Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Psssst. Scott Walker's Cuts in Wisconsin are Working

At this point, anyone on the left that continues to attack Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is one of two things: a lemming or someone so completely prideful that they're unwilling to admit the truth. Walker's plan is working. The public sector is being forced to balance its books in Wisconsin and it is doing so successfully. The best part? There was no substantial cut in services. In fact, some schools have actually - are you sitting down - decided to look at meritocracy and paying teachers based on performance in order to make up the difference.

Christian Schneider at NRO has more. Check out the reaction of Walker's Democrat opponent in the last election, Tom Barrett, who is also Milwaukee's mayor:
Recently, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted that under Walker’s plan to require greater health-care and pension contributions from government employees, the City of Milwaukee actually comes out $11 million ahead — contravening Mayor Tom Barrett’s March prediction that Walker’s budget “just makes our structural deficit explode.” Barrett, who lost to Walker in the 2010 Wisconsin gubernatorial election, refuses to give the governor any credit for helping him balance his city’s books, instead complaining that Walker’s plan to curb collective bargaining went too far.
How about that meritocracy idea?
Yet many governments are putting the collective-bargaining rollback to good use. In suburban Milwaukee, the Brown Deer school district is implementing a plan to allow performance pay for its best teachers. “No Wisconsin public-school district has ever had the opportunity in any of our lifetimes to even think about these things,” said Brown Deer Public Schools finance director Emily Koczela in an interview with a local television station. “We’re looking at understanding what effective teaching is, how to measure it in the children’s point of view, and how to reward teachers that consistently turn in a performance that’s better than the norm,” added Koczela.
One of the arguments against Obamacare and health insurance reform was that we should allow open markets across state lines. Here is that idea being applied to a school district. Go figure, making insurance companies compete for business.
In Appleton, the collective-bargaining reforms allowed the school district there to save $3 million by bidding for health care on the open market. Previously, the district had been required to purchase health insurance from WEA Trust, which is affiliated with the state’s largest teachers’ union. When the Appleton School District put their health-insurance contract up for bid, WEA Trust magically lowered their rates, saying they would match any competitor’s price — a sign they had been fleecing local taxpayers for years.
As Schneider points out, this is all being done through the right kind of 'shared sacrifice.'

Read it all.

Is there a CIA Angle to Operation Fast and Furious?

The ATF program that allowed guns to 'walk' into Mexico was ill-conceived at best and nefarious at worst. At this point, that is not in dispute. There is no way that putting guns in the hands of Mexican drug cartels could have ended well. Aside from needing to find out who authorized the operation at the highest levels of the Department of Justice, we still need to learn what the motive was. As the scandal has been playing out, it's looking increasingly like a gun control agenda may have been responsible. The ATF has already started cracking down on responsible gun store owners despite that same ATF instructing gun store owners to sell the weapons to straw purchasers.

There is now another theory being put forward. Did the CIA intentionally put guns in the hands of one cartel so it could fight a more powerful cartel?

Via the Washington Times:
According to a CIA insider, the agency had a strong hand in creating, orchestrating and exploiting Operation Fast and Furious.

The CIA’s motive is clear enough: The U.S. government is afraid the Los Zetas drug cartel will mount a successful coup d’etat against the government of Felipe Calderon.

Founded by ex-Mexican special forces, the Zetas already control huge swaths of Mexican territory. They have the organization, arms and money needed to take over the entire country.

Former CIA pilot Robert Plumlee and former CIA operative and DEA Director Phil Jordan recently said the brutally efficient Mexican drug cartel has stockpiled thousands of weapons to disrupt and influence Mexico’s national elections in 2012. There’s a very real chance the Zetas cartel could subvert the political process completely, as it has throughout the regions it controls.

In an effort to prevent a Los Zetas takeover, Uncle Sam has gotten into bed with the rival Sinaloa cartel, which has close ties to the Mexican military. Recent court filings by former Sinaloa cartel member Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla, currently in U.S. custody, reveal that the United States allowed the Sinaloas to fly a 747 cargo plane packed with cocaine into American airspace - unmolested.

The CIA made sure the trade wasn’t one-way. It persuaded the ATF to create Operation Fast and Furious - a “no strings attached” variation of the agency’s previous firearms sting. By design, the ATF operation armed the Mexican government’s preferred cartel on the street level near the American border, where the Zetas are most active.
Though this is a very interesting new angle, if true, I find it hard to believe it was the only motivation for the operation. The gun control agenda just seems to make the most sense. In that, this new find would only compound the problems for the administration.

If the CIA put guns in the hands of the Sinaloa cartel so it could fight the more powerful Los Zetas cartel, it might explain why neither the ATF agents in Mexico nor the Mexican government was made aware of the operation. Still, whatever the CIA was doing in this regard, the other motives are still on the table.
To be sure, Operation Fast and Furious suited the ATF’s needs. It was all too willing to let guns walk to increase its power, prestige and budget in Washington. It actively recruited so-called straw purchasers and happily used American gun dealers as pawns. And it was only one agency in a mosaic of federal agencies helping the CIA actualize its covert plans.

The fact that Operation Fast and Furious was part of the CIA’s black-bag job in Mexico does not excuse the ATF for violating the very federal laws it was created to enforce; for contributing to the deaths of hundreds of innocent citizens, including a Border Patrol agent trying to live up to his oath; or for being unrepentant, uncooperative and unresponsive to the wishes of the American people for honesty, integrity and loyalty to the U.S. Constitution.
This operation increasingly looks to have been an extremely comprehensive plan that involved several agencies in addition to the ATF: The DEA, IRS, ICE, DOJ, and now apparently the CIA.

These realities only seem to point even more to the White House.

Read it all.

Video: Interview with Four UK Looters

Courtesy of Sky News in London, here is a short interview a reporter had with four of the UK looters. There is no remorse for stealing; there is not even a sense that they did anything wrong. Instead, they blame the government for taking care of the wealthy while not giving them a chance. Apparently, the 'chance' they are talking about is entitlements. This is exactly where the road of an entitlement culture leads. Entitlement programs are really the path of least resistance for any government. But, just like all paths of least resistance, they lead to something far more ominous later on.

For some reason, watching those looters with their entire faces covered reminded me of this.

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