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Was Operation Desert Storm for Oil? 20 Years Later | James Pat Guerréro

Posted in Foreign Policy by James Pat Guerréro on 02/28/2011

Conservativecurmudgeon concludes that the only reason George H. W. Bush ushered in the Persian Gulf War was for oil. What is remarkably enlightening about this conclusion is that this war could not have protected the oil in Southwest Asia. There really is no way that the United States can go to war over oil alone in countries it has no control over. Since Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait because he had an old dispute over the boundary line with Kuwait over oil, he threatened many nations, including the United States. If Hussein takes Kuwait, he would then take Saudi Arabia, an easier occupation than Iran. Many other countries have interests in these Southwest Asian countries, and the potential use of chemical weapons created alarm. Bush inspired and formed allying countries to free Kuwait, and then Saudi Arabia. Even if Bush wanted to fight over oil, it would have taken many more American lives to do so. Oil was not the aim in hindsight, and Bush didn’t want to waste lives. The corollary aim was to save as many lives as possible and this is consistent with Republican politics as Republicans don’t really want war and don’t really want to send Americans into battle. In history, it’s the Democrats who send Americans into battle, worry about politics at home, and abandon victory for Americans in battle.

For the Islāmic fundamentalists, one never knows what side they join according to the Southwestern Asian political situation. It would be great, indeed, for them to wish Saddam Hussein had invaded Saudi Arabia. Although Iran was steeping in change toward an Islāmic government, Iran wasn’t quite ready to attempt an overthrow of the King in Saudi Arabia. So, why not join the Hussein bandwagon? All Islāmic fundamentalists consider Saudi Arabia the collateral damage, because of the cities of Mecca and Medina, where Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullāh the Prophet of God founded Islam. It will always be in the Islāmic fundamentalists interest to offend first an illusory target to capture what looks like collateral damage – Saudi Arabia, the main target. What Bush did was stop that whole process. Since the Democrats have come into power, there really is no foreign policy with regard to Southwest Asia that makes sense in terms of seeing the true aims of Islāmic fundamentalists.

Read More: February 28, 1991: The End of Operation Desert Storm and the 20 Years After | RedState.

Stopping the Government Spending Binge That Threatens Jobs

Posted in Tradition by James Pat Guerréro on 02/28/2011

Speaker of the House John Boehner

Stopping the Government Spending Binge That Threatens Jobs

February 27, 2011 | Posted by Speaker Boehner’s Press Office | Permalink
This week, the House will vote on a short-term funding measure to keep the government running while cutting $4 billion in spending over two weeks – cuts economists say are needed to create a better environment for private sector job creation.

Speaker Boehner said, “These stop-gap measures are only necessary because the Democrats who run Washington failed to pass a budget, failed to stop the spending binge that’s threatened job growth, and failed to lead.” Read more below.

And don’t forget — submit a question for Speaker Boehner at Youtube.com/JohnBoehner or via Twitter using the hashtag #askthespeaker by midnight TONIGHT ET. Click here for tips on submitting your questions.

House Republicans Working to Cut Spending While Keeping the Government Running

  • READ THE BILL: On Friday, House Republicans introduced a short-term funding measure to keep the government running while eliminating earmark slush funds and terminating several programs targeted in President Obama’s FY12 budget and the House-passed H.R.1. The bill will be voted on early this week; you can read it online here.
  • Speaker Boehner: “Americans understand we need to stop the spending binge in Washington to create a better environment for job creation.”
  • A recent Gallup survey found that by a 2-to-1 margin, the American people want to avoid a government shutdown and cut spending – exactly what Republicans are working to do.
  • WATCH & SHARE: A new video from the House GOP Conference – “Reality Check” – highlights Washington’s spending-driven, job-crushing debt crisis.

Senate Democrats Working With an “Army of Lobbyists” to Fight Spending Cuts

  • According to ABC News, Senate Democrats are working with an “army of lobbyists” to fight the spending cuts economists agree are necessary to create a better environment for job growth.
  • Click here to see what Democrats mean when they say they want to keep government spending at current, bloated, “stimulus”-inflated levels.
  • Early last week, Senate Democrats “rejected” a short-term funding proposal by House Republicans they hadn’t even seen yet. But then on Friday they embraced the same short-term proposal as it became evident Americans have rejected their calls for more failed “stimulus” spending. What will they do this week?
  • Speaker Boehner: “I’m hopeful Senator Reid will quickly hold a vote on our short-term proposal so we can ensure the government remains open and that we’re addressing the need to cut spending to create a better environment for job growth.”

Rising Gas Prices Fuel Uncertainty, Threaten Job Growth

  • As gas prices soar, it’s worth remembering what the Democrats who run Washington have spent two years doing: pushing for a job-crushing national energy tax, locking up American energy sources, and wasting billions of “green stimulus” dollars. Read more.
  • According to the Washington Post, the Obama Administration thinks America can “deal with” and “successfully absorb” higher energy costs.
  • Energy & Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) have already introduced legislation to stop the EPA from imposing a backdoor national energy tax, as outlined in the Pledge to America. The new House majority is also committed to an all-of-the-above energy strategy that increases American-made energy production, provides for more clean renewable and alternative fuels, and increases conservation.

Also This Week

  • Washington Democrats now deny the hand they played in fueling union protests against reform-minded governors – a role they previously boasted. Read more here.
  • SNEAK PEEK: Speaker Boehner will address the National Religious Broadcasters convention tonight on the economic and moral implications of Washington’s spending binge and efforts to create a better environment for job creation. Read advance excerpts here.

As always, we appreciate your interest in the new House majority and encourage you to stay connected with the Office of the Speaker on Facebook, Twitter, and on Speaker.gov. Have a great week!

Speaker Boehner’s Press Office

Rove: Obama’s Badger State Blues – WSJ.com

Posted in Wisconsin U.S. by James Pat Guerréro on 02/26/2011

By KARL ROVE

During the past eight days, thousands of Wisconsin teachers walked out of classrooms, shutting down schools. Tens of thousands of public employees staged an apparent wildcat strike, flooding Wisconsin’s state capital in a round-the-clock protest. And Democratic legislators engaged in a most undemocratic action, fleeing Wisconsin to deny the state Senate the supermajority required for a quorum.

They did this to oppose Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to require public employees to increase contributions to their retirement and health-insurance plans, and to rein in their collective-bargaining power to negotiate for higher benefits.

President Barack Obama has joined labor’s attacks, criticizing Mr. Walker’s proposals as “an assault on unions.” According to news reports, Mr. Obama’s personal political machine, Organizing for America, was thrust into the battle, providing buses to transport striking government workers to the protests, mobilizing phone banks, and rallying protesters from nearby states.

Why is the president trying to bully the Wisconsin governor? After all, Arizona, Utah, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and West Virginia are among the states to explicitly prohibit collective bargaining for public employees, which is far beyond what Mr. Walker is seeking. The answer is found in four digits: 2012.

Unlike those states, Wisconsin is a 2012 battleground. Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, told a reporter from this newspaper last week that a union defeat in Wisconsin “can put [Mr. Obama] in some danger” of losing the next election. Labor spent $400 million to elect Mr. Obama in 2008: Mr. McEntee was sending a not-so-subtle message that unions would be unable to spend so generously on his behalf in 2012 if they continue hemorrhaging members and dues money.And hemorrhage they have. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), last year alone 612,000 U.S. workers dropped their union memberships, each representing as much as $500 in lost dues. While labor is still powerful, its decline has been precipitous among private- sector workers. According to the BLS, just 6.9% of private-sector workers (7.1 million) are unionized, while 36.2% of public- sector workers (7.6 million) are. And the number of public-sector union members is rising.

The growth of public- employee unions has paid off handsomely for some. The BLS reports the average annual wage for a state-government employee is now $48,742, but $45,155 for a worker in the private sector. What’s more, the Bureau says the cost of benefits for state and local government workers has risen 50% more than those for private-sector employees since 2001.

This matters to taxpayers. Public-employee unions push to increase their numbers and get more benefits by expanding government’s cost and size. This often puts them at odds with the citizens who pay the bills.

About Karl Rove

Karl Rove served as Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush from 2000–2007 and Deputy Chief of Staff from 2004–2007. At the White House he oversaw the Offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison, and Intergovernmental Affairs and was Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, coordinating the White House policy-making process.

Before Karl became known as “The Architect” of President Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns, he was president of Karl Rove + Company, an Austin-based public affairs firm that worked for Republican candidates, nonpartisan causes, and nonprofit groups. His clients included over 75 Republican U.S. Senate, Congressional and gubernatorial candidates in 24 states, as well as the Moderate Party of Sweden.

Karl writes a weekly op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, is a Newsweek columnist and is the author of the book “Courage and Consequence” (Threshold Editions).

Email the author atKarl@Rove.comor visit him on the web atRove.com. Or, you can send a Tweet to @karlrove.

Click here to order his book,Courage and Consequence.

Union demands have helped produce an estimated $3.5 trillion in unfunded liabilities for state and local government pension and health-care plans. They’ve also led to personnel practices that tie the hands of local elected officials, often resulting in perverse outcomes. For example, union insistence on “Last In, First Out” often means the best and brightest teachers are let go when districts downsize or schools close.

Wisconsin’s governor knows this firsthand. In 2003, during his first term as Milwaukee county executive, Mr. Walker faced a huge budget deficit. He could have either raised already astronomical property taxes or found savings in personnel costs, the biggest part of his budget. Collective bargaining tied his hands, and once unions refused concessions his only option was to fire people. He reduced the county government’s work force by 20%.

Seared by this episode, Mr. Walker now wants statewide local governments and school districts to have the management tools to avoid layoffs. Hence his proposals to limit collective-bargaining rights for benefits and to require public approval of pay raises greater than inflation.

Fortunately for Mr. Walker and others contemplating his course, there’s a lesson in the experience of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. Upon entering office in 2005, Mr. Daniels signed an executive order ending collective bargaining for state workers. This and other controversial actions caused his approval ratings to fall into the 30% range.

But by re-election time, Mr. Daniels’s decisions had paid off. The state’s finances were in good shape and Indiana’s economy was doing better than its neighbors’. While Mr. Obama was carrying the state in 2008, Mr. Daniels won a second term with 58%, proving that the right policies are often the right politics.

Events in Wisconsin have offered a vivid contrast between two chief executives. One (Mr. Walker) is taking meaningful steps to achieve fiscal balance. The other (Mr. Obama) is encouraging public employees to violate their contracts while his policies cause record deficits and reckless spending.

Let’s hope the differences between the two won’t be lost on Badger State residents or the rest of America.

Mr. Rove is the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.

via Rove: Obama’s Badger State Blues – WSJ.com.

Breakthrough on Medical Malpractice Reform | Health Reform Report

Posted in Health Transformation, Healthcare Reform by James Pat Guerréro on 02/26/2011

The budget proposal that President Obama recently sent to Congress contains a breakthrough to address medical malpractice reform. As the Associated Press reports, “Obama’s budget calls for $250 million in Justice Department grants to help states rewrite their malpractice laws in line with recommendations that his bipartisan debt reduction commission issued last year…Topping the list of ideas in an Obama administration summary of the proposal are health courts.”

This is important progress, because health courts address the staggering waste of defensive medicine better than any other proposed reform. Caps on damages limit liabilities, but they do not eliminate the distrust that fuels defensive medicine (doctors ordering unnecessary tests and procedures to protect themselves, in case of lawsuits, rather than to help their patients). It is also commendable, because health courts have long been opposed by the trial lawyers, a powerful special interest in Washington that benefits handsomely from the lack of consistency in the current medical justice system.

The waste in American health care is notorious – estimated by reliable studies at $600 billion to more than $1 trillion annually – and an estimated $50 to $200 billion of that waste is attributed to defensive medicine. Controlling health care costs is not possible without addressing the distrust that fuels this waste.

Distrust of justice by doctors is nearly universal because the current system does not even aspire to upholding reasonable standards of care. Instead it is an ad hoc process in which one jury could find liability, where another jury on the same facts finds no liability.

To restore a foundation of trust we need a new system of medical justice that can be relied upon to distinguish between good care and bad care on a consistent basis. Currently, outcomes are decided jury by jury, and overall, according to a 2006 Harvard study, the error rate is about 25 percent, hardly inspiring confidence in doctors. Nor is the system effective for injured patients – it takes an average of five years until settlement, and almost 60 percent of an award goes to lawyers and administrative costs.

America needs health courts, aimed not at stopping lawsuits but at making lawsuits reliable to protect whoever is right. The concept of health courts originated with Common Good, the non-profit organization I chair, working in conjunction with experts at the Harvard School of Public Health and with funding from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In health courts, expert judges with special training would resolve health care disputes. They would issue written rulings providing guidance on proper standards of care. These rulings would set precedents on which both patients and doctors could rely. As with existing administrative courts in other areas of law – for tax disputes, workers’ compensation, and vaccine liability, among others – there would be no juries. Each ruling could be appealed to a new medical appeals court.

The transformative benefits will be far-reaching. Once trust in medical justice is restored, doctors can emerge from their defensive cocoons, be more candid about decisions of care, and start focusing on what they think is right, not self-protection. Hospitals can acknowledge opportunities for improvement and institute systemic safety enhancements without fear of opening themselves to greater legal risk.

That’s why health courts are gaining broad bipartisan support at a time of increasing political polarization. They are an essential foundation for rebuilding a health care system that is affordable.

President Obama, with his budget proposal, has broken free of the trial lawyers. What’s needed now is for Republican leadership in the House of Representatives to support this initiative and put pressure on the Senate to make a modest investment to achieve huge potential savings.

via Breakthrough on Medical Malpractice Reform | Health Reform Report.

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The Untold Story of Scott Walker’s Longstanding History with Labor | The Americano

Posted in Wisconsin U.S. by James Pat Guerréro on 02/26/2011

Governor Scott Walker may be a new marvel to cable news, but he is certainly no stranger to Wisconsin politics. Scott K. Walker, son of a Baptist preacher, began his political career in the early 1990s when he ran for an Assembly seat in the State Legislature. Even as a young legislator in his twenties, Walker took a hard-line, penny-wise approach to labor unions. During a debate in 1993, Walker advocated reforming union laws that oversaw local government labor disputes. Little did he know that his career in Milwaukee politics would be tested and weighed by his exchange with those very laws.

After nine years in the State Legislature, Scott Walker campaigned for Milwaukee County Executive – a seat that no Republican in Wisconsin has ever occupied. But Milwaukee County was recently rocked by a massive pension scandal – one that had given away six-figure backdrops to hundreds of public employees. The area was ripe for a new breed of leadership, and Walker’s message of frugality and fiscal reform seemed to reverberate with the voters. In 2002, Milwaukee County elected Scott Walker, the first ever Republican County Executive.

As Executive, Walker’s skirmishes with unions began shortly after he promised he would balance county budgets without raising property taxes. Without counting on these revenue-raising mechanisms, Walker had to lean on the county workforce for program cuts.

In 2003, Detractors accused Walker of ginning up a false fiscal crisis in order to justify slashing budget items. Drumming up false budgetary crises became a perennial charge against Walker, so he didn’t waste opportunities to remind them that unfunded pension liabilities threatened the solvency of their county government.

In 2006, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) – Walker’s nemesis in all budgetary matters – criticized Walker for what they called a “Sky is Falling Tour.” A few months later (ironically), the Greater Milwaukee Committee – a private sector civic organization – released a damaging report recommending a state takeover of Milwaukee County’s budget due to their daunting health care and pension costs.

In late 2006, Walker made headlines when he decided to veto the entire counter-budget proposed by the Milwaukee County Board. Walker vetoed it because the County Board had restored 125 jobs that his budget had planned to cut. A verbal battle ensued starting with Walker blaming the County Board for caving in to union pressure.  The County Board explained they partially restored those jobs to entice unions to come to the negotiating table.  That didn’t work. Rich Abelson, President of AFSCME’s Council 48, was so angered that he promised to start recall campaigns on every County Supervisor that failed to fully fund those positions. Abelson said, “We know who they are, and we won’t forget.”

In 2009, Walker’s battle with Milwaukee’s biggest union resulted in successfully privatizing the County Courthouse’s housekeeping. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel characterized his victory as “half a loaf” since the County Board thwarted Walker’s attempt to privatize the County Courthouse security as well. A few months later, Walker stunned the Board by invoking emergency budget powers in order to privatize those security jobs anyway. His authority was later challenged by AFSCME and reversed by arbitrator Amedeo Greco, who ordered Milwaukee County to rehire the guards they had fired with months of back pay.

In eight years as Milwaukee County Executive, Scott Walker learned a lot about how local governments work. While taking on a formidable Democrat machine in Milwaukee, Walker experienced some bumps and bruises, but he had some victories under his belt too.  He learned that there was more to balancing a government budget than fiscal wisdom.  Every budgetary choice Scott Walker involving cuts was bucked, in one way or another, by AFSCME.

The year that best summarized Walker’s saga with local labor was probably 2010. As the 2008-2009 Great Recession hit the country, Milwaukee County’s tax base felt the pinch. Walker called for an aggressive strategy of employee wage cuts and increased benefit contributions. AFSCME refused to accept those concessions provoking Walker to order layoffs and furloughs for hundreds of county workers.  The exchange typified the continuing narrative that is Scott Walker.

At no point during Walker’s eight year tenure did AFSCME recognize the financial impact the pension scandal had upon Milwaukee County. In short, Milwaukee County’s Pension Board – without so much as a cost study on pension benefits – passed ultra-lucrative pension buy-backs to hundreds of employees. Almost in a day, Milwaukee County government found herself mired in a $60 million hole without a viable exit strategy.

Instead of acknowledging the county’s fiscal woes, AFSCME fought Walker every step of the way. Walker took his story to the public explaining that 48% of the county budget was spent on wages and benefits.  He also explained that more concessions were necessary to narrow their $10 million budget gap. Ultimately, AFSCME refused to make any concessions prompting Walker to order 22 furlough days for nearly 1,500 county employees. In a rare display of solidarity, the County Board put their firm support behind Walker’s decision in the hope it would prod the county’s largest union to be reasonable. That never happened.

Rich Abelson, President of AFSCME’s Council 48, said “His [Walker] union-busting attitude shouldn’t surprise anybody.” In some sense, Abelson was right. As the County Executive, Walker may not have tried to “bust” unions, but he fought them tooth and nail for eight years on issues such as privatizations, program cuts, furloughs, and on employee givebacks. Walker always put the taxpayers first going toe to toe with Abelson every time.

Walker is no newbie when it comes to collective bargaining. He has eight years of experience standing up to labor unions in the most liberal county in the state; seemingly, Walker was bred for this moment in history. He has always believed that the services provided by governments must be defined by the taxpayers’ ability to pay. It was a dogma that served Walker well.

During Walker’s tenure, he reduced the size of the county workforce by 20%, decreased the county debt by 10%, and did it all without raising the property tax levy from the previous year. According to Moody’s, Walker’s “strong management and prudent budgetary controls” strengthened the county bond rating for future investing. Nobody would argue that Milwaukee County’s fiscal health is without ailment or disease, but there is no doubt that Walker left the county in a healthier state from which he had first found it.

Aaron Rodriguez is a journalist for El Conquistador Latino Newspaper and a paramedic for the Racine Fire Department. Rodriguez is also owner of the Hispanic Conservative – a prolific blog that discusses local politics and Latino issues.

via The Untold Story of Scott Walker’s Longstanding History with Labor | The Americano.

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Hate-A-Rama: The Vulgar, Sexist, Racist, Homophobic Rage of the Left – HUMAN EVENTS | Michelle Malkin

Posted in Republican Party by James Pat Guerréro on 02/26/2011

Barack Obama’s new era of civility was over before it began. You wouldn’t know it from reading The New York Times, watching Katie Couric or listening to the Democratic manners police. But America has been overrun by foul-mouthed, fist-clenching wildebeests.

Yes, the tea party movement is responsible — for sending these liberal goons into an insane rage, that is. After enduring two years of false smears as sexist, racist, homophobic barbarians, it is grassroots conservatives and taxpayer advocates who have been ceaselessly subjected to rhetorical projectile vomit. It is Obama’s rank-and-file “community organizers” on the streets fomenting the hate against their political enemies. Not the other way around.

The trendy new epithet among Big Labor organizers who’ve been camping out at the Madison, Wis., Capitol building for more than a week to block GOP Gov. Scott Walker’s budget reform bill: “Koch whore.” Classy, huh? It’s a reference to the reviled Koch brothers, David and Charles, who have used their energy-industry wealth to support limited-government activism. A left-wing agitator based in Buffalo who impersonated Koch in a prank phone call this week used the slur to headline his “gonzo journalism” report. (If a right-leaning activist had perpetrated such a stunt, he’d be labeled a radical, stalking fraudster. But that’s par for the media’s double-standards course.)

The 20-minute phone call undermined the grand Koch conspiracy by exposing that Walker didn’t know Koch at all. No matter. “Koch whore” is the new “Halliburton whore.” The Captains of Civility are sticking to it. And the sanctimonious “No Labels” crowd is missing in action — just like Wisconsin’s Fleebagger Democrats.

Sexual vulgarity is a common theme in the left’s self-styled “solidarity” movement. Among the Madison pro-union signs the national media chose not to show you: “Buttholes for Billionaires” (complete with a photo of Walker’s head placed in the middle of a graphic photo of someone’s posterior) and “If teabaggers are as hot as their Fox News anchors, then I’m here for the gang bang!!!”

Last month, GOP Lieutenant Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch was subjected to similar misogyny for her outreach efforts to private businesses. Liberal WTDY radio host John “Sly” Sylvester accused her of performing “fellatio on all the talk-show hosts in Milwaukee” and sneered that she had “pulled a train” (a crude phrase for group sex).

At an AFSCME rally in Providence, R.I., on Tuesday, an unhinged pro-union supporter picked an unprovoked fight with a citizen journalist taping the event for public access TV. His eyes bulging, the brawler yelled: “I’ll f**k you in the a**, you faggot!” After several unsuccessful minutes of trying to calm their furious ally down, the solidarity mob finally started chanting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, union-busting’s got to go” to drown out his intimidating vow to follow the cameraman outside the building. Criminal charges are now pending against him. None of the local media who covered the event thought to mention the disruption in their coverage.

In Columbus, Ohio, supporters of GOP Gov. John Kasich’s fiscal reforms were confronted with a fulminating union demonstrator who railed: “The tea party is a bunch of d**k-sucking corporate butt-lickers who want to crush the working people of this country.”

In Denver, Colo., Leland Robinson, a gay black tea party activist and entrepreneur who criticized teachers unions at a Capitol rally, was told by white labor supporters to “get behind that fence where you belong.” They called the 52-year-old limousine driver “son” and subjected him to this ugly, racially charged taunt: “Do you have any children? That you claim?”

Tea party favorite and former Godfather’s Pizza President Herman Cain is another outspoken black conservative businessman who has earned the civility mob’s lash. Two weeks ago, a cowardly liberal writer derided Cain as a “monkey in the window,” a “garbage pail kid” and a “minstrel” who performs for his “masters.” Monkey. Parrot. Puppet. Lawn jockey. Uncle Tom. Aunt Thomasina. Oreo. Coconut. Banana. We minority conservatives have heard it all.

In Washington, D.C., a multi-union protest at the offices of conservative activist group FreedomWorks resulted in one young female employee, Tabitha Hale, getting smacked with a sign by a barbarian wearing a Communications Workers of America T-shirt — and another FreedomWorks employee getting yelled at as a “bad Jew” for opposing public union monopolies and reckless spending.

In the wake of the Tucson massacre, Obama urged the nation “to do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.” He pushed for “a more civil and honest public discourse.”

As Big Labor-backing MoveOn.org (the same outfit that smeared Gen. David Petraeus as a traitor) prepares to march on all 50 state Capitols this weekend, where’s the Civility Chief now? AWOL.

via Hate-A-Rama: The Vulgar, Sexist, Racist, Homophobic Rage of the Left – HUMAN EVENTS.

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Wisconsin Assembly Passes Labor Reforms – HUMAN EVENTS | John Hayward

Posted in Wisconsin U.S. by James Pat Guerréro on 02/26/2011

The Wisconsin Assembly passed Governor Scott Walker’s reform package last night, moving the legislation to the state Senate, which is famously empty of Democrats these days. There was much sorrow in various undisclosed locations throughout Illinois.

The Associated Press write-up of the bill’s passage is hilarious. Assembly Democrats – praised by Republican Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald for having the guts to actually show up and do their jobs – tried to filibuster by “throwing out dozens of amendments and delivering rambling speeches.” Whenever the Republicans tried to get things moving again, “Democrats rose from their seats and wailed that the GOP was stifling them.” After sixty hours of this, the Republicans called a vote at one o’clock in the morning, and the “bewildered” Democrats were so punch-drunk from their own antics that only 13 of them managed to vote in time.

Thus did the political foot soldiers of union bosses fall in battle against the taxpayers of Wisconsin.

Filibustering is at least a legitimate procedural tactic, unlike the despicable quorum-busting that cowardly Senate Democrats have been engaged in, but sometimes a filibuster attempt does fail. The taxpayers of Wisconsin will certainly be entitled to keep the Democrat Assembly circus in mind during the next election.

Speaking of those profiles in courage, the clock is now ticking for the fleebaggers. If they don’t come out of their spider holes and get back to Madison pronto, the state will miss the deadline for refinancing the debt, and then a lot of those lovely union goons pounding drums and comparing Walker to genocidal dictators all over the capitol will find themselves with zero salary and zero benefits.

Governor Walker imposed a deadline that will run out tonight, but the Associated Press speculates that he could conceivably push it back to the middle of next week, and still have enough time to complete the financing arrangements and meet a hard deadline of March 16. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to give the fleebaggers a couple more days to snivel and watch free HBO in their hotel rooms. Why should the governor take chances with rosy assumptions about the length of time it will take to complete a deal? Why should he and his staff work late into the night in a mad scramble to finalize the details, just to give Democrat fugitives a few more days to call into TV studios from their undisclosed locations?

The Governor’s deadline of Friday night has been well known, ever since the Democrats piled into that ridiculous little yellow bus and dodged state troopers in a mad dash for Illinois.  The voters of Wisconsin deserve a functional state government.  Scott Walker and the Republicans are working hard to give it to them.  If the state Senate cannot lawfully convene with a quorum today, let the unemployed public union workers of Wisconsin spend the weekend roaming Illinois to find those “undisclosed locations,” so they can thank the fugitive Democrats for wiping out their jobs.  The rest of Wisconsin can get to work on a plan for privatizing education, so their kids have a shot at getting out of the hole decades of public education bureaucracy have left them in.

via Wisconsin Assembly Passes Labor Reforms – HUMAN EVENTS.

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Smart and Leader Rick Scott Saying No to ObamaCare | James Pat Guerréro

Posted in Health Transformation, Healthcare Reform by James Pat Guerréro on 02/26/2011

Florida Governor Rick Scott is now joined by Alaska Governor Sean Parnell in refusing to implement ObamaCare in their respective states. “All Governors Should Just Say No to ObamaCare,”is written by Michael F. Cannon of the Cato Institute.

Read More: All Governors Should Just Say No to ObamaCare | Michael F. Cannon | Cato Institute: Commentary.

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The Debate on Killing Yards in Ciudad Juárez | James Pat Guerréro

Posted in Family by James Pat Guerréro on 02/25/2011

Presumably Mexican gunmen killed six more teenagers playing in their own yards in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico.  It is believed that just because the teenagers were related to the father in a drug deal gone bad, the gang killed the teenagers. The Killing with a capital K is real, like the ‘raven above the chamber door, still is sitting, “Nevermore!” – a constant reminder of death and terrorism. Yea, here’s another form of terrorism that suffers the little ones while the men, whose ‘souls shall be lifted -nevermore!’-enjoy the shallow pleasures of life: money, drugs, guns, cars, and prostitution. Life is Meaningless becomes the new debate. One day the debate will take place.

Footnote: Citation on The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe, 1845.

Read More: Six Teenagers Killed in Two Separate Attacks in Ciudad Juárez | The Americano.

Texas Exes | Does The ‘Googlization Of Everything’ Worry You? A UT Alum Says It Should (Listen)

Posted in Google by James Pat Guerréro on 02/25/2011

How many times have you used Google today?

When I fired up Safari this morning, it went straight to iGoogle. I’ve since searched for a few things and checked Gmail probably a dozen times. Later I have plans to get directions on Google Maps, and hardly a day goes by that I don’t reference The Alcalde on Google Books.

I’m pretty sure I interact with Google more than most people in my life. In fact, Google may know more about me than 95 percent of my Facebook friends. I certainly give it more of my time than anything made of paper and ink. And you know what? I love it.

As Siva Vaidhyanathan, BA ’94, PhD ’99, Life Member, puts it in the title of his new book, we are experiencing The Googlization of Everything. But, wait, what’s that in parentheses? We should worry about this?

Yes, argues Vaidhyanathan, a professor of media studies at the University of Virginia. Google, for all its magnificence (and he admits, most of the time it’s “beyond belief, high quality, better than we could have imagined”), can be worrisome too. “It’s dangerous if we don’t understand it properly. And it’s dangerous if we just take it for granted,” he says.

In a podcast with the University of California Press, which published the book, the author discusses his concerns including how Google has blurred the line of public and private utility and why its near-monopoly on Web advertising should be closely monitored.

“Google is hailed by people all over the country — including the president of the United States — as an example of what we do right in this country. And I’m willing to go along with most of that,” Vaidhyanthan says. “I just feel it’s not so healthy to worship a company on those terms, when the company essentially governs so many important resources that have a tremendous effect on how we choose to govern ourselves and how we make decisions in our lives.”

Listen to the rest of the podcast below, then let us know what you think. And if you want to hear more, Vaidhyanathan will be speaking at South by Southwest Interactive. Check Google for details.

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via Texas Exes | Does The ‘Googlization Of Everything’ Worry You? A UT Alum Says It Should (Listen).

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