The pity party for furloughed federal employees should be toned down. A story at CNNMoney.com notes something I don't expect will be only rarely be reported anywhere else, namely that there has been a concerted and likely largely successful effort on the part of federal employee unions to ensure that as many of their members as possible will be eligible to collect unemployment benefits during their time off. I would expect that those who don't have union representation are also attempting to imitate what the unions are doing whenever and wherever possible.
It's pretty safe to say that extra spending on unemployment benefits wasn't treated as a partial offset to estimated savings resulting from sequestration. CNN Money's coverage of one instance of this kind of maneuvering makes it clear that the total dollar amounts aren't small in a federal workforce of 4.4 million. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Jeffrey Lord at the American Spectator has reviewed the White House logs looking for a relationship between meetings listed there and the timeline found in the Inspector General's report on the targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups issued last Tuesday. Lord's work represents yet another example of alternative media scooping a lazy or negligent establishment press.
What Lord has found (single-page print version) is that President Barack Obama met with the President of the National Treasury Employees Union Colleen Kelley, on March 31, 2010. The NTEU is "the 150,000 member union that represents IRS employees along with 30 other separate government agencies." The Inspector General's report, blandly titled "Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review," indicates that the IRS, in Lord's words, "set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America" the very next day. Lord's work is a mandatory read-the-whole-thing item. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Today, The Newspaper Guild & Communications Workers of America issued a statement which began as follows: "Recently you’ve seen many petitions asking that Warren Buffett and his executives not be allowed to buy the Tribune Company’s newspapers. We understand why Buffett's group breeds this distrust. They are active political proponents of harsh left-wing positions. We’re also not certain that Tribune will listen to anything but money when the final decision is made."
In a roundup of editorial commentary published on Wednesday, the Associated Press excerpted an editorial at the Los Angeles Times condemning the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal, which has thus far led to 35 arrests, including that the of the district's former superintendent. "Somehow," the excerpt omitted the specifics of the excuse-making on the part of the American Federation of Teachers and it President Randi Weingarten in the organization's press release.
What AP excerpted, followed by the key passage it chose not to, follow the jump.
I guess Byron Tau thought he had to make it look like Big Labor is really, really mad at President Barack Obama and the White House so he could make Obama look like he's a moderate on economic and fiscal issues. Thus his Sunday morning post's headline: "Labor targets Obama over proposed benefit cuts."
Of course, they aren't "cuts" at all, though they are being portrayed as such. All Obama has done, according to information which appears to have been conveniently leaked (perhaps in hopes of killing the idea) to the New York Times ahead of his very late President's Budget, is "propose a new inflation formula that would have the effect of reducing cost-of-living payments for Social Security benefits, though with financial protections for low-income and very old beneficiaries, administration officials said." Despite the weakly descriptive language at the Times, monthly Social Security and other checks would continue to increase under the proposal each year inflation occurs -- just not by as much.
So much of liberalism hinges on the willingness of liberals to engage in collective amnesia. Fortunately, many conservatives prefer to remember.
Ever since the sequester's cuts took effect, Ed Schultz has railed about their impact to the economy, particularly air travel. Since he frequently flies his own plane from Minnesota to work in New York City and to a fishing lodge he bought in Canada (did I mention how Schultz often urges others to "Buy American"?) , Schultz fancies himself an expert on aviation. (audio clip after page break)
This has already gotten ugly, even by Chicago standards.
Fifty-four public schools in the Windy City are closing due to a $1 billion budget shortfall and the president of the Chicago Teachers Union is putting the blame squarely on Mayor Rahm Emanuel. (audio clip after page break)
On Friday morning, Milwaukee County District Attorney, a Democrat, announced that an investigation into illegal campaigning and other illegal acts while current Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was the county's executive had concluded nine days earlier. Three former Walker aides, a political appointee, and two private citizens were sentenced. Two county officials pled guilty to crimes relating to campaigning on government time; two others stole money, one from a not-for-profit group and another from a county commission. One private citizen was sentenced for exceeding campaign contribution limits and laundering contributions; the other pled no contest to importuning a 17 year-old boy.
Walker himself was not charged. A top state Democratic Party official was so angry that he tweeted Jeffrey Dahmer analogies. It is pretty obvious, based on word choices he made in his related writeup, that the Associated Press's Scott Bauer, whose biased coverage of Walker has been clear for at least the past two years (previous NewsBusters posts with his tag are here), was also extremely displeased (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
The first is that it will cost a lot of money, totaling an amount which appears to have a chance to come within striking distance of about half of the annual profits in the entire commercial baking industry. The second is that there is little if any evidence supporting DOL's finding that imports have seriously harmed the industry. Excerpts from that editorial (do read the whole blood-boiling thing), followed by a bit of analysis by yours truly, follow the jump.
Yesterday, the Department of Labor announced that it had certified "more than 18,000 former Hostess workers around the country as eligible to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance." I'll save excerpts from DOL's inane announcement for after the jump.
The story has garnered some local coverage in areas affected by Hostess plant closures late last year, including a couple of regional Associated Press stories. But the AP, based on a search on "hostess," did not have a story at its national site as of 9 a.m. today, even though former Hostess workers in 48 states are affected. Additionally, virtually every story found in a Google News search on "Hostess trade adjustment" (not in quotes) is local in nature. Could this possibly be because doling out tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars to workers whose unions thought the company was bluffing when it said it would throw in the towel without acceptable labor contracts is more than a little embarrassing, especially when President Barack Obama is simultaneously claiming that the federal government will have no choice but to lay off and furlough employees if sequestration takes place?
Writing at National Review, John Fund has an important piece on the declining power and influence of labor unions. Given their significant contribution to aiding and funding the growth of government, this is a positive trend that deserves to be highlighted amidst much of the negative news that conservatives have faced recently, especially considering that this is truly a historic slide to irrelevance:
In 2012, with a Democrat in the White House, union membership declined, not only as a percentage of the workforce, but in absolute numbers. Even though the related report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the number of employed wage and salaried workers increased by almost 2.4 million, union membership fell by just under 400,000. Union membership is down by over 1.7 million since 2008, and fell by 961,000 during the past three years of supposed economic recovery. These results aren't sitting well with Sam Hananel at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, whose reporters are represented by the Occupy movement-supporting News Media Guild. Excerpts from the AP reporter's Wednesday report follow the jump.
Two weeks after he clashed with pro-union demonstrators protesting a law that gives workers in Michigan the choice of whether or not to join a union, Fox News contributor Steven Crowder has posted almost nine minutes of raw, vulgarity-laden footage.
Throughout the video, which was released to prove that Crowder and other conservatives in Lansing that day were attacked by union thugs, there's the incessant, irritating sound of someone at the protest beating on a drum.
Imagine for a moment if a Christian fundamentalist pastor publicly threatened a Democratic Party governor about to sign a legitimately passed bill into law with a long-term campaign of public harassment for doing so. Now imagine if that pastor extended that threat to include appearances at the governor's home and at his children's sporting events, and that Republican and conservative elected officials on hand during the pastor's announcement voiced no objection to the pastor's threats. All of that would be news, right?
The situation in Michigan resulting from the government's passage of “right to work" laws in a heavily unionized state reached a new level on Friday, when Fox News contributor Steven Crowder filed a complaint with the police regarding an attack on him by a protester.
“By calling in, he's in essence filed a complaint,” said Richard Hale, the shift supervisor at the Lansing post of the Michigan State Police.
The same media that were "obsessive about the need for civility in the American public conservation" is deliberately ignoring the utter lack of civility, and worse, violence, from the left as evidenced by union thug violence this past week in Lansing, Michigan, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued on the December 13 Hannity program.
"What is key here is that reporters were there. That scene is crawling with journalists. They're all there. They're seeing it with their own eyes. It's not like they missed the story, it's not like they didn't have the footage, it's not like nobody told them about it," the founder and president of the Media Research Center noted on the weekly "Media Mash" segment. "They were there, they saw it. And still, they withheld it from the public," Bozell noted, going on to call for peaceful Tea Party protests of media censorship outside the headquarters of the major networks: [Watch the full segment below the page break]
Teamsters Union president James Hoffa warned on CNN Tuesday that there would be "civil war" in Michigan over thepassage of right-to-work legislation, but after anchor Brooke Baldwin made two brief mentions of it the CNN blackout began. In contrast, on the next day Fox News hammered the "civil war" threat as an example of radical rhetoric.
How bad was CNN's blind spot to the controversy? After Hoffa warned of "civil war," Baldwin simply repeated his words back to him. "[I]n the meantime, as you wage this civil war, what does this mean for unionized workers moving forward in Michigan?" she asked, without demanding how violent the union pushback would be.
Rachel Maddow is often absent from the MSNBC show which bears her name, thereby allowing one of her alternating guest hosts to serve up unintended comic relief.
Providing the hilarity last night was Washington Post blogger and Bloomberg columnist Ezra Klein, who predictably spun the story about Michigan legislators passing a right to work law (video after page break)
Shame on Steven Crowder for brutally smashing his face down upon the tender closed fist of union member Tony Camargo.
Although the network news shows are carefully avoiding committing themselves to real journalism by not reporting on union violence in Michigan, those of us who have access to the censored news via the Web are well aware of what is actually happening. And in order to keep up the pretense that the the unions are mere innocents in the drama unfolding in Michigan as you can see in this video of union thug Camargo throwing punches at Crowder, the DUers at the Democratic Underground have come up with excuses that are both bizarre and hilarious.
Wednesday's New York Times's front page featured Monica Davey's latest dispatch from Lansing, after the Michigan legislature passed and the governor signed right-to-work legislation that would forbid unions to coerce membership dues from workers in the traditionally union-dominated state.
The pro-union broadcast networks are deliberately censoring footage of thuggish union violence directed at conservatives. If a Tea Partier had physically assaulted a liberal journalist or ripped down a structure occupied by a liberal organization all on video, the footage would be broadcast on an endless loop. ABC, CBS, and NBC have a responsibility to the American people to expose what’s really happening in Michigan. Their double standard is absolutely outrageous.
Both Steven Crowder and Americans for Prosperity should press charges on the parties responsible for these assaults, and they should be prosecuted. ABC, CBS, and NBC may be willing to turn a blind eye to union violence, but the unions are not above the law.
On Wednesday, CBS This Morning shipwrecked its aim to be the hard-news alternative to ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today. Its only coverage of the passage of the right-to-work law in Michigan was a clip of Comedy Central's Jon Stewart ripping the legislation. Anchors Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell laughed on air in reaction to Stewart's shtick, with O'Donnell adding, "That's pretty good."
The liberal Daily Show host poked fun of the "right-to-work" phrase as an Orwellian reversal of reality (audio available here; video below the jump):
Appearing on Wednesday's MSNBC Morning Joe, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder was greeted with childish behavior by the show's panel of left-wing pundits, who were unable to conceal their disgust with the state's right-to-work legislation just signed into law by the Republican. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Contributor Richard Wolffe led off the disrespectful display when Snyder defended the new law: "I don't believe this is actually anti-union. If you look at it, I believe this is pro-worker." Wolffe started laughing and rudely interrupted: "Hang on a second. Are you really – are you serious? Are you serious? This is not anti-union? This actually, at its core, undermines the ability for unions to organize. So you can make many arguments you like, but saying it's not anti-union..."
Demonstrating his and his employer's pro-union bias, Jeff Karoub at the Associated Press, in compiling a list of "5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MICH. RIGHT-TO-WORK BILLS," made "The Name Is Misleading" his first item.
As an AP journalist, Karoub is likely a member of the Occupy Movement-supporting News Media Guild. Earlier this year, his employer's recently departed chairman, acting in an official capacity representing his supposedly objective, values-driven organization, praised President Obama in terms so effusive that Charles Hurt at the Washington Times wrote that it was "more like he proposed to him." In his five-item listing, the third of which has an inchoherent title, Karoub seemed to jump right in where Obama left off in a Monday Michigan speech (bolds and numbers in headings are mine):
Appearing on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports on Tuesday, liberal Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus lashed out against passage of Michigan's right-to-work law: "Unions are reeling, and the more states that enact measures like this, the more unions will be reeling....unions aren't going to survive when people have a choice of whether to ante up the dues or to get the benefit of being free-riders." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Perhaps hoping that readers wouldn't scroll down to peruse what followed, a Tuesday evening Detroit Free Press report by David Jesse and Lori Higgins carried at USA Today featured a video taking up my entire computer screen which consisted entirely of union protesters chanting slogans for 49 seconds.
The pair's actual report carries a misleading headline ("Mich. governor signs anti-union bills after protests") directly contradicted in their dispatch's content ("The right-to-work legislation ... makes it illegal to require financial support of a labor union as a condition of employment"). But it's their description of Tuesday's incident involving Steven Crowder and Americans for Prosperity which is the report's biggest flaw (HT Instapundit):
There will be plenty of time later to look at how the Associated Press and other wires more than likely fail to report the violence that took place in connection with right-to-work legislative actions in Michigan's legislature today. For now, let's look at the reactions of Associated Press reporters John Flesher and Jeff Karoub on Friday in an item which is no longer at the AP's main national site.
Their dispatch's headline ("Michigan Republicans end part of union tradition") was from all appearances an attempt to make it seem uninteresting. The story itself didn't describe the law involved as "right to work" until its fourth paragraph. Both before and after that, the pair, who are more than likely members of the Occupy Movement-supporting News Media Guild, got bitter (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Tuesday's CBS This Morning played up the union-led protests against a proposed right-to-work law in Michigan. Elaine Quijano claimed "the protests here in Michigan...[will] likely only get bigger." Quijano added that "they're planning to return today in record numbers - protesters determined to defend one of the biggest union strongholds in the country."
The correspondent loaded her report with six soundbites from the anti-right-to-work protesters and their supporters, including President Obama. Quijano only played two from proponents of the Michigan bill, including "reluctant supporter" Governor Rick Snyder.
It appears as though NBC’s Andrea Mitchell has sided with the unions in the latest battle over workers’ rights, this time in Michigan.
Appearing on Tuesday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, Ms. Mitchell took it upon herself to hammer Governor Rick Snyder (R-Mich.) over his decision to sign a bill making Michigan the 24th right to work state. She later followed up the Snyder segment with a friendly chat with liberal columnist Ruth Marcus and later with a softball interview with the Rev. Jesse Jackson and a United Auto Workers union boss. [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]