Friday, March 04, 2011

2012 Republican Update – Trump, Gingrich, Christi, Palin, Huckabee Romney

Huckabee, Palin and Romney remain GOP 2012 Frontrunners, although not yet announced - image

The 2012 Republican field is beginning to take shape, and although the majority of those names polled, have yet to announce their intent to run, (Palin, Huckabee, and Romney), all have expressed an interest.

This week saw Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey, entered the 2012 conversation by stating he knew he could win, however, would not enter as he had a job to do as Governor of New Jersey(NYMagazine) There are more than a few pundits who are hoping he will reconsider.

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, has formally announced his intent to run, by forming an exploratory committee, and has suspended his contract, along with Conservative Rick Santorum with Fox News.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump made a trip to Iowa a sign that he is testing the political waters for a 2012 run.

The top three “speculated” candidates, Mike Huckabee, Palin and Romney have given timelines of sorts, and continue to dominate polls. A recentQuinnipiac Poll gives Mike Huckabee the lead, with Sarah Palin coming in as a second choice (Washington Post)

Huckabee, is on his book tour, and has noted that he will make up his mind on entering the race by summer. Although he pointed out in an interview on Fox News that he intends to wait, he is, as of now, sitting in the cat bird seat. In the interview with Sean Hannity, it was noted that Huckabee, unlike Gingrich and Santorum, has yet to suspend his Fox contract. Huckabee, never the conventional candidate, can, in this opinion afford to wait, giving time to test the waters, gauge the competition and hone is ability to fund raise.

Palin, who is also a Fox contributor is weighing when to enter (or whether or not to enter the fray), and like Huckabee, Palin is not a conventional Beltway politician. The Iowa GOP Chair weighed in recently via CNN saying it was risky for Palin to wait on a bid.

Meanwhile, Romney, is headed to New Hampshireaccording the Boston Globe “as his candidacy nears” In 2008, McCain bested Romney in the New Hampshire Primary, and the rest, as they say is history.

From polls and perspective, should Huckabee and Palin both decide to delay and announce between end of March and June (watch for suspended Fox News Contracts), both Palin and Huckabee appear to have the edge, although Palin does not pull in the first round of poll questions, or second in most polls, she does have the highest favorability in polls taken to date, the closest would be Mike Huckabee. Huckabee and Romney have taken the top slot in the majority of polls conducted by Public Policy Polling Public Policy, however with Quinnipiac and others now jumping into the fray, different perspectives of each candidate and potential candidate will begin to take shape.

Huckabee, based on his current favorability and polling numbers, coupled with the results from the 2008 primaries (Interactive Map here at may be able to announce in his own time.

In 2008, Romney took Massachusetts, Maine, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, North Dakota, Michigan, Minnesota and Alaska. Huckabee took Iowa, West Virginia, Kansas, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana and Georgia. It should be noted that Romney bowed out of the race early, and Huckabee continued on in order to keep both the party in the limelight and give voters a choice as they headed to the polls. Huckabee, in 2008, ran the campaign as an “unknown”, grassroots method, with very little cash on hand.

Based on the last analysis of the 2012 electoral map using Gallup’s 2010 Presidential approval rankings, one would anticipate that it would be wise, regardless of party or political ideology, to take a careful look at all Republican contenders, as that individual, has a strong probability of being the 45th President. Should Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin jump into the race, it is this opinion that they would be the front runners for the nomination, based on data available to date. It is, as of this point, impossible to pinpoint or speculate on which would take the GOP nomination.

Regardless, the 2012 GOP debates will be extremely informative as well as entertaining, especially if all players mentioned, and of course, Ron Paul, are in the fray.

Dr. Jay Fleitman Elected Chair of Western Mass Republicans

Dr. Jay Fleitman - image Hampshire Gazette

Dr. Jay Fleitman, who ran for the Massachusetts 2nd District Congressional seat in 2010, a former Northampton School Committee Member, and Chair of the Northampton Board of Health was elected this week as Chairman of the Western Mass Republicans. The election, which took place at The Warehouse in Holyoke, hosted over one hundred Republican and Tea Party activists from throughout Western Massachusetts for this annual meeting held to fill the position left by departing Chairperson CeCE Calabrese of Agawam.

The Western Mass Republicans is an organization designed to assist and coordinate Republican activities in the Pioneer Valley. Dr. Fleitman, who also writes a column for the Daily Hampshire Gazette, faced former Governor’s Council candidate, Mike Franco of Chicopee for the Chair of this regional political action committee.

Although Massachusetts is often thought of as the “Bluest State” due to the local, State and Federal offices held by a majority of Democrats, the Republican Party has grown over the past two years in the Bay State, and had over 270 candidates running for Local, State and Federal offices in 2010. The bulk of the voters in Massachusetts, over 50% are registered unenrolleds, and during the 2010 Midterms there was a surge in Republican enrollment, just days before the elections (CBS 3 Springfield). One can anticipate those numbers to continue to rise going into the 2012 General Election.

Western Mass Republicans Western Mass Republicans. com

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Springfield MA Teachers Overpaid by $1.2 Million – A “Mistake” Gone Unnoticed from October 2010

From: WGGB Springfield Television Springfield Mass Teachers, upon signing a new contract with the City, experienced a double dip pay raise in October, which, as it turns out, was clerical error. Now, the union is trying to figure out the least painful way for these teachers to pay back the city, perhaps in 1 to 3 year terms.
One can hardly blame the teachers, who had no clue, apparently that there salary increase, above what was anticipated, was an error – unions negotiated through collective bargaining to increase teacher’s payrolls, and there it ends. Regardless of the fact that raises, in this economy, can only be found at the state employee level (for the most part), one would think that a hue and cry would have gone out from the rank and file, noting they were overpaid, and righting the clerical error post haste, instead of having months go by.

Meanwhile, some of those teachers are working in schools in Springfield where a a 13 million dollar grant has been given to the 10 “lowest performing schools” in Springfield and Holyoke.

The taxpayers, those left in the Commonwealth, are to say the least, immune at this point to the constant fleecing by local and state governments, whether they be in earnest or in error. Meanwhile, Govenor Deval Patrick is defending unions and their rights to collective bargaining (public employees) (Boston Globe)

Only in Massachusetts.

Dallas Fed – Inflation up for February, as Gasoline Careens Towards $5.00 per Gallon, Shades of the 1970’s – It’s Carter Time!

The latest Dallas Fed Reports notes that food prices rose substantially the past year, with an 8.2% annualized rate among all categories. All categories include processed and preprocessed foods:

“It’s notable, then, that while prices for more-processed items increased by a smaller amount than prices for less-processed items, gains for both were robust—annualized 14 percent for less-processed items and 6 percent for more-processed items. Data at the more-processed end will bear watching in the coming months for signs of further impact from price increases at cruder stages of processing.”

What this boils down to in plain speak, is that consumers are finding higher prices at the retail grocery level, and may see steeper increases over the coming months due to the rising costs of fuel.

As the Middle East Implodes, and the ban on offshore drilling continues, the price per gallon of gasoline, climbing above $4.00 in some states, will, most likely go to $5.00 per gallon. That said, even at $4.00 per gallon, it affects not only those who commute to work and school, cutting back expendable income, but affects, again, the price of food. Delivery is factored into the price of groceries reaching the market. The end results are that families will be making some tough choices in the coming months, like so many were forced to in the 1970’s.

While the President weighs options, among them anything but opening up the U.S. offshore oil fields at a fast clip, should the price of a gas of gallon reach $5.00, he may opt to cut the Federal Gas Tax and/or Open Strategic Oil Reserves (which would be a national security issue).

During the 1970’s, when fuel prices rose dramatically, demand and supply fell dramatically, one might park in line for hours only to reach a pump and find the gasoline “sold out” – cars were routinely abandoned in favor of public transport, and car pooling (if one could find the fuel) became the norm. The crisis then, the return of the Ayatollah with the help of one Jimmy Carter to Iran, and the solution: new leadership.

The cycle that the United States is experiencing now, has happened before, and recently at that (The Carter Administration late 1970’s), the fact of the matter is that it will correct, but the process is painful. Those most at risk are individuals living on fixed incomes, such as the nation’s retirees. Things to do: Keep your gas tank full at all times, find, in advance, bus schedules or public transportation modes to get one back and forth to work, and then hunker down until the economy rights itself.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Nations That Educate Children As Martyrs to Islam, UK Shock over Pakistan Video belies reality of years of Hamas Training Children as Suicide Bombers

a Palestinian Mother and Child Pose Cannot Be Denied - image: zioneocon.blogspot moved to

The Word Looks Away

An article yesterday in the UK’s Daily Mail revealed a video that depicts children re-enacting a suicide bombing – one child is the bomber, while the others glorify the suicide (sub-titles). What is, perhaps, most shocking, is that journalist routinely ignore the fact that children in certain countries, are taught from an early age, to become suicide bombers. An organization, or Palestinian Media Watch, has released video evidence beginning in 2000, of Palestinian children being taught to hate the West and commit suicide in the name of religion. Further they post their videos on the organizations YouTube channel, a sample is shown below.

What is most disturbing regarding the Daily Mail revelation are the comments made by readers, arguing for the “game of suicide” as the norm in a variety of cultures – including the United States, where children played “Cowboys and Indians”. The problem with this theory is that, although children do play “war games”, those are treated as such, and from the U.S. perspective, war games were played out in backyards, not in the school room or on national TV. In addition, “Cowboys and Indians” were played from a perspective of history, rather than to create future wars between “Cowboys and Indians”. It is as if those children being brainwashed (for that is truly what these videos, played by adults to children in classroom settings) to become the next wave of suicide bombers. There are those protagonists that speak about the Children in Israel who are taught from an early age to defend themselves and their nation in the same light. The exception again, the Israeli’s do not glorify death in the name of God; it is a question of preparedness against their next door neighbors, who do just that.

The Palestinians even use Christianity in the narrative, to explain an ends to a means against the Jewish State (and by default the West (i.e. the U.S.), insisting that Jesus was the first Palestinian Martyr. It is apparent, that heads of States, and those who are paid by nations to achieve a means (Hamas via Iran), using children as the conduit, are well aware (or should be given their educational standards - most of these “elite” are educated in the UK and US) of World Religions, and the teachings of the same. It is the very perversion of religion, taught as truth to children in certain Islamic societies that should raise a hue and cry from every nation who has a penchant for human rights, and the protection of children. What is mind-boggling is that, evidence included, this scenario, suddenly discovered, is completely ignored, or considered justified in some cases. (Read comments section of the Daily Mail for full impact.)

The cult of death and teachings one’s children, has an economic advantage to Palestinian families, as they are paid when a member commits suicide. Yet another example of the use of the “Religion of Peace” to wage war by any means available. What of the mothers who are glorified in the Hamas videos by their countrymen, and children, as suicide bombers for Allah? Although these videos and evidence is relatively new (circa 2000), it follows that this type of education may have been taking place for decades, therefore, those women are no more or less brainwashed (and family compensated financially) than their children.

Although it is certainly arguable that the United States is in moral decline (and most certainly is given the rhetoric from those would be jihadists) given abortion, women’s rights, Gay and Lesbian rights, the Republic under which we live, takes the rights of all under consideration. In addition, the Judeo Christian Values upon which this nation was created, also instilled a sense of protection towards women and children, (granted imperfect) and has created law to protect the same. However, in those nations that teach hatred for the west, the aforementioned are seen as aberrations by the same groups that would teach their children to immolate themselves in the name of religion and state.

It is a catch-22, or is it the fact that the global media, in general, does not offer a hue and cry of shame on those would commit this most atrocious form of child abuse, (in basic terms), rather, it is ignored, while the Palestinian Cause is taught at Universities as pure. Historically, certain political philosophies do support educating children for the good of the state, or a particular political ideology. From Hitler, to the Progressive Movement in U.S. Classrooms, regardless of the fact that one promotes violence, while the other promotes a political ideology, the simple fact is that the end product is a child – your child, my child, a Palestinian child. In the United States, we would no sooner train our pets in this manner.

It is through education, based in fact, not in political theories, which will win the hearts and minds of future generations. Organized religions and political movements have no place in the classroom, period. If the UN had any relevance at all, those nations that support this type of child abuse, would be countered with monies better spend on an attempt to reeducate, be it through flyers dropped, and or despots removed.

It is also, perhaps, a question every mother in the United States should be asking of their Senators, and Congressional Representative, given that our children are viewed as the highest priority of mothers, and a national treasure, why are we not more pro-active in freeing the minds of those who would murder our children in the name of religion, be it a cut in funding, or though use of broadcasts, leaflet drops. Certainly, any action of this type would be seen as meddling, yet our foreign policy continues to meddle, for much less worthy causes. Government aside, another question arises, where is organized religion (Christian Denominations, especially Catholics) on this question? Perhaps with the United Nations who has ”strongly condemned” the use of children as human bombs.'

Strongly condemned.

Those two words carry little weight in the real worlds, and only serve as a reminder to those who continue the abuse unabated, that there will be no consequences – they carry on as usual. These nations carry on much in the same way Hitler did in the late 1930’s, with no interference, in plain sight, as the nations “strongly condemned” until they were forced to take action after millions of innocents were murdered (Jews, Catholics, Gypsies, any German Political opponent), and only in the name of self-preservation, not to save a single soul. The only way in which to ensure that your children are at the very least, aware of the impact of indoctrination in the classroom is to offer them options and the truth, otherwise, leaving it to those who follow doctrines, or “Strongly condemn” sets the stage for the future, one which places our children in peril.

Video Children Brainwashed in Palestine

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

State Budget Woes – Northeast Democrat Governor’s & Mayors Follow Walkeresque Cuts - More to follow as Stimulus ends in FY12

A Classroom circ 1950 pre budget woes - image: pinellas county schools k-12

When Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker, took over the task of filling a budget gap, he went straight for the Public Employees Unions, asking those teachers to contribute to pension and health plans, at a rate slightly lower than those in the public sector. In addition he proposed ending forced union enrollment, giving teachers an option to opt out of the Public Employees Union, save the money on dues, and buy into the State’s Health Insurance, rather than the Teachers Unions Health Insurance. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back, as thousands of union protestors moved into Madison WI and the battle began. The Democrats in the Senate fled the State in order to avoid a vote on the budget, which includes the aforementioned provisions, in hopes that with enough pressure, Walker would change his mind. He hasn’t.

As of yesterday Walker issued anultimatum to those State Senators telling them they had 24 hours to return – or else. The or else are pink slips to over 1000 state workers. The press is comparing Walker to Reagan vis a vis “union busting”:

“What began as one small state trying to rewrite the rules of labor relations has blown up into what could be the biggest confrontation with American labor unions since then President Ronald Reagan fired striking air traffic controllers in 1981.”


It appears that Walker is not alone, however, in the need to make deep cuts, confront Teachers unions and put State Houses in order. With the expiration of the Stimulus, those States that had kept the status quo or worse, increased spending based on a limited Stimulus, are now faced with making decisions that fly in the face of the Progressive “Tax the Rich”, mantra. The problem – the “Rich” who, in certain states, were taxed more, simply packed up and left, with the high and sustained unemployment, state income suffered from a drop in real middle class taxpayers, and the result is that Public Employee Unions are now in a power struggle over cash. Nowhere is this more apparent, that in the smallest state in the Union: Rhode Island.

Rhode Island has a state legislature and senate that is similar in scope to neighboring Massachusetts, with Democrats outnumbering Republicans by wide margins. In recent months, however, individual cities have taken steps to rein in spending – mayors are going to – the Unions, specifically Teachers.

An article in this morning’s Boston Globe highlights Providence Rhode Island, where, the Mayor is being compared to Scott Walkers double. The City of Providence, the State Capital has, in order to salvage the budget fired all of its teachers, in a move to get out from under the high cost of union benefits – which are unsustainable. The icing on the cake:

“But the mayor is facing a $40-million school budget deficit in a district that serves fewer than 24,000 students (PK-12). Taveras and the school committee are not laying the teachers off. They are firing them, which allows them to circumvent seniority bumping rules, whereby teachers will be called back to work on the basis of their years of tenure. This move allows school leaders to select teachers they think are the most effective.”

The union, of course is up in arms, and the author of the Boston Globe Article, Jim Stergios, points out that Massachusetts may be next. The income of larger urban areas in Massachusetts is derived from tax receipts and aid from the Commonwealth and the Federal Government (both broke), and two in particular are mentioned in the article as on the brink: Holyoke and Fall River. It is noted that both are “worse off” than Providence, and additional State cuts to municipalities can be anticipated in 2012.

Over in New York State, Governor Cuomo is facing an insurrection in his House, as the Governor has suggesting cutting benefits to School Superintendents, the rambunctious New York Democrats in the legislature are, of course, making waves. (Fox 23 news).

All of these Governors and Mayor from Walker to Cuomo and more to come as budget woes will force a realization that there is simply not enough money in this economic climate to sustain the lavish lifestyle the Teachers Unions and public employees unions (SEIU) to which they have become accustomed.

It is not about “union busting” per se, it is about survival of the state, asking those employees to take nominal cuts, and have an opt out to being in a union, (Wisconsin), or in the case of Providence, just firing the teachers, in order to hire back those deemed competent (now, that’s union busting, taking the Holy Grail of tenure and throwing it out based on competency). Come to think of it, it does appear to be a bit like “Union Busting”, but as the nation looks on, they do understand that there are those who need collective bargaining, and perhaps those who do not. Those that put their lives on the line, yes, those that don’t – do not – very simply put.

As a byproduct of the rage against inflated salaries and pension for public workers and retirees, the media (local) has found a new story line which is bound to bring in viewers. Today, WWLP Springfield MA an NBC Affiliate promoted today’s news cast with a Special Report, on – yes – which city (Springfield) retirees have the highest pensions. Of course, this is in the interest of the people’s right to know where there money is going – suddenly.

In retrospect, although the unions are taking center stage, along with their alleged protagonists (the Governors or Mayors), sooner or later those that rabble rouse professionally, must protect those rank and file who rely on having a job and simply let go of some of the power they have – or face a staggering loss of power as the balance of towns, municipalities and state governments realize they can no longer afford the “high price tag” associated with unionized public employee unions. It will not be a choice, it will be a necessity, as one cannot manufacture money (unless one is the Fed), to keep up pensions and salaries and health benefit plans that are the envy of the private sector (which, is, in the long run, more effective.) Case in point: in Western Massachusetts public schools have an average graduation rate in larger urban areas of approximately 50%, in private college prep schools, the graduation rate is 100% with those students going onto a 2 to 4 year college (100%), the cost of educating these students: Public schools: $12,000 to $14,000 approximately, the cost for college prep (varies) approximately $10,000. The question arises, is, in a private setting, students are able to learn, graduate and move onto college at a near or perfect rate, how is it that the nation’s most funded school systems, with union teachers, cannot manage to do the same, especially as they are obviously better funded.

In reality they are not, the funding for students in public schools includes salaries and benefits of the union teachers and administrators, and what little is left, goes towards education. For example: the City of Holyoke, which is named in the Boston Globe article: budget for FY 2009 (, budgeted $13,000 per student, 34% of which went towards “classroom and specialists teachers) $4,907, another 10.4% went to “Insurance, Retirement Programs and Other” or $2,213 per student, other categories having to do with “Instructional Leadership”, “Other Teaching Services”, “Professional Development”, added approximately $2,000 to the pot (for the Teachers), out of that $13,000 in Holyoke Taxpayer Dollars, money spent for books and guidance amounted to: less than $1000 out of $13,000 per student. One can anticipate that there were increases in 2010 and again in 2012. It is any wonder therefore, that Massachusetts, although ironically, they do lead the nation, fail reading at proficient levels, and have dismal graduation rates?

This is what the nation has discovered, and as the press looks for increased ratings, more of these “exposes” will occur - Walker may have started the ball rolling, but the revelation of the incompetence and greed, will be the end of the era substandard unionized education.

Monday, February 28, 2011

2012 Roundup – Huckabee’s Hints of run more apparent, of Run in Iowa, Romney Get Praise from Deval Patrick, Palin Heads to India

As 2012 GOP candidates (officially unannounced) are put under a microscope by those in the media waiting for a confirmation of “will they or won’t they” throw their “hat” into the 2012 Presidential contest ring, at least three are making national headlines, and in key preliminary states, local headlines, in the hopes of drawing a conclusion that all or one of the top three (Romney, Huckabee, Palin) will make an announcement sooner than later.

Romney, who is polling in the top three at Public Policy Polling was recently praised by Massachusetts Govenor Deval Patrick for initiating mandated health care in Massachustts. (Boston Herald) Although Romney’s original vision for health care coverage in the Bay State somehow morphed into a billion dollar state deficit fiasco which was exported nationwide - this was after Romney had left office to pursue the 2008 Presidential nomination. What is interesting is that Patrick, who was headed to Washington to sing the praises of the program (which may be why he invoked the name of Romney considering the new makeup of the House and Senate), will have a hard sell, given the fact that the state went mandate crazy, the plan borrows from the Fed, and the costs of insurance premiums (private pay) have had two consecutive years of increases, some over 11% per year. Some political analysts (beltway) believe that “Romney Care”, will be the deterrent to the former Massachustts Govenor gaining the nomination. (Note: Romney has yet to declare)

Mike Huckabee is on his pre-presidential announcement book tour, from the Dubuque, Iowa Herald ” To shouts of "Mike in 2012!" former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee graciously acknowledged hundreds of energetic supporters Sunday in Dubuque”……. "I'd definitely like him to run because he listens to people and understands the importance of having both social and fiscal conservatism," said Donna Teubert of South Beloit, Ill.
To her and the crowd of loyal fans who came from Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin to see him, Huckabee said, "I'm telling (supporters who ask) that I'm seriously considering running. I'm watching the response to my book, which lays it all out so people will know what I stand for."

Huckabee, kicked off his campaign in 2008 after a book tour that took him into similar primary territory. Perhaps of more interest, on his Fox Sunday Show, Huckabee’s guests included both an African American clergy and a Hispanic Evangelic and their take of the Defense of Marriage Act. Huckabee, it should be noted, was listening intently to every word – what was especially interesting was the common ground found between the three. Although acting as a host and commentator, this arena allows Huckabee access to, what amounts to political intelligence for the 2012 general?

Sarah Palin, who is heading to India drew this headline from the New York Sun: “Palin Will Draw a Contrast With Obama in Her Visit Next Month to India”, which is refreshing considering the majority of the press is either focused on which shoes she’s wearing or her comments on breast milk and Michelle Obama. What is interesting in this particular instance is that when Palin makes an obvious inroad into the 2012 territory (see her trip to the Long Island Business Association in February), and receives half-hearted positive press from the New York Times, no less, the next three weeks are dedicated to leopard shoes in an attempt to marginalize her credentials.

One has to hand it to those millions of journalist who apparently have to go to the feminist side of any given candidate to be able to find criticism significant enough to call it “newsworthy”. From Hillary Clinton’s Hairclip to Palin’s Leopard Shoes, one has to wonder: What fashion faux pax might President Obama, (goes to Clinton), Huckabee and or Romney make, in the news press ongoing interest in fashion and politics. Would not these journalists fare better in say Vogue rather than in the local daily news?

Suffice it to say, the three at the top of the “anticipated” GOP Presidential nominee food chain, are moving in the direction of a decision at some point in the near future. In the meantime, the speculation and attacks will continue, until the actual announcement are made, and then, one can anticipate that, in the face of dismal poll numbers for the President, they will increase 100 fold, or one will rise above the others and be treated more “fairly,” should the writing on the wall be so obvious to all, that those who report, to sway you to decide, might pick the one candidate “they can live with” (actual quote from actual liberal). Money right now is on Mike Huckabee.

Massachusetts Conservative Talk Radio - The Wesley & Westen Review, WRCN AM - Worcester, MA, - February 26, 2009

Tom Wesley and John Weston at WRCNAM 830 AM have a lively conservative talk format, which streams live from WCRN AM – Worcester, MA on Saturday mornings beginning at 6 AM, EST. Tom Wesley, a veteran and businessman, ran for the MA2 Congressional District seat against incumbent Richard Neal in the 2010 mid-terms. A candidate Q&A which can be found here gives insight into the man and his strength as a candidate.

Although Richard Neal was returned to Congress, Wesley ran a outstanding race against a entrenched 16 term Democrat - Wesley, on a limited budget, belied the projections of the New York Times, who projected Wesley would receive 25% of the vote in the district. Wesley, not unlike the 8 other challengers to the Massachusetts Democrat Congressional Caucus forced these members of the U.S. Congress to campaign hard, and garnered over 40% of the vote in this heated Mid-Term election. (NYTimes) Although one might pooh-pooh this type of margin as insignificant, it is the fact that those Congressman who had enviable cash on hand, were forced to defend their own districts, many for the first time in decades, if at all. These Massachusetts candidates, who proved there is more than a half-hearted conservative awaking in in Bay State, played no small part in the stunning defeat of incumbent Democrats nationwide, by pulling this much needed Democrat campaign cash into the Bay State and away from others. A note: The momentum from 2010 has not abated.

This author was asked to be a guest on the Wesley and Weston Review this past Saturday, topics ranged from the tone of the media, to the 2012 outlook, a link to the weekly broadcasts, with a commentary from Tom Wesley, can be found here at Tom It is a fast-paced, engaging show, well worth tuning in on Saturday mornings.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Public Employee Union Protests Spread beyond Wisconsin – General Public Views Disdain for Union Antics - Analysis

As the brouhaha in Wisconsin, caused by Public Employees unions, aided by union activists from across the nation,has spread to other states, public opinion polls on these protests show that the Unions may be taking the wrong tactic to gain sympathy.

As the media reports on the birth of Public Employee unions in Wisconsin, they also point out that there are states that have right to work laws. The states with Right to Work laws, do not offer the unions a foothold into every facet of the workforce. These states include: : Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Caroline, North Carolina and Virginia (source

When one evaluates states that are “Right to Work” (i.e. no forced unions), one finds that, for the most part, those states have somewhat lower unemployment rates than their unionized counterparts: (Source: Economic Policy Institute)
The fact that employers are more prone to set up shop in states where unions do not have the upper hand, lends to an exodus of those job seekers from states that have forced unionization. Interestingly, in reviewing the 2010 census - those states that lost population and congressional clout, are not “right to work" states. (See Map here at Washington

The public perception of unions has dropped significantly given the recent events in Madison, with approval for public unions at historically low levels (Exellent treatment via TPMDC), and even progressives realize that a “Greece Like” scenario played out in the United States may not endear unions, of any sort, be it public or otherwise (Article, “Could a General Strike Happen here”?)

Historically, union strikes and demonstrations during the 1930’s were aptly dubbed the “red menace”, and resulted in riots, and attacks on all unions, including non-government unions. The public opinion at the time was negative to say the least, and in order to rein in spending, President Roosevelt was prompted to announce wage cuts to unions, which “(aroused) unions' anxiety” Roosevelt, not unlike Walker in Wisconsin, stuck to his principles.

What the American people, in general understand, is with the rise of the unions, came the loss of competitive industry on a global scale, well as the loss of employment opportunities in a variety of industries - they are gone forever, under high union wage and benefit demands and a U.S. interest rates that does little to nothing to entice employers to set up shop in the United States. There are, of course, a place for unions in the American society, for those who face dangers in the workplace, firefighters, police, and meat packers, (among others) who’s livelihood puts life and limb at risk. That said, there are those such as “Government employees” whose sole risk is a hangnail - the public gets this difference. As the SEIU and other powerful unions shout for more benefits, wage increases, and the ability to force teachers, and others who may not face danger, into unions, it is, perhaps for the first time since the 1930, making headlines in living rooms across the nation.

As the signs and shouts of the protestors grow increasingly against one Particular Party (i.e. Republican), it becomes increasingly clear to those watching the evening news at 6:00, that the Democrats support these unions. In this way, the Unions who are at current low public opinion, and the Democrats, become branded together – note: Democrat lawmakers’ antics of fleeing states for their unions are well documented as well.

This pandemonium is not about workers rights at all, rather about how much money the unions can fleece from the workers and hand to the Democrat lawmakers who will grant them concession. Union organizers (paid consultants to unions, or professional rabble rousers) have an average salary of of $60,000 annually. The bosses are in the six figure range, while teachers in Madison Wisconsin (ground Zero so to speak), average $100,000 annual salaries. The unions and teacheres in Madison did agree to minimal increases in contributions to both medial and pension fund suggested by Govenor Walker, however the unions are loath to give up a portion of their collective bargaining power, which would allow these teachers to opt out of the union forced medical plan and join the state workers medical plan instead. In addition, there is that sticking point whereby Teachers would be able to opt out of joining the union entirely, which has set these protests in motion – it’s about the money – the union money.

How do those teachers competantacy factor fare nationally? In a recent release of reading scores nationwide, approximaltey 40% of Wisconsin 8th graders are proficient in English (, which leads one to believe that the Govenor may be onto something, and why he has the support of over 70% of the Wisconsin populace.

As goes Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana, so will go the public opinion across the nation. The Unions, in their greed, (it’s for the children) have managed to brand themselves to the Democrats, just in time for the 2012 elections and should this display of “Greece-Like” public union street revolts, not abate soon, those images will be emblazed upon the minds of voters as they head to the polls in 2012, making 2010 look like an average year in comparison.

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