I just listened into a Big Labor media conference call, and it looks like they’re certainly not easing up at all in their big push to take away the secret ballot from workers and spread that oh-so-successful UAW/Detroit business model to the few remaining vestiges of profitability in America.
On the heels of their recent $3 million TV ad campaign that blanketed the cable news shows, American Rights at Work today unveiled a new TV spot and a new print ad – both embedded below.
This time they’re playing defense, claiming that the card check legislation wouldn’t really take away the secret ballot from workers in unionization drives. Other than that, the tone of the new ads seem to be pretty much the same. Namely, that guys who wear ties to work and play golf on Sunday afternoon collectively represent the greatest threat to America since Hitler himself.
To their credit, a couple of reporters pressed Executive Director Mary Beth Maxwell on her secret-ballot-for-all claim, and got her to finally admit that most of these union-forming cards (which are signed and therefore not a secret ballot) are collected on a “one-on one, worker-to-worker” basis.
In other words, 250-pound Salvatore corners helpless 98-pound Maria in the back room or in the dark parking lot and kindly “suggests” that she just sign the card. Or else. Don’t think that happens? Hear it directly from Salvatore here.
Filed under: Government Spending, Obama, Online Video, Republican Party, Taxes
Wednesday was the best day House Republicans have had in a long time – from a substantive policy standpoint, a political standpoint, and from a creative communications standpoint.
As you’ve probably already heard, every single House Republican voted against Speaker Pelosi’s wasteful, pork-laden, non-stimulus spending bill – along with 11 of Pelosi and Obama’s own Democrats.
This was the right thing to do on the policy front, since the vast majority of the hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars spent by the bill would have little, if any, stimulative effect on the economy – most of it won’t even be spent for years to come. For the most part, all the bill would do is add hundreds of billions of dollars to the crushing debt that’s already on the shoulders of our children and grandchildren.
And as we’ve pointed out before, it’s the smart thing to do politically, since supporting a “Me-Too-But-Less” spending stimulus would prevent conservatives from criticizing their opponents when this non-stimulus bill inevitably fails to get the economy moving again.
But perhaps just as encouraging as the fiscal backbone displayed by House Republicans on Wednesday was a creative behind-the-scenes video released by House GOP Leader John Boehner that chronicles the day’s action in way we’ve never seen before – at least from anybody in Congress.
The video opens by showing the House GOP leadership team meeting in the morning with sleeves rolled up and discussing the day’s legislative strategy, continues with a sneak peak at a “pen and pad” briefing with reporters, b-roll footage of Members walking through Statuary Hall to a news conference in the Capitol and finally moves to a short clip of GOP Whip Eric Cantor reinforcing the day’s message on the House Floor.
Take a moment to check out Boehner’s video below – it’s very good stuff. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more days like Wednesday in the weeks and months to come:
Filed under: Twitter
There’s an interesting story in this morning’s Hill newspaper about how several House Republicans posted instant Twitter responses during their meeting with President Obama yesterday.
The final Hill article linked here almost exclusively consists of quotes from U.S. Reps. Jeff Flake, Michael Burgess, Bob Inglis, John Culberson and Pete Hoekstra. However, an early version of the article that I read last night only consisted of quotes collected via Twitter – possibly the first time that’s ever been done in Congressional reporting.
This should be a wake-up call to all Hill press secretaries, as well as something that should send a shiver down their collective spine.
On the one hand, Twitter provides Members of Congress with an amazing rapid response opportunity. As we saw yesterday, they have an opportunity to respond even before a meeting ends.
But on the other hand, for a Hill staffer, there’s nothing quite as scary as your boss going off and posting statements on the Internet without any input or review from the staff.
It really is just a matter of time before a Member of Congress posts something truly boneheaded on Twitter. But that doesn’t mean they should be using this powerful new tool.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Andy Roth at the Club for Growth has started a Twitter feed that aims to list every entity asking for a taxpayer-funded bailout.
My personal favorite (so far) – the “Halfway to Concord” blog wants a bailout.
We’ve got an op-ed in the DC Examiner about signs of intelligent online life on the Right – you can read it here. Of course, as a loyal reader of this blog, you probably already know much of what’s in the op-ed. Right?
There’s been a lot of talk the past couple of days about the new WhiteHouse.gov website, which went live promptly at 12:01 p.m. on Tuesday — three full minutes before Chief Justice John Roberts and President Obama botched the oath of office.
As you can see in this before-and-after shot, the look and feel of the website has, ahem, changed significantly to echo the Obama campaign website. It even has a new blog, although at this point it only consists of one introductory post and a few other canned odds and ends, such as the text of Obama’s Inauguration speech, that can be found at other places on the website.
The White House’s YouTube page has been also been updated, but as I write this, it only contains three videos – Obama’s botched swearing-in and his Inauguration address, his speech at the Lincoln Memorial concert on Monday, and a video featuring audio of one of Obama’s whistle-stop train speeches laid over b-roll footage from the tour.
The big question is whether the Obama team will use its blog and YouTube to provide real behind-the-scenes insight into the inner workings of the White House – something it did very effectively during the transition – or whether they’ll just use these venues to recycle the same canned material in different places. Right now, the jury’s still out.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Just in time for the Inauguration, somebody’s created the “Obama Speech Generator.”
Simply type in a bunch of adjectives, nouns, verbs and a body part and presto – you can see how your speech compares to Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau’s final product.
Still, we all know this is really a do-it-yourself Inauguration drinking game, right? Simply type in your words (“better,” “hope,” “change,” and “heart,” anyone?) then take a drink every time the new President utters them. Voila… you’re hammered by 1:00 on Tuesday! Cheers!
Filed under: Government Spending
Sometimes the best way to deal with tough times is to find some humor in the situation.
With that in mind, here are a couple of “Despair” posters that Libby Wright of Citizens Against Government Waste just sent along on the heels of the Senate’s vote to release the second $350 billion in TARP bailout funds:
The Obama transition team continues to wisely use YouTube to ask for and respond to ideas and questions from “regular” Americans who live beyond the Beltway. A couple are embedded below – you can see all of them here.
Last week we spotlighted how Congressman Buck McKeon of California had purchased a cheap little Flip video camera and started posting informal behind-the-scenes videos on his official website and on YouTube.
Since then, McKeon has received a ton of positive feedback from his constituents, who loved the real, unscripted nature of the videos.
Congressman McKeon was kind enough to take a few minutes out of his busy schedule to sit down and talk with me yesterday afternoon about how he first got the idea to start posting behind-the-scenes videos and what he’s learned so far. Other Members of Congress would be wise to follow Congressman McKeon’s lead on this.