DetroitBy John Ruberry

Over the last few days there have been several protests, many of them attended out-of-towners, by leftist groups, such as National Nurses United, against the shut off of water to delinquent waters by city-owned Detroit Water and Sewerage.

Last July of course Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history. Decades of mismanagment by liberal mayors, especially race-baiter Coleman Young, who I believe was the worst mayor in American history, transformed what was the once the wealthiest large city in America into the poorest.

About half of Detroit Water and Sewerage’s 170,000 residential accounts are delinquent. Poverty plays into this problem, but only partly, as the left-leaning Detroit Free Press points out:

Water department officials say the collection efforts are necessary because the department has a glut of bad debt caused by nonpaying customers. They say many Detroit customers can afford to pay the bills but have become accustomed to putting off or ignoring the bills without fear of shutoff.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

That’s the heart of this issue. Two generations of paternalistic progressive government has fostered the belief in America’s former Motor City that no matter what, the water will flow.

And that message resonates among Detroit’s better-off Detroiters, such as steelworker Eric Williams.

Again from the Free Press:

“We owe $300. I’ve got that right now. I can pay that now,” said Williams. “$300? That’s not enough to shut off my water. This is water. You don’t do nothing without water.”

Water department spokeswoman Garner, who was at the site because she was accompanying media, explained that city records showed a shutoff notice was sent to the house.

“You’re not struggling. You just got off work. You said you could pay it right now,” Garner told Williams. And she said the water department is trying to stress to homeowners that unpaid bills can’t languish indefinitely, as once was the case. Williams ended up paying the bill online, and his water was later restored.

It’s not so easy for other Detroit residents, who are unable to to turn on the faucet for a drink of tap water, shower, or flush their toilets.

Lake Huron in Michigan
Lake Huron in Michigan

But leftist protesters, who claim that “Water is a human right,” neglect to mention that there are ways to get the spigots turned back on for those in need that are “just a phone call away,” Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr says.

The libs are attempting to make bring irony into the mix, bellowing that Detroit sits near the world’s largest supply of fresh water–the Great Lakes. Three hundred miles west of Detroit, I am writing this post drinking coffee made with Great Lakes water. That water was treated and pumped to my home. When that coffee makes it way through my body it will be flushed away and treated again. There is a cost for that service, which I pay.

Water is not free. And liberalism incurs costs– very expensive ones.

John Ruberry blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By Steve Eggleston

The political forces that gave us the 40-hour workweek have been working at its destruction for quite a while. The delayed employer health insurance mandate that is part of PlaceboCare was designed to force employers to cover those employees who work at least 30 hours per week. Just last month, the Democrat Party of Wisconsin, as part of what I called the French Resolution, called for a 35-hour workweek.

Earlier this week, they got an endorsement of sorts from Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecom magnate who, depending on the measurement, is the richest or second-richest private citizen in the world. The Financial Times reports that, at a business conference in Paraguay, Slim called for a 3-day workweek so that there would be more time to relax. The other two parts of his call, an 11-hour workday and a retirement age of 75, aren’t exactly a part of the Left’s playbook, but even with an 11-hour workday, that would mean only 33 hours would become the new standard for a “full” workweek.

Perhaps they’re just justifying the continued lack of full-time jobs since the Great Recession. In June 2007, there were 122,150,000 people working at least 35 hours per week on a seasonally-unadjusted basis. That number dropped slightly to 121,845,000 in June 2008, fell precipitously to 114,014,000 in June 2009, and continued dropping until it hit a modern rock bottom of 113,856,000 in June 2011. It has recovered some of that since, but the 119,472,000 full-time workers last month is still over 2.6 million fewer than there were in June 2007.

By contrast, the part-time workforce has increased dramatically in the Obama era. In 2007, there were 24,808,000 people working fewer than 35 hours per week. That number dropped by 4,000 in June 2008, but then it exploded to 26,026,000 in June 2009. It has only increased every June since, with a June record 27,631,000 people working fewer than 35 hours per week last month.

If it weren’t for people working multiple part-time jobs to, presumably, get to at least 35 hours worked per week, that “full-time” workforce drop would be even worse. After 5 of the previous 6 June measures of multiple jobholders whose jobs are all part-time bounced between 1,781,000 and 1,812,000 (with June 2009 well below that), and June 2013 seeing 1,808,000 multiple part-timers, that number spiked to 1,888,000 last month.

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

Recapping a few of this week’s stories:

The idea is to strike America at its historic source of strength, as well as its critical economic power point. No wonder Russia wanted a spy base, as reported by Kommersant, a newspaper Putin frequently fights.

All of these relate to a U.S. foreign policy of disengagement (at best), neglect, and weakness, leading from nowhere, a.k.a. “smart diplomacy.” U.S. defense cuts that included a 26% cut in the Southern Command’s fiscal 2013 certainly won’t improve things, as neither will Harry Reid’s new stint as Bagdad Bob, assuring all that “the border is secure.”

What was the late news, then?
The POTUS dedicates all of 40 seconds to the Malaysian jet bombing before going back to his prefab speech and more fundraising, and the State Department spokeswoman tweets about a fashionable friend:

faustaMakes you wish for a real President, doesn’t it?

Meanwhile, After America Arrives Early

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

By A.P. Dillon

The National Governors Association (NGA) met recently in Tennessee. They had a lot on their agenda. Noticeably missing: Common Core.

That doesn’t mean that it wasn’t talked about, in fact, it would seem the press actually asked about it.  Governors Fallin, Christie and Walker all had comments on it. I’ve captured those below:

“Common Core has become a divisive issue in our nation, with the concern that the federal government is trying to mandate standards down to states,” Ms. Fallin said Friday. “The governors are listening to their voters and their constituents back home who are concerned about the federal overreach into states, and each governor will do what’s in the best interest of their states.”Wall Street Journal, 7/11/14 (paywall)

Christie told the Associated Press that public skepticism about the standards can be traced to a general distrust of the federal government.

He said voters, “given the lack of confidence they have in government in Washington and that type of centralization, want their governors” to figure out solutions that work for their states.
NJ.com, Chris Christie Plans To Issue Executive Order On Common Core This Week

“My problem with Common Core is I don’t want people outside Wisconsin telling us what our standards should be,” Walker said.
-NJ.com, Chris Christie Plans To Issue Executive Order On Common Core This Week

Absent from the Common Core comment frenzy was North Carolina’s Governor Pat McCrory. Of note, Governor McCrory has just been named to the NGA executive committee.

Governor McCrory has managed to dodge making statements on Common Core directly for a while now, leaving that to his Common Core tied education adviser, Eric Guckian.  Has the Governor not figured out Guckian possibly has his own agenda and it is not to assist McCrory in being re-elected, but instead make a messy situation worse?  Maybe Governor McCrory has gotten an inkling, since in the last month, the Governor has made a very slight shift in his positioning. This appointment to the executive committee of one of the copyright holders of the Common Core will likely (hopefully) bring a spotlight to McCrory and the fight against the Common Core in North Carolina.

The counterpart to the NGA on Common Core is the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). North Carolina’s State Superintendent is the President-elect of the CCSSO. It would seem we have potential Common Core Bookends in North Carolina? Can we expect the same transparency from the NGA as the CCSSO has provided?  We’ll see.

By the way, Senate Bill 812, repealing and replacing Common Core in North Carolina, is headed to Governor McCrory’s desk.

One last quick reminder — Learn how to fight Common Core. Get your ticket for WE WILL NOT CONFORM! 

If you enjoyed this article, you should really check out other pieces written by Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent Seven writers and maybe hit that tip jar!

AP DillonA.P. Dillon (Lady Liberty 1885), is a Conservative minded wife and mother living in the Triangle area of North Carolina. A.P. Dillon founded the blog LadyLiberty1885.com in 2009. After the 2012 election, she added an Instapundit style blog called The ConMom Blog. Mrs. Dillon’s writing, in addition to Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent 7, can also be found at StopCommonCoreNC.org, WatchdogWireNC and WizBang. Non-political writing projects include science fiction novellas that are, as of yet, unpublished. Her current writing project is a children’s book series.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – As reported here a few weeks ago, Michael Vick came to Shreveport last night to record a comedy show at The Strand Theater.  When news of the event first broke, local animal rights, animal rescue, and animal advocate groups were outraged that the esteemed and venerable Strand Theater would allow the convicted animal abuser through the doors.

dogprotest2
(Photo courtesy of Bo Spataro)

Emily Daye set up a Facebook page “Protest Michael Vick Coming to The Strand Theater” (the page was deleted after the event) which generated a great deal of interest not just locally, but around the world.  Over 700 people vowed to protest Vick either in person or in spirit. Group members from all over the world changed their avatars yesterday to an orange ribbon protesting animal abuse.

Local debate about Vick’s appearance quickly grew heated in the weeks leading up to the event; many tried to make it a racial thing.  It seemed to me that the media was fanning the flames.  One of the issues the protest organizers took close to heart was that Vick never actually served time for animal abuse:

Local activist Lindsey Fertitta wrote:

I hear all the time that Vick served his time for his crimes but that’s the thing, he never served a day in jail for his involved with the dog fighting ring.  He served his time for Federal Racketeering ONLY and was found in contempt of court for lying to the judge. He plead “Not Guilty” to Animal Cruelty despite all the evidence that proved he was guilty on the heinous acts.

Another group, one supporting Michael Vick and advocating forgiveness, also vowed to show up at the protest.  Their main contention was that Vick “served his time” and should be forgiven.  The “Michael Vick Forgiveness Rally” garnered about thirty supporters in front of the theater last night; some hinted at racial undertones in the protest against Vick:

“The truth is, it’s the venue. The Strand versus the Municipal,” said Marcus Franklin, standing with the Michael Vick Forgiveness Rally. “Most African-Americans have their shows at the Municipal Auditorium.” He said a sign held by someone across the street, who was white, saying “Why Strand Why?” sent a message that carried racial undertones.

By the time of the protest, about 30 people attended the Forgiveness rally at show time while those who showed up to protest Vick’s appearance numbered just over 100.

To me, the real story is that with all the vitriolic words and racial tension leading up to the event, in the end it came off perfectly peaceful and worked just as things like this should.  Both sides were able to express their opinions, nobody got hurt, and most amazingly, at one point the two groups came together:

 

dogprotest
Coming Together. (Photo courtesy of Lindsey Fertitta)

Loraine Guerrero with the Protest Vick group said afterward:

Last night there were a very few who tried to make our peaceful protest into a racial thing. Well we want to let you know that the majority of the protesters on the other side of us were not supportive of this racial thing. They were very warm and friendly. They even came over and offered us water and hugs, telling us that everyone has the right to their opinion and they respected that, as do we. Thank you to all of those that offered us understanding ( and water on such a hot day) .

Regardless of how you feel about Michael Vick and what he did, and whether or not he has paid for it, it’s wonderful to know that free speech is still alive and well; even though some people tried to incite violence and hate while hiding behind their computers, when it came down to it, everyone exercised tolerance and understanding on both sides.

A beautiful thing.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

Illinois BlagoBy John Ruberry

In his 35-year public career, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has carefully developed a persona as one of the few honest politicians in a state that has seen four of its last eight elected governors serve time in federal prison.

When he faced the voters four years ago, Quinn, who twice was the running mate of jailbird Rod Blagojevich, encountered daunting odds as he sought to earn a full term as governor. He utilized that persona to deflect the Blago stench. But the Great Recession hit Illinois harder than most of the other states–as it does now, the Prairie State had billions in unpaid bills.

Quinn’s 2010 GOP opponent, downstate state senator Bill Brady, ran a weak campaign and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory–losing by 30,000 votes, even though otherwise it was a fabulous year for the Illinois Republican Party, flipping four congressional seats and snatching Barack Obama’s former Senate seat.

Gov. Pat Quinn,  (D) Illinois
Gov. Pat Quinn,
(D) Illinois

But “Mr. Clean” Quinn had a couple of jokers in his 2010 deck of cards. The Chicago Democrat lied about the rate of the income tax increase he favored, and as I explained in a prior post on this blog, one month before the election, Quinn commenced the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, an anti-violence program that turned out to be nothing more than a political slush fund to drive up the November vote for Quinn in heavily Democratic areas such Chicago and parts of its Cook County suburbs. Cook was one of four counties that Quinn won in 2010, Brady prevailed in the other 98.

The NRI is now the subject of a federal criminal investigation.

And not only did Quinn lie about the rate of the income tax jump he sought to pay off the old bills that I mentioned earlier, but he said the hike enacted would only be temporary–now the phony-reformer now wants to make that increase permanent. The Democratic supermajorities in the General Assembly, which exist only because of the grotesquely gerrymandered 2011 remap signed into law by Quinn, balked at Quinn’s expensive request this spring.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

As for the 2014 race, Quinn has managed to find a couple of more joker cards. He signed into law an Election Day registration bill that applies only to the November general election. The same legislation dispenses with the need for a photo ID for early voting. Illinois has a long history of vote fraud, most of it involves Democratic politicians. And playing to the White House’s imaginary War on Women by conservatives, Quinn approved an advisory referendum asking voters if they believe employers should cover birth control in their employee health insurance plans, which is nothing more than a fawning attempt to drive liberal activists to the polls.

Yet there is one card that Quinn can’t use with voters this time around–an honest reputation.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By Steve Eggleston

Earlier this week, former Alaska governor and Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin declared that it was time to impeach Barack Obama. Predictably, the establishment Republicans immediately and unequivocably distanced themselves from the idea because they fear a repeat of 1998/1999, even as they continue to engineer a repeat of that electoral failure through a comprehensive disassociation from what they sure seem to consider their former base. Surprisingly, a fair number of said former base, conservatives, agree for the same reason.

I’m of a more-cynical mind. Given the Democrats have shown again and again they care not at all for the rule of law, there is no immediately positive point in pursuing the impeachment of Obama. However, that is not to say it shouldn’t be pursued. Eventually, there will be a non-Democrat President elected (do note I didn’t say Republican). If the Democrats have the majority in the House at any point in that administration, they will pursue impeachment because that will be deemed necessary under the “by any means necessary” principle…regardless of whether impeachment charges are pursued against Obama or not. It would be better to have on the record that no high crime or misdemeanor is convictable in the Senate.

Instead of the Constutionally-prescribed method of restraining a rogue President, House Speaker John Boehner (“R”-OH) is setting off on a very foolhardy plan to sue the President over non-enforcement of an existing law. It had been expected that the suit would be based on Obama’s refusal to enforce immigration law, but that might have resulted in the enforcement of the southwest border, and the Big Business cronies that took over the GOP want none of that. They’re planning on going after Obama on the non-enforcement of the employer health-insurance mandate that is part of PlaceboCare.

The likely suit may as well have the Chamber of Commerce as the lead plaintiff instead of the House GOP. Assuming the suit isn’t thrown out (which it will be; see below), should the plaintiffs be successful, said employer mandate will already be in effect on the Big Businesses that the Chamber repesents. A “victory” would only serve to crush the medium-sized businesses competitors to Big Business that are less able to absorb the cost, not remove the employer mandate for all businesses.

Of course, that presumes the suit wouldn’t be thrown out. It almost certainly will be tossed because the Republicans don’t have standing to sue. There is no case law stating that Congressmen have any standing to challenge the enforcement or non-enforcement of a law that does not directly affect said Congressman’s non-legislative interests. While there is limited case law saying that can be done by a state or local member of a legislative body, there are only two instances where said member has standing – (a) the member is part of the voting bloc that expressly and successfully blocked (or but for a tiebreaking procedure on a constitutional amendment, would have successfully blocked) enactment of a piece of legislation, yet provisions of that legislation were implemented anyway, or (b) the member is part of the voting block that voted for a duly-enacted piece of legislation, yet provisions of said legislation were not implemented.

The Republicans didn’t have the votes to stop the enactment of PlaceboCare in 2010, when both the original bill and the amending bill were before the House. So, what’s their argument? That given another bite at the apple, they would vote for PlaceboCare? Given their actions of the last 2 years, from the nomination of the godfather of PlaceboCare as their 2012 Presidential nominee to the quiet replacement of “repeal and replace ObamaCare” by “‘substantially’ fix ObamaCare”, one can reasonably conclude that the one-word message from the GOP to those who supported them because of their earlier stated opposition to PlaceboCare is the same one being given to those who supported the GOP because the party claimed to be conservative or because the party claimed to care about the rule of law instead of the rule of tyrants – “SUCKERS!”

By A.P. Dillon

Some of you may have seen a live event coming up on July 22nd called “We Will Not Conform“. This event being broadcast in theaters nationwide and it is a Common Core Call To Action.  We Will Not Conform is being put on by Glenn Beck and here is what the site says about it:

Glenn Beck and Fathom Events invite you to your local movie theatre to experience a live national night of action against Common Core. WE WILL NOT CONFORM is a chance for anyone who’s tired of sitting idly by as the federal government continues its takeover of our schools to come together and do something about it.

WE WILL NOT CONFORM isn’t a typical show, it’s an interactive experience where theater goers will work with experts like Michelle Malkin, David Barton and others in pursuit of real, tangible strategies to wake up our friends and neighbors and make our voices heard. This isn’t an evening about observing, it’s a chance to learn, share and engage with people as frustrated and motivated as you are. By the end of the night, the brainpower, experience, and passion of thousands of people from around the country will be captured in a comprehensive, unified plan of action distributed to all participants.

To Common Core supporters who thought they would win through silence, this night will be a very loud wake-up call. If you are sick of the endless rhetoric, futile debates, and useless advice about changing the system at the ballot box, then WE WILL NOT CONFORM is the event you’ve been waiting for.

I’ve been engaged in the fight against Common Core in North Carolina for few years now. It’s been a hard battle and the grassroots folks like myself are seeing results in our state. We Will Not Conform is pulling in experts and grassroots activists to spread the word about Common Core and empower citizens with the tools they need to fight it

I have been asked to take part in this event and will be heading to Dallas to do so.  Grab a friend or two or ten, get your tickets and join me on July 22nd. Can’t make it to the 22nd? A replay will occur on July 29th.

By:  Pat Austin

 

FORT SMITH, AR – I am on my way back to the deep South after a family vacation to the heartland of America; we went to the Midwest where in Iowa, for example,  many people don’t answer their phones because “it might be a politician.” They have answering machines still screening their calls. It’s a way of life.
Over the past ten days I have talked to people in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas, not to mention my home state of Louisiana, and I see a real pattern of frustration with big government and frustration with not only this Obama administration, but in general with the way this country is headed.
People in the heartland of America are hurting. While I certainly don’t pretend to speak for the Midwest in general (because there are definite pockets of liberalism – especially in college towns) what I saw and heard tends to give me hope that the tide is turning. People seem to be realizing that Obama and Hillary are not working in their favor.
In Texas, for example, I spoke to a woman who used to have health care coverage through an independent plan and now does not have any medical coverage; she signed up for Obamacare but her doctor won’t take it. She’s almost eligible for Medicare but who knows who will take that. In the meantime she has nothing.
And she is very nervous. Mind you: her previous coverage was just fine, thank you. Then Obamacare changed everything.
As I moved more to the Midwest, I saw more and more people who were hurting for different reasons. In the farming communities I saw people struggling to survive as their small towns dry up. The culprit there is not Obamacare but it’s a more entrenched problem: hyper-capitalism. Even in the smallest town in Iowa, for example, the downtown of the town is shuttered while on the outside of town, closer to the interstate, the Wal-Mart (aka: China goods) is thriving.
The mom and pop stores are gone. That means American jobs are lost.

IMG_2510
Cows

In the heartland, the little grocery stores, drug stores, and community center shops where one used to meet friends, socialize, shop, and visit, are dying; people go to WalMart.
To me, it’s just sad. I drove through countess towns over the past ten days where shops are shuttered and people have vacant looks on their faces as they ponder what the future holds for them.
As small businesses are swallowed up by corporations and corporations move operations overseas to strive for the almighty dollar and make a profit, the fabric of America is coming unraveled.
I wish more people would come out of the skyscrapers, cookie-cutter suburbian homes, and the cities, and visit small town America. It’s a beautiful place. When is the last time YOU stood in a pasture as rain fell about you and curious cows walked up to you to see what you were doing there?
When is the last time you went to a Farmer’s Market in a little town? One that had maybe ten tents but it was the best they could do and everyone not only knew each other but knew each other’s parents and grandparents; where you felt a sense of connectedness?
The heartland of America is alive and well; they are struggling and they are hurting, but there is a spirit there that will never, ever die. In those small towns? tThey are fighting against WalMart when they can; when they can they support the local guy. There are local franchises and companies that are making jobs.
And as far as that Obamacare business? From the signs I’ve seen, the heartland is done with that. They’re ready to get back to their roots and take care of themselves.
We still have a long row to hoe, but I think that the Mother Ship America is ready to right herself and set sail on a course of a prosperous future: one of self-reliance, small government, and independence. The only problem, of course,, is getting the left and east coast to figure out that there is more to America that Starbucks and subway transportation.
Much more.
Come to the heartland and see what real America is.

 

Pat Austin also blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport

Romney in Illinois, 2012
Romney in Illinois, 2012

By John Ruberry

It’s hard to fathom now, but one of the major issues of the 2012 presidential campaign was Mitt Romney’s 15-year leadership of the Boston-based private equity firm Bain Capital, which he co-founded.

Two years later President Obama, who of course defeated Romney in ’12, faces multiple crises, including scandals involving IRS targeting of conservative groups, deadly waiting lists at VA hospitals, as well as a collapsing Iraq, Russia’s seizure of Ukraine, a still stagnant economy, and 300,000 illegal alien children crossing over our lightly watched southern border.

None of these hotspots have anything to do with Bain Capital, other than, remotely, the rotten Obama economy.

Under Romney, Bain rescued many companies from failure. And it provided seed money for new firms such as Staples, which now operates over two-thousand stores. Sure, a few of Bain’s investments didn’t work out, but failure–as well as success–is how capitalism works.

While at the NATO summit in the spring of 2012, Obama defended attacks on Romney’s tenure at Bain.

What did that have to do with NATO?

However, Romney left Bain in 1999 to engineer his greatest turnaround, the rescue of the scandal-plagued 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. He then moved on and was elected governor of Massachusetts.

During the campaign, a liberal super PAC, Priorities USA, blamed Bain Capital and Romney in a video for the death from cancer of a woman after her husband was laid off from a Bain-owned company. That claim was almost immediately debunked, yet Obama only half-heartedly disavowed it.

Obama and his surrogates were partaking in an old Saul Alinksy tactic–straw man attacks.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

Paul Ryan, Romney’s running mate, neatly summed up Obama’s mischief last year:

Look, it’s the same trick he plays every time: Fight a straw man. Avoid honest debate. Win the argument by default.

Yes, Obama is winning arguments. But our nation is becoming increasing dysfunctional.

Obama, like King Robert Baratheon in Game of Thrones, mistakenly believes victory and running a country are the same thing.

It’s a road map for disaster. And we have arrived at our unhappy destination.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.