Saturday, December 15, 2012

op ed review 12/16



THIS WEEK’S NEWS
With Michigan the latest state to pass a right-to-work law, the national movement has its eyes on the next prize. And that could be one of several other states. "We´ve been active for a long time in a bunch of states where we´d like to see things move forward," said Greg Mourad, vice president of the National Right to Work Committee. "Those include Wisconsin, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky." Michigan became the 24th state on Tuesday to pass laws that prohibit requiring employees to join a union or to pay fees comparable to union dues to be employed.

Union goons destroyed Clint Tarver’s hot dog cart, which he has operated since 1996:  another casualty of the union protest against the right-to-work law. Union members destroyed the cart and called Tarver an “Uncle Tom,” among other racist epithets, for serving right-to-work proponents
As protests against Michigan’s right-to-work laws swelled, pro-union Democrat legislator Douglas Geiss took to the state House floor – and Twitter – to promise violence. “…there will be blood.”

Obama schedules photo-ops, parties, golf as ‘cliff’ nears
House Speaker Boehner said that unless Obama makes further concessions on spending cuts, Washington will head over the cliff and into a series of tax hikes and massive budget reductions. "The president wants to pretend spending isn't the problem. That's why we don't have an agreement," said Boehner, R-Ohio. "Unfortunately, the White House is so unserious about cutting spending that it appears willing to slow-walk our economy right up to -- and over -- the fiscal cliff." Meanwhile, a group of Democrats sent Obama a letter warning him against accepting Republican proposals to reduce entitlement programs.
A new poll conducted by Politico/GWU/Battleground finds that 76 percent of Americans favor "Cutting government spending across the board."
By federal law, the Obama-Biden campaign is supposed to disband. But it shows no signs of disbanding, and is instead launching a whole new campaign. In an email sent out today and signed by Obama campaign deputy manager Stephanie Cutter, Obama-Biden is urging supporters to flood the capitol switchboard in Washington with calls to Republican congressman. Callers are urged to pressure GOPers into caving to the president’s demand for higher taxes

President Obama travelled to Michigan and made his case for class war in defense of the welfare state. In Detroit, 34.5% are on Food Stamps, 45.7% are not in Labor Force...

After an election in which President Obama stoked class warfare and demonized the rich, he will now appoint the richest man in the Senate to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.

Only 15 states have told the federal government they plan to operate health insurance exchanges under President Barack Obama's reform law, leaving Washington with the daunting task of creating online marketplaces for two-thirds of the country.
Get ready for the costs and chaos of Obamacare:    “it turns out Pelosi was wrong. In fact, we have to implement Obamacare so that you can find out what is in it.”

For months, federal agencies and the White House have sidetracked dozens of major regulations that cover everything from power plant pollution to workplace safety to a crackdown on Wall Street. The rules had been largely put on hold during the presidential campaign…..But since the election, the Obama administration has quietly reopened the regulations pipeline.

Coming to Washington State:  “Denver Drug Agent: Our Problems ‘Have Exploded’ With Pot Legalization - Experts Have New Concerns About Pot & Children”

In a huge win for gun-rights groups, a divided federal appeals court in Chicago Tuesday tossed the state’s ban on carrying concealed weapons and gave Illinois’ Legislature 180 days to craft a law legalizing concealed carry.

Turns out the State Department security force at Benghazi was unarmed. 

"Seventy-three percent of the new civilian jobs created in the United States over the last five months are in government, according to official data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Beijing and Shanghai each have more multi-millionaires now than Los Angeles. Among "ultra-high-net-worth individuals.", Beijing has 1,318 people in that group. Shanghai has 2,028. Both are higher than Los Angeles, which has 950 people worth $30 million or more.
According to the National Association of Realtors, non-American buyers accounted for $82 billion in home sales last year. More than $7 billion of that is by the Chinese, who are now the second largest foreign home purchasers after Canadians. They're buying high-end, multimillion-dollar homes from California to New York and paying cash.
A Chinese car parts maker has won the auction for bankrupt US battery maker A123 Systems.   In October, A123 – which was awarded a $249m grant from the US government – became the latest stimulus-backed company to file for bankruptcy, prompting a fresh round of attacks on President Barack Obama’s support for emerging energy technologies.

President Obama has been pictured shaking hands with a South Korean rapper who sang about wanting to kill American soldiers. PSY, born Park Jae-sang, performed at a White House charity event on Sunday, despite a deeply controversial performance in 2004 that has shocked and outraged American fans.
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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
Investor’s Business Daily  12/11

The president says right-to-work laws mean "the right to work for less money." So how does he explain the fact that incomes are up in RTW states while forced unionism is a proven job killer?

Campaigning Monday in Michigan as it stood poised to become the nation's 24th right-to-work state, President Obama spoke the exact opposite of the truth to union workers at a Daimler Detroit Diesel plant in the birthplace of organized labor. "What we shouldn't be doing," he told the small crowd, "is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages. We don't want a race to the bottom. We want a race to the top."

Yet looking at the hard numbers, becoming a right-to-work state is a direct line to the top. According to Michigan's Mackinac Center, using data taken from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics, private-sector, inflation-adjusted employee compensation in right-to-work states increased by 12% between 2001 and 2011 compared with just 3% over the same period in forced-unionization states.

These good wages came from good jobs. Employment in right-to-work states expanded 2.4% over the same stretch vs. a 3.4% decline in non-right-to-work states. Ironically, Obama is taking credit for jobs created in RTW states.

According to the National Institute for Labor Relations Research, right-to-work states (excluding Indiana, which passed a RTW law in early 2012) "were responsible for 72% of all net household job growth across the U.S. from June 2009 through September 2012." This is why people vote with their feet and move to these states. RTW states experienced large population gains of 15.3% from 2000 to 2010, compared to 5.9% in non-RTW states.

Obama did get one thing right, though, when he said the bills that passed both houses of the Michigan legislature "don't have to do with economics. They have everything to do with politics." The president who fought Boeing's expansion in RTW South Carolina knows it's all about his keeping union dues flowing into Democratic coffers and maintaining the plush lifestyles of the union leaders who support him.

Michigan law will now bar requiring workers to pay money to a third party, namely unions, as a condition of employment. This has given rise to the big lie that workers who refuse to join a union and pay dues will get a "free ride" enjoying the benefits of union representation without contributing to that representation.

"No one is forced to join a union," said House Democratic Caucus Leader Tim Greimel, although workers in Michigan were forced to if they wanted a job at a union shop. "They're asked to pay their fair share of the collective bargaining process. (RTW) gives them the chance to freeload and free-ride."

Yet in its most recent federal filings, the Michigan Education Association said "representational activities" (money spent on bargaining contracts for members) made up only 11% of total spending for the union. Most of the rest went under the category "general overhead," which included union administration and, of course, the union political activities that include lobbying for more government spending. It's the unions that are getting a "free ride."

If unions satisfied workers, one would expect their membership to at least remain constant. But between 2000 and 2010, union membership declined by 9.5% in non-RTW states and 9.2% in RTW states. The only growth was in government unions. Michigan's right-to-work law is a positive blow for worker freedom and economic growth and an example, as in Wisconsin and Indiana, of how conservatives can win and are winning in states led by GOP governors.

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
"Right-to-work laws do not necessarily hobble unions; rather, they force unions to compete for resources and prove their value to their workers. Some unions provide obvious value: In places in which private-sector unions already are strongly established, right-to-work laws have in fact had little effect on union membership. The critical difference is that workers have a choice. This is a principle that should be codified in law in every state, and at the federal level as well. ... The shrieking in Michigan isn't about workingmen's wages, but campaign coffers. That is why there is blood."
                          -National Review

"……this conservative success in Michigan is ... largely the result of liberal overreach. If the Dems and organized labor hadn't been so greedy in the election ... this probably wouldn't have happened, or at least not so fast. When the left goes too far it creates a counter-reaction from the right. That's what the 2010 midterms were about (but, alas, not the 2012 election). .... The fight in Washington may be bogged down, but the fights on the ground in the various states are going better than we might of hoped. Except of course in California, where you people are doomed."
                          -Jonah Goldberg

“The counterculture, now as mainstream as the ‘60s mantra of “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll,” has been written into federal code. Rock music achieved respectability decades ago. The Obamacare mandate that employers provide contraception coverage at no cost will soon ensure that free sex is indeed free. Now pot has cracked the barrier of acceptability. As “just say no” to drugs fades into history, Americans must face the consequences of saying yes.”
               -Washington Times

"The only reason the president insists on raising [tax] rates is because he knows it will destroy Republican unity, it will cause a complete fracture of the Republican majority in the house, it will hand him a Congress that he can then manipulate for the next two years at least because the Republicans will be neutered. ... This is entirely a political action, a way to get a surrender from the Republicans."
                        -Charles Krauthammer

 “Envy and covetousness are powerful emotions, easily manipulated, and Mr. Obama is a master of manipulation. Demonizing a neighbor in a bigger house who drives a new car is easy work. A new Battleground Poll finds that 60 percent of Americans polled now think raising taxes on households – not individuals but households – making more than $250,000 a year is a good idea. The president has done a splendid job of portraying these taxpayers as big-bellied plutocrats who summer in France, winter in St. Moritz, and dine on roast swan. But nearly 70 percent in the Battleground Poll think raising taxes on small-businesses earning more than $250,000 is a bad idea. Republicans have done a lousy job of explaining that many, perhaps most, of the “rich” Americans and these small businesses are one and the same. That’s why abusing small businesses is likely to send the country reeling into another recession at the bottom of the cliff. This one won’t be George W.’s fault.”
                              -Wes Pruden

VDH  “The Real Fat Cats”  With all the talk of raising taxes on the supposedly conservative rich who make more than $250,000 per year, why not levy a $3 surcharge on tickets for movies, concerts, and sporting events to “spread the wealth” from multimillionaires? That way, LeBron James (approximate annual earnings: $53 million) or Oliver Stone (net worth: approximately $50 million) might at last begin to “level the playing field.” Is Michael Moore (net worth: approximately $50 million) a one-tenth-of-one-percenter? If so, why do mansion-living-grandee movie directors like Moore and Stone need state subsidies and tax breaks to produce their films, when most states are nearly as insolvent as the federal government?

Ann Coulter: “Tax rich liberals!”  Republicans have been forced into a Hobson’s choice of either letting the Bush tax cuts expire for everyone or agreeing to a tax hike on the top 2 percent of income earners I note that rich liberals — who somehow manage to avoid paying high taxes themselves — are always wildly enthusiastic about raising taxes on the middle class to keep the strivers down….Forget the top 2 percent. The top 1 percent of the top 1 percent keep voting for higher taxes — and then take advantage of indefensible tax loopholes and deductions. Get them…Let’s have a class warfare bloodbath!”
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LEFTIST WATCH
Enlightened Marxist Harry Belafonte was on with pal Al Sharpton this week. His advice for Obama was to imprison opposition like a “third world dictator.”

Two weeks ago, Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx made national headlines when he called President Obama "Our lord and savior." While hosting NBC´s Saturday Night Live this weekend, Foxx joked about how in his new film "Django Unchained," "I kill all the white people in the movie. How great is that?"
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ISLAM
Earlier this year the Obama Administration changed the way federal agents are trained to combat terrorism and violent extremism by eliminating all materials that shed a negative light on Muslims. Under White House orders, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) destroyed instructional material that characterizes Muslims as prone to violence or terrorism in a government-wide call to end Islamophobia. Under Obama practically every major federal agency has been ordered to participate in Muslim outreach initiatives, including the Justice Department with a special program to protect Islamic civil rights, Homeland Security meetings with extremist Muslim organizations and the nation’s space agency (NASA) with an unprecedented mission to focus on Muslim diplomacy.
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ARTICLES
 “If there was a date when Obama won reelection, it was probably a hot, sleepy Saturday in late May when much of the country was stocking up on beer and burgers for Memorial Day cookouts. Here was one of the few episodes of actual audacity in a grind-it-out 2012 campaign. The Obama team, meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, settled on a risky preemptive summertime attack on Romney, one that threatened the campaign’s financial foundation. Instead of hoarding cash for a tomorrow that might never come, Obama’s advisers were now telling him to blow up the campaign’s budget. They urged the president to pump more than $100 million into a barrage of negative ads in swing states attacking Romney where it hurt most—on Bain, his tax policy, and his opposition to the auto bailout…..“You could always get more money,” Axe recalled.”    “Time? Once that was gone, it was gone.”  (Editor’s note:  I remember republican strategists at the time ridiculing this Obama strategy, comparing it to the ill-fated Pickett’s Charge.)

Consider the implications of this Cliff Kincaid column for a moment and its relevance to the Republican Party/Tea Party debate. While Republican strategist Karl Rove was raising $300 million for television ads depicting Republican candidate Mitt Romney as a would-be efficient manager of the U.S economy, Bird said the Obama for America operation assembled a network comprised of more than two million volunteers, backed by neighborhood political teams and 2,700 field organizers.

(Editor’s note:  Dick Morris was among those predicting a Romney landslide….now he’s had some time to look at the data)  : “…the fundamental reason for Romney’s defeat is apparent, if largely unreported. It is not just that blacks, Latinos, and single women showed up in record numbers at the polls.……We lost because whites stayed home! Particularly among the elderly, the voter turnout was disappointing with seniors casting only 16% of the vote, much less than had been anticipated. Romney was, in fact, leading before Sandy and his chances blew away in the storm with its famous bipartisan photo of Governor Chris Christie with Obama.....But the real question is why the support for Romney among whites was so shallow that the winds of Sandy blew it away. The answer lies in the fundamental strategic mistake the Romney campaign and the super PACs made in June and July — of not answering Obama’s Bain Capital attacks. These withering attacks undermined Romney’s standing among white voters and led directly to their diminished turnout. The Romney campaign and the Super PACs were so wedded to their attack ads that they failed to realize that Bain posed a mortal threat to the credibility of their candidate. Many other consultants joined me in pleading in vain for a reply to the Bain attacks, but none was forthcoming……..By contrast, the Clinton campaigns always focused on rebuttal media. “Never sleep under the same roof with an unanswered negative attack” was the motto of Clinton campaigns nationally and in Arkansas. As a result, his ability to survive negative attacks has become legendary. Only a change in doctrine at the Republican Party can stop this pattern from being repeated.…..Finally, the storm Sandy had a great deal to do with Obama’s re-election. His presidency may be its most lasting damage to our nation and its inhabitants. One voter in six cited the storm as the key factor in their decision to back Obama according to exit polls, a last minute bump for the president that was not reflected in the polls.”

According to new studies, President Obama’s electoral victory in the 2012 election cycle was greatly helped by his massive victory with a previously unnoticed voting bloc: the irreligious. While statisticians focus on the impact of the Hispanic vote in swing states, it turns out that those who do not attend church and consider themselves religiously unaffiliated broke huge for President Obama in the swing states.

Jonah Golberg addresses a touchy subject:  “In the scramble to make the GOP more diverse, a lot of people are looking at Asian Americans, whom many believe are a natural constituency for the party. I would love it if Asian Americans converted en masse to the Republican Party, but the challenge for Republicans is harder than many appreciate.:  …. According to Pew studies, barely a third of Chinese Americans are Christian and less than a fifth of Indian Americans are. "Whenever a Gujarati or Sikh businessman comes to a Republican event, it begins with an appeal to Jesus Christ," conservative writer Dinesh D'Souza recently told the New York Times magazine. "While the Democrats are really good at making the outsider feel at home, the Republicans make little or no effort." My friend and colleague Ramesh Ponnuru, an Indian American and devout Catholic, says the GOP has a problem with seeming like a "club for Christians."

 “This is painful for a liberal to admit,” writes liberal New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, “but conservatives have a point when they suggest that America’s safety net can sometimes entangle people in soul-crushing dependency.” Kristof is writing from Breathitt County, Ky., deep in the Appalachian mountains, about mothers whose Supplemental Security Income benefits will decrease if their children learn to read.
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CHRISTMAS UNDER ATTACK
AFA’s naughty or nice list of companies and whether they recognize Christmas or “holiday”
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CONNECTICUT SCHOOL SHOOTING
What we know about the Connecticut school shooting

It´s Time to End Gun-Free Zones

Democrat Lawmaker: “Obama Must ´Exploit´ School Shooting To Get Gun Control”
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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES
Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus

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LATE NITE
Leno: Obama and Clinton played golf last weekend. Clinton asked Obama, ´What´s your handicap?´ Obama said, ´Joe Biden.´……..President Obama met with tribal Indian chiefs the other day. They gave him his own Indian name: "Running Deficits." Good news: Prince William and his wife Kate are expecting a baby. Bad news: Prince Harry is planning the baby shower for Vegas.
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HUMOR
"U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz accused Republicans of trying to make it a crime to be an illegal alien. Democrats see a conspiracy plot. First Republicans want to say that illegal aliens are illegal, next they're going to want to take away their voting rights."
                       -Argus Hamilton

"It's so cold outside I just saw a Democrat with his hands in his own pockets."
                       -Casey Kelley

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