Tag: Mitch Daniels

Weekend Roundup

As of tonight, I am on the other side of the world. Actually, most people would say I blog like someone on from a completely different world. But in this case, it’s literally true: I’m back in Australia. As a result of preparations and travel, I’ve missed the biggest news stories of the week. So I’ll go through them quickly in a weekend roundup form to hopefully start a few (well-reasoned) fights.


First, Indiana became the latest right-to-work state over fierce labor union opposition. Ever so slowly, the unions are losing their grip on power. Watch out for Mitch Daniels come 2016. That guy has President written all over him.


Eric Holder continues to lower the bar for attorneys general. His latest statement is that he will crack down on Operation Fast and Furious. Actually, he will crack down on OFF whistleblowers. This man’s allegiance to government power should be a much bigger story.


The latest jobs report is out. Not only did job creation numbers blow by expectations, but December and November numbers were revised upward. All told, 300k jobs were added in multiple sectors, including manufacturing, and the unemployment rate is down to 8.3%. It’s been many years since we had a jobs report that solid.

Now, the total unemployment number — which accounts for people who have given up looking for work — has only fallen a little. But it has fallen … a little. This is ceasing to be a blip and starting to look like a resurgence. It’s not near strong enough. But it’s hopeful. We’ll know things are really getting better when job creation numbers rise and the unemployment rate also rises. That will tell us when people are rejoining the labor force.


I don’t have a lot of interest in the spat between the Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood over the former pulling funding from the latter because of abortion, then reversing that decision. I do however, think Josh Barro has a legitimate point: Planned Parenthood supporters need to quit pretending that abortion is only incidental to PP’s mission and function. They are one of the largest abortion providers in the nation, it is a huge part of their budget and anyone who has been to a clinic can not but notice how big a part abortion is of what they do.

The Planned Parenthood defenders are throwing out a statistic that abortions are only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services. That may be literally true, but it’s comparing apples to watermelons. An abortion is a far more involved and expensive procedure than a breast cancer screening or a birth control consultation. By way of illustration, a surgeon may do see a patient ten times for follow-up of a single surgical procedure. But only an idiot would claim that surgery is only 10% of what a surgeon does.

People who support Planned Parenthood do so, in part, because of their abortion services. If Planned Parenthood ended abortions tomorrow, their support would shrink, at least a little. You can not both support Planned Parenthood because someone needs to provide abortions and then turn around and claim abortion is only a small part of what they do. Agreeing with this doesn’t make you pro-life or anti-woman or anti-choice or even anti-Planned-Parenthood. It makes you connected with reality.


Finally, the CBO released their latest projection, which is for a $1.1 trillion deficit this year (believe it or not, that’s down by several hundred billion from the peak) and more trillions over the next decade. They also project that the economy will weaken as tax hikes and spending cuts kick in. Color me very skeptical on that last part. The CBOs models are rigged a certain way. And that way is of dubious accuracy.

The Fiefdom Of Daniels

Fresh from his national ascension to prominence, kicking Obama ass all over the stage the other night, Mitch Daniels and Indiana is making more hay. Championing the cause of choice, letting workers decide for themselves by what conditions they are bound and by whom they are aligned, Indiana is on the cusp of making right-to-work “G” rated again:

In another blow to organized labor in the traditionally union heavy Midwest, Indiana is poised to become the first right-to-work state in more than a decade after Republican lawmakers cleared the way on Wednesday to ban unions from collecting mandatory fees from workers.

Over the past year, Republicans have pushed for other anti-union laws in battleground Rust Belt states where many of the country’s manufacturing jobs reside, including Wisconsin and Ohio, but they also have faced backlash from Democrats and union supporters. Wisconsin last year stripped public sector unions of collective bargaining rights.

Now here is something the 99% can get behind. Lazy smelly hippies spreading VD all over the place, that is no rallying cry, workers rights, that is where the action is.

I’ve always thought that being a governor of a state that did not suck was probably the best gig going. Naturally you need a compliant legislature to back your plays, and if you are a goofball then bad things will happen as witnessed in my home state. But true, lasting and effectual change can happen at the state level, and other governors pay attention. Nicky Halley got some good ink for her toe to toe with the NLRB (and boy does she need it). Ditto with Jan Brewer and her illegal immigration fight (how satisfying was it for her get her photo wagging her finger at Obama go viral?). Scott Walker is in the fight of his life over tangling with unions, but the fight was necessary and just.

I’ve talked before about unions and their primal/visceral fight to exist. Make no mistake, they will go to war, take no prisoners and go scorched earth. The public tit by which they gain sustenance is being threatened, this is a fight to the death.

But really, what Walker, Kasisch, and now Daniels are doing is not anti union per se, its pro choice, letting the workers decide for themselves. We can argue the benefits and liabilities of unions in general, and this in no way lessens their right to exist. But the folks should decide. In tandem with that, governments (local, state, and federal) should be able to decide for themselves if it is in their best interest to hire union, or not. This government mandate that only union crews get stimulus money, horseshit. If my city goes through the bidding process and decides that a local non union shop can do the job quicker and more cost effective (saving tax dollars) over the fat and bloated union company that normally gets these jobs, they should be able to go that route.

And lastly, what is up with these pussy legislators that skip town in the middle of session to avoid a vote? We saw this both in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and now in Indiana. I think it was Wisconsin where the only reason they returned is because their pay check was threatened. I don’t get it, if a vote on such and such is schedule for Thursday, have the vote on Thursday, whoever is present votes, this would stop that running away nonsense dead in it’s tracks.

My antipathy for unions is two fold, not only do they always support democrats (including my union dues, despite my complaints to my union rep) and the fact that they throw the supply/demand pay someone what he is worth aspect ass over tea kettle. Paying a union backed janitor 3 times what a non union janitor earns (or what he would take to do the job) is the very antithesis of capitalism.