Monday, February 28, 2011

I am still strong beliver in capitalsim and free markets.  I've lived through enough econmic cycles to have faith in tommorow.
What is the Academy Awards show anything other than a Leftist popularity contest ...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Need a Real Sponsor here

Note to Angry Guys: Drop the Darth Vader Décor

Everett Collection
Over the weekend, Review published Ms. Hymowitz’s essay, “Where Have the Good Men Gone?
Excerpted from her new book, “Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys,” the piece argued that too many men in their 20s are now living in an extended adolescence. Here, Ms. Hymowitz responds to some of the reaction to her piece, which to date has received more than 1,100 comments on (Ms. Hymowitz will also take part in a live chat with readers tomorrow afternoon—check back for a link to submit your questions.)
Anyone glancing at the responses to my article “Where Have the Good Men Gone?” can easily understand one of the reasons I wanted to write “Manning Up,” the book from which the piece was excerpted: There are lots of very angry young men out there. No, they’re not just angry at me. They’re angry at the whole sex.
Here are a few sample comments:
  • “It’s a hell of a lot more fun spending time with our friends than getting saddled with a wife who resents our previous lives and thinks everything we enjoy is stupid.”
  • “Yes, yes, I must man up and feed my flesh into the marriage/divorce/alimony machine.”
  • “Men are disposable. Women know it, and they act accordingly.”
There are hundreds more in this vein, but I’ll stop with one particularly concise example: Women are “worthless.”
My book grew out of my observation that relations between the sexes during this protracted period I call pre-adulthood are, at best, very confused. I have tried to figure out why so many young women today complain about men being thoughtless, immature and boorish. I also wanted to know why large numbers of men have become so profoundly hostile to women. (See above.)
Many readers have objected that my answer to these questions is to “blame men” (although, just to keep things interesting, a few commentators have also complained that I “blame women.”) The excerpt published in these pages – just a small part of one chapter – may have supported that first impression to some extent. But a fair reading of the book would reveal a more balanced description of the unprecedented predicament young adults find themselves in today.
In fact, to me the whole question of blame makes no more sense than asking whether the Chileans were at fault for last year’s earthquake. My book describes sociological and economic tectonic shifts – primarily the shift to a knowledge economy and the rise of women – that are so huge and so impersonal as to render the question of blame meaningless.
The knowledge economy has postponed marriage and created a new stage of life. It has also produced a wealth of gratifying jobs for the college educated that can be done as well (or perhaps better) by women as by men. This too is something entirely new.
The success of women has completely upended the historical relations between the sexes, which adds to the confusions of pre-adulthood. When I say success, I am not cheerleading. Women are getting more degrees; the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show that by age 23, there are 164 women with bachelor’s degree for every 100 men. Not surprisingly, then, in most large cities of the United States, single childless women are also out-earning men. These are simply facts.
Now add to those facts the influence of an anti-male strain of feminism. As a number of commenters have correctly noted, feminism celebrated women’s independence sometimes to the point of making men seem an expendable part of family life. Throughout the 1990’s when many of today’s pre-adult men were growing up, the entire culture turned into a you-go-girl cheering section. Girls ruled, while boys drooled, or so the t-shirts and book bags said. Boys might have also observed their uncles or fathers, perhaps good men, being taken to the cleaners by wives who kept the family house and children.
I tell this tale of male woe at some length in “Manning Up.” What I also argue is that pre-adulthood, while an understandable, and perhaps even necessary, response to the knowledge economy, provides poor soil for boys to grow into men. Obviously, this is not true of all men. It might not even be true of most. But it is the case for many and it is a source of deep frustration for many women and a concern for a society dependent on adult citizens to raise the next generation.
I should add that the comments have caused me rethink one of my positions: my indifference towards Star Wars. Christina Hoff Sommers has argued that one of the reasons boys are turning off to school is that the classroom has been rid of the stories of adventure and heroism likely to appeal to them. Star Wars is clearly filling a vacuum in boys’ and young men’s imaginative lives. But I still believe that there are richer and more complex works of culture to satisfy those longings.
I also remain convinced that women will be turned off by Darth Vader décor.

Political Fight Over Unions Escalates

The clash between Republicans and unions that caught fire in Wisconsin last week escalated Monday: Labor leaders planned to take their protests to dozens of other capitals and Democrats in a second state considered a walkout to stall bills that would limit union power.
Associated Press
Supporters at the Indiana Federation of Teachers news conference at the state Capitol in Indianapolis Monday.
The protests have ignited a wider national debate over the role of labor unions and who should shoulder sacrifices as states scramble to tackle yawning budget deficits. Governors in both political parties are looking for union concessions as they struggle to balance budgets. Some are pushing aggressively to curtail the power of unions to organize or collect dues.
On Monday, thousands of steelworkers, autoworkers and other labor activists surrounded the Indiana state capitol to protest a bill before the legislature to dramatically weaken the clout of private-sector unions. This is in contrast to Wisconsin, where a newly elected Republican governor is in a standoff with public-sector unions and their allies.
Protesters on both sides of the Wisconsin budget battle prepare for a long day as the battle over union rights and the state budget in Wisconsin continues. Courtesy Fox News.
In Ohio, union officials are expecting 5,000 or more protesters Tuesday at the state house, where a legislative panel is considering a Republican-backed bill that would restrict collective-bargaining rights for about 400,000 public employees. Republican Gov. John Kasich supports the bill, a spokesman said.
In Indiana, a House committee on Monday approved legislation to change state law so that private-sector workers no longer would be required to pay dues or belong to a union that bargains on their behalf. Unions say this would erode union membership, and eventually their finances and political clout, if workers decided not to join or pay dues. Supporters say the change would make the state more competitive and attract employers.
Democratic representatives in Indiana caucused into the night Monday, discussing a possible walkout to deny Republicans a quorum. They plan to meet again Tuesday morning. Rep. David Niezgodski of South Bend said Monday night that some Democrats are considering a walkout, contending the majority "are waging a war on the middle class now, in a way we've never seen before."
About 22 states, mostly across the South, have laws similar to the one before Indiana lawmakers. In Indiana currently, if a union bargains for a group of employees at a workplace, all workers covered by the contract must belong to the union.
Indiana's Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels has aggressively gone after the state's public-sector unions, taking away their collective-bargaining rights on his first day in office in 2005. He is also pushing the state legislature this session to weaken tenure protection for teachers. But he has opposed the right-to-work bill that is now stirring anger in Indianapolis, fearing it would distract from his main legislative priorities.
The protests in Indiana were reminiscent of ones that have choked the Wisconsin capital over the past week as teachers, students and prison guards continue to oppose a bill to limit public-sector unions' collective-bargaining powers. Democratic lawmakers there fled the state last week to thwart a vote on the bill.
Republican and Democratic leaders and strategists appear to be relishing the broadening fight over labor unions, feeling it is energizing their core supporters and clarifying key differences between the two parties.
Democrats claim the fight has injected fresh energy into the ranks of labor unions, which are a major supplier of campaign money and volunteers for Democratic candidates. Republicans say the showdowns show they are the ones willing to make tough decisions to cut government spending and take on entrenched powers.
The various clashes over union benefits and clout hold implications for the 2012 elections as they spread to Indiana, Ohio and other presidential swing states.
Many of the potential GOP presidential candidates, including Minnesota's Tim Pawlenty and Alaska's Sarah Palin, have backed Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and criticized President Barack Obama for taking the side of the public-sector unions.
The AFL-CIO has seized on the Wisconsin protests to energize labor activism across the country. Union organizers say they are planning rallies and protests in dozens of state capitals this week as they scramble to tap into a surge of anger over the Wisconsin bill.
Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the nation's largest public-sector union, said the moves in various state capitals to target state employees were an explicit effort to undermine a key source of Democratic funds.
"They know how much we spent in the last campaign," he said. "They're going to try and shoot us down."
The 1.6 million-member AFSCME last year tapped emergency accounts and took out loans as it poured more than $90 million into Democratic campaign efforts in the mid-term elections.
Overall, unions put around $400 million into the 2008 campaign to help elect Mr. Obama and other Democrats.
Officials from both parties agreed the Wisconsin fight was freighted with consequence. But some also acknowledge that it was unclear so far which side the public would back.
"The country will stand behind us as long as Republicans stand for fiscal responsibility and continue to govern as we campaigned," said Reince Priebus, the newly elected chairman of the Republican National Committee and former head of the Wisconsin GOP.
Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, said Gov. Walker's efforts to weaken the unions' collective-bargain rights left Democrats no choice but to fight back vigorously.
"For myself and most Democrats, this represents a core value, one that goes back in our history to the New Deal," he said.
But Mr. Durbin said it was still too early to know whether voters would rally to the Democrats' side. "Public opinion is still volatile at this point," he said. "Those on the center stripe are paying close attention to who is being fair here and who is doing the right thing."
Other Democrats were more openly cheered by the struggle. Former Wisconsin congressman David Obey said the fight "has energized progressive forces like nothing I have seen in a long time."
For the White House, the state budget fights pose a quandary. The president wants to show support for the unions, but the White House is also eager to show he is ready to make tough decision to cut the federal debt.
Mr. Obama leapt to the defense of the Wisconsin unions last week, saying Gov. Walker's attempts to weaken their collective-bargaining rights amounted to "an assault." But White House officials over the weekend continued to point out that the president understands the need for shared sacrifice as states worked to conquer deficits.
The White House is also eager to distance itself from the array of mobilization actions that the Democratic National Committee unleashed last week to bulk up the rallies in Wisconsin and other states.
The national stakes for both political parties in Wisconsin itself are particularly high. Mr. Obama won the state by a wide margin in 2008, as every successful Democratic presidential candidate has since John F. Kennedy.
But Wisconsin turned sharply to the right in last year's election. If the current budget battle redounds to the Republican's favor, that could weaken Mr. Obama's odds in the state next year, and even his chances for re-election.
— Douglas Belkin contributed to this article.
Write to Neil King Jr. at, Thomas M. Burton at and Kris Maher at

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Obama to Bring 80k+ Additional (Mostly Muslim) Refugees to U.S.

2010 October 25
by bc3b
Barack Hussein in a determination letter to Congress, has announced that he will allow an additional 80,000 immigrants – – mostly from Islamic countries – – to resettle in the United States during fiscal year 2011.
Mr. Obama says that the increase in Muslim immigrants “is justified by humanitarian concerns or is otherwise in the national interest.”
The following “goals” for new immigrants has been set as follows:
Africa ………………………………….15,000
East Asia …………………………….19,000
Europe and Central Asia …………2,000
Latin America/Caribbean………….5,500
Near East/South Asia…………….35,500
Unallocated Reserve……………….3,000
Refugee Resettlement Watch and other organizations have expressed grave concern that Mr. Obama is allowing so many immigrants into the country while so many Americans remain out of work and living in poverty.
According to the US Department of Labor, 14.8 million Americans remain unemployed. 6.1 million have been out of work for 27 weeks or over.
This figure has been challenged by the Union of the Unemployed who provide statistics that the actual number of unemployed Americans is 31 million.
The U. S. Census Bureau shows that the median household income for Americans has fallen to $49,777 – – a decline of 0.7% in the past year.

In the Wild West House, a group of ‘midterm mustangs’ keep establishment Republicans on their toes

Previously, he was a reporter for Inside EPA where he wrote about environmental regulation in great detail, and before that a staffer for Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA). Strong graduated from Wheaton College (IL) with a degree in political science in 2006. He is a huge fan of and season ticket holder to the Washington Capitals hockey team. Strong and his wife reside in Arlington.
If Speaker John Boehner’s House is the frontier of Congresses, with a band of cowboy congressional leaders trying to break in 87 new horses, who do you picture as the bucking stallions? Would it be new lawmakers representing the reddest of red districts, in states like Mississippi, Texas and Utah? How about freshmen representing districts deep in Democratic territory — that not only President Obama, but Sen. John Kerry won in his campaign for president in 2004?
Consider this study in contrasts:
Freshmen Republican Rep. Alan Nunnelee represents Mississippi’s 1st District, where John McCain won 62 percent of the vote in 2008 and George W. Bush won 62 percent in 2004. Cook Political Report rates it R+14. Nunnelee beat fluke Democratic Rep. Travis Childers who’d won by splitting Republican opposition. The district had been in Republican hands for 14 years.
But in a key amendment vote pushed by House conservatives — and vigorously opposed by GOP leaders — to cut $22 billion more from the continuing resolution (CR) spending bill on Friday, Nunnelee voted no.
Meanwhile, freshman Republican Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle represents New York’s 25th District, where President Obama won with 56 percent of the vote. John Kerry and Al Gore won there, too. Cook Political Report rates it a D+3. But on the conservative spending amendment, Buerkle voted yes, potentially placing her in peril in her blue district.
As different as Nunnelee’s and Buerkle’s districts are, so were the ways they came to Washington, which may help explain their votes, insiders say.
Nunnelee won a competitive primary, besting Tea Party favorite Angela McGlowan, who announced her candidacy at the National Tea Party Forum. In the general election, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the party leadership’s campaign arm, spent almost $1 million helping Nunnelee win.
In contrast, Buerkle got hardly any help from the NRCC: $85,000. None of the expert political handicappers thought she would win. But when she was in the trenches running against former Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei, Sarah Palin anointed Buerkle a “mama grizzly.” Helped by Tea Party activists, Buerkle somehow overcame David and Goliath odds (Maffei outraised her $2.7 million to $552,000) and won on Nov. 2.
Everyone knows the 87 freshmen Republicans elected to the House in a wave of Tea Party energy are looking for a fight on spending cuts.
As the CR was being written, the group angrily blew up discussions and forced much deeper cuts. On the floor, they helped defeat a duplicate fighter jet engine backed by none other than House Speaker John Boehner.
But while one might expect the ideological fervor of the Tea Party would come mostly from lawmakers representing solidly red districts, GOP insiders say a contingent of blue staters are some of the most feisty combatants in backroom meetings.
Call them the midterm mustangs, unbroken by the party structure.
Rep. Allen West, whose Florida beachfront district also went for Obama, Kerry and Gore, is another member of the group. Like Buerkle, the NRCC gave West $85,000.
Despite his deep blue district, he gave the keynote speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference and told the Weekly Standard in 2009: “There are three words I hate to hear used. I hate ‘big tent.’ I hate ‘inclusiveness.’ And I hate ‘outreach.’ I think you stand on the principles that make you great, which transcend everybody in America, and people will come to it.”
West privately urged his freshmen colleagues to vote against the re-authorization of the Patriot Act, sources say, which went down on the House floor Feb. 8 in part due to their opposition. Though he voted for the measure himself, West approached each freshman who voted against the bill at a conference meeting and told them they were a “hero of America.”

Read more:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rival author accused of leaking Palin manuscript

JUNEAU, Alaska – The writers of a former Sarah Palin aide's unpublished memoir are alleging the author of a rival book helped leak copies of their manuscript, destroying its marketability.
In a letter to author Joe McGinniss, attorney Dean Steinbeck said the matter "appears to be no more than that of a jealous author sabotaging a competitor via unlawful and unscrupulous means."
Efforts to reach McGinniss were not immediately successful Monday. An e-mail sent to an account he kept while working on his own book on Palin wasn't immediately returned.
Steinbeck's letter, on behalf of Ken Morris, Jeanne Devon and Frank Bailey and posted on Devon's blog, states the writers are reviewing their legal options, "and I can assure this is not the last time you will hear from them."
The letter alleges McGinniss received an "unlawfully distributed version of the Work" between Feb. 16 and Feb. 18 and distributed it.
"As an author, you are well aware that your actions have significantly impaired the Copyright Owners ability to market the book," he wrote.
Morris, in a blog post, said a similar letter was also being sent to those "we have identified as also unlawfully reproducing portions of our work."
"I guess you can say we are not rolling over, and for those who ignore law and morality, we are not going away."
Bailey was an aide to Palin when she was governor of Alaska. Devon, a blogger, is a frequent Palin critic.
A draft of the unpublished manuscript leaked to news outlets and political circles late last week, with stories about it and its contents making national news. The Anchorage Daily News reported that it received copies of the manuscript from multiple sources, including McGinniss.
McGinniss, a best-selling author who also wrote a magazine expose on Palin and her natural gas pipeline plan, last year lived next door to the Palins in Wasilla, Alaska, for about three months while researching a book on Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee.
The move garnered headlines and complaints from Palin, who had a fence between the two properties extended.
Last year, activist Andree McLeod asked the attorney general to look into what she alleged was a violation of state ethics rules for Bailey's access to — and possession of — e-mails from Palin's time as governor. The executive ethics act bars current or former public officials from using information gained during the course of their work for personal gain if the information hasn't been publicly disseminated.
Morris last week said that Bailey had thousands of e-mails from the Palins. The state is currently reviewing Palin's e-mails for an expected spring release in response to public records requests, including from news organizations and McLeod.
Assistant Attorney General Judy Bockmon wrote in an e-mail to McLeod that the investigation into her complaint is ongoing. McLeod provided a copy of the e-mail to The Associated Press.

NFL, union resume mediation for 4th day in row

Scott Fujita, DeMaurice Smith AP – Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, left, and NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice …
WASHINGTON – Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch emerged with a positive outlook Monday after attending a fourth consecutive day of federally mediated negotiations between the NFL and the players' union.
"Things are going well," said Batch, a member of the NFL Players Association executive committee. "We'll see how things progress over the coming days."
Batch and two other current players — Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita and New York Jets fullback Tony Richardson — left Monday at 5 p.m., about six hours after the session began at the office of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. That U.S. government agency's director, George Cohen, has been mediating the current round of talks.
The league and union agreed to try mediation after months of infrequent — and sometimes contentious — bargaining. The current labor deal expires at the end of the day March 3.
The union has said it believes team owners want to lock out the players as soon as the next day, which could threaten the 2011 season.
The sides met for about six hours on both Friday and Saturday. Cohen announced Thursday the groups agreed to the mediation, which is not binding but is meant as a way to spur progress. The plan calls for several days of negotiations with Cohen present.
"Any time you talk," Batch said, "you have to feel better."
Most members of both negotiating teams still were in the building when he left.
The NFL's group began arriving at 8 a.m. Monday, and Commissioner Roger Goodell walked in alone shortly after 9 a.m. The NFL's group included general counsel and lead labor negotiator Jeff Pash and outside lawyer Bob Batterman.
Batterman represented the NHL when it lost its entire 2004-05 season to a lockout.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith got to Cohen's office at about 11 a.m., entering with Fujita. Former players Pete Kendall and Sean Morey also were part of the union contingent Monday, along with lawyers Richard Berthelsen and Jeffrey Kessler.
"We are working hard," Pash said Sunday, "and we're following the director's playbook, and we'll see what we come up with."
The league and union went more than two months without any formal bargaining until Feb. 5, the day before the Super Bowl. The sides met again once the next week, then called off a second meeting that had been scheduled for the following day.
The most recent CBA was signed in 2006, but owners exercised an opt-out clause in 2008.
The biggest issue separating the sides is how to divide about $9 billion in annual revenues. Among the other significant points in negotiations: the owners' push to expand the regular season from 16 games to 18 while reducing the preseason by two games; a rookie wage scale; and benefits for retired players.

Wis budget plan may tilt political playing field

Wis. budget plan may tilt political playing field

Protesters bang drums and shout slogans inside the state Capitol Monday, Feb. 21, 2011, in Madison, Wis. Opponents to Gov. Scott Walker's bill to elim AP – Protesters bang drums and shout slogans inside the state Capitol Monday, Feb. 21, 2011, in Madison, Wis. … 
MADISON, Wis. – The high-stakes fight in Wisconsin over union rights is about more than pay and benefits in the public sector. It could have far-reaching effects on electoral politics in this and other states by helping solidify Republican power for years, experts said Monday.
While Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to wipe out collective bargaining rights for most public employees has galvanized Democrats and union members in opposition, the GOP could benefit long-term by crippling a key source of campaign funding and volunteers for Democrats.
"It would be a huge landscape-altering type of action, and it would tilt the scales significantly in favor of the Republicans," said Mike McCabe, director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, which has long tracked union involvement in Wisconsin elections. "This is a national push, and it's being simultaneously pushed in a number of states. I think Wisconsin is moving the fastest and most aggressively so far."
The National Education Association, which represents 3.2 million workers, said teachers' collective bargaining rights are also being targeted by proposals in Ohio, Idaho, Indiana and other states.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, said Monday lawmakers should pass a proposal to bar public employees from negotiating health insurance benefits. In Indiana, a GOP-led House committee debated Monday a right-to-work bill that would prohibit union membership from being a condition of employment.
The Wisconsin plan strikes at a key Democratic Party constituency by eliminating the mandatory union dues teachers and other public workers are required to pay. The plan would take away the ability of most municipal and state employees to bargain any condition of employment beyond their base salaries — including benefits, work schedules and overtime pay. And unions would need to survive a vote of their members every year to stay in existence.
Public safety workers, including police officers, firefighters and state troopers, would keep their rights under the plan. Those unions endorsed Walker in his campaign for governor last year, but he said they were exempted because he did not want to jeopardize public safety if they walked off the job.
Nancy MacLean, a labor historian at Duke University, said eliminating unions would do to the Democratic Party what getting rid of socially conservative churches would do to Republicans. She called unions "the most important mass membership, get-out-the vote wing of the Democratic Party."
"It's stunning partisan calculation on the governor's part, and really ugly," she said.
Walker has denied political motivations, saying his proposal is about cutting state and local spending for years to come. But in an interview with The Associated Press last week as protests raged inside the Capitol, he acknowledged his plan to allow workers to opt out of paying their dues could cripple unions.
"That's something that threatens these national leaders. They want that money. That's their existence. Having mandatory membership is what keeps them going," he said. "If people have a choice, I think many of them are afraid that things will change, and that's where the intensity is. But for us, it's about balancing the budget and doing it in the most responsible way possible."
Standing to lose the most clout is the powerful Wisconsin Education Association Council, which represents 98,000 teachers, counselors and other current and retired school workers. Mandatory dues for its members can be $1,000 or more per year.
Walker has suggested workers could save their dues and use that to help pay more for their health insurance and retirement benefits. His plan would essentially cut take home pay for many public workers by 8 percent by increasing their contributions for those benefits, concessions that union leaders say they are willing to accept if Walker backs off his anti-union rights plan.
Crowded among a throng of protesters on the Capitol steps on Monday, Madison elementary school teacher Barbara Rowe said she gladly pays her $95 monthly dues to her union. She said her pay would be cut by far more than that under Walker's plan and she was willing to accept that to help balance the budget. But she denounced his proposal to eliminate collective bargaining "as a total power grab."
"This is all about union busting," she said.
WEAC is typically among the largest-spending special interests in Wisconsin politics, helping former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle win two terms in office and often trying to sway key legislative races with television ads and mailers. It also contributes to other groups that run political ads in favor of Democrats and against Republicans.
WEAC's political arm has spent more than $11 million in donations to campaigns and spending to support and oppose other candidates since 1998, nearly all of it helping Democrats, according to McCabe. The group endorsed Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat, in his race against Walker for governor last year.
McCabe said WEAC's campaign spending dwarfs that by other unions — including American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents tens of thousands of state and local workers in Wisconsin. But he said they were all a key part of the Democratic party's coalition in a state that has generally leaned to the left.
Combined with proposals to require voters to show identification, end election-day voter registration and redraw legislative boundaries, Wisconsin Republicans could solidify their power if the anti-union bill passes, said David Canon, a University of Wisconsin-Madison political scientist.
Arguably more important than their spending is union-organized volunteer work manning phone banks to help Democrats, going door-to-door to get voters out and mobilizing their members to vote, he said.
"It adds up to something that would fundamentally shift the nature of partisan politics in Wisconsin for a decade, whether or not they intended to or not," he said. "The stakes are very high. Everyone is viewing this as a test case for the nation."