Scott Walker and the Fate of the Union

Scott Walker and the Fate of the Union

Above is a really interesting article that talks about Scott Walker’s largely successful campaign against unions in Wisconsin.  This is part of a larger right wing move to destroy unions in this country.  It is done under the guise of “right to work” by methods of divide and conquer.  A sample (The article starts out by following a union worker named Randy Bryce who takes a day off to have his voice heard at a debate in the state government.):

At 6 p.m., Bryce’s name finally appeared on the list of coming speakers. He paced the hallway outside the hearing room in anticipation. But 20 minutes later, Stephen Nass, the Republican senator who is the chairman of the Labor and Government Reform Committee, announced that there was a “credible threat of disruption” and that the hearing would be adjourned so the committee could vote to move the bill forward (it passed). A labor organizer, it turned out, had told The Milwaukee Journal ­Sentinel that some people planned to stand up in protest at 7 p.m., when testimony was to be cut off. (“I went through Act 10 — it was ugly,” Nass said earlier in the hearing, referring to the difficulty some senators experienced reaching various parts of the Capitol after the rotunda was occupied. “We had to go through a tunnel like rats. We don’t want to go through that again.”) About a hundred people were still in line to testify. A chant of “Let us speak” erupted. But Nass quickly took the committee members’ votes and was then escorted out, with his two Republican colleagues, by a phalanx of state troopers.

Bryce still wanted to speak. He had lost a day’s wages, and the committee’s two Democratic senators had remained to hear more testimony. State troopers were now blocking the door to the hearing room, though, so he decided to address a group of protesters in the hallway outside instead.

“My name is Randy Bryce,” he began in a loud voice. “I’ve been a member of Ironworkers Local 8 since 1997. I’ve had the privilege in that time to work on many of Wisconsin’s landmarks, private businesses and numerous other parts of our infrastructure.” As he spoke, the protesters began to quiet. Bryce described how he had wandered from job to job after he left the Army, how Local 8’s apprenticeship program had given him direction, a real career. Finally, he presented the case against what he called “a blatant political attack” on his union. “All of our representatives are elected,” he said. “All of the decisions that we make are voted on. The general membership is given monthly reports on how every dime is spent. Every dime spent is voted on. Unlike what is taking place this week, Ironworkers Local 8 is pure democracy. I am disappointed beyond words at not just what this bill contains, but how it is being passed.”

Two days later, just after the full Senate approved the bill that would make Wisconsin the 25th right-to-work state, Scott Walker was in Maryland, attending the Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual showcase for conservative activists and Republican presidential hopefuls. At a question-­and-­answer session, one attendee asked Walker how he, as president, would confront the threat from radical Islamist groups like ISIS. Walker’s answer was simple, and may in the end define his candidacy. “If I can take on 100,000 protesters,” he said, “I can do the same across the world.”

I can’t help but feel that anyone that knows the history of working people in this country should be outraged.

Although the song above is dated, it actually deals with Solidarity concerning workers in Poland during the 1980’s, I can’t help but feel that with a few minimal lyric changes, it works perfectly today.  Only this time the tyrant is more elusive.  Power is with those who exist largely in the shadows and hide behind the utopian myth of the miracle of the unfettered free market.  They use the language of hard work, religion, and patriotism to achieve their aims, although I know of no religion whose text celebrates endless greed, they shamelessly drain the livelihoods of many of those that work hardest, and they preach a kind of patriotism which leaves out a great deal of their fellow countrymen and women, which is no kind of patriotism at all.  Unions, like all things manmade, are imperfect, but they have played a great role in strengthening the working and middle class of this country.  People have literally died to gain the ability to earn a livable wage for an honest days work.  If you find yourself again unions, read the history of the coal towns or read about many early factory conditions.  Find out the things that the American worker has come to take for granted that exist because of unions.  We need strong unions now more than anytime since before the New Deal, when those like Walker stalk the corridors of power.

Scott Walker Wants to Amend Constitution to Allow Same Sex Marriage Bans

Scott Walker Wants to Amend Constitution to Allow Same Sex Marriage Bans

This is what the modern GOP has come to:  Wanting to amend the Constitution to actually deprive people of the pursuit of happiness.  All the meanwhile sliding money out the backdoor to multinational corporations.  This is backwoods barbarity combined with snake oil salesmanship.   They distract people from what is really destroying their quality of life with archaic notions of morality.  It’s cruel and stupid.  Don’t let them dupe you. Love is the only engine of our survival.   Only through kindness and tolerance can we move forward to better days. 

Return of the Monster Squad

Republican-Presidential-Contenders

Jesus Christ!  I haven’t seen this many freaks and mutants in one place since The Monster Squad!  Do you really want one of these men to be the next president?  Is this the best the GOP can do?  This is the flab of the American Empire.  When you have to pretend that you don’t believe in evolution, that climate change isn’t happening, and that the free market lifts all boats, this is the kind of crew you end up running with.  These guys look like they should be salesmen down at CarMax, not the leaders of the free world.  Swirl unfettered free markets and backwards religious ideas in a jar and this is what leaks out.  America, so much to answer for…

The-Monster-Squad-2

Thoughts On Clinton

I can’t say that I am either surprised or euphoric at the fact Hillary Clinton has declared to run for President.   We have all known that this was coming for some time.  Hillary is competent, far more so than the goons running for the Republicans. But as long as she has been in the public eye, I have no true sense of what she believes.  If you know American history, one will see that Bill was too often willing to sell out the working and middle class.  Like Reagan and Bush before him, and like W. after him, he took steps that helped lead to the financial meltdown of 2008. In many ways he was a conservative democrat.  Hillary, if entrusted with power, may be different, but there is no way to know that until she is entrusted with that power.  I am still hoping that Elizabeth Warren runs, though I am willing to listen to what Hillary has to say.  But anyway, any misgivings I may have about her are nullified by the complete insanity of the modern day GOP.  If it is between her and any of these flat earthers the Republicans are putting up, I will not only vote for Hillary, but canvass for her. 

All That’s Wrong In One Example

The fact that someone as vile as Ted Cruz can raise 31 million dollars in one week should trouble us.  It seems like everything wrong with U.S. politics in one neat little package.  Strange intolerant religious beliefs mixed with right wing paranoia, all playing second fiddle to the true gods of letting multinational corporations run every aspect of our lives. 

Strangely, Cruz doesn’t even try to get us to swallow such things with any warmth or charisma.  At least he isn’t bullshitting us on that…

GOP Trying to Stop Iran Deal

GOP Trying to Pass Iran Bill

Right now the U.S. is in danger of the Republican party nullifying our countries historical peace agreement with Iran.  If they truly believe in what they are doing they are crazy, if they are just playing politics it might be even worse.  If this is just to rob the Obama administration of a huge foreign affairs accomplishment then they are clearly not responsible enough to govern in any way.  Too many leaders in that party are in thrall to the military industrial complex.  This is an outrage and a disgrace.  Many of my friends growing up were Republicans.  My grandfather was a Republican.  This modern day version, which the Republican leadership represents, have almost nothing in common with the Republicans of the past.  What has it come to when the Iranian leadership sounds saner than many of our politicians?

Republicans Make Clowns of Themselves…Again

Obama: ‘I’m Embarrassed’ For Republicans Who Sent Letter To Iran

I really enjoyed Obama’s response to the Republicans who decided to put their names on a letter to Iran.  Conan O’Brien once compared Bill Clinton with The Road Runner, the way that Republicans would try to catch him and end up destroying themselves in the end.  I actually think Obama merits this comparison much more than Clinton, as Clinton was self-destructive in many obvious ways.  The Republicans are thrashing about climbing over each other to tarnish Obama, and their actions just make Obama look like the adult in the room.  I mean, think about what the Republicans did:  They reached out to the Ayatollah (The Ayatollah!) in an effort to weaken our Commander in Chief!  That is not only unprecedented, but batshit insane!  It is so insane that the remarks by the Ayatollah actually seem more reasonable than the Republicans.  I would like to be mad at this action, but it is so self-defeating that it seems more like a strange gift.  It is true that it is long enough before the next election that it may be forgotten by then.  But if it is not, and dear god I hope it is not, it will certainly be a plague on their house.

The New GOP Monster Squad

Monster_Squad_Monsters

The GOP’s New War On Obama

Here is a Rolling Stone article that is partially about how the GOP wants to destroy Obama’s legacy.  What makes the article really worth reading is it gives you a good run down of the kinds of policy the new GOP wants to enact and the players involved in those decisions.  A true pack of mutants.  It reminds me of when I was a kid and I used to watch the movie the Monster Squad.

Chris Christie Waffles On Vaccination Science

Chris Christie Waffles On Vaccination Science

Chris Christie seems to be fumbling a simple question.  Christie can’t seem to say that science does not support the claims that anti-vaccination parents are making, that great harm can come from not being vaccinated, and that all parents should make sure that their kids get vaccinated.  Although his answer, when asked about vaccinations, was more nuanced than the insane rhetoric of the anti-vaccination crowd, he turned what could have been a touchdown for common sense into a political waffle.

He said that although he and his wife had vaccinated their children, “It’s more important what you think as a parent than what you think as a public official. I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well. So that’s the balance that the government has to decide… Not every vaccine is created equal, and not every disease type is as great a public-health threat as others.”

Basically instead of saying what was the moral thing to do, what was the reality of the situation, his answers in a manner that at best is a weak political answer, and at worst shows that he doesn’t have the facts on a major issue.  I know that some of you will find his answer to be measured.  However, at no point does he have to say that the government should force kids to get vaccinated.  He could simply lay out the facts and make a pressing case on why parents should decide to get vaccinated, because it is in everyone’s interest.  If you read the article you will see that Christie has a record of this sort of thing.

I cannot understand why modern Republicans are so anti-science.  (I mean aside from the fact that on certain issues like global warming their campaign contributions depend on it.)  We are not talking about debating moral questions over established scientific fact, but actually political leaders debating the proven science itself.

Americans want to be seen as world leaders.  As long as we have a percentage of our leaders taking such buffoonish stances, we will be increasingly viewed as being behind the times by a large part of the world.  (And by “behind the times” I am using my own wishy-washy language meaning that many people will be scared as shit by our ignorance!)

White House Israel Relations at a New Low

White House Israel Relations at a New Low

Above is a New York Times article about how the relationship between the White House and Israel is at a new low due to the actions of Benjamin Netanyahu and the GOP.  Normally anytime I typed the words “new low” it would be along the lines of something negative, but I think in this case it is a good thing.  Isreal’s treatment of the Palestinians under Netanyahu is atrocious.  The way that Israel and APAC have tried to influence U.S. politics is atrocious.  If we ever want to see peace in the Middle East Netanyahu and his fellow rightwing politicians need to be marginalized.