Cell-Phone Sheila Jackson Lee is Also Caribbean Junketeer

Just how out of touch is Congress? The above video clip is now famous. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) talks on her cell phone while cancer survivor Tracy Miller tries to ask her a question at a health care Town Hall meeting.

Rep. Jackson Lee was one of five members of Congress who took part in a Citigroup-funded junket to the sunny Caribbean island of St. Maartens shortly after all five voted for TARP. The trip was led by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY), the tax cheat who has proposed tax increases to fund health care.

I crashed the event as an uninvited observer to document violations of House Rules. The House Ethics Committee is investigating. It has requested my photographs, audio recordings and other materials.

True to form, however, the Pelosi-controlled Ethics Committee appointed Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC), a member of the Congressional … Read More ➡

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Memo to Starbucks: Dig In, Smell the Coffee, Fight Back

starbucks-coffee-cup-227x300Starbucks, that epitome of a socially-conscious corporation, is now the target of a campaign among self-styled socially-conscious activists. One can understand why radical activists would go after discount retail behemoth Wal-Mart. But who would have thought they’d have classy Starbucks in their sights? Last month, Brave New Films, an independent documentary production company based in Culver City, California, launched its “Stop Starbucks” campaign. The website features a four-minute video on YouTube alleging mistreatment by the company of its employees, plus a petition demanding Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz “quit following Wal-Mart’s anti-union example.” Within a week, nearly 12,000 viewers signed it. The campaign also features a Twitter attack, replete with messages like “I want my union with my latte” and “Schultz makes millions, workers make beans.”

All this somehow makes sense. The head of Brave New Films is Robert Greenwald, producer of the 2005 anti-corporate agitprop feature, “Wal-Mart: The High Read More ➡

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Cronyism Is Well and Alive at Boston Retirement Board, Union

The Boston Retirement Board has a reputation for taking a long time making decisions.  In fact, this public-employee entity has allowed nearly 100 disability cases to pile up.  An unexpected stroke of good luck may speed things up.  If nothing else, it has given additional ammunition for an ongoing probe of the board and a close labor ally, International Association of Fire Fighters Local 718.  On August 6, the Boston Herald reported that the board turned down a disability retirement claim by a union member, Albert Arroyo.  The claim might have been approved had it not been for a YouTube video captured for posterity.


Arroyo, a Boston fireman, had filed a claim with the board, maintaining that he’d suffered career-ending back injuries on the job.  But Arroyo had a parallel career as a bodybuilder.  And not long after filing his claim, he Read More ➡

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