Thursday, June 7, 2012

June 7th, 2012 Edition


Words Matter
by Jackie Gingrich Cushman
June 7, 2012

Words have power; they create images and possibilities, and provide a window into the future of what could be. The best leaders use positive words to communicate a potential future for a country that is possible if actions are taken. They inspire action, progress and positive results. For words to matter, there must be a solid foundation underlying them. They cannot be all fluff and flutter.
President Ronald Reagan clearly communicated when he spoke 25 years ago this coming week in Berlin at the Brandenburg Gate. "General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization," Reagan challenged, "come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

This same speech noted that there was "one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds. ... Freedom is the victor."

Slightly more than two years later, the wall was torn down. Words made it seem possible; words had fostered ideas, led to action and caused the wall to tumble down.

His challenge to tear down the wall was built on the foundational understanding that freedom and liberty lead to prosperity. That government could not produce the output of freedom.

Words without a solid foundation are simply a veneer.

Walker Changes Attitudes on Public Employee Unions
by Michael Barone
June 7, 2012

The results are in, and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has beaten Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett in the recall election. That’s in line with pre-election polling, though not the Election Day exit polls. Even before the results came in, we knew one thing, Democrats and the public-employee unions had already lost the battle of ideas over the issue that sparked the recall, Walker’s legislation to restrict the bargaining powers of public-employee unions.

That’s supported by a Marquette University poll showing 75 percent of Wisconsin voters favoring increases in public employees’ contributions for health care and pensions. The poll also showed 55 percent in favor of limiting collective bargaining for public employees and only 41 percent opposed.

But the strongest evidence is that Barrett and the Democrats avoided the issue. They had tried to make the election about anything else, such as an investigation of staffers who worked for Walker when he was Milwaukee county executive.

A defeat in a state where public-employee-union bargaining was authorized in 1959 has national implications.

Unions spent $400 million in the 2008 election cycle to elect Barack Obama and other Democrats. More than half of all union members nationally are public employees.

Public-employee unions insist that dues money be deducted from members’ paychecks and sent directly to union treasuries. So, in practice, public-employee unions are a mechanism for the involuntary transfer of taxpayers’ money to the Democratic party.

Walker’s law ended this practice and gave public employees the choice of whether to pay union dues. The Wisconsin membership of AFSCME, the big union of state employees, fell from 62,818 to 28,785.

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Obama Fails to Commemorate D-Day
by Rick Moran
June 7, 2012

I was unable to determine if George Bush failed to commemerate D-Day during his 8 years in office, but somehow, I would think that veterans would have let him have it if he didn't.

President Obama gave a speech on the 65th anniversary of D-Day in 2009 but hasn't said anything about this solemn day since. There are some historians - Stephen Ambrose among the most prominent - who believe that D-Day was not only the most significant event of World War II, but also one of the most significant events in the last 500 years of world history.

An acknowledgement of the sacrifices of so many Americans on that fateful day would seem to be automatic if you're president. For Obama, nothing is automatic when it comes to American traditions and history.

Instead of scheduling a brief event to mark the 68th anniversary of America's brutal landing on the shores of Normandy, Obama is already on his way to San Francisco, where he will hold two fundraisers before moving on to Beverly Hills to stage two more. 
Obama failed to mark D-Day with either a speech or a written proclamation both last year or the year before. He did give a speech in 2009, the 65th anniversary of the event. 
First Lady Michelle Obama, who has made much of her "Joining Forces" campaign to support military families, also has nothing planned for D-Day. She'll be in New York City for a fundraiser and then in Philadelphia to meet with campaign volunteers.
Obama's failure to mark D-Day in any significant way is both a shame and a political mistake.
"Scheduling a brief event" wouldn't have been necessary. How about an official proclamation commemerating the day?

There isn't one, but the White House did post a blog on D-Day, referring to the president's 2009 speech. I guess that qualifies as an "acknowledgement" but falls far short of what a president should be doing to call attention to the heroic deeds of our D-Day veterans who are fewer and fewer every year.

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