Michelle Malkin: On May 1, left-wing vigilantes will target companies across the country that have committed a mortal sin: sending donations to GOP Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Rest assured, such intolerable acts of political free speech will not go unpunished by tolerant Big Labor activists. They’re calling for both a national boycott of Walker’s corporate donors and a coordinated sticker vandalism campaign on GOP-tainted products.
The Wisconsin Grocers Association is bracing for the anti-Walker witch hunt. Anonymous operatives have circulated sabotage stickers on the Internet and around Wisconsin that single out Angel Soft tissue paper (“Wiping your (expletive) on Wisconsin workers”), Johnsonville Sausage (“These Brats Bust Unions”) and Coors (“Labor Rights Flow Away Like A Mountain Stream”). Earlier this week, a “Stick It To Walker” website boasted photos of vandalized Angel Soft tissue packages at a Super Foodtown grocery store in Brooklyn, N.Y.
This destruction of private property is illegal. Not that it matters to anti-Walker protest mobsters, who trampled Wisconsin’s Capitol at an estimated $5 million in security, repair and cleaning costs to taxpayers. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “The identity of the backers of the sticker effort is unknown, although many assume it is being orchestrated by public employee unions. This latest effort follows boycotts organized by members of the Wisconsin State Employees Union AFSCME 24.”
AFSCME 24 is the same union affiliate that recently disseminated intimidation letters throughout southeast Wisconsin, demanding that local businesses support unions by putting up signs in their windows. The letter threatened not just Walker supporters, but any and all businesses that have chosen to sit on the sidelines and stay out of politics altogether: “Failure to do so will leave us no choice but (to) do a public boycott of your business. And sorry, neutral means ‘no’ to those who work for the largest employer in the area and are union members.” Others on Big Labor’s hit list: Kwik Trip, Sargento Foods Inc. and M&I Bank.
Walker, of course, has been at the forefront of government pension and budget reforms. Similar measures are being advanced by Democratic governors and Democrat-run legislatures from Massachusetts to New York to California. But union bosses have yet to sic their goons on individual and corporate donors to Democratic politicians imposing long-overdue benefit and collective bargaining limits for public employee unions.
How convenient, yes? Just as they secured a big fat waiver from the federal health care mandate and tax scheme they lobbied to impose on the rest of America, Big Labor is giving Democratic legislative water-carriers who have been forced to adopt cuts and cost controls a big fat waiver from their organized wrath and vandalism.
Now, a few hundred or thousand ruined grocery store items may not seem to matter much to the average reader, but this little property destruction campaign spotlights a nasty tactic increasingly employed by the left: campaign finance disclosure as a speech-squelching weapon.
We saw it last fall when Democratic operatives targeted the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for donating to Obamacare opposition ads.
We saw it in 2008 when a top MoveOn.org alumnus launched attacks on Republican donors with the express purpose of “hoping to create a chilling effect that will dry up contributions.”
We saw it when Obama campaign committee lawyers lobbied the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute a GOP donor for funding campaign ads exposing Obama’s ties to Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers.
We saw it during the Proposition 8 traditional marriage battle in California, where gay rights avengers compiled black lists, harassment lists and Google target maps of citizens who contributed to the ballot measure.
We saw it when “progressive” zealots smeared Target Corporation and Chick-fil-A for daring to associate with social conservatives.
And we’re seeing it again this month as the Obama White House readies an executive order that would force federal contractors to disclose all political donations to candidates and independent groups in excess of $5,000 made not just by a corporate entity, but by all of its individual executives, directors and officers.
Former Federal Election Commission official Hans von Spakovsky obtained the sweeping draft executive order, which — surprise, surprise — exempts unions and predominantly left-wing federal grant recipients from the mandate. On Wednesday, GOP senators spelled out the bullying agenda in an open letter objecting to the Obama order: “Political activity would obviously be chilled if prospective contractors have to fear that their livelihood could be threatened if the causes they support are disfavored by the administration.” Join the club.
When disclosure’s a bludgeon, all but Obama’s cronies are nails.
As I have said many times before, the Democrats only have 3 plays in their playbook: Class Ware, fear, and Intimidation.
That’s all folks.
Weiss Ratings downgraded U.S. debt this week.
Yes, the superman of all debts, public and private, got it some kryptonite.
“We believe that the AAA/Aaa assigned to U.S. sovereign debt by Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch is unfair to investors and savers, who are undercompensated for the risks they are taking,” Weiss Ratings President Martin D. Weiss said according to the South Florida Business Journal.
Weiss rated the U.S. a “C” credit risk, behind even Mexico.
The U.S. isn’t just a banana republic under Obama, it’s close to a failed state; at least in its ability to pay the bills.
To make matters worse, Weiss made the announcement after Federal Reserve “superman” Ben Bernanke admitted in a press conference that his policy of printing money has resulted in higher inflation and no jobs.
The announcement by Weiss may not be unrelated to the Bernanke press conference.
As Forbes observed this week, the Fed under Bernanke may not have the ability to judge anything anymore.
Just last month, the web site reminded us, the Fed assured everyone that “The economic recovery is on firmer footing, and overall conditions in the labor market appear to be improving gradually.”
On Wednesday the Fed told us “The economic recovery is proceeding at a moderate pace and overall conditions in the labor market are improving gradually.”
On cue, right after the Bernanke press conference, the estimates for GDP by the Fed were then slashed to 1.8 percent after posting 3.7 percent in the first quarter. Think that Ben didn’t know about those new numbers at his all-is-well press conference?
The revised estimates confirmed what we already knew; that the Fed policy was igniting inflation that would eventually hurt economic growth by spiking prices for things like gas, food, common stocks.
1.8 percent growth is hardly enough growth to ensure that jobless claims don’t start going up again.
Then on Friday, the Fed chief told an audience that he wants more sub-prime lending.
We’re getting into the area where we just can’t make this stuff up.
Yes, Ben Bernanke is calling on lenders to give more money to people who can’t afford mortgages.
“Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday called for more lending to people and small businesses in lower-income neighborhoods,” reports the AP “saying they’ve been disproportionately hurt by the recession.”
Does Bernanke think he’s running for re-election? What’s worse is that our chief banking officer doesn’t seem to understand how the country got where we are fiscally.
And things have just become too complicated- and political- and dangerous for Bernanke to remain the front man for U.S. economic policy.
Instead Ben should do the decent thing:
Take off that silly cape.
It looks ridlculous. (John Ransom)
But don’t worry, everything’s fine, we aren’t broke.
We just need more investments in infrastructure and higher taxes on “rich” people to solve all our woes! 😦