The Stick

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In the olden days, public sector jobs were filled by patronage, which led to massive incompetence and frequent turnover.  These employees could get away with lousy service without repercussion because their jobs didn’t depend on customer service, they depended on remaining in favor.

 Later, public sector jobs are filled by civil service procedures to avoid nepotism and favoritism, hopefully resulting in more competent employees.  These employees couldn’t give the public lousy service because they’d be disciplined or even fired.

 In states like Minnesota, public sector jobs became union jobs with the adoption of the Public Employment Labor Relations Act in 1984.  They’re still filled by civil service exams but now they’re union jobs so employees can get away with lousy service without repercussion because it’s so difficult to discipline or fire a public union employee.  Local media attention or legislative scrutiny often is required before action is taken.

 I once submitted documents to the County Recorder but they were rejected.  The phone conversation went something like this: “Why were my documents rejected?  We can’t give you legal advice.  I don’t want legal advice, I want to know what’s wrong with my documents so I can fix them to get them recorded.  Read the statute.  I did read the statute, I still can’t see anything wrong with my documents.  Consult a lawyer.  I AM A LAWYER AND AS FAR AS I CAN TELL THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH MY DOCUMENTS SO WHAT’S THE PROBLM?  I’ll refer you to my supervisor.” 

 I don’t know whether that’s incompetence, malice, stupidity, or just an idiotic policy, but it did not delight the customer.

 And in the federal government, it’s even worse: public sector jobs are union jobs, supposedly filled by civil service process except the bosses are political appointees so the workers actually selected to fill positions tend to mirror the boss’s political views.  The federal government workforce leans Democrat so they have no personal qualms about treating Tea Party fundraisers less well than Move On fundraisers, for example.  Massive media attention and Congressional inquiries were insufficient to motivate the IRS to discipline anybody.

 Maybe this will get their attention.

 Joe Doakes

Something will have to, someday.  Perhaps it’ll be DC collapsing.

MNDFL: They Know What Matters

The transportation, tax and bonding bills are all a shambles.

So what is the Minnesota DFL focused on?

Baseball players and their tobacco.

The bill was introduced Monday by Rep. Mike Freiberg, DFL-Golden Valley. It would ban the use of tobacco at Target Field, CHS Field and other professional sports stadiums in Minnesota.

“We need to make smokeless tobacco use in baseball a remnant of the past – and Minnesota should be proud to play a role in that movement,” said Freiberg Monday. “By allowing smokeless tobacco at the ballparks, we send the absolute wrong message about tobacco use. It’s time to take tobacco out of the game completely for the good of baseball and the health of our kids and players alike.”

We Gotcher Minimum Wage Hike Right Here

Wendy’s follows McDonalds in moving to automated kiosks in its thousand and thousands of restaurants:

After New York City and California mandated $15 minimum-wage laws, fast-food chain Wendy’s reacted, announcing Thursday its plans to make available self-serving kiosks in its 6,000-plus restaurants across the country by year’s end.

In addition to using the technology to cut down on labor costs, Wendy’s President Todd Penegor noted on the company’s quarterly conference call, that some of its franchise locations have been raising prices to offset the minimum-wage increase, according to Investor’s Business Daily.

“Wendy’s Penegor said company-operated stores, only about 10 percent of the total, are seeing wage inflation of 5 percent to 6 percent, driven both by the minimum wage and some by the need to offer a competitive wage ‘to access good labor,’” IBD reported.

Why, it’s almost as if you’d think the left would have to know that artificially raising the minimum wage without increases in skill and productivity is going to increase unemployment among low-skill, low-wage workers, thus increasing dependence on government (thus increasing employment for government workers and their unions) or something.

Alondra Cano: Bully

You might recall Minneapolis City Councilor Alonda Cano; last winter, she was abusing her access to city data to “shame” people who criticized her support for Black Lives Matter.  Then, when called for alleged laziness by (of all outlets) the City Pages, she…

…well, that actually brings us up to this week:

Tuesday evening, it was Cano’s turn to join the public conversation, doing so in the form of a Facebook post on her city council page. Cano wrote it was “hurtful and disappointing” to read the words “lazy,” “always late,” and “clueless” used to describe her work ethic on the council.

“It is important to illuminate,” Cano went on, “that these words, when used to frame women and people of color, carry a history of coded language that serve to create negative racial stereotypes.”

That could be.

Those words, when referring to someone who’d rather grandstand than learn their damn job, are also not-coded-at-all terms to refer to lazy, inconsiderate people who don’t do their homework, whatever their skin color.

Cano wrote that the negative story “weighed on me heavily,” and she went back and forth on whether she should respond to it. After all, she and her south Minneapolis constituents in the Ninth Ward have far greater concerns: wage theft, slumlords, a lack of paid sick time for workers, even working moms.

Which Cano, apparently, isn’t doing jack for.

“However,” Cano continued, “when loaded and biased attacks occur, it is vital that we stand up and speak the truth. In this case, this story was racist, sexist, and it was an attempt to smear all of the things I stand for.

Well, no.  It was an attempt to tell the public that Cano – who reportedly has ambitions to run for Mayor or the Legislature – isn’t doing a very good job, when her job doesn’t involve granstanding, or taking spiffy trips on the taxpayer’s dime.

I want you to know that I am unabashed in my commitment to continuing to advance a racial and social justice agenda no matter the backlash.”

Let’s take a moment to go over what just happened.  Alondra Cano – an elected member of a power bloc with absolute one-party control of a major city, a person with in effect a lifetime sinecure either in government or non-profits for her and (likely) her entire family, one who wields the kind of power that mere citizens don’t even know how to dream of – is trying to paint herself as a victim.

Cano – like Nekima Levy-Pounds, another person with immense power and privilege herself – is perfectly fine using her position to shame critics who don’t buy newsprint by the trainload; when someone – even the lowly City Pages – comes along and hits her from the level, she cries “victimization”.  

Question, Minneapolis:  Do you deserve better, or not?

 

Minneapolis: “We Can’t Be Bankrupt – We Still Have Checks!”

The government of Minneapolis under the last (note to Mitchell: find the number of consecutive DFL mayors the city has had) has observed that old Scarsdale ritual:”Take care of the luxuries, and the necessities will take care of themselves!”

And it’s working about as well as it does for any entitled Insurance salesperson’s spouse:

According to the city Finance Department, Minneapolis is on the hook for about $1.6 billion in debt and operational costs for the convention center, the Vikings stadium, and the Timberwolves arena over the next 20 years.
Broken down, that’s an annual three checks adding up to $80 million, money that’s off the table for paving East Franklin Avenue, fixing swings at Kenwood Park, or financing low-interest business loans on West Broadway.

Instead of economic development, a city chose rich man’s stadiums.

That also explains why the City Council today is expected to approve spending another $800 million to fix crumbling roadways and haggard parks over the next 20 years.

Simply put, a lot of money is already gone

The funny part; while the situation in Minneapolis no doubt will spawn a few instant budget hawks, five will get you 10 the thin trickle of media that do bother to cover the story will be back shilling for the DFL by Labor Day.

Contextualized!

The Department of the Treasury has just tossed the slave-owning, Indian-genociding founder of the Democrat party off the $20 bill…

..and replaced him with a gun-toting Republican.

(No, it wasn’t my line:  it’s David “Iowahawk” Burge…

…and it was too good not to pay homage)

Seven Words

Whenever someone on the left mentions Hillary Clinton – ever! – you, and I, need to repeat these seven words that came straight from her entitled piehole:

Earlier this evening, Curtis Houck at NewsBusters noted how Hillary Clinton committed an obvious gaffe for someone who is supposedly radically pro-abortion. On NBC’s Meet the Press, Chuck Todd asked, “When, or if, does an unborn child have constitutional rights?” Mrs. Clinton responded that “the unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights.”

If you don’t believe this, then how do you believe rights are endowed by our creator?

It’s simple.  You don’t.

Settled Science

When I was a kid, the world’s social justice warrior crowd warned us that the world was headed for inevitable catastrophic famine.  Some of the very voices behind “global warming” today – Paul Ehrlich springs to mind – warned (and profited greatly from warning) us that India would be down to under 100 million people by 1990, and that Africa was going be pretty much revert to nature, its human inhabitants all starved out.  Even the US was going to be the subject of “inevitable” food riots by the mid-eighties.

Naturally, the only possible remedy was to socialize the world economy.

Today?

People are wondering with a straight face if we have “too much food”, as the world has more overweight than malnourished people for the first time in history.

I fully expect to see a Kyoto Treaty for fat, sooner than later.

Interdiction

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Ron Fournier, political reporter for National Journal, claims Hillary should not be prosecuted because there’s a higher standard to prosecute someone who’s running for public office.
Well, no, there isn’t. But maybe there should be?
Let’s have a show of hands – who remembers a Democrat prosecutor announcing an indictment against a Republican candidate just in time to influence the election, only to quietly drop the charges after the election, or have them thrown out in disgust by a higher court? Any of these names ring a bell: Senator Ted Stevens, R-Alaska; Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas; Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wisconsin?
There’s a law that politicians can’t be arrested while they’re doing their jobs, under the theory of Parlimentary Privilege. But what about candidates? What about their supporters and contributors? Google the phrase “Democrat Lawfare” for an eyeful of interesting examples showing how one party abuses the power of the judiciary for partisan political advantage. Maybe we should rein in that power?
Joe Doakes

But that’d involve giving up power.

And Democrats fight for power the same way Republicans fight for unborn babies and the right to defend oneself.

This Is What Generations Of One-Party Democrat Rule Looks Like

Last week, social conservatives on social media vented their disgust at a mother whose son had been shot and killed in an armed robbery attempt; the woman infamously asked how it was her son was supposed to get money for clothes, being in “the hood” and all.

The landed punditry pummeled the mother; with such an upbringing, how was the kid supposed to grow up? was a common refrain.

I’m not going to bag on a distraught mother.  She’ll have an eternity to wonder about what she did or didn’t do wrong as a mom.  I’m not going to chuckle at grief, even if it provides what seems to be a window into a worldview utterly foreign to mine.

And because there’s a much more galling example of corrosive entitlement happening on a much bigger, but less dramatic, scale.

The Detroit Way:  A dozen current and former Detroit school administrators received the equivalent of federal indictments for bribery and kickbacks totaling over a million dollars over 13 years.   The administrators allegedly worked with a crooked vendor to take kickbacks for school supplies that weren’t delivered, funneling funds through dummy companies set up to try to fool auditors.

That case will wend its merry way through the courts for many more years, no doubt.

But if I may, I’ll ask the world’s collective dogs to leave the grieving mother of the late robber alone, and take a gander at this ripe turd of entitlement (with emphasis added):

“It’s pitiful that they’re going after principals who are probably just doing what they need to do even if it might be a little bit unethical in order to provide the students in their schools with the supplies and materials that they need that district and the state should be providing us,” teacher Cathy Brackett said. “They should be going after the big thieves who have come into the district under the guise of emergency managers and consultants who have skimmed not just thousands of dollars but millions of dollars away from our students and just move on to their next gig, seemingly without repercussions.”

While Ms. Brackett is right to a point – the educational consulting racket is basically an under-the-table wealth transfer from the taxpayers to the political class, which in Detroit means Democrat hangers-on – it’s that emphasized bit that made me forget all about the robber’s mom’s outburst; people skimming taxpayer money are “probably” doing it for their kids’ benefit?  Read it for yourself.

You’ll notice that this happens only in cities where one-party rule has ossified into a permanent political overclass – which happens only in Democrat-run cities, as it happens.

The Suicide Cult

The quote “democracy can only survive until the majority discovers they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury” gets attributed to a lot of people; over the years, I’ve seen De Tocqueville and Jefferson, among may others (it’s actually Alexander Tytler).

But what matters at this juncture in history is not so much who said it, or even that it was said.  What matters is that we’ve hit that point.

The “Blue Model” of government – first vote to provide goodies at public expense; then turn them into “entitlements” granted by the force of law that can’t be reasonably undone – holds sway in much of this country (including Minnesota); it’s done so for so long, entire generations think it’s the norm.  Much of the American populace can’t imagine government that isn’t in the entitlement biz; it’s the same part of the populace that seems to think that these “entitlements” are funded by gold coins borne down from heaven on the backs of unicorns (or “taxes on the 1%”, which are about the same thing).

It’s unsustainable.  And that which can not be sustained, won’t be.   The next case?  Illinois:

The Supremes have spoken: The Illinois state constitution is a suicide pact. Less than two years after invalidating an adjustment to state workers’ budget-busting healthcare benefits, the highest court in Illinois has ruled unconstitutional the City of Chicago’s last-ditch efforts to stabilize its woefully underfunded pension system. The Wall Street Journalreports:
The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a plan to cut future retirement benefits and boost employee contributions for Chicago city workers, undercutting a pillar of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s strategy to stabilize one of the nation’s most troubled pension systems.

The justices ruled the changes would violate the rights of city workers and retirees protected under the Illinois constitution. The Emanuel administration had argued that the changes came as part of an agreement under which the city would increase its annual contributions to two of the city’s four pension funds to ensure they remain solvent.”

So to pay for the golden contracts of generations of retired city workers, the City of Chicago is going to have to raise taxes, cut spending on services (like police, fire, and education – and can you imagine an exquisitely expsensive and utterly failed system like the Chicago schools, with less money?) or, most likely, both.   This will drive out established businesses (but for corporate headquarters, of course; CEOs love the urban amenities and are willing to pay the taxes on one building; not the one where the blue and pink-collar proles work, naturally) and inhibit new ones, and worsen the plight of the city’s poor.

It’s called “the Blue Model”.

It’s also called “Detroit, Chapter 1”.

Detroit is in Chapter 4, now.  There is no Chapter 5.

Here’s Your Crow; Cold And Bloody

Court rules that the IRS acted in bad faith, targeted Tea Party groups:

A federal appeals court spanked the IRS Tuesday, saying it has taken laws designed to protect taxpayers from the government and turned them on their head, using them to try to protect the tax agency from the very tea party groups it targeted.

The judges ordered the IRS to quickly turn over the full list of groups it targeted so that a class-action lawsuit, filed by the NorCal Tea Party Patriots, can proceed. The judges also accused the Justice Departmentlawyers, who are representing the IRS in the case, of acting in bad faith — compounding the initial targeting — by fighting the disclosure.

My greatest dream is to see those responsible frog-walked into a paddy wagon.   Like the “Clinton Indictment”, it’ll never happen – but hope is what it’s all about.

I Have A Theory. Which Is Mine.

Bear with me, here.

So how does the GOP save the party, the conservative movement, the country, and perhaps Western Civilization itself – from the Dems, from Trump, and even from themselves?

I’ve got an idea.

Assumptions:  Trump is going to get slaughtered by Hillary – but he’ll drawn a lot of “disenfranchised”, PC-weary voters from both parties; Dems who’d never dream of voting for Cruz, but find Hillary warmed-over and underwhelming.

So Here’s The Plan:  Here’s how it works:

  1. The GOP should “steal” the nomination from Trump.  And they shouldn’t be even a little bit subtle about it; they should make it big, arrogant and blatant.  They should poke the bear’s gargantuan ego with big nasty sticks – the better to inflame The Donald.    They should do it, and do a big, ugly, arrogant end-zone happy dance when they do.
  2. The Donald, his ego suitably affronted, will launch a “Great” third party bid – The Trump Party”, most likely.  It’ll be the best ever; Trump will bring more money to the table than Croesus himself.  By the time he’s done, nobody will care about “that loser” Cruz or “that witch” Hillary.
  3. Of course, they will.  The three parties will split the vote such that nobody gets 270 electoral votes.    Oh, it’ll be close – but let’s look at the Electoral College under my scenario:

3PartyElectoralCollege

Lets assume Hillary takes Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania – none of which I consider givens, but lets be, ahem, conservative here.

Hillary comes up one electoral vote short.  Cruz, 24 shy of a win.  Trump, 247 light.

And then what?

Here’s What:  According to the Constitution, if there is no winner in the Electoral College, the House of Representatives chooses the President.

Disclaimers:  I’m not going to bet money on any of this.  Also, I’m being tongue-in-cheek as can be (which, I’m going to guess, completely escapes any left-leaning commenters and bloggers who read this.  In fact, just watch; that, I’d bet money on) .

Buried In The Details

Joe Doakes, de Como Park, envía un correo electrónico:

I recently vacationed in Mexico.  The shops advertised Cuban cigars.  I remember President Obama normalized relations with Cuba so Americans can now bring home Cuban cigars worth $100 for personal use.   Great, I bought a box.

Cigars

Except . . . I’ve learned not to trust that guy.  Before I brought the cigars on the airplane, I did a little more checking.  Media accounts were what I remembered but Newsweek mentioned “Americans eligible to travel to Cuba” can bring home cigars.  Hang on, that’s lawyer speak, what’s that doing in the article?  What does it actually mean?  Finally found the Customs website.

If you buy Cuban cigars in Cuba, you can bring them home; if you buy Cuban cigars anywhere else, they’re still illegal.  Attempting to bring them home is smuggling, a federal crime with a whopping fine and prison time.

Typical for this President, just like his big talk about closing Gitmo, slowing the rise of oceans, gun control . . . it’s announced to great fanfare but amounts to small beer.   I left the cigars for the hotel maid in addition to the cash that I tipped her for looking after our room.  I hope she finds a use for them.

Joe Doakes

Back in 2008, when people said “Obama will be a splendid president, because constitutional lawyer”, I used to respond “a President needs to know the same about the Constitution as a good cop, or maybe a high school civics teacher.  Politicians who are lawyers like to play games with the law.  Never trust them.”

I take no pleasure from getting the last laugh.

If America Is Doomed…

…it’s because of the people in this room.

Starting with the questioner, who notes what a disaster Obamacare has been to her family, but still “wants to vote Democrat”, is a great (aka terrible, depressing, enervating) start.

And of course, Hillary, whose answer to “my healthcare costs have tripled” is “my goal will be to get them down” (without further elaboration) is deeply, corrosively depressing.

No, really – that’s what she said:

And of course, the – I don’t use the term lightly – sheeple who applauded her non-answer answer.

And as of 2012, that was 51% of your neighbors.

There’s a reason I remove all poison, sleeping pills and sharp objects from the room before I write about Democrat party politics.

I Know You Are…

Victor Davis Hanson reminds us:  If you don’t like something Trump has said, just take a deep breath…

…and remember when a Democrat inevitably said, or did, something much worse:

Trump reprehensibly has urged his supporters to physically tangle with opponents. But, after Chicago, did he emulate a presidential urge “to argue with them and get in their face!”? When Trump does his next Philadelphia rally, will he, in Obama fashion, egg on his Trumpsters with this: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun. Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.” Or maybe Trump could adapt another line from Obama and use it with his working-class white supporters, cautioning them that, instead of sitting out the election, they should say, “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.” Or maybe Trump could try still another adaptation of a line from President Obama for those stubborn senators who favor open borders: “Those aren’t the kinds of folks who represent our core American values.”

Oh, there are many, many more.  Read ’em.

Berg’s Seventh Law is universal.

Crocodile Protest

The following post is going to sound kinda conspiracy-theory-ish.  That makes me a little queasy – but hear it out.

The headlines over the weekend were all about Trump.

As in, all of them.  Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, even Hillary and Bernie, could barely buy a headline; as they used to say, they “couldn’t get arrested”…

…which, for one of the candidates, is suddenly not such a quaint expression.

And while Republicans more or less dropped the “Trump is really a stealth Democrat” meme a long time ago, this weekend started me wondering.

Lesser Of Three Goods:  Let’s say for the moment that Trump is a sincere Republicans.  As we’ve seen, he’s also the Republican that Hillary would rather face (assuming the polls are legitimate).   They keep the focus on him,

So anything that helps Trump to the nomination, presuming the polls are legit, benefits Hillary.

Distracted:  When was the last time you heard anyone outside the conservative alt-media talking about Hillary’s email server, much less Benghazi?

Follow The Money:  The “protests” have largely been associated with Bernie Sanders’ supporters…

…but have gotten ample financial support from the cabal of liberal plutocrats and their shills that’ve been working for Hillary Clinton for nearly 20 years, now?

Connect The Dots, People: So the “protests” simultaneously promote a candidate the Democrats would prefer to face, starve the dangerous ones of media coverage during the heart of primary season, keep the media’s attention off of the marching band of skeletons banging on drums in Hillary’s closet, and provide a couple of layers of separation between Hillary and the protesters, even providing another entire campaign to blame if needed?

I mean, yes, it sounds all Art Bell-y – but isn’t that the beauty of it?

 

 

Extreme Measures

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

It occurs to me that the Obama administration may be quietly supporting a Final Solution to global warming.

World population increased from 2 billion in 1950 to 7 billion today.  All those extra people exhaling carbon dioxide, raising cattle that produce methane flatulence, heating their homes with natural gas, driving cars, charging their iPhones with electricity generated from burning coal . . . they all contribute to global warming.  Hey, Liberals are right, global warming IS produced by mankind: the world simply has too many people emitting too much carbon.

It wouldn’t, if we could reduce world population back to 1950 levels.  But how would we do it in a politically acceptable way?  No Blood For Oil is still a favorite Liberal hymn.

If we support policies that undermine world-wide oil prices, the economy will collapse in oil-producing countries, leading to mass starvation, reducing the population, freeing up carbon credits for Americans.

If we release terrorists from Gitmo and also foment insurrection in Arab countries, civil war will break out leading to bloodshed, disease and starvation, reducing the population, freeing up carbon credits for Americans.

If we unleash the Ebola virus in Africa and the Zika virus in South America and warn women not to get pregnant for three years, we reduce the birth rate below replacement level, reducing the population, freeing up carbon credits for Americans.

If we let felons out of prison and decline to prosecute killers based on color, thousands will die in inner cities, reducing the population, freeing up carbon credits for wealthier Americans.

Europe is getting ready to eliminate millions of asylum seekers.  North Korea is making noises – maybe a major war on that peninsula will draw in some neighbors to die fighting?  And how are things between India and Pakistan right now, any chance they might massacre a few millions of each other’s citizens for us?

Genocide could turn out to be nicely guilt-free, as it’s not a choice, it’s a necessity to survive global warming.  Settled science, doncha know?  Maybe President Obama really will halt the rise of the oceans and begin the heal the planet.  Boy, would I have egg on my face.

Joe Doakes

Omelette/eggs.  Just saying.

Full Employment – For Propagandists

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Obama is taking credit for full employment.  The economy is roaring.  The unemployment rate is under 5%.  The recession is over.

Or is it?  The BLS says we didn’t gain 195,000 jobs, we lost 665,000 jobs.  So are those people unemployed?  Turns out, it depends on what the meaning of “unemployed” is.  We’re back in Clinton-land.

Numberz

 

The red line is U3 – people who are unemployed and have looked for work within the past four weeks.

The grey line is U6 – people who are unemployed and have looked for work within the past year.

The blue line is an estimate of people who are unemployed and have not looked for work within the past year because there’s no point – there are no jobs for people with their education and experience.  They’ve given up hope.

Meanwhile, this Federal Reserve study concludes at least some of the unemployment is caused by immigrants.  President Obama’s most recent plan would exacerbate the problem.

What it tells me is:  all the numbers are lies.  The government agencies lie to us, they lie to each other, they lie to the media.  It’s like the old Soviet Union claiming record harvests as they beg the UN for food because harvests were so bad.

I don’t think this is the Full Employment that we were looking for.

Joe Doakes

Honesty has fewer opportunities for graft.