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

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, June 17, 2011

Wisconsin's Teachers' Union Law Finally Resolved by State Supreme Court

You wouldn't know it by the slim coverage in the media, but earlier this week, the story involving Wisconsin's curtailment of some collective bargaining by teachers had its final resolution.

The Wisconsin state supreme court ruled in favor of the legislature and governor Scott Walker, overturning a lower court decision to stay the new law.

Funny how you haven't seen this happy ending to the Wisconsin public union tale covered as lavishly as the liberal print, network and cable media focused their attention on the initial protests.

But it's great news for Wisconsin taxpayers and a hopeful sign for conservatives elsewhere. Some states are coming to their senses and restoring sanity and limits to public sector employee compensation and negotiation powers.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Public Union Employees Know.....

James Bovard wrote a hilarious editorial in a recent edition of the Wall Street Journal describing his stint with the Virginia Highway Department as a youth, entitled My Summer Road to Perdition.

In it, he quotes his crew's number two man, John, on the subject of the department building a new road,

"Why does the state government have to do this? Private businesses could build the road much more efficiently, and cheaper, too."

The rest of Bovard's editorial detail the shenanigans we all suspect, but rarely actually see, whereby the state employees wasted taxpayers' money while ostensibly doing the public's business.

Ironically, one of my close friends, a public school teacher, echoed Bovard's sentiments regarding a recent local road construction project.

The road in question has been closed or opened for limited usage, with delays, for months. It has, of course, affected nearby roads, completely disturbing pre-existing traffic volumes and patterns and causing huge delays.

What galls my public sector friend is driving by other unionized public sector employees who are doing either nothing, very little, or something at a glacial pace.

As a fellow public sector union employee, he knows what they are doing and told me so,

'They're obviously going slowly to make the project last longer so they are paid more for that work.'

Being a taxpayer, and seeing an activity performed by public sector union employees which could have been bid to private contractors, my friend knows he's paying too much. Of course, as an employee of a monopolized trade- public school teaching- he knows he isn't vulnerable, so he feels safe and entitled to criticize the state and county road crews.

But it's obvious he knows, instinctively, what they are doing. Because he does the same thing.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Michele Bachman's Candidacy

In this post almost a month ago, I provided my personal assessment of the evolving GOP presidential candidate field.

Regarding Michele Bachman, whom I placed among the unelectable, I wrote,

"Bachman- Too little experience. Just too shallow on experience at this point in her life to run successfully against a sitting president."

Ironically, I failed to mention Tim Pawlenty among the undeclared candidates, just as I forgot he was in the South Carolina debate. Embarrassing, but it says how retiring he is. The weird thing is that, right now, he's probably my favorite GOP candidate.

But, back to Michele Bachman. She was the subject of Stephen Moore's feature weekend interview in the Wall Street Journal. Nothing in that piece gave me angst about Bachman's values or beliefs. I liked that she proudly voted against TARP "both times," is appropriately concerned about Libya due to Wonderboy's failure to make a case for the intervention, and reads Von Mises.

Make no mistake- I believe Bachman is motivated, smart, well-educated as she has seen a need for her various political/legislative positions.

I think that, in terms of values and overall conservative disposition, she'd make a great president. But the job is, above and beyond the inevitable crises and presidential initiatives, a very large and potentially-overwhelming executive job. And I'm just not sure Bachman is up to that.

We've got one inexperienced failure in the Oval Office right now.

How does Bachman poll with independents, versus, say, Pawlenty?

But part of me wonders if I'm wrong to judge Bachman by the challenge of running the bloated federal government we have, rather than the smaller government that will be left after she's finished wholesale elimination of functions and cabinet departments.

Maybe it's time we had a Gordian knot-cutter to match, in scope, cutting federal government size the way FDR, LBJ and Wonderboy all expanded it.

Plus, Bachman keeps focusing like a laser on making 2012 a presidential election focused on the economy. If she can succeed with that, and it's clearly any GOP candidate's strongest topic, she might well make voters forget about her lack of executive experience, which matches Wonderboy's weakness, and, instead, vote for her more sensible economic policies.

Finally, I think Bachman is more thoughtful and less likely to go completely off-script and embarrass herself like Sarah Palin tends to do.

So I'd move Bachman to preferable, but I'm uncertain on her electability as yet. A strong showing among independents would change my mind.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Weiner's Leave of Absence Request

In perhaps his most arrogant move yet, compromised setexter and New York Democratic House member Anthony Weiner is now requesting a "leave of absence" from his Congressional post.

Does it get more imperious than this? That a Representative with a self-inflicted career wound won't resign, but, instead, puts himself ahead of his constituents and wants a "leave of absence."

Never mind the needs of his district. Or that his own behavior led to this point.

If he really cared about his voters, he'd resign and say something like,

'If I demonstrate that I've gotten help and resolved my behavioral issues, I'll see if voters are willing to put me back in office.'

Instead, he's clinging to power for dear life. How repugnant. How indicative of corruption and an imperial attitude toward his Congressional seat.

In effect, Weiner thinks the seat is his to do with what he chooses, and, so typically, those pesky voters and their needs are an inconvenience.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Romney's Glass Jaw

I was somewhat shocked and mystified to read in Friday's Wall Street Journal that Mitt Romney is skipping the Iowa straw poll. Of course his handlers pitched it as skipping all straw polls, but the story recalled Mitt's loss to Mike Hickabee in Iowa in 2007. And his fear that a 2011 loss would possibly derail his current lead among GOP candidates.

To paraphrase the Journal's William McGurn, this isn't what we need in the GOP presidential candidate race. We need a bare-knuckled brawl on principles, ideas and philosophies.

Instead, Mitt is trying to run out the clock before the primary season has even begun. Yes, we all know he hopes to win in friendly, neighboring New Hampshire. But after skipping the South Carolina debate, and now Iowa's straw poll, Mitt's beginning to look like Rudy in 2007- wait until some safe later primaries and hope for the best.

So it was mystifying to me that this weekend's Wall Street Journal column by the increasingly-irrelevant Peggy Noonan extolled Mitt's virtues and his "good week."

Most off the mark, I believe, was Noonan's belief that Romneycare actually makes Mitt invulnerable to Wonderboy's attacks. Is she kidding?

Romney is now a living flip-flop on health care. He pushed for a law he now criticizes. He wants to repeal one version of his plan- Obamacare- while bemoaning his own version.

This is strength?

No, it's more of Mitt's bifurcated, self-justifying solipsistic nonsense.

I don't endorse Romney. I don't think he's the GOP's best hope to attract crucial independent voters. But it doesn't bode well for the GOP race when the alleged front-runner is too afraid of loss to even show up in Iowa this summer.

If Mitt is so afraid of his lower-polling Republican competitors, how's he going to handle going up against a sitting president, no matter how weakened?