February 18, 2011

Quote of the Day: Guess Who?

Filed under: Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:50 pm

No fair peeking in your search engines:

“Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government….The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.”

… “[a] strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.”

So who is it?

It must be Calvin Coolidge, right? After all, in 1919, he said: “There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time.”

Maybe Ronald Reagan? In August, two days before firing striking traffic controllers, he said: “They are in violation of the law and if they do not report for work within 48 hours they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated.”

Neither gentleman asserted what is quoted above.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt said those things (backup proofs here and here) in 1937.

The guess here is that FDR wasn’t serious, but was instead trying to do something about “The ‘Tea Party’ of the 1930s,” which in the next Congressional election substantively ended his rubber-stamp control over Congress.

At the time, it was a no-risk statement, because public-sector unionization barely existed, so no one on the Left would begrudge him the rhetorical triangulation.

Regardless, he said it, and now the Left gets to live with it.

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UPDATE, Feb. 20: Hmm. Maybe FDR really did believe that public-sector unions were a bad idea, because Democrats in general did for about the next 20 years. Patrick McIlheran lays it out at Real Clear Politics

Roosevelt wasn’t alone. It was orthodoxy among Democrats through the ’50s that unions didn’t belong in government work. Things began changing when, in 1959, Wisconsin’s then-Gov. Gaylord Nelson signed collective bargaining into law for state workers. Other states followed, and gradually, municipal workers and teachers were unionized, too.

Even as that happened, the future was visible. Frank Zeidler, Milwaukee’s mayor in the 1950s and the last card-carrying Socialist to head a major U.S. city, supported labor. But in 1969, the progressive icon wrote that rise of unions in government work put a competing power in charge of public business next to elected officials. Government unions “can mean considerable loss of control over the budget, and hence over tax rates,” he warned.

There was “a revolutionary principle rather quietly at work in American government,” he wrote.

The principle was working at about 100 decibels in Wisconsin’s Capitol last week, once the union drum-beaters got going. What worked them up was the money they’d concede, they said, but even more that Walker would make their unions surrender the control they’d gained over every government budget.

Walker, like other Republicans, was long accused of hating government. For eight years as chief executive of heavily Democrat Milwaukee County, he would not raise taxes, which opponents said showed his contempt for government.

Yet all this past week, he praised public employees and he said the work government does is so necessary, taxpayers should get as much of it for their money as possible. Meanwhile, thousands of schoolteachers on the Capitol lawn manifested their intent to obstruct Government and their belief that the tots back at Roosevelt Elementary could darn well spend a day or three watching Nickelodeon at home.

And, to beat all, the president who now professes to be the new Reagan weighed in to say Walker was being unduly mean to unions. President Obama gave no audible word on whether unions were being unduly mean in shutting down schools.

I’ll guarantee you that thousands of the Democrats’ beloved “working families” in the private sector were left hanging without sitters and had to miss work, in many cases either losing pay or having to burn vacation days, because of Wisconsin teachers’ illegal actions. How mean is that?

Judge Vinson Asks States To Respond to Obama Admin’s ‘Clarification’ Request (Will Mike DeWine ‘Sit on the Sidelines’?)

Filed under: Health Care,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:58 pm

Via the AP (full report as of 2:12 p.m.; posted for fair use and discussion purposes):

Judge gives states deadline in health care lawsuit

A federal judge in Florida has given the 26 states suing to stop President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul until Thursday to respond to the administration’s contention that they must implement the law even though it has been declared it unconstitutional. [1]

U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson issued the order Friday in response to the government’s motion a day earlier. It asks him to clarify his January ruling declaring the law unconstitutional. [2]

That placed even noncontroversial provisions under a cloud of uncertainty that seems certain to be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court. [3] Two other U.S. district judges have upheld the law and a third ruled against one of its provisions.

Some Republican-led states are refusing to implement the law, citing Vinson’s ruling. [4]

Points:

  • [1] — The administration is saying “you have to implement this law even though the judge clearly said on Page 75 of the ruling that there is no currently enforceable law. This is what one would expect from a “culture of contempt.” What about “the declaratory judgment is the functional equivalent of an injunction” don’t they understand?
  • [2] — Clarify, schmarify. What about Item [1] don’t they understand?
  • [3] — There is no “cloud of uncertainty.” We know exactly what the situation is. There is no currently enforceable law. Period.
  • [4] — Good for them, but not good enough. If the administration is exerting any kind of pressure to continue implementation, they need to march right back to Judge Vinson and get a contempt ruling.

This is what happens when you don’t immediately challenge a lawless bunch when they openly tell you they’re going to act lawlessly. They think they see an opening because none of the 26 state AGs has seen fit to get in front of Judge Vinson first and report the administration’s clear “implementation will continue” defiance of his order.

The judge has demanded that the states defend their positions. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who won election by only 50,000 votes, largely on his promise to voters (also saved here) that he would “not sit on the sidelines” and allow Obamacare to be foisted on the country, has not done anything visible in the 18 days since the judge’s ruling. As far as anyone can tell, he’s not keeping his campaign promise.

The response received a week ago from a DeWine communications person is not at all comforting:

We are aware of the concerns, and the Attorney General will continue to monitor events closely to see what in fact develops. Judge Vinson in our case said that he expects that the federal authorities will not act contrary to his determination, and we will be watching the Obama Administration’s conduct. The Attorney General fully expects the issue of Obamacare’s unconstitutionality will go to the Supreme Court, where he believes that we have a very strong case.

Note the lack of any promise to actual do something.

What will he do now? Will he stay on the sidelines? What will the other 25 AGs do?

I have a message into DeWine’s Communications office asking what he plans to do. If I get a response, I will let readers know.

UPDATE, Feb. 20: Aaron Worthing at Patterico’s place and Gabriel Malor at Ace’s place have additional observations, and not exactly complimentary opinions of the administration’s “clarify” gambit.

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Previous Related Posts:

  • Feb. 11 and Feb. 14 — Official AG Office Response from Ohio AG Mike DeWine Concerning Obamacare Implementation
  • Feb. 10 — “TIB Radio Preview: AG DeWine and the Federal Court Ruling Voiding Obamacare”
  • Feb. 7 — “Mike DeWine’s Core Campaign Promise to Fight ObamaCare Remains Unkept (UPDATE: AG’s Response Requested)”
  • Feb. 4 — “Mark Levin: ‘Barack Obama … the Attorney General … the Secretary of HHS … Are Conducting Themselves in a Lawless Fashion’”

30-Minute Drill: Quick Hit Headlines and Highlights (021811, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 9:28 am

30 minutes, no timeouts:

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From Mark Tapscott at the Washington Examiner: The federal judge who held the Obama administration in contempt for its conduct in issuing another Gulf of Mexico offshore drilling ban after he threw out the first “gave President Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar 30 days to act on five applications seeking permits to drill in the Gulf of Mexico submitted months ago by a Louisiana firm.”

(Update, 2:30 p.m.: To be clear, as described here, the administration rescinded the second ban in October, but then chose instead to drag its feet on drilling applications.)

Key passages:

Feldman had strong words for Obama and Salazar, noting that “the government is under a duty to act by either granting or denying a permit application within a reasonable time. Not acting at all is not a lawful option.”

… “Delays of four months and more in the permitting process, however, are unreasonable, unacceptable, and unjustified by the evidence before the Court,” he said.

Well, this is not a lawful administration.

Update: Michelle Malkin (of course) has more, with a useful phrase that I’m probably late in noticing: “Culture of contempt.” Exactly.

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At Catholic News Agency“Catholics should not vote for pro-abortion candidates, explains Peruvian archbishop.”

“Should” really means “must” –

Archbishop Javier del Rio Alba of Arequipa, Peru recently clarified that “voting for a candidate who supports abortion is a mortal sin.”

“As Catholics, we can never support a candidate that proposes the killing of defenseless children …

The bishop’s “clarification” applies far beyond Peru.

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Diana West, on Lara Logan:

What CBS didn’t mention (about the incident) — what was later attributed to an unnamed network source — was that as the thugs assaulted the 39-year-old journalist and mother of two, they shouted, “Jew! Jew!”

… The light might have dawned more brightly had the MSM actually reported on the widespread anti-Semitic iconography visible in the demonstrations, as amply archived by John Rosenthal at Pajamas Media.

Rosenthal’s assemblage of hateful signage seen is in two PJM posts (here and here)

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At Life News: “Criminal Probe Launched Into Fraud at Pro-Abortion Group”

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has launched a criminal probe into the financial mismanagement and fraud apparently taking place at NARAL New York that resulted in the firing of its president, Kelli Conlin.

Conlin left her position last month after a forensics audit the pro-abortion group conducted uncovered financial problems dating back to 2008, or even earlier. She had held the post for two decades and a source close to the situation says she was fired.

(An audit) found numerous questionable charges on NARAL credit cards Conlin used between 2008 and 2010. The charges include $5,709 in high-end clothing purchased at Giorgio Armani and Barney’s and $17,000 for a reimbursement for a Hamptons summer rental Conlin used in 2009.

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Via Ann Althouse, a Wisconsin teacher who can’t spell.

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Glad to see Mike Wilson is still engaging in activism, as he was in Columbus yesterday supporting Ohio’s public-sector collective-bargaining reform:

“This bill is not on attack on public employees; it is not an attack on the middle class,” Wilson, 34, a technology consultant, said at the rally. “This bill is about math.”

I believe Democrats may come to regret pouring a half million or more into defeating him in his run for State rep last November. He may be more influential in a more direct Tea Party-like role.

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The Punk President couldn’t resist injecting himself into the Wisconsin standoff, and got his “community organizers” into the act:

The White House’s political operation, Organizing for America, helped to build crowds using social media, the Washington Post reported today, citing an unidentified Democratic Party official. Obama himself spoke to Milwaukee television station WTMJ.

“Some of what I’ve heard coming out of Wisconsin, where they’re just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally, seems like more of an assault on unions,” the president said.

At least Obama got part of it right. This isn’t about “ending collective bargaining,” as the Associated Press’s Scott Bauer wrote yesterday. “Making it harder” is not the same as “ending.”

Also, kudos to John Boehner for criticizing the Presidential intrusion:

“Republicans in Congress — and reform-minded GOP governors like Scott Walker, John Kasich and Chris Christie — are daring to speak the truth about the dire fiscal challenges Americans face at all levels of government, and daring to commit themselves to solutions that will liberate our economy and help put our citizens on a path to prosperity,” Boehner said.

Unsustainable (‘Obama’s Unsustainable and Gutless Budget Proposals’)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:30 am

The current level of federal spending can’t continue. The administration says: “Yes it can. Try and stop us.”

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Note: This column went up at Pajamas Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Wednesday.

Related: From Steve at No Runny Eggs — “The 2012 White House budget is worse than doing nothing”

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To me, one number stood out above all others in the fiscal 2012 budget released by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Monday: $3.819 trillion. That number puts the exclamation point on four years of fiscal irresponsibility and legislative negligence on a scale not seen since the nation’s founding. If there’s a worse precedent in recorded human history, I’m not aware of it.

It seems that almost everyone has focused on what the White House projects to occur during fiscal 2012 through 2021. Two National Journal writers even had some fun assembling a cute montage of what you could do if you had the $3.73 trillion the administration would like to spend in fiscal 2012. Meanwhile, though some have noted that the White House’s projected fiscal 2011 deficit will be an all-time record $1.645 trillion, virtually no one has commented on the higher spending figure the administration says will occur this year — $3.819 trillion – to make that disastrous deficit happen.

The following graphic demonstrates how completely Uncle Sam’s situation has deteriorated since 2007, and how utterly unserious the administration’s plans for future fiscal recovery really are (results for 2007 through 2010 have been adjusted to correct for items footnoted below, previously discussed here and here):

USadjAdtuals2007to2010andProj2011to2013

Contrary to established wisdom, and though it was way too little and way too late to get noticed by the electorate, the last budget passed by the GOP-controlled Congress in 2006 did a passable job of controlling spending growth. Their relative restraint, combined with the fourth consecutive spurt in receipts caused by George W. Bush’s 2003 tax cuts, caused the reported deficit for fiscal 2007 to fall to $162 billion.

Those were the gold old days. Once Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid became House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader, respectively, everything started spinning out of control. Outlays leaped by 12.6% in fiscal 2008 (9.2% if the 2008 stimulus checks from the IRS are treated as negative receipts, as the government incorrectly did).

They were just warming up. Once Barack Obama became president, the spending spree began in earnest. Driven largely but by no means entirely by a stimulus plan that stimulated nothing, spending skyrocketed again in fiscal 2009, this time by almost 11%. Meanwhile, receipts in fiscal 2009 cliff-dived by over 19% from 2008. A fairly narrow deficit ballooned to over $1.3 trillion in just two short years.

You’d think that the free spenders would have needed a breather at this point. You would be wrong. After reversing the effects of TARP-related non-cash accounting entries designed to make fiscal 2009 look worse so fiscal 2010 would look better, the chart above shows that spending increased again, this time by almost 5%; the properly adjusted deficit increased by over 8%. Keep in mind that during this entire period, inflation was relatively tame.

But the all-time topper is the $3.819 trillion the administration expects to spend by the time the current fiscal year ends in September. It’s an average of almost $320 billion per month. The government didn’t spend $300 billion in any single month until October 2008. If this level of spending really occurs, the insulting 7% increase over fiscal 2010, piled on top of the previous three years’ injurious increases, will mean that Pelosi, Obama and Reid will have pushed up spending by almost 40% in just four years. It will mean that federal spending, according to the administration’s projections, will gobble up over 25% of the country’s annual economic output. That is by far the highest peacetime percentage since 1903, and almost certainly the highest in U.S. history.

The fiscal 2011 spending increase is happening even though the stimulus program was supposed to have ended during 2010. That hasn’t happened, but beyond that, departments whose spending have nothing to do with stimulus are continuing to go hog wild.

I would compare Congress’s budgeted 2011 outlays to what we were spending in 2007 or 2008, except for one thing, typified in this graphic grab from Page 64 of OMB’s report:

DOD2012budgetV2010actuals

Unlike in 2010, there is no 2011 estimate. That’s because Pelosi’s and Reid’s Congress didn’t pass a 2011 budget. I don’t recall that Barack Obama has ever complained about that. If I’m right, no wonder; spending has been and will be on autopilot this year until somebody does something about it. Democrats consider that a feature, not a bug.

Well, something must be done. The ridiculous level of fiscal 2011 spending must be reined back as much as possible during the months which remain. The $100 billion reduction that got through the House last week is a start, but it must be pushed through the Senate so that the president will be forced to make a tough decision: Start winning the future, or continue mortgaging the future?

Looking into future years, the message in the 2012 budget from the President and his party to the nation’s 80% non-liberal majority is clear: You don’t like what we’ve been doing? Just try and stop us.” They’re betting that the American people and its representatives, even when facing the financial abyss — an abyss brought even closer by what Investors Business Daily has called “Obama’s Gutless Budget Proposal” — won’t have the stomach to do what must be done. Whether or not they’re right may be the most important fiscal question we ever face.

Positivity: Babies Can Be Treated With Adult Stem Cells, Even in the Womb

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From LifeNews.com in Washington, DC:

2/1/11 2:43 PM

Two recent stories are exciting about the possibility of treating young children, even in the womb, with adult stem cells.  One study shows that cardiac adult stem cells can be isolated from young children with heart problems, even as young as one day old.

The researchers found that a very small sample of heart tissue contained ample adult stem cells that could be grown in culture, turned into various types of heart cells, and repair damaged hearts in a lab animal model.  Dr. Sunjay Kaushal, senior author on the study in the journal Circulation, said “The potential of cardiac stem cell therapy for children is truly exciting.”

Another recent report shows the potential of extending adult stem cell treatments into the womb.  Previous attempts at treating unborn children have been largely unsuccessful, but scientists at the University of California-San Francisco have discovered the key to such treatments–use the mother’s adult stem cells to treat the unborn child. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

So This Is ‘The New Tone’? Rhetoric vs. Reality in Wisconsin

Ann Althouse, from Madison, Wisconsin:

After all those efforts to paint Tea Partiers as using violent images and rhetoric, these pictures from Madison have got to hurt.

Well, they know the establishment press won’t report it. So it will only hurt if New Media does, and frequently.

So watch:

Pa. Judge Whose Fate Is In Hands of Jury Not Tagged As Dem — For Two Years

namethatpartyThe fate of former Luzerne County, Pennsylvania Judge Mark Ciavarella is in the hands of a jury tonight.

After an initial media slip-up that occurred and was quickly “corrected” when he and a fellow judge were indicted two years ago (“Un-Name That Party” proof here), Ciavarella’s party affiliation (Democrat, natch) has gone virtually unmentioned.

One such non-party-identifying example (overall details to follow) this evening comes from the Associated Press’s Michael Rubinkam. Those who are unaware of the outrages allegedly perpetrated by the these judges need to brace themselves:

Jury continues deliberations in Pa. judge trial

A federal jury deliberated 7 1/2 hours Thursday without reaching a verdict in the corruption trial of a former northeastern Pennsylvania judge charged in a bribery-and-extortion scheme involving two privately owned juvenile detention centers.

Deliberations will resume Friday morning in the trial of former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella, who is accused of accepting more than $2 million in kickbacks from the builder of the juvenile lockups and extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the owner. Prosecutors said Ciavarella sent youth offenders to the private jails while he was taking the cash.

The jurors were considering a 36-count racketeering indictment that included charges of bribery, extortion and fraud. A second judge in the case has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy count and awaits sentencing.

The defendant’s wife, Cindy Ciavarella, said she was “doing OK” under the circumstances.

“It’s the worst nightmare that you can ever imagine. It’s horrible for your family,” she said as she left the courthouse Thursday. “I don’t wish it on anybody, that’s for sure.”

Ciavarella took the stand in his own defense and acknowledged receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from the builder of the PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care juvenile lockups, but he contended the payments were legal “finder’s fees.” He denied extorting Robert Powell, the owner of the detention centers.

The state Supreme Court tossed thousands of juvenile convictions issued by Ciavarella, saying he violated defendants’ rights.

Ms. Ciavarella can cry me a river. Her “nightmare” is nothing compared to how horrible it is that hordes of juvenile first-time minor offenders got sent to youth detention centers for, according to prosecutors, no reason other than to line somebody’s pockets.

A Google News search on ["Mark Ciavarella" jury] (typed exactly as indicated between brackets, sorted by date) returns 191 results. A similar search on ["Mark Ciavarella" Democrat] returns six. The reasons those six results appear have nothing to do with the judge. Five of them (here, here, here, here, and here) have references to unrelated linked stories that happen to be about Democrats elsewhere on their web pages. The sixth is about a Democrat who is running to be a Luzerne County judge. He’s ID’d as a Democrat; Ciavarella, whose name also appears in the article, is not.

National news readers should know and arguably would want to know that two judges (the other is Michael Conahan) who had no trouble traumatizing hundreds and perhaps thousands of minor juvenile offenders and their families by treating them as if they were hardened criminals are or were members of the alleged “party of compassion.” That they mostly won’t is a journalistic disgrace.

Other previous related “Name That Party” posts about judges Ciavarella and Conahan are here, here, and here.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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UPDATE, Feb. 18: A 3:07 p.m. Friday report at AP on continues the non-party-naming tradition.