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9 Uncomfortable Questions For Hillary Clinton

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This is from The Daily Caller.

If you ever got to ask these questions you would end up dead in Fort Marcy Park like Vince Foster.

 

The media have a new favorite question for Republican presidential aspirants.

“You believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman, but if someone in your family or in your office happens to be gay and they invite you to their wedding, would you go?” Univision’s Jorge Ramos asked 2016 GOP contender Marco Rubio Wednesday.

Since then, the question has spread like ISIS, replacing “do you believe in evolution” as the hot query for media types trying to make Republicans look like neanderthals. So far, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Scott Walker and John Kasich have all been asked variations of the question. (For those keeping score, like Rubio, Kasich and Walker said they would attend — in fact, Walker said he has attended a gay marriage ceremony — while Santorum said he would not. Cruz crafted his answer to say nothing at all.)

You might complain that Ramos posed a “gotcha” question with no relevance, but if you run for president, you should be prepared to answer just about anything. Almost nothing is or should be out of bounds. The real problem is similar questions are not often asked of Democratic contenders.

When Rand Paul was recently asked about whether he believed there should be any exceptions to his anti-abortion stance, like in cases such as rape or incest, he fired back at the media for failing to ask Democrats comparable questions on social issues like abortion.

“Here’s the deal — we always seem to have the debate way over here on what are the exact details of exemptions, or when it starts,” he complained. “Why don’t we ask the DNC: Is it OK to kill a seven-pound baby in the uterus? You go back and you ask Debbie Wasserman Schultz if she’s OK with killing a seven-pound baby that is not born yet. Ask her when life begins, and you ask Debbie when it’s okay to protect life. When you get an answer from Debbie, get back to me.”

In that spirit, here are 9 uncomfortable questions for reporters to ask Hillary Clinton — that is, if she ever gets around to submitting to an interview:

1.) What would you say if your daughter came out of the closet as a born again Christian who opposes gay marriage?
2.) Should a Christian baker be forced under penalty of law to bake a cake for a Satanist wedding ceremony?

3.) Do you oppose male only golf clubs? If so, do you also oppose female only gyms, like Curves? If not, why not?

4.) What is the appropriate pay ratio for CEOs compared to their workers? Should that ratio also apply to the Hollywood actors who have donated to your campaign compared to the crew that produce their movies?

5.) Speaking of greedy CEOs, is there a level of speaking fee which we should consider rapacious? If so, is it more or less than your speaking fee of $300,000?

6.) Would you accept the endorsement of someone who helped spark an anti-Semitic riot like, say, Al Sharpton? Or do you confine your association with him just to friendly correspondence on his birthday?

7.) Do you believe that global warming is, as John Kerry has said and as you’ve intimated in the past, the greatest threat to mankind? If so, explain in detail how you sought to curb greenhouse gas emissions in your own life? Also, while president, will you set an example by grounding Air Force One?

8.) Do you think a candidate should be disqualified from running for president if they consider a former Ku Klux Klan leader as their mentor? If so, how do you justify your continued presence in the race considering you called the late Sen. Robert Byrd, who once served as a KKK recruiter, a “mentor” of yours?

9.) Do you believe that women should have the right to choose a cosmetic or sex-selective abortion?

 

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Source: NRA Didn’t Invite Rand Paul to Annual Convention Because He’s Too Strong on Second Amendment

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This is from Freedom OutPost.

I will be following this story and trying to find out if this is true or not.

If it is true, I will let my NRA membership expire.

 

Now the true colors of the National Rifle Association are beginning to show. The NRA has invited Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, along with Governors Scott Walker and Jeb Bush, all seeking the GOP nomination for president in 2016 to their annual convention. However, Rand Paul and Chris Christie were not invited. Christie wasn’t for obvious reasons, but Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) wasn’t because he’s just too dang strong on the Second Amendment.

The Daily Beast reports that Paul did request to be invited, but was denied:

However, a source with knowledge of Paul’s dealings with the NRA said the claim that he did not request an invitation to the convention was “not true.”

Further, the source said, “Is that really how invitations work?”

Paul has an A-rating from the NRA, but the objective grading of his gun-rights credentials has little to do with the politics of the pro-gun lobby, wherein his involvement with extremist groups tied to his father, former congressman and libertarian-icon Ron Paul, has not won him many friends.

“Sometimes the NRA doesn’t like it when people are bigger defenders of the issue than they are,” the source suggested. “They also don’t like it that he helps other, stronger groups like the Gun Owners of America and the National Association for Gun Rights.”

Paul has been known to work largely with National Association for Gun Rights. In fact, he’s authored numerous fundraising pleas for the organization, many of which this author has been the recipient.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

NAGR President Dudley Brown said Wednesday that Mr. Paul is the only current or likely 2016 candidate affiliated with his organization. Mr. Paul remains a NAGR member, Mr. Brown said, but added that it is unclear if NAGR will continue to use Mr. Paul’s name in fundraising appeals now that he has officially launched a presidential campaign.

The Kentucky senator, Mr. Brown said, is an excellent fundraiser for NAGR.

“It was no secret that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is 93% more pro-gun than the NRA,” Mr. Brown said.

Mr. Brown slammed the NRA as a tool of the Washington insiders Mr. Paul has focused his campaign on opposing.

“I’ve been a gun lobbyist for 22 years and there’s never been a point at which we did not have tension,” he said. “We’re younger, we’re hungrier and we care less about the cocktail parties in Washington, D.C.”

Whose fault is it that GOA and the NAGR are more principled than the NRA?

Speaking of Gun Owners of America, GOA president Larry Pratt told Freedom Outpost that he believed this non-invitation was “payback” for Paul’s endorsements of NAGR.

“I think this does have more to do with the fact that he (Paul) has signed a lot of fundraising letters for NAGR,” Pratt said. “The NRA doesn’t like them. They’ve been kind of nipping at NRA’s heels, so this is payback.”

GOA has received endorsements from Rand Paul’s father, Ron Paul. In fact, when one visits GOA’s website, they’ read Paul’s endorsement, “The only no-compromise gun lobby in Washington.”

As for Paul, he recently told Dave Weigel, “The interesting thing is that there’s probably no greater advocate for the Second Amendment in Congress than myself. To not be invited, probably, will serve more to cast aspersions on their group than it would on me. Because my record’s pretty clear. It probably looks a little bit petty for them not to invite a major candidate because I raised money for other Second Amendment groups.”

The NRA has a long history of compromising on the Second Amendment.

Both NAGR and GOA have been effective organizations in the fight against more infringement by the federal government against the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms than the NRA, often acting as bumpers to make the NRA not compromise. Evidence of this was in the 2013 defeat of the Manchin-Toomey gun control defeat, as well as the numerous other attacks by socialists in Congress against the Second Amendment in the wake of the Sandy Hook incident.

As for the NRA, the organization was contacted for a statement, but as of the publishing of this article, they have failed to return our call. However, Politico does claim:

The National Rifle Association says the only reason Sen. Rand Paul didn’t get an invitation to its annual convention in Nashville this weekend was its inability to accommodate all the 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls.

Seeing as two of the candidates invited don’t meet the requirements of being natural born citizens, I just don’t buy that excuse.
Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2015/04/source-nra-didnt-invite-rand-paul-to-annual-convention-because-hes-too-strong-on-second-amendment/#37Cyl7MEP53gbbP2.99

Random Thoughts

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This is from Thomas Sowell in Town Hall.

 

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

When President Obama keeps talking about “violent extremists” in the abstract, you might wonder whether Presbyterians are running amok.

The mainstream media seem desperate to try to find something to undermine Republican governor Scott Walker’s rise in the polls. The worst they have come up with is that he didn’t finish college. Neither did Bill Gates or Michael Dell. The Wright brothers didn’t finish high school. Neither did Abraham Lincoln or George Washington.

Have you noticed that there seem to be an ever growing number of things that we are not supposed to say in public?

Given the Obama administration’s repeatedly failed policies in the Middle East and the lost credibility of the president’s glib pronouncements, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress may be many Americans’ first chance to get a realistic assessment of the Middle East situation and its potential for international catastrophe.

Attempts to bring order out of the chaos in the paper jungle of my office usually get nowhere until I finally break everything down into just two categories: (1) urgently needed and (2) trash to be thrown out.

It is going to take time to secure the border, and it ought to take time for Congress to explore the facts about immigrants from different countries before voting on new immigration legislation. Both processes can be going on at the same time. But those who want border security laws and immigration laws passed together — “comprehensive immigration reform” — are for denying us that time. Why?

State Department official Marie Harf said, “We cannot win this war by killing them” but instead we need to get to the “root causes” of jihads by providing “job opportunities.” We tried getting at the “root causes” of crime back in the 1960s — and crime rates skyrocketed. But we stopped the Nazis in World War II by killing them, instead of setting up a jobs program in Germany.

The old advertising slogan, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” may or may not have been true. But surely the West should know by now that what happens in the Middle East does not stay in the Middle East. Throwing Israel to the wolves and signing agreements with Iran will not buy “peace in our time” and allow us to further shrink the military and expand the welfare state.

Academics often defend tenure, despite its many negative consequences, on grounds that it allows academic freedom for independent minds. Yet there are few places in America with more taboos and intellectual intolerance than academic campuses. The young are indoctrinated with demographic “diversity” that contrasts with a squelching of diversity of ideas on social issues.

It is remarkable how the Internal Revenue Service has been “losing” e-mails that Congressional investigators want to see and how “global warming” researchers have been “losing” the raw data on which their dire predictions have been based. In the social sciences, people just frankly refuse to allow their raw data to be seen by critics of such sacred cow policies as affirmative action.

The radical feminist movement, so ready to go ballistic at any little remark that can be twisted to mean something offensive to women, has been strangely silent while ISIS has been raping women and even little girls wholesale, and selling them as sex slaves. Is the silence of the radical feminists just political expediency or moral bankruptcy? Or both?

Secretary of State John Kerry says that there is less violence than usual in the world right now. Meanwhile the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, says the opposite, that terrorism is more violent and dangerous than ever. Since Clapper is Director of National Intelligence, maybe Kerry should have the title Director of National Stupidity.

We should never again put a first-term Senator in the White House. But, of the three Republican first-term Senators who are prospective candidates for the 2016 nomination for president, Marco Rubio is one of the very few politicians of either party to publicly admit that he was wrong on a major issue — immigration. He may well be ready for the White House in 2020.

Former DNC Chair Gets Schooled After Calling Scott Walker This One Word For Not Finishing College

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This is from Independent Journal Review.

So Scott Walker did not finish college and is not qualified to be president.

Let’s look at some as Sgt. Andy Micklin used to call them college boys that were president and look at their record.

Barack Obama the worst president ever, Jimmy Carter  the second worst president, Gerald Ford,Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson.

These the college boys that are/were president that their term in office that was less than stellar.

 

After former DNC Chair Howard Dean calls Scott Walker “unknowledgeable” and unqualified to be President of the United States for not having a college degree, the MSNBC panel reminds him of all the presidents who would have also been unqualified for office with those same standards.

Three stand out Presidents who never graduated college? George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman.

According to the Lumina Foundation over 60% of Americans haven’t graduated college. A match up of Hillary Clinton vs. Scott Walker would offer many contrasts, but an interesting wrinkle would be who could better connect with the majority of Americans without a degree.

Would you vote for a presidential candidate who didn’t finish college?

Gov. Scott Walker defies Obama, won’t close parks over shutdown

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This is from BizPac Review.

Bravo Bravo Governor Scott Walker.

Tell Obama to stick the shut down where the sun doesn’t shine. 

 

Scott Walker

                                                                Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Photo Credit: RightWingNews

A lot of the “pain” caused by the government shutdownis phony. The Obama liberals were going to stop the Army/Navy game until it was revealed that it was all “optics.” They blocked off an open air WWII monument to hurt veterans. Obama is deliberately trying to tank the stock market.

Along those same lines, they’re also trying to shut down parks in Wisconsin, but Scott Walker isn’t having it.

The state Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday refused a directive from the National Park Service to close a host of popular state properties because of the federal government shutdown.

The park service ordered state officials to close the northern unit of the Kettle Moraine, Devil’s Lake, and Interstate state parks and the state-owned portion of the Horicon Marsh, but state authorities rebuffed the request because the lion’s share of the funding came from state, not federal coffers.

. . . in a sign of defiance, the DNR removed the barricades at the landing, saying it had the legal authority to operate the launch under a 1961 agreement with the federal government.

There are a lot of Republicans in D.C. who could learn from Scott Walker. He talks quietly, but when it’s time to move, he pulls out a big stick and starts swinging.

2016 GOP Poll: Christie 21, Rubio 18, Jeb Bush 16, Rand Paul 15

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This is from Town Hall.

This poll scares me very bad.

The thought of Chris Christine,Jeb Bush or even Marco Rubio get the

GOP Presidential nomination in 2016.

Christine,Bush or Rubio would be big spenders and would expand the

government probably as much or more than Obama.

 

For all the grief Rubio’s endured from the conservative base over his flawed immigration legislation, he’s still hanging on to second place in the 2016 sweepstakes — sandwiched between two moderates.  RINOmentum?

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that Christie earns 21% support when Republican voters are asked whom they would vote for if the party’s primary in their state were held today. Florida Senator Marco Rubio runs a close second with 18% of the GOP vote, followed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at 16% and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul with 15% of the vote. Congressman Paul Ryan, the unsuccessful Republican vice presidential candidate in 2012, picks up 13% of the Republican vote, with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker dead last at six percent (6%). Just three percent (3%) prefer another candidate, and eight percent (8%) are undecided.

Conspicuously absent from the list of options: Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal.  I’m slightly perplexed by Scott Walker’s standing in this survey, especially vis-a-vis Jeb, who hasn’t held elective office since 2007.  Sure, Bush did a nice job governing a battleground state a number of years ago, but Walker’s running a purple state now — and he’s been pounding the Left into submission at every turn.  He trails Christie by double digits?  Incidentally, I’ve heard a strong rumor that Paul Ryan — whose numbers among national Republicans arestronger than anyone’s — is unlikely to run if Walker jumps in, and vice versa.  In any case, Christie haters (I’m not one for a number of reasons) can take solace in the fact that even though the New Jersey governor leads the pack here, he’s also the candidate who receives the highest negative marks from respondents.  In other words, he’s a lot of people’s first choice, but he’s quite a few folks’ last choice, too.  Back to the Pew numbers I referenced in connection with Paul Ryan.  The House Budget Committee Chairman enjoys the best favorables by a significant margin, but even Christie’s sitting pretty at +17:

The guy with the most upside, at least in that poll, is Cruz.  Meanwhile, PPP’s latest 2016 survey, setting aside the idiotic George Zimmerman trolling (he’s anObama-supporting Democrat anyway), produced a markedly different result:

Rand Paul sits ahead of the field at 16%, his highest numbers since April, and the first time he has held sole possession of first place. Behind him are Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Paul Ryan, all at 13%. This is a slight drop for Bush and Christie, who last month had both led with 15%. Just after that is Ted Cruz with 12%, a huge increase from 7% in May. Rounding out the frontrunners is Marco Rubio, who continues to slide in the polls, pulling in 10%. This is less than half of the 21% of the vote he received back in April.

What lessons can we derive from this jumbled, disparate data about a field that doesn’t even exist yet?  Let’s go with none — aside from the fact that polling three years in advance of any election is good for clicks, but predictive of nothing.  If you somehow have an appetite for in-depth analysis of what these very early numbers mean, read this.  Personally, I can’t stomach it yet.

 

Awesome! Membership In Wisconsin’s Public Sector Unions Has Nosedived Since Scott Walker Passed Law Giving Employees Option Not To Join…

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This is from Weasel Zippers.

The people are finally free of the blood sucking unions.

Workers are no longer forced to support causes they oppose

as the unions are not getting their dues.

Hopefully the unions back can be broken.

 

Public sector unions are bloodsucking leeches draining the taxpayers of this country dry, and they couldn’t do it without the help of Democrats (who they in turn donate millions to).

Via EAGNews:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says one of the goals behind Act 10, his landmark legislation that clipped the power of most public sector unions, was to give workers more freedom to decide if they wanted to belong to a union.

He’s apparently accomplished his mission. Several of the largest public sector unions in the state have lost thousands of members over the past few years, and a great deal of wealth and political power, as well.

The Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state’s largest teachers union, lost about half of its 98,000 members since Act 10 became law in 2011, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

That means WEAC has lot approximately half of its annual income from membership dues, which has impacted its ability to remain a force on the state political scene.

“The financial pressure has caused the union to cut a large share of its staff,” the news report said. “For a time last year, union executives considered selling WEAC’s prominent hilltop headquarters on the south side of Madison. The union’s board stepped in and put a halt to the idea, according to sources familiar with the matter.”

Other public sector unions have suffered big losses, as well.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees District Council 48 lost nearly two-thirds of its approximately 9,000 members, the news report said. As a result the union is now more than $650,000 in debt.

AFSCME District Council 40, another branch of the same union, has lost 36 percent of its membership, the news report said.

The Wisconsin State Employees Union has lost more than half of its members, dropping from roughly 22,000 to somewhere between 9,000 and 10,000 members, according to the newspaper.

 

Wisconsin Occupier invites himself for cocktails with Gov. Scott Walker

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This is from The Daily Caller.

The Occupy Wall Street crowd should be called domestic terrorist.

My question is are the union thugs in Wisconsin behind this?

This bone head has some twitter but I could not get them to copy

 Molotov cocktails.

Oh, sorry, my mistake. Occupy is over now, apparently? Now they want to call themselves Idle No More?* And allegedly, one of their members was caught with a bottle filled with gasoline in the Wisconsin State Capitol building. Which seems noteworthy, since today’s news is all about keeping crazy people from doing violent things.

Brandon Darby reports:

A Wisconsin activist was arrested Tuesday at the state Capitol building just hours before Governor Scott Walker was to deliver his State of the State Address to Wisconsin lawmakers.

The man, Kvon R. Smith, had reportedly used Facebook to threaten to do harm at the Capitol. Law enforcement was ready for him and arrested him as he attempted to enter the building. Smith then reportedly claimed to have a Molotov cocktail in his backpack. Police evacuated portions of the capitol building and a bomb squad reportedly arrived and handled the backpack. Police did not say whether or not the backpack contained the explosive device the man allegedly claimed it did.

A search of the man’s apparent Twitter account reveals deep sympathies for Palestinians, support for other liberal and far-left causes, and claims of previous felony charges. Smith has also expressed support for the newest leftist movement, which previous Occupy
supporters are beginning to flock to, named “Idle No More.”

Here’s a video he made about it, because there’s no point in doing this stuff unless you’re going to leave a lot of evidence:


Seems like a normal enough young man. And if you go to his Facebook page, you can look at pictures of him shooting guns. Which you might think is bad, because guns are intrinsically bad, but it’s okay because he voted for President Barack Obama.

Hat tip to Ace of Spades, who notes that political violence gets blamed on the right a lot, whether or not it’s actually A) political or B) violent. Like blaming Sarah Palin for Jared Loughner, or claiming somebody spit on Emanuel Cleaver. Neither of those things are true, but since when was that a reason for a liberal not to believe in something?

Whereas left-wing violence is either ignored outright (like the nationwide Occupy crime spree) or blamed on right-wingers (like that guy who quoted the Communist Manifesto before flying a plane into an IRS office in Austin), because telling people the truth about it might interfere with the goals of liberals and the media. Pardon the redundancy.

I’m sure if any of our betters in the media had souls to search, they’d say they don’t really approve of such behavior. They just don’t see any need to make a fuss about it.

Oh, by the way, this post is racist because this guy is black.

*Wasn’t that the name of a band once? I’ve blocked out large chunks of the ’90s…

 

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/01/16/wisconsin-occupier-invites-himself-for-cocktails-with-gov-scott-walker/#ixzz2IxES93po
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/01/16/wisconsin-occupier-invites-himself-for-cocktails-with-gov-scott-walker/#ixzz2IxDpCSdM

Trojan Horse Alert! Obamacare’s State Insurance Exchanges

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This is from Clash Daily.

I think Ronald Reagan said it best.

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’

Just like every other new scheme concocted by the feds, it’s only after states accept the proverbial carrot, they discover too late they opened their gates to a Trojan horse. The federal government’s authority is limited so in order to entice other government entities to participate, they’ll offer an incentive. If a state, local government or public school accepts the pot of money, and in this case agrees to build a state insurance exchange, they become financially responsible to pay for it once the carrot’s gone or if costs exceed annual federal funding.

In March of 2010, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.”

The “fog” has not cleared and we still do not know all of “what’s in it” or what it will realistically cost states and taxpayers because the rules are still being written. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ insistence that Governors sign on by November 16th follows in the footsteps of former Speaker Pelosi’s illogical reasoning; they need to commit to building state exchanges before knowing the details and what it will cost.

In effect, it’s as foolhardy and irresponsible as signing a blank check.

In July, Texas Governor Perry was right on the money when he wrote in his USA Today Op-Ed:

“As a general rule, the more a salesman offers you to sign a long-term contract, the closer you should scrutinize the deal. That’s the situation we’re facing in Texas, as the Obama Administration extends a handful of cash with one hand while keeping a sledgehammer behind its back.”

Employers and Wisconsinites from all walks of life, were on pins and needles waiting to see what Governor Scott Walker would decide. The people’s voices were heard by a bold leader who refused to cave in to pressure from self-serving insurance industry lobbyists urging him to agree to a state exchange. Friday’s much anticipated announcement from Walker of his rejection to facilitate a state-based health insurance exchange was met with an audible sigh of relief from Wisconsin businesses, and citizens, alike.

Walker joined ranks with other Republican governors in telling Washington to take their so-called Affordable Care Act and shove it.

The exact number of Governors standing shoulder-to-shoulder is unclear at this time, but as reported by Associated Press, Alabama’s Governor Robert Bently said he expects at least half the states to make the same decision. As of this writing, the following Republican governors have refused to participate in building exchanges: Bobby Jindal (LA), Sam Brownback (KS), Rick Scott (FL), Rick Perry (TX), Robert Bentley (AL), Dave Heineman (NE), Nikki Haley (SC), Nathan Deal (GA), Robert McDonnell (VA), Sean Parnell (AK), John Kasich (OH), Paul LePage (ME) and Scott Walker (WI). By a successful ballot initiative, Missouri voters forbade their Democrat governor from creating a state exchange without their Republican-held legislature’s approval.

To save face, the “deadline” has been rolled back into December. Governors’ letters to Secretary Sebelius point out there is no such thing as a state exchange because no matter which “choice” they make, Washington has unquestionable control and decision-making power, while states and taxpayers will ultimately bear the financial burden, which they find unacceptable.

By forcing the feds to shoulder the responsibility and costs associated with setting up exchanges, it exposes a flaw that 2,700+ pages of bureaucratic babble crammed into the bill didn’t consider: they don’t have the money to do it. This puts the ball in the court of the Republican-controlled House because as long as they don’t approve funding, there will be no Obamacare exchanges in these states.

There’s no reason to forge our own handcuffs by accepting this Trojan horse. Clearly, the law is flawed, which can provide, at the very least, leverage for states who have the courage to resist and stand strong.

Read more: http://clashdaily.com/2012/11/trojan-horse-alert-obamacares-state-insurance-exchanges/#ixzz2CcDDBI81

Judge strikes down Wisconsin law limiting union rights

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This is from Fox News Politics.

This ruling is a clear case of Liberal Judaical Activism.

If this ruling is not over turned the unions will break Wisconsin.

Public sector unions busted Wisconsin’s budget before.

The people of Wisconsin need to help Governor Walker fit this ruling.

 

MADISON, Wis. –  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.

Walker’s administration immediately vowed to appeal, while unions, which have vigorously fought the law, declared victory. But what the ruling meant for existing public contracts was murky: Unions claimed the ruling meant they could negotiate again, but Walker could seek to keep the law in effect while the legal drama plays out.

The law, a crowning achievement for Walker that made him a national conservative star, took away nearly all collective bargaining rights from most workers and has been in effect for more than a year.

Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled that the law violates both the state and U.S. Constitution and is null and void.

In his 27-page ruling, the judge said 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.”

Colas also said the law violates the equal protection clause by creating separate classes of workers who are treated differently and unequally.

The ruling applies to all local public workers affected by the law, including teachers and city and county government employees, but not those who work for the state. They were not a party to the lawsuit, which was brought by a Madison teachers union and a Milwaukee public workers union.

Walker issued a statement accusing the judge of being a “liberal activist” who “wants to go backwards and take away the lawmaking responsibilities of the legislature and the governor. We are confident that the state will ultimately prevail in the appeals process.”

Wisconsin Department of Justice spokeswoman Dana Brueck said DOJ believes the law is constitutional.

The ruling throws into question changes that have been made in pay, benefits and other work rules in place across the state for city, county and school district workers.

Walker’s law, passed in March 2011, only allowed for collective bargaining on wage increases no greater than the rate of inflation. All other issues, including workplace safety, vacation, health benefits, could no longer be bargained for.

The ruling means that local government and schools now must once again bargain over those issues, said Lester Pines, an attorney for Madison Teachers Inc. that brought the case.

“We’re back to where we were before the law was enacted,” he said.

Pines predicted the case would ultimately be resolved by the state Supreme Court.

“What’s going to happen in the interim is unknown,” he said.

The state Supreme Court in June 2011 ruled that the law was constitutional after it had been blocked by a different Dane County judge on a challenge over its passage being a violation of open meetings law.

Walker introduced the proposal in February 2011, six weeks after he took office. It resulted in a firestorm of opposition and led to huge protests at the state Capitol that lasted for weeks. All 14 Democratic state senators fled the state to Illinois for three weeks in an ultimately failed attempt to stop the law’s passage from the Republican-controlled Legislature.

The law required public workers to pay more for their health insurance and pension benefits at the same time it took away their ability to collectively bargain over those issues. Walker argued the changes were needed to help state and local governments save money at a time Wisconsin faced a $3 billion budget shortfall.

Anger over the law’s passage led to an effort to recall Walker from office. More than 930,000 signatures were collected triggering the June recall election. Walker won and became the first governor in U.S. history to survive a recall.

The lawsuit was among several filed against the law.

A coalition of unions filed a federal lawsuit in Madison in June 2011, arguing that the law violated the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause because it exempted firefighters and police officers. A federal just upheld most of the law in March, but the rulings are under appeal.

Another lawsuit was filed in July 2011 by two unions representing about 2,700 public workers in Madison and Dane County. They also challenged the law on equal protection grounds. The case is pending.

Democrats and unions were ecstatic with Friday’s ruling.

“As we have said from day one, Scott Walker’s attempt to silence the union men and women of Wisconsin’s public sector was an immoral, unjust and illegal power grab,” said Phil Neuenfeldt, president of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO.

The Democratic minority leader in the state Assembly called the ruling a huge victory for workers and free speech.

“This decision will help re-establish the balance between employees and their employers,” said Rep. Peter Barca.

Republican Rep. Robin Vos, a staunch supporter of the law and the presumptive next speaker of the Assembly, called the ruling an example of the “arrogance of the judiciary.”

“I’m confident it’s a single judge out of step with the mainstream,” Vos said. He said the law is working “and we’ll continue to implement it.”
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/09/14/judge-strikes-down-wisconsin-law-limiting-union-rights/?test=latestnews&vgnextrefresh=1#ixzz26XA0ZoNQ

 

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