Archive for April 9, 2011

On Tuesday, an election for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court provided labor unions the opportunity to speak through voting.  The incumbent Justice David Prosser, a conservative, was defending his seat against a liberal challenger, JoAnne Kloppenburg, an assistant attorney general.

Unions have led large crowd protests opposing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s unpopular — but evidently popular among Republican governors — bill to end collective-bargaining rights for public employees.  There have been countless marches and speeches at the Capitol in Madison and in many other states as well.  The Google and YouTube hits for “Wisconsin Collective Bargaining” are close to endless.   The amount of media material can only be compared to the recent turmoil in Egypt.

Union leaders consider this vote as critical in the fight for workers’ rights.  From the perspective of corporations and Republican governors, however, it is a major battle to eliminate workers’ rights.

Because a challenge to the new law is now before the court, the judicial election is being seen as a proxy in the battle over whether Walker’s union-busting legislation could hold water. The winner could either maintain the court’s conservative position or tilt it to the left. “The stakes,” said Charles Franklin, a University of Wisconsin-Madison politics professor, “are high.”

And the result is still not known. At one point it appeared Kloppenburg had a razor thin lead of 204 votes. But late Wednesday officials in Waukesha County, a Republican stronghold, announced that they had discovered an error in the vote count. The corrected count, they said, gives 7,582 more votes to Prosser.

That all but guarantees a recount.

This is the first year that nonpartisan publicly funded judicial elections went into effect in Wisconsin, but with outside influences and interest groups seeking to turn Wisconsin into a testing ground for 2012 politics, the election was partisan to the max.  Liberal and conservative groups have spent millions.  “Interest in the race has soared as liberal-leaning organizations have attacked Prosser as a ‘rubber stamp’ for Walker, and business groups have warned that a Kloppenburg victory could endanger Walker’s legislative accomplishments if and when the Supreme Court rules on challenges to the legislation,” the Brennan Center said.

With the vote so close, and with the future of workers’ rights at stake, both union supporters and collective-bargaining opponents will have sleepless nights ahead.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (WI) delivers the Weekly Republican Address. See below:


When the GOP-led House voted in January to repeal President Obama’s health care law, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he wouldn’t even take up the measure in his chamber and he scorned Republicans for wasting time on “symbolic votes.”

But after Congress struck a last-minute budget deal Friday night to avert a government shutdown, Reid will have to eat his words.

The deal that funds the government through the end of September and cuts $38.5 billion from current spending levels also guarantees a debate and vote in the Senate on legislation that would repeal the president’s signature on the domestic initiative that Republicans derisively call “Obamacare.”

The deal also requires several studies that will force the Obama administration to disclose the full impact of the law’s mandates, including a study on the cost of premiums; an audit of all the waivers given to businesses and unions that can’t meet the new annual coverage limits; and a report on all of the contractors who have been hired to implement the law and the cost of those contracts to taxpayers.

While the repeal legislation is expected to fail, it will put Senate Democrats in an awkward position because they’ll have to defend a law that polls show is still unpopular. And their votes will come ahead of next year’s presidential election when Republicans will be trying to win control of the upper chamber.

Senate Democrats in conservative states like Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire MacCaskill of Missouri and Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who are all facing tough re-election bids next year, cannot be excited about the prospect of restating their position on the law. During last fall’s midterm elections, many Democrats distanced themselves from the law as Republicans campaigned against it.

But some Republican lawmakers weren’t impressed with what appeared to be a GOP coup.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., told Fox News Saturday that it’s “good” that the Senate will vote on health care repeal along with defunding Planned Parenthood.

But she added, “We all know that those bills are not going to pass. It is merely to put their vote on the record.”

“For the Democrats, they are not ashamed to vote against ‘Obamacare’ because they all voted for it,” she said. “So I don’t think that is a big win by any stretch of the imagination.”

House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama are hailing Friday night’s last-minute budget deal that averted a government shutdown. But Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann is not a fan of the agreement that will slice $38.5 billion in spending, calling it a “disappointment.”

After the deal was struck Friday night, Bachmann voted against a stopgap meaure that will keep the federal government operating until final details in the budget deal can be hammered out, Politico reports. A final vote on the deal should come by the middle of next week. Bachmann says she also will vote against that.

“The deal that was reached tonight is a disappointment for me and for millions of Americans who expected $100 billion in cuts, who wanted to make sure their tax dollars stopped flowing to the nation’s largest abortion provider, and who wanted us to defund Obamacare,” she said in a statement issued to the media.

The budget and ultimately the partial government shutdown lies at the foot of the Obama administration and the democratic leadership. The budget for 2011 was being debated and failed to pass when the democrats held both houses and the presidency.  They could have easily passed a budget. But Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi lacked the will to get their houses in order. They pushed to have a vote on it after the midterm elections. They did not want to face the voters after passing a budget that increased spending. After the worst election for the party in power since 1937 they did nothing during the lame duck session. They pushed off the budget again.

The House Republicans have shown true leadership in offering reasonable spending cuts and extensions. They have offered solution after solution. The young Republican Members of Congress have withstood courageously the gnashing and wailing of teeth of the Obama Administration. Rep. Ryan of Wisconsin has bravely presented a wonderful budget for the next ten years. The Republican house has extended the olive branch to come to the table with reasonable propositions. The Democrats in power have acted as children calling names and throwing tantrums. The Republicans offered to fund the Pentagon through October. It is The Administration’s fault our troops will have a lapse in pay.

Here is a statement issued by Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (MN-06) press office….

Washington, Apr 9 – Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (MN-06) issued the following statement after voting against the latest Continuing Resolution (CR) that was brought before the House of Representatives today:

“The negotiations which led up to this vote reaffirmed a simple truth: our troops should not be used as pawns in political negotiations. I am planning to introduce legislation so that our men and women in uniform are never again in the situation of wondering whether or not they will receive a paycheck in the event of a government shutdown. If we reach another impasse like we did this week, our active duty military and their families must know that their paychecks are secure.

“The deal that was reached tonight is a disappointment for me and for millions of Americans who expected $100 billion in cuts, who wanted to make sure their tax dollars stopped flowing to the nation’s largest abortion provider, and who wanted us to defund ObamaCare. Instead, we’ve been asked to settle for $39 billion in cuts, even as we continue to fund Planned Parenthood and the implementation of ObamaCare. Sadly, we’re missing the mandate given us by voters last November, and for that reason I voted against the Continuing Resolution.”

Written by Steven Bravo

This whole deal struck between Speaker of the house, Pres. Obama, Senate Majority Leader Reid seems a little to fishy. Kind of reminds me of the bill that was shoved down our throats like OBAMACARE. I cannot understand why the Republican’s have laid down so easy to the conventional wisdom of DC. It seems while both sides have won a little the Democrats come out on top. The American voter sent these people a loud and clear message on 11-10-2010 and they are yet ignoring them. This will cost many a re-election.

This is nothing short of CHICKEN CRAP as Boehner once said. So from my understanding is that the Senate will take up a repeal Health care up and down vote as well as defunding Planned Parent Hood as well? In a Democrat controlled Senate both these will fail. The Republicans got the short end of the stick and apparently are too damn stupid to realize it.

YOU BE THE JUDGE! Below is fresh off the Speaker of the house’s blog itself…..

KEY FACTS: Bipartisan Agreement on Spending Cuts to Support American Job Creation

Posted by Speaker Boehner Press Office on April 08, 2011

Just a short while ago, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced a bipartisan agreement on historic spending cuts – the largest cuts in American history – to help create a better environment for private sector job growth. Watch Boehner’s announcement here:

You can read the joint statement by Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) here. Boehner said the agreement will “cut spending and keep our government open” – this agreement alone will cut hundreds of billions of dollars in spending over the next decade – and will “help create a better environment for job creators in our country.” Here are some key facts on the bipartisan agreement:

  • THE LARGEST SPENDING CUT IN AMERICAN HISTORY.  The agreement will immediately cut $38.5 billion in federal spending – the largest spending cut in American history in terms of dollars – just months after President Obama asked Congress for a spending “freeze” that would mean zero cuts.
  • HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS IN SPENDING CUTS OVER THE NEXT DECADE.  The agreement will cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the federal budget over the next decade – “real money,” as the Wall Street Journal editorial board recently noted.
  • OFFICIALLY ENDS THE “STIMULUS” SPENDING BINGE.  The agreement begins to reverse the “stimulus” spending binge that began in 2009 – signaling the official end of a period of unprecedented government intervention that former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan and other economists say hurt job creation in America by crowding out private investment.
  • SETS STAGE FOR TRILLIONS MORE IN SPENDING CUTS.  Clears the way for congressional action on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget – The Path to Prosperity – which cuts trillions in spending and offers a long-term blueprint for American job creation.
  • GUARANTEES SENATE VOTE ON REPEAL OF OBAMACARE.  The agreement reached with Senate Democrats guarantees a Senate debate and vote on legislation that would repeal President Obama’s government takeover of health care in its entirety.  The House passed such legislation in January as part of the Pledge to America.
  • NEW TOOLS IN THE FIGHT TO REPEAL OBAMACARE.  The agreement will generate new tools for the fight to repeal Obamacare by requiring numerous studies that will force the Obama Administration to reveal the true impact of the law’s mandates, including a study of how individuals and families will see increased premiums as a result of certain Obamacare mandates; a full audit of all the waivers that the Obama Administration has given to firms and organizations – including unions – who can’t meet the new annual coverage limits; a full audit of what’s happening with the comparative effectiveness research funding that was in Obamacare and the president’s failed “stimulus” spending bill; and a report on all of the contractors who have been hired to implement the law and the costs to taxpayers of such contracts.
  • DENIES ADDITIONAL FUNDING TO THE IRS.  The Obama administration has sought increased federal funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – money that could be used to hire additional agents to enforce the administration’s agenda on a variety of issues.  This increased funding is denied in the agreement.
  • GUARANTEES SENATE VOTE & DEBATE ON DE-FUNDING PLANNED PARENTHOOD.  The agreement with Senate Democrats guarantees a Senate debate and vote on legislation that would end federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
  • BANS TAXPAYER FUNDING OF ABORTION IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.  The agreement includes a complete ban on local and federal funding of abortion in the District of Columbia, applying the pro-life principles of the Hyde Amendment (“D.C. Hyde”).
  • MANDATORY AUDITS OF THE NEW JOB-CRUSHING BUREAUCRACY SET UP UNDER DODD-FRANK.  The agreement subjects the so-called Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created by the job-destroying Dodd-Frank law to yearly audits by both the private sector and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to monitor its impact on the economy, including its impact on jobs, by examining whether sound cost-benefit analyses are being used with rulemakings.