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February 21, 2011

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clarice feldman

If only they could provide instant lobotomies to us all, O's record would be perfect.

Extraneus

Mr. Obama has had strained relations with unions in general, and many do not believe he fights hard enough for their issues

I know we're supposed to bite on that, but won't it be hard to swallow?

We asked for it.  We got it.

Rope and chains.
=========

clarice feldman

Meanwhile in the bunker (from the American Spectator)

A BINDING CONTRACT
The White House has been watching the Wisconsin state employee labor fight with a degree of alarm, says a White House aide: "I think all of us recognize what this could mean for us in the re-election fight," says the aide. "Without well financed labor, we're screwed."

For several weeks, now, the Obama Administration, with staff from the Labor Department and Department of Education, among others, have been setting up working groups to examine how, if at all, they could block or reverse in some way state-based rules and laws that would draw back labor unions' abilities to collect chunks of member pay for political purposes on the state and national level.

In fact, some political advisers to President Barack Obama have been speaking with senior national labor officials about the roles they might play in the re-election bid. Says the aide: "One way to strengthen labor's position and get them politically engaged for us is through contract negotiations, and there are several, large contracts coming due in 2011 and 2012. Corporations may think they can push these unions around because of the economic situation, but we're looking for ways to ensure that if organized labor wants to fight, they will be able to fight. That can only help us politically."

Janet

Seems like the term robber barons was applied to the wrong people.

narciso

Well there is a reason why that term, wasn't common to that era, Janet,in the LUN. So who are their counterparts of this age, ironically, many of the people at the dinner in California, this weekend.

narciso

This is why the comparison to a dead armadillo, is so apt, in the LUN. Now I have acquaintance with people who would be affected
if such a system came here. But it strikes me,
if you really believe is something, debate it
with your full measure, but don't play these
games

Henry

I live in Paul Ryan's district and saw that interview. I only watched the O on TV because I heard a rumor (later confirmed) that O's people provided the buses for the protestors (Organizing for America or whatever). The White House was in this from the start.

Thomas Collins

See LUN (via Instapundit) for an article arguing that writing false doctor notes is actually consistent with what is taught in medical schools these days under the rubric of ethics courses emphasizing advancing "social justice," and how doctors educated in such a system are likely to serve the interests of the ObamaCare State, not their patients.

They asked for it.  They got it.

Bahrain goes Boom!
===========

centralcal

The group narciso mentioned in his *;40 am comment above:

Creepy, isn't it?

centralcal

ah, not enough caffeine yet - 8:40 am.

laura

TC, Great article. The ethics curriculum is not surprising. It's just a continuation of what students have been taught in schools and university for the last 30 years.

narciso

Wrong LUN, TC, btw, is prearranged gagging the proper response to the Matthews informercial for Clinton

Donald

Caffeine? We don't need no stinkin caffeine!

LUN

Thomas Collins

Thanks for pointing out my LUN malfunction, narciso. Let's try again.

Brad Fallon

Obama strained relation from union in general because his propose cutting of budget clearly is against what they fight for. It would seem that he doesn't sympathize with their demands. I think he should meddle with the union's affair because it seems that the workers are not happy with the way things are going.

Donald

Bon Scott died 30 years ago. 30 frickin years.

I got that from Scott Lynch at alargeregular.com

He's pretty awesome.

Old Lurker

What's creepy CC is on what planet one would take off one's suit coat to dine with the President of the United States.

Extraneus

Strange that doctors would be for wealth redistribution, isn't it? At least they should set an example and go first.

Pagar

"many do not believe he fights hard enough for their issues"

IMO, There is no issue that labor wants that Obama has not done every thing possible to give them much more. Executive order 13522 gives veto power of every Federal agencies decision to the union bosses. Every federal agency decision released has already been union approved before the taxpayer sees it. There is no one in any of the government agencies that has the power to question the union approved decision. Until every voter in America understands the power Ex Order 13522 gives the unions, the unions can not be defeated. There is no one in any Federal agency protecting the taxpayer, all protection is going to the unions and the DNC under Obama.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/01/president_stealth_1.html

The LUN gives more info.

Thomas Collins

I agree that this has been going on for decades, laura. The article on medical education is another illustration of the corroding of our institutions by leftism. Home schooling and the establishment of more institutions like Hillsdale College that aren't dependent on the feds are going to become more important to combatting this Gramscian march.

Henry

A couple pointers from the radio this morning:

Madison teachers walking out again today, will go back to work tomorrow. Milwaukee schools have Presidents' Day off.

The assembly will take up the bill today (they passed it once then unpassed when the Dem caucus heard what they did and ran from their conference room to the floor to pitch a hissy fit). It will pass.

The senate is off today, but will be back with a full plate of non-budget stuff whether the run-aways are found or not.

Gov Walkers office nixed a plan to separate the collective bargaining from the budget repair bill and pass it anyway -- collective bargaining is a budget issue and will pass anyway (eventually) without trickery required.

The Left is grasping an upcoming Friday debt restructuring deadline in an attempt to declare victory over something -- but if they push past this expect public sector layoffs and state handout cuts.

Rob Crawford

I know we're supposed to bite on that, but won't it be hard to swallow?

Well, Extraneus, there is a grain of truth to it. The unions want the rest of us in chains, auctioned off to their officers. Obama has balked at that, apparently because he thinks it's too soon.

Rob Crawford

Corporations may think they can push these unions around...

Wow.

Are they really this stupid? Are they really this blind to reality? This stuck in a reality that's nearly 100-years dead?!

This isn't the old Pinkerton Wars between labor and management; it's between TaxPAYER and TaxEATER. The unions involved aren't the UAW, IBEW, or other private-sector unions; they're the SEIU and their ilk in the public sector.

Rob Crawford

Obama strained relation from union in general because his propose cutting of budget clearly is against what they fight for.

And that "strained relation" is an illusion because Obama has never put forward a budget that involves cuts.

Captain Hate

This isn't the old Pinkerton Wars between labor and management; it's between TaxPAYER and TaxEATER. The unions involved aren't the UAW, IBEW, or other private-sector unions; they're the SEIU and their ilk in the public sector.

They think it's "Matewan" all over again but can't figure out why Andrew Breitbart is filming it instead of John Sayles.

narciso

So it dawns on me, that the Times reporter doing the Cairo and now Tripoli beat, from Cairo, was the same fellow who was practicing 'anthropology of a conservative' not that long ago, and we know how well he understood
that subject.

Sandy Daze

21 February 2011
Baghdad

Good afternoon, all.

"Breitbart tv ~~ Uncovered Video Obama Leads SEIU Chant After Vowing to Paint the Nation Purple "

Perhaps I got the original link here, if not, if you have not already watched this video, do so now (lun).

15 January 2008


Take good care,
Sandy

Ranger

Via Instapundit:

http://disruptthenarrative.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/liberal-wisconsin-political-cartoonist-sides-with/>Liberal Wisconsin Political Cartoonist sides with…

We keep hearing about how the Tea Party will fracture Republicans. But it is starting to look like AFSME and SEIU are actually fraturing the Dems pretty effectivly.

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

I like Mark Hemingway's point. How can anyone on the left oppose a government shut down after Obama endorsed what is going on in Wisconsin.

The obvious point here is that if it's so "reckless" to shutdown the government, why have Wisconsin legislators, the President and the DNC all supported the government shutdown in Wisconsin? Not only that, they have shutdown the government by fleeing the state and breaking the law, not to mention the illegal union strikes shutting down schools and national Democrats helping to organize the angry mob descending on Madison.

Army of Davids

Obama needs to butt out of Wisconsin's budget issues. It's none of his business.

Captain Hate

LUN for Mika might be dumb but she is at least capable of recognizing things when presented to her.

PD

If only they could provide instant lobotomies to us all, O's record would be perfect.

It's not like some of them don't want to. I once saw a "Lobotomies for Republicans" bumper sticker in Sister Bay (Door County). I was surprised it wasn't right next to one of those "Democrats are Compassionate" stickers.

Ranger

And Obama's at -18 at Ras today. His assult on democracy in Wisconsin is hurting him badly it seems.

narciso

I sometimes think that John Carpenter film 'They Live' a critique of the Reagan era, disguised as a science fiction tale of Alien
takeover (which they are remaking, natch)
was much more prescient than they intended.

PD

Or one of those "Democrats Care" stickers, which truth in advertising would require to be corrected to "(about spending your money)".

Army of Davids

The idea that public sector unions have a "right" to collective bargaining is nonsense.

They have an asymmetric negotiating advantage against the taxpayer. Owning both sides of the negotiating table will tend to do that.

They also have a way of making government more dysfunctional and fiscally ill.

Public sector unions need to go period.

daveinboca

Bill Kristol said it best yesterday to Chris Wallace. "The GOP has found their ticket for 2012---Walker for POTUS, Ryan for VP... Or maybe vice versa...!"

Then Bill wondered if it were legal for two candidates from the same party to run from the same state---yes, but the VP's electoral votes wouldn't count in the final summary, was the conclusion.

"GO PACKERS GO" could be amended appropriately with Badgers put into the slogan. Or as Bill starting singing off-key, On Wisconsin!

Threadkiller

"If Ryan and Walker run in 2012, Thank a Teacher!"

Ranger

You know, I think it might be time to re-read Milovan Djilas' "The New Class." Its about how the Communists didn't transform society, simply removed the old elites, and replaced them, becoming just as oppressive and exlusionary as the old system had been. Its taken longer here, but the socialists in the labor movement have accomplished much the same thing in many state across the country, and with Obamacare, at the federal level as well.

Last week one of the senior Illinois Republicans was on the radio and he explained very well why private sector union workers are breaking away from public employees:

Worker A is private delivery driver. He makes a little over 40K a year and is a member of the Teamsters. He has to chip in a big chunk of money for his health insurance, and has a pension that he can start to draw at 65, or maybe 67 years old, and that wont come close to fully replacing his income.

Worker B is a state delivery truck driver. He makes around 70K a year. He gets a pention plan that allows him to retire at 55 with 80% of his salary with a 3% automatic increase every year once he retires. He pays nothing for his helth insurnace and gets free, full health coverage once he retires.

Now, in Illinois, you are telling Worker A, who has not seen a raise in two or three years, and probably has taken a pay and benifits cut just to keep his job, that he has to fork over 66% more in state income tax so that Worker B can keep all his pay and benifits untouched.

narciso

DiB, going off an earlier post on your blog, I'm surprised you didn't consider the example
of Nogrishi Pasha, to counter the point that
the Ilkwan have nonviolence as a default, that
happened in '48, and was responded to by going
after Hasan Al Banna

Pops

Perhaps it is time for Wisconsin to Unionize the Students?

Then the students can negotiate their work rules with the teachers.

How long they will study, how much notice they require before a test. How much time off and their compensation for showing up to school.
Etc. Etc.

Neo

Wisconsin has taken the public's eye off of DC.
So instead of building support against Republican spending cuts in the House, the eyes of the public are watching Wisconsin and the Middle East.

narciso

No, Wisconsin, is a microcosm, 'a laboratory of democracy' to see how the budget battle plays out nationally

Ignatz

--You know, I think it might be time to re-read Milovan Djilas' "The New Class."--

Great book by a great man.

Henry

If DC shuts down, will anyone but the MSM care -- or even notice?

PD

How long they will study, how much notice they require before a test. How much time off and their compensation for showing up to school.

*And* their compensation will be provided by the teachers.

Danube of Thought

Hell, I rolled out late so RobC beat me to it. How clueless is the anonymous aide who thinks this is about labor vs. corporations?

This is one where I think the more the public learns the more it will come to our side. As a general matter if you ask about unions it is as though you are asking about apple pie: the knee-jerk reaction of many is to think they're vital to fairness under our system. But when they learn about who is bargaining with whom and for what in the case of the public employees, there simply is no case to be made for the unions. For close to fifty years it has simply been a racket, and it is a racket operated by and for the benefit of the Democratic Party and government workers.

Some labor-friendly dude in San Francisco was quoted yesterday as saying one out of every six dollars spent by local government there is spent on union pay and benefits, and that in L.A. the figure is one in three. We have come to the point where government operates for the benefit of its workers, and an educated people are not going to stand for it.

If I were in the White House right now and looking toward 2012, I would tell the president that what we have here is the proverbial cloud no bigger than a man's hand.

Danube of Thought

This is how some guy at the AP sees the issue:

MADISON, Wis. — To end a high-stakes stalemate over union rights that has captured the nation's attention, a handful of Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin might have to stand up to their new governor. Gov. Scott Walker made clear Monday he won't back off his proposal to effectively eliminate collective bargaining rights for most public employees.

I would hope that any GOP Senator who caves on this one understands that he is serving his final term.

Extraneus

Pressure on Wisconsin Unions, Dems Grows as Walkout Drags on

The 14 Democratic members of the Wisconsin Senate remain at large, with a handful vowing in interviews from undisclosed locations to stay in hiding as long as necessary to prevent a vote on a budget proposal opposed by government union workers.

But with only one Democrat needed to bring the measure up for vote and Republican resolve deepening, the standoff seems set to soon turn into a showdown.

Ignatz

SEC charges seven in climate change pup and dump.
Al Gore reportedly leaving Aspen for Gadaffi bunker.

Ignatz

That would be "pump" and dump of course.
pup and dump you clean up with a newspaper not federal marshals.

Ranger

When one thinks about it, is there really any phylisophical difference between the special party stores the communists ran to protect party members from the effects of the economic policies they were imposing on the rest of their societies, and the waivers from Obamacare that this administration hands out to corporations and unions (many of which lobbied for the bill to be passed)?

Jack is Back!

Tuesday is D-Day in Wisconsin.

I think The Won has so badly miscalculated his insertion into this issue that he will be mortally wounded as leader much like the way Carter was during the Iran hostage crisis. He is toast and the debt ceiling debate and vote cannot come soon enough. The example Ranger gives us above will soon be resonating around the country. In fact, I don't know why the GOP isn't out there pounding this disparity on every major airwave in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and all the other states facing a similar crisis.

OT: Rick Scott and Bill Nelson ran into each other at the 500 and Nelson has somehow got Scott to agree to re-think HSR in Florida. Scott says he will but there has to be indemnity to Florida taxpayers so that they are "hold harmless" for any costs or liability. I see no way a HSR with Fed Funding can be built without Florida taxpayer monies not being in the mix. It looks to me that Scott needs to take a page from Walker and understand what compromise means to democrats - it means do it my way or we will crucify you with our friends in the media, White House, unions and Hollywood.

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

Mr. left and I made a bet yesterday. He said the republicans in Wisconsin would compromise and I said they wouldn't. (I have 10 bucks resting on the outcome.)

I couldn't figure out where he got wind of that compromise, but he tends to get his news from the NYTimes and CNN. So one of them must be reporting that.

Neo

Wisconsin State Senator, Mark Miller, calls into question the tactics used by President Barack "I Won" Obama, Senate Majority Leader Reid and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

"... this is a democracy, and in a democracy you negotiate,” Miller told anchor Erica Hill.

The TOTUS was unavailable for comment

Henry

Jane

The meme that senate R's are wavering is wishful thinking on somebody's part.

Get someone you trust to hold Mr. Left's $10.

: )

Threadkiller

I thought "Pup and Dump" was a referance to Crap and Trade.

Threadkiller

referEnce

Porchlight

These last few days are a perfect example of why it is folly to make political predictions. Who would have thought even a week ago that media discussion today would have been wall-to-wall unions, centered in Madison, Wisconsin, with Obama and the Democrats/unions clearly losing the argument, and a Republican governor winning, even as covered by the MSM?

Specifically, regarding 2012, it's just crazy to write anyone off on the GOP side. Who knows how far Barry will melt down - or shore up his support - between now and then.

Janet

"If Ryan and Walker run in 2012, Thank a Teacher!"

LOL, Threadkiller!
The whole thread is great...

Porchlight

Jane, here is a report about a possible WI GOP compromise:

WSJ: Moderate Wisconsin Republicans Offer Compromise

Oh, don't you just love moderate Republicans? So stalwart, so trustworthy in all the important battles.

narciso

True, Porch does anyone remember the famous SOTU now, with Eastern North Africa ablaze,
and protests from Madison onward.

Danube of Thought

Sorry, Jane, but it looks like some "moderate" hero may by riding to the rescue of the public employees by betraying the governor. Read it and weep. This guy sounds like a budding John McCain, and is likely to get one hell of a lot of Strange New Respect.

Danube of Thought

"A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters agree more with the Republican governor in his dispute with union workers. Thirty-eight percent (38%) agree more with the unionized public employees, while 14% are undecided."

Pagar

"SEC charges seven in climate Change"

Meanwhile, over in Europe,

"The novelty comes with EU officials due in a Belgian court today to answer a demand to name companies in possession of stolen allowances. This follows a legal challenge by TCEI of Italy, a holding company for trading house, The Cube Energy, which is hoping to recover 267,991 allowances that were stolen."

LUN

The climate change ripoff of taxpayers in EU and the US is probably in the sextillions of dollars by now and no one seems to care.

narciso

As with the derivatives trade, many multiples of the Global GDP.

Captain Hate

Porch and DoT, hopefully that guy is trying to set an ambush for the fleebaggers but given how Repubs usually react to any pushback, I wouldn't be surprised if your worst fears are realized.

Porchlight

Hopefully those wobbly WI GOPers are getting a righteous smackdown from their colleagues about now. Why cave when your position is only growing stronger?

Ranger

Looks like the White House and DNC are now firmly in damage control mode:

http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2011/02/oops-white-house-dnc-disavows.html>The unofficial public relations arm of the DNC reports that the White House and the DNC itself really had nothing at all to do with the public service union protests in Madison.

The internal polling on this must be worse than the Ras surveys.

Danube of Thought

Just received the following from Meriter:

Thank you for your email in response to media reports that some protesters at Capitol square in Madison, Wisconsin, have received medical excuse notes from physicians. These physicians are reported to be associated with UW Health. UW Health physicians who are on the Meriter medical staff are employed by the University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation. UW Health physicians who may be distributing such materials are doing so of their own accord and do not represent UW Health or Meriter on this issue. We understand UW Health will thoroughly investigate these allegations, and take appropriate actions as indicated. You may submit your comments via email to publicaffairs@uwhealth.org. Thanks.
narciso

Sure, this is all disconnected, my left foot, in the LUN

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

That is precisely what Mr. Left said - a 3 year moratorium on collective bargaining.

Sheesh! I really don't want to lose this one.

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

You know that is a stupid compromise. The dems are free to try and reinstate collective bargaining any time they want. They just need the votes.

Henry

Some of the perceived waivering is home district CYA. For example Van Waangard is typically mentioned. His home district is a swing district including Racine County. The city of Racine is as far left as Milwaukee and Madison -- heavy industry (think Case Tractors) and union, now dominated by S C Johnson and its various offshoots. The people in Racine that still have jobs have very generous benefits (courtesy of S C Johnson) so the budget is a tougher sell there.

Western Racine County is very rural and very red-state, I don't know how the demographics compare between the two, but the part west of I94 put Waangard in office.

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

I just got this response from Mae Knowles from Meriter:

Thank you for your email in response to media reports that some protesters at Capitol square in Madison, Wisconsin, have received medical excuse notes from physicians. These physicians are reported to be associated with UW Health. UW Health physicians who are on the Meriter medical staff are employed by the University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation.

UW Health physicians who may be distributing such materials are doing so of their own accord and do not represent UW Health or Meriter on this issue.

We understand UW Health will thoroughly investigate these allegations, and take appropriate actions as indicated. You may submit your comments via email to publicaffairs@uwhealth.org.
Thanks.

Frau Werkschaft

My husband remarked that the fourteen Dems are only concerned about the unions that support them, not about the farmers and all other WI workers who *must* deliver the taxes that pay for the union contributions. What a great setup! These unions even have the local and state entities doing the collections for them.

Let's hope the WI Republicans do not cave. Why not have the members write the checks to their unions? In addition,kill card check now.

Appalled

Jane:

You know that is a stupid compromise. The dems are free to try and reinstate collective bargaining any time they want. They just need the votes.

And the Republicans are free to continue extending the ban on collective bargaining... If the compromise gives everyone a chance to save face, and implement everything, it's not the worst deal. I think, though, I would not make the the restoration of collective bargaining automatic -- I'd just legislate that the legislature is required to address the issue in three years, once the governor issues a report.

Others:

I hope you all know that, under the current proposal, the retention of collective bargaining rights on wages is an illusion, if benefits are not part of the bargaining. For example, if collective bargaining results in a 10% of compensation wage increase, the employer can completely offset the increase by a 10% of salary increase in the amounts employees pay for medical benefits. The effect on employee take-home pay and the government budget is the same.

Also, understand that Wisconsin is manadating its employees take a cut in take-home pay, or, alternatively, is in effect causing employees to pay for medical benefits with money they formerly paid to their union.

The reaction we are seeing in Madison should not be surprising to anyone. Unions are getting their funding cut -- they have to fight. People are making less money, and don't like it. They're going to fight too.

Extraneus

R's have a 19 to 14 majority in the Wisconsin Senate. It would take three McCains to throw it.

Pagar

Gateway Pundit has the contact info for the Republican Senators in the LUN. I've already told Sen Schultz what I think.

If any Teaparty candidate were to announce against Sen Schultz today, I expect he could pick up some serious campaign funds.

glasater

When the state collects dues from members for the unions is this part of collective bargaining?

I know/remember little or less regarding the intricacies of union membership.

MayBee

People are making less money, and don't like it. They're going to fight too.

I think we all understand that, Appalled.

Our portion of insurance payments went up this year. I believe that is true of most people. Our take home pay went down as a result.

The government is forever tinkering with the tax code. That takes money out of everyone's paychecks and it is money that does not go directly back to us. There are always ideas just on the horizon- taking more out for Social Security, decreasing tax deductions, removing 401ks, increasing college tuition. We are all unnerved and being asked to do our share.

Now, I am very fortunate. But I don't want to see people who are having to do what the rest of us are doing through a hissy fit on the taxpayer time.

Appalled

glaster:

I'm unsure whether the dues collection is part of collective bargaining, but it is a part of the governor's proposal.

MayBee

And I think it is high time we have a discussion about public employee unions.
Starting with- what is the benefit to the taxpayers? Why should a state require an employer (the taxpayers) deal with the union (a private entity)?

So if the unions want to "fight", let's see how mature they can be about it.

Annoying Old Guy
Why cave when your position is only growing stronger?

Because that's what Republicans do. Most politicians care far more about the opinion of fellow politicians and Old Media than the voters, and the Democratic Party takes ruthless advantage of that.

Rocco

I received the same response as Dot and Jane. Lip service if you ask me. But perhaps there's still hope. Senator Pam Galloway has indicated she plans on urging the State Medical Examining Board to conduct a full investigation into the fraudulent sick notes.

Danube of Thought

For example, if collective bargaining results in a 10% of compensation wage increase, the employer can completely offset the increase by a 10% of salary increase in the amounts employees pay for medical benefits.

I'm not sure that's correct. It's my understanding that the proposed legislation would limit pay hikes to the rate of inflation, and also that it specifies the percentage of wages that are to be paid for medical and retirement benefits. Anybody know different?

Ranger

Well, UW is a state school, and could find its funding cut significantly if it does not deal with lapses in ethical behavior on the part of the faculty.

Rob Crawford

People are making less money, and don't like it. They're going to fight too.

Cry me a freaking river.

The alternative is stealing more from people who make an honest living.

Here's an idea: Civil service protection or collective bargaining. One or the other, never both.

Extraneus

These rumors of compromise can only serve to stiffen the spines of the fugitive senators. And the longer they stay on the lam - the longer this whole thing lasts - the worse it's going to be for their side. There's no way public opinion is going to trend toward the union if they stay out longer and Walker keeps the soft-spoken reasonable schtick going. I wouldn't be surprised if the compromise talk is a tactic.

MayBee

This just into my inbox:


Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Mon, February 21, 2011 -- 12:14 PM ET
-----

American Held in Pakistan Shootings Worked With the C.I.A.

The American arrested in Pakistan after shooting two men at a
crowded traffic stop was part of a covert, C.I.A.-led team of
operatives conducting surveillance on militant groups deep
inside the country, according to American government
officials.

Working from a safe house in the eastern city of Lahore, the
detained American contractor, Raymond A. Davis, a retired
Special Forces soldier, carried out scouting and other
reconnaissance missions for a Central Intelligence Agency
task force of case officers and technical surveillance
experts, the officials said.

Neo

Oh Gasp ... UK Mail claims ..."Obama accused of 'double standards' as family are pictured skiing... just days after telling Americans to sacrifice their own holidays"

It must be true because it's in the newspaper.

Ignatz

--I hope you all know that, under the current proposal, the retention of collective bargaining rights on wages is an illusion--

That makes Walker's proposal seem even better, although I'm not certain that was your intent.

--For example, if collective bargaining results in a 10% of compensation wage increase, the employer can completely offset the increase by a 10% of salary increase in the amounts employees pay for medical benefits.--

How so? It is taking an act of the WI legislature to increase the amount the unions must contribute right now. Will this bill end that? If so excellent, again.

Porchlight

Ah yes, the much-needed, much-deserved post-Christmas, pre-Spring Break Obama family vacation. In which their lavish spending props up the fortunes of the tiny, financially ystruggling Vail skiing community (ha).

Danube of Thought

And I think it is high time we have a discussion about public employee unions.

You bet it is. And I would start with the question of why they should exist at all. One very clear statement of the issue that I saw recently is this:

In the private sector, on one side of the table sit those whose interest is in maximizing pay and benefits--that side represents the workers. On the other side sit those who seek to minimize them--that side represents the shareholders, its vendors and its customers. The two sides bargain over how to divide a fixed and limited sum of money.

In the public sector, there is no one at the table representing those who want to minimize the labor costs. The sum of money is almost unlimited, and is provided by people who have no say at the table. A substantial portion of the funds that go to labor are remitted directly to their negotiating "adversaries" in the form of campaign contributions.

It's a racket, plain and simple.

Appalled

MayBee:

I think there is going to be a discussion about public employee unions -- you don't solve the state budget crisis without dealing with them in some way.

The thing I can see happening, and that gives me some pause, is that the public employee unions are easy scapegoats, and public employees, without a union, can be exploited by politicians whenever imprudent planning and budgeting (bridges to nowhere, bullet trains to nowhere) puts a state in a bind.

I don't mind making unions less powerful (and removing automatic dues is a good way to do that), and I don't believe in a "union shop", such as what they have in Wisconsin. But I do think public employees as a group have rights, and that a union is a reasonable entity for protecting those rights. The American system works best when government is unable to completely overpower other interests, and that includes the interests of its own employees.

narciso

wtf, so their concern for Plame was real, huh

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

Rush said Michelle was caught eating ribs last night to the tune of 1100 calories. (that's close but a paraphrase.) It was funny.

MayBee

Currently, there is one tier of medical benefits available to the WI teachers, and it is thorough. One commenter (Calypso Facto) at Althouse's says the union has been accused of charging too much in its non-competitively bid insurance policy.

So I wonder if teachers would really lose so much money if they didn't have to pay union dues and could take a less expensive, less comprehensive insurance package. Or just go on their spouses, rather than continue to carry their family on their very generous plans.

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