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Friday, March 11, 2011

Casual Friday Edition

*    Our prayers go out to the people of Japan along with the other coastal areas that may soon be affected by today's earthquake.  I really should say earthquakes, plural.  From Gateway Pundit
So far there have been 18 aftershocks: 8.9, 6.4, 6.4, 6.8, 7.1, 6.3, 6.3, 5.8, 5.9, 6.3, 6.1, 6.1, 5.9, 5.8, 5.7, 5.6, 5.9, 6.2.
The earthquake in Haiti last year registered at 7.0.

*     As I told everyone to expect, blogging has been light this week due to my trip to Jefferson City.  Conversations, discussions, arguments along with drinking often goes long into the night in our state capitol.  I'm not much on that last item, but when the other three are happening I'm having fun.

I spent a good amount of time talking with as many of the State Senators as I could, to express my opposition to Senator Ridgeway's Right to Work bill.  Economic arguments aside for the moment, I'm fighting this bill for three very rational reasons that my fellow Republicans can understand.
  1. Illegal immigration - Right to Work states have a far greater presence of illegal immigrants.  Until the federal government enforces our nation's borders, this will not change.
  2. Public Unions - I'm in favor of restricting the Public Employee Unions collective bargaining.  I believe all Americans can understand the conservative position on this issue when they can separate how they see private and public unions.  In attempting to restrict Private Unions, the distinction becomes less clear and hurts the taxpayers.
  3. Politics - Pushing Right to Work can only succeed as a ballot proposition.  A ballot proposition will bring Democrat voters out in force, especially union voters.  Winning a ballot initiative while losing the Republican majority will end with the repeal of Right to Work in the next legislative session.  In a swing state such as Missouri, it's a no-win issue for Republicans.
*    Speaking of Public Employee Unions....  I find it difficult for a group who is failing in their sworn duties to the people of Wisconsin, while hiding illegally in another state, in order to avoid the results of last year's election to call what happened this week "undemocratic".

Governor Walker wanted to have a full budget appropriations bill, but due to the lack of a quorum of members, the appropriations elements of the bill were removed allowing the bill to pass by simple majority.  This is the opposite of undemocratic.  The majority passed a bill - flat out and simple.  The minority failed in their effort to hijack the process through illegitimate means.  Their only complaint is that they didn't get their way.  That's democracy in action.

Last year, the Republicans and Tea Party didn't get their way on Healthcare Reform because they were in the minority.  After the vote was over, there were no riots and cries of the end of democracy despite a few controversial legislative moves.  Instead conservatives took their argument to the voters and made historic gains in the next election.  That is how democracy works. 

When we lose, we fight our battles at the polls, not in the streets or in the halls of the capitol.  This is a democracy, not a thugocracy.

*    Speaking of the halls of the capitol....    While in the capitol, I spent a lot of time talking with my fellow union leaders and found to my dismay that everything I had to say was news to them.  Generally, my positions reside well on the conservative side of the spectrum, while union leaders are usually found on the opposite.  As we discussed many of the issues before Congress I found that even the well read and knowledgeable leaders of the left were absolutely clueless on the true positions of conservatives.  I won't go into it now, but I will soon post on the Myths about Republicans/Conservatives.  To all my Democrat friends - please look for it.


*    Jack Lew, Director - Office of Management and Budget writes in USA Today that the Social Security Trust Fund is solvent until 2037.  Charles Krauthammer takes Director Lew to task for this fraudulent statement.  He writes at National Review,
The Social Security trust fund is a fiction...[OMB report] “The existence of large trust fund balances, therefore, does not, by itself, have any impact on the government’s ability to pay benefits.” 
....when Jack Lew tells you that there are trillions in this lockbox that keep the system solvent until 2037, he is perpetrating a fiction certified as such by his own OMB. What happens when you retire? Your Social Security will come out of the taxes and borrowing of that fiscal year.
To understand the size of the issue read my post Tell Them About the Twinkie

*     Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota took issue with Representative Peter King's hearings on Radical Islamist groups.  Rep. Ellison made his point by crying while telling a lie.  When the facts are not on your side, just make stuff up.  Gateway Pundit has the story.

*     Bad news for anyone holding out hope that Democrats will be serious about cutting the deficit.  In arguing against the Republicans budget cutting proposals, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, said [h/t Robert Costa, NRO],
“The mean-spirited bill, H.R. 1 … eliminates the National Endowment of the Humanities, National Endowment of the Arts,” said Reid. “These programs create jobs. The National Endowment of the Humanities is the reason we have in northern Nevada every January a cowboy poetry festival. Had that program not been around, the tens of thousands of people who come there every year would not exist.”
Our nation's deficit this year will be over $1.5 trillion, we're literally broke, the states are going broke, the Republicans seek to cut a lousy $61 billion of a $3.5 trillion budget, and the leader of the Democrats refuses to accept the loss of a cowboy poetry festival.  When an animated aardvark and a cowboy poetry festival are unacceptable cuts, you are being completely unserious.

*     Ken Salazar, Interior Department Secretary told Congress that oil production in the gulf remained at an all-time high.  He backed this up by noting the number of oil rigs in the gulf had risen.  What he didn't bother to tell Congress was how many of those rigs were currently operating.  Check out the Energy Tomorrow blog and you will find that before the oil spill, 55 rotary drills were in operation, but only 25 were operating last week. [h/t Gateway Pundit]

*     Nobel-prize-winning-economist-turned-partisan-hack-Paul-Krugman, says that America is not broke as long as they can still borrow money.  Isn't that what led to the financial crash in 2008?  Some economist, huh? [h/t Newsbusters]

*     Just try and imagine President Reagan saying anything like this
“Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China. As one official put it, ‘No one is scrutinizing Hu Jintao’s words in Tahrir Square.’”
Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard took the words right out of my mouth when he commented on the President's current job.
It’s a tough job—maybe tougher than being president of China. But Barack Obama ran for president of the United States. Maybe he should start behaving as one.

Some days I despair.  When will we have the opportunity to have a man like Reagan lead us again?

Do you want to know how proud I am to say I grew up while he was President?

I often wear a Reagan shirt to my Union conferences and meetings.  When you're right, it doesn't matter who thinks you're wrong.

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