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Senator Smalley is angry

March 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Watch this video.

Apparently, the new healthcare law mandates all sorts of great stuff–like building playgrounds to “encourage” healthy lifestyles.

Jason Mattera asks Senator Al Franken how things like that help to lower healthcare costs, as proponents of reform says it does.  And the larger question–is it the Federal government’s place to mandate these kind of things?

Age has not been good to Al Franken.  He’s obviously a bitter and angry person.  More importantly, he appears to have no clue about what exactly is in the healthcare reform bill.  It’s probably a fair guess that not many Democrats do either.

And yes, at one point Mattera refers to Franken as “Senator Smalley”.  Priceless!

Democrat party fail and the myth of the “last eight years”

March 27, 2010 1 comment

It’s about time Democrats start accepting some responsibility of the ship they’ve been running for the better part of three years now. 

Via Instapundit, a Goy and His Blog notes:

The horror of “the last 8 years” has become it’s own self-perpetuating meme. The problem is that it’s a meme without meaning. Two of those eight years – now stretched to three out of the last nine – saw fiscal and regulatory policies determined by the Democrat Congressional majority, elected in 2006. Every economic indicator available shows that this is where America’s recent tribulations began.

The real horror – the years since the Democrat Congress rose to absolute power – hasn’t seen much discussion. It’s “all Bush’s fault”, as they say. But as the last ten years recede into the rear view mirror, we can see them in context. And 20/20 hindsight can often be quite revealing.

And if they don’t take most of the responsibility, which I’m sure they won’t, the Republicans need to force it on them come the midterm campaign, and establish that narrative.

I wrote along these lines back in January and how Republicans need to keep pointing out this fact.  I’m not excusing the blatant excessive spending of the Republicans back during the Bush administration.  But as Goy notes in his post, those years are quickly receding.

One other point worth noting–the entire “success” of the Obama administration and to an extent, that of Democrats in control, depends on the “Bush and Republicans screwed things up and we’re making it better” meme.  This is made easier thanks to a complicit media.  If Republicans want to roll back healthcare, if they want to stop whatever more economic destruction the Obama Democrats want to bring down on the country from now until November, Republicans need to grow a backbone and fight back–hard.

Chris Christie unleashed

March 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Governor Chris Christie is pulling no punches in what’s shaping up to be an epic battle between fiscal sanity and the obstinate teachers union. 

As I wrote earlier this week, conservatives nationwide should be paying attention to how the governor is calling out the teachers union and isn’t buying into their sob stories and their constant self-victimization.

Yesterday, Christie landed another jab:

Christie said teachers could avoid layoffs if they reopen their contracts, take pay freezes and pay 1.5 percent of their salary toward their health care. He said students should ask their teachers why they are unwilling to do that.

“They should ask their teachers, if they want to teach free thinking, why they’re in the throes of the dicta from their union, rather than resorting to common sense,” he said. “This is where they abuse their position of trust. Those are our children in that classroom. To be inundated with that type of propaganda – self-serving, self-interested, greedy propaganda – is reprehensible. And they know it.”

It’s so refreshing to see a Republican show some spine and not cave into the same, tired left-wing tactics.  Under the Corzine regime, when the teachers union yelled “Jump!”, the only answer from Trenton was, “How high?”. 

Christie apparently, doesn’t play by those rules.  He’s calling them out for the hypocrites that they are, and provided he himself doesn’t cave, the citizens of New Jersey will be much better off.

UPDATE.  The Washington Times picks up on the Christie story:

Most contentious have been his attacks on teachers and public-sector unions, which are getting a 7 percent pay raise over two years but contribute little or nothing toward health care at a time when one in 10 New Jerseyans are out of work. This week, the governor called on all public school employees to agree to salary freezes for the coming year and to contribute to their health insurance.

Mr. Christie’s budget proposal calls for laying off 1,300 public employees and looks to save $50 million by privatizing some state services.

“The leaders of the union who represent these teachers have used their political muscle to set up two classes of citizens in New Jersey: those who enjoy rich public benefits and those who pay for them,” he said in his budget address last week.

Here in New Jersey, the Christie/public union fight is all we’re hearing about on our local television and radio news.  Jersey is still deep blue, but that voters put Christie into office speaks volumes.  And I hate to rehash the election of 2009, but Christie picked up support in blue precincts and counties, especially in middle class areas, like along the Middlesex County corridor. 

Long story short, this is not a fluke.  Christie is doing exactly what the tax-weary electorate voted him in for.  The teachers union can stuff it!  

I can’t repeat it enough–this story should be getting national attention from conservatives and the Republican party.

[Via Hot Air Headlines]

Senator Menendez is keeping busy

March 26, 2010 2 comments

Speaking of New Jersey, how pathetic is our Senate delegation?

The economy is in shambles, the state is facing a severe budget crisis and we have the highest tax rate in the nation.  Senator Lautenberg is close to ninety years of age and is basically a rubber stamp for a left-wing agenda.

And then there’s Bob Menendez.

In the midst of our economic issues and championing a ruinous healthcare reform legislation, what’s on the top of his list of priorities?

He’s worried about the scourge of diversity:

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) has begun an unofficial “diversity survey” of Fortune 500 companies and has told the companies that if they do not participate in the survey, he will make their names public.

The survey has already drawn fire from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as “a fishing expedition” and from legal experts, who say companies may violate federal employment laws by even asking such questions of their employees or suppliers.

Menendez, the only Hispanic in the Senate, wants to find out how many minorities, women and disabled people serve as top executives or members of the firms’ corporate boards, as well as the “demographic makeup of your suppliers.”

If a company responds to Menendez’s request, its information will be kept anonymous, although it will be aggregated in a report Menendez plans to issue later this year.

“Completion of this survey will show your commitment to improving diversity among the highest ranks of your corporation,” Menendez wrote in a March 8 letter sent to the companies.

[…]

Menendez said the survey had nothing to do with being chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, where one of his main roles is raising money and courting wealthy donors. And he rejected any suggestion that a company that did not comply with the survey could be the object of a boycott.

Yeah.  This has nothing to do with Democratic party fundraising, baseless and frivolous lawsuits, the 2010 elections or any of that nonsense.  This is about diversity.  Because it’s a US Senator’s job to intimidate and bully private enterprise into hiring the right color people.

2012 can’t come soon enough to be rid of this jerk.

Rumblings in the Garden State

March 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Chris Christie, the governor of my home state of New Jersey, is making a name for himself.

How does a chief executive do that?  By standing up to the special interests and public sector unions which have held the state in a financial strangle-hold for years.

Specifically, Gov. Christie isn’t making any friends at the NJEA, the belligerent state teachers union:

All around the state, school districts are planning painful, unprecedented amputations of staff and programs. Local officials are cursing Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed cuts in state aid, but they should be pointing fingers at themselves, too.

When they should have been holding the line on salaries for the past several years, many boards of education instead hugged teachers at the bargaining table and slipped tens of millions of dollars into their pockets with a wink. Now, we’re paying a price.

[…]

This week, the governor called for a one-year pay freeze for teachers, and the New Jersey School Boards Association immediately announced its support.

The Star-Ledger has called for a pay freeze for teachers and all public employees to help drowning taxpayers catch their breath.

But the teachers union doesn’t believe its members should share the pain.

When asked why not, the New Jersey Education Association’s defiant president Barbara Keshishian told a Star-Ledger editorial board recently, “Because we have negotiated contracts.”

[…]

If the NJEA has its way, teachers will watch friends and colleagues get laid off, class sizes increased and extracurricular programs eliminated — rather than reopen sacrosanct contracts and accept a pay freeze. Remember, these are the same teachers who chanted, “Think of the kids!” during their protest of the governor’s proposed funding cuts. Local union chapters should think of the kids (and the suffering taxpayers), defy their militant state leadership and agree to a pay freeze. It’s the right thing to do.

A decade of liberal governance by Democrats like John Corzine and Jim McGreevey have left the state on the brink of financial disaster.  Governor Christie has made it abundantly clear to Jerseyans that tough choices will have to be made to correct our fiscal situation.

In order to do this, concessions need to be made by public workers and their unions, to alleviate the pressure on what is one of the highest middle class tax rates in the country.

But politically, conservatives across the country should learn from what Gov. Christie is doing here.  He’s not afraid to call out the unions and take them to the mat.  He makes it clear that the citizens and the administration have nothing against teachers.  Nothing against students.  It’s about the unions and their radical allegiance to their union bosses instead of educating children.    Christie isn’t afraid to make this distinction.  For too long the radical left has been allowed to use students and teachers as human shields against necessary fiscal action that hurt their pocket books.   Christie is calling them out on it, with success.

The last polls show that Christie has an approval rating of 52%.  As he calls out the unions more, his poll numbers increase.  It’s not about the teachers–it’s about the unions.

As conservatives try to regain their voice on the national stage, as they attempt to take steps back towards fiscal conservatism, they should look here to New Jersey and see how it can be done.

Surprise!

March 25, 2010 Leave a comment

What did you think healthcare reform was all about?

The bill is the most sweeping piece of federal legislation since Medicare was passed in 1965. It aims to smooth out one of the roughest edges in American society — the inability of many people to afford medical care after they lose a job or get sick. And it would do so in large measure by taxing the rich.

A big chunk of the money to pay for the bill comes from lifting payroll taxes on households making more than $250,000. On average, the annual tax bill for households making more than $1 million a year will rise by $46,000 in 2013, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research group. Another major piece of financing would cut Medicare subsidies for private insurers, ultimately affecting their executives and shareholders.

The benefits, meanwhile, flow mostly to households making less than four times the poverty level — $88,200 for a family of four people. Those without insurance in this group will become eligible to receive subsidies or to join Medicaid. (Many of the poor are already covered by Medicaid.) Insurance costs are also likely to drop for higher-income workers at small companies.

Finally, the bill will also reduce a different kind of inequality. In the broadest sense, insurance is meant to spread the costs of an individual’s misfortune — illness, death, fire, flood — across society. Since the late 1970s, though, the share of Americans with health insurance has shrunk. As a result, the gap between the economic well-being of the sick and the healthy has been growing, at virtually every level of the income distribution.

You didn’t think it was actually about healthcare did you??

Obamacare is merely the next bulkhead

March 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Derbyshire:

[…] Western civilization, over my lifetime, has been a slow-sinking ship. The few who have known what is happening have worked desperately to seal the watertight doors, repair the fissures, pump out the flooded zones. It’s been a losing fight, though.

The tilt of the decks is harder and harder to ignore. Last night, a major bulkhead gave way. Soon a funnel will topple over with a great crash and a shower of sparks. Yet still the band is playing, the people are dancing, the food coming up from the galley.

I’m finding it hard to disagree with him here.  A few more days, maybe.

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