No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Day by Day cartoon

Archive for February, 2011

February 28, 2011

Last Doughboy passes

by @ 12:18. Filed under History, Military.

CNN reported that Frank Buckles, the last surviving US veteran of World War I, passed away on Sunday. Rest in peace, sir; you have earned it.

Monday Hot Read – Bob Ziegelbauer’s “Governor’s budget repair plan has merit”

by @ 12:07. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

(H/T – Kevin Binversie)

The lone independent in the Assembly and Manitowoc County Executive Bob Ziegelbauer penned a column for the Manitowoc Herald Times-Reporter yesterday:

Total compensation — wages plus fringe benefits — for public sector employees has been out of whack for long a time. It’s a systematic problem, one we can’t ignore.

When the economy went down, state and local government kept spending as if everything was normal. But, the truth is that when things went bad, nearly everyone in the private sector took a big, permanent, financial hit almost immediately and are only now working their way back.

Public sector employees were protected from the pain by continuing tax increases, mediation arbitration and the political power of their unions. As unemployment got worse, the gap between their total compensation and the rest grew farther apart. Now, we need to adjust, to realign that as soon as possible. The longer we wait, the harder it will be.

Reality is going to hit home tomorrow, as the FY2012-FY2013 budget is expected to have over $1 billion in cuts to shared revenue.

Recommended Reading (02/28/11)

by @ 7:29. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend:

Oh, to be a teacher in Wisconsin

“The showdown in Wisconsin over fringe benefits for public employees boils down to one number: 74.2. That’s how many cents the public pays Milwaukee public-school teachers and other employees for retirement and health benefits for every dollar they receive in salary. The corresponding rate for employees of private firms is 24.3 cents.”

The chart that tells you everything you need to know about whether public workers are over-compensated

“Every labor economist, right or left, will agree that higher “quit rates” are much more likely in sectors that are underpaid and lower levels are much more likely in sectors where compensation is generous. Not surprisingly, this data shows state and local bureaucrats are living on Easy Street.”

Meet the GOP’s Newst Rising Star
* NOTE THE LIBERAL SOURCE OF THIS PIECE *

“Barely a month after his inauguration, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker already has prospective presidential candidates stampeding to help him. In today’s turbocharged political climate, fueled by constant chatter on cable television and the Internet, can talk of a vice presidential bid be far behind for the man who two months ago was a little-known county executive?”

A Governor for President in 2012

“Governors make better Presidents.  They have actually run big unwieldy bureaucracies and suffered the political impacts of tough decisions.  OK—except Jimmy Carter.”

Union fails pension math

“My mother worked as a public employee when she was a teacher’s aide in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  She was employed by the state for five years, from 1981-1986.  However, she worked only part-time, so was never credited for a full year of employment by the state for each year she worked.  Instead, she received only partial credit each year.  Fortunately for her, Wisconsin and two other states (Minnesota and South Dakota) allow for full vesting for public teachers after only three years of employment.  Using a deduction for her part-time status, Wisconsin determined her creditable service amounted to 3.07 years.  Had she worked three weeks less during her last year, she would be entitled to nothing.  As luck would have it, she fully vested, and is entitled to receive a monthly check from the state of Wisconsin for the rest of her life.”

The media on Wisconsin? A bad joke

“The battle in Madison, Wisconsin between new Gov. Scott Walker and the public-sector union hacks offers an amazing study in journalistic double standards. The same national media that have spent the last two years drawing devil’s horns and Klan hoods on the Tea Party protesters have switched sides with lightning speed. In the Wisconsin protesters, they find sweetness and light, ‘hope and change’.”

Wisconsin unions vs. the Tea Party

“A story-by-story analysis by the Media Research Center shows the Wisconsin protests are a perfect case study in the media’s longstanding double standard favoring left-wing causes while demonstrating much more hostility to the Tea Party and conservative protests.”

Results of idiotic choice of words by a Republican and Democrat

(This past week) “We had dueling idiocy from both Parties…”

President’s Day: Losing our heroes one day at a time

“Washington and Lincoln? That “and” takes on a life of its own. Remember that old Saturday Night Live routine advertising a product that was both “a floor wax and a dessert topping”? Part of what made that ad funny was its rich critique of the American tendency to combine things that shouldn’t be combined to achieve a short-sighted notion of convenience.”

Does winning an Oscar extend your life?

“It’s got to be one of the most cocktail-party-worthy scientific studies ever: a 2001 article in the Annals of Internal Medicine that showed actors and actresses who won Academy Awards lived four years longer than mere nominees…

But it may not be true.”

February 27, 2011

Happy 2nd birthday, Tea Party

by @ 10:21. Tags:
Filed under Politics - National.

Two years ago today, the first widespread Tea Parties happened. In case you missed what led up to them, Michelle Malkin wrote a short primer of the beginnings of what came to be known as the Tea Party. I had the fortune of being in DC for the first one there, and got a few pics of my own.

We may have a long way yet to go, but we have come a long way.

February 24, 2011

Some good news from Ohio

by @ 21:12. Filed under Politics.

Maggie Thurber brings news of a settlement between a taxpayer group and the Ohio School Facilities Commission that will end Ohio subsidation of forced unionization and forced union wages on Ohio’s school construction projects:

COLUMBUS – The Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) today agreed to adopt OSFC Resolution 11-16, marking the conclusion of a lawsuit brought by the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, a public interest law firm representing Ohio taxpayers. The Center argued that OSFC’s funding of school projects with Prevailing Wage was unconstitutional, and that the Strickland Administration and labor unions engaged in corrupt activity in procuring, at great taxpayer expense, Prevailing Wage (PW) and Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on school building construction projects around the state.

Under the Resolution, the agency will no longer fund Ohio public school construction projects that implement Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) or Prevailing Wage (PW). The move is expected to save Ohio taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, and level the playing field between union and non-union contractors.

“Project Labor Agreements” require non-union contractors to enroll their own employees as dues-paying members of a local union hall and abide by union work rules for the duration of the project. It is typically infeasible for non-union contractors to bid on projects with PLAs, which results in the elimination of competitive bidding, and drives up the costs of projects.

“Prevailing Wage” is a wage rate that is set based upon the average wage paid to union workers in a particular locality. It is typically well above the market wage rate, and its use reduces competitive bidding and drives up costs on projects.

Chalk one up for the good guys.

Thursday night Hot Read – Doug Ross’ “In the blue corner…”

by @ 21:03. Filed under Politics - National.

Doug Ross put together the three latest high-profile examples of union thuggery, all from this week. I’ll give you the close, which includes some further reading from Peter Ingemi (donator of loaner fedoras and delicious cannoli):

Welcome to the real world.

And that goes double for you pathetic legacy media types who decried non-existent “violent rhetoric” by Sarah Palin after Tucson… but can’t seem to find a single instance of actual leftist violence. What with all of your layer upon layer of fact-checking and such.

Get stuffed.

We’re number four – 2009 state/local taxes edition

by @ 17:55. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin, Taxes.

(H/T – Kevin Fischer)

The Tax Foundation has just released its analysis of Fiscal Year 2009 state and local taxes, and because Wisconsinites pay 11.0% of their incomes in state- and local-level taxes, we had the fourth-worst tax burden in the nation as of last year. That represents an increase of 2.2% from the 10.7% of income Wisconsinites paid in 2008, when Wisconsinites’ tax burden was 6th-worst. By contrast, the average American paid 9.8% of his or her income in state- and local-level taxes in 2009, a drop of 1.2% from the 9.9% of income paid in 2008.

Since the Tax Foundation looks at the taxpayer side of the equation rather than the taxer side, they break down what Wisconsinites pay in-state versus what Wisconsinites pay out-of-state. In fact, in explaining this, they mention Wisconsin as one of their examples – “When Illinois and Massachusetts residents own second homes in nearby Wisconsin or Maine, local governments in Wisconsin and Maine will tally those property tax col­lections, but we will shift those payments back to the states of the taxpayers.”

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what Wisconsinites paid in in-state taxes. In 2008, we paid a per-capita $3,356 in in-state taxes (10th-highest overall), representing 8.1% of $41,454 in per-capita income (5th-highest overall). In 2009, that increased to $3,418 in per-capita in-state taxes (9th-highest overall), representing 8.5% of $41,4321 in per-capita income (4th-highest overall). That was a $62 increase in per-capita taxes paid (making Wisconsin one of only 17 states where this increased), while per-capita income dropped $1,133, which resulted in an increase of the tax burden in terms of income by 4.7%.

What did the average American see in own-state tax burden? In 2008, the average American paid $3,163 inside their own state, or 7.1% of their $44,294 income. In 2009, the dollar amount dropped to $3,097, but because the income dropped to $42,539, the burden increased to 7.2% of income, or a 0.6% increase.

As for Kevin’s notation that we’re worse than California, we indeed passed them in 2009 in terms of income (i.e. ability to pay). In 2008, California and its local units of government took 8.6% of Californians’ income, and in 2009, that dropped to 8.4%.

In fact, the three states that exacted more from their citizens in terms of income were Connecticut (8.5% of income), New Jersey (8.7% of income) and New York (9.6% of income).

As Kevin said, “Enough.”

Revisions/extensions (3:15 pm 2/26/2011) - I probably should have also mentioned Minnesota’s and Kentucky’s rankings. While Minnesota’s state and local per-capita take from its residents was a bit higher than Wisconsin’s at $3,520 (7th-highest nationally), the fact that each resident has an average income of $45,220 makes the percent-of-income take quite a bit better at 7.8% (6th-highest nationally).

Meanwhile, Kentucky’s state and local takes from each of its residents was a mere $2,227 (37th-highest nationally). Even its 3rd-lowest per-capita income of $32,959 didn’t raise its percent-of-income dramatically, as the 6.8% of income taken by Kentucky was 25th-highest.

I can’t speak for Shoebox, but I’m sure the lower taxes in Kentucky had something to do with his move to a warmer climate.

Open Thread Thursday – RATS on the run

by @ 7:56. Filed under Open Thread Thursday.

It’s been too long since I listened to a DFU parody. Fortunately, the guy who’s running The Badger 14 blog reminded me he’s still in business. Let’s use the latest offering to open things up:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlfPCElWYys[/youtube]

I suppose I should warn the trolls the Emergency Blogging System is very hungry.

Roll bloat – Saving the wit for the commentary edition

by @ 6:49. Filed under The Blog.

Those of you who follow the comments section of places like Boots and Sabers (my blog-godfather) and Wigderson Library & Pub may have run into TosaGuy. What he forgot to tell you (and me) is he has a pretty good blog of his own with a humble title – (Insert Witty Blog Title Here). Fortunately, I can rectify that oversight and tell you to start reading him.

February 23, 2011

Once again, California leads the way

by @ 20:22. Filed under Energy.

Ed Driscoll points out that $4/gallon gas, at least for the high-test stuff, is already a reality in northern California. Given southeast Wisconsin’s unique situation, where every spring the switchover from the winter blend to the southeast Wisconsin/northeast Illinois-specific summer blend of Algore/Whitman Memorial RFG corn-a-hole causes prices to spike by as much as 80 cents, the perma-ban on exploitation of new oil reserves by the ObamiNation, and the radical Islamic takeover of North Africa (with designs on the rest of the Middle East), look for us to once again catch northern Cali in prices.

As Ed noted, “It will be interesting to watch the MSM’s reaction if prices continue at their current highs; they were screaming for higher gasoline prices themselves (as long as the hike was in the form of additional taxes for DC) when gasoline prices cratered in the last weeks of President Bush’s administration.”

Just Wonderin’

by @ 20:03. Filed under Budget Chop, Politics - Wisconsin.

Boy, it’s been a week of non stop fun hasn’t it?  Employees have been threatening their employers to the point of physical harm and the President sides with the employees.  Have we gone through the looking glass and I didn’t notice?

The employees have backed down from their “hell no we want mo’…money” to “can’t we compromise?”

So you want to compromise huh?  Well, let’s see….

  • They claim to be fighting for worker’s rights.  Would that include the right to fail?
  • They claim to be fighting to protect teachers’ rights.  What to they think about parents’ rights to educational choices.  Would they support vouchers?
  • They claim to be fighting for a voice for students and schools.  Aren’t they they same group who complain when parents aren’t involved with students and schools?  Don’t parents and taxpayers get a say about the students and schools?
  • They claim that rallies and demonstrations prove support for them.  I can only assume that they believe the passage of Obamacare was an abuse of power based on even larger rallies and demonstrations?

I wouldn’t compromise a lick with this group.  Through their actions they’ve shown that they are either thugs or condone thuggery.  It’s time to put parents and school boards back in charge of education. 

Keep on Governor Walker!

Übermensch proves his “mental superiority” by assaulting a woman

Most of the others who have blogged about the assault on FreedomWorks employee and friend Tabitha Hale by a thug hired by the Communications Workers of America to “aggressively demonstrate” in front of FreedomWorks’ offices have focused on the call to violence by Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA). Allow me to take it a slightly-different direction. First, the video from Tabitha’s phone:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zm_Fl3AszuU[/youtube]

Note what the thug said just before he began his assault on Tabitha. History is replete with examples of those who believe themselves “mentally superior” also believing they have the right and duty to attack those they consider “mentally inferior”. One modern example was evident in Egypt’s Tahrir Square, where CBS correspondent Lara Logan was gang-raped. Another was evident in Madison on Saturday (see especially the second sign).

Update by Shoebox – “Taking a stand for Justice” – I’m hoping Tabitha pressing assault charges on this moron.  I can’t wait to see his appreciation of “justice” after this video is played in court.  It’s now beyond doubt and discussion that the left’s attempt to paint the tea party as violent is/was nothing more than a projection of themselves on a different political movement.  The left has shown themselves to be nothing but thugs and condoning of thuggary.

R&E part 2 (6:58 am 2/24/2011 – steveegg) - Tabitha provides the rest of the story of what happened outside FreedomWorks’ offices yesterday.

BRAVO SENATOR MARY LAZICH!

by @ 15:35. Filed under Miscellaneous.

For two reasons:

1) As chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and Elections, Senator Mary Lazich has successfully worked to get Senate Bill 6, the PHOTO ID bill on Thursday’s state Senate calendar.

2) Today, the state Senate approved Senate Bill 15 that repeals the mandatory requirement placed in the 2009-11 state budget that law enforcement collect racial data at each traffic stop. The bill’s author is Senator Lazich.

Wednesday Hot Read – Christian Schneider’s “Of Course It’s about the Money”

by @ 7:52. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

Christian Schneider grabbed a spot at NRO’s Corner and explained what the fights in Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio are all about for Da Unions and Da Rats:

But to say these protests are merely about collective-bargaining rights is to say The Godfather is a movie about Italian food.

Since the early 1970s, public-sector unions have been a powerful political force in Wisconsin, as they are in many states. The unions collect dues from their members (up to $1,100 per member per year), which they then use to elect members sympathetic to their causes. In the last two elections, the state’s largest teachers’ union spent $3.6 million supporting their candidates.

Walker has attempted to change that framework, allowing government workers to opt out of paying union dues — which, he has said, he thinks may offset the increased health and pension contributions he’s asking of employees.

And it is this provision that has the unions most up in arms. They know that, given the option, many of their members would choose not to write out a check for union dues. This, in turn, would strangle their election spending, leaving them scrambling for funds and, consequently, influence.

Christian went on to explain how MPS’s decision to acquiesce to MTEA demands in the mid-1970s to pay retiree health care benefits (ultimately a major contributor to the demise of General Motors and Chrysler as private entities) led to an unfunded actuarial liability of over four times the district’s entire annual $1 billion-plus budget, which, if fully-funded on an annual basis, would represent a full 20% of said budget.

February 22, 2011

Sgt. Schultz strikes again

by @ 22:52. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

WisOpinion has a copy of an op-ed penned by former Senate “Republican” “leader” Dale “No Talk Radio Here” Schultz saying he will introduce an amendment restoring full collective bargaining rights after June 30, 2013. Not-so-coincidentally, June 30, 2013 just happens to be the end date of the series of the next-to-be-negotiated WEAC contracts, and the changes in bargaining rights (including yearly contracts) don’t apply to contracts already entered into. I guess that $500 WEAC PAC gave Schultz last year, along with the $1,000 they gave him in 2006 and $1,000 in 2002, the only significant money to go to an individual Republican lately from WEAC, just might have had something to do with that knife in the back. I don’t think Schultz, whose last major action was to torpedo the Taxpayer Protection Amendment, is bright enough to use that as bait to lure a couple of Dems back to Wisconsin.

February 21, 2011

It’s Monday

Do you know where your State Senator is?

Mike, a reader of NRE, sent me the following aides to assist us in the location and safe return of the Madistan 14. Maybe this could become a collectors series? Get all 14!

February 20, 2011

Recommended Reading (02/20/11)

by @ 20:27. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend:

Athens in Mad Town

“Protesters, including many from the 98,000-member teachers union, have gone Greek. Madison’s school district had to close Thursday when 40% of its teachers called in sick. So much for the claim that this is ‘all about the children.’ By the way, these are some of the same teachers who sued the Milwaukee school board last August to get Viagra coverage restored to their health-care plan.

The protests have an orchestrated quality, and sure enough, the Politico website reported that the Democratic Party’s Organizing for America arm is helping to gin them up. The outfit is a remnant of President Obama’s 2008 election campaign, so it’s also no surprise that Mr. Obama said that while he knows nothing about the bill, he supports protesters occupying the Capitol building.”

Lost: The common good

“Walker is trying to give Wisconsin a reality check. In response, public workers have interrupted the Legislature. Madison and many neighboring public schools have closed because so many teachers called in sick and left to join the protest. Democratic lawmakers disappeared on Thursday to stall a vote on the budget measures. Apparently some of them fled to … Illinois.

Public sentiment is changing. There is a growing sense that public-sector unions are not battling for better, safer workplaces. They’re not battling unscrupulous employers. They’re battling … the common good.”

Palin – Union Brothers and Sisters: Seize Opportunity to Show True Solidarity

“Hard working, patriotic, and selfless union brothers and sisters: please don’t be taken in by the union bosses. At the end of the day, they’re not fighting for your pension or health care plan or even for the sustainability of Wisconsin’s education budget. They’re fighting to protect their own powerful privileges and their own political clout.”

The audacity of mobs

“Let’s understand this clearly. A governor of a state, who was elected on a promise of trying to bring fiscal discipline to a state budget process, asks for small sacrifices while still guaranteeing full employment and between 88%-95% of the original benefits promised, is being protested–by largely protestors who were bussed in by the president and all parties who are loyal to him. Hey – it’s Chicago brute politics at its best!”

What’s at stake in Wisconsin’s budget battle

“The labor laws that Wisconsin unions are so bitterly defending were popular during an era of industrialization and centralization. But the labor organizations they protect have become much less popular, as the declining membership of many private-sector unions attests. Moreover, it’s become abundantly clear that too many government workers enjoy wages, benefits and pensions that are out of line with the rest of the economy.”

Retire the racial bean-counters

“Instead of shutting down the racial bean-counters, the government is giving them new powers.”

What happens to all those Super Bowl T-shirts?

“What happens to all those preprinted ‘Pittsburgh Steelers 2011 Super Bowl Champion’ t-shirts?  Apparently, each year the NFL gives them to the international relief and development organization World Vision, who then ships them to Africa.

Is this good or bad? And why should anyone care?”

Did Live Action Lie?

“Of course, Lila Rose is not the first pro-lifer to pretend to be someone seeking an abortion in order to obtain information from abortion clinics. The fact is, pro-lifers have been doing this for years in an effort to stop the killing of the unborn. The writer of this article is no stranger to these methods. However, because this latest Live Action video has attracted much attention, many are asking whether pro-lifers lied in the undercover tactic they employed—namely: is the behavior of pro-lifers as seen in the Live Action video contrary to the precepts of the 8th Commandment—thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor?”

February 19, 2011

Short interview with state Sen. Frank Lasee

by @ 17:00. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

First, I must apologize for not having audio. I thought I was recording, but I somehow lost it. In any case, after the counter-rally, I ran into state Sen. Frank Lasee (R-De Pere), and did a quick interview with him. What follows is a short summary as the audio disappeared:

What the budget repair bill means for unions: They’ll have to kick in some of their take-home pay for pensions, roughly 5.8%, and pay 12% of their health-insurance premiums. They’ll also lose the right to collectively negotiate for anything other than base bay. The generous sick-day provisions won’t change one iota, and except for some less-than-full-time employees, who will gain some civil service protection, the civil service protection will remain fully in place.

Why the reduction in collective bargaining abilities is necessary: The unions, once governmental leadership changes, will simply bring back no employee payments toward pensions, very-limited payments toward health insurance. Indeed, unions that have contracts coming up are renewing them now so that the provisions of the budget repair bill won’t kick in until later.

What can be done to bring back the missing Democrat State Senators: As long as they’re out of the state, pretty much nothing.

What can be done by the Senate as long as the Democrats are out: Depending on how long they’re out, the Republicans may well move on other issues. They might also split the limits on collective bargaining out of the budget repair bill, deem it as not fiscal in nature, and move on that. Lasee hopes they’ll return soon.

In closing, Lasee said that the budget repair bill will be passed in full.

Roll bloat – My Blogfather is back!

by @ 7:17. Filed under The Blog.

The man who dragged me into the blogging world over 5 years ago through the dearly-departed WisconsinSportsBar has brought spottedhorse3 (yep, it’s now in its third edition) back from the grave.

He may not be the most-polished person, but anybody who can link Rorke’s Drift to the battle against the unions is THAT DAMN GOOD.

One of Chris’s features is Gun Porn Friday, and the re-inaugurational edition doesn’t disappoint. I can’t wait for him to bring that little baby to an open shoot.

February 18, 2011

Right Wing News Blogger Poll – GOP 2012 Presidential Field, Feb 2011 edition

by @ 21:55. Filed under 2012 Presidential Contest.

Once again, John Hawkins took the temperature of a gaggle of right-of-center bloggers, and once again, I was one of the 63 who submitted their thoughts. This time, we had several questions on who we preferred in the GOP Presidential field.

The most-interesting answer was the combined first-choice/second-choice results. The supposed rock-stars of CPAC, Ron Paul and Donald Trump, netted a total of one (second-place) vote. Surprisingly, Chris Christie ran away with 30 votes (23 first-place votes to run away with that category, 7 second-place votes). My choices (Herman Cain as 1st, Sarah Palin as 2nd) finished, respectively fourth (tied for third in 1st-place votes, tied for fifth in 2nd-place votes) and second (a distant second in 1st-place votes, barely first in 2nd-place votes).

We’re still almost a full year from the primary season, so things can and will change.

End-of-the-day The People versus The Unions updates

by @ 21:20. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

There’s three of them:

  • First things first, Dave Westlake, American Majority and Americans for Prosperity will be having a rally on the east side of the Capitol at noon. They put together an all-star lineup, from Vicki McKenna to Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit, from Herman Cain to Andrew Breitbart, from AFP head Tim Philips to American Majority head Ned Ryun. I strongly suggest getting there early, bring your video cameras, and be nice. While some of the organizers of the lefty rallies have publicly told their supporters to not engage us, I don’t exactly trust their words (I’ll get to that in a bit).
  • Item #2 – Recalls have been announced against absent state Senators Jim Holperin and Bob Jauch. Those of you down in the Kenosha area and in northeast Wisconsin, expect to see recall petitions circulated shortly.

    The short version of how partisan office recalls work in Wisconsin for those of you who either don’t remember or aren’t from Wisconsin:

    • An officeholder who has held office for at least a year since the last election is eligible for recall. On the state partisan level, that means only the state Senators in even districts, who were last elected in 2008, are eligible to be recalled at this point.
    • Organizers have 60 days from the time they register with the appropriate election officials (in this case, the Government Accountability Board), to circulate petitions in the district and get signatures equalling 1/4th the number of people who voted in the last gubernatorial election (specifically, the 2010 election).
    • If a sufficient number of signatures are gathered, the Tuesday during the 6th week after the petitions are turned in, either a partisan primary (if more than one Democrat or more than one Republican files to run) or a recall general election (if a primary is not necessary) is held. The recalled candidate is automatically on the ballot unless he (or she) declines to run within 10 days after the petitions are turned in. If there is a primary, the recall general election is held 4 weeks after the primary.
    • If the recalled official survives, he (or she) is immune from recall for the remainder of the term. If not, the winner assumes the office upon certification of the results.
  • Item #3 – WisPolitics reported the reason the Assembly adjourned rather abruptly after attempting to take up the budget repair bill (in special sessions, identical bills are filed in both houses of the Legislature) was because enough credible threats to the security of the Assemblymen and their staff came into the Capitol Police to cause them to tell the Assembly leadership that their safety could no longer be assured. Quoting Mark Jefferson, executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, in an RPW press release:

    To willfully prevent elected officials from performing their official duties in order to circumvent the legislative process flies in the face of democracy and is an insult to the citizens of this state.

    Governor Walker was elected to fix a broken system. Walker and Republicans campaigned and won on that platform, and the will of the people will not be suppressed by intimidation. State government is broken and the time for reform is now.

Tomorrow’s going to be interesting. I just hope it’s not in the Chinese way, as I’ll be in Madison.

Revisions/extensions (9:36 pm 2/18/2011) - I have to thank the folks at Power Line for linking here on the recommendation of Patrick McIlheran. Things have been moving fast, so most of my updates have been on my Twitter account rather than on the blog itself. With the rally tomorrow, I expect more of the same high Tweet count/low post count tomorrow.

Friday Hot Read – Michelle Malkin’s “Apocalypse Now: Wisconsin vs. Big Labor”

by @ 10:06. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

I probably should have put this in with today’s Scramble, but I think I closed the books on that just before the expanded version went live at her blog. In any case, Michelle Malkin nails the essence of the argument once again:

The lowdown: State government workers in the Badger State pay piddling amounts for generous taxpayer-subsidized health benefits. Faced with a $3.6 billion budget hole and a state constitutional ban on running a deficit, new GOP Gov. Scott Walker wants public unions to pony up a little more. He has proposed raising the public employee share of health insurance premiums from less than 5 percent to 12.4 percent. He is also pushing for state workers to cover half of their pension contributions. To spare taxpayers the soaring costs of Byzantine union-negotiated work rules, he would rein in Big Labor’s collective bargaining power to cover only wages unless approved at the ballot box.

As the free-market MacIver Institute in Wisconsin points out, the benefits concessions Walker is asking public union workers to make would still maintain their health insurance contribution rates at the second-lowest among Midwest states for family coverage. Moreover, a new analysis by benefits think tank HCTrends shows that the new rate “would also be less than the employee contributions required at 85 percent of large Milwaukee_area employers.”

In addition to my open to today’s Scramble, where I outlined some very-recent history of The Union/Democrat Axis trying to grab the last of the loot and power on their way out the door, I’ll bring in the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association’s attempt to force the Milwaukee Public Schools to restore erectile dysfunction benefits. That’s right, back in 2002, MPS offered coverage for Viagra and that class of drug. By 2005, after a massive abuse of the privlege, MPS pulled it back, and the MTEA has been battling since to restore the benefit. By the summer of 2010, after arbitrators, administrative law judges and ultimately the state Labor and Industry Review Commission ruled in MPS’s favor, the MTEA filed suit rather than fight more vigorously for the teachers that had been laid off that summer.

Oh, did I mention that the MTEA shut down MPS today to set up a 4-day weekend?

The Morning Scramble – The People versus The Public Unions edition

I’ve been a bit under the weather the last couple days, so I’ve decided to dust off The Morning Scramble. Before we get to the fun stuff (i.e., what everybody else is saying), I do have a bit of recent-historical perspective to offer. Immediately after the implosion of the Democrat Party of Wisconsin in the November 2010 elections, then-governor Jim “Craps” Doyle (WEAC/HoChunk-For Sale) rushed negotiations on contracts with the vast majority of the state unions for the July 2009-June 2011 (do note the dates) to completion. As part of that, the work rules were changed to give the employees almost total control over the workplace. Meanwhile, tne “trend-setter” contract for SEIU-represented home health-care workers for July 2011-June 2013 actually raised their compensation by $622,000 per year.

The state Legislature, then controlled by Doyle’s fellow Democrats, then proceeded to head into a special December session for just the second time in the previous 40 years to ratify those 17 contracts. Other than a vacationing Republican Senator, which reduced their minority numbers to 14, and a missing Democrat Assemblyman, which reduced their majority number, everybody showed up on short notice, even though it was widely anticipated that the contracts would be approved. The Democrats even sprung a convict from Huber jail to provide the margin-of-victory in the Assembly on 16 of the contracts. Fortunately, because the ex-Senate Democrat leader had a moment of clarity, all of the ratification votes failed in the Senate.

Contrast the behavior of the Republicans two months ago to that of the Democrats now. All of the Senate Democrats ran out of state so the “Never Again!” vote coudln’t happen as scheduled yesterday. Let’s roll video of the Rockford Tea Party hounding absent Dems Jim Holperin and Bob Jauch out of Rockford (video courtesy Jim Hoft, identities courtesy Kevin Binversie) to start the Scramble portion of the post:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxKk3DSW6Sk[/youtube]

  • In Wisconsin Reporter’s coverage, Rick Esenberg has a gem of an idea; split the reductions of the union bargaining rights out of budget repair bill so only a simple majority is requried for action instead of 3/5ths.
  • Michelle Malkin has a lengthy series of posts from the last 2 days, including a counter-rally at the Capitol on Sautrday at noon.
  • Ace notes the #NewTone is the same as the #OldTone for the Übermenschen. I doubt they’re using the Nietzsche definition.
  • Back to Kevin’s previoiusly-linked post for a minite – he asks a few questions, such as who paid for the Dem run, and what happens to the high school sporting events.
  • Speaking of high-school sporting events, Charlie Sykes noticed the Edgerton High School students taunted Madison East (the first school to shut down on Tuesday afternoon) fans with a “”We got teachers. How about you?” chant at a high school hockey game between the two schools.
  • In case you missed how unspontaneous the Madison East “walkout” was on Tuesday, The MacIver Institute has a video reminder. Guess it’s time for a video break…

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cufj2d8Co5A[/youtube]

  • Da Tech Guy penned a not-so-short poem to the travels of the Senate Dems.
  • Stephen Hayes points out what it’s really about – the loss of money and power for the unions. To which, I say, “Break them!”
  • To close, I’ll remind everybody we’re not alone in Wisconsin. Maggie Thurber passed along this video of the unions trying to deny a similar effort in Ohio.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7x28_5QphQ[/youtube]

February 17, 2011

Who’s That Man in the Black Fedora?

by @ 7:44. Filed under Envirowhackos.

Oh, as an added bonus, an envirowacko gets their own hypocrisy exposed and in turn, their head handed to them!

H/T Redstate.com

February 16, 2011

Post-primary wrap, 2011 edition

Sorry about not covering the primaries. I just had so much on the plate, and so little time. Oh well; let’s take a quick look at the results of the four races that were on my ballot:

  • State Supreme Court - Justice David Prosser easily outpaced the field, who to a person wanted to refight the Mike Gableman knockout of Louis Butler, with 55% of the vote. Out of that field, JoAnne Kloppenburg, an assistant Attorney General who interned with Shirley Abrahamson and clerked for Barbara Crabb (thus proving her liberal credentials), moved on. Unless something drastic changes, the norm of Supreme Court Justices having the seats as long as they want them will continue, and in this case, it would be a good thing.
  • Milwuakee County Executive - As expected, Rep. Jeff Stone (R) finished first, with 43% of the vote. Somewhat-surprisingly, liberal activist Chris Abele beat out former Sen. Jim Sullivan (D) for second by a 25%-22% margin. Very-shockingly, Milwaukee County Board chair and former acting County Executive Lee Holloway finished a very-distant fourth with 8% of the vote, while Ieshuh “Not The Whiteman’s Bitch” Griffin finished last with 2% (she also failed to move on in a county board special election).

    Those results beg a pair of questions. The first is whether Stone can somehow find another 7 percentage points in the general election to beat Abele. The one thing that is in his favor is that this is a non-partisan election, and the southeast-suburban labor union Democrats have shown a willingness to vote for conservatives in non-partisan elections. However, the fact that the (IMHO, necessary) dismantling of the public-sector unions is happening now, as well as the millions Abele sure seems willing to throw into the race (he threw in over $700,000 in the primary), works against him picking up any significant number of votes from the Sullivan/union camp.

    The second question is what happens to Holloway now, especially if Stone wins. I have to wonder whether 10 of his fellow board members will be willing to risk more than the usual political capital to oust him from the chairmanship before 2012.

  • Milwaukee County Circuit Court Branch 18 – I honestly know almost nothing about this race. Incumbent Pedro Colon, who despite getting the seat via appointment on his way out of the Legislature by fellow Democrat Jim Doyle, managed to get the endorsement of the three members of the Supreme Court who are in the middle of the Court (Prosser, Pat Roggensack and Pat Crooks) and turned that into a narrow primary win of 36%. Glendale municipal judge Chris Lipscomb moved on with 33%, while assistant Attorney General Roy Korte, who works in the litigation department, fell a bit short with 31%.
  • Oak Creek-Franklin School Board – Former alderman Mark Verhalen took first with 49% of the vote. Incumbent Sheryl Cerniglia also moved on, while Mary Becker failed to move on.

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