The Improving Cheese

“This is a disaster,” Mark Miller, the Wisconsin Senate Democratic leader, said in February after Republican Gov. Scott Walker proposed a budget bill that would curtail the collective-bargaining powers of some public employees. Miller predicted catastrophe if the bill were to become law — a charge repeated thousands of times by his fellow Democrats, union officials and protesters in the streets.

Now the bill is law, and we have some early evidence of how it is working. And for one beleaguered Wisconsin school district, it’s a godsend, not a disaster.

The Kaukauna Area School District, in the Fox River Valley of Wisconsin near Appleton, has about 4,200 students and about 400 employees. It has struggled in recent times and this year faced a deficit of $400,000. But after the law went into effect at 12:01 a.m. June 29, school officials put in place new policies they estimate will turn that $400,000 deficit into a $1.5 million surplus. And it’s all because of the very provisions that union leaders predicted would be disastrous.

In the past, teachers and other staff at Kaukauna were required to pay 10 percent of the cost of their health-insurance coverage and none of their pension costs. Now they’ll pay 12.6 percent of the cost of their coverage (still well below rates in much of the private sector) and contribute 5.8 percent of salary to their pensions. The changes will save the school board an estimated $1.2 million this year, according to board president Todd Arnoldussen.

Of course, Wisconsin unions had offered to make benefit concessions during the budget fight. Wouldn’t Kaukauna’s money problems have been solved if Walker had just accepted those concessions and not demanded cutbacks in collective-bargaining powers?

“The monetary part of it is not the entire issue,” says Arnoldussen, a political independent who won a spot on the board in a nonpartisan election. Indeed, some of the most important improvements in Kaukauna’s outlook are because of the new limits on collective bargaining.

In the past, Kaukauna’s agreement with the teachers union required the school district to purchase health-insurance coverage from something called WEA Trust — a company created by the Wisconsin teachers union. “It was in the collective-bargaining agreement that we could negotiate only with them,” says Arnoldussen. “Well, you know what happens when you can negotiate with only one vendor.” This year, WEA Trust told Kaukauna that it would face a significant increase in premiums.

Now the collective-bargaining agreement is gone, and the school district is free to shop around for coverage. And all of a sudden, WEA Trust has changed its position. “With these changes, the schools could go out for bids, and, lo and behold, WEA Trust said, ‘We can match the lowest bid,'” says Republican state Rep. Jim Steineke, who represents the area and supports the Walker changes. At least for the moment, Kaukauna is staying with WEA Trust but saving substantial amounts of money.

Then there are work rules. “In the collective-bargaining agreement, high-school teachers had to teach only five periods a day out of seven,” says Arnoldussen. “Now they’re going to teach six.” In addition, the collective-bargaining agreement specified that teachers had to be in the school 37-1/2 hours a week. Now it will be 40 hours.

The changes mean Kaukauna can reduce the size of its classes — from 31 students to 26 students in high school and from 26 students to 23 students in elementary school. In addition, there will be more teacher time for one-on-one sessions with troubled students. Those changes would not have been possible without the much-maligned changes in collective bargaining.

Teachers’ salaries will stay “relatively the same,” Arnoldussen says, except for higher pension and health care payments. (The top salary is about $80,000 per year, with about $35,000 in additional benefits, for 184 days of work per year — summers off.) Finally, the money saved will be used to hire a few more teachers and institute merit pay.

It is impossible to overstate how bitter and ugly the Wisconsin fight has been, and that bitterness and ugliness continues to this day with efforts to recall senators and an unseemly battle inside the state Supreme Court. But the new law is now a reality, and Gov. Walker recently told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the measure would gain acceptance “with every day, week and month that goes by that the world doesn’t fall apart.”

In the Kaukauna schools, the world is definitely not falling apart — it’s getting better. (Byron York)

But never forget the Unions will fight tool and nail to your death to have their exclusive members-only kiss-ass club back. They are too arrogant and “entitled” not to.

Much like most Democrats.

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

How to Cook your own Goose

First off, it does seem a bit silly for me to write me blog today after what happened in Japan.

That is a true human tragedy. And it is still unfolding.

(But no this is not about Charlie Sheen either!!)

But I can’t wait for the whacko environmentalist to start exploiting it for their own agenda.

Much like the NFL.

I was talking to a friend last weekend about why sports means basically nothing to me. I used to be a big sports fan, in my youth.

I happily attended every Michigan home football game for 12 years until I went off to college (just not there).

I went to the Tiger games. Even a few Lions games.

My last hurrah seems to have been the 1980 Olympics, the “Miracle on Ice”.

Shortly after that it was all Unions, strikes and a total greed fest.

And that’s the way I regard sports today.

A bunch of Millionaires arguing about how you split up the Millions and who get how many.

It’s the sort of thing Liberals think goes on in general society on the right.

According to a USAToday article for the 2009-2010 Season the lowest team median income was $500,000 for the Kansas City Chiefs. (They were 4-12 that year).

Jeff Pash, the league’s lead negotiator, said owners had offered to keep player pay at 2009 levels and raise it by $20 million per club over the next four years. The NFL season would remain at 16 games for the next two years, but then could expand to 18 games. Off season and pre-season workouts would be cut. Retirement and health care benefits would improve and contracts could be guaranteed beyond one year.

Jim Quinn, a lead negotiator for the union, said the owners’ proposal would have rolled back player pay to 2007 levels and amounted to a giveback of up to $8 billion over the course of the proposed 10-year deal. In addition, he said a flat salary cap would be imposed at $130 million, as the league would move away from basing player compensation on the percentage of revenues. (WSJ).

Now interestingly the Player’s Union is likely to de-unionize themselves, voluntarily giving up their holy right to collective bargaining.

Why?

So they can sue the owners pants off and run away with even more Millions! They Hope.

And the Owners would rather run off with the millions themselves.

GREED. Pure unadultered GREED.

But you won’t see the Left going all Wisconsin on The Green Bay Packers.

But I hope the fans do.

Maybe they’ll learn the lesson I apparently learned long before I was ever even political, Unions suck!

Because, you know if the players win in court and run off with the cash, they will reform their Union so they can screw the Owners the next time too.

This is what Unions do.

And that’s why I loathe them.

It’s all about the power and the money.

It’s exactly what the Left thinks the Right does on a daily basis.

The question is, will the players hang together in “solidarity” and will Jesse Jackson show up at Lambeau Field to support the “oppressed” Millionaire players. 🙂

Maybe the SEIU can rush NFL headquarters and set up squatters and chant “Hell no! We won’t go!!”

I bleed green in “solidarity” for them. 😦

But the Left and their insatiable need for cash and class warfare to pay for it never learn.

Ignoring the truism that when you tax something you get less of it, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Thursday signed legislation making the Land of Lincoln the latest state to enact what’s dubbed the Amazon Tax. It’s designed to collect state sales taxes from online companies if in-state businesses do business through websites such as Seattle-based Amazon.com.

Called the “Main Street Fairness Act”. Liberals so have an special talent for Orwellian language.

Illinois now joins Hawaii, North Carolina and Rhode Island in getting around this impediment by considering affiliates as the required nexus. Amazon’s in court with New York over a similar law.

According to the Tax Foundation, such taxes do not produce huge revenue streams. “Rhode Island,” it says, “has seen no additional sales tax revenue from its Amazon tax, and because Amazon reacted by discontinuing its affiliate program, Rhode Islanders are earning less income and paying less income tax.”

Illinois has about 9,000 such affiliates, and Rebecca Madigan, director of the Performance Marketing Association, an affiliate trade group, estimates the state will lose 25% to 30% of tax revenues collected from the affiliates themselves as they lose business, cut jobs or move out of Illinois.

“It’s not going to accomplish anything,” said Tom Storm, CEO of FatWallet.com, an Amazon affiliate based in Rockton, Ill. He said he plans to move his company and 54 employees out of the state at once.

CouponCabin.com, an Illinois company that offers printable and local coupons, announced it’s planning a move to neighboring Indiana.

“Many thriving businesses like CouponCabin and other affiliate marketing will be forced to move to other states,” it said. “And most important, this law will not generate the tax revenues Illinois thinks it will collect.”

Most new taxes don’t increase revenues or jobs. When you increase the cost of doing business, you get less business and fewer jobs.

But Liberals get that warm and fuzzy endorphin buzz from their Class Warfare.

And that after all, is what it’s all about, the endorphin high “sticking it to the man!” in “defense” of the “little guy”.

<<barf bag on standby>>

Last year, Texas sent Amazon a bill for $269 million in back sales taxes based simply on Amazon’s having a warehouse there. Last month, Amazon announced it was closing the warehouse, costing 110 tax-paying employees their jobs.

The way to increase tax revenues is to increase the tax base, not tax rates. Of course, one can also spend less, and Illinois is one of those states trapped with a huge budget shortfall and bloated and unfunded state pension liabilities.

As we’ve said, the way out of our federal and state fiscal mess is to spend less time worrying about the distribution of the golden eggs and more time worrying about the health of the goose — or our goose is cooked. (IBD)

Over cooked more like.

This is hilariously on point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbwMPzbzVJM

But it sure makes Liberals and Union thugs “feel good” and they get that endorphin buzz from striking against “the rich” in the name of “the middle class”.

Problem is, the rest of us get par boiled in the process.

P.s. NPR

That bastion of “fairness” and “objectivity”. That fired a Liberal, Juan Williams for daring to say Muslims on planes make him nervous.

“The current Republican Party, particularly the Tea Party, is fanatically involved in people’s personal lives and very fundamental Christian,” said NPR’s Ron Schiller to two undercover reporters. “I wouldn’t even call it Christian; it’s this weird evangelical kind of [movement].”

Not knowing he was being videoed, Schiller continued: “The current Republican Party is not really the Republican Party, it’s been hijacked by this group; that is, not just Islamo-phobic but really xenophobic. I mean, basically, they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-American, gun toting—I mean, it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.”

Schiller is being heavily criticized for these comments, as is NPR and elite liberal thinking in general. Schiller, NPR Foundation president and vice president for development (until these comments), is the Left’s latest exhibit in smearing the Tea Party movement as bigots, racists, fascists, Hitler-ites, followers of Attila the Hun, Torquemada, Genghis Khan, or whatever other handy demon.

Yet, what’s telling about Schiller’s comments is their lack of factual basis, an even greater sin from a man whose business, and erstwhile employer, is the reporting of facts. His comments are a PR problem for NPR, furthering the perception that NPR is not about unbiased reporting but primarily about opinion—a leftist opinion camouflaged as objective news.

Who was behind the set-up, why the ACORN stinger himself, James O’Keefe.

The NPR head was there to discuss a $5 million dollar donation from a Muslim group and instead got caught on Candid Camera.

And now the Left is whining about it. AGAIN.

ACORN, Planned Parenthood, now NPR.

The Public Sector Unions.

Whine, Whine, Whine.

But mind you, when Liberals manufacture “evidence” and trot it out and it’s exposed as fake they say sure it is, “but what was in it was true” as they said about the Dan Rather memo.

It’s all about the power and the money folks.

That’s all it ever is about.

But if Michael Moore is right, it’s all “our money” anyways. 🙂

Except HIS millions, that is….

‘Nuff Said.

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Class Warfare Breaks Out

For the last couple of days there has been near riotous mob of angry people protesting the  government.
They have signs saying the guy in charge is a dictator.
The compare him to Hitler.
The call him Satan.
He’s evil incarnate.
They say things no one should reprint.
“Kill The Bill” was a chanting war cry!!!

But it’s not a Tea Party Rally.
It’s a Union Protest!
Yes, the “civility” and “bi-Partisan” Left is mad as hornets at the Governor Of Wisconsin.
And the Liberal media loves them for it.

And his crime?
Asking fat cat, narcissistic Liberal Unions members to contribute more to their own pensions

and health benefits (even less than private sector workers).
Well, you’d think he just outlawed Cheese or the Packers or said something derogatory about Muslims!
Because the Unions surely have declared Jihad.

Teachers have staged sick outs.
The 14 Democrats from the State Senate have snuck off to a resort in Illinois (at taxpayer expense no doubt) to prevent the vote on the bill from happening.

And the protesters are yelling and have signage portraying things even I won’t print.
But that’s ok, because it’s liberal outrage. That’s politically acceptable to the Left and The Media.

It’s righteous, in fact.

And I’m sure they would all agree that it’s not “uncivil” the crude things they are saying about their Governor. After all, they are the ones saying them, so they can’t possibly be wrong.

So just remember, when a leftist complains about your “hate speech” just try poking their sacred cows and you’ll get so much toxic vitriol that it will make your great-great-grandmother blush with embarrassment and make sailors look like saints.

And the hypocrisy of it all is completely lost on them, by them way.
Because, after all, it’s “Do what I say! Not what I do”.
They can do it. You can’t.
Simple.

And the president is behind them. “Some of what I’ve heard coming out of Wisconsin, where you’re just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally, seems like more of an assault on unions,” President Obama told TMJ4 in Milwaukee.

He’s supporting these “terrorists” (as the Tea party was called) and there are reports that his campaign committee has sent “operatives” into the situation to help fight the evil anti-union thugs. 🙂 The Democratic National Committee’s Organizing for America arm — the remnant of the 2008 Obama campaign — is playing an active role in organizing protests against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
But that’s not “astroturf” though.

The State of Wisconsin was overwhelming turned into a Republican legislature in 2010 by the voters who had had enough of overspending and debt.
The State is 3.6 Billion in the red thanks to the Liberals.
Now the Republicans want to do something about it that doesn’t involves “taxing the rich” and overregulating and strangling businessmen. Class Warfare, where’s the Class Warfare!!?? The Left would ask.
And that’s what makes the Left mad.
They are the spoilt children of a greedy generation and they don’t want to have to be more grown -up about it.
They just want to sit in the State house in Madison and wave their hateful and very uncivil signs and yell and scream about Hitler and The Governor are equivalent.
You will not take away any of their toys.
It’s there’s and you can’t make them pay for it! They are ENTITLED.
“We are all willing to come to the table. We’ve all been willing from day one,” said Madison teacher Rita Miller. “But you can’t take A, B, C, D and everything we’ve worked for in one fell swoop.”

Seems to me, when this agrument was made about ObamaCare to the Liberals they laughed it off and said you can’t possible do it “piece meal”.

What is good for the Liberal Goose is not good for the Anti-Liberal Gander apparently. These are rules set up by Liberals to benefit Liberals and you aren’t suppose to challenge your superiors on it.

They will just sit down, hold their breath, and turn blue.
Then the media will come along and do their children-are-being-hurt,you’ll have no police,  no firefighters (even though they were exempt in the bill) the media and the Left don’t care.

It’s point scoring time!
Armageddon has come to earth and landed in Madison, Wisconsin.
The End of the World has arrived.
It’s the End of Days!
Yeah, it’s the end of Let’s spend our way out of debt and tax the rich to make up for it.
Oh, and state employees will have to actually contribute real money to their lavish pensions and massively generous health care.
EVIL!
Pure EVIL! 🙂

But if you get 250,000 people protesting the Left, say on ObamaCare, well, they are just  “astroturf”, “stupid”, “dupes”, morons and will have scron and ridicule heeped on them by the ton. The amount of ridicule and contempt a Liberal has for people who disagree with them is incalculable.
But in Madison, they are courageous freedom fighters fighters for your children and they are all saintly in every way–while they are yelling that their Governor is Hitler!! 🙂

But don’t ever call them “astroturf”, “stupid”, “morons”, “domestic terrorists” while they are calling you a turd, a dictator, or other very uncivil things.
Because they are the Left, and only their rules apply.

America, what a country!

 

BUT DON’T EVER TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING “UNCIVIL”!!! 🙂

 

I Want Your Money

The Fraternal Order of Police in Camden New Jersey proved without a shadow of a doubt, public union willingness to toss fellow officers to the dogs. In a 300-1 vote, the union rejected an offer that that would have saved 100 jobs. That offer called for three days a month of unpaid furloughs for patrol officers for six months, then one furlough day in each of the following 12 months.

Please consider Camden police union rejects concession deal that could bring back 100 laid-off officers.
Altogether, more than 15 percent of Camden’s municipal workers, including 68 firefighters and about 100 civilians, were laid off as the city tries to fill a huge budget gap brought on by rising costs, decreased tax revenues and diminished aid from the state.
But screw that, we just want the money and even more jobs is not enough for this Union.
CalPERS (the California Public Employee Retirement System) and CalSTRS (the California State Teachers Retirement System).  CalPERS has over 9,000 employees receiving $100k or more in pensions; CalSTRS has over 3,000.
And they can retire at 50. and take ANOTHER JOB!

Lines are being drawn and the fight to reduce overly generous pay and benefits to government employees at the federal, state, and local level is underway. Not too surprisingly, public employee unions are gearing up, rallying government employees, and exerting pressure to maintain the generous pay and benefits that has loaded government with unsustainable debt. Public employee unions are, even now, pressing the Obama Administration for additional benefits and power.

President Obama, either unwilling, or perhaps unable, to bring long-overdue accountability to powerful public employee unions, has instead issued guidance requiring greater Union representation and input into federal agency decision making. Obama’s decision will likely embolden union bosses to think they can escape accountability and an honest review of benefits, salary, and pensions of government employees.

Perhaps it is time to send a different message. President Obama, like many Americans, is probably unaware that the federal government actually subsidizes federal government employee union operations. In fact, the federal government provides unions with free office space, pays for union member time and picks up travel and per diem costs. These “perks” represent a tax that has never been approved by American taxpayers–perks which operate at a level below the radar of Congress and well below the radar of the IRS. These hidden “perks” provided to government employee unions cost American taxpayers millions of dollars annually.

According to official data, federal employees currently spend some 2.9 million official work hours, at government expense, engaging in collective bargaining and union activities, representing a taxpayer cost of approximately $120 million. But the taxpayer costs and subsidizes to public employee unions is much higher than the official report because government does not account for all the expenses related to union activity.

Federal government unions are, in essence, running a business within the federal government. As we begin the debate over the proper role (if any) unions should have in government, one step Americans should all be able to agree upon is that taxpayer money should not be used to subsidize union activities.

Many Americans may be unaware that unions exist in every federal agency. In fact, most agencies have several unions competing for employee participation and funding which means that federal agencies are subsidizing the costs for several unions at the same time!

These federal agency union representatives have a large presence in Washington, DC, the seat of the federal government. But, most federal locations throughout the United States also have a union representative. So, for example, in a city, such as Kansas City, where the federal complex houses multiple government agencies, there will be multiple federal union representatives, from each federal union, within each federal agency, all at the same building location.

Why is this important?

Federal government union representatives are actually federal employees. They hold GS ranks and civil service status, and actually have federal jobs that they were employed to perform. Their union duties are, supposedly, performed over and above the requirements of their regular day job. However, because of the pernicious and growing power of federal unions, oftentimes, union duties often are performed in lieu of their job. Paid time off from regular government duties is allowed, in most federal agencies, for the union representative to solicit federal employees (i.e. market services), to attend union meetings (i.e. work for an entity other than their government employer) or travel to have “face time” with their union bosses in DC. All at taxpayer expense.

In addition, union representatives often request and are provided with office space that is more expansive than is warranted by their GS rank or than their federal job duties require. The cost of this additional square footage is also paid for by the American taxpayer, and is paid for at each federal agency, for each federal union representative, for each federal union. Federal government union representatives total thousands of federal employees, all billing their time, travel and per diem, for non-government related work, to the American taxpayer.

Perhaps an even bigger problem is that the federal government union representatives sometimes seem to operate under the mistaken belief that they were hired by the government to work for the union—and that union work is more important than the federal job they were hired to perform.

Unions seem, at best, indifferent to the performance of government and are exclusively concerned with pay and benefits of union workers. Therein lies another irony for the American taxpayer. Unions are organized to negotiate against employers, but, since the federal government is the employer, and since the American people pay for the federal government, then, technically, federal government employee unions might be construed as organizing against the American people.

It is time to bring some accountability to public employee unions. A good first step would be for Congress to get a grip on the proliferation of benefits for unions in the federal government, whose activities are an additional burden on federal taxpayers. Congress should change federal policies on payment of travel, per diem and office space for federal government union employees.

Better yet, perhaps President Obama should take the lead.

But he won’t. He’s too much of a kool-aid drinking Union guy, plus the Democrats are beholden to them like no other group.

The next closest influence are Trial Lawyers, and guess where they fit in – Health Care.

Gee, what a coincidence!

That memo being (in part):

Federal managers should seek employee input before major decisions are made, not after solutions are developed, according to a memo from Obama administration officials.

In a meeting on Wednesday with federal management and labor representatives, Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry and Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director for Management Jeff Zients reminded agency leaders to improve dialogue with employees by involving them before making final decisions. Managers should engage unions early in decision-making processes, as outlined in President Obama’s December 2009 executive order, said the memo.

Executive Order 13522 creates labor-management partnerships governmentwide and on the agency level. The order also requires the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations to launch pilot programs that will test bargaining over issues not normally negotiable by law in a small group of agencies and directs management to include pre-decisional involvement “in all workplace matters to the fullest extent practicable.” (Government executive.com)

In other words, Unions should be consulted before management makes any decisions. Making them, in effect, Managers.

Do you get that level of input at your job?

I know I don’t.

But Unions are special. They are the protected class in Liberal ideology.

They fight against the evil Corporations!

And they are killing us all.

“Ultimately, the goal is to allow employees, through their elected labor representatives, to have meaningful input, which results in better quality decision-making, more support for decisions, and timelier implementation,” the memo stated.

If you kiss our butt we won’t go on strike or we won’t work to destroy you. Sounds rather Mafia like doesn’t it?

The union idea of civil discourse is to protest outside opponents’ private homes. Now union supporters are targeting a developer , with fliers showing a bull’s-eye and his home address. Cue the chirping crickets. That will be the soundtrack for mainstream media reaction to the latest example of thuggery perpetrated by Wal-Mart opponents who are not happy that the non-union retailer wants to build a Wal-Mart-anchored development on the site of an abandoned Chevy dealership in Washington, D.C. The development would employ up to 1,200 people in a city with 10.2% unemployment.

A group calling itself Wal-Mart Free DC is organizing a protest, not at one of the proposed sites or at Wal-Mart headquarters, but at the private home of the developer. A flier produced by the group gives his name and home address and invites protesters to assemble on his front lawn. Oh, yes: There’s a smiley face centered on some cross hairs on the flier.

The group claims no formal union affiliation, yet prominently displayed on the group’s website are links to sites such as WalMartWatch funded by Service Employees International Union and United Commercial and Food Workers International Union. Certainly they are employing the thuggish tactics used before by the purple shirts of SEIU.

Last May, a frightened teenager was trapped inside his home as a mob of about 500 bussed in by SEIU demonstrated and chanted on his front lawn in an effort to intimidate his father, a deputy general counsel with Bank of America. Fortune magazine’s Nina Easton was a neighbor and provided the account of a story that might otherwise have received little notice.

As Easton reported, some 14 bus loads of people organized by the SEIU and a Chicago outfit called National Political Action descended on her neighbor’s home, armed with bullhorns, shouting about greedy banks and home foreclosures. After the mob was done, the buses took them to the nearby residence of a J.P. Morgan Chase executive.

Asked by Easton about the rationale behind such protests, SEIU representative Steven Leerner said:

“People in powerful corporations seem to think they can insulate themselves from the damage they are doing.”

So the union feels entitled to target — yes, we said target — them in their private homes.

The group that gathered at the developer’s home Thursday night was smaller and less-organized, but its purpose was equally clear — to intimidate those who would oppose it with the oldest threat in the book: “We know where you live.”

Wal-Mart is America’s largest employer outside of unionized government. (IBD)

And Unions want and need your money and your job to pay for their own, after all.

They are vastly more important that you.

They are warrior for the Cause.

American Federation of Teachers’ President Randi Weingarten has been doing her best to make sure Big Labor has a say in education reform. She wants to drive the train. The National Education Association, on the other hand, is taking the tact of putting dynamite under the tracks. While Weingarten says all the right things and uses all the necessary poll-tested phrases, she really wants to maintain the status quo. No tenure reform. No need to judge teachers by any measure other than seniority.

But in an interview with Newsweek, she made this curious statement, in response to Bill Gates saying, “We need to measure what they do, and then have incentives for the other teachers to learn those things:”

“Football teams do this all the time,” Weingarten responded. “They look at the tape after every game. Sometimes they do it during the game. They’re constantly deconstructing what is working and what isn’t working. And they’re jettisoning what isn’t working and building up on what is working, and doing it in a teamlike approach.”

That’s correct – they do. It’s too bad that public education does not operate more like the NFL.

Here’s an idea. Let’s have the NEA and AFT become the owners of a new NFL franchise. For a lack of a better name, we’ll call the new team the Thugs.

Players on the Thugs’ roster would receive tenure after two years, like they do in New York City Public Schools. They can play on the Thugs as long as they’d like, regardless of their skill level. And players would be judged not for their ability to score touchdowns or sack quarterbacks, but the number of years they’ve been in the NFL.

Over time, the Thugs’ roster would be filled with 50- and 60-year old players, raking in the big bucks while losing game after game.

Does anyone believe that the hypothetical Thugs, with their incredible job security, would be competitive with the teams that compensate players based on their performance and frequently alter their rosters to maintain an edge?

It would be wonderful if public education would operate more like the NFL, where you get paid for results and released for incompetence. Maybe then American K-12 students would receive the instruction they truly deserve.

Do what benefits you the most and proclaim to be doing it “for the children” is the fastest way to the Barf Bag for me folks.

But Unions don’t work that way. They just protect the incompetent and insulate themselves from any accountability for anything.

Oh, and they want ALL your Money. They deserve it. After all, they are special. 🙂

Political Cartoon

Welcome to The Future

Political Cartoon

The Most Expensive Congress in History: The 111th Congress.

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4476944/111th-congress-most-expensive-in-history/?playlist_id=86858

When Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) gave her inaugural address as speaker of the House in 2007, she vowed there would be “no new deficit spending.” Since that day, the national debt has increased by $5 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

“After years of historic deficits, this 110th Congress will commit itself to a higher standard: Pay as you go, no new deficit spending,” Pelosi said in her speech from the speaker’s podium. “Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.”

Pelosi has served as speaker in the 110th and 111th Congresses.

“Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.”- Nancy Pelosi, 2007 inauguration speech.

At the close of business on Jan. 4, 2007, Pelosi’s first day as speaker, the national debt was $8,670,596,242,973.04 (8.67 trillion), according to the Bureau of the Public Debt, a division of the U.S. Treasury Department.  At the close of business on Oct. 22, it stood at $13,667,983,325,978.31 (13.67 trillion), an increase of 4,997,387,083,005.27 (or approximately $5 trillion). (CNS)

WHOOPS!

Some of the world’s strongest banks have profited from an emergency credit facility set up by the US Federal Reserve to shore up confidence in the global financial system, according to a Financial Times analysis of data released by the Fed.

More than half of lending under the Fed’s term auction facility – the largest of its crisis programmes – went to foreign banks. Details of the varied uses to which they put it may add to political criticism of the Fed.

The Taf was set up in December 2007 to provide one-month loans to creditworthy banks as markets dried up for lending longer than overnight. In August 2008, it began offering three-month loans as well.

Rabobank of the Netherlands and Toronto-Dominion of Canada, two of the only banks in the world with triple A credit ratings, used more than $20bn in cumulative Taf loans.

Ed Clark, TD chief executive, said that using Taf was logical even though his bank never had a liquidity problem. “That wasn’t how we made a lot of money. But you make a dollar here, you make a dollar there. What’s the spread you make on a billion dollars?” he said. (FT)

WHOOPS!

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. — Leaders of this city met for more than seven hours on a Saturday not long ago, searching for something to cut from a budget that has already been cut, over and over.

“We can make it until March 1 — maybe,” Mr. Cooper said of Hamtramck’s ability to pay its bills. Beyond that? The political leaders of this old working-class city almost surrounded by Detroit are pleading with the state to let them declare bankruptcy, a desperate move the state is not even willing to admit as an option under the current circumstances.

“The state is concerned that if they say yes to one, if that door is opened, they’ll have 30 more cities right behind us,” Mr. Cooper said, as flurries fell outside his City Hall window. “But anything else is just a stop gap. We’re going to continue to pursue bankruptcy until the door is shut, locked, barricaded, bolted.”

You mean the UAW is concerned. The UAW runs the State, or at least in Mafiaoso style they think they do. They have the politicians and media in their pockets and have for more than a generation.

They did when I was growing up in Michigan. Now with the Socialist Wheaties of the modern Liberals behind them I’m sure they are more Tony Soprano than Jimmy Hoffa.

And the last thing the UAW wants is to have their union busted by bankruptcies.

But the inevitable is coming. And THEY DON’T CARE!

Union pensions and benefits, not just the UAW, but Government Public Sector Unions also, and other private Unions have been sucking industry and the taxpayers dry for several generations but the cash cow is out of milk and endanger of dying altogether.

And you know what, THEY DON’T CARE!

Everyone must sacrifice for them. They are holy. They are sacrosanct.

They are untouchable.

So they believe. And since they have been buying Democrats for generations they will be the Pied Piper to all their slave rats.

Because THEY DON’T CARE.

And ultimately, that is the lesson of the last 3 years of Pelosi-Reid and Obama.

They said all the right things to get their hands on your throat and then they throttled you with debt to pass their 90 year old Socialist wet dreams and they are still at it and will be still at it with control of the Senate and the President.

THEY DON’T CARE.

They, and the Unions, are the ultimate in GREED and CORRUPTION.

Prichard, Ala., which stopped paying monthly checks to retired city workers when its pension fund ran out last year, is appealing a bankruptcy judge’s ruling that it did not qualify for Chapter 9 under Alabama law.

And they telegraphed it ahead of time, and no one cared.

A Liberals personal pursuit of everyone else’s money for their own benefit, economically or politically, is all they care about.

It’s all about THEM.

Screw you.

Now that’s your “kind”, “Compassionate” and “caring” Liberals who are always looking out for “the little guy”.

To crush them into slavery and steal everyone else’s wealth and power from themselves.

Officials in Detroit announced this year that they had for years overpaid Hamtramck in a revenue-sharing deal related to a General Motors plant that sits smack on the border of the two cities. The dispute is likely to be resolved, eventually, in court, but meanwhile, Detroit has stopped paying $2 million a year, and Hamtramck is watching a growing gap in its $18 million budget.

Could it be that these “overpayments” were ok until Detroit had to hide it’s own budget woes so they passed it on to another city?

Hmmm….

“Detroit is cutting police, lighting, road repairs and cleaning services affecting as much as 20% of the population,” the Guardian’s Elena Moya noted late Monday, writing about the 60 Minutes piece. “The city, which has been on the skids for almost two decades with the decline of the US auto industry, does not generate enough wealth to maintain services for its 900,000 inhabitants.”

BINGO!

City Manager Bill Cooper said the city of roughly 20,000 people is staring at a $3 million deficit.
California, which faces a $19 billion (some say as high as $26 Billion) budget deficit next year, has a credit rating approaching junk status. It now spends more money on public employee pensions than it does on the state university system, which had to increase its tuition by 32 percent.
“This is the state of affairs in Illinois. Is not pretty,” Illinois state Comptroller Dan Hynes told Kroft.  

Hynes is the state’s paymaster. He currently has about $5 billion in outstanding bills in his office and not enough money in the state’s coffers to pay them. He says they’re six months behind.

“The state’s a deadbeat,” Kroft remarked.  

“Yeah. I mean, the state of Illinois is known as a deadbeat state. This is a reputation that has taken us years to earn and we’ve reached, you know, the heights of, I think, becoming the worst in the country,” Hynes said. (CBS)

The home of our President, Done Proud. 🙂
Unions have a $3 Trillion Dollar appetite and it’s insatiable. And THEY DON’T CARE.
No one is talking about it now, but the big test will come this spring. That’s when $160 billion in federal stimulus money, that has helped states and local governments limp through the great recession, will run out.
You thought TARP was for the “economy”. No, it wasn’t.
It was for the state employee unions and foreign banks.
That’s running out.
Now the wheels of this Cadillac are about to go bald and flat.
Now this is driving a car into a ditch.
And I guarantee you, the Liberals and the Unions DON’T CARE!

Mr. Cooper, the city manager (of Hamtramck), says that everything else that could be cut already has been, while the city goes on spending 60 percent of its total general fund (of an $18 million dollar budget) to pay for its police and firefighting forces — 75 current police officers and firefighters and about 240 former workers and spouses now on pensions. Mr. Cooper said that an entry-level police officer costs the city about $75,000 a year in salary and benefits, and yet repeated efforts to renegotiate contracts have failed.

“They kind of have the Cadillac plan,” Mr. Cooper said, “and we’d kind of like the Chevy.”

Trust me, Unions of all types love Cadillacs.

Growing up in Flint,Mi the one-time home of 7 auto plants and an AC Delco Engine Plant. “Buick City” it was called (there was a billboard proclaiming this 10 miles south of town near Fenton off I-75).

It had a population of 250,000 when I was growing up. Last year it was 125,000 and everyone of those plants had closed years ago.

But growing up my friends and I always said that only 2 kinds of people drove Cadillacs, Pimps and Auto Workers. So no much difference there.

That was the 1970’s. In 40 years it hasn’t gotten any better.

(Found, Mr. Cooper says, posted on the wall of the firefighters’ barracks was his name — crossed out — on a list of former city managers and the word “Next?”)

So let the extortion begin. It’s the only tactic Unions use. Economic and political hardball extortion.

After all, dozens of Unions have been exempted from ObamaCare and their “Cadillac” Health Plans are exempt until 2018.

So it’s not like they care or anything.

“I’m not going to wait for two hours for a cop to show up,” said Shannon Lowell, the co-owner of a coffee shop. “We’ve trimmed every bit of fat. What else are we going to do? Borrow money from our dying grandmother?” (NYT)

Yep. That would also be the grandma who the government is going to pull the plug on because she’s a burden to society according to Medicare and Medicaid Director Dr. Donald Berwick.

Welcome to the Future.

“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a
human face – forever.”— George Orwell

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Political Cartoon

The Union Did It

The murder weapon has been found.

The culprit: A Government Public Sector Union.

The Victim: California.

The Patsie: Nikky Diaz ( the $23/hr “abused” maid)

The Pimp: Gloria Alred

Of Course, by now, you should have guessed I was speaking of the Nikki Diaz Illegal Alien Maid “October Surprise” that got uber liberal Jerry Brown elected as governor of the most bankrupt (economically and morally) state in the Union.

The scene of the crime: It’s late in the campaign season, you’re guy- the big spending liberal who’ll not cut your extravagant pensions or your extravagant unsustainable raises is losing to a Conservative who will gleefully slit the throat of your golden goose.

A friend has a friend who just happens to be an illegal alien and was a maid for 7 years  of this Conservative, Meg Whitman, that she was fired last year when that was discovered.

So you have a patsie you can gin up. You have a race issue you can gin up. And you play your cards right and you swing the election back in your favor.

Screw everyone else. This is all about ME.

ME ME ME ME ME!!!

MY PRECIOUS! 🙂

Meet the California Nurses Association.

The assassins are revealed to be petty, partisan, and ultimately very narcissistic, greedy public sector union employees who propped up not only Jerry Brown, but Barbara Boxer (against Carly Fiorino).

The sprung the trap. And gleefully so. But no one wanted to mention it DURING the campaign in October. No, that was secret.

Try as anyone might, no one wanted to give away the big fat secret that this was dirty hardball politics at it’s absolute worst.

We just had a frieghtened, script rehearsed Illegal alien maid cry on camera that her former boss was an arsehole, cheated her, and knew she was an illegal alien.

Oh, boo hoo! cry me pathetic…

So there. <<stick tongue out>>

The real story here is the hit job and what it say about “government reform” and the reform of government spending.

The Government sector unions have been milking the golden goose of what they believe is endless money for decades and they will not go quietly for anyone else’s benefit on cutting their lavish over-the-top pensions, raises, and benefits, that are choking the life out of California and many, many other states.

They don’t care. They are probably the worst narcissists of all. And they have a lot of power, especially with Liberals, Progressives, The mainstream media, and Democrats.

And they’ll use it to keep what’s theirs. Regardless of the cost.

They’ll be the people you see in the movies who has just found a golden treasure and are stuffing it in bags and down his trousers (or hers in the Nurse’s case) and when the tomb starts collapsing and the quicksand is rushing in and they have to choose between the treasure and their life and/or the lives of others, they will sacrifice every single person before anything else, and ultimately the treasure wins.

MY PRECIOUS!

That’s what we are up against in trying to reform government spending.

There are a lot of treasure troves and golden gooses that the public sector employees will guard with YOUR life and will destroy anyone who gets near their treasure.

Think a horde of Gollums from “Lord of the Rings” all reciting in unison “MY PRECIOUS!”.

And not only do these Gollums vote, but they have campaign war chests and dirty tricks squads and liberal media outlets.

They are Gollum on steriods. And they are addicted to their own One Ring. And  your death, economically or morally, is insignificant to them.

They don’t care. They are the ultimate addicts.

That is the challenge ahead.

But if we don’t meet it and we don’t defeat it, all is lost.

Cook their Geese (or at least seriously roast), or our Goose is cooked.

Period. End of story.

 

 

The Opium Den

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

The Ship of State 🙂

“You’ll have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it” -Soon-to-be Ex-Speaker Pelosi.

Sounds a bit like the “Let’s make a Deal” and the Zonk was crammed down your throat because it was the right thing to do! 😦

If you want to know why Washington can’t control entitlement spending, there’s no better example than the regular ritual surrounding Medicare payments to physicians.

It has been going on for more than a decade, and it follows a consistent script. Congress faces a deadline to adjust Medicare reimbursements to a sustainable growth rate (SGR) established in a 1997 law. But Congress has never trimmed payments to anything near the levels demanded by the SGR formula, and it’s too late to play catch-up.

The looming cut is alarmingly large — so large that there’s no way it can stick. The American Medical Association then makes a fuss, raises the specter of doctors fleeing Medicare en masse, scares the seniors and forces Congress to come up with a short-term patch that holds the line on pay for a year or so and maybe even raises it a bit.

So the can gets kicked down the road, and Medicare keeps eating up a larger share of gross domestic product.

More than 60% of yearly spending is devoted to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and Defense apart from war expenditures. Budgetary discipline is impossible without a no-holds-barred discussion of demography, increased longevity and the national-security perils of unsustainable national debt.(IBD)

And then there’s Social Security, which the government’s main dependency weapon. But also they can’t privatize it because they stole the money decades ago but will never admit it.

Then there are the public sector government unions and their out of control, over the top salaries and lavish Rolls Royce pensions and benefits.

Yet, in California alone, nearly 10,000 retirees will get pension checks totaling at least $100,000 this year (that’s a Billion dollars a year folks in just 1 state! and these people typically can retire in their 50’s so could collect 30-40 BILLION dollars over time!)

And California just re-elected,after 30 years out of office, a massive Liberal, Jerry Brown.

Joshua Rauh, associate professor of finance at at Northwestern University, estimates that 20 states will run out of pension money by 2025.

The pension doomsday clocks in Illinois and New Jersey will strike even sooner, in 2018, he said. (MSNBC)

Social Security and Medicare are also headed for doomsday in the next generation.

In New Jersey, for example, the state is obligated to pay pensions out of the general fund when the pension fund runs dry. In 2018, the state will owe $14 billion in pension payouts, or one-third of the state’s annual tax receipts. To put that in perspective, to plug a budget hole like that this year, the state would have to cut all education spending. That bears repeating: It would have to eliminate spending on every elementary school, high school and college from its budget.

Another common pension abuse is “double-dipping” – a practice in which employees retire and start collecting their pension, then are rehired to perform their old job at their old salary. It’s a common practice for government workers around the country, despite many rules forbidding it.  Workers often argue that they have earned their pension and their right to retire, and if they decide to work during retirement, they’re entitled.  But the logic there is deeply flawed, said Dean.

“Pensions were designed to make sure government workers were allowed to grow old with dignity, not to make them rich,” he said.

And the poster child for that is Phoenix’s own Chief of Police (with help from his good buddy Mayor Phil “flash” Gordon) Jack “The Hack” Harris.

He retired as chief in 2007 and began collecting a $90,000 pension. Two weeks later, he was hired for essentially the same job, retitled “public safety manager,” and granted a salary of $193,000.

And Mayor Phil is a Pro-Illegal, “soak the rich” progressive Liberal!

Liberals love to dip into other people’s pockets and manipulate the system for their own advantage and then blame it on greedy “rich” people and conservatives/republicans.

Well, I guess I wouldn’t be poor either if I had a $90,000 pension and a $193,000 job all at taxpayer expense!!

But undoubtedly I’d be a racist! 🙂

A 30-year government worker with a final salary of $80,000 could expect an annual pension of roughly $55,000, or about $4,600 per month for life, under the current scheme. (And could easily be in their 50’s)

To earn that kind of guaranteed monthly income, a 401(k) saver would need $1 million in their retirement account, assuming $100,000 in savings can generate $400 in monthly income.

While it’s not impossible to grow a 401(k) to those lofty levels, it is rare.  In fact, 50 percent of Americans who have 401(k) accounts have less than $35,000 in them. Contrast that with our 30-year government workers who can all expect predictable pension checks.

So expect a furious battle as state governments attempt to reign in pension costs. (MSNBC)

And you get the Unions “outraged” and etc and that’s why they support the liberals in the Democrat party, because they will just keep paying them out and blaming someone else (“The rich”) for it.

We are on pace to soon owe 100% of our annual gross domestic product in national debt, while compiling the largest annual peacetime deficits in our history.

And what will happen when the pain comes?

Lots of crying and nashing of teeth and blaming “the rich”. But mostly, it will be the new NIMBY Principle. Not in my Back pocket You!

“Someone else” has to pay for my sins. Not Me. “Them”.

Sorry, but it’s YOU. Me. and that Grand Piano of neglected debt, avarice, and delusion staring down at you!

That’s the REAL TRUTH.

You aren’t required to like it.

It just is.

Deal with it.

The Free Ride is over. It’s time to roll up your selves, feel the pain, and get it done.

But first you have to De-tox the patient. And these DT’s are going to be a near stoke.

But as anyone who has ever kicked an addiction knows, you have to want to change first. And there in lies the real problem.

The patient knows he’s very sick, possibly morbidly so, but when the doctor prescribes the cure the patient is going to wail like a banshee and kick and scream and throw a tantrum.

Think I overstate, just wait and see.

And the Liberal Media and The Democrats will play the head drug pusher tempting you back into the opium den.

Think I overstate, just wait and see.

I think not.

And look at it this way: In terms of our collective health and national security, a budget surplus is probably worth more than an expanded federal health care entitlement, another Social Security cost-of-living increase or a new aircraft carrier.

But no pain, no gain!

So do you want another hit of Opium??

Political Cartoon by Michael Ramirez