Tag Archives: Unions
Hostess Brands, maker of the Twinkie and Snowball, returned to bankruptcy court today prepared to begin liquidation of all assets. Instead they announced that the company will enter mediation for one last try with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union.
Whether this was a brilliant marketing ploy or truly ‘a one last chance’ opportunity, it may be that the Twinkie will survive!
The BCTGM workers represent one-third of the Hostess workforce. All 18,500 jobs will be permanently eliminated if the Baker’s Union refuses to reconsider their position. They have only 24 hours to make their decision.
From the Hostess Brands Website: Hostess Brands Inc. announced today that it will follow a request from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to enter a confidential mediation on Tuesday with the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM).
Today’s hearing to consider Hostess Brands’ motion to wind down the Company and sell all of its assets has been adjourned until 11 a.m., EST, on Wednesday.
Production remains shut down.
This could be it. The end of the Hostess Twinkie. Of course, those still in their packages may last forever, but it’s possible there will be no more Twinkies.
The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union (BCTGM) has gone on strike against manufacturer Hostess. The company announced today they will file for liquidation if striking employees do not return to work by the end of the day. According to Hostess:
“We simply do not have the financial resources to survive an ongoing national strike,” said Gregory F. Rayburn, the Company’s Chairman and CEO. “Therefore, if sufficient employees do not return to work by 5 p.m., EST, on Thursday to restore normal operations, we will be forced to immediately move to liquidate the entire Company, which will result in the loss of nearly 18,000 jobs. It is now up to Hostess’ BCTGM represented employees and Frank Hurt, their international president, to decide if they want to call off the strike and save this Company, or cause massive financial harm to thousands of employees and their families.”
The BCTGM response claims that Hostess has had significant mismanagement from the top down claiming that the six CEO’s in the past eight years have had no bread and cake baking industry experience. According to the union website the workers and their union have ‘absolutely no responsibility for the failure of this company.’
“I am sure that our members would be agreeable to return to work as soon as the company rescinds the implementation of the horrendous wage and benefit reductions, including pension, and the restoration of the cuts that have already taken place.”
One has to wonder how much better off the Hostess workers will be filing for unemployment next week? Is no job better than a salary reduction? Across the country many industry workers have taken sizable cuts rather than losing their job. Is the union forcing workers to ‘cut off their nose to spite their face?’
When reading MSM stories concerning the hypocrisy of Republicans or conservatives it is often difficult to decide whether the reporters are actively dishonest or just stupid.
An AP story by Scott Bauer and a Washington Post effort by Brad Plumer are prime examples. Both concern a tweet sent by Republican Gov. Scott Walker (R–WI) after the Green Bay Packers were robbed of their victory by a high school level replacement referee who was unable to distinguish between an interception and a touchdown.
Tuesday morning Walker tweeted, “After catching a few hours of sleep, the #Packers game is still just as painful. #Returntherealrefs.” If you are a liberal journalist working for the Associated Press or the WaPost (I know that’s redundant) this is obviously an example of conservative hypocrisy.
The Post headline was: “Wisconsin governor fumbles on Twitter: Walker sees collective bargaining in a new light after the Packers’ loss.” The headline over the AP story was: “Union–busting Wis. governor calls for return of NFL’s union refs after call seals Packers loss.”
Both headlines reek of hypocrisy on Walker’s part and the Post even claimed a change of heart that existed only in the reporter’s fevered mind. But not all unions are alike, just as not all reporters are equally biased.
Both writers overlook the obvious fact that Walker’s fight in Wisconsin was against public employee unions and his tweet was about private sector unions. There is no hypocrisy involved in supporting one form of union and opposing the other.
Public employee unions are a conspiracy against the taxpayer. Union officials bargain with elected officials. The elected official wants union support in his next election. The union official simply wants more. They come to an agreement. The taxpayer, who picks up the tab, is not represented at the table. There are no market constraints on public employee unions. As long as taxes can be raised to cover salary, insurance and pension costs, the benefits keep rolling along.
This is not how it works in the private sector. Plumer attempts to graft the American Airlines’ labor dispute onto the Wisconsin controversy when he writes, “the referee feud is fairly representative of modern labor battles playing out in Wisconsin and elsewhere.”
This is simply false. Wisconsin labor disputes involved public employee unions and although flying American Airlines in many ways resembles a visit to the DMV, it is still a private sector entity with a private sector union.
Walker, as opposed to the two reporters, knows there’s a difference.
Another distinction is American Airlines declared bankruptcy because it could not survive in the private sector with the cost structure imposed on it by declining revenue and union contracts. Taxpayers and public employee unions are not involved.
The NFL referee’s union is obviously a private sector dispute being played out in public. And as a customer of the NFL and a supporter of the Packers, Walker is both intellectually consistent and within his rights to demand the NFL solve the problem by retuning the “real refs.”
Evidently this obvious distinction escaped the two “journalists” who thought they had a gotcha story.
On the other hand, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is the one with the political problem. He has manifestly failed and lost this strike. He has committed the cardinal firing offense for a business leader: being unprepared for a crisis he knew was coming, while debasing his product.
Goodell better hope he can keep 17 votes in his favor among the 32 NFL team owners. Otherwise he might be biggest casualty of this strike.
The current White House occupant, in a calculated, targeted attack against Republican rival Mitt Romney, attempted to dismiss a key Romney rationale for his presidential candidacy by saying: “When you’re president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, then your job is not simply to maximize profits. Your job is to figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot.”
It is quite obvious that occupy Oval Office is shockingly unfamiliar with the concept that jobs are downstream from profits, not the other way around. With the exception of the original staff, which is hired to launch a company via startup capital (notice that here too, private capital comes before hiring), businesses only become financially capable of hiring more workers after they have made profits. Being profitable gives them the capital needed to pay for expansion, which then creates the need to hire additional employees. This is especially true of small businesses, most of which are decidedly not over funded with start-up capital.
According to “progressives”, the rich are somehow preventing the middle class from having a fair shot because the rich are depriving the middle class by not paying “their fair share” of taxes. The “progressive” concept of the middle class having a fair shot is stealing money from those who have earned it through initiative, hard work, risk and sacrifice within the free market capitalist system through “progressive” taxation and use that money, acquired through legal extortion, to hire unionized government sector workers. Workers who will not only be paid more than their counterparts who are doing the same job in the private sector, but who will enjoy Cadillac healthcare and pension benefits provided to them by a taxpayer funded job from which, thanks to union demands, being fired will be a virtual impossibility.
Still wonder why “progressives” love government sector unions?
Such an arrangement is perfectly suited to “progressives”, who are huge proponents of centrally planned big government. Workers dependent upon government for their livelihood are reliably more likely to re-elect big government candidates. They are also far more likely to pay little concern to how much the rich are taxed, since the taxes of unionized government workers won’t be affected. That is, if they’re even required to pay taxes. Their big government big brothers take care of them.
Winston Smith, where are you?
Of course, the “they don’t pay their fair share” rhetoric is a complete sham, a straw-man argument. Truth be known, the “they don’t pay their fair share” rhetoric is a bold faced lie. The top 10% earners in America pay 70% of the income taxes while 47% of Americans pay no income tax. They pay zero.
How much of a tax on the rich would be enough to satisfy “progressives”? How much of someone else’s money does the Oval Office need to take for the middle class to have “a fair shot”? The 100% rate Barrack Obama Sr. sought to impose on Kenya’s rich after he seized power?
Can you say redistributive dreams from my Marxist father?
This clearly demonstrates how clueless Barrack Hussein Obama is about the way America was designed by its Founding Fathers. Having a fair shot in America has never been about big government stealing from the rich to finance hiring unionized government sector workers.
Having a fair shot has always been about a constitutionally limited government not interfering with the private sector free market’s ability to afford equal opportunity to everyone, regardless of their starting point in life. In America, government’s job is not to “take care of us”. In America, a centrally planned big government can never replace the initiative, creativity, hard work, sacrifice, risk, and reward of free, private Citizens working to provide for their own needs through the pursuit of happiness within the private sector.
If it ever does, America will have ceased to exist.
Instead of digging the United States into an ever-deepening hole by reducing available free market capital through higher tax rates, how about creating some certainty for investors by making permanent changes to America’s needlessly complicated tax code? How about creating a simplified tax code that provides incentives for investment? How about creating a tax code that’s doesn’t punish small businesses by forcing them each year to divert limited precious capital to pay the cost of hiring accountants and attorneys to decipher an ever “evolving”, increasingly complicated tax code? How about creating an economic environment where the rich, middle class and poor alike all feel it’s worth the risk to invest in a start-up business? Thanks to existing, unnecessarily high “progressive” tax rates and expanding, restrictive, needlessly expensive regulatory oppression, starting up a new business today is practically impossible.
Better still, how about “progressives” going back to school to learn what America is really all about? In the meantime, they should leave running America to Americans.
Obama has had four years. He got his fair shot, and he blew it.
After 100 years of progressively expanding government intrusion into the God given Rights and Liberties of free people, it is now time to forever close the book on the failed “progressive” experiment.
1: the act or practice of extorting especially money or other property; especially: the offense committed by an official engaging in such practice
2: something extorted; especially: a gross overcharge
From Chicago to Madison to Sacramento to Washington DC and points in between:
» Do as we say and nobody gets hurt. Get the picture sweetheart?
Those self-imagined, self-appointed “intellectual elites” within the ”progressive” Democratic Party and their tarnished Oval Office idol insist the 2012 election is a fight for the middle class.
» Union members make up only 12.9% of the middle class. If a smart politician wanted to fight for the remaining 87.1%, they would be against forcing those voters to pay more taxes so government sector unions can enjoy a job where dismissal for incompetence is virtually impossible, Cadillac benefits (with smaller payroll deductions than the private sector) are the norm, and exorbitant salaries and bloated retirement pensions are business as usual.
Government sector unions offer nothing of value to America. The prevention of workplace violations have long been secured by workplace rights legislation. The only value government sector unions have to offer to anyone is to crooked politicians who promise them cushy, taxpayer funded benefits in exchange for campaign funding and guaranteed election turnout.
Can you say criminal quid pro quo?
» You politicians better give us what we want or you will get no union support. Get the picture chum?
For those who propagate the misrepresentation that union’s “fighting for what they believe in” shows character:
» How can anyone truly believe that threatening small business owners with boycotts shows character? Small business owners are people who are hard-working individuals, who have invested overtime hours without pay for weeks, months and years on end in hopes they will achieve the American dream of success, who simply wish to remain neutral in the government sector union’s battle. Bullying and intimidating these people displays character?
To paraphrase former U.S. President Bill Clinton: It depends on what your definition of character is.
» Support us whether you want to or not and nobody’s business gets hurt. Defy us and we’ll do everything in our power to make sure your business fails. Get the picture pal o’ mine?
On the other hand, when Conservatives peaceably assemble to petition their Government for a redress of grievances, they are rabid, violent, hateful extremists…
…and of course, RACIST!!
» What is extreme is acting like $16 trillion in national debt should be of no concern.
» What is extreme is painting Conservative budget plans to cut a $3.7 trillion federal budget by $61 billion (less than 1%) as extreme.
» What is extreme is describing plans to freezes an already enacted 25% increase in federal government spending as a serious attempt to cut spending.
» What is extreme is classifying brave, self-sacrificing veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq as potential domestic terrorists.
» What is extreme is saying that average, everyday Americans who simply want their government to follow the U.S. Constitution should be considered threats to national security.
» What is extreme is demanding an increase in the U.S. debt limit without restraint ad infinitum.
» What is extreme is a Department of Justice that picks and chooses which laws to enforce based on the White House’s “progressive” political agenda.
» What is extreme is a radical fringe leftist “progressive” Oval Office occupier who truly believes that being anti-Constitutional, anti-free speech, anti-free market, anti-business, anti-traditional energy, anti-religious freedom, anti-gun, pro-illegal immigration, pro-UN treaty restrictions on individual U.S. liberties is somehow in any way shape or form in America’s best interests.
» What is extreme is the empty class warfare rhetoric that “the rich”, those top 5 percent who still pay more than the bottom 95 percent, “don’t pay their fair share” of support to a slothful, bloated, deficit spending, ever expanding, spiraling completely out of control federal bureaucratic nightmare.
» What is extreme is the conscious choice made by big government collectivists to ignore economic realities and force every individual to purchase a commodity that imposes collectivist goals on everyone else.
» What is extreme is the conscious decision made by big government collectivists that the bottom 47 percent who do not pay any income taxes somehow magically qualify to receive an income tax refund.
The United States does not have a revenue problem. The United States has a spending problem. A major spending problem… Recklessly continuing America’s massive deficit spending in the name of “social justice” or “economic justice” is suicidal.
The re-election of one current White House occupant ensures that America will be destroyed via the institutionalized “progressive” left’s Cloward-Piven strategy. By foisting the government sector union failure upon America, what the institutionalized “progressive” left is doing is nothing short of criminal. It is, by definition, extortion.
Instead of being elected to office, they should be imprisoned.
Ever since the 2009 GM bailout by “progressive” big government ended the pensions of 20,000 retirees at Delphi auto parts manufacturing, the White House and the Department of Treasury have laid the blame on the steps of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
Internal government emails have been obtained that show the U.S. Treasury Department, run by Timothy Geithner, was behind those termininations. All 20,000 of the pensions seem to have been ended strictly for the reason that those retirees did not belong to labor unions.
Perhaps the National Labor Relations Board was too busy preparing to harass another private sector company planning to hire non-union workers to get involved.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder has yet to file any criminal charges against top Wall Street bankers with connections inside the Department of Justice or who had made political donations to the 2008 presidential campaign of the current White House occupant.
Over the years, both the Oval Office and Holder have talked tough, aggressively attacking big fat cat bankers, blaming their reckless speculation for the 2008 financial collapse. The Government Accountability Institute has found that Holder still has not “filed a single criminal charge against any top executive of an elite financial institution.”
All talk no action. Sound tough for the union organized OWS crowd, but do nothing to upset potential campaign donors. The heck with credibility, the “progressive” Party Pravda will run interference for the re-election campaign.
Overseas, Iran has vowed it will not allow Assad to fall in Syria.
“Iran will never allow the resistance axis – of which Syria is an essential pillar – to break,” said Saeed Jalili, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council secretary. The “axis of resistance” includes Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas, all of which are anti-Western and openly hostile towards Israel and the United States.
Assad reassured Jalili by saying: “The Syrian people and their government are determined to purge the country of terrorists and to fight the terrorists without respite.”
If Assad is overthrown, Iran will lose influence over Syria and a crucial link to Hezbollah.
Could it be that Muslim Brotherhood influence over the White House has surreptitiously led to policies that support the creation of a regional Caliphate? What other way is there to logically explain policies that support rebellions to overthrow some Middle Eastern dictators, but not support rebellions hostile to the Iranian regime or its allies?
With so much baggage for the White House to carry through the campaign, their “Priorities” are to have their “progressive” allies run misleading ads that attempt to tie Mitt Romney to death.
Priorities USA Action, a super PAC supporting the Oval Office is running a new ad that blames Mitt Romney for a family losing health insurance which contributed to a woman dying from cancer.
It apparently makes no difference to the “progressive” super PAC that Romney left Bain Capital years before the GST Steel bankruptcy in 2001. In addition, the cancer casualty Ranae Soptic died in 2006, long after the GST plant had been closed.
In another move to distract attention away from the dismal economic performance of the White House, the Oval Office occupier was overheard whispering to a top fundraiser that GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney wants to name Gen. David Petraeus as his choice for Vice President.
Press Secretary Jay Carney reminded reporters to “be mindful of your sources” when asked about the Petraeus rumor. “I can say with absolute confidence, such an assertion has never been uttered by the president. And again be mindful of your sources” said Carney.
And so it goes for the most open, transparent White House in American history. They are more than happy to talk about anything but their own record.
Cities across the country are struggling; some are finding the piggy bank empty. Cities like Scranton, PA are feeling the effects of the tough economy, poor real estate market and a general exodus from the area. City pension outgo is three times more than the city revenues. A loan to the city has not materialized because banks requested the city make changes which have not happened. The mayor of Scranton says he only has $5,000 left in the bank. Not enough to pay salaries. His solution: pay everyone, including himself, minimum wage.
Of course, city workers are up in arms. While unions are demanding their workers receive contracted salaries they are not willing to amend salaries or retirement plans. Do union bosses really prefer to see mass layoffs than contract adjustments?
This is what happens when unions won’t budge.
In each of the States that elected Republican governors during the Tea Party dominated 2010 midterm elections, unemployment rates have gone down. According to an Examiner.com analysis, since Tea Party Republicans took over in January 2011, the average reduction in unemployment for those 17 States has been 1.35%. When compared nationally, job creation in those States has been 50% better than the rest of the country.
The unemployment rate in States that elected “progressive” Democrats in 2010 saw a drop in rates matching the .9% national rate of decline. In one of these “progressive” run States the unemployment rate actually went up, not down: New York – 8.2% to 8.6% = an increase of 0.4%.
- Witness how unemployment rates have been reduced in the 17 States that elected fiscally Conservative governors back in 2010: Michigan -2.4%, Florida -2.3%, Nevada -2.2%, Alabama -1.9%, Ohio -1.7%, Tennessee -1.6%, South Carolina -1.5%, Georgia -1.2%, Wyoming -1.1%, Iowa -1.0%, New Mexico -1.0%, Wisconsin -0.9%, Kansas -0.8%, South Dakota -0.7%, Maine -0.6%, Pennsylvania -0.6%.
This is another substantiated example of how, when compared to fiscally Conservative Tea Party solutions, “progressive” economic policies fall short. It also blows a gigantic hole in the “we’re making progress but can’t go back to policies that caused our economic problems” talking point “progressives” insist on repeating ad nauseam.
What this also indicates is that the real problem in America is “progressive” ideas, which have been being imported into the United States from Europe since the early 20th century. Since then, America hostile “progressive” ideas have managed to infiltrate and infest both of America’s major political Parties.
The Republican vs. Democrat political paradigm is obsolete. This is especially true where economic policies and government power are concerned. To more accurately describe the philosophical divide in today’s political landscape, think Americans vs. “progressives”.
It should be noted, “progressives” easily occupy a space within the “globalist” category. Globalism is a clear and present danger to the very concept of national sovereignty; any nation’s national sovereignty. Be assured that United States sovereignty is definitely being targeted. “progressives” are eagerly playing a large part in this.
Americans want the United States to follow the Constitution, which limits the size, scope, reach and power of the central government to that prescribed by the Constitution. “progressives” wish to “evolve” beyond America’s foundation document, favoring a central government that usurps the maximum amount of power possible from the States and from the people.
Although many Americans supported the invasion of Iraq and George W. Bush’s strong backing of the U.S. military, a careful examination of his Presidency shows that Bush increased the size and cost of the federal government. He created the DHS, a large, expensive and essentially unnecessary Cabinet level bureaucracy. If the underlying cause of the 9/11 terrorist attacks was the FBI and the CIA not sharing information, that could have been rectified with the proper use of an Executive Order directing the two intelligence agencies to share pertinent data. Bush also greatly expanded the size, cost and presence of the TSA. Remember that the next time your 87 year old grandmother or 4 year old niece is being openly groped by an overly-controlling faux uniformed union member who will be practically impossible to fire. Bush worked with a Republican majority Legislature to enact Medicare part D, which imposed the financial burden onto the States. Near the end of his Presidency he and his Goldman Sachs Treasurer promoted TARP, which put taxpayers on the hook to the tune of $700 billion. He then used some of that money when the Feds bailed out GM and Chrysler. While it can be argued that GMAC was a financial institute and therefore qualified for funds, there was no such justification for bailing out Chrysler. Not to mention adding $5 trillion to the national debt and nominating the current Supreme Court Chief Justice, who recently sided with “progressives” in preserving the biggest farthest reaching government power grab in U.S. history: the obama”care”tax.
Like it or not, it is a defensible position to say that the results of George W. Bush’s presidency indicate that in many instances he acted as a “progressive” Republican.
The chief discernible distinction between “progressive” Democrats and “progressive” Republicans is the rate at which government grows.
The government of the United States needs to shrink, not grow. Europe has been growing their governments for decades. That is one of the major reasons why their economies are failing. “progressives” are trying to make America more and more like Europe. Increasing government spending while expanding the size and scope of government bureaucracies and increasing the people’s dependency on government is not the way to fix a problem caused by big government spending, bloated bureaucracies and government dependency.
The last time America had an anything like an American president was when Ronald Reagan presided over the Oval Office. Under the influence of the anti-American “progressive” economic policies of barrack obama, America’s GDP growth is currently 1.9%. At this point in his first term, under the influence of Reagan’s pro-American economic policies, America’s GDP growth was 7.2%.
Unlike the passionately emotional “pay their fair share” argument used by “progressives”, the more dispassionate American view of looking at the numbers works. Numbers do not lie.
For the America envisioned by its founders to survive, “progressives” must be stopped. Forget the (R) and the (D). These political Party designations are growing increasingly meaningless. Voters need to realign their thinking and begin voting for Americans and against “progressives”, regardless of Party affiliation.
If “progressives” currently living in America want to live in a European country doomed to economic failure, they can move to Europe. They would be doing America a great favor. An even bigger favor would be if they sent disenfranchised Europeans who want to live the American way to the United States. America would definitely benefit from that exchange.
Once again, a proud, card-carrying member of the “progressive” Party Pravda is wasting readers’ time. The headline reads: “On eve of health ruling, Ruth Bader Ginsburg predicts ‘sharp disagreement’”.
How is it possible that Kyle Cheney is getting paid to spell bind readers with such gems as: “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg laid waste Friday to all those rumors about the fate of the Affordable Care Act in the Supreme Court”? Yet the article contains no information about Ginsburg making such a claim?
Cheney continues Pravda’s collective non-information/misinformation campaign by saying: “Although she offered no insight into the tightly held decisions of her colleagues, Ginsburg did indicate that many of the court’s decisions over the next two weeks — which are also expected to include an FCC indecency ruling — might be close.”
Seriously, is this what earns “reporters” a paycheck nowadays?
“Reporting” Ginsburg’s “revelation” that Supreme Court rulings on highly controversial cases in the coming weeks “might be close” is “reporting” “news” as cutting edge and unpredictable as each day beginning with a sunrise.
By intentionally including a reference to the pending health care ruling in a faux headline, yet including zero content in the article revealing any such information clearly demonstrates the impotence of today’s “mainstream media”. That this story reports “sharp disagreement” exists between members of the Supreme Court is as fresh and as newsworthy as: dog bites mailman.
The real, clear, political divide between traditional, patriotic Americans and their “progressive” adversaries the makeup of the Supreme Court currently reflects is the story. One that is not told.
The philosophical division between Constitutionally protective Americans and “progressive” assailants of America’s Republic is as distinct as is the temperature difference between earth’s equator and its two poles.
On the one hand there is the Tea Party, a spontaneous grassroots movement which clearly expresses a strong, unified desire to restore the United States to it’s Constitutional roots. A platform calling to reduce the size, scope, power and cost of government, and to reinstate the traditional American values of self reliance, individual liberty and a return to truly representative government. The Tea Party was hugely influential in the 2010 mid-term elections, when “progressive” Democrats were denied retention of unbridled, unchecked power. The Tea Party remains influential in the 2012 campaign to remove “progressives” from Congress, the Senate and the White House.
On the other hand there is Occupy. A handful of people who disagreed with the existence of income disparity were quickly co-opted by Communist aligned big labor unions thugs in an astro-turf copycat attempt to counter the voice of America’s no longer Silent Majority. This artificial movement rapidly discredited itself through illegal occupancy and destruction of public and private property, and by descending into disparate, disorganized messaging that contributed as much to America’s political discourse as a screen door does to the functioning of a submarine. Unlike the peaceful, respectful approach taken by the Tea Party, Occupy’s attempts to gain public support disintegrated into violence, arrests and criminal charges.
Why is Cheney wasting people’s time “reporting” on unremarkable utterances of a Supreme Court Justice who, while on a recent trip overseas, made public statements that disrespected the United States Constitution? Why is Ginsburg, whose views are considered seditious by many patriotic, Constitution loving Americans, painted in such a fawning light?
This is non-news presented to readers by a biased media source.
Remember auto bailouts? Democrats today like to use them as an example of a government loan success story. We hear the auto makers are paying back their debt and that hard working middle class workers had their jobs saved only because of the loan.
But, as we’re learning to expect, with this administration, there’s more to than has been reported. One significant but little reported side story is that not all the workers were treated the same during the bailout process. It turns out many, especially, contract companies were, in effect, fired and lost all benefits while other union employees kept everything.
This week on Fox Business Stuart Varney sheds some lights on one company’s employees who were particularly hard hit. Were the union workers being rewarded for their support of candidate Obama? There are many questions still unanswered.
Obedient spokes-fools within the “progressive” Party Pravda remained largely mum, dutifully neglecting or downplaying the story. Conservatives pounced on the statement, speculating aggressively about obama’s lack of perceptive abilities while declaring it to be the biggest gaffe in his presidency. Questions were asked as to why standard operating procedure had been abandoned and a presidential press conference was being held in the White House when no major announcement was being made.
That obama followed up the initial remark by saying the problem with America’s economy is a loss of government jobs at the state and local level suggests various possible explanations. One is that it’s a sign of his commitment to growing government as the sole solution to each and every one of the world’s problems. Another is that he is so out of touch with economic reality that the remark really was a gaffe.
But there is at least one other possibility to consider.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is coming under heavy congressional scrutiny for his role in the failed Fast and Furious gun running scandal. Hard questions are being raised on both sides of the aisle about the risks posed to the country through national security leaks possibly emanating from the White House. obama’s been accused of allowing the leaks to occur for personal political gain. There are ongoing discussions and mounting evidence regarding obama’s membership in Chicago’s extremist “New Party”, coupled with continuing avoidance of or denials about it among obama’s political apparatus. There is major embarrassment about obama’s “entire grassroots machinery” being resoundingly drubbed in the Wisconsin recall election. There is growing “progressive” left wing extremist frustration with obama’s perceived inability to deliver on his pledge to “fundamentally transform the United States of America”.
Go back to the question: Why was a presidential new conference being held when there was no major announcement being made? Even given that there was only the remotest possibility that the “progressive” Party Pravda might actually uncover a hitherto undiscovered ounce of journalistic integrity within itself and ask hard questions on a myriad of topics, why was this press conference being held?
Is it possible that the biggest gaffe in obama’s presidency was committed on purpose? That it was an intentional diversion? A coldly calculated politically driven distraction away from other bad news that had been dominating the weekly news cycle?
Was it an accident that it occurred on a Friday morning, contributing to the likelihood that the weekend political talk show discussions will focus on this rather than the myriad of other, more damaging news about obama’s failed attempt to be the nation’s Chief Executive?
If so, it was an extreme abuse of the power of the presidency.
Given that this “gaffe” originated from a once humming along firing on all cylinders well oiled political machine that has repeatedly engaged in “the art” of misrepresentation, distortion, distraction, diversion and smoke and mirror parlor trickery, is pondering such questions an unreasonable activity?
With obama in the White House, do you now consider such a line of questioning to be unpatriotic?
Do you really?
You may wish to reconsider come November 6th.
It’s been a rough few weeks for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority that manages airports in the Washington, DC area and coordinates board member travel to luxury destinations.
MWAA is the unelected and unaccountable board former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (Obama’s choice to head the Democrat National Committee and current candidate for the US Senate) unilaterally selected to oversee construction of Metrorail to Dulles. The board is really great choice since the its prior transportation empire had consisted solely of a rattle–trap collection of ambidextrous shuttle buses at Dulles Airport that caused departing travelers to add an extra 30 minutes to the time necessary to arrive at the gate and arriving passengers to wonder if they were being taken to a re–education camp.
For Kaine’s handoff to work the board needed a source of revenue, preferably one insulated from voters. Kaine accomplished this by transfering ownership of the Dulles Toll Road to the board. The turnpike was worth nearly $3.52 billion and almost paid off, but Kaine didn’t even get a free E–ZPass transponder in return for his gift.
Once MWAA was the proud owner of a slightly–used toll road the board could use toll revenue to pay for construction of a rail line drivers might never use. All without any messy accusations of tax increases or votes in the legislature.
Plus the board is larded with liberal Democrat appointees from Maryland and DC that outnumber Virginia appointees. So regardless of any Republican cretins that mouth–breathing Virginia voters might send to Richmond, management of the project would be Democrat dominated.
Everyone wins except the taxpayer who wants a more direct voice in how his money is spent.
Kaine’s taxpayer–sponsored legacy was in danger when we last visited the board, because funding for Phase II of rail to Dulles was in doubt. The MWAA was insisting Virginia boost its contribution to $300 million and agree to a mandatory Project Labor Agreement (PLA) that specifies only union contractors — or contractors that agree to pay union wages and observe union rules — may bid on the project.
Board members made the usual justifications for the mandatory PLA: Labor goons won’t picket our homes and tinkle in the shrubbery. Unions will endorse Tim Kaine in the 2012 Senate race. Union PACs will continue to contribute millions to other campaigns to elect Democrats. And, oh yes, we might get around to building a railroad.
But that’s old bad news. The new bad news is all that free taxpayer and toll road money allows the MWAA to be as generous with themselves as they are with unions.
The U.S. Transportation Department’s inspector general has blasted the board for a lack of adequate oversight on how it awards contracts and pays for travel and entertainment. In addition, the report says board member financial disclosure forms are approximately as detailed as those required to obtain a frequent shopper card at Ace Hardware.
My favorite quote from the report refers to an MWAA “culture that is largely unaccustomed to external audits…(and the board is) reluctant to provide access to key documents…”
However, the documents we have are bad enough.
Dennis Martire — the Tim Kaine appointee and labor union vice president who didn’t think it was a conflict of interest to vote for a PLA requiring union labor — also didn’t have a problem spending $9,192.30 of public money for a business–class airplane ticket to attend a conference in Prague.
Dennis also had a good time at an event in Hawaii (notice how these conferences never take place in say, Oklahoma City?) where dinner for board members came to a three–day total of $4,800. The menu included lobster, lamb, veal, crab cakes and seared hide of taxpayer.
Then there was the board dinner at the Ritz–Carlton where two bottles of wine totaled $238.
Fortunately, according to Jack Potter the new MWAA chief executive, there is no cause for alarm. The WaPost quotes him as assuring disgruntled taxpayers those expenses were “very exceptional” and in “no way represent what happens on a day–to–day basis.” We can rest easy knowing Potter now insists board members stick to the house red during catered lunches and the cleaning staff has been instructed not to order extra cheese on late night pizza deliveries.
And as for the $100,000 contract with Jenner & Block, a law firm the wife of board chairman Michael Curto works for, well the Harvard Business Review says word–of–mouth is the most effective form of advertising.
As a result, even the WaPost editorial board has grown disenchanted. It criticizes MWAA for “picking a largely gratuitous fight” over the PLA and urges it to drop the provision.
And I’m happy to report it did. In Wednesday’s meeting the board removed the PLA by an overwhelming vote, so a check for $150 million from Virginia is in the mail.
Now the only remaining hurdle is the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. If they opt out of phase II, it will delay and might kill the Dulles airport station. Maybe if the MWAA promises the rail line will be opened with a ribbon cutting and not a christening with a $15,000 bottle of Chateau Lafite, Loudoun supervisors will have fewer qualms about voting yes.
June 6, 2012 Today seems brighter. It was a big election night last night. Governor Scott Walker becomes the first governor in history to survive a recall effort. It wasn’t even close. In one of the most heated and important political battles in recent history, voters overwhelmingly approved of Walker’s reform efforts, handing a big loss to the heavily funded unions. Not to sound overdramatic (oh who am I kidding? I’m an actress; it’s my thing) but Walker’s victory has now become the official battle-cry of a spending-weary American electorate. The message has been sent. Voters can no longer tolerate being the sole support for bloated public pensions and Cadillac healthcare plans when they themselves are out of work and cutting back in all areas of daily life. Have no doubt, union bosses around the country are shaking in their boots. The bell cannot be unrung. The people mean business. The tea party is not dead – it’s just come to mean something else. It’s come to mean…Americans.
If you need more proof that the tidal wave against big government is gaining momentum, look no further than the biggest of big government states, California. Two cities – San Jose and San Diego- had pension reform on their ballots last night. They both won big. Also, new taxes were pretty much uniformly voted down across the state, including Prop 29, which imposed a new $1 per pack tax on cigarettes. It was a very close vote, but in the end voters decided they just couldn’t tolerate another tax, especially one that projected to raise $750 million without any of the revenue being allocated to pay down the state’s massive debt and pension liability.
As Jon Fleischman at the flashreport.org coined it, Tuesday night was V.U. Day – Victory Over Unions!
Other important ballots I was watching in California were:
Los Angeles District Attorney: In an unexpected upset, perceived frontrunner Carmen Trutanich was denied a spot in the top two. The heavily funded L.A. City Attorney was beat out by Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey (endorsed by outgoing D.A.Steve Cooley) and Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson (endorsed by law enforcement). Lacey and Jackson will head to the runoff.
Three Fullerton City Council members were successfully recalled in response to their handling of the beating death of Kelly Thomas at the hands of Fullerton police. Fullerton residents charged that the members covered for police during the investigation.
Senator Diane Feinstein will run off against Republican Elizabeth Emken. Feinstein receive 50% of the vote, while Emken reached only 13%. Emken has seen weak fundraising compared to Feinstein – hundreds of thousands as compared to Feinstein’s millions. This will be a key race to watch in the coming months. Emken could get closer if the GOP decides to throw some money and support behind her.
Proposition 29 would levy another $1 per pack tax on cigarettes to “support cancer research”. This horribly flawed proposition is projected to raise $750 million in revenue with no provision for the money to be spent within the borders of California. As of this post the vote is still being declared to close to call, even with 100% of districts reporting. The “No” vote has edged out the approval vote so far by 65,000 votes out of more than 3 million cast and with absentee ballots still arriving. This verdict could stretch out for days or weeks. I’ll update as I receive information.
Proposition 28 is a stellar example of how the wording of a proposition on the ballot and in advertising is so absolutely vital. The proposition was billed as term limits, and it asked voters to reduce the number of years lawmakers could serve in legislature from 14 years to 12 years. Currently a lawmaker can serve two 3 year terms in the House and two 4 year terms in the Senate. Prop 28 shortens the total time one can serve, but allows lawmakers to serve those 12 years in either of the houses. This leaves our capitol at even greater risk for even more entrenched, corrupt politicians. Californians instinctively know they can’t trust their representation. Most people are in favor of term limits. Who would vote against them? The wording of the Prop on the ballot was such that anyone who had not properly done their research beforehand would have most likely been inclined to vote in favor. Prop 28 passed overwhelmingly and now it will be even harder to prevent entrenched cronyism.
The “top-two” system seemed just fine. We’ll have to wait to see the real effects in the coming months. I heard few complaints about it while I was out and about talking to voters.
In all, it was a great day for America. Wisconsin showed up big time and public sector unions across the country are looking over their shoulders at the fed up tax payers. With San Diego and San Jose also voting to reform their pension systems, could it be that common sense is making a comeback in California? I won’t hold my breath for that, but it’s a start.
UPDATE: June 7, 2012 It looks like Prop 29 has been narrowly defeated. No new cigarette taxes in California.
crossposted at kiradavis.net
For the first time in US history, a sitting governor survived a recall attempt. The Wisconsin recall magnified a microcosm of American society and highlighted the contentious mood of the national debate over jobs, budgets, and how to best trigger America’s economic recovery.
The results in Wisconsin are especially revealing when examining the mood of American voters. That mood will play a critical role in determining November’s presidential election results. Wisconsin is one of several crucial swing states that could decide which economic direction American voters choose for their country.
In a traditionally liberal State, Governor Scott Walker ran as and has been governing as a fiscal Conservative. He stood his ground, staking the Governor’s mansion on defense of Conservative economic principles
The nation was watching closely. Neighboring states were too. Voters in a state obama won by double digits in 2008 had chosen to follow a different path in 2010. That decision to change course was re-confirmed by the outcome of the 2012 re-call attempt.
The looming national fight is real and based on substance. The upcoming presidential election will not be just about personalities. For obama, who’s personal polling numbers remain high, this is not particularly good news.
Unions formed as a way for workers to unite and push back against abusive employment practices. If public employees see the government they’re working for as abusive, there is a real problem. Either that government should be removed from office or the unions should curtail their expectations. Perhaps both. In Wisconsin, voters sided with the government. A Conservative government
A growing number of voters nationwide now believe public sector unions have gone too far and are milking a corrupt system. This is to the detriment of the ordinary folks who fund union demands with their taxes. The depth of animosity toward public employees is palpable. They keep demanding more until the taxpayers can no longer support them.
obama is closely tied to unions. For years he has openly supported them and worked to expand their role and increase their power. For a growing number of voters, that fact will come into play this November.
By visibly staying away from Wisconsin and mailing his support for Milwaukee Mayor Barrett in at the eleventh hour, obama may have made a crucial mistake. Rank and file union members might now see him as someone who was unwilling to stand up for them in their hour of need. Will they decide to stand up for him when he needs their votes come November’s election?
Make no mistake about it; the result of the Wisconsin recall election is a boost in moral for Republicans nationwide. On the other hand, it is a blow to Democrats, their union supporters and the rest of the institutionalized “progressive” left. Conservatives and the left went three rounds in Wisconsin and the left lost all three.
Whether the “progressive” Democratic Party and their press secretaries in the “progressive” Party Pravda/”mainstream media” want to accept, acknowledge or even report it, the momentum goes to Republicans.