Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

Browsing Posts published in May, 2011

Liar

Hat tip to the St. Louis Activist Hub for posting some YouTube videos catching Nieves in an unguarded, off air moment, coaching his radio co-host, Michelle Moore, to lie about the letters from Tom Smith, Lloyd Klinedinst, and Frank Rogan and say they only came from liberal blogs, not the conservative Missourian.

I am not, and I do not want to say anything about these being in The Missourian … So, if I talk about any of this stuff it’s only from the standpoint that they’re whining on liberal blogs, not that they were in The Missourian … There are a lot of old ladies who just want me to be nice all the time.

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One of the most controversial issues in this year’s legislative session was an effort to overturn the Minimum Wage law approved by 76% of Missourians in 2006.  This bill to repeal the cost-of-living provision of this voter approved legislation passed the House of Representatives (HB61) but did not receive a vote in the Senate.  All Franklin County State Representatives voted for HB61.

A common reason  used  to justify this vote is the apparent willingness to believe anything the Missouri Chamber of Commerce says is good for business – is good for business.  The Chamber made this Minimum Wage repeal a key component of their Fix the Six Agenda

Fortunately, while the Chamber has been pushing fiction on  legislators, several  organizations have been researching the real world effects of the Minimum Wage on the economy, communities and workers.  Below is a brief summary of their findings including some direct rebuttals to the common fiction presented by the Chamber and their cohorts.

Let’s start with a rebuttal to a piece in the Wall Street Journal.

Job Slayers or Fact Slayers, Wall Street Journal’s flawed argument against the Minimum Wage. continue reading…

Kudos to The Washington Missourian for publishing not one, not two, but three letters to the editor corroborating what Tom posted here the other day, prefacing them with …

The following three letters report still another act of violence by Senator Brian Nieves (see Missourian articles beginning after August 4). The letters appear here two weeks after the incident because the offended parties wished to reflect carefully on what was a shocking experience for them. They did not want to respond precipitously. These are their considered complaints: from the victim, an eye-witness, and an ear-witness.

But for me the most shocking thing was this from Lloyd Klinedinst’s letter

P.S. Sen. Nieves continued to radio-bully Mr. Smith by reviling him on May 18 and 19 — “Nieves Patriot Enclave Radio Talk Show,” including revealing Mr. Smith’s home address — talk about endangering one’s family.

Got that? The main reason Nieves got up in Tom’s grill in the first place is because Tom mentioned in a prior letter that the Senator was going to be out of town at a conference on a particular date and in his paranoid delusions Nieves felt that put his family at risk. But Nieves (a public servant, mind you) has no reservations about broadcasting the home address of a private citizen without permission to his unstable radio listeners. It’s a blatant invitation for more violence.

It’s hard to believe a respectable radio station that wants to keep its operating license would keep him on air after this. That has to violate FCC privacy regulations.

No worry, though. Having been completely wrong about his prediction that The Rapture would occur on May 21, Harold Camping now predicts the end of the world will happen on Oct. 21, once again proving that conservatives simply cannot be shamed or embarrassed no matter how ridiculous they look.

The Missouri Democratic Party sent this out last night – an urgent plea for funds to help Missourians in Joplin in the wake of the devastating tornado that hit there this weekend.

We are certain you have heard about the devastating tornado that touched down in Joplin yesterday. Governor Nixon has mobilized the National Guard and President Obama has ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to act swiftly.

However, a disaster of this magnitude means our neighbors in Joplin need all of our support.

Today we put politics aside because our neighbors in Joplin are in need and we as Missourians have to answer their calls for help.

Here is how you can help:

Licensed emergency and medical officials can volunteer their services by emailing: volunteerservices@redcross-ozarks.org.
If you have supplies you may be able to donate, contact your local Red Cross office (find listing here) or contact the Convoy of Hope at http://www.convoyofhope.org
If you cannot volunteer or provide supplies, please consider donating to the relief efforts led by the American Red-Cross has setup a specific page to donate online at http://www.american.redcross.org
or you can also text the word “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

For those who may have been impacted by this storm you can visit http://www.disasterassistance.gov/ to find relief.

If you use Twitter, consider using the disaster relief hashtags #MoHaves and #MoNeeds to communicate things needed in Joplin and things you can donate to those in need in Joplin.

Please consider helping anyway you can. Forward this to your friends and ask them to help. Our neighbors in Joplin need it.

Contrast this with the following highlighted by Steve Benen at Washington Monthly:

The No. 2 House Republican said that if Congress doles out additional money to assist in the aftermath of natural disasters across the country, the spending may need to be offset. (emphasis added)

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said “if there is support for a supplemental, it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental.”

Finding ways to offset disaster relief funds could be a significant challenge for House Republicans and would put their promise to cut spending to a true test.

He even points out that disgraced former House member Tom Delay thought that “natural disaster relief should be immediate, without regard for offsetting cuts.” It truly is the worst of times for those in Joplin.

One party asks “How can we help?” the other “How much will this cost?” The contrast couldn’t be clearer.

Blaine Luetkemeyer, U.S. Representative for the 9th Congressional District has voted for Franklin County Seniors to spend an additional $6,568.39 per year as part of Medicare.  Mr. Luetkemeyer supports the Paul Ryan/Republican budget plan that takes away the Medicare guarantee and replaces it with a “voucher” that will have to be spent with a private insurance company that will accept old folks with pre-existing conditions.

Unfortunately for Representative Luetkemenyer, his attempts to justify this plan are exposed by this recently released report by the  U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee.  This report lists the additional expenses a 65 year old in 2022 will have to pay for their Medicare coverage under the Luetkemeyer/Republican plan.  The analysis breaks these down by state and in Missouri it will cost an additional $6,568.39 per year for Medicare coverage.  Check out page 4 of this report for the chart.

Of course, Rep. Luetkemeyer will enjoy his Congressional pension and health coverage for the rest of his life.  Way to look out for the little/older people Blaine!

On May 11, I and others stopped by Sen. Brian Nieves’ (R-26) office in the capitol to talk about educational issues and newly proposed bills pertaining to education in Missouri.  Instead, I personally received twenty minutes of Mr. Nieves shouting at the top of his lungs, his very own “hip-hop” scatological rant.  It was a tour-de-force of three word epithets from “you fucking prick”, to “you fucking pussy”, to “you piece of fuck”, etc. and other vitriolic variations that would make the most seasoned sailor blush.

What I experienced in Mr. Nieves’ office was a grown man acting like a playground bully.  This from an elected official, who is addressed as The Honorable Senator, is a disgrace to the office he represents.  Regardless of the delusional paranoia he has regarding a letter to the editor that was published in a local paper, this is no way for a sitting senator to be conducting himself in front of constituents or his staff.

I spoke with the Capitol Police and the Senate Pro-Temp Sen. Mayer, and expressed my disdain of Mr. Nieves’s behavior, and asked if there was a process for a police complaint or a Senate Ethics Committee. Sadly, there isn’t.  Sen. Mayer said the only recourse is, “you all voted him in, now you’ll have to vote him out.”

The mission and vision statement of the Capitol Police Force, states:

Our mission is to serve the seat of government by creating a protected environment in a manner that respects the rights of all persons: And, to ensure safe conditions exist for state officials to fulfill their oath of office to all Missourians.

I emphasized and highlighted the “rights of all persons” because persons, i.e. voters, should also be treated with honesty, respect and courtesy when visiting their legislators in the state capitol.

Our local radio “shock-jock” who represents the 26th Senate District should read the Capitol Police’s mission statement. Hopefully, we will elect someone next time who can fulfill their oath of office and “respect the rights of all persons.”

I’ve been managing this blog since 2005 and nothing has ever been posted here that has generated the kind of traffic the Rapture Countdown Clock has. It took me about 60 seconds to write, didn’t give it much thought, but we got more unique visitors from all over the world in one day yesterday (Rapture eve, if you will) than we got in the entire first quarter of 2011 because of it.

As much as I’d like to believe it’s on account of my sardonic wit, the truth is 70 percent of the new traffic came from search engines. People were looking for information about The Rapture. Did they get the joke? Were they true believers looking for ways to prepare for the end? I have no idea.

But what I do know is, of all the important things we should be talking about, people seem fixated on this tripe. Even the local TV news did a straight-up news report on it last night, going so far as to get opposing viewpoints from believers and skeptics, as if there’s a legitimate question that needs to be answered. I mean, WTF? It’s fantasy.

That said, the day is young. If any of our new friends from around the world are witness to one of the chosen few being snatched up into the heavens please do use comments to let us know.

A friend of mine suggested I visit a Wal-Mart and check out their new claim that they are carrying many more MADE IN THE USA products.  It has been eight years since I have been inside a Wal-Mart due to my belief that they are one of the primary reasons for the loss of American manufacturing and exploding trade deficit.  I also object to their treatment of workers that wish to organize and have a legitimate voice at work.  Their treatment of women employees is also an issue.  Since it is a fact that what people support with their dollars they are likely to get more of, I have refused to shop at Wal-Mart for the better part of a decade.

That said, if they were to actually begin supporting American manufacturing, I would be willing to at least reconsider my position as redemption is always an option.  So on Thursday, May 19, 2011 I walked into the Eureka, MO Wal-Mart with a simple test in mind.  I would pick up the first 10 products I could find and see where they were made.

Upon entering, the hanging flags of the United States, State of Missouri, and POW-MIA were prominent.  I could not tell if the flags were made in the U.S. but did wonder if the flags were going to be their primary show of support for these entities and people or would they actually be supporting them economically by carrying the goods produced by Americans and Missourians which also provide jobs for our Veterans.  Hollow symbolism is a pet peeve of mine.

To begin my search, I walked to the first aisle in my path which contained a number of clearance items.  The following items are what I found.

  • Pink Wave Travel Cup – $4.37, Made in China
  • Hamilton Beach ½ pint Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker – $55.00, Made in China
  • Rival 2 quart Ice Cream Maker – $22.88, Made in China
  • Rival Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Mix – $2.32, Made in USA
  • Better Home and Garden Lawn Blanket – $15.00, Made in China
  • Zipper Closure Umbrella Tablecloth – $4.88, Made in China
  • Gator Shaped Boca Clips (2) – $5.97, Made in China
  • Striped Round 14 inch Platter – $5.00, Made in China
  • Mainstays Beach Towel (27 x 52 inch) – $3.88, Made in Pakistan
  • Kitchen Helpers Pot Holder and Oven Mitt Set – $1.96, Made in China

9 out of 10 is bad!  Disappointed is my reaction and at this rate it will be a long time before I return.  Put it this way, if Wal-Mart rethinks their purchasing to support America, I will rethink my position on supporting Wal-Mart.  Value-added manufacturing is what made this country the greatest economic power in history but if the company that benefits the most from this nation and is it’s largest employer can’t purchase American made goods it will take more than a flag to be convincing.

Remember this ad from last fall? Now that we’ve gotten a pretty good look at the Republican agenda during the last 6 months it seems more relevant now than ever.

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