Archive for the ‘Special Interests’ Category
Sen. Hatch didn’t hesitate in changing the Senate Finance Committee rules after Democrats failed to attend a confirmation vote for Steve Mnuchin to be President Trump’s Treasury Secretary and Rep. Tom Price to be President Trump’s HHS Secretary for a second day in a row.
This morning, Democrat senators didn’t attend the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, where Chairman Barrasso had scheduled a confirmation vote to recommend Scott Pruitt to be the next EPA Administrator.
Democrats are trying to prevent Republicans from putting in place President Trump’s cabinet. Republicans, growing weary of the Democrats’ tactics, have opted to not let the Democrats’ obstructionist tactics prevail. They’re sending the signal that the Democrats’ obstructionism hurts the American people. Republicans are sending the signal that Sen. Schumer’s stunts won’t be tolerated.
Thus far, leaders of The Resistance have insisted that their Democratic puppets dance. Thus far, Democrat senators haven’t resisted these special interest tyrants. It’s just more proof that Democrats don’t represent people. This video is proof aplenty that Democrats exclusively represent special interest groups:
If Democrats keep pulling these stunts, they’ll suffer massive defeats in 2018. Republicans will have a filibuster-proof majority after the 2018 election. If Democrats want to be all obstruction all the time, their participation trophy will be political irrelevance. They will have earned that ‘trophy’.
Technorati: Orrin Hatch, John Barrasso, Scott Pruitt, Steve Mnuchin, Confirmation Hearings, Donald Trump, EPA Administrator, Treasury Secretary, Republicans, Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader, The Resistance, Obstructionists, Special Interests, Democrats
Now that President Trump has picked Judge Gorsuch to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court, Democrats face a difficult decision. Within their meeting rooms, they’re asking whether they should fight President Trump’s pick or whether they should try to push Judge Gorsuch enough to please their special interest puppeteers.
It isn’t difficult to figure out which camp Sen. Franken is in. In his statement after the announcement, Sen. Franken said “Long before his election, President Trump promised to appoint a Supreme Court justice in the mold of Antonin Scalia, who held a deeply conservative view of the Constitution and the Court. In the coming weeks, I will be closely examining Neil Gorsuch’s background, but I have serious concerns about his judicial philosophy-especially on issues like access to justice, corporate accountability, workers’ rights, and women’s health. I was hopeful that the President would have selected someone like Merrick Garland, a consensus candidate lauded by the same Republicans who ultimately refused to hold a hearing on him for nearly a year.”
I wish someone would explain to Sen. Franken that Supreme Court justices aren’t supposed to be legislators. That’s his job, at least for a little while longer. Another perspective is whether Democrats should push Judge Gorsuch a little before caving.
That’s apparently what Sen. Durbin is thinking:
Only 12 days into this administration, we’ve already seen unlawful executive orders blocked by a federal court, and the unprecedented dismissal of an Attorney General for disagreeing with the president. I believe the independence of our judicial system, and especially the Supreme Court, is more critical now than at any time in recent history. That is the context in which I will review this nomination.
I will meet with Judge Gorsuch and support a hearing and a vote for him — both of which were denied to an eminently qualified nominee presented by President Obama. The American people need to know what they can expect from this nominee, and that he will protect our fundamental constitutional rights on issues like voting rights, immigration, privacy, and women’s health. In recent years, the court’s decisions have shifted dramatically toward big money corporate interests at the expense of American workers and small businesses — we need a Court that is on the side of Main Street, not Wall Street. This Supreme Court seat does not belong to President Trump or to any political party. It belongs to the American people, and I will work to make sure their voices are heard in this debate.
This article suggests that Democrats will back off. I’ll believe it when I see it.
In the fight between home-based PCAs and the SEIU, the Bureau of Mediation Services, aka BMS, “has ordered the suspension of contract talks between the Service Employees International Union representing personal care attendants and state negotiators to avoid interfering with a union decertification campaign underway.”
This is a major victory for the PCAs because it protects against the SEIU negotiating a CBA with the state. The whole purpose of the PCA’s decertification drive is to prevent them from dealing with the SEIU.
The system has been rigged against the PCAs from the start. The Dayton administration has repeatedly refused to turn over an updated list of PCAs to the PCAs seeking decertification. Carol Clifford, a BMS Representation Specialist, wrote “This Order is issued to preserve existing conditions and promote a free and fair environment for the resolution of this question of representation. It shall remain in full force and effect until an investigation and/or hearing has been conducted and the matter is disposed of by a determination issued by the Commissioner of the Bureau of Mediation Services.”
“This is significant because if the SEIU and Dayton administration sign a new contract, it’s possible our petition for a new union election would be defeated,” said Kim Crockett, Vice-President at Center of the American Experiment, a supporter of the decertification drive. “Everything we’ve done might be thrown out and we wouldn’t be able to start a new campaign for two years.”
If there is a decertification vote, it won’t be close. The decertify PCAs will win in a landslide. With that, the SEIU will lose out on approximately $4,700,000 worth of dues each year.
The only reason why the SEIU wants the PCAs in their union is to play a larger role in DFL campaigns. This doesn’t have anything to do with making life better for the PCAs or the people they care for. It’s totally about political power.
This weekend, the US Army Corps of Engineers announced that they had refused the final permit to build the Dakota Access Pipeline. What they didn’t (couldn’t?) say was that a federal court ruled that “the project already has court approval.”
The Army Corps of Engineers’ ruling isn’t the final say in the matter. It’s the Obama administration’s last official show of support for environmental activists. It’s proof that the Obama administration is the most anti-energy, anti-infrastructure administration in US history.
Predictably, a great celebration erupted at the protest site. One protester, Adan Bearcub, said “this is the best news that I’ve heard forever – best news for Native people, native country, the whole United States – all the people. Water is so precious.” The article notes that it “would be a very big surprise indeed were Mr. Trump not to try to reverse a move by the Corps of Engineers.” Since the project already has court approval, it isn’t difficult to picture this as a temporary victory for the Standing Rock Sioux and the environmental activists:
What’s important is that the militant-anarchist wings of the environmental movement have been exposed as always opposed to every pipeline project. They’ve proven that there isn’t a tactic they won’t try. These protester-anarchists don’t care about the rule of law. Their primary principal is winning at all costs. If that means breaking the law, then that’s what they’ll do. That’s what they’ve already done.
It’s important that thoughtful people reject the anarchists’ evil ways. People talk about how divided a nation we are. They needn’t look farther than these anarchists/criminals to see society’s institutions under attack. Without the rule of law, division flourishes and contempt for each other multiplies. There’s nothing good that comes from this.
Technorati: US Army Corps of Engineers, Infrastructure, Standing Rock Sioux, Weaponized Government, Environmental Activists, Anarchists, Dakota Access Pipeline, Barack Obama, Democrats, Donald Trump, Fossil Fuels, Make America Great Again, Republicans, Election 2016
This morning, Donald Trump picked Gov. Nikki Haley, (R-SC), to be the US Ambassador to the UN. This afternoon, President-Elect Trump picked Betsy DeVos to be his Education Secretary. The Washington Post describes Mrs. DeVos as a “billionaire and conservative activist” who “has quietly helped change the education landscape in many states, spending millions of dollars in a successful push to expand voucher programs that give families taxpayer dollars to pay for private and religious schools.”
Of course, the article wouldn’t be complete without quoting Randi Weingarten. Ms. Weingarten is quoted as saying “Trump’s pick makes it loud and clear that his education policy will focus on privatizing, defunding and destroying public education in America.”
In picking DeVos, President-Elect Trump is telling conservatives that he will push their school choice agenda. This pick, more than any other pick besides Jeff Sessions as Trump’s AG, signals that Trump’s education agenda aligns with Republicans’ education agenda.
After accepting the nomination to be the US ambassador to the US, Mrs. Haley said “When the President believes you have a major contribution to make to the welfare of our nation, and to our nation’s standing in the world, that is a calling that is important to heed,” Haley said, adding that she will “remain as governor until the U.S. Senate acts affirmatively on my nomination.”
DeVos will likely get the most criticism from Democrats because school choice represents an existential threat to the Democrats’ teacher union special interest allies. I’d think that Haley will sail through for confirmation.
Technorati: Donald Trump, Cabinet Secretaries, Nikki Haley, United Nations, Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education, School Choice, Republicans, Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers, Democrats
Stephen Dinan’s article highlights how little leverage Democrats have in the immigration reform debate. Without writing a single new law, Sen. Sessions will be able to pressure mayors of sanctuary cities. As a result, Sen. Sessions’ opponents are coming unhinged.
For instance, Brent Wilkes, the executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said “the agency would become the dispenser of terror and racial intolerance should Jeff Sessions be confirmed.” That’s mild compared with what Charles Chamberlain, head of Democracy for America, said. Chamberlain said “The handful of people who might be even less equipped than Jeff Sessions to dispense justice on behalf of the American people typically spend their weekends wearing pointy hats and burning crosses.”
Democrats are preparing to fight a losing fight against Sen. Sessions’ confirmation as the next US Attorney General. Sen. Sessions will be confirmed. The only question still undetermined is whether Democrats will do as La Raza and other special interests demand or whether they’ll vote to protect their constituents. At this point, I’m betting that they’ll follow these special interest organizations over a political cliff.
Byron York’s article lists some of the things that Sen. Sessions could do the minute he’s sworn in as the next US Attorney General.
There are laws providing for the deportation of people who entered the U.S. illegally. Laws providing for the deportation of people who entered the U.S. illegally and later committed crimes. Laws for enforcing immigration compliance at the worksite. Laws for immigrants who have illegally overstayed their visas for coming to the United States. Laws requiring local governments to comply with federal immigration law. And more.
Many of those laws have been loosened or, in some cases, completely ignored by the Obama administration. A Trump administration would not need to ask Congress to pass any new laws to deal with illegal immigration. If there was a presidential order involved in Obama’s non-enforcement, Trump could undo it, and if there were Justice Department directives involved, Sessions could undo them, and if there are Department of Homeland Security directives involved, the still-to-be-nominated secretary could undo them.
Once those laws are enforced, illegal immigration will slow to a trickle.
This would definitely change behavior:
End the embargo on worksite enforcement. “Experience has shown that employers respond very quickly and voluntarily implement compliance measures when there is an uptick in enforcement,” Vaughan notes, “because they see the potential damage to their operations and public image for being caught and prosecuted.”
Once cheap labor becomes expensive, corporate policies change quickly. That’s because companies prefer making profits rather than not making profits.
It isn’t a secret why the Democrats’ special interest groups are fighting Sen. Sessions’ confirmation. They’re right in seeing him as an existential threat to their policies. Here’s hoping that the American people punish Democrats for not fixing this crisis.
Technorati: Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, Build the Wall, Border Enforcement, Republicans, Chuck Schumer, National Council of La Raza, Special Interests, Barack Obama, Priority Enforcement Program, Sanctuary Cities, Democracy for America, League of Latin American Citizens, Democrats, Election 2018
The thieves wearing SEIU union uniforms, along with their DFL political allies, have stolen money from families. This article highlights how the theft happened.
According to the article, “Recently, the union’s stooges in the capital declared some 27,000 of the state’s personal-care assistants (PCAs) ‘public employees’ – but only for purposes of collective bargaining, i.e., so they can be unionized. As a result, the SEIU is siphoning 3% of its members’ very modest Medicaid supplement.”
Kim Crockett’s op-ed explains SEIU’s racket, saying “Minnesota’s Choice PCA program was created in the 1970s when the Legislature wisely decided it was more humane and more cost-effective to care for persons with disabilities in their own homes rather than in a state institution. The Legislature funds a Medicaid benefit, given to a person with a disability, to pay for PCA care at home. Most often, PCAs are family members or close friends.”
First, let’s hear SEIU explain how family members taking care of loved ones with disabilities are government employees. Next, let’s hear SEIU explain why they deserve a penny of these families’ Medicaid benefits. Third, let’s hear Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature of 2013 explain why they sided with the SEIU rather than with families caring for loved ones with disabilities.
PCAs are people who have chosen to be the primary caregiver of a disabled person; in the vast majority of cases, a family member (usually a spouse or child). Some of the disabilities are so severe that the caregiver is unable to work outside the home. And so Minnesota established a PCA program which allows them to receive some Medicaid support.
In the old days, many of the disabled would have been institutionalized in a government-run facility, a system that was costly and scary. The current PCA Medicaid program allows these people to stay at home and be cared for by someone who loves them.
The heartless SEIU thinks it deserves a portion of these families’ Medicaid support. Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislators from 2013 agree with the SEIU. What isn’t known is why Gov. Dayton and the DFL agree with the SEIU from a policy standpoint. It isn’t difficult to figure out why Gov. Dayton and the DFL agree with the heartless bastards in the SEIU from a political standpoint.
When it comes to standing up to heartless special interests, Gov. Dayton and the DFL aren’t profiles in courage.
SEIU Healthcare insists that it’s helping these PCAs:
Key victories in the contract include workers receiving a paid time off benefit for the first time (five days of paid time off for full-time workers), raising the pay floor from $9 to $11 by 2016, a grievance and arbitration procedure to address wage theft, and a training fund to improve the quality of care they provide to people with disabilities and seniors.
How many parents can take time off when caring for a child with a severe disability? The ‘benefit’ is mostly a mirage.
It’s more than a little disheartening to find out that the US Army Corps of Engineers is getting politicized. This statement is proof that that’s what’s happening.
The opening paragraph reads “Today, the Army informed the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Energy Transfer Partners, and Dakota Access, LLC, that it has completed the review that it launched on September 9, 2016. The Army has determined that additional discussion and analysis are warranted in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s dispossessions of lands, the importance of Lake Oahe to the Tribe, our government-to-government relationship, and the statute governing easements through government property.”
Predictably, the Great Sioux Nation is delighted, saying “We are encouraged and know that the peaceful prayer and demonstration at Standing Rock have powerfully brought to light the unjust narrative suffered by tribal nations and Native Americans across the country. Millions of people have literally and spiritually stood with us at Standing Rock. And for this, you have our deepest thanks and gratitude.”
This sham protest will come to a screeching halt the minute President Obama leaves office:
The companies behind the pipeline — Partners of Dakota Access Pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics — called the Army’s announcement “unjust,” saying it reinforced the idea that the Obama administration has been acting outside the law. “This action is motivated purely by politics at the expense of a company that has done nothing but play by the rules it was given,” said Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, in a statement to NewsHour. “To propose, as the Corps now does, to further delay this pipeline and to engage in what can only be described as a sham process sends a frightening message about the rule of law.”
Legal action is being taken:
Energy Transfer and its subsidiary, Sunoco Logistics Partners, filed papers in U.S. district court in Washington, D.C., seeking to “end the Administration’s political interference in the Dakota Access Pipeline review process.” Energy Transfer asked the court to declare that the project had the legal right to proceed and needed no further government approvals.
They have the right because they’ve applied for and received all the required permits. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe can protest all they want but they’re standing on shaking ground politically. President Trump’s first Monday in office (he’s sworn in on Friday) is the day that the protests are shut down. The Trump administration is putting a high priority on building America’s infrastructure. That includes pipelines. They’re putting a high priority on energy independence, too. One of the first things that Trump’s Secretary of State will do is approve the Keystone XL Pipeline project.
The only question left is how much Tom Steyer and George Soros are paying these protesters.
Technorati: US Army Corps of Engineers, Infrastructure, Weaponized Government, Environmental Activists, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Dakota Access Pipeline, Professional Protesters, Tom Steyer, Barack Obama, Democrats, Donald Trump, Infrastructure, Keystone XL Pipeline, Energy Independence, Jobs
This past Sunday, Chris Wallace’s panel broke things down beautifully why Hillary Clinton lost. One of the eye-popping exchanges came when Chris Wallace asked “You know, George, one of the things that, and we’ve been around too long probably, we shouldn’t tell people that, but one of the things I’m always amused by is at the end of a campaign, the winning campaign, they were all geniuses. The losing campaign, they were all dopes. The winning party, they’re on the course to building a permanent majority in the country. The losing campaign is in tatters. How much of that is actually true?”
Will’s response was “Well, the losing party here is in tatters. The Republican Party is as strong as it’s been since the 1920s and probably more. Broad and deep. Sixty-nine of 99 state legislative chambers are now controlled by the Republicans. Twenty-four states, they have the Republican governor and the entire control of the legislature. Only six states have Democratic governors and Democratic legislatures. Thirty-four Republican governors. That means if you’re looking for a deeper bench for presidential candidates for the Democratic Party, you have to start with 16 governors is all they’ve got. Furthermore, one-third of the House caucus of the Democratic Party are from three states, Massachusetts, New York and California.”
Think about that set of statistics in terms of its implications to the Democratic Party and its ability to regain control of the US House of Representatives. A total of 24 states with 185 congressional districts are controlled by Republican governors working with GOP majorities in their legislatures. With Republicans totally controlling the redistricting process in those 24 states, the odds of Democrats regaining control of the US House in the next 3-4 election cycles are slim at best.
Then there’s this:
WILL: They were united by Barack Obama. They were united by an agenda. Chuck said people felt forgotten by — no, I think they felt condescended to. And there’s something about progressivism that just is condescension. We know what your healthcare ought to be, be quiet and take your medicine. We know how much water should come through your shower head. We know what kind of toilets you ought to have. We’re going to change your light bulbs, be quiet and take our direction, and people are tired of it.
LANE: Yes. Well, I — I have to say, I’ll take that as a friendly amendment, George. And I also think, just when we’re talking about factors here, I think environmentalism in a usual way worked against the Democratic Party this year. I did a little back of the envelope coalition about the most coal dependent states in terms of electricity generation in this country. There are 25 most dependent, 20 of them Trump carried. He carried Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, which are the three most coal dependent states in terms of electricity generation. That power plan to focus on global warming and stuff that he pushed with a relatively thin legal basis might have provided the small — a part, at least, of the small margin that contributed to his defeat.
Think about what Charles Lane hinted at. He essentially said that the Democrats’ siding with the environmental activist wing of their party finally caught up with them. Trump identified these blue collar voters as swing voters, then courted them, telling them that he’d be their voice in DC. Mr. Trump promised to take on the EPA if elected. He promised to be their champion.
Unlike Mrs. Clinton, he didn’t promise to retrain coal miners who lost their jobs due to her eliminating their jobs in favor of green energy jobs. That’s when Pennsylvania and Ohio knew that they’d have a champion in the White House.
The Democratic Party is so indebted to the environmental activist wing of their party that it’s almost inconceivable that they’ll be a majority party in the House in the foreseeable future.
Technorati: Environmental Activists, Energy Voters, Battleground States, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Coal Miners, California, Massachusetts, New York, House of Representatives, Keith Ellison, Democrats, Election 2016
I wrote this post to highlight what the SEIU and Gov. Dayton did to rig a unionization vote. Saying that what they did is unethical is understatement. What they did was unethical on steroids.
First, it’s worth highlighting the fact that Gov. Dayton’s Department of Human Services and Gov. Dayton’s Bureau of Mediation Services didn’t provide the Minnesota Personal Care Attendants association, aka the MNPCA, with an up-to-date list of PCAs in the state. (A judge just ruled that Gov. Dayton’s Department of Human Services has to give the MNPCA an accurate list of the PCAs in Minnesota.)
Next, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota worked with the Dayton administration to make sure that only a tiny percentage of PCAs voted in the unionization vote. Approximately 3,500 voted out of 27,000 PCAs. These PCAs didn’t vote because they were apathetic to the issue. They didn’t vote because they didn’t know how to get a ballot to vote in the election.
At this point, it’s worth asking why the Dayton administration, the DFL and the SEIU didn’t want everyone to vote. I’m betting that they only wanted the people that they’d identified as friendlies voting. This video offers an inside look:
This is how PCAs feel:
Minnesota PCAs don’t need a union. The SEIU is taking a cut of a public subsidy — and then taking credit for benefits the legislature provides anyway. That’s just wrong!
This FAQ offers some insight into Gov. Dayton’s and SEIU’s tactics:
Did the SEIU win a representation election?
In 2014, under this new law, the SEIU won an election that allowed them to claim exclusive representation of all 27,000 PCAs across the state. However, of those 27,000, only 3,500 PCAs voted in favor of unionization. That’s just 13%. Many PCAs were not aware of the vote or its ramifications and feel they were unwittingly trapped in a union they do not want.
That’s what corruption looks like. Gov. Dayton and the SEIU know that they can’t win that election if it’s fought on a level playing field. Don’t let DFL legislators off the hook, either. They passed the bill on the final weekend of the 2013 session.
Technorati: Mark Dayton, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, Weaponized Government, Forced Unionization, PCAs, Bureau of Mediation Services, Department of Human Services, DFL Culture of Corruption, Public Employees, Decertification