Friday, March 11, 2011

Entitlements of Unions Questioned; Jackson and Moore Foment Protests, Declare War; Wisconsin Republican Senators Receive Frightening, Detailed Death Threats; France Backs Libyan Opposition; Clapper Predicts Ghadafi Will Prevail; UK Patients Wait for Care

No, these are patient, non-violent conservatives petitioning their government on Obamacare
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writes: We're prepared to do whatever it takes to kill the bill or shut it down," said Daniel Ginsberg of Milwaukee, an organizer with Students for a Democratic Society.

During the news conference, he also blasted Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D-Monona), saying that Miller stood in the way of an agreement being reached. Walker said that Miller had demanded that all of the proposed collective bargaining changes be dropped from the bill.
Asked whether Republicans had pulled a dirty trick by stripping the bill of appropriation items and then approving it, Walker said the dirty trick is what the 14 missing senators have done in the last several weeks.
"You can't mail in your vote," he said of the absent senators.
He told voters in those Senate districts to ask why those senators are not in Wisconsin. Those voters also should ask who is calling the shots. Walker suggested it was Miller, Miller's staff or "union leaders from Washington, D.C." instructing the missing 14 on what to do.
The Journal Gazette from Indiana writes:  Ohio's House speaker now says he hopes a bill to limit public workers' union rights will be voted on next week, suggesting a faster timetable than he'd indicated previously. The Columbus Dispatch reports Batchelder now says a possible House floor vote next week would come after the equivalent of three weeks' worth of hearings. He explains that lawmakers are meeting on the bill each day, not stretching out the hearing calendar.
The Indianapolis Star writes: Thousands of union supporters ignored icy winds today for a rally outside the Indiana Statehouse calling for lawmakers to drop measures that would cut back on labor rights. Rep. Bill Crawford, D-Ind, one of the Indiana Democrats that forced the Indiana House into a three-week deadlock by holding out in an Illinois hotel, addressed the crowd that filled the massive plaza on the west side of the Statehouse.|breaking|text|
Jesse Jackson said this during an appearance on FOX News: "So they're going to escalate the protests -- you will either have collective bargaining through a vehicle called collective bargaining or you're going to have it through the streets. People here will fight back because they think their cause is moral and they have nowhere else to go."  [I wonder if Jesse knows that not all states even have "collective bargaining", and they are doing just fine.  He and Michael Moore are doing a fine job of defining the need for union workers to make this a "hot" summer full of protests.  The real issues are not the they will not be able to take care of their families, for we will still be paying them a fair wage.  Unions are terrified that they will lose the right to FORCE people to join their unions, PAY their union dues, and in some cases get paid for doing very little.] 
[I know you must be thinking that negotiating rights sound okay, as even without unions we negotiate with our bosses for improved pay, benefits, and positions.  Those of us who deserve better generally get more. Unionized teachers, however, have tenure and cannot be fired without unusual efforts being made.  During layoffs, the oldest teachers jobs are protected no matter how bad they may be while young, effective teachers are laid off without consideration of their skills, even if they may be "teacher of the year" as in one case.  In NYC taxpayers pay the salaries of hundreds of teachers who are in disciplinary proceedings.  They do nothing for their pay other than sitting in a "rubber room"  For example, Philip Nobile, who has been in a Brooklyn rubber room for nearly three years, said Thursday's agreement is a step in the right direction.  This is the kind of abuse by union contracts that taxpayers are interested in ending.  But don't take my word for all this...]
Huffington Post writes: NEW YORK — The city will end the practice of paying teachers to play Scrabble, read or surf the Internet in reassignment centers nicknamed "rubber rooms" as they await disciplinary hearings, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the teachers union announced Thursday.
The deal will close the centers, where hundreds of educators spend months or years in bureauratic limbo, costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars a year.
"It's an absurd abuse of tenure," Bloomberg said. About 650 educators, more than 500 of them teachers, are in the rubber rooms earning some $30 million in salaries, officials said. The city has blamed union rules that make it difficult to fire teachers, but some teachers assigned to rubber rooms say they have been singled out because they ran afoul of a principal or they blew the whistle on someone who was fudging test scores.
National Review writes: My colleagues and I have received substantial death threats today,” Wisconsin Sen. Randy Hopper tells National Review Online.
It isn’t the first time the GOP state senators have been threatened with violence. “We received ones last week prior to this as an attempt to try to get us to vote a certain way,” Hopper reports.
Via WisPolitics’ Budget Blog, here is part of the text of an e-mail sent to Wisconsin GOP senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald after the vote (profanity not edited out in original):
Mr. Fitzgerald,
I want to make this perfectly clear. Because of your actions today and in the past couple of weeks I and the group of people that are working with me have decided that we’ve had enough. We feel that you and your republican dictators have to die. This is how it’s going to happen: I as well as many others know where you and your family live, it’s a matter of public records. We have all planned to assult you by arriving at your house and putting a nice little bullet in your head. However, this isn’t enough. We also have decided that this may not be enough to send the message. So we have built several bombs that we have placed in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent. This includes, your house, your car, the state capitol, and well I won’t tell you all of them because that’s just no fun. Please make your peace with God as soon as possible and say goodbye to your loved ones we will not wait any longer. YOU WILL DIE!!!!  [Has our President, or Nancy Pelosi condemned this speech as too harsh?  Will they?]
France International 24 hr. news writes: In a major diplomatic victory for the Libyan opposition, France has become the first country to formally recognise Libya’s rebel leadership, pledging to exchange ambassadors between Paris and the Libyan opposition stronghold of Benghazi.
“We thank the French government and the people of Libya will never forget that they (the French government) were the first country to recognize us and they stood with us in our difficult time.”
In Benghazi, people gathered near the National Council's headquarters, honking cars and cheering as some fired celebratory gunshot rounds, according to Reuters. In a phone interview with FRANCE 24 from Benghazi, Boughaighis said she hoped France’s formal recognition of the opposition would trigger a domino effect across Europe.
The UK Telegraph reveals: James Clapper, the director of US national intelligence, told the Senate armed services committee “the [Ghadafi] regime will prevail”, forcing the White House into an embarrassing damage control exercise.
“With respect to the rebels in Libya, and whether or not they will succeed or not, I think frankly they’re in for a tough row,” he said, adding the momentum had shifted to Col Gaddafi.

The UK Telegraph writes: Official figures show that more than 11,000 people are now being forced to wait longer than six weeks for scans and internal examinations, after targets for treatment times were scrapped. Hundreds more patients are having to endure delays of more than 13 weeks before they find out if they have cancer or heart disease. It comes after health campaigners claimed that NHS hospitals are carrying out far fewer procedures such as hip replacements and cataract surgery.

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