The last photo of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln was taken in 1871 six years after the president’s assassination.
OK, not really.
Photographer William Mumler developed a scam of putting shadowy images in his subject’s portraits and convincing them that they were spirits of loved ones. Mrs. Lincoln was among those who sat for him.
Photography was a new thing at the time and the idea of double exposure was not well known.
P.T. Barnum, who understood how gullible people can be, had Mumler pegged. He had a photo of himself taken with Lincoln’s ghost to demonstrate the fraud.
Barnum was disgusted that Mumler was taking advantage of people’s grief.
William Lawrence Sr. Omnibit 12-9-16 last photo of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln
There are two different types of unions operating in Pennsylvania – public sector unions and private sector unions.
Public sector unions represent government employees and other workers such as school teachers.
Public sector unions in Pennsylvania include the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
One of the largest public sector unions is the school teachers’ union. The Pennsylvania State Education Association, also known as the “PSEA”, representing approximately 180,000 members.
Members of the PSEA union pay annual dues of approximately $800 to $1,000. This money is, by law, deducted from every employees paycheck.
From union dues alone, the PSEA is collecting between $140 million and $180 million annually.
Is anyone else scratching their head wondering what the PSEA does with all of the dues money collected from members?
The second union group is private sector unions, also known as “trade unions.”
These trade unions represent carpenters, plumbers, electrical workers, brick layers, and steamfitters, to name a few.
There is huge difference between public sector unions and private sector unions.
Public Sector Unions, also known as government unions, negotiate over tax dollars, which are viewed as an endless source of revenue. Government union leaders can, and do, constantly seek more taxpayer money for their own benefit.
Private sector unions negotiate over company profits, meaning when the company is not profitable, the union recognizes that and negotiates accordingly.
As you can see, the source of revenue is very different for each of these groups.
Over the last few weeks, the issue of furlough for over 500 state employees at various Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Call Centers has been a front and center issue.
Many people have weighed in with their opinions on who exactly is to blame for these furloughs; Governor Wolf or the state senate.
Frank Sirianni, president of the Pennsylvania State Building and Construction Trades Council is quoted in an article by Chris Comisac from Capitol Wire saying:
“In all reality, they don’t have to cut there,” said Frank Sirianni, president of the Pennsylvania State Building and Construction Trades Council about the planned UC call center closures. “They can cut somewhere else – they’re doing that because it’s a high leverage point, and they can leverage other people with it.”
At a state office building union representatives, Wednesday, Dec. 7, were handing out a flyer that references me.
I have repeatedly stated that the SEIU, which represents the workers of the Unemployment Compensation Call Centers, should use the union dues they have collected from their members to put together a plan of legal action to block the closure of the call centers.
In addition to losing their jobs, the effected call center employees will have their benefits terminated at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 19. Why haven’t their union representatives stepped in and offered to cover the cost of the health insurance for their members for the next six to 12 months?
If asked these questions, the union will respond and say that they do not have the money to file legal action or to cover the cost of the employees health care for a few months. What happened to all the dues money that was collected from these call center employees?
According to “How Union Bosses Sold Out Their Workers” by Real Clear Politics — published the day the flyer was being distributed — $100 million– money collected from their members — was spent on political races in support of losing candidates.
Just think how much health insurance coverage could be provided to these union dues-paying members with that $100 million.
As of right now, It appears that Gov. Wolf is going to allow the layoffs to take place. It also appears that the SEIU union will be not assisting their members.
It is very unfortunate that Gov. Wolf is laying off the call center workers on Dec. 19, just six days short of Christmas.
In November, Pennsylvania voters handed Republicans in the General Assembly historic majorities. In the Senate, the Republicans have a veto-proof majority. Across the Capitol, the Republicans in the House have a 40-vote advantage. The coming New Year also portends an impending battle over the next budget. Governor Wolf has already demonstrated his willingness to use state employees as leverage in a public relations battle with the General Assembly; there is no indication that his approach will change. With a $1.7 billion revenue shortfall projected for next year, what should the General Assembly do?
If Republicans in the General Assembly were smart, they would upend a long-standing budget tradition and go on offense. Typically, the budget season is kicked off by the Governor’s budget address to the General Assembly. In his first budget address, Governor Wolf laid out a laundry list of progressive/liberal policy goals he wanted in his first budget. In his second address, he scolded the General Assembly for not giving him any of what he asked for in his first budget. Keep in mind, the Governor’s policy priorities came with a hefty price tag and would have required a massive tax increase.
In the coming year, the General Assembly should ignore tradition and preempt the Governor’s budget address with a plan of their own. That isn’t to say they should release a statement with the usual platitudes about protecting taxpayers. Rather, the House and Senate Republicans should have an entire budget and revenue plan prepared and release it ahead of the Governor. A preemptive General Assembly budget would force the Governor to play defense rather than the usual offensive position granted to governors.
To be successful and fiscally responsible, the General Assembly must address the revenue side of the equation first. Although it sounds strange, and it does defy logic, the General Assembly typically decides how much they’re going to spend and then cobbles together a tax package to pay for it. By determining the revenue ceiling first, the General Assembly would force the Governor to give a detailed account of who he would tax to pay for his almost certainly higher number. Providing exact numbers for how the funds would be dispersed also forces Department Heads to justify any amount above the General Assemblies stated budget when hearings commence.
Republican leadership must also avoid the trap, which they frequently fall into, of crafting a package “that the Governor will sign.” No matter how generous the General Assembly is with tax dollars, the Governor will want more. Instead, leadership would do well to work with their caucus members and craft a plan that they are satisfied with otherwise, the entire effort will be for naught.
Answer to yesterday’s William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit quote puzzle: A military man can scarcely pride himself on having smitten a sleeping enemy; it is more a matter of shame, simply, for the one smitten.
Peewee R.I.P. — Peewee passed away yesterday. The website’s mascot had been diagnosed with cancer two months ago but there was an expectation he would make it until the spring. A malignant tumor began growing on his tongue, however, making it difficult to eat and, more significantly, to drink.
He’d lap his bowl for minutes without taking in much water.
He was on strong medication for the other cancer and did not seem to be in much pain. He still wagged his tail when he walked and enjoyed our company,
Delco Sanctuary City Nope — County Councilman John McBlain appears to have won the debate as to whether Delaware County, Pa. is a “sanctuary city” as claimed by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).
The Philadelphia Field Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has sent us the below comment:
Delaware County, Pa and all police departments within Delaware County fully participate with PEP. With the implementation of the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) in July 2015, many law enforcement agencies, including some large jurisdictions, are now once again cooperating with ICE. DHS continues to make significant strides in building partnerships with local law enforcement and community leaders through PEP to ensure a common-sense approach that focuses enforcement resources on convicted criminals and individuals who threaten public safety and national security while also taking into account important community policing needs. For more information on PEP please visit www.ice.gov/pep.
CIS defines sanctuary city/county/state as a jurisdiction that does not comply with ICE detainers for jailed or incarcerated illegal aliens.