1.) Why Walker should’ve added cops and firemen to the public sector bonfire — Critics of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have gone from asking why he wants to subject teachers to the realities of the private sector, to attacking him for not subjecting police and firemen to the same. What’s a budget-cutting governor to do? Here’s the skinny: Walker’s peers in Indiana, Ohio, and New Jersey have all made moves to reduce the cost of “essential services” to taxpayers. Walker is refusing to do the same, but not because he’s making good on a political promise: Of Wisconsin’s more than 300 public safety locals, roughly four endorsed Walker. Nevertheless, commentators had a ball Monday suggesting that Walker spared public safety unions because they gave him money, and not because he’d like to, you know, keep police and firefighters from going on strike in the event of a fire or a robbery or protests in which teachers threatened to kill lawmakers. Nevertheless, Walker should reign in police spending while he’s at it, as doing so hasn’t turned Indiana into Somalia.
2.) Wisconsin union types turn on each other — Rich Hahan lost his union gig with GM not once, but twice–in Wisconsin, his hometown, and again in Michigan, where he relocated in order to keep the bills paid. Now he’s unemployed and living in a Wisconsin town where government agencies are three of the top five employers. Hahan’s also now a Walker supporter. “He says he still believes in unions,” reports the New York Times, “but thinks those in the public sector lead to wasteful spending because of what he sees as lavish benefits and endless negotiations.” Hahan’s not the only one. Across the midwest, private sector workers are looking to their public sector counterparts and wondering why they shouldn’t have to contribute to their own lavish pension and health plans. Because, you know, some people don’t even have jobs in Wisconsin. A bar owner who had to fire most of his staff and now works seven days a week put it best: “There are a lot of people out of work right now that would take a job without a union.”
3.) Surprise: The first recipient of an Energy Department loan guarantee under the stimulus wasted half a billion dollars — “Solyndra, Inc. was supposed to have showcased the effectiveness of the Obama administration’s stimulus and green jobs initiatives,” writes The Daily Caller’s John Rossomando. All told, the company was going to use $535 million in federally guaranteed loans to build a new facility and hire workers to staff it, creating in the process 3,000 temporary construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs. “These jobs are the jobs that are going to define the 21st century that will allow America to compete and to lead like we did in the 20th century,” Biden said in 2009 when he announced the deal with Solyndra. In the intervening two years, Solyndra “announced it planned to postpone expanding the plant…that it no longer planned to hire the 1,000 workers that Obama and Biden had touted in their speeches and that it planned to close one of its older factories and planned to lay-off 135 temporary or contract workers and 40 full-time employees.” The cherry on top: “A closer look at the company shows it has never turned a profit since it was founded in 2005, according to its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings.”
4.) Haley Barbour supports welfare for landowners, farmers — Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said last week that he’d entertain cutting farm subsidies, but in an exclusive interview with TheDC’s Chris Moody, the seven-year governor said he’s in favor of keeping the Depression-era welfare programs going. “What we want to have in the United States is abundant food at a responsibly low price,” Barbour said. “To do that, we have to have an appropriately large supply of agricultural products. When sales volumes are good, prices are reasonable, there shouldn’t be any farm subsidies. But for natural reasons, nature, or what other countries are doing in terms of how they’re handling their markets, sometimes it is appropriate to have farm subsidies.” Barbour added, “What you want is to have policies that lead to ample supply and prices that yield good prices for the person at the grocery store but profits for the farmers.” Um, that’s not how the free market works.
5.) Hillary Clinton loses an ally in her alleged fight for ‘Internet Freedom’ — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could not have asked for a better ally than NYU’s Clay Shirky for her “Internet Freedom” agenda. Shirky is an Internet pioneer and guru, and people who barely know how to check their email, but nevertheless claim to care deeply about tech policy, often allow Shirky to do their thinking for them. When Clinton announced her plans to free the Internet last year, Shirky hopped on board with zeal. A year later, he’s having second thoughts. “Washington undermined its claims to leadership when it allowed commercial firms like Amazon and PayPal to cut off payments to WikiLeaks with less due process than is required to get a firm on the terrorist watch list,” Shirky wrote in a letter to Foreign Policy magazine. “The United States was likewise hypocritical when it responded to the recent persecution of Tunisian Internet activists with relative silence, after having so vocally objected to the suppression of free speech in Iran over the past year.” Putting aside the rather stupid idea that Amazon needs to be ALLOWED to choose its business partners, Clinton had this coming.
6.) Hamas goes after hair-dressers — Things are going so swimmingly in Gaza that the region’s theocrats finally have he luxury of cracking down on social deviance. “The Palestinian Center for Human Rights said Monday that five male hairdressers were interrogated and forced to sign declarations that they wouldn’t work in women’s salons. Male hairdressers for women are rare in conservative Gaza where genders rarely mix in public,” reports the AP. “It’s the latest attempt by Hamas to impose its strict version of Islamic law on Gaza’s 1.5 million people. The group took control of Gaza in 2007. It has also banned women from smoking waterpipes or riding behind men on motorbikes.”
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