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Monday, March 12, 2012

My Head Hurts

In 2007 the American Postal Workers Union praised the passage of something called the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, whose sponsors included a whole host of liberal Democrats. And Susan Collins.

 Receiving particular praise was a provision that ended overpayments to the Civil Service Retirement System. Wrote the APWU at the time:
There is some good news with significant financial impact on the USPS [United States Postal Service]: The new law releases from an escrow account billions of dollars that the USPS has saved by ending overpayments to the Civil Service Retirement System; and it returns to the Treasury responsibility for paying about $27 billion in military service-related retirement benefits for postal workers. (No other federal agency has been required to pay these costs.)

The USPS was saddled with these financial burdens by provisions contained in the Postal Civil Service Retirement System Funding Reform Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-18). The provisions were supposed to be temporary, but the Bush administration insisted they remain in force to make the federal budget deficit appear smaller. Ultimately, the White House relented on its demand.

APWU Legislative Department officers and staff would like to thank senators Joe Lieberman (D-CT), Tom Carper (D-DE), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Susan Collins (R-ME). On the House side, we were fortunate to have the support of representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA), Danny Davis (D-IL), Tom Davis (R-VA), and John McHugh (R-NY). [emphasis mine]
Now, today, I read in the Roanoke Times of criticism of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. And the criticism comes from none other than the executive vice president of Local 482 of that same American Postal Workers Union.  And in particular the provision that - get this - caused overpayments to the Postal Civil Service Retirement System.

The same overpayments that were eliminated by the 2006 act.

The same 2006 act that received high praise from the APWU.

Because it had eliminated overpayments to the union retirement fund.

But didn't.

Says the executive vice president of Local 482 of the American Postal Workers Union in "Congress must fix the crisis it created" yesterday:
Although first-class mail has declined, the primary cause of the Postal Service's dire financial situation is a mandate imposed by Congress in 2006 that requires USPS to "pre-fund" health benefits for retirees who will retire over the next 75 years. USPS is paying $5.5 billion annually for 10 years to cover this burden.

No other government agency or private business bears this burden. Were it not for that, the Postal Service would have netted a $611 million surplus during fiscal years 2006 to 2010 instead of racking up a $21 billion deficit.

In addition, the Postal Service has overfunded its retirement accounts by more than $50billion to $75billion, and cannot reclaim these funds without congressional authorization.

Congress must repeal the pre-funding requirement, allow the USPS to recover overpayments to its retiree funds and protect service to the American people.

Destroying the USPS network will lead to the demise of the world's largest, most efficient and most trusted ...
So it was a great thing. And now it's an awful thing. It saved the postal system. It's destroying the postal system.

"Congress must fix the crisis it created."

I need to look up the word scapegoat.

I guess it all makes sense.  In some dimension far, far from Planet Earth.

Al Gore Is Going To Be Pissed

Well, come to think of it, he's made his billion.  Maybe he won't really care any more that we're not all going to die.

But oh, the inconvenient truth:

From "No Warming For 17 Years – Game, Set, Match," by Steven Goddard at "Real Science":

"Temperatures have been dropping since 2005, and are the coldest now in the last seventeen years. Game over for alarmists, based on their own rules."

In line graph form, the painful (if you're a one-world Marxist) truth:

Let it be noted that Al Gore's insanity manifested itself at about that point in time - 1998 - when - if you look at the chart - global temperatures shot up abruptly. And then settled back.

Did I say "insanity"? His scare tactics made him one of the wealthiest persons on the not-so-hot planet. Maybe he knew what he was doing all along.

How does that saying go about a fool and his money?

America's Leading Slave Trader Speaks

But, interestingly, he gets some push-back from his audience.  Maybe there's hope still ...
Some students offended by Louis Farrakhan's UC Berkeley address

Berkeley, Calif. — Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan delivered a speech to hundreds at the University of California Berkeley Saturday and some students took issue with parts of his message.

Minister Louis Farrakhan opened the Afrikan Black Coalition Conference at UC Berkeley Saturday, bringing together black students from colleges across the state.

The 78-year-old minister urged the 600 or so students to depend on themselves for jobs and learn more about black history. He also pushed a controversial book that alleges Jews dominated the slave trade.

"(He said) that Jews control the government and that you need to be their friends in order to be successful, that Jews control the media. To me, that was just so hateful and horrible," said Noah Ickowitz, a UC Berkelely ASUC Senator.

"This is not hate, this is actual facts," Farrakhan said.

Outside Wheeler Hall, a few students passed out petitions expressing their discontent with minister Farrakhan's presence on campus. "I believe the (Black Student Union) had every right to bring Farrakhan, but we are hurt by Farrakhan's words," Ickowitz said to students outside the auditorium.

The minister condemned the opposition and even discouraged dialogue between Jews and blacks. [link]
There's hope for the future if attendees to this convention found the antics and rhetoric of this hate-filled "minister" to be over the top. I'd like to thank them on behalf of the human race.

Maybe now he'll get the message and crawl back under that rock ...

* I created the term "modern-day slave trader" to describe those in this country who make a living off of the race issue by stoking the fires of racial animosity and resentment.  Farrakhan, Jackson, and Sharpton being the most prominent.  I find out I could add a fourth - now dead: Derrick Bell.


Facts?  Leftists don' need no steenking facts.

Chris Matthews, Getting It Wrong and Staying There

He didn't just get it wrong.  He got it absolutely wrong.  And refuses to admit it.

Speaks volumes about him and his kind in general.

Obama's Losing Control In Afghanistan

And it's going to take more than a groveling apology to get his mission - whatever it is - back in order.

The latest from a deteriorating war front.

Reagan Knew How To Deal With Unions

No, this isn't about PATCO.

It has to do with political strategy.

Ronald Reagan once said, in so many words: The Democratic Party can (and will) have the unions.  I want the union membership.

Thus was born the term "Reagan Democrat."

One wonders, in this era when decent jobs are disappearing, why union members  - unlike fat cat union bosses - are willing to be associated with the party of environmentalism.  And I wonder if Romney is smart enough to go after all those disaffected "Romney Democrats" out there.

Why do I wonder?

The latest in a long line of similar stories:
Democrats Kill Wisconsin Jobs to Spite Governor Scott Walker
By Frank Burke, American Thinker

On March 6, every Democrat in the Wisconsin State Senate, and one Republican, voted down a bill that could have streamlined the permit process and permitted the development of an iron mine in a depressed area of northern Wisconsin. The mine would have initially employed 600 to 700 workers (eventually as many as 2,200) and injected at least 1.5 billion dollars into the local economy. Additionally, it would have proven a boon to Joy Manufacturing and Falk Corp., two major manufacturers of mining equipment located in Milwaukee.

Following the vote, Gogebic Taconite, the proposed developer, announced that they were abandoning efforts in Wisconsin. Their comments: "Senate rejection of the mining reforms in Assembly Bill 426 sends a clear message that Wisconsin will not welcome iron mining. We get the message. GTac is ending plans to invest in a Wisconsin mine."

Comments by Democrat Senators and by Dale Schultz, the lone Republican who voted against the Bill, included the citation of environmental concerns. The statements were flatly rejected by Cathy Stepp, secretary of Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources, who stated that her agency would have been able to permit an iron mine in northern Wisconsin without harming the environment and blasted opponents of the permitting bill for "fear-mongering" (Wisconsin State Journal, March 9, 2012). She referenced the fact that the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA had been involved from the first and that their continued monitoring would ensure safety in the water supply and the environment generally.

Despite the fact that most of the jobs associated with the mine would be represented by industry trade unions -- and that State Senator Tim Carpenter, a Democrat who represents a largely Hispanic district and was arranging a fully funded program to train inner-city high school students for mining and manufacturing jobs -- the more powerful public service unions demanded the bill's defeat. The unions, led by out-of-state interests, were resentful of Walker's budget reforms and have spared no expense in demanding obedience from state Democratic office-holders and hopefuls.

If any instance were needed to underscore the fact that union bosses have written off the blue-collar private-sector workers who created the labor movement in the first place, one has only to look to Wisconsin. Having contributed to the decline of American manufacturing through wage and benefit demands, work rules, and the support of onerous regulations, they have cheerfully participated in their own near-extinction. Organized labor's last and only hope remains government and public-sector unions. Their members' refusal to acknowledge the financial realities that have and continue to affect the private sector are bringing them to their own Armageddon. [link]
Another sad day in America.  One of many.

The Ultimate Sacrifice

This wasn't a rarity in World War II.  But since then, it is:

Double sacrifice: Family loses sons in Afghanistan

May God have mercy.

* There were 39 sets of brothers killed in Vietnam.