We keep hearing bluster about how the economy is recovering. Bluster. Let’s see, there was that announcement about job creation and the unemployment rate dropping to 8.9%. Of course, in the midst of the trumpets and hallelujah choruses there was the note that the reason for the drop was not the “job creation”, rather it was the number of people who quit looking for work basically cooking the numbers for the Obama Administration.
Cross-Posted: TobyToons (Conservative Political Cartoons)
Senate Republicans were harried by swarming crowds. “We tried to get out of the building after the vote, because they were rushing the chamber, and we were escorted by security through a tunnel system to another building. But, after being tipped off by a Democrat, they mobbed the exit at that building, and were literally trying to break the windows of the cars we were in as we were driving away,” Republican senator Randy Hopper tells NRO. Such tactics, he sighs, were hardly unexpected. “I got a phone call yesterday saying that we should be executed. I’ve had messages saying that they want to beat me with a billy club.”
(emphasis mine) h/t Ace of Spades
Look at that again. Don’t miss it. There’s a violent mob in the legislative chamber and the Democrats tipped off the rioters as to the Republicans’ plans to exit the building via a back tunnel.
…there are signs, as blogger and legal scholar William Jacobson notes, that some cops have been “taking sides in this political dispute”–and worse, that these guardians of public order are siding with those using lawless tactics to disrupt the legislative process.
In a Feb. 27 post, Jacobson linked to a video of a cop–”presumably off-duty but wearing what looks like a police-issue sweater with insignia” and, on the back, the words COPS FOR LABOR in big letters–”who addressed the crowd of protesters inside the Wisconsin Capitol building on February 24, and threatened disobedience to state government”:
Here is the transcription by a supporter of the police protest of the key passage:
“. . . This is not a budget issue! This is a CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE! . . . Mr. Walker! . . . We know pretty well now who you work for! [applause] Let me tell you who WE work for! [points to self and police emblem] We work for all of these people! [applause] We are not here, Mr. Walker, to do your bidding! We are here to do their bidding! . . . Mr. Walker, this not your House! This is all of our House! [camera pans 360°]“
In today’s post, Jacobson quotes from a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report: “It was clear Wednesday night, after thousands descended on the Capitol in reaction to the Senate vote . . ., that police were not going to try to stop protesters from entering what was supposed to be a building closed for the night.”
If I were an elected Republican in WI, I’d reach across the aisle with a shiv. It is difficult for me to express my contempt for these Democrats while staying within the posting rules.
We’d better be ready, people. This is the same mob atmosphere that radicals instigated at the Chicago 1968 convention and the Unionists’ backs are against the wall. They know that without compulsory union membership and confiscated union dues, their power is *gone*.
People don’t voluntarily join unions, which is causing membership to shrivel up and die in the private sector. Their only hope of continuing their culture of corruption is the public sector, where politicians can “reward government employee unions for their political support by committing taxpayer money to their members’ extravagant pensions and other fringe benefits.”
We’d better break this up now. It’s too late to perform according to Barney Fife’s dictum to “nip it in the bud” but it’s not so late that we can’t stop their viciousness and malfeasance.
Crossposted at Unified Patriots
One of the great unheralded struggles for freedom in our time involves the lonely effort by bloggers to get paid for their rants . . . er, I mean opinions! So it is that our blogging brothers and sisters at The Huffington Post are on strike.
I urge my fellow bloggers — and readers, left, right and center — to support this strike. Let’s stand in solidarity with our HuffPo brothers and sisters!
They’re toiling, after all, for the same basic “rights” that every blogger deserves: the right to a “living wage,” the “right” to collective bargaining, and the right to be heard — the right for their voices to “matter.”
And so, let’s make The Huffington Post a “no-blog zone” and a “no-read zone” until their “demands” are met: Because, let’s face it, the miserly few, such as Arianna, are making big bucks in blogging, while throwing mere crumbs to the rest of us.
Arianna, in fact, jets around the globe — to Greece, Switzerland, Chile, Italy and elsewhere — living the high life. Yes, this is the same Arianna Huffington who recently secured a $315-million sweetheart deal with AOL!
But will the toiling bloggers at The Huffington Post see one red cent of the proceeds? Come on! Don’t be naïve! Everyone knows that Arianna and her cronies intend to pocket every last dime!
The left-wing blogging queen is utterly indifferent to the needs of her employees and contributors! She channels Marie Antoinette and says in effect: “Let them eat cake!”
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Veterinary Public Health Amendments Act (H.R. 525) on March 8.
H.R. 525 will help expand the veterinary public health workforce by offering veterinary school loan repayment for veterinarians who commit to serve in a federal, state, local, or tribal public health agency or who engage in a related training fellowship. The legislation also makes veterinary public health eligible for workforce grants. These grants are awarded to help increase the number of individuals in the public health workforce, to enhance the quality of such workforce and to enhance the ability of the workforce to meet national, state, and local health care needs.
This amendment was part of the original obamacare in 2009 that did not make it into the bill the House sent to the Senate. 279 votes were needed for passage, and there were 280 who voted Aye. The 280 who voted Aye include 95 Republicans. 32 of these 95 are House freshmen. There were no Democrats who voted Nay. Only 138 voted Nay, and this vote had 53 freshman. vote details
Now I realize that the very first bill that passed in the 111th House had to do with repealing obamacare. This vote that took place on March 8th makes me think a lot of people in the US House are not really serious about obamacare gettimg repealed. I have read a report that most Americans don’t have a clue and Congress needs to help Americans understand how big the problem is that faces us. This elitist attitude angers me. I am frustrated that of 87 new Republicans elected to the US House 32 have already adopted the elitist attitude of DC insiders. Now I also realize that veterinarians are good people who take care of sick puppies. There simply is no money available to offer veterinary school loan repayment. The sickest puppy of them all is the out of control spending by the US Congress. Below I have named names. They are the 32 who voted Aye. If you live in their state and you are a PC you just might want to discuss with like-minded PCs on your displeasure with this vote.
As the situation in Libya has deteriorated, there has been increasing chatter amongst the chattering classes as to whether the United States will impose a no-fly zone over that country much like we did to Iraq between the two Iraqi wars. Now, I’m all for a debate about whether imposing such a zone, and the resultant risk to American military lives, should be considered an existential threat to our national security (personally, I have my reservations).
But the usual coterie of Leftists have predictably erupted in a snit over us even having this discussion without first going through that most beloved of Leftist institutions – The United Nations.
It’s for another post to discuss whether it’s a legitimate foreign policy goal of the U.S. to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. But it is time, once and for all, to destroy the Globalists’ assertion that the U.S. is bound, by our membership in the U.N., to subject our Constitution to the whims and vagaries of that institution.
Robert Naiman, in a piece up over at FireDogLake, pens the following regarding whether the U.S. can establish, unilaterally, a no-fly zone over Libya:
While Other Governors Tackle Real Reform,
Jerry Brown Tries To Pass The Buck
GOVERNOR FAILS TO MEET OWN BUDGET DEADLINE
One Month Before Taking Office, Jerry Brown Announces 60-Day Budget Deadline:“Gov.-elect Jerry Brown said Tuesday that he wants to complete a budget agreement within two months, an accelerated timeline that would allow a late-spring special election for potential tax increases or other revenue generation. ‘I’m going to try to get the budget agreements done within about 60 days. I don’t think we have a lot of time to waste,‘ [Gov. Brown] said.” (Seema Mehta, “Brown wants to complete budget in 60 days, predicts cuts to education,” Los Angeles Times, 12/14/10)
60 Days After Taking Office, Jerry Brown Admits That He Failed On His First Promise: “Still in the midst of intense talks with legislators, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday called off action on the budget to provide breathing room as they seek to resolve their differences. That means Brown will miss his self-imposed deadline of Thursday to have his budget approved and tax extension proposal ready for the ballot.” (Steve Harmon, “Brown will miss state budget deadline,” Contra Costa Times, 3/10/11)
MEANWHILE, OTHER GOVERNORS ARE MOVING FORWARD
WITH BUDGET CUTS, SIGNIFICANT GOVERNMENT REFORM
Republican Governors Lead The Way:
Scott Walker Pushes Back On Unions, Promises Sweeping Pension Reform: “Gov. Scott Walker wants to help fix state finances by cutting benefits for union workers and wiping away their ability to negotiate over anything but their wages, setting up a potentially explosive battle in the Capitol. That would mean public worker unions would not have any say on benefits and work rules and would face a new restriction on salary increases as well. Walker’s bill also would allow public employees to avoid making payments to unions if they don’t join those unions. Now, workers can choose not to join unions, but they must make ‘fair share’ payments similar to dues – a requirement that unions say is needed because all workers benefit from their work at the bargaining table.” (Jason Stein and Patrick Marley, “Walker budget plan would limit state unions to negotiating only on salaries,”Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 2/10/11)
- One Step Away From History As Wisconsin Senate Passes “Budget Repair Bill”:Among the items removed from the bill were nearly $250 million in debt restructuring and lapses of authorized spending to the Department of Administration, as well as a reversal on the sale of state power plants to private entities. Increased funding to the Department of Corrections and the state’s Medicaid programs, needed to forestall shortfalls in those programs were also not included in the Conference Committee report. Planned changes to the Earned Income Tax Credit and an audit of eligibility requirements for state entitlement programs were also scrapped.” (Brett Healy, “Scott Walker’s Budget Repair Bill Moves to Assembly for Final Passage,”BigGovernment.com, 3/10/11)
Chris Christie Shakes Up New Jersey, Calls For Significant Cuts, Government Worker Concessions: “New Jersey Governor Chris Christie introduced a $29.4 billion budget Tuesday that demands many concessions from state workers, as well as cuts spending and taxes. Christie, who has gained a national reputation for coming down hard on public employees, wants workers to pay more for their health care. Raising their co-payments and premiums will save the state $323 million.” Tami Luhby, “N.J. governor wants workers to pay more for benefits,” CNNMoney.com, 2/22/11)
- Christie Hits Hard On Unsustainable Public Union Pensions: “At a Reform Agenda Town Hall in Chesilhurst, Governor Chris Christie today will press the need for passage of his reform proposals to shake up New Jersey’s out-of-date, antiquated and increasingly expensive pension and benefits systems. The Governor will continue highlighting his reform proposals as necessary to restore fairness and affordability to the costs that current and future generations of New Jersey taxpayers must bear.” (Source: Governor of New Jersey, 1/24/11)
Florida’s New Governor Calls His Budget The Most Fiscally Conservative In The Country: “He…challenged lawmakers not to ‘blink’ in taking up his proposals. ‘The first step to better times is acknowledging that government cannot afford what some have come to expect,’ Scott said.” (Southern Political Report, 3/9/11)
- Rick Scott Demands Public Union Workers Pay More Into Retirement Plans, Invest in 401K’s: “Gov. Scott released his plan Tuesday to cut costs in the state’s pension fund by requiring all public employees — including teachers, police officers, current state workers and other government employees — to contribute 5 percent of their salary. ‘We must bring Florida in line with the private sector and nearly every other state in the country by requiring government workers to contribute towards their own retirement,’ Scott said in an announcement. Scott would also phase out the state’s ‘defined benefit’ plan — which pays retirees a fixed percentage of their salaries — and enroll new workers in investment plans similar to a 401(k). If approved by the Florida Legislature, the changes would save taxpayers $2.8 billion over two years, he said.” (Sally Kestin, “Scott wants public employees to contribute to pensions,” South Florida Sun Sentinel, 2/1/11)
Pennsylvania Governor Keeps His Word–No Taxes, Deep Spending Cuts: “Gov. Corbett kept his word, at a cost. In unveiling his first budget Tuesday, Corbett stuck by his campaign pledge to not raise a single tax. At the same time, he called for layoffs, wage freezes, and some of the deepest cuts in recent history for public schools and colleges. The Republican governor’s $27.3 billion spending plan for 2011-12 is 3 percent leaner than the current budget. Another promise kept: He proposed no new levy or fee on natural gas extracted from the Marcellus Shale, and would revive some business-tax cuts suspended by his Democratic predecessor, Ed Rendell.” (Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden, “Corbett’s budget: No tax hike, lots of spending cuts,” Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/9/11)
EVEN JERRY’S FELLOW DEMOCRAT GOVERNORS ARE TELLING UNIONS “NO MORE MR. NICE GUY”
NY’s Andrew Cuomo Tells Public Unions That Pension Padding Has To Stop:“Cuomo said his pension reform plan will crack down on government employees who boost their pension payments by working excessive overtime in the final years of the job. ‘It’s an abuse that has to stop,’ Cuomo told reporters after an appearance outside Buffalo yesterday. ‘When it’s done as an abuse it has to be outlawed and that is going to be a part of the pension reform agenda that we bring to Albany.’” (Glenn Blain, “Gov. Andrew Cuomo looks to lay down the law with state’s pension padders,” New York Daily News, 2/5/11)
- Cuomo Calls NY State “Functionally Bankrupt”, Calls For Across-The-Board Cuts: “Cuomo’s $132.9 billion budget cuts education and health care spending and he said he seeks to avoid most layoffs through attrition and by securing concessions from unions in contract negotiations. The proposed layoffs would amount to roughly 5 percent of the state’s 200,000 employees. Cuomo’s budget, which includes no new or increased taxes, calls for a 7.3 percent cut in state aid to schools, or $1.5 billion from the state’s more than $20 billion in annual school aid. Cuomo said that means local school budgets will get 2.9 percent less state aid.” (Michael Gormly, “Cuomo Budget Proposes Painful Cuts, 10,000 Layoffs,” Huffington Post, 2/1/11)
- Cuomo Even Cuts Spending…When NY State Is Predicting A Surplus!: “New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday ordered a 10 percent cut in personal service contracts to shrink a yawning deficit, even as he and the legislature agreed on a higher revenue estimate. New York uses personal service contracts for numerous areas and Cuomo’s cuts will affect technology, engineering, health care, accounting, research, and environmental studies. Like governors from New Jersey to Wisconsin, Cuomo is relying on state workers to accept budget cuts, lower pay and benefit packages. This policy has prompted numerous union protests.” (Joan Gralla and Dan Wiessner, “NY governor cuts spending despite revenue recovery,” Reuters, 3/2/11)
Other Democrat Governors Are Risking Their Political Futures By Cutting Government Worker Salaries, Raising Pension Pay-ins:
Governor Martin O’Malley (D – Maryland): “We must also fix and save our State’s pension system, which has fallen out of balance – thereby threatening the long-term stability of our state finances. 13 Now prospectively speaking, annual contributions from the employer-State, annual contributions from employees will have to be moderately increased while expectations of some benefits will have to be moderately lowered.” (State of the State Governor Martin O’Malley, 2/3/2011)
Governor Jack Markell (D – Delaware): “But the financial pressures we confront as a state government demand that we take a hard look at the costs of our employee health insurance and pensions. Between them, they account for $453 million of our budget. Taxpayer contributions for state employee pensions increased by 594% over the last 11 years, and for healthcare by 257%. While this escalation is not sustainable, we value our state employees and they value the benefits they receive. So the proper course is to work together with our state and public education employees to find the best and fairest ways to achieve near- and long-term savings.” (Delaware State of the State Address 2011, 1/20/2011)
Governor Christine Gregoire (D – Washington): “We need to use this economic crisis to get control of spending in two critical areas — pensions and health care costs. In the past decade our health care costs doubled to more than $5 billion. In the next biennium alone our pension costs will double. Every dollar we spend on health care and pensions means we have one fewer dollar to educate our children. I am proposing we repeal a 1995 law that gave automatic benefit increases to retirees in the old PERS 1 and TRS 1 pension plans. The pension law was well intended but it carries a staggering price tag and we simply cannot afford to continue it. Pension reform will save $2 billion over the next four years and more than $11 billion during the next 25 years.” (Washington State of the State Address 2011, 1/11/2011)
Governor Jay Nixon (D – Missouri): “With the cuts included in my budget tonight, I will have reduced government spending by more than $1.8 billion since I took office. I’ll have cut state payroll by over 3,300 positions. All across state government, a leaner workforce is doing more with less. These decisions are never easy, but they are necessary.” (Missouri State of the State Address 2011, 1/19/2011)
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D – West Virginia): “Christie’s determination to rein in spending has made him a rising star among Republicans. …West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) struck a similar note in his recent State of the State speech, as he touted the state’s ability to overcome the budget deficits of the past few years. His new budget proposal “contains no tax increases,” he said.” (Michael A. Fletcher, “Governors from both parties plan painful cuts amid budget crises across the U.S.,” Washington Post, 2/7/2011)
Governor Dannel Malloy (D – Connecticut): “We must establish our means and live within them. … In the coming weeks and months, you will hear a lot about reducing the size of government, from the size of my office, to the number of state agencies. And not just cutting for cutting sake, but re-conceiving government so that better decisions are made and implemented faster. … To get there, together, is going to take courage, conviction, and shared sacrifice. … And I believe that in our hearts, we are willing to make sacrifices if, if, we understand where we’re going, what’s at stake, and that shared sacrifice is really shared — that there’s a fairness factor. But this is not sacrifice without payoff. This is sacrifice with a purpose.” (Connecticut State of the State Address 2011, 1/5/2011)
Speaker Boehner: “American Energy Initiative Will Be New Majority’s Ongoing Effort to Address Rising Gas Prices & Help Create Jobs”
Number 1: They are going to make it a Lean, Mean, Cost-sharing Healthcare machine. Let start on Page 31-33..
SECTION 99. 49.45 AUTHORIZATION FOR MODIFICATIONS TO PROGRAMS; STUDY. (a) In this subsection, ‘Medical Assistance program’ includes any program operated under this subchapter, demonstration program operated under 42 USC 1315, and program operated under a waiver of federal law relating to medical assistance that is granted by the federal department of health and human services.