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Tags: GOP | Lures | 6 | Democrats

GOP Lures 6 Democrats to Fight Obama Agenda; Card Check's Dirty Secret

By    |   Sunday, 12 July 2009 07:43 PM EDT

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Card Check's Dirty Little Secret
2. GOP Lures Six Democrats to Fight Obama Agenda
3. John Bolton: Strike on Iran Is Israel's Only Option
4. Ad Age Cites Newsmax Cover Among 'Most Compelling'
5. Ginsburg: Roe Was for Population Control
6. Iran Doctored Photo of Pro-Ahmadinejad Rally: Report

1. Card Check's Dirty Little Secret

The proposed Employee Free Choice Act's provision against secret ballots in union organization elections has created controversy and sparked stiff opposition from Republicans.

But even if the provision against secret ballots is removed from the so-called "card-check" bill, "the most insidious section of the bill will still remain," according to a former Department of Labor official.

That section would allow the government to step in when two sides in a labor dispute can't come to an agreement, and write a contract that both sides would have to accept, explained F. Vincent Vernuccio, a former special assistant to the assistant secretary for administration and management at the Department of Labor under President George W. Bush.

In an Op-Ed piece in The Washington Examiner, Vernuccio writes: "Card check calls the process 'arbitration,' but the procedure described in the bill is known as compulsory binding interest arbitration, which is quite different."

In that process, businesses and workers would have 120 days to negotiate and reach an agreement. Then one party could force the other into compulsory binding interest arbitration.

"This allows the government to write a contract from scratch, going much further than the traditional role of an arbitrator interpreting existing terms," said Vernuccio.

"Unlike today where the workers can vote on an agreement, card check would give a union representative the power to present the union's position to the arbitrator. The arbitrator would then create the contract, essentially erasing the worker from the final decision."

The arbitrator would have say over pay, work schedules, safety, health benefits, and vacations and could possibly force workers into a union's under-funded pension plan, according to Vernuccio, editor of efcaupdate.org.

The arbitration will be run by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, headed by a political appointee. Thus politics could enter the arbitrator's decision, Vernuccio points out, adding, "The arbitration section of card check rewards the worst instincts of government, to arbitrarily impose its will on private businesses."

The Employee Free Choice Act of 2009 was passed by the House in 2007 but never brought to a vote in the Senate because of a threatened Republican-led filibuster.

The act provides measures that would eliminate an employer's ability to require a secret ballot if the employees attempt to gain union representation. Instead, a union could be certified if 50 percent plus one of those working at a particular site sign cards asking for a union, creating a "card-check" system.

Editor's Note:

2. GOP Lures Six Democrats to Fight Obama Agenda

The biggest threat to President Barack Obama's agenda on healthcare and climate change could come not from Republicans but from six centrist Democrats in the Senate.

GOP leaders have been reaching out to the half-dozen legislators, and any defections from the party line could cost Democrats the 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority they achieved in the Senate with Tuesday's swearing in of Al Franken.

"The Democratic Conference has 60 votes, if they're all here, and if they are straight party-line that means that Republicans cannot stop legislation," said Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona.

But "if a couple of Democrats don't vote with their party, then it doesn't matter that they have 60 votes," Kyl noted.

The potential defectors include Sen. Ben Nelson, a pro-business Democrat from Nebraska; Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent Democrat from Connecticut; and Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, according to The Hill newspaper.

Lieberman has indicated he might vote against Obama's healthcare reform effort.

Nelson has expressed opposition to the healthcare proposal and is against the cap-and-trade program to limit carbon emissions. Landrieu is expected to oppose both initiatives.

The other three Democratic senators being wooed by the GOP are Evan Bayh of Indiana, and Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.

Bayh opposed the $410 billion omnibus spending bill and joined Nelson in voting against the budget. Lincoln and Pryor have both voiced concern over the Employee Free Choice Act, a top priority of labor unions that is supported by most Democrats, The Hill reported.

Pryor has said: “Liberal groups need to understand that we are not elected to represent the president. We’re elected to represent our states."

Ron Bonjean, Kyl's former chief of staff, told The Hill: "Creating bipartisan coalitions on key issues is important to prevent Democrat legislative victories. Getting Democratic moderates is extremely important."

Editor's Note:

3. John Bolton: Strike on Iran Is Israel's Only Option

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton asserts that with Iran's hard-line regime still in control, Israel's decision on whether to attack Iran's nuclear facilities is "more urgent than ever."

The unrest that followed Iran's disputed presidential election suggested that regime change could possibly be in the offing. But that prospect seems lost for the near future, or at least for as long as it will take Iran to produce a deliverable nuclear weapon, Bolton argues.

"Accordingly, with no other timely option, the already compelling logic for an Israeli strike is nearly inexorable," he declared in an article published in The Washington Post.

The Obama administration's approach is to push for negotiations with Iran and threaten stronger sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

But Bolton insists Iran won't negotiate in good faith, and further sanctions won't prevent Iran from producing weapons when it chooses.

"Time is too short, and sanctions failed long ago," he points out.

Furthermore, since there is little likelihood that diplomacy will produce an agreement before Iran obtains the weapons, "there is no point waiting for negotiations to play out," says Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

He adds, "Those who oppose Iran acquiring nuclear weapons are left in the near term with only the option of targeted military force against its weapons facilities . . .

"Otherwise, be prepared for an Iran with nuclear weapons, which some, including Obama advisers, believe could be contained and deterred. That is not a hypothesis we should seek to test in the real world. The cost of error could be fatal."

Editor's Note:

4. Ad Age Cites Newsmax Cover Among 'Most Compelling'

Advertising Age includes the cover line of Newsmax' April issue, "The Jesus Question: Will He Ever Return?" among the candidates for its list of the 10 most intriguing covers of the year.

Ad Age, the Bible of the ad industry, publishes an annual "Book of Tens," featuring top 10 lists on a wide range of topics.

Ad Age announced: "This year we hope to add a new category: the 10 most intriguing, funniest, scariest, most compelling or most surprising magazine cover lines of the year."

The Newsmax cover line was among the first nine selected for consideration.

In the Newsmax cover story, leading religious figures examine the myths, the doctrines, and the controversies surrounding the Second Coming of Christ.

The exclusive report explores what the Bible predicts about the Second Coming, the surprising number of Americans who expect Christ's return, why many believe the Second Coming is imminent, and much more.

Editor's Note:

5. Ginsburg: Roe v Wade Was for Population Control

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she thought the Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion was intended to aid population control among lower-income Americans.

In an interview with Emily Bazelon of The New York Times, Ginsburg — who joined the Court in 1993 — was asked, "If you were a lawyer again, what would you want to accomplish as a future feminist legal agenda?"

Ginsburg responded: "Reproductive choice has to be straightened out. There will never be a woman of means without choice anymore. That just seems to me so obvious. The states that had changed their abortion laws before Roe [to make abortion legal] are not going to change back.

"So we have a policy that affects only poor women, and it can never be otherwise, and I don’t know why this hasn’t been said more often."

Bazelon asked if Ginsburg was referring to the lack of Medicaid for abortions for poor women.

"Yes. The ruling about that surprised me."

The ruling she cited was Harris v. McRae — in 1980 the court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.

"Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of, so that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion," Ginsburg said.

"Some people felt [that] would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong."

Editor's Note:

6. Iran Doctored Photo of Pro-Ahmadinejad Rally: Report

A photo of a recent rally in support of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was altered to make the crowd appear larger, according to a report in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

"As emotions run high among the reform camp in Iran, it appears that the incumbent regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has yet to master the finer points of Photoshop," Haaretz reported.

An "observant blogger" showed Haaretz how the number of people attending the rally was artificially enhanced by cloning parts of the crowd and inserting those same people elsewhere in the photo.

This would not be the first time the Iranian regime has used software to alter a photo. In July 2008, a photo released by Sepah News, the media arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, showed four missiles being successfully launched by the Islamic Republic.

It eventually came to light that one of the four missiles did not launch, but software was used to make it appear in the photo that all four tests were successful.

And in February 2007, Iran released a photo purporting to show a cache of U.S.-manufactured weapons confiscated from a "terrorist group" in southeastern Iran. But many of the items in the photo reportedly were cloned repeatedly to make the cache appear larger.

Editor's Note:

Editor's Notes:

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Card Check's Dirty Little Secret 2. GOP Lures Six Democrats to Fight Obama Agenda 3. John Bolton: Strike on Iran Is Israel's Only Option 4. Ad Age Cites Newsmax Cover Among 'Most Compelling'5. Ginsburg: Roe Was for Population...
Sunday, 12 July 2009 07:43 PM
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