Free Markets, Free People

Rising Thugocracy?

First we have the “car czar” threatening investors with audits and vilification, and now we have a report that a union was inappropriately involved in matters in which it should not have been included:

Officials in the governor’s office say a politically powerful union may have had inappropriate influence over the Obama administration’s decision to withhold billions of dollars in federal stimulus money from California if the state does not reverse a scheduled wage cut for the labor group’s workers.

The officials say they are particularly troubled that the Service Employees International Union, which lobbied the federal government to step in, was included in a conference call in which state and federal officials reviewed the wage cut and the terms of the stimulus package.

The SEIU is of the opinion the state is “breaking the law” as it concerns the use of “stimulus” funds. The state sees it otherwise. But that doesn’t explain the inclusion of the union on the call. Said state officials:

During the conference call, state officials say, they were asked to defend the $74-million cut scheduled to take effect July 1. The cut lowers the state’s maximum contribution to home health workers’ pay from $12.10 per hour to $10.10.

The California officials on the call, who requested anonymity for fear of antagonizing the Obama administration, said they needed the savings to help balance the state budget.

Most know that California is a budgetary basket case, but they should also know that SEIU members are the one’s effected by the cut. The phrase which is most chilling in the last cite is that which indicates a fear of “antagonizing the Obama administration” among state workers.

Is that really the atmosphere that should exist between the states and the feds? And, given their inclusion in the call, isn’t it fair to claim that the SEIU has had “undue” influence with the administration?

So how is this different than the alleged inappropriate lobbyist influence the left liked to holler about during the Bush years?


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15 Responses to Rising Thugocracy?

  • Does no one have a backbone? My god, id pay to be in such a position to have at the administration. Albeit i don’t have dependents who need to be fed, but man i wish someone would show some spine and stand up loudly, what could possibly happen to them? Do they all have some skeletons they wish to hide or something? Hell, a miss America contestant has more balls than these people.

  • CA should go ahead with the cuts, then let the Obama administration shut down CA.

    It didn’t work well for Newt, let’s see if “The Won” does it any better.

  • Thugocracy aside, this demonstrates (as if we needed any more evidence) why government-funded ANYTHING is bad:

    You can’t get rid of it or even cut it.

    CA is bankrupt, and Sacramento, out of desperation, wants to REDUCE (not even eliminate) its contribution to state workers’ health care plans.  The response of the workers, while understandable, is selfish in the extreme*.  They are using their political clout to force Sacramento to either (A) look elsewhere for budget cuts and gore somebody else’s ox; (B) beg Uncle Sugar for more bailouts, in effect robbing Colorado and Connecticut to pay California, or; (C) go bankrupt.

    Now, imagine what it will be like in the future when some president or Congress, faced with a huge deficit and crushing debts, starts looking to cut funding for this or that entitlement.

    “If you cut our benefits, we won’t vote for you.”

    And that’s how sh*t happens.


    (*) I thought people were supposed to stop being selfish due to the messianic influence of TAO.  Guess not, huh?

    • And while our Messiah will no doubt point out thugocracy is okay when a certain class of people are being ‘selfish’, you can bet your blue ribbons he won’t do that when a union is the one being ‘selfish’. 

      Because, of course, by very definition I’m sure a union can’t actually be selfish, just as people of color cannot be racists.

    • Hey, least she’s honest, she could be mumbling “I do not recall loaning any banks money at that time”.

  • There’s a stupid commercial running in Silicon Valley (probably other places as well) with a line – “When America wants to a glimpse of the future, it looks to California”.  Welcome to The Hotel California everybody. You can check in anytime you like but you can never leave.

  • This is all going to get much worse.

    It’s essentially gangsterism. Politics as crime and crime as politics.

    Obama signaled what it was about when he put the malignant creep Rahm Emanuel in charge of the White House. Right there you’ve got a syndicate move, with the rot of Chicago written straight into it.

    This is not random corruption; it’s a business plan.

  • If I believed in conspiracies, I probably would believe that Democrats on Wall Street orchestrated the financial meltdown to help Democrats win the election by forcing George W. Bush to come to the rescue making his fellow Republicans pass the “crap sandwich” thus destroying an credibility Republicans still had on fiscal matters. But apparently “W” didn’t get the memo that it was a “put on” and let Lehman Brothers go down the tubes thus a real financial meltdown insued.

    I don’t believe in conspiracies though.

    The only remaining question is … why when ever matter under the sun gets a “blue ribbon commission” to investigate a matter of national importance, that there has been no commission to determine why there was financial meltdown ?

  • I’ve been trying to say this as succinctly …

    The administration was on record with a series of pro-worker statements; it could not let the auto makers “fail.”  Second, when the government got tough it did so by threatening to bring nasty public pressure on the creditors.  Creditors that were already on the government dole with TARP money caved immediately; hedge funds held out a bit longer – took incredible public heat – and eventually caved as well.  The hedge funds, by the way, are the players the government needs to get into it public/private partnership program and its TALF program for either to succeed.  So the government ended up ripping players it needs to play in the future for the success of its programs.

    This begs the question as to whether there are still enough suckers to still believe in this change

    • They don’t have to “believe” in anything if they can be coerced into going along.

  • New Obama-bot talking point that showed up yesterday ..

    Ignore the fact (or any other facts) that Obama supported a “single payer” plan (but said there wasn’t support for it yet) back in 2003 and 2008, rather what is important is the plan he is putting forth now.

    That seems like a tall order .. it’s sort of like saying you should ignore any Japanese ships heading toward Pearl Harbor in early Dec 1941.

  • So how is this different than the alleged inappropriate lobbyist influence the left liked to holler about during the Bush years?

    Very different:

    Under Bush, we had cabinet members who were the best qualified but had the appearance of conflict of interest with lobby groups.

    Under Obama, we have cabinet members who are idiots but without any possible connections to lobby groups. And the lobby groups are sitting in on meetings, directly.