Time for another Texas vs. California update:
Archive for the ‘unions’ Category
I had previously reported on the coup of Sacramento’s Democratic Mayor Kevin Johnson in taking over the National Conference of Black Mayors (NCBM), though at the time the reasons behind it seemed murky.
But I missed this follow-up in Deadspin, because it’s pretty far from my regular reading list, plus the Gawker ickiness factor.
But there does seem to be enough smoke there to suggest some sort of fire:
Johnson is a youngish, attractive Democrat with a reputation as a national leader on education issues, a gift for making powerful friends, and a superficially impressive background—UC Berkeley, a long run as a top NBA star, a successful business career. He’s just the sort of politician a lot of people want to believe, and a lot of people have done so. His mayoralty will even soon be the subject of a laudatory entry in ESPN’s acclaimed 30 For 30 documentary series.
The scandals didn’t much matter in 2008, when he easily won election in the face of credible accusations that he’d molested teenage girls, defrauded the federal government of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and lorded over an empire of slum holdings. And they haven’t much mattered since, as he’s gone from success to success, his star rising ever higher in the Democratic Party firmament through most of his career.
As mayor, he’s incurred sexual harassment charges in the course of waging a bizarre war on an obscure non-profit organization; soaked taxpayers in his hometown for hundreds of millions of dollars to build a new arena for the Sacramento Kings; and used public employees to do his own private political work while attempting to hide the evidence by keeping email records off the books, Hillary Clinton-style.
Deadspin lays the cause of Johnson’s recent actions to his desire to profit from private charter schools.
Johnson’s latest scandal involves:
One need not embrace Deadspin’s, er, spin, which seems to be an attempt to keep money keep money going to failing unionized public schools (which I take to be their real reason in going after Johnson) to see many of Johnson’s actions as unethical and probably illegal.
All of this may go a long way to explain why ESPN has shelved an installment of their acclaimed 30 for 30 documentary series about Johnson.
Now, I happen to be a lot more pro-charter school than Deadspin evidently is. So if Kevin Johnson’s people want to contact me and explain his side of the story, I’d be happy to run a follow-up…
Ah, that October chill…is not evident yet here in Austin. It’s supposed to hit 94° today.
Time for another Texas vs. California roundup:
Time for another Texas vs. California roundup:
First, there is no state income tax in Texas. Some people know this and some don’t—few really grasp what it means practically. It means that if you make decent money and decide to move here and rent something affordable, it’s essentially free to live in Texas. If you make $150,000 a year, your state income taxes in California are roughly $12,000 per year (in NYC it’s closer to $15,000). Or, you can put a thousand bucks a month toward your rent here. If you decide to buy, property taxes are high—but what you get for the money more than makes up for it. My editor at the Observer recently tried to cajole me into coming back to New York. Our house now—which has its own lake and is 29 minutes from the airport which never has lines—costs less than the rent we were paying for our lofted studio apartment in Midtown. Are you kidding?
Also note the mention of walk-in gun safes…
(Hat tip: Borepatch.)
And here’s the third part of that Camille Paglia interview. Here she takes on the 2016 Presidential field. As you might expect from someone who voted for the Green Party in 2012 and who profeses herself a fan of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, her critiques of the Democratic side are a lot more interesting than those of the GOP.
There are plenty of women Democratic politicians who are too scared to put themselves forward as candidates because of the Clinton machine. There’s something seriously wrong here with Democratic thinking…Given the problems facing the nation, this passive waiting for your turn is simply unacceptable. The Democrats have plenty of solid, capable women politicians who are just too timid to challenge the party establishment. Well, excuse me, that proves they don’t deserve to be president! You sure won’t be able to deal with ISIS if you can’t deal with Debbie Wasserman Schultz!
More on Hillary:
Hillary has accomplished nothing substantial in her life. She’s been pushed along, coasting on her husband’s coattails, and every job she’s been given fizzled out into time-serving or overt disaster. Hillary constantly strikes attitudes and claims she’s “passionate” about this or that, but there’s never any sustained follow-through. She’s just a classic, corporate exec or bureaucrat type who would prefer to be at her desk behind closed doors, imposing her power schemes on the proletariat. She has no discernible political skills of any kind, which is why she needs a big, shifting army of consultants, advisors, and toadies to whisper in her ear and write her policy statements.
She’s not a fan of Ted Cruz: “Ted Cruz–oh, lord! Cruz gives me the willies. The guy is a fanatic! He’s very smart, clever and strategic, and he has a fine education from Princeton, so people have to watch out for him. But I think he is self-absorbed and narcissistic to a maniacal degree.” Paglia also says that “In the primary debates, Cruz will benefit from having a tall and commanding physique.” Commanding presence, yes, but Cruz is around my height (5’10”-ish), which is not generally considered tall for a Presidential contender.
She’s high on Scott Walker:
I think that liberals are dangerously complacent about Scott Walker. They’ve tried to portray him as a madman, an uneducated rube, a tool of the Koch brothers. Right now, Walker seems to be the true GOP frontrunner, but I also feel he lacks gravitas. He’s not ready for his close-up. What is this oddity about so many of the GOP candidates–their excessive boyishness, as if their maturation stalled? But Walker is a very talented and combative politician, with far more substance than liberals are allowing for.
The union issue is huge–because as governor of Wisconsin, Walker went to war with unions and won. Liberals are caught in the past right now in their rosy view of unions, which were heroically established during the progressive era that reformed the abuses of the industrial revolution. But the union battle in Wisconsin had nothing to do with exploited working-class miners or factory workers. In his push to balance the state budget, Walker took action against the middle-class public sector unions, whose negotiations with municipal and state governments outside the arena of private competition have become an enormous drain on local budgets as the economy has worsened. There has been a history of rampant corruption in the public sector unions, coming from their cozy quid pro quo relationships with politicians. Liberals need to wake up about this! All they have to do is read the obituaries of the smaller newspapers in metropolitan New York to see how the early retirement and lavish pensions of the public sector unions have grotesquely drained taxpayer dollars. Obituary after obituary–so-and-so, aged 75, worked for fifteen or twenty years as a policeman or city sanitation worker, retired in his late 40s, and spent the rest of his life on the taxpayer’s dime, pursuing his hobbies of fishing, boating, and golfing. Great work if you can get it!
And then the teachers’ unions! What a colossal tactical error American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten (a longtime Clinton friend and donor) made several weeks ago in unilaterally declaring her union’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton right in the middle of the Bernie Sanders surge. Probably for the first time ever, American liberals woke up to the corrupt practices that have become way too common in the political maneuverings of the big unions. The point here is that Scott Walker, in his defeat of the public sector unions, drew the roadmap for struggling municipal and state governments everywhere to balance their budgets, as he did in Wisconsin. Because who ends up suffering the most? It’s the kids. All that money outrageously pouring into inflated pension plans has been gutting public education and community arts programs.
Good to see at least one liberal wake up to the destructive nature of bloated public sector unions. But it’s rather naive of Paglia to express surprise over part of the corrupt wing of the Democratic Party (unions) endorsing the designated candidate of that wing (Hillary) over the candidate of the Party’s insane wing (Bernie Sanders).
“I thought that Mitt Romney was an excellent choice by the GOP four years ago.” Can’t really say we in the GOP are happy with the way that turned out…
Just in case you hadn’t heard, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker officially joined the 2016 Presidential race.
I would say that Walker is the real frontrunner, no matter what some polls might indicate. Facing down unions in the Wisconsin recall election made Walker a hero among conservatives. National Democrats and unions went after Walker with everything they had and Walker built a throne out of their skulls. And the Republican establishment is more likely to acquiesce to his candidacy than that of, say, Ted Cruz.
It’s a crowded field, but Walker will be a formidable candidate.
Time for another Texas vs. California update!
What’s remarkable (or not, depending on your worldview) about the huge disparity in poverty rates between California and Texas is that the states are diametrically opposed in their taxing, spending, and regulatory policies. California, featuring America’s highest marginal income-tax rate, ranks as the fourth-most taxed state in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation, while no-income-tax Texas came in at forty-seventh. In a broader survey of economic freedom that includes labor law and regulation, Canada’s Fraser Institute rated Texas and South Dakota as tied for first with California lagging far behind at forty-third, just ahead of New Jersey at forty-fourth.