Friday, June 8, 2012

op ed review 6/10


THIS WEEK’S NEWS
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker survived his recall race, walking away with a seven point victory over Democratic candidate Mayor Tom Barrett. But that's a 'close race,' according to the front page of the Washington Post.

Mitt Romney: “I congratulate Scott Walker on his victory in Wisconsin. Governor Walker has demonstrated over the past year what sound fiscal policies can do to turn an economy around, and I believe that in November voters across the country will demonstrate that they want the same in Washington, D.C.”

“Scott Walker won for a simple reason: He did what he promised to do as a candidate and it worked. Walker’s 2010 campaign focused broadly on fiscal responsibility and balancing the state’s budget. One of the first things Walker did as governor, long since forgotten, was to return some $800 million in federal money designated for high-speed rail in Wisconsin. His argument was not complicated: The state doesn’t need it, and taxpayers cannot afford it.”

“Kill Scott Walker”: Angry liberals flood Twitter with death threats after Wisconsin recall defeat

The spin from the left on the morning after their disastrous Wisconsin recall election failure is that Governor Scott Walker (R-WI), who walked away with the election, did so because he spent oodles of money. “Outspent 7-1, Democrats couldn’t beat Scott Walker with a strong ground game.” Not so fast. As it turns out, labor unions spent an additional $21 million on the recall election.

An election night that began with Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker winning his recall election grew progressively worse for public-sector unions as California voters approved steep pension-cutting measures in two major cities. Voters in San Diego and San Jose overwhelmingly passed ballot initiatives Tuesday to reduce retirement benefits for city workers by switching from traditional plans to 401(k)-style contribution plans. San Diego voters also approved a second proposition allowing the city to hire non-union labor on construction contracts.

President Obama’s popularity in Michigan has slipped in recent months. Romney now leads Obama 46%-45%, a reversal from the last EPIC poll in April which showed Obama ahead 47%-43%.

For the first time this year, Mitt Romney’s campaign has bested President Obama’s re-election effort in a one-month fundraising period, outraising the Democrats by more than $16 million in May.

The Florida Department of State has responded to the Justice Department’s demand that they stop their efforts to clean ineligible voters, particularly illegal aliens, from their voter registrations. Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner issued a statement saying the program would continue.

Washington’s gay marriage law was blocked from taking effect Wednesday, as opponents filed more than 200,000 signatures seeking a public vote on the issue in November.

??? The media crusade to redefine marriage has taken a radical turn. Media outlets have put a spotlight on the narcissistic practice of “self-marriage,” in which a person marries himself or herself in a formal ceremony.

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
Charles Karuathammer  6/7
Tuesday, June 5, 2012, will be remembered as the beginning of the long decline of the public-sector union. It will follow, and parallel, the shrinking of private-sector unions, now down to less than 7 percent of American workers. The abject failure of the unions to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) — the first such failure in U.S. history — marks the Icarus moment of government-union power. Wax wings melted, there’s nowhere to go but down.

The ultimate significance of Walker’s union reforms has been largely misunderstood. At first, the issue was curtailing outrageous union benefits, far beyond those of the ordinary Wisconsin taxpayer. That became a nonissue when the unions quickly realized that trying to defend the indefensible would render them toxic for the real fight to come.  So they made the fight about the “right” to collective bargaining, which the reforms severely restricted…..But as the recall campaign progressed, the Democrats stopped talking about bargaining rights. It was a losing issue. Walker was able to make the case that years of corrupt union-politician back-scratching had been bankrupting the state. And he had just enough time to demonstrate the beneficial effects of overturning that arrangement: a huge budget deficit closed without raising taxes, significant school-district savings from ending cozy insider health-insurance contracts, and a modest growth in jobs.

The real threat behind all this, however, was that the new law ended automatic government collection of union dues. That was the unexpressed and politically inexpressible issue. That was the reason the unions finally decided to gamble on a high-risk recall. Without the thumb of the state tilting the scale by coerced collection, union membership became truly voluntary. Result? Newly freed members rushed for the exits. In less than one year, ­AFSCME, the second-largest public-sector union in Wisconsin, has lost more than 50 percent of its membership…….

The unions’ defeat marks a historical inflection point. They set out to make an example of Walker. He succeeded in making an example of them as a classic case of reactionary liberalism. An institution founded to protect its members grew in size, wealth, power and arrogance, thanks to decades of symbiotic deals with bought politicians, to the point where it grossly overreached. A half-century later these unions were exercising essential control of everything from wages to work rules in the running of government — something that, in a system of republican governance, is properly the sovereign province of the citizenry.

Why did the unions lose? Because Norma Rae nostalgia is not enough, and it hardly applied to government workers living better than the average taxpayer who supports them. And because of the rise of a new constitutional conservatism — committed to limited government and a more robust civil society — of the kind that swept away Democrats in the 2010 midterm shellacking. Most important, however, because in the end reality prevails. As economist Herb Stein once put it: Something that can’t go on, won’t. These public-sector unions, acting, as FDR had feared, with an inherent conflict of interest regarding their own duties, were devouring the institution they were supposed to serve, rendering state government as economically unsustainable as the collapsing entitlement states of southern Europe. Public sector unions have reached their high water mark. Let the cleanup begin as the red ink recedes……..

Walker’s message is clear: The key to bringing balance back to public sector labor relations and balance state budgets is to break the iron triangle of closed-shop mandatory unionization, compulsory dues collection, and oversized campaign donations to politicians that promise to do the unions’ bidding. If other governors take his cue and take up the cause, that giant sucking sound you hear will be the air coming out of union bosses’ bloated political action budgets….

The power of private sector unions was long ago broken by many heavily unionized companies going bankrupt. While this was painful for both workers and shareholders, the economy motored on as nimbler non-union competitors picked up the slack. This approach is problematic for the public sector because bankrupt state and local governments cannot be replaced by competitors waiting in the wings…...

Chicago machine candidate Barack Obama rode into office to the tune of Hail to the Chief, promising the unions that backed him the gift of card check elections, ending the secret ballot that shields employees from union intimidation. He may well ride into retirement to the tune of On Wisconsin as the era of closed shop unionism comes to an end.


Edited from a longer column, read it here:

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
"Walker won because his reform program is popular, and because it is working. ... Walker won because he represented the taxpayer, while his opponent represented the groups whose livelihoods depend on bilking the taxpayer. Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett served as less of an alternative than a vessel for Big Labor's unmoored wrath. ... And, most of all, Scott Walker saved his job by being the adult in the room. While Democrats in Washington seem to be relying on their belief that the United States government is 'too big to fail' to justify a program of taxing and spending our way out of debt, the states don't have such a luxury. And so, across the country, in states red, blue, and purple, they have turned to men like Scott Walker -- and Chris Christie, and Mitch Daniels, and others -- to close structural deficits, stabilize out-of-control spending, and break the death embrace between Big Labor and Big Government"
                                   -National Review

"[T]he political left were trying to demonstrate that power and privileges once granted are eternal. They wanted to run Mr. Walker out of Madison as an object lesson that trying to limit collective bargaining and mandatory dues collection for government unions will end your political career. ... Public unions are never going to cede their dominance over taxpayers without a fight. And it's worth recalling how brutally they fought. They occupied the state capital for weeks. They harassed GOP lawmakers and their families, tried to recall state Senators and defeat a conservative Supreme Court judge, while Democratic lawmakers abdicated their legislative duty by fleeing the state. They lost in the end because Mr. Walker and Republicans rode out the storm, passed their reforms, and are now able to show Wisconsin voters the beneficial results. The longer-term impact of Mr. Walker's vindication will depend on the lesson other political leaders take from it."
                                    -The Wall Street Journal

"Scott Walker never lacked courage. It took steely determination not to buckle in the face of militant unions who 'occupied' the stately Wisconsin capitol in Madison when Walker's reforms were first voted on. For two years, leftists have been howling. One of their speakers at a get out the (union) vote rally actually compared Scott Walker's reforms to the 9/11 attacks on our country. And this is the crowd that is forever lecturing us on civility."
                                    -Ken Blackwell

"Government debt in Greece is 160 percent of gross domestic product. The other percentages of GDP are 120 in Italy, 104 in Ireland and 106 in Portugal. ... Here's the question for us: Is the U.S. moving in a direction toward or away from the troubled EU nations? It turns out that our national debt, which was 35 percent of GDP during the 1970s, is now 106 percent of GDP, a level not seen since World War II's 122 percent. ... I am all too afraid that Benjamin Franklin correctly saw our nation's destiny when he said, 'When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.'”
                                    -Walter E. Williams
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BOOKS
It’s clear David Limbaugh isn’t writing books with the goal of being honored in the salons of the liberal media. He doesn’t mince words with the media. His devastating new book on Barack Obama is titled "The Great Destroyer: Barack Obama’s War on the Republic." It’s a bracing antidote to the intoxicated oozing of the "mainstream" press.

Maggie Gallagher discusses her new book, "Debating Same-Sex Marriage," co-authored with Professor John Corvino.
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GLOBALONEY
1930s photos show Greenland glaciers retreating faster than today…”But nobody thought it was a big deal”
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LEFTIST WATCH
Liberal radio host Bill Press announced on his show that he was “embarrassed every time” he hears the National Anthem and was on a “major crusade” to “get rid of the Star-Spangled Banner.”   “It’s an abomination.” Among the abominations Press cited were that the Anthem is not singable because it is two octaves, contains “military jargon” like “bombs bursting in air” and “rocket’s red glare.” Press was also bothered by the phrase “home of the brave.”

School is letting out around the United States, but for George Soros, education never stops. Soros has given more than $400 million to colleges and universities; including money to most prominent institutions in the United States…..don’t expect the American news media to make it a big issue, even though they have done so for the Koch brothers.

Obama’s Third-Party HistoryNew documents shed new light on his ties to a leftist party in the 1990s.
Ayers and Obama: What the Media Hid

Last week, President Obama rejected the world's most powerful living symbol of anti-communism, anti-Sovietism, and victory in the Cold War. The White House declined to have Lech Walesa stand in for the late Jan Karski, who posthumously received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Our president spurned Walesa, first president of free Poland, who had once risked everything to courageously join Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II in keeping Solidarity alive in Poland.
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ELECTION
From Time Magazine:  “With five months until Election Day, Barack Obama faces a grim new reality: Republicans now believe Mitt Romney can win, and Democrats believe Obama can lose”

Come on now. Is Obama really a “psychopathic megalomaniac”? I learned of Obama’s problems today. Not from Ron Paul supporters. Not from Glenn Beck…. I read about Obama’s psychosis from left wing Democrats.

Mitt Romney’s reputation with US voters appears to be on the rise. That’s the implication of a new CNN poll, anyway, which shows that Mr. Romney’s favorable rating has jumped from 34 percent in February to 48 percent today.

The failed effort to oust (Scott Walker) sent reverberations across the labor movement and the Democratic Party, signaling that one of President Obama’s most powerful constituencies is politically vulnerable and may not be able to help him
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ARTICLES
“It’s still early Friday morning, and so there’s plenty of time for more things to go wrong for the Left before sundown today, but it’s already been another horrible, no good, very bad week for the Left. First, there’s obviously the Wisconsin result.  If the “Progressive agenda” hits the wall in Wisconsin (and let’s keep in mind the local results on public employee pensions in San Diego and San Jose, too), then times are truly bad for the Left….Second, there’s the CBS/NY Times poll finding that two-thirds of Americans want the Supreme Court to overturn Obamacare…. Third, there’s the news out this morning that the Romney campaign raised more money than the Obama campaign in the month of May.  How could Romney possibly do this?  He didn’t have George Clooney!  You can’t possibly outraise The One without George Clooney… Then there’s NBC’s flagship news program Meet the Press, which just notched its lowest ratings in 20 years. And if all of this isn’t cheery enough, the Guardian reports that the big UN Earth Summit in Rio is at serious risk of collapse… It’s almost looking like a Mayan calendar week for the Left.”

The Obama administration is no friend of farmers, and the recent stunt involving the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sending spy planes over the state of Nebraska to keep an eye on where cows drop their patties is the latest example of overreach by an administration that is bent on controlling every aspect of our lives, but farming in particular.

 “What the Media Choose Not to Know about Trayvon”

“Dangerous misreading of the Constitution   Liberals invent the power to consign our children to involuntary servitude”

"The bottom line; the burden of job loss caused by increased minimum wage falls disproportionately on those who can least afford it-low-skill workers, such as young adults just entering the work force. Experience in Washington State bears this out - we have the highest state minimum wage in the nation at $9.04 per hour. We also have one of the nation's highest youth unemployment rates..."

“The partisan divide in the United States may be past the point of no return. It could well be a symptom of greater changes in the American polity that herald the advent of potentially revolutionary change…America may be “on the verge of a new upheaval, a ‘fourth revolution’ that will reshape U.S. politics for decades to come.” The previous three upheavals - the War for Independence; the Civil War; and the changes that attended the Great Depression, New Deal and World War II - were inflection points in American history after which the country began moving in a new direction. Those fundamental changes take place every 70 to 80 years. The sudden and growing divisions in the country may be precursors to another tectonic shift.…There is opportunity in transformative periods. The political values that took root in the 1930s - such as using government to address all national problems - could be swept away in favor of less expensive, decentralized bureaucracy and greater personal freedom. If so, the Obama years will be remembered as the last hurrah of runaway liberalism before the return to fundamental American values.”
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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES
This should be viewed by every American.  Pass it on.

Daisy the beagle is fast becoming an internet star after video of her ecstatically greeting her soldier owner on her return home to the U.S. was uploaded to YouTube.  The beagle and her master, Amanda, had been apart for six months as Amanda served in the military. The video begins with Amanda outside her home as she prepares to open the front door to be reunited with Daisy.

Currently, as the chart shows, debt per American is at (or around) $50,000. Just four years ago, in 2008, the year President Obama was first elected, debt per person was at $35,000. In 2037, if things stay relatively the same, debt per American will be at $147,000.
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LATE NITE:
Leno:  The No. 2 guy in al-Qaida has been killed. Who says Obama isn't creating job openings?..... Unemployment's still looking pretty bad. In fact, the White House has a new slogan on jobs creation — "Hope and Change the Subject."…….The unemployment numbers are higher than President Obama was in high school……..Congratulations to our new national spelling bee champion. Her name is Snigdha Nandipati. Over the weekend the 14-year-old from San Diego won the award after she correctly spelled her own name.
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WISE WORDS
"God [gave] mankind virtually unlimited gifts to invent, produce and create. And for that reason alone, it would be wrong for governments to devise a tax structure or economic system that suppresses and denies those gifts."
                        -Ronald Reagan

"The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife."
                         -Thomas Jefferson

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