementation of fiscal policy that conservatives argue for on a national level.

But the Wisconsin recall is important to the presidential election for another reason. Much like the 2008 presidential election, Wisconsin recall efforts have been lead by thug tactics and spending by highly organized unions and national progressive groups, while the movement to defeat the recall is largely grassroots, led by small, individual contributions going to phone calls calling conservatives to get out and vote. Walker has also relied on TV and radio ads.

Walker has raised about 30.5 million dollars, about two thirds coming from out of state contributions. While Tom Barrett, Walker’s Democratic challenger, has raised only about 4.2 million dollars, about a quarter of it comes from organized labor, much of it from in-state contributions. However, much more money has been spent by national labor unions on funding a vast network of field offices in Wisconsin. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), The National Education Association (NEA) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are the nation’s three biggest public unions and have contributed millions to independent groups and PAC’s in Wisconsin. These groups, like We Are Wisconsin and the Greater Wisconsin Committee, have focused TV and radio ads and mailings, and most importantly bussing in union employees to protest and canvass. Many individuals the unions bussed in are paid to protest and have no idea why they are there. Others rely on thug tactics to intimidate private citizens into voting. Most notably, the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund, a progressive group, sent out mailers containing private voting records in an attempt to get Wisconsin citizens to intimidate their neighbors into voting against Walker.

And this is why the Wisconsin vote is so important. The 2008 Obama campaign was supported largely by the virtually unlimited resources of organized labor unions like SEIU and AFL-CIO. The 2012 election promises to be much of the same. The Wisconsin recall is a microcosm of the national election. The question is, can a loosely organized, grassroots led campaign, relying on volunteerism and donations from private citizens defeat the powerful machinations of the union machine, drawing on heavily organized and plentiful numbers and money? If it can be done on a state level, chances are it can be done on a national level, and this is why the Wisconsin recall is important for reasons other than partisan politics and ideals. It foreshadows what promises to be a nasty fight for the future of the nation.


US 41 Corridor Could be the Key to Wisconsin Election

As folks head to the polls today, it could be the evenly split voters in Fox Valley who make the difference.

In an article in the Appleton PostCressent, Lawrence University political scientist Arnold Shober said, “Barrett will do wonderfully in Dane County, just like Walker will carry Waukesha and Washington County, but up here in the Fox Valley, we’re truly one of the few areas that is split 50-50.”

The Fox Valley is made up of many union-represented public employees who feel abandoned by Gov. Walker’s public sector union reforms, and by many business people who have cheered on his efforts.

Over 206,000 absentee ballots have already been cast in the contest, but when the polls close today it may well be those voters from Fond du Lac to Green Bay who swing the election.

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