Franklin County Democrats

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Browsing Posts published in January, 2012

The Editor of Time Magazine, Fareed Zakaria, has penned a transformative article -  The Case for Making It in the USA.  How is it transformative?  Check this out,

President Obama spoke forcefully in his Jan. 24 State of the Union address about the importance of reviving manufacturing in America. Economists tell us it’s a complex matter involving tax, trade and regulatory policy, exchange rates and educational skills. It is. But when you move from high-level policy to specific cases, you will often find one element that is rarely talked about: a foreign government’s role in boosting its domestic manufacturers with specific loans, subsidies, streamlined regulations and benefits. In effect, these governments–many in Asia, though some in Europe as well–have a national industrial policy to help manufacturers.
Realizing that other countries are subsidizing their industries, creating jobs – many outsourced from America, and building their economies at our expense is not transformative but as any 12 step rehab program emphasizes – The first step is recognizing the problem.  These industrial policies by our trade competitors have cost America over 50,000 factories and millions of jobs over the last ten years.  Yet many policymakers and opinion leaders such as Mr. Zakaria have continued to recite the textbook example of Free Trade in defense of the current policies that have allowed this destruction.  The old each nation will produce whatever product they have a comparative advantage and trade with each other and all will be better off approach to trade policy.  Recognizing that others are not just producing what their natural comparative advantage will provide but are deliberately creating thier own advantage at our expense is a good first step.  Thus, this is transformative,

In theory, I am deeply skeptical of government industrial policy. Government doesn’t know how to pick winners and losers, it will make mistakes, and the process will get politicized. All this is true. And yet when I look at China and South Korea and also Germany and Japan, I see governments playing a crucial role. They do make mistakes–their versions of Solyndra–but they seem to view them the way venture capitalists would. Their role is to seed many companies, only a few of which will succeed. Once these companies are identified, government helps them compete against big U.S. multinationals. There used to be a joke about Marxist economists who would say of a deviation from pure communist economics: “It might work in practice, comrade, but it doesn’t work in theory.” That’s what industrial policy looks like these days. The theory doesn’t make sense, but it’s hard to argue with the result.

Let’s hope that Mr. Zakaria making the jump from textbook economics to reality is contagious and Capital Hill is infected.  We have let American jobs disappear for too long while building other nations that have no problem laughing at us while we sing Polyanna Free Trade songs.

 

So what’s Republican Sen. Brian Nieves so worked up about these days? Is it the fact that two of the counties in his district rank among the unhealthiest in the state? Is it that, of the 114 counties in Missouri, Franklin County is the 5th most polluted and Ameren Missouri’s coal-fired power plant in Labadie is the second worst mercury polluter in the nation. Perhaps it’s that Missouri now ranks number one in job loss? Nope. None of those things.

Of all the things that there are for a state Senator to get righteously pissed off about the thing that has Nieves seething white hot with anger is his belief that parking for the press at the state capitol is too convenient. So meter maid, Brian Nieves, has introduced groundbreaking legislation that aims to do something about this travesty of injustice.

Sweet Jesus. Is this the best we can do in District 26?

Missouri NEA Legislative Update
Week 4, No. 2, January 24, 2012
By Otto Fajen
MNEA Legislative Director

CHARTER SCHOOLS

The House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee will meet on January 25 to hear HB 1228 (Tishaura Jones), and the Senate Education Committee will meet later that same day to hear SB 576 (Bill Stouffer). Both bills expand the authority for charter schools to cover the entire state, expand the list of entities allowed to sponsor charter schools, create a statewide chartering commission and make several changes designed to improve the accountability and transparency of charter sponsors and charter schools.

The Association believes that charter schools need to meet the same standards of accountability, transparency and respect for the rights of students, parents and staff as apply to district-operated public schools. Currently, serious remedial action is needed to improve that accountability for sponsors and charter schools, and the state should adopt and implement those reforms and verify that they are working to ensure charter schools meet those standards before considering expansion of charter school territory or sponsorship. Accordingly, the Association opposes both bills and will seek to limit charter school legislation to correcting those deficiencies without concurrent expansion of either charter school geography or sponsorship.

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Hannibal Days

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Title: Hannibal Days
Location: Hannibal, MO
Description: Hannibal Days will be held on March 2 and March 3 this year. Events will include both a brunch and banquet plus a variety of speakers. Tickets are available for the brunch ($30), banquet ($35), or you may sign up for all of the events for $40. If you cannot attend either of these you may sign up for just the speaking events for $25. For more details contact Norbert Shacklette at 314-609-8981
Start Date: 2012-03-02
End Date: 2012-03-03

This Saturday, January 28th, St. Lous is hosting a parade to thank our American servicemen and women for the sacrifices they and their families have endured for the last nine years. This is the first parade of this nature in the entire country. This is a great example of what grassroots organizing can do. This parade has been organized by individuals utilizing facebook, twitter and other social media. Read the story here: http://www.examiner.com/progressive-in-national/st-louis-to-host-nation-s-first-welcome-home-parade-for-iraqi-war-veterans

Rachel Maddow just covered this event last night on MSNBC, and the story is going viral.

“The Super Bowl doesn’t happen until two weekends from now—you wanna know what happens next weekend? St. Louis happens,” explained Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC program last night. “St. Louis, Missouri is set to be the first city in the United States to host a welcome home parade for veterans of the Iraq War.”

The parade will start at noon on Saturday, January 28th, at Kiener Plaza in front of the historic Old Courthouse and head west to end at Saint Louis Union Station.

There will be a Veteran’s Resource Village with 100 Veteran organizations tabling located at the end of the parade route at the St. Louis Union Station.

To help volunteer or for more information please visit: http://january28group.org/ or call Craig Schneider at 636-262-3772.

 

Slate.com has a new calculator that can tell you how long it would take Mitt Romney to earn, I mean accumulate, your yearly salary.  Have fun and don’t blink!

This is pretty sick.

JEFFERSON CITY — Orange stickers with an image of rifle crosshairs were found Tuesday on the office doors of several Democratic state senators, prompting an investigation by Missouri Capitol Police, Senate Administrator Jim Howerton said.

“We are taking all the precautions we can,” Howerton said.

One similar sticker was found on the nameplate outside the door of state Rep. Scott Dieckhaus, R-Washington. He was the only Republican and the only House member who found one of the stickers.

The stickers were on the doors of all four Democratic women in the Senate — Jolie Justus and Kiki Curls, both of Kansas City, and Maria Chapelle-Nadal and Robin Wright-Jones, both of St. Louis, Justus said.

“If anyone thinks this was a prank, it is not a prank,” Justus said after discussing the discovery of the stickers on the Senate floor. “You don’t joke about someone’s personal safety.”

A sticker also was found on the door of Sen. Victor Callahan, D-Kansas City and the Democrats’ floor leader.

In light of the fact that Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has been all over the news lately regarding her miraculous comeback from gun shot wounds she received to the head a year ago this is especially creepy. Not sure why Dieckhaus would be targeted along with five Democratic state senators. Very curious to know what that’s all about. Stay tuned.

From ThinkProgress …

Last night’s State of the Union speech received high marks from viewers across the country, a CBS poll shows. According to the poll, 91 percent of those who viewed the speech approved of the proposals put forth by President Obama, and 82 percent of viewers approved of Obama’s economic plans.

I watched the Republican response to Obama’s speech by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. I listened to some of Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich’s remarks too. I tried to understand their point of view. Some of their concerns seem genuine and heartfelt. But honestly, it’s like they were talking about a caricature of President Obama that only exists in their minds and the minds of the GOP base. The president they are referring to does not exist in real life.

I seriously cannot understand how one can say Obama’s policies have made things worse when hiring is up and unemployment is down, GM is once again the number one automaker in the world, U.S. manufacturing has increased for the first time since 1997, and Osama bin Laden has been vanquished. Which president are they talking about?

The fact is, middle class voters like the president’s economic ideas. I’m no political strategist, but I don’t see how attacking Obama with bumper sticker slogans like “pro-poverty” and “food stamp president,” while proposing more of the same trickle-down economics that got us into this mess, is going to work.

In the past I have written about my frustration with right-wing dominance of the Sunday talk shows, even going so far as boycotting “Meet the Press” over this issue.   A recent study by Roll Call comes as welcome documentation of my perception.

GOP lawmakers appeared on the Sunday shows nearly twice as often as Democratic lawmakers in 2011, a dominance far greater than the prior two years, according to a Roll Call database of Members’ television appearances.

Memo to dittoheads, please consider further claims of a liberal media as further evidence of the parallel universe you live in.

Please lend your voice to oppose the legislators’ ongoing efforts with regard to workplace discrimination and whistle-blower law, and Voter ID legislation.

Missouri NEA Legislative Update     Week 4, No. 1, January 23, 2012

By Otto Fajen
MNEA Legislative Director

WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION AND WHISTLE-BLOWER LAW

The Senate took up SCS/SB 592 (Brad Lager) for floor debate on January 23, but did not bring the bill to a first round or Perfection vote. After discussing the measure for more than an hour, the Senate placed the bill on the Informal Calendar, a sort of parking lot for legislation that may be brought up again later this year whenever the Senate is in session. Further debate is expected on this bill, perhaps later this week.

The Association opposes SB 592. The bill makes several harmful changes to the state’s anti-discrimination law in employment, disability and housing and significantly limits and weakens “whistle-blower” protections.

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