Illinois bicentennial flag on bottom

By John Ruberry

“We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth.”
First presidential inaugural address from Ronald Reagan, who was born in Illinois.

“As a result, Illinois government is a massive retirement system that, during work hours, also offers some services.”
Chicago Tribune on Illinois’ pension system.

Last summer the Democratic-dominated Illinois General Assembly, overriding a veto from Republican governor Bruce Rauner, slugged Illinoisans with a 32 percent hike in the state income tax.

The Democratic nominee for governor, billionaire JB Pritzker, favors another tax increase. This phony, in a successful ploy to decrease property taxes on his Chicago mansion, purchased a neighboring mansion, disconnected its toilets, then in an assessment appeal, received his tax cut because the palace next door was “uninhabitable.”

Welcome to ILL-inios.

Rauner barely won the Republican nomination in last month’s primary over a little-known and little-funded insurgent conservative, Jeanne Ives, in a thoroughly dishonest campaign. I backed Ives. As for Prtizker, he comes with additional baggage, including embarrassing recordings of FBI-wiretapped phone conversations with now-imprisoned former governor Rod Blagojevich, which is the only reason why he is not the prohibitive favorite to wipe the floor with Rauner in November. Still, it’s likely that a Governor JB is in the future for the Prairie State.

Illinois is broken and broke. It might not have the worst-funded public pension system among the states, but it’s so close to the bottom it doesn’t really matter. Illinois House speaker–“speaker for life”–Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), with some Republican help, transformed Illinois’ pension system into a generous political reward in exchange for support from public-sector unions. Illinois’ budget dedicates 25 percent of spending on state worker pensions. In Wisconsin that amount is 16 percent. Okay, that doesn’t seem like much, but Wisconsin’s pension plan is 100 percent funded, Illinois is at a paltry 35 percent.

Bad times have arrived in Illinois–with worse times coming. For the last three years Illinois has suffered from negative population growth.

It’s hard to see how Illinois won’t be able to avoid some sort of default.

Pritzker favors a “temporary” income tax increase until a graduated tax rate is put in place. But for that to get enacted the state constitution must be amended. That requires three-fifths of both houses of the General Assembly to approve it and a majority of Illinois voters to go along. Even in blue Illinois those are tall hurdles, especially since a “Prtizker amendment” will be viewed, rightly, by voters as a pension bailout amendment.

Of course Pritzker is vague about rates  for both that “temporary” tax plan and the graduated one. Of course with the latter one, only “the rich” will pay more.

We’ve heard that lie before.

In regards to local government, some pension plans, especially in Chicago, are in even worse shape.

The Illinois exodus will continue.

John Ruberry is a fifth-generation Illinoisan who is eyeing the exit ramp while blogging at Marathon Pundit.

Today on DaTechGuy on DaRadio we have two very different discussions to chew on.

In our first hour we talk to Dr. Paul Byrne a giant in the care of premature children.  He will be giving his thought on end of life issues including “Brain Death” vs true death and discover that a lot of what you believe isn’t what you think it is.

In the second hour we turn to the Hostess Strike.  I’ve hit the bakers union a bit on the blog and the show and though it would be good to get a 2nd perspective so Mike Hummell of the Bakers Union will be joining us.  Was the Bakers union unreasonable?  Were they “Going Galt?” both or neither, we’ll find out in the 2nd hour.

It all starts at 10 AM on WCRN AM 830 and we’d love to have you join the conversation 508-438-0965 or 888-9-FEDORA.

And if you are somehow out of our 50,000 watt signal’s range you can join us online in several ways:

You can listen live using the three different links for the WCRN live stream

If you are using Windows media player click here
If you are using Winamp clip here
If you are using real player click here

If you are using something else, then go to Tune-inhere

So no matter how you slice it DaTechGuy on DaRadio is only a click away.

and don’t forget if you missed last week’s show with Right Wing Granny you can listen to it here.

Sing me no song! Read me no rhyme!
Don’t waste my time, Show me!
Don’t talk of June, Don’t talk of fall!
Don’t talk at all! Show me!
Never do I ever want to hear another word.
There isn’t one I haven’t heard.
Here we are together in what ought to be a dream;
Say one more word and I’ll scream!

My Fair Lady 1964 Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner

Yesterday I wrote about the Bakers union and the idea they might be going Galt. I’ve been thinking about this and I have one question for the union and those who think they have given back too much.

I totally understand the idea of: “Why should I take that pay cut? It’s not fair.” I remember the first job I interviewed after the company I worked for folded had a 25% pay cut. By the time I switched over to what I do now the best I saw out there was a 40% pay cut from the last time I had any sense of job security, coincidentally the last full month before the election of Barack Obama.

It seems to me that if the Bakers and the Teamsters believe they are worth more than Hostess was paying them and such a business can be sustained at the wages they were making as long as the execs aren’t making 6 or 7 figure payouts there is a simple way of proving it.

I would imagine a large scale baker has an intimate knowledge of the making of pastries. And a union is simply a big company with the workers as the product. There are plenty of execs in the Union who are experienced in the management skills necessary to run a company. So here is how they can demonstrate it to the world:

1. Become a bidder for the Hostess/Drakes brands:

Presumably the Teamsters and their associated unions that had millions of dollars to spend on political campaigns should be able to make a credible bid for a bankrupt company. If the company is purchased then they can run the company the way they wish, pay the wages they want and charge the prices to support it. They can show Hostess how it’s done with the Hostess & Drakes brands to do it with.

2. Create their own confectionery/bakery company.

I assume Union bakers who have been baking tasty cakes and good bread can come up with their own version of tasty cakes and good bread that people will want to eat.  They are bakers after all this is what they do.   All they have to do is buy the equipment (now being sold at a discount) grab the staff that is now looking for work and sign up the customers now short of bread and cakes and violá.  

Both of these plans give, as Marx would put it, control of the means of production. If they are right, if management has been taking them for a ride all this time then by becoming management they can demonstrate to the entire world how to do it right.

Of course, it’s my experience that the easiest business to run is a business owned by someone else. If the union thinks they can run a snack cake business better they the management they rejected this is the perfect time to do it. If they do, not only will I and a good chunk of America have the pleasure of enjoying tasty cakes and bread (I LIKE tasty cakes and bread) they will find themselves employed and successful which will be much more satisfying and important than any mea culpas they will earn from us folks on the right.

Of course if they can’t, or don’t choose to and somebody else buys the brand names, and equipment and hires non-union workers and pay what they want to pay to make the company show a profit without them, it will simply prove our point.

I suspect this is the only time in creation that the Bakers Union has been compared to Freddy Eynsford-Hill. Their actions will determine if their words about loving those Union Jobs are as empty as his were about Eliza.

Question:(asked by Powerline blog concerning the shooting of a business owner in Ohio for hiring non-union labor) Does Anyone Care About Actual Political Violence?

Our media try endlessly to draw fictitious connections between violence and political or quasi-political movements. They do this to advance their own political agenda. But, when it comes to the one movement that has actually used violence to advance its interests over a period of decades, our reporters and editors carefully avert their eyes. This is one of the many media scandals of our time.

How do we solve this problem of media omission? From what I can see the best solution is the Rule 5™ approved IowaHawk Made-ya-Look™ media system!  For details click on the image below:

These girls hold the key to the problem of Media Bias!

MSNBC went all in last night on the Wisconsin recall, they broadcasted live from Wisconsin surrounded by union activists with Ed Schultz and on Morning Joe this morning the scheduled Sam Stein and Bill Press anticipating talking about the democratic victory.

Unfortunately for the unions who like MSNBC once again went all in it didn’t work out that way. When I got home from gamenight, there were still Union Crowds around Ed Schultz talking tough but on Morning Joe it was all doom and gloom for the left. On Twitter this morning the left is so busy trying to spin their failure to take the senate into a victory that I started a new twitter tag #bsintolemonade

As for the actual vote…

Turnout was very large, which is good, after all it was a bell-weather election for the nation.

Of the six recalls four were not close, Three Republicans (districts 2, 8 & 10 ) and one democrat (district 32) won easily. The district 32 margin win was a surprise since big successful recalls win usually require malfeasance.

Two races were much closer, in district 18 democrats won a 51-49 race and in district 14 the GOP managed a four point win.

Oddly enough the last race of the night to be called was district 8 even though it wasn’t close. The democratic stronghold of Milwaukee held back their vote as long as possible, traditionally the tactic when trying to game the system, but there apparently was too much scrutiny and too large a margin in GOP districts of Waukesha & Ozaukee that also took their time reporting, to overcome. (I wonder how those laid off teachers in Milwaukee who lost their jobs after the city rushed to lock in the old pre-Walker contracts voted)?

In the end I would have perfected to hold all six seats but considering the amount of money spent by the union I guess it just wasn’t possible.

The only bright spot for the left will likely be the Democratic recalls. Although running away from your job is a pretty good reason to recall someone, since only the strongest democrats were likely to survive the big red wave of 2010 it seems unlikely that even their Midnight Ride would be enough to cost them their seats.

Already we are seeing the left cry fraud, If I’m Scott Walker my response is to push a voter ID law to counter fraud.

Bottom line: Politically this failure is likely the final nail in the national power of unions outside of the most liberal cities and districts and it’s an even more bitter defeat since it was self-inflicted.

What does it tell us about 2012? I know what it tells me:

Ride right through them they’re demoralized as hell!

Aw you guessed!

Update: cleaned up one line that sounded off.

Update 2: Here come the headlines:

Beltway Confidential:
Unions lose big in Wisconsin

J. S. Online: Republicans take 4 of 6 in recall elections, hold Senate

Political Animal: Dems come up just short in Wisconsin

Top of the Ticket: Wisconsin news: Unions’ recall drive falls short; GOP holds state Senate

Hotair: Al Sharpton tries to cope;

Truthdig: Wisconsin Republicans Win Recall Battle

Don Surber: Democrats lose Wisconsin. Again

Powerline: Dems Foiled

The Guardian: Democrats fall short in heated Wisconsin recall elections

Politico: Wisconsin GOP holds on to Senate

TPMDC: Wisconsin GOP Holds On: Dems Take Two Seats In Senate Recalls, Not Magic Three

That last one is the closest to a happy headline for democrats I saw.

The Other McCain: GOP Wins Recall Battle in Wisconsin

The Lonely Conservative: Good news in Wisconsin

It’s kind of funny if you examine the #wiunion and #wirecall threads Democrats are claiming victory but none of these headlines reflect it. Here is a story that they aren’t pushing:

As elections took place Tuesday in six state Senate districts, Gov. Scott Walker privately signed legislation to redraw their boundaries along with the remaining legislative districts.

Walker waited until nearly the last possible moment to announce he had signed the legislation, which will give Republicans an advantage in the upcoming 2012 elections for both the Legislature and Congress.

No word how this map will affect the newly elected democrats. I’ll give the last word to Ann Althouse:

Imagine if they’d gotten their majority. What gloating and grandiose claims would gush forth? They’d be merciless. The recall elections were a referendum on Walker! A referendum on the Tea Party! A victory for Obama and for taxing the pants off the rich! Especially the Koch Brothers!

It was just one state senate seat that made the difference. The Republicans got it. Should they exult and make their version of the extreme statements the Democrats would be making right now if Fred Clark had managed to scramble over the top in District 14? (If only he hadn’t quipped that he’d like to smack that lady around, or if her answering machine hadn’t caught it, this country would be a completely different place today, now, wouldn’t it?)

It is this fact more than any other that put Democratic crowing on twitter in context.

The difference in Wisconsin coverage that is, why yes, Politico wrote about the double standard concerning “signs”:

“The mainstream media’s professed concern with uncivil engages only when it is practiced by conservatives,” asserted the Washington Post’s conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin.

And conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, who has made her blog something of a clearinghouse of alleged union misdeeds, boasts she is doing “the reporting the tea party-bashing national media won’t do on the rabid outbreak of progressive incivility and violence at Big Labor protests across the country.”

and Morning Joe is talking about the double standard in the Wisconsin coverage.

They are not touching on the PHYSICAL stuff, nor did they show any extended clip with the union folks actually saying what they are saying but they did do a whole segment on the double standard and objected loudly to it.

It’s interesting to note they Politico didn’t embed any of the actual video, and Morning Joe didn’t play any of the audio.

This is very revealing, this means that the video and audio can’t be hidden, it means that it has spread on social networking sites and blog and getting out there. It means that Politico, forced to cover the story has decided to make it one about the media double standard. (a very valid story) instead of what the Unions and their supports are actually doing.

Even funnier is their defense of the media pointing to a single blog post at the NYT online:

In fact, the New York Times’ Michael Shear did write a blog post about the Wisconsin GOP’s slickly produced video, calling it “striking” for its juxtaposition of incendiary rhetoric from union protestors with liberal accusations about angry conservative rhetoric.

As I mentioned before, look at the actions to see what is happening, this story and Morning Joe’s coverage of it tells you an awful lot about who is actually winning this debate.

Update: It’s worth noting that they only touched on this in the 6 a.m. hour then dropped it like a hot potato.

Take a look at this video via Little Miss Attila:

This morning I haven’t seen anything on the news (but plenty of good coverage from the blogs about this scene)

Attila asks the first question:

Heroic action by Rep. Brett Hulsey saves the day, and possibly Sen. Grothman’s life. What would have happened if Hulsey hadn’t been wearing that union T-shirt? Would enough people in the crowd have recognized him by sight for him to still have turned them back?

For those who want to defend this as “democracy in action” lets play a game: Pretend that Sen. Grothman was an abortion doctor and the crowd around him were opponents of abortion. How many times would this video be replayed? Would even Charlie Sheen being found in bed with Gaddafi and Snooki be able to keep this from being the media story of the week?

As AOL noted today concerning union actions “Not one of those outrages was apparently worthy of much in the way of news coverage.” I suspect this one will not either.

Update: Should give credit to Phil who shot this video and posted it first.

Update 2: McCain asks…if this is what civility looks like.

Update 3: The Anchoress (who will be on my Radio show March 12th) links. Welcome to the faithful. You might be interested in this post on the Holy spirit, this on abortion this on Christian obligation and this on discrimination.

One of the advantages that control of the MSM and the major newspapers gives the media is the ability to convince people who do not regularly pay attention to current events beyond Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber of things that simply aren’t true.

Half of this battle is ignoring stories that they don’t want promoted (see “The News Hounds that didn’t bark” or this link at Big Government of yet ANOTHER assault on a tea party member by a union man“. The other half is manipulating the reporting on events that are covered. Today’s example is Move-on’s “50 state rally” attempt to rally non-union types.

By all accounts the rallies didn’t energize much of anyone:

Despite the best efforts of the state-run media and the far left, protesters failed to materialize today at the dozens of rallies in support of government employee unions. Maybe it’s because government employees make twice as much as the private sector?

Let’s face it. These were no tea party numbers despite their best astroturfing efforts.

In Jefferson City, Missouri about 200 and around 300 counter tea party protesters turned out at competing rallies. The tea party protesters, of course, showed more energy. In St. Louis only 40-50 protested. In Utah maybe a couple hundred turned out.
Possibly 300 in Virginia. Around 500 in Washington DC where a bunch of loosely-connected leftist groups took turns complaining about the usual suspects: corporations, the rich, Speaker Boehner, the Tea Party, and men. Los Angeles may have had one to two thousand in attendance – including self-avowed socialists.

Over all, it was a complete failure. But, don’t tell the state-run media.It doesn’t fit their agenda.

So how horrible was the turnout? There were more people at the Recall Wisconsin Senator Wirch rally today that there were at several of the MoveOn rallies.

As a reader at Instapundit writes:

‘It seems that unless government workers get a paid day off (from us) they’re not too interested in taking their unpaid days off to protest.’”

Meanwhile Professor Jacobson who has some harder numbers notes that the media had already decided that Move-on’s protests were successful:

Outside of Madison, there were no reports of sizable crowds. And if you read the news reports, almost all the protesters were other union members. Despite the efforts, the organizers failed to motivate significant numbers of non-union members to come out for protests.

The 50-state protest was a failure, plain and simple, although the images from Madison may create the false impression of massive nationwide protests.

Update: As predicted, the mainstream media is painting the nationwide protest as a success. The headlines talk about protests around the country, but the stories talk almost entirely about Madison, giving the false impression that there was widespread support around the country:

Why is this important? He explains

Since NYT and AP stories are run at thousands of local newspapers around the country who cannot create their own content, it is likely that most people in this country never will hear about the dismal turnout for these protests. This is your biased MSM in action.

The idea is to go into the fight with a pre-ordained template and to find a way to manipulate the available information to make it fit.

The target of this is not those who are involved but those who are not, who don’t check out the cable news (except for during a huge crisis or maybe just before an election) those who will catch only a glimmer of what is happening and then when in a position to make a decision will have only that glimmer as a reference, something that “everybody knows”. It’s playing on the nature of belief.

In the 3rd episode of the Doctor Who Serial Image of the Fendahl from 1977 there is an exchange between the elderly Mrs. Tyler and her grandson when she tries to give him a charm and he objects:

Jack Tyler: “You know that I don’t believe in all that.”

Mrs. Tyler: “Most around ‘ere do and when most believe that da make it true.”

Jack Tyler: “Most people used to believe that the earth was flat, but it was still round,”

Mrs. Tyler: “Ha ha but they behaved as it were flat!”

The exchange begins at 6:51

And that is, as always, the goal of the MSM. To make people behave “as it were flat!” so that when a person on a show says: “the Union protesters are peaceful or the Tea Party is violent” that it will be accepted as common knowledge.

Update: Here is a great example:

Thousands of people rallied in cities across the United States on Saturday against a Wisconsin plan to curb the power of public sector unions that has sparked similar government efforts in other states.

The headline Labor protests draw thousands across United States is telling, 50 states and “thousands” how many thousands? one thousands? two thousands? only when you go deep into the story do you see only one rally cited with even 1000 people outside of Madison.

Update: Thanks glenn. Just to give you an idea of how many Hits Instapundit gives. Glenn’s link to me was the 3rd update on a post put up 12 hours ago. that means the vast majority of his readers have already read that post, yet it has generated 100 hits in 2 hours on a Sunday morning.

consider me provoked:

Mike Capuano could not be reached for comment.

There was a time when even union thugs would have left a young lady alone. I’m not as young as I once was, but Tabitha if you are out filming in any area where I am nearby I humbly offer my services as an escort to help prevent this kind of thing from happening again.

Update: In Honor of the anniversary of the fleebagging members of the Wisconsin Senate I’m promoting this poem written for the occasion.

With apologies to Longfellow

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the daylight ride of Democrats here,
On the seventeenth of Feb, in Two thousand eleven;
Hardly a tweeter now alive
Who doesn’t remembers that famous day and year.

The protesters said to their friends inside, “If the GOP calls for a vote
count the heads in that chamber to-night,
Keep a bus near the exit ramp
By the side of the steps where we setup our Amps,–
If down by One is what we see;
Then soon to a different state we’ll be,
Ready to ride to foil the plan
Through every village and farm,
For the Union folk to be up and to arm.”

Continue reading “The Wisconsin Senate’s ride”