Archive for the ‘Unions’ Category

Gianno Caldwell’s op-ed shines a light on the pathway for President Trump’s re-election. In his op-ed, Caldwell, an African-American, states “President Trump and Republicans have delivered for the black community on tangible policies that have had a positive impact — something the Democrats never achieved.”

President Trump is fantastic at exciting his base voters. That’s the strongest part of his campaign game. Policywise, President Trump is excellent at delivering for African-Americans. Don’t trust me. Just ask Alice Marie Johnson. Better yet, listen to Sen. Tim Scott, (R-SC), and HUD Secretary Ben Carson. Sen. Scott and Secretary Carson worked together on the Opportunity Zones provisions in the Trump tax cuts.

The Opportunity Zones provisions transformed inner city hell holes into potential prosperous oases in virtually no time. Minority unemployment rates didn’t drop to historic lows accidentally. They happened because President Trump, Sen. Scott and Secretary Carson worked together to make something beautiful happen. Let’s remember that Carson grew up in inner-city Detroit. Saying that he was dirt poor is understatement. I don’t know where Sen. Scott grew up. I just know that he grew up dirt poor, too. President Trump didn’t grow up dirt poor but he was raised as a real estate developer. He understands what it takes to turn a run-down neighborhood into a rising middle-class neighborhood.

Each day, Tim Scott and Ben Carson should hold a press conference and ask the reporters what Joe Biden’s specific plans are for fixing minority neighborhoods. They should then cite the accomplishments that President Trump has made already, then report that they plan on working with him to expand opportunity scholarships and school choice.

Each day, Tim Scott and Ben Carson should be sent to Baltimore, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh or Detroit. Their day should include meeting with parents and entrepreneurs willing to invest in these neighborhoods. It should include a discussion on how these investors/developers could establish a scholarship fund with a little help from the tax code.

It should also include a conversation with parents on what their ‘ideal neighborhood’ would include. Getting investors to invest in these neighborhoods builds a trust that’s long been missing. Doesn’t that suggest that that’s what’s needed immediately?

Challenge Democrats to talk about what their plans are for revitalizing neighborhoods and building the schools of the future. The dirty little secret is that the Democrats can’t deviate from their ancient blueprint of throwing more money at a problem. That’s because the unions won’t let them change the blueprint.

Tim Scott and Ben Carson are 2 of the calmest-sounding people in government. If they can’t break through to apolitical parents, then this nation is lost. I don’t believe it’s lost. That’s why, after watching this video again, I’m more optimistic than ever:

Let’s force the Democrats to defend their record on racial policies. Republicans, unfortunately, don’t have a great record either. At least Republicans can say that they’re willing to change to make minority lives better. Democrats can’t say that.

It’s terribly apparent that Tim Walz, the DFL governor of Minnesota, isn’t a leader. Most of the time, he’s been a blithering idiot who couldn’t think his way out of a wet paper bag. During the COVID crisis, which Walz mishandled terribly, Walz used a one-size-fits-all strategy for the entire state. He didn’t detect the difference between downtown Minneapolis and downtown Little Falls. Yesterday, Walz took a cheap shot at the GOP state senate.

Though he didn’t mention Republicans by name, his intent was clear when he said “My call to action on this is: This is on us, and I don’t think things just happen by chance. I’m not sure there’s anywhere else in the country (where) their Legislature is coming back next week. So you’re gonna get to see an opportunity next week how serious people are about getting this done. Because I will guarantee you, there will be bills put on the floor and put to a vote: Yes or no. Put your money where your mouth is and send it forward.”

Here’s something more specific:

The agenda poised to embody much of the initiatives was laid out earlier this week by lawmakers in the People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus, of which Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan was a founding member when she served in a Legislature. Their agenda includes some two dozen ideas, under five general topics — as the caucus defined them:

  1. Reform the investigation and prosecution of officer-involved deaths and wrongful actions
  2. Increase police accountability and transparency
  3. Raise standards of conduct and support officer excellence
  4. Partner officers with the communities they serve
  5. Repair and build community trust and create community-centered public safety

There’s a term for the vast majority of this initiative. That term is DOA. In fact, it isn’t worth trying. For instance, the goal of raising “standards of conduct and support officer excellence” sounds worthwhile until you get to the part that major city DFL mayors undercut police officers virtually daily, either by criticizing them for partisan gain, gutting their budgets and their forces or by accusing them of “systemic racism’.

If you’ve just graduated from a law enforcement program, why on God’s green earth would you want to serve a mayor who doesn’t hesitate in criticizing you, puts the police budget on the chopping block yearly and thinks that police want to kill people of color each day? That’s before tackling the issue of officer excellence without reforming the police unions. Officers often get criticized and kicked off the force, only to have the union file (and win) a lawsuit restoring the officer to full duty with back pay. There’s no chance that the DFL will take on a public employee union, especially in an election year.

Repairing and building trust within communities is virtually impossible when DFL politicians take cheap shots at the police. What’s worse is when Antifa-supporting legislators like Aisha Gomez say things like this:

This is why we talk about police abolition.

There is no reform that can fix this system. No training or body camera or coaching or diversification effort or outside investigation or toothless oversight body that can fix this.

The rot in police departments is the rot in our political and social systems, crystallized and heavily armed. It is a reflection of our country, built on the enslavement of African people and the genocide and dispossession of Native people, reliant on exploited immigrant labor to enforce the racialized social order and help the powerful accumulate wealth.

This female might be more insane than Ilhan Omar. Why would I take her seriously?

I’ve been thinking for quite some time about what police reform would look like. Frankly, most of it is impossible to accomplish without significant citizen buy-in. One of the things that must change is getting ride of bad officers.

Officer Chauvin is a perfect example of what needs to happen but didn’t happen. Various reports say he had anywhere between 12 and 18 citizen complaints. That can’t be allowed to happen.

A friend of mine in law enforcement told me that officers often get disciplined and kicked off the force. This friend then told me that officers that often get booted from the force then file an appeal in court, where the court orders them to be reinstated.

Another thing that we discussed was how difficult it was to work in big cities. My friend said that big city mayors frequently don’t put a high priority on public safety, instead putting a higher priority on quality-of-life issues than on public safety.

That’s foolish because people don’t care how many parks or bike trails there are when the city is overrun with violence. If cities don’t get the core functions of government right, everything else is meaningless. That led the conversation in another direction. When Minneapolis or St. Paul don’t get the money that they want in LGA, they immediately talk about cutting police and firefighters.

I might be wrong but I think that, under R.T. Rybak, they cut 2 officers and a firefighter but they were happy that they didn’t have to cut the city’s bike trail coordinator. This speaks volumes about liberals’ priorities. The Democrats’ priorities aren’t America’s priorities.

I used to think that more training was essential to better policing. Today, I’m convinced that better civilian leadership is essential. Politicians that moisten their finger, then play to the crowd, aren’t leaders. They’re just politicians. When holding office is more important than doing what’s right, corruption quickly follows.

There’s more to reforming law enforcement but that’s enough for tonight to chew on. Check back with LFR later this week for more on the subject.

There’s no question whether Joe Biden maintained a reputation for decades as a centrist. That reputation isn’t withstanding the pressure of his latest presidential campaign. Byron York’s article highlights how the Democrats’ presumptive nominee is transforming from a centrist into a leftist.

York’s first example is Biden’s years-long defense of President Obama’s deportation of illegal aliens. In his article, York wrote “Biden has defended the Obama administration’s record on deportations against those on the left who criticized President Barack Obama as the ‘deporter in chief.’ Then came last month’s Nevada caucuses. After ugly losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, Biden was struggling for life in Nevada and trying to appeal to the Hispanic voters who made up a substantial portion of state Democrats. All of a sudden, Biden backtracked on the Obama deportations he used to defend. ‘There were too many,’ Biden told Univision’s Jorge Ramos. ‘I saw the pain in the eyes of so many people who saw their families being deported. I know what it’s like to lose family members. It was painful.'”

Biden’s immigration transformation didn’t stop there, though:

As the Nevada vote neared, Biden promised that if he became president he would not deport anyone, no one, under any circumstances, during his first 100 days in office. After that, Biden said he would deport only those who have committed felonies in the United States. Biden repeated the pledge at his recent debate with Sen. Bernie Sanders, his last remaining rival for the nomination.

Think about that, people. A Biden administration promises to not faithfully execute this nation’s laws. In this debate, Sleepy Joe and Crazy Bernie gave the same answer on whether local communities should turn over illegal immigrants to their administration:

It doesn’t get much more leftist for a Democrat than that. Joe Biden got the reputation of Blue Collar Joe for standing with coal miners, construction workers and blue collar families. Blue Collar Joe doesn’t exist. Here’s proof:

Biden’s centrist-to-leftist transformation is complete.

There’s nothing democratic about how California is getting run politically these days. This article highlights how California’s ruling class couldn’t care less what their constituents say. One of the people that’s getting ignored is Gloria Rivera. California’s ruling class features a woman named Lorena Gonzalez. Here’s how California’s ruling class is changing Californians:

When Gloria Rivera, a San Diego-based, Peruvian-born translator and interpreter, achieved U.S. citizenship, the first thing she did was register as a Democrat. “Now I’m seeing a lot of people like me who are either going Independent or Republican,” she says, “myself included. The Democrats are not listening to us.

There’s little doubt that California’s politicians don’t listen to Californians. That’s what makes California’s politicians part of the problem. Democrats, in general, aren’t good listeners. The last Democrat that was a good listener is Bill Clinton. Nancy Pelosi, the most famous California Democrat, is a terrible listener.

Online and in person, independent contractors are confronting Gonzalez and demanding a repeal of the law. Her condescending response: independent contractors need the protection of union-driven labor laws. In a damning KUSI news interview, Gonzalez denied that AB5 has resulted in widespread income loss. Her dismissive attitude has fueled outrage against Democrats.

Gonzalez’ dismissive attitude is triggering a political backlash:

“I see a revolution on the horizon,” says David Mills, a musician from Lake Elsinore who created the Facebook group Freelancers against PRO Act. “This may be the final straw that breaks the camel’s back. But I think it’s leading to something good. The American people on all sides are waking up. We’ve gotten too caught up in partisan support. Now we’re paying attention. There is a huge uprising. People had to lose their jobs to find out what it was.”

It’s taken time for this resentment to build to this level but it’s getting there. There’s a timeless cliché that’s worth remembering in this situation. It goes like this “Beware the wrath of a patient man.”

This fits people who are patient and even-tempered. The fuse on their temper is longer than most. That doesn’t mean there isn’t an end to it. When that fuse hits that gun powder, the explosion is just as violent as the person with a short fuse. This situation has taken a ton of time to build into a major explosion.

California used to be known as the Golden State. That’s why its population grew each year. That ended this year when, for the first time in California’s history, it didn’t gain a congressional seat in reapportionment. Things are changing. What that means still hasn’t been determined but it’s changing. For some reason, this song just fits:

Here’s hoping that the California revolution starts soon. Here’s hoping that the revolution, when it happens, is a big one. Getting the state straightened out would result in a huge change for the better.

Matt Vespa’s article is the worst news Bernie Sanders has received in quite some time. Inside his article is this tidbit of information:

Nevada’s powerful Culinary Workers Union will not endorse in the presidential primary, while criticizing Bernie Sanders’ signature Medicare for All proposal, according to three sources with knowledge of the decision. In declining to pick a candidate, but sharply criticizing Sen. Bernie Sanders’ signature policy position, Medicare for All, the union created an opening for Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, two moderate Democrats with little demonstrated support in the state.

That’s truly throwing Bernie under the bus. Taking direct aim at Bernie’s signature issue isn’t what he’d like to hear. The question is whether this issue will sink him in other states. This suggests it will:

In Pennsylvania, some top union leaders were also adamant that they would tell their people to stay home or vote for Trump should Sanders or Warren become the 2020 Democratic nominee. In the Keystone State, Sanders’ commitment to a universal ban on fracking, which will kill hundreds of thousands of jobs in the must-win state, is just a bridge too far.

LFR has frequently said that the Democrats’ opposition to fracking and fossil fuels is their Achilles heel. That’s the thing that puts Democrats in God’s little acre: just east of the rock, just west of the hard place. Some issues have multiple solutions. Energy is a binary choice. If you oppose fossil fuels, you’re the enemy. Period.

This is predictable. Bernie truly believes in Medicare-for-All. What he can’t do anything about is the fact that unions have often negotiated for Cadillac plans, which aren’t taxed, while settling for lower wages. Meanwhile, Bernie is on the wrong side of the fossil fuels issue. Dan Crenshaw and Kevin McCarthy are offering a better way forward:

Congressmen including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, of California, and Dan Crenshaw, of Texas, are pitching the legislation as a common sense alternative to Democrats’ calls for limiting the use of fossil fuels. “There’s this false choice between doing nothing and over regulating,” Crenshaw said. “That would do nothing, because the United States is only 15 percent of emissions.”

International corporations like Exxon-Mobil and Chevron favor a carbon tax, likely because that’s a competition-killer. That doesn’t do anything to fix what’s wrong. Expect union rank-and-file to agree with Republicans on this issue.

It isn’t surprising that AFSCME thugs don’t care about the Supreme Court’s Janus ruling. AFSCME cares more about political power than about the rule of law. This is what they’ll do to maintain political power:

In Minnesota, a Scandia Elementary School worker sued after AFSCME refused to let her out of the union. In Massachusetts and Oregon, unions have continued to illegally deduct dues. In Washington State, union members trying to exit were told they had to wait until a 10 day “escape period,” which wasn’t publicized and wouldn’t come until the next year. These are but a few examples.

AFSCME should get fined for these deliberate violations of the Supreme Court’s Janus ruling. They weren’t the actions of people who didn’t understand the Supreme Court’s ruling. Quite the contrary. These were the actions of a union willing to do anything to maintain its political influence.

As for states that have an escape period (Washington State), the courts should abolish that provision. According to the Janus ruling, the First Amendment gives the people, as individuals, the authority to pick who they want to represent them to redress their grievances. The union, in this case AFSCME, doesn’t have the right to put conditions on when people can leave the union.

AFSCME is on the defensive, though they’re doing a good job of hiding it. This video is instructive:

The spokesman, Lee Saunders, said that many predicted AFSCME’s collapse after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v. AFSCME but that they’re rebounding. Saunders proclaims victory for a bill that hasn’t been introduced that would let employers “voluntarily” deduct union dues from workers’ paychecks.

That isn’t a victory. That’s a step back for the unions.

Saying that the Democrats have a candidate crisis this presidential election cycle is understatement. It isn’t just about the Democrats’ candidates, though that’s part of their problem. Part of their problem is that they’ve alienated their traditional base. Specifically, Democrats alienated blue collar workers and industrial unions. It’s more than interesting that Democrats have pushed aside unions like the UAW, Teamsters and United Mine Workers.

In this LTE, Rob Braun wrote “Middle America feels as if no one on the coast is taking their views and opinions seriously. The coastal liberal elites don’t want to hear that they aren’t happy with the moral and social re-engineering they promote. Or, calling Middle America bigots because they adhere to traditional sexual standards. And more importantly, the elites haven’t done a very good job at convincing middle America that their experiment in social and moral re-engineering is the best way of structuring a healthy and functional society.”

That’s certainly a significant part of why Democrats are pushing aside people of faith and rural America. When President Obama demonized people living in “small towns in Pennsylvania”, he criticized these people, saying that it isn’t “surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

That’s an invitation for rural voters to abandon Democrats. That’s what those voters did in 2016. President Trump capitalized on the situation, promising these voters that his policies would revive rural America’s economy. President Trump has delivered on that promise. Remember President Obama mocking then-Candidate Trump about promising to improve the US economy? I remember it because of this:

Longtime Democrat operative Mark Jaede responded to Braun:

It seems that the author thinks the Democratic Party should throw LGBT people and people of color under the bus in order to win votes from socially conservative rural white people.

I disagree. We won’t win by pandering to anti-gay people. We won’t win by dismissing the struggle against racism as “identity politics.” We won’t win by concerning ourselves with how many counties have GOP majorities. We will win by fielding a candidate who can offer Democrats in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia, and North Carolina a reason to turn out and vote.

As long as Joe Biden promises to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, as long as Bernie promises to spend $16,300,000,000,000 on his version of AOC’s Green New Deal, as long as the entire Democrat field promises to decriminalize illegal immigration and give illegal immigrants free health care, Democrats will continue losing those states cited by Prof. Jaede, with the possible exception of Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Apparently, AFSCME leadership doesn’t think it needs to represent its members. Apparently, AFSCME leadership thinks it just needs to do whatever the Democrats tell them to do. I’m fairly certain that AFSME’s leadership is misreading the situation badly. Here’s what’s shaping up to be a helluva fight:

This month, 19 Democratic presidential candidates gathered in Las Vegas to court the union vote at a forum hosted by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the country’s largest public-sector union. Some candidates took this opportunity to plug their plans for a government takeover of the nation’s health care system, which AFSCME supports.

But labor unions should be careful what they wish for. Union workers currently have some of the best health benefits around. “Medicare-for-All” would take those benefits away and leave union members with long waits for poor-quality care.

Democrats are treading on slippery turf. If AFSCME leadership sides with the Democrats, especially if their nominee is Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders, they’ll lose union rank-and-file members. Unions negotiated for Cadillac plans while not pushing hard for bigger pay raises. This wasn’t accidental.

If the Democrats’ presidential nominee pushes Medicare for All, they’ll lose lots of votes from public employee union members. President Trump doesn’t have to win a majority of the AFSCME or SEIU vote. He simply has to cut into the Democrats’ margin of victory with those voters.

I’ve said for years that the worst thing that could happen to unions, especially public employee unions, aka PEUs, isn’t defeat. It’s political irrelevance. If you think that Democrats court the union vote because of some deep kinship with their union brethren, you haven’t done your homework. Democrats court unions, especially PEUs, out of political necessity. The minute that PEUs stop producing sufficient margins of votes, they’ll get thrown under the bus.

That’s what’s happening now with coal miners, steel workers, construction unions that build infrastructure like natural gas pipelines or other important infrastructure. Notice how progressive elitists treat Trump’s army of coal miners. Remember this?

Democrats care about their extremist agenda far more than they care about unions. That’s why Democrats won’t hesitate in throwing unions under the bus for the opportunity to implement Medicare for All.

In the past, I’ve been pretty disgusted with the (lack of) quality displayed in the St. Cloud Times’ Our View editorials. Unfortunately for its readers, this Our View editorial is the worst Our View editorial I’ve ever read.

As is often the case, the Times’ Editorial Board couldn’t resist preaching from its moral high horse instead of doing its research. The editorial started by saying “St. Cloud, we have a problem. And it’s costing us dearly in respect, dignity and treasure. Our problem is not refugees. It’s not even an image problem, although we most certainly have one of those. If you don’t think so, Google ‘St. Cloud’ and click on the first New York Times article at the top.

Our real problem is that there are too many cowards in our midst. Yes, we said it: Cowards. Cowards who blanch at the idea of Somalis “just walking around” on a public trail. Cowards who cost local businesses thousands of dollars by overreacting to a mismarked security vehicle out of fear of Sharia law — which isn’t coming for us. It just isn’t, and only cowards believe it is.”

It continues:

Corporate America is not, by and large, interested in associating itself with hate of any kind. The cowardly among us keep perpetuating a local brand that makes it less likely we will be in the running for the next tech outpost or national call center. Convention schedulers are also keenly aware that attendees will look for details about our city and find our darkest side. Already this newspaper has been reached out to by travelers who planned to come to St. Cloud and changed their plans after the latest “branding effort.”

The smartest young people, the ones we need to attract to our companies, will be less likely to move here. Doubt it? Ask your kids if they’d Google a city before considering a job offer there. Our own young people, many raised with classmates and teammates and friends in a rainbow of colors, will think harder than they should have to about where they want to make a life.

Electrolux didn’t leave for South Carolina because of hate. It left because of Minnesota’s terrible tax and regulation system. It also left Minnesota for a right-to-work state. Why didn’t the Times mention that?

As for “the next tech outpost or national call center”, those companies don’t consider Minnesota because our taxes, transportation systems and regulations make us totally uncompetitive with the rest of the nation and the rest of the world. This isn’t mentioned by the DFL because their policies have hurt Minnesota. To admit this failure would be admitting that the DFL is a failure.

Listening to the Times is like listening to Dave Kleis and the Chamber of Commerce. In their world, everything’s just fine. In the real world, St. Cloud has been slipping for 10 years. This isn’t entirely St. Cloud’s fault. DFL state government needs to share in the blame by thinking it can tax the daylights out of everyone without consequence. That’s insanity.

This is why the Times isn’t trusted. Their opinions are insanity personified.