Saturday, February 26, 2011

The idea that we now have the rule of Obama instead of the rule of law should frighten everybody.

Gingrich: If Palin Took Obama Actions, There Would Be Calls for Impeachment - newsmax
Obama Attorney General Eric Holder said on Wednesday that the administration will not defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act in the courts, which has banned recognition of same-sex marriage for 15 years....

Gingrich slammed Obama for his decision, telling Newsmax that he is not a “one-person Supreme Court” and his decision sets a “very dangerous precedent” that must not be allowed to stand.

“Imagine that Governor Palin had become president. Imagine that she had announced that Roe versus Wade in her view was unconstitutional and therefore the United States government would no longer protect anyone’s right to have an abortion because she personally had decided it should be changed. The news media would have gone crazy. The New York Times would have demanded her impeachment.

“First of all, he campaigned in favor of [the law]. He is breaking his word to the American people,” Gingrich says.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Wisconsin Assembly passes bill taking away union rights

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -
Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly took the first significant action on their plan to strip collective bargaining rights from most public workers, abruptly passing the measure early Friday morning before sleep-deprived Democrats realized what was happening.
The vote ended three straight days of punishing debate in the Assembly. But the political standoff over the bill - and the monumental protests at the state Capitol against it - appear far from over.
The Assembly's vote sent the bill on to the Senate, but minority Democrats in that house have fled to Illinois to prevent a vote. No one knows when they will return from hiding. Republicans who control the chamber sent state troopers out looking for them at their homes on Thursday, but they turned up nothing....

Democrats react:

Barone: Public Unions Force Taxpayers to Fund Dems
Everyone has priorities. During the past week, Barack Obama has found no time to condemn the attacks that Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi has launched on the Libyan people.

But he did find time to be interviewed by a Wisconsin television station and weigh in on the dispute between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and the state's public employee unions. Walker was staging "an assault on unions," he said, and added that "public employee unions make enormous contributions to our states and our citizens."

Enormous contributions, yes -- to the Democratic Party and the Obama campaign. Unions, most of whose members are public employees, gave Democrats some $400 million in the 2008 election cycle. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the biggest public employee union, gave Democrats $90 million in the 2010 cycle.

The Cost Balloon

"How can fringe benefits be nearly as much as salary?" In Wisconsin, ...As is commonly the case, the school district's retiree health plan has not been prefunded. It has been pay-as-you-go. This has been a disaster waiting to happen, as retirees grow in number and live longer, and active employment shrinks in districts such as Milwaukee.... The showdown in Wisconsin over fringe benefits for public employees boils down to one number: 74.2. That's how many cents the public pays Milwaukee public-school teachers and other employees for retirement and health benefits for every dollar they receive in salary. The corresponding rate for employees of private firms is 24.3 cents. - Robert Costrell in The Wall St. Journal

The Republican National Committee - rnc's Channel

UN: Libyan delegation resigns

Libyan diplomat tells UN rights body: "We serve at the will of the Libyan people;" Libyan delegation resigns
...The entire Libyan delegation to the UN mission in Geneva... quit in protest to the violence Qadhafi has unleashed against anti-Qadhafi protesters, the Associated Press reported....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sick Democrats and Mob Rule

In countries ruled by despots, if you want change you demonstrate until you get it. In Wisconsin, you send a mob to the state capitol to prevent the legislature from doing its job.
Several thousand teachers, clueless students and an assortment of thugs did that in Madison last week to prevent the legislature from voting on a bill to require teachers to pay into their retirement program and to increase the minuscule amount they pay for their health care plan. The bill also would restrict collective bargaining by their union to wage issues.
The new Governor, Scott Walker, was elected last November on pledges to do the very thing he and the legislature have been doing the last week or so. The voters returned Republican majorities in both houses. It's fair to assume all have been carrying out the wishes of the voters with this legislation.

The Democrats, now in the minority in the state senate, didn't agree with that assumption. All of them took a powder last Friday, fleeing across the state line to Illinois. Since Wisconsin law requires at least one member of the minority party to be in attendance to form a quorum, business was stalled. Clearly, these Democrats believe in majority rule only when they are in the majority.

On Thursday, more than 1,000 teachers called in sick. What kind of message does it send for a teachers to call in sick when she is not sick? Most people call that lying. Furthermore, is it not fraud when they call in sick while spending the day shouting and carrying protest signs at the state capitol and being paid sick leave by the taxpayers?

Wisconsin Assembly Nears Budget Vote...

Troopers Hunt for Wisconsin Senators - Democrats Continue Their Boycott as Union Rallies Spread Across the U.S - Wall St. Journal
Assembly Democrats, meanwhile, sent Republican Gov. Scott Walker an alternative to his budget proposal that includes economizing measures of his bill but strips provisions that would eliminate most collective-bargaining rights of the state's 170,000 public workers.

Gov. Walker had no immediate comment on the Democrats' alternative, but Assembly Republicans quickly rejected it. GOP lawmakers expected the Assembly to pass the budget bill Thursday, but final passage was far from certain as the state's 14 Senate Democrats remained in northern Illinois, halting progress in that chamber.

Republican Senate Leader Scott Fitzgerald, in an interview, called the Democratic proposal "showmanship" and predicted passage of the bill in the Assembly would prod Senate Democrats to return to the capital of Madison.

"It will certainly put some pressure on the Democrats to come back and go to work," he said.
Dems hiding in plain 'spite' - Wis. runaways' Ill. motel found -
Wisconsin Sen. Jon Erpenbach -- one of the other 14 Wisconsin Democrats who fled the state to block a union-busting budget bill -- managed to find a Chicago hotel room on for $99, a fiscally responsible deal by any political standard.
But $28 for a room service hamburger was a little outside his budget.
"I'll probably be moving again tonight," Erpenbach said by phone, careful not to reveal his location. "I'm paying for it myself. I'm very much a paycheck-to-paycheck single dad. This is a financial hardship."
Troopers sent to homes of some Wisconsin Democrats
Some discussion:
Look for the Union Fable - Ann Coulter
In this corner: public sector unions, bought-and-paid for Democrat hacks, and legacy media. In the other corner, the American taxpayer... - directorblue
AFSCME, Socialism and the Battle for America - New Zeal

BOOK REVIEW: Mideast turmoil’s historic roots

By Walid Phares
Threshold Editions/Simon & Schuster, $26, 384 pages

When it comes to books about current events, timing can be everything. This book's timing is perfect, as it turns out. Its publication date was late last year, but for years, the author has been studying the buildup of forces that led to the Tunisian and Egyptian events of recent weeks as well as the demonstrations sweeping the Middle East. To say that he was prescient is an understatement.

Born in Lebanon, but long an American, Walid Phares has made the study of tensions in the Middle East his life's work. He has published 10 books on the subject, teaches global strategy at the National Defense University and has advised units of the U.S. House of Representatives and European Union.

He begins by asserting that our failure to identify the war launched against us in the 1990s by radical jihadists was not a "failure of imagination," as some suggested, but of education. That is, we as a nation knew little about the underlying stresses and trends that moved the events we saw and read about in the news.

He writes that "the free world can win the conflict with the jihadists, but certainly not using tactics and policies employed thus far. ... If we can't define the enemy, the threat, its ideology and its strategies, we surely cannot claim any advance of so-called victory."

Do Presidents Have a Duty to Defend the Constitutionality of Laws they Believe to be Unconstitutional?

The Obama Administration’s decision not to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act has inspired a great deal of criticism from commentators... -

'We strongly condemn the use of violence in Libya'

Revealed: The horrific price Libyan people are paying for freedom as Gaddafi's bloody grip on power gradually slips away

WH: Obama's 9-Day Silence Due To 'Scheduling Issue'

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Keep on top of the news about Libya

here -
GLOBAL MARKETS-Brent oil tops $113 on Libya unrest; Nikkei slides
World grapples for response as battles divide Libya
Al Qaeda backs Libyan protesters and condemns Gaddafi
Nikkei falls on Mideast worries

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Emanuel declared winner in race for mayor, no run-off

CHICAGO — Obama's former Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, is declared the winner in the race for Chicago mayor.

With 87 percent of the precincts reporting, Rahm claimed 55 percent of the votes.

For the first time in 64 years, Chicago has a new mayor.

Gov. Scott Walker Delivers Fireside Chat

Congress Finally Earns Its Pay

Washington and Lincoln--those birthday boys--ought to be smiling. The 112th House of Representatives spent the week debating how to fund the rest of Fiscal 2011. In sharp contrast to his recent predecessors, Speak John Boehner is sticking to his vow to make the chamber more open and accountable. His committee chairmen having presented a base spending bill, Mr. Boehner threw open the floor to full discussion. Some 600 amendments came pouring in.

"Chaos," "a headache," "turmoil," "craziness," "confused," "wild," "uncontrolled" are just a few of the words the Washington press corps has used to describe the ensuing late-night debates. There’s a far better word for what happened: democracy.
read the rest...

Unlike years past, the budget debates in the House were vigorous and democratic, not stage-managed by the leadership of the majority party. --Kimberley Strassel, The Wall Street Journal

Monday, February 21, 2011

Indeed, if “the science is settled” and “the debate is over,” then why is the federal government spending billions of dollars each year subsidizing alarmist climate science research?

Another victory for science! House votes 244-179 to kill U.S. funding of UN IPCC! 'It no longer wishes to have the IPCC prepare its comprehensive international climate science assessments'
Defund IPCC 'amendment was sponsored by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Missouri), who read aloud on the floor from the 2009 U.S. Senate Report of more than 700 dissenting scientists! (Written by Climate Depot's Morano) -- Luetkemeyer: Americans 'should not have to continue to foot the bill for an (IPPC) organization to keep producing corrupt findings'
House votes 244-179 to kill U.S. funding of IPCC
House Votes to Eliminate IPCC Funding


Gaddafi on the run: Dictator may already have fled and be on his way to Venezuela after Libyan air force attacks civilians -
Libyan jets 'fire on protesters in Tripoli'
Bloody battle leaves second city Benghazi 'totally out of control'
Two Libyan fighter pilots defect to Malta after being told to attack civilians
Gaddafi's own diplomats at the UN turn on dictator and say he should go
Up to 400 feared dead after dozens killed in clashes
Analysts say the end is nigh for dictator as his forces prepare assault
David Cameron declares regime response is 'appalling and unacceptable'
UK Foreign Sec: Gaddafi headed to Venezuela...
Chavez gov't denies...
Muslim leaders order followers to rebel...
Tribe threatens to cut oil exports...
REPORT: Military jets attack protesters in Tripoli...
Two pilots refuse, fly to Malta, defect...
Oil companies move staff...
U.S. military chief visits Gulf to urge restraint...
Khamenei: America must be removed from Islamic world...
Says Libyan leader will fight until "last man, last bullet" - Gaddafi's son warns of "rivers of blood" in Libya - alarabiya
at drudge

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Unrest in Iran, Algeria, Yemen, Morocco, China [and Wisconsin]...

Libya protests analysis: 'For Muammar Gaddafi it's kill or be killed' - Libya's leader faces the worst unrest since he seized power, but no-one expects him to give up peacefully -
Libyan tribe threatens to cut oil exports soon - reuters
Libya launches harshest crackdown yet on rebels -
Riot police crack down on protesters in Algiers - france24
Bahrain protesters swarm square, police flee - reuters
Bahrain royal family orders army to turn on the people -
Rulers scramble to put lid on popular dissent... - financialtimes
Protesters gather in Beijing, Shanghai - sify
headlines on Drudge tell the story

The Real Deal in Madison - it was that last-gasp attempt to make themselves invulnerable to public accountability that really was the last straw and that convinced Wisconsinites and their representatives that the cozy relations between government unions and legislators had gone too far and needed to be stopped, even if that meant “breaking” the unions.

The Real Deal in Madison - theothermccain
Democrats, after losing the November election, called a special lame-duck session in an abortive effort to lock in sweetheart deals for government employee unions. When that didn’t work, Democrats have since tried to prevent Republicans from acting to balance the budget
Some Recent Historical Context for Wisconsin-Union Dispute
[UPDATED] - piece of work in progress
A lame-duck special session is a rarity in Wisconsin state politics, having been called only once before in the past 40 years. Those very same Democratic Senators who have fled Wisconsin so as to prevent a voting quorum were part of this scheme, and the idea was to take advantage of the absence of any Republican State Senators who had left on vacation to ram through the new deals with 17 different unions, including language that would effectively eliminate oversight of state regulatory agencies and give them full control of workplace policies without having to get government permission....

Dave Hansen, the outgoing Dem majority leader, made the principled decision that the voters of the state had elected a new slate of legislators to deal with budget matters, and all of the contracts but one (for child-care providers) went down by identical 16-16 votes.

It was widely believed that all of those contracts would be approved in Special Session, but Republican lawmakers showed up to do their jobs. Whether Nancy Pelosi was proud of them or not is not recorded.
The Morning Scramble – The People versus The Public Unions edition - norunnyeggs (lots of links here)
Scott Walker vs. Public Sector Unions


“Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.”
--George Santayana, American philosopher, 1905