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Reason Morning Links: Rubber Bullets and Bullet Trains

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  1. Why am I not surprised? Insider trading laws do not apply to congress, congressional aids, or lobbyists. And they profit from it. WSJ on the same topic.

    1. Your links are weak, old man.

      1. Good call… here they are again
        Link 1
        Link 2

        FYI: I’m 24.

          1. Progeria?

        1. 1 outta 2 ain’t bad.

        2. It’s a distorted Star Wars quote–“Your powers are weak, old man.”

          I’ve heard this before, and, of course, believe that there is no justifiable reason whatsoever to exempt members of Congress from the insider trader restrictions. In fact, even though I’m not all that keen on most insider trader restrictions, I do think they should apply to government officials involved in regulatory decision-making. After all, they have tremendous opportunity and incentive to benefit or hurt companies or even entire industries, otherwise.

          1. Frankly, I wish that anyone involved with this sort of stuff had their assets managed by some form of blind trust. It would take away the stink of insider trading AND be a demotivator from staying on perpetually.

            1. I’d like to see the trading records for Congress. Wonder how many times they’ve bought puts right before issuing some kind of industry-damaging legislation?

  2. As one of the house liberals I have to say I find incredible that Obama can offer a budget that cuts heating assistance to the poor but billions for high speed rail projects. WTF? Someone freezing is not as worthy as high speed rail projects? This nation is simply not suffering in any way I can think of from a lack of high speed rail.

    1. House liberals progressives.

      FTFY

    2. Come on MNG, Germany needs even more export growth from foreign goverments’ infracstucture projects. Won’t anyone think of the k?lsch!

    3. Hey, some have to suffer for the greater good, 😉

      1. If they get chilly they can ride the train!

        1. That’s what the New York subway was created for, right?

          1. So it wasn’t originally intended to be a public restroom/mobile mental asylum?

            1. side benefits…

            2. The street finds its own uses for things.

              1. Really, why dioes Skippy need to give a fart about those schmucks? They already voted for him! So why can’t he play with his train (and his waffle)?

                1. leave me out of this

    4. They’re justifying the cut to heating program on lower energy prices.

      “The Budget does not repropose the creation of a LIHEAP funding trigger included in previous budget requests, but the Administration is continually monitoring energy prices, and if they should spike again, we would explore what level of LIHEAP funding would
      be necessary. The LIHEAP program doubled in 2009 following an energy spike, but energy prices are now significantly lower, and the prior level is no longer sustainable. The 50 percent funding reduction brings funding back to the level before
      the energy price spike.”

      p. 84
      http://www.whitehouse.gov/site…..health.pdf

    5. I think everyone will understand if he just makes a speech on TV about it. Preferably wearing a sweater.

      1. He should use the Obama->Clinton press conference as precedent and get Bill Cosby to give the speech.

      2. Yeah, I know wut u mean.

        1. “Don’t call it a comeback!”

    6. I have to say that these kinds of programs show in great relief the administration’s total lack of concern about the real state of our economy. We could get back on our feet pretty quickly, but they seem determined to prolong and deepen our problems. Most of which stem from the government in the first place.

      Fuck the train.

    7. I’m incredulous that you’re incredulous.

    8. From the NYT article about the problems with Chinese High-Speed Rail: “A new line from Beijing to Shanghai is scheduled to be finished by year’s end. It will whisk passengers across a distance equal to a trip between New York and Atlanta in less than five hours. Amtrak trains require 18 hours for the journey.”

      And in a couple of years, the trip in CHina will probably take a lot longer than 18 hours, when the trains fall off the rails while doing 200 miles per hour. Apparently the rails were not hardened properly , and won’t last.

    9. The high speed rail will be used to facilitate a fi– an… ultimate… fix… to the problem of poverty.

  3. Barack Obama wades into the Wisconsin debate over public-sector unions

    I hope they make cheese-flavored beer

      1. Rich, do you want my husband to become a lard ass?

        1. No. Do you want him to “Move!”?

        2. He’s a real loser isn’t he, Kitten?

      2. Never heard of that stuff, but beer cheese soup is a Wisconsin favorite.

    1. From the article:

      Earlier this week, the Public Campaign Action Fund, a campaign finance watchdog group, said Walker’s budget plan amounted to a payback to the corporate special interests that contributed to his campaign for governor. The group cited news reports that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce gave $1.5 million to the Republican State Leadership Committee and that Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce contributed $2 million to Walker and other state Republicans.

      “It’s exactly the type of politics that makes everyday citizens think that government works for the few at the expense of the many,” said David Donnelly, the group’s national campaigns director.

      Works for the few at the expense of the many…you mean like public sector employees?

      1. Fox is reporting the WH is supporting unions and fanning protests-politics as usual

      2. How is cutting public employee compensation payback to TEH CORPORASHUNS!!?

      1. That must be the rhetoric of violence those tea partiers were promoting. They were a bad influence on the Wisconsin unions. 🙂

      2. Sarah Palin started a trend. Is there any evil that woman is not responsible for?

        1. Her influence is waning. It peaked last November.
          The left is looking for new monsters.

          1. Pot, could you pick up some milk please?

            Kisses,

            Kettle

        2. Monkey see, monkey do.

          Hi joe!

      3. High-tech lynching, I say!

  4. Mississippi plan for KKK leader license plate criticized

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41…..news-life/

    1. “Every fair-minded southerner knows that the Civil War was a negative time in history …,” NAACP state president Derrick Johnson said.

      “Fair-minded” coming from the NAACP.

      1. Yeah, but the Civil War being an unfortunate thing shouldn’t be a really controversial stance….

      2. Fair-minded, dark-minded, whatever. We’re not an exclusive club.

        1. dark-minded

          =

          RACIST!!!

      3. Re: Fried Egg Funnies,

        “Every fair-minded southerner knows that the Civil War was a negative time in history…

        “No true Scotsman….”

        1. Good Grief. Only a handful of ninnies from Mississippi could think this was a good idea. They have a minor point that the organization started by Forrest and the modern day KKK are pretty different animals – with Forrest and a few vets responding mainly to the utter lawlessness and chaos that was the primary selling point of basically direct federal administration of about half the country (and worked just as well as most claiming to be libertarians can easily imagine) – then it was over come by what I’m beginning to think of as the normative flaw in American politics (or any politics). Get together a big enough ‘energized’ group, and after a while, all but the most motivated zealots fade away from dis-interest, leaving only the biggest morons in the room, who will eventually pick THE biggest hard core moron to be their “leader”, and resort to group think. In the KKK case, it led to what was originally in concept a law and order vigilante group becoming (after a period of almost going extinct via lack of interest) into a haven for bigots and idiots to flock to. And despite all that, these ijits want a license plate, and are at a loss why that would be a subject of conversation. Dumbasses.

          1. A KKK apologist? I’ve lived too long.

            1. I, for one, am waiting with bated breath for the Stokely Carmichael collection of vanity plates. Perhaps King Shamir Shabazz can even pitch them at voting precincts…

  5. Matt Taibbi Has A Brand New Feature On Imprisoning Wall Streeters
    …Conversely, one has to consider the powerful deterrent to further wrongdoing that the state is missing by not introducing this particular class of people to the experience of incarceration. “You put Lloyd Blankfein in pound-me-in-the-ass prison for one six-month term, and all this bullshit would stop, all over Wall Street,” says a former congressional aide. “That’s all it would take. Just once.”…

    Great News! Obama to Impose New Fees on Energy Companies Who Can’t Drill Anyway

    1. nobody wants to pound flabby ol white ass. not even worth a pack of smokes

    2. That second link is just too bizarre to be totally correct.

      It’s like the suggestion (by one of our esteemed commenters) about collecting sin taxes on mandated soda purchases.

  6. Baghdad can have a $1B for damages once it pays the US back for the billions in infrastructure it has built. Here’s an idea- let’s just call it a draw.

    1. How about this. We just call it a clusterfuck and go home (add Afghanistan to that list).

    2. I wonder what would happen if everyone, for one day, posted under a neutral name or symbol, forcing readers to respond to his ideas rather than his handle. It would separate the narcissists from the thinkers. Any takers?

      1. Fuck off, Rather.

      2. wait, what? I’d just call you smiley face troll.

        1. Two for narcissism.

          1. Pot, could you please call me?

            Love,

            Kettle

            1. That’s the spirit! It’s the first step to wellness.

              1. “When you point one finger, three are pointing back at you”

                1. Not if you’ve been the victim of a punch press mishap.

                  1. Farmer Brown says, “Tell me about it.”

                2. Not when you’re point one finger straight up.

      3. “?” is not neutral.

        It connotes happiness.

        1. Every symbol connotes (if not denotes) something, but I am impressed with your blank space. I have adopted your non-handle. Let us go forth together, not with pseudonyms, but with the courage of our anonymity.

          1. Join us, handle slaves!

          2. Good grief, this a mother load!

          3. WAKE UP SHEEPLE!

            BREAKFAST IS THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY!

            THAT IS ALL.

            1. FFS, sugarfree eat some god-damned sugar, not every post is mine.
              FTR, I hate people who hide behind handles.

              1. I know-it really sticks in my craw too! Is my narcissism compromising my self-awareness?

                1. I passionately hate little boys whose dicks aren’t hard enough to use their own handle

                  1. You really should get your old saggy ass back to Jezebel or Feministing, sugar.

                    1. SI, are we still pretending you’re female? No woman is a stupid as you are about birth control

                    2. Pfffft. I don’t “pretend”, sugar.You’re not the only XX here 😉 And how is using the pill and barrier protection stupid?

              2. You mean handles like “rather”, rectal? Clean your father’s spunk out of your eyes so you can see yourself for the pickled cunt that you are. Then die.

            2. I APPROVE OF THIS MESSAGE.

            1. Narcissism requires a handle. It’s the blog-commentary equivalent of a mirror. Take away the reflection and you’re left with emptiness, frustration, rage.

              1. Like rectal

                  1. And I’m not “rectal.”

                    1. But your emptiness, frustration and rage is duly noted. Do yourself a favor. Get some competent, professional help.

                    2. and I’m not God

                    3. Wow. This is one fucked up thread. OK, moving on….

              2. |, is the sympton of a pussie.

                1. Is a “pussie” different from a “pussy”, per se?

      4. Now I have to see if I can put a smiley face in incif. Sigh.

        1. The answer, my friend, is blowing…

          oh, wait, its yes, incif rocks in that way.

    1. whats it to ya booy

    2. That’s just f’in wonderful.

    1. As a Yank who’s attempted to drink with Europeans….um, yup, EU’s can outdrink Yanks by orders of magnitude.

      i can’t believe the Aussies aren’t in the top 25 – those MF’ers can drink, too.

    2. Who picked the colors for that map? I can’t tell the difference between half of them!

    3. Didn’t see NZ in the top 25, either, db.

      Which I have to admit, surprised me.

      1. Yeah, that’s a shocker. We have quite a large asian population now though, and many of our younger adults (such as myself) love overseas. Must be why the UK is so high up there. 😉

        1. live overseas. Freudian slip.

  7. Baghdad wants Washington to pay $1 billion for damage done to the city.

    For a billion they need to thrown in the rest of the Middle East and an unlimited supply of baklava

    1. Yeah, it would totally SUCK for them to have to spend any of that money they can pump (well, pay some ferriners to pump FOR them) directly out of the ground that they so far haven’t given to US to offset out costs for stepping in to help keep them from being randomly tossed into plastic shredders or their 12 year old daughters raped to make the Grand Poohbah’s sociopathic kid feel better for executing the damned soccer team cause they botched a corner kick or some shit.

      1. WR, I don’t expect free oil but It is frustrating that they have double their exports of crude to China

  8. I’d say the CPAC principles are indeed stool.
    Squishy, smelly, but decisively demonstrative of what’s wrong with aligning with ‘conservatives’ as opposed to libertarians…
    They should use it to color their shirts.

    no hugs for thugs,
    Shirley Knott

  9. My take on the WI public union dust-up

    * canceling school to send protestors is wrong and stupid
    * I tend not to be a fan of disruptive protests-politically stupid and often wrong
    * the proposals to have public workers pay more into benefits and take pay cuts sounds reasonable given the financial situaiton in the state
    * the public unions should not be singled out to lose their right to collective bargaining (especially egregious, but typical of the GOP, to give the police a pass on this)

    1. The fact that any agent of the state can be in a union and have virtual total job security is a travesty. They work for us, we don’t work for them.

      1. You don’t trust the state, why should those who work for the state do so?

        1. If they don’t trust the state, let them find employment in the private sector…or create their own job through entrepreneurial energy.

        2. That’s good.

        3. If they don’t trust their employer, then they are free to find another.

          1. Goddamit all to hell…See what happens kiddies when you don’t hit the ‘refresh’ button before posting.

          2. What’s wrong with associating with their fellow employees to better their bargaining position?

            I mean really, every time you don’t like something at work you just up and quit? I bargain with my employer, what’s wrong with a government employee doing the same? Now what’s wrong with a group of workers doing that?

            1. What’s wrong with their employer refusing to associate with them because they want to bargain collectively?

            2. Nothing is wrong. you stated that they were not free to associate and now you ask what’s wrong with association? Noone is saying they aren’t free to associate. In fact, most of the responses to your comments are suggesting they are free to associate with anyone they like. You seem to be confusing getting your way with freedom of association.

            3. Nothing wrong with it, and there’s also nothing wrong with the employer telling them to get bent. The people of Wisconsin elected the governor to fix the situation and he is doing what he thinks is necessary to fix it.

            4. There is nothing wrong with their associating with fellow employees for bargaining power. Bargaining is fine. Acting like a bunch of spoiled children and denying the reality that shit costs money is not.

              1. FEED ME!!!

            5. What’s wrong with associating with their fellow employees to better their bargaining position?

              People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty or justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary.

            6. “What’s wrong with associating with their fellow employees to better their bargaining position?”

              Bargaining involves two parties. One party at the table is compromised in pubsec union bargaining, and doesn’t faithfully represent the interest of the collective it speaks for. Well, at least one. Sometimes, two.

        4. Do you “trust” your employer? What do you “trust” that employer to do?

        5. So put the firing to a vote of 12 random citizens. There’s your fucking due process.

    2. The near riot seems counter productive. Is there any data showing that they are garnering public support? Nope.

    3. How about this. Let the taxpayers decide how and where they want to spend their education money and the unions fight over the scraps of the people not smart enough to pull out of the system.

    4. Teacher’s unions protect the jobs of rather benign incompetents; Police unions protect the jobs of murderers, torturers and thieves. Leaving the police with collective bargaining is GOP horseshit.

      1. Sometimes you gotta establish the foothold before you can storm the beach. Though I’d have picked on someone less powerful than the teachers to start off with, like the DMV tellers union. They’d take a break from protests for a smoke break or refuse to show up to the protests at all, just like work.

        1. Somehow they would ask people to take a number during their protest…

      2. Imagine what the scene in Madison would be right now if the police unions were also affected by this bill.

        1. They may as well have: they, along with the fireman, are standing lockstep with the teachers. Thoroughly disgusting.

        2. That truly is terrifying to contemplate. But I’d still like to see it.

        3. One step at a time…once they win this battle the police/firemen are next.

      3. Yeah. We should remind the governor that, despite his jackboot fetish, the cops are still standing out their with their overpaid, underperforming brethren.

        If they’re going to bitch anyway, he should give them something to bitch about.

    5. Hey, take the govt’s $$ and you gotta play by the govt’s rules. Libtards use that logic all the time on the rest of us. Want you life not controlled by “the public”? Stop taking “the public”‘s money.

    6. Letter to Luther C. Steward, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, from President Franklin Roosevelt, on April 16, 1937:

      All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.

      Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable. It is, therefore, with a feeling of gratification that I have noted in the constitution of the National Federation of Federal Employees the provision that “under no circumstances shall this Federation engage in or support strikes against the United States Government.”

      1. It’s wonderful how simplistic some arch-cons seem to assume liberals are. OMG Saint Roosevelt said public employees bargaining is bad, we have to change our opinions now!

      2. “Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people”

        But it is fascinating to see erstwhile libertarians arguing that government employees need to sacrifice association/contract rights for the “public good.”

        1. Who is this “erstwhile libertarian” that you see arguing this point?

          Oh you made him up, I see.

          1. It’s whoever posted that quote from Roosevelt. FDR’s argument is essentially “government employees must realize they have an obligation to the public good that would be disrupted by them bargaining for their own more narrow interest.” The irony of posting that on a libertarian thread to supposedly convince me by invoking a liberal Saint seems lost on him.

            1. Oh, I see you weren’t done making shit up. Finished now?

            2. I don’t think that erstwhile means what you think it does.

              Also, it isn’t good to presume the politics of a poster. I mean, you’re obviously not a libertarian yet you post here regularly(probably more than the libertarians here).

              1. Because Corduroy posted this Roosevelt letter, he is now apparently an “arch-con” and a former libertarian.

            3. Rather than ad homming, MNG, would you care to come to grips with the substance of St. Roosevelt’s remarks?

              1. Rather than ad homming…

                You’re kidding, right? Ad hom is the language of this place.

        2. While I disagree wholeheartedly with FDR on many fronts, his stance in this respect is perfectly logical. Public employees are employed at the whim of the State. The Representatives of the State are employed at the whim of the people. If the people are empowered to terminate a public Representative, they should also be empowered to terminate all contracts into which the State has entered.

          To allow the State to enter contracts which cannot be modified or discontinued, is to disenfranchise the electorate of their power and is inherently undemocratic. It becomes bureaucratic tyranny, unelected officials who cannot be removed who have significant power over the electorate through the government.

          Would you argue that the electorate does not have the power to change the Constitution? That is the ultimate government contract, yet it can be modified by the people at any time given the required votes.

          Public contracts and private contracts are different things and should be treated as such.

          1. So you want to give the State a priviliged position in contracting that private entities don’t possess.

            That’s your erstwhile libertarian capitol l.

            1. I think that a better way to put it is that the state should be limited in the types of contracts it can enter into with employees. The legislature should not lose its power to control spending as it sees fit because of employment contracts.

            2. What private entities don’t possess that position?

              If I’m an employer and my employees decide they want to form a union and strike, I can fire them all, or I can up and move my business, or shut it down and start another one.

              It’s kind of hard for government to do any of those.

            3. No we think that private entities should be able to say “you’re fired” too.

          2. Here’s what’s stupid about this whole tenured teachers thing. It makes sense in a University setting, because expressing contravercial ideas should not be grounds for termination.

            But these are K-12 teachers. There is really no need to protect them the same way.

          3. I hadn’t read this FDR quote before. It’s funny that he didn’t get concerned about how unions can stagnate services until they moved in on his government territory. Who knew FDR was anti-union?

        3. If they’re not interested in working for the public good they shouldn’t be working as a public servant. Do you disagree?

      3. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable.

        This section reveals FDR’s inherent authoritarianism.

        FDR was a dick.

        I see nothing wrong with obstructing the operation of government until your demands are addressed. For any citizen not holding a constitutional office.

        1. So long as you’re OK with suffering the same fate as a roach that “obstructs” the operation of the gears in a clock tower, if your demands are not legitimate.

        2. Oaths are generally taken to support the Constitution, not the government. I can see where FDR would confuse the two, but I don’t think that we should.

          Basically, his whole letter is a justification of “it’s good for your employees to unionize, but not mine.”

          1. Exactly.

            He saw the government (his business) as a more noble enterprise than business. But what about the textile manufacturers who clothed people or the builders who housed them? He would apparently have had no problem with their unionization, even if it made clothing and homes more costly.

    7. Re: MNG,
      Good points all around, except: there’s no such thing as a right to collectively bargain IF that means the OTHER side cannot bargain with someone else. You cannot have a “right” that someone else doesn’t.

      1. You cannot have a “right” that someone else doesn’t.

        OM, you’re cute when you’re angry.

      2. OM
        I grant that libertarians are not going to agree with the coercive elements of collective bargaining (that the employer must bargain with the certified representative).

        1. Re: MNG,

          I grant that libertarians are not going to agree with the coercive elements of collective bargaining[…]

          But, you do?

          Who was it that defined coercion as NOT being coercion [i.e. the act of compelling with a threat], but something else more pallatable? Was it you?

          1. I do think the employer should have to bargain with the certified rep, yes. I do for the stated justification of the labor act, that is rationalizes industrial relations lowering labor strife. But I also do because I think there is a bargaining advantage for most employers over most employees, an advantage that government can address (same justification as minimum wage laws). I realize we disagree on that and are not likely to agree any time soon. My point is that even libertarians should agree imo that workers should be free to organize, to petition and bargain their employer as a group, should be able to strike (not come to work) and that promises made to an employee or a group of employees should be kept. I grant that libertarians would also have to hold that the employer is free to ignore unions and fire strikers.

            1. Re: MNG,

              I do think the employer should have to bargain with the certified rep, yes.

              You show to believe weird things. PEOPLE ARE NOT ENTITLED TO JOBS!

              I do for the stated justification of the labor act, that is rationalizes industrial relations lowering labor strife.

              Oh, I see: “Because the law says so.”

              But I also do because I think there is a bargaining advantage for most employers over most employees

              That’s a myth perpetrated by the economics illiterate. Employers have to compete with other employers just like tomato growers have to compete with other tomato growers.

              This justification for collective bargaining is pretty selective: Nobody seems to espouse collective bargaining between plumbers and a housewife, even though the employment scenario is exactly the same: an offer of a job in exchange for payment. Most leftists simply rely on SPECIAL PLEADING fallacy by saying that employers have more “economic power.”

              an advantage that government can address (same justification as minimum wage laws)

              Neither are justified; not collective bargaining, even less minimum wage laws.

              I realize we disagree on that and are not likely to agree any time soon.

              It’s not a simple disagreement, MNG – it’s a totally contrary position on principles. YOU believe in coercion; I DON’T.

            2. But I also do because I think there is a bargaining advantage for most employers over most employees, an advantage that government can address (same justification as minimum wage laws)

              What’s that advantage?

              What exactly does minimum wage solve? (I’m not going to debate Kard and Krueger, there’s more than enough material on each side of that argument)

              I completely agree workers should be allowed to group, just like a company should be allowed to fire an entire group. But you want the organized group to have more favorable rules and conditions than the owners of the company and that is not acceptable.

            3. I think that the certified rep should be chest-kicked into a bottomless pit.

            4. The start:

              do think the employer should have to bargain with the certified rep, yes.

              The conclusion:

              I grant that libertarians would also have to hold that the employer is free to ignore unions and fire strikers.

              So should labor cartels representing public employees be granted special license or not?

      3. Yes.

        My pro-collective-bargaining statements of course come with the standard libertarian disclaimers.

        1. DRINK! Yeah!

    8. the public unions should not be singled out to lose their right to collective bargaining (especially egregious, but typical of the GOP, to give the police a pass on this)

      Why not? While I agree that the police unions are still public unions and should be included, why should people who are paid with coerced funds be given even more power of coercion?

    9. * I tend not to be a fan of disruptive protests-politically stupid and often wrong

      Egypt says hi.

    10. Given their collective behavior, the group seems to have proven it would rather collectively bully than bargain. I say break their back and go crazy Ronnie on them, fire them all and start tossing asses in jail if they trespass on school property. (preferably using a SWAT team)

    11. “the public unions should not be singled out to lose their right to collective bargaining”

      Why should the government be required to negotiate with unions?

  10. “the public unions should not be singled out to lose their right to collective bargaining”
    Well I’d agree. No one should get that ‘right.’ But federal law governs most private sector collective bargaining. The Wisconsin governor and legislature only get to make laws taht cover the public sector.

    1. Dou think corporations and trade groups should not be able to bargain for contracts with WI state government?

      1. Yes they can. And every government contract contains a clause that says it can be terminated at any time for convenience of the government. And the contractor is pretty much out of luck. Labor contracts should be no different. All of those contracts should be terminated if they are found to be too expensive.

        1. A contract that says it can be terminated at any time by one party is not much of a contract John, don’t you agree?

          1. It is a contract. And page two of government contract law talks about “T for C” or termination for convenience. It happens all of the time. And should happen with these pensions and labor contracts. It has to be that way because the government has other obligations.

            Suppose a giant earthquake hit a city and the state and city had incredible expenses to provide basic emergency services. Is it your opinion that they should not provide those services and instead make good on union pensions? No. They would terminate those contracts because circumstances have changed.

            1. “Suppose a giant earthquake hit a city and the state and city”

              Suppose a giant earthquake hit a city and the state and city and the EMT’s and Other emergency services people decided this would be a great time to make a point about their compensation by striking. You okay with that, MNG?

              1. It is illegal for emergency workers in my county to strike. I imagine this is similar elsewhere due to what would happen.

          2. All contracts can always be terminated at any time.

            It’s a question of how you secure satisfaction for your loss if your counterparty walks away from the contract.

            In private contracts, you sue the other party and, if you prevail, you go after his assets to make good your loss.

            The problem for people who enter into contracts with the state is that the state’s assets can’t be attached in that way.

            If the legislature doesn’t vote you the funds and the governor doesn’t sign the bill containing your funds, you’re screwed. Judiciaries can issue judgments all they want – if the legislature doesn’t play ball, it doesn’t help you. The repeated debacles that have happened at the federal level with judgments in favor of Native American tribes, black farmers, black homeowners, etc., where payment has been held up for years or decades because the Congress won’t vote the funds necessary to pay the judgment are good examples of this.

            Everyone who enters into a contract with a sovereign counterparty has always been in the same position, since the time of the Fokkers.

            1. Exactly. And you know that when you sign a contract with them. And that is the way it should be. Suppose a governor goes crazy and signs a contract that obligates all of its funds in perpetuity to one interest group. Should every future governor and every future tax payer be bound to pay that obligation no matter what?

              1. Contracts signed by crazy people are not enforceable. And government contracts go through the executive and legislature to my knowledge, that’s a whole lot of crazy…

                1. that’s a whole lot of crazy…

                  You said it. We agree!

                2. Your knowledge is wrong. Any warranted contracting officer can sign on behalf of the government – it’s the funding for it that has to go through both.

              2. Today, the nation is counting on us. We’re not going to let them down. Good luck to you all.

            2. black farmers

              I see then you should be outraged over the Pigford Settlement!

          3. A contract that says it can be terminated at any time by one party is not much of a contract John, don’t you agree?

            Again, you show you’ve never actually participated in collective bargaining.

            Most of our agreements with multiple unions contain exactly such clauses – “either party can terminate with no/one week/30/60/90 days notice.” So do most all other companies w/represented workforces.

      2. Dou think corporations and trade groups should not be able to bargain for contracts with WI state government?

        The WI government isn’t forced to bargain with a single contractor by force of law.

        1. ^^^also, this^^^

          Well put, Tulpa

      3. Well I think corporations should be able to bargain for contracts. I don’t think they should have the right to get together with a bunch of other corporations to bargain with the state legally barred from refusing to negotiate with the group.

  11. China took quality shortcuts? I’m shocked, I say.

    1. who said that? lies all lies

      1. You’re the worst troll ever.

      2. Hello, piss facktery!

  12. I saw Howard Dean talking about the WI issue on Kudlow last night where he made it clear that a) he had no idea what he was talking about and b) he was deep in the pockets of the unions. The democrats need to give up the facade and just tell everyone they’re willing to sacrifice everyone else for the good of unions.

    1. They acknowledge it every time they open their mouths, and the majority of non-union Americans know it, and are finally tiring of it.

      1. I really should get residuals off of this one!

        1. You’re failing brilliantly.

          1. Googd lord, this a bumper crop!!!

  13. intercept text messages with words or phrases including “Egypt”, “bullet,” and “people power”

    This is why I text in Pig Latin.

    1. Wouldn’t that be easier for police to intercept and decipher?

        1. Amnday ouyay, uh, SIway!

  14. Who cares if China’s high speed rail isn’t safe and a financial black hole? They still have one and we don’t.

    1. Sweet fuck, wasn’t enough time wasted on this moron or ersatz moron last night?

      1. Don’t worry, I’m taking the day off. I see MNG is already here to argue over semantics, create strawmen, and spew non sequiturs, so there’s nothing more for me to do.

    2. I know, right?!

  15. I have to say that I find the attack on association rights under way in Wisconsin unacceptable.

    I do not think that the state should have the power to make the extension of a particular benefit [in this case, employment] contingent upon the waiver of enumerated rights outside of the context of job performance.

    The state’s usurpation of this power is a critical component of the modern regulatory superstate and we should not support it, even when it results in amusements like teeth-gnashing by the teacher’s union.

    1. But fluffy, TEH UNIONS IS EVIL, they don’t vote for Republicans, and that is bad because, well, look welfare fraud!

    2. First, it doesn’t take away their right to unionize or organize. It does nothing of the sort. It is a limitation on local governments’ right to cave to unions. It determines what is negotiable and what is not in a government employment contract.

      Federal government employees can unionize. But they can’t bargain at all over salary. That is set by Congress. Do you think their rights of association are being trampled on? No. It is a question of who has the power of the purse, the unions or the tax payer.

      1. So it’s just a restriction on the right to contract instead of association. Oh, that’s much better!

        1. Yes, it is the people’s and the governments’ money. They, via their elected officials, have a right to determine how it is spent and under what condition it is spent. If the legislatures say that government salaries will not be determined via a collective bargaining process but will instead be set by the legislature, that is completely within their right.

          Face it, it is the voters’ money, not the Unions’.

          1. —“Yes, it is the people’s and the governments’ money.”—

            Wrong. It’s the peoples money. The government doesn’t have any money, other than what they extract from the people.

            1. They have it once they extract it from the people. Whether or not that is a good thing is a separate issue.

        2. Are states that don’t allow collective bargaining restricting the right to contract? No. That is nonsense. They are just determining how state salaries will be set. One way to set salaries is through a bargaining process. But there is nothing to say you can’t do it differently. Indeed, that is what the federal government does. There is nothing wrong with a state legislature saying, “government salaries and benefits are thus and there will be no bargaining at the local level over them”.

    3. No Fluffy, when the party in question is an extension of the state, those rights are forfeit. No one twisted their arms to enter into a contract with the state regarding employment.

      They are part of the “superstate”. No one said they can’t associate, as they are doing now. The point is they are making unsustainable and impossible demands on the private sector.

      Even the sainted FDR famously said that public sector collective bargaining is verboten.

      1. Actually, John’s answer is much better: “No one says you can’t have a union, but we won’t allow local governments to negotiate with you.” The state can do that, so that’s a rather elegant solution.

        You know why the state thinks it has the power to make the issuance of a business or professional license contingent upon the waiver of the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th amendment rights of the licensee? Do you know where all of our extraconstitutional regulatory kangaroo courts come from?

        The notion that the state can use the disparate extension of benefits to achieve what it could not achieve by direct legal action.

        There is no way to view the public employee collective bargaining process as anything other than the exercise of the right to associate combined with the right to petition the government for redress.

        1. Is that what Walker’s bill will do, not allow local governments to bargain?

          And second question, why should the state government establish control over local governments like that? I can see state government passing a law that sets salaries that can be offered by state agencies, that sounds reasonable. Is that what this bill does?

          1. Now I’m not sure.

            I thought I knew what it did – but maybe I only knew what AP writers wanted me to think it did.

            If the law does what John says it does, it’s much, much less egregious than I thought.

        2. There is no way to view the public employee collective bargaining process as anything other than the exercise of the right to associate combined with the right to petition the government for redress.

          Whaaat? Using government to coerce public employees into joining a Union is free association? Surely you are aware that few States have Right to Work laws.

          I would totally support any union that does not have the power of government guns backing it up. Once the government allows and even supports the infringement of the property rights of those whom the unions are attempting to coerce, it is tyranny, not Liberty.

          1. Didn’t see the post above about SLD, sorry.

        3. As I see it, the public employees have the right to influence their employers through the voting process already, as does everyone who is footing the bill for their services.

          The right to associate and petition the State should exist (and will continue to exist under Walker’s proposal). The right to collectively bargain with the State should not.

    4. Considering the fight to create job performance reviews was fought and lost, I’m not opposed to a state fighting a bit dirty with the union. Gotta break it somehow. Though if they really had balls, they’d have simply told the department “Here’s you budget, you figure out what to do with it. Oh and by the way, vouchers will be in place next year and that WILL affect your future budget”

      1. Gotta break what?

        Collective bargaining just means that the unions can bargain for all the workers as a unit. And it just means bargain, the employer, in this case government, is totally free to reject the offers of the union. All that need be done is for government negotiators to do that.

        1. That requires two mid torso pendulums. Chris Christie could do it. I doubt most governments could outright say “No”. So their weaselling.

    5. There is a distinction between private and public employees.

      Should DOD employees be allowed to organize and bargain? Why is any other critical part of the gov’t services different?

      1. Yes I think DOD employees should be able to unionize. We all realize what heavy handed dicks government can be. Those workers may feel mistreated or that they are getting a bad bargain and that by organizing and bargaining for wages collectively they can better protect their interests, and they should be able to.

        You wouldn’t say corporations or trade groups couldn’t contract with the DOD would you?

        1. Yes I think DOD employees should be able to unionize.

          Fine. But no salary or benefits negotiations; worker safety concerns only. (Which, incidentally, is under the auspices of OSHA.)

          1. What does that mean? The workers would be legally prevented from coordinating in their wage bargaining, or that the offers should be set by the legislature and the agencies given no authority to bargain. If that is all you mean, and if that is what Walker’s bill is about, then ok, that seems fine.

            1. The workers would be legally prevented from coordinating in their wage bargaining, or that the offers should be set by the legislature and the agencies given no authority to bargain.

              Yes to both, MNG. It’s not a choice: the employee accepts the offer given and, in return for essentially guaranteed job security, agrees to both terms and prevented from further meddling.

          2. Yes I think DOD employees should be able to unionize.

            Also think that ‘American Idol’ is the cutting edge new wave of quality US television or some other shit, too? Unionizing the Armed Forces, much less the perfumed self important and oh so professionally already whiny civil service contingent filling up the Pentagon’s parking lot is a profoundly BAD idea. Think that the cops are out of control because of the protections they’ve garnered from unionization (tut, tut, can’t prosecute Officer Smith for busting down the wrong door and shooting little Timmy and the family dog in a panic till this is ok’d by his Union rep!)

            Can I think of at least one somebody who MIGHT agree? Ida know, how about an F-18 pilot in the middle of the Ocean, with dwindling gas, and only one boat to land on, but – uh oh, Union mandated a coffee break, the Captain sillily mentioned something called ‘mission’ and until negotiations can work out the details, the deck crew is on strike, so, no landings!

            Squids may not be my favorite people of all time, but that’s pretty fucked up, and not too far from potential reality.

            1. Well, actual military service is quite a different situation. There you have actually explicitly agreed to give up your rights to do what you want when you want to.

        2. We all realize what heavy handed dicks government can be.

          Yes we do. But in the situations documented here on H&R (for example the Balko scrotal bombardments) there is no escape from government dickishness, whereas a government worker can simply quit their job to escape.

          1. whereas a government worker can simply quit their job to escape.

            Doesn’t work with the military. I think the Post Office implants Ceti eels though…

            1. True, the military is a whole other ball game. Not sure if MNG thinks they should have collective bargaining rights.

              1. It really wouldn’t surprise me, Tulpa, if he did.

        3. What actions do you think those corporations or trade groups should be allowed to take pending a response to their demands? Do you think high school cafeteria suppliers should be allowed to shut down the school if they aren’t allowed to set outrageous prices for their goods?

      2. There’s a special word for DoD employees on a ship who organize and collectively bargain…it’s called mutiny and the UCMJ takes a very dim view of said behaviour

    6. Don’t public servants always have the right to associate their services with a private employer or to create their own enterprise? Whether or not they like the terms of the government’s contract, is anyone compelling them to provide services to the government against their will?

    7. The Bill of Rights doesn’t apply to the voluntary relationship between govt and government employees. It only applies to the coercive relationship between government and citizen.

      Otherwise, government employees have to have a trial by jury before they can be disciplined in any way.

  16. Obama:

    “I think it’s very important for us to understand that public employees, they’re our neighbors, they’re our friends,” Obama said. “They make a lot of sacrifices and make a big contribution…

    1. …to the DNC and my campaigns in particular”

    2. Citation needed, Mr. President.

        1. I meant he needs to backup his statement with facts, not you link to his statement.

    3. Big contribution? Sure (remember a contribution doesn’t have to be positive or useful necessarily). Sacrifices? Show me these sacrifices.

      1. They were sacrificing the education of their students to go campaign for better paychecks. He didn’t say personal sacrifice.

  17. Peggy Noonan has an interesting piece today on speeches given by Mitch Daniels and Chris Christie. Christie gave a speech to a bunch of fire fighters who booed him. He makes a great point though

    “Here’s the deal: I understand you’re angry, and I understand you’re frustrated, and I understand you feel deceived and betrayed.” And, he said, they were right: “For 20 years, governors have come into this room and lied to you, promised you benefits that they had no way of paying for, making promises they knew they couldn’t keep, and just hoping that they wouldn’t be the man or women left holding the bag. I understand why you feel angry and betrayed and deceived by those people. Here’s what I don’t understand. Why are you booing the first guy who came in here and told you the truth?”

    He told them there was no political advantage in being truthful: “The way we used to think about politics and, unfortunately, the way I fear they’re thinking about politics still in Washington” involves “the old playbook [which] says, “lie, deceive, obfuscate and make it to the next election.” He’d seen a study that said New Jersey’s pensions may go bankrupt by 2020. A friend told him not to worry, he won’t be governor then. “That’s the way politics has been practiced in our country for too long. . . . So I said to those firefighters, ‘You may hate me now, but 15 years from now, when you have a pension to collect because of what I did, you’ll be looking for my address on the Internet so you can send me a thank-you note.'”

    We are broke. Those pensions cannot be made good on. Lying isn’t going to help.

    1. Promises should have to be kept. The governments should make any future contracts address financial problems, but promises should be prioritized. Having said that Christie doesn’t deserve some of the hate he is getting from the left, he’s just trying to tell people what’s up. He strikes me as a rather stand up guy.

      1. No they don’t have to be kept. They are not kept under any other circumstances. Do you feel the same way about say defense contracts? When Congress kills a fighter or other defense program, thousands of promises to defense contractors are broken and the contracts are terminated for the convience of the government. Yet, I don’t see you in here talking about how immoral it is. You think it is wonderful. And you are right it is. The tax payers and the voters have the power of the purse. And they can and should be able to terminate any contract the voters deem to be too expensive. To say otherwise is to say spending can never be cut.

        1. I don’t mind explicit clauses making contracts contingent on things, and I don’t mind cutting planned future uncontracted spending, but promises should be kept. You don’t think promises should be kept?

          1. Not if the promise will bankrupt the state. As Christie points out, these pensions cannot be maintained without bankrupting the state. In the private sector, the company would just go bankrupt and the obligations would be erased. The state doesn’t go away. So the state has to have the ability to unilaterally change these contracts.

            In the end, that money belongs to the people of the state. And the people of the state have every right to determine how it is spent. And that includes the right to undo obligations made by previous officials.

            1. The government is the people’s agent. If your agent signs a contract with me in your name you are obligated. Why should this be different for government as a contractee? Maybe people would be more careful in choosing their reps if they realize this.

              1. Every single elected official in my state was appointed despite my strenous objections. How the fuck are they my agents?

                1. You know the drill by now.

              2. Re: MNG,

                The government is the people’s agent.

                Yeah, that’s one way of spinning it. Except that it is not true: Government is not an agent. Government is no more MY agent before unions than the Pope could be before God.

                If your agent signs a contract with me in your name you are obligated.

                If someone fancies himself “my agent” and signs documents in my stead without MY knowledge, any agreement he signed is null and void. UNLESS ALL TAXPAYERS are informed and give THEIR CONSENT for EVERY SINGLE contract the “agent” bargains, then any of those contracts are void. As simple as that.

                Why should this be different for government as a contractee?

                because governments are NOT agents, MNG. That’s a statist fantasy.

                Maybe people would be more careful in choosing their reps if they realize this.

                How can they, MNG? HOW CAN THEY? Politicians SAY one thing and DO another – that’s the beauty of Democracy: They’re accountable to NO ONE.

              3. There is no such thing as a contract that can’t be vacated in some way or another. Arguing otherwise is simply being disingenuous.

              4. The government is the people’s agent. If your agent signs a contract with me in your name you are obligated.

                Wrong. Agents are required to follow a principal’s instructions, show reasonable care and attention to the matters of the agency, deal in good faith with the principal, and report all matters concerning the agency to the principal. If the agent fails in these duties, then the principal can be found not liable for the agent’s acts, in some cases.

              5. The government is the people’s agent. If your agent signs a contract with me in your name you are obligated.

                Wrong. Agents are required to follow a principal’s instructions, show reasonable care and attention to the matters of the agency, deal in good faith with the principal, and report all matters concerning the agency to the principal. If the agent fails in these duties, then the principal can be found not liable for the agent’s acts, in some cases.

            2. I’m not sure about this: “In the private sector, the company would just go bankrupt and the [pension] obligations would be erased.”

              Don’t pension obligation claims have a very high priority in bankruptcy? I don’t think they get admin expense status, but I thought they either had a superpriority or a exemption from discharge or both.

              In practice, for a Chapter 7 liquidation, I thought whichever pension obligations weren’t satisfied by the trustee, got fobbed off onto PBGC. (Which is going insolvent too, but don’t tell anybody…)

              My point is that, even in a private company liquidation, it wouldn’t be as easy to erase pension obligations as you imply. Still agree with your larger points, though, and I wonder if abandoning the spoils system was a good idea…

          2. Fine. Have it your way. Let the bankruptcy courts settle it.

            1. No Corduroy. MNG doesn’t believe in bankruptcy. Because, you see, in bankruptcy a business or individual who has promised to pay someone a certain amount reneges on that promise. Instead, to be consistent, MNG should believe in debtor’s prison.

              Sorry public sector unions: a different bunch of charlatans representing the people made a “deal” with you, but the the current legislature is breaking that deal, for the health of the state.

              This is but one example of why government (which, as Washington said “is force”) is different from everything else.

              1. You don’t have to believe in something as heavy handed as debtors prison (though willful, contemptous disregard for ones debt could be grounds for punishment), just some mechanism that gives some level of priority to creditors.

                “This is but one example of why government (which, as Washington said “is force”) is different from everything else.”

                Well, sure, but I would think libertarians would not celebrate this double standard in government’s favor…

                1. Creditors already get first dibs on the proceeds of a bankruptcy sale. Owners and employees get what’s left. So using your logic, if a state goes bankrupt the unions could get nothing. Yeah, that’s a much better solution than redoing the pensions.

                  1. Employees are creditors too, with a claim for a limited amount of their wages. For the masochistic, the bankruptcy priority scheme is largely dealt with in
                    11 USC 507
                    . Wages are largely covered in subsection (4).

          3. but promises should be kept.

            Like showing up for work?

            1. That reminds me. You still owe me those taxes, people.

              1. Come and get them, Georgie!

            2. This is a good point. And the people of Wisconsin are seeing the negative affect this strike is having. Because these teachers are striking for more money, there are people who have to stay home from their jobs in order to care for their kids. If I’m forced to lose a day’s pay because some greedy-ass bastard doesn’t want to pony up 15% of their healthcare costs (as most eveyone else does) I am not going to have one iota of sympathy for them.

          4. For these public sector unions, their choices are boiling down to resetting the pension standard now for solvency or risk losing ALL of it when the state goes bankrupt. If promises can be kept, do that, but renegotiation now is better for them than losing it all. You can promise to give your kid a pony but then you lose your job, you’re not going to take food off the table to buy that pony. You break the promise so same kid doesn’t starve.

            1. Now I agree with this.

              1. So that’s what it takes to get you to understand something? A pony analogy?

            2. Problem is, the union bosses have the same kick-the-can-down-the-road mentality that previous governors did. None of them wants to be remembered as the one who caved in.

              1. Do they want to be the one that got everyone in the union shitcanned?

                1. Won’t matter at that point.

          5. There’s an old saying I share with my kids: Don’t make a promise your butt can’t cash.

            My kids didn’t make the promise to public service unions…

          6. “I don’t mind cutting planned future uncontracted spending, but promises should be kept. You don’t think promises should be kept?”

            So you would outlaw divorce?

      2. Re: MNG,

        Promises should have to be kept. The governments should make any future contracts address financial problems, but promises should be prioritized.

        I agree – contracts are contracts. But there’s no more money, so what now?

        1. Whatever happens when a contract is made with a bankrupt entity.

          1. Re: MNG,

            Whatever happens when a contract is made with a bankrupt entity.

            Exactly, but States, supposedly, cannot file for bankruptcy, so now what?

            Agreed, previous politicians made huge promised they could not keep, but that is the ‘beauty’ of Democracy: You can garnish the votes by offering expedient, short term ‘solutions’ without having to worry about long term consequences, as by the time these arrive, the politician is already long gone.

            1. They can’t technically go bankrupt but they could follow the same procedures essentially, the promisees would be in the position of creditors to a bankrupt entity and would be dealt with in an analogous fashion.

              1. Re: MNG,

                They can’t technically go bankrupt but they could follow the same procedures essentially, the promisees would be in the position of creditors to a bankrupt entity and would be dealt with in an analogous fashion.

                I don’t think you understand the problem, MNG: Governments don’t produce anything. They made those contracts by involving an unwitting 3rd party – the taxpayers. In order to fulfill those ‘promises’, the government has to plunder the public kitty, basically keep the taxpayers hooked for a long time just to keep a few fat and happy.

                Such a contract that involves an unwitting 3rd party IS NULL AND VOID. So, basically, the State can tell the unionized public workers to go screw themselves, as those contracts are invalid.

                1. I agree with you OM. (And see my other response upthread).

                  George Washington said government is not reason, it is FORCE. It can contradict something that it said yesterday. We prefer that it doesn’t, but that doesn’t change the fact.

                  And as someone pointed out, the people can even overturn the Constitution as long as it is done democratically.

                  I’m glad I’m not a public sector worker. But if I were, right now I wouldn’t value my pension benefits at 50 cents on the dollar.

                2. “They made those contracts by involving an unwitting 3rd party – the taxpayers.”

                  That party was hardly unwitting, they voted in the agents that made the deal. Sure, future taxpayers are stuck with that, but future shareholders are stuck with the contracts past management made all the time.

                  1. Analogy fail. Unlike becoming a taxpayer, becoming a shareholder is a voluntary transaction.

                  2. WTF? One is not obligated to be a shareholder. One is obligated to be a taxpayer.

                    1. I get that all the time.

                  3. Re: MNG,

                    That party was hardly unwitting, they voted in the agents that made the deal.

                    Well, shit MNG – so what? I can hire a person to represent me, but if that person does something I have no knowledge of (like selling my house with me IN IT), he cannot then aledge he was “representing me.” Same in this case.

                    Sure, future taxpayers are stuck with that, but future shareholders are stuck with the contracts past management made all the time.

                    Except that shareholders can OPT OUT of a company by selling their shares – can you OPT OUT from the State?

                    Don’t compare voluntary, private entities with coercive, thieving, lying government, MNG: They’re totally different animals.

                  4. Oh, good god, MNG. A shareholder can sell at any time, for loss or gain. A taxpayer doesn’t get that luxury unless s/he is willing to uproot and try out a different bankrupt state (see also: upstate NY, western PA and all of MI). There isn’t a comparison between a productive private sector entity and a non-productive public sector entity.

              2. They can’t technically go bankrupt but they could follow the same procedures essentially, the promisees would be in the position of creditors to a bankrupt entity and would be dealt with in an analogous fashion.

                The promises were made to employees. Employees stand at the back of the line during bankruptcy proceedings. Bond holders for the state’s debt would be first, followed by tax payers (the “owners” of the state).

          2. Yes, but the states cannot declare bankruptcy. The unions know this and did not bargain in good faith.

      3. Contracts pretty much go out the window when one of the parties goes bankrupt.

        You liberal pigs killed the golden goose and have financially broken our entire country. Now I’m afraid you’re going to have to live with the consequences of your actions.

        1. Pigs and geese, what tractor did you fall off?

        2. Yeah, poopy-head, what tractor did you fall off?

      4. The problem is that these promises were made by people who knew they weren’t going to be around when these deals got called in and they were made using other people’s money. Should the people have no recourse to get out from under these egregious burdens?

        1. What do you do to a corporation whose management made deals that they knew would be called in when they were’nt around? Do the later corporations get to say “oh hey, that was a dumb deal, we are not going to recognize that.”

          1. What do you do to a corporation whose management made deals that they knew would be called in when they were’nt around?

            Ask Governme…err, General Motors, MNG.

          2. Which “later corporations” are you talking about? If you’re talking about the corporation that bought the original one, they knew about the contract they were getting into when they purchased the original corporation. Ergo, they entered the arrangement voluntarily.

            1. Yup. It’s covered under the Reps & Warrantees section. That’s what due diligence is for.

          3. Do the later corporations get to say “oh hey, that was a dumb deal, we are not going to recognize that.”

            Yes, but corporations are not typically forced by law to deal with only one group of contractors/suppliers, so your analogy is off-target. (Targets? Uh-oh, might be using some violent rhetoric here).

      5. A promise under threat of violence is no promise at all.

        This is NOT the government’s money. It is the taxpayers’ money. The taxpayers are forced, under the threat of violence, to pay their taxes, and so indirectly these wages and benefits that are out of proportion to what the private sector receives.

        The taxpayer does not have to make good on continuing to fork over taxpayer money that was made under threat. The taxpayers, through their elected officials, have every right to say “slow down, we need to fix these crooked promises.”

      6. Contracts with the government are not ordinary contracts. There’s an implicit “termination for convenience” clause in every government contract.

    2. An honest man in Jersey…and in politics to boot. Good god we must be living in Bizarro World. Keep talking Chris, you’re gaining friends all over.

      1. not yet

        1. Fuck off, Chris Matthews.

    1. Why don’t you go live in Europe, then?

      1. Why would I need to? It’s only a matter of time before the US and Canada are forced to acknowledge the same reality.

  18. Alaska’s governor says he won’t enact ObamaCare.

    It has to start somewhere…

    http://www.amazon.com/Nullific…..1596981490

  19. Some of the criticism may be signs of envy that China has achieved so much at a speed and cost that other countries cannot match.

    As an engineer, I can safely say the margins of safety for rail are fairly large and the Chinese can and will get away with lots of shortcuts. However, the issue with insufficient aggregate, hardening agents, and poor quality control means either there will be catastrophic accident or massive maintenance and repair. Even poor concrete with low cement content acheives maximum strength quickly and appears solid. It is only after freeze/thaw or repeated strain that defects become apparent.

    If they pull this off, wow. But if massive failures have and are occuring I doubt the Chi-cons would be very public about it.

    1. Oh, c’mon now, you carbohydrate-filled syrup trap, you know how good those Chi-coms are about quality control and openness.

    2. what? i mean lut?

    3. Sliderule engineer or choo-choo engineer?

      1. Sliderule engineer, primarily power generation siting and design, though the sliderule is before my time.

        1. C’mon, waffles – the sliderule is TIMELESS

          1. The only slide rule I can recall is the one that says you go down the slide one at a time.

    4. “Chi-cons”

      nice.

  20. The U.S. army wants rubber bullets for crowd control.

    Scary thoughts come to mind when one wonders which crowd they alude to….

    1. I’m *pretty* sure it’s the crowd waiting to buy high-speed rail tickets.

  21. Troubles surface at China’s highly touted high-speed rail.

    Well, to be fair, it was only ‘highly touted’ by The Truth and other nitwits.

  22. “And I think it’s important not to vilify them or to suggest that somehow all these budget problems are due to public employees.”

    How many times can a president jump the shark?

  23. TJ. A sure sign of the End Times – this is astounding.

    1. Not a fan personally, but one has to admire productivity and doing so much with so little. I guess you can get blood out of a turnip.

      Though this little gem is interesting:

      – The Kardashian Kard, a prepaid credit card the sisters launched in November with financial service company Mobile Research Card, also was to give the Kardashians $3 for every card activated or sold, 25 percent of fees, a $75,000 advance on royalties and a $37,000 signing bonus. But when then-Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal castigated the card for its predatory hidden fees (of which the family, as stated by the contract, would receive a percentage), Kris attempted to quietly terminate the agreement. The card’s issuer is suing the family for $75 million.

      Kinda like those union contracts, huh?

      1. Oh, I admire it tremendously. I’m all for people making as much money as they can any legal way they can. The appalling thing here is not the money they are making but the fact that they are making that absurd amount of money from millions of teen-aged girls whom they have convinced that Kim and Khloe and Kourtney are what real women are all about and to aspire to be like them. Could you just puke?

        1. Oh yeah! But then, I profited off of my looks too, so I can’t really throw stones. I do think that they contribute to that self-image drabble of girls, but to place them on a pedestal is more symptomatic of society and not necessarily them.

          I’ll take them over a Paris Hilton or LiLo any day of the week…

  24. Baghdad wants Washington to pay $1 billion for damage done to the city.

    And here I thought the destruction would have spurred economic growth, just like princess Pelosi once said – I guess I was wrong…

    1. But OM, it does: remember Pelosi said that unemployment insurance was the best creator of jobs!? Well THIS should really get a bang for the buck!

    2. IIRC, Iraqi oil will pay for that.

    3. There’s Egypt money out there now.

      Shit.

      With all these dictators falling (hopefully) will we stop sending these countries money for nothing? (only semi-rhetorical)

  25. Why is forbidding unions from the govt trough forbidden, but mandating it isn’t?

    Another Obama favor for unions
    Barely 15 percent of all construction-industry workers in the United States are union members, while the remaining 85 percent are nonunion, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. So why has President Obama signed Executive Order 13502 directing federal agencies taking bids for government construction projects to accept only those from contractors who agree in advance to a project labor agreement that requires a union work force?…

    1. Whatever, Johnny… it’s just two autonomous entities signing perpetually binding contracts in good faith. Everything else is just FauxNews lies.

    2. Re: Johnny Longtorso,

      So why has President Obama signed Executive Order 13502 directing federal agencies taking bids for government construction projects to accept only those from contractors who agree in advance to a project labor agreement that requires a union work force?

      Well, Mr Obama can perfectly stipulate whatever he wants as a paying customer… Oh wait – WE’RE the paying “customer”…. WTF????

  26. If a agent in your employ signs a contract in your name that obviously benefits the agent and the other party far more than you, are you still on the hook? Can your agent legally defraud you? What if the agent is getting remunerated from the other party?

    1. If that “agent” is government then yes, yes and yes.

    2. Let me be clear.

      I will not address hypothetical situations.

    3. If a agent in your employ signs a contract in your name that obviously benefits the agent and the other party far more than you, are you still on the hook?

      It depends on various specific circumstances – e.g., did the principle ratify the agreement by taking the benefits of it, with knowledge of the benefit to the agent? An agent acts owes specific fiduciary duties to its principle and must act in the interest of the principle.

      Can your agent legally defraud you?

      No.

      What if the agent is getting remunerated from the other party?

      An agent cannot engage in self-dealing without the principle’s consent.

      I actually found agency and partnerships to be one of the more interesting classes I took in law school. That was partly because the teacher was good at teaching and she was not too hard on the eyes either.

  27. So MNG, let me see if I have this straight. Taxpayers have money taken from them by the tax collectors, and what makes this acceptable is the promise that taxpayers have some say in how much money is taken and what it is used for through the democratic process. Long suffering taxpayers decide too much is being taken and elect local officials who promise to cut back. Local officials try to cut back, but the government employees decide to walk out rather than accept the clearly expressed wishes of the taxpayers, and state law ties the hands of the local officials in responding to this. Local officials cave and nothing changes. Oh, and along the way state officials make promises of defined benefit pensions to government employees then fail to fund these pensions, inevitably leaving future taxpayers on the hook without their ability to have a say in the matter.

    How exactly is this legitimate? What, in your mind, separates the tax collectors taking the money to pay for this bullshit from thieves? Does the phrase “taxation without representation” ring a bell to you, or is that actually the desired outcome here?

    1. Particularly for long term pension contracts when the voters paying for them weren’t even born when the contract was originally written.

      1. something something social contract something greater good something something something promises.

    2. Taxpayers have money taken from them by the tax collectors, and what makes this acceptable is the promise that taxpayers have some say in how much money is taken and what it is used for through the democratic process.

      You nailed it, Brian: “some say”.

    3. Brian E, liberals believe healthcare and the like, paid for by you, are human rights you can be forced to pay for. They ultimately believe you should have no more legal right to cancel a social program than you do to outlaw the Catholic Church.

      Paying for this is no different.

  28. MNG, can a state that isn’t currently become a right to work state, and stop mandating employers negotiate w/ unions? Is that allowable?

  29. but promises should be kept. You don’t think promises should be kept?

    That depends; if you have promised to pay somebody with my money, then no.

  30. Sliderule engineer or choo-choo engineer?

    Famous A J Foyt quote:

    “This ain’t no railroad, and I don’t need no goddam engineer!”

  31. the public unions should not be singled out to lose their right to collective bargaining

    I can think of three reasons why they should be singled out:

    (1) The stated justification for coercive collective bargaining (to rein in the abuses of capitalism) does not apply.

    (2) Their jobs, by their very nature, do not permit them to strike without damaging the sacred “general welfare”.

    (3) Experience shows that collective bargaining by pubsec employees leads to political dysfunction resulting in unsustainable, and dare I say unfair, compensation.

    1. dare I say unfair

      Oh no you didn’t!

  32. Promises should have to be kept.

    Except when they can’t be, in which case we have a mechanism for sorting out the wreckage: bankruptcy.

    1. Except that under the current administration, bankruptcy law has been subverted and abused in order to appease constituent groups.

  33. In the “real world” if I hire you to do a job, and you show up and work forty hours per week, and I have paid you for all the hours you’ve worked, we’re done. If you tell me on Friday, as you’re walking out, “I won’t be back” we’re done. Conversely, if, as I hand you your check, I say, “Don’t come back” we’re done. There is nothing further owed by either party.

    If I have “promised” to support you in your dotage via a pension, when I say, “Don’t come back” there is a cash present value which can be assigned to that pension obligation.

    So, here’s my plan: Cancel the contract. As long as payroll is up to date, you bring in a DISINTERESTED third party to establish the value of pension obligations, and tell all the weeping teachers to re-apply. Repeat at fire house, cop shop, and any and all other municipal facilities.

    Tah-daaaaah!

    1. Gosh, you really want to throw our public servants under a bus, don’t you? And then after you toss them under the bus you won’t even be able to crush them becuase no one will drive the bus after you cut their rightful benefits.

      So you want our selfless public servants to lay injured under a bus that no one can drive? You really are a monster.

      1. Gosh, you really want to throw our public servants under a bus, don’t you?

        Is the bus driven by a member of the Bus Driver’s Union?

  34. I will stop whining about “collective bargaining rights” as soon as the employer (public or private) is permitted to bargain with anyone he chooses.

  35. no one will drive the bus

    SCAB LABOR, Baby!

  36. Since it’s friday and I’m tired of Sarah anyway. It’s me, waffles. This was my favorite troll since kleinfan92, thanks H&R for playing along.

    Sarah was fun. I think my skills of spoof-artistry are improving. Yinz have a superb weekend.

    1. And to think all the H&R commenters were so excited to have another female in the room

    2. You might have had a more fruitful run if you hadn’t first posted as “Susan Korneberg” and the next day as “Sarah Korneberg.”

      1. I’m pretty sure I didn’t change it. This was well-disciplined (for me at least).

      2. Ack! You’re right. Oh well, 6 months from now another spawn of waffles will be brought unto H&R. You won’t know who or what it is, but you will argue with it.

        And you will like it.

    3. Well played, sir.
      Didn’t you start out as Susan Korneberg? Or was that a real poster?

    4. You monster! I was beginning to fall in love!!

      1. Yeah you were, you creepy freedom-lover you. I thought that starting out as a raging feminazi, then making it seem like some libertarian ideas were taking hold in her fictional brain was definitely the way to go.

  37. Expelling gay rights groups from next year’s CPAC.

    Well, somebody’s gotta stand up for the losing side of history.

    1. This is as good a time, place, and issue for the so-con and the libertarian wings of the Republican Party to have it out.

      1. The RLC should send nice gift baskets to GOP officials who do libertarian things. Positive reinforcement. A train set for Gov. Scott would be nice, for instance.

  38. Expelling gay rights groups from next year’s CPAC.

    Big mistake, BIG – nobody will then know where to get their hair done.

    1. On the plus side, the libertarians will fit in better.

  39. Officers in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard say they won’t fire on demonstrators.

    SPLC to issue a statement that the Revolutionary Guard are a bunch of oath-taking, racist neo-confederates for not wanting to do the State’s bidding.

    1. Well said. Would a statist understand ?

  40. Since it’s friday and I’m tired of Sarah anyway.

    YOU’RE tired of her?

    The cmu.edu e-mail address was a nice touch, though. I imagined her in a pith helmet, carrying a butterfly net, stalking the wild americanthripus libertariansus.

    1. Yes! this is precisely what I was going for. There should be an NEA grant for this kind of work…

  41. “MNG|2.18.11 @ 9:28AM|#
    “So you want to give the State a priviliged position in contracting that private entities don’t possess.”

    Yes.
    That money was not provided by customers, it was taken by coercion.
    Secondly, since there is no profit motive in government, there is no check on union demands.
    You BET I want the government to have what you claim t be special privileges”

    1. I don’t know that it’s a question of “profit motive”, so much as that different shareholders face differing amounts of loss, entirely unrelated to the weight of their votes.

  42. The Democratic National Committee’s Organizing for America arm — the remnant of the 2008 Obama campaign — is playing an active role in organizing protests against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s attempt to strip most public employees of collective bargaining rights.

    OfA, as the campaign group is known, has been criticized at times for staying out of local issues like same-sex marriage, but it’s riding to the aide of the public sector unions who hoping to persuade some Republican legislators to oppose Walker’s plan. And while Obama may have his difference with teachers unions, OfA’s engagement with the fight — and Obama’s own clear stance against Walker — mean that he’s remaining loyal to key Democratic Party allies at what is, for them, a very dangerous moment.

    OfA Wisconsin’s field efforts include filling buses and building turnout for the rallies this week in Madison, organizing 15 rapid response phone banks urging supporters to call their state legislators, and working on planning and producing rallies, a Democratic Party official in Washington said.

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/…..ml?showall

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