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It's been my position all along that the ObamaCare individual mandate was an unconstitutional interpretation of the Commerce Clause. Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that the individual mandate is an unconstitutional interpretation of the Commerce Clause.Very good.
But then the Supreme Court upheld the mandate anyway…by calling it a tax. Those dirty [expletive deleted].
Chief Justice John Roberts joined the liberal Obama rubber stamp wing of the Court in rendering a 5-4 decision to uphold the mandate. This is most interesting, because Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and the ObamaCare bill itself all said the mandate wasn't a tax (the ObamaCare bill calls it a "penalty"). Here's Obama, apparently lying to the American public in 2009 while being interviewed by ABC's George Stephanopoulos:
STEPHANOPOULOS: … your critics say [the individual mandate] is a tax increase.
OBAMA: My critics say everything is a tax increase. My critics say that I'm taking over every sector of the economy. You know that. Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we're going to have an individual mandate or not, but ...
In a Supreme Court case about illegal immigration, we must start with the Constitution:
Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution states that Congress shall have the power "To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization." This grants the federal government the authority to establish uniform immigration laws for the United States. Section 1 of the 14th Amendment states, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." From Article 1 and the 14th Amendment, it is established that no state has the power to make immigration laws that contradict federal law. This would clearly be unconstitutional.
Because the federal government retains authority over immigration law, it's important to know existing law on illegal immigration. That is too long for me to cover completely here, so I'll just borrow a one-liner from Wikipedia - "An illegal immigrant in the United States is a (non-citizen) who has entered the United States without government permission and in violation of United States Nationality Law, or stayed beyond the termination date of a visa, also in violation of the law."
It's an obvious point, but an important one. Illegal immigrants are in the U.S. in violation of federal law. The question then becomes, can states enforce federal laws, or is that too only the domain of the federal government ? In general, I'd say the answer to that question is yes, states can enforce federal law. As an example, we have federal laws against kidnapping. Does that mean a state without such laws couldn't enforce federal kidnapping kidnapping laws ? It would be a pretty sad state of affairs if local police couldn't arrest a kidnapper because it's not their jurisdiction, though I'm sure the kidnapper would like it as he drove smilingly past hamstrung police officers.
Further, can states pass laws that agree with federal immigration law ? This could become problematic, because federal law is subject to change, but I don't see an exclusion against it either, though federal law would have to take precedence in illegal immigration.
This brings us to yesterday's Supreme Court ruling on Arizona's SB1070 law on illegal immigration. The Supremes knocked down three parts of the law and upheld a fourth part.
The upheld part, per Forbes (link 1 and link 2):
the portion of the Arizona law which garnered the most attention leading into this morning’s ruling– the ‘papers please’ provision which allows law enforcement officers to check up on whether someone is legally in the country or not—was not struck down by the Court. In a unanimous 8-0 decision on the issue (Justice Kagan recused herself from this case as she had been previously involved while serving as Solicitor General), SCOTUS held that the ‘papers please’ procedures are legitimately within the purview of Arizona law enforcement officers so long as they follow the limitations provided in the law.
Here, the SCOTUS affirmed the right of state and local authorities to enforce federal law per se, but that's as far as it went. The Court went with the Obama administration's argument the rest of the way.
Here's are the parts which were struck down:
The Arizona law had made it a criminal misdemeanor for someone who is not a US citizen to fail to complete and carry an alien registration document at all times. The Court ruled that this section of the law was preempted by federal law which does not require that anyone carry such a document with them. As such, it was improper to criminalize this behavior in light of federal law.
Also struck down was the part of SB1070 that made it a crime for illegals to fail to register with federal authorities, along with a third part that made it a crime for "an unauthorized alien to knowingly apply for work, solicit work in a public place or perform work as an employee or independent contractor".
The Court majority opinion thus made it clear that states do not have the right to pass immigration laws which exceed the scope of federal law. I understand some of this…but.this is also where I begin to get confused…
Isn't it already against federal law for illegals to work in the U.S. without authorization ? Yes, it is. That's what the E-Verify program is all about. It's against the law for employers to hire unauthorized illegals in this country, so what did SB1070 do that was outside the scope of federal law in this area ? Last week, President Obama made the unilateral decision to grant work permits to certain illegals who came into this country when they were 16 years old or younger (Obama violated the Constitution by doing so, because that is the purview of Congress, not the President). This also illustrates that it was against the law for illegals to work here. SB1070 seemed to be supporting federal law rather than pre-empting it.To read more or comment...
Now Attorney General Eric Holder appears to be lying to the President Of The United States. In a June 19, 2012 letter to President Obama requesting executive privilege in order to withhold post-February 4, 2011 DOJ documents from Operation Fast And Furious congressional investigators, Holder writes the following:
"Specifically, the Department has already shared with the Committee over 1300 pages of documents concerning the drafting of the February 4 Letter, in acknowledgement that the February 4 Letter contained inaccurate information…This substantial record shows that the inaccuracies in the February 4 Letter were the inadvertent product of the fact that, at the time they were preparing the letter, neither Department leaders nor the heads of relevant Department components on whom Department leaders reasonably relied for information knew the correct facts about the tactics used in Fast And Furious. Department leaders first learned that flawed tactics may have been used in Fast And Furious when public allegations about such tactics surfaced in early 2011, after such tactics had been discontinued."
There is a HUGE problem with Holder's verson of events here. Though Holder claims to have known nothing about Fast And Furious gun walking until after the February 4 letter (which is what Holder told Congress), we KNOW that Holder was informed by at least April 2010, according to memos sent to Holder and others. This is from the April 2010 memo to Holder:
Field DIvision with its investigation of Manuel Celis-Acost as part of OCDETF Operation Fast and Furious. This investigation, initiated in Spetember 2009…involves a Phoenix-based firearms trafficking ring headed by Manuel Celis-Acosta. Celis-Acost and [redacted] straw purchasers are responsible for the purchase of 1,500 firearms that were then supplied to Mexican drug trafficking cartels. They also have direct ties to the Sinaloa Cartel which is suspected of providing $1 million for the purchase of firearms in the greater Phoenix area.
There are other e-mails sent to DOJ officials from October 2010 showing they were also made aware of Fast And Furious gun walking.
But Holder told Obama just a few days ago that neither he nor his Department heads knew anything about Fast And Furious gun walking until after February 4, 2011. The memos prove this is untrue.
And if you want to know who Manuel Celis-Acosta was, he was the MAIN TARGET OF OPERATION FAST AND FURIOUS.
Holder was informed of Fast And Furious long before he claims, and so was his Department Of Justice. Holder misled Congress, and now he's misleading the President.
And some people wonder why congressional investigators want more information, why they are on a so-called "fishing expedition" (accordiing to many Democrats). It shouldn't be hard to understand. Congress would be remiss in it's oversight duties if it wasn't looking for answers. As has been said recently, with the Watergate scandal, nobody died, and that coverup brought down a President.
There have been some recent utterances from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and from them we can deduce that there has been no atmospheric change on whatever planet Pelosi inhabits.
Planet Pelosii is still the place where brain cells go to die.
Here's the Pelosi-bot inventing a brand new vast right wing conspiracy on the fly:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., declared that House Republicans are charging Attorney General Eric Holder with contempt of Congress not as part of an investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, but in order to weaken his ability to prevent voter suppression.
"They're going after Eric Holder because he is supporting measures to overturn these voter suppression initiatives in the states," Pelosi told reporters during her press briefing today. "This is no accident, it is no coincidence. It is a plan on the part of Republicans.To read more or comment...
Bloomberg reports that Obama and the Democrats have raised a lot more campaign cash than have Romney and the Republicans:
Obama has now raised $261.4 million for his re-election and Romney $123.6 million.
The Democratic National Committee outraised its Republican counterpart, $189.2 million to $169.4 million.
And liberals everywhere are whining about the Supreme Court's Citizen's United decision, a decision that ruled against political censorship. Go figure.
It would be nice if the Supreme Court rendered decisions based on the Constitution, based soley on the law, and partisan politics had nothing to do with it.
It would also be nice if it rained lemonade.
The former and latter are both about as likely to happen.
That's why you should expectt the upcoming Supreme Court decision on ObamaCare to be almost totally influenced by political beliefs. The Constitution, I fear, is secondary.
Here's Justice Antonin Scalia excoriating one of the case precedents the pro-ObamaCare wing of the Court will almost certainly cite as a constitutional justification for the unconstitutional ObamaCare mandate. This comes from a book Scalia has written:
Justice Scalia writes...that he has little use for a central precedent the Obama administration has cited to justify the health care law under the Constitution’s commerce clause, Wickard v. Filburn.
The Obama campaign has been twisting Mitt Romney's record as governor of Massachusetts out of shape in an effort to obscure the truth.. This post will correct some of the misleading information, as per Factcheck.org. Liberals on this blog and all over the country have been repeating many of these inaccuracies as if they were factual. Here's a partial list:
A new ad from the Obama campaign takes aim at Mitt Romney’s performance as governor of Massachusetts, claiming he had “one of the worst economic records in the country.” But the ad overreaches with several of its claims.To read more or comment...
The oath of office of the President Of The United States: I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Barack Obama took that oath when he became President, and he broke it when he decided to create his own immigration law by granting de-facto temporary amnesty to those who entered the country illegally when they were sixteen years of age or younger. Under the Constitution, Obama doesn't get to unilaterally create law. According to the Constitution, laws originate in the Legislative Branch of government, Congress. Obama is not our King. He doesn't get to make laws on his own, decide which laws to enforce, and he doesn't get to thwartt the will of Congress just because he wants to pander for the Latino vote in an election year.
King Obama's unitary executive move (which was not an executive order, but a memo to the Department Of Homeland Security) is a backdoor implementation of the Dream Act, which has been defeated at least three times in Congress since it was first introduced in 2009. The original Dream Act and King Obama's new immigration "policy" both do the same thing. Here's what m the Dream Act does:
Under the 2009 version of the Senate bill DREAM Act beneficiaries must:
• Have proof of having arrived in the United States before age 16.
• Have proof of residence in the United States for at least five consecutive years since their date of arrival.
• If male, have registered with the Selective Service.
• Be between the ages of 12 and 35 at the time of bill enactment.
• Have graduated from an American high school, obtained a GED, or been admitted to an institution of higher education.
• Be of "good moral character".
And that's pretty much what King Obama's policy does.
The sad part of this is, I actually agree with Obama on the issue. I don't think children who were brought to this country illegally should be punished with depottation. They are not at fault. They were CHILDREN, for pete's sake. Their parents are the ones at fault.
But just because I agree with Obama doesn't mean I go along with him end running the law and our legislative process. Here's what Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said about the new policy:
"The decision is not just a breach of faith with the American people. It blatantly ignores the rule of law that is the foundation of our democracy.
In an interview with Univision television earlier this year, President Obama said that he can’t just “waive away the laws that Congress put in place” and that “the president doesn’t have the authority to simply ignore Congress and say, ‘We’re not going to enforce the laws that you’ve passed.’”
To read more or comment...
But ignore Congress and the Constitution is exactly what the president has done – and this isn’t the first time."
President Obama just broke another record, and this time it's not for the highest federal deficits and debt accumulation in American history. Obama has attended more fundraisers than any President in history, already having attended about twice as many as Bush did in his four year term. The man is truly transformative. I assume Obama is focused like a laser beam on the economy as he hobnobs with the glitterati at these star-studded events. George Clooney gives him two big thumbs up, and as we all know, Clooney speaks for the common man.
In between the Chateau Lafite, Portobello Stuffed Crab appetizer, and the Steak Diane entree, our President Celeb keeps saying he "inherited" a trillion dollar budget deficit from Bush at these bigh-priced soirees, as follows:
"I love listening to these guys give us lectures about debt and deficits. I inherited a trillion dollar deficit!" [Obama] said. Obama compared Republicans to a person who orders a steak dinner and martini and then, "just as you're sitting down, they leave, and accuse you of running up the tab."
Cute, but there are a few teensy-weensy details Obama conveniently omits.
First, we have to establish where the federal budget comes from. Per the Constitution, it comes from CONGRESS. In 2007, the last year the Republicans controlled Congress, the GOP budget sliced the deficit down to $170 billion. Then the Democrats took over both branches of Congress. Led by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Speaker Of The House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the 2008 and 2009 budgets produced deficits of $455 billion and $1.4 trillion, respectively. And here's the kicker - THEN SENATOR OBAMA VOTED IN FAVOR OF BOTH OF THOSE BUDGETS. Obama is now complaining about budget deficits he voted for himself. Obama "inherited" the deficits alright, but he inherited them from himself and his Democratic party even more that he did from Bush. And he has done next to nothing about the deficit situation since. The deficits have averaged around $1.3 trillion per year for 2010- 2012, and Obama's own 10-year budget projection adds another $10 trillion or so to the debt. The Democrats have been in majority control of the federal government during Obama's entire term. They controlled both the Executive and Legislative branches entirely in 2009 and 2010, and since then they've had a Democrat controlling the Executive branch and the Senate, with the GOP controlling only the House. Btw, that GOP House has passed balanced budgets and a balanced budget amendment, but the Democrats shot all that down.
Looking at the big spending bills of FY2009, we have TARP ($700 billion) and Obama's stimulus ($800 billion). REPUBLICANS VOTED AGAINST BOTH OF THOSE ACTIONS (TARP link and stimulus link). Whether you agree or disagree with the GOP on those votes, you sure can't then turn around and blame the GOP for the resultant deficits, as Obama is trying to do. Btw, Obama voted in favor of TARP as a Senator, and signed the stimulus into law as President.
Obama's "it's the Republicans fault" excuse is a bad joke. Obama's hubris is unmatched, and his blame-shifting ruses have worn so thin that a blind man could see through them. Hey, maybe that's what Obama meant when he said his presidency would be the most "transparent" ever !!!
Faced with having to rationalize away Obama's terrible economic numbers (see my previous post), liberals have resorted to an array of reality-bending efforts, such as pseudo-economist Paul Krugman's claim that Obama has been too conservative, and that "this is a Republican economy". That's a good one…as if federal spending at a non-World War II record high of over 24% of GDP could possibly be called conservative (and total government spending is an alarming 40.27% of GDP, if you want to know where your paycheck will go once we actually start paying for all this spending. No young person in America should be voting for Obama. He's literally destroying their futures). Yet none of this Keynesian spending orgy is enough for Krugman and other liberals. I shudder to think what Krugman would term a liberal economy. Maybe Europe's, which is going down the tubes and drowning in debt (as will soon happen here). And then there are Obama's other "conservative" policies - the $800 billion stimulus, the ObamaCare takeover, the Dodd-Frank regulations, handing auto companies over to the unions, the looming Taxmageddon, etc. If there's a liberal anti-growth policy to be found, Obama seems to be for it, and that sure ain't conservative. Go back to your ivory tower, Prof. Krugman. Your crackpot theories don't belong out here.
Liberals reading this will reflexively blame the deficits on Bush's wars and tax cuts, and I agree that Bush was far from being a fiscal conservative. He was just the opposite. Yet, I remind liberals that in 2007 the deficit was "only" $170 billion (not that $170 billion is chicken feed), and those two wars and tax cuts were in effect then too. Revenues have fallen with the recession and that's part of it, but it's actually the spending increases that drive our deficits and debt. Bush nearly doubled federal spending. Obama has already increased it by $800-900 billion per year. There are no tax increases that can cover such a rate of spending increases. They would destroy the country. They would destroy YOU, economically speaking. Time to wake up, America, before it's too late.To read more or comment...
President Obama took well deserved criticism for saying the "private sector is doing fine". No President should say such a thing when the country is several millions jobs down from where it was in 2007 before the recession hit and the unemployment rate is 8.2%. But the President is correct that there have been 27 months of consecutive job growth, and maybe Obama will get back to a net jobs created total of zero by election time if things go well. That's hardly a ringing endorsement to re-elect him (We didn't lose any more jobs !!!), but I suppose Obama has to look for any straw to grab onto, because so many economic indicators are worse off than when he took office.
I was perusing the National Black Republican Association's website today, and I found this list of 18 economic indicators regarding Obama's time in office. Be warned that the data below is from February 2012, and some of it is outdated, but the thrust of all of it is correct:To read more or comment...
It seems one of our deep-thinking liberal talk radio hosts, Bill Press (former head of the California Democratic Party), doesn't think too highly of our national anthem. Hmmm. Just when I thought liberals couldn't possibly find anything else to whine about. Oh well. I guess their list of gripes about America is a bottomless pit (which, coincidentally, is also what they think about your hard-earned wages). Without further ado, I present the patriotic words of Mr. Press:
“I mean when you think about it, it’s ‘bombs bursting in air,’ ‘rocket’s red glare,’ it’s all kinds of -- you know a lot of national anthems are that way, too -- all kinds of military jargon, and the land -- there’s only one phrase ‘the land of the free,’ which is kind of nice, and ‘the home of the brave'? I don’t know....Are we the only ones who are brave on the planet? I mean 'all the brave people live here.' I mean it’s just stupid, I think. I’m embarrassed, I’m embarrassed every time I hear it.”To read more or comment...
Last week, the Senate voted on the Paycheck Fairness Act, Democrat-created legislation that would have allegedly insured women are paid equally to men. Democrats cited statistics indicating women only make 77% as much money as men do as justification for the new legislation. The Senate voted down the legislation basically along party lines, with Republicans and a handful of Democrats voting against it.
Color me confused. Didn't President Obama sign the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 to address that exact problem ? Is this new legislation an admission that Ledbetter was ineffective, or what ? Plus, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was implemented nearly fifty years ago to address the same problem, as was Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prevented sex discrimination. Were all those pieces of legislation also ineffective ? What's going on here ?
Here's what the White House said prior to the Paycheck Fairness Act vote:
“Women earn only 77 cents for every dollar men earn, with women of color at an even greater disadvantage with 64 cents on the dollar for African American women and 56 cents for Hispanic women.”
— White House Statement of Administration Policy on Paycheck Fairness Act, June 4
Let's begin with the Democrats 77% claim. That number comes from examining total wage differences between men and women, but it leaves out lots of other factors, such as number of hours worked, job seniority, type of work performed, etc. It really doesn't mean women make less than men for the same work. We must look further. Left-leaning Politico states the following:
…the gender wage gap is not a myth. Study after study from economists, experts and the Government Accountability Office has demonstrated that women are being paid less than their male colleagues for the same work across age, occupation and education level.
The 23-cent gap between men’s and women’s earnings can be only partially explained away by occupational choices; differences in the number of hours that men or women work or other such factors.
To read more or comment...
A 2007 study by the American Association of University Women — which accounted for college major, occupation, industry, sector, hours worked, workplace flexibility, experience, educational attainment, enrollment status, grade-point average, institution selectivity, age, race/ethnicity, region, marital status and number of children — found a 12 percent difference in the earnings of male and female college graduates 10 years after graduation. A comprehensive report by the Government Accountability Office found a similar wage gap.
Yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder provided congressional testimony for the seventh time regarding Operation Fast And Furious, the illegal, dangerous, and idiotic ATF plan to let guns "walk" across the border into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, allegedly to allow the guns to be tracked back to subsequent criminal activity and then apprehend those responsible. One of the many problems with the hairbrained plan was that the ATF couldn't track the weapons once they went into Mexico, and in fact neither ATF agents in Mexico nor the Mexican government was even made aware of the existence of the Fast And Furious plan. Thousand of guns went across the border in violation of federal law and in violation of the ATF's own mission statement, and as a result, the guns were used in numerous violent criminal activities in Mexico and an American border patrol agent, Brian Terry, was killed with Fast And Furious weapons. Mexican officials are understandably furious, and congressional investigators, headed by Darrell Issa (R-CA), are trying to get to the bottom of who knew what and how high knowledge of the gun walking went.
The reason AG Holder is being questioned is, the ATF works under the Department Of Justice, which is headed by Holder, and Fast And Furious began in 2009, during the Obama administration, for whom Holder works.
A previous and much smaller ATF gun walking operation, called Operation Wide Receiver, began in 2006 during the Bush administration. That smaller flawed operation didn't work, and was shut down in 2007. Write it down as a very bad idea, a failed experiment….so why would the ATF greatly expand upon the same failed strategy again in 2009 with Fast And Furious ? Enquiring minds would like to know.
Holder has been using the Sergeant Schultz "I know nothing" excuse. He claims no high ranking officials at Justice knew about Fast And Furious, including himself. When asked in April 2011 when he first became aware of Fast And Furious gun walking, Holder told Congress he found out just a few weeks earlier when the news became public. That was disproven by e-mails showing Holder had been informed at least ten months earlier. After his previous statement was disproven, Holder hilariously claimed he didn't understand the question he was being asked. He then admitted he knew about Fast And Furious, but not the gun walking. I'll repeat Issa's question and answer here just to illustrate how ridiculous Holder's new response was:
ISSA: Mr. Attorney General, we have two Border Patrol agents who are dead, who were killed by guns that were allowed, as far as we can tell, to deliberately walk out of gun shops under the program often called Fast and Furious. This program, as you know — and the President’s been asked about it, you’ve been asked about it – allowed for weapons to be sold to straw purchasers, and ultimately, many of those weapons are today in the hands of drug cartels and other criminals. When did you first know about the program, officially, I believe, called Fast and Furious? To the best of your knowledge, what date?
HOLDER: I’m not sure of the exact date but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.
There was nothing at all unclear about Issa's question, and it was about gun walking in particular. Holder lied. Again.
When that excuse didn't fly, the ever creative Holder made the odd claim that he didn't read all his e-mails. In effect, Holder was saying, "I'm not a liar. I'm just inept at my job". Obama should have fired Holder the second those words came out of Holder's mouth. Who wants an AG who doesn't even read his e-mails, for chrissakes ?
Btw, during the Bush years, VP Cheney's assistant, Scooter Libby, was sentenced to jail for being wrong about the date he found out the CIA identity of Valerie Plame, and Libby was only off by one month. And Libby didn't even divulge Plame's identity to the press. Holder was off by a minimum of ten months, and then gave two followup explanations that defy credulity.
That brings us to yesterday's' hearing. The date-challenged, question-misunderstanding, e-mail non-reader Holder had the following exchange with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT):
"You claim with passion that nobody at the senior levels at the Department of Justice prior to the death of [border patrol] agent Brian Terry knew that guns were walking, and I've got an email from Jason Weinstein using the term 'guns walking,'" Chaffetz said.
Holder ducked the question, saying that the email referred to a different operation.
"That refers to Wide Receiver, not Fast and Furious," balked Holder.
Chaffetz fired back "That is not what the February 4 letter that was sent to the United States Congress said. that's not true."
Holder stood his ground, compelling Chaffetz to read every email verbatim to the committee.
To read more or comment...
"The email says Fast and Furious, you say it doesn't. I've got it in black and white," Chaffetz said.
"I have superior knowledge," answered Holder.
Once again, Holder seems to be avoiding honesty. Here's what the e-mail in question actually says:
“It’s not clear how much we’re involved in the main F and F [Fast and Furious] case,” reads the email, “but we have Tucson [Wide Receiver] and now a new unrelated case with [redacted] targets. It’s not any big surprise that a bunch of US guns are being used in MX [Mexico], so I’m not sure how much grief we get for ‘guns walking.’ It may be more like ‘Finally, they’re going after people who sent guns down there.’”
Clearly, the e-mail refers to BOTH Fast And Furious and Wide Receiver, and it also references a "bunch of US guns" in Mexico, as was the case with Fast And Furious.
So now we have Holder's latest excuse - Fast And Furious doesn't mean Fast And Furious. No wonder Issa is ready to blow his top, and Congress is considering a contempt citation against Eric Holder.
I was happy to see Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) achieve a clear victory in last night's recall election for one main reason - he didn't do anything to merit being recalled. Contrary to what the unions and Democrats might believe, passing legislation that unions and Democrats don't like is not a recall-able offense. Walker signed state cost control legislation that limited the collective bargaining powers of public sector unions. It was passed by the duly elected Wisconsin state legislature. That's what we commonly refer to in this country as the democratic process, and that's how we are supposed to do things. It is no sin. Many Wisconsin Democrats thought differently, and chose instead to hijack the democratic process and hold it hostage. They shamefully went into hiding and refused to do the jobs for which they were elected. THOSE are the people who should have been recalled for dereliction of duty, not Walker. Wisconsin Democrats had it all backwards.
This is the second time Walker defeated the same Democrat challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, and Walker won by a wider margin this time than he did the first time. The union/Democrat hissy fit wasted a LOT of money on these recalls, over $66 million. Though the union/Democrat forces spent millions to defeat Walker, they were vastly outspent by the Republicans, so you can expect to hear a lot more whining about the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision from left-wing censorship advocates. Notably, you heard no such outspending complaints from the left when Barack Obama vastly outspent John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. In that case, the left trumpeted "the voice of the people". As in most things, the left's outrage is very selective, and very subjective. What they really object to is losing, and form their opinions on the fly based upon whatever view is advantageous at the moment.
Five other Wisconsin Republicans faced recall elections yesterday, and four of the five also won. The other race was too close to call the last I heard. That means the Republicans won at least five out of six races. It was a big night for the GOP.
I don't want to read too much into what this says about the larger issue of public sector unions, but I'll give my opinion. I heard a Wisconsin Democrat on television this morning talking about how this was a tragic loss for "worker's rights". That is incorrect. Instead, it was a victory for the people, just as it was when the Democrats won a vote over the same issue in Ohio. It's' the people who ultimately decide things at the voting booth, not any special interest. Public sector unions are a special interest. They do not represent "workers". They are only SOME of the workers, a small percentage. ALL of the workers are known as "the taxpayers", and the interests of the unions do not always coincide with the interests of the taxpayers who pay the salaries of those union workers. That's why it makes sense to me to have the PEOPLE decide how to control public sector health care costs and pensions, through our elected representatives. Remember, those in the public sector work for We The People. We are their bosses. We elect representatives to make governing decisions for us. If we don't like the decisions they make, we go back to the voting booth and elect someone else. That's how it works, and that's why I don't even see the need for public sector unions in the first place. The interests of public sector workers are already considered in the democratic process, and are balanced along with the interests of everyone else. There should be no higher consideration given just because the word "union" is attached to a worker's name. This thinking, of course, does not apply to the private sector, where unions are sometimes appropriate and in the past have been very valuable in preventing worker abuse. The dynamic in the private sector is completely different. There is no democracy in a private sector business. There is no voting booth. There is no voice of the people per se. I always go back to the words of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was no right-winger by any means:
"The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service," Roosevelt wrote in 1937 to the National Federation of Federal Employees. Yes, public workers may demand fair treatment, wrote Roosevelt. But, he wrote, "I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place" in the public sector. "A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government."
And that sums up my opinion on what the unions and Democrats attempted to do in Wisconsin. They attempted to obstruct the proper functioning of government.
The Great Recession, which officially started in December 2007, officially ended in June 2009, making it the longest economic downturn since the Great Depression. The good news is, the Great Recession ended three years ago. The bad news is, unemployment has topped 8% for the entire three year period since the recession's end, and unemployment nudged up again to 8.2% with May's weak job creation numbers. The typical post-recession economic recovery has not happened this time around. Instead, we have returned to a sort of weak normalcy. As Speaker Of The House, John Boehner said, "high unemployment and a weak economy [are] the sad new normal for families and small businesses." Boehner blames it on Obama's "failed policies", but regardless of who we blame, the sad new normal is hard to deny. The word "malaise" keeps creeping back into my mind. I haven't used that word much since Jimmy Carter was President.
As usual, May's job numbers were immediately politicized by the candidates. Romney called the jobs report "devastating" and used it to bash President Obama's economic policies. Obama sang his usual song, talking about economic "headwinds" for about the 40th month in a row, and said, "my message to Congress is now is not time to play politics". The only time Obama thinks it's not time to play politics is when the politics of a situation won't be in Obama's favor, or when Obama pouts about not getting his way (one of Obama's blame-shifting techniques). This time, he wants to shift the blame for the bad job numbers to Congress for not passing every single legislative item Obama dreams up five minutes after he announces them. In May, Obama realeased a short "to-do" list of small job creation ideas, and he wants to use those to shift the blame for high unemployment to Republicans (but he doesn't want to play politics !!!). Meanwhile, Obama doesn't mention the 30 jobs-related bills the Republicans have passed that are languishing in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Obama also doesn't mention that last month Congress DID pass a jobs bill, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.
Here are Obama's big "to-do" list ideas:
The modest list calls on Congress to pass tax incentives that promote in-sourcing, to pass tax credits for small businesses that hire more workers at higher wages, and to extend tax credits for clean-energy companies. It also calls for the creation of a veterans’ jobs corps and for action that would make it easier for homeowners to refinance their mortgages.
And if we do all that, maybe we can get unemployment back down to 8.1%. If we're lucky. Extremely lucky.
I don't know what Obama's thinking, but here's what I'd do to create jobs:To read more or comment...
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