Saturday, April 04, 2009

New York Times to Close Boston Globe Unless Unions Meet Times Demands

Image: blog kindle

The New York Times Company has threatened to close the Boston Globe unless unions meet specific demands, including pay cuts and the end of Times pension contributions. This is ironic considering the flagship paper, the New York Times, considers saving itself as critical to the world as as genocide in Darfur!

Of note: the New York Times has done little reporting on the controversial Union “Card Check” bill – the most recent article(in the Times Blog Section, no less) : a piece on Actors from the now-defunct series “West Wing” reads like a “fluff” piece:

The actors spent quite a bit of time promoting what’s known as the Employee Free Choice Act, legislation that would allow for easier organizing by workers. Strong opposition by business lobbies and Republicans has helped stall the issue, as the Senate and the House wade through other measures like the $787 billion stimulus package and the $3.6 trillion budget.

The Times, they are a-changing – although the editorial stance is consistently left of left, when it comes to push, shove and the almighty dollar, the concept of dealing with the high cost of unions is reason enough to close down a shop in order to avoid meeting union demands. Perhaps Chrysler, GM and Ford should have taken a page from the New York Times playlist.

Tax Day Tea Party – From the Bay State to the Windy City to the Golden Gates

“Yes We Can” – Reject Higher Taxes and Fees - Massachusetts Residents across the State have planned Tax Day Tea Party’s for April 15th in the following locations:

  • Boston, Statehouse, 10 am – 8 pm
  • Lowell, JFK Plaza, Lowell City Hall, 4 pm – 8 pm
  • Pittsfield, Park Square, 4pm – 6 pm
  • Springfield, Post Office, Corner of Main and Liberty, 4 pm – 6 pm
  • Worcester, Lincoln Square, in front of the Auditorium, 4 pm – 6 pm

  • Over in Illinois, home to Lincoln and Barak Obama, citizens will be holding two Tax Day Tea Party’s in the City of Chicago:

  • Chicago, 12 – 2 pm, Daily Plaza
  • Chicago, Navy Pier, 4:30 pm – 9 pm Young Republicans, Tall Ship – Recreation of the Boston Tea Party (for info on this event visit Hillbuzz

  • Astoundingly, there will be a Tax Day Tea Party at the following location:
  • San Francisco, Civic Center Park, 11 am – 1 pm. One should not expect the current speaker to attend.

    There are Tax Day Tea Party’s being held across the country, the website Tax Day Tea has listings for each state. The event is sponsored in part, by the following groups: Smart Girl Politics, Top Conservatives of Twitter, and The Don’t Go Movement.

    By most accounts, these groups are conservative – that said, regardless of who may be sponsoring this particular brand of protest, anyone, regardless of party affiliation, should consider taking part. The term, “no taxation without representation” was the rallying cryfor the original Boston Tea Party, which is credited as the beginning of the Colony’s (States), war for Independence against Great Britain.

    Our country was founded based on a refusal to pay taxes without representation – one might argue that U.S. citizens are represented by their respective Congress and Senate members; that said, with a two party system so deeply committed to a bizarre competition of “who brings the most pork” home to a district or state, in order to continue to maintain their seat of power indefinitely (argument for term limits right there), those members no longer have the time to do the business of the people, rather they are committed to a political party first, their ability to maintain their own power second.

    Finally, One must, however, give credit where credit is due – therefore, to be fair to the fiscally conservative members of both party’s who voted Nay on passing the bloated Obama budget, a thank you should be sent to the 176 Republicans (All) and 20 Democrats who voted Nay. These members are:

    Barrett (SC)
    Barton (TX)
    Bishop (UT)
    Bono Mack
    Brady (TX)
    Broun (GA)
    Brown (SC)
    Brown-Waite, Ginny
    Burton (IN)
    Coffman (CO)
    Davis (KY)
    Deal (GA)
    Diaz-Balart, L.
    Diaz-Balart, M.
    Donnelly (IN)
    Franks (AZ) Frelinghuysen
    Garrett (NJ)
    Gingrey (GA)
    Hall (TX)
    Hastings (WA)
    Johnson (IL)
    Johnson, Sam
    Jordan (OH)
    King (IA)
    King (NY)
    Kline (MN)
    Lee (NY)
    Lewis (CA)
    Lungren, Daniel E.
    Markey (CO)
    McCarthy (CA)
    McMorris Rodgers
    Miller (FL)
    Miller (MI)
    Minnick Mitchell
    Moran (KS)
    Murphy, Tim
    Poe (TX)
    Price (GA)
    Roe (TN)
    Rogers (AL)
    Rogers (KY)
    Rogers (MI)
    Ryan (WI)
    Smith (NE)
    Smith (NJ)
    Smith (TX)
    Thompson (PA)
    Wilson (SC)
    Young (AK)
    Young (FL)
  • Friday, April 03, 2009

    Jobless Rate rises to 8.5% - the Obama/Carter Misery Index

    Obama - Carter photo:

    The jobless rate in the country has increasesd to 8.5 percent with 633,000 additional jobs lost in March. This rate is just .5 percent below the Carter unemployment rate of 9% in 1979.

    Add inflation and the Misery Index (combination of unemployment and inflation) may rise above Carter's 20% sooner than anticipated.

    Inflation rose dramatically after Carter approved a 4 billion dollar job creation (stimulus) package (email for full article). (Adjusted for inflation, that job stimulus package would cost approximately$14,448,797,250.86.) Interest rates on new home loans rose to an average of 14% by 1979, causing a "housing slump". Bloated budgets, stimulus, auto bailouts (yes it has happenned before), and bank bailouts, all contributed to the "misery".

    Should the current administration fail to reign in government spending, and roll-back the stimulus (as suggested by certain Republican's), one thing is certain: History will repeat itself.

    YouTube - Rap of the Week: Card Checkin

    Deval Patrick Plans Second Run for Governor – Despite Many Missteps and Dismal Poll Showings

    Massachusetts Governor,Deval Patrick (D), has voiced is intent to run for second term in 2010, despite his administrations multiple missteps and sliding poll ratings. Recent polls have the governor approval rating at 28%, and the chances of that number improving over the next year is unlikely, given the controversy surrounding several unpopular steps taken by the administration.

    The most notable is the ongoing debate over the Massachusetts Gas Tax; Patrick originally asked for a .19 cent per gallon increase in the state gasoline tax, which would have Massachusetts residents paying the highest gas tax in the nation. The backlash to the tax comes from both Massahcusetts”> business leaders, as well as the general public. A recent petition signed by over 16,000 Massachusetts residents (Western Mass), was handed to Lieutenant Governor, Tim Murry.

    Why the tax increase? To cover salaries for the corrupt and embattled MBTA, and ostensibly to repair roads and bridges in the state – those familiar with the behemoth of bureaucracy that is the MBTA, understand that any past increases have resulted in higher salaries and few improvements in the highways and byways – the infamous Big Dig is one of the projects.

    Patrick’s most recent gaffe is the hiring of individuals for government positions at high salaries – most notable – the recent hire of State Sen. Marion Walsh (D), to a position with a salary of $175,000, which Walsh declined due to the uproar in the Bay State.

    What is most upsetting to Massachusetts residents is the dismal economy in the state, increases in taxes and fees on an ongoing basis, loss of jobs due to the states high corporate taxes, and the constant threat of budget cuts from the corner office crying poor. The same office who consistently creates positions for “friends” at higher than average salaries – and then describes the outcry over press coverage of his boondoggles as ”trivial”.

    Most of the Pressure on the Governors’ decisions to consistently pad the Sate Payroll, has been brought by Massachusetts GOP Chair, Jennifer Nassour: (On the recent Walsh Hiring)

    MassGOP Chairman Jennifer Nassour said, "The Massachusetts Republican Party stood up for the taxpayers by protesting the creation of a patronage job for a supporter of Governor Patrick, and we are pleased that Senator Walsh has done the right thing by refusing the appointment. This absurd process has taught us, once again, that we cannot rely on the Patrick Administration to seek real, meaningful reform on Beacon Hill. Unbelievably, Governor Patrick still contends HEFA set the proposed salary at $175,000, when emails from his own staff clearly show a Governor's Office determined to give Senator Walsh a $100,000 pay raise."

    "Attention should now be turned to rooting out waste and inefficiency throughout government in order to relieve the tax burden on working families. Thousands of people lost their jobs last month, and I call on the Governor to work as hard at creating jobs for those people as he did at creating a job for a political ally," concluded Nassour”

    According to the poll (here), Patrick could face defeat in 2010 from just about anyone, regardless of Party affiliation; the consensus appears that Patrick must go. To borrow a phrase from Patrick’s campaign, Massachusetts is saying “Yes We Can” boot you to the curb.

    Lest anyone forget: This is Deval Patrick's Campaign on "Yes We Can"
    ("Yes We Can Drive Massachusetts into the Ground")

    Thursday, April 02, 2009

    Along the US-Canadian Watchtowers - Beefed Up Security in Michigan and New York

    The US Border Patrol is installing additional video surveillance in two areas, the borders between the U.S. and Canada in, of all places, Buffalo, New York and Detroit Michigan. With the “War on Terror” now politically incorrect, and a credible threat on the White House by some that may disagree with U.S. President Barack Obama, in Pakistan and Afghanistan, it is no accident that these two areas have been targeted for a bit of extra scrutiny.

    Detroit, Michigan is an area with one of the largest Muslim populations in the United States (home to “alledged” terrorist sleeper cells) the administration is attempting to recruit moderates from this area for CIA employment. While Buffalo, New York, is home to domestic terrorists who were influenced by radical religious Fundamentalist. That said, , it is more likely that any attacks will come from areas that are less likely and closer to the Capital, although watchign the Candaian Border cannot hurt.

    Congressional Democrats Lower 2010 Expectations Based on NY 20th Congressional District Special Election

    The New York 20th Congressional Election this past Tuesday remains undecided in an election that was, like several across the nation in 2008, too close to call. In New York, Democrat Scott Murphy and Republican Jim Tedisco are separated by a mere 59 votes, with over 10,000 absentee and emergency ballots uncounted (6,000 of those Ballots having said to be impounded), and both parties are predicting a win. That said, in recent interviews, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, head of the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee, has begun to lower expectations for the 2010 races. In an AP article, Van Hollen warns extreme left groups against targeting Moderate Democrats. Van Hollen cites that several elections have been two close to call, and with a mere 76 seat advantage in Congress, the party can ill-afford to lose any seats to a Republican contender.

    Historically, mid-term elections tend to shift the balance of power in Congress, with a lot riding on the performance of the party’s leader, in this case, the President Barack Obama. Should Obama’s economic policies do well, and the President’s overall approval ratings remain consistent, the party can expect to maintain or increase their seats in Congress, however, should the economy continue its downward spiral, (742,000 private sector jobs were lost this March, for example) those fortunes can be easily reversed. Currently both History and President Obama appear to be on the side of the Republican Party.
    Van Hollen understands, both the import of history and the danger of “riding the coattails” of a President with less than stellar approval ratings, especially in districts that have a heavy concentration of conservatives and/or independent (unenrolled) voters who are not ideologically driven to vote by party.

    Will groups that play influential roles in the Democrat Party such as; temper their quest to fill the House with like minded legislatures, despite the appeals of Van Hollen? That is unlikely. Massachusetts should be viewed by both parties as a testing ground for this administration’s (and the Democrat Party) economic policies. One need only look at the recent polls virtually condemning Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick, to understand that raising taxes and unlimited spending do not sit well with constituents and, according to this particular poll, it crosses all Party lines, in a state that has long been known as “The Bluest State”.

    Wednesday, April 01, 2009

    Absentee and Emergency Ballots Impounded - New York 20th Congressional Currently Undecided – No Mandate for Obama.

    In the somewhat final results, the heavily touted New York 20th’s special election to replace Gillibrand, came down to a mere 59 vote lead for Democrat Murphy over Republican Tedisco. There are over 10,000 absentee ballots yet to be counted and the final tally may not be in until the 14th of April.

    Reports suggest a Republican advantage in this particular district with absentee ballots. The question is why did the State Board impound 6,000 ballots, especially since these contained emergency paper ballots? On those impounded ballots : “absentee ballots and emergency paper ballots in the 20th Congressional District special election have been impounded under a court order, said Bob Brehm, a spokesman for the state Board of Elections." The reason for impounding these votes may be to avoid an appearance of voter fraud:
    Left-wing organizer Bertha Lewis, who is directing the field effort by the WFP to elect Murphy, sits on the ACORN board. ACORN and the WFP are funded by the exact same left-wing unions, and they intend to deliver for Scott Murphy.

    ACORN has several offices in New York, including the Capitol District, which abuts the 20th Congressional.

    The race, which is being treated as a referendum on both Obama and Michael Steele’s abilities as party leaders, proved, in the final analysis, to be more about apathy (possibly mixed with fraudulent ballots). Although the Republicans had approximately 185,000 registered voters to 125,000 registered Democrats, the fact that the turn-out was so light in both parties does signal a lack of confidence in government, as well as poor grassroots management. Both Party's poured millions into the district, with Barack Obama putting a personal stamp on the process by sending emails to Democrats in the area. It will, therefore, come down to those approximate 4,000 ballots not impounded - which are generally overseas and military - Tedisco and the RNC should have seat.

    Tuesday, March 31, 2009

    Warm Reception for Arizona Sherriff Joe Arpaio in Western Massachusetts

    Photo Springfield Republican, AP Photo

    Joe Arpaio, the tough on criminals, Arizona Sherriff, has been criticized as of late because he treats Illegal Immigrants who break the law, in the same manner as he treats other criminals – harshly. A small group of protestors are starting a 5-day fast against the popular Sherriff due to his treatment of said illegal immigrants. Sheriff Joe was not always a resident of Arizona; rather his roots are in Western Massachusetts. The Springfield Republican (Massachusetts) has a feature article on their website about the Sherriff, his practices and his roots in Springfield, Massachusetts.

    What is most interesting is the response of those commenting on an article in support of the Sherriff, of all current articles on the site, this one has drawn 120 comments (which is high for this particular news site), and the support for the sheriff is overwhelming. The protestors in Arizona might find some comfort in the fact that there are still a few with like minds left in Western Massachusetts, but the overall consensus is that Joe Arpaio is a hero. This support for law enforcement from the Bluest State is interesting as it appears hearts and minds are undergoing some sort of change – to the right.

    New York’s 20th –The Numbers Don’t Add Up – So Why the Desperate Obama Murphy Emails?

    The much ballyhooed race for an open congressional seat in New York’s 20th district has taken on a tone of near desperation. The President, on Monday, sent an email to his supporters, asking for a vote for Murphy, who, Obama said, would be an ally in Congress Meanwhile, Scott Murphy pulled out all the stops, using G.O.P. personages in a mailer in order to “scare” voters into the: Murphy camp:

    "Upstate New York can have a congressman who works for them," the front of the mailer said, with arrows pointing to Limbaugh, Palin and Bush. "Or one who works for you."

    Although this may work for those who are so blinded by partisanship they cannot see the forest through the trees, those with any amount of common sense understands the following: George W. Bush is no longer in the White House, and Rush Limbaugh, although a conservative voice, is national radio talk show host, while Palin is busy governing Alaska (and yes, still making news).

    One again, the statistics on the 20th Congressional District just don’t add up to a Murphy Win:
    From the New York Secretary of State’s Election statistics :
    There are (as of the election in 2008), 125,486 Democrats, of which 12,132 are “inactive”, 196,118 Republicans of which, 15,308 are “inactive”, and 24,713 Independents, 9,306 CON, 1,710 WOR, 1,858 Green, 125 LIB, and finally, 2 SWP, or a total up for grabs of 37,714 “other party voters”, who could cast their vote either way (most likely given the make-up for Murphy). For some strange reason, this just does not add up: If one assumes that all Republicans vote (deleting those who are inactive): and all Democrats vote (including those “inactive” (normally deceased or moved), and all other parties cast their vote to Murphy: there would still be a 17,610 deficit for Murphy.

    Statistically speaking, it is impossible for Murphy to take that seat, regardless of how popular Obama is in that particular district; it is almost as if the national media is in the process of setting someone up for having been responsible for a “loss”. The Headline from the AFP says it all: New York House Race Tests Obama.” When the dust settles, presumably this evening, should Tedisco prevail (and currently numbers are on his side), tomorrow's headlines will question the Presidents "power", should 20,000 plus votes suddenly materialize in the Republican bastion of the 20th, and Murphy take the seat, it will either signal an erosion of Republican support (not necessarily conservatism), or a massive bus-in-the-vote effort by the opposition.

    Monday, March 30, 2009

    Obama’s Strongly Approves Polling at 37%, Analysis: Campaign Promises do not translate to Governing

    Rudderless Ship from:

    The Rasmussen Reports Presidential Daily Tracking for Sunday, March 29th, show Obama’s “Strongly Approves” remaining consistently below 40% - trending between 35% to a high of 38% since March 11, 2009. This, despite his continual dialogue with the American public; most recently, a prime time new conference, in which he tried to sell his budget. Unfortunately, the key word for the last appearance was: boring, with multiple articles pondering whether the President is appearing too often on television.

    The Daily Tracking Poll, to date, has shown a division between party affiliation, with those Democrats strongly approving of the president’s job at 66% and those Republican’s who Strongly Disapprove at 54% (March 14).
    Those polled on the left may find their perspective changing within the next few weeks, as Obama campaigned as the “Anti-Bush”, specifically promising to pull troops out of Iraq and overturn the Military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy regarding Gay’s in the Military.

    Headlines today dictate otherwise: From the AP an article noting there will be no speed-up in troop withdrawal from Iraq, and that there will be a delay in changing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” rule in the foreseeable future. Additionally, as the rhetoric over plans to increase American military and civilian presence in Afghanistan, the administration is now talking about the import of stabilizing Afghanistan through – Democracy. Where have we heard that before?

    What is driving public opinion just may be the perception that the President may not have a clear handle on the job he has before him, and therefore, appears to be taking pages from the previous administrations playbook, while attempting to put his own spin on any given policy. Having previously set the bar so high, it is impossible for Obama to please everyone that said; he is being overly ambitious in attempting to do too much too soon. Therefore, this lends to the appearance that our Chief Executive appears to be a rudderless ship, one which blows whichever way the wind may take it.

    Sunday, March 29, 2009

    Afganistan - Is Obama Another American “Cowboy?”

    Barack Obama - Houston Chronicle

    The Arab Press is weighing in on Barack Obama’s proposal to increase troops in Afghanistan in an interesting article that compares Afghanistan to the Viet Nam War – the analysis draws some stunning parallels, the most significant thesis being that American’s will, once again, be fighting against an ideology, which proved to play a significant part in the Viet Nam Saga.
    The Washington Post reports today, that Obama will be seeking NATO support for an increased US presence in Afghanistan, however, on March 10th, when Vice President Biden visited NATO leaders regarding the addition of 17,000 US Troops in that theater, the reception was one of "wait and see" - European members have ruled out sending more troops to Afghanistan, rather suggested there may be other ways to assist the effort.

    Obama appears conflicted - he offered an admittance that there exists a quagmire of sorts in Afghanistan:
    “But nearly eight years after the Taliban were driven out of Kabul, Obama has conceded that the United States was not winning the war and suggested talks with the militia's moderates to promote a political resolution.”

    First, refer to the comparison to Viet Nam - and the prophetic Boston Globe article:from the 28th of March, "Afgan War to Take Years, Obama Declares"

    The view from the Middle East is hardly encouraging: The Arab Times outlines how Afghanistan would be a tougher task that Iraq quoting a military source:

    Major General Rick Olson, the former operational commander for coalition forces in Afghanistan, warned that just sending more troops would not bring stability to a population far more rural and dispersed than Iraq's.
    'The conditions that favored success in Iraq are conspicuously lacking in Afghanistan,' he wrote in The Christian Science Monitor.

    From Al Jezeera March 28, 2009:
    “However, the Taliban told Al Jazeera in a statement on Friday: "Obama is repeating the mistakes of [former Russian leader Mikhail] Gorbachev.”

    Russian Troops Afghanistan 1988 -

    Evan the Iranians have weighed in on Obama’s proposal: From Iranian TV this article suggests that Obama’s plan will only increase the violence in Afghanistan Go Figure.
    Meanwhile, the President is even using “Bin Laden” to bolster support for his Afghanistan Policy, arguing Bin Laden is planning attacks on the U.S. from inside both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    One has to ask: What’s the point? On the one hand, the President is increasing the US presence in Afghanistan, while suggesting a diplomatic component, in an area where violence is the norm and diplomacy has yet to work. The Bush Administration preferred to fight in Iraq (history is yet to rule on that strategy), maintaining minimal forces in Afghanistan, where primitive tribal politics and a forbidding terrain make any military incursion a long, drawn out affair. Since the forces in Iraq are being drawn down, Guantanamo is on the chopping block and those “combatants” deemed less than dangerous are finding homes in the United States, the reasoning to continue in Afghanistan, of all places, seems more politically contrived. It is not as if the United States does not have the tools necessary to track “terrorist” conversations, both at home and abroad, the intel necessary to locate Al Qaeda in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the technology to take out those “soft targets” without putting one boot on the ground. Obama ran as the “anti-war” president, yet suddenly finds it necessary to one-up his predecessor: using Cowboy language regarding Al Qaeda and the Taliban: "disrupt, defeat and dismantle" What’s next - An Obama “Axis of Evil’? Either Obama secretly admires George W. Bush, or something else is afoot.

    President George W. Bush - Sept. 11

    (Will the Press react in the same manner as they did when Bush uttered "Dead or Alive", vis a vis Bin Laden)

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