Who could have seen this coming:

Last week American Apparel, the biggest clothing maker in Los Angeles, said it might outsource the making of some garments to another manufacturer in the U.S., and wiped out about 500 local jobs. The company still employs about 4,000 workers in Southern California.

and it’s not just the big manufacturers who are getting hit

Felix Seo has been making clothes for wholesale in downtown for 30 years. His company, Joompy, used to count giant retailers like Forever 21 among its clients. But as prices have gone up in recent years, he said, those fast-fashion peddlers are no longer giving him orders.

“I used to pay $5 to get this sewn, and now it costs $6.50,” Seo said, holding up a patterned dress. “But my customer doesn’t want to pay that, so I can’t sell it anymore.”

To survive, Seo, 59, said Joompy may have to start importing goods instead of producing them locally. “It will be impossible to make clothes in Los Angeles,” he said.

The Unions of course are saying it’s all greed

“It’s always, ‘Oh woe is me, If I pay minimum wage at this rate I can’t turn a profit,'” said Nativo Lopez, a senior adviser with Hermandad Mexicana, which is helping American Apparel workers unionize.

Of course that would be more believable if the Unions didn’t get exemptions from the minimum wage:

Martinez, a 53-year-old bellhop, has hauled tourists’ luggage across the flagstone plaza of the Sheraton Universal in Studio City for two decades. He said he was excited after the council’s vote to raise the minimum hourly wage at large hotels to $15.37, which he expected to boost his paycheck by 71%.

He soon found out he wouldn’t be getting a raise after all. Under an obscure provision of the city’s wage hike, unionized hotels were granted an exemption allowing them to pay their employees less. The result is that Martinez, who pays $56.50 every month for membership in the hotel workers union Unite Here, now makes less than those doing the same job in non-union workplaces.

“That’s what really makes me mad,” Martinez said. “I just wanted to be treated equal. Don’t exempt us, because we’re the ones paying union dues.”

I’m old enough to remember when Unions didn’t fight for the right to treat their members as 2nd class citizens.

But either way the working poor in LA are discovering that the real minimum wage is always zero.

I wonder if anyone will mention this to Hillary or Bernie?


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CTU member at 2012 Occupy rally

By John Ruberry

Whether it’s Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter or a teachers union, leftist protesters who block streets and disrupt private businesses claim they are the spiritual descendants of Martin Luther King and the 1960s Civil Rights movement. Many of the members of these groups–and there is some overlap–wish they had been a part of the Civil Rights movement so it’s understandable that they try to connect their causes with the legacy MLK.

When I complained on Twitter earlier this month about a February 3 Chicago Teachers Union rally–which they almost certainly didn’t bother applying a permit for–ruining an evening rush hour in downtown Chicago by blocking streets, a Twitter leftist of course defended in a reply to my Tweet that protest was a natural outgrowth of King’s use of civil disobedience in the 1960s and earlier.

I replied that these 21st century civil disobedience demonstrations are different because unlike blacks sitting at all-white lunch counters and Rosa Parks refusing to surrender her bus seat to a white man in 1955 as a protest against Jim Crow laws, CTU members, as well as Black Lives Matter and the Occupy activists, can vote provided they are old enough and they are United States citizens and, in some states, not convicted felons. The civil rights marchers in Selma, Alabama didn’t have a permit in 1965; had they applied for one of course it would have been denied by the racist government authorities. And the blacks who lived in Selma then, despite the passage of the Civil Rights Act the year before, faced enormous obstacles if they wanted the register to vote. And before then, they couldn’t even do that.

“Throwing the bums out” via the ballot box wasn’t on option.

The Rosa Parks bus
The Rosa Parks bus

Sixteen CTU protesters were arrested during that protest. They were sitting on the floor and chanting inside of a Bank of America branch, they earned the union’s ire by loaning money at a high rate to the insolvent Chicago Public Schools. The chanters were trespassing and they deserved getting busted.

Not only can these teachers can vote, but they have lobbyists in Illinois’ state capital promoting their interests. And they have a political action committee.

One more thing, Chicago Teachers Union: Stop ruining rush hours. Unlike free speech, there is no constitutional right to block traffic. You’re teachers–you should know that.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Abandoned Detroit high school
Abandoned Detroit high school

By John Ruberry

Last week five public schools in Detroit were closed due to sick-outs, that is, these for-the-kids educators called in sick when they weren’t, likely by the direction of the Detroit Federation of Teachers.

This is a strike in everything but name, and teacher strikes are illegal in Michigan. And no one it seems, except for Detroit News reporter Ingrid Jacques, to be angry about these phone-in walk outs. Why aren’t the parents up in arms?

Detroit Public Schools, a nest of malfeasance for decades, are currently being run by a state emergency manager. Next month DPS faces a balloon debt millstone–after which its debt obligations may exceed its benefits and payroll expenses. Bankruptcy may be coming soon to DPS.

You can cancel the “Detroit is Back!” party, although President Obama will be in the Motor City for North American International Auto Show and will undoubtedly hail the resurgence of Detroit.

Monday, according the Guardian, the teacher sick-out may spread to forty schools.

Will the “sick” teachers be punished? Will their union be cited for organizing an illegal strike? Will Detroit parents finally get angry? The parents should already be angry because for the fourth straight year Detroit’s elementary schools ranked last in reading and math scores among big cities.

Pick your cliché: Do you prefer “rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic?” Or is it “Fiddling while Rome burns?”

Let me conclude about Detroit’s so-called resurgence since the city emerged from bankruptcy in 2014. Yes, there are construction and rehab projects under way, mostly downtown, in Midtown, and in New Center. Yes, some hipsters have moved into those areas as well as Corktown. But eventually some of them will start families. The prospect of sending their children to a DPS school–along with the burden of a municipal income tax, will likely send those hipsters packing.

UPDATE January 11: 58 schools are closed today because of the latest sick-out.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Illinois signBy John Ruberry

It’s been four months since Illinois operated with a budget.

But the story goes back a year when Land of Lincoln voters tossed out Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn, Rod Blagojevich’s two-time running mate, and chose Republican businessman Bruce Rauner to, as his proclaimed in his campaign slogans, “Bring back Illinois” and “Shake up Springfield.” Rauner has certainly achieved the latter.

But the Chicago Democrats who run the gerrymandered-empowered General Assembly, House speaker Michael Madigan and Senate president John Cullerton, had a trap awaiting Rauner when he arrived in Illinois’ capital city. No, it wasn’t the dilapidated governor’s mansion, but a fiscal 2015 budget that assumed the supermajority of Democrats would make permanent a 2011 “temporary” tax increase pushed through in a lame duck session by Quinn. Yet Rauner and the General Assembly resolved that shortfall that spring, but the two sides are deadlocked over the fiscal 2016 budget.

Meanwhile Illinois lowest credit rating of the 50 states and the worst-funded state pension system. These millstones predate Rauner’s election.

For the first time in three decades Illinois is losing population.

Rauner signWho is willing to compromise? Well, Rauner is. Although he campaigned against a tax hike, Rauner says he will sign a budget that includes one–as long as it the General Assembly agrees to changes to the state’s expensive-to-employers workers’ compensation laws, tort reform, term limits, and taking the decennial legislative redistricting powers out of the hand of the General Assembly. The Democrats oppose all of these items, well, except the tax increase. It is they who are the stubborn ones.

Amazingly, Illinois government continues to function, sort of, as ninety percent of state funding continues, although the state’s backlog of unpaid bills, which also predates Rauner’s inauguration, is growing. But it is business-as-usual for most Illinoisans, including myself, as I no longer have a child in the public school system. Even if I did. I probably notice anything different. However, my license plates are up for renewal, and I won’t receive a reminder in the mail to purchase a new annual sticker because of the budget standoff.

Meanwhile, Saul Alinsky-style demonization attacks on Rauner are stepping up. On Friday Karen Lewis, the hardened leftist who is the president of the Chicago Teachers Union, called Rauner a sociopath in a speech while Madigan and Cullerton mutely sat in the audience.

Rauner has been governor for just nine months. Illinois’ fiscal failings go back nearly thirty years.

Slow and steady wins the race.

John Ruberry, a fifth-generation Illinois resident, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

There is a new fast food chain that is opening up in San Francisco per this report at KQED:

San Francisco’s Newest Fast Food: Healthy, Cheap and Served by Robots

Do tell:

Across the country, restaurants are looking for innovative ways to keep humans out of the picture. But what’s unique about Eatsa is the focus on health and taste. It’s a fully-automated experience, so Eatsa can afford to offer high-quality food for less. Workers’ salaries account for about 30 percent of the restaurant industry’s costs.

The team spent over two years rigorously testing the texture of the sauces and the grain to optimize the taste. Eatsa will also offer a range of beverages, which are sugar-free or low in sugar. Eatsa plans to open two more locations in the coming months, including a restaurant in Los Angeles.

This story is likely no surprise for our regular readers but for our friends on the left it must come as quite a shock that they have made this alternative cost effective:

Yup, technology will serve the meals, not unskilled, inexperienced, $15 an hour, coffee break and maternity/paternity leave humans. Thanks to unions and Leftists, the poor will get poorer, those in poverty will have fewer opportunities to get out from under and the techies will continue to take over the world.

And given the situation already in California before this happened:

The latest figures, for 2013, show California’s housing cost adjusted poverty rate to be 23.4 percent, nearly half again as high as the national average of 15.9 percent.

Back in the years when the nation had a “California Dream,” it would have been inconceivable for things to have gotten so bad — particularly amidst what is widely hailed as a spectacular recovery. The 2013 data shows California to have the worst housing cost adjusted poverty rate among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. But it gets worse. California’s poverty rate is now more than 50 percent higher than Mississippi, which long has set the standard for extreme poverty in the United States (Figure 1).

And the migration of those still able to leave that began long before

How bad are things in California? California’s domestic migration has been negative every year since at least 1990. In fact, since 1990, according to the U.S. Census, 3,642,490 people, net, have left California. If they were in one city, it would be the third largest city in America, with a population 800,000 more than Chicago and within 200,000 of Los Angeles’ population.

It’s very likely that we will see California revert to the old feudal days of powerful rich landowners and peons with nothing who will have only the state and the church to sustain them.  That is of course if the feudal lords of the left allow the church to remain.


Two closing thoughts:

1.   As this chain expands how long will it take for other chains needing to compete with them to also go the robot route?

2.  How much longer will it be before the cooks are replaced by machines too?



I have yet to be replaced by a Robot so the only way I can keep doing this full time is if my pay comes from you. My annual goal is Twenty Two grand which will give me a nominal living doing this.

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Illinois signBy John Ruberry

About 20 percent of Illinois’ operating budget goes to state worker pensions. With so much cash going to retired Prairie State employees, you would think that the state where I live would be on diligent in funding the system. But Illinois’ pensions are the worst funded among the 50 states.  Some years Illinois skipped or shorted pension payments–and public-sector unions (gasp!) supported that move.

But now because of a lawsuit brought forth by a former lobbyist for the Illinois Federation of Teachers union–long-suffering Land of Lincoln taxpayers have a poster child for pension abuse. A little-noticed 2007 bill sponsored by a Democrat allowed that lobbyist, David Piccioli, to qualify for pension from an education pension plan, the Teachers Retirement System. He is currently collecting a $31,000 annual TRS pension even though–except for one day–he never taught in a classroom

Let’s look at the one day–Piccioli was a substitute in a Springfield classroom and he earned $93 for his efforts–which probably consisted of popping DVDs into a player. But because of that 2007 law–Piccioli became eligible for additional $36,000 in additional TRS benefits. Another IFT employee, Steve Preckwinkle, also subbed at a school for a day and applied for a additional pension benefits as Piccioli did.

Suddenly self-righteous state lawmakers quickly removed the one-day loophole but last month Piccioli sued to get his classroom pension back.

There are many villains who created the Illinois public pension debacle and yes, politicians deserve most of the blame. For instance, allowing workers to retire at 50 and then collect most of their old salary when they will probably live another 30 years was a cataclysmic move.

But the unions–and people like David Piccioli–played their part in this disaster.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Illinois signBy John Ruberry

Four years after Wisconsin became the chief battleground in the war of taxpayers versus public sector unions, a new front is developing south of the Cheese Curtain in Illinois.

With the possible exception of California, no where else in America are government unions so powerful. And of course it should be no surprise that both states are fiscal basketcases.

My fellow Land of Lincoln taxpayers and I are burdened by over $100 billion in unfunded public worker pension debt. Over $150 million has been contributed by just six government unions to Illinois pols in addition to countless hours of volunteer time by unionized state employees. Illinois’ new reform governor, Republican Bruce Rauner, has proposed banning public sector unions from donating to Prairie State political campaigns. Major state contractors are already prohibited from doing so.

“After you win, let’s negotiate our pension and work rules and healthcare,” Rauner says is the longtime game plan of the government unions, one that has been successful for them–but toxic for everyone else in the state. AFSCME represents the most state workers, its contract in July and there is speculation that there will be a first-ever strike by state public servants. Their is much for taxpayers to dislike in the current AFSCME contract, for instance, workers can play hooky from work twelve separate times before getting fired. At my job, I’d be fortunate if I got away with that once.Rauner sign

Four years ago Wisconsin’s reform governor, Scott Walker, fought the unions and won. But Walker had Republican majorities in both chambers of the state legislature, while thanks to gerrymandering, the Democrats in Illinois enjoy veto-proof majorities in the General Assembly. On the other hand Rauner has a $20 million PAC, much of it self-funded, to promote his case, and unlike his predecessor, the self-made multi-millionaire is not deeply unpopular.

Rauner has another ally in his upcoming fight against the unions: mathematics. Unlike the federal government, states can’t print money. And the great majority of Illinoisans are not union members or public sector employees.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Today if you go to CNN, MSNBC & even Fox you will find stories about the McStrike where fast food workers are DEMANDING that McDonalds pay them $15 an hour for making burgers.

While said “strike” is getting plenty of play in media it’s a different story if you actually go to a McDonalds that is not in the range of their cameras, like say Fitchburg



If you go to places like this you will find that the workers, the management and the customers would have absolutely no idea any of this was going on if it wasn’t for CNN playing on the TV (because God forbid we get a bite to eat without cable playing).

So in honor of this media created BS I’m putting up this post complete with my own McSelfie risking the wrath of the SEIU and 4chan hackers everywhere.

I invite you to do the same.

Exit question, what are the odds the MSM will give next years March For Life which draws tens of thousands in the dead of winter the same coverage they give this?  I’d say about equal to the odds any sane McDonalds owner will start paying $15 an hour to flip burgers.

Update: Oddly enough the same people lionizing this strike didn’t jump at my three step process to prove you can make profits available to business paying $15 an hour:

1. Acquire a fast food franchise, here is info on McDonaldsBurger Kingand Wendy’s a tad more expensive than McD or BK:

2. Hire Workers at $15 dollars an hour, in this economy this should be a piece of cake.

3. Watch the money pour in.

I wonder why?

Update 2: My McSelfie Video


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Alas Ms. Upton didn’t include Selfies

Don Fanucci: This is my neighborhood. You and your friends should show me some respect. You should let me wet my beak a little.

Godfather II 1974

I spotted this update at the Save Market Basket Fasebook page:

1. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Governor Deval Patrick have both declined to take a stand in our fight against corporate greed despite the fact that dozens of lawmakers and mayors in MA and NH have signed our boycott and our standing with us, the middle class and lower class that they claim to fight so hard for.

Say What?

These two politicians claim to be on the side of the worker and against corporate greed yet refuse to put their money where their mouth is, lets flood them with calls and emails.

How can this be? We have been hearing for years about how Deval Patrick is all about the little guy, in addition Elizabeth Warren’s entire meme is about populism the whole “you didn’t build that” business. What on earth could cause the Democrat Governor and a Potential Democrat Presidential nominee to hang back?

Doesn’t it seem odd that these liberal lions are silent? It seems even more odd that Blue Mass Group appears to be on the side of current management.

Question 1: Since the new Market Basket management has not announced or indicated plans to change the current method of operation isn’t it wiser and in the better interest of the employees and their families to wait until something more concrete other than a change of the guard?Question 2: How much money has Arthur T. DeMoulas spent on his effort to re-gain his job?

Question 3: How many p.r. people, media specialists, and political organizers are working on his behalf?

It’s THAT 3rd question that is the real clue to both Patrick’s & ‘Warren’s silence & Blue Mass Groups seeming indifference to these workers.

You see the Demoulas workers have done this in a generic way. Any person talking directly to the workers and the managers in the stores could tell you this. Any person who has covered these rallies would note that rather than being filled with paid protesters, or people who can’t read their own signs, being managed by handlers they are filled with actual Market Basket Employees doing all of his on a shoestring via social media and networking.

Twitter and Instagram have been flooded with messages and images, some in support of efforts and some simply documenting the effects of employee action. The #MarketBasket, #MarketBasketStrong, and #SaveMarketBasket hashtags (among others) have gained traction from both workers and customers alike.

That’s the problem, the workers have rejected the unions very publicly, they’re not paying community activists to organize, they dare to think they can do this themselves without the aid of the professional protest crowd that the left fund nationally & keep employed for shock troops when they need a rent a crowd.

In other words this is actual grass roots. no Unions, no activists, no Pols like Patrick & Warren are getting their beaks wet and for the left  that simply won’t do.

In fact it might be a danger, if other people see these workers get a successful result without unions, without paid activists without the Democrat machine it could bring down their whole facade.

To top it off these people are protesting for common sense, for smart business decisions, for not building up debt, in short for capitalism

and we can’t have that can we?

So expect Blue Mass Group to keep attacking Arthur T & expect Patrick & Warren will stay silent until whatever happens is a fait accompli .

Oh and as for PR Firms & dirty tricks:

6. The Board and the new co-CEOs have engaged a new PR firm Oneill & Assoc out of Boston. Apparently KEKST was finally fired for doing such a stellar job, more money wasted. Anyway this PR firm has decided that the best way to boost their image is to drag up information that is decades old and try to rehash it. They have also planted trolls on our site to make negative comments etc…so if you think there is a troll jump on them then PM us so we can take care of it. They have found a PR firm with as much character as the BOD has.

Hmmm I wonder if we’ll see paid counter protesters anytime soon?

If you want to understand how unique the Market Basket protest is listen to this WBUR interview with one of the protesters who has been fired after 41 years at the store

You might note the entire argument of the fired worker concerning the good of the business & the old CEO who made it a success. business.

Then there is this quote from the story emphasis mine:

Some Massachusetts lawmakers have called for a boycott of the company, led by state Sen. Barry Finegold, D-Andover, whose district includes the company’s headquarters in Tewksbury. As of Monday, 37 state lawmakers and mayors had agreed to encourage constituents to stop shopping at Market Basket until Arthur T. Demoulas is reinstated, said Finegold, who attended Monday’s rally.

“I’ve never seen a rally where workers are not asking for more wages or benefits. All they are asking for is the reinstatement of the person that’s been running this company,” Finegold said. “It’s about keeping the culture of this company they’ve built that’s benefited so many all these years. So many people are paycheck to paycheck. If you can save 10 percent of your food bill, it’s a big deal.”

That’s likely why only 37 lawmakers have come out for the workers in a state where democrats have over 175 members in the house and senate. Why are the rest holding back? Here is a clue.

Fired Market Basket employees yesterday rebuffed offers of legal advice from the Teamsters, saying the solidarity of the Tewksbury grocery chain’s workers — from top executives to store baggers — is stronger than any union.

“It’s not our way of doing things,” said former facilities and operations supervisor Steve Paulenka, among eight senior workers canned this past weekend for their allegedly disruptive roles in organizing an employee push for former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas’ rehiring. “We really take care of ourselves. We don’t need a union.”

I’ve heard this sentiment from every Market Basket person I’ve talked to from managers to baggers they don’t want a union and it was made plain during the protest

When word got out at a Friday rally at Market Basket headquarters that representatives of an unidentified union were passing out cards to protesting employees, it was Trainor who responded: “Really, do you think we need a union?” The crowd responded with a resounding “no.”

“There is no union in this country that’s stronger than this crowd right here,” Trainor said. “So take your cards and go home.”

So basically you have a workforce not complaining about wages, not complaining about working conditions, not calling for a union but instead protesting against business decisions that they believe will hurt long term profitability.

There is one way to describe a protest like that: Pro Capitalist.

That’s why it will never get the approval of the National MSM. If that kind of idea spreads, watch out.


By John Ruberry

Pity the Land of Lincoln–four of its last eight elected governors have been convicted of federal crimes–one of them, Rod Blagojevich, is still in prison. He’s inmate 40892-424. Blago’s successor and two-time running mate, fellow Chicago Democrat Pat Quinn, is running for a second full term.

The Republican nominee is Bruce Rauner, a multi-millionaire venture capitalist who survived a surprisingly tough primary battle last week over state Sen. Kirk Dillard, who is best known outside of Illinois for his appearance in a 2007 Barack Obama campaign commercial.

Running against “corrupt union bosses” has been a theme of Rauner’s campaign. Public-sector unions have destroyed Illinois, which once enjoyed a rare American economic trifecta–it was an industrial, financial, and agricultural powerhouse. The Prairie State now suffers from America’s second highest unemployment rate, nearly $6 billion in unpaid bills, and over $100 billion in public employee pension debt.

Quinn’s “temporary” 67 percent income tax hike was supposed to fix all three problems–but it failed, failed, failed.

Since he has no record to run on, Quinn unleashed an Obama-style class warfare attack on Rauner immediately after the primary, focusing on the GOPer’s muddled stance on raising the state’s minimum wage and businessman’s immense wealth. Last week in a rare press conference, state House Speaker and party boss Michael Madigan, yet another Chicago Democrat, proposed a millionaire income tax.

Four years ago, off-topic attacks on the anti-abortion stance of his Republican opponent Bill Brady served Quinn well, he eked out a win over the downstate state senator who ran a sloppy campaign and who was largely AWOL in the key battlefield in all Illinois elections–Chicago’s suburbs.  Rauner is pro-choice and a moderate on gay issues.

And this year’s Republican nominee lives in the suburbs and as he proved in the primary election, Rauner won’t let attacks on him go answered–and he’s willing to spend his own money to do so.

Cutting taxes and attacking what former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg identified as the toxic “labor-electoral complex” will be the heart of the Rauner general election campaign.

AFSCME anti-Quinn poster
AFSCME anti-Quinn poster

What will Big Labor do? Line up behind Quinn? The surprising answer is ‘maybe.’ Quinn can count on the support of trade unions such as the United Auto Workers, but the public-sector unions, who contributed over $5 million to his campaign for the 2010 race, might ignore Quinn this time. Government unions donated over $1 million to the Dillard campaign, and the public-sector unions are angry with Quinn for signing a pension fix bill late last year, one that Rauner says does not go far enough. Those unions are suing Quinn to have the new pension funding law overturned– they claim it is unconstitutional.

But the public-sector unions will probably continue to run anti-Rauner ads. The Illinois Freedom PAC, largely funded by government labor groups, spent over $3 million on ads attacking Rauner during the run-up to the primary. Democratic crossover votes for Dillard almost succeeded in Big Labor’s goal of stopping Rauner.

In November Quinn faces the threat of Democratic crossover votes ending his political career. Newton N. Minow, John F. Kennedy’s FCC chairman who famously dubbed television “a vast wasteland,” quoted his old boss when declaring his support for Rauner on Thursday, “Sometimes party loyalty asks too much.”

Illinois’ 2014 gubernatorial race: it will be one for the ages.

John Ruberry blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By Steve Eggleston

The Wall Street Journal reports that the United Auto Workers’ effort to unionize the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee fell short. Had the UAW been successful, the VW plant would have been the first foreign-owned plant in a Southern state to be unionized.

The story behind the unionization drive, and its failure, is rather remarkable. Volkswagen started the ball rolling by wanting to implement what it calls a “works council”, a group of line workers which negotiates with management on the operations of the plant. It has those “work councils” at most of its plants worldwide, in both union and non-union shops. However, to implement the concept in the US, it was convinced it needs the workers represented by an outside union.

Enter the UAW. Despite temporarily gaining a majority stake in Chrysler and getting a significant (and now controlling) stake in General Motors thanks to the Obama administration, their membership has been shrinking along with the vast majority of private-sector unions.

They have been actively targeting foreign-owned plants for unionization, with no success south of the Mason-Dixon line where most of these plants have been popping up. They went so far as to collaborate with their foreign counterparts, including Germany’s IG Metall, the main union dealing with Volkswagen in Germany.

Unlike most companies, Volkswagen encouraged the UAW effort. In an unusual move, it allowed UAW organizers to campaign in the plant, and coordinated its public statements with the UAW during the campaign.

That, however, wasn’t enough to overcome long-standing sentiment against unionization in Tennessee, as well as a well-funded campaign that pointed out that typical UAW tactics are not exactly compatible with the “works council” concept and said that unionization would turn Chattanooga into South Detroit. Some of the workers who voted against the UAW also cited the heavy tilt in UAW political donations toward Democrat candidates and causes.

Now that there is a 1-year “cooling off” period where the UAW cannot attempt to organize at VW’s Chattanooga plant, perhaps it is time to take a look at the archaic labor laws that seem to prohibit the creation of “work councils” outside the suffocating regime of unions.

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By Gary Goldman

Does The Postal Workers Union Need To “Staple” It Shut?

Does a union whose rank and file is employed by a quasi-government agency, funded by taxpayer money that is losing billions of dollars per year, have the right to object to innovative solutions that may help ease the financial hemorrhaging .

This is also the same agency that missed the opportunity to dominate Next Day mail Service.

The postal workers union is shifting focus from the real issue – losing billions of dollars; to staple employees who will not be earning a union wage, and the loss of union jobs.

News flash to the Postal Workers Union; if the bleeding is not stopped, jobs will be lost, and services will be cut. The USPS has also lost a considerable amount of its market share to emails, stamps on line, and doing business via the internet.

The postal Workers union is not in a position of power. When you have employees that have customer service sensitivity, and an agency that is making money, then you may have the right to question change. Right now, that is not the case.

I can assure you that when you walk into a Staples store to conduct USPS business, you will be greeted by smiling employees, that acknowledge your existence, that are happy to assist you, and appreciate your business

Time has proven that there is no parity between high union wages, well run business’s, and friendly service. The postal workers union needs to embrace the change and see what will evolve. It is ultimately the consumer – tax payer that will decide if this private -public partnership is working. The massive losses and operational inefficiencies cannot continue indefinitely.

If I were a postal worker with managerial and supervisory skills, I just may consider sending my resume over to staples. You never know what opportunities are around the corner. Just ask those fed ex employees who had the vision to look outside the box.

Gary S. Goldman is the owner of  Gary S. Goldman & Associates out of Shearborn Ma. providing business & management consulting services to business.  His weekly radio program Business Politics & Lifestyle with Gary Goldman can be heard each Saturday at 9 AM EST on WCRN AM 830 Worcester MA.

If you would like more information on our guest commentary program you can contact us here

Sheldon: You realize, Penny, that the technology that went into this arm will one day make unskilled food servers such as yourself obsolete.

Penny: Really? They’re going to make a robot that spits on your hamburger?

The Big Bang Theory The Robotic Manipulation 2010

Yesterday I had a late breakfast at the Moran Square Diner in Fitchburg and spoke to the owner Chris Giannetti

Moran square Diner has been there a long time and Chris has been running it for nearly 20 years. I had planned on a simple piece on the diner and the consistently good food 6 days a week from a flat-out Sunday to a slow Tuesday.

Then I saw this story:

Emboldened by an outpouring of support on social media, low-wage fast-food and retail workers from eight cities who have staged walkouts this year are calling for a national day of strikes Aug. 29.

Fast food workers planning to strike, their demands?

The workers are calling for a wage of $15 an hour and the right to form a union. Organizers of the walkout say cashiers, cooks and crew members at fast-food restaurants are paid a median wage of $8.94 an hour.

Two things instantly come to mind here comparing Chris situation and the fast food workers here.

For a strike to be successful there has to be a lack of alternatives to replace the workers in question. This is not the case here.

With unemployment as high as it there are dozens of people waiting in line to replace each and every one of the workers in question and doesn’t even count the number of high school or college students looking for part-time work or the robots waiting in the wings.

and that’s just the alternatives for the workers. If every one of those businesses closed tomorrow there would be plenty of break trucks, dog wagons, local diners and even 7/11’s just waiting to serve those customers.

and that brings us to point two

Chris works 60+ hours a week, constantly at the grill and when he’s not cooking he’s cleaning or doing prep work he’s been doing it for almost two decades.

He like other business owners bears all the responsibility and all the risk, before he sees a dollar from the business he has to pay the suppliers, the workers, and the fees/taxes assessed by the local state and federal government.

Only then, when all of these people are paid does he get his cut.

He’s not allowed a bad day either.  If he has a bad day at the grill or with a customer there are plenty of small Diners, Duncan Donuts, Chinese restaurants,  pizza places and yes, fast food places within a mile just waiting to welcome any dissatisfied customer.

Yet with all of this over his head I very much doubt Chris takes home anything near $15 an hour demanded by the strikers and that’s after 20 years on the job.

There is nothing wrong with the workers looking for a better situation and doing their best to achieve it, but I don’t see how any of these folks rate a higher pay than Chris.

and I’d be really shocked if they can make a tastier Sausage & eggs breakfast than he does.

My name is Dr Leonard Hofstadter and I could never please my parents so I need to get all my self-esteem from strangers like you. (pointing at Sheldon) But he’s worse!

The Big Bang Theory: The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization 2008

One of the things that I’m asked an awful lot by people is: “How could the country have re-elected Barack Obama after the last four years.” One of the answers I invariably give is this:

“It took Pharaoh 10 plagues to let Moses people go, perhaps it will take 8 years of Obama for the public to figure it out.”

With gas prices on the rise daily and things continuing to tank you wonder just how much longer will it take for people and business to finally say “Enough!”

I told Michael Graham that the president has no incentive to try to change or improve after all he won election as things were but I suspect there is another plan in mind. The Obama/Hofstadter gambit illustrated by this story stories like this out of France.

Let’s set the stage, Goodyear owns a pair of Tire factories they want to dump in the city of Amines (remembered for the less than successful Treaty of Amines a tiny bit of peace between England & France during the Napoleonic Wars” 1200 jobs are on the line and the only bidder was a self made US Tire & Wheel tycoon named Morrie Taylor. But when Mr. Taylor commented on the lack of productivity it resulted in the following exchange :

“This is the French way.” Mr. Taylor told us over the phone that he responded, “Sitting in a cafe is also the French way, and that’s what you’ll be doing soon” if this plant closes.

Mr. Taylor also said that the union bosses told him, “You have to do what we tell you, or we won’t let you buy it [the factory.]”

“So I told them, you guys go bag it,”

Now when the American with the money walked away this was a problem for the French Socialist government, the unions are their backers and the loss of union jobs means the loss of pay for voters. The French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg tried to intervene offering to broker a fair deal. Taylor’s response was classic

“Sir,” he wrote, “your letter states that you want Titan to start a discussion. How stupid do you think we are? Titan is the one with the money and the talent to produce tires. What does the crazy union have? It has the French government.”

This is Barack Obama’s card, the same one evidenced by Leonard’s speech in the episode, The US economy might be in shambles, our debt might be overwhelming and our unions might be choking cities like Detroit, but France and Europe is SO MUCH WORSE.

Well that will be true as there is a Texas and a bunch of Republican Governors to offer other alternatives anyways.

One final note. Check out the comments in the original French paper, (you will need to translate them) While the MSM & European papers are going the full Captain Renault the readers in France seem impressed by the truth told to their faces.

Maybe there’s hope for them yet!

[thermometer raised=107 target=300 height =200 ]

it’s been a slow week overall in the quest for a paycheck. We’re reached Thursday Morning without reaching the half way point yet. But the needle still moved thanks to three hardy souls to get up past the 1/3 mark and with the subscription commentary going out before the end of the day to tip jar hitters and subscribers only perhaps it will be the carrot of the commentary that makes this shtick successful.

but the needle still moved a tad which is what counts

If your offer’s good it will stand up under fire

Jean Lafette The Buccaneer 1958

A Democratic thief is as bad as a Republican thief

Grover Cleveland

It’s very unusual that I linked from the Daily Kos and it’s 1000’s times odder to get a positive shoutout from them but that took place earlier today:

I was fascinated by his unique view so I responded and have been shown nothing but respect from the man. I sent him a letter and he published it as a comment and as a guest post. I will be on his radio show, airing from Worcester, MA on Saturday at 11am Eastern time to discuss the Hostess strike.

The Author Mike Hummell is a member of the Bakers Union, the post he is talking about is here which said in part:

I spoke to a driver from a rival company that has all the work he can get with Hostess gone, and he said if it was him, he wouldn’t have taken the deal, not with big bonuses going to execs. He said with the cuts they would basically be working for nothing.

I disagreed with the premise under the 92% of something is worth more than 100% of nothing but it occurred to me: Could these bakers have decided they were “Going Galt”?

After all is one perceives they are not getting the reward for had and increased labor it makes no difference if it is government or management that is taking the surplus, the net effect is the same.

Of course in theory if it is management one can find another employer but to the baker with a more specialized profession they might not see it that way.

So in that sense the bakers are no different that any other professional who has decided they just aren’t working anymore for less.

I thought it was an interesting argument so we exchanged e-mails and I arranged for him to be on my show DaTechGuy on DaRadio tomorrow in the 2nd hour (WCRN AM 830 10 – noon) to talk about the strike from the Bakers Union’s point of view.

Today we tweeted back and forth to confirm the show and the details and he began tweeting about his upcoming appearance:


To answer his question, yes 888-9-fedora toll-free from anywhere to call in.

You might wonder why I have a screen shot of his tweets rather than the tweets themselves. Well there is an explanation and it’s not pretty:

I have just been suspended from Twitter for the 7th time in less than 60 days. I have the emails to prove it. There is an amazing correlation between my postings on the Hostess Bankery and the timing of these suspensions. Earlier today I published about Hostess again. Within an hour of tweeting the news my account was suspended.

I have never posted a comment I wouldn’t show my kids. If my account was up I could prove that too. This is not about me being some kind of troll. I do not use any features more than an average twitter user. I will eventually receive an auto generated response that says I should stop auto replying to people. The irony is an especially aggravating part of this.

I’m not an expert on Mike’s tweets but other than some I disagree with (OK most) I’ve seen nothing that look like grounds for suspension and if he tells he there are no ground for this I take him at his word:

I am not accusing twitter of doing anything vindictive to me. I am saying that they have a suspension policy that can be exploited to shut people up and it MUST be fixed. Someone is benefiting from this and it ain’t me.

I’ve had several friends end up in the so-called Twitter Gulag including people I know personally like Chris Loesch.  On Twitchy they are talking about tactics to fight the use of the Twitter Gulag:

The buzz continues to build for the Twitter Gulag Defense Network, a grassroots project launched last weekend by Twitter user Todd Kincannon. Using the hashtag #TGDN, the project connects conservative activists and helps Twitter users combat the abusive flag-spam tactics used by some leftists to silence conservative voices.

#TGDN has been trending off and on since Saturday, Jan. 5, and more than 4,000 happy warriors have joined the network. This morning, Kincannon reached out to #TGDN members with his suggestions for staying out of the dreaded Twitter Gulag. His ideas include methods to thwart flag-spam trolls and tips to avoid triggering Twitter’s automatic suspension algorithms.

I’ve dealt with more than my share of folks on twitter who would rather throw an insult than make an argument and I don’t hold them in high regard. If your point of view is valid it should be worth defending and able to accept a challenge. As for trying to silence people on twitter let me say underhanded tactics used to silence conservative speech I agree with are just as despicable if they are used to silence liberal speech I disagree with.

If anyone on the right is responsible for this, let me say I’m ashamed of you, you should know better. If you are someone on the left outraged by this I would ask you to show that same outrage the next time someone tries to silence Ann Coulter or my friend Pam Geller.

Either way Mike Hummell is going to be on this Sicilian’s radio show tomorrow, he’s going to make his points concerning the Hostess Strike, I and my co-host will make mine, our callers will make theirs and I’ll trust my listeners to make up their minds. Twitter Gulag or no Twitter Gulag I’ve agreed to have him on and that’s the way it’s going to be.  Period!

Today Stacy McCain notes an odd narrative.

After yesterday’s incident in which labor union activists tore down an Americans for Prosperity tent in Lansing and sucker-punched Stephen Crowder, this headline zoomed up the Memorandum aggregation:

Breitbart Folks Appear to Fake Violence in Lansing

Huh? This was a decidedly odd piece of blogging.

Not so odd when you consider the goal involved is as he put it the “perversion of the narrative” Stacy continues:

Crowder is being smashed “through a plate glass window,” so to speak. If conservative New Media and citizen-journalists call attention to such an incident, that very fact — the involvement of conservatives, and their interest in the incident as news — will be leveraged by liberals as part of the counter-narrative to discredit and de-legitimize the story.

So it doesn’t matter to Marcy Wheeler at “Emptywheel” whether her bizarre version of what happened in Lansing is true or even rationally plausible. She has no interest in truth.

She only cares about “winning.”

In this case, “winning” means providing reporters with some flimsy pretext for ignoring what actually happened yesterday: Union thugs physically attacked their opponents in broad daylight.

Is she winning? Let’s take a quick screen shot of the Memeorandum link today:

Note that both conservative and liberal sites are below the link, now lets look at a wider shot:

Note what is missing from the conservative primary links, any link from a liberal site or primary news site other than FOX.

Marcy Wheeler’s purpose is clear, to create a sheltered narrative for the crowd, as Stacy McCain suggests to give media an excuse to ignore facts already in evidence and as you can see some of the strongest and best funded sites of the left are flocking to it.

Deny Deny Deny!

While as we see that effort has met with some success on Memeorandum the Deny Deny Deny strategy has not been uniformly successful as evidenced by this clip from MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

This suggests Wheeler’s efforts have failed to some degree as this was showed TWICE on MSNBC this morning and I give the entire Morning Joe crew a lot of credit the hosts were united in condemning the Union violence while disagreeing with the merits of the bill. They get full marks for bucking the trend.

Stacy McCain question is however still relevant.

If the basic facts of the story check out, then does this not also prove that Marcy Wheeler at “Emptywheel” is a contemptible liar?

And, strange to say, when I did a Google search just now, it led me directly to a Pastebin file by . . . Ron Brynaert.

Maybe this is just a coincidence. Or maybe not.

I don’t think it is coincidence because that same search led me to this post at Patterico where he wrote about this woman years ago at the start of the Acron business saying

OK, now on to Marcy Wheeler. Her post is titled NYT Thinks TeaBugger James O’Keefe Entitled to Own Set of Facts. And she says . . . wait. What is that term? “Teabugger”? Oh, I get it. It’s like “tea bagger” — only the word “bugger” is substituted . . . a reference to O’Keefe’s “bugging,” which it’s now clear he did not do. So it’s a joke name based on a lie. Which tells you all you need to know about Marcy Wheeler.

Anyway, Wheeler sez:

Brad Friedman lays out an entire exchange that, first, one of their readers, and then Brad Friedman himself had with the NYT, attempting to get them to either correct or back up the claim that O’Keefe dressed as a pimp.

Except that, again, the paper never made that claim in the way (at least in the way that Wheeler means, if you read her post).

Also, all three bloggers repeatedly refer to a supposedly “independent” report by a guy paid by ACORN, which makes various findings totally at odds with the unedited audio that the report (and all three bloggers) refuse to acknowledge even exists. (Did you know there is unedited audio? In all the whining about the lack of unedited video, did anyone ever bother to tell you that you can listen to the full unedited audio of these visits? It’s true! Click the link if you don’t believe me.)

In short, these three are pathetic hacks.

So two years ago we have Marcy Wheeler apparently coordinating with Eric Boehlert and Brad Friedman to create a false narrative out of a true narrative that hurts liberalism in order to suppress it and today she again tries to create a false narrative and is embraced by the names of the left and MSNBC.

That brings to mind a basic question Qui Bono? Who benefits? Well it benefits the Teamsters, MSNBC, Think Progress and Media Matters if they can seeming be not the point of origin for that narrative, but it also begs the question that was asked and repeated on last week’s DaTechGuy on DaRadio show on the Brett Kimberlin crowd. Who is financing and paying for this?

I think that question is at the heart of the Kimberlin crowd because thanks to Stacy’s post of today and Patterico’s post of 2010 we know the purpose of those like Marcy Wheeler, we just don’t know who is paying for it.

Wouldn’t it be fun to find out?

Pre-Post Update:

Via Jammie Wearing Fool and the Toledo Blade:

Actual News Report From Lansing: ‘The protests were mostly peaceful’

What a coincidence, the description of “mostly peaceful” would be an accurate description of those who attended the play “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater on April 15th 1965

deny Deny DENY!

Update 2: And lets not forget that the use of the word “Nigger” as a pejorative and the destruction of a black man’s business is not uncalled for or even a reason for critique if said person is perceived as opposing the position of a democrat constituency

I suspect this Memeorandum Thread will not contain a lot of left leaning sites

Beating people, destroying black business, calling black people Nigger, all forgiven if done against the right people by the right people. Apparently voting correctly is the ultimate indulgence as far as the MSM and left is concerned.

Update 3: Jim Treacher asks the question concerning Clint:

Now, I do hope somebody will explain to me how this isn’t racist. An overwhelmingly white crowd goes after a black man who’s just trying to make a living. Defend yourselves, racists.

Easy, their actions are protected under the Obama/Liberal version of the Bill of Rights

Update 4: Union thugs destroy Black Man’s business one day, 600+ people online pay to replace it the next

Russ DeKuyper: You know how much I got to make to keep $300 cash in our tax bracket? I got to make $800– maybe a thousand dollars that’s why I want that check. Now, you give me that thousand dollars!

All in the Family Edith gets a Mink 1972

O’Reilly: your fathers are much braver because they carry responsibility, for you, your brothers, your sisters, and your mothers. And this responsibility is like a big rock that weighs a ton. It bends and it twists them until finally it buries them under the ground. And there’s nobody says they have to do this. They do it because they love you, and because they want to. I have never had this kind of courage.

The Magnificent Seven 1960

We’re not going to take it Anymore

Twisted Sister 1984

I’ve been pretty hard on the Bakers Union concerning the Hostess strike but I’ve noticed one consistency in people who have worked either as drivers for Hostess or other places.

All seem to agree that the Bakers had a point, I spoke to a driver from a rival company that has all the work he can get with Hostess gone, and he said if it was him, he wouldn’t have taken the deal, not with big bonuses going to execs. He said with the cuts they would basically be working for nothing.

I disagreed with the premise under the 92% of something is worth more than 100% of nothing but it occurred to me: Could these bakers have decided they were “Going Galt”?

After all is one perceives they are not getting the reward for had and increased labor it makes no difference if it is government or management that is taking the surplus, the net effect is the same.

Of course in theory if it is management one can find another employer but to the baker with a more specialized profession they might not see it that way.

So in that sense the bakers are no different that any other professional who has decided they just aren’t working anymore for less.

That is as it may be, but if it is true I believe there are three factors that I believe they are forgetting.

1. There are 18,000 people not in the union that might have disagreed that are now unemployed a month before Christmas. In fairness to the union they are not their responsibility, in the words of a man named Vanderbilt: “The public be damned I work for my shareholders.”

2. If the bakers made the deal there is nothing to stop any of them from looking/applying for a different job while still working. Anyone can tell you it’s a lot easier to find a job if you have one then if you don’t.

3. I suspect that unlike the higher end folks choosing “Going Galt” over government the bakers are unlikely to find quicker employment or have the kind of money to be able to “Go Galt” comfortably.

One might argue that the principle is not the same, I would argue if you still have a mortgage to pay and a family to support the fact the principle is the same is irrelevant to the bottom line of paying your bills.

You could say: “That’s not fair.” This is true but irrelevant, life isn’t fair and if people choose not to take the necessary steps to pay their mortgages or rent the judge in the eviction/foreclosure court is not going to find: “life’s not fair” a winning argument.

Now maybe these guys will manage to find other work, maybe they will go into business for themselves, maybe when Hostess is sold off, some will be rehired (likely with less pay and extras.) but I’m betting a lot of them are going to be a lot worse off and their wives and families will pay for it…

…along with 18,000+ others.

AP reports the following:

The bankruptcy judge hearing the case says that the parties haven’t gone through the critical step of mediation and asked the lawyer for the bakery’s union to ask his client, who wasn’t present, if he would agree to participate

And there are interested parties

Bimbo has already sniffed around the bankruptcy proceedings that have haunted Hostess for a decade, in a bid to further expand its North American portfolio and pad its $4 billion net worth. Bimbo reportedly put in a low-ball bid of $580 million a few years ago, Forbes reports, and may be rewarded for that move since the Hostess kit-and-kaboodle may fetch more like $135 million today.

But the big question is whether the same problems that haunted Hostess – high sugar prices tied to US trade tariffs, changing consumer tastes, and union pushback against labor concessions – will squeeze whatever profit is left in the brands.

Especially if a Mexican buyer is involved, production may go the way of the Brach’s and Fannie May candy concerns: south of the border. With US sugar tariffs set artificially high to protect Florida sugar-growing concerns, a non-unionized shop with access to lower-priced sugar in Mexico could be the Twinkie lifeline, economists suggest.

but it’s not just a question of losing the tariffs it’s losing the unions:

First, this development has no small amount of irony.  The labor movement has attacked Republicans for many long years for off-shoring jobs in the name of free trade. Thanks to the bakers’ union, we may end up with almost 19,000 jobs heading south of the border, in the factories of Grupo Bimbo.  The protectionist sugar tariffs that both parties have extended and championed may end up having their own ironic role in these job losses, too.

Will Twinkies survive?  If we are to believe the unions then no, because it’s all about demonstrating power at least that’s what they said.

Anyway I’ve broken open a box of devil dogs but we’ll ration the Funny bones etc for now until we know for sure.

If it works out there are going to be a lot of people who spent a fortune of Twinkies to put on eBay or people who have boxes on eBay who are going to feel like fools.

Update: No answer at the local Hostess thrift shop, might be too late for them.

Update 2: Both side now have agreed to mediation, no word if that means the thrift store re-opens but got some bargains Saturday.

Hostess, its lenders and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), agreed to go into mediation at the urging of Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain of the Southern District of New York, who urged mediation rather than a more expensive, public hearing regarding the company’s liquidation.

“My desire to do this is prompted primarily by the potential loss of over 18,000 jobs as well as my belief that there is a possibility to resolve this matter,” Drain said.

Does the thrift shop return?

Update 3: The key words from the Hostess web site


Yesterday I headed off for Twinkie Quest to see if I could find the Twinkies

Yesterday I went to the Hostess Thrift shop in search of Twinkies unfortunately the shelves were already bare by the time I arrived:

And the bread shelves are were bare too:

Next stop was Shaw’s in Leominster

There was a a box of Chocolate Twinkies but those are not the traditional ones we are looking for, additionally it was ironic that there were not only Drakes Cakes but some were on sale, after all Drakes are made by Hostess and they will suffer the same fate as the Twinkie.

The next stop was Market Basket in Fitchburg:

While I was there people came looking for Twinkies and went away disappointed. However there was one place where Twinkies were to be found.

There was a variety store near my house and while there was not a Box of Twinkies available, single packages were there for the taking. So when I got home there sweets were ready for the table:

The next morning when the word got out to those not on the net the lines at the Thrift store were incredible:

And the parking lot remained full.

But in the end the quest for the Twinkie was to be unfulfilled. How unfulfilled? When I got to the studio and set up a display of the soon to be gone items including a single Twinkie from a box my wife scrounged.

People were actually looking into the window and staring.

The Bakers union can be proud, they gave the American people a lesson that 4 years under Obama failed to do. They taught the public about supply and demand.

Chris Christie made a big fuss about complementing President Obama for helping out in NJ and made a point to make everyone know it didn’t matter where the help came as long as the help came.

Apparently there are exceptions:

Nonunion Ala. crews turned away from Sandy recovery

You’ve got to be kidding me

Crews from Huntsville, as well as Decatur Utilities and Joe Wheeler out of Trinity headed up there this week, but Derrick Moore, one of the Decatur workers, said they were told by crews in New Jersey that they can’t do any work there since they’re not union employees.

The crews that are in Roanoke, Virginia say they are just watching and waiting even though they originally received a call asking for help from Seaside Heights, New Jersey

Via the Dana show who notes this was also done during the Blizzard in NY a bit back and asks?

I thought Chris Christie was infamous for taking on the unions? Some via Twitter have speculated that Gov. Christie may be unaware that this is happening. I’m willing to extend him the benefit of the doubt for then, but now after this story has blown up online there can be no ignorance of the matter. People need help. Sandy didn’t happen in August or early September like Katrina, Ike, and Irene. It’s November now. People are cold.

I get that he’s a moderate, but none of this should matter right now: people need help. If Christie doesn’t indignantly react with the fire of a thousand burning suns over this insanity, his reputation as a fighter for the people will be at stake.

The right thing is usually the smart thing, this should be reversed at ONCE and if anyone is planning on running against Christie in 2020, this is an ad pre-made.

I wonder if the people still suffering agree with this?

Update: Breitbart

On Wednesday, while visiting cleanup efforts in New Jersey in the company of Gov. Chris Christie, President Barack Obama vowed: “We are not going to tolerate red tape, we are not going to tolerate bureaucracy.”

Unless, of course, that red tape is enforced by Obama’s union cronies. Then stranded residents have to wait.

Via the Lonely Conservative video:

Here’s the video report. If this doesn’t tell you all you need to know about unions, I don’t know what else to say.

WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Update 2:
Michelle Malkin:

First, a comment from a Twitchy reader: “I’m from Jersey. I had to work with an IBEW crew for years in Hackensack. (Sopranos Country). Trust me, these guys can be filth. Not all of them, but many of them don’t give a *blank* about anything but themselves and the union. Violence is always an option. In Jersey its just a way of life. Sorry to the good people who wasted their time driving north expecting union scum to appreciate the help.”

Sunshine State Sarah:

A final thought: the news report I quoted at the beginning of this post says that the Alabama crews “received a call asking for help from Seaside Heights, New Jersey,” but that “they were told by crews in New Jersey that they can’t do any work there since they’re not union employees.”

This gives rise to several questions: who exactly called these crews to invite them to come to New Jersey? Was it the local government? And if it was union crews in New Jersey who told them they couldn’t work there, who gave the New Jersey crews that authority? Why didn’t the government or whoever made the initial call to the Alabama crews step in and make sure they were put to work?

Those New Jersey crews had better hope none of their neighbors are waiting for utility repairs. They need to get their priorities straight. Worry about putting their neighborhoods put back together now, worry about the unions later.

The Right thing is usually the smart thing. To my union friends…this is the WRONG thing.

How much wore can the situation in Wisconsin get for the democrat party? This much worse

You have public-employee unions that force public-sector employees to pay dues and make the state act as their bagman. The state refuses to collect dues and changes the law to make dues and union membership entirely voluntary. What do people do?

That’s easy … they quit paying the dues:

and this much worse:

Crowd for Clinton-Barrett rally in Milwaukee 10 minutes before scheduled start: 400 people? …
..ALSO: Where’s the live-stream? Barrett’s own Twitter feed, an hour ago, said “Huge crowd ready to rally as shown by this photo submitted by a supporter,” and within minutes, there were 2 responses, asking for directions to a live stream. Nearly and hour later, and with Clinton close to going on, there’s no answer. I found an indication of a live feed at WAOW.com, but clicking on the link doesn’t work for me. What’s irritating is: I keep clicking and getting the same commercial and then it goes dead. It’s a public service ad featuring a low-flow showerhead. Low-flow. I want streaming, and I’m getting no-flow.

and this much worse:

A lone Scott Walker supporter was arrested at a campaign rally for Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett today, where Bill Clinton also spoke. The man had been arguing with rally attendees since before the rally began, and held a sign that said “Support Scott Walker, Not Union Thugs.”

After the end of Clinton’s speech, the man was taken away by police and taken to the corner of Pere Marquette Park in downtown Milwaukee as the police waited for their car to arrive.

The arrest was the latest in a long series of incidents in a race marked by intense, personal bitterness on both sides.

“I have no idea why I’m being handcuffed,” he told the gaggle of reporters who had followed him. “They won’t tell anybody what I did wrong. What rally specifically do I get to peacefully protest?”

A crowd of Barrett supporters formed around the Walker supporter, yelling “Why agitate the people?” and “Bye-bye!” as he was led into a police car.

A police officer on the scene would not say why the man had been arrested.

Would not say why the man had been arrested? cripes is Judge C.J. Vaughey of Maryland moonlighting in Milwaukee?

Ann Althouse comments:

Quite aside from the free speech rights, it’s stupid to arrest someone in this situation. Now, he’s the story, instead of Clinton rallying for Barrett. And the police are the story. The Milwaukee police. The Madison police didn’t treat protesters/counter-protesters this way. And you know something about Milwaukee? Its mayor is Tom Barrett.

Well it could be worse, they could have Biden there complementing Jon Corzine

and it isn’t looking good in Brooklin either

This election is going to be so much fun.

Question: When can you tell when a poll report is trying to spin you?

Greg Yes I report what Media Matters says, it’s just a form of outsourcing Sargent. breathlessly reports that Wisconsin is a dead heat according to an automated poll, and reinforces his argument with an “internal” democratic poll by a using group calling Wisconsin a “dead heat”

In paragraph 7 he finally finds a poll that is worth questioning:

A public poll taken from May 17-22 by Saint Norbert College found Walker ahead 50-45, though that remained in the poll’s margin of error. Union officials questioned its sampling, and a pollster for Barrett argued to Chris Cillizza that some of the public polling had been taken before Barrett mounted his TV ad offensive against Walker.

So the poll that shows Walker ahead, consistent with report after report is questioned, in fact polling in general is called out in the last paragraph:

Indeed, even neutral Wisconsin political observers believe that public polling of this race may not be predictive, since turnout in a mid-year gubernatorial recall election is impossible to anticipate.

Yeah who believes these polls anyway?

The post gets updated with the results of the Marquette Law School poll with Walker up seven. Sargent notes it’s “just inside the margin of error” and quotes a different source saying Walkers lead is under a point. That source? Talking Points Memo!

Sargent’s piece whether a press release for TPM & Media Matters or an attempt to con one more bit of work or dollar from democrat loyalists who ignore any non MMFA approved source does have a glimmer of truth (as any good propaganda does), in questioning reliance of polls. I’m a big believer in watching actions instead so lets look at the actions:

Item: The National Democrat party has pulled money out of the race.

Item: We see Debbie Wassarman Schultz insisting that Wisconsin is all about Wisconsin with no national implications.

As although as I type this Joe Scarborough just asked Van Jones why the president wasn’t in Wisconsin, (Jones changed the subject at once) the MSM that was once all Wisconsin all the time suddenly doesn’t find the recall all that interesting.

Frankly Greg I would include your own post as more evidence of the point I’ve been making right along:

Ride Right Through them, they’re demoralized as Hell!

One year ago in March E.D. Kain was calling Wisconsin the GOP Waterloo. It was a joke then and 15 months later the only question left is this: Will the Unions be exiled to Elba or St. Helena?

…on union workers and political freedom:

Last week, the Committee on Government Oversight and Reform turned its attention to the injustice of forced union membership, focusing on the appalling union practice of forcing American workers to give money to partisan political activity they oppose.

I spoke to a union worker at the airlines on Sunday concerning this. According to my source they have a brief window where they can decline to have those dues taken from them, in exchange for losing the right to vote in union elections (an opt-out vs an Opt-in like in Wisconsin).

The member expressed that is was a small price to pay to make sure monies earned did not go to the Democratic Party and its leader in the White house.

Every dollar of that union fund spent on elections is a dollar not spent on actual pensions, it’s a dollar not spent on services for union member and exists basically to try to extract taxpayer dollars to make up for it.

Unions once existed to protect their members, now they exist to protect the prerogatives and comfort of their leaders.

The Foundry reports that there is more to worry about than just the Occupods and AFL-CIO deciding to protest outside of CPAC and maybe roughing up people there:

During a Thursday meeting at McPherson Square, until Saturday the epicenter of the protests, Occupiers brainstormed tactics for shutting down or disrupting the conference, according to a source who was present at the meeting.

The protesters suggested pulling fire alarms in the hotel where the conference will take place, screaming “fire” during conference activities, “glitter-bombing” participants, cutting electrical power, and barricading entrances to the hotel, according to the source, who requested anonymity.

“Speakers will be physically assaulted, not just verbally confronted,” the source told Scribe in an email. Two Occupiers, who the source also identified as members of the New Black Panther Party, “said they would be disappointed if they didn’t get arrested and planned to ‘make it count.’”

And it looks like they learned from the mistakes of their compatriots in Denver:

An attendee of the Thursday meeting, who claimed to handle relations with labor organizations, said the AFL-CIO had booked rooms for Occupiers at the Marriott hotel, with the intention of allowing them to bypass security measures at the door. Contacted by Scribe, an AFL-CIO spokesman insisted the Occupiers’ claims were untrue. The AFL-CIO has aided Occupy DC before, most recently in storing Occupiers’ belongings at its headquarters in advance of the National Park Service’s enforcement actions.

But Occupiers are apparently planning other means of infiltration. Representatives from the American University and George Washington University “Occupy” groups said they intended to actually register their members for CPAC. Student passes are heavily discounted, and allow full access to the conference.

As I recall in Denver the Hotel was well prepared and worked with police to minimize trouble. It will be interesting to see what kind of steps they take this time.

I know what I would do if I was the occupods, but I’ll let them figure out their own strategy

Cause: via Mark Steyn :

Obama’s Wall Street Donors Look Elsewhere” (UPI).

Effect via firedoglake: (emphasis mine)

Is the English rock band Radiohead responsible for the three to five thousand demonstrators that marched on NYPD headquarters yesterday evening? A rumor spread that the band was going to be playing for the activists in Liberty Park. Then, the band’s spokesperson denied they were playing. It was reported the band had intended to play but wanted to only play for the activists. Hundreds if not more than a thousand people showed up to the park for the band. The band never showed up but hundreds were now there for a march.

What is probably more responsible for the growth in numbers is the increased support from big unions, which the action is achieving.

In case that’s unclear let me give you a more familiar example of the same paradigm:

Cause: (emphasis mine)

Jack Woltz: All right, start talking!

Tom Hagen: I come from a personal friend of Mr Johnny Fontane. That friend promises his undying friendship if you would do him a small favour.

Jack Woltz: What’s that?

Tom Hagen: Give Johnny a part in that war movie you’re starting next week.

Jack Woltz: And what favours does this friend promise in exchange for giving Johnny the part?

Tom Hagen: You’ve got some labour trouble coming up. My client promises to make that trouble disappear. You have a top star who makes a lot of money, but he just graduated from marijuana to heroin…

Jack Woltz: Are you trying to muscle me?

Tom Hagen: Absolutely not. I’ve come to ask a service for a friend…


Update: Instalance and a great line: A Sicilian explains what’s really going on.

Update 2: Double Instalanche, Sorry Stacy.

Update 3: Triple Instalance nearly a month later, The Democrats really need someone to play Admiral Akbar or Sheldon for them:

I think the endgame is some big democratic money people end up paying a lot to these groups to go away.

Update 4: 1/13/12 Quadruple Instalance. this must be the post of mine Glenn Loves best, by an odd coincidence I met and interviewed multiple Occupiers in NH during my primary coverage. Exit question: Although we got along well and they seemed like nice enough people, doesn’t it seem odd to have a dozen occupiers at the table next to me in a Radison bar paying hotel rates for beer?

The latest in our series of Questions on the 10’s Buddy Roemer answers a question on Unions and the Balanced Budget Amendment

If your candidate is appearing anywhere in driving distance of me in Fitchburg Mass. and you want me to cover a Q & A, send me the event info. If it is farther away and you want to fly me in, cover my expenses and I’ll do that too.

The final nail was driven in the coffin of the Wisconsin left as the Wisconsin supreme court ruled 7-0 that the court of Mary Ann Sumi flunked the Wisconsin Constitution:

[i]f a court can intervene and prohibit the publication of an act, the court determines what shall be law and not the legislature. If the court does that, it does not in terms legislate but it invades the constitutional power of the legislature to declare what shall become law. This [a court] may not do.”

Even harder for the left not only is Sumi overruled but the law by a 4-3 vote is now considered in effect.

That tells you how important the Supreme Court election Prosser vs Kloppenburg was and the decision to politicize the race will be a cause of regret for decades.

Meanwhile Legal Insurrection spikes the ball

Update: Allah comments and at Michelle Malkin’s site Fiscal Sanity triumphs

Update 2: Professor Jacobson posts an objection from an academic colleague in Wisconsin and after due deliberation gives his measured legal response to the argument.

One of the questions that was asked at the time of the Democratic Revolt in Wisconsin was why are the left and the Unions going all in? After all Wisconsin is a traditionally blue state and if the Republicans went too far wouldn’t Democrats be swept back into power and easily roll back any “extreme” changes?

Today in the Boston Globe, the answer has been given:

House lawmakers voted overwhelmingly last night to strip police officers, teachers, and other municipal employees of most of their rights to bargain over health care, saying the change would save millions of dollars for financially strapped cities and towns.

The 111-to-42 vote followed tougher measures to broadly eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees in Ohio, Wisconsin, and other states. But unlike those efforts, the push in Massachusetts was led by Democrats who have traditionally stood with labor to oppose any reduction in workers’ rights.

This is all the more amazing when you consider that there only 32 republicans vs 128 democrats. (In the Senate the spread is 36-4).

Last year the Democrats and the Unions were terrified by this election, they went all out, used every bit of muscle and political power they had to preserve their power. The public unions were out in force (by an odd coincidence schools in most towns were closed due to a “development day”. The Democrats managed to hold the red tide back They kept every statewide office and only lost about a dozen house seats (yes that 32 is after a big win for the GOP).

Yet less than six months later, the fiscal realities are coming home, and state legislators in Massachusetts seeing that the tactics of the left and the Unions in Wisconsin could not only stop Scott Walker but were not even powerful enough to win a Supreme Court Seat felt bold enough to make these changes. This unmasked the reality of the Union’s declining power, ineffective tactics and scant public support.

The question remains if these changes are enough or if they are cosmetic. (I can’t imagine the House taking such a vote without knowing the Senate would back them up) but there is no question that if the Unions are no longer strong enough to make Democrats in Massachusetts toe the line, their relevance in states any less blue is on the way out.

Update: Great minds think alike but the Captain gives the possibility that the bill would not pass.

Shades of the Durant election (Worcester 6th) in Wisconsin:

BREAKING VOTER FRAUD: Poll workers conducting registration on election day, voting, then registering again to vote. High school students registering other high school students under 18. When complained, the poll worker said mind your own business.

You might remember yesterday I said this about the precincts not reporting:

Two of them in Milwaukee and 8 in Salk. In my opinion (and likely the opinion of most of the right) at this moment people are counting how many votes Kloppenburg needs to win and deciding how to report their figures so the numbers will look credible.

It is a painful thing for Wisconsin that I am saying this, but it’s more painful that the state has reached the point where I suspect everyone is actually thinking this.

Lo and Behold in Milwaukee:

As Vicki McKenna was saying earlier, I find it interesting/troubling that 100% of Milwaukee County was reported on for the Stone/Abele numbers, but not for the Prosser/Kloppenberg numbers. What the heck is the problem?? She had some interesting callers this morning that make you sit and go “HMMMMM!”

And don’t worry the Police have your back when it comes to preventing Voter Fraud right?:

Two witnesses confirmed that a Police Officer who reported to address the incident apparently refused to deal with the protesters initially. Jessica Schmidt, Grafton Town Clerk, and another witness heard the officer say, “I used to be a conservative but I’m not anymore.” Apparently, this behavior was a result of the recent debate over union rights that has consumed Wisconsin. The officer then walked outside and without addressing the issues presented by the protesters and refused to do his job, allowing the intimidation to continue. The officer’s behavior was apparently upsetting enough that an elderly poll worker was shaking immediately following the incident and needed to be calmed down by a nurse that was present at the polling place.

That members of the Wisconsin police have thrown away the biggest difference between America and third world dictatorships over this issue is disgraceful.

And now lets follow-up with shredding ballots:

For some reason one of the counties in the state is destroying ballots that ‘were not counted’ yesterday. Apparently this is a very bizarre and egregious move.

After all we can’t have a recount determining that these were in fact valid votes can we?
Talk show host Mark Belling is trying to act:

I have filed a Wisconsin Open records request with the City of Mequon demanding any ballot submitted but not cast in yesterday’s election, including any remnant of a shredded ballot. We have received reports Mequon poll workers destroyed submitted ballots before poll closing time, demanding a driver’s license number from the absentee voter. This request is unusual and the destruction of ballots is of grave concern, given the closeness of the state Supreme Court election. I will consider seeking an injuction to back up my request if Mequon officials are not copperative.

Within the margin of fraud indeed!

This is it for Wisconsin, if the voters of this state allow this without protest then frankly they deserve exactly what they get and I’m disappointed in Stacy for not being in more of a fighting mood.

Last night I posed two questions that I thought were mutually exclusive but the current results as the same they were at 3 a.m. with 34 presents left to report. Of those 34 2 where precincts where Prosser was lead and 32 where in precincts where Kloppenburg leads.

With 99% of the precincts reporting the current numbers are:

David Prosser (inc) 733,074 50%
Joanne Kloppenburg 732,489 50%

They are separated by 4 ONE HUNDREDTHS of one percent of the total votes cast.

UPDATE*** 6 more precincts have reported the current numbers are now

David Prosser (inc) 736,878 50%
Joanne Kloppenburg 732,043 50%
Prosser’s lead has leaped to a whole 5.6 ONE HUNDREDTHS of one percent of the votes cast

Of the remaining 24 precincts 2 are in areas that favored Prosser and 22 are in areas that favor Kloppenburg.

UPDATE AGAIN the 6 Ashland precincts that held out all night finally reported and the lead is down to 419

David Prosser (inc) 737,224 50%
Joanne Kloppenburg 736,805 50%

They are separated by under 3 ONE HUNDREDTHS of one percent of the total votes cast.

18 precincts left 2 that favor Prosser and 16 that favor Kloppenburg.

Two of them in Milwaukee and 8 in Salk. In my opinion (and likely the opinion of most of the right) at this moment people are counting how many votes Kloppenburg needs to win and deciding how to report their figures so the numbers will look credible.

It is a painful thing for Wisconsin that I am saying this, but it’s more painful that the state has reached the point where I suspect everyone is actually thinking this.

Update again That didn’t take long:

Joanne Kloppenburg 738,368 50%
David Prosser (inc) 738,228 50%

They are separated by under 1 ONE HUNDREDTH of one percent of the total votes cast.

10 7 precincts left they favor Klop 7 5-2 Expect those last two Milwaukee precincts not to report until the two outstanding Prosser ones do.

Down to 5 precincts, Milwaukee still holding out but now its 2 Prosser vs 3 Kloppenburg Precincits left and the count?

Joanne Kloppenburg 738,883 50%
David Prosser (inc) 738,514 50%

Final Update? With one precinct left in Jefferson county (Where Prosser won by 16 pts) not reported yet, here are the numbers:

Joanne Kloppenburg 739,711 50%
David Prosser (inc) 739,505 50%

206 votes. A difference of just over 1 ONE HUNDREDTH of one percent of the total votes cast.


Let’s forget for the moment the same day registration nonsense that likely meant an awful lot of people particularly in the cities voted who may have been illegible, lets ask a logical question:

Consider, Democrats ran from the state for weeks, labor paid for massive protests, doctors were willing to give out phony sick notes to facilitate the protests, Unions and the left poured millions upon millions to turn this election into a referendum on Walker and a potential supreme court justice apparently ran on the basis of pre-judging a case.

Given all of those actions and all of that investment, with a the vote this close, do you honestly believe that the left will not attempt to steal this election assuming through false registrations they haven’t tried to already? Is there a single person on the right side of the blogosphere who believes this will not happen?

And as for the ballots currently under guard by police Ace of spades puts it succinctly:

Police guarded the ballots overnight, but that doesn’t really reassure. Would this be the same police that stood by and did nothing while union thugs tore up recall ballots aimed at Democrats?

Take a bow police in Wisconsin, your actions in the lead-up to this election turned that statement from an outrageous insult to an interesting conjecture.

Let’s remember Ann Althouse back from March 12th:

Anyone can look at the pictures and video and see crimes being committed. The low number of arrests is evidence that the police chose not to enforce the law. Meade, outnumbered in the center of an angry mob, was physically assaulted by a very large man, and all the while a police officer looked on and did nothing. Should Meade have said “Arrest this man!” — under those circumstances? Think about it! The police seemed to be on the other side, and he was surrounded by people who’d decided he was a “Walker plant.” How, exactly, was he supposed to extricate himself from the situation if the police didn’t respond to his accusation? What do you do when you can’t count on the police? You’re on your own.

The CSM article is also about whether the federal government can come to the rescue under the Guarantee Clause of the Constitution. Article IV, § 4. You mean, when the state can no longer fend off domestic unrest, the feds have a duty to help us? Pardon me if I laugh. The Obama administration might send in forces to do what the local police here won’t do?

Sorry. I’m a constitutional law professor, and I’m especially interested in all the federalism stuff, but I live in the real world, here in Madison, Wisconsin. I want real police, enforcing the law, equally and with a high sense of duty — not self-interested union enthusiasm.

Given this is there any chance whatsoever that Conservatives will believe that any result where Kloppenburg wins is legitimate?

And on the other side, the left spent the last 2 months insisting that the Walker administration which won by a wide margin is not legitimate. Given that there is no chance that they will consider any result where Prosser wins legit. Expect (at best) loud protests but I would expect much worse.

Unfortunately there is no actual solution to this. It is going to be litigated, and since judge Prosser of course can’t rule on his own election you have a 3-3 court. I suspect Libya will be resolved before this is.

Wisconsin is going to be in a quagmire for years over this. Wisconsinites when you see these divisions, when at best the expense and the gridlock that comes of this or at worst the violence that will come of it. (And I predict that we will see the worst) remember this has been brought to you by Wisconsin’s public unions and by the media’s unwillingness to call out the senators who ran away.

Update: Big point made on the right side of the sphere, by Robert Stacy McCain:

The unions lost. Their claim that their rage-filed protests represented an overwhelming majority of Wisconsin voters? Repudiated.

and the Right Sphere:

Regardless of how the race turns out, the fact of the matter is the “revolution” was a flop despite the efforts of a lot – thousands and thousands – of Leftists to create the impression that Wisconsin didn’t vote Scott Walker and Republicans in to office to tackle the real problem of public sector unions raiding the treasury. The Leftist’s hopes of using the situation in Wisconsin to create a national pro-union movement have been squashed.

and HotAir:

But the unions have a bigger problem. Many gave Prosser little chance of holding his seat in this off-year, otherwise sleepy election, as unions organized fiercely to unseat him before the state Supreme Court could hear the challenge to Scott Walker’s law. Given the usual lack of turnout for April elections in off years, the organizing power of the unions should have been overwhelming, and Prosser should have been toast even in less-progressive areas of the state. Instead, Wisconsin voters thundered to the polls to support Prosser, and Kloppenburg turned out to do poorly outside of Dane and Milwaukee counties — and even in Milwaukee, Kloppenburg led by just a 57/43 margin.

What should have been a slam-dunk if Walker’s proposal was really as extreme and disaffecting as unions claim turned out to be an even split. Given their power and the investment of time and money by the unions, this is an eye-opening stumble.

I guarantee this will be spun differently by the MSM

Update 2: Ann Athouse (an Obama voter btw) speaks some realities aloud:

There’s one more precinct in Madison’s Dane County. You can try to calculate what that precinct should be, using the 73-27% difference between the candidates in the 248 precincts that have reported, but I’d like to know what part of town the nonreporting precinct is in. More important, I’d like to know why that one precinct hasn’t reported, because, without more, I’m suspicious that politicos with a “by any means necessary” attitude are waiting to see how many votes are needed.

And her point about the court once a final result is given is even worse:

This race has been so politicized that, whether Prosser or Kloppenburg wins, the public will lack faith in the work of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Every 4-3 decision — assuming the winner of this election is one of the 4 — will raise suspicion. The power of the court, in the end, rests on the faith of the people. It cannot balance the power of the other branches of government without the faith that this election has eroded.

I’ll say it again, Wisconsin, by not nipping this in the bud you have done this to yourselves. When you are frustrated by this for years, thank the Unions.

As I write this with 37% of the vote reporting it is 50%-50% with Prosser leading by a mere 1884 votes so we have no idea how this is going to turn out.

So I don’t know which of my two questions apply but here they are:

If Prosser wins: Considering the level of death threats and intimidation that has been used by the left in Wisconsin will a Prosser election result in overt violence by the left? My guess is yes.

If Kloppenburg wins: Will the right make an attempt to have her disallowed from ruling on the Walker case on the grounds that is has been pre-judged? (Yes it will fail) and the will that be the basis of an appeal all the way to the supreme court (maybe, but I don’t know if it would be taken as it is a purely state matter).

I think it is all going to come down to this election, either way the people Wisconsin will get the government and the court they deserve.

NOTE: In the time it has taken me to type this update has come in 38% reporting David Prosser (inc) 319,941 52% Kloppenburg 301,187 48% a lead of over 18k.

Update: As Prosser maintains his (slim 52% reporting David Prosser (inc) 412,848 50% Joanne Kloppenburg 409,965 50%) lead one more question. The left has been claiming that the Republicans have been acting against the will of the people of Wisconsin. Since this election has been painted as a referendum on Walker if Prosser wins does that claim now ring hollow?

Update 2: It’s after 1 a.m. EST and the election keeps going back and forth Prosser is up about 1500 with under 100 precincts left but 60 of them are pro Kloppenburg ones. What a race!

On the Charlie Sykes (620 WTMJ Milwaukee) show in Wisconsin they are commenting on the “protection” racket that the unions are using. Let’s remind you of what the unions are saying:

“Failure to do so will leave us no choice but (to) do a public boycott of your business. And sorry, neutral means ‘no’ to those who work for the largest employer in the area and are union members.”

So in other words as far as the unions are concerned you MUST take a position and it must be theirs or they will get you. One Republican legislator called in and suggested business so contacted check out chapter 943.30 of Wisconsin law and start making complaints

So let’s take a look at what Wisconsin law states, specifically Wisconsin Statutes > Criminal Code > Chapter 943 > Subchapter III > § 943.30 – Threats to injure or accuse of crime:

943.30 Threats to injure or accuse of crime.
943.30(1) 1) Whoever, either verbally or by any written or printed communication, maliciously threatens to accuse or accuses another of any crime or offense, or threatens or commits any injury to the person, property, business, profession, calling or trade, or the profits and income of any business, profession, calling or trade of another, with intent thereby to extort money or any pecuniary advantage whatever, or with intent to compel the person so threatened to do any act against the person’s will or omit to do any lawful act emphasis mine, is guilty of a Class H felony.

Note that since according to the letter sent out to businesses a “neutral” stance is not allowed, the union is COMPELLING the person to act against their will or suffer the consequences. That makes this section active and makes the union letter written proof of a class H felony.

A class H felony in Wisconsin carries a max of 6 years a fine of $10k or both.

And the second section is even more interesting:

(2) Whoever violates sub. (1) by obstructing, delaying or affecting commerce or business or the movement of any article or commodity in commerce or business is guilty of a Class H felony.

So that means that if you are a protester as part of the promised boycotts or picket of a business based on the above letter: Presto! You are subject to this same penalty!

And in our litigious society wouldn’t you like to be the lawyer starting a class action suit against the Unions who are boasting of full coffers and financial support to fight in Wisconsin? Can you imagine the size of the civil suit and award in a case like this? You want to sue people with a lot of money or insurance for a big payout. The local sub shop who gets the letter might not have it but the Union that sent it does. Every business who got that letter is a potential member of the class and the unions who supported this campaign and their national counterparts is a potential target. It’s a money tree!

I’m amazed a union lawyer didn’t spot this but it’s what comes of arrogant and unchecked power.

Update: Big Government was on this first but didn’t think of the class action angle, Ann Althouse is bother by the police involvement:

I can’t get my head around the concept of police involvement in boycotting businesses. That reads like pure corruption. I can’t believe it’s being done openly. Can someone explain to me how you can even argue that it is acceptable for police to extort political support from citizens?

If you ever wondered why the left always seemed to side with totalitarians, now you know.

In the Wisconsin battle the Koch Brothers have been portrayed as evil incarnate, liberals are ready to try to go after him financially but the Unions who actually work for him, suddenly say, not so fast:

A number of organizations are advocating a boycott of the products that come from companies owned by the Koch family. This is problematic for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it could potentially hurt the wrong people.

The Koch brothers own Georgia Pacific. It is an American consumer goods company that makes everyday products like facial tissue, napkins, paper towels, paper cups and the like. Their plants are great examples of American advanced manufacturing. Incidentally,

GP makes most of its products here in America. The company’s workforce is highly unionized. In fact, 80 percent of its mills are under contract with one or more labor union. It is not inaccurate to say that these are among the best-paid manufacturing jobs in America.

This presents a dilemma and a paradox. While the Koch brothers are credited with advocating an agenda and groups that are clearly hostile to labor and labor’s agenda, the brothers’ company in practice and in general has positive and productive collective bargaining relationships with its unions.

While some companies are running from investment in American jobs, The Koch brothers’ Georgia Pacific just reached agreements with its primary union in the paper industry to invest more than a half a billion dollars in capital to essentially create two state-of-the-art machines that conserve fiber and energy at two separate union mills.

But….but they’re evil! They want to break unions, they are greedy corporate guys who like conservatives, this can’t be true, this can’t be true, la la la la I don’t hear you.

Expect the left to ignore this plea to protect actual good paying American jobs. This isn’t about jobs, it’s about political power and left long ago stopped caring about the actual jobs of actual union members.

Because when people have a secret ballot they vote against this:

Leftist thugs harassed and then superglued the doors of a popular Wisconsin grocer after it was discovered that individuals at the store had donated to Scott Walker’s campaign last year.

and this

Police are increasing patrols near the Brookfield home of a state tea party leader who has pushed for greater health and pension concessions from public employees after he received a veiled death threat over the weekend.

Wisconsin Tea Party Patriots State Coordinator Michael Hintze told police when he answered a call on his cell phone about 2:30 p.m. Saturday, a male voice “asked if he was wearing a bullet-proof vest” and then hung up.

And of course those who were chanting about democracy has a rather distorted view of it when practiced by their opponents:

Protestors both for and against the recall showed up. Even though they initially kept their distance, Holperin supporters engulfed the recall effort, and that’s when the situation turned tense.

“They circled around us, and they’re bullying us. They have a loud horn and they’re trying to intimidate people that would like to come and sign the petition,” said Kim Simac, recall leader, “I do think that this is an intimidation ploy.”

Simac says protestors even got involved with their petitions.

“We had a lady come up and write profanity and rip some of them right on our table…. so I guess that’s what democracy looks like to them.”

And it looks like the officers have taken a “liberal” view of serve and protect:

The policemen who were there, and who were standing in close proximity to these events as they unfolded, did nothing to assist those collecting the petitions as they were being destroyed, despite such an action being a Felony under Wisconsin law. Police also did nothing to clear the walk way for citizens that wanted to sign the petitions. Recall Committee members received many phone calls the following day from Merill area citizens who stated that they showed up to sign the petition, but were too afraid to get out of their vehicles and approach the recall table.

Kim Simac, leader of the recall effort, who has also received numerous personal threats, has now declared that enough is enough. “Tomorrow we begin taking the necessary steps to put a stop to this kind of behavior.”

As much as the national media would like to ignore these things the people of Wisconsin are not going to forget them. Add to that the sheer nonsense of the class struggle business:

The protests have been on behalf of well-paid people with excellent jobs — better jobs than the average Wisconsinite’s. And the protesters got massive extra doses of freedom to express themselves in the state capitol for over a month, without any threats of violence or even arrest for the crimes they committed in full view of the police. I mean, I know they have their complaints, but they are not even the bottom sector of the Wisconsin economy. If there were to be a class struggle here, they would be taken aback to find themselves in the role they actually have in this economy: the oppressors!

The left is right, this is looking more and more like Egypt. They are playing the role of Mubarak’s thugs.

Update: It is apparently even worse.

Update 2: The underground conservative lays it down:

Sad to say, I agree. There will be an ugly incident with violence, either toward individuals or toward perhaps a business that doesn’t support Da Union. And it will happen sooner rather than later.

Many of these union goons are trying to provoke an incident. Getting in people’s faces, as Der Fuhrer has urged, literally — such as the goon who literally blew a whistle in the face of Meade from Althouse or the thugs who are trying to steal phone cameras from anyone trying to record protests — will eventually provoke a physical response from someone.

At that point, it’s on. Eventually our side will have to fight back against the type of physical intimidation and Gestapo tactics that are being used by the Left. We have a case of a Madison bank branch forced to close because union thugs threatened the safety of the bank’s customers and employees.

And I seriously doubt if law enforcement will do the job we trust it to do. Clearly the sympathies of most law enforcement officers are with their union brethren instead of the public.

This is the most dangerous party of all of this. If public confidence in those who are sworn to protect them disappears then what makes America different goes away. Public safety unions should think long and hard before continuing down this path.

POWIP noticed something from Mickey Kaus that I didn’t:

It appears the Democrats had not accepted the concessions outlined by Walker in an email to some Dem senators (an email his office released). These were discussed below. They allowed collective bargaining over a broader range of issues, but kept the provision ending mandatory union dues checkoff, which is arguably the change unions fear the most. emphasis mine

Walker was accused over and over of trying to bust the union but was willing to compromise on collective bargaining but that’s not what the unions fear. What the unions fear the most are their members.

Why do you think they were so insistent on card check? Why do you think they were so interested in eliminating the secret ballot? It is all about the ability to intimidate. If union membership actually provided enough of a benefit to the majority of their members they would not worry about the state forcing dues collection. People would be anxious to join and willing to pay. The truth is for many union membership has become all about supporting the leadership that supports the democrats and gains the majority of the benefits therein. Johnny Friendly lives!

Their latest move is not all that impressive either.

There are many Kloppenburg signs at the march and, as I’ve noted before, although it’s supposed to be a nonpartisan election, some people try to make it very political. I’ve seen many people out at the protests stressing the need to make Kloppenburg a Supreme Court Justice so that she can vote against the GOP budget repair bill and do other things that will help the party that lost the elections last fall get something back in the judicial process.

As the left becomes more desperate expect to see more and more of this kind of thing.

…they are playing the role of Wellington.

Was it only 48 hours ago that liberals buoyed by polls and news reports were convinced that Scott Walker and the republicans were about to back down?

Now not even one day after they were proved spectacularly wrong the left has decided on a new meme to replace the old one that didn’t seem to work. Apparently now this vote is a case of political suicide for Republicans. E. D. Kain is convinced this will be their doom:

And now conservatives have chosen public-sector workers and teachers as their hill to die on. They have followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and elected Scott Walker, Rick Scott, and various other Tea Party candidates. Heavily funded by big campaign donors like the Koch brothers and other corporate interests, the Republican party has made a concerted effort across the country to take on unions, public pensions, and social services for the poor.

It is to laugh. Apparently E. D. hasn’t figured out that the “interest” that public unions fight against is…”the public” that is the taxpayer.

Richard Trukma is also playing the lemons into lemonade game as Jennifer Epstein reports:

While blasting Walker and Wisconsin’s Republican legislators for their “absolute corruption of democracy” in passing an anti-labor bill, the leader of the nation’s largest union group thanked the governor for getting activists fired up. “We probbably should have invited him here today to receive the Mobilizer of the Year Award,” Trumka said Thursday morning while speaking to the National Press Club in Washington D.C. “Wisconsin is the beginning — it’s pushing the start button” for pro-labor activism.

Right, he mobilized people so well that unions had to bus in supporters and were unable to match anything near tea party numbers in national rallies across the country.

Let’s cut to the chase here. The unions went all in here because they understand what is at stake, not bargaining, but the political clout that the union monies bring the leadership and the democrats who reward them with those monies. This is was what the unions were defending. That’s why they were willing to give up so much to avoid this vote.

Think about what it has cost the Democrats/unions:

1. War Chests: The three weeks of protesting had to have been a drain on both union and democratic funds. The monies they claim to have raised are not insignificant but they have not reported the expenses of their national campaigns. I would not be surprised if the funds raised are not sufficient to cover what they’ve already spent. In fact they will need the extra money to fight in all the other states that, seeing the union defeat in Wisconsin, will find themselves willing to take them on.

2. The schedule: Unfortunately for democrats this took place at the beginning of the term of Governor Walker. This means that this plan will have time to make the difference in the state economy meaning the voters will be able to see actual results by the time he is facing re-election. The unions are making a lot of fuss about recall efforts forgetting that recall efforts are also being placed against democratic lawmakers who actually fled the state as well. Those efforts will not reverse the bill nor did they manage to intimidate the lawmakers in question.

3. Voting with their dues: Even worse for the unions is the reality that the state is no longer obliged to collect union dues for them. The compulsion is gone. Legal Insurrection has it nailed:

The vote will be taken with the feet of tens of thousands of Wisconsin public employee union members, who will have the choice for the first time in memory of deciding whether to join the union and pay the union dues, which have been estimated in the $700-1000 per year range.

The public employees will have to make a choice, take a pay increase or pay the union.

I think we know how that vote will turn out, and whether the employees — once given a choice — will buy what the unions are selling.

I think the unions knew how this vote will come out too. That’s why they decided to die on this hill. They understand that where union membership is not compulsory it has dropped like a rock. They understand that this vote will be before any election and will signal nationwide how weak and narrow their actual support is within their own ranks.

4. Public Opinion:
That’s the other card that the unions and the media tried to play. I’m going to make the wild assumption that the office holders of Wisconsin are no more brave that other office holders across the nation. If they actually believed that they were going to suffer the public harm that the unions and the media insist they are going to get, don’t you think that they would have backed down? I think they didn’t back down not because they were any more courageous than other polls, I think they knew how to count and saw the protests for what they were and acted accordingly. As I’ve said, if the unions were convinced it would have resulted in a huge turnaround (particularly in an election year with Obama on the top of the ticket) they would have acted differently.

5. The visuals: This is the big one. The visuals of this protest favored the tea parties and the governor from the start and continue to do so. People don’t like to see their capital occupied, or doors handcuffed shut or people threatened with death, or their legislators running away. There is supposedly a big protest with Michael Moore this weekend. Yup Michael Moore and Jessie Jackson are really going to be able to sell this nationally. As I said in my examiner piece yesterday:

There has been an awful lot of video shot of the Wisconsin protests, there has been even more taken of both tea party protests and tea party meetings. The question becomes: which set of images are more likely to elicit the support of the majority of the American Populace? We will find out in 2012.

The only thing the Wisconsin democratic protesters and the tea party protesters have in common is both will likely be prominently featured in GOP ads in 2012. I’m sure the death threats against the Wisconsin legislators and those against Scott Walker (some actually signed on twitter) are going to go over real well come election day.

6. Bigger Events: Even if the unions want to keep the pressure on unfortunately for them bigger events are overtaking them, the rising costs of Gas, the war in Libya, and the national budget battles are going to trump any attempt to keep the furor up in anyone except for the truest of true believers.

E.D. Kain is trying to pull the Albert Sidney Johnston who with insufficient military to stop a union advance, used propaganda to keep the enemy thinking he was stronger than he was.

My advice to the Republicans? It hasn’t changed: Ride right through them, they’re demoralized as hell!

Update: Yup that should have said Albert Sidney Johnston, thanks to Edward for the Catch.

Update 2:
Unsurprisingly the NYT doesn’t get it but Obi Wan does.

Donny Deutch is calling the Governor Fascist, Mika is still hitting the governor and the republicans but points out the Democrats having fled have not a lot of lets to stand on.

Harold Ford is hitting Walker with both fists, Willie Geist is also saying it shows Walker for what he is etc etc etc.

Pat Buchanan is nailing it that the pictures of the mobs are going to hurt big time but the bottom line is did this work or did it not work.

Barnicle is pointing out that it’s going to come down in four years with “are you better off than you were four years ago.” Mika is agreeing.

The reports from Althouse of door being handcuffed shut by protesters are going to be in republican ads next year and will be devastating in the next election both locally and nationally.

Today’s vote in the legislature will determine if Wisconsin is ruled by the mob or by the law. It will also be interesting to see how the police react. Will they help republican legislatures get through the mob? Will they keep the mob from trying to intimidate the legislatures?

It will be an interesting day. I say the unions will go all in because they feel they have nothing to lose. The pictures will not be pretty.

Will democrats be smart enough to stop the Unions or will they be egging them on?

It will be fun to find out.

In Wisconsin the word is that the absent senators are on their way back

Playing a game of political chicken, Democratic senators who fled Wisconsin to stymie restrictions on public-employee unions said Sunday they planned to come back from exile soon, betting that even though their return will allow the bill to pass, the curbs are so unpopular they’ll taint the state’s Republican governor and legislators.

Or maybe not:

Wisconsin Democrats who fled the state more than two weeks ago to block a vote on a Republican plan to limit public union collective bargaining said on Sunday they have no immediate plans to return.

Or perhaps maybe:

Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D-Monona) said in a letter sent out Monday that he wants to meet with Republicans “near the Wisconsin-Illinois border to formally resume serious discussions” on Walker’s budget repair bill

So they want to meet at the border, what is this the cold war? Ed Morrissey nails it:

I suspect that Walker will explain yet again that the state of Wisconsin already provides a forum for that discussion, and it’s not “near the Wisconsin-Illinois border.” It’s in Madison, which is where the Democratic legislators should have been all along if they wanted to take meetings.

Protesters or no all the visuals help the GOP. Walker can make his statements from the statehouse where is supposed to be. Every Democratic statement has to come from hotels or “undisclosed location”. Ed gets that as long as this keeps up Democrats look bad and Republicans (re-Walker) looks good.

I think that Kaus has it right:

To the extent a liberal MSM conspiracy helped produce and publicize those polls–and it can only be a limited extent since one of the polls is Rasmussen’s– did they inadvertently do Gov. Walker a favor by giving the Dems the PR cover they need to save face while they lose the actual legislative battle?

The problem for the dems it its too easy to understand the whole playing hooky angle. Even people who don’t follow politics get it.

I’m pretty sure how this is going to end, (they come back, bill is passed) I’m just not sure when, the decision however will not be made by the Wisconsin Senators, but by the democratic and union money that is currently backing them up.

of Fascism and terrorism:

Make no mistake about it; this is a political attack on teachers for supporting democratic leaders who have stood up for education in our state. If passed, these fascist measures will silence the voice of teachers working to improve our schools, communities and our state.

and this:

“He has the power to stop this madness now,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner of Nashville said to loud shouts of approval at the teachers rally. “Governor Haslam, if you’re listening, please stop this terrorism against our teachers.”

Terrorism! (You know that a certain section of this crowd was, about three years ago, in the streets, marching and protesting that the Bush administration was over-hyping the threat of terrorism and complaining that the term “war on terror” was too broad and was an imprecise definition.)

One of the things I’ve noticed in interviewing people is that those who have actually lived under communism or fascism tend not to make these kind of statements, but leftism has as I’ve said before morphed into a quasi-religion where if you have the right beliefs are you counted among the righteous no matter how much money you take from murderous dictators.

All of this self-righteous posturing is all about being part of the suffering masses in the mind and has no relationship with actual reality:

The characteristic of Pains and Pleasures is that they are unmistakably real, and therefore, as far as they go, give the man who feels them a touchstone of reality. Thus if you had been trying to damn your man by the Romantic method—by making him a kind of Childe Harold or Werther submerged in self-pity for imaginary distresses—you would try to protect him at all costs from any real pain; because, of course, five minutes’ genuine toothache would reveal the romantic sorrows for the nonsense they were and unmask your whole stratagem.

I really thing that the left started to believe its own rhetoric during the Bush years and has never gotten over it. It’s going to take a really nasty piece of reality to shock them out of it.