Daily Archives: September 7, 2015

Go along to get along – how’d that work out before?



Jewish donors flock to hear Corey Booker explain his Iran vote, so they can keep on giving. 

The Observer has learned that Senator Cory Booker, who is under fire from Jewish supporters who had long treated him as one of their own, has convened an unusual emergency meeting to shore up his support in the wake of his decision to support President Obama’s deal with Iran.

Around noon on Friday afternoon, Mr. Booker’s Deputy Chief of Staff, George Helmy, started emailing leaders of the Jewish community to invite them to a hastily assembled “small roundtable discussion on the JCPOA in his office.” The meeting, which will take place at the Gateway Center on Tuesday at noon, will be joined by Treasury undersecretary Adam Szubin, who will help explain how, “After weeks weeks [sic] of study and consultation, Senator Booker made the decision he feels [sic] in the best interest of Israel, the United States, and our allies.”

The invitation appeals to its recipients’ vanity, assuring them it is only being “sent to his dearest friends and those whom he relies on for counsel.” For those still not feeling the love, another Booker staffer, Matt Klapper, larded it on hours later, sending a follow-up note asking to “discuss the JCPOA, as well as steps that need to be taken to keep Iran in the corner given the new challenges we’ll soon face.”

The invitation lists comprise a who’s who of influential Jewish leaders in New York and New Jersey, including Raphael Benaroya, the managing director of Biltmore Capital Group; Menachem Genack, the CEO of the Orthodox Union Kosher Division; Lori Fein, the New Jersey Director of the Zionist Organization of America; Ben Chouake, the Englewood, NJ, doctor who heads Norpac, the national PAC that supports Israel-friendly candidates; and Rabbi Aaron Kotler, who leads an important congregation in Lakewood, NJ.

Rabbi Genack told the Observer that he intends to attend. “I am going,” he emailed. In a later phone interview, he said, “I am going. I’m profoundly disappointed in his decision. I’ve been talking to him about it all along and I’m disappointed.” Reflecting the charged atmosphere—or perhaps the lack of courage on display throughout this episode—Mr. Genack tried to roll back his critical remarks moments after making them. After twice characterizing himself as “profoundly disappointed” by Mr. Booker’s decision, the rabbi thought better of his words and told the Observer that he had intended his remarks not to be attributed to him. However profound Mr. Genack’s disappointment, he also helped organize a conference call two weeks ago during which Mr. Booker explained his position to the Jewish community, before he had announced which way he’d be voting.

Given the anger among the community, some are shocked by how readily Jews have lined up to attend a meeting hosted by someone who days earlier announced his support for a deal widely perceived – among this very same community at least – to represent an existential threat to the state of Israel. One prominent rabbi told the Observer, “I think even Booker’s staff is surprised how quickly the Jewish leaders said yes.”

If I were Jewish, I’d be gravely disturbed to see my religious leaders lining up to go anywhere, especially if it was to pay tribute to an enemy of my race.


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Well, dang

End of the road

End of the road

Martin Milner, “Route 66” dead at 83.

He also starred in 1 Adam 12, but I’d pretty much left the TV audience by then, so I didn’t watch it. On the other hand, Route 66 inspired a friend and I, 16, to leave from the old high school (now town hall) steps at the beginning of spring break, 1970, and head for California via our thumbs and Rt 66.

stuckeysWe picked it up in Chicago, and rode it all the way to California, through Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, past a million “Stuckey’s World Famous Pecan Logs” signs, “Jackalope” museums and a larger variety of concrete tipis offering Taiwanese gimcracks, gewgaws and moccasins than Crazy Horse and Geronimo could ever have dreamed in their worst sun dances (ok, tipiApaches weren’t so big on the sun dance, but Crazy Horse was).

Even then, Interstate 40 was draining the life from 66 and the towns it served, but it was still alive, and I’m really grateful I had the experience of traveling its length. So thanks for the idea and the memories, Mr. Milner.


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And speaking of a battle-to-the-death to preserve the status quo

And the walls come crashing down on top the workers

And the walls come crashing down on top the workers

Uber drivers granted class action status to claim that they are employees, not subcontractors.

Making Uber drivers employees of the company will destroy the company and deprive literally hundreds of thousands of people the opportunity to earn a living. That, of course, is exactly what the taxi industry and the politicians who get rich from protecting that industry are working so hard to accomplish.

But wait, there’s more!

NLRB rules that subcontractors’ employees can be deemed employees of the company hiring the work.

WASHINGTON — The National Labor Relations Board, in a long-awaited ruling, made it easier on Thursday for unions to negotiate on behalf of workers at fast-food chains and other companies relying on contractors and franchisees.

The ruling, adopted in a 3-to-2 vote along partisan lines, was immediately attacked by business groups, who called on the Republican-controlled Congress to overturn it.

Now, a company that hires a contractor to staff its facilities may be considered a so-called joint employer of the workers at that facility, even if it does not actively supervise them.

“The decision today could be one of the more significant by the N.L.R.B. in the last 35 years,” said Marshall B. Babson, a lawyer who helped write a brief opposing the rule for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Depending on how the board applies its new ‘indirect test,’ it will likely ensnare an ever-widening circle of employers and bargaining relationships.”

“If you are a joint employer and you decide to shut down, there may well be liability,” Ms. Liebman said.

Business representatives said the labor board was making it much harder to operate franchises in the future, undermining a popular path for many entrepreneurs.

Richard Adams, a former McDonald’s franchisee who runs a franchise consulting firm, said the ruling made no sense to him, given how most franchise businesses operate.

“It’s so far from the reality of what actually takes place in the business that it can’t have any practical application,” Mr. Adams said. “McDonald’s doesn’t control these employees — it doesn’t hire them, it doesn’t train them, it doesn’t supervise them, it doesn’t pay them, it doesn’t even have their Social Security numbers.”

The labor board’s action was in line with a key contention of the Obama administration.

While the NLBR’s ruling is being presented by the media as a blow against the accursed McDonald’s, it is in fact about the entire subcontractor economy including, in an industry close to Greenwich residents’ hearts, building contractors, who are dismayed by the ruling, because they see where the barrel is being aimed.

Homebuilders are balking at a new labor law ruling that puts them on the hook for issues involving millions of subcontractors. Roofers, plumbers, electricians, framers are just some of the 25 categories of subcontractors used to build a home. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) could, in some cases, now deem them “joint employees” of the homebuilders.

“The homebuilding industry, which is primarily made up of small businesses who rely greatly on the work of subcontractors would overwhelmingly be harmed by the new standard,” said Tom Woods, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders.

The long term goal here is to crush every self-employed entrepreneur and force him into a government – union partnership, where politicians and their friends can control the workforce and th populace. Obama and his crowd are not only recognizing Cuba, they’re intent on bringing it here. Why do they hate working class people so?


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In the best interests of the children, of course

Government of the people, by the government and for the unions

Government of the people, by the government and for the unions

After sitting on the case since last October, Washington’s Supreme Court ruled Friday, just in time to wreak havoc at the start of the school year, that the new state system of charter schools is unconstitutional.

OLYMPIA, Wash.—The Washington Supreme Court ruled Friday that the state’s voter-approved charter-school law is unconstitutional, throwing the new school year into chaos for about 1,200 pupils enrolled in the system.

In a 6-3 ruling, the high court said charter schools don’t qualify as “common” schools under Washington’s Constitution and can’t receive public funding intended for those traditional public schools.

The decision, which came nearly a year after oral arguments in the case and just after eight new charter schools opened, didn’t specify what will happen to the schools or the students who attend them. Instead, the justices sent the case back to King County Superior Court “for an appropriate order.”

The state teachers union, the League of Women Voters, El Centro de la Raza and the Washington Association of School Administrators were among the groups that challenged the law. 


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