Patterico's Pontifications


Unions: Yes, We Support the Minimum Wage — But Not for Union Workers!!!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:11 pm

Whether you react to this with a sharp, shocked laugh or a knowing but depressed shrug is a marker of how cynical you have become:

For much of the past eight months, labor activists have argued against special considerations for business owners, such as restaurateurs, who said they would have trouble complying with the mandated pay increase.

But Rusty Hicks, who heads the county Federation of Labor and helps lead the Raise the Wage coalition, said Tuesday night that companies with workers represented by unions should have leeway to negotiate a wage below that mandated by the law.

“With a collective bargaining agreement, a business owner and the employees negotiate an agreement that works for them both. The agreement allows each party to prioritize what is important to them,” Hicks said in a statement. “This provision gives the parties the option, the freedom, to negotiate that agreement. And that is a good thing.”

Eliminating the minimum wage entirely gives the parties the option, the freedom, to negotiate an agreement that works for them both, allowing each to prioritize what’s important. And that is a good thing.

Too bad unions and other soft-headed know-nothings oppose such common-sense principles — when it’s not their own ox being gored, that is.

Thanks to J.D.

Pamela Geller’s New Ad Campaign: The Winning “Draw Mohammed” Cartoon On Public Buses

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:57 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Pamela Geller is making yet another stand in her fight to protect freedom of speech in America. The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), which she co-founded with Robert Spencer, has announced its new ad campaign with a statement from Geller:

“[b]ecause the media and the cultural and political elites continue to self-enforce the Sharia without the consent of the American people by refusing to show any depictions of Muhammad or showing what it was in Texas that had jihadists opening fire, we are running an ad featuring the winning cartoon by former Muslim Bosch Fawstin from our Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in Garland, Texas.”

The application for the ads to run on buses and trains in the D.C. area is currently under standard review by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

According to Geller:

Let the American people see what the cowardly press is censoring in accordance with the blasphemy laws under the sharia (Islamic law).

Drawing Muhammad is not illegal under American law, but only under Islamic law. Violence that arises over the cartoons is solely the responsibility of the Islamic jihadists who perpetrate it. Either America will stand now against attempts to suppress the freedom of speech by violence, or will submit and give the violent the signal that we can be silenced by threats and murder.

Reactions to her plan are about what you would expect: hysterical headlines and tiresome arguments, such as this one from Juan Williams:

“I think Ms. Geller is doing it intentionally to provoke a controversy,” Williams said. “I think that’s what happened down in Texas.”

“It is fierce bullies like Juan Williams who want to impose the Sharia,” Geller responded. “This is the Sharia, Juan.”

Geller then mentioned a comment Williams made in 2010 about how he gets “nervous” when he sees “people who are in Muslim garb” on airplanes. Geller said she found that remark “offensive.”

“This has nothing to do with that,” Williams responded. “What I see you doing, I think, is trying to provoke, unnecessarily, controversy, and at times offending and demeaning Muslims who regard your actions as not only provocative but offensive.”

Geller said that Williams comments were more offensive than her planned bus ads.

“Muslims that support free speech will not be offended. Muslims that want to impose the Sharia will be offended. And frankly, your offensive remarks are far more humiliating to Muslims than my running ads about a cartoon that the media refuses to run,” she said. “I did not make the cartoons a flashpoint. The jihadis made the cartoons a flashpoint.”

Geller sums it up:

“There is nothing about this cartoon that incites violence. It is within the established American tradition of satire. If America surrenders on this point, the freedom of speech is a relic of history,”


Federal Judges Suggest Obama Is Disingenuous in DAPA Amnesty Case

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:48 am

As JD noted last night, a panel of the Fifth Circuit yesterday upheld the temporary injunction halting Obama’s amnesty. Basically, the judges said that Obama could exercise prosecutorial discretion and not prosecute/remove certain aliens deemed a lower priority, but probably could not deem them to be here lawfully such that they could obtain work permits, driver’s licenses, and other privileges of those here lawfully.

I read through the opinion last night and was struck by a couple of passages. In this one, the majority judges noted language in the amnesty decree that purported to make the amnesty discretionary and “case by case” — but said, in essence, that this language was disingenuous: designed to make it seem discretionary when it actually is not:

The agency’s characterization of both the DACA and DAPA criteria exudes discretion—using terms such as “guidance,” “case-by-case,” and “prosecutorial discretion.” But a rule can be binding if it is “applied by the agency in a way that indicates it is binding,” and the states offered evidence from DACA’s implementation that DAPA’s discretionary language was pretextual.

That’s a nicer word for disingenuous, which itself is a nicer word for “bullshit” — but you get the point. In this regard, the court (as had the trial judge below) noted that Obama had declared that he wouldn’t even go after people who don’t qualify for the amnesty:

Although a person who expected to be denied DACA relief for discretionary reasons would be unlikely to apply, the self-selection issue is mitigated by the district court’s finding that “the [g]overnment has publicly declared that it will make no attempt to enforce the law against even those who are denied deferred action (absent extraordinary circumstances).” Texas, 2015 WL 648579 at *50.

Finally, in a passage that seems to be little remarked upon, the judges chided the Justice Department for arguing two opposite positions in separate cases:

[The government] claims a stay would improve public safety and national security, provide humanitarian relief to the family members of citizens and lawful permanent residents, and increase tax revenue for state and local governments. To the contrary, however, and only by way of example, on March 16, 2015, the Attorney General, in opposing a motion to stay removal in an unrelated action, argued to this very panel that “granting a stay of removal . . . would impede the government’s interest in expeditiously . . . controlling immigration into the United States.” Presumably, by referring to “the government’s interest,” the United States is referring to “the public interest.”

In other words, in a recent case, the federal government took the position that they wanted to remove someone from the country, and the court should not issue a stay of that removal because, hey, we have to control immigration. But in the topsy-turvy world of defending amnesty, where the Justice Department is forced by politics to defend a Presidential position that runs exactly counter to enforcing immigration laws, the government says the exact opposite: you need to let us keep people here even if maybe they are illegal, because of all the wonderful benefits we receive from their presence in the country.

The fact that both these arguments were made to the same panel of judges is just a bonus.

It was subtle, but the decision yesterday amounted to the judges calling B.S. on Obama’s lies.

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