BIG UNIONS and Politicians (Public and School Unions)

Public-sector unions have been gaming the political system for decades, bankrupting whole cities and plunging states into massive debt. How did this happen and can it be stopped? Akash Chougule, senior policy fellow for Americans for Prosperity, has the answers in this sobering video from Prager University.

Who poses the biggest threat to America’s economy by striking deals with crooked politicians? Big Oil, Big Pharma, or Big Unions? Daniel DiSalvo, political science professor at the City College of New York, gives the answer.

There is a dilemma in American education. On the one hand, teachers are essential to student achievement. On the other, teachers unions promote self-interests of their members which are antithetical to the interests of students. So, how do we fix this problem? In five minutes, Terry Moe, Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, delineates this quandary and offers solutions.

Can every child receive a good education? With school choice and competition, yes. The problem? Powerful teachers unions oppose school choice. But when teachers and parents understand why school choice works, they support it. Rebecca Friedrichs, a public school teacher who took her case against the teachers union all the way to the Supreme Court, explains why school choice is the right choice.

America’s public education system is failing. We’re spending more money on education but not getting better results for our children.

That’s because the machine that runs the K-12 education system isn’t designed to produce better schools. It’s designed to produce more money for unions and more donations for politicians.

For decades, teachers’ unions have been among our nation’s largest political donors. As Reason Foundation’s Lisa Snell has noted, the National Education Association (NEA) alone spent $40 million on the 2010 election cycle (source: http://reason.org/news/printer/big-ed…). As the country’s largest teachers union, the NEA is only one cog in the infernal machine that robs parents of their tax dollars and students of their futures.

Students, teachers, parents, and hardworking Americans are all victims of this political machine–a system that takes money out of taxpayers’ wallets and gives it to union bosses, who put it in the pockets of politicians.

Our kids deserve better.

Is Fascism Right Or Left?

Here is an extended quote from Dinesh D’Souza’s book, THE BIG LIE, detailing the easy switch from socialist leaders and unions to fascist — overnight:

…on March 23, 1919, one of the most famous socialists in Italy founded a new party, the Fasci di Combattimento, a term that means “fascist combat squad.” This was the first official fascist party and thus its founding represents the true birth of fascism. By the same token, this man was the first fascist. The term “fascism” can be traced back to 1914, when he founded the Fasci Rivoluzionari d’Azione Internazionalista, a political movement whose members called them­selves fascisti or fascists.

In 1914, this founding father of fascism was, together with Vladimir Lenin of Russia, Rosa Luxemburg of Germany, and Antonio Gramsci of Italy, one of the best known Marxists in the world. His fellow Marx­ists and socialists recognized him as a great leader of socialism. His decision to become a fascist was controversial, yet he received congratu­lations from Lenin who continued to regard him as a faithful revolution­ary socialist. And this is how he saw himself.

That same year, because of his support for Italian involvement in World War I, he would be expelled from the Italian Socialist Party for “heresy,” but this does not mean he ceased to be a socialist. It was common practice for socialist parties to expel dissenting fellow social­ists for breaking on some fine point with the party line. This party reject insisted that he had been kicked out for making “a revision of socialism from the revolutionary point of view.” For the rest of his life—right until his lifeless body was displayed in a town square in Milan—he upheld the central tenets of socialism which he saw as best reflected in fascism.

Who, then, was this man? He was the future leader of fascist Italy, the one whom Italians called Il Duce, Benito Mussolini.

Mussolini’s socialist credentials were impeccable. He had been raised in a socialist family and made a public declaration in 1901, at the age of eighteen, of his convictions. By twenty-one, he was an orthodox Marx­ist familiar not only with the writings of Marx and Engels but also of many of the most influential German, Italian, and French Marxists of the fin de siecle period. Like other orthodox Marxists, Mussolini rejected religious faith and authored anti-Catholic pamphlets repudiating his native Catholicism.

Mussolini embarked on an active career as a writer, editor, and political organizer. Exiled to Switzerland between 1902 and 1904, he collaborated with the Italian Socialist Party weekly issued there and also wrote for Il Proletario, a socialist weekly published in New York. In 1909 Mussolini made another foreign sojourn to Trento—then part of Austria-Hungary—where he worked for the socialist party and edited its news­paper. Returning the next year to his hometown of Forli, he edited the weekly socialist publication La Lotta di Classe (The Class War). He wrote so widely on Marxism, socialist theory, and contemporary politics that his output now fills seven volumes.

Mussolini wasn’t just an intellectual; he organized workers’ strikes on behalf of the socialist movement both inside and outside of Italy and was twice jailed for his activism. In 1912, Mussolini was recognized as a socialist leader at the Socialist Congress at Reggio Emilia and was appointed to the Italian Socialist Party’s board of directors. That same year, at the age of twenty-nine, he became editor of Avanti!, the official publication of the party.

From the point of view of the progressive narrative—a narrative I began to challenge in the previous chapter—Mussolini’s shift from Marxian socialism to fascism must come as a huge surprise. In the pro­gressive paradigm, Marxian socialism is the left end of the spectrum and fascism is the right end of the spectrum. Progressive incredulity becomes even greater when we see that Mussolini wasn’t just any socialist; he was the recognized head of the socialist movement in Italy. Moreover, he didn’t just climb aboard the fascist bandwagon; he created it.

Today we think of fascism’s most famous representative as Adolf Hitler. Yet as I mentioned earlier, Hitler didn’t consider himself a fascist. Rather, he saw himself as a National Socialist. The two ideologies are related in that they are both based on collectivism and centralized state power. They emerge, one might say, from a common point of origin. Yet they are also distinct; fascism, for instance, had no intrinsic connection with anti-Semitism in the way that National Socialism did.

In any event, Hitler was an obscure local organizer in Germany when Mussolini came to power and, following his famous March on Rome, established the world’s first fascist regime in Italy in 1922. Hitler greatly admired Mussolini and aspired to become like him. Mussolini, Hitler said, was “the leading statesman in the world, to whom none may even remotely compare himself.” Hitler modeled his failed Munich Putsch in November 1923 on Mussolini’s successful March on Rome.

When Hitler first came to power he kept a bust of Mussolini in his office and one German observer termed him “Germany’s Mussolini.” Yet later, when the two men first met, Mussolini was not very impressed by Hitler. Mussolini became more respectful after 1939 when Hitler conquered Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, Norway, and France. Hitler continued to uphold Mussolini as “that unparalleled statesman” and “one of the Caesars” and confessed that without Italian fascism there would not have been a German National Socialism: “The brown shirt would probably not have existed without the black shirt.”

Hitler was, like Mussolini, a man of the Left. Hitler too was a social­ist and a labor leader who founded the German Socialist Workers’ Party with a platform very similar to that of Mussolini’s fascist party. Yet Hitler came to power in the 1930s while Mussolini ruled through most of the 1920s. Mussolini was, during those years, much more famous than Hitler. He was recognized as the founding father of fascism. So any account of the origin of fascism must focus not on Hitler but on Mus­solini. Mussolini is the original and prototypical fascist.

From Socialism to Fascism

So how—to return to the progressive paradigm—do progressives account for Mussolini’s conversion from socialism to fascism, or more precisely for Mussolini’s simultaneous embrace of both? The problem is further deepened by the fact that Mussolini was not alone. Hundreds of leading socialists, initially in Italy but subsequently in Germany, France, and other countries, also became fascists. In fact, I will go further to say that all the leading figures in the founding of fascism were men of the Left. “The first fascists,” Anthony James Gregor tells us, “were almost all Marxists.”

I will cite a few examples. Jean Allemane, famous for his role in the Dreyfus case, one of the great figures of French socialism, became a fascist later in life. So did the socialist Georges Valois. Marcel Deat, the founder of the Parti Socialiste de France, eventually quit and started a pro-fascist party in 1936. Later, he became a Nazi collaborator during the Vichy regimeVacques Doriot a French communist, moved his Parti Populaire Francais into the fascist camp.

The Belgian socialist theoretician Henri de Man transitioned to becoming a fascist theoretician. In England. Oswald Mosley, a socialist and Labor Party Member of Parliament, eventually broke with the Labor Party because he found it insufficiently radical. He later founded the British Union of Fascists and became the country’s leading Nazi sympa­thizer. In Germany, the socialist playwright Gerhart Hauptmann embraced Hitler and produced plays during the Third Reich. After the war, he became a communist and staged his productions in Soviet-dominated East Berlin

In Italy, philosopher Giovanni Gentile moved from Marxism to fas­cism, as did a host of Italian labor organizers: Ottavio Dinale, Tullio Masotti, Carlo Silvestri, and Umberto Pasella. The socialist writer Agos­tino Lanzillo joined Mussolini’s parliament as a member of the fascist party Nicola Bombacci, one of the founders of the Italian Communist Party, became Mussolini’s top adviser in Salo. Gentile’s disciple Ugo Spirito, who also served Mussolini at Salo, moved from Marxism to fascism and then back to Marxism. Like Hauptmann, Spirito became a communist sympathizer after World War II and called for a new “syn­thesis” between communism and fascism.

Others who made the same journey from socialism to fascism will be named in this chapter, and one thing that will become very clear is that these are not “conversion” stories. These men didn’t “switch” from socialism to fascism. Rather, they became fascists in the same way that Russian socialists became Leninist Bolsheviks. Like their Russian coun­terparts, these socialists believed themselves to be growing into fascism, maturing into fascism, because they saw fascism as the most well thought out, practical form of socialism for the new century.

Progressivism simply cannot account for the easy traffic from social­ism to fascism. Consequently, progressives typically maintain complete silence about this whole historical relationship which is deeply embar­rassing to them. In all the articles comparing Trump to Mussolini I searched in vain for references to Mussolini’s erstwhile Marxism and lifelong attachment to socialism. Either from ignorance or from design, these references are missing.

Progressive biographical accounts that cannot avoid Mussolini’s socialist past nevertheless turn around and accuse Mussolini—as the Socialist Party of Italy did in 1914—of “selling out” to fascism for money and power. Other accounts contend that whatever Mussolini’s original convictions, the very fact that his fascists later battled the Marxists and traditional socialists clearly shows that Mussolini did not remain a social­ist or a man of the Left.

But these explanations make no sense. When Mussolini “sold out” he became an outcast. He had neither money nor power. Nor did any of the first fascists embrace fascism for this reason. Rather, they became fascists because they saw fascism as the only way to rescue socialism and make it viable. In other words, their defection was within socialism—they sought to create a new type of socialism that would actually draw a mass following and produce the workers’ revolution that Marx antic­ipated and hoped for.

Vicious fights among socialist and leftist factions are a recognized feature of the history of socialism. In Russia, for example, there were bloody confrontations between the rival Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. Later the Bolsheviks split into Leninists and Trotskyites, and Trotsky ended up dead on Lenin’s orders. These were all men of the Left. What these bloody rivalries prove is that the worst splits and conflicts some­times arise among people who are ideologically very similar and differ on relatively small—though not small to them—points of doctrine.

In this chapter I will trace the development of fascism by showing precisely how it grew out of a doctrinal division within the community of Marxian socialists. In short, I will prove that fascism is exclusively a product of the Left. This is not a case of leftists who moved right. On the contrary, the fascists were on the left end of the socialist movement. They saw themselves not as jettisoning Marxism but as saving it from obsolescence. From their perspective, Marxism and socialism were too inert and needed to be adjusted leftward. In other words, they viewed fascism as more revolutionary than traditional socialism.

[….]

Mussolini didn’t believe in race and he wasn’t initially a nationalist; rather, he was a revolutionary syndicalist. The term syndicalism refers to the associations or syndicates to which workers belonged. These were autonomous workers organizations that resembled unions, but they were not unions because the syndicates were organized regionally rather than by corporation or occupation. As dedicated Marxists, the revolutionary syndicalists agreed with Marx that class associations were primary, and that they must be the organizing principle of socialist revolution.

Very much in keeping with this class emphasis that was so central to Marx, the syndicalists, strongly influenced by Sorel, sought to rally the labor syndicates through a general strike that would overthrow the ruling class and establish socialism in Italy. This is what made them “revolutionary.” They intended to foment revolution, not wait for it to happen. They were considered the smartest, most dedicated people in the Italian Socialist Party and they occupied the left wing of the party.

The big names in revolutionary syndicalism were Giuseppe Prezzolini, Angelo 0. Olivetti, Arturo Labriola, Filippo Corridoni, Paolo Orano, Michele Bianchi, and Sergio Panunzio. Most of them were writ­ers or labor organizers. All of them were socialists, and shortly all of them would be camelascists, even though Labriola opposed Mussolini’s regime when it came to power and Corridoni, who was killed in World War I, didn’t live to see it.

Mussolini was their acknowledged leader. He knew them well and conspired with them at meetings and rallies. He read their books and articles and published in their magazines like the Avanguardia Socialista, founded by Laboriola, which was the leading journal of syndicalist thought. Mussolini also reviewed and published the leading syndicalists in his own socialist publications.

Like all revolutionary socialists, the syndicalists had little faith in democratic parliamentary procedures and, consistent with Sorel and Lenin, they sought a charismatic leader who would inspire the workers to action. Mussolini, more than anyone else, fit their prescription. Mus­solini was the one who led the syndicalists into a union with the nation­alists in order to form the new socialist hybrid called fascism in Italy and (with some modifications) National Socialism in Germany.

The syndicalists organized three general strikes in Italy in 1904, 1911, and 1913. Mussolini supported the strikes. The 1904 strike began in Milan and spread across the country. Five million workers walked off their jobs. The nation was paralyzed: there was no public transportation, and no one could buy anything. Even so, the strike ended without caus­ing either the fall of the government or the installation of socialism.

  • Dinesh D’Souza, The Big Lie: Exposing the NAZI Roots of the American Left (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2017), 65-70, 82-83.

Michael Moore Explains To Us Why Trump Will Win

Michael Moore explains to us why TRUMP will win. Keep in mind Moore is a Hillary guy, but this is his capitulation of sorts — even if to say he predicted it if Trump wins:

I think this is an aspect of what the pollsters aren’t catching. This “steel” and “factory” country of the Midwest. Life-long union members, voting for their best interests. This is why blacks may be voting for Trump in numbers not seen for a Republican candidate since the 1960s — via GATEWAY PUNDIT:

In the past month the number of black voters for Donald Trump has increased significantly.

At the beginning of October 9% of African Americans supported Trump.

Black Likely Voters for TRUMP @Rasmussen_Poll
Oct 3 – 9%
Oct 6 – 12%
Oct 7 – 13%
Oct 10 – 14%
Oct 11 – 19%
Oct 12 – 19%
Oct 13 – 24% !

— Ted Carroll (@mediainvestors) October 13, 2016

The number doubled and has leveled off at 16% support for Donald Trump.

Black Likely Voters for TRUMP @Rasmussen_Poll
Oct 17 – 17%
Oct 18 – 19%
Oct 19 – 18%
Oct 20 – 15%
Oct 21 – 16%
Oct 24 – 15%
Oct 25 – 16%

— Ted Carroll (@mediainvestors) October 25, 2016

This ought to keep Democrats up late at night.

Blacks today make up 22% of the Democratic vote.

November 8th will be a nail biter for sure!

California’s Unfunded Liabilities

Via Moonbat!

Uh oh. California is drowning in red ink:

A financial report issued by state auditors finds that the state of California is in the red by an unsustainable $127.2 billion.

The report says that the state’s negative status increased that year, largely because it spent $1.7 billion more than it received in revenues and wound up with an accumulated deficit of just under $23 billion in fiscal year 2011-2012, the Sacramento Bee stated.

The response of the liberal bureaurats responsible for creating this crippling debt was both appalling and predictable:

A state panel on Wednesday approved a 5% pay raise for Gov. Jerry Brown, legislators and other state elected officials…

The panel’s action boosts the salary of Brown from $165,288 to $173,987 in December, and increases legislators’ pay from $90,520 to $95,291 at the same time. Raises will also be provided to the state attorney general, state treasurer and other constitutional officers.

By putting the cartoonishly irresponsible Jerry Brown back in office, California voters elected to go over the cliff; over the cliff they go. This happened because the population of the erstwhile Golden State has been permanently transformed by massive (and largely illegal) Third World immigration. Now that whites are a minority, whoever is most likely to keep the looting spree going right up to the point of total economic collapse is assured of election. Applying this phenomenon nationwide is the purpose of the current amnesty bill.

And the Sacramento Bee ended with this chilling outlook:

…The report listed the state’s long-term obligations at $167.9 billion, nearly half of which ($79.9 billion) were in general obligation bonds, with another $30.8 billion in revenue bonds, many of which were issued to build state prisons, whose “revenue” is lease payments from the state general fund.

The list of long-term obligations did not include the much-disputed unfunded liabilities for state employees’ future pensions, nor the $60-plus billion in unfunded liabilities for retiree health care. The Governmental Accounting Standards Board and Moody’s, a major bond credit rating house, have been pushing states and localities to include unfunded retiree obligations in their balance sheets and were they to be added to California’s, it could push its negative net worth down by several hundred billion dollars.

…read more…

Remember this older upload about Cali’s unfunded liabilities:

The Author of “Pluder” Interviewed from Papa Giorgio on Vimeo.

HotAir nails it!

Since it’s not a web ad featuring a super cool, hipster-celebrity making suggestive analogies about President Obama’s oh-so-dreamy and glamorous political qualities, I doubt it will get nearly the same traffic as Team Obama’s recent Lena Dunham ad — which is most unfortunate, because rather than a cotton-candy, war-on-women appeal to the youths, we actually see the real-world effect that Obama’s policies have had on hardworking, middle-class Americans.

President Obama’s policies have been brutal to the business world, and small businesses in particular. An onslaught of red-tape regulations, ObamaCare, the threat of higher taxes, generally poor economic growth — none of these have been kind to entrepreneurs or owners trying to grow their outfits. Despite the Obama administration’s several showy moves to come to the aid of small business, their vital signs just haven’t picked up, via Bloomberg Businessweek:

The measure estimates employment at independent companies with fewer than 20 employees that use Intuit’s online payroll product. Companies with fewer than 20 workers make up nearly 90 percent private employers in the U.S. …

Companies with fewer than 20 employees have actually shed jobs during the economic recovery; the Intuit Small Business Employment Index was 0.9 percent lower in October 2012 than in July 2009. Moreover, since May, the index has moved in the opposite direction from BLS estimates of overall employment, with Intuit reporting a loss of 10,000 small business jobs in each of the last two months alone. …

Compensation and hours are similarly weak. Adjusting for inflation and seasonality, monthly compensation for all employees (including the owners) at businesses with fewer than 20 employees is 10.2 percent lower than when the president took office.

California is in a worse boat that Virginia, for instance, we [California] have ranked dead last 8-years in a row as far as a business friendly environment goes:

Editorial (OC Register): CEOs rate California dead last for business, again

It was alarming the first three or four times California was ranked last among 50 states for business environment. Now, Chief Executive magazine’s annual ranking, based on a survey of 650 chief executives on taxation, regulation, workforce quality and living environment, again places California dead last, 50th of 50 – for the eighth year in a row.

Eight years in a row ceases to be alarming. It now is a defining status.

[….]

Gov. Jerry Brown insists those who say California is unfriendly to business are wrong. But Mr. Brown, of course, is not the chief executive officer of a private business. He is the top executive of a deficit-burdened, intrusive, bloated government bureaucracy that has perfected squandering other peoples’ money while botching delivery of services such as education and lavishing public employees with unaffordable pay and benefits.

California public school teachers are the nation’s highest-paid, while their students’ performance ranks among the worst. The state’s various unfunded pension and retirement health care benefits promise to bankrupt the already overextended government.

As chief executive opinions go, Mr. Brown’s are considerably less credible than CEO magazines’ private-sector leaders.

“California’s enduring place of perpetual decline continues in this year’s ranking,” the magazine said. “Once the most attractive business environment, the Golden State appears to slip deeper into the ninth circle of business hell.”

The CEOs aren’t alone in their harsh critique. The state got an “F” grade in January from Thumbtack.com and the Kauffman Foundation in a survey of 6,000 small businesses across the nation, and the Tax Foundation ranked California 48th worst on business taxes.

There is little prospect of improvement. Despite finding itself in a hole, state government keeps digging. This week the state Senate Judiciary Committee killed a California Chamber of Commerce-sponsored job-creator bill to protect employers from inappropriate litigation.

Mr. Brown’s Air Resources Board is ratcheting up costly new regulations and preparing an ill-advised cap-and-trade carbon-emissions auction to coerce private energy providers to do things the government’s way. The governor and other Big Government champions also are advancing proposals for the November ballot to extract upwards of another $20 billion per year in taxes.

As CEO magazine’s poll shows, the state’s failings are obvious to business people. But Mr. Brown and California’s other governmental leaders just don’t get it.

This entire article is imported from American Thinker, and even though it is dated, maybe many Californians missed this HUGE problem prior to the election?

California’s Half-Trillion-Dollar Pension Fund Mess: Blame Jerry Brown
By Jane Jamison

California is the nation’s shameful example of what happens when Democrats influenced by big-government labor rule the statehouse for forty years.

With 12.5% unemployment (up from 4.5% a mere three years ago) and a “recognized” budget deficit of $21 billion, California has just found that out it is in much, much more financial trouble than anyone, especially a Democrat, really wants to admit.

California’s governor Schwarzenegger commissioned a study by Stanford University, which has found that California’s three public employee pension funds (The California Public Employees’ Retirement System [CalPERS], California State Teachers’ Retirement System [CalSTRS], and University of California Retirement System [UCRS]) lost $109.7 billion in portfolio value in one year (June ’08 to June ’09) and are currently in shortfall of “more than half a trillion dollars.”

By law, California taxpayers are required to pay the public employees’ pensions shortfalls that may occur. Local governments cannot “print money” as the federal government does to cover budget deficits.

What should have been considered a huge scandal in the state pension fund system in the past year got little attention but is more pertinent now: The two largest plans, CalPERS and CalSTRS, were reportedly near bankruptcy in 2009 after it was learned the funds had lost from 25%-41% of their value due to risky investments in real estate and the stock market. Former employees of the state plans were accused in January of getting huge fees to direct pension investments to certain banks or ventures.

There are outrageous examples of abuse in the California public pension system.

PensionTsunami.com, which has been tracking the pension fund liability issue for five years, has found that 9, 233 retired members of CalPERS or CalSTRS receive more than $100,000 per year in retirement benefits, amounting to more than a billion dollars a year.

The retired city administrator of Vernon, California, Bruce Malkenhorst, receives an annual pension of $449,675 from CalPERS. Vernon, a Los Angeles suburb, has 92 residents.

California’s state employee pension fund liabilities have ballooned for years with increased numbers of state employees, many of whom can retire at age 50, can “spike” their last years’ income with overtime to increase their retirement, and can then move on to other government or private jobs without losing their pensions.

Why should Californians care about this confusing, complicated budget problem with a huge, unfathomable invoice attached? David Crane, writing for the Los Angeles Times, says that today’s pension fund shortfall is tomorrow’s budget cut to something some Californian is likely to miss.

In California’s case, past pension underfunding means reduced funding of current programs. This explains why pension costs rose 2,000% from 1999 to 2009, while state funding for higher education declined over the same period.

Californians are feeling the pain of the budget crisis, but they often misplace their criticisms.

Let’s go to the videotape this year of the many demonstrations on the many University of California campuses, where students have rioted against proposed 32% state tuition increases and program cuts.

Approximately 22,000 California teachers have just received “pink slips” indicating that they may be laid off due to budget cuts next fall. An additional 20,000 were laid off last year. California is cutting “live” teachers out of classrooms in order to pay for retired teachers.

California schools have gone from number one in the country in the 1970s to at or near the bottom in performance and funding.

Who is to blame for this ticking-time bomb of unfunded public pension liability?

“Thank” Jerry Brown. As Governor “Moonbeam” of California in 1978, he signed the “Dill Act,” which gave California public employees the right to collective bargaining.

Brown, who has been governor, Oakland mayor, and attorney general, now wants to be California governor…again. Four big, grateful government labor unions are backing him…again.

Speaking recently to the Service Employees International Union, Jerry Brown “the populist” said he was proud to have given state employees “the choice” to belong to unions in the ’70s, and he will “take a look” at the pension funds to make sure that they are actuarially sound. Big applause line.

Speaking to another union group in Sacramento, Brown was caught on videotape asking the labor leaders to “do the dirty work” and “attack” Republican candidates who oppose him in the governor’s race. (Hear it here.)

Who else is to blame?

Since Brown gave them a green light in the 1970s, public employee unions have become a muscular, dominating force in California politics. State employee unions spent a whopping $31.7 million on state races just from 2001-2006, according to the California Fair Political Practices commission — higher than any other group, including corporations. The majority-Democrat California legislature has voted accordingly.

What can be done?

Jerry Brown the rerun, who is running technically unopposed by any other candidate in the Democratic primary, has been oddly silent on his state’s dire budgetary woes. His campaign site news releases do not mention budget problems.

At the same time, it has been noted by the tabloid media that Jerry Brown has been weirdly over-involved as California’s attorney general, his current job, in the celebrity death investigations of Anna Nicole Smith, Michael Jackson, and Corey Haim. His office spent several months investigating ACORN employees who were caught in a videotape sting organizing houses of prostitution in government housing. Brown has just determined that there will be no prosecution of ACORN in his state.

Brown also went to the unusual extra step to seal his gubernatorial records from his 1970s-’80s term for fifty years. (U.S. presidents can seal records only up to twelve years for national security purposes.)

Brown refuses to join with fourteen other states’ attorneys general in challenging the recently-passed health care reform law, even though it will mandate billions more in unfunded expenses to the financially-strapped California Medicaid program. He says that to challenge Obamacare would be to engage in “poisonous partisanship.”

Republican gubernatorial candidates are tacking the pension fund liability:

Steve Poizner says he supports a “two-tier” system for current and new state employees but doesn’t think that a new governor will be able to come in and “steamroll” the unions.

Meg Whitman has campaigned on cutting state employee rolls and advocates “401(k)” style pensions for government workers and higher retirement ages (from age 50 to 55 or 65).

What can California do?

The U.S. Constitution technically does not allow for states to go bankrupt. Vallejo, California was the first city in the country to go bankrupt and has been establishing new “tiers” of retirement plans for police and fire employees.

The newly-elected governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, is tackling government employees’ unions to some effect. Christie has announced his intentions to cut substantially from government executive positions, privatize other state jobs, and cut positions.

There has been criticism of increased funding and budget overruns for state prisons due to the influence of the California prison guards’ union.

The Citizen Power Campaign seeks to “unplug” the public employee unions and is endorsed by many of the conservative candidates for office in California, including Republican Steve Poizner for governor.

One thing California clearly does not need is the déjà vu “hair of the dog” in the person of 1970s retread Democrat Jerry Brown.

Jane Jamison is editor news/commentary blog UNCOVERAGE.net.

Unions Monopolize Through “Green” Regulations in Los Angeles

Video Description:

Larry Elder interviews Randy Thomas… Randy lost his business through regulations “said” to save the environment… however, during the course of this program we learn how the Teamster (and other) Unions of California use Federal EPA and California “green” mandates to close down mom-and-pop businesses and force them onto the Union dole.

Only between BIG-business and BIG-government can true monopolies exist (Milton Freidman)… and you see here a stark example of the unions in California doing ALL they can to shut down forcefully the free-market options in Democrat run cities. (This has been going on for 5-years.)

Inserted into this upload is a NASA “aeresol” map that the jet-streams/trade-winds move primarily from India and China to America and other parts of the world. So the artificial readings often in L.A. are messaged by the left who are fully aware that their regulations have no environmental impact. They are — instead — means for leftist cities to join forces with unions to fill their dole and keep the votes coming in for them.

To see an example of how this works, see “The Machine” by ReasonTV.

For more clear thinking like this from Larry Elder… I invite you to visit:

The First Union To Endorse Then-Senator Obama~Pissed

This story comes via Breitbart:

The 300,000-member union that was the first to endorse then-Senator Barack Obama has released a devastating Obamacare report that says Obama’s controversial healthcare program will slash worker wages by up to $5 an hour, reduce worker hours, and exacerbate income inequality.

The report by Unite Here–a North American labor union that represents workers in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, and airport industries–is titled: “The Irony of ObamaCare: Making Inequality Worse.”

“Ironically, the Administration’s own signature healthcare victory poses one of the most immediate challenges to redressing inequality,” states the 12-page report. “We take seriously the promise that ‘if you like your health plan, you can keep it. Period.’ UNITE HERE members like their health plans.”

The report features first-person testimonials and photos of union members describing how Obamacare is personally hurting them and their families–the same kinds of stories that Majority Senator Harry Reid said are “all untrue” and that progressive New York Times columnist Paul Krugman mocked as”nonexistent” in his piece “Health Care Horror Hooey.”

[….]

Last week, Unite Here Donald Taylor discussed the possibility of a union worker strike over Obamacare and said, “Even though the president and Congress promised we could keep our health plan, the reality is, unless the law is fixed, that won’t be true.”

The Unite Here report further exacerbates Democrats’ already daunting electoral hurdles heading into the  midterm elections, now less than eight months away.

Union members are not alone in opposing Obamacare. According to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls, just 38% of Americans now support Obamacare.

(Read It All)

The Union`s Chickens Coming Home to Roost

Silence Is Louder than Words

In the run-up to a possible government shutdown, the White House’s allies in organized labor are mostly silent…” ~ Politico (via Sweetness & Light)

SEIU unionists strike over Obamacare-related cuts

Members of the Chicago-based Service Employees International Union Local 1 have gone on strike over recent job cuts by a janitorial company called Professional Maintenance.

The reason for the cuts? The employer says it is because of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. This is ironic since SEIU is a major supporter of the law.

Tyler French, Local 1’s organizing director, told Mediatrackers Ohio the company claimed it had to cut its employees’ hours due to Obamacare mandates.

French did not believe the explanation, though, calling it the “latest excuse in a long line of many that we’ve seen from corporate America.”

But others throughout the organized labor movement have warned that such actions will be a direct consequence of the President Obama’s health care law.

(From a BIG post on this topic)

Continuing…

At the AFL-CIO’s convention in Los Angeles earlier this month, Loretta Johnson, secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers, said it was already happening in her union.

“We are seeing employer after employer cut hours so as to avoid the 30-hour definition of a full-time job,” Johnson said. The AFL-CIO passed a resolution demanding either Congress or Obama fix the law to stop it from hurting union members.

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 American Thinker astutely comments:

….The irony in this case is rich. And the union’s denial of the reason for the cuts is childish. We have seen union after union plead with Obama for relief. Some received waivers that allow them to delay implementation of Obamacare’s rules and regulations. But most find themselves stuck with a law that is going to impoverish their members. It just never occurred to these labor bosses that a government program could actually harm them.

[….]

As with everything else related to Obamacare, the law of unintended consequences rules.

Chevy Volt ~ Government Backed Failure

Lonely Conservative mentions the inevitable:

Ah well, I guess they figure if they lose enough money on Volt production they can just come back to the taxpayer trough for another big bailout.

Nearly a year ago General Motors was losing almost $50,000 for each Chevrolet Volt it built. Now GM’s business model, driven by trendy environmentalism, calls for it to cut the price and lose even more money.

The green lobby wants more hybrids and plug-in electric cars on the roads. Therefore the president wants 1 million electrics humming around by 2015 — and the carmakers have to ignore market reality under pressure to do what the environmentalist-political complex demands.

Even if it makes no sense. ….

This time it’s because the automaker is going to drop the price by $5,000. USA Today reports that with “a full $7,500 federal tax credit, the price is cut to $27,495,” a figure that doesn’t include some state tax credits.

Aside from those whose egos demand that they use their cars to scream out their moral superiority as environmentalists, and maybe a few enthusiasts who dabble in the technology, does anyone really want these electric cars? Their dismal sales numbers simply do not justify their existence.

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Government Intervention Creates Zero Capital

“A fundamental principle of information theory is that you can’t guarantee outcomes… in order for an experiment to yield knowledge, it has to be able to fail. If you have guaranteed experiments, you have zero knowledge” ~ George Gilder

If Detroit is an example of small government-God Help Us All!!

God Help us All!!

If Detroit is an example of small government… God Help Us All!! Melissa Harris Perry forgets that Detroit has been run by unions and big government Democrats for over 5 decades, and was then bailed out and over-regulated by the current administration… how convenient.

As the Chicks on the Right mention…

….Meanwhile, back in Reality-Land, National Review’s writer Kevin Williamson gave us all the real picture of Detroit back in 2011, while it was on its path to bankruptcy, when he penned the following:

Detroit maintains 13,000 government workers but has 22,000 government retirees burrowed into the body politic, and their health-care subsidies alone account for nearly $200 million of the city’s budget. Pensions alone already account for a quarter of city spending; in three years, they will account for half. Pensions and city workers’ health-care subsidies account for $561 per year from every resident of Detroit, which has a very poor population — average monthly income of barely $1,200 before taxes, a fifth of the population in poverty, etc. The official unemployment rate is 30 percent; the real rate is much higher.

But never mind all that. The answer to EVERYTHING for MHP and all her little commie friends at MSNBC is government, government, government, dontchaknow.  If Detroit JUST would’ve had more GOVERNMENT and more spending….then it would’ve been fine, minions

Gay Patriot brought my attention to a failed prophecy of Obama’s wonderful handle on economics 101.

As Michael Barone reported yesterday in the Washington Examiner:

National Journal’s Major Garrett has an excellent column today looking back on President Obama’s 2011 Labor Day speech in Detroit. “This is a city that has been to heck and back,” Obama said then. “And while there are still a lot of challenges here, I see a city that’s coming back.” Noting that Obama cited the “advanced battery industry taking root here in Michigan,” Garrett points out that the battery firm in question, A123 Systems, received $249 million in Energy Department grants–and is now bankrupt. And of course so is the city of Detroit.

In matters economical, this man’s powers of prognostication aren’t particularly strong.

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Moonbat points out — of course — that the “official” numbers from the White House, even if true, are REAL BAD!

Barack Hussein Obama set out to be a transformative president. He has already succeeded. Presidential spokesliar Jay Carney recently credited the Regime with creating 7.2 million private sector jobs. Even if that preposterous boast were true, it would hardly put a dent in Obama’s legacy:

Since February of 2009, the first full month of Obama’s presidency, 9.5 million Americans have dropped out of the labor force. Nearly 90 million Americans are not working today!

That means that 1.3 Americans have dropped out of the labor force for every one job the administration claims to have created.

There are 15 million more Americans on food stamps today than when Obama assumed office. …

That means that more than two Americans have been added to the food stamp rolls for every one job the administration says it has created.

If we were to take how many jobs the Regime actually has created — limited mainly to the overstaffing of the largely useless federal bureaucracy — and subtract from it the number of jobs it has destroyed through ObamaCare and excessive taxation and regulation in general, the number of new jobs for which Obama deserves credit would be millions in the negative.

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The Three Big Labor Unions Write the Prez a Letter About Obama-Care (That Is, `Being Swindled`)

Via The Washington Examiner:

74% of small businesses will fire workers, cut hours under Obamacare

Despite the administration’s controversial decision to delay forcing companies to join Obamacare for a year, three-quarters of small businesses are still making plans to duck the costly law by firing workers, reducing hours of full-time staff, or shift many to part-time, according to a sobering survey released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“Small businesses expect the requirement to negatively impact their employees. Twenty-seven percent say they will cut hours to reduce full time employees, 24 percent will reduce hiring, and 23 percent plan to replace full time employees with part-time workers to avoid triggering the mandate,” said the Chamber business survey provided to Secrets.

Under Obamacare, just 30 hours — not the nationally recognized 40 hours — is considered full-time. Companies with 50 full-time workers or more are required to provide health care, or pay a fine.

[….]

Other key findings from the Chamber survey:

— 77 percent continue to think the U.S. economy is on the wrong track. However, small businesses are more optimistic about their local economy and individual business.

— The majority (61 percent) of small businesses do not have plans to hire next year.

— Concerns about regulation have increased significantly from 35 percent last quarter to 42 percent now. Small businesses are looking for leadership on issues that will remove barriers and encourage growth.

— 88 percent of all small businesses support addressing entitlement spending to resolve America’s growing financial challenges and escalating debt.

— 83 percent support congressional efforts to reform the tax code — with the majority focusing on making it less complex.

— 81 percent of small businesses surveyed believe the immigration system is broken and needs to be reformed.

— In contrast to the president’s recent speech pushing new energy regulations, 90 percent of small businesses support easing EPA regulations and opening up more federal lands for drilling.

…read more…

Via Forbes:

Labor Unions: Obamacare Will ‘Shatter’ Our Health Benefits, Cause ‘Nightmare Scenarios’

Labor unions are among the key institutions responsible for the passage of Obamacare. They spent tons of money electing Democrats to Congress in 2006 and 2008, and fought hard to push the health law through the legislature in 2009 and 2010. But now, unions are waking up to the fact that Obamacare is heavily disruptive to the health benefits of their members.

Last Thursday, representatives of three of the nation’s largest unions fired off a letter to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, warning that Obamacare would “shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.”

The letter was penned by James P. Hoffa, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Joseph Hansen, international president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union; and Donald “D.” Taylor, president of UNITE-HERE, a union representing hotel, airport, food service, gaming, and textile workers.

“When you and the President sought our support for the Affordable Care Act,” they begin, “you pledged that if we liked the health plans we have now, we could keep them. Sadly, that promise is under threat…We have been strong supporters of the notion that all Americans should have access to quality, affordable health care. We have also been strong supporters of you. In campaign after campaign we have put boots on the ground, gone door-to-door to get out the vote, run phone banks and raised money to secure this vision. Now this vision has come back to haunt us.”

[….]

What surprises me about this is that union leaders are pretty strategic when it comes to employee benefits. It was obvious in 2009 that Obamacare’s employer mandate would incentivize this shift. Why didn’t labor unions fight it back then?

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Via HotAir:

Krauthammer: Unions are in a state of “desperation and disappointment” over ObamaCare

One of Democrats’ most traditionally loyal and vociferous factions of support, Big Labor is most upset about the law they for which they very proactively helped to shore up support and make sure stayed in place.

The usually solid benefits and health care options, for instance, are traditionally some of the biggest attractions for even being in a union in the first place; but with ObamaCare mucking up their multi-employer health plan system and with employers moving to part-time employees right and left, unions are now in an outraged and yet entirely predictable panic:

[Big Labor Wakes Up to ObamaCare]

The first union grievance is that the employer mandate is leading business to hold worker hours below 30 hours a week to comply with the Administration’s regulatory definition. Despite the one-year suspension of the mandate, many businesses that must provide insurance or pay a penalty are shifting to part-time labor, and the union chiefs explain that “fewer hours means less pay while also losing our current health benefits.” Nice to know Mr. Hoffa is reading these columns.

The unions are also aggrieved because they have failed to gain special subsidies for the multi-employer health insurance plans allowed under the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. The White House had no legal authority to grant such a request, so refusing to do so for a major political patron showed unusual restraint. …

What Mr. Hoffa and the other union reps don’t mention amid their cold sweats is that less employer-provided insurance means less of a role for unions as middle men in contract negotiations….

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Via Real Clear Politics:

Krauthammer: Unions Got “Swindled” By Obamacare, In State Of “Desperation And Disappointment”

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: It is true, they supported the bill, they supported the administration, they helped elect it, had the boots on the ground and they were swindled, but it isn’t as if they weren’t warned. People who looked at the bill said the way it is constructed, there’s this huge incentive for any business, small business, to drop the number of employees under 50, the firms are now known as the 49ers, so people get fired as a way to get under the requirement of employer mandate.

It also means that a lot of full time employees are going to lose at least ten hours of work, they have to get under 30 hours. So, if you’re a full-time worker now, you’re not going to be able to support a family on part time income. But the worst is as you indicated, that they’re going to lose their members. The glory of the union movement is that beginning in the second World War when there were wage and price controls, companies competed against each other by including health care in the package. That was the beginning of that. And that’s one of the great achievements of unions.

Now what they’re seeing is workers are looking at the exchanges and seeing, ‘I can drop out of the employer plan, I get a huge subsidy, I come out ahead, and don’t have to be a member of the union.’ So this is a disaster for the unions and that’s why you have this letter of desperation and disappointment. (Special Report, July 17, 2013)

Hostess Twinkies Are Returning To Store Shelves In July ~ Non-Union!

Via Gateway Pundit!

Hostess union workers were hoping its new owners would rehire them after purchasing the bankrupt cakes company. Didn’t happen.

[….]

…The trimmed-down Hostess Brands LLC has a far less costly operating structure than the predecessor company. Some of the previous workers were hired back, but they’re no longer unionized.