“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, March 25, 2011

Karl Rove On The Midwest Governors & Collective Bargaining Repeals

I actually received a comment from a Hoosier on yesterday's post. It's refreshing to know that my sentiments are shared by those enduring such behavior by their state legislators.

On this general topic, Karl Rove wrote an insightful piece in his weekly Wall Street Journal column. He noted that, thanks to Scott Walker's being the first Midwest governor to move decisively to pass public union-limiting legislation, Wisconsin drew all of the attention.

Thus, Ohio's John Kasich was able to propose and have passed much more sweeping legislation with comparatively little publicity. Rove, with his ability to focus on operational details, essentially contends that the public unions, on a national basis, can't support two full-fledged opposition campaigns at once. Thus, while Walker of Wisconsin bore the brunt of the public attention, Kasich of Ohio was able to get Ohio's legislature to enact its public union-limiting laws almost unnoticed.

Rove alluded to something else that, being Illinois-born, I can confirm, and have in prior posts. Whereas Illinois, Iowa, Indiana and Ohio can fluctuate between parties and conservative/liberal leanings, the upper Midwest states of Minnesota and Wisconsin are different. They've always had a much more prominent, distinct quasi-socialist left which reacts differently than the normal Democratic parties of the lower Midwest states. Thus, it's not all that surprising that Wisconsin's teachers' union acted out so brazenly during their walk-off.

Even now, as my reader commented, Indiana is in the spotlight for right-to-work legislation, having already limited public union collective bargaining by governor Mitch Daniels' executive order several years ago.

You might even consider that union leaders, too, chose Wisconsin as the relatively softer target, since they didn't switch their focus to Ohio when Kasich began his efforts to limit public unions.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Now It's Indiana's Democratic Legislators Going AWOL

We're all familiar with the Wisconsin Senate Democrats hiding out in Illinois to prevent a quorum for the vote on repealing the teachers' union's collective bargaining power on non-salary topics. After some fancy maneuvering, inspired by Frisco Nan and Harry Reid last year in passing Obamacare, the Wisconsin Senate Republicans managed to pass their desired bill without a quorum, as a budget-related piece of legislation.

Last I heard, some state judge had issued an injunction of the law. And now, we hear that the union and Wisconsin Democrats are urging recalls. No, not for the missing Democratic Senators. They want the Republicans recalled for passing the bill!

But, I digress.

Over in nearby Indiana, the same thing is going on now. Indiana's legislatures require quorums for all votes. Thus, although, as in Wisconsin, the Republicans hold majorities in both houses, they are not quorums. So Indiana Senate Democrats lit out for Urbana, Illinois, in order to prevent the passage of Governor Mitch Daniels' proposal to limit some activities that benefit unions.

What's with this sudden trend for state legislators to leave a state with impunity? The first I believe I read of this was a few years ago, when Texas Republicans left the state over some redistricting activity. Now we have Wisconsin and Indiana Democrats.

If this happened in my state, I'd be livid. It's the antithesis of a representative democracy. For an elected official to just take off in order to avoid legitimate legistlative activity from occurring isn't right. I'm not big on lots of needless laws, but I'd hope that any legislator who did this would be subject to a near-instant recall.

Do any of these missing legislators actually think they enhance their reputations, or that of their party? Granted, since their districts elected them, they may not be be recalled from such a safe district. But perhaps in the next election cycle, others of their party will be defeated simply on principle.

It should make 2012 interesting for those state legislators who left their states and are up for re-election.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Libyan Conundrums

Wonderboy surely has landed himself in a mess by his non-, then mishandling of the Libyan situation.

Of course there is a wealth of opinion already written regarding his mis-steps. Here are the ones which most concern me.

To begin, it's not so much about his fiddling while the world burns. Rather, it's about his handling of the Libyan military involvement, especially vis a vis his statements as a candidate about such action.

By now, you've probably seen the video or read the words of Wonderboy, the candidate, castigating then-President Bush for his various military actions. Back then, the Illinois junior Senator claimed that a president had to approach Congress for authorization before taking any military action.

In reality, Wonderboy did something quite different. First, he made empty statements about Quadafi, while doing nothing to enforce that 'he must go.'

Then he allowed US forces to participate in the air actions this week, but with a minimal discussion with some Congressional members. Hardly notification or asking for authorization.

Next, from Brazil, Wonderboy stated that the sole reason for US military involvement was the overwhelming agreement by 'the international community,' that a country's leader was engaged in creating a human tragedy by turning his military on them.

Others quickly asked, rhetorically, about an arm's length list of similar situations in which, on those conditions, in which the US should also intervene. Iran, Syria and Zimbabwe were mentioned.

At this point, triangulating Wonderboy's statements and actions expose him as a blatant hypocrite and internationalist, a/k/a 'one worlder.' He's bypassed the Constitution and War Powers Act, contradicted his own promises while a candidate, but claimed that the UN and other nations can command US military involvement, whereas Congress need not be consulted.

All that is, and I think will be, toxic to his re-election efforts. As usual, his sanctimonious habit of claiming one position before the fact, then doing something else in the moment, mark him as fickle and, essentially, a liar.

The crowning piece, however, is the explicit disavowal of US leadership of the Libyan action, while committing US resources. Americans don't want to see US forces under foreign command. Yet that is what is being promised.

Add to that the dismay voters feel as Admiral Mullens indicates he doesn't know what the administration believes the mission and objections for the Libyan campaign are, and you have total confusion.

Instead of a tight, focused, explicable strategy for the Libyan involvement, we have vague, differing statements from various countries' leaders and military about what they are doing in Libya. The prospect of American military personnel and equipment being commanded by foreigners is an affront to Americans. Period.

I suspect Wonderboy's inability to actually make decisions, take risks, and function as the nation's chief executive will both haunt and, ultimately, cripple him.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kim Strassel on President 'Present'

Kim Strassel, the esteemed Wall Street Journal columnist, did a very nice job recently putting Wonderboy's inaction, amidst global upheaval, into proper perspective.

As the woman who broke the embarrassing story that federal employees don't have the so-called 'rights' to collective bargaining that the First Rookie so castigated Wisconsin Governor Walker for daring to rescind, Strassel's missives have a lot of credibility.

Last Friday, Strassel's Journal Potomac Watch column opined that what we're seeing now is the consequence of electing to the Presidency a guy whose prior elected political career has been woefully short, inconsequential, and featured a lot of votes as 'present,' rather than 'yea' or 'nay.'

Strassel goes so far as to suggest that Wonderboy and his political handlers reason that if voting 'present' got him to the Oval Office once, it should work again.

Never mind that his lack of action is having consequences- in Libya, on budget debates, trade, and so on.

Strassel thinks that if the First Rookie doesn't change his attitude and actions soon, he'll probably be out of a job. That even his former colleagues in the Senate won't provide him cover anymore, as his strategy hangs them out to dry in 2012.

I think Strassel's right. With the elected leader of our country essentially refusing to lead- on anything- it's not a stretch to see a reasonable GOP candidate taking the White House in 2012.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Wonderboy's Recent Leisure Time Activities

There's been much made of Wonderboy's recent leisurely fiddling while the world burns around him. Whether it was his excessive golfing, dutiful completion of his NCAA selections while Qaddafi bombed his own people, or his excursion to Rio this weekend, critics and defenders alike are up in arms.

Even the venerable Shelby Steele actually penned a defense of the First Rookie's extra-curricular pursuits in a recent edition of the Wall Street Journal.

I believe these defenders misunderstand the real source of the critics of Wonderboy's recent behaviors.

It's his intransigence and total lack of leadership on anything that has stirred the ire of voters and pundits alike.

From the budget impasse to Egypt, Libya, Japan's post-tsunami nuclear facility challenges, our president has been MIA on them all.

Nobody begrudges the presumptive leader of the free world some time off from the stresses of doing his job.

But we're talking about a guy who's not doing the job. So much so that it's questionable that he, or America, is the leader of the free world.

That's why people are critical and upset. Libya explodes, its dictator murders his own people, but Wonderboy can't be bothered to quit the links for a few hours and enunciate a workable, effective policy of US leadership on a no-fly zone, or whatever else would cause Qaddafi to leave before butchering more of his own populace.

American inaction matters, and, even moreso, our president's.