Skip to comments.Joe Scarborough: Scott Walker's Stand Against Collective Bargaining 'Seems Kind of Un-American To
Posted on 02/28/2011 3:42:49 PM PST by Nachum
Joe Scarborough's "intuitive gut reaction" to the mess in Wisconsin is that Gov. Walker's holdout against union pleas for collective bargaining "seems kind of un-American" to him. It supposedly pained the self-described small-government conservative to say it, but he held to his opinion on Monday's "Morning Joe." "I'm going to get killed for saying this," Scarborough hesitantly prefaced his confession. "I'm going to get so killed for saying this I hate to say this, but the concept of telling people that they
(Excerpt) Read more at newsbusters.org ...
Frank Zappa - I’m the slime
Scarborough is an idiot.
I wouldn’t recognize his face.
Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!
Joe Scarborough is a leftist in conservative clothing. Has been for quite a while...
Does anyone care what he thinks???
Joe, you are SUCH a tool.
Because America being $80 Trillion dollars in debt is not enough for an “All American” like Joe Pissborough.
He looks like the dangerous stranger our mommies warned us about
How could they otherwise afford to make those massive contributions to their favorite politicians?
Thats a whopper of a logical fallacy.
Joe is like most politicians and muslims. He’s for sale to the highest bidder.
If there was ever any doubt that Scarborough is a shallow thinking RINO twit, it has been dispelled forever with this one statement.
Hey Joe, tell us the story about the dead female intern found in your office one morning.
“I am gross and perverted,
Obsessed and deranged
I’ve existed for years
But very little has changed.” FZ
Scarburn needs to explain how the voters are represented by unions negotiating with the Government. Oh, wait. They aren’t. They are required to pay for whatever crap gets put together with NO INPUT. I’d say that’s un-American.
Excess taxation with no real representation is un-American.
Basically the legislative body and the governor WORK for the people.
The sort of recognition Wisconsin has given the employee unions violates the people's sovereign rights!
Scarborough is a joke.
Because certainly no one else would describe him that way.
Scarborough is an idiot.
Yes, of course, causing a State to go bankrupt... That is as American as apple pie.
Oh, vomit! Collective bargainimg has always seemed a bit unAmerican to me.
Scarborough is the worst kind of Republican, worst than a Rino! He is a Benedict Arnold to the ummmpth degree!
scarhead is as unAmerican as bin laden!
Hey Joe, the fact you exist is un-American.
Scarborough rocks? Huh?
Scarborough and his co-host both suck!
There is nothing wrong with people coming together and attempt to get better wages and benefits. There is something altogether wrong with govt assisting them in that pursuit. Govt and unions are to fiscal responsibility, what Defense attorneys and defendants are to justice. They are sworn to be on the side that is paying them.
He’s not even a Ron Paul Conservative
How is Joe any different from his fellow comrades at DNCMSNBC?
J.S. is a nitwit if he thinks it’s “un-American” to be against collective bargaining.
In order for you to have a right to collective bargaining it’s necessary for you to surrender your right to bargain as an individual. But more than that, it’s also necessary to force all of your co-workers to give up their rights to bargain as individuals. The inevitable result is the prohibition of merit pay for everyone - and those who work harder and accomplish more than others receive nothing in return.
How is that an American ideal?
I’ll second your comment.
He’s been sitting too close to Mika again...
What a pathetic tool.
Where’d you find that picture of Mika?
He’s as dumb as a box of rocks.
(Old redneck proverb)
Scarborough is a murderer... Nobody cares what he thinks.
Okay. Got it.
But is he bothered by the fact that Federal workers haven’t had those collective bargaining rights for years. Yeah, dumber than a box of hammers.
Joe Scarborough has a TV show? An audience? Who knew?
Unions vs Right to Work
By ROBERT BARRO
How ironic that Wisconsin has become ground zero for the battle between taxpayers and public- employee labor unions. Wisconsin was the first state to allow collective bargaining for government workers (in 1959), following a tradition where it was the first to introduce a personal income tax (in 1911, before the introduction of the current form of individual income tax in 1913 by the federal government).
Labor unions like to portray collective bargaining as a basic civil liberty, akin to the freedoms of speech, press, assembly and religion. For a teachers union, collective bargaining means that suppliers of teacher services to all public school systems in a stateor even across statescan collude with regard to acceptable wages, benefits and working conditions. An analogy for business would be for all providers of airline transportation to assemble to fix ticket prices, capacity and so on. From this perspective, collective bargaining on a broad scale is more similar to an antitrust violation than to a civil liberty.
In fact, labor unions were subject to U.S. antitrust laws in the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, which was first applied in 1894 to the American Railway Union. However, organized labor managed to obtain exemption from federal antitrust laws in subsequent legislation, notably the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 and the National Labor Relations Act of 1935.
Remarkably, labor unions are not only immune from antitrust laws but can also negotiate a “union shop,” which requires nonunion employees to join the union or pay nearly equivalent dues. Somehow, despite many attempts, organized labor has lacked the political power to repeal the key portion of the 1947 Taft Hartley Act that allowed states to pass right-to-work laws, which now prohibit the union shop in 22 states. From the standpoint of civil liberties, the individual right to workwithout being forced to join a union or pay dueshas a much better claim than collective bargaining. (Not to mention that “right to work” has a much more pleasant, liberal sound than “collective bargaining.”) The push for right-to-work laws, which haven’t been enacted anywhere but Oklahoma over the last 20 years, seems about to take off.
The current pushback against labor-union power stems from the collision between overly generous benefits for public employees notably for pensions and health careand the fiscal crises of state and local governments. Teachers and other public-employee unions went too far in convincing weak or complicit state and local governments to agree to obligations, particularly defined-benefit pension plans, that created excessive burdens on taxpayers.
In recognition of this fiscal reality, even the unions and their Democratic allies in Wisconsin have agreed to Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed cutbacks of benefits, as long as he drops the restrictions on collective bargaining. The problem is that this “compromise” leaves intact the structure of strong public-employee unions that helped to create the unsustainable fiscal situation; after all, the next governor may have less fiscal discipline. A long-run solution requires a change in structure, for example, by restricting collective bargaining for public employees and, to go further, by introducing a right-to-work law.
There is evidence that right-to-work lawsor, more broadly, the pro-business policies offered by right-to-work statesmatter for economic growth. In research published in 2000, economist Thomas Holmes of the University of Minnesota compared counties close to the border between states with and without right-to-work laws (thereby holding constant an array of factors related to geography and climate). He found that the cumulative growth of employment in manufacturing (the traditional area of union strength prior to the rise of public-employee unions) in the right-to-work states was 26 percentage points greater than that in the non-right-to-work states.
Beyond Wisconsin, a key issue is which states are likely to be the next political battlegrounds on labor issues. In fact, one can interpret the extreme reactions by union demonstrators and absent Democratic legislators in Wisconsin not so much as attempts to influence that statewhich may be a lost causebut rather to deter politicians in other states from taking similar actions. This strategy may be working in Michigan, where Gov. Rick Snyder recently asserted that he would not “pick fights” with labor unions.
In general, the most likely arenas are states in which the governor and both houses of the state legislature are Republican (often because of the 2010 elections), and in which substantial rights for collective bargaining by public employees currently exist. This group includes Indiana, which has recently been as active as Wisconsin on labor issues; ironically, Indiana enacted a right-to-work law in 1957 but repealed it in 1965. Otherwise, my tentative list includes Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maine, Florida, Tennessee, Nebraska (with a nominally nonpartisan legislature), Kansas, Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota.
The national fiscal crisis and recession that began in 2008 had many ill effects, including the ongoing crises of pension and health-care obligations in many states. But at least one positive consequence is that the required return to fiscal discipline has caused reexamination of the growth in economic and political power of public-employee unions. Hopefully, embattled politicians like Gov. Walker in Wisconsin will maintain their resolve and achieve a more sensible long-term structure for the taxpayers in their states.
Mr. Barro is a professor of economics at Harvard and a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.
That happens to you when they find dead girls in your congressional office. I guess Joe thinks FDR was un-american.
He also believed that public employees should not be unionized.
A Death in the Congressman’s Office
Does Anybody in the Press Care About Lori Klausutis?
By Denis Wright and Chris George
August 8, 2001 (APJP)
Northwest Florida Daily News Links:
7/22/2001: Klausutis Death Not Suspicious
7/23/2001: Obituary for Lori Klausutis
7/27/2001: Aide’s Cause of Death Still Not Released
8/23/2001: Northwest Florida Daily News calls for release of Klausutis records
8/29/2001: Klausutis head injury more severe than previously reported
9/1/2001: Controversial autopsy report by “where’s the brain section” Berkland raises more questions than it answers
Original AP story from July 21
AP via beachbrowser.com — information on Michael Berkland’s ME license suspension in 1999
The American Prospect — Scarborough press secretary Mick Serrano tells caller of contemplated lawsuit against American Politics Journal (make sure to use the “More” link — it gets even more bizarre)
Bergen Record (reprinted at Bartcop.com): Word on the Klausutis story is filtering out — skip down to the letter that begins ‘News determined by who defines it’
Florida DOH: Berkland’s physician profile, complete with two lies about the revocation of his Missouri medical license and chiropractic privileges
Healing Arts News — page 15: Berkland’s propensity for reaching conclusions based on autopsy tests he never did
Naples (Fla.) News — June 21 article on Klausutis death
Online Journal — “Protests are out and we will decide what you can investigate”
Moscow Times — Russia’s hottest pro-free-market, pro-capitalism paper picks up the story from APJ
Missouri v. Taylor — complaint mentions Michael Berkland’s “material false testimony”
Once upon a time, the phrase “investigative reporter” actually meant something. It usually involved hard work, possibly even mentation. Now, it seems, they just make stuff up. Especially on the Fox News Channel, where an uninitiated viewer could easily think she/he had tuned in Comedy Central. It’s “Chandra-Chandra-Chandra” with the occasional “Condit is just like Clinton” thrown in. Given our media’s 24/7 obsession with the Gary Condit “scandal”, you might assume that there is a real dearth of hard news to pursue.
In reality, there is indeed a news story percolating out there. The story bears remarkable and ironic similarities to the Condit/Levy story. Both involve Congressmen, rumors of infidelity, and the fate of a younger female subordinate. The details are so similar as to remind one of two alternate universes. The difference between the two stories? First, in the Klausutis case as not in the Levy case, there is a real body, very dead. Second, the Klausutis case involves a Republican.
The story had a brief flutter in the Northwest Florida press, which ran a few very short stories on Lori’s death. With the exception of the Northwest Florida Daily News, they were of the “Aw-what-a-shame/ nothing-to-see-here-move-along-now-folks” variety. But nationally, this mysterious death earned a mere one paragraph mention in The Washington Post’s NATION IN BRIEF column:
“FORT WALTON BEACH, FL. - Lori Klausutis, a 28-year-old office worker for Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-Fl), was found dead in the congressman’s district office. Police said preliminary findings from the medical examiner’s office showed no foul play or any outward indication of suicide.”
Unbelievably, that was it. The story was simply dropped. A young female employee of one of Florida’s Congressmen had died unexpectedly in the Congressman’s office. There were no witnesses to her death and the cause of death was not apparent. Klausutis’ boss, Joe Scarborough had recently resigned from Congress prematurely and unexpectedly, amid rumors about his marital fidelity and soon after a divorce. He had also abruptly resigned as publisher of the Independent Florida Sun, claiming that resigning from Congress and as publisher was necessary to spend more time with his sons.
Such circumstances make one pause. Sick to death of the clear bias of the corporate owned media, and suspicious of the odd nature of this death, we began to dig for answers. The more information we discovered, the more unlikely, and the more newsworthy the story became.
Here are the facts. Lori Klausutis had a seemingly happy life. A devoted husband who listed on his online homepage “being married to Lori” as one of the honors he enjoyed, a new home in Niceville and a Catholic congregation where she was a cantor and in whose choir she sang, were some of the elements of the Good Life she enjoyed. Her husband, Dr. Timothy Klausutis, did research and development for the munitions group at nearby Eglin Air Force Base, where he presumably made a good livelihood. Although Lori hailed from the Atlanta, Georgia area where she had attended school, there were numerous family members in the area. According to her obituary in the Fort Walton Daily News, Lori had served as President and, later, Treasurer, for the Emerald Coast Young Republicans and as a aide to Congressman Scarborough, she was active during the Florida recounts. A former neighbor, Barbara Cromer, said “Every morning, I would see her run while I walked. We’d wave to each other as we passed. I loved Lori so much. She was wonderful. She was a kind, generous person, so sweet.
Then, on Friday, July 20th, the body of Lori Klausutis, 28, was found slumped next to a desk on the floor of Florida Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough’s Fort Walton Beach office where Lori had served as a constituent services coordinator since May, 1999. Her body was found around 8:00 a.m. on Friday morning by a couple arriving for an appointment. She had been dead for some time. A second employee, who would have normally arrived for work at around the same time, was away on vacation. Police cordoned off the area for investigation, later announcing that there was no reason to suspect foul play, nor were there signs of suicide.
Scarborough’s office released a statement several hours after the discovery:
“My staff and family are greatly saddened by the loss of Lori Klausutis. I know Lori will be missed by the thousands of citizens who regularly contact my office to seek assistance with a variety of problems. May God grant Lori’s family the grace, comfort and hope that will get them through this difficult time.”
The Congressman returned to Florida that same day, and his office was quick to point out that it was not unusual for him to fly home for the weekend.
There was a great deal of ambiguity over whether Lori had suffered past medical problems. Scarborough’s press secretary, Miguel Serrano, made mention of health problems in Lori’s past, but could not be more specific. In response, Fort Walton Beach Police Chief Steve Hogue is quoted as saying “That’s part of our investigation, checking into her medical history.” Associate Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Berkland said “She had a past medical history that was significant, but it remains to be seen whether that played a role in her death”. Soon after a member of the immediate family rejected out of hand that Lori had any significant medical problems. She was, in fact, quite an athlete, having recently run an 8K with a very respectable time and she belonged to the Northwest Florida Track Club.
The results of the mandated autopsy, however, were deemed “inconclusive” by Dr. Berkland, who ordered more specific toxicology tests. These results were expected by the middle of the following week, around the first or second day of August. Dr. Berkland commented at the time “This turns over several puzzle pieces in the case of her death and reveals more of the picture”.
Welcome to the Wheel of Fortune.
Michael Berkland, it turns out, has a very interesting background himself. Recently relocated to Florida, it is a matter of public record that Dr. Berkland’s medical license in the state of Missouri was revoked in 1998 as a result of Berkland reporting false information regarding brain tissue samples in a 1996 autopsy report. Berkland does not deny the charges.
It’s also a matter of public record that he was suspended from his position as Medical Examiner in the State of Florida in July, 1999.
Quincy, he’s not.
Repeated requests to Dr. Stephen Nelson, Chairman of the Medical Examiners Commission, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, have failed to verify that Dr. Berkland’s suspension was lifted and that his licensure and disciplinary record are clear at the present time. Dr. Nelson was appointed Chairman of the Commission by Governor Jeb Bush.
As for Lori Klausutis, rumors began to swirl as time passed with no resolution to the case, rumors that included whispers of suicide, some emanating from inside the Beltway. Family members, angered at what they considered unfair and exploitive coverage wrote the editor of the Northwest Florida Daily News, Ralph Routon, saying “For those who knew Lori, the thought of suicide, as your published reports suggested, is absolutely unthinkable. Suicide was contrary to her faith and being. She did not suffer from seizures, nor did she have a history of medical problems.” Meanwhile, the final report has been issued that Lori died as a result of a blow to the head because an undiagnosed heart condition caused her to collapse and fall, hitting her head on the desk.
The initial reports from the Medical Examiner’s office denied any trauma to the body that would indicate cause of death. But Berkland acknowledged on Monday, August 6th, that Lori had sustained a “scratch and a bruise” on her head and that his original denials were to prevent undue speculation about the cause of death. “The last thing we wanted was 40 questions about a head injury”, he said.
And so, what we have here is the death of a healthy young woman who died of a blow to the head and a lie from the Medical Director’s office about this blow which was quite obvious to the naked eye. They then had to go search for some reason why she might have “fallen” and hit her head. And they have found an “undiagnosed cardiac arrhythmia”. But a number of questions remain to be answered, and we have requested opinions from Dr. Nelson, the Chairman of the Medical Examiners Commission.
The questions are:
- Were Lori’s medical records thoroughly examined for any evidence of the pre-existing heart condition? It would seem that someone must have examined her heart if she ran 8Ks.
- Did Dr. Berkland personally examine the site of death in undisturbed condition in order to support his later conclusion that the physical evidence was compatible with his later conclusions?
Presumably the heart valve condition alluded to is Mitral Valve Prolapse. This may be associated with arrhythmias, but rarely with VTach (ventricular tachycardia) or VFib (ventricular fibrillation), the only arrhythmias which would stop the flow of blood to the brain.
Generally, with syncope of whatever cause the “guarding reflex”, wherein one raises a hand to protect the head, is preserved.
There are several problems with the head injury. Generally, for a closed head injury to cause bleeding inside the skull, there is a much more severe injury on the outside of the skull. Do the autopsy notes, indeed, describe such a severe injury on the outside of the skull? In fact, the only closed head injury which usually may cause bleeding inside the skull involves a fracture of the temporal bone, with rupture of the underlying artery. The most important discrepancy that should be answered is how intracranial bleeding could continue if the cardiac arrhythmia had caused a cessation of blood flow to the brain!
- Were the toxicology studies entirely negative? Was there evidence of any legal or illegal substance in the blood stream which could have caused her to lose consciousness?
- Was she pregnant? If so, were fetal blood specimens obtained to determine paternity?
These are the questions being asked by some in the medical community of Dr. Stephen Nelson and Dr. Michael Berkland, and they continue to go unanswered.
Why is there a complete media blackout on this story? Why the complete preoccupation with the similar but largely speculative Condit/Levy story? What does this say about the state of our press? What does corporate ownership of the press do to what gets to be news? How much of what we think we know as fact is actually based on selective and distorted reporting? How does that “fair and balanced” cable network explain the complete hypocrisy and contempt for truth in their handling of these two similar tales? Will we ever know the truth of how Lori Klausutis died?
Three Pivotal Questions
by the Editors
September 1, 2001 (APJP) — Over at The American Prospect’s message board thread concerning this very article, Phoenix Woman has asked a trolling Scarborough “defender” three pivotal questions. We’d love to know the answers ourselves:
1) If Lori’s death was just a simple accident, then why did Rep. Scarborough and his spokesman Miguel Serrano feel the need to go to two different local TV stations within three hours of her body’s being found and invent a nonexistent history of chronic medical conditions for
her — in other words, why did they feel the need to lie about Lori’s health?
2) Would you trust without question the word of a Medical Examiner who lost his ME license in two separate states (Missouri and Florida) because he LIED about his autopsy work (for instance, saying he had autopsied some brains when he hadn’t)?
3) Why should whoever wrote Ms. Klausutis’s obituary feel it was appropriate to mention nearly everything about her life — EXCEPT where she’d been working since 1999?
A recent check of the Young Republican’s web site found no mention of Lori or her contributions, nor any tribute to her memory nor comments about her passing. In fact, you will find no mention of her at all. If you go to The Pensacola News Journal’s online pages, one of the few papers that actually covered the story, and search the site for “Klausutis” you will come up empty, even though the same search will pull up numerous stories matching “Scarborough”. It seems as though someone wants to erase all traces of Lori Klausutis from the record and bury the story with her.
It’s an increasingly puzzling case. We are reminded of the famous Kitty Genovese case, in New York, in 1964, where a young woman pleaded for her life over the period of 30 minutes, while neighbors ignored her cries. The assailant returned three times to stab her. With Lori Klausutis, it seems possible that a corrupt North Florida establishment is determined to keep the lid on the case, even if that means silencing the news. And our esteemed news media, from the supposed mainstream liberal press stalwarts to the near delusional on air shouters of the channel that just reports so that you can decide, willingly turn the other way and ignore Lori Klausutis. But they continue to chatter endlessly in speculation over Chandra Levy. In so doing, they ignore the cries of truth, they deny their viewers access to the truth and they utterly, once and for all, betray our faith and trust in the media.
This report was made possible by devoted citizens who are determined to bring Lori’s story to the light of day. Their contributions in research and insight are more appreciated than we can say. Thank you from both of us to each and every one of you.
To think I used to like the guy...
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