Monday, February 28, 2011

McKinnon on Wisconsin

Mark McKinnon, who was recently McCain's advisor until he bailed when Obama won the Dem nomination, wrote this column that appeared in the Daily Beast. It is the most concise and accurate argument against public sector unions that I have seen.

1. Public unions are big money.

...Of the top 20 biggest givers in federal-level politics over the past 20 years, 10 are unions; just four are corporations. The three biggest public unions gave $171.5 million for the 2010 elections alone, according to The Wall Street Journal...

2. Public unions redistribute wealth.

...Unlike private-sector jobs, which are more than fully funded through revenues created in a voluntary exchange of money for goods or serv-ices, public-sector jobs are funded by taxpayer dollars, forcibly collected by the government (union dues are often deducted from public employees’ paychecks). In 28 states, state and local employees must pay full union dues or be fired. A sizable portion of those dues is then donated by the public unions almost exclusively to Democratic candidates. Michael Barone sums it up: “public-employee unions are a mechanism by which every taxpayer is forced to fund the Democratic Party.”

3. Public unions silence the voters’ voice.

Big money from public unions, collected through mandatory dues, and funded entirely by the taxpayer, is then redistributed as campaign cash to help elect the politicians who are then supposed to represent taxpayers in negotiations with those same unions. In effect, the unions sit on both sides of the table and collectively bargain to raise taxes while the voters’ voice is silenced. But the noisy mob in Madison is amplified beyond its numbers... The public unions, representing just 300,000 government employees in the Badger State, are trying to trump the will of the voters. Though voters don’t get to sit at the bargaining table, they do speak collectively at the ballot box.

4. Public unions are unnecessary.

The primary purpose of private-sector unions today is to get workers a larger share of the profits they helped create. But with a power greater than their numbers, these unions have destroyed the manufacturing sector, forcing jobs overseas by driving labor costs above the price consumers here will pay. The government is a monopoly and it earns no profits to be shared. Public employees are already protected by statutes that preclude arbitrary hiring and firing decisions.

The primary purpose of public unions today, as ugly as it sounds, is to work against the financial interests of taxpayers: the more public employees are paid in wages and uncapped benefits, the less taxpayers keep of the money they earn. It’s time to call an end to the privileged class. And the White House makes a mistake if it thinks it can grow a manufactured and uncivil unrest into a popular movement. Voters will not follow those who flee.
Sunday, February 27, 2011

The more the public learns

the less they like public sector unions. I'm glad this story is sticking around, b/c it gives the media (the few that aren't already in the tank for liberalism) the opportunity to run stories like this, and educate the public on what their tax dollars (i.e., property confiscated at point of a gun) are getting them.
Sunday, February 20, 2011

"Raging Wisconsin"

So says the National Review. I spent a half hour yesterday listening to Gov. Walker's press conference as reported on CNN, and this went, in my mind, from being merely an interesting story, to the critical story out there.

This budget showdown is becoming the flash point for our whole nation's fiscal predicament. Will the new GOP majority in WI succeed in busting the public sector's collective bargaining rights, and making public sector employees share health and prnsion costs on par with private sector workers?

I'm pretty sure that if they fail--if the local protestors and professional rabble-rousers succeed in cowing the new Governor--this country is basically sunk. It will be the first concrete proof that we're more France than we are olde-time America. Strikes will rule the day, and fiscal reality will continue to be swept under the rug until the lenders stop funneling us currency.

And just like Gov. Walker, trust me, the lenders will be the bad guys.
Sunday, February 13, 2011

Gov. Daniels at CPAC

Here's the speech.

George Will sure can give an intro, huh? First time I've seen him since he introduced Rudy in '07.
Thursday, February 10, 2011

The "draft Mitch Daniels for POTUS" group needs a motto,

and I can't even believe who they recruited to come up with it:

Monday, February 07, 2011

Jimmy McMillan for POTUS

And apparently he's bailed on the Rent Is Too Damn High party and is planning on running as plain old mainstream party candidate....



A Republican.

Jeb

This is one really important piece. This is the Editor in Chief. Of the National Review. THE institutional magazine of beltway conservatives.

Are we looking at Jeb '12? Lowry says he can't afford to wait for '16. Jeb would turn this race on his head.
Sunday, February 06, 2011

A link for instant mood improvement

The world's ONLY ROCK BAND.(tm)
Saturday, February 05, 2011

Counterpoint on Huntsman; contemplating the Big 4

Not a snowball's chance in hell, per Jennifer Rubin. She makes a brief but compelling argument.

So aside from looking for Dark Horse candidates, which is always more fun than dealing in known commodities, that brings me back to the reality that there are only 4 contenders who poll with meaningful support nationwide at this point: Romney, Huckabee, Palin, and Gingrich.

Until proven otherwise, I'm going to stick with these 4 as the serious contenders. And Palin has general election viability issues that I think may convince her not to run. We may have a "Big 3" for the second straight cycle. 2 of those 3 are the same as in '08, with Gingrich replacing McCain.

It's fascinating, b/c they're 3 very different conservatives. Huck, I believe, is ultimately the most electable of the three because of his personal charisma. Mitt has the skill set and temperment I'd most like to see behind the wheel from a day-to-day administrative standpoint. And Newt has the feel for the political "big picture", the historical storyline, and long-term vision that can make politics transcend tit-for-tat argumentation.
Friday, February 04, 2011

Great SB commercial

Likely GOP Presidential Candidates on Egypt

From Y! News:

Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor, 2008 candidate:

[A change in Egypt's leadership] would be best undertaken if President Mubarak were to step out of the way or lead the transition...I don't know that I would say to the president, 'You should call for Mubarak's resignation.' That, I think, flies in the face of a long history of friendship between he and our country and our friends.... I think that [the Obama administration] got off to a rocky start. I think some of the statements early on were misguided. But I think they corrected and they said they want to see transition, I think that's right," he told me. (Source: Interview Jan. 31, ABC's Good Morning America.)


Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor, 2008 candidate:

The overall consensus [in Israel] is two-fold. First, real shock and surprise down to the average on the street Israeli citizen at how quickly the Obama administration abandoned a 30-year ally and a long standing friend to peace and stability-- President Mubarak. I don't think anybody is trying to defend everything that he did as President, but they would have liked to have seen at least an acknowledgment that he's been a friend for all these years. So the concern is that if the U.S. will so quickly turn on that friend, how quickly will it turn on its other friends?... The second concern is that this could have cascading effects across the Middle East. (Source: Interview Feb. 1 on Fox and Friends via ThinkProgress.)


Tim Pawlenty, former Minnesota governor:

I think his time is going to come to an end. It should come to an end. But as that vacuum gets filled, we want to do all we can to make sure it gets filled by institutions and people and leaders that share our principles... We're at a precipice now where there's going to be change, and the infrastructure--the political infrastructure of the country--isn't well prepared for the change. And it's in part because we allowed this vacuum to materialize underneath Mubarak. (Source: Interview with reporters Jan. 31, as reported by the Des Moines Register.)


Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker:

The United States should try to facilitate the movement to a system that promotes democracy, but we shouldn't kid ourselves. We do not want to see Egypt go the way of Iran and have a pro-Western ally replaced by a radical Islamist organization that is clearly dangerous to our future and could cause enormous instability in the region. (Source: Interview Jan. 31 on Fox's Sean Hannity Show)


Rick Santorum, former Pennsylvania Senator:

Here we have a regime that has actually been quite friendly to the United States, cooperates with the United States. And there seems to be more encouragement [from the State Department] for the protesters on the streets of Egypt than there was for the protesters in the streets of Iran [during the Green revolution.] And that's a bit puzzling to me... This is a hard case... If you take Iran from 1979, we had a dictator there in Iran, the Shah in Iran, who was a friend of the United States... but we abandoned him and what we got in exchange was... a radical Islamic regime. That happening in Egypt would have a profound effect on the Middle East. (Source: Interview Jan. 28 on Fox Business)
Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The Last Shred of Respect for the Nobel Peace Prize Disintigrates

There was still a microscopic grain of honor left in my mind for the Nobel Peace Prize. There were some respectable early winners such as T.R. and the Red Cross. But it's dropped off a cliff in the last decade with winners such as Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter, and Al Gore. I thought they hit bottom when awarding it to Obama, but they got out the shovel and dug a bit deeper. Wikileaks has been nominated. What a farce.
Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Dominos falling in the Middle East

Tunisia has had a revolution. There have been protests in Algeria and Morocco. King Abdullah has sacked the Jordanian government seeking to quell protest there. Qadaffi has to be looking over his shoulder in Tripoli. And of course, the biggest story of them all, Mubarak's regime is on the brink in Cairo.

Dictators and monarchs are on the ropes across the Islamic world.

Will this be the vindication of the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld strategy in the Middle East?

I'm amazed I haven't even heard any speculation on this point in the press. And that the former V.P. (designated legacy-protection point man) has kept his powder dry.

Expect to hear a lot of arguing over this point if events continue to unfold in a pro-democracy manner.

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Always sniffing for the truth

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