Friday, April 01, 2011

Cruising the Web

Here's a depressing factoid: "It gets worse. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined. We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers. Nearly half of the $2.2 trillion cost of state and local governments is the $1 trillion-a-year tab for pay and benefits of state and local employees."

Here is the real reason why the public unions are opposing Governor Walker's limitation on public unions. They don't want to lose the government's acting as bookkeeper taking unions dues automatically out of government workers' paychecks and sending the money to the unions. Since Mitch Daniels ended collective bargaining for public workers and the government's role as union dues-taker, they've lost that automatic hand in workers' pockets. "Today, 1,490 state employees pay union dues in Indiana, down from 16,408 in 2005." And that is why they'll go to the barricades to stop further erosion of their dues-taking ability.

And that fear is why the unions are putting the muscle on businesses that would prefer to stay neutral on the whole question.

Find out what happened when Carlos Boozer rented his house to Prince. Apparently, Prince has very idiosyncratic ideas about interior decorating.

Ah, one question answered
: how Donald Trump gets his hair to look the way it does. The mystery of why he'd want it to look that way is still not answered.

If Newt Gingrich is supposed to be so smart, why is he making so many gaffes?

Charles Krauthammer slams the administration for its continued obsequious attempts to cozy up to Syria's Bashar Al-Assad. That Hillary Clinton would even think of the word "reformer" to describe Assad demonstrates the moral bankruptcy of this administration's naiveté in thinking they can "engage" with that region's anti-American dictators.

This is what the Democrats' blocking of the free-trade agreement with Colombia has gotten us: Colombia has just signed a free-trade agreement with Canada which will hurt U.S. companies that won't be able to compete with Canadian companies which sell many of the same commodities. Perhaps President Obama would like to travel to the states that export wheat, corn, and beef or machinery and auto parts and explain why he has allowed them to lose business in Colombia because he will not support the free-trade agreement that has been languishing around for years.

Another day, another element of the Democrats' health care law to appall us. There is a bailout provision to allow the government to help subsidize early retirement costs for unions, state public employees, and corporations.

Walter Russell Mead explains why the operation in Libya is not a model for future international interventions.