Feb 232014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and this will be the only article, because I cut my search for material short.  Although I spent more time in research than usual, I did not find much that grabbed me, and I didn’t want to keep pushing, because I’ll be quite busy for the next couple days.  On Monday, I’ll be hosting a Board Meeting of my prison volunteer organization here in the Cat Box, including dinner, so I’ll have a lot of cleaning and food prep to do for the next couple days.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:52 (average 5:34).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: If what he said in 1996 is any guide, House Speaker John Boehner really, really does not plan to allow a vote on raising the minimum wage:

“I’ll commit suicide before I vote on a clean minimum-wage bill,” Boehner, then the head of the House Republican Conference, said at the time.

How’s that for an extreme position? He wouldn’t just die before doing it, he’d actually kill himself. Take his own life rather than lift hundreds of thousands out of poverty by requiring businesses to pay a minimum wage that a small family can come somewhere close to living on. It’s almost like he’s not the moderate figure trying to balance the demands of his party’s teabagger extremists with responsible governance that so many political reporters have painted him as.

What better reason could there for Democrats to circulate a discharge petition on this issue, Not only would it me a major victory against vulture capitalists and their Republican lackeys, but also, the fringe benefit is fantastic!! ;-)

From NY Times: The phony budget games finally came to an end this week. After years of trying to entice Republicans into serious negotiations over a fiscal deal — years of instant rejection and painful austerity — the White House announced it was giving up.

In President Obama’s 2015 budget, scheduled to be unveiled next month, there will be no more proposals to cut entitlement programs. Instead, the president will demand what the country needs the most: new investments in education, in energy efficiency, in job training. When Republicans turn away, as they will, they will have to explain to voters why they prefer tax loopholes for the rich over programs to create jobs and rebuild the economy.
Mr. Obama will not include an offer that marred his 2014 budget plan: reducing the cost-of-living increase for Social Security in exchange for higher spending and the end of some of those loopholes. The Social Security cut, known as a “chained” Consumer Price Index, was never a good idea. It was likely to hurt vulnerable retirees, but had been long advocated by the right. Nonetheless, Republicans refused to consider that change if it meant touching the tax breaks of their wealthiest donors, so they passed up a chance to achieve their stated goal of reducing entitlement spending.

In my opinion, the authors have this wrong in one key way. I trust you remember that, at the time, I said that the only reason Obama was offering chained CPI was the certainty that Republicans would refuse it, because it came paired with cuts in welfare for the 1%. Now, in my opinion, Obama is making no such offer, because Republicans have become so desperate to appear reasonable in an e3lection year, that they might accept it, if he did.

From TPM: The United Auto Workers union is appealing a union representation election for Chattanooga, Tennessee Volkswagen workers citing interference from Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) and other groups and lawmakers in the state.

The UAW announced its appeal with the National Labor Relations Board on Friday.

The appeal argues that Corker, Tennessee Gov. William Haslam and State House Speaker Beth Harwell, among others, "conducted what appears to have been a coordinated and widely publicized coercive campaign. They worked, in concert with their staffs and others, to deprive" Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. "workers of their federally-protected right, through the Election, to support and select the UAW as their exclusive representation under Section 9(a) of the National Labor Relations Act (the "Act"), free of coercion, intimidation, threats and interference."…

…Read the appeal here.

Having read the appeal myself, as I strongly recommend that you do too, I agree that the UAW complaint is accurate, and that the NLRB should set aside the election and order a new one.

Cartoon:

0223Cartoon

This effectively makes any Voter ID laws that require voter expense, either for the ID, or for the documents needed to obtain it, unconstitutional.

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  18 Responses to “Open Thread–2/23/2014”

  1. 3:21  Good thing the ampule broke.  The contents likely would have made me high!

  2. Q – do Repuglicons ever keep their words?  If so the vote on the minumum wage will indeed be interesting! 

    I hope your Board Meeting of the prison volunteer organisation goes well – and I bet it will!  Thank goodness it is takihng place in your new apartment TC – I doubt they could have made themselves heard in the old place!

    Sorry TC – couldn't manage more than a bit of the United Auto Workers Union appeal – 58 pages! – but good for them.

  3. Daily Kos ~ Dems should call for an up or down clean vote on the minimum wagr, but since Boehner controls the House it won't happen. BTW, I don't think he has changed his mind.

    NY Times ~ Let the budget games begin.

    TPM ~ Volkwagen wanted a workers; union, the workers wanted a workers union. Grover Norquist, Corker and some other GOP pols didn't. They had the money to start a smear campaign against unions falsely stating that it would cost jobs when in reality it would create more jobs according to Volkwagen. The GOP propaganda machine worked very well in Tennessee. Too bad. I think the UAW has grounds for their lawsuit. There was definite outside interference. The GOP might as well have broken some arms and legs in the process of breaking the human spirit of the workers.

    Cartoon ~ The GOP just don't like that amendment so they will not obey it.

     

     

     

  4. Cool tidbit that I just learned:  If you turn the map of the Americas on its side, it looks like a duck!

    http://imgur.com/6lufUII

  5. 6:23  I think they should have said "ampulla."  The modern definition doesn't really fit.  (And that, dear friends, is why one of my screen names is "Pedant.")

    General news:  I thought this was interesting.  I've always said that if they had to live with what they are doing to us they would raise holy hell.  Seems I am now PROVABLY right.  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/21/1279443/-Exxon-CEO-Joins-Lawsuit-to-Stop-Fracking-Near-His-Home?detail=email

    Daily Kos:  Woo Hoo!  Discharge Petition!  I suspect there are some Teabaggers who hate Boehner enough to sign it on the off chance.  (Agent Orange is the new Black Boy?)

    NY Times – You may well be right, however chained CPI WAS in this budget and was removed only after a lot of petitions came in.  And there is still a Medicare cut in this budget which would "force middle class seniors to pay more for a program they've already paid into their whole lives."  Here's a link to a petition to stop THAT nonsense.  http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/6405/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=9326

    I am SO glad the UAW is pursuing this with the NLRB.  I wish them all the luck in the world.  Sad that a group which should have "the strength of ten because (its) cause is just" would need luck, but such is our world.

    Cartoon:  Some of them don't care, and some just don't get it.  Of course I'm sure they don't WANT to get it.  And of course if you don't want to you won't.

  6. Poll tax: 100% agree. Unless the states who want to require ID will provide that ID free of charge, then it is not legal to require ID at the polls.

    UAW: It seems to me that the backers of the GOP have gone out of their way to find the most ignorant and unprofessional people they can find to represent them. This is a common practice with corporations now as, often, only those who are not actually qualified for high salary and position will do the unquestioned bidding of that corporation out of fear of losing the position. This creates a "worker against worker" mentality, which works very well for the corporate machine. The GOP members who are now blatantly breaking laws should be prosecuted to the fullest extent in order to show people that this will not be tolerated anymore. I read the complaint and they have, in my opinion, what should be an open and shut case.

    Obama on budget: Yep. He felt he had to look like he was negotiating. I think he knew that they weren't going to take whatever he put out, but he's tired of their game now, as well as knowing that the inequality issue is on everyone's minds right now. Showing the GOP for what it is at this time is a really good thing. Boehner said he won't put out a "clean" minimum wage bill. This is the game for the GOP. Adding on their ridiculous demands for more welfare to the rich in exchange for a few crumbs to the non rich as the only way to get any bill passed. Since the Republican House disallowed earmarks, they have a real hard time getting anything passed. It had gotten to be the only way they could actually pass a bill. They can't earmark for their districts anymore, so now they are "earmarking" for the rich. They will vote on a minimum wage increase but only if either the rich get better government handouts than they have now, or if the poor give up something more in return for getting a higher minimum wage. That's their game.

    Dinner party: How about some pizzas? :-)

  7. ~~“I’ll commit suicide before I vote on a clean minimum-wage bill,” Boehner, then the head of the House Republican Conference, said at the time.

    I'll mail him a pair of shoelaces… :lol:

    4:49

     

     

  8. Puzzle — 3:21  Good thing the ampule broke.  The contents likely would have made me high!

    Daily Kos — Fringe benefit indeed!

    NY Times — Obama is politically shrewd when it comes to the Republicanus/Teabaggers.  He has shown this a number of times.  And not making the same offers as previously shows that he understands them, has their number.  Given it is an election year, they would do almost anything with the idea that they could reverse concessions once they won the election.

    TPM — "…the NLRB should set aside the election and order a new one."

    I agree.  To me, it is quite clear that the Tennessean Republicanus/Teabaggers have interfered in the constitutional rights of VW employees by using fear (job loss) and intimidation.  In traditional labour relations, the employer is often against unionisation . . . I know, I was management during organisation drives in the Canadian banking industry in BC.  Company management and unions are often adversarial.  But here we have an employer who wants to deal with employees on a fair and equitable basis . . . very repugnant to Tennessee Republicanus/Teabaggers.  So the GOP is up to its usual tactics.

    Cartoon — "This effectively makes any Voter ID laws that require voter expense, either for the ID, or for the documents needed to obtain it, unconstitutional."

    I couldn't agree more!  It is very clear for any reasonable person . . . did I say "reasonable"?  That leaves out the Republicanus/Teabaggers, all of them!  If it went to SCOTUS, it would be interesting to see how the Injustices would rule and their logic.

    "Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

    Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."
     
     
    Personal — I was up to see the Olympic men's hockey final and it was truly a good game with clean action — Canada 3, Sweden 0.  Go Canada!
    We also had snow all night and all day today so we have more than10 centimetres.  Tomorrow rush hour should be interesting for the BC pinheads would think they know how to drive.  ICBC (car insurance) should be busy tomorrow! 

  9. TC. where do you get the energy to do all that you do?  I had a virus that lasted two weeks and am just now getting caught up on my house work.  I certainly couldn't entertain right now.

    Daily Kos:  The dems REALLY need to circulate a discharge petition!

    NY Times:  I have said all along that the President should just give them the budget he wanted and let them wrangle.  They did not intend to pass anything he proposed anyway.  Now they have backed themselves into a corner with their constitutuents.  About time.

    TPM:  I read the appeal.  The NLRB should certainly overturn this election, and look into prosecuting the authorities who made the threats that kept the employees afraid to vote for the union.  Tennessee prides itself on being a non union state.  I have NEVER wanted to live there, even though my grandmother was from that state.

    Cartoon:  And why isn't the media all over this?

  10. Thanks everyone.  I guess I don't have to tell you I'm in a huge rush right now.