Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: AFL-CIO

Trump’s Labor Secretary: Fast-food Magnate Is Anti-Minimum Wage

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, December 9, 2016:  

CKE Restaurants

When President-elect Donald Trump nominated Andy Puzder, the head of CKE Restaurants (Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.), on Thursday, he called him the “ideal candidate,” stating, “Andy Puzder has created and boosted the careers of thousands of Americans, and his extensive record fighting for workers makes him the ideal candidate to lead the Department of Labor. Andy will fight to make American workers safer and more prosperous by enforcing fair occupational safety standards and ensuring [that] workers receive the benefits they deserve. [In addition] he will save small businesses from the crushing burdens of unnecessary regulations that are stunting job growth and suppressing wages.”

Puzder is ideal in more ways than one.

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Trickle of Companies Leaving Illinois Turning Into a Flood

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, August 14, 2015:  

On Thursday, Hoist Liftruck’s announcement that it was moving more than 500 manufacturing jobs to Indiana was just the latest in a long and almost fevered list of other companies seeking to escape Illinois’ outrageous workers compensation costs and high taxes.

On July 14 machine-maker DE-STA-CO said it was moving 100 jobs to Tennessee. The next day energy processor Bunge North America said it was shutting down its plant in Bradley, Illinois, and laying off 210 workers. The day after that General Mills pulled the plug

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Latest Keystone Pipeline Study Greeted with Cheers and Jeers

In the release on Friday of the fifth environmental impact study of the Keystone XL pipeline, partisans on both sides of the issue were quick to point to the key paragraph in that study:

Approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including [the Keystone XL pipeline project], is unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands [in Alberta, Canada] or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States…

Supporters saw this as supporting the country’s economy and lessening its dependence upon foreign, less friendly sources of oil. Senate Minority Leader Mitch Mitchell declared:

The Keystone XL Pipeline is the single largest shovel-ready project in America, ready to go, but for years President Obama and his hard-left allies have stalled these jobs in a maze of red tape.

If the president meant what he said this week about a “year of action,” he’ll act now on this important project that won’t cost taxpayers a dime to build but will bring thousands of private-sector jobs to Americans who need them.

Mitchell’s comments were echoed by Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.):

I have been incredibly frustrated for more than five years by the repeated and unnecessary delays in moving forward with the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. I am pleased the State Department has confirmed there is no evidence of any negative environmental impact from building this pipeline.

The president of TransCanada, Russ Girling, expressed relief that his company’s project, first begun in 2008 but delayed with repeated requests for more analysis:

The case for Keystone XL, in our view, pre- and post this report, are as strong as ever. No matter how much noise [environmentalists] make or how much misinformation they spread, the facts do support this project…

It will have minimal impact on the environment…

Those opposed saw little in the report to cheer about, seeing in it confirmation that the continued extraction of the heavy oil from the Athabasca Oil Sands will threaten the environment. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.) saw the study as inaccurate:

I will not be satisfied with any analysis that does not accurately document what is really happening in the ground when it comes to the extraction, transport, refining and waste disposal of dirty, filthy tar sands oil.

My biggest concerns continue to be the serious health impact on communities and the dangerous carbon pollution that comes from tar sands oil.

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) wrote off the report’s conclusion as well:

The State Department is asking us to believe this pipeline is in the national interest. How can a pipeline that ships Canadian tar sands to the Gulf of Mexico for export, that does nothing to increase our energy independence, and that will deal irreparable damage both to our landscapes and our air quality possibly meet that definition.

Environmentalists like Susan Casey-Lefkowitz of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) even saw something in the report that wasn’t there:

Even though the State Department continues to downplay clear evidence that the Keystone XL pipeline would lead to tar sands expansion and significantly worsen carbon pollution, it has, for the first time, acknowledged that the proposed project could accelerate climate change.

President Obama now has all the information he needs to reject the pipeline.

What really puts the president on the hot seat, however, is the support for the pipeline from one of his staunchest allies: Richard Trumpka, president of the AFL-CIO:

We think that anything that’s going to create jobs, help the country and do it in an environmentally sound way ought to be done.

This pits Obama supporters against each other while putting pressure on Democrats supporting the project if the president rejects it. Both Senators Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Mark Begich (D-Alaska) are vulnerable in November and could suffer in their reelection campaigns if the president axes the project.

There will be no meeting in the middle on the issue, according to Professor Bernard Weinstein of the MacGuire Energy Institute. When I spoke with him following a presentation that he made in Colorado Springs last week, Weinstein said he was hopeful that the horrific derailment of 76 tank cars carrying Bakken oil in the town of Lac-Mégantic in Quebec last July which killed nearly 50 people and almost destroyed the town would persuade environmentalists that the Keystone pipeline would make more sense in that it was a much safer means to transport crude oil. Instead, he said, “The accident just proved to them that any transport of oil is dangerous and oil extraction of any kind should be ended altogether.”

Now that the report has been published, there is a 60-day period for public comment and input before any decision is made. Some environmentalist groups, including 350.org, have threatened to engage in non-violent protests at the White House similar to those that got 1,200 arrested in the summer of 2011 and another one a year ago where an estimated 50,000 protestors vented noisily their opposition to the project.

The State Department report, however, isn’t likely to speed up the decision-making process. President Obama has stalled before, putting off any final decision until after the 2012 election and he could well do so again. He is likely to let the problem descend onto the desk of Secretary of State John Kerry who, while still believing in the theory of climate change in spite of evidence to the contrary, has been invisible on Keystone. The report is an amazing seven volumes long which someone on his staff is going to have to read. And then he is likely to seek counsel from at least eight other government agencies before deciding what to recommend to the president: the Departments of Defense, Justice, Interior, Commerce, Transportation, Energy, Homeland Security, and the E.P.A. As Kerry’s assistant, Kerri-Ann Jones, noted, this report “is not a decision document … [it] is only one factor that will be coming into the review process for this permit.”

Instead of expecting a decision at the end of 90 days, some say it could take as long as a year, well past the November elections, neatly solving the president’s political problems. In the meantime, tar sands oil will continue to be harvested and shipped by rail if not by pipeline to meet worldwide demand.

 

 

Obama Executive Order to Force Americans to buy Government Bonds

Halfway through his State of the Union message Tuesday night, the president announced he was unilaterally going to fix another perceived problem through an executive order: mandating a requirement that all employers not already offering retirement plans start doing so. Said the president:

Let’s do more to help Americans save for retirement.

Today, most workers don’t have a pension. A Social Security check often isn’t enough on its own. And while the stock market has doubled over the last five years, that doesn’t help folks who don’t have 401(k)s.

That’s why, tomorrow, I will direct the Treasury to

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List of Indignities Foisted on Americans by Obama during Shutdown continues to Grow

What was missing from nearly all the media coverage of the “immigration rally” on Tuesday on the National Mall was any mention of how the rally came to be held there in the first place. The National Mall is closed for the duration of the so-called government shutdown and yet

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Wisconsin Judge Throws Out Anti-Union Law; Walker Appeals

Newsmax – Walker Vows to Appeal as Judge Strikes Down Wisconsin Union Law

A Wisconsin judge on Friday struck down nearly all of the state law championed by Gov. Scott Walker that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for most public workers.

English: Scott Walker on February 18, 2011

Scott Walker on February 18, 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A pro-union judge in a union-dominated state has ruled that the law passed by the state legislature restricting (not eliminating) collective bargaining rights is null and void.

And so the battle of taxpayers versus union members continues. It’s going to be a long war, but I think the unions’ days are numbered. There are more taxpayers than union members.

The judge ruled that sections of the law

single out and encumber the rights of those employees who choose union membership and representation solely because of that association and therefore infringe upon the rights of free speech and association guaranteed by both the Wisconsin and United States Constitutions.

He also invoked the 14th Amendment by claiming that the law created separate classes of workers who would be treated differently and unequally.

Of course this is the heart of the matter. Do the union members who have managed to negotiate for themselves wages and benefits at the expense of the taxpayers have a higher standing and therefore a greater claim on the assets of those taxpayers than do the taxpayers themselves? Or do the taxpayers have higher standing over their employees, the union members?

Walker nailed it. He said the judge “wants to go backwards and take away the lawmaking responsibilities of the legislature and the governor.”

Does the legislature, representing the taxpayer, have ultimate jurisdiction here? Or do the unions?

Phil Neuenfeldt, the president of Wisconsin’s State AFL-CIO, called Walker’s law an

attempt to silence the union men and women of Wisconsin’s public sector [as] an immoral, unjust and illegal power grab.

State Representative Robin Vos, soon to be the next speaker of the state Assembly, said

I’m confident it’s a single judge out of step with the mainstream…and we’ll continue to implement it.

This is likely to go to the Supreme Court. It’s the last hope of the fading union influence.

NLRB’s “Ambush Rule” Overturned, for the Moment

Union members picketing outside the National L...

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg ruled against the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) “ambush rule” that would greatly shorten the time an employer had to defend against an effort to unionize his business, from 42 days to 10 days.

With five board members, the NLRB needs a quorum of three to pass any “administrative” rules but when the “ambush rule” was promulgated by the union-friendly board, only two were present. Said Boasberg:

According to Woody Allen, 80 percent of life is just showing up. When it comes to satisfying a quorum requirement, though, showing up is even more important than that. Indeed, it is the only thing that matters—even when the quorum is constituted electronically. In this case, because no quorum ever existed for the pivotal vote in question, the Court must hold that the challenged rule is invalid.

The rule would clearly have favored unions in that it would greatly shorten the time an employer would have to promote his side of the issue. According to labor policy specialist Vincent Vernuccio at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, union efforts to persuade employees to join a union begin months in advance of any formal demand for a vote. Shortening the time to respond to less than two weeks gives unions an unfair advantage. And Bloomberg Government noted that when unions are able to force elections within 15 days of their demand for a vote, they are

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The Postmaster General’s Challenges

USPS_

Image by Rdoke via Flickr

In his report to a Senate subcommittee Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe spelled out clearly why the U.S. Postal Service can’t make any money: too many cooks in the kitchen. Hamstrung and limited by rules and “stakeholders” with differing and often competing agendas, what’s remarkable is that the postal service isn’t deeper in the hole.

Heaven knows, he’s trying. Through agreements finally reached with the letter carrier unions, he has been able, over the past two years, to eliminate 12,000 carrier routes and to consolidate others, saving

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AFL-CIO Backs Off Support for Obama, Democrats; Forms New Super PAC

Cropped photo of Richard Trumka, Secretary-Tre...

Image via Wikipedia

Speaking to reporters at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka made it clear that his union is backing off from supporting President Obama and the Democrats in the 2012 elections and is instead going to funnel union funds into attempts to influence state outcomes.

He said,

We’re going to use a lot of our money to build structures that work for working people. You’re going to see us give less money to build structures for others, and more of our money will be used to build our own structure….

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States’ Pension Woes Worsening

Massachusetts AFL-CIO

Image via Wikipedia

The latest study by The Pew Center on the States shows not only that states have not funded the promises they made to their employees when they retire, but that the gap between those promises and the states’ contributions to pay for those promises is widening.

According to Pew, the shortfall is at least $1.26 trillion (with a t), but could approach $5 trillion depending upon rate of return assumptions. Because of the precipitous decline in revenues in 2009, states were able to pay only

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Who is Mike Pence?

Mike Pence, member of the United States House ...

Image via Wikipedia

In an early straw poll, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) was the choice for presidential nominee in 2012 over such conservative luminaries as Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney. Capturing 24 percent of those voting at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit this past weekend in Washington, DC, Pence relegated even Senator Jim DeMint to a barely visible 5 percent.

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Obama Needs Your 401(k) to Balance His Budget

Jim McDermott

Image via Wikipedia

The Obama administration is “taking the first steps to confiscate retirement dollars,” according to Dr. Jerome Corsi who predicts that the end result will be retirees with 401(k) plans holding near-worthless government debt “that will be paid off in a devalued currency worth…pennies on the dollar.”

The move to confiscate those retirement dollars for government purposes was best illustrated by Christina Kirchner, President of Argentina, in 2008 when she announced plans to seize her citizens’ private pension funds.

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U.S. Postal Service: Time to Free the Mail

WASHINGTON - AUGUST 06:  Postmaster General Jo...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

When U.S. Postmaster General John Potter recommended eliminating Saturday delivery service in order to save money, he was merely responding to the postal service’s continuing inability to make money, or even cover its costs, delivering the mail. In a microcosm, the postal service’s difficulty is reflective of the government’s attempt to operate anywhere outside the constraints of the Constitution.

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2020 Bob Adelmann