Danishova

Idgit Watch

Andrew Cuomo: Extortionist?

Posted by danishova on March 24, 2009

A week ago I described the politically ambitious New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo as a “stunning hypocrite” here.  To recap,  I said:

How many people who share responsibility for the housing crash heard round the world are now beating their breasts in self-righteous outrage over A.I.G. bonuses ?   The prime players on the stage right now are Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and, ta da… Andrew Cuomo.

Let’s see what the Village Voice had to say about Andrew’s contributions last summer…

This was the headline from the Voice story, a vital contribution to the collective history of the mortgage meltdown, which deserves to be read in full:

Andrew Cuomo and Fannie and Freddie

How the youngest Housing and Urban Development secretary in history gave birth to the mortgage crisis

By Wayne Barrett

published: August 05, 2008

I finished by asking:

How much does Attorney General Cuomo make, do ya think?  Maybe we should “tax virtually all of it” as recompense for his contributions to this fiasco.  He’s paid by the taxpayers, after all.

Yesterday we learned that St. Andrew the Hypocrite was crowing that some A.I.G. employees had returned their bonuses.  The New York Times reported (H/T. Allahpundit):

Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York announced late Monday afternoon that 9 of the top 10 bonus recipients at the American International Group were giving back their bonuses.

He also said 15 of the largest 20 bonus recipients in A.I.G.’s financial products division had agreed to give back the money, for a total that he estimated at about $30 million. “Those bonuses will be returned in full,” Mr. Cuomo said during a conference call with reporters.

The attorney general noted that about 47 percent of $165 million in retention bonuses was awarded to Americans, accounting for nearly $80 million. All told, Mr. Cuomo said, A.I.G. employees have agreed to return about $50 million in bonuses.

Mr. Cuomo acknowledged that some bonus recipients declined to give back bonuses, especially those overseas who are outside the jurisdiction of New York State.

(And outside the jurisdiction of the ACORN mobs and its thugs at Connecticut Working Families Party.)

He said he did not think it would be in the public interest to release the names of those who gave back their bonuses.

Mr. Cuomo received a list of bonus recipients from A.I.G. on Thursday. The bonuses have caused a public uproar because A.I.G. received more than $170 billion in government bailout money to avoid collapse. Mr. Cuomo subpoenaed the giant insurer for names of the recipients as part of his investigation into how the company is using taxpayer money.

Mr. Cuomo reiterated Monday that his office was sensitive to the security and privacy concerns of A.I.G. employees and that it would conduct a risk assessment before releasing name. More than 400 people received bonuses in A.I.G.’s financial products division.

The fact remains that Andrew Cuomo is the final arbiter of whether there is a “risk assessment” and this is a weapon he can wield at any time. A.I.G. employees know that, and they are returning these contractually agreed upon bonuses for one reason, and one reason only:  They are living in fear.

This morning Glenn Beck was a guest on Fox & Friends.  In a discussion of mass A.I.G. hysteria, Beck informed viewers that Cuomo (who longs to be the Governor of New York) was right in the middle of the financial collapse, by pushing for more and more mortgage loans to go to less and less qualified people.  Beck characterized what Cuomo was doing, by reserving the right to name names of terrorized A.I.G. bonus recipients, as “blackmail”.  Steve Doocy retorted that it was “extortion”.

Yep, they have this exactly right. 

UPDATE!:

Here comes the Judge to discuss what Fox is calling “BONUSGATE”.  Verdict?: Cuomo is a lawbreaker.

The exchange (transcript by Danishova):

Gretchen Carlson:  I think their hands were tied pretty tightly, don’t you Judge?

Judge Napolitano:   They were tied by an Attorney General willing to break federal law; willing to say, ‘I have my hands a list of private information which the law protects from revelation. Only the I.R.S. is allowed to know what you make, but I’ll make sure everybody knows what you make if you don’t come up with the cash’. It’s called, the government breaking its own laws.

Steve Doocy:  Now, wait a minute. Cuomo said, ‘I’m going to subpoena, I want that list as part of my investigation to see what’s going on over there’. So he can subpoena this…it’s a secret list. He can blackmail you and say, ‘If you don’t give the money back I’m going to release this and everybody’s going to know’…

Judge Napolitano:   He can’t stand on a street corner and release their names, but he can start a lawsuit.

(My Tivo ran out at that point, so that’s all folks, pending handy dandy You Tube videos)

 

UPDATE: CNBC asks, AIG Bonuses: Surrendered Under Pressure?  Handy dandy email included for your viewing pleasure…

Hat Tip: Hot Air headlines

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The market’s up nearly 500 points: Will the Obama White House flaunt it, or pooh-pooh the “gyration”?

Posted by danishova on March 23, 2009

Stock ticker news, from the Associated Press:

NEW YORK – Wall Street got the news it wanted on the economy’s biggest problems — banks and housing — and responded with a rally that hurtled the Dow Jones industrials up nearly 500 points.

Investors added rocket fuel Monday to a two-week-old advance, cheering the government’s plan to help banks remove bad assets from their books and also welcoming a report showing a surprising increase in home sales. Major stock indicators surged more than 6 percent, including the Dow.

Monday’s 497-point Dow advance marked the fifth-biggest point gain in the history of the index — it’s 20th largest percent gain at 6.84 percent. The Dow has traded in positive territory seven of the last 10 sessions.

This is what Barack said recently about watching the market, when it was tanking:

""What I am looking for is not the day-to-day gyrations of the stock market… but the long-term,” Obama told reporters.

"The stock market is sort of like a tracking poll in politics,” said the president, whose own public job approval has been running at about two-thirds in the Gallup Poll’s daily tracking surveys. "It bobs up and down every day… if you spend your time worrying about that, you’re probably going to get the long-term strategy wrong.”

Stay tuned for fresh spin…

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Where’s the gravitas, Barack? Not on 60 Minutes, that’s for damned sure.

Posted by danishova on March 23, 2009

Watching Barack yuk it up on Leno, and now with Steve Kroft, one sees that his lack of seriousness, of gravitas, is painfully evident.  He’s not just cracking jokes, he’s laughing uncontrollably, like Mary Tyler Moore at Chuckles the Clown’s funeralA little song, a little dance, a little seltzer in your pants.

 

 

Yep, we had clues during his campaign. He votes present. He sat in Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church for 20 years. He pals around with Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn.  He doesn’t know the difference between Auschwitz and Buchenwald (not a one time slip of the tongue, but a repeated error)…As Americans go broke filling up their cars with gas, he suggests we inflate our tires. The list was endless.

Recently he gave Gordon Brown, an man who is going blind, DVDs (in the wrong format, no less). Last week he sent a video to the Iranians wishing them a Happy Nowruz.  This is not the Situation Room, this is Romper Room.

Does Obama even care that the stock market is tanking, along with America’s wealth and retirement funds?  During his recent, disastrous appearance with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, we heard him say:

""What I am looking for is not the day-to-day gyrations of the stock market… but the long-term,” Obama told reporters.

"The stock market is sort of like a tracking poll in politics,” said the president, whose own public job approval has been running at about two-thirds in the Gallup Poll’s daily tracking surveys. "It bobs up and down every day… if you spend your time worrying about that, you’re probably going to get the long-term strategy wrong.”

It’s like a tracking poll??!!  Not for us, Barack.

Unlike Bill Clinton, our last phony, Democrat President, Barack doesn’t even pretend to feel our pain.

Part of it is a lack of maturity, of gravitas; part of it is a lack of devotion to capitalism, to America’s greatness. One gets the sense that he doesn’t care, not only because he’s too narcissistic, too self-absorbed for empathy, but it’s more.  Frankly my dear, he doesn’t give a damn.  If capitalism fails, he has the alternative – a Utopia based on Piketty-Saez economics, where there are no greater villains than the top 1% who pay 40% of all taxes. We cannot let them deduct their charitable donations. They must be punished.

A theory, by the way, which was echoed this morning on Fox and Friends by David Sirota, who, after blaming the top 1% for the collapse of the economy, went on to say the the American Dream was where everyone was equal.  He asserted that the sixties and seventies, when the top rates were at 90% and union participation was at 35%, was America’s last shining moment.  Sirota has clearly been sent out to shill for Barack’s Utopia, and it’s an easy job for him. They are birds of a feather.  Sirota even repeated Barack’s talking point, you need to spend a little time outside of New York.

Right. Perhaps you should spend some time getting your head out of the place where the sun don’t shine.  Once that mission is accomplished, tell us what your real intentions are for our future. Lay it all on the table. Just try not to laugh when you do it.

Updates:

Ha!  Barack’s Teleprompter blames it on a “sneaky” Steve Kroft who “took advantage of the boss”. TOTUS is looking for advice:

Frankly, I’m stumped by it all. The Boss acted like this all the time during the campaign, and the media always treated us well. Why are they being so mean now? Any advice or insights appreciated, cause us White House folks got nothin’.

Steve Benen of the Left-of-center Washington Monthly asserts, He’s not punch drunk!

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air weighs in here.

Michelle Malkin reports on Glib Gibbsy’s gravitas-free press briefing today.

Mark Steyn filled in for El Rushbo today, and, like moi, said that Obama is not like Clinton, he doesn’t feel your pain. Great minds and all that…:)

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Daniel Henninger on “The Obama Rosetta Stone”

Posted by danishova on March 22, 2009

It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.
William Tecumseh Sherman

 

This is old-ish (it goes back to March 12) but new to me.  I figure if I missed it, you may have missed it :)

(Hat Tip:  Rush Limbaugh’s Week in Review)

Barack Obama has written two famous, widely read books of autobiography — "Dreams from My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope." Let me introduce his third, a book that will touch everyone’s life: "A New Era of Responsibility: Renewing America’s Promise. The President’s Budget and Fiscal Preview" (Government Printing Office, 141 pages, $26; free on the Web). This is the U.S. budget for laymen, and it’s a must read.

I’ll pass on reading the budget in its entirety, because, thankfully, we have Daniel Henninger to parse the hieroglyphs for us.  Indeed, his column is a must read.  In a nutshell, Obama makes frequent references in his budget to Piketty and Saez.  Never heard of them?  You have now.  As Henninger informs us:

Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, French economists, are rock stars of the intellectual left. Their specialty is "earnings inequality" and "wealth concentration."

Messrs. Piketty and Saez have produced the most politically potent squiggle along an axis since Arthur Laffer drew his famous curve on a napkin in the mid-1970s. Laffer’s was an economic argument for lowering tax rates for everyone. Piketty-Saez is a moral argument for raising taxes on the rich.

Ah, now we know who inspired  Barack to lecture Joe the Plumber about wealth redistribution. A coupla French dudes.

As described in Mr. Obama’s budget, these two economists have shown that by the end of 2004, the top 1% of taxpayers "took home" more than 22% of total national income. This trend, Fig. 9 notes, began during the Reagan presidency, skyrocketed through the Clinton years, dipped after George Bush beat Al Gore, then marched upward. Widening its own definition of money-grubbers, the budget says the top 10% of households "held" 70% of total wealth.

Alan Reynolds of the Cato Institute criticized the Piketty-Saez study on these pages in October 2007. Whatever its merits, their "Top 1%" chart has become a totemic obsession in progressive policy circles.

  Step right up, step right up for your progressive talking points:

Turn to page five of Mr. Obama’s federal budget, and one may read these commentaries on the top 1% datum:

"While middle-class families have been playing by the rules, living up to their responsibilities as neighbors and citizens, those at the commanding heights of our economy have not."

"Prudent investments in education, clean energy, health care and infrastructure were sacrificed for huge tax cuts for the wealthy and well-connected."

"There’s nothing wrong with making money, but there is something wrong when we allow the playing field to be tilted so far in the favor of so few. . . . It’s a legacy of irresponsibility, and it is our duty to change it."

Pardon me while I vomit.  I cannot digest the accusation that the top 1% (who collectively pay 39.9 percent of all federal individual income taxes) are irresponsible, haven’t been playing by the rules (maybe one day we’ll get to see Obama’s official rule book), bad neighbors, and shirking their duties as citizens.  You know, the scum of the earth. If only they’d bought a few windmills and carbon credits instead of donating to charities and starting foundations, Obama may have forgiven their trespasses. Although I doubt it. The anger is too visceral; it runs too deep.

Mr. Obama made clear in the campaign his intention to raise taxes on this income class by letting the Bush tax cuts expire. What is becoming clearer as his presidency unfolds is that something deeper is underway here than merely using higher taxes to fund his policy goals in health, education and energy.

The "top 1%" isn’t just going to pay for these policies. Many of them would assent to that. The rancorous language used to describe these taxpayers makes it clear that as a matter of public policy they will be made to "pay for" the fact of their wealth — no matter how many of them worked honestly and honorably to produce it. No Democratic president in 60 years has been this explicit.

Hopefully future historians will have the wherewithal to recognize the irony of a privileged kid like Obama waging war on the rich when they describe The War Between the Classes.  Why he does it is a bit more complicated. Is it because he was abandoned as a child, but was accepted by the elites at Columbia, Harvard, and Chicago?  Who knows for sure. All we need to know is that it’s crazy.

New York’s Mike Bloomberg, mayor of an economically damaged city, has noted the pointlessness of raising taxes on the rich when their wealth is plummeting, or of eliminating the charitable deduction for people who have less to give anyway.

True but irrelevant. Mayor Bloomberg should read the Obama budget chapter, "Inheriting a Legacy of Misplaced Priorities." The economy as most people understand it was a second-order concern of the stimulus strategy. The primary goal is a massive re-flowing of "wealth" from the top toward the bottom, to stop the moral failure they see in the budget’s "Top One Percent of Earners" chart.

The White House says its goal is simple "fairness." That may be, as they understand fairness. But Figure 9 makes it clear that for the top earners, there will be blood. This presidency is going to be an act of retribution. In the words of the third book from Mr. Obama, "it is our duty to change it."

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“Third Way” Progressive lawyer Lanny Davis leads effort to “level the playing field” for union access; frightened corporations ready to sign up

Posted by danishova on March 22, 2009

Yesterday we learned that D.C. labor lawyer Jay Krupin, has a nifty “compromise” in the works, which I wrote about here:

Krupin’s compromise plan — known as the 70-50-30 proposal — would allow employees to organize without a secret ballot if 70 percent of workers sign cards. If only 50 percent sign cards, there would be a quick election within 15 days instead of the usual minimum of 42 days. If just 30 percent of employees sign cards, union officials would be allowed on the company property to garner more support.

Today, we have more news on this movement toward compromise, with an alternate plan described first by WaPo, later by Lanny Davis himself.  WaPo begins:

As business and labor gird for battle over legislation that would make it easier for workers to organize, the debate could be transformed by a "third way" proposed by three companies that like to project a progressive image: Costco, Starbucks and Whole Foods.

Allow me to digress.  Alarms go off whenever I hear the terms “progressive” and “third way”.  Essentially, the Third Way is a left of center approach to economics, not as far left as stone cold Socialism perhaps, but hardly “centrist”.  This sums up the hazards of the third way approach nicely, particularly in light of this new attempt to “compromise” over card check:

Advocates of laissez-faire capitalism are staunch opponents of a mixed economy, even in the weaker form of the "third way." In 1990, after the fall of his country’s communist government, Czechoslovakia’s finance minister, Václav Klaus, declared, "We want a market economy without any adjectives. Any compromises with that will only fuzzy up the problems we have. To pursue a so-called Third Way is foolish. We had our experience with this in the 1960s when we looked for a socialism with a human face. It did not work, and we must be explicit that we are not aiming for a more efficient version of a system that has failed. The market is indivisible; it cannot be an instrument in the hands of central planners”

This e-z to read, hilariously entertaining chart by a group called the Center for Economic and Social Justice,  purports to summarize the differences between capitalism, socialism, and the Third Way approach.  (If you’re looking for clichés about greedy capitalists, this is your go-to source.) You may conclude for yourself if you like the Third Way solutions, but as Sam Goldwyn famously said, include me out.

Meanwhile, Third Way dot org, describes its mission like this:

Third Way is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank. We are advancing a 21st century progressive agenda by working with elected officials, candidates, and advocates to create policies and market those ideas in the public debate.

A quick scan of the about page and you the names of many “non-partisan” democrats and a whole lotta Bush bashing.  To insure that you don’t miss the part about them being “progressive” they repeat the word, ad nauseum, proudly describing the “progressive leadership” using a “progressive approach” to issues.

Back to the WaPo story:

Davis said he thought that the proposal would intrigue President Obama, who as a senator was a co-sponsor of the card-check bill in 2007 but signaled in an interview before his inauguration that he was also open to other proposals to help organized labor. "This is consistent with President Obama’s overall approach of avoiding polarized positions and looking for third-way ideas," Davis said.

Heh. If Obama likes to avoid polarized positions, he sure has a funny way of showing it.  Like Vaclav Klaus, wise men are not impressed with this third way approach:

The business lobby has been warning against any moves to tweak card check just enough to give centrists cover to support it. And word that a compromise is circulating from three "progressive" companies prompted business groups to warn yesterday against premature compromise.

But it is possible that the proposal will generate even greater opposition among unions and their supporters in Congress. Some business groups say they are open to limited organizing rules, separate from card check — a position not so far from what the three companies propose.

More:

And the CEOs also do not share the labor movement’s underlying belief that the decline of organized labor has contributed to income inequality and the economy’s current imbalance. "That so few companies are unionized is not for a lack of trying but because [unions] are losing elections — workers aren’t choosing to have labor representation," Mackey said. "I don’t feel things are worse off for labor today."

Americans don’t wants unions, but they fund the Democrat Party, so unions we must have, by hook or by crook. Heavy on the crook.

Of the three companies, only Costco has a substantial minority of employees that are unionized — about a fifth of its hourly employees belong to the Teamsters, with whom it has good relations. Starbucks and Whole Foods have resisted most unionizing efforts.

Giving organizers the ability to use card check, Schultz said, would lead to a slew of separate bargaining units at a company like his, leading to "havoc and significant cost and disruption." Mackey had an even grimmer view. "Armed with those weapons, you will see unionization sweep across the United States and set workplaces at war with each other," he said. "I do not think it would be a good thing."

Despite the evidence that no one is clamoring for unions (indeed, 81% of Americans want no part of them) they have read the tea leaves, and fear that with Dems in control of Congress, card check will be passed. The solution? Sign up with Clintonista Lanny Davis!:

Lanny Davis has formed a group called the “Committee for Level Playing Field”. His press release states it has been Organized To Offer “Third Way” on Card Check Bill; Costco, Starbucks, and Whole Foods Market Are Founding Companies.

There go those alarms again, this time with the phrase, Level playing field (Dare I mention that the word “committee” is also very Central Planning-ish?).  Having lived through the Clinton years (Bill and Hill are Third Way-ers), I know that level the playing field is code for create equal outcomes, achieved in part by constantly moving the goal posts and changing the rules in the middle of the game.

These corporations are in the proverbial position of being between a rock and a hard place, and one can’t blame them for being scared.   They can pray that card check doesn’t pass, or they can choose the Third Way”.  Alas, these self-described “progressive” corporations may not clearly see the hazards that lie in the road ahead by choosing this route; hazards that invariably arise when liberal democrats, like Lanny Davis, ride in to save the day.

I’m hoping beyond hope that Lanny’s plan does not prevail. I’d rather join the wise men who wish to fight these creeping, incremental intrusions into our liberties to the end; those who, like Vaclav Klaus, want “a market economy without any adjectives”.

UPDATE:

Hmmmm.   Amada Carpenter’s  Washington Times report on this brewing controversy provides a new take on the situation:

Brad Close, vice president of federal policy the National Federation of Independent Business, also was skeptical of the three companies’ motives, saying this plan could be a way for large corporations to eliminate their competition in the market.

"Starbucks and Whole Foods are trying to crush the other businesses by making it easier for workers to organize them. This gives them a competitive advantage, he said. In addition, Wal-Mart is one of Costco’s biggest competitors and has been adamantly against the "card-check" bill.

(Hat tip: Ed Morrissey/ Hot Air)

UPDATE:

I revised my second sentence, to make it clearer that this Costco/Starbucks/Whole Foods plan is not the same as Jay Krupin’s plan. Also, I neglected to point out that the WaPo story buys into labor’s line that “businesses intimidate workers’, while failing to mention that unions are famous for their intimidation tactics.

UPDATE:

(Michelle Malkin) Thanks to Arlen Specter, it looks like EFCA/Card Check is dead, but the Third Way compromise is not.  And so we must fight on…

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Useful Idiot labor lawyer proposes idiotic idea as a “compromise” to Card Check

Posted by danishova on March 21, 2009

Oh Oh.  Time to switch to Decaf. From Sam Hananel of the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON – Starbucks Corp. and other companies are exploring alternatives to a bill that would make it easier for workers to unionize, but the idea of any compromise drew the wrath of business groups lobbying furiously to defeat the measure.

Officials at the coffee giant would not discuss exactly what alternatives to the Employee Free Choice Act the companies are considering, but confirmed late Friday that the company is "engaged in dialogue" on the topic.

"We have had conversations with like-minded companies and are open to exploring alternative solutions to the legislation as it is currently written," Starbucks spokeswoman Deb Trevino said.

Let’s review what this is about, in a nutshell:

The labor-friendly bill, one of the most vigorously debated in Congress this year, would take away the right of employers to demand secret-ballot elections by workers before unions could be formed. Instead, unions could gain representation if a majority of workers sign cards authorizing it.

Business groups have mobilized like never before to lobby against the bill — also known as card check — with Congress expected to consider the measure later this summer. Word that one of the most recognizable companies in the nation is even thinking about compromise provoked a wave of outrage from opponents of the legislation.

The sane view of wise men, dedicated to liberty:

Stefan H. Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, called Starbucks’ position "totally unacceptable."

"There can be no compromise whatsoever on the card-check bill," Gleason said. "For any company to cut a deal with big labor is to support passage of card check."

A quick review of Card Check’s history:

The bill passed the House two years ago, but failed to gain 60 votes in the Senate to defeat a GOP filibuster. Labor leaders believe Democratic gains in the last election could give them the votes they need for passage.

Here’s where the Useful Idiot labor lawyer steps in:

While it is not clear what alternatives Starbucks may be considering, Washington labor lawyer Jay Krupin said he has been working with several "service industry" companies — not including Starbucks — to line up support for a possible compromise.

Krupin’s compromise plan — known as the 70-50-30 proposal — would allow employees to organize without a secret ballot if 70 percent of workers sign cards. If only 50 percent sign cards, there would be a quick election within 15 days instead of the usual minimum of 42 days. If just 30 percent of employees sign cards, union officials would be allowed on the company property to garner more support.

Unreal.  Here’s a translation, from The Useful Idiot’s Little Red Book:

It’s okay to take away the secret ballot as long as union thugs are really, really successful in intimidating workers and manage to bully 70 percent of workers into signing these cards under fear and duress, such as by showing up at their homes.  If only 50 percent are bullied into signing cards, the reward will be a super fast-tracked election.  If they only get to 30 per cent, the thugs can intimidate workers at their workplace. Those of you who own businesses can do nothing to stop these people from trespassing on your property, and disrupting your workers as they go about the work you pay them to do.  Whatever compromise is reached, under no circumstances, can workers be permitted to have a secret ballot, because we’ll lose if we do that, and we must force them to unionize… by any means necessary.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, since a recent Rasmussen survey indicated that only 9 per cent of non-union workers want to join a union; 81 per cent do not.  As for Starbucks, if they sign on to a “compromise” which eliminates the secret ballot, they can expect many of us to boycott Starbucks coffee.  Certainly, if I had any Starbucks stock I’d be dumping it in the nearest harbor. 

Meanwhile, there’s always tea and my favorite t- shirt:

image

UPDATE:

Here’s a more recent version of the A.P. story, which adds this detail:

A person familiar with the discussions said the other companies exploring alternatives include food seller Whole Foods Market Inc. and retailer Costco Wholesale Corp. The person spoke only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations.

Got Arugula?

UPDATE:

Maybe I’m the idiot, and Jay Krupin isn’t a Useful Idiot?:

It is no coincidence that the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union (HERE) is in the forefront of neutrality and card check organizing. Membership in HERE’s Las Vegas local has increased from 18,000 in the late 1980s to over 45,000.

Washington, D.C. labor lawyer Jay Krupin explains that HERE can pressure hotel owners by finding people — either union members or union sympathizers — in the community who live near the future site of a hotel and who are willing to file zoning board objections during the period of public comment and review. Facing costly construction delays, owners often will accept a neutrality agreement in return for the withdrawal of the complaint. Krupin says unions have used these tactics to organize in Las Vegas and Boston, and in Washington, DC as recently as October. In addition to these cities, he says neutrality agreements are also widespread in San Francisco and New Haven.

Considering this prior position, why he thinks his “compromise” solution is the answer is beyond me.  Maybe you have to be a DC labor lawyer to get it.

UPDATE:

More on Krupin’s positions on EFCA here, where he goes into more detail about his compromise plan:

Editor: What might a compromise look like?

Krupin: At this point, the unions have taken a very strong line, something that they usually do coming to the negotiating table. The EFCA, in its present form, is unlikely to survive even if the Democrats have 59 seats in the Senate. There will be need for compromise. That compromise might be something like this: if the union presents the company with cards totaling 70 percent of the workforce, there is a possibility that the company will be required to recognize the union because the 70 percent is so far above the 50 percent currently required for recognition. If the union has 50 percent of cards signed, rather than conduct an election with a 42-day campaign as currently required, the campaign may be limited to a 10- or 15-day period with a fair secret ballot election. The compromise results in a shorter period of time for management to get its message out to the workforce, something labor wants, but management does get its secret ballot election. A third aspect of the compromise under review would arise if the union attains 30 percent of the cards. In this circumstance, it would permit the union to come onto the employer’s premises to talk to the employees. This 70/50/30 program is something that corporate counsel should be reviewing with some care, and ensure proper procedures are in place, as we move closer to the passage of the EFCA or some alternative.

Where he is losing me, is with the whole concept of the signed cards. Are these cards signed in secret or in the presence of a union organizer? 

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With Barack Obama the jokes always on us

Posted by danishova on March 21, 2009

Amidst the kerfuffle over Barack’s gaffetastic appearance on Leno,  Michelle Malkin asks, “Why can’t Obama tell a good joke?” and provides a one word answer: E.G.O.   Michelle links to a piece by J.P. Freire, who analyzed Obama the jokester last Fall for The American Spectator  (Title: Barack Oboring.)

Friere opines:

The problem isn’t that Obama attempts jokes now and again that don’t come off. The problem is that his humor is completely chilly. His repertoire is an awkward collection of self-conscious half jokes. And whenever he thinks on his feet to come up with a quick retort, the results are decidedly sub-sub-par.

Chilly is a good word, as is creepy.  I’ll provide evidence shortly. 

Friere says:

GENERALLY SPEAKING, there are two themes for Obama "jokes": "I’m Great," and "I’m Only Pretty Great."

Yep. He later goes on to say:

ACTUALLY, THERE IS a third theme: cliche race jokes. Indeed, the man who is supposed to be above that sort of thing not only goes there, he goes there with some frequency.

By pointing to Obama’s use of race jokes, we’re getting closer to the creepy part. Friere finishes his piece with this:

Slate‘s Chris Beam observed that Obama actually "laughs at his own jokes, a staccato ‘heh’ that sounds naked when spoken into a mic in a large auditorium." He’s laughing at us.

To borrow from Obama’s own rhetoric, “heh” is the clue we’ve been looking for.  Beam has picked up on something profound here, but this was early January 2008, and the chilliest and creepiest examples were still to come -  weeks later, on January 23, 2008 in Sumter, South Carolina:

 

Note the creepy smile, the “heh”, the laugh that follows – all the chilly clues that he knows full well that as he invokes Malcolm X he is hoodwinking and bamboozling the audience.  He is speaking in code, telling an unfunny ‘joke’ which ruthlessly tars his opponent (at that time it was Hillary Clinton) as a racist.  Heh, indeed.

This creepy joke was a real winner for Barack.  So much so that he went on to use it over and over again throughout his campaign, later switching his target from Hillary Clinton to John McCain,  throwing in a few “okey-dokes” for good measure.

The American people have been hoodwinked and bamboozled.  They’ve fallen for the ol’ okey-doke.  The jokes on us.

(By the way, If you don’t like that presentation, here’s a different edit of the same footage, without the creepy background music. Barack is creepy enough – we don’t need to pile on.  In this version, the bamboozling comes at the end.)

 

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If it’s March, it must be time for Obama Teleprompter Madness

Posted by danishova on March 20, 2009

UPDATED DAILY-ish!

You think March Madness is crazy?  We’ve got Obama’s Teleprompter Madness …gone wild.

It all began when Rush Limbaugh conducted the first interview with Obama’s teleprompter.   Well, to be fair, it all began when Obama developed a sad case of Teleprompter Addiction Disease and couldn’t even conduct a press conference without it.   Anyhoo,  the next thing we know, Barack Obama’s teleprompter  has his own blog (“Because There Is No POTUS Without TOTUS”)…

…*With his own Presidential seal (TOTUS)

…and his own Shepherd Fairey-esque poster

Now Teleprompter Madness goes wild with Photoshop.

From Therightscoop (hat tip: Hot Air headlines):

Obama walks on water with Imperial scepter:

image

Obama dances with himself:

image

Hot Air commenter, Peterft weighs in with…

Empty Suit Obama with teleprompter:

image

Stay tuned for updates, because there is no end to Obama Teleprompter Madness…

Yeah, baby. From Ace:

(h/t Hot Air Headlines)

*Cyrano de Teleprompter:

image

Teleprompter Madness has reached the Tea Parties:

Lake Eola Park, Orlando, Florida March 21, 2009:

image

From R.B.O.

Teleprompter cartoons:

New cartoons! Found here.

From Roscoe Karns:

*Yes I’ll Hold:

Michelle Malkin delivers more teleprompter madness here.

fromthepen presents:

No title necessary:

fromthepen also features this cute new addition:

*Obama Buys Swing Set For His Teleprompter:

From Doug Ross:

*Obama shoots hoops after Leno Show:

Reader RMartin sends in a contribution:

*Obama’s Brain:

image

Tons of spanking new photo shop madness from the right scoop’s gallery of Obama and his best friend TOTUS:

(There are too many to choose from, so I’ll select my personal faves. Open link above for more…)

Mulligan Teleprompter:

Commander in Chief Teleprompter:

Shovel Ready Teleprompter:

Hopeychangey Teleprompters:

Ha!  From The Right Scoop reader PC:

Obama’s Teleprompter: The Video! From Redstate.

A selected few still photos from RedState. Click linky for more…

*Obama and his Binky:

*The Binky Knows Best:

*“OHHH, lighten up. It’s a joke!”

 

From Nobama blog…

*Obama goes off message at Lincoln Bicentennial:

 

From America is an Obamanation (h/t: Moonbattery):

 

 

*All captions by Danishova, except where noted with asterisk (*)(in which case they are by the web genius I lifted the image from)

 

Calling all Photoshop-ers. Lost teleprompter madness opportunities…

Wacky Wobbler…

Dude, where’s my teleprompter?

From Powerline.

Et tu, TOTUS?:

 

 

 

New video found at Scott Thong

 

Send teleprompter madness tips to: danishova@gmail.com

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Object to mandated, taxpayer funded, Universal Service? You’re “ideologically sclerotic”

Posted by danishova on March 19, 2009

More on the GIVE and TAKE Act.  Fox News Reports:

House Passes Volunteerism Bill Critics Call Pricey, Forced Service

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives passed a measure Wednesday that supporters are calling the most sweeping reform of nationally-backed volunteer programs since AmeriCorps. But some opponents are strongly criticizing the legislation, calling it expensive indoctrination and forced advocacy.

Yep, that would be me.

The legislation, slated to cost $6 billion over five years, would create 175,000 "new service opportunities" under AmeriCorps, bringing the number of participants in the national volunteer program to 250,000. It would also create additional "corps" to expand the reach of volunteerism into new sectors, including a Clean Energy Corps, Education Corps, Healthy Futures Corps and Veterans Service Corps, and it expands the National Civilian Community Corps to focus on additional areas like disaster relief and energy conservation.

OOPS, I was off by a billion here.  Tragically, I’m like a lone wolf, which I guess makes me an endangered species:

But the bill’s opponents — and there are only a few in Congress — say it could cram ideology down the throats of young "volunteers," many of whom could be forced into service since the bill creates a "Congressional Commission on Civic Service."

This is where I begin to really freak out:

The bipartisan commission will be tasked with exploring a number of topics, including "whether a workable, fair and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the nation."

The social fabric of this nation is fine, thank you very much. It’s the social fabric of Chicago Leftists and lowlifes that needs mending.  Or, to put it another way:

F*$# YOU Barack! And the horses’ asses you rode in on!

 

Sorry. I’ll try to keep my composure.  I hear a fellow lone wolf howling:

"We contribute our time and money under no government coercion on a scale the rest of the world doesn’t emulate and probably can’t imagine," said Luke Sheahan, contributing editor for the Family Security Foundation. "The idea that government should order its people to perform acts of charity is contrary to the idea of charity and it removes the responsibility for charity from the people to the government, destroying private initiative."

The predators emerge from their congressional cave:

House committee staff insist the GIVE Act will not change the voluntary nature of service.

"Its ridiculous to suggest that our bill includes any effort to make service a mandatory requirement. All of the opportunities our bill provides to Americans are voluntary. Americans are proud of their service and volunteering and their interest in it is only growing, especially in the face of this crisis. Our legislation recognizes that more Americans than ever want to serve and give back and provides them with more opportunities to be able to do so," Miller spokeswoman Rachel Racusen said in an e-mail to FOXNews.com.

Leninist LIARS!

I need a drink or something. Hold on…

Others say they are concerned that the increased funding will be used to promote one ideology over another.

"It’s allowing taxpayer funding of the left-wing organizations," said Larry Hart, director of government relations for the American Conservative Union.

Allow me to high five you on that one, Sir (seeing as it’s March Madness and all).

"I think this is a problem that is rife throughout the federal government. When you dramatically expand the program, then you dramatically expand the ability for these left-wing advocacy organizations to get more funding. I don’t see a lot of attention being paid to that, even from those who are critical. That’s where the focus should be. Republicans tend to say its not that they oppose the program, they just want to spend less money. It’s the program that’s bad."

Wake up “Republicans”! Did you bother to read the bill? Or are you so lured by the siren call of “volunteerism” that you don’t understand the threat to our liberty?

Aides to Miller [ed: Education Committee Indoctrination Committee Chair] say they are awaiting estimates from the Congressional Budget Office on how much the GIVE Act would ultimately cost…

Really? Since when does this Democrat Congress listen to the Congressional Budget Office?  Didn’t the C.B.O. warn you that the Stimulus Bill would harm the economy by accumulating debt?

"The millions of Americans who volunteered in 2007 generated benefits worth $158 billion," Racusen said. "A cost-benefit analysis of AmeriCorps, for example, shows that every dollar invested in the programs yields almost $4 in direct, measurable benefits. Investing in service helps low-income students achieve in school, prepares future workers for green jobs, provides assistance to veterans returning from war, and rebuilds homes and communities after disasters."

That’s a fine demonstration of Mad Communist Math skillz there, Comrade Racusen.

But some critics on the right suggest that the president’s push for national service goes too far, and the recent congressional steps toward expanding the federal role in volunteerism and "civilian service" smacks of a larger agenda. They point to a campaign speech the president made last July in which he suggested national security could be entrusted to a civilian force.

"We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that is just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded," Obama, who worked as a community organizer in Chicago early in his career, said during a Colorado Springs rally.

Danger, Will Robinson!

"This will empower more Americans to craft their own service agenda and make their own change from the bottom up," Obama said in the speech.

How very Mao of you, Barack.  I don’t call your economic policies Obamaoism for nothing.

"Senator Obama aims to tap into the already active volunteerism of millions of Americans and recruit them to become cogs in a gigantic government machine grinding out his social re-engineering agenda," Lee Cary of the conservative American Thinker wrote at the time about Obama’s remarks.

"(His words) were about turning America into one, giant, community organizer’s sandbox at enormous cost to taxpayers," Cary wrote.

Right on, right on.  I called it a “glorious soup kitchen”, but “giant community organizer’s sandbox” works too.

Supporters say critics are a minority who prefer to agitate than assist. 

Unlike, say ACORN agitators???   How about this?: WE PREFER TO AGITATE FOR LIBERTY.   The finale:

"Resistance to expanded public service programs can be expected from the ideologically sclerotic, those who occupy the negative ground between government as the problem and government as our enemy," former Democratic Colorado Sen. Gary Hart wrote in a recent op-ed on the Huffington Post Web site.

As opposed to the positive ground  where government is the problem and government is our enemy?

The Senate is mulling over a similar piece of legislation, the "Serve America Act," sponsored by Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. It was given a special endorsement by the president in his address before Congress on Feb. 24.

Orrin Hatch, it’s time to retire.  You too Teddy.

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GIVE Act passes the house: Grab your kids…Universal Serfitude youth programs coming soon.

Posted by danishova on March 19, 2009

The Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act just passed the house.  I think we should call it the TAKE act.  Can anyone come up with an appropriate title for the bill that works with the acronym “TAKE”?    The cost? Volunteering is going cost taxpayers $5 Billion dollars .

Service Nation (whose website oh so coincidentally has the domain name of “be the change dot org”) spins it here.  Some highlights follow, which I’ll translate for you, using my handy dandy Obama Language Dictionary and the official Obama Encyclopedia:

Creates 175,000 New Service Opportunities and Rewards Americans for Commitment…Grows the number of volunteers nationwide to 250,000, up from 75,000. The bill also links the full-time education award to the maximum authorized Pell Grant award amount in order to keep up with rising college costs.

Translation: This bill takes your tax dollars and redistributes it to people who will be paid exorbitant rates to perform useless tasks.   These people could voluntarily join the military if they’re eager to serve,  but we don’t want to create any more baby killers. These people could work in the private sector and earn money and valuable skills which will serve them their entire lives, but businesses and corporations are evil and deserve to fail.  They could do what thousands of people already do “in their communities” and …hang on for this…volunteer their time to serve for…free, but that’s so last century.  In short, this bill “rewards Americans for their commitment” to confiscating taxpayer dollars while enhancing their self-esteem by convincing them that they are noble and good.

Provides Incentives for Middle and High School Students to Engage in Service

Translation:  Schools will not receive government funding unless they agree to establish serfitude programs.

Establishes the Summer of Service program that engages middle and high school students
in volunteer activities in their communities and allows them to earn a $500 education
award to be used for college costs.

Translation:

Your child will be forced to participate, but, hey, we’ll take taxpayer dollars and recycle them to pay your serf-child a generous $500, which is less than they could earn with voluntary summer jobs in the private sector of their choosing, but it’s all about sacrifice now.  The $500 our youth will earn is also less than what the parents of will pay in extra taxes to cover the serfitude program, but you’ll be feeling so proud and patriotic you won’t notice.  Parents will be dis-incentivized to “redistribute” that $500 directly to their children as they might have formerly choosen to do, because they now have “opportunities” to run in through the phosphate-free government money laundering cycle.

Recognizes and Supports Colleges and Universities Engaged in Service.

Translation:  Once again, colleges and universities who participate will receive Federal funds. If not, say goodbye to your funding, suckers.

Establishes the Campuses of Service to support and recognize institutions of higher
education with exemplary service-learning programs and assists students in the pursuit of
public service careers.

Translation: The government will guide your children to work in public service careers, like, say, at ACORN Housing, which benefit the Democrat Party.

Creates Green and Other New Service Corps to Meet Key Needs in Low-Income Communities

Translation: Taxpayers will cover the costs of hiring “volunteers” to caulk other people’s windows and doors – a task which is clearly beyond the capabilities of people who live in low-income communities.

Expands the focus of the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) to include disaster
relief, infrastructure improvement, environmental and energy conservation, and urban
and rural development.

Translation: We’re going to put a bunch of inexperienced Obamatons to work at inflated wages to pick up the garbage, spin compost, and recycle your tax dollars.

Encourages service partnerships with other federal agencies.

Translation: Federal agencies will only dole out money to people who ‘”engage” youth in serfitude.

Recruits Scientists and Engineers to Service to Keep America Competitive

Translation: Businesses won’t be able to do this on their own after we get finish bankrupting them, so here’s where we step in..

Expands Service Opportunities for Older Americans and Public-Private Partnerships

Translation: You are going to work for that Social Security check, suckers.

Creates a nationwide community-based infrastructure to leverage investments in service

Translation: Do you like how we “leveraged” the banks with the Community Reinvestment Act and Fannie/Freddie?  That was just the beginning. Just wait until we get a hold of your kids.

Includes a Call to Service Campaign to launch a national campaign encouraging all
Americans to engage in service and to observe September 11th as a National Day of
Service and Remembrance
.

Translation: Your tax dollars will be used to run in-your-face advertising from our great leader.  Rejoice! Your kids will get a day off from school to show off their Barack Obama posters, while you “remember” what this country was like before it became a glorious soup kitchen.

Update: 

Fox News reports on this here.  

The Real Barack Obama  (formerly Rezco Watch?) dials in,  in excruciating detail here.

A.A.R.P. spokesdude loves it. (heartbreakingly – in the Washington Times)

R.B.O. has more, citing John Batchelor, who calls it taxation without representation, and goes on to say:

Charlie Rangel (left), Democrat of New York, who has intimate knowledge of the IRS skill set, spoke as the all-powerful Cardinal of the Ways and Means Committee, “….The American people demand protection.”

Heh. There isn’t a condom big enough to protect us from the likes of you and your tax hiking/tax dodging comrades in Congress and at Treasury, Charlie.

Planet Moron has a fabulous take on the idiocy of this legislation, and points out something I missed entirely:

Besides, the bill (.PDF file) also requires looking into:

“The need for a public service academy, a 4-year institution that offers a federally funded undergraduate education with a focus on training future public sector leaders.”

Hey, they can save money on one thing; they have a logo all ready to go:

Related:

"Where’s my moon, my levee, my dream?"

 

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