Archive for Labor


Rush called this:

The investigators at James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas have, in previous videos, exposed Obamacare navigators in Texas encouraging the people seeking their guidance to lie, cheat, and steal from the federal government. But what about Enroll America, the Obama-campaign spin-off whose employees and volunteers are pounding the pavement in search of Americans to send to those navigators in the first place? O’Keefe takes on that group in his latest video.

Created and run by veterans of President Obama’s campaigns and the Obama White House, Enroll America is using the techniques refined on the 2008 and 2012 campaigns to identify neighborhoods with a high concentration of uninsured residents. In ten states, the organization’s employees and volunteers are going door to door to ensure that, in its own words, “Americans know how and where to sign up for coverage.”

O’Keefe’s investigator, posing as the president of a phony 501(c)(4) political-action committee, caught Enroll America’s Texas communications director conspiring to share its trove of data in order to help him hire a field staff and mobilize voters for the Democratic candidate in an upcoming Texas state-house race. “We can mobilize them if we had that list,” O’Keefe’s investigator tells him.

“If I can present you a valid argument showing that this is working, would you be open to it?” the investigator asks. “If you present to me that it works, then I’d be open to it,” Tarango responds. “Look, I like where your head’s at, you’re going by what we call Rule No. 17, Rule No. 17 is — and I told you is — do whatever it f***ing takes.”

Tarango agrees to speak to a top official in Texas’s Enroll America offices. “I will talk to one person who I think might be open to having this conversation behind closed doors and I’ll get back to you on that,” he says.

Like I said, Rush called it—in June:

RUSH: Now, on to the Investor’s Business Daily. They have an editorial that explains in quite extensive detail how Obamacare is actually a funding operation for Democrat Party operatives and a technique for improving increasing Democrat Party voter registration.

“California lawmakers passed a law (Senate Bill 35) requiring that voter registration be part of the health insurance exchange.” California lawmakers, again, passed Senate Bill 35 that requires voter registration be part of the health insurance exchange. Now, you think you’re going to the exchange to pick your insurance policy. Guess what? You’re gonna get pressured to register to vote, if you’re not, and maybe even if you already are.

“Of the 48 organizations that got grants, only a handful are health-care related.” For example, Covered California announced $37 million in grants to 48 organizations to build public awareness about the opening of the health care exchange. Now, why in the world would the California NAACP get $600,000? But they did. The California NAACP got $600,000 of Obamacare money, California exchange money, to go door-to-door canvassing and registering voters, and to create presentations at community organizations, presentations about the Democrat Party, presentations about registering and supporting the Democrat Party and its candidates.

Service Employees International Union, which says its mission is ‘economic justice,’ received two grants totaling $2 million to make phone calls, robo-calls and go door to door.” Now, what in the world does a health exchange need a union going door-to-door for?

“The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO got $1 million for door-to-door, one-on-one education and social networking.” For what? An insurance policy? “It describes its role as ‘engaging in both organizing and political campaigns, electing pro-union and pro-worker candidates.’” That’s the AFL-CIO. That’s how it describes itself.

So we have the NAACP in California getting 600 grand to go door-to-door to register voters, to do this or that. “Service Employees International Union, which says its mission is “economic justice,” received two grants totaling $2 million to make phone calls, robo-calls and go door to door,” to the outreach, open community centers, make phone calls, robo-calls, register voters, get them to the polls. The AFL-CIO getting another million. So just in three groups, we’re at $3,600,000 from a health exchange to basically gin up support for the Democrat Party.

California, Texas—you know it’s going on everywhere. And this is all the criminal regime in the White House ever does.

The same people who got stimulus money, folks. You didn’t. Your shovel-ready job didn’t. Your school didn’t. Your road, your bridge, none of those things got it. Your job didn’t get it. Democrat loyalists got the money. The same thing is happening with the Obamacare exchanges. Democrat supporting groups are being given millions of dollars to promote the Democrat Party, register Democrat voters, and get them to the polls on Election Day. The purpose? To set up a permanent one-party system in this country.


What do you think immigration “reform” is all about? Swelling the Democrat Party rolls with loyal, lawbreaking voters. Why is food stamp use still rising? Why is the labor participation rate still falling? Why did the IRS conspire with the FEC to deprive conservative groups of their right to assemble as 501(c)(4) organizations?

As the great man said: “To set up a permanent one-party system in this country.” That’s what they’re all about. Every act. Every day.


“There Will Be Blood”—And There Was!

I mean, how did he know?!

As the Michigan House debated a right-to-work measure today, a member of that august body warned of–or perhaps threatened–violence. “We’re going to pass something that will undo 100 years of labor relations and there will be blood, there will be repercussions,” WWJ-AM quotes Rep. Doug Geiss, a Detroit-area Democrat, as saying. “We will re-live the battle of the overpass.”

The station offers a refresher in labor history: “The battle of the overpass was a bloody fracas in 1937 between union organizers and Ford Motor Co. security guards. [United Auto Workers organizer] Walter Reuther was famously thrown down a flight of stairs and another union organizer was left with a broken back.”

So far this time there are no reports of violence or threats by management (unless you count Geiss, who is after all supposed to represent taxpayers, as part of “management” vis-à-vis government employees). But union leaders have echoed the violent rhetoric. WWJ quotes Terry O’Sullivan of the Labor International Union of North America, as saying at a rally, in reference to elected officials who support the right to work: “We are going to take you on and take you out.”

At least he didn’t say he was “targeting” victory or anything like that. Liberals hate violent language.

What they don’t hate is this:

“This is just the first round of a battle that’s going to divide this state. We’re going to have a civil war,” Hoffa said on CNN’s “Newsroom.”

The Obama administration came to the defense of democracy:

“The president believes in debate that’s civil,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said today. “I haven’t seen those comments and I’m not sure that they mean what some would interpret them to mean. I just haven’t seen them.”

This regime was aware enough of a YouTube video making the Prophet out to be a pedophile to blame an entire failed Mideast policy on it, yet hadn’t heard—and then excused—a call for spilled blood?


“President Barack Obama launched an assault Monday on Michigan’s proposed ‘right to work’ legislation.” [...] “These so-called ‘right to work’ laws, they don’t have to do with economics; they have everything to do with politics.”

Obama went on to laud Big Labor: “You only have to look to Michigan–where workers were instrumental in reviving the auto industry–to see how unions have helped build not just a stronger middle class but a stronger America.”

You mean Amerika, Mr. President:, a Michigan news site, reports that union thugs “tore down a large tent maintained by American’s [sic] For Prosperity Michigan, which reserved the space to support the right-to-work legislation”:

“We had been contacted by that group that they had three or four people that were actually trapped underneath the tent,” said Lt. Mike Shaw. “Two of them were in wheelchairs and there was also a propane tank in there. So we had to send troopers out, and naturally, the crowd was not too receptive.”

Well, if the El Presidente is against it (confession: I almost wrote “Der Führer”), and the rank-and-file are against it, it couldn’t have passed, right?


And the House just voted 58-52 for the bill affecting private workers.

So when Gov. Snyder signs the bills, as he’s promised he will do, workers in the public and private sectors will no longer have to pay to join a union unless they want to.

It will be the 24th “right-to-work” state.

So, the two elected bodies of the Michigan legislature passed the bill; the elected Governor of the state will sign the bill; Michigan will join almost half the rest of the country in such legislation… and Obama denounces it?

Isn’t this the same process that reelected him—by a lesser percentage, I might note?

Maybe this is why Aggie and I are so dispirited. In the rest of the country, people who share our politics still have a voice in their state and local elected bodies. Here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, those bodies are cold and stiff.

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Barack Quisling Obama?

It’s not farfetched or outrageous to say that Obama would like to model the USA after European socialist states: ObamaCare, limitless welfare (which increases in good times as well as bad), ignoring the day of fiscal reckoning, confiscatory taxation, etc. (Heck, remember the conversation we reported the other day where an administration official attending the Nobel ceremony noted that in any other country but the US, Obama would get 70% of the vote?)

Let’s look at what else comes with that:

One of the curious things about modern politics is that the Jewish Question is never far from the surface. That this is true in places without Jews like Indonesia and Saudi Arabia is not surprising. But consider the state of British politics.

The upcoming election for the mayor of London pits the affable Tory incumbent, Boris Johnson, against a former mayor, Labor firebrand Ken Livingstone. An outspoken socialist who spent decades as a party activist, council member, member of parliament and then mayor from 2000 to 2008, Livingstone is famous for championing of public transport over private automobiles, as well as for securing cheap oil for London buses from Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.

All mayors of major cities have foreign policies but Livingstone’s animosity towards Israel and the Bush administration is unusually pronounced. In 2003 he called Bush “’the greatest threat to life on this planet” and in 2005 he effectively blamed the London bombings on the US war in Afghanistan and the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

Livingstone’s calling a Jewish reporter “a concentration camp guard” and recent remarks that Jews are too rich to vote for him in the upcoming election have raised a few eyebrows but have not put him out of the race (although recent questions about tax-dodging and having secretly paid a mother of an unacknowledged child from public funds might yet.)

These slaps at Jews have been matched by his public embrace of radical cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi and mayoral patronage of the equally radical Islamic Forum of Europe, which received a million pounds to build a new headquarters.

And he’s the nice guy!

The pandering at the heart of George Galloway’s stunning return to parliament was even more blatant. A campaign leaflet made his pitch bluntly: “God KNOWS who is a Muslim. And he KNOWS who is not… Let me point out to all the Muslim brothers and sisters what I stand for. I, George Galloway, do not drink alcohol and never have. Ask yourself if the other candidate (Labor candidate Imran Hussain) in this election can say that truthfully. I, George Galloway, have fought for the Muslims at home and abroad, all my life, and paid a price for it. I, George Galloway, hold Pakistan’s highest civil awards.”

Livingstone’s campaign and Galloway’s reelection demonstrates several things about the state of politics and society in modern Britain. First, it is possible to be elected to parliament solely on the basis of religious appeals in Muslim majority districts. But these appeals also have a very real material side, namely the patronage that will flow into community, read religious, organizations.

Second, there are essentially no limits to inflammatory rhetoric, especially when directed at the United States, Israel or Jews. The British establishment and electorate have long tolerated or downplayed Galloway’s rhetorical and practical support for dictators ranging from Saddam to Qaddafi to Assad, his incitement against Israel and Jews, along with his breaking of international sanctions on Iraq, from which he took money as part of the UN “oil for food” scandal, and his theatrical convoy supplying money to Hamas.

That’s right, the wholly discredited and roundly despised George Galloway won another seat in Parliament.

And he’s got company:

Livingstone and Galloway are distinctively boorish but their eagerness to lash out against Jews and Israel is shared with other leftist politicians and parties around the world. Israeli injustices take their breath away, and local Jewish communities and individual Jews irritate them endlessly.

Galloway’s parliamentary colleague Jeremy Corbyn, a member of both the Labor party and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, is obsessed with Israel, as is Liberal Democrat Jenny Tonge, who famously opined that Israeli doctors should disprove allegations of having stolen organs from Haitian earthquake victims.

Sigmar Gabriel, chairman of the German Social Democratic Party and a likely candidate for chancellor, recently denounced Israel’s “apartheid regime.”

And those are just the elected officials! There are also the cultural figures, led most notably by Günter Grass.

And this fellow, we mentioned the other day:

The Norwegian sociologist Johan Galtung, who made anti-Semitic remarks suggesting a connection between Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breivik and Israel’s Mossad, drew criticism not only in Israel, but also on the pages of Scandinavian newspapers.

Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet published in October an article by journalist John Faerseth, who attended one of Galtung’s lectures at the University of Oslo, where he outlined his doctrine in front of a cheering crowd.

Throughout the article, Fearseth slams Galtung, who is dubbed “the father of peace studies”, saying the “findings” on which he bases his theories against Jews are “dubious” at best.

Norwegian magazine Humanist published a correspondence between Galtung and Fearseth, in which Galtung claimed, as he did several times in the past, that the Jews control world media.

Fearseth wrote a response article together with a Dagbladet reporter, in which they called Galtung a provocateur who uses his authority to “incite classic anti-Semitic propaganda.”

Meanwhile, the editors of Humanist published a special column in which they expressed their reservations over Galtung’s article, explaining why the magazine chose to give him a platform to spew his hate.

Well, that last part sounds reasonable enough. I’d like to read more spewed hate. When can I look forward to the gay-bashing article, the editorial call for ethnic cleansing, the provocative piece on the superiority of some people over others based solely on skin color? We’ll condemn them unanimously, of course, but if Galloway gets a platform, I want a whole dais, complete with styrofoam columns.

Anyway, good for those Norwegians who condemned this.

Now, will they condemn this too?

The Anti-Defamation League has slammed Noway’s prime minister over failing to condemn anti-Israel slogans at the country’s May Day event.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, head of the governing Labour Party, was silent in the face of official anti-Semitic and anti-Israel banners.

Marchers at the event’s parade held banners proclaiming 11 official slogans, including “Israel = Apartheid” and “Boycott Israel!”

Stoltenberg did not comment about the slogans, though he was the featured speaker at the May Day celebration of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) in Bergen.

“It is extremely troubling that given the nature of these anti-Israel slogans, their official status at the parade, and the fact that they were written about by newspapers days before the event, Prime Minister Stoltenberg still participated and did not speak out against these vile, offensive statements,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.

Politicians, academics (albeit it “peace studies”), labor—even the press. All dominated by the Left, and all riddled with Jew-hatred. If anyone would care to dispute or disclaim, I’m all ears.

Speaking of all ears, is this coming soon to a president near you?

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Lies, Damned Lies, and the President of the United States

Kind of hard to tell the difference sometimes:

“The long-simmering feud between Democrats and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has erupted into a full-scale war…

“‘Just this week, we learned that one of the largest groups paying for these ads regularly takes in money from foreign corporations,’ Obama said at a Thursday rally for Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. ‘So groups that receive foreign money are spending huge sums to influence American elections, and they won’t tell you where the money for their ads comes from.’

“R. Bruce Josten, the chamber’s executive vice president for government affairs, said in an interview Friday that the group ‘has never and will never’ use dues collected from overseas business councils, known as ‘AmChams,’ for U.S. political activities. He said the chamber is the victim of ‘a smear campaign’ orchestrated with the involvement of the White House.

“But a closer examination shows that there is little evidence that what the chamber does in collecting overseas dues is improper or even unusual, according to both liberal and conservative election-law lawyers and campaign finance documents…

“Obama’s ‘foreign money’ claims are bogus. They’re also pretty rich, considering how his 2008 campaign handled foreign credit cards. From that National Journal story: ‘The lack of a computerized address-verification system would allow the Obama campaign’s computers to accept online donations from U.S. citizens above legal limits, and to accept donations from foreigners who are barred by law from contributing at all.’ Perhaps its time to remind people of that issue again. Oh, wait, I just did!”

Not to mention illegal contributions from illegal aliens like his Auntie Zeituni, which are—you guessed it—illegal.

Obama told us it was time for “hand-to-hand combat”. (I suppose choke holds are one way of bringing us together.) You think his pinkie-ringed union thugs didn’t get the hint?

Maybe this will remind them:

The more I think about it, the less I think Obama has any interest in being another one-term failure like Jimmy Carter. He won’t even build a decent house for his half-brother (though his Auntie doing all right in public housing), so I don’t see him spending his retirement building houses for the underprivileged.

No, talk of hand-to-hand combat and a**-kicking, smearing opponents, outright lies and slanders, demonization—if he’s going down, he’s taking the rest of us with him.

Maybe the stoners who put him over the top in ’08 have forsaken the ballot box for the bong, but the socialist/labor front is still there, cracking their knuckles. Just awaiting their orders.

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Don’t Pull Wonder Woman’s Pig Tails

Less’n you want a black eye:

[AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka]… delivered a speech in Anchorage, Alaska in which he called Palin a “crazy magnet that’s pulling people to the right.”

“After she tied herself to John McCain and they lost, she blew off Alaska. I guess she figured she’d trade up-shoot for a national stage. Alaska was too far from the FOX TV spotlight,” Trumka said.

“I bet most of you, on a clear day, can see her hypocrisy from your house,” Trumka also said during his lengthy attack on the former Republican vice presidential nominee.

Oh boy. This won’t end well for the patronizing pinkie-ringed thug:

“Trumka’s attempts to put himself on the side of the working man and woman would be more convincing if he weren’t a career union boss who’s spent most of his life in DC,” Palin wrote on her Facebook page. “No surprise then that his priorities aren’t the priorities of the average working man or woman, but of the Beltway power player.”

“My fellow union brothers and sisters have had their union dues squandered for far too long by a few of the union bosses who work for partisan politics and not the good blue collar Americans who have to fund their cushy salaries,” the former Alaska governor added.

In her response Thursday night, Palin said laborer’s true plight stems from the policies of the Obama administration – of which the AFL-CIO is a big supporter – and defended her string of television appearances – “It’s called the First Amendment, Rich,” she said.

“To my hardworking, patriotic brothers and sisters in the labor movement: you don’t have to put up with the scare tactics and the big government agenda of the union bosses. There is a different home for you: the commonsense conservative movement,” Palin also said.

She didn’t make him eat dog poop off the ground because she has too much class. But she could have, and he would have.

Why do they bother? What is the effect she has on them?

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When it Says Labor, Labor, Labor

On the liberal, liberal, liberal,
You will hate him, hate him, hate him
And be miserable, miserable, miserable:

The leaders of the AFL-CIO and the Service Employees International Union have agreed to coordinate spending millions of dollars in the midterm elections to support pro-union candidates, most of them Democrats.

The two labor organizations say they have a combined $88 million or more to deploy in this year’s election cycle. It’s not clear how much of that money they will pool together.

The renewed alliance between the two big labor groups comes as Democrats are battling to retain control of both houses of Congress. The AFL-CIO and SEIU plan to target elections in 26 states, all but five of which they consider battleground territory, including California, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

From the people who brought you the weekend, right? Soon, they’ll bring us Year Zero:

The AFL-CIO executive committee voted unanimously this morning to join One Nation, Working Together, a new national coalition of labor and civil rights groups that has as its purpose to “reorder America’s priorities by investing in the nation’s most valuable resource – its people.”

Reorder America’s priorities, huh? You mean like liberty first, then life and the pursuit of happiness? Or amber waves of grain ahead of spacious skies? Those priorities?

Doesn’t sound like it:

The labor, civil rights, environmental, faith and other organizations that have formed the new coalition intend to replace unemployment and economic crisis faced by the country’s majority with “nothing less than a future of shared prosperity for all our people,” the AFL-CIO said in a statement after it voted to join One Nation.
“None of us alone have been able to achieve our priorities,” said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO.

One Nation’s first official act as a coalition will be a march on Washington on Oct. 2, which unions say will energize an army of tens of thousands who will return to their neighborhoods, churches, schools and voting booths to prevent a Republican takeover of Congress in November and begin building a new permanent coalition to fight for a progressive agenda.

I just returned from a vacation among a wide variety of middle Americans, and I didn’t get the impression that they wanted anyone messing with their neighborhoods, churches, schools and voting booths. In fact, some of them would likely punch you in the nose if you tried. They’ll be happy to work together to pull someone’s pick-up out of a ditch or prepare a meal for someone who’s not doing well, but they would probably be suspicious of anyone talking about “a future of shared prosperity for all our people”. That would sound like taxes and income redistribution to them, and to me.

The Republican National Committee finished the 2nd quarter with $5 million in the bank (less $2 million in debt); not much of an arsenal against the $88 million of the AFL-CIO/SEIU. There are other Republican/conservative funds out there, but still. Big Labor fights dirty (see Martha Coakley’s thugs) and has the money.

Might makes Left, not Right.

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What Was That All About?

The first in our stand-alone series, to be abbreviated as WWTAA.

Craig Becker vs. Scott Brown, with the NLRB in the balance. Who wants it more?

Who cares?

A reminder that Scotty B isn’t so much the 41st vote at this point as the 43rd. So long as Republicans vote as a bloc to filibuster, Blanche Lincoln and Ben Nelson have no reason not to join in.

15 senators skipped the vote as a fait accompli once Brown, Lincoln, and Nelson made their feelings known. This is a blow to Card Check, but don’t celebrate too much: Obama’s now grumbling about recess appointments, which is likely in this case given that Becker’s a union tool and The One’s pals in big labor have been warning him lately about their unhappiness over ObamaCare.

Fifteen senators skipped the vote, and Obama’s just going to stick him in there anyway… so what was that all about?

Stay tuned for the next episode of WWTAA when Obama summons Republicans to debate his rigor-mortised socialized medicine plan. Obama’s not changing a page (out of 2,700), on the grounds that it’s already been passed (which didn’t stop him, Nancy, and Harry from cutting it into paper dolls and snowflakes), and the Republicans have already voted against it… so, what will be the point exactly, when it would be lucky to get 55 votes in the Senate now?

Given all the empty promises, the reversals, the reenlisting of Bush policies, the economic ineffectiveness… other than a few trillion dollars blown, of his whole administration: WWTAA?

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Nice Health Plan Ya Got There

Shame if something happened to it.

I was wondering how long this would take:

Labor leaders are pushing hard on President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats to drop a proposed new tax on high-value health insurance plans, warning of political consequences.

The White House has indicated the tax may change so it hits fewer workers — but it’s not going away.

A Monday evening meeting at the White House between Obama and about a dozen heads of the country’s biggest labor unions capped a day when two union leaders fired broadsides at Obama and Senate Democrats over their plans to pay for overhauling the nation’s health care system with a tax union leaders fear could hurt their workers.

The 40 percent tax would fall on employer health plans worth more than $8,500 for an individual or $23,000 for a family. Although Obama terms them “Cadillac” plans, union leaders say numerous working-class Americans who’ve negotiated good benefits in exchange for lesser pay would be hurt.

The president of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, warned that Democrats risk catastrophic election defeats similar to 1994 if they fail to come up with a health bill labor likes.

“A bad bill could have that kind of effect — a place where people sit at home” — as happened in 1994, when Democrats lost 54 House seats and eight in the Senate, costing them control of Congress, Trumka told reporters.

The head of the International Association of Firefighters, Harold A. Schaitberger, made similarly threatening remarks in a statement Monday. “The president’s support for the excise tax is a huge disappointment and cannot be ignored. If President Obama continues to support it and signs a bill that includes the excise tax on workers, we will hold him accountable,” said Schaitberger, who was not among the attendees at the White House meeting.

Didn’t the British burn the White House during the War of 1812? So it can happen, I guess. I’d want the firefighters on my side if I were him.

As much as anyone, Big Labor got this guy elected. Like everyone else—everyone—they’re wondering what the hell they did that for.

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Whole Truths and Whole Foods

We’ve already covered the whole kerfuffle over the WSJ op-ed written by the CEO of Whole Foods.

It just keeps getting better and better (or worse and worse):

The UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers), whose president earns $626,769 a year, has launched a campaign against Whole Foods, whose CEO earns $1 a year in salary.

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey’s total compensation is $33,831, and he has implemented executive pay limits for all of his executives.

Mackey’s sin? He offers his employees good benefits, and UFCW wants them to unionize so that their union bosses can make more money.

On Monday, August 24, 2009, the UFCW will be in front of the Whole Foods in Columbus, Ohio, at 3670 W. Dublin-Granville Rd., from approximately 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and at the Whole Foods at 1555 W. Lane Ave. in Upper Arlington, Ohio, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is liberal fascism in its purest form. Martino (or anyone else in the vicinity), sic ‘em.

I shop at Whole Foods, and find it more than a little precious in its presentation. But that’s fine. I just want to know if they have to import the Untied Nations represented by their workforce, or do they really all live locally. I mean, on any given day their cashiers look like they come from Jordan, Nepal, Mexico, Barbados, and Pakistan. I’m not kidding. Try finding an Irish kid from Southie anywhere near the place. Again, fine, but how—or why—do they accomplish that?

I just love to watch the unshaven, matted-haired, BO-ed shoppers at Whole Foods (and that’s just the women) flip out over this news that the CEO of their beloved grocery store believes in free enterprise and at least a somewhat limited government. Takes the firmness right out of their tofu.

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Scabs, Sharks, Bosses, Busters

Street gangs? Motorcycle toughs? Feuding hillbilly clans?

Nope, the New York Times:

The New York Times Co., which has threatened to shutter The Boston Globe, is seeking deep concessions from the Globe’s largest union that could include pay cuts of up to 20 percent, the elimination of seniority rules and lifetime job guarantees, and millions of dollars in cuts in company contributions to retirement and healthcare plans.

The list of possible concessions includes pay cuts, which could range from 5 to 20 percent, depending on what other cuts the union is willing to give up. For example, a pay cut could be lower if the union gives up paid holidays, union officials said.

Other concessions proposed by the Times Co. include the elimination of contributions to the pension fund and 401(k) retirement plans and a $1.5 million reduction in the company’s contribution to healthcare. The company also proposed the elimination of sick days, a 50 percent cut in severance pay for layoffs, and the lengthening of the workweek to 40 hours from 37.5.

Among the most controversial proposals are eliminating contract provisions that grant lifetime job protection to about 170 veteran Guild members and seniority rules that govern layoffs. Under the rules, the most recent hires are the first to be laid off.

Another management proposal seeks a one-time round of job cuts without regard to seniority, including those with job guarantees.

I like that approach to pay cuts and holidays: “Nice Easter ya got here. Shame if somethin’ happened to it.”

Can you imagine how much ink the Times would spill if any other employer tried these tactics? Walmart? Fuhgeddaboudit.

But the Globe isn’t just losing money: it’s hemorraging like a hemophiliac with a pesky case of ebola:

Without the union concessions and other cutbacks, the Globe is projected to lose $85 million this year, following a loss of about $50 million last year, according to an employee briefed on union discussions.

And how did those brilliant business minds as the Glob respond to this financial emergency?

By discouraging demand:

Days after its corporate parent demanded $20 million in concessions from 10 unions, The Boston Globe late Tuesday said it is increasing the newsstand price of its daily paper to $1 from 75 cents in the metropolitan area – and to $3.50 from $2.50 on Sundays.

“While it is never easy to raise the price of the newspaper, we feel it is necessary under current economic conditions,” Globe spokesman Robert Powers was quoted as saying on the paper’s Web site.

The daily cover price will increase to $1.50 outside “Greater Boston,” the Globe said. The Sunday cover price will increase to $4 outside Greater Boston. The Sunday price had been $2.50 inside and outside the city zone.

Price increases of 33% to 60%—that’s sure to increase plummeting circulation.

Are we laughing at the Glob’s misfortune? Sort of, but if they’re not taking this seriously, why should we?

No, I take that back: some of them are serious. In a way:

The long list of union givebacks was greeted with anger, concern, and sadness by some 200 union members who attended the meeting.

There’s that “s” word again. It’s the perfect word to describe liberal disappointment and disillusionment: “I’m sad.” Aww…

PS: It ain’t just the Times bustin’ heads:

Newspaper owners across the country are using dire warnings and, in some cases, blunt threats about economic survival to press unions to make concessions on wages, benefits, and work rules. And it’s working.

Is the Times owned by the Sulzberger family or the Soprano family?

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Carjackers in Pinstripes [UPDATED]

Who keyed your car? A Republican.

Who slashed your tires? A Republican.

Who poured sugar in your gas tank? A Republican.

Who killed Detroit? Who do you think?

Reporting from Washington — The congressional push to help U.S. automakers was generally cast in terms of protecting the reeling national economy from another body blow — the collapse of one or more of Detroit’s Big Three.

But in killing the stopgap rescue plan worked out by President Bush and congressional Democrats, conservative Republicans — many from right-to-work states across the South — struck at an old enemy: organized labor.

Cue the fiendish laughter.

There’s even “proof”:


If the 2008 figures are cut off on your screen, take my word that the percentage donated by the Big Three to Republicans dips below fifty percent—which would suggest that the percentage donated to Democrats by Ford, GM, and Chrysler topped fifty percent.

Is that their point? Isn’t the point that labor donates overwhelmingly Democratic more demonstrable and less refutable?

How smart a strategy is that, Big Labor, to completely alienate one of only two political parties?

And so what if the auto industry total leans back toward Republicans? That’s such a broad slice of different businesses—suppliers, dealers, etc.—there’s no common thread of suspicion or guilt. After all, it’s not exactly a surprise that independent business people hew more toward the Republican course of lower taxes and less government red tape. Why would they endorse a party hostile to their interests?

In other words, this story is bogus. It is unsupported even by the very facts (percentage donated to Republicans vs. Democrats) it presents to support its case. Republicans have no wish to shutter entire industries and throw thousands of people out of work—even the most rabid Republican-hater would agree.

But Republicans are more committed to free enterprise—with the possibility of failure just as real as the possibility of success—than Democrats (or they used to be), and they have no reason to be charitable toward the auto unions who wouldn’t piss on a Republican if he were on fire.

Since when did that qualify as news?

Via Patterico, this story stinks even more:

The L.A. Times story on the failure of the bailout blamed it squarely on Republicans, in a story titled Senate Republicans kill auto bailout bill:

Republican opposition killed a $14-billion auto industry bailout plan in the Senate on Thursday night, putting the future of U.S. automakers in doubt and threatening to deliver another blow to the economy.

. . . .

Senate Democrats couldn’t bring the measure up for a vote without the support of at least 10 Republicans. Ultimately, they were seven votes short.

But wait! Via Instapundit, John McCormick at the Weekly Standard points out that Democrats had 10 Republican votes — enough votes to defeat the filibuster.

Of course, I wasn’t willing to accept that some Weekly Standard blogger got this right and the vaunted fact-checkers at the L.A. Times got it wrong. So I checked the actual votes at the website for myself. Here is the list of 10 Republican Senators I found voting “yea”:

Bond (R-MO), Yea
Brownback (R-KS), Yea
Collins (R-ME), Yea
Dole (R-NC), Yea
Domenici (R-NM), Yea
Lugar (R-IN), Yea
Snowe (R-ME), Yea
Specter (R-PA), Yea
Voinovich (R-OH), Yea
Warner (R-VA), Yea

Democrats had the votes, just not enough to provide political cover. So they offered a dishonest spin: that they simply didn’t have the votes.

And the L.A. Times was happy to repeat this false spin to readers.

Al Franken’s next book: Lies and the Lying Newspapers That Tell Them.


Driving off a Bridge

Can we all agree that the discussed bailout of Big Auto is actually anything but? A failing business model will continue to fail, no matter how much money you cram into it.

But the United Auto Workers could use the money. The state of Michigan could use the money. Reliable voters who reliably vote Democratic.

Tens and twenties okay, fellas?

GOP bailout stooge to Cavuto: “It’s not your money”

Behold the hubris of an entrenched Republican congressman shilling for the auto bailout. His name is Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-Michigan) and you’ll be happy to know that he lost his re-election bid.

Attention, Republicans obsessed with “re-branding” the party and crafting appealing messages to win back voters. Here’s your textbook example of how not to act and what not to say if you want to restore credibility to conservatism.

The phrase “tipping point” is overused, but I fear we have reached a literal tipping point. The mass of people who now expect the government to do for them outweighs the mass of people who wish the government would do without them. Even hitherto conservatives now elbow aside the rest of the swarming pack at the public teat.

Where’d my country go?

The automobile industry still thrives in America. Just not in Detroit. Make of that what you will.

PS: At least someone is thinking straight.

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